Sunday, September 28, 2014

Kia Ora my favorite Whanau of all time,

It was definitely an interesting week. I met some very different people!!;) so let me tell ya... it's a weird as story.
So me and Elder Wangsgard were just coming out of a house when a man down the street yelled at us. He said something like "what are you guys doing?" "What's your occupation?" so we went on and told him about the church and he got way weird. Me and Elder Wangsgard got this, almost devilish feeling.. so we were like, "man, we've gotta leave!" and he started yelling at us and saying "you think you're servants of Jesus.. you think Jesus would turn his back on me like you did!?" then he starting yelling at people who we were passing saying, "Hey! these fellas think they're going to be saved by Jesus!" He went on mocking us for like 10 minutes until he said.. "I want to kill you guys, and in my culture.. we don't hurt, we Kill! but I'm not going to do it myself, I'm going to put a curse on you... I curse you guys that you will be smitten with disease, or killed on the streets." Then he went on mocking us for a few more minutes and left. I've don't think i've ever been closer to the presence of the devil in my life... but the amazing thing was... I've also never felt so sure of myself. I've never felt so strongly that i was making the right decision in my life! It was definitely a huge testimony builder for me. 

So that's crazy story number 1. The next one is pretty similar. So the man we baptized the other week's name was Peter, and we heard he was going through some struggles so we went to visit him. He then told us that he was visited by a crowd of Samoans with knifes and machetes threatening to kill him because they thought he stole their TV. So Peter.. being pissed off because he was being threatened in front of his children grabs a freaking sword that he has on his wall.. and starts yelling at them. He then called the cops and they got all the Samoans!! ;) Freaking hilarious!

So just a few random things that happened...
I got my first package in the mail!! Thank you to whoever sent it.. I love you dearly!! Oh wait.. It's from ME!! ;) I bought myself a hymn book because i sing my little heart out over here!! :) The ward mission leader even told me i have a great voice.. I'm pretty sure he was being sarcastic but i'm taking it anyway! :)

I gave a solid as talk in Sacrament and freaking smashed everyone!! And we had one of my G brothas there with Peter! ;) His name is Reon.. Biggest gangster i've ever met. But i had some weird feeling to invite him to church on Saturday, and to my surprise... he was front row in sacrament the next morning. He's my Boy!! 

I found some dang good ballers here in NZ. So being Elder Butler.. I invited them all to play ball today for our P day.. No more of this missionary ball!! :) So i'll let you know how that goes! 

Anyways.. the people here are great. I'm in a REALLY poor area, but it's amazing how when we have a lesson with someone... We always come out of there with heaps of food!! :) Oh.. and my favorite food is definitely Kumara.. the sweet potato here is solid as!! So bad news for McKay.. We didn't get paid this morning, so i had 3 Peanut Butter sandwiches for breakfast because i spent all my money last week!! Then to my surprise, i figured out that i'm dumb because i ate my weeks supply of Peanut Butter:/ gosh dang... 

well.. You are all so great!! Riley.. brotha.. Malo lelei my man.. fefe hake!!? That's freaking sweet buddy!! 

Have a wonderful as week!! I love you Heaps upon heaps!!

-Elder Butler
Typical NZ breakfast....Breakfast pie with kiwis & bananas

You'd be proud of me! I'm like a clean freak! My bed is made, I do the dishes, and my study area is beautiful.. I mean.. look at this??? ;)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lesson Learned: Always have BBall Shoes Handy...

Kia Ora Whanau (family),
Holy cow.. I'm fighting back tears reading all your letters. I absolutely love them so much. You guys are the best. Thank you for all the support back home! It means so much to me. I have the best family and friends in the world!! Sometimes it breaks my heart being away for so long, but then I bounce back and remember that because I'm away.. I have the opportunity to change families so they can have similar blessings as mine. It's amazing! Speaking of families.. We had a man come to us the other week with his wife.. He doesn't like to talk much, but he's way nice. He wanted to know more about the gospel after Peter's baptism. We went and talked to him about a week later. He REALLY wants an eternal family now, and wants to bless his family with the priesthood. So it was as easy as that. We're having our fourth baptism soon. It's the best feeling ever when somebody comes up to you wanting to know how they can change their lives.because the message we have to share with everyone is better than anything they could ever imagine. 

