Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Amber Pics: 2014-05-28

Amber - MTC Flashback

Posterity Pic - Sister Haderlie, Amber, Sister Castleton

Amber, Sisters Castleton, Motuliki, Hulme

Amber Ltr: 2014-05-28

Subject: Delightfully exhausted :)

May 28, 2014

Thank you so much for all of the pics that you sent me! They are so cute! Court you look gorgeous!! Congratulations on graduating!!! And to the rest of you for making it through another year of school! What have y'all been up to so far on your first week of summer? It is so weird to think that it is summer now back home and here to I guess but our schedule doesn't change a whole lot, which is great! And we are hoping that we will be able to get a hold of some investigators now who were super busy with the end of school going on. So good things are definitely going to continue to be happening :)

Q & A: In order for Sis. Castleton to be medically cleared to come out on her mission, she had to be seizure free for a year. She takes preventative medication each morning and night and she has some emergency meds that she told me about in case she ever does have a seizure. But they aren't worried and so I'm not either. I don't really think about it too much to be honest. Brother and Sister Perry are some of my favorite members in the ward who are like my mom and dad out here. They are awesome!

The reason that I'm not getting the letter off until today instead of yesterday is that we had zone conference yesterday which literally lasted all day and then of course memorial day on Monday. That is way fun that Ash got to come down for the weekend!

So President Wolfert told us in our trainer meeting that one of our goals as a trainer should be to go to send our new missionaries to bed delightfully exhausted each night. And we definitely have been doing that! It was another really good, hard working week which are the best kind to have.

Donna is still all set for baptism this Saturday! I think there is going to be a really big turnout from the ward which is just what she needs. We had a really cool experience on Sunday. Bishop Adams was the last speaker and he was talking about the missionary work that is going on in this ward and he stood her up and told her how happy he and the rest of the ward is that she is coming into the fold :) You could tell that it really meant a lot to her and so many people came up to her after and gave her a huge hug and told her that they were so happy and excited for her. I love this ward! We have had almost daily contact with her and she is just so much happier now. She told us that this just feels right and she is going for it :) I love her! Also something really exciting is Sister Webster got permission to come to the baptism!!!! I am so excited to see her again and it is going to mean so much to Donna. We are going to surprise her and it will just be the best! I can't wait until Saturday!!! I'll send pics next week :)

Sam. She is such a sweetheart. We had some really good lessons with her this week about the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom and she is always texting us to see if hot chocolate is allowed in the word of wisdom. We found out this week that she has a slow learning disorder. She is definitely there and can understand things, just at a slower and simpler level. She is just so excited to learn and move forward and be baptized and she is already sharing the gospel with her friends and wants them to come with her to our lessons. Sadly though, her baptism isn't going to come as quickly as we were originally hoping for. Sunday morning we got a text from her telling us that she can't come to church anymore because her dad won't let her or else he will kick her out and he was threatening to call the police on her. She told us that she was going to watch it online instead and just read her Book of Mormon instead. We told her how to watch general conference and she said that she was just praying that her dad's heart would be softened. She is so cute! But the good news is that we have a lesson with her today in a couple of hours and she said that her dad is doing better now. We will just have to see what he says about church this Sunday. But she is determined to keep moving forward and it will be good to help her to understand more things. We want to be able to go through the articles of faith with her and be able to take things at a slower pace so this gives us the chance to do that. It is just going to be in Heavenly Father's timing and I believe that it will work out. :)

We had several other lessons this week with some other investigators who have some great potential and found a few new ones as well. We also got back in contact with Shawn and the Dunn family! Both of them want to start meeting with us again! It was so good to talk to them and I think they just needed some time on their own to realized they really do need the gospel and they have just been crazy busy. But they are so great and we are excited to start back with them. :)

Well I think that about wraps up the week. Thank you so much for all the prayers, letters, love, and support. I am so grateful for all of you and I love you so much!!


Sister Bedke

Pic descriptions : 
1) MTC flashback!
2) Posterity pic :)
3) All of the sisters in our ward. Sister Hulme and Sister Motuliki (the Tongan one, she is so cute!)

Amber Pics: 2014-05-19

Sister Castleton - Amber New Trainee

Amber Ltr: 2014-05-19

Subject:  Motherhood and Miracles :)

May 19, 2014

Hey y'all!

It is always weird starting off these emails. I try and shake it up so I don't say the same thing every week but here we are. But it sounds like you have had a great week! I can't believe that Court is graduating tomorrow!! I am so excited for you Court and know that I will be thinking about you! Also I loved the family picture :) haha that is so funny! If you wanted to print me off a copy of those pics I wouldn't be mad. Is this the last week of school for everyone?

That was such a cool experience about our neighbors :) Who knew that that would be happening right in our backyard? How often do convert baptisms happen in our stake? What do the missionaries do who are assigned there. Are they teaching anyone?

