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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A New Shirt – A New Missionary

January 12, 2014

The weeks are just flying by!  I find no better satisfaction and joy than feeling busy when I’m serving the Lord.  It is just a great time. I go to bed and crash in about 5 minutes every night even though I have the energy and the motivation to just go out and do more.  It’s the weirdest thing. This week it turned cold on us again but it wasn’t as bad as last time. Finding has been going great.  We probably had our best week ever here (although every week is the best let’s be honest!)

Before I forget, this next week we are going to the temple on Wednesday so I won’t write until then!  It’s going to be an awesome time.  By the way, the Gilbert temple should be having its grand opening soon!  Let’s see… what is my other new and exciting news?  Ah yes… I opened up another shirt from the beginning of my mission!  I thought it was just a good time to do it so I did something crazy and opened it.  I still have one more I haven’t even touched, and I’m not sure why I’m saving it to be honest, but oh well!  I’m sorry.  That is the exciting news you get from a missionary.  Isn’t it great?!  I feel like a new Elder!!  Two more years here I come! (That’s what he thinks!)

It’s exciting to hear ASU making an attacking move for once!  Stealing from the NFL?!  (Ray Anderson, ASU’s new athletic director was the NFL’s operations director before switching to the school.  He took a $1.5M cut in pay to come here!)  That’s impressive!  I’ve actually heard his name before I think?  When the NFL was about to go into lockout wasn’t he there?  That might be another person but will just go with him.  I think it will be awesome.

This week was not a bad week for us, or for the zone!  We are keeping up with a lot of the goals we set for ourselves.  The week got off to a slow start though.  We were working hard, but seeing little results.  The weekend turned out to be a great one for us though.  It started off by seeing Felix, Brandon, and Michelle at their home.  Something is keeping them from coming to baptism, but we just don’t know what.  They come to church every week, read scriptures, and pray as a family but are not willing to commit to anything.  Since our Sacrament Meeting time changed, and now we have Sacrament Meeting first, they come to all three hours so we are excited for that.  That was a big step in the right direction.  However, when we were at their house we went over “the goods and the bads of baptism” with them and they had some concerns.  Most of their problems come from the Word of Wisdom.  They know it’s the right thing to do, but they believe that the commandments apply after baptism and only then.  We now can get a “game plan” on how to help them overcome these problems.  They are meeting more members of the ward through coming to all of church so if we give it a little bit, good things are bound to happen.  They just need to know more people living the gospel.

John is doing great this week.  We are communicating with him more now. He is starting to meet a lot of members in the ward and this past week even downloaded the Gospel Library to his phone so he can read it whenever.  We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and focused on the Atonement.  He loved the demonstration we did for him about how we are water, but then when we don’t follow commandments like not coming to church we add sin to our lives (by adding food coloring to the water) then the Atonement (bleach) helps us remove these stains since we can’t do it ourselves.  We were very focused on him coming to church, since he has trouble waking up.  He got the picture and even said he needs to come to church!  But then, he just didn’t wake up again.  Something is still holding him back; we’re not sure what to do.  But the lesson was great and he believes Joseph Smith is a prophet!  Now we just have to build that faith just a little more.

We got a miracle this week from a random member referral.  I lived with an Elder named Elder Chan about a year ago.  He finished his mission about 6 months ago.  Well he came to our ward with one of his friends!  We’re not clear about how they met, but we think that while he was a missionary and living in the Sha Tin area, they met her Mom and shared the gospel.  She wasn’t too interested then, but (and this is where we don’t have the pieces to the puzzle) now her daughter is investigating the church!  They came early to church and we taught Kim before church and then she stayed for all three hours!  The Young Women helped out a lot! These members are so awesome!  They look around, see who they don’t know and just start fellowshipping!  Kim is coming to English class on Saturday so we’ll see how it goes.  It’s awesome having RMs that served with you (in Tai Po when I was there) come back and help out!

We just finished the first round of our “member missionary class” designed by Brother Chan.  It turned out to be okay but minimal results right now.  We challenged everyone to bring up a gospel conversation to one person this week and only Kira did it!  But the good thing is that Kira did it!  She has to overcome some pretty big challenges right now and she is solid to the gospel.  It is awesome to see.

