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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The “King of Fruits”

August 18, 2013

So here in Hong Kong (I’m not sure if I’ve already told you this or not) but we have typhoons that are ranked by the numbers 1, 3, 8, and 10.  When typhoon 8 hits you have to run like a chicken with your head cut off and close down everything.   Just kidding…. well I mean that’s what the Chinese do but I’m pretty sure I’ve withstood worse weather days at Disneyland than those that shut this city down!  Ha-ha!   But it was rainy sometimes and then it was windy sometimes but oddly never at the same time.  I thought that’s what typhoons were all about!  Anyway…. Typhoon Winter (no joke I think that’s the name of the last one – At least that’s what I heard on the phone when I’d call the weather service) was a bust except it did keep all missionaries inside for more than half the day.  That’s not fun but its what we have to work with.

I was feeling sorry the whole week because as soon as I got off the computer last week, I realized that I failed to recognize Katie’s birthday so here’s a late shoot up to my KK.  Happy Birthday is was well here. The surprise party was a little of a bust though.  Better luck next year.  Since this paragraph is about Katie, and I know how Katie loves new food here is a new one for the week that I tried.  Durian.  I might have mentioned it before but I actually tried it this week.  They call it a fruit but it really is just death.  The after taste is so bad.  A couple of members thought it would be funny to buy one for me to celebrate that I’m staying here so that’s what they did!  And apparently Durian is best frozen so I basically was eating a Durian Popsicle.  I’m a little surprised though. I’ve been in Hong Kong for over a year now and I didn’t have Durian until this week.  It was a good run.  Sad to see it go.  Katie=Durian.  Ha-ha!  Aren’t I funny? Look what Durian looks like…. it even reminds me of her…. okay enough of the good “fun” sorry about that… (So Durian is also called the “King of Fruits” in many parts of Southeast Asia.  It is bib has a strong smell and is covered with thorns on the outside.  This is the part Kyle won’t understand some people LIKE the smell of it – comparing it to almonds and while others think it really stinks and say it smells like rotten onions, turpentine or raw sewage.  It can be so bad that it has been banned from some hotels and from public transportation.  Here are a few pictures.)



ImageThe whole mission did an English EFY this week, which was pretty fun…, it just took up so much time!! Its just basically you go to the church for 2 hours everyday of the week and play games in English.  Come to think about it, besides the spiritual message at the end it’s actually nothing like EFY!

 As for Elder Liu and I, we were very busy teaching lessons this week.  I think we got to see all of our investigators but one this week so we are really excited that they are willing to meet with us and talk to us. At church this week we had 6 investigators and eight less-actives that we have visited a lot, which is nothing short of a big miracle! . I’m really happy to see this because among the 8 are a wife and husband, a husband and a son of an active sister, a mother and a son, a recent convert that hasn’t been coming, and a man who hadn’t gone to church for decades but has come for the past 4 weeks.  I think our sisters even had someone become reactivated this week after not coming to church for decades as well so the ward is very alive right now!  I’m excited to see these numbers continue and become a solid definite number every week!

As for the investigators a lot of them are doing really well.  We have a new baptismal date with a man who walked into the church by himself 3 weeks ago named Steven Lau. He met with missionaries years ago but didn’t have the time so stopped coming to the meetings and now has been meeting with us pretty regularly. Ever since introducing the Book of Mormon to him he has read everyday.  He even says he can’t go to sleep unless he has read the Book of Mormon.  The lesson about baptism was natural and smooth and it just flowed.  We had a goal in mind and went for it.  Well he accepted the date but then the whole rest of the week his phone was off, so we weren’t sure if he’s come to church.  Anyway, sitting there all of the sudden he just walks in, apologizes for being late and then just sits down like nothing is new!  What a big miracle! I was amazed and my faith grew from just sitting there and hoping he would come.

However, that is not the only story like that this week. A-Hung who is scheduled to get baptized on the 8th also had his off phone for the entire week!  However, we scheduled a lesson last Sunday for Wednesday with him and he showed up right on time!  And then this Sunday it was the same scenario.  He loves church and understands why we go.  He has been reading everyday this week as well.  He does have a little problem with tea but this week he only drank it once.  We had to remind him about the Word of Wisdom and he committed to quit it completely.  He is a very solid investigator and has integrity.  I’m excited for the upcoming week with A-Hung.

