Monday, December 27, 2010

First Christmas in the Field


Well, I don't have a whole lot to say because well... not a whole ton has changed between Saturday and today. I did write in my journal the last two days. I have decided that I want to try to improve my handwriting so I think I am going to search for a penmanship books at Barnes and Nobel today. BUT we will see how far that desire takes me. It's weird but I have been feeling a desire to improve on all aspects of myself as I have been serving. I want to become a better writer. I am still not sure what I mean by better. I doubt that the thing I need to help me better express myself is more structure, but I am almost positive that an improved vocabulary would help me to be more....eloquent? IDK. These things, as small and insignificant as they seem, have the possibility to bring about great change in my life and the lives of others. I don't desire to write any differently than I think, so perhaps the greatest way to help my writing to grow is to continue to grow my mind. I know the Lord will help me to develop my talents so I can be more effective in His work.

On another note. Christmas was great. We ate dinner at the Augafa's home and they made the most delicious prime rib that I've ever had. It was sooo good. SO I ate two big pieces of it and all of the sides and what not and kind of slipped into a food coma as I sat down on their couch to let the food settle for a minute or two.  They are great!

We ended up seeing a few other families later in the evening but nothing really spectacular. You mentioned that I sounded bummed on the phone, I think I was just tired. But calling home definitely can make you trunky for a good bit. Ha ha.

All in all I loved my gifts. Today Elder Offley and I are going to go visit and hang out with some families from his old ward as we try to find an activity to participate in that will allow us to get out of our dress clothes.

I hate it when people try to spread anti-Mormon propaganda. It incites God-like rage in my heart towards them. The cunningness of the Adversary is unmatched but is often emulated by man. I won't discuss any of the "CLAIMS" that they tried to introduce via some flyers left on our car yesterday. I don't feel it necessary. They will never destroy the church. The newspapers across Illinois and Missouri on the day after the death of Joseph Smith in Carthage read "The End of Mormonism!"
They were wrong then and will remain forever wrong. To anyone who stumbles upon this blog the answer must be clear and Concise. BE WISE. Take it to God. Ask Him. Read and pray about the book of Mormon.

No one will ever destroy the church because they will never conquer the Truth that I know - that you can know. It will continue to spread and stand independent in the heart of every man, woman, or child that sincerely seeks truth from God for themselves. Our testimonies are given to us by God through his Holy Ghost in a manner that cannot be denied, nor imitated, nor forced. If you are a member and you feel that this is not how you feel, then I would admonish you to take up arms in this war for the liberty of our souls and to gain that solid testimony. I testify that this is given to all men who will seek it with a sincere heart. Heavenly Father wants you to be strong. He wants you to be able to stand on your own.

Well family I love you, I miss you, and I will see you again some day in the not too distant future.

Elder Britton Winterrose

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's Christmas Time!


Well this week has been crazy. Not too crazy but still pretty crazy. I went to the Dr. then got my MRI. The Diagnosis is that I have a Stress Fractured Ankle (Bone Bruise) and that when fell, it tore up the cartilage in my ankle. None of the ligaments are torn and the bones basically just had all their insides crushed. The good news is that I won't need a cast, but I will have to stay on crutches for a while. Not really sure how long right now. It kind of just depends on how I am doing when I have my follow up visit in a week.

So I'm doing alright on my crutches right now. I'm getting around pretty well. No big problems.

I was actually pretty busy this week. I didn't end up getting to do the newspaper thing, so I went on splits on Wednesday. No worries. Then we had specialized training on planning and goal setting on Friday. It was very nice. My comp and I were struggling with many things but now we are working hard to work smarter and harder. I am 1000 times better now! Really, the Lord is answering all of our prayers.

Anyways, we had a pretty good week. We were able to start working with a new investigator and meet with a few families.

I love the holidays. I wish I had something more profound to say but I guess that the only thing that I could suggest would be focus on Christ to help make your holiday season more memorable. Focus on the Atonement. Let him change you. Take time for the deep, introspective, thought that is necessary to connect with your true desires, and connect those desires with Christ. The Atonement has the power to change your whole life. I can testify that, if you ask Him to root up those parts of you that you desire to depart from in order to become like Him, he will take them from you. It will feel as though you never even desired them.

One thing that I am diligently working on is my pride. Specifically, that part that causes me to contend with others and prevents understanding. Contention is the opposite of enlightenment. Contention is when truth is sought and shared but is distorted by fear, hatred, or that pride - and it prevents that communication. Satan tries to turn those truths into lies. I desire to enlighten. I feel that this is the ability to teach through love, to correct with love, to receive correction with love. To communicate. I really don't want to have the part of my heart that causes me to seek to verbally destroy those who are trying to help me or those who love me. It is complicated, but in the end very simple. I hope to be temperate.

I need humility, charity, faith and love. I need to put on the whole armor of God and bury the weapons of my rebellion; to cast aside that sword of selfishness and take up the tools needed to more fully build up His kingdom.

Oh and self restraint... when it comes to opening gifts.... SO I got my gifts. And my gloves. The gloves fit like a glove. Perfect. And see... when I was opening the postal boxes the tape caught the wrapping paper and kinda tore it and it all went down hill from there.... :) SO I opened it (the helicopter)! SO AWESOME hahah. Now I have something to do on p-days over at basketball while I'm crippled. And it was all down hill from there! Fret not! I did manage to restrain myself long enough to have my lovely companion snap some photos of my Christmas tree and my gifts! I am more excited to call home though! More than anything! WHOOT! I will be calling early, probably. So just be ready. And I will call way before 1pm.
I miss you guys so much. It's weird not being able to talk to you, but in a way I am use to it now. I will send you the pics. I don't know where you found all of that awesome Christmas Music for that nano but it is awesome. You got almost all of my favorite church hymns and missionary music. Sweetness. I downloaded the Christmas devotional and put it on there too. We missed it the first time but its all good! Haha. All in all the gifts were all well thought out and are fantastic!

I am thankful for crutches because if it wasn't for them I would be stuck not moving.

M., I want you to know that I love you. I'm sorry I wasn't able to get your letter written and in the mail in time to be there on your birthday. I can't believe you are old enough to drive. Like it really scares me. Hahaha! I know you will be pro though. Just don't wreck the car or C. will be way ticked haha. I love you and I will send you a hand written letter soon. Get better. I will be praying for you. OH and ask dad for a blessing.

Shortest day of the year tomorrow! WHOOT! THAT MEANS TOMORROW THE SUN WILL BE OUT LONGER.

OH and the musical tie almost died when i forgot to take it off in my laggy drug-stupor when I had my MRI. But I remembered, and gave it to the guy. MRI's are amazing machines.

I made a section in my journal for all my million dollar ideas. I figure that one in ten ideas that I have had in the past have come true. Like 20 of them. So all I really need is ten. But the list is growing. I will try to be diligent about it.

I love you guys and I am way excited about getting to talk to you. Bottom line - I'm doing great now and I love you all. Have a very merry Christmas.

Love, Elder Britton Winterrose

This one is old - it's from Fairbanks. I saw him standing there with his pants on the ground and so I had Elder L. turn around and drive back past so I could take a Picture!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Repent and Come Unto Christ


It's really weird. In spite of the minuscule amount of work that my companion and I were able to accomplish this week, we were able to pick up one new investigator, A.! She is planning on being baptized on Jan 8. Also our other investigator showed up. Tender Mercies.

The Lord's work will move forward at his own pace. He will make the way. Our only decision is whether we want to be part of that work, and that should pend on our love for the Savior.

I read a small article from Newsweek while I was waiting in the lobby of the doctor's office today. It was about Glenn Beck and Mitt Romney and how most Republicans won't back a Mormon political leader because most evangelical churches don't believe that Mormons are Christian.


I would challenge anyone who holds this belief to look into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to learn about the religion, the church, and Christ, and then to pray and ask GOD whether it is Christ's true church. I'm sure that He knows and would love to tell you if you could humble yourself to ask.

It's so funny that anyone would even believe that.

That's like saying Mac's aren't computers because they don't run windows.

Okay, Rant over.---- That is why they don't let you watch TV, read magazines, or surf the net on your mission. Because they are vessels for instigation. AND other malicious works of the adversary.

