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

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