 John Lai told us he wasn’t going to come to church this week.  We were really disappointed in him because these past 4 weeks he has missed after coming the first 4 weeks of him meeting with us.  I was completely shocked to see him walk in the door and take a seat.  He is doing okay, because he’ll pray everyday, but we need to work on helping him gain a one on one relationship with our Father in Heaven.  I think he just thinks that God doesn’t really care about us too much and its a sad thing to see!  We will continue to help him and I’m confident he’ll have a better week because he came to church.  With John it is clear to see when he comes to church he has a good week in the gospel, when he doesn’t then its a rough week and he is very distracted. 

That is all the news for the week. I was so surprised by all three of those stories.  Did I tell you last week I’m on Facebook now?  Starting this transfer the zone leaders are on Facebook!  Ha-ha!  I can’t add you or anything (obviously) but I’ll be updating it like three to four times a week!  Check it out!  I love you all thanks for the support!  I can’t believe school is starting at ASU!!!!  That’s so fast!  Have a good week!

 Elder Au Yeung



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Sun Devils Meet Up in Hong Kong!

August 11, 2013

 What a busy week this week. It was just so crazy. So many different things happened and I don’t even know what happened half the time. One of the coolest things happened though. We were at a mall that is close to the chapel eating some dinner, and we are going back to teach a lesson (which we’ve been doing a lot of…  such a blessing!) and we’re in a hurry but then all of the sudden I see gold.   I look a little closer…. and it’s a gold shirt.  All of the sudden the girl that is wearing it turns around and there it is…. A PITCHFORK!!! Ha-ha! I was just so amazed by it and I wasn’t even going to stop partly because its just so normal to me and partly because we were in a hurry but her friend noticed my obvious staring so of course I had to stop. THERE ARE HONG KONG PEOPLE AT ASU!  My life is complete.  Well…not anymore…she just graduated…. sad day…..but hopefully some of her friends  are still there or something.   All I know is that the Marketing Department just gave a diploma to a top-notch person.  It’s so weird to hear “Tempe” as the first city out of someone’s mouth.  Like music to the ears… 

 Elder Peterson and I had some pretty fun times this week.  It started off by giving this talk about missionary work to a group of 30 or so people from Guangzhou that were going to the temple as families!  That was so cool.  The temple president was there and asked us to do it and give advice about how they can share the gospel but I was like “I don’t know how?!”  I mean they can’t share it with pretty much anyone except for their families but now thinking about it that’s still a lot of people!  Anyway we gave a talk about becoming like the Savior and serving others.  It was pretty funny to see their eyes just fixed on us missionaries.  I mean they’ve probably only seen missionaries when they were getting baptized and that’s it for the most part!  When I passed around the white family, big family, and smiling family photo of mine they all just loved it.  I will never forget how they just stared!  We had a chance to go and do teaching/finding with one of their branch’s “missionaries.”  I guess like when they bring their families to the church they give them to this 17-year-old member and it’s like the missionaries.  He was pretty cool and I’m glad we got to see an investigator, a less active, and go finding all in like 3 hours (that’s all the time he had).   He was going to come to the ward’s Family Home Evening but he just said he was too tired and went home for the night. Pretty neat experience.

 Did you hear…missionaries aren’t allowed to wear backpacks anymore?  So from now on we’re going to be rockin’ the shoulder bags!!!  Look it up on lds .org to see all the changes! There are a lot of them! Nothing too big except that one.  But let me tell you…an announcement of this magnitude rocks a missionary’s world.  It’s like so exciting and adventurous.  (It may be exciting and adventurous to the missionaries but the church isn’t exactly putting it out there on its website.  The only things I could find after searching for quite a while were the changes from backpacks to shoulder bags and announcement that missionaries do have to wear suits for many of their activities anymore.  As long as the elders look professional in their white dress shirt and tie their suits can be saved for Sunday and other meetings, baptisms and some teaching opportunities.  The elders are also allowed to wear lighter colors now including Khaki and light gray and the sisters are allowed to wear much brighter colors.  Shout out to the sisters in the pictures on lds.org!  They look so much better!)  You know what’s also adventurous?  Transfers!!!  And it did rock the Cheung Sha Wan world.  Well I’m still here as it turns out!!!!  But I’m not with Elder Peterson anymore!  I’m still senior companion with a good Elder named Elder Liu from Utah.  He is an ABC (American Born Chinese) and he’s been out about 4 months more than me.  

