Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 72 and 73--December 30, 2013-Jan 12, 2014

We celebrated New Year's Eve with the other senior couples at Sweet Thai Basil restaurant. We didn't stay up to welcome in the New Year. We are too old to care!!!

We both had a lot of e-mails to answer after our trip to Malaysia and Christmas week. So we spent a lot of time doing that and working on the report of our trip to Malaysia. In the four page report we put what needed to be done, who would do it, and the timeline for accomplishment. Elder Wilson then asked us to come up with a one-page dashboard which condensed the report. Both were well received.

New Year's Day arrived sunny and bright with a temperature in the low 70s. We went to the Ladies Market to buy some birthday presents for the girls. Garnalee had been looking for some silk scarves which she finally found. She was able to get them at a good bargain. Next we bought some beautiful beads for Sharlene to make watch bands out of. We also looked for fabric for Garnalee but since it was a holiday the fabric shops were closed. That will have to wait for another day.

We helped host the Lyons, the newest missionary couple, for dinner. He will be the executive secretary to Area Presidency and she is his assistant.

We started off 2014 right with a session at the temple with the Area Presidency and the other Area Office missionaries. These temple days are always very spiritual and special because we get to hear the Area Presidency bear testimony.

Tom met a gentlemen in the temple from Argentina who works in China and had come to the temple for a few days. Tom got to practice his Spanish.  

The senior sisters are changing the study program in Sisters' Institute. We going to study the scriptures using a program developed by Sister Wilson called Sisters at the Well. It is to help the sisters develop an understanding of the scriptures and to help them feel that they can become knowledgeable about the scriptures. We are going to study Exodus. Garnalee thinks it will be wonderful. Sisters' Institute is one of the things she is going to miss.

The Area Seventy were coming for training with the Area Presidency. We have been working an Introductory Letter from the Area Presidency to go with the new My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together booklet and suggested lesson guide. We had the letter and lesson translated into the languages of Asia. We wanted the Area Seventy to have the letter to share in their priesthood training throughout the area. We spent a good portion of Friday assembling those packets.

On Saturday we went to see the Hobbit movie "Desolation of Smaug" and lunch with the Cowleys. As usual the movie ended in a critical point to leave us hanging and wanting to see the next installment.

Garnalee had been asked to teach the consultants at the Island 1 Branch on using Family Tree. She located some wonderful training lessons online that she shared with the sisters. Meanwhile Tom attended Pen 2 and brought home a cross stitch of the Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci.

Tom has ordered three new suits to do done before we come home. Garnalee also ordered two skirts.

Garnalee had to go home early on Wednesday to meet the repair for the kitchen faucet. Since she had some free time she decided to start boxing up the items that need to shipped home. She filled two boxes and isn't finished.

We have using up the food we had purchased along the way for some food storage. It is nice to have that now and we don't have to spend as much on food.

Our Thursday was its usual busy day. We spent the morning answering emails and the conference call in the afternoon with the other Family History missionaries. Then to the Temple in the evening.

We have finalized our plans to go into China for a few days at the end of our mission. We will fly to Guilin on March 1 and then on to Xi'an and then back to Hong Kong on March 6. We will fly from Hong Kong to home on March 7.

 Tai O is a fishing village on stilts. We took a boat cruise along among the houses. Tai O is also a place to see white dolphins. There is a resident pod off the coast. We didn't see them on our boat cruise.
 Typical fisherman of China. He is working his nets.
This is a three family building and shows how little space is really needed. As we walked the streets past the humble homes we were reminded of the opulence we have in our home in Blackfoot.
Since Tai O is a fishing village many come here for the dried fish and other items. This shows Golden Oysters and Sea Dragon on the left.
Salted dried duck egg yolk used in cooking. They are raw so a sign warned people (like we Americans) not to eat them.
 The dried fish bandits. Each wore a mask to disguise his identity.
 Lunch was enjoyed at Heritage Hotel in Tai O that over looked the ocean. Tom and Garnalee odered Nasi Goreng and Chicken Satay.
We were honored for our 11th wedding anniversary. The sisters sang "Each Life That Touches Ours for Good." It is going to be very hard to say good-bye to these wonderful sisters.

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