Monday, November 7, 2011

Week of Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2011

Monday, 10/31:  Halloween in Hong Kong

Believe it or not, Halloween is a big, market-driven deal in Hong Kong.  It has become a socially-acceptable, self-indulgent event as reported by CNNGO on Oct. 28, 2011. 
Halloween satisfies Hong Kongers need for a) escapism and b) feeling cozy within large crowds.  Read more...
Teenage girls get into the Halloween mood by doing what they do best. 
School children dressed in their Halloween costumes that day.  Our little friend Cindy was a princess.  She was excited as her mom put finishing touches to her princess outfit.  It was just another p-day for us.  But it was important to us as Elwin hiked up to the top of Butterfly Mountain as reported in a previous blog.

This week at the temple:  A significant week as we met 40 members of the Church from Indonesia.  President Aki sent us a list of Indonesian words, and I made up some index cards with the following words:  (It was fun practicing on the Indonesians, but mostly they taught us)

Bahasa Indonesia
Selamat datang
Selamat siang
Halo (on phone)
How are you?
I'm fine, thanks. And you?
Apa kabar? (What news?)
Baik-baik saja, terima kasih. Bagaimana dengan Anda?
What's your name?
My name is ...
Siapa nama anda?              
Nama saya ...
Where are you from?
I'm from ...
Anda berasal dari mana?
Saya dari ...
Pleased to meet you
Senang bertemu dengan Anda
Good morning
Selamat pagi
Good afternoon
Selamat siang
Good evening
Selamat sore                     
Selamat tinggal (leaving)
Selamat jalan (staying)
Sampai jumpa lagi
Have a nice day
Semoga hari anda menyenangkan
I don't understand
Saya tidak mengerti
Please speak more slowly
Tolong bicara pelan sedikit
Please write it down
Tolong tuliskan                
Excuse me
Maafkan saya / Permisi
Thank you

Terima kasih / Terima kasih banyak / Makasih
Where's the toilet?
Di manakah kamar kecil?
I love you
Cinta kamu / Saya cinta kamu / Saya mencintaimu           

On Friday, we had a surprise visit from David Archuletta.  He was in Hong Kong for a special engagement and found time to come to visit the Temple.  What a guy!  We were so happy to meet him.

On Saturday, we were happy to see our Branch President and Sister Lin visiting the temple.  Afterwards we had an "afternoon tea time" at Dan Ryan's with them.  What a fun time to have time to chat and share ideas to strengthen the Branch.

Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011

Sister Hu, the young lady who was baptized a couple of weeks ago shared the following:

The missionaries encouraged me to read the Book of Mormon.  I started reading it as a historical fiction.  The more I read the more I realized it was a true story.  Reading the Book of Mormon helped me to develop my own testimony.  During this period, a dear family member became very ill.  I started praying to God for his recovery.  I was sure God will bless him even though he wasn't a member of the Church.  Even though he is still sick, I saw the improvement in him and felt the love God has for him and for all His children.

Sister Feng, who was in our first "temple preparation class" said:

I had a chance to go back to visit my hometown (in the Chinese mainland) and decided to share my conversion story with the people I grew up with.  Most of them were ranking party members and balked at my religious experiences.  A few weeks later, I received a phone call from a teacher who was in that group when I visited my hometown and asked me to meet him.  Not much was said, but I knew he understood what I said and had been touched by the Spirit.  Sharing the gospel is necessary to strengthen our own testimony.

Sister Cáo shared the following:

I was grateful to be called as a Primary teacher.  I have worked in many different positions since I joined the Church many years ago, but this is my first time working in Primary.  What a wonderful experience it has been for us.  Just when I thought the kids weren't listening to me, the sweet feeling of being patient came to me that they are children of God.  Then, they'd all come around and join me in the activities I have prepared for them.  What a blessing it has been for me.

Sister Wong Jin said:  my son's gone now and I felt a sense of loneliness.  But my cat just gave birth to 4 kittens.  Watching the cat caring for little kittens reminded me of motherhood.  My hat's off to all the mothers in the room.  I'm now a grandma to my 4 kittens.

Sister Dong, trying very hard to speak Mandarin with a heavy Cantonese accent, shared the following: 

My son is going to BYU Hawaii now and is 21 years old.  He called me last night to tell me that he wanted to go on a mission for the Church.  He was wondering how he could do this as he would be 23 when he comes back from the Mission, 2 more years of college, 2 more years of special training, he would be 27 years old.  We decided that we'd all pray about this.  I told him he needed to go see his Bishop in Hawaii.  
She then apologized for not being able to speak Mandarin well, we assured her that we nevertheless understood her.

What a wonderful Church meeting it was!  We are thankful for the Spirit that was there.

After the Church meeting, a baptism was held for Brenda Fu, a senior from Hong Kong University.  It was a wonderful baptism and she shared the following with us after the ceremony:
She told of the three things she seeks after and shared the following scriptures:
1) light:  John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  I seek after the light of the world
2) water:  Nephi I 21:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
3) shepherd:  Psalm 23: 1-6
 The Lord is my ashepherd; I shall not bwant.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he aleadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of arighteousness for his bname’s sake.
 Yea, though I awalk through the bvalley of the cshadow of ddeath, I will fear no eevil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they fcomfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou aanointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 Surely agoodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

It was very touching to hear a young lady sharing her testimony quoting scriptures at her own baptism. 

The day is not finished until we feed the missionaries, all 11 of them.  We love our missionaries.  They are so cool and doing a good job too.  One more missionary came this Sunday.  He is Elder Stevens and he got up to bear his testimony in Chinese.  We are impressed.  The MTC (Missionary Training Center) is doing a good job preparing the missionaries to go out into the world, spiritually and physically too.  The menu is as follows for those who are interested in ideas.  We actually served a traditional spaghetti dinner, but with some ingredients not readily available, we ended up doing a lot of home cooked versions of the same stuff.  I'm finding that it's healthier.  For example, the tomato sauce that I made was full of good stuff that you don't want to tell the kids about.  But, because I put them all through the blender, it's just a wholesome tasting tomato sauce. 

Sunday Menu

Spaghetti:  made with ground meat, tomato sauce* + 1 jar of Ragu
Pork chops breaded
mixed vegetables
green salad
garlic bread
dinner rolls
red velvet cake**

*Tomato Sauce recipe:

  • 10 ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Burgundy wine (I skipped the wine and put in 1 red +1 yellow pepper)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 stalks celery (Chinese celery worked very well)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)

Notes:  I browned the ground beef and pork with garlic and onions first.  Put the meat mixture into a crock pot.  Blend the above tomato sauce ingredients in the blender.  Pour it into the crock pot and cook for 10 hours.  To add more protein for the missionaries, I put in 12 pork chops into the crock pot and took them out when they were done.  Bread the pork chops with bread crumbs, top with cheese and put in the toaster oven for about 20 minutes.  Serve.

**The red velvet cake mix came from our children for my birthday.  I saved it to share with the missionaries.  Thanks to Elaine, I-Shuan, Nelson, Kong and families.

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