Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - October 28, 2013 The week

Hey everybody, and a Happy Halloween to you all.  Needless to say, we're supposed to be indoors after 7 PM on Thursday.  The plan is that we're going to hand out candy with pass-along cards stapled to them, so the kids won't know what hit them.  I'm planning on dressing up as a missionary this year, though I'm wondering how my mission president would react to me painting on a Harry Potter™ lightning bolt scar on my forehead.  

Anyway, in other news, there was a real, live, legit, bona fide Shaolin kung fu monk at church yesterday.  He's a card-carrying kung fu master, too.  He gave us his business card.  We're hoping he converts so he can give us free instructions.  He may or may not be the coolest Chinese person to come to our branch in the four years of its existence.

We also had the stake trunk-or-treat activity this past week.  The missionaries duties included 1) making sure no little kids got run over by silent hybrid cars and 2) grilling and passing out hot dogs.  It was pretty special.  Especially the part when the missionaries got all the extra hot dogs and candy at the end.

As far as spiritual news goes, we've had a lot of good lessons.  I also am more aware that Heavenly Father guides us through very subtle promptings.  We plan our days the night beforehand, and we had several experiences when what we felt like we should plan for turned out exactly where God wanted us to be.  I know that the Lord is directing us in this work, and that He is at the head of it.  It's so nice to participate in some way.

Have a good and spooky week.

- Elder Daniel Winters

Monday, October 21, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - October 21, 2013 Hey everyone!

First off, new companion.  His name is Elder Lu, from Hsinchiu, Taiwan, about two hours away from Taipei.  He's way legit, the missionaries knocked on his door twelve years ago and the whole fam got baptized.  He is a little shy and his English is not really all that hot, but he's still willing to work and be obedient.  Which is all I need, because I am entering sprint mode!! Seriously, it's dawning on me more and more that time is limited, so I'm really freaking out a bit, but things are still going really well.

Emily did get baptized on Saturday, and it was amazing.  She is so elect!  That was so spiritual.  I was freaking out a little bit because not too many members were showing up but then I relaxed when I remembered that Emily was making a covenant with the Lord, and He was watching for sure.  I once again felt a burning in my heart, witnessing to me that the ordinance performed was true. Sometimes I wonder if my investigators/converts have already achieved a higher level of faith than I have.  She passed her interview no sweat, no review at all, and then I was privileged to baptize her and then our branch mission leader who contacted her for the first time at her apartment complex did the confirmation yesterday.  The work is hastening!!  We attribute so much of her baptism to the members - it was way cool, whenever we had a dinner appointment we just asked the members if our investigator could come, they said yes, then it turned out that Emily went to like three dinner appointments every week.  She got to know the members and felt of their love, felt her Heavenly Father's love, then decided to act on the message we shared.  It's a miracle!!

Things are great here.  Now that I've attended four out of four general conferences on my mission, had all four phone calls to home on my mission, and am now approaching the second birthday on my mission, I realize my time is limited.  So I am entering sprint mode.  

Elder So and self got a new companion from Taiwan last week.  Elder Lu is cool, he's been in the military for a year (though does not look like it), and hardly speaks English.  It's his first time in the States, so it's a bit of an adjustment for him.  It's pretty funny because he has the exact accent that I made fun of Taiwanese people for having, so that's an adjustment for me.  But things are great, we'll do work this last transfer.

I love this work!  It is so true!

Have a great week!

- Elder Winters

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - October 14, 2013 Amazing week!!

[Editor's note: Daniel's birthday is one month from today.  He does not get much mail anymore, now that his mission will be over in six weeks.  I know he would appreciate a card or a note!  If you have a few minutes please write to him:
Elder Daniel Winters
CA-Irvine Mission
23 Lake Rd.
Irvine, CA  92604

Hey everybody, how's it going?  This week has been as superb as they come.  Yes, there was a baptism this weekend, and it was, in a word, spiritual.  It was awesome.  As it says in D&C 84:20, "Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest."  That is so true!  Brother He is 82 years old and has been investigating for a while now.  In fact, I've been working with him on and off for my entire mission.  A lot of people never thought it would happen in this life, but Heavenly Father gave him a change of heart.  Literally and spiritually, because he got a pacemaker put in a few years ago.  I will never forget the feeling I had in my heart as I saw him come out of the water, completely clean.  

God is good.  He gives us these sacred ordinances and covenants that we might get closer to Him and feel of His Spirit more strongly.  I'm grateful for these ordinances and I know that the priesthood authority required to perform them has been restored by a prophet of God.  In other words, this work is true, and it is all for the salvation of God's precious children.  

I love you all!  Have a wonderful week.

- Elder Daniel Winters

Monday, October 7, 2013

Elder Daniel Winters - October 7, 2013

[Editor's note: Daniel has been working his entire mission with a man whose daughter is in the Mandarin branch.  This brother is finally getting baptized this Saturday after 20 years of many prayers and many missionaries!  The sister who lives in the branch emailed me about Daniel.  Here are a few of the things she wrote about him: 
He present himself as royal family so you will be proud  of him. And you should. I love the spirit of his prayer and calmness. He is a special to us. 
In one point I almost want to tell him that you don't need to waste your time on my dad because he is only using your kindness for his need.he will not join the church this life.but for sure the next life.
I express to him that I don't think my dad will join the church.All he said is you never know, he might join the church one day.
One day he told me if ok he help my dad do the garden work every week.I almost start to cry.....
And He was so happy he can do that.
He taught me about being obedience and rely on the spirit.
He taught me that we do not need to say many words but service will speak itself.
I will miss having him around. I know The Lord has great plan for him in the future and in His kingdom.
Thank you for sharing him with us the pass two years. 
He will bring you good report.]

Hey everybody, I hope it's been a great week.  I hope you all loved General Conference like I did.  I was so pumped to hear all the speakers speak and now I can't wait to read all the talks over and over again and then go out and do.  I felt sorry for poor Elder Vinson, though, who had a fly attack him during his very first general conference address.  The talk was powerful, nonetheless, and pretty entertaining to watch.  

The Santa Ana winds have started blowing in, so much that a tree in our apartment complex got blown over.  I guess I wished this to happen in a previous email when I said I wanted the weather to be something other than sunny.  So now it's windy and sunny.

The work here is moving.  I had the opportunity to interview a couple of people for baptism this past week, which is probably my favorite responsibility.  Preach My Gospel encourages interviewers to invite the baptism candidate to bear his or her testimony, and I like to do that by asking the candidate what changes have taken place in his or her life since meeting with the missionaries.  The responses I got were incredible.  My favorite was one that said he was now aware that Heavenly Father was watching him.  He said he didn't believe in God before but after meeting with the missionaries a few times there was no way to disregard or deny how he felt.  That was so special.  I know, with more certainty than ever after this past conference, that this work is true, that we have a prophet who leads and guides us by inspiration and revelation, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are real and love us, and that this Church is true.

I love you all, have a great week.

- Elder Winters

In the brother's backyard where he has been working each week: