Elder Curtis Sudbury

Elder Curtis Sudbury

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Letter - August 9, 2010

Well, life just keeps being interesting ;).

Saturday we baptized the investigator that came to us and told us she wanted to get baptized.  Her story is interesting.  Perla (that's her name ;) ) married an LDS member earlier this year.  She said she wanted to get baptized, but still didn't know anything about Joseph Smith or the restoration of the gospel. We taught her about the restoration and invited her to pray.  That was Tuesday.  Wednesday we came back to her house and she told us that a bunch of things kept interrupting her when she tried to pray the night before.  We invited her to pray, right then and there, and we would wait outside.  I prayed my heart out.  I knew that it would be a HUGE mistake to baptize her if she didn't feel the Holy Ghost and had a testimony in her heart.  She wanted to know, and I prayed for her.  After about 15 minutes she came out.  She described to us her experience along these lines: I started to do what you asked me to.  I started to ask Heavenly Father if this was His church and if Joseph Smith really was a prophet.  What happened next is hard to describe.  I felt in my heart a LOT of peace and a feeling that I don't know that I can describe.  I don't know if this was my answer, but I liked it.  I almost started crying I was so happy.  We helped her understand that it was from God, that the Holy Ghost was speaking to her, and that she was ready for baptism.  She passed her baptismal interview on Thursday without any problem.  Saturday we went to the mission doctor to check Élder Perez's back.  That's 3 hours away and we hit traffic.  We got back about 4:30 and had the baptism planned for 6:00.  Satan began to work as hard as he could to stop us.  First, we couldn't find anyone with the keys to the boiler room.  Next, the boiler wouldn't turn on.  Then the water ran out.  Then the water that was working was pouring so slowly that it would take 4 or 5 hours to finish filling the font.  Then the lights went out only in the bathrooms and the baptismal font room.  Nevertheless, God helped us.  We found out we didn't need a key to get in the boiler room.  After nearly blowing ourselves up a couple times, we got the boiler working.  We got a brother to help us and we filled up the baptismal font the best we could with buckets.  Finally, we went and bought candles and did the baptism by candlelight.  Satan did not want her to get baptised, but I've never payed attention to him anyway ;).  I'm so glad they can now work towards getting to the temple!

We had a family home evening last night with both wards.  It went really well.  We watched On the Way Home.  The members really liked it.  I hope they keep having those combined family home evenings every week. :)

That being said, I'll miss little San Juan Tehuixtitlan.  I have been transferred, starting tomorrow.  I'll be going to a place by the name of Cuatro Vientos, Chalco.  Élder Perez is headed home to Colorado and I'm going away.  I hope the new Élderes in my area take care of my investigators and baptize them.  There are a lot of people that are ready, right now.  I hope they take care of those people that I care about so very much.

That's about all.  We spent the entire week preparing for this baptism.  I'm so happy :).

I don't think I've shared the lyrics to this song, though it's one of my favorites.  The song is called Prove Me by Hilary Weeks.  It's what I want God to do to me.  I want him to prove me.

Unwavering faith
The kind of courage
And conviction that it takes
To leave your home behind
Part the Red Sea
I wonder
Did God plant that kind of strength in me?

Just a seed now
But may be it will grow

'Till prison walls
Crumble down around me
And I've escaped unscathed from the lion's den
When I have
Walked so far the handcarts start pushin' me
Until then
Prove me

Center on the wheel
Like clay in your hands
Ready to be shaped and molded by your hand
If you'll take this heart
willful as it seems
And through your mercy refine me until I'm complete

Though I'm weak now
You can make me strong

'Till on a wall
Arrows cannot harm me
Until my faith leads me into a grove of trees
When every
Nails in place before the rains
And floods come down
Until then
Prove me

I will step into the fire
So your love can purify me
And I'll stay until you say I am through
Wash away all the falls and
Every earthly imperfection
Until my will turns to you

Until I trust
Without hesitation
When humility is chased away the pride
Until the day and through your grace I'm welcomed home
Until then
Prove me

I've thought a lot about this.  I think another definition of proving something, besides testing it, is also to refine something.  I want Him to test me, to refine me, until I become everything He wants me to be.

I know that through the atonement of Christ, all of us can be saved, proven, refined, and become the people God would have us be.  I know that that gift is free to all who will accept the invitation from Christ to "come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world" (3 Nephi 11:14).  We can still feel his sacrifice, the prints of the nails in his hands and feet, though he is not physically in front of us.  We can feel if he really suffered for our sins.  I know, because I have felt those prints as I've repented.  I know that He takes care of me.  I know that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).  God loves me, He always will.  He gave His Son for me.  His Son gave His life freely.  The Holy Ghost bears testimony of it.  I know in my heart it is true.  I doubt not, I fear not (D&C 6:36).  Past all the scriptures that are written in my heart, is this knowledge.  He lives.  He has given everything for me.  He has restored His church upon the earth.  He seeks to guide us.  He will forgive us if we repent.  It is all true.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Church and kingdom of God on the earth.  It is the only one and the only way to truly be happy.  Happiness comes from following God exactly.  Everything else, in the end, brings heartache.  I know it is true.  I have felt it in my heart.  I cannot deny it.

With All My Love,
Élder Sudbury

PS  Mom: I didn't get any weird illness from nor is it against the rules to skin a rabbit.  Dear Elder letters get here every Monday, so I get them the Sunday thereafter.  I have gotten handwritten letters from you as well.  Family: I love you all!  Please do take care of yourselves and one another while I'm away. :)

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