We were blessed with a dinner invitation from Ian and Sophia on a Sunday night. They
invited Elders Cheung, Lee and Yim to come for a “goodbye” dinner, but none of them drive. We were asked to be their
transportation. So we picked the Elders up from their flat in Hurstville and drove to Epping, where Ian and Sophia live. It is a lovely suburb not too far from the Sydney Temple, about 45 minutes away on a Sunday (1 ½ hours on a weekday). We knew immediately Ian was relaxed and happy because he greeted us at the door in his pajamas! We discovered Sophia is an excellent cook. She says it was her father that taught her how to cook. Our experience with Chinese meals: everyone is given a small bowl and chopsticks. Soup is served first. Sophia called it Chinese medicine because of the healthy herbs that are included. The translucent noodles in the soup are called green bean noodles and are also made with rice flour. Because we were given 1 bowl, I had to finish my delicious soup before I could start on the several different stir-fry dishes she prepared. One of the vegetable dishes was so spicy that I could not finish it. But Elder Cheung, who is from Sichuan province, could barely taste the spices! After the meal, the Chinese elders asked for warm water to drink. It was a lovely evening.
We were impressed when Elder Lee gave a short spiritual in English. He is a new missionary just learning English.
Some of our English students have become good friends. We practice conversations introducing ourselves and talking about our family, so we learn about each other. Xiu Gi, who I taught in our little advanced class, came to the church on Sunday and found me so she could say goodbye. She and her family had moved to Carlingford. I thought that was really sweet of her!
Elder Soon had a fun idea to celebrate hisbirthday at the end of English class. We taught them the English words for cake, candle, blow, sing, wish, etc. It was fun to see different traditions. Elder Soon clapped as we all sang. Li said that the western tradition of cake and candles to celebrate a birthday is being adopted in China!