Monday, December 28, 2015

Dinner with a General Authority!

Kia Ora Whanau,

That was a mean as Christmas! One of the best actually! It was so good to see your beautiful faces! ;) 

I'll just give you some quick bits of info before I get into an experience that happened yesterday.

Christmas conference was mean! We were in Tuhikaramea again, just like last year. It was way beautiful, but my allergies were horrific! :/

We went carolling with the Elders and Sisters in our ward. We saw a few investigators and less actives. It was heaps of fun! Sister Siale, The Tongan sister in our ward made me a beautiful tie for Christmas with Tongan patterns on it! 

Christmas eve we had to run around for Sister Saunders. But there was a wreck on the road, so we had to take a detour all the way to Rotorua--then found our way to Whakatane. Heaps of fun, but absolutely useless! 

We had a wonderful Christmas at the Preston's home. We pretty-much stayed there all day. We left for Breakfast at the Jamison's, and dinner at the Watene's and that's all. Other than that, we were with the Preston's. They're the bomb! It was wonderful being able to talk to and see my amazing whanau back home. You all look great! :)

Alright.. let me get to the good stuff now.

While we were at the Preston's, they told us that Elder Nielsen of the 70 would be in town on Saturday and Sunday. And that he would be staying in their home for those nights and would be coming along to church. So what do you know, bishop gives us a call at 7:30 on Saturday night telling us that we need to speak the next day! I prepared the MEANEST talk ever! We rock up to church the next day and bishop comes up to us and says, "Elder Butler, you're off the hook today!" I was so disappointed! I was so pumped to speak in front of a General Authority! But Elder Jonsson still had to speak! 

I was bummed the rest of sacrament meeting, but then it came to Priesthood. Elder Nielsen gave the most unbelievable training of all time. The things that were shared were so sacred, he made us swear to not let it leave this room. So I wish I could tell you, but just know that our eyes were opened, and that the church is true! Then he did something that, in all honesty, changed my life! It was so simple, but reassuring. He said, "Elder Jonsson, you already spoke today so Elder Butler come up here." Then he took me in his left arm and said, "Do you know that you have a Heavenly Father?"  I had to look down so nobody would see my chin trembling (the thing that happens when you're trying to fight back crying!) I said, "Yes." He then asked, "Do you believe that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet?" And I said, "Yes." He continued to ask me simple questions about my testimony in front of 20 other brethren. The whole time, I could just feel something so beautiful! The spirit spoke to me that day, just like it did with Elder Bednar, and Elder Cook! It was such an amazing experience. I'm glad Heavenly Father knows what he's doing.. because I really needed that testimony-building experience! 

After that... we had dinner with the Preston's and the Nielsen's. So I had dinner with a General Authority yesterday! It was pretty solid--and Sister Preston's cooking is phenomenal! 

So that's me this week! Wonderful spiritual experiences all week long! I pray for weeks like this...and I finally got one! 

I love you all! :)

Elder Butler 

Elder Nielsen!

Christmas dinner at the Watene's.

Christmas eve at the Clarks. (part of our Christmas Eve Vacation in Whakatane). Me and Elder Johnson (to the right of me) are giving them death glares to hurry up!

Christmas Presents! I made our tree as well! :) You like?

Secret Santa with the Tauranga Zone. 

Luckily Elder Jonsson got a Lava Lava from Secret Santa...because he ripped his pants from back to front at the Christmas Conference! ;) Hilarious!

Found some OD wall art in the Mount. 

Christmas with Timoti... Dec 22. 


Monday, December 21, 2015


Hey Fam!! :)

Elder Butler here with another mean week in Tauranga! 

Starting off, we went to Mt. Maunganui on Monday. But instead of going up the mount like last time, we traveled around it! It was beautiful! I don't know which one was more amazing! We got to put our legs in the water, and it was wonderful! The water felt unreal and it was clear as! We found this little island off of the mount, so we walked through the water and played on it for a bit! But I think the best part was starfish hunting. I called it hunting, but it was more like "gathering" since they don't move...but it was sweet! There were heaps of starfishies!

