Taken above at the top of Penang Hill by an accidental run/hike from down below at the Botanical Gardens on Penang island.
The previous post in this spiritual blog was entitled, "Give Me this Mountain." My old mission companion from Hong Kong Wu Yuk Choi on the right of the above pic was my host in HK in my trip there last year to make 2 trips across to mainland China where he was also my guide too to find my ancestral village. We did run/hike up a few hills during my visit. He had not returned to Malaysia since he served his mission which is over 30 years ago! He and his wife decided to book a flight to KL while I was there to come with another couple, Yonnie and Ray whom I had met while in HK, to visit me in Malaysia this January 2016 on the 19th to 26th.
The photo taken above, with Yonnie in the centre, in our running gear, was accidental because we had planned to only exercise at the botanical gardens for an hour which is miles away from Penang Hill early one morning when it was still dark just after 6am. There was only 3 of us as their spouses had chosen to sleep in that morning. After some flat running around the botanical gardens, my ex-companion said he would like to run up a gradient slope and I suggested this road up a hill nearby. After running and walking our way up for about an hour since we started, we met some other people coming down and when we asked how much further was it to the top, they briefly said it wasn't far as if it was just round a few more corners. We had the same response an hour later after asking other people coming down the hill so we kept on going. To our surprise, we eventually reached the top of Penang Hill a couple of hours later!!! We decided to take the train down to the ground level to catch a taxi back to the botanical gardens where my car was parked as it would take too long to try to go back down the same trail we had taken. Their spouses were waiting to join us for breakfast.
The above are the opening lines of this, my first journal post of this blog to cover mission reunions and some reunions with other lifetime friends of mine. I started this computer blog in 2005, 25 years after I began my first handwritten journals in 1980.
At 253 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore
At the beginning of this blog was purely a process of extracting history from those written journals still in my possession today and photos scanned from those I had pasted in my hard journal books and the rest from photo albums which I had kept in chronological order.
Let's go back in time to some old group photos to see who had served in the Singapore mission during my time of 1980-82 :
The above photos with the narrow locally made name tags for all missionaries and the Sisters having white blouses and similar pink colored skirts and belts reminds me how missionaries appeared when I first arrived in Singapore in August 1980. I was in Singapore only for 2 weeks to be sent to Kuala Lumpur on 30th August with David Soon, the only other Malaysian missionary to start a mission with me together in Malaysia.
Photo:courtesy of Jackie Ho
Comments: I am seen on the far left behind the tree and most likely my companion David Soon took the photo. Seeing the couple missionaries,Stokers who were leaving on arrival of the Cannons make the date of this photo around April 1981. My mother is seen in front of me who was baptized after my first trip home in Feb 1980. Beside her is Patricia Cheah who was our first person baptized on my mission on 25 Oct 1980. Marcus Yeong, my schoolmate whom I had receive a special miracle experience to find is seen on the far right. Teaching him and Diana Toh beside Sis Cannon in the centre of the group photo is recorded in this journal post.
The experience of the revelation to me to serve a mission for the Church, despite my short 5 month period of membership in the church, was remarkable and the events that followed were equally amazing. I therefore made a conscientious effort to record all that had happened to me to make me choose to sacrifice 2 years of my life to do something that I had no preconceive notion about for the past 21 years of my life at that time. These true events are now shared here.
The latter two photos above with a new Elder Rex Nielsen replacing Elder Gary Lecheminant marks the date to be the Zone Conference on Sat 14 March 1981 in Singapore at the 42 Chee Hoon Ave mission home.
In Kuala Lumpur, seeing the two couples, Floyd and Edna Stoker on the left being replaced by Ralph and Ruth Cannon on the right marks the date to be Sunday 26 April 1981.
Toward the end of 1981 we had two Hong Kong Elders arrive to help us in Malaysia, Elder Yung Yik Kwong on the left and Elder Wu Yuk Choi on the right.
