Wow, I am not exactly sure what to say. I am in kind of a daze still. We got to Hong Kong yesterday and did some fun stuff like went up to Victoria Peak on a cable car thing and contacted lots of people. Today, We got our areas and trainers and I am currently serving with Elder Jolley in.... I forgotwhat it is called. But it includes a few different places like Mong Kok and Kowloon Tong which means I live in the temple! For the next 12 weeks I will be living on the second floor of the temple with the APs and right next to the mission president. Apparently it is the nicest apartment in the mission by far.
Hong Kong is the coolest city I have ever been to. I dont know how to explain it. It is basically a really tropical jungle with a bunch of skyscrapers everywhere. It is SUPER busy all of the time, and the people are really friendly for the most part. I just wish I could understand what they are saying. But luckily my trainer speaks perfect Cantonese. We go everywhere using public transportation. The MTR is a really fast subway system that runs under Hong Kong. It is really effecient and easy to use. We use our Octopus cards for everything like that. They are cool because they work for just about everything here, and it has some electronic chip in it so we dont even have to take it out of our wallets. You just slide your wallet over the readers.
I met some really cool people here already. One of them was a Vietnamese boat dweller. They were the refugees who came over from vietnam a long time ago and lived on boats next to each other. His parents died during it all because apparently it was super dangerous. So we taught him about the plan of salvation and how he can live with them again. I also met someone from Israel who only spoke Hebrew and a little bit of English. He was interesting. It is really cool how many different stories you hear here in Hong Kong.
So today I ate at a restaurant for the first time. I had some rice noodle soup thing with fish balls and octopus balls. They make those just by grinding up octopi and covering them with some potato flour stuff just like they do with fish balls. they were all pretty good. Some of the other things I could have put in my noodles were bamboo fungus, black fungus, and a bunch of other things in chinese that I dont know what they are.
The scariest part about this place so far is that most of the people expect me to know Cantonese because most of the missionaries here speak it fluently. So they know that Mormon missionaries can speak it. They will just start speaking really fast and I usually just look at them and say, "Ngoh sik gong siusiu gwongdungwah yanwaih ngoh ngaamngaam leihjo heung gong." Which means I speak a little bit of cantonese because I just got to hong kong. Then my trainer usually helps me out.
Elder Jolley is really nice and helpful. He is from Salt Lake and only has four transfers left here. I feel like it will be really easy to get along with him, but I really miss my MTC district already because we became really good friends. Most of the other elders in my MTC district are all going to areas where they will live with 2 or 3 others of us. In fact I think me and one other elder are the only ones not with someone we know.
Lets see... I am sure there is so much I can talk about, but I am still a little bit in shock and I think youd have to be here and experience it yourself.
I had a really good version of lemonade at lunch. It is called lemon water and was basically water with lemon slices in it, and a bunch of this sweet honey-like syrup in it.
The people here are always willing to talk to me if I explain that I just got here and want to practice my Cantonese. Hong Kong people love helping others if its something they know they can help out with.
It is really loud here. There are always cars honking, people yelling, music playing, etc... Luckily our apartment is quiet because it is inside the temple.
I am not really sure what to expect. I am a little intimidated by everything. But all of the older missionaries here seem to know exactly what theyre doing and how to get around and stuff so I know with time I will be fine.
It is SO weird to think about all of you back in quiet little Utah right now. I just looked out the window behind me and all I can see is a jungly hill with tons and tons of skyscrapers all over it.
I have been to lots of different places I feel like, but none of them are even close to Hong Kong. It feels kind of like New York City mixed with Puerto Rico. But a lot more Asian.
I got Dad's dearelder! I think they print it off somewhere in utah and just mail them here. It was really awesome to have gotten a letter already.
According to my trainer, it is a lot different than the MTC. There, everyone gets lots of random letters from a lot of random people all of the time. Once we get out here, he said people dont want to pay the extra 54 cents and wait a few weeks so not many people ever get letters unless they have a girlfriend or something.
We are going to go grocery shopping right after we finish emailing. It will be interesting to see all of the weird food and stuff there. I have already seen a lot of it, but according to my trainer, this is just the beginning. Then tonight we are going to go finding. So I will be walking around just talking to random people for a few hours.
I can tell my body is kind of in fight or flight mode because of how different everything is, but I cant wait until someday I am going to be like all of the older missionaries who seem really accustomed to all of this.
Hong Kong feels like a whole different world than Utah or anywhere in the United States. I am amazed that cities like this exist and I never really knew it. Well I did, but I never really understood it.
Well, I will try to send some pictures, but if it doesnt work, I will figure it out next week. Until then, have a great week! Love you all!!
- Bik Jeung Louh