- The hermanas of the zone at zone conference!
- The district!
- It’s us in a cup; USA and Mexico!
- Stake conference with Sinja and Maria!
Monday, October 16, 2017
This week was amazing!!! So many miracles!
Our Dia at noche latina!
We are teaching Luz, and the English elders are teaching her husband. Luz told us she really wants to get baptized, but she wants to do it with her husband when he is ready. So, we thought she would have to wait a little bit longer. But, Charlie told us he was ready! So they will be getting baptized together on November 11th!!! They are so excited! And they are even more excited to go to the temple and be sealed after a year! While we were teaching Luz the Plan of Salvation she told us she was sad for her grandma and everyone that didn’t get to learn about the gospel. So, we got to teach Luz more about temples this week! She was so excited she was tearing up!! She is so excited to do the baptisms for her ancestors once she is baptized! She said she wants to go to the temple every week. She is about halfway done with the Book of Mormon, so she is excited to finish it before her baptism.
Juan Carlos is doing great !
We kind of had to drop all of the other people we were working with because they weren’t wanting to keep commitments. But, we found some great new people this week!
We found some new people on campus! I really love contacting on campus and talking to people my own age! We also started teaching a lady named Veronica and her kids. She was living in another ward, but she just moved here. She has an 8 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. So, we are helping the kids prepare for baptism and helping Veronica come back to church.
Last Monday we got a call from a missionary serving in Los Angeles. She told us her mom lives in our ward boundaries, and has been inactive for many years. But, her mom had just emailed her and told her she was ready to come back to church! Her mom asked if she could send the information for where the church was and what time it started. So we visited Sinja! She is amazing! She has gone through some really hard things. During Harvey she was scared her house was going to flood because the water came halfway up her yard, but she had some personal experiences that reassured her of Heavenly Father’s love! Everything was fine, and her house didn’t flood. She was so excited we came over, and is excited to come be a strength to the ward. This Sunday was stake conference, and it was kind of far away, but she came anyway! (And brought her mom, who hasn’t been to church for several years!) We are going to keep visiting her every week because she said she doesn’t remember that much.
But, these aren’t even the biggest miracle!!! So on Friday we got a call from one of the sets of English missionaries. They told us they had just knocked into a hispanic woman who wanted us to come by. (Now, this happens a lot, and the english missionaries get really excited but it usually turns out that the people aren’t interested and the missionaries couldn’t understand them.) But, this lady is so legit! Her name is Karina, and her family investigators the church when she was a teenager. Her sisters got baptized. She never did, but she would go to church every week and did personal progress and everything! She moved here when she was 17, and she didn’t know where the church was. So, she stopped going. She was SO EXCITED when the elders knocked on her door! She said she wants us to come and teach her whole family so they can all be a part of the church! (She is now married and has two kids, and her mom lives with her!)
This week we had our noche hispana party at church! It was super fun! Everyone brought food from their country, and there was music and dancing. Luz came with her husband, and a lot of people brought there friends!
Also, we had zone conference this week! President Peterson talked to us about repentance. We talked about how repentance is NOT confessing sins or stopping doing what’s wrong. Repentance is changing to become like Christ. It is a lifelong process. We have to repent every day!
I love being a missionary so much! I know I am going to be super sad to take my tag off in 7 weeks, but my mission has taught me how to be a better missionary when I don’t have a tag on! Nothing could ever stop me from sharing the gospel. Next Monday I will know if I am finishing my mission here, or if I am going somewhere else for the last six weeks. I hope I stay here with Hermana Calderón! But I am happy to go wherever I am needed.
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Enviado desde mi iPad
Monday, October 9, 2017
We went back to Spring Texas to see one of Hermana Calderon’s old investigators get baptized.
Luz is doing awesome as well! She LOVED conference! She decided she wants to be more faithful about reading the Book of Mormon, so she read 50 chapters last week! She is amazing, and I feel so blessed that I get to teach her!
Our other investigators aren’t progressing as much right now, but we have been out finding new people! Our English class is also going great! 11 people came! (That’s huge because no one was coming when I got here!) We also started teaching an English class a public school. We have around 20 students in that one! Life is great in Canyon Lakes!
