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 mormon.org 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

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