Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 32: Funny stories.....

Hey Everyone!

Well, it's been quite the week this last week! It was a bit of a faith testing week, but it also had its good moments and just plain hilarious moments as wellXD

Where to start... I guess we'll get the bad news over first. So we had specialized training last week for the Church's new initiative #BecauseHeLives (which you should check out and share over at helives.mormon.org :) and I was able to talk to my old companion Elder Swensen about how everything in Doral was going, but it wasn't good news. Apparently, Albert got accused of stealing money so they don't know what's going on with him, but the news that hurt most was about the Morales family. Apparently after 4 weeks straight of the whole family coming to church together, they're now getting divorced....so as you can imagine Wednesday was a bit of a rough day. But it's ok; stuff like this happens and there's no point in focusing on things that I can't change, so I just did my best to suck it up and keep working. The good news is that Rebeca is still doing great, so no complaints there!

Anyways with the bad news out of the way, that leaves room for some pretty funny stories that happened this last week. So Thursday we went to go visit a less active recent convert in the area and we read out of the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon, specifically about the story of the Brother of Jared. Well I was trying to recap the story of what happened and how Jesus touched the rocks to make them give light. So I said,"Jesus touched the rocks to give the Jaredites light in the ships." Well I said dar luz because dar is the verb "to give" and luz is "light", so it made sense to me to explain it that way right? WRONG! Apparently dar luz is an expression in Spanish that means "to give birth". So I said that Jesus touched the rocks to give birth hahahahahaha XD Fortunately, my companion corrected the confusion, but I didn't find out what happened until later on. I got a pretty good kick out of that gringo mistake though:)

But wait, that's not even the best story of the week! So here in the mission, part of a district leader's assignment is to give short companion studies (trainings) to the sister companionships in the district. Elder Dinkins is the district leader here, so he had to give one of these comp studies on Friday to the sisters. Well everything goes fine and normal until the end when he asks them if they have any questions, or if there's anything he can do to help them. Well one of the sisters says she has a question that came up in her scripture studies yesterday. So she asks him, "What's circumcision?" Bahahahahahahaha!  It was one of the funniest things I've ever heard and it took every ounce of willpower in my body to not bust up laughing at that moment, I have to say. Needless to say we didn't really answer the question directly and told her to email her parents about it, but I couldn't stop laughing about it the rest of the day :) One of many funny sister missionary stories I'm sure;)

As for actual missionary work down here, things are going a bit slow, but Elder Dinkins and I are working hard to find investigators both through sharing prayers with people and working through the members. Rebeca is still doing wonderful and fasted yesterday, but unfortunately her family didn't make it to church because her mom was in the hospital. That stuff happens though, not much we can do there except pray. Rebeca's daughters are starting to open up a little more which is good, but Rebeca's husband isn't ready just yet. We invited him to be baptized, and he explained to us that he's busy with his PhD right now and just isn't ready. But I'm sure he will be baptized at some point in the future, so we just keep praying! But ya, other than the Polo family, not too much going on just yet. We are still on the hunt for more investigators; hopefully the harvest is big this week!

That's about it for this week though, I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Elder Butterfield

pads are probably coming soon. People from SLC are coming down this week to the mission leader conference, and our email site was changed up a bit, so it looks they're preparing for Ipads, but probably not for another month or so. Who knows!

Specialized Training Meeting March 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 31: Six Flat Tires!

So this last week was Spring Break...greetings from South Beach!
Hahahahahahahaha definitely just kidding on that one, but I couldn't resist the chance to make a joke about it :) Seriously though greetings from Sunny Florida, it's getting hot down here!

Anyways so transfers were last Wednesday and my new companion is...Elder Dinkins!!! I even included a picture this time:) He's a pretty cool guy and don't let his short stature fool you either...he can bike faster than I can! Seriously though he's cool and we've been working super hard this last week, though unfortunately we don't have too much to show for our efforts just yet.

Part of that is to blame on bicycles though, this last week I had 6 flat tires! Needless to say I'm really hating being in a bike area at the moment but I'm sure I'll get over it soon enough. What a joke right? Just another part of missionary life that I haven't had the pleasure to experience until this last week... Bike problems are not fun!!!! That's ok though, hopefully with a few bike investments (aka thick bike tubes and tire liners to help avoid flats, as well as some better patches) this hopefully won't be quite so big of a problem! If anyone else has any other advice, please let me know!!!

