December 5, 2016 {Week 77}: Siga Adelante

Well this is officially my last letter to home from the Bolivia Santa Cruz North mission.  I can’t believe el momento ya ha llegado.  Honestly, I still don’t feel like I’m going home.  The work keeps going with or without me and the agenda is filled with visits to go on all week and I feel like I will still be a part of all of them.

I have a couple of brief things I would like to mention now to finish up my sharing of the Gospel with y’all. I’m not particularly eloquent but I speak from my heart so bear with me please 🙂

Anyway, I think the phrase “siga adelante” is a pretty good description of my mission.  When I first heard that phrase en el CCM I didn’t understand a whole bunch what it meant…. follow forward? But I’ve learned that what it actually means is “aspire higher” or “keep going!”  Pdte Zambrano told me that for MNOTHS en entrevistas, that was ALWAYS my take away and I took it, but now very happily.  It didn’t make any sense to me, like I said that I wanted something of more worth from my mission presidente, something that actually, to me would make sense.  One time, in a totally inspired moment he asked me,  “Hna Butikofer, do I always tell you the same thing?” and I said out loud “No”, but in my head I frowned and said “Yes”.  Here in Trinidad tambien, Elder Quispe(my LZ en Riberalta for 8 months) has been my LD for the past 6 months, always,always alwaaaays tells me the same thing “Siga adelante Hermana Butikofer.”  But I just sort of shrugged it off as just another bleh statement.  But last transfer I was pryaing a lot about THIS transfer and about going home and getting a little stressed about it and a thought came into my head, a somewhat vague thought, but one that I needed to hear– “Just keep going.”  I realized that what Pdte had told me and what Elder Quispe still says, is actually what I needed to hear.  It WAS actually inspired words from Pdte, it IS what the Lord wants me to now.  To “just keep going”.  So that’s what I’m going to do and in all, that’s what I’ve done.  Even when it was insufferable hot or my companions were boobs or mean or nasty or when the work was slow and didn’t go anywhere, I just keep going, “seguí adelante sin saber de antemano lo que tendria que hacer”(1 nephi 3).  And it worked!  It’s what has gotten me through my mission and what will get me through the adjustment of going back home to my spoiled American life.

I wanted to talk a little bit about the many blessings I felt I have received from serving a mission, primarily starting with the promised ones in the welcome letter we receive and mentioning briefly my setting apart notes from when I was officially called to be a missionary, representative, and servant for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Dear Sister Erin Butikofer:

We welcome you to full-time missionary service to proclaim the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to help build His kingdom on earth. We trust that you will savor the honor and privilege of bringing souls to the Master by losing yourself in the work.
As you continue to read and study the scriptures, you will increase your personal knowledge and testimony of the Savior and His gospel. You will be motivated to be obedient and to work hard. You will learn to be led by the Spirit so that you can teach and testify with converting power. The Savior taught:
Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God (D&C 18:10), and
Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together (John 4:35–36).
May you find everlasting joy in your service to your Father in Heaven, His Beloved Son, and the people to whom you minister.
Faithfully your Brethren,
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

One of the things in my setting apart said that I would need to fill my lamp with the oil of personal conversion–  as I have read and studied the scriptures diligently EVERYDAY for the past 18 months I have felt my little tree of faith planted in the soils of my heart change and grow.  I KNOW that the things I have been teaching and preaching for the past year and half are TRUE.  I can;t deny it and I hope that the actions of my life can seal that testimony with me when I die.

One of the things I was most praying about for before leaving was that I would be albe to share the spirit and help my friends and family back home when I left on the mission.  I prayed for that in every prayer for months and I have prayed for it many times every week throughout my mission.  In my setting apart the Lord promised me that “through my correspondence home you will be able to share your spirit with your friends and family.”  And I set out to see that promise through.  I have diligently prayed as I have prepared and written these short emails to y’all every week to know what to share and how to share it.  From the letters I have received from a few of you over the course of my mission I know that he Lord has answered my many pryers.  As such if any of y’all would like to request a free copy of the Book of Mormon or a visit from a pair of hardy elders or powerful sisters here’s a handy dandy web page to help yopu out. https://www.mormon.org/missionaries

Or you can just ask me, but here pretty quickly I will be losing my preaching authority so. :

(RANDOM SIDE STORY! Hna Debbie, our Jewish investigator thinks I should become a preacher bajaja. She wants me to become a leader in the church or something. She says that I have the gift of the convincing power as described in the scriptures.  She says that if I had a church in the states that many people would go and listen to me.  Can’t decide if that’s a pleasant compliment or just kind of a weird one, but I am always very flattered when she mentions it jajaja )

My setting apart also mentioned that I would need to open my heart up to the people that I teach.  As many of you know, I was not a particularly open person with my feelings of love of charity or even just plain old kindness.  But I have experienced the joy one can receive by inviting others to come unto Christ and seeing them make the changes neccesary to do so.  I have learned to truly love mis familias bolivianas and the many members and investigators and menos activos that I have come in contact with.  De hecho I’ve never been so happy in my life!  I’m not grumpy anyore, practically EVER and I wake up every morning looking forward to the work I get to do.  And honestly, I have yet to encounter someone on the mssion(other than disobedient companions) that I have not gotten along with.  I’ve loved getting to become a memebr of the family in many households and I hope I can rememebr and cherish all of the sweet moments I have passed with them here en Bolivia.

I have learned to follow the Spirit to avoid danger and to use the scriptures effectively to help other people gain faith in Christ.  I love my Saviour, I know that because of His Atonement that repentance can actually change us.  I have been changed because of applying the Lord sufferings in my life, I know that if we ALWAYS OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS we can retain a remission of our sins and that we can live one day again in the presence of our Heavenyl Father.

I would simply like to finish with my testimony ademas than what y’all have recieved from me ALLLLLL these past 18 months.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church of Christ.  There is no one other that will allow us to open the gate to heaven when all is said and done.  No other church can claim such a thing because it simply can’t.  No other church on earth has the authority to give us the ordinances needed to enter into the presence of God.
I’ve learend that simply being a “good pèrson” is not NEARLY enough.  No one who simply “believes in Christ” will be saved in the last day.  We must, must, MUST show our faith through actions.  I wish I knew how to stress that more, but only by reading the scriptures with real intent are we truly capable of understanding that.  I know that through obedience to the commandments of God we can be saved, I hope that now that I have this chance to literally start fresh from ground zero(I literally have like nooooooooo responsibilities other than to go to school and new prospects in other things right now, so I’m pretty excited about it).  And start my life from scratch building from the ground up in Christ.  I know that that will be the best way to retain a remission of my sins and remember all that the Lord has done for me and all that I will never be able to give back to Him.
I love our Heavenly Father and my Saviour.  I cannot really express that love, but I know He can read the intentions of my heart and I hope that my actions can express that love for Them.