Things are good here. There are some good days, and some great days. The Lord is blessing us everyday!  It is always great to know that you wake up and you will go to sleep knowing that something crazy happened that day and its better than the last day!  I love you all!  Have a great week!

Elder Allen


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Sacrificing Good for Better

January 5, 2014

Well it seems like ASU can’t pull through…but oh well…. I forgot about this year after… that one game not to be mentioned or brought up.  (ASU did not win its bowl game – The Holiday Bowl in San Diego against Texas.  In fact we’re not even sure they showed up for the game.)  I mean we have to beat this year’s 10 wins right?  They can’t set the bar too high for them.  Nevertheless, all is well here.  I am back to full strength (not that I was ever on the DL or anything) but I am feeling great!  2014 is just the best year right now!

The year got started in one of the best places in the world… Tai Po!!! Yes I’m not sure if any of y’all remember it but Tai Po is where I served from last January till April and it is just a blessed place.  Since I am a zone leader and one of our district leaders is in Tai Po we went on exchanges this week and I got to go back!  What a happy day that was!  The starchy, old food smell smelled like roses.  That’s bad English…. and weird.  But anyway.  I got to meet up with Roy, a man that Elder Goodrich and I taught and baptized!  And I got word that Janice Leung, a less active that we helped bring back is now in the Young Women’s Presidency.  All the other people are doing well too!  It is just such a calming feeling knowing people you helped months ago are still strong in the faith.  Tai Po was so awesome. Just a lot of finding there right now!  We found one man on the streets and taught a lesson to him!  Rescheduled him too, but it turns out he lives in Sha Tin.  Ha-ha… I tell you.  I love Tai Po and Tai Po loves me!  It’s meant to be! His name is Stanley.  He is a new investigator this week and actually came to church.  He came up to us and started asking us what the Book of Mormon is about!  He just started going to a church in Sha Tin and wants to learn about Christ.  He has a lot of misunderstanding about things so Brother Chan is on the job.  More details to come but its great!  Meeting people and inviting them to church!

This week another major thing happened with Kira.  We experienced what it was like to be a father for the first time basically.  She was having a really hard time in her life (about her boyfriend nonetheless – go figure) and that caused her a lot of anxiety, sadness, etc.  It was looking really grim for her coming back to church because she felt God had abandoned her.  We were trying to talk her out of going clubbing on New Year’s Eve but when we hung up the situation was like this: she knew what she was going to do would make her feel sad and grief but she wanted to get back at this boy.  However some friends in the ward convinced her to go to the church party instead and to our big surprise when she called us the next day she said she was sorry for the things she said to us and she went to the church party.  We were stunned and happy!  It was great and some ward members (some of which are semi/less active themselves) really helped her out and everything turned out well in the end.  We still have a long way to go with building her faith but she’s back to reading and praying.  Being in that situation is the worst!  If only they knew what you did!  But all is well with Heavenly Father!  We avoided a big scare with her this week!

Besides that everything is well.  We are really trying to focus and strengthen the part-member families in the ward.  Most of them come to church usually but need some help (but then again, so does everybody). We have found some great success with it!  Finding is getting better and will be even better this week.  We sat down, discussed the challenges of finding and how to resolve them. This week we are not going to walk along this path that is really beautiful, calm etc. because Elder Welker has found no success walking down it everyday.  It’s a big part of our area too but its just not a good place to meet people since they are all just exercising or walking the dog and don’t want to stop. Yesterday we started going the other way and met a Chinese person from Scotland last night in a place where we wouldn’t usually go!  We will most likely see him this week, but his schedule wasn’t set.  Sacrificing good for better is awesome!  I’ve seen it many times on my mission and I can’t wait to see these fruits.

Happy New Year everyone!