 Well anyway we got put in as zone leaders over the whole Kowloon zone!!! It’s by far the biggest zone in the mission having about 34 missionaries overall!  We’ve been so busy this week!  We also have 4 new district leaders in the zone so it’s been a long but fun process teaching and helping them.  But that’s what’s going on this move!  I had no idea!  I thought if I was to stay in Cheung Sha Wan it would be with Elder Peterson but the Lord has different plans I guess!  I love it here!  I wasn’t ready to go so I’m glad I’m staying!  It’s going to be an exciting transfer let me tell you!!  So much work though!  Especially with 34 missionaries!  That’s crazy!  But oh well.  The work goes on and so does the area!  We’ve been so busy teaching a lot so that makes the days go by quick and the brain a little more fried.  I love it.  It’s a big responsibility!  I just can’t believe it still!  We cover from like Wong Tai Sin to Mong Kok to Tsuen Wan, Tsing Yi, Kowloon Tong, and all of Lantau Island!

This week was great a time for teaching.  We taught a lot of lessons and we’re blessed to have a member help us out whenever we had something schedule.  We have a good number of investigators in our teaching pool and over these next couple weeks I can see them start to progress.  We were a little disappointed with our church attendance last week but a lot of them had legitimate excuses so this week will look solid.  It was still a good week in the ward as Emily and Or Lan got confirmed.  When we visited her last she told us about how excited she was to let everyone know that she was baptized with Emily.   She was so excited that right on Sunday she called her whole family in Fujian and let them know how happy she was.  I guess they are already Christians and were so happy.  When she called her brother, she even bore testimony to him and then ended up both in tears somehow.  She keeps promising me that as soon as she can walk again she’ll start preaching the gospel to everyone and invite them all to church.  I think she is really sincere about it and loves the Lord.  We gave her a conference edition of the Liahona this time around and she loved it.  In those 4 days between visits she had read around 25 pages!  And that’s with such bad eyes that she has to squint and hold the page right up to her face.  She is doing excellent, and so is Emily, although she is only 8. The ward gave her a Book of Mormon Stories book and she sat throughout all of Sacrament Meeting just staring and reading it. They are doing great.

A-Hung our investigator is doing great.  He originally had a baptismal date for September 22nd but he said he wants to move it up to the 8th because he is so excited.  This week we taught him the Word of Wisdom and before hearing it he drank tea. However, after that lesson he has completely stopped and when I asked him what made him decide to change he answered “because the Lord wants me to not do it and he won’t like me if I do it.  I want him to love me.”  It was about the sweetest thing a little 60 year old man could say. After explaining that God would still love him no matter what he had a good laugh and we continued on.  He has come to church for the past 5 weeks in a row, has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday and has developed a good relationship with ward members.  I’m excited to see him really take off and progress.

Another one that has been doing well is Brother Lau.  He has come to church 2 times in a row and really enjoys it.  He has work and so has to leave a half an hour into Sacrament Meeting (the last part) but knows the importance of the Sacrament so he wants to stay for it.  We’re planning to talk to him about Sabbath Day soon and hopefully everything will be good after that.  I have the faith that he will because everyday he says he says he “can’t fall asleep until I’ve read at least one chapter.” He is doing really well and a very friendly guy. 

That’s all the time permits me to say but I wish I could say more.  I love you all!  Have a good week and don’t die in the heat.  I’ll try and do the same!  I miss you all!  I’m very happy and busy!!!

