Mosiah 4:9-10

Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend. And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things, see that you de them. Mosiah 4:9-10

Monday, September 28, 2015

Harvest Moon - Week 7

Harvest Moon Festival - so fun to see all the families
celebrating the autumn harvest together!

This week was amazing! We really started having all of our prayers be answered which was such a good feeling, and I just felt so grateful this past week! We had 6 full lessons this which was is huge for us and for our new area, and everything just really started coming together this week!
This week I learned a lot about patience and listening, two skills I've been fortunate to have developed throughout my life, and they are huge out here in Hong Kong. Two of our lessons with our investigators this week were almost all patience, and listening to them, and then trusting the Spirit to help us discern their needs, and how best to go about addressing them. We had a lesson with Teng Hao ( the male prostitute/pornography guy) and for the first time he finally started to get a little serious with us, and I finally felt that his random questions weren't just to annoy us or ask hard questions, but they truly are his roundabout way of asking the questions of his soul, my companion and I finally saw past the facade he has put up of loving his work and joking around all the time, and finally could see how truly and deeply sad he is for his life, and how it has led him to do his line of work. It was honestly a very touching lesson, left me very grateful for a good family and life situation, and helped us understand him. We were able to bear testimony of a Savior who understands, and a God who wants to bless and help him. Though he still interrupted us a lot, I can tell he is starting to come around, though very verrryyyy slowly. He is going to be a long process, but he needs this Gospel just as much as every one else. Our other lesson that involved a lot of listening was with our buddy Summers, we've been trying to figure out why he won't follow up on commitments and still won't pray with us, when he finally just started discussing Karl Marx and we realized it's because he is a member of the Communist Party! So he is afraid to make any religious steps of any nature, it was an interesting discussion of political philosophy about the proletariat and all this random stuff (thank goodness for Poly Sci 202 last year) and I think we we're finally able to understand him, and helped use philosophy and our experiences to help him finally decide that he wants to pray, and to get to know God. He had an interesting idea that he would only pray if he knew and believed, and we had to try and convince him that a step to believing is prayer. Easier said than done, but in the end I could see the Spirit of our testimonies working on him until he finally said yuanyi (willing) and we were so hype! The philosophy discussion was a huge stretch for my Mandarin haha a lot of terms I didn't know at all, but Summers said my Mandarin has really gotten a lot better pretty quick, which is the best compliment to get from a mainlander! It's definitely still a long process, it is a hard language, but I can really feel myself being blessed to learn it fast which is great! Not too many big mistakes or anything recently, other than saying a swear word instead of this ladies name haha but got that resolved pretty quick. 
Shopping at the ladies bazaar
I went on exchanges again this week with our district leader which was lots of fun! It's always just good to see how other people do the work, and their aparment is waay cleaner than mine and has the BEST view! SO pretty! It's right on the harbor, I'll send some pics. We taught a great lesson about the Plan of Salvation. It's such an amazing plan, everytime I teach someone about the gospel I am always reminded about how lucky I am to have the knowledge that I have, and an amazing family, and it makes me want to share it with everyone! My companion and I have been more bold and excited, and I feel like we and the other elders in our apartment have all gotten to be really good friends, it really helps just having everyone be happy, make big sunday dinners together, and just have some good unity before we all go out and do the Lord's work! I think it blesses our efforts more as well, my companion and I have had lots of success this week, and I know a lot of it has to do with unity, and both reminding one another of our purpose here.
Love this river - it's so peaceful after a storm

Something that I have been working on this week is the contrast between knowing and doing, in really applying everything I say I'll do, and everything that I learn from studies, meetings, etc, and really just going out and doing. That's what makes a huge difference in here and in life, just doing what you say you will do, and living what you learn. I read in a talk by Boyd K. Packer about a missionary who was crushed in an earthquake in Ecuador, and had to go home for awhile to recuperate. He was determined, and returned to the field using two crutches to walk, and eventually had just one cane. One day the 

mission president took it from him and said you don't need this cane anymore, you're just holding yourself back, and from then on the missionary finished out his mission without any cane or crutch. President Packer then invited everyone to consider their own personal 'canes', anything that they are holding on to that they may be holding up, and to hang it up on the wall, to give it the Lord, and let Him deal with it. I really liked that idea, and have been searching for things that could be holding me back, weaknesses, past mistakes, distractions etc, and just giving them up to the Lord, so that I can focus on here, now, and look forward to the future here with a 'perfect brightness of hope.' I would invite everyone to search themselves for your own 'canes' and just hang them up. 
Fun goong goong that always greets us with "ay lay gum leng zai"
-your such a handsome boy-