I know that Book of Mormon is truly the word of God.  I was thinking about that this morning and WHY I feel that way, man I simply can’t explain more than I’ve prayed and I’ve felt it and I FEEL it.  The Book of Mormon is true, and it has helped me understand the atonement, understand who Christ is, and learn more of the will of God concerning His children.  I exhort each of you to get a copy to read it, to ponder its message in your heart and then later to ask of God in the name of Christ if it is not true.  I know that if you do so with real intent and faith in Christ that you will gain a testimony of said Book.  However, as stated in my medetizar de este semana, everyone is invited but no one is compelled.  If you so chose not to accept the reality of such a confirmation that choice will be restored unto you in the great and last day.  Just rememebr that.
I say these things with much sincerity and with much conviction and love for each of you and the Saviour,

In the holy name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Hna E Butikofer
Hymn of the week– Help Me Teach with Inspiration

Lyrics

  1. 1. Help me teach with inspiration;
    Grant this blessing, Lord, I pray.
    Help me lift a soul’s ambition
    To a higher, nobler way.
  2. 2. Help me reach a friend in darkness;
    Help me guide him thru the night.
    Help me show thy path to glory
    By the Spirit’s holy light.

    IMG_0291.JPGIMG_0285.JPGIMG_0296.JPGIMG_0308.JPGIMG_0316.JPGIMG_0310.JPG

Advertisements

November 28, 2016 {Week 76}: Last Full Week in the Mission Field

Well I haven’t thought as much about this letter as maybe I should have, but don’t worry I still have ONE MORE LETTER TO WRITE.  I might die.  But that’s okay, all in the service of the Lord.  I still don’t really feel like I’m going home anytime soon, like the work continues no mas.  With or without me, so I hope it can be with me as long as I am here.

Anywhos, a couple of stressful intercambios this week– the sisters are the source of all my stress jajaja.  Making sure their carpetas are good and in order, that they are happy and progressing, that they are OBEDIENTE, that their companions are obedient and progressing.  We worried that when Hna Nelson left the house would go to pot, but now I’m really scared for when I leave jajaja! Nawh, the sisters are good, they just are developing in more experience, they all have less than 6 months so.  And no news if new sisters will come yet so.

Also, got ROASTED on Saturday, totally totally burned, no one freaked out as much as me and Hna Ipson did.  I’m working on packing my bags and I’m sliiiiightly worried it will be overweight, but thats okay! jaja

….Like I said this may be the worst letter ever.

So I realized that I get like FREEZING COLD when its only in the mid 60s- so I basically I’m going to look like a crazy person all bundled up when it’s hardly even chilly outside. And then I’m gonna look like a crazy person with RIDCULOUS tan lines on my legs, feet, arms and neck when I go to the pool to swim. So things are gonna be weird. ha

Sad story time.

So we have a really great investigator, Hna Massiel. In case y’all remember her from a picture with Hna Nelson y Hna Wilki, short a little chubby white, small smile, braces she’s been practicing English with us and taking the lessons.  Anyways, so she reads, prays and goes to church every week.  She LOVES the lessons, she shared the word of wisdom and the law of chastitiy with her parents she liked them so much.  Que hermosa! Que bonito en serio.  Anyhow, so we extended baptism date before and she said no with some explanation that a women can’t be married to 2 men relating it to a church or something. Her explanation was confusing. So we explained the priesthood authority and then extended fecha again, she said no, so we dropped her for a little while before going back again to teach.  She is truly a wonderful WONDERFUL investigator– we ALWAYS feel the spirirt in her lessons, she understands everything and completes todos sus compromisos, so we read a little in Helaman 15 y 16 and I felt like we should extend a baptism invitaion gain for the 24th of December(best date EVER to get baptized btw) sand she explained several things and said that she would pray but that she felt she had already received her answer………  I held back tears during her closing prayer(she blessed all of you btw, so I hope y’all have a great week!)…..  As we left the house I just burst into tears and small sobs.  It’s another daughter lost.  I have NEVER felt so sad in the mission for a rejection from someone.  Hna Massiel really is a dear friend and I love her and the Lord loves her and WANTS this for her. She’s been praying for 2 YERAS for someone to come and help her with English and help her in a personal change that she wanted and has experienced, and the Lord sent US to answer that prayer.  And she can’t see it. Yet.  I haven’t cried like that over the slavation of someone in a VERY long time.

But we are having A LOT of success with Gabby y Jose Eric. Todavia no son casados, pero he has turned around and gotten SUPER animado about returning to church, about his wife’s baptism, about getting married, about being an eternal family in a year, about his new baby that’s on the way and everything. It’s really a pleasure to visit with them.

Gonna be taking fotos with the whole world this week so I’m hoping to have a lot for next week.

Not very much of anything else to share with y’all, but I hope all is well at home and that the wintry weather puts everyone in good spirits and that the Christmas spirit les acompañe en cada momento, that we can all turn our hearts to the Lord today, tomorrow and forever.

Hna E Butikofer

medetizar– Alma 58:40
But behold, they have received many wounds; nevertheless they stand fast in that liberty wherewith God has made them free; and they are strict to remember the Lord their God from day to day; yea, they do observe to keep his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments continually; and their faith is strong in the prophecies concerning that which is to come.

IMG_0125.JPGIMG_0113.JPGIMG_0246.JPGIMG_0234.JPGIMG_0175.JPGIMG_0252.JPGIMG_0253.JPGIMG_0254.JPGIMG_0251.JPG

November 21, 2016 {Week 75}: 17th month mark

I hit the 17 month mark this week– my time as a missionary is now quickly coming to a close.  Only 2 more group emails and I will then quickly and silently be released as a representative for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ….  However, I can never be realeased from being a doer of the word and trying to be a humble and meek disiciple of Christ- that calling will just be starting.

Entonces, no tengo mucho por compartir, but I have some scriptures as always and some thoughts for y’all, but menos stories for this week. In mi lectura del Libro de Mormon I found his verse in Jacob– Jacob is one of those prophets that for me really just enters well into my heart and head(kind of like the teachings of Boyd K Packer as well before he passed away) and in chapter 2 verse 21 he says–

21… And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his commandments and glorify him forever.

Which lead me to another scripture in Doctrine and Covenants which kind of cut me just a liiiiiitle bit–

11: 20 Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength.

There it is simply put by the Lord what our purpose is.  Keep my commandments.  Nothing else, in this life that is literally ALL that is required of us…

I gave a surprise talk yesterday with like 3 minutes of preparation called Tenga Anhelo por Cristo(not really sure what anhelo could mean in English sooooo), and then a stake counselor followed me and used practically THE SAME scriptures to talk about conversion. Anyway, so I was thinking about something he said– “what are we waiting for to put our lives in order?”  and I realized that like Marta (Martha) my life before wasn’t in very good order…It was sometimes just full of ridiculous nothingness– like class rank, like getting scholarships, like worrying about clothes, like trying to be the best and make it look easy or just silly nothingness like that.  But now I hope that the Lord will be able to say of me as he said of Maria

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

[41 Pero respondiendo Jesús, le dijo: Marta, Marta, afanada y turbada estás con muchas cosas.
42 Pero solo una cosa es necesaria; y María ha escogido la buena parte, la cual no le será quitada.]

