Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-07-14

Subject: All times, all things, all places :)
July 14, 2014
Well hi :)

I feel like the weeks are just going by so fast! I feel like I was just barely reporting on how everything was going this last week and now here we are again. After this week we are more than halfway through with the transfer. I have now been in this area for over 5 months. I do love it but I'm going back and forth on if I want to stay here another transfer or not. I am trying not to think about it too hard and just focus on what is going on right now, but sometimes your mind just starts to wonder what is coming up next. We will see I guess. :) Come what may and love it right?

I loved all of your pics from Park City! They are so cute and it sounds like ya'll had a lot of fun. :) Is that the cabin that had the trap door and the slide thing? I'm way proud of you mom for doing the zip line! Congrats G'ma and G'pa for your 50th anniversary!

So you are probably going to have to tell me the stories that Brooke has from the ranch because I'll probably be home from my mission by the time I hear about it from her :) I haven't heard from any of my siblings in a while...

We were actually able to get in with a lot of our investigators this week which always makes a big difference. :) Donna is still doing great! Her kitchen and dining room floor are now done and hopefully her living room is going to get done this week. Our stake is planning a stake temple week the first week of September and they are going to include baptisms for the dead for new members in that! She is working on getting some family names to be able to take to the temple that day :) She has been such an incredible miracle that just keeps on going!

We were driving by Shawn's neighborhood on the way home from another lesson the day before Erin's surgery and just felt like we needed to stop by and see how she was doing. She was on her way to the airport to pick up her son and was having a really hard time so we helped her finish unloading her car and then she had to get going. But we got a text from her last night telling us thank you so much for stopping by and for the prayers in behalf of her and her family. We passed around a card in relief society yesterday for her to show her the sisterhood that is waiting to take her in as soon as she comes to church! We are dropping by that and some flowers later tonight. But she said that the surgery went really well and that the doctors are hopeful! I know that all of those prayers have made a huge difference in that. Thank you for all of the support with her! Hopefully life will start to calm down a little bit for her and she can start focusing on some of her needs now. I just really want to be there for her baptism! She means so much to me and I know she can do this!

We had a lesson with Anna last week as well and she is doing pretty good as well except in getting to church. We finished teaching her the plan of salvation and except for Sister Casteton telling her that we either become the sun, moon, or stars after judgement (yup, that happened. haha you gotta love her), it went really well. She was all set for coming to church with us yesterday (again) but then Satan made her sick and she wasn't able to make it. But we talked with her again about being baptized and how Satan tries to keep us from things that bring us closer to Christ and she is still reading the Book of Mormon and praying and wants to continue meeting with us. So we will see what happens with her.

We had another lesson with Mike Clay this week and Brother and Sister Perry were able to come with us again. They are so awesome! It was just Mike and it went so much better. We were able to talk a lot about the history of the Book of Mormon and answer some questions about it. We were talking to him about how we could best teach him and he asked us if he could just take the lessons again. He went through the first couple with the elders who originally found him but they just kept going in circles. So this week we are going to teach him the restoration again and he is going to take notes and then we will spend the next couple of weeks going over his questions and elaborating on certain points. I feel like we actually were able to get some really good points across this time and that he is more ready to listen. But he is going to need some humbling to be able to yield his heart to God. When we first met him, he talked about how he has to reason everything out logically and can't go based on faith or feelings alone because there is some scripture in the Old Testament about the heart being inherently evil. This last time I was able to talk with him about the scripture found in Mosiah 3:19 where it talks about putting off the natural man and yielding our hearts to God. (in my studies I have been marking every reference to the heart in my Book of Mormon and it is crazy how often it talks about our hearts and how depending on if we either give our hearts to Christ or to Satan, determines the kind of person we become and the choices that we make) I was able to talk about how in order to receive those answers from God, we need to surrender our hearts to Him and let Him in. I felt really good about the lesson and I am excited to see where this goes with him.

