Receiving the blessings of the Hong Kong China Temple was the reward for 14 months of preparation by 13 members of the Kandy Branch, Colombo Sri Lanka District. They prepared for their first trip to the temple by attending a temple preparation class, committing to keep the commandments more fully, sacrificing by saving rupees for the trip, and paying a full tithing.

After completing the prerequisites to obtaining their first temple recommends from Singapore Mission President Gary Larkins, withstanding the trials of obtaining passports, and receiving approval from the Asia Area Presidency, the group traveled to Hong Kong for the week Nov. 21-28, 2005.

It was an indescribable experience, they said. Each day was exhausting but so humbling and fulfilling. It is hard to put into words the joy felt as these members traveled more than 2,500 miles, experiencing their first (for the most part) airplane ride, arriving at the Hong Kong airport and riding an escalator, riding in a double-decker bus through the huge city full of enormous buildings all lit up at night, arriving and seeing the gorgeous temple, and then fulfilling their dream to enter the temple the next morning. The days were packed full of learning for them.

There were no words to describe the feeling as each one entered the celestial room for the first time. Afterward, the Jinasena and Sandia Molagoda and the Sunil and Shirani Jayasinghe families were sealed. Tears were shed as the Molagoda's daughter, Lankani, 17, entered the room and knelt with her family; and likewise, as the three small Jayasinghe children, Milinda, 11, Nashadi, 8, and Prasadi, 3, knelt and the sealing was performed.

This Jayasinghe family couldn't understand the actual sealing because it was in English, but the spirit made up for it, which was often the case throughout the week. After a lunch provided by the temple workers, everyone except the three little children participated in or witnessed baptisms performed for their ancestors.

The following days were full of opportunities to do initiatory work, baptisms and confirmations, endowments and sealings for their ancestors and also many Chinese. Lankani alone did 347 baptisms in two days. The group did 47 endowments and 16 sealings for their ancestors, besides their own. Each day their testimonies were strengthened, their love for the gospel increased, and their lives were changed forever. — Sister Jackie Taylor, Caldwell 6th Ward, Caldwell Idaho Stake