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