Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blog Post #55: Faith

Dear People,

Today I want to talk about Faith. Faith is a principle of power, and if given the proper environment to be cultivated in, it will grow. Now, my letter this week isn't about the ways to prepare your soul to receive and nurture this "seed of faith", but about the things I've discovered about faith in my studies recently.

Now, every Christian knows that Faith, Hope, and Charity are bound together in such a way that you cannot have Faith without the other two. I've found, in the last few days, that Patience is also inseparably connected to these other three virtues. Faith, in an interesting way, is also the root of Hope, Charity, and Patience, they could even be called "Facets of Faith".


Hope is an abiding trust in God and His timing. You Hope for the things that you need in your life to further the work of God. You Hope for the strength to conquer your challenges and weaknesses. Part of Hope is waiting patiently for God to bless you in your time of need.


Patience is having the faith to wait out your trials and tribulations, to accept that God is in charge, what He's throwing at you is part of the plan that leads to your greater good, and that you'll ultimitely be happy for what you're experiencing. Patience is a key indicator of your trust in God.


Charity, a type of Love that was exemplified perfectly in our Savior Jesus Christ, is what takes your Hope and Patience, and turns them to those around you. Once you have the Faith to be Patient and Hopeful towards God's plan, you can start to show a similar trust in those around you through Charity. You start to acknowledge other peoples' freedom to choose more and more, you accept them as children of God more readily, and you recognize faster that, even with their weaknesses, most are trying just as hard as you are to find true happiness in this life. Charity is showing your love for God by loving His children.

So yeah, it's been a really good week. The other Tai Po Elders had a Baptism yesterday, have one scheduled for next week, and we've got one scheduled for the next week, and the week after that. There is a lot about to happen in this Area, and I hope I can be patient and charitable enough for the Lord to bless others through me.

Elder O'Gara

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Blog Post #54: Rain and Testing

Dear People,

It's been a slow week. We've had rain every day, and everyone is studying for year-end tests. 

It's been a REALLY slow week.

On another note, I have been getting better at making Asian food, so hopefully I'll be able to share when I get home! Just don't go getting me trunky by making specific plans for my work.

I don't have much else to talk about, but I hope everybody is doing great!

Elder O'Gara

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blog Post #53: All's Quiet on the Northern Front

Dear People I Love,

Happy P-Day! Also, I'm pretty sure that #2's oldest daughter is turning something like 13 really soon, or just did, so happy birthday to her!

I'm pretty much doing great, with nothing too special going on. Most of my time is taken up preparing my friends for baptism, which is pretty much all my life consists of right now.

I loved General Conference! All of the talks were awesome, but I probably received the most-needed personal revelation from Elder Holland's talk, go figure.

I hope everything is awesome in America! I know I'm going my best out here in Hong Kong, and I love every humid second of it!

Elder JE O'Gara

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Editorial note re: #52

I don't know how to insert the video but if you cut and paste just what is inside the quote marks, to youtube, it comes up - not in English though - just a head's up there ;-} 

Blog Post #52:One Year Older and Wiser Too

Dear People,

Happy Year Mark!

One year ago I was in a car with my Dad going to visit Number Five. On that trip we found out that not only does she know where the best Indian Curry place is on South Korea Way, but that she was pregnant! Now, her baby can sit up, he's got a cousin in Vegas that I BARELY got to meet before I flew out to Provo, and in a year or so I'm sure he'll have another cousin (that means you, Number Three), and Number One will also have plans for giving my Mom more grandbabies.

That wasn't such a long time ago, and I'm really hoping I can learn to slow down time so that the year in front of me doesn't go by as fast. Unfortunately, from what I hear you gain more and more momentum with every week, and before you know it you could have sworn just yesterday you had 6 more months, but you find yourself on a plane seeing the lights of your new home for the last time.

It's been a good year.

I had two goals for baptisms;

One was my realistic goal. I want to help one soul make it to the Kingdom of God. I want to have the joy spoken of in the scriptures that happens when you're standing in the presence of our Heavenly Father with someone you introduced to Him.

My other goal was to baptize all of Hong Kong (7,000,000) and get a good start on the city of ShenZhen (no, we do not send Missionaries to the Mainland).

I'm somewhere between the two numbers, but I'm hoping to get closer to 7-Digit baptisms in this next year. I'm not sure the human body is capable of such a feat, but why not try? I've only got one more year before I'm reduced to weekly fellowshipping with the Elders and buying them dinner.

I love Hong Kong! The e-mail rooms are SUPER strict about being silent while you are on the computers, and the guy next to me is doing an AWFUL job of covering up his racous laughter by clearing his throat and fake coughing. These people are so serious on the outside, but they're just like everybody else on the inside.

Take, for example, this song. It's possibly the most famous song ever produced by a band that's the most famous music group to come out of Hong Kong.

I love my Mission! The culture here doesn't seem conducive to a Gospel-centered message at first, but as I've gotten deeper into it I've found that the same things are important to everyone.




No matter where you're from, you care about these things! HK people care about their families more than anyone else. They may not know their ancestors' names, but they love them for giving them what they have today. Everyone here wants to be happy, but just like everywhere else, no one is exactly sure where to find it. Everyone here is so driven by what they want to end up as at the end of their life! Once these people really understand the Gospel they are dedicated to it!
This truly is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am so happy that more people are having the opportunity to enjoy it! We've got 20 year old sisters running around now, and one of my roomates turned 19 in the Misisonary Training Center.

The Lord is hastening His work! The only problem is that Satan is also hastening his work. Thankfully, blessedly, I know which side I'm on, I have millions standing shoulder to shoulder with me, and we're doing our best to tell the whole world what we know to be true. I'm glad I'm where I am when I am here, because I know there are people that need to hear this good news in the way the I can tell it.

I have felt the Spirit of the Lord working through me to bring many of these people back to His fold, and I know that His power is real. If you haven't felt it, find a way to change that. There is nothing so amazing as feeling the infinite yet controlled fire of God burning inside you so that someone else can begin to see the things that are so clear once you have the Light necessary to find them.

I love you all, I love my family, and I love my work!

I write this testimony of this work in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior,


Elder JE O'Gara