Elder Jonsson got a Christmas package. He said, "Oh, I'm going to wait for Christmas to open it." Psht... lies! I tempted him to open it for a few days and he finally gave in. He got heaps of Swedish candy... and it. was. absolutely. disgusting! My goodness, I don't know how he can choke that rubbish down! I had an easier time eating balut and frog legs than his candy. It consisted of the strongest black licorice I have ever tasted... and that's all...2kg's worth! Yuck!

Also, going along with Elder Jonsson-I don't know if I've told you this yet-but he is the all-time WORST snorer in the history of snoring! He beats Grandpa Butler! I have to wake him up every single night! Sometimes I beat him with my pillow until he wakes up. Other times I shake his bed by pulling the little handle on the side as hard as I can. That might be contributing to my lack of energy lately! ;) I feel bad though, because I make fun of him about it all the time! 

We volunteered for a massive event they had in the Mount the other day. It's called Christmas in the park! It was huge! So that was heaps of fun being out in the community meeting lots of people! Everyone was very grateful for our service as well which was beautiful! ;) But I got fried! We were able to wear our PDay clothes for this service, and I was all pumped to get rid of my collar tan line. I didn't use any sunscreen (how stupid), and I am so fried!! :/

So that's about it this week, but I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! So..... MERRY CHRISTMAS!! There you go! ;) I love Christmas! I love it because I love Jesus Christ! I'm more than grateful for him! I love my family as well, and miss you heaps! I'll see your faces, (some more pretty than others... sorry pops), on Thursday or Friday though, and I'm so pumped! :) So have a wonderful all deserve it!

Love ya heaps,
Elder Butler

YAU.... king of the rock!! And there's nothin' you girls can do about it! :) Name the movie! :) (It was Mulan, btw.) 

A little bay area off of the mount. 
Me and the Bros!
If anyone ever wants to join me.. there's an open space to the left! ;)

Finding Starfish.
Elder Butler trying to crack open some Kaimoana (seafood) ;) Muscles
This is my friend.. He's waving as well!! ;) #starfishhunting
Elder Jonsson's camera is waterproof,  so here is a starfishy under the water.

One of our members took this of us. We were in the MTC with their daughter, and he sent this pic to her.. and she sent it to us! ;)

Zone Meeting training. Elder Chan-Sau drew a pic for us for our training! ;)
For helping at the Christmas in the park we were given these little wooden signs..I'm pretty proud of it! ;) Haha, mean as!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Elder Butler...who happens to be in New Zealand ;)

Oh my goodness.........

Mean as week y'all! ;) The emails I received are ridiculous as well! Brett is flippin' engaged.... what??? :) So happy for you bro! You're the man! Also, BYU got spanked in basketball! That's always a positive. The Scanlans sent me an email telling me that they have moved to Redoubt, and are going through the temple in February! SO EXCITED!! Wow, don't you just love it when life is going great!? It's a wonderful thing, that's for sure! 

Of course, as well... a little shout out to someone over in Brazil! ;) Hope you have the happiest birthday ever Hanna! I hope the wonderful people over there make you some delicious alligator or something yum!! ;) 

Now...My week was pretty solid. We had transfers this week, and thankfully Jonsson and I are staying in Tauranga! I mean, you can't seperate the dream team! ;) Haha, I say that in all humility!

Our investigators are all doing well. Our zone is smashing it, and Tauranga is still beautiful! 

I was so pumped yesterday. I walked into sacrament meeting for Welcome Bay, and there was Sister Fitzgibbon! I was so excited to see her! We served together in my first area, and she died there, so it was awesome to catch up! 

