Monday, November 7, 2011

Well hello family!

I'm glad I get to write you guys today! This week/weekend has been incredible. I guess I will start from the beginning. I received Chan's letter for Elder Holland and then I finished mine and prepared them so I could give them to him. I made copies of them so I will be sending those home so you guys can check them out if you want. We were going crazy this week trying to make sure that we had everyone that we have been working with at the fireside on Saturday night so most of our time was spent with that and teaching. We taught our new investigator twice this week, and when we taught the Restoration on Tuesday it was amazing! Truly phenomenal. The spirit was so incredibly strong during the part describing Joseph Smith's first vision. I held up a picture of it, looked her in the eye and then began to recite the vision in his words. It quickly changed though... the spirit engaged and all of a sudden it was as if the words were being spoken by someone else and I was just there observing it all take place. I bore my testimony and then Elder Poole, her friends shared theirs as well. The spirit was incredibly strong for the remainder of the lesson as well. We taught her again on Friday and taught the plan of salvation. The Spirit bore witness of Heavenly Fathers love and mercy through His Son as we taught about Jesus Christ. The Spirit was really strong at the end as well when we discussed the mercy with which all mankind shall be judged and bore testimony that everyone will have the opportunity to accept or reject Christ as their redeemer.

Then Saturday was stressful, stressful but good. We were trying to save seats so we could make sure that our investigators would have good seats, because we knew that like half the active membership of Anchorage would find some excuse to come to the missionary fireside, even without an investigator.

So we made some reserved seats and reserved a row for the 14 people that we had coming... then someone said we couldn't save seats and removed the signs while we were gone so we had to scramble to get some members to save seats... that was stressful.

Then we had a sweet little meeting with the missionaries and Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Elder Paul D. M. Christensen, Elder Tad R Callister, and Bishop H David Burton. CRAZY. It was cool. Each of them got up and spent 5-10 minutes sharing their testimony and then Elder Holland spoke last. He talked about Preach My Gospel, how it was born the day that President Gordon B. Hinckley decided that he couldn't stand to meet another less active return missionary. Preach My Gospel was written to convert the Missionary, and through that converted individual - convert the investigator. I had long since suspected that was the purpose but it is now clear to see that the missionaries who never made Preach My Gospel part of themselves, who never made the gospel part of themselves, are the ones who fall away. The ones who harden their heart and receive the lesser portion until the knowledge of the mysteries of God are taken from them. There is just too much to share and I don't have time to write it all. I will probably dedicate the remainder of  my pday to recording the proceedings in my journal. After he finished speaking we were able to shake all their hands all at once. I shook Elder Holland's hand and then gave him the letter saying, "This is a thank you note from me and my brother. He was in the MTC when you spoke in August." He said "Thank you Elder, I will read it tonight." Pretty stinkin cool!

So we then rushed to find our peeps and get some seats, and thankfully we have a whole ward of RM's who just happen to be some of the most awesome fellow shippers and they had got everyone seated so I went and moved a chair up to the end of the row and joined them. I knew that if I did everything I could that Heavenly Father would make it work out and I really had done everything I could and it did!!!!! Whoot!!!

The fireside was awesome. Elder Christensen bore testimony of the atonement that was really good. Bishop Burton spoke of the need to know the words of the living prophets and shared an awesome story about when he was a boy.  His father was a bishop and would take them with him when he went to visit people so he could spend time with his children. Well one evening Bishop Burton's father called for him and Bishop Burton didn't want to leave the football game he was playing in but he went along with his father reluctantly. He said that they went to visit a member who was sick and that he, Bishop Burton, was busy just longing to be back in that football game. He went outside on the patio and sat on the steps and a car rolled up. Out hopped President David O. McKay, and the prophet went inside to help Bishop Burton's father give a blessing. Bishop Burton remained on the steps and on his way out President McKay stopped and sat down next to Bishop Burton. He spoke to him and told him a story of how when he, David O. McKay was young that he desperately wanted to go to general conference but every year when the time to go would roll around they would have farm duties to attend to. One year though when he was 12 or 13 President McKay was able to attend. They traveled to Salt Lake and went in the tabernacle before conference began. His father went up to meet the Prophet John Taylor and President Taylor invited them to sit on the front row of the tabernacle. President Taylor then sat down next to young David O McKay and rolled up his sleeves and then... this is the part that gets me... showed him the scars and marks that he sustained while with the Prophet Joseph in Carthage.  Crazy. Way cool.

Elder Callister spoke on the Fruits of the spirit and knowing the truth through the fruits of the spirit and through prayer. I love that man's voice. He just has an awesome speaking voice.

Elder Holland spoke on the event chronicled in Acts Chapter 3 where there are these two young Galileans, who came from a background of being poor fishermen, who had known Christ and been members at best for three years, heal a man crippled from birth and then teach the multitude who gathers to see this man who had been lame from birth, jump and skip, and run and hop and cheer! They then rebuke the people for standing in wonder and wondering how it was all possible... these the same people who had shouted 'crucify him' at Pilot's palace. They assert that these things can only be done through Christ. And many are baptized.  He also spoke of how people cannot fight the evidence of the Church. They can try, but they can never destroy the church.

It was awesome but I have nowhere near enough time to share all the things I learned and all the things they shared.

So that was Saturday. We had Stake Conference on Saturday and that was awesome. Elder Christensen shared a story about how he was doing philanthropic work in Africa establishing orphanages and he was able to share the gospel with a congregation of monks in this orphanage and teach them how to pray and how to study the scriptures. Crazy awesome.

Then Elder Holland spoke again. It was wonderful. He left a blessing at the end of his talk and the coolest part was that one of our investigators was sitting next to me as he began to talk about the blessing, and I noticed her close her eyes and start praying, I thought to myself, AWESOME SHE PRAYS ON HER OWN!!!! WHOOT!!, and didn't think anything else of it till later on. Then as Elder Holland was speaking he paused, listened and then said something along the lines of "someone in this room is desiring for these blessings on behalf of their loved ones who are not here.... I extend this blessing according to the power of my Apostolic ministry to all those that you are thinking of. To all of those that you cry over.  It wasn't until later that I realized that he received that pure revelation, which I testify that it was - the Holy Ghost bearing witness of it to all who were present, at the moment she finished her prayer. Heavenly Father sometimes does answer prayers immediately but the fullness of that blessing may take months or even years to come to pass... nevertheless it was a pretty flippin' sweet occasion.  Well later on that night we heard from our investigator that her mom called her up and asked how the church thing was going, and told her she would need to help them (her mom and her sisters) start going too when she comes home on break. TOO COOL!!!! TOO STINKIN COOL!!!

So we had a lesson with this same investigator later that day and it went well. Elder Poole and I are teaching with a spirit that hasn't been this strong for a long time... its really quite amazing. Its made for a lot of thin veil moments of spiritual growth and light has been cast on many of my questions pertaining to the mysteries of God.

I really am just overwhelmed with gratitude towards my Heavenly Father. The work is going well and I get to stay with Elder Poole one more transfer. We got to watch Elder Packer's fireside last night as well. Two apostles in one day. Crazy.  Heavenly Father is wonderful.

Too much to write. Too much to write.

Brandon Flowers of The Killers has a profile see it here:
I have one too!!

Well I love you all! I hope all is well!! The snow is deep here and the wind is cold! Winter is definitely here.

Love ya!

Elder Britton Winterrose!!!

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