Monday, March 18, 2013

Elder Winters - March 18, 2013 Jackie Chan lives in Irvine

Hello all, welcome to another week in the life.  Good things are happening in Irvine, there's no doubt.  There are two baptisms lined up for this weekend in the Yale Branch, so we're all pumped for the events.  Our branch mission leader set a goal of 30 baptisms for the branch this year, so fortunately we've got six elders and the Lord all combined to get the work done.  Of course, I've also heard that two people can do anything, as long as one of those persons is God.  

Another thing I've learned this past week is that my learning Chinese is improving my Jackie Chan abilities.  I think I am safe to say that at least two things that happened this past week are able to prove that: 1) I caught a living fly with chopsticks and 2) I arm wrestled the endurance weight lifter champion of the world, Dragan.  I am not making this up.  Google Dragan if you want (it's pronounced Dragon. Like the mythical creature).  Okay, so the fly was placated by some strawberries on the table and Dragan almost tore my arm off, but still, I feel like those two things merit some kind of attention.  

A disadvantage that learning Chinese has brought is that I have no capabilities to speak any other language other than English.  We tracted into this Vietnamese lady that only spoke French and Vietnamese (Vietnam was occupied by the French), and so I was like, "parlez-vous francais" and she looked all excited and was like, "Oui, oui" and then I was like "太棒了!我也會講法文!" and then I had to pause, because everything French flooded out of my brain and was replaced with Chinese.  So I said "merci beaucoup" and then we got out of there.  So, that dashed any hopes of me becoming tri-lingual.

One super cool thing happened this week.  We were tracting/street contacting in an apartment complex that we've visited a few times before, and we finished visiting all the potentials we knew in the area.  So then, we were clueless as to what to do for about a second, and then the thought came to mind that number 73 in the complex had a Chinese thing on the door last time (why did my brain not have these capabilities when I took calculus??), so we headed in that direction.  And then we met two Chinese girls taking out the garbage, and after starting a conversation, one of them was super interested and they both agreed to come to church the next day!  Awesome, right?  I think I have said this before, but the Holy Ghost absolutely can bring all things to our remembrance.  

Well, the work is awesome, I love it, it's true.  I hope you all have a great week.

- Elder Winters

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Elder Winters - March 11, 2013 晚上好

Hello all, it's been an intense week this week.  Biggest news is my new companion, Elder Dahl from Taylorsville, Utah.  He's got awesome Chinese from being straight out of the MTC, so it'll be exciting to work with him.  

In terms of the work, it's going well.  We had an awesome member attend some of our lessons this week, and she just rocked house.  Literally, picture exactly what you think is perfect for a member to say to help someone who is striving to develop a relationship with God, and that is what she said.  Plus, having someone there who is actually fluent in Chinese is a real support.  

Some members invited us to attend their kids' piano recital this past week so we could talk to the Chinese families that would attend.  That wasn't a problem, mostly because outside of Church members and missionaries, everyone there was Asian.  Oh, the memories.  I talked to this thirteen-year old Chinese provincial gold medalist in piano who rocked a piece that I gave up on as a seventeen-year old because it was too hard (Chopin's "Polonaise," anyone?).  Yeah.

Another exciting change is that missionaries can now email non-family members.  I know that my reader base is less than the population of the Yukon in Canada, but if you'd like to shoot me an email I can now actually get back to you without procrastinating writing a letter for months.  So, my email is, for those that are interested.

Well, this week has been good.  I know that God has been in this work.  It is amazing to me that if we are praying for help and are living right, He will truly guide our paths, sometimes without us even knowing.  The work is true, I love this Church, and you all have a great week.

- Elder Daniel Winters

Monday, March 4, 2013

Elder Winters - March 4, 2013 只有百嘉可以懂這個句子!

[Editor's note: Just when you thought they couldn't get any shorter!  Daniel starts training a new missionary tomorrow and it looks like he will be moved into the California Irvine mission.  His mission president is trying to make it so that the Chinese elders will be able to teach in both the Anaheim and the Irvine missions.  Also, I have never, ever known Daniel to think he was awesome.]

Hey everyone, today you get a 60 second email.  This past week was awesome, mostly because our branch mission leader set up 5 appointments for us.  I'll just leave a thought with you.  I was reading in Alma 26 where Ammon talks about how wonderful God is in doing His work.  Sometimes if I ever think, "Oh man I can't believe how awesome I am," I always need to go back and look at how I am nothing, and it is God that has given me everything, including every success in the mission field.  The work is true, you guys are great, and have a great week.

- Elder DBW