Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Elder Winters - November 26, 2012 Happy birthday, Jacob!

Hello everyone.  I hope your Thanksgivings were all stuffed with turkeys, stuffing, and thanksgiving.  Mine definitely was.  It's too bad that people weren't very filled with thanksgiving when we knocked on their doors.  So, we opted for a different form of work, namely, putting up Free English Class posters so that no one in Irvine cannot not know that we have a Free English Class.  For Free.  Free English Class has actually been quite a success as of late since the development of our marketing technique of putting up flyers near Chinese markets.  One newcomer has been to church the past two Sundays and asked us yesterday when she could get baptized, so I think that it must be a hit.  

Another thing that happened this week was that both of my trainers, Jeremy Bray and Myungho Kim, showed up for the holidays.  That was pretty crazy.  It really brought back memories of the Glory Days for me.  That was nice because I got to look back and see how much I've changed since then.  But then I heard both of their Chinese, which reminded me of how much more I need to improve.  But there's time.  Actually, you all might be interested in the incredibly sad news that I have one year left in the mission field as of today.  Time flies by, that's all I can say.  And no, I'm not trunky, because how can you have the following experience and be trunky?

Okay.  So we were tracting yesterday.  We just happen to have the addresses of all the Chinese people in Irvine, so we were out knocking on those.  Then we hear the wonderful sound of Chinese people talking in a house that was not on our list.  We knock.  This guy opens up.  He says he is Christian as of last month, we ask him what it has been doing for his life.  Then he says, "Well, how about you come in?"  Which is like asking a missionary, "Do you want some free food?"  So we go in and start talking religion.  He was receptive and very interested in ours.  He heard about our church on the news - Mitt Romney being the facilitator, if you can believe it. We reviewed the baptismal interview questions with him and read some of Moroni 10 together.  He read over everything again and kept saying, "This is really good.  This is true.  God led you to my house tonight.  I'm usually in China.  This is great."  Man.  I would knock on a thousand doors to get another experience like that.  It was wonderful.  We'll keep you updated on how this all works out.  

Alright, everyone.  This work is sweet and more than worth all the knocking.  It's true and that's why it's worth it.  Heavenly Father is preparing His children to hear and accept the truth.  I know for myself that that is true.  

Have an awesome week.

- Elder Winters

This is Sherry's baptism.  Daniel taught her until his new companion arrived in the mission.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Elder Winters - November 19, 2012 Piqu Tailai

Hey everyone, Happy Thanksgiving.  Eat some turkey for me, because the Chinese don't quite celebrate it, even though they are a thankful people.  But, thanks to America, I will most likely go to a white member's house to eat a feast. I was actually just talking to Elder Wang about Thanksgiving.  The conversation went a little like this: 
E. Wang: "So why do you celebrate Thanksgiving?" Self: "You know, because the pilgrims came and made friends with the Indians, and then shared a cornucopia full of fruit and a turkey together.  Yeah."  E. Wang: "Oh."  So, maybe my history isn't the best.  But anyway, we should just live in thanksgiving every day.  Yeah.

As part of Elder Haviland's training, we took this course on Family History so as to get more familiar with this other aspect of the work of salvation.  I actually managed to roughly calculate my heritage in the meanwhile, which was quite fun.  I figured I'm about 75% English/UK, 9% Danish, 12.5% Swedish, and, unfortunately, .014% French.  Okay, just kidding.  But still.  I also discovered that my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather's name is Marmaduke Horseman.  Enough said.

My birthday came and went, with a very successful haul in terms of loot acquired, but even more successful in terms of investigators acquired!  That was probably the highlight.  It's strange to think that people are now more important to me than cake.  Boy, my mission has changed me.  

Well, everyone, please have a successful Thanksgiving in terms of how many notches you have to loosen on your belt.  The work's moving along just fine, and it is a sheer pleasure to play a small role in it.  Have a great week.

- E. DBW

We finally got pictures!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Elder Winters - November 13, 2012 It's my birthday present to me! I'm so happy!

