Monday, June 27, 2011

Baptism in Craig!

Hello Mom, Dad, brothers, extended family and Friends,

This week has been good. We were able to visit more people because we were in town the whole week so that was good. The definite highlight of my week was M. C's baptism on Saturday. We were able to get the programs made and printed, we boiled enough water to heat up the font, and a large group of members were there to support M. C.

The baptism was beautiful though. Super strong spirit. We had 2 musical numbers, 2 talks, 2 hymns, the ordinance, and M. even built up the courage to bear her testimony. By far though my favorite part was witnessing the ordinance. I had the privilege of being one of the witnesses so I got to stand right at the top of the stairs. It was amazing as M. came out of the water she just had this look of amazement on her face. I wish I could have captured it with a photo,  but she was just beaming, her smile ran from ear to ear. And then came the deep gasp of air. That moment is the sweetest part. I remember when Sister Dance was talking about this little boy who's baptism she was at, and how when he came out of the water he just said "Wow!" I think the spiritual power that the Holy Spirit of Promise can bestow upon those participating in and witnessing a baptism by proper priesthood authority is amazing. It was a truly fantastic experience. Later on Sister K., M.'s mom, got up and bore her testimony of how she saw what M. had just experienced and then she testified of how she remembers just wanting to shout or sing and just let the joy burst from her heart (paraphrased).

We were also able to visit nearly all the people that we had planned on visiting this week although we were only able to teach a few of them. No worries though. Such is life in the Alaska bush. We will just keep working hard to find more people.

So yesterday I had an epiphany. I was laying in bed thinking about a lesson that we had with a very nice older lady named N.. I felt like I needed to ask her if she had ever read the book of Mormon. And she said no, so I asked her why not. Long story short, she was irritated with me asking, but I told her very straight that it is my duty to invite all to come unto Christ. Now I was freaking nervous at this point, because the last thing I wanted to do is anger some really nice person and get us banned from their house, but I kept going. I kept asking questions. I testified. And the Spirit helped her to stay calm.

It's not easy to be bold. One of the missionaries in our mission, Elder B., defined bold as follows. B is for blatant. O is for Obvious. L is for Love. D is for Direct.

Last night I was thinking back on some encounters that I have had on my mission. Some on airplanes, others in discussions with people just in passing. Many of which ended when the person began to become irritated and simply refused to talk about religion. I feel that many people become irritated about religion because they simply do not have a solid testimony and fear that any discussion may cause confusion or conflict within their beliefs and testimony.

I also remembered the flight to here from Anchorage... I sat next to 4 different people. I tried to talk to every one of them about the Gospel. One of them said "I really don't want to talk about religion and if you continue to I will become very upset." Once I moved past a grown woman's threat to throw a temper tantrum if we discussed the taboo topic of religion, I just had one question that continued to eat away at me.... Why! Why would someone be so opposed to hearing the beliefs of another that they would shut down their mind and harden their hearts towards a message without even trying it for themselves first? Honestly, it really still breaks my heart to see people reject the Gospel without first turning it over to God and letting Him answer them. It is frustrating. Thank goodness for the Spirit World! As I continued onward with my visits I began to remember the quote from Jeffrey R. Holland found in Preach My Gospel, page 185.

More important than speaking is listening. These people are not lifeless objects disguised as a baptismal statistic. They are children of God, our brothers and sisters, and they need what we have. Be genuine. Reach out sincerely. Ask these friends what matters most to them.  What do they cherish, and what do they hold dear? And then listen. If the setting is right, you might ask what their fears are, what they yearn for, or what they feel is missing in their lives. I promise you that something in what they say will highlight a truth of the gospel about which you can bear testimony and about which you can then offer more... If we listen with love, we won’t need to wonder what to say. It will be given to us—by the Spirit and by our friends”

So I just began to listen. And then I would testify with Boldness on whatever subjects they would bring up in our conversation. I love the part about asking them what their fears are, what do they yearn for, or what do they feel is missing in their lives.

So back to my epiphany. So as I lay in bed last night I was thinking, "Well did I say too much? Did I go too far?" And as I was thinking about it I recalled what happened to Nephi. Some of the times when he spoke with boldness... the people started raging on him! Sometimes the people's hearts were right and they accepted the message and were willing to change. Other times they just shut down. I just have to operate out of love and if they choose to reject the loving council of the Lord as delivered through a servant by the Spirit of Prophesy and Discernment, well that will allow the Lord's judgments to rest upon them. And most of the time it's just that they aren't the Lord's elect. The elect hear the voice of the Lord and harden not their hearts.

I think with C's talk he should talk about judging unrighteous who will or won't receive the Gospel. Also, forgiveness is a big part of judging. D&C 64.

