The Stone Cut without Hands

My Spiritual Background

My earlier post explained the spirituality behind the stories that I write. This post is written perhaps on anticipation of a spiritual journey to Australia for the fact that it was the place that I first gained a spiritual insight to life besides receiving my tertiary education and secondly, the fact that signs were beginning to show even before I've landed that something spiritual must be installed for me! Allow me to go back a bit on history and then to catch up with sharing my online written events as they occur while on this trip to Australia. This perhaps could be the way to warm up to more spiritual events for me that is anticipated on this symbolic trip to Mecca or the holy land for me :

When I was baptized in Australia into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 29 July 1979, the current living prophet then was Spencer W. Kimball, 12th President of the Church. I never had the chance to meet him personally as I have had with other prophets or Presidents of the Church as we call them who came after. The above photo is from a Malaysian who joined the Church while living in Taiwan. He shared a remarkable experience to be close to President Kimball, who was then in an Area Conference in Taipei, to ask him the question when will the Church be in Ipoh? President Kimball responded to him that the Church will be there and will grow very fast. The member had been sending Church literature like the Book of Mormon and several pamphlets to his friend Doreen Khoo in Ipoh. I was the fortunate Elder to be in Ipoh and have recorded the remarkable experience of being an instrument of the Lord to start the Church there with consistent baptisms on every visit as recorded in my journal post.

I met President Howard W. Hunter on Sunday 8 Nov 1981 in Singapore when he visited the Singapore mission as an Apostle  Our mission president knew him well as he was previously his counselor in the Stake Presidency in Pasadena California when President Hunter was called as the Stake President on 25 Feb 1950. He was ordained an Apostle by President David O. McKay on 15 Oct 1959. He became the 14th President of the Church on 5 Jun 1994.

This is J. Talmage Jones the President of the Singapore Mission (1979-82) with his wife Vera Jean Jones who first met me when I just came back to Kuala Lumpur from Australia. It was part of the remarkable story of how I got to be called on a mission to Malaysia when I was thousands of miles away that starts here.

Vera Jean Jones had outlived her husband and I was happy to find her many years later in a nice full service retirement home with her own suite in Provo Utah. The contact information came from a reply to my inquiring text message sent to Elder Tan Su Kiong, then a Patriarch in Singapore who was in touch with her.

This photo was sourced from Elder Tan Su Kiong to bring back a special memory photographed in my mind when President Hinckley, the 15th President of the Church, visited Singapore for a meeting with the saints on 30 Jan 2000. In the words of Elder Tan, extracted from his comments on my facebook post, "The meeting place was the auditorium at Kallang Theatre - Old Airport road. Yes Geok Lee led the choir. We had a fantastic meeting and many waved their handkerchief when he left as we sang 'God be with you till we meet again'."

A number of Malaysian saints went down to Singapore for the event and I recall two significant occurrences on that day. First was at the end of the meeting, when President Hinckley took out his handkerchief to wave to us and I was standing way back in the hall, I just felt a gush of wind or something that hit me with some force that caused uncontrollable teardrops from my eyes! The second occurrence was that my wife Geok Lee was the chorister right at the front of the stage for the choir and the congregation. After the farewell wave of his handkerchief, as the Prophet was walking off the stage toward the exit door, he suddenly turned back walking a few paces to single her out by giving her a warm hug before leaving! (Post-dated account of Geok Lee discovered here.)

I happened to meet President Thomas S. Monson at the Salt Lake City Marriott hotel when I was there on a business trip and my associate found him with the shoe shine man polishing his shoes. He was alone were no visible body guards around and I was impressed that he was like all other General Authorities of the Church that I have personally met who appears to be humble ordinary men like you and I!

Today being Nov 20th 2014, it's 35 years since I was baptized in Australia and for some reason I'm drawn to visit the country again. I expect some more remarkable experiences in the land where I started my whole spiritual journey which is the reason why I'm inspired to do this post on the very day I am to catch my flight at Changi Airport in Singapore in the evening!

This is the jet age we are living in where the logo for the budget airlines is "Anybody can afford to fly!" It is also the internet age where anybody can be contacted very quickly with no cost!" A number of miracles have already occurred to make this trip possible and worthwhile so let the following passages of my journal be continued to reveal what is in store for me in this "Lucky Country" being visited by "Mountain of Luck" from Malaysia!

Meanwhile with little time I have, I still could click the internet to find a talk by President Kimball. This was never possible in the 'old days' when we had to wait for a video tape to be sent to us but experience the internet in action by clicking here to view or read his talk! I am also fortunate to be able to visit the Temple in Melbourne, which is planned in my trip, when there was none previously. I had received my personal endowments in the New Zealand temple in 1980 while sent to the MTC Missionary Training Centre in Hamilton near Auckland on my way to Singapore, the headquarters of the Singapore Mission overseeing Malaysia.

