Elder Curtis Sudbury

Elder Curtis Sudbury

Monday, June 28, 2010

My frustrations...Letter June 28

Hello world!

A lot of things have been on my mind this last week. I’ve found that I sometimes don't understand the timing of the Lord. Although that is the case, I learned something important: Sometimes the Lord doesn't comply with His promises in the time frame that you want. There is often a trial of your faith, the which, if you endure it well, will bring great blessings to yourself and your area. A trial of your faith is a blessing from God, a gift to those who are trying to follow Him. The trials are never easy, and they probably shouldn't be prayed for, but they bring great blessings when they come.

For me, the trial is continuing onward even though I cannot see the immediate fruits. I feel it is very much like a tree. You plant the seed with the hope it will grow, but you give it water and sunlight long before it leaves the ground. It will never sprout if you do not have the faith to nourish it before you can see its fruits. That is my trial. Find the promises of the Lord, work as hard as I can, and then trust that I will, as Joseph Smith said, "Stand back, and see the Salvation of God."

I've given my whole self to the work these last couple of weeks, and so has my fantastic companion Élder Pérez. I can't even begin to list the miracles we've seen, the hand of the Lord in our own lives, the joy of teaching, the power of revelation, and the joy of the conversion of others to what we know is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I find such joy in the work! My frustrations with myself and others have lessened. There are many fantastic examples who I praise and with whom I am good friends…

Ghandi spoke an eternal truth when he said that you must "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I have seen in my own life, previous to my mission, that a person who is not willing to make changes in their own lives cannot help other people change. Nobody is perfect, but we can all strive to be better.

Rant complete. (JuleeAnn, you told me to write the good and the bad ;) ) :)

In other news, both México and the US are out of the Mundial. I heard it was a sad loss, but we fought a good fight. The German and Argentinian selections are both supposedly fantastic so, should you have a little time, you should watch the game. It should be fantastic. :)

I really appreciated the quotes that Mom and Dad sent me, and felt they should be reproduced here...so here they are :)

“I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made.


I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past in redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, small planning smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed vision, worldly taking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded. I now live by Faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience. I am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven.

My road is nbarrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch I nthe face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, anmd paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And when He returned for His Own, He will have no problem recognizing me.


“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it si the power of GOD unto Salvation to everyone that believeth…” Romans 1:16
(Henry B. Eyring)

It is natural for mortal children to become like their parents. It is equally natural for us to become like God, our Father, for we have divinity within us, having been born in the spirit as his offspring.

To be like him must include the premise that we will perfect our own lives and become strong by living in his way.

The purpose of the testing on earth is to see whether we really have the mettle of which Gods are made. If we did not bring it with us into mortality, then through suffering and testing here, we are given the opportunity of developing it now so that we may take it with us when we depart this life.
To these, I can only say...Amén.

Something else that has been weighing on my mind is topic of the guidance of the Holy Ghost through personal revelation. I have a deep and abiding testimony of personal revelation. Whenever we have troubles, we must first go to God and see what He says. Although at times we may not understand it, God will bless us as we follow His will and trust in His promises. Whenever you think that nobody can understand your difficulties, go to God. He will comfort you, guide you, and direct you. God is faithful.

From what I hear, all is well at home, for that I am grateful :)

I leave you, again, with my testimony. God lives. Jesus is the Christ. This work will go forward and fill the whole earth and there is nothing nor anybody who can stop it. It is the work of God. I know this is the Church of God on the earth. There are many good paths, but only one that is ordained of God to bring the whole human family to Him. It is not an easy path, but it will make us stronger. I know that God will direct us. I know we can return to Him if we put ourselves in His hands. It's not easy, but it's worth it. I know that Thomas Spencer Monson is a prophet of God. I know the scriptures are the word of God. I know my path and I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. My banner will be clear.

All my love,
Élder Sudbury

Monday, June 21, 2010

Letter June 21,2010

Dear Family, Friends, and World,

I am absolutely exhausted this PDay, but I am very happy.  We are finding a lot of investigators and a lot of them are accepting the challenges we are giving them.  The work is hard, but it's supposed to be.  We are learning to seek the will of the Lord for us and have been very surprised by the answers we are receiving.  Our area has very little faith in the ability of missionary work to bring any souls here, but God is telling us about the miracles we will see this month if we remain diligent and have faith.

