Monday, February 29, 2016

Papakura and Elder Zesiger

Kia ora!! :)

Back in South Auckland again ya'll! ;) Haha, I can't believe it. I'm in Papakura...just under Manurewa (where I started). So I get to see my old area every once in a while! Flippin' weird! I'm with Elder Zesiger from Bountiful. He's the absolute man! It's funny talking to him as well, because we know each other's friends, he's been to my basketball games, and heaps of other funny stuff. So we get along well!! He's been out for 19 months now, so 1 transfer more than me.

This area is flippin' crack up! I have to get used to the hori as Maori's again...and Heaps of islanders! It's so sweet though. Instead of being with missionaries with simple, white names like Johnson and Baker in Tauranga, I'm with missionaries like Tu'ipulotu, Lologafau, and Fameitau! I love South Auckland! ;) I feel like I'm back at home (because I was born in Rewa!) ;) 

We went to a Samoan baptism the other day and it was all in Samoan! It was so funny! You should have heard me and Zesiger when we picked up the vi'iga (hymn book).  We were singing loud and proud! I think I understood about 3 words the whole night. But man oh man, Samoans know how to flippin' eat! They brought us into the cultural hall after the baptism and gave us a mean feed! 

So that's me right now! I'm loving Papakura (Papa-Kurr-uh), but I'm going to miss Tauranga so much! I absolutely loved it there! 

MY BIRTHDAY!! For all of you who don't know... I'm now a man! ;) finally hit the big 20! I had the meanest birthday ever! We hung out at the Preston's home for the night, and it was awesome! I love them so much! Goodbyes were hard though! I had heaps of goodbyes to say before I left, and I was just devastated after every one! I loved the people there so much! (By the way, everyone that I talked to said if we ever came to visit, we would have a place to stay--so I have heaps of hook ups here in NZ!) ;)  

Thank you all for the birthday wishes as well! I received a lot of emails, and my mom sent me all of your FB and Insta posts! So thank you all! :) I have had the best birthdays ever on my mission.19=Elder Bednar vacation, 20=Tauranga at the Prestons. Awesome! 

Other than that, I'm going to miss Pene as well! He was the man! Solid fella! I miss the whole zone already! But I'm excited to be here. Hopefully I'll be able to see some families that I baptized. Like Clinton--remember Clinton?! He's the Ward Mission Leader right now in Rewa! Lakopo Scanlan got his Patriarchal Blessing and they're shooting for the temple soon! I love it!

I love you all! That's me for the week! Dad--get better big man.  I'll keep you in my prayers! 

Elder Butler
(Eldah Butlah) :)

 Preston family, and Burton family! 

The Mount Swing! So much fun!


When you're on the swing, this is your view! Matakana Island! ;) cool huh? 

I found a selfie stick! ;) 

Last MCM at brother Paama's.

Goodbye to my friends. 

Kendra and Torrell Green. 

Baker whanau!

Preston seniors! Love them so much! 

Goodbye to Melanie! 

Jordan and Sister Miru

Birthday!! Sister Watene and Preston! Sister Watene made me a Peach/Lemon Cheesecake! Beautiful! And Sister Preston made me dinner and another dessert! :) 

Birthday boys had a war! ;)

And I totally won! 

More war shots...

Dessert #2! 

Me, Kirsty (who we accidentally woke up) and Dolly!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Timoti's Baptism - Worth the Wait!

Kia ora whanau!

My final week in Tauranga! I want to break out in tears just typing that! I love this area so much! I have some wonderful friends here, it's beautiful, my flat is amazing, and heaps of other reasons! Dang, and the hard part is, I don't even know where I'm going yet.

So this week-being my last-was also the best week so far! It was amazing! We had the most spiritual baptism ever. I've been waiting for this baptism for the last 4 1/2 months! Ever since the day I met Timoti I've been ready. And let me tell you, it was worth the wait. He prepared a talk for after his baptism, but he got up there and said, "I wrote down a talk that I was going to share with you today, but I decided not to use it." Then he closed his book and bore a powerful testimony for a couple of minutes. It was unbelievable! The gospel can truly change lives! I've seen it with my own eyes. Terrena (his wife) also gave a talk, and it was beautiful. The whole experience was just unreal. Then on Sunday, we sustained him to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. I love the gospel! 

Next... The combined ward activities! We (Elder Pene, Sister Siale, Sister Aldridge, our Ward Mission Leader and I) have been planning a combined ward sports night on Friday, and a musical fireside on Sunday. I was worried all week that nobody would come and our investigators would be let down. (Lack of faith) ;) But holy goodness...meanest flippin' activities I've ever been a part of in NZ. There was over 100 people at the sports night with heaps of non members and less actives. Elder Pene and I were on the BBQ, there was music playing, basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, and a few little games here and there. Flippin' mean as! All the islanders showed up to play volley. The older youth and priesthood were playing full court basketball tournaments. It was a blast! 

