Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 75: An Alright Week

Greetings from Sunny Southern Florida!

Hehehehe sorry to hear the rest of the nation suffered in a blizzard, but it's still sunny down here. Chilly though. I actually had to pull out my sweaters this last week:)

Anyways, weather aside this last week was an alright one. Last Tuesday we didn't get much accomplished because it was P Day and then we had our ward correlation at 7pm. Not only that, but the zone leaders go to a stake correlation meeting with the mission president and the stake president, so we had that meeting at 8pm. Not a whole lot of time for proselyting Tuesday.

Then Wednesday we had the worldwide missionary broadcast which was titled "Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts".  It was really awesome; they taught us how to work better with members, less active members, and part member families. They also just trained us on a lot of other important missionary skills and how to best help investigators. It was just great all around. I could write a whole letter about it...but I'll save you the read this time around ;)

After that Elder Van Cott and I did exchanges with some district leaders, and I stayed in the area. We knocked some doors, contacted some Bible referrals from the church website, and then we taught a lesson to a member referral named Allison who actually came to church a couple of weeks ago without us knowing. It went pretty well; she had kept all of her commitments. She just wants to take it super slow and start out coming like once a month. So we're trying to help her attend a little more regularly, but the good news is that there is a lot of potential with her and her family. Hopefully if we do things right, God will speed up the process a bit :)

Thursday not too much happened, we just did some service at the local food bank and knocked lots of doors as well as contacted a few part member families. We actually did meet a few people, but they don't really have any interest in the church at the moment. One of them said we could come over for dinner though, so we might try that approach :D

Friday was interesting, we had both of our district trainings that day and now they do interviews with the mission president during that time. So everyone was pulled out district training to go have their PPI with President Richardson. It was pretty weird, but it worked out. After all of that was finished, we knocked some doors and contacted some more part member families. We had a little bit of luck. We are actually going to follow up with a family tonight that we met on Friday.

Saturday we did another exchange with the Spanish elders in the zone, which was fun and helpful to get to know them and their area a little bit better! 

As for Sunday, we had an investigator named Tina come to church again for the 3rd time! It's just weird because she doesn't really have time to meet during the week and isn't always reading, but she keeps coming to church! So we're just trying to take it at her pace, and we'll see what happens. We didn't get anyone new to church unfortunately, but we will next week though!

Basically Sundays are just weird here because they're like another P Day. We do studies, go to ward council, go round up our investigators for church, go to church, go home, change, usually go to a meal appointment and by then it's already 6:00 pm. which is different for me since I've always had early church on my mission, but it works out!

Anyways that's about it for this week. Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Butterfield

Friday, January 22, 2016

Week 74: Exchanges with the AP's

Hey Everyone!

Just another crazy week here in Florida...Here's the rundown.

So last Tuesday the AP's did an exchange with us since the zone has been struggling, and they wanted to give me a training on zone leader stuff. So that was pretty good; I left the area to go back to my old area Riverside Park (Remember I shared the area with the AP's. We just did the Spanish work :). So that was cool.  We saw some miracles on the exchange and taught a little bit which was good. Elder Van Cott and the other AP had a way better exchange than I did though. They found a bunch of awesome potential investigators that we went back to teach Wednesday.

This made Wednesday a super awesome day. We taught 5 lessons about the restoration and ended the day with 11 new investigators. Easily the most in a day on my mission! All of them committed themselves to be baptized! We even had a super awesome family of 4! So we were teaching all of these people Thursday and Friday, and just about all of them were super solid. Then we just lost contact with all of them, or they were home and stopped opening the door...which pretty much means that they were "anti-ed", which is super frustrating, but there is not a whole lot that we can do about it. It sucks :/ That pretty much sums up the week though. I mean I could tell you everything that happened but the problem is the people we were teaching already dropped us. Missionary Life...!

Anyways that being said, my new area is super fun, just really different than what I'm used to. It's pretty much all African American as well as people from the Caribbean Islands that speak English. Way different than working with Latinos and all the white people in Jupiter haha. I'm slowly adjusting though, just worried I will lose my Spanish. I guess I've just been sent here to humble myself a bit and realize the Lord is in charge of everything :)

That's pretty much it for this week though. I  just have my fingers crossed we will have a better finding week that ends with investigators progressing towards baptism!

Love you all and hope you are having a great January!
Elder Butterfield

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 73: Welcome to Hollywood!

Hey Everyone!

Let me just say that this last week was pretty crazy! Got to my new area with Elder Van Cott here in Hollywood. Even though it's English, it's a pretty awesome area and a pretty good ward. Rumor has it it's going to split soon. Anyways, honestly I love the new area. I definitely miss Spanish but this is a good enough English area. I'll take it:)

Basically Wednesday was a lot of running around.  We knocked some doors and visited some people that the Elders before were teaching. We ended up dropping a lot of the people that they had been teaching though; they were just converted to the missionaries and stopped keeping commitments when I came into the area :( The good news is we're teaching Tina, a lady from Gana, who came to church on Sunday and is praying about being baptized on the 30th of January!

