Sunday, May 26, 2013

General Authorities Visit Hong Kong--May 20-26, 2013

Tom has been made first councilor in our Branch Presidency. So his first experience was to attend presidency meeting and to be asked by the Branch President to be the concluding speaker in Sacrament meeting that would start in 20 minutes. He gave a wonderful talk. He can think quickly under pressure.

We have passed our nine month mark and we are what is referred to by missionaries as "over the hump." We can't believe that our mission is half done.

We have been preparing training for our trip to India and Malaysia. We will give presentations at two firesides in Hyderabad, India. We will then travel to Ipoh, Malaysia, where we will help with the two day Family History Open House and then speak in Sacrament meeting. Then after church we will catch a train to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to give a training and then back to Ipoh that night.

Tom has been practicing Chinese calligraphy. He wants to make a gift for each of the senior couples that says "Families Can Be Together Forever."

We woke up Wednesday morning to discover horrible weather conditions. There were five different advisories issued by the Hong Kong Observatory. A Black Storm Warning for heavy rain exceeding 70 mm per hour and strong winds and advises people to stay indoors, we received 8 inches of rain that day. There was also a Thunderstorm Warning, Flooding Announcement, Landslide Special Special Announcement, and Special Weather Tips. We stayed home until the Black Storm Warning was lifted at 10 AM. We then went to the eye doctor for follow-up on Tom's surgery last week.

Tom got to use his Spanish this week. The mission president received a letter from the parents of a Latin American missionary who will arrive soon be in Hong Kong. He was able to translate the letter for the mission president.

 Elder and Sister Treasure with a couple they met several years ago in Nepal, and they have become like family to them and they have adopted them.The young boy, Samuel, who is nine was born later and is like a grandson to the.

We had a special event this week. Elder Neil L. Anderson, of the Quorum of the Twelve and Elder L. Whitney Clayton, of the Presidency of the Seventy, have been traveling throughout Asia. They started in Thailand, then traveled to India, on to Beijing, China, and finished up here in Hong Kong before returning home to Utah. They spoke to all the missionaries in Hong Kong on Friday morning. He spoke about as you gain a greater understanding of the Atonement then your faith and desire to serve will increase.

The Castletons and Frandsens received a beautiful Edible Bouquet from "Beyond 5." Beyond 5 is  five LDS young men that have formed a band and will be traveling throughout Asia in August. The organizer of the band is one of the Castleton sons who also composes songs. The Area Presidency wants the youth of Asia to be exposed to contemporary uplifting music.  The Castletons and the Frandsens have been helping with all of the organizing.

All enjoying the Edible Bouquet.

Saturday Garnalee helped with the refreshments that were provided for the Priesthood training that was given by Elder Anderson and Elder Clayton. There were 70 local leaders trained in one session and 30 local unit leaders from mainland China in the other session.

It rained really hard for several hours on Saturday again. We have seen an increase in the rain and the temperature over the last couple of weeks. Hotter and more humid!

We had the opportunity to hear Elder Anderson speak again on Sunday at a special conference for the China Hong Kong (English) International District and the China Hong Kong Stake. He spoke on Hong Kong being the gateway to all Asia and how the Gospel will spread from here. The Lord doesn't care about position. He cares about discipleship--the keeping of covenants, love, magnifying your calling, service, etc.

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