Look below what is shared on the internet today that makes the Church more transparent to fend off critics of the Church trying to turn anything sacred and holy to us to become defiled. Jesus Christ himself showed his anger during his ministry. which I believe is the only time anger was ever shown by him, when the people defiled the Holy Temple in Jerusalem explained here.

Indeed the internet has done wonders for the Kingdom of God which is said to be "The Stone Cut without Hands" as explained in the general conference talk by President Spencer W. Kimball in the link given above.

There is a movie out in the theaters entitled "Meet the Mormons" released in the US in early October which cannot be viewed on the internet. Maybe I could catch it in Melbourne or Adelaide or other cities I might visit! Only thing I could catch so far is a musical part from the movie seen below :

Gotta start packing now!  Have a Glorious Day everyone!


As this blog is primarily for spiritual thoughts and experiences, photos with narratives on the Australia trip which are not of spiritual nature will be found at this familylane post.

Early signs or miracles that I believe propelled me to make a sudden trip to Australia are shared below :

My first trip to Melbourne

Pic 1 before
One of my oldest best friends was Kim Chuan, 2nd from the right in the above photo. He was not only a school mate but also lived nearby in our home in Ampang area. He was there to see me off at the airport on my first flight to Australia in early 1977 to start my University there. He was a close buddy who was as outgoing as I was as a teenager who would ride motorcycles everywhere, go fishing, camping and was always active in sports and social parties. We were not to see each other again for a long time as he followed my other two friends beside him to study in the UK. When I left Australia to return home in the 80s where I was to serve a mission for the Church, start a professional career after and found my soul mate to raise a family, he followed his parents and siblings who had migrated to Australia! As those were the days when were without internet and people moved more frequently without updating their latest address, we ended up not meeting each other for a real long time. Compare the photo above of Kim Chuan with 'Pic 1 after' found below.

I remember vividly being on the plane with an experience that became very significant in my life about how my mind could control negative feelings shared here. Heaps of photos of my student life in Australia have been posted in a facebook which anyone can view even if they don't have a facebook account by clicking here.

My Second trip to Melbourne

In 1987 I was in Melbourne for a conference and exhibition but didn't know how to meet Kim Chuan. 
Pic 2 before
My wife and two girls were with me and I took them to Geelong to meet the owners of the home that I rented a room from that was just next door to them, Dr Williams and his wife Joy seen on the far left to be compared with 'Pic 2 after' found below.

Pic 3 before
We were in the home of the McDonalds, where Auntie Majorie as I would call her would serve many meals that I was often invited to where my favorite was roast beef. She is seen on the far left to be compared to 'Pic3 after' found below.

Pic 4 before
We met several Church members at the home of the Fimmels living in Highton in Geelong where Jack Fimmel is seen on the far right to be compared to 'Pic 4 after' found below.

Preliminaries of my Third trip to Melbourne

As early as 2012, for some reason, thoughts about going to Melbourne to find old friends again arose as expressed in the comments section of my facebook album entitled, "Australia memories of my college days" that I was impressed to create for Australia Day of 26 Jan 2012. However this was not possible at that time as the Mom of our family was encountering critical stages of her fight with cancer at the start of her 7th year of the long battle as recorded in our family post here. Soon after her passing on 11 Nov 2012, in the following year I made two short trips overseas as I could not be away from the boys too long as I had just become a Mr Mom of the family to care for them in Singapore. One of these short trips was to Australia but it was only to the Gold Coast as a Father-Son outing with Ern during his short inter semester break at junior college as recorded in this post.

The first Miracle

Only in the last quarter of 2014 that I thought about Kim Chuan again and tried to find him in facebook that had a billion people registered users but couldn't find him. Lo and behold, around early October we found each other in Google+ to be connected as friends but he was not an active user. The first miracle of this trip I believed had occurred.  I left messages like my ID to chat on skype but there was no response. I left my phone numbers to him also in case he used Whatsapp on the phone but a couple of weeks later he just rang my number. He seemed more comfortable to use the phone to directly call me but I convinced him to use Skype as we could voice chat and type chat as well. We soon got excited as he talked about going on 4 wheel drive journeys to fish, camp or just out to the wild bush desert even! He asked me if I would join him and I said I had to figure out my time schedules and get back to him. I was overjoyed about this breakthrough to find him.

My reconnection with Kim Chuan and his invitation to come to Melbourne to stay with him made me think about other old close friends of mine especially those I knew while at Deakin Uni in Geelong. Some of them were my housemates in the shared rented home where I had lived for the entire 3 years of my undergraduate studies.  

Pic 5 before
There was a local student named Peter Downey originally from Geelong in the same business course with me. He used to play golf with me or some times we might row a canoe together on the Barwon river as seen in the photo above to be compared to 'Pic 5 after' found below.

Pic 6 before
There was another local named Gavin McDonald on the right who was my course mate too who hung out often with me and Peter Downey. His brother Wayne on the left was my sports and outdoor adventure buddy. The photo above of the two brothers is to be compared to 'Pic 6 after' found below.

