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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I Love it Here!

July 21, 2013

 Wow!  What a crazy week everyone had!  I feel bad because so many people emailed me this week that usually don’t and this week we decided to email from this place that you doesn’t give you enough time.  That means the responses were a little short but rest assured I loved all the emails!  I can’t believe Staci is in China!  That’s pretty cool!  It looks like Hong Kong where she’s at, (Staci is in mainland China, in a small city called Leshan, as part of a Gilbert Sister Cities Exchange program.  The biggest city near Leshan is Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province and known as a research base for giant panda breeding.  Most of the picture she has sent home are of beautiful gardens and trees)  just a little less city like and more tropical!   Happy Birthday to Julie!  (Kyle’s oldest sister’s birthday is July 22.)  That’s so crazy her birthday is today!  Well…I’m not sure why I say its crazy…probably because everything from home just is crazy!  Like everything you’ve been doing in one week, all the Ted Miller stories from the week get packed down to an email and I get them at the same time!  (Ted Miller is a reporter for ESPN.)  So I’m hit with a bunch of info all at once!  Ha-ha!  So for this reason (as the Chinese love to say) it is crazy!  But Julie is so old now!   Anyway it sounds like the July 24th celebration in Safford was a hit!  (Most of our family went to visit Mark’s mom in Thatcher the weekend of the 20th.  They have a 24th of July celebration that we enjoy attending.)  Good ole beloved Thatcher and the Burger House.  Both mom and dad mentioned you guys went to the Burger House, how sad.  Double the pain!  But another month bites the dust!  It’s crazy!  I love it here!  Time is such a weird thing here.  I’m loving Cheung Sha Wan!  The progress in the area, the ward and everything is just so crazy!  I love it here!  The area is on fire!  It really is! Mostly because the weather hasn’t been too friendly but that’s okay!  Just go out and do some good work!

 Yesterday was such a good day at church!  We walked in to Priesthood with an investigator (Sacrament Meeting is last here) and I look at who’s sitting down already and Elder Wong, a member of the 70 and in the presidency here came to our ward yesterday – as well as our stake president!  So it was a very cool experience!  But right before Sacrament Meeting Elder Wong like pulled me aside and just like shook my hand got to know me for a little bit and then just all the sudden asked me, “What do you think this ward needs to here what can I talk about to them that can help them?”  What in the world?  This a general authority asking me what I think he should give a talk on?!  That’s like a once in a lifetime experience!  It was pretty cool!  So I gave him a topic about serving in our families and doing the little things to show our love, so that’s what we heard!  While we were talking, Kenneth came up to us and of course he had no idea who Elder Wong was but they started talking about the church and then Ken asks, “Oh I’m sorry, what do I call you?” and Elder Wong said, “I’m Sam!”  Ha-ha!  It was pretty weird to have a general authority just say his first name and then give his phone number out to whoever wanted it and such.  That was a pretty cool experience. 

 We were also asked to do another interesting thing.  Our companionship is helping the area presidency test and teach this new English class that they thought up!  This week was the first week we did it and it was pretty fun!  Just a lot of preparation!  English classes here are always fun (we teach them every week if you didn’t know) and this program is supposed to have more of a focus.  So that’s something cool…

 Besides that, nothing too exciting happened…so here’s a rundown of the week.

 This week was a fast and busy one for us. The new English class took a little longer to prepare than we expected and so our finding time got cut a little this week but this coming week we’ll do better at having more time to go out and find.  We didn’t have too many new investigators this past week, but this week we already have plans, so hopefully everything will go okay!  We are meeting with a “returning to activity” member and her family tomorrow and having dinner to celebrate one of her son’s birthdays.  She has three sons and she wants us to meet them all so we’ll see how it goes!

 This week at church was very exciting and very rewarding for us!  It was the highest number of people at church that I’ve had on my whole mission so the Lord is truly blessing this area and us!  We are seeing miracles happen every week and just going out, working very hard, and praying for good things to come. The only sad thing about Sunday was that John wasn’t able to come.  Apparently his mother’s feeding tube was really clogged up and so her breathing rate decreased a lot.  She had to go to the hospital Sunday morning around 2 a.m. and John barely got home from the hospital when we called him asking him where he was.  He seemed very worried but I think everything should be okay.  He has been reading the scriptures more and more and at our lesson Friday he was able to answer all the baptismal questions that he has been taught the answers to so far!  That truly is a miracle because when we first met John it didn’t seem like it would go this well!  We are going to start to visit him two times a week now.  He is taking a part-time college degree course as well so he’s very busy but still wants to meet us and will come to church he said!

 At church Or Lan and Emily did great and even stayed for the baptism in the building afterwards.  The ward is doing really great with them and it feels like they are a part of the everything already.  Every week until September someone will have to pick them up to take them to church and the ward doesn’t seem to mind it at all.  Emily turned 8 this week and the Yim Family had a birthday party for her and her whole school class came.  We went over for about 30 minutes because Sister Yim invited us over to eat with them.  (More evidence that missionaries will go wherever there is food.)  While we were there, Or Lan was telling every single one of the moms and dads that were there that she was getting baptized soon and they “definitely need to attend her baptism.”  It was pretty funny and I got embarrassed because she stopped the party when we got there and had us introduce ourselves.  She is going really great right now.  She might get baptized on the 3rd of August instead of the 4th because she wants all of her friends to come.  I really have grown to admire the boldness and the straightforwardness of Or Lan.  This week we were very bold in our lesson about not waiting to have these blessings and she ended up thanking us for our message and said it was the clearest thing she has ever heard or felt!

