Monday, January 30, 2012

Hey Mom and Family,

Well life is going well here in Juneau! We are having a wonderful time. We picked up a golden investigator! His name is D. and he is so prepared by the Lord! He is on date to be baptized on Feb 11th. We may even hold the baptism in the glacier lake!! Like cut a hole in the ice! TOO AWESOME!! Haha I am just stoked for him. He is so ready for the gospel!!

In other news Elder Drake is getting transferred to Homer, which is sick, and he is pretty stoked for that. I will be receiving Elder Woolburt. He is from Washington! He actually met Auntie Re in the temple when he was taking out his endowment before his mission. We have brushed shoulders a couple of times and he seems like a really awesome guy, I can't wait to serve with him. I will miss Elder Drake though.

I prayed for snow and it's been dumping more and more daily! :) I love the snow though. On Saturday we got to go to a YSA sledding activity. There was a small creek at the bottom of the hill so I built a jump and jumped the creek on one of those ghetto plastic snowboard things. Then like everyone started jumping the creek on a tube. It was pretty awesome. I can't wait to go snowboarding/ maybe skiing when I get home.

Today for P-day were gonna meet D out on the frozen lake and he is gonna pull us behind his snow machine while we ride on a mattress covered with a tarp. Its like tubing behind the boat!!! I'm pretty stoked for that.

Life is going well. I love being here in Juneau. We have lots of people to teach and they are progressing quickly. We work hard and have lots of fun. President even told me that's why he sent me here! :)

I should hear back from byu Provo here in the next 3 to 4 weeks.  Also, for my b-day, I would just like funds to give me a running start when I get home, and maybe I could get that sharp suit before I take off. :)

Oh, and mom, could you invite the Dances to my homecoming? I think it would be cool to have like an open house on Saturday, with my talk on Sunday... Let me know what you think.

Well, I've got to get going! Love you all though!!

Elder Britton Winterrose 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dear Dad and Family,

Thanks for the letter dad. It does become really difficult to stay focused as you get closer to the end. Luckily I have been blessed with two wonderful areas to cover and a ton of work between the two. Heavenly Father is definitely in charge of His work here and He always comes through to guide us to those elect who have been prepared. I know He has more in store for me both here in the mission field and for my future after the mission.

We have been blessed with new investigators coming out of the woodwork as we strive to use our talents according to the promptings of the spirit. We have been going to volleyball for 2 weeks now and we were able to get some non-members to come out, some we are even teaching now. The work is going well and I know that it is because of Heavenly Father's wisdom. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows what I am capable of and what I can achieve with His help and constant guidance. He is also the only one who knows exactly how to prepare me, through experience and trial, to be ready to meet the challenges and opportunities that my future will bring. He is my God. My Father. His Son is my Redeemer. I trust Them and love Them.

I am excited for the opportunities that the future will bring, but my eye is focused on what I can do now to work hard and help the people that I have the opportunity to come in contact with. I hate to count chickens before they hatch though!! SO I will withhold stories for now!! Singing is an awesome way to teach and invite the spirit.

I can't wait to get to try to ski! It will be a blast!

Also, this week we borrowed some ice skates from members and went and had district meeting on the MENDENHALL GLACIER! It was awesome. The day before we walked out to the glacier with Pres. & Sis. Beesley after we had specialized training. It was sick!!! Sister Beesley was moving like nothing could stop her from touching that glacier!

We've had a bunch of lessons and they have been going well. Sunday, Elder Williams and I were together while our companions were in Hoonah. It was nuts because we had to go to 3 sacrament meetings and were at church for 6 hours or so. :)

Well I love you all! I hope everything is going well for you back home! Its crazy how time is flying so fast, yet going so slow.

Love ya all!!

-Elder Britton Winterrose

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Well hello friends and family,

Well this week was a good week. We were able to begin teaching new people we met and that was pretty neat. They are nice people and are willing to learn about the gospel. Its always good to meet people who sincerely just want to follow Jesus Christ.  We were able to teach a lesson to these two girls but one of them was asking a lot of contentious questions. It still went well though, because we were able to keep directing them back to the big questions - Was Joseph Smith a prophet of God? Did he really translate the Book of Mormon? We also kept refocusing on how they could know for themselves. I invited them to ponder the following: Was Noah a Prophet? Yes!? Well, why did so few heed his words? Was it because he wasn't a true prophet? Nope. It was simply because the people were convinced that he was crazy and that they all ready knew that what he was saying could never happen! 'THERE COULDN'T BE A FLOOD BECAUSE THAT'S NOT HOW THE GOD WE KNOW WORKS'. Who knows what was going through their heads... We know now though that he was a prophet. Would you have believed Noah? Next, If God had a wonderful, miraculous message of greater knowledge and truth that He wanted to deliver to all man kind how would He do it? How would He restore it? How would He get it to you? It would be in the same manner in which He has done so for centuries. He would call a prophet to reveal, organize, and serve as a shepherd over His flocks.
I related an analogy similar to the following to them:  If our friend Colt told me to tell you to do something that was super important, and you didn't believe that he actually told me to tell you, would you just reject a really important thing? Or would you call up Colt and ask him if it was true?

