Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-01-20

Subject: Potentials, potentials, potentials

January 20, 2014
Hey family!

Sounds like y'all had a great week!! Jace, hang in there bud! I am so sorry that you are having to go through this! But hopefully things will start to improve as time continues. Know that you are in my prayers! And Court you too! Get feeling better! You know, one of the best cures to sicknesses is to write letters to your sister who is on a mission. I haven't gotten a letter from any of my siblings in over 2 months and some of you I haven't heard from at all. :( What is going on?! Maybe tonight for FHE you can have a letter writing session :) Just something to think about...

Good luck with that huge house mom! That sounds awesome! How many ladies do you clean for now? And your experience with Sister Markers mom sounds awesome! I would love to hear some of what she taught you dad!

Sister DeBry is still just incredible! We have so much fun together and she is such an incredible missionary! I have learned so much from her and she is just such a sweetheart :) Her name is Elise DeBry and she is from Feron, UT. She graduated with me but her birthday is in June so she is 20. I really really hope we can stay together for at least 2 transfers!!

We had a really good week but I don't have a ton of time to talk about it. But some of the highlights were:

Yesterday we were able to go to a contemporary church called East Gate with a lady we met named Pam, I think I have told you a little bit about her. But we were talking about wanting to have the experience of going to a different church and she said we could go with her. It was very interesting. We show up and you can just hear the drums going and we look at each other and we are like, what are we getting into? But we went in anyway and we were the only ones dressed up. We stood out a little bit and got some funny looks but people were very friendly. As you entered the main place all the lights were turned down and there is a Christian rock band playing. Everyone was standing up with their arms in the air singing along with the band and "feeling the spirit". The band was really talented but it sure didn't feel like church. Then the pastor stood up and he was a really good speaker, gave a great motivational speech about taking a fresh start this year. But the Spirit definitely wasn't there. Not that there was evil there but they had just missed the mark of what church is supposed to be like It was so sad. At the end of his address, he had the piano player come up and the music would build up at the climax of his speech and I realized that they were counterfeiting the influence of the Spirit. It made me so grateful for our church and for the Spirit and the testimony that is there. It was like taking a huge spiritual drink going to sacrament meeting later that day. But a few people came up to us and talked to us and they invited us to their Bible study. They are all really friendly and just good people. They just need the truth!

FHE with Carmine went so good! The kids absolutely loved it and I really think they learned something and Carmine really thanked us and said that she needed that :) I love that family!!

We had a really good lesson with the Grimes family as well. It went a lot better this time. We were able to talk a lot about prayer and transition that to the Restoration. I think the dad, Rick, has a lot more potential right now than the mom does. She was pretty defensive about the Bahai faith that they go to. But we are meeting with them again this week.

And we got back in touch with Joe!! Do you remember him? We met him like my 2nd or 3rd week here and then we had like 4 cancelled appointments with him. But we met with him and he said that he has been having a really rough time and that he wants to start making some priorities and changes in his life and that he is going to be there at our appointments. He is really just searching for the truth and we had a really good lesson with him on Friday and we will have one again this week!

Beverly, the old lady from last week who we had the awesome Book of Mormon experience with is reading the book of Mormon! She is so sweet! When we stopped by, she said it wasn't a good time but that she was reading and to come back this week.

There is just so much potential here if we can just get back in with these people and help them progress! But miracles really are happening here and it is exciting to be a part of it.

I am out of time but I love you all so much!! Thank you for your love, prayers, and support!! I couldn't do this without you!!
Sister Bedke

Monday, January 13, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-01-13

Subject: Heavenly Father sent me an angel :)

January 13, 2014
Hi family!!!

Thanks for the email! It sounds like everyone is doing great! I am SO relieved that they didn't find anything with Jace!! Hang in there bud and know that you are staying in my prayers every day! I love you! Thanks for sending me those pics Ash of Lacey and everyone! They are so cute! I am sure your homecoming talk was incredible and I would love a copy of it. Thank you for the stuff you sent me too! I am loving the cds and talks and everything! Thanks for sending me all of that, I will put it to good use.

