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

A Visit to a Chinese Prison

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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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