So that's that...It's been a great week. Iakopo is getting baptized soon, We have 4 new investigators, and the work is just great. 

So as missionaries, we are always trying to find different ways to find people to teach. We use street contacting, tracting, and singing songs.But Bishop came up to me and Elder Prasad this last week and wanted us to go to mutual and interact with the nonmember boys during an activity. So we went... they were playing ball. I was more than excited. I walked into the gym and looked down... We had to play in our suits. The boys quickly invited us to play.. not knowing what they were getting themselves into. So i took off my shoes and played in my socks... I'll never forget the looks on their faces after i got a steal and threw it down with two hands in my suit and tie with no shoes. It was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know these fellas because after that...they wanted to know me too!! ;)

So that was the good part about basketball.. now for the bad part. I played in no shoes. After we were all done, I noticed my feet absolutely killed. I took off my socks and had 3 massive blood blisters on the balls of my feet and my toes. I was not too excited knowing i had to walk a ton the next day. They killed me to the point where i didn't even want to walk on them...It sucked. So the next day, I found some tape, and rolled my feet in athletic tape. It was the worst couple days of tracting I've ever had. 

Just one thing i thought was kind of funny.. In gospel doctrine... The teacher was feeding us the worst false doctrine i've ever heard. To make it even better, It was about marriage, and how many wives you can have. I couldn't help myself but just laugh.. even the bishop busted up when we told him:) So i'm going to come home with some "new knowledge."

So here's a cool story about the history of the church in New Zealand. In 1881 the Maori people of the Ngati Kahungunu tribe had a convention because the people wanted to know which church was the right one for the Maori race. So they asked their most respected leader Paora Potangaroa. And he said "Taihoa" (wait) so Potangaroa fasted and prayed for many days until he finally found his answer.. and this is what he said in his own words. "The church for the Maori people has not yet come among us. You will recognize it when it comes. It's missionaries will travel in pairs (Elder Butler, Elder Wangsgard). They will come from the rising sun. (I came from the East). They will visit with us in our homes. They will learn our language, and teach us in our own tongue. When they officiate, they will raise their right hands." Soon after, mormon missionaries came and baptized 10% of all the Maori people in New Zealand. People are keen as to learn the gospel. That's why the work is so great!! 

Another cool story.. A Maori chief a long time ago prophesied in Hamilton on a certain area that there would soon be a house of the lord on this very spot. And they will do work for our dead. The Hamilton New Zealand Temple now sits in that very spot.. The Church is true everyone. 

That's all i have for now.. I don't have as much time today!! But I love you all!!

ka kite,
Elder Butler 
My blistered feet... WAY worse than any I've ever had!  But mom...I kid you not...they freaking healed in 3 days! 

First Fish 'n' Chips

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Little Rain in the Shoes...NO PROBLEM!

Kia Ora everyone, 
I don't have much to write about this time, so forgive me. It's been a great week though. I'm lovin life:) Nothing too crazy has happened this week, so in this letter.. i want to focus on ME:) ha, I know... Nothing new. But in all seriousness, I've changed in many ways. I'm still the same old, crazy McKay Butler, but I feel different. In the beginning of my mission I dreaded studying for the first 3 hours of my day. I would say "man, i'm not even done with my breakfast yet and i have to open my scriptures!!" Now... I'm like "dang I need to hurry up and eat so i can open my Book of Mormon 15 minutes early so i have more time to study!!" Weird as.. but I've learned a ton! Every time i open my book i learn something new. I didn't know the Scriptures had so many amazing things in them. But now that i'm really searching... It's crazy!! 
Also.. my attitude towards my mission has improved greatly. The other day we were biking far from our flat. I had my pants tucked in my socks so they wouldn't get caught on the pedals. It started pouring!! Craziest rain i've seen. you could seriously take my pants and ring them out and fill a bucket with water! It was unreal. My socks got socking wet, and filled my shoes. I was getting nailed with rain while going over crazy hills and having absolutely no luck. But I was happier than ever. I thought it was wonderful! I was out in the middle of nowhere on a bike, in a massive storm, serving my Savior.. It was just a great feeling. 
So there's Elder Butler for ya... Here's a few things I did this week though.
Last wednesday, we had another exchange with the Zone Leaders. The elder i went with is honestly one of the best missionaries i've seen. He is straight out of Scotland. He sound like a dang leprechaun. I love him to death but i wanted to freaking smack him in the face when he told me his name... He's from the UK and his name is Calum. I thought of Jaycee and her crazy boy bands right away ;)
Here in South Auckland, there's gangsters everywhere. They are hilarious though. They are mean and scary, but when they see us they all say "god bless you brothas." one of them came up to us the other day and said, "if anyone ever messes with you guys, i got your back brothas!" ha.. so nobody worry about Mckay, because i got the G's from Manurewa on my side;)
I'm slowly learning how to differentiate the islanders. They are all brown.. but new zealand has a ton of different nationalities. I learned if they say "Kia ora" they're maori.. Talofa (Samoan)... Malo Lelei (Tongan)...Kia orana, Cook Island. It comes in handy.. especially when you ask them about their culture. 
I tried my first Cocoa Samoa the other day. It's a Samoan drink that they have all the time. It's nasty. It's cocoa...and hot water!! They need to be exposed to Hot Chocolate:)
Anyways... I love you all! Miss you HEAPS!! 
Your palangi, pakeha, (white) Missionary,
Eldah Butlah
 Here's a beautiful pose by Elder Butler with the old car. We just picked up a new one..

