Friday, August 12, 2016

Week 103: This Is It!!!

Hey Everyone!

Well, I made it! I'm not sure who is more surprised at this point, all of you or me?! Just kidding.

It really is pretty hard to believe that my mission is over. It seems like so long ago when I made my first contact in Hialeah and had absolutely no idea what was going on haha! Time really does fly. That said, it's been an amazing ride. It wasn't easy by any means but I can honestly say it was worth every minute. Even though I've still got lots to learn I have definitely learned a lot these past two years!

Anyways enough of that talk, I can talk all about that when I'm actually home! Here's the update for the final week.

Tuesday we had our last district trainings ever. One district of missionaries had quite the performance at the end making jokes about us finishing our mission. We're still friends though.

Wednesday we had our final interviews with President Richardson and we made history as the first companionship to do them together according to President Richardson. Nice. They were good; it was pretty standard stuff. Stay faithful in the church, go to YSA, get married etc. etc. But don't get me wrong, it was definitely all very sound advice that I'm grateful for. RM's need to hear that sort of thing so they don't get thrown down on by the Prophet in Priesthood session;) Later on that night I did a baptismal interview in Jupiter and stopped by Susana's on the way home to say goodbye and even talked to her husband a little bit so that was good!

Thursday was weekly planning and since we were planning for coming home I got my suitcases vacuumed and prepped to have stuff put inside them. But I wasn't trunky or anything lol;)

Friday was a pretty standard day. Saturday was cool though!  So about a week and a half ago we got invited to a breakfast at another church by someone else serving at LAHIA. We decided we may as well go and so we did! It was a little awkward walking in until we saw the guy that invited us over. The breakfast was super good, and they had a little sermon after which was cool. Surprisingly a lot of people knew who we were and thanked us for coming and "reaching across the aisle." Not only that but Burnsey, the guy who invited us, gave us a shout out and told everyone we were "out pounding the streets for Jesus" and then everyone looked at us and cheered us on. It was a pretty neat experience, I'm glad we went!

Sunday was testimony meeting. Unfortunately, no baptism happened, but I remain hopeful that Joshua will be baptized eventually! It was weird saying goodbye to everyone at church, but then again I've always really hated goodbyes.

Then yesterday since it was our last full day proselyting, I went knocking doors in Indiantown, a little town out in the middle of nowhere. It was actually amazing; someone let us in from the rain and we taught him the Restoration. His eyes got so wide, and he couldn't believe he'd never heard about that before! Hopefully a great last seed to plant!

That's pretty much it! I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to serve my Savior for two years and to learn to serve those around me. It's been a great ride.

Love you all and I will see you soon!

Elder Butterfield

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Week 102: Time Is Flying By . . .

Hey Everyone!

It's hard to believe how fast time is going by! While arriving in Florida seems like it happened forever ago, it's hard to believe that it was only two years ago. So much has happened in two years! That being said I'll do my best to summarize last week.

Last Tuesday after district trainings was pretty fun. I got to do an exchange with Elder Nebeker, so he came with me up to Stuart. We went to go follow up with Jeremy and Vanessa that came to church the week before. Unfortunately, once we sat down one on one without their member friend there, they expressed all of their concerns, that they felt too much pressure and didn't want to get baptized so soon. They said they were open to learning still but want to take things at a much slower pace. The visit took two hours though so we were running super late for our dinner appointment and had to cut things off. We've since tried to set up another return appointment and they have given us the dodge, but we will try again this week. After that appointment, we had a dinner appointment on a BOAT! It was pretty awesome! Turns out if a member is living on a boat and it is docked then it's ok to go on board. So that was pretty neat! Afterwards Elder Nebeker interviewed Joshua. He is solid and has a strong testimony of the Gospel. He just needs to get married and then he will be baptized. He and Tiara are working on it but coming up with the money for the marriage license is proving pretty difficult since Joshua has been unemployed for awhile. But hey, the good news is that he just got a job, so he's trying to make things right.

Wednesday we exchanged back and had a pretty normal day without too much craziness.

Thursday we did another mini mission with Noah, a 17 year old Priest in the ward. Things went pretty well; we were able to get him experience in finding and teaching as well as working with the members. He seemed to have a good time and he really helped us out as well!

Friday we did an exchange with the Assistants to the President and I made the Assistant who came up to Stuart with me bike during the hottest part of the day. It was pretty funny; apparently he was super angry about it, but hey, we were pretty much out of miles!

Saturday was quiet, but Sunday turned out pretty nice!

On Sunday, Joshua came to church again! Sister Conrad also came to church again for the second time. She even invited us over to her home for dinner again which I'm excited for! Brother Osmer also came to Sacrament Meeting for the third time in a row! So while we didn't have a lot of investigators come to church, we did have a few of the less active members we've been working with come again which was great to see!

All in all a great week, I'm just praying super hard that I can see Joshua baptized before I leave the mission. We shall see.

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

Elder Butterfield

April MLC 2016:  McKay is on the right side about 3-4 missionaries from the end.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 101: An Unexpected Baptismal Challenge. . .

Hey Everyone!

It was a pretty crazy week this last week--lots to update on! Let's see, Monday was pretty normal as far as I remember. Tuesday I went on exchanges to Jupiter and I got the chance to have dinner at the Harreveld home, which was cool because I got to know Brother Harreveld pretty well when I was in Jupiter back in the day:)

Wednesday we did another mini mission. This time it was with Jorge, who just turned 16 a couple of months ago! It was his first time ever going out with the missionaries so we had a blast going out and doing missionary work with him!

Thursday was a pretty good day as well. We went out with Bishop Busto and were able to introduce him to a lot of the people that we have been visiting. So he got to sit down with Joshua, then Kisha and then Sister Conrad!

Joshua is still preparing to get baptized on July 31st, however, he has a few obstacles to overcome for that to happen. Some legal and then he also just doesn't have the money to buy a marriage license right now. So we'll see what happens. It could happen, or it might not. We're not really sure... The good news though is that Sister Conrad invited us over for dinner Friday night and afterwards we finally got to go with her and her husband Jessi to the Jewish temple that he attends! It was actually a really cool experience! I wish I could have done something like that at the beginning of my mission because we knew what it felt like to walk into a church you've never been to before. It's pretty scary because you want to make sure you don't do anything that would be offensive or mess up. But besides the fact that Jewish people don't believe in Jesus as the Messiah, the message really isn't that different than what you hear in our church. Pretty interesting stuff. Also we got to keep our Yamika's that we wore into the service!  Nothing too crazy happened on Saturday.

Sunday was pretty crazy though! So Sunday, Sister Conrad came to Sacrament Meeting for the first time in 17 years! It felt good helping her to come back! Also a member that grew up in the Stuart ward came back to visit her neighborhood best friend and brought him and his wife to church yesterday! They're such a cool family. They already believe in Jesus Christ, in keeping the commandments, and serving other people. They're practically already members of the church! So the first counselor of the Bishopric invited all of them over to his house for dinner after church and invited us as well! Well, we ended up being there for way longer than normal, but it was probably the best member present lesson of my mission! After just talking to them and getting to know them, we taught them the Restoration and invited the Neff family to be baptized when they know it's true. Now at this point we thought the members were going to get mad at us and say something like, "You don't have to if you don't want to." Usually members are pretty protective of their referrals. Not these ones though! They accepted baptism and so I invited them to be baptized on August 7th (it's our last weekend in the mission) and they weren't too sure but both of the member couples immediately began to testify to them of how they NEEDED to do it on August 7th since we were leaving and since they already basically live church standards. So they're preparing to get baptized on the 7th of August! How cool is that???

