Friday, December 27, 2013

Week 69--December 9-15, 2013

Our weekly devotional was by a young newly married employee. He started his talk with the following thought, "A lucky woman is one that is married to an archaeologist, because the older she gets the more interesting she is." It is a good thing Tom and Garnalee are both archaeologists.

Today was the Jacksons' Farewell Luncheon. We had a baked potato bar with each sister providing some kind of topping Potatoes are Sister Jackson's favorite food and root beer floats for Elder Jackson. Tom wrote the words to their farewell song. He used the tune of "Did You Think to Pray." It went very well. Hauling all of the stuff for the luncheon from our apartment in our shopping cart was difficult to do but it was worth the extra effort.

We are next to go home so it will be interesting to see who writes our song. Tom approached Sister Lasson about taking over the song writing and she accepted.

Tom has decided to knit himself a sweater so he purchased yarn that he found to be a lot more expensive than yarn he has purchased at Walmart. He paid $184 US for the yarn.

Wednesday was Sister Jackson's birthday so we decided to do a surprise birthday party for her. We decorated with streamers, balloons, and all had party hats to wear. We purchased little cupcakes that are baked in ceramic pots for Sister Jackson and had coconut tarts and donuts for everyone else.

 Elder Watkins and Elder Wilson join in the fun.
Danise, Anna, Catherine, Jennifer, Sister Watkins, and Sister Lasson are ready to party.

Sister Jackson enjoying the cupcakes. She offered us a taste which Garnalee accepted and exclaimed, "They were wonderful! I will have to buy one for myself." A lot of the pastry items in Hong Kong are not as good as at home.

Friday is flight day to Kuching, Malaysia. We spent the morning doing laundry and packing. The airlines in Asia know how to treat their passengers. We had a 4 1/2 hour flight from Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu with a meal being served and then a one hour flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuching with another meal being served. Elder Moulder met us at the airport and took us the Sheraton Four Points Hotel. We had a wonderful bed to sleep in.The first time in many months.

Saturday we met with Sister Maureen at the Kuching Family History Center.

We then flew to Sibu, Malaysia. We attended the Christmas party for four of the branches. They had a wonderful program of singing, dancing, and a performance of the Nativity. The program was followed by a dinner. Many of the foods were very different and not to our liking. So we ate lightly. When we returned to the hotel Elder Moulder mentioned that they had really good banana splits. So we indulged. They were yummy.

View of the Rajang River in Sibu from our hotel room.

Boat used to transport people and goods on the Rajang River.

On Sunday we attended and spoke in two Sacrament meetings on family history. There is a new tool coming from the Family History Department that is a booklet called "My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together." We feel this well be a real asset in the Asia Area where many of the members don't have computers and the internet is very unreliable. In the afternoon we met with President Chau. He is a very dedicated district president and is desirous for his district to be involved in family history and to be more faithful and stronger in their testimonies. We encouraged him to call a new center director who can help the work of family history

move forward.

After the meetings we went to the home of Elder and Sister Beus, from Othello, Washington, for dinner. They treated us to a wonderful meal.

Going from left to right in the picture are Sister and Elder Marteeny from Malad, Idaho; Elder and Sister Moulder; Sister and Elder Beus; and Tom.
German Chocolate Cake and Ice Cream for dessert.

 Each of the cities in East Malaysia are known for a different symbol that they have around the city. Sibu is known of the swan which reminded the Chinese of home when they settled in Sibu.

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