I love to see the Temple in Kennewich WA.

I love to see the Temple in Kennewich WA.
At the temple with the district.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Here it is

This week has been great! R got baptized and I got to do the ordinance after. He got out of the font, gave me a huge hug and was soooo emotional. We had a great program. President Greer and a bunch of other missionaries with their investigator were there. Elder Stewart and I shared a lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, using the Robles Family video( have you seen it yet???) As we were sharing it, you could tell everyone was feeling the Spirit. I am soo grateful for the blessings Heavenly Father has given me in this life. I'm sooo happy to be on my mission here. I hope we'll continue to find more people like Robert.

Elder Stewart and I also have a baptism tomorrow. It'll be D and D Dooley. The 14 and 11 year olds I've talked about before. Also, we just put another on date for the 4th of August. His name is G Smith. He is the only non-member in his family, everyone else is active, it's just him. So we're excited for this next 4 weeks!

This week, we have R Morris' baptism scheduled and we are super excited for it! We will have pictures and everything from it next week. President is interviewing him tonight. Also, we went to the Temple today. Elder La R is here in the same zone as me. And right now he is training a new missionary. So there's a picture of our zone; our district; and Elder La R, his new missionary Elder C, and I. I love serving here and we have been finding so much success here. I love it!!!!

And now as a spiritual thought. Ever since I got out President Greer has been drilling us with the Doctrine of Christ which is: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. If you didn’t already know, this is what the "gospel" is. That was something that I didn’t really know that I knew. We're taught it our whole lives, but it never dawn on us that the gospel is a specific thing. Before my mission, anytime I would here "the gospel" I thought it just meant anything that had to do with church. But it is a specific pattern and process. If you look at 2 Nephi 31:21 it says that "this is the way, and there is no other way" So, something that I want to do is commit you and the family to set up an appointment with the missionaries in the ward, and ask them to teach you about the Doctrine of Christ using the "Robles Family Video" they should know what that is. The Doctrine of Christ is true, and without it, nothing else in this church works. It is the only way the Priesthood, the Atonement, or even the scriptures work. I promise you as you learn and study about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you will gain a greater understanding for the call to missionary work Heavenly Father has extended to all of us, tag or not. I love you, and know that this is true. Hope you have a great week!!!!

This is a letter he wrote to President Greer this week. He wanted me to post it on here for you all to read.  

Hello President,
So I’m just gonna warn you hand that this might be a long email. I have two different experiences I'd like to share, and it correlates with a scripture I've loved as long as I can remember.  First off, Elder S and I are very pleased with the numbers we attained this week. I know it's because of our constant prayers and diligence, but there's still a lot of room for improvement. So we only hope to get better. But the first experience started on Tuesday at district meeting. Elder J was retelling us the counsel you gave him and the rest of the zone leaders at ZLC about making a colomn for questions when taking notes. He then invited us to try the process out in district meeting and see what type of questions come from it. Throughout the whole meeting, the only question I wrote down was: "Why doesn’t God just give us the referrals?" I already, to a point, knew the answer, but it had come to my mind, so I wrote it down. As I did, not even 5 minutes later Sis W calls and told us about a man who had called the mission office and was wondering where the closest church building was in his area. She then called and gave us his information. After district meeting we called him and set up an appointment with him for that night. We conveniently had our bishop in that ward coming out with us that night already. When we knocked his door, he opened it and invites us in. After he closes the door behind us, he begins to relay his story of how he and his wife had just gotten divorced and that because of some of the choices she was making he left. He did not want his two sons to be in that environment. He also has been out of work for 5 years or so and at this point had nowhere to go. But his sister had been taking the lessons for a while and he had remembered how the missionaries had been nice to him and knew that if he called us he would be okay. As we continued to talk with him, he brought up baptism, and asked if that was available for him and his 2 sons. We gladly assured him that it was. the three of them came to church, and we have a third lesson set for them on Wednesday night, where if all goes to plan, we'll have him set up for a date of baptism.Thats my first experience, now for my second one.
On Friday, my companion and I were filling our time by contacting a list of less active members that our ward council had no information on. As we knocked one of the doors, a woman answered the door but would only talk through the chain lock so we had little to no face to face conversation, but still was able to talk to her. We talked for about 40 minutes and most of it was about her. She did not believe in the church or God. She had been diagnosed with cancer, and from the look of it she wasn't older than 40. For quite some time she had been trying to get her name off the records of the church, and was very annoyed with the number of people that have knocked her door asking if she would like to come to church. As we talked with her, all I could do was ask: "Is there anything we could do for you? Anything we can help you with?" And every time I asked, she would decline. I think that happened 5 or 6 times in our conversation. It just hurt me to see someone at such a depressing time in their life to still not accept help.
My point from both of these experiences is that God is watching over all of his children. We are loved by someone that wants our happiness to be eternal, he pleads with us every day of our lives that we can be humble and willing to do the things that we need to do to be happy. and accept help."...we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth" (Alma 26:37).

I know this is true and that as missionaries, we can be the help that His children need. As we teach of Christ, others will rejoice of his gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.