That's basically it for this week, hope that all goes well for everyone!

Elder Butterfield

Elder Butterfield, Ailynn, and Elder Stansfield 

The Elders with Ailynn and her parents

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Week 100: One of the Greatest Weeks Ever!!

Hey Everyone!

So literally this week was one of the greatest weeks of my mission! First off, I have a surprise! Ailynn (Yes, I've been spelling it wrong this whole time--whoops!) got baptized yesterday! You're probably wondering how that happened. Well, it turns out the family is going to leave on vacation before June 24th so on Wednesday night Ailynn and her mom asked us if we could move up the baptism to this Sunday. So we did, and it was a great service!

Also Tiara came to church for the first time this Sunday! She and Joshua were able to take the marriage class the mission offers for a discounted marriage license, so they should be getting married soon and then Joshua will be able to get baptized as planned! Hopefully Tiara can with him; we'll see what happens now that she finally made it to church! Also, when we taught Joshua about modern day prophets and committed him to follow the prophet he said, "I'm already following The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!" Pretty great answer right? So that was pretty cool.

We're still working with Juan for August 7th. Only time will tell with him--not too much else to report on him so far.

Meanwhile while all that happened, we also had two less active members randomly show up to church on Sunday, and they were both ones that Elder Adams and I had visited or contacted a while back. So they finally made it and we will be visiting them!

Did I mention we did a mini mission with one of the young men in the ward named Caden? Well, we did on Wednesday and it was a blast. He came out with us on Wednesday at 11am and stayed with us for 24 hours, so he got to sleep over. It was great! We are trying to do a mini mission a week for the rest of our missions:) It was great for us and I think it gave Caden a really good experience as well!

I think those are all of the highlights for the week! Hope everyone enjoys the last half of their summer!

Elder Butterfield

Elder Butterfield and Elder Stansfield's funeral service

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 99: A Hot Week! (In more ways than one!)

Hey Everyone!

Lemme just say it is SOOOOOO HOT down here!!!! Like this summer is WAAAY hotter than last summer and all of the locals agree with me. Basically with the heat index (humidity) the average temperature right now is 100+ every single day. Yikes. Good thing this last week was as busy as ever!

So you already know what I did for the 4th of July, Tuesday was P day. Wednesday we had interviews with the mission president which were pretty great. Elder Stansfield and I both asked President the reasoning of putting us together. This is the answer I got, not necessarily word for word. "Elder, I don't do transfers. Heavenly Father does! I felt like you two needed to be together. You're going to have to tell me the reason why you're together!" But then afterwards he proceeded to say how Elder Stansfield has abilities I don't have, and I have abilities that Elder Stansfield doesn't have. We're a great team. Plus we've got almost 4 years of experience between the two of us:) Regardless of why we're together, I'm loving every second of it:D

While President was doing interviews we had our district trainings going on, which were good. Later on in the day we went to go see Juan and then Eileen. Since Juan will be moving out on the 5th of August into his own place, he committed to be baptized on the 7th of August! Woohooo! Later we were able to overcome a lot of concerns with Eileen. Somehow she heard at girls camp that she had to be baptized 10 times in the water. Elder Stansfield dug out that concern, we overcame it, and now she is preparing to be baptized on the 24th of July! So cool!

Thursday we saw Dayllana and Dilen and read through the Book of Mormon with them. Dayllana is still not really committed but Dilen seems interested if just out of curiosity. They came to church Sunday though! Apparently their member cousins and Dayllana and Dilen's parents all had to wake them up like 5 times to get them to go to church. But that says a lot to me. If their parents helped them get up and made them go to church, we should be able to get them on board soon as well! We shall see. It's pretty weird teaching by myself, by the way, since Elder Stansfield can't speak Spanish. But hey, life is good!

Also, on Friday we had MLC and then did exchanges with Wellington afterwards. I went to Wellington, and not too much happened. But meanwhile in Stuart, Elder Stansfield went to see Joshua, and he and Tiera are going to get married! Woohoo! We've got to get them in the marriage class that the mission provides, but I should be seeing a wedding before my mission is over!

As you can tell it was an amazing week! Elder Stansfield and I are getting along great and our strengths really compliment each other. So cool. Definitely the best last companion I could have asked for!

That's pretty much it for this week, love you all!

Elder Butterfield

P.S.  McKay forgot to mention this in his update, but mentioned it in my email:

We're going to be doing mini missions with all the Priest aged young men in the ward. So each of them will get to come out with us for a full 24 hours, including a sleepover and study time. I'm pretty excited for it. We have one with Kaden this week on Wednesday; it should be pretty fun. We're trying to get them all excited to go on a mission!

 Elder Butterfield and Elder Stansfield

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week 98: Fourth of July Was a Party!!

Hey Everyone!

So this last week has been pretty crazy! For those who missed last week's update, I'm now with Elder Stansfield who is literally flying home on the same flight as me back to Utah. SO WEIRD! He's a bro, and so far we're having a great transfer:)

So last Thursday was an all bike day in the mission because someone got in an accident that cost over $3000, and it was their fault. FYI: it wasn't me. I didn't get a ticket for my accident, so I didn't cause this! Anyways, Elder Stansfield can't bike (long story), so we had members go out with us all day and we honestly had a great day.

We were knocking doors that day with one of the Spanish speaking members here, Brother Mora. We knocked on the door of a Spanish speaking family, and here's how things went. We offered to share a prayer (Well, I did. Elder Stansfield doesn't speak Spanish :) and Jaime immediately let us in. After sharing a prayer, he told us that it was a very special day. Pretty cool I suppose. Then he tells us that his late father always told him to let people in if they knocked on his door to share a prayer. We were the first ones to ever do that. AND, as it turns out, he shares his father's birthday so it was his late father's birthday as well. BUT that's not all. Brother Mora knows this family as well!!!! And he just happened to be knocking doors with us that night! Of course none of this was by chance, God definitely planned that meeting; it was so incredible! I'd like to say the family came to church, but unfortunately they didn't. Jaime is too busy working two different jobs and barely ever sees his family, but he accepted baptism and whether it's in the near future or much much later I really do believe we planted a great seed!

Friday we had district trainings since we could actually all use our cars, so that was good. Elder Stansfield went down to Jupiter to do a baptismal interview, so I stayed and took care of the area. Sunday was good; Eileen and Juan both came to church. Judging by the looks of things, Juan will be getting baptized the last weekend Elder Stansfield and I are in the mission, pretty crazy! Eileen is currently preparing/praying about July 24th because after that they go on vacation for 3 weeks and won't get home til we are in Utah. So we'll see what happens!

