Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
Matthew 28:19-20

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shaking up the work

Hey Hey Hey,

I imagine you're all wondering what's going on with the earthquake. I was studying my scriptures, when all of the sudden the room started to shake! it only lasted for about 10 seconds, but it was nuts! It's sad that the people died, but if they haven't heard the gospel yet, que suerte tienen ellos.

Well my hair's steadily coming back. My scalp got burnt really bad the first 2 days but now it's fine lol.

As for transfers, I'm staying and Elder Sanchez is leaving. I have an interview tomorrow, which means i'm going to be Sr. Companion! I never thought i would be progressing that quick, but i know i've got work to do. I've only been able to help 4 people make covenants with God during my first months here, but i think it's time to change that. This area has been blessed tremendously, and i'm ready to get to work.

At the end of the changes, we always have time to reflect on how the past 6 weeks have gone. As i've been reflecting on it, I realized that i lost sight of my goals. To be honest, i really didn't focus on any of my goals. This next change, I have to set goals for myself and for our companionship, or we simply just won't progress.

All we have to do as saints, is continue to be active in our communities, and remember the sacred covenants that we made. You sure are right about the blessing it is to have prophets and apostles on the earth again. These happenings just aren't mere coincidences, and we know why. It's important for us to be prepared and serve others. 

We had a stake mission work meeting Sunday. It was really great. President B  was there, and we really learned about the importance of having the members in the work. Did you know that they just made it a rule in Mexico that the elders can't contact or knock doors?  President told us that we have to have more lessons in the houses of members, and he gave us a challenge to have 1 every day. Challenge accepted. But you could really feel the Spirit during the meeting. I received some important promptings about how we can have the work progress in our area. I just hope we can do better this change.

Glad to here everyone is doing well. I'm so glad you guys get to hear from Russell M. Nelson. I really hope you guys get a lot of spiritual strength from the conference. Make sure you discuss as a family what you learned. I've been reading in Mosiah lately the King Benjamin chapters are powerful. There's so many plain and precious truths in those chapters. You just can't deny the Book or Mormon. 

Thanks for helping me with the drivers license documents. I scheduled a visit with the optometrist here, and he speaks English. It's gonna be 400q, or around 50 bucks. I already took the money out to be ready, but i'm running low right now. Just a heads up. Sorry, I hate talking about money on the mission.

Love you guys with all my heart. i hope you guys enjoy stake conference. Keep doing the simple things as a family, and i can promise you that many blessing will come. Love you guys, and i pray for you everyday. Hasta luego!

Con Amor Eterno, 
Elder Butler

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Life is good...

Querido Mama,

ay yi yi!!!! estaba casi a preguntarles como estan las elecciones.  podan moverse aqui en Las Victorias! The area we live in is really nice. Gated community, swimming pools, basketball courts, tiendas (shops) that deliver to your house! you would love it here. Yes, none of the houses have ventilation because they're made out of concrete, but they're pretty nice, and we have other gringo families that live in the ward! (there's a big project in santa lucia and there's various mormon families that came here to work). But i understand the dilemma. I loved following the elections. The scriptures have the blueprint on how to have a succesful people. They fight for freedom, families, and protection. If someone is going to be running our country in a way that's against these teachings, say amen to him and his authority! 

thanks for sending that information! I talked with the nurse yesterday and there's an optometrist i can visit for 150q that speaks engish. WIN

Well we had stake conference this week. We got to here from 2 70's, Elder Cesar Gonzalez y Elder Carlos Amado. I love listening to General Authorities speak. The new stake was organized in Frutal, so now we have 10 zones. We're working hard to baptize families this month. We've got plenty of people to work with, and the Lord will bless us if we're obedient and diligent.

Well changes are next week. who knows what's going to happen with Elder S. and I. This change has gone by really quick. It seems like yesterday i was in Peronia packing my bags. That's just mission time. everything flies! 

So what's this I've been hearing about New York being flooded? 

thanks for sending all those things for me. I know i'm high maintenance, but you've just gotta love me!

I've been reading Jesus the Christ a lot. I can now see why you like to study Jewish society and history so much. I just read about the classes of the Jews, the Pharisees and Sadducee  It's interesting to see how them putting more emphasis in the law than it's meaning is really interesting. I would love to study more about it when i get home! Funny story. Some of the footnotes that James E. Talmadge uses are from the Apocrypha. I tried looking for the book of the Maccabees in the Bible, but couldn't find it anywhere. It was driving me nuts trying to find that book, until i realized that the apocrypha isn't in the bible. I felt like a real dweeb lol. That's another book i would like to read when i get home from the mission. 

So i decided to save some money and develop a new talent. I bought a set of clippers yesterday and cut my own hair. Although my intentions were good, the results were disastrous  I didn't blend the top of my hair very well (actually, i just didn't blend it at all), and i shaved it on a 2. I screwed up the back of my hairline, which is now crooked. My comp couldn't help because he's really sick, so i was left to my lonesome. It's not horrible or distracting, but it's definitely not barbershop quality. 

Please pray for my comp. He's not doing so well right now, health wise. It's hard for him to work and teach. Your prayers were definitely answered last week. we had a better week, and we're really trying to push the work along here. 

Glad to hear everything's going well at home. November is always the difficult month for lawn/house work. How's Ellie doing? i just realized she'll be 9 or 10 when i get home. I just hope she can stick it out until then.

W. forwarded me an email that i didn't understand. Nonetheless, i'm still proud of him and the progress he's made.

J. is always going to be an awesome guy. I can't believe he's as tall as R, now! Stop feeding that kid!

I'm sending an email to R. after this.

How's the B. clan doing?

Well I always hate ending these emails because there's always a looming sense that i forgot something or that i didn't include enough. Forgive me for being boring with my emails. I promise we'll have may stories to share when i get home. I'll save that one for next week. Well i love you guys a ton, and your examples have played such an important role in my life. I hope that someday i can payback everything you guys have done for me. Love you guys with all my heart. Hasta la proxima semana!