Finally, I've been reading in Alma about the how those missionaries strive their hardest to help other's enter into the 'rest of the Lord.' I love that term 'rest,' the invitation to all the labor, and are heavy laden, and they can have true rest. What better promise is there than the rest of the Lord? Rest from all work, emotional, familial, financial, social, physical, and whatever other struggles of life that one can experience. The Lord gives rest. He descended below all and rose up, carrying all of us with him, giving us all the chance to rely on him, to enter into his rest, and partake of the 'waters of life.' He offers to all to be lifted. Be happy. Rest from your labors, "come, my brethren, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come buy and eat; yea, come buy wine and milk without money and without price." (2 Nephi 9:50) Such a hopeful gospel! I love this work, and love sharing this with everyone!

Thank you all for your support and letters, I love hearing from everyone!
Elder Woolley

Monday, September 21, 2015

Moon Cakes! Week 6

This is the ward building we teach English in. 
First baptisms in the area!
Hello everybody!!
I know it's been such a short time since I last wrote but so much has already happened! So I guess you're all just blessed to hear from me twice in one week :) This last part of the week has been nice to just look back and see real progress and hard hard work and hours of finding paying off.  

It was the end of 6 weeks, so my first half of training is done! In Hong Kong it's a little different, transfers are every 9 weeks, so I still haven't finished mt first transfer! But it was nice to review our progress thus far and see really how much we have been able to do! It has been such hard work trying to get this area started again, but reviewing the numbers and knowing the people behind them has really given me some good perspective, we've managed to get a new investigator or 2 every week! Though we have turned a lot of them over because of moving or language, it's good to see that we are making a difference!
This week my companion and I had a really special lesson with this guy named Sheldon, I randomely felt to call his name on a list of really old street contacts, and he wanted to meet right away, he speaks really good english, decent mandarin, but his muyu is cantonese, so we had to teaceh the lesson in English! Which was honestly soo weird, and my companion is not confident in english teaching ( he's from the phillippines so his muyu is Cebuano and sort of English) needless to say we were a little caught off guard and had no time to plan or discuss how we would approach it, so we went in really relying on the Spirit to guide what we would say. It made a huge difference to be able to use English, and I was able to bear the strongest testimony I ever have on the Book of Mormon, and what it has done for my life. I got to tell him that it really means the world to me, and has given me and my family so much guidance. It has led me to choose to serve two years in Hong Kong and learn mandarin and really just work so hard and love the people because I know it's true! I wish every lesson could have the special spirit that lesson had, my companion also delivered the first testimony powerfully and in flawless english such was a blessing to him as well. In the end of the lesson he desired a book and has been telling us he's been reading ever since then. Im super excited for him! But sad that we'll have to turn hinm over soon to the Cantonese missionaries.
My mandarin has been feeling a little rough these past few days, I'm not sure why, it's hard for me to have patience with myself in learning this super hard language, and it's such a rollercaoster of confindence and humility haha like sometimes Ill just have talked to some random guy from mainland on the phone and understand everything and say everything right, and then other times I just can't seem to quite keep up! Especially when we teach our investigator Teng Hao, which is rough bc he speaks a million miles an hour about super random stuff and uses so many words I don't know, then makes fun of me when I can't undesrtand, which is all in good humor, but is still hard to not be able to feel like I can effectively help him progress. But I have to keep it in perspective, I have been blessed to learn this langauge very quickly so I just have to keep it in perspective, and stay patient with myself!
All of our investigators are great! Just hard to get them to really start progressing, especially since they all go to mainland at random times so our lesson progression seems to have really inconvenient breaks until they get back, but oh well! I went on exchanges with a bundei (native) last week which was super fun, it was fun to be able to talk to everyone with him because he speaks all the languages here, and it's nice to get another perspective and see how other people approach the work, he definitely inspired me to try to talk to everyone and use what little Cantonese I know to be able to tell the Hong Kong natives a little bit about the gospel and tell them about our cantonese speaking friends!
Former action star, Bai Ying, one of Ryan's new investigators