I didn’t think much about my own salvation before, we tend to just assume that all is well in Zion.  But I think maybe we should have a little bit more fear of the Lord.  Santiago 2 teaches that REAL WELL.
aqui escuchá–

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Especially in verse 19–  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Even the devils believe and TREMBLE…. Therefore should not WE also tremble before the Lord?  We got to talking about repentance the other day after reading this and it gave me a stress allergy attack(the first one in literally year when I was in Riberalta) so we’ve avoided the subject since then.  But basically the scriptures are clear. Doctrine and Covenants 19 makes it PAINFULLY clear the horrors of not repenting–

4 And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.
5 Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.
6 Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.
7 Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.

The Lord himself then continues explaining what HE, THE GREATEST OF ALL, suffered so that we could repent.

15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.
20 Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.

I pray that His sufferings will not be in vain, and that we can repent NOW while we have bodies so we will not have to suffer ETERNALLY.

Yesterday I had a very very very wonderufl experience with the Sacrament– I just feel so squeaky clean today.  I feel like a whole new person from my time here on  the mission.  Maybe outwardly and through an email I am not, but I feel so much different and better and cleaner and more confident and alive and focused on why I am here on earth.  My feelings bring to mind several primary songs, but specifically this one.

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
I know who I am.
I know God’s plan.
I’ll follow him in faith.
I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
I’ll honor his name.
I’ll do what is right;
I’ll follow his light.
His truth I will proclaim.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzGS_gooSxE

I know the Church is true, I know that Christ directs His Church through a living and modern prophet….  I don’t understand everything about the Atonement, but I know that Christ suffered for me.  I know that I am a new and better person, that I have been born again because Christ made it possible for me to do so.  I know that missionary work brings this light to other people, and what a glorious bessing I have had to teach and preach and call to repentance to the people here in Bolivia and you all.  I know that I was just a little girl who decided to serve a mission and share her spiritual experiences with y’all here, but really now, my intent is to invite you to come unto Christ.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have done no one is too small or too big to come unto Christ and be saved.  He has called and He calls us still and the way is upon to chose eternal life or eternal misery and woe according to our own desires.

Alma 5:
62 I speak by way of command unto you that belong to the church; and unto those who do not belong to the church I speak by way of invitation, saying: Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life.

O ye workers of iniquity; ye that are puffed up in the vain things of the world, ye that have professed to have known the ways of righteousness nevertheless have gone astray, as sheep having no shepherd, notwithstanding a shepherd hath called after you and is still calling after you, but ye will not hearken unto his voice!

38 Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.

39 And now if ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye?

2 Nephi 2:27
Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Medetizar
Last week– Alma 7: 14-16
14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to
cleanse from all unrighteousness.

15 Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the
waters of baptism.

16 And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me.

this week– Jacob 1:8
8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, [Erin], take it upon me to fulfill the commandment of my [Elder Brother Christ].

Hna E Butikofer

IMG_0204.JPGIMG_0096.JPGIMG_0178.JPGIMG_0274.JPG

November 14, 2016 {Week 74}: Pucha! (wow, jeez, darn, shoot)

Well hello friends and family! I have a ridiculous amount of time today on the internet so I hope you can learn a little bit more about life in Bolivia and da mish from what I’ve got to say today.

So last week we were walking along when some kids lost their soccer all so I kicked it back, and then bajajaja, they passed it to me again saying “let’s see what la Cristiana Ronaldo’s got!” BAJAJAJA I died giggling afterwards, I passed it back like 2 or 3 times with these kids before we turned the corner. It was fun and funny.

So the other day one of the sisters was making eggs for breakfast– well she cracked opened one of the eggs….. but realized it was really heavy and like dark on the inside….. we opened it afterwards completely in a plastic bag AND THERE WAS A DEAD BABY CHICKEN WITH FEATHERS IN IT. It was absolutely gross. We all gagged.

Last week we did an American churrasco(bbq) with the elders– we bought some really sketchy ground beef and doctored it up and served it up to all the latinos in the zone. And made floats and smores! They were all super intrigued, and it turned out good where we just hang out and chatted en el parque pantanal.

I heard about Trump…. In God We Trust.

We were inside for one day this week because Hna Ipson got a pretty rough stomach bug. haha story– when I woke up that morning and she wasn’t in her bed my first thought was– THEY TOOK HER. BECAUSE SHE’S CHOCA [I think choca means fair haired/fair skinned]. bajajaja, we had slept with the inner doors open for the first time and I got scared, but no she was just in the bathroom poor thing. And then 2 of the other sisters are having stomach problems that they are all worried about, but I just tell ’em “heck I had diarrhea for 10 and a half months and I turned out alright!” Hna Ipson told me about a pill they call “the bomb” for missionaries that come home from countries where they may have picked up intestinal parasites. It is supposed to clean out all the parasites… kind of scared about that…. jijiji

Speaking of those 10 and a half months, I saw la familia Chavez this weekend here for Stake Conference!! It was the best!!….

Now that Im ending the mission everyone keeps asking me the same questions– “do you have a boyfriend? Are you gonna get married? You’re gonna get married so fast! What are you studying? What are you gonna do?” oiga it’s getting obnoxious. I am just going to avoid boys and go study even though I dont want to. Study that is.

Anyway we also had a small intervention with the sisters last week. 2 of them in particular are just getting very difficult and think they are still at home living as little princesses with air conditioning and everything [air conditioning hahahahahahahaha] They want what they want, when they want it with no one guiding them or trying to help them to improve…

Okay then I have some thoughts to share with y’all before times up….

So I was reading in Alma 5 this week which has some totally BOMB questions to get us thinking– in fact there are 48 questions that will give you the shivers in only 62 verses. It’s totally intense. And this question really caught my attention, as it has for many people I do believe, and especially caught my attention because I’ve been finding A LOT in my readings about retaining a remission of your sins and how we can keep our metaphorical swords bright and shiny for judgement day so. It says–

26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

Can you feel so now? How we still truly converted to the Lord can we feel and sing alabnazes(praises) to the Lord as Lehi did way back almost 3000 years ago?

1 Nephi 1:14 And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is highin the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!

Or the people of righteous King Benjamin?

Mosiah 4:1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.
2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.
3 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which King Benjamin had spoken unto them.

