These pictures came along with Kyle’s email this last week! Hope you enjoy!
These pictures came along with Kyle’s email this last week! Hope you enjoy!
This week Kyle got to experience something that some missionaries work an entire two years to get and never do. You can understand why when you read about how much it means to him.
Hello There Everybody!
Today is an especially good day! My baby move is almost over and I can’t believe that! (According to my son-in-law Chris, a “baby move” has to do with the first area that a missionary serves in. Apparently transfers are coming up.) Everyone always says that the first transfers feel so long and pretty soon you’ll be talking about transfers like they were days! Well a week from now seems like a day! And it brightens your day when you’ve been thinking about how ASU did against an actual opponent just to find that they beat them 45-14! (ASU beat Illinois!) That’s so crazy! Taylor Kelly Idaho Gatorade Player of the Year is the man! Ha-ha! I was working it out in my mind. I figure the game and my baptism ended probably within a half an hour or even less of each other!
Speaking of which, yep we had a baptism on Saturday. His name is A-Ching Lau and he is the coolest person! The gospel really did change his life in ways that I can’t describe. Ever since I arrived here until now his countenance and attitude towards people in general has become so much better! So here’s the story about how Sunday went. Baptisms in Hong Kong are always right after church on Sunday just so people in the ward remember them and they have as much support as possible. Anyway, he (the investigator) showed up to church on Sunday and his whole family was with him!!! They are very supportive of him and I heard that a big reason he got baptized is because his parents encouraged it so much! So he shows up to church in his biking clothes (this kid LOVES biking, he has like 3 or 4 bikes and spends all his money on them) and we didn’t want him to have to wear that on a day like this. Luckily Elder Broderick and I thought about clothes being an issue before and so we had new clothes we gave to him! Ha-ha! So A-Ching’s only church shirt is from a nice Men’s Wearhouse store in Arizona!
He and his family were so happy and so excited it was easy to tell that even stuff like church pants and a tie is a big luxury to them, one that they can’t afford. (Here’s the deal Kyle. You keep giving away shirts and baptizing people from Hong Kong and I will keep sending you new shirts!) Unfortunately though we didn’t have any shoes for him so he wore Crocs all day. He loves his Crocs! But he seemed to just feel better and talk more than I have ever seen him before! Anyway…the baptism rolls around and we start an hour late because ha-ha, oh get this…he wouldn’t wear the jumpsuit thing to get baptized. He didn’t want everyone to see him in it and we didn’t have any white pants for him to wear so we were trying to convince him to just put on the suit for 5 minutes but he wouldn’t have it and he was serious. So finally Elder Broderick thought of the idea of trading him and so that’s what they did! He wore the shirt, tie and white pants and Elder Broderick wore the jumpsuit! During it he didn’t know he could get right back up after he dunked him so he was just under water for a good 7 or 8 seconds. Ha-ha! Elder Broderick was trying to get him up but he couldn’t! It was hilarious. It so incredible to see the change in his life already. We taught his brother a couple times already and just yesterday he brought his sister to English class so we are going to start teaching her on Sunday at church! Hopefully the whole family will come! And we’re teaching another family right now too! A lot of emphasis here on families now a days!
But it was just so cool to be a factor in someone coming unto Christ. It was just joy I felt (even though I didn’t know if ASU was winning or not!) It’s a big motivator to just keep on going. Keep on walking hills that go up both ways, walking in the hot humidity where the day’s temperature only fluctuates maybe 10 degrees, and getting chased by dogs. That actually happened this week! I was on splits with a Mandarin missionary and we were finding investigators and this dog was growling at us and then it started following us and then it started running at us and I was so scared. I hate big dogs…but all of the sudden it just stopped running and growling and barking and just went the other way…its a good thing too, I didn’t want to have to go Jack Bauer on him…
What else is new…I ate three new weird things this week. Pizza Hut is one of them. I know that sounds weird but the pizza is made with 1000 Island dressing not tomato pizza sauce. The toppings included a whole bunch of different seafood especially squid! Ha-ha! What a joy that was to eat with our member who was paying for us. Then he ordered us soup. And what did this soup have in it? Octopus! Yes world, this man who can’t seafood at all and hates to have to think about eating any kind of fish, ate octopus this week. Tentacles, head, everything was included. They were small but an octopus is an octopus. Pizza Hut is….different here. You can’t even get pepperonis!
