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 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