Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Week 58: The Elect Investigator

Hey everyone!
Sorry for the grumpy update last week...some weeks are like that haha. But the good news is that this week was much better! Susanna has continued to progress and learn very rapidly!!!! If there is one thing I've learned on my mission is that this work is all about the Lord's timing! Really though she is doing awesome and should be getting baptized this Wednesday!

Basically this last week we taught her all of the commandments and she pretty much accepted all of them. She had been a tea drinker and wanted to know why at first, but accepted our explanation that if God created our bodies than he knows what is best for them! Plus I'm sure the fact that she reads all the pamphlets we give her and the Book of Mormon helps as well :) I love teaching ELECT investigators that actually keep their commitments! It's the greatest:)

Some of the highlights from teaching Susanna this week included her telling us that she has made firm decision to be baptized and that her husband is ok with it. As well one experience that touched my heart was when we reviewed the baptismal interview questions with her Saturday afternoon. We asked her  if she believes that the Church and the Gospel have been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. She told us yes, so we asked her how she had come to know that. She replied simply as if the answer were obvious "The Book of Mormon". Seriously it made me so happy to hear that because I always try to drill in people's heads that the Book of Mormon is the way to know but so few people listen. So it was pretty much music to my ears and confirmed to us that she is doing this for the right reasons:) Also we had a ward member invite her to the women's broadcast Saturday night and she went which was awesome. She is an amazing woman, she reminds me a lot of Rebeca! So that's pretty much it for her, she will be getting baptized Wednesday night at 8:00 PM :D

Other than Susanna, we honestly just knocked a crapton of doors this week. Sometimes it goes like that, but I've just realized that if you don't go talk with people or knock on their door than the answer is already no. So that's really helped me to keep pushing on. Which actually led us to another awesome miracle Sunday night!

So we've been going to a new area which many a missionary has worked before, but in my 6 months here I've pretty much tried everywhere else they'll let us in:) So we went over there Saturday, nothing. And Sunday after church pretty much nothing too. Until we find this anti lady who wanted to bible bash with us like crazy. She was telling how Joseph Smith was a false prophet and the Bible is complete etc etc. Except when I asked her about the lost books of scripture in the Bible, she wouldn't listen but then procedes to bash about grace in Ephesians. By this point it was obvious she wasn't listening and the Spirit would leave us if we stayed so we just walked away. And boy am I grateful we did because not 10 minutes later we offered to help a Haitian man taking his garbage can out to the street and he asks us if we're mormons. We tell him yes and then he immediately tells us that he needs a "mormon bible" (Book of Mormon). Apparently he had met with the missionaries in Paut Au Prince but things didn't work out, lost his Book of Mormon and contact with the church. But ever since he got to the States he's been looking for us! He also told us that he doesn't care about religion, just finding the truth! So fortunately we have a book of Mormon in French at the apartment and we will go give it to him Wednesday so we can get this man and his family ready for baptism. It was so cool to see another person in our area that has been searching for the truth but just didn't know where to find it! Good stuff.

Well that's pretty much it for this week, just excited for the baptism and general conference! Not to mention I have to work my butt off here since it could be my last couple weeks here! We shall see.
love y'all,
Elder Butterfield

Monday, September 21, 2015

Week 57: Awesome Member Referral!!!

Hey Everyone!

Well to be honest this week was a bit of a roller coaster.....lots of highs and lows. So unfortunately we never were able to meet up with Fabian again; he picked up a second job and then just kind of blew us off. He actually responded to our texts, but just to say that he he was busy and wouldn't be able to make it to church. All too typical :/

Tuesday I went on exchanges with the zone leaders up to Stuart and had an interesting exchange. It was cool and all but exchanging into an area just isn't as cool as working in your own area, at least in my opinion! We had a really cool miracle happen Tuesday though. We received a phone call from a member in the Port Saint Lucy Branch a little farther north of us. She basically gave us a golden referral. Her name is Susanna! Susanna has been working with this member friend for years and her friend has been trying to share the Gospel with her all these years, and apparently it's finally time! Did I mention Susanna speaks Spanish? She actually speaks English well but is more comfortable in Spanish. Her husband's name is William and her son's name is Javier. Unfortunately, they haven't sat down with us yet but we're working on that:)

We taught Susanna three times this last week (The Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, and The Gospel of Jesus Christ), and she is amazing! She actually asked us questions, highlighted the pamphlets we left with her, and is reading in the Book of Mormon. She's doing great! She's currently preparing for the 30th of September. (Yes, that's a Wednesday. It's because General Conference is that weekend, so we will be doing a waterside confirmation anyways.)

On another note, Donna and Monty showed up to church yesterday. Not really sure what's going on there still, but they're moving out to New Port Richie, Florida, so we gave them the address of the church there and the bishop's phone number. Hopefully, once she gets away from Monty's roommate that she hates things will take an upward turn. I sure hope so.

