Monday, April 28, 2014

Amber Pics: 2014-04-28 Poison Ivy

Amber Poison Ivy #1

Amber Poison Ivy #2

Amber Poison Ivy #3

Amber Poison Ivy #4

Amber Ltr: 2014-04-28

Subject: Poison Ivy?
April 28, 2014
What's good family? :)

Wow, y'all have had quite the week! I love how you all did the Jr. Missionaries thing! That is so cool and it sounds like it went great! There sure are a lot of future missionaries that were participating that night. Having experiences to practice teaching like that will be invaluable as they all prepare to serve missions themselves. Who put all of that together? We seriously have the best ward ever :) Tell everyone hi for me!

Jace I'm so sorry that you have had such a rough week! I hope that you start feeling better and that those headaches stop bothering you soon. Are your teachers still working with you? How much longer is school going for? I have been thinking about how normally at this time I am finishing up with finals and that is really weird that it has been a whole year since I've been in school.

March 27 is Roberta's birthday and I think it was the day that they started dating too. They are doing so great! We had dinner with them on Saturday and Michael is preparing to get his patriarchal blessing soon! And he passed the sacrament yesterday! I felt like a proud mom watching him and all of the young men were giving him high fives and everything when it was over :) I love that family!

And sadly Donna, Shawn, and Mikaila didn't make it to church today. We went over to Shawn's on Saturday to help her out with some yard work and we found out that she has been going to 12 Stone, which is just a huge rock concert mega-church, with her boyfriend. It made me really sad that she is making time to go to that church but won't come with us. She is a teacher and told us that things will slow down a lot when school ends but it is hard to know how to help her. I just have to keep reminding myself that it isn't in my timing but it is in the Lord's and He knows what He is doing. She just means so much to me and I want to see her move forward so badly!

Mikaila is the friend of a member in our ward who has been coming to church for over a year but just wants to do it in her own way. She is a sassy black lady but I love her! We have had lessons planned with her these past 3 weeks but something has always gotten in the way until this last week when we had lunch with her and Sister Sorenson (member friend). We just kept it really casual and talked about the talk "Beautiful Mornings" with her. It went really well and she seemed to really like it and we are going to make it a weekly thing now :). But she had a hard weekend and wasn't able to make it to church today. Prayers in her behalf would be greatly appreciated.

And Donna is doing great! She called us on Tuesday and told us how she had to go to take care of her dad this weekend and wasn't going to be able to go to church with us. But we were able to meet with her almost every day this week to read the Book of Mormon and pray with her. On Thursday night, we talked to her about wanting to help prepare her to be baptized. She has already been baptized into the Methodist church but received the whole authority thing really well and definitely wants to continue to meet with her. Sister Perry came with us and gave her a beautiful picture of Christ to hang in her house. Her house is really starting to look and smell a lot better. She is so grateful to have the help and every time she prays with us she thanks Heavenly Father for sending her sister into her life. I love her! We stopped by last night to read the Book of Mormon (which she brought with her on her trip!) and in her prayer we wrote down some questions to ask and she told Heavenly Father that she knew that what we are saying is true. She is so sweet and always tells us she loves us as we leave :).

So for the title of this email: On Tuesday I started to get these weird, itchy mosquito bite things on my arms and I couldn't figure it out because they didn't look like normal mosquito bites and they weren't going away. A member told me to put some ammonia on them because that would help to take out the itch but that wasn't helping and it was actually getting worse and starting to spread. I was really confused and had no idea what to do. When we were visiting with Donna on Friday, she asked how my mosquito bites were doing and I showed her them and she tells me that they aren't mosquito bites but poison ivy! She gave me this stuff called Zanfel to put on it which helped relieve the itching for a bit but it was still spreading all up my arms, to my ankles, up my legs, and even a little on my face. The next day we called our mission doctor who had me email pics to him and then he called me in a prescription for a corticosteriod. I really hope it starts to kick in soon because it itches like a mother and I look like I have leprosy. Haha fun times, right? :) I'll forward on the pics to y'all. But I promise that I am fine so don't worry Mom.