This week I started reading the general conference talks. I was really able to relate to Elder Jeffrey R Holland´s talk. He spoke about becoming perfect, eventually. In the mission field your faults are magnified, and it is easy to get discouraged and to think about everything we should be. Christ commands us to be perfect, and perfection seems like an impossible goal. But, we shouldn’t be discouraged. (That’s what Satan wants!)
Elder Holland taught that “Jesus did not intend His sermon on this subject to be a verbal hammer for battering us about our shortcomings. No, I believe He intended it to be a tribute to who and what God the Eternal Father is and what we can achieve with Him in eternity. In any case, I am grateful to know that in spite of my imperfections, at least God is perfect--that at least He is, for example, able to love His enemies, because too often, due to the “natural man” and woman in us, you and I are sometimes that enemy. How grateful I am that at least God can bless those who despitefully use Him because, without wanting or intending to do so, we all despitefully use Him sometimes. I am grateful that God is merciful and a peacemaker because I need mercy and the world needs peace. Of course, all we say of the Father’s virtues we also say of His Only Begotten Son, who lived and died unto the same perfection.”
In the Book of Mormon, Moroni teaches that we can be made perfect in Christ; it isn’t something we can do on our own. Perfection is something we can obtain only as a gift from Him.
Elder Holland illustrated this principle by recounting a New Testament parable. “A servant was in debt to his king for the amount of 10,000 talents. Hearing the servant’s plea for patience and mercy, “the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and … forgave … the debt.” But then that same servant would not forgive a fellow servant who owed him 100 pence. On hearing this, the king lamented to the one he had forgiven, “Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow servant, even as I had pity on thee?”
If 100 pence was equal to $100, then 10,000 talents would equal around $1 billion dollars, something beyond our comprehension. It’s supposed to be; it shows how incapable we are to ever repaying the debt we owe the Savior, but how we are very capable of forgiving the 100 pence that is owed to us.
Elder Holland taught that “this isn’t a story about two servants arguing in the New Testament. It is a story about us, the fallen human family--mortal debtors, transgressors, and prisoners all. Every one of us is a debtor, and the verdict was imprisonment for every one of us. And there we would all have remained were it not for the grace of a King who sets us free because He loves us and is “moved with compassion toward us.” We may not be able to demonstrate yet the 10,000-talent perfection the Father and the Son have achieved, but it is not too much for Them to ask us to be a little more godlike in little things, that we speak and act, love and forgive, repent and improve.”
I love that! Heavenly Father loves us so much, and He just wants us to do our best! This video talks about this a little bit: Click Here
Monday, October 2, 2017
I don't have a ton of time today, but this was an amazing week! One change is that my mission will now have Facebook! That will be different haha! I don't know all of the details yet, but I will know more this week.
We found some cool new investigators on campus this week. I love campus contacting! We can talk to a lot of people who are open to hearing our message. A lot of them have a lot of questions they are looking to find answers to, so that's awesome!
The biggest news is Luz! She decided that she wants to get baptized! But, she doesn't feel totally ready yet. She did say she would prepare to be baptized on October 28th!!! We were so happy for her. We are excited to continue working with her so that she can feel ready.
But, the best part of the week was General Conference! I felt a lot of peace and got to hear some things I really needed to hear. One of my favorite talks was Elder Rasband's! You can watch it here:
|Watching General Conference|
I hope you have a great week!
Monday, September 25, 2017
We do a lot of service, so we haven't had a ton of teaching time. But we make good use of the time we have. We started contacting at a college to try and find some JAS (jóvenes adultos solteros) to teach, and it was the best thing ever! We got to talk to so many people, and quickly! And about half the people there were Spanish speakers. And it's fun being on a college campus with people our own age. This week we made a board that said "what is the purpose of life?" And we went around and asked people to put up a sticky note with their answer. A lot of people got really sad because they didn't have any idea! Then they wanted to listen to us 😂 We got a really solid new investigator named Felicia! (Which is cute because in Spanish feliz = happy 😁)
I still love being with Hermana Calderón! Every day is a party! I am extra tired because we work really hard all day, but we still stay up really late every night laughing and talking. (And then get up at 6:30 every day!) But it's all worth it! And it helps me not freak out about the fact I'll be home in 10 weeks! 😳
As far as our investigators go, we finished teaching Juan Carlos all of the commandments. We hope to set a more official date with him soon. We visited Luz with members too. She received her answer that the Book of Mormon is true. But, she still wants to learn more before she commits to baptism. She came to church on Sunday, and her husband came with her even though he doesn't speak Spanish. Both Juan Carlos and Luz read almost every day and come to church every week. So they are super close!
