Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 19: Thanks for Christmas Cards and Packages!

Hola familia y amigos!

Espero que usteds tuvieron una buena navidad y que tengan un nuevo ano fantastico! Elder Swensen and I are down here working hard in Doral North and unfortunately still trying to build a teaching pool. But that's ok because we are doing our best with what we have and striving to be better every day. If we do that, then God will bless us with people to teach sooner or later, so I'm not worried at all! So ya it was a little discouraging that we weren't able to teach much this last week, but hey the Skype call with my family and all of the Christmas packages certainly made up for any discouragement that we had. Honestly, a HUGE thank you to all who sent me something. It was very appreciated! I think some of the other missionaries were jealous that I had so many packages for Christmas haha... thanks for taking care of me:) Any time I get mail, be it packages or letters, it always brings a smile to my face!

So ya I would love to tell you all that I had some super cool experiences because it was Christmas and such, but I'd be lying if I did. That's ok. Sometimes things like this happen, but all that means is that Elder Swensen and I are going to work super hard for the miracles this week. The holidays should be settling down now after New Years and then we should have a great January down here, especially since we prayed about it and our baptismal goal is 6! So be on the look out for those 6 baptisms in January!

Anyways I'm sure everyone was wondering how Christmas was for me.  It honestly didn't feel like Christmas because of the weather down here. For Christmas I have to say I actually missed the snow. Pretty weird huh? But that's ok because I only missed the snow for Christmas! So ya it was pretty much a normal day just that I got to Skype my family which was super good!

So one last exciting bit of news...President Richardson said in his email that Ipads are coming to our mission soon!!! So they should be here sometime in January probably.  Super exciting!! It will be so much easier to share videos and things now; they really will be a wonderful tool. He is the Gift would have been so much easier with Ipads...but hey at least we get them now!

Well that's about it for this week, New Years will be weird. We have to be home by 7:00 Wednesday night. Other than that, that's about it. Love all of you!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 18: Feliz Navidad!

Hey everyone, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas day full of family, friends, and of course remember the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ as well:)

So I got a new comp last week as all of you know (still in Doral North btw)! His name is.....Elder Swensen! He's from Newport Beach California and is a baller and a surfer! He's a pretty cool guy, and this is also his first time being senior companion, so we're a pretty young companionship! But ya he's pretty cool, just wants to work hard and baptize and that's what I want to do as well so we don't have any problems!

So the good news is that Elder Swensen and I are doing well and enjoying our lovely Latino area of Doral North:) The bad news is that our teaching pool is pretty much completely dead at the moment... :( Elder Lamb and I had a few investigators we had been teaching before he left but then everyone dropped off when Elder Swensen came into the area, not sure what happened but then again God works in mysterious ways and God gives us trials and weaknesses to make us stronger (Ether 12:27)! So I'm not super worried about it even though it is pretty frustrating to be in the finding phase of the work 24/7 right now. I guess I'm just lucky that this is the first time that this has happened! Basically since Elder Swensen got here we have just been working with the members trying to get references as well as Harvesting (specialized door approach for our mission). Last night we harvested this 6 story apartment complex and knocked every single door in there (60 something doors?) and were only able to leave 4 blessings out of those 60 doors. People don't know what they're missing out on I guess :P But so it goes, just another day in the life:) I don't necessarily know how, but as long as Elder Swensen and I continue to try to improve ourselves and give our best efforts then the Lord will bless us with people to teach and baptize one way or another!

Anyways that's pretty much it for our area and what I'm up to, nothing super exciting so far...but I'm sure I'll have good news next week! One miracle that I do want to share from this week was that we had made plans to visit the M family Sunday night but we weren't able to confirm our plans with them. As we rode by their house I was prompted to go over there that instant. I almost didn't listen but fortunately in the end I did! Turns out they had to go to the airport later that night and wouldn't have been home! It was just nice to see a tender mercy of the Lord in helping us to be able to visit that family that we had planned in! So we still were able to see miracles they were just more of tender mercies this week hahaha :)

So ya that's basically all I have for this week, sorry I don't have anything too exciting to share...I should have more next week!

Well I love all of you and I want to give a big thanks to everyone who has sent me packages and letters, I really do appreciate it so much!!!! Once again have a wonderful Christmas time with your friends and families!

Elder Butterfield

P.S. So you know how BYU is in the Miami bowl today? Well BYU gave out tickets for the youth and YSA people but our ward had extra...and President said that we could go with investigators, so we worked with the youth of our ward to bring some friends to introduce them to us. So we're going to the game today, pretty crazy huh? Don't worry, I'll be cheering for Memphis. :)

McKay has gained a significant amount of weight!  He wrote in Paula's email:
I weighed myself last week and I'm at 142 right now. Scary stuff hahaha;)  I've gained 17 lbs from all of this Latin food. Looks like I can gain weight after all XD

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Week 17: The Diamond in the Rough

Hey hey friends and family!

Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season full of love, peace, happiness and joy:D I'm having an amazing time as always down here in Sunny Florida, really enjoying the lack of snow down here to be honest:) Sorry for those of you that have put with snow... ;)

Well Elder Lamb and I had quite a week this week, we picked up a lot of new investigators and then ended up dropping just about all of them for different reasons. It was a little frustrating to say the least but hey it's not the end of the world. It just means we have to work extra hard to find those people who are ready and willing to listen to the message of the restored Gospel! So I'm good, just ready to find some new people to teach!

After somewhat of a difficult week, Elder Lamb and I were finishing up our harvesting for the day Sunday night and we found our diamond in the rough! We were actually in route for someone else but Elder Lamb was prompted to go knock a door as we were riding our bikes. Well we did and were instantly welcomed into the home of Jackie, Claudia, and Crystal (Jackie's daughter). Turns out they have very active members of the church in their family in Honduras and Jackie wants Crystal to get involved with the Church here and Crystal wants to as well. So we prayed with them, shared He is the Gift, and now Crystal is going to get baptized soon! It was such a miracle to find someone so ready to receive the Gospel at the very end of a tough week in finding. It just goes to show me that if we are diligent than no matter what happens the Lord will bless us with "those diamonds in the rough!" And Crystal should be getting baptized sometime soon!! Super excited for that! Also despite the hardships we also have our awesome investigator Betty! Unfortunately Betty got super sick again (she was actually sick, pretty unbelievable but she's been really sick for three Sundays in a row:/ ) so she wasn't able to come to church, but she has finally begun to feel that this is the direction that God wants her to take so once we can get her to church she should be baptized super soon! So pretty pumped up for the people that we do have!!

Anyways so transfer calls happened last night and I'm staying in Doral for at least 1 more! Which I'm pretty excited about because I know the area and the members pretty well so I think I'm in for an awesome transfer in the Doral ward! I have to admit however that I'm pretty sad to see Elder Lamb go...but also excited to see what the Lord has in store for me with my new companion! It's a bittersweet feeling. But so goes the life of a missionary I guess! Anyways I will pick up my new companion tomorrow at Transfers so you'll have to wait to find out about him until next week. Hopefully you haven't died from supense by next Monday;) Hahahaha :)

What else...oh ya, so one of Elder Lamb's recent converts is going through the temple tonight so I get to go to the temple and do a session! Woohoooo! For those who don't know, we are only allowed to go to the temple when recent converts go to receive their endowments. So it's a pretty big deal when you get to go! It's even crazier that he's going before Elder Lamb finishes his mission! And to make it even more exciting, he baptized him when he was training Elder Park (Tyler Park from Herriman) so Elder Park is coming too! And then he is coming to spend the night with us since transfers are tomorrow. It's pretty crazy but I'm super excited to go and that Elder Lamb is able to go through with one of his recent converts. Pretty amazing right?? Now I just need to get some recent converts who will go through the temple in a year!!

Well I think that's about it for this week. Basically I'm pretty nervous and also excited for transfers tomorrow, and I can't wait to find more people to teach this next week before Christmas! So ya I love all of you and wish you a wonderful Christmas season! Hasta luego mis amigos!
Elder Butterfield

Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 16: Thanks for Birthday Wishes!

Hola familia y amigos!

I just wanted to give an enormous thank you for all of the happy birthday wishes; it really was a happy birthday!! I love all of you and wish you a very merry Christmas!