We also did a lot of tracting and met some really cool people. We are doing a lot of finding and just trying to help everyone move forward and get back in with those whom we have met. Summer months are kind of tricky because everyone goes out of town, but I know that I'm not alone in having that problem. It will all work out and come together, I know it will. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for each of you. I sure am lucky to have a such an incredible family!

Love always,
Sister Bedke

Monday, July 7, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-07-07

Subject: Hump Daaay!!!
July 7, 2014
Hey family!!!

What the 9 month mark??? So crazy!! It has hard to believe that I am now halfway done with my mission. I am determined to make sure that I make this last half count and do all that the Lord needs me to do here in Georgia. I am really glad for the time that I do have left and I am excited to see what else is in store for me out here. 

Ash sent me some pics of your weekend in Idaho and it looks like y'all had so much fun! Pics are seriously my favorite thing ever to get so thanks for sending them on to me :) It is so weird that we are in July now and that 2014 is more than halfway over. Time is just flying by way too fast.

Sis. Olson is such a sweetheart :) She makes you feel so loved and great! That was really sweet of her to send that on to you. 

This week was interesting with the holiday. So many people were gone and it was really hard to actually get in and meet with our investigators. We did talk to most of them on the phone or through texting but it was kind of frustrating. We just had to get creative each day to find ways to fill up our time, but I will be glad when life returns back to normal. But now that I think about it I don't know if there is such a thing as normal life as a missionary. Somehow it all works out though :)

The zone conference with President and Sister Bennion was really great. It was a lot of fun to see everyone and they are going to do a great job. They are so humble and just excited to be here. They gave some great trainings and the spirit was really strong there. We have interviews coming up in the next few weeks so that will be good. 

Sam and Anna, we didn't get to meet with so it is basically the same story with them there. Neither of them made it to church again. 

Mike and Julie were also busy this week but we are hopefully meeting with them and the Perry's one night this week. Yes, Gabriel (7) is their only son. 

Shawn's daughter's surgery is this Thursday so prayers in her behalf would be greatly appreciated. We spoke to Shawn this morning and she is doing ok, very nervous but seems to be doing alright. We are hoping that we can stop by either Tuesday or Wednesday night and say a prayer with her and just help her to be able to feel the Spirit before going into all of this. 

Donna's floor is still not done. What is done looks really good but her neighbor (the one who is helping her) is taking forever and he was being so frustrating this last week. But hopefully it will get done this week and now I can add laminate flooring installation to my construction resume :) haha it will all come together but Donna is SO ready for it to be done. We had a lesson on Sunday in Gospel Principles about family history and we actually got to go down to the center and help her get started. It was really cool and she is excited about doing it :) I love that woman!

For the 4th of July we had a ward party that went from 4 to 8 that night that was so much fun :) We combined with the Lawrenceville ward and the Riverside branch. There were a lot of games and food and people there and it went really good. We had an elders vs sisters tug of war with all the missionaries there and the sisters won! haha we had like 5 little girls come and help us and they were so excited to be out with the missionaries :) it was really cute! Before that we worked on Donna's floor a little bit and then went tracting. Our apartment is just down the road from the Braves stadium and they have a really great fireworks show so when we got home that night, we went up to the top floor of our building and got to see the really high ones over the trees :) It was a really great night and I am so glad that we live in this amazing country with all the freedoms that we enjoy. 

The Albanian investigator the other sisters are working with has been really flaky lately but that would be so cool if the missionaries from Gr and Gr end up being able to teach him! We are really hoping that that will all work out. 

It has been another HOT week, mid 90s with humidity but you just drink a lot of water and keep moving forward :) I think I can just plan on looking forward to this weather for the next 3 months but hey come what may and love it. 

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for each of you. Thanks for the love and support!! Y'all are the world's greatest!!

Love, Sister Bedke

Monday, June 30, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-06-30

Subject: Let Freedom Ring :)
June 30, 2014
Hey family!!

I'm glad that a lot more of you are home now and that y'all are doing great :) No I didn't know that Jace is working for that guy. Way to go bud! And I'm glad to hear that Brooke is doing good. And Madi, you will look super cute in braces :) I hope that all comes together ok. I sure miss all of my siblings. I love you all!