Other miracles happened! We found a man named Jorge. His family got baptized about a year ago, but he wasn't ready yet. The missionaries kept going by, but he wasn't ready yet. But, he does better in Spanish. So we went by and started teaching him! He seems more ready now. And he went to church on Sunday!
One of the members brought her friend to church on Sunday, Francisco. He told us he wants us to come by this week and explain more! So the work is still going!
Even though we do more service than we do tracting, we are still able to share Heavenly Father's love. (Maybe even more so!) Before we leave a house we offer them a Book of Mormon and ask to pray with them, and no one has turned us down so far!
You would think that I might be able to lose some mission weight from all of this construction work. Here is why I haven't:
Monday: We were fed pozole
Tuesday: We went and got tacos from a truck
Wednesday: We were fed fideo
Thursday: A member took us to get pupusas, and another member gave us some chicken and rice. Another missionary also made us Chilean empanadas.
Friday: We went to the "noche latina" party that one of the wards in the area was having. Each classroom and food from a different country. (My favorite were empanadas from Argentina!)
Saturday: A member took us to get tacos from a taco stand
Sunday: We had some kind of sketchy food from the Red Cross truck, it was like beans and pasta mixed with corn and some weird meat. But then a member made us pancakes.
One day this week we were trying to visit people, and it starting pouring rain! And this adorable cat was out in the rain 😭 I picked him up and he started purring!
On Saturday we went to a fun stake activity for Women's Conference! We had dinner and did some crafts. And then we watched the conference! It was so good! It made me super excited to watch more this weekend! You can watch it on Saturday and Sunday at lds.org
I loved Women's Conference! A big thing they talked about was just being happy! I know that if we build our foundation on Christ there will be a joy in our lives that no trial will be able to take away. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
We parked in lot H3!
Monday, September 18, 2017
|Mucking out houses on Mexico's Independence Day|
The title might be a little dramatic, but this week was TRANSFERS! Hermana Peña finished her mission 😭. I miss her, but I'm excited for her! I was super nervous to find out who my new companion would be, and I wasn't going to transfer meeting this time. So, Hermana Fonua and I had to go to the church and wait for our new companions to show up. Obviously, I called everyone who was at transfer meeting, but they wouldn't tell me who my new companion was. So, I was freaking out. And then there was a knock on the door and HERMANA CALDERÓN WALKED IN. I freaked out!!! (There is a video below.) So I am very happy! The rest of my mission Is going to go by so fast. (Hermana Calderón and I were companions for three months back in H3 and she is my best friend! ❤️)
Other than that, our week has been mostly service with a little bit of teaching in between. We did have zone conference this past week, and Elder Uceda of the Presidency of the Seventy came! He talked to us about how our purpose as missionaries is to help others become disciples of Christ. He said the way we need to help others is to make sure they are praying and reading the scriptures on their own.
The next day we were working on a house. We had finished the houses we were assigned to for the day, so we knocked some doors to see if anyone else needed help. We found these two cute old ladies! Their husbands died, so they moved in together. They just had a few family members to help them, and they needed a ton of help! One of them said she had prayed that morning that God would send people to help them. We got to work on the house, and President Peterson texted us to ask where we were because he was stopping by some houses. We texted him the address, and he showed up with Elder Cornish of the Seventy and Elder Uceda! Crazy times! So we got to talk to them and shake their hands. Super cool!
Zone Conference was really good! President talked to us about the importance of being prepared, both spiritually and temporally. He talked about how this hurricane is a learning experience for us, and how we can see the importance of making sure our future families are both spiritually and temporally prepared. President talked about how the Lord knew calamities would come. That's why he gave us the priesthood. Throughout the aftermath of this storm I have seen the importance of relying on the things that really matter. I have loved helping others get their lives back on track, and provide spiritual support such as praying with them.
