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

Monday, August 16, 2010

Learning with the Spirit

Making sure the new rain gear is really water-proof
Well, talk about an awesome week. Elder L. is awesome. We are like two nerdy peas in a geek pod. I think part of the reason we get along so well is because he is a lot like Sam...  He is super obedient and really supportive of any righteous desire, and so am I. It's fun being with a companion who is willing to be brave and try new things with me! It's kinda nerve racking but it's still awesome!

Fairbanks is awesome! It's so stinking warm though. I thought the benefit of serving in Alaska was that it was gonna be nice and cool. I thought wrong. Well the missionary work is improving drastically as we are getting more and more settled in and being more and more obedient. There really is this crazy correlation with the amount of missionary work a missionary has and how obedient they are about all the little rules... which is good because it helps keep me motivated to do all those little things. I'm still far from perfect, but Heavenly Father knows I'm trying and He loves and blesses me for it.
Still Far From Perfect...
I am glad to hear that my brothers are still playing hard without me. One of the biggest trials of obedience on my mission is having to stifle my urge to go out and do all of the awesome, fun, crazy things that I would normally do. Sometimes I slip... :) but I keep trying to be good.

I love missionary work. I love the feeling that I get when the spirit guides my companion to where we need to go, then lets us know what questions to ask and what to say, and how the spirit is there workin-it the whole time we are working.

The other day we were out trying to contact an investigator and there were all of these 20-somethings chilling out on the front porch of this apartment complex and they were all drinking and talking. We walked up to the apartment where our investigator lives and this one dude was just being totally belligerent; swearing, cussing and being crude... like really messed-up crude. His language made the worst x-box live lobbies seem clean and wholesome by comparison. Anyways he kept trying to get a rouse out of us and his friends were just sitting back and watching him and they looked ashamed of him. I started a conversation with one of his friends and we were able to talk, unfazed by the moron to our left, about the gospel. The guy seemed genuinely interested. Anyways he asked for our phone number and said that he would contact us later... hasn't contacted us yet, but it was amazing that we were able to stand there and testify in spite of the adversary being present and trying to break us down. I didn't get mad, irritated, or flustered and neither did my companion. I've never had that strength before, and I know looking back at the situation our examples stood out to those other guys our age. Even after we left, my companion and I were completely unfazed by the entire situation. I felt like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego standing in the fire but remaining unconsumed by the furnace. It must have strengthened their testimony as it did mine, but the Bible also teaches us how it impacted the other people who saw that happen...

27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the afire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats bchanged, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

  28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, who hath sent his aangel, and delivered his servants that btrusted in him, and chave changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

  29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be acut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can bdeliver after this sort. 
I got the business cards, they look awesome! I love 'em! Also tell Poot thanks for the post card, I got it today! Sounds like he had a pretty exciting time doing the Zip Lines!!

If the concert is Tech-Nine then No... definitely not a place you would want to let Poot and M. go at their age. Yeah No... Ha ha maybe when they can drive themselves.

I'm kinda freaking out though because I just realized M. is gonna be driving come December......... whoa. Not to mention how big he and D. are getting! I always thought you were just teasing me when you said that they were gonna end up taller than me... Now I'm beginning to fear that you may be right!

Well I hope you are all having a delightful summer and I hope you have fun! Love, Elder Winterrose!

PS. I really hope you didn't turn my room into a sewing room...

Monday, August 9, 2010

In Fairbanks with Elder Loomis

Hello family!

I'm glad to hear that the trip down to Utah went well! It sounds like everyone had a blast! I'm proud of Poot for being brave and going for the eel and squid! That was very brave of him! With sushi many of my favorite ones are some of the more weird kinds. That place is the place that grandpa took me as my last meal before I entered the MTC... It sounds like everyone had a blast and I hope the brothers just take all that they learned and focus on it. EFY was always amazing for me because no matter how delinquent or off the track I was, it was a time that would remind me who I am, and what my potential is. Like a spiritual booster shot. Not to mention all the cute girls you meet there! Hahah. MO!.... 'Nuff said.

I can't believe C. is turning 19... then again I can't believe I'm already on my mission... Some times it just hits me and all I can think is, "Whoa...!"

I miss the members from Valdez, but Fairbanks is wonderful. My companion, Elder L., and I get along like two peas in a pod... He has a sense of humor like SamSamBean. It's such a blast serving with him! ALSO he is like Uber-obedient. We have already had so many wonderful teaching experiences.

