June 15, 2014
Who would’ve ever thought this place would be considered holy, but to me it is. I remember my first day in Hong Kong…I thought I knew what missionary work was. Then the sliding doors opened and this huge wall of humidity seemed to wipe away the easiness of being there and any thoughts that the next two years would be an easy ride disappeared. Seriously that feeling of hitting that humidity was crazy, and an experience that I’ll remember forever. (Elder Allen is used to heat but remember everyone in Arizona “it’s a DRY heat!”) At that point I actually knew that I was finally serving a mission. Man did I know nothing back then. It is just incredible how much this city has taught me. If God our Heavenly Father isn’t controlling His work here then I don’t have a single idea what is. The miracles, the unexplained events, the people, just everything points to the fact that there is a God and He truly loves every one of us. I’m sorry if these thoughts are random. I am reading it and I don’t understand what I am writing…it makes no sense. But just trying to sum up the span of two years in one paragraph makes my mind go in a million different directions.
It will not be hard to remember my mission, not one bit. In fact I feel like I’ve actually lived here longer than I have lived in America, and in a way that is just so true. Sorry for all the random sentences. I just can’t believe it’s over this week. It’s too fast! I had my “exit interview” with President Hawks this morning. This was the first time in a very long time that I have even thought about what it will be like to be home. He made me do it. After a lot of talking, he asked, “What’s next?” and I just started telling him my plans for the week and the people who are progressing this week and how to help them continue. He stopped me and said that’s not what he meant and really… that’s the first time I had to say the inevitable. What I will be doing in the near future is not hitting the streets finding or preparing for a meeting with the Stake President… it was stuff like going back to school. I just can’t imagine being gone for two years. What do you mean I haven’t been in Arizona for two years? Already?! There is no way…I honestly feel like when I get back it will be May 24th, 2012, just a little day trip. (Kyle entered the Provo MTC on May 23, 2012) I know a bunch of missionaries say this, but I mean it. The expression goes “time flies when you are having fun” well if that’s the case the heat, the humidity, the investigators dropping, the anti, the finding all day, the weird eats, the mean culture, is just the most fun I’ve ever had. Period. And oh yeah, I haven’t even mentioned the thing called learning to speak Chinese! Although this one feels like its been 3 years not 2. Whatever the Cantonese did at the Tower of Babel was truly wicked….. (So happy to see that Elder Allen has not lost his sense of humor!)
This really just feels like another week. And great things happen in the Lord’s service. Hong Kong is a place of miracles. Big miracles. As long as the people want miracles they will happen. Just some crazy things happened this week and the work, the area, and the zone are keeping up with this fast moving pace that has been coming around for the past couple of months. I was on exchanges in Ma On Shan this week. While finding, Elder Dorman noticed there was a huge hole in his pocket and the phone was gone! We retraced our steps, looked all around and everything, but a good 40 minutes passed by and nothing happened. We went to sit down on a bench and evaluate what to do next. The first thing to do was to pray, so we did. Right after the prayer, this old shirtless man just walked up to us and said, “Hey is this your phone by chance?” Just absolutely crazy! We were not even close to the place where he found it or anything! He just happened to be walking by at the same time that we finished our prayer. Well… evaluation over! That’s it! Plan A worked! Plan B is not needed! Tell me…how do you explain that, besides it being from the power of God?
It was a busy last Sunday here. The other ward had a baptism and we were put in charge of making sure the water was turned off the night before and checking to make sure the font had water in it for the 8:30 in the morning baptism. We checked at about 9:00 on Saturday night and the font was full! Everything was good! But then at about 8 the next morning, the Sisters called us and told us there was no water in the tank! None at all! I’m sure it was plugged because we double-checked to make sure it was plugged, but something happened! Well, we ran to the church and found it to be almost like a war zone or something. The font was on the highest pressure possible but it would definitely not be enough for the ceremony 30 minutes later. The bishopric and missionaries made a row just passing buckets from the bathroom to the font. It was hot and sweaty and there was just water everywhere! However, we got it done! The person being baptized didn’t even notice (she was waiting for a friend to get there). Great teamwork from everyone!
