Doctrine and Covenants 84:88

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." Doctrine and Covenants 84:88

Write to Elder Butterfield:

Current address:

Elder Nathan Butterfield
19014 Hickory Street
Sonoma CA 95476

Previous addresses:

155 Kathy Ellen Dr.
Vallejo, CA 94951

WEEK 3: More of My Adventures!

October 20, 2014

Okay, so I realized that I never really described the city I am serving in... Right now it's Fall, so ALL of the trees are changing! It's really beautiful. There are a lot of streets just lined with trees on both sides of the road. Also, there are like a million and a half ice cream trucks everywhere. I hate them. That's all I hear during our study hours. The stupid ice cream truck songs, haha. For every 1 ice cream truck, there are probably 4 wild cats just laying in the street. Now add up all of the cats and ice cream trucks in Vallejo, and that's how many cop cars we see every day, hahaha. But these cops actually have work to do, so they don't bother us. 

Our apartment here is one of the few that has a washer and dryer! Which is waaay nice, except the dryer is broken, so we have to hang everything to dry, but that's ok.

So, I don't really know what to talk about.. On Wednesday we bought a big box of strawberries off of the street from a Mexican guy from Oakland! They were really good! Later that day, we went to one of our investigator's house to help him out in his backyard! We were clearing out tons of dead grass and trash, and he told us just to huck it over the fence, so we did. About an hour later, a city rep came by and started yelling, so we decided to bag up the rest, haha. It wasn't that big of a deal because the other side of the fence was a junk yard, but whatever.

Oh! Also, we got assigned to teach the Priesthood lesson this week. We prepared it right before church, but it went really well. It was on love and.. Preocupacion.. (Editor's translation = concern) for all of God's children. We have an old man in the class who likes to talk a lot, and he has very strong opinions. He lectured us all about how the bible has been changed, so it's incorrect. According to him we should only turn the cheek twice before retaliating, haha. 

Sunday night we met with a few investigators who are preparing for baptism! They are all awesome. We are baptizing two people this Saturday! We also visited an investigator who the old missionaries had stopped seeing for some reason. As we started talking, we asked what she knew about the gospel, and why she had stopped visiting with the missionaries. She told us that they didn't feel comfortable with the paper work that the church was asking for. After talking to her for about 20 minutes, she told us that she was sick of lying and that her and her husband where not really married, but had been living together for like 40 years! She then told us that they want to be married by December and want to get married before her birthday in January! That was so cool. I can't wait to keep visiting them!

Sorry that this email isn't very good, but it's really loud right now, and I can't really think straight! Hope you all have a good week! Love you all!

Elder Butterfield

WEEK 2: Harvest Blessings and Bearded, Indian Ladies!

October 13, 2014

Hey everyone! 

So I had made a list of things that I was going to talk about in my email... But I left it at home, haha, so I'll see how much I can remember.

So we were challenged by the Mission President to all give a Harvest Blessing this week! A Harvest Blessing is basically a house blessing. We ask people if we can leave a blessing in their home, and if they say yes, then we go inside and talk to them about who lives there, their needs, their desires, and we ask, "If Jesus were here right now, what would you ask from him?" and then we start the prayer and mention our priesthood, then pray for the home and everybody inside! It's a great experience.

One day, I can't remember which; we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders! I went with Elder Overson, from North Carolina. We started walking around in a neighborhood, talking to everyone outside and knocking on some doors. The first door we knocked on, a man named Jerry opened up. He was probably a 70 year old black man who lived alone. He let us in to leave a blessing! I left the blessing, and it was an awesome experience. After the blessing he opened up and told us about these experiences he's had where a girl/spirit walks through his front door at night and just like hangs around. He tells it to leave, and it leaves. He spoke English, so when we left we referred him to the English missionaries, haha. 

