Monday, July 29, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - July 29, 2013 Miracle.

Hey everybody, I hope everything goes well.  Things in the life of Elder D.B. Winters are going just swimmingly, even though I'm not allowed to swim right now.  We've been blessed to teach a lot this week, which is what missionaries simply live for.  We love to teach, and we love to see people accept the gospel.  
Funny story of the week.  Our investigator called our branch president a monk during our lesson.  Interestingly enough, before he thought that in order to get baptized you have to shave your head.  Thankfully that tradition of the elders is done away with in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  Though our branch president continues to be bald.  
Miracle of the week.  That same investigator that said that has determined that he wants to be baptized as soon as humanly possible.  I've been working with this guy since the beginning of my mission, so I am, in a word, stoked.  I firmly believe the Spirit has been working with him and enlightening his mind.  I know the Spirit can do that because it did the same thing with me.  It prompted me to make some big decisions that led to me coming out on my mission.  I attribute that to the goodness and mercy and the grace of God, that He would see fit to do that for me and for the people I teach.  It's a wonderful thing to be out here, I appreciate your prayers so much, it's all working, all because this is the Lord's work.

Have an awesome week.

- Elder Daniel Winters

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - July 23, 2013 New Transfer

[He is still a man of few words...]
Hey everybody.  I've got very limited time so I'll make this a very limited email.  It's been a great week, our investigator is receiving answers to her prayers and she is recognizing them, something we've been praying for.  This last week she texted us asking if we can pray more than once a day.  When we told her that Heavenly Father is always there for us and that He listens to every single one of our prayers and that there is no limit, she texted "Wa!!!  So cool!!!!"  That brightened up our day.  I just want to testify that it is so cool.  Heavenly Father listens to and answers our prayers.

Have a great week.

- Elder Winters

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - July 16, 2013 Great week!

Hey everyone, hope this last week treated you well.  This last week has been a good one for us down here in SoCal.  

Some exciting news.  Now, I don't want to brag here, but we saw a live, feral barn owl on Sunday evening.  We were turning into the church parking lot when I saw it flying in the fruit field next to the church.  I of course freaked out more than a little bit so we parked the car and went to go look for it.  We think it was somewhat injured because it couldn't fly very high.  We chased it across the church parking lot and over a wall into a neighboring home.  That was the last we saw of it.  I dunno, as a huge Hedwig fan, I thought it was a big deal.  

During a lesson I made the mistake of making quotation marks with my fingers, usually suggesting that sarcasm is being used.  When we asked our investigator if she had any questions, she asked what the thing I did with my fingers meant.  I tried to explain it quickly but she was so interested in the fact that Americans do that and don't do it for any other punctuation marks that she kept mentioning it all throughout the rest of the lesson.  Oh well.  It was still spiritual, anyway.

The same girl is actually progressing really well.  It's been remarkable to see her growth.  She has started with literally no understanding of God, but her faith has grown a ton.  I know that is from hearing the good word of God and listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.  God truly does lead this work and influence and invite His children to do good and to follow Jesus Christ.  This work is awesome, there's no other place I'd rather be.

Have a good one, everybody.

- Elder Winters

Pictures from Facebook yesterday:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Elder Winters - past several weeks

[Dear All,

Sorry for the delay, we have been out of town and I have not had access to the email list.

Daniel is in a new mission with the following address:
Elder Daniel Winters
CA- Irvine Mission
23 Lake Rd.
Irvine, CA  92604

I am certain he would love receiving a letter!

Many thanks,
the Editor]

June 17 -
Hey everybody, it's been a good week.  The branch had a baptism this past weekend, which was great.  We met a nonmember there who also just set a date for baptism yesterday.  When I discovered where she was from (Qingdao, Shandong, China), I could only remember from my China book that Qingdao is famous for its beer.  And usually, as a white guy, I feel like I have to pull things out of the air to maintain a long conversation with a Chinese person, mostly because I've never been to China nor do I look remotely like a Chinaman.  So I mentioned the famous Qingdao beer, and then she went on about how great it was.  She also asked me if I had tried it before.  So, the moral of the story is don't mention alcohol at baptisms.  

