Monday, May 30, 2011

(Thursday May 26th)

Well I have this little opportunity to email today because I wasn't able to on Tuesday.

I ended up flying out of Anchorage on Tuesday morning at 8, which meant that the assistants wanted me there one hour before I was to board. I had to be at the airport at 6:20, so I had to wake up at like 5 am after staying up till 3 packing on Monday night.  (I didn't want to waste time on Monday packing during the day when I could be visiting with members.)

I had some really sweet experiences visiting members on Monday. I was able to visit the A. family. Y. A. was baptized after I left the Northern Lights Ward. I was trying to visit her and the family but she was at work. I got to visit with her husband, S., about how they were doing. They are doing wonderfully!

I think the most rewarding and humbling experience is when you leave an area and the people that you started teaching continue to progress and are baptized. I have been fortunate enough to have had that happen with 4 different people so far and I hope to see the other 5 from the Dimond ward, and 3 in the Lake Otis, ward get baptized.

I was overwhelmed with the spirit while I was talking with S. to see how much he, Y., and their family have changed for the better. It is an answer to many, many prayers. I think that is so hugely critical - just because you are gone from their lives temporarily doesn't mean that you don't care about them any less, or that you don't desire for them to progress and follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. We should never stop praying for those we love. Ever I will miss the Samoan ward tons but I like my new companion, Elder Paul G. from Los Angeles California. He grew up on the outskirts of the city, in the rural-county part. I didn't even know LA had a rural area. Hahah.

He is a good guy - way different than Elder D. - and still awesome! He came out at the same time as Elder Tyler W. I am excited to be here in Craig. People say that the fishing here is phenomenal. I am grateful that President was willing to trust in the council of the Lord in sending me here. We have only met a few families so far, but I can tell I am going to love it here. The branch is strong, it reminds me so much of Valdez... Especially the rain. I am sure that my rain gear that I purchased last summer is gonna be worth its weight. I'm glad I put in the effort to haul that stuff around! Haha. They have excellent King, Silver, Red, Pink, and Dog Salmon runs here, as well as a very strong Steelhead run. I am pretty pumped to do some fishing! I will be sure to take lots of pictures!

Unfortunately I think I have outgrown my Xtra-Tuffs. I don't know what kind of prices you can find for them on the internet but I will go try some on and figure out what size I am now.

I've got that DVD. I will be sending it home on Monday along with the rest of the receipts for my medical treatments.

If you send up any packages please include food! Canned food is a great filler for flat rate boxes!! Hahah!

I love you all! I miss you! Love Elder Winterrose.

(Monday May 30th)

Well a few things of business before I get started on the real letter. I will need size 17 neck shirts just an FYI, and the Xtra-Tuff's are boots. The ones I have are insulated and steel toed. They would probably fit dad perfectly. I found a place down here that sells them for 80 bucks or so.. Yep. I will send these ones home if I get a new pair.

We have to feed ourselves every other day or so and breakfast and Lunch. So yeah it is pretty crazy.

My luggage survived. I was able to repair the handle on the small carry-on so that was good.

I love baked beans. Hehehe. Really though, anything that will hold up would be wonderful.

Other Questions... Do you guys want me to figure out the prices for shipping meat down this summer? I will be catching salmon and possibly getting some deer. Everyone says the deer meat is really good and I've tried it and it is! I could figure out the pricing and let you know then you could just deposit the money in my account and then I could get it all shipped to you. Let me know soon.

Well! This week has been fun. We have driven a lot and I've been able to meet most of the members in the branch. I am hoping to do some good fishing today, though it sounds like I missed the Steelhead by a week or so. :(

No worries though, there is more fish in the ocean. Our area is pretty amazing. We cover the whole Prince of Wales Island. There is a lot of fishing and a lot of logging. We get to cut down trees and do lots of service. We spent our day on Friday and Saturday helping out with the marathon, setting up and all sorts of crazy stuff. CRAP... WE just realized that today is memorial day!! That means everyone is going to be out fishing.

Combat fishing...

This place is beautiful and loaded with deer. The other night we were driving home and counted 43 deer. It was an hour and a half drive but still.. That is nuts!

Well I will be sure to keep you posted as more crazy adventures happen here in Alaska's bush.

I think that is all! Yeah, the fish are calling me!

I will do my best to document my adventures up here! I love ya!! Byebye!!

Elder Winterrose!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Transfers - On My Way To Craig

I am so overwhelmed right now.