With the two Hong Kong Elders to work in Malaysia, the missionary force increased from two original local Elders to now four. Above photo was taken on 14 Sep 1981 in the PJ mission home.
The appearance of 2 new Sisters Hoe Siew Yin from Kuala Lumpur and Emime Woo from Hong Kong during the visit of Elder Hunter of the Quorum of Twelve at that time to Singapore marks the date as Sunday 8th Nov 1981. Elder Hunter was a close friend of our Mission President Talmage Jones who was his counselor when Elder Hunter was the Pasadena Stake President of the Church many years ago before he was called as an Apostle.
My journal photos on the page dated 12 and 13 Feb 1982 reveals that we had another couple, the Redds, from Canada during my mission time who served their full 18 months mission in Ipoh.
We have Elder Ng on the far left and Sister Teh on the far right, both from Singapore, to pair up with us Malaysian missionaries to create more companionships in the mission field.
Up to this point of extracting the above mission photos of my time served, I am satisfied that I have the pics of all those who served during my mission years especially those who were sent to Malaysia to work in the same field of harvest with me.
Now I must also mention of friends from school who were close to me before I had left to study in Australia who also took time to visit me while I was serving a mission in my own home country. I will post the photos extracted from my hand written journals as follows :
Note that all the photos above were taken while I was serving in Malaysia as a full time voluntary missionary, an Elder, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints nicknamed by the public with an easier name to remember i.e. the LDS or Mormon Church. I was officially released or free by June 1982 and the following pics were from the early reunions that I could enjoy freely after my full time mission years. I had married early to my wife Geok Lee on 22 Dec 1982 so she would be in some of the pics too :
Over my life time, I have always interacted in some way or another with my friends from school or Church. For old school friends, I have kept special journals of our meetings or gatherings here.
Now the reunion events will follow who are primarily friends associated with my Church membership.
Returned Missionaries from Utah could conveniently attend Mission Reunions usually planned during General Conference time by some of the former Mission Presidents. Those who attended would come from different generations over the years of the Singapore mission, but none were from my generation as ours was small in numbers as a pioneering group. In order to reunite with returned missionaries who served as I did during the time of 1980-82, I had to find them myself personally over my life time which I did. Those living in Singapore was easy as it was the closest country to Malaysia that I would frequently visit even before the family moved there in 2007. For those further away, some did come back to visit for a personal reunion to take place. For the rest, I would try to visit them whenever I would be in their neighborhood.
The following are pics where some happy personal reunions took place over the years :
When my late wife Geok Lee and I went to the USA to be sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on 22 Dec 1983 a year after our civil marriage in Malaysia on the same day in the year 1982. So we had the opportunity to meet again the following people in our first trip to the US :
Pres and Sis Jones in Leeds, Utah north of St George who was my Singapore Mission President and his wife. The photo brings back vivid memories of the experience being in Southern Utah's dessert for the first time described as "An exhilarating experience as if we were walking in a water color painting that had so many unique colors that we were not used to and brought a rush of tingling sensations to our body!"
I met up with the Gessel brothers again who are on the far right at the back, from left to right, David Gessel and Clarke Gessel. David Gessel was one of the Elders who taught me the gospel in Geelong Australia in 1979. After my mission in 1982 Clarke Gessel his older brother happened to work in Kuala Lumpur as an internal auditor for the Esso, later known as the Mobil Exon, oil company. His family name was unique so remembering an Elder Gessel who taught me, I asked Clarke when he first came to Kuala Lumpur if he knew him and I was surprised to be told he was his brother! He got to know Geok Lee whom I married in December of 1982 in Kuala Lumpur and in our trip to Salt Lake City to be sealed in Dec 1983 I got to meet David Gessel again in their family Christmas reunion!
David later visited Kuala Lumpur in 1984 and tried our Malaysian durian fruit at the Gabrielsens home, an expat family from the US!
