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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Christmas Miracles

Well family and friends I am happy to say that I’m staying in TKO for at least another move! That will mean 6 months here at least in this beautiful place!  It’s cool to move and all but I love what we have going on in our area. This week seriously was a week of miracles for us. Well the weekend was…the week was just normal, but the weekend was cool! But first things first…. I got the Christmas packages so we’re all ready to go for Christmas! I can’t wait! I promise I haven’t even looked at what’s inside! And then I sent my packages last week! They said they won’t get there before Christmas but I don’t know…. maybe it was just a scheme to get me to buy the express delivery.  Don’t worry I’m too smart for them…or maybe you won’t actually get them before Christmas…whoops! (One of Kyle’s packages arrived a few days before Christmas and the other one came the day after.)  Oh well! There are two of them and one of them is like a tube and we had to squeeze the thing inside of it so…good luck getting it open!! You’ll probably just have to cut it or something! But don’t look at what’s in it!!! And as for Christmas next week I don’t know if I’m going to have the chance to email because it’s the mission’s Christmas party so if I don’t I’m going to call around 10:00 Hong Kong time so like what 6 or 7 pm Christmas Eve over there!   I’m going to call STACI”S phone so answer it the first time otherwise there’s less time to talk because every time I dial it takes a good chunk of the money on the card! I can’t wait to talk to you all! Especially Maddy and Bennett! I want to hear what they sound like!!!


So I guess this is normal in Hong Kong because I saw it twice this week and I hear that it’s not that uncommon to see. But anyway, Hong Kong doesn’t have public bathrooms…like very few places have a bathroom so when you’re away from home I guess you’re out of luck. Apparently those were the unfortunate circumstances of a girl last week and another one today. But one thing Hong Kong does have a lot of…drains. I mean the water has to go somewhere when the rain comes and I guess the drains have a couple of functions because they can also be used by some people as a bathroom! The mother and dad had no problem with it at all and they were just stopped in a whole crowd of people while their daughter did her business…. it was very, very, very awkward to say the least.  Especially since someone in a car almost ran into her. Sorry, that story was probably a little hard to understand. I just don’t know a better way to say it without being too strange…..ha-ha!  It’s pretty funny and definitely the strangest thing I’ve seen yet but like I said, the other missionaries say it’s not all that uncommon!!


So on to our good weekend! We have been really trying and working with our investigator Kenneth, who has a baptismal date for December 30th.  Two weeks ago was a rough week for us with him. He never answered the phone or came to English class or church so we were really worried. But then I called him up last Monday and he finally answered! Turns out he was in the hospital with a fever! So it was a relief that he was okay and he didn’t get like approached by the anti-Mormons or anything. He comes and loves church but then he always seems like there is something that is on his mind. So I fasted to try and find out what was going on with him. Well my prayers were answered and at our lesson he just really opened up and told us his only concern is that his parents religion is something like “traditional Chinese religion”…, which like isn’t Buddhist, but it’s different?? I don’t know I’ve never heard of it. Anyway, he doesn’t want to disappoint them. It’s a pretty big deal to him but at least now we know how to help him! It’s going to be hard helping him overcome it and helping him reach his baptismal date but I am confident the Lord wants to help me and Elder Christensen help him. When the Lord wants something to get done, it’s going to be done. Now that Hong Kong is on Christmas Holiday (since we are speaking the Queen’s English of course) I think he is a lot less stressed. It’s hard being a 20-year-old and not graduated from school yet, but his prayers are sincere and his desire to learn about the gospel is sincere. I just want to help him!


We’ve also been struggling to find new investigators and several miracles happened. First off, we were making calls to people we met on the street. And one person whose name is Patrick was just out walking because he was sad since he hasn’t worked for a long time. We met him, talked to him, gave him a short lesson and taught him to pray. In his prayer he asked Heavenly Father to help him try and find a job and be happy again. But after that his interest level just wasn’t there and he didn’t really want to schedule any more appointments. Anyways, we called him on the phone later to ask if he wanted to come to church and he said “I’ll come next week because I have training for my new job that I found the day after I prayed with you two!” That’s what I call a miracle!  We are meeting with him next this week because that has sparked an interest in him to learn more about our Heavenly Father. I would say that is an amazing experience!


