Elder Curtis Sudbury

Elder Curtis Sudbury

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Letter from Curtis May 21, 2011

Well another very interesting week has passed.  We received the visit from Élder Oaks and Élder Johnson from the area presidency this last Tuesday.  It was very exciting.  He talked a lot about receiving revelation; he talked about the things we can do to receive revelation and how it can come.  It was really a fantastic time, short though it was.  He shook everyone's hand before the meeting begun, but that was all the personal communication that we had with him.  It was a very special experience.

This week was hard as far as proselyting is concerned.  Yesterday we saw a lot of blessings, however.  We found one person who wants to find out about our church and see if it is a place where he can raise his family.  He seems very sincere in that desire, though he talks a LOT.  We later had an appointment that cancelled on us, but their neighbor asked us to come in and pray for her daughter who is sick.  We taught her about prayer, the Savior, and the guidance of the Lord.  She said that, if or when she finds out that our church has the Authority of God and that it's the only one that has that Authority, she will get baptized again under that Authority.  Yesterday was a day of miracles and blessings.  We haven't been deserving of all the many blessings God has literally poured out upon us.  I don't understand it, really, but God is guiding us a lot.  I'm so grateful for that.

We are still waiting on an answer for the house that we like.  I hope they say yes.  That house would be a great blessing to this mission.  I hope they say yes :).  We still don't know who is going where.  We asked President Chávez and he said that he honestly still doesn't know.  We'll find out soon, however.  I'll be sure to let you know.

We have a ward Family Home Evening tonight that is especially for investigators.  I hope it turns out well.  We have a lot of people that we've invited to come.  I'm excited to see what happens.

That's about all the news for the week.  I've been informed by my family that the world ends at 4:00 MDT (Mormon Daylight Time...might be some 15 minutes late ;) ) today.  If so, in echoing the words of the dolphins from Adam Douglas's The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, "So long, and thanks for all the fish!"  If I had taken the possibility a little more seriously, I might have a more solemn farewell...but...I didn't. :P

This letter has been brought to you by the hymn A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief:

1. A poor, wayfaring Man of grief
Hath often crossed me on my way,
Who sued so humbly for relief
That I could never answer nay.
I had not pow’r to ask his name,
Whereto he went, or whence he came;
Yet there was something in his eye
That won my love; I knew not why.
2. Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel’s portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.
3. I spied him where a fountain burst
Clear from the rock; his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst;
He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the suff’rer up;
Thrice from the stream he drained my cup,
Dipped and returned it running o’er;
I drank and never thirsted more.
4. ’Twas night; the floods were out; it blew
A winter hurricane aloof.
I heard his voice abroad and flew
To bid him welcome to my roof.
I warmed and clothed and cheered my guest
And laid him on my couch to rest,
Then made the earth my bed and seemed
In Eden’s garden while I dreamed.
5. Stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death,
I found him by the highway side.
I roused his pulse, brought back his breath,
Revived his spirit, and supplied
Wine, oil, refreshment—he was healed.
I had myself a wound concealed,
But from that hour forgot the smart,
And peace bound up my broken heart.
6. In pris’n I saw him next, condemned
To meet a traitor’s doom at morn.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed,
And honored him ’mid shame and scorn.
My friendship’s utmost zeal to try,
He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill,
But my free spirit cried, “I will!”
7. Then in a moment to my view
The stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew;
The Savior stood before mine eyes.
He spake, and my poor name he named,
“Of me thou hast not been ashamed.
These deeds shall thy memorial be;
Fear not, thou didst them unto me.”
I love this hymn that talks about our dear Savior.  The small acts that the speaker did were enough to gain him great rewards.  Christ is the Bread of Life, the Living, Healing Water.  He is the Good Samaritan, He is"he who liveth, [he is] he who was slain; [he is my] advocate with the Father."  He has won my love.  I hope to serve my Shepherd my whole life.  I love Him.  I know He lives, for I have eaten and drunk His Bread and Water and it has filled my soul.  I know that He will always be there for me.  I love Him dearly.  I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His Church and Kingdom on earth and he Reigns in it.  I know I am in the work of the Lord.  I wish I could tell you all I have learned and how important it is to do this work, but this short testimony will have to suffice.  I know.  That knowledge has made and will make all the difference in my life.

