Monday, June 29, 2015

Seeing the Fruits of our Labors

My flippin' emails were the BOMB today!! 

One of my favorite families ever, the Scanlans (I baptized Lakopo Scanlan if you can't remember,) just emailed me and said they're planning on going through the temple in November!! Which means I'll be able to go with them!! :) Heck ya!! I'm so glad they're doing so well!! 

Speaking of doing well... I don't know if I told you this already, but Peter Diaz! He and his family were the first baptisms I had in New Zealand! I just got the news that he finally received the Priesthood and is loving the calling of the Ward Librarian!! I almost choked up when I heard that!! So proud and happy for him! 

My family is the best!! My messages from them were cash money!! I love them all!! 

My boy Doughn (Josh) ;) He's the flippin' man!! Farewell soon!! Man, I wish I could hear it!!

So many great things happening in the life of Elder Butler!! My main man Elder Hopoate!! THE MAN!! I love that guy! He's an older missionary so he's very mature and kicked back, but we get along great! I've learned heaps from him the last week or so! I'm going to kill him though... meaning after the next 2 transfers he will be going home! 

Sis Thalman and the fam!! THE BEST!!! I didn't thank you as much as I should have for all the goodies that you gave us (because I thought they were from my mom!) ;) But thank you so much!! You literally saved us from starvation! ;) And it was so nice meeting you! Thank you!!

My bishop, Bishop Taukamo (Toe Kah Moe) is the coolest guy I've ever met! He's hilarious! We were having a nice chat with him the other day.  He was talking about some random people that didn't want to get married because they didn't know if they were meant to be together... and they had children.. and he said, "Man.. you have kids together.... It's too late fo dat cuz!!" You had to be there... but it was hilarious!! My ward mission leader is also the man! MCM feels more like basketball practice with him being our coach!! He is SO dedicated and passionate about serving the Lord it is unreal!! 

I don't have much to say this week.. It literally just flew by!! Being a zone leader, my schedule just got a heck of a lot busier!! But I love it! 

Well that's me whanau!! I'm out!! I love you all!! and I'll see you soon!! ;) Like a year or something!! :) But that's soon enough!! ;) 

Love ya heaps!!
Elder Butler 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Near-death Experience & Hamilton East

Kia ora, Kia flippin' ora whanau!! 

What a week. I hope I have enough time to throw all this down on an email!! 

I'll start off with a wonderful story of a near death experience!! Traveling up to transfers, I drove... with Elder Joseph, Selma, and Van Thiel in the back! It takes about 5 hours to get there, and I was dead tired! During the drive, everyone started sleeping a little bit, and suddenly I started dozing off!! I woke up to "Elder Butler!!!" We started driving into a little dirt ditch thing right next to a mountain wall going about 100k's (around 60mph.) So I turned to the right to get back on the road and fishtailed into the oncoming traffic where a car and a semi were coming at us. I then fishtailed back towards the little ditch and a few more times then finally started going straight again! It was the scariest experience that I've ever been in I think! For the next few minutes.. nobody said anything!! 

So there is the kinda bad news for the week.. not even bad! But everything else is good!! 

Elder Hopoate seems like the man! He's a lot older.. He's 26. He's very mellow and chill which is good... but also a hard worker! We've taught some solid lessons the last few days and have talked to Heaps of people! 

Transfers was still pretty hard even though I wanted to leave! I loved Hawera! It was funny.. in the handbook it says that we're restricted to handshakes. But the people of New Zealand don't understand that! I gave more hugs and kissed more cheeks this last week than I have in my whole life!! It's hilarious!!

So here in Hamilton East, it's solid... let's just say that! We get fed 5/7 days of the week. The people that we're teaching are university students. So tons of the people that we teach are my age!! We had a dinner with some Samoans the other day. One of them, his name was Milo (Mee low) sounded and acted just like Riley!! It was hilarious!! 

