Saturday, November 26, 2016

WEEK 19 (cont.)

Mom's commentary:

This was a video that Joseph sent in August about a common food called Chapati.  I had the link posted but then messed up something so you couldn't view it.   I have struggled with getting it posted.  We'll see if this works.   


Mom's Comment:

Crocks were on Joseph's Missionary List.  We had a hard time finding some that fit him and then convincing him that he indeed wanted them. We were told during the raining season they carry them and switch out with their shoes because the mud is so deep it wrecks leather shoes and then they can just hose off the crocks.  It sounds like its a good thing he has them.
It was Thanksgiving here and they obviously don't celebrate that in Kenya.

Joseph's letter:

Thanks mom!

I will remember hymn 94 this week for sure.

Weekly Quote from MOM
  Come, ye thankful people come. Raise the song of harvest home.
  All is safely gathered in ere the winter storms begin.
  God, our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied.
  Come to God's own temple come; raise the song of harvest home.

  All the world is God's own field.  Fruit unto his praise to yield,
  Wheat and tares together sown, unto joy or sorrow grown.
  First the blade, and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear.
  Lord of harvest grant that we whole-some grain and pure may be.
Hymn #94

This week has been interesting because of the severe rains. It has been raining during the day a lot now which makes the Hills extremely muddy.  I can tell you Hiking in 3 inches of mud... Is not fun! I have come to appreciate my Crocks though.

This Sunday is the District Conference (the equivalent of Stake Conference) which should be good. We have 6 other Elders that are going to be sleeping at our flat to attend. That will be interesting having 8 people in that tiny house haha. The Mission President will be there and it sounds like he intends on coming proselyting with some of us which will be an Awesome Experience. I hope I can have that privilege.

Here are pics from the baptism. Denis Matunga is on the left and Fredrick is on the Right.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Mom's commentary:

These  short notes are priceless for me.  They speak alot that I can read between the lines. Joseph is doing well.  Before he left he cleaned his room but left everything in it.  He wouldn't give anything away or box anything up.  His niece, Kenzie asked if she could borrow some of his book.  Their interests and personalities are  alot the same.  It makes me laugh. Joseph has changed so much since he left in July.

We had 2 more Baptisms yesterday! It was awesome. I don't think I mentioned them much in my letters because they are 9 and 11 year old kids and I wasn't sure we would be able to baptize them, But we taught them a lot this last week and they made it! They have another brother that wasn't ready for baptism yet but should be in the next week or two.

Also, you can just let Kenzie keep my Percy Jackson books. I probably am never going to read them again. Haha!

Sorry for another short note but I have to Go. I will try and send the Baptism Pictures next week. Let dad know I'm printing off his email so I can read it later. Thanks!

WEEK 16 1/2

Mom's commentary:

We got an email from Bonnie Lyman, a member of the Manito Ward on the south hill, who is serving in Joseph's Mission.  She ran into him at the last zone conference and also sent some pics.

From: Bonnie Lyman [] 
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2016 10:24 AM
Subject: Together in Kenya

Hello Butters,

We met up with your son at zone conference today.  He is doing great and we can tell by his comments in conference that he is a great missionary.  We have been here 17 months and go home 8 December.  We have always felt safe here.  It's sounds more threatening in the US these days.  Most missionaries are from Utah so it was so exciting for us to meet your son today.  He is serving in one of the most rural parts of Kenya but one of our favorites, Kyembeke (pronounced chembekay) Branch,  in the Kilungu Hills District, referred to as the Hills.  It's beautiful here but the work is very hard because of them speaking their tribal language, kikamba., plus various other challenges.  Not a grocery store for miles....just little roadside stands selling produce and eggs and maize.  Ask him how he likes ugali...the main stay of these Africans.

We share some Homecoming remarks 18 December, Manito Ward, 11:00 am if you would like to come.

 Nov 3rd Zone Conference

Joseph with Bro & Sis Lyman of Spokane

Elder Butters at Zone Conference

Kembeke Baptismal font

Kembeke Chapel


Comments from a mom: 
 Halloween through New years have always been full of traditions for the Holidays.  Some were started when we first got married and then with Rachel and carried over to Joseph.  When you don't have kids at home anymore focus becomes different and traditions need to change.  We are in the process of finding new traditions.  We also sent a package to him for his birthday to see if it would make it to him and what we were actually dealing we got our answer kind of..

Letter from Joseph:

Well you sound like you guys are having an Interesting time Ignoring all of our Traditions (Shame on you :P)

By the Way we were unable to find my package when we were in Nairobi, Hopefully the Assistants to the President can find it and bring it to me in a couple weeks when they come. Otherwise Zone conference was Awesome, I really Like President Masane and Loved his training that he did. He really emphasized Obedience, which is good because the older missionaries have, frankly, been terrible Examples to me and my MTC group. Its been a real challenge. Anyway it should be getting better now after that Zone Conference.

I  forgot to answer a couple of your Questions last week, The green bottles were Novida, from Schweppers, Its a Pineapple malt soda that Tastes Fantastic. Not sure if you can find it back home, but it is an American company so maybe. I was able to make that picture because my camera has a "selective Color" feature built in.

Raining season started! it has been Raining every night and there are now Millions of Bugs EVERYWHERE, it kinda Sucks actually. Fortunately it stays pretty sunny during the day so it hasn't hindered our work yet.

ITs Election week isn't it? let me know how that goes...

I love you guys! Tell Tony Congrats for me. I will make sure to learn about African Christmas traditions (last time I asked, everyone insisted they were the same as American traditions, anyway one of these days I  will pry something out of them)

Sincerely-Elder Butters

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Commentary from Mom:  

In my last letter to Joseph I was complaining that his "letters" were short and more like "notes" and this is his defense,  I  also sent him a quote that I copied...only instead of just the one quote I thought i had copied it sent him pages of quotes.  Hopefully there was another good one in there that I missed that he just needed. LOL

From Joseph:

You know I could also send longer replies if you sent a single weekly quote instead of 50! lol

Thank you for the inspiring words they are very Powerful!

I'm sorry my letters, Excuss me my "notes" are short, The internet started having issues a few weeks ago and now we can only use 1 computer to email (instead of 2) so our time got cut in half.

I don't remember if I mentioned this specifically to you but at the start of the month I made a goal to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days (this was before conference, which then encouraged me to finish) I completed that goal last week ahead of schedule. I finished on the 24th I think. I started another read through of it, this time I'm using a Seminary Student Manual on the Book of Mormon along side it.

I will try and Write Longer "notes" from now on

Love you Guys!

Mom's Commentary:

The Batt Family sent him snail mail and this is his reply to them that I I thought was good to share.

Btw Let the Batts know I finally got their letter!

Here's a short reply to them:

Dear Batts,

Africa is very different! and hot. I love it though. And no I haven't had to eat any bugs. Most of the food here is rice and beans and whats called Ugali which is basically a porridge made of Maize (corn) flour.

Fortunately, in Africa most people are willing to listen to us and generally the families don't care if someone gets baptized. Unfortunately, the people are very "wishy washy" so they will "listen" but they don't bother actually learning anything. haha

Tell the kids Thank you for the beautiful pictures and thanks for sending the great letter. Oh and thank Maddax for the good wishes and let him know I love the Food.

Sincerely, Elder Butters

P.s. Chastise Brother Batt (who was my young men's President!) for not sending a letter :P