To our friends in America

As I pack my bags preparing to leave for home at the start of the July 4th weekend, my heart and mind is full of feelings and thoughts which I like to share with you.

As long as I can remember when I was a young boy, I loved to read and re-read the only set of encyclopedia my parents could afford which had a series of books entitled, 'The Child's World.' I loved to read the stories in there of Johnny Appleseed, the man who planted apple trees in the wild frontier of America. There was also Tom Sawyer. Then I read of great leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington,Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D.Roosevelt....... about the faces carved in Mount Rushmore. Little did I know then that I was reading all about America.

When I was old enough to travel on my own, I back-packed to England and Europe to see the world. Then I furthered my education in Australia. By the time I was and adult at 21, my impression of America was that it was a frightening place to live and I don't think I would ever go there. Americans seem to always do things different and I was not used to that.

Little did I know that my life would somehow become entwined with America. In my first visit with my wife to Las Vegas for a computer convention in Dec 1983 and later to the mountains of Utah for our marriage in the Salt Lake temple, it was the beginning of a marvelous experience in America. I would find myself coming back over and over again for various reasons. First it was for a Church purpose. Then it was for business opportunities. Later it was the call of the wild frontier, re-living my images of Johnny Appleseed perhaps as I explored the mountains, the deserts and the great waters found in this land. Last but not least, it is to be with my friends in America!

America is now like my second or third home, counting Singapore which I frequent often, the home of my wife. I now feel very comfortable here. A definite reason is due to all the friendships that I have made with American families over the years, spanning over the three countries! They have become a big big part of my life and that of my family. You Americans have much to celebrate about on July 4th, the freedom you enjoy and the blessings of the God in whom you trust. Thank you for continuing to enrich my life with your friendship, filling me with the thoughts of my youth. Be assured that I will try to visit you often as time may permit as I simply enjoy it when I am with you to renew our friendship. May God continue to Bless America!

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