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Friday, March 29, 2013

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March 29, 2013
Hola mi familia!
It sounds like you had a very exciting and productive weekend in Utah with family stuff! I hope things are well with everyone and I send them my love!
I just have to start out by saying how much I absolutely love you! What a blessing we can be together forever! It's going to be a blast and I am so excited!

I think it was Monday that it snowed. It has been absolutely gorgeous and then it snowed! Which was pretty, but some of the flowers that had been growing and blooming died. So sad. I will attach some pictures of my feelings, but I have to explain the one where I'm laughing. I knelt down to take a sad picture with the daphodil and some elders walked by. One of them laughed and said that was one of the saddest pictures he'd ever seen. He said they had been watching that flower grow for the last week and they had felt the same way -- I couldn't help it and I laughed and H. Jaeger snapped a picture. The flowers are all alive and well now, though (:

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I am so so so excited about Easter! Thank you mom for sending me my "carrot" (: I was so happy when it came (sorry it cost so much to send -- but I'm grateful regaurdless). My companion and two of the other Hermanas are singing in the choir for Easter! I am way pumped. The number is absolutely incredible and it gives me chills to be singing like that. I wish we could record it... sorry. I miss singing a lot, but Hermana Bendixen and I have started singing a lot of the Hymns in Spanish so that's really fun. Anyway, back to Easter. Not only are we singing on Easter, but the entire CCM is going to have a massive Sacrament meeting! Ok -- let me help you realize -- there will be 100 elders passing the Sacrament. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! All of us missionaries together in one room remembering and taking part in one of the greatest ordinances we have. It gives me chills to think about. I am learning ever more the great love I have for the Sacrament. What a wonderful opportunity we have to renew our covenants with the Lord and a time to remember all that He has done for us. Easter is such a wonderful reminder that this life is not the end because HE LIVES!
And can I just say how blessed I feel to be able to be in the CCM for Easter and General Conference? I can not wait. I hope that we all prepare for what the Prophets and Apostles have prepared for us. We have living prophets and apostles who lead and guide us today -- what a blessing!
Our time in TRC (we teach members for about 20 minutes 2 each week) and with our Progressive Investigators is improving. It's not awesome, but it's improving. We had a really pretty good lesson with Daniel about the restoration. The lesson was great, we just have to work on applying it to him specifically. We had planned on it -- we just didn't get to it -- it's hard to do in Spanish haha.
My last full week is next week! Can you believe that?! I have been here for just over a month. There's a good chance we will recieve our travel plans later today -- and Hermana Bendixen and I will probably get reassignments. I haven't heard anything about my visa nor have I heard about meeting with the Consolate (I'm not sure on spelling :/ ). It's kind of stressful not knowing where I will be -- I feel somehow more anxious about my reassignment that my initial call which seems a bit strange. I know that I will go where the Lord needs me. An Elder Smith in our zone was just sent to Ogden so maybe he'll be where Grandma is.
A few things -- Elder Seymore in my District got really sick -- huge white lump in the back of his throat, you could see it without a flashlight. Strep AND mono! Isn't that the worst!? What are the odds? Poor kid. I have never heard him complain once. He's on meds and is doing well.
I just love the Spring. I love the fresh air. I love waking up with the window open to birds. I love watching the birds jump and fly around. I love seeing the grass and the smell of it when it's cut. It always makes me think of our Savior's love for us and all He has given to us. I get my District to have picnics quite a bit which is so fun even though I get burnt after being out for 20 minutes -- it's so worth it! Peru is going to love my sensitive skin, I can already tell. Hermana Bendixen and I had a few minutes before class after dinner yesterday and we just found a patch of grass and just laid on it. It was so warm and nice and it made me think about James' LAX tournament in Lewiston. Good days.
One of the teachers shared a quote with me the other day that said, "...I invite you to come follow in [the Savior's]  footsteps. With each step you take, I testify that the Lord will strengthen you. He will help you come the rest of the way. Then when obstacles appear, you will keep going. When doubt comes, you will keep going. You will never turn back. You will never fall away." {One Step Closer to the Savior -- Elder Russell T. Osguthorpe} I love that. Please, with all of my heart, I ask you to follow the Lord. His way is the only way. It is not always easy nor is it always popular, but it is what is necessary. I love you all so much. I hope you know that. You are my life and what helps me continue.
Love always,
Hermana Butterfield (BUG)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