This week was also special in that I got to attend a convert's first endowment session at the temple.  It was a heavenly occasion.  Seeing her growth in the past year has been remarable.  She has been faithful in doing the little things that builds one's testimony, such as praying and reading the Book of Mormon every day.  In the temple, we were blessed to gain greater perspective of the things of eternity.  The imprtance of temporal things seemed to fade away in the face of the things that are sealed both on earth and in heaven.  Our families, our testimonies, our conversions, and our spiritual strength will be those things taht we take with us if we are faithful and obedient.

Have a wonderful week.

- Elder Winters

Hey everyone.  I hope you all liked that great "Hastening the Work of Salvation" meeting, because I sure did.  It was awesome!  My desire to be a permanent missionary has increased.  I loved it when the prophet invited us all to exercise faith and invite others to meet with missionaries in our homes.

As a missionary, funny things happen to you.  It is simply inevitable.  One funny thing that happened this past week was when we saw a man who had been jogging approaching a mailbox.  We tried to talk to him but then he said, "I don't live here, I'm just grabbing the mail," after which he took the mail out of his mailbox and then promptly ran away.  I thought that was pretty funny.  

There have been some awesome things happening this past week.  The work is moving!  A girl that has never been to church before in her life came with a member to help her with babysitting her daughter.  She is incredibly interested in learning more about Jesus Christ.  I believe that it has come from praying for miracles.  I know that if we exercise faith and expect God to fulfill His promises, He certainly will in His time.  It's happening here.  

I know this work is true.  It is so much fun.  I love it that when we bear testimony of what we know to be true, angels in heaven record it:

"Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you."

Have a great week.

- Elder Winters

Hey everybody, what's been going on?  It's been pretty historic lately - there are now two Elder Winters with Chinese nametags on, something I'm pretty sure has never happened before, so that is pretty cool.  I love my brother, Jacob, and he is an amazing addition to the missionary field.  He'll be heading out to Richmond, Virginia, in a couple of months.  

I just want to make it know really quick that there is a newer elder in our zone from Savannah, Georgia.  His accent is incredible.  And although we're from the same state, it's sometimes hard to imagine that we're even from the same country.  I love it.  And I love imitating his accent, claiming that I've been hiding it all along to sound more like them city folk.  

This week has been stellar. We had a wonderful teaching appointment with one of our new investigators, Mandy.  She has always wanted to study Christianity, but she never had the chance to.  She was so excited and had so many questions for us.  She listened to the message, accepted the feelings she received from the Spirit, and decided to act on them.  She has set a date for baptism on the 20th!  We are so excited for her.  I thought this experience increased my testimony of the following scripture from the Book of Mormon:

16 And there was ano inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their bhearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—

 17 That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a abranch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the brest of the Lord their God.

This work is true!  God is leading it.   It is so awesome to participate in.

Have a good one, everybody.

- E. DBW

Hey everyone, hope you all had a nice Independence Day.  We had a pretty good one - a member invited some investigators to a BBQ at her house.  I was the piano guy for entertainment and all seven Chinese missionaries sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."  I'll never figure out why the national anthem has to be in E flat, though.  And despite the influence of the Chinese all around me, I still love me the good ol' United States.  Freedom is a wonderful thing.  

We are a new mission now.  We had a big meeting to get everyone oriented and to meet the mission president.  He is amazing.  I love the spirit and the energy that emanate from him.  He wants to be here to do good - I can tell that that is his motivation.  He loves God and Jesus and his missionaries and wants to bring the good news of the gospel to as many people as we possibly can as a mission.  I want to be able to achieve the kind of character that he has obtained through consistent diligence, selfless service, and prayer.

The work is moving here.  The kids we're teaching are just loving church.  It is wonderful to see how spiritually sensitive kids are.  I think that's why the Savior made them a part of His teachings.  I know if we can be as humble and as loving as they are, we will go far.  

I am loving the work.  I know it is true.  I know God is directing us by His Spirit to help the work move on.  And as we all pitch in and reach out to our neighbors and friends, the work will move on like it never has before.

Have an awesome week, everyone.

- Elder Winters