But uh, bike problems aside it was a decent week. Tuesday night Elder Crockett and I went to visit Rebeca again and we talked about eternal families and temples. She then later told us that her biggest desire is to have her family sealed together in the temple, she's pretty great to say the least:) Now we just have to get the rest of the family in the water! Unfortunately we weren't able to see the family the rest of the week because her husband had to go out of town for a business trip. But Rebeca still came to church and we're going to see them tonight with a member, so don't worry! Things should be happening really soon:)

As for the rest of the week, it was a mix of the aforementioned bike problems and going out to knock doors and talk with everyone that we possibly could. We haven't seen too many fruits of that just yet but we gave it our best and now we just have to keep working hard and trusting in God for the rest. After all, Elder Crockett and I prayed for a family every day last transfer and we got the Polo family, so God will definitely be able to help us out this transfer as well!

But ya that's pretty much all I really have to update on this week. We're just out working hard and trying to avoid bike problems:)

I hope that everyone has a good week!

Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Week 30: Rebecca Gets Baptized!

Hey everybody!!

Well this past week has been an absolutely incredible week, so GOOD! First off, Rebecca was baptized!!!!! It was one of the most amazing baptismal services that I've ever been to. The Spirit was so strong there, but more to come on that in a second. In other news, we had transfer calls last night, and I'm staying! This isn't much of a surprise, but I'm super excited to be able to work with the rest of Rebecca's family! So ya my companion, Elder Crockett, is headed home this Thursday and I will be picking up my new companion tomorrow, so we'll see what's in store for me there! Anyways, there is all of the big news out of the way up front, but now it's time for details!

As I said, this last week really has been an incredible one, and it's made me really grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary for the Lord. So last Tuesday night, we had an amazing lesson with Rebecca and the Bishop of the ward and it just went so well. We taught Rebecca the Plan of Salvation, the law of tithing, and the law of chastity, and she accepted it all without even blinking an eye. She was very prepared to receive us; it's pretty amazing.

So Thursday was her baptismal interview and everything went great there. There's a pretty incredible story that came out of it though. Our zone leaders live with us in the same house, and one of them did the baptismal interview for Rebecca. Well, she told him in the interview that she had a dream six years ago that she went to Africa as a missionary preaching the Gospel. And now that she is going through this, she thinks that it will be her daughters. Pretty crazy huh? I couldn't believe it, especially since she had this dream six years ago. She and her family are just amazing, and I'm so blessed for the opportunity to be able to work with them!

Then nothing significant happened until her baptismal service Saturday, which as I mentioned before, was just a very spiritual experience! Rebecca's husband and one of her daughters came to support her, and Rebecca's husband even shared his testimony there of the changes that he has seen in Rebecca since we first met her. Rebecca also bore her powerful testimony of the changes that she has seen in her life and the Spirit that she has felt since we knocked on her door. She said that from the moment we prayed with her there at the door, her heart was touched and she knew that God had sent us. It was so incredible and the whole baptismal service was an experience that I will hold dear throughout my life.

Sunday she was confirmed a member of the Church and her husband Edgar also came to see her confirmation and even stayed the whole three hours! He is opening up more by the day and even told me Saturday that I will be here when he gets baptized. Pretty awesome right?? As well, Elder Crockett and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting, which went pretty well! First talk I've given on my mission, so that was fun!

We went over to Rebecca's last night for a last dinner with Elder Crockett which was pretty fun, too! Basically this last week has just been amazing to see Rebecca progress and to help her be baptized and confirmed. She was so prepared by the Lord and I'm glad he trusted us enough to be her missionaries!

That's pretty much it for this week though. It's just been a great week and I hope that this week we will we able to find more amazing people like Rebecca! Now I just am excited to find out who my new companion will be!

Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

PS This P-Day we went to probably the nicest country club I'll ever go to in my life. It's called Deering Bay, and it's oceanside. One of the members here has a membership and let us go there today and paid for everything. I felt so out of place there, but it was super cool and just absolutely beautiful! So that's where the golf pictures come from :D

