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Monday, May 1, 2017

May 2017

Our Sunday, May 28, 2017 / His Monday, May 29, 2017


Thanks for your advice it is always good to just hear those sweet but simple things again. It sounds like you and mom are having a blast for your 30th anniversary. Although I’m sure mentioning all the good food you ate was unnecessary.  It has been a long time since I have even thought about a nice juicy steak. I’m having a good time in Tonga and I’m trying to listen to your advice as best I can but sometimes there obstacles that pop up and make doing those things hard.

I hope you are having a good anniversary.

'ofa atu,
Elder Bethke


Here is the news on my camera, I actually found it laying around in the MQ. Everything is going great here in Tonga. Sorry to hear that the job search is a little rough. I’ll be sure to keep you in my prayers. But I’m sure everything will work out in the end. What do you do for fun now?

I'll tell you something interesting that happened this past week. My next door neighbors have a book about animals and stuff so vie spent a little bit of time reading that past Sunday. I actually knew a lot about it already and some of the facts that I learned in the past conflict with some of the facts in the book. But overall I feel smarter than I did before. I read some about humpback whales because they come to Tonga in the winter to have babies. So I'm hoping I transfer to Vava'u next transfer because out there you get to ride a boat. And they often see whales out there.

Yeah the word “tapu” in Tongan means like it's not allowed or it can mean sacred depending on how you use it. [Missy: This week I told Max that I learned that the word “taboo” comes from the Tongan “tapu.”]

I haven’t sent a package yet because I’m still looking for a box but as soon as I find one, it will have two bags in it and necklaces. It’ll be cool. When I have three months left on my mission, I’m going to start asking members to make me nice things like ta'ovala's and lalanga bags and things like that so we can all have nice things from Tonga. I’ve decided I’m going to leave just about everything in Tonga except for Tongan things with a few exceptions.

Transfers either happen this Sunday or the following Sunday, I will try to keep you all updated.

Hey Miss, can you also send me a pair of sweats and a couple of shirts, and some Reese’s and Kit-Kats. Thanks you’re the best.

'ofa lahi atu,
Elder Bethke

"These are a whole bunch of watermelons. One of our members went to uta and picked up a whole bunch of watermelons and was going to sell them in the market. These are not even half of the melons."

"This is just me and Tavo mucking around at our next door neighbor's house."

"This is one of the investigators from the family that we have been teaching. It was way cool to teach this family. His name is Sione and after his baptism there are only three people left of the family not yet members.  It will be so cool if the rest of the family decides to join. But from what I've learned, as hard as we work towards a person it ends up to them deciding if they want to follow it or not."

"Another baptismal pic."

Our Sunday, May 21, 2017 / His Monday, May 22, 2017

Hey mom!!

This week was a pretty good week out here in Vaotu'u. We were able to baptize another member of the family this past Tuesday, and we are working really hard to get the rest of the family baptized. However it is amazing to see the mother of the family and how hard she is really working to get all of her family baptized. She is completely changing her life around and reading the scriptures regularly. She even gathers all of her family together on Mondays for family home evening. She really wants all of her family to be a part of the church but the cool thing is, is that she is letting them choose freely if they want to join or not. She is not forcing anyone but she pleads with her heart that they may join. Because of her devotion and her living the gospel, the family has seen several changes for the better and it is creating a greater loving environment in their home. 

Besides that one baptism, we have had trouble finding new investigators. We are in such a small area it is crazy. Starting to run out of ideas haha. But I got to just keep enduring. 

I’m having a good time, hope you all are doing great.

'ofa atu
Elder Bethke

Missy, I already knew that about jaguars!!!!! Thanks though, I do enjoy learning about animals. Missy you are going to be mad, but I ask you not to be mad. I lost my camera...haha. So now I can't send anymore pictures home. I’ll try and search for a camera in Tonga, I just need someone to go to town for me. I’ll send you an email next week if I need you to buy me a camera.

Thanks for the can opener!!!

'ofa atu

Elder Bethke 

Our Sunday, May 14, 2017 / His Monday, May 15, 2017

Happy Mother's Day from Max!

Elder Bethke and his zone leader Elder Enos.

Our Sunday, May 7, 2017 / His Monday, May 8, 2017

Hey Mom,

My foot is doing way better. Now it is just recovering from a torn tissue in my foot. So it's all good. I’m not doing office work thankfully, I’m staying in my area working just like normal. But seriously my foot is getting way better.

Oh I’m going to send home a package as soon as I figure out how. I’m going to send home a bag and some necklaces for you all. They are pretty cool, but as soon as I figure it out I’ll let you know when I send it.

The weather here reminds me of fall in America right now. No leaves are falling but it is really windy and is cooler than usual. It makes me want to drink apple cider and go trick or treating.

I have almost hit my 9 month mark on my mission! Time is flying by way fast out here, I hope it is going by fast for you all too. I just learned today that in Tonga it is against the Sabbath day to sit on the beach. If I did the things I did in America on Sunday like playing basketball and stuff everyone would think I’m a great sinner. So vie decided I’ll keep the Sabbath day holy more according to the culture. In Tonga I’ll do it the Tonga way, in America I’ll do it the family way. So yup.

I love you lots. I miss Mexican food. Thanks for everything you do. I’ll talk to you next week.


My foot looks really good now. It is the same size as my other foot but it is just bruised and stuff. Apparently it is a torn soft tissue in my foot so it will take a little longer to heal than a sprained ankle, but it's fine. They just let me rest it off in my area and now I’m out moving around so it's all good. How is the job search coming by the way?

There is a zone conference this week and I will probably hear more info about the call home for Mother’s Day then. I might email once again this week to send you the time I’m calling or skyping.

I’ve just been doing a lot of resting this week so not a ton of pics sorry.

Our Sunday, April 30, 2017 / His Monday, May 1, 2017

Hey Mom,

I am reporting back to you from the island of...Tongatapu. Which I am glad for because the Ha'apai islands are very very tough for missionary work and it is hard to find food if you are not smart. So I am still am the same area of Vaotu'u, which I am very happy about. I also have the same companion Elder Tavo.

I have news to report on my foot!!! The toe has grown back a lot. However I sprained my ankle, I think it hurts really bad. I can walk on it very slowly so yeah. I injured it playing at a volleyball activity. I jumped up and landed on it wrong. So that sucks. I did it Saturday but it started to get worse so I called the mission doctor and she gave me some very hard to find ice. She says it's most likely a sprained ankle but it is really low on my foot so it could be a ligament. Let's pray it's not cause then I might be seeing you all sooner than I think. But I have faith that it is just a sprained ankle and anything is possible with faith! I believe every little thing is going to be all right. - Bob Marley. Don’t worry everyone. I might also just stay in the office if it happens. So it'll be ok. But for real my toe is doing good. It has grown back a lot. And it hurts less and less every day. So I am actually serious about that. I’m also sure that my ankle will be just ok in a couple of days.

But am doing my best to follow dad’s advice of being happy, being nice, and doing what is right.

I love you lot, and I do not have pictures this week sorry!

Love you all,
Elder Bethke

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