It's amazing how difficult it is for people to accept something so simple, so elegant, as the restored gospel. You search, ponder, and then pray about it. Then you receive witness from Heavenly Father that it is true. Then you live its teachings and make the covenants that are necessary to continue to become nearer to Heavenly Father.

It's so easy a caveman could do it.

Enough of that.

Well this last week has been an emotional roller coaster. I met with the Ortho this morning and he took some X-rays. He said it looks stabilized, meaning I shouldn't need surgery, but I am going to have an MRI to make sure. He said that my sprain still looks very, very severe, and he is afraid that I bruised the bone. Did you know that anti-inflammatory drugs, like Advil, can prevent ankle injuries from healing? The bones in that region have poor circulation and the Advil just makes the inflammation, aka increased blood flow full of nutrients and stem cells, go away. SO I have basically been starving my ankle of the things that it needs to properly heal. GREAT! So my MRI is at 2pm today and then my appointment is on Wednesday.

And that's the other thing. A reporter, Marc Lester, from the Anchorage Daily News wants to do a photo journal of us for the newspaper. Like a huge newspaper article, a kind of day in the life of a missionary in Mountain View. We met him a few weeks ago and told him to contact Salt Lake about it and we heard back about it this week.... only catch.. The Media Department in Salt Lake doesn't want me to to it if I am still on my crutches, which I will be for the next month to two months. And we are supposed to go with Marc on Wednesday. The thing is that the church always has to be very careful about any media interactions especially on the community level like this. I feel good about it though and I know that no matter what happens that it will all be the Lords will. I will have other chances to represent the Lords church. :)

I feel wonderful today though. I am just ecstatic that I won't be going home/having surgery.

OH MY.......... SO yesterday at church we were talking with our ward mission leader after our Gospel Principles class about my ankle and he started telling us stories about some of his friends. He told me how one of them injured his ankle in the MTC and then went into the field and then he got a bone marrow infection and had to be released and have surgery. So I was thinking to myself "Sweet, he probably got to go back out and finish his mission." well then he starts telling me a story about how another one of his friends went to the Philippines and he had heart problems so his dad flew over there and then took him back to the states and he found out he had a heart infection. Again I was like "COOL!" So I asked him, so did either of them go back and finish serving, and he was like, "Nope."


So last night during my de-swelling time of keeping my foot elevated I was plagued by the thought of having to go home early. Thank the Lord for the power of Prayer and the endless power of the Comforter. After praying and pondering I came to the conclusion that whatever will happen will happen. And it will be the Lord's will. If the most important work I can do is back home and the Lord needs me there, then I will gladly go where ever he needs me. I've already headed to one end of the earth and I would gladly march to the other if my mission pres asked me. If my Zone Leaders or District Leader asked me to I would pray about it first, then go and do it. :)

I was listening to the song "Come, Come Ye Saints." Man I love that song. There were pioneers who had to keep moving forward, with frozen stubs for feet over hundreds of miles of untamed prairie, in temperatures around this cold.

I had the thought the other day that we, as Latter-Day Saints, should be and must be the best at enduring and prospering in any trial or adversity. We choose to follow Christ. The word Saint simply means a follower of Christ. Sometimes we follow in pain, sometimes in happiness, but always with joy.

Fear not and be of good courage - the Mutual theme from this year, should be the theme of our lives.

By the time that they pass away every Saint who shall endure to the end shall be torn apart, broken down, smashed, and refined. The Lord uses simple things to accomplish great purposes.

So, I will keep you updated on my ankle. Thank you everyone for your prayers and letters of support. I feel them and I have been up lifted by your efforts of love on my behalf through your letters.

And I will keep you updated on the news article. His will be done.

I didn't make any progress in the O le Tusi a Mamona. But I did read some of Jesus the Christ, the part about the apostasy, and I made a ton of progress in the Book of Mormon. I am going to try to finish it before Christmas. I haven't finished it once yet on my mission because I spent so much time studying the new testament.

I am so excited to talk to you all on Christmas.

OH and a sister Logo just returned to our ward from Fiji Suva Mission, yeah Elder Farley.

I love my mission, and I love my life. Wouldn't trade it for anything. THE BIRTHRIGHT IS MINE BABY!!!! Don't worry Ill share. :)

Oh and our splits with members this week were sporadic but apparently we did alright!

I miss D., C., M., D., M., and Buster. We should have named him Buttstir cause he smells so bad.

I miss all my friends who are dwelling in their individual states of apostasy. If you want to know what I want and what Jesus wants for His birthday it's for you to either get a testimony then repent, or repent and regain your testimony. The greatest joy I have ever known is the fullness of the Gospel. And I would hate for you to not be there in the Celestial Kingdom. I love you, and I pray for you the way I pray for my Family. Please just give obedience a shot to see how it feels. And I know that forgiveness is given at the cost of our pride and will.

I miss C & J, W & H, the C's, P's, C's, and everyone from Valdez.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and until next time stay classy.

Love Elder Winterrose

PS. I also miss my awesome Grandparents; Gayle & Carolyn and Dick & Billie, and my cousins- whom if you are living in apostasy, (breaking the law of chastity, word of wisdom, or just don't really know if its true for yourself yet) then the above about my friends applies to you also.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One More Week Stranded

Well well well, where to start.

I guess I can start off by saying that I hurt my ankle. It's a very severe high ankle sprain. I rolled it last Monday and in spite of my best efforts to care for it, it is still very swollen and sore. Ive been on crutches too! And the sore arm thing, I found the best thing to do is to use your arm strength to hold you up and I grip the crutches with my arms and side. I actually have them set up a little short to compensate for my backpack and poofy jacket. Hahaha.

SO I had to visit the doctor again yesterday because she said if it was still very swollen to come back in. Well they basically told me to do everything that I've been doing. I am supposed to stay off of my foot and keep it elevated above my head all day, ice for 20 minutes out of every hour, and take 800mg of Ibuprofen every 8 hrs, in addition to my pain meds. I hate the pain meds though because they dull my mind.

Being told not to go out and work but to sit and be a pile of crap on a couch on your mission may sound like a blessing but it is in all actuality a sentence of temporary damnation. It's so depressing.

It's a difficult place. When you get hurt and you need help you kind of expect the people around you to step up and help out. Without asking. And its kind of like a punch to the face when they don't.

Sorry mom for being such a terrible helper when I had the opportunity to. I love you!

This whole experience has been quite humbling. I thank you all for your prayers.

The whole situation stinks but accidents happen, and life moves on. Eventually this will all be in the past and I won't have to worry about it. It's just a very severe sprain. When the Dr. saw it the first time she was like "Whoa, is that from your boot?" talking about the bruising on my foot and leg. Hahah it's CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So for the rest of this week I will be staying with a male member from our ward during the day until our evening dinner appt and any scheduled teaching appointments. Meanwhile, my companion will be in a threesome with two other elders working in both companionship areas.

Staying in is not nearly as much fun when you can't: Listen to Music, Watch TV, Play Video Games, or sit up right. :)

Really though, as long as I leave the apartment I won't go berserk.

On the plus side, I now get to spend time reading and studying all week. I think I am going to try to read the whole BoM aloud in Samoan. I think I can do it. I think I just may have enough time. We will see.

I bet people loved the stoned C.S.A. He was probably so calm and funny that he did awesome on his metrics!

They sell spikes for crutches up here, but they are cheap, mine broke on Saturday and made me eat crap and land on my bad ankle while crossing the street. I do better just doing it by myself.

Wow, Okay. Sorry my letter sounds so depressing. I'm really not depressed, just bummed out.

Well I love you all! It's weird approaching the holidays knowing I won't see any family. I've got lots of people up here who love me! It's all good.

So, I am really short on words today, but next week should be much better!

I love you all and miss you dearly!


Elder Britton Winterrose

It's a severe sprain

(This one came by snail-mail, two days after the injury)

Well, I’ve got a lot of time on my hands right now because of my hurt ankle. So right now I am spending the day with my foot up at a member’s house while my companion goes with another pair of missionaries. My ankle is pretty messed up! It’s all swollen and black and blue. Luckily the doctor gave me some pain meds, a brace and crutches. I didn’t think that I could use the payflex card on the crutches, but it turns out that I could have…

Being hurt/sick on the mission sucks. But I hope that some good will come of this. It’s weird because I have been hoping and wanting my companion to step up and be the senior companion and I think this will give him a good opportunity to step up as it kinda forces me to step down. It’s pretty humbling because you are forced to depend on your companion and the members. Sitting around like this kills me though, because I feel so unproductive.