Well unfortunately right now I don't have a very long list of people to report on to all of you right now. It was a pretty rough week for finding people, and we weren't able to get any new investigators so that was a little hard. But that's ok because we will go find a bunch of new people this week!! Woooohooooo! Anyways there are a few people that I would like to give an update on!

So first up, Christopher got confirmed yesterday!! So that was pretty amazing! What's even more amazing about that whole situation is Christopher's mom. So she hasn't been working Sundays, but of course this last week her job decided they need her to work Sundays again. Go figure right? Well fear not, because this sister has faith like I've never seen before! She decided to put God and church as her first priority and told her work that she won't work Sundays, meaning that she now needs  a new job. But she fasted about it this weekend and knows that God will provide a way if she puts him first. Pretty amazing example of faith right?? So happy for Christopher and his family because I know this sister will continue to be an example and lead them in the right direction!

Next up is Betty! Well I think I've mentioned her before, but we kind of lost contact with her for two weeks because she has been sick. Well, we were finally able to teach her again Thursday and she had completely changed! Before she had a hard time understanding the concept of authority and that only The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has the authority of God. She also had a few other concerns, but as we taught her by the Spirit Thursday, her concerns melted away and she committed to go to church without a doubt. Unfortunately, she had a fever of 103 with the flu and didn't make it, but she is super committed to come next week and is reading the Book of Mormon. It's so cool to see how much the Restored Gospel is changing her life, Elder Lamb and I are super excited to work with her!

Unfortunately that about wraps up our good stories for the week, but they're pretty cool people so I can't complain. The other thing is that Albert decided to go back to YSA, so he was confirmed into the YSA branch yesterday. He is doing super good and is so much happier now which is pretty cool to see!

So there is one other experience that I need to share, but it's a little different than anything I've shared so far so buckle your seat belts. So Elder Lamb and I were following up on a referral we had received and contacted a young family in the street. Well they were quick to invite us in, and I was super excited because it was a family! However, Elder Lamb was cautious and I didn't understand why at the time since they seemed so cool. Unfortunately, when people are that nice and receptive its a 50/50 chance that they're either someone who knows the church and are ready to come, or they want to prove us wrong. These people watched the He is the Gift and loved it, but then proceeded to give their best effort to convince us that Joseph Smith was a false prophet and even went so far as to pull up an hour anti mormon video on youtube and insisted that we watch it. It was pretty  scary because Elder Lamb and I both felt the Spirit telling us that we needed to invite them to repentance and get out of there ASAP. It was a very horrifying experience to say the least, but the miracle of this situation was that even though these people tried to confound us with the reasoning of man, they simply weren't able to. God gave us the things that we needed to say and in the end they accomplished nothing. If that isn't it a miracle then I don't know what is! We were both grateful for the guidance of the Spirit  and the fact that because our testimonies are centered in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost that nobody can prove our testimonies wrong. So always make sure your testimony is in the right place because you never know how Satan will try to attack it!

Don't worry though; we are both fine. I just didn't expect to come across anti stuff that bad in the mission! Also here's a funny side note, they had never actually read the Book of Mormon for themselves.  Funny how that works, huh? Don't worry though we still gave them one and committed them to read it, so at least they have the opportunity to discover things for themselves now.

Well that's pretty much all of my good/crazy experiences for the week, and now Elder Lamb and I are just looking forward to a week of finding miracles!! I love all of you and wish you all a wonderful week!
Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 15: First Baptisms! (Yup, that's plural!)

Hola familia y amigos!!

Well my family already knows because a member already sent pics to them, but had my first two baptisms this weekend!!!!! Woooohoooo!! So this wonderful weekend began with our temple tour (note: The Florida Fort Lauderdale Temple is absolutely beautiful!) with a family that we have been working with! We took them to the temple Saturday, which was amazing, and then their 9 year old son Christopher was baptized yesterday! I had the honor of performing his baptism, and it was amazing to see how happy he was after coming up out of the water. It made me reflect a lot on my baptism day to be honest, but it was super cool to be able to actually perform the ordinance for my very first baptism!! Couldn't have asked for a better weekend than that. Not to mention the mother is already looking ahead to the next steps of Patriarchal blessings and endowments in the temple, which is the whole point of all that we do, so we are super happy that she is already so motivated to prepare the family for these next steps. I can't wait til a year or so down the road when I'll be able to go see them sealed in the temple!!! It's going to be amazing! And as I'm sure my family is wondering it was the mother, Miriam, who sent you the photos of the temple trip! So anyways basically it was super amazing to see the fruits of our efforts as far as this family and Christopher are concerned!

For those of you who have been keeping score, you will remember that that's only one of two baptisms that we had this weekend:D The other one was Albert, but I didn't bring him up before because we had actually already passed him off to the YSA (singles ward) missionaries, as that's where he technically belongs, last Monday after teaching him two or so lessons. Well, we got a phone call Saturday, and to make a long story short, he decided that he wants to attend the regular ward with his friends there. This was a bit awkward because YSA missionaries are a sensitive subject in the mission because they're only allowed to work with young single adults and so it's basically referrals as I understand it. But in the end its his choice and he will still participate in YSA stuff during the week so it works out. Besides it was still awesome to baptize him as we had taught him a couple of lessons before passing him off. He's had a rough start but really wants to change and should be a really solid member. He doesn't have a car but is willing to be self sufficient and takes the bus to get there, so that's pretty cool. It was pretty crazy to have him passed back to us the Saturday before but fortunately all was well and he was still able to be baptized! So there you go, my first two baptisms!! What a week:D

Other than that I don't have a whole lot to report on, Thanksgiving was pretty weird, but it was also super good because we were able to find two less active households that day so that we can help them get active again. And no worries, we had a member give us food and then we were also invited to the thanksgiving party of our Ward Mission Leader so we had plenty to eat as always here :) But ya I feel like I've basically told all of the exciting parts of this week, just super happy that Christopher was able to be baptized and that all of his family is on the right path now! Sorry that this week's update is shorter, unfortunately that is the trade off for sending pictures...these computers at the Library are wicked slow :/ But I had to at least send some pictures home for my first baptisms of course! Anyways I love all of you and hope that you have a wonderful week! And thank you for all of the Birthday wishes!!

With lots of love,
Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Week 14: Ward Missionaries Rock!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Well Elder Lamb and I had an amazing week once again in our area of Doral North! We had three more rescues yesterday with different less actives we are working with as well as 4 investigators at Sacrament meeting! And our shining light Christopher, the nine year old boy from the Guatemalan family, is set for this Sunday without a doubt! First baptism, WOOOOHOOOOO! If all goes well his grandfather who received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday will baptize him as well! Christopher is such an amazing kid and super mature for his age. The other super cool thing is yesterday the other Doral Elders baptized two little girls and so the whole family was able to see their baptism after church, and of course this just got them even more excited! Christopher was pretty bummed out he couldn't do it yesterday, but that's ok because it's gonna happen next week! Other than Christopher we have a bunch of other people but no amazing progress to speak of, although I will come back to a new investigator that we have in a second.

So yesterday in the ward of Doral we had a record Sacrament attendance! The ward secretary Hermano Milan told us that we had a total of 104 people in Sacrament meeting yesterday, a three year high for the Doral ward (he told us the average has been around 40 or so, because Doral has only been a ward for 4 years)! Now keep in mind that the members of the ward deserve just as much credit, if not more, for that amazing feat, but we are definitely helping out with the reactivations and such and the ward here has a fire for the Lord's work that I have never seen before in members of the church! The ward missionaries are visiting less actives and are mobilizing the ward to create a ward mission plan, and all Elder Lamb and I have done is include them in our teaching visits. It truly is amazing to see the power of the members here in Doral every week They're amazing! What's even better is that they're always willing to come do visits with us. It's super cool to be in a ward that is just now realizing its potential!

Even better is that the church is launching a special initiative for Christmas this week just like they did for Easter this year. So what you all should do is go to the day after Thanksgiving because that's when the website will update with the new stuff. There will be a really cool video that helps us all to remember the true meaning of Christmas. And one thing that everyone can to help the church out is to use #sharethegift to help make this visible to everyone; it's gonna be amazing! I don't want to spoil the surprise too much but the church is putting a lot of resources into this campaign, including special pass along cards, and it's gonna be amazing! So basically I'm asking you all to check out the site Friday, watch the video, and then share it or post something about on social media with #sharethegift. It will honestly help out a lot! Also keep an eye out for pass along cards in the Ensign :) But ya basically December is going to be even better than usual to be a missionary because we'll get to talk about the birth of the Savior so much with everyone! So please, do the Lord a favor and make #sharethegift blow up just like #becauseofhim did for Easter!

