December 26, 2016 {Week 80}: The Last Letter

Wow you guys…I think I’m dreaming. I feel like I’m dreaming. I don’t know if I should jump up and down out of excitement or cry my eyes out for tristeza. Tomorrow…I go home. Today I have my last interview and a Noche de Hogar and dinner with the Marbles, and tomorrow I have meetings. Yesterday was my last day of proselyting! This doesn’t feel real!

I am so grateful I got to end my mission the week of Christmas. This Christmas season I have been thinking a lot about the Three Wise Men…how they came from afar bringing gifts to Jesus. I have been thinking a lot about the hymn ‘Oh Come, Let Us Adore Him’…let us serve Him…let us give good gifts unto Him…and I have thought about what I will give to Christ this Christmas season. My Christmas present to Him this year has been 18 months in the making. My full-time mission!

But just as it aways is with Heavenly Father, no matter how much we want to serve Him and give HIM something…we ALWAYS get more than we give! I have given my time, my life, my heart, my mind, my focus and all my attention and love to this work! To these people! And in return Heavenly Father has given me…an unbreakable testimony, a huge new Peruvian family, a changed heart! A once-in-a-lifetime experience, a lifetime full of memories. I will always always always be grateful for this time I have had here in Perú. Coming on the mission was the best decision I’ve ever made in my whole life!!!

I really do feel like I’ve been blessed with the perfect mission…I’ve experienced a little bit of everything! Beach, mountains, city, pueblitos, branches, wards, districts, stakes, baptisms, rescues, temple experiences, American, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Bolivian, and Peruvian companions. Once again the Lord has been way too good to me!!! I don’t know how I got so lucky!

I want to say a few little things about each area and each companion to wrap it all up!

Pacasmayo: MY DREAM VACATION HOME, I gave my whole heart to that little town, I was convinced I was going to stay there my whole mission, leaving Pacasmayo broke my heart. That little beach town is one special place.

Fave people: Roberto, Nora, Liliana y Lorena, Carmen y Wendy, Fiorella y David, Emilsa y Luis, Amelia, Kayla y Wilson, Celeste, Milagros, Nadia, y Eduardo

Pueblo Libre: More than any of my other areas, I really feel like Pueblo Libre was MINE, that it was my area and those were my people and my members, people that I had met before and promised I would go and serve. Since the very first moment I heard of a place called Pueblo Libre, Cajamarca…my heart jumped, it knew I was needed there! I always say that if I were Peruvian, I would be Cajamarquina!!! Cajamarca is the MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY, the most beautiful place on earth I’ve ever been. It is seriously breathtaking you guys!!! And I served there!!!! How did I get so lucky!!!!

Fave people: Price y Carlos, Gaby, Ivan, e Ivancito, Elvin, Nora, Alexa, y Gianella, Deisy, Noelia, Nancy, Mauro, Franck, Paula, Blana y Teofilo, Germán, Evelyn y Nimfa y Teresa

Chiclín: I was there just one transfer, it was a bit hard but I learned there more than I had learned in any other area! Not to mention I met the most escogidisimo family ever, and they got baptized. I love Chiclín for the people!

Fave people: Antonella, Mia, Govanna, y Carlos, Juanita y Beto, Lydia, Nancy, Dona y Anna

Granados: This ward is awesome!! I have loved being in the middle of the city! Granados is SUCH a special place, so much good happening here. I am so grateful I got to come here, open up this place to missionary work, and be with Hermana Malo as the first sisters here! We made history and Granados will always be ours. Trujillo is such a special city, the Lord truly has His hand over this land. I am so grateful I got to spend my last 3 transfers in Trujillo!

Fave people: Alcida y Erick, Gianmarcos, Román, Jaime, Claudia, Emily, y Ayleen, Liliana y Natalia, Carla, Ada, Abdias, Alexandra, y Hassel, Yomer, Luciana, Anita, Sandra, y Juanito Tello, Ingrid y Angel, Beatriz y Margorie

Now for companion time!

Hermana Peel was my trainer, she taught my how to love Pacasmayo! We met Liliana and Lorena juntas, some of my favorite people in Pacasmayo. She helped me get a great start to a great mission. I’ll forever be grateful for my ‘mission mom’ heehee!

