Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's All Good

Hi Mom,

Everything is going well in the new ward. It is kind of crazy right now because they still don't have a computer for our clerk yet so we haven't got an updated copy of the ward roster... and our current one is from 7 months ago, from long before the ward split. It is kind of hampering our work because the work focused in our area is mostly referral driven. That's why the work began to really pick up last transfer when we really started to work hard to ask for and contact referrals. It was still a good week in the new ward. We have been busy working hard and I really enjoy Elder J. W.'s company. He's very polite and enjoyable to be around! All in all it is a fun time. Hahah.

The new apartment isn't really an apartment. We live in a member's home, the M.'s home. They are very nice and have been housing the missionaries for a long time now. And they insist on buying our groceries for us! How wonderful is that! Plus now we have a dishwasher, and a nice new washer and dryer that we can use. It is wonderful! AND the other night we came in and they were watching Star Wars upstairs and we could hear the whole thing, so I pretty much just closed my eyes and watched it on the back of my eyelids. Star Wars is always a great conversation piece with a new companion. If they love Star Wars as much as I do, then we will probably get along wonderfully! Hahah.

Well I really don't have a ton to say this week... OH something sad that happened, I lost my journal... and I had been really writing in it often lately so that is pretty devastating. I was going to take it to transfers and ask Elder L. to write in it, and somewhere on that busy Tuesday it got lost. It sucks major. Oh and I lost my CTR ring last Tuesday when we played basketball. Really though, those are the only two bummers.

I hope you got to sign D. and M. up for EFY already! I loved EFY. It was always awesome.

Oh and Elder L. first name is T..


Elder Britton Winterrose

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Transfers! And another chance to work on my Samoan!

Well Hi Friends and Family!!

I hope everything is going well with you guys. Transfers are today and I am getting transferred to the new Samoan ward, the Dimond Ward. I was pretty shocked at first when I found out that my new companion was going to be Elder W. but I am really excited. We went on exchanges a few weeks back and he is nice. It's weird that I am serving with another palagi "white person" this transfer. No new breakthroughs in the language department. I guess the biggest thing came with me just re-thinking my how I was going about learning the language. I am really going to start focusing on learning 5 words each day. I need to start building up my vocabulary if I am going to be able to speak more effectively. As I said, I am getting transferred but I am not going far. Nevertheless I still need to move everything from my apartment to the other apartment, so I don't really have a lot of time to email today because I have to go and pack the rest of my stuff. I am way bummed out for C. That totally stinks about Amazon.

My ankle is doing much better. I played basketball last evening with a bunch of less-actives and non-members at the church and it held up well. I think I am going to buy a compression brace; just something to help keep it more stable till its back to 100%. It's crazy though because today my whole left leg is way sore and my right leg is alright. The ankle itself was a little sore last night but this morning doesn't hurt at all and it's not swollen. So that is pretty awesome! I am so excited to be back up and moving again.

Cool news! I went over to the mission home this week when we were taking Elder R. over to his interview with President, and Sis. Dance was there. She had sat next to me at M.N's baptism on Saturday and had heard me sing.  She wanted me to sing, with her accompanying me on the piano. So I got to sing for a good 40 minutes and it felt SO GOOD! Honestly, I can't remember the last time I got to sing like that. I would do it every day if I had the opportunity. It just reminded me of how good it feels. My voice has changed a ton, so it's really fun getting to relearn how to do everything. So I may be singing a solo at the zone conference coming up...  If I do, I'll record it and send it home for you mom. :)

SO the other good news, I got to do another lesson with M. and J. because M. just got back from Hawai'i. It was so good to see him and it felt great to get to talk to them again.

M. N, got baptized also. It was wonderful! Elder O. baptized and I confirmed the following Sunday. It was a wonderful baptism. I spoke with her brother, W., who is 18, after the baptism and asked him how he felt. He said he felt, "Good!" So I explained that the reason he had that good feeling inside is because he had just witnessed his little sister follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized the same way he was. Then I asked him if he would be baptized, and he said, "Yeah, okay!" When I asked him when, he said, "Oh I don't know" so I said the first date that popped into my mind, "How about February 22nd?" Hahaha, and he said Yes! So we both went about talking to people after the baptism and Sister Dance even followed up with W., she talked to him about baptism and shared some scriptures about it with him and then she invited him to pray about the Book of Mormon. It was awesome. We weren't even aware of what the other had done.

I am bummed that I am leaving the Northern Lights Ward. I really liked that ward. It always seems that I get transferred after 2 transfers, and when I have people on date to be baptized in my area. We had 6 people on date for baptism at the end of the week this week which is the most I've had lined up my entire mission. It's exciting though - I know President Dance works through inspiration, and that his vision and Heavenly Fathers vision is much greater than my own. So all I can do is work hard, work smart, and trust in the Lord. And mom you were right about what I would do if I was bummed about getting transferred; right after I got my call I went into the other room and prayed. :)

It's amazing how many hard-working missionaries there are out there, but I think the thing I am beginning to see is that the difference between a stellar missionary and a good missionary is that the stellar missionary is always working to improve upon all the aspects of his missionary work. So that is what I have been focusing my personal studies on lately. Something that I've been doing is creating questions from each chapter that I can ask myself. It is really helpful. They aren't like memorization questions but more of a way to evaluate where I am at in each aspect of my missionary work and they help me see what I need to focus on, and also allow me to think a little deeper into each of the skills. The best part is that as I track it and set goals for my improvement I can recognize the way that the Atonement and my effort to follow Heavenly Fathers will have changed my life, and how much I have improved.

