Monday, December 9, 2013

Amber Ltr: 2013-12-09

Subject:  :)

December 9, 2013
Hey family!

Sorry that this is going to be super short this week but I don't have a lot of time. It has been a crazy day! Never enough time to email.

You are all incredible! I am so grateful to have you as my family and for all that you do for me. I love hearing about all the incredible things you are doing!

The miracle of the week: I got my package!!!! It only took a month and a half to get here but it came! I actually got 3 packages in one day!!! Best day ever!!!! Yes my sweater one got here and so did G'ma and G'pa K's. Thank you thank you thank you for sending those to me!!! And for the cd's and the peanut butter m & m's!!! You made my day!

There are a ton of Hindu people here! It is crazy. We are working with a few of them and I really hope things can happen there because they are seriously the friendliest people that we talk to. Yes we are still in a car thank heavens :) Things are still getting there with Sister H. Being her companion is like being on the biggest emotional roller coaster ever. Seriously she will bounce from being so happy and excited and then 2 seconds later she is super depressed. I don't know what to do with her because a lot of the time she is just really grumpy and tired and there is nothing you can do or say to make her feel any better. It really drives me crazy. But it has really forced me to look for the good in her and to give her pep talks and let her know that she CAN do it and that there is good things going on and that it is hard but that it is going to get better. I feel like I'm babysitting her sometimes though. Keep praying for me :)

It was kind of a discouraging week work wise. All of our investigators were super busy and it was really hard to get a hold of them. And we talked to a ton of people but most were not interested in learning more. Which gets discouraging. But like I keep telling Sister H, there is good things that are going on and there are small successes to be found and little tender mercies that the Lord gives us. Things will come together and start happening.

I am sleeping much better than I used to. I usually only wake up once in the night as opposed to 3 or 4 times, which is really nice. Thank you for your prayers there. I know that is what has made the difference. My coats are warm enough too. I love my boots and they keep me dry. Instead of snow we have rain and when it rains it pours! When we go tracting in the rain people look at us like we are crazy. Maybe we are... :) I agree with Ash in that the humidity makes it much seem much colder than it is. But I think we are quite a bit warmer than yall are.

Thank you so much for all your love prayers and support!!! I developed some pics today and I'll send them home so you can see :) I love you all so much!!!
Sister Bedke, the younger

Monday, December 2, 2013

Amber Ltr: 2013-12-02

Subject:  Two months in the mission field!

December 2, 2013
Hi family!

It sounds like you guys had a great week and a great thanksgiving! Thanks for sending the letter off so late Mom! 2:40 AM! You are incredible! I laughed at seeing the bolded underlined section of your letter :) The only way to ensure your question gets answered! Yes that is my address and yes I got the ensign. Thank you so much for sending it and for the note. It made my day! I am really happy about you being able to send packages and letters directly to me now. Poor Sister Residori is such a sweet lady but I think she is very overwhelmed with her assignment. I can't imagine handling that much mail. Did Court tell you that she met her at Lee's just before they came out? They told me all about meeting you Court and said you were such a cute girl. How bad would it be if you always sent mail to me at my apartment rather than having it go through the mission office? Every other mission does it that way. It takes so much longer to get letters to us that way and sometimes things get put in the wrong piles. I haven't gotten that package yet unfortunately. I hope it is sitting at the PO, because it definitely isn't at the mission office and they don't keep a log of when packages arrive and when she sends them out. I am so sorry for the huge mess with it!

Do you think you could send me Ash's mission journals from the beginning of her mission? Maybe like the first 2 or so? It is crazy how similar our experiences are, especially with companions, and I think that might help me out. Maybe you could send them with my long sleeve shirts if that is ok.

It was a pretty good week overall. We weren't able to get in with Joe, dang it. Satan made his son sick so we couldn't go over. Satan is the worst. So we are just praying we can find a time to work with his crazy busy schedule. On the other hand though, it is kind of exciting to think about the potential he has because Satan really doesn't want us to meet with him! We are going to give him a call either today or tomorrow and try and find a time that we can meet with him this week because we really need to get things going with him!

