Monday, September 18, 2017

The Biggest Miracle of My Mission 💕



Hola, hola!
 
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! ❤️)

video



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!

Love,


Hermana Bettridge



Fotos:


Saying goodbye to Hermana Peña 


Reunited


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

I'm famous ⭐️

Hola, hola!

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!

Love,



Hermana Bettridge

Fotos:

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

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Flood Clean Up 2k17


Hola, Hola!


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! ❤️

Love,


Hermana Bettridge


Fotos:

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! 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey 🌊


As most of you have heard, there was a hurricane! But, no worries, I am doing fine! The rain started on Friday, but we were still able to go out and visit people. The good news was that everyone was home! So we got to go visit some people we hadn't been able to get in with. On Saturday it was still raining, but it wasn't really flooding yet. So we were able to leave our apartments if we had a set appointment. (Sadly all of our set appointments cancelled on us because people didn't want us to be out.) Later in the day it got a little bit better, so we were able to go out in a 15 minute radius around our apartments. (We knew we were about to get trapped for several days, so we went to see what fast food we could get. The only places open were KFC and Taco Bell because they don't care about their employees' lives. So we had some KFC before we were stuck eating all of our apartment food!) But, then there were some tornadoes so we had to go back. Then it started raining harder and flooding, so we have been stuck in our apartment ever since! And the rain is still going, so it looks like we will be here a few more days. But, we are safe! We are on the third floor, and we have plenty of food and water.
Our district preparing for the storm

I know there are a lot of people praying for us, so thank you! This will be over soon! Our Mission President is making sure we are all safe, and we get checked up on a couple times a day. Our power went out for a few hours, but other than that all is well. Just a lot of rain. There will be a lot of service opportunities once this is all over!

Please pray for the temple too! The water is up to the fountain out front, and we don't want the temple to flood or get damaged!

The weather kind of prevented us from going out and finding a ton of new people to teach, but we did start teaching this awesome lady named Flor! She is excited to start reading the Book of Mormon.

I don't know if any of you remember Kevin from back in my training, but he got baptized! It is a miracle! When my trainer (Hna Sheirbon) was back here visiting a few months ago she went up to visit Kevin and his brother Erick. She introduced them to the missionaries currently serving up there, and they started teaching him again. I am so happy for him!

Well, that's about it for now. I know Heavenly Father is protecting us!

Love,



Hermana Bettridge





Fotos:


Back in my training with Kevin (His brother will hopefully be baptized soon!)
Kevin got baptized!


Our District



The Laytons (from Oklahoma) live in Houston and took Hna Peña and I to get ice cream!


Hna Peña in one of the puddles in our apt complex on Saturday afternoon.

Hurricane Harvey in Houston

We were able to hear from Carolyn briefly this morning via email.  She is doing well.  The power and wifi were spotty today so there was no message home.  Her apartment is on a 3rd floor and they live on higher ground on the North side of Houston, so she is not currently experiencing the flooding that we see on the internet, just lots of rain and lots of boredom being confined to her apartment since Saturday.  They have food and water for the week. We are thankful for Sister Cervantes, a member of Carolyn's ward who is taking extra special care of the missionaries and keeping us updated on their situation.  We are also thankful for Lynn Johnson and Barbara Layton for who are looking out for her there. 

Her mission president has been keeping us posted on the Texas Houston Mission Blog which can be found HERE.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people in this part of the country and I told Carolyn that there will be a lot of opportunities for service once we get through this.  

Thank you so much for keeping Carolyn, her companion and us in your prayers.  
I am confident that Carolyn will have a lot to report on next week!

With Love, Troy & Mindy Bettridge


This was a picture we took in front of the Houston Temple before Carolyn's mission.


This was one of the sobering pictures on the internet today at the doors of the Temple.


For the Church press release click HERE

Monday, August 21, 2017

Fuimos al templo 💕

Hola, Hola!


This week was amazing because we got to go to the temple on Thursday! I love the temple so much! It was a spiritually uplifting experience, and I loved being able to feel more of the love Heavenly Father has for me and to learn more of His plan. We were also able to see some great progress with some of our investigators.

Our district at the temple!

