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 26:Easter/Conference Weekend!

April 6, 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

Happy Easter! And happy Conference! I hope you were all able to listen to general conference and learn something new from it :) 

This week was really cool in some aspects! There is a 22 year old member here named Israel. Today he is swearing into the army. He's been meeting with the missionaries for a couple of months, but recently we have gotten really close and become really good friends. He has decided that he wants to get close to God now, so that he will be able to draw strength from him when he needs it, in the military. To help him get closer to God, he decided that he would take turns coming out with us and the English Elders. When I say come out with us, I mean spend the whole entire day teaching and finding with us. On Wednesday and Thursday he spent from 10:00 am until 10:00 pm with me and my companion! We taught some awesome lessons and had some great conversations with Israel! He's so awesome! 

One of the more depressing things that has happened to me so far on my mission, also happened this week. For the past couple of months, we've really only had one investigator. Alan has met with us twice a week, and also come to church, every week since I got here, early February. For some reason that we don't know, he hasn't been to church for 2 weeks in a row, and he cancelled both lessons with us this week. He said that he "would call us when he has time to meet." It's really sad to see such a strong and solid man (who has become much more of a friend than an investigator), waver on his path the Christ. We are hoping and praying that we don't lose him completely, and that we can get back into contact with him. 

Other than Alan, the work here is dead. Rumors have it that our area and the sister's areas will be combined in a couple of weeks. But those are just rumors. 

Easter for us here was kind of sad, haha. For some reason, people haven't been signing up for dinners lately, so we've had to make our own food all this last week, haha. I sound spoiled complaining about that, but life is tough with no dinner ;). Easter was no different, so when dinner rolled around yesterday, we were left to rummaging through our cupboards and freezer for food. We ended up eating quesadillas and some really old frozen chicken that we found in the freezer. It was hands down the most depressing "feast" of my life. But don't worry about us, because today we are going shopping for some real food ;)

I hope you all enjoyed Easter! Have a good week!

Elder Butterfield

Week 25: My Week

March 30,2015

Hi everyone!

        I feel like my last few weeks have been super boring and my emails have been as well, so sorry! Alan, our investigator, is still doing super well. We've had some really good lessons with him recently, and he's progressing well towards baptism :). Besides Alan, there is not much happening here in Sonoma. There are 6 missionaries here and each companion only has like 1 solid investigator.

        On Wednesday we had interviews with President Alba and Sister Alba. They were pretty uneventful, except we're pretty sure that they will be closing one of the Sonoma Spanish areas soon! We aren't sure if they will close ours or the sisters, but either way, there will be some changes soon!

        As long as I'm in Sonoma I remain in awe of all of the expensive cars we see! There was a day last week where I'm sure we saw 20 Porsches, a handful of Teslas, a Lotus, a Ferrari and countless Mustangs and Camaros. There is a lady in our ward here who owns a Tesla. If you don't know what a Tesla is, it's a fully electric car that has sooo many cool features. The new ones have an autopilot, so they can back out of your car, and set the climate control and be waiting for you at the curb, without you being in it! They can also change lanes, drive on open roads and stop and go traffic, all alone. They can identify and find open parking spots and park for you as well!

        Ok, I'll stop telling you about the Tesla, but I've decided I want one, haha.

        I'm really excited for General Conference this week and the chance that we'll have to hear from our Prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and that his words are the most important things that we can study and apply in our lives. The words of a living Prophet are much more valuable to us than old prophets. So keep that in mind, and pay attention this weekend ;).

Love you all,

Elder Butterfield

PS: If you want to read something fun and that will help you feel the Spirit very strongly, read the Liahona or Ensign from this month :) Especially the article called "It isn't a sin to be weak." That's an EXCELLENT article :)

Week 24: Davis County Crew

March 23, 2015

Hi Everybody!

