Sunday, March 6, 2016

March 6, 2016

Goodbye Hong Kong!  Sad to see you go!  We really had a fun trip there!  It was quite the city.  Very clean, very efficient, and cool!!  That is the part that Steve liked so much.  He actually wore a jacket a few times!  I did most of the time!  And there was not humidity!  On Monday, we did some shopping in the old parts of Hong Kong!  Lots of street venders with all sorts of food, tshirts, purses, etc!  We had fun exploring!  We of course had to buy the grandkids something from there!  Plus...I finally got a purse that I needed!  So excited!  We ran into several missionaries out on their pday as well!  Such good looking people!  Fun to visit with them and find out a little about them!  We then found an OUTBACK for dinner!  That was Steve's choice....and it was a good choice!  So very yummy!  The next day we went exploring a little more before we had to be at the airport.  Found another fun place with areas in the hills!  Found some fun markets and enjoyed lunch there as well.  We then made our way to the airport for our journey home!  When we were there, we found out that our dear friend, Brother Lyle, had passed away.  It just broke our hearts.  He didn't come to church on Sunday and some of the branch members knew that he was coming.  So they took the elders over to his home, but couldn't get in.  The police came and let them in and they found him...apparently suffered from a heart attack.  He died in his sleep which is a blessing.  Oh how we loved him.  They had a memorial for him while we were gone which we felt terrible about missing.  We had an appointment to have dinner with him and his son and wife and were really looking forward to it.  We had an appointment before but had to cancel when Steve went into the hospital.  They all came and visited us there.  We will truly miss him.  He was the best missionary in the branch!  We went with him right before Christmas to teach a whole village!  He had no fears!  We spent Wednesday doing errands and me teaching piano, doing laundry, etc.  Thursday was piano classes and English class.  We then met Don Cordell at the Ministry of Crab.  He was here getting all of their belongings out of their home to take back to the US.  His was the family where their 4 year old daughter got cancer and had to leave the country to be treated.  We sure miss them so it was wonderful to catch up and hear their story.  Such a hard thing for those parents!  Claire is a trooper and has really done pretty well for being so young.  They are not sure where they stand yet....because the chemo and radiation are still going on.  We follow them on their blog where they tell the story of the things that are happening.  I taught piano on Friday and then we picked up Armen Hagobien and headed out to his home!  So good to see Radi!  We haven't seen her for a while.  She made us a great dinner and we got to have a great visit with them!  We sure love their sweet family!  On Saturday, we went to a Buddhist celebration.  It was an alms giving and it was celebrating/remembering Hansani's grandfather who had died 2 years earlier.  It was very interesting to watch.  There were 10 monks that arrived, each carrying a large fan.  When they got to the door, they took their sandals off and stood on a woven matt where their feet were washed.  Then Jinuka would dry them.  Then, they would walk into the room and sit down.  After they were all in the room, there was chanting by the main monk and the people would repeat some of it.  After, it was time to serve them food.  The head monk saw me sitting and told me to come in.  The people all around came and got me to hurry in.  This was a great honor.  He said I could serve them.  There were bowls prepared of different kinds of foods.  You would pick up a bowl and serve each of the monks a spoonful.  So they showed me what to do and I joined in!  He asked me where I was I asked him where he was from too!  He was very friendly and nice.  After they ate, there was more chanting and repeating, and giving of gifts of some sort.  Then they all left.  Then, the old ladies around came and sat down and they were also served some dinner by the rest of the people.  After that, we were all invited to eat!  They had so much food!  It was fun to take part and see this tradition.  But it was extremely hot.  It was really hard on Steve.  Nilmani and Chandina and Hansani and Jinuka are such great people!  We love their family!  Very kind, sweet people.  Ying Wang also came!  She is my star piano student!  She lives by the church and comes to our English class!  Very nice gal who doesn't believe in any religion.  But we talked to her a lot about our church today at lunch!  And she had a lot of questions about being a missionary!  Later that evening, we had President Kolitha and Primali and Sonali, plus Pres Nihal, Eashani, Andrew and Joel....for dinner!  The three men sat at the kids table!!!!   I really enjoyed having them over.  Can't believe I didn't get a picture.  They are the best people ever!  Such an enjoyable night!  Sunday was Fast Sunday!  Sacrament meeting was wonderful.  Steve bore his testimony!  He put in a plug about our kids coming next Sunday and wanted them to meet all of the wonderful branch members!  Great meetings today!  Love talking to our friends in the branch.  Everyone was missing Brother Lyle!  He always sat on the front row in the very center.  We always sat behind him.  Missed him so much.  We had Inoka, Naveen and Mali and Shashrika over for dinner.  We found a beef and pork roast at Keells and they were really good!  Fun evening!  I can't believe we only have 6 days to see 3/4 of my children!  I can hardly wait!  I hope this week goes by fast but the one after that goes by slow when they are here!!!

Temple Street in Hong Kong

More streets in Hong Kong!

Ladies street!  And we ran into two wonderful ladies...sister missionaries shopping on PDay!

And then came the Elders!  So fun!

Eating in Hong Kong!

Making sugar from the cane!

Found another American eatery....OUTBACK!

Walking back to the hotel and peeking into their freezers!


Asia Area Offices, the 3 chapels and rooms!  12 floors!  Beautiful inside!

Hong Kong really is exciting and fun!

Interactive screen outside where you can hear stories about Mormon families!

And if you look inside the front doors, church videos are continuously playing!

Our hotel...Novotel Century

The area office building in the day!

More Hong Kong sites!

Super tall buildings!

More fun places in Hong Kong!

All the outside market areas are very clean and nice!

Fish balls for lunch!

but not for me!!

Very busy efficient restaurant!

Nice bridges!

Hong Kong airport

Singapore!!  (a very good painting)!

Don Cordell at Ministry of Crab

Alms giving ceremony 2 years after the death.  Washing the monks feet and drying them.

Brother Chandina

Ying Wang and Hansani

Part of the ceremony

Then you feed all the monks

Great honor to serve them!  The head monk asked me to come and be a part of it!

The elders joined us with Deek and Shashrika!

The monks leaving

Then you feed the old people!

Mark and Rebecca and Jennifer after church

Sunday with Inoka, Naveen, Mali and Shashrika

Brother Lyle's memorial service

Shashrika and Methasas baptism!

And Radi's baptism too!

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