Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 45: The Best Week . . . and the Worst

Hey Everyone!

Well, this week was a pretty interesting one to say the least.......from like Monday to Thursday was one of the best weeks that I've had in a long time. We were teaching a lot, bringing members out to teach with us, and honestly things were just awesome! We were staying busy and didn't really have any downtime so to speak. I just wish it would've lasted longer!

So part of the awesome high of last week was that we received several media referrals that we contacted and stuff, but they didn't really amount to much of anything. However, Monday night we recontacted a family, Susan and Daryl, that we had met a few weeks ago, but we had lost contact with them. Well when we found them again they were super awesome, told us that they had talked about the idea of being baptized together as a family, and really liked it.  They wanted to come visit the church with us and all that good stuff! So we set up a return appointment with them for Wednesday night and then set up with a member who lives close by to go visit them with us.

Well the appointment Wednesday night went super awesome. They fed us pizza, Sister Burger had a similar family situation and so she connected well with Susan. Not only that, but Susan opened up to us and basically just told us her whole life story and how she knows that she's living in sin but wants to change, and so we taught about repentance and she really liked that. You could tell she was really sincere and really wanted to change, so we were super excited! They seemed like golden investigators after that!

We went back Thursday night and taught about the Restoration (we hadn't been able to cover it before because Susan had taken things another way) and especially about eternal marriage and eternal families. We talked about how the authority, the Priesthood, has been restored and so they can have an eternal marriage/family. Well they were super excited about that so we set up an appointment to go see Susan on Friday night since Daryl would be working. Oh and then they also randomly announced that they were sick of living in sin and so they had decided to get married and showed us the paperwork for the marriage license. We hadn't even brought up the Law of Chastity yet and here they were telling us they were going to get married and even asked if one of us could do it. We politely declined but told them that we'd be happy to go to the wedding! So then we went home and called a couple from the ward to go teach Susan the next night.

Unfortunately Friday is when crap started to hit the fan so to speak...we showed up at their house with the members and then got the dreaded "no answer" at the door...we figured something was wrong, but this happened the first time we contacted them, so we weren't too concerned just yet...but then we dropped by Saturday night and found out what happened.

Basically, instead of asking us questions, they decided to ask their friends and coworkers what their thoughts were about eternal marriage and the Book of Mormon and got anti-ed super hard....it was easily the roughest drop talk from an investigator I've had on my mission. My heart was pretty crushed and I'm still pretty frustrated about it... I mean this was the closest I've ever come to baptizing a whole family and they were SO promising and they're already gone. And it was just for stupid reasons too...like that it doesn't say in the Bible we have to give up TV for 2 years, we're brainwashed and all this stupid garbage...and then of course they had some Joseph Smith anti information and that it says in the Bible that marriage isn't eternal....just lots of stuff that they could have prayed about or asked us but didn't.... very frustrating.

We also had to drop our investigator Shannon since she hasn't read in the Book of Mormon on her own. So basically it's back to square one for us in finding a teaching pool which kind of sucks but whatever. Can't stop doing the work just because things get hard that's for sure.

So ya it was a rough end to the week but hopefully Elder Clark and I can find a family this week who will be baptized the last week of the transfer!

Sorry I don't really have anything cool to share...things blew up in our face this week haha...hopefully it'll be a better week.

Hope you all have a happy 4th of July. Watch lots of fireworks since I'll be stuck inside at 7:30 haha!

Elder Butterfield

P.S. For anyone sending me mail or packages, the mission is changing the way of doing it. They won't forward mail sent to the mission office anymore so they want it sent directly to the apartment we're living at.

So for now my address is 1700 Estrella Ct #205
                                          Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

P.P.S. Transfers are on July 23, and I have no idea if I'll be staying or not, so if you send me something, make sure it will arrive on or before the 22nd of July (and give it a couple of extra days since Florida takes awhile with the mail haha) Thanks!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 44: A Roller Coaster Week

Hey Everyone!

Well honestly, it's been a pretty crazy week here in Jupiter South (which actually covers Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Park, North Palm Beach and Juno Beach...yup big area). Lots of stuff has gone down. But before anything I have to share this super awesome miracle that happened Saturday night! We pretty much witnessed a modern day Good Samaritan miracle.

So my bike is definitely starting to see some wear and tear from riding it around 10-15 miles a day. Well Saturday night I got a flat tire that was not patcheable because the valve/stem ripped right off of the bike tube. This was a huge problem because we had planned to go to an area very far away and most of the bike shops would be closed by the time that we could walk to them. Plus it had already been a bit of a stressful day, and so I was about ready to throw in the towel for the night as we were sitting on the sidewalk trying to figure out what to do.

Well next thing we know, this woman Mary pulls up next to us and offers her patch kit. I politely declined explaining that the tube wasn't repairable. Well then she asked if she could take us to K Mart to buy what we needed which we politely declined given that we can't be alone anywhere with someone of the opposite sex. So she ended up continuing on her way, and we continued to try to figure out what we were going to do.