Well that's about it for this week..Oh ya! So Elder Lamb and I were biking back to the house because we forgot our lock keys (long story) one day, and on the way back I had a super strong spiritual prompting to contact a woman talking towards us. Well fortunately I did and we ended up going to her house 20 minutes later to leave a harvest blessing which turned into a complete lesson about the Restoration! When we shared the First Vision in Joseph Smith's words, the Spirit was so powerful that I could physically feel His presence in the room. It was unbelievable. Oh by the way this woman's name is Betty and she has already fasted once to help her to know if the Book of Mormon is true or not. She's incredible! Unfortunately she was sick yesterday so she couldn't come to church but she is still doing amazing and her kids love us, too. She should be able to come next week without a problem! Anyways so ya Betty is pretty cool and it was a pretty powerful experience in that first lesson with her!

Well I'm finally done for this week; it's been a killer week here in Doral North and I'm super excited for my first baptism next week! Happy Thanksgiving to all. I love all of you!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 13: #BikingForDays

Hola familia y amigos!

Well first off I have an announcement for everyone. Not actually in a trio but I really did think we were in one as of last P Day, wasn't a joke! So basically what happened is someone messed up somewere in the line of communication for transfer calls. But it turns out Elder Smith got a new companion and Elder Lamb and I are still together. Elder Smith's new companion is Elder Wilber, they are pretty much the same person so they should have alot of fun. Anyways woohooo Elder Lamb is the best, super glad to have him as my trainer! He's probably the only reason my Spanish is where it's at, plus he's an amazing missionary and I learn a lot just through his example. So now that that is over with, onward with other stuff :)

So we had to go to transfer meeting last tuesday to pick up Elder Smith's new companion and they created a whole new zone in the mission which almost never happens, so that was pretty crazy! Also we are now on car share with the other Elders in our house, so Elder Lamb and I are essentially on bikes 24/7 now because our area is bikable and not so much for the other Elders. But that's ok because I actually LOVE biking here. It's all flat without mountains, which makes it super easy and plus we are able to street contact a lot more people on bikes than in the car. So I'm actually pretty excited to be on bikes :) The nice thing is that we still have the car for groceries with the other Elders and to go to church and such. So I can't really complain as far as that is concerned.

After Tuesday it was a pretty regular Wednesday, but Thursday and Friday Elder Lamb was sick and lost his voice. So that was no fun. But fortunately we were able to coordinate with members to have Elder Lamb stay in someones house with a Priesthood holder and I went with someone else to go work the area. That was pretty intimidating to say the least but some cool things happened and I think a family will reactivate because of it. Though I still can't believe how many phone calls I had to make in Spanish to coordinate all of that, it was a crazy couple of days. The good news is that Saturday he got his voice back and things are going super well now!

Saturday brings me to the coolest thing that happened this week! So Elder Lamb and I have been working with Brizlyn and her father to reactivate them and they are doing wonderfully! Yesterday they counted as what we call a rescue here, meaning that a less active member comes to Church two sundays in a row. The crazy thing is that Brizylyn's sister and her family also want to reactivate and they both live in our area, as well as another sister! So Brizlyn's sister is named Mirian. Well we visited her and her family Saturday night and found out that their nine year old son hasn't been baptized yet, but he wants to be baptized and the whole family is super excited to come back and for Christopher to be baptized! So we will be working with him every day this week to help him be prepared to be baptized! It's amazing to see such a large extended family reactivating together and that through this we will be able to baptize the son/grandson Christopher! Super happy to be with such an awesome family and that we'll be able to baptize Christopher, it's so cool! He loved the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and tomorrow we will probably teach him about the Restoration and some of the Commandments, pretty cool right?

Anyways that's pretty much it for this week, we have met some really cool people on the street but we weren't able to get them to church this week so now we have to go follow up and find out what happened. But we found a super cool family last night that I should have more to report on next week:)

Well I hope that you all have an amazing week and I look forward to hearing from you all next week!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 12: The Power of Three Lives On!

Hola mi familia y amigos!

Hahahahahahaha so you're never gonna guess what happened with transfer calls last night. Actually it should be pretty easy to guess considering my mission has so far been anything but normal. So you guessed it by now right? Hope so, because I'm going to tell you now. :) So it's transfers this week (my first time!), and normally they're on Wednesday but they had to move them to Tuesday because there's some meeting with the area authorities? Not sure but anyways transfers are tomorrow. So transfer calls from the Zone Leaders are the night before P Day so that you can know if you need to pack up your things or not. Well we were all sure that Elder Smith was going to get a new companion right? Wrong. In the call the Zone Leaders were like "And Elder Smith, you are transferring...across the hall." Meaning we are now in a trio. Wait what? My two out of three transfers in a trio already? What are the odds of that? I have no idea but pretty crazy right? We're still not entirely sure what's going on because the actual transfer meeting is tomorrow, so we just know that we are assigned as a trio. Should be interesting to find out. Especially because he's staying in Doral South (Elder Lamb and I are Doral North) and keeping the area's respective phone. Which is super weird for them to give two phones to a companionship, almost never happens. So anyways that was a pretty crazy first transfer call haha! I'm not that worried about being in a trio with Elder Lamb and Elder Smith though, we all get along pretty well so there shouldn't be any problems that way. I was definitely shell shocked to find out I was already in a trio again though. Guess Heavenly Father thinks that I need two trainers instead of one, I'm special ;) So anyways that's pretty much the craziest news that I have for you, trio power to the rescue. Should be a crazy good transfer with the three of us:)

On to more spiritual and uplifting things at this point, like our investigators!! Well the bad news is that we had to drop a few investigators this past week because it just isn't their time and they won't keep commitments. Orlando was the most heartbreaking because we put so much effort into him. But he had some serious commandment issues and wouldn't commit himself to live the commandments even though he knows they're of God. So there wasn't a whole lot we could do for him; the ball is in his court at this point. But that means we did our job as missionaries so that's good news I guess.

We witnessed a super crazy miracle this past week though! So we have been working like crazy to involve members in all aspects of missionary work as much as possible, which has paid off considering all of our progressing investigators except Ayesha are member referrals. Those referrals are the best! So we received one from a member for her friend and she set up the appointment. Well the first visit went so badly we didn't even bother trying to set up another one. Well,three the member friend still brought her to church and then to the activity night at the church Tuesday. Well after this Mercedes had a huge change of heart and decided that she wants to have us visit her now. So we set up a member present lesson with her and she had completely changed! She was super excited to see us and accepted everything that we taught her! It was amazing to see the light and excitement in her face that only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can bring. So ya basically it was amazing to see how the members can do missionary work in ways that we as missionaries cannot. Had the member not brought her to church and the activity we would never have visited her again. Go member missionaries!!

So this brings me to our next awesome investigator Liliana. Remember her? She fell off of the radar for a little bit because she was difficult to contact but we finally visited her again yesterday and she said that she wants to be baptized and accepted to live the Law of Chastity plus the Plan of Salvation! Wooohooo! So will be working very closely with her to get her baptized asap because she's already been to church so much! So that's pretty great news right? :D And guess what? She was a MEMBER referral. Once again we learned that President Hinckley meant it when he said the better way to do missionary work is through the members. Well Elder Lamb and I (and now Elder Smith) definitely have a testimony of that prophetic statement!

Ayesha is still doing super good, it's just her stubborn fiancé who won't move the wedding up or let us talk to him. But she's practically already a part of the ward. So we just keep on working, and trusting that the Lord will provide a way as we seek His guidance and help.

Anyways other than all that, I'm doing great! Elder Lamb, Elder Smith and I are a little shell shocked about the trio news but are excited for the opportunity to continue working together! It's pretty crazy that this will be my second trio transfer already (my first was in the CCM)! But hey no worries, if that's what the Lord wants of us then I'm sure there is a purpose for it. We will go work our hardest so that we can realize the purpose that he has for us!

