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