Next, that same night we got a call from a man named Patrick. Now get this…. Patrick got a flyer from the missionaries over a year ago!!!! And just now decided to call back. He didn’t even give the missionaries his number at the time!  So he called us said he wanted to meet us and after finding him at the MTR station (finding him is a story for another time…it took like 30 minutes to do that) we took him to the church for a tour and taught him a lesson there.  Well, it just so happens a member was leaving just as we were getting to the church and he works in the same building where Patrick works!!!!! They hit it off really well and we have another meeting scheduled with him!!! No missionary effort is wasted. When they tell you that you will never see the results of 90% of your work it is so true! I’m so grateful for those missionaries who met him over a year ago!


Lastly, Ken. Short time but anyways…he grew up in America, worked in Mainland China and moved here. He benches over 300 pounds and we met him a month ago when he was still living on the mainland (he was on a vacation to Hong Kong.)  Anyways to make a long story short, he called us and wanted to come to church! So we went to church, taught him and all that and then later that night we went to a fireside! He is so cool too! More about him later!!!! I love you all! Merry Christmas! SingDaanFaailohk as they say here! Talk to you next week!


Elder Allen


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Super Saturday

This is the last email of my 3rd transfer or “move” as we like to call them here. So very exciting! I find out tomorrow if I’m leaving TKO and going somewhere or if I’m staying for another 6 weeks here! I don’t know usually its about 50/50 whether missionaries stay/go after 3 moves in a place so it’ll be interesting to see all what happens! Either way the Lord is in control and he knows what is best for the work here in Hong Kong so what ever happens that’s cool! I really do love it here in TKO! Even though it takes us like 45+ minutes everyday back and forth to get to the area I love it here! It’s such a beautiful place! But if it comes out that I do leave it’ll be Thursday – on to greener pastures – and you’ll be the first people in America to know about it. On that you have my guarantee. Ha-ha!  Mostly because I don’t know how anyone else would find out…


Yesterday was day #200 as a missionary! That’s incredible to me! It’s going by super fast! The days can be long but the weeks are just getting shorter and shorter every time. It’s weird how it works. And I think anyone who has been a missionary will agree! To celebrate we went with a couple of investigators to the First Presidency Christmas Devotional that was showing at Wan Chai. We thought it was going to be in Chinese since…well we’re in China, but nope it was in English! And our investigators like loved it even more because it was in English – which actually wasn’t surprising. They love English here and they are pretty good at it too! One person that came is named Lap. He knows the church is true and everything and really does have a good solid testimony of the Book of Mormon but he just doesn’t wake up for church! Anyway, Lap loved it and he said that he really enjoyed the meeting. The sad thing is that Lap is leaving in a couple of months to go to New York because he got accepted into Columbia University!! You just have to meet Lap and get to know him to get just exactly who he is! But now we know that he is leaving, we are going to do everything we can to help him get to church! He even asked if I could get him the address of the church building nearest to Columbia so that he could go there. He is such a strange fellow but he really is like my favorite person ever. He teaches me English words that I had never even thought of. He didn’t even know that Columbia was a good school until we told him. Some people are just born to be smart and Lap is one of them…oh Lap…


Finding was really effective this week! For instance on Saturday we go finding in a small park that is right by the church. The first person we talk to wants to have a lesson! So we talk with him and share the whole restoration with him! Then yesterday he came to church! His name is Samuel and he just laughs at everything – it’s so funny!  His laugh is really strange but he just loves to laugh. That seems to be pretty normal; the people that have weird laughs love to laugh! Why is that? That is something all people should do more of! Anyway, after we met Samuel we walked another 30 yards and the next kid we talk to talks to us and we end up giving another full on lesson! It’s so cool! He had a lot of knowledge of the Bible but had no beliefs. A lot of people are like that because the vast majority of schools here are Christian schools! So he was fascinated by our message! Then right after our second lesson it was time to go to a members house for dinner! Saturday was a really good day! If only everyday was like that!


