Email December 29, 2014 – Elder Kenneth Wm. Burton
Bunch of Burtons
It was great to see and talk to you all on Christmas! Its good to see everyone doing well.
Christmas week has been so weird in comparison to a normal week of missionary work. Most of the week we were given the suggestion not to go finding, which makes sense, so we did a lot of Christmas caroling. There was one area that we biked out to and realized we had forgotten the address for the member we were visiting. Elder Amos was sure it was number 29 so we when't over to the house and we knew immediately that it was the wrong number. We didn't recognize the house and the name on the mailbox was wrong. We decided to knock it anyway and an older woman came to the door with a big smile on her face. When we asked her if we could sing a few Christmas songs to her she let us right in. We sung, talked, said a prayer, and left with a box of chocolates she had given us because we wouldn't accept money. Turned out the chocolates had alcohol in them so we couldn't eat them anyway, but it was a nice offer.
Hey sorry my camera is dead, so you'll have to wait on the Christmas photos. I had forgotten my camera charger when we had moved into the other Elders apartment for the week. We're back to normal companionship's again though, Elder Gifford has a new companion and Elder Amos and I are back in our apartment.
I can't believe that its basically 2015, only a few days left of the year. In two weeks I'm suppose to give a talk in sacrament meeting about how we can use this next year to come closer to Christ. If anyone has any thoughts or things your focusing on this next year to come closer to Christ let me know.
The first principles and ordinances of the gospel are first faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Seccond repentance. Third baptism by immersion for the remission of sin. Forth the laying on of hands to receive to gift of the Holy Ghost. And enduring to the end. These are the basic principles for coming unto Christ. As we do these things we change and become more like Him. No unclean thing can dwell with God and so it is necessary for us to change in order to come unto Him. And the only way to change to come unto Him is to come unto Him.
Faith is a change, it does take mental effort. The natural man would have us believe in nothing. Beginning with faith we are changing and taking a step closer to God. That step then changing us more to allow us to come unto God.
In True to the Faith, under repentance it says that repentance is a change of mind and heart that gives you a fresh view about God, about yourself, and about the world. Repentance is when we give up something we want for something we want more. I had a dream a few weeks ago where my sister Alex told me about a diet she was on. She said "you know what? I still wanted to eat the cake..." Just because we want to be healthier doesn't mean we wont want to eat sweats. But as we take the step towards Christ to become more like him our desires to follow Him become stronger and the desires for those sweets diminishes. Because we change.
Baptism, or partaking of the sacrament in order to renew our baptismal covenant, are ways that we show God our desire to change. We show Him that we want to be like Him. And so we take another step towards becoming like Him, and in so doing we change more.
Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost changes us immediately, we all of a sudden have the companionship of a member of the Godhead. It protects us, and helps us to continue and endure to the end so that we can make good choices and progress unto God our father. Becoming more like Him the whole way as we change.
"You change immediately with each good thought, each good act, every good word changes you for the better." -Lawrence E. Corbridge
"To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never done before." -Richard G. Scott
We change to become like Christ and come unto Him. Ponder over what you can change this next year to become more like Christ. But remember "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts". -Winston Churchill. Just because you forget to do some push-ups one morning doesn't mean you will never become an athlete. And just because you forget to study the scriptures one morning doesn't mean you will never become like Christ. Repentance and change are incredible gifts.
I hope you all have a great year!
Elder Ken Burton