First off I am so proud of Bryson!  STUD!! Hahaha.  I love ya bro!

Second. I am getting transferred to Craig. There is tons of fish there, so that is good. I would honestly probably cry if I went somewhere that there's no fish. I will be flying out at 6:30 AM tomorrow. I'm SO EXCITED/DEVASTATED about leaving. I really truly love this ward and I will forever hold the members close to my heart. I'm bummed that I won't get to see any of the departing missionaries... Elder M., Elder L., Elder U., Elder S. and a bunch of others. No worries though. I fly into Ketchikan then take the ferry to Craig. I hope I see Andrew. That would be awesome.

Third. I am sending you the DVD of the dance, for your Mothers Day gift.

Forth. I do need somethings.... I need 2 new long sleeve and One Short sleeve shirts, preferably Stafford brand ones like the ones I have now. That would be wonderful. I will see how my suitcase works out and I will let you know about the duffel bags.

Sister Dance told me I can store a bunch of extra stuff in the mission home so I don't have to worry about packing stuff I don't need down to Craig.

President and Sister Dance leave on June 28 and then President and Sister Clark arrive on the same day. No crossover.

I don't have much time to respond so I'm gonna be straight.

C. I love you! But your a foo for skipping Fathers and Sons. Get your temple recommend and go through the temple. It will strengthen your testimony of missionary work, and it will help you feel the spirit. Plus you don't know how often you will get to go through the temple on your mission. I've been out over a year but only been able to go twice.

Mom, the truth is that I find my motivation the same way I have watched you gain it my whole life. You see what needs to be done and then you do it. I pray and ask Heavenly Father for the energy to maintain my enthusiasm and zeal. I struggle, but I press forward with faith. I know that if I work then I will feel the Spirit, if I feel the Spirit then I will want to work harder, and if I work even harder then I will become stronger and I will feel the Joy and the Peace that the Spirit can offer me.

Funny story, we were almost out of miles for our car so we decided to walk on Saturday. WE WALKED 12+ Miles. IT was INSANE. We walked like 2 1/2 hours between each appointment. My legs felt like noodles at the end of the day. It was a wonderful adventure though. One point we were walking and Elder D. said that there was no way we would make it to our next appointment on time. I told him to not worry, that the Lord would provide! And guess what! As we approached the intersection, we heard a honk and we were able to snag a ride from some Elders who were driving to do service, and they took us a full 2 miles. Saved our butts! Literally.

I will miss Elder D., he is a wonderful missionary. He works hard and inspires me to do my best.

I am excited.


To answer your question - what I study depends on what my investigators need to know. I almost never study the same thing in personal and companion study unless it is something really important.

OH and the last but most important part of staying motivated, go to bed on-time, same time, every time. Exercise, medicate, and then Study. And pray over all of these things that the Lord may consecrate your efforts in each to provide you with energy and motivation.

My motivation is the worth of souls. The worth of every soul is great in the eyes of God. You need to have your goal in your mind.

I don't think C. will need 10 short sleeve shirts but I could be wrong. He'd probably be fine with just 8. I miss you guys.

Last thing, If you are feeling bummed or unmotivated, pray, search the scriptures, and find a way to serve. It doesn't matter how big or small the service! It will build you up!

Love Elder Britton Winterrose!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Prayers are Answered - The Backpack Returned!

(He begins with a lot of advice to his brother, C., about what he needs as he prepares for his mission.)

I would love a big duffel. Actually 2 large ones would be nice; one nice one, and one not as nice. The handles on the outside of my bags have been having a hard time, so they aren't working out quite as well as I had hoped. They aren’t very sturdy and they are pretty heavy. C. should just think about getting a garment bag, a duffel bag and a nice, large suitcase. He can pack his desk stuff in his back pack, use one of those roller carry-on garment cases - they carry like 2 suits and a few pair of shoes, and then pack all his clothes in one duffel and all the heavy or odd shaped odds and ends that he wants to take care of in his large bag. So he would have his Backpack, roller-garment bag (carry on), a large duffel bag, and a large suitcase. Plus, all those things should be able to fit inside the big suitcase. As for the brand of the suitcase my only complaint with the ones I currently have is that the strap-handles on the top and sides rip through way easy and there isn't a good fix for them, short of boring through them and anchoring them with a large nut/bolt/washer thingy. I’ve seen some mighty fancy duffels too, I just want one that is made of heavy duty material, and has a beefy zipper. Backpack straps would be nice on it too, but who knows. I seem to be ok with what I have right now, we will see what will happen because I may be getting transferred this up coming week.

