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

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Amber Ltr: 2013-11-11

Subject:  Same 4 walls, all week long...

November 11, 2013
Hey family!!!

Sounds like y'all had a great week! You are staying busy though all of you! I am sorry you have had such a crazy bishop week Dad! Keeping the ward running can't be easy. Hopefully things slow down a bit soon. Thanks for the update on everyone, it is fun to hear what you guys are all doing! I am so glad that all of those letters came through to you. I'm sorry to use you as a post office but I don't have anyone's addresses! Didn't think that one through before the mission... But I got a letter from Grandma, Jessica, and Ashley! So that was fun :) And I'm expecting A LOT of replies to those letters that I sent out! Please?

Sister Haderlie is finally starting to feel better, thank heavens. We literally have been in our apartment all week except for Zone Conference on Thursday, one appointment on Saturday, and church on Sunday. I was doing everything I could to stay busy. I cleaned and disinfected every inch of our apartment, wrote a lot of letters, and got a lot of good studying in. It was kind of nice at the beginning of the week, but then towards the middle and end I got pretty desperate and was reading things like the Bible Dictionary and the missionary handbook, and watching The District. I even started to miss going tracting so you know it was bad. But like I said, she is into the coughing and runny nose phase where it is just all coming out. She has been through an entire box of tissues in 2 days. I keep myself entertained by imagining Mom going through with her Lysol wipes. She wanted to make cookies though and I wouldn't let her because that is disgusting. No! You are not making cookies when you are all runny and gross! She was like, "you bake them though." No. We do not do that. Gross. So I sent her to bed. I have really felt like a mom this week...

But on Wednesday she received a really cool blessing. It wasn't a blessing of healing, but in it it promised us that the Lord was proud of what we were doing and that we were sent to this area with each other for a reason and that He was preparing people to receive us. I have heard that about missionaries a million times but it was really neat to hear it directly at us. It also said that the two of us would become great friends. I was kind of surprised to hear that one but I feel like it will be true. We are very different but I know that we need to be together for some reason and even though she drives me crazy sometimes, I am starting to love her and care about her. We are getting there.

Our musical number yesterday ended up going really good. All four of the sisters in the ward sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer". The first two verses we did by the hymnbook and then we changed the melody to the tune of "Come Thou Fount". It was really pretty. A lot of people told us we did a great job. Pam didn't come because her church that she just got baptized into meets at 11. She told us good luck though! She still loves having us come over and talk to her though. She is such a sweet lady. Our accompanist is a less active who used to be a concert pianist and is incredible! When we went to practice at her house, she has this beautiful Baldwin baby grand piano! It was so pretty! And I got to play it!! I was in heaven and she told me to come over any p-day and I can play it! So I might have to do that sometime. It has been far too long since I have really played the piano. I miss it a lot.

I still haven't gotten that package. I asked the zone leaders if they had picked it up and they hadn't so I have no idea what happened to it. I don't know what to do about it now. That is frustrating. I just keep praying that it will get returned to sender so that we can try to forward it again. My address is 2108 Masters Way, Alpharetta, GA 30005. I haven't gotten the insurance card yet or the prescription notes either. I'll probably get those tomorrow though. The joys of mail. It is like I am in Africa or something.

All of our appointments this last week fell through which ended up being a blessing since Sister H couldn't go anyway. We are hoping to get in touch with Joe on Wednesday. We don't know if his wife is interested yet. We have met her but she was at work when we were over there last time. Hopefully! Scott (the guy who was at church last week) hasn't answered his phone at all so we will keep trying there but he told us he needs to figure out some things with his wife first. We are meeting with a lady named Jill tomorrow though. She has talked with some ward members about the church and really wants to understand more about what we believe so I am excited about that. Prayers would be much appreciated there.

With Christmas... I haven't found boots yet but I would love some. I have never heard of Bogs boots but I trust your judgment. Ask Court and Brooke what they think. They are wise. Another thing I though of would be one of those super soft, warm blankets. I don't know how to describe them better than that. But Sister H has one and it is like heaven to touch, so that would be fun. Sweaters, skirts, and cardigans (esp. navy blue) would also be great. Haha I will keep thinking.

In answer to your sacrament question: Most are familiar with sacrament services, it is called communion in other churches. We tell them that it helps us to remember the Savior and His sacrifice for us. There is nothing that says they can't take it, they just aren't doing so to renew their covenants. So they usually take it. Ash, correct me if I am wrong.

We have zone training tomorrow and Sister Haderlie and me get to give a training on "Relying on the Spirit". There are 50 missionaries in our zone so I am a little nervous for that but I think it should go well. I hope.

I have stayed pretty healthy except for the occasional headache, usually caused from stress. I still am waking up in the night though. I got some lavender essential oil from Sis Wolfert at Zone conference and I've been putting that on the bottom of my feet and I haven't woken up as much and I've been able to fall back to sleep quicker. So I really hope that that will start to go away. I keep going back to my blessing where it blessed me with the ability to sleep. I am trying to have faith in that rather than turn to sleeping pills.

Well I think that about wraps everything up. I love and miss you all so much! Thank you for your love, support and prayers! Have a great week!