March 22, 2013
Hola everyone!
So kind of cool news this week -- we are now able to email friends as well as family! Yep it's true, however, I still have only half an hour so if we could keep with dearelder and hand written letters that would be awesome, at least while I'm here in the CCM. They just work the best. For anyone wondering, our DL checks the mail twice a day -- once after lunch (around 12:15) and once after dinner (around 5:15) so I can get dearelders at any point. They're really the best form of communication right now.
Thank you to all who have written me! I have been so blessed and suprised at some of my letters. Know I love, think, and pray for you often!
Well, not much different here. We really do about the same thing every week, but I know that I am changing and that's what's important.  Last night was probably the most excited about the work I've been yet. Let me explain. We have two "progressing investigators" (our teachers) that we teach lessons to...in Spanish. And let's be real, my Spanish I think is getting worse haha. Anyway, last night we had an appointment to teach Jose. Hermana Bendixen and I had planned to teach about the church on the Earth today, the importance of Prophets, the Apostasy, the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon. We were going to ask him to begin reading the Book of Mormon and to come to church on Sunday. It was a good plan, but that didn't really happen. Our whole lesson really didn't go exactly as planned, but it went the direction it needed to go. I usually get frustrated and have a hard time saying anything (it's a personal struggle I am working on overcoming), however, when Hermana Bendixen was teaching about Joseph Smith she went to find the first vision which she hadn't planned so she hadn't marked it in her Spanish scriptures. I had started memorizing it in Spanish so I was able to say the first part and find the rest. I ended up kind of taking over that portion of the lesson. oops! It didn't go in the direction we necessarily planned on it taking, but it took the direction it needed to. After class Hermano Alexander (a.k.a. Jose -- our PI) said that that was our best lesson yet. HUGE compliment -- at least I'm taking it that way -- we've taught Hermano Alexander like 6 lessons haha.
Vi una columna de luz, mas brillante que el sol, directamente arriba de mi cabeza, y esta luz gradualmente descendio hasta descansar sobre mi.... That's the beginning in Spanish -- I'm working on the rest.
Something that was shared the other day that I thought was really cool was, "If you're not happy with your lot in life, build a service station on it!" Sometimes we get so caught up in our own lives, and we focus soley on ourselves. It made me think about when I become self absorbed and I forget the things that are important, I'm just not as happy. But when we look outside ourselves and really try to benefit others we become so much happier.
Another thing I've been thinking a lot about is prayer. I'm not the best about my prayers, I will be honest, however I know the Lord hears them. He answers them. Prayer is work. It is just like any other relationship we have, we have to work for that personal relationship with God. He's there with arms wide open, we just have to be willing to speak, then listen, and the be willing to act on those things we know are right.  I suggest you read the conference talk Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ Kevin W. Pearson (2009). It is really amazing and I loved it!
I love you all so much. Thank you for being the people you are and helping me become who I need to be.
Love Hermana Butterfield

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

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Hermana Bendixen and Hermana Butterfield
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Great Group of Missionaries
March 2, 2013
Hey Family!

So it's a partial P day here at the MTC so we have a couple of hours to do a few personal things. I think my P day will be Fridays, at least for the next couple of weeks. 

I have been so blessed with a wonderful companion, Hermana Bendixen. She is 21 and from California. She is very patient with me which is probably a difficult challenge. The Spirit is so strong here in the MTC. I often become discouraged in class, but it's important for me to remember to pray for strength in all things. 

Elder Will King is in my Zone...so funny! I've also seen Elder Stafford and Elder Tanner. It's nice to see familiar faces on occasion. 

It's hard to know what to write. There's so much going on. We get up early, eat, sit in a classroom for hours at a time, try to learn a language (that I'm horrible at. I guess I can be grateful I'm not trying to learn Chinese or something.), try to teach a lesson in that language, be told not to be too worried about the language, but then sit there completely clueless as your "investigator" rattles off a string of words you don't recognize. It's great! haha I honestly think my favorite part of the day is gym time.

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It's nice to see the other missionaries in our zone that have been here for a few weeks that are getting the language. They have enjoyed their time here, but you can tell they are ready to be out in the field.

I will be here for the 6 weeks so my departure date is April 10th I think. There's a good chance I will be re-assigned. Some of the Hermanas in my zone are being re-assigned today. They were supposed to be going to Argentina, but they couldn't get visas either.

I am so blessed as I realize the support I have back home. As we have gotten to know many of the  Hermanas y Elders I have found that many, especially las Hermanas come from broken homes. Some are the only active members in their families. Many have divorced parents and half siblings. You can tell as you talk with them that it is a struggle. Thank you for your love and support in building a righteous family. I am so grateful. 

Please pray for me, and know I pray for you often. I am excited to get to know my branch presidency more. We met with them and the spirit they brought was a much needed addition to my first full day. One of the counselors made specific promises to me and my life when he interviewed me. I know they are worthy a willing to serve and I hope that I can bring that same spirit to those I teach. I love you. I miss you. And I pray for you often. I know the church is true. I know the spirit is real and that it testifies of truth and allows us to feel peace.

This is my address:
Sister Tessa Butterfield
MTC mailbox 127
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Love your bug,
Hermana Butterfield

March 8, 2013 
Well, I'm still not fluent in Spanish, but my Spanglish is coming right along! It's so silly because I don't know Spanish, but since I'm trying so hard to think about it all the time English is becoming an issue as well. As if I didn't already have a difficult enough time not looking like a blond haha...

Just a heads up -- dear elder is the best thing! We get the letters the same day you send them so if you email or write that's kind of the way to go because then I have a bit more time to think about what to write you...which is hard.

Things are still difficult, but I think I'm mellowing out a bit. It's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling, which sounds awful, but I know I'm not alone. My companion is so good and sweet and patient with me. Can I just say even having one that is so wonderful is hard. Being with someone 24/7 is not an easy thing, but I know it's important.