Side note: I got a call this week from a sister in Washington wishing me Happy Birthday from my missionary son.

 Hey Mom and family, I'm glad she called you. We were driving back from service and her husband and she were talking about what they were gonna do for her birthday and I asked her when her birthday was, then the rest is history. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! (It was a wonderful gift to know my son was serving on my birthday.)

Anyways how’s everything going? Elder S and I are teaching a family of two kids, the mom is a member but she’s been in and out of jail and such so we are working through the grandparents. They are preparing for baptism on the 30th so we are excited about that. Their names are D and D Dooley. So I'll keep you in touch about that. So far elder S and I are just trying to fix this area up. We have been meeting various members of the two wards trying to get to know people and find referrals. But other than that, it's pretty norm right now. My clothes are doing great, same with the shoes.

In our new area we're building it from ground zero but, it's good. I can see why heavenly father wants us here. We do have another baptism this weekend. It’s a 9 yr old that we just finished teaching. That'll be fun. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dear Family and Friends

Dear Family and Friend:
Ok, I’ve been a little busy.  One week I totally forgot to email my son.  Can you believe it?  I had to send a post card, but it was really cute (Politis’ Mansion). So here it is.

There was this one cool experience we had in church yesterday in sacrament meeting, The youth speaker spoke on being temple worthy, and she shared an experience from school. She said during lunch, she and her friends were talking about school and the various things that go on in that environment. As they talked the focus on the subject shifted to one girl that tended to be a little on the negative side of things. Before they new it, she and her friend began to gossip about all the different people in the school that had made them angry. The feelings had changed to something that this young women didn't like. So as she got up to dump her trash, she said about one person they were talking about:"I don't know this girl, so I probably shouldn't be talking this way about her, but I bet she makes good cookies." After that, she and her friend’s, never bothered with gossiping about the others around them. They all understood the principle over charity, and how everyone is a child of God, always remember that! I love you and hope you all have a great week.
Elder Butler
PS. He has been transferred to Richland WA.  They are teaching a 9 year old child. We are needing to build our teaching pool from the very beginning. My bike was stolen the last time I was in the Tri-Cities area and now I’m looking for another one.  The one here is so small it doesn’t really fit. I need another one.  (Mom called the mission office and Elder Wilson is going to work his magic and find him a bigger bike.

March 26, 2012
This week was great and full of awesome experiences. First off we had a specialized training on Saturday. President and the assistants talked to us. Also we had a guest speaker come and talk to us. President Greer’s nephew Spencer Larsen, who played for the New England Patriots, came to speak to us. I took lots of notes in my notebook, but it's too black and blue from all the writing. But I did have a couple points to share with you.

The first point is the "true happiness does not come easy. But, when attained, it brings to ones self a true assurance that he has done exactly what his maker has requested."( keep in mind that this is in the words of Elder Butler, so it might be a little off. But it works for me.)

Second, I'd like to ask a few questions: "as missionaries/members..."
-What are we to do?
-Who are we like?
-When did we become? (pertaining to the first 2 questions)
-Why did we choose?

And third, starts with a scripture in Alma 29:4-5. Another question, with my answer.
-Do we desire Good or Evil? Why do we desire Good?
-Answer: Yes, remember the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. He died so you and everyone you teach will and can live with our Father in Heaven. Salvation does not come cheap! It does not come easy, but it is essential. Jesus Christ was and is the only perfect missionary. It wasn’t easy for Him, so why would it be easy for you? "Press forward with steadfastness in Christ [and His Atonement]" That is the only way you will be able to fulfill your purpose as a disciple of Him.

Hey parents, so i got of things to talk about so hopefully O can do it quick...

First off, we had a great finding experience on Monday night. At the beginning of the transfer, we were invited to pray and ask heavenly father to have him put someone in our path that we could help come back to Christ. Monday night He did. Originally on Monday nights, we get picked up and go to a recent convert’s house to read the Book of Mormon with him and his family. But, he got stuck in traffic and thus we had to walk to our next appointment, which was in the other direction. So as we are walking through the high school parking lot (our members live behind the school) a small little dog pops out from behind a tree. It was limping and looked like it needed help. But we figured it's owner were right behind it so we didn’t stop. As we kept walking, a woman and her daughter came over and asked if us Elders could help with catching this dog. She wasn’t its owner but she thought it had gotten run over and it needed help. We tried to get it but we couldn’t catch it. But we did talk to her. It turns out that she was a less-active member, and hadn’t been back for a really long time. This statement was second by her daughter when she said "a really, really long time" (sounded a lot like Alyssa for a second). So taking this as an opportunity to help, we ended up setting up an appointment for the next night and went on our way.
    The next day we came over with one of our ward missionaries, we got to know them more, and learned a little about her past. Turns out she hadn’t gone to church since she was in young women’s. And now she has 2 unbaptized children, (14) (11) and a un-baptized boyfriend. So we invited them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, come to church, (and mutual for the kids) and take the missionary lessons. After the lesson, back in the car, we offered our thanks to Heavenly Father for Him putting someone in our path that we could help. And as we did i got a confirming blessing of the Spirit that this was indeed a heaven sent family. I loved that.