So ya that wraps it up for the week. We are also working with a bunch of Less Actives to try and reactivate them as well as find potential baptisms through them as well. Should be a pretty fun week:)

I wish all of you the best and love all of you so much! Also a big thank you to all those who have sent mail and packages, they're very much appreciated! Have a great week!
Elder Butterfield

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 11: The Magical Number 3?

Hola mi familia!

Como estan? Espero que todo esta bien. Mi espanol esta creciendo. Pero yo se solamente un pequito de espanol.  Fortunadamente, yo puedo entender mucha de las personas que estan aqui en Florida. La verdad es ayer en el consejo de barrio hable sobre de todos de nuestros investigadores! Fue fantastico :) So ya there's my Spanish for you, hopefully someone can understand it. I'm more or less functional I would honestly say, though I do still freeze up sometimes because I don't know any words to express what I'm trying to say. And of course I would love to be able to express myself more fully in Spanish but I've just learned to be patient with myself. Already the members have told Elder Lamb that they can tell how much better my Spanish has gotten since I arrived (hopefully they're telling the truth and not just being nice... :) Once again I'm super grateful to have Elder Lamb as my trainer, he knows basically all of the rules for Spanish and helps me all the time. He's probably the reason that I'm doing so well with learning Spanish. He is awesome!!!

So you're probably thinking that this week was less crazy than last week with the car accident right? Well I'm not entirely sure that that is accurate. Don't worry no more car accidents. But there was an Emergency/Early Transfer in our apartment because Elder Rivas needs to go home to have his back fixed. So I'm now in a trio with Elder Lamb and Elder Smith. Trio power ahahahaha! Funny thing is that Elder Lamb only has one more transfer left and he's never been in a trio before. This is my second transfer (including the CCM) and second trio XD But it's only for the next week and a half until transfers, they'll bring in a replacement then. But I'm not worried or anything like that, we all get along super well and Elder Smith is gonna work with the members a bunch this week and do splits so that he can keep his area open! Pic of the trio is coming with this email don't worry:) So ya, I'm convinced that my mission is going to be anything but normal at this point. Fortunately I think that is a good thing. You have to do crazy things to obtain crazy good results right??? Anyways other than that crazy transfer with Elder Rivas things are going great here:) Investigator time!

So first up is Ayesha because she is so awesome! She is still doing great and accepting everything that we teach! The only thing that is standing between her and baptism is her fiance. So we are still trying to work with him, unfortunately only mild success there and no lessons. But something is bound to happen soon! The coolest thing was that she was having a hard time Saturday night and Sunday morning with some family stuff and she wanted to go to church because she knew that it would help her. Talk about a golden investigator right? So she is doing awesome!

Next up would be Orlando! He is doing ok, he loves us and loves to talk with us but he still hasn't been able to commit himself to live a few of the commandments. So we are working with him closely but essentially the ball is in his field of play at this point. So we are praying for miracles with him because he needs a good miracle right about now!

I could give you a report of all of our other investigators but nothing super crazy or notable has happened with them yet. That's ok though, that just means that the crazy things are gonna happen this week! I do want to share one miracle with you that I witnessed as Elder Lamb and I have been striving to work closely with the members. This is an excerpt from my letter to President Richardson:

 "Actually working with the members is what has brought us the most miracles here in Doral North. This last week we had a new ward missionary called and so we had a meeting with our ward mission leader and all of the ward missionaries. Well it turns out all of the ward missionaries are super excited to get going in their callings and made plans that night to go out Saturday and knock doors and such to help us find people! We also had Sister Diaz that we have been working with for a few different investigators set up a teaching appointment with her and her friend! It's absolutely incredible to see how working with the members can light a fire of excitement in them for missionary work! In fact this Tuesday we are training them on how to teach the missionary lessons that they can help us out with different things! The Doral Ward is on fire! That was probably my favorite miracle of the week, the excitement of our ward missionaries!"

How awesome is that that our ward missionaries here are so pumped up about missionary work?? Elder Lamb and I are creating an amazing foundation here in the Doral ward that I think is going to really help us in the coming weeks to find people through the members! Because as President Hinckley said, finding through members is the best way!

Well I think that's about it for this week, hopefully some awesome spiritual experiences will happen in the coming week :) I love all of you and hope you have a fantastic week!!
Elder Butterfield

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 10: CRASH!!!

Hola familia y amigos!

So the first thing that comes to mind when I think of the past week was the car crash I was in on was pretty bad but it could've been a lot worse. God definitely protected us! So of course it happened on exchanges while I was leading out our area with Elder Bacon from our district. We were driving straight along a road and a lady didn't see us while she was turning left from a stop sign and rammed into the passenger side of the car. She was probably going 10 mph, we were going about 35 mph? Needless to say, it hurt a lot at impact and knocked the wind out of me for about 30 seconds. I was super scared. Oh did I mention that I was in the passenger seat and both of the side airbags went off? Not fun at all, I was pretty shaken up for awhile there. I'm pretty surprised they didn't tell you about it to be honest...what's up with that? Anyways don't freak out or anything I'm perfectly fine, we both went to the doctor the same day to get checked out and the x rays came up negative. Thank goodness for that. The car is totaled though, meaning $27,000 that the lady's insurance will have to pay, ouch. It was definitely her fault though. So that made for a pretty crazy day Friday and I'm now super paranoid in the car for the time being. Every time there is a car turning left the accident flashes before me and all that stuff. So hopefully that goes away soon lol. Seriously though, don't stress. I really am okay. I just can't believe that I was in that crazy of an accident 4 weeks in. It better be the last! Seriously though, I'm fine, don't stress alright?! Ok, good:)

Well onward to more spiritual things:) So with the car accident and ward party Elder Lamb and I definitely didn't get as much proselyting time as we would have liked to this week, which is unfortunate:( But we did our best and God has blessed us for our efforts to be our best and to be obedient let me tell you! Let's see...ok so first update on Orlando. We taught him the Word of Wisdom last Tuesday, and he needs to stop smoking. He was doing super good the first couple of days but then he ran into some other issues. If he doesn't smoke he has to eat a lot, but he's diabetic so he can't. It's quite the catch 22. So we're working with him on that as well as a few other commandments but he knows that we're teaching him the truth and he wants to change without a doubt. We just need to help him get there. He can absolutely quit this week and overcome his problems if he wants to this week, not a doubt in my mind.

Next up is Ayesha! She is still doing great and actually brought some family (her mom, sister and  a man who is a family friend) to the ward party on Friday night! They all loved it and came up to us asking for more information. Woohoo!!! Unfortunately, we still haven't been able to meet her fiance and work with him, but we will make that happen somehow this week! We're just super happy that her family is enjoying it with her (they came to church with her yesterday!) so she will have support even if her fiance chooses not to get involved. But he will one way or another :) So basically she is doing great and has a desire to live and do everything we teach her. It's incredible! Not to mention she is integrating super well into the ward and has already been to tuesday night stuff with the ward twice! She's amazing!

Next up would be a member referral we received awhile ago to give a harvest blessing/prayer. Her name is Margarita and we actually taught her once already at a member's home as a dinner appointment. Well she is loving the Book of Mormon and loved the ward party so we have a teaching appointment with her today. She is becoming super close friends with the neighboring member family that told us about her and it's basically a perfect missionary opportunity because the members are so involved in working with her! So she has the potential to be baptized very soon if she continues to progress as she is!

After that would be someone who is nothing short of a miracle whom we met yesterday at church! So this family in our ward decided to reactivate out of the blue and the member mother brought her boyfriend, her children, and her father. Well the boyfriend isn't a member, and after seeing a baptism yesterday, has a desire off the charts to be baptized. The best part is that they live separately, not together, which is very rare down here to say the least haha! So he set up an appointment on his own at the house of a good member friend of his for tonight. So that was pretty amazing to witness I have to say. So he should be getting baptized very soon:)

Well I think that about rounds up my experiences for this week, car crash and everything! I'm pretty sad I didn't have my camera to take pictures of the car after the wreck. It was in pretty bad shape, but it did it's job by protecting us that's for sure! Basically you could look up any youtube video of test crashes where they ram the car directly into the passenger side of the vehicle and that's what our car looked like. Crazy huh? Definitely wasn't expecting that out here in my mission!

Welll that's all for this week folks! The Gospel is amazing! Now go live it and share it and make the missionaries around you super happy:) Until next week, I love all of you!
Elder Butterfield

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 9: Hastening the Work

Hola familia y amigos!