We met with Juan Carlos this week, and we had a great lesson! We talked about eternal families. In marriage ceremonies you usually hear the phrases "as long as you both shall live" and "until death do you part." But, Heavenly Father intended for our family relationships to last beyond the grave. Christ gave power to his Apostles to bind things on earth and in heaven. (Matthew 16:19) This included things like baptism. Families can also be sealed with this power so that they can be together even after this life. We set a goal with Juan Carlos to be sealed to his family in the temple when his daughter gets home from her mission in 15 months. He knows he has to wait a year after baptism to make those promises in the temple, and he told us he still knows his baptism date (that he won't tell us.) But, he told us he told his daughter the specific date he is going to get baptized. (He still hasn't told the rest of his family yet.) But, his family is excited!

Luz has been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon! So has her dad, Lisimaco! He finished the whole thing! We talked to Luz about baptism, and she said it's something she wants to do, but she wants to know more first. Her husband, Charlie, is still working with the English elders. He has a desire to be baptized, and is ready to do it! But, he wants to wait for her to be ready and do it with her. We went to a baptism in one of the English wards with them this weekend. They both really liked it and felt the Spirit! President Peterson was there too, so he talked with Luz a little bit. Lisimaco is going back to Colombia this week. Luz is going back with him to visit her family, and she will be back in two weeks. We gave them the information of the church and missionaries where they live. So, Luz can go to church while she's there! She is excited to introduce the rest of her family to the church, and Lisimaco is excited to be baptized!

This week is Faith Meets Families! (The monthly event the mission has where everyone going to the temple for the first time goes together and brings their family names.) We will be going with a man named Ciro who got baptized over a year ago, but never went to the temple. We helped him with his family history last night, and he will be getting baptized for his dad and his grandfathers. His wife, Maria, has been a member of the church for several years, but she has never gone to the temple. So, she will be going too! They are super excited! They are in temple prep classes right now and are preparing to go to the temple to receive their endowment and to be sealed as a couple for eternity! The Missionary Department at Church headquarters took notice of this program, and there will be representatives there interviewing and filming to create a new training program for missions throughout the Church.

This week I was reading an address that Elder L Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave at BYU back in the 70s. It was entitled "God's Hand in the Founding of America." He talked about how he was beginning to see signs of decay, corruption, and dishonesty. (40 years later we are in an even worse place!) He talked about how these are the signs that precede the fall of great civilizations. But, prophesies have been given that outline our responsibilities. If we do what we are supposed to, the Lord has promised to sustain the truth in this land.

Jospeh Smith, a prophet of the Lord, said "the time will come when the destiny of this nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.’ It will be so."

The Book of Mormon contains the record of the Nephite civilization that lived around 600 B.C. They left Jerusalem, and came to the Americas by boat. One prophet of this civilization, Nephi, saw much of what was to come to pass in this land. He saw that Christ himself would visit this land after his resurrection. Nephi saw that an apostasy would happen both on the American continent, and on the other side of the world following the death of Christ and his apostles. He saw that they were going to take "away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious. …” (1 Ne. 13:26.) He also saw that his people would be destroyed and that this land would be rediscovered. “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.” (1 Ne. 13:12.) Nephi saw that the fullness of the gospel would be restored in this land, in part by the record that was being kept by the prophets in the Americas. “These last records … shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them. …” (1 Ne. 13:40.)

Elder Perry said that "the greatest event recorded in the Book of Mormon was the visit of Jesus Christ to America shortly after his resurrection. The Book of Mormon thus becomes a second witness to the divinity of the Son of God. Mormons use both the Bible and the Book of Mormon, believing that they are both ancient and sacred writings, one from the Old World and one from the New World. The last part of the Book of Mormon recounts a great war that virtually destroyed ancient American civilization. In order to preserve their history, which had been recorded on plates of gold, they buried the record in the earth. The man who abridged these records prior to his people’s destruction was named Mormon--hence the name the Book Of Mormon."

Centuries after all of this had come to pass, the Lord guided Christopher Columbus to this land. Columbus said "our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Who heard of my enterprise, called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” I know that Columbus was led to this land for a reason. In order for the gospel to be restored in its fullness, there had to exist a land of liberty and religious freedom. It was all part of the Lord's plan.

Elder Perry goes on to say "the success of the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War came about through men who were raised up by God for this special purpose. You must read the Declaration of Independence to feel its inspiration. You merely need to study history to recognize that a group of fledgling colonies defeating the world’s most powerful nation stemmed from a force greater than man." The founding fathers were able to have success because they relied on the Lord. They acknowledged their weaknesses and their dependence on Him. Benjamin Franklin said they needed to pray daily during the Constitutional Convention because "If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?"

