Families are forever! This has been an amazing week as we welcomed members from India, Thailand, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai, China. We'd like to share the following:
Sister Raji (name changed) lost her husband 16 years ago. She raised her daughter alone. She was able to bring her daughter and son-in-law to Hong Kong, so they could get married at the Temple this week. It was a very special occasion. Another couple from India brought their two children with them to be sealed as an eternal family. It was wonderful to see their happy faces.
A group of Thai members came on Thursday. Included in this group was a young couple who came to be married in the temple. Her parents, older sister, brother-in-law and members from their ward all came to witness the big event. I was told that the big flood in Thailand affected most of the families, and yet, these people still came. Both sisters and their husbands were sealed for time and for eternity. I saw happy faces, especially the parents. I'm sure it's a sense of accomplishment to see ones children marry in the temple. We are grateful for our children and their commitment to the gospel and all married in the temple. We see blessings in their lives because of the decisions they made.
The Jiangsu sister from China was a seminary teacher who came a couple of days before the Seminary Teachers Training to enjoy the temple blessings. What a amazing thing to know that the LDS youth also enjoy the blessings of attending seminary, a scripture-based teaching for high school students. They do all this online. How technology has helped the saints learn. We are grateful for that.
The Shanghai group came. Three couples came to be married in the temple. One of the couples was about our age and it was so good to see that they've been married for over 40 years and found the gospel and made the efforts to come to the temple to be sealed.
The week went fast as we witnessed these great people who made commitments to come to the temple. Surely, they have made sacrifices and are rewarded with many blessings.
Over the weekend, we attended the Hong Kong International District Conference. Again, we were blessed with many wonderful speakers. Two of the speakers came from our Victoria III Branch. Sister Wan talked about her own conversion. She came to Hong Kong from China 15 years earlier with her husband. They struggled as jobs were hard to come by. She learned to speak Cantonese quickly in order to get a job. They had a baby shortly thereafter. Her husband left her and the baby, and she was left to raise the child herself. She went through some tough times, but when the gospel came into her life, her outlook on life changed. She knew she didn't have to do this alone and joined the Church. She is now a successful business woman and happy to have the gospel in her and her daughter's lives.
The other speaker was Elder Wong (not his real name). Elder Wong came from San Francisco and is a missionary in our Branch. He talked about his religious upbringings. His father is LDS, and mom is a Buddhist. He was in the second year at Berkeley studying mechanical engineering when he decided that he wanted to go on a mission. When he told his mom, she questioned his purpose in delaying school to go on a mission. After some explanation, she said: so you want to go. Who's going to pay for this? He said to his mom: Yes, I want to go on the mission, and you are paying for it. She said: okay! He said that he didn't grow up in a family who sings: "I hope they call me on a mission"...but my good parents taught me commitments and influenced me in doing good. I'm grateful to be on my mission here in Hong Kong. I've learned so much. What a cool missionary Elder Wong is. He'll soon be going home to continue his education. We know he'll do well.
After the District Conference, one of our class members in the "temple preparation class" had an interview with the District president for a temple recommend. We are so grateful that young people such as Tara is committed to enter the temple. She was elated when she came out of the interview. We are looking forward to going to the temple with her in a couple of weeks.
Some hymnals about the temple blessings came to mind. One of them is: “We Love Thy House, O God” (Hymns, no. 247):