That is the hard part though I've noticed. They're all my age, so they're all my buddies!! ;) We found some Tongan's the other day by just randomly showing up at their house. They were eating KFC, and they made us sit down on their couch. They brought us plates and napkins, gave us their whole flippin' bag of KFC, and said, "Brotha's, sorry we don't have anything better to give you!" I was like, "What?? You didn't even know we were going to come over!!" It's so sick!! We also had a mean steak dinner at a member's home... wow!! Just thought I'd throw that in there! 

So remember when I gave sister Moore's mom a shout out? I realized why! When I walked into church yesterday, Sister Moore, her mom, and her dad were sitting there at sSacrament Meeting!! So I went over and talked to her for a bit! Turns out.. She's a flippin' Lifferth!! We talked about them, and how I used to be over at their house often!! It was hilarious!! ;) She's the bomb!!

More bad news.. I forgot! This was announced by president the other day. There is a preacher coming from America to do a big 3 day fireside thing (if you can even call it that) about anti-mormon stuff! Right in my area!! He's an ex-mormon who's part of the Church of Christ now! So I'm excited to see how that goes!! 

But back to my area... MEAN AS!! Everybody we're teaching is from a different country. We met some people from Djibouti the other day.. they were Muslim (oh.. I learned that Muslim women aren't allowed to shake another male's hand by the way!!) But we're teaching two Colombian families that only speak Spanish! But they're keen as!! We're taking them to the visitors center next week to watch the Restoration in Spanish!! :) So sweet!! 

Man.. We met the most hilarious people yesterday! We were trying to visit a former investigator and found out that he had moved. But instead, we met Tai and Nia. Tai is a Tongan/Fijian and Nia is Fijian. He is a pastor in the AOG church and when he saw us he said, "Brotha's come get some juice!" So we were all for it! He brings us in and talks to us for a while. So when we're about to leave, I ask "Is it alright if we leave you with a prayer!" and he says of course and asks me to say it. So I get going and during my prayer they're doing the usual "mmm!" "YES!!" "THANK YOU JESUS!!" and the most hilarious one.. I said "Thank you for allowing us to meet these kind people!!" and Tai yells out, "THANK YOU LORD, JESUS FOR BRINGING THESE BROTHAS HERE TODAY!!" I almost broke down.. but instead... I sinned! During my prayer, I was seeing how good of a reaction I could get from them!! It was so hilarious! :) 

That's the story for the day ladies and gentlemen!! ;) Hope you enjoyed it all the way from the good ol' NZ!! 

Elder Butler  
Some of my favorite people right here!! Tom and Stella. 
Me and Sis Remihana smiling for a picture!! 
My man Terry!! I saw a big change of heart in this man!! 
Solid Bob!! I was hoping to see him get baptized during my time.. but he will soon!! 100% positive! 
Me and my favorite people ever!! The Taylors!! 
Branch president in Hawera and my future missionary buddy! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stepping up my Game! ;)

Kia Ora fam!

I'm so glad you got all my little gifts.. I was worried that they were too big to send, so I'm very glad that they made it! :) 

I'll start off telling you some good news.. This week had heaps of bad news.. but we'll just ditch that today! 

But Elder Butler's stepping up his game!! I'm now a Zone Leader in the heart of Hamilton! I'm serving in Glenview in the highest baptizing ward in the whole mission, Hamilton East. It averages 250 people every sacrament.. that's going to be way different than 30-40 people in Hawera. I have truly loved it here in Taranaki though!! I made some amazing memories here. But everything I've heard about Glenview is way sick! Back with the Islanders!! :) And Hamilton has HEAPS of members.. that means that there are heaps of mean as feeds!! My new companion is either Tongan or Samoan.. I don't remember.. but he's from Utah (dang!!!) His name is Elder Hopoate. If you go on there is an "I'm a Mormon" video about a rugby player from New Zealand. Elder Hopoate is his cousin!! So I'm way pumped! And Zone Leader.. I'll be busy as!! :) Love it!! 

