Sunday, May 19, 2013

BYU Young Ambassadors in Hong Kong--May 13-19, 2013

Tom presented the message at the devotional this week. He decided to use the thoughts from one of the sisters in our Branch of things we should say and do to our mothers.

We worked on the MTC Wish List which is a list of things we wished we had learned while at the MTC. Elder Mack Shirley, of the Church Family History Department, contacted us to because of the letter we had sent to Sister Tomlinson last January. He asked for our input as he is doing a presentation to the Missionary Department later in the week of suggested training to be given at the MTC.

We started deciding on what presentations we will give when go to India and Malaysia. Our India Visas came through so we will definitely be traveling at the end of the month to both countries. We will go to India first and have the opportunity to give some Family History training in Hyderabad that has never been done before. We will present at two firesides and give training to the priesthood leadership and the consultants. We will then travel to Ipoh, Malaysia, to help with a Family History Open House there.

Tom had the cataract surgery on his right eye. It went well. When he was checked the next day he found he could read close up and see the computer fine but he will still need to wear glasses for distance.

We had a very humbling experience this week. Elder Watson, the Area President, came to us and asked us to come up with a way to teach the First Presidency letter from last October 8, to priesthood leaders coming here for training from local units in China and Thailand. The members in these countries may only get to go to the temple once in their life because of distance and expense. Our plan was to have the members prepare their 4-generation pedigree chart and put that information into Family Tree. 98% of the members outside of the United States don not have their 4-generations in Family Tree. We then said that the youth could interview one of their living relatives and place that story with a picture on Family Search. They could also assist the older members to input their information. If they reserved names for the temple then those names should be released if they can't complete their work within two years. Elder Watson complemented us on doing such a fine job as we gave him exactly what he was looking for.

Tom helped prepare another farewell song this week for Sister Hamilton. We had her farewell luncheon on Thursday, May 16. As an introduction, Tom said, "You may have heard of Rogers and Hammerstein, well move over because the new writers are Woolley and Harrington.

Friday was Buddha's Birthday so the office was closed. We went to serve in the temple. We officiated at the 8 AM session. There were 23 males and 16 females most of whom were from the BYU Young Ambassadors group. They were in Hong Kong for performances. They had been in China for three weeks and would go home on Monday.

We went to dinner Saturday evening and then to the BYU Young Ambassadors performance.

Elder and Sister Gregory,  PEF missionaries, enjoy the meal.
 We went to dinner at V Cuisine where we were treated to a nine course dinner. We had Egg Drop Soup, Shrimp with Broccoli, Cashew Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, Eggplant dish, Baked Beef dish, Fried Green Beans, Steamed Fish (see the picture) that was netted out of a large tank and prepared just for us, Roasted Chicken complete with head, and then fresh fruit. Each dish came out one after another and was placed on the large Lazy Susan in the middle of the table. This is the typical style of serving meals in a fine restaurant in  Hong Kong.

Patrick Cheuk, one of the local Church employees and former stake president in Hong Kong, accompanied us to dinner and ordered all the food. They didn't speak English in the restaurant. He is cutting up our fish into serving sized pieces. Elder and Sister Castleton look on.
Elder and Sister Treasure enjoy the dinner.
 Sister and Elder Frandsen and Sister and Elder Watkins also loved the dinner.

Elder and Sister Aardema and Tom didn't even slow down for the picture. There were 19 people in our group sitting at two tables.

We enjoyed the high energy performance of the BYU Young Ambassadors. They closed the performance by singing "I Am a Child of God." Our performance was the only one where they sang that song which was the last performance of their tour. Based on the wonderful spirit of all the performers we believe the future of the Church is in good hands.

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