Con Amor Eterno, 
Elder Butler

P.S. How are the Buckeyes and the Eagles doing

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weather's fine

Well, we had a baptism last week!  I remembered how in the scriptures how it says how great your joy will be if you can just bring one soul unto repentance and baptism and it's true.  

I can't believe it's already snowing in Ohio! that's just crazy. Ohio's always going to be really random with the weather. The weather here is perfect. Not too hot, and it only rains once or twice a week. There's two sets of Elders here in Palin. The other pair run the other side of town that heads in to Escuintla, and we take everything else. My zone leader from Escuintla is the district leader here. Elder V. is awesome! I had divisions with him a couple times and I learned a lot. He's probably going to train a new Elder the next change to end his mission here. His companion, Elder H., is awesome! He's got 1 change less than me, and he's speaks good Spanish. He's had a ton of baptisms and he's only been in the mission for a little bit. I've learned a lot from him about the simplicity of the gospel, and the importance of diligence. We've got a strong ward here. The bishop is a good guy, and our ward mission leader helps us at the drop of a hat.

I don't know if i told you or not, but they're opening a new stake this week. Estaca Frutal. It's going to be crazy, and I'm pretty sure we're going to be opening a lot of new areas. I'm almost positive we'll be receiving a lot of new missionaries too. This mission just keeps getting better and better. It's great to see and hear how good of a job Pres. B. has done, and continues to do here in the mission. 

How's W. liking his new life in Utah? Does he like actually doing PT work?! How's Reilly doing? Is her health getting better? How's work and school going? 
What's John been up to? Does he like the 6th grade? Is he playing basketball yet? 

Hey, I hate to bring this up but there are some things I forgot to ask for......my wind up alarm clock broke, and I've been using my watch, which isn't exactly the loudest thing in the world. I haven't seen any in the stores here, so if you could send a cheap one it would be great. I would also love to have a family calender for the next year! I would love to have all of you guys in the calender!

Thanks for sending all of the paperwork to renew my license. I got the forwarded email from the office with the copy of my social security card. Once it gets here I'll get right on it! thank you so much for doing that. Tell the rest of the family i'm sorry for not sending emails. It's just a little difficult to keep all my thoughts together. I told Will last week (in spanish...hehehehe) that really, there's SO MUCH that i want to tell you guys about Guatemala, but the problem is i just don't have time and I don't know where to start. I'll try sending some letters home, and we'll have plenty of time to catch up in 17 months! i can't believe that this month we'll be starting November. My English is getting worse and my Spanish is getting better, still loving every minute of what I do here, and learning more and more every day about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Love you guys with all my heart, and i know without a doubt that we're going to be together forever. Dios les bendiga!

Con Amor Eterno,
Elder Butler 

Six months out, where did the time go.....

Hola Madre!

Si, ya he recibido la carta de Obispo Williams. Eran cargas de todo de su familia! Los ninos le gusta a jugar con John mucho. Me alegra escuchar que John es bien divertido con todos las personas. Lo siento por no respondiendo! Tengo un gran debilidad con mis correros, pero como lo dice in Eter 4 27, Dios nos da debilidades para humillarnos, y si realmente lo hacemos. podemos convertirlos debilidades a fuerzas!

Hey, the ability to play music is different in every area. There was a CD player in one of my areas. You can send CD's,  or put them on a USB memory stick. There are different types of players here where you just plug in the USB and play from there. 

Well, I, am in shock that I've been out for this long. I'm already half way through the change here and it seems like yesterday I was leaving Peronia. We have some big goals for the mission and  we've got our work cut out for us, but i welcome it with arms wide open.  I love the challenge.

I didn't have an opportunity to upload photos this week, but be prepared to see some "monkey business" ç

B. will be a great missionary. I just want every youth in that ward to think about all the sacrifices Bishop W. makes for them, and afterwards think about the Savior. If they would truly do that they would see how much of a blessing it is to serve. It's crazy to reflect on how much I've grown, not just in Spanish, but spiritually. When i started my mission, I really didn't know the scriptures very well. Now I've memorized more than a few in English and Spanish. I truly know how to follow spiritual impressions to help our investigators. I've learned to teach people, not just lessons. I could write until the end of time about all the things I've been learning. We had zone conference last week, and i'm still blown away by how spiritually strong President B. is. I guarantee we're going to see him in General Conference in the future. 

Well send my love to everyone in the family. I'm going to try to have some letters to send home for Christmas  We haven't had any time during our P days because we've had various activities and what not.  Love to hear about how things are and what you learn spiritually. Sorry i'm lame sometimes and don't really know what to write, but know that reading your emails really make me glad and want to serve more wholeheartedly. Love you guys with all my heart, and I'm always praying for you.

Con Amor Eterno,
Elder Butler

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Change of area

Hey mom!

Sorry about last week. My emails didn't send and i had pictures attached. I think it was because the files were too big. I'm using a place where I can't send pictures right now. hopefully I can send some next week. I'm glad to hear everything is going well.

Man conference was great! the mission age announcement was crazy!!!!! Vamos a tener muchos jovenes en la mision bien pronto! 

Man, I love hearing about how much it helps to follow spiritual promptings. Thomas S. monson is such a great example to all of us. I've been praying a ton to have more promptings and opportunities to serve others. The  General Authorities really want people to understand the importance of the family. 

What I really liked was the talk from Elder Bednar. It really is food for thought do we just have a testimony or are we really converted. I can't wait for the conference issue to come out so I can study all the talks again. I thought it was amazing how literally every speaker quoted either Peter or Paul. Maybe that's a sign that we really need to put a little more time into studying all the standard works. 

I'm glad you're excited to teach the new curriculum. You've already trained two missionaries, and a third one on the way in just 6 years. Man, it would take me years to put all that I learned about conference into this email, but what really hit home to me was the importance of true conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

How did John like his first Priesthood session?

The Reds are in the playoffs! Hope they win the series. I bet Anita is just lovin' it! I miss her and the clients and all of you guys, but I really do know what I'm doing is the work of the Lord. 

