Sunday, July 16, 2017


Mom's commentary July 9

Today's also includes a letter from Joseph as he reached his half way mark in his mission and a letter from Joseph's mission president as he is called as a trainer.  Plus some pics finally.

Elder Bandi and me at Misikhu Chapel July 2017

Bro Mackline embraced the gospel from when first met us July 2017
  Baptismal service July 2017
L to R- Me, Elder Kyomyya, Ezra Anton,Levi, Bro Zedeck 
(short for Melchizedeck, our mission leader)

Bro. Peter baptized July 2017

Sterling in centerfront of Father who baptized him  with his 2 brothers

On Sun, Jul 9, 2017 at 11:45 PM, laura butters <> wrote:
Dear Joseph,
 I actually had a busy week  this week.  I've been trying to keep our garden weeded. the raspberries are on so I have to pick them every other day.  I've been making freezer jam with them in cute little glass jars that we will give away at Christmas  time when we do our usual rounds.
We had the Scollards over  for B-B-Que and games on the fourth.  We got bark for under our fruit trees.  I babysit Jet and Levi Lee and Friday and Saturday we went up to the river by Sandpoint for a youth conference.  Your dad went as first aid and I just tagged along.  It was great to be in the woods and around the water and the youth.  It was great therapy for me.  

I read my assignment of Alma 45.  In it Alma blesses and curses the land and tells of the downfall of the Nephites which always makes me nervous because of the wickedness I see in our day and age.  I wondered if I missed something in there about how to retain our liberties other than living righteously.  Let me know.

Favor.  Linda Bertholf was asking about you.  She pays  towards your mission every month and if you haven't emailed her I really think you should. Her email  Your aunt Lynette sends $50 and her email is ltchandler@bresnan,net.  They would both be delighted to hear from you I'm sure and I'm so grateful.  For them.  It makes it easier for your dad and I.  

I hope you've been doing good at training your new companion.  Tell us about him. I'm still waiting for pictures.  I understand that it takes awhile to upload them but this is your Mom and I still what them.  

Love you exceeding abundantly,

So this week marks 1 year from when i left on my mission. So I thought I would take a few moments to ponder about my experience here in Kenya.

Everything is better with Top ten lists right? So I present Top ten things I miss about America, and top ten things I Love about Kenya (or that i will miss when i go home)
First 10 things I miss form America, (excluding things I couldn't do on my mission anyway such as movies)
1. Doorknobs: Yes In one year I have only touched a door knob a handful of times as most doors here use Latches, our door has a hole in it that you reach through to latch the door shut then put a padlock on it to lock the door. I am also always nervous that someone will Latch the bathroom shut from the outside trapping me in a tiny smelly room...
2.White People: While I love all Of these Kenyans it gets a little old having drunks and random people constantly trying to talk to me (and ask me for money) just because of my Skin color. That said the Majority of People are very good to me and I have never had any real problems because of my Race. But don't be surprised when i Call all of you Masungu's when i get home (Swahili for white people)
3. Root Beer: I love soda, and I LOVE Root Beer (A&W for the Win) I Will be buying a bottle in the airport on the way home.
4. Snow: I miss snow, I like not feeling warm every now and then. I love snowmen and snowballs and how pure the world looks right after a fresh snow. Unfortunately I will be going without snow for like 34 months or so (pray for an early snow in 2018) the song " I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" took on a whole new meaning this year.

5.Food Variety: while I Love Kenyan food, I also Love trying new things and there really is not much variety here. Almost everyone eats the same handful of dishes (I will talk about it more in the Kenya list)

6.Personal Space: ok so this only applies to Matatu's (the public transport vans) which normally have 14 seats...and 22 passengers (or more if you cram a few small ladies or children in there)

7.Moms food: Lets face it, while i think I am a good cook by Missionary Standards, Mom cooks REALLY nice food, I look forward to when I get home and can have some of her Spaghetti, or perhaps Clam-chowder. (Its also nice to not HAVE to cook, I have gained alot of respect for how much work cooking is, Thank you mom For your Love)

8.Washing Machines: After regularly taking 1-2 hours to Wash clothes by hand on p-day...I will never be to lazy to take my clothes out of the machine and place then in my drawers.

9. Temple: While it is Amazing that Kenya is Getting a temple, it is not here yet. and I now understand how much of a blessing the Spokane Temple is. To have a temple so close that you can comfortable drive there in the morning and get home in time for lunch is truly a wonderful blessing.

