Friday, October 21, 2011

Senior Missionaries and the Family Home Evening

October 10-16, 2011
     We hosted the October FHE at our apartment for the temple senior missionaries and the Hong Kong Mission Office senior couple.  We senior missionaries are almost as busy as the young missionaries and don't have a lot of time to spend together.  So, we decided that at least once a month we should clear our calendar and meet.  We have been doing this for a while.  
     Elwin and I stopped by the Hong Kong Mission Office to order some name tags and met the new HK Mission Office Missionaries.  They are the Kesler's from the Draper, UT, area.  They came to Hong Kong before their predecessors left, so they ended up staying at the Temple Patron Housing for almost 2 months.  It's like staying at a Fairfield Inn for 2 months.  I asked Sister Kesler what she missed the most and she said:  Mexican food.  So, we invited them to join us for the FHE and they were delighted to join us.  I told Sister Kesler I'd try to make some Mexican food for her.  So, it was decided that we'd treat everyone to a Mexican dinner.  It was a fun evening as I prepared the Mexican Feast which I practiced on the young missionaries the previous week.  The dinner menu included enchiladas, chicken tacos, baked potatoes w/nacho cheese, refried beans, pico de Gallo, salad, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  Since the ingredients for Mexican food were hard to come by, most of the dishes were homemade.  The senior missionaries ate less than half of what the Jr. missionaries did.  I could see Elwin's expressions that he might be eating leftover Mexican food for the rest of his mission.  The Spiritual thoughts were given by the Wilson's and the Deans provided the activities for us.  We enjoyed our evening together and look forward to the next one at the Dean's.

     The week at the Temple was a busy one as we helped with visitors from India, Mongolia, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, China, the Philippines, and the US.  This truly is a temple for all of Asia.  We never knew what language we would be using until we saw who was attending.  The temple workers are amazing.  We have some who are trilingual, a lot of them speak both English and Cantonese.  Elwin and I speak English and Mandarin.  We seem to be able to cover most until the Mongolians, the Thai, the Cambodians and the Indonesians come.  I started putting greeting words in each of the languages on a cheat sheet and put it in our pocket, so we could at least greet the temple patrons in their own language.  Each group tries to bring a translator with them to make things go easier.  Except for the one time when an older couple (have to be careful with this term since most of them are probably younger than we are!) from Mongolia came a couple of months ago (posted on an earlier blog).  We had a heck of a time trying to talk to them.  The Office had to call Mongolia to get the communications going.  It was quite an experience there.

     It was a special Sunday at the Victoria 3rd branch as we had speakers, the Bradfords, from Victoria I branch.  Brother Bradford is a returned missionary from Taiwan and spoke Mandarin well.  His wife used a translator.  We are fortunate to have a wealth of people who come to visit and share gospel messages with us. 

     We have been visiting the Liu family on Sunday afternoons.  It has been a fun experience visiting with the family.  They live across the court yard from us.  They own 2 flats in that apartment complex and are the Dean's landlords.  Dr. Liu is a Chinese medicine doctor finishing up his internship in Guangxi Province.  We visited with him when he was home for the holidays.  While he's gone, we visit with Mrs. Liu and their 7-year-old daughter Cindy.  Elwin helps Cindy with her English lessons.  Mrs. Liu and I chitchat and I started teaching her English conversation.  What a delightful family we've met.  While he was home, he did some acupuncture on me and helped relieve the pressure on my varicose veins.  My left leg was swollen from being on my feet too much and after he did the acupuncture, he suggested that I should come back for him to perform some "blood letting".  That sounded like what people did in the 1700's, but the Chinese have been doing it for thousands of years.  I went back the next day and couldn't believe that it was done.  I had almost an immediate relief on my leg.  The puffiness and the pressure were gone almost instantly.  It was a traumatic experience none the less even though it worked.  I think Elwin and I are experiencing a lot of the culture in many ways that we never even dreamed about.  Dr. Liu and Brother Cheung all seemed to want us to go back to the States in better shape than when we came.  What great encounters these have been for us!  We'll never be the same again.      

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