My area is called Palin, in zona Amatitlan.  I'm being humble and really striving to do everything I can to continue the tradition here. We live in a really nice colonia, and we have one of the nicest houses in the mission. We even have a tienda that delivers to our house for free. Que suerte!

I was really sad to leave Peronia, but one of the Elders from my group, Elder Watts, was transferred there. He's a hard worker and a great guy, soI don't have to worry about the families and investigators that I left behind. 

By the way, Elder Yates got your letter and wanted me to thank you for it. You really made his day!

Well I'm almost through the Isaiah chapters of 2nd Nephi. Although they're still confusing, I love studying them. I always remember the promise that Nephi made at the beginning of writing that section. That we could apply them to ourselves, especially since we're part of the house of Israel. With patience I know in time I'll learn many things from them.

Well I got yelled at by one of the bus drivers today because we were contacting the bus. Guatemalan buses do not know the word, space. They truly do rival a can of sardines. The people here really don't worry about personal space. It's always really difficult for me to move up the aisles because I'm so big and there's literally no room. Always an adventure here in Guatemala. 

Love you with all my heart. Thank you for all the updates. Hope the Eagles, Reds, and Buckeyes and Bees continue to find success. Thank you for everything you do and continue to do for me. You truly are a great example of someone who has been converted to the gospel, Regan Butler. Love you with all my heart!

Con Amor Eterno,
Elder Butler

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Transfers coming up-

Hi mom!

I've really been feeling like my Spanish hasn't been in full swing. I've been putting in an hour of language study everyday, and have been praying for the gift of tongues and spiritual strength.. I've only been reading the Book of Mormon in Espanol, and just putting in that extra effort all across the board. 

President sent me an email last week saying he was really glad that I was being obedient with exactness, and that when we had our zone meeting he could see how much the Spirit is changing me. It was motivational and I really bumped up my effort in inviting the Spirit. It's absolutely essential for everything. 

 We had a lesson with a really cool family, and after explaining we had to leave to be obedient to our  rules concerning time, E  told us he really admired our obedience. Que bendicion!!!!!! Literally an answer to my prayers. More than that, I can feel a change in me. I can speak better, and I feel guided by the Spirit more. I can communicate better with people. Wow! how blessed am I to be receiving all these blessings. Words can't describe it.

35  degrees already!?!?!? yikes........Glad to hear everything/everyone is doing fine. I thought W was already at his internship, so thanks for clarifying that situation. I sent J an email for his birthday. Did he read it? 

Thanks for doing all of that to help me with my license. I have a really strong feeling I need to keep my license current. 

Well right now we teach a lot of lessons. No shortage whatsoever. We've got several families that we're working with. A lot of our of them are from part member families. The people here are great. The members help out when we ask, and the Bishop is a great guy. 

Well I got jipped out of sending pictures this week. I'm using a computer without a USB port.  It's always something...... I'll send some next week. 

Just one week until changes! Every missionary speculates about changes and I'm not sure what to think. I think i'm going to stay in this area but I'm not sure.  

Trust me, time flies when you're  on a mission. I find myself always saying where did the time go! I'm really excited for General Conference. I'll be able to watch in English! I'm stoked! I've been reading conference talks everyday. Man, what a blessing. 

How's OSU doing? Has the NFL started? I need to hear how the Eagles are doing.  Keep me updated.

Well mom i love you. tThanks for everything that you have done and continue to do for me. Man, how fast have these 6 months gone by? It just baffles me. But know that I pray for you guys everyday. Know that I'm serving with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. Once again mom, thanks for everything and i love you con todo mi corazon.

Con Amor Eterno,
Elder Butler

Friday, September 7, 2012

Guatemala City

Hola mama Bootler!

A mi me gusta la organizacion de tu correro. Muchisimas gracias!  (To help get more information in the emails he sends I was inspired to ask some questions he could answer to help things along.)

What do you love about your new area?

What I love about my new area is that there is a lot of work to do.  Our goal is to have 10 baptisms this month. The mission's already got 93. We want to do out part and more. It's strange to actually have people that are willing to hear our message and do their part to know that it's true!

What has been the hardest to get used to in the new area?

Easily the hardest thing to get used to in my area are los grados, or the stairs. It's unbelievable. I'll have to send you guys a picture later on (we're using public acess, and the computers are a little outdated and i don't have a usb cord, I'll try to figure something out!). The stairs are getting easier, but the city is literally built into the side of a mountain. That's how a lot of Guatemala is. At night you can look out and see all of Guatemala lit up, absolutely incredible.

What are 3 characteristics you admire in Elder C?

 Hey, only 3 good things to put for Elder C!? He's awesome. He knows how to be a friend to everyone. He's upbeat and really diligent. He's got a lot of patience too. We're amigos, we talk, we joke, and the members like us (not trying to sound prideful or anything). We work really hard together, and we see eye to eye on a lot of things, but we aren't afraid to change our approaches. What I like about him is that he can correct me, or himself, but do it in a manner where it's not counter-productive. He really wants to be a trainer. I hope more than anything in the world that he's blessed for his efforts.

How far do you think you walk on an average day?

Wow, we walk a ton everyday. Our area isn't remote, so we walk, and walk, and walk. The thing is I've found a lot of motivation in reading "Our Heritage", and just thinking about all the sacrfices of the early Saints, and more importantly, Jesus Chirst. I really do find strength in Him and His atonement. For example, my first Fast Sunday in the mission I literally thought I was going to die. But I changed my attitude, especially reading the Savior's teaching about fasting, and how when we complain and talk about our thirst and our hunger, we have our reward. But when we really focus on why we're fasting, we're blessed in so many ways. Now I can get through a Fast Sunday with our uttering a word about hunger or thirst.

Is the food different now?

The food is food here. The only thing distinct about Guatemalan food is  tortillas are present in every meal. I eat ceral and apple for breakfast, lunch I go to the comedor and have some type of chicken, rice, and salad and to close everyday I eat beans and tortillas. The food is delicious here though. There are panaderias (bakery) everywhere. Had pache, basically a tamale but with potato, absolutely incredible!