Hermana Garcia CHANGED MY LIFE, changed my mission, I know Heavenly Father put us together! It was a wonderfully crazy time for us two newbies to be together right out of our training, we bascially had to figure everything out together and teach each other and learn together! But we had the best time together!!! Hermana Garcia is pure joy in human form, she is practically the light of my life! Haha! I love her to pieces and you bet I’ll be down in Mexico sometime soon!!!

Hermana Rodriguez taught me what true success in a missionary is! I am so grateful to her for that. She also taught me how to end a mission strong! I’ve been thinking about her so much this last transfer of mine, and now that I’m ending I feel like I understand her more nowadays than I did when we were together. She also came to visit me when I was in Chiclín and she was visiting Trujillo! So fun!!

Hermana Sellan, seriously one of my best friends, hilarious, she makes me laugh even to this day. The best and most Christlike person and LEADER I know, she truly is a special and elect spirit. She taught me how to be HAPPY, how not to get disanimated even when the work is hard. I love her and am so grateful I got to be her companion!!

Hermana Holmes, my soul sister, my long-lost best friend. Heavenly Father knew we were meant to be together, He knew we were meant to be friends, and He knew our friendship could only start in PUEBLO LIBRE, CAJAMARCA, PERÚ. So grateful I got to train her!!!! From the first moment we met via email I knew I would train her, I knew we were meant to be companions! We had so much fun and so much success together! Hermana Holmes will be one of my best friends for life, of this I am sure! I can’t wait to hug her in August 2017! (as you can tell I’m already counting down!!!)

Hermana Sánchez is so humble, so patient, so Christlike. She is a convert but such an example to me of a pure and simple testimony. She has so much faith and I admire her so much. It was a tender mercy to serve with Hermana Sánchez because she is from Santa Cruz, Bolivia! I love that I got to spend one transfer with someone from Santa Cruz and Erin spent one transfer from Trujillo. Sometimes the Lord is too funny!! But most of all He’s kind! And of course I can’t wait to visit her in Santa Cruz in May!!!!

Hermana Malo, my little limeña, I love her with my whole heart. We have been together 3 transfers so of course we’ve learned to love each other! Sometimes it has been a little hard with her but we have both learned SO MUCH about ourselves together. We have grown together and really done so much good together! She has a huge heart, is so obedient and willing to learn, and I am so grateful I’ve gotten to spend 3 whole transfers with her. Longer time with her than with anyone else! Before she and I were companions, I had actually thought to myself ‘ojala me toque una peruana sometime before I end cause I’m in Perú of all places and I’ve never even been with a Peruvian!’ and then she and I were put together! Haha! The Lord is so aware of even our smallest, most insignificant thoughts and desires!

And you all…that’s a wrap. The mission is a dream. THIS MISSION is a dream. The Lord is too merciful. Too kind! He always gives His children more than we deserve, more than we can even imagine! I know He loves us, that is why He calls us to His service. To bless us, to help us, to GIVE TO US more than we can give to Him. I will always be in debt to my Heavenly Father and to His Son Jesus Christ. Without Them…this life would be impossible. This life wouldn’t exist! Jesus Christ is my Savior…of this I am sure. The Book of Mormon testifies of Him, helps me become like Him and understand who He is. This work that He calls us to is DIVINE, mission calls are INSPIRED. Coming home…isn’t the end of my service as a missionary. Really my service in the Lord’s Kingdom is just beginning! Without my plaque…I’ll be a full-time missionary in disguise! 😉 I love being a missionary. That will never change. I love helping others come unto Christ, here in Perú I have found PURE JOY in His service.

My joy and my feelings about ending my mission can pretty much be described used the words of Ammon in Alma 36:

30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of ourlabors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.

33 And now behold I say unto you, has there been so great love in all the land? Behold, I say unto you, Nay,there has not, even among the Nephites.

Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason torejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who area branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.

37 Now my brethren, 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. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

I love the Lord. I love His work. I love Perú, these people, this language. I love you all, and am so grateful for your love and support these past 18 months. My life might go back to normal this week but I will never be the same…I’m still Abby but a CHANGED Abby. A better Abby! I love being a full-time missionary…but more importantly, I love being His humble servant…and that calling never ends.

For the last time,

Hermana Butikofer

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December 19, 2016 {Week 79}: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

YOU GUYSSSSSS how are you all?! This week was really good and super duper miraculous, we found ELEVEN new investigators this week! And several new families! One family even came to church yesterday, Hermana Ada and her two daughters, Alexandra y Hassel! We were psyched about that. The only problem is that none of our new families are married…they all conviven. We have started to talk about the importance of marriage and family with a few of them, we are praying that they’ll have the desire to get married and in the future that Heavenly Father will guide us to families who ARE married, because they always progress the most!

