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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Some Humbling Experiences

April 14, 2013

 Hello Everyone!

 I’m sorry about only sending 3 pictures with this email.  I have so many more to send but I just can’t figure out why its not working right…..so I’ll send more next week and in the coming weeks…3 pictures is pretty lame ha-ha.

 Well this week was pretty good and exciting for us!  One of the coolest and most random things that happened was that in the Chinese Liahona there is a special section for the area where you are so they have like 6 or 7 pages just about Hong Kong in the magazine. We were just flipping through it and boom there I was!  I’m so famous!!! Ha-ha!  Not really it’s just some of the other missionaries and me at a service project from a long time ago! But it was cool to see! Something random!

 We went to Big Buddha on Monday! The biggest Buddha in the world! (Tian Tan Buddha, also known as “Big Buddha” is a large bronze statue of Buddha Amoghasiddhi located near the Po Lin Monastery Kyle visited earlier.  It symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion.  The Buddha is 34 meters (112 feet) tall and weighs 250 metric tons.  It was the tallest outdoor seated Buddha in the world until 2007 and can be seen as far away as Macau on a clear day.  Visitor must climb 240 steps to get up to the Buddha.)  It was so large and in charge and it was a fun time! Its pretty high up and on the mountain and it was a pretty foggy day (when is it not a foggy day here) and so it was like cloud level and was really cool! Once again I’ll send pictures but it’s on my other memory card!  It’s pretty interesting to see what the Buddhists believe and how strict they view their way of life! But that’s pretty much all there is to say about that…just that there is a big Buddha and I saw it!

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Conference weekend is always exciting here! All the wards rent private buses and go together to the stake center or wherever they are having it, so it was a big event!  Us English-speaking Americans had to go down to Wan Chai for the Saturday Morning session which was a bit of a hassle but it’s always cool being there for big meetings and such! The Area 70’s are always there and other missionaries come too but the coolest thing for us was that Ken was there watching English! (Ken is one of Kyle’s first investigators in Hong Kong.) I’m not sure you’ve ever seen a picture of him but I am sending one so now you know what Ken looks like!

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It was so good to catch up with him and see how he and his family are doing! His English is like perfect and he had to go to work Saturday afternoon so he decided to watch the English broadcast with the Americans!  It was so cool to sit by him and see him again! We went back up and stayed at Kowloon Tong for the rest of the sessions and to my surprise a lot of Chinese people were watching it with us!  They love their English so much they just love getting to practice it by watching Conference! They love Conference weekend! But as always Conference was pretty freaking good! There were just so many talks about helping each other and really just trying to do things for other people so I think that’s a good message to take out of it.

We had a good lesson with our (less-active) Elders Quorum president. We didn’t teach him like he was less active we just went to him and told him our plans for his quorum, what we could do better to help the quorum out and how our investigators can have a better experience at church. I think just something clicked in him that made him realize the importance of his calling and then he got ready to go out and do the work too. He has a job that is holding him back; keeping him from coming to church so he has asked that the ward members and the missionaries (us) continually pray for him. By the end of the lesson he even pulled out his work schedule, told us to write it down, and then call him whenever we need a fellowshipper! It was really a great lesson for him! He told us he wasn’t able to make it for conference at all, but I was amazed to see him after Saturday’s sessions! That was very cool! The Lord’s work is continuing to roll on.

 We got two new member referrals this week, which was much welcomed. I just want the ward to know that they can trust the missionaries. I hope they understand that we will respect them and their friends and always live worthy of their trust.  So seeing that two members introduced us to friends this week was a good start.  Among them is a woman named Ngoh Laahn.  Her daughter is a student of Elder Yim’s mom. Ngoh Laahn has diabetes and had to go into the hospital because the diabetes got so bad she had to get a leg amputated. She had no other choice to leave her daughter, Emily, in a children’s home while she was at the hospital but then Sister Yim said that she would take care of her and Emily can be a part of her family for the couple months while her mom is in the hospital. This touched Ngoh Laahn so much that she decided to meet with the missionaries at the hospital.  Yesterday was the first time Emily saw her mom with an amputated leg.  We went with Sister Yim and Emily to give Ngoh the Priesthood Blessing she had requested. The room was filled with humility and love and I don’t know how else to describe the moments in there.  She was crying and so was Emily and they were just so grateful to have us missionaries there. We gave her a blessing of comfort and prayed that she would get better soon. The room, which had about 10 patients in it just turned silent and there was recognizable peace. Neither the nurses or the patients seemed to notice, but their mouths didn’t move either.  After the blessing, Ngoh Laahn wouldn’t let go of our hands and it almost made me break down right there on the spot. We shared a message with her; left pamphlets, and then she even asked if she could have our number.  We set up our next meeting and left. The Spirit was strong in there, unlike anything before.  That was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had on my mission and one of just…indescribable words really…I just don’t know how to do it justice….