Also, we were able to meet and learn from none other than Russel M. Nelson!!!! We didn't know until Thursday or i would have told you last week. But, it was such an awesome experience. At the end of him speaking to us, he gave us an Apostolic blessing. These are some of the things he blessed us to:
1.      Come to love Jesus Christ and His Atonement for us.
2.      Be a true disciple.
3.      Feast upon the word and always apply those teachings in your lives.
4.      Have health, strength and safety on your missions.
5.      Continue in a lifetime of service to the Lord
6.      Love your families and bear testimony to them to bring them closer together.
7.      Have a shield of protection and to avoid accident and injury.
8.      Be a force for good.
9.      Be completely obedient.
10.  Know God lives.
11.  Finally, he blessed you with his testimony as a special witness of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

Again, I was very happy and privileged to sit at the feet of a apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and I am so very grateful for all i have been able to experience here on my mission. I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Stake Priesthood meeting yesterday, it was an exciting experience to see and feel all the Priesthood in the chapel. We sung "Behold a Royal Army" and when we started you could use a knife to cut through the air. The Spirit was so strong, and it confirmed to me that this is God's royal army, and that He has given man the Authority to use His power on the earth again. And i love it. i love you all and hope you have a great week.
Hey you guys,
these past couple weeks I've really been focusing on staying obedient to the white handbook. It definitely helps me understand how important this work really is. But, as i was reflecting on my past year and the things I have done so far, i came to a conclusion. And i feel that this scripture in Mosiah 3:19 helps illustrate this, along with D&C 20:30-31.
When we listen to the natural man, and justify our wrongs, we un-sanctify ourselves and loose our connection with the Spirit. But, when we follow the counsel of King Benjamin and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ, "...and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." Then do we become sanctified through Christ's Atonement, and then are we able to see miracles in our work.
I feel like M and her two daughters are a great example of this. Many times throughout their conversion process was there complications. But, they knew what was at the end of the road, and they wanted it, so they pressed forward. It was a great experience being able to see them get baptized and to have them enter into this wonderful gospel. It really is a marvelous work and a wonder. And I can understand why our Heavenly Father's greatest glory is to see His children make such righteous choices. And i love it. I hope you have a wonderful week.
Till we meet again...
Elder Butler

So sorry for the short email, but we did have a great experience this week. First off, M and A did pass their interview, and they are set to be baptized this Saturday. Also, transfer calls are this week too. So, I'll have that info as well next week. But back to M. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but she had some past mishaps that required her to be interviewed by the 2nd Counselor in the mission presidency. So when ever that happens, we always have extra anxiety. But she passed. When she came out of the room, she was in tears. It took her a little time to regroup, but after she did, she shared why she was so emotional. The thing that got to her was that she had been carrying the load of that past transgression for 21 years. But now that she has been passed for baptism, she’ll never have to worry about it ever again. She's free of all of the weight that would bring her down, because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. To me, it was one of the best experiences of my mission to date. I love the Savior, and I'm eternally in debt for His sacrifice. I hope that in my last year for this mission, i will be able to have many more instances like this one. I love you, and wish you all a wonderful week.

Well, it finally happen.  They got baptized the weekend before Elder Butler was transferred to Richland, CA

Friday, February 3, 2012

My District with Elder B, S, M

End of Jan 1-30-2012

Hey guys,
I had a really good week. Zone Conference, my first district meeting, baptism news, I read a really good book, temple, and I busted my ankle.

So first of all, Michelle D and her daughter A will be baptized on the 18th of February. I will perform the baptism of Michelle and E. B will baptize A. This is such a great example of how when we do what we're commanded, God will lead us to those that have been prepared.

Zone Conference was awesome as well. I got to lead the music there, which was pretty nerve racking, Sister Greer didn’t tell me until opening exercises. But I got through it. We also sung a special musical number, the song was called "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." It was so nice, we sung it as the closing hymn also. Ha ha. But the reason I love Zone Conference so much is because I get to be with all these other great missionaries. And I get to feel of their spirit and build my testimony from it.

And District Meeting was fun. We had a training on the Importance of the Book of Mormon. We read it straight from Preach My Gospel. Then we watched the talk given by Jefferey R. Holland titled "Safety for the Soul." It is one of the best talks ever given on the Book of Mormon. I love it and would invite you to read and study it.

I read The Christmas Sweater. It's a book by Glenn Beck, I really liked it. If you have a chance, read it.

I finally got to go to the Portland Temple, we did a endowment session. It was raining, so we didn’t get that many pictures but I have some.

Oh and last but not least, I messed up my ankle. We have a lot of apartments in our area and I was walking down a flight when I tripped down them. There were a lot of shoes, so as I tried to dodge them, I also missed the step. So down I went. But it's on the mend, and I'll be more careful when walking down stairs.

Anyways I hope you have a great week.
Till we meet again.

Elder Butler