November 6, 2013
In China it’s Halloween everyday I would just like to point out. Where do you think this tradition started? I’ll tell you all. All you have to do is go outside and within a half of an hour out on the streets you will see at least one brave, daring, and crazy soul that is celebrating the holiday. It doesn’t really matter what time of the year it is. So happy Halloween everyone! It sounded like the party was a hit and all the costumes seemed to go well! Seemed like every family had a theme. Unity. And then you have Staci with the “hashtag selfie” costume… seems about normal! (Staci’s Halloween costume this year was a foam board decorated to look like an Instagram post with a big opening in the center for her face to show through. When you asked what she was she told you, “A selfie!” Here is a picture because the description doesn’t do it justice.)
What’s not normal are those stats that ASU is posting! And that’s not at the start of PAC play after playing only NAU…that’s the middle of PAC play! But we all know…there is still another half to go…oh how joyful. But now that there is no such November holiday for being thankful (they do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Hong Kong) it’s Christmas time here! No joke! The malls are already putting up their Christmas trees! The roads already have lights that say “Merry Christmas” decorating them. Happy November everyone!
This week was a pretty good week! Just long since we didn’t have preparation day on Monday! We took care of some zone things this week. I actually spent a night in Tsing Yi and Kwai Fong this past week doing companion exchanges! It’s just so amazing. Hong Kong is just so close and yet all the different areas are just so different and characteristic! It was good! And then the temple was just very good today. As we were in the dressing room getting changed and stuff I look up and right next to me is Elder Randy Funk!! He just gave a talk at Conference! And then right across from me I saw Elder Larry Wilson! I was surrounded by General Authorities… in the temple! I almost got enough guts to say something to Elder Funk like “I enjoyed your talk” or something like that… but it just didn’t happen. I was too scared. Some things just will never change! We did shake hands in the elevator though and talked about the Gilbert Temple. Good small talk. Mission accomplished. They are very awesome men. That’s like the only way to describe them.
We had our monthly Mission Leadership Council meeting just yesterday and all went well. The zone is doing pretty well! And we had homemade BBQ sandwiches! Awesome! And then the Halloween package from home got here as well which was just even more awesome! Then today, at the temple, this couple from Cedar City who I talked to just before everything started invited us out to lunch with them! They just were stopping by in Hong Kong coming back from Tibet and Nepal and wanted to take us out! For the first time 16.5 months I went to an actual American-Style restaurant! It was just so awesome! It reminded me of Oregano’s actually. (Oregano’s is Kyle’s favorite pizza/pasta place here in Arizona) Everything was super good but WAY TOO expensive for missionaries to afford. The generosity of members is just so awesome! In fact, I have never had to pay for 3 meals straight!
So this week the weather turned a different way and it was the way it should stay. Ha-ha! Besides that, everything was good! We had some rainy days but that’s okay. That wasn’t anything compared to July. (Hong Kong had a lot of rain in July!) I’m glad everyone in the family seems to be doing well.
As far as the area is concerned, we keep slowly climbing up. It was another excellent week and a lot of miracles happened this week, we even met two families in the process of seeing Heavenly Father’s mercy. The first one came from a less active family. Brother Tong has been less active ever since he got home from his mission many years ago. He was in contact with some members recently and was willing to meet with missionaries again. After calling to schedule us, we went over and Friday and taught him, his wife, and their 7 year old daughter. I didn’t know this before, but he actually works for a member in our ward and they are good friends! We didn’t want the lesson to go too long because, of course, we had the intentions of getting invited back. Their daughter, Katie, is fascinated by it all! From the white men speaking Chinese to the Book of Mormon story about a family. She was asking questions and I think that sparked the mom’s interest in learning as well. We were able to focus on the daughter and teach the whole family in a way that nobody would be offended. I’m surprised about how little Brother Tong can remember, but that is all right with us. Hopefully it will rekindle his feelings for the gospel. It’s only the beginning, but along with a return appointment, Brother Tong helped his daughter pray at the end.
The Cheung Sha Wan sister companionship also tuned a father and son family over to us. The Dad, Kenzie, is a big believer in himself, but the 12-year-old son, Paul, really likes it so far. They came to Family Home Evening and I think had a good time with everyone and it was a good start. They rescheduled to come to church on Sunday and Paul was the main factor in that. It was a good lesson as well and I can’t wait to see them again. The Lord is giving us some great opportunities to teach families in the form of focusing on children. I don’t think it is ironic or at all a coincidence to remind myself that Christ often focused on the little children. I am so grateful for this opportunity to teach in the paths of the Savior. Although I will never be the perfect teacher as he was, it is really rewarding to follow in his footsteps and do what he did. It is a goal of mine to have these moments become more frequent.
The rest of the area is doing pretty well. Herman came for the second week in a row and when we met with him he told us he started reading the Book of Mormon and as far as I am concerned, that is the best thing that could’ve happened! He accepted a “soft” baptismal date during yesterday’s lesson but wants to pray about it first. We know he knows the what and the why he just needs to pray on the when. After him, we had a good lesson with Wing and Jason this week, but both of them didn’t come to church again. We are going to really have to focus on church attendance for them. I was very inspired by the spirit I felt in both of their lessons. They had a different attitude and both of them know what they need to do, they just need to take their first step of faith.
That is all time allows me to write. I’m grateful for you all! I’ll write again soon! And have a good week! The best thing we can do is to strive for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and follow it. I love you all! Always remember that!! Go Devils!
Once again Elder Allen remembered to describe the pictures he sent along with his email and here they are:
Missionaries at the American restaurant…you can tell because its dimly lit.
In Family Home Evening we had a “how many grapes can you fit in your mouth competition” and here is how we looked.