In our first visit to the US and Utah, we met with Bro and Sis Cannon in Salt Lake City who were the missionary couple in Kuala Lumpur whom I had served with during my mission days who replaced the Stokers who served before them. I only got to meet the Stokers later when the Cannons moved to live in the same apartment building with them that was close to the Salt Lake Temple. That photo of our reunion is seen further below in the year 1986.
Rex Nielsen in Provo Utah was the only American Elder in Singapore serving in the mission with the locals who replaced Gary Lecheminant who had gone home.
Here is Rex Nielsen on the left who replaced Gary Lecheminant on the right. We got to meet Gary too with his wife Mary Lim, who had also served with us in the Singapore mission, later in our visit to Los Angeles where the photo is seen further below this post.
Rex Nielsen was in the far left of this group photo that included President Soren F Cox who was the mission president of the Singapore Mission with his wife in 1975-78. There were other returned missionaries in the group who were studying in BYU Provo such as Lawrence Lim on the top left corner who is the brother of Mary Lim seen in a photo further below with Gary Lecheminant.
In the sealing of Chen Kai Kuan with his wife Jessie(14 Dec 1983) in the Salt Lake Temple a week before us, Veloy Chan, wife of Stephen Lai who was not present, on the far right and Hazel Tan wife of Tan Su Kiong, 3rd from the left who were returned missionaries from Singapore were also present. Bro Tan Su Kiong who later became the Patriarch of Singapore Stake is seen on the far left looking away from the camera. Collin Jones, the brother of Talmage Jones who was a counselor to President Hanks the temple president, gave us a special tour of the Salt Lake temple after the sealing was over.
Marion D. Hanks and wife Maxine who visited Singapore in Aug 1981 was the Salt Lake City Temple President who sealed our marriage for all time and eternity on 22 Dec 1983. It was a pleasant reunion to see him again.
Bro and Sis Redd in their farm located in Grassy Lake Canada in Dec 1983
Bro and Sis Redd who first came to serve in Ipoh in Jan 1982 as recorded in my journal post found here. His first name is Smelie and hers was Laurel. I would meet Bro Redd again years later in Utah after his wife passed away recorded further down this blog post below.
Gary Lecheminant and Mary Lim in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve 1983
With YUNG Yik Kwong(far left) Daisy Teh(in the center, both who served in the Singapore Mission too) and THEE See Ba in Hawaii (leaning on the car who served in Taiwan), our last stop before returning back home after a great holiday/honeymoon to the US for the first time to include our sealing in the temple.
More personal reunions to come and see if you can match the faces in the latter years with the original photos taking during the mission years of 1980 - 82. Some of the returned missionaries in the photos above came from even earlier times like Thee See Bah(1977-79). He was the 1st Malaysian to be baptized in his own country on 26 July 1971 through the Australian group of the Church made up mainly of Royal Australian Air Force service men who were members of the Church based in Butterworth at that time.
In March 1986, I had a business trip to the Hanover Fair in Germany for our ITC computer company in Malaysia. I headed to London from there to fly across the Atlantic ocean to land in New York City. From NYC I would head to the west coast of the US and flew back to Asia via the Pacific ocean thus making it my first trip around the globe!
David Soon was living in NYC after his mission and the above was my 1st reunion with him. It was my first visit to New York city after which I had made several business trips there and in one of them I made a road trip from there to Palmyra to be at the sacred grove. It would be my 2nd trip to the US after the 1st trip to Salt Lake Temple to be married via Los Angeles coming from across the pacific ocean from Singapore.
This is how we looked during our mission time 35 years ago.
From New York City I continued to fly westwards to Salt Lake city which as become my 'Mecca' and for more business meetings in San Francisco and Los Angeles and always with a habit to make some visits to friends in the area.
In this visit to Salt Lake City I got to reunite with the Floyd and Edna Stoker, the couple serving when I first came back to Kuala Lumpur to find the Church who were later replaced by Ralph and Ruth Cannon.
