Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 62: The Emergency Transfer!!! (No, not McKay.)

Hey Everyone!

So this last week was a pretty freaking crazy one to be honest. So much stuff went down, but I'll go in order to give you the most realistic representation of my experiences...!

So last Monday night, Elder Mejia and I got a bit lost in our area because we had a bad address. But no biggie, he was still behind me. Sure he was biking a little slow, but I was checking on him to make sure he didn't get too far behind. Well, we're finally headed in the right direction, but it's 7:30 and it was getting dark. We cross a street at a stop light and he's right behind me. Next thing I know I'm coming up on the member's apartment complex that we were going to. I look back and he's nowhere to be found. So I backtrack a bit to where I last saw him. Nothing. I circle around a bit and still nothing. So at this point with him being brand new and having no clue what happened, I had to call President Richardson. He calls the AP's to come help, he's on his way, and then I called our ward mission leader to come help look for him as well. So freaking scary and just not good. Well finally about 10 minutes after all this had happened I get a call from a number I don't know, and sure enough it was Elder Mejia. I found him right down the street from me, but to this day, I'm still super confused how he got lost and what happened...So that was Monday night.

Tuesday was a pretty average day, nothing too crazy.

Wednesday was district training, and then I got to conduct my first ever exchange as a district leader and it was awesome! I brought Elder Hansen, one of the other Spanish elders into my area and we had a killer day! We found cool potentials left and right, taught some awesome restoration lessons, and just had a really good day. The coolest event of the day was when we walked up to a lady and her mother sitting outside of their house. They offered us a Sprite and before you know it we were teaching the Restoration. At the end, Evi, the grown up daughter told us crying that she already knew the Restoration was true!

Well that brings us to Thursday, so here goes more craziness. Well, first off, Thursday morning I get a text from President Richardson saying he wants me and my companion to come to the mission office (we live 5 miles away from it) to talk with him at 1:00. I was kind of freaking out about that because I thought we were both gonna get chewed out! Then an hour after that, Elder Mejia's aunt and uncle show up at our door and want to talk to him. I was so shocked that I didn't even know what to say for a minute. I then tried to kindly explain to them that that's against the rules and can't happen. Fortunately, we were on exchanges and he was in another missionary apartment at the moment! So then I called President and informed him about that, which made him even more concerned.

Anyways, we go over to see President Richardson, and he just ripped into my companion about everything that had happened. I made it out unscathed, which was good, but at the end of the "interview" he decided to send Elder Mejia to an English ward with a Spanish trainer where he could participate more. This was a surprise to me, but also a relief since I was pretty much doing all of the contacting/teaching.

Later on Thursday, we were going to see Evi again, but about an hour before she calls us and tell us she's gay and knows that we have differing beliefs. Thursday was a bit of a roller coaster to say the least.

Friday wasn't much of an exciting day. Pretty much everything fell through. Then Saturday came and was another ridiculous day. The emergency transfer went down Saturday, so Elder Mejia went up to the northernmost part of the mission with Elder Holloway. Didn't see that one coming to be honest! So then I was with one of the AP's for the day and had to go do three baptismal interviews for three kids they were baptizing. Then we knocked doors for a bit, and I had to help him set up the church for the baptism because the other AP's were still traveling back with my new comp. By the way, his name is Elder Mears! Picture incoming. After all this, the branch had their cultural celebration at 6:00, so my new comp and I spent the rest of our time there!

One last really awesome miracle. So Saturday night came, and we really didn't have any investigators solidly committed to church. Well, lo and behold, some member referrals who came to the baptism in the branch a week ago came to the party and just talked about how much they loved the atmosphere in the church and that they were coming to church tomorrow! Woohooo! Side note, these people were taught by Elder Mejia and Elder Willhite the first Thursday night in the area because we had to do a crazy exchange to get some baptismal interviews done.

The good news is they showed up to church the next day and loved the Primary program! Then we invited them to be baptized after Sacrament Meeting, and they accepted! They told us they had already made their decision, that they loved the church and wanted to be a part of it. Talk about prepared, and talk about miracles! After church we set up an appointment to visit them in their house at 7:30 and called their member friend to go with us! Their names are Claudia and Amilcar by the way.

That lesson with them was one of the most spiritual of my whole mission! We taught the Plan of Salvation up to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and then I felt prompted to bring up baptism and remission of sins. It didn't make a whole lot of sense, but I went with it and am so glad I did! Basically, they're totally down to be baptized, BUT we were able to discover last night that they need to get married and Amilcar needs to get an official divorce in Guatemala. So they have a few hoops to jump through, but they're so willing and said they would start looking into everything. I'm finally going to have a wedding in my mission. Haha!