Elder Allen

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One of the Most Rewarding Days of My Mission

August 4, 2013

 Typhoon #3 hit Hong Kong this past week and lasted over a span of three days.   I felt as if we were on Lake Powell again with a storm coming and Julie shouting, “Is this the best you can do?!”   But really…. I would talk up typhoons but typhoons are just so weak and nothing really happens. A few trees fall down, you can’t see for more than 100 yards in most places, you get soaked and then it stops for a while.  And then the sun doesn’t come out but you somehow feel like you’re in an oven.  It’s the most humid time of all.  Like really.   After the storm we were walking with an investigator to the church and the whole walk from the MTR to the church is uphill.  Then you have to remember that he is 60-years-old and Chinese so he was about as fast as a snail (almost.)  In those 7 minutes to the church I felt like I was going to die.  But there was our investigator (his name is A-Hung) just smiling and enjoying listening to some birds and smiling so it made it worth it.  But anyway, after you get dry it’s time to start the rain shower again and the whole process continues.  

Image We’ve been lucky though, it doesn’t start pouring until like personal study time so every morning we can still play Ultimate Football which attracts a lot of viewers.  I don’t quite get why the Chinese are so fascinated by 8 white guys playing football every morning but oh well.   So all is going well.  We were very, very, busy this week and I just can’t remember anything except we had 2 baptisms yesterday!    Also this week there is a transfer day and I have no idea if I’m going or staying!!!!  So stay tuned.  I’ll be surprised if I’m going – this ward rocks so much.  I’m so glad I got to see this change happen! Everyone is just so happy this past month or two!  I love it a lot here! 

 This week was a great and amazing week for us that ended with Or Lan and Emily being baptized!  Everything went great!  (Well… we had to like bribe Emily with candy for her to cooperate with the Elder that was doing their baptismal interview.)  What a great miracle!  And then later that night we had someone show up to the fireside that we didn’t expect to see there so that was a also a miracle.  I think overall yesterday was one of the most rewarding days of my mission.  Seeing a mother and her daughter be baptized and then both bear really great testimonies after the service to all 24 of their friends.  Yes, they brought 24 people in all including her son, and about all of Emily’s classmates.  It was remarkable how they just kept coming in and coming in to the church.  Or Lan is so great.  She invited them all herself, told them how to get there, and then made treats for them to eat afterwards despite being sick the entire week.  It really surprised me to see Emily bear her testimony.  She is a “tom boy” so to speak and as such I don’t really ever see her smiling.  But then yesterday during the whole day she was just on cloud 9, and then seeing her friends just boosted her up even more.  Yesterday was such a great day!  Image


ImageSister Yim, the member who introduced Or Lan to Elder Kwan and me, knows all of the people that were there since they all go to the small school where she is a teacher.  She has a lot of faith in Jesus Christ and in the Book of Mormon, which will definitely help her.  She was crying a lot of the time during the baptism and then we had one investigator stay for the baptism and it turns out that she felt the Spirit so strong that she started crying as well.  Once the baptism was finished, all of the missionaries that were there had a really great time meeting people and arranging lessons.  I know the sisters got some contacts scheduled that have a lot of potential!  And the best part is that all 3 of their contacted referrals this week are families!  They weren’t just 24 individuals, but about 6 or 7 families total.  I hope something comes out of all those referrals.  Great event.

The companionship is doing well.  Elder Peterson continues to improve everyday and turning into the My Eubank of missionaries.  He really does understand how to help these people and has developed a good relationship with the people we are teaching and helping prepare for baptism.  I’m so happy that we have a lot going for the area even after the baptism.  It’s a great blessing since it gives up opportunities to teach and improve our teaching skills.  That is a chapter I’ve been studying a lot about.  Chapter 10 along with the Commitments chapter in “Preach My Gospel.”  Those tools combined with the words of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon get me motivated every single day to help these people out and I really want to help them.  My desire to help them has really grown and it’s more about them now.  Something that I think is helping the companionship out is every night in daily planning.  We are talking about the things we could’ve done better and then planning on how to change it so it can be better.  I like this.  It’ s nothing too big, but there is always something.  It helps us stay humble.

