Friday, April 6, 2012

the Faithful...

Sister Yan spoke today (March 25) at church.  She had a beautiful voice, and spoke with a melodic vernacular, much like the Beijing dialect.  As I listened, I realized that she was giving her talk in poems, with 4 to 6 words per sentence.  "Chinese poetry has consistently been held in extremely high regard in China, incorporating wonderfully expressive folk influences filtered through the minds of Chinese literati. Within Chinese culture, poetry provides an exceptional platform for both public and private expressions of deep emotion." (Wikipedia)  Sister Yan talked about the Beatitudes so beautifully that I was mesmerized.  Afterwards, I talked to some of the members about the talk, and was told that Sister Yan used to chant Chinese poetry for the Hong Kong TV program.  How fortunate we were to hear her talk about "the Beatitudes" in such a special way.

The next speaker was Ben.  He was the first branch president and told a very interesting story:
A baby girl was born during the flu epidemic of the 1918's.  Her father and eldest brother died during the plague, leaving the mother with the baby girl and 3 older boys.  Life was hard.  A fortune teller told the young mother that she should give up the little girl because she was a demon and brought tragedy to the family.  The mother was heartbroken.  After giving birth to 4 boys, she really wanted to have a girl and her wish was granted.  But now, the mother had to give the daughter up.  She posted a sign on the grocery store bulletin "baby girl for adoption".  One day a bike coolie saw the sign and thought it would be nice to adopt the child.  The mother asked why he wanted to adopt this girl.  He said he was a Christian and the mother agreed to let him adopt the girl.  To be able to see her daughter, she attended that church regularly.  She noticed that the people there were happy even though they were poor.  She converted to become a Christian, so were her 3 boys.  One of the boys was my grandfather, who later became a priest.  My mother was converted to the LDS Church when she came to live in Hong Kong from Taiwan.  
What an unusual and beautiful conversion story that was.  It makes me want to spend more time on my own family history.  There must be tons of stories to unearth. Ah, so much to do and so little time...

On April 1, we had the Fast and Testimony meeting.  Sister Bai was confirmed a member of the Church after her baptism the week before.  She bore her testimony about her conversion.  Her life has been a smooth sailing with supporting parents and friends.  She just graduated from Hong Kong University and received 6 offers to do graduate work.  She knew she was very fortunate to have such great opportunities, but didn't know what to do.  Being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she learned that she has a constant companion, the Holy Spirit.  She could pray to our Heavenly Father and gain confidence on what she should do.  She was so grateful for the power of prayer.  What a great testimony that was!

President Lin was in Taiwan because his mother had surgery last week.  He was waiting in the patient's room when his mother woke up from the surgery.  She looked around and the first thing she said was:  It's cold in there, you need to put on a jacket.  Have you eaten?  Go home and rest.  Wow, a mom is a mom, is a mom!  How great that was!

Several others also got up and bore their testimonies.  We are always grateful to hear those faith promoting stories.  We know we'll miss these good people dearly.

After Church, we brought home 10 hungry missionaries.  We have special love for our missionaries, probably because I was baptized by a missionary, Elwin was a missionary in Taiwan, our 4 children all served missions, and now we are serving missions.  I know there are many members who take good care of our children when they served as missionaries.  My parents fed the missionaries regularly after we girls joined the church, even though they were not members.  When our children were growing up in Tennessee, there was rarely one week that went by without us feeding the missionaries.  They are emissaries from the Lord.  We decided that we would feed the missionaries American food once a month while serving in Hong Kong.  April 1 would be our last dinner with them.  I went grocery shopping the day before and brought back on my shoulders:  10 pounds of chicken, 5 pounds of ribs, 5 pounds of potatoes and vegetables, and others.  I carried them in 2 bags, plus the backpack through the park, through the MTR station to home.  I could hardly move after I got home.  Elwin had to help me get the backpack off my back.  He also massaged my shoulders so I could move again.  Then I spent the whole evening cooking.  There is a lot of love going into the meals for the missionaries.  We had "shake and bake" chicken, BBQ ribs, baked potatoes, baked beans, cole slaw, and the desserts were German chocolate cake and lemon sponge cake.  We had a great time.

On P-day, April 2, we and the senior missionaries had an outing.  We went to YMCA to have the lunch buffet first, then went to Nam Lian Garden for our walk.  It was a beautiful day and we had a great time.      

Our mission is coming to a close in less than 4 weeks now.  We are scheduled to go home on May 1, 2012.  After 18 months away from home, we are so ready to go home.  We're leaving, but I know we are taking many beautiful memories with us.   

1 comment:

  1. I wish I could've heard Sister Yan speak. It sounds very interesting and beautiful!

    I can't believe all that food you got to feed the missionaries! Oh wait, yes I can! They will miss your delicious meals. I'm glad you've met so many great people there and had so many good experiences to remember.

    Good luck with wrapping things up in the next few weeks. Love you!