That is what we as missionaries do. We pass on the message. If you don't believe us then just try out the message to see if its really good - ask God if He sent us. Simple.

Many people are just intimidated by the idea of Spiritual truth being delivered by a stranger.  Let's draw another parallel. Mormons do this thing every holiday season where they make cookies and baked goods and then go and ding-dong ditch another member's home and leave the cookies; hopefully making their escape before the other people see them.  

Well, the other day a member was telling us a story of how her son and some of his friends went to do the very same thing, with one exception: they were going to leave the cookies on a random person's doorstep with the intention of brightening the hearts of someone else. So they went about their baking and preparations and began their adventure. As they left the cookies and hid to watch the reactions of the people from afar they were disappointed with the reaction of nearly all the people. Most of the people were irritated, bothered, or angry that someone would pull such a 'prank' and some even tossed the cookies while in plain view. Their reaction was dictated by the fear that someone was trying to deceive and/or destroy them, and in turn these random acts of kindness were perceived as pranks.

The difference between my parents letting us eat the cookies that showed up on the doorstep and the people who tossed them was expectation. Many lies are propagated about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by people who, in all actuality, know nothing of our faith and have never attempted to learn if it was true by simply 'tasting' of the 'cookies' that we walk around trying to share. I walk around with a plate of revealed truths, testifying that they are indeed sweet and amazing, and that they will bless peoples lives.  Many times they reject me, even though my very existence as a missionary testifies of its truth.

No one can make a 19-26 yr old do anything they don't want to do. PERIOD.

And the only reason I would ever do this work is because I know it is true. I have read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover, not as a skeptic, but with the same desire that any true adventurer or scientist, who has ever discovered something great or amazing has proven their desires and hopes true. A skeptics answer is ignorance. Too often skeptics do not do all that is required in order to find the truth.

In order to learn of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon for ourselves, independent of any other person, being, or influence on this earth; an individual must read it, and then pray to God, in the Name of Jesus Christ, and ask if the book is true. Those who meet the qualifications of possessing faith in Jesus Christ, a sincere desire to know the truth of it, and real intent to act on the message if it is true - will receive an answer from God through His Holy Ghost, of the book's truth, purity, and divine origins.

Anyone can know, if they are willing to try the cookies. :) That's why members need to work to share the gospel, its a lot easier to eat a cookie from a friend than a stranger!

I hope this all makes since. If not, I would be happy to explain to any who have questions. My contact info is on my blog page.

Elder Britton Winterrose

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dear Mom!

Things in the world are good here in Juneau. We had a successful week and were able to teach and meet more of the ward. We have picked up a few new investigators so that is always rewarding as well... its really nice here.

We worked out this last week, I did squats on Friday and I'm still struggling with walking... SO sore! Haha. That's what I was aiming for though. We did chest and back this morning. We get to go to the HS and work out in the Gym because the Bishop in the other ward is a teacher there and he goes with us. Its a great way to wake myself up in the mornings... and improve my physique. :) I am excited to get home and hang out with Dain and Mo! I can't wait to get them to the gym with me. Dain just remember, everything that coach McMinn was telling you about will over matter is true. I don't work out just because I want to get ripped. Its much more than that. I want to work to be my best self - spiritually, physically, mentally, academically. Most of all though, if you can learn to master your body and keep the commandments of God then you will be unstoppable. You will be blessed with opportunities to do good and will be given gifts, challenges, and trials - all of which will build you up and bring you closer to your Savior and Heavenly Father if you always remain humble and rely on their guidance through the Holy Ghost. Plus all the ladies will go crazy for ya! Hahaha.  Learn this - when you work hard and gain through your endeavors it feels amazing. Keep at it bro.

And Morgan... about the ladies! Be good. Always, always, always respect them.... that means keeping the Law of Chastity even if they don't want to. (DON'T HANG AROUND GIRLS WHO DON'T WANT TO KEEP IT.)

I feel grateful to have such awesome brothers.

Life here is going good. We seem to be stuck in the middle of a blizzard as I type. 20 min ago when I walked in it was clear - but now its going crazy outside.

I got my xtra-tuffs back. I love wearing these things around. You don't have to worry about getting your foot swamped when you slide into a puddle.

17,000 texts.... are you sure you didn't mistake the decimal?! That's insane....

The Special Olympic Coaching story cracked me up. I would like to try out skiing when I get home.... maybe.

Oh other things.... the new Mormon messages on are awesome... well, most of them.  Some of them are cheesy or dumb. They are pretty awesome for the most part.