But we were able to get back in with some other potential investigators that we haven't been able to get a hold of for a while. The first one's name is Souji. She is a Hindu woman that we met tracting our first or second week here and she told us that we could come back but we just haven't been able to get over there til now. But we just stopped by and she remembered us! She invited us in and we met her husband and had a really nice conversation with them. We asked them a lot of questions about their culture and they kept laughing at us because we were so fascinated by it. I really like Hindu people because they are always so friendly. Sometimes I get really sick of white people. But anyways, Souji and her husband, Venkat believe in Jesus Christ! We started talking to them about the Book of Mormon and what we do as missionaries and they want us to come back next week! We left a copy of the BoM with them and they said they would read it! Sa-weet!

We are also working with another Hindu man named Ravi. I think I told you about him. But we haven't been able to get a hold of him. He wouldn't answer our texts or calls and we tried to stop by and he wasn't home. But we tried again when we were in the neighborhood again and he was home and let us in! He apologized for not getting back to us and told us that he definitely still wants to meet with us and learn more about the Book of Mormon but he just needs to get through finals first which end the week after next.

When we went tracting on Wednesday (in the FREEZING cold wind!) we met a lady named Micky, who was busy at the time but told us that we could come back on Saturday. So we did and she was actually home! She is such a sweet lady! We did how to begin teaching with her and talked to her about the Book of Mormon and she accepted a copy and said that she would read it! We are seeing her this week. She seems pretty golden as Ash would call it :) I am really excited about her!

It was mostly a better week with Sis. H. I know that there is a lesson that I am supposed to be learning from her, but it is really hard to work with her sometimes. She is just a super negative person a lot of the time and lets these little things get to her that just don't matter and then she just gets mad at me and the rest of the world. And then sometimes she is super great and we get along really well. So it is a work in progress with her. But I think for the most part it is getting better. I have started just calling her out whenever she gets mad and having her let it out. It seems to help her get it off of her chest and has helped me to develop some pretty thick skin and learn to love her in spite of it all. She did write me a very nice note a couple days ago though thanking me for what I do for her, which is a first in 7 weeks, so that was really nice. :)

I am so excited about what Andy said!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe it!!!!! I worked so hard for him and he wants me to come back!! Yes!!!! Thanks for telling me and I definitely want to do that when I get home :) It will be nice to be paid for all that work!

For thanksgiving, we spent it with our bishop's in-laws house, the Tanners. They have this huge beautiful house and are the nicest people! Their food was delicious and they made us feel right at home. It was them, our bishop and his wife and their 3 kids, our first counselor and his wife and their 5 kids, a lady and her 2 sons that Sis. Tanner visit teaches, and a recent convert in our ward named Todd. It was a full house but we had a great time.

Well I think that about wraps up my week! I love you guys and I am so grateful for all of your love, support and prayers. I am so grateful for you!

Sister Bedke, the younger :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Amber Ltr: 2013-11-25

Subject:  Back on my feet :)

November 25, 2013
Hey family!!

Sounds like y'all had a great week! It's always fun to hear what is going on back home! Thanks for the constant emails, some of the missionaries here aren't that lucky, so I really appreciate it! Especially when they come at 1 in the morning. :) You're the best Mom!

Transfer calls were today and we didn't get one so I guess that means that we are staying. I was almost positive that we would be but I guess you never know. But our zone just got to 50 missionaries so it got split. I am now in the new Peach Tree zone instead of the Roswell zone with just 3 wards instead of 6. Elder Anderson and Sister Merback both got switched out of the ward and we are having two new missionaries come in. I'm excited to not be the new one any more! So there are some pretty big changes in our ward. Kind of crazy. But it should be good :) We are going to really try and communicate more between our ward missionaries with the new ones coming in. Most of the time we don't know what everyone else is doing so it will good to have a fresh start. 

Kind of a roller coaster week again, some awesome moments and some downers. I started out the week on exchanges with the STL's. I got to go up to Duluth with Sister B. It was really nice and I loved it! Sister B is 21 too and we got along so good! I learned a lot from her and I really felt like a good missionary there. Not going to lie, it was kind of hard to come back. The day that I got back Sister H and I went to go tracting and I started talking to her about how her exchange went and what all had happened. Then she started driving somewhere different than what we had planned and I said "I thought we were going tracting" and she says "I am just really sick of making decisions all the time" in the snottiest voice. Really? We went to meet this member and got back in the car and I asked her where that comment came from because I was so confused and I have been trying SO hard to be an equal, contributing member of this companionship and she just lays into me about how much I drive her crazy and how she always has to do all the work and how things aren't getting done here and we still have no one to teach and she doesn't know how to help me. It really hurt a lot and it was all I could do to not start screaming back at her. We sat in silence for probably about 20 minutes and I just took some really deep breaths and tried to calm myself down. Finally the rational part of me took over and I decided to apologize for whatever it was that I did to her and try and fix things. We had a pretty good talk after that and were able to come to terms with each other, but honestly it was mostly just me being the bigger person and forgiving her. It was really hard. But I think the worst is behind us now. I keep reminding myself that we were put together for a reason and that I need to learn something from her. We are going to be together for at least 6 more weeks so I guess we'll make the most of it. These last few days definitely have been MUCH better and things will be ok. :)

