Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rags to . . . .

Back In The Temple
President And Sister Wong

It was good to get back in the Temple after two weeks of being away.  Again Wednesday proved to be the highlight of working in the Temple.  The new Asian missionaries from the MTC came for their own Endowments.  Five groups of five each from the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Mongolia, were scattered throughout the ten morning sessions.  I wish everyone could have the opportunity of working with them as they, with their almond skin and black hair, move cautiously around the halls of the Temple, wide-eyed and innocent looking in their crisply pressed white slacks and white barong.  When these countries have strong enough congregations to be sending young men and women on missions, my testimony of the growth of a worldwide church is strengthened.    
An Alley On The Way To Church

During a discussion about family research with President Wong, Counselor in the Temple Presidency, he began talking about his own history.  It was a conversation between he and me.  I was moved by his story, and asked if it was OK to write home about it.  He chuckled a little and said: “I don’t mind.  There’s a lot more if you want it”.  He hasn’t given me the second chapter so there will be more later.

To start with, President Wong is one of those people who has a permanent smile on his face.  You know, they have to work hard to look unkind.  Like all other Filipinos, he looks ten to fifteen years younger than his age.
I've Seen Worse Conditions

At age seven, his father came from China to the Island of Mindanao in the Philippines, with his uncle, years before the Second World War.  There are no found records or knowledge of any other family members in China before his father.  As a refugee with little money, it was an achievement for him to become a cobbler, and be able to almost provide for his family.  They lived in poverty.

President Wong graduated from public school at the age of sixteen with a desire to go to college.  There was no money and his father said there was no chance of college; he should just begin to learn a trade and start working.
A Gated Community?

He left home and got a janitorial job at a college for thirty-five pesos a week (less than a dollar).  This was not enough to live on, but school was free.  Times were very hard.  He went to his stepbrother’s on weekends to get some real food.  He explained where his stepbrother came from by sheepishly smiling and telling of his mothers many boy friends.  On one of the weekend visits to his stepbrother’s he met the missionaries who were teaching the family.  He also joined the church a short time after.

He was studying business in college so he tried to find a job in a bank.  There was a janitorial position available and so he made a step up.  It still didn’t pay any more, but he was closer to his profession.  The Lord was helping him along in his efforts to move out of the poor conditions he had grown up in.  He met a young lady that worked in a restaurant in the same building and his.  They spent some time together.
Gated Community Near The Temple

When he informed the bank that he would be leaving to go on a mission after graduation, they said:  “You can’t go now.  We are just talking about moving you up to a better position.  There will not be a position open to you after two years, you should take it now.”

While he was on his mission in Manila, he sent the missionaries to find the girl from the restaurant and teach her.  They couldn’t find her.  One day the missionaries were in the post office and a girl (a friend of the restaurant girl) was filling out some paperwork to send a package.  They happened to look down at what she was doing and noticed the name of the girl they were looking for.  They asked if she was the girl.  “No” she replied, but she knows her.  The missionaries taught both girls who got baptized a short time after.
Happy Children Playing In The Street

When President Wong returned from his mission he approached the bank about a job.  They said they had a position, and since he had been with them before they would give him the job.  He and Sister Wong got married and have lived happily “ever after”.  (Her girlfriend also married a return missionary and moved to Utah.)

We can see the Lord’s hand in the many lives of this story.  I’m sure we all see it in our own lives also.

I look forward to the continuation 

We’ll close for now.

We love you,
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet & uplifting story. I am glad you guys get to meet & work with so many wonderful people.
    Love you guys,