Well this week has been great as always! I owe a huge thank you to my family for shipping me all of the other things I needed this week such as a rain coat, more dark pants, blanket etc. Turns out I still needed a lot more than I thought. Tis the life of a missionary I suppose, we're always chasing after something. Pretty sure I've always had something to do since I have arrived here and half of the time the list of things to do gets bigger instead of smaller! Not quite sure how that works. But I'm slowly learning to adjust and focus on what I am able to do and to love the people that I'm serving. That has helped me to relax a little bit and get more into the swing of things!

First off I have to tell all of you about the man we met last week, Orlando. He is one of the most amazing people that I have ever met. He has lots of questions and just wants to learn more about the church all of the time. He actually already knows a lot and then we just have to clarify different things. The other day he told us that after he gets baptized that we will have to let him know what he can do to help us with the work. My jaw about hit the ground. It was unbelievable! The only thing that even has the potential to be a problem is smoking but he knows that it is bad and he wants to stop. We just have to help him get there. Either way he will definitely be baptized soon because he has the desire to get there. I can't wait til Elder Lamb and I get to teach him about the temple. He loved church yesterday and really felt the Spirit there. Plus he got to see the baptism of Eber, who was the last person in a recent convert family in the ward to get baptized. He loved all of it! Woohoo! What has really struck me about our experiences with Orlando is that God really did send us to him as an answer to his prayer and there is doubt in the mind of Orlando of this fact. It made me realize that people really are searching for the truth out there and the missionaries just have to find them. It makes me so excited to find the other people out there like him!

Our other investigator that is doing super well is Ayesha! She continues to accept everything we teach her and had no problems at all with the Word of Wisdom when we taught her! She loved church yesterday and she is integrating super well into the ward! She and her boyfriend are currently living together but they are already engaged for next year and so we talked to her about the Law of Chastity and asked her to talk to him about getting married sooner and she did it that night! Unfortunately her fiance wants to do a few other things before they get married so Elder Lamb and I are going to try to get to know him better this next week and work with him so that we can start teaching him to and bring the whole family to church! We aren't super worried about her though, yes there is work to do but Ayesha is so prepared we know that the Lord will provide a way somehow :)

Other than that our other investigators are progressing a little more slowly but hopefully there will be more news to come soon! One other thing about Orlando I just remembered is that one morning we saw an extra car in his driveway and figured it was his daughter so we decided to go over and get to meet her! Well she was a little shy at first (she is 22 and married with a baby) but she opened up to us very quickly. Turns out she has been fighting depression the past few weeks and trying to find relief through repentance and Jesus Christ. She told us that she normally isn't a people person but that as soon as we entered the room she felt more relaxed, better and that she could trust us. So we quickly proceeded to teach her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about repentance and promised her that we have what she needs to be able to feel relief. It was such a miracle to witness the comforting power of the Holy Ghost as her countenance changed during our visit. Not to mention we had actually already scheduled an appointment for later that day but Orlando was praying that we would come over early while his daughter was there so we could teach her. Talk about miracles. Anyways she didn't make it to church yesterday but we will make sure she is there next week!

What else happened this week... Oh well I forgot to mention before that Elder Lamb is the District Leader so I have already done exchanges twice here. Once to another area and once leading out our area. Exchange days are pretty fun, especially when you go to a different apartment! Elder Ortiz and Elder Smith were awesome to work with! We have the best district ever. I love my mission!

Oh! Another thing was that we had interviews last Friday with President Richardson. That was a pretty crazy experience. Elder Lamb and I were talking afterwards and for both of us President Richardson peered into our souls and told us things that were pretty much straight out of our patriarchal blessings. President Richardson is such a wise man :) Basically interviews were super good and I got some really good advice from him about how to help my Spanish and what I need to do to have success! Woohoo!

Oh one other cool thing that happened was that we received an assignment to work with someone from the ward who has recently reactivated but somehow never got the Aaronic Priesthood. Well we dropped by his house and talked to him and he is going to receive it next Sunday!

One other thing (no really this is the last one) is that our ward is doing a noche de hispanidad this Friday and we get to go do missionary work with everyone who comes that night. It's going to be so much fun!! So we will be very busy with that this week but things are going super well, the ward is getting stronger every week!

Well that's all I can remember for this week but it was super great and we're going to have an even better week this week! I wish all of you a wonderful week wherever you may find yourselves. Love all of you!
Until next week,
Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 8: Loving Hialeah

Hola familia y amigos!

This is Elder Butterfield reporting from Hialeah, Florida. Just a little piece of urban paradise down here in Southern Florida :D So first off I just have to say that Elder Lamb and I have the best area ever! We already have two solid investigators who should be baptized by the end of the month. Yes I'm being serious. Not to mention we meet amazing people where ever we go. It will definitely never be a problem finding people to teach here, its rather amazing and I love it so much. Elder Lamb is an absolutely amazing missionary and I'm learning so much from him about how to do things effectively and how to work with the Ward. Ive honestly never been happier in my life before this and its only been two weeks out here. I already see why everyone calls it the best two years. Sure there are hard times or days but overall I really am loving it. The culture of obedience is so strong here that we truly are able to work miracles here in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. I've seen so many already, it blows my mind everytime we meet someone how God has prepared them in some way to receive the Gospel. Not all accept but lots do and its amazing to see.

Sorry about the scare yesterday, I'm perfectly alright! Yesterday was a national holiday (ya so apparently someone else besides the Postal Service gets Columbus Day off hahahahaha) and all of the libraries were closed so they moved P Day to Tuesday. This will happen whenever there are Monday holidays because of the proselyting opportunities. It will also happen every transfer week. So don't freak out if some weeks you don't hear from me Monday, because it will happen at some point...I wish I could tell you all ahead of time but we simply don't find out until the night before. So there's that. Now that that's out of the way I can tell you some about some amazing stories and people!

First off I want to tell you about our investigator Ayesha. She is so prepared to receive the Gospel its ridiculous. We actually contacted her on the street one day during what we call The Harvest, a special contacting approach that was developed here in the mission and is successful only because of exact obedience. It works. It's where we bless the homes of people with the Priesthood as representatives of Jesus Christ. It isn't dedicating the home though, only a blessing. However in the street we say prayers with people also and this was the case with Ayesha. Anyways so we came up and talked to her and prayed with her and she agreed to let us come over another time to teach, so we scheduled an appointment. Well when we went back to teach, she told us that she really wanted to go to church again and that she had a dream where God told her she needs to go back to church and that he is calling her. And then we contacted her on the street and invited her to be baptized. Crazy huh? I love sharing the Gospel! Anyways our lessons have gone super well and she was all ready to go to church Sunday but the member who was giving her a ride couldn't find her house so she missed it. But she is going to a Relief Society activity tonight and coming to church next Sunday. She is so amazing!

We are also working with a member referral named Liliana who is progressing a little slower because she works during the week but is doing great also and has already been to church twice. These people down here are amazing. She was super quiet at first but it is getting more comfortable with us and has a super awesome member friend who is fixing up an old car so that he can help bring investigators to church. His name is Alex. He actually just reactivated a while ago but he is getting all of his friends for us to teach. It's so cool! So those are our two best investigators right now, baptism pics will be coming within the month I think :D

One other super amazing experience we had was during the Harvest yesterday. We decided to harvest the street where we lived. As we prayed about it, we felt really good about it. Well we met a man named Orlando who had seen family commercials from the church on tv and had visited and read about the Book of Mormon and wanted to learn more. So we told him about Meet the Mormons and he said he would love to go see it and would love to have us back over to learn more about the Church. He lives like right across the street from us. It's so crazy how much we have been blessed to find people who are ready and we both know it's because we are striving to be obedient.

So ya basically I'm loving it out here and couldn't have asked to go to a better mission! Sure there have been hard times because I'm still adjusting and Spanish is rough (especially because Hialeah is almost entirely Spanish) but almost all of the time it is amazing to see how God really is hastening the work. I definitely am where I need to be right now!

