Elder Winegar can be reached directly at
It's his birthday on 3/3 if you want to give him a shout out. 

Hi my friends.

I'm sorry I missed you again last week. My phone was having some difficulties so she was in the shop getting tuned up.

What a week it was. Quite chilly mind you. And the rains have come again, but I'm not particularly bothered. Mother Nature's morose days proffer calm to the weary heart. 

I've been able to spend some quality time with some pretty amazing individuals. I've learned once again that the deepest joy one can experience in this life is feeling love for others. It is when we are loving others that we learn and understand the way God feels about us. As a missionary I have grown to love some people I wouldn't have expected to. From this love I have felt towards such individuals, I know that there is no one that is unlovable, especially not to God, Our Father.

One such individual I will call Joseph. An appointment to sit down and chat with Joseph and his wife had been a long time in the making. We kept catching each other at inopportune times but never had a moment lengthy enough to really chat (though we did sit down and play some of his guitar collection for about 5 minutes on one occasion). 

This week we had scheduled something in advance and upon our arrival, to our delight, he was home and waiting for us! He invited us to his backyard patio where the weather would be nice. On our way out we watched him pick up an ominous looking folder. To our dismay, he then opened his folder and, using prepared evidence, attempted to disprove the veracity of Joseph Smith's prophetic mission.
After about 30 minutes without us speaking a word, he concluded and smugly advised us to talk with our leaders. We simply smiled, thanked him and his wife very much for their time and went on our way. 

One would expect Elder Barrus and I to have left rather shaken or downtrodden, when in fact, we agreed we felt quite the opposite way. We both felt a deep love for this couple. The couple who had just spent their time and effort trying to deconstruct the very truths we held dearest. We marveled that with the assistance of the Spirit it really was possible to love those who, "despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matt. 5:44).

Another individual I met, I will call McKay, also began our conversation rather briskly. He spoke blatant slander of the Savior, but stopped mid-sentence to ask his neighbor for assistance moving a large box that was too heavy for him to carry in his old age. Despite his obviously contentious view of who we represented, we offered to move his box. Rather befuddled, he accepted our offer. When we had finished assisting him, though his views hadn't changed, his heart was softened to us and we felt as though we were friends. He invited us back to talk about "Buddhism and Mormonism" another day :)

In spite of these gems of experience, I had some of the roughest days of my mission this week. As to why I am still uncertain, but I was exhausted in every way possible and the work felt almost painful. I found myself in some rather dark places. 

We all will find ourselves, at one time or another, in dark places. The effects such darkness can have on our lives are very real. They are described vividly in the experience of the Nephites prior to Christ's coming, "And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness…and there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually; yea, great were the groanings of the people, because of the darkness" (3 Nephi 8). 

We too may feel the burden of darkness pressing upon us and causing us to despair. But just as in nature, the remedy to darkness is light. It has been said of Jesus Christ, "For behold, and lo, he shall come, as it is written in the book of the prophets…to be a light unto all who sit in darkness, unto the uttermost parts of the earth" (JST, Luke 3).

Sometimes our dark places are the result of our own mistakes and sometimes they come as a result of living in a fallen world with mortal bodies. Whatever the cause of our darkness, the solution is the same. We must come unto Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). Christ said to the Nephites in their hour of darkness. "Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?" (3 Nephi 9:13).

We come unto Christ by repenting, or by striving to be better each day. Instead of focusing on the darkness of our circumstance, which is often out of our control, we can instead focus on what we can do to better follow the example of Christ. Instead of focusing on what we can't change we should focus on what we can: ourselves! As we do so, assuredly we will "be of good cheer" (Matt 9:2) knowing that we are living a life acceptable before God, even if our situation may be less than ideal.

Let us give our heartfelt all to the Savior each day by choosing to repent through His grace. Whether we are able to give a rich man's tithe or a widow's mite matters not, only that it is our very best. 