Pic 7 before
I had many housemates in the big old house where some had moved out during my 3 years tenure there with new ones moving in to replace them. Sooner or later we all left on our own separate ways especially when the old house was to be demolished to rebuild the new one found today. If there was anyone of my ex house mates I can still find in Geelong, it will most likely be a local born named Robert Coleman or Robbie in short as the name he preferred us to use. He is seen in the above photo on his birthday celebration to be compared to 'Pic 7 after' found below.

After I got reconnected with Kim Chuan, my school mate from Malaysia, I felt impressed to seek out my Uni mates to be connected to as that might create a stronger pull for me to make a trip to Australia with such short notice.

The second Miracle

After all as stated in the previous post, to Connect is always my first endeavour before proceeding to do anything with anyone for any future interest. It was this effort that lead to another miracle shared with me by the other party that I got to connect with and this is with Peter Downey.

Now Peter did not make any effort to seek me out and social media wasn't something he used very much and if he did so, it was only in a professional capacity by using Linkedin, a media more for professionals or anyone in a  business or corporate entity.  It was there that I found him. Most may not regularly check their Linkedin mail or messages as they are unlike facebook users where the volume or frequency of members sharing photos, current status of thoughts or feelings etc are very high including time spent by members on it per day too.

Linkedin for most members is a place merely to park their profile without doing much more. I left a message for Peter to reply to me. His profile provided the name of the company he was currently attached with and I believe a web address of the company too. When I didn't get a response in reasonable time I knew I had to do more. Upon browsing the website of the company, I got it's office phone number and I called up the office. When I got to speak with him for the first time since we left our university, he revealed that that while doing his walk recently, I believe he said a couple of days ago, he received an impression that I would be trying to contact him on Linkedin! Now I responded with the Aussie response 'Fair Dinkum' or is this really true and he responded to ask me if I ever knew him to ever lie?

Finding my long lost old school mate from KL as well as my university mate from Geelong within such a short time when it had taken years for me to search for them without success was a definite motivation to fly again to Melbourne Australia in what would be my 3rd visit there. The first being in 1977 as a student, the second in 1987 for a business conference with my family accompanying me, this third visit in 2014, hmmm... if only it was in 1997 or 2007 which would get this sequence of visits to be included in my continuing Story of 7! Wait a minute, it can as the numbers 2+0+1+4 = 7 and it's been 37 years today from 1977!

My actual Third trip to Melbourne

So true to my entrepreneurial 'Fastlane' mind of executing a plan when my mind is optimized, I soon found myself on a plane to Melbourne. Before this journey, I had earlier returned to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore to have a timely business meeting too so that it became expedient for me to be in Australia for business purposes as well.

Pic 1 after
So here we are together, 37 years later after the time he came to see me off at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, holding the world in our hands so to speak! (Compare this photo of us to 'Pic 1 before' found above.)

We had so much to talk about and catch up with each other that we had spent hours chatting for several nights going to wee hours in the morning of the next day in his home! We've both been living an adventurous life over the years in our own way, him maybe more so as he married later to raise a young family today and I observed interesting similarities in the way we do things possibly due to our common generation that we came from. Of course there is the fact that the two of us had spent lots of time together as neighborhood friends and school mates as well too. 

Soon he was helping me out to find my other long lost friends in Geelong and we took a drive there from his home in Melbourne, using one of his nine vehicles that he owns!

He happened to enter the city by way of Corio bay leading to Eastern beach where flashes of my past spiritual experience there came back to me very vividly!

A quick tour of the city revealed to me how much the city had expanded since my early days there. It was interesting to be informed that the mayor of the city had recently launched a 1 million dollar Christmas tree at Eastern beach seen in the background of the photo above. There was no time to spend sight seeing and I only took the photo from the car passing by. 

First stop was to find the home that I had lived for 3 years in Geelong which has changed in appearance as the old panel board home was flattened to build a new brick one.

Pic 2 after
I knocked on the door to be opened up by Mrs Williams herself. She could recognize me to call me by name and invited me in with my friend Kim Chuan. We spent quite some time catching up with each other in her living room. I requested that we go to the garden to take a photo together in a familiar surrounding which seem to have retained its beauty though the old home has been torn down. (Compare this photo of her to 'Pic 2 before' found above.)

Pic 3 after
Next was to stop by the home that I frequently visited where the parents of Wayne and Gavin McDonald lived. I had lost contact with the two brothers and wasn't sure if their parents were still living. I knocked on the door and a nurse with a name tag opened the door. On identifying who I was and my relationship with the McDonalds as a close friend, she told me to come in to meet Majorie. Wow as I walked into the living room with its open kitchen, I saw her sitting by the kitchen counter at age 90! At first she couldn't remember me when I told her who I was and the nurse informed me she was suffering from dementia. As I repeated my name and reminded her I was the one who was a student with Gavin at Deakin, that I would often come to their home enjoying dinners such as her roast beef, noticing that her husband then alive was always working on house improvements such as laying new slate on the floors etc. she remarked, "of course I remember you!"  She later gave me the contact information of Wayne and Gavin as she instructed the nurse to get them from her personal address book. What a joy to see her again! (Compare this photo of her to 'Pic 3 before' found above, to find that the wall cabinet in the background and the dining table still look the same.)

