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

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