Everyone here is preparing for the Mid Autumn Moon festival/ Lantern festival which is so exciting! It's got me all hyped up for mooncakes, lanterns and fun haha it also means lots of families will be out around the park for us to find and teach!!
I got to go to the Hong Kong temple on Thursday of last week and wow, what an awesome experience, the temple is so beautiful! Such cool building, and people from all over the world come to go there because it's the most accesible temple in the Asia area, people fom thailand, cambodia, india, mongolia, mainland, korea, vietnam, the diversity is incredible, it's so cool to see everyone coming to the House of the Lord!

I had a really special peresonal experience, the other day my companion and I joined the district of the elders we room with for a big group banner finding on the bridge that I always send pictures of, so we basically set up all of these cool church banners about, our beliefs, english class, and a church history in Hong Kong banner.
Goong goong (grandpa) bottom right corner
As I looked at the church history banner closely I found my grandfather in one of the old pictures it has and I just felt such a strong sense of connection to the work and the people here, I almost started crying as we said a prayer to start finding for the day, it really reminded of why we as missionaries are out here doing what we do. The people here deserve every effort I can give, every drop of sweat, and every tear I shed because of the message, the 'glad tidings of peace' that we bear. I am so grateful that my grandparents were able to hear the gospel here in Hong Kong, and to be able to be back here, serving the very same people just fills me full of love, and excitement to find some future missionaries grandparents, and give them an opportunity to have what I have been given. I really just felt my grandfathers presence that day as I worked out in the sun, and felt the support of my family like I never have before, it seemed almost tangibly to be keeping me going. We had a lot of succcess that day and really just made me really love the work, and put the work into perspective for me, my family and I are the product of gospel work here in Hong Kong, and I'm here to do likewise, to give my whole soul and every effort that I can (Omni 1:26) to this work!
Banner finding day on the bridge
I know that we have a Savior, Jesus Christ, and that he suffered the pains of every living things on the Earth ( 2 Nephi 9:21) and that because of Him, we can return to God and live with our families for eternity! What great hope this message bears, I wish everyone could know as I do that we have a Father in Heaven, a literal Father who loves us, and His Son who bore all for us. His sufferings I can't even begin to imagine, and the love He must have in order to have done that I can't imagine either. I can't comprehend the depth of the sacrifice He made for us, but I can tell other's what that sacrifice has made possible in my life, and in the lives of everyone on this Earth who has ever or will ever live. I bear witness that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and was translated by the prophet Joseph Smith, I know it is true!  It really changed my life, and can change anyones life.
Moon cake for the Autumn Harvest Fesitval

Thank you all for the continuing love and support I really feel and appreeciate it!

Elder Woolley

Thursday, September 17, 2015

PoPos & Goong Goongs - Week 5

Da Jia Hao!!!
This week has been a pretty long week but as always was full of great experiences and hard times haha with no Pday on monday this week definitely felt super long, but the hard work always pays off!
Fun stories- last Pday (seems like just yesterday) this random Popo came up to us in the station and was speaking Cantonese with us, we figured out she's a member and she was saying sick jo fa mei (have you eaten? which in cantonese is also like what's up kinda) so we were like nope and then sh just decided to take us our and buy us all this great food it was such a #blessing.
Pop that took us out to eat :)
Love popos! We have just become friends with all these old people around the bridge that we like to go finding around, we have lots of buddies that we always talk to (or try to since they mostly speak Cantonese) and I can tell they really appreciate it, it's kinda sad here the old people a lot of times just feel like they are worthless and that we shouldn't waste our time talking to them, so sad, so I always like to talk to them and make them smile! There are always these Popo dance parties in our Sha Tin area for some reason, it's so fun lots of music and all these old popos dancing and the goong goongs chillin on the side checking them out haha so funny.
Popos in the park