 Next is Kenneth. He is still progressing because he is coming to church, praying and reading but it’s slowed down a lot.  This week he and Dickson were in a big argument and while at church Kenneth had to leave suddenly because something happened with Dickson.  Its okay, they just can’t get baptized as soon as we thought they could.  They still have some issues with the Word of Wisdom but I’m confident they can work everything out.  We had a great lesson after English class and they expressed their desire for baptism.

 We have a new baptismal date this week!  A-Hung came to church for the second week in a row and stayed for the baptism afterwards.  He is a little strange because he told me that he has never been to church before but knows a lot about the Bible and has heard some anti-material before.  However he has read the Book of Mormon recently and says that Joseph Smith is a prophet so that’s progress!  A member helped him yesterday understand that today we have a living prophet as well and then he actually brought up the question of baptism.  At first when we said there was a baptism today so he could see how it’s done he took that to mean he was getting baptized today which resulted in a pretty funny reaction but he accepted a September 21st date.

 We had a new investigator Eric come to church as well.  He also stayed for the baptism and really enjoyed it.  I think he doesn’t have much to do right now so that’s what’s going on with him.  He already has a good relationship with the ward after only one week which is good.  Then Brother Chin and A-Pui came to church so that is good as well,   I just don’t have enough time left to talk about them.  I love you all!  Have a good week and thanks for being such a great example!!!

 Elder Allen

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July 14, 2013

The time is just flying by!  It seriously is!  It’s already mid July???!  Mid July?!  Sun Devil football is starting again!!!!  Just kidding… more important things to worry about over here… ehhh… ya… we’ll go with that.  Just kidding, the work is going great over here!  We are already on week 6 of this transfer so the time is just being lost somewhere!  The week for us was pretty good!  I’m just a little bit stressed out right now!  We have a lot of baptismal dates coming up and they’re all doing well, coming to church etc. but there is something that is telling me that they just need one more thing to really be ready for baptism.  Every day that passes and they haven’t accomplished that one additional thing just makes me more nervous and nervous!  If only they could have the blessings I’ve seen.  Strike that.  That we’ve seen!  I just don’t really know what I can do more and it’s just frustrating at times.  Oh well.  The miracles shall come!  I love all these people and these past couple weeks I’ve grown to really see what they see and it’s made us closer!  Kenneth even wants to come finding with us twice a week now.  Tell you a story about this week’s experience with him later.  He’s turning into quite the finder let me tell you.

No really funny stories this week.  (I beg to differ.  The story coming up is pretty funny!)  Or Lan is sick because her stomach has to get used to the new pills that she is taking to help her fully recover.  Well during the lesson this week she wanted to see us but she was still pretty sick.  We sat down with her and after 10 minutes or so I realized we weren’t helping her at all and we didn’t want to bother her so we told her we would just come back another time.  So I start to close my scriptures in front of her and she stops me (she was basically throwing up or something in a bowl) and told me very firmly that she was going to hear the 10 commandments and that’s that.  So being the good son that I am (I think mom would have something to say about that statement)  (I would totally agree!) I obeyed the parent and just kept on teaching!  But I guess the only way that she could control herself was by letting out these HUGE BURPS!  They were huge! I started getting intimidated during the lesson if you know what I mean.  So the whole time it would just be quiet talking and then  BOOM there goes one and then randomly BOOM there goes another.  (You see what I mean?)

Also we got invited to go with a less active member who is a policeman to this Hong Kong Police Leisure Center to eat with him and his family!  We weren’t about to turn that offer down and so we went and man the Hong Kong police have it nice!!!  Everything was like the best I’ve ever seen in Hong Kong!!  But anyway while we were eating his wife came in late with this cake.  He asked, “What is the cake for?” and quickly she replied, “I think it’s your birthday isn’t it?”  He said, “I don’t know.  How am I supposed to know?”  So they looked it up and turns out it was!   Ha-ha!   So Happy Birthday to Brother Ho!!  Ha-ha that was pretty funny.  Chinese people don’t even remember their own birthdays even though they have like two…their western one and the Chinese calendar one.  Crazy…

Being at church this week was really great for a couple of our investigators.  The lesson in the second hour class was about the Sacrament.  When we went over to John’s house this week we explained the importance of the Sacrament and the whole thing just didn’t go over to well for him.  He has obviously heard “anti” material so we have to work through that as well.  The message about the importance of baptism and the Sacrament just wasn’t getting through.  Then an idea popped into my head to read 3rd Nephi 18 together about the Sacrament.  So we did that and then finished up the lesson feeling a little disappointed with the results but happy because he seemed to understand the scriptures and had a foundation in them.  Then, on Sunday Sister Yeung who he thinks is the greatest teacher, really got through to him.  She was able to answer all his questions and I think it made it more clear to him.  His mother is very sick right now so he told me he probably wouldn’t stay for Sacrament Meeting but after that lesson he stayed around past the Sacrament part and some of the first speaker.  Then he said he really had to go and I wasn’t going to ask him to stay any longer!  I think it’s good, not quite there but still progressing.

Kenneth had a great finding experience this week.  He wanted to go finding really bad, but the only time we had was late at night on Friday.  We had about 20 minutes to go find so he wanted to jump right into it.  He quickly put his bag down and immediately began talking to the first person he saw.  Turns out she is very interested in the gospel and they talked about English class, living prophets, how to pray and all that!  It was amazing because when he started talking to her I was still putting my backpack down by his and had to hurry on over to where he was! And then after that contact he stopped the next person he saw, a mom with two her kids going home!  They talked for about 5 to 10 minutes all about service and the free English class that we offer and then even scheduled her!   It really put me to shame realizing the potential of this approach!  He just stopped and contacted a total of 4 people, one being a family, in the first two people he talked to!  I need to do better in finding and that motivated me!