And it makes me miss home, especially just being able to call Mom and ask questions if I need to. It’s frustrating but it will all work out, I know it will.

My only two concerns were 1) Having the injury effect the remainder of my mission and 2) Having it affect me throughout my life. I think it will all turn out alright though. I’m not too worried about it all. Well, I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Dang, I can’t believe it’s already been almost 9 months!
I’m glad to hear that the brothers are doing good and I can’t wait to talk to you guys Christmas morning.

Well, I love you guys and miss you tons.


Elder Britton Winterrose

P.S. So yesterday I gave in and let a member take care of my ankle fa’a Samoan (the Samoan way). In Samoa, they are a culture of warriors - pain for them is weakness exiting the body. And they don’t have ice, so rather than sitting around and using passive and cold to reduce swelling, they massage the painful, swollen, areas vigorously and use lots of heat to basically break up all the bad blood, and then the heat helps to move it away. Now this, I originally thought. was just a few Samoans who wanted to mess with me, but literally every single member has asked me the same question, “Did someone pop it yet? Did someone massage it for you?”

Long story short, I didn’t want to look like some sissy-white boy. I know that people would just keep asking me till I caved. I figured that it is part of the cultural experience, and I had had like 60 people tell me the exact same thing saying that it would help me heal five times as fast. So I was spending the day with Bro. Sua’ava and I finally built up the courage to do it. (Oh and knowing that nothing is broken helped me decide to try it…)****AND IT HURT SO BAD! ***** He handed me a pillow and was like, “Here you’re gonna want this to scream into.” And once he had my food he wasn’t about to let go. Imagine your very worst sprain pain and then imagine someone grinding their knuckles into that tender spot. Honestly though, I think it helped, like it helped a lot. I’m still in pain, but it’s not as painful today. I have to do it again tonight, and tomorrow, but we will see how it looks and feels.

Well, I love you guys!

Talk to you soon!

Elder Winterrose

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving in Anchorage

OH man Mom you have to get and send me Jordan C's address and Email address! I miss that guy! I can't believe he is already home.

Well I am glad to hear that everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I think I would have been way more bummed if I hadn't had to stay home last Christmas. It took a lot of the sting out of it. Haha. But seriously, this week has been wonderful. We have a bunch of new people to teach next week that we found through our tenacious hunting and great clerical work. Area Books can and will be your greatest ally on your mission if you maintain them properly or they can really make it difficult to transition.

Thanksgiving was Nuts. Like so stinking crazy. We had 5 dinners. And tons of dessert. All the food was soo good though. I honestly though I was going to die. I ate way too much. And I was way tired that day. But we were able to visit a lot of families and enjoy thanksgiving with them.

AND M. was confirmed this Sunday. IT was crazy too. We weren't able to meet with him like all week and then we spoke briefly with him on Sat. and he didn't know who he wanted to confirm him. So we just figured that one of the older boys who are good friends with him would do it. So I was sitting in church and had the thought, "Dang, even if M. put me on the spot and asked me to confirm I wouldn't know what to say." So I flipped open my missionary handbook and read over what I would have to say. So we are going through sacrament meeting not understanding anything and then when we finally walk up to confirm him I just stood in the circle. Well Bishop and Bro. F. talk to each other really quickly and then they look at me and motion to me to voice the confirmation. I WAS SO SCARED. I was so nervous. And M's full name is long. It's ******'****** ***** ****. I pretty much butchered his name the way temple sealers usually do, but I tried. I think I said it all right because no one stopped me or made me do it over hahah! All in all it was a wonderful day. I am so happy for him. Missionary work is the greatest. I love these boys (M. and his friends) like my little brothers. I think its because they are all so close to my brothers' ages.

If I stay here another transfer (transfers are next week) then I will want you to send me the Uke.... actually, let me ponder on that another week.

Oh and before I forget. I'll be sending the snow pants home along with my nice gloves. You can let the bros use them as needed. Use them up, wear them out. I'll just have to buy new ones when I get home anyways. But I'll probably just take all the nice new stuff that they buy right before their missions! Hahah. Then it all works out! Same with the snowboard and laptop. Use them because they will become obsolete before I get home anyways.

I liked the first gloves you showed me in the email the other week. The pipe ones, just order and send me those ones. I don't have enough time to go and search through different stores to find them and so far all the ones I've seen have been too brightly colored. I'll send home this memory card as soon as I am able to get the pictures off of it printed.

Well transfers are next Tuesday. I really want to stay. But I know the Lord will always send me where I am needed or where I need to be. I trust him and I know that whatever happens is what should happen.

Well I love you,

Love Elder Winterrose

Monday, November 22, 2010

Well, it's Monday again. Sweet, sweet Monday. It's been a pretty good week, actually the week was pretty lame. No, Just kidding. It wasn't lame. I just remembered all the great things I learned this week. We had zone conference on Wed. and it was nice. The best part was that at the end I received this big envelope full of letters from people I love! It almost made my week! But the peak of my week was stolen by M's baptism last night. We ended up doing it on Sunday because people were busy all day Saturday fixing food for the wedding that was going on, like seriously the most food I've ever seen in my entire life. It's insane. I wish now that I had taken pictures of it. So yeah... We ended up doing it on Sunday. But M's dad had to work Sun. and we really wanted his whole family to be able to come, so we asked the Bishop and Mission Pres. if we could do it at 9 and we were able to do it at 8:30 PM!! It was weird because it was so late. But the turnout was still really good. I hate the lay out of our building though, they have the font open up in a hallway... and we held the services in the Chapel out of necessity because we had so many people. So when it actually came time to watch the baptism people were packed in the 8 foot wide hallway like sardines. It was nuts. Hahahah. But it will be a great memory.

Yesterday was just a crazy day. Our dinner wasn't able to have us over so they made us dinner and dropped it off to us, and it was like 5 lbs. of king crab legs. IT WAS SO GOOD. Anyways back to the baptism, M's friend, J., Baptized him. It was so cool to see them. Like every time I saw them I nearly burst into tears. Now I would love to baptize every person I teach because I love sharing that experience with them; there is nothing else like it.  I know I will have many opportunities to baptize people, but I think it benefits the investigator and the member more, especially if it's a young adult. I have been able to share this time with M. and J., yet someday I will be gone, and I won't see them often. Because of this experience, they have a friendship now that could last through ages. I think any missionary who takes away the opportunity from someone who could be forging a bond of eternal friendship out of their own desires to perform the baptism is committing a terrible sin of pride and selfishness. That being said, it's ultimately the decision of the investigator; I would always encourage young men to share that experience between each other because it would be their first missionary baptism. Last night, seeing M. and J. dressed in their white jumpsuits; it was awesome. I am truly thankful that the Lord has brought me to this place and allowed me to partake in this wondrous work.

Now a quick note on the morale of missionaries. Missionaries are always happier when they are finding, teaching, and baptizing. When any of those steps are frustrated then often missionaries become frustrated. Missionaries are excellent at the second two steps but the first step, finding investigators, is a step that has always been pressed upon members. Going out and tracting is a terrible way for missionaries to spend their time. It's fruitful sometimes but missionaries should be teaching. So brothers and sisters - put your shoulder to the wheel, help the good work move along, and find people for the missionaries to teach. It really is as simple as opening your mouth. Have faith, and then exercise that faith by opening your mouth and talking to your friends, coworkers and everyone else!! If you don't know where to start, invite the missionaries over and ask them to review upcoming opportunities to share the gospel.

M. and J. invited so many people to the baptism last night. We were able to meet most of them and even taught the first lesson to two people while involving as many of the people's friends and any other members who were willing to participate. Now this included 6 YOUTH BETWEEN THE AGES OF 15 - 18. I handed out two Books of Mormon and we were able to set up a lesson for Tuesday. It should never be that there is a baptism and then the work stops. One Baptism should always blossom to more baptisms.