How are your shoes holding up?

No se precupe, mis zapatos estan bien ahorrita.

Do you need anything in the next package which will probably be a Thanksgiving/Christmas combination?

As far as packages go, whatever you want to send I love everything you send! I would love to have more pictures of the family. A lot of members and people we are teaching love seeing our families, so I  guess only that. Oh, and a new calender for the next year. Anything you guys want from Guate for Christmas!?

What is your new apartment like?

Apartments fine. I have a bed to sleep on, and we're in a nice neighborhood.

Well for me I'm still focusing a lot on Jesus Christ, as far as studies go. I'm also studying the lessons a lot so I can teach more natutrally. I've been reading in 1 Nephi a lot. Man, what a great example of work ethic from Nephi, and what our attitude needs to be. I love chap. 17, and how Nephi just goes out and gets it done, and it's even a little funny how he shocks his brothers. I'm learning so much about the gospel it would literally take up all my time to write about every single thing I've learned.

Well I'm still lost in the work. I love the questions, helps me focus and give a little more detail about what I'm doing here. I love every minute here, even when things aren't exactly going our way.

But I love you! Glad to here everything is going well out there! oh by the way, tell M I got his letter! I'll try to send one soon. It's easier to just have you guys forward emails for me. Ill send you one for him next week and you can print it off and give it to him. Finally, I've decided that i want Alma 29:9 as my scripture.

Well I hope everything's going well for you guys! I look forward to your emails every week! I find strength in reading all your emails, and know that I really pour out my soul for you guys everyday! Wow,  how fast these 5 months have gone. I'm almost a quarter of the way through! santa vaca!

I wouldn't trade this opportunity to serve for anything in the world. Man, I love this mission. Thank you for every sacrifice you've made for me, monetarilly, emotionally, temporally, in time. Love you all!

Con amor,
Elder Butler

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to the City

Hola Madre! no se precupe. Aveces, nos orbidamos muchas cosas, gracias a nuestras vida y la multitud de las cosas tenemos que hacer cada dia. Sin embargo, recuerdase que Dios es siempre primero! Ok i'm done writing in Espanol. lol 

Well I'm in the capital now, Zona Mariscal. My area's called Peronia. A lot different from Puerta de Hierro. My companion is Elder Carrillo, de Nicaragua. He's awesome! The thing i like about him the most is that he tries to be a friend with every one here. The area is really different geographically. It¡s literally built into the side of a mountain (actually a lot of Guatemala is built into the mountains) but literally everywhere we go has super steep inclines. Don¡t worry, i'm stretching and eating plenty of frijoles for my muscles to recover. But i like it here. The members are great, and the ward mission leader helps us teach everyday. 

I'm really progressing spiritually. I've really been focusing on repentance a lot, and how i can improve everyday. The power of deliverance through the Atonement of Jesus Christ is amazing! there's still so much i have to learn, but i'm enjoying every minute of it. I started reading Jesus the Christ. So powerful.

Thanks for everything mom. All the lessons you've taught me, big and small, are being applied here in the mission.I'm being obedient and trying everyday to help someone out. You sure are right about teaching by the Spirit. That's been one of my focuses, and i'm starting to see the fruits of my labors. This time I have to serve truly is a blessing.

The mission has helped me refine myself, and I couldn¡t have done ANY OF IT without Bishop W. I know that he won't be brought down by any trial or tribulations. He truly is a man of God. 

I'm going to have to send you my testimony next week. We had problems finding internet. Also, I'll send you pictures of me in Puerta de Hierro next week. I'm torn about what scripture i want on my plaque. I can't decide whether i want Alma 29:9 or Moroni 8:16. i'll give my decision next week.

Glad to hear Bethel Football is rolling along. Let me know if anyone¡s gong to Ohio State!  

 Ya you're right, time is flying, at the end of this exchange I'll have 6 months! yikes. Time flies when you're lost in the service of the Lord.

Cool fact i learned about humility. in the vision of the tree of life, there's one big difference between the first group of people who took the fruit, then left, and the second group. What's the difference? The second group literally fell down and worshiped (sorry can't quote it correctly). But isn't that true? The whole Book of Mormon is a testimony of what happens when the people take the fruit, but don't humble themselves before God. Spiritual thought of the week, and just another reason why i absolutely love the Book of Mormon.

Well time's winding down and I still have to send emails to W and R! Love you mom with all my heart. I really do mean that. I truly do pray for you everyday. Know that you will always be in my heart. Love you mom. I know Dad's proud of all of us. Rejoice in the Lord and His everlasting love, and how through him we'll always be together!

Con Amor Eterno, 
Elder Butler

pss took money out this week. Don't worry.

psss. the cable is wrong the right one should be in the box to my camera

pssss. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hey mom! 

Don't worry if you didn't have time to write. I know you're working, so no tenga pena lol How was your lesson this week. I know how much you love to teach, and the lessons you prepare to teach,help you learn for yourself  and are such great blessings. How's school going? Has the football team started playing yet? Wish them luck for me!

So i'm being transfered. I'm sad to leave, but ready to move on. As corny as it sounds, i know that i'll be able to see them another time, hopefully here in Guatmala, but more importantly,after this life is over. 

 I'm ready to go where i'm needed, and i'm going to continue serving with all my heart might mind and strength. I've really been focusing on the Savior and His example this week. I've been feeling the Spirit more this week, and this is my simple invitation for you. Focus on the Savior. 

