I feel like I have said this a lot recently, but this week was again one of the best weeks of my mission! A week truly full of miracles and tender mercies. The work is too good.
We had one of the best Sundays ever in Vic 3, it's the last week for Vic 3 before it splits into the Kowloon Branch and the Wan Chai branch, and it was the best turnout I have ever seen! One of the long time members of the branch and a true legend Huang Dx gave a talk in church and brought back 10 less actives and 5 friends to church, and all the missionaries were able to get a record number of investigators to the church and it was amazing! A great atmosphere and excitement in the building, and it was really touching to see all the old time members recognize the less actives and hug them and see so much joy in the reunion. Sometimes we forget to simply invite people back, tell them they are missed, loved, and most importantly, that they are needed. The members were really happy to be back, Vic 3 has really become a home to many. I really love Vic 3, it is so exciting to see Heavenly Father preparing the people for the split, I have never seen so many people at church, I hope they all stay. It is also a little bittersweet, I will miss the wonderful and loyal Kowloon members. But I know that the Kowloon Branch is going to be amazing! All of our YSA are in the Kowloon side, I am excited to see them grow and serve, I am so proud of all the great people I was able to teach in Kowloon, they will contribute greatly to the foundation of that branch.
We had a rollercoaster week with Zhao jm getting baptized. She called us earlier saying that se couldn't be baptized because she might have to go to mainland to visit some relatives before they move, and then we couldn't have a baptism next week because of the split, or the week after because of Conference, so we were a little worried trying to figure out what to do, but the whole time somehow I didn't feel too worried and trusted God because she was prepared and faithful. And then last minute the situation was resolved! Zhao Jm was baptized on Sunday!
As were two children from the branch. Again there were tons of people attending and supporting. It was a great baptism, Zhao jm was so prepared, and I had the privilege to perform the ordinance. It is such a special moment to be standing the water and watch the person enter in from the other side, I just felt the Spirit so strongly, and felt the love of God for all the people in the room. He really is watching over all of us His children. I feel so privileged to be small part in the stories of these people's lives and conversions. I love being a missionary so much, and love these people that we serve, they are the best!! I knelt down that night to pray and just felt my heart filled with gratitude and happiness. The mission has filled me so many times with joy and happiness, it is such an incredible experience. It's been amazing to see how quickly the attitude can change if we keep gratitude and charity in mind, and always remember our many blessings. It is a lesson I have constantly been learning my whole mission. I definitely have learned to trust God.
|Zhao jm and her son|
|Zhao jm is baptized!|
|Zhao jm friends supporting her baptism|
This week was full of other little miracles, an old former called us wanting to meet up and told us all about his life, which was incredible and so sad. When he was six his parents divorced and neither one wanted him, so he was with his grandmother, who then passed away. And since then he has been alone and working for himself. He eventually found his way over to Hong Kong where he tried to reconnect with his father, but found that his father has a new family, which was hard news for him, and ever since then he decided that he would never rely on anyone for anything ever again. Many years later he met missionaries who shared with him and his wife and daughter shared the plan the of salvation and the gospel message, which touched his heart. For some reason they had lost contact until this week when he called us up, and we met. He is very humble and has great potential! I just want to help him be a little happier and hopeful! It was also miraculous, when we went to meet him at the chapel, two random people walked in, two mainlanders whose son had moved to Utah and got baptized, and they were looking to learn more. Amazing! Heavenly Father truly sends his prepared people to us when we are humble enough to be prepared to receive them! We have lots of great potentials for these next few months, lots of referrals from Sunday as well. I can't wait for these next few months, I expect big things from the Mandarin branches and from the great members and people we are working with!
It has been a great and faith strengthening week for myself and for all those that we work with. I know the Savior is with us in the work, I love the words of President Eyring "If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we
choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the
plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling
of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved
in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the
love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and
our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word." The hardest, as well as the easiest of times on the mission have been a blessing, and I love seeing the gospel of the savior mould and change the willing and open people that we teach. This week I truly did feel the love of God, for me, for my family, for our investigators, the members, for all of us as His children!
Love you all, thank you for your prayers,
|Kennedy Town were we live|
|Elder Woolley playing tennis with Scott on P-day|