10.YOU!: Of course the things I miss most are not things, but my family and friends, You Guys. all of you have made a significant impact in my life in some way or another and I Do my best to serve well so that i can be worthy of your trust and support.

Now 10 things I love about Kenya!

1. Chopati: I love Chopati's, which are basically African Tortilla's but they taste better. dip it in some nice meat stew and its truly a delightful meal.

2. Prices: When you think the dollar menu at McDonalds is expensive you know that you have been having some Cheap meals, I am going to be a terrible penny pincer when I get home. "What!? 50 Cents? Are you CRAZY!"

3.Street Vendors: Here you can find Literally Anything while just sitting in your car. If it is exists, someone is walking around selling it on the street, from all sorts of food and soda, to camera equipment, watches, jewelry, clothing (I really like the Tie Guys, we can get great looking ties for 1$ or less) I have seen radios and movies and my favorite, a Man selling African Bows and Arrows.

4.Mango's: while we can get mango imports from home, they are not the same as fresh from the tree mango grown right here in Kenya.

5. Matatu's: So I kinda have a love/hate relationship with matatu's. I hate riding in the cramped conditions but i do like the convenience as there is ALWAYS a matatu. They also have Hilarious decorations, basically random decals plastered all over the side, most feature Jesus in some way or the other, many have famous singers or movie quotes. they make me laugh (My Favorite was a picture of Jesus Holding a light-saber) 

6. Banana: I mean Green banana, my Last companion taught me how to cook green banana (think potato but sweeter) and i really love it. If i ever visit a place that has banana trees i will have to make some. (maybe Hawaii, I like Hawaii)

7.Novida: So i said i like Soda, Well My New Favorite (at least untill i can get Root beer again) is Novida, a Pineapple flavored malt soda, its delicious.

8. Swahili: while i am not very good at Speaking it, Swahili is truly a beautiful language and i hope i can continue to get better at speaking it.

9.Climate: in spite of my complaining about snow, the Climate is truly wonderful here, it is consistent, not so hot (and certainly not cold) usually sunny, rain never last very long, all in all it is very pleasant

10. The People: Of course My favorite part is all the wonderful people that i get to interact with, From Branch presidents to youth, members and non members, I love these people and will miss them when i go home. I am so blessed to be able to share the gospel with these wonderful people.

Thank you everyone for your role in my life I love you all!

-Elder Butters

Letter from Pres. Msane 


Opposite African Wildlife Foundation, Ngong Road
P.O. Box 46162 – 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
+254 737 400 893

11 July 2017

To the Family of Elder Butters,

We are happy to inform you that Elder Butters, through prayer and inspiration has been called to serve as a TRAINER in the Kenya Nairobi Mission.  He is serving in the Misikhu Branch in the Kitale District of Kenya.  He is training a brand-new missionary, Elder Bandi.  This call represents an excellence of personal preparation and dedicated service before and during his mission.  We are grateful for his righteous example, integrity and leadership skills.

This is a calling of Priesthood leadership and responsibility.   As trainer, he will be called upon to teach and set an example of missionary work for his new companion. Training a new missionary is an honor and is absolutely essential to successful missionary work.  We know that he is very capable of this great responsibility and will have a wonderful lasting influence upon his new companion.   

Thank you to all who helped raise this wonderful young man.  We trust him and rely upon his strengths and abilities in moving forward the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Kenya Nairobi Mission.  The missionaries respect him and look to him as an example of dedicated service to the Lord.  We want you to know that he is living up to his fullest potential and is serving with his heart, might, mind and strength.

We love Elder Butters and know that you do also, and are very proud of him.  We value the service he is giving to our Heavenly Father and we value the example he sets for everyone around him.  

Ephraim Msane
Kenya Nairobi Mission President

New trainers with new missionaries July 2017


Mom's Commentary July 3rd

This email is me with Joseph answering some of my questions with a challenge I didn't quite get.
"I read my assignment of Alma 45.  In it Alma blesses and curses the land and tells of the downfall of the Nephites which always makes me nervous because of the wickness I see in our day and age.  I wondered if I missed something in there about how to retain our liberties other than living righteously.  Let me know." 

Joseph-Sorry perhaps i wasn't clear, I meant read Alma Chapters 45 through the end of the book, Chapter 62  (AKA the War Chapters) You can read all of it or part of it if you want. I am going to re-extend that commitment and we can talk about it next week!