It is frustrating for me to see missionaries who fall into a sense of security and routine. And it is easy to do too! But when a missionary strives to improve then they can have the Spirit. If you are teaching by your own power then you are essentially shutting out the Spirit and if you shut out the Spirit then you are shutting out Christ.

I have resolved to continue to work harder, smarter, and to just become a better missionary, and more Christ-Like.

I love you all and miss you tons. I hope you have a wonderful day.

OH and one sad/happy note. Elder L. goes home tomorrow at 1:00 AM. I will miss him tons. I will see him for the last time at transfers today. I will wear my awesome fur hat. ;)


Elder Britton Perkins Winterrose.

PS You guys need to watch the Laughing Samoans.

(Thanks for the notes about grandparents - the notes about both grandpas cracked me up, and the note about grandma Billie and the ZooBooks/Magazines are so true. Grandma helped me pass AP Bio. Seriously, everything on that test is taught at one point in time in ZooBooks. Hahaha. I will definitely invest in magazine subscriptions when I get home.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

He's here - Elder R!

Where to begin! Well I guess it all started out on last Monday after we sent our email. SO our new companion, Elder R., overslept in the MTC and missed his plane, so he wasn't able to get out of Utah on a flight up here till Saturday. So we didn't have him all week.

I guess he was up late till like 12AM packing and then he set his alarm for 4 because his report time to the shuttle was 5 AM. You could understand how he would be very concerned when he woke up at 6:30 and realized that his alarm never went off! He had accidentally set it for 4 PM instead of 4 AM... major bummer for him. And to top it all of, none of his roommates woke him up!!! They just let him keep sleeping! So he had a pretty rough week!

But our week overall wasn't bad. We taught some people, had to move our baptisms around, and then we picked up our greenie on Saturday.

Saturday though.... Saturday was crazy. We did our weekly planning and then after we did that we hurried over to a lesson that we had with J., who is on date to be baptized on the 29th of Jan. SO we arrived at the meetinghouse at Maplewood and there were like 90 cars in the parking lot. It turned out to be a funeral for a Samoan lady in our ward and everyone was there so we had no one to teach. So we went and were able to contact this nice family that we received as a referral. Sometimes though, when we are teaching someone new, I let my desires to teach a whole lesson get in front of my love for them and don't teach the way I should (I can be a little overbearing). Nevertheless! We do have an appointment to see them again on Thursday so I have a great shot at redemption! Haha! So we taught them and then we had to head to Wal-Mart to buy large garbage bags for our adventure at decontaminating our new companion and his stuff.

See, there was an outbreak of bedbugs in the mission - missed me thankfully! But they were able to trace it back to the mission home and then back to the MTC. There have been a few cases of outbreaks in the MTC so now we are having to treat all the belongings of new missionaries before they can do anything. It's kind of challenging because chemical treatments aren't always successful, they can do harsh things to the human body, and they always take more than one treatment. So the only way to kill the little devils is to heat up all the belongings above 150 degrees F for an extended period of time. Normally they will have a specialist come in and set up all of these heaters and fans in a room in the mission home so they can take the belongings of all the new missionaries and just treat them all together in one batch, the same way that they would treat the room. Well this would have been wonderful, but our companion came out a week before the rest of the group and we still needed to treat him for bed bugs as a precaution.

SO we had to bag everything and anything that could be thrown in a dryer was put in a dryer for an hour and a half on the highest heat possible. Everything that couldn't go in the dryer: Suits, ties, scriptures, luggage, journals, backpacks, shoes, pretty much everything a missionary carries with them - had to be bagged, tagged, and left in the garage of the mission home where the little bugs could rest in a peaceful frozen hibernation.

BACK TO WAL-MART - We were walking around and as I came around the corner I looked up and guess who I saw!!! C.P! - The first person I taught that was baptized on my mission! And she was there with S., A., S. and D.! I got to see them and talk to them! Nothing feels as good as seeing someone that you had the blessing to teach and baptize, and then seeing that they are continuing to grow and progress in the gospel!!!


What a tender mercy! I had been wondering how they had all been doing and the Lord answered my prayers to let me know in a way that I never would have expected. Everything had to happen just right for us to be there at the same place at the same time! SO neat!!!

SO after Wal-mart we went and drove to the airport, took the wrong parking exit, went through the drop off loop and then drove the wrong way down a one way street into the backside of the long-term parking. Then we ran back to the terminal, jumping over some concrete dividers to make our way back quickly and hurried to the security gate were we anxiously awaited the delivery of our boy!!