Love you Mom. Manda salud a la resta de la Familia! i will write more next week. Love you mom! the Lord will help you in every thing you do because of the great sacrifices you have made and continue to make for me and the family. Thank you for being such a great friend and teacher. What would i do without you!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Love ya Forever,

Elder Butler


Que tal? Como esta su vierno?  Que paso con Reillypalooza???? Does it kick off this week? Have fun in Idaho this week! I always loved out trips to visit the Brimhalls and the Astlunds. Gail told me about how her trip with Shannon and Linda went well. i still have to email her back...grrrrr...Managing my time while emailing is dificult, but this week we're emailing in a nice internet cafe in the mall. Much better than in Puerto, so all my emails can be dispersed in a nice, orderly fashion. Well it's chiqote (chastizing) time. You have to read your scriptures. No ifs ands or buts. Scripture study helps us in so many ways. Look how it helped Joseph Smith, where would we be without his great example of searching the scriptures. But I know that you're a diligent person, just make sure you read EVERYDAY, even if it's only 1 verse!

Well that stinks about your iphone. I could send you one from here lol but  they're actually more expensive. 
The Lord blesses us for allllll of our righteous desires, but sometimes it's in his way. Look for the tender mercies in your life. I know you'll be able to be more diligent and focus more if you read your scriptures. Every building has to have a strong foundation, scriptures, prayers, testimonies, and covenants are what should make up every strong foundation. Remember, the wise man built his house upon the rock.

Well i'm being transfered. Mixed Emotions. I really love the people here, so i feel it's natural to be a little sad to leave, but at the same time i think it's a sign i'm doing what i'm supposed to. To be a good missionary you have to love the people. The members are geniuinely great people and they treat each other like family. The environment is literally like a family of God. But i'm saying my goodbyes today, and moving on tomorrow. I wrote my name on the pole of missionaries at the house of the Perez Family, which means i have to return someday, so plan on a return trip to Guatemala in the future! Can't help but have a little regret because my Spanish wasn't up to par, so i feel like i could've had better relationships with them, but i know ill be fine. They love me, and i love them. I'm stoked to move on though. I'll find out tomorrow where i'm going, and I'm ready to start helping my fellow bretheren and sisters.   
My studies have been focused on studying better lplus a lot of focus has been put into the Savior, his life and teachings, and how i can do better personally to honor Him, and follow His example. Last week was really busy so we didn't have a lot of time to study, but I'm learning more and more every week, and i have a genuine desire to learn more and more. I often find myself sad at the end of study time because i just want to learn more and more.

So anything significant going on in the world? Guatemala is Guatemala and I had bubblegum flavored soda this week. Unbelievable. Guatemala has much better soda than the states.

My emails are boring sorry about that. Do you have the emails of Elder Bennett and Laret? if i send you an email for them could you forward it for me? Mom hasn't emailed me. I know will's busy so i don't mind, but a little concerned. I know she's at work right now. Just make sure you forward this to her.

Hope you like the pictures! Giant spiders and cockroaches! The picture with Elder L and I is with Hno. Mario Perez. His family is super strong in the church. He's the guy that I promised to come back and visit. More pics to follow, and ill try to get some funny ones. I just don't carry my camera with me much bc we don't have time to stop and take pictures much, lot's of work! But i'll actively search for funny things to photograph lol

Well i love ya with all my heart. I'm praying for you and the rest of the family everyday. I know that in no time we'll be chilling in the front room sharing stories of the past two years. I'm close to 5 months in the mission,  Almost a quarter of the way through my mission....yikes! where is the time going!?!?!?!?!?!?! Love ya sis, Cuidase!

Con Amor Eterno,


Thursday, August 16, 2012

News from Puerta

I've been praying super hard for you guys. John's going to be in 6th grade, and you've got school starting! I pray that you'll be able to keep up with the everyday grind. se que el senor les bendicirà a ustedes con la fuerza para vencer todos!

Interviews went well with Pres. He's really pleased with my progress, and he told my companion my Spanish is really good. I told him about my goals to help us reach 300 bautismos and he was glad to hear my goal. The spirit's been putting in my mind the number 7. I really want to do my part and more.

I think I'm staying in Puerta. We find out Monday, but it's highly probable my comp's leaving. we'll see.

The past week numbers- wise wasn't great, but we've got new investigators attending church. Vamos a bautizarse!

Mi espanol is getting better and better everyday, but I can't settle. I have to study more and learn more so I can be a better teacher and respect this gift God has given me.

So we encountered gigantic spiders last week. I'll send pics next week! 
Got the packages! Thanks for all. I'm glad you sent the peanut butter because my comp likes it a lot! Nothing was stolen. I love the pic that you sent me! It helps me stay motivated when I'm feeling down, along with our family pic.

Gospel wise, I started the BOM again. I love the examples of Lehi in the beginning. His obedience to the revelation God sent him is perfect for our time. If he would've ignored it, literal captivity and death. He followed it, and received life and freedom, temporally and spiritually. The same applies for our lives. If we ignore revelation, it leads to spiritual captivity. If we follow revelation, it leads to spirtual and temporal freedom. Pretty general thing, there's more I could type, but i feel that point is so crucial for us to understand.

I'm really working hard to prepare for September (and for the rest of my mission).
1. I will accomplish all my righteous goals. 7 baptisms for my next area or Puerta is a righteous desire, and I know most of what I need to do to accomplish it. I'm willing to heed the guidance from the Spirit to better myself to be a better missionary also.

2. I want to persuade many people of the truthfulness of the restored Gospel. Simple, but bien claro that i will help lots of people.

Hopefully more funny experiences or crazy things will happen to spice up my emails a little more lol Love you guys with all my heart. You guys are a huge motivation for me to succeed and help the people of Guatemala. Love you guys!

Con Amor,
Elder Butler

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The work goes on

Hey mom!

Como esta? que piense usted sobre los mormones? Usted seguirá el ejemplo de Jesucristo y ser bautizado este 1 de Septiembre? hahaha lo siento, aveces me orbido cómo a hablar Ingles y cosas no son sobre la obra misional lol

Hey how's the garden? i prayed everyday that the plants would be ok. Anything else new? I can't believe it's already been 4 months for me. It feels like yesterday i was stepping on the plane. I love what i'm doing so much. Even the rough days are a blessing. Sometimes i have to figure out the disguise of my blessings, but many it's great to be a missionary. 