This week I did a few fun things…first of all, there’s a less-active family in our ward, la familia Siguenza, and their dad Roberto has been reallllly sick with some weird rare disease that the doctors don’t really know how to treat. Anyway so he’s been in and out of the hospital since August and this week the family held a pollada (Peruvian version of barbeque) to raise money to pay for hospital bills! So the day before the pollada we stopped by their house to say hello and see if we could help with anything. Well when we got there they were killing and cleaning out the chickens! I was like…*gulp*, can we help you with anything? And they were like yeah!!!! help us clean out the chickens!!! so I took off my rings and my watch and rolled up my sleeves and stuck my hand inside a dead chicken and pulled out all its organs and then I cut off its legs with a knife. Life in Perú is definitely different! They were like…what, have you never done this before? And I just thought to myself…no, when I want to eat chicken I just go to the grocery store and buy the rotisserie there! Haha!

This week I completed 18 WHOLE MONTHS in the mission field!!! What! I can’t believe so much time has passed so quickly! I am so grateful for these 18 months I have had to be a full-time missionary! I love the mission and I especially love THIS mission. Perú Trujillo North definitely is the place for me! I think I’ll just stay here even when my time is up!!!

Today is my last P-day in the mission field. I’ll have time to write next Monday but I will also be in and out of meetings and interviews! But because it’s my last normal P-day my zone leaders and Hermana Sellan and Hermana Wright have planned a special P-day for me!! I don’t know what we’re going to do, they just told me to meet them in the Plaza de Armas de Trujillo at 1pm so I have to go!!!!!!

Merry Christmas everyone! Light the World!!!!

Love, Hermana Butikofer

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December 12, 2016 {Week 78}: Seven Signs to Know You’ve Become Pure Peruvian

WOW AMAZING AMIGOS Y FAMILIA this week was a good one!!!  I mean here on the mission some weeks are just normal weeks but this week was a good one. I really like being here in Granados and being here in Trujillo, it’s such a cool city and really really different from my other areas. First of all, Trujillo is like soooooo strong in the gospel. 7 stakes, 2 missions, 1 temple! So crazy! Chilín…didn’t even have its own ward, we shared a ward with another pueblito. Pacasmayo…a teeny tiny branch. Cajamarca…one stake. I had learned how to be one type of missionary being in wards and branches that needed a lot of help, that didn’t have enough members to fill essential callings, etc. but now here in Granados it’s completely different! Sealed families, entire families members for generations, returned missionaries, the ward has missionaries serving, etc. Completely different to the first 14 months of my mission. But it’s also a blessing because instead of having to worry about whether our ward actually functions we can focus on our investigators! So that’s a blessing!

Here’s a quick list of things that prove you’ve become pure Peruvian:
1. You become enchanted by your own green eyes every time you look in the mirror

2. You realize that you’re practically blonde!
3. Panetón is your favorite thing to eat seriously
4. Even when speaking English you use the word ‘little’ to describe everything, or add cariño to everything…see story about prayer below
5. you like can’t even speak english anymore or can’t even remember normal words in English
6. you dream in Spanish, think in Spanish
7. you’re afraid to drink cold drinks cause it might make you sick

It’s so true you guys, all these things are happening to me, I think it would just be better that I stay here in Peru where I fit in nowadays…haha!

