June 1, 1998 - Another Special Transfer

Dear Family,

Hope all is well back home. There was a "special transfer" up here. Elder C went to Calgary, and now I'm serving with Elder F. He's from Yorkshire, England. (Now I've served w/ someone who isn't from North America!). perhaps you served around there - perhaps you didn't. I don't know which mission you served in.

[I was talking to my dad in that last comment. He served in the England, Manchester mission]

Anyhow, we had a good week last week regardless of the special transfer. The W's will be baptized on June 9th. They committed to the date yesterday. We fasted with them Saturday to Sunday. And we committed them yesterday. They're a great family.

I got some pictures back from a few things. Elder P and I made a trip to Slave Lake to do a baptismal interview, and we took some pictures along the way. Some turned out pretty good. Hope you enjoy them.

I had a good experience last week. I was rereading a letter from Grandma Sadler. She related an experience she had when Jory took his endowments out. I read it, and read it again, having the overwhelming feeling that all would be well. My answer didn't tell me what would happen, just that I would be hapy. I am content with that.

"Things" aren't all fun 'n games out here, but I'm happy today. Things have been improving for the past while. If that means more trials, well, I guess that's life. Christ will help me through.


Elder Bettilyon

[As for my not-so-sneaky comments at the end of the letter about struggles and strifes, my new companion that was special transferred to me, Elder F, well, we didn't get along so well at first. It was really hard. We would fight about a lot of things, including which side of the road was the "right" side to drive on. I always purported that I was driving on the "right" side, and English folks drove on the "left" side. He never thought it was as funny as I.

I'm not sure how many details I share in the coming letters about my struggles to get along with Elder F (and he with me!), but in the end, we both agreed that the companionship was a learning and growing experience and that we were both the better for it. We both learned a lot from each other.

As for the W family, it was very rare in the Canada Calgary/Edmonton mission to teach and see a whole family converted at the same time -- this was the only time in my two years that I saw it happen. The family was Six people! The dad was already a member of the church, but the entire family was taking the discussions. It was a rare and wonderful experience.]

May 28, 1998

Dear Family,

I guess I missed you last week! Everything's still good. The new area is different, but I"m still doing well & going strong. We went tracting in the rain last week. It's been raining a bit around here lately. Today we went shopping and it was clear outside, when we came out, it was pouring rain. It was fun.

We're trying to work w/ a lot of people right now, but only two families are currently being taught. The W family, and S, a media referral. She is the mom of a family, we taught her a 1st last week, and a 2nd this week, I hope. Th W's are doing great. T., the youngest, is grand. He told us "I'm ready to be baptized" and the rest of the family is close behind. It seems like they have been preserved for the gospel. They are so honest in heart. The family loves each other. I'm sure there's the usual fight or squabble, but they're quite cool.

Elder Kenneth Johnson of the seventy toured the mission last week. He was awesome. I learned a lot that I can do to improve my/our companionship & my abilities. It was rad. We're doing laundry at a member's house, and they all say "hello!" with a wish you well.

Love you lots!!

Elder Bettilyon

May 11, 1998 - Transfer to St. Albert

Elder Bettilyon
#295 500 Rivercrest CR
St. Albert, AB T8N-3B9

Dear Family,

Not too much is going on quite yet -- I'm getting transferred to St. Albert - a suburb of Edmonton.  My new comp is Elder C. He's from California - and in inch taller than me!  We'll be sure to scare many people!

[I'm 6'4" which means he was 6'5".  Quite a pair]

Mother's Day was good -  feel like I've said all that there was to say yesterday, have a good one, & hear from you soon!


Elder Bettilyon

[I think St. Albert would actually be more accurately termed as a bedroom community near Edmonton.  Here is a map:

27 April 1998

Dear Family,
Whew!  That was a quick month.  It's been a good month, too.  No baptisms, but still a good month.

Yes, so I'm a DL now.  the district name is Whitemud.  It's kind of an odd name.  It took a month of living in Whitemud to get used to it.  There are 5 sets of missionaries in the district.  Us, a couple, and 3 more companionships.  One area has six commitments for baptism right now!  We hope they go through.