Last night we got a call from the Opotiki Elders (Elder Christensen) to give a blessing at the hospital to a Maori man. It was a great experience! He was not a member, but he really respected who we were, and loved the company. He was asaulted a couple days earlier, and had to get his eye removed because of it! So we gave him a blessing and it was beautiful! He was very grateful! (He'll be baptized sooner or later!) ;) 

We had 2 awesome ward activities on Saturday! The first was with Welcome Bay and that was mean as! We played volley, dodgeball, ate heaps, and the ward is just amazing. It was at a park...on the beach!! The second was at the chapel with Mount Maunganui, and we just ate heaps and talked, so that was good as well! 

The Prestons are amazing people!  I hope you all have the chance to meet them someday! If you don't, then your life is not complete! ;) We went to get adjusted at his office the other day and he says, "I'm going to get you guys an appointment right now." So he picks up the phone and calls one of his clients. We had the meanest lesson ever with the Prestons and their two South African friends. It was beautiful! If every lesson was like that, we'd have about 100 million members of the church! 

That's about it for me this week! Things are continuing to be great! I just need to remember that God has given me all these wonderful experiences, and it's not because of my personal strength or wisdom. Because as soon as I get a little hot headed... I receive a few trials! So if you feel like my email was a little too confident, tell me and I'll try to cool myself down a bit! ;) 

Love you all heaps!!

Elder Butler...who happens to be in New Zealand ;)

Monday, November 30, 2015

What a Missionary Lives For!

Flippin' Mean As Week!!!!!! 

I don't have much time, so I'll tell you a few stories, and make the other ones really short. 

But starting off, we had a baptism this week! Te Naia...finally! It was honestly the most beautiful baptism I've been a part of, and it was because of the amazing ward. They really did their part! There were heaps of people there, and  wonderful testimonies and talks. People were making friends with her and laughing and talking and sharing their conversion stories. Man, it was beautiful! I was chosen to baptize her on Thursday, but I knew Elder Jonsson hadn't had very many yet, so I let him do it and I confirmed on Sunday! BEAUTIFUL! 

Okay... Timoti and his family! They are amazing! They are honestly a HUGE miracle! Timoti isn't baptized yet because he still has some preparations to take care of, but he's the greatest "member" ever! We go over to his home, and he's got all 9 kids at his house gathered around him while they read scriptures together. It's so wonderful! He told us some big news the other day! We were supposed to go feed the homeless with him and his family the day after Christmas, but he told us he couldn't do that anymore. We were wondering why, and he told us he's going to Auckland. Then he said, "My brothers called me the other day, and told me that because of my example, they are getting baptized on the 26th of December!" He said he almost broke down in tears when he heard that! (And if you know Timoti, you would never picture him crying.) Honestly, just typing that almost brought me to tears as well! It has truly been a miracle! 

Those were the biggest stories this week. Now for a few more! ;) 

Timoti taught us the Haka, "Tika Tonu." 

The Preston family (The greatest people in the world) invited us over for Thanksgiving, where we absolutely smashed it! Wow...delicious! ;) 

I went on an exchange with Elder Nikau.. solid!

We're now covering the Mount Maunganui Ward, along with Welcome Bay. That's big news because, starting last week, our area became massive! We cover the beach and the mountain, and it's ridiculously beautiful! But now we go to 6 hours of church, so we're there from about 8:30-1-30. That's a long day! 

Brother Preston is a chiropractor, so we all got adjusted for free after district meeting! Everyone freaked out when they heard how loud my dang neck cracked! I guess I was a little stressed. ;) 

Okay, this is flippin' crack up as! I was caught sleep walking for the first time ever! All of you who know me, know that I'm a great sleep talker! But now, I've stepped up my game to a whole new level! Elder Jonsson woke up when I was walking around for a bit and turned the light on! ;) Haha, too funny! 

I had to say goodbye to some very good friends.  First, Elder and Sister Taylor called me on president's phone to say goodbye...broke my dang heart! I love them so much! I gave Elder Rios a call as well and we said our goodbyes! He's the man! He goes home in a few days!