So I was supposed to give a talk on Sunday about home teaching in the singles branch but I was the 3rd speaker and the first speaker went a little long, and then my comp kinda thought he had more time than we actually did, so I ended up with 6 minutes :) I was cool with that! As a missionary you better be able to teach whether given 3 minutes or 30 minutes.  So I got up, talked about how my Home Teachers, Brother Hamilton and Brother Roxburgh, were awesome and were super diligent in magnifying their calling as our Home Teachers. I will always be grateful for the way they showed interest in my salvation. Bro. Hamilton even gave me the G's I'm wearing (they stay white if you wash them with Tide :) ) Then I sang a song.... spirit told me to. I have really been trying to share the gospel with the talents I've been given. I sang Lord, I would follow thee. It went OK for no practice and that dehydrated state you get in when you're fasting (it was 2nd ward's fast Sunday). Then I shared my testimony - the same one I will now share with you:

If you serve your brothers and sisters will all diligence in the gospel then your Heavenly Father will bless your earthly brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and enemies. I know He does. He has blessed mine in ways I cannot even comprehend, and I know His promise is sure. His invitation is extended to all within the sound of His voice, especially His priesthood bearers. 

I was really blessed with great Home Teaching companions and families, and I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect on their examples and those experiences as I prepared my talk.

So that was my talk. Our Sundays are long. Get to church around 9. Then singles branch starts at 9:20 and goes till 12:30. Then we mingle for 15 min. with them and begin to greet people who come to the 2nd ward. 2nd ward starts at 1:00 and then after church we helped set up because we had a "Break the Fast" ( a week late because not many people were at the singles branch last week) at 5:00 before we watched the CES fireside at 6:00. So we arrived at 9:00 am and got out at 7:20 pm. LONG DAY!!! Hahah.

The fireside was awesome. A wonderful talk; awesome insights into the gift of the Holy Ghost and how we can live our lives by its guidance. The only bad thing is that I remembered my glasses and the speaker kept licking his lips.... it bugged me, probably because I was really tired. So I did what I do anytime something like that happens - I began to count. 189 times. That's how many times I counted him licking his lips during the fireside. Buy that man some chapstick. :) 

It really was an amazing talk though.

I am pumped to sing for Bro. Hammond. I will be ready! You let him know! You can talk to Jan about getting it all set up.

Waiting on byu Provo is killing me. KILLING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm way glad to hear that Hayden is gonna go. That is awesome. The mission is worth it no matter what it takes to get straight with the Lord and get out into the field.

We have Elder Holland, who is awesome; Elder Williams, who is also awesome and is one of my top mission homies; and Elder Drake, who is awesome - all living with me in our double wide!  Its pretty awesome. Our district is composed of Elder and Sister Later and us four. The Laters are in Sitka and they call in to our district meetings. We only see our Mission President if he flies down for a conference or training and I think our next one is on the 18th. Other than that we just keep in touch via email.  He trusts me though... especially when I'm living with the ZL's !! He told me to make him proud. So that is what I'm going to do. That is the kind of missionary I am, and strive to make choices that will maintain that. 

Trust in the Lord with all thy might.. ALL OF IT. DON'T EVEN SO MUCH AS LEAN UNTO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. In everything acknowledge His hand and wisdom, with an attitude of gratitude. Do these things and you will always be provided the path that will enable you to do His work.  Its funny - the more you yield, the more your mission will yield.

I hope Chan is doing good!

I love you all and miss ya!

Elder Britton Winterrose

Monday, January 2, 2012

Well hello family! We had a good week. We were able to have really nice experiences. One time we went to a door, at an address we had scheduled an appointment at. We went up and assumed that the girl was R-----. who we were trying to contact and were like "Hey hows it going, we are here to meet with you." She just kind of had a baffled look on her face and then she was like, "Sorry guys, tonight's not a good night." So we asked when we could come back and she told us to comeback tomorrow. So right before we left I was like, "My name is Elder Winterrose BTW," and we shook hands and replied "K----."  I had forgotten the name of the person we were supposed to be contacting, but Elder Drake quickly informed me as we walked back to the car that we were trying to contact R----... not K---. So we basically walked up, knocked on her door, told her that we were there to teach her, and she gave us a day to come back. Pretty funny.

We cover the 1st branch and 2nd ward, so I just call us the Juneau 1/2 Ward Elders. We were able to meet the members of our branch and ward on Sunday.  There was a lot of focus on missionary work, the rescue, and many good contacts with members -- just too many small connections for me to be anywhere other than here. The work is slow now but the members are getting excited and I know that it will all work out! This is where I am supposed to be!

We were unable to work out hard over the holidays but we were able to start working out again this morning. It feels so good to be sore.

Its a blast serving with and alongside these Elders. Its just so much fun.

I am glad to hear that you did get some snow while you were up at Bachelor. That's awesome. I can't wait to see some pics of your adventure!!!

Everything is going well here. I love Juneau.

Well I love you all I hope you had a happy new year. Everyone needs to make sure they read Pres. Monson's message for this month, its awesome.


Elder Britton Winterrose