In the apartment that the Cannons and Stokers lived was also popular to some General Authorities of the Church as it was close to the Church headquarters and the Salt Lake Temple too. In the lobby one day while with Floyd Stoker, we ran into Jacob de Jager, a General Authority of the Church who has served in Indonesia too and was serving in the Hong Kong area office of the Church.
In San Francisco area, I managed to connect with one of our pioneer missionaries from Malaysia before my time, Derrick Ho who completed his mission in the Philippines(1976-78). I also and met his wife Camille and children in their home located in the San Jose Silicon Valley area of California. From San Francisco, I made my first long drive in the US using a rental car to Los Angeles to attend the Comdex computer show.
I took the Pacific Coast highway 101 to enjoy what is said to be one of America's most iconic road trips that cover about 450miles (724.205km)
After the computer show, I took a drive to Redlands to find my former mission president Talmage Jones and his wife Vera Jean Jones again. We last met in Dec 1983 when visited them in Leeds Southern Utah after my business trip to attend the Comdex computer show in Las Vegas. He had arranged for my wife Geok Lee to receive her endowments in the St George Temple and later brought us to Salt Lake City to arrange our temple sealing at the Salt Lake Temple where his brother Collin Jones was a counselor in the temple presidency with Marion D Hanks as the president.
While in Redlands, I learned that Loma Linda was close by. I knew a couple living there whom I know closely especially the wife of Jonathan Chin who was at the same university with me in Australia. She was one of my friends I had referred to the Elders to teach, who used to live in KL and was baptized in our Church. There was another friend I referred from East Malaysia from the university who also joined the Church. I would visit Jonathan and Linda's home in Loma Linda several times more over my lifetime, the last time was the Chinese New Year of 2013 as recorded here.
On the way from LA, I dropped by to Hong Kong for another business meeting before returning home. It was my first visit to the island and didn't have any contact address or number to reunite with any old friends.
I vaguely remember dropping into the Church Area office to say hello to Elder Jacob de Jager whom I had run into earlier at the apartment in Salt Lake City where I had taken a photo of him with Floyd Stoker. Unfortunately, the photo above taken by someone at the office was also not very clear of him and his secretary with me in the middle.
Visit of the Cannons to Malaysia
Not long after I returned from the US, in June of the same year of 86, Ralph and Ruth Cannon made a return trip to their mission field of Malaysia.
They visited the old mission home in Jln Mentri Utara which was under renovation to add the new hall and rooms in the old bungalow that is found today at this time of writing. A reunion fireside was held in the home of my father in Cheras as seen in the pics below :
Visit of the Jones to Malaysia
It was just a year ago in April 86 that I met the Jones in their home in Redlands California. Now they returned to Malaysia again for the first time after they left Singapore when Talmage completed his 3 year service as President of Singapore mission in June 1982. He had also released me early before my full 2 year mission service as explained in this post. Below are the photos of a home fireside by the Jones at my father's place again organized for the Cannons the previous year.
Reunions in Australia
In 1987 was also the year that I went with my wife and 2 daughters, in the month of May, to visit my old university town in Australia to have reunions with old friends from Church days and also my university days. I have made a more recent trip to Australia with an account of all the reunions I had there shared in this post. Here are some pics extracted from that post :
Reunion in Hong Kong
In a Nov business trip to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Taipei, I had the opportunity to meet up with Emime Woo with her 1st baby in Hong Kong.
By some coincidence, in Dec 2015, while trying to message Emime on facebook where we are now connected as friends, she replied late to reveal that she was busy with the wedding of her oldest daughter! This occurrence was recorded in another blog post.
I made a 3rd trip to the US for business meetings with opportunities to have reunions with friends again. This was in Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Salt Lake city
Here is GaryLecheminant and Mary his wife, also a returned missionary from our Singapore Mission field, with their children captured in their home in Los Angeles area.