The good news is that we were able to get a hold of Joe and Scott again!! It was so great! Joe has just been super busy with work (he owns his own glass company). We just decided to stop by with some cookies and see what is going on with him and he wants us to come tomorrow and teach him!!! He is seriously golden and I am so excited to teach him! Pray that things go well for us! He has such incredible potential! Hopefully we can teach his wife, Ronnie, too but we'll start with Joe.

With Scott, he hadn't been answering or returning our phone calls so we just decided to stop by and see him as well. He was home and looked so good! He seemed happy and his wife and him are going to work it out. We got to meet her and she is so nice and gorgeous! Holy cow I hope I look that good when I am 50! He isn't so sure if the church is for him yet but he definitely knows that we were sent to him by God that day. His wife thanked us for all of the help that we gave him. I'm not giving up on him though. He has way too much potential. His daughter just had a baby and the husband took off so she is living with them now. So sad but her baby is adorable! She is really trying to make it work. She is my age and Scott wants us to start meeting with her. They are busy this week but we are going to try and see them next week. I really hope things can work out there. Prayers would definitely be appreciated here too!

With sleeping, Sister Atkin called me on Friday with some instructions from Dr. Rose. He really thinks that not being able to sleep has something to do with the mission and that Heavenly Father is trying to teach me a lesson here. He told me to start drinking 4-5 quarts of water a day and to start reading the Book of Mormon for 20 minutes before bedtime and to really pray to feel the spirit of the book of Mormon. It was the most spiritual prescription I have ever received. As i have been doing that, these past couple of nights I have slept really good. I am really hoping that continues to happen and that I learn the lesson I am supposed to. There are moments out here when I really feel like I know why I am here and that I am fulfilling my purpose and there are also moments when I wonder what the heck I am even doing. I am still in the humbling phase I guess where you really learn to rely on the Lord. I know things will work out as they are supposed to but when you look at the big picture it can get discouraging sometimes. Thank you for the prayers and support. It helps to get me through :)

For Thanksgiving we are going to the Hopes for dinner and probably just member hopping for the rest of the day. It should be an adventure :) No boots yet, still looking. No package yet either. Maybe it will get here for Christmas :) Could you send me that melatonin and also my long sleeve shirts and sweaters that I could wear? I have them in a bag on the top right shelf in my closet. I forgot to pack them. It is getting colder here. We are in the 30s and 40s all week. Bring on the tracting! Also could you maybe send some pictures of the temple and of the Savior that I could use to decorate my wall? Just from like old ensigns and New eras? That would be great! And music would also be great!

yes Jace I got your letter but I haven't gotten any from the other siblings. Did they get lost in the mail? I am sure that that is what happened rather than them just not writing me :) haha love you all

Well I think that about wraps me up! I love love love you all!
Sister Bedke, the younger

Monday, November 18, 2013

Amber Ltr: 2013-11-18

Subject:  Sick of Sickness...

November 18, 2013
Hola mi familia?

Como estas? Quantos anos tienes? Yo tengo el libro de Mormon. Haha I never know how to start off these emails :) Mom you totally come up with clever subjects! Remember the dog one? That was good! <arm pat>

Also thanks for getting the letter written even if you had to stay up until 2 AM to write it! You are so good to us :) It means a lot. You are the baest!

No my package still hasn't gotten here. That is funny that you called and talked to her right after I did. She is just so nice that you can't even be frustrated with her. I can't even imagine going through as much mail as she does. Mistakes are bound to happen sometime I guess but it is always frustrating when it is you. What do you do? Thanks for calling the post office though! Maybe it will turn up soon in Connecticut or something. Sheesh you'd think that I was serving in Africa... But I did get the insurance card with the prescription notes. Thanks for sending that! Haven't gotten the ensign yet but I probably will in the next couple of days. I vote that we send all letters still through the mission office but any packages, just send them to me. Transfers are next week though so I guess I could be moving. It isn't likely since I'm training but I guess anything is possible. It is crazy that this is my 6th week in the field though. 11 more transfers to go.