I got two packages from you this week! And I got Grandma’s “non pajamas” don’t worry! (Kyle’s grandma and papa give all of their grandkids pajamas for Christmas that they get to open on Christmas Eve.  Continuing the tradition, they sent Kyle a package to open on Christmas Eve and tried to convince him that it wasn’t really pajamas.  This too is part of the tradition as all the grandchildren give grandma and papa a hard time about knowing what their present will be beforehand.)  I didn’t even look at the package description! What’s the fun in that? I’m sending all the Christmas stuff today so don’t look!!!! Or be disappointed at what I got! I thought I was a good shopper coming from a family of 5 sisters but oh well. I encourage all of you to watch that First Presidency Devotional! It was short and good!!! I liked President Uchdorf’s talk a lot!!! That pretty much sums of the week here in the ole Hong Kong! I’m just trying to become a better teacher and a friendlier person. Something that was really gratifying to me this week was when we were having that street lesson on Saturday the kid, his name is A-Chong, told me that I was talking to him like a friend and not a teacher and he could tell that I just wanted to help him. That was really nice to hear and prayers definitely were answered about me wanting to feel more love for these people who definitely deserve the highest love and the highest respect. I love you all, I’m so grateful for every single one of you. Remember the joys of Christmas and not the stresses. Always be willing to learn. That’s something I’ve been working on! Having the eagerness to learn from everything around me! I’m glad you all had fun at Disneyland! Boy do I miss that place!! Stay strong! Go Devils!


Elder Allen


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Ten Days and Ten Nights of Rain!

Hello Family!


Another week has flown by here in TKO. That’s good news. The work keeps moving along. This week…well nothing to major happened.  We are getting ready for a baptism on the 23rd. His name is Kenneth and he is doing really well actually! He comes to church every week despite being super busy in school! In Hong Kong they don’t call them grades like “I’m in 8th grade” but they call them forms. And the 18-year-old people are in form 6 and that’s where he is.  Form 6 is super stressful and super hard. You have a bunch of pre-tests to get ready for this giant test and they usually give these pre-tests on Sundays. But  he has decided to come to church instead of taking those tests! It amazing to see someone like him put his faith in the Lord and make the sacrifice to come to church and then do a bunch of studying the rest of the time. It’s really a miracle for something like that to happen in Hong Kong. Form 6 has been known to kill the people’s interest in learning the gospel BIG TIME. But fortunately that hasn’t happened with Kenneth.


What else is new…? Well this is something I am definitely not used to at all…. I haven’t seen the sun for at least a week probably…maybe more…actually come to think about it its been raining for a solid 10 or 11 days now.  You can imagine that this really slows down the work here.  Mostly because missionaries can’t go into buildings to talk to people – they have to meet them on the street and when there isn’t a single person out in the parks or on the streets that’s pretty difficult to do! And the ones that are out on the street don’t want to talk! After all they are freezing cold and being rained on! But I’m not complaining – I love the rain!!! It just never will get old to me I don’t think. (Most of us Arizonans feel that way – at least to some extent.)  Well let’s keep our fingers crossed on that otherwise it will be a long year and a half.  Oh gosh, I’m just rambling on right now! I guess now that there aren’t any more football games to talk about (besides the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl?!)  (As a result of their outstanding? season, ASU was invited to play against Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco on December 29, 2012.  Not many of us had even heard of that particular bowl game prior to this.) I have time to answer questions so if anyone has questions I’ll gladly respond! I love questions! Especially since everything  over here is just so different!


Christmas is coming up soon! It’s hard to Christmas shop when you have no idea what to send everyone! But I think I did fine…well maybe…fine for boy standards let’s just say.  It’s a really exciting time of the year to think about our Savior and everything he’s done for us! We’ve been focusing on the Savior more on the street when meeting people and our relationship with Him. We’ve started a thing where every Sunday we go out finding with members just for 20 minutes to help them get a feeling what missions are like and it helps me out so much! I just need to get better at speaking Cantonese! I can’t help the people and teach them about the importance of the things we are teaching them (like Christmas) if I don’t know how to say it! Ha-ha!  But the members are so awesome! I’m sorry, I feel like this letter is really random and really short but that means there is room for improvement! I love you all and can see the Lord’s work in our lives. He is watching out for us because he loves us all! Thanks so much for every single thing you do for me and for each other! God answers our prayers through other people!


