Email September 1, 2014 – Elder Kenneth W. Burton
Happy Birthday Jackson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 16!!!!!!
Bunch of Burtons
Alma 16:16, "And there was no 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 hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming—" I came across this scripture in studies this last week and realized it goes perfectly with what I mentioned in my last letter. Christ prepared the minds of the children of men before his coming. He helped them to learn His truths before he came. the same thing is what Elder Bednar is doing, he has asked us to study specific material before his training so that we can learn in faith. So that we can put in the effort ourselves and teach ourselves the principles he wants us to learn before he arrives, we then will be able to review it with him this upcoming Saturday. Elder Bednar said in a talk in 2007, "experience has enabled me to understand that an answer given by another person usually is not remembered for very long, if remembered at all. But an answer we discover or obtain through the exercise of faith, typically, is retained for a lifetime. The most important learning's of life are caught—not taught." I can testify because of my own experiences and tests that you will learn much more by this method, by teaching yourself what you can in preparation for your review as a class or group.
For a quick example, this last Saturday in our zone training I had forgotten to ask the zone leaders what we were learning in zone training before Saturday, so I wasn't able to study before, and because of that I wasn't able to be as involved in the training as I would have liked. I still learned, and now I can do my "homework" but it wasn't as much as I would have learned if I had prepared before hand.
This last week has been kind of crazy. Friday and Saturday we had a "mini mission" with some of the youth in the stake. They signed up before hand, and were assigned to different missionary companionships to go on an extended splits. Those who were over 16 were able to spend Friday night in the missionaries apartment and the others spent the night at the ward mission leaders house. Friday evening we had an eating appointment with a member and then split off, I took Felix, Elder Eisert took Gabriel and we went out to work. The whole week we had been trying to set up investigator lessons for Friday, but literally no one could meet on Friday. So we stopped by a few people and each got a lesson, which was great because the boys were able to experience some teaching. The next morning the ward mission leader dropped them off at our place again and we had breakfast, studied and then took them to our zone training to see what that was like. We even were able to get in some street contacting in Copenhagen before the meeting, which the boys liked a lot. A fun experience, I wonder if it could maybe be set up in the States because I feel like Ike, Jack, Brig, and the others when they get older would learn a lot about what a mission is like.
A few things we've been starting to apply into our mission this last week from our last mission conference with our area president.
1)Ask those we teach who we/they can pray for in each lesson.
-(Promised Blessing) We will teach more people
2)Ask to teach multiple short lessons throughout a week rather than one longer lesson each week.
-(Promised Blessing) We will teach more lessons
3)Ask a specific baptismal interview question in each lesson we teach.
-(Promised Blessing) The baptisms in the mission will double!
And we have already started seeing the blessings! Two weeks ago we had two baptisms, this last week there were five! The work is hastening! In our area we are seeing more people who are willing to learn, and have more people we're teaching.
There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
We had an interesting lesson this week in the JW MTC. Sort of. We had set up an appointment with some Jehovah Witnesses a few weeks ago and were driving over to the address counting the street numbers 36...34....32...30... "oh no."...28.... They had given us the address of the JW headquarters for northern Europe. They did happen to live in a dorm type building on the campus so at least it was were they lived and not just an excuse to get us onto JW land. The lesson was interesting, it could have been better planned, part of the problem was we started talking and they asked about the church web site and pulled out a tablet for us to show them the website on. All of a sudden we had all these resources at our finger tips to share and yet neither of us had ever used those resources very much so we were kind of jumping all over the place before we finally settled on a video to watch and talk about. I'm going to use a little time after emailing to better associate myself with Mormon.org so if that happens again I'll actually know where to go with plans for a certain lesson. It really will be so helpful when Ipads do make it to the mission.
We had a great lesson with our friend Inge and a few friends she has visiting from Israel. They have some interesting beliefs of who God is, but seemed very interested in learning more about what we believe, and more especially why. They all promised to start reading the Book of Mormon, another opportunity when it was a blessing to have an English book on me as well. We've now met with them twice Thursday and Friday, and they want us to come back. We've had to completely change our way of teaching with them because they understand God and everything in a way that is partially true but completely different. We're having to figure out ways to take they way they believe in God and build onto it to help them see who God is.
Our friend Gitte who contacted us on the street a few weeks ago is way positive. She believes almost everything that we say already, and surprisingly already has a knowledge of a lot of the truths of the gospel. Its just been a little hard to meet with her because we have to take a member with. Which she appreciates, and says the fact that we are so set on following that rule shows we're more true.
Thanks for all the photos! The hunt looks like it was so much fun! I'm guessing no one got anything because there were no pictures of deer. Ah well. I'm sure it was great getting back up to those mountains again anyway.
Have a great week!
Elder Ken Burton