Like just the other night, we had 15 minutes left. It had been the slowest friggin day ever. We tried to contact EVERYONE... and all of our lessons just kept calling and canceling. But we were diligent. I was ready to give up, so I just didn't say anything. We drove all the way back home and we sat there in the truck,(WE FINALLY HAVE A TRUCK) and pondered for a minute. Just sat and listened to the silence. Then he said,"I know who we are going to go visit." So we went to this less-active member's house and just happened to catch her on her way out, but we started talking. (Talking as a missionary means trying to address her needs and helping her.) It felt like it was going nowhere, she was having some issues with people in her life, compounded by a divorce, and was angry. It's so important to listen, and then ask bold questions as the spirit directs. After she got done telling us why she didn't want to come to church, I asked her, "Sister, when did you first realize that the church is true?" That's when she broke down. It was a humbling experience for me, because the spirit was able to work through me to help this sister realize that what she needed was help... help that only the spirit could deliver. She even decided on her own that she needed to go back to church. We left her home with the hymn,"Count Your Blessings" and a prayer.

As we were walking back to the car we were talking about how it went and all we could both say is, "This is why we are here." This is why I am serving a mission. Because there is no experience more amazing than the Lord working through you to help His children.

One last thing, Always thank the Lord for your spiritual experiences. First thing, right after you feel it.

That was probably the highlight of my week, oh but the best part was, that she came to church the next day! And she paid her tithing, and she met with the bishop.

I heard that some times in your mission you will be lucky enough to have that companion that you can trust perfectly, and they trust you and you will be able to work uber effectively together... I think that's what I've got here and it's wonderful.

Well, now for a little about Fairbanks. It's warm, and there is like a massive wild fire somewhere a ways away. It fills the sky with smoke and makes my allergies CRAZY. But luckily they are having a really wet summer with lots of rain, so it keeps the air pretty clean. The people seem really nice. There is a lot of work to do, especially less active work. In our ward there is around 400 people, but only 100 or so are active.... It's nuts! A lot of people come up here, it seems, to run away from the church. SILLY PEOPLE. You can't run away from the church. They will always find you. And you will always do something to blow your cover, then they will sic the missionaries on you. :)

Only bummer... the fishing isn't like it is in Valdez.... :( But I will FIND FISH!!!

Transfers were good. I got to see Elder V., who is now HOME IN PARADISE, and I said farewell to Elder C., who is now serving in Anchorage YSA. I drove to transfers which was good and bad; Bad because it took like 12 hours of driving and I pretty much covered the entire state in one day, good though because I was able to bring an EXTRA suitcase filled with all the crap I accumulated in Valdez! :)

Oh and yes I do know Elder S., he is the Zone Leader in my zone and he is currently sitting right next to me. I told him that my mother cyber-stalks him via his blog. Hahah. Seriously though, he is an awesome missionary. Super-obedient and a tracting machine.

This week my comp and I set a goal to get over our tracting fears and go track lots. I guess by telling you, it will set my goal in stone and hold me accountable. Hahahah.

Well I love you all and hope for the best!

Love Elder Winterrose

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fairbanks 2nd Ward! My new home.

Well transfers are upon us and my companion and I are both being transferred. I hope it helps this area. I love Valdez, and the people here with all my heart. This area is doing great and we are seeing a lot of doors opening up. I just hope it continues to thrive and that the next missionaries will mesh well with the personalities of the investigators and the members. I trust the the Lord and I am confident that it will all work out.

I'm stinking excited that I get to go to Fairbanks! It's gonna be awesome. It's gonna be way different than serving in a small area where I know more than half of the people who live there. I imagine it will be kind of like serving in the Tri-Cities. I heard there's some good fishing up around there too! So who knows!!!

It's very bitter-sweet getting transferred, but I will get to see my trainer, Elder V., at transfers in Eagle River. I was really hoping that I would get to see him again because he is going home in 4 days!!!!  HOLY CRAP!! 4 Days left on his mission. I don't even want to think about going home till 2012... as Sister Dance told another missionary, "That's space-ages away...."

Well, I apologize for the short length and spiritually-dry letter. My mind is tumbling in a maelstrom of emotions........ Excitement, worry, happiness, and a little bit of fear. But I'm really not afraid, because I know that it's the Lord's will.

Well I have loads of laundry and packing to do. And very little time to do it. I'm gonna miss this town, but I can't wait to get to Fairbanks.

Till next time!


Elder Britton Winterrose