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Thursday, April 5, 2018

April 2018

Our Wednesday, April 18, 2018 / His Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hello mom, 

Everything is wonderful out here in Eua. I feel like there is lots of work to be done over here. Plus the members are more excited out here to do missionary work. Today we have a program where we have each member invite someone to listen to us so I'm pretty excited because that should be a lot of new people to meet. But Eua itself is very cool. It has a natural spring out here and has a couple of waterfalls. Eua like Vava'u is very hilly. Plus there are also some pretty cool clogs out here. There is a cliff where you can throw your shoes off the cliff and your shoes will be blown back to you. I tried it with my slippers and it was really cool. I've also seen a wild parrot out here. That was really cool. It's hard to see them but if you got to the waterfall place you might be able to see them. We have stake conference this week and I think a 70 is supposed to come talk to us. We also have zone conference this week and I have to teach in it. Not looking forward to that haha.  

I guess I really like Eua because the people out here are way cool. We have also been able to teach quite a bit of people this past week so that has been really nice. I love Eua a lot. I hope you all are doing well.  

Ofaatu 
Elder Bethke


Dad,

Eua is way cool. I'd say it is still about 50/50 members and non-members. Our ward though has about 100 people in it. This is the biggest ward I have served in. My first Sunday I had to speak here and I was able to make the whole crowd laugh and also have a spiritual side. So once I did that, I knew that these were my people haha. There are 8 missionaries out here on the island. All elders. And fortunately for me we all get along great and are focused on the work right now so I don't have to do much haha. But yeah biggest thing that I got to do to be a good leader is to set a good example. I can't make anyone do anything but can make myself do things. So it's important that I do what is right. My companion is a white dude from Las Vegas. He finishes before me actually. After this transfer he has 1 left. So he finishes a transfer before me. 

I myself am doing good. Nothing to really worry about.  

Ofaatu,
Elder Bethke 




Our Tuesday, April 10, 2018 / His Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Mom,

I’m not going to re-explain my trip from Vava'u to Eua. I told it to dad in his email. My summary of the trip was that it was the worst day of my life. I felt like Kolipoki. I haven’t spent much time in Eua but I really love Eua already. The people there are tight. I don’t know why but Eua people are just special and cool. They make really nice toavala's so I’m trying to get a nice one there. It is also going into orange season and Eua has a bunch of oranges so I am excited for that. Eua is also the coldest island out of all the islands. I can feel the difference of the air and it is nice and cool. When I got to my MQ (missionary quarters) it was really dirty. So we did a lot of cleaning. We still have to do more as well. I think whale watching season is in August or July so I think I will be here at that time. I’m really excited for this area. I love you lots.

Elder Bethke


Hey dad,

All is good out here in Eua. So my travel from Vava'u to Eua was the worst. And some of that time I was actually by myself haha. So we were originally going to leave to Tonga last Wednesday but something was wrong with the tickets so none of the missionaries could go on the plane and there were about 20 of us. So what happened was that all the elders caught a boat on Friday to head to Tonga. Let me just say that that was one of the worst days of my life. So the overall travel time by boat from Vava'u to Tonga is 24 hours. So we were out on open sea for a whole day. And during that day is was cold rainy and all of us missionaries were freezing. We were also all seasick for the first 10 hours. I never threw up but most missionaries did. And we all felt queasy for the first 10 hours. I think it was because the sea was really tough through that time. So that was just a terrible experience. Then right after I land on Tonga I hop on another boat to go to Eua, which was another three hour boat ride. And on that ride I had to do it by myself. So I made it to Eua late on Saturday. So I missed all of conference on Saturday. And so I am done traveling by boat for a while. But now on Tuesday I actually had to come up to Tonga again for MLC (Mission Leadership Conference). It’s where all the zones have a meeting with President Tuione to help run the mission. I have to go to it now because I run the entire island of Eua. I’m the district leader there, but since I run the island I get to go to these meetings with President. So I’m in Tonga right now emailing you. Luckily I got to travel by plane this time. It was literally a 5 minute plane ride, so that was nice. But I’m doing good out here. I haven’t had much opportunity to be in my area these past two weeks but I really love Eua already. I hope all is well in MD. Love you lots.

