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Friday, April 5, 2013

April 5, 2013
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Holy smokes! Only a few more days in the CCM -- and they're going to be amazing! We have Pday today (which means temple day!) and then General Conference! I am so excited for General Conference. We won't have the normal schedule on Saturday because of it so we won't have our normal classes which is a bit stressful since my Spanish is still not really existent, but I'm better than before so we'll stay optimistic 

Last Friday as I was waiting for Hma Bendixen while she was in an appointment there was the coolest old man who came up and just started chatting with me. He was pretty snazzy and just a delight. He started of asking if he could tell me a joke. It went something like this:

A little girl was in class one day and her teacher said that there was no way Jonah could have been swallowed by a whale. The young girl said that yes, yes he could have been -- it was a really great big huge whale. The teacher argued and the little girl replied that someday when she got to heaven she would ask him. The teacher asked the question, "What if he didn't go to heaven, what if he went down below?" The little girl replied, "well then, I guess you'll have to ask him." Oh my lanta what a treat.

He then told me a bit about his life. About how his father was from Sweden and had accepted the Gospel at the age of 19, was disowned by his family for his beliefs, moved to America and never looked back. He said he was so grateful everyday for his fathers choice, because he knows now he can be with his family forever. He talked about his life with his wife. He said that he worked day and night for his whole life so when he finally felt ready he retired, bought a truck and trailer and they went to California. The next day she was bitten by a mosquito, the next day she went into a coma for 5 months and for nine years he took care of her as she could do nothing for herself. He said he hired someone to do everything for them so he could devote all his time to her. He bathed her, fed her, took care of her, and he said he always tried to never speak a course word to her because he knew she could understand even though she didn't show it. What devotion. He told me that although it was a few months off now, that when I get home I need to find someone who would love me like that. That I shouldn't rush into anything (we're agreed on that) and that I should wait and find the right one, because if I don't love them then, it won't change, and it won't end well. He was a gem. I just want a younger version of him. Thanks! (:

So Easter Sunday was really great. The huge Sacrament meeting I explained was just so amazing. 100 Elders passing and over 3,000 missionaries taking the Sacrament at once. The Elders in our District were able to be some of the few able to break and bless. So wonderful -- they truly are just amazing. And I was so happy to sing in the choir. Music truly fills my heart with joy and singing really is a prayer that is even more beautiful than I could ever speak. I love it!

The speaker for Sacrament meeting was the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Gerald Causse. So cool, huh? He said something that I thought about quite a bit. He said that someday he would like to meet Jesus and be able to thank Him for all of the blessings He has given us and to be able to say he's tried his hardest. Wouldn't that be so wonderful? I just love that thought. He also quoted Les Miserables -- "Love is a celestial respiration of the air of paradise." Beautiful! There is no paradise without love -- so let's just keep on loving one another because then and only then can we feel what paradise truly will feel like. I love you all so much, and I miss my piece of heaven to be with you, but I just need to take some heaven to some other people for a bit.

THEN for Sunday night devotional, Sheri Dew spoke!  That talk was specifically to me. If no one else received anything I know I did. She talked about influence and how easily we ourselves are influenced and how we influence others. It made me ask myself how I allow myself to be influenced and how I influence others. I know I'm easily influenced and that's not always the best thing, but I really hope that I have been an influence for good in other people's lives. I know I've not always been the best, but I know that these months will set the tone for the rest of my life. They truly will prepare me to be who the Lord wants me to be and ultimately, in turn, who I want to be. It's the whole repentance and turning our will to the Father's. I'm excited to see who He wants me to become -- even though I'm catching glimpses. She spoke of 3 ways the adversary influences us: He confuses us about who the Savior is, who we are, and how we receive revelation. Scary huh? I can see how he influences me daily. However, the more we love Christ, the more we know Him. So love Christ and forget about the other guy, because he doesn't want anything good to come of us. God chose us to live NOW. That's some serious Divine confidence, so remember we are here now for a reason and we won't forget who we are because we are children of a loving God who wants nothing more than for us to be happy and return with Him.

So Sunday was great. Monday was weird because we had to switch classrooms. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, and truthfully it wasn't, but it's kind of funny how attached you get to a room in the matter of a month. 

Tuesday one of my weaknesses was just made completely and utterly evident. Hma Bendixen received her travel plans with included her visa to Peru! WAHOO! I really was so excited for her, but my jealousy made it hard to feel that true joy. That is something I need to get rid of. Jealousy is an ugly thing and it ruins happiness. So I'm working on that. She heads to Peru first thing Monday morning! I really am so happy for her. What a blessing she will be to so many. I was so blessed with a wonderful first companion who worked so well with me.

We were also able to usher for Devotional Tuesday evening and that was a fun opportunity. The devotional was great. He talked all about enduring to the end -- which let's be honest, the word endure sounds super not so fun, but sometimes life isn't fun. Life is hard word, so yeah it does take quite a bit of enduring, but we can also enjoy to the end most days if we smack a smile on our faces and deal with what comes our way with faith that the Lord knows what we can handle. 

So there's this thing called TRC. I think I've mentioned it before. It's hard, but I love it. My companion and I were able to teach the same sister about 3 times. Her name is Hma Rice and she is a gem. I absolutely love her and her sweet spirit. She really became an angel in my life as we were able to speak with her and as she shared with us her beautiful testimony each week. We saw her in the temple last Friday which was so fun! We "walked quickly" over to see her in the most reverent way possible (:

Yesterday was In Field orientation. It was cool. I'm excited, but kind of panicked about leaving the CCM. It seriously is an incubator and now we'll just see if I can breathe on my own once I leave. I pray often that I will love the people and that I can be a tool for good in the Lord's hands. That I can help bring true joy to those I serve. 

We had our last class with Hmo Clifford last night. And we said goodbye to our Branch Presidency. So sad, but I can't wait to see them all again. They have been such wonderful influences in my time here. They are all wonderful people.

Just so you know I WAS reassigned until my VISA can get here. Drum roll anyone? I know you want to know! I went to the travel office yesterday and they told me I was assigned to serve in ...Independence, Missouri!

Crazy, right? I hadn't even thought of there. And although I think it would have been great to serve the people of Independence, the Lord decided He like the original plan better. My VISA went through! So I will be heading to Peru, hopefully next week! We just have to wait for it to get here and them I am off for the shock of a lifetime (: I'm so excited!  Well, I love you all. I pray for you, and I hope all is well. I miss you like crazy. You are my rocks and I can't wait for eternity!
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Love,  Hermana Butterfield

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