On the same street, we walked past an open garage with a few ladies in it. We walked up and noticed there were 2 Indian (like, the country India) ladies probably in their 60s or 70s. One of them had a really long beard, it was weird…haha. We walked up and talked to them, then noticed there was a 3rd lady! She was lying motionless on a couch right next to where we were standing! I'm pretty sure she was like 130 years old. Not even kidding. She also had a beard. Well, these ladies were really nice and they offered us some food! And Elder Overson accepted! Long story short, we were there for an hour sitting on a couch in California talking to 3 ancient Indian women eating Okra and Mushroom soup that was so spicy I honestly couldn’t even feel my mouth anymore. I have no clue how I got it down. We talked about life, and their religious philosophies. One of the women had 3 kids who were all either lawyers or doctors who graduated from Harvard or other very elite schools. We spoke to them about our beliefs, but they weren’t interested. We left them with our phone number and left.

I've had tons of other experiences this week, but I can't remember them all! 
On Thursday we had Zone conference with the President, his wife, and the APs. We learned a lot. At the end, President Alba talked about Meet the Mormons and how he wishes we could see it, but missionaries are discouraged from seeing it in theaters for a few reasons. 1) We might scare off people who want to see it but don't want to be preached too. 2) People don't want to pay money to talk to the missionaries. There were a few other reasons he gave, but I don't remember them. He kept going on about how sorry he was, then Sister Alba came running in, and was like (in a really cheesy way) "But wait! What if there was a way that we could show it to them right now!?" Then everybody cheered, and we watched Meet the Mormons, haha. The very beginning kind of made me nervous, because it reminded me of those other movies we have at home like, "Mormons in Europe" or whatever, where they just walk around asking questions…Luckily it wasn't like that. I really enjoyed it!

Yesterday was church! It was awesome. We attend the Spanish Branch. I've been told we usually have about 40 members attend. There are 8 missionaries and yesterday we had about 10 investigators come! We had a full house! It was a really cool experience. It's so different because all the classes and talks are basically directed towards teaching new converts and investigators, because that’s like 50% of the people. Yesterday we had fast and testimony meeting. Almost all of the members shared their testimonies because there are so few of them, haha. They were all very good and sweet and short, which is nice.

After church, we went out and contacted people on the street. One guy was riding his bike, and we said hi to him! He turned around, looked at us, and yelled "Yeah! Satan!" Haha, it made me laugh really hard for some reason. My companion got annoyed, but I found it funny. 
Later last night we visited an investigator who we had an appointment set up with, but he was busy roping a goat. Yeah. He was tying it up in his truck bed so he could drive it somewhere. The goat was fighting really hard, and it was bleating murderously; haha, it was so loud!

We have two investigators that are getting baptized the 25th of this month! They are so excited! They talk to everyone at church and brag about their bap date.

Well, I'm about out of time, but I hope you all have a great week! I'm sure there are tons of things I forgot to write about, but this letter is long enough how it is. I love you all!

Elder Butterfield

I'm standing next to my companion, Elder Akhmetov, then it's Elder Contla, who trained my comp, and then Elder Minhondo, who follow up trained Elder Contla. So we're from 4 generations and all related, in mission terms, haha. The one on the far right is the one from the Nash's ward! He's one of the ZLs who lives in our apartment.

WEEK 1 IN THE MISSION FIELD: New Companion, General Conference.

Week 1!

October 6, 2014

Hey everyone!

So, a ton happened, and I really don't want to write it all down, but I guess I'll try…

The first day in the California was pretty boring. We basically just sat down in a room and got training on all sorts of information (like money, housing, cars, etc) for like 5 hours. Then we got our iPads! They were already assigned to a specific missionary, and guess what! Mine was broken. So I'm the only missionary in the mission without an iPad, but I'm doing fine. Haha. Hopefully I'll get it this week. If not, it means they're sending it to Utah, and it'll be a few weeks. The first night we spent in a hotel, it was really nice!