"I hope you've been doing good at training your new companion.  Tell us about him. I'm still waiting for pictures.  I understand that it takes awhile to upload them but this is your Mom and I still what them." 
Joseph-I have been trying hard to do well. Elder Bandi is From Zimbabwe, his family joined the church when he was 5. He said his favorite scripture is Moroni 10:3-5. His favorite food is Sausage (so we are on a search to find some decent sausage here in our area haha) I really love working with him, he Tries hard and does his best to come up with new ideas to help improve the work. Saturday we met with a girl named Sylivia, 16-17, who we had been teaching for the last couple weeks. We had Elder Bandi extend a Baptismal date to her for the 23rd, she said yes. This event Made elder Bandi so happy because she said yes, he told me Imagine how he will feel when she actually gets Baptized! I really like his Enthusiasm and desire to work hard (and be Obedient which makes it easy for me to help him)

Lynette has emailed a couple of times and i am very grateful for her contributions. I am surprised sister Bertholf sends so much, I am very blessed to have such wonderful people in my ward. I will email her soon.

Love you mom!

Sterling in the front center being baptized by his father with his 2 bothers

Friday, June 30, 2017


Joseph:  Feb 20th

BTW at Zone conference a couple weeks ago Elder Brown and I were privileged to have a special dinner with President and Sister Msane. Basically if we Memorize a poem called "the Race" we get to have dinner (along with our companions) with President, and i was able to memorize it and recited it at zone conference.

We went to a place called Crown Plaza which has a buffet and is VERY nice, it was a nice break from being out in the bush all the time. I loved it Especially my smoothie which was called "Rocket Fuel" and was a mix of pineapple and lime and something eles i think. I also had a Raspberry for the first time in Kenya, i forgot how good those taste.

from left to right: Elder Noel (from western washington), Elder Ellis (from utah i think), Elder Odhiambo (kenya), Sister Msane, President Msane, Elder Pavik (california) Elder Brown (Arizona) Elder M-somthing (oops i forgot, but hes from kenya) and last is me!



We have included the Kenya Drought victims in our prayers and Grandma Butters is also and wants reports back to see if our prayers in there behalf is working..

Have you tried any noodles?
Are your primary kids getting baptized.  How are things going with your companion.  Did your other investigators make it to church yet?  Questions, questions.

Story of the week....I was at Winco and the lady in front of me had this HUGE bag of dates.  She was black and dresssed in bright clothes.  I was curious and asked her if she was making something with them or just eats them.  She had a hard time understanding me so I spoke slowly gestering with my hands.  She said, "just eat".  I asked where she was from and she said , "East Africa".  I got excited and said I have a son on a mission in Kenya.  She said, "me Kenya."  I said you were in Kyambeke and she couldn't understand so I tried Kalunga Hills.  That she recognized but pronounced it way different.  Then when I said Kyambeke again she repeated it correctly.  then asked "Vacation".  So I said no Church missionary, again.  She tried to tell me where she was from but had to pay and then I had to get  my food.  She did turn before leaving with the biggest smile.  It made you not seem so very far away at all.  

Weekly Quote: ( It comes an assignment to read all of section D & C 76. )
 76:22-24 Was printed up and spread separately  in tracts as a missionary tool.  Wilford Woodruff upon reading it stated that it was "the greatest revelation ever recorded by man on earth. " 
And although he had not yet met Joseph Smith it mattered not to him whether he was tall or short, young or old, long haired or clean shaven, he knew that the man who bore testimony in this revelation  was a prophet of God.

Have a great week.
Love you exceeding abundantly!

Have you tried any noodles? 
Yes,I successfully made a couple batches of Egg noodles. We mixed it with this Beef stew that we normally made, it tasted fantastic!  I am going to try and make the Udon todaysince it is more time consuming so i will let you know how that goes

Are your primary kids getting baptized?
We just had one get baptised yesterday! I will send you pics :) we should have 2 more next week

 How are things going with your companion?
Fantastic, Elder brown is a great guy and we are able to work very hard together
  Did your other investigators make it to church yet?
Nope, ahhgg they are driving me crazy, COME TO CHURCH!!

regarding the Drought the Rains have started in Kalungu Hills so it looks good here, although it was never BAD here it was more of an inconveince. I not sure about the other areas where the drought was really bad, I will let you know though. The poeple of Kenya appreciate your prayers :)

otherwise nothing to new, we have transfers this week so we will see if I get shiped Away or not.

