Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hari Raya in Malaysia an Unforgettable Day

We were invited by a sweet family in our Masai Branch to join them for a unique experience of attending the Hari Raya Openhouse hosted by the Sultan of Johor. 
This is when the Muslim community celebrate the conclusion of Ramadan,
which is their holy month of fasting.  
There was a huge feast provided for thousands of people.  We had to fight traffic,
walk a long way and experience the heat and humidity which is Malaysia,
while standing in a never-ending line to get our food. 
 It was a "once in a lifetime experience" that I am happy we had.  
I love watching other cultures and seeing how they dress and celebrate.

The firemen were happy to have a picture taken with two Americans.

I am not sure how happy the police officers were, but they came anyway.

We all had a great day! 
Thank you Madaline, Patrick and girls for a wonderful experience.

Selamat Hari Raya!!!

Zone Conference in Kuala Lumpur

We attended the Zone Conference in Kuala Lumpur because
President Simmons does not want us trying to go into Singapore yet. 
As I previously wrote, we were denied access when we tried to go into Singapore in May, for no reason that they could give us, so we are staying in Malaysia for the time being. 
The missionaries are all wonderful, no matter where they serve, 
so it really doesn't matter to us where we attend the conference. 
It was a very inspiring conference as we were instructed by our mission president and his wife.  It is always nice to get your batteries recharged and rededicate yourself to your work as a missionary.  I am grateful for this opportunity to learn, reflect & rededicate.
Our President and his wife keep up a pace that I cannot even imagine. 
This was their 6th conference in two weeks both in East Malaysia, and West Malaysia. They will do their 7th one in Singapore this week.
  They never seem to tire, although they must have their moments when no one is watching.

 We visited the Royal Museum, which was the home of the King of West Malaysia until about 5 years ago, when a new Palace was built.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside.  It was very large and ornate, but definitely either needed to be refurbished or a new one built.  We learned that each king is elected by secret ballot from among the 9 Sultans from the 9 states in Malaysia.  They serve for five years, and then a new king is elected.  The Sultans are from Royal bloodlines, which are handed down from father to son.

Our next excursion with another senior missionary couple, The Colmans, was to Little India.  It is a very quaint area with beautiful flower markets, where they hand string fresh flowers  which are purchased to be presented in their temples. 
They  also had wonderful fresh fruit and vegetable markets. 

The was the most gigantic durian that I have ever seen. 
It didn't even stink, so I was told by a friend that it probably didn't taste very good. 
The stinkier, the better, I guess.  They offered us a taste, but we graciously declined.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Highlight of Our Mission - Manila Temple

As Member/Leader Support Missionaries, we have the privilege of assisting members and families as they prepare to receive their blessings in the Temple of the Lord. 
For the past few months, we have been holding weekly meetings with the Taha family
to help them prepare for the blessings of the temple in their lives. 

One of the important parts of attending the temple is completing temple ordinances
for your deceased ancestors. 
The Taha family did some family history work and came to our house to enter it in the computer, and print out the cards to take to the temple.   They were really happy and excited to do baptisms, endowments and sealings for their deceased ancestors.

Vianni received her mission call and will report to the MTC on 8 September, 2017. 
She will be serving in the Singapore Mission for 18 months. 
This has been so rewarding for us to assist and encourage her in small ways as she prepares.  She is excited and anxious to serve the Lord as a missionary.

The temple trip took many months of planning and preparation,
but the day finally came to leave. 
On June 6, 2017 the Taha family arrived at the Johor Bahru airport
and were ready for their wonderful trip to begin. 

Our flight plan took us to Kuala Lumpur, where we waited for a few hours
and finally were on our way to Manila, Philippines.

After our 3 1/2 hour flight, we finally arrived in Manila. 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017, we were finally ready to enter the House of the Lord.

It was an exciting day for the Taha family. 
They entered the temple, and when they came out, they were sealed together as a family
to be together forever, not just for this life, but for eternity.

Families Are Forever

Their goal has been achieved. 
They are now sealed together for eternity.

The Alvin & Norma Tan family were able to attend the temple with them. 
Their son, Davis, was also receiving his temple endowments
in preparation to serve a mission in the Singapore Mission. 
We were blessed to share this special experience with them as well.

The Manila MTC (Missionary Training Center) has been recently refurbished,
so they were having an Openhouse while we were there. 
It was great for these two families to see where their missionaries,
Davis and Vianni,  would be coming for their training. 
This was definitely an added bonus to our trip. 
We felt blessed because not many people have the experience of touring the MTC.

Here is one of the study rooms where they will soon be studying.

The temple is so beautiful at night. 

We spent Thursday and Friday attending the temple and doing baptisms,
endowments and sealings for the Taha family ancestors. 
What a beautiful feeling it was as these ordinances were performed. 

This was certainly a wonderful, memorable week for all of us. 
We are tired and weary, but feeling very blessed.