The next day we all went back to the mission office (which is actually like the high council room in a stake center) and were assigned companions! Before the assignations, President gave us some time to just talk and get to know each other. For some reason, I felt like I should go talk to a specific Elder. His name was Elder Akhmetov! His parents are Russian, he was born in Germany, lived in Spain for 11 years, but came from Provo! It was really interesting. We talked about all the places I had lived too. Then some Hermanas from my MTC District wanted to take a picture with me, so he acted as my companion in the picture. (Cause to take pictures with girls; you need a companion in the picture).

When President made the assignments, Elder Akhmetov and I were the first to be assigned together! He later told me that he had bet another elder 10 bucks that we would be companions, before we had even met. That was pretty cool! We get along really well; I'm excited to serve with him! We were assigned to the Vallejo area; the most dangerous city in all of Northern California, hahaha. A couple people were shot last month and another dead body was found last week. The body was found on the same street that some of our investigators live on! Hahaha, fun stuff :) But don't worry, we're protected by the Lord, and we're not stupid. We'll be fine.

This week has been really weird because of conference. We also had a bunch of different meetings this week, so there wasn't as much time to study or teach as we normally have. This week should be a little more normal!

We live in a 4 man apartment, with the ZLs. One of them is called Elder Minhondo. He lives in the Nash's ward in Centerville! He actually reminds me a loooot of Spencer. He's an awesome elder!

We speak English basically 100% of the time that we aren't teaching. Most of our contacts are in English so we have to pass them over to the English elders. It's a little frustrating, but it doesn't bother me too much. God doesn't ask us to find new investigators every day, he just tells us to do our best, and work our hardest, and that'll be enough. I'm not too worried about the success, that'll come when it comes.

Conference was awesome! We listened to it in English. I really, really loved the Saturday afternoon session. It was really powerful!

I miss you all, but I'm loving the mission! It's been in the high 90's. it should cool down pretty soon. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Butterfield

PS: The Spanish hasn't been a problem, everything just seems to work out. The President did interview us before assigning us, so that’s good. The ZLs are Spanish. And the City is not huge, but it’s not small either. Our area actually covers two cities: Vallejo and Benicia.

We just played basketball for a few hours, and it was awesome!! They didn’t stand a chance ;) haha, just kidding!

hahaha, assignments (instead of assignations) would probably be better.. hahaha. Even though I am not using my Spanish often, it's coming a lot easier! I can speak pretty confidently and smoothly during the lessons. And yeah, they shaved it (my hair) all off in the MTC!

I heard about all the upsets in the top 10! That’s crazy! Too bad for BYU though... 

We watched conference in English! I was really grateful because it was such an awesome weekend and I learned so much! Conference was awesome! It was a really different experience listening to it as a missionary… There were about 10 of us missionaries that had the whole chapel to ourselves to watch, because everybody else is watching at home nowadays, haha. I'm loving California! Hope you have a great week!!


Here's a beautiful picture of me and my companion. hahaha!

WEEK 2 IN THE MTC: Letter 2 With Pictures

September 29, 2014

Hi Everyone!

So I have no idea what to write about to anyone...I hope it gets easier to think of things once I'm out in the field.. For now, I'll just write what I wrote in my journal last night:


This was our second Sunday in the MTC. It feels like I've been here forever. Today we had leadership meeting with the Branch Presidency. Afterwards we had Priesthood Meeting about Baptism by Elder Uriostegui and Elder Cruz. Then we learned about the atonement from Elder Brossa and Elder Falquez. 

I've learned from the MTC that it is human nature to find one person to blame all of the problems on, when really, everyone contributes. It's easy to find a scapegoat and blame everything on them, but that's EXACTLY the opposite of what Christ would do. It's hard to not blame others, but we should always focus on serving others and through that service, we will learn to love.

I watched "Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar again tonight. It really is life changing. It completely changed my mind set for my mission. He said things like, "your mission is not about you!" Which I've heard hundreds of times here, but he said it in a way that really stuck.

Some things he said that really stuck with me were: (not exact quotes)

1) It's much more important who you are and what you are, than what you say.

