Thursday, March 29, 2012

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.


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