So something cool that Granados does is that the second Sunday of every month Hermana Malo and I have the assignment to speak…along with our great lider misional, Raul Arroyo. Anyway so yesterday we had to speak in sacrament meeting and well because earlier this week I was studying other things, preparing other things, I didn’t really have time to start working or even thinking about my talk until my studies yesterday morning before church. Anyway so yesterday morning I was praying to know what I should speak about…what our sweet members needed to hear…and I felt that I should speak about prayer. Really at first I was like…why prayer? That doesn’t even have anything to do with la obra misional or anything like I usually talk about (my being a missionary and all ya know). Like how does that even relate? But I was like…why not, if I feel like I should talk about prayer I guess it’s for a reason so I’ll talk about prayer. So I briefly prepared a few words to share…just selected a scripture and read a bit about prayer in Preach My Gospel and True to the Faith…and went with it, like heck I’ll wing it I’ve winged it before. Anyway so that’s exactly what I did, I gave my talk and it went normal. But afterwards, sitting there in sacrament meeting…I was just kind of questioning my decision to speak about prayer. Like…why did I decide to talk about that, it didn’t make any sense…it doesn’t even have anything to do with missionary work…I wish I had studied more, why didn’t I make more time to study earlier…just kind of questioning myself. But also telling myself, I had prayed to know what to speak about and I felt I should speak about prayer! And praying that even just one person would be strengthened by the testimony that I had shared. When one of the primary kids taps me on the shoulder…and hands me a note from his mom, Anita (my sweet friend whose husband Luis is menos activo! I love their family!). She wrote me a little note saying…’Hermana Butikofer, thank you so much for your words and testimony about prayer. Thank you for reminding me that I need to pray on the knees and thank Heavenly Father for my blessings and my trials. La quiero mucho.’ Oh it just touched my little heart! Heavenly Father knew I needed a little confirmation that prayer is what I had needed to share, He answered my little prayer that someone would be strengthened by my words. So He spoke to Anita’s little heart and told her to write me a litte note to thank me. And just as He has spoken to Anita to write me a note…He spoke to me, telling me that I needed to talk about prayer because that’s what Anita needed to hear.  Just a little demostration of how the Lord is SO AWARE of everyone’s very thoughts, needs, and heart. He uses us to bless the lives of others. He needs us to be receptive to the Spirit to be able to recognize those little promptings whenever He sends them our way.

I love the Lord, His work, and His ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Soooooo much love from my little corazoncito,
Hermana Butikofer

PS I picked a guanábana this week!

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December 5, 2016 {Week 77}: A Good Week

Hola a todos de Granados, Trujillo, Perú! Time is passing soooo quickly…I can’t believe Erin will be home this week!! And I’m still down here living in paradise! Can’t decide who’s the luckier one right now! 😉

This week was good, we are finding lots of new investigators that we are getting from references from members. I love it when the members work with us and share the gospel with their friends and neighbors! I have been thinking and praying a lot this week about the people I know and love at home and who I can share the gospel with once I’m back stateside! I really want to continue being a missionary and having missionary experiences even after the mission!!

I went on an intercambio with my BFF, Hermana Sellan, this week. Did I ever mention to you guys that we met each other on Instagram before the mission? She and I got our calls around the same time and saw my post announcing my mission call and commented, in English, that she would see me there soon! And then we were companions and now we’re best friends! The world is so small and the Lord is so kind. Anyway so I got to go to her area, California, this week where we walked around pretty neighborhoods and ate cupcakes from fancy stores. I pretty much felt like I was back in America again! I told Hermana Sellan, ‘Hermana Sellan, this is like Florida! I feel like I’m in Florida right now!’ I love Trujillo because it always has perfect weather and is just a beautiful city. I feel blessed to serve here 🙂

On Friday we had interviews with President, that was exciting. I love feeling his love not just for me but for all his missionaries. We sat there in his office and talked about a few things and he really helped me feel good about what I am doing and what I have done with this time. The next interview I have with him will be my last one…

Yesterday was the Christmas Devotional! We got to go to Florencia de Mora, our stake center, to see the devotional! So beautiful as always. I loved the music and the messages. December truly is a special time…even when down here and it’s hotter than ever and it’s not cold at Christmas like I’m used to, the whole world feels different…I feel more love for everyone just because it’s Christmastime! Something really sweet that happened as we were leaving the devotional last night is that a little girl same up to Hermana Malo and I and asked us, ‘are you guys missionaries?’ we were like yes! We’re the missionaries from Granados! And she got so excited and said, I’ve never seen sister missionaries before!!! And asked to take a picture with us! Oh my gosh you guys…I wanted to cry! That little girl was so cute, she’s from Rio Seco, another ward here in Este, and of course had never seen sister missionaries before because we’re the first ones here ever. So adorable and definitely a little moment I will remember.

I love Perú, I can’t believe so much time has passed so quickly and that my days here really are numbered. I’m excited to get home but trying to aprovechar every minute I have left!!!

XOXO,
Hermana Butikofer

P.S. Something really cool about Trujillo is that it is basically the shoe capital of Perú! Everyone here makes and sells shoes…and really pretty shoes too! We’re talking heels and sandals and tons of cute shoes! So last week on Pday I bought some new sandals and heels to bring home! Haha!!!

