Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekly Letter (Oct 25, 2010)

Dear Everyone,

Hello! I love you! Thanks for writing to me! :)

This past week has been a great one! We had Zone Conference last Friday and it was an edifying experience. Elder and Sister Zwick were there, so they spake, as well as President and Sister Taylor. Elder Zwick started off and taught us about teaching principles. He taught us to introduce the principle (for example, prayer), share a personal experience in 60 seconds or less ("This one time, I was really frustrated. I didn't feel good. Then I prayed. The feelings of frustration left and I was filled with peace") and then testify ("I know that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers") and then END. He said that too often someone will teach a principle, include a personal experience, testify, share another personal experience, and then talk about the principle some more. He said he learned this lesson from President Boyd K. Packer.

President Packer had assigned Elder Zwick to speak at the Palmyra temple dedication in four different sessions. Elder Zwick spake and then had a learning experience from President Packer. Elder Zwick said they were on the plane ride home and President Packer told Elder Zwick that he would like to teach him something. President Packer got a napkin and in the bottom left corner he drew a "P" with a circle around it. He said, "You started here with the principle. You did a great job of that!" Then he drew a line up to a "D" with a circle around it. "Then you taught the doctrine. That was very well done." Then he drew another line up and in so that they started to form an arch. At the end of that line wrote "Experience" with a circle around it. "You also did a great job of sharing a personal experience." Then he drew a line to the top center of the napkin, drew a star, and said, "Then you testified of the doctrine and testified of Christ. It was perfect!"
Then he drew a line down and to the write to another "Experience" with a circle around it. "But then you shared another experience." He drew another line down to another circled "D" saying, "And you taught the doctrine some more." Then he finished by drawing a line to another star in the bottom right corner of the napkin. "And then you testified again."
President Packer then drew a line, cut off the right part of the arch right after the star at the top and said, "That is where you should have stopped! That is when the Spirit was the strongest! It got lost and dulled with all of the other words after you testified the first time." Elder Zwick said he was humbled and grateful for the advice.

How true it is! The Spirit can only dwell in holy, quiet places. After hearing of that story and being taught by Elder Zwick, all of us have been trying our best to "Simplify and intensify!" as Elder Zwick put it. I've felt the Spirit a lot more than before! I know that sharing the gospel with others is more effective when we use less words. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He will always be there for us.

Thanks for all of your support and love! I love all of you! Have a great week! :)

Elder Woolley :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekly Letter -- 18 OCT 2010

Hello Everyone!

Transfers were this last week and I'm still in Lawton! And I have a new companion! And his name is Elder Norman! And he's from Eagle Mountain, UT! Elder Norman is a missionary's missionary. He is GREAT! He's planning on flying for the Air Force, so he likes talking about the military with me. He just got done being a Zone Leader for a couple transfers and now he's our District Leader/my new companion. It's his last transfer, so he goes home in about 5 weeks! And he is definitely not trunky! I've only been with him for a couple days, but I've already learned a lot from him!

Elder Norman and I!
Lately, we've been working a lot to get the members involved more. A couple days ago, Elder Norman pointed out that if we want to get the ward involved, we need to go through the bishop (thus says Preach My Gospel). I've known that before, but I guess I didn't ponder on the idea very much. He said, "Let's go stop by his house!" Seems like an obvious thing to do, right? Well, we hadn't done it yet, so we rode over to his house!

When we dropped in, Elder Norman introduced himself, and we ended up getting a couple referrals from the bishop! We tried the referrals the next morning and then reported back to the bishop (neither of them were home, but we tried!). Elder Norman told our bishop what Elder Holland had told all of the mission presidents about the Lord hastening His work. I think that struck a chord with the bishop. He seemed to ponder that thought quite a bit.

Yesterday in Elders Quorum, a few verses that we read really stood out to me. It was Mosiah 4:11-12. In verse 11, King Benjamin states, "And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have... received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls..." The source of exceedingly great joy in our souls is from receiving a remission of our sins; from being made clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Repenting causes joy! What a simple, profound truth! If I'm not happy, I must repent! When I repent, I'll be happy!

King Benjamin goes on to say, "...and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God and your own nothingness, and his goodness and suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourself even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel. And behold, I say unto you that if ye shall do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true."

"Always retain a remission of your sins." What a promise! Receiving a remission of our sins will cause our souls to swell with joy, and not only that, but we can retain that remission of sins. And if we retain a remission of our sins, which causes exceedingly great joy in our souls, we will always have that joy in our souls!

I think there should be a special name for those verses. Maybe, "The Two Verses to Happiness." Or maybe a math equation would work better: repentance=happiness.

Anyway, that's all for now. My advice for the week: repent :) hahaha it feels GOOD!!!

I love you! :)

Elder Woolley

More Pictures!!

My last crazy district.

I heard Kanye likes these things?

"Here comes Halloween! Here comes Halloween!"
(Note from his sister: Phil's face was too dark so I inserted this pumpkin head and a few other Halloween things). :)

Email from last week (Oct 12, 2010)

Hellp Everyone!

This is going to be VERY SHORT! I'm sorry! And probably no pictures this time either :( BUT, we got tranfer calls on Sunday and... I'm staying in Lawton! Gotta love military towns. Elder Jackson is going to Norman and my new companion is Elder Norman (ironic, eh?). Anyway, we had a great week. People committing to be baptized and all. We talked with a group of drunk 25ish yr old people on Sunday. That was an adventure. Almost thought I was back in the Marines. Let's see. Conference was great! Oh yeah, that was two weeks ago. Anyway, I don't have a lot of time and I don't know what else to write about. I love all of you! Thank you for you letters! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

Elder Woolley :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This Week's letter

Hello Family and Friends!

I hope you enjoyed conference as much as I did! I was drained yesterday from the spiritual communion. It was a good feeling :)

This past week was more eventful than I thought it would be. With Elder Jackson's surgery/recovery, I was able to go on a lot of splits with members. I liked it because a lot of my faults are more exposed and now I know what I need to work on!

The work is going well! People moving this way and that way in spiritual progression, so it's an adventure!

I learned a profound lesson about love during conference also. At some point, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang "Love One Another" (I think that's the correct title). The final line is, "By this shall men know ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another." I never noticed it before, but the Spirit told me, "By THIS shall men know if ye are my disciple, if ye have love one to another." It doesn't say, "by how well you study the scriptures" or "by how well you can recite scriptures" or "by how well you can talk with people."

When all is said and done, love is the motivating factor that drives the universe. Love is the reason we were given a Plan of Salvation in the first place. Love is what drove Christ to do all He did, even though it involved pain and loneliness unimaginable. Being nice to people matters. Being kind to people matters. Being gentle with people matters. That's why if we lack charity, we are nothing. If we don't have charity, what's the point? Try as we may, we don't really live unless we have charity. And once we get it, life is the grandest adventure of all!

Sorry this letter is so short. I don't really have a lot to talk about and I'm just about out of time anyway. Write to me (on paper, in the mail) and I'll have more to write about!

I love this gospel. I love this work. I love YOU! I know that God loves each of us individually. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and to me, that's all that matters.

Elder Woolley

This expression mixed with the glasses reminds me of a picture of Cousin Grant for some reason.