I testify that Jesus Christ's light extinguishes all darkness and will one day dispel all sorrow. From that day forth, we will live in radiant light and untarnished joy for eternity. Until then, may His perfect hope sustain us to make it out of the shadow of the valley of death, even our mortal experience.

Steady on. 

Elder Winegar

Songs πŸ§›‍♂️ 

If We Were Vampires—Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Day by Day (B-sides)—John Mark Pantana

Week, Elder Winegar

Tuesday, February 28, 2023


note after revision: buckle in, this one's long.

hey hi hello

don't know what I mean? listen to the song

This week was astonishing. Absolutely astonishing. Beyond description. 

The California San Jose Mission usually finds around 350-500 new individuals who are willing to be taught Jesus Christ's restored gospel each week. This past month we've been finding closer to 650 of these individuals each week. This past week, we collectively set a goal to find 1000 new people to teach. Again, the results were astonishing. I exclaim to you, likely in hyperbole, that there surely have been few people among all those created by the hand of God (4 Nephi 1:16), who were showered with miracles as abundantly as we were this past week!

And how was such marvelous power manifested unto us, the Lord's servants upon the earth? It was by the Spirit of God, even, "the Comforter [which] knoweth all things, and beareth record of the Father and of the Son" (D&C 42:17). I can bear witness with greater fervor than ever that, "He that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost" (1 Nephi 10:19). We were directed and instructed as to where we should go and in all things whatsoever we should say. Receiving instruction in this way is a divine experience that is beyond description, in part because the guidance comes to the deepest chambers of the mind and through the deepest feelings of the heart. It is these experiences that I treasure above all the riches of the world. I testify that these experiences are proffered by the Lord unto all who diligently seek them and Him. 

Because my companion and I obeyed the direction we had received, I am happy to report that we found many, many individuals to share the gospel truths with. It is my prayer that they will act upon the knowledge they are receiving and find the deep joys of following Christ.

As I interacted with more people than ever, I was struck, as I often am, by the vast number of God's children and the depth of their diversity. And yet, despite our many differences, I can't help but ponder upon the equally divine potential possessed by each one of us. 

What is our potential as sons and daughters of God? The apostle Paul taught, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God" (Romans 8:16-17). The word heir describes one who will inherit the estate, title, or office of a predecessor. The Savior himself illustrated our heirdom in modern day revelation, "For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father; And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him" (D&C 84:36-38).

What then is possessed by the Father that shall be our inheritance? "All things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers" (Colossians 1:16). In short, everything. As the supreme ruler of the cosmos, He is the possessor of all of creation. And as His heirs, we can be too!

"All that [the] Father hath," includes more than simply His possessions. We will also inherit His exalted station. The apostle John wrote, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). What does it mean to be like God? "The Lord has revealed Himself and His perfect character, possessing in their fulness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness [and] power" (Bible Dictionary, Faith). So, to be like God means to receive all knowledge and all power. It means that we will become the most perfected version of ourselves!

In strikingly clear language our divine potential was summarized by the Savior, "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them." I marvel and wonder as I imagine this staggering prospect! 

However, such glory and privilege is not freely given to any who desire it. The Savior followed His description of what we may become with this condition, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory" (D&C 132:20-21). We prove ourselves worthy and prepared to receive our inheritance by strict obedience to commandments of God (see Abraham 3:25-26).

My dear friends, this is the mission of mortality, to prepare ourselves to receive such an inheritance. This is who we may become if we will but exercise faith in the directions the Lord has given us—The Gospel of Jesus Christ. And now we see that our divine destiny is much less about our destination and much more about our disposition. Or in other words it is much less about where we will be and much more about who we will be. 

I echo the admonition of King Benjamin and promise the same blessings: "I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it" (Mosiah 2:41).