We also always run into this old fisher on the bridge, the guy is a legend, he's been fishing the same spot for like 90 years, he's so old, reminds me of the guy in Old Man and the Sea,  he's super crusty haha and is hilarious to talk to.
Fisherman we always see

Anyways now to the week and a half, it's honestly so hard for me to think of everything that happened, so much happens in a week, I feel like I just am taught so many lessons each day! These last weeks consisted of a lot of long hot days of finding. My companion and I have been really trying to find by the Spirit, praying to know where we should walk etc, and our success in meeting people has definitely gone way up which is great. One day we felt that we should go to the farthest city in our area which was like an hour and a half walk, we ran into literally no one the whole time and after a few hours I was seriously doubting why we had felt to go there, when all of a sudden we ran into this girl Miffy! She speaks Cantonese and Mandarin and was super interested, we were able to teach her a really strong lesson, and she wanted a Book of Mormon, which she started reading right away! We just had a turnover lesson with her yesterday, gave her to the Cantonese sisters to teach, and she was just so open to everything. So great! She also has a really cute pug named Pa Zai, made me miss my dog a little bit! But it's amazing to see all of the hard work that goes into finding one prepared person, but of course it is always worth it!
Me and Pa Zai

We meet the most interesting investigators here, we recently met a guy from Beijing who claims to have been a movie star in Taiwan back in the day, his movie name is Bai Ying so I'll have to have someone look him up, but he's great, has a very interesting life and we're starting to teach him! 

Our other investigators have been hard to work with, I'm trying to balance being their friend, but also making sure they know my purpose is to teach them and help them come unto Christ. Some of them are going to be long processes but I have a lot of hope! 

Our area is slowly building up, we have so many potentials and starting to get a few more solid investigators, I feel like our area is right on the edge of really great things happening, we just have to keep pushing! This next week 4 really solid potentials will get back from mainland so I'm super excited! I can just feel the Lord starting to bless this area and our efforts, I can feel things are about to really start moving! It's a nice feeling, starting this area all over has been super tough, but my companion and I have kept up faith and attitude and it's really made all the difference.

My companion and I continue to get along really well, he is so humble it makes me feel bad sometimes haha I definitely have a long ways to go in humility, but he's a great trainer and I'm learning a lot from him! We have really unified teaching and good chemistry and the court too. Haha we had a ward basketball activity and brought Summers (who loves basketball) and we just balled out. I've never played so well in my life, I just couldn't miss I was just so wet, it was a good way to earn his respect haha and the trust of the ward, if they know I can get buckets on the court hopefully they can trust that if they give me referrals I'll do likewise! Haha but anyways it was a great activity for Summers, helping him feel comfortable about church members. His biggest problem is that he's just not quite comfortable about church stuff etc, it's all new to him since he recently came from mainland. 

It's pretty crazy to meet some mainlanders who have just never had this light in their lives before, some are so open and excited to learn what previously was forbidden them, others are literally blinded, I met a guy who legit believed in Mao Zedong who taught to trust no one, not even one's own parent's but to only trust Mao. It was kinda shocking honestly, some people just live ignorant of the fact that they have a creator, a God who breathed life into them that they will return to through a Savior. I'm so blessed to teach these people!

This week I thought a lot about the fairness of the Atonement and Christ's sacrifice, we've been getting the question a lot about why God would let the world be unfair, and it's made me think a lot about the purpose of Christ and his Atonement. Because God knew this world would be how it is, that everyone would be in different circumstance of birth etc, He knew that we couldn't possibly understand everyone's individual problems, this is part of the purpose of the Savior, it's that He atoned for everyone, He "felt the pains of every living thing." Wow. Every living thing. The depth of the atonement is incredible, and bridges the world's concept of fair and unfair, while we might not be able to understand why or how, Jesus does because He felt it and bore it. 