That is one thing that I've learned recently, never lose faith in anybody. 

Firstly, never lose faith in God.  God will always remain with you, no matter how hard things get.  Nothing can separate us from the Love of God.  Sometimes we don't understand His way of helping us, sometimes it is immensely painful, sometimes it's very hard, but God always helps us perfectly.  If we put ourselves in God's hands, he will mold us into what He wants us to be.  Sometimes, like a good potter, he has to break down what's in place to make the pot beautiful; sometimes we don't understand how the way He's moving will help us; but He is shaping us. 

Secondly, never lose faith in yourself.  Nothing you do, NOTHING, can pull you so far away from God that He will stop loving you.  Nothing you do can take you so far away from Him that you cannot come back.  You are partly Divine.  Nobody is a "mere mortal."  Your divine heritage makes you something very special...you have the seeds of Godhood within you.  There is NOTHING that we cannot do when God tells us to do it.

Thirdly, never lose faith in those around you.  Sometimes we do not understand the paths they are taking, but God is with them too.  Sometimes people stop listening, sometimes they fall away, but they are never "too far gone" for anything.  One of our strongest investigators, the one that may be progressing the most, didn't have any faith in God or Christ a few weeks ago.  She's come to church twice.  We didn't think that she was going to progress, but something has sparked within her.  God knows His sheep and will help them come back to the fold whenever they stop running away. 

God suffered for each of us individually.  He didn't suffer just so that we could be free from sin if we so chose, but he also "suffered according to the flesh" so that "according to the flesh he would know how to succor his people." (That was a translation from Spanish, sorry if it's a little off.)  He didn't just suffer so that we could be free, He suffered so that He would know how to help us when we were on our knees in pain and anguish of soul or body, so that He would know how to lead us back to the fold when we were ready, and so that He could stand before the father and judge us according to mercy and justice according to our hearts as well as our works.  He is our Saviour, our Advocate, and our Best Friend.  Because of Him, we needn't ever lose faith in anyone.

Other than that, not a lot has changed.  The mission is a fantastic adventure daily that changes and unfolds before you as you put your faith in God.  The Joy of a mission is sometimes standing before the storm and the raging tide and refusing to back down because your God has called you there.  The storm may be Satan and his "shafts in the whirlwind," it may be the other missionaries who simply don't have faith in the work, it may be the members who tell you that nothing can be done in your city, but FAITH changes everything.  Two missionaries, or a few ward members, or a few family members can change the hearts of hundreds, or thousands, as they have FAITH in God and of His ability to change hearts.

Um...yeah :) Ranting done.

The rains have started this month.  Almost every day it rains quite hard.  I'm very grateful the Lord inspired me to get a very good waterproof jacket from The North Face and a fantastic waterproof bag from Timbuk2.  If there are future missionaries going to Latin America reading this, I recommend them ;).  I stay mostly dry and my scriptures stay dry, and that's what's important.  I love working in the rain.  I love the idea of God cleaning the Earth, the air, the people, and everything.  I love that people sometimes let us in their houses because it's raining when they would otherwise tell us to get lost.  ;).  There's an EFY song by the name of It's Gonna Rain that I like.  One of the lines in it that I especially like is in the chorus "It's gonna rain just like He said it would.  When the rain begins to fall, remember where the rain falls from." (Do try to ignore the fact that it ends in a preposition, poetic license win.) :D

I have a feeling that somebody who's reading this needs a boost of Life right now.  Go read my note on facebook entitled Life.  :)  Life is not as much fun if not lived epically.  Life should always be lived epically.  As should a mission :).

