Thursday, March 29, 2012

Warr's Adventure in Hong Kong

    We welcomed I-Shuan, Ryan, Peter and Thomas to Hong Kong on Friday, March 23.  They flew from Portland to Vancouver, then to Hong Kong.  They stayed with us for 5 days, then went on to Seoul, Korea.  Ryan served in the Seoul West, Korea Mission and I-Shuan served in Taejon Korea Mission.  Both Peter and Thomas were born in Korea.  So, mom and dad are taking them there to visit their birth place.

     It was a very fun 5 days we had together.  They were amazed at how small our apartment was, but how functional it was too.  With the help of mats, and air-mattresses, we had a very fun slumber party in the 450 square feet space.

     Below is the itinerary we had (for future references, also for those who might be interested in touring Hong Kong):

How to get there
Fri. 3/23
Arr 7:05 PM
Cathay CX839
Hong Kong Airport
Portland – 3/22 @10 AM, Vancouver – 14:35
 Hong Kong – 7:05 PM (delayed to 8:50 PM)
take Bus A43 to Fanling, (about 65-minute ride on double decker bus)
Sat. 3/24
9 AM
Sai Kung Fishing Village  and Geopark Visitor Centre – w/Wong’s
Stroll the market center along the beach promenade; take boat ride to see the surrounding islands/geopark
Go to Shatin on MTR
 Take Bus #299 @Terminus
Breakfast: Egg/sausage muffins
Lunch:  Seafood @SaiKung
Dinner:  chili, etc.
Sun. 3/25
To Church in Wan Chai /Victoria Peak
Attend Victoria III in Mandarin Chinese, w/English translation available, Primary
Take East Rail MTR, then Bus #104
 Take Ding Ding to Central, then Tram
Breakfast: omelets, sweet bread
Lunch: out
dinner: @ the Liu’s
Snacks, desserts
Mon. 3/26


Mong Kok @1
Sum Shui Po @4
Temple St. @6
Symphony of Lights @8
Ten Thousand Buddhas’ Monastery
Monkey Mtn.

Mong Kok, Temple Street Shopping
The main building contains over 12,800 statues.   Opposite the main temple is the nine-story Pagoda

Cont. from the right column - Cross the street to the government office sidewalk and walk it towards the end of the street. You'll see a small waist high, yellow sign in English; and follow it around to the area where the sign posted path starts.
Take MTR to Sha Tin Station – exit station and walk down the pedestrian bridge on the lefthand side towards the Grand Central Plaza and Home Square Mall (includes IKEA). Turn left on Pai Tau Street, walking past the Home Square Mall entrance.   Keep to the right-hand side of the road; make a right on the street in between the back of the mall and in front of the Sha Tin gov't office.  
Breakfast:  egg/cheese burritos

@Korean BBQ

Dinner:  Australian Milk Company
Tue. 3/27
9 AM 
Big Buddha
Tai O Fishing Village
The world’s tallest, outdoor, seated bronze Buddha.  Start with a stunning cable car ride that offers breathtaking views of North Lantau and the South China Sea.  At Ngong Ping Village, enjoy the Big Buddha or at the Po Lin Monastery.  See the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery; walk the Wisdom Path to an outdoor replica of the centuries-old Heart Sutra, one of the world’s best-known prayers that is revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike. 
From Fanling by the Cheung Chung House on San Wan Rd., bus 279X to Tsing Yi.  Take the MTR Tung Chung line to Tung Chung.
  -MTR to Tung Chung Station, Exit B, cross street and ride the Ngong Ping tram to Ngong Ping Village.
Take Bus #21 and visit Tai O fishing village. At Tai O, take a HK$20 boat ride (~25 minutes) to see the village from the water and hopefully see the pink dolphins.  (It is well worth it!)
Breakfast:   granola or congee

Lunch at Subway or noodle shop

Dinner: out
or spare ribs

Snacks, desserts
Wed. 3/28
Leave Fanling
Go to the airport 2:25 PM
Leave @11:15 AM
Take A43 bus
Breakfast: Dim sum, cheese burritos

March 2012 Activities

        Elder Wyatt finished his 2-year mission in Hong Kong and left at the end of February.  Since these Mandarin speaking elders stayed mainly in the Mandarin Branch the whole time during their mission (we are the only Mandarin speaking branch), we get quite attached to each of them.  Many members have joined the Church because of them.  Elder Wyatt gave his farewell speech.  He told of the following:
       My family lived in 7 states while I was growing up, so it was hard for me to call one place home.  My dad is a cook.  Since I didn't like cooking very much, I developed a love for drawing.  I spent one year studying art at Brigham Young University before coming on my mission.