The last two people to visit were members from the Church who were in Bellarine Branch when I first joined them in 1979.

Pic 4 after
They are now in Geelong Ward and the Fimmels above remember my last visit to their home with my wife in 1987. I got their contact information through a facebook friend that I had connected with in facebook when I joined the Geelong LDS Ward group. (Compare this photo of Jack Fimmel to 'Pic 4 before' found above.)

Craig Sandford was a single adult who fellowshipped me when I was investigating the Church and he later went on a Church mission too in Perth when I returned home to serve mine in 1980. He introduced me to his wife Trisha who has been reading some of my spiritual journals through the link I had posted to the Geelong Ward facebook group page. Bishop Sandford remembered receiving a card written by me from Singapore when I was a missionary there when he was in Perth also serving as a missionary. It was passed to him by a newly appointed Apostle Elder Neal A. Maxwell in Oct 1981, who visited the missionaries in Singapore in early 1982 and was on his way to Perth! (Unfortunately I do not have a before Pic for Craig at this moment to make any comparison but I may add it later if I find one.)

Wow, we had a full day visiting my old friends in Geelong. Kim Chuan was amazed I could find so many friends in the four homes we visited within half a day as we only left for Geelong in the afternoon of Tuesday Nov 25! There were more old friends to find to be reserved for another day.

Peter Downey was the busy GM who was tied up on this day but he arranged an appointment for me to meet him a couple of days later at his office.

I meet Peter at his office in Geelong

He had arranged to take a walk together with me from his office in a path that took us along the Barwon River where we used to row a canoe together. I was wearing my Geelong CATS footie team cap to feel at home!

We could see others rowing on the river in a 5 man canoe compared to our twin years ago.

Pic 5 after
Peter brought me home to have a lovely dinner cooked by his wife Sharon whom I was introduced to. He excused himself just before dinner, to leave Sharon and I to get to know each other better, as he left to the barber. I had learnt that Peter from Melbourne with Peat Marwick in his younger days was sent to a small town in NSW to back up the office there where Sharon was working who was also a CPA with Peats. He was said to be aggressive to court her by actually applying to the firm to be transferred permanently to work in the small town which of course led to their marriage!

We took the above photo quite late in the night as the time stamp verifies that it was after midnight!   I was conscious to note a few times earlier that it was getting late in the night after a nice long after dinner chat had ensued. Peter was asking me questions hovering around my spiritual experiences.  He kept reassuring me that they were enjoying the interesting chat we were having. (Compare this photo of us to 'Pic 5 before' found above.)

At one moment I remember standing face to face with him to ask him a third time, whether his story told to me when I was still in Singapore, that he had felt that I would be contacting him through 'Linkedin' just a few days before I actually called him at his office was true? He responded by looking closer to me face to face to confirm that it was true which made me accept this little miracle to be recorded in the annals of my life's spiritual experiences. As we both started our professional life as auditors or Chartered Accountants, I guess we carry similar habits in validating what is true or not true which would help him understand my reason for wanting to validate his story 3 times at least!

Then Peter shared something else with me. He asked me if I remember Robert his old friend from school. I vaguely remembered him as one who may have joined us in some activities we've done together. When I asked him why, Peter said he visited Robert recently and his friend mentioned that he was thinking about me as he looked at his camera. I asked him why and he said I was the one who did a favor for him by buying it for him tax free from Asia in one of my trips back home. I responded that I honestly couldn't remember doing that but appreciated him mentioning the little miracle of Robert thinking about me when he didn't know I was coming this way after so many years.

I searched through the photos I've scanned and stored in my hard disk and found a possible photo of Robert behind me to be confirmed by Peter when he checks this blog post out!

As I write this paragraph, my mind is linked back to the events of December 1979 in Geelong where I had to validate if all that was happening was true, that God indeed wanted me to serve as a missionary and that it wasn't what they call a figment of my own imagination! I guess He knew me enough to understand or forgive me for the number of times I had to prove it beyond any shadow of doubt before I would follow Him to do what he wanted me to do. From this experience, the very first scripture I memorized comes from the Book of Mormon in Nephi 3:7 which I can also still remember verbatim to this day.

Pic 6 after
While back in Melbourne, in the following week after I had visited Geelong for the first time on this trip, I had made an appointment to meet Gavin McDonald at his office for lunch. I also called his brother Wayne who decided to join us on the same lunch appointment. I had received their contact numbers from their mother in my first visit to Geelong. (Compare the above photo of them to the 'Pic 6 before' found above.)

Pic 7 after
During the 2nd week in Melbourne I decided to make my 2nd trip to Geelong on this visit. I finally got to meet up with Robbie, my old housemate.  (Compare the above photo of us to the 'Pic 7 before' found above.)

