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

It’s Fall Festival Time Again

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September 15,2013

Well get ready to celebrate on the 20th everyone because it is going to be a party here in Hong Kong.  Everyone is going to be celebrating the moon!!  And how big it is.  If you remember last year (and I expect you don’t) we eat desserts called mooncakes here around this time.  I thought I got a lot in TKO but holy cow I got we got so many mooncakes this year!  And we still have one week more week to keep acquiring them!  The truth is I don’t even like mooncakes!!  But I eat them for the festivities.  And I thought you all should try them so I sent two home to you. They are very small in size but are traditional mooncakes. The boxes that they come in are like two of the famous styles of boxes here but they usually have more in them- 4 to 6 usually. I hope they aren’t bad by the time they get there!! (I don’t know if he was joking or not about sending us mooncakes but we never received any.  Thank goodness!)  That would just be the worst. But you have to try it. the egg yolk….oh ya….yummy….but we did get different kinds as well like Red Bean paste mooncake (here in China they LOVE their Red Bean) and then one that is translated to Ice Skin Mooncake that was the best one (obviously because of the sugar content) we got to try a chocolate ice skin and a mango ice skin. They are so expensive!!! I’m so blessed to have people that show their generosity. (Last year at this time I told you about mooncakes and even gave you a link to a recipe.  This year I will tell you a little bit about the Fall Festival.  It is considered the second most important holiday tradition in China with the first being Spring Festival.  It is celebrated on th15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar and during a full moon.  The Chinese have celebrated this holiday since the Shang Dynasty (16th to 10th century BCE) and that’s a long time!  The most important part of the festival is moon worship.  The moon represented changes in the seasons and agricultural production to the ancient Chinese so this festival is intended to express their thanks.  The two most important aspects of the celebrating are carrying brightly lit lanterns and eating… you guessed it… mooncakes.  Many celebrate the holiday by spending more time outside at night to have closer contact with the moon.)

What a game!!! I’m completely shocked! Even after I knew the final score, I read mom’s recap of the game and how did we win?!  (Here Kyle is referring to ASU’s amazing win over Wisconsin where some bad clock management by them and some indecisive action by the referees led to a missed field goal opportunity for the Badgers and a Sun Devil victory!) That’s insane!  I can’t believe it.  It seems like we probably outplayed them right? It would’ve been a long season with that hanging on our heads for the rest of the season.  i hope we can use this to get a kick start. How is the rest of college football doing?  I saw where the PAC had a lot of ranked teams this week.  Amazing.  It’s coming back to supremacy!  Lead by the CTG’s (ASU’s coach Todd Graham) and put the ball on the turf plays without taking a knee. Their quarterback has obviously never played NCAA football 2013. Everyone knows you just go for the touchdown instead…I’m not complaining about it.

The weather has been hot, but not rainy except for here a shower and there a shower.  And it really is a shower.  I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by here.  It’s just week after week gone.  But it seems like the same old story every week. I’m glad everyone is doing okay over there. Keep up the high spirits.

Another thing that seems to be reoccurring week after week here in the ole’ Cheung Sha Wan is every week just seems to be like one giant miracle.  For the first time in a very long time we were able to go finding which is a miracle all by itself.  We went for a little bit and we just loved it!  It was like a new missionary just with better Chinese (but only by a little ha-ha!).  We wanted to, and made it our goal to just be bold while finding and focus on the power statements of missionaries and what purpose we have.  Well, after starting out the day finding, but not having any success Elder Liu told me to go up to the next person I saw and said  “Hello. I am Jesus Christ’s Messenger.  What is your name?”  So I took him to his challenge, looked around in the park where we were and saw this 65-year-old man walking very, very slowly.  I don’t know if it’s like this in other parts of the world, but here in Hong Kong the old men are the hardest to talk to. They just say how they either don’t want to hear it, believe in Buddha, or how they are busy (playing chess in the park usually.)  Well anyway, half foolishly I went and declared boldly my statement of truth and there you go.  Turns out he goes to another church, likes the idea of living prophets and had time to sit down with us to talk more.  We talked with him for a good half an hour or so and then he asked “Can I have your number to call you again?”  We said “no.”  Just kidding.  That’s like a missionary’s dream!  So we exchanged phone numbers. The only problem he lives in another area but what an awesome story.

Then, while finding later on in the day Elder Liu and I found ourselves at a crossroads (which sounds poetic but here in Hong Kong, you find yourself at one every minute I’d say… literally.)  We usually went one way but something was telling me to go down the old industrial building pathway in the middle of the day when no one is there.  Without delay we followed that thought and said to ourselves, “Well, maybe this is the time this street yields the fruits of a new investigator.”  To back this story up we have been focusing on faith in the mission.  We have been reading something called “the Powers of Heaven” everyday and it’s helping out so much.  It was really easy to follow the path less traveled (or never traveled).  We didn’t go three hundred yards before stopping someone who is interested in Christianity.  His name is Brother Choi.  At the end of his lesson he told us that his mom also has interest in learning about Christianity so we should meet with her as well.  A miracle right there before us.  Hopefully everything works out and we see him again because he is a great, honest, hardworking man.

Another awesome story that happened to us is with A-Hung who is the Cheung Sha Wan’s ward newest member as of yesterday.  His confirmation went smooth and he was so astonished by the ward’s generosity of giving him a triple combination, the Gospel Principles manual, and a copy of “Our Heritage.”   Anyway, we were talking with him during the lesson and we asked him how his baptism day was.  He said it was very amazing and then he went on to talk about it how when he went home that night he had a dream.  And in the dream he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I’m not sure what else happened in the dream but he said that they were very happy and proud of him.  Amazing.  That is just another small miracle in the story of Chan Yew Hung.  He is doing awesome and the ward is helping a lot with him.

We had an amazing week with finding new investigators.  We taught 7 new people about the restored gospel.  It’s such a blessing.  We are getting help from the sister missionaries in our area as well.  They are doing well.  This week they found a lot of male potential investigators for us to meet.  We have already met with 3 of them 3 times each and one other came to church yesterday. The three boys were scheduled to come to church but ended up cancelling at the last minute. We’ll see how that turns out.

The investigators are doing really well.  We were able to set a new baptismal date with an investigator named A-Wing who will get off work for church this week.  Also Steven Lau is doing really well.  He loves church and has recently been striking a good relationship with the ward.  We taught him about the Word of Wisdom this week and the lesson was so powerful. We had the former Kowloon Stake President with us. After telling him the blessings of keeping the Word of Wisdom for over 50 years Steven’s mind was set that he can stop drinking tea.  We shall see how this week goes.  Hopefully we can schedule a baptismal interview for this week. His date is scheduled for two Sundays from now.

I love you all and want to thank each and every one of you. There is a power in Faith for good things to come.  Hope in the Atonement, charity for all, and love for our Heavenly Father who blesses all of us immediately when we keep his commandments.  Not slowly, in His time, but immediately.  We might not recognize them, but that’s because we’re moving too fast.  I feel my faith becoming more real and alive.  I want to work for the miracles of heaven, and I can’t wait to see them come.  Before I felt like a large amount of faith was just a vague blessing too far off to see but this week I have felt it becoming closer to me.  Thank you for all you do.  I love you!  Go Devils!  I’ll never forget that trip to Stanford with Dad, Katie and Dallin… that was a dark day.  (Kyle is referring to a quick trip he took with these members of our family several years ago to watch the ASU v. Stanford game in Palo Alto, California.  Not only did we lose but the trip – along with the sightseeing – was an incredibly long road trip for the participants.)  Let’s go get them!

Love,

Elder Allen

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