This week was full of service and new missionaries! Since transfers were this week, we got two new missionaries in our ward. One of them is straight out of the MTC. Her name is Sister Lewis and she's from Bountiful! The new Elder has been out about 3 months, and his name is Elder Mitchell. He's from New York. Taking into account the new missionaries, our ward now has 4 missionaries from Davis County (Davis High, Viewmont, Bountiful, and Woods Cross,) one 1 missionary from Orem, Utah, and 1 from New York.

This week we decided to go out a look for some places that we could do service for! We found an ecological center, which is basically just one big garden with all sorts of stuff! It's completely volunteer run, and we think it will be a great place to do service :) We went back on Saturday to follow up with service hours, and they asked if we had just a minute to help them lift something! Well, obviously we helped, and one thing led to another, and we ended up staying for 5 hours and building an archway/gate! It was sooo much fun. We were working with a retired carpenter who had volunteered to build it for the garden. He instructed us and taught us how to do things, and we built the whole thing from the foundation up, completely from scratch! I'll attach a picture. We decided that it was a bigger project than a lot of Eagle Projects. Haha

We have been seeing major progress with our main investigator this week. Things are going really well, and we are loving it here in Sonoma. Last Monday, to say goodbye to the missionaries leaving, we went on a hike! I'll attach a few pictures of that too. This morning, since it's Spring break, we came and played basketball with all of the young men in the ward! It was a ton of fun! 

Well, that's about it for this week! Love you all! The church is true!

Elder Butterfield

Elder Tooley (from Bountiful) and I! Byu crew

On the hike (Don't worry, I've already cut my hair).

Our District last transfer!

The gate and archway we built! It was like 9 feet tall!

Week 23: Staying in Sonoma! :)

March 16, 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

How's it going? Is time flying by as fast in the real world as it is as a missionary? Not much happened this week out of the ordinary. We got information on transfers, though! I'll be staying in Sonoma with Elder Smith, so nothing will be changing for me :). 

Oh, I forgot to mention last week, but I was assigned to give a talk in church yesterday. The member of the bishopric who assigned it to me said he needed a 5 minute talk to go before the high councilman, and not to go any longer, so the high councilman could have enough time! He assigned me the topic of loving one another.

So, it turns out that even as a missionary it is still easy to put off a talk until Saturday night ;). Haha, I had been studying on the topic all week, but didn't sit down and start writing until Saturday night. I made sure to prepare a short talk but when we showed up at church yesterday, turns out one of the speakers was sick! I was told to lengthen my talk to 10 minutes. I'd attach the talk that I wrote, but as I began to speak, I almost forgot that I had written anything down at all! I spoke for about 15 minutes, so the talk I gave was completely different than the talk I prepared, haha. 

Some really good news is that our most solid investigator is still progressing quickly! He went four wheeling with one of the members on Saturday, and is really creating a bond with the members. It's so awesome when members work so well with our investigators! 

Sorry that I didn't have anything exciting to report on this week. Hopefully next week is more exiting!

Elder Butterfield

Week 23: Free Food is the Best!

March 9, 2015

Hey guys! I don't have a ton to say this week, but I do want to tell a story that happened a couple of weeks ago!

So it was about 8:30 one night, and we didn't have any appointments, so we went to the city center to talk to people. One lady who was about to get into her car, called us over and asked if we were missionaries! She told us that her cousins are all Mormons and that one of her cousins was coming home from her mission in just two weeks! We were standing outside of a really nice restaurant (and very expensive), and she asked if we were hungry! We said no, because we had just come from dinner, but she told us that the restaurant, The Red Grape, was owned by her family! She brought us inside and gave us each a free $25 gift card, and told us to come back :)
That weekend we went back for dinner, and her sister was working there! She was probably about 24, and she came up to us and said hi, and told us about their cousins again. Then she gave us free appetizers!!
These people were so nice! We were blown away by how kind they were (and how good their food was!). We gave them our number and told them to call us if they ever need anything.. Hopefully we will be able to pay them back some day!