This week has just been incredible! One of the huge tender mercies was that things were able to end on such a positive note with Sister H. There is a reason I was put with her and we were visiting with a member who is going through a hard time and Sister H told her that she had been having a really hard time too these past 3 months but that I have helped her make it through them. I have been waiting 3 months to hear that and it meant a lot to me that she said something. I met her new companion on Wednesday morning and I think she is going to be just what she needs and that things will start to turn around for her. Her name is Sister Neilson and she knew some Bedke's in Oakley! Her grandma lives there and I can't remember her name now... awkward but kinda cool. And Elder Pickett from Oakley is in my zone! He just got here last transfer and seems to be doing really good. Small world :)

Wednesday morning I also met my new companion, Sister DeBry. She is incredible!!!! Oh my gosh I just have to keep reminding myself that this is real and not exchanges. We just clicked instantly. She came out 6 months ago but this is her 2nd area. I told her about some of the challenges of our area but she was just so excited and ready to go and work hard. We have already seen so many miracles in these last 4 days! I just feel like a missionary now and I am so happy! Heavenly Father knew how much I needed her and she is a huge answer to prayers. I could just go on and on about how incredible she is! We were at the Bartlett's house last night and she sent a pic to 801-725-1622. Is that your number now mom? Or which number is whose?

Miracle #1: We were tracting on Friday in the neighborhood of one of our members, the Newtons, and when we finished we were talking to Bro. Newton outside for a bit and his neighbor, Mark, came up and he was walking his dog. He stopped to talk to Bro. Newton and he introduced us to him and told him that he should have us over to teach him more about our church (I LOVE MEMBER MISSIONARIES!!!) And he said he knew some Mormons and that he would love to! He is such a nice, funny guy!! We gave him a call on Saturday and he was like, Can I come to church with you tomorrow? Umm, yeah!! And he came!!! It was awesome! Funny story though. One of the members came up to him and asked if he was an investigator (forehead smack) and he leaned over to me and asked what an investigator was, and I told him that it is a term that we use to describe people we find who are learning more about the church. I was just praying that he would take it well and he just thought that it was the funniest thing!  He started introducing himself to the members as our investigator Mark and that we had found him while we were out evangilizing. And since both of us are from Utah, but we don't ski, he started to call us tubers :) So after church we get a text from him that says, "Hi tubes! I was praying for your success and it awakened me to an opportunity for ya'll to evang a tube on Georgia tech's campus. from the Investigator Mark." haha I don't know if this story made sense to you but it was hilarious! And he still wants to meet with us and is just awesome!

Miracle #2: We were following up with a lady named Beverly who was sick when Sis H and I stopped by last week but told us to come back. She let us in to answer some questions she had about mormons. We asked her what she had heard before and she said that we don't drink coffee, tea, or soda, we don't let anyone in our temples, and that we wear some sort of special underwear :) haha we gave her an overview of who Mormons are and what we believe and talked about the first half of lesson 1. At the end of the lesson, we felt impressed to read 3 Nephi 11 with her and the spirit just came in so strong! She told us that she would like to get a copy of that book and we offered her one right there and she just broke into tears and told us that she would read it. It was incredible! She has been through a lot in her life, her husband is blind and deaf and her sister is really sick as well. But she is the sweetest lady ever!

Miracle #3: Just prior to Beverly, we were following up with another lady in that neighborhood, Lisa. We had stopped by this house and the teenage son answered the door and told us that he though his mom had met with the missionaries before so we gave him our card and told him we would try and stop by later. When we knocked on the door, the mom answered and we told her who we were and she said that she had just found the card that we left like 20 minutes ago (which we found out was about the time we drove into the neighborhood:)). She was so nice and wants us to come back next Saturday and teach her more! Ah!! 