Elder Bethke


Miss. I’m going to try and send pics tomorrow, after MLC.



Our Tuesday, April 3, 2018 / His Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Hey mom,

All is way good and I have transfer news...I’m moving to the island of 'Eua. I’m really excited because everyone has said so many nice things about it. But I don’t have time to email today because I’m catching a plane soon to hop over to Tonga and then catching a boat over to 'Eua. But I love y’all lots.

'ofaatu, 
Elder Bethke

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March 2018

Our Tuesday, March 27, 2018 / His Wednesday, March 28 / 2018


Hey mom,  

How are you? I can't believe that Jimmy is getting married! And I'll be home for the wedding!!! I'm not gonna say who should be the best man but I think that Jimmy should pick the best man for it. Which just happens to be me...Haha. But yeah we have Easter this week here and over here they just treat that as everyone stays home and sleeps. So that should be fun. I'm also looking forward to conference next week. It should be interesting hearing our new prophet speak to all of us. Transfers are this Sunday. I got a pretty strong feeling that I'm leaving this time. I hope that I get to explore a new island but I'll be fine with whatever the Lord wants. I only have 4 months left so I'm honestly good with whatever happens. But I'm doing good out here. I'm having fun. We have another service project this week. It should be fun. I hope all is well.

Ofaatu,
Elder Bethke 


Hey dad,

How is March Madness going right now? Is it almost time for NBA playoffs? I'm doing good out here. I'm having fun. I love the people out here in Vava'u. I hope all is well. When I get back it'll be really easy to beat me in ball cuz I'm out of shape and I'll be throwing up spitballs for days. 

Love you lots.
Elder Bethke


Miss, I actually couldn't email on a computer today so I'm using a member's phone. So sorry for no pics. I can't believe Jimmy is getting married. I can't wait to eat wedding food. Well I actually can't wait to eat American food. Only 4 months away from that! This is the last week of transfers so I'd say there is a pretty good chance that I'm leaving. But I'd be fine if I stayed. Time has flown out here Miss. How has it been out there? I still can't even believe I'm 20. I'm good. I'm having fun. I love the people. It's all good. I don't quite think that I'm ready for the real world. But I'm good. I love you lots.


Elder Bethke



Our Wednesday, March 21, 2018 / His Thursday, March 22, 2018


Hey mom, 

How are you doing? Sorry that I didn't get to email yesterday I did not have the opportunity to do so. But I am doing well out here in Vava'u. In my email to dad I sent the main things that us missionaries are doing right now. We are doing a lot of service projects as a district to less active members because our stake president has said that if we are able to bring the less actives back a new stake would be formed in Vava'u and a temple would probably be built out here. We even have a service project today. It will consist of cutting grass and also picking up trash and other fun stuff like that. I'm glad to hear that Bern and Carlos have improved. That is great news. I hope all is well. Speaking of cutting grass...who cuts the grass at home now? It seems that dad is pretty busy to be doing it... so who is? Anyways. Love you lots! 

Elder Bethke 


Hey dad, 

How are you doing? I'm doing pretty good out here. Ever since our stake conference that we have had this month, us missionaries in Vava'u are doing a lot of work with the less active families. One way that our district is working with the less actives is that we are doing a service project every week at a less active members house. It mainly consists of chopping away at bushes and their grass with large machetes. But our district has lots of fun doing them and we get to also help out other people at the same time so it is pretty cool. It is just like the scripture in Mosiah that says that when we are in the service of our fellow man, we are in the service of our God. I am able to feel the love of the Lord and his presence often but I find it very easy to recognize the Lord through actions like service. God often works through people to benefit His children. And I feel grateful to become an instrument in the Lord’s hands by the service that we are doing. I love you lots dad. Hope all is well. 

Ofaatu 


Hey Miss,


As you can see from the pic, I got a buzz cut haha. It reminds me of the time where I got lice and dad had to cut my hair. That was a terrible time haha. But right now I'm kind of digging the poko (buzz). How is everything in Utah? Do you see Jimmy a lot? Everything is good out here. I'm doing fine. Today we have a service project so that should be fun. It's just cutting grass and stuff but I've always liked service projects...I think. Anyways I hope all is well. Love you lots.