There's one other story that I'd like to tell from this week. On Wednesdays we teach English lessons to Hispanics. This week we had three adults and their kids come (two investigators and one member). This week’s topic was on how to pray in English, haha. We went over vocab and all sorts of grammar and things. We then finished the class by having everyone practice what we had learned! As each person struggled through their prayers, the Spirit grew and grew. By the last "Amen" the Spirit was almost overwhelming. My testimony of prayer grew tremendously through this experience. Also, thanks to this class, one of the investigators agreed to take the missionary discussions, and he has since accepted an invitation to baptism!

I want to bear my testimony that I know that prayer works. Through communicating with God, we are inviting him to help us in our lives. He wants to be a part of our lives so desperately, that he is just waiting for each of us to make the first step. I exhort all of you to kneel in sincere prayer tonight and just tell Heavenly Father how much you love Him and how thankful you are. If you do this, I promise that you will feel a confirming spirit that God is there listening. And I leave this with you, until next week, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all :)
Elder Butterfield

Week 22: Crab Feed!

March 2, 2015

Well it’s been 2 full weeks since I last wrote! So much has happened that I can't remember anything at all ;) I guess I'll just go all the way back to Tuesday, two weeks ago!

On normal Tuesday's we have District meetings, where my companion and I teach our district for about an hour and a half. On Sunday night we got word that our Zone Leaders would be joining us here in Sonoma. Then on Tuesday morning, during our pre-meeting, the three APs came in! So all of a sudden, instead of teaching the 4 members of our District, we had the 4 Sonoma missionaries, the 2 Zone Leaders, and 3 APs, haha. It was a blast! The meeting ended up going extremely well, and for my part I ended up talking about something completely different than I had planned on. It was a great experience being led by the Spirit. I had planned on teaching about "declaring repentance," but it turned into, "how can I become converted to the Gospel."

On Saturday we had a crab feed! Crab feeds are very popular here in Sonoma and Napa. A crab feed is a dinner with all you can eat crab, and bread, and Spaghetti. Usually they cost about $50- $70 a person. Our ward here hosts a crab feed every year to raise money for the youth. Tickets cost $35, and missionaries got in for free!! Never have I ever eaten so much crab in one sitting. It was great!!! And free!

For the past couple weeks we have been doing more yard work than ever before, on my mission. We have done probably close to 25 hours in the past 2 weeks. We pull weeds, turn soil, chop down trees, rake leaves, etc. It's a blast :)

I can't really remember what else happened, except that one of our new investigators has come to church the past 2 weeks! We have actually never taught him a lesson about the Gospel. He comes to our English class every week, and that's where we met him. He has already developed friendships in the ward, and one of the members is helping him find work! Hopefully we can find time to teach him soon!

I'll leave you all with my brief testimony that I know this church is true, and that Jesus Christ is our Savior :)

Love you all!
Elder Butterfield

Week 21: P-Day changed = no letter this week.

Week 20: Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 16, 2015

So basically the entire Nation and their dogs were outside on Valentine’s Day! Ask me how many of them wanted to talk to the missionaries. The answer is none. Haha, so yeah :). There was a super nice couple in the ward who took all the missionaries out to eat though! I got a California Cheese Steak with Au Jus, it was so good!

This week we were challenged to teach 3 lessons a day! The average for this area in the past has been about 3 lessons a week, so right off the bat we knew that we probably where not going to be able to up our lessons by 18 in just one week. We were able to teach 10 lessons though! We have also been challenged to, each day, contact 20 people, teach 3 lessons, and invite at least 1 person to baptism. On Thursday and Friday we were able to accomplish that goal!

Going into this week, we had not met or taught pretty much anyone in Sonoma, because we white-washed in. We weren't sure how we were going to manage the challenges, but in my personal study I was reading in 1st Nephi, and I came across my favorite scripture: (I'm sure you've all read it about a million times, haha)

1 Nephi 3 : 7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

This scripture always gives me strength, knowing that God will prepare a way for all of His commandments to be accomplished, but then I came upon another scripture that I haven't really payed attention to!