Remember that righteous judgment is necessary, and along with agency, is a critical part of the Plan. Use lots of scriptures. Remember that love and trust are two separate and different things. One is conditional one is not.

Well I think that is pretty much all I can think of right now. My mind is on all the fish I'm going to catch today so we will see what happens.

I love you all! Miss ya!

Elder Britton Winterrose

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Juneau Zone Conference

Don't Cancel EFY. Just Don't. Seriously - The trek, even if it was a spirit packed experience, is no substitute for the council, guidance, and spirit that EFY provides. It's just not worth it. He will just end up spending one week dorking off otherwise. Two weeks of spiritual nourishment will be good for anyone. It will help him be that much more prepared when he goes back to school and give him the time for some serious reflection that is necessary at that age to help decide what changes need to occur to stay on the path of righteousness.

Did I ever tell you that I have been considering becoming an EFY counselor for the summer after I get back... I want to but I also want to come back up here to Alaska.... We will just see what Heavenly Father wants.

Your account of Juneau is about the same as mine... I found out that MORNING!! that you would be there the same day as me but the way you made it sound was like it was all still up in the air. Anyways, we spent our p-day in Ketchikan on Monday fishing for kings but we got stiffed.  Then we went changed, got to the airport late, and were afraid that we weren't going to be able to check our bags so we slimmed down our gear to carry-on only and then barely made our flight.  I was a little worried that you would be on the flight with us if you were on the milk run from Seattle that stops in Ketchikan before heading to Juneau. After getting past that, and arriving in the airport, I just kept looking around to see if I could spot you, because I was 99% sure that you were going to be stalking me or in the terminal waiting for me. So after concluding that your flight came in earlier than mine we proceeded outside and I kept my eyes peeled. Eventually I was caught up in the fraternizing, and only looked up when my companion mentioned that this car was rolling up on us with their window down. Expecting to get a shake thrown at me and a slur of explicit language directed my way I looked up only to see my mom leaning out the window yelling "I JUST CANT STAND IT!!!!" Then my get-away driver Dad sped off leaving me stunned and disoriented. It was so surreal. Seriously, any contact more than that would have probably blown my mind. Everyone thought it was hilarious, and they loved the pictures we got at zone conference the next day. I showed president and he thought they were hilarious too.  So that was a pretty exciting part of my trip.  I'm glad that my parents were able to resist temptation! Haha. That's how it goes as a missionary often times... one missionary will have a moment of weakness and the other will be the strong one, then it will flip flop till the resolution is made to choose the right. HOPEFULLY!

This conference was President and Sister Dance's last zone conference. It was pretty sad. It's going to be weird to not have them there any more.

Honestly I can't even remember any big specifics from the conference without my notes. We covered a lot of material, but the meetings were spiritually driven and our Zone is solid - ton of awesome missionaries. And the Spirit was very strong in the testimonies. I am grateful that I got to hear President and Sister Dance's departing testimonies. I love them dearly. They are wonderful.

Thank you mom for getting my RX stuff figured out. I really appreciate your help. I love you all. I don't have much time but it is really helpful. I love ya tons. 

Take care.
Love ya tons, 
Elder Britton Winterrose

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hi Family and Friends.

Well this week was a good one. We were able to do lots of service, I learned the tricks of the trade of splitting wood by hand and we split a ton of wood for this one family, the S.'s. We spent some time helping the B. family on the home they are building and I helped their two older boys build a massive bike jump. It was pretty sweet. We honked our horn at a baby deer and the deer fell on the ground so we hopped out and got pictures of us holding the deer. It was a little buck. Now that it is deathly afraid of humans and cars it will probably grow to be a trophy sized buck!  We searched for bears, and found none. We feasted on Crab at the H.'s home and had fish tacos 3 times... but they never seem to get old. Last week it was hot dogs, this week fish tacos. Sometimes it sounds like all we do is mess around but we just luck out and get to do tons of fun service.

We were able to teach M. this week twice and she is doing well. She is scheduled to be baptized on June 25 in the OCEAN!! Too neat!! We have been visiting less actives. Saturday morning Elder G. had the thought twice to go over and weed-whack one of their yards, so we followed that prompting and right after we finished up she got home. She was so happy that we did it. Then she even showed up to church the next day! Wonderful!

We had dinner with the I.'s on Saturday and Sister I. was the one who took the Photos for us! They rode back on the ferry today along with us and bought us breakfast! How nice is that! They are a wonderful family.

I found out that I can register to do subsistence fishing because I am a rural Alaskan resident. That means I can catch tons of fish, like hundreds.... and crabs too!

We are in Ketchikan right now. We will be leaving to Juneau tonight so I'm gonna scream if I see you in the airport. We are headed towards zone conference and specialized training. All the missionaries from the zone will be there so there won't be any in Skagway.  I am super excited to see President and Sister Dance.