                                              The few elders that came from my MTC intake. I had to 
                                         get a ton of sun on me in this picture.. I look freaking WHITE!

Monday, September 8, 2014

First Baptism...or Two!!

**Note:  A typical phrase in New Zealand is sometimes followed by "as".  For example, - “sweet as,” “choice as,” “mean as,” (all meaning “cool” or “sweet” in American lingo).  Looks like Elder B has already picked up on this!  Hope you enjoy the letter and pictures!   Robin

Kia Ora!!!

Gosh it was an awesome as week! I can't be too long, but i'll try to type fast. So starting out with the good stuff. I got my first baptism this week. Actually two of them. Very cool experience. the best though was being able to confirm them in sacrament! It was scary as but very neat!

I went on my first exchange with one of the Zone Leaders. He's from Draper. I learned a ton from him. It was the first time i've seen the water too. In the morning we went on a run around the bay. It wasn't the prettiest, but i was satisfied.
 Remember when i told you i was coming out of my singing shell?? Ya... me and my companion go around and sing to less active people, and at dinners, we sing hymns for refferals.
 I had my first couple feeds (dinners). So dang good!! Check this out though.. they have a TON of sweet potatoes. The island sweet potato is called Kumara! I wasn't too excited about eating it. But i took a bite, and holy cow... It was dang good! So i smashed like 3 of them!!  I eat a freaking ton. The other day me and my companion downed like 10 pieces of pizza each right before dinner. and last night we had dinner with an Australian family. It was so good, but i came home and had a nice peanut butter sandwich and some kiwis. My goodness gracious, the kiwis here are solid as!!! They're cheap here because they're grown locally. Every time i go to the store i buy a box of them for only like 6 bucks. I eat probably 3 or 4 a day. They are delicious!! I found my juice of choice here. (my bolthouse farms replacement) It's called Just Juice. They come in like a 2 liter carton. They taste like bolthouse, but they are like 3 for 5 bucks!! 

Funny story... We went up to a door, and a gay guy answered. He said "you guys hate me because i'm gay!" so for like 5 minutes we explained to him that we love everyone even if he was gay, but we had a message that would bless his life. So elder Wangsgard said "do you mind if we leave a pamphlet with you that you could look over?" He had 5 pamphlets in his hand. elder Wangsgard said "i don't really know which one to give you." and the gay guy said. "oh here... just hold them out and i'll randomly pick one!" so we agreed. He picked the only Law of Chastity one that we had!! He closed the door, and we starting dying!!! It was so funny. 

Anyways... It's been a great week! I'm learning and loving every day!

Ka Kite,
you're favorite kiwi ever,
Elder Butler

Pictures sent 9/8/14

Baptism.. Peter, Precious, and Ebony Diaz.
Eating breakfast.. Chocolate chip waffles, and eggs!!

My delicious juice!