Elder Allen


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Oh the Places You’ll Go

December 29, 2013

What an amazing thing to see that the whole year has gone away! I don’t think there is anything that I would want to be doing OR keeping me from doing the work which I have been doing for the entire year.  Looking back it just all sums down to 4 things that I can really remember – Tseung Kwan O, Tai Po, Cheung Sha Wan, and now Sha Tin.  Four areas that I feel like have changed my entire life around, really they have!  It has just been so long but so short and I can’t remember any of the bad moments – I’m trying to but nothing too bad happened… all of it’s for the good of everyone right?!  Christmas was just so awesome.  The presents were all first class – like how did everyone (and by everyone I’m guessing it might just be Mom but I’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt) know that I needed new bed sheets?!  Miracle.  Or that I was running out of toothpaste and wanted to buy the kind that we always have at home but it’s either nonexistent here or costs 60$.  Miracle.  The Angry Birds Cars.  Miracle. (I love giving fun gifts as well as practical ones so I sent him two little toy race cars that he and his companion could play with on Christmas Day.)  Okay…well maybe not so much but it makes for a better story.  The ties were all excellent.  I have a HUGE collection of ties right now, but that’s no problem.  I’ve never been too much to speak on the phone.  If I had been I would’ve told everyone how much I enjoyed talking to them, or sounded excited, or said something along the lines of “Oh, that’s just what I needed.” but instead, you just got me.  Oh well.  Better luck next Christmas.  (Contrary to Kyle’s humble self-assessment, his phone call on Christmas Eve was everything we could have hoped it would be.  All of my family was here and almost all of us got to talk to him for a few minutes.  He sounded happy and healthy and had nothing but positive, uplifting things to say about his mission.  In case you can’t tell I am so very proud of him.  Not once in the many months that he has been gone has he given me cause to worry or be concerned.  Not once has he complained or indicated that he was discouraged.  Not once has he expressed anything but love and support for his family.  It was so wonderful to get to talk to him!) I never can really express how grateful I am for all of you and every single thing you do!  I LOVE the presents and the conversation.  And my body is 100% now…. except I’m really itchy right now.  The apartment said its something with not all the bad stuff is leaving the body when I shower, but gets trapped in there. Ehhh… whatever….

Well I know you are all wondering what did Brother Chan do this week?   He went up to Macau to celebrate his birthday so he wasn’t around for most of the week.  I thought it was going to be a slow week for him.  However in correlation meeting he announced two things.  1) That he wrote down and met all 30+ nonmembers that came to the ward Christmas Party this week and so we have the list to follow up how they are doing.   I had no idea he was going to.   And then, he has worked out with the bishop that starting this next week the missionaries are going to teach a special 3rd hour class all about how members can do missionary work more effectively.  And throughout the year everyone has to attend the 2-week course!  Ha-ha!  He organized a missionary class for us!   It’s amazing!   So starting this week we will be teaching how members can do more missionary work.   A great idea – an even better man.

The ward Christmas party was a big hit.  The whole night was filled with fun and we had investigators there, some of them actually performed in the talent show that they put on.  At the very end they had Elder Wong, a member of the Area Seventy here, come out and be Santa and give out presents to all the kids.  It was pretty funny!  It doesn’t beat Katie but it’s a close second. (Kyle’s sister Katie plays Santa every year in our annual Christmas Play.)  Well…not close…but you get the point. Christmas was a great time here!! This Christmas will always be special because…

Most importantly because we had a baptism!  That was a great day and the baptism went really smoothly in my opinion.  No problems whatsoever, except that our chapel is lacking a sufficient amount of baptismal clothing, but that is no problem at all.  Kira did well and she was very happy and excited.  People came early just to see her and everything.  She really appreciated that.  During the Christmas party she was always being congratulated by someone or talking to someone.  I feel that she just has been in the ward for a long time, and the baptism was just a long time coming.  She is doing very well with recognizing the spirit.  She was a little disappointed because she built up a lot of courage to ask her mom to come to her baptism.  Her mom said she would come and then at the last second got mad at her and then decided not to come.  It didn’t get her down for too long though and she was right back at it.  Overall it was a very good day here.  After the baptism, the ward Christmas party was a hit. Like I said, the ward counted and said somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the people at the party were nonmembers.  Although some of them have been to many church activities and some wouldn’t even allow us to ask them their name, it was a great event and everyone could feel the sweet joys of Christmas.  This is truly a great time to be a missionary.

