Thursday, October 24, 2013

Amber Pics: 2013-10-21

Amber, Sister Haderlie (companion), Sisters Liu, Merback

Amber Ltr: 2013-10-21

Subject: A Roller Coaster Week

October 21, 2013
Hey family!!!

Hello from Georgia! It is so crazy to actually be here! It is so beautiful and GREEN and flat here. I am really missing the mountains. All we have is trees everywhere. But they are also really pretty. The weather is perfect right now. There isn't a ton of humidity and it is like in the 70's. I guess fall comes a little later here than it does in Utah so I have gotten to see the trees change twice this year which is fun.

So missions are very different from the MTC. They fire you up so much in there that things will just start happening and you'll just be teaching and baptizing like crazy but that isn't the case at all. Like ya'll heard from the note we sent last Wednesday I am serving in the Webb Bridge Ward. With us moving in there are now 3 sets of missionaries in the ward. Two elders and four sisters. The elders are great, one of them is our District Leader, Elder Anderson and he is training Elder Barney. They are both super nice and funny and have been really helpful to us.

So the ward didn't know that we were coming until 11 PM the night before we arrived so they had to really scramble to get everything together. I felt so bad but I guess there was just miscommunication somewhere along the line. But the ward here is incredible. We had dinner with the bishop and his wife our first night and have had dinner with different members each night. They are really excited about missionary work here and love missionaries. So that has been really good. Also everyone here is incredibly wealthy. Wow. The homes are HUGE!! It is pretty intimidating to tract in those neighborhoods. Most people are not from here they are just here for business and so most don't have an accent dang it. President has asked that we spend two hours every day tracting. He has promised us that even though it isn't the most effective way to find people, the Lord will send blessings to us in other ways. I sure hope so.

So since we are new to the ward rather than replacing a previous set of missionaries, we are starting completely from scratch with a blank area book and without any investigators or teaching appointments or knowledge of anything. It was definitely not what I was expecting. Sis Haderlie told me that President must trust me to send me to a white washing area on my very first place but it is really hard. I'm not going to lie, that first day was awful. We didn't have a roster or a map or anything so all we could do was tract. So we just picked a neighborhood and got going. It was raining and most people didn't answer their doors or sent us away. It was very discouraging and really hard. I'm sorry to be kind of negative but I was really struggling. The Lord must have known that because He sent me an incredible gift that night. We had dinner with a lady named Sister Simon. She is a convert of about 20 years from Haiti. I have read about people like her from the ensign and but she is incredible. She loves the Gospel and loves the Lord and believes everyone should know about it. After feeding us dinner she offered to go out tracting with us. It touched me so much I just started to cry. I do that now apparently. She went and introduced us to some of her neighbors and the difference was incredible. None let us in but her next door neighbor might have been a missionary when she was young. We just talked to her husband but we are going to try and go back this week and talk to the wife. Sister Simon was so great and it really lifted my spirits.

The mental picture I have of what we are doing here is trying to move this huge boulder and it is really slow to get started but there are little slides here and there. We are meeting with this LA lady named Stella and she was baptized years ago just because her husband was a member. She agreed to start reading the book of Mormon. She is super fun to talk to and she even played her guitar and sang for us. I don't think she has ever had a testimony or anything. So I'm excited to work with her.

We went tracting in a more humble neighborhood near Stella's yesterday and found a man named Billy Ray (he was a real southern man :)) and he said that he is always willing to hear the words of Jesus Christ. So we have an appointment with him tomorrow night! He is very nice. Things are slowly getting going and we are getting the ball rolling slowly but surely.

To answer a couple of questions, I do have a pillow and I fall asleep just fine but I have been waking up around 3 AM each night which is annoying. But I am just so tired all of the time. It is weird. I have never gotten this much sleep ever before but I have also never been this tired. Gotta love mission life. Our boundaries are pretty big so we have just been driving. So I haven't ridden my bike yet.

Congrats on making the VB team Brooke!!! I am so proud of you!! Mom I love the table! So pretty. I would love to hear from each of you in letter form especially because my email time is pretty limited. Letters really do just lift your spirits a ton and help you get through the hard days which I'm starting to learn that every day is really hard but there are good moments to get you through it. Thank you so much for sending that package though. I'm really excited to get it. The way that mail works here is they just have you send everything to the mission office and they will forward it onto us. So if ya'll could just continue to send it there and they send it off to me the next day for letters and then packages are picked up by zone leaders or STL's or whoever is in the area I guess. But my address is 18000 Masters Way, Apt 2108, Alpharetta GA. But I guess it is mission policy to not send things directly to us I was just informed. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Well I gotta wrap things up but please continue to pray for me because I really need them. Missions are hard but I know this is where I need to be. I love you all so much and I am so grateful to have you as my family.

Sister Bedke, the younger

Thursday, October 10, 2013

AmberLtr: 2013-10-09

Subject:  MTC Baby!!!

October 9, 2013
Helloooooooo family!!!!

First of all thank you for the letters from mom and dad and Ashley! They completely made my dad! Seriously letters are the best! (just as a side note to my siblings :)) It sounds like you guys have been having a good week too. Court, you look BEAUTIFUL!! I can't wait to hear all about it! That is really neat about Courtney J. She is a sweet girl.

