Another awesome week down in the MTC! This was definitely a long week but only because something of my own doing that I'll explain later in the letter haha
|Good bye to Sister Lund|
This week was another week of sad goodbyes, on Monday Sister Haws and Elder Holmes left which was sad but I know that they will be great missionaries and are going to have amazing experiences! Then this Monday morning Elder Curtis left which was very sad, it's just close enough to me leaving that it's finally starting to feel real! It was very sad to say bye to Elder Roomie but I know he too will just be a studly missionary and I'm so grateful for his and all of my other missionary friends' examples.I just love seeing everyone here working their hardest to serve the Lord, and I'm excited to see the changes that the mission will bring everyone! I read Alma 17 and was so inspired by the story of the sons of Mosiah who served 14 year missions and came back still close, and happy to have seen one another grow in strength and in their love for the Lord. It has also been a pleasure getting so close with my district and companion, I love all of them and it's been so great growing with them in the gospel, I know I'll miss them a lot when we go our separate ways to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
|Good bye to Elder Holmes - Portugal Lisbon Mission|
|Good bye to Elder Curtis - Argentina Rosario Mission|
So this week was suuuper long because my friend Elder Hammond and I decided to go on a health diet-- disclaimer: I haven't gotten fat here (Allyson) haha I've only gained a pound, but the food is just so heavy and cement like that I always feel crappy after meals so I just decided to exercise my self control and do a diet-- it was so terrible. We forwent carbs and all the fatty foods and sugars and snacking which made our options very limited to basically just salads and occasional soups or rice. It was straight brutal but I felt pretty good after meals, but also hungry. A lot of times we would forget that we had eaten lunch because we would feel as if we hadn't eaten anything at all, but I made it through and was glad to see I could do it. And I saved up all the snacks and packages from throughout the week and went ham on them all last night. Anyways moral of the story is dieting is terrible, also I only lost like .5 pounds hahaha but I wasn't really doing it for weight loss anyways. Also I have been recovering from a pretty bad cold that's been going around our zone and finally am on the last few days of it which is so nice, I've never had to blow my nose so much in my life haha
|Last good bye to Elder "Roomie" with Elder Hammond|
|Elders Hammond, Khang and Ball|
Aside from the physical trauma of the week it was a very enriching week! It started off with a skype TRC with a real member living in Taiwan! I have very mixed feelings about how it went though. I had the feeling that we should teach about charity, so my companion and I taught a lesson about charity and loving others, which turned out to be perfect for her because she had just gotten in a fight with a sister in her ward there during that week! So I just felt like we had just been guided by the Spirit, and I also shared a verse of scripture with her that she loved and got very excited about. She did a loooottt of talking in the lesson and spoke crazy fast, so it was hard for me to understand everything, especially with the connection not being the best quality. My teacher complimented us and said we taught her a perfect lesson from what he heard her say which made me just feel so great! HOWEVER I had the biggest curve ball ever thrown at me after the lesson when my teacher talked to her on skype after we left, he came back and we asked what she had said, and apparently she told him she felt darkness when we taught her. Darkness. Hahaha how on Earth did she feel darkness when we were teaching about charity haha so funny! Especially because I thought it had gone perfectly and that we had said what she needed to hear! So I was kinda crushed by that at first and our teacher told us that she probably hadn't meant the term darkness, but it might have been attributed to our response to her telling her personal story. She told us this personal story of how she had gotten in a fight with someone which was apparently fairly serious, but I didn't really understand all of it just the basic gist and so my companion and I just kinda nodded and said "fe chang hao xie xie fenchang ni de jingyan zhege yuanze keyi bangzhu ni de qingkuang!" -great! thanks for sharing your experience this principle can help your situation! So apparently we might have just kinda reacted rudely and continued teaching and offended her. So that was an interesting lesson, a good reminder that I always need to be checking my understanding with the people we teach to make sure we respond properly! Haha two other Elders in my district skyped their designated member and she answered them while riding a motor cycle in the crazy streets of Taiwan and proceeded to talk to them and was giving all her attention to the screen which was hilarious and dangerous, they kept seeing cars and building fly by and were like please hang up and pull over then call back but she didn't seem to think the safety was an issue haha. We have another lesson tonight with someone in Taiwan or Hong Kong so lets hope this one goes better!
|Asian missions dorm reunion|
Our investigators are all progressing rather nicely as well, they both have baptisms coming up this weekend, but we have a lot to teach them to prep them for the interviews, we might have to postpone their dates a week which is kinda disappointing but it's better to have them ready than not. I just love my teachers here in the MTC they are AMAZING. We call Ouyang Laoshi the Pride of Guatemala, Guatemala's Treasure etc etc haha it's always funny and he just laughs and doesn't know how to respond, still never speaks English, and still inspires us everyday to work hard, be focused, and be our best. We call Liao Laoshi the Renaissance Man because he is teaching himself how to do everything and just has the coolest goals in his life. They are both spiritual giants and always get us back on task and focused on our purpose of inviting other's to Christ. Love them and their examples!
There was an awesome Devo given on Tuesday by an Emeritus General Authority which was an awesome, straight forward list of how you can be a successful missionary! They are:1. Focus on the Lord. 2. Love the scriptures. 3. Forget about yourself. 4. Love the people, the culture, and everything about your area. 5. Follow your Mission President. 6. Learn the Language of the Spirit, be able to recognize and heed promptings, etc. 7. Work hard. 8. Be obedient. 9. Be a PMG missionary. 10. Prepare yourself to be a faithful member for the rest of your life- every time you commit an investigator to do something, recommit yourself to do the same for the rest of your life.
I love these 10 things, they set up a successful missionary, and a successful life. They are all based around love as well. All these things come if we love the Lord, the gospel, and others. The Gospel is one of love! And I can't wait to get to Hong Kong and just get to meet so many people!! Speaking of which I get my flight plans this week!!!! So exciting!! My companion and I got released as Zone Leader's this week and what a blessing it has been to serve in that capacity here. We got to welcome in 24 new Elder's into our district and help orient them this week before we got released and it was just so fun! My good friend from BYU Elder Ball is in my zone so that was so fun to get to welcome him, and I loved showing the Elder's around and helping them out. I remember how much I looked up to the older Elders here when I first arrived and I hope we can all realize that and support the newer Elders. I've learned a lot about service, humility, and charity as I served and i definitely have felt a change in my perspective of other's and how quickly I am to judge. Of course I can always improve but it's nice to look back and see it.
|As promised - a picture of the "Tie of Shame"|
I really loved these 2 scriptures this week, one is in DC 88:68 which reads "Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see Him, for He will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in His own time, and in His own way, and according to His own will." This is such a great scripture to keep in mind with patience, expectations, and just life. So many people get impatient with trials, ask why me, and expect so much because they have been faithful. But the everything is in His time, way, and will. I also enjoyed reading Ecclesiastes 3:1 " To every time there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" The rest of the chapter also has some profound scriptures about seasons of life etc but I really like this first verse. Life is full of different seasons, purposes. Right now my time is very clearly God's time as his missionary, and to this time the season and purpose of being a mission, to devote, and remember it isn't my two years it is God's to gather His children. We are all in different times and seasons, I hope that through all the different stages of my life I can find and remember purpose as a child of God.
Thank you to all of my friends and family for your support, advice, and examples! I love you all and pray for you all every night! I also have lots of pictures which you may be getting, but if not I know my mom also has been posting them on my blog!
Elder Woolley :-)