Subject: A Roller Coaster Week
October 21, 2013
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 lds.org 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.
xoxoSister Bedke, the younger