I have chosen to title Kyle’s first email from Hong Kong “TKO” for two reasons. First, as Kyle explains, the first area that he has been assigned to is called Tseung Kwan O or TKO for short. Tseung Kwan means “military general” in Cantonese and O means “bay” so Kyle is living in a place called “General’s Bay.” It is one of nine new towns in Hong Kong. There are approximately 370,000 people living in TKO. The second is because of the first thing I think when I hear “TKO” and that is a “technical knockout” in boxing. This email makes me feel like Kyle is really “knocking out” this mission thing and doing amazingly well. See if you think the same thing.
Good morning everyone! I think it’s about 4 in the morning there so saying josahn actually applies this time! (Actually it was around 11:30 p.m. when this email arrived in our email accounts so Kyle is going to have to learn a little more about the time difference. Hong Kong time is 15 hours ahead of us in the Arizona time zone.) Well, I’m in Hong Kong!!! I can’t believe that it’s finally here and to be honest it doesn’t seem too bad and too crazy but more on that later. Lets go first on how I got here…
Well I loved being able to talk to everyone! I wish I could’ve talked longer but heck you take as much as you can get. (As I wrote in an earlier post, Kyle called from both the Salt Lake City Airport and LAX in Los Angeles, California on his way to Hong Kong.) Oh and before I forget, my P-days are on Thursday so Wednesday for you but I’m doing it today (his email came through on Thursday night so he must have written it on Friday) because we were so busy yesterday but from now on they will be on Thursdays.
So the plane ride was long but it wasn’t too bad, I just slept a lot of the time. Funny story this HUGE Chinese family was going home after their American vacation and they saw me sitting down in the isle seat. They didn’t know I was able to understand any Chinese (and for the most part they are right) so they started debating and stuff who had to sit by the “American boy” for 16 hours. Let me tell you no one wanted to! So what did they do? They stuck the two little boys with me. So it was the two boys and then me….for 16 hours! As soon as the movies/games came on they were on that thing so fast and they never stopped. Well maybe they did a few times like when they ate and slept for a couple of hours but then they just started playing again! For 14 hours!!!! And they played this hockey game for a good five hours and every time they would lose like 48-5. That’s what I call persistence. If you aren’t good at something you just keep doing it; over and over again. They slept at the same time and they woke up exactly as the other one woke up and what did they do? They started playing immediately!! Well, enough on them, it just blew my mind. Oh and with 3 hours left or so, right as everyone was getting dinner, the boy next to me started throwing up! Needless to say I wasn’t too hungry after that…oh gosh I still remember that too vividly!
We got to Hong Kong and it was dark and everybody around you just looks at your nametag with a blank stare most of the time and they stare for a long time!!! We met President and Sister Hawks just fine and all that and then we went outside. There is seriously just a wall of humidity that hits you as you walk outside – it’s crazy. They like to keep the inside of places cold and then it really is just a wall of hot humid air that you run into once you open the door! Haha! It really is that crazy! But I mean it’s not that bad it’s just that we weren’t expecting it that’s for sure. And since the other guys are from places and weather like Utah and California it is ten times worse for them than it is for me. Haha! We went back to the temple where President and Sister Hawks live and had dessert and talked and stuff like that. Then we went across the street to the chapel you know the one? It’s actually the mission home and stuff but it’s dedicated as part of the temple so I got to sleep in the temple for 2 days! What an experience that was by itself. We lived in patron housing which means if you’re traveling to the temple you can stay there for free! The room that we lived in was half the size of Hotel Cleverly (if that’s possible) (here Kyle is referring to a VERY small hotel room that all eight of us had to share while we were on vacation in London together a few years ago. It wasn’t very funny at the time but has since become one of our favorite family memories.) and there were other people already staying there! Haha! It was us 3 elders, 2 mainlanders, someone from Thailand, and one patron from Mongolia who was getting sealed, all staying in that small room. Let me tell you, Mongolians can snore soooo loud! Holy cow! It sounded like he was dying with every breath he took. I’m being serious! It was as constant as the earth’s spinning! And the Indians who were in the next room like to cook so the whole housing complex smelled like Indian food for the entire 2 days we were there. It’s actually cool thinking back on it, so many people sacrifice to go there and they come from everywhere.
Pictures of the Hong Kong, China Temple
So the next day I met my trainer!!! He is Elder Broderick from….wait for it…wait for it…Utah!! Haha! Apparently in the mission you’re basically either from Utah or from Hong Kong! The rest of us are real outsiders. He’s actually really cool and knows Chinese like perfectly and knows characters too, not all – but a lot! He is very calm but funny at the same time. He’s been out for a year now so that’s basically it! We are serving in an area called Tseung Kwan O or just TKO for short. I hear it is a really good area!!! So definitely look it up and see where it’s located! But we live in an area called like Gong Tong I think…I’m not sure actually. That’s how you say it but I don’t know how you spell it. It’s right next to TKO. I live in the biggest apartment I hear which is nice! It’s like the oldest one but its nice since its big! The only problem is all 6 of us sleep in one room! Wait till you see that picture! (The pictures Kyle is talking about have not arrived but I am including some pictures from the Internet in this post for you to see.) It’s quite the experience. The good news is we’ve already taught two lessons and you know what they say about not understanding anything the first day…that’s not completely true! I was able to understand the majority of it!! But then talking with people in general…that’s a different story! We’ve been teaching an EFY type thing this week where they teach teenagers English and stuff like an EFY in the states and it’s really cool. I’m a little surprised by all the people that know English.
Map of TKO
Picture of TKO
Well we have to go get ready for EEFY (that’s the name – English Especially for Youth) and then we have 3 people to teach today so its going to be a busy day! Goodbye this week from the city where a Big Mac meal costs 21$. Ha-ha! That’s only like $2.30 or something and that includes the drink and fries! Also I saw an H & M! We have been in malls a lot to get food and stuff so I see all of those places. This city is amazing and I can’t wait to tell you all about my first full week on my next P-day! Thank you for all that you do for me! I love you and miss you all!