As for my area, and E. A's, we have too commitments for baptism.  CL and T.  C is totally cool -- she's been coming to church for six months or so.  We taught her the 4th, and when we asked about the Word of Wisdom, she kinda chuckled.  7th Day Adventist is more strict that us on their health law, which is something I never knew before.  She said she didn't totally adhere to it -- she uses mustard.  (sheesh)!  The story of T is in E's letter right now - so she can show it to you if she's not too busy.

I'll be transfered in two weeks, but I'm not too sure which area exactly.  But I'll be near this area, so I'll be able to get my letters & such.  Hope you all hav a good one.

Love ya'

Elder Bettilyon

[E's letter didn't make it in to my collection, and I didn't post anything about T in my journal, so I guess her story is lost.  I don't even remember who she is.  That is too bad.  So many people over two years, I tried to record a lot of it, but I am learning more and more that there are many people I taught who didn't get baptized that I forgot about.  I remember some of them pretty well, but others....well, I just draw a blank.

Another letter about everything else except me.  Hopefully some exciting, juicy stuff will come up soon.

For those who are interested, Whitemud is a region of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  Sort of the North West corner of Edmonton -- by the really big, famous mall (which was off limits to missionaries -- probably something to do with the movie theater and the indoor water park with a high probability of scantily-clad women.  Just a hunch, though, since I never actually went. :)]

April 20, 1998 --

Dear Family,

Here's my REAL letter.  I just got your FAX, Dad, I was actually aout getting mail & there were letters for everyone, but me, and the new roomie, and I walked in & got a FAX!

The work is going okay right now.  We're working with C, she's committed for May 16th.  She's been coming to church since November, or so, and is doing great.  The Bishop talked to her for a while & finally convinced her to take the discussions.  She's a really sharp gal.  R is still slow-progressing.  I think he might have a Word of Wisdom concern.  But he just doesn't want to progress right now.  It took him 6 years to join the Catholic church, and he keeps on saying that it took Brigham Young 2 years to get baptized.  I always think, "It took Parley P. Pratt a day."  He's coming along, but slowly, I guess.

We taught a 2st to some gals yesterday -- they were funny.  We'd ask them to share their feelings about something & they'd say, "We don't know, that's why we want you to come over & teach us!"  It was fun.

I hope you all have a good week.

Sure do love ya'!

Elder Bettilyon

[Seems like this has been the same letter several weeks in a row. How dull some of these must have been for my family to read every week.]

13 Apr 1998 -- A......promotion?

Elder Bettilyon
#10 9808 149th Street
Edmonton, AB T5P-1K4

Dear Family,

Hope you are all doing well.  Today is known as Easter Monday here in Canada; which means no mail today.  Nevertheless, today is still a good P-Day  We all went to the Edmonton Zoo today  There wasn't too much there to see, really, the best were the monkeys and the elephants.

The area is going okay.  We've been working diligently to find people to teach, and the Lord has blessed us.  A few nights ago, we taught a 1st to C., she's been coming to church since November w/ her boyfriend, A, and she's finally agreed to take the discussions.  She says she imagines she'll join one day, but she doesn't know when.  R. is happy, but he seems to be his own stumbling block.  He's had a witness that he needs to be baptized from the Spirit, but he's having a tough time obeying it.  He also has a court date coming up b/c of driving.

Another exciting thing happened, too.  Pres O. called this morning to issue me a new call.  I'm to be a district leader.  I'm taking over Elder A's district, and he's becoming a zone leader, though we'll still be companions.  Then, next transfer in four weeks, I'll probably move out to a different area with a new companion.  It should be exciting, and a great learning experience, too. Wish you all well.


Elder Bettilyon

[I still remember this trip to the Edmonton Zoo, but the part I remember was the "petting zoo" and there were sheep in there.  Elder K had this way with the animals and I have a perfect picture of him petting the back of a little lamb and it was clear that the animal liked him and was comfortable with him, they were both happy.  I wanted to try it, too, so I gave one of them my camera and the sheep just kept running away from me. 

The other interesting part of the trip was that we decided to go in "full pross" which meant we went in white shirts, ties and name tags on P Day.  Honestly, I always struggled going out on P Day in full dress.  I never learned to do it well, but Elder K insisted -- rightly -- that we do it.