We also had an investigator re-contact us again this week!  Brother Chin was in Mainland for about 5 weeks but never told us he was going.  I thought he might have just disappeared but he called us the next day after he got home (probably because he saw how many times we tried to call him!) and he invited us over to his house that day!  We had a good lesson with him but he’s just lost so much time and we will have to push him back a little bit.  We need to try and extend a new baptismal date for him.  He has one right now but because of this setback he won’t make that one, but that’s fine for right now.  I’m just really glad he’s back!

Lastly, Or Lan and Emily are still doing great and progressing really well. We talked about the 10 commandments with her and everything went smooth, except the biggest problem she’ll have with the commandments is the Sabbath Day part.  She likes to spend time with her sons every Sunday, which means them picking her up from church and going to Festival Walk to eat.  We are still trying to work on it with her and once Sister Yim, her fellowshipper, talks about more with her it should be all right.  We are also working with her about having August 4th be her firm baptismal date.  She really wants her younger brother to attend the service so he can get to know the church but he doesn’t get back until October from Japan.

That’s all the big news for the week.  We had a good week with finding new investigators.  One was really excited about coming to church and then yesterday he said it was very peaceful.  He was very thankful to us for bringing him to it. His name is A-Hung and he committed to start reading the Book of Mormon everyday so we’ll see what goes on with that!  I love you all!  Thanks for the support and packages!!!  It seriously means a lot to have a family that cares!!!

歐陽長老

(I hope this is his name but I am pretty sure this is the first time he has signed a letter using just the Chinese characters.)

 These are all mosquito bites I’ve had recently!  One is a huge one!  The other one is like 10 different ones in the same spot and then the other one is one that when I woke up one morning my lip was huge!  And itchy! It must have been a mosquito!  It was like that for the majority of the day!Image

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A Visit to a Chinese Prison

July 8, 2013

 I was just thinking about what the subject line of this email should be and I looked down at my watch and saw that today is exactly 11 months since I arrived in Hong Kong.  What a crazy time to be here!  The time literally is flying by!  Just think about…I haven’t been in the United States for almost a year!  I haven’t been in Thatcher for two straight years?!  That’s just too much to handle.  Next year I’m going to watch the puppets.  (Kyle is referring to the Fourth of July program in Thatcher, Arizona where his dad grew up.  The celebration features fire trucks that wake you up at 5 in the morning, a band, fireworks, musical numbers, a guest speaker – usually Abraham Lincoln, George Washington or Ben Franklin, and a puppet show. ) Next year. I just want to know which President will be celebrating with us.  Ha-ha!  Well we had some funny stories this week too…

 So we got an assignment from President Hawks this week to go visit an elderly couple’s grandson’s war buddy who was staying in a hospital.  We had to go meet him on Saturday morning because that’s the only time we could do it.  But the conflict was that we had to go visit this other area’s investigator’s son who is in prison!!!!  Yep, I visited a prison for the first time.  But before we get there we ask two of our members to come to the jail with us and we’ll do exchanges.  Well it turns out one of the members “fongs” us (which means that he didn’t show up) so we go to the hospital first instead.  At the hospital we look around for a while trying to find this guy.  We finally find a person to ask but turns out no one there goes by that name.  Great!  But luckily the member who came with us wants to help us go to the prison so he calls another member and finally convinces him to come with us to the jail.  (I hope this is all making sense.  Each prisoner is allowed only two visitors per day so having three people there wouldn’t work unless one went in by himself.)  Well, 45 minutes later the member he called shows up holding this huge automatic assault rifle air soft gun!  HA-HA!!!!  He brings the gun to the jail!!!!  Who in the world tries to do that?   Why does he even have it with him?   Ha-ha! 

 Anyway…. after even more time it ends up just Elder Peterson and I going into the Chinese prison… alone… oh man.  I’m sure everyone in the jail must have wondered what those two people in white shirts were doing in the jail.  Anyway…. Chinese prisons… you get 15 minutes to talk by way of the phone from a glass booth.  So it is just soooo noisy in there and I pick up the phone and I’m like yelling into it and he’s whispering back (I’m not sure if he got that he was speaking to two white guys who don’t know his language.)  I’m sure Elder Peterson does not understand anything that is being said (that’s how most missionaries are at his stage, btw) and so I’m just trying to talk as fast and loud as I can.  And then all of the sudden this big guy comes in and screams “okay 1 minute everybody!”  I have just been talking to him and I wanted to teach him to pray so all of the sudden I just start teaching how to pray.  I feel like I am talking fast but we just run out of time so I was just like, “Watch us this time and if you have any questions ask us next time. These are the three main steps 1.2.3.”  So while we’re saying a prayer the guards are like all around him saying,  “Time’s up, time’s up, everybody out” and so the prayer gets cut short and I got out of there so fast!!   Chinese prisons…. I’ve become one step closer to Jack Bauer.  (Jack Bauer is the hero of Kyle’s favorite television show, “24.”)  This is a dream come true!!!  So this week went by pretty interestingly.  I’ve been thinking about it and I realized something.  We visited 3 different hospitals, a nursing home and a prison all this week.  It reminds me of something that was said in church not too long ago by a member I really respect.  She said, “We can’t always pick who we serve or who our investigators are, we just go to whomever is in need.”  The Savior didn’t come and comfort those that were well, merry, and rich but he went to those that were exactly the opposite!  That’s just something to think about.  We are praying for opportunities to serve but where are we looking?  We’re finding the ones who need our help! 

