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 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

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