Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Elder Winters - September 24, 2012 Hi!

Hey everyone!  This week has been busy with our move to our super nice apartment.  The new housing coordinator is all about spoiling missionaries, and I have to go along with it.  Usually when people think of missions, they think of you going to some foreign country where you can't speak the language, you're riding a bike, your apartment is full of who knows what, and you are uncomfortable for the majority of the day.  I guess in Irvine, we do things a little differently, but hey, I'm not complaining. 
Other than the move, we did in fact get some stuff done, one of them being an exchange with our English-speaking zone leaders.  I was graced to go into the English program for the second time on my mission.  It was pretty sweet.  Being able to teach and testify with full language capabilities was awesome.  So, prospective elders, don't ever be disappointed at a call to serve in the States. 
Not too much to report other than that.  The work is really moving, I'm growing more than I could ever have dreamed of, and the Church is still true. This work is amazing, you all are amazing, have a great week.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Elder Winters - September 17, 2012 Happy birthday, Sarah!!

Hey everyone, short email coming.  We had a zone conference this past week where we painted about two miles of fence as a mission.  I heard it's going to be on the news, but I'm not too sure.  If you see a guy in a yellow vest meticulously painting an old fence on the cover of Newsweek or whatever you read, you'll know who it is.  

Quick cool thought.  We taught a member's sister this past week for the first time.  She moved to America for schooling and has been apart from her member sister for a while.  It was incredible to teach this girl about her Heavenly Father for the first time and to hear her say her first prayer in her entire life.  It's a privilege to bring these precious truths to those who don't know where to find them.  This work is true and will continue to go on despite a guy trying to speak Chinese to the people of Southern California.  It's the best, I'm loving it, but keep doing what you're doing at home.  The gospel's true, have an awesome week.

Elder Daniel Winters

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Elder Winters - September 10, 2012 Chujiban

Hey everybody, welcome to another week coming to you from sunny California.  I have to include that because I often forget where I actually am.  

This may have to be somewhat short, so here we go.  Actually, I think I may just include some tidbits from the week and pass that off as good. Get excited.  

I found out that there is a Chinese last name that means "strict."  Imagine finding out right before school starts that that's your teacher's name. On that note, the last name "Wang" means "king," so maybe that will change the way you think about your cashier at the grocery store or the Mrs. Wang next door.  

This week I had the privilege of leading the kids during singing time in Chujiban, or Primary.  It was in Chinglish, so that was incredibly fun.  Excited at actually being able to remember the words, I think I may have sung more enthusiastically than the kids.  Though I'm pretty sure my brother Joseph could still give me a run for my money.  

We went contacting in a new place this week - a man-made lake close to the church building.  We went on Labor Day and talked to probably a record number of Chinese people that I've ever done in an hour.  Thinking about how my sister Rebecca does probably five times that every day made my respect for her grow like no other.  Also, later this week when we went again a ton of people were waving at us.  We had no clue why everyone was suddenly so nice to us until we found out that the Northwood ward in the stake was having a party there.  It took a lot of willpower to pass down a second dinner and several invitations to join in and keep going, but we're glad we did.  We met some cool people we wouldn't have met otherwise.  

This work is true.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is true.  It's a true privilege to share it with others.  It's amazing, it's pure truth, and the work will move on.

Have a sweet week.

- Elder Winters

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Elder Winters - September 3, 2012

Hey everyone and welcome to the shortened edition of the weekly email/blog/thing.  This week has been a blur, but a very long blur, if that makes sense.  That's how time feels like to me, anyway.

So, this week I went on a two day long exchange with the Korean elders in my district.   As it so happened, I was placed into the Korean program.  I think both my English and my Chinese suffered for a little while after the exchange.  Actually, it reminded me of my first day in the MTC when I couldn't understand anything at all.  The worst was in lessons when people started crying and I had no clue why and couldn't ask.  After one particular lesson my temporary companion told me, "She started crying because you weren't listening to her."  Okay, just kidding, she was crying about her family, but wouldn't that be hilarious if she did cry for the other reason?  Anyway, near the end of the exchange, as is customary in any Korean exchange, we went to an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ, paid for by the Korean branch's mission leader.  My personal favorite dish was the beef tongue.  The other elders piled about 4 or 5 on my plate (without my permission, I might add) and told me to just eat them and not think about what I was eating.  Unfortunately, when I was eating them, all I could think about was a year ago in Switzerland when I went up the the cows there and petted their heads and they would lick my hand......yeah.  

Elder Hui, our new Elder, has been playing some new music for us in the car.  One of these songs includes "Come, Come Ye Saints."  The line "And should we die before our labor's through...." takes on a lot more meaning when I'm driving.  

Now let's get down to the nitty-gritty.  So, we've had some finding trouble lately.  Needless to say, there have been many prayers in finding people to teach, because that's what missionaries really are - they're teachers.  On Sunday, the heavens opened up and we found two new investigators.  They both came to church on Sunday, and one of them came out of nowhere and has read stuff about the Church before, has been to SLC before, etc.  It was awesome.  And we're only getting started.  It was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father answers prayers in His own ways, and He is the one doing His work, no matter how hard we may try to do it.  It is a humbling thing to be His servant right now and to proclaim the truth that everyone needs to know.  That truth includes that Jesus is the Christ and salvation is available to all who embrace His gospel and Atonement.  The gospel's true, it has transformed my life, and it will continue to as long as I let it.  

Have an awesome week, everyone.

- Elder Winters