 We had divisions with the zone leaders last week and i learned a lot from Elder Varela. We're both a lot a like. We're older missionaries who had to learn a little later than most the importance of the gospel. We're both jokesters but teach and talk relatively the same. I really learned from him that we need to just need to be excited about the work. 

The best thing i learned this week, and maybe during the mission so far, is that a lot of times we forget the element of charity. Moroni 7 is incredible. I've had a ton of faith and hope during the mission, but i really lacked charity, whether it was the same drunk guy we talked to every night or my companion. I feel the Spirit guiding me more ever since i started focusing in adding the aspect of charity in my life. I love the time that we have to study. I realized how much of a blessing it is to have that time. A lot of people look at a mission as time lost or wasted. How many people can study the Gospel  for 3 to 4 hours everyday, then afterwards go out and preach it to help out their fellow brethern? it truly is a blessing to be in the service of the Lord. Hey can you put up my testimony of the BOM on the blog? I would love it if you could do that.

As for packages, we get to pick them up every Reunion de Cambios, at least for our area. We live super far away from the mission office. It's just super inconvenient for them to send packages down to our area. 

Hey how's Anita and the clients? Summer trips should be wrapping up soon. Hope they went well. I think about them all the time and the important life lessons they've taught me (the people I worked with).
So have you wondered what the music is like down here? i've got some songs for you to youtube lol look up "hasta gue salgo el sol" by don omar. I hear it everday in the taxi's and buses lol 

Hey one other thing. We have interviews with President Brough next week, so we're probably going to email Wednesday.

Sorry if my emails lack content or feeling, I've just become accustomed to listening to other people and i just want to hear about how everyone is doing. 

I'm really grateful for all your prayers. I want you to know i'm working super hard and i'm going to keep helping the people of Guatemala. Love you lots mom. You truly are like one of the mothers of the Soidiers of Helaman. I know that doesn't sound too smooth, but i hope you feel the heartfelt gratitude i have for you and the things you've taught me.  Te amo con mi todo corazon mama! tambien por la familia! Somos juntos eterno!

Con Amor Eterno, 
Elder Bootler

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Musings from the mission field

Buenas! (That's the greeting here lol, too lazy to put the other exclamation point)

Last night was rough. We left the apartment late because we slept late. I woke up at 4:55 and my comp woke up at 5. We left at 520. I felt so sad that iI broke a rule, and truly wanted to repent. I'm praying, repenting, and trying to change everyday. Isn't that what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about? True change. I'm trying SO HARD to change our methods and how we can work better.

I ran so i could get to the apartment on time and obey. My comp walked and said it was dangerous to run in the rain, even though we've done it before. We can't afford to be disobedient. We forfeit too many blessings through it. I want every family and person in Guatemala to experience the same blessings we've had.

It's important to ALWAYS have an attitude of WE'RE GOING TO SUCCEED, and if you don't, you go back to the drawing board, and like Will's saying was when he got back from the mission JUST DO IT. I've quit making excuses and just changed my outlook on the mission. I really hope i stay in this area for the next exchange because i can't hang my hat at the end of this exchange and feel like we got some work done.

Oh well. i'm going to do better. i'm going to overcome this hurdle. I'm not going to let my challenges affect me, but i'm going to affect my challenges and overcome them. Todo alma, mente, fuerza, y corazon.

Favorite scripture i read this week was i Ether 6:3. It's so simple. It talks about the stones the brother of Jared had the Lord touch, and how the Jaredites were able to cross the sea in light, not darkness because they had the stones. What a great scripture we can apply to our lives! How many "bright stones" do we have to lead us through the darkness of this life? Ay! tenemos muchos para ayudarnos en este vida! Tan grande, bastante! I'm glad to hear you guys are reading as a family. Small and simple things bring to pass many great things!

I'm glad you were able to grow some corn. Trust me, i pray for you and the garden everyday because I know how important it is to you. You have to power to overcome every obstabcle in your life because you're a faithful saint who honors her covenants.

Love you mom. I'm always remembering things you've taught me. I'm so blessed to have you as a mom. Siempre le amo!

Con Amor Eterno,
Elder Bootler (that's how people pronounce my name here lol)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mission work

Well this week picked up. We had 5 investigators attend church. Please pray for us! I've really been trying to push the envelope here because nothing is too big for the work of the Lord.

I can see the fruits of my fast from the previous week. Mas paciencia, mas entendentmieto del idioma, y mas importante mas presencia del Espiritu.

How are the family studies going? I'm finished Mormon, and i'm so surprised about how much stuff i overlooked. Preach My Gospel has very few references to the section, but it's filled with an abundance of things that can help us in our lives. I can't imagine how depressed Mormon and Moroni were, being hunted down, seeing all of their civilization dead. Mormon had to lead an army he knew was going to fail, and he was even killed later on. What a lesson in patience. In my Book of Mormon, it looks like a coloring book at the end of the section of Mormon with all the things i've highlighted. I found a scripture today that is a perfect for one of our investigors. He doesn't believe in prophets or anything of that nature. In chapter 9, it says if you don't believe those things, you don't read the scriptures. If you do read the scriptures and still don't believe, you don't understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I read those verses, I was enlightened! Man i love the scriptures. Read them as a family!

Congrats to B and T I'm excited to hear where they will be going! I'm praying for the mission house to sell also.

Thanks for clearing up the gym situation. I'm doing fine right now. I think the next time i'm in the capital i'm going to grab some protein at a GNC, because we don't have a lot of time to cook or eat, and a protein shake could really help me out during the day. Just thought i would give you a heads up. I have 3 more weeks until the Reunion de Cambios, My Zone Leaders and District Leaders tell me I will probably be staying in Puerta. That would be great I love the area and the people are great. There's plenty of people here estan listo a venir a Cristo!

Glad the garden is getting somewhat better. One good thing about the heat i'm experiencing here is that I'm never going to complain about Ohio heat again! I'm accustomed to sweating profusely! When I come home you won't have to worry about AC at all! Do you guys want a hammock? We have an investigator that makes really nice ones and they aren't very expensive. Let me know. A little love from Guate!