2) He likened the Natural Man to the Cookie Monster. "I want cookie!" "I want cookie NOW!" and when he gets the cookie, he eats it as fast as he can. The Natural Man is selfish. The Natural man is an enemy to God.

3) Christ ALWAYS "turns out," meaning, he thinks of other people, when the Natural Man would turn in, meaning, he thinks of himself and looks for recognition. (Elder Bednar shared tons of stories showing the love Christ showed to others, mostly from the New Testament.)

4) Conversion is turning away from the Natural man. Conversion is so much more than just having a testimony. Once converted, you will NEVER fall away.

Elder Bednar talked about a ton of other things as well, but that's what stood out the most for me tonight. I hope I have more opportunities in the future to rewatch that talk.

I also had a chance to listen to Stephen B. Allen talk, before Elder Bednar. I'm pretty sure he is the Director of the mission Dept. Some things that suck with me were:

1) DON'T COAST through your mission.

2) If you don't have a strong testimony, or you feel like your prayers are going unanswered, the key is to pray with REAL INTENT. Not only with real intent to learn and grow, but with the intent to act on promptings and do what the Lord asks us to. If we don't intend to act on promptings, the Lord WON'T prompt us!

3) If you are not sure why you're on a mission, or if you aren't 100% committed... Pray to God for forgiveness and strength. Repent and he will provide you with what you need.

One more thing that Elder Bednar said was something along the lines of missionaries always thinking of themselves. He said, "Who cares what you want!? The Natural Man, that's who! Missionary work, is NOT ABOUT YOU!" He emphasized that it doesn't matter if you're having success or not, get over yourself and just do what you've been called to do! 
It was very powerful.

Also, tonight I say goodbye to my first companion, Elder Flores! He leaves for Bakersfield, California tomorrow at 3:30 am! I'll be companions with Elder Juarez tomorrow! And tomorrow is my last day in the MTC! I have mixed feelings about that."
Ok, so that was my journal entry. haha, I know it was really long and you might not have read it (cause I probably wouldn't have...) but that gives you something to read. Have a good week everyone! I will write on Mondays from now on!

There is like a seamstress here who does alterations and things! It's in main campus, so it’s really inconvenient to go get things fixed. 

I don't care about the blog. You can make one if you want. I haven't really had time to write a group email, and I don't even know what I would say, haha. 

Oh, and about the people going to my mission. All the missionaries in my district are going to California except one who is going to Florida. Two sisters are going to Santa Rosa, the rest to different missions. Apparently there are 24 missionaries traveling to Santa Rosa tomorrow with me, so there are tons of us, but I haven't met any of them. I have heard of 6 Hermanas here in west campus who are going. No Elders. Does that make sense? There could also be a lot of other languages going to my mission from main campus. I guess I'll see tomorrow!

Elder Butterfield

Hey, I’m just letting you know that I'll be calling tomorrow morning! We leave the MTC at 4:35am. I don't know what time we'll be calling... maybe 5:30-8:00? I'm not sure. I'll call your cell phone! 


Eating chocolate chip cookies sent from Mom.

With the Elders in my District at the Provo Temple. Elder Brossa (from Spain) and Elder Falquez (from Ecuador/Sunset, Utah) are part of a trio with Elder Juarez (from Guatemala/Las Vegas), me (Elder Butterfield) and my companion, Elder Flores (from Mexico).

With my MTC teacher.

My First Companion, Elder Flores. 

Me, Elder Flores and Elder Juarez.

With my companion, Elder Flores, and the Hermanas in my District. Two of the Hermanas are going to my mission.

My MTC Branch President and Me.

WEEK 2 IN THE MTC: Letter 1

September 27, 2014

M. Russell Ballard spoke to us! It was awesome. He spoke about tips for missionaries, including, don't expect to be perfect, and don’t be too hard on yourself. He spoke for about 40 minutes.

I saw Cambry Slight earlier in the week! We were leaving the main campus and Cambry was walking in! Apparently she works for food services.