So anyways there's the week, pretty crazy all in all but it ended on a super strong note. Elder Mears is a boss and w'e're going to pound that pavement til baptisms spring forth:)

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 61: Loving Riverside Park South!

Hey Everyone!

Well, the news that you've all been dying for....

My new area is Riverside Park South!!!! Where the heck is that you might ask? Well it's the Spanish branch right smack in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. I'm so glad to be back in an urban city chock full of people. I forgot how much I missed it in Jupiter until I got on the streets here in Fort Lauderdale. Best thing about being in the branch of Riverside Park? Well the branch is freaking on fire; our ward mission leader is a trooper! He sets up appointments for us and will even go knocking doors with us for hours. You don't find many that are able or willing to do that!

So the story with this branch is that it actually got shut down when they divided the stakes a year and a half ago, but a lot of the Spanish speaking members started to go less active since the closest Spanish church unit was really far away. So they submitted a request to reopen it to the First Presidency, and they did so back in March. They started out with 60 members in attendance at Sacrament Meeting and have already doubled their numbers through rescuing and baptisms to 120. This place seriously is the promised land. The leaders are all on board and super helpful. It's all just awesome. Not to mention it's like back in Hialeah where we have member food appointments every single day:D So honestly I couldn't be happier with my new area. This is seriously the place to be!

It's weird though because we share an area with the AP's. They cover English, two Elders in my district that we live with cover Haitian Creole, and then my comp and I cover all of the Spanish in the area. I guess the only bad thing is that we don't have a car here, but it's not really necessary and I prefer biking anyways. When you have a car, you have to wash and vacuum it every P Day and that sucks. Bikes are much less work and much more productive in terms of finding new investigators:)

Anyways I'm sure you're all wondering about my new comp. His name is Elder Mejia, but don't let the Spanish name fool you; he speaks about as much Spanish as I did when I started my mission. So I'll be helping him a lot with that. Poor guy's dad is from El Salvador and his mom from Mexico, but they never taught him Spanish...guess he'll learn here! Seems like a nice enough guy, definitely a lot different than Elder Angulo though. We'll see how things go!

That's pretty much it for the new area and transfers and stuff. I love the members here, and they love the missionaries and are doing great things. Now I've just got to get my butt to work and bring some people to church!

I forgot to mention something--my six months of studying Spanish in an English area plus talking to Elder Angulo paid off. The members here have all been impressed with my Spanish and say that I'm already Latino. So that's been kind of cool to see. I pretty much know how Elder Lamb felt when he was training me in Hialeah I suppose:)

Also for all those interested, here is my new home address!

Elder McKay Butterfield
3900 W Broward Blvd #302
Plantation, FL 33312

Love you all and hope that you have a great week!
Elder Butterfield

P.S. Elder Angulo baptized last weekend. That's my son! He sniped the Sisters baptism since they combined Jupiter into one area. That is one big area!!

Elder Butterfield and Elder Mejia

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 60: A Scare in the Dark

Hey everyone!

Well this last week was a pretty intense one to be honest...So this last Monday right after P Day we were biking home from a lesson the way we usually go on the main road to our apartment. Well we were in the dark spot of the road crossing over a bridge. All of the sudden I heard something fly behind my head from my 9:00 to my 3:00. It freaked me out but I just shook it off at first. Then five seconds later, another one came this time going from my 7:00 to my 2:00. SO FREAKING SCARY. No gunshots or anything, we just knew that someone was shooting projectiles of some sort at us. So at this point we're only a mile away from the apartment which made it all the more scary. But we just prayed really hard, didn't say anything and biked our butts off back to the apartment. Then we call President Richardson who's blown away and tells us to call the cops. Which we do, but it happened near a city boundary, so they were more worried about who's problem it was then actually taking care of it. Then they tell us they'll send an officer over to file the report. He never showed up. Ridiculous right?? So we go over the next day to file the report and they didn't even take us seriously. Like I know they couldn't really do a whole lot, but they could've at least taken the report a little more seriously... oh well. I guess they haven't seen how angry we make some people when we show up on their doorstep...hehehe. 