Going to Church

My first Sunday at Church was in downtown Melbourne city itself on Londales street in a commercial building where the there is a Chinese branch and 2nd branch(English speaking) sharing the premises.

 Here are the priesthood members

With a Chinese branch meeting in a different session, the 2nd branch has a good mixture of Vietnamese with Aussies and with me is another Malaysian and Indonesian. I can feel that the Spirit of God has been progressively uniting the people of the world no matter what origin of race or culture they're from as all can be one with God in his restored Church. I remember back in Kuala Lumpur branch of our Church, I made a count of where our members originated from and there were about 20 nationalities represented which included Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, America, UK, Australia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnamese, China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya

Going to the Temple

It is interesting to note that on my first weekend in Australia, I got to know through facebook that a fellow Malaysian member from Ipoh whom I know was in town too with his wife and parents. This is another little miracle of coincidence.  

Tan Seow Heng, on the far right, was a student too in Melbourne when I joined the Church in Geelong in 1977, the only Malaysian member I knew in Melbourne at that time. We were in the same Melbourne Fairfield Stake so it was at Stake conferences that we could get to meet each other. There were no Temples of the Church in Australia then and fancy that today both of us are again in Melbourne at the same time when a Temple of the Church is in operation,

While at Church in the Melbourne 2nd branch I had learnt that a branch temple trip was planned on 4th Dec. When I spoke to him on the phone the weekend he arrived he said he was only there for a week and so I could not help him with how to go to the temple following the 2nd branch. Instead he ended up giving me assistance as he had gone earlier to the temple and gave me the contact number of President Lai, branch president of the Mandarin branch in Melbourne, seen on the far left of the photo above. I found out how to get temple clothing required in the temple as there is no rental service as in other temples of the Church that we have been used to i.e. in all temples in the USA or nearer ones in Hong Kong, Taiwan or Philippines. 

At the temple, I remembered to put the names of several individuals into the temple prayer roll whom I know will need the blessings. I have a strong testimony of temple blessings and the power of prayer in my life.

At the celestial room, I would usually read the scriptures available. Remembering how I used to thumb open the scriptures in the Bible and the Book of Mormon during my early experience in the Church. Here I was impressed to thumb open the Book of Mormon and the Bible.

In the Book of Mormon, I thumbed open the 1st Chapter of Mormon

These words of the first verse aroused me, " 1. And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon. "

In the Bible, I thumbed open the 1st chapter of 1 John by chance also and the words of the first verse also aroused me, " 1. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;"

I was impressed with the feeling that the Lord knew of my preoccupation in what I had been doing for a long time ie writing things I've seen, observed or experienced firsthand in my own life and had shared them in written journals and later on digital journals via the internet. It was an affirmation that I'm to continue to do this though it's been a long and patient journey, trying to squeeze all the time I can doing it into my daily busy schedule of life!

My first visit back to attend Church at Geelong Ward in Bell Post Hill, Victoria

In the few times I've been back to visit Geelong, it has been only during the week days not just on this trip to Australia of 2014 but also in the shorter trip with Mom and our two girls in 1987. On this trip on my 1st Sunday in Melbourne I had visited the 2nd branch in downtown Melbourne close to the home of my friend Kim Chuan. He later orientated me with the roads by taking me to Geelong so I was more prepared to drive there myself using one of his 9 vehicles he owned parked around his home in the Carlton city area. He took me out for camping and fishing on my 2nd weekend in Australia as the weather was good and we camped in the bush somewhere on the border of Victoria and New South Wales along the Murrumbidgee River in a place called Weimby, 380km from Melbourne.

On this 3rd weekend of my trip, the weekend was showing unfavorable weather with cold, rain and strong winds. So on early Sunday morning I drove out of Melbourne to attend Church in Geelong ward, a drive of about an hour and half from where I stayed in Carlton.

I found the well located chapel in a corner lot in Bell Post Hill area to arrive about 5 mins before 10am.

They have made improvements inside the chapel in minor renovations since 34 years ago when I last saw it but the familiar bright light wood benches and furniture in the sacrament hall was still there. It was fast and testimony Sunday. The Bishop whispered to me as I walked into the hall that he hoped I would share my testimony. After the conducting member of the Bishopric finished sharing his testimony, many members began to go up to the benches behind the pulpit at the front to queue up to wait their turn to share their testimonies! I thought I would wait till they cleared. When the third row of the front benches began to be filled up too with more members going up in between testimonies, I quickly went up to the front to sit down!

When I had my turn to speak at the pulpit, I noticed there were more people after me for their turns so as a typical impromptu inspired speaker I had an idea how to handle it. I made it short by introducing who I was for those who might not know me yet, a student of Deakin who came to Geelong 37 years ago. I added that in the 3rd and final year of my University, I had joined the Church with a remarkable revelation a few months later in the month of December that began in Eastern Beach to eventually lead me to serve a mission back in my home country and changed my life forever. I noted that I had visited Eastern beach recently and was glad to find out that the new mayor had constructed a giant Christmas tree at Eastern Beach area worth 1 million dollars! 