The Peak was so cool! (Read “You Ate Whaattt?!?” on the blog for more information on The Peak and pictures of his trip.) I took pictures for you to look at I hope enjoy them! The peak is actually like a mall! I’ll send my camera card home soon! If you have any questions about who they are just ask me! And to answer your questions this week…all I know about Disneyland here is that the MTR has a stop there, its small but on a really nice and rich part of Hong Kong and they have a new ride opening that looks Thunder Mountain! I forget what it’s called though….I’m sure it will be easy to look up. (The new Thunder Mountain type ride at Disneyland Hong Kong is called “Grizzly Gulch.” I can’t wait to ride it!) Disneyland in Chinese is DikSihLeih. What’s funny is the Sih character is also used in the word for missionaries and Leih is the same character in LeihFei which is how you pronounce Nephi! (I knew Disneyland was a spiritual experience!) Ha-ha so there it is I love you all! Go Devils! This will be a big test to see if we really are a team that can compete! Congratulations to Utah! How bad will U of A lose this week? I can see them being very prideful right now. (They beat Oklahoma State that week and ended up in the top 25 AP College football poll) Pride cycle people. Pride cycle.
So when your son gets called on a mission to a place like Hong Kong, China you have to figure he is going to eat some “interesting” stuff. But Kyle’s emails and letters so far have talked mostly about noodles, soup and McDonald’s and all of that sounded pretty good to me. This week though he has started sampling some of the local cuisine. The Kyle I know wouldn’t stay in the same room with a fish taco from Rubio’s before he left and now he is eating….? I hope I recognize him when he gets home!
I’m so happy today for a number of reasons!! Oh and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNA!!!
1) The Devils won 63 to 6?! No way what does Doug Haller (Doug Haller is a reporter who covers Arizona State and the PAC-12 for AzCentral Sports.) have to say about that? Better yet just skip him and go to the college football generallismo Ted Miller (Ted Miller writes a blog for ESPN covering the PAC-12 and ASU) what does he have to say?! First off, I totally forgot that the game was on Friday so when I realized it wasn’t while I was at church I lost a little hope and the whole week I was dreading the result. Oh no! What if they lost? I wouldn’t come home. No way. Then when I saw that I didn’t have any emails about the game in my inbox today I was super worried. But I am kinda writing this a little early cause we’re going to the peak finally! (I think Kyle is referring to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong which is known to the locals as “The Peak.” It is on the western half of Hong Kong Island and is approximately 1,800 feet high. It is not the highest peak in all of HK however, that honor goes to Tai Mo Shan. ) Here are some pictures he sent home from his trip.
What a way to celebrate my…
2) 1 month anniversary out of the MTC!!! That’s crazy! I’ve done so much this month – especially this week! I think this was a big week for showing me what missionary work is really going to be like! Now that summer has ended for the HK schools and all the kids have gone back (in the most ridiculous uniforms let me tell you) we’ve done the most finding of investigators to date. I just have to get over the fear of talking to random people and we’ll probably find even more. All the time they are just amazed that a whitey is trying to speak their language. And get this everyone, guess what this man ate this week! From a sketchy place I’ve had two things that I would normally never ever try! I had shark fin soup! There are like actual pieces of crumbled up shark fin in there…..so sketchy but I had it! And it wasn’t poser shark fin…well actually you never know here… but I’m thinking it was the real thing! Next, I had a thing called turtle soup which is so disgusting. It’s this Jello-like thing and it doesnt have turtle in it but it is so gross. It is supposed to clean your body out and make your body temperature go down. So disgusting but once again I ate it. The Chinese have such weird medicines! Whatever happened to like alphabet or chicken noodle soup! Is that not cool enough? And lastly I tried this thing from McDonalds called seaweed flavoring for your fries. All I’m going to say about that is that seaweed, not matter what you put it with is gross…Here is a picture of something Kyle ate but I’m not sure what it is. From his description it looks like it could be turtle soup but I’m not sure. Pass the chicken noodle.
Let’s see nothing else that is really new this week. Oh we were walking home from the church last night and they were having a political debate on the soccer fields and it was so crazy! Just walking by it you can tell the Chinese love their political debates! Everyone was just sceaming and yelling and when one candidate got louder the other candidates got louder and louder! And their supporters were just going crazy! And then we got home and there is a soccer field right by where we live (there are soccer fields everywhere!) and they were having this huge Old Chinese festival and all the people had these authentic mid-civilization beards and mustaches! I took pictures but that was such a random night! The Chinese can grow some wicked facial hair.
Well I guess I’m out of time for this week! It’s a short letter I know but oh well I’ll do better next week! Oh and get this. This is something America should do. In China they do their fast offerings at church! They just do it right there. I think its a golden idea. Get that going over there! And do I remind any of you of Prince Harry?? One of our investigators thinks I look exactly like him so he buys me Caesar salads and ice cream (which is not cheap) all the time.
