Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2014 Mission Christmas Activity at Fo Guang Shan!

It was an absolute miracle. 70% chance rain. In Kaohsiung it was still clear. However, within a few miles of the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center, the rain started. 
Getting off the bus wasn't quite the same when everyone was looking for shelter.
Still, there was an air of excitement!
As trainers and trainees reunited:

I turned to president and suggested he consider taking the photo at the end of the activity instead of at the beginning as planned. He thought it might only get worse. So we directed the missionaries over to the concourse, and on the way, the raindrops stopped and the sun poked out, glistening Buddha's breast!
Our illustrious hair designer/camera man for the day:

The Operations Manager and I have something in common: always checking out the photos!
My daughter and these two sisters were in the Provo MTC together:
Asian missionaries gather for a photo op:
Taiwan Taichung Mission couple missionaries:
These two missionaries will be leaving for American in less that two weeks:
Our fluent Japanese speaking elders:
From the same home ward:

We love our sisters!

Also in the Provo MTC together:
The first Amitabha Buddha, consecrated in 1981:
After the activity, we headed over to the all-you-can-eat buffet at The Harbour Restaurant in Shizhong. President greeted each missionary on their way to loading up their plates:

Always wanting to call them by name without looking at their name tags:

The highlight of the buffet was the many flavors of Haagen Dazs ice cream. This elder was super smart. He started on the Haagen Dazs first, avoiding the main course lines at the beginning and the dessert lines at the end of the two-hour dinner:)

Sushi bar:
Main dishes:
Fabulous ham:
Salad bar:
The line's already forming:
Delightful desserts:

President's counselor made all the arrangements:

I think we ate our money's worth in Haagen Dazs alone!
Recent converts:

Fresh juice bar: banana milk, cucumber lime, watermelon...

We concluded the evening with a devotional at the Shizhong Chapel. 

After the closing Christmas hymn and prayer, we were about the send our missionaries back out to the field when one of our musically talented and spirited elders started playing the mission song on the piano. It raised our spirits even higher:

Merry Christmas!


  1. Is this the official Christmas time gathering for the mission? I had wondered if my daughter (arriving soon) might be getting there in time for a one, perhaps. I served also, and it is just a wonderful time.

    1. If we have missionaries being released in December, we try to have the mission Christmas activity before they depart. This year's activity was held early on account of my schedule, having to return home for my son's wedding.

  2. My son is one of the recently arrived visa-waiters. It is wonderful to see him so happy! Thank you for teaching him that true joy is found through obedience, hard work and selfless service to the Lord.

  3. Wonderful pictures of happy missionaries! Thanks for posting!

  4. So wonderful to see my Grand Daughter looking so happy and confident serving the Lord!!