I can hardly believe that I have been here a week already it has gone by so fast! I am seriously loving it. I was so scared and intimidated for the MTC but now that it is here and I am in it, it is just great. I am actually at the MTC West Campus instead of at the main one (they just bussed us over here when we got our nametags and books and such). So our housing is in the Wyview complex that we drove by last week and then all of our classrooms are over in Raintree housing. It is a little different than main campus because our classroom is actually a living room and some are in bedrooms. We really get creative here at the MTC haha. Our cafeteria is this huge portable that has a whole bunch of tables and chairs and various food options. The food is really good! I feel like all we do is eat though. Eat and sit. Bring it on for gaining 500 pounds. Haha no I have tried to be pretty careful about not eating too much and exercising during gym time. Me and my companion like to go running. I am a runner now! I seriously love it! You just feel so great when, or at least after, you go and its just awesome! I definitely am going to keep it up!

So we got here that first day and we dropped my stuff off at my apartment and then we headed over to the classrooms where I could meet my companion and my district. On my way over there, I was feeling a little overwhelmed with everything and then all of a sudden I look up and there is Turtle and Hairy! I couldn't believe it! Hairy said that she just had the feeling that they should go on a walk and they ran right into me! It was so cool! And definitely a huge tender mercy. The Lord is looking out for me.

So for a daily routine that we do here: I get up at 6:15 and get ready so that we can be over to our classroom for half an hour of study time before breakfast. After breakfast we either have class or zone training or a service project (every Monday and we usually just clean). Classroom instruction goes for 3 hours. I never thought that I would be able to sit in class for 3 hours at a time, multiple times a day but I have actually really enjoyed it. We learn a lot and with the amount of material that I want to get through, sometimes I feel like I don't have enough time to study. Part of our class is called Progressing Investigators. It is where we our teacher plays the role of an investigator and we teach them. It is crazy how real it feels. Out PI is Audrey. We have had two lessons with her so far and we teach her again tonight. She has been responding to our lessons really well. We challenged her to be baptized Monday night and she didn't say no, but she said she wanted to have the chance to pray about it on her own. So we will see what happens tonight. It is crazy how much love and concern I have for this investigator who isn't even real. I'm excited and scared to get out in the field and have real investigators. We also have what is called TRC investigators. That is when a volunteer comes in and acts as an investigator. We had our first lesson with Sarah yesterday. It went pretty well I think. We left a Book of Mormon with her and gave her some passages to read. The Spirit was definitely there and she was very receptive to our church and the lesson. She has had a HARD life!! Seriously she made me cry. I know. Real tears. I do have a heart apparently :). We teach Sarah again tomorrow to follow up with her commitment and to teach her the next lesson. Arms crossed!

We also have time for lunch and dinner and gym time. They keep us busy every minute of every day. 16 hour days make you pretty tired. I have been sleeping so much better! It has been wonderful!! These past few nights though I have been waking up at like 4 in the morning. I can usually fall right back to sleep but it is annoying. But it is definitely better then it was, so that is a huge answer to prayers.

My companion's name is Sister Paulsen and she is from Provo. She lives about 10 min from the MTC, kinda crazy. She is so great! I am loving working with her. We teach together really well and are really good at helping each other stay focused. We have a lot of fun together and can talk really easily with each other. I am so so grateful for her! She is going to Atlanta North as well so that will be fun to hopefully get to see her every once in a while.

I looooved conference! It was so good! We all walked up to main campus and watched it in the main auditorium. There were so many missionaries there! Singing Called to Serve with all of them was definitely a highlight! I was kind of sad I would miss out on doing that, being at the West campus but then we did it there! The Spirit was so strong and you could just feel of everyone's excitement. I loved how all of the talks on Saturday and lots on Sunday too were about missionary work. It really hit home :) I loved the music too! The family choir was incredible! I really liked Elder Hales, Pres Uchtdorf, Elder Nielson, Elder Holland, Elder Ballard, Pres Eyring, Elder Oaks, Elder Scott, Elder Maynes, Pres Monson, you're right, I loved them all. If you could send me a conference issue when it comes out that would be awesome!

So we fly out on Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM but we have to be to the travel office at 3:30 AM. Woof. But I can call y'all from the airport! It will just be kinda early. But I'm assuming you want me to right? This is my only p-day at the MTC so I won't get any emails til my first one in GA. So letters will be the way to go. My call will probably be between 6 and 6:30 I'm guessing.

Well I am about out of time but just know that I doing really good and I'm loving it here. I miss all of you but I haven't been homesick, for which I've been very grateful. The Church is definitely true and this is definitely where I need to be! I love you all so much!!

Love your sweet peach,
Sister Bedke, the younger

PS Mom both boxes would be great! To the mission home would be preferred so I don't have to worry about weight.  Also a plate of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies would be a nice thing to have. :) And I think I do want that Lucy missionary bag mom. I love mine but it isn't very big or water proof and with the amount of rain they get in GA, I think that would be good. I think it is free shipping and if you sent it to the mission home that would be great. Black or blue, whichever is fine. You can just use my checking account. I love you!!!