I've also been learning a lot about faith. Faith doesn't mean that we believe God will give us what we want and will give us everything that we pray for, rather it's having faith in "true principles" as Alma says. It's having faith and knowing that God can answer our prayers, that He can provide, strengthen, and heal. He does everything necessary for us to return to Him, and sometimes that means giving us trials, and though we may pray for some burden to be taken, perhaps our will is not aligned with His, He won't take from us an experience necessary for us to learn, grow, and achieve salvation. It's not always easy to have that perspective in hard times, but in order to grow the most from a trial we need to pray with the will of the Father in mind, as Christ did in the Garden of Gethsemane. He asked for the burden to be taken from Him, the Atonement was unimaginably hard, but He knew and submitted to the Father's will. This is something I've been trying to work on, not just praying for God to give us lots of success and investigators and perfect investigators, because that may not be God's will for me right now. Rather praying to learn from the hardships, praying to feel that it is God's will, and having faith in the true principles. President Kimball said something along the lines that " if all the sick for whom we prayed were healed all the righteous saved etc, the program of the Father would be annulled" there would be no need for agency and faith. We need these hard times and faith to grow! Packer said that hymn 114 is all that he knows, I've been reading it a lot and trying to learn from what he meant by that. Something that stands out to me in that hymn is that God doesn't necessarily stop the storms from coming, but rather gives us strength to pass through it. It's a perspective I'm trying to further develop here!
Sha Tin River area - I love this area

Thank you everyone for the love and support, I really do feel the power of your prayers for me! I'll get pictures out on Monday, I don't have any time today! Love you and pray for you all!


Elder Woolley

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Are we not all beggars - week 4 in Hong Kong

P-day bike ride
Hello everyone!  Sorry about last week's letter - for some reason my group email just randomly stopped working and only sent last week's email out to a few people! But oh well. This week was lots of fun! Also, next week I won't have pday til thursday so don't worry on Monday (Mom :-))

A few of my favorite things about my area are-
All the popos in the morning doing their hilarious popo exercises, reminds me of my Popo but there's just tons of them everywhere, also old people do tai chi in the parks, it's always fun to see them and they love when we say josun! 
The river that goes by our apartment is the best place to do finding ever! Everyone is always out walking at night, it's very peaceful and pretty, and there's this old man that is always our playing that Chinese string instrument, it sounds really nice and just feels so Chinesey haha, there are also lots of white cranes flying around the river, it's super pretty. Also the fish just jump out of the river all the time it's weird, but the sound reminds me of fishing! We've also made some bridge buddies haha.  On the bridge there's the same old man and we always stop to talk to him, he is so funny, he always asks us to find him a girlfriend while he does his weird stretches haha what a guy. 
Bridge near the apartment and the other pic is Ryan with
the bridge buddy
Teaching English class is so fun! My companion and I taught last week's, the people are so fun, it's a great way to get to know the community a little better, and it's just fun trying to teach the poeple English.  It's pretty hard to teach just because it's what I've been speaking for so long, just weird to try and figure out ways to teach it.
I also had my first Bible bashing experience haha.  We met with this random guy, and he just whipped out his bible and starts quoting it and trying to cite history and all this stuff, fortunately I have AP history under my belt (thanks Mrs Whyndham) so for awhile I was just bashing with him, as you all know, I low key like an argument like that haha Im too opinionated, and he was just trying to confound me, like he would say something and then look at me like he's just delivered some killed line or something. So I bashed for a little until I realized I was wasting our time, and just stopped. There's no point in arguing or even really talking to someone if all they want to do is prove you wrong. It was kinda fun though gotta admit.
Also my mandarin is coming along well, I gave my testimony in church and a little intro as the Bishop asked me too, and the members all said they notice improvement (though I don't) haha but I feel that I can express myself fairly well! It's nice to not have to struggle when teaching (for the most part) to say what I want to say! But it's definitely still a struggle.
Ryan's apartment
This week we got a new investigator! His name is Teng Hao and he is such a character! We were teaching him in Mong Kok which is a very busy area, and we asked him what his job is (because he is jacked) he was saying stuff and we both thought he was a video gym instructor, but weren't really understanding what he was saying, mainlanders sometimes use big weird words that we just don't understand, finally he was exasperatedly started doing this weird hip thrust I was like what are you doing haha everyone was staring at him, then we finally realized what his job is, he is an adult film actor (aka porn star) sorry if that wasn't G rated enough. But it's his living. But we had a really good lesson with him, he really was curious and had a lot of questions which basically were centered around the question why does God let bad things happen, why is there inequality in the world, is God a fair God? These are good questions, deeper than you might expect from a man with his profession, but I could tell there is more to him, and some underlying problem that we hope to help him with! He basically said if we can explain to him and help him feel the benefits of the church and he thinks it's true he'll join and change his life. I was pretty blown away. But answering his questions was not easy he kept asking different scenarios of unfairness and bad things ( slavery, holocaust, wars etc). So were hoping we can help him find the answer for himself bc he wasn't really accepting everything we were telling him. 
Interior of the apartment (?)