Say hi to everyone for me!

Love Elder Butters

Mathau and his mom at his Baptism

Mathau , mom and Primary President

Random kids join us....

Week 31


So I've attached the best udon recipe that I could find and also my Mom's egg noodle recipe.  These are a lot easier and quicker.  Put them in any broth and bring them to a boil it makes a great noodle with gravy. Add some veggies and you have a meal.  I also attached an easy fry bread recipe if you can find baking powder and lots of oil.  I seem to remember that you like this.   Top with sugar and cinnamon or honey or fruit if you have any.  Let me know if you want anything else and good luck Chef Joseph.
WEEKLY QUOTE:  Works of … Magnitude and Grandeur
“The work of the Lord in these last days, is one of vast magnitude and almost beyond the comprehension of mortals. Its glories are past description, and its grandeur unsurpassable. It is the theme which has animated the bosom of prophets and righteous men from the creation of the world down through every succeeding generation to the present time; and it is truly the dispensation of the fullness of times, when all things which are in Christ Jesus, whether in heaven or on the earth, shall be gathered together in Him, and when all things shall be restored, as spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began; for in it will take place the glorious fulfilment of the promises made to the fathers, while the manifestations of the power of the Most High will be great, glorious, and sublime. …
“… The work which has to be accomplished in the last days is one of vast importance, and will call into action the energy, skill, talent, and ability of the Saints, so that it may roll forth with that glory and majesty described by the prophet; and will consequently require the concentration of the Saints, to accomplish works of such magnitude and grandeur” (History of the Church, 4:185–86).

Handmade Udon NoodlesRecipe adapted from Harumi’s Japanese Home Cooking, by Harumi Kurihara

4 teaspoons salt
8 ounces (1 cup) warm water
2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
bread flour, for dusting (in step 6)

1. Add the salt to the warm water and stir until it has dissolved.  Put the bread flour and all-purpose flour in a large bowl, and whisk the flours together.
2. Pour the salty water into the bowl with the flour.  Using your hands, mix the flour and water together lightly until the mixture is crumbly.  Pull the dough up from the bottom of the bowl and press down, and repeat until the flour and water are well combined and a rough ball is formed.
3. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it forcefully on a board for 5-10 minutes until the dough has smoothed out and a lumpy ball is formed.
4. Transfer the dough to a large plastic ziploc bag, and then wrap the bag in a thick towel.  Put it on the floor and walk on it with flat feet (not just the heel).  Turn as you walk, so that all the dough gets flattened.  When the dough feels flat, remove the dough from the bag and roll it out.  Then fold it up, put it back into the bag and repeat the process. The should become more and more smooth with each repeat.  Repeat 3 or 4 times.  On the last repeat, leave the dough in the bag, wrapped in the towel, and let it rest for 3 to 4 hours (during the winter, leave it in a warm place).
5. When the dough is done resting, take it out of the bag, reshape it into a ball, then return it to the bag and walk on it one last time.  Try to spread the dough with your feet, turning around 360 degrees.
6. Dust your work surface with a bit of bread flour, then place the flattened dough on top and roll it out, working from the middle out.  Rotate the dough 45 degrees and repeat until the dough is about 1/8-inch thick, and approximately a rectangle measuring about 1 foot wide by at least 1 1/2 feet long.*
7. Dust the top of the dough with bread flour and then fold it into thirds.  Using a long sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/4-inch to 1/8-inch thick ribbons.  If the dough gets very sticky, dust it again with bread flour.  Dust the noodles with bread flour before moving them from the work surface.
8. Cook the noodles: Fill a large pot with water and bring to a rapid boil.  Lightly shake any excess flour from the noodles and add them to the boiling water.  Using cooking chopsticks, or a wooden spoon, stir the noodles to prevent them from sticking to each other.  Cook the noodles for 6 — 7 minutes, or until they are translucent and firm without a hard core.  Drain the noodles in a sieve and rinse under cold running water so they cool rapidly.
9. Once the noodles are cool enough to handle, separate them with your hands and rinse them again in cold water to make sure that all of the starch is removed.
*Rolled out dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 weeks.  Bring the dough to room temperature before sprinkling it with flour and continuing on with step 7.
Grandma Gates Egg Noodles:
1 C. flour
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
Boil in  3 quarts water or add to broth and bring to a boil.
Joseph: hmmm, looks good. Thanks for sending this!

