Friday, August 12, 2016

Week 103: This Is It!!!

Hey Everyone!

Well, I made it! I'm not sure who is more surprised at this point, all of you or me?! Just kidding.

It really is pretty hard to believe that my mission is over. It seems like so long ago when I made my first contact in Hialeah and had absolutely no idea what was going on haha! Time really does fly. That said, it's been an amazing ride. It wasn't easy by any means but I can honestly say it was worth every minute. Even though I've still got lots to learn I have definitely learned a lot these past two years!

Anyways enough of that talk, I can talk all about that when I'm actually home! Here's the update for the final week.

Tuesday we had our last district trainings ever. One district of missionaries had quite the performance at the end making jokes about us finishing our mission. We're still friends though.

Wednesday we had our final interviews with President Richardson and we made history as the first companionship to do them together according to President Richardson. Nice. They were good; it was pretty standard stuff. Stay faithful in the church, go to YSA, get married etc. etc. But don't get me wrong, it was definitely all very sound advice that I'm grateful for. RM's need to hear that sort of thing so they don't get thrown down on by the Prophet in Priesthood session;) Later on that night I did a baptismal interview in Jupiter and stopped by Susana's on the way home to say goodbye and even talked to her husband a little bit so that was good!

Thursday was weekly planning and since we were planning for coming home I got my suitcases vacuumed and prepped to have stuff put inside them. But I wasn't trunky or anything lol;)

Friday was a pretty standard day. Saturday was cool though!  So about a week and a half ago we got invited to a breakfast at another church by someone else serving at LAHIA. We decided we may as well go and so we did! It was a little awkward walking in until we saw the guy that invited us over. The breakfast was super good, and they had a little sermon after which was cool. Surprisingly a lot of people knew who we were and thanked us for coming and "reaching across the aisle." Not only that but Burnsey, the guy who invited us, gave us a shout out and told everyone we were "out pounding the streets for Jesus" and then everyone looked at us and cheered us on. It was a pretty neat experience, I'm glad we went!

Sunday was testimony meeting. Unfortunately, no baptism happened, but I remain hopeful that Joshua will be baptized eventually! It was weird saying goodbye to everyone at church, but then again I've always really hated goodbyes.

Then yesterday since it was our last full day proselyting, I went knocking doors in Indiantown, a little town out in the middle of nowhere. It was actually amazing; someone let us in from the rain and we taught him the Restoration. His eyes got so wide, and he couldn't believe he'd never heard about that before! Hopefully a great last seed to plant!

That's pretty much it! I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to serve my Savior for two years and to learn to serve those around me. It's been a great ride.

Love you all and I will see you soon!

Elder Butterfield

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Week 102: Time Is Flying By . . .

Hey Everyone!

It's hard to believe how fast time is going by! While arriving in Florida seems like it happened forever ago, it's hard to believe that it was only two years ago. So much has happened in two years! That being said I'll do my best to summarize last week.

Last Tuesday after district trainings was pretty fun. I got to do an exchange with Elder Nebeker, so he came with me up to Stuart. We went to go follow up with Jeremy and Vanessa that came to church the week before. Unfortunately, once we sat down one on one without their member friend there, they expressed all of their concerns, that they felt too much pressure and didn't want to get baptized so soon. They said they were open to learning still but want to take things at a much slower pace. The visit took two hours though so we were running super late for our dinner appointment and had to cut things off. We've since tried to set up another return appointment and they have given us the dodge, but we will try again this week. After that appointment, we had a dinner appointment on a BOAT! It was pretty awesome! Turns out if a member is living on a boat and it is docked then it's ok to go on board. So that was pretty neat! Afterwards Elder Nebeker interviewed Joshua. He is solid and has a strong testimony of the Gospel. He just needs to get married and then he will be baptized. He and Tiara are working on it but coming up with the money for the marriage license is proving pretty difficult since Joshua has been unemployed for awhile. But hey, the good news is that he just got a job, so he's trying to make things right.

Wednesday we exchanged back and had a pretty normal day without too much craziness.

Thursday we did another mini mission with Noah, a 17 year old Priest in the ward. Things went pretty well; we were able to get him experience in finding and teaching as well as working with the members. He seemed to have a good time and he really helped us out as well!

