To most of our family members, I believe having a reunion of our family in the country of USA is merely a natural tendency of close ties or bonding of our family that grew from a simple beliefs of our faith, that Families are Forever. For me who attained much experience in an active Body Mind Spirit multi-dimensional life, my views or feelings may be more than what has been thought of by many, i.e. a mere family reunion. Personally, it testifies of the blessings of the creator of a Mother earth and the lives on it that on one hand seem so dependent on being nurtured from young, and on the other hand seem to be a sojourn of spirits that existed long before we were born to be tested or shaped with the challenges of mortality, even sufferings or torment for some, to become a master of our own destinies, or the creator of our own future.
Our family roots were from China, and as descendants we grew up in a peaceful middle strip of land of Malaysia and Singapore to find our lives today strongly influenced by a great and powerful nation of America, who else isn't today? This great and modern nation has broken many traditions of the world, become a melting pot of other nations and influenced me to be who I am but yet made me feel very confident to live in the land that I grew up in to continue to learn, serve and help others understand the true purpose of our lives no matter where we live.
I feel ready to head off to the airport now... to continue the writings of this Epic Journey that I feel is another adventure to teach me more than I thought I knew! A good example is while the baby's blessing of Baby Leah was announced in an earlier post, I thought I the grandpa might be the only family member there visiting all the way from Malaysia/Singapore. To my surprise I later found as my wife's niece was marrying our son-in-law's younger brother Justin in Utah in June too, our 2 older boys who are her cousins would be flying there as well. The two youngest with Ern the older serving in the army and Ray on internship were not expected to be able to leave the country. When I arrived in Singapore on June 3, I discovered that Ern had got permission from his senior officer to take a short leave of 5 days to leave the country and join the family reunion that was happening there and had booked his own air ticket online!
I immediately felt sad for Ray as he would be the only one left behind so I called him at work to talk to his supervisor and told him I would head out to the NPark HQ office at Botanical Gardens to meet with him too. It turned out that the supervisor did acknowledge the importance of a family reunion and said he would give the permission required but Ray had to seek the approval of also his College. On first thing Monday morning I sent out my email to a senior staff in Ray's college stating the reasons why Ray needed to go. Within a couple of days a positive reply was received and Ray got a seat on Thursday night to fly off to Utah USA! I therefore learnt that it never hurts to try what is said to be impossible to find out that it really is possible, turning out to be another recorded miracle for us. I am glad Ern did try for himself first and was successful to cause me to try for Ray too when I arrived in Singapore back from KL. It will be a great and joyful familylane reunion, with all of us present, to happen again after the last one in June 2014 held in Singapore or a previous one in May 2011 in Utah with Mom alive and a sad one to be together in Singapore when Mom passed away in Nov 2012 but without Han who was serving a mission in Manchester UK.
In Los Angeles for just 1 night
Furthermore on the Chong Clan, counting from the 1st decendent who migrated from North China to the coastal districts to be known today as "Hakka" people or "Guests" of the southerners, I am supposed to be the 20th generation as my father is the 19th as discovered in an experience shared in this journal post. It took me many years to find the town of Songkou and the home of my Great-grand father as shared in a later spiritual journal post.
It was a long flight from Singapore to LA and I got a short break to be at the home of Fei our oldest daughter to post this announcement of my latest visit to the USA as follows :
I had a window seat and could observe the following familiar birds eye view of the flight from LA to Salt Lake city of 1hr 54 mins as follows :
June 8 - 20
In Utah valley, the excitement mounts!
Utah has been a gathering place for our family for many events as long as I can remember since the day (29 July 1979) I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Australia which has its headquarters in Salt Lake City Utah. Let the following video replace all the words I can write in this blog post to explain the journey I've taken. Travel with me through Time, Places and People by watching the video below :
Off to Logan Utah for meetings with Utah State University and the Shingo Insitute
Got a car to drive back to Orem from Logan to be back with the family on Fei's birthday
In the morning when the 'Groom comes to get the Bride' :
In the afternoon, the marriage sealing at Salt Lake Temple :
Relaxing at the Lius home after all the major activities before each party starts going to different directions :
Leah is relaxing with the other twin babies of the Liu family
17 June 2016
Time to say 'Good Bye' and travel our separate ways again :
As author of this blog post and the named family historian by the children, I do have the last say to share my thoughts and comments as I have done in recording the events and experiences of this 'Epic Journey' thus far.
As amazing as how everyone got together with their own travel plan and separate flights to reunite in Orem Utah, everyone found their way back safely too in separate flights under their original plan from the beginning. This does not mean that there was no coordination between all of us as the two older sisters I am aware were planning and coordinating the logistics of arrivals, accommodation and departures in the US with a google calendar and spreadsheet with the two older brothers involved in the planning and coordination for us in Spore/Malaysia.
I had faith in God that everything would work out fine as I do the best I can. This perhaps was my self determination that created a high level of energy for me personally. I would pray as if everything depended on God and live as if everything depended on me!
Faith in Myself
In everything I do, I always have confidence I can do it. I would never choose to do something that I feel I have no confidence to do it or be able to manage it. So which comes first, the believe that you can do it or the fact that you already know you can do it because you have somehow practiced sufficiently in the past to gain confidence?
I guess I must have played in my own mind the little "What if...?" experiments during my life time! This possibly developed my constant learning mindset to be prepared for changes and new possibilities always. The rich experiences of my life were recorded in my personal journals since the age I was about to turn into an adult and have been maintained to this day.
Faith in Others
I trusted in the upbringing that the children had, one with great blessings from a Father in Heaven whom my wife and I as parents believed in and acknowledge his perfection and plan for us. I have great faith and trust in each and every one of our children, knowing that they came from the same Heavenly Father, the origin of all our roots. My wife and I nurtured them when they were young with love and respect as we had received from him!
From our family experience, I had learnt that one needs sufficient faith in others before one can be a leader to build a good team! This became a positive attitude of life that I possessed or a simple love of others. I believe I could help somebody else outside my nucleus family if I had faith in them too.
By the same token, it is easier for anyone seeking help to have faith that there is a Father in Heaven who loves them, that they can have faith in themselves to overcome challenges as well as have faith in others who can give them the best help needed in their situation.
Back in KL feeling the urgency to hasten the work
I found harmony back in Kuala Lumpur to tone up my Physical, Mental and Spiritual condition. Put in another way, I am realizing that 2016 is the defining moments of my life to launch what I have always been working on or felt was my fore ordained purpose in life i.e. to be a Community Service First person. My wife and I have sacrificed much for our own nucleus family. She most likely personally did even more than I did as she was a full time mother at home with the six children. I was always preoccupied with business management, church leadership and of course with family responsibilities too that came as the appointed head of the family. I also had some other extended family responsibilities too in Malaysia for those who were aging and I was the youngest who could help or was the only one willing to do it.
I couldn't do much in the last 10 years as there was much uncertainty of my wife's battle with cancer in Singapore. After her death, the uncertainty of how to care for the two younger boys with the necessity as the father to constantly go in and out of the island without a long term stay visa prevailed. To see how everything turned out well finally on this Epic Journey to the US gives me continued hope of the Future as I continue to live productively Today and reflect on the Past to give me wisdom.
The Epic Journey continues....for everyone in their own community, Dad in KL, Fei in Los Angeles, Su in Boston, Han, Ern, Ray in Singapore with Shuan on a mission in London England.