Dang, they're going to close the computer lab in 10 minutes because of the weather... Stink. Well on the subject of Thanksgiving, I will probably die of a hemorrhaged stomach. I will spend a lot of time with the ward.

I love you all. And I miss you. Sorry for the short email. I am so grateful for all of the kind words of encouragement that you shared with me in your letters.  I doubt that I will find time to write most of you back individually but I am so grateful for all of your letters!

OH and things I want for Christmas:
1. A Helicopter.
2. A Digital Voice recorder. (So I can record talks, blessings, lessons, silly conversations, door approaches, and funny instances and transcribe them with detailed accuracy).
3. The Gift of Tongues.
4. Perhaps a new Camera, I am not really that impressed with the ability of my current one to point and shoot. And since it is most often used to take pictures of me by inexperienced people it must be user friendly.

This list is not complete, but I must go.

Love ya,

Elder Winterrose.

Monday, November 15, 2010

...Well, this is weird. Last week I remember having the distinct impression of how it was probably time for mom and dad to get rid of the minivan and buy a small pickup with a full size cab! Like a Toyota Tacoma. :)  Haha.  I know it will all work out though with the car. It always does! Other things I was thinking about... I think it's wonderful that D. is on the B-team. It's going to give him the opportunity to shine! A lot of the time the people who make the A team or the Varsity team are people who do just that; shine on B-team.  They keep at it and show their skill, regardless of where they're placed.

Well, this week has been a fun one. It started out with M. saying that he wanted to be baptized on Sunday the 14th. He told us this Thursday. So we began to work to move heaven and earth to make it work out. There ended up being a lot of logistical issues so we postponed it to next Saturday. Part of the problem was that yesterday we had stake conference. It was awesome. Do you remember how before I left Elder Perkins, the Area Seventy, came and spoke in conference? I remember going up and speaking with him after the meeting because he said he was from Alaska, so I asked him what part he was from and he said Juneau. So I was at the adult session of conference on Saturday and listening to the new temple president and his wife tell their story of how they met and I was having a serious case of deja vu. Long story short, he is the new temple president. It was a pretty neat stake conference. They reorganized the stake, so it was pretty crazy.

Sunday was the actual conference.  We were supposed to meet M. and his friends, J. and H., there because they were going to be saving us a spot. Well we ended up running a little late, so we got there like 5 minutes before they started and we weren't able to find them. The stake center was packed. We wandered around the building trying to find a place to sit and were walking past a door when these people waved to us and gave us these two seats that they were saving for their family that didn't come. We sat down and just started watching. It was pretty neat.

L. Whitney Clayton was the Seventy present and, when he was speaking, he invited these two young men up to come up and speak. He said that he would like to invite M. to come up and another guy to come up and speak. I was like nahhh it's not him, couldn't be. Then he asked them to raise their hands and as soon as I saw M. put his hand up, I jumped up and punched the air (think, "YES!"). Then I looked around and realized that I was standing in the middle of conference... All the people standing around me were like, "Why is that missionary so excited about that boy going up there?" AND I just wanted to turn around and tell everyone how he wasn't even a member yet!!! SO M. walked up in front of all those people and then Elder Clayton asked him and the other boy to introduce themselves, and then he asked them each what they planned to do when they turned 19, and they both said serve a mission. Then he asked them each who told them to go, the first boy said his parents. But then Elder Clayton asked M. and he didn't say anything, he just stood there thinking for a second. Then he asked M. if it was his parents, then he shook his head saying no, so Elder Clayton asked if it was his bishop, and he shook his head again and said no, then he asked who told him to serve and M. said, "The Lord," and then had this huge smile on his face. It was like the most awesome thing ever! So afterwords we went up to speak to Elder Clayton to ask if he knew that M. wasn't even a member yet and he was like, What?!! and we told him that we had only been teaching M. for like one week.

Later on we were introducing H., M., and J. to Sister Dance because I had told her all about them the day before. Elder Clayton came up and said "M. you know you have to be baptized before you can serve a mission right?":)  It was so cool. The fireside last night was pretty neat too. Sorry I forgot to record the singing, but next time I get to sing I will try my hardest to record it.

Well, I love you guys and I miss you lots. I'll let you know how everything went in the next email home. I love you! Take care!

Elder Winterrose

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Talofa! From Elder Rosamalulu

Malo Soifua,

So week two of the transfer came to an end this week. What a week! We are getting fed so much. Like really. Imagine the most full you have ever felt in your life, like you went to both grandparents for Thanksgiving full, then multiply that times the dinner appointment we have each evening + the meal that people feel compelled to offer us each time we visit someone before dinner, but close to 5 or 6, + the meal we are given if we visit someone after dinner or go to a ward activity, which ='s something that usually feels like the fullness level of eating a meal, then a feast, and a snack. The best part is that all the food is awesome. I love Samoan food. It tastes so good.

Let's see..... OH I also ordered/received my Samoan name tags. I finally decided on Elder Rosamalulu literally Rose-Winter. MANNNNN! Sunday was awesome. Holy Cow. So my companion and I decided that we were gonna bare our testimonies in Samoan on fast Sunday. I translated mine the week before last and he had another Samoan Elder translate his for him. I haven't been that nervous about bearing my testimony since...... ever. My heart was pounding out my chest. It was great though. I even wore my glasses so I could see the expressions on the people’s faces when the white boy got up and bore his testimony fa'a Samoan. Yeah... it was awesome. The Lord was definitely helping me on that one. It wasn't like the gift of tongues, but there was definitely someone helping me.

Then we had a lesson with this young guy named M. He is  awesome. He had been coming to church for like a few weeks before we were transferred here. But yeah, we were able to teach him the about the Restoration, and then we read Moroni 10:3-5 and I asked him if he had felt these things enter his heart over the last few weeks. He said yeah, so then we challenged him to test them, right there, to kneel down and ask Heavenly Father if they were true. AND HE SAID SURE!!! So then we all knelt down and I realized we hadn't even taught him about prayer, and he was like, "What do I say?" So I just told him to tell Heavenly Father that he needs to know if these things are true; if the Book of Mormon is true, if the Church is true, and if Joseph Smith was really a prophet. So he said a prayer, and asked; showed his desire, then asked for an answer. He paused for a second, and you could feel the spirit but it was kind of faint, and then I whispered, "In the name of Jesus Christ, amen." Then he closed the prayer with those words and, the second he did, it was like we were all hit with a wave of the spirit. Baptized together by fire. M. received his testimony! We then talked about the spirit that was present and talked to him about how it is that Heavenly Father invites us to follow Christ's example and be baptized. Then we said those magic words."Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?" And he said YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then we asked him when he would like to be baptized and he said, "As soon as possible!" with a huge smile on his face! Hahaha. It was amazing. I felt so blessed to have been able to participate in this great work. I'll keep you all posted next week.

Now as you may have noticed my letter is coming a little late. This is because today, Wednesday, was the first time I've been able to go to the temple in 9 months. I was way excited. So my companion and I were driving what is normally a 10-minute drive and we literally hit every single red light. We were even stuck at a couple for two cycles. So we ended up missing our endowment session, and my companion was being a little ticked about it cause he thought he was going to not be able to go to the temple before he gets to go home (in 5 months). But we did get in and we were able to go and do sealing sessions. It was awesome. Normally they aren't able to seal an entire family all at once, but because we showed up we were able to participate in two entire families being sealed. It was amazing because the spirit was so strong there. It was one of the coolest temple experiences of my life. And the sealer just kept saying, "Good thing you Elders were late! Good thing!" The Lord works through His servants in His infinite wisdom. I feel so grateful that He let me be there and be present.

Serving the Lord will bring any man or woman more blessings than they can ever imagine. Period.

Your Samoan words for the week.