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November 28, 2016 {Week 76}: HOLA FAMIGOS!

FRAMILY! I was thinking about that word, framily, this week and realized that in spanish the word would be ‘famigos’ jajaja so really I should say FAMIGOS! Como están!!

This week was really good! The highlight of the week was DEFINITELY the mission conference we had with Elder Godoy on Wednesday! You guys…he’s the area president! A general authority! I was like halfway to fangirling right there on the front row. Obsessed with him and his wife now. A really cool thing is that they’re Brazilian, and he’s from Porto Alegre! Afterwards I said hi to Hermana Godoy and told her that my dad served his mission in Porto Alegre and that I had been there when we were living there in Brazil! She looked at me and said, in Portuguese, you must be from Uruguay! Do you speak Portuguese?? Jajajaja I said back to her in Spanish, no I’m American but I lived in Brazil with my family and we visited my dad’s mission so I’ve been to Porto Alegre! Hahaha it was so funny, it made me feel good that she thought I was from Uruguay, that I could understand her Portuguese even though I am only capable of responding in Spanish these days! Hahaha! But it was so good to hear them speak, I learned so much from them. Something also funny is that because they’re from Brazil, Portuguese is obviously their first language…and because they’re general authorities they obviously also speak pretty good english…and now they’re serving in the South America Northwest Area so they are serving in Spanish! So Elder Godoy spoke to us in Spanish with a very thick Portuguese accent, sometimes he would slip for a sec into Portuguese, and when he didn’t know the word he needed in Spanish he would say it in English and ask someone for a translation! Haha it was so funny to hear him speaking 3 languages at the same time and still understand him! The gift of tongues is real!

Some cool things that happened this week worth mentioning…

Our investigator Maria accepted a date for the 17th of December! We are super excited for her and are going to do everything possible to get her to that date. The Lord is so merciful, I have been praying for one more baptism before the end and she might be the one!

I was telling Hermana Malo a story this week of how when I was in Cajamarca with Hermana Sellan I found a really cool looking sol in the street in Cajamarca…a sol is Peruvian money! So I found 1 sol in the street, a really cool old looking one. And while I was telling her this story…she looks at me and says, Hermana Butikofer bring me your sol. So I go grab it out of my suitcase where I had kept it and showed it to her and she examines it and she looks and me and says, Hermana Butikofer this is gold! This is real gold! I was like what, what are you talking about. She said our old money used to be pure gold and this is one of the old soles they used to use here! NO WAY so I found a pure gold coin and didn’t even know it until know! So cool!

Our ward is basically obsessed with us. We have a noche misional this Friday and our lider misional made invitations and put a picture of us on the invitation! Haha it’s so funny when we were handing out invitations in the park one day this week we hand someone an invitation…they looked at it…looked up at us…looked back at the invitation and looked at us and started to laugh! Hahaha! Another hermana in our ward found a cute clipart of sister missionaries this week so she printed it out, put ‘Misioneras Barrio Granados’ and posted it on the ward bulletin board! Haha the ward loves having us sisters here!!

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, a family in our ward asked us to help them decorate their house for Christmas! It was so fun to help them decorate their tree and everything, I was thinking about decorating the house with my family in years past. It was a sweet way to spend Thanksgiving ❤

Something sweet that happened yesterday…we have a great member family in our ward and they asked us to do a family home evening with them. The catch about the family is that the mom is super duper activa and the dad, even though he’s a returned missionary, is inactive…we invited him to come down and join us but he didn’t want to. When I looked at Anita, la madre, and asked her, Hermana Anita, is it hard? Her eyes teared up and she said, yes Hermana Butikofer, it’s so hard. I kneeled by her and gave her a big hug and she just started crying…she said, I don’t let myself cry too often for my children, I don’t want them to see or to know, but it’s so hard when he doesn’t support me. He’s a wonderful man and father but I never expected this to happen. I’m doing my best alone but it’s hard. It was such a sweet and tender moment…I love Anita, I love their family, we are praying for Luis. Like she said, he’s a good man just has lost sight a little bit of what’s important.

I love the mission, I’m so grateful for little moments like that when I can really love the people according to their needs. In that moment, Anita needed a hug. In other moments…someone may need a smile, need to hear a pure testimony, need listening ears and an nonjudgemental heart. Whatever that person needs…we need to find it and give them it to them in the moment they need it. I love focusing on the people’s needs and being an instrument in the hands of the Lord to help them feel His love just when they need it the most.