Our Tuesday, March 13, 2018 / His Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mom,

I actually don't know what time I finish but I know I will be home no later than Aug 7th. Anyways I'm doing good out here. I love Tonga and the people of Tonga. This past week  ... We had a service project at someone's house that was just baptized. It was good, we cut their grass, picked up trash, weeded, and did the whole nine yards. We also had zone conference this past Monday. I really liked what President Tuione said to us. He said that we can receive as many blessings as we want from our mission. It just depends on how hard we want them and how hard we are willing to work. He challenged us to work harder so you all and I can experience the greatest of blessings from my mission. So I'm going to try and be more obedient and diligent so that we can receive those blessings. I love you all very much. 

Elder Bethke 


Hey Missy, 

I'm doing good this week. This last week I had to do a lot of baptismal interviews. It was cool because I had actually met these people before and then I got to do their interview. It was a pretty cool experience. And then later this week our district did a service project for that family. We cleaned up their yard and stuff. So far me and my companion have a had a pretty packed week with all those things so we are doing pretty good. I love you lots Missy. Thanks for all the support.

Ofaatu,
Elder Bethke



Zone Conference

Zone Conference



Our Tuesday, March 6, 2018 / His Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Hi mom, I got your email from these past two weeks and sorry but I was unable to email anyone last week. We couldn’t find an opportunity to email because all of our emailing spots fell through (which is the just the church haha). But as for jumping off water towers, those days are done haha. As for this past week of work it is going good. Ae had stake conference this past Sunday and this is the first time in all of my stake conferences in Tonga that there was no general authority speaker. But we had our mission president come and talk and he gave a good talk. As for the plans for this week we have a service project tomorrow. It is in Vaipua and it is helping to clean up a less active member’s house. Should be fun. I also have a lot of baptismal interviews to do for the other missionaries in my district. As for the work in Longomapu it is still slow but I’m having a good time. I really like my companion right now and so I think that helps a lot with everything. We are working with this one girl named Mele. She wants to be baptized, but just like a lot of the other investigators we teach, the hard part is with her parents. We are working with some members who are actually related to Mele and her parents that they may talk to the mom and sort everything out so that we can teach Mele. But the family members just never get around to it so I’m thinking that my companion and I are just going to go ask with Mele. But everything is good. I love you lots.

Elder Bethke


Hey dad sorry I didn’t get to email last week.
I’m trying to keep up the work here in Longomapu but it's hard. I’m running out of ideas and stuff. If I can’t help people by teaching the gospel I’m trying to do my best to help others by doing what is right and living the gospel. I have 5 months left. That is still a lot of time to get work done but at the same time it’ll go by fast. I’ll be home before you know it. Even though its hard right now, I’m trying to do small things that will help me to stay strong and keep the work moving.

I love you lots.
ELDER BETHKE


Miss, sorry I didn’t get the chance to email mom and y’all last week because it is hard to email up here. I got your package! It was really good eating all the girl scout cookies and the chips. We ended up just eating the chocolate chips because we were too lazy to make the cookies. Thanks!

"Our district celebrating someone's birthday at the end of district meeting."

"Me and my companion chilling at a members house."

"Me teaching the primary school."

At Stake Conference

At Stake Conference


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February 2018

Our Friday, February 23, 2018 / His Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hey Miss, 

I’m not really supposed to be emailing today but my companion had to check something important with his mom so I decided to just hop on cause I didn’t get to last week. 

Tell the fam that I’m doing good and am having fun out here. Transfers just happened and I’m still in Longomapu with Pahulu. This is my 5th transfer here just like Vaotu’u. I’m going to finish with three areas I promise haha. But all is well. Send the family my love.

'ofaatu,

Elder Bethke

"Me teaching the Mormon kids at the elementary school. We do that every Friday and teach them about the gospel and stuff. We also play a lot of games. I think my job before the mission prepared me for these kids cause sometimes they can be a lot to deal with."