Well it has been a HOT week here in Georgia! Hot-lanta is a real thing, let me tell you! It has been in the 90s all week and it rains almost every day but it's great :) you just learn to love and embrace the sweaty, sticky mess that you become, haha. Our apartment stays pretty cool which is nice. We keep it at like 68 degrees. During the day, we just drink a lot of water and run the a/c whenever we are in the car. But it all works out and only 3 more months of summer right? :) Yes I'm sleeping a lot better still.

We had another busy week which was really good :) We got a hold of Shawn again and it was so good! Her daughter is turning 27 on Sunday. Since medicine has no more answers for them after her surgery, they are trying more naturalistic forms of medicine like juicing. Shawn had mentioned that she had been spending a lot of time peeling and washing carrots to juice so we had the thought to buy a couple of bags and wash and peel them and drop them off with one of the copies of the conference ensign that you sent me and points of her blessing that we typed up. It went so good and she was so appreciative of it. I really do think that it is going to happen with her, it is just all about remembering that it will come in the Lord's timing. He really does know best. 

Donna is back in town! I missed her a lot. She is doing so good still and has been getting invited to doing different things with members of ward. :) She just seems so much happier and has that peace in her life now. She bought flooring and it is going in this week! Her house is looking so much better. We went through her HUGE collection of movies, books, and cookbooks. It was crazy how much stuff she has. I felt a lot like you Mom as we went through everything and she had to say either keep or get rid of. She considers herself a "border-line hoarder" so thank heavens we found her in time, haha. But her house is really coming along!

With the bug situation, thankfully, we haven't had any in our apartment. We run into spiders and spiderwebs all the time as we go up to different doors, mosquitoes are very prevalent here, especially in the evening, but they tell me that we live above the gnat line which is great :)

We had a really great lesson with the Clays this week. Bro and Sis Perry came with us and it was an awesome team up to have. We are going to start meeting weekly and go through different points of the Gospel and help them understand the Church's understanding of it. He is not working as a minister or going to any church because none of the churches follow what the Bible says. The way that they do church is they have different studies on various gospel topics. They are such an awesome family! Also when they came for the church tour, I brought those scooby doo fruit snacks for their 7 year old son, Gabe, and now he is also converted to them :) Julie told me that when they went shopping he asked if they could buy a big box of them and they did. Haha he is such a cute little boy! When we went over to their house he showed me his swing set and wanted me to swing with him. It was so fun!

Sam--unfortunately there still isn't any change in the situation. We weren't able to meet with her this week because she wasn't feeling good. But she is still reading and praying and basically doing everything except being able to come to church.

Anna wasn't able to make it to church either. We taught her the first part of the plan of salvation and it went pretty good. We talked with her about how she feels about getting baptized on the 12th still and she said that she wants to have a few church services under her belt before having a date for baptism. But on Friday she got this new job and she had to work yesterday. She didn't know what her schedule was going to be for Sundays in the future so basically Satan is the worst... But we will keep meeting with her and show her how Satan is going to do everything that he can to keep her from church. 

Also we have a new mission president! He got here on Saturday and the other sisters in the ward had a baptism that day and we get there and there is our new mission president! He and his wife seem very nice, very shell shocked and not exactly sure what they are doing yet but who can blame them? They are from Salt Lake. We have a mini zone conference tomorrow where the rest of the mission gets to officially meet them which will be fun. President and Sister Wolfert are from the Salt Lake valley as well. They sent us all a voicemail saying goodbye on Friday and I am going to miss them a lot. It will be interesting to see how the whole transition goes.

Well I think those were the highlights of the week. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of you. Thank you so much for sending that song to me Dad. That was incredible. I was thinking about the patriotic fireside that was going on last night that you went to. We had a cool combined 5th Sunday lesson about Liberty and it was awesome. I love this country and I am so proud to be an American and I am so grateful for the men and women who sacrifice so much to keep us free. Have a wonderful week! 

Love always,
Sister Bedke