Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First Week in the Field

Hello!!!! I am so excited to be here in the field! I am in the College Station area (where Texas A and M is.) We have the furthest north area of our mission boundaries and have the biggest area (actually, we have two areas because there aren't enough missionaries right now!) But, that means we get a car! :)

My preparation day is Monday. So, I will be checking my email every Monday and responding. If you would like to send me a letter (I would love it so much!) my address is

Sister Carolyn Bettridge
4475 Carter Creek Pkwy
Bryan, TX 77802  

Here is me at my first dinner( and only haha)
My companion is Hermana Sheirbon (like "sure been.") She is so amazing! I love her! She is from Vancouver, Washington (near Oregon.) She is 21 and joined the church 3 years ago. She has been out for ten months. She is the best missionary ever and I am learning so much from her! We are both blonde, so people are really surprised when we start speaking Spanish. We have a lot in common, the first time we met we were wearing almost the same skirt and we both had our tags on the right side (which people don't do!) 

This is us with Rosa, we were matching on Sunday! She just got baptized right before i got here. We will get to go with her to the temple for faith and family next month!
She is awesome, but the second day she made me call someone on the phone! I was so scared! (because I'm nervous about Spanish, not because I am afraid to talk to people.) But, I am getting better! Yesterday I had to say the closing prayer in sacrament meeting and I was TERRIFIED because I thought everyone was going to think I was terrible and they weren't going to trust me because of my Spanish, but it was fine! I have to remember everyone loves me because Hispanics are the nicest people ever! They really are! The cool thing about serving here is that there are people from all countries. I have met people from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Chile, and many more! 

This is Adrian. He just got baptized before I got here and was baptized for his uncle at faith and family. He is Rosa's grandson and "uncovered's" step son. He was so happy to be at the temple! He said he can't wait to go back! I liked going to the temple and I got a little nap in the car since we are so far away!

One of the cool things we do in this mission is go to the temple with the new converts we just taught. The last Friday of every month they have an event called "Faith and Family." The people that just got baptized get to go and get baptized in behalf of their ancestors that didn't get to learn about the gospel in their lifetimes. It is really special and there was such a special spirit in the temple! I can't wait to go again!

I love being a missionary because I love getting to share the gospel that has changed my life with so many people every day! The first thing we share with everyone is that God is our loving Heavenly Father. What a happy message! There are so many people in the world that do not know that. I love being a missionary because I get to see people change because they learn what that really means. I know that God is our Father in heaven and that He loves all of His children so much! He wants us to pray to Him.

I hope everyone has a great week! Dios nos ama mucho!


Hermana Bettridge

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Last Post from the Missionary Training Center


I am so excited, but a little terrified! Since I will be leaving the MTC tomorrow, just email me if you want to contact me and do not send a dear elder. I will include my mailing address next week when I know what it is. :) I also have no idea what day my P Day will be next week, so we will see!

There are over 2,500 missionaries here now. There are around 1,000 in the MTC choir. I have loved singing in the choir here, it always brings a really special spirit! That has been one of my favorite things about the MTC. Next week Nashville Tribute Band is doing a concert at the MTC and the choir is singing backup on some songs. I would be sad I am missing that, but, I didn't know who they were until a few weeks ago. 

This week I went with one of the girls in my zone to her cardiology appointment. WE FOUND A VENDING MACHINE WITH REAL COKE IN IT! (for some reason the MTC only has caffeine free) So, we were pretty excited! Mine says "I've had the time of my life!" #missions The time has gone by so fast for me! I will be coming home in 16.5 months! Crazy!