As always, you get my testimony.  God Lives.  Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God.  This is His work.  We are led by a living prophet of God.  The gift of tongues is alive and kicking ;).  God works by revelation, prophecy, healings, and miracles as well as in small, everyday acts by His servants.  Joseph Smith received from God what man cannot give, nor take away.  He received Eternal Wisdom.  I cannot deny the truth of this church.  It remains and will always remain a fact that I receive revelation for this area, that I am led at times to do things that I never thought about doing, and that I have felt the burning in my heart that tells me it is true.  I feel like Oliver Cowdery when at times I doubt and the words of God come back to my mind when He told him, "think back on the night that you asked me concerning these things.  Did I not speak peace to you concerning these things?  What greater witness can you have than from God? (inexact quote, I didn't bring my scriptures)."  The words of the Lord roar like a Lion in my mind and in my heart.  I am always reminded about the second Chronicles of Narnia movie when Aslan roars at the DLF and tells him to feel his breath and his mane and know that He is real.  So has it been in my heart and mind.  I cannot deny it, no matter what I do.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Church of God on the Earth with the Power and Authority from God to lead it.  It is the only one with all the ordinances, authority, and guidance of the Lord.  Though other churches may help others to come to Christ and God, only through His true Church can they receive all the blessings in this life and the life to come that He wants them to have.  Whatever the church requires of us, so should we give, for it is the Kingdom of God on earth.  I know it, and God knows it, and I cannot deny it.

Well...I don't think I have anything more to say.  So...yeah. :)  Thanks to Mom, Karen Slade, and Caitlin for the letters through DearElder.  I'll try to write this week...or maybe next week. :)

All my Love to all of you!

Élder Sudbury

Friday, June 18, 2010

Curtis and other missionaries going out from MTC

Curtis' letter June 19, 2010

Curtis and his new companion, Elder Perez

Dear Family,
I don´t have a lot of time again.  To start off, Happy Father's Day Dad!!! :)  I'm not entirely sure when it is, but happy Father's day nonetheless ;)  Happy Birthday Mom!!! :) I'll be writing on Monday again, but for now enjoy :)
A lot of stuff has happened in the last week and a half.  In the district meeting the night after I wrote you, we were told that there was going to be special transfers throughout the mission for various reasons.  Èlder Montalvo was transfered to Iztapalapa and Èlder Perez came here with me.  We've been having a fabulous time.  He also has abut 2 months left, but wants to work those last two months as hard as he can, so we get along great :).  We commited somebody to baptism for the end of this month and we're trying as hard as we can to get her to complete that goal.  We have a more...ambitious...goal for next month, but I don't want to give away the surprise ;).  We know that all the success we've been and will be having comes from the Lord.  We've seen that we, on our own, are terrible teachers, but when the Spirit is directing us, and really teaching through us, the lessons are always exactly what they're supposed to be.  God blesses this work.
The members are also gaining confidence in us.  They are setting up family home evenings and giving us references where before they did nothing.  When the members help as well, this work cannot be stopped from "rolling forward and filling the whole earth."
All in all, I am wonderfully happy.  The mission has its trials and tests and I come home tired daily, but I am happy :).  I am happy because the Spirit of God abides with me and this companionship.  My God lives.  I have no doubt of that because I feel His love within me.  I know that this is God's Church and His Work.  I know that the only way to be happy is by strict obedience to the commandments of God.  It's difficult, but I can testify that the joy and peace it brings to your heart is worth it.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and guides and directs this church in the latter-days.  I know these are the last days of the earth and that we must prepare temporally and spiritually for the battles that are to come.  But God is faithful and will protect us.  I testify that God is Love, that this work is the Work of Love on the earth and that every member is so called to serve, even if it's just lending service to others and showing them love.
We rescheduled our P-Day to Thursday so we could go to a place called Chaputalpec (or something like that).  It's a government park with museums, a zoo, and a lot of cool things.  We went to the zoo (free) and saw a lot of really cool animals.  We even went in to the butterfly house (not free, but cheap) and it was fantastic.  We then saw people called Voladores or Flyers.  They are part of an old Aztec tradition (I think it's Aztec...).  They climb to the top of a tower, wind a rope up, and then hang upside-down as the tower unwinds.  After that we went to the National Anthropological Museum.  It was very cool to see all the history of Mèxico.  It was also interesting to see how the gospel was perverted over time after they killed off all the christians.  For instance, Quètzalcoatl, the main god in the Mayan (or Aztec, unsure which) religion, came, said he'd come again, and came as a white bearded man.  He travelled to the underworld to rescue the souls of men and, in an act of self-sacrifice, mixed his blood with their souls to create partially divine man who would eventually populate the universe :).  Where the perversion comes is when they then sacrifice daily to help replenish the blood supply of Quètzalcoatl. :P  It was all very cool, but we got back late so I didn't get to write yesterday, so we're taking a few minutes to do it today. 
Tell Chris thank you for the letter and the advice, I've taken it into consideration.  Tell JuleeAnn good luck with the job :).  Go Celtics! Go Mèxico (we won yesterday, by the way)! ;)  Tell everyone Hi for me :).  I Love you All!!!
With All My Heart,
Èlder Sudbury
     P Day and a trip to historic Mexico with some of the missionaries in Mexico City
    P Day in Historic Mexico with some of the other missionaries

