Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 70: Have a Merry Christmas!

Hey Everyone!

Hope that you are all excited for Christmas! I've barely even had time to think about it--haha. I think I've seen, heard and thought about Star Wars more than Christmas lately...not sure how to feel about that!XD

Anyways this last week was rough in that we've had a pretty hard time finding Spanish speaking people in general, let alone those that have been prepared for us and interested. But we didn't let that stop us from working our butts off:)

That being said though,there were two big miracles I would like to share with you all! The first was actually Monday night. We had felt like we should go back to a neighborhood we hadn't been to in awhile. Well, about the third door we knocked on the street we had chosen, we met Vladimir and Yosleini, a couple from Cuba! They invited us right in with hesitation, and we were able to share the message of the Restoration with them! Vladimir actually already goes to a church and feels good there, but Yosleini is looking for the true church. She's been to many churches, but just never felt like she's been in the right one. So she was super excited when we talked about everything and gave her a Book of Mormon to read. What's really interesting about teaching them is that they both grew up in Cuba, and  they were never religious until they came here to Florida. But it was just great to see Yosleini eyes filled with newfound hope of finding the right church!

That being said she's a very busy woman and works like crazy, so it's been really hard to be able to teach her again, but if all goes well tonight we should finally be able to get back in and share more. We've definitely got our fingers crossed for them!

As well, Saturday we were out knocking doors and we saw a huge miracle with a young man named Jose! It was pretty funny, we were in a new neighborhood where we hadn't been before trying to find if any Spanish speaking people lived there. We were asking the English speaking neighbors if they knew anyone we could practice Spanish with. Well, sure enough, a man told us about a house where they spoke Spanish, but that they were terrible "gangsters", awful neighbors, and it wouldn't be worth our time. In fact, he told us that we should only go there if we wanted someone to test our patience. But hey, the church is a hospital for sinners right?!?! So we went over, and sure enough, a rough looking 20 year old named Jose answered the door. He turned out to be the most interested person we talked to all day!! He actually rode his bike over to church on Sunday all on his own! So that was a huge miracle, and a pretty funny one if I do say so myself. Never judge who is ready to receive the Gospel! We have to give people the chance to accept it so they can exercise their agency!

Despite how awesome Jose is, he was actually born here in America and although he speaks Spanish, he told us English is better for him as far as understanding. So we had to pass him over to the Assistants to the President who teach the English speakers in our area. Definitely a bummer, but we're all on the same team right?

Other than that Elder Mears and I knocked lots of doors, worked a lot with the members, and trained them on how to do missionary work. We even got a part member family referral we're going to see on Christmas which should be good :) We also did lots of role plays, where we basically had the members act out how they're going to share the gospel. It's really fun making them do awkward things like roleplays, but it actually also helps a lot. So just good all around:)

That's pretty much it for this week though, hope that you all have a very merry Christmas!!!

Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 69: A DVD Miracle

Hey everyone!

Well this week was a...unique one! Basically Elder Mears and I focused a lot of our efforts in getting people to the Plan of Salvation open house that the branch did on Saturday. We worked a lot with the members on inviting people to come as well as inviting people in our own efforts to come. Heck, our branch President Presidente Calevoso even took us out to the local grocery stores to contact people and pass out invitations. Lemme just say, I don't know of many Bishops/Branch Presidents that are willing to do that, let alone that would volunteer to. He's a great guy! Unfortunately though when push came to shove, only 6 non members came to the open house :/ 3 of them were Claudia, Amilcar and Jaime, our eternigators. And then the other 3 were people that the members had brought but that live outside of the branch boundaries in another stake. But hey we passed those referrals off so hopefully something happens with them! So unfortunately the activity didn't turn out quite how we were hoping it would, but it definitely wasn't for lack of effort on our part or the branch. Just didn't work out this time. But hey, just means we need to attack things from a different angle now!

That being said, there were still some pretty cool highlights this week! For one, Monday night we met a Catholic lady named Gloria who invited us to come back over Tuesday early in the afternoon. So we went over the next day, shared the Restoration with her and she understood it pretty well. She offered such a sincere prayer at the end asking God to let her know if she needed to change religion. She ended up dropping us, but the prayer was so sincere and special that it was worth sharing!

Then Thursday, Hermana Posas made me baleadas (It's a food from Honduras, so GOOOOOOOD!) and then two of her non member friends made me cakes one of which was Claudia! So that was super fun and at the same time productive :) We had actually taught both of the friends she had over about the Restoration, but we just ended up doing a Christmas message and a mini testimony meeting which was pretty powerful. No amazing progress to report, but still good.

