Email June 30, 2014 – Elder Kenneth Wm. Burton
Bunch of Burtons
Julia's baptismal date has been dropped because her grandparents didn't think she would be ready on time so they planned a three week vacation for Julia to go stay with her mom, I believe she left today, so there's no way she can make it to her own baptism on the 12th. What I understand is that Kurt believes Julia has to have a strong spiritual experience before she is baptized. As if baptism is a test that she has to know all the answers to. Baptism is more of her entering school though rather than taking a test. The knowledge will be built as she acts on her faith, and she does believe the church is true.
Jan... I really don't understand whats going on with Jan. On Wednesday we realized we hadn't been in contact with him for a week, we had called a few times when he didn't come to church on Sunday but he hadn't answered. We called and he said he no longer wanted to be baptized. He said he was a member of the catholic church and that was enough for him. We called back later in the evening and managed to set up an appointment with him the next day to try and better understand what was going on. We met him in the church and had a great talk, and he seemed kind of like he might jump back on track, but he didn't show up in church again. One thing he said to me was he was tired of not being able to take the sacrament every Sunday at church, and because he was a member of the catholic church he could take the sacrament there. He said the sacrament was something that was very important to him. We tried to explain that the sacrament didnt mean anything if it wasn't preformed with the correct authority, but he kind of shrugged it off. We're thinking he's just wanting to take the easy way out.
Liselotte and Simon seem to be doing great down in Aarhus. We've stayed in contact with them and heard they ran into President Sederholm at church. They have both been reading and praying, Liselotte said that Simon is ready more then ever out of his Swedish Book of Mormon and he says its a comfort to read. I'm really impressed with that family, there are plenty of members let alone investigators who don't go to church when their out of town.
Speaking of out of town, most of our investigators our out of town right now. Liselotte and Simon are in Aarhus. Pernille and her son will be on vacation the next week or so. Julia's out of town for the next three weeks. We'll have more time to find new investigators at least.
A quote that's been on my mind this week is on by Thomas S. Monson, he said, "Our purpose should be to persevere and endure, yes, but to also become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow." It takes more than just enduring, life is about change and progression. This week Elder Hawkes and I were talking about how we look back on before our missions and we see all the times that we wish we had done things differently. We see were we could have done better. We talked about how we don't want to regret anything about our missions after we are done. And then I realized that yes we don't want to have regrets, but we do want to see where we could have improved. The reason we are able to see the difference between now and before our missions is because we are now on a higher level than we were before. It means we have progressed and changed. If we look back on our missions one day and think, "Wow, I was amazing back then." Then that means we wouldn't have progressed after our missions. We want to be able to look back and see that, yes, we did all we could at the time, but look how much we've come. Our missions should be a spring board. A lot higher than the ground we were standing on before, but nothing compared to where our jump could send us. If done right, our missions will send us flying through life.
On Monday a member took us down to a beach where there was a giant bonfire for the summer solstice, celebrating the burning of the witches. I took a bunch of pictures, kind of crazy. You would think people would want to forget the times when people were burnt alive on an acusation, not celebrate it by burning a dummy. Denmark is a place of traditions though, which is probably why they have so many holidays. They form one and then cant give it up because its become a tradition. Our district this week is trying to watch for the little traditions and customs of Denmark that we love, so that we can begin to incorporate them into our lives, becoming more like Danes.
Good Luck everyone, have a great week!
Elder Ken Burton