Elder Britton Winterrose and Elder K. O.
Are proud to announce the successful arrival of their Boy!
J. R. R.
Who Came into our World:
January 8th, 2011
185 Lbs 3 Oz
69 3/4 " Long

So we picked him up and proceeded to decontaminate the stuff.  It was a very long day for him, but we sure are glad to have him here!

OH and I got my fur hat!! IT is sweet! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Winterrose!!! It really stands out, hahahh!!! I love it! It does shed though but it's all good! And it fits my big head perfectly!  Hahah.

So I had an idea and I think I am going to send all of my pictures to be developed at the Costco back home and send you that 100 free prints slip so you can just pick up the photos there. What do you think? Idk what to do, hahaha, so let me know what you think.

Well that is pretty much my brain dump for this week. I really hope I stay in one of the Samoan wards, it would be sweet to train Elder R., he reminds me of Sam a TON! We get along pretty well. It would also be cool to serve with my homeboy Elder L---, but we will see what the Lord has planned for me. Who knows, maybe I will end up in the bush somewhere, or in an Anchorage white ward ............... or not. Hahaha!! Well I love you all! And I shall depart now that I might go and enjoy the rest of my p-Day!


Elder Britton Winterrose

P.S. Keep on playing ball Poot!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dog Sledding, Fresh from the MTC, and A New Samoan Ward

I think it’s awesome that M. fits into that suit. And that he’s way slim. That is pretty sweet. Now he just needs to work out and fill out with muscle!

It has been so warm here this week. We have had some crazy Chinook winds and it got all the way up to 50 degrees out. It feels like spring because all the snow, which wasn't a whole ton to begin with, is melting.

SO the crazy news for today is that I am having a boy. Having a boy, as in my companion and I will be training a new missionary beginning tonight! He is coming in before the transfer because his cycle at the MTC is ending early. We just found out yesterday from Pres. ALSO, the stake went and split our ward and the other Samoan ward into 3 Samoan wards. We really have no clue what will happen as far as people we have on date or whatnot, but we should continue teaching all of the people that were in our old boundaries until transfers when they will split up our threesome and have 3 pairs of Samoan speaking Elders in our mission. It probably, HOPEFULLY, means that I will continue to be Samoan speaking although I may or may not continue serving in the Northern Lights Ward. But we will see and I will know more on Sunday after we see how it all goes down. Yep. That’s pretty much the most exciting news.

OH but wait! I am off my crutches! Yep! It’s a good deal. I saw the doc on wed and he gave me permission to get off of them and so far it has been well.

We have been working hard these last few weeks. Last year they only had 9 baptisms in our ward during the whole year. We currently have 5 people on date and hope to have 8 on date by the end of the week. M., age 10, is supposed to be baptized this Thurs. so we are hurrying to set that up and we will try to make it as special a day as possible.

It is crazy. I have never been this busy. We aren’t able to go out and find much through tracting because my ankle isn't 100% just yet but we have been very blessed by the Lord with people to teach and work to do.

All in all, it was a pretty crazy week. But we are hopping out of the frying pan and into to the fire tonight. So we shall see how it all goes down.

I am all finished with the ankle business though. It is still a little swollen but it should go down. I am supposed to come back in a month from the visit if it is still swollen, and in a few more weeks I will be cleared to start playing sports again.

I’m so happy that C. is working on being able to begin his papers. Just stay away from girls until after your mission. Trust me. They are nothing but trouble.

Those dancing games look like a blast. I really want to try one out. The x-box one is way cool because you don’t even have to hold a controller. It just follows your body. Sweetness.

This new camera works fantastic. I will be sending the old one home shortly.

OH and guess what I got to do as service on Friday!?! I got to work as a trail guard for these dog sled races! It was awesome. We got to ride around on snow machines on the dog sled trails. We basically just stood there and waited at critical points along the track in case a rider wrecked and we would have to stop their dogs... Ha-ha. Well I didn't see anyone wreck hard but there were a few minor crashes... nothing major. It was pretty cool.

I can’t imagine having to care for 14 or 15 dogs all at one time. I mean, can you imagine that much poop? Dang. I would be cool with like 3 or 4, max. Even then I would need like a huge yard... Anyways I am including some pictures that I took while I was there with the new Camera so you can check them out!

We didn't end up getting to ride, but these one people that Elder M. talked to said that they would call us next time they were down at the track and give us a ride. I can't wait! It should be a lot of fun!

Well, that is pretty much it for the week. Everything seems to be going pretty well. I will definitely keep you updated on how everything is going on Monday.

It’s Crazy that M. is a Priest. He can Baptize now. That is CRAZY. Awesome ha-ha! He is even older than M*'*! Ha-ha. Maybe M. should start to talk to his friends a little more. I kept having the thought that Z. and his family should meet the missionaries.

Oh and have the missionaries visit Mr. S. That would be good.

Well that is all for this week. I love you guys and hope that you are all doing well. Much love!

Elder Britton Winterrose