We had spent a couple of hours in the main campus because the seam of my crotch on my suit pants was completely split open. I have no idea how that happened. It was the Mr. Mac suit! Also, some missionaries needed immunizations and a couple of other things. BTW, the main campus is pretty far from the west campus, so we are not allowed to walk there ever. There is a bus that comes twice per hour.  I'll probably write a longer letter on Monday. I don’t have much time to write today! Thanks for the Dear Elders!

Did you send the package today? I didn’t get anything, so it should be here by Monday, right? Because I leave Tuesday at 4am. Haha!

I haven’t heard anything about phone calls! I have no idea. I'll email again on Monday and let you know for sure. I think we get to the airport around 5:30? Not sure.

Elder Butterfield


September 23, 2014

Hey Dad! 

Thanks for the "Four Sets of Footprints." It reminded me of a lot of great experiences!
All Spanish missionaries live in West Campus (Wyview and Raintree Complex). It's pretty relaxed and I really like the environment. I am the only Gringo in the District, but there is one American Sister in the Zone.

My Spanish is coming along, haha, I can’t remember any verb endings so I'm really struggling with that and the gender of words as well. One of the hardest parts is learning how to speak with the formal Usted, because I always learned the "tu" form. So I'm basically learning that as I go. The good news is that my brain is thinking in Spanish, which actually makes it hard to speak English. That’s good and bad. Good because I'm immersing myself in the language, but bad because when I can’t think of a word, which happens very often, I can’t think of it in English either, haha. But I hope that gets better as time goes on. I'm the District Leader here, and everyone in my District is a Native Speaker. My companion is straight out of Mexico for the first time, and he speaks REALLY quickly and mumbles A LOT, it's really hard to understand him sometimes, but it’s getting a lot easier. It's almost just as hard to speak to another Elder who is straight out of Barcelona for the first time. He also speaks with a really thick Spanish accent. His native language is Catalan (or however whatever), so he'll throw in a word every now and then that isn't Spanish, haha. There are two other Elders that are part of a trio, with the Spaniard. They both have lived in the States for like 3 years, so they speak English fluently. They are from Guatemala and Ecuador.
Elder Falquez (from Ecuador/sunset, Utah) and Elder Brossa (from Spain) are part of a trio with Elder Juarez (from Guatemala/Las Vegas). The first two Elders are our Zone Leaders.... There are 5 of us and only 1 shower. 
Most of the missionaries want to play soccer during gym, but honestly, they all stink at it, haha. My District likes sports but they aren't that good. Haha. When we play basketball its just a joke, I can do whatever I want. When we play soccer we play with like 30 Elders so it gets really competitive and fun. My first gym time I dunked it really well for the first time! I got in trouble. haha, so no more dunking.
The package was really nice to have as well! My District all yelled really loud when I opened the box and read that the cookies where for the district! They were all so excited. We live right next to the creamery where we went to after the Houston game, and we cross that same cross walk that connected to our parking lot every day. It brings back good memories. We walk past the parking lot like 10 times a day.
In an older district in our zone, there was an Elder that was 100% Mexican and a couple days ago he was walking with his district and they were talking about something, I'm not sure what. Well he stopped and picked a little twig with leaves off of a tree and said "En mi pueblo, comemos esto." (In my town, we eat this.) and put it in his mouth, then someone said something funny and he swallowed it and it got stuck haha. Long story short, he starting vomiting blood and had to go to the hospital for the night, hahaha, it was really funny. Another missionary in that district has a habit of running away from his companion full speed when he gets anxious.
Well, I don’t have much time, and I don’t think I'm going to write a family letter, but you can share this if you want. You should let mom see it, because I don’t know what I'm going to write about to her. Love you!

Love, Nate


Thanks for telling me about seminary! I really miss my friends. Sorry for the short letters! And yeah, it feels like I've been here for a year. The turn-around rate in my branch is 2 weeks so we are already the most experienced missionaries here! Love you!