Elder Allen



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Thanksgiving and a Three-Language Baptism

The season is saved! (ASU beat the UofA,  41-34 in the big rivalry game for the Territorial Cup.  This is always the most important game of the season – regardless of how either team has done during the year.)  I just didn’t know we were that close (again) to playing for the championship! That’s crazy!  A little sad when you think about it but oh well…. life will go on as it always does! And hope for next year continues! Baja Mexico… I’m glad you got the email of that picture! He’s our second counselor and he was so impressed with our thanksgiving dinner that we made that he was taking pictures putting them on Facebook and I guess sending them to you! But more on that latter…

Very special events happened this week. We met with A-Hin, the 18-year-old who has cancer and we got to know him more. We taught him a brief explanation of the Book of Mormon and our relationship with God then we jumped right into the Plan of Salvation and how he can be clean and strong again because of Heavenly Father’s Plan.  It was such a good lesson! He accepted a baptismal date for December 23rd. The only problem is that his dad is against the whole idea of him meeting with us so there isn’t much we can do except meet with his dad and try to continue to help his son! I wish more than anything else we can continue to help him fight through the things he’s dealing with!

Another Investigator, Kenneth, is really working towards baptism next month and he’s doing a great job of it too. Yesterday at church he took out his Book of Mormon that we gave to him a couple weeks ago and started taking notes about the lesson! Just right there on the page before the title page! It was so cool! He loves the environment and the people that he is meeting at church! It was such a cool experience because yesterday I didn’t have the chance to sit with any of our investigators that were there! They were all sitting with the members who are fired up right now! Probably because ASU won…but that’s just a guess. There was one point where sacrament was about to start and I was sitting next to an investigator and a member comes up to the bench looking awkwardly for a place to sit and then I just get up right away and he sits down next to the investigator and explains what the meeting is all about – all while I’m sitting by myself on the bench behind them! Who knew being lonely would feel so awesome! Kidding…its the worst. But you get what I mean…

So Thanksgiving was great! You can call me Master Chef because Elder Christensen and I made 2 full 20lb turkeys!!!! One for the missionary party that we had on Thursday and one for the ward Thanksgiving party on Sunday! Yes and they didn’t spread any plague that we know of!  At least not yet….but there’s always tomorrow! Missionaries were coming up to us and telling us that the turkey was better than their mom’s turkey (they obviously don’t have my mom as a mom) (Well played Kyle!) and that they wanted the recipe we used!  The ward members were also saying that they had never had such good “giant chicken” before ha-ha! I guess Chinese people don’t know exactly what turkey is! We were also in charge of the stuffing and that turned out pretty good as well! We even stuffed some of the stuffing into the turkey! Oh yes, it was a very good Thanksgiving!

The ward Thanksgiving party was hilarious! Chinese people just have never really heard of Thanksgiving or what we eat for it! So the relief society thought it would be best to help out with the food! But instead of bringing the usual thanksgiving stuff there were chicken feet, spaghetti, very weird noodles, and other interesting looking things. We were worried that the American food was going to be eaten really quickly. Nope! Right after the prayer they just rushed and rushed the Chinese food! And the turkey! But a lot of the cookies, the bread and stuffing were leftover at the end.   It made for a good after church snack! Ha-ha you should’ve seen them though…they were making faces like the stuffing was from Mars! I would say their faces looked at the stuffing were like mine looked at Octopus…I don’t want to relive that again so I don’t blame them! (Here is a picture one of the members sent to us showing Kyle waiting in line for his Thanksgiving dinner.  The church members there have been very kind to us – sending pictures and short emails expressing their gratitude for Kyle and his missionary service.)

Kyle's Thanksgiving in Hong Kong

Yesterday I got down into the water for the very first time ever! The sisters in the ward have a person who we taught but then they started teaching her but that’s beside the point…She got baptized yesterday!!! And I got to baptize her! I’ll have pictures next week but it was very cool for me to do that! She was born in Mainland so she likes the sound of her Mandarin name better than her Cantonese name (even though it’s the same characters, it’s pronounced differently!) So I said her name in Mandarin and then her English name “Jessie” at the end of her Mandarin name because that’s what her full legal name is! So i said her name in Mandarin then English then I said the prayer in Cantonese! Ha-ha!  A three-language baptism! But it was so cool! I’ll have pictures like I said! I love you all and be safe this week!! Go Stanford I guess?? (Referring to the Stanford v. Oregon game for the PAC-12 championship.)  I didn’t get any Christmas requests so you’ll have to make do with surprises! I love you all!