His questions reminded me of when I was growing up I would ask my parents why I couldn't do something my friends were doing, or why I couldn't stay up as late as them etc and would say that's not fair! And they would always say life's not fair haha but it's a correct principle. Life's not fair, the world's not fair, it's very apparent here in Hong Kong, the inequality is pretty insane. Just in my area there is a huge expensive shopping mall with lots of rich people shopping there, then right across the bridge there are people living in these shacks with dirt floors, there are young rich kids with super expensive clothes, and then there are old women that are doing construction work and hard labor all day for a living. It's pretty sad. The world is not a fair place. But God is fair. The Atonement is fair, like it says in Mosiah are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend on the same God for everything, upon the Savior for forgiveness? God is no respecter of persons, and loves the rich and poor equally. It reminds me of a verse I read in 2 Nephi chapter 2, it says were are to act and be acted upon. That's basically what life is, we are to act, and be acted upon according to the random situations and vicissitudes of life. One could say why would God let this tragedy happen to which I would respond He didn't. It just happened, so what are you going to do about it? How are you going to respond to having been 'acted upon?' Though I do believe that some specific trials are directly given from God, it is my belief that a lot of trials and things in life and random things of the world, a result of other's agency or just random occurances and God will see how we use our agency to respond. Life is a test, and was never meant to be easy. I tend to be a little more pragmatic about things like that though haha that's just my view.
It's great being a missionary, we basically just help people find answers, we help them answer their own questions, just basically being guides! It's amazing to see people realize something, have the light of understanding their minds, or even see them start to have that curiosity and desire to learn start to grow within them.
Spiritual dunks ;)

Another great lesson I learned this week was while we were out finding, it was another hard week of finding and walking all day, and I was feeling a little down. One of the people that we stopped and talked to said out of no where that he really has admired us walking around all day and talking to people, being friendly and trying to help. That just made my whole day, the people do appreciate us! They recognize genuine care and effort when they see it! It reminds me of the Gordon B. Hinckley quote, "You never know how much good you do" and it's so true. I have found small successes throughout the day in nice smiles, friendly hellos, just loving the people, and just as the Savior did we try to be going about doing good.
Also this week I've really been trying to have the attitude of Paul who said "therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecution, in distresses for Christ's sale: for when I am weak, then I am strong." He basically just has so much faith and confidence in Christ that he knows he can give his burdens to the Lord, and be made strong through Him. On the mission I feel like every week it's just so humbling, and all of my personal weaknesses get exposed. But as Brigham Young said, "no one can know himself unless he knows God, and no one can know God unless he knows himself." That is so true, through the weaknesses I have come to just try and put all my confidence in Christ, and rely on God here, and I've started to get to know myself and God in the process. Im trying to be happy about having weaknesses pointed out to me because now I know how to improve myself, now I know what needs the most work. Packer said "If you are not feeling happy all of the time, there may the tendency to wonder what is wrong. Why do you not wonder what is right? maybe there is a lesson coming through." I feel that a lot of times I just think about myself, what is wrong, what am I doing wrong to have no success, but I'm trying now to think what is right? And learn everything I can. I am trying my best to give the people of Hong Kong everything I can and everything I have! I love the ward I'm serving it's so fun to get to know them and learn from their faith!
At least I know he's eating well ;)