Anyways the good news is we're going better, but after the incident President told us to go work the nicer parts of the area for awhile. Which unfortunately means that this last week was endlessly knocking on the doors of people with money who "aren't interested" :/

Funnily enough, we were knocking doors in a place called North Palm Beach which has a "no solicitation ordinance" which makes people all the more unreceptive. In fact to the point that someone called the cops on us, who showed up and asked what we were doing. We told them we were sharing prayers with people and messages of Jesus Christ. Turns out that you're only soliciting if you're selling something or asking for donations. Offering free information doesn't count. So Elder Angulo and I had a good laugh about that and kept on knocking doors there:) Some people are just so grumpy and hard-hearted to be honest.

Anyways that pretty much sums up our adventures for the week, seriously just lots of rejections and knocking doors. Also we had interviews with President Richardson on Saturday! He was really impressed with Elder Angulo, perhaps too impressed. More on that later;) Also funnily enough he asked Elder Angulo about my spanish and accent and stuff, and Elder Angulo told him it was great! He said President looked pretty surprised haha! In fact President told me in my interview that a year ago he wrote that my "spanish is ok, trying hard" I guess I've come a long way in a year, kind of cool to look back and see the progress!

Also one last miracle, yesterday for Pros Monday we had to once again go and knock on doors the whole day. But after about 4 hours of nothing in North Palm Beach, I felt prompted to go to an apartment complex I had started to knock but never finished. Well after going there we found three awesome potential investigators, including a Jehovah's witness who was impressed by us and wants to learn more about the Mormons. He's meeting us at a park Thursday! It was great to see how the grace of the Lord is sufficient for everyone after doing everything that we can!

So, I know you've all been waiting for transfer news and yes I purposely waited, but here it is! Elder Butterfield is: "Transfer Training"
Talk about crazy. One son wasn't enough, so now I'm having a second! This is gonna be quite the ride considering I'll have a brand new greenie and I'll have zero knowledge of the area. But hey, it's how Elder Lamb trained me and I turned out alright so it can't be that bad:) Who knows where the heck I'm going! Crazy stuff. In the meantime Elder Angulo is staying and I think taking over the whole Jupiter ward, it sounds like they're closing the sisters' area for now.

Anyways super excited to see what happens at transfers, hope you all have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 59: Susana Gets Dunked!

Hey Everyone!
Another crazy and unpredictable week, but it was a good one:) Well first off, Susana's baptism went through and it was awesome! Most of the Spanish speaking members came out to support her and of course her member friend Yanette was there for her and a huge help! It was super funny, when we were taking the pictures, Yanette said, "Otra victima" which means, "another victim." At first, I was horrified, but then I laughed my head off. It's like one of the things we would never say as missionaries, even though we want to, but then a member just said it for us. Hahaha:)
One cool thing was seeing how Susana felt after receiving the Holy Ghost. She was super nervous before the service (understandably so; her husband and son didn't come :/ ), but afterwards she felt good and said she felt peace, which is exactly how she should feel, so that was good! Admittedly, it was a little bitter sweet for her since her family didn't come to support her, but hopefully in the future they'll come around! In the meantime, she is solid and is being a modern day pioneer which is pretty cool! She even came to conference at the church on Sunday, so we listened to the morning session of conference in Spanish with her :D
In other news, besides baptism news, which almost feels unnecessary... ;) Let's see. Well, to report on Brunel, we got him his Book of Mormon in French by dropping it off at his house, but we just weren't able to catch him at his house to teach him the Restoration. He works a lot at Home Depot and despite many phone calls things just didn't work out...but hey, that does happen every once in a blue moon, and only once a blue moon ;)
Honestly, the story of Brunel is pretty much the story of everyone else we met this week. We found a lot of cool people at the beginning, but then the return appointment fell through and we were never able to catch them again. We did teach a cool guy named Ozzie, but he hasn't really kept any of his commitments so he'll be getting a drop talk I think.
And other than that, we pretty much just enjoyed general conference for the rest of the weekend! A fun thing this past week is since Elder Angulo and I have been in the more "ghetto" part of our area, we've been able to do a lot more street contacting and opening our mouths to talk to people out and about, which has been lots more fun than endlessly knocking doors. So I'm really hoping we'll see some fruits from that this week!
That's pretty much it for this week-- just excited for Susana and I'm going to work my butt off and assume I'm staying in Jupiter for a 5th transfer next week. I'm just worried because I kind of like it here a lot now, which usually brings a transfer....We shall see. Maybe I'll squeeze it out of President in interviews this weekend;)
Well that's pretty much it for Elder Angulo and me. Hope you all have a good week!
Elder Butterfield

McKay, Susana, and Elder Angulo

The Mighty Mujeres District