Well I think that those are the highlights of this week :) I hope you all have a great week and know that someone in Georgia loves you a lot! Thanks for all you do for me!

Sister Bedke

PS For Mother's Day, we have church from 1:30-4:30 and you have church from 11-2 Georgia time so I guess either before 11 or after 5 Georgia time. I would probably lean towards after 5, but I will talk with Sister Webster and see what works for her and her family. I am so excited!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-04-21

Subject: Back to normal!
April 21, 2014
Well hey :)

Back to normal on email times this week! Sounds like y'all had a great Easter up at G'ma's and at Aunt Leslie's. Thanks for sending on the pics! They were super cute! Everyone looks so good! I am so excited to get to talk to you soon! I love your hair Mom! It is so pretty!  G'ma you are a fox. :) And Jace your glasses are look super cool. How are they helping with the headaches and everything? I hope they are starting to make a difference. Sister Webster had a friend who also suffers from chronic migraines and I guess he did this botox treatment in the back of his neck where it makes the skin tighten and it helped him a lot. I don't know if you've heard of that or anything like it but I just thought I'd pass it on.

I didn't even know that Nate and Tawny were pregnant! Tell them congratulations for me! And I am so excited that Megan got her mission call!!!! Tell her to write me please or send me her address so I can write her :) Good luck with your roommates Ash! Haha I always love the "interesting" description. Always worth some good stories though right?

To answer your questions: Michael is still doing great! He got the priesthood last week and they are working towards the temple on March 27, 2015! I'll still be on my mission and they are getting sealed in the Salt Lake temple so I won't be able to make it (by like 2 weeks! but it's not about me so it's ok, right?) We have dinner with them every other week or so. I love them so much!

No, we don't have iPads or facebook. I know that it is coming but I am guessing President is waiting until he leaves and to just let the new mission president work everything out with that but I guess we will see. I'm ok without it for right now.

No, Shawn didn't make it to church. She told us that she would try but then she didn't answer our calls and wasn't home when we stopped by. I don't know what to do for her. She is so ready and knows that it is true she just has so much going on in her life. I just want this for her so bad! She is seriously such a great lady and needs this so badly. We are going to try to talk with her this week and see what we can do to help her take those steps forward and not be pulled by us. I really hope it goes well! Thank you for all the prayers for her.

But Donna is doing great! We met with her almost every day this week and she is progressing so good! We had the Restoration with her in a member's home on Thursday and the Spirit was so strong and powerful. The Horsley's were such a perfect team-up for her. I love member missionaries! And I am so blessed to be in this ward where they are so supportive of us. Donna just kept saying how she could feel this burden on her shoulders getting lighter and is seeing some very positive changes in her life since she has started meeting with us. And her yard is looking a lot better! I taught Sister Webster how to mow a lawn :) She was so excited! Haha :) She also came with us to dinner with the Perry's on Saturday night! They are so sweet and were again a great fellowship to her. She went to visit her husband yesterday so she wasn't able to come to church but she is really excited about coming this Sunday! And we went over last night to read the Book of Mormon with her. She is golden :)

Also when we were over at the Perry's, they had an Easter egg hunt for us! It was so fun! They really are like my parents out here and just make us feel so loved. :)

It was a really rainy week for us here. A member pointed out to us that every single Friday before Easter (the day Christ was crucified) will be rainy. Was it that was for you guys? But Sunday it was beautiful! Everything is green and in bloom here and it is so pretty!

It definitely was a different kind of Easter than what I am used to but it was so neat to be able to focus on why we have Easter in the first place. I had a really powerful study on the Savior's Atonement. I started reading Jesus the Christ by Elder Talmage. It is such a good book! I am really excited to learn more about Christ and His life. I know that He lives and that He set the perfect example for us to follow. We met this man named Johnny earlier this week who invited us to come back to talk with him. When we came back, he told us about his "conversion" to being an atheist. It was so sad to talk with him. He was very nice and was a really cool guy but he got caught up not being able to "prove" that God exists and that any experience anyone has with him is just subjective and is used as a way to explain life. It just broke my heart. But he did say that if he had to pick a religion, he would go with Mormons because we have got it figured out, which I thought was funny. Me and Sister Webster decided that we will teach him in the next life. But no matter what all of these scientists are trying to "prove", they cannot take away my knowledge that God exists and that He is our loving Heavenly Father and that He sent His son to Atone for our sins so that we can someday return to Him. I love this Gospel so much and I am so grateful for the anchor that it is in my life. I love all of you and I am so grateful for each of you!!!