I added that I after I completed my mission, I got married to raise a family of 6 children and that my wife had passed away just two years ago. I looked at the remaining members waiting for their turn and said I will make my testimony short. I mentioned that I had the opportunity to go to the temple earlier in the week and was inspired to read the 1st Chapter of Mormon and read the first verse to the congregation ie. " 1. And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon. " I told them I will modify it to reflect my life and can read it as, "And now I, Sun Fu, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Familylane" . I remarked that familylane contains indeed all that I had seen and heard in my life that led to the strong testimony that I have of God and his Church today. In my hurry I forgot to mention that they can search the word 'familylane' in the internet to read it for themselves. (I later checked in google or bing search engines if you typed 'familylane', my webpage link will appear in the top 2 spots above all the other webpages related to the name.) I bore my humble testimony of knowing that God lives and that the Church is true.

That was how I made an otherwise long testimony to become short as it would take many more minutes if I were just to share one spiritual experience out of the many in my life to this day.

A little unexpected spiritual experience came to me immediately outside in the foyer area after the testimony meeting was over!

A young man introduced himself as Blayney Walshe to me and said he had served with my son in Manchester! I had totally forgotten about him being in Geelong ward though I had added him in facebook the moment Han mentioned that to me some time ago in his last missionary letter of Week 103! (16 June 2014) Guess my mind and memory was not only getting old but also more preoccupied with the older mature members during the early days when I was in Geelong!

The name Walshe rang a bell to me not just because Blayney served with my son on his mission but I got to know from Murray Ceff (see photo below) when he took me out to try some surboard paddling very early one morning in Torquay! He informed me that his father Bruce Walshe was a really nice guy and  was his close friend as well in surfing. He was a former Bishop of Geelong Ward, who died while doing the thing he loved most ie surfing while Blayney was on his mission same as my son Han had lost his mother while on his mission!

Murray Ceff is one Aussie who loves surfing and still does it, often times before work, as he runs a business in a partnership of a surf shop in Torquay beach near Geelong. He joined the Church just a couple of years after I joined and had left Geelong. I later came across his writings in remembrance of Bruce Walshe, a man that I already seem to know him though we may have never met. This may be due to some connections I was feeling, maybe having come to know that he also had 6 children, as I have shared in the comments section of the blog post writings of Murray.

On the left is Bishop Sandford of the Geelong ward with Boris Grbin, both returned missionaries too about the time I served in 1980-82.

This is Murray Ceff again with his wife and daughter with the Ward's Bishop Craig Sandford on the right.

Murray had earlier in the week arranged for a get-together dinner at the Geelong Shell Club with his family and some Church members who were single during the old days with me. Colleen on my right was the female single adult representative when I was the male SA rep. She had married Steven Fimmel sitting in front of her while her mother is seated on the opposite side of the table on the right.

I had to take a photo of Bill Cook who was 'gung ho' enough to buy a motorbike 34 years ago and with little practice or experience followed me on a bike tour to Tasmania!

 This is how we looked in those bikie days and you can see the 'L plates' on Bill's bike!

After Church, I headed out to a place I wanted to spend more time alone at, which is Eastern Beach, not to swim or anything but to retrace the steps of My First Revelation recorded live in the video below :

This video is now included in the blog post containing my written account of my First Revelation preparatory for my later Call to Serve.

This act of reenacting my spiritual experience on the first Sunday of Dec 2014 was purely to familiarize myself to the terrain where it happened. This was desired as though I've never forgotten the spiritual experience that occurred on that dark night, I never did take note of what exact street address the apartment of the Elders was located at that I walked to. Furthermore, I have never returned to the park to retrace my steps in daylight to see the actual terrain I had walked on.

The third Miracle

In the last leg of my visit to Melbourne, another miracle occurred that started in facebook. Patricia Chen my old friend from our Taylor College days in 1976 Kuala Lumpur left a comment on my facebook post which you can see if you clicked on the above comments icon found on the last line at the bottom of the post reproduced below :

Pat was another friend who left Malaysia to migrate to Melbourne and was someone I wanted to keep in touch with as we were linked in facebook a long time back. Due to her inactivity in facebook that she admitted when I soon met her, I had forgotten she was added to my friends list that is over a thousand people today and wondered how could I connect to her again? Lo and behold, she left a comment on my post and later called my Melbourne cell number to arrange to meet up. She also contacted a couple of other Taylor girls who are also in Melbourne that I've not met since I left, after my 1 year matriculation course, for my university in Geelong as they had opted for universities in Melbourne.

Flashback to Taylor college days 1976

Here are the girls with Patricia in the front 2nd from the right, with Keat Mun in front far right and Sue at the back 2nd from the right.

That's me on the far left with Patricia on my immediate left in a trip we made to Cameron Highlands.

That's me in the back far left and see if you can identify the three women I got reunited to!