Thursday we had to go to District Training in the zone. We have two districts here in the Fort Laud zone (also known as the Praise the Laud zone, sound it out if you don't get it :)so we had a training in Hollywood and one in Plantation. It's pretty weird going to District trainings as a zone leader because you don't do as much. Just make important announcements and then participate and do the role play. It's good enough though. After that we had a bit of a rough day knocking, nothing too exciting.

Friday we had MLC (Mission Leader Council, which is too fancy of a name in my opinion!). This normally would be about the zone training to give to our zones, but this time it was just to train the zone leaders and the Sister Training Leaders. After the meeting we found out the Book of Mormon Musical is coming to Fort Lauderdale, so President wants missionaries in our zone to go hang out in the surrounding area to pass out Book of Mormons and cards and stuff. That's not til the end of the month--should be fun though! After the meeting, we did exchanges and I went to the area of Plantation (the area just west of Riverside Park) with our new district leader. Just to help train him on what to do as a district leader and make sure things are going okay. While I was out of Hollywood, Elder Van Cott found a Haitian lady for the Haitian creole speaking Elders. She ended up coming to church which is awesome.

Then Saturday we finally had time to do weekly planning since we had been so busy. We organized ourselves a bit and went out to knock lots of doors. We didn't find anyone for our area, but since we're both Spanish missionaries we did find an awesome referral for the Spanish Elders here who came to church yesterday as well. So we didn't get people to church for us, but we did get 3 people to church for other missionaries in our zone which is good  :)

Sundays are weird here since church doesn't start til 12:30. So with studies, meetings, and knocking on people's doors to remind them about church, it's practically another P Day ;) It was good though; our ward mission leader is a boss and goes out with the missionaries every single Wednesday evening! So basically it's a good place. We're expecting lots of miracles and now we just need to get to work!!

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

Elder Butterfield

PS: Here's my new address
1021 S Park Rd Apt 112
Hollywood, FL 33021

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Week 72: A Few Miracles, a Transfer, and a New Assignment

Hey All!

Well, this last week was super busy and super eventful! I will try to share the highlights, but there's a lot I want to share in little time! Here we go.

What a wild week it has been here in Riverside Park South. My companion and I have never been so busy! Street contacting has been such a blessing here in this area; from it we got our investigator Pedro Flores to church.  He is preparing for baptism on the 16th of January.

We actually contacted Pedro on the street on New Year's Eve if you can believe it and went back to teach him New Year's Day with a member. He's got his own struggles but he's willing to come to church and to learn more, so with the love of the members here in the branch he will be fine:)

As well, we were walking around in a neighborhood we've been to a lot this last week, and all of the sudden this guy with the coolest dread locks I've ever seen comes over and asks if he can talk with us. We said that of course he could and took a walk around the block answering questions and telling him about who we are and stuff. Well, somehow we ended up in his backyard and started to teach him. After teaching him some more, he was super excited to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was his prophet and study it out for himself. Just crazy that he was the one who came up to talk to us! Unfortunately for us, even though he's half Cuban and half Puerto Rican, he doesn't read Spanish so we'll have to pass him to the AP's. Oh well, we're all on the same team!

So we had all of that going on, New Year's came and went without much partying. I made a pretty cool Star Wars cover for my missionary planner though:) And then, as I mentioned, Pedro Flores ended up coming to church. Giovani was coming, but then his friend got stabbed and showed up at his house Sunday morning, so he had to go help him with that. Believe it or not, it definitely happened! We saw his friend later. Florida can be a crazy place...!

Then, on Monday Elder Mears and I saw some crazy miracles! First off, Monday morning we had an awkward 20 minutes before a meal appointment with nothing to do. This isn't really enough time to get anywhere on our bikes, but being faithful we decided to go ride our bikes around for 20 minutes and contact people. Well, right as it was time to head home, I took a weird path to head towards the house and we saw two Latin men in front of a house. Bingo, we went straight over to talk to them. One of them was named Roberto, and he had met with the sister missionaries before but was drinking at the time. Well, he's stopped drinking now and has literally been waiting for the missionaries to come by again so that he could come back to church. How crazy is that? All for deciding to go out and bike around for 20 minutes. Miracles are wrought by faith filled works!

In addition to that, my companion and I had scheduled to knock doors in a trailer park where there are lots of Spanish speaking people. So we biked over there, locked up our bikes, prayed, and then we headed off to the street where we had left off last time. Well, the first trailer we go to contact there is a man just on his way out, and so we say hi and begin to talk to him. Eduardo was suprised to see us speak Spanish and immediately got very excited. Turns out he had met the Elders in Honduras and was actually regularly attending church there before he came to the United States. He had even told the missionaries that he wanted to be baptized but wasn't able to since investigators have to go for 2 months before being baptized there, and he was leaving to the U.S. soon. Well, this was back in October of 2015 or so. When we contacted him, he was actually on his way to our chapel looking to reestablish contact with the church. So incredible! I would venture to say one of the biggest miracles of my mission!