I love you all, and I hope you have an amazing week and notice the Lord's hand in your life!
Saying goodbye to Hermana Peña
Our zone being united ❤️
Us with Hna Black who is training in H3!
The hermanas of the zone!
Us with Jones!
At Buffalo Wild Wings for Hna Hurst's birthday
Us with Elders Cornish and Uceda
Monday, September 11, 2017
This has been an exciting week of service!
|This is Priscila! She is three. We mucked out her grandma's house. Hna Peña sat outside and rested her foot and played with her. Priscila told me I was pretty when I looked really gross, so she is the real MVP.|
Wednesday: Was more of a normal day. We had interviews with President! Then we made some Mormon Helping Hands flyers in Spanish and posted them around. We ate with a member, and then Hna Peña had a meeting.
Thursday: We volunteered at Northwest Assistance Ministries. Basically we just sorted stuff. On the way back (we were over by where I used to serve in H3.) I saw El Pibe, this Mexican popsicle store that is the best. I yelled "Pibe! Let's go." But the driver didn't pull over. Then Hna Peña had to have minor foot surgery again. At night we visited Juan Carlos! Thankfully no water got into their house. He helped muck houses this weekend with the ward! It was a fun visit because they made us carne asada.
Friday: We had district meeting, and then we all went over to Northwest Assistance Ministries to volunteer again. I drove, so I made everyone go to El Pibe on the way back. In the afternoon we mucked out some more houses. The houses we are mucking are really gross now because they are the ones that sat with high water for several days. They all smell terrible and have mold growing in them. (Don't worry! I wear my mask 😉) At night we went and visited Chely! She evacuated to Dallas with her sister, but is back now. (Thankfully everything was okay with her house.) She is excited to keep learning. Sadly, she couldn't make it to church this Sunday, but we are hoping to get her there this week.
Saturday: We mucked out houses! Marvin from Bear Creek was there, and he took us out to eat at Chili's after. (Chili's is my favorite place!!!)
Sunday: We still only had sacrament meeting (in our yellow shirts) because our building was being used as a command center. People from all over came down to help. Then we spent the rest of the day mucking out houses.
So, I now am really good at house demo! So good that I made an appearance on Mormon Newsroom! 😉 There is a link to the video below
In other news, Hermana Peña is going home tomorrow! I can't believe she's done! I am so glad I got to be her companion for the last three months. I am going to miss her! I will get my new companion tomorrow. (I still don't know who it is!)
I also got my return flight info!! Crazy! I will be home December 6th at 3:30 P.M.
I hope everyone has a great week!
I hope everyone has a great week!
Us at El Pibe! (The best popsicles for 33 cents.) I told everyone to look excited for the picture, the most excited is the guy inside the store.
I GOT TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND! Hna Calderón and I were reunited when volunteering this weekend. We saw each other in the parking lot and started running toward each other 😂
Chili's with Marvin and his kids!
My celebrity screen shot
to see the whole video, click HERE
Hna Peña's funeral
Here is a link to the mission president's blog post this week click HERE
Here is a link to the mission president's blog post this week click HERE
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
I didn't write yesterday because our Preparation Day was changed to Tuesday this week so that we could go out in a big group with members that didn't have to work on the Labor Day holiday and do more clean up! I know everyone is dying to know what is happening, so I will write out a little summary of what happened every day. We were stuck inside of our apartments starting August 26th. I wrote last week about what was kind of going on. I will write out about what happened every day this week!
One of the missionary moms from Oklahoma sent us these cool shirts!
Monday: We were still stuck in our apartment! (At this point we were REALLY bored!) It was raining really hard. A lot of people had been displaced from their houses and so our meetinghouse down the road was being used as an emergency shelter. My last church building in bear creek got totally flooded. We were getting ready for our nightly call with President Peterson to give a report on how we were, and we smelled natural gas. We called the Mission Housing Coordinator so he could contact someone to come look at our apartment, but he wanted us to pack an evacuation bag in case we had to leave. So we had to pack our bags in case it came back and we had to leave in the middle of the night. (But everything was okay!)