Yesterday on the 4th of July we partied pretty hard. It was great since the Jupiter Elders were able to sleep over with us. We lucked out because Jupiters A/C broke down which is the only reason we got permission for them to come over to our house!

Overall it's been a great week! Working as hard as ever, but enjoying it along the way!

Have a great week!

Elder Butterfield
Elder Stansfield and Elder Butterfield

 Mountain Dew Pong: Part of July 4th Festivities

Friday, July 1, 2016

Week 97: God Is So Good!

Hey Everyone!

Hope y'all are having a good week and enjoying your summer. It's FREAKING hot down here! Anyways so transfer news first: I'm staying in Stuart and finishing my mission here, and Elder Adams is transferring to Naples on the west coast of Florida. That's not all though. Elder Stansfield is coming up to Stuart with me, and he is finishing his mission at the same time as me lol. So much for getting a younger missionary as my comp to help me stay focused hahaha. It should be pretty fun though:) Pretty crazy stuff; it just means that two new missionaries will have to come in after us. I've only seen them purposefully put two missionaries who are ending at the same together like two other times, but then again, I feel like my mission has been anything but a standard experience:)

That being said, it was a little tough this week, but we had some really amazing things happen! For one, Joshua came to church on Sunday and he loved it! To give a bit of back story on him, he requested a free Bible from the church about 6 months ago but when the Elders came by to deliver it he wasn't really interested in a message and just wanted the Bible ( this happens pretty often ). Thankfully the Elders tucked a Restoration pamphlet inside the Bible! Now fast forward to June 19th. We knock on his door and set up a return appointment with him and go back to teach him on Monday. Well, we're in the middle of teaching the Great Apostasy and he tells us how the Lord then brought back His church the way He wanted it and that it's The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Elder Adams and I looked at each other with our jaws to the floor. Then Joshua explained how they had left him with the pamphlet and he read it and believes it! Since he know so much, we taught him about the Book of Mormon (we normally wait til the 2nd lesson to do so) and committed him to read it and pray about it. Well he did and he has already received his answer that it's true! He loved church, and is going to come back again and we're trying to get his girlfriend to sit down with us for more lessons as well. Such an amazing miracle! He is currently preparing to be baptized on the 10th of July.

As well we had a miracle with one of the part member families we are teaching. Juan told us that he believes the church is true and that he will get baptized as soon as he and his wife move into their own house (they're currently living w/ relatives and they would kick them out if he got baptized). The good news is that everything has been falling into place for them and he should be getting their own place sometime in July! God is so good!

So those were a few of the miracles we saw this week, It really is great to be in the service of the Lord. It's not always happy nor easy, but it is worth it. I read a scripture in the New Testament that really touched me:

Matthew 5:11-12
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

It just reminded that it doesn't matter how bad the opposition ever gets, serving the Lord will ALWAYS be worth it:)

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

Elder Butterfield

Week 96: Early Transfer News

Hey Everyone!

Thankfully this last week was a little better, I'm feeling lots more upbeat and ready to go baptize the world:) But really I'm doing lots better which has been a big blessing.

As for missionary work, no major breakthroughs this last week to be honest. Eileen is still coming to church and wants to be baptized, but she doesn't want to "rush it" and thinks she'll be ready in a month or two. Which is totally fine, I mean she's coming to church every week with her mom and really her visiting with us is part of what is helping her mom come back to church. So it's a slow process, but it's getting there. I just hope that I get to see her be baptized!

Then our friend Juan is still coming to church every week as well, but he doesn't want to get baptized until he has his own place because he's living with family who are pretty anti unfortunately:( That's pretty much it for new investigators although we've been exploring some new neighborhoods and things seem to be picking up!

We had zone conference last Thursday which was good. Afterwards, I had a temple recommend interview with President to renew mine since it expires soon and that went well. In it, President spilled the beans on transfers and told me that I'll be staying in Stuart for my last transfer and Elder Adams is off somewhere else. Funnily enough, he swore me to secrecy and then Sunday he ended up in our Sacrament meeting and told Elder Adams what was happening anyways. He's pretty excited about this transfer; he couldn't keep it a secret:) So transfer news a week early for once. We also pretty much know what is happening with the zone, but I won't share here in case any other mission moms happen to be reading this!

What else...oh! This morning we went to the grocery store by our house just to pick up a few things and then a member saw us and told us to buy whatever we wanted and they would pay for it! How awesome is that? The members here in Stuart definitely take care of the missionaries, I've never been more well fed in my life (except maybe Doral ;) !

So yeah life is good. Just making sure I finish strong!

That's about it for this week, Have a great week everyone!

Elder Butterfield

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Week 95: A Mentally Tough Week . . . and Another Car Accident

Hey Everyone!

Well, I'm going to be honest; this was mentally the toughest week of my entire mission so far. I have no idea why, but I kind of just got overwhelmed by stress. It was really the first time that has ever happened to me. It was weird...but the good news is I got over it and I'm fine now:) Just when you think you've seen all a mission has to throw at you, it throws a Mariano Rivera slider and messes you up!

Oh also, got in a car accident on Thursday with our new 2016 Nissan Altima...whoops. Thing is, someone rear ended me so I'm pretty sure it won't be my fault but the cops didn't assign fault at the accident so we'll see what happens. There were a lot of details that caused it like heavy rain, railroad tracks and a 5 way intersection not to mention this intersection was a detour route that we were taking because the regular route was closed. Throw all that together and I'm just grateful no one was injured! So that's the good news at least!

As for the missionary work side of things, it was definitely a tougher week, but we did manage to start teaching a lady named Tammy from knocking some doors. Tammy actually understands the message of the Restoration which is amazing! She didn't make it to church because she had to babysit but she is planning on next Sunday. Then get this! We were trying to think of a member's home that we could teach her in and Bishop suggested Sister Grinds. Well upon talking to Sister Grinds, we find out that she is Tammy's Godmother! We had no idea; how crazy is that?? Definitely a big miracle and we are excited to see how things pan out!

As for Eileen, she had a great time at girls camp and church again on Sunday! She still has a lot of questions, but little by little she is making progress.

One other cool story I would like to share is that last night we didn't have any teaching appointments at 8:00 pm so we decided to start visiting LA's on the prospective Elders list because if a prospective Elder is reactivated, usually 4 people join/come back to the church with him! Sounds pretty good right? Well on our third name, we find out the member is overseas right now, but his relatives still live there so we invited one of them to church. He said he'd love to come and will bring his family! We're going back to teach them tonight, and it should be pretty awesome!

That's pretty much it for this week, I just can't believe how fast time flies. Gotta make sure I don't get trunky! Hope y'all have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

McKay's current zone with President Richardson

Friday, June 10, 2016

Week 94: On the Right Path

Hey Everyone!

Well I'm going to have to keep this short as we played water balloon quidditch (spelling?) and so we didn't get as much time to email, sorry!

Basically Ilene came to church again yesterday, and she is going to girls camp this week, so hopefully that is a good experience for her! She has all of the right questions though, so things are going really well with her.