Yes! We went to the temple; it was a really good experience. We watched a new video that I hadn’t seen and it’s my favorite to far. I really enjoyed it! We got 11 names done. Do you want me to send them back to you? Maybe you could call my mission and ask if we will be going to the temple there? Then I can know what to do.

I might be on to email this Saturday or next Monday, not sure. Just FYI.

(The following are answers to questions from Mom:)

Did you get the package we sent you yesterday?
I got the packaged, Thanks a lot!! Everybody loved the cookies! And thanks for the BYU score:)

Who is your companion? Where is he from? Is he fun? How many other Americans are there in your Zone/District? Is everything done completely in Spanish? How is that going? Are you able to communicate as much as you want? Does your companion speak English?
Elder Florez, from somewhere near Reynoso, Mexico. He speaks really fast and really slurred and it’s hard to understand him, but I really like him a lot. We get along really well. No other Americans in my district. 1 American sister from Bingham 1s in my zone. She ran xc with some of my friends. We do all classes and most things in Spanish. Here's a paragraph I've been sending people:

My Spanish is coming along, haha, I can’t remember any verb endings so I'm really struggling with that and the gender of words as well. One of the hardest parts is learning how to speak with the formal Usted, because I always learned the "tu" form. So I'm basically learning that as I go. The good news is that my brain is thinking in Spanish, which actually makes it hard to speak English. That’s good and bad. Good because I'm immersing myself in the language, but bad because when I can’t think of a word, which happens very often, I can’t think of it in English either, haha. But I hope that gets better as time goes on. I'm the District Leader here, and everyone in my District is a Native Speaker. My companion is straight out of Mexico for the first time, and he speaks REALLY quickly and mumbles A LOT, it's really hard to understand him sometimes, but it’s getting a lot easier. It's almost just as hard to speak to another Elder who is straight out of Barcelona for the first time. He also speaks with a really thick Spanish accent. His native language is Catalan (or however whatever), so he'll throw in a word every now and then that isn't Spanish, haha. There are two other Elders that are part of a trio, with the Spaniard. They both have lived in the States for like 3 years, so they speak English fluently. They are from Guatemala and Ecuador.

How did the picture happen? Are the other guys in it in your district?
A Girl security guard offered to take a picture of us and send it to our moms! Then just barely a girl from BYU sent a picture from the laundry room. The other guys are my district.

What happened after we left you at the MTC? Did you have to wait till everyone got there before you did anything?
We dropped our stuff of at the apartment, then I sat in the classroom and did an online questionnaire on the computer.

How are you feeling? How is your head and your gut? Have you been able to get to sleep? Do you still feel sleep deprived? Have you been able to eat better?
I feel really healthy, but REALLY tired. I eat really well, but I'm almost always tired.

Do you want me to put your MTC address on your Facebook page?
Please put my addresses on Facebook, and mention, just tag me from yours. BTW, thanks for the dearelders!

What are your duties as District Leader?
As a DL I answer questions and make assignments in the district. I do the welcoming every class and everything. I pick up the mail for everyone and hold it till night (which is really fun, haha) basically I just preside over the district.

Do you want me to send you a pack of the Puma socks that don’t have the puma on the shaft?
Yes, send socks please!

Where you able to go to the Ogden Temple Dedication?
We did go to the dedication!! It was an awesome environment with all the missionaries! The spirit was really, really strong when we all sang the Spirit of God at the end.

Do you want me to create a blog with your letters and pictures?
We can’t send pics from the mtc, but I’ll send some in two weeks.

Did you get the letter I wrote to you on Friday that day or Monday? And did you get the one I wrote on Monday that same day?
I got a letter a few letters, I don’t remember when! Thanks.

Do you have enough hangers?
There were no hangers anywhere so we bought some at the bookstore.

I'm sorry I don’t have more time, I have to go!

Love, Nate.

PS. read Dad's email!

The Elders in my District during gym at the MTC.

Elder Falquez (one of the Zone Leaders) and me in the Laundry Room at the MTC.