All my Love,
Élder Sudbury

Letter from Curtis, May 14, 2011

Well, I didn't end up changing my P-Day to Friday, so I'm writing you today :).

We spent pretty much the whole week in conferences.  The people from whom we were going to rent ended up renting to someone else, so we've also been house shopping.  We found another house that is just what we were looking for, but there might be a problem because we don't have a cosigner.  Pray for our house ;).

The highlight of the teaching week was with two of our investigators, Jaime and Santiago.  We had all forgotten to write their address, but we found them again.  We taught them a lesson about the restored authority of God and how it can bless them.  I think it went well.  They said they would like to come to church Oxt-Sunday (not this Sunday, but the next one).  We've been feeling the Spirit really strongly in our lessons lately.  I think we're finally getting the idea of how to teach by the Spirit.

We got to serve our ward collecting the trash out of the bushes in front of the ward building.  We have been trying to find ways to serve the ward more and this was a great chance.  It took longer than we had planned, but I think the clean-up was quite necessary.  Those bushes were FULL of trash!

I got to do some baptismal interviews this week.  The people had been taught by the Assistants to President.  They were more than ready and it was a joy to be able to interview them and congratulate them on their choice to be baptized into the Church of God.  I always have a special joy

Elder Oaks and President Rasband are coming to the mission this Tuesday!!! AHHHH!!!! :D  I'm really excited!!!

That's about all.  We've been very busy with conferences mostly.  God's hand is constantly with us in finding people and houses ;).  We're learning and growing.  I'm sorry this letter isn't any longer, but I simply haven't anything more to comment :P.

This letter is brought to you by the hymn Adam-Ondi-Ahman:

1. This earth was once a garden place,
With all her glories common,
And men did live a holy race,
And worship Jesus face to face,
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.
2. We read that Enoch walked with God,
Above the pow’r of mammon,
While Zion spread herself abroad,
And Saints and angels sang aloud,
In Adam-ondi-Ahman.
3. Her land was good and greatly blest,
Beyond all Israel’s Canaan;
Her fame was known from east to west,
Her peace was great, and pure the rest
Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.
4. Hosanna to such days to come,
The Savior’s second coming,
When all the earth in glorious bloom
Affords the Saints a holy home,
Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.
I had forgotten a bit about this particular hymn.  It has a beautiful melody and a great message.  Adam-ondi-Ahman was the place where Adam and his family lived and worshiped God and Christ.  This song is a reminder of what they had and what we can have one day.  I look forward with great Hope to that day.  I know the Savior will come again.  I know that The day will come that we will again worship Jesus face to face when Zion is established again.  I know that day is not far-distant.  I'm grateful that now is the time I have to bring forth the Cause of Zion and preach the Gospel of Peace to everyone.  I hope I can be a faithful servant in the building up of the Kingdom.  I know God lives.  I know Jesus is the Savior of the World and of you and of me.  I know that He will come.  It is not a hope or a belief.  I know.  Nothing can ever change that for me.

All my Love,
Élder Sudbury

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Letter from Curtis May 7, 2011

Well, it's been a short week (such an oxymoron, that.  A week is always the same amount of time...).  We've been going to zone conferences and on exchanges most of the week.  We got the official announcement that the mission is going to split, what zones are going, etc.  We have to find a new house as this office is going to be for the Mexico City South-East Mission.  I think I've found a suitable one, but someone is planning on signing a contract on it Monday night or Tuesday morning.  President is going to see it Monday morning and, if he approves it, we'll rent it on the spot (right out from under the other people's noses).  I've realized that's sort of the way house shopping is.  We'll see how it all turns out.  Élder Carreón, one of the assistants, has already been designated as going to the new mission.  We've also been informed that two of us secretaries will be going to the new mission as well.  I don't know who it's going to be, but I wouldn't be too surprised if I was one of the two.  We'll find out soon.

Well, I'm calling tomorrow.  I was planning on 3:30 MY time, but 4:30 will do ;).  Glad we got that cleared up before tomorrow.

