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. :)