So those were some of the ups for the week. Some of the downs? Well I got rebuked by President Richardson for baptizing an unprepared person. That felt really good. Also I'm just kind of burnt out of being a district leader already lol. Some of the sisters are still too scared to try and set their investigators with baptismal dates even after I talked to them, the sister training leaders talked to them, and the zone leaders talked to them about it. And so of course the zone leaders are on my back telling me I need to help them with that, but I just feel like you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink! So anyways I'm just a little frustrated with some of the other missionaries at the moment...guess I need more patience. So ya, just kind of sick of the stresses of missionary life. It just seems like no matter how hard I try or Elder Angulo and I try as a companionship, it's never good enough. But I'm just trying to do my best and keep moving forward. That's all I can do!

Well, love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 56: Miracles Come After the Trial of Faith

Hey Everyone!

Well, this week was pretty brutal to be honest....but as the subject of my email says "miracles come after the trial of our faith!" So Wednesday we had lunch with the former Stake President of the Stuart Stake and his wife and they're awesome! They had a missionary come home about a month ago and are just super solid. The awesome thing about the visit was that they have someone they're working with who is more comfortable speaking Spanish come to church with them a few weeks ago when their son came home, and she wants to come again! So they gave her a Book of Mormon last Friday, and I'm hoping we get to teach her soon this month!

Unfortunately, Thursday we got a phone call from Monty telling us that Donna doesn't want anything to do with the church anymore.....which is literally exactly what happened before with Emmanuel. Now from the members that have helped us with them, it sounds like it's more marriage problems than the church, but it was just such a devastating phone call. It's really frustrating to see the light of Christ work in people, but then they give up on the Spirit so soon after their baptism. I mean I knew there was a bit of risk involved considering how rapidly they decided to get married, but Donna was saying and doing all of the right things... really hard stuff. It was so hard to keep working after that phone call, but I knew that Satan was the one who wanted us to stop working and so we took a deep breath and decided to work our butts off.

One of the other district leaders got sick Thursday, so I actually ended the night by doing a baptismal interview for them which was cool! And then we slept over at their house since myself and the zone leaders were going to MLC Friday morning. (Normally only zone leaders go, but this time the district leaders were invited!) Since we had MLC Friday morning, and I'm all the way up in the North, and we had to pick up another district leader, it was like a 3 hour drive to Fort Laud. And then a 3 hour drive back. I drove for 6 hours Friday; it was awful!!! But the meeting was really cool and the stuff they talked about is definitely what our mission needs. So I'm excited to see the mission move forward with it! Didn't get to proselyte much Friday since we got back to our area at 6:00 PM, but oh well, what do you do.

Saturday we actually had a really cool miracle though! As per the usual in this area, literally everything dropped/fell through Saturday, but we had an appointment with a potential at 8:00 so went over there to check it out. Well Fabian didn't have much time, but we taught him a basic restoration, and as we taught him, somehow he knew the year 1820, which I thought was weird, but just figured he saw it in the pamphlet. Well after sharing the first vision, I asked him if he believed it was true. He said, "I know it's true!" So naturally my jaw drops to the floor, and I ask how he knows it's true. He replies, " A missionary taught me this 10 years ago." Whaaaaaat? Unfortunately we didn't get to ask him much about it because we didn't have much time, but the Spirit was so strong, I looked over at Elder Angulo and he invited him to be baptized and he accepted!! So awesome. God truly does prepare his elect and I'm so grateful for that!

That's pretty much the highlight for the week so I'll leave it there:) Oh also, Brother Pearson got called as the assistant ward mission leader and he is AWESOME! He's taking the mindset of how we can help the ward do missionary work, and he wants to help us fill our day with teaching appointments and coordinate fellowshippers. Super excited to be able to work with him!

Well that's it for this week; it was a hard one to be sure but there's always the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes we just have to look up to see it:)

Elder Butterfield

PS: A scripture that I loved when I read it, Moroni 8:16
16 Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having aauthority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for bperfect clove dcasteth out all fear.

Mission Leader Conference

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 55: A Difficult Week . . .

Hey Everyone!

Well this last week was a bit of a roller coaster. Transfers were Wednesday and even though we didn't go Elder Angulo and I had someone put their phone on speaker so that we could hear the read out! Definitely couldn't hear everything perfectly, but it was better than nothing!