 This week was excellent for us.  I’m so happy at the results for the week.  We really worked hard and saw the miracles.  One actually came when we were doing less-active work.  We went and knocked on this less active’ member’s door.  To our surprise and delight he let us in right away.  We had a great discussion and retaught about the Restoration.  Afterwards, we met his neighbor while waiting for the elevator and he gave us his phone number.  Well, this week came and we had nothing planned except finding on one night.  But then I had a thought just to go visit him and see if he had any interest in talking with us. When we got there his door was open but we could hear that he was in the shower so we waited for about 10 minutes not knowing what would happen when he got out.  He came out, saw us, and then said,  “Oh hello friends, why don’t you come in?” We did a short lesson just to get to know him and explain who we are.  He invited us back later on in the week and there we taught him with a member!  The best part of it is that he came to church for the first time as well!  What an amazing experience and I’m so glad that we’re finding while we’re finding otherwise we would have never met him! 

 Kenneth is doing well this week.  He loves going finding with us.  The problem is that he truly is busy with work. On some days it’s from 4:30 in the morning to 11 at night.  We challenge him to read every night, even for just 5 minutes if he’s tired and he does but only some of the time.  He keeps on coming to church, which is great.  He actually loves coming to the church more than anything else.  I’m pleased with his progression but this week will be pretty important for him.  We are going to be more forward about things because right now he does just not really understand the importance and necessity of it all.  I love Kenneth a lot.  He is a great father, and if he reads the Book of Mormon this week all will be good.  We even challenged him to give a Book of Mormon to a friend and he loved the idea!  We’ll see how that experience goes. 

 Emily and her mom, Or Lan, are doing really well.  We were quite scared this week with her. We went to go visit her at the nursing home but when we called her she told us that a big miracle happened.  She moved back home for good and she was so happy that Heavenly Father had answered her prayers. When she told me her home address I was a little saddened, almost positive it wasn’t in our boundaries.  We went and looked it up and to my amazement it is!  Man when we were looking it up and at the close of the search my heart felt exactly just as an ASU game… and I know how those always turn out so I was expecting the worst.  No, seriously I was!  I think it’s some kind of automatic reaction.  The heart is getting excited over two choices, like two bad things.   But where she lives is literally only 100-200 yards from the boundary street.  The ward is doing such a great job with accommodating her and she is fitting in really well.  We went over and read 3rd Nephi 11 with her and explained how through obedience, Heavenly Father is happy with us.  She liked that a lot and she is doing wonderfully.  Right now she is just about to start Mosiah so she is doing her reading.  We are going to teach her about Sabbath Day this week, which will be her biggest hurdle.  After church every Sunday one of her sons picks her up and they go out to eat. 

 John also had a really good lesson.  We had intended to teach 10 commandments but when we got there he had already read the scriptures talking about it (in preparation) and listed them for us.  We were pretty startled at this but were very happy.  Then he brought up a question pertaining to the Word of Wisdom so we just decided to teach him that!  It turns out that he has no problems with it at all and loves to only drink water!  He really wanted to come to church but his mom is really sick right now so he had to take care of her.  Even then, he was planning to just come for Sacrament but then between Saturday night and Sunday morning her situation got worse.  He called us letting us know that he was terribly sorry he couldn’t make it.

 That’s all the main stories for the week.  We did have another cool story that happened at church.  A member from New York came back to Hong Kong to attend her 30-year school reunion.  While she was here, her husband told her to bring one of their friends to the church and so she did!  We met Nick after church and he seems pretty willing to at least listen!  I think the member has had a big impact on his life because he really looked up to her and actually changed his schedule the day before so he could go to church with her!

  I love you all!  The work over here is great!  There hasn’t been a rainy day here since I last wrote.   Just really hot!!!  That’s so great!  I love and miss you all have a good week!

 Elder Au Yeung!


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A “Disappointing” Three

July 2, 2013

Sorry everyone!  (Kyle’s letter should have come on June 30, a Sunday because his P-day is on Monday and Hong Kong time is 15 hours ahead of Arizona time, but it arrived on Tuesday July 2 instead.  His P-day had been changed to Wednesday that week.)   I found out last Wednesday that this week was our week to go to the temple so that’s where I was on Monday.  But Monday was pretty exciting nevertheless!  We had our first real typhoon of the year!  Here there are levels 1,3,8, and 10 and the one on Monday got up to a three.  (I looked up what each of the classifications means.  A “T1” simply indicates that a typhoon has been spotted and people should listen for further information.  A “T3” tells people winds of up to 110 km/hr are expected  in the area and they should tie down any loose objects on their balconies and rooftops.  In addition they should also stay away from the coastal areas.  An “T8” designation means that winds in the area may be in excess of 180 km/hr.  All work and most public transport will be cancelled under these conditions.  People should stay away from doors and away from exposed windows and even put tape on the windows of older buildings.  A “T10” is also known as a direct hit.  It means that the eye of the storm will park itself directly over Hong Kong.  The city has not experienced a “direct hit” in quite a few years but when it does casualties usually result.  Now I have another thing to pray for.)   Actually…. it was quite disappointing.  I think it only got a three rating because they were telling everyone it was going to be an 8 but then nothing happened so they just said it was a three and called it good.  (I assure you that the three rating was only disappointing to him – NOT to his mother.)  Nothing really significant happens in a three.  It is even safe enough for missionaries to go out still!  Yay!!!  Nothing like walking the streets in the rain and wind!!  Ha-ha!  It’s okay though… hard work brings other blessings… even if its not the ones you’re expecting to get out of the hard work you’re doing.