"Me looking out at the lake in Vava'u."

"Climbing a mountain, but we got lost on the trail so we had to make our own paths. So we had to rock climb a little bit."

"My companion's feet and the rock wall that we had to climb down because we got lost when climbing Mounga Lafa."

"Us playing volleyball. I'm getting ready to stop someone's spike."

"A basketball hoop. We found some fishing net thing and made a basketball net out of it."

"With my members climbing Mounga Talau."
(Mt Talau National Park in Neiafu, Tonga)


"A nice view of all of Vava'u."


"A huge tower that one of our members climbed. I started to climb it but got scared so I bailed out."


"Me riding a horse. I might've sent that one already but I feel like a gangster riding the horse so i thought I'd send it again."




Our Tuesday, February 13, 2018 / His Wednesday, February 14, 2018


Hey ma,

I’m doing good, the hurricane didn’t really hit up here in Vava'u. It hit everywhere else but our island. I was expecting coconut trees to be flying everywhere, but it didn’t happen. It was just sunny and windy where I was. The main island of Tonga got hit pretty hard by it though. I believe that some parts were flooded and that trees were down everywhere. So it is pretty sad for the people in Tonga right now. A lot of the missionaries yesterday in Tonga were helping clean the streets and stuff. But I’m all good so don’t worry or anything. Pray for Tonga.

ofaatu,
Elder Bethke


Ay dad,

I’m sorry to hear that Carlos is sick. At least he was able to receive a priesthood blessing. Hopefully he gets well soon. Send my love to them. Anyways...I cannot promise that I won’t do anything crazy for I just am that type of guy. Yesterday we jumped off a water tower just for fun. But everything is good out here. We are safe from the hurricane. I hope all is well over there.

Love you lots,
Elder Bethke


Miss,

This hurricane didn’t hit my island with rain. It was just windy. But the main island got smashed by the storm. Some of it was flooded and there are tons of trees down in the road. The missionaries went to the Mormon churches and slept there because those are the most safe places in Tonga. But, my companion and I were bored because we had to stay in our chapel a really long time, and we had nothing to do. Oh well, sometimes you just got to be obedient. How’s life though?


I got a package from Sister Wills, it was really unexpected and I never said thanks to her so can you say thanks to her for me please! Today we are probably just going to play volleyball for p-day. The usual p-day stuff.



Our Tuesday, February 6, 2018 / His Monday, February 7, 2018


Hey Mom, 

I liked the spiritual thought that you shared with your primary kids. There is one really important thing that I picked up from it. From what I am able to pick out it is the importance of being prepared spiritually at all times. In missionary work it is necessary to be prepared for anything because so many random things pop up in our work. So it is really important to be ready for those occasions. I’ve always found that one, we must be spiritually worthy of the companionship of the Spirit. Because if one has the Spirit, it will make it easier for that person in those random occasions. Another thing is reading the scriptures every day. Reading every day invites the Spirit into your life and makes a huge difference in your life. I know that when one reads every day, the day just goes by smoother and I always am happier when I read every day. I'm happy to report that things with Sovea are going better. We talk to him a lot and he even came to church this last Sunday. We talked with him about baptism and he wants to be baptized this week and not wait for his grandma to come back next year. So…now all we have to do is talk to the parents to get approval from them...wish us luck haha. All is good in Tonga. Love you lots.

Elder Bethke


Hey Dad,

I hear that the Eagles won the superbowl...that just makes our division look a lot better. But the work out here is going well. We got one of our investigators to church this past week. We just got to talk to his parents and get the ok on baptism. We just got to pray and hope everything works out with the parents. I’m doing good. You are right about remembering about doing the important things. Sometimes I’ll get side tracked but I just have to remember to keep Nephi's advice and endure to the end haha. Sorry for the short email but I am pressed for time. Love you lots and I hope your knees are doing well.

