Friday, July 18, 2008

Welcome Home Sister Chong

After serving a successful 18 months Mandarin speaking mission for the Church in the Oakland California Mission, Su Min returns home to Singapore. Above is a welcome home display made by Mom in the morning before the expected plane arrival just after noon time!

Below are photos and a video of the day's excitement in Su Min's homecoming :
Bishop Gordon Foo was nice enough to drive us to the Changi Airport
Here is mom all excited as the moment draws near for Su to walk out the exit door
And here she is, Sister Chong still dressed in official attire until released later by the Stake President
Mom puts a lei of flowers on her and gives a long emotional 'Welcome home hug'
At home, Su is shown the display of photos and letters from her during her mission
Later in the afternoon, Su goes to the Stake Center for her official release
Parents are her companions till the very last minute
After an interview with the Stake President, President Lai, Sister Chong is now officially released from her full time mission call.
Her good friend and future room mate at BYU Provo for the fall semester, Tiffany Lai, was also there to meet her. Tiffany had just been back a week earlier for her release in the Salt Lake Temple Mission.
In the night time, she had her first taste of Mom's home cooked meal after her mission.
After dinner, Ernie popped open a bottle of non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice to celebrate the family reunion event. See the video below to know what else happens when there is a family reunion?

We are still missing Fei Min to make the family reunion complete and have to wait till August the 13th when she joins us in a flight from Beijing!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A freak accident taking the life of Alan Tay

Most of us were shocked when we received the news that Josephine Tay's oldest son Alan aka Issac was killed in a car accident in the early morning today. The accident occured just near his home in the main street near his neighborhood where he went over the divider of the road! The family requested for church members to sing hymns in their home in the night time of the same day and a group of us showed up. Below is a video and some pics of the evening :

Josephine's first few words on greeting me was to remind me of the time when I first started visiting her home to teach her and Alan the gospel after being referred to by her husband Edward. My memory flashed back to the day that Josephine was baptized on 30 May 1981 and here is the photo of Edward, Josephine and young Alan together on her baptism day. Josephine further remarked with sadness that Alan only lived a short life as he would be about just 30 plus of age on his death. My immediate response is well, even if we all lived to a hundred, we would have lived a short life when compared to how old the world is and how long to the eternities!

The funeral service has been set to be at their home at 10am Friday 11th July, leaving for burial in Seminyih at 11am followed by dedication of the burial ground.

The following are scenes on the day of burial :

Convoy of vehicles with a chartered bus started from the house... the Nirvana Christian Memorial Garden in Seminyih
The grave site was dedicated with a prayer after friends and family members gathered at the burial plot

The family saying their last good bye to Alan