Several reasons led to the writing of this blog post I believe. Please read on...
On 30 March 2016 I was on the way to overnight in Kuantan to find that my brother was in KL on a day trip. On the phone, he asked me for my mother's death date as he was in her burial ground looking for her grave site which had many tombstones laid out in chronological order. I was surprised about his quick visit to find her grave site but didn't ask the reason why as I felt it was a personal matter. I was driving and my mind was blank for a while to be able to recall immediately the date. I roughly remembered it was in the year 1982 just after my mission.
I later sent him on the 'Whatsapp' phone messenger the above photo with the link to the memorial blog post of mine where the photo was taken from. Thanks to the connectivity of the phone to the internet, I could access information stored in my blogs to provide to anyone anytime. She had passed away on 22 October 1982.
After I completed a Talklane video interview with a member of the Church, I spent the night in my brother's home. He was apparently not well, recovering from a bad flu according to the house helper and went to bed immediately soon after he got back from KL. I therefore dined alone but something unusual happened for me to take the following photos :
Other than witnessing the bee walking on my plate and disappearing after that, nothing else extraordinary occurred that I soon forgot about it until over a month later on 5 May 2016, just yesterday at this time of writing. For some reason at that time, an impression came to my mind that my mother's birthday was tomorrow, 6th of May. I was not very sure as it has been almost 34 years ago since she passed away and I did not celebrate her birthday as done for my immediate family members in each of the years after she had gone. As I had kept many physical documents, diaries and journals in well indexed array of cabinets, besides my digital records stored on websites, here is how I quickly verified her birthday date from a cabinet just behind my desk described in a quick photo record using my camera as follows :
Behind my desk is a long row of custom designed steel cabinets where I keep files, diaries and hardisks so I opened the cabinet where I kept my diaries.
I recognized the green 1982 old diary where I had written the birthdays of my parents and my sibblings.
I opened the diary to find the page with all the hand written birth days.
Here is a close up shot of May 6, the birthday of my mother!
There was another thing that I realized after chatting with Su on facebook messenger earlier in the week when she shared a video of Baby Leah's first laugh which was also added to her familylane special birth post here. It was also mentioned when I added a post-dated event in another familylane post about Fei's facebook post found here. It was a sudden realization that Leah's birth would create a 4 generation Mormon time line in our family history.
This comes about because my mother or the children's grand mother did get baptized into our Church on 22 March 1980 when I had first come home from Australia to meet my family before serving my mission as recorded here. So from my mother to me, down to my children and today with Leah the great grand child of my mother through Su, we can say that there are 4 generations of the Chong family who are Mormons!
This was my mother's practice before she became a Latter-Day Saint or member of our Church. She had always been the only member of our Chong family who really had faith in Deity and performed her prayers regularly in the Chinese traditional way using joss sticks. That is why I was inspired to have these words etched on her tombstone, "God is Great, Time will Tell". They were words that I had heard her utter several times during her life time.
My mother had even made a trip to visit me when I was a student in Geelong Australia accompanied by my sister-in-law as seen in the above photo with the McDonald family whom I was close to. This was how my Mom knew I had become a Mormon due to her correspondences with the family after she returned home explained in this post when I came back home before my mission call.
There is another important reason I believe for writing this blog post as I ponder about this sudden strong impression of my deceased mother. This would be the need to follow up on the family history work of my mother's side, the Cheah ancestry as fervently or completely as I have done for my father's side, the Chong ancestry. I have made several trips to the island of Penang to visit the Cheah clan temple and office there, finding even a cousin on the island who has been a clan member since young and is in the committee of the current Chairman of the clan whom I had met several times. There is unfinished business there with some minor obstacles in the way of getting more names of my mother's ancestors and I felt I had to make yet another trip to Penang as I had done before!
Post development events :
Sunday 8 May 2016 : Just a couple of days later, I was at the KL branch sacrament meeting to realize it was Mother's day as the talks and musical presentation made by the children were centered on the theme! I was also assigned to teach a lesson on the topic of the Priesthood for the Gospel Principles class and took the opportunity to share this blogpost on my phone that was passed around the circle of students surrounding me. I emphasized that it was the Priesthood power that led me to follow up on my family history.
Just before leaving church after our 3 hour meeting, I had the chance to take a pic of a rare large sized Asian family of the Gohars in our branch.
Saw the facebook post of Fei below when I got home in the afternoon. Click here to see what she wrote about her mother or click on the photo below :
Fei our oldest daughter never got to see my mother or her grandma on her father's side
However her mother did as in the above photo taken on 19 July 1982 when Geok Lee first came to KL from Singapore to begin our all round Malaysia trip with my mother and her friend as chaperones.
Soon we were to engaged in Singapore on 16 Aug 1982 where my mother was present too.
