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