       My parents taught me the gospel since my younger years.  I've been blessed to have Family Home Evening, to say prayers,  to attend church meetings regularly, and to go to seminary, so I feel truly blessed because of my parents.

      The past 2 years have been the hardest, and also the happiest.  I rely on prayers a lot, especially when it comes to getting along with missionary companions.  Matthew 22:37-38 says: 
 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt alove the Lord thy God with all thy bheart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy cmind.
 38 This is the first and great acommandment.

      I learned to meet challenges and obey the commandments.  It brings blessings and happiness.  
      What a wonderful young man!  God bless you, Elder Wyatt.

      We also have had a few members from Mainland China who came to visit the Hong Kong Temple and came to attend church with us.  Many of them bring with them so many beautiful stories.  How wonderful it would be to collect their stories to share.  Some day the place will open up and it'll be like a flood gate being opened, and the water will come rushing.  Through many years of hardship, these people are preserved for the latter days.  
Elder Edwards/Eder Brailsford, Shirley/Elwin, Dr./Kam/Cindy Liu, Dick/Sanina
      Since Elder Edwards and Brailsford weren't able to come to dinner last week, we decided to do dinner for them this Sunday, 3/18.  We also invited Sanina and Dick.  Most interestingly, we had asked the Liu's to come over to meet the missionaries and they accepted.  Since the Liu's eat lunch at around noon, and dinner at around 7, we thought we'd ask them to come to meet our church friends and have some dessert.  For dinner, we had chili and cornbread, baked chicken, green salad, and jello.  Dessert was brownies.  The Liu's daughter, Cindy, fell in love with Sanina right away.  Sanina is an art teacher at an elementary school.  So Cindy became attached to Sanina the whole time they were here, drawing pictures and talking.
     We've known the Liu's for about 8 months now.  They've been good to us.  Dr. Liu is a Chinese medicine doctor who has just finished his internship to become a certified doctor.  He was raised in a Chinese medicine environment as his father was a doctor.  By the time he was 5 years old, he had already memorized hundreds of the names of herbs and their functions.  When he was 14, he decided to become a monk to help people.  He visited various Buddhist temples and determined that none of them was what he wanted because they were commercialized.  He met his wife at the Shenzhen Eastern Medicine Hospital where she was a patient.  Their daughter is 7 years old.  Everyone spoke Mandarin Chinese since Dr. Liu speaks mostly Chinese.  It was a great get together.  The Liu's wanted to get together again.  In fact, Mrs. Liu called a few days later and asked if they could go to church with us.  Yeah!

      Sunday, March 25, we heard talks from Sister Wong Jin and Brother Sun.  Sister Wong talked about her growing up in northern China, Ha Er Bin.  Her parents gave her the name Jin, 晶, meaning crystal light, because in the winter there would be darkness for a long period of time in the day.  They wanted her to have the light.  She was pre-school age when her parents left her at home while they were working.  She said by early afternoon, it would be dark.  She would be so afraid that she would cry herself to sleep under the covers.  Her older sister had to stay home from school in the afternoon to be with her because of her fear of darkness.  Jin told of her psychological fear of darkness in our hearts.  When she found the gospel, it radiated light into her heart.  Jin was a counselor in the Relief Society presidency and we know she's worked so hard to bring light into our hearts and our lives.
Wong Jin on the far right
      Brother Sun was raised near Beijing, China.  He was the youngest of 4 kids in the family.  His father died when he was 4 years old and leaving the family to live in poverty.  He would never have thought that he would be speaking from the podium like today.  When he was studying in London, England, he found the gospel.  It filled his heart with hope.  Now he is a professional working for a large company.  He has been transferred to Hong Kong and will be bringing his family here soon.

