Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 36: Transfers: Elder Butterfield is on the move.

Hey Everyone!

Well, I'll be honest; it was a bit of an uneventful week haha. Elder Dinkins and I were sitting here trying to think what we could write about and just didn't come up with much lol. Kind of sad but some weeks are like that...!

Anyways, fear not, there still are things to tell! Just not as much as normal. So transfers are tomorrow, and we got transfer calls last night! We got a bit of a heads up because the Assistants to the President called the zone leaders and asked about area border which automatically means they are changing areas up. In this ward we have 3 sets up of missionaries, so we knew they weren't creating an area which would mean that one is getting shut down and they're combining areas. Our area has been struggling a bit, and the other areas in the ward are doing well. So we just connected the dots and prepared for the worst. Sure enough, we found out both Elder Dinkins and I are transferring. Then to top it all off, the APs called again and said they are taking the minivan away and giving the zone leaders a regular car which pretty much confirms that the areas are being combined; we will see tomorrow for sure. Long story short--I'm TRANSFERRING! So I'm pretty excited to see where I'm off to next! It's just a little weird knowing that we're both being transferred...but such is life:)

Despite the difficulties this last week, one amazing miracle I saw was on an exchange with Elder Call. I was leading him to the area that Elder Dinkins and I had picked out to knock. We parked the car, saw a woman sitting on her porch, and we were both prompted to go talk to her. Well, as we got closer, we saw she was on the telephone, but we still went up to talk to her anyways. She immediately got off the phone without us saying anything and we were able to teach her the Restoration with the pamphlet (the director of proselyting came, and so our mission has a big focus right now on using the pamphlets to teach the Preach My Gospel lessons) right there on the porch! She committed to read the Book of Mormon and knew that God had sent us there because she told us she normally doesn't sit out on the porch but decided she needed to that night. It was a wonderful experience. So hopefully the new Elders in the area will be able to work with her as well as Fred when he gets back from Kansas City!

Elder Dinkins and I also discovered something amazing when we visited Rebecca on Saturday. We found out that she had seen a Church commercial and requested a Finding Faith in Christ DVD years ago but never received it. Some missionaries were slacking off and missed out on a baptism! But it was cool to hear because even though things didn't work out a few years ago, God was still aware of her and sent Elder Crockett and I to her.

Other than that though, our week was pretty much just a week of finding people to teach. We went out and worked hard but just couldn't find many people who were ready and willing to change. We did, however, have some interesting experiences venturing out to the more wealthy part of our area in the east. The city itself is called Palmetto Bay, and we went up there last night to mix things up. We locked up our bikes to a street sign and went out to work. After 30 minutes of knocking, we look down the street and see two cop cars about where we had parked our bikes. We had only been there for 30 minutes, and they were already on top of us. We couldn't believe it! Fortunately, they weren't there for us, but we think that one of the local residents called and complained about us since the missionaries don't normally go out that far. Unfortunately for them, it's not gated so they couldn't do much about it!

That was pretty much one of the most exciting things that happened this last week except the aforementioned miracle, so I feel like that puts things into perspective well haha! But hey, Elder Dinkins and I gave it our best so in the end that's all that matters. Hopefully the Lord will see fit to give me a bit more success in my new area, we shall see!

Well that's all for this week, I love all of you!
Elder Butterfield

PS: I think I'm taking after my father, I crashed on my bike this week trying to ride my bike without using my hands. But don't worry, I'm fine:)

New area and new companion!

Maybe the Church should come out with its own license plate!

Zone Meeting:  It looks pretty intense!

No wonder his pants are getting tight!

Tire trouble.

 McKay is now a bird watcher?

Not sure who this family is--they look nice enough!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 35: Tracting, tracting, and more tracting . . . .

Hey all!

Well thankfully this last week has been a lot tamer than the week before--no stolen bike parts to be reported which is a relief! That reminds me, for those who were wondering, we just had our zone leaders pick us up and drive us and our bikes up to the bike shop. Thankfully we didn't have to walk there because even though it's in our area it would have been a looooooong walk!

