Monday, February 28, 2011

I'm Training!!!

Well its Transfers! And guess what? I'm Training! Don't know who yet - won't find out until I am at transfers. But I figured that I would just let you know and let the anticipation build within you! That way you can share in my excitement. I don't have time to email today but I figured that I would just let you know that much. Also, one of my best missionary friends, Elder S. S., had to fly home yesterday because of medical issues that he had faithfully endured over the last few months. If they are able to treat his ailments then he will be able to return to the mission field. I was feeling really bummed about it, but we were able to talk before he left. I asked him how he was feeling about it, it truly is all very surreal, the first day and last day are that way, but in addition to that he said he felt at peace with it. I also was able to pray about it and I received that same spiritual assurance. Only the spirit can anchor our hearts in times of deepest sorrow through our faith in the Savior. I know that it will work out, and regardless of whether he returns to this mission. He followed the will of Heavenly Father and served his time honorably. And I know that I will get to see him again after the mission!

Well that's all I have time for now! Hopefully I will get to email tomorrow, if not I will write a letter home and send it. Well anyways! Love ya!

Elder Britton Winterrose

P.S. Elder W. is being transferred to the Jewel Lake ward, which comprises the southern most portion of the Dimond ward boundries! He's excited that he is getting such a drastic change of scenery. Sarcasm. But really he is excited!

Monday, February 21, 2011

You Can Do It!

I got the BIRTHDAY DAY PACKAGE!!! It was great, it made me laugh. That Plan of Salvation thing that C. gave me is pretty sweet too, so thanks C!

Well... what should I say about my week.

I decided to stop drinking anything with caffeine! (Soda - just don't start!) That was a big part of my week. Big because it gave me insane migraines for the last 4 days... so that kind of interfered with my proselyting this week but I know it was the right thing to do because I needed to get past it. Let's face it, when your body revolts when you take away something that it shouldn't be dependent on, it's probably a sign that you shouldn't be using it the way you are. So I decided to stop. Plus I heard President mention to someone that we aren't supposed to drink caffeine... Avoiding the appearance of evil.

It was a good week though. Elder L--- says he loves you.

Prius doesn't sound too bad. I bet you could put an awesome sound system in it pretty easily because it can provide the power.

I'm sorry to hear about your hair mom. :(

Glad to hear C.'s getting closer to going on his mission. It really is just a trial of faith. If you just keep doing what you are supposed to do then eventually it will all work out in the Lord's time. Perhaps the Bishop is just working with inspiration that is beyond our vision. Something as simple as changing the day you put in your papers could change the place you serve. Just remember that the Bishop is the Lord's servant, and that he will work according to the Lord's wisdom, not our own wisdom. No matter how difficult it seems. or how long the wait, we just have to remember that the Heavenly Father will make everything workout on His time line. Remember that, when we choose to serve, it is like we are moving onto the Lord's path that he wants us to walk. Then, if you really learn how to follow His will on your mission and continue to follow His will after your mission, everything will work out. College, marriage, having children - life will work out. It might not be easy, but it will make you the best person that you can become. Fulfilling your potential is difficult but .... fulfilling! Haha.

I'm pretty jealous that you guys get to go to the Mountain West bball tourney. That sounds like it would be an awesome time.

M. - Keep working on your Eagle Scout Project. It is all about finding something that needs to be done in your community and then organizing the efforts to get it done. It's a very, very, valuable skill. And nothing is too big to accomplish. You can change the world or quantity of life for one person or a whole family. Either one would be a great service, and would bring you great joy.

D. You are aweesssomeee! Baller.

Some members found out it's my birthday tomorrow. (I thought about what I would want to do for my companion if it was his birthday and then asked him to do it. AND he did! Cause he's awesome! Elder W. is a great companion.)

So now some members want to throw me a party. I don't know if they are going to, but who knows! I hope it works out! It sounds like a ton of fun!

Well, I don't feel like spending my whole day in front of this computer, so I will just leave you with this last word of advice.

Give, said the little stream.


Elder Britton Winterrose

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Check out

You didn’t send a weekly email? OH wait! You did send one........... Dang it.
Ok well I will just have to stand in line for another time slot. No big deal. Love ya.

(time passed…)

Ha-ha yeah I'm still here. The way this public library system works you keep getting time until someone queues behind you in the computer system. Hopefully I keep getting extensions for a bit but I really don’t have time to type anything substantial. SO let’s just talk for a bit! How was your week?

Ha-ha yeah I got it on Valentines!  Perfect timing. OH my heck, that card was ridiculous! Seriously! Made me laugh so hard!

So Guess what! Elder W.'s Grandparents are serving in South Africa and they are gonna get me some scripture covers made from elephant and ostrich hide. HOW AWESOME IS THAT!!!!! I’m so excited for that. And they said they would just get them for me. I offered to buy them but they just offered to get them.
Also I got my retainer fixed right. But then yesterday I was crunching some ice.... and yeah.  Oh well! I will just have to get it fixed again  asap.
The temple is nice. It’s been almost a year since I had been in it.