Friday we did an exchange with the Assistants to the President and I made the Assistant who came up to Stuart with me bike during the hottest part of the day. It was pretty funny; apparently he was super angry about it, but hey, we were pretty much out of miles!

Saturday was quiet, but Sunday turned out pretty nice!

On Sunday, Joshua came to church again! Sister Conrad also came to church again for the second time. She even invited us over to her home for dinner again which I'm excited for! Brother Osmer also came to Sacrament Meeting for the third time in a row! So while we didn't have a lot of investigators come to church, we did have a few of the less active members we've been working with come again which was great to see!

All in all a great week, I'm just praying super hard that I can see Joshua baptized before I leave the mission. We shall see.

Well love you all and hope that you have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

April MLC 2016:  McKay is on the right side about 3-4 missionaries from the end.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 101: An Unexpected Baptismal Challenge. . .

Hey Everyone!

It was a pretty crazy week this last week--lots to update on! Let's see, Monday was pretty normal as far as I remember. Tuesday I went on exchanges to Jupiter and I got the chance to have dinner at the Harreveld home, which was cool because I got to know Brother Harreveld pretty well when I was in Jupiter back in the day:)

Wednesday we did another mini mission. This time it was with Jorge, who just turned 16 a couple of months ago! It was his first time ever going out with the missionaries so we had a blast going out and doing missionary work with him!

Thursday was a pretty good day as well. We went out with Bishop Busto and were able to introduce him to a lot of the people that we have been visiting. So he got to sit down with Joshua, then Kisha and then Sister Conrad!

Joshua is still preparing to get baptized on July 31st, however, he has a few obstacles to overcome for that to happen. Some legal and then he also just doesn't have the money to buy a marriage license right now. So we'll see what happens. It could happen, or it might not. We're not really sure... The good news though is that Sister Conrad invited us over for dinner Friday night and afterwards we finally got to go with her and her husband Jessi to the Jewish temple that he attends! It was actually a really cool experience! I wish I could have done something like that at the beginning of my mission because we knew what it felt like to walk into a church you've never been to before. It's pretty scary because you want to make sure you don't do anything that would be offensive or mess up. But besides the fact that Jewish people don't believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the message really isn't that different than what you hear in our church. Pretty interesting stuff. Also we got to keep our Yamika's that we wore into the service!  Nothing too crazy happened on Saturday.

Sunday was pretty crazy though! So Sunday, Sister Conrad came to Sacrament Meeting for the first time in 17 years! It felt good helping her to come back! Also a member that grew up in the Stuart ward came back to visit her neighborhood best friend and brought him and his wife to church yesterday! They're such a cool family. They already believe in Jesus Christ, in keeping the commandments, and serving other people. They're practically already members of the church! So the first counselor of the Bishopric invited all of them over to his house for dinner after church and invited us as well! Well, we ended up being there for way longer than normal, but it was probably the best member present lesson of my mission! After just talking to them and getting to know them, we taught them the Restoration and invited the Neff family to be baptized when they know it's true. Now at this point we thought the members were going to get mad at us and say something like, "You don't have to if you don't want to." Usually members are pretty protective of their referrals. Not these ones though! They accepted baptism and so I invited them to be baptized on August 7th (it's our last weekend in the mission) and they weren't too sure but both of the member couples immediately began to testify to them of how they NEEDED to do it on August 7th since we were leaving and since they already basically live church standards. So they're preparing to get baptized on the 7th of August! How cool is that???

That's basically it for this week, hope that all goes well for everyone!

Elder Butterfield

Elder Butterfield, Ailynn, and Elder Stansfield 

The Elders with Ailynn and her parents

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Week 100: One of the Greatest Weeks Ever!!

Hey Everyone!

So literally this week was one of the greatest weeks of my mission! First off, I have a surprise! Ailynn (Yes, I've been spelling it wrong this whole time--whoops!) got baptized yesterday! You're probably wondering how that happened. Well, it turns out the family is going to leave on vacation before June 24th so on Wednesday night Ailynn and her mom asked us if we could move up the baptism to this Sunday. So we did, and it was a great service!

Also Tiara came to church for the first time this Sunday! She and Joshua were able to take the marriage class the mission offers for a discounted marriage license, so they should be getting married soon and then Joshua will be able to get baptized as planned! Hopefully Tiara can with him; we'll see what happens now that she finally made it to church! Also, when we taught Joshua about modern day prophets and committed him to follow the prophet he said, "I'm already following The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!" Pretty great answer right? So that was pretty cool.

