Wednesday, February 10, 2016

God is Love

Well we have just one more zone conference to go now. What a relief! Soon our schedule will calm down a bit and allow for more proselyting.

We did, however, manage to find some time to proselyte this week. We taught a couple named G* and S*. They live up in a town called Portchester in the northern part of our area near Connecticut. We taught them the restoration and it went extremely well. S* already knew most of it because apparently she went to church for a few years with her brothers (who were members) when she was younger, but was never baptized.

At the end of the lesson we just testified of how much God loves them and how much we love them. In essence, I told them that we were there sharing this message because God loves them, we love God, and God makes our love as his love so that we can stand in his place, as his representatives, and declare that love unto them. The spirit was so strong as I spoke. It wasn't until my personal study this morning that I realized my words have scriptural backing. My words were John's words: I "have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world," he being the manifestation of "the love of God toward us." And I "confess that Jesus is the Son of God, [so] God dwelleth in [me], and [I] in God." And that love dwelleth in me too, "for God is Love." "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are wein this world." (see 1st John 4) 

I realized that throughout my mission, I've been learning charity, the pure love of God. I've had various experiences over the past 19 months (5 left? How can this be???) that led up to that lesson, in which I could stand and say I love these two people, who I had never met before Sunday, as God loves them. I can see from their family situation and appearance that they have made some less-than-godly choices in their life, but I understand the atonement now, so none of that matters. It's just evidence that they, like all humankind, are fallen, which means they chose to love God and follow his plan and he loves them so much that he provided a Savior for them when they became fallen, and he loves hem so much he led missionaries to them to testify of that Savior, and he loves me so much he let me be one of those missionaries and experience the love he has for them.

I realize I've already vomited much of my personal study all over this email, so I think I'll move on now and just invite you all to read 1st John chapter 4. Chapters 3 and 5 too if you want... maybe just read the whole book of 1st John... or the whole New Testament. I will also add, however, that both S* and G* are committed to read the Book of Mormon, ask God if it is true, and be baptized when they know that it is. We have so little time to proselyte, but when we do, it is the most rewarding experience!

Today we have a zone-wide p-day activity. I believe we're doing a photo scavenger hunt ,around southern Westchester County. Should be fun. I may send photos from it later on. For now, thanks for all the love and support you send my way. I appreciate and love each of you (and God does too).

-Elder Samuel Burton

A few of our finds:

Selfie with a statue
Someone buried in the snow
A snow fort
Selfie with the Zimmermans
President Smith expounding the doctrine unto us
Sister Smith expounding the scriptures unto us.
​ and finally
Elder Tanner and I expounding Sister Morgan's Famous Chocolate Chip
Cream Cheese unto our bagels.
(These photos are from Zone Conferences. I'm in charge of
photographically documenting these meetings, so I'm supposed to be
taking photos during them, and I get a fancy camera to do so.)

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