These are the feelings that we should ALWAYS try to have in our heart so that we can answer with a resounding YES I CAN FEEL SO NOW. That is what a true conversion is, when we have truly been born again and become more like our Saviour Jesus Christ.– Im gonna be throwing in a bucnh of quotes here so bear with me–

It is not surprising that some in the Church believe they can’t answer Alma’s question with a resounding yes. They do not “feel so now.” They feel they are in a spiritual drought. Others are angry, hurt, or disillusioned. If these descriptions apply to you, it is important to evaluate why you cannot “feel so now.”

Many who are in a spiritual drought and lack commitment have not necessarily been involved in major sins or transgressions, but they have made unwise choices. Some are casual in their observance of sacred covenants. Others spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes. Some allow intense cultural or political views to weaken their allegiance to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and, in some cases, invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed… The word of God inspires commitment and acts as a healing balm for hurt feelings, anger, or disillusionment.
When our commitment is diminished for any reason, part of the solution is repentance.
Commitment and repentance are closely intertwined… The Prophet Joseph pointed out that before your baptism, you could be on neutral ground between good and evil. But “when you joined this Church you enlisted to serve God.” When you did that you left the neutral ground, and you never can [go] back.

When we decided to become converts unto Christ we made that decision that we will NEVER GO BACK and we can’t. To go back would be to drink damnation unto our own souls…. however that does not mean that repentance is then out of reach, but I can’t imagine that it would be an easy process.

At baptism we promise to take upon us “the name of [Jesus] Christ, having [the] determination to serve him to the end.” Such a covenant requires courageous effort, commitment, and integrity if we are to continue to sing the song of redeeming love and stay truly converted.

Life isn’t easy, it’s not and it’s NOT SUPPOSED TO BE. There must be an opposition in all things if we are to learn and grow and to actually understand what joy is. If weve never been in the depths of despair we can’t undertsand the heights of joy and pure happiness.
In our journey through mortality, as glorious as our intended destination maybe and as exhilarating as the journey may prove, we will all be subject to trials and sorrow along the way. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin taught: “The dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt.”
“The Lord in His wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness.”
BUT the Lord has given us a set of tools to conquer these things and to keep moving forward and these tools are the principles of the Gospel!

It struck me how the foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ can affect our life’s direction for good, if only we will apply them. There is nothing mysterious about the principles of the gospel… These divine principles and values are straightforward and clear; they are beautiful, profound, and powerful; and they can definitely help us to avoid future regrets.

If we want to be truly happy and become our best selves and continue progressing we must focus EVERYDAY on applying the principles of the Gospel to be happy, the more we are obedient to such things the happier we will be. It’s a simple equation. Ademas, the more we trust in the Lord the more we will be guided to do good.

Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence.

Why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial? Do we refuse to see the folly in the pursuit of the trivial and transient?

Would it not be wiser for us to “lay up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven,where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”?

How do we do this? By following the example of the Savior, by incorporating His teachings in our daily lives, by truly loving God and our fellow man.

This is how we can become disciples of Christ if we FOLLOW HIM. That was the covenant we made to be baptized, to become humble disciples of Christ, to walk in His paths and to become more like Him. Which is our divine potenial, to become like Christ.

Discipleship is the pursuit of holiness and happiness. It is the path to our best and happiest self. Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents.

The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us.

We are the ones that will determine OUR destinies, no one else. No one else can do it for us. We have to choose to be happy or choose to suffer(side quote- One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.). The Lord doesn’t MAKE us suffer, we do or sometimes the unjust actions of others do.

But with the bountiful blessings of our Heavenly Father, His generous plan of salvation, the supernal truths of the restored gospel, and the many beauties of this mortal journey, “have we not reason to rejoice?”

We do, we have great reason to rejoice in the Lord and walk on that divine path. I really love President Uchtdorf’s closing testimony about the subject. The path toward fulfilling our divine destiny as sons and daughters of God is an eternal one. We must begin to walk that eternal path today; we cannot take for granted one single day. I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live.

But to continue, if we really are to walk int his path we must ask ourslves “Do I Believe?” Because if we actually believe we will be able to put our faith into action(faith without works is dead!) and we will be able to walk in the path.

We have a knowledge of these things, but do we believe them? If these things are true, then we have the greatest message of hope and help that the world has ever known. Believing them is a matter of eternal significance for us and for those we love.

To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts!… True conversion is a process that takes place over a period of time and involves a willingness to exercise faith.

I like how Bonnie L. Oscarson says “a WILLINGNESS to exercise faith.” This is what Alma also says in chapter 32 about faith–

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart,behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

If we have faith then the things we claim as the Church of Jesus Christ will be apart of our testimonies not just something we simply know that exists–

Think for just a minute about the profound claims we make as a religion. We believe that the same Church Jesus Christ established while on the earth has been restored once again by a prophet called of God in our time and that our leaders hold the same power and authority to act in God’s name that ancient Apostles held. It is called the priesthood of God. We claim that through this restored authority, we can receive saving ordinances, such as baptism, and enjoy the purifying and refining gift of the Holy Ghost to be with us at all times.We have apostles and prophets leading and directing this Church through priesthood keys, and we believe that God speaks to His children through these prophets.

We also believe that this priesthood power makes it possible to make covenants and receive ordinances in holy temples that will someday enable usto return to the presence of God and live with Him forever. We also claim that, through this power, families can be bound together for eternity when couples enter the new and everlasting covenant of marriage in sacred buildings that we believe are literally the houses of God. We believe that we can receive these saving ordinances not only for ourselves but also for our ancestors who lived on the earth without having the chance to participate in these essential saving ordinances. We believe we can perform ordinances for our ancestors by proxy in these same holy temples.

We believe that, through a prophet and the power of God, we have received additional scriptures, adding to the testimony of that in the Bible declaring that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world.

We claim that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God and the only true Church on the earth. It is called the Church of Jesus Christ because He stands at the head; it is His Church, and all these things are possible because of His atoning sacrifice.

We believe that these distinguishing features can be found in no other place ororganization on this earth. As good and sincere as other religions and churches are, none of them have the authority to provide the ordinances of salvation that are available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

We make the choice daily to doubt or to have faith. It is on OUR shoulders to make the decision to be faithful disciples, or are HAPPY disciples or not. But we should always doubt our doubts before we doubt our faith. We need to pray and search for answers in the scriptures, seek truth from the Lord and from no one else. What are we willing to give to gain our souls? Or the reverse quesiton what are we willing to give to lose our souls?

To the question, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Satan would have us sell our lives for the candy bars and championships of this world. The Savior, however, calls us, without price, to exchange our sins, to take upon us His countenance, and to take that into the hearts of those within our reach. For this we may receive all that God has, which we are told is greater than all the combined treasures of this earth.

Can you even imagine?

Sister Oscarson echos this in her talk with her testimony as well– I bear witness that our membership in the Lord’s kingdom is a gift of immeasurable value. I testify that the blessings and peace the Lord has in store for those who are obedient and faithful exceed anything the human mind can comprehend.