The area is slowly getting there. We are getting more and more potentials, it’s just people were busy with the holidays. As a result a lot of the investigators that we do have were busy as well, but this week should be better!  We already have things scheduled and I can’t wait for the week. Sha Tin is on the edge of great things.  I can feel it.  So is the whole zone. It was a little lackluster week this week but we’ll get right back at it. Elder Welker has already done a good job scheduling a part member family for tonight and we should meet with Ada this week.  She was busy doing service so couldn’t come with her brother to English class.  And John came to the Christmas party where he ran into his childhood friend that he hasn’t talked to in 10 years who is a member!

Love you all! Have a great year! I’ll talk to you next year!

Elder Allen

 


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I Guess Utah Missionaries are Wimps

December 22, 2013

All right everyone,  Merry Christmas!  Let me first say that I’m sorry to Parker and Payson.  They should’ve seen it coming though!  I mean I have been telling everyone for the 19 months I’ve been a missionary how bad my memory with names is.  This is just one small example of it!  (In Kyle’s last email he talked about Parker being released from the hospital and what a miraculous outcome it was and it was really Payson that had been sick.  Both are nephews that were born while he has been gone so maybe we should cut him some slack.)  But kinda big at the same time.  It’s going to be on the record forever dang it.  That’s embarrassing.  But oh well.  It’s not as embarrassing as mom and Staci running around the mall singing songs… that will always be embarrassing. (At Christmas time Staci puts on her elf hat and I put on my Santa hat and we spend some of our shopping time skipping around the mall singing Christmas carols.  Who knew Kyle would be embarrassed by that kind of thing?)  This is just a slight mix-up.

Well this week was a good week for us!  We are just so busy lately!  This transfer our district meets all the way in Ma On Shan which is a good 40 minute bus ride.  Getting there is such a hassle!  And it was SO COLD this week!  I think the average temperature was about 8 degrees in the morning?!  Yeah, and then add the rain and wind on that it does not make for fun finding or waiting for the bus.  And then you know, no houses in Hong Kong (that missionaries live in) have heaters and so the cold tile just makes it extra fun.  But it was good!  On Tuesday the Stake President invited us over for lunch with Shakira (yes that is really her name) and it was a fun ole time except it was about 8°C.  They were amazed I would even just go outside with just my suit jacket on!  Ha-ha speaking of which.. . if Utah is so cold and snows all the time, then why are the missionaries from places like that such wimps?  They need so much to make them feel okay!  I mean I’m cold but I don’t go putting on a sweater, my suit jacket, a jacket, a raincoat, and a scarf to keep myself warm!!  Every missionary is doing that here!  Except me…just because finding is truly affected it by it!   And it’s not like I’ll lose some toes or fingers.  I finally used my big raincoat for the first time because it was raining and we had a lot of finding to do and no sun.  That doesn’t make for a good combo.  But even then I could’ve toughened it out.  Things are going well here nevertheless.

I have to tell you an interesting story this week.  So we teach English class and Kira usually comes to that and so we can teach her after.  Well this week was especially important because she had to get finished teaching before her baptismal interview. Well right before we left the apartment she texted us saying she probably wouldn’t be able to come most likely (it’s a rough translation) and that was that!  But I said, “Hey there is still hope she will come!!  I mean she has to come!”  But everyone in the apartment was saying that I was fool and they were all like ganging up to the fact that she wasn’t going to come.  However instead of settling for defeat, I just knew she was going to come!  And then fast forward 3-4 hours more, no inspiring news, but then as English class is starting here comes Kira!  She is just walking up to go to English class!  It was so awesome!  Anyways the moral of the story, the Lord will get His things done and we just have to always just know that the blessings will come.  Even if they (the blessings) have said tried to make it clear they are not coming.