Miracle #4: One of the less active ladies, Carmine, came to church again yesterday!!! I'm not sure how long it had been before she came last week, but I know at least since I got here. And she invited us to come do FHE tonight with her kids! We are going to do a putting on the armor of god lesson and then use it to defend against the fiery darts of the adversary which will be marshmallows with temptations written on them. :) I'm so excited!!

Sister DeBry has just given me such a fresh new perspective on how to be a missionary and we truly are seeing miracles come from our efforts. I am just so excited to be here! 

Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers! I couldn't do this without all of you!!
Sister Bedke

PS limp=Lesson taught to Investigator with Member Present.
PPS Yes we still have a car and I get to drive now!!! It is a 2014 Ford fusion and I am in heaven :)
PPPS I would love having that Garmin if that is ok and for the skirt, if you could find a brown or tan skirt that was a more stiff material that would be great. Sis DeBry has one that I love, I am wearing it in the pic I sent to that number. But a medium would probably work so that it is long enough. Thank you!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-01-06

Subject:  And the transfer news is...

January 6, 2014
Hey family!!

Thank you so much for sending me those pics!!! My gosh I have a good lookin family!! You guys all look so great!! I am so lucky to have y'all as my family :) I love that you did the signs on the freeway and on the real estate marquee!! Ash I am so proud of you!! You did it!!! Way happy to hear that you aren't weird now. Although if that will postpone you dating... haha I'm mostly kidding.

Good luck this week with your MRI Jace! Know that you are in my prayers every day and that everything is going to be ok. I love you bud! Let me know what the results are, k?

Well I guess the big news is transfer calls were today. And I am staying in Webb Bridge!! And Sister H is going to Lawrenceville. My new companion's name is Sister Debry. She has been out since July and was Sister Liu's (the other sister in the Webb Bridge ward who has helped me get through these last 12 weeks and is the one in those pics from Brother King) MTC companion. She said that she is really sweet and very talented and really nice and obedient. So I am really excited to get to meet and work with her. I am also excited to get to stay in Webb Bridge ward! I really feel like there are people who I need to reach in this area and who are out there for me to find. And I really just want to go out and work hard to find them. It has been really hard to get things done these past 12 weeks because Sister H has had such a hard time. It has been quite the adventure with her. But I definitely have learned a lot from her and I can honestly say that I love her and care about her. I have been praying so hard to see her as the Savior sees her and to try and help her through this hard time. I don't know how successful I was because I definitely wasn't perfect at helping her or at being patient with her but I know that the Lord put me with her as my trainer for a reason. And now I think that Sister Debry and I can just go out and work hard and keep the work moving in the Webb Bridge ward. With that said though, these past few days have been awesome. We found some new investigators!!! OH MY GOSH IT ONLY TOOK 12 WEEKS TO FIND SOMEONE!!! But we were able to tract into several people who seemed genuinely interested in learning more and set up appointments with us!! I feel like the Lord is telling me that things have the potential to get going here and that this is my time to just dig in and work hard and I will see miracles happen here.

Speaking of miracles... do y'all remember Micky? We had a really good first lesson with her and then she wouldn't answer our calls or come to the door or anything for like 3 weeks. And on Saturday, we decided to stop by and try one last time to see if she was still interested and so we knocked and she was home and she let us in and was talking to us and it turns out that her mom passed away on Dec 18 and that she has been in New Jersey since then and just barely got back. She was so at peace with it too. It was incredible. She told us that she knew that her mom was in a better place and that she was happy. We were able to share Alma 40 with her and she said that she wants to start meeting with us again!!! I'm so excited!!

