In his email following the first full week he has spent in Hong Kong Kyle tell us a little about the atmosphere of the city and how they go about getting investigators to teach. It is very different than I would have imagined.
Well Hello Everybody!
I hope everyone is doing good and had a good week – or is having a good week! My weeks end and begin with Thursday now that Thursday is my P-day so that’s why I say that but, well, you get the point. To answer your questions for the week I’m not exactly sure where my apartment building is but I’ll give you some details so you can look it up on Google Earth. So the Kwun Tong Chapel (that’s the area I live in) is super close to us. So if you look up the Kwun Tong chapel (it is white and is two stories a short spiral type thing too) and you walk up that street it is on for 30 seconds then that’s where I live. I don’t know how to explain it but I live close to where the old airport is so you if that gives you anymore help then good! (I tried to find it on Google Earth but couldn’t locate it right away so I though I would post this first and then continue to look. If I find something I will add a link or at least a couple of pictures.)
I live on a street that has like 10 body shops for cars – which brings me to this. I am convinced that in Hong Kong they only allow 4 types of cars in here. They are 1) Public Transportation Vehicles – everywhere you look (along with huge buildings everywhere, and I mean everywhere) there are double decker buses, taxis, and mini buses. I ride mini buses a lot and double decker buses too but a lot of mini buses so look them up.
Hong Kong Minibuses
2) (Garbage) dumpsters – they have so many and I don’t know why but they are everywhere!!! (Probably because there are so many people crowded into such a small space and their garbage has to go somewhere!) 3) Hondas- I’m having doubts if they are Japanese or Chinese cars because they are everywhere as well!! Especially vans! They have huge vans here and stuff but Hondas nonetheless. And then, finally 4) Super nice cars – you can’t walk down two consecutive streets and not see like a nice BMW or even like a Ferrari. I have even seen a Bugatti. (Ettore Bugatti was a French car manufacturer whose company stopped making high-end cars in the 1950s after he died in 1947. In the 1990’s an Italian entrepreneur revived the company as a manufacturer of exclusive sports cars. Today the name “Bugatti” is owned by Volkswagen.) Total Top Gear cars! (Top Gear is a television show on BBC America that features cars, racing, and a bunch of cool guys that talk with British accents.) They are everywhere! It sucks because we don’t use the MTR (Mass Transit Railway used in Hong Kong) in TKO but I’ll have plenty and plenty of chances to do that.
People are always out on the streets in Hong Kong, especially in like the markets, which smell horrible by the way. Get this, they catch the fish and some people wont kill the fish before they take it to the market…they keep it alive until the customer buys it! Talk about sushi Ha-ha! They grab the fish/crab/eel the customer wants and just slay its head with a knife, one blow. That’s some weird stuff. Get this, I saw a fish two days ago but it was cut in half – so half of its body was with the customer and half of its body was on the cutting board and….it was still breathing!!! The gill part or whatever was still going up and down. Disgusting.
The life of a missionary (well at least this missionary) is a hungry one! I am always hungry for some reason! You don’t have the money to buy snacks and stuff like that. All of your the money goes to noodles and soup and stuff which doesn’t really fill you up that well. So whenever you can send a package, a box of food would be like an early Christmas present only better by times the number of people in Hong Kong. (There are seven million people in Hong Kong in an area of 426 square miles making it one of the most densely populated areas of the world.)
So in TKO we don’t go out contacting a lot, we have so many classes that investigators come to instead. Right now we have English class- one for adults, one for kids and Eefy for youth. All of them are fun and we get good turnouts every time! There is another Eefy next week and we want teenagers to come so we’ve been out finding lots of them. Elder Broderick and I played soccer with a bunch of teenagers in the streets just so we could talk to them about Eefy. We got their numbers and stuff so it worked! That was really fun and they sounded excited to go so…who knows! We’ll see come Monday! But besides that we have an accounting class, math class, games night and games day, and all of them get good turnouts! We can usually teach two lessons during that time span and maybe like 1 other one during the day so I’m very busy. We never go to their houses though; all lessons are either on the street if we just contacted them, or mainly at the churches! But our biggest turnout this week was surprisingly at a haircutting class! I know it’s crazy, I guess it’s a country that likes hair. The class is taught by this guy who has the weirdest haircut ever…but the people love him! I took a picture because it was too funny. A member yesterday (it meets two times a week) brought him a microphone belt even so everyone in the class could hear him. It’s hilarious. You definitely have to plan activities in Hong Kong to get new investigators and then have the investigators meet the members.
Two of our investigators are named Jason and Anson. They love speaking and practicing English with us so that’s fun. They have a baptismal date for the end of next month so we’ll see how everything goes down! They saw us eating McDonalds one day and said, “In the Book of Mormon it says you can’t eat fast food” Ha-ha! It’s just something that they heard so that’s pretty funny! Once they found out we could eat McDonalds they were just so confused! We have 3 more people with baptismal dates coming up so we’ll see what goes down with everyone. The big thing for everyone is going to church because everyone here is well…too lazy to go to church…so that’s the main struggle here in TKO. Out of our pool of investigators, only like one or two will come to church so we have to work on that! A lot of the people we teach are young people because the old people are too anti-Mormon and when you say “hi” just passing them on the street, 85 percent of the time the old people wont even say “hi” back. It’s sad but they won’t even say “hi”!
We went to the Wan Chai building for the first time on Monday for a zone meeting and that is such a nice place. It’s so cool and it’s only like 5 minutes walking from the harbor so you can actually see the harbor. It’s a beautiful place! That’s really the first time since I have been here that I have seen the skyline but even then I didn’t get to see the full thing! I’m taking pictures so hopefully you’ll have some soon! I’m reading a lot of stuff everyday just to like keep me busy!
Happy Birthday Katie by the way! I hope you have a good day!
Okay well there is a weird smell in here now and it’s time to leave. That’s a bad thing here there are A LOT of weird smells. Not as much in TKO but Kwan Tong…yes! The weather here really isn’t all that bad! You use it as motivation to teach lessons because when you teach lessons you are in the air conditioning. But really it’s not that bad to be honest! I love you all, I know the Savior wants desperately for us to be happy everyday and if you pray he can bless you with things so simple like a good day! All you got to do is ask! Thanks for everything you’ve done for me and I’ll talk to you next week!
P.S. People can actually understand me when I talk and stuff, except for on the phone for some reason, but hearing them…let’s just say I’m thankful Elder Broderick is around because right now your guess is as good as mine as to what they are saying! And thanks for the news updates! The other elders I live with were shocked to hear about Penn State and how Joe Pa died already.