Sunday, June 3, 2012

Elder Winters - May 28, 2012

Editor's note - Our computer was in the shop for a week so you should be getting another email from Daniel tomorrow!  Sorry for the delay.

Hello everybody, and welcome to a new transfer.  Not too much new stuff happens on transfer day in the Asian programs because the only changes we get are welcoming new people and kicking out old people, and, through knowing the right people in the right places in the mission office, we know that months in advance already.  This transfer we are actually doing both.  Tomorrow we get our new companion, Elder Wang from China, and then three weeks later will be Elder Kim's send-off back to Korea.  The influx of elders from Asia tells me that there is something I need to learn from these people.  Either that, or I just can't be trusted with another white guy struggling to learn Chinese.  With that picture in mind, I am truly grateful to not have that trial just yet at this point in my mission (knock on wood). 

Even with all this Asian talk, there's nothing like good old English once in a while.  This past week I had the privilege of going on an exchange with one of my zone leaders, who is assigned in an English ward here in Irvine.  It was legit and weird at the same time.  For one thing, I could talk and had to talk to everyone.  It was a pretty thrilling experience and also very humbling.  Kudos to those of you who are completely surrounded by the people you serve and teach.  My testimony about just being willing, worthy, and working and then watching the Lord do His work was strengthened that day.  

In other exchange news, I went on a brief exchange with the Vietnamese elders to visit my grandmother's friend in Anaheim.  The visit went well, though we also went on some other visits I was not expecting.  We went to see a member who had not been to church for some time.  He was maybe seventy or so and spoke nothing but Vietnamese.  Strike that, he spoke a little English, but it was harder for me to understand that than it was for me to understand his Vietnamese.  Near the end of the lesson, the man grabbed my arm suddenly and then apparently said something along the lines of this: "You look like the person who baptized me.  That is wonderful.  Say the closing prayer."  After all that fun, it is refreshing to be back teaching Chinese people, when I can at least partially understand what's going on.  

In spiritual news, we're teaching a kid named Jack.  He's the son of one our recent converts.  He is a stud.  It's such a privilege to be part of his journey on the path that we all should want to be on.  His mom is excited for him and is now working on her husband.  I'm reminded of President Boyd K. Packer's words from his last general conference talk, in which he succinctly stated: "The ultimate end of all activity in the church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood."  That's it.  I've seen it happen in my own family, and the purpose of my mission is to bring that to others.  It is a wonderful process and is something that is incredible to watch happen.  I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the things we teach are true and they bring lasting happiness.  

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

- Elder Daniel Winters

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