Elder Allen


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The End of the First Quarter

Well family and friends I was debating whether or not to put because when you compare mission time to Sun Devil football games it seems like this is an eternity but oh well I’ll use it anyway…The 1st quarter is down and in the books! On Friday (I think) marks the quarter mark of my mission and I can’t believe that its already here! So much that I can’t even explain how crazy it seems! And just think after the U of Northern Mexico (more missionary appropriate) (Our family has many names for the state university located in Tucson, Arizona and this is by far one of the nicer ones.) I’ll only have one more season left. Whoot whoot! I’m trying to get at how fast this is going by but at the same time I don’t think I’ll be ready to leave…ever…this is just such a crazy place! And I can’t believe that Staci is coming to China! That’s so crazy! But I hear that mainland is very, very different from Hong Kong! What’s the city called anyway? I can’t wait to hear what her experiences are like! Even if it’s for just three weeks. They will just love her. The blonde hair and blue eyes will get her far – very far. They’ll probably name something after her especially if the city doesn’t have a lot of foreigners in it! That’s so cool! I can’t wait to hear what she’ll eat…I heard its nothing compared to Hong Kong food…and that’s saying something…well have fun!! (Staci was selected as one of four students from the Town of Gilbert to participate in the Gilbert Sister Cities Program.  Sometime late in June a student from Lashan, China will come to stay with us for three weeks and then Staci will travel back with her to spend three weeks at her home in Lashan.  We are especially excited that she gets to go to China even though the city is on the mainland and not really very close to Hong Kong.)


Speaking of eating foods get ready for the thing eaten of the week. Chicken Feet. Yes Chicken feet. Don’t worry I got a video of it all so you’ll all enjoy…its really not that bad….you just pop the sucker in your mouth knuckle by knuckle then spit the bone out. I’m going to send some to Katie – I know she just enjoyed the description so well! (Katie is the sister most likely to get sick just hearing about some of the things Kyle has eaten.)  Guess what Katie…it even had like the fingernails on it too! You don’t want that to scrape your mouth when you eat them so you have to be careful! They even sell them packaged here…so the only question that you need to answer is what flavor do you want? Speaking of specifics does anyone have anything specific for Christmas cause I’ve got all of your backs. Just tell me what you need and I’ll have it.  Everything is so cheap here it’s just crazy! So just tell me some specifics cause its almost Christmas time!


This week is Thanksgiving and we are having a Thanksgiving dinner at our chapel! When I say “we” I mean the zone.  It’s different this year cause usually it’s a whole mission activity but lots of changes, changes, and more changes happening with missionary work. Speaking of those changes President Hawks told us that the first two 18-year-old elders will be here in April. They enter the MTC in January and from now on all 12-week language programs are 9 weeks! That’s a big change!! So that’s cool! And he also told us that transfer weeks are being changed from 6 weeks to 9 weeks?!  We’re not sure if he said something wrong or if that’s right but if he is correct, that’s crazy! Nine weeks is a long time!!!  So it’s going to be interesting to see what continues to happen. But anyways, back to Thanksgiving, I’m so thankful to have everyone who reads this in my life! You all support me so much and I wish there was a better way for me to say how thankful I am but this is all you’re going to get so you had better like it! Ha-ha just always remember the things that you are thankful for…. like cereal for instance… I took that for granted… this week I bought cereal and milk for the first time here (that combo is SO EXPENSIVE. Cereal is a killer not a lifesaver!) and I just realized oh my…this is my first time eating cereal in about 5 months and I am so thankful for it. Don’t let the little things get overshadowed!