So this week we had the chance to play Ping Pong with a recent convert and a group of her friends.  They were all ages and it was unreal!!!!  They were so good at Ping Pong it was mind blowing.  I even got the best opportunity to play with the 50th-ranked 12-year-old player in in Hong Kong.  We played this wife/husband team and he was straight up owning them!  It seriously was unreal the Ping Pong he was playing!  We lost the first game but then beat them the next two!  My job was clear though… just get the ball on the table and then let him smash it.  He was so amazing…. and he’s only 12.  I still don’t get how good he is.  I’ve played with some really good people but that was just different!  Ping Pong rules.  Corbin doesn’t.   (We have a ping pong table at our house and Kyle and Jenna’s husband Corbin have, shall we say, a “healthy” rivalry.)

Well this week was really good, especially at church.  We thought we were going to have an okay week, but were a little disappointed because Or Lan, Emily’s mom, wasn’t getting released from the hospital until this Wednesday and couldn’t come to church.   But as we walked into the church on Sunday her fellowshipper, Sister Yim, told us that she got released on Saturday and she called Sister Yim right away to say how much she was looking forward to church!  She was afraid that she wasn’t going to be able to go because Sister Yim was sick and didn’t get her message until Sunday morning.  But it all turned out okay!  The members were in full support to go get her and pick her up.  I’ve been really impressed with the ward lately.  They are really helping us a lot in whatever ways they can!  We taught Or Lan after church and she is doing wonderfully.  Right now she is in Jacob chapter 5.  She says she doesn’t know if Joseph Smith was a prophet yet but we keep reminding her if she knows the Book of Mormon is true then she knows Joseph Smith is a true prophet.  Something tells me she has already received her answer to that question but she isn’t willing to admit it.  Oh well, she is keeping up with all her commitments and her prayers are very sincere.  We’ll be able to help her recognize those answers as she keeps these commitments like she has been doing.

Next Kenneth and Dickson are doing okay, just still having a hard time reading the Book of Mormon.  Kenneth hasn’t expressed much interest at all in the Book of Mormon, just the other aspects of the church. However this weekend was a step in the right direction. He asked us again if he could go to “meet new people” with us as he calls it.  (Kyle calls it “finding.”) We told him of course he can and so we did.  Well the first person he talked to was really interested and became a new investigator actually.  He and Kenneth really got along because Kenneth mentioned how peaceful the church is and the man he approached, whose name is Alex, was looking for a peaceful place to go and read.  He knew where the church was as well and so it worked out perfectly.  He is very nice and should be coming to English class tonight.  But then, the very next person we talked to tried to “anti” him by asking what he knew about the Book of Mormon and if he had ever tried going to another church.  And that’s when he sounded literally like a remember and basically defended the Book of Mormon saying that “this book teaches me more about the same God that is in the Bible, it just teaches me more.  And after graduating from a Catholic College I feel like a know God pretty well but this book just helps me more.”  Wow amazing!  And then after that she accepted a Book of Mormon!  The crazy thing is that we ran into the same girl a week before and I didn’t want her to “anti” Kenneth so we didn’t stop and talk.  Maybe I should’ve had more faith in him!  But it was a good building block for him.  And then at church, where we have been struggling to find an appropriate friend for him, we finally found one!  This girl gave a talk of one of his favorite teachings of Jesus and he loved it!  They talked for a good 20 minutes after church!

We got a new baptismal date as well!  John is very interested in keeping the commandments and during the lesson he just straightly asked, “What are some commandments we have today? I want to know so I can follow them.”  Then we said baptism is one of them.  He seemed puzzled by it at first, not really knowing why it would be a commandment but then we challenged him to be baptized and he accepted!  He has come to church for all 3 weeks we’ve known him!  He is a curious fellow but actually made a few different friends at church.  Things are going well with him.

And then finally, we went and visited a less active this week.  Well we visited a lot, but this one was actually home!  We went with a member who was a little nervous about going to knock on random strangers doors but we still went.  What a miracle it was and a great faith building opportunity for everyone involved.  The door was actually open and so we poked our heads in and there he was!  He immediately invited us in and asked us to sit.  He admits to having some faith problems and stopped coming to church because he didn’t want to rely on other people’s faith anymore.  We had to re-teach him about the Book of Mormon and then invited him to start reading about Faith in Alma 32.  But then he opened up and shared a storing saying how he doesn’t remember a lot about the church but remembers one person’s testimony about faith and how that really made him want to find his own.  It was hard and so when no one supported him he felt lonely and lost.  He got a job selling black pearls in Beijing and is only in Hong Kong a few days a month now (actually he said it was very lucky we ever saw him there) and with those few days he felt like spending time with his wife and two daughters (who we didn’t even know he had) was more important than church because they want to help him.  Pretty interesting how he doesn’t remember the Book of Mormon but remembers that testimony.  People have a big impact on other people!  But then on the way out we talked to his neighbor and it turns out he is very interested in the church!  He wanted to come to church but things didn’t work out last week and so this week he said he’d come!  And while we were talking to him, the less active member’s wife came up in the elevator and we met his whole family!  Amazing!

In other good news, both A-Keung and Hazel went and saw the bishop by themselves to get a temple recommend!  They were so interested in it and so they both set up and interview and are going with the ward next week!  They are both doing great!

I’m grateful Heavenly Father answers our prayers!  Our family is seeing miracles on both sides of the ocean! I can’t wait for the emails about how Vivian is!  (As some of you know Staci was selected by the Town of Gilbert where we live to participate in a “Sister Cities” exchange program.  Vivian, the girl who came to spend three weeks with us, arrived on Monday July 1 from Leshan, China of all places and Kyle was anxious to hear about her.)  Chinese people rock so I’m sure she rocks!  I LOVE YOU ALL!  Many a miracles is happening out here thanks to you!