We're still working with Juan for August 7th. Only time will tell with him--not too much else to report on him so far.

Meanwhile while all that happened, we also had two less active members randomly show up to church on Sunday, and they were both ones that Elder Adams and I had visited or contacted a while back. So they finally made it and we will be visiting them!

Did I mention we did a mini mission with one of the young men in the ward named Caden? Well, we did on Wednesday and it was a blast. He came out with us on Wednesday at 11am and stayed with us for 24 hours, so he got to sleep over. It was great! We are trying to do a mini mission a week for the rest of our missions:) It was great for us and I think it gave Caden a really good experience as well!

I think those are all of the highlights for the week! Hope everyone enjoys the last half of their summer!

Elder Butterfield

Elder Butterfield and Elder Stansfield's funeral service

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 99: A Hot Week! (In more ways than one!)

Hey Everyone!

Lemme just say it is SOOOOOO HOT down here!!!! Like this summer is WAAAY hotter than last summer and all of the locals agree with me. Basically with the heat index (humidity) the average temperature right now is 100+ every single day. Yikes. Good thing this last week was as busy as ever!

So you already know what I did for the 4th of July, Tuesday was P day. Wednesday we had interviews with the mission president which were pretty great. Elder Stansfield and I both asked President the reasoning of putting us together. This is the answer I got, not necessarily word for word. "Elder, I don't do transfers. Heavenly Father does! I felt like you two needed to be together. You're going to have to tell me the reason why you're together!" But then afterwards he proceeded to say how Elder Stansfield has abilities I don't have, and I have abilities that Elder Stansfield doesn't have. We're a great team. Plus we've got almost 4 years of experience between the two of us:) Regardless of why we're together, I'm loving every second of it:D

While President was doing interviews we had our district trainings going on, which were good. Later on in the day we went to go see Juan and then Eileen. Since Juan will be moving out on the 5th of August into his own place, he committed to be baptized on the 7th of August! Woohooo! Later we were able to overcome a lot of concerns with Eileen. Somehow she heard at girls camp that she had to be baptized 10 times in the water. Elder Stansfield dug out that concern, we overcame it, and now she is preparing to be baptized on the 24th of July! So cool!

Thursday we saw Dayllana and Dilen and read through the Book of Mormon with them. Dayllana is still not really committed but Dilen seems interested if just out of curiosity. They came to church Sunday though! Apparently their member cousins and Dayllana and Dilen's parents all had to wake them up like 5 times to get them to go to church. But that says a lot to me. If their parents helped them get up and made them go to church, we should be able to get them on board soon as well! We shall see. It's pretty weird teaching by myself, by the way, since Elder Stansfield can't speak Spanish. But hey, life is good!

Also, on Friday we had MLC and then did exchanges with Wellington afterwards. I went to Wellington, and not too much happened. But meanwhile in Stuart, Elder Stansfield went to see Joshua, and he and Tiera are going to get married! Woohoo! We've got to get them in the marriage class that the mission provides, but I should be seeing a wedding before my mission is over!

As you can tell it was an amazing week! Elder Stansfield and I are getting along great and our strengths really compliment each other. So cool. Definitely the best last companion I could have asked for!

That's pretty much it for this week, love you all!

Elder Butterfield

P.S.  McKay forgot to mention this in his update, but mentioned it in my email:

We're going to be doing mini missions with all the Priest aged young men in the ward. So each of them will get to come out with us for a full 24 hours, including a sleepover and study time. I'm pretty excited for it. We have one with Kaden this week on Wednesday; it should be pretty fun. We're trying to get them all excited to go on a mission!

 Elder Butterfield and Elder Stansfield

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week 98: Fourth of July Was a Party!!

Hey Everyone!

So this last week has been pretty crazy! For those who missed last week's update, I'm now with Elder Stansfield who is literally flying home on the same flight as me back to Utah. SO WEIRD! He's a bro, and so far we're having a great transfer:)

So last Thursday was an all bike day in the mission because someone got in an accident that cost over $3000, and it was their fault. FYI: it wasn't me. I didn't get a ticket for my accident, so I didn't cause this! Anyways, Elder Stansfield can't bike (long story), so we had members go out with us all day and we honestly had a great day.