Sister Bedke

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-04-15

Subject: Happy Easter!!!
April 15, 2014
Hola mi familia!!

So sorry that you didn't get a letter yesterday! I'm still alive and well :) We didn't find out about the switch til the middle of the week so I had no way to warn you. Our district had interviews with President yesterday so we had to switch our p-day to Tuesday instead of Monday. It has thrown off my week a little but we are fine. :)

Glad to hear y'all had a great week and that you had a good birthday Mom! It is fun to hear about everything that is going on at home :) Less than a month until I get to talk to all of you!

It was a pretty good week! We found several new investigators who have a lot of potential and I'm really excited about working with them :) The Lord truly has blessed us so much with those miracles when we need them. Thank you for all of the prayers that are being sent my way. I know that they are making a huge difference.

One of the ladies that we are working with is named Donna. She is a sweet heart! We actually tracted into her about a month ago and had a really great conversation with her but she didn't have the time to meet with us then. We made cookies last week to take around to people and when we were driving around, I realized that we were by her neighborhood and we decided to stop by and drop some off for her. She ended up not being home but we left them on her porch with a little note. A few days later we were again by her neighborhood and stopped by to see if she had gotten them and awkward she hadn't and now they were like 3 days old, so we hid them in our car and just knocked on the door and she was home! Haha she remembered us and after talking for a bit, we found out she was doing yard work that weekend and so we told her we would love to help her out and she said we could come by :) Her yard has really gotten away from her because her husband has been in prison since August. We were able to help her out a lot and did a lesson with her about the Savior being with us during our trials. The Spirit was really strong and we testified how the Lord had sent us to her to help her find her way back to Him. We are going to meet with her a few times this week and really try and get her to church on Sunday. We told her that Easter Sunday would be a great time to get back in. (Thanks for sending on that Easter video Dad! That is so good and I'm planning on showing it to several people out here :) ) But I really think that she has a lot of potential and this Gospel will bless her so much!

We were able to see Shawn this last week too! She has been praying and told us to not give up on her. :) Ah she is so close if we can just get her to church and help her feel of that love from the ward family but Satan keeps having things pop up that prevent her from going. He is the worst. But she said she really wants to try and get there this week, again with Easter Sunday. Hopefully, it should be a great Sunday!

Also I tried real raw fish sushi this week! Ah! I told myself I never would but I got peer pressured into it and I'm not a huge fan. It is a really weird texture and I'm not converted, but in all fairness it wasn't as bad as I thought as it would be. But I was proud of myself for doing it :)

The temple was really good! It was fun going down with so many of the missionaries and seeing all my friends. They played the new film and I like it a lot better than the old one. The Spirit was really strong and I felt a lot of peace afterward :) I got to go on exchanges after to Dacula with my STL which was also a lot of fun. I didn't really know her all that well at the beginning but we were like best friends by the end of it!

And I found out today that Karl did get baptized and that it went perfectly!! He finished the book of mormon the night before his baptism and was just glowing all day :) And he already has a calling as a ward missionary!! Haha he is so excited about it!  And he is working on preparing to go to the temple :) I feel so blessed to have been able to work with him! He is the greatest!

Well I think that about wraps up my week :) Spring is in full bloom here in Georgia and it is beautiful! Luckily I haven't had any problems with allergies and Sister Webster's are all under control now :) And I am sleeping just fine. No more problems! Yay! Know that I love and miss all of you! Have a great week and a great Easter Sunday! I am so grateful for the chance we have to remember our Savior and His Atoning sacrifice for all of us.

I love you!
Sister Bedke

Monday, April 7, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-04-07

Subject:  What a way to hit 6 months :)
April 7, 2014
Hey family!!

