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




Monday, August 7, 2017

This week ☔️

Hola, hola!

This week has been a great start to a new transfer! It rained every day this week, but it helped it cool down a little bit. I am excited to see everything that is going to happen in the area this transfer!

Our place 🍩 
We had to drop a bunch of our investigators because they weren't wanting to keep commitments, but we found some great new people! We found a Colombian couple named Francia and Enrique. She invited us over for dinner, and we walked into their dining room and there is a copy of the picture of Christ that is in the front of the Book of Mormon. Francia was like "I painted that because I love the Book of Mormon so much." We had dinner and then asked them about their experiences with the missionaries in the past. They brought out their copies of the Book of Mormon, and they have them super marked up. (More than some members!) Francia told us she only reads the Book of Mormon and not the Bible (and we're like, well you need to read the Bible too...) and we asked what was keeping them from baptism if they know the Book of Mormon is true. They said they have never been to church before, and the missionaries stopped coming because they wouldn't go. She said "I don't go to God, He comes to me." So, we are going to teach them again this week and can hopefully help them understand the importance of church!

In other news, we invited Juan Carlos to get baptized and he told us he will get baptized, but he just doesn't know when. We had a really powerful lesson and talked about eternal families. Our mission President is coming to a lesson with him tonight. If he doesn't want to work towards a specific date we are going to have to stop teaching him for awhile and let the ward and his family help him. But he is so close!

But, we found a miracle investigator named Luz! She randomly showed up to church yesterday. She said she has been learning about the Book of Mormon a little bit and wanted to know if she could buy one in Spanish from us 😂 (So we promptly gave her one for free!) It turns out her she doesn't speak English that well, but her husband is white. The English elders have been teaching him for a month and he is getting baptized in a few weeks. She can't really understand them, but they gave her the address of the church in Spanish and she came all by herself! (Why the English elders haven't contacted us for the last month, I'm not sure...) So we are super happy to go teach her and her dad. She is already friends with the other two Colombian families in the ward 😂 

JAS is going pretty well. We visited a ton of people this week and are cleaning up the directory. Some more less actives that haven't been in a long time came to church yesterday! We are super excited for campus to get going in a few weeks.

This week I have been thinking about this scripture in the Book of Mormon, Helaman 5:12:
     And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

Satan is always going to try to attack us, especially when we are trying to make changes for the better in our lives. This week we were talking with a less active who has been coming back, and she said she knows Satan is attacking her a lot because she is wanting to come back to Church. She said she knows he is going to work harder on her than on her friends who party and drink every weekend. It is so important that we make sure our foundation is built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ! That is how we will stay safe. One of the best ways we can ensure our personal safety is by making covenants. Covenants tie us to Heavenly Father. Satan knows this, that's why he always attacks us the most right before we go to the temple or when we're getting ready to go to church on Sunday mornings. 

I want to invite everyone to focus on how you can make Christ your foundation!

I hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Hermana Bettridge 

Foto:


New district! We're back to being las reinas 👑 
(The Queens)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Otro traslado en Canyon Lakes!

Hola, Hola!

We got transfer info and I am staying here with Hermana Peña! That means I'm "killing" her because she goes home at the end of this transfer. We are super excited to see all of the miracles that are going to happen the next six weeks! School will be starting up this transfer too, so we're planning on contacting on college campuses with the English YSA missionaries and finding some JAS.

Matching outfits and our favorite book!
As far as investigators go, Juan Carlos is super close to getting a baptismal date! He is recognizing when he feels the Spirit and knows it is true, we just have to help him realize the necessity of baptism. Our investigator Henry was doing well, but then he told us he didn't want to go to church because of some family drama. We found some new people this week we are hoping can progress!

One of the biggest miracles of the week was English class! We went from having no one come at the beginning of the transfer to having seven people come! All of them found out about the class by us knocking on their door and inviting them, seeing our poster in the laundromat, or someone from the class inviting them! One of them, César, came up afterwards and told us he wants to start coming to our church! (Sadly he had to go work last minute on Sunday, but he told us he would do everything he could to be there next week!) We are hoping to start teaching him, and some others from the class. We have been having a member come to the class to be the "assistant teacher" and help fellowship everyone so they have a friend when they decide to come to church.

These past few weeks we have visited a lot of less actives from Canyon Lakes, but this past week we visited more people in the JAS branch. It worked because we had over 50 people come on Sunday! It hasn't been that high since I have been here. It has been interesting working with people my own age. I am so grateful for the decisions I have made in my life, especially the decision to go on a mission! I can see the difference that comes from living the gospel and from not living it.

As we have visited a lot of JAS who are less active, some have expressed their desire to come back. Hermana Peña and I have had the opportunity to share the parable of the laborers in the vineyard with them. In Matthew 20 we read:

1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.

5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.

10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.

11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,

12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

14 Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?

16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.


In this story we read about a man who owns a vineyard. He needs workers. He goes out early in the morning and hires a group of people to come work for him for the day. He goes back later in the afternoon and hires another group of people. When the day is almost over, he goes out and hires a third group of people. When the day is over he pays them all the same amount of money. The workers who worked all day don't understand why those who only worked a little bit at the end of the day got paid the same amount. Elder Jeffery R Holland gave a conference talk a few years ago and talked about this parable. He said "surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it... Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning… His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there... So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time.”

I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is something I will never be able to fully comprehend in this life, but it is something that has changed my life completely. I love sharing this story with people who have gone away from the teachings of Jesus Christ because it shows the love He has for us all. There are so many blessings He has for all of us, and He just wants us to come unto Him. If we have gone away He invites us to come back; it doesn't matter how long we have been away or how many mistakes we have made while we were away.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Love,


Hermana Bettridge

Foto:
Matching!