 The rest of our investigators are also doing well. Church was a little disappointing for some people because some had tests this week, others had some family situations that weren’t the best but everything will get back on track.  Kenneth and Dickson had to spend the weekend in the hospital. They are just doing okay right now.  Nothing too special.  It’ s the same situation as in previous weeks, they need to read more consistently.  They were very grateful for our visit to the hospital and going out of that visit they seemed rejuvenated.  The ones who did come to church are doing really well, including a new investigator Brother Lau.  He actually walked into the church one day and after having a lesson wanted to come to church and had a good time.  He had to go right after but he said he “will definitely be coming back next week.”  He is a very nice guy and I see some potential in him!  Also, A-Hung is progressing as well.  He was taught the Word of Wisdom and has committed to keep it.  Very good lesson with him.  He really enjoys one of our members who is a convert of about 2 years.  On Sunday when we went to go meet him the first thing he asked was “Where is Brother Cheng?” so it’s great.  He has come to church four weeks in a row now and leaves very happy every week.  The members are doing wonderful with investigators.  We actually weren’t there when Brother Lau came into Elders Quorum (we were walking with A-Hung) but when we got into the classroom he had like 3 members sitting down by him so that’s great to see.

 Have a good week family and friends!  All is good here and I’m really enjoying serving the Lord right now. I have seen a change in me and I love seeing the changes I see in other people, it is a great process to see someone, anyone whether it be yourself, investigator, or companion, change and come closer to the Lord. have a great week.  I love you all and thanks for all the emails!  It’s so fun to hear from you!  Onto a new transfer!!!




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I Almost Started to Cry. Almost.

July 28, 2013

 Well hello everyone! I heard you went to Disneyland this week!  That’s fun and all but I heard that you didn’t fall asleep on Pirates.  (Maddy and Charly claimed that The Pirates of the Caribbean ride was their favorite one at Disneyland.  Jenna, Kyle and Staci usually catch a quick nap while on that ride.)  That’s not the norm everybody.  Get back to it!  Speaking of out of the norm,  the stake presidencies didn’t show up for the 24th parade?!  What happened there?  (We went to the 24th of July Parade in Safford, AZ and this year the local Stake Presidencies did not ride in the parade.  They have been there as honorary “Grand Marshal’s” every year in the past.)  I’m kinda worried!  I thought them being in the parade was a more sure thing than even having a parade!  That’s how sure I was!  Next thing I know there won’t be any president at the 4th program next year…everything I know just took a turn!  (The 4th of July program in Thatcher, AZ almost always features a guest speaker, aka  a dead president who talks about the history of our country.)   But I guess things are changing…sad times!  Things are changing in the weird things I’ve eaten category as well!  This week I ate something I had never, ever even wanted to even look at, but I decide to try…. eel!  Ha-ha… I know it sounds like it tempts the taste buds but let me get rid of all rumors.  It does not.  It only makes the taste buds want something that can be recognized as edible.

 It is almost time for transfers is already – which is just crazy!  Elder Peterson is such a good guy and a boss missionary!  Of course his language isn’t good but – whatever!  These past few weeks he really has made tons and tons of progress and he can really focus in on these people!  And he’s a funny guy.  Whenever we have some down time we change “Lord of the Rings” quotes to make them missionary applicable.  We’ve come up with some really funny ones.  I enjoy being with him a lot!  The second half of this move has just zoomed by!

 And now for a funny experience we had at church yesterday.  Emily, our 8-year-old investigator who is getting baptized on Sunday came up to me after church and told me what she learned in Primary that day.  It was a lesson about temple marriages and surprisingly she was like so interested in it and was just going off about it!  Then the Young Women’s president came up to her (she’s like a 30-year-old single adult) and said, “Well you’d better get married there shouldn’t you?!”  And she’s like, “But I haven’t even gotten baptized yet!  But once I do, I want you and Elder Au Yeung (Kyle’s Chinese name) to do a “sihfaahn” first” (A “sihfaahn” is a demonstration or practice.)  Ha-ha!  It was hilarious.  The situation just totally turned awkward between the Young Women’s president and me and then Emily just ran off going about her business.  Besides that Emily is doing great!  She reads everyday, prays everyday,… heck, she’s better than most members!  And she’s 8!  If everything goes well she and her mom should be getting baptized this week!  Stay tuned for that!  