Love,
Hermana Butikofer

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November 21, 2016 {Week 75}: Happy Thanksgiving!

HOLA FAM & FRIENDS DE TRUJILLO, PERÚ!

This week was normal, lots of walking and knocking on doors. Hermana Malo has been kind of sick so I’ve just been taking it at her pace this week and praying that she gets better soon so I can finish this transfer strong!!

Something I have been thinking about this week is how the end of the mission is totally like the end of a cross country race. I remember Mr. Roneree would stand at the 500 yard mark at the end of every race…and I always knew that once I saw him I needed to pick up the pace cause the end was in sight! Mr. Roneree probably saved my life a few times cause just when I felt like I was about to keel over and die I saw him standing there on the sidelines and he was cheering and yelling and telling me to PICK UP THE PACE YOU’RE ALMOST THERE JUST 500 YARDS LEFT YOU CAN DO IT!!!! I feel like that’s the point I’m hitting right now! The end is in sight, just 500 yards left, keep going, you can do it!

Something fun and different this week was that the other ward that shares our building, barrio Chimú, asked me to play the piano for them and accompany the special musical number in their ward conference yesterday! That was fun and I was surprisingly grateful for the opportunity we had to go to a second sacrament meeting yesterday. I realized that every sacrament meeting for the past year and a half I have been a little preoccupied with counting assistance, seeing who’s there in church and who’s not, recojiendo investigadores y menos activos, finding members for our people to sit with, explaining things to people, helping, running around from side to side helping the bishop, the members, the investigators, etc etc etc and well yesterday in Chimu’s sacrament meeting I didn’t have to do any of that! It was so nice to sit calmly, play the piano, and really feel the spirit of sacrament meeting. And Chimu was so excited to have me play for them that they asked me to accompany their primary program next week so I’ll be doing that too! Super excited!!

En el barrio Granados yesterday was the Primary Program! Super adorable!!!! The niños are so cute and they did so well! The Primary even bought cake to share with everyone after church yesterday, they had ordered two special cakes in the form of scriptures! So cool! And of course because it was the primary program the assistance jumped to like 130, the people come out of the woodworks just to hear the children sing. Haha!

Everything else in Granadosland is normal, always teaching, always finding. I’m praying that we will have one more baptism before I go. One more baptism to end my mission…we will see how it goes.

So excited for Thanksgiving this week! Even though I’m down here in far-away Perú and won’t be able to stuff myself on turkey and mashed potatoes this Thursday, I will definitely be thinking of all the things I’m grateful for!!!! I am grateful for this time I have to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary, I’m grateful for my two wonderful mission presidents and their wives, I’m grateful for my amazing family and best parents ever and a million more things! Count your blessings cause I’m sure you have a ton!!!
XOXO,
Hermana Buti

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November 14, 2016 {Week 74}: The beginning of the end

HOLA FAMILIA Y AMIGOS! Well…today starts my last transfer on the mission! Crazy how quickly time flies, I can’t believe I’ll be home in just six weeks! I have spent the last few days praying and meditating about my mission, and setting goals for these next 6 weeks and for my life post-mission. Sometimes it’s hard to think about this sacred time in my life coming to an end but at the same time I am excited for all that the Lord has in store for me back in America. It’s a bittersweet feeling.

This week was alright, to start the week off we lost our cell phone in a taxi so we didn’t have a phone all week to call members to accompany us, take out citas with people we hadn’t seen, etc. On top of that Hermana Malo has been sick this week so we didn’t proselyte for a few days so really our numbers were just low low low this week. Yesterday in sacrament meeting I was really nervous that none of our people would show up to church because we hadn’t been able to visit the majority of them this week. During the sacrament I sat there praying…praying that PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE could some of our people please remember to come to church, that Heavenly Father would bless us with a miracle and that PLEASE could someone please come to church. And after the sacrament…I looked around and we had 14 people in church yesterday. It was amazing, after a bummer week Heavenly Father still blessed us with people en la capilla and I am so grateful he answered my simple prayer.