Zone Conference was good. We talked a lot about - We are putting a new emphasis on it in our proselytizing and encouraging members to create profiles on the site. You need to!! It is wonderful! I feel the spirit every time I am on that site. Unfortunately, missionaries who are currently serving are not yet allowed to create a profile. And I know that with your hard knocks tech savvy that you could make a wonderful page! It is just supposed to be you.... all the struggles, triumphs, blessings, and testimonies that make you... you! Ha-ha. It’s cool though because now we get one hour per week to just go on it and explore/familiarize ourselves with it! It is great.  And I ended up singing at zone conference. I practiced one time with Sister Dance and we changed the song from Be Still My Soul to How Firm A Foundation. I was so nervous.  I realized how long it had been since I had sung in front of a group like that! But it went well, I felt the spirit way strong at the end of the 7th verse, (I sang 4 verses of the song) and got a little choked up! But it was wonderful! I love to sing.

Unfortunately no one recorded it, but next time I will prepare better and make sure someone at least gets it on audio! Ha-ha.

I don’t have enough time for a real letter. Your just gonna have to mix and match. I’ve got 2 minutes left and It doesn't look like it’s gonna extend.... if I hit one minute I have to log off.

Well I love you. I’ll email again if it gets extended otherwise. Have wonderful week!

Love Britton!~ 45sec!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Well this week has been good. Honestly right now I am completely blanking on what I did this week.... let me check my planner... Well we taught a few lessons, started teaching some new investigators. Really it was a fine week. I am supposed to sing at the Zone Conference this week but we will see what happens since Sis. Dance and I have been having a difficult time getting together to rehearse. All in all it has been a fine week.

I wish I knew what size rings I wear because then I could just tell you! Hahah. I think it is size 9. but I'm not positive so yeah...

I don't have much time to write but it really has been a good week and the work in our area has been slowly picking up.

I bore my testimony in Samoan on Sunday. That was awesome.

I am really trying hard to speak in Samoan all the time. And I am improving, just slowly. No worries though. Soon I will be fluent. Boo Yaa! (I will keep praying for those awesome gifts of the spirit!)

I am so gratefully to be on my mission right now! I love this work.

I bought a copy of the doctrines and covenants DVDs for you guys. I will be sending them shortly!

Let's see... what else...

Elder W. is from Portland. My ankle is doing alright. Still kinda sore but not to walk on. I just have to make sure that I stretch it really good every day. It still is stiff, and still isn't the right size so that makes me just a little concerned. I am wondering if I should get a follow up appointment but I don't know what our benefits are or if that same doctor is still covered. Let me know what to do.

I got my retainer glued back on last week! That's good news!! Haha.

I am working hard on my studies and the Book of Mormon is really coming alive to me again. I'm finding the best way for me to remember what I learned in personal study is to share it with someone. Just telling the story, or even my understanding helps me so much with the retention, and opens up for some excellent spirit-guided dialog revealing many things that I probably otherwise wouldn't have considered. I really enjoy that.

We got a few inches of snow this week but really nothing spectacular. I'm not impressed. When I think Alaska, I think like 8-feet of snow everywhere, but I guess that is just delusional.

I had the opportunity to read Elder Holland's talk at the MTC in the church news. I would highly suggest that every member acquaint themselves with the changes in missionary work that are being implemented, both to help you become better member-missionaries and to help you understand what they are doing if you are involved in the lessons with them.

For instance, things like committing the investigator to baptism on the first lesson - something that was in the past very rare, is now the norm. We are taught to invite. If we don't invite, then they never have to act. Our purpose is to invite. The best part is that it gets it out there right in front so it's not like a surprise when we bring it up, and they are fully aware of our intentions right from the get-go. Then our purpose is clearly established in both parties minds and hearts and if they are one of those who has been prepared by the Lord, then they will accept it. If they don't want to be baptized then we ask a simple question. WHY? - This comment has the ability to bring the investigators true intents, desires, questions, concerns, or gaps in their testimony, to the surface and then allows us to understand, and then TEACH them what they NEED to know rather then just blasting them in the face with a wealth of gospel knowledge.

As missionaries we invite people to do things. We challenge and commit people to show their faith in Jesus Christ by committing to prepare to be baptized on a specific date. They don't have to be ready when you ask them. They just have to have the faith that the Lord will help them as they endeavor to do all that they can to prepare for that baptismal date. The strength comes from the spiritual witness that they need to be baptized and that the date they selected is the date that Heavenly Father wants them to be prepared for. It is an act of faith. Faith in God and faith in the Savior. You don't teach faith - you grow it - one act at a time. Look up the new missionary curriculum and you will see that it is completely centered on being effective servants of Jesus Christ.