We met up with Talmage Jones and his wife Vera Jean again in 1988 at Anthony Seow's office in LA, an old church member friend originally from Singapore who had lived in Utah for over 30 years then and longer today. Anthony is seen on the far left chatting with Sis Jones. Anthony is one of my many old friends whom I've kept in touch with to this day, last seen in KL, at this time of writing, in a November 2015 post here.
The reunion of friends in LA included Bill Shuetz who had lived in Kuala Lumpur previously but I had lost contact with him since this gathering in 1988 until last Christmas of 2015 where how he was found again is shared here.
While in Utah, I got to visit the home of Dee H. Groberg, who had previously visited our Kuala Lumpur branch on business trips representing the Covey training organization. It was nice to meet him again and his family too for the first time.
He used to quote a poem 'The Race' that he wrote which I found is now shared on video above.
This year we saw several reunions occur described with the following photos :
My research on family history during and after my mission brought fruits for finding unknown relatives of my father such as his half brother Tjong Tung Mau from Hong Kong seen on the far right. Read my latest post on my family history research that shows more reunions I've enjoyed.
Mrs Prewett was a nice Indian lady living in Geelong, my university town, who volunteered her time to help foreign Asian students like me to adjust well during our stay in Australia. She knew me well and saw my growth and development during my 3 years stay there including my conversion to be a Mormon and later leave after my graduation to serve a mission for the Church. It was nice to reunite with her when she came to Malaysia for a visit 10 years later after I had left Australia, meeting my wife and only two girls then in 1990. In a meaningful and spiritual trip to Australia in Nov 2014, I tried to reunite with Mrs Prewett again with comments shared at the bottom of this post of the trip.
It is always great to reunite with the latter-day saints brethren of the priesthood wherever possible :
Was surprised to have a visitor from Auckland New Zealand, Bro Robert Belbin, in our KL branch meeting house in Jalan Ampang Tengah on Feb 1996.
Bro Belbin was my MTC instructor seen on the far left in the front row of the above photo taken some time in 5-15th Aug 1980 found in this journal post.
I had also met up with Bro Rex Kennerley on the far right, the person in-charge of our MTC training, in my 2nd trip to US in April 1986. It was quite a coincidence as I was attending General Conference in Salt Lake city and the person sitting beside me was the Stake President from New Zealand whose family name was also Kennerley! Upon asking if he knew the Kennerley I knew in the Hamilton MTC, he said that was his brother who was at the hotel at that time visiting Salt Lake City with him! He invited me to the hotel after conference and I had a wonderful surprise reunion with Bro Kennerley again. I may not have a camera with me then, as they were not as small as pocket cameras today, to have a photo of that surprise reunion!
I had felt his special spirit for many years from my short training in the New Zealand MTC of 10 days. Something made me search the facebook using his family name, at this time of writing, to connect with his daugther Roseanne Kennerley to obtain the photo below :
It was sad to learn that he had just passed away in February this year of 2016 as it would be wonderful to connect with him again using today's online technology. Guess I have to wait when it is my turn to return back to the Spirit world again for that reunion!
Years after our mission, David Wong and Catherine Lim who were Singaporeans who served their own country and married each other after their mission, our family had a chance to have their whole family visit us in Kuala Lumpur. They later moved to the US to study in BYU Hawaii and we met them again when we visited there 3 years later in 2002 when I had a business convention there to attend and also to visit our oldest daughter Fei who just started at BYUH.
A reunion of 3 families is seen in this photo. David Wong with Catherine from Singapore, Geok Lee and I from Malaysia plus Thee See Ba with Shauna including several children of our families, all meeting at the Thee's home in Laie Hawaii.
