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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General Conference in Hong Kong

Wahoo!  What an exciting week to be alive and to be emailing everyone! This is one of the best parts of the week to see how everyone is doing! It sounds like everything with the wedding went really well and it definitely kept everybody on their toes!! It also sounds like Thursday was a full day of keeping on toes considering what dad sent me about the ASU game…well I mean at least in the first half. (Colorado managed to keep the game with ASU close – until the second half – even though the Sun Devils were highly favored to win.) I think with that victory Jenna and Corbin are now allowed to have a long and successful marriage and all that jibber jabber about love and stuff. Do you want to know the first thing he (Corbin) said to me, a missionary, as his brother?  He said, “Oh hey, you’re sister is hot!”  Where in the world did that come from?  The new rule is that from now on nobody can write me while they are on their honeymoon. Well, luckily I hope that is the last wedding I’ll miss but who knows…Staci can surprise us all…sometimes…(I’m telling you right now – Staci had better not surprise us like that!)

 

Anyway it was a really good week here and with General Conference it was a busy week – especially for traveling. Even though Hong Kong is small there is traffic and such everywhere! Like it takes us a good 45 minutes just to get to our area from where we live! And then when you add that you have to go even farther from your area to get to where you watch Conference we have had two full days of waking up early and doing everything in a hurry! But it’s all worth it! General Conference was really good!

 

So to start things off we get there (the place where they watch General Conference) and go to the floor where the English-speaking ward is meeting and all that and sit down to watch it. I sit down and look right at the guy I am sitting next to.  Guess who it is?  It’s Elder Larry Wilson, a member of the 70. Oh boy!  Forget about that being tired thing and relaxing during conference and listening – when you sit by someone like that…you are taking notes and sitting up as straight as you can! It was a very cool experience sitting by him and we talked for a little bit since he’s trying to learn the language too and all that. But I really liked President Uchtdorf’s talk about regrets and how to avoid regretting experiences and such! Just take time for a minute and think about why you’re doing the things you’re doing! That’s something everyone can do no matter who they are!  Another thing that struck me was when he said spending time with loved ones is how we truly find happiness. Lastly, he said something about not waiting until the day you die before you are ready to live. I liked that a lot. (I like those things a lot too Kyle!)

 

Well, after that first session we only had like half an hour and then we started watching the next one.  Everything started and they announced that the opening prayer would be by Elder Gerritt W. Gong.  I’m like, hey I know that name, and then I turn my head and who do I see a couple of rows back? It’s Elder Gerritt W. Gong!! Ha-ha!  It was crazy!  The guy who said the opening prayer in Conference was now watching himself give the opening prayer at Conference – “live.” Live for Hong Kong at least…you know what I mean.  It’s a really cool experience to be where the area office is! And from that session I liked both Elder Andersen’s talk about trials of your faith and Elder Oaks talk.  That one I felt was definitely very powerful!!!

 

Priesthood was good and everything. I always do like going to the Priesthood Session. It just has a different feel to it. All the talks were good except we could only listen to the talks not see the people talking. It was something about the projector not working  (technical difficulties – even in China!) so I listened to President Monson talk about looking at people and seeing who they can become not who they currently are. That’s advice the whole world needs to hear, especially in these times. I definitely need and want to get better at that!

 

With the projector getting fixed and everything, Sunday morning went by breezy and calm.  Jeffery R. Holland did a really good job encouraging us to never go back, and keep changing.  I liked that one. Then, since you can’t go home or anything before the next session of Conference the ward picks a random room and they have a huge party with a bunch of food and other stuff.  Afterwards,  we watched the last session!!! So everything worked out good! I definitely can get used to Conference here in Hong Kong. Heck the talks are available on your iPod before you even get to see them so you already know what they are going to talk about!!!

 

Anyway, this week we have been doing a ton of “finding.”  (I’m not sure if Kyle uses this word because he can’t spell proselyting or because “finding” is different than “proselyting”)  A whole lot of it!  One day we went down this street where usually we have good success but this time, nothing – not good at all! So at the end of the street we just said, “Alright, its time to pray.”  At the end of our prayer we felt good about where we were and what we were doing so we stuck with it.  We had an idea or a feeling that we should go in a direction where there usually aren’t many people.  We had never tried it before but we just said what the heck and tried it. Within 2 minutes we found somebody to teach and that went good.  We kept on walking and within five minutes this security guard/police officer comes up to us tells us we can’t be there. We just said, “Hey, why not try and teach him?” and guess what?!  He was really receptive!!!!! We taught him for a good 30 minutes about the restoration and who Jesus Christ is! So cool because security guards never talk to missionaries but this time he was receptive!!!! That was so cool and definitely a miracle and an answer to our short prayer. I know that no matter how short prayers are they will be answered through faith!!!! Prayer is such an essential thing in our lives and the days will go a lot slower without His help. I love you all! Good luck against Oregon!!! I will be writing on Mondays now so don’t forget!!! (Like we would or could forget when Kyle is going to write us!)  I’m so thankful for the support you give me!!! Dare to be a leader.