"Talofa"!" --------------- Tahh - Lo-fah
"O 'a mai o'e? ------- OH ah my oy?
How are you?
"Manuia fa'afetai!" ------ Mahn-we-uh fah'ah-fay-tah-ee
Fine thanks!
"Fa Soifua!"----------- Fah Soy-fuah! (He didn't give a translation for this one... we think it's like farewell)

And now for the question answer time! I have no clue what you are talking about with the Thanksgiving Celebration? If it is the reason that they are hiding all the mail being brought into the office then that makes sense, but I don't have Zone Conference for another week or two! I'm 15 minutes from the office. My neighborhood is humble. That's why I don't trust a package sitting on my front deck for half the day till I get back to the apartment. By humble I mean like downtown Pasco humble. We will be safe. Mom, come on... When have I been known to act recklessly? :) I'm Street Smart. Probably much more street-smart than most missionaries. Haven't been fishing yet. In a month or so it will be good for ice fishing though. I'm kind of excited for that. Family brings the Samoans to Anchorage. And the cold. They dream of getting out of the heat - till they get out of the heat! But the number one thing is that their culture is strong here and there is lots of family here. The neighborhood we live in is mostly Samoan. It's awesome.

Haven't got the retainer fixed yet, haven't bought my gloves yet. The pants still fit. If I end up not using them I’ll send them back. :) My area covers the north west quarter of Anchorage and then all the way up to Eagle River, Palmer, and Wasilla if necessary. But the Samoans really only live in Anchorage for the most part. The western boundary of our mission is the new Seward Highway and the southern is Tudor Street. You can mapquest it. :) Language study is going, but slowly. Speaking what we know is helping tons though. And we are visiting members and we ask for help when we visit, so it's starting to come along. I understand a lot more than I can speak though, and I almost always know when people are talking about me. :) We are currently driving an 09 Chevy Malibu like the one I was driving in Valdez. I really have no clue what I want for Christmas. OH I Know! Just be awake when I call, okay?!? But if you really want to get me something I guess the best thing would just be.... Idk. I don't need anything, really. Hats would be nice? Tell me how to measure again! Hahaha. I just don't know about the fur hats because never know if I will have the opportunity to get like a seal and bear one or like a more legitimate animal one.... I think I will hold off on the hat for now, I'll just swallow my hat envy when I see other people with their hats.

Answering Q's eats up time.

Hahha. Well I've got to bounce now, but I love you guys and I will talk to you later. Bye!

Elder Rosamalulu (Elder Winterrose)

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Love This Ward!

Hello everyone!

Well to get to the gist of it, the Samoan Ward is awesome! I had dinner twice a night 3 times this week! We passed around our dinner calender and it was filled before it got past the first 2 rows of chairs in the combined meeting. Our ward is pretty big. Like 400 active members. We didn't understand anything in sacrament. Like at all.. Hahah, it was so funny. As far as the language goes, I know how to pronounce all of the letters and vowels, and I am slowly getting better at pronouncing most words. The trickiest part is knowing where to put the emphasis. But it's slowly, slowly, coming along. It's good to sit through church and only understand one or two words. It's cool though because I could still feel the spirit when people would like be testifying and stuff. We have had a wonderful week though.

We've been playing basketball almost every day this week. And I am beginning to get a little bit better. It's awesome.  There are so many young men in situations not too much unlike my own before serving a mission, young men who are just struggling to get out!  And they are all way cool. We play ball with them all the time.

This ward is amazing with how many activities they have. We went to a Court of Honor after dinner on Wednesday and then they fed us and we played volleyball after. Then Friday there was a  ward dance, and the whole ward was there. It was awesome; we met lots of potential investigators.  They fed us and made us get up in front of everyone and dance with the bishop and his second councilor. IT WAS A BLAST. The members are so eager to help us and they are always trying to feed us. I seriously love this place.  We will see how it all goes. Just keep my language learning in your prayers.

I love this ward. Its like being back in Hawaii! Awesome.

I don't have a whole lot of time today because we have a mission choir practice at 1:00, so we got to bounce here soon. There is a general authority coming up but I don't know who yet. It's pretty exciting. I guess that's the benefits of being in Anchorage. Hahah. Oh and I get to go to the temple next week, I'm super excited for that because it will be the first time in like 8 months....   I love this ward though, seriously. It is awesome. Like the greatest thing ever.

I love you all, and I miss you. Continue to search (actively seeking) for people to share the gospel with.  Take care, I miss you all.

Love, Elder Winterrose.

Oh and my new companion's name is Elder O. and he's a good guy.  In order to make sure that packages don't get jacked, either write on the box HOLD IN OFFICE or make them signature-only pickup, I can swing down to the office to pick up a package if I need to.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Farewell to Elder L.! Hello Anchorage!

Just a quick note since today isn't my p-day, but I will be traveling all day tomorrow...

I got my transfer calls this morning! I am getting transferred to the Samoan Northern Lights Ward in Anchorage. I'm super psyched - learning Tongan AND Samoan on my mission. It's amazing to see how the Lord has shaped my life through attending BYU-Hawaii in so many different ways. I miss you guys, tell the brothers and mom that I miss them. And thank you so much for sending me this email! Love ya!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Random Stuff

Well well well....... where should I start.

I guess it has been a good week. I mean it's not like it was a bad week. It just felt like it went by a little slow, hence the work must have been slow. Because the week only feels like it's dragging on when the work is slow.

We struggled to see any one this last week. It was seriously like every single person we had a lesson with canceled... I understand how it goes though. I can still remember what it's like to live in the real world. I think the other thing that made it feel so long is that we didn't have very many dinners with members... like just no one signed up. That just makes the day feel so much longer when you aren't getting to teach anyone. It all went on though the week. We did have some good lessons. Dropped another investigator. Weren't able to pick up another one. So right now were basically down to one investigator. He is solid, but he is in high school so he can get busy sometimes. He's a good kid though.

I read a funny story in the back of a special edition of the new era. It can be found here - New Era Article - Tattoos and Your Mission. It says near the bottom that having a tattoo may limit the options of where they send you to either somewhere that tattoos are culturally acceptable or somewhere cold where you have to wear long sleeves most of the year.

So boys and girls if you want to go on your mission to Alaska Anchorage, get a tattoo. Just kidding, don't do that! Really don't. Show the Lord how much you respect your body by keeping it clean, and taking care of it.

There are a lot of missionaries up here that have tattoos though. Like 40 - 50% of them.

What else about this week... OH! I got the basketball shoes and they work wonderfully. They help me run faster, jump higher, and dunk like a pro.... but seriously they are great! Thanks so much.

My snow pants should be in my closet. If they're not there they may be packed up. I brought my coat, but I didn't bring the pants. I don't need them immediately but soon would be good cause I am sure eventually we will be covered with tons of snow.

Well, next p-day is transfers. Who knows what will happen, but my p-day will be Tuesday next week. Just so you don't forget and freak out when I don't email you on Monday!

I am pretty jealous that Cameron got to see Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. That is awesome.

When I was in Valdez they were filming a commercial for the 2011 Chevy Silverado. If you type in Valdez and Silverado I'm sure it will pop up. They like hijacked the city dock and put all this stuff on it to try to make it look hardcore. LAME-O.

If I buy a truck I will probably buy a Ford.

Well sometimes my letters are filled with inspiration, other times they are filled with crap. In both cases they are pretty random and rough around the edges.......

I guess my spiritual peak this week had to have been during interviews with President Dance. He is wonderful! I think he and Sister Dance have to be the most jet setting Mission Pres.& spouse in the world. They are constantly flying all around the mission. They work so hard to help us and to build up this mission. It's going to be weird to see them leave half way through my mission and then have a different President the second half of my mission. They will leave almost exactly when I've been out one year.

I love Alaska. I really do. I could use those pants for sure mom, and probably another pair or 2 of thermal bottoms. It's starting to get nippy up here. Oh and the other thing I could use would be like a pair of gloves like a pair of pipe gloves.... C. will know what I'm talking about. Like a pair of conservatively colored ones. They just need to be grippy, low profile, and probably black or brown. I'm gonna be on the look-out for a fur hat, but if I can't find one competitively priced then I will send you my measurements. I would like pictures too! If you would! And stamps? 'Cause I'm too lazy to buy them.

Well, I guess that is it for this week. If you guys find any inspirational cd's that you think will uplift and inspire, send me a copy. Keep the original though 'cause I don't want to worry about the real one getting scratched or lost.

I love you guys! Take care, and always remember that it's not about how much confidence you have in yourself, but how much confidence you have in Christ - With Him we can do all things.



Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Christ's Church - Have Faith in Him

Well this last week has been a grand time of ups and downs. C's Baptism, tracting when it is freezing, teaching wonderful lessons on people's doorsteps when its freezing, getting mad food poisoning on Thursday, and a nice fast Sunday and powerful confirmation. It was a pretty good week.

We picked up 5 investigators last week and we have dropped 4 of them. Hahha. I guess that's just how it goes sometimes. One of the guys we started teaching, (the one we talked about in the ambush in last weeks letter) was telling us this week how he was a prophet. We tried to avoid contention, and tried to explain that we just wanted to invite the spirit and let the spirit testify of truth, but he told us he didn't need the spirit because he's a prophet and he speaks directly to God. I may have started laughing when he was telling us this..... anyways. We tried to talk about priesthood authority, and then tried to bear testimony but it was just not going to happen. BUT he did tell us why he was having us and our member-fellowshipper come over. HE said that he wanted to SAVE our member-fellowshipper from our religion. Our member was awesome though. And he did save him, saved him from dating and marrying a non-member! He was like, "Can you imagine if that was the spirit that existed in your home every time you ever brought up religion?" Awesome.  It's frustrating and sad to see people like D. the prophet who are completely wracked up in delusion and in the pride of taking honor upon themselves and who are just too hardhearted to look at the truth when it is standing right in front of them.  You just have to let it go. We invite, they commit, then we follow up. That is the elect.

D&C 29: 7 And ye are called to bring to pass the agathering of mine belect; for mine elect chear my voice and dharden not their ehearts;

We can only search for those who are ready, who have been prepared for us. Everyone should help find the elect. You can do it the same way you receive spiritual revelation for any thing else.  You can also pray to receive a spiritual witness that someone you know or will meet will be one of these who are "white all ready to harvest." Once you have received this witness then you can pray to know who they are. Ask Heavenly Father the questions you need to. Ask and ye shall receive! Have faith that he will answer. Ask who you know that knows them, or what they look like, where they live, how you know them - try to get to know them as best as possible. Then pray and find out how to bring up the gospel with them, pray for opportunities, pray for inspiration, pray that your paths will cross that you will be prepared when you see them. Pray that you can overcome any inhibitions that will prevent you from opening your mouth and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

These are just some of the things that Elder Paul B. Piper of the Seventy shared with us at our zone conference on how to find people by faith.  But I guess the critical thing is faith. Not just faith in your own abilities, or in missionary work, but faith in Christ. Faith that he will support you in supporting his work.

Yesterday our lesson in elders quorum was on faith. I would refer all to the Gospel Principles manual, its like chapter 18 or 17, and to Preach my Gospel.

There is really too much to talk about on faith in Christ so right now I just want to focus on one part of it that kind of struck me yesterday.

I remember when the beloved Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away. I was a little shaken and at first I had trouble accepting that Thomas S. Monson as the new prophet. I didn't know why at the time, but looking back I've realized that my faith at that time was focused on the prophet. I looked to him. There wasn't a major disconnect there, I still knew Christ lived but I guess my faith in Him had never really been challenged. I knew the principles of the gospel, and I knew that each of its teachings were right because the spirit had witnessed it to me and the people around me had born witness to me of that as well. But my faith wasn't focused on the Savior. He was part of my belief but he wasn't the center. The center was the people that were alive, that I had heard speak many times before.  The spirit testified that the things that they said were true, but I didn't have a perfect knowledge of it for myself, and my faith in those people was what was holding my testimony together. Now this is not a bad thing. A testimony grows this way, but eventually we must all transition to faith in Christ, as a person who loves us and cares for us just as much as our Heavenly Father, and be fully converted. 

I remember being young when people that I looked up to did bad things, like when an older boy in our ward got his Mormon girlfriend pregnant, it shook me. It shook me because I saw him as a role model in the gospel.  It was just hard for me I guess, I kept going. I knew at times that Christ was my Savior and at times he was the center of my religion, but sometimes I focused too much on the ideas that stemmed from the doctrine of his Atonement and even accidentally placed more focus on those ideas than on the living person who made it possible.

D&C 1:38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my aword shall not pass away, but shall all be bfulfilled, whether by mine own cvoice or by the dvoiceeservants, it is the fsame.

*This includes missionaries ;). J. Golden Kimball said, "If the church wasn't true, ignoramus missionaries would have destroyed it long ago!" *

If you feel like missionaries aren't doing their best, find that faith in Christ, get some charity and talk to them out of love. I'm not saying be a white handbook Nazi. Just help them along.

AND If they are working hard!! HELP THEM WITH THEIR WORK!!! Haha.

We all need to look to Him. He is the only one who can provide us with a remission of our sins. Through faith, God can work miracles in our lives and we can righteously expect them.

My thoughts are scattered but I feel that this is what I needed to share.

I love you all! I am enjoying Fairbanks! C's baptism was wonderful! I miss you and I hope to hear from you all soon!


Elder Britton Winterrose.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Just Can't Teach (or learn) Without the Spirit

Where to begin, where to begin....

Well I guess the highlight of this upcoming week is C's baptism! It's especially exciting because it is the first time I actually get to baptize someone. Like actually put my arm to the square and use the priesthood. I am way excited because I love C. and I've got to watch as he has changed and progressed, and tomorrow is his big day! I'm a little nervous. I'll probably forget everything that I am supposed to do and say, but that's all good! So yeah, I'm super stoked for his baptism.

This week was a series of serious ups and downs... We've really been working hard to find those elect! To find those families that our Heavenly Father has prepared to hear our voice! And we found a few! We found 5 investigators.... and had great lessons with all of them... but it's just not going to work out with them. One of our investigators is golden though! He just moved back to live with his dad and new step mom and has been coming to church for a few weeks now. He also attends seminary occasionally. He definitely responded to the spirit during the lessons. I know he will make it.

As for the others... it's all up in the air. We went and had a lesson with these two people, and it went well. But the next day we went over and their pastor was over. It was awesome... not. It basically ended up being terrible. It sucks when you waltz into a situation like that, because the people have already yielded over their agency to fear. All was not lost however, my companion and I were able to point out on multiple occasions that the spirit was missing from our meeting. It's so hard because the second you let something that they say anger you, you lose that charity. You lose the spirit. You lose the lesson. Pride takes over...

I'm sure I could be very convincing in a verbal bashing session (pride) - I know enough critical parts of the bible - but that doesn't bring conversion. I secretly wished that the Lord would just let me stand up and smite that pastor down (oops, pride again), but I knew that is not what Christ would have me do. The Lord watched over me, my companion, and the member we brought with us.  Even before we walked in the situation, he knew what we'd be facing and prepared us.

Just that morning in our companion study we were going over what we learned in our exchanges with the ZL's the day before. It just so happened that we were discussing what to do in a situation where people try to bash with us, and how it is detrimental to the missionary work that we seek to do. The bottom line is that, if we bash opposing interpretations of scripture vs one another, we are usually failing in a few critical places; letting pride catch our hearts and push us, and forsaking our agency while ceasing to rely upon the spirit to testify of the things that we are speaking. Without the spirit, no one can come to a knowledge of the truthfulness of our Saviors teachings.

We studied about how, if we're not relying upon the spirit, we may be tempted to use scripture to smite back, rather than follow the council in D&C 121:43 &44:

  43 aReproving betimes with bsharpness, when cmoved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of dlove toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

  44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of adeath.
And how sharpness, or exactness, may sound harsh but it's the key word. It denotes how the word of God should be used with precision to back up "thy faithfulness" aka our testimony.

Heb. 4: 12:

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Helaman 3:29: 

Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course ...

 From what we learned from our ZL's, our studies, and this experience, I know that truly the only thing we can do in such a situation is to testify with the spirit and if in doing so, a piece of the word of God comes into one's mind by the spirit then, by all means, share that scripture. If we're able to testify with the spirit in these situations, it means that we're continuing to live as Christ and acting as he would act.  Entering into a hostile teaching environment will never be fun, but with the Lord's promises, it's not something I fear.

Josh. 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. 

ENOUGH OF That Mess.......