Five minutes later she pulled up again and insisted on helping us. So she let me borrow her husband's bike for the night and told me to leave my bike at her house and that her husband would fix it--just out of the blue to complete strangers. Can you believe that? I sure can't. We thanked her as much as we could and she said not to worry about it adding, "You have a mission to accomplish."  I have no doubt was a reminder from Heavenly Father to never give up because "I have a mission to accomplish."

Then the next day we went back to swap out the bikes with a thank you card in hand, and they had purchased a new bike tube and put it in for me. Just the nicest people I've ever met. We, of course, brought the church into the conversation, and she told us that she's a very devout Catholic but that she respects what we do and that she knew we needed help and have a mission to accomplish. So that was very cool, a very real modern day miracle as far as I'm concerned!

That was definitely the highlight of the week, but there were also some other cool things that happened this week. We are getting the beginnings of a teaching pool with a family that I think I mentioned last week. Shannon is doing alright, given her Jehovah's Witness background; she has LOTS of questions! But we're doing our best to answer them and she has committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, so hopefully the Spirit can answer her questions a lot better than we can:) The only bad thing is that she didn't make it church because she was hungover... We even called her Saturday night to make sure everything was good to go. But hey, we haven't taught her the Word of Wisdom yet, so we'll bring that up and make sure that it doesn't happen again next week! She does seem like she has the sincere desire to find truth though so we'll see what happens moving forward.

We also have this super interesting member referral from two converts in Park City. They were baptized 3 years ago and have been working with their father that lives on Singer Island here to meet with the missionaries. Well he (John) finally agreed and so after a lot of craziness this week, we were finally able to go over and see him. He's got quite the story to say the least; he had a neck surgery go bad and so he is very disabled in a lot of ways. But he's willing to meet with the missionaries and the daughters think that if we take things slow and just love him and teach simply that he'll make the decision to join the church. He tried to tell us otherwise in the first visit, but they have hopes and given his situation, President Richardson has asked us to keep him updated, so with his counsel I think things will go the way they're supposed to!

Then we also had a late night Father's Day miracle. Elder Clark and I went to go follow up with Shannon which was a pretty long visit, and then after that we had planned to go knock some doors in an area where we found Suzanne and Darrell. Well, right as we were about to begin they were out on their porch again! So we went up and talked to them, and it turns out they had been talking about our invitation to baptism and the church and different things. Not only that, they fed us a wonderful meal and invited us to come back over when the kids will be there. This after we had lost any sort of contact with them. Pretty crazy right? It's still early, but I think this might be their time and I'm super excited!

Anyways that's all for this week. It was a difficult week but good things seem to be happening anyways so that's good! Have a great week everyone!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 43: Still Looking For Investigators . . .

Hey Everyone!

Well, I have to say it was pretty weird to not go transfers this last week. Apparently, it was a huge and super crazy transfer meeting since a lot of the mission leaders are going home next month. Not to mention I broke my streak of going to every transfer meeting! But hey, I suppose if this is where the Lord needs me then this is where he needs me!

This week was definitely better! It was still faith testing in terms of finding new investigators but my companion and I are doing better so that's good news at least! With that being said I'll do my best to review the week!

Last Tuesday for P day we went tie shopping at Marshalls so I got a pretty sweet baby blue tie! That coupled with the 2 pink ties my family sent me gave me a lot more color in my collection! So that helps to add a bit of variety to my life at least haha :) Then Wednesday we knocked lots of doors but not too much came of it to be honest; some days are like that though.

Thursday we had our district meeting, free McDonald's run, and more knocking to boot. That night we had a cool experience where we prayed for a family of 4 and then ran into a brady bunch type family with the parents and two kids were home. They were super awesome at the time and loved the idea of being baptized together as a family, committed to come to church, and then we were able to overcome the typical Mormon concerns right off the bat in the initial contact. We were so excited because they had been so committing in the initial contact we thought for sure this was the family we had been looking for. So we scheduled our ward mission leader to come out with us to the return appointment and....the appointment fell through and we lost contact with them after that. Definitely not the first or last time that has happened but it was still super frustrating! Oh well, we will find our golden family sooner or later:)

Saturday we went on exchanges, so I stayed in my area with the district leader's companion Elder Bortman. It was an alright day; we ventured out to a part of our area we hadn't really worked before, but nothing too crazy happened there.

Sunday we didn't get anyone to church, but we did find an awesome African American lady Sunday night! We prayed with her and then invited her to be baptized and she said that she had already been baptized, but then she asked us if she needed to be baptized again and we told her yes. She said ok and asked where the church was at! It was just awesome to find someone who listened directly to what we were saying! We're going back to her tonight so only time will tell, but she definitely seemed promising!

As for the part member family I talked about last week, the Eitelbuss family, they were supposed to come to church yesterday but the wife got sick:( We still haven't been able to teach her much because of crazy circumstances, but she and her husband are open to us visiting them, so we're hoping with member support we can rescue the husband and baptize the wife! It will definitely be a challenge given her Jehovahs Witness background, but hey with faith anything is possible right??