Then on Sunday, We had the musical fireside. Another great activity! Heaps of people there as well. Elder Pene and I, along with Sister Siale, Sister Aldridge, Elder Gish and Elder Nikau sang a song at the fireside called, "How Does a Servant Show His Love." Killed it!! ;) 

So I'm sick of typing, so I'll send some pics now! But I love you all so much! I love the gospel! I love my Savior! Missionary work is hard as, but weeks like this make it so worth it! That's all for now! 

Elder Butler

Baptism of the big fella, Timoti! Best baptism ever! Check out that new suit though? ;) Also, I forgot to mention, my package was mean! I loved everything in it! My new tie is flippin' beautiful! I have worn it the last 3 days :) My little Christus is sitting on my desk! I love it...thanks gma and gpa! My All Blacks jerseys fit perfect! Thank you so much!

Elder Butler talking smack! "You remember how I beat you in ping pong yesterday?"

Soon to be Eternal!

Man... will you guys please shut up and let me cook my darn sausages?

See? I told you they're beautiful!

Sister Judd thinking she can just take over my job!

Monday, February 15, 2016


Kia ora whanau!

Man... this week! It was all good I guess.  The Preston's showed me the news about Sadie. I didn't know her, but I recognized the name. That's way sad though! The Preston's knew her very well. 

So today I don't have anything to tell you, so I just thought I'd let you know how I'm doing. 

Missionary work is hard. It's awesome... but hard! Especially now that they changed it a ton, I feel like I have to retrain myself! It's been very good working with members though. And I'm in flippin' Tauranga, where the members have beams of sunshine surrounding them with smiles from ear to ear! So it's all good! 

I feel like my testimony has been strengthened heaps! I have really been studying the scriptures, and finding the little treasures that are buried deep inside them. It's been wonderful really! I honestly never thought that I would enjoy and like the scriptures so much. But it happened! Weird...

I've been out here for so long that my jokes have even changed. Missionary humor is ridiculous! For example... The best dating advice is found in the Book of Mormon!! Check out 1 Nephi 16:7. "And I Nephi took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife." Awesome! What I learned here is that you just have to get it done, you know? So that is a beautiful life lesson that I learned on my mission! ;) 

On a more spiritual note though, the scriptures have changed my life! I have scriptures that are marked as "Life Changers" that I hold dear and that I'll never forget! I have started ponderizing just recently. I'm now on my 9th week of ponderizing scriptures!! My study journal is the flippin' bomb!

Also though, I feel like it's humbling me in a way. (I know what you're thinking right now after reading that, "THANK GOODNESS!") But I don't know how good it is--continuing to learn and grow in the gospel, and trying to improve each day has really opened my eyes to all the things I stink at! I have realized that I have a lot of improving to do still! But I'm heading in the right direction, which is what matters most! 

When I mentioned how I was becoming more humble, I remembered how we had a ping pong night the other day with Timoti and his whanau and Jordan Miru. I flippin' wrecked them! :) I am still undefeated in the mission field! Jordan gave me a good game though. I only beat him by 2. But a "W" is a "W" you know?? That's all that matters!! ;) Haha! 

Funny story. We looked in the area book and found a family with the last name Pene. So we were like, "Elder Pene, lets go visit your cuzzies." So we get there and some white fella was working outside. We asked him if the Pene's still lived there. He said they just moved a couple weeks ago. So we asked him for his name, and he said, "Oh, we're the Butlers!" Haha, what a coincidence--Pene's and Butlers! ;) I thought it was funny.. I don't know about you!

Well, that's all for now! We have a pretty mean week planned this week! I'm pretty pumped. Combined ward sports night & feed. Exchanges in Whakatane, Otumoetai, and Kawerau, a Baptism on Saturday, and a musical fireside on Sunday! Solid! So that's me! Love ya'll heaps!

Elder Butler 

p.s. I promise I'm more humble. Just not when it comes to ping pong! Then, there's no mercy. I'm like Rex Cwon Doe  on Nepolean Dynamite. "Bow to your sensei... BOW TO YOUR SENSEI!!" Break the wrist, walk away... You feel me?? ;) Love ya!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Say what you mean, and mean what you say!

Hello!! :)

This week was weird. It was all good...but weird. We had to watch a two hour broadcast last week about member missionary work. And president said "if we're tracting over an hour a week, he'll be mad." So missionary work has completely changed these last few weeks. We're working with members from 4:00-9. I'm used to knocking on doors.... all... day.... long. But no more of that! ;) So it's good--but definitely not what I'm used to. Pene and I have already seen the blessings of it though! 