Elder Au Yeung


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Rain, Rain, Go Away!

June 23, 2013

So I had to guess what gender Jenna and Corbin’s baby is going to be so I’m going to turn the tables this week and ask you a question…..what is the first thing I’m going to talk about this week?  No one guessed it?  THE RAIN!!!!  It just rains and rains and rains!  How does it happen?  I don’t know!  I just go with it. Seriously the water gets like picked up in the ocean and then immediately dumped out.  (On May 22 even the Hong Kong Stock market was closed because of the rain.  One storm dumped 200 millimeters or 8 inches of rain on the city in just a few hours. Considering the fact that the average ANNUAL rainfall in Phoenix is 8.29 inches that is a lot of rain!)  Oh and I attached a picture of this morning.  That’s the view from my window.  There’s no fog whatsoever it’s just rain, rain and more rain.

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The view from Kyle’s window.

But congratulations Jenna and Corbin that’s so cool!!!! (Jenna and Corbin found out this week that their baby is a boy!) So how many new people do I need to meet?  I think it is 3 boys and a girl?  At least?  I’m just not sure anymore!  (Kyle is right, he has not yet met Hadley who was born last November 8, and Zachary, who was born last November 10.  Two more babies both apparently boys are due this fall, one for Katie and Dallin and one for Jenna and Corbin.  Three boys and one girl.)

Oh well…I’ve heard about that missionary conference thing that went on!  Is every ward going to get a single set of missionaries?  That’s so crazy!!  That is such a small area to serve in!  I mean that’s what its like here but my area probably has like 250,000 people in at least!!!!!  So we were exploring the southern part of our area and I attached a picture!!  It’s so sweet!  Its like way out in the bottom but just look at the picture!!!  It’s worth it to walk all the way out there.  It looks like a green-screen!!!  I love this area!  It has some of the poorest, richest, and oldest parts in Hong Kong all in one!  It’s just so cool!  Every day is a new experience.

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The southern part of Kyle’s area. So picture perfect it almost doesn’t look real.

 Well anyway… besides the rain it was just a pretty standard week…for us.   It was a really good week for strengthening our current investigators.  I think prayer is having a big affect on their lives right now.  Now our goal is to just get them reading the Book of Mormon as much as they should.  That seems to be the struggle.  Kenneth and Dixon have become steadier recently.  They missed church yesterday because they said, “something happened.”  I don’t know what it is yet but it sounded urgent.  We’ll call them this week and find out but he told us not to worry and everything will be all right.  I must say thank you to President Hawks for what has happened with Kenneth and Dixon.  He came to our ward a couple of weeks ago and talked about how hard missionary work is.  The Spirit has touched Kenneth’s heart ever since. He has called me 1-2 times a week for the sole purpose of asking when we can go tracting together!  Amazing!  We met on Friday this week and found people to teach for about 45 minutes.  It really helped us understand each other better and realize who the missionaries are, what we do etc.  I enjoyed talking with him a lot and we even taught a street lesson together.  Following closely behind were his son, Dixon, and Elder Peterson. Whenever he had time to, Elder Peterson would go over and talk with Dixon, and I think even 12-year-old Dixon enjoyed the night.  We became better friends with Dixon, which is pretty essential we think, and so Friday was a big step in the right direction.  If they were reading the Book of Mormon more they would be okay, but right now we need to call them and remind them to read more often!

Emily and her mom are doing really good.  She wasn’t able to come to church yesterday because she went back into the hospital unexpectedly.  Apparently the nursing home that has been taking care of her wasn’t making sure she was eating and then on Monday they picked up her lunch and threw it away before she had the chance to eat it (she was taking a nap).  Well, she still has been taking her diabetes shots, which causes her blood pressure to drop so she needs to eat something.  So finally on Monday her body couldn’t take it anymore and collapsed.  She was rushed to the hospital but everything is probably okay.  They won’t know for sure until today.  She is in good spirits though.  We went to visit her yesterday and before we really got talking about the gospel she asked, “Do you have another Book of Mormon?” When I got rushed here mine was put away with some other things so I didn’t have a chance to read 2 Nephi 31 yet.”  So I gave a new one to her and she insisted that we read it right then and there!  So we did just that.  She really gets the gospel since she was really religious before.  We taught her the Word of Wisdom yesterday and she assured me that everything would be alright and there would be no problems with her keeping this commandment. What a great miracle.  And to think this all started because our member saw one of her students in need of a place to stay.  On the train ride home yesterday she reminded me that she did it because Jesus did it.  When he was on Earth he didn’t go to the rich or the healthy, but he went to those who needed him most.  This has been such an example to me.  It made me wonder and really think for quite some time.  That truly is someone who follows Christ.

Well sorry it’s kind of a mah-mah-dei week (that means so-so-ish).  But we truly are being blessed! Many opportunities to teach lessons!  Way more than any other time in my mission!  The Lord is blessing us and its all because of all of you and your prayers!  Thanks so much!  We have also had some opportunities this week to “defend” our religion.  It’s amazing how many times you just walk around here and someone comes up and just wants to show you how wrong you are!  Most of their arguments just don’t make sense.  But I’ll save some of those stories for later.   I’m just glad the Spirit is always guiding us and telling us what to say so that we “won’t be confounded before men.”  It’s always interesting to see what points people bring up but just know that if you read the book you’re trying to disclaim, you’d know of the great power it has!!  I’ve seen it first hand!  Love you all!  Talk to you later!