We found another couple, Rick and Roya Grimes, to work with. They are members of the Bahai faith. I had never heard of that but you should do some research on it. it is really interesting. But they are very open minded and we had a limp with them yesterday and talked to them, mainly the dad, about his religious background. He has done a lot of research and has so much potential but he sees other religious leaders, like Buddha or Confucious, on the same plane as Christ in that they are all integral to religion. So we talked to him about how there is truth and good to be found everywhere but that God's full and complete authority can only be found in our church and committed him to reading and praying about the book of mormon. Then the member who came with us totally bore her testimony about how the gospel has changed her life (she is a convert) and we closed. It was really cool!

Souji and Venkat didn't keep their Thursday appointment sadly and then wouldn't answer their phone for a few days and then I got a voicemail from her and she said that she was busy on Thursday and wants us to come back and teach her this week! So that was really exciting!

And at church yesterday, one of the less actives we are working with came!!! And she wants us to come over next Monday to do a missionary FHE with her family!! So many great things are happening in this ward!! I am starting to see why I am here on a mission and in this ward! Heavenly Father is so aware of us and our needs and knows when He needs to step in when we can't go on any further. So things are definitely looking up from where they have been. :)

I better go but know that I love all of you so much!! Thank you for your love, support and prayers. You are all incredible!!!

the remaining Sister Bedke in the south :)

Amber Ltr: 2013-12-30

Subject:  What the? Goodbye 2013!

December 30, 2013
Hi family!!

Thank you so much for sending the letter at 2:30 in the morning Mom! You are the best! Thanks for always watching out and thinking of us :) We are so blessed to have you as our mom! And I am so blessed to be a part of our family. You are all so incredible and it was so fun to get to talk to everyone on Christmas! It is totally fine on the whole time thing. Sorry I didn't see the email you sent Dad until today. I think there was a part of me that was expecting President Monson to pop up in a little window on the screen telling me it was time to get off, haha. So I'm sorry if it seemed like I was rushing! I can't tell you how much it meant to me to get to see and talk to all of you. Thanks for getting it all set up Dad! Y'all are the best!

I can't believe that Ash is coming home this week! It hardly seems possible! She has done such an incredible job and I hope that my letters can reflect hers a little bit when it comes my turn in 15 months. I am so grateful for her example. If you could send a few prayers my way that day though, it would be greatly appreciated because it is going to be hard.

It sounds like you are having a great time with G'ma! How did her present turn out? I love you G'ma! Sorry I haven't gotten a letter off to you for a bit! I'm working on one!

Also thank you so much for all my Christmas presents!!! I love them so much and thank you for all the work that went into getting them to me :) Thanks so much!

And before I forget, who is the new Oakcrest directorship??? I am dying to know!! Could you go on the website for me and check? it is just oakcrestcamp.org under staff postings.

I am definitely still riding the mission roller coaster. Tracting is really starting to be discouraging. It is so hard to try and reach these people when they won't listen to you and are "good" with where they are at or don't have the time to meet with you. There have definitely been some good moments but sadly most of them have been coming to dead ends. Which gets frustrating. But we are hoping that with the holidays coming to an end, life will return to normal a little bit. We are doing a lot of following up with people this week and hopefully find some people to teach.

But we were able to get a hold a few less active families this week which was good :) The ones we have gotten in touch with have been super friendly which is nice. Hopefully they will let us keep coming back and we can help them come back to church!

But a bright spot that started shining yesterday was that Sister H has been awesome yesterday and today! Everything really got to me yesterday and I was really discouraged and sad and she was just so positive and ready to go. It was awesome! I have really missed that side of her because it has been a while since I have seen it. Moments like that I really love her and am so grateful to have her as a companion. Now that she is happy, it will probably be time to get transferred next week. Haha what do you do? :) But if not then we are definitely going to be going strong this next transfer. Transfers are a lot scarier this time because anything could happen! Ah!! We shall see I guess...

Well I think that about wraps up my week. Give Ash a HUGE hug for me!!!! I am so excited for all of you!!! And don't let her get married for the next 15 months please!! That is absolutely not allowed. I love love love you all!!!!


Sister Bedke, the younger :)