There are also some basic suggestions on how to be more Christian from Robert D Hales.

I testify that through His infinite love and grace, we can become more Christian. Consider the following Christlike qualities. How are we doing in strengthening them within ourselves?

Christian love. The Savior valued everyone. Kind and compassionate to all, He left the ninety and nine to find the one, for “even the very hairs of [our] head are … numbered” to Him.

Christian faith. Despite temptations, trials, and persecutions, the Savior trusted our Heavenly Father and chose to be faithful and obedient to His commandments.

Christian sacrifice. Throughout His life the Savior gave of His time, His energy,and ultimately, through the Atonement, gave Himself so that all of God’s children could be resurrected and have the opportunity to inherit eternal life.

Christian caring. Like the good Samaritan, the Savior was continually reaching out to rescue, love, and nurture people around Him, regardless of their culture, creed, or circumstances.

Christian service. Whether drawing water from a well, cooking a meal of fish, or washing dusty feet, the Savior spent His days serving others—lifting up the weary and strengthening the weak.

Christian patience. In His own sorrow and suffering, the Savior waited upon His Father. With patience for us, He waits upon us to come to ourselves and come home to Him.

Christian peace. Throughout His ministry He urged understanding and promoted peace. Especially among His disciples, He taught that Christians cannot contend with other Christians, notwithstanding their differences.

Christian forgiveness. He taught us to bless those who curse us. He showed us the way by praying that those who crucified Him would be forgiven.

Christian conversion. Like Peter and Andrew, many recognize the truth of the gospel as soon as they hear it. They are instantly converted. For others it may take longer. In a revelation given through Joseph Smith, the Savior taught, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day,”the perfect day of our conversion. Jesus Christ is “the light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth.”

Christian endurance to the end. In all His days, the Savior never gave up doing His Father’s will but continued in righteousness, goodness, mercy, and truth to the end of His mortal life.

These are some of the characteristics of those who hear and heed the Savior’s voice. I give my Christian testimony that He is calling to you today, “Come, follow me.” Come walk the path that leads to eternal happiness, joy, and everlasting life in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father.

Okay, okay I am almost done there’s just a couple more things from Jeffrey R Holland that I am obsessed with that are found in his talk ‘Tomorrow the Lord will do Wonders among you’.

We dont have to be PERFECT to merit the kingdom of God.

When there was a controversy in the early Church regarding who was entitled to heaven’s blessings and who wasn’t, the Lord declared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Verily I say unto you, [the gifts of God] are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep … my commandments, and [for them] that seeketh so to do.” Boy, aren’t we all thankful for that added provision “and … seeketh so to do”! That has been a lifesaver because sometimes that is all we can offer! We take some solace in the fact that if God were to reward only the perfectly faithful, He wouldn’t have much of a distribution list.

Satan would have us think that we have to be perfect to keep going to be saved but we know that that is not the case.

Only the adversary, the enemy of us all, would try to convince us that the ideals outlined in general conference are depressing and unrealistic, that people don’t really improve, that no one really progresses. And why does Lucifer give that speech? Because he knows he can’t improve, he can’t progress,that worlds without end he will never have a bright tomorrow. He is a miserable man bound by eternal limitations, and he wants you to be miserable too. Well, don’t fall for that. With the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the strength of heaven to help us, we can improve, and the great thing about the gospel is we get credit for trying, even if we don’t always succeed.

AND we have the Lord on our side, if we are one HIS side He will be on ours. Heck, even if we don’t love Him he still loves us. The first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone o feternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life.

It is daily living that makes someone a disicple of Christ.

Now, with that majestic devotion ringing from heaven as the great constant in our lives, manifested most purely and perfectly in the life, death, and Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can escape the consequences of both sin and stupidity—our own or that of others—in whatever form they may come to us in the course of daily living. If we give our heart to God, if we love the Lord Jesus Christ, if we do the best we can to live the gospel, then tomorrow—and every other day—is ultimately going to be magnificent, even if we don’t always recognize it as such. Why? Because our Heavenly Father wants it to be! He wants to bless us. A rewarding, abundant, and eternal life is the very object of His merciful plan for His children! It is a plan predicated on the truth “that all things work together for good to them that love God.” So keep loving. Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever.

“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard?” Isaiah cried.
“[God] giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. “… They that wait upon [Him] shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles.”
“For … the Lord … God will hold [their] right hand, saying unto [them], Fear not; I will help thee.”

May a loving Father in Heaven bless us tomorrow to remember how we felt today. May He bless us to strive with patience and persistence toward the ideals we have heard proclaimed this conference weekend, knowing that His divine love and unfailing help will be with us even when we struggle—no, will be with us especially when we struggle.

If gospel standards seem high and the personal improvement needed in the days ahead seems out of reach, remember Joshua’s encouragement to his people when they faced a daunting future. “Sanctify yourselves,” he said, “for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” I declare that same promise. It is the promise of this conference. It is the promise of this Church. It is the promise of Him who performs those wonders, who is Himself “Wonderful,Counsellor, The mighty God, … The Prince of Peace.”

Boom cachow you can’t say it better then an apostle, have a fantastic weeeekekkkkkkk!

Love y’all, (went wayyyyyy OVER on time tchau tchauuuuuu)

Hna E bUTIKOFER

IMG_0098.JPGIMG_0105.JPG

November 7, 2016 {Week 73}: A Bucket and a Bowl

I’d like to share with you a little introduction to my new companion, Hermana Ipson. The two of us actually have A LOT in common, which is surprising because neither of us were expecting to have very much in common at all. But she’s a fellow orch dork…plays piano, violin and viola, she has a nice voice, she ran track and doesn’t like competitions or adrenaline either AND her favorite ice cream is BEN AND JERRYS PHISH FOOD just like mine!! Apparently her family found my blog before the mission and really enjoyed it haha. Her mom cried looking at the pictures… we realized it was my blog that they had been reading and looking at becasue she started telling a story she read on “a” blog and I was like ‘hey, that’s my story’…. BAJAJAJAJA we busted up laughing!  We get along great.

And, oh we haven’t had water in the house for 3 days. We finally “showered” after 2 days yesterday with a bucket and a bowl and so that’s been fun and [public service announcement] you actually waste WAY less water!

On another note, we had a freak sur this week.  AND WE FNALLY HAVE PERMISSION TO BUY AND WEAR OUR OWN PANTS YESSSSS!!  Hna Ipson and I are organizing an American churrasco(bbq) hoy dia for Pday. We are gonna be busy with that today for the elders. Also we are going to play ULTIMATE today. Gotta get pumped because I haven’t played that since Hna Piscoya se cayo por un mango bajajajaja. Also, I found jeans for 10 bolivanos($1.44)! I’m the best ever wooooooop.

