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

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Split! - week 86

Hello everyone!  This week was an unforgettable week.  The week on the island is going fairly well, it has slowed down a little bit, not quite as crazy as the first month, we seem to have endless potentials piling up, but haven't been able to nail them down quite yet into solid investigators.  We are getting more and more potential every week, so soon it will be back on the move!

Zhao jm was confirmed on Sunday, she is good as always, one of my favorite people to teach on my mission, she is just so sincere and humble, and just a really good person in general. We are hoping to help her kids and eventually husband as well! With her faith, it shouldn't be too long before they join her.

Elder Garcia and I taught our first Spanish lesson too, a woman named Patricia from Colombia that is here as a missionary for her church.
Patricia from Columbia
It was a fun lesson that I contributed almost nothing to haha I can hardly say anything. I was surprised at how much I could understand of the small talk, but once she started talking about some other government or religious stuff I was done and just sat and smiled. Good experience though! Fun for my companion to be able to proselyte a little in his mother tongue. I am having a really good time with Elder Garcia, he wants to be his best and serve the Lord, it is fun being with him and seeing him grow. He's at the time in the mission where a lot of things start clicking and maturing and it's good to see it happening!

We had a great opportunity to help with the sacrament  in the everyday branch, they have no men and the international elders asked us to help for the day. And what a spiritual meeting it was! There is a special spirit amongst those saints, it must be because they choose to come to church and partake the sacrament on the only day they have off of the week, when they could use that precious time for so  many other things. I am impressed by their faith and desire to partake of the sacrament. I really pondered upon the words of the sacrament prayer, and felt the Spirit strongly confirm to me the truth and power of the bread and water that is sanctified for us. As I looked out at those few members, I was reminded of when Enos says he pondered upon the 'joy of the saints' and I truly felt the joy of the saints there, who, despite their difficult and challenging lives lived far from family and friends, gather when they can and partake of the sacred emblems. Truly they treasure the sacrifice of the Savior, we sung these words in the hymn, which stuck in my mind- "We may not know, we cannot tell,What pains he had to bear, But we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there." They really do believe and know that it was for us, and I know it too.

Church on Sunday was one of the most bitter sweet moments on my mission. The long awaited branch split of Victoria 3 happened! It has been going back and forth for almost a year, but it was finally reviewed and accepted and on Sunday, they released all the callings, called and sustained the new presidency, and announced the boundaries for the two branches! crazy, I never thought the day would come. But there is now officially two mandarin branches in Hong Kong, with many more to come! The Kowloon Branch and the Wan Chai Branch. Both have excellent branch presidents. It is hard to describe the feelings I had as they had the members of the Kowloon Branch stand first, then next the members of the Wan Chai branch stand. Even as I type this now I get a little emotional thinking about that moment. I am SO proud of these Saints! I am so proud of the wonderful and strong Kowloon members, whose area I labored in for the better part of a year, inviting them, supporting them, crying with them, praying for them, testifying, baptizing, and strengthening. I know many less actives and members of other cantonese wards in the area who will be so blessed with the refuge of a mandarin branch so much closer to their home. I am so excited for them, and so proud of the great RC's I was privileged to teach out there, I know they will all step it up and do wonders! I will miss seeing them every Sunday, and I wish I could go see their branch! It was equally moving to then see the faithful Island members stand, many of them are the oldest in the branch, and have been solid members since the branch was founded many years ago. It was moving to see so many of the other new members stand proudly, though the island numbers are very very few, I know it will grow quickly on the pillars of these great families and members. We are down to only about 15-20 or so people, but I know it will grow very quickly! I don't know if I have ever felt such conviction as we all sustained the new Branch Presidents. Our branch president is President Huang, he is a legend, a faithful and selfless member of the branch for almost as long as it has been around, and he knows and keeps in touch with almost every less active. I came excited to work with him! It is amazing to think back to when the church was founded with only 6 people there, or to the moment when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, it started with one boy. I don't think he could've possibly imagined that great day of the first vision, that one day there would be faithful Christian Saints in China, serving, loving God, and embracing the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Or when the branch was founded, there were under 10 members, they all looked forward to the day when the chapel would be full of Chinese saints. And now we are back again to a new and small start, but I know there will be a day soon when the chapel will be full again, and it will split again and again as the great work continues. 

I have really seen the hand of God here working with us. I am so grateful for the blessings he has poured out on us here, He is with us! He loves us! And I am grateful he has allowed me to feel a portion of that love for the people of China and Hong Kong.
It was a historic week, I am happy to be part of it, and look forward to helping and serving this little branch with everything I have.

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I almost forgot it's my birthday today. Fortunately Elder Garcia has told lots of members and missionaries it is my birthday so I have felt the love today. 

Love you all!

Elder Woolley

Our RC Scott's new Tesla


our investigator May had a surprise visit to Hong Kong, it was great meeting with her, she is doing well, still helping her learn and progress! 

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