Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Work Is Really Moving and So Was the Totem Pole

First off: I love hearing about all the stuff that is going on back home. 99% of the time the play-by-play makes me laugh, it doesn't make me homesick. Really though, I love it. If I don't want to hear something or about someone I will be sure to tell ya, hahah!

Well this week has been pretty crazy. We were able to drive down to Hydaburg a town of ~200 Haida natives. They were hosting a culture camp in the days leading up to their big Totem Pole raising that happened on Friday. We were able to help out and meet a lot of the people in the community the first few days. When we first arrived we were greeted with the cold stares typically granted to outsiders, but after the first day we had met with the Mayor/Head Totem Carver and the cold stares turned into warm greetings as we served along side them. Friday was the day of the totem raising and we were able to help carry the totem the whole way. It was pretty neat, and we got to talk to a bunch of our potentials and they were really happy to see us involved in showing and appreciating their culture and town. Hydaburg is the kind of place that most "white" people here are afraid of, but the missionaries are now welcome there. Overall I feel that it has really helped move the work along there.

We were also able to teach one of our investigators, K, that we had been struggling to contact. She hadn't been keeping her commitment to read and just that day or the day before we had been discussing in companionship study what we would do if that was the case. We felt inspired to read 3 Nephi 11 with her and to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an emphasis on receiving personal revelation. We discussed and read together and promised her the blessings that having the gift of the Holy Ghost would bring to her life. She really was feeling the spirit strongly so we extended an invitation to be baptized and she accepted and selected September 3 as her baptismal date. We are now working with her to help her get to church and understand the importance receiving revelation through church attendance. She was supposed to come on Sunday but the weather cleared up and her family pressured her into going to the beach... I hate sunny days hahah. Seriously though no one is home when it is sunny. Everyone is fishing or beach combing or just out enjoying the weather.

We were also able to contact a less-active recent convert from last year, T, and her parents. Her mom had shown a minimal interest towards taking the lessons when T was being taught but she never acted on it. I was able to have a nice conversation with T's mom during the visit and the spirit was really strong. I invited her to come to church with her daughter, and she was hesitant about going, but T told me the next day that the conversation had really got her mom thinking and so they both came to church. The Sacrament talks were on Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The first speaker was a wonderful recent convert, and then Sister E an older sister in the Ward, and then Elder Grate and finally myself. The spirit was very strong and T's mom was in tears for much of it. She even told us that we can start to meet together this week.

In other news... Our monthly mile allotment has been cut by 300 miles. I understand that many of the areas have experienced even more drastic cuts in mileage, and I would hate to have a surplus of miles sitting around when others need them, but we have lots of driving. For example - T and her mom live in Coffman Cove, a three hour round trip from here in Craig. Other frequently visited places include Thorne Bay (around 100 miles round trip), Hydaburg (around 80 miles round trip) and Kassan (nearly 110 miles round trip). Even the trip from our temporary apartment to our mailbox is 15 miles. Now we are doing our best to conserve miles, but we use a ton of miles getting to the people we are teaching and to many of the less-actives living even further away than the cities mentioned above. We try to only do 1 trip between Klawock and Craig (a 12 mile drive) but most of our work occurs in these two places and sometimes we aren't able to do it all in one trip. We will do our best to do the Lord's work and be obedient to the 1500 miles that we are now allotted, but I'm afraid if sustained it would hamper the search for the lost Sheep and the growth of the Gospel here on Prince of Wales. Like I said though, I will go and do the things which I have been commanded.... :)

I'm writing a day late because our p-day was crazy. We went fishing in Whale Pass for Silvers to help Brother B get enough fish to take back to Idaho for his family when they leave on vacation. We caught enough fish, but I lost one of his fly rods... I slipped and put one hand down, and as I was trying to stand back up, my other foot slipped - double slippage - and I was almost dunked.... As I tried to stop myself from falling in the river, the fish I had on yanked, and the rod shot out of my hands. I watched history repeat its self... Long story short - we ended up waiting till the tide went out, then I walked the bottom of the stream looking for the lost pole. And when I went to look for the lost rod, I forgot that I had my camera in my waders so my camera got baptized. He is sitting in a bag of rice at home right now. Then we went back to fishing and lost track of time and ended up getting back at 8:30. The Light summer nights play games with your mind... And you loose track of time. I shouldn't have though because of the awesome watch that Dad sent me.

We also had to move this week because the family, the B's (whose house we were staying at) had family coming into town for a few weeks, so now we are the branch vagabonds/freeloaders. :) We are staying with the E's, the ones whose sister is the mission pres's wife there at home. They have an extra guest house that we are living in until their guests arrive, sometime in the next week. Then we get the boot again and will live in the B's home till our old pad opens back up, while they are on vacation.

Tell C. that I love him and I hope he is doing good! I've been too busy so I don't have time to send him a dear elder. I'll just send him a sweet post card later this week.

I got the letter with his address.

I got the watch. I helps remind me that I am working on my Fathers time... I will take care of it. And the watch size is perfect. Thanks Dad, love ya.

I've got some sweet pictures of the totem pole raising and I am working on getting them to ya. I think Sis. E will send them for me, Ill ask them tonight.

Life is good. The work is good. I love ya and miss ya all!

I'm gonna fish the crap out of Washington when I get home. And then Hawaii.


Elder Britton Winterrose

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