We had a walk in of sorts on Sunday at church as well. A lady we had given a chapel card to came to church on Sunday! We had talked to her and she seemed super interested but we just weren't able to teach her this last week. We're not quite sure what her experience was since we didn't recognize her at church, but we stopped by her house and should be visiting her Wednesday hopefully. The darn tropical storm warning makes it so no one wants to set up a return appointment :/

What else...oh I had a really cool experience I wanted to share! So Sunday night 8:00 pm rolled around and our teaching appointment fell through. And once 8:00 pm comes people in Stuart really hate you knocking on their door so we usually try to visit LA's. Well, we were close by one that the ward didn't personally know but they wanted us to see if they still lived there or not. I finally felt it was time to stop by, and it turns out she has never had a visit from the church since she moved to Stuart.  However, she had been thinking about how she missed the church and the Elders recently. Then we showed up! She fell away back when things got nasty with the press during Proposition 8 in California and didn't feel like she agreed with the church. But she really misses it and we shared the website with her, which really gives the church's honest opinion about that very heated issue. If anyone has questions about the church and LGBT stuff I really recommend visiting that website. Anyways, long story short, she broke down crying and was very grateful for our visit. So it's just nice to know that the Lord is still leading us and we're on the right path:)

That's all for  this week!

Elder Butterfield

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Week 93: Just Gotta Keep Moving Forward

Hey Everyone!

Well, this last week was a different difficult; instead of finding lots of people that then in turn didn't come to church, we just had a hard time finding interested people at all! It was definitely a bit of a frustrating week, but that happens sometimes. Just gotta keep moving forward, which is exactly what we did!

That being said, President Richardson advised us to go rescue more LA's in our area because that has a high likelihood of producing baptisms. So we decided to follow that counsel and have had some good experiences so far. Just some background info though: here in South Florida the membership records are very out of date. There are many members on the records that moved from the listed address 5-10 years ago along with a disconnected phone number or no phone number at all. So you never know what you're going to get. The nice thing is here in Stuart if they know someone has moved they use electronic tracking programs that search property and financial records to find current addresses:) So we are just taking good notes of all of our visits (ie if they've moved, bad phone numbers etc etc). So far we've tried calling about 100 of the 500 names and have made 2 good contacts hahaha along with 2 members that want their records removed. Go figure. But that being said we've found 2 members that have had little or no contact with the church in awhile and they have non member family living with them. And they're both open to visits from us, so that's good!

For one of them, we took over an active member who lives 2 streets away from the less active member and he didn't even know about them. So he should have some good contact outside of the missionaries now which is good as well:)

Last but not least, members have been working on a less active Spanish speaking family for years and they finally came to stake conference a week ago and church this last week! And their 15 year old non member daughter is loving the church and young women's and we are going to see them Thursday! My hunch is it will be a slower process; the mother is pretty cautious about returning, but I think good things are happening. Amazing what happens when you follow the counsel of your Priesthood leaders:)

That's pretty much it for proselyting, but I would like to share a funny service story! So we have been volunteering at a local food pantry called LAHIA (Love and Hope in Action), and they already love us. We just help them clean and whatever other housekeeping they need done. Well, we're pretty sure they've never seen such hard working 20 year olds:) They had us moving some furniture around on Memorial Day and so we made sure to vacuum well under and around the rug, and Elder Adams even decided to dust the artificial plant which was quite the project! So we spent a good 45 minutes dusting down that plant and while we were doing so the staff just couldn't believe we would take time to do something like that! So I think that left a positive impression on people. But then it was also funny because passersby were actually heckling and giving us a hard time saying stuff like, "Oh so that's the Mormon's job" or "Wow, I'm suprised they let you in here seeing that you guys aren't Christian." Thankfully that was the minority, but it's just funny how you can't win with some people! Anyways we had a good time and they already like us there after 3 visits so that's good:)

That's pretty much it for this week, hope you all had an amazing Memorial Day!

Elder Butterfield

McKay and Elder White?  Not sure how they know each other, but I will find out!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 92: The Struggle Is Real!!!

Hey Everyone!
Another crazy week gone by...let me just say the struggle is real! We've been working so hard together and every single time Sunday rolls around no one can make the sacrifice and come to church. Ugggh, I'm pretty sick of it! Except for what's even more frustrating is that half of our investigators didn't make it to church because of some pretty crazy circumstances, so we can't even be mad at them really... Anyways, really I'm doing fine, but it just feels like everyone comes to church and then then something happens after that!
Despite the struggles, we did teach an amazing lady named Melanie this last week! She used to be a super hard core workaholic computer networker (my people) but then had an accident that humbled her a lot and prepared her. We came at just the right time to pray with her as she had just lost a super close friend the night before we came. Well we ended up teaching her, she understood it and asked all the right questions. She even came to stake conference on Sunday (we got a new stake president)! The only thing is, she moved to Port Saint Lucie today, two streets outside of our mission >:/ So missionaries in our mission can't even teach her! What's even more annoying is that she had accepted a date for the 11th of June! So we had her call the missionaries up in her area since we can't call them ourselves to touch base and set up a return appointment. She told them who she was, that she came to church and that she wanted to learn more so she could prepare for her date on the 11th of June.
In addition, Jaimi had to work Sunday, so he couldn't make it/ Renee's husband went to the hospital last week so she has her hands full with him and her granddaughter. Plus, we have lost phone contact with her. Anyways you get the point. Sunday was a rough day for us. Especially because the new stake president told us missionaries we need to teach every single lesson to investigators in the homes of members except for the first lesson. That is a pretty heavy request when a lot of people don't respond to our calls or our texts...and we don't have a ward mission leader to help us out still. I guess I just need to take a Nephi attitude instead of a Laman attitude...I'm working on that... :)

That's pretty much it. Just trying to stay focused and not get trunky!
Love you all,
Elder Butterfield

Week 91: Another Transfer with Elder Adams! Woohoo!!!

Hey Everyone!

So I'll just break transfer news right now instead of making you all scroll down to the end :) ELDER ADAMS AND I ARE STAYING FOR ANOTHER TRANSFER, WOOOOHOOOOO!! It's a party up here in the Stuart zone! The rest of the zone is changing up a lot though. A few whitewashed areas and every single companionship except for us had someone transfer. Pretty crazy stuff.

The good thing is, we have lots of reasons to be staying! So many good investigators have come our way this past week!

First off, there is a member from Mexico here named Martin, and he is seriously one of the most Christlike, converted people I have ever met! He and his other brothers have a landscaping company that they run out of a tiny little town called Indiantown which is way out in the sticks, like 30 minutes from our apartment right before you get to Lake Okechobee. Anyways, he loves the missionaries since he's a convert himself and loves to go out with us and feed us, seriously one of the greatest members to work with as a missionary! Anyways he has been working with lots of Spanish speakers who live out in Indiantown. When they have problems in their life and ask him for help, he always introduces them to the missionaries. Unfortunately, that has been difficult because all of the missionaries who have been in Stuart historically only spoke English. Well, Elder Adams and I are Spanish missionaries, so he's been helping us out and giving us some of his referrals!