So now that I've shared all of these cool miracle stories from the week. Time for the transfer news. So they changed transfers a ton here in the mission at the request of the General Authorities. So now instead going to a meeting to find out, we get a phone call Monday where we find out everything! That being said, I actually received a personal phone call from President Richardson before the transfer calls. Elder Mears and I were scared, thinking that we were in trouble for something. Instead, President Richardson had called to inform and congratulate me that I will be serving as a zone leader in the Hollywood South Area with Elder Van Cott. So that's pretty cool! Definitely sad to be going back to an English area, but I'll get over it haha! It should be fun to do something new and different. So unfortunately I won't be able to see all of these wonderful people we found baptized, but Elder Mears will take care of them with his greenie that he's training!

So that's pretty much it for this week--excited but nervous for all of the changes!

Love you all,
Elder Butterfield

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Week 71: Member Missionaries Are Amazing!

Hey All!

Hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas!! Sounds like it was a pretty white one back in Utah at least :) Nothing here, which was a blessing. Why? Because without snow it didn't feel like Christmas, and so I felt less trunky! Yay for not being trunky! 

Anyways, this last week was a pretty weird one. Monday was a pretty relaxed one;our zone practiced for our Christmas skit and then we went out to do some good ol' fashioned knocking doors. Good news was it was in a super Spanish place! We found a cool guy named Miguel who we taught a couple of times this past week. Finding him was definitely the highlight of  Monday though.

Then Tuesday we were able to help out with the toy drive @ LifeNet4Families which was super fun. We just helped to guard the toys and then help little kids and parents pick out toys. We even got to show off our Spanish a bit with some of the Latinos that came in which was cool as well. After that we went to follow up with the DVD referral guy, Jose, more to come on that in a moment. Later on, we did something new that we've been trying, which is riding our bikes around just contacting people in the street! It's actually been super fun, especially since on Davie Blvd., there are always Spanish speakers out and about. So that's been really helpful and fun. We also have started cornering Spanish people at bus stops... :) We figured out it's perfect because the buses are always late here, and the people can't just get up and leave, so they make for some pretty good contacts :D So ya street contacting has been really cool; we're still working out the kinks but it's definitely helped us talk to lots more Latinos!

Later on Tuesday night, we had a super cool lesson with Miguel, and a member that went with us to visit him. It's amazing how much power the members of the church have. The lesson wouldn't have gone as well without the help of Brother Benites!

Wednesday's mission conference went super long because of the skits, so we didn't get a whole lot done that day as far as missionary work is concerned. But we did find out that a few areas in the mission are getting absorbed into the Orlando Mission. Salt Lake sure likes to mess with our boundaries around here! Fortunately, I'm not going anywhere, although Elder Holloway and Elder Mejia are getting transferred to the Orlando mission which is pretty weird....!

Nothing too exciting Christmas Eve, though we did have another awesome lesson with Miguel at 8:00 that night! We took a different member couple out with us, and once again they helped things to go super well with powerful testimonies!

Of course Friday was Christmas! We woke up, worked out, and then opened presents which was great. Thanks again to all those who sent packages!!! Then we went to a member meal and afterwards skyped our wonderful families which was good. After that just took advantage of the holiday with everyone being home and knocked on doors like crazy! While I don't have any crazy miracles to report, it was super nice that we were able to contact so many families home and together! A merry Christmas indeed.

Saturday was pretty interesting because Elder Lamb came out knocking doors with us! For those who don't remember, Elder Lamb was my first companion here in Florida. Turns out he's back visiting for the holiday break and is actually staying at a place here in my area! So he called us up and we went out for awhile, which was really fun! He told me that the Morales family is doing awesome and that Brother Morales actually received the Melchezidek Priesthood which is huge. Not only that, but they are at church every week with Christopher which is awesome news. I also heard from the Doral Elders on Wednesday that Albert was back at church which was wonderful news as well!

So that was pretty much it for the week. Now for a few quick updates on investigators.

Jaime: After praying about him, we went and had a drop talk with him Saturday. It was really hard but the Spirit confirmed to us that it needed to happen. He has a testimony of the church, but it's just not his time. Hopefully in the future...

Claudia and Amilcar: They have stopped answering our calls. We've been trying to get back in contact, but it looks like they're avoiding us now. :/

Jose (DVD referral): Went by his house,  but the woman at the house told us that he moved to Miami permanently and tried to give us back the Book of Mormon and stuff. Not sure what happened there, but we tried to call several times for his new address with no dice :/

Yosleini and Vladimir: Yosleini told us she would "call us" after passing by their house many times, but she never did. We even tried one more time, but we have lost contact completely.

Also, it may cause concern that so many investigators dropped like that, but understand that's a pretty normal week here in the mission. Just the way missionary work goes!

Anyways that's about all for this week, just excited to move forward with more faith and obedience than ever before!

Love you all and a happy new year!

Elder Butterfield

Elder Mears and Elder Butterfield