Reunited in Melbourne on Dec 2014

Here are the girls together with me in modern day Melbourne where I shared with them my old pics from our college days in Taylors way back in 1976. I confessed to them that I was the only guy that always stuck with the girls group to study together as it was my strategy to pick up the arts subject of accounting and economics as I had come from the pure science stream in my secondary schooling.

The above photo was taken by Peter Chen on my right who is the husband of Patricia. It is interesting to find out as our conversation led to my interest in Family History to discover that Patricia's brother is the President of the Hakka association back in Klang Malaysia. Peter himself shared his knowledge of Hakka history of a migrant people originally from Northern China of the Han Chinese category who moved to southern China and later overseas to various countries of South East Asia. They were often referred to as the 'Jews of the East' due their aggressive success in the business world in Asia.

He also highly recommended me to read the books of Han Suyin who is a Hakka herself who has good researched information and written good autobiographies too.

Toward the end of our get-together, David the husband of Sue came home from work to have the above photo taken by Peter. It was an delightful afternoon to meet up with my Taylor's college friends and their spouses to rekindle memories of the good old days and allowed us to catch up with each other's life experiences to this date!

Last Sunday at Church in Melbourne

On my first Sunday at Church in Melbourne, I attended 2nd branch as it had its meeting at 1.30pm and I needed time to find where Church is on Lonsdale street. On this last Sunday, I thought I would go earlier to the Chinese branch that started at 10am. It was a pleasant sunny day so I would just take a 25 mins walk from where I was staying in Carlton to go to Church on time instead of catching the tram.

Another good reason to visit the branch is that the branch president is Waylon Lai whose number I was given to help me obtain Temple clothing as mentioned earlier in my first visit to the Melbourne Temple. This Sunday however seemed to have some coincidental connections with those I met. 

Starting with President Lai, as we conversed in the Church foyer, he mentioned to me that he had served in Malaysia/Singapore during the time of Harold Delamare, the mission president! I knew his name was not in the facebook group of returned missionaries of which I'm the creator and co-administrator. I told him I will follow up on it. He has a son currently on a mission in Hong Kong and a daughter on a Temple Square mission so he may visit President Delamare when he goes to take her daughter at the end of her mission in the US.

At sacrament meeting, I was sitting beside Elder Bassett and expressed to him that I felt something familiar about him. He had first introduced himself to be from the US but later he mentioned his mother was from Singapore. Ahh I exclaimed that it must be the connection as my wife is also from Singapore and with my boys all studying there, I'm also part of Singapore by shuttling between two homes on both sides of the border. I did a search on facebook and he identified his mom for me to leave a message to her that I met her son and would also share the above photo with her!

After sacrament, I decided to stay in the same hall where the gospel principles class for new members or investigators would be with a number of missionaries present too. One missionary came up to me to introduce himself as Elder Ung and also mentioned that his brother had served a mission in Malaysia!  I took my iPad out and typed his name and he confirmed it was him. I explained that I have created a facebook group for all returned missionaries who are linked to Malaysia either as one who have served a mission in Malaysia or one born in Malaysia who have served a mission anywhere in the world. Guess I've set up a system in my life using latest technology to stay connected with individuals in anticipation that my life will always lead me to someone that I'm linked to in someone way or another to create meaning in my life from our association.

This is Elder Andersen who is brand new as this was only his 2nd meeting at Church after arriving from the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. Now how could I find a link with this new Elder? Easy, my mind just has to scan who I know in the MTC and I asked him if he knew Anthony Seow which caught him by surprise as he knew him as being in the Bishopric of the ward that he was in while in the MTC! He expressed he was a favorite to him and I expressed that he was mine too as I've known the man for a very long time myself and he is my very good close friend and of our family too! He showed me pics of Anthony on his smart phone as I showed him the pic below :

Anthony Seow is on the right and I guess we all do keep pics of our favorites with us!


What a great spiritual feast it has been for me on this whirlwind trip to Melbourne/Geelong, the roots of my tertiary and spiritual education. As I share my experiences here and reflect on all the seemingly coincidental occurrences on this trip alone, a thought has come to my mind that may appropriate to summarize this post.

How could all that has happened on this trip happen? It was as if I had orchestrated it all when I merely felt a sudden desire to head to Melbourne and got on to the plane very quickly. Did I just live my life without a rudder and be like a leaf fallen on a river to flow downstream freely not knowing where it will end up? Surely not and I will share my most profound thoughts now...

The title of this post reflects my inspiration now. In as much as 'The Stone Cut without Hands' may mean it is not a work done by humans but of God, in actual fact as recorded in scripture or history, many men had lived and died to work hard with much sacrifice to bring about the miracles of the Kingdom of God on this earth!

As I thought about how could all my experiences on this trip occur, these could be the reasons :

1. While in Australia studying to be an accountant, I studied extra about computers to do a dual major so it explains why I'm internet and technology savy today to use facebook, linkedin or apple ios and microsoft windows 8.2  If I wasn't tech savy, I wouldn't have been able to find old friends on social media nor book a flight as quickly as I did to get on the plane or transfer funds online.