'ofaatu
Elder Bethke


Miss,

Jimmy took all my clothes...that's expected. I did the same thing when he left for his mission. This just means that I get to go shopping when I get home haha. Things are going pretty good with Sovea. It gets to the point where he comes and visits us at random times. But he was able to make it to church last week and that was good. I was able to teach baptism to him so that he understands the importance of baptism and why he should not delay it to some time that might not even happen this year. Because he is waiting for his grandma to get back from America and then he will be baptized. That could be next year. So I talked it over with him and he wants to be baptized this week. We still have to talk to the parents to make sure that it is ok. That will be the hard part. We actually plan on going there tonight after p-day so wish us luck. The scripture that I give to you is the one that I read the other day and is the one that I need the most right now—the famous 2 Ne 31:20...endure to the end. I need this to remember to not be lazy and to try and finish strong...anyways!! Missy I love you lots.

Elder Bethke






Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January 2018

Our Tuesday, January 30, 2018 / His Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hey Mom,

How are you? How is leisure world? 

Vava'u is good. It is very beautiful, as always. Sorry I’m not able to send home many pictures in this area. It is hard because I can’t send them home on this computer. Plus...I also lost my camera. So I have been using my companion’s haha. The work is going up up some. I don’t know if I have told you already but we finally have a ward mission leader in our area! In these past 6 months we just now finally get a ward mission leader haha. So we set up with our ward mission leader a program every week for every month. So I think that the work should be getting better in Longomapu. I hope all is well. Let me know how things are going on back at home.

'ofaatu, 
Elder Bethke


Hello Father,

I think that being positive is a very important factor in missionary work. It makes the difference of being happy and kind of just going through the motions. We are currently working with this one kid named Sovea. He is about 11 years-old and he just went into middle school out here. We are working hard with the parents so that they will soften their hearts and let Sovea be baptized. I shared with them the importance of baptism. They said that they would let Sovea be baptized towards the later of the year when his grandma gets back from America. But I then shared about the blessings and the happiness one would receive from their baptism. And I asked him why he would want to delay the baptism and hold out those blessings from his kid. In the end, he said he would talk it over with his wife and consider the many things I shared with him. One good result that came from it is that the father said he would let Sovea come to church this week. So that is great. Honestly missionary work is just taking every little small step and win. Those steps eventually lead to something great. I’m doing well out here in Vava'u and I’m having a good time with my companion, Elder Pahulu. I love you lots.

Elder Bethke 


Sup Sis, 

How has everything been going? Vava'u is good. This past week was pretty good. I think that the time is going by faster and faster because this past transfer is already more than half way done but it only seems like it has been a week. I think that me just being in this area for a long time, I’m finally discovering the real Max Bethke. I still don't really know who that is but I feel that I just am beginning to know who I am and stuff. One thing I still got to figure out is what I’m going to do about school haha. After these two years I think I appreciate school a lot more now. Like I actually want to go to class and learn new things now. I still have no idea what I want to study or anything but I’m excited for the fact to be learning new things. I’m really thinking about going into psychology or even thinking of becoming a doctor. I don’t know how I’m going to become a doctor when I can’t really deal with blood and stuff but I feel like that is actually one reason I was sent to Tonga, because I see lots of blood and guts when we kill pigs and eat them. So I think that has prepared me some for my future life. I feel that Tonga is preparing me for my life after the mission. Anyways, I hope all is well.




Our Wednesday, January 24, 2018 / His Thursday, January 25, 2018


Mom,

I can't believe I’m 20 years old... I would’ve emailed yesterday but we had zone conference so we were busy. But it was nice because I got a package from Sister Wills. So it was as if I got a wonderful present for my birthday. It has been hot in Vava'u lately. I'd say it is only super hot out here when the sun is out. If the sun isn’t out then it is nice weather. But the sun is way strong up here. Vava’u is still very beautiful though. It would be the best during July and June though because that is when it is cooler out here. The work is good. I’m just looking for the small and simple ways to help people out here. Just trying to bring happiness in small ways. Trying to become helpful and not a burden to those I meet. I think that is really one of the most important jobs in missionary work. Really just loving people. Putting your life out of the way to fulfill others people's wants and needs. I have also been learning a lot about each and every person. I’m trying to see the positive and good things in all people and trying to take those things and add them to my life. It is like each person has their own traits and Christlike attributes. We should take those traits from other people and try and apply the things they do in each of our lives. I love the people of Tonga. They are so loving and caring to everyone they meet. Even if they do not want to listen to the message of the Lord, they are always willing to feed the missionaries. This just shows the care and love the Tongan people have for everyone. Mom I love you lots and hope everything is well. I am glad to hear that everyone else in the family is doing well.

