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