Email December 1, 2014 – Elder Kenneth Wm. Burton
Bunch of Burtons
Well I would call this a successful week. We had a lot of time we used for finding those who are ready and instead of just "being out finding" we were finding. We talked to seven people who are wanting to learn more! Talking to everyone certainly is a big part of it, as well as knowing that the Lord is with you, and that with Him you will be led to those who are ready.
On Thursday evening we were out stopping by a few old investigators and no one was home. We walked out of the apartment building a little disappointed, a young man was walking by right as we came out. We stopped him and introduced ourselves, he pulled out his ear phones and said "sorry I don't understand, can you speak English?" The American accent :(, ah well, he comes from Albania though so that's part of it as well. We started talking to him and he began showing interest in what we were saying and asked if we would walk with him, he was going to meet a friend. He's had a crazy background, been shot in the knee by his father who also killed his brother. Has had a lot of anger problem and hasn't been involved with much good. When he first came to Denmark he would go out and get into fights with just about anyone, but one day his friend, the one we were going to go meet, had pulled him aside and taught him what was right. He helped him to completely turn his life around. We spent almost an hour and a half with the two of them talking about everything from the word of wisdom to the plan of salvation and over to the restoration. They were both accepting everything and understanding how it could bless their lives. Right before we had to leave Elder Amos was inspired to ask what they do. and we learned that they play on an American Football team with a friend of there's who is member and our branch presidents son. That connection will be so helpful in meeting with them again.
I've come to love 1 Corinthians 13. Where Paul describes charity"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing." Charity is often called the pure love of Christ. Its very interesting that without it we are nothing. We may have much faith and bless the lives of many but it does no good for us if our desires lie elsewhere. It does us no good to wash the dishes of make a siblings bed or even help a fallen man on the street if we are only doing it because we have to. Yes, it still blesses the lives of others, but it goes against the purpose of the commandment to be charitable. We are here on earth to learn and grow that one day we may become as God. Everything that happens allows us to learn something. If it wasn't for the repeated annoyances of little brothers I could never have learned patience. If it wasn't for all the delicious cookies and cakes in the world and other desires I wouldn't learn self control. If it wasn't for hours of walking the streets in the rain having doors slammed in my face I could not learn to endure to the end. Christ gives us opportunities to serve others and sacrifice so that we can learn to have charity. We go through hard times so that we know what its like to have it hard so we can choose to have the desire to help others and to give. Yes, its admirable to give when you don't want to. Sacrifice is good. But when we consecrate ourselves and give our will to the Lord, then we learn to want to sacrifice rather than sacrificing and wanting something else. We grow, and become more like Christ the Savior when we choose to have the desire to give and sacrifice. When we find that pure love of Christ, Charity, for others. We can only have Christs pure love if His will is our own. Its definitely hard, because once you say "I'm a charitable person" you loose your charity. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil." I was realizing that this last week I was starting to think more about myself then for others. The way you feel definitely changes quickly depending upon where your thoughts are, and your actions tend to follow your thoughts.
I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! I had completely forgotten about Thanksgiving until late afternoon Thursday morning. Not celebrated much here, defiantly more of an American Holiday. Happy birthday Ike! I put a letter in the mail, it should be on its way.
Thanks! Have a great week!