Verse 15 But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.

Wow. This verse really hit me. This is the attitude we need to have when facing challenges and following commandments! So often we try to do something, and if we don't quite accomplish the task, we say "well, I tried my best! Oh well!" But that's not good enough! We need to have the same attitude that Nephi had, and not back down, not give up, until we have accomplished what the Lord has commanded.

I know that the Lord lives. I know that this is the true church. My life has been flipped upside since coming on a mission. I know stronger than ever, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and by following its guide, we can obtain eternal life. If you are reading this, and have never had the chance to read the Book of Mormon for yourself, please take my advice and drop everything of no value in your life, and READ IT!

John Bytheway once asked himself what his most inefficient time of his day was, and he decided that it was between 10-12 at night, when he watched TV. He decided that instead of wasting that time, he would go to bed at 10, and wake up 2 hours earlier. He decided to use that time in the morning to write a book. After only 4 months that book was on the shelf. What would he have had to show for his time if he had just been wasting his time watching TV?

I challenge you to look at your lives and do what John Bytheway did! Sacrifice a little TV watching time, and read the Book of Mormon. It will have eternal consequences :)
That's all I have for this week :) I love this Gospel, I love Jesus, and I love you all!

Elder Butterfield

That's my companion, Elder Tyson Smith from Farmington, Utah!

WEEK 19: Davis County Reunion!

February 9, 2015

Hey everybody!

This week was crazy! So much happened, and I really have no clue what to write about. On Tuesday we had transfers, where I met my new companion, Elder Tyson Smith! Elder Smith is from Farmington Utah, and graduated from Viewmont High! The other two Elders we live with are Elder Skinner from Idaho and Elder Jason Tooley, from Bountiful! We almost have an entire Davis County apartment!

Sonoma is an awesome little city that is about 50% English speaking and 50% Hispanic, which is awesome for us :). So far we haven't had time to really work in our area. On Thursday we planned for the week, then on Friday we had a zone meeting in Napa. Sonoma is technically part of the Napa Zone, but we are pretty isolated from all other missionaries. We are the unofficial Sonoma zone, with 6 missionaries, 2 sisters and 4 Elders.

On Saturday we blitzed a city about an hour away called St. Helena. It was cool getting to know the other missionaries a little bit more. We finished the week off with Stake Conference on Saturday night and Sunday morning. The Oakland Temple presidency spoke and so did the Stake Presidency. Vallejo is also a part of the Napa Stake, so I was able to say goodbye to the Ramos Family (My recent converts) and the rest of the members, one last time :)

The only restaurants in Sonoma, besides the 10 billion taco trucks, are McDonald’s and Taco Bell! We've been to Taco Bell 4 times this week! Not a good idea. Also, groceries are outrageously expensive in Sonoma, so every Monday we plan on driving half an hour to Napa to shop and play basketball with the other missionaries!

Next week I'm sure I'll have more experiences to share with you, once we meet the members here :). It's definitely a very big challenge to White Wash into an area that doesn't have much work going on. We now have the challenge of finding people to teach, because we have like no investigators! Should be awesome!

Sorry for the super boring email this week.. Hopefully it'll be better next week! Love you all!

Elder Butterfield

Here is a picture of Armando and Cecilia Ramos and Me at Stake Conference :)
And another picture of my last companion, Elder King, doing dishes!!! His first time in 7 weeks!!!!!! We were all so happy! :)

WEEK 18: Sonoma, Here I Come!

February 2, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

So first and foremost, tomorrow is transfers! On Friday I received word that I will be leaving Vallejo and headed to Sonoma. Sonoma is pretty much the closest area to Vallejo, so I'm not going far. It's the city just west of Napa. My new companion is Elder Smith, I don't know anything about him, except that he's exactly 1 year older than me in the mission field. We will be white washing in (which means both of us are new to the area). Oh, and also, I will be a District Leader there. I'm sad to be leaving Vallejo, but am excited for the new challenge! Here’s my new address:  19014 Hickory Street, Sonoma CA 95476.