This week was an okay week. A lot of finding and a lot of walking…We were having a pretty good day with meeting our goals and stuff and just trying to reach them all and we were at this stop light waiting to cross at the (TKO sports ground) and I just decided to talk to this kid who looked about 14 maybe 15. So I started talking to him and his name is A-Hin and we had a lesson with him…we started teaching the restoration but shortly in he told us he has brain cancer and so immediately we switched to the Plan of Salvation and just did everything we could to help this 18 year old boy who is going to start treatments. He said he wanted to meet with us again but he was worried because when he got home he didn’t know if he was going to remember us. We prayed so hard and when we called him that night it turns out he did and he set up a time to meet with us again. That’s when it hit me that these numbers aren’t just numbers but they all are Heavenly Father’s children. A little boy pleading with us to pray for him because he didn’t know how to pray taught me that lesson. Help everyone out because we all are his children!


I love you all and am so grateful for the knowledge I have of this gospel and the ability to remember it all. Talk to you next week!!! Go Devils this is the week that makes or breaks the season!!! (The Sun Devils were about to play their last regular season game against the University of Arizona.)


Elder Allen

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“Sister Kitchen”

Well family and friends I wish I had a lot to talk about this week but there isn’t anything too spectacular so…talk to you next week!!


I’m kidding of course…bet you couldn’t have seen that one coming…cause I didn’t. Sounds like an up and down week over there but definitely the ups are way better than the downs. Being a new uncle wipes away an unexpected presidential election but being an uncle times 2 wipes away everything!  (Kyle’s sister Sarah had a baby girl she and her husband Chase named Hadley Jo on Thursday November 8 and his sister Julie had a baby boy on Saturday, November 10 that she and Chris named Zachary Adam.  Both babies and both mothers did very well!)  Including the ASU loss! Oh such a good September/October! But life will go on! And in April we will all be glad for the start of a new year! This week has been good…not much to report on, just a lot of finding and talking to people trying to get them to open their hearts up to the gospel of Jesus Christ! This week we contacted the most people in the zone and had the second most lessons taught so we are really working hard! We usually just walk from one MTR stop to the next just talking with everyone that we can! I would say that I’ve probably averaged at least 10 miles of finding this week! Just doing everything I can! Elder Christensen helps out a bunch! Including his red hair. If you have a mission call to Hong Kong you should change your hair color to red because it helps us out so much! For example, we were just walking and we saw this group of 8 friends just walking down the street and in Hong Kong that usually means they are just going to laugh at you and whatever but – no! They ran up to us and talked to us first! And it turns out they want to learn English and the boys like sports!! Whoot whoot!  So this week all of them are coming to English class so we can start teaching them! They were just so amazed with his red hair and they wanted pictures of it and stuff…a little weird but whatever! I’ll take getting more people to our classes anyway possible!

Speaking of that we’ve been doing really good with getting people to activities! Every Saturday the TKO sisters have what they call a “Sister Kitchen” where they show everyone how to make food and then they get to eat it! Well out of the 10 investigators that showed up (which is like the highest number I’ve seen yet) 7 were ours.  It was such a good activity! They showed how to make stuffing and mashed potatoes since Thanksgiving is coming up.  And speaking of Thanksgiving the ward is going to have one. And President and Sister Hawks are going to come so it’s going to be a really fun activity!! It’s just really weird since no one knows what Thanksgiving is here! It’s going to be a fun time! But anyways back to the main point, “Sister Kitchen” is a good activity (in more ways than one). (“Sister Kitchen” must feature mostly American food and after it is over – well, someone has to eat it!) Ha-ha! We brought a potential investigator to it and then taught him the restoration of the gospel and he loved it! It’s so good! And he even came to church the next day! That’s a strong indicator of an investigator’s actual interest level. He even arrived on time – which has seldom happened since I got here.  Even the members get there 10 minutes late. People are prepared everywhere you go! You just have to have the patience and time to find them!

No strange things eaten this week…except the members heard about me eating 10,000 year egg at the other member’s house and so tonight we are going over to another member’s house to eat dinner…and she told me when she invited us that there were plenty of century eggs for us to eat…come on people…whatever happened to scrambled eggs?? The ones that Oscar makes and Staci says I ruin them with my Tabasco sauce?   Give me some of those!!! Yellow beats Black when it comes to eggs!  (When we are at Disneyland, we like to eat breakfast at the Carnation Café on Main Street.  Oscar is the chef there – although I think he may have retired since Kyle left on his mission.  The breakfast Kyle orders is called “Oscar’s choice and features scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage and fried potatoes.  It is delicious!)

Speaking of eating I, yes I, made dinner for the whole apartment yesterday!! After I cleaned the whole house on Friday! I’m surprised about that myself! And to my knowledge no one is sick yet! I made curry with fried chicken, potatoes, onions, cabbage, rice and stuff like that! It was a good feeling be able to serve everyone. If you’re having a bad day go and cheer up someone else’s day then you will feel so much better I promise you!!! (I feel exactly the same way!)  We all know its true! And it’s what Jesus told us to do! “Without charity ye are nothing”, or “above all have charity which is the bond of perfectness” I think that’s something his apostles said although I’m not really a scriptorian.  Have a good week! Whenever you are bored or have a few minutes just do something that will help somebody’s day and in turn your day will be better and it will be helped out from our loving Heavenly Father! Have a good week! Go Devils! I can’t wait to see you Baby Zachary and Baby Hadley!! (Here are the pictures we sent him.)

Hadley Jo Wheeler

Hadley Jo Wheeler

Zachary Adam Boyster

Zachary Adam Boyster

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The “Most Interesting Thing Eaten” Award

Well family and friends its been a fun ride with the Devils this year but I think it’s time to say “next year we’ll have a lot of people back”…sad, sad, day.  What if we just hadn’t lost to UCLA and Missouri? What if University…. Yay for next year!!! Well it was a pretty eventful week in Hong Kong and a very busy week, which is always nice. Busy weeks go by quickly. Slow weeks just seem to go on forever!!! But you just have to keep pushing forward through all those long days and then relish the good moments of a mission!!! And let me tell you… one of the hardest things to do out here is remember all the experiences and miracles that happen because there will always be more! As long as you’re looking for them they will come! So anyway… Monday we went to the Hong Kong History Museum of Naval Defense! It was actually pretty cool and the view was super cool except for the fact that it was so foggy! That’s the thing about Hong Kong, sometimes there is just a fog that is just horrible! And it turns out that last Monday was just one of those days where the fog came, and the fog stayed! But it was so cool to see all the stuff that they had from like 600 years ago and what they did to protect Hong Kong back then it was really quite interesting! They talked about the Opium War a lot and it’s really cool to see the different perspectives on wars depending on which side of the war you are on!! The were saying how bravely the people fought but the tyrannical forces were just too overpowering and stuff like that…very interesting…(There were actually two Opium Wars – one from 1839-1842 and the Second Opium War from 1856-1860.  These wars were between the United Kingdom and the Qing Dynasty of China who fought over trade, diplomatic relations and the administration of justice.  The Treaty of Nanking, which ended the first war, was not really satisfactory to either side and this led to the second war.)  The most one-sided part of the museum was the section on the Japanese and World War II. I never knew this but the Chinese do not like Japanese people at all! Like the pictures they had and the movies they showed were just crazy! And they even had a whole level of the museum dedicated to Japanese propaganda and the disasters that came from that! But there were some really cool stories about how people escaped from the Japanese. I guess they started invading the same day Pearl Harbor was attacked so it’s very interesting to learn more about wars!! I’m collecting quite a lot of pamphlets about museums here!

The “Most Interesting Thing Eaten” award for this week might beat them all.  This week we went over to a member’s house, the Lau family, and had dinner with them.  They are super cool like all the members here! But they love to just push missionaries to try new things and so they convinced me to try something that in English we would call the “10,000 year egg.”  It was very interesting to say the least.  I really think this one might take the cake – except cake doesn’t even sound appropriate for this situation since cake and the “10,000 year egg” are two completely different things.  It’s this black egg that’s been fermented and such…oh ya just look of this bad boy and you’ll see what I’m talking about for sure!  I know I never want to try that again.  (Okay so I took the bait and looked up the “10,000 year egg.”  I found that it is also called “The Century Egg” and it is a Chinese cuisine ingredient made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing.   During the processing the yolk becomes a dark green to grey color with a creamy consistency and the odor of sulpher and ammonia.  The white becomes a translucent, dark brown jelly with very little flavor.  It is the alkaline material that transforms the egg and the process originated because of the need to preserve eggs for a long period of time without refrigeration.  The primitive method of preservation is still used but science has discovered that soaking the egg in a brine of salt, calcium hydroxide, and sodium hydroxide for ten days followed by aging for several weeks while wrapped in plastic achieves the same effect.  Here are a couple of pictures of the “Century Egg”)

