Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Full of Gratitude, week of 11/21-27

What a busy week it has been.  We first had 22 Mongolians members visiting us.  Except for a couple of the young sisters, none spoke any English.  It's a wonderful thing that we got along mostly through the Spirit alone.  On Tuesday morning, 11/22, we had 7 Mongolian sisters come for the first time.  How exciting it was for all of us.  The Mongolian written language looks like Russian as it is Cyrillic.  The spoken language is guttural and sounds nothing like Mandarin.  The people are mostly tall people like Westerners.  They all read Mongolian well, except for one older sister who was illiterate.  They are so devoted that they spend most days in the temple when they are here.  After traveling 70 hours on the trains/buses, one way, one would think they needed to rest or diversion, or even tour Hong Kong, but that was not the case.  They all stayed around the temple.  It was an inspiration to see them and to be with them.

Beside the Mongolians, we had members from Shanghai visiting us.  The first group were International members of Pudong and Puxi branches of Shanghai.  In China, the local members and foreign members (with passports other than Chinese) do not meet together as that is not sanctioned by the government.  Even though they may meet in the same building, the schedules are set so they can not associate with one another or be in the building at the same time.  The Church is very strict about the rules and we maintain very good standing with the Chinese Government because we do not allow members to mingle freely even though we would prefer that situation.  One member from Pudong Branch of Shanghai is a native Chinese with American passport (her husband is American).  She grew up in Dalian and brought many ancestral names with her to do family history work.  Her ancestral research took her and her brother back at least 1000 years.  It' so amazing about the Chinese genealogy.  If one hits a line right, one may go back to as far as BC time.  The Cultural Revolution may have destroyed many records, but with 1.3+ billion people, there are a lot of the records left.  One advantage, as I was told, is to have government officials in your family line.  The officials were given a special name (號) and this gives you a much better chance to trace family lines.  Really cool, isn't it?  I can't wait to delve in some more into my own family genealogy.  Our last trip to Taiwan was fruitful as we discovered that the Sung family came from Zhongzhou (彰州,福建), Fujian.  We hope to get some more information and go to visit there some day.

We also had a couple of families from India who came to visit the Hong Kong Temple this week.  One of the families brought their 2 boys with them.  They enjoyed being in Hong Kong.  As you can see in the following picture:
2 brothers from India and their Mongolian friend

Since the Hong Kong Temple will be closed for maintenance work for the next 2 weeks, we saw many members visiting us this week.  We saw some old friends from Shenzhen, Zhongshan, and Zhuhai.  It was so great to see them and found them faithful in living the gospel.  We also met a couple from Haiko, Hainan Island.  What a divine couple!

Monday was our special P-day as the senior missionaries were invited by President and Sister Aki to have Thanksgiving dinner.  We were treated with turkey and ham, dressing, and all the trimmings of the holiday.  It was so special.  I made the "sweet potato puff" that was delicious.  President Aki made a pumpkin dump cake that was out of this world.  See recipe below:
 Still, the best is coming.  On Saturday, Nov. 26, our dear friend, Shan Shan came to the temple for the first time.  What a special occasion that was!  Many members from the Mandarin Branch came to support her and to congratulate her.  It was truly a happy occasion.

members of Victoria III Mandarin Speaking Branch with Shan Shan

1 can Libby's pumpkin pie filling (15 oz.)
2 eggs
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice OR 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, 1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (1 1/2 c.) evaporated milk

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted

Mix all ingredients till cake mix. Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Melt butter and pour mix with dry cake mix. Sprinkle over pumpkin mixture. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve plain or topped with whipped cream.

1 comment:

  1. I love that picture of the three boys! Did they just become friends while they were there?

    Hope you're having fun with the Wileys! I've seen some pictures that David has posted. Looks like a great time!