    Curtis and his first companion in Mexico - Elder Montalvo

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Letter from Curtis June 6, 2010

We got to the Ciber a little late today, and then the email wasn't working for a little over 45 minutes.  This email will be a little shorter.

I'm not sure if I told you, but Élder Montalvo only has 2 months left.  He has become what we call "fried" or "dead."  This week he slept a LOT and was not all that excited about working when he was awake.  He still likes teaching lessons, but doesn't like contacting the people we have to in order to get the appointments to teach :P.  Because of that, we didn't get nearly as much done this week as we usually do.  That being said, we did get one of our investigators to Stake Conference yesterday! :)  I really think it's possible for her to get baptized this month.  She's really gaining a lot of faith and keeping her promises.  I'm excited for her! :)  That's really been the highlight of the week.  The conference was pretty cool too.  The mission president and his wife and the temple president and his wife apparently make a habit of going to all the stake conferences around here.  All four of them spake this conference.  There were a few themes that I took from the conference.  One that was talked about a LOT was the influence of women on their husbands, children, and friends.  If I could only express just how true that has been in my life!  Because of the example and influence of Mom, the girls, and many, many good friends that were girls (English really needs the word amigas), I am where I am.  I am at the point of tears right now writing about them.  To all of those women in my life that have changed it for good, THANK YOU! :)

Another major theme that came out was what we can do in families for our children AND to help missionary work.  I've found out how essential it is to missionary work to have the members be good examples.  I'm not just talking about a few, we need the majority to be good, solid examples.  Three things were emphasized for families.  Be good examples to your children, teach them the gospel as well as you can, and pray for them.  The same is true for missionary work (especially as members help with missionary work).  Be good examples for the investigators, teach them if you have the opportunity, and pray for them.  We are going to start that in our wards here.  We are going to go to every members house and leaving two things.  One is a list for them to write the names of less active members and non-members who need the gospel in their lives and pray for them.  The second is a challenge that will change every other week.  This week it's going to be for them to have family prayer at least once a day.  We need to help the members be good examples in this area so we (the bishopric and us) came up with this plan.  We will follow up every week with every family.  We don't have huge wards, so it's possible, though will be difficult.  I think Élder Montalvo will enjoy this more too, as we'll actually be teaching instead of walking the streets contacting (or, as he calls it, walking in circles).  It probably won't show immediate results, but it will fix one of the big problems that has been hindering missionary work in this area.  I'm really excited to do this :).  But I'm excited to do everything...I think Élder Montalvo will be excited as well.  Now that's something ;).

I don't really have any other news at the moment.  We have zone conference this Wednesday, which will be exciting :).  So I will leave you with the lyrics of another song.  This song is called "Go Bring Them In".  This song became special to me the day President Hinckley died.  I found out the news at a seminary fireside and, as I was driving home, this song came on the radio.  It was very much the message President Hinckley carried and was one of the things I loved so dearly about him.  The heart of the message is found in the last verse and in the chorus.

November 1856
Just west of Devil’s Gate
A place they now call Martin’s Cove
Sacred ground of faith
Some hours ago we somehow crossed
Sweetwater’s sheets of ice
At times it took your breath away
At times it took your life

The sky is growing dark again
There’s little food to eat
The chilling wind cut to the bone
I cannot feel my feet
I know that Zion lay just ahead
As I rest and close my eyes
Will I wake to see the morn
Or maybe Paradise?