Well that's pretty much it this week. Love all of you and have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week 42: And Elder Butterfield...Stays in Jupiter South!

Hey everyone!

Well I'll be honest it was still a pretty trying week in more ways than one, but I'm going to try and focus on the positive or funny things that happened this last week :)

So transfer calls were last night and I will be staying in Jupiter South with Elder Clark, who will finish his mission this last transfer. This will be my third missionary companion that I kill in my mission, which is crazy and I don't really pretend to understand why I'm companions with so many dying missionaries...but the Lord has his ways I suppose! I told President in my email at this rate I'll be surpassing the record of an Elder who "killed" five missionaries haha! But ya anyways it looks like I won't be able to practice my Spanish again so that kind of sucks, but I sure as heck must be here for a reason!

Transfers aside, we spend a LOT of time knocking doors and street contacting people this last week trying to find new people to teach. It was pretty hard work and we honestly didn't see too many fruits from it which was pretty frustrating....but we did get some pretty funny stories from it if anything! For example, this one guy had a no soliciting sign posted but usually I'm adventurous and knock those doors anyway:) Well this guy had a whole routine prepared for us. First he put on this super vulgar saying talking about not believing in God with lots of naughty words mixed in. Then he opens up the door with his beer in hand rocking out and asks us "Bro, do you guys read the Scriptures?" so of course we said ya and he responded with "Then read my f---ing sign!" It was pretty terrible, but it was so unexpected and crazy that me and my companion just laughed our heads off about it. At least he was creative with his rejection I suppose, he'll make a good telestial person one day ;) Hahahahahaha so there was a pretty funny experience we had knocking doors. I thought it was funny enough to share anyways:)

We didn't really have any other super crazy experiences, it was just frustrating since we were going hard and couldn't find anyone ready for the harvest. But hopefully we will find those who are searching for the truth soon.

Saturday night we prayed super hard to have some miracle investigators show up to church and then we actually had 2 people show up to church which was pretty awesome! One was a lady we had helped move stuff into her home, and another was the nonmember wife of an Inactive member that came Sunday.

We didn't catch the lady until she came up to us after Sacrament, but she had to leave after that and we haven't been able to set up a teaching appointment yet. Hopefully she will get back to us...! Then the Inactive member and his wife came to church because his foster mom was visiting from Utah( She's a temple worker in the Jordan River temple, maybe one of you guys knows her. Sister Roberts?) and she told us she wants us to focus on them. They came to Gospel Principles which was good, but unfortunately they've cancelled on us twice now so it remains to be seen what will happen. I sure hope we'll be able to get in and teach them one of these days!

The only other thing of note was that we found a cuban family in our own apartment  complex who was just moving in. So we might actually be able to use our Spanish, and the cool part is that the Ward is going to start a Spanish sacrament and stuff (still under the Jupiter Ward) so the structure will be there to support them if they get baptized. So hopefully they turn out to be awesome!

That's pretty much it for this week though, I'm just trying to go forward with faith. I hope you all have a great week and summer!

Elder Butterfield

P.S. Mickey D's had 69 cent cheeseburgers, so Elder Clark and I destroyed ourselves yesterday as you can see in the picture XD

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Week 41: A Discouraging Week . . .

Hey Everyone!

Well, it's been a pretty interesting week to be honest. Not too many exciting or positive things have happened, so it's been super hard. Not to mention my companion and I just can't seem to get on the same page... but hey such is the mission life sometimes.

The week started off ok. The district leader and I went on exchanges on Wednesday, and I stayed in the area and we went to go see Emmanuel! He was doing great; we reviewed the Plan of Salvation and then he told us that everything was going good and that he still hadn't had any tea. So we thought things were going super amazing with him! Unfortunately, we got a call from his wife Saturday and she's super worried about him because he's still drinking tea and says that deep down he doesn't want to quit it. So that was kind of a knife to the back to say the least. We definitely haven't given up hope or anything, but the phone call was a little discouraging. He did come to church though so that's good. Hopefully as we teach him a little bit more,we will be able to help him understand things a bit clearer.

We did find a few super cool families this last week, but when push came to shove they weren't quite ready for the Restored Gospel. It was particularly hard because we had 6 people solidly committed to church Saturday night and then they just all bailed out at the last moment. Definitely nothing new in missionary work, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating! Ramona didn't make it to church either. She's a college student and has been super busy so we weren't able to teach her until we finally just dropped in last night. But we were finally able to set expectations and talk about baptism, so now she knows where this is all going. Hopefully with a little faith and a miracle of God she will still be baptized!

Other than that I just honestly don't have a lot to say about this last week except that it was super hard and I really hope that this week gets better. Sorry for the short update, I just don't have many good things to say right now:(

I love you all and hope that you have a great week and summer!

Elder Butterfield