General Conference was awesome! I loved it and I only have 2 more to go! Whoot. Haha Uchtdorf's talk in the priesthood session when he talked about his favorite pen, how it always worked and never complained, whether it was writing a note, an essay, or a letter of much renown. I also loved when he said, "Now I'm sure the question that you all have in your heads is, 'What in the world does all of this have to do with flying an airplane?' " I was laughing pretty hard. I am glad that the brothers liked the story about the cow. Stupid Cow. Hahaha.

Oh and one more cool thing. We were talking with C. on Friday about temples, his family, and how they grew up in Indianapolis, and I was like, "Is there a temple there?" and he said "No," so I asked him what the population is there, then I told him to listen in Conference to see if they announce one there... Totally called it!

So this week we're back to pounding the pavement, trying to cross our paths with those of the Lord's elect. We really need to fill our teaching pool up more before it hits -20 degrees and we are left with like 3 hours of daylight. Yeah.... can't say I'm ecstatic about this winter coming on so soon. No snow yet though. Also haven't seen the northern lights yet. I'll keep you posted!

I'll send the memory card soon. I just wanted to make sure that there was some good pictures for you on there! I can't believe Poot's turning 13. DANG. I miss you all!

I love you all! Please pray for me and my companion (Elder L.) by name!

Much Aloha,

Elder Britton Winterrose

Monday, September 27, 2010

Finding the Elect

So Mom, I just want to start off by telling you that as soon as I read that someones birthday happened (in last weeks email) I knew it was yours! I forgot to write it down in my planner. I loose track of everything if I don't put it in my planner; my mind is always focused elsewhere. Like when I hit my sixth month mark, I didn't realize it till like a few days later... so much for celebrating it, haha. I would forget my own birthday if I forget to write it down. It's crazy how dependent I am upon my planner though. I guess it's because my life is a series of appointments with different people on different dates and times. There's just no way I could remember it all.

Well this week was a pretty good one. Yesterday my companion and I went to pickup our dinner and the lady who made it for us offered the prayer. She'd also said the prayer in sacrament, but she said one thing twice - please protect the missionaries. Then she commented and told us to be careful. I thought nothing of it - hahaha. (I don't worry because I know the Lord is on our side.) Anyways, a member in our ward needed us to go and install a lock on her son-in-law's house because the door got kicked in a while ago and the son-in-law got arrested Saturday. She and her grandchildren were concerned about stuff getting stolen by their neighbors. So we were happy to oblige, knowing it would just take a minute....

We went over and started working on the door and all of a sudden one of the less active Members that we had just started visiting came in and was like, "What are you guys doing here?" And I was like "We're changing the lock on this door. Why what's up?" Then she proceeded to tell us how her daughter (who apparently lives on the upper-floor of the home) thought that someone was breaking in, so she called the landlord and the landlord was on their way over to investigate what was going on! I hurried and put the doorknob back in and took the new one and put it in the car. (Apparently the in-law who'd asked us to change it hadn't spoken with the landlord!!!!! And changing the lock, without the express written permission of the landlord, and without the renter present is considered breaking and entering!) I then hastily wiped our prints off everything and closed the door back up.... (No way I'm going to jail for a B&E if I'm not the one who got to kick down the door!) Well eventually the landlord showed up and we just talked it over, got the landlord in contact with the member who asked us to change the lock, and even left our number with the landlord. It all worked out. I'm even kinda thinking that we need to contact that landlord again.... I think she may be one of the elect. Time will tell!!! Long story short - we didn't get arrested, but my poor little companion (who I am pretty sure has never been that close to talking to an officer of the law), was kinda scared.. Hahaha! I guess all those talking-to's that I frequently received in the delinquency of my youth prepared me! Hahaha.

We also were blessed to have an awesome Zone Conference. We had a lesson by Sister Dance in which she asked us to shorten our missionary purpose to one word. (Our purpose is found on page 1 of Preach My Gospel) I was thinking and I though of repentance, Christ, Salvation, and peace, but then the word 'Atonement' popped into my mind. So I said atonement, as we went around the room each spouting off our word... I was the only one who said that. After we'd all said our word, Sister Dance said something profound "I would suggest that the word each of you just said is the purpose that Heavenly Father has defined for your life" or something along those lines. I was floored because then I remembered that is what my patriarchal blessing says................. Sister Dance is Awesome.

Then we had our Zone Conference with Elder Paul B. Piper of the Seventy. It's awesome being around him because even though he is one of the Lord's anointed, he is so easy to talk to. He doesn't have this aura of approachability that seems to surround the apostles and other general authorities. He is just a humble, kind, genuine, meek person.

He went through and had us ask questions at the beginning that we wanted answered. Then he taught us how to answer them and how to teach our investigators to answer them. He taught us how Christ's doctrine is the root of our desire. It answers the questions of 'why'. Why did God send us here? (Because He loves us and he wanted to provide us with bodies like his.) We worked on identifying the many questions that concern everyone, including ourselves. The question that I was struggling with on that particular day was if it was okay to expect miracles and I learned, OF COURSE IT IS! I am a child of God. And the same way that my parents would do anything to help me or my brothers, Heavenly Father would too - in His way. We seek knowledge, a testimony of all things, not just to understand, but to know. (To see the difference, think, I understand how to ride a bike vs. I know how to ride a bike. Get it?)

So my companion and I are cleaning house... It takes a lot of faith to focus our efforts on finding the elect, especially when the consequences of having absolutely nothing at all to do are dire... (TRACTING in the freezing cold!) Hahaha.

Well it was a good week and this week will be even better! I love you guys and miss you. I know the Lord is watching over you.

Much Love!

Britton Winterrose!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Watching for Northern Lights

Hello everyone!

This week went pretty well. We were contacting less active members like mad...... but it seems to be paying off! I love doing missionary work! It's very exciting! I guess it was just another regular week. Hahaha. Nothing too special! It has been a fun week though. We were just busy all week.

I think today we will just end up playing basketball over at the stake center. That's what we usually do on p-days and we play every other morning during the week, and guess what? I'm starting to get a little bit better... Like I don't suck any more! I guess it's because of all that practice. We have a good group to play with though so it's way fun! And it's a good work out.

My companion and I have been dying to see the Northern Lights but we've missed them twice. Talk about a bummer! It's cool though because I know we will have lots of other opportunities to see them. The forecasts for today and tomorrow evening look pretty promising.

I can't remember what I was doing this week, but I overheard someone on the phone talking to their family, and all of a sudden I was like hit with a wall of wanting to call my family. It was weird. I don't usually get trunky like most other missionaries. No worries though! I know I'll get to see you all soon enough.

I really do miss you guys, but I know that the Lord needs me here. Any good that I could do at home is insignificant when compared to the blessings the family will receive for the service I'm doing here in the mission field. Like a thousand times more blessings, at least! I guess that is the greatest comfort in missionary work.

I found out from a member that there are supposed to be some Silver Salmon running this next week so I think I will have to get out there and catch something before winter hits. Good news is that once winter hits we can go ice fishing and what not! That should be a fun little experience! Haha.

It's weird that some of the guys I grew up with are already getting home from their missions. I can't even imagine what it would feel like... Some of the Elders that I've grown closest to in the field are already home and like dating and stuff... WEIRD!

I'm stoked for this week because we have Zone Conference with Paul P. Piper of the Seventy. It's gonna be good. It will be the first time that I will be in a situation that I can actually interact with a General Authority!! I'M SO EXCITED!!! Then he is having a fireside that evening just for members and investigators! It's like playing a little league game with a MLB player pitching for you. He will surely bring the spirit!

It's starting to cool down here but it's not cold all day yet. It's still pretty warm during the day. It will be below zero by the end of this transfer though, I am sure!

C., I hope things are going good at amazon and with your mission papers!

M! Don't spend too much time on Halo Hahaha! I didn't even know it was coming out until we were over at these people's house and the kid started talking about the new halo! Don't have too much fun! Haha.

D! I heard that you are making scootering videos! That's awesome! You have to have mom include the link in the next email! Haha! But really, make one set to Primary music and send it to me on a sim card. :)

I love you guys! Take care! I'll talk to you next week!

Love, Elder Winterrose

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More of Elder L!

Well HELLO!!!!!!!!!!

