Monday, July 13, 2015

On our way!

Dear Family,

Well, time really flew and in 2 more days I'll be off and outta here!! I thought I was ready and I THOUGHT I could speak Tongan...before yesterday. A tongan elder (who is actually flying to his home with us to get his visa) said the prayer at in-field orientation yesterday and we told him to say it in Tongan so we could try to understand. He spoke so fast I couldn't tell one word from another and I could not even make out the "Dear Heavenly Father" that I was expecting to hear...He came and sat down and we all just stared at each other thinking the same thing. We asked him if he was speaking Tonga, hoping that he was trilingual or something, but yep he was. haha OH NO I felt like Elder Calhoun --"That's not what they taught me in the MTC."  

One really neat thing that I love about the MTC is how international it is! There are missionaries from all over the world and it's cool to see parts of each culture in such a small space. We've been able to meet many missionaries from Tonga also. Last Saturday we had a 4th of July celebration and in it they had a flag parade. A missionary going to the country and a missionary from the country got to hold each flag and I got to hold the Tongan one with a sister from Tonga. It was fun to get to know her and talk more about the mission from her perspective! We are getting pretty anxious to leave! They even let us stay up to watch the fireworks. But by the time we got out of the devotional/celebration I was super exhausted and wasn't super enthused by the late fireworks. You know you're a missionary when it's only 10:30 and you rather sleep than watch fireworks on the 4th of July. Or maybe that's just what being an adult feels like. haha. 

Last P-day we got to clean the temple because it's shut down for maintenance. We helped clean chandeliers and WOW I have a very deep appreciation for people who make, clean, or do anything with chandeliers. It took me 3 hours to take down and put together 3 of them while others were cleaning the crystal..and they were just the tiny ones on the wall! But it was cool to think about why we have to clean and take such good care of them so meticulously. It is the Lord's house and it deserves the utmost of respect. But next time anyone goes into sealing room #9 in the Provo temple, just think of me when you see how clean those wall chandeliers are. (:

It TOTALLY is a dream temperature in Tonga right now. That's how it was when we went for HEFY. But it is "winter" there, what they call the wet season. I've heard their summers are almost unbearable, so we'll see! Apparently it's been pretty rainy there the past week. It's down pouring in Utah right now so I think God is preparing us for the weeks ahead of us. Hence, the picture of us appreciating the rain at the MTC. 

This week has been amazing and I have felt God's love for me immensely. For starters, we watched Elder Packers funeral an hour or so ago. As I reflected on the idea of dying and the plan of salvation, I couldn't help but think of HOW COOL it is!! I have always known that death is only goodbye for now and see you later. But it hit me that death is so exciting!! Yes, we have to say goodbye to some people for short while, but we will be going to the spirit world where our parents will be and all of our loved ones will be that have already passed on. I think it relates somewhat to serving an 18 mo/2 yr mission. We will be pretty sad to be ending our mission wherever that may be and to leave the people we have grown to love, but really, we are going home. We are going back to the parents that brought us up and the people who love us tremendously. I'm so grateful for the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation. It is beautiful. 

Well, it is so good to hear from you! Sounds like there were almost some casualties at the island (; Be safe and don't fall in!! But if you do just get it on film so there is evidence when I get back! haha Love you all so much <3 Have a great week!

Sister Betteridge

Hard to say goodbye to teachers!

enjoying the rain

Sweet stranger took our photos in the airport to send to family!!
On our way to Tonga!!

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