Never Ending Christmas Story Dec 2016 and New Year's Day

With the release of Maria Chin who was detained for 10 days as covered by the previous post, the atmosphere became more relaxed. The following post was made in my facebook :

I found time to visit an ex St John's Institution Alma Mater member living in Taman Tun and suddenly I was brought to my attention of a bird flying up in the sky. I rushed out to the balcony to capture this bird in flight with my camera! It appears to be an Eagle which happens to be the symbol of our school which is shared in a blog post I did for our grand reunion event that both of us had attended a few years ago! Interesting that I would not have had this powerful camera with me if I had not responded to help another ex SJI member in the morning of the same day to do a video coverage of an important meeting. My life truly has been filled with many such coincidences which I've had interest to record them in my journals like this one about my bird stories which motivated me to write my first ever poem too!

I initiated a daily activity that would put me in tune with this Christmas month!

Dec 1
Each day for the next 24 days, an ornament will be added to the wall tree and a photo will also be added in the facebook album entitled 'Nostalgia of Christmas' with a related link to a blogpost, video or any media with a related link to the theme of the photo. The album is embedded below :

Other Events in December month :

Dec 3  An inter faith spiritual musical event announced on my facebook timeline where the Church District choir would be participating :

Dec 4 - Night of the Spiritual Musical performance 

Dec 10 - Our Kuala Lumpur branch Christmas Party videos and photos :

Taken at home a few days before the party with the family of Bro Aqil

All the above pics and video were from my camera. Below are from Patrick Felismino included here for those I may have missed out :

This last is from John in Ipoh missed by the Singles group

11 Dec Baptism after Church and single Family Home Evening the next day :

Interesting social media chats on facebook this Christmas month shared below :
How blessed were are with the technology of social media that helps us keep connected with one another as members of the Church. I could today make a comment to a mother of a returned missionary whose son once served in Malaysia on learning of the caroling taking place at her home in the US. I could prompt our Young Single Adults YSA to do the same and several could now join into a social chat between what is happening there and  us over here as the following embedded comments shows :
Surprised to find that a young woman once denied to join our RM group persisted in her desire to serve a mission and I got to learn through facebook recently that after finishing her studies, she had applied to serve a mission and was called to the Auckland New Zealand mission. She is excitedly counting the days to fly to the New Zealand MTC where I was sent to in 1980!

13 Dec

Click the link given below to listen to this beautiful LDS music that brought tears to my eyes!
The lyrics can be read below and the words that touched me repeatedly are marked in red :
"And the Roman soldiers laughed
When they saw their pris'ner stumble
He did not revile them back.
And wondering, I asked,
"Who was this man so humble?"
And a woman at my side
Choked on her reply.
Though she struggled not to weep,
The tears poured down her cheek,
Her heart breaking as she cried:
"Oh Lord, my Redeemer,
Thou has done so much for me!
Oh Lord, my Redeemer.
All my love I give to Thee!"
And the crowd went pushing on.
I felt compelled to follow.
I knew that they were wrong
How they mocked Him all along.
Suddenly my heart felt hollow.
For they nailed Him to a tree
On a hill called Calvary.
While I stood there filled with wonder,
The heavens roared with thunder,
And again I heard this plea:
"Oh Lord, my Redeemer,
Thou has done so much for me!
Oh Lord, my Redeemer.
All my love I give to Thee!"
I could not forget His face
As I wandered from that place.
With the questions ever burning.
I put myself to learning.
And each answer came with grace.
And I knelt in earnest prayer.
His memory still there
And the more that I'd enquire.
The hotter burned the fire.
I found joy beyond compare.
And the day turned into three.
Morning found me in a garden
Where the gentle April breeze
Returned me to my knees,
Pleading for a pardon.
And I can't say when or why
I opened up my eyes
But his feet were there before me,
His hands were open o'er me,
And His face I recognized.
"Oh Lord, my Redeemer,
Thou has done so much for me!
Oh Lord, my Redeemer.
All my love I give to Thee!"

18 Dec

On Sunday morning I have a talk at Church on the topic of blessings.  In the evening the District Choir was out caroling at the Sunway Putra Mall in Kuala Lumpur and their performance was shared in facebook below:

Click the comments icon above to read some contents of the talk I gave in the morning which is reproduced below with a recent facebook feature of allowing comments to be embedded as shared below :

(To read any of the comments posted below fully just like viewing any photo attached more fully,  click on the blue facebook icon found on the top right of each comment box below.)

Christmas in Singapore

Before leaving Kuala Lumpur for Singapore, I changed my facebook profile photo to the one below. I am blessed to enjoy the best of both worlds so close together but so different.