Thank you all for your support, encouragement and love, I love hearing from everyone every week!
Praying for all of you! And I hope this weeks email actually sends haha
Wu Zhang Lao

Pray with faith - week 3 in Hong Kong

DAJIA HAO (Here is last week's letter, IDK why it didn't send)

Hello everybody it's been another amazing week in Hong Kong!! This week has definitely been a struggle, but lots of lessons learned!
This has been a super hard week, my companion said it was the hardest week of his mission, but at the same time it went by super fast and I have high hopes for this week! 
A great place to get baos for about 1 US dollar
Ryan and Summers
Last Pday I went to a bazaar and a jade trading market which was fun! I haggled prices with people but never bought anything it was so fun, the people always freak out once you start walking away, the bazaar was kinda a let down though, it was early so not quite open, and there were a lot of young triad owned prostitutes out which was pretty depressing, they live a hard and sad life Im sure, I wanted to give them fliers but didn't want to give off the wrong impression by approaching them haha. All of my pictures should be up on my blog! Sorry I cant really send any on the big letters theres no room!
On paper this was a super unsuccesful week, and at times, I definitely felt it. Everyday of the week we found all day, looking forward to Friday and Saturday which is when we had about 8 lessons lines up, because everyone works or goes to school all week everyone can only meet on the weekends. So  we had lots and lots of finding, but for some reason this week, no one would talk to us, we would give the friendliest greetings and smiles, and no one would even look at us, it was super hard because that lasted the whole week, and then on Saturday, we were set to have 6 lesson which is a ton for Hong Kong, we were super excited. Unfortunately all of them cancelled, and one of our investigators with the most potential got anti'd (when they recieve anti mormon matierial that freaks them out) and blocked us. So it was definitely crushing. We did have 2 great lessons on Friday for which I am very greatful. Every lesson is a gift. Sunday things have seemed to start to turn around again, I had a great spiritual day, got rejuvenated for the week, have a lot of potentials again this week, so I'm definitely looking forward to some good things this week!
Our first lesson was with Tony, he's a mainlander who is the most open person i have ever met, it's amazing how open minded the people from mainland can be. With no religious background or normal persuasions that others have, they can be super open and seem to search for truth. We taught him about the plan of salvation, and the Atonement of Christ. It was very powerful, he told us about guilt he has felt in his life, as well as a few other emotional problems, I testified to him that through the atonement he need not feel those things anymore. As I testified to him I felt the Spirit reconfirm to me the power of the Atonement. It really is so special, Christ already bore our sins for us, we need not carry any single burden through life! I feel so bad for all the people that reject us, they don't realize what we offer is a way out of the hardships of life, of the burdens that they needlessly carry. It's sad, and inspires my copmanion and I to work through all the rejection. Tony really accepted the lesson we taught, I know he felt it's truth. After we concluded and walked back a little ways together he just kept talking about church stuff, I could see the little seed of desire in him starting to grow, and I feel so fortunate to have been able to meet him! When we found him it was totally inspired too, he had been in mainland for months, and was a previous investigator. We just ran into him on this street we felt that we should go to, where we were able to get his new contact info, it's amazing to see God direct us to those he needs, especially here in Hong Kong where theres so many people, the odds of seeing the person you want to see are so slim. Unfortunately he's moving out of our area this week, but fortunately hes still in HK so he can still be taught the gospel! 
Our other lesson was with Summers, it went well, but he has a hard time doing our invitations to pray, he's not wuite comfortable with it, whcih is understandable, so were patiently nurtuting his belief and curiousity in the gospel, I know when he takes the leap of faith this new knowledge will bless him so much! He's definitley become one of our good friends, I love teaching investigators because it's a lot like talking to a good old friend, we talk about life and get to know them super well. Then we get serious and try our best to share the gospel with them, because we love them, and we know that the gospel can really improve and change lives! Unofrtunatley another one of our investigators also moved this week so Summer is our only solid investigator for now, but every week brings new opportunities!
My chinese is coming along rather well, sometimes it's hard to feel any progress, than other times Im just amazed that I can talk to people straight from mainland after having only been learning for 3 months, the Lord really does bless us here to learn and do his work. It's getting easier to spot mainlanders from Hong Kongers, they're also generally way nicer too! I've picked up a few Cantonese phrases but my mandarin stilll needs so much work that the other Chinese is just overwhelming haha it's a lot to deal with!
Ryan and his companion Elder Sy

