Monday, October 1, 2012

Fire Dragon Dance--September 24-October 1, 2012

We saw our first couple go home. It was sad to see the Rippys return to Spokane. They took us under their wings and helped us adjust to Hong Kong and the mission life.
Twice a month the Senior Missionary couples get together for Family Home Evening. Last Monday we played a Jeopardy game. We each were asked to answer five questions about your first date, an embarrassing moment, unsual things you have eaten, etc. After a fun evening of laughs and hearing of some of the exploits of the other missionaries we decided that our lives have been pretty boring.
We hosted the new missionary couple for dinner on Wednesday. It was great to be able to provide service and to get to know the new couple at the same time. They are the Watkins from Spokane and will be the mental health missionaries taking the place of the Rippys.
Each Thursday we Skype with the other Family History missionary couples in other Asian countries. They have lots of questions but things are progressing as all of us are understanding our job here.  We ended the Skype call early so we could go to the temple for training. We got home late so dinner was toast with peanut butter.
On Friday while Garnalee was at Sister's Institute Tom tried to help a French citizen find his great-grandfather who was Jewish and escaped from Poland to France before the war. Unfortunately we didn't find much. The best we could do was email him information about a book that lists synagogues in Poland. Hopefully he will be able to find something. Garnalee is planning on calling Salt Lake City to see if there might any records available.
After cleaning our flat we went to the Flower Market where we purchased an artifical orchid that looks real. Tom loves it!!
This weekend is Mid Autumn Festival and a National Holiday for the Chinese. Included in the festivities is a Fire Dragon Dance with a 70 meter (about 215 feet) dragon bristling with lighted incense sticks. The dragon would come down the street twisting and turning to the rhythm of a kettle drum. Periodically they would whack the dragon's head on the ground and a spray of confetti would shoot high into the air. Also as part of the celebration they would have lighted lanterns. The lanterns were lighted by candles. As part of the Mid Autumn feast a mooncake is eaten which is  a pastry enclosing a custard type filling that is around a salted steamed egg yolk. So when you cut the mooncake you get a slice of the moon.
Mid Autumn Festival comes on the full moon following the autumn equinox hence the mooncakes. All families wherever they are go out and look at the full moon and they are connected. So all of you go out and look at the moon and we will all be connected. Since is it a holiday many of the businessess are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
To go along with Tom's new suits Garnalee also bought two  tailored suits. They are gorgeous beyond belief and Tom loves them on her.

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