Hello, welcome to the Tuesday edition of the Monday weekly reader.  Librarians yesterday were protesting at too low fees for unreturned books, so we did not get a chance to do email.  Let's hope that the irregular day does not affect the quality of the email.  

As for me, it's been an excellent week.  Things are happening in the area, prayers are being answered, and despite all the dunder-headed mistakes I keep making, Heavenly Father still loves me.  

Some of you have been concerned about our finding efforts lately.  Well, two, I repeat, two new investigators came out of the woodwork this past week. And people are being prepared as we speak!  These two new people live up in Anaheim, so we attended that ward to go speak with them and then have a lesson.  They walked by the church and noticed that the people going in and coming out were different.  They had very warm feelings about the church, so they went in and attended two sacrament meetings.  This past Sunday was their third Sunday going, all on their own, to an English ward that is super hard for them to understand.  If they aren't feeling the Spirit, Who transcends all languages, I don't know what the Spirit feels like.  Buckle up!  There are great things about to happen.

Another very awesome thing that happened was our zone conference with Elder Kopischke of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  He is a very jovial, forward-thinking, friendly man.  His training was incredible as well.  He is so full of faith and helped us create a greater vision for our mission.  Something cool that happened the morning of the conference was that Elder Kopischke interviewed me at the mission home for about ten minutes or so.  The way the assistants selected the handful of missionaries to be interviewed had to do with the fact that their last names start with a W.  Anyway, it was an awesome experience.  He asked me about my family and how they are doing.  He then asked me, "Well, Elder Vinters, how can I help?"  That made me regret not preparing anything.  We then talked about finding people, after which he shared a few scriptures with me, in a way that edified me beyond what I got when I had read them myself before.  At the close of the interview, he offered a prayer for us.  It was an amazing experience having a General Authority pray for you, your work, and your family right there.  After his prayer I extended my hand, which he ignored and pulled me into a big bear hug.  It was awesome!  Definitely an unforgettable experience.  

Well, that's my life right here.  The large, burly Library Policeman that monitors all those soundmakers at the library is giving me looks like if I stay here any longer the keyboard's going to be most inadvertently broken over my head.  So I better go.  Have an awesome week!

- E. DBW

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Elder Winters - November 5, 2012 Happy Halloween!

Hello, everyone.  If you've been watching the news, you are probably aware of a momentous day coming up.  It's huge.  More than huge.  It will shape the future of the United States of America in particular, but also in a very real way it will affect all of the free world in ways not yet imagined.  That's right, you guessed it: my birthday is on its way.  Buckle up!  

Of course, there's no time to pay attention to that, because there is a new elder in town.  Elder Haviland has arrived, and he's awesome.  We're pretty similar, so that aids in just about every aspect of missionary work.  He's on fire and ready to get some work done.  Which is good, because there are doors to be knocked on, especially at Halloween time. Okay, we didn't really go tracting on Halloween night, we ate at a member's house and then went home to plan for the week.

Other than that, we've been knocking.  And knocking.  And knocking.  And I've felt Heavenly Father support us as we've done so.  He is real, He is doing His work, He is testing our faith, and He loves us.  

Have an awesome week!

- E. DBW

Here's a portion of his family email:
Happy Halloween.  Well, kind of.  I think I wished you one last time.  But still.  I am in a new library today, one that I can't send pictures in, but next week I will give you picture proof that I had a successful Halloween.  Or maybe a successful week after Halloween, when candy is 80% off.  Yea!
You are probably all very curious about Elder Haviland.  He is awesome.  We are pretty similar, we're getting along really well, and his Chinese is great, so that's all wonderful and dandy.  The no investigators part is kind of a downer, but he has great spirits about it all, and we're confident that we'll find someone soon.
I would also like to address another serious matter.  I heard from my zone leaders that Disney bought Star Wars!!  Is that true?!?  I'm sorry, but for me, in terms of importance that ranks up right there with the election.  Okay, maybe the election isn't THAT important.  Alright, just kidding. (I'm actually wearing a red tie today and tomorrow.)