"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
September 11, 2015
Update from Shanghai
by Jeff Lindsay

LDS life in the Shanghai International District of China is surprisingly fun, exciting, and vibrant. It is not at all what I expected when I made the initially frightening decision to come live in China, an officially atheist nation where religious freedom is a little different than what I'm used to in the States.

We can't proselyte among the national Chinese, nor pass out religions literature, but we are treated remarkably well and allowed to rent beautiful facilities and meet and worship freely (though our meetings are for foreign passport holders only — we don't worship with national Chinese Latter-day Saints).

We have three branches in Shanghai with lots of interesting activities. This weekend is District Conference. One part of that is important to me is the program for Young Single Adults.

We have around 100 YSAs in our district, many of whom are English teachers who come here for a few months to work in some local schools. Another big portion are students from BYU who come primarily to Nanjing University for study. My wife and I have been privileged to work with the YSAs while here in China and love their energy and faith.

This weekend we have organized tours of Shanghai and also of a neighboring ancient water town, Qibao, to provide some fun things for YSAs to do while in town for District Conference. After the adult session of conference in the late afternoon, we'll also have a dance at the LDS meeting place.

Then on Sunday, after the main session of District Conference, members in Shanghai will provide hot food for the YSAs before a special single adult devotional. Then they will disperse, most taking trains back home in places like Nanjing, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Suzhou, Hangzhou, and Ningbo.

To make coming to Shanghai for the weekend affordable for these young people, the members in the Shanghai area open up their homes to the YSAs from out of town and provide a place on Friday and Saturday nights.

Having YSAs stay with us frequently has been one of the really fun parts of our life in Shanghai. We love it when we can show them around town a bit, take them to dinner or cook a meal for them and listen to their stories.

In addition to District Conference events, we recently had a lot of fun being chaperones and helpers at Youth Conference, working directly with the young men and women of the District at an outing on Sun Island in the middle of the Huangpu River, a beautiful resort area. Lots of fun.

I feel my main contribution there was running around with sunblock to keep people coated because we had unusually good weather with unusually strong sun. Between the clouds and the particulates that tend to be in the air in China, it's hard to get a tan, much less a sunburn, but this was genuine sunburn weather.

One or two YSAs applied too little sunblock and there was one case of pretty bad sunburn, I'm sad to report. But she recovered quickly — my olive oil home remedy seems to help people heal faster than average.

One of my favorite aspects of life in Shanghai is the Christmas musical we have had every year that I've been here. It's a marvelous work of collaboration between multiple faiths and local groups, with numerous choirs and musical groups coming to share songs of Christmas. Love it!

We hear so many inspiring conversion stories here and so many great talks from the local members. There's a wealth of experience and wisdom, coupled with the excitement of many recent converts and highly diverse membership. It's such an exciting time and place to be a Latter-day Saint. If you visit China, be sure to come visit us!

For more from Jeff Lindsay, see Mormanity at http://mormanity.blogspot.com and his Mormon Answers section at http://jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/.


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About Jeff Lindsay

Jeff Lindsay has been defending the Church on the Internet since 1994, when he launched his LDSFAQ website under JeffLindsay.com. He has also long been blogging about LDS matters on the blog Mormanity (mormanity.blogspot.com). Jeff is a longtime resident of Appleton, Wisconsin, who recently moved to Shanghai, China, with his wife, Kendra. He works for an Asian corporation as head of intellectual property. Jeff and Kendra are the parents of 4 boys, 3 married and the the youngest on a mission.

He is a former innovation and IP consultant, a former professor, and former Corporate Patent Strategist and Senior Research Fellow for a multinational corporation.

Jeff Lindsay, Cheryl Perkins and Mukund Karanjikar are authors of the book Conquering Innovation Fatigue (John Wiley & Sons, 2009).

Jeff has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and is a registered US patent agent. He has more than 100 granted US patents and is author of numerous publications. Jeff's hobbies include photography, amateur magic, writing, and Mandarin Chinese.

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