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Monday, August 7, 2017

August 2017

Our Sunday, August 27, 2017 / His Monday, August 28, 2017

Hey Mom, 

How are you? I’m doing better than usual and I can actually thank dad for this one. He gave some good advice that is helping to make even more of my mission experience. I’ve started to set a whole bunch of goals. I feel that these goals have given me more purpose and it is also fun to just check a goal off. One of my main goals for the mission is to be able to do 100 consecutive pushups without stopping. I figured if I do that then I’ll have the chest of Dwayne the Rock Johnson. So why not haha. I have also figured out one purpose that I have to really become good at on my mission. That purpose is to become really good at listening and acting by the Holy Ghost. I’ve had a prompting from my patriarchal blessing that it's pretty important and I got to get pretty good at it. So I’m trying to refine my listening skills and refine my acting skills.

This past week was pretty good for work. For one thing, we had a baptism!!! We baptized a little girl named Nesi and she’s really funny. When we asked her mom if it was ok to baptize her, her mom was a little on the edge, but my companion came on the clutch and just spoke by the Holy Ghost and the mom let her daughter get baptized. I was pretty impressed with my companion after that and that also emphasized to me the importance of living by the Spirit. So overall I had a good week.

It was nice to hear that cool experience about me helping you through that hard time. It made me feel good about myself haha. But it was cool to hear it. I’m also glad to hear that I’m gaining some respect among Brother Bearman. It only took me 19 years but I did it haha.

I love you lots.

'ofaatu, 
Elder Bethke


Dad,

Your advice from last week helped about setting goals. I’ve started to set a lot of goals. One of them is drinking a full litre water bottle every day. That's what the mission doctor keeps telling us but you know, it's like you have to go out of your way to get water so I’ve been trying to listen to the mission doctors commitments for the mission. One goal is to be able to do 100 consecutive pushups without stopping. Another one is to make my bed every day. Impressive haha. Thanks for all advice you give. It helps sometimes. I honestly didn’t do anything for my one year mark. The day after my one year mark I planted a tava tree. I don’t know what tava is in English but it's a good fruit tree. I planted one and it’s already dying so I’m a little sad for that. The work is going well. We baptized a little girl last week. It was fun teaching her even though sometimes she wouldn’t pay attention or understand something. The hard part with her was getting her parents’ permission but we eventually got it and the mother got to see her baptism. So that was cool. We only work with the people in this village or anyone that just happens to walk through it. But the people that come to church in our ward are only from this village. But yeah, all is well. Love ya lots.

Work out so you can be buff like me.

'ofaatu,
Elder Bethke


Hey Miss,

No pics haha. My camera is broken. For some reason the lens is jammed on mine and it won’t open up. Don't worry I’m in the process of getting a new one. I might get a new one next week.

This week has been a good week. I feel that everything is getting a little better. I’ve started setting goals and now I have more purpose in my life. It's pretty cool. One of my goals is to be a cleaner person. So to fulfill that I’m going to do all the cleaning, Fold and hang up my clothes, make my bed. I don’t know if you know this but I wasn’t the best about that before the mission haha. But I’m going to be a pro when I get back. I hope all is well,

'ofaatu,

Elder Bethke



Our Sunday, August 20, 2017 / His Monday, August 21, 2017


Hey Mom,

Now is not the time to slow down!! You’re telling this to someone who is in Tonga and is spending 8 months in a town smaller than our neighborhood!!! You’re are right though, it is important to keep working hard and gaining the trust of the Lord in all that I do. One of the most important things in the mission is doing all of the small things. It is from small things that big things come to pass. I've been feeling that I’ve been becoming a little bit more lazy in this area and I know that I need to try harder haha so I’m going to try and do my best. I think setting goals is very important in not becoming lazy. And I just have to become creative in my goals. I think that is the key. I could set better goals or more fun ones. We are teaching a couple of investigators right now, we have one set up to be baptized this week. But from what I’ve learned it is that whenever the Lord works hard to try and save someone, Satan works just as hard to try and stop their salvation. But the Lord will always come through if you have faith in him. We had our zone conference last week and it was good. I learned a lot.

Today for p-day we are going to do a service project at one of the noble’s houses. It’s starting to get hotter out here. Hope all is well. I hit my year mark this week!

Love you lots,
Elder Bethke

Hihifo Zone Conference


Our Sunday, August 13, 2017 / His Monday, August 14, 2017


Hi mom,

All is well here in Tonga. This week was a pretty quiet week for the most part. I'm trying to think of the major events that happened this week but honestly nothing was really really cool. We did have a musical fireside in our ward this past Sunday and it was nice because for once, us missionaries didn’t have to do anything. We didn’t have to make the program or sing in it. So it was nice to just enjoy the program for once. The topic was about missionary work, and they had a bunch of converts talk about their conversion story. And afterward there was cake and ice cream so it was a good Sunday. 

