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


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It’s National Day!

Well, like the letter says Happy National Day to everyone!!  The actual holiday was Monday (October 1) and it celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China! Can you think of a better reason for a celebration? I think not. It was a big celebration Sunday with Moon Autumn Festival and then Monday with National Day. EVERYONE was out on the street with their candles and their glow sticks and their blankets doing well… nothing!  Ha-ha but that’s what they do for fun here! Study, play some futbol (soccer) and talk with each other! It was really fun though I must say! And on Monday our ward had a big party where they order 10 huge bowls of assorted meats and you cook them right at your table. I’m going to be honest here…there was definitely some sketchy beyond sketchy stuff in that bowl. I had no idea what 75 percent of the stuff was that I ate but I ate it…well sort of… you can always blame the chopsticks if you don’t feel like eating something. All you have to do is “accidently” drop it and blame it on the fact that you’re a white person they all laugh and then you go on having just a grand old time!  They supposedly celebrate National Day with a huge fireworks display on the harbor!  Too bad I’m not in that area otherwise that would be the coolest thing ever! The missionaries say that Chinese fireworks just blow the figurative pants off of American fireworks.  Well there’s always next year.  As for the mooncakes – they are plentiful in our in apartment. (For a description of and recipe for mooncakes see the post “Happy Mid Autumn Days” on this blog.)  Come and get them. I’ll pay you for taking some!! The worst is when someone gives you one and then they open it for you and then want to watch you eat it! That has happened to me a few times. Can anybody say awkward?  Ha-ha speaking of which….

We went to an investigator’s house to eat and share a message this week which is all cool you know because that happens like once a week so its normal but here’s the catch – she only spoke Mandarin! (Kyle was assigned to speak Cantonese and although he hopes to learn as much Mandarin as possible, he hasn’t had much of a chance to do that yet.)  So… there were four of us missionaries in her house and we had one native speaker speaking fluent Chinese and Elder Broderick (Kyle’s companion) can speak it too. I don’t know how but he is just a Chinese master!!! Cantonese. Mandarin. It’s crazy how much he knows already…but anyway first thing she brings the food out and there is SO much food you have no idea.  At Chinese dinners there is just a big bowl of rice and then like 7 different things to choose from and you just add that them to your rice.  But she had like 11 different things to choose from and oh, my gosh.  We had to just keep eating… and eating… and eating.  I even ate duck. It wasn’t actually as bad as it could have been!!! Ha-ha!  Since I didn’t know any Mandarin the two missionaries that did just kept telling her “He wants more, he wants more” so she kept giving me more and more.  They were laughing and the investigator had no idea what was going on so I just had to keep eating cause she just kept putting food in the bowl! I think I counted 6 bowls of rice. I’ll be happy to never do that again.  (One of Kyle’s complaints since he has been in Hong Kong is that he never gets enough to eat.  Sounds like he was full this time!)

Well the work is going great! Sorry this email is short! It’s really late today and we have to get going! We ate at a buffet today (that’s a big thing to do on P-Day) for one of the AP’s birthdays so it was fun! I finished the Book of Mormon again and the Student Manual that goes along with it! Very interesting stuff!  I used to think it was just some stupid, not really useful book but I was definitely wrong! I’m almost finished with reading the D&C too so the reading just keeps on going! I don’t know why but for some reason there were a lot of anti-Mormon people that came up to us this week while we were out looking for investigators.  Sometimes that’s the best because they come up and talk to you first!  Then they don’t even know anything about the church so you have the chance to tell them about it and it’s really cool! It actually worked a couple of times this week in getting phone numbers believe it or not!!!! I just couldn’t believe it!  The Lord works in mysterious ways but I welcome every single way that gets us talking to people. Miracles happen everyday! They are just different ones from the Colombian ones!! That’s crazy about Phyl!!!!  My jaw dropped when he said they found 62 new investigators last week?!!! That’s like 3 transfers here!  Keep doing work over there!  And Cooper is already 6 months out?  Crazy!  I hit my 2 months in HK on Sunday!! And GO DEVILS!!!! They just need to keep doing work! I was definitely nervous about this one!  (The Sun Devils beat the California Bears in California this week 27-17.)

