Friday, June 9, 2017

Cousins Visiting from Shanghai!

Earlier this year, one of my Taiwanese cousins emailed me saying that our mainland China cousins were compiling family history and genealogy records for the Chao posterity (my father's family) and were distributing the information through WeChat. Within a few minutes, I was connected to well over 20 of my cousins all over China! In our weekly Chinese class, I had already started learning simplified Chinese, but the daily chats got to be overwhelming. Then one random day at the end of May, I happened to see a  notification of a personal message to me outside of the group:

Within two weeks, several of my cousins were coming to Los Angeles! I had only met one of them in the past, 小菁,  while on tours through Shanghai. I was SO excited, especially when I found out one of the cities on their itinerary was Santa Barbara! They wanted to meet us, and especially to pay their respects to Sister Chao, their 五媽媽. All of the Chao siblings (8 in total) have passed away, and are survived by only a few spouses, including Sister Chao.
Pictured below:
Three of my cousins (to the right of Sister Chao) from Shanghai flew over, one with her spouse (to the right of President) and another with her son (next to me). Ray works for a U.S. company in Shanghai. He travels to Cleveland once or twice a year so his English is excellent and he is pretty savvy in America! I could not believe he rented a car and drove the group to Las Vegas and Flagstaff! 
My brother (far left) and another cousin in Orange County (left of Sister Chao) and his wife joined our Shanghai cousins for an amazing lunch!
After dinner, we took them to Hollywood to see the TCL Chinese Theatre...
 and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They all recognized this actor:
 The Hollywood & Highland Center preparing for the release of "The Mummy":
 Starring none other than...Tom Cruise:
Of course everyone in the world knows this star!
 Appreciating the Lord's handiwork on a beautiful Sabbath morning:
 With an early hike up to Mugu Peak:
 Signing the log at the top:
 Leaving our home Monday morning to head back to Orange County:
 Stopping at Santa Monica Pier:

 And taking the opportunity to visit the Los Angeles Temple Visitor Center:
 And to learn about our Savior Jesus Christ:
 As well as the purpose of temples:
 Stopping for lunch at our favorite LA Temple hangout, Mr. Noodle:
 I have been craving Tom Kha soup ever since tasting it for the first time
at one of our RM's wedding luncheon! Sooooo good!
Visiting with my brother and sister:
 And with another cousin down south:
 Next on their plan...Griffith Park Observatory:
 The Foucault Pendulum:
 Here's the real reason to to go to the observatory...getting a pic with the Hollywood sign!
Words can not express how grateful I am to have been given the opportunity to serve a mission in Taiwan.
The experience continues to bring immeasurable blessings to our family!

1 comment:

  1. This is very cool. I'm glad you reconnected with them, and that they learned something about the Savior.