It is pretty crazy not having a single kid at the house anymore. I don't know if I told you but one morning me and my companion borrowed some members’ bicycles and went biking around our zone. It was really nice to bike instead of walk. Plus biking was really peaceful and beautiful. However afterward my butt was sore. But it was a sacrifice worth taking. So I think that will be a great idea going biking at work. 

And you are learning how to use the TV?? Wow, the world is completely different than a year ago. Dad emailed me and told me how everyone my age in church is now basically out of the house. It's pretty crazy ay. WOW Daniel and his family are sealed a day before he enters the MTC! That is something special. Everyone looks older except for Daniel haha. He is probably my best friend. I can't believe that Daniel and his family got sealed in the temple right before he went out on his mission. That's way cool. I'm really happy for him and his family. In the picture, Kenneth and Selenne look way bigger. Do you have Daniel's email? Can u send it to me?

We might have a baptism this week. We are teaching this little girl and she's really cool. She’s like 9 but she’s pretty funny. We taught this one kid who is going to be baptized we are just waiting for his dad to come home so he can see the baptism.

Thanks mom hope all is well.

'ofaatu
Elder Bethke

"This is a pic that I took in the office while emailing home because I realized that I didn't take any pics this last week. Hope you enjoy it!!!!"


Our Sunday, August 6, 2017 / His Monday, August 7, 2017


Hey Mom, 

How is everything? Now that Missy and Jimmy are gone I’d think that you’d actually be busier around the house. Well you will always have Danny and Dalia visit every once and a while. Man I can't believe that everyone is leaving...I’m not going to know anyone when I get back except Josh Bearman. Which will be interesting. I enjoyed hearing about your thoughts about fasting. I actually had a pretty cool experience with fasting back when I worked in Ha’ataieho. Me and my companion fasted and it came to the end of our fast and we were starving. We ended our fast and had plans to get food but for some reason the stores were closed and we couldn’t get food from anyone, which was very unusual for the area that I was in. But we just kept walking around. But while we were walking along one of the streets, one car zoomed by us but once they saw us they slammed on the brakes to talk to us. As we were walking towards the car, all they did was stick a sack of apples out the window. We said thanks and we then we parted and went our own ways. Those were some of the best apples I’ve had too. It made me think of the time when the Savior talks to the people and he is saying how that our Heavenly Father always makes sure that the crows and wild birds are fed. Then he goes on to state that aren’t we much more important than the wild animals. So it was just a little testimony that Heavenly Father watches over his children in their hardships. 

Something really cool and also really sad happened last Saturday. One. We had a baptism!! We baptized an investigator of our ward mission leader's wife. It was actually pretty hard to teach her some things like repentance. We really had to put it in the most simplest terms possible for it to be understood. So we were able to baptize her last Saturday. Then later that evening, me and my companion decided to celebrate by playing some good old American two hand touch football with our neighbors. But as we are playing, the twins get home from town and they are telling how a 12 year-old kid died. The kid was fishing with his family at the beach. They are more on like a coral reef than on an actual beach. But what happened is like there is some water up on the reef. And there is also blow holes on the reef. So what happened is the kid got sucked into a blowhole and no one knows what happened since. It has been two days and no one has found the body yet. It is really sad. The kid that died was a member and his family was a little less active. It was all sad and it all happened so fast. It's weird because I used to see him all the time. It's crazy that something like that happened, but knowing the plan of salvation makes me not see death as such a horrible thing because I know that there is a plan and more for us after death. Death is just another step in the plan. But yeah these were the main things that happened this week. I hope all is well. I love you all

‘ofaatu,
Elder Bethke



Hey Dad,

It sounds like you are pretty busy ay. Well we had a baptism this past week as well!! That makes two weeks in a row, pretty cool ay. But it was funny, I actually did the baptism wrong, the first time haha. I accidentally baptized them while raising my left hand up...whoops. Oh well it happens. I’m super excited for Daniel and wish him the best of luck. I can seriously see how excited Minen and the rest of Daniel’s family are for Daniel and him going on a mission. I’m excited for Daniel too, he was definitely one of my best friends growing up. So I’m proud of him. Now that we baptized this last investigator, we have to search for more people to work with. That should be fun. We do have other investigators but is hard to do work this week because someone in our village died so everyone will be focused on that for a week. How is the ward doing? Are there any new families or members back at home? Has anyone moved since I’ve been gone?

Today our plans are to finish up p-day and then also go to give some gifts to the family that lost their son. We are going to go with the family of our ward mission leader. The new ward mission definitely helps a lot. Another thing that really is building up the missionary work this month is the fact that ward conference is this month. Ward conference is way different here than it is in America. Here, they have a whole bunch of programs and stuff building up to the ward conference. Like for these next two weeks there is almost a ward program every day. It’s pretty cool. Plus our goal is to have every family baptize someone before the end of conference. So it is pretty serious out here right now. Hope all is well.

'ofaatu,
Elder Bethke



"This is the pic at our baptism last week. We baptized the girl next to the missionary that is next to me."

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