This week I noticed that I say, "Oh that's awesome!" And, "That's cool." WAY too much! I've gotten in such a bad habit of saying it that I say it at the worst times. For example...(investigator)  "Oh my son just got in a car accident." (Elder Butler) "Oh, that's awesome!" So Elder Pene made me change it, but I didn't change it drastically enough. So I changed it to, "Oh, that's wonderful!" Haha, so we walked up to some guy's home near one of our members, and he comes out of his house with a massive scar on his head and says, "I just had brain surgery." So what does Elder Butler say? "Oh, that's wonderful!" So when I caught myself I looked at Pene and we just cracked up for a bit! ;) It was funny. I guess you had to be there! ;)

We went on exchanges this week. I was with Elder Tonumaipea, a Samoan from Melbourne. He's the man! We had heaps of fun! 

Church this week... Wow! I honestly forgot that the sun shines outside and that the sky is actually blue. Let me give you the run down. Wake up at 5:45, PEC at 7, Ward Council at 7:30, Church - Welcome Bay at 9-12, Church - Mount Maunganui at 1-4, Meeting with the Stake President (stake MCM) at 4:30-5:45. So we were in the building for almost 11 hours! I almost died. And to smash all of it together--it was flippin' fast Sunday! Luckily the church is true... honestly! 

That's about it for now.. we also had zone conference... that was fun! but other than that, sorry it's not a very interesting letter! ;) I love you all heaps though!! Man, also... I had the trunkiest dream of all time this morning! I had a dream that I was with the fam sharing all my NZ chocolates and other goodies! It was horrible! But maybe revelation? Maybe I was being told that my whanau needs to experience some New Zealand chocolate?! What do you reckon? ;) Haha, I love ya'll heaps!

Elder Butler 

Kia Ora from Timoti and Whanau!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Elder D. Todd Christofferson-An Unreal Experience!

Solid week!! 

Starting off, Monday we went to the mount! They put up a swing that goes off the mountain near this little island area. Flippin' fun as!  It reminded me of jumping off of the massive sycamore tree onto the swing at Grandma & Grandpa's! Heaps of fun!  I can't wait to take you there! You'd all love it! 

Next, my main woman Sister Saunders gave us a call on like Tuesday or Wednesday saying that she had something secret that she couldn't tell me. Psh.. please... she knows she can't keep any secrets from me! ;) She told us that Elder D. Todd Christofferson was coming on Saturday!  IT WAS AMAZING! He is the absolute man! He was hilarious, and was cracking jokes the whole meeting. The Spirit was beautiful like usual, and his testimony was amazing. The whole experience was just unreal! He's definitely a servant of the Lord. You can just feel it right when he walks in the room! And I got mean seats again! Every time I score sweet seats, close to the front and middle! ;) 

I don't remember if I told you last time, but we have Timoti set for baptism! WOOOO!!!! We've been waiting for this FOREVER!!! He's set for the 20th of February!  Satan is trying to make his way back in there, but he's not going to succeed! I'm so happy for him! We just had an unbelievable lesson with him about the atonement last night, and It was so amazing! 

Other than that, we just weren't home. We spent a whole day cleaning out a vacant flat for Elder Saunders--so boring! It was flippin' trashed. We traveled A LOT! Also, I benched 200 lbs for the first time ever! That was an accomplishment!;) 

Oh...flippin' Pene got so sick yesterday! I woke up around 5:00 because I thought there was a herd of Gorillas in our bathroom! I swear, the whole flippin' neighborhood woke up because of the tenacity of his throw up noises! Sorry that's kind of gross--but it's true! ;) But by 12:00 he was all good! Dr. Butler worked his magic and he miraculously made it to church! ;) 

So that's me! Hope you're all doing well! :) Love you heaps and heaps! 

Elder Butler

Walk around the mount. The waves were ridiculous! So we went a little closer! ;) I wish we would have taken a picture when they were crashing around us. It was unreal! With Elder Chan Sau, and Baker. 

Me and Pene. 

Left to Right: Sister Miru, Melanie, Jordan, Charli, Ebony, E. Pene, Me

We made a Title of Liberty with the Miru family. (2 weeks ago). 

Yesterday we "buried our weapons of war!" In the box that Charli is holding, we wrote down our imperfections/sins, and buried them by the ocean. ;)

Tracting the other day, I ran into a girl that was in my MTC. It's scary to think that the sisters that came out with me are already home! ;) Sister Craig

Thanks for traveling with me for 18 months now mama! :) 
**This is a little note I tucked into his suit coat pocket when he first went out so he would find it when he got to NZ. Apparently, it has traveled around with him and has made the transfer to his new suit.**
Elder Christofferson speaking to the Elders and Sisters of the Hamilton and Auckland missions at mission conference. Mckay is front and center, but is covered up. 

Two Utah Hustle teammates far from home.  Elder McKay Butler currently serving in the Hamilton New Zealand mission and Elder Carson Maughan in the Auckland New Zealand Mission. They found each other at a mission conference with Elder Christofferson.