We got a new teacher this week. He was actually our first mock investigator. I love both of our teachers. Hermano Alexander and Hermano Clifford are so amazing and they recognize our struggles and really work hard to help us in any way they can. After our last lesson with our "investigator" who was H. Clifford, H. Clifford could tell how frustrated and discouraged I was. Can we be honest here, teaching in a language you don't understand is super hard. He pulled out Preach My Gospel and showed my companion and I something. It says something like this, "You will be sad" -- that's a promise, "but do not become discouraged. When you become discouraged the Spirit is driven away." It is so true. I get so frustrated and discouraged because of so many things, but when we forget to have hope and faith, we drive the Spirit away. 

I am ever receiving a testimony of the Priesthood in my life! Thank you to all of the men and young men who worthily hold the Priesthood and allow it to bless the life of those around them! Tuesday night I received a blessing from my Zone Leaders, Elders Salerno y Blackburn. The words that came were what I needed to hear and it gave me the most peace that I have felt since being here. The Lord knows each of us so perfectly. The District that our Zone leaders are in is leaving next week and it is so sad. They are so wonderful and I have loved being able to get to know them!
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Elder Salerno
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Elder Blackburn
Another thought I've been having is how important endurance is. Our purpose as missionaries is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping the receive the restored gospel and faith in Jesus Christ through repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." (it's something close to that, I'm still working on memorizing it.) Often times we know things, but we forget the feelings we have had and the witnesses we have received. Life is hard and we forget why we need the Lord in our lives sometimes, that's why enduring to the end is so important. We need to recognize His hand in our lives and notice the difference there is when we are doing the things we are supposed to be doing.

The days are long, the nights feel short, but the time is going so quickly. I can't believe I've already been at the CCM for over a week! It's absolutely crazy.  

Well, I love you all. Thank you for your support. I know I'm terrible with getting letters off, but I am trying. There's just not enough time in the day and I just never know what to write! But I do so appreciate your prayers and thoughts.

Hermana Butterfield

March 15, 2913

Happy birthday, Grandma Royter! I hope that it was a wonderful day! 

Almost three weeks at the CCM! Can you believe that? My time here is half over. Every time I think about that I get so excited. That sounds horrible. I love the CCM, but it will be good to be out in the field. Things are getting a bit better. I'm learning to be better at not becoming frustrated (that sentence is horrible -- spanish is ruining my thinking). It's definitely been a struggle to not get frustrated with everything that is going on, but it's important to remember why I'm here. I am always learning more reasons as to why I am here. For example -- the other night we had two of our roommates who snore...super loud. This is preparing me for marriage...it is...I just know it. haha sorry. That's probably not that funny, but it was at the time. Having a companion is hard, but I know this time is so important because it teaches us so much about being selfless and forgetting ourselves to better serve the people we love.

As a District we have come really close together. It can be a good thing and a bad thing. You can open up with one another, but sometimes staying on task can be a challenge. We had a district leave this last week and Elders Salerno y Blackburn and Hermana Wilcox were in that zone. I really came close with these missionaries so it was hard, but I know they were so ready to be in the field. It's crazy to think that in just a short amount of time that will be me leaving.
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Hermana Wilcox
Last Friday was both good and really hard. I can't believe that was a week ago...it seems like yesterday. We had Pday of course and so we were able to go to the temple -- which was amazing. I love the temple so much! We had the opportunity to do sealings. That was my first time and it was such a blessing. As I was sitting there I looked down at my watch and thought of my sweet Bubby playing with my watch so intently (: Oh how I miss my nephews! But oh how grateful I am to know that as we strive to live worthily and keep our covenants, we can be with each other para siempre! What a beautiful knowledge! I love and miss you Brisbane and Logan! Another cool thing that happened was that I met none other that President Shaw's aunt! I want to say her last name was Hamm? I can't remember though. What a tender mercy to have met her though. She was so sweet.

We have been blessed with the most amazing teachers! Hermanos Alexander y Clifford. You can tell they truly love what they do. They are so selfless and willing to help us in every way. No such luck as having Preston as a teacher. I haven't even seen him since I've been here. I guess I shouldn't be shocked...there's like a bajillion Spanish speakers.

And for all who keep asking about the food, it was appetizing for about the first day.

I feel bad that my letters are so lame. Please know that I think of you all so often and pray for you daily. Please keep being good and stay positive -- I know I'm trying.

In Ether 12:27 it talks about showing men their weaknesses that they may become strong -- the Lord pretty much has shown me every weakness I have so hopefully by the end of 18 months I can be strong enough to truly be the woman He wants me and needs me to be.

We've also talked a lot about aligning our will with the Father's. As we do this we will be blessed beyond our knowledge. 

I love you all so much! Stay strong. Have faith. Endure to the end!

Love Hermana Butterfield
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Hermano King and Hermana Butterfield
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Mail - Yeah

Mail is always a good thing!!!

Elder King from her hometown of Eagle, Idaho.
Always good see a familiar facel