He took us out Thursday night to a family where the father has some alcohol problems and the mother wants him to help their kids. Well, we just showed up and taught the Restoration and the 18 year old son Ricardo had his eyes glued on us the entire time and understood everything we said. Even though the parents aren't willing to commit to church right now, Ricardo drove himself to church on Sunday! It's like a half an hour drive! He's so elect! We haven't been able to see him since church because of distance, but we're going to see him again Thursday!

As well last week we were knocking doors in a Spanish trailer park, and we actually found a white woman named Renee who was super confused about why churches said God and Jesus are the same person; it never made sense to her. So she was skeptical when we came to the door, and she asked us what we believe. I basically responded with the first article of faith, and she was so excited to find someone who believes the same thing as her! Because of that, we were able to teach her, and she's understanding super well. She loved church and the ward  loved her! Something else really cool is that her husband is African American (He's Buddhist, so not interested but kind to us.) and so people tried to tell Renee anti about the church and African Americans. So she asked her husband who has studied many religions and he actually knew enough to say that we weren't prejudiced and that African Americans were permitted to join the church in the early days. Pretty amazing he had studied enough to know that. Just goes to show God really does prepare people. So Renee is doing great and preparing for her baptism on the 29th of May.

Another crazy miracle happened on Sunday! So we got a text from the Jupiter Elders about a member referral from Arizona. Basically a young man named Jaimi broke down in Satcher, Arizona, and a member family offered him work to help him get his car fixed up and in the process they shared the Gospel with him. Jaimi is super prepared and pretty much knows it's true already. He just has some addictions to overcome, but we are taking him to the church addiction recovery class on Thursday in Jupiter which should be good! With that said, he's super prepared and will get baptized. It may just take some time is all. He's such a cool guy!

One other thing, I got the chance to go on exchanges to Jupiter last Wednesday, and I got to see Susana which was super awesome!! She is doing amazing and is a ward missionary in the Jupiter ward. She was the only one that came to the correlation meeting, so you know she's solid! Honestly, I was worried it would be awkward since it had been so long, but it was so great to see her again. It was as if I had only been gone for a day or two. She calls Elder Angulo and I her angels, so that's pretty cool:)

Those are the highlights of the week, Elder Adams and I are just pumped to help this zone get back on it's feet. It's been struggling the past little bit, but we've made a lot of plans to get everyone excited and working hard:)

Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

McKay and Elder Adams

Studly Elders!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Week 90: Double Exchanges

Hey Everyone!

So to be honest we've had a lot of people stop progressing this week (not keeping commitments), so we have a lot of drop talks to do this coming week. But we're not down about it all; it just means there are other people out there waiting for us to find them!

So last Monday was a good P-Day we had a zone activity which I talked about.

Tuesday was District Training day, so we left the house at 9:00 am and then Elder Adams got back to our area at like 4:00 pm. I didn't come back to Stuart though, I went on a 2 day exchange to Belle Glade. It's a pretty crazy place. I included some pictures of cane fires. Yup, Belle Glade is where all the migrant workers who work in the sugar cane fields live. Once the cane is ready, they just burn the fields to harvest it. Pretty crazy right?

Anyways, I was there Tuesday and Wednesday. We did a double exchange because we wanted to see what was going on out there. It was definitely enlightening as to things we needed to be aware of, but I won't discuss that here. But hey, it was pretty dang fun to go out there. I was with Elder Hansen who lived in the apartment in Hollywood, so that was fun to see him again!

Elder Adams spoke a lot of Spanish without me on Tuesday and Wednesday so that was good.

Thursday was our usual weekly planning. We ate at Taco Bell which turned out to be a mistake ahahaha. We were able to re-establish contact with Yeimer and his family, which was good. They invited us over for dinner on Friday, and we had arepas which are freaking delicious! For those who don't know, arepas are like Venezuelan hamburgers.Yum. 

Friday was a pretty normal day, which was nice, and Saturday we had the ward party for  Cinco de Mayo which was pretty cool.

Basically though, we just need to have a sit down talk with most of our investigators about keeping commitments because almost no one came to church which was sad. So we are pretty much back to square one, but hey let the Spanish neighborhoods guide us where to go:)

Pretty much it. Mother's Day was awesome. It was great to see Mom and the family! Happy Mother's Day to all!

Elder Butterfield

McKay on his double exchange.  A member had the missionaries for dinner and sent this.

 McKay after dinner at a member's house.  We love receiving these surprise texts!

McKay with Susanna, "the perfect investigator"

 sugar cane harvesting fire

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week 89: Happy Mother's Day!!!

Hey Everyone!

Well, as usual it was run run run run this last week!

Tuesday we had interviews with the mission president which were good! Fortunately, we were the first zone so President Richardson was in a good mood :)

Wednesday and Thursday were just regular proselyting days which was nice for a change. At the Bishop's request, we have been contacting a good amount of less actives on the ward directory to find out if they still live there or not. They are wanting to rescue people because a lot of families are moving out of the ward and none are moving in, which is common for Florida in the summer. So the ward is pretty hungry for more active members.

One good thing that came out of it was that we ran into a Cuban family that was baptized a few years ago and now has some non member family living with them that just arrived from Cuba about a month ago. You better believe we're teaching them! So far only one of the daughters is interested; her name is Dayllana (prounounced Di-Jana). She's really taking things seriously though and really praying about being baptized. She even came to church on Sunday. We are trying to involve the parents as well, but it's probably going to take some time. But hey, pretty awesome that we found Cubans to teach up here in Stuart!

As for other investigators, Florencia didn't come to church this Sunday. Apparently, she went to her church instead. The language barrier is hard since we don't speak Haitian creole, so we are going to exchange with the creole speaking Elders to see what's going on with her. As well, the Venezuelan family didn't make it to church because Yeimer had to go to Miami for the weekend, but we are seeing them tonight!

That's pretty much it. We're teaching a few other people, but they aren't really keeping commitments so we will probably need to move on this week!

As well, we went on exchanges with the Assistants to the President on Friday. It was pretty funny because the one that came to Stuart is Creole speaking and we were in Spanish neighborhoods/lessons all day long so he couldn't participate or understand at all hahahaha. It was pretty exhausting to do all the work myself! We had a good day though and taught lots so that was good:) After that exchange he was like, "We should make a Stuart Spanish area." HAhahaha--it's funny because it's true!

That's pretty much it for this week. Life is good and quiet here, lots of Spanish, and Elder Adams always keeps things entertaining. Hopefully, I can stay here  the rest of my mission! We shall see!

Love you all and happy Mother's Day to all you mothers out there!

Elder Butterfield

Cinco de Mayo celebration

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Week 88: Speaking Spanish in Stuart!

Hey Everyone!

Well, this last week was a pretty dang good one to be honest with you! We taught lots of people, picked up some cool new investigators, and have been able to speak plenty of Spanish:) Funny thing, there is actually more Spanish work here in Stuart if you go to the Spanish neighborhoods than there is in my old area Riverside Park in Fort Lauderdale. Go figure right? But hey I'm sure loving it a lot!