Also, last p-day I sprained my foot pretty badly and have been in a boot all week. This week we have had a ton of opportunities to do service. On Thursday we dug holes and moved around mulch to help create a "Meditation Garden". On Saturday we spent another 3 hours, just moving HUGE pile of mulch. We had 22 people working for 3 hours, and still hadn't moved it all. After the service project on Saturday, during dinner I got a call from a guy we had talked to downtown, like a month ago. He called saying he had talked to a guy named Edgar Butter-something (Elder Butterfield) and he needed help cleaning a house! So an hour later all 8 Elders in my District had changed back into service clothes, ready to clean. When we got the address, it was a super sketchy apartment building that smelled SOO strongly of weed and Alcohol. Turns out it was the guy's neighbor who needed help. She was super nice and VERY grateful for our help. She was being kicked out of the apartment and needed all of the walls, counters, etc., cleaned that night. We worked hard and got it done in no time. They were so thankful for the help, and she gave us her new address so we can come teach her about the Gospel.

Oh and here is how my Friday night went! After dinner, we were driving back from dinner, and as we were entering a very busy 5-way intersection (with freeway on and off ramps), during rush hour, we saw a man trying to push his car while steering it, off the road. We pulled next to them at the stop light and I rolled down the window and asked if he needed help. He said yes, so as cars where moving, I hopped out of the car, told my companion to stay, and pushed the car through the intersection in my boot! Hahaha, it was probably a pretty funny site, but whatever :).

Many times so far on my mission, I have felt discouraged and drained. I want to remind everyone of the last step in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that's 'Endure to the End.' As we meet hardships in life, we need to remember to just keep on keepin on, ‘cause the next miracle or blessing from God is just around the corner. :) So just keep on keepin on everyone! Love you all! Have a good week.


Elder Butterfield

PS: Our streak of 20 contacts a day is still going strong!

PSS: English and Spanish are together in an English ward. There is a
Spanish group that attends, who I will be translating for! There's a
chance I'll be translating for the Stake Conference, but probably not,
because there is an Elder serving here who is native in both
languages. Our stake conference is next week, So I will see all of the
members and missionaries from Vallejo in just 6 days, haha.

PSSS: The only thing that I have in Sonoma is a Safeway and a Taco Bell.

Other information about Sonoma:
It looks like there is just one ward there with about 100 in attendance. The ward boundaries look big.  It is still part of the same stake as Nate was in in Vallejo.  The latest population figures for the city of Sonoma were 10,648!  The entire surrounding area has 32,678.  The population in Kaysville is 28,880 and Layton is 67,311.  Sonoma is the center of the state’s wine industry and it has a famous international film festival every April.

WEEK 17: The Enabling Power of the Atonement

January 26, 2015

Dear Everybody,

The highlight of this week was definitely our half mission conference! We were blessed to be visited by Elder Nielson of the Seventy and his wife. On Tuesday we were in meetings with them all day. Elder Nielson really focused on the enabling power of the Atonement and how it can help us go from good to better to best in this life. The Atonement is so much more complex and powerful than any of us can even imagine! I invite you to go and read two talks that where given to us as homework. They are both by Elder David A. Bednar and the first is called "Bearing up Their Burdens with Ease." It can be found in the May 2014 Ensign. The second is called "The Atonement and The Journey of Mortality," found in the April 2012 Ensign. They both are really life changing.

Also, we are still on our 20 contact streak! Today will be our 21st day in a row, and we should be reaching 5,000 total contacts either today or tomorrow :). Miracles are still all around us and missionary work is still hard. Sadly, we haven't seen a lot of progress with our new investigators this week, but we have faith that things will pick up.

On Saturday Elder King and I were in charge of the missionary moment at a baptism! What that is, is basically a 10 minutes lesson about the restoration for everybody in attendance, while the one who was baptized changes into dry clothes. It was weird because we did it in English, but I fell like it went pretty well.