Elder Au Yeung


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“Bitter”sweet

June 16, 2013

Hello family!

Happy Father’s Day to first off my Dad!!  Thanks so much for bringing me up and teaching me all these things that are so crucial!  Truly I believe that you and mom are the biggest parts of who I am today!  Thanks for being who you are and helping me so much!  I love you!!  And well Chris, Dallin, Chase, Corbin…. ehh you’re cool too I guess.  Happy Father’s Day or whatever to you guys too.  (These are Kyle’s brothers-in-law.) 

Before I forget everything it’s been a while since I’ve given a  “What in the World Have I Eaten this Week?” report.  I guess it would make sense for you to know since I’m not as new here as before (imagine that) but still some new things pass over my plate now and then.  This week I got my revenge on jellyfish.  Remember when we were on our cruise and the Jellyfish stung me?  Ya that’s what I mean.  I had that guy for dinner the other day.  Jellyfish tastes a lot like it looks.   Like… nothing… but hard to chew!  Just, you know, the norm!  But then there is this one thing that I’ve eaten a few times now but I haven’t mentioned… mostly because I don’t want to give it any credit.  The name makes it sound okay but trust me…. it’s not.  It’s called Bitter Melon… or at least that’s what it’s translated to.  It so sucks!  So like most vegetables you have to bite it first and then it has the impact on you.  But this devil… as soon as it hits your mouth you just taste it!  So even when you just swallow it whole you still taste it!  It’s supposed to give you “bubble fresh” skin ha-ha.  Oh man…. don’t ever try it.  It puts cow tongue to shame.  We went over to the Bishop’s house to eat yesterday and there was a whole dish of it!  The Chinese love it!  Just don’t try it okay? (There isn’t much online about the flavor of bitter melon except what Kyle pretty much said – it is an acquired taste.  It is supposed to have lots of heath benefits though, including help for people with diabetes, malaria and some forms of cancer.  Here is a picture of the Chinese version of the vegetable – there are different varieties in different parts of the world.  Looks a lot like a harmless cucumber to me!)

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So Hong Kong likes to rain these days and rain and rain some more.  I’ve already told you that Hong Kong people are so scared of the rain and it is true!  At signs of first drops they all just scatter!  And so this week was just dead.  Especially Saturday.  I don’t remember a time Saturday when it wasn’t raining!  It amazed me how much water came down!  Now I know why the scriptures say build your foundations on solid ground!  Because unlike home the floods really do come down!  Ha-ha!  I guess I need to help build my investigator’s testimonies on a solid ground so that they will meet with us during the rain.  Ha-ha… missionary jokes… they aren’t that funny.  Oh and even when there are no clouds it still rains!!  Seriously!  One day it did that!  It was super sunny but drizzling!!!

Anyway the Lord has truly blessed us this week and Cheung Sha Wan is just getting bigger and better every week!  It truly is a miracle before our eyes right now!  Everything is just such a miracle!  The ward is happier and the missionary work is going really well!  It’s just a good time in general!!  Seems like everything is going well at home!  I just can’t believe it’s summer over there.  Where like you’re always so busy and stuff!  It’s just hard for a missionary to pick those things up but I’m glad all of you are having fun!  Heavenly Father is truly blessing us!

Our companionship had a tremendous week like I said, where the Lord was continuously blessing us with finding, teaching, and people coming to church.  All aspects of the work in general are going well. These past few weeks I truly have felt the Lord strengthening my language learning capacity and all that too.  This week two more investigators accepted a baptismal date!  Emily and her mom accepted a date for August 4th.  The whole time Elder Peterson and I were thinking about July 28th but the whole time I just wasn’t sure and it didn’t feel right.  But then as we gave her the date we settled on, August 4th and it seemed perfect.  She and Emily had a good week.  Emily continues to read the scriptures every single night without fail and her mom beat us to church yesterday by 15 minutes she said.  And we got there 35 minutes early! She went around telling different Relief Society women how she was excited to meet them and how she has a baptismal date now.  This week we’ll start teaching commandments and help her build more faith. She still is so humble and teachable.  Their changes are getting bigger and bigger every week.  She likes to burp though… It’s kinda weird… I must say… I’m talking about the mom and not Emily.  Emily reminds me a lot of Kambrie actually!  (Kambrie is Kyle’s 9 almost 10-year-old niece.)  Woah… I just thought about that and it’s so true!

Next, Kenneth came to church for the 3rd week in a row!  He is really enjoying the atmosphere of church and even suggested that he come out finding with us!  Even though it was late at night he said he felt like he should help us out and so he tried contacting people.  I couldn’t believe it!  An investigator who wants to share the gospel with random people?  And then when it was time to go he kept on saying “no one more person” or “maybe we can bring this person back to the church.”  Truly amazing!  And then he even suggested that anytime we are in Lai Chi Kok (where they live) that we call him so that he can help us. He really is getting to know some of the youth and their parents as well.  He is taking our Deacons Quorum President swimming with Dixon today because he wants them to be better friends so that Dixon will come to church.  For being only 12 years old Dixon is quite stubborn and hard to work with but he read Alma 32 and then came to church for the first time yesterday.  Amazing!  I guess I needed my faith to grow and have faith in him!  They seemed pretty good at church.  They are still coming late so we’ll definitely have to work with them.  They need to read the Book of Mormon more frequently as well.  Right now they will read what they are asked but not a lot more.  I’m excited though.  Things are looking up right now.