Look up this thing too.  It’s called “28 flavor soup.” I tried that this week too…also not good at all! But compared to the”10,000-year egg,” it’s like a nice, ice-cold Dr, Pepper! (I had a much harder time finding information on this soup.  I think it is a Vietnamese-inspired fish soup.  This might be a picture of it and then again it might not.)

The good news is I found out that China actually has Dr. Pepper!!! I had one for the first time in 5 and a half months (that long?!!!) and man was it ever good! (This IS a picture of Dr. Pepper – apparently they did not change the look of the can for sales in Hong Kong!)

Did I tell you that I’m learning how to play the piano? Well I mean sort of… I just pick it up on my own and the progress is slow but its good! So on Tuesday I actually played the piano for a baptism here!!! The Mandarin missionaries here get what we call “mainland visitors” and it is people who are here for just one day and get taught the gospel and get baptized all in one day and then they go back to mainland China! A lot of them know everything about the gospel before they get here and they just need to come to Hong Kong to get taught by missionaries.   So we went to one of these baptisms the other day and yes my friends, I played the piano with no mistakes!!! Definitely a miracle. But mainland baptisms aren’t very well attended. Want to know the attendance? I’ll tell you. The two missionaries being taught and then us two…. ha-ha but it was probably one of the best baptisms I’ll ever attend even though I only understood like 15% of it (did you read that? Cantonese speakers can actually make out some Mandarin words especially gospel words so that’s cool!!!)   Then while the new convert was changing clothes a member waiting for institute to start just walked in, we asked him if he knew Mandarin.   The answer was of course yes, everyone does here, and so when the just-baptized girl came back in a random guy that hadn’t been there before gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and then she received the Holy Ghost right then and there!!  This was a really, really, really amazing thing.

On Thursday I got a new companion!!! Yep, Elder Broderick left to go serve in the International Ward where he will go to church 6 days a week! My new companion is Elder Christensen from Nebraska! This means I’ll be at least a quarter of the way done with my mission without having a companion from Utah! 4 companions, none from Utah! That’s crazy – especially for the Hong Kong mission where probably 90% of the missionaries are from Utah.  He is a redhead, which amazes everyone on the street, and it helps us out so much!! Ward members were asking to touch his hair and were just amazed by it.   It was really funny. This is his first move being Senior Companion so I take this as a sign that I need to step up to the plate and become a different missionary. It was easy to let the guy who knew more Cantonese than the Cantonese (honestly he does…)  (Kyle has always said that Elder Broderick had an incredible knack for the Chinese language.) to do all the talking but now I’m the missionary in the ward that has the most experience in the ward (including the sisters) and it is actually a good feeling. It’s just different not being trained anymore – I can’t wait!!! He seems like a good guy, he’s just different (let’s face it everyone from Nebraska is different) – just kidding,  I only say that because all the Elders think it’s crazy he’s from there! Like seriously some people don’t know where Nebraska even is!!!) But I love him! He has really good stories to tell and I can already tell he’s a hard worker who will get things done! We are doing everything we can to have a baptism this move. President Hawks wants 50 baptisms this month and next!

I have to go! But one quick story! I met the Kienes on Saturday! They live in Chris and Jennifer’s ward!!!!! (Chris is my brother and he lives in northeast Mesa.  It is a small world!) They came and picked up their daughter, who is actually Taft Peterson’s (Kyle’s friend from high school) cousin or something like that! But ya really cool!!!!! I took a picture with them and told them to say “hi!”  I love you all! Cant wait for next week when ASU…uhh plays again… ha-ha.   Remember the Lord knows all and wants to help you through trials! I love you!! Keep writing and sending pictures! I love pictures!!!


P.S. I could use hairspray (aerosol hairspray is one of the few things I can’t send!) and any other surprises you want to put in the package!!!