When we we had our civil marriage in PJ on 22 Dec 1982, my mother could not be present as she had passed away 3 month earlier on 22 Oct 1982. By Chinese tradition based on my oldest sister in Penang, we were to marry within 3 months on the death of my mother or wait for 3 years so we chose the earlier.
15 May 2016 Kuala Lumpur West Malaysia District Conference was held in the Wisma MCA building in Jalan Ampang. Photos taken of district members in the conference were posted in the Facebook Returned Missionary group that I created some time ago with members from Malaysia who have served a mission or members from overseas who have served in Malaysia.
I finally got to meet the Mission President and his wife Sis Simmons. This is two months after I received a coincidental phone call from an American friend recorded in this previous journal post who wanted my contact info to be passed to Sis Simmons!
Many coincidental occurrences of my life to date have been recorded in my journals which I have deemed spiritual, the unique ones particularly coming via insects as already shared in some of the earlier links already on this post. Let me remark that before the insects that came to me recently, birds had also made their appearances. A a collection of these 'Bird Stories' can be found in the links of this post that contains the first poetry that I've ever composed in my life entitled, "What If... Birds could Talk?" Click the underlined title to read the poetry and click no 1 to 7 links to bird stories found at the bottom!
Could it be from my Mother's example that I learnt how to be spiritual even before I became a Mormon? Her words ring in my ear again..."God is Great, Time will Tell". It took me many months to investigate the Mormon Church working with pairs of Elders in Geelong Australia, before finally getting baptized on 29 July 1979 after overcoming the obstacle of seeking for scientific proof of God's existence!!! For my Mom, as shared earlier, she did join the Church but her process of conversion happened much faster than mine to my surprise. She didn't need all the knowledge I was seeking for. All she needed was faith in the Savior.
My greatest concern coming home in Feb of 1980 from Australia was to explain to my parents not only of my conversion but also my spiritual experience to serve a mission for the Church. The fact that my Mother decided to take missionary discussions after returning her idol was a booster for me but I was still very concerned about her deteriorating health due to diabetes. My fervent prayer for her to live through my entire mission plus signs I received that God was listening to me before and during my mission were faith promoting experiences never to be forgotten till this day!
She did live till I completed my mission and I believe with the tender mercies of God, I was given another sign that she would leave me soon a month before her death.
26 May 2016
As I am finishing up this post that started on my Mother's birthday early in the month, I appreciate the spiritual feast I was having recounting spiritual events of my life going as far back as 1979 when I first started investigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints otherwise known as the Mormons. On the Sunday after District Conference, I was officially called to be the Branch Mission Leader of our KL branch where I was put to work to conduct a baptism service right after Church with photos found in a facebook post here of the group in our beginner's Sunday school class :
In the Priesthood group meeting at the end of our Sunday service, the introductory statement made by me as the the new Branch Mission Leader I recall vividly was as follows, "I find missionary work is easy because I love the people that I easily meet with as strangers anywhere I meet them. Just love them, smile at them and they will respond back positively to be able to start a friendly conversation with them." I further added, "Be bold but not overbearing always and do not fear as the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that when you have faith you should not have fear as fear is the complete opposite of faith."
Faith is the foundation of the Spirit part of my 3 dimensional 'Body Mind Spirit' life that I write about in my journals and I believe it is the underlying reason for the coincidental occurrences in my life. It took me over 10 years of writing all about my intricate busy life of Love, Knowledge and Spirituality to try to record and explain in a way what makes me who I am as well as trying to understand the human being.
Today in one early morning, I came across one video by an amazing medical doctor/professor with a background in biology and cell research, who had retired from his job of teaching medical students to be doctors in the past. I have been following Bruce Lipton since last year 2015 as his name was mentioned to me by a friend in Australia as the author of the book, The Biology of Belief. I added this exceptional video to my collection of his other videos that could explain it all scientifically better with his biological/medical research background. It won't take as long as days and nights to decipher my 'Body Mind Spirit' journal writings to figure it all out i.e. about our Health, our Mind and about our Spirit, compared to what he could present himself live on video! Warning : though his video recording is over an hour and a half long, Bruce Lipton makes everything simpler to understand with his strong scientific background so find that slot of time and be enlightened for anyone with or without any religious or spiritual background!
Here is something coincidental too as earlier in the week on Tuesday 24 May 2016 local time and Monday in US facebook time, this post of my Australian friend appeared on my facebook timeline! I am not sure if it was posted by him intentionally as I know he isn't very computer savvy and could be one of those auto functions of Facebook, I have to check with Gary to confirm.
I would post the video with the photo of Gary acting as Putin the Russian politician on Facebook to ask the viewers if they could catch a humorous point on Dr. Bruce Lipton's video about Politicians! It is a test to see if anyone would spend the time to view this long video recording who will then find the point. It was Gary Powell on a trip to Australia a year and half ago, at this time of writing, who recommended to me the name of Bruce Lipton to search for on the internet, stating that he was the author of the book, 'The Biology of Belief.'