It’s the weirdest thing….ha-ha I don’t quite get him. He’s an eternal investigator but get this! After years and years he finally has a baptismal date and is coming to church! He just has to keep on coming! Well that’s it for this week! If everything goes well right during the game on Saturday (ASU v. Illinois) I’m going to be at my first baptism!! So that’s cool if everything goes as planned! I know the Lord is leading the work and he’s answering prayers daily! It’s amazing the changes people make in their lives from one visit to the next! I love you all and am thankful for your support! I dont know what it would be like to have a family who isn’t supportive but I dont even want to think about it! Love you all! Go Devils!
P.S. I got my ID card last week and I got my full name! Its Au Yeuhng Yaht Fei. Yaht means either quick or leisurely and fei is flight so my name means “leisurely flight.” Kinda cool!
In this week’s email Kyle mentions that he has been out for 100 days now and that if his mission were a week he would be finished with Monday. I’m not sure I like that analogy but I am sure I like his upbeat attitude and his desire to do whatever it takes to be a good missionary. Here is his letter
Hey everyone it’s the man that’s 7,555 miles away and 8,000 times as sad as anyone else who can’t be at the ASU game on Saturday!! It really doesn’t set well with me at all! I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself until December!! Maybe preach the gospel? … But oh well, I’ll just have to forget about it…until Thursdays roll around! The tailgate party sounds like it’s getting bigger and bigger! (Our family has a tradition throwing a tailgate party before every home game. Sometimes we convince enough people to come that the attendance is pretty good!) It’s probably going to be as big as…well how many people are going to be at the game?!!?! Ha-ha! No I think it will be an okay turnout!!! My prediction Devils 41…Lumberjacks 13…. I think the generalissimo will keep this a close one….relatively… but I worked it out in my head. While the game is going on I’ll be at church so I guess that’s the best place to be at a time like that!! Also dad is doing something in the press box? That’s cool what is he doing? (Mark worked as the press box announcer for the NAU game.)
Sorry if I can’t respond to your emails everybody and if I do they are going to be short. I’m sorry about that! I wish I could at least print them off or something but we write from like this little corner store that’s really a grocery store so the chances of me being able to write back are shot. I’ll try to keep this one short so I can try to write back to the individual emails but I’m really sorry! And not much happened this week so I think I’ll have some time! Today we got to go to the temple for the first time since being here! Oh and by the way today is my 100th day as a missionary! If my mission were a week I’d be done with Monday! I guess going to the temple is what I got to do to celebrate! No better place right? But just thinking about where I was to where I am now is crazy! And just thinking about where I’ll be in the next 100 days is really incredible!
I’m reading so many different things right now and I like them all! Of course the Book of Mormon is the biggest one…let’s face it I wasn’t the most ehhh…effective Book of Mormon reader before I left but now it really does just set you up for the day. A lot of people are just too lazy to read it and they just don’t know how a daily schedule will change your life! You’ll just have that energy to go and do normal things throughout the day and the strength to do things like resist anti-Mormon stuff. (A guy just gave me some of that stuff for the first time this week. It was so sad since he was going to get baptized in three Sundays.) Just make reading the Book of Mormon who you are and you won’t go wrong. And there’s the whole thing about being able to speak a language (well sort of) that I never would have dreamed of speaking in my life (probably because until January I didn’t know it existed). Being a white guy here has its advantages. People come up to me everyday because I’m just so weird and when they find out I speak their own language they are amazed and then I tell them why! It’s a great conversation starter!
Anyway besides that fact nothing much is happening that’s new in the Po Lam/TKO area. We have a baptism scheduled in two Sundays and he is bringing his brother to lessons now so we’ll see how that goes! Faith/Obedience really is the biggest thing around these parts and let me tell you it’s hard! It’s hard having the faith to know that these people I’m teaching will keep their commitments – but I’m working on it! That really is the biggest shock to me of being in “the real world.” The culture is weird the food is different but the biggest thing about my life that I have to change is just getting the faith for these people. Don’t get me wrong I have faith but its just crazy how much you have to have!
Anyway that’s it for the week! Oh did I ever tell you I have a double name tag??? So I don’t just have a Chinese writing name tag but I have English writing on one side in seriously bubbly letters and it says Elder Allen on it and then on the other side it is all Chinese! It’s so cool!!!! We went to Wan Chai again at night for a stake conference! This city’s skyline at night is just so amazing! I can’t believe I have 2 years here! It’s so crazy all the lighting and stuff! And how quiet the Wan Chai chapel is! Look that up on Google Earth and see what buildings are around it and you’ll see what I’m talking about! And coming home I saw a 4 or 5 story Forever 21. (Kyle’s sisters’ favorite store.) It was huge! I thought I’d just tell you all what you’re missing out on!
I love you all so much! The Lord does guide us if we want his help! I’m so happy to be here even if it means I sin by missing the Devils’ games!!! Cheer hard for me!!