Church then was just crazy miraculous! We have been working with Sister Ko for quite awhile now, and so have 2 other sets of missionaries. Both of the other sets of missionaries dropped her because they thought she had no potential. No, no, no! These weeks of going over to their house was all worth it in the end! For the first time this week she came to church! It was just so rewarding! We have worked hard with both Brother and Sister Ko and it was just so awesome to see them together at church. We were so surprised when she showed up! The night before she had been at the ward party and we thought that was good. It seemed good for her to see the church and look around, but the Lord has other ideas. She came and from what I hear she liked it! She is already friendly with some of the members from going over to their house, but this was just another level! It is so awesome! Sister Ko is going to be baptized. I don’t know when, but it will happen.
Another crazy thing happened at church. So last transfer the Stake President’s daughter introduced us to her friend. At the end of the first meeting, I felt like just forgetting about that lesson and moving on. He (his name is A-King) just had zero interest, worked in a pretty high position at another church, and didn’t even give us his phone number. Well, we are in Sacrament Meeting and I see someone and at first I have no idea who it is, I just know that I’ve seen him before. Well turns out it’s him! In a white shirt and tie! He stayed for all three hours (had to get the day off of work to do it) and wanted to meet with us after! Turns out he has read everyday since that meeting and has read until Alma Chapter 19! What?! Are you serious?! We beg for people to read just 5 minutes a day, literally beg, but he, who had no interest in ever seeing us again, sees us again and has read SEVERAL CHAPTERS A NIGHT! A-King – I will never forget that first lesson! I’m not sure how it happened, but it did! We didn’t have a lesson plan (because we had no idea he’d be there!) but since he has read the Book of Mormon, we could’ve gone 10,000 different ways. He was telling us how the Book of Mormon supports the Bible and clarifies it! When I tell that to most people, they don’t even have the slightest idea of what I’m talking about! Just a great day!
Chau Sung Mou is doing great as well! This week was the big lesson for him – the Word of Wisdom – and he scheduled us right at the last minute so we didn’t have a member with us. However, the lesson was great! He has already heard the Word of Wisdom from his member fellowshipper and is quitting smoking for good! He used to smoke a pack a day and already he is down to 1 pack every 3 days! Some improvement there! He has cut back on tea as well. He is barely drinking any tea! He is just so awesome! Definitely one of my favorite investigators I’ve ever taught. He is in mainland until after I leave, so saying good-bye was pretty sad, but it’s not the end! His faith is great and we will see each other again. Someday…
Faith is an excellent thing. If we want the same faith, with the same results, then we do the same things. If we want different faith, we do different things and if those things are good, our faith will start to grow within us. Faith is just so awesome. I learned more about faith from recently reading Alma 32 than I have reading it repeatedly over these past 2 years. This is an amazing city and although I will physically leave, I won’t ever truly leave. There is no chance under heaven that I will ever truly leave. My heart is here, with the members, with the nonmembers, and most importantly, my heart is with a loving Savior who made a great and infinite sacrifice for every single one of us. He will continue to pour greater blessings in Hong Kong, I’m just sad I won’t personally see them!
I love you all. See you Friday. Have Burger House ready. (The Burger House is a little place in Miami, Arizona – on the way to Thatcher – that has delicious bean and cheese burritos. I guess their burgers are pretty good too but I can never bring myself to order anything but the mexican food. I guess Kyle feels the same way.) Or anything Mexican. Oh how I miss Mexican food, but mostly Burger House. You are the best and remember that a mission is a family affair! You are ending something too, but we are all starting something together!
Elder Au Yeung Yat Fei
I asked Elder Kyle to send me a picture of Brother Chan, the man he admires so much as a great missionary, leader and teacher. I thought it was fitting that this is the last thing that will appear on this blog that came in an email from Hong Kong. This man has inspired my son to be a great missionary and to continue to do missionary work even when that is not his full-time calling. I know Kyle will be forever grateful to him for being an example of the hard-work, diligence, enthusiasm, faith and creativity necessary to accomplish the Lord’s work. I don’t know him but I am grateful to him as well. He has inspired my son to be a better person, a better leader and a life-long servant of the Lord. That’s what it is all about. Thank you Brother Chan from the bottom of my heart!
Brother Chan, a member of the ward named Johnny, Elder Brown and Elder Allen