Thanks for the advice to help me overcome my impatience. I've implemented them, and the thing I needed to do was to give counsel without getting outrageously ticked. I read in Proverbs or Psalms (can't remember) that those who are quick to anger are fools. LOL, WOW, that's a humbling scripture.

I love you guys a ton and i'm praying for you constantly. I know you are as well. Next week will be 4 months in the mission! Ay yi yi donde el tiempo ir a?

Love you guys. Once again, TENGO MUCHO AMOR PARA USTEDES!

Elder Butler

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Zone Conference

Sorry for the late email. Tuviamos La Conferencia de Zona ayer. Muy bonita. Presidente Brough is probably one of the coolest leaders known to man.

I talked to presidente on the phone, and he probably gives the most loving chiqote (chastising) ever. He told me to continue trying my best. I bet you are wondering what happened to your son Sam, but it's for real. The mission turns boys into MEN), It's been 3 days and i've been doing a lot better. I haven't been short tempered and I'm able to feel the Spirit much more during the day.

On a good note, my Spanish has taken off. I have full conversations with everybody now, and i can understand a lot more. Don't get me wrong, i'm not fluent, but I know i'm being blessed for my service. The missionaries at the Zone Conference commented on it also. They asked "you're a trainee aren't you?" I've been extremely blessed. I have to continue working everyday and learning more vocabulary.

Ayer, ensenamos un familia nueva. Ellos tuvieron miedo de oracion. Despues varios veces, yo di mi testimonio, and rattled off Spanish i've never used, rapidly i might add, and they understood and accepted the invitaton to pray. Wow, it was 100 percent the Spirit helping me help los hijos de Dios.

Well i'm glad everything is going well at home. Keep updating me on everything. Not sure how much i can do for absentee ballot. When do i have to send it in?

Next package please send a pack of Uno cards. The branch president here loved it. He served in Texas, and they don't sell it here. He's a great guy and bends over backwards to help us out.

Thanks for everything you do. finished 3rd Nephi this week. I love how simply 3 Nephi states the gospel of Jesus Christ so clearly. it's true that even a child could read it and understand. love you guys and wish you the best in everything.

Con amor eterno,
Elder Butler

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mission News

Life in Guatemala

Hola Madre!

I'm so sorry for the short emails. you're always the last person i email because i save the best for last, but by the time i check the clock it's almost time to go! No mas! voy a enviar su correro primer siempre! PLEASE have all those that i email forward them to each other. President Brough has us email for one hour so we don't use excessive amounts of time on the computer on p-day. I WANT TO WRITE SO MUCH MORE!!!! i simply just don't have a lot of time.

Some cool things i think you would like to hear

1. Samuel The Lamanite! that should be the name of my blog.. Whenever we have to go to the Capital one elder stands at the front and shouts above the noise of the crowd proclaiming the gospel. I absolutely love doing it. yo literalmente siento como un profeta antigua, como Samuel La Lamanita!

2. I saw a Downs person on the bus the other day! I couldn't really talk to him, but it was cool to see one of my buddies here in the land of chapins.

3. Funny story from the CCM. My companion and I were looking in the dictionary for the word try and found "probar". The next day, some merchants came to the CCM to sell various things. I started a conversation with one of the vendors (served her mission in Miami so her english is really good). I then proceeded to try and tell her in espanol "i will try to speak spanish". Instead, i said "yo robar..." and she immediately flipped out. I then figured out later that robar means to steal. Lesson learned, DON'T SAY ROBAR IN A MARCADO!

I need a new picture of dad. We had a really bad storm that blew open the door next to my desk. the picture flew off my desk and into some rain water. i can still see dad in it but it's really faded. if you just email it I think i'm going to buy a flashdrive. ill put the file on the flashdrive and take it to the photo developer in Puerto.

My BoM story of the week is in 3 Nephi 19:3 where it talks about how Jesus left the Nephites, but promised to return on the morrow. All the Nephites prepared through the night and worked super dilligently so they could see the Savior the next day. I like to think of that as preparation for the Sabbath. Given, we don't see Christ, but we can most certainly feel His presence on the Sabbath. It's a great scripture to apply for everyone, member or not, to simply put more preparation for the day we meet to feel our Savior's Love.

Con Amor Eterno,
Elder Samuel Forrest Butler

21st Birthday

Hey mom!

Sorry this email will be short. had trouble trying to upload picture(s). Estoy muy animo su jardin es grande! I actually do need your help in renewing my license. I don't have anytime (even pday) to renew. Luckily, Presidente said it isn't a big issue when i renew it.

I'm loving the work. we received to commitments for baptism in two days, and hopefully more to come! My desire to serve grows more and more every day. I love the people and I love the work. My Spanish is rapidly progressing. Just a few more conjugations i have to remember. We went to Antigua yesterday (big tourist town, really different) for a zone activity. One of the older Norte Elders told my trainer that i was doing really well with speaking and listening to people's questions and trying to help them. It really humbled me to know that the people can understnad me (I even convinced a guy after 5 minutes to let us into his home and teach him, no joke! I later was able to get him to commit to baptism if he knew the Gospel was true.) I know it's no mere coincidence. el don de lenguas.

I love you and think about you all the time. i don't have any crazy experiences. Tell everyone thanks for the birthday wishes. I'll try to send some letters out next pday. keep sending the large emails, i love hearing about everything! Send bishop my greetings and sincere gratitude for all the help he's given me.

I love you guys so much! Remember the hand of the Lord is in all things!

With Eternal Love,
Elder Butler

Saturday, June 23, 2012

News from the field

I'm so sorry i forgot to bring my usb cable to upload pictures. I PROMISE I WILL NEXT WEEK! Entonces, ¿como estan las cosas en ohio? I have been making a lot of progress in espanol (bc the holy ghost is helping me, ¡el don del lenguas!). I'm so stoked the mission home is done! it looks great! you're so right about bishop williams. i have a feeling he will be a mission president someday. what a guy. My mission president is great.He's big on obedience.

