We mailed two more boxes home rather than check them with us on the plane. We have started cleaning out and thinking about packing suitcases. We also applied for our China visas for our visit to Guilin and Xi'an at the end of our mission.
It has been cool the last couple of weeks. The lows have 10-12 degrees Celsius and the highs around 15 degrees. Not cold compared to Idaho standards but cold for Hong Kong.
On Tuesday our Area Presidency devotional message was delivered by Elder Randy Funk. He spoke about his experiences as a young missionary in Indonesia in the early 70s. He was in Indonesia recently and he had the wonderful opportunity of meeting one of the sisters he taught and baptized 40 years ago. He spoke of a many from India who had moved to Indonesia and then had gone to England to go to school. He was given a pamphlet at a shopping center by a missionary. He and his wife read the pamphlet and decided they wanted to raise their children in a church that had those ideals. So they joined the church. Elder Funk said that people who are prepared to receive the Gospel will be guided to places where they can be taught.
That evening we were invited to dinner with the Area Presidency along with two couples, the Lyons and the Crocketts. It was a farewell dinner for us and a welcome to the Asia area office for the other two. The traditional welcoming gift is a pillow box with a set of chopsticks. A pillow box is where the most valuable family items are kept and the wife sleeps with it under her head. In an emergency she can grab the box and leave quickly. The chopsticks represent a husband and wife. Separately they are not very useful but working together they can accomplish the jobs they were made for. The other story that goes with the chopsticks is of Heaven and Hell. Both groups were seated around a banquet table ready to feast. Each person has pair of yard-long chopsticks. In Hades the souls are starving and angry. The long chopsticks are useless in transporting food to their own mouths. The inhabitants of Heaven have learned the art of feeding one another--a task to which the long chopsticks are perfectly adapted. Working together and striving to serve others, there is no limit to the good that you can do and joy you will receive in God's kingdom. At the conclusion of the dinner we had a testimony meeting. Elder and Sister Gong and Elder Wilson all said some very complimentary things about us. We are going to miss Hong Kong.
As an example of the inter-nationality of the Hong Kong temple, Tom was a presenter at the veil for a Frenchman. He used a card with the ceremony written in French which Tom was able to follow because of his Spanish. The receiver speaks excellent French. Tom is sure that the Frenchman was amazed that he could hear the ceremony in his own language in Hong Kong.
Tom presented at the Senior lunch on Friday. His topic was that the Lord prepares us for the missionary assignment we are called to. We may wonder why we were called to a particular mission but eventually we realize that the Lord is in charge and that we have talents and skills that he needs in our particular missionary calling.
Saturday we spent part of the morning at WanChai helping the Sullivans with the humanitarian meeting they were in charge of. We helped by picking up the Caesar salads. They are very traditional Caesar salads made with anchovies. Garnalee didn't eat them but Tom, being the one to try new things, did. He decided they were not to his liking. After we finished helping with the lunch we went to Stanley to pick up some more things to mail home.