Update on the investigator Catherine from last week! So she actually moved out of our area down to Jupiter with her husband. They had been separated for a long time but are still married, and she needed to get out of her current situation which involved a lot of abuse. So while I'm definitely sad we can't teach her, it needed to happen and it will work out way better for her there. The Elders are already teaching her down there, and she is still preparing for her baptism on the 8th of May. As well, they are teaching some of the family now, and she's a lot closer to the church whereas in our area she lived forever away and didn't have a car so she had to a get a ride. So it's definitely what needed to happen. I'm just hoping this can be another referral passed on that gets baptized!

We also had a pretty amazing miracle with a family from Venezuela! So I actually came on quite a few exchanges here to the area of Stuart back when I was serving in Jupiter and taught a lot of different people. So when I got here, I went back and pulled out all of the people I remembered to go follow up with them. We went to go follow up with one of them on Thursday, and right as we pulled up to the apartment, another car pulled up in front of it as well. It wasn't the lady I had taught, but actually a Venezuelan family that had just moved into the apartment the weekend before. So we approached them and they looked pretty relieved to find someone to speak Spanish to. Turns out they fled Venezuela as refugees 6 months ago, arrived to Hialeah, but it was too crazy/expensive for them and they couldn't learn English there, so they moved up here to Stuart where they will have a lot more opportunities to learn. Not only that, the father Yeimer had a Mormon boss back in Venezuela, but he had just never been interested in the church before. However, when we showed up and invited him to church and a return appointment he happily accepted. Then he and his family came to church on Sunday! So that was a pretty cool experience and definitely a testimony to me that I am in the right place!

Amongst other things, we finally went out to Indiantown this week. It's a good half an hour drive away and is out in the country somewhat close to Okechobee. It's definitely a farming community, but there is a Haitian recent convert there who brings her neighbor and her kids to church with her. So we finally were able to start teaching her neighbor, and she is preparing to be baptized! The language barrier is hard sometimes so it's a slow process and there's definitely some life changes she will have to make, but it definitely can happen!

So ya, lot's of good stuff happening here in Stuart! The only sad thing that happened was that Ola Brown lost her job this last week and her car broke down. Dang Ford Taurus'... So ya just like most of my other recent converts, the post baptism trials came pretty quickly.... but the good news is that she is remaining faithful and the ward is doing a great job of reaching out to her and helping her with a ride to church. So God will definitely work things out in His way. I just don't know why so many bad things happen after a baptism. It's pretty frustrating sometimes....!

That's pretty much it for this week though. Elder Adams and I are having a lot of fun and enjoying Stuart together, so I don't have much to complain about:)

Love y'all, have a good week!

Elder Butterfield

 McKay and Elder Adams are stylin' in their Florida t-shirts.

 McKay conveniently left this out of his weekly update. We had to find out about this escapade from Elder Adam's sister.  She and Brooke are friends, and she passed along the fun info that these two decided to shave their legs this week!  McKay's are bloody ones on the right. I didn't know this was a necessary missionary skill?!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Week 87: A Baptism in Stuart

Hey Everyone!

Well, this last week has been pretty crazy, but it's been a really good one honestly:) Though I do have some sad news to share first. So update on the investigators I left behind in Hollywood. Pamela and her daughter got baptized, but somehow her daughter Mia didn't get confirmed with her. Not sure what happened there. I'm asking around before I make any assumptions. As well Carmen told the Elders not to come back anymore--no idea what happened there either. So that was definitely sad to hear, but what you do you do? That being said it was definitely wrong for me to question the revelation my mission President had received about transfers. I just hope that one day Mia, Carmen, and Junior get things figured out...

Anyways, bad news aside it was honestly a pretty great week! Our investigator Ola Brown was able to get baptized as scheduled, and she asked me to perform the baptism so that was a wonderful blessing! She was very prepared! In fact, I have a miracle to share about her! So last time I emailed y'all she was still unsure of what to do about her work situation, but when we went to go do her baptismal interview on Tuesday with Elder Robishaw, she had amazing news to tell us! So between Sunday the 10th and Tuesday the 12th, her boss called her and offered her a Friday/Saturday shift because someone else had given it up and Ola had seniority over everyone else. As well she knew that she wanted to go to church and get baptized!  So at that point she was completely ready without a doubt for her baptism and she has a solid member friend in Sister Sevenin who's in one of the baptismal photos. So that was an amazing miracle this week!

As well we've had a lot of miracles in finding new investigators!  Here's one miracle that happened I would like to share. My companion and I decided to knock doors in a trailer park. We found someone who needed us named Catherine! Catherine had been praying that day to go back to church, and then we showed up to her door. She burst into tears after the prayer and said that she had never had a prayer answered so quickly! The next day she texted us this,  "Your appearance here yesterday was a direct answer to a specific prayer request I made to God through my Lord and Savior."
God's plan is perfect. Needless to say Catherine came to church and loved it! Unfortunately, she has some problems with an abusive ex who won't leave but she is working on getting him evicted so hopefully that won't be a problem for much longer. That being said we are her third set of missionaries, and I honestly believe that she is ready this time around!

We also  had a recent convert in the area bring her friend to church for like the third time  as well as a family who is working on coming back to the church. They've been coming the past couple weeks, but we just assumed they're all members. Turns out the wife of one of the brothers is a non member and when the Bishop talked to them, they agreed to take the missionary lessons. So we had two member referrals come to church as well as Catherine. Pretty awesome! The only hard thing is that the two member referrals live in a tiny little place called Indiantown which is waaaaay far away; in fact, so far we don't have enough miles to drive there more than MAYBE once a week. We are planning on going out there this week, but hopefully we can get some members who are willing to drive us out  there because we have two investigators coming to church on a regular basis!

So yeah, definitely bad news from Hollywood, but Elder Adams and I are tearing it up here in Stuart. And even though I thought I would hate it here, I actually love it. People up here are very nice, the jobs here aren't as bad as they are in Miami/Broward, so people actually have time to talk to us and meet with us. We decided Stuart is the best kept secret of the mission!

Anyways love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 86: Settling in to Stuart

Hey Everyone!

Well this last week has been pretty dang crazy. Elder Adams and I have basically been running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Wednesday was transfer day and we didn't arrive to our area until 3:00-3:30ish (Stuart is like 2 hours away from the mission office/home). Stuart is actually just above the Jupiter ward, so I'm back to the place I literally thought I would never return to. After reading some of the notes the other Elders left us, we went to meet our investigator, Ola. She was pretty disappointed the other missionaries were gone, but she will go forward just fine. So that was good, then we went to a meal appointment and finished off the night knocking some doors and going to meet the family of a recent convert that I interviewed to be baptized when I was back in Jupiter.

Thursday we had to go to district trainings which are super far away here! Our first district is a half an hour away in the Jupiter chapel and the second one is another half hour away, so we drive one hour away from our house. So lots of time driving, and then no miles are left over :( So anyways we did our district trainings, went back home and had a lesson with Ola and her member friend, and then had some dinner that the members brought to us. After that we just went out to knock some doors and to try to find new investigators.

Friday we got pretty wrecked as well. We had mission leadership council in Fort Lauderdale. So we had to drive ALL the way back down with our district leaders this time and all the way back up. We didn't get back to our area until like 4:30. Then we saw Ola again, reviewed the baptismal interview questions and helped her overcome some concerns that she had. As well we discovered she still needed to pray about Joseph Smith being a prophet, so we committed her to do so.

