Friday, May 21, 2010

Serve to Love; Love to Serve

Well, everything seems to be getting much busier here in Valdez. Transfers were two weeks ago and my trainer got transferred, so it's kinda weird cause all of a sudden I'm the Jr. Companion and I'm the only one who is familiar with the area! Not to mention my comp came in and had that "I've been out a year so I'm gonna call all the shots" mindset. So here he comes like a speeding car and I was here with the mindset that "This is my house! Not in my house!" It was like slamming a car into a brick wall. :) To say that we butted heads would kinda be an understatement. But I know that my Mission President would only ever do the will of the Lord, and that this companionship was God's will. That gave me the faith to do whatever I needed to do. So I went about searching how to change it. Now I've been blessed with just enough wisdom to know that the only thing I can really change in a relationship is my attitude and my actions. So that's what I did. I felt that I needed to act the way I would want my senior companion to act. So I started serving him.

I woke up the next morning right at 6:30 and got us both up. I got down and said my prayers. When I went back in to the room I noticed our beds were messy, so I made them both! Then later on, after I showered, I went and started making breakfast. I'd just started thinking, Man... how would I feel if I was in someone else's apartment and away from my area for the first time in months.. So I made him and I breakfast! I just kept it up! All day, as much as I could think of, I did. AND IT WORKED!! Pretty soon he started doing the same thing. Finally we came to our weekly planning session and I explained to him my feelings on how our relationship should work and he did the same. There was a lot of give and take but we really got past a lot of junk and got over ourselves. We agreed to support each other in all our righteous endeavors. I just showed my love for him and I showed my respect for him. It all came together when we were teaching our investigator, C.

We were teaching the third lesson (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) and I was testifying of my favorite part, Repentance; the Spirit was just so strong! It was like we both realized at exactly the same moment that we were both there for the right reasons, and we all of a sudden trusted each other. It was fantastic. Since then everything has been great. We've had a few rough patches, but we are both so quick to be supportive of each others' righteous desires and are great at *humbly* encouraging each other to be more obedient and effective missionaries! I feel so glad that the Lord has given me the opportunity to serve with Elder C. He is a great missionary! Our biggest problem, like most people, is our pride. As long as we keep that in check, we can do great! Serving one another is a great way to build and show each other love. Love is really the only thing that can overcome pride and love cannot coexist in your own heart with pride. What a first 2 weeks huh!! Haha!

Well, other than the rough patch everything else has been going great! We are about to have my first baptism on my mission and it will be Valdez's first in a year and a half-ish. It's so exciting! I just hope that, as we continue to do our best to work with the leadership and membership of the Branch, they will get as excited about missionary work as I am now getting! Because if they do, then the number of referrals, like C, will increase and the number of baptisms will explode! I just know that it is my duty to be as obedient as possible so that, when I have the opportunity to teach, I may bring the Spirit and that it will touch their hearts and convert them.

Speaking of C, she is doing so great! One of her friends invited her to church, and her fellowshipper is a recently returned missionary! (One who truly understands the importance of sharing the gospel with his friends.) She read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and gained a testimony of it! SO when we taught her the first lesson she was ready to be baptized! That is really all it takes! A TESTIMONY!!! I love the story you told me last week, Mom, so I'm gonna share it!

**** "A few weeks ago the kids in my Primary class made a rule that anyone who answered questions with references to Veggie Tales would have to bare their testimony. (No, Lot’s wife didn’t look back because there was a pizza…) Anyway, one of the boys answered from Veggie Tales and the other kids started saying he had to bare his testimony. It was really sweet. He stood up, then said, “I don’t even know what a testimony is.” The other kids got so quiet and the Spirit was so strong. It was an amazing teaching-moment as I was able to tell them the four elements of a testimony – then I asked the boy if he thought he believed in those things - and he said yes. And I said, “Look, you DO have a testimony!” It was sweet. I was so proud of him for being honest!*****

I really love this story so much, because that is how I remind myself of my testimony when I get discouraged or confused.


I love Valdez and I really miss you family. I hope everything is going well. And one last thing - I challenge every Church Member who reads this blog post to invite one person who you care for - as a friend or more - to Church, AND to meet the missionaries and have a lesson with them. The most difficult part for people joining the Church is that they 1. Don't know where the truth is, or that it is even out there, and 2. They feel awkward searching it out or attending the Mormon Church because they don't have anyone they know that goes there!!

JUST IMAGINE!!! What better way to show your friend that you love them than sharing with them the thing that you hold more important than any other knowledge in the world? You could change their lives and the lives of their families for the better! You could make it so that they could be together forever. I'm not saying you need to force it on your friends - just offer it. What do you have to lose? Worst case - a buddy. But what do they have to gain?!! ETERNAL SALVATION!! I don't want to look around and see any empty chairs where my family members should be sitting, when we get to the Celestial Kingdom, and I want to do my best to make sure that doesn't happen to anyone else within my circle of influence.

Well family, I LOVE YOU!!! It's time to go now though! I love you!

Love Elder Winterrose!

P.S. My new companion and I have been doing the singing and last night we even got bold and stood up on this platform-thingy at a member's house and sang hymn #86, How Great Thou Art! It was beautiful! And this week we are going to climb up where we can see the whole town and dedicate it and ourselves to missionary work. (Like Dad suggested!)

P.S.S I hope you guys gave Poot a blessing for the sick and the afflicted! I'll pray for his pretty little tooth!

And mom, as for ****, just love him and serve him the best you can. And pray, pray pray.

Love, Britt.

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