I feel like this last week was pretty uneventful for the most part, so sorry for the boring email. On Thursday we had dinner with a family and the new missionaries in the zone where all trying to prove how tough they are by eating spicy peppers. Elder Branson, one of the new missionaries, ate an entire Habanero in one bite and turned dark red, started sweating buckets, and cried, haha. Then Hermano Cortez, the member, brought out a dried California Reaper, the hottest pepper in the world (supposedly). Elder King, having to beat Elder Branson, stuck the whole thing in his mouth. His face started to swell and tears where streaming down his face. His stomach hurt for like 4 days following that, haha. Hopefully he doesn’t have like an ulcer or something. He claims that it made his mouth bleed, but I never saw blood ;).

If you're wondering if I have eaten any really hot peppers, the answer is no. I've eaten pieces of habanero, and I've eaten some of the hottest salsa in the world, but no, I have not eaten an entire pepper. Why, you ask? Because I'm not stupid. :)

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you all!

Oh, and Transfers are next week! So we find everything out this Friday. So I will most likely be moving next Tuesday!

Elder Butterfield

WEEK 16: The Streak Continues...

January 19, 2015

Dear Friends and Family,

Last week I told you all that our zone was on a 6 day streak of contacting 20 people every day! Well today will be our 14th day straight! Not only are we the only zone in the mission still holding the streak, but we're also breaking the record for most days in a row ever! If we hold it for another week, we will have talked to over 5,000 people! Not only are we talking to an outrageous amount of people, but we are seeing miracles like I haven't seen before out here!

Last week I mentioned one of our new investigators named Maria, who we found and have been teaching the Gospel. I can't remember if I talked about her big pit bull or not, but he's a very angry, mean dog who has been known to bite people walking past their house, over the fence. Well the first time the other Elders went by, the dog just didn't come out! That in itself was a huge miracle! Well this week we went by and the dog was out jumping around and barking at us; and the only way to get to the door is to just open the gate and walk in. We stared at the dog for a couple of minutes, and let [it] sniff us through the fence. Then we just opened the gate and took a step in. The dog immediately ran straight for us and sniffed us as we stood completely motionless. We are all friends now :) And the lesson went awesome!!! Maria prayed with us and started crying during it because she felt the Spirit so strongly :). 

Last night as we were knocking doors, we came across another SUPER solid family! They invited us in and talked with us for an hour and a half. They are so cool! And they have family [who] are members who live in American Fork.

Just to show you how miraculous these last couple weeks have been, here are some stats:
Since we have begun the challenge to contact 20 people a day:

Investigators with a baptismal date: up 48%
Investigators who attended Sacrament meeting: up 53%
Lessons taught with member present: up 39%
Other lessons taught: up 46%

Something very important that I have noticed this last week, is that right before we are about to see a miracle, or right before we knock on a very promising door, is always when Satan tries his very hardest to discourage and mislead us. The middle of this week was probably the hardest and most draining time for me so far out here. It felt as if a weight had dropped on all of us and we just had no energy or desire to get out of bed or get out and teach and talk to people. Well, we pressed through it and where blessed with such an awesome weekend where so many new investigators were found in the zone (17!). If we will just endure the trials of life, we will all be blessed with strength, health, and determination!!

On a side note, we've decided that our apartment is going to get into shape!! We've written up a plan where every morning we will get up at 5:50, go do cardio outside for 30 minutes, then come inside and workout for another half an hour! It's going to be great ;)

I love you all! Have a good week!!

Elder Butterfield

WEEK 15: Letting Go

January 12, 2015

Every Tuesday we start the week off with a District meeting, where we gather together as 8 Elders and we learn and study specific topics together. Once a month, instead of District meeting, we have Zone meeting, where all 22 missionaries in our Zone are taught by the Zone Leaders (And the Sister equivalent to the Zone Leaders) and usually a couple of the District Leaders. This week was started off with a totally AWESOME Zone meeting.