Now I want to tell you about the ward. I'll be honest this ward definitely needs our help. In terms of attendance it really is more of a branch. Which is sad. But between us and the other Elders of the ward we already got 4 less actives back to church last Sunday and there was a record 22 men in Priesthood as compared to the usual 3-5 men. We are on fire here! Also we pretty much have food everyday of the week from the members which is fantastic. It's rare to have a day where we won't have member food. The members that are active are super strong and dedicated. We just need to mobilize them to missionary work and working with the less actives and this ward will be functioning like a Utah one in no time. One thing we are trying to do is motivated some of the men to get the Priesthood who haven't yet. We have lots of active sisters but not many active Priesthood holders. That will change very soon though:) That's what Presidente Richardson wants, for us to strengthen the ward so that we can involve the members in the work. Without them things are a lot harder. Not to mention that Presidente Richardson promised in Zone training last week that the Hialeah zone will be the best in the mission soon where as before it tended to struggle. Last month it was the best in the mission!

Anyways it was super good to be able to go to regular church Sunday and meet with the ward members more. There are some really amazing members we have already worked with and we want to meet more!

Well I think that about sums it up for this week. It was a wonderful week, we have found amazing people and continue to do so everyday. The work of God is truly marvelous to behold and I truly love it down here. I just need to learn how to grocery shop and locate addresses:)

Ope one last thing, Elder Lamb and I are getting along wonderfully! We are alike in so many ways. He is an intellectual like me and wants to be an electrical engineer and is studying at BYU when he gets back (I forgave him already). Super grateful to have him, and his Spanish is practically fluent so he teaches me stuff all of the time! That's probably the hardest part is the Spanish and not being able to say what I want to say. Especially because every other day is a Spanish only day, but it definitely is helping me to pick up things a lot faster. Well that's pretty much it for this week. Its been a great week and I'm having a wonderful time down here in Hialeah! I love all of you so much and wish you a wonderful week! Go share the Gospel with your friends and make the missionaries super happy by referring those friends:D
Elder Butterfield

Elder Butterfield's apartment

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 7: First Stop: Hialeah

Hola familia y amigos!

Well it has been an absolutely crazy week! Don't worry though I got here safe and without a problem from Mexico and received a warm welcome from the APs and President and Sister Richardson! Funny thing, I got wiped down for drugs in the Mexico City Airport. I thought that was pretty funny! Once we got here they gave us all orientation and sent us out to place Books of Mormon. I wish I could've seen my face because I am positive it was priceless even though I knew it was coming. It was fun though, a lot of people here have some kind of religion and are willing to listen to anything about Jesus Christ. Which impresses me and makes me happy I have to say! Other than that, Tuesday was uneventful, just a long boring travel day... No me gusta.

So Wednesday we woke up, they picked us up from the hotel, and we went to the transfer meeting! Those are pretty rowdy haha. There I found out that my new companion is Elder Lamb. We are being sent to a whitewashed ward (meaning they didn't keep any of the old missionaries there; its not the ideal decision to make so something must've been up). So Elder Lamb and I and the other companionship are all new to the area we are serving in which makes things even more adventurous haha. So youre probably wondering what this area is by now right???????'s the area of Doral North! It is the smallest area in the mission and apparently is also the most Spanish area. It's located in the city of Hialeah since I know you will all look it up. The missionaries are pretty much the only white people here hahaha. Gringos. Funny thing though, it's kind of plush down here, (which is fine, I'm not complaining!) so the area I am in has both a phone and a car. Pretty crazy right?

Honestly, though, I'm loving it out here. It's definitely stressful right now because I can't keep up with the Spanish conversations (especially the's a whole different language when they speak. I'm also having a hard time with time management because there is so much that needs to be done and just seemingly not enough time to do it. I'm trying my best though. But the actual proselyting I am loving. I just need to gain more confidence in talking to people about the Gospel!

So a miracle that I witnessed this week was in between the sessions of General Conference Sunday. Elder Lamb and I had a less active member call us to come teach his girlfriend at 3:15. Meanwhile, after the Sunday morning session there was a dinner at the church for the members, so we took the chance to get to know the members. Well, we met Hermano E. and asked him to go with us to the appointment. He ended up having a very similar situation to the couple and was a great asset to our visit. We also found out the member we visited needs the Aaronic Priesthood, and though he had problems before with commandments, he is ready now and agreed to set up an interview with Bishop P. this week! Not to mention that his girlfriend agreed to baptism October 19! So it was a miracle to me because so many wonderful things happened in a very small amount of time. This confirmed to Elder Lamb and I that we need to strengthen the Doral Ward by involving the members at every step possible. It was very cool :D

Also another thing we do here is called Harvesting. Its like a more spiritual form of tracting on steroids. We pick an area, pray about it, and then go knocking doors and if the people allow us we go in and bless the family and home with the power of the Priesthood. It might sound crazy at first but you would be amazed how many people let us in and after the prayer they feel the Spirit so strong that they agree to prepare to be baptized. While follow up appointments are a little more difficult it's amazing to see people when they feel the Spirit so strong for the first time. I'm very grateful to be in this mission!

Next, I'll describe Elder Lamb. He is amazing and we are so similar its ridiculous. Funny thing he trained Elder Park a year ago. Crazy right? He has also been zone leader for the last 7 transfers. He knows what he is doing for sure. This is also his last two transfers so I will be his last companion. Basically I am super grateful to have him because his Spanish is awesome and he's a veteran at all of this and is doing his best to help me all that he can. I couldn't have asked for a better companion! I can't wait to get started with a regular schedule this week!

Finally, I just want to thank everyone for their letters! They have been great to get! I will do my best to respond, but until I figure out how to be more effective down here I may not get to everyone. So for now if I don't respond, just check my blog. Thanks and sorry about this. I need more time!!! Thanks again everyone for everything, I love all of you!

Hasta luego,
Elder Butterfield

P.S. one other funny thing, Elders are required to wear a part in their hair down here. Which makes me look like a doofus but I have to be obedient so I rock it lol

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Week 6: Wrapping it Up in the CCM

¡Hola familia y mis amigos!

Whelp, I will finally be free of this place! Just kidding this place is awesome and I honestly loved it so much, despite the hardships. But I am ready to get out to the field and to serve real people now! Even if I wont have any idea what they're saying for awhile hahahaha. By the way I would like to apologize about last weeks update. It was a little immature and focused too much on the negative so I apologize for that. I will try to focus on the more positive things moving forward.

Anyways I am sorry to say that things never really got better in my trio companionship...there was another fight and I ended up talking to Presidente M (the branch 12 president here) about it because I was worried for my companions. He expressed sorrow that Elder H and Elder D never really learned to work together but smiled and told me that the solution to the problem would be coming soon. This was just yesterday. It made me laugh I have to say. We also had a good chuckle together about the possibility of them being companions in the field later on XD Anyways that's all I have to say about that. I am definitely ready to only have to live with one person 24/7 instead of 2 even though I loved both of my companions very much :)

Well it was very crazy week down here in the CCM. In field orientation was Friday and that got me very pumped to go to Florida even though I know it will be a little tough at first. I can't wait to get there! I can't wait to meet my trainer! I just hope and pray that he is a diligent missionary. If not, I'm sure we will make it work somehow though. Another really cool thing that happened this week was when we taught in TRC. TRC is when we practice teaching volunteers from Mexico City. At least when there are actually volunteers usually it is still just teachers but its an awesome experience either way. So we were teaching in TRC and I could literally feel the Holy Ghost giving me the words to say to these people we were teaching. Not only that but I could feel the power of the Holy Ghost in what I was saying. It was such a testimony builder to me that we really do have The Lord's help out here if we work hard and do our part. Again this experience made me so excited to get out to Florida and get to work!

One other experience similar to TRC I had was the opportunity to give a Melchizedek Priesthood blessing of comfort and counsel to Hermana B in my district this morning. Weirdly enough I wasn't even nervous for this and as I gave her a blessing I really could feel the Lord guiding me in what to say. It was a huge testimony builder to me of the power of the Priesthood. Now I just hope it can work that well for me in Spanish too...Guess I still have lots of studying to do!

Other than these things nothing too memorable down here, I've just been studying my butt off trying to learn as much as Spanish as I possibly can. One other fun fact, my plane tickets are the only ones that wouldn't print off here at the CCM. So I'm praying that I will be able to figure out how to get them at the airport tonight 0_o Hopefully all goes well.

Basically to wrap things up my testimony has exponentially grown here and I'm super pumped to get to Florida already! I wish all a wonderful week and a fantastic conference weekend! Its pretty fantastic my first weekend is conference not gonna lie.

