June 16th 1998 – The Utah Jazz lost again?!?

Elder Bettilyon

#295 – 500 Rivercrest Cr

St. Albert, AB T8N-3B9

Dear Family,

I’ve heard the sad news.  how close it was, the trial, the trevail, the sorrow.  The Jazz lost again.  Alas, and such a close game the last game was!

[2nd time in the NBA finals…Michael Jordan was just better than all of the Jazz put together, it seems.  I still don’t remember who told me about the game, but I followed most the series second-hand].

But with all the sorrow of the Jazz, my mind was elsewhere.  The W. family was baptized on June 9th.  It was so cool.  They asked me to baptize them, so I did, and I confirmed them a member of Christ’s church on Sunday, June 14th.  That was an exciting day.

We just got back from a discussion with a media referral.  We taught her a 1st last week & asked her to read & pray.  We followed up today & she has some misconceptions about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I always love coming out of a discussion, knowing that you didn’t back down from the truth, knowing that you fought for truth.  I always feel like Alma and Amulek, or Peter, or Paul as I testify boldly against the doctrine of the devil.  It always gets me excited.

I hope all is well at home; I’ve not heard much since my birthday.  I got a letter from [and aunt and uncle], which was a nice surprise.  Even if everything seems hopeless, you can still write me!  I know writing letters can be tough when life is ro ugh, but I’ve promised myself I wouldn’t talk to people who didn’t write me.  (joke!)

I love ya’ lots & hope you’re having fun!

Love,

Elder Bettilyon

[I don’t recall who the media referral I mentioned was, so it sounds like we never went back to her house.  I was pretty excited, apparently. 

The W’s baptism is truly one of the greatest highlights of my mission.  I am happy to have been the one to be there when they were baptized, but their decision didn’t have much to do with me, and had more to do with their own testimonies.  Some of you guys may be reading this; hope it isn’t too awkward.  :)

I also should comment on my continual stream of comments about getting letters from home.  After my parents split up I became extremely sensitive about getting information from home.  If I didn’t get a letter for a week, I would get very down.  The only thing I thought I could do was keep asking for more letters.  Many days out there I just felt sad and alone, thinking about my family struggling at home with this horrible separation of my parents.  The letters from home were pretty significant events.

I remember that each time I received a letter from my dad that it would contain another tidbit about the divorce, the family, his romantic relationship with his future 2nd wife; some new piece of information.  I would read the letters with joy and agony, knowing that I was being thought of, but each letter was another stab of pain that my family was changed and different, as evidenced by the new “tidbit” that I had just received.  I can still remember the feelings of depression now.   Some days I would sit at the chapel and play “Families can be Together Forever” on the piano, over and over and over.  I can’t sing that song without completely breaking down…yet, with the Lord’s help, I was able to digest most of the pain and move forward.  My parents are great and hearing about them any more doesn’t make me depressed.  :)

However, I am so glad to have a wife and family that I can be with and love all the time!]

June 8, 1998 – Idiotic and Embarrassing of me

Dear Family,

Hope everything is going well.  I had a good birthday.  I got the package from you all.  I also got a package from C.Y. and his family.  They always send me “the essentials,” if you know what I mean.

Today was a crazy day.  After playing volleyball, we were driving home two other missionaries.  My companion had found some waterguns in the apartment, and for the past week he’s been squirting everything.  He shot at a mother, and two of her kids, and I think that was too much for the Lord.  We got pulled over.  The guy was in his normal car, but just didn’t like it.  He took our names, and said it would cost us $75.00 a piece.  him, b/c he was shooting, and me, because I was driving.  I didn’t want him to shoot the water gun, but I was guilty because I didn’t make him stop.  This is a lesson I’ve always had a rough time with, being more assertive.  I remember in the MTC, the mission president’s wife said never sacrifice obedience for harmony.  Allow your companion to have flaws, but never allow them to be unrighteous, or disobedient flaws.  I didn’t obey this counsel, and now I’m going to pay for it.  I hope it will help me learn.  What’s worse, I got a speeding ticket last week also!  $72,00 for going 17 kilometers over the 70 km limit.  So I’m slowing down, too!

On a good note, the W family will be baptized tomorrow.  They’re a great family.  on another good note, President Hinckley will be up here on August 2.  We’re all hoping he’ll announce a mini-temple [in Edmonton], but we’re really not sure why he’s coming.  Needless to say, we’re all excited about it.

Hope all is well.

Love,

Elder Bettilyon

[Uggh. This is a pretty poor memory from my mission.  I remember this “officer” (I’m convinced now he was a security guard that somehow got me to pull over, I don’t remember how he got me to stop the car) made my comp go back and he interrogated him in his car for 5 minutes, then he made me go back there and get interrogated by him.  He asked me the most humiliating questions ever.  Where are you from?  Salt Lake City.  Why are you here?  I’m trying to teach people about my church.  Which Church?  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  You’re trying to be a good example, and you are letting this guy squirt a mom and her kids waiting for the bus?  Yeah, it’s pretty lame of me.  I really screwed up.  He kept it going for a while.

He scared us into stopping, going home, calling our superiors (zone leaders) and telling them about it.  We gave him our names and address so he could send a ticket, or something, and I thought we’d end up going to a hearing.  So we went home and obediently called the zone leaders and told them everything. 

Then, nothing ever came in the mail.  Whoever this man was, he was a good guy to stop a bunch of us idiots from being idiots.  How dumb.   And how much damage did we do because of our idiotic behavior?  Regret it still…

As for the speeding tickets, I ended up getting 2 speeding tickets and one illegal left turn ticket while in the field.  I’m still not sure why I didn’t get “ex’d” from driving, but so glad that I never did.]

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