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, January 11, 2016

Rats!! - Week 22

I hope everyone had a great week this last week! We had a good week here in Kowloon, with only a few hard moments. One of the best things is that our rat problem seems to have dissappeared! I forget if I had mentioned this, but ever since I have gotten here to Mong Kok we have had a rat problem, like finding chewed up bones and other various carcasses hidden under our beds or behind the fridge.
Rat problems!  I hesitated to add this photo :(
Then on Christmas morning we awoke to find the rats who had stuck to our trap had also soiled themselves, it was pretty vile, and I was shocked to find three. We had hoped it would be all, but later that night we awoke to find holes chewed through a pipe that leads to outside, and feared there were more back. It was like an unending nightmare, and finding rat poop on dishes is pretty repulsive, I'm a little surprised we have yet to contract the bubonic plague haha BUT it seems as though the rat problem is finally over! We fixed up the holes and set more traps, but since then we have had no problems for a week! Hopefully that marks the end of the infestation.
We also made friends with Mr. Wong, he is this crazy guy who always wears a Santa hat and somehow he got into our church meeting, I thought he was just a harmless weird old guy, but then he was trying to give me this random iphone he pulled out of his shaggy jacket, and brought duffle bags of 'art' that he makes and tries to sell to us haha, he kept kinda yelling in church, then wandered around to the main floor of the Wanchai building where he had previously scattered Buddha pictures everywhere, and unfortunately the cops had to come and take care of him, it was rather humorous, but I pitied the guy. Unfortunately he somehow got our number so I have had unending calls and voicemails from him too. Crazy people love missionaries! He has been saerching for one specific elder for like a year haha.

Anyways, outside of the rats we also had a pretty good week of teaching and contacting. One night after a long day of planning we had only 30 minutes of free time, and we decided to quickly go outside and talk to people in Mong Kok (which is typically really bad for talking because it is super crowded and everyone is shopping and doesn't want to talk), and we found a place that was a little quieter and less busy.
Ladies Street Bazaar in Mong Kok
There was a guy chillin on a bench smoking a cigarette, and we just walked by and said hey friend how's it going. I had kinda assumed he would just blow smoke at us and wave us off, but instead he was like, I'm really lonely, come sit and talk to me. We talked to him for a little and he started off saying the classic stuff like Oh I really respect you guys and all religions, but I don't believe in any of it really. We talked about life and found that he was at a really tough crossroad of decisions and didn't know what to do. He got pretty emotional and expressed that if God did exist why would he allow him to have such a hard life. We bore testimony and taught him basic and simple principles of the gospel, that God is his loving Father in Heaven, and that Christ is his Savior, and really does understand how he feels. It was amazing to me to see the change in his eyes and demeanor throughout our quick chat with him, and at the end he wanted to pray with us. We prayed sincerely and in the end he said, "maybe this is just a test to see if I will get to know God better."  And then he also suddenly remembered some advice from his deceased grandfather that answered his dilemma.  So cool we got to see our prayer together answered right after. He was very greatful, so amazing to see what happened from our small decision to spend just 20-30 minutes outside talking to people, and to see him go from athiest, to believing and hoping in God. We gave his number to the Cantonese Elders because, unfortunately, he speaks Cantonese.
We had a wonderful lesson with the Liu family, and got the heartbreaking news that they will be moving back to mainland in two weeks. It was so sad, I've only gotten to meet with this family a few times, but we have really seen their knowledge and desire to know grow so much, and I just really desire for their wonderful family to have what my family has! In our prayer with him, he was about to pray, but then quickly decided to put on a jacket over his tanktop to show more respect to God. It was so simple, but touched me so much to see that act of respect from his limited understanding and I got pretty teary seeing the humble reverance he and his family have. I am so sad that we will not have the opportunity to teach them in the future after next week, but I know we have done our best to nurture their seed of faith! They also had to give us back all their religious books except for the one Book of Mormon they are allowed to take to the mainland. I pray they will continue to seek truth while they are home.
We had another day of pushing Chen Hong Tu around, he is a really interesting guy, he's the political representative for a big political faction from Taiwan, and loves to talk to us about his influence. It was crazy though we were pushing him through lady street and all the bazaar shop owners knew him and were like hooking him up with bags of stuff from mainland from behind the tents and he was just like, if you ever need anything I'll get it for you haha so funny and also pretty boss. I was frustrated with him though becasue he didn't come to church on Sunday after we had a bit of a crazy morning ordeal with pushing him then waiting for a gongren to help him, it was confusing. So we will have to push his date back a week.
We were able to successfully give another baptismal invite to one of our investigators who just came back from China this last week, if all things go well we will be helping a lot of people start their lives new path in the next month or so, it's really exciting. but also quite stressful making sure everything is going well with all of them! But I love it and it's so amazing to see people come closer to Christ.
The work is true!  I have been thinking a lot about the talk what lack I yet by Larry R Lawrence, as recommended by my Dad, and also by my Zone Leaders to prep for zone training. It is always a humbling view to look at everything in, to always be asking and looking for what we lack, and how we can get better according to the Father's will. Jesus was the perfect example in this, doing everything according to what the Father willed him to do. It is so amazing to have this one full year of 2016 be entirely dedicated and lived in the mission field. A whole year that I can consecrate my service for the Lord. I am really going to try to be as fully consecrated and committed as I can be, because the people here deserve my every effort. My all is really so little compared to the Lord's all, which is what he gave us. And, as President Lam says, "though He doesn't expect immidiate perfection, He does expect immidiate progression."  I am beyond grateful to serve here, and to be able to serve the Lord and everyday have my weaknesses made known to me, and everyday realize all the things I still lack, the mission is all about progression, whether my own, or the people's whom I serve. I hope we all can progress together to continue to get to know the Lord!

Thanks again to everyone who sent me packages or letters this holiday season, it was really fun to see all those cards and pictures!


Elder Woolley

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