In the conferences we've been watching a talk by Élder Holland that he gave in the MTC.  It is really good.  One of the things he talks about is how the calling we receive to discipleship is for forever.  Once we make the covenant of discipleship, we can never go back.  He talked about Peter who, after Christ ascended to heaven, not knowing what else to do, went fishing along with James and John.  Christ comes and visits them and asks them if they love Him more than the fish and directs them that, if it is so, that they must leave what they left so willingly 3 years before and establish the church.  One must commit for forever.

That's my exciting thought for the week.

This week's letter is brought to you by Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth
Home can be a heav’n on earth
When we are filled with love,
Bringing happiness and joy,
Rich blessings from above—
Warmth and kindness, charity,
Safety and security—
Making home a part of heaven,
Where we want to be.
Drawing fam’ly near each week,
We’ll keep love burning bright.
Serving Him with cheerful hearts,
We’ll grow in truth and light.
Parents teach and lead the way,
Children honor and obey,
Reaching for our home in heaven,
Where we want to stay.
Praying daily in our home,
We’ll feel His love divine;
Searching scriptures faithfully,
We’ll nourish heart and mind.
Singing hymns of thanks, we’ll say,
“Father, help us find the way
Leading to our home in heaven,
Where we long to stay.”
This week is Mother's day.  I know my parents, especially my Mother, have made my home a Heaven on earth.  I know that the celestial habits I must form in my own home will make my home a Heaven on earth for my wife and children.  I know that the home should rightfully be an extension of Heaven.  I know that my family and I can be together forever if we are all faithful.  I know that that is worth the battle.  I know that I can return with my family to my Home Above after this life and that we will NEVER stop being a family.  I know that God lives and that Christ's atonement made all of this possible.  I have covenanted to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and I can never go back...and I don't want to do so.  I love my God and my Savior because I know that They first Loved me.

All my Love,
Élder Sudbury

PS I'll talk with you all tomorrow!  With the exception of Matt and SalleeAnn.  I can't call you, I'm sorry.  We only get one call to one place.  Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl Abigail May Miller.  I can't wait to meet her ;).

Curtis Letter April 30, 2011

Hello World,

We've had an exhausting week.  If you were to look at our numbers, it would seem as if we haven't done anything at all.  We've been contacting a lot of people, trying to help our new ward mission leader and ward missionary in their callings, coming up with ideas of how to find new, interested people, and handle the various items that need handling in the offices.  I'm exhausted and have a little bit of diarrhea. :P

We've seen our share of blessings, though.  We continually are being guided by the Spirit as to what to study and what to do and where to go.  We know we are being instruments in the hands of God.  I'm very glad for God's help even when we are very weak, unworthy servants.  We hope to grow into what He wants us to be.

The first district meeting went well.  We talked about how to be firm and the need for a vision of who we were, are, and can be.  I enjoyed it.

We received a new Élder from California named Élder Vasquez.  He's a convert of a few years and is really excited to be on a mission.  He will be a huge blessing to us in this mission.

Also in the news...this week NOBODY WENT HOME!!! :) WOOHOO!!!

Not much news, just carrying on.  And on that subject, I'll share the song Carry On:

Firm as the mountains around us,
Stalwart and brave we stand
On the rock our fathers planted
For us in this goodly land—
The rock of honor and virtue,
Of faith in the living God.
They raised his banner triumphant—
Over the desert sod.
And we hear the desert singing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Hills and vales and mountains ringing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Holding aloft our colors,
We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright,
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
We’ll build on the rock they planted
A palace to the King.
Into its shining corridors,
Our songs of praise we’ll bring,
For the heritage they left us,
Not of gold or of worldly wealth,
But a blessing everlasting
Of love and joy and health.
And we hear the desert singing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Hills and vales and mountains ringing:
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
Holding aloft our colors,
We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright,
Carry on, carry on, carry on!
When President Hinckley was first called as the President of the Church, he was asked, what will be the hallmark of your time in office?  Without even thinking, he said "Carry On."  What a fantastic motto he chose.  Carry on!  The world is in turmoil, but there are good things.  The Church and Kingdom of God are on track.  We will carry on the work of the Lord in precisely the same manner we have always done so, one soul at a time.  I know that this is the Church of God.  I know that all of creation sings this refrain "Carry On!"  All of nature will carry on until it has filled its purpose, and so will the church, and so will I, guided by the Hand of the Lord.  We must and will Carry On.

All my Love,
Élder Sudbury