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

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Planting Seeds - week 23

Another amazing week has already flown by in Kowloon and I can hardly believe it! Time here just seems to go by so fast! We had a good, hard week full of lessons, successes, and failures.

The saddest event of the week was that this week we had our hardest lesson with the Liu family. I love this family so much! Since the time I have been meeting with them, I have just seen their desire grow, and really gotten to seen the light of the gospel enter their family and home. It was such an amazing feeling, I love being a missionary and teaching families, I could just feel the love and warmth that a gospel brings into the household! We shared our final message all about Christ, His sacrifice for us, and eternal families. It was very powerful, they had their newborn daughter in their arms and we all just felt the love and power of families as we looked at her, and thought about all of our potential, both in this life, and after death. It was really quite a powerful moment. I saw their love for her, their hopes, expectations, and desires, and thought of how much our Heavanly Father must watch over us, and desire for us the best, and His eternal hopes, expectations, and love. I know that we have a Father in Heaven, a very real Father, who knows and loves each of us. We eached then shared our favorite scriptures, and Liu Zhen even shared his! His favorite was the verse in Alma about faith being compared to a seed, he said he has really felt that feeling in him, as a growing seed that is being nourished, and talked about how he wants to just keep reading the Book of Mormon to continue finding the answers to his questions. It was an extremely powerful lesson, and I just want the best for them as they move to mainland! I know Heavanly Father has given us this time to truly help them plant and nourish their seed, I have faith that it will turn out the best for them, blessing thier children as they grown and continue to search for truth.

I was really sad about that family leaving, but I was reminded of something that was said to me by an old senior couples missionary here. His name is Elder James, he is a really amazing man, and he actually served in my grandparents branch, which was the first branch here in Hong Kong back in the 60's. He always tells me about my grandparents which is really cool, and I remember one time he talked of how during the red gaurd riots, a lot of member and potential member families all moved away, including my granpdarents, who had been a huge part of the founding of the branch, and he said, we had to start all over. At that time we fealt hopeless at how many families had left. And then turning to me he said, at that time we didn't have a full perspective, all we knew was that seeds were planted and nourished, and now, two generations later, their grandchildren are returning to serve, and spreading the same gospel that had converted and blessed so many lives back then. It was a really powerful moment for me, again I just feel so blessed to be here! So I feel satisfied with our work with that family, and we never know what will happen in the future!

It has been hard working with a lot of these students from mainland. Recently a few of them have basically told us they are trying to learn and have faith, but they are having trouble believing any of it. They all told us of the schooling process in China, and how they are all really raised to be the exact same mentally, like no creative or extra thought, and they are taught that religious thought or belief is bad etc. So a lot of them are having trouble overcoming that mental state. It has been really tough trying to help them, they have desire, but they are just still unable to believe. We continue to work hard and pray for them, I know the blessings of the gospel are real, the power of prayer is also very real, and I have seen the gospel change people. It will be a slow process but in the end I know all things with these people are possible if they are willing. But it is also hard to know what to do for them.

Something I really love about the gospel is the peace and balance that it brings to people's lives. In 3 Nephi and in Matthew it talks about how if we seek first the kingdom then everything else will be taken care of, of course as long as we are doing our part. I was reading in the scriptures about how the people were so wicked that their belongings were cursed, becoming hard to hold on to, they would be put away, or hidden, only to be lost. The scritpures uses teh term 'slippery'. I really like that story because it really is true, in our investigators and less active members lives, when they stop doing what they know is right, a lot of their lives have really started to fall apart, and they can't regain the balance they used to have, things in thier life just seem to slowly slip out of their grasp, until they find themselves juggling everything wilst trying to grab hold it all and balance it out. A lot of our students and adult investigators have really hard and stressful lives, and they just talk about trying to balance it all, and how they have no time for thinking about these religious things because of it. But one of the amazing and realy true principles of the gospel is that as we learn and strive to make is a priority in our lives, balance in all other areas naturally comes, as we work hard, things don't seem to be as 'slippery' and everything comes under control. It really is a true principle that I have noticed in my own life, and especially the lives of the people out here. Hopefully that all made sense. I am grateful for a gospel that blesses all aspect of life. The Gospel of Christ is not a part of our lives, but rather, our lives are a part of the Gospel. The sooner we all realize that as I have begun realizing that on my mission, the sooner we truly achieve the balance and peace that the eternal perspective of the gospel can give us. I'm grateful for the path in life, and I'm grateful to help people really come to feel that tomorrow really can be better than today.

I love my mission so much! I am super excited for our area over these next few weeks! We should be getting our buddy Yang Kai baptized in two weeks as long as these next two weeks go as well as the past few have been! He is so amazing and willing and prepared, I am really excited for him!

Thank you for the support and love!

Elder Woolley

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