On Sunday nights we have a speaker come to a devotional for an hour and then we can go watch various (church) movies around campus. I was excited, because they were showing "Joseph Smith" in French. I went around, found two girls that wanted to come with me, arranged for their companions to go with different people, got permission from all of the right people, arranged meeting places etc. It was a lot of work! I was so excited to go listen to French again! For the devotional Hna Taylor was playing a piano duet (she's pretty good!) so we were sitting in the front row. The MTC President got up and said that instead of having a speaker come we were going to watch Bednar's Character of Christ (which I love!) When it was over, the lights came on, the doors opened, AND ELDER BEDNAR WALKS IN THE DOORS FIVE FEET AWAY FROM ME. HE LOOKED RIGHT AT ME! (for you non mormons, Elder Bednar is a member of the Quorum of 12 Apostles and I've never been that close to an Apostle and it is a huge deal he was there.) So, I didn't get to go to a French movie, but I got to be in a question and answer with an apostle. (For more information on living prophets/ apostles go here https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/restoration)

This week, as I get ready to leave, I have been thinking a lot about why I am here on a mission. It certainly hasn't been easy, and I know it will get harder. I think this video sums up why I am here. We were never promised this life would be easy, only that it would be worth it. I am here because I know that when I have hard times in my life, Christ understands. Because of Him, we don't have to have guilt over things we have done. Despair can become hope. Because of Him, we have second chances. (and third and fourth and fifth chances!) I am here on a mission because I know that because of Christ, my life is joyful and I have peace. I am here not because I want to teach people about Christ, I want to help people know Christ. So, watch the short video, no matter what your relationship with Christ is! I promise you will learn/feel something new! :)

I love you all and I appreciate your support!


Hermana Bettridge

Here is my district's last picture together (we slowly started leaving yesterday, I am in the last group to leave) 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Last Week in the MTC

This is me (in front of our cute wall) when I found my temple recommend and was really happy!


This is my last week in the MTC and I am going to make the most out of it! Honestly, this past week was really hard for me. Hermana Taylor has been having severe back problems (so pray for her!) and I haven't been able to go to class since last Thursday. So, it's extra hard to learn Spanish without a teacher and classmates. On Saturday she collapsed in the cafeteria at breakfast. We have had to go to several appointments and she was in a wheelchair for much of this week. THE MTC IS NOT WHEELCHAIR FRIENDLY. So, that has been hard. I am really sore from pushing her up hills and from carrying her chair up to our room on the third floor (no elevator.) And I didn't sleep much this week because I had to get up with her and help her do things. But, I am here to serve. I know a lot of times I will be serving my companion. But, I was really stressed out trying to help her, trying to fulfill my calling as Sister Training Leader (there are always problems I have to help solve and we had to prepare for 18 new missionaries to come into our zone,) I had to study Spanish alone, and my dad got laid off at work this week so I was thinking about home (I would appreciate it if everyone could also pray for him to find a new job soon!)

Here is one of the cute signs we have on our wall "go forth and be fabulous!" 

On Sunday I was very overwhelmed. We were at the Sunday night devotional and an elder played "Be Still My Soul" as a piano solo. I was sitting there listening to it and I got really angry thinking about it. I was mad that I was here, putting my life on hold for the Lord, and I thought that He was not on my side and was not helping me. At that moment I prayed for strength and to know that He was there and cared about me. I was overcome with the most overwhelming feeling of comfort. I knew that I needed to get over myself a little bit. The Lord is mindful of me, and I am going through a hard time right now because we have to go through trials in life. We are here to learn. If I want to teach other people about Christ's atonement, I need to feel 1/100000 what he felt. I am so grateful for this knowledge. Knowing Heavenly Father is real and is there does not mean we won't go through hard times, it means that because we can rely on Him it is a little easier to see the end result. Later that night we were watching a movie about Joseph Smith. During the movie Emma, his wife, asks him "Do you think the Lord asks too much of us?" and he answers "no." Joseph Smith had to go through so much! He was constantly persecuted. The saints were forced to leave their homes every few years because of persecution. Right after this question was asked, he had to say goodbye to his family and go off to Carthage, where he was murdered.That humbled me a lot. Later I was preparing to teach the First Vision. I turned to James 1:5 to read what inspired Joseph to pray. But, I saw what I had marked in James 1:3 "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience." During trials we can be happy and we can look for the things we need to learn instead of focusing on ourselves.