I was reading in Mosiah this week, where it talks about Alma the yonger being visited and chastised by the angel. Something that I really like about that story is that the angel says his purpose in visiting Alma is to show that the Lord answers the prayers of the faithful, because Alma the elder had been praying for his son with faith to the Lord, asking him to help his son know the truth. The angel's purpose was to answer that prayer. If we pray with real faith for righteous outcome, believeing that God will provide, we can expect Him to answer it. We can know that He will. We just have to have patience and hope. So that's what were trying to do this week!
As I said earlier this week was very difficult, just long hours of no talking to anyone all day, no one even smiling at us, it gets hard. I remember thinking, why don't they realize the importance of this? It's true! Nothing else matters because it's true! So everyone stop staring at the ground or your phones and listen up! I was a little frustrated for sure. Then I thought of who I represent. The Savior Jesus Christ. Theres a quote that says something like because we are representatives of the Savior, because I bear his name on my chest, I cannot expect to not bear at least a little bit of the suffering that the Savior has. And my hard week was no wear near what he went through. He spent his life amongst society that rejected him, spit upon him, and hated him, yet towards those people he never though one unclean or angry thought, he never said, why me? He never said, Im the Savior, the Son of God shouldn't everyone be worshipping me and hearing me out? In fact for those very people who wanted him dead and crucified him he suffered, he bled, and he bore there burdens. In the most ultimate of selfless actions as he hung bleeding from the cross he said "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He pitied the men who rejected him, he plead with the Father to forgive them when they had done so much cruelty to him. Wow. What an amazing thing to do. As I thought of this my perspective changed. I no longer felt bad for myself from the days of rejection and silence, instead I felt bad for the people who rejected us, who refused to even give themselves an opportunity to hear, to open their minds, and to try to accept the gospel. It's interesting here I've met lots of athiests who call us close minded for believing in religion, as if I've never learned science in my life or heard all the arguments of the world against how a God could exist. Yet when I ask them if they've eve learned or considered anything about a God they say no, it's not possible, I would never even consider it. We always invite them to try something new, to open their minds, consider the possibility, the explanations of the world cannot explain away the personal witness that I have had the God is real, we are His children, He loves us, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior. It's just such a hopeful message! I wish everyone were open to the message. As I have had to rely more and more on Christ to help me overcome my own weaknesses I have come to be able to testify more powerfully of his life and his Atonement. My companion and I continue to pray in faith, we know God will bless us for our diligence in His own time. I have no doubt in my mind that He will.
I've also been doing this thing called the improvement card, our zone leaders asked us to do it, every day we write down something we want to improve on, and then focus on it and improve on it. Its good becasue it helps me not feel overwhelmed with things I need to be better at, helps me focus, and works pretty well! I'm trying to be better every day, as Abraham Lincoln said " I don't think much of a man who is no wiser today than he was yesterday" or something like that haha.
Also I had my first experience with mainland visit/baptism this week! It was so amazing they just come so humble and wanting to learn, then we teach them all the lessons in one day and baptize them if they're ready! It's pretty cool to be a part of it, I could feel so strongly Gods love for the people, they sacreifice so much to come here from mainland, and they just are so humble. God really loves all his children and provides all a way to hear of His word! Unfortunately I can't talk too much about the details of how it all works because of the government but it's pretty amazing to be a part of and see how it all works!!
Ryan on Victoria Peak

Thank you all for the support and love! Praying for everyone!
Elder Woolley