Have a good week everyone! Heavenly Father blesses each and every one of us everyday! We just have to recognize those blessings!  Have fun at the wedding! I never thought I’d see the day when Jenna gets married and it turns out I won’t! Ha-ha! It’s so crazy that she is getting married.  I’m so happy to have another brother-in-law! Some exciting things are happening in Arizona! I hope you all get my hand letters sooner rather later!!! I love you all!!!

Kyle

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Happy Mid Autumn Days

You might be wondering what the title means so I’ll tell you. In Hong Kong not a lot of holidays are that big but Mid Autumn Festival is huge! And so is National Day, which is this week too! But during the Mid Autumn Festival you just have a celebration and everybody is happy and stuff like that and people give each other desserts called mooncakes. The Hong Kong people love mooncakes! All kinds! And foreigners, well they usually don’t really care for them ha-ha…and for good reason! There are lots of different flavors of mooncake but the most common one is a mooncake with two egg yolks in the center.  They were very… interesting is maybe a good way to put it.  Ha-ha! But I mean there are also like chocolate and lemon and ice cream flavors too.  At church on Sunday we got mooncakes left and right from people! The chocolate ones are the best so far that I’ve tried and needless to say, the egg yokes were not high on the list. In fact they are at the bottom of the list… I haven’t had the ice cream flavor yet…but well, we have about 10 egg yoke moon cakes in out apartment if you want to try them come and get some!

I found these pictures of mooncakes on the Internet.  They look pretty good but I’m going to take Kyle’s word for the fact that the egg yolk ones aren’t that great.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just in case you aren’t going to be in Hong Kong anytime soon to take Kyle up on his offer of free mooncakes, here is a recipe you might want to try at home.

Speaking of which we moved! And turns out moving sucks! For how small the apartments are there is so much stuff in them it’s crazy! And it took forever to get it all done but now that it’s done I’m happy about it! This is my 4th place to sleep in 4 months of being out so I’m quickly becoming a moving expert. But like I said I don’t have to walk up and down the giant hill to get to our apartment anymore and I live in a chuyhn now like a real Hong Kong person! A chuyhn is the word they use for like apartment buildings so yep I’m living in the chuyhns now! So far it’s pretty good! Cockroaches are in abundance in the apartment but that’s not unusual. Heck if they will eat the moon cakes and then get out I’ll be happy to oblige. Our apartment is smaller and farther away from TKO but all in all it was a good move!!

So on like on Monday there were a lot of clouds in the sky but a lot of the times that doesn’t mean anything here. It might rain a little but nothing you can’t handle. But then Monday night we were walking to Family Home Evening with an investigator and all the sudden, out of nowhere, it just started pouring and pouring so hard I had never seen anything like it before! I couldn’t believe it! And so we were stuck under some umbrella thing for like 15 minutes but we had to get to family home evening so we just decided to make a run for it. By the time we got to church only like 5 minutes later I could’ve just gone swimming and nobody would have known the difference. It just poured and poured and then when FHE was done, it was still pouring and pouring. It rained and rained and rained all night it was crazy! To make a long story short, when it rains in Hong Kong, it rains. And that umbrella of yours doesn’t make a difference! Ha-ha!  (Kyle gave me a VERY hard time about making him take an umbrella with him on his mission.  It was on the list of things to bring but 19-year-old young men don’t seem to think umbrellas are very cool.) That storm will go down in my record books.

Well Go Devils! I’m glad we won this week more than ever! (This was the week that ASU beat the University of Utah 37-7)  Two out of the three elders including Elder Broderick are Utes fans. I had no clue ASU hasn’t won at Cal in 15 years! (ASU’s next opponent was the California Bears.)  It’s going to be a good game I think!!! Hopefully we go to 4-1 that would be cool! Most people were saying we wouldn’t even get over 4 wins this season! I love you all thanks for the prayers and support! I am very busy here and loving it! Being busy is a good thing when you’re away from the people and things you love! The time is just flying by!