I went on 3 exchanges this week. So me and my companion were all over the place! We went to New Plymouth, Eltham, and Manaia! So it was nice to get a break from each other for a bit and serve in different areas! 

Flippin' Sister Thalman!! My Bud!! I'll miss her heaps! We took her to the bus stop today.. sad morning!! Hawera will definitely miss her.. and so will Elder Butler and Sister Chudleigh!! ;) But I'm way pumped because she served in Hamilton. So I will hopefully still be able to meet Mama Thalman!! 

So everyone.. that's all I want to say today!! But I will leave you with a little spiritual somethin'. 

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ!! I can see the happiness that it brings to my life and to others. I love the Book of Mormon.. which is a miracle in itself because I Hate reading!! It truly is the Word of God.. I know it!! I know that my Savior is real, and that He loves me, and so does my Father in Heaven! I know that missionary work is the most important thing that I could be doing right now.  I may not be baptizing 204 people like Alma did straight away.  But because of my mission, MY testimony has grown... and because of that, My family and future family will hear and hopefully be thankful for that testimony that I will share with them!  I've seen miracles. Nothing too big, but I know that they are miracles! I've felt the power of the Holy Ghost, which is something that I've been longing to experience! I love my family, including my New Zealand family!! Here are some scriptures that I want you to look up. These have been some of my favorites recently! I have had powerful experiences with all of them! I hope they are the right references.. so check them out! 

3 Nephi 11:3-14 (of course.. because it's amazing!! But think about what is REALLY happening here... consider how you would feel falling at the Savior's feet and having the chance to feel the wounds that caused him pain.. because of his love for all of us!  Beautiful!)

Alma 5:16 (I pray that I will receive this welcome when that blessed day comes!) 

1 Corinthians 2:9 (I love him!)

D&C 45:3-5 + D&C 6:37 (first.. The Savior pleading with the Father! Second.. I felt as I read this scripture that the Savior was pleading to me, "Look at what I have done for you.. Please.. Be faithful.. Keep my commandments!!") another Beautiful scripture!

D&C 19:23 (I don't know why I put this scripture.. I just found it yesterday I think. But hopefully it will touch someones life as they read it!! It's very good!!)

I love you... and miss you too many! :) 

Elder Butler 

Last selfie with the crew! 

Me and Elder Van Thiel. 

Fixin' the drawers for a pic with my matchin' sis!! 

there we go.. nailed it!

This is a family that we were working with.. they will be baptized! They are so cool! This is Deanne and Steve! They left to America for 3 weeks so I didn't get to teach them in time!! But I have high hopes for them!

The sisters came over one night because they were celebrating New Years!! (They celebrated all the holidays before Sister Thalman left.. I don't know if I told you that.)  They brought us Maori Girl tattoos. So they had fun putting them on us and we did the girl pukana. Well...I did! 

The sister's Pukana is horrendous!! haha! ;) 

Monday, June 8, 2015

This week... 

Forgive me right now for having a short letter.. but this week came from Satan's hood... also known as Hell! 

We were having church yesterday.. and one of our investigators ex-girlfriends came in all of the sudden and started yelling and swearing at him. So me and Van Thiel had to kindly tell her to shut up and leave.  (It was much kinder than that I promise!)

Matiu and Wiki... holy heck! I swear, If I ever meet Satan, I'm going to give him a nice sock in the eyeballs. This week has been full of drama!! They are preparing for their wedding.. Their parents still hate each other. The extended families have been nothing but horrible! My gosh! I'm sorry for this letter.. You want to know what's happening?.. Well I'm being honest! 

Alright.. there was a little good! We went to Dawson Falls this week.. The sisters weren't able to come, so it wasn't as fun as usual! But it was cool because there was a light rain. So the whole time, we were playing in the clouds! 

That's all!! Sorry everyone.. read next week!! 