I think that's about it! If I missed anything.. oh well! ;) My week was flippin' mean as! A week like this is what a missionary lives for!  And it was exactly when I needed it! I love you all so much! 

Oh mama said that it's Melyn's birthday! Woo!!!!!! Happy Birthday! :) You're the bomb! :)

That's me, 
Elder Butler

Sunday, November 22, 2015

What I DO know!

Kia Ora my favorite people!

It was an alright week for us. Elder Jonsson and I worked our butts off though. Every day we were just absolutely exhausted! I feel like this week was successful for us, and for our investigators. 

Tenaia is getting baptized on Friday, and that is so wonderful! She's changed heaps since I met her last month, and It's so amazing! We also have another set for December! She is doing really well too. The work is flippin' hard as.. but I'm loving it. As I look back to where I was before I left, I've changed heaps!

 I don't know if I've mentioned this already, but I will again if I have. Before I left, nothing really shook my faith...ever. I lived in flippin' Mormonville, Utah for goodness sake. I was brought up with parents that loved the gospel. I was surrounded by my friends who all had high standards. My life was great, to be honest. Now, being on my mission, I'm exposed to everything against our church. I've been exposed to the reality of Satan and his works. I've had faith-shaking experiences where, if I wouldn't have held tightly to the iron rod, I would have wandered off in the mist of darkness all the way to the great and spacious building. That is where Satan wants me to think I belong. So now that I've overcome those things, I'm much stronger! I'm holding on to what I DO know and not minor doubts, like the modern prophets and apostles have told us! 

I had a few things I wanted to share today that I'll mention in a minute.  Right now I want to focus on what I DO know! I KNOW how I felt as I entered the temple for the first time and saw my parents there waiting for me. I KNOW how I felt as I listened to Elder Bednar give his amazing testimony, 10 feet in front of me, of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. I KNOW how I felt when Elder Cook bore a powerful, special witness of the Savior Jesus Christ...and when I was able to shake his hand. These are just a few, but I know them to be true!

Mom, your letter broke my heart a little bit today knowing that people are leaving the church. But this is an invitation that I give to all of my family members and friends. Bear your testimony the first week of December! I have been studying "Strengthening Testimony" lately in the morning, and heaps of times the apostles say, "You strengthen your testimony as you stand up and bear it!" So like Moroni on the 529th page of the Book of Mormon, I invite you to do these things.  I KNOW It would bless you! So please take the invitation. Bear your testimony. Read the Book of Mormon daily. Magnify your callings. Don't. Let. Me. Down! But more importantly, don't let the Lord down! "For what our Savior, Jesus Christ has done for us... we should never fail him!"

On that note, I have no more to say besides I went on a very good exchange this week with some great elders! 

I look forward to hearing from you all soon! 

Elder Butler

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Funny Story :)

Kia Ora whanau,

Elder Butler here... comin' to you with another solid, but tiring week! 

Starting off, we took a beautiful trip to Kaiate falls. Wow, it was unreal! The pictures we took are alright...but man, I wish you could see this! It was BEAUTIFUL! We went with the same crew as last time, with a few additions. Heaps of fun! 

We had probably the worst day of being in Tauranga the other day. My goodness! The people in Tauranga are generally pretty nice, but this one day I don't know what got into people. Everybody we talked to was ridiculously rude! We were so frustrated and we just finally said, "We need to take a break!" We thought we were absolutely useless. 

We played Ping-Pong with Timoti, Terrena, and the family this week! Just a word of caution to everyone: don't try to mess with Elder Butler and the game of table tennis! And I say this in all humility, I can't be beat! ;) (unless your name is Robin Butler. Then I can be beat about 1% of the time! Sorry pops, you didn't make the cut!)

