Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Elder Winters - May 21st and May 28th 我超喜歡宣講這個福音!

Hello all, and happy late Memorial Day.  It's wonderful to live in a country that enjoys all the freedoms that we do.  It's been a great week, including a zone conference.  I'd have to say that the highlight of that was either our mission president's talk or the mission president's wife teaching us all how to sing Peter Pan's "Never Smile At a Crocodile" as a reminder to get away from temptation.  

So, we went on an exchange with an assistant to the president this week, and that was super cool.  We knocked on one door and this family of four opened and received our message (the mom said the First Vision was "awesome") as well as dates to be baptized on the 23rd of June.  Naturally, we were super pumped to drop by their house at 10:30 AM to remind them about church, except we found a note that said "Not interested. We like our Lutheran religion.  Take back your books please.  Enjoy today."  I'm not sure how we were supposed to enjoy Sunday after receiving that note, but it's all good.  Things like that happen, but all we can do is press on with faith.  

As for a success story this week, if you remember that Chinese guy that we invited to church, it turns out he's getting baptized this Saturday. Man!  That made us incredibly excited.  I guess despite how hard I work in the English program, I'll always be drawn back to the Chinese program.   

Simply put, I know this work is directed by God.  The Holy Ghost will continue to bear witness of the divinity of our message as long as we strive our best to live according to it.

Have an awesome week.

- Elder Daniel B. Winters

From last week:

Hey everyone, how's it going?  Welcome to another week in the life of an English missionary.  The work has been going really well over here, everything is rolling along and picking up speed.  It's still something of an adjustment contacting English-speaking people, but thankfully my companion is patient with me, whether it be coping with my ineptitude or waiting for me while I go out of the way to contact a Chinese person instead.  I still got to see the Yale Branch when they got let out of their meetings on Sunday, and everyone appears to be doing really well.  As an added bonus, there were a ton of nonmembers there as well - a lot has happened in the four short weeks that I've been gone.  

As far as spiritual things go, we had a zone conference this week in which our mission president talked about repentance.  I guess he was calling the entire mission to repentance, but when the principle is understood correctly, that is a wonderful thing.  Repentance, at its core, is simply change.  A change from an action or belief or behavior of our own will to what God would have us do or think or believe.  And the more we make that change with the Savior's help, the happier we will be, because we will have greater access to the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the merciful forgiveness only He can extend.  So, I'd invite you all to think of something to repent of, and then do it.  I've been trying to do so with greater zeal since I heard that talk, and I have felt the results - they are real.

The work is true, have an awesome week.

- E. Winters

Monday, May 13, 2013

Elder Winters - May 13, 2013 It was awesome seeing you!

Hey everyone, welcome and happy belated Mother's Day.  I just want to make it known that I have the best mother of them all, and she has made me who I am today.  

So, this week I had my first experience as a real missionary, AKA a missionary that has to ride a bike.  It was, in a word, fun.  Though I would suggest to the missionary from whom I borrowed the bike to get a more comfortable seat, because spending two years on that things seems intolerable to me.  Anyway, the experience did make me appreciate biking missionaries and our car a lot more.  So I will not come home being a brat, I hope.

We had a fun experience contacting this past week.  We started talking to this girl and she seemed somewhat startled because of us.  We attempted to talk to her in a very non-menacing manner about the restored gospel, and then invited her to learn more, which she responded, "I don't know."  We then asked what her name was and she gave the same answer: "I don't know."  And then my companion said, "It's OK, if you don't want to tell us, that's cool --" and then she interrupted him, saying, "I don't remember...." with a look of seriousness as sincere as any as I have ever seen.  I guess my companion just has that kind of effect on people.  

As far as spiritual news goes, I'm not trunky or anything, but it was great talking to my family yesterday.  That was my fourth and last time doing that, so here comes the final stretch.  As a spiritual aspect, I know that families can be eternal through the ordinances of the temple.  That is the final goal of our work here - helping people making and keeping covenants to bring them and their families together to live in Heavenly Father's presence forever.  Isn't that wonderful?

The work is true; have a great week.

- Elder Daniel Winters

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Elder Winters - May 6, 2013 阿得可厲害咖更換新版

Hey everyone, I have to be quick.  Happy Early Mother's Day, because next email won't make it in time and early is always better than belated. Unless it's something like a birthday party six months in advance.

Well, it's been pretty awesome here in the English program.  It's quite something getting used to talking to white people all the time.  Although one would think that it would be comfortable and familiar, after over a year in the Chinese it's been a pretty strange transition.  Weird, right?  Well, I'm making the most of it, so it's all good.  

Let me see, something spiritual for this week....let me share a scripture.  Matthew 10:39!
 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

I just want to testify of the truthfulness of this teaching of the Savior. It's a sheer joy to throw yourself in the work of the Savior.  Whenever I feel crummy, it's probably due to me feeling selfish. Of course other people may use their agency in negative ways, but there's always room for improvement, there's always room to grow.  And that's not something to be disappointed about, but we should be happy for the opportunities given to us by our Savior Jesus Christ.  As Elder David A. Bednar put it, "In the strength of the Lord, we can do and endure and overcome all things."

Have a great week, everyone.

- E. DBW

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Elder Winters - April 29, 2013 English!

Hey everyone, welcome to the English version of the weekly reader.  It's been amazingly awesome, no lie.  It's been non-Chinese, but I feel home here as well.  We are just so pumped to preach the good news in English!  It's quite the relief being able to understand everything I'm saying.  I miss the Chinese branch, but I am committed to making the most of my time here in the English program.  

Sorry for the shortness of this email - my sister Rebecca got home this past Saturday so I've spent a good chunk of my time on talking about family stuff.  It is so nice to have her back after she successfully filled her mission.  

Well, cool thing - we tracted into a Muslim woman the other day.  It was incredible to see the effect the Holy Ghost had on her as we testified of the truthfulness of a modern-day prophet and of the restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  So cool!  We're teaching her this week.  I love being a missionary! 

The work is true, don't ever forget it!  Have a good one!

- Elder Winters