I'm staying in Fairbanks! Whoot! Six more weeks with Elder L.! He reminds me of SamSamBean. Like a lot. I'm way excited that we are both staying though because I would have been way bummed if I stayed and he left because we get along splendidly.

I realized this past week that I have really failed to take pictures. I haven't taken any since I got here. Oh well, I guess that means that I just have to resolve to take more this transfer!

We have zone conference coming up soon and it's going to be with a General Authority - Elder Paul P. Piper of the Seventy! Whoot! I get to spend time with a Seventy! I'm way excited! And that means that I get to see President and Sister Dance again! That is also very exciting! I guess that's just one of the many benefits of being a missionary.

Our investigator is still working towards his baptismal date but there is a bunch of weird logistical issues that we are still having to work through. It's gonna happen soon though. It's just a question of when... We also have a few other good investigators and one of them is really solid. Our ward council meeting Sunday was awesome though, because we got to discuss the missionary work and what was helping and what was hindering the progression of the work in our ward. First off, it's really easy to tell when a ward doesn't trust the missionaries, because the support and confidence just isn't there. But we have been working hard to just be good missionaries and it is paying off. The Lord is changing their hearts and views.

This area is kind of interesting because our ward is very transient. We cover most of the apartments in Fairbanks and there are people moving in and out all the time. The majority of the ward is less active. In fact roughly 80% of the 450+ members in the ward are less active. The ward is surviving because they have been blessed with some really strong leaders and strong faithful members who push it along. So we are going to really try our best to reactivate as many members as possible to make the ward stronger! Last year this ward had 11 baptisms in it. It was one of the highest baptizing areas! But out of those 11 baptisms, only one or two are still active. So we are really trying to focus on bringing the ward strong, active, members both through baptisms and reactivation.

Our purpose as missionaries is to bring souls unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. I know that the way that we can do that best, and ensure that any new souls that we find will stay, is to help our ward and make it stronger.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to be serving in Fairbanks! It's beautiful. My area is kinda a box though, because it is bordered on all 4 sides by other areas! So I don't get to see a whole lot of wild life. The northern lights were out last night! I missed them though! I'll be keeping my eye out for them from now on! Hahah!

Thank you all for the love and support that you give! I miss you and love you!

Love Elder Winterrose!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Well Mom, No novel this week...

Sadly enough every freaking public place that we can use computers in close on Labor Day and on various other holidays that fall on a Monday. Well, since I didn't want to get a phone call from a concerned mission president who heard from my momma I decided to find a way and with the help of some loving investigators, I was able to get on for just a few minutes. Transfer calls come next Monday, so that's when I'll be able to let you know whats happening. C. hasn't gotten baptized yet... we actually found out that he doesn't live in our area so we weren't gonna be the ones to count his baptism, but his lease is up come the end of the month and he is gonna try to find a house in our area... also there's a few other things, nothing big, just a lot of random logistical issues that have presented themselves but I am confident that given a week or two they will sort themselves out.

As for living with members... it's always nice to have your own place. It's just kinda hard sharing living space with a family especially when you never know who's gonna be dropping by. Our members were very nice but they had a family member who needed to move in because of some extenuating circumstances but its all good! We lived with some other missionaries for a week and then we just moved into our own apartment on Saturday. It's nice.

I've really started kicking it into high gear. We were fortunate enough to have an entire 4 days of specialized training last week, it was awesome. Like a week-long zone conference, like being in the MTC but being able to leave at the end of the training and go and apply it immediately. It was a spiritual kick in the pants. I've woken up on-time almost every day this last week and worked out every day except Sunday.  And I feel great! I have so much more energy. It's weird to think that it has already been more than 6 months... Weird.

Now about this awesome investigator, C. Well C. used to be in the Marines - Recon Sniper. He is a way awesome guy. He was taught by another set of Elders before us, but it didn't "Click" with them. (His own words!) I love the Lord and the way he works to match missionaries to people that need to be taught. He is a really great man. I love him!

Well Friends and Family I love and miss you all! Take care!


Elder Winterrose!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the Move

Hi family and friends!

Dad thanks for the email! I really like your suggestions and I will be sure to be mindful of what you said as I go through the rest of this transfer. It's kind of weird that come tomorrow I will have been in Alaska for 6 months now... It doesn't feel like it's been that long. No worries about not getting to write me on Monday, because we are having our p-day today (on Tuesday this week). We had a zone training day yesterday (basically a zone conference) and it took up most of the day. It was awesome. My mission president. Pres. Dance. and his wife, Sis. Dance, are amazing! They are spiritual beacons! Sis. Dance just beams with the spirit every time I see her! Over all the conference was pretty awesome.

Let's see what happened this last week... Well, we ended up having to move out of the member's home that we were staying in and we are temporarily living with two other elders, Elder L*** - from Samoa, and Elder E. - From the Philippines. They are awesome, Elder L*** is way funny, and Elder E. is like the most humble guy I've met in my life. He is still working on our language but he's getting better every day. It's pretty wild putting 4 missionaries in the same apartment, I guess that's why the saying goes "2 is progress 4 is a party!" It's way fun but it will be nice to finally get to move into an apartment of our own, then I'll be sleeping in my own bed again!!

It kinda threw off a lot of our week though. packing, then moving, and then settling in. But it was still an awesome week! One of our investigators, C., has committed to be baptized and we are working with him and helping him get ready for it. The planned date is the 5th of September but it may change depending on when the person he wants to baptize him will be able to fly up. I'm so excited for him! He really is a great person and it's been amazing to watch the way he has changed... You can really see the power of the atonement working in his life. He is awesome!

I worked out hard this morning and I'm stinking sore...

OH and I got all of the Post Cards! Thank you! They were awesome! Haha! They really made my day!

I hope all is well at home! I love you guys!


Elder Britton Winterrose

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Be a Missionary!

Hunting (or is it fishing, or scavenging) for Muscles

Enjoying the Day's Catch
Hey Poot! Thanks for the letter bud!

You should save that money. I can promise you that any time you put money away for your mission that Heavenly Father will bless you. Yeah it will leave you with just 100 bucks but it will work out. If you do that then Heavenly Father will bless you for doing that. I bet you could earn that 75 bucks in a day no problem as long as you've been paying your tithing. And one more thing to think about, Apple usually launches products in the spring and then around October. Plus your birthday really isn't that far away... I would just hold off on buying one now because I bet that it would probably get jacked anyways. Well I love you Poot. Be wise. If you really are struggling to make the good choice then pray to Heavenly Father and ask him to let you know if you should keep it. Keep reading and always, ALWAYS! say your prayers! You are awesome!

I'm glad to hear that everything seems to be going pretty smoothly. Being around this many missionaries is a blast. Plus my companion is awesome. So to pretty much sum it all up... life is good. It's weird to think that by the end of this transfer I will have been out a few days short of six months....... that's 1/4 of the duration of my mission. At times we will be out doing missionary stuff, wearing missionary clothes, teaching the gospel like missionaries do and I just kinda go, "Whoa. I'm a missionary." My favorite part is how every single day is different, it always keeps me on my toes. And I love how the Lord rewards our diligence. The hardest days are when it seems like every single lesson, plan, and back-up keep falling through. Usually though if we just keep pressing forward then we end up finding someone to teach or help and it's like the most awesome lesson ever. Then Elder L and I end up walking back to the car after the lesson just talking about how wonderful it is to be a missionary.

What a blessing. I am so lucky to be able to dedicate everyday to becoming a better person and to helping others do the same. Not very many people get to do that. Let alone do that every single day for two years.

If you are thinking about going on a mission and you don't know if you really want to, I have two words of advice, DO IT. You're never gonna regret going on a mission but you will always regret not going on a mission. Plus missions are like the greatest adventure of your entire life, and you will accumulate tons of funny stories! Sure you have some crazy people yell at you and make fun of you at times, but what's better then helping people who really need the help?

Well Family and friends, I am afraid I may be short winded today, but there are a few critical things that I need to make very clear to all of you:

1. I love you.
2. He loves you.
3. He wants you to return to live with Him and your family forever together.
4. I miss you, but I wouldn't trade this time in my life for anything.

Take care, seek the truth, question with boldness. Pray often for yourself and for others.

Elder Britton Winterrose