We went on an exchange with the Whakatane elders (Faka Tawn aye) and it was pretty good as well! I got stuck in Welcome Bay though, so I didn't do any traveling sadly! But all good! It was still a great, successful exchange. 

My goodness, let me tell you a funny story! I don't think I shared it last week. If I did, I'm sorry. It's about my dear mission president, President Rudd.  We had a meeting with him and all the other leaders of the mission, called MLC. He started off talking by saying, "Turn with me to the 6th chapter of Moses, verse 38." So we all turned there, and it says "A wild man has come among us!" So we cracked up knowing that president was referring to himself. Then he said, "Look at the footnotes." it cross-references to Genesis 16:12, which says something similar. What we realized was that he was showing us the better definition of himself, which is found in the footnotes for that verse which says, "wild ass!" Haha so president started off MLC by saying that a wild ass has come among us, referring to himself! Haha, flippin' crack up!

But anyways, the week was mean! The church is still true (thank goodness). I'm still alive, even though most of the time it feels like I'm only "partially" alive, or better yet, completely dead! But all good...that's the mish life!

I love you all heaps and missin' ya bunches!

Elder Butler

Kaiate Falls
Jonsson & Butler 
Me and Elder Bracken...baller!
The gang. 
Who knew I was so white that I blend in with a clear waterfall?! :/ #accidentallyfallingoffforaswim
I think this picture is flippin' crack up as!! (From Robin - I'll let you all figure out why.  He's his father's son for sure!) :/

I had allergies.. so in honor of Baylee Butler on her birthday, I stuck tissues up my nose and made "the face." My nose. looks. huge. I promise it's not usually that big! ;) (This is what Baylee does when she has a runny nose.) 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

HOT week!

Kia ora, Kia ora!!! 

What a great week! There's not much to talk about because our whole week was smashed with crazy business... but all good! 

Monday we didn't get much of a P-day. We had to move into our home the whole day! Tuesday we had to drive... and drive.. and drive... to Hamilton to have a mean meeting with President Rudd! Wednesday we had to go half way to Gisborne to take some elders some supplies for zone meeting...took up the whole day. So there's 3 days smashed out right there! 

Alright Thursday... We had a mean Zone Meeting! Elder Jonsson and I gave a solid training and the spirit was beautiful! Then directly after, we went on exchanges with the assistants (Elder Tibbitts and Mathews). It was a great exchange. We got up in the morning and played a game of gridiron (American football)... heaps of fun!

This week has been SO HOT!! Holy goodness gracious! I am literally roasting as I am typing this! My missionary tan line is absolutely outrageous!

So we had 6 of our investigators come to church yesterday! That was such a blessing!! They are 2 families: Tenaia, our set at the moment, brought her four kids and another family member child. And Timoti brought his family of five kids. So we had flippin' 10 kids at church! Just buildin' up the primary! ;) But honestly, I feel like this area is trying to tell me something. I'm gonna have heaps of kids! Haha, totally kidding! But seriously, all of our investigators have HEAPS of kids!

We took a beautiful drive to Opotiki this week to meet my long lost grandson, Elder Christensen, who I played ball with in like 5th grade or something. It was a mean visit. We all went out to lunch and had some delicious Butter Chicken!  

So that was pretty much my week. It was pretty solid overall. Nothing crazy, but I'm still lovin' it! I can't believe I've hit the "single digit months left" category! I feel like an old man! I miss my family heaps though! Not homesick or trunky or anything like it, but I just love them so much! 

Last, but definitely not least, here's a quick shout-out to my sis, Baylee! I hope you have the happiest birthday ever! Sweet 16 sista! WOO!! I love you heaps! Just because you can date now.. doesn't mean you have to! (until I come home!) ;) You're the bomb! I'll be there for your next birthday! :) Love ya sis!

Elder Butler

ROASTING HOT!!! #tractinglikeachamp

Me and my bud Elder Christensen. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Meanest Week Ever...Mt. Maunganui, Wedding, and Baptism!

