Email October 6, 2014 – Elder Kenneth Wm. Burton
Bunch of Burtons
General Conference! We spent the weekend in Copenhagen with the assistants to see the sessions. They weren't being shown in our ward building. Because of the time differences we watched the Saturday morning session live at 6:00 in the evening and then the Priesthood session at 11:00 Sunday morning and the Saturday night session at 2:00 on Sunday and the Sunday morning session live at 6:00 that evening. So we still haven't seen the last session, but I hear there were some amazing talks, and I'm going to try to download them onto my flash-drive to listen to later.
Did you notice how almost every single talk quoted or mentioned President Thomas S. Monson? He was by far the most quoted person in Conference.'
A few of the talks that stood out to me talked a lot about decision making. For example when Jorg Klebingal said, "choosing something bad over something worse is till wrong". Isn't it interesting how often we do that? Or the fact that we choose to make decisions that we don't want to make? For an example haven't we all sat down after school with in front of the TV or layed on the couch with a good book in hand, and then the thought comes... reminding us of the homework assignment or project due the next day. Yet we put it aside and chose to ignore what we know we should do. I've also seen many a wrestler, myself included, who when put in a critical situation in a match, end up giving up rather than pushing a little further or harder. Almost subconsciously, but not quite, you make the decision to quite. You chose to lose. Why? Why do we trade what we want most for what we think we want at the moment? And usually its not even something we want at the moment. No one ever wants to lose. No one wants bad grades. Yet we give up. Later we look back and wonder why we didn't just keep going a little longer. Latter we see that we actually did have the strength, or the time to do that assignment.
Eduardo C. (I cant remember his last name) spoke in Conference about choosing to follow Christ. Saying "Yes Lord I will follow thee." Take a look at any times you have chosen to lose, and decide "Yes Lord I will follow thee." President Monson said "Decisions determine destiny." We need to remember that each decision has a consequence some good some bad, remember which consequence you want to suffer.
Mind is the master power that molds and makes,
And man is mind and taking what he wills, brings forth a thousand joys - a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret and it comes to pass, environment is but his looking glass.
-James Allen (As a Man Thinketh)
(thanks for the poem Dad!)
We have a new family investigating from Albania the Pelargu family. they just moved into our area and have had a few lessons in the last area they were living. The sisters who had been teaching them had been able to set up a ride for them to come to conference and they loved it! There are two kids a twelve year old boy and a nine year old girl. Its a little hard to teach them with the language barrier. The kids speak some danish, the mom speaks okay English and the dad speaks a few words of each. We have to jump between languages a lot to make sure everyone is understanding. They had a hard time understanding all that was said in conference but they were able to get the basic topics, for example how much families are important to us, and Elder Hollands talk struck them strongly when he began tearing up.
They live in a Red Cross refuge facility right now while waiting for visas. It was an experience walking through the building not understanding anything because of all the different languages and nationalities of people all over the place. We felt really out of place. The short lesson when amazing! I am not sure what their situation has been to land them here in Denmark as refuges but they have been humbled and well prepared for the gospel. Kneeling on the cement floor of their tiny room, in a circle with a family I had met 15 minutes before, as a man said a prayer in words I could not understand. The spirit was powerful yet peaceful. I was filled with Christs love for their small family.
Oh, transfer calls came, I will be staying with Elder Eisert here in Holbæk!
We had an interesting lesson with a man named Henrik, he really likes to talk and share random stories. We had gotten to the first vision in the lesson and thought if we had him read the vision in Joseph Smiths words he would focus more. As he got to the line where Joseph said "I saw a pillar of light"... Henerik interrupts himself with, "There was this one time some friends and I were in a grove of trees too! But instead of a pillar of light we saw a UFO!" not quite what we expected. He does want to read the Book of Mormon though so we'll see how that goes.
We have gotten into contact with a less active member named Torban who lives in Roskilde. Hes about 40 now and served a mission pretty soon after he was baptized so he was on his mission here in Denmark when he was 30. In the lesson as he began talking about his mission and pulled out some of his old planners and scriptures he started to change. From telling us that he doesn't want to come to church, to quoting and finding scriptures that he studied on his mission. He is wanting to rebuild his testimony. His mom just died and he believes the Lord has been preparing him for it for a while. He's going to be studying in Preach My Gospel about the Plan of Salvation and said he might share it with his non member father and sister as well.
I cant wait until we can print out the talks from conference, I hope everyone else does as well to study what God wants us to do for the next six months. Have a great week!
Elder Ken Burton