Thank you so much for sending on the pictures!! Seriously pictures are my favorite thing to get :) It looks like y'all had so much fun at the ranch! Madi has grown up so much! I can't even believe it. But y'all look so cute! I am glad you had such a good time!

That is awesome that they are actually going to be able to go through with the High Adventure thing at the ranch! That will definitely be an adventure :) Good luck to all the leaders, Dad, and Uncle Eric...

I am glad that the cards got there! I have one coming your way today Mom! And I am still the worst. Those pictures are all addressed and everything and they are sitting on my counter... But it is in my planner now to send them off so usually when things get put in there, things happen.

Conference was so good! It really is like Christmas/Super Bowl Sunday for missionaries! Haha it was just what I needed to hear :) We aren't allowed to watch it anywhere except the church so there was a whole bunch of missionaries watching it together and Mom you weren't alone in falling asleep, haha. But it was really good and I am excited for the ensign to come out with them. Do you think you could send me a copy again when it does come out? For those who haven't yet, you need to watch priesthood session! We downloaded it and listened to it last night and this morning and it was so good! I really liked Elder Oaks, Elder Ballard, Presidents Uchtdorf, Eyring, and Monson. I just loved it all! Thanks for telling me what Allie said Grandma K! That was so cute and if you are reading this Allie, just know that I was thinking of all you cute girls when you stood up and sang "Teach Me to walk in the light". There were a lot of future missionaries standing up in that primary choir :)

It has been an interesting past couple of weeks with almost all of our investigators. They have all just been not progressing, not keeping commitments, and not returning our calls and texts. We have been praying really hard to know what to do and how to help them progress. We have decided to put them on the back burner for now. We will still check up on them every so often but they need a little bit of time. It is kind of a scary thing to do but we are just really praying to be able to fill our teaching pool with people who are ready to move forward. We really want to try working more with our members. I really feel like there is so much potential in this area and we just need to find those who are prepared. But I feel like things are going to be ok. Thanks for all the prayers. I know that they will make a huge difference.

So crazy story of the week: There is an elder in my zone and last week, his companion was with the zone leaders and they told us that this elder was spending some time with the assistants and left it at that. But then on Wednesday (my 6 month mark), we get a text from the zone leaders and they tell us that this elder had run away and to be on the lookout for him as we were going throughout our day. We dropped to our knees and said a prayer and then the phone rang. It was the zone leaders and they asked us if we were ready to go on a goose chase. We said yes and they told us to go pick up the other sisters and meet them at a gas station in our area. We get there and there are probably about 12 missionaries from our zone. We split up the area and made plans to go out and look for him. We spent the next 3 hours looking EVERYWHERE for him. We said a prayer and had the thought to send out a text to our ward members to keep an eye out for him and to call us if they saw him. Near the end of our search, we got a call from one of our ward members telling us that they saw him walking down the street and followed him into a Panera Bread. He was just eating outside on the patio. We called president and the zone leaders and got there as soon as we could. He was still dressed in his proselyting clothes and has his tag on and all of his luggage with him. We kept an eye on him and then his friend from Georgia showed up and they started talking for a while. We had missed dinner so we went and grabbed some and thought that we were done with that because his dad would show up soon. As we were eating we got a text from another ward member asking if we were still looking for the missionary because he was literally sitting right by him and he said that he was getting ready to get up and leave. It was just me and sister Webster at this point and so we call the zone leaders and told them what was going on and start to follow him in our car. We followed him and his friend to the edge of the woods and he starts going in and his friend is just talking to him at the edge of the woods. There wasn't anything we could do and we were told to just head home. But he is still walking around! Members have still seen him. I feel so bad for him. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and really didn't want to be released from his mission but he had to. Their poor family. They have got a rough road in front of them as they try and get this all figured out.

And then the next morning I woke up with strep. Haha so it was just an adventure all around. I am feeling a lot better now. They put me on antibiotics and so we are finally both healthy now :)

So in our mission we have a monthly goal for baptisms and if we hit it, all who had a baptism that month get to go to the temple. We hit it in March and so we get to go to the temple on Thursday! I am really excited!

Well I think that about wraps up this week :) I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of you! Thanks for all you do for me!


Sister Bedke