top of page
  • Writer's pictureSean Foley

Two Wonderful Worlds Collide: Family visits the Mission!

A great leader of mine at the Fed would talk about the myth of balance, specifically work-life balance. She felt the word balance makes us think of see-saws, plates spinning on fingers, or other such things that are not sustainable over the long haul. She suggested

the word integration instead to reference how we have to carefully, intentionally, and flexibly meet all our responsibilities. (To which list I would add prayerfully!)

On Thursday the 16th our son Brock, daughter-in-law Emily, and four beautiful grandchildren hit the ground in Singapore. Life has been a wonderful whirlwind of integration ever since. We are so grateful for their sacrifice of time, energy, and money to trek across the world to visit us, and we have had an amazing time so far! It reminds me a lot of special trips a generation ago when Vivian and I took Brock and his siblings to visit my parents as they served missions in Mexico (2009) and Canada (2011).

Those were amazing experiences of seeing my parents in action as missionaries: Visitors Center in Mexico and Office in Canada. We also loved seeing new people and cultures and fifteen years late we have very fond memories.

Now flash forward to 2024. There is so much that we could share from this trip with Brock's family. I'll spare an in-depth travelogue and try to narrow down to a few highlights of events and pictures!

TOUCHDOWN After a busy day at the office we took the bus out to the airport, had dinner, and then welcomed our exhausted travelers.

  1. Tracking the flight.

  2. First sighting

  3. All together again!

POOL We have had many great swims with all or some of us. Sadly Grandma missed the first big swim while in the apartment meeting with many missionaries via Zoom, but she has been able to juggle her schedule since to go other times.

FOOD: There has been so much good food including nasi lemak, prata, briyani, bibimbap, dumplings, Arab dishes, crookies, and even some Malaysian McDonalds

  1. Restaurant in Langkawi

  2. Newton Hawker Center - right by our office and made famous in Crazy Rich Asians

  3. Din Tai Fung - our very favorite dumplings

  4. Sushi

  5. Little India

  6. Fluff Stack Pancakes

TRAVEL: Many, many trains and buses, including a tour through downtown Singapore from the top of a double decker bus...ending at the Singapore temple site!

  1. One of many crowded train rides.

  2. Double decker buses are the best.

  3. At the temple site!

CHURCH: Sunday we spent at the church and office (conveniently in the same building). As we have noted Vivian and I attend a Young Single Adult Ward...even though we're neither young nor single. But we now have good counter balance: the grandchildren are both young and single but not adults, while their parents are young and adults, but not single. So I think we have the whole gamut covered!

I also did missionary apartment inspections with Brock, Hugh, and Olive. It was really nice having them along with me as we checked out six apartments all over Singapore.

Right before the family arrived I taught my second week of Institute and was very grateful that our new Area Seventy Elder Kwan joined us and took a few minutes to share his experiences from his first month. As we are studying the New Testament and spreading of Christianity to the world, it was powerful to hear his testimony.

  1. Hugh checking out the wall in the mission office

  2. Olive and Hugh were big helps unloading a ton of supplies that we received.

  3. Hugh and Olive on the apartment inspection circuit.

CHALLENGES: Finally, to close out this week's post, a couple of interesting challenges.

  1. At our AirBNB in Langkawi (more next week) they asked us to leave our shoes outside. They didn't mention the dog or monkey that likes to chew up shoes and shoelaces.

  2. One night the door handle to Brock and Emily's room completely broke. After passing the three older children out of the window above the door and putting them to bed, Brock spent over an hour before successfully getting the door open!

  3. Our trip to the temple was delightful, but when we arrived we found brand new padlocks on the gate. We weren't too sad though - it means that we are getting closer to the temple starting construction!

WHEW! There is so much more I can't possibly share it all. More to come next week! But here are some other pics...

  1. Lovebirds on the top of Langkawi cable car

  2. Vivian flower pic

  3. Monkeys everywhere

  4. Oh come on Malaysia - you can't just create new dimensions!

  5. Your Asia Area Mental Health Advisor between some counseling sessions with on Langkawi

  6. Lovebirds in Botanic Gardens

  7. Brock and Emily's family swimming (picture taken from our paddle boat).

  8. Getting ready to fly home. Brock is waving to the paparazzi!

  9. We spent a great morning at the Singapore National Museum

  10. Finally made it to the Jewel at Singapore Airport

  11. Lovebirds at the temple

  12. Grandpa and baby on the beach

85 views4 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Jun 07

"Integration" vs. "Balance" - an interesting alternative view. You guys are exceptionally good at capturing and sharing fun memories. Thanks for taking the time to do that!

Sean Foley
Sean Foley
Jun 12
Replying to

Wording does make a difference - it's been a good way for me to think about it.


Rebecca Morgan
Rebecca Morgan
May 25

I’m so glad you all have had such a good time together. We were in Butte, Montana last week for a stake conference and met with prospective senior missionaries. I got emotional when I told them how grateful I was that our grandkids have grandparents who are serving. What a legacy this will leave! ❤️

Sean Foley
Sean Foley
May 26
Replying to

That’s really great that you are out inviting others! All those invitations extended over the years certainly had an effect on us, including when we were part of the extending! 😀. We are doing our best here to give the grandchildren a taste of that missionary experience.

bottom of page