Au Yeuhng Jeung Loeh


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My First Move

Well everybody, my heart breaks for the Sun Devils…. What a sad day!  I thought “No End Zone Mazzone” was gone…I guess not…sad days….How do you not get it in from the 5 or whatever?…Ah I’m just so sad!  (The Sun Devils had just lost to Missouri in a very close game that they could have won if they had been able to get it into the end zone from inside the five yard line.) But that’s okay…I’m used to it. I have been trained not to cry when something like that happens…just move on and wait for the next missed opportunity and then you can cry.  Oh Devils. Poor, poor Devils. Oh well. I’m sure dad has brought back the “Well in the end that game doesn’t matter. We still are going to win the PAC 12” speech.  (He knows his dad pretty well!) How long before the “Well at least there is still the U of A game left” speech? Can’t wait for that one! (It is getting very close!) That would make for a good pre-Halloween speech! Sad Devils…that’s all I got to say.  Let’s hope we can beat Utah this weekend.  One of the elders in my apartment is a huge Utah fan and so…well it won’t be good if we lose.  Shall we talk about the whole “mission stuff” now?

Well I’m done with my first move! That means 1 down and 14 to go! Ha-ha! I’m really excited about moving! That whole thing where people say, “oh the first move goes by so slow” didn’t really happen to me! I mean I’m not calling it fast by any means but the key to the mission here is just taking it one day at a time! When I look back at all the things I’ve done these past six weeks and all the events that have happened its crazy.  A little slow but each day goes by so fast at the same time! Like this week has gone by way fast! Even though like absolutely nothing has happened yet! It was just this crazy feeling I got on Tuesday. I looked at my watch and saw that it was exactly at that time the new missionaries got to Hong Kong and that’s where I was just six weeks ago. And here I am sitting in an apartment 35 stories up looking out into Hong Kong being able to understand like 400% more than 5 weeks ago it was such a weird and really cool feeling. Like just thinking about the journey of this move is crazy! Just knowing what the new missionaries have ahead of them and how I was in their situation what seems like forever ago but really only a month ago is just cool! And that’s all I have to say about that! And Sunday marks 4 months out on the mission! It’s crazy how fast time is flying by!

For this next move…well it’s not a shocker at all I’m staying with Elder Broderick in TKO… but I’m so happy to be staying with him. Lets be honest his Chinese is just crazy and he helps me out so much! I think that the reason I have learned so much is because he teaches me everyday something new! We’ve been going “soccer finding” lately which means we just go to a random park and play soccer with whoever is there! Its super fun let me tell you! (Kyle has loved playing soccer all of his life!  This is just another indication to me of how inspired his call to serve in Hong Kong is.)  The people that you see playing in the streets are either a) punks or b) really nice and friendly. It’s cool to just talk to them about whatever and of course their favorite soccer teams (they LOVE soccer here) and then they see that you’re just a normal person after all and for the most part they are willing to hear about your message and give you their number so you can talk to them more! I’m just really glad I know about soccer clubs otherwise I wouldn’t have a way to start talking to people about something I know they are interested in! A just busy, busy, busy, time here in HK and the weather is cooling down too! An extra bonus!  The average temperature in Hong Kong in July and August is in the high eighties or low nineties.  This seems like it would be a piece of cake for someone from Arizona but the humidity can be over 80% which makes it almost unbearable for anyone!)  Our recent convert A-Ching is doing well and we started seeing his sister so that’s good! Besides that everything is pretty much the same!

We got a surprise visit from President Hawks yesterday and he told us we’re moving!!! The castle is closing! It’s been in the mission for like 15 years, which apparently is a really long time, and everybody knows about it! Anyway, I’m moving from the biggest apartment to the smallest apartment! But I hear its super nice though and in a nice area around Kowloon Bay, which means I’m farther from TKO but that’s okay. And let’s be honest….I’m thinking there isn’t much difference between the sizes or the apartments…all of them are small! Ha-ha, I got your package! Thanks so much! It was much needed!! I loved it so much!! Those are rare things in Hong Kong! Anyway we have to get going on the moving! I’ll talk to you all next week! Go Devils!!

 

Au Yeuhng Jeung Louh