I love the pants from CTR Clothing, and the suit. They are freaking amazing. Plus the stretch waistband has saved me bookoo bucks! Haha. I don’t care for the shirts from there though. Don’t get conned into buying one; their pockets are too small and the shirts have a weird cut. Not flattering. I don’t know how well they hold up though because I don’t use them.

Didn’t post the video of dancing. We checked it out and it was lame quality, SO we asked around and a member has a really good quality one so they are making me a copy! Whoot! C's video didn't open up, no worries though.

I got my Backpack back from the guy who found it. Basically only the backpack and my scripture case were salvageable. The scriptures were way-more soaked then last time, and they smelled like swamp. I ended up paper-clipping them up in the groups of pages that they were bound in, after cutting all the strings that bind them all together. Then I hung them up and they all dried out. I will be sending them home as soon as I am done getting all the Bible pages back in order. I tossed the Index from the Book of Mormon and tossed the Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary from the Bible, since I didn’t do a lot of marking in there.

No volunteer work! Most of it is taken by other palagi ward missionaries! Haha.

“Remember This” is the list of things on the inside of the back-cover of Preach my Gospel. It is a list of things that, when memorized, can help you to remember ways to be a more effective missionary, and when taken to heart, they can really change your mission. I can’t tell you how many times the spirit has spoke to me using the words from there, prompting me to do something that ends up blessing others and myself! It’s terrific!

Well I'm not quite done with Physical Therapy. I still have a few more weeks left, but I have an evaluation with Dr. H this Tuesday. We will see how that all goes. I hope I can finally be free from this and just move on in my mission.

I've been feeling like I'm going to be transferred. Things are just too good here. I feel like I've done a lot of growing and if I do leave this ward, I will always know that I left it stronger, larger, and helped repair the relationship between it and the missionaries. There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes when we are able to see the fruits of our labors, especially here in the mission field; whether it is the new testimony of an investigator, the rediscovery, or establishment of a testimony in the heart of a less-active member, or even just an understanding of how your own testimony has grown through your service. I love the work of the Lord and I am grateful to be part of it.

I got my backpack back but I don’t have enough time to type the story. Six minutes left on the computer.

I am trying hard to be obedient.

I love this ward. I would hate to leave, but I'm always up for a new adventure. That’s all a mission really is - one wonderful adventure after another. Then at the end you get to look back and see how far you've come.

I’m half-way through. I love you all!!!

Elder Winterrose

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's weird writing now because I just spoke to my family yesterday, so that was nice.  It always feels too short, like I need hours to just get caught up. Weirdly enough, the phone call didn't make me bummed this time. Well, not directly. I am bummed that I won't be there for this awesome period of C.'s life, the excitement of getting hearing the farewell talk, and all the hoopla surrounding his entry into the mission field. I also wish I could just sit there and share all the wisdom that I can think of that might help him in the field. OH YEAH, (in case you hadn't heard) HE GOT HIS CALL TO THE CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES MISSION, Spanish Speaking.

I couldn't stand waiting so I called my mission president and asked him to call and ask for me on Thursday. He called me back and delivered the news and I just couldn't stop crying. I am so happy for C.

I guess this is my wisdom.

Be Bold - Loving but forward, trusting in Christ.

Invite all people to repent.

Missionary Work is about timing, if you don't have the spirit with you, or if you don't plan with the spirit, your timing is going to be off and you will not be successful because the people will not be prepared.

HEAVENLY FATHER is working hard to prepare people for you to help as we speak. Don't let them down. Do your best to prepare yourself for them!

Focus on loving the people. If you really love them then you will want them to have all the blessings the gospel has to offer. That is when you will be able to preach repentance unto everyone.

Give people hope. Get people pumped. Be a movement for good.

Trust in Heavenly Father. He won't let you down.

Question your doubts, not your faith.

Timing, Love, Obedience. Faith. Strength. Joy. - Do always as Christ would do.

Faith casts out fear.

Memorize "Remember This" and apply it.

Write Questions as you study the Skill Development chapters after chapter 3 that you can use to check how well you are applying.

If your trainer is doing something that is not right, tell him. And if he is too proud or rebellious to change, talk to your mission president.

Always remember that the Church is true. And everyone needs the atonement.

Read the white handbook. Know the Rules. Keep the Rules. People - members, missionaries, companions, and non members - will test you to see how obedient you are. Be bold, and loving in keeping the rules. Make it clear that no crap will fly around you from the get-go, and people will respect you and support you eventually.