Speaking of Kira she is all set to go for a Christmas/Birthday baptism!  The whole ward is excited about it and many people said they would for sure come.  I’m amazed every week by this ward.  I mean this week the Stake President had her over to his house where they talked for about 3-4 hours. The correlator is helping her with her family and job situation (she doesn’t have one and so he is trying to help her.)  The bishop spent an hour with her yesterday; the ward members are getting involved in every single way etc. and she is really feeling the Spirit right now.  She has invited her mom to the baptism (even though for these past 3 weeks she refused to) along with her friends.  Today she organized a gingerbread making activity with the Young Women and Relief Society and now even the bishop!  It’s amazing when everyone gets involved in something!  The recipient can’t help but to join in on all the fun. That is what is happening here.

Speaking of our ward correlator, Brother Chan is just superman.  I have come to that knowledge.  He (his picture is in my call packet if you want to know what he looks like) scheduled one of his “friends” for us to meet.  (Brother Chan was the mission president of the China, Hong Kong Mission when Kyle was called to serve there.  By the time Kyle arrived in the mission field however, President Val Hawks, his current mission president, had replaced him.)  I say “friends” because he basically has met her once.  Well she didn’t show up to the appointment we had at one of the complexes here.  He shrugged it off, took his ward list out of his bag and said, “Ah, I was afraid this might happen so I took the liberty of filling out information on all the less actives that I know living in this complex.  Let’s go visit them and invite them to the Christmas party.”  He then got out his Book of Mormon and Restoration pamphlet and we were off!  We talked to three families that he knew.  The last one invited us to meet their whole family.  He was the bishop (I think) at the time of their baptism 10+ years ago when the dad, mom, oldest daughter, and son all got baptized. They immediately went less active and their daughter, who had her 17th birthday this week, never got baptized.  Well we visited them, talked with the whole family and realized their gospel interest is still quite low so we invited them to English Class.  The next day the brother and the non-member daughter showed up!  They called us and had no idea where the chapel was.  We asked where they were and they said a place about 10 minutes running distance away.  They said they were just going to go home cause they spent all this time and still couldn’t find the church.  Well we took off and tried to find them as fast as we could!  They said not to bother because they were going home, but we found them just in the nick of time.  They came and we taught them after class.  It will be a slow process with them, but they want to come.

Besides that, our new investigator John is doing well.  We shared the Plan of Salvation this week and he already knew it all.  Apparently he has more knowledge of the gospel than we thought.  He was going to come to church, but he had other things to do. That’s too bad, but he did mention how if he gained a testimony of Joseph Smith, he will get baptized.  His date is firmer now so things are looking good.

Besides that, I bit my lip in the middle of the night this week (it was probably a nightmare about ASU losing).  It hasn’t gotten better and in fact it got worse.  It is so big right now that it is hard to eat anything and brush my teeth or even like close my mouth ha-ha but I’ll survive!  That’s just a small update.  I will call home at 10:30 Christmas Day here.  Staci’s phone. I love you all!  Can’t wait to talk to you!

Elder Allen


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Not Every Ward Has a Chinese Elvis – But Mine Does!

December 15, 2013

Hello everyone! It’s another wet day in Hong Kong… just when I started to miss wet “finding” days Hong Kong just seems to always answer my desires for more rain!  Ha-ha!

Well first off. I don’t think I’m missing any birthdays this week…but let me triple check my planner… nope we should be good.  It is good hearing about Parker’s recovery.  Miracles truly happen!  There is a quote that the mission has about being only 99%.  It gives a list of all the things that would happen if things were only 99% obedient to their responsibilities like plane crashes etc.  This time we were in the right side!  (Elder Kyle is referring to Jenna and Corbin’s son Payson’s – not Katie and Dallin’s son Parker – visit to the hospital in early December.  He came down with meningitis and the doctors said there was really only about a 1% chance he wouldn’t suffer from any complications.  Payson left the hospital perfectly healthy!  This is just one of the many blessings our family has received during Kyle’s missionary service.)  That is a bigger win than any football game can provide am I right!?  It’s a great time for growth!  I’m just really happy everyone is okay!