We were knocking doors that day with one of the Spanish speaking members here, Brother Mora. We knocked on the door of a Spanish speaking family, and here's how things went. We offered to share a prayer (Well, I did. Elder Stansfield doesn't speak Spanish :) and Jaime immediately let us in. After sharing a prayer, he told us that it was a very special day. Pretty cool I suppose. Then he tells us that his late father always told him to let people in if they knocked on his door to share a prayer. We were the first ones to ever do that. AND, as it turns out, he shares his father's birthday so it was his late father's birthday as well. BUT that's not all. Brother Mora knows this family as well!!!! And he just happened to be knocking doors with us that night! Of course none of this was by chance, God definitely planned that meeting; it was so incredible! I'd like to say the family came to church, but unfortunately they didn't. Jaime is too busy working two different jobs and barely ever sees his family, but he accepted baptism and whether it's in the near future or much much later I really do believe we planted a great seed!

Friday we had district trainings since we could actually all use our cars, so that was good. Elder Stansfield went down to Jupiter to do a baptismal interview, so I stayed and took care of the area. Sunday was good; Eileen and Juan both came to church. Judging by the looks of things, Juan will be getting baptized the last weekend Elder Stansfield and I are in the mission, pretty crazy! Eileen is currently preparing/praying about July 24th because after that they go on vacation for 3 weeks and won't get home til we are in Utah. So we'll see what happens!

Yesterday on the 4th of July we partied pretty hard. It was great since the Jupiter Elders were able to sleep over with us. We lucked out because Jupiters A/C broke down which is the only reason we got permission for them to come over to our house!

Overall it's been a great week! Working as hard as ever, but enjoying it along the way!

Have a great week!

Elder Butterfield
Elder Stansfield and Elder Butterfield

 Mountain Dew Pong: Part of July 4th Festivities

Friday, July 1, 2016

Week 97: God Is So Good!

Hey Everyone!

Hope y'all are having a good week and enjoying your summer. It's FREAKING hot down here! Anyways so transfer news first: I'm staying in Stuart and finishing my mission here, and Elder Adams is transferring to Naples on the west coast of Florida. That's not all though. Elder Stansfield is coming up to Stuart with me, and he is finishing his mission at the same time as me lol. So much for getting a younger missionary as my comp to help me stay focused hahaha. It should be pretty fun though:) Pretty crazy stuff; it just means that two new missionaries will have to come in after us. I've only seen them purposefully put two missionaries who are ending at the same together like two other times, but then again, I feel like my mission has been anything but a standard experience:)

That being said, it was a little tough this week, but we had some really amazing things happen! For one, Joshua came to church on Sunday and he loved it! To give a bit of back story on him, he requested a free Bible from the church about 6 months ago but when the Elders came by to deliver it he wasn't really interested in a message and just wanted the Bible ( this happens pretty often ). Thankfully the Elders tucked a Restoration pamphlet inside the Bible! Now fast forward to June 19th. We knock on his door and set up a return appointment with him and go back to teach him on Monday. Well, we're in the middle of teaching the Great Apostasy and he tells us how the Lord then brought back His church the way He wanted it and that it's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Elder Adams and I looked at each other with our jaws to the floor. Then Joshua explained how they had left him with the pamphlet and he read it and believes it! Since he know so much, we taught him about the Book of Mormon (we normally wait til the 2nd lesson to do so) and committed him to read it and pray about it. Well he did and he has already received his answer that it's true! He loved church, and is going to come back again and we're trying to get his girlfriend to sit down with us for more lessons as well. Such an amazing miracle! He is currently preparing to be baptized on the 10th of July.

As well we had a miracle with one of the part member families we are teaching. Juan told us that he believes the church is true and that he will get baptized as soon as he and his wife move into their own house (they're currently living w/ relatives and they would kick them out if he got baptized). The good news is that everything has been falling into place for them and he should be getting their own place sometime in July! God is so good!

So those were a few of the miracles we saw this week, It really is great to be in the service of the Lord. It's not always happy nor easy, but it is worth it. I read a scripture in the New Testament that really touched me:

Matthew 5:11-12
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

It just reminded that it doesn't matter how bad the opposition ever gets, serving the Lord will ALWAYS be worth it:)

Well I love you all and hope  that you have a great week!

Elder Butterfield