Email October 20, 2014 – Elder Kenneth Wm. Burton
Bunch of Burtons
Per is back from Japan! He's a less active member we were meeting with fairly often before he went to visit his son in Japan two months ago. We always have great conversations with him that make you really think. A lot because he really thinks through the questions most of us just give a basic response too. At one point bacteria came up. He told us about how bacteria is able to live in the most extreme climates, its been taken to space and back and survived, and it has even been found living in magma channels deep in the bottom of the oceans. The reason it does so well surviving is because it mutates so quickly, one life span is so short that it is able to change itself to live in new climates before it is completely killed. This ability helps it to overcome almost any situation or trial, even the harshest of environments. Are we not better than bacteria? We are Gods children, as Elder Uchdorf put it "we are the stuff of eternity". We have the ability, through the Savior Jesus Christ, to change now. To strengthen ourselves against the world that is changing around us. We are put into situations daily that "push our buttons" and try to figure out which one will shut us down. We can choose not to have that button. Through repentance we improve ourselves, and the next time faced with a trial we are stronger than before. "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.... then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27. Isn't it amazing that we have this ability to change! This week we had made it to Friday and had only had four lessons, no where near what our goal was for the week. But we were able to change what we were doing, change the way we were approaching our work and in the last two days of the week more than doubled our lessons, finding a lot more new people to teach while we were at it.
At church on Sunday the Taastrup Elders had an investigator with them from Africa, David, who has recently set a date to be baptized in a few weeks. He mentioned something during guest class that was fun to know. Apparently down in parts of Africa it is illegal to gossip and spread rumors, sometimes even with the penalty of death. They do this because one rumor or lie can quickly destroy a community or tribe. This is why a lot of Africans always speak so loudly, because there are no secrets where they come from.
Speaking of church, Familien Pelargu was able to come! We were able to get a ride all worked out and the parents made it to sacrament meeting. The two kids I guess had some sort of school trip and so weren't able to come, and then the parents had to leave early to be home in time to open the door for their kids. They were able to meet a lot of the members though, which should help them as well as help the members get excited about seeing more investigators coming to church.
This morning I was studding for an investigator who doesn't quite understand what faith is. He had been telling us that he couldn't receive an answer to his payer because he doesn't believe in God and he cant believe in God because he hasn't received his answer to if God exists. He is misunderstanding faith. In Danish the word "tro" is used for both faith and belief, yet there is a strong difference between the two. When we put faith into something we do not necessarily believe it. In Ether 12:6 it says "faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." We asked Jonas if he "hoped" these things were true or if he wanted them to be true. The question seemed to surprise him. He hadn't considered if he hoped for it to be true. We asked him to think through what it is he wants to believe. At one point we need to choose to believe, other wise you get in a trap like Jonas did. Not believing but wanting an answer, and not believing an answer could come because you don't believe. Once we have faith or a hope in something, then we can begin believing. "No witness until after the trial of your faith." Our belief then is an increase of our faith, and our faith is then manifested through our actions.
This was a great week and we have plans for the next to be even better! Thanks for all the letters and emails!
"Luck, if there is such a thing, is where preparation meets opportunity". -Unknown. Good Luck, and have a great week!
Elder Ken Burton