In 2003 was a significant year for a few reasons. I had made two trips to the US, my 13th and 14th trip since the first in 1983, the first for my wife and I to be sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. The first trip for the year was a business trip for my client in January and I have been in contact with the Gessel family for the past 20 years. On this trip, I talked to David Gessel about Stephen Brown who first knocked on my door in Geelong Australia to share the Gospel with me for the first time and was there on the day of my baptism to baptize me many months later. Stephen was in touch with me through letters but after some time we had lost contact with each other as both of us must have moved a few times during our married lives. He had married and lived in Pennsylvania which was far away in the Eastern side of US while most times I have been visiting US in the west coast and didn't think about Elder Brown until this particular trip to the US. David said he would check with the Alumni for returned missionaries who had served in Australia and let me know.
I had also met with my business associate and friend Cevin Ormond who was last in Malaysia about 10 years earlier and we met up to catch up with each other in Salt Lake City.
I planned a 2nd trip to Utah for a number of reasons. I was eager to reunite with Stephen Brown is one. Also my 2nd daughter was planning to transfer from BYU Hawaii to BYU Provo so I could do some early preparation to come to the mainland. There was also a plan to spend more time in the US to do some exploration of business opportunities as well as exploring some new terrain of this vast land or continent!
David Gessel did find the contact information of Stephen Brown who to our surprise had moved to Utah from where he was in Pennsylvania. We got connected via email first and I really wanted to meet him again as it has been about 24 years since we first met in 1979. What exactly happened then is shared in this journal post where Elder Stanbrough, the companion to Elder Brown had also written a comment sharing an interesting account of what led them to knock on my door.
With the help of Cevin Ormond (in the far left of the above photo), the friend whom I had met earlier in January as mentioned above, I got to find Steve Brown who was living in the same suburb called Riverton. I had also found Brother Smelie Redd (second from the left) whom I had met in Salt Lake City with his wife in our sealing ceremony in December 1983 and did visit their home in Canada too as mentioned above.
I would visit Steve and his wife with a son and daughter often during my stay in Utah.
Elder Brown is seen on the left of the photo taken in 1979 after I was baptized in Geelong Australia. Sitting beside me is Elder Greenhood. I could not track down Elder Greenhood in the early days but with facebook today maybe I can find him!
Here is Elder Stanborough. David W. Stanbrough with his family living in Andover, Minnesota which I've never had a chance to visit but maybe one day! Thanks to facebook, we are connected together to this day. He shared a humble comment about the day they knocked on my door found at this journal post, an event that changed my life forever!
After he completed his mission, while I was on my mission, I received the above wedding invitation card that announced that "Susan and Stephen have chosen Friday October 17, 1980 to seal their love for time and eternity." The card had a picture of the Washington temple. Their wedding reception was on Saturday October 18 the next day.
In the US, many mission reunions are organized by the Mission Presidents just before General Conference time in Salt Lake city to be held at any convenient place in the valley with advanced notification. I did have an opportunity to attend one of them on the eve of the Oct 2003 General conference time in Salt Lake City. Some photos of this occasion follows :
President Robert W Houghton and wife Linda (1988-91)
President Warren R Jones and wife Becki (1991-94)
Elder John H Groberg and wife Jean (Biography)
Victor Chen was there too as the Stake President of Singapore (Area Seventy in Singapore 2010)
During my extended stay in Utah on this trip, I could also reunite with some returned missionaries who served in the Singapore Mission and Malaysia!
Through email correspondence with his son William Redd and his son's wife Peggy who were originally living in Grassy Lake Canada where Bro and Sis Redd lived, I received the information that Bro Redd was living with them after they had moved to Utah in a suburb called Riverton, coincidentally close to where Stephen Brown's home was. I took the opportunity to spend time with Bro Redd as he was alone without Sis Redd who had passed away before him. I would pick him up to go to the temple together.
I could do this as I had purchased a jeep for my planned trips to cover more of the vast land of the US in the west coast from as far north as Seattle to down south pass the border to Mexico. My base would be in Utah and so whenever I was in town I would take Bro Redd out for short trips as he is not able to drive himself around any more.
