19 Jan 1998 -- Still Waiting for Letters

Dear Family,

It's been an okay week. Things just keep on going fast. Quicker and quicker. EC was baptized on Saturday. She stopped smoking, and her husband baptized her. It was cool. Elder R confirmed her; he did a good job; she's been coming out to church for such a long time, it was a relief to us, and to the branch, to see her get baptized.

I hope everyone is doing well w/ the situation and all. I've still yet to hear from anybody, and so now I'm just fighting to find something to write about. (guilt trip).

President O called a few nights ago, and said it would perhaps bee a good idea to see an LDS Social Services dude. It was a rough decision, perhaps I'll tell you how I decided to go see him.

E was very sick on Wednesday, and non-committal for a date, or a time, to get baptized. Elder R and I just didn't know what to do. So we made a plan. We fasted, and used the power of the priesthood, to help her commit for baptism. She was very sick, and we blessed her that she would be well enough to be baptized on Saturday, and, lo and behold, she was well enough to be baptized. We then fasted for her and J (her husband). That she would be baptized & that he would baptize her. (he was really nervous). And on Friday night, we were over at their house for dinner, and e was wanting to have her parents come. If they couldn't come, she didn't want to get baptized. (They're non-member).

Anyhow, Elder R & I had been working to commit her for so long, we were sick of hearing her excuses. She called her mom, to see, finally, if she could come. It was a very tense moment when she called her mom, I promise. And when she said she could get baptized, & her mom would come, Elder R & I were overjoyed.

Anyhow, through the fast, I decided I should see a counselor. It won't hurt me to talk; it could only help, so I'm gonna' talk to him.

That's about it for last week's events.

Love,

Elder Bettilyon

[What a bizarre way to tell the story that I fasted and got an answer. Oh well, it's how I thought of it at the time, I guess]

12 Jan 1998 -- A little more honest take

Dear Family,of ti

Hope all is well, & I hope you enjoyed that last letter that was beat to slime. I didn't want to rewrite it, so I just mailed it off.

Not much has happened since Dad and I spoke; I have quite a bad cold. I imagine that it's degree of seriousness reflects my mental condition. Not to say I'm not mentally healthy. for I am, but to say I was distressed & my cold hit at approx. the same time, so it hit a bit harder. I'm sure you all understand.

I got a card from Holly last week. It was great. I've also FAXed that thing to ... UNIPAC so I hope that should take care of it. Thanks so much, Dad, for taking care of that for me.

[I had taken out a student loan for my first year of college and never told the loan company I was going on a mission. Whoops. I ended up with a little hit on my credit report for being delinquent. Once I signed a letter they put it on hold for me until I graduated.]

Sheesh.

I think I'm still in shock, I just don't know what to write. Not too much has happened. *SIGH* I'm doing okay with everything but this whole experience just made me re-examine my life. Teaching people, talking to people. Everything I do or say reminds me of mom. I try to get away from it, but I can't face the truth. I'm nervous for her, as I'm sure every one of you at home are, also.

Last Saturday's baptism didn't go through, she was still smoking, she's quit now, so she should be baptized this Saturday. Hopefully.

Love you all

Elder Bettilyon

7 Jan 1998 -- First letter post separation

Dear Family,

I hope you're all doing okay. I'm surviving. I know this can pull all of us together and strengthen us. I know it's strengthened me, increased me faith and testimony, and also increased my capacity to love. It has also caused me to evaluate my own life, and realize all of the wonderful blessings our Father in Heaven has given to us.

We all have a knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can all be thankful for that. Many people are born, live, and die with out the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, we have it; let us be thankful, and let us follow the plan Father has given for us. I have a roof over my head, Mother has a roof over her head, everyone at home has a roof over their heads, we all have food to eat, we all have people to turn to for help, we all have the Power and Authority of the Priesthood. We all have so much to be happy for. While talking to mother last night, she told me to hold on to what is left; to hold on to what we have. It is always best to focus on the good. A scripture that almost always gives me comfort at times like this is (I think it's this one) 2 Timothy 1:7. God hath not given us the Spirit of Fear, but of power, and of love and of sound mind. God has given us power, love & a sound mind to deal with our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual problems. Let us use the tools God has given us to overcome our problems. And when we are fearful of the outcome, ask yourself "who is the Father of that thought, or feeling?" Satan is the father of people's actions as well as our Father in Heaven. We should all have Father in Heaven be the father of our thoughts and actions, otherwise, we will be sinning.

We have a baptism scheduled for 10 Jan 98. Her name is EC, she is JC's spouse [JC is the one who had the really splashy baptism]. He was baptized last month. So after her baptism, we will have baptized a family!

I love you all. May God bless you!

Love,

Elder Bettilyon

P.S. Sorry for the rugged condition of the letter -- I put it on top of the car in my folder & we drove off & it fell off -- all over a snowy, dirty road.

[Funny little note at the end there. I remember picking up my binder and all the papers. It was the perfect event for a horrible feeling day. I tried my hardest to sound positive and upbeat in this letter -- because focusing on the good will help us to not dwell on the bad. OF course, I had not really even started dealing with the feelings of loss my parent's separation caused.]

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