Go bring them in from the plains
Go bring them in from the cold
Like a Fire the Spirit's burning,
Bring them in and keep them warm
Go bring them in from the plains
Go bring them in from the cold
Wrap your loving arms around them
Bring His peace to their souls.

Now tonight I dream of Kirtland
Zion’s Camp’s holy test
I dream of Independence
Liberty and Far West
Tonight I dream of Nauvoo
Brother Joseph’s iron will
Tonight I dream of Carthage
And how we miss him still

And tonight I dream of Bethlehem
Nazareth and Galilee
Tonight I dream of miracles
From our Master and our King
Somewhere it starts as whispers
Then turns to shouts so clear
Wake up, wake up, it’s not a dream
The Valley Boys are here!

Go bring them in from the plains
Go bring them in from the cold
Like a Fire the Spirit's burning,
Bring them in and keep them warm
Go bring them in from the plains
Go bring them in from the cold
Wrap your loving arms around them
Bring His peace to their souls.

Now it’s me who walks these steps
Just west of Devil’s Gate
A place we now call Martin’s Cove
Sacred ground of faith
In silence and in reverence
Sweetwater we now cross
And hear the echo of their prayers
Their tears and their loss

The night still needs a light that shines
His truth we need to share
To honor those who came this way
We’ll lift up and we’ll care
On our backs and in our hearts
We’ll carry and proclaim
And heed a prophet’s call once more
Go bring them in from the plains!

Go bring them in from the plains
Go bring them in from the cold
Like a Fire the Spirit's burning,
Bring them in and keep them warm
Go bring them in from the plains
Go bring them in from the cold
Wrap your loving arms around them
Bring His peace to their souls.

I'll leave you one more song that I don't have with me but has also been dear to my heart.  The song is called "Safe Harbors."  It talks about a call to arms...it's the call I answered.  I can't find the lyrics, so I found the video on YouTube.  Here's the link http://www.youtube.com/user/steviedmormon#p/u/4/MUYOC0KeFf4

Tell the girls thank you for their letters.  Did Noella run her Memorial Day Marathon (or half-marathon)?

DearElder.com I believe is free and if you use the pouch service to my mission, the letter is also free.  Make sure you choose the pouch option and it should be free.  I left the pouch address at the apartment, for now, just put the regular mail address.  Letters usually still get here in pretty good time.  I'll try to find it, or if you use facebook and ask Liz Harbuck to give it to you when my letter gets to her house, she can tell you.

The regular mail address (mostly to be used if you send a package) is:

Élder Frederick Curtis Sudbury
Misión México Ciudad de México Sur
Avenida del Taller # 540
Colonia Jardin Balbuena
Delegacion Venustiano Carranza, Mexico D.F. C.P 15900

I hope all is well. :) So glad to be in the motherland ;)

-Elder Sudbury

Out with the old and on with the new! Keeping a record of past mailing information for journal.

Curtis has now arrived in the Mexico City South Mission. We have not received a mailing address from him as yet, but we can send him comments from his blog or you can save up the letters and we'll let you know the address next week! Or, may even better, you can join the Dearelder.com sight and they will find him if you put in the "Mexico City South Mission" as the destination. This is a nice way to mail letters because instead of taking six weeks, it only takes one.

Old News: Elder Sudbury has moved from the the Ogden, Utah mission to the Mexico City South Mission because his VISA finally became available.

The Ogden mission wanted to keep him (and others going to Mexico) close enough to SLC so they could be contacted immediately, as soon as the VISA becomes available. Currently, it is the mission home's belief that the VISA will come within the next month---therefore the reason for keeping him in a Utah mission. Some of those were assigned to Salt Lake City to serve while they are waiting, but since Curtis is from Salt Lake City, he has been assigned to Ogden.

If you have sent Curtis an a letter, but have not received anything in return, it is because, at the MTC, they limit the time you can spend emailing anyone to 1/2 hour. At the end of that time limit, the computer shuts down.