Friday, August 29, 2014

Letter (and pics!!) from President and Sister Rudd

Kia ora!  Greetings from the New Zealand Hamilton Mission.
Elder Butler arrived safely to Hamilton, and is already labouring in his new area. His companion is Elder Wangsgard.  They will be serving in the Manurewa Zone, up in south Auckland. I have enclosed a picture of them, one of the entire group that arrived the same day, as well as a picture with us.  We love Elder Butler already.
We look forward to serving with Elder Butler in this wonderful work as the missionary wave floods this great country of New Zealand!  We need him and are excited to serve together!  His testimony will grow as he helps others receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.

President and Sister Rudd

Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Day at the MTC!!

Malo e lelei everyone,
Fefe Hake...So I know you're not happy with me because i haven't sent any pictures yet. It's because the MTC rules are ridiculously crazy. So on my first P day, i'll send a bunch of pictures. but don't be too excited because MTC pictures aren't the greatest. I did take a few of the temple trip we took though.
So anyways... I love you all! The mission life is pretty good so far. I enjoy dedicating my whole day to the Lord! It really feels awesome. I got the opportunity to give my companion, elder Lau, a blessing last night. It was a very good experience. The spirit has been so strong here.
The other day I was telling my buddy Elder Gutke that i was having a hard time with a few things.. esspecially with companions. I now know that the Lord has a sense of humor because later that night i was asked to give a talk in a fireside on that same thing.
Volleyball is, no doubt, the funnest thing about the MTC. I've been telling people, If I keep playing with these guys...I'm going to the pros when i come home:) The brown fellas are amazing. Elder Taufa and Toa's sets are phenomenal and i just hammer them:) so sick.
We have a teacher named sister Vai Kei. She's way when we've been studying for hours, we get to take a break and learn Tongan. It's so sweet. I've learned things from a bunch of different languages while I've been here though like Tongan, Samoan, Tagalog, French, and a little Manderin Chinese.
I've finally burst out of my shell when it comes to singing... I've sung every hymn so far. We sang Army of Heleman the other day, and i was gettin me some. :) I even know how to sing "Whaka Ria Mai" (How Great Thou Art in Maori).
So today is my last day here. I'm getting picked up at 8:00 tomorrow morning to go to Hamilton! I'm more than happy to leave the MTC. I'm ready to actually experience New Zealand.
Sister Kei told me something cool the other day... "Many people get the opportunity to wear basketball shoes, but not very many people get to wear the Lord's shoes!" And that's what i'm doing right now! I'm very excited to help people change their lives!
Oh and by the way... I'm learning the Island life! Its pretty cool. They share EVERYTHING. If someone likes your shoes, you give it to them. I gave my boy Elder Enoka from Samoa my black running shoes because he needed some, and he gave me his Lava Lava. If you're hungry.. you look at their plate, and they'll hand it to you. So every time i come over.. I get more stuff than i need so i can give it all away!!:) haha it's awesome.
Tell Riley he needs to email me so i can talk to him. i'm so happy he's going on a mission! that's so good. He's going to love it.
And Jaycee & Baylee... I promise i'll write you soon! I don't have very much time on the computer in the MTC, but once i get out in the field, i'll have more time most likely.
 'Oku ou ofa atu... I love you all... i miss you bunches!! And be expecting pictures next week sometime hopefully.
everyone's favorite palangi brotha,
Elder Butler

Monday, August 18, 2014

Good Times at the MTC!

It's been a great few days. I have to say though, I do not like the MTC. It is like a spiritual Jail. It's great because you learn so much, but you never get to go outside. Oh well... I'm only here for a few more days thankfully.
So let me tell you about my fun few days.. Yesterday during sports we played basketball. I went up and threw it down with two hands and all the brown people went crazy calling me Michael Jordan. :) All the other brown people were playing volleyball but I didn't want to play because I didn't want to play "mess around ball." but then I watched them. They were freaking good. So after their game, Elder Taufa asked if I wanted to try to hit. So he set me and I freaking cranked it. So I've been officially recruited to the Tongan team. It was pretty funny what they were saying. "Elda Butla, You jump so high... You play with our team tomorrow ya?" So that was definitely the highlight of my week so far.
One of my favorite things to do is listen to Elder Fine talk about the Samoans. He's a big Tongan fella, and they HATE the Samoans. So when we play volleyball, it's not the usual "missionary volleyball." It's like war. "Elda Butla, you jump and hit the Samoan in da face ya?"
I'm so excited, me and my buddy Elder Gutke, (one of the few elders from the states) just got done talking to Elder Enoka from Samoa. He said he was going to give us a Tupeno or Tupenu, however you spell it, at lunch. That's what they call the skirt thing. So i'll be the freshest white person in Hamilton pretty soon;)
So everyone said that McKay Butler was going to get fat on his mission? Garbage!! ;) I have the perfect lifting routine in the mornings. I use my 50lb suitcases as my weights. So watch out everyone because I'm coming home Jacked!!
K...My companions are dang weird though... I have a philipino companion and in their country they don't use toilet paper. So when he got out of the bathroom, he said "Elder Butler, can you show me how to wipe my butt?" hahaha I almost died! But then i realized that he was being serious, so i showed him the correct form:)
Well everyone... I love you all, and think about you every day! Thank you for all the aweome letters!!
Ofa Atu,
Elder Butler
Ps. i can't send pictures yet because the MTC camera rules are ridiculous. But i did take a few pics at the temple and they will be sent soon!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Finally Arrived!

Kia ora family,
I hope you're not worrying about me, because you shouldn't.. Let's be honest here... I'm in Paradise. I've never seen anything like New Zealand....Ever!
I'm finally settled into the MTC. It's been a great couple days. Today we got to go to the Hamilton Temple with our zone, and it was awesome. Craziest thing ever happened.... The person that helped me through the temple was the temple president..but not only was he the president.. He was Sidney Going, one of the best all blacks in NZ history. So sick! 
I've made some good buddies while I've been here. I thought of dad the second I made them also because my buddy elder Fine (Fee Nay) is who I've been chillin with lately. I'm teaching him how to pray in English for the devotional tonight. He's a big Tongan fella. It's kind of a bummer.. all the brown people have to stay in the MTC for 6 weeks so I'm not in their district, but we still find time to hang out.
The different cultures and nationallites are crazy here. My room is me, elder Selma from the Philipeans, and elder Lau from Hong Kong. It's awesome because nobody speaks English. We have people from Tonga, Samoa, Tahitti, Vanuatu, Sweden, Australia, Fiji, Philipeans, and a few others I can't even pronounce. So the languages are so sick. Yesterday we sang "I am a Child of God" in our native languages, and the spirit was so strong even though it sounded terrible.  My buddies elder Fine and elder Tauraa (Toww rah ah) call me a Palangi. I guess that's a white person in Tongan??
Well anyways... I don't have much to say really because I've only been here for 2 days, but it's been a good stay so far. I've learned a little Tongan, been to the temple, met a NZ legend, and learned more about the gospel...what more could you ask for? I love you all, and miss you tons!
Elder Butler