Saturday, April 3, 2010

Awesome in Alaska!

Dear Friends and Family!

Well, the last few days have been quite the whirlwind since I got here to Alaska.

Day 1 – flight and arrival. The flights were ok. The first one I sat next to a Mormon, so not a whole lot of proselytizing – plus I was NERVOUS! But then we got here and it was all good! President and Sister Dance and the AP’s were at the airport waiting to pick us up, right when we got off the plane. Oh, and when I was flying I accidently spilled my soda all over Elder W. and myself, twice! The second time was right after we finished cleaning up from the first one! Oops! But it was all good ‘cause our pants were treated with that Teflon stuff, so my soda just balled up and rolled off my pants! His too! (haha) Plus, I was drinking Ginger Ale, so it didn’t stain or anything! (Did I mention I was nervous?)

Let’s see. They picked us up and then we went to the temple and took some pictures, then we went straight out and went proselytizing! I went with Elder Tuipulater, who’s from Tonga ! With the help of the spirit, we were able to place 2 Books of Mormon, 3 Pass-Along cards and then we found a lady who was inactive and we were literally the answer to her prayers! Then we found this guy named J. – he is 24 and has an 8 month-old son and his wife ran out on him a few months back. We were just doing what we were supposed to do – hitting every door – and he was friendly and let us in, so we taught him the first lesson and Elder T. is gonna get him a Book of Mormon and continue teaching him. It was awesome, the spirit was so strong! It really set my pace!

So, after that one-hour tracting activity, we went back to the mission home and enjoyed a spiritual evening of activities. I started getting a sore throat which turned into a full-blown cold with a fever. But between the Priesthood blessing I received, and my NyQuill/DayQuill barrage (with some Motrin), I’ve been able to work hard and focus in spite of it. I also got to have an interview with the President and we talked. I shared some of my goals with him and then I shared some of my favorite scriptures with him. Alma 29:9 is my current fave! (I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.) Then we sang and hit the hay.

Day 2 – Anticipation dominates the morning. We sit through all the silly paper-pushing mumbo-jumbo and stir in anticipation of finding out where and with whom we will serve! Finally the 11 a.m. rolls around and everyone goes to the living room! And I get told that I am going to VALDEZ, ALASKA! And that’s not all! I HAVE TO LEARN TONGAN!!!

My companion, Elder V, is from Tonga and is helping me learn! (We did some language study this moring and it went well, it’s so stinkin’ cool!) Oh and did I mention how awesome Valdez is? It’s the most awesome area in Alaska! It goes from ocean level to 7,000 foot-tall-mountains, all around! It is amazing. And there are so many glaciers! It’s amazing! AHHHH! I just love it!

Then we headed to Valdez. It was only a 5 hour drive… 5 hours! We saw a moose and I honked at it and it took off. Oh, did I mention that I AM THE DRIVER! My companion is Tongan, so he can’t drive because he doesn’t have a license. So I have to drive (haha)! Crazy! So we got to Valdez, and we ate dinner with the Clark Family and it was funny and crazy. Then we got home, unpacked and got to bed. It was pretty sweet!

Well, this place is pretty amazing. I really like it here. It gets tons of snow. The people are kind and there’s lots of stuff to do on p-days. There is still 5 feet of snow in people’s yards right now. I’m gonna actually get to meet this guy who runs a heli-ski operation here! Oh, and right now there are like tons of freestyle snowboarding pros here, like SHAUN WHITE! There are tons of them up here snowboarding! It’s INSANE! The town is pretty small - only 4,000 people. The only fast food is a Subway. It’s so epic here! This Monday I will get to go snowmobiling with some other members named the C’s. It’s gonna be sweet ‘cause they’re gonna drive us up to the glaciers and we’ll check them out. I’ll send you some awesome pictures! (Haha) I’m just so glad to be here! It’s awesome!

I miss you guys and I’ll make sure to take lots of good pictures so you can see it all! I love you all! Pray for me that I might have confidence to learn and teach. ‘Ofa Atu (I love you). Nofo’a (good-bye).

Love ya!

Elder Britton Winterrose

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