You don't agree with the approach? Fine then, pray about it. :) Almost every example of baptism in the scriptures goes like this. Teach, feel the spirit, what is this?, act on that witness, be baptized, hundreds baptized same day!

(See Acts 2, Mosiah 18, 3 Nephi 18 just off the top of my head.)

The worst thing in the world that could ever happen is when an investigator sets a date and a member, let alone a fellowshipper tells them that the date is "too soon", or that they "Won't be ready in time". Not only do these statements show a complete lack of faith in the Lord, Missionaries, and the Investigator's agency, but they hit all those who are involved like a ton of bricks. I have quite nearly chewed out a hand full of members who have acted in such a capacity, but the Lord blessed me with restraint enough that I could refrain. OH YE OF LITTLE FAITH!!!!!

This process of commitment makes sure that the investigators are serious, and that their testimonies are sure. Indeed, by the time they are baptized they will have had their testimonies made sure by the trial of their faith. They will have experienced the true power of the Atonement, felt the drastic change in the quality of life, they will know how to call upon the Lord, and will understand the Power of receiving Revelation and Supplication through their Church Attendance, their Scripture reading, and through their Prayers. They will know how the Holy Ghost feels and they will bypass many of the ups and downs that most investigators go through. This type of conversion is for those who have been prepared by the Lord - the Elect. You may think that it is too aggressive or too forward, but we may all take comfort in the Prophet Joseph's declaration to some of the first missionaries of this dispensation, found in D&C 29:7 - And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts.

This conversion is intense. It provides a firm foundation for growth long after baptism and will always remain a reminder to the Convert of the powerful feelings and spiritual witnesses that manifest themselves in their conversion.

This manner of teaching - committing - relies upon the Lord for His support and I testify that He will work miracles for His children. I have seen many. And the Spirit makes plain those things that I have seen during this first 10 months of my mission.

Long story short - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5&6

And!!! John 7:16-17
Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

If any man will Do his will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

This is how we invite them to Come unto Christ. They experience the power, wisdom and love of Heavenly Father, His Son, and the Spirit. They see the Beauty of His Plan, and Know that the Church is Christ's only true Church upon the face of the Earth.

Well I think that pretty much sums up how I've been feeling... OH WAIT one more thing. I HAVE THE WORLDS COOLEST BROTHERS. Just an FYI.

Well I can't think of anything else. Really. Like that last little essay just took everything that was left of my mind.

I love you guys. Miss you tons. I will do my best to share my favorite moments from Zone Conference with you at the end of the week!

OHH ! ONE MORE THING!! Elder R. found my Journal. It had fallen behind the dresser when I was moving out. WHOOT!!!

Love - Elder Britton Winterrose.

Go to Church

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Leadership - New Opportunities

Well! Hello.

This week was pretty good. Pretty slow, but pretty good. We ended up contacting 10 people that we've been trying to contact, and we picked up 3 new investigators to bring our total real-teaching pool to 5 people. Now the tricky part is getting with them and planning lessons with them and following through.

The good thing about all of this hard work is that the ward leadership is all new so everyone is fresh. They aren't burned out on trying to contact less active families and don't have any bad misconceptions about the missionary work being impossible. And they are excited! Nothing better than serving in a ward that is excited about missionary work! The Spirit is strong here, with all of these new leaders learning how the Lord will support the work. The change is so wonderful for the work.

I had the opportunity to swing by the Northern Lights Ward party and say Hi to a lot of people that I didn't get to say goodbye to, so that was wonderful. Almost all of the less active families that we worked with while I was there were at the party and are still coming.

Then yesterday I was talking to the second councilor in our ward and he started mentioning to me how he heard about all of those families who were active now and he said how it gives him a lot of hope for the less active families in our ward. (I don't think he knew that the NL ward was my last ward) :) It's awesome to see how one success can build up the kingdom in so many ways. It is humbling, and I am so thankful to be part of this work. I cannot express with words the way it feels when you see someone returning to the gospel! It is wonderful!

Another cool experience this week - I was asked to give a blessing to a guy who is in the hospital and it turns out that his son was there also. The dad is David Fanene and the son is Jonathan Fanene. Jonathan played for the Cincinnati Bengals since 2005 and before that he played for the Utes in 03 and 04. We got to hang out with them and just talk for a while so that was pretty cool. So that is two NFL players that I have met now. The really funny part was that we were just visiting with them for like 40 minutes before I made the connection. When I first saw him I was like,"Dang he must be in the NFL," but then I was thinking nah... And sure enough! That was neat.

They were interviewed on 60 minutes too so that is pretty sweet.

Mo should do boys state.

Well I miss you guys! I love you and I can't wait to talk to you guys on Mothers Day.

I will send the old camera and the memory card with my pics soon.

Talk to you guys next week! Love ya!!

- Elder Britton Winterrose