I brought Bro Redd to visit Vera Jean Jones, wife of our Singapore Mission President, J.Talmage Jones, when we served as missionaries together in the early 80s. Both are now deceased and remembered in a special 'In Memory' blog post of my dear friends of my life.
I had actually found Sister Jones a month earlier (Sep 2003) in a nice building complex in Provo Utah with assisted-living care where she had her own private studio style unit. I had lost contact with her since my last meeting(shared above) with her and her husband President Talmage Jones, our former Mission President in 1988, when I would visit them in their home in Redlands CA whenever I would be in Los Angeles. On this trip, I was inspired to look for her and messaged our then Patriarch Tan Su Kiong in Singapore whom I felt might know where Sis Jones would be. He was together with Geok Lee and I when we first came to Salt Lake City and met with our Mission President and his wife as shared in the beginning of this post that can be found by clicking here.
I'm glad I managed to visit with Sister Jones in 2003 as she had passed away a year later in 2004 while President Jones had passed away 14 years earlier in 1990. Their obituaries can be found in a special 'In Memory' post I created for them and others found here.
I had a chance to catch up with the Gessels again and thanked David Gessel, on the far right, who managed to find Stephen Brown, the missionary who baptized me, that I could meet him a month earlier in October of the year.
A year later, my wife and I made a trip to Utah and she got to meet Stephen Brown and his wife Susan for the first time.
We also got to meet Clarke Gessel and his family in their home. For Geok Lee, the last time she met Clarke was in our first trip to the US in 1983 for our marriage sealing! I had met him the previous year with his family at Clarke's father's home in the city to make this follow up visit possible. (See the photo above under the heading Jan 2003) From this journey up north to Idaho and eventually Seattle, I had a Toastmaster friend from my KL club who happened to be in US join us for this long drive in our jeep, flying in to Salt Lake City to meet us. She is seen in the center of the photo in black.
It was nice to meet up again with Randy Booth of the Young Ambassadors group who had performed in Malaysia twice.
Reunion with Elder Tai Kwok Yuen, a former general authority of the 2nd Quorum of Seventy, and wife Flora in their home in Provo Utah just after his call to be the President of the Hong Kong China Temple. While visiting Kuala Lumpur in 1992 November to preside in a District Conference in Kuala Lumpur in November 1992 when I was the District President, an unusual incident happened. He and his wife had arranged to go out home teaching with me to a member's home. After the visit, while driving in the car to bring them back to their hotel, I suddenly got a call from my wife that she needed to rush to the hospital to deliver our 4th child Shuan. We rushed back home and got my wife to lay in the back seat with Sis Tai calming her down as I drove quickly from our home in Ampang to Pantai Hospital on the other side of the city. Miraculously, all the traffic lights were green as I rushed through the city roads to arrive at the hospital where within 30 mins, Elder and Sister Tai got to hold our new baby in their arms!
Farewell to Jeffery Lim and his wife who are migrating to the US and had lunch with old friends in Singapore
Alice Cheong on the far right was our contemporary missionary who has continued to live in Singapore whose daughter later married the son of another contemporary missionary named Josephine Lee who also have migrated overseas, first to Vancouver Canada and later Utah USA.
David Soon's visit with Sylvia sister and his adopted son on the far left
Visiting Wu Yuk Choy and family in Hong Kong
Visit with Jeffery Lim, on the US east coast outside New York city, a senior companion during my mission days in Singapore that we bid farewell when he and his family left Singapore.
Thee See Ba and family came to KL to spend Christmas with us, joining us in our house to house visit to sing carols. The stories, photos, and videos are all found here.
Visit of Emime Woo to Kuala Lumpur to be with her former companion Ho Siew Yin
With Sis Patricia Cheah who rented a room to David Soon and I when we first came to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore to start our missionary work. She was the first person that we taught during our mission who accepted to be baptized. She was our first miracle.
