We had an awesome week here in Hong Kong! It was very spiritually filling.
It's been fun and a little crazy managing a sort of tripanionship here with me, Elder George, and Elder Sy, but we're making it work! It is really fun working with these two Elders, they are great guys. I have also been going on some exchanges with Elder Grayam on the days Elder Sy comes in for training and serving in mandarin work for Kowloon, which has been quite enjoyable. I love seeing how the people we worked so hard on before are still progressing and turning to the Savior. I don't know if any of you remember Chen Guo Wu, an older man with a hard past that I was teaching in my last area, but he is doing great! Happy to see that he has kicked drinking and smoking fully, and is progressing towards baptism! It warms my heart, and I feel blessed to see some of the beginning fruits of our labors. He is really changing and it's amazing!
One of our investigators, Luk jm (jm is short for jee muy, which means Sister) came to both Sunday sessions of conference and brought a friend with her too, it was great to see the ward really fellowship them two. They were touched by the talks, especially the ones that talked about children. They both have great interest in the gospel and bringing it into their families which is exciting to see. Whenever we teach them I feel their desire growing little by little, and it all starts at the desire.
General Conference was fantastic, such a refreshing and timely reminder of the basics of the gospel. I really loved the overall optimistic and encouraging themes of the talks, particularly President Nelson's on the joy of the gospel, and Eyring's on Gratitude. I feel as though recently in the mission as well as in the people that we are teaching, we are serving many people who are suffering from emotional issues. This last week, while I was on exchanges, I had a powerful spiritual experience I feel to share. As I was praying one night I had the specific image of one the missionaries here come into my mind, and had an impression to reach out to him, write him a letter, or something. As the day got busy I forgot about the impression and went about the work. During my study time this Elder's companion came in and said he didn't no what to do about his companion who was having an emotional breakdown. I knew that I had to reach out to him, so I got up from studies and went to go find the Elder. I found him on the floor in the bathroom stall, and asked if I could come in. I sat in there with him and was quiet for a few moments as I prayed to Heavenly Father asking him what I am supposed to do. I asked some questions and we started talking, he spoke of how he couldn't feel the Spirit, or God's love, or much of anything but depression like walls closing in on him. I couldn't personally connect with him, I don't know all of his background or experiences or why he suffers from these emotional problems, but as I looked at him and listened, I felt the Spirit so strongly. I felt God's love for him, and I knew God had sent me to tell him of this love because he was beyond feeling it at that point and had to hear it from someone else. I told Him of God's love for his children, of the Savior's understanding, his happiness in the work and sacrifice of his children, and of the peace and encouragement of the Savior, and of the hope and optimism that come from knowing that Jesus Christ has Atoned for us, walks with us, goes before us, is on our left and right, and sends his angels round about us. I don't remember too much of the details of what I said because I know the word's weren't fully mine. It is a privilege to be used by Heavenly Father to tell others of His love, and to have experiences where I get to truly feel what it means to be an emissary of Christ, to truly be the Lord's missionary. I was benefited just as much if not more than the missionary I chatted with in that smelly bathroom stall.
One of the questions I had in my heart as I watched conference was why are there so many people suffering from these problems, and how can I help them?
Again I loved the optimism of this conference, the focus on the basics of real powerful prayer, the scriptures, feeling the clarity of the plan of salvation etc.
This portion of Nelson's talk says it better than I ever could -
"Saints can be happy under every circumstance. We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year! My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.
When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, which President Thomas S. Monson just taught us, and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy. We feel it at Christmastime when we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” And we can feel it all year round. For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!
That is why our missionaries leave their homes to preach His gospel. Their goal is not to increase the number of Church members. Rather, our missionaries teach and baptize to bring joy to the people of the world!"
I have been feeling some direction recently like that is something I need to focus on and seek to do more - spread the joy of the gospel that is centered in Jesus Christ! Lift up others, help pull the investigators out of the ruts and sad lows of their lives, strive my best to help missionaries and members feel the joy of being a member of Christ's church, and getting to participate in the great work. I can definitely testify to what President Nelson said, especially from mission experiences, that real happiness, joy, comes not from our circumstances and what is happening or not happening, but from the focus, the center, the foundation of our lives and what we truly value. I love the gospel, and am so grateful for living prophets and apostles who give us continual and clear revelation for how to approach and deal with the trials of our times.
Thank you all for the support and love!
Elder Woolley 胡長老
|View of Hong Kong|
|Looking a little excited about office work today|