Con mucho amor,
Hna E Butikofer

IMG_0094.JPG
Hna Ipson

October 31, 2016 {Week 72}: Lots of changes

Sooooo cambios were this past week!!

And I now have my eleventh companion! Hermana Ipson from small town
Parowan,Utah! It means ‘evil water’ in an indian language.  She has one
transfer in Pompeya but is now with me and Hermana Bernabe se fue a
Pompeya con Hermana Antunz….We’ve had a good week to start off
together and she just needs more confidence with her Spanish so
we are going to be doing LOTS of practices to ger her more
comfortable and get her down to learning.

They closed Riberalta to sisters(they took Elder Huanci and Elder
Garcia from here en Central and moved ’em to my area up there. So now I’m
the only person in the missionary correleation for the ward that knows
anything haha;) and Trinidad looks likes it’s next and Hermana
Nelson left meeeeeee :(((( She’s in Equipetrol, my primera zona, in a
trio and training as well(like always hahaha), Hermana Tituaña is also
training here in the house AND Hermana Ipson and I are the ONLY GRINGOS IN
THE ZONE yaaaaaay….. needless to say we are the English teachers and
the elders need to pass LOTS of exams this transfer so we’ve hired the
help of some of the missionaries that already speak really good english
so, it’s gonna be something alright haha. Anyway, I do miss Hermana nelson. She’s
like my only friend right now in life and she’s not here, and there is no
concilio this month so I won’t see her til the end of it all.

We’ve both really felt the spirit in lessons this week.  I’m really
loving the lessons we’ve been having actually to just be guided to good
scriptures, good inspirations and good words to help those we teach.  The Lord
really knows every one of us perfectly and as His servants we can
easily be directed by His Spirit… what a peaceful thought 🙂

Oh yeahhhh so something funny…to wash clothes at the house we have to
do it outside in the big deep sink, but the only problem is that the
drain doesn’t work so water gets all over the floor. To avoid this
you have to take a bucket and scoop out the used, dirty water out of the the sink and pour it down the outside toilet. I’ve always thought about that maybe that’s how I’ve
lost some socks, but really nothing has ever really happenened… until Hermana
Bernabe came hahaha! The other day she lost a pair of underwear!!!
BAHAJAJAJAJAJAJA, fllloooooop se fue! hahahahaha I died laughing, it
just got sucked up down the toilet and it’s gone hahahah, I knew it
would happen to somone someday and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that it happened
with Hermana Bernabe.

SIDE NOTE: I said “and then I woked up” the other
day…. my English suuuuucks…………

It’s been a really good week with memebrs too. I feel totally a part of
the ward family here en Central… sometimes you think that no one is
converted or understands anything about he Gospel and then you get
frustrated, but suddenly you have a lesson with a member and you hear
their totally sweet testimony and feel the Spirit and it just makes
everything better.  One sister and her husband have the dream to make
her entire neighborhood members of the Church and she’s doing a pretty
good job.  Almost her entire block are members now and the other
couple families are listening to the charlas from los elderes ahora.
The work must go on.

I’ve learned that if you want answers you’ve got to work.  You can’t just
pray and expect blessings or pray and expect an answer if you don’t do
anything.  Faith without works is dead.  Another phrase not entirely
related but that I like ‘Faith takes us to the path and obedience
carries us to the kingdom of God.’ Made that one up myself yeahhhh
buddy.

I think that;s about it for the week, thanks for letting me
write y’all! love you oodles, don’t forget to pray and ACT to get
whatever testimony you want! That’s what REAL INTENT means 😉

Hna E Butikofer

Hymn of the week: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLxv4v9OB3A

Medetizar: Alma 41:14-
14 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren;
deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do
all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have
mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you
again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and
ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

This is also a really good scriptures as like the theme of life!  I
really love it.

IMG_0117.JPG

October 24, 2016 {Week 71}: Some great scriptures

Soooooo a couple quick things and then some scriptures to brighten the day and make y’all think about life and the Gospel of Jesus Christ that I get to live and preach everyday– sometimes I wish y’all could really understand what it is like to be a missionary, but really only those who have served understand what it is like.

Random side note-somehow or another as a missionary I get along with practically EVERYONE- it’s incredible…and for those who knew me pre-mission, surprising.

Some for the first time ever I am working with a investigator who has a problem with the Word of Wisdom.  For those who don’t know the Word of Wisdom is a health code that the Lord has revealed to us in the latter days that we are as members of the Church live by. It includes:

Not consuming-
tea, coffee, alcohol, tobbaco, drugs(obviously), and another substances that could be potentially harmful or addictive (for example if you KNOW you really like soda and you can’t go without soda you might not be living the word of wisdom as well as you should or could)

Other than the advice against harmful or addictive things, the Lord has also said that we should eat of the fruit of the vine and vegetables and use all meat in prudence.  It also talks of the uses of grain and the benefits of all these things.

The purpose of the Word of Wisdom is to keep our physical bodies healthy and strong so that our spirits are more susecptible to the whisperings of the Spirit and so that God can dwell in us… no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God and He likewise cannot dwell in any unclean thing.

The biggest promise of the Word of Wisdom is this:
18 And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones;
19 And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledgeeven hidden treasures;
20 And shall run and not be wearyand shall walk and not faint.
21 And I, the Lord, give unto them promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them.  Amen.

Anyhow we have A LOT of progressing menos activos lately and we are working super hard with them so they can get back to church and start renenwing their baptismal covenants…  I hurts me when people say “well I can just worship at home so I don’t need to go to church” well yeahhhhh you can, but what is the reason we actually even GO to church? It is so we can take the sacrament and remember the atonement of Christ and renew the promises we made at baptism!  I wish people could understand that better instead of just sitting around thinking their life is great when it could be SO MUCH BETTER.

Yeah so we played basketball a couple mornings this week with the zone as well so that’s been cool.  Last week we watched Meet the Mormons for the zone activity and it was a good watch. A definite movie recommendation jajaja!

Y’all should definitely think about getting into family history work! We live in the age where hearts shall turn to the fathers so let’s do our part and get to know our ancestors!  I personally have a obsession with indexing(which is basically taking info on paper records and moving it to the internet. Its’ the beeeeest). But personal family history work is a really good pasttime and a good way to get to know your family, ad maybe even memebrs of your family you didn’t know you had!
https://familysearch.org

Why we have the Book of Mormon AND the Bible and what we should do with the knowledge of this–

Mormon 7:8-9
Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus,and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.
For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe that; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers,and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them.

Ether 12: 23-28
23 And said unto him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock atthese things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which thou hast given them;
24 And thou hast made us that we could write but little,because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.
25 Thou hast also made our words powerful and great,even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weaknessand stumble because of the placing of our words; and fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.
26 And when had said this, the Lord spake unto me,saying: Fools mockbut they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
27 And if men come unto me will show unto them their weaknessgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will make weak things become strong unto them.
28 Behold, will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and will show unto them that faithhope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.