We got two new investigators this week.  They are actually brothers, John and Phillip.  They live together with their parents still because their parents have had strokes so while the other one goes to work the other watches them.  That was the case with church yesterday as well.   John came but Phillip had to watch his ailing parents.  They are a little weird but have a lot of gospel interest.  John expressed that he had started reading the Book of Mormon and liked it, and that prayer was a little weird but he has been trying to do it.  It’s only a beginning but they seem interested.  They actually contacted the sister missionaries first and asked them to teach them the gospel.  He already knew a lot of facts about the church and said he liked the church because “it teaches integrity.”  He must have said that phrase 5 times or so.  When we asked John if he needed help getting to church she said “I don’t think so.  It’s the one right across from the Temple in Kowloon Tong right?”  We’ll see how things turn out.  OHHH and for some reason he knew so many random facts about Arizona!!  Like the telescopes that are there (and that’s not his job either) and like what the weather is like.  He even knew about Coach Todd Graham!!!  Just kidding…. if that happens here… my life shall be complete…

I love you all thanks for all that you do! Your prayers and stuff etc.!!!  Keep on working hard and relying on Christ in your lives!!!  This week is 13 months!  Can you believe it?!

Elder Au Yeung


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“I Beg of You”

June 9, 2013

 Well a big relief came to me on Tuesday when I found out that I’m going to be staying and training here this move!  So I’m in Cheung Sha Wan for the time being…. meaning at least 9 more weeks.  But Elder Kwan left and now I have a new companion!  His name is Elder Peterson from South Jordan, Utah I think???  Or maybe West Jordan… hmm… oh well… But do you all want to know something pretty crazy?  He was born in 1995!!!!!!!!  The same year as Staci!!  I thought I wasn’t old but I’m almost two years older than him?!  What the heck!!!!  Ha-ha pretty crazy!  He said he is the youngest missionary in Hong Kong by about 5 months!  He graduated from high school a year early because he lived in New Zealand and there they have an accelerated learning system.  So when he came back to the United States he was a grade ahead!  His parents are both from New Zealand actually so he’s pretty dark.  Doesn’t look like he’s from Tonga or anything – but still…pretty dark!!  It’s interesting to see how the 18-year-olds are in the mission field.  Right now they seem so young but I’m sure they’ll mature pretty fast!  As the start they just seem like everything is a blur and they can’t keep their head on straight!  I’m wondering if that’s how I was…. I mean probably, but these people haven’t gone to college yet or done anything!  Just stayed at home for a little bit!  It will be interesting.  This transfer 25 missionaries came into our mission!  That’s a record by far for the China, Hong Kong Mission!.  Like double the most they have ever had before I think??  They will just keep coming and coming I hear!  The work of the Lord is hastening here in China!!!  And I’m right in the middle of it!  Literally!  I’m in the middle of my mission and in the middle of Hong Kong!  It’s a fun time to be here!!  I’m pumped right now!

 This week was a pretty busy week for us.  We taught a lot of lessons, which is a good start for Elder Peterson.  I want him to be in teaching situations as much as possible.  I think this week was a good start for the new companionship.  Looking back we either met or even exceeded a lot of the weekly goals we set for ourselves.  We had some big miracles this weekend especially.  One is with Kenneth and Dixon.  They are the father/son that love coming to the church.  This week we taught them the Plan of Salvation with a focus on eternal families.  At the end of the lesson we brought baptism up many times.  By the time we invited them both to follow the Savior and be baptized it seemed so natural, so fluid, that it really was easy to invite them and have an open discussion. They accepted a baptismal date for next month and so we are really excited to work with them.  Kenneth came to church but Dixon was sick yesterday so that’s too bad but right now they are making good progress.  I do believe a mighty change of heart has taken place with them, especially with Kenneth.  In these past few lessons he has only been focused on how this can help Dixon, but now this weekend when we taught him, he really was focused on the gospel blessing his own life. 

 Another miracle happened this week with Emily and her mom, Ngoh Laahn.  They came to church together and loved it.  We were worried it would be too long for her mom since she is confined to a wheel chair. ,However, she personally said she wanted to stay for a baptism that was happening in an hour after the end of church to see how they are done.  She liked it and when we taught her after the baptism (we were going to teach the Plan of Salvation) we mentioned Pre-Earth life and she taught us!  She shared with Emily (who is her daughter by the way) every single step in the whole plan!  Ha-ha it was crazy!  She seriously must have read the pamphlet 5 times because she had everything down perfectly.  She was talking about what she had been learning in the Book of Mormon and how everything makes sense and it’s all connected together.  Before bed every night Emily will come in and they read at least one chapter in the Book of Mormon together.  Every night!  This is a 7-year-old girl taking the initiative to read scriptures!  It truly amazes me the power of the Book of Mormon and the mighty changes it brings.  She has asked us when she can get baptized.  We didn’t set a date with her but this week when we see her again we will.   I’m just amazed at the change in their countenances.  Before it was “Why did this happen to me?” and “I have all these problems” but now their lives are turning more towards Christ.

 I love you all!  I’m so grateful for all my support, my family, and how much the Lord is blessing us!  Thank you.   I know I say it every week and its the same old thing but remember it!  Cause I mean it!!!  Have a good week!  Go Diamondbacks!!!!  Or is that going to curse them?  Arizona sports…. one of the most disappointing topics in the world.  Everything is going well here!  Don’t worry too much!

 Elder Au Yeung 

 PS.  Oops… I was going to post a picture or two but…well…I forgot my camera… forgive me… please… I beg of you (eh eh, who remembers that one?)  (When Kyle was young he used to end practically every sentence with “I beg of you.”  A fond memory for his mother and probably the rest of the family as well.)