Rebecca's baptism

Rebecca's farewell dinner for Elder Crockett

The Golf Course at Deering Bay Country Club

McKay living it up at the Deering Bay Country ClubGe

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Week 29: A Pretty Good Week

Hey all!
Espero que haga mucho calor para ustedes muy pronto :) Because it's super hot down here and it's only gonna get worse! I'm definitely scared for the Florida summer at this point...but I'll cross that bridge when it comes!
Anyways, Elder Crockett and I had a pretty good week down here in Coral Reef, though not with nearly as many funny stories...but hey, we should be having a baptism this weekend! And it's even more cool because this is Elder Crockett's last weekend in the mission! So we're pretty pumped about that.
So our person getting ready for this weekend is named Rebecca! She came to church the week before and yesterday and she wants to get baptized this Saturday! She is just an amazing investigator who loves to learn from us and calls and schedules her own appointments. Investigators don't get much better than that let me tell you! She's even more amazing because she is from Colombia, which is basically the capital of coffee, and so she drinks it all the time. But when we taught her the Word of Wisdom and explained it to her, she agreed to stop drinking it to live the Word of Wisdom! It was super awesome!
Unfortunately, the husband isn't quite ready for baptism, however, he supports Rebecca 100% and loves us when we come over! So we figure after he sees his wife's baptism then he'll want to be baptized too!! But ya basically Rebecca is doing super well; we've just got to tie up the odds and ends of everything and she'll be baptized this Saturday! Super excited about that obviously:)
Our other investigator Milin is doing pretty well, though she was sick and we think that's why she wasn't able to make it to church. We're hoping to go see her tonight and figure out what happened! Other than that I can't really think of anything else to report on...it was just a super good week teaching Rebecca, but now we need to finish her preparation and as well find more super investigators to teach. And of course we will get to work on baptizing the rest of Rebecca's family :D
But ya that's pretty much all I have for this week. We are just working hard to finish this transfer strong because transfers are next week and Elder Crockett finishes his mission! Which will make me a companion killer in the mission (kill in missionary slang means that you're somebody's companion for their last transfer; you send them home) because I've "killed" two of my three comps. Who knows what's in store for me next :O The good news is that I should be staying here a while, and I'm just fine with that!
Bueno, pues, eso es todo por ahora. Tengan buena semana!
Elder Butterfield

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 28: A Little Lost!

Hey Everyone!
Sorry to hear about all of the snow back in Utah...don't worry I've been soaking up sunshine for all of you this past week:)  Anyways, jokes aside, this last week was a pretty crazy one! Lots of good and crazy things happened!
So last Tuesday was a pretty normal day as far as I can remember although we did have a super cool miracle with the Polo family, a Colombian family of 4 we found Tuesday night! We had been knocking in this community (non gated) for awhile but accidentally knocked on the door of  the president of the Association who, needless to say, wasn't very happy to see us and told us we couldn't be soliciting there. We didn't really think anything of it though because the "Public Safety" guard of the community had seen us all the time and didn't say anything. Anyways right after that, we found the Polo family, a super cool complete family from Colombia with a mom, dad, and two daughters in high school! Basically the mom, Rebecca, said that we came to pray with her at the exact time that she needed a prayer and so she knows God sent us to her and listens to everything we have to say. It turns out that her husband was a former member from years ago when they lived somewhere else, and even though he doesn't remember much, basically this family has been super prepared!
So the crazy thing is that the next day (Wednesday) when we went to follow up with the Polo family, the Security guard came and told us that we couldn't solicit anymore and we could only come on to the property to visit people who had said we could come. Not only that but this guy has to babysit us while we go around to our different appointments up there and then escort us off of the property. I'm not going to lie it's pretty dumb, but I guess this is what happens when you knock on the door of  the president of a housing association haha. At least we're still allowed to go visit the Polo family even if this guard has to escort us every single time haha. We're just super glad that God helped us to find this family before we got shut down up there!
Aside from getting escorted off the property Wednesday, we also went on exchanges with the zone leaders because Elder Crockett is district leader. Well, I ended up taking over the area and got a little lost...and by a little, I mean that we basically ended up biking for 3 and a half  hours straight from 12:00 to 3:30 PM. Whoops.... It's hard to explain why but I drew a diagram of it in my journal so I'll take a picture of it and send it next week. But long story short, a canal divides the north part of our area in half diagonally and there's only one road in our area that crosses it. So if you don't know what you're doing it's easy to get stuck on one side. But hey I least I won't make that mistake again in the future. So ya basically Wednesday was an adventure... :)
Thursday was zone conference so that was super cool.  We got some much needed training that helped me a lot, and  I got to hang out with Elder Adams! Whoohooo! So that was pretty fun, but pretty much the only crazy thing that happened Thursday. Then things calmed down a bit Friday and Saturday. However we did find some cool new investigators, so hopefully more to come on them next week!
Then Sunday we had Alicia and Rebecca (mom of the Polo family) come to church, so that was awesome! Rebecca absolutely loved church and wants her family to come next week so that was pretty awesome! Alicia, on the other hand, still isn't going much of anywhere, so Elder Crockett and I are gonna have a make it or break it lesson with her tonight. Hopefully, it's a make it one and she gets baptized this week! If not then that just means we have other people we need to find and work with!
But ya that's about it for this week, kind of a crazy week but some good things are happening in my area so I'm super excited! Until next week.

Elder Butterfield