As well Thursday night we saw a super big miracle!!! So awhile back on an exchange with one of the Elders that speaks Haitian Creole, we had stopped by to visit a Less Active member on the list that we didn't know. Well it turns out the member had moved out a long time ago (Which is pretty typical in Florida), but I ended up talking to a Cuban man for a moment, gave him a card and didn't really think much of it.

Thursday night we were out knocking doors and all of a sudden we got a referral for a Finding Faith in Christ DVD just a couple streets away from where we were knocking doors. We didn't have the DVD, but went over to set up another time to come back with the DVD. Well the address looked familiar and sure enough when we got there it was the house we had visited to contact the Less Active member. Well we knock on the door, he invites us right on in. Said he had visited the church website, studied a bit, called the phone number for the DVD and had been waiting for us to show up. So crazy because people NEVER call the number, and even crazier since I was the one who handed him the card. It gets better though. So Elder Mears went to teach him the next day since I was doing an exchange to perform a baptismal interview. Well basically this man is a member of another Christian church, but he accepted the message of the Restoration and the invitation to be baptized! Talk about miracles! Unfortunately he had to go out of town to take care of his sick daughter, but he'll be back next week! Super cool stuff!

Then Friday like I said, did an exchange with the Creole Elders which is always an adventure since I don't speak Haitian Creole but fun nonetheless:) Saturday was the activity, and then Sunday we actually had a cool experience as well.

So we had decided to go visit a member family to make a family mission plan with them. Well we show up at their house at 7:30 Sunday night and they have a house full of 2 non member families for us to teach! It was crazy, again stuff like that never happens! So we taught them the Restoration, and three had already heard it before but for one of them it was the first time and he was super excited to read the Book of Mormon! Unfortunately, they all lived outside of the branch boundaries, but teaching member referrals is always a really fun experience:)

Anyways that's a lot for this week, but it was an ok week. We didn't get any investigators to church this week, so back to square 1 but with faith anything is possible! Also Friday with JustServe starting in the mission we went to sort food at a local food operation for low income families for a couple of hours in the early afternoon which was pretty fun!

That's all for this week, have a great week everyone!

Elder Butterfield

McKay and Elder Mears enjoying the Baleadas made by Hermana Posas.

McKay's Star Wars watch that he picked out for his birthday. He really is a 12 year old at heart!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 68: Elder Butterfield Turns 20!

Hey Everyone!

Well I turned 20 this week, so that's pretty weird......still not quite sure how to feel about that one hahaha! I just follow Greg South's advice, "I'll always be 12 years old at heart no matter what age my body tries to become..." :)

Anyways, I'll just be honest this week was a pretty slow one. All of our cool investigators had kind of started to slow down when I wrote last week, and they pretty much just all dropped off this last week for one reason or another. It's not so much that things ended on a bad note, but they pretty much just stopped progressing to the point that we can't really help them at the moment. That's a pretty big bummer, but that happens sometimes.

And of course it would happen right as a four day long rain storm came into Florida! Needless to say, we got pretty wet on our bikes this week. Hence the pictures of me taking a shower completely dressed in my proselyting clothes haha. I was literally that wet at the end of the night that it just didn't even make a difference... #GetBaptismsOrGetPneumoniaTrying!!!!

But hey I guess the rain was a blessing in disguise because a lot more people were in their homes, especially Spanish speaking people. So we were able to contact a lot of people this week, just no luck in bringing anyone to church:/ We taught Glennys and Eugene a few more times, but we just weren't able to help them make the commitment to come to church, so that was a bit disappointing.

Despite all of the difficulties and rain this week though, the good news is the branch is doing a missionary activity this week! Basically it will be an open house type deal where members will talk about the Plan of Salvation! It's shaping up to be really cool, and so Elder Mears and are doing all we can to get the members excited about it and invite people. Plus, with all the knocking we did and not being able to find a whole lot of Spanish speaking people, we decided we are going to focus on training the members to help them do missionary work as well. So we're hoping that as we do that and continue our personal contacting then we will have a more successful week!

That's pretty much it though. We're just trying to figure out what we need to change to be the missionaries the Lord wants us to be.

That's about it for this week.  Hope that you all have an awesome week!

Elder Butterfield

PS: Thanks to everyone for their birthday wishes, Y'all are the best!

Happy Birthday McKay!

A shower after a rain shower!