Saturday we were finally able to sit down and do our weekly planning session and really get settled so that was good. We also followed up with Ola who got an answer to her prayers, and then visited a Mexican family that lives here, the Mora family. They are super awesome and are excited to have two Spanish missionaries here in Stuart which hasn't happened in a long time since it's mostly an English area. They have a few Spanish speaking neighbors they are going to invite over for an FHE so that should be good!

Church was alright on Sunday.  We met a few of the members, had a meal appointment, saw Ola and then knocked some doors. We did find a super awesome Spanish contact here, so hopefully we can keep finding some cool Spanish contacts/investigators.

Pretty much our plan for Stuart is to work with the members, and then when knocking doors, to find all the Spanish speakers. So we shall see what happens.

That's pretty much it for this week, love you all!
Elder Butterfield

An old picture of McKay and his new companion, Elder Adams, at a transfer meeting

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Week 85: The Best and Worst Week of My Mission!!!

Hey Everyone!

Well I'm going to start off with all of the amazing miracles that happened this last week! So I'm sure you all remember Pamela who came to church last week! Well we were teaching her last week, but  about Thursday we kind of lost contact with her and we were freaking out. We didn't hear anything from her Friday either which was really concerning because, from what she had told us, she was going to be kicked out of her apartment on the 1st of April. So we were super worried they had already evicted or she had already moved out or something.

Well Saturday night we stop by, and Pamela had some of the craziest miracles happen in her life that I have ever seen! When we were teaching her, she didn't have a car, was going to be kicked out of her apartment and didn't have a job. She was in a really tough spot both physically and emotionally. Well Saturday when we finally saw her again, she had gotten a job, bought her own car, her ex boyfriend came and paid the rent at the apartment for the month of April, and she found a place to move into in May that is still within the ward boundaries! It was so crazy!!!!!!!! She was so happy and excited and then reminded US that she was going to be getting baptized next Saturday! Unbelievable! She came to General Conference on Sunday, loved it, and we have taught her everything she needs to know for her baptismal interview, which should be happening tonight! Her daughter is still iffy about being baptized but will probably be baptized in the coming weeks!

As well, we were sitting at home Thursday doing our weekly planning session when we got a random phone call from Carmen. (I mentioned her in an earlier email at one point). We had knocked her door one Sunday afternoon and she had been thinking about getting baptized all day! Unfortunately, we lost contact after that and never heard from her again. Well she called us Thursday and asked us to come over and told us that she felt like we NEEDED to come over. So we ended up at her house on Friday night with a brother from the church, and she and her son Junior are both getting baptized on the 16th of April. Her situation is crazy, but the Lord has really prepared her! When we told her that church was on Sunday, she burst into tears because she literally had just gotten Sundays off at her work. She LOVED General Conference as well as Junior!

Another crazy side note. Her mother-in-law who only speaks Spanish came with her to the church on Sunday because she heard Carmen was meeting with the Mormons and was suspicious. This usually means that family members anti our investigators and it's over with. But this amazing mother-in-law decided to come see the church for herself. And what better day for them to come then General Conference when Spanish and English are spoken at the same time?? God literally worked all of these things out and it's so amazing to see how He helps those who seek Him.

Now the bad news: I'm FREAKING TRANSFERRING!!!!! >:( Not only that, my companion is transferring as well! We have all of these people who are super committed to baptism, and they are sending us both out of the area. I'm so furious and angry even still I can't describe it.  

Not only that, I'm going to Stuart, which is right above Jupiter. Another ENGLISH area with almost no Spanish speakers. There's not even a Spanish ward in that entire stake. And my new companion is going brand new into the area with me, so neither of us know anything about the area. I'm leaving baptisms, losing my Spanish, and all of the ward members are asking us what we did wrong since we're both leaving (usually when both missionaries leave it has bad connotations to it).  I'm just so unbelievably upset right now. I literally couldn't sleep at all last night. I finally get something going, and I can't even stay around to enjoy it.

The only saving grace is that Elder Adams is going to be my new companion. Yup, you read that right, my buddy from high school, Gabriel Adams. So that's pretty awesome and I'm excited for that! I just don't even understand why I was called  to be Spanish speaking at this point if I'm not going to be able to use it. And yes I know it says in the call letter my assignment can be adjusted according to the needs of the mission president, but I'm still just really upset and angry about it all.

Mostly though, I just hope Pamela and Carmen are strong enough to survive this. It's usually devastating to investigators.  But anyways, life goes on. I'll probably spend the rest of my mission among the gringos....hopefully I survive.

So that's pretty much my week up to this point, good and bad. That being said, I love all of you and hope that you have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 84: Happy Easter!

Hey Everyone!

HAPPY EASTER!!!!!!!!!!! I hope everyone really did have a wonderful Easter! Honestly mine was pretty crazy; it didn't even seem like Easter, but hey I think that's just part of being a missionary:)

So this last week...Monday we did a family home evening with the Baderaco family, a member family here in the ward. We were able to help them invite some people to the church Easter egg hunt which was pretty cool! More to come on that later! Afterwards we taught our investigator Pamela, and she's awesome! Then we did exchanges on Tuesday, so I took over the area and brought Elder Spencer into Hollywood with me. It was pretty fun; we had a good little exchange! Nothing too much report from that though. Although I do have a funny story that happened this week! So Brother Tinny, our ward mission leader, was telling us how his wife keeps getting viruses on her phone. I was trying to explain to him how it happens and how to avoid it before our correlation meeting. Well somewhere in the conversation I said the word function, but I stuttered when I said it and so I accidentally said "the big one, the mother of all dirty words, the f dash dash dash word" in the chapel...whoops! After I stuttered, I realized what it probably sounded like and looked over at the other Elders who sure enough are trying not to bust up laughing, confirming that I did indeed say it. They were doing a pretty good job of keeping quiet until a ward missionary Brother Johnson just busted up laughing and then they lost it too. Then I started laughing too because it was pretty funny... :)

Wednesday we had a pizza picnic after district training so that was pretty fun, then we knocked lots of doors and went and taught some lessons with Brother Russ from the ward. We went to go see someone who had requested a Book of Mormon, but really he just wanted a movie about Jesus. Online missionaries tend to sugarcoat these media referrals haha! He actually lived in a gated community, so Brother Russ just tried to sneak in and had the security guard chase him. That was funny too. We did end up seeing the guy, but he just wasn't really interested. Then we taught Jiselle the Word of Wisdom which went well that night,but she smoked the next day and is kind of in a spiritual downward spiral right now. Hopefully we can help her get back on track. Time will tell.

Thursday was awesome! We taught a guy named Cesar the Restoration with another member named Junior at the church. So interesting back story: Cesar is the brother of Brother Ronda who passed away recently in the Hollywood ward. We actually went to his funeral as he wanted the missionaries to be there. Well, Cesar lives in Miami, but since his brother's passing, he has gotten super interested in the church. And since he knows people in Hollywood, we're at least starting the teaching process. It was an awesome spiritual lesson, and when he prayed, he said something along the lines of, "This is the first step in something that I'll be doing the rest of my life." That was pretty cool. We didn't invite him to be baptized yet since he's kind of taking things at his own pace and other people had already talked to him about it, but he'll get there for sure:)

Friday I went on exchanges in the Spanish area of Hollywood with Elder Perez which was fun. It's a bit difficult to find Spanish speakers here, but it was a good exchange!