'ofaatu, 
Elder Bethke


Hey dad!!!! How are you? I’m 20 and I cannot believe it. This means I’m kind of an adult. This means that I have some say now in our family discussions haha. Tonga is good. I’m using the small moments to just teach little things or testify of small things to people so that hopefully they feel the love of Christ in their lives. Here is my testimony to you. Dad, I know God is pleased with you and happy with the family you have raised. You have been a good example and have done a good job! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Bethke


Hey big sis,

What have you been up to? Is work good? Tonga is nice. I honestly had a boring birthday unlike last year. Last year I was hit by a car and had pizza so it is kind of hard to top that. This year I had zone conference. Boring haha. But it was a pretty good zone conference. It talked a lot about teaching and stuff and remember our purpose in missionary work. For when we remember our purpose we are more likely to be obedient and to work hard. But I guess this is a good message for all of us. It is good for us to remember the purpose for why we have come to this earth. We have come to this earth to experience joy and to learn. God has showed us how we can accomplish both of these goals. He sent his son Jesus Christ to set an example for us. Jesus has showed us the way to receive happiness and to learn to become our best selves. If we follow Him and keep his Commandments, we will be happy. We will become our best selves. We will become closer to our families. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way for us to reach the pinnacle of each thing that i talked about.

Missy I love you.

'ofaatu


Our Tuesday, January 16, 2018 / His Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Mom,

It has been crazy to see the Church progress so much in just these short amount of years I’ve been alive. Even though there are changes in the presidency of the Church, the Church itself will never change. And it will only grow bigger and bigger. It feels good to be a part of that great work and marvelous work. I know that I could not have done any of this work without the Lord's hand in all of it. Longomapu is still the same. We go around trying to find someone to share this wonderful gospel to. Even though we have talked with just about everyone we are not going to give up. I hope all is well over there in MD. How is work? Do Danny and Dalia visit a lot?  I just want to let you know that everything is great out here. I love you lots.

Elder Bethke


Hey Dad,

I’m grateful for the gospel because it helps me know that I can be so much more than what I am today. I am able to progress and become like our Heavenly Father. I’m grateful for the gospel because of how close together it has brought our family. We can live together forever. I’m grateful for this gospel because of all the wonderful people that I have met because of it. I’m grateful for this Church because it has taught me how to be successful in this life. I’m grateful for this Church because it has taught me everything that I know and have become today (the Church and several outside influences haha). I’m doing well about keeping my goals. I’m going to try and keep it up as well. I love ya dad.

Elder Bethke


Sup sis,

I have a couple requests for my package if it's not too much of a hassle. Flamin hot cheetos, fruity pebbles, mac and cheese, and chocolate chips.

I’m doing well out here. I’m happy. The work is hard and I’m running out of ideas of what to do. But everything is still good. We are going to keep trying and hope to see some miracles. My companion is from Rancho Cali by the way. So I think he is out of Ev's mission. Right now I’m sitting next to this kid named Lasike. He's working in the next village over. We're pretty close and we've been in the same district for about 10 months in total. He's pretty talented and you will probably see him on TV in the next 5 years. I’m also sitting next to Lavaka who is on TV right now. He is a big rugby star in Australia. They are making me write about them. Miss, i love you.