Make sure that you always remember that you are being obedient to help bless your companionship, and all those around you.  You are obedient because you love them, and you Love Christ.

Don't be weak. Be bold! Don't back down when you feel the need to invite someone!

I love you Chan! Your gonna make a wonderful missionary!

Oh and one more thing. You decide what becomes of you on your mission. Not your trainer.

Tell people that you won't stop inviting because you know it's true and you love them.

Well, I'm out of time.

I love you all. Have a great week!


Elder Britton Winterrose

Monday, May 2, 2011

Well it sounds like Womens Conference was wonderful! I am so happy that you got to share that opportunity for spiritual nourishment with your sisters. It really lets you three see how far you've come in some areas, and others that you need to keep focusing on.

Well I guess I will begin with the biggest news of the week...

Over the last few weeks we have been going to the library once a week to spend a hour on so we can be familiar enough with it to use it as a resource when we are teaching, or when we are visiting members. So we were in the library last Thursday, and we had borrowed a loaner car from the office to use while we were getting our winter tires swapped off. We had picked up the car and drove to meet our district at the public library and while we were walking in I had the thought to lock the car again, making sure I armed the alarm. Well, we went inside and we did our thing and then bounced.

As we were approaching the part of the lot where our car was parked we saw a police car with its lights on and an Officer looking at our car. Initially I was hesitant to approach.... I didn't think I did anything illegal.... so I kept walking towards the car and that's when I saw the glass on the ground. Apparently someone smashed the little window on the back-left door, and then they unlocked the car - triggering the alarm, then they grabbed something "black" from the back seat and took off in a car.

There was an eye witness who gave a description of the thief and the plate number from the getaway car so that's good. The officer proceeded to take prints from around the window and asked me if anything was missing. I initially thought that they had stolen my CD case, which had been in plain sight on the back seat, but I looked in and noticed that it was still there, so I kept thinking and finally realized that they had stolen my backpack. My nice backpack, filled with my scriptures in their case, my gospel art book, my epi-pens, my silly $45 fire-piston fire starter, the Plan of Salvation jigsaw that C. gave me, my Samoan & English hymnbooks, and my notes from General Conference! Hundreds of Hours of spiritual insights lost to one selfish heathen.

I spoke with the vehicle coordinator, Elder L., and he called the car insurance for me and found out that they don't cover the cost of goods taken from the vehicle, only the cost of getting the car repaired. He said that our homeowners insurance may cover it though...

The thief must be hating himself right now though because he ended up stealing over $500 in stuff he can't use or sell. That was a very dumb decision. The biggest hindrance is to my missionary work. I feel like a warrior without a sword. I've got a pair of loaner scriptures but it's not the same as having the sword that I have been wielding for months, honing my skills. Sounds dorky. But it's true.

Even if they get the stuff back they may have to hold it as evidence until the conclusion of any trial, which could extend far beyond my stay in Anchorage. I hope they get it all back, but I need to buy new scriptures. It's just hard to study without having the ability to mark or take notes, and quite frankly it's hard to teach (using the scriptures) without MY scriptures. Anyways... That was stressful.

I forgive him for what he did. It's still stupid though. Stealing a minister's book bag.

The rest of the week was pretty good. I am excited to talk on Sunday. I will call in the evening because it sounds like that will be the best time to call. I think I will call at 5:30 your time. That way grandma and grandpa can be there too if they want. I'M SO EXCITED FOR C.'S CALL TO GET THERE!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I guess that is all for this week because I am basically out of time, and I will be talking to you on Sunday.

Love you All!

Elder Winterrose

P.S. I think C. should open his call with me on the phone! Just sayin!!

(This came in a few minutes later, in response to my email asking what he planned to do.)

Everything basically needs to be replaced, but most important are the scriptures and other teaching tools. I'm not as worried about the fire-starter. I would like to get the backpack... but it's expensive too. It's looking like it will cost a lot to get re-outfitted.

I KNOW 3 FREAKING SETS!!! BAHHH!!!!!! That's what I said when I realized what had happened.

(The set of scriptures Elder Winterrose used in the MTC were also lost to water damage. This will be his third set.)

OH And guess what! Today I am wearing a Formal Lava-lava or i fai toga (ee f-ah-aye tonga) around with flip flops. Neither of the sets of Zone Leaders have told me to change yet! SO I'M NOT GOING TO!! Plus its comfortable! They are the same as that skirt I wore to church at BYUH.