Monday, August 26, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - August 26, 2013 Hi

Hello all,

It's been another good week in the life.  I've realized that I'm at a point in my mission that when anyone asks me how long I've been out, everyone tells me that I'm at the point of getting ready to go home and that everyone will be telling me that I'm getting to the point of getting ready to go home.  So, if you find yourself telling that to a missionary, know that he's silently telling you, "Cut it out!!"  But it's okay, because I am loving me some good missionary work.  

We had a good lesson with this agnostic guy who has a lot of questions.  He feels he is fine with just living a good life and not doing bad things.   It made me really think about things, because sure, that kind of lifestyle is not bad.  But in the end, it is only through adhering to Heavenly Father's plan for us that we will achieve and become all that we were meant to.  Relying on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and living true gospel principles is the ultimate way of attaining true, lasting happiness and eternal life.  It's all part of the plan.  And it's my hope that people will listen to the message we have to share!!  As Alma said, "I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness."

Have an awesome week.

- Elder Winters

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - August 19, 2013 I have a brother-in-law now…

Hey everyone, how's it going?  I'm kind of bursting to say this, so I'll just go ahead and say it: my sister got married on Saturday! Man, it seems like it was yesterday that I wrote my letter of how proud I was of her for her serving a valiant mission, and now I have a new brother-in-law....all I can say is, I am brilliantly happy for the two of them.  I like the way President Packer summarized it, when it's all said and done: "The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood."  I love it!  I'm grateful for my parents and for other families that have exemplified that in their lives.  
The work is cruising over here.  We were pretty surprised to receive a phone call at about 10:45 Friday night from our branch president, telling us that Kelly wanted to get baptized the next day, but on the condition that she get baptized in the swimming pool by her uncle's apartment.  Well, that got the check of disapproval, so for Kelly, the deal was off.  It was strange, I've never seen someone negotiate about their baptism before.  Kelly leaves for Taiwan tomorrow.  She said she will meet with missionaries in Taiwan, so I'm happy.
We helped this one guy get some furniture out of his house this past week.  You should have seen his house.  It was incredible.  The guy is a packrat, to say the least.  He's basically never thrown anything away for thirty years.  You know those comics, when the mom shouts at the kid to clean his room, and then she yells that she can't even see the floor, or that it looks like a hurricane blew through there?  Yeah, it was like that.  Piles upon piles of stuff.  Swimming through stuff.  I wanted to take pictures to show everyone how crazy and messed up his house was, but that seemed a little rude, so I didn't.  
In spiritual news, we had a miracle in finding this past week!  On Saturday night, we didn't have too much proselyting time left, but we opened a time for tracting for after dinner. Elder Dahl received a strong impression of where we needed to go the night before. He was definitely listening to the Spirit, because the first door we knocked on let us in! Our new investigator, Brother Liu, spoke about how he was reminded of his childhood in China (he's 75) of when he went to church with his dad but then when more anti-religious feelings spread throughout the country he had to stop. He was truly prepared to receive us! We had a brief 20 minute lesson with him and he accepted the baptismal invitation! The only problem is he's going to China on the 26th of this month and won't be back until December. He came to church yesterday and loved it and said he wants to bring a friend this Sunday, so we will give him the best impression we can before he leaves and then Elder Dahl or whomever is in the area in December can help him receive the fulness of the gospel. It was a miracle if I've ever seen one! 
The Church is so true, the gift of the Holy Ghost is real, God really is directing His work as long as we let Him, and I'm loving being an instrument in His hands.  

Have a great week, everybody.

- Elder DW

Daniel's Yale Mandarin Branch district:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - August 12, 2013 They're finally getting married!

Hey everyone, I hope your week went well.  Mine sure did, because as a missionary, all my weeks are good.  
One cool thing that happened this week was that this lady who we met at sample table at an Asian market took us out to dinner after talking to us for about 15 minutes.  She said she would love to come to church, though she works Sundays.  Bummer!  At least the dinner was good.  Funnily enough, we met her because I had to use the bathroom. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
I dunno, but I just had the best time ever contacting people this past week.  Even with all the rejection I was still super happy and confident that we would be blessed with someone that would accept our amazingly perfect message.  It was a special spirit that I felt and I know that I was blessed with the forms of strength that I listed in my email last week.  I know that that feeling I had is hope.

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God. (Ether 12:4)

I know that's true, and I know that hope comes to us because of Jesus Christ's Atonement on our behalf.  

Have a great week!

- Elder Winters

Monday, August 5, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - August 5, 2013

Dear all,
Things continue to go well here in SoCal.  Our investigator who set a baptismal date actually has some family problems so it turns out that we'll have to postpone the baptism for a little bit.  But he bore his testimony in church yesterday, which was cool.  He also bore testimony against several other religions, which was not as cool, but at least he's confident in his beliefs.  
Because of time, I just want to bear testimony of a scripture really quick.  I know that through the Atonement of Christ, we can be strengthened, and that strength can come in many forms, as is seen in Alma 58:10-11:
10 Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people.

 11 Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.

 12 And we did take courage with our small force which we had received, and were fixed with a determination to conquer our enemies, and to maintain our lands, and our possessions, and our wives, and our children, and the cause of our liberty.

Determination, courage, peace, and hope are all forms of strength that can keep us going in times of need.  The work is true, have an awesome week.

- Elder Daniel Winters