On Christmas Eve, I changed my facebook profile photo to this one :

Of course we were missing Elder Chong who is on mission in London with a cool sweater on for winter over there!

25 Dec

On Christmas day, we were invited to a nice dinner by Sis Pamela Nonis with the Grant family, an old neighbor of ours, who are all members of the Church that we attended just for one hour service in the morning.

Eating Strawberry Cheese cake and Pumpkin pie for dessert made it an unforgettable reunion with these old friends in Singapore that our family have come to know well over the years there.

Going back on memory lane in Jan 2014 Chinese New Year, when Mom was alive, we were in Pamela's home...

...and we had the Grants in our home with only the 1st child Desmond at that time.

After dinner, we rushed home to have a special treat to have a 'Hang Out' session with Elder Chong and the rest of the family members :

See or hear how the Chong family members chat online in a summarized video below :

It's not easy for all of us to get together often so we made it last summer in the US to have a good time until we went our separate ways again, especially with Shuan being away on a mission where we can get online with him only on Christmas day and Mother's day in May!

26 Dec

Boxing Day

Always nice to get together yearly with Mom's family side of siblings, nephews and nieces. Through marriage the family has attracted Malaysians and even an American Chinese to live in Singapore.

29 Dec

David Archuleta

In a month that caused me to have tear filled eyes on several occasions, it had to happen again! Play the video of David Archuleta and read the lyrics below to know or feel why :

[Verse 1:]
There are times when
You might feel aimless
And can't see the places
Where you belong
But you will find that
There is a purpose
It's been there within you
All along
And when you're near it
You can almost hear it

It's like a symphony
Just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start
To figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece
And there are melodies
In each one of us
Oohhh it's glorious

[Verse 2:]
And you will know how
To let it ring out
As you discover
Who you are
Others around you
Will start to wake up
To the sounds that are
In their hearts
It's so amazing
What we're all creating

It's like a symphony
Just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start
To figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece
And there are melodies
In each one of us
Oohhh it's glorious

And as you feel
The notes build
You will see

It's like a symphony
Just keep listening
And pretty soon you'll start
To figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece
And there are melodies
In each one of us
Oohhh it's glorious

I am glad I figured out my part a long time ago. I have been enjoying the melodies of many individuals and it has been glorious indeed!

As I had missed the Meet the Mormon movie of 2015 when I had to travel to Malaysia when it was showing in Singapore I decided to watch that version below as the latest of 2016 is not available on youtube yet. I don't normally have much time to enjoy a movie especially when I am by myself. I am glad I did for a good closure for the year.

It might be the older version but it doesn't stop me being teary eyed again! Touched by the experiences and services done by some of the real life people portrayed in the documentary video!

To be continued till end of December 2016 after which a new post will usher in the New Year of 2017!

Scroll up this long post to have a bird's eye view of the people in events that happened just this month of December alone who have touched me deeply with the melodies of their lives that I could feel and capture!

Eve of 2017

Just before midnite to the eve, I made this post on facebook as I was cleaning up in the kitchen :

You can click the comments icon above to read them or see the highlights below that relates to this Never Ending Christmas Story of Dec 2016 and click on the blue facebook icon to read the full comment.

Yes I definitely have got a goal or new year's resolution for 2017 already besides others in my mind!
It is expedient to note here that New Year's Eve and Day has always been a special day for me before I was baptized in our Church in July 1979 . Of course Christmas did later became more significant for me and my family when we lived what I had described as a M&M culture.

Personally a New Year's day marks the beginning of another year of life which I have considered more important than my birthday as it is like another new lease of life given to all of us to try to do better the following year. I used to take a lot of time in the year end to make sure I get a written mail or newsletter sent out to all my friends and family members especially those who are far away whom I don't often meet. Today within just a short moment on the eve of 2017, I only need to put out a post on facebook to wish everyone Happy New Year on facebook. There are just a few older or conservative folks who do not use the popular facebook media and to them I will send emails to them.

As one who keeps good online journals with photos and videos, it makes it easy for me to share them through my latest 'Familylane Photolinks.' They contain photos, videos and written stories that are easy references for me and my family members to keep track of our yearly family activities which have gone by. Well written history with good indexes or links to topics in logical and chronological order will be more useful and valuable through time I felt than random posts made to the facebook timeline. I am blessed to be able to keep up with the times from snail mails to emails and today using social media technology to easily connect our Hearts and Minds together at least once a year in the most effective and meaningful way.

At this point of writing, here is my post that will be going out on facebook soon!

CLICK HERE to access the different online photos which when you click a photo will link you to stories, photos and videos of the relevant event portrayed by the photo that happened to me or my family members and friends in the year that was 2016!