It has been while since I last blogged, but I hopefully will catch up now. WOW what a week we have had. It was district (stake) conference last week and members came to KK from miles away. One group took a bus and rode all night to get here. What dedication the people have. How many of us would travel all night on an old clambering bus , spend two days in a less than wonderful hotel, head back on the same old bus two days later in time to go to work on Monday morning just to go to stake conference?
As part of the district conference Pres. Clark arranged for the missionaries to make a climb on Mt. Kinabalu. Kinabalu is the highest mountain around. It rises to 12,500 from sea level. It is a beautiful mountain when we can see it out our window. It is so high it is usually shrouded in the clouds. After some haggling with the bus driver over the cost (which we thought had already been agreed upon) we were off at 6:30 am. It was about a 2 hr drive to get to the hiking spot. The trail does not zig zag back and forth it just goes straight up. By the way, they will not let you climb Kinabalu in one day. It takes two days and you have to stay overnight half way up if you are going to climb the whole mountain. It is a dense, jungle-like trail with spectacular views and beautiful flowers along the way. Elder Read and I had only gone maybe 1/4K when we met President Clark who asked us if we would stay back with an Elder who was having lots of problems climbing. He was over weight and out of shape and already couldn't keep up with the group. E Read and I were the only senior couple who went on the hike, so we went slower with the young Elder to be with him. The trail is muddy and wet most of the way. In some places they have built steps to help you but they are very steep too. We only went about 2K up the mountain, but what an experience.
Elder Read at the bottom on one set of stairs before heading up the next.
One of the pretty waterfalls we saw on our way. They fall for 1000's of feet.
We left conference on Sunday and had to go catch a plane to go to the Senior Couples conference in Singapore. Many of the branch members came to the airport with us to say goodbye to E/S Larson who were leaving. E/S Larson are so loved by the member of the branches here. I hope they will be sad to see us go when we leave and not be out there cheering.
We and one other couple stayed at the President's home. They really have a nice home in Singapore. Some of the couples stayed at Pasir house (remember the concubine house) and some of the couples stayed with members throughout Singapore. Singapore has nine wards and is a stake. On Monday we had new couples training with Sis. Clark and then a group FHE and dinner at Pasir House.
Tuesday we spent in meetings all day that was very beneficial and enjoyable. In the evening we went to a Seafood buffet. Elder Read even tried some shark fin soup. Me, I'm not that adventurous. Then we went on a harbor boat ride. Singapore is such a beautiful, modern expensive city. Example: if you want to own a car you must pay $70K just for a permit to own a car, then you buy the car at an inflated cost and then you have to pay a special tax for owning the car. A car that would cost around say 30K in the US ends up costing about $170K to $200K. They are trying to discourage people buying cars and cut down on the traffic. It isn't working. People in Singapore have so much money, they just pay.
Today we are off to help the Elders clean an apartment and then this evening we have a baptism, a woman of about 40 named Josephine.
Everyone say HAPPY BIRTHDAY today 3/30 to our Granddaughter Grace who is five now! We love you Grace!