     There is always a special spirit in the Mandarin Speaking Branch.  We've seen people coming to visit and felt the spirit here.  A sister in her thirties, who has just joined the church not too long ago, realized that she loved learning and wanted to do more than just working at her present job.  Because she has been out of college for a long time, she wouldn't have the opportunity to go back to school to further her education.  Her world opened up after she joined the Church.  She has been accepted into the MBA program at BYU.  She was so thrilled.  We were all happy for her too.

     The gospel is alive and well here in Hong Kong.  We'll certainly miss this place.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A.S.I.A. Women's Conference and more

 Associated Sisters In Asia (A.S.I.A)
5th Annual Women's Conference
February 23-25, 2012, Hong Kong
"Ye Are the Temple of God"
(1 Cor 3:16)
             I felt spiritually edified as we gathered to hear and share gospel messages, attended inspiring and educational presentations, and enjoyed the friendship and fellowship of Associated Sisters in Asia.  I met some of the sisters when they came to the Hong Kong Temple throughout the year, making it special to see them again.
            The theme of the Conference was “Ye are the Temple of God”, 1 Cor. 3:16.  We heard from the Asia Area Presidency and their wives.  They are certainly inspiring speakers who are serving the Lord in Asia.  All the men and one wife served in the Taiwan Mission and also were Mission presidents.  I’m sure they, especially the wives, made incredible sacrifices to serve here.   Sister Gong started the Mandarin Immersion Program in Utah, and it was in its full swing when they were called to the Area Presidency last October.  She was also in the BYU doctoral program.  Sister Watson has followed her husband’s career and church calling in Asia for the past 30+ years.  She was never home for any of the grandchildren’s births.  Sister Perkins raised her kids mostly in China while her husband worked in the Asian financial world.  He was called to be the President of the Area Presidency 5 years ago.  We have great love for these leaders.

            There were 15 breakout sessions on Friday and Saturday.  There was also a service project which was to make crocheted bandages for lepers in India.  Ben Perkins made this his Eagle Scout project to collect as many crochet bandages as he could.  He gave a presentation of the leper colony in India which was very touching.  We feel blessed to be serving here in Hong Kong and see so many great examples of the saints here.  Many sisters came to attend the temple Friday night and Saturday after the Conference.  I was glad to be able to go back to the temple to help.  What a big crowd we had!  Thanks to everyone who came.  
          We had a missionary Dinner on Sunday, March 4 - We welcomed 8 missionaries to our apartment for dinner on this Fast and Testimony Sunday.  It's always a pleasure to have them.  They work hard to serve the people of Hong Kong and China, and we are honored to have them.  We make them American food as they miss the home cooking.  So, for today we had the following:  Cream chicken over rice, BBQ chicken drumsticks, baked potatoes w/cheese sauce, Stir-fried cabbage, green salad, fruit salad w/yogurt, garlic bread, and then ended with German Chocolate Cake w/coconut pecan frosting.  We shared our "special experiences" over dinner, and it was a fun and enjoyable evening with these young men and Sister Wu.

           Of course, the highlight of each week is to speak to our children and grandchildren on Skype on the group video.  It has been fun to be able to see them each week and know they are doing well.  Our oldest grandson, Enoch, who is 15, informed us that he would come to pick us up at the airport.  His mother says that he has 2 months to finish his Eagle Scout project before he gets his learner's permit.  What a motivation!  Below is a collage of our Super Grandchildren!  

           It's hard to believe that we only have 2 months left of our mission.  We are anxious to go home to see our children, grandchildren, family and friends.  But, of course, it's a mixed emotion as we have made so many friends here.  The goodness of the people we met will forever have imprints in our hearts.  Below is a collage of our temple friends at a dinner gathering.  The baby belongs to Helen, the secretary.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Introducing...Morgan Rei Davis

Morgan Rei Davis
6lbs 11oz. 20 inches long. Born on Jan 7th at 2:46am
Parents:  I-Kang and Cami Davis
Brothers:  Kai, Caleb, Max