(**Kind of a short letter, but lots of pics with captions!) 

Holy flip!!

Meanest week doubt! 

Starting off, for Pday we went to Mt. Maunganui! Wow...beautiful! We went there with a few other elders from our zone (my buddies) and we partied hard. I have heaps of pics, so hold on to your seats! 

Wedding and baptism this week! BEAUTIFUL!!! It was honestly the meanest thing ever! I will just explain the pictures rather than typing all about it. I don't have much time today. 

We got a flippin' flat! Finally! That's why I'm emailing so late today. 

We got a new set. Her name is Tenaia! Wonderful!!

That's all for now. Hold up while I send some pics! :) love you heaps!

Elder Butler 

Top of the mount! ;)
Butler, Chan Sau
Elder B on a cliff. :/
Me and my boys! Left to Right: Elder Chan Sau, Elder Tuahivaatetonahiti (good luck saying that one!), Elder Selma, me and Elder Jonsson. 
This one is for you mom! 
Typical NZ... sunny on one half, raining hard on the other!
It was so beautiful...and pictures don't do it justice.
Otumoetai District
Me and Fat boy!! ;) That's what they call him! ;) All he does is flippin' eat! 
This is my boy Hepara. He gave us some Pounamu (greenstones) the other day! Awesome! 
The Samoan Elders came home with a race track! ;) 
Almost eternal right there! :)
Pukana with the fam!
Timoti had us come eat with them on the "special" table... it was flippin' sweet! First in line for everything. And... his brothers did the MEANEST Haka for him. It was amazing.. and we got front row seats! 
food.. and food. 
Look how cute these little twin girls are. I baptized the one on the left! Her name is Arihia Pearl Rangimarie (wrong-ee mar-ee-aye) Kapea-rehua.  I had to remember that! ;) Haha! 
They are so wonderful. :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Elder Jonsson from Sweden

Kia ora my favorite people!!! 

Man.. Tauranga (Toe-wrong-uh) is flippin' mean as! My companion is the flippin' man as well! Elder Jonsson (Yawn-son) from Sweden. We came out together 14 months ago. Good ol' MTC days! We're way pumped to work with each other, and have completely smashed it so far!

Tauranga is absolutely beautiful! Look up Mt. Maunganui (Mawng-uh-new-ee) on google...that's my area!  My ward is called Welcome Bay.. that just screams, "amazing!"

The people here are the bomb as well, and the ward is awesome! Two families are from Farmington and one is from Kaysville, so I feel like I'm right at home! It's a tough area though because it's very rich!

We're teaching a family. Their names are Timoti and Terrena. We are baptizing Timoti soon and his 2 little identical twin girls. They have 5 beautiful kids... but they are CRAZY! Their wedding is this I'm just way pumped! 

Now for the bad news about my new area. Right before I got here we were pushed out of our flat because another family was moving into it. So we're currently living out of our suitcases in another companionship's flat. We're living 20 minutes away from our area in Te Puke (Teh Poo-Keh).  The elders we are staying with are both Samoan, so it's been a fun stay! We're with Elder Maiava and Nikau. One day they came up to us and asked what we wanted for lunch and said they would shout. (Go pick up the food). So we asked for Subway. They come rolling back to the flat a little later with 2 footlongs, a few nice pizzas, Turkish kabobs and drinks. I love how Samoans do things...go big or go home aye? 

That's about it for now. Mom, I'm sorry I don't have very many pics yet. BUT we're going to the mount today, so next week you'll have some, I promise! Anyways, you're all the bomb! Love ya heaps!

Laterz from paradise,
Elder Butler

This is my crib, haha! 
Me and my new companion, Elder Jonsson :)

Me, Rios and the big fella.. Ray Te Kani

Alex and Tina... dinner every Wednesday!!:)

This is my good buddy Milo... reminds me EXACTLY of Riley!