We are in Wan Chai today so I’m on the island writing you all!  I took the famous Star Ferry for the first time today!  It’s raining though…not as cool. We’ve been to the island a lot this week.  Elder Welker had to see the doctor three times last week and we are going again today. It takes a lot of time getting from the beautiful Sha Tin to the island so that took up a big chunk of the week.  The worst part is the doctor graduated from Stanford… ehh… I sat right under the diploma from the Leland Stanford Jr. University for a while… but she also graduated from UCLA and this year I was okay with that.  I politely “scootched” over a couple of seats and waited under the UCLA diploma until he was finished.  Did you know their like motto thing is “Let there be light?”  I didn’t know UCLA was so religious!  Ha-ha just kidding they probably aren’t.  Being at the doctor’s office and helping other missionaries do language evaluations (a new program that the mission has come out with) has taken a big chunk of our proselyting time!  And the time we did have was the weekend, which means the rain. But you know the old saying “With the rain comes miracles?”  Well maybe I just made it up because that’s what happened.

Sha Tin seriously is the stereotyped missionary ward.  Every week our new investigators are welcomed by everyone at church.  The classes are focused around the investigators and even the Christmas party is all just centered around missionary work! The whole thing!  I’m not sure I have said this before but we have an Area Seventy in our ward, the stake president, President Chan (the old mission/temple president) and a normal bishop with his counselors etc….it is so awesome!  And that is not even mentioning Melvis.  Melvis for his work does impersonations of Elvis!  It’s amazing!  We have the Chinese Elvis in our ward.  I’ll get a picture with him.  He even has the hair.  Oh Melvis.  This week President Chan was going to be late to our lesson and so he came running in his full church clothes from his house 20 minutes away to get there on time!  He contacts so many people for us and we are meeting with one of them on Wednesday!  It’s awesome!

This week was awesome.  Kira is getting ready for baptism and is doing awesome. We finished teaching her everything she needs to hear to help her prepare herself.  She gave the spiritual thought in the second hour class and she did great!  She prepared well and had everything ready for her 3 or so minutes.  She is less nervous about baptism.  The ward is really excited to have a Christmas baptism and it’s on her birthday so all the better!  She has her baptismal interview this week.

The other great story is a new investigator this week, John Kwong. We met John as he was coming home from work.  He knew about us and actually went to church in Taiwan where he studies.  He was so interested to hear Sha Tin had a church that he wanted to go see it!  Right then!  So we walked to the 20+ minutes or so and taught him the message of the restoration.  He was really interested and said he already had a Book of Mormon.  He left and said he would come to church then next day, which he did!  He showed up and even though the Elders Quorum did a “on the fly” lesson, and the second hour Gospel Principles class went deep into the Millennium he still loved it all! The prepared ones are the ones who love the truth I guess!  He is so awesome.  He tried looking for his Book of Mormon after our lesson/impromptu church tour the day before but couldn’t find it, so he settled for the pamphlet. He accepted a baptismal date on Sunday as well.

The zone is doing well. We have all the new trainees that came in this week and they are already working hard!  Sorry I have no time to report. But I do have a cool story.  It was looking like we were only going to get 5 baptisms instead of our goal of 6 and then yesterday a miracle happened with the Elders serving in our zone. They have a long time investigator that wants to get baptized this month!  We are excited!  Thanks for all you do!  I love you!  And be safe!  I pray for you all everyday!  Talk to you later!

Elder Allen


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December 8, 2013

Well this is a pretty disappointing week for everyone…but oh well! (The Sun Devil football team lost the PAC-12 Conference Championship game to Stanford that week.)  It was a good year for the Devils!  Better than anyone predicted! It can be used as a stepping-stone for recruits!  But sadly I knew it was going to come to an end.  I mentioned in a letter that I sent to Mom and Dad that I looked back and saw that since I had been with Elder Arrington (who is converted to the Devils by the way. Like 100% into cheering for them instead of BYU) they had not lost!  But then this week the news came in, and the Devils destiny was sealed on Monday. But before I get to the story let me say how sorry I am to Staci and Chris. My memory is so bad that I had written down right in my planner that I needed to say “Happy Birthday” to them this week and then completely forgot.  I guess that’s what happens when 1 week gets confined to 1 hour!  Well now I guess I can say it… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  I’m sorry about the loss but the Holiday Bowl (hopefully)  (The Sun Devils did end up going to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.) that’s not a bad bowl game!!!