Then Saturday we went to the Primary Easter activity since the Baderacos had invited a few non members. It was pretty fun. I talked to the people for a bit. They weren't quite ready to accept an appointment, but they had a good experience so that's a start! Later on we went to a baptism to which I will give the backstory right now!

About a month ago, we had dinner in the home of a Venezuelan family that attend in the English ward for their kids. Well, the mother and kids are active, but the husband had been super less active for years. Not only that, the non member mother of the less active father is visiting here for several months in Florida, but she only speaks Spanish. Good thing my companion and I are both Spanish missionaries even though we're in an English area! So after dinner, I pull out the Restoration pamphlet in Spanish! I look over and my comp is somewhat skeptical about the whole situation, but I didn't care. I was going to teach this Venezuelan grandma the Restoration! Well long story short, we passed the grandmother to the Spanish sisters, and she got baptized this last week by her son who just got rescued! How awesome is that?? Sure it wasn't a baptism for our area, but we helped bring another soul unto Christ!

Sister Bolivar, the wife of the less active man, was SOOOO GRATEFUL for us initiating the whole thing. It was really great to see that taking the drive to teach the Restoration in that situation paid off big time:)

Last but not least, Easter! Honestly though, Easter was a pretty regular Sunday for me. I knocked on people's doors and reminded them about church, went to church, and then we contacted a Book of Mormon referral from Ethiopa who seems super cool! He is only available on Sundays, but I definitely can see him getting baptized! After that we had dinner with the Hamilton family,  knocked doors, and then taught Pamela to read and study the scriptures daily since she came to church.

All in all a pretty solid week! Unfortunately, since Jiselle smoked we won't by baptizing in March but April is looking REALLY good. I better stay for one more transfer since transfers are a week from Wednesday. So FYI next P day will be Tuesday!

That's it for this week, love you all!

Elder Butterfield

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 83: Zone Conference

Hey Everyone!

Well, spring break is upon us! Fortunately, things aren't too crazy here in Hollywood; it's more of a family area so we avoid most of that crap! As far as missionary work in my area, this last week was a pretty good one!

We were able to teach Jiselle the Restoration and about the Book of Mormon with members from the ward.  We also took her on a tour of the chapel here in Hollywood which she liked a lot! So because of that, she made it to church on Sunday! Wooohooo! She is doing awesome and really excited for her baptism on the 2nd of April although we will probably have to move it because of General Conference--but hey that shouldn't be a problem! She seemed to have a good time at church although Gospel Principles got pretty weird again. I really hate taking investigators to that class!

But anyways, Jiselle is doing well. A part member family came to church also. It's an active member, her non-member niece and then her fiance who isn't a member either. We haven't taught them much yet but we are looking forward to working with them.  There was also a large Haitian family we were teaching, but they weren't keeping commitments so we had to drop them:(

We also saw a great miracle yesterday after church! We were knocking doors in an apartment complex (apartments are the best, more doors, less time and people are constantly moving in and out:) and found a lady named Pamela! We actually contacted her from the ground while she was sitting on her second story balcony. She didn't seem that interested at first but then came out to talk to us and asked us about what a Mormon is. So we talked about it a little bit, shared the restoration with her, and then she told us how she had recently left her church and was looking for a new one. Then, she explained how she had been praying to God asking Him to let her know if there was anything else she needed to do in her life. Then we showed up:) Needless to say, she committed to be baptized on the 9th of April:)

Other highlights from last week: we had Zone Conference on Thursday. We had to drive to the west coast of Florida in Fort Myers, which was my first time out there! So we had to take I-75 on a stretch called Alligator Alley out there. It's literally a straight road through the Glades in the middle of nowhere. So to make the drive more adventurous, we had our zone meet up and did a missionary caravan of 8 cars all the way across Florida to the chapel. It was pretty funny to see peoples faces as they passed 8 cars filled with Mormon missionaries:) We also got a pic out in the glades from a scenic pull off which turned out pretty cool:)  All in all it was a good week.

Love you all and have a good spring break!

Elder Butterfield

Elders in "The Zone"

"The Zone"

Zone Conference--McKay is 2nd row from the back, 4th Elder from the left.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Week 82: An Interesting Funeral

Hey Everyone!

Hopefully everyone survived the loss of an hour of sleep on Sunday, I know we barely did here! But hey the good news is there is now daylight til 7:30 here, which means we can focus more in finding investigators since people will be up later now! WOOOOOHOOOOOO! If you're unsure why more daylight is a big deal, let's just say that most people really hate it when you knock on their door after DST is the best!!!

So this last week we went to follow up with our homie Ray from Jamaica and his wife Kristie from Trinidad and Tobago and their kids! We had an awesome lesson about the Restoration Monday night and then on Thursday we had a great lesson about the Book of Mormon! They even committed to come to Stake Conference which was super far away in Plantation and were preparing to be baptized on the 26th of March. Needless to say, we were ecstatic considering it's a family! We even stopped by Saturday night to remind them about DST and solidify their commitment to come to church and Ray looked pretty excited. Then we got phone contact Sunday morning to confirm they were coming.  We even saved them a soft bench at the Stake center (to which a lot of members grumbled, but c'mon they're investigators!) And then they never showed up..... :( They didn't answer our calls or anything; we stopped by that night and he was outside,but when he saw us, he ducked in his house and wouldn't answer the door. So they probably got antied in some way which is super happens though. So that was a big disappointment for us.

Good news is we stopped by last night to follow up with an investigator named Giselle who we had lost contact with. She is doing well, but she didn't make it to Stake Conference since her daughter had the flu, but she's excited to bring her daughters next week! Not only that but she knows that something is missing in her life and so she committed to prepare to be baptized on the 2nd of April! That was a tender mercy of the Lord last night!

That's pretty much it for investigator news. Carmen started to reject our calls so that didn't work out unfortunately...but hey that's missionary work!

Other cool stuff that happened last week: we had our zone training Tuesday which went well. We focused on working with the members a lot which was good. Wednesday we were actually invited to the funeral of a member here in the Hollywood ward. He was a convert and so his widow and the rest of his family aren't members. His dying wish was to have the missionaries there and for the speakers to point them out and invite his family to seek us out. While I can't say any of the family came running to us during the dinner after, it was a cool opportunity and his brother in Miami is actually super interested in the church and came to stake conference with a member this last Sunday, so that was a cool sight to see.

Friday we did exchanges with Plantation, so I went with Elder Stafford and had a good time! And then Saturday we did blitz exchanges (ie we split up with another companionship to knock doors in the same area) with the Haitian Creole Elders in some Haitian apartments we found. So that was fun!

Basically Elder Van Cott and I need to find more people to teach and baptize, so we're gonna go work hard with our own efforts as well as FIND FIND FIND through the members here in Hollywood!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Butterfield