My mom's funeral has come and gone. Thanks to the magic of skyping and our son Mark we were able to attend the funeral. Everyone did such a wonderful job. She would have been so pleased. I'm still sad that I wasn't able to attend the funeral and a part of me still wonders if I made the right decision. I think I will always have doubts about whether I should have gone home or not. When I look at all the pictures I get a sadness in my heart that is so hard to define. I don't even have a picture I can post here that shows what a nice service she had. I don't even have a picture of her to share with everyone. She was such a remarkable woman. She truly was Amazing Grace. But now it is time to get back to the work we were sent here to do. The world just keeps on going on but it has lost one terrific lady that will never be replaced.
We had a baptism of three remarkable people a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to share with you a little bit about Michael Bong.
This is Michael, in the middle, with his mother Lisa and his father Brandon. Several years ago they were very active in the branch. Bro. Brandon was in the branch presidency. Then about 3 years ago Brandon had a stroke which left him impaired on his left side. He has had to fight back to be able to walk and talk again. After his stroke, they weren't coming to church. Lisa was working on Sundays and it was hard for Brandon to come. We visited them about 8 months ago with the branch president, Pres Chua. Pres. Chua brought a video of the time two years ago when he went to the temple and had all his family sealed. Brandon told us then that he wanted to be able to do that with his family next year. So we challenged him to get his life in order to make that happen. Brandon had a job at the time that required him to work on Sundays, but he left that job about 3 months ago so he could come to church again. Brandon wanted to baptize Michael who is 10. Michael also has a little ADHD. Brandon wasn't sure he had strength enough in his arms to do the baptism. Ben told him to practice at home by lying Michael down on a bed and then lefting him up from there. He practiced and soon felt that he could do the baptism on his own. But Michael was scared to death of water. He would actually have tears on his cheeks when he thought about having to go in the water to get baptized. The day of the baptism came and Michael stood at the top of the font stairs just trembling with tears in his eyes. His dad put out his hand to him and Michael gripped it with a death grip. Brandon showed him how to hold his nose. Then came the baptism. Brandon said the prayer flawlessly and put Michael under the water and then Brandon reached for Michael's shirt and literally pulled him back out of the water. When Michael came out of the water he looked at his dad and then raised both his arms straight up in the air and shouted "YES". What a moment. Michael was happy, Brandon was beaming and Lisa was smiling ear to ear. Everyone was laughing through their tears. They have the baptizees bear their testimony at the end of the baptismal service. Michael was the youngest one baptized that day but what a testimony he gave. He is an amazing kid with an amazing family.
It is Harvest Festival time here in KK. The schools are closed for two weeks and there are lots of different kinds of celebrations going on. Malaysia is made up of about 7 different tribes. They each have their own food, dress and dances. The branches had a combined activity to celebrate the Harvest Festival. Three models were chosen and each group had to dress their model in a native costume made out of newspaper.
Thank you to those who sent an email expressing your condolences. I really really needed them. It is so hard to be so far away. We pray for you all back home and please, send us an email. We love to get them. We love you all E/S Read