Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dear Family,

This week has been busy with excitement due to the mission president seminar that is taking place this week until Sunday! And guess who got to meet Elder Holland!! Not me..Yesterday afternoon we received a random notice for all of the sisters in the MTC to meet in building 19m, where all of the devotionals and big meetings occur. Of course, we were all letting our thoughts run wild, trying to figure out why they needed to gather us so suddenly. Naturally, we got our hopes up thinking an apostle or prophet would come talk to us. Then they brought out a big fancy chair and sat it in front of the stadium seats and we thought FOR SURE the prophet was coming to talk to us. The meeting began and a sister sat in the chair and started signing for those needing sign language. They told us that bats had been found in 17M, the building that they had just moved ALL of the sisters in because it's new and big enough to fit us (the one we just moved into last week). I thought it was a joke for quite a bit, but sure enough, there were bats found by some of the new sisters this week. So our glorified time in the new building with awesome showers and no prison sheets would be short-lived unfortunately. They needed to move every sister back out of it before our evening classes and appointments so the entire campus came together to make the big move. haha Despite the craziness, we were efficient and it only took a couple hours. No wonder people LOVE it when Mormons come and help clean up natural disasters!! We get the job done! (: 

Our lessons this week have been improving as we continue to get better at the language. Far from perfect, but there is improvement. Many of our lessons are quite humbling as we realize how much work we have to go. But humility is awesome! It allows us to rely on the Savior. Sister Emch's mother sent her inspirational quotes this week and one of them that I really liked was "The same rain that grows weeds for a pessimist, grows flowers for an optimist." I love it and it is so true. We must let our tears strengthen our spirits and our testimonies. One particular lesson that humbled me was our first TRC. Volunteer Tongan members come to the MTC so that we can share with them a message on any principle of the gospel. An older sister of Sister Mo'unga (my first companion) was one of the members we taught so that was neat! We talked about how we can increase our faith through obedience and used examples of prophets, such as Nephi and Abraham. We felt very prepared, but even then, I went out of there feeling like a failure because I couldn't say everything that I wanted to say in Tongan. Our teacher talked with the members that we taught, however, and asked them how it went. They told her that it didn't matter what I said or what I said wrong because they could feel the spirit when we taught. The first lesson that we taught without taking any notes into was last week to our teacher Brother Fisher. It amazed me how much it affected our teaching. Even though we were terrified to speak in Tongan, going in with no notes allowed us to actually LISTEN to our investigator and teach BY THE SPIRIT. The spirit is the best teacher after all and we cannot convert anyone without it! After the lesson our teacher was so proud of us that he started crying, saying that was the best lesson we had ever taught. It was a good moment. 

Sunday was, by far, the highlight of my week. We taught Relief Society on the gift of the Holy Ghost and studied scriptures together on how we can receive the blessings of the gift of the Holy Ghost. Devotional Sunday night was amazing. What touched me the most was a message on spiritual gifts. It doesn't matter how much we are given, what matters is how much we do with the gifts we are given. Then, those gifts can be multiplied. I felt that this applied very well to receiving the gift of tongues. It doesn't matter how talented I am at learning the language or what I already know. If I work as hard as I can to learn it and invite people to Christ, God will give me that gift. We sang a beautiful arrangement of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" by Brett Stewart. As we sang, the spirit testified of the reality of the Savior and His atonement. I know that through the atonement, our sins can be washed clean, our weaknesses can be made strong, and our burdens can be made light. I love the spirit and the fruits that it gives.

Well it sounds like life is well at home and University Place is getting the appreciation that it deserves for it's beauty. That story of Tiger Woods is AWESOME. Haha It is too bad our renters didn't want to buy us new furniture as well. Caleb looks awesome in his get up! Keep it up and smile for the cameras (: You are all amazing and every day I thank my Heavenly Father for the wonderful family that He has given me. I have such good examples to look up to and strong support. Have a wonderful week! 

'Ofa lahi atu,
Sister Betteridge

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