Unfortunately, though, even though it was a tamer week, it was still just a struggle to find those new investigators:/ There were some days last week where we would be knocking doors from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at night and talk to maybe 5 people and share something with maybe one of those people. Not fun times. Granted I know that some would argue that tracting is not effective, but frankly in our area it's been the most effective way to work. We still visit the members down here and try to work through them but just haven't been able to get a referral. Hopefully, they will start coming sooner or later. Despite the tough times, don't think I'm discouraged. Weeks like that are just motivators to work even harder!

One cool thing that happened last week was that we had interviews with President Richardson! He was able to give some good advice there and reminded me that the great sifting has to take place to find those diamonds in the rough. So I guess we're just still sifting! That was definitely an uplifting experience last Thursday, which was good!

This last little bit we have been trying to do more "teaching when you find", which is to say that if the settings are right and we're bold enough, we just start teaching the Restoration to them with the missionary pamphlets the Church has. We're still working out the kinks, but we've had some pretty cool experiences with it so far. We taught a man named Hector yesterday who just about accepted it but just wasn't quite ready. Sometimes Heavenly Father just needs us to plant lots of seeds, I guess haha:) Hopefully as we get better at it, we'll find some really cool families to work with!

Unfortunately, we weren't able to visit Rebeca this past week, but I texted her Friday and she was super excited because her whole family was going to come to church! Sadly, that didn't quite happen, but Rebeca is a great missionary and didn't let that get her down. She brought her mom instead! Pretty cool huh? Unfortunately her mom doesn't live in our area, but we are going to try and send the missionaries to her!

So some cool stuff certainly happened this week. I wish I had more to report,  but sometimes life is like that! Looking forward to tearing it up this next week and to see what happens with transfers next week! (Should I stay or should I go, buh nana nana nana na?)

Well, I sure love all of you and hope that you have an amazing week!

Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 34: More Bike Drama...

Hey everybody!

Hopefully everyone was able to get back into the swing of things after Spring break and Easter and such. Fortunately I was completely recovered from that food poisoning last Tuesday so that was a blessing! I'll be honest though this last week has been a bit of a faith testing week, there were some pretty hard days and also some things that happened that were just very frustrating and even a little expensive:/ But sometimes God tests and we don't know why. I definitely don't know, but I do know I've been called here and the Lord has suffered me to come here for some reason. Guess I just need to figure it out still... :)

So despite all the craziness this last week of not finding any new investigators and more bike problems (more to come in a second) this last week, we have been able to keep teaching our investigator Fred! Fred is an older African American man who comes back and forth from here and Kansas City. He has been progressing well as we've taught him the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, not to mention that he has a profound interest in genealogy! Coincidence? I think not! We're pretty excited to keep working with him, the only crazy thing is once he finishes a job down here he could go back to Kansas City at any moment. But he's accepting it and it's all the same team right? Definitely:) So hopefully things continue to go well with him, our golden investigator at the moment!

Fred has definitely been the diamond in the rough though! Elder Dinkins and I have been working our butts off knocking doors, following with former investigators as well as trying to work with the members, but just haven't seen any fruits as of late. It's pretty frustrating and not an easy thing to deal with...but as I was studying the Book of Mormon this last week I realized that Lehi had it a lot tougher than I did. He was called to preach in Jerusalem and was completely rejected by the people. As far as I can tell he didn't baptize or convert anyone there, and was forced to leave or they would've killed him. So it was just a good reminder to me that sometimes rough patches like this happen, but the important thing is to continue to go out in faith and trust in God to prepare people for you. That's another lesson I've been learning. We as missionaries are just the messengers, we don't really do much of anything else. So I guess part of all this is to help me learn to trust in God a little bit more. Hopefully there's not too much more to learn right now so things can start turning around;) Just kidding things are gonna get better this week!