So as I'm making a fool of myself with these little sheep, some dudes at the zoo catch on that it's a Mormon missionary playing the fool and start mocking me (or maybe us, who can tell).  I don't remember the elephants or the monkeys at the zoo today, but I still remember that petting spot.]

6 Apr 1998 -- Post Conference Notes

Dear Family

I'm just enjoying a wonderfully sunny afternoon today.  The last two days were filled with spiritual thoughts from conference addresses.  I think my favorite talk was Jeffery R Holland - on Saturday, he gave a great talk about teaching.  The teachers in the church have a great responsibility, he said.  They're responsible for nourishment with the good word of God.  That's one of President Hinckley's "three things" that every saint needs.

One of our investigators showed up to conference on Sunday -- his name is RT.  We've taught him a lot.  He's progressing.  Knows the Book of Mormon is true, and loves coming to scripture study class.  Also, he was found right when he moved to town, so all his friends are members.  It's great.  He has a court date coming up thought ~ for reckless driving.  He is penitent, thought, so the Lord will bless him.  Especially if he decides to be baptized.

Elder K had us all write poems today -- here's mine.

     We proselyte all day and night,
     Serving with our strength, heart, mind and might
     Keeping our minds focused, so we'll be able to baptize,
     So upon our return, we'll find virtuous wives

Hope you like it - and the picture, too.


Elder Bettilyon

30 Mar 1998 -- Mail arrives in Abundance

Dear Family,

I hope all is well. I received a surplus of mail, which was delivered to the wrong address in Edson on Thursday - I had a good time "catching up" to some of the things going on. I had always suspected that I got a shortage of letters right when I found out about mom. I turns out that Murphy's Law is just in perfect order -- as it always is I'm afraid.

We've been working hard lately. We're teaching nine people right now, & they've all been found through tracting or street contacting, which makes us feel good, but it makes the Bishop feel like the ward could give us more people to teach. However, I feel the ward is quite supportive.

I don't remember if I told you, but I have a new roomie -- Elder K, from Orem, Utah. Elder L is actually serving with Elder O's old comp.

The gospel continues to spread forth, we're helping it! Look forward to hearing from you.


Elder Bettilyon

16 Mar 1998 -- Confrontation on Whyte Ave

16 Mar 1998

Dear Family

Well it has been another week.  That has flown by.  I'm still looking for a package.  But it has not been a week since I received your last letter, I think.  Then again, maybe it has.  We didn't baptize anyone this week, but we tried to find people!  We did however teach a few 1st discussions.

I did have a fun experience yesterday, thought.  Since four of us go to church, we often split-up so we can talk to people & tract or GQ 

[GQ means "golden question."  It's when you stop people on the street and invite them to learn about the church]. 

Elder P and I went GQing on Whyte Ave.  Whyte Ave is sort of the place where the freaks hang out!  Anyhow, we talked to a fellow, I introduced us, and he just flew off the handle.  He dropped the "F" bomb on us, and then pointed at me.  His finger was a few inches from my nose, and he hollered.  "YOU WANT IT ON THE END OF YOUR BEAK?!"  I just stood there, bewildered.  He hollered it a few times.  This guy was at least 300 lbs and 5'5" or so, pointing up at me, cussing, and asking if I wanted "it" on the end of my beak!  I don't remember what I said, but he walked off, declaring that he was part of the devil, and me laughing, and Elder P. trying to tell him to have a good day.  It was, definitely, a choice experience.  I've only had a few cuss words, generally, Canadians are quite polite, but you always rememer when you get the odd-ball who cusses at you.  Alwas good for a laugh. 

Anyhow.  Wish you well.  Much love,

Elder Bettilyon

[I still kind of chuckle about this one.  Every once in a while I'll point at Rebecca and ask her if she wants it on the end of the beak.  I don't think she thinks it's as funny as I do.  The foursome of us in the same apartment laughed about this one for weeks and weeks, though, consistently asking if I wanted it on the end of my beak.]

Counter and Ads!!!

Try #3, maybe it will work this time.