2. I had also learned how to work hard and get paid in Australia, with good wages, learning the concept of self reliance and survival skills. I had to learn and constantly practice DIY skills of fixing or maintaining miscellaneous things be it cars, motors, electrical or electronic gadgets, setting up camps and homes, being street and bush smart as well not forgetting learning many other problem solving skills. This led me to become an effective entrepreneur or consultant to know how to survive in our concrete jungle to earn as well as to spend wisely in order to create many experiences thought impossible like on this trip.

3. My spiritual boost from Geelong led me to find a kind of love and compassion for life and people that never stopped. Plans that used to be just for me in my lifetime alone on this earth now goes beyond to families, the communities and the eternities! My mind filled with the spirit would keep a very optimal link of every bit of information or knowledge and perhaps it has also helped me to distill useful ideas or concepts that can solve real life problems of today. I've always believed that you cannot always solve today's problems with yesterday's solutions! This must read article I had to search for someone back in Malaysia on this trip might explain what I have become from the institutional education I have received and the daily learning and doing I've embarked on and continued to this day.

I've been overwhelmed by many spiritual experiences and blessings just on this trip alone not forgetting the temporal blessings which will be better covered in another journal post.

Might be continued and/or edited where necessary......

From my desk and room in Carlton Melbourne

Post Development event dated 16 November 2015  : Well the above trip to Australia may have had a spiritual link or be a forerunner to another adventure trip of mine worth reading which started in another November month of the following year i.e. 2015. It is a trip to Hong Kong and mainland China that is in the making now. Come back here for a link to it.

March 2016 :  While writing a post about reunions after my conversion in Australia and my missionary service years in my own country in 1980-82, I was reminded that I did try to look for an old friend Mrs G. Prewett. She was a volunteer worker with the Community Aid Abroad organization who worked closely with our Asian Students Association covered in this post. She being older and not internet savy when the technology became available, we had lost communications through the old snail mail system. When I was in Geelong, I had no contact there who could help me find her and regretted that I could not have a reunion with her.

May 2016 : On an early Saturday morning of the 28th of May before 7am in Kuala Lumpur, I am inspired to make corrections to the para above or edit it as follows, "I've been overwhelmed by many spiritual experiences and blessings just on this trip alone not forgetting the temporal blessings which will be better covered in another journal post. " The reader may note that the 'post' in the para above was a broken link now corrected. I am also inspired to share another 'must read article' on this day that is related to the conditions of my 'Heart and Mind' from the spiritual experiences of writing, editing and adding this blog post a few days ago. I like to share from the 'must read article' content mentioned above the following quote by the writer, "What are the most important things in the world today? Do not look for them in the media,...Today’s newspapers are filled with human drama, athletic scores, political power plays, shocking accidents, and actions of strange and often evil people. But the real news of the day they seldom carry—the outreach of the silent minority for righteousness, the moral choices of the faithful."

Today we have 'Social Media' of which I am one of the contributors and hope my writings can highlight what are the most important things in the world today instead of what sells the news!

19 Jul 2021
2nd year of the COVID-19 pandemic
Passing of Doris Cook, a senior member of Geelong Ward of our Church in Australia

Talking about 'Social Media' in the post above, through the FaceBook private group of Geelong Ward, I read on this day the following announcement:

'This morning, with family at her side, Sister Doris Cook, passed away peacefully in her sleep.
Doris had achieved the age of 90 years, 5 months and 7 days, despite years of struggle with her health.

A true pioneer of the Church in Geelong, Doris was baptised 5 May 1956, in the East Melbourne meetinghouse, together with her husband (William Snr), parents (Linsley Snr and Dolly), brother (Linsley Jnr) and around a dozen others. Her father was ordained as Geelong's first Branch President in 1958. Doris herself was just the second ward/branch organist, serving in this capacity for over 20 years.

Details of funeral and/or memorial services will follow.
Vale Doris Sophia Cook (nee Smith), 12 February 1931 - 19 July 2021.
On behalf of the church and ward, we extend our deepest heartfelt love and condolences to Bill and the family.'

Time flies as it was 7 years ago in the winter of 2014 that I had visited Geelong Ward again shared above. This journal that started from the top can be said to be tracking the spiritual path of my life that began in Geelong. I wrote another journal of this same trip to Australia that took a different path of finding old friends, visiting my old University and playing tourist as well.

Sister Doris Cook was indeed a pioneer member of the Church in Geelong. I knew her son Bill well who joined me on some adventurous trips on our motor motorcycles during my student days. It's a small world in the Church as in my last trip to Geelong in 2014, I met Blaney Walshe who was a missionary companion to my oldest son while they were serving in the Manchester, UK mission!

I have created a memorial post for Sis Cook using this journal record found here which is a link that will start from the top of this post in remembrance of this dear sister with some photos I've captured from a private video where I was informed of the password:

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