On a happier note, Hermano Gaspar got baptized this week!!! He was our golden investigator that moved to Florencia de Mora and we passed the reference on to los élderes de Florencia. They picked up where we left off and he got baptized on Wednesday and we got special permission to go to his baptism, if we could take an investigator with us. We were searching alllll dayyyyy for someone who could come with us to the baptism and we were praying that if it be the will of the Lord, that he please help us find someone to come with us! Well at 8pm we unexpectedly ran into one of our investigators, Maria. She had just gotten off the bus and was about to head home when we ran into her on the street! And we asked her if she had an extra hour or half hour that she could spare. She was like, I guess so hermanas, why? We told her there’s a baptism going on right now in Florencia de Mora and we want you to see what a baptism is like! She was like, yeah hermanas let’s go! Seriously the miracle of the day!!!! So we went with her to Florencia and we got there right after he had gotten baptized…which was a bit sad but we were there just in time to hear the testimonies and bienvenido al barrio. And when Gaspar bore his testimony…he said, ‘I just want to thank las hermanas de Granados for unexpectedly being here, I didn’t know they would be able to come. Thanks to them I found the church and I started reading the Book of Mormon and now I’ve gotten baptized.’ The elders talked to us afterwards…and they said, ‘Wow hermanas, thank you so much for what you did with him, you planted the seed in his heart and it started to grow, he got here to Florencia and all we had to do was finish up the lessons. Thanks for finding and teaching him.’ We love Hermano Gaspar and are so happy that he got baptized over there in Florencia! They’re lucky to have him.

I know I don’t always attach pics but here are a few from this week:
1) 12 CAMBIOS – 12 AGENDAS! los acontecimientos de every single day for the past 18 months of my life in one hand
2) I bought this cool Misión Perú Trujillo Norte t-shirt at the temple store last week!
3) Listen to this cool story! This morning during companionship study Hermana Malo and I were looking through some Liahonas to find something to share in a Noche de Hogar tonight. Well as some of you may or may not know, in the Liahona there is a section specific to every area of the church (I am serving in the South America Northwest Area) and in the section specific to the South America Southwest Area we saw a little story that came from Trujillo! We were like awh, look at that, how sweet, it’s from Trujillo! Then we saw that it’s from our stake, la estaca Perú Trujillo Este! We were like no way!!! And then we read the author’s name, and she’s our stake president’s daughter! It was the coolest thing that we found something in the Liahona from our very stake and from someone we know here in Trujillo. I love this stake so much, Este is such a special place!!!
4) My favorite place in the whole wide world!!!!

Well that’s all folks! Have a great week wherever you find yourself this November!!

XOXOXOXO,
Hermana Butikofer

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November 7, 2016 {Week 73}: A Little Reflection

No group email this week but here in a small excerpt from Abby’s letter home:

I really do feel like I have had an all-around great mission. I am so grateful I got to be in a little branch for 6 months, that was a unique experience, and Pacasmayo is a dream. SO GRATEFUL for Pueblo Libre, I feel like I was called to serve IN THAT WARD, that those members ARE MY PEOPLE. I love Pueblo Libre with all my heart! I knew from my first day in the mission field that I would go there one day and I ended up spending more time there than in any other area. Chiclín was hard but I am grateful I got to spend one transfer with Hermana Sanchez, she is a wonderful friend and I think it was a tender mercy that I got one transfer with someone from Santa Cruz and Erin got one transfer with someone from Trujillo. Granados is amazing, I had thought/felt throughout my mission that I would open an area one day. I love this ward and I love these members and we are seeing so many miracles here. It is coming to an end so quickly but I will not lie when I say I am really excited for all that is coming next for me!!!

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October 31, 2016 {Week 72}: Happy Halloween

Hola fam and friends! Well this week was an absolutely crazy week and today was an absolutely crazy day. But as crazy as this week was, was it absolutely miraculous!!!