1. We have a family we're working with. All members (recent convert). The mom can't pronounce my name. In fact, nobody here can pronounce my name! mi nuevo apellido es Bootler lol. Entonces, ella no puede decir mi nombre. Pues, she randomly calls me Elder Hitler! jajajajaja She clarified i'm not mean or anything (i´m being a good missionary lol).

2. We contacted and taught a man ayer. El tiene un parrot. The thing would not stop squawking. I swear it was the funniest thing i've heard in a while. i had to cover my mouth bc i was laughing so hard during the lesson! Do you remember the Christmas when John fell down the stairs and let out that scream? well imagine that for 45 minutes straight. Hilarious

3. I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting last week! technically, it's my second one. i Gave one in the CCM, and those were picked at random the last day. Entonces, this was my first real talk en Espanol. I started out with a disclaimer saying, "Por favor, tiene pacience conmigo porque mi espanol no es bueno." Afterwards, the counselor got up and said he understood every word and in no time i'll be a Chapin! jajajaja

That's my new joke with people we contact. They'll ask where we're from. Elder Loayza dice soy de peru. Entonces yo digo, ¡Soy un Chapin! hahaha i love the people here.

Puerta is different. small compared to surrounding towns. Small branch. But we're determined to work and work and work some more, The houses are different. Lots of them don't have windows or doors (probably because of the heat!) But everyone has a bicycle o un moto. EVERYBODY. Definitely different, but i love it. we have a good apartment (which you've already seen) with running water. Basically i love what i'm doing.

as for things i need, if you're going to send anything please send a loufa, mine was stolen in the CCM and they don't sell them here. Otherwise, i'm doing fine. Hard to believe i turn 21 next week! anyways, i'm saving money to send a package home on Christmas. it's really expensive to send things from here, but i promise you guys will get some authentic Guatemalan items for christmas.

I love you and the family so much. I pray for you guys all the time, and i know the Lord protects you and guides you in all things. thank you for raising me the way you did. i understand now why you had rules, and now it's important. I loved reading all of the testimonies from the family. Dad's made me laugh and cry. You guys are so awesome. Once again, i love you guys with all my heart. Hope John enjoys his vacation, and you enjoy your fun time! Romans 5:3 - 5. Love you guys!

First letter from Puerta de Hierro

Hi mom!

I'm sorry i don't have a lot of time to type!

My area is Puerta de Hierra, near Escuintla. I am in the hottest part of the mission! I swear I have lost over 10 lbs lol. My companion is Elder L. He's so awesome, and patient and always wants to help.

This place is great, and i love every minute of it!

Once I got over the longing for home, I picked myself up and GOT TO WORK!

I love the people and the work, and that's what's keeping me going. I promise I will write more next week. This was my first week and I had to receive troubleshooting about what and how to write to president. I know you'll understand! keep updating frequently, I LOVE IT!

Also, can you send me lists of birthdays in case I forget?

I got your package! i cant express how grateful i am for every single thing you gave me!

My espanol is getting better, and I'm starting understand more, BECAUSE THE LORD ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS!!!!!! My testimony is growing so much, and I'm losing myself in the work! I LOVEYOU GUYS WITH ALL MY HEART!
Love, Elder Butler

Last letter from CCM

Date: May 28, 2012
Area: Guatemala City
Companion: Elder Tauiliili

Well i''ve got about 25 minutes left to email. it's weird not having
any to read. o well. how did graduation go. it's definitely the most
wonderful time of the year for you isn't it? hahaha lo siento, i hope
it went well. how's the little man doin? y como esta la perra Ellie?
hey reilly never told me how many responses i got on my facebook page!
lol it's all good. it's odd to not feel rushed for once in here. i've
pretty much typed everything i thought i could. well there's still
some more to tell lol. we said goodbye to our hermanas today,
Hermana P y Hermana SThey were so awesome. our district is Slash
it was super awesome. we were all super close, and none of us had any
form of homesickness because all of us are so close. We all have so
much in common, we're like one giant family. Elder is B
Colorado. he's a awesome guy. he was our former district leader. he's
a shorter guy. really outgoing. we went to the immigration building
today. instead of sitting around and waiting, elder booher and i
talked to the people there and gave them folletos (pamphlets), we even
got information from a lady who said she'd like us to teach her more.
elder murphy is pretty quiet, but absolutely hilarious. it's so
awesome to see how far his espanol has come. Elder W is the AP.
One of my best buddies here. He's a walking fountain of spiritual
knowledge, but he's really upbeat and very fiery about the gospel. i
honestly don't have enough time to type everything about him. Elder
S, or La Grappa, is the definition of Gentle Giant. he was a
tackle on the football team, but he's one of the nicest people i've
ever met. i haven't heard him complain once about anything. gotta love
la grappa. Elder R came late, along with Elder B. He's a
convert to the church and went through a lot of adversity prior. only
member in his family, but he's got a testimony that will shake your
Brown is another one of my better buddies. He and i are very similar in practically
we're both the same age, and have a different
perspective of the world and more of a grip on reality than a lot of
the people from utah have. Hermana S was one heck of a
misionary. She went to provo first, so for the first two weeks she
hated our guts. Then all of the sudden she just started being nice to
us. She has such a great singing voice, and she's really got her
doctrine down. Hermana S is tall, but quite hilarious. even
though she's not far away from becoming a teacher, her espanol was
pretty shaky week one. now she speaks very well. i love seeing how
much everyone has progressed. and then there's my companion, I
love that guy to death though. He's not going to be in my mision, so
it will be rough saying goodbye to him tomorrow. he's been such a
great example of love and service. I feel bad he had to have me as a
companion because i'm just looney, and he's very calm and
he's down to earth. our personalities contrast sometimes, but there's
a lot of love between us. Well that's my district. i love you guys. i
hope everything is going well and i look forwad to seeing all the
letters and emails and hopefully packages at the mision home tomorrow.
ill try to send more letters. i love you guys with all my heart and
wish you the best of luck in everything you do.

Elder butler