Morning run

Trash day.. they just throw all their trash on the side of the road.. Gross!! but whatever, I'm in the hood!! This is nicer part of our area though!! I'll send you some sketchy as stuff later!! ;)

Monday, September 1, 2014

My First Area, Manurewa (South Auckland)

Kia Ora everyone,

I have a lot of things to tell you but don't know how to tie them all together. So just be ready for a messy email. 

I'm out in my first area. I'm loving the work so far. I've learned a ton from my new companion Elder Wangsgard! I was assigned to the Manurewa area for my don't expect very many pictures soon. I'm in South Auckland, very very poor. I know I'm here for a reason though. There are people prepared for me here..and i just have to keep telling myself that. Just to scare you mom... I live on the most dangerous street in all of NZ. Home of the Black Power gang and a few others:) 

Meeting President/sister Rudd was very cool. They are great people. I'm far away from them now though so I probably won't be seeing them anytime soon.

The first song we sang at president's house was "Have I Done Any Good." I absolutely loved it because I could just picture grandma Connolly coming in my room in the morning singing "wake up...and do something more, than dream of your mansion above!!!":) 

I've eaten pretty well so far. A sister in our ward, sister Pereira made us lasagna... SO GOOD! Don't worry though dad it wasn't even close to yours. 

I also thought about you guys when my companion made me chocolate chip waffles for breakfast the other day. I downed 3 of those bad boys. 

Me and elder Wangsgard throw down a nice run every other morning, and a workout every morning. So I feel pretty good!!

So I'll actually tell you some of the spiritual stuff that's going on I guess.. cause i'm kinda on a mission. So the other day me and elder Wangsgard were out tracting because all of our plans were messed up. So we said a prayer in the car beforehand asking Heavenly Father to guide us in where we needed to go. So we got out of the car and went to two different houses. The first one we were met by a "very nice lady" who told us she didn't care and to go away. The second house a "wonderful" man opened the door and said "read the sign...we don't talk to people." SLAM!! alright... so we went back to the car. It was almost time to go back to the flat but we thought it would be best to say one more prayer. After that we drove around for a bit, and ended up at a house.. it was our last try of the night. An Indian man opened the door. So deep inside i was thinking "oh great, another muslim or hindu that doesn't give a darn about what we have to say." But surprisingly he let us in. We taught him the restoration and he was very into it. We invited him to be baptized. He wasn't sure yet, so we're going to have him come to church next week! We got out of that house and I was almost in tears. It was the best feeling ever knowing that god answered our prayers and helped us. 

The people here are great. But the word of wisdom is a HUGE issue. Our solid investigator Peter is getting baptized next Saturday. I'm so happy for him because he's had to give up a ton for the gospel. He's had such a rough life, and this is exactly what he needs. It's been a huge eye opener seeing all these great people. I'm definitely not in Utah any more. My mission has truly changed me in several ways. Even in just the first few weeks. I see people differently. I have a better love for them. The book of Mormon... I've learned so much more, and actually enjoy it. We met a man named Stoney. He was a huge man who LOVES smoking weed(he told us that). He is on house arrest, and just got out of Jail. He has 5 kids. When we talked to him, I wanted to do nothing more, but help him and provide service for him so he could change his life. Because that's what he said he wanted. 

Gosh this work is so great. It's dang hard, but it's awesome. 

Oh by the way. Damn and Hell aren't swear words here. but don't worry because I promised i wouldn't say them. So i don't bring them back to the states. The first thing i heard though from one of the Australians in our district. Was "What the Hell is wrong with you Damnit!!"  I was a little confused. Elder Wangsgard then said that the Bishops and people giving talks in church will get up and say them all the time. It's pretty funny!! 

The first time i took a shower here...I turned the water pressure up too high.. and it drenched the whole bathroom. I guess that was a prompting that i wasn't working hard enough or something. :)

Well anyways. I love you all!! You guys are sweet as. I will talk to you again next week:)

oh and by the way..i'm sorry for my typing errors.. this computer is dumb and won't let me fix them. so whatever! 

Elder Butler

Pics from the MTC

at the Hamilton Temple
(He's in heaven being one of only two token white boys in the group!) 

This was their first time touching a we had to get a picture!

My boys on the last day!!

My chain from Tahiti, and my Lava Lava from Samoa!!