 Well that’s it for the week! I will start sending more pictures…I need to do that…. but until next week! I love you all have a good week! Thanks for all the love and encouragement! I cant believe Trevor is going on a mission already?!!  (Now that all of Kyle’s friends are out on their missions, their little brothers are starting to go!  Trevor Wagner is Cooper Wagner’s younger brother.  Elder Cooper is serving his mission in Washington state and has been out a little over a year.)  I just can’t believe it!

 Elder Au Yeung

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Excited for the Challenges Ahead

April 7,  2013

Hello everybody!

Nine-week transfers have officially started here in the Hong Kong Mission!  It’s such a long time but in the end it’s all the same right?  I have a new calling obviously like I said I would!  I’m in an area called Cheung Sha Wan, which is a pretty big and very populated area!  It’s my first time actually serving in Kowloon! (Kowloon is the location of the Mission President’s office.  You probably know that if you have written to Kyle and if you haven’t here is his address – I know he would love to hear from you)

Elder Kyle Allen

China Hong Kong Mission

18 Dorset Cresent

Kowloon Tong, Kowloon HK

 So that’s all pretty exciting!  The area just covers a bunch of territory. A lot of old, industrial buildings and  stuff but like everywhere in Hong Kong there are people everywhere!  If you’re looking at a map it covers Mei Foo to Prince Edward down to a little bit of Mong Kok.  My church building though is in Kowloon Tong so that’s freaking cool!  (Here is the best map I could find of Kowloon.  It shows Cheung Sha Wan and Mong Kok but not Mei Foo.)

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 And one of the best parts about serving in Cheung Sha Wan is the place you live! Missionaries serving in CSW have lived in the temple!!!  I was pretty excited to live there but the day before I moved my companion called us and said that we had to move because the mission office was getting two more Elders to do this online program thing!  I was this close to permanently living in the temple!  But instead we live in an area called Kwai Fong!  It’s pretty crazy to think about…this transfer I’ll be with my 5th companion and 5th apartment!  That’s so crazy!  Usually it’s like one area-one apartment but nope!  I’ve had to move so many times!  But enough about that!

My new companion is Elder Kwan.  He is from Hong Kong!  He is really nice and a hard worker!  He only got baptized a year and a half ago!!!  So it’s different in that aspect.  And he’s only been in the mission field for 3 months so it’s already been an interesting experience.   The way he speaks English is so funny.  He has such a distinguishable accent.  But then again…what does my Chinese sound like to him?  Ha-ha!  I live with Elder Siebach right now who was my companion in the MTC so I’m excited to be close to him again! He and Elder Ward (who is such a good missionary!!) live with us so it’s cool!  It’s the next best thing to living in the temple.  Oh, and I’m senior companion this move and I’m also a district leader for an area up here so there are some new challenges that lie ahead!  It’s pretty crazy!  I wasn’t expecting to be called a district leader yet but it’s whatever!  Take whatever gets thrown at you!  So I’m very excited!  The work here is going okay so I’m anxious to find some new people to teach and help this ward have success again.

Since I got the new assignment on Friday, I’ve already met with some of our investigators and I think we have some good potential.  We were able to extend 2 more baptismal invitations this week!  That means we have tripled our baptismal dates!  (I guess that means they had one baptismal date scheduled before and now they have three.)  I’m excited to see that happen already!  It’s always better when you have people working towards goals!  It’s more stressful over here but the days go by faster and it’s really rewarding to see investigators keep their commitments.  Oh and by the way Patrick, Cheuk Hau Ling, and Sandra are all doing good in Tai Po.  I said “good-bye” to most of our investigators on Tuesday at a really fun FHE that we put together.   I’m so excited for Elder Goodrich and his companion!!!   Anyway…. back to Cheung Sha Wan.