One of the activities we did was, everybody wrote down a bad habit or something in their life that they wanted to be done with on a slip of paper. Sister Day, the one leading the discussion, then came around and tied all of the papers up into a plastic bag, then attached it to a bunch of balloons. We all ran outside to watch her release the balloons up into the air, to signify us letting go of those bad things we wrote down! It was an awesome idea! Sadly, it was really windy outside, and when she let go of the balloons, they shot straight into a tree and got stuck there. Our bad habits hung tauntingly over our heads, just out of reach for a few days, until some Elders climbed up the tree to get them down, haha. It was fun all the same though ;).  
At the end of our Zone meeting, we were issued a challenge that came straight from the Mission President. He challenged every single person in the Zone to talk to 20 people every day about the Gospel for 7 days in a row. That is a very hard thing to get an entire Zone to do. So far we have done it for 6 days straight! Tonight is our 7th day and also our very hardest, so wish us luck!

Along with this challenge came a promise! We were promised that if we would take part in this, then we would be blessed to see countless miracles in the work in our areas. We have seen so many miracles this past week! So many miracles that I can't even remember what they are any more ;). Haha, but I do remember the biggest miracle of probably my entire mission so far.

The miracle started on Wednesday night during our nightly planning. The next day we would be on exchanges with the Zone Leaders, so Elder King and I where planning the day out as well and thoroughly as possible, so he would know what to do the entire day without me there. As we were planning, I had the impression come to me that he should go visit a man named Jesus who Elder Akhmetov and I had met a couple months back. I didn't really understand why, because he wasn't interested at all and we had only talked to him for a few seconds in front of his house, but I figured since I wasn't going to be there that Elder King could try again with him. Well, the next day, when he and Elder Lorimier knocked on the door, a woman answered and let them in without saying anything. When they asked for Jesus, she said that he and she had just divorced and that he didn't live there anymore. She then began to tell them that they had just interrupted her prayer, where she had been asking God if He was really there, and if He was, to send her a sign. She broke down crying and knew that the missionaries where the sign that she was looking for. She accepted an invitation to be baptized, accepted a Book of Mormon and committed to bring a friend to church with her on Sunday.

I woke up yesterday with the Flu and wasn't able to go to Church, so I still haven't met her. I'm really looking forward to seeing her later this week! I was given a Priesthood blessing yesterday and pretty much slept the whole day. I woke up today and am feeling a whole lot better. I know that as we strive to do the Lord's will that He will strengthen us more than we could ever imagine. He will never take away all of our trials, because the defeats the whole purpose of why we are alive, but he will give us more strength than we can even imagine to work through our trials, pains, and weaknesses.

I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who helps me personally, every single day. Modern day revelation is real, and I know that, just like the Bible says, if we have a question, we should first study it out in our minds and heart, then ask God, that he will give us an answer. I know this church is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that through him we can be saved. I have come to love and trust him more than ever before in my life, and I wish everyone could feel the comfort and strength He gives me.

I love you all and hope that everything is well with each of you :). Also, if anybody out there is thinking about serving a mission... DO IT. That is all. Have a good week :)

Elder Butterfield

WEEK 14: "Vallejo Don't Even Care"