Here is another person named "Pat" I met in 2012 in the month of September to the pic below :
She is non-other than Pat Quek, a fellow missionary during my young missionary days from Singapore.
See the arrow pointing to her in this photo that is found at the upper part of this long post?
Managed to meet up with Stella Toh, in red, in Penang who was the one mentioned in our Ipoh branch story as the one instrumental to introduce several members of her family to join the Church to be pioneer members of the branch. We were in the home of my former mission companion David Soon with his mother and sister.
Singapore Mission reunion organized by the Singapore Stake
More photos can be found in the facebook album here.
With Gary and Mary Lecheminant visting Penang in Sep 2015.
Elder Lecheminant with the Stokers in the PJ Mission home
With Wu Yuk Choi and wife with another couple from Hong Kong
At Putra Jaya
With Ivan and Sophia Ho at Sunway Parade
In Ipoh with Doreen, Loke Poh Yip and Diana Toh
In Penang with David Soon and mother
Dinner in Penang with David Soon, wife, mother and friends
At the Elephant Sanctuary in Pahang
Feeding the elephants
At Berjaya resort
With Pang Meng Hock, the only Elder during the time of my mission who still lives in Singapore. He was my senior who orientated me to the mission field.
Met at the Bukit Timah Stake Centre with his mother, a member of the Church also who is 94 years of age!
With me and Gary Lecheminant who also orientated me to the mission field in Singapore. Photo taken at the Bukit Timah chapel grounds where the Mission Office was located also.
With the car above, Elder Pang followed me to Ipoh where we taught Bro Toh Chin Guan and the photo is taken on the day of his baptism, 12 Apr 1981
Celebrating the 90th birthday of Patricia Cheah
Having turned 60 last year myself and to be invited to a surprise party to celebrate the 90th birthday of our miracle convert makes life worth living for me to want to live as long as Pat Cheah. I started this post early in the morning on this day to prepare for more photos and videos to be shared after the dinner and karaoke session tonight!
I feel inspired, after having spent quite a fair bit of time on focused reflection with research to post the above photos with captions in chronological order, to make the following ending remarks :
Good relationships definitely have been the source of my true joy in life over material things or any other thing that may be attractive to me also like the joy of learning or working on projects of my passion. Even for those classified as less attractive or desirable by others, I know that I still have an interest in these people to want to connect with them to create positive relationships. By this attitude, I think it has helped me to learn more about the human being that helped me to be more successful in my projects that I have undertaken or will take in future where I have to work with teams of people with diverse backgrounds. It must be noted that in order to fully understand the human being we cannot just use our minds to think but need to use our hearts to feel also!
The reunions that occurred above, from the very top of this post, were primarily with members of our Church where most of them had served together with me during my spiritual mission years. Thus the bonding was exceptional with memories that would last a lifetime or perhaps even more!
I have another group of friends whose bonding is also strong due to the many years of spending time together at school. I had many reunions with them officially or unofficially and most events are recorded in a custom designed website found here. (Note that it best viewed with a PC as smartphones were not used when it was created.) As most of us reached the age of 55 which was a significant milestone in life, the need to celebrate with a big reunion party came about and we did have a big bash together recorded here. (It is PC or Smartphone friendly as a blogger post was used.) There was a roaring 60s reunion event on 8 Dec 2018 when most of us turned 60 recorded here.
Last but not least, no matter what the source of our relationships, from school or from our spiritual affiliations or even from family ties, the event of death and a funeral of a person sparks the moment of time where souls are reunited to say good bye to the departed or to pay their last respects to them who once lived and left their mark in our society or community. In latter years, when the list got longer over time, I too felt a need to gather them all in a special blog post which is found here.
To be continued and updated where necessary....
(Scroll to the top of this long post to view how my spiritual associations started with many of my Church friends of today at this point of writing.)