The first person I met with is named Carolyn!  She actually lived in Los Angeles for a long time and then went to UCLA for school.  That means her English is almost perfect.  She recently moved back to Hong Kong and met missionaries – not in Cheung Sha Wan but actually TKO!!  (Kyle’s first area in Hong Kong.) Elder Christensen my old companion was the first person to talk to her!  She is really, really, interested in what we believe and stuff.  Her mom is even trying to tell her not to meet with us missionaries but she does!  She is going through a lot of trials right now… especially since she just moved back and doesn’t have that many friends really.  But that means she has time to do the things we ask her to do and she does them! I couldn’t believe it!  When we met with her last week it was only our like 3rd week of meeting with her and she is already reading in 2nd Nephi 26!  That’s just crazy to me!  Our lesson with her was at our new ward correlator’s house and it was super good!  We asked all these questions about her knowledge of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and if she had gotten an answer about a living prophet today and she said “yes” to all of our questions!  Her faith is already pretty good!  We just have to keep working with her for a May baptismal date that we set for her!  I’m excited to see what goes on!  It’s probably going to be a long process but I’m excited to get started.

The other new baptismal date we set is for a guy named A-Keung.  A-Keung is actually an investigator’s son.  The investigator loves the church but just doesn’t want to come to church.  But anyway… the Young Men’s quorum here have really gotten to know A-Keung and he already has a friendship with 3 of the boys (ha-ha… that’s like half of the whole Young Men’s program) so that’s a good thing!  And the Young Men’s president comes and picks him up every Sunday for church!  That’s just unheard of in Hong Kong – mostly because no one has a car!  But he goes and waits for him every week to drive him to church.  We met with him this week and giving him a baptismal date was pretty smooth and good!  I’m excited for my companionship this move!  It’s going to be hard but I’m ready to face it… I think… these two people have good potential.  We just need to raise the bar one step.

That’s basically it for this week. The rain just keeps on coming although Sunday wasn’t bad. Kowloon Tong gets a lot of foreigners that come in and on Sunday there were a bunch expecting General Conference to be playing, ha-ha!  (They didn’t get to watch October’s General Conference until a week after it actually took place.)  The ward isn’t bad though… although there is some drama going on with them but that’s okay! We just have to help them the best we can!  Elder Kwan is good at just talking to people and he is very willing to learn.  It’s a pretty small ward but I can see the potential it has.  It’s such a big area and I hope I can help it!  So that’s pretty much it!  One of my goals in the next few weeks is to get these members fired up about missionary work and the only way to do that is through Elder Kwan’s and my own actions!  It’s just another challenge ahead but I’m so excited for it!  I just look back to how much Tai Po changed and we are just trying to do the same things here and then keep going!  I love you all!  Baseball has already started?!!!  And the D-backs are in first place?!!  What the?!!  Time is just flying by! I can’t believe it!  I love you all!  Thanks for the support and love!

Elder Au Yeung

P.S.  Last P-Day we went to the art museum here and there was a huge Andy Warhol exhibit going on. Man, that guy is just a freako.  But for some reason he fascinates me.  I also I think he was the fastest aging person ever – holy cow! But I guess that’s what his kind of lifestyle leads to!  (Andy Warhol is an American artist who is famous for being a pioneer in the field of “pop art.”  He painted celebrities and other famous people and things that were important in the lives of everyday Americans.   He was particularly famous for his paintings of Campbell’s Soup Cans for example )

220px-Andy_Warhol_by_Jack_Mitchell

170px-Warhol-Campbell_Soup-1-screenprint-1968


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“Oh, What Joy Filled My Soul!”

March 31, 2013

Well, Everyone Hello!!

So this week well…. I saw the sun today for the first time this week! That’s a bonus right?  This week has been pretty much rainy, rainy, days…. Monday was good! I told you that we were going to the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin and well…we did!  (The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is a fairly new museum, opened on December 16, 2000 featuring exhibits of art, history and culture.)  Surprise! Ha-ha! But it was nice and cool. I think that most exciting part was definitely the Easter Eggs…his name was like Faberge. Yes, that’s his name.  (It sounds like Kyle doesn’t even realize he has just seen the most famous collection of “Easter Eggs” in the world.)  Anyway his Easter Eggs aren’t even Easter Eggs…there are like millions of dollars worth of crystals and diamonds meant to hold an Easter Egg or something because they are just crazy!!!! Like come on. Who makes an Easter egg that looks like the Kremlin?  Ha-ha!  It was cool! But you couldn’t take a picture…that was the only bad thing… so you are called to look them up for yourselves.  (Tsar Alexander III presented the first of these famous eggs to his wife Empress Maria Fedorovna in 1885 to celebrate 20 years together.  Of the approximately 50 eggs made 42 have survived.  Since he wasn’t allowed to take pictures here are pictures of some of the eggs he may have seen.) 

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It’s so weird… you’re a missionary and the things like looking at Easter eggs entertain you for hours. But the museum also had a lot of old stuff about Buddhists and stuff. This country loves their Buddhas! It makes for a good time though! It’s crazy to see how much Hong Kong has changed over the past like 30 years. It used to all be just small fishing towns and now they house hundreds of thousands of people! So cool!