January 5, 2015

January 5, 2014
Well this week was a pretty slow one for us. Almost every lesson we had seemed to fall through, and there just wasn't a lot that got done.
We did however come up with a new catch phrase for Vallejo! We have noticed that there’s just a ton of random stuff that happens in this city that just makes you think. I think I mentioned in an email a couple months ago where we saw a man relieving himself off the end of his bike at night time, on the road. Well stuff like that happens all of the time. Like yesterday we saw a man walking on the street, and without hardly breaking stride, he bent over, picked up an old cigarette bud off the ground, lit it up, and smoked it. Whenever we see anything like that, or when people like jaywalk across the highway during rush-hour, we just look at each other and say "Vallejo don't even care." Haha, we probably think it is tons funnier than it actually is.
Friday's are our weekly planning days, where we sit at the church, usually, and plan out what we're going to be teaching people for the next week! Well, usually these planning sessions take like 5 hours, and sometimes they are really, really boring. This week we decided to go get sushi and plan there :). We found an all you can eat sushi place just like 5 minutes from the church! I called in and asked how much they charge, and she told me, in a very, very thick Japanese accent, 13 dollars! Or so I thought. When we got there, it was $30 a plate. There where 6 of us missionaries and we all just decided to stay and eat our monies worth.
After two hours, we got up and left. Never in my life have I been so full of sushi, and that’s saying something! As we got into the car to go back to the church, I began to doubt my ability to hold it in. As we began to drive, it became very apparent, very quickly that I would not be stuffed for much longer. I rolled down the window, and luckily Elder King caught the hint to pull over. We hadn't even come to a stop before I spewed out the passenger window. As the second round came up, the car behind us honked their horn and yelled out, "party hard dude!" The other car of Elders had pulled up just in time to see round 3 and take some pictures, haha. I'll attach one at the bottom. [Along with] a picture of me cleaning off the side of our car, haha.
Oh another funny thing that happened this week was that my companion got an e-Stym Tense unit in the mail! Those are the things that they have at physical therapy places that send electrodes through your muscles. The zone leaders and [we] had a lot of fun attaching it to different muscles and cranking it up, haha.

Well, I hope everyone had an awesome New Years! Love you all, have a good week!

Love, Elder Butterfield

WEEK 13: Not-So-White Christmas

December 29, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

How's everyone doing? I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas, cause I sure did! :) I talked to most of you on Christmas day, and that was awesome. I remember last Christmas when we all crowded around the computer on the dining room table, to talk to Megan. It was weird being on the other side of the screen this year! I was worried that talking to you would make me a little homesick, or trunkie, as they say out here in the mission field, haha. Luckily it didn't!

Christmas as a missionary is definitely a different experience than any other Christmas. On Christmas Eve, we had dinner with some brand new recent converts who made us Posole at the church. We decided that since they are so new to the church that we would surprise them with acting out the Nativity Scene for them! I was Joseph, and Elder Mathusek was Mary. Haha, it was sooo much fun. I don't remember a ton about our Christmases back when we were in the DR, but I do vaguely remember acting out the Nativity with the missionaries! I remember everyone dressing up and one of the missionaries was always the Donkey! This brought back some good memories :). We didn't have any real costumes so we tied towels to our heads with ties, and used bathrobes and other random props we had laying around :).

On Christmas day we had planned to go and learn how to make flan and tortilla at a members house, but when we got there, they said that we were a day late! Hispanics celebrate Christmas on the 24th, so that’s what they meant by Christmas day. I was so bummed! Luckily they invited us over for New Years! (December 31st, we checked.) I'm super excited :)

I don’t have a ton to write about this week, but I will talk about one really good lesson with a less active/non-member family where we showed a Mormon message called Enduring Love, or something like that (Amor Duradero). They both broke down crying, with tears streaming down their faces. After the video I bore quick testimony about how much God loves families (they're not married, but have 2 kids and 1 on the way). It was really awesome. As we got up to leave, she said "Wait, Elders. I feel like I need to be at church. I will be there this Sunday. So that was a suuuper cool experience! :)

This Christmas was definitely one to remember! It wasn’t a white Christmas, but it was filled with the light of Christ and a lot of great and fun memories. Christmas here is really cool because the people here don’t have much so Christmas is really only about Christ. I’ve learned a lot about our Savior on my mission and am so grateful for his example and that through Him I can find true peace and help others feel His love for them too. It's my testimony that Christ lives, and that through His atoning sacrifice we can change our lives for the better and someday eventually return to live with Him someday.

I love you all and wish you a Happy New Year!

Elder Butterfield