Elder Butler 

p.s. Karla Thalman.. here's your shout out!! (I'm terribly sorry I gave a shout out to Sister Moore's mom and not you!!) ;) So I'm way pumped that you're coming to NZ! You have to find me if I'm out of Hawera by then!  Your daughter and her companion are my buds!! Thanks for keeping my dear mother in line while I've been gone!! ;) 


Dawson Falls in the clouds! 

Hiking Mt. Taranaki.. if you look to the left.. that's the massive view of the city! But we're in the clouds.. so it's not there!! ;) 

A statue I found on the mountain. It kind of looked like my sister Jaycee.. So I took a picture of it!! ;) 

I have a new desk mate... I call him Kevin! It was a gift from the Brownings!!  I thought I'd send a pic of him to my sisters!! ;) 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Shaking an Apostle's Hand...


I have some bad news for you today.. just 1 though. And heaps of good news! So here you go! 

Starting off with the bad! Keanu!! Dang him! I talked to Elder Fellingham who's in Manurewa right now. He said that Monday, Keanu was great.  He went to the Scanlan's for FHE. Tuesday he came out with them for Member Present lessons. Wednesday, he didn't want them to come over anymore! WHY??? Because he was exposed to Anti-Mormon material!! I'm literally heart broken!! I can't even do anything!! I'm on the opposite side of New Zealand!! :( So that's the first news.. Now on to the good stuff!! 

Elder Taylor is the flippin' man! Matiu didn't have money for a ring. So Elder Taylor took us to the ring shop and bought one for him! The proposal went AWESOME!! They are very excited and just full of joy!! BTW... I don't know if I told you last week, but Matiu was way sick from not smoking. It was making him want to smoke again, so I gave him a priesthood blessing! We came back the next day... "Hey Brotha's!!" He was all better!! :) Miracles!! 

The night of the proposal, we went over to their house and made them dinner! It was a nice little party! But dang Wiki was off showing her ring to all of NZ so we didn't get to see her until we got home from the vacation! 

THE VACATION!! Wow!! It was unreal! Let me just tell you what Elder Cook told us! He was talking about becoming an apostle and being a special witness! He said, "I don't ever tell this much, and hardly ever talk about this!" "And I can't go into much detail because of how spiritual it really is!" "But I want you to know that I know His (the Lord's) voice, I know His image!!" WOW!! When he said that, All my prayers were answered! I received the strongest feeling of the Holy Ghost that I've ever experienced! He TRULY is an apostle of the Lord! the way, I was able to shake his hand also! And when I looked into his eyes... I knew!! When I prayed that night, I felt different! I knew that there is a God. That He is my Father in Heaven, and that He does answer my prayers. He loves me! Amazing experience.. One that I will never forget! 

So we stayed at a hotel for 3 days. The first night when we all arrived, a drunk guy came out of his flat and started yelling at all the missionaries. He came into our room and said a lot of nice things with a lot of nice words. So we had to kindly escort him out of our room and quickly shut the door before he made his way back in! The owner called the cops... hilarious! 

Over all though, it was an amazing week! My love for this work has increased greatly! My knowledge and my testimony have grown! I absolutely love New Zealand... I love the people... and I love Jesus Christ! 

Last but not least, Sister Moore's mom,(this paragraph is for you!!) I heard you read my blog!! Thank you so much!! I saw your daughter the other day and talked to her for a good while!! She is my mission mom (sister training leader when I was being trained.) She is a wonderful missionary, and I'm so sad to see her go soon! She said she's planning on going to Hawaii?? Keep her away from all those poly boys!! ;) 

love you all!! Keep it real in 'merica aye?? 

Elder Butler 

This is my man Matiu!! Flippin' awesome!! 
This is Wiki.. She's crack up as!! I promise we were best buds in the pre-existence. :)

This is our district elders walking to the 3 sisters!! :) 
The 3 sisters. (One of them is behind.) and elephant rock. 
Tunnel! (With Elder Van Thiel) 
The crew. :)