I'm gonna try to catch Andrew today and catch a King Salmon today. BOOOYAHHHH!!!

Oh and one last thing - Did you hear about them changing who my new mission pres is going to be? They had to flip ours and the future St. Petersburg Russia Mission pres . Here's a clip from President Dance's email to us missionaries.

~"Dear Elder and Sisters of the great Alaska Anchorage Mission,

Due to unforeseen circumstances, an adjustment has been made to the assignment of Pres. and Sister Clark.  They have been assigned to the Russia, St. Petersburg Mission as of Thursday night, June 9.  I received a letter from the Missionary Dept on Friday June 10 advising me that the new president of the great Alaska Anchorage Mission will now be President Jon S. and Sister Evona Beesley.  (They were featured in the Church News of March 12).

Sister Dance and I spoke to them on Sunday, June 12.  They are very impressive and are very excited to come.

You will meet them at the "Meet the President Meetings" scheduled for June 29,30, July 1,2

(Brother Beesley recently retired from a high security position as the Chief Test Pilot for Lockheed Martin.  He knows more about the new military jet aircraft than any other person on the planet.  Basically the Clarks are going where the Beesley's were first assigned)"  ~

Well we don't have a whole lot of time but I just want to emphasize how much I love you all!

I love ya and miss ya! 

Whoever said it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission apparently hasn't broke the rules as many times as I have. That or they are just scuz-bags.

Love Elder Britton Winterrose

Monday, June 6, 2011


Well this week has been an interesting one. We were able to go fishing last week and we found an old crab pot that was rusted and covered in barnacles and then this youth that was with us found long length of old rope so we were able to catch some fish and throw the fish-waste in to the trap and we got a couple keepers! There is tons of crab down here! It is awesome! We caught a few little Rockfish. No big runs of salmon in yet, but soon... soon!

I'll try to get the price per pound figured out on the processing and shipping for salmon. If I can get some of it smoked would you want some? Would you want some Crabs too? I mean if I'm gonna go through all the work of getting the stinkin' fish down there, then might as well throw some dungeness in there as well! Too bad King Crab season doesn't start till July 1st!

My companion caught a nasty cold on Wednesday and then it hit me on Friday, despite my best efforts to dodge it and not get sick. It seems like when one person gets sick, EVERYONE gets sick. Like the whole town. Oh well! Such is life on the island! Hahah.

We have been doing a ton of service. Nothing too spectacular this week but hopefully we will stumble across some good service next week!

I am pretty surprised that the Prius is trading in for over 5K more than you payed for it. That is nuts!!! Huge blessing. Who knew that such a fruity car could be such a blessing! I'm just glad I will never have to drive it! :)

I am super stoked about C. getting to go on his mission! SO PUMPED! Study the teaching skills chapter. Chapter 10 of Preach my Gospel.

The work is going well. We were able to visit M. C. who is 11 and the Daughter of J. K., a recent convert. We spoke with her for a bit and she shared with us that she wants to be baptized!!!! VUNDABAR! We weren't able to start teaching her till Sunday night though because of her mom's busy work schedule and some day trips that M. was going on. Still it was good.

We were also able to meet with a wonderful couple, D. and S. W. They were originally contacted by Elder Jeff B. when he was flying in on the plane when they opened the area. I'll let you know how everything goes with them. They are wonderful!

I may get to catch a King Salmon! Who knows though? I've still got my fingers crossed.

I didn't get to see Andrew yet cause he is like three hours away by ferry. What is the name of the people he is staying with/working for? What is he doing? What are his hours? Any info you could get would be super helpful! I will be spending the day in Ketchikan next Monday because we have to ferry there in the morning so we can catch the plane to Juneau in the evening for zone Conference. I am excited for that! I got an Alaska air miles card so I'm gonna be racking up them miles!! BOO YAH!! Hahah.

Luckily this place dodges most of the tourists (Cruise Ships) but it would be a wonderful place to build a small fishing summer getaway. It's wonderful here!

Well that's pretty much it for this week... I can't think of anything else. I will be sending the old Xtra-Tuffs home along with my Mother's Day DVD and the receipts. I'll just let you send it in! :)

Well I love you all! I miss ya tons! I miss my Samoan brothers and sisters back in Anchorage tons too!!

The members here are way awesome! Like just indescribably cool. One family of boys reminds me of ours. They even told me that their mom and dad chase them down and pop their pimples and blackheads! They even have an extraction tool. And they like wrestling. Way funny.

OH!!! AND GUESS WHAT!! C. GOT Baptized!! WHOOT!! YAY C.!!! It's always wonderful when you leave an area and your investigators still get baptized!!

I guess that's all for now!! Make people happy!!!

-Elder Britton P. Winterrose