 Then we had a pretty surreal experience this week.  We met a whole less active family this week with the sisters in our area.  The family has 2 brothers and 3 sisters.  One brother got baptized and brought his whole family into the church like 30 years ago.  Well, then he moved to Taiwan and so the whole family became less active, married different people and eventually went totally in-active.  Well, one of the brothers found out last month that he had cancer and it was in the late stages.  The sisters got a chance to meet with him last Sunday and by Wednesday he was in the hospital, probably for good.  Pretty crazy how fast everything is happening.  So the brother came back and invited us to the hospital where we’ve been back to like every night to help out the family with whatever they need.  It’s a very sad situation they are dealing with.  Up until 3 weeks ago he was the only one that even knew about it.  It’s very sad to see how they just see no hope after he dies, but there is hope.  We are trying to get a good relationship with them but it’s hard right now.  I just want them to know that it’s sad but it’s not the end, not at all!  We gave him a priesthood blessing on Saturday and right now he’s on life support.  When we were leaving yesterday he spoke a full sentence for the first time and indicated he wanted us to sing him a song.  We sang “Families Can be Together Forever” and he started to cry a little.   The brother just started to weep after that and that’s when it started to get us missionaries too!  But it’s okay.  I’m a man.  I almost started to cry.  Almost. 

 The ward is so awesome right now. I can feel them wanting to help.  Loving, caring members surround both less actives and investigators.  It is awesome!  If we missionaries are going out and working hard, good things happen.   After church yesterday it was one of the most rewarding things to see the members, recent converts themselves, being willing to fellowship and talk to the people that the Spirit has brought to church.  It was so cool!  I don’t really know how to describe it.

 Our investigators are doing pretty well right now. We committed another person to baptism this week, making 7 in total that we have challenged for baptism and they have accepted. The Lord is truly helping out Cheung Sha Wan.  One of our investigators is named Eric.  He is only 16, but has already formed a great relationship with the Young Men’s presidency and some young men as well.  He came to church for the second week in a row and also to a Family Home Evening.  He is really enjoying the atmosphere the church brings, especially since his family situation isn’t the best.  His dad left his family a very long time ago so he thinks it’s important to be a good and responsible man.  We are really working with him, but he is working to help provide for his family.  Still he seems very committed to coming to church.  He read the Book of Mormon and has prayed so that’s good. We are just going to help him understand how to apply things more and to understand that the gospel has meaning to his life.  He doesn’t really get that yet.

 Another investigator that really is progressing right now is A-Hung.  We were a little worried after last week because he stayed for the baptism, but it went really long and afterwards he told us he couldn’t meet until church next week.  I guess I need to just strengthen my faith and realize that maybe he actually was busy and couldn’t meet.  I thought he just didn’t want to spend so much time with us because he didn’t like it.  His phone was off the entire week and I didn’t think that was good.  But we called Sunday morning and he said he’s coming to church and asked where he should meet us.  It turns out, although he is 60 years old he has been studying for a test he has today.  I thought it took a lot of faith for him to come to church the day before his test.  Most students we meet won’t come to church even though their test is 2 months away!  He reminded me he really wants to obtain salvation so that’s a really good goal. 

 Besides that, we are preparing for two baptisms this week with Or Lan and Emily.  We are very excited about them and they are excited too.  It’s just right now Or Lan is still recovering and a little weak but she fulfills all her assignments.  Yesterday the 2nd hour class lesson was on fasting and the teacher asked if she knew what fasting was.  I thought she would say no since we hadn’t taught her yet, but she replied with a straight answer what it is, why we do it, what we should pay for a fast offering and how we should also pay tithing!  I was shocked!  It went really well and everything worked out fine with scheduling the baptism. The ward is really cooperating with her fellowshipper Sister Yim since she is a big part in this whole thing. Emily is very excited as well and all throughout church yesterday she was saying how she hasn’t got baptized yet but will soon which I’ve never heard her say before!

 All the rest of our investigators are doing well, there is just no time to report on them all.  These are the big updates for the week.  Next week we are really going to focus on Kenneth and Dickson, since they have a new date for baptism, as well as Emily and Or Lan of course.  John is doing well, just busy with his part-time schooling part-time taking care of his mother.  There was a great spirit in his house though and he knows how much we care about him.  The member that came with us even bought him a plant for his garden!  

 I love you all!  Keep doing what you’re doing!  It’s a rip off that CTG’s team didn’t get picked first…oh well…if they were picked first they’d never win.  (Kyle is referring to the pre-season poll predicting ASU will finish 2nd in their division of the PAC-12.)  I love you all!  Really I do!!!