Last Thursday, like 10 days ago Thursday, Hermana Malo and I were doing our weekly planning as we do every Thursday. We were setting our goals for the coming week and as we were setting goals we remembered that our zone leaders had told us the zone’s goal for almas (baptisms & rescues) for the month of October was 30. And we looked at each other like…what are we gonna do, we have to contribute to this goal, we’ve only had one baptism this month and we need at least one more alma to help meet our zone goal. So with faith we set the goal of having one baptism and one confirmation the coming week…having no clue who would be ready for baptism and confirmation in just a week. But we did it with faith and Heavenly Father blessed us with a miracle! The following day we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Gianmarcos. We’ve known him for a while and we’ve known that he is super buenaso from the beginning but because he works and studies a la vez he doesn’t have a lot of time to meet with us. He is dating a girl in our ward, Nicole. Anyway so we had a lesson with him and it went sooooo well. The Spirit was sooooo strong that he cried, we invited him to baptism on the 29th of October, just one week away, and he accepted. He said the closing prayer and it was just amazing what we witnessed in him. He said, ‘Hermanas, the Lord has touched my heart tonight. I’m going to be baptized on the 29th.’ Saturday we had another really wonderful lesson, and on Sunday and Monday he didn’t have time to meet with us. His baptismal interview was scheduled for Thursday so Hermana Malo and I had to rush rush rush to get the lessons done before Thursday, meet with him every day, getting him ready for his interview. On Wednesday we were talking about repentance when we said that in his interview the next day he would be showing before the Lord and the Church that he has truly repented of his sins (as says in DyC 20:37) when he said…’Hermanas, is this like a confessional? I’ve already talked to the bishop about a few things, and he told me I wouldn’t have to think or talk about those things again. Are you telling me I have to talk to someone else again before I can get baptized?’ He was kind of upset about it but we calmed him down, shared our testimonies of the Atonement and of repentance, and afterwards we all bought ice cream together to help him feel better 🙂 the next day was his interview. He told us that he thought it would be hard talking to someone again about some things he has done/gone through, but that he actually felt like he needed to tell all and that he felt good about it. Friday we had a last lesson with him, and on Saturday was the baptism. When he shows up and says…Hermanas, I’m really sorry for the late notice, but I don’t be able to come to church tomorrow for my confirmation because of classes, and I won’t be able to come for a few more weeks until my classes end in December, is that okay? We were like…Gianmarcos, please tell us you’re kidding. So we talked to our district leader, who called our zone leaders, who called the assistants, who called President. Literally minutes before his baptism we weren’t even sure if he was gonna be able to get baptized. Hermana Malo and I stepped into an empty room and said a prayer, saying Heavenly Father if this is Thy will please bless us with a miracle and please let Gianmarcos get baptized tonight. If not…please give us and him the strength to accept whatever is Thy will. When we stepped back into the hallway…our district leader gave us a thumbs up and Gianmarcos was able to get baptized. The solution was that he got confirmed early Sunday morning before Sacrament meeting. So on Sunday morning we got up early and went to the chapel and were there for his confirmation. And in that blessing…I sat there thinking, ‘This moment just made my whole mission worth it.’ Hearing the blessing promised to him…hearing everything that the Lord has in store for him…a mission, a temple marriage…this is every missionary’s dream. Gianmarcos is a true convert, he and Nicole are going to get married in the temple, and he is going to do wonderful things in the gospel and in the church. Oh, the best part that I forgot to mention is that Nicole’s dad, Alfredo, baptized him. So special. Completing and creating families. I love missionary work.

There are so many more things I would love to say to you all but that’s all I have time for today. Thank you for your prayers, your support, encouragement, and love always!!!

Love,
Hermana Butikofer

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A few of my friends

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Halloween in Trujillo

October 24, 2016 {Week 71}: Hola Amigos!

FAMILIA Y AMIGOS! This week was good, Hermana Malo and I are working hard and seeing miracles here in Granados. We have found several investigators who are progressing towards baptism. One is Gianmarcos and he has accepted a date for this Saturday!!! Now we just have to finish up the lessons with him and get him prepared for his interview. Hopefully we will get it all done in time. Another is Francisca, she is la madre de a returned missionary in the ward, she is seriously so good and so prepared but SHE feels like she’s not prepared enough and that’s why she won’t accept a date. But we are working with her and I know she will get baptized soon. We are praying for miracles, please keep us in your prayers.

Oh! Jiji I keep forgetting to tell y’all that in Spanish ‘granados’ means ‘pomegranates’ jaja so I’m serving in the Pomegranates Ward, cute right!!!

This morning we had a special P-day with the Marbles, we went to the mission home this morning where we had a big group study and then played fun games as a zone. Hermana Malo and I lucked out into being in the group with both President and Hermana Marble so we got to study with them and share with them what we had studied which was special. I love learning from them and their example.

Sorry this isn’t a really long email, I don’t have much time today! And sorry there aren’t any pictures this week, this computer doesn’t accept my USB. Some internet places are better than others…

Hope you all have a great week! Remember that I love you as does your Heavenly Father.

Love,
Hermana Butikofer

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