3 Nephi 26:9-11
And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, andif it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
10 And if it so be that they will not believe these things,then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation.
11 Behold, was about to write them, all which were engraven upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying: will try the faith of my people.

Alma 37: 5-12
And now behold, if they are kept they must retain their brightness; yea, and they will retain their brightness; yea,and also shall all the plates which do contain that which is holy writ.
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about this great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
And now, it has hitherto been wisdom in God that these things should be preserved; for behold, they have enlarged the memory of this people, yea, and convinced many ofthe error of their ways, and brought them to the knowledge of their God unto the salvation of their souls.
Yea, say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.
10 And who knoweth but what they will be the means of bringing many thousands of them, yea, and also many thousands of our stiffnecked brethren, the Nephites, who are now hardening their hearts in sin and iniquities, to the knowledge of their Redeemer?
11 Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore shall forbear.
12 And it may suffice if only say they are preserved for wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God; for he doth counsel in wisdom over all his works, and his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

Words of Mormon 1:11
11 And they were handed down from king Benjamin,from generation to generation until they have fallen into my handsAnd I, Mormon, pray to God that they may be preserved from this time henceforth. And know that they will be preserved; for there are great things written upon them, out of which my people and their brethren shall be judged at the great and last day, according to the word of God which is written.

Omni 1:25
25 And it came to pass that began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be just man before the Lord, wherefore, shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the giftof speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are goodfor there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.

I really love having 2 testaments of Christ at my fingertips to read and ponder and study and receive personal revelation that I need.  I know that lots of things require faith and it is the same with the Book of Mormon. We need faith to believe…. but if we pray in faith then we will KNOW that the Book of Mormon is true.  I am firmly convinced that anyone who has read the Book of Mormon with an open, willing heart, has felt the Spirit.  If that is the case then our final step is to pray in faith and then act upon that answer… as Moroni invites.

Moroni 10: 3-5
Behold, would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
And when ye shall receive these things, would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not trueand if ye shall ask with sincere heartwith real intenthaving faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Love you all oodles!
Hna E Butikofer

Recommended reading:
Ether 4
https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/ether/4?lang=eng

Medetizar:
compendio de 2 escrituras this week! Mormon 7:3 and 3 Nephi 21:20-21

3 Know 
ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved.

20 For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will cut off from among my people, house of Israel;
21 And will execute vengeance and fury upon them, even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard.

IMG_0110.JPGIMG_0116.JPG

October 17, 2016 {Week 70}: A few of my thoughts

So I’ve learned that the mission has really tempered me… you have to be patient and calm when people STILL make fun of your Spanish, when people call you fat even when you are losing wet, when people make fun of the awful haircut some women gave you…. Half the comments people make, if they said them in English in my house I would have the strong desire to slap and tell them to get the heck OUT…. but you just have to sit, take it with smile, and then through it out the window and forget.  I’ve realized that forgiving has A LOT to do with forgetting. So now I am a lot more patient and quiet con such things… it’s a good habit. haha

Okay so we had a run in with a really mean mean nasty man this week. He chewed us out about being Christians, basically blasphemed against God and Christ saying all sorts of terrible things about them.  He got so worked up that he stood and was shouting in Spanish.  Not to mention that he then, in not very nice terms, told us to put our message
away….  So in response we just shared brief testimonies and closed the lesson.  Got me into studying the antiChrists in the Book of Mormon and the testimonies of the priests and believers against them. Alma 1, Alma 11 y 12, and Alma 30….  Really all things testify of Christ and of the Father, but the teachings of Satan are agradable o sea, nice looking(??) to the natural man and people often succumb… It was a sad lesson and experience when all is said and done.  Good things there is repentance for those that want to listen.

I did an intercambio este semana en Pompeya!  It was nice to have a quick visit back and to see Hno German!  He is doing really good! 🙂 and the sisters are enjoying the beauty of Pompeya. Pompeya really is a wonderful place and they are having lots of success and seeing lots of baptisms and progress. The sisters are DEFINITELY being blessed too, especially for the hard work other sisters did before them so they could have a good group of recent converts to teach.

Anyway, then yesterday I went off on another big old rant about faith without works is dead, taking up His cross, and leaving it all for the Lord.  I don’t know if I have a lot of time to elaborate but I do want to leave all with the scirptures I was looking at this morning.

Alma 12: 10,11, 34
10 And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
11 And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell.
34 Therefore, whosoever repenteth, and hardeneth not his heart, he shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son, unto a remission of his sins; and these shall enter into my rest.

James 2 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/james/2.20?lang=eng

We have to take up our cross because He took up His.  The Lord took upon Himself all OUR sins, so the least we can do is take His name upon us, and that requires  sacrifice.

Take up the cross–
Matthew 16:24–26
25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me,let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.
26 And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and keep my commandments.
27 Break not my commandments for to save your lives; for whosoever will save his life in this world, shall lose it in the world to come.
28 And whosoever will lose his life in this world, for my sake, shall find it in the world to come.
29 Therefore, forsake the world, and save your souls; for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Take His name upon you, mentioned in the sacrament prayers found in
Moroni 4 and 5
3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
2 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

It is a conscience decision however–
3 Nephi 13:24
24 No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

Joshua 24:15
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Alma 30:8
8 For thus saith the scripture: Choose ye this day, whom ye will serve.

But ademas we have to be willing to leave EVERYTHING FOR THE LORD– and most are not willng to do it.  But if we do it we will become the true disciples of Christ.  Faith requires action so we must ACT and leave it all behind for the Lord, The Lord Himself as taught such.

Mark 10
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

So if we leave it ALL for Him then there will be persecutions but in the end we will receive more than we did in the beginning like Job.  I wish we could all practice a little more trust in the Lord and a lot more faith…

Ether 12:11
11 Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.

The more excellent way is THROUGH CHRIST. It is to leave it ALL BEHIND and make the better decision.  If we don’t take up the cross and ACT in faith it is all in vain.  Our faith is in vain if we don’t do what we should(Alma taught that too I think….I don’t have to time to find it. But it’s in the Book of Mormon and I’m pretty sure in the Bible too!). The Lord prepared a more excellent way before us and why should we not walk it? And what is holding us back from taking up our cross and followng Him? I invite you all to really ponder that profound question and decide what you can do better to let it go.

Hna E Butikofer

medetizar– 3 Nephi 16:30  20 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God.

SAM_4679.JPGSAM_4557.JPGSAM_4295.JPG
A few pictures from a few weeks ago.

October 10, 2016 {Week 69}: Papa Johns and Cinnabon!

