Elder Kyle M. Allen in Hong Kong

Read all about Elder Allen's adventures as a full time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints in Hong Kong

Culture Shock

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In Elder Kyle’s latest email says he learned a few things about the Chinese culture this past week – the hard way of course!  If he hasn’t offended too many people he is doing great!

This is so crazy! I was totally thinking about it but I didn’t realize that football starts in like two weeks!!! (ASU football of course!  Their first game is Thursday, August 30.)  And who would’ve guessed that Taylor Kelly would be the starting quarterback! I wonder how that’s all going to work out! I wonder if the generalissimo CTG will have patience with him?  The whole idea of playing two quarterbacks never works out, I don’t get why CTG is doing it but knowing him, he’ll make it come into style. That’s crazy! It’s sad actually, to know I won’t be there and won’t even know the score until like half a week after it happens! Oh well…what are you going to do about it??

 Everyday here something just new happens its crazy! You always meet different people, there are different things going on in the street everyday or even at church activities you never know how many people show up! Like Tuesday at Eefy this week we had like 5 investigators show up but on Monday we didn’t have any! It’s just always random! And the haircutting class is just amazing. They get more advanced every time and we had 6 or 7 investigators show up on Saturday!  And everything just always moves fast! Especially in Kwun Tong. It takes probably like 15 minutes for me everyday to get from Kwun Tong to TKO by minibus and the bus never slows down! Ha-ha!  The other thing I should mention is that everything is different everyday! I’m sure it won’t always be like that you know, but for the time being, the only three things that are constant here are that 1) people in the gaisihs (markets) will always be selling live fish, crabs, and these fish that look like they could be eels. They even had just the chopped up heads of the big fish for sale, who knows why…2) the entire place will always smell like fish. I’ve gotten so good at being able to hold my breath and breathe through my tie. The street is so long and there are people everywhere just gazing around…they obviously don’t know the pain I’m in! Ha-ha!  3) the food will never be great. Here you have three basic options; the markets for a rice bowl, eat at the house, or go to McDonald’s!! Ha-ha!  Instead of a 1-dollar menu they have an 8-dollar menu!  They don’t have Hot and Spicy chicken sandwiches though…. what a shame!  We really have had only one variation to the eating schedule. We went to a Korean barbecue buffet place where you cook your own food at the table! The Korean know how to put on a good barbecue.  We also eat these snacks called Gaak Jai Bengs a lot. They are waffles folded up like a taco with peanut butter syrup and sugar and stuff. It’s about the only thing you can get cheap here that’s sweet. Ha-ha! They are so good though!

 Speaking of McDonald’s I learned some culture there this week. Even at a fast food place it is improper and impolite to throw away your food! When you’re done, just like a restaurant, you just leave! I threw it way once and the member that was with us like said that you’re taking away their duty and so they don’t like it! Who would’ve thought!!!  Want some more culture that I learned (the hard way of course) this week? Well good cause I’m giving it to you.  It happened to me at church.  On Sunday out of nowhere I was asked to bear my testimony because we had extra time at the end…. Oh great!  It takes me a while to come up with the things I want to say in my testimony but on Sunday I didn’t have any time to think, plus the nervousness and everything… Ha-ha!  It just all added up. But I did okay I guess! Elder Broderick just told me to say, “I’m happy to be in this ward” and they’ll love you no matter what else you say. So I did and when the meeting ended people were coming up to me saying I did a good job and that my Cantonese is good or whatever (but it’s really not even close they are just really nice people) and of course I was saying thank you and that’s when I learned my lesson. Elder Broderick told me that whenever someone gives you a compliment you always turn it down and never say thank you! I’m thinking it must mean you sound cocky maybe? Who knows?  Ha-ha. It also means that whenever someone offers you anything, you always have to turn it down first and say you don’t want it. Then, if they actually want you to have it they’ll offer it again and then you accept it! Ha-ha!  So that’s interesting I thought!

 We’ve been teaching quite a few lessons, which is good! We have this one investigator who’s name is Andy (they all have English names as well as Chinese names) and he is so cool! He came back from mainland not to long ago and he told us about something that happened to him while he was there.  He was absolutely lost and it was dark and he had to get home soon, so he prayed and right away he remembered which way he came and how to get back! That’s so cool! He was dropped at one point but now he has a baptismal date in like 3 or 4 weeks! And then he just comes with us in other lessons and like helps out a bunch with teaching and talking and getting to know other people. Now all he has to do is start coming to church…that’s easier said then done here….

 We have another one who’s name is Jack and he has been coming to English class for a good…like 12 years if you can believe it but he just hasn’t wanted to get baptized at all. He is such an English junkie (which isn’t rare at all!!) that he goes to the English wards here instead of the one he’s supposed to attend! He just wanders in and goes as he pleases. The whole day I was praying and hoping someone would come with us to church (even though about 5 people said they would) and no one came. But amazingly right as church ended Jack called us and said he wanted to come back to church! So he came over and luckily we had a fireside for all 6 missionaries leaving from the ward next month and he went with us to that! And then we taught him and he said he would pray about getting baptized. I know the Lord cares about us and truly does answer our prayers!

 Time is too short and this week is almost up but any other people getting their calls yet??? That would be cool to know. Oh and don’t bother sending stamps.  I got some here and American stamps probably wouldn’t work from here. Since things are cheap in Hong Kong, the cost of an international stamp is the cost of a domestic stamp in America! And I heard something about a huge typhoon that’s supposed to hit on Saturday?? That will be cool to see if it actually happens!

 I love you all and thanks for every single thing you do for me! My address is

 Elder Kyle Allen

China Hong Kong Mission

18 Dorset Crescent

Kowloon Tong, Kowloon HK


Thank you again! I feel your love 7,500 miles away! Know that I love you too and am happy and where I’m supposed to be! The heat in Arizona has definitely prepared me for the weather here! Talk to you next week!




One thought on “Culture Shock

  1. thanks for sharing kyle letters, one thing I do know its a huge culture shock the asian people have their own beleifs and its hard to change that, so it takes faith and the spirit to teach them, they do come around

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