Well then the rain continued all day and there was just no one at all to talk to! So we had some opportunities to serve this week! The mission is like buying new apartments for everybody so Tuesday we helped some sisters move from Tai Po to Fanling…. that took a long time! And then the very next day we found out we were moving!!!!! So I don’t live in mainland…I mean Fanling anymore! I live in the heart of Tai Po now!!! It’s right by the river and its 26 stories high so that’s cool! My view from the window is pretty cool! I see the ocean on one side and then all of downtown Tai Po on the other side! But its super small!!!!! Too bad I won’t be living there for a long time…. more on that later.

So nothing much happened that is too eventful until Sunday rolled around. We had like 7 investigators at church this week! We are trying to help Tai Po as much as we can and the Lord is blessing the area so much! When Sunday rolled around the ward asked us to teach the Gospel Essentials class…. that second hour class. We were pretty nervous since we only had an hour to prepare for it! And then it didn’t help that the Bishop and the Stake President both came in for the lesson!! It’s all good though! I loved teaching it! We shared about what the priesthood is and how its here on the Earth to serve other people. I think it was the smoothest Chinese I have ever spoken – it was really cool!! Good opportunity to teach it! But you just have to keep on moving along!

After church we had two really, really, awesome things happen to us! We taught two lessons to Cheuk Hau Ling and Patrick. I don’t know if I’ve told you about Cheuk Hau Ling yet but she is the niece of a Stake President here. We’ve been teaching her for like 3 or 4 weeks now and the whole time she just has been “at” the lessons but not really “in” the lessons if you know what I mean. She’s just a 15 year old sassy girl I guess but she is cool don’t get me wrong! Something changed with her this week and we’re not sure what it was exactly was but during the lesson she was just different. And when we got around to talking about baptism she was pretty excited for it. It was different from other lessons. She seemed more focused and paying attention to everything that was going on! We are really excited for her and can’t wait to see her get baptized!!! Her goal is in the middle of this month!!!! She has a lot of friends in the ward and even classmates so that’s all good! She just seemed so happy and alive after the lesson!

Patrick is also doing well. We talked with him Sunday to follow up with a lesson we had already taught this past week. In the lesson we wanted to really focus in on finding answers and really trying to search ponder and pray. On Sunday we asked him if he did these things and he said yes. And for the first time in all the times of meeting with Patrick he told us he knew he received an answer and he told us the story of how he found out.  It’s an amazing story it truly is. His testimony has grown a lot this week and all the members are doing really well with him. This week he went out to lunch with members and then on Saturday he spent the whole day with like 10+ members doing some charity thing! It’s so good! I love Patrick!!! We have taught him everything and he accepts it all! He just a little nervous for this month but he knows its all true! Search Ponder and Pray! It works every time! We had a feeling that he has gotten answers already but this was the first he came out and said it flat out! And oh, what joy filled my soul!

Now for the sad news… well yesterday President Hawks had an interview with Elder Goodrich and told him that he was going to train a new missionary after the next move. We weren’t expecting it at all since he goes home in 9 weeks but it was just disheartening. My gut just sank. And the worst part is that Patrick was there when I found out as well because he went to Kowloon Tong with us for a fireside and that is when Elder Goodrich told me about it. He seemed pretty sad too since I was the one the one who found him and it was just a sad time in general! I gave it more than I ever had these past 10 weeks in this place…for these people and I was just really sad to be hearing that I was going to be leaving. I thought I was safe and fine here for at least another 4 months but that’s not what the Lord wants I guess…

The ward is doing awesome. I will never forget this ward!!! I’m really so sad to be leaving it this week. Yesterday night I just couldn’t sleep at all. I was awake till at least 3 a.m. just looking out the window at the city just trying to fall asleep but I just couldn’t! But if it’s what the Lord wants then I will gladly follow and go to the next ward he wants me to serve. It will be difficult leaving this area though. Even though it’s been 2 and a half months I love this ward and the people that live in Tai Po. I can now go to my next area knowing that I tried my very best to help these people come closer to Christ. The Spirit has touched so many people’s lives here its so hard to put in words! I can’t wait to hear about the good things Elder Goodrich and his companion will do here!! A part of my heart and soul will always be here in Tai Po! It’s a little like death… it’s not the end! But it’s still bittersweet! I love these people!!! Off to a new magical place… kidding lets not get weird here.   So I’ll talk to you next week from a new place! I love you all!!! Keep up the awesome things you are doing!

Elder Au Yeung