Oh and yes i like fri bread, although i have figured out how to make it allready (and yes it is very good)



Joseph: random request, Can you send me some recipes? 

In particular i want to try and make some Noodles by hand (perhaps udon noodles, i think i may be able to find all the necessary ingredients for some nice udon, yes please send me something about Udon) anyway I would really appreciate anything you send, I am growing found of cooking new and interesting things

On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 9:46 AM, Joseph Russell Butters <> wrote:
Well i hope the blessings of heaven come down on you and thanks for the quote.

Btw sorry for no email last week, we were having power issues haha, anyway we had zone conference which was very cool, the Missionary executive committee (Elders Oaks, Bednar and Anderson as well as Bonnie l Oscarson and a couple of Seventy) made some changes to how we report and to our Schedule that should help us move  the work along even better which is really exciting.

Elder Brown and I have continued working with all of those kids I told you about (well i hope i did) although we havnt been able to contact 3 of them. The other 3 are progressing well towards baptism and should be ready in 2 weeks though.

Also im suppose to tell you this "Hello Elders and Sisters,
I have been informed that because of the upcoming Kenya election in August, the Post Office is going to be even more stringent about packages and letters.  They will be looking for money that might be coming into the country to support different political parties.  Please tell your families not to send any cash in the mail, even small amounts.  Even companies such as DHL and FedEx may be affected.  Please let your families know when you contact them on Monday."

anyway I love you!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


so no transfer, I am still with Elder Brown here in Kyambeke. Which made me happy, theres a few investagators that I am not done working with yet.

One of them (his name is Kioko) FINALLY CAME!!! it was a miracle, although he didnt come this week, but PROGRESS!

otherwise the rest are still reluctent to come haha 

On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 5:03 PM, LAURA BUTTERS <> wrote:
I really liked how you just answered my questions right in my email.  It was great.  I hope you can continue to do that in the future because I always have so many questions....
like did your investigators ever make it to church.  Were you able to find and teach the other other primary kids or maybe you don't know these things because you got transferred....
We just had our Priest/Laurel dinner dance.  I think it was great but let me tell you that Sister Lee sure had a couple of months of stress way beyond what she should have.  It was really hard to get the other wards leaders on board.  They just couldn't catch the vision on why to have this and its benefits.  They didn't want there kids to go to anything with a stranger.....She had a hard time even with missionary prep classes with some of them.  It has made me soooooo greatful for the stake youth program that you grew up with and the incredible leaders that you have had who were so willing to give you the best programs ever! I didn't know that there was such a difference in our surrounding stakes.  I think you got some of the best available.   You might want to take a second and thank Heavenly Father for this blessing.

I forgot to look up the "race"  I know I have heard it before.  Those things are right up my alley.  Glad  you got to celebrate it.

WEEKLY QUOTE:Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.   John 15:15

Love you exceeding abundantly,

Joseph's remarks:  & pics
 Elder Brown be followed by Kenyan kids
Joseph's MTC group 
Thanks mom, I did read about the new theme and i do like it very much!

Also thanks for the emails Addresses, I have been missing a few people haha

anyway this week was good, we found 4 new investigators to teach, and at least 1 of them seems very promising. 

tomorrow we go to Nairobi for zone conference so that should be fun, (I also hope that i can find a new bag...)

-Love Elder Butters

Sorry for the short Email, we are low on time today

On Mon, Mar 20, 2017 at 6:00 AM, LAURA BUTTERS <> wrote:
dear Joseph,

Scollards say HI. 
Eric's email

The youth theme for this year is James 1:5.  Their face to face was on the theme with Pres. Eyring and Elder Holland back at the visitors center in Palmyra.  The youth Palmyra were in charge with live feeds in London and Johannesburg.  The  questions were great but I was saddened as Pres. Eyring sat slouched in his chair and his answers were rambling and Elder Holland lovingly was keeping him on track or would take over the question.  Then after an hour and half of these questions they were concluding and went back asking Pres. Eyring for any further remarks in conclusion.  He sat up straight and bore his apostolic witness and blessed the youth.  There was no stuttering or pausing at all.  I sure hope the youth noticed the difference between the feeble old man answering questions and an apostle of the Lord bearing his apostolic witness.  

His remarks are in another email because my email didn't like it.  Anyway, it is your wonderful quote for the week.

A Baptism a week....that takes a lot of faith in your mission president, obedience and hard work!  We're behind you and will pray for your success.

Love you exceeding abundantly,