I hope one day to see you all there :)

Until then,

Elder Winegar

Songs πŸŽ΅ 

Them Changes—Thundercat
This Must Be The Place—The Talking Heads
Chamber of Reflection—Mac DeMarco

update from Elder Winegar

Thursday, February 16, 2023


why hullo there, *tips hat*

I dunno why I'm wearing a hat, but it's good to be with you. 

Well I ought to keep it brief this time around I reckon. 

I spent some quality time with God's children this week. We've been meeting with one of our friends Antonio very often. He has loved the gospel of Jesus Christ so much that he's been teaching his friends those things that we share with him, because he wants them to enjoy the same light that he has seen come into his life. Now, he and one of his friends are both preparing to be baptized and make covenants with the Lord. He is one of the many who, "are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it" (D&C 123:12). Our Father knows us and all his children upon the face of the earth. He is surely preparing all of us to receive his truth and return to his presence. It is my heart's truest desire to be a vessel for heavenly truth. I pray that you can be too, for there is no greater work to be a part of than God's.

I also had a good long talk with my friend Wayne. Let me tell you, Wayne is going through the ringer. And he is a good, good man, undeserving of his circumstances. As we read the account of Christ healing God's children in 3 Nephi 17, he asked us, more concerned for his children's welfare than his own, "Why would God let this happen to them? If he could heal these people, why couldn't he heal my family?"

I have come to learn on my mission that throughout our mortal experience, each of God's children, including us, will have moments like Wayne. We will have burdens so heavy, we may not think we are able to bear them. Elder Renlund has said, "for many of us—suffering and brutal unfairness can seem incompatible with the reality of a kind, loving Heavenly Father. Yet He is real, He is kind, and He loves each of His children perfectly. This dichotomy is as old as mankind and cannot be explained in a simple sound bite or on a bumper sticker."

So then, how do we reconcile the "infuriating unfairness" of this life with a perfectly loving God? A full understanding will likely not come to us in this life, but I have observed one attribute of the human condition that often impairs us from seeing the true nature of God; it is our lack of patience. In our myopia, we often expect instantaneous, or even simply quick solutions to our problems, when such rapid solutions are not reasonable, or not a part of God's greater plan. We may think that because we weren't healed now, God must not care about us, or because things are unfair now, they always will be.

How might things be different if we sought out deeper patience? In the face of affliction we would feel hope instead of despair, trusting that brighter days will come—eventually. We would feel peace and calm, remembering that His strength, His wisdom, and His timetable are superior to our own.  

Now, do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that this caliber of patience is easy. In fact, it takes great faith and courage. We are admonished, "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord" (Psalm 27:14). Perhaps this is why we sing, 

Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.

Our God will never us forsake;           

And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—       

All is well! All is well!

To me, the last verse of the same hymn embodies this stalwart, optimistic patience.

And should we die before our journey’s through,            Happy day! All is well               

We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;

With the just we shall dwell!

But if our lives are spared again

To see the Saints their rest obtain,   

Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell—   

All is well! All is well! 

(Hymn no. 30)

And so for Wayne, I was able to stand as a living witness that all will be right in the end. I shared that my family had endured similar fracturing many years ago. I then presented myself and said, "But look how I turned out! Your children will be okay in the end."

I then testified to Wayne—and I testify to you now—that because of the unmatched unfairness that the Savior, Jesus Christ, endured when he experienced the pains of all the world, everything wrong about life will one day be right in the end. Our bodies will be, "restored to their proper and perfect frame" (Alma 40:23)! And at the judgement bar of Christ, where justice and mercy are meted with divine precision, all inequity will be abolished, and those whose desires are pure will be crowned with glory evermore. We will then be able to sing with perfect confidence, "Happy Day! All is well!"   

So much for trying to be brief...

Stay well my friends. You are loved.


Elder Winegar

Songs πŸ’ 

I Want You Back—Jackson 5

When The Right Time Comes—Hibbity Dibbity

But It's Still Cool If You Don't—Briston Maroney

Come, Come, Ye Saints ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2023