So ya it was a bit of a hard week, but Friday was just the icing on the cake. So Elder Dinkins and I had been working in an area for about an hour but went back to our bikes to grab some water. Well then we left for 18 minutes and came back and we were each missing a bike wheel. Someone stole our bike wheels and Elder Dinkins' bike seat in broad daylight! It was awful and pretty much wrecked the rest of our Friday and the early part of the day Saturday. Needless to say I bought a 15 foot long lock cable at the bike shop so that we can lock up every single part of the bike from now on. Pretty ridiculous, but there are some "interesting neighborhoods" in the area so I guess we should've seen it coming:P Fortunately the bike shop took care of us and got everything fixed up, but it was just a pain to get everything fixed and taken care of. Missionary life sometimes...*rolls eyes*

Sunday brought some cool stuff with the Polo family though. We reviewed the Plan of Salvation with Rebeca this week and she has really been pushing her family to join us for dinner and the lesson as of late. She always tells us how she is praying that their hearts will be softened, she's so amazing! But anyways as we taught it, Edgar had some concerns with evolution and one of the daughters said they didn't believe in the creation, that they believe it's just a story. Not the ideal lesson but Rebeca was fine. Well Rebeca has been reading the President Benson book like crazy and she showed Edgar some stuff in there that explained (which funnily enough, I wouldn't even know where to look) the Creation and such and it helped to clear up a lot of his doubts. He even came to church again on Sunday with Rebeca! He's still not interested in baptism, but it's cool to see that he's at least trying to understand. He'll get baptized eventually. That was a good way to end the week at least, hopefully he continues to figure things out!

Anyways that's pretty much it for this week. Sorry if it was a little scattered but that is pretty much how this week has gone. Definitely looking forward to the miracles that this week will hold, that's for sure! Love you all!

Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 33: Food Poisoning Sucks!

Hey Everyone!

Hopefully everyone had a good Easter and enjoyed General Conference! It was an interesting week down here in Miami, one of the more faith testing ones I've had but so it goes sometimes. On a good note Rebeca was able to watch all of the sessions of Conference either at home or at the church so that was good! Edgar even watched the first session Saturday with her which was awesome. He's taking his time, but hopefully him and the daughters will open up more sooner or later...!

Aside from the weekend it felt like a pretty uneventful week though. Elder Dinkins and I have been struggling to find new investigators as of late, so that has been pretty hard. I feel like God has been testing me lately, either that or trying to teach me something. The problem is I'm just not sure why. I mean I have no doubt there's a reason, I'm just not sure when I will find it out haha. But hey, that's mission life sometimes. I'm just trying to keep my head and my faith up and rely on the Lord a little bit more. Sooner or later things are gonna have to fall into place! But ya that unfortunately kind of sums up the week until the weekend...but conference was definitely good and brought some new experiences to the table...!

So I was able to watch and really listen to the first two sessions of Conference Saturday and they were really good, I really enjoyed them! Unfortunately we ate some bad food in between the morning and afternoon session Saturday, and it gave Elder Perkins (zone leader that lives in our apartment) and I a nasty case of food poisoning that hit me during the second half of Priesthood session... Let me just say that was one of the worst experiences I've ever had. Now fortunately I only threw up in the bathroom, but from the moment I began to throw up just after Priesthood I didn't stop until next morning even though there was nothing left after the second time... I didn't know it was possible to throw up/dry heave that violently! It was so bad that I kept my poor companion Elder Dinkins up all night...sorry man! So ya Elder Perkins and I got destroyed Saturday night and were stuck in the house all day Sunday recovering, so we didn't even get to listen to the rest of general conference, it was lame! But that's just life for you, turns out even the missionaries aren't invincible hahahaha!

The good news is I'm feeling lots better today and all fired up and ready to get back out to work. So hopefully we will see some cool miracles this week! Well take care and have a good week everyone!

Elder Butterfield

Elder Adams and Elder Butterfield--Long time no see!