TIPP CITY — Two local men were assigned to Guatemala to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Samuel Butler, son of Regan and Pat Butler and a 2010 graduate of Bethel High School, served in the Guatemala City Central Mission from April 2012 until April 2014. While Butler was in Guatemala, the mission area was adjusted and he ended his mission in the Guatemala City South mission.
Butler found the people of Guatemala to be friendly, very religious and open about their beliefs. There are a lot of indigenous languages spoken in Guatemala but Butler became fluent in Spanish, the primary language. He was happy to find the people receptive to his gospel message and describes his mission as a unique experience. Although he was active in high school football, threw discus on the track team and was a member of both band and choir, he willingly left all that behind to help the people of Guatemala feel the blessings of the gospel. Butler discovered that it is rewarding to serve others and learned that to lose oneself in service to God is to truly find oneself. He plans to attend college and major in international business.
Nathan Jensen is the son of Carmen and Will Jensen. He is a 2013 graduate of Tippecanoe High School and participated in Marching Band and National Honor Society. He played recreational baseball and was also a member of Boy Scout Troop 294 and is an Eagle Scout. He left for the Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission in October 2013 and spent six weeks at a missionary training center in Guatemala City before going to his first assignment in Retalhuleu.
Jensen has served in several towns and has had companions from Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, the United States and El Salvador.
He said he has discovered something wonderful about Guatemala.
“I think Guatemala has to have some of the best fruit I have ever tasted! It is definitely the promised land because if any sort of seed falls on the ground it will basically just spring out as a tree without any worries,” Jensen said. “There are like ten types of mangos here and they are all so delicious and not to mention all the other types of fruits that don´t even exist in the states. I think I will be bored with just apples and oranges when I get back.”
Jensen said he is really enjoying his mission in Guatemala.
“I won’t say that it has been easy but it certainly has been worth it and I wouldn´t trade this time that I`ve had here for anything. I know that our Heavenly Father really is there for us and wants to bless us so much,” Jensen said. “If we seek his guidance and really pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit he really will direct our lives for good and we will see so many miracles. I thank the Lord for the chance to serve and to see the Atonement work changes in people´s lives.”
Young men generally serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for two years and can leave at age 18. Young women serve about 18 months and can be 19 years old. Missionaries and their families save money and pay for the cost of the mission and accept whatever location they are assigned. Currently there are over 80,000 missionaries serving in 405 missions around the world.