Anyway, on Monday night we were walking to a lesson and the assistants called us.  I knew ahead of time exactly what what it was about.  I mean it’s not unusual for the assistants to call us, but we just went with them to the Science Museum an hour before hand so I knew what it must be.  They called and said that I was being transferred on Wednesday, so that for Mission Leadership Council I could work with my new zone. The good fantastic ole days of Cheung Sha Wan came to a great ole finish 8 months to the day that I first served there!  And now I’m back to Tolo Harbour! Which I’m excited about!  I’m senior companion with an Elder Welker from Oregon in Sha Tin!  It’s just an awesome area. Tai Po was beautiful and all, but Sha Tin blows it out of the water!  Anyway before that…I got to see all the people one last time, Or Lan, Emily, Hazel, A-Hung (who is now named Stew for some reason… he picked it) A-Keung, A-Wing, Stephen, and some of the less-actives we helped bring back.  It’s awesome.  A-Wing’s baptism is coming up soon.  We finished teaching him everything this past week and he is doing all right!  When we went finding for the last time, I found something I had never seen before.  We found Bruce Lee’s old school!!  I had to take a picture with it!  It’s famous!

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He came back one day and handed out awards to some students and the plaque said, “The students were happier to receive an award from him than they were from the governor of Hong Kong” or something like that.  Also there is a picture of my favorite tree in Cheung Sha Wan.  We go by it like everyday and it just sticks out into the middle of a very busy road!

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So it’s so long farewell to Cheung Sha Wan.  Until we met again!  I was very used to it and the work is just going so awesome!  I can’t wait to see what Sha Tin has in store!  I’ll be here for a while since Elder Welker will go home in February someone will hold down the fort.  That’s me!  I wont miss the primary kids screaming their heads of everyday during personal study!  That has already been a bonus!  And we live like 10 minute walking distance from the chapel instead of a 45-minute train ride!  That’s always nice!

This week was an okay week for me.  I’m very sad to leave Cheung Sha Wan but if duty calls then duty calls!  It is great place and some of, if not the best experiences of my life happened there.  There is just so much that happened and I hope to keep those things learned with me here in Sha Tin.  I’m excited to go to work in a new area.  There is a lot that can be done here.  The ward is absolutely amazing!  They have so many people that know how to do missionary work.  We have an investigator named Kira who didn’t come to church for two weeks in a row and then yesterday when she came everyone was coming up to her asking if she was okay or if she needed any help (turns out she was going through a rough time in her life.)  They were just so excited to see her and they told her so.  One of the Young Women even bore her testimony in sacrament meeting about how she prayed to see “her friend” here at church because for the past few weeks she has not been in contact with her.  It is such an awesome ward!  I’m excited to go out and give these great ward members a bigger load to work on.  There is a lot of finding to do and we need to be more ready to find these people.  I’ve been studying and restudying Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel over and over again.  I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve studied those chapters.  But I guess that’s a good thing! I love Chapter 9, it brings us some great success. (Chapter 9 of “Preach My Gospel is entitled “How Do I Find People to Teach?”  No wonder it is his favorite.)   There is a lot of the attitude “Sha Tin has always been known as one of the toughest places to have investigators in Hong Kong” going on but that’s okay.  We will get up, go to work, and find the elect.

Zone training meeting went pretty well. This week! I love planning them!

The area is going okay.  We have one solid investigator that is preparing herself really well for baptism.  She has already given up her friends, her job, her drinking, her smoking, her relationships, and just about everything else for the gospel.  She apparently got a miracle job but then after 3 weeks of them not letting her get Sundays off for church she quit! She didn’t even get one paycheck because of it!  Her name is Kira and she is awesome.  She came back to church for the first time and was really happy.  She said during that short time she stopped feeling the spirit, but then she realized its because of what she did, not Heavenly Father.

Well that’s all! Merry Christmas to one and all! Go Devils!!! I love you all!! Keep up the good spirits!

Elder Allen