 

 

 

 

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The Best of Both Worlds

So sorry I’m writing a little late today! We had our temple day today so that’s what I’ve been doing! That’s pretty cool though if you think about it I got to go to the temple the same day as Jenna getting married!!! Woot woot! So you can say that people attended the temple for you all over the world on your wedding day…or something like that…it makes better sense in my head than when I tried to write it so work with me. Its a big day for everyone the family, friends but most importantly….the Devils! (The Sun Devils played a game against Colorado on the Day Jenna was married.  If you were at the reception you know that the game was playing on a big screen TV so that everyone could watch!)  Let’s be honest with each other here. If they lose I will personally make it a mission of mine to make sure the marriage is axed. It just wouldn’t be good for anyone.  There would be bad vibes from the very beginning.  Like Dad said, “When was the last time somebody picked the Arizona State Sun Devils to win by 22 points that actually works for the Casinos??  I’m thinking it was against UNLV…..oh that school…that game….(Kyle is referring to ASU’s loss to UNLV in 2008 when they were heavily favored to win and lost to them in overtime.  Our family still hasn’t recovered from that one.)  But did you know I had no idea the game wasn’t on Saturday until like Tuesday! I looked at my calendar to see when the Oregon game was and it turns out…We haven’t even played Colorado yet! Ha-ha!  It’s a good thing too. I keep track of the weather at certain places on my iPod and the high in Boulder on Saturday was like in the 40’s and a chance of snow…I thought it was a sign from the heavens…but it was just a warning shot I guess. I can’t believe Jenna is getting married though….it’s so weird…..it wont be the same.  And let’s face it, the only reason mom will be crying tomorrow is because she has to live with Staci alone…#yikes!

 

And speaking of missions I can’t believe it! It’s time for all my friends who said “Oh I’m for sure going on a mission” to pay up. Actually I haven’t even seen conference though…In Hong Kong we watch it a week later…so the secrets were spoiled but that’s so cool! (Kyle is referring here to the announcement at October General Conference that boys will be eligible to serve missions at the age of 18 instead of 19 and girls at the age of 19 instead of 21.)  That must mean they need more missionaries around the world!  That’s such a cool thing! I can’t wait until Terri Stump gets called to the China Hong Kong Mission….yes Terri, that’s a shout out to you. I got your letter this week saying you still wanted to serve! Now it’s time to fulfill that promise!!! Speaking of which, I got probably one of the most the most satisfying things I have ever received in the mail this week.  I got a letter from my friend Amber and it was really nice.  She added a note and the note was from her sister’s blog saying that she had decided to serve a mission and that my talk at stake conference helped her decide to talk to her bishop about starting her papers!  She said she liked and she related to what I said about how everyday Satan tries harder and harder to keep you from going on a mission and everyday you persevere he loses.  That’s really humbling.  It probably is one of the most satisfying things that will happen to me in my two years. So cool!  But the point is don’t let distractions get in the way. Just go for it and leave everything else to the Lord. He provides a way. I promise it.

 

The Lord really does provide ways for his purposes to be accomplished. It will seem like “strokes of luck” or miracles but we know better. Like for instance this week we are going to A-Ching’s house for the first time because he said he wants help learning English. (Oh what a surprise!  Everyone here wants help with their English.)  We kept looking for his house but we couldn’t find it and to make it even worse he wasn’t answering the phone.  (Just a little background – here getting into peoples’ homes is really hard if they aren’t members.  They just like their privacy.)  Then all of the sudden we just saw his sister walking up to us on her way home from school and she walks with us to her home and what do you know…the whole family is there and they want to have dinner with us?!  So cool!  That’s one of the best things about this week (besides mom’s temple story) (Mom’s temple story – The night Jenna went through the Mesa, Arizona Temple for the first time, she had a woman who asked for a Chinese translator sit right next during her the session.  I had the strong impression that she was there to represent Kyle as all of her sisters were there as well.) and so we get to be with the whole family and teach them and stuff!!!! My first full family lesson here! And then on our way home we just randomly see a less active member on his way home from dinner and we talk to him about General Conference this week (it’s a week later here) and he was really interested about coming and meeting with us! So cool – and even back to back!

 

Oh and the other news starting on the 22nd are P-Days are moved to Mondays!!!!! Want to know the first thing I thought of when I heard that? It wasn’t “Oh cool I can see all the museums now because they are closed on Thursdays” but it was “Oh cool I don’t have to wait in agony the whole week to see how the Devils did!”  Ha-ha! So I’ll write both on the 19th and 22nd! Have fun tomorrow everyone!  (Jenna’s wedding day.)  I know the Lord blesses us as we use our agency correctly and I can’t wait to see Conference!! Go back and just read one talk this week…or day whichever you have time for! There will be something in there for you to learn! I love you all! CONGRATULATIONS JENNA AND CORBIN!!!