Monday, March 10, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-03-10

Subject: Guess what???

March 10, 2014

Hey family!!!

Thank you so much for all of the letters that I got this week! I loved hearing from all of you even if it was forced :) (thanks mom!) Haha I love how they all started with: Dear Amber, Mom is making us all write letters to you... Haha it made me laugh! I will definitely get back to all of them but it might take me a couple of weeks to get to all of them.

I can't believe all of the changes that y'all had in the ward! Everyone will do such a great job with it though! And mom that is crazy that you will be in primary! How long has it been since you have had a primary calling? But that is exciting! And tell Mitch and Marissa, Caleb, Devin, and Lyssa congratulations from me :) That is exciting!

Yes I am still in a car :) Thank heavens. I still haven't touched my bike but I have a goal to do so at some point on my mission... I still have 13 months though so no hurry...

Good luck on the study Jace! Keep me posted with how it is going. When does it start?

So the big news for this week is that Karl (from Webb Bridge) is getting baptized!!!!! I got to see Sister DeBry on Saturday (which was the best) and she told me all about it! I am putting in her version of the story from her email to her family because it will have better detail this way:

Karl is on date for the 23rd!!!!!!!! :) :) :) Yep!! I'm smiling from ear to ear! We had a lesson with him on Tuesday and we were pretty bold with him as we talked about the principles and ordinances of the Gospel.  I was with Sister Grimnes, a sister training leader (kind of like a sister zone leader) and we focused on the blessings of having faith, leading to sincere change, and the blessings of baptism and the Holy Ghost.  As we left I felt good about the lesson but worried a little bit about how Karl took it.  He seemed surprised at our boldness and I worried that he'd back off.  But! The next night we had a scripture study class and he accidentally turned to 2 Nephi 31 and started reading, so with the Spirit, the other sisters decided to change lessons and read it with him. (we were late because of another meeting, so we weren't even there for this part). Coincidentally enough, the chapter is one of the greatest chapters focused on faith and baptism!! When we got there, Karl turned to me and whispered, "You'll be really glad to hear that we're studying about baptism!" and I just smiled and said, "Karl, do you believe in coincidence?" He just smiled back and turned back to his scriptures.  He gave incredible insight throughout the lesson and asked more questions about the temple and further ordinances. We didn't think much of it until we got a text from him the next night with some questions of some things he'd been reading about baptism in the New Testament.  We just chuckled to ourselves noticing that he was taking this a lot more seriously than we expected.  On Friday we got another text from him saying, "I read my assignment in 3 Nephi 11 and I want to talk more about baptism." We just about died! It was happening over and over again! We had a lesson with him that night to answer his questions and to teach him parts of the next lesson.  But throughout the lesson, we'd answer his question and then he'd change the subject. Then as we started teaching more of the lesson, he'd turn it back to baptism.  By the time we were about to say the closing prayer he said, "so... about baptism.... what's my next step?" I just sat back and said, "Ok Karl... you've been asking a whole lot of questions about baptism.  Are you reconsidering getting baptized?" He got the biggest grin on his face and said, "What's my next step?" So!!!! We told him the things he could start doing right now, set a date, and we're moving forward for the 23rd! There's some complications that we're going to have to work out because he'll be in Augusta the 22nd but it's all going to work out.  He came to church yesterday having downloaded the Gospel Library and the Mormon Channel.  Sitting in Gospel Principles in his suit and tie, with his handy phone out for scriptures, he'd looked like a real classy Mormon!! He's also told me that he is my newest uncle, and that he'll be planning a trip to come to Utah in 2015 to meet the rest of the family! :) He's the greatest!! Thank you for your many prayers in Karl's behalf! I'll keep you updated!! Heavenly Father truly brings miracles!!

Me again :) But I was SO excited to hear about it and I know that it was a huge answer to prayers! And Taareka is still going strong as well!! I love being a missionary :)

We had an interesting week in Collins Hill though. We had 10 cancelled appointments with our investigators this week, which is always a bummer when that happens. But we were able to see a lot of less active families which we normally don't have a ton of time to meet with which was a big blessing. There are some incredible people here and I love this ward!

Michael is still going strong with not smoking!! He is awesome! He and his wife were in charge of our ward adult party that happened on Saturday night! It was a murder mystery dinner that was based on the murder of the chief judge in Helaman. It was so cool and at the end, Michael stood up and taught everyone about the scriptures and bore his testimony! It was a good night to be a missionary :) He got a blessing from another couple in the ward (the Perry's who have become like my parents in this ward, I love them!) and they were talking to us just saying how incredible of a person he is and the Lord has so much in store for him. He doesn't have a date yet because it was such a crazy week that we didn't have a formal lesson with him but hopefully this week!

Tiffani Williams cancelled on us twice this week dang it. She literally cancelled like 10 minutes before both times. It was so frustrating. And we had a special session of stake conference yesterday (my 4th stake conference in 5 months) and she wasn't able to make it. But we will keep trying!

So we had a little bit of a relapse in the weather this week. On Thursday, both of our afternoon appointments cancelled on us, which translates into going tracting in the 37 degree weather in the wind and the rain. It was so tempting to just go home and call it, but we knew that wasn't an option so we started knocking doors. We kept laughing at how ridiculous we looked and people just looked at us like we were crazy. Maybe we are... But then we came to this one house where this older couple answered the door and let us come in. Their names were Ron and Charlotte and they were so impressed that we were out in that weather. They are both Catholic but had heard of Mormons and had a lot of questions for us. We ended up talking for about an hour and they want us to come back! Heavenly Father always provides those incredible tender mercies that I am so grateful for.

But the meeting we had on Saturday was incredible :) Elder Parker, Elder Pieper, and Elder Cook all spoke to us and it was a really powerful meeting. He talked to us about how this truly is where the Lord needs us to be and left us with a special blessing that our service would open the windows of Heaven and that our families would be blessed because of our service. It was such a good reminder of the Lord being aware of His missionaries and that this is where I need to be right now. And I am so grateful that I am here. I know that this Church is true. It is the only way that missionary work can be possible. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that President Monson is the Lord's prophet. I love this Gospel and I am so grateful to be a missionary for the Lord. Have a great week and know that someone in Georgia loves you and is so grateful for all of you!
Sister Bedke

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