Monday, August 28, 2017

Hurricane Harvey ๐ŸŒŠ

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!


Hermana Bettridge


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 Peรฑa and I to get ice cream!

Hna Peรฑa 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 ๐Ÿ’•

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 ๐Ÿ˜


Hermana Bettridge


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 ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด)

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!


Hermana Bettridge


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 ๐Ÿฉ 
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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ (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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ 

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!


Hermana Bettridge 


New district! We're back to being las reinas ๐Ÿ‘‘ 
(The Queens)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Otro traslado en Canyon Lakes!

Hola, Hola!

We got transfer info and I am staying here with Hermana Peรฑa! 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, Cรฉsar, 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 Peรฑa 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!


Hermana Bettridge