Tuesday: It was still raining, but we asked President Peterson if we could go to the meetinghouse to help at the emergency center. The road between there and our apartment was still not flooded. It was basically a place people could go for a few days if they had to evacuate their houses. The classrooms were all turned into little rooms for families to live in and had cots in them. The gym was a donation center (people came and dropped stuff off/the church shipped in some stuff) that people could come take. Three meals were served a day to everyone that needed food. We went and helped serve/make food, clean the church etc. It was really awesome because most people there were not members of our church and a lot of them only spoke Spanish. We just kind of helped everyone feel welcome and tried to cheer them up. Some people said they wanted to come to church services when everything got more back to normal. After we had been there for a few hours President Peterson called, told us we were being evacuated from our apartment because a reservoir down the road was on the verge of overflowing. So, we went home and packed (which was super fast because of the gas incident the night prior!,) and we went to the home of a member of the English Stake Presidency.
Wednesday: We realized how much we loved staying at President Hansen's house because he made us an awesome breakfast every morning! We to a stadium that was being used as a donation center. We helped sort through clothes for a few hours. Then we went to volunteer at a Methodist church that was being set up as a donation center. More people had gotten evacuated that day, so we went back to our church to help clean and set up more supplies.
Thursday: We went back to the Methodist church and volunteered there most of the day. We helped the people who were displaced carry food and supplies to their cars. It was Hermana Fonua's birthday! So we went out to eat afterward.
Friday: The water started to recede out of the affected areas (some areas are still underwater and we can't get to them yet) so we started cleaning out houses. We worked all day on Pablo's house. He lived up near the temple. His house was pretty new, so that was super sad! We carried all of his furniture outside of the hose and then ripped out all of the carpet and carpet padding. Then we started to pull out the wet drywall and insulation.
Saturday: We mucked out a bunch of houses! We worked in a neighborhood in our area with a bunch of members. We knocked doors to see who needed help.
Sunday: It was an interesting Sabbath! We were combined with three other wards (one of which was bear creek because their building is destroyed.) We just had sacrament meeting, and everyone wore their yellow shirts. Right after we all went out to volunteer (there were thousands of us all over the city, it was awesome!) We went with the Bear Creek 2nd ward to a neighborhood with flood waters that were just starting to recede. In parts of the neighborhood you could only get to the houses if you had a boat.
Monday: Yesterday we worked on a bunch of houses again!
Today: We are relaxing because we are really sore and tired!
My missionary purpose is still to invite others to come unto Christ. But, the way we accomplish that purpose has changed quite a bit! From now on we still wake up at 6:30. We are to quickly get ready, eat some breakfast, and study our scriptures for a few minutes. We leave our apartments at 7:30, and go out to help clean up houses. We do that until 4 P.M. and then we go home to shower. We eat dinner at 5, and then we go out and proselyte from 6-9. When we come home we plan for a few minutes, and then we are encouraged to go to bed as soon as possible. Even though I am not finishing out my mission in the way that I thought I would, I still love it! Even though I am wearing my yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" t shirt and tennis shoes instead of a dress, I still have my tag on that has both "Hermana Bettridge" and "Jesucristo." I am striving to be a representative of Jesus Christ in everything I do! We have found so many ways to help others come unto Christ by serving them and sharing our testimonies through our actions.
Have a great week! We will be busy doing service!
Keep Houston in your prayers! ❤️
Us in front of our church building that was being used as an emergency center.
We ate lunch at a house that was being used as the "command center" of the neighborhood we were working in. (Yes, Giselle from Bear Creek is next to me! She is back from her two transfer mission to the Texas Houston South Mission. She helped out for a few days, and is headed out to serve the rest of the 18 months in California this week.
One of the houses we mucked out.
Lunch at steak and shake after a long day of work!
Hermana Peña and I going out to work!
Our zone when we volunteered at the Foundry Church. We filled a former military armored truck with supplies to take down to the flooded area.
There is a Bahama Buck's in our area (it's a smoothie/shaved ice place) that is owned by a member, so we got free smoothies 😎
Us on Sunday with Hermana Alvarez!