Well I love you all and look forward to hearing from all of you next week!
Elder Butterfield (aka cynical butterfield by my district, bet that's hard to see ;)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 5: Down in the CCM (MTC)

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well another interesting week down here at the CCM (MTC) to say the least haha. Anyways, well last Wednesday my district got the chance to be ushers\greeters for the new missionaries as our service project; it was awesome! And we get to do it again this week! After that it was a pretty average week until Sunday. Just practicing teaching a lot and learning lots of español. Its funny because earlier I was annoyed that Elder D seemed to have better Spanish than me even though he never studies. Well he still thinks hes better but my studying paid off. My Spanish is much more proper than his and I kind of laugh to myself about it sometimes. He still speaks in infinitives half the time lol. Mine is still bad but its just nice to see the fruits of my labors :) One other funny thing, Ive never been able to roll my tongue for the Spanish r´s in my life. But my teacher told me I need to learn it and after weeks of trying I can finally roll my tongue. I literally had to practice everyday for it lol. But it is definitely evidence of the Gift of Tongues because I know I could not have learned that myself. So it was funny when I could finally do it but Im also super grateful that I can. I was a little worried for awhile.

I spoke to soon about my companions getting along though. Our companionship is in shambles of sorts at this point, but at least there's only a week left.  I just pray that I will have a much more relaxed companionship with my trainer lol. So ya its been a rough stressful week to say the least...I know I'm not perfect either but I try my best to be a peacemaker. It's pretty rough at this point though. That's pretty much been my life for the past three days.

Well the good news is that we got to go to the temple visitors center today!! Unfortunately, the temple here is closed until next June and has been since January... but the visitors center was awesome today! It reminded me of the duty I have to bring the Gospel to families so that they can have the same joy I have in knowing they can have their families for forever! They also had an awesome LDS store there where I picked up my sweet Mexican backpack in the pics :D I definitely can't wait to go to a temple session in Fort Lauderdale at some point.

So anyways its been a bit of a rough week, but I'm surviving. I'm sure it will get better sooner or later. Well that's pretty much it for this week. I hope you enjoy the pics! Hermano Vargas is the short man in the pictures with me. He is my teacher in the mornings and is also the teaching director. He's such a great guy! I want all of you to know that I love you and I'm grateful for your emails! Sorry if I don't get back to you. I just have so little time and lots to say, so if you get left in the dust it's nothing personal. Just shoot me another email please! Hasta proxima semaña!

Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week 4: Feliz Mexicano Independencia!

Hola familia y amigos, feliz Mexicano Independencia!

Well thankfully this week went quite a bit better!! Elder D and Elder H seemed to have solved their differences for the most part so that settled down a lot. Although sometimes Elder H does and says stuff so out there that Elder D and I just look at each other and chuckle. I'm pretty grateful for Elder D. All this is helping me to learn the Christlike attribute of patience which I need to learn anyways so I guess it all works out in the end huh?

Anyways so today is Mexican Independence Day but they start celebrating the night before because thats when the battle/rally began. The cool part was that we got to have a cultural celebration for this event last night with traditional Mexican folk dancers and the traditional Viva speech. It was waay cool! Surprisingly I got some pretty spiritual thoughts out of it which I wasnt expecting! I realized that God loves all of His children so much and that he celebrates in our righteous differences. Which I guess isnt all that profound but that thought hit me pretty hard for some reason. I also realized how much culture and history is contained down here and Mexico. Makes me want to learn more about this country someday. Anyways i included some pictures of the performance last night, theyre not very good but I tried. Viva Mexico!

Another cool thing that happened this week was that I finished the Book of Mormon! It was actually a really cool experience as I knelt down in prayer to act on Moronis promise again. As I prayed for additional strength to my testimony of the Book of Mormon, I got the impression to remember all of the ways reading the Book of Mormon this time through had strengthened me and my testimony and I realized that Heavenly Father had already given me this extra strength, I just needed to recognize it. I really have grown to love the Scriptures out here and I wish I would have studied them more before I came both in Seminary and personally. So whoever wants to serve a mission, my advice is honestly to learn the scriptures and Preach My Gospel more. I regret not doing that more often, because everything you can possibly need to know as a missionary is contained within those books!

Well lecturing and remorse aside, I decided my scripture for my plaque. Alma 57:20-21. Hopefully that fits, if not then just do 20 but preferably both! Which reminds me of something else! Those leather scripture cases you were asking me about? Well it turns out they started to sell them in the MTC store and then you fill out a paper with your name, mission and scripture and whoever makes them customizes it for you so I got one. Pics are incoming. Well I think thats everything that I wanted to update you all on. Basically things are going good down here and I cant believe that I only have two weeks left in this amazing place. Im just working my butt off studying spanish and riding the exercise bike trying to get in shape for Florida!

I hope that things are going well for everyone back home and that church, school and work are going amazing for all of you! I love all of you so much and I work hard everyday so that other families will be able to enjoy this wonderful Gospel that we are so blessed to have in our lives. Keep up the hard work back home and I will do the same down here!
Yo amo ustedes muy mucho.
Hasta proxima semaña.
Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Week 3: Missionary in the Middle

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well I'm going to be real honest and admit that this was a pretty rough week for me for several different reasons. The biggest trial that I'm facing down here is still my companionship. Last Wednesday Elder D and Elder H got into such a big fight that I finally just took it to our District Leader and all three of us had to go meet with a member of our Branch Presidency. They just can't seem to get along, and I'm pretty tired of being in the middle of all of their arguments. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that meeting with Presidente George accomplished much. But it helped me a little I guess. He just told me that he'd heard that I'm an obedient missionary and to keep that up, and then that trios are usually difficult and from the sound of things that it will have to be my job to be the peacemaker between them. It's very difficult. I know I just need to keep smiling and try to help them the best I can but it sure doesn't make it any easier. I'm definitely learning how to be patient and charitable right now.

Then Sunday night Elder H got separated from Elder D and me and that turned into a big blowout between the two of them as well. Which is silly because had we been obeying it would never have happened in the first place. Oh well. So then Elder H broke down crying from stress and homesickness for his mom, so I had to comfort him and calm him down a bit so that our district leader could give us guidance. You'd think after that it would be over right? Wrong. The next morning Elder H asked to speak with Elder D alone so I just stood off a ways while they worked things out, taking up our whole hour of companionship study. Hopefully things are gonna get better now, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

So ya, this is definitely going to be one of those endurance companionships, but I'm trying my best to help them and learn what I can from it. Only three more weeks right?

Anyways companionship issues aside it's been an alright week. I'm beginning to feel a little overwhelmed by all of the Spanish tenses and conjugations but I just keep plugging away at it and trust that Heavenly Father will help me out one way or another. I'm definitely learning a lot even if there is still so far to go.

Probably the spiritual highlight for me this week was a practice teaching exercise that we did in class. As I was teaching with Elder D, I could feel the presence of the Spirit and He was guiding our lesson. It was especially cool when I had the investigator read a scripture and I was just about to ask a question when Elder D asked the exact same question that I was going to. It was great! I also think that Helaman's son Nephi has become my favorite scripture character; he was such an awesome missionary! Speaking of which, I'm almost finished with the Book of Mormon, Woohoo! I've really gained a great love for the scriptures out here. They really are the word of God and there is amazing truth and happiness to be found in them. My favorite scripture would have to be either Alma 17:2 or Alma 57:21. I'm not sure, I'll let you know by next week for the plaque.

Well on to the more regular everyday stuff. Presidente Pratt says no cameras except on P day so if it seems like there are no pictures that's why. Also the Hunger Games picture I sent last week is because we are Zone 12, District 12D hahahaha. I don't know if I've gained any weight here, the only scale they have is in kg and I've been too lazy to try and figure it out!

Btw thanks for the card you guys sent me! I just barely got the first one last Thursday. It's a good two week trip. Hopefully the other one comes soon! I promise I will write letters once I'm back in the states, but it takes so long it's not worth it right now. It would be way behind!

One other crazy thing. Next Monday is Mexican Independence Day. So I'm pretty sure we will get absolutely no sleep. Which reminds me, it's sooo noisy here at night, pretty hard to sleep but somehow I'm still going. That's also why we are holding that Mexican banner!

Well that concludes this week's update for now. I just want to thank all for their prayers and for their emails, they're much appreciated. Hope things are going well for all back home! God be with you til we meet again. Love all of you so much!