So I went to concilio last week and probably gained back the 2 kilos I’ve lost on Papa Johns and Cinnabon… but it was TOTALLY worth it… and this time the pizza didn’t get me sick and in the hospital YAAAAAY! Pants for sisters are now mandatoray from November to April, so my last month I will be in pants everyday an I am SUPER psyched… we are going pants shopping today or next Monday woot woot. Today’s activity is that we are visiting the 2nd biggest fish museum in South America or something like that… pescaditos hermositos bajajaja!

Anyway, this week I’ve started studying 2 Nephi to try and find the “teachings of happiness” written there– it was a spiritual impression of sorts I received during conference, and decided to diligently put it into practice.  I’ve learned a lot and several of those things I would like to share with y’all today. My medetizar actually and then 2 other thoughts….

1) Sometimes I am ashamed of the person I was before… like I hope you people can just forget about ALLLL of that and try and focus on the person that I AM and not who I WAS… I think that is something the pre-mission Sister Butikofer was NOT good at accepting… I used to always consider people based on what they HAD done, not what they were doing and much less who they COULD be….  It’s a talent I’ve learned to develop and put into practice here on the mission. But I hope other people will be kind enough to do it too!

2) So missionaries we don’t go around knocking doors saying “HEY want to learn more about the Book of Mormon?” or “Ever heard of Jospeh Smith? Let’s talk about him.” No.-  We simply invite others to learn more of Christ.  Every lesson we teach focuses on God’s pattern of love through the ages, the blessing and importance of the family, the Atonement of Christ, and why Christ is the only way and name under heaven by which we can be saved.  Nothing else.  Literally nothing else.  It leads back to the love God has for us….So I decided to dig up some good scriptures from the Book of Momrmon that address these things to share them with you here.

Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty stormshall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Mosiah 4  https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/mosiah/4?lang=eng (entire chapter)

Jacob 4:11 Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the powerof the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first-fruits of Christ unto God, having faith, and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh.

2 Nephi 2 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/2?lang=eng (entire chapter)

2 Nephi 9: 45 O, my beloved brethren, turn away from your sins; shake off the chains of him that would bind you fast; come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation.

2 Nephi 4: 16-35  https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/4?lang=eng

Alma 34: 1-16 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/34.1-16?lang=eng

 15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternalplan of redemption.

3 Nephi 11 https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/11?lang=eng

15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

3 nephi 1:13-14
Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from thefoundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.

3 Nephi 4: 29-33 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/4?lang=eng)

3 nephi 9: 13-22 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/9?lang=eng)

Alma 7: 9-13 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/alma/7.9-13?lang=eng)

Mosiah 3: 17-18
And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be noother name given nor any other way nor means wherebysalvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe thatsalvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through theatoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

Moroni 7: 11-14 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/7?lang=eng)

I am really stressed on time again this week !! Enjoy this week’s email.

Love y’all mucho tengan una boninga semana les quiero tchauuuuuuuuuu!!!!!!!

Bolivia is the bomb.dot.com.

Hermana E Butikofer

Medetizar: 3 Nephi 5:13
Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.

IMG_0033.JPGFullSizeRender.jpg

October 3, 2016 {Week 68}: A couple thoughts on General Conference

So I actually didn’t have like ANY time this morning to think about what I wanted to write to y’all and didn’t even pick out my medetizar entonces va a disculpar…

It’s been a heck of a week, just lots of lessons, lots of new contacts, someone with a fecha(I’m going to, hopefully, be planning another wedding here this month…. having mixed feelings about that….), lots of visits with members and lots of rushed walking to make it to appointments on time…. However life is good as always…. My companion is still struggling a little bit with the heat, the mission culture, and the food and Bolivian culture, but we are valiantly working hard so that she can forget herself and in the process become more acclimated.

I find that the best way to progress spiritually is to forget self and never have enough time to think too hard about that past.  Our life before, ya pasó, it already happened, it’s over and it’s never gonna be the same. So just keep going(is becoming my new catch phrase)…

Conference this year was a little bit hard, like harsher than normal…  they’ve been getting on us saints so that we can actually ACTUALLY be prepared for the Second Coming… as someone said in conference “we are living in dangerous times”, and now apparently even the saints are getting more duro so they, like Mormon, have to speak a little harder so we will listen bien.  Not just as Latter-Day Saints but as good upstanding members of a world-wide Christian community…We are obligated to spread the good word and preach of Christ.

2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for remission of their sins.

We need to speak of the Gozo of the Gospel and preach of the God of Peace, our Father in Heaven, and be valiant in our testimonies of Christ, the Son of the Eternal God.  Sometimes it is kind of intimidating to think about such things, but really it is not hard to see the signs of the times but it is also REALLY easy to find the truth and share the truth…. with technology and the interent time and space is no longer a problem about sharing the message of the Gospel(just like this little email jaja :))

What a blessing it is however to have the Restored Gospel in our lives and here on earth.  To have living apostles and a living prohpeht to lead and guide us in these latter days…  It’s a marvelous truth, as explained Uchtdorf, and another apostle mentioned that IT CAN’T BE FOUND ANYWHERE ELSE.  The truths of the Plan of Salvation are directly written in the Book of Mormon and we have the priesthood again, here on earth and it is the most comforting truth to have.  We need to stay firm to the rod and keep pressing forward when the darkness gets blacker, the fog gets thicker and the scorning and pressure gets worse.  Always loooking forward with faith will protect from becoming distracted by worldly things… sometimes its hard due to our human nothingness and our weakness as mortal beings…  I really like this explanation from the Book of Mormon.

Helaman 12:6-8
Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should rule and reign over them; not withstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.
O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.
For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.

So we really really REALLY need to try our best to obey and repent… they talked about repentance a lot at conference too…..  We need to repent to be prepared to enter into the presence of God again, to be saved in the first resurrection and be lifted up with the just and not the wicked.  Also explained fairly well by Samuel the Lamanite.

Helaman 14:15-19
For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord.
Yea, behold, this death bringeth to pass the resurrection, and redeemeth all mankind from the first death—that spiritual death; for all mankind, by the fall of Adam being cut off from the presence of the Lord, are considered as dead, both as to things temporal and to things spiritual.
But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.
Yea, and it bringeth to pass the condition of repentance, that whosoever repenteth the same is not hewn down and cast into the fire; but whosoever repenteth not is hewn down and cast into the fire; and there cometh upon them again a spiritual death, yea, a second death, for they are cut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness.
Therefore repent ye, repent ye, lest by knowing these things and not doing them ye shall suffer yourselves to come under condemnation, and ye are brought down unto this second death.

If we repent the redeeming light of the atonement of Christ will enter into our lives and clean and purify us for that great and last day before we must be brought before the pleasing judgment bar of God…  I’m still in preparations, as we all should be…. but eventually we can be perfected in Christ!
Love you all! Rememebr to not look back and only forward, ever forward!

Hna E Butikofer

IMG_0025.JPGIMG_0026.JPGIMG_9850.JPGIMG_9874.JPGIMG_9872.JPGIMG_9878.JPG