I tried to put this into practice this morning. Hna Taylor and I were getting ready to go to the temple. I realized my temple recommend had fallen out of my pocket. I panicked! I retraced my steps and walked all over the MTC trying to find it. I looked for over an hour. I searched all of the lost and founds and could not find it! I wanted to go to the temple! I needed to go to the temple this morning! So I started thinking about what I needed to do and what I was supposed to learn from this. I still don't know, but maybe Hna Taylor needed to walk around a bit more, maybe my patience needed to be tested, maybe one of the names (I handed out during our search to others leaving for the temple) really wanted to have their work done today. I had told Hna Andreason I couldn't find it anywhere. Later she told me this story. She sat down to breakfast with her companion, she prayed and said "Heavenly Father, Hna Bettridge has been having a hard week and really needs to go to the temple today. I am going to eat my breakfast and then I am going to walk to (a particular) lost and found. So, while I am eating I need the person that picked it up to go turn it in there." After she ate, she walked to that lost and found (I had just checked there too, there are like 20 lost and founds here) picked it up, and brought it to me. I know that when we pray, we need to be specific. Heavenly Father knows us personally and listens to us. Maybe it got lost because Hna Andreason's testimony of prayer needed to be strengthened today, I don't know. But, I got to go to the temple and it was amazing.

Anyway, sorry for the long email! I hope everyone has a great week!


Hermana Bettridge

This is me, Hna Taylor, and Hna Andreason. We are the three in our district going to Houston! We are wearing our matching mission shirts.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week Four and July Four in the MTC

Carolyn's district watching the fireworks

Hello and happy fourth!!!

This week was stressful, but good. Hermana Taylor and I are now the Sister Training Leaders in the zone. This means that we are responsible for a lot of the organizational things within the zone and we are responsible for making sure each sister in the zone (16 of them) are doing well. We have interviews with each sister every week and focus on how we can be better as a zone. This is a huge responsibility and I was super anxious about it because it requires an extra couple of hours a day on top of our normal workload, so I have less time to focus on Spanish. But, I know I'm doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do and He will help me. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve others, even if it will be hard.

Hermana Taylor & Hermana Bettridge 

So, Hermana Taylor and I discovered we are 6th cousins on relativefinder.org, so that's fancy.

This week we went into the "outside world" (meaning not the MTC campus, BYU, or the temple) so that was interesting. Hermana Taylor was having some back problems and went to the chiropractor. Some people tried to talk to us in Spanish, because of our tags, and we really had no idea what was going on, so we made some stuff up. I found an Oklahoma flag on a pen in the waiting room, random, so that's in a picture. 

Hermana Bettridge and the Oklahoma State Flag

Some lady at a devotional showed us a map that has a pin on all of the places she has had kids, grandkids, and great grandkids serve missions. It had so many pins! I was thinking, "wow, if my family had a map it would have one pin, Houston!" But, maybe one day I will have a map of all of the places I have had kids and grandkids and great grandkids go on missions!

So, we had a fun Independence Day celebration! I was wondering how it was going to be since probably around a fourth of the missionaries here are not US citizens. Also only a third of us are staying in the US for our missions. But, we had a really cool celebration! We had a big devotional and every nation that has a missionary here and a flag brought out by a missionary by that country. There were around 60 flags? I was trying to count. Then the speakers talked about how because of the freedoms we have in the United States, the Restoration was able to occur here. They talked about how God had a hand in the discovery of the United States and our war for independence. It was all very cool to think about. They focused on how because of the freedoms in the United States, we are able to share the gospel with people around the world. I am so grateful to live in a country that gives me the right to practice my religion and to share it with others! Then we all went outside and watched the firework show at BYU. (We stayed up until midnight instead of 10:30!)

This week my district became part of a new pilot program at the MTC where we learn how to involve members in lessons. Now, once day a week, we have a member come into the MTC and go with us to our appointments. I really liked it! (because she spoke Spanish fluently! haha)

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

Hermana Bettridge