Elder Perry went on to talk about the miracle of the Constitution, he says it is a document that was inspired of the Lord. Because of the Constitution, religious freedom was now guaranteed here. The Restoration could take place. Joseph Smith was born in 1805, just 14 years after the Constitution was ratified.

We still live in a promised land today, and it will remain free as long as we remember Heavenly Father and keep His commandments. Elder Perry talked about how the family is the basic unit of a strong society. He also said "the land must continue to remain strong and great and good. It is destined to be the major supplier of human and financial resources, to build the kingdom of God here in the whole world, and to prepare the world for the return of the Lord and Savior. The adversary knows all too well that a weak America will literally stop this building process and thwart the work of God."

I know that as we put the Lord first, we will see blessings in our lives. It may be hard to recognize them in the moment, but they are there. He said that Adam and Eve "were not placed in the Garden of Eden merely to have a comfortable life or to enjoy the benefits of the Lord’s labor, but to accomplish, to do." We have that responsibility today!

I love you all and hope you have a great week! 
Please pray that we can find some new investigators this week 😁

Love,

Hermana Bettridge


Fotos:



Jazz hands



No one knows how to do a fun picture


Hermana Fonua and I putting up English class posters on an exchange

Monday, August 14, 2017

La mejor semana en Canyon Lakes

Hola, hola!

Today for P-Day we went to a ropes course! It was super fun!

This has been a crazy week full of miracles! This week I have really seen the Lord's hand in my life. I know this is His work, and I am so fortunate to be a part of it.

We had a great lesson with Juan Carlos and President Peterson! The Spirit was super strong, and President talked to him about repentance. Juan Carlos told us he fasted and prayed and decided he wanted to get baptized and has a date in mind. But, he doesn't want to tell us what the date is. So, that's awkward! But, his wife texted us later and told us he wants to be sealed as a family in the temple when his daughter gets home from her mission next December. So, that would mean he would need to get baptized before this December. (Because the temple is such a sacred place where we make special promises with God, we have to make sure we are prepared before we can go inside and make those promises. So, one requirement the Lord has set before we can enter the temple is that we have to have been a member of the Church for at least a year.) We are going over tonight to talk about eternal families with him.

We went over to teach Luz, our miracle investigator from last week, and she is so amazing! She gave a copy of the Book of Mormon to her dad, and he is already in Jacob. He loves it! Luz loves the Gospel and loves the idea of eternal families. She also invited one of her friends over for our second official lesson with her because she said she knows this is so good and she wants to share it with everyone! She came to church yesterday with her dad and friend. (Sadly her dad is just here visiting and is going back to Colombia next week, but the missionaries there will keep teaching him!)

Earlier in the week we got an awesome referral from a set of English missionaries. They are working with a less active member of their ward (who is hispanic, but goes to an English ward.) While they have been going over to teach him his sister that lives with him has become really interested, and she has been asking him questions. She doesn't speak English, so they gave us her information and we went over to teach her. Her name is Chely and she is amazing! We are also teaching her two sons: Jorge is 16 and David is 12. Chely has been through a lot of hard things, and she is so ready! She was having a really hard time and said the Book of Mormon really helped her feel peace. We brought over this awesome member to her second lesson, and she and the member are now best friends!

We had a lesson during our English class this week, so we asked our Ward Mission Leader (the member of the local congregation who helps us with our missionary efforts) to teach the class. Two new people came, Camilo and Sofia from Colombia. One of the members became friends with Sofia and invited her to church. They came and brought their little kid! (They are also from Colombia 🇨🇴)

When we were with Juan Carlos this week President talked a lot about repentance. He talked about how repentance isn't simply stopping to do things that aren't right. It is too turn away from sin. 

He shared these verses from Alma chapter 28.

10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath forgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.

11 And now behold, my brethren, since it has been all that we could do (as we were the most lost of all mankind) to repent of all our sins and the many murders which we have committed, and to get God to take them away from our hearts, for it was all we could do to repent sufficiently before God that he would take away our stain--

12 Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords have become bright, then let us stain our swords no more with the blood of our brethren.

I love these verses because it shows how merciful God is. This group of people was not just committing minor sins, they were committing murder. When we come to know Christ and to embrace His teachings we can experience true peace. There is nothing we have done we can not be forgiven of. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and for the peace I have been able to feel because of it.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,




Hermana Bettridge


Fotos:

On an exchange with Hermana Fonua (from Tonga!) You can't tell, but we got really wet because it randomly started pouring rain!

 Our District