Sister Bedke, the younger

Monday, November 4, 2013

Amber Ltr: 2013-11-04

Subject:  <Insert Clever Subject Line Here>

November 4, 2013
Hey family!!

Haha I loved the letter from you guys!! Sounds like you had a fun week! And a crazy adventure at the ranch!! Haha I'm glad you were able to get into the car! We are having dinner with the Johnsons this week so I will tell him that Uncle Eric remembers him. The church is a very small world. Brooke I got your letter and I'm writing you back today :) thank you so much! Mom I am so sorry that I forgot to comment on the entryway. It is beautiful!! I definitely put my stamp of approval on it and am very proud of you for picking it out. I also loved the pumpkins y'all did! I have to say that Dad's is my favorite but maybe I am a little bit biased there... :) Go Aggies!! Jace loves Utah State!!!

That is cool that you were able to look Sister Haderlie up and that you were able to see that she is a member of the mission page. You are more than welcome to log onto my facebook and add that page. As of right now we are a non facebook mission but President said that that will be changing probably in February or March of next year. So some changes are going to be coming... We are doing much better and she is really good at tracting and is a good teacher as well.

I really hope that the package is there because they haven't called me to tell me that it got there. It was weird because I should have gotten it on that Saturday we met with Elder Oaks (that was in a church building in Tucker by the way) but they didn't bring it. I will call them about it today. Thank you again for sending it. You are the world's greatest! A couple questions though: Did you get that tithing paid? And for my oral prescription, I got it refilled a week and a half ago but that was my last refill on it. Is there any way you could call the dermatologist and see how we can get more refills on it? I just went to the Walgreens pharmacy off of Winward parkway in Alpharhetta. Once again you are the greatest!

So we had another week filled with a lot of tracting, but there was a couple of AWESOME experiences mixed in with it all. So to start off let me tell you about Joe. So he is a referral from a member in our ward. He lives in a trailer park and all we knew about him was where he lived and that he loved to read and wanted us to come see him. But every time we knocked on his door he was gone. But last Monday, (I told you we had an appointment that day with a lady named Theresa) well that fell through but since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to go check and see if he was there. And he was! He had just gotten back from Texas and literally had just walked in the door and was leaving. So there was a reason we needed to be there! We set up an appointment at 4 for Friday. He told us that he always tried to finish work early then but he would let us know how things were going. So it gets to Friday and as we are texting him, he tells us that he probably isn't going to get off in time. But we already had a member coming to teach with us so we went over to his neighborhood anyway to check up on a couple of other people, both of whom weren't home. But literally as we were walking out of their driveway, guess who drives down the street? Joe! He tells us that his appointment fell through and would we like to come over? Um yes!! We started talking to him about his religious background and he is so ready to receive the Gospel it is not even funny. He hasn't been to church in a while because he hasn't found one that actually lives and applies their religion and he feels like you can't just say "I'm saved" and be good. He also believes that there has to be more to life than this. We talked to him for about an hour, just getting to know him. It was all we could do to not give him every lesson right then but we mostly just let him talk. It was awesome. We left him with a Book of Mormon and have an appointment to go back on Friday! He has a wife named Ronnie (Veronica) and a 6 year old son named Anson.

Awesome experience #2: So on Saturday, we had no appointments scheduled which means a full day of tracting. Yay. So we went up to this neighborhood that we had got started in a few days before and just started going. It had been about 2 hours of nothing. Then we came up to a door and a man answered and we told him who we were and he invited us in. As we walked in the door, he just started tearing up. He sat us down and told us what had happened to him that week. He was at a pretty low place in his life. His wife has been meeting with another guy after work for drinks and he feels like he is losing her, his daughter just had a baby and the dad took off, his son isn't doing anything with his life, and he just feels like his world is coming down. He said he has been really questioning God and asking why me? and was praying for help to turn his life around. That's when we knocked on the door. We were able to testify to him that the Savior is there for him and can help to carry him through this period of trial. Then we were able to leave the Savior's peace and blessing with him. That is a prayer where you literally call down the Savior's peace into the home and to be with the person. It was the first time I had done it and it was incredible. The Spirit was so strong and he said that he felt relieved and like everything was going to be ok after. Then he asked us if he could pray. He poured out his heart to Heavenly Father and thanked him for sending us to him. It was incredible. We left him with a Book of Mormon and invited him to Church and he came!! It was fast and testimony meeting and he asked us if he could go up and share his testimony. I went up with him and he bore testimony that Jesus was looking out for him. It was a great day :) We don't have a return appointment yet because he needs to try and see where things are at with his wife but we'll call him later this week and try to go and see him.

Oh an there is never enough time to tell you everything that happened. But things are getting better. There are still some really hard times but they don't last forever and make the great things better. I love and miss you guys so much and thank you for your love, support, and prayers. Truly I can feel them and I couldn't do this without them. I love you!!!
Sister Bedke, the younger

PS Will you please tell Annalee how much I love that necklace that she gave me? I wear it almost every day and I always think of her when I do :)
PPS Tell Addie I'm sorry!! My email time is just so limited! I will write her a letter that maybe you can forward to her for me. Did you get my one letter for G'ma? I sent it last week so I hope it made it.