After we got out of the house, we of course went out on the hunt for some new people to teach. And we actually found and taught some pretty cool people on the spot, but of course Satan had to find a way to ruin our day and so someone tried to steal our bikes! And they were locked up on a main street with cars going by to. The good news is they didn't get them, but they wrecked my security cable and got about 1/3 of the way through Elder Angulo's lock. I couldn't believe it. Check out the pics. Fortunately the mailman told someone and they came and told us so we got our bikes back in one piece which is good. Much better than last time:)

Before that though, we walked up to man named Ken who had just come out for a smoke and asked if we could share a prayer with him. He consented and told us that we should pray that he could find the truth. What was really crazy is he got super emotional as he said, and this was just moments after we had met him. I was very surprised, but it's been a testimony to me that God puts people in our path. Unfortunately he went out of town and we haven't been able to follow up on his reading in the Book of Mormon, but it was still a really cool spiritual experience!

Thursday was a bit more calm, I gave a district training on better planning and then we knocked some doors and tried to follow up with some media referrals we had received. Not too many fruits on Thursday but hey we tried!

Friday we pretty much got destroyed by rain and lightning so we didn't get as much done as we would've liked. So it goes though. We got to see Donna finally and she seems to be doing great still, she enjoyed church on Sunday so that was good!

Saturday was lots of running around. We met lots of nice people, but just no one that was interested in hearing what we have to say:/ 

Sunday we didn't get anyone to church, but we had an exciting visit with a member. The Rhodes family just moved in a few months ago and Brother Rhodes is an rm that knows how to share the Gospel! So they have lots of people in mind and are trying to get us a referral by the end of the month, which is super awesome! They're probably the most proactive member missionaries I've ever met! So hopefully some good comes from that:)

Monday was another district training and then knocking doors, unfortunately nothing to report.

That's pretty much it, it was a difficult week to say the least. But I'm really trying to increase my faith in finding and that another miracle like Rebeca and Donna will show up. There's gotta be some reason I've been in Jupiter for so long!!!

Love y'all,
Elder Butterfield

Bike thieves at it again!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 54: A tropical storm, a baptism, and a mailbox . . . What a week!

Hey Everyone!

Well, what a crazy week it has been... Tropical Storm Erika gave everyone a scare and then wimped out, I did my first baptismal interview, and also Donna got baptized!!! Now for the details:D

Let's see... So last Tuesday night I managed to hit a mailbox and scrape up the bumper of the car which sucked...Fortunately the damage wasn't too bad, and I'm still driving for the moment so that's good news! But ya not fun to make that phone call to the vehicle coordinator XD In my defense though there aren't any street lights in that neighborhood! Also President Richardson told my in his email this week "Watch out for those mailboxes...!" He's definitely got a good sense of humor XD

Anyways, so stupidity aside, Wednesday was Donna's baptismal interview and she passed with flying colors which was awesome! Then after that I actually went to do my first baptismal interview for the Port Saint Lucy sisters! Basically they had a miracle where they were finally able to make the arrangements for a 9 year old girl to be baptized which was pretty cool! Doing an interview was pretty weird though. I felt super unprepared. Fortunately, it was a 9 year old girl and not anyone more difficult! But now that I have the first one in my belt hopefully the rest will be a bit easier and a bit less stressful:) Later on Wednesday we found a really awesome lady named Diamond who wanted to be baptized! We taught her a few lessons and she was doing alright but she just has no way to get to church and we're lucky to get member rides for the recent converts in the area so it looks like we won't be able to teach her for much longer which is sad:(

Nothing too memorable to report for Thursday or Friday (except the threat of Erika, but she wimped out and dissolved fortunately!), but Saturday was the baptism! So basically we had coordinated with the ward a lot for the baptism and so we though we had planned everything out pretty well! But of course there can't ever be a baptism without stress so when Donna got there at 1:15 (the service was at 2:00) we discovered that none of the baptismal clothing fit. NIGHTMARE OF THE CENTURY!! So then we started making phone calls, and fortunately a member came through with a white dress that fit at about 2:30, so the show went on! Well then we got to the baptism which her husband Monty would be performing. Now Monty has palsy, so Elder Angulo went in as backup, but it still took about 4 times for her to get all the way under. SO STRESSFUL!

Fortunately after the service was over Donna came over and thanked us so much for helping her and said that she "felt like a million bucks!", which made all the stress and craziness worth it! And it was also a good reminder that this is all about helping people find true happiness by coming closer unto Jesus Christ. So it was a great feel good/reminder moment:) The confirmation went much smoother on Sunday which was good. I was able to do it which was a first! And that was pretty much the highlight of the week, Donna's baptism and confirmation!

Also transfer calls were last night if you can believe it...! And it looks like 4 transfers in Jupiter South 4 the win! I get to finish training Elder Angulo which is good:)

So ya that's pretty much it. Just grateful for the baptism and that the storm missed us. Woohoo! Also I just remembered that when we were out knocking doors one night, some lady out and about passed us twice and told us,

"Nice butt, whoo whoo!". So there's that XD

Elder Butterfield

Donna and Monty