This is Elder Butterfield with the weekly update, e'rytime.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 2: Life in the MTC

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Well this week has been crazy to say the least, some really bad days but also some experiences that can only be explained by the thin-ness of the veil here.

First off, no the food is not even comparable to Cafe Rio. This place is a refurbished high school and frankly feels like missionary high school aha. So the food is just Mexican cafeteria food. Fortunately, Tuesday is Costco pizza night and there is cereal for the mornings. It's fantastic. The food is good enough though and some meals are better than others. Boy does all that Mexican take its toll though, and I'll leave it at that.

Next up, I'd like to share some of the spiritual highlights of the week. First off I have been praying constantly for the gift of charity as well as patience and though im not good enough to have them constantly, the glimpses I see of other people the way Christ does are just unbelievable. We humans as mortal beings can be such amazing people. I even saw a bit of what God has seen in me and that I was blessed to be born in the church so that I could bring the Gospel to others. I share this not to brag of myself, but because it helped me to understand that I'm not out here to help me. Rather I'm out here to lose myself in the service of others. Whether it be companions, investigators, or whoever, thats what I should be focusing on. Second up and probably one of the most dear experiences to me was Sunday night as we watched a video about John Tanner in a devtotional and about all that he gave to the Church in its early days. Its a great story and I recommend looking it up. Anyways well as we sat there, the Spirit began to overwhelm me and I felt this almost tingling sensation on my shoulders. Well I no sooner felt it than I knew that it was Grandpa Butterfield putting his spiritual hands on my shoulders and letting me know that he was proud of me and that I was doing the right thing. I know he was there to strengthen me and let me know that I had made the right decision. It never fails to amaze me how thin the veil is here despite being in the middle of the craziness that is Mexico City. I testify that God lives and that He and His Son Jesus Christ love us so very much. Grandpa Butterfield loves us and I know also that there are angels watching over the missionaries and over all the members of the Church. All these Spiritual experiences sure get me emotional a lot, but I never cry tears of sadness here in the MTC. Only tears of joy. My testimony has grown so much and I hope to continue to grow it so that I can share with others what I know.

I guess its time to share more of the mundane less cool things that go on down here. interesting fact, the first investigator that we taught as a companionship, Jorge, is now our teacher in the afternoon. Pretty humbling after we struggled for words in front of him haha. My morning teacher is hermano Vargas and my afternoon teacher is Hermano Hernandez. theyre both awesome and I love them very much. Its still occasionally hard to understand their spanish and theyre even speaking slow, but Im definitely improving so thats good. essentially my schedule as seen in the pictures I sent to Mom is wake up, study, breakfast, class\study, and then teach our teacher who plays an investigator at some point as well as lunch in the middle. After class is over at 6:15 its dinner and then an hour of studying as well as TALL, a computer program developed by BYU to help study Language. Its so slow, but this is no wonder considering the source! I don't struggle to study and grow to love the Gospel more everyday! Also I should mention to everyone the trio is permanent here because classes are by district so a new companion wouldn't work, were too far ahead in language class. Oh well, we will figure it out.

Its been a great week and I'm starting to see the bigger picture of why I'm serving a mission. I've grown up lots and still have infinite to go, but I am progressing.
Love all of you so much and am grateful for the emails. I can't read comments on the blog so I will need them emailed to me!!
With love (erytime)
Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Week 1: Mexico MTC

Hey family!

I just want all of you to know how much I love you! Also forgive any grammar mistakes, spanish keyboards are different so my typing is messed up until Im back stateside. Anyways well its weird without me huh? Well let me tell you its pretty weird without all of you. Fortunately I have a very good district and so I havent been homesick all that much because im surrounded by good people and always so busy! So I guess Ill start with last Wednesday!

Wednesday was a lloooooooong day travelwise. It was pretty strange going through security at the airport by myself. There were so many missionaries that flew down with me though, so there was at least comfort in numbers! I grabbed a bite to eat in Phoenix with some other elders and then it was time to go to Mexico. Mexico City is so crazy. It seems like theres pretty much no rules at all down here. Ill get to that in a sec though. Immigration was awful, took an hour and a half to get through after we got off the plane. Then when I went to go pick up my suitcases they had arrived late (which didnt matter since immigration took so long) but they were in a weird spot and I thought they had been lost, it was super stressful.  But eventually I found them and it was ok, though Im sure it was hilarious watching me try to pull three suitcases through the airport (just like dad said it would be). Once I got my bags customs was pretty easy though, literally all you do is push a button. If you get a green light youre fine and dont get checked. If the light turns red they check your bags. Pretty ghetto huh? After that it was just waiting with the greeter for everyone to show up at the airport. Oh also in Phoenix, this guy came up to me at the airport and asked if I could help him. He said he had seen a lot of well dressed young men at the airport and was wondering if we were all part of the same group or something (We didnt have tags yet). I got a pretty good kick outta that, and it also showed me how important appearance is! I told him that we were all choosing to serve missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that we were headed to the Mexico MTC (in retrospect I should have said the full name lol). He remarked that the world needs more young men like us, but he hurried off before I could give him a Book of Mormon which would have been awesome!

Sorry for the wall of text, the travel was just crazy! Next up, we took the shuttle to the MTC. Having seen parts of Mexico City, super glad Im going stateside! Its just kind of whatever out there, especiallly on the roads. In fact there was a fender bender right in front of us and our bus just went around it at the last second!

Once I finally got in we were so late they just sent us to dinner. Walking into the MTC was a bigger culture shock than Mexico City, I feel like Im in BYU Mexico lol. Pretty overwhelming and weird at first. In fact Im still adjusting. But thats ok, as frustrated as I can get I really do love this place, its amazing. After dinner there was a bunch of orientation stuff and moving in. And then orientation has just been spanned across four days until Sunday really. Kind of weird to me they dont do it all at once but Im glad its over and I have a somewhat normal schedule now.

Alright time for my companion since I know youve been waiting to hear. Err actually companions. Im in a trio with Elder D (my original companion) and Elder H (his companion didnt show up). I have to say that Im adjusting pretty well to just about everything except for being in a companionship. As much as I love my companions, I either love them or hate Im a bit disappointed that im in a trio, it makes doing anything super hard. At least in a regular companionship you only have to meet in the middle of a line. In a trio, its like trying to find the centroid of a triangle. Its especially bad because theyre both pretty care free and seem to have no regard for any of the rules. And Im trying to the rules pretty seriously... So it can be pretty frustrating at times. We have already taught three lessons to our "first investigator". And the first two were a trainwreck because me and my companions couldnt agree on the lesson even after praying several times. Oh well, we are all still adjusting. Theyre at least fun people and can laugh things off so thats good. Even though I can get very frustrated trying to mediate their arguments, theyre still good people and Im trying to see what Heavenly Father sees in them.

There is one other thing Id like to share, and thats that the Spirit is so strong here. Despite all the frustrations and occasional homesickness, Ive already had some amazing spiritual experiences here. Heavenly Father has told me on several occasions that if i will keep working hard and do my best that it will all work out somehow. Im really grateful for that and so I just keep working my little butt off! Spanish is definitely hard and intimidating but the Gift of Tongues is absolutely a real thing! Ive already come so far and all of my middle school spanish has come back to me and im very grateful for that. The MTC or CCM in Spanish is truly a little piece of Heaven inside of the craziness of Mexico City.

Most importantly, I want you all to know that I love you all and that Ive kept you in my prayers everyday. While I havent been super homesick and know that Im in the right place, I still miss you all like crazy. I still am not sleeping all the way through the night and thats when I think about you the most. Heck I even dream about being home. But its ok, I know that if I work hard and do what Im supposed to the Lord will make great things happen one way or another.

Sorry my first email was all over the place, still figuring all of this out! I hope that you all have a great first week of school and that all goes well for you. I will try to respond more to your emails from now on, I just had so much to tell you! Just know that I am safe and doing well down here, even if I get frustrated with my companions sometimes. I also apologize as I apparently need a card reader to send pictures, which I was not aware of. So I will look at the store for one or try the usb cable so that I can send pics next week, Im really mad I cant this week!!!!!!

I love you all so much and cant wait to hear from you all again. This is Elder Butterfields weekly status update, erytime.

With Enormous Amounts of Love,
Elder Butterfield