Love, Elder Bethke



Elder Bethke & Elder Pahulu










Our Tuesday, January 9, 2018 / His Wednesday, January 10, 2018


Mom,

Oh wow I can’t believe that I’m going to be 20. It seems like I’m about to turn 18 in my books. Wow. That means I’m like almost kind of an adult. Wow. Transfers were this past week and it turns out that I’m staying in Longomapu haha. For 6 more weeks, oh well, I hoped to leave but I guess it is cool to stay. I did get a different companion though who is actually American. My companion’s name is Pahulu and he is from Rancho California. He came in the same time that I trained my last companion, so he is still pretty new. This means I got to do most of the work now. Should be exciting. I'm actually not too sure what to do now for work in this area now. I have to come up with a lot of new ideas and stuff. So I’ll try to work with our Bishop and see what he wants us to do. I would go to the Ward Mission Leader but we haven’t had one in the entire time I’ve been here. I’m not complaining but it just makes me more grateful for things. Tonga is going to make me a grateful person just because it does not have nearly as much of the things that America has. I love you lots and hope you are doing well. 

Elder Bethke


Hey Dad,

How are you? It sounds like you are sick one week from the next now. I’ll remember to keep that in mind for my prayers. As for prayer and reading the Book of Mormon, I’m doing a good job on it. The hard part is just staying consistent for the entire year even after the mission. I can't believe that President Monson died. In Tonga, the church cancelled all its programs for a week to show respect for President Monson's passing away. So that means no volley ball. Transfers took place this past week, I’m still in the same place haha, however I got a new companion. His name is Elder Pahulu and he is from Rancho California. He's Tongan but is learning the language just like all the people from America on the mission. He has only been out for a couple months so the new challenge now for me is having to do just about everything. Which should be fun I hope.  It is really hot right now in Vava'u. It's in the heart of summer here and it is humid. I hope all is well. I love you lots.

Elder Bethke


Miss,

Um no I’m not transferring unfortunately. But it's ok because my birthday is this month so I don’t have to make new friends to set up a party. I might hear about the plane ticket when I have three or four months left. So there is still some time before I find out. Missy I’m going to send pics next week. I’m not 100% sure what to do in this area anymore. Maybe you have some ideas for me? But I got a new companion that is from Rancho California. His name is Elder Pahulu. He is the man and I’m excited to work with him. I love you lots.

Elder Bethke




Our Tuesday, January 2, 2018 / His Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Mom,

It is hard to believe that any place can be that cold because of how hot it is down here in Tonga. As for sickness I’m doing good, I only get sick of how humid it can be sometimes but that just makes me grateful for air-conditioning. I’m trying to start off this year strong and I have made some goals that are going to help me stay on track. They are actually very basic goals and you may think that these goals are the most simplest things but I can assure you that they are the most important. I'll just say two of them. One is praying every morning and night for the whole year. Even as a missionary there are days when one does forget...I’m no saint I’m sorry haha. The second, is to read the Book of Mormon every day. President Monson and Russell M. Nelson gave wonderful talks on this subject and told us how important it is that we read the Book of Mormon every day. So those are my two most important goals. Even though they are small things, they make the biggest impact on the day. I think that these two goals can help every person come closer to Christ so I invite all to do it. Mom I love you lots and I hope everyone gets well soon.

Elder Bethke


Hey Dad,

Things are looking a bit better right now. I think it is mainly because we actually have a pretty serious investigator right now and it is fun to teach her. She is really cool and she wants to get baptized and serve a mission but the thing is that her relatives are really unsupportive of the church. We have actually already taught her family and they just refuse to believe in the Book of Mormon so it will be hard to help the girl fully come unto Christ through baptism, but I’m not giving up hope. Things are looking up here which is good. Transfers take place at the end of this week so I might transfer. I got the unofficial date for when I finish...it's August 3. Time has already flown by and so I think this last part should be even faster. But I’m going to try and keep your advice in mind so that I keep working hard out here. I love you lots.

Elder Bethke


Miss,

Tonga does celebrate the new year except that it is not as big as it is in America. But our church put on a program for new year’s eve that there would be a volleyball night starting at midnight. I heard it was a good success and that it helped the village to not be so filled with drunk people. So it was a good program. Miss, it was nice to talk to you all.. You all sound like you all are doing really well. Here is my inspirational quote for today:

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"
-Wayne Gretsky
----- Michael Scott

I just quoted an office episode if you didn’t catch it... I Sent Pics!!!!

Love you lots,

Elder Bethke 


These are some pics just from our p-day today. Hope you enjoy! My companion is the one in the red shirt.