With boots, we are planning on going to Costco with a lady in our ward this week. I guess they have some really great boots there for like $20 so I'm going to go check those out :)

That is crazy that you have snow there! We have had a couple of cold days but it is sunny and warm outside right now :) Definitely not missing the snow.

I'm so glad that Sis. Adams got that letter! I have thought about her a lot. She is such a sweetheart. I will keep writing her for sure.

Congrats to Lyssa!!! I am so excited for her!! Tell her that for me please :) And to Christie! I love it!!

Jace I am so sorry that you are still having head/stomach aches! I will keep praying for you bud and I hope they find out what is going on this week! Are your teachers working with you with your homework and everything? You owe me a letter...just sayin :)

Brooke congrats on the game! Your coach better start playing you more! How is tennis going? You owe me a letter too :)

Court and Madi! I would love to hear from y'all too! I miss you way too much to not hear from you and what is going on in your lives.

Yes, Christian Rupp is my age. I bet he was a good missionary. That is so crazy that the guys from my class are home now. I am old.

We watch the district on a little portable DVD player like the one we have in the car. Zone training went really good! There are about 50 missionaries in our zone so it was pretty intimidating but I was really pleased with how it turned out. It was super cool because it ended up going a really different direction than how we planned but the Spirit was definitely there. I really enjoy being able to teach. I am excited for when we get to do more of that. Being sick has really put a damper in our work. Sister H got feeling better on Monday afternoon, which was awesome, until I woke up sick on Tuesday. I was all for going out anyway because I was so sick of our apartment but Sister H called the mission nurse while I was taking a shower and got orders from her for us to stay in. The joys of having companions. I am pretty sure that my being sick is stemming from a lack of sleep. I still am having problems sleeping and unfortunately it isn't getting any better. It takes forever to fall asleep and then I wake up like 3-5 times a night. I have tried everything I can on my own. I'm in a routine, I eat breakfast, Sister Wolfert told me to put lavender on my feet to help me relax, and Sister Atkin (mission nurse) told me to try some diphenhydramine (like Benadryl w/o the cold medicine part). I wasn't too thrilled about that but I am getting desperate. I have been taking them the past few nights and still no change. I don't know what to do. Sister Atkin is having me fill out some forms so that I can go see the doctor. I just hope we can figure out what is going on. I'll probably go see him this week so I'll keep you posted on what happens there.

So since we were on house arrest, except for meetings, and I couldn't sleep, I read a lot of the Book of Mormon. That is such a great book! More people should read it! I have never read it so fast before and it makes so much more sense when you can see how everything lines up together! I have read about 175 pages of it in the last week and about halfway through Alma now. Once I finish it this time, I'm going to try and read it once a transfer which will take about 12 pages a day. How is family scripture study going for you? Hopefully good! Seriously that book is incredible and there are a lot of great things in there :) And that is so true what Pres. Waddoups said about succeeding on the invitation! I love how our ward is trying to become more like a neighborhood and taking down the boundaries between members and non. Any successful invite stories that you have to share? Just remember that all you have to do is open your mouth and it will be filled. You can do it!

The meeting with Jill went really good. We are seeing her again on Tuesday. Actually Sister H and Sister A (STL) will be because I'll be on exchange in Duluth. I hope that goes well. But we basically just sat down with her and went over some of the history of our church and some of what we believe. She has a lot of questions but is really open minded about everything and is very patient with us as teachers. She has a lot of questions about more deep doctrine things like angels and how the Bible is supposed to be inerrant. So this week we are going to try and teach some of the basic doctrine (milk before meat idea) so that she can see where we are coming from more. Hopefully that goes well. We are still trying to get ahold of Joe and Scott and Ravi to come and see them again. Prayers there would be greatly appreciated. Have I told all of their stories and how we came in contact with them? Let me know who I need to fill you in on.

Well I think that about wraps up my week. I'm really hoping that this one will be a better one health wise but I think it will. I love you all so much!!! Thank you for all of your love and support and prayers. They help so much!!

Sister Bedke