Email January 19, 2015 – Elder Kenneth Wm. Burton
Bunch of Burtons
This last week at our zone training we found out that Randers will be going down from four elders to two. Most likely what will happen is I will stay here with one of the other two elders because Elder Amos has been here for a while and its most likely they will want to keep an elder from each companionship. Our apartment is going to be sold because its the more expensive of the two, so we'll be needing to clear it out the next few weeks and then spend a week living with the other two elders before transfers.
Zone training was great, this next year instead of studying a different chapter of Preach My Gospel each month we will focus on using the Gospel of Jesus Christ to help others come unto Him. We discussed our purpose witch is to invite others to come unto Christ and receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.
This last week has been going great, the work has been slowly progressing for a while but this week we have seen a lot of evidence of the hastening here in Randers. The list of people we're working with is increasing and we've been finding some success getting back into contact with a lot of them recently.
Last Tuesday we spent the evening in Lanå, a small town about a 10 minute train ride from Randers. In the few hours we were there we had a lesson on the street with a woman named Hanna, and found a few other potential investigators one of which we have a return appointment set up for this upcoming Wednesday. He had asked us if we could meet somewhere where we could get a beer or coffee with him, uhhhh... instead we suggested a pizza place we had passed earlier and he agreed.
On Wednesday we spent a lot of the day trying to find someone to teach with no success, into the evening I began getting caught up in my words and stumbling over things that I knew by heart. That's when I realized how prideful I was thinking, "My Danish is better than this", or "I'm a better teacher than this". I had not been giving credit to the Lord for the blessings and talents that he has provided and that are only possible through his grace and mercy. I tried to repent, and change my thought process. In the last three minutes of the day we walked past a bar and a drunk man from Vietnam stumbled out and told us he likes to pray, and asked us if we would come and visit him some time. He gave us his address and phone number and we were able to stop by on Saturday evening and teach him a short lesson. I testify that the Lord blesses us when we strive to be more like Him.
We had an interesting lesson with a man named Kennet who we have been trying to contact for a while. We knocked on his door Friday evening and he let us right in. We began teaching the plan of salvation and then he went off for almost an hour about his belief in aliens.
Peter Rasmussen came to a family home evening last night with his wife and two young children at the Nielsens home. It went great and they seemed to enjoy it.
I have had a question the last week I've been studying quite a lot. What is grace? And why is Christ so liberal in his mercy? I have been studying from the scriptures as well as the words of modern day prophets and apostles, and I feel I have come to understand it a little bit better. Not completely, but enough to have received a stronger feeling of gratitude towards my savior for his sacrifice and payment. One reason I like to share what I have studied in my letters is because it provides a great way to see better whats in my own head. It helps me to better understand the things I've been trying to learn. And it also, I hope, helps others to learn a little more as well. If not only to see things from another's perspective.
What is grace? Back before the world was created, God, our Father, made a plan, and presented it to us. We are his spiritual children and he loves us in a way that we can not fully understand. This plan provided a way for us to progress and grow, and if we so choose, one day become like God himself. Those of us who accepted the Fathers plan were sent to earth to first obtain bodies. Laws were given that if obeyed by choice would change us. Would allow us to acquire the qualities of our Father and become like Him. God even sent his son Jesus Christ to show us the perfect way to live. to show us how he would live, or how we should live if we choose to become like our Father.
At times though, while here on earth we slip up, we sin, and we break ourselves against the laws God has placed for us to follow. Justice must be paid, for it is an eternal law. Boyd K. Packer said, "Unless there is a mediator, unless we have a friend, the full weight of justice untempered, unsympathetic, must, positively must fall on us." After living as a perfect example out of mercy and love Christ paid our debt. He suffered for all of our sins. Its done. We will all go back to Gods presence again.
"Then we don't have to do anything right?" We still have plenty to do but its not to pay for our sins and mistakes. Bruce C. Hafen said, "The great Mediator asks for our repentance not because we must 'repay' him in exchange for his paying our debt to justice, but because repentance initiates a developmental process that, with the Savior's help, leads us along the path to a saintly character." So that we can become more like Christ! So that we can change! Christ laid down his life to pay for our sins, but then as our creditor he has set new terms. He can give us hope, we have the ability to change. Because of his love for us he is able to continue showing mercy, when we make a mistake and try to be rid of it, when we try to change and come back unto Christ he forgives us faster than we would even forgive ourselves.
Doctrine and Covenants 42:48-51 says " And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed. He who hath faith to see shall see. He who hath faith to hear shall hear. The lame who hath faith to leap shall leap." I will continue by saying, He who hath faith to become like Christ shall be as Christ. "We have all been saved by grace, but have we all been changed by grace?" (Brad Wilcox)
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall profess, within the vail,
A life of joy and peace.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.
Have a great week!
-Elder Ken Burton