It was such a good week! Seriously so many miracles happened. On Tuesday night, Sister Webster's last night here, we went over and saw Donna and had a great lesson with her and then we went over to the Horsley's home and Brother Perry met us there. I was really nervous about training and taking over this area and had felt really strongly that I needed a blessing. Brother Perry gave me the most beautiful blessing and it was word for word what I needed to hear. It was really powerful. He talked about how Heavenly Father was aware of the struggles that I had had at the beginning of my mission but that He was proud of me for the work that I am accomplishing and that I have touched so many lives here. I had never told Brother Perry about that so it was a really special experience. I really needed it. The next morning came really early. We had to be in Norcross at 7:30 to drop Sister Webster off and pick up a sister who was going home. We rode together to the mission office and I found out that she is actually my great grandma! Sister Sanders trained Sister Sorenson who trained Sister Haderlie who trained me. I thought it was fun to be dropping her off before I went to pick up my new baby girl :) Sister Sanders is really nice and we had a really good talk. When I got to the mission office, one of the AP's who used to be my zone leader was talking to me for a minute and he told me who my new companion was. He said that her name is Sister Castleton-Rudolph and she has been waiting her whole life to serve a mission. He said that it took her almost a year to come out here because she used to get nocturnal seizures and had to be seizure free for a while before she could get medical clearance to come out here. He also said that she is a little different but is excited to be here and is ready to work. I was really glad that he told me that. She is 21 years old and is from Malaala, Oregon. I think the best word I could use to describe her would be precious. She honestly is one of the sweetest, most innocent people that I have met but she also doesn't have any common sense. She grew up in a very sheltered home and has never used a cell phone before. So that definitely keeps things interesting and gives me lots of opportunities to practice patience and love. She is just excited to be here and is eager and willing to learn. We have done a lot of role-playing to help her with her teaching and contacting and I have seen a lot of growth in her already. I wish I could record what it is like to tract with her :) I really do love her though and I am loving training. It has given me a renewed dedication and a new focus. So life is good :)

So 2 huge miracles happened this week. The first one was with a new investigator named Sam. Sister Webster and I met her last Monday when I was backing out the car and we set up an appointment for this last Friday. We had given her a Book of Mormon and she was reading it. She actually set a picture of the book of mormon as her cover photo for her facebook profile. Her name is Sam Smith if you want to try and look her up. It might be easier to find her through her friend, Sandee Wallace. But on Monday she was asking us about how to join our church and we told her that we would tell her all about it on Friday. We taught her the Restoration and it went so good. She told us that she could just feel the Spirit telling her to join this church. I looked at Sister Castleton and mouthed to her to ask her to be baptized and she did (and did a great job :) great trainer moment) and Sam said yes! It was so crazy and I couldn't believe that it was happening! She is also a little different but very sweet and is really excited to learn everything. We set a date for May 31 but we are going to have to push it back because she got sick yesterday and couldn't make it to church. But it is probably for the best because she doesn't know anyone in the ward yet and we have a lot to go over with her still. But that was a really cool experience :) Prayers that things continue to go well with her would be greatly appreciated.

But guess who is getting baptized on May 31?! We had the most incredible lesson with her last night. Oh my gosh it was so great! She came with us to church but was really emotional during the meeting and wasn't feeling up to staying the rest of the time but we scheduled to go over that night. A member from our ward, Sister Cobian came with us and before we went in we talked about not trying to put her on date that night because she had had such a hard day. I told Donna the story about how we came back in contact with her after she initially didn't want to meet with us and then we listened to the talk by Elder Bednar from this last conference. All of us were just bawling through the whole thing and we talked about how all of the experiences in her life had led her to this point where she was ready to come unto Christ. She was crying a lot as we were talking about giving our burdens over to the Savior and I looked at her and I said, "Donna it's time." She dropped to her knees and began to pray. really pray. She gave one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard and when she got up she said that she could feel Heavenly Father's arms around her lightening her burden and being yoked with the Savior. It was so cool! And then we talked about how Heavenly Father is ready to bless her with all the fullness of the blessings of being a member of the church and that she knows and has received that confirmation that that is where she belongs. And then we told her that May 31 was the day and she said yes! Oh my gosh it was so cool! She said that she needs to pray about that date for sure because we still have some things to go over with her and she needs to give up coffee still but the date we were originally going to pick was June 7 but then the Spirit told both me and Sis Castleton that May 31 was the day. :) I am so excited for her and I know that the Lord truly has led her to this point and that He led us back to her. I love her so much and I feel so blessed to be able to work with her. Thank you for all the prayers that have been given in her behalf. I know that it has made a big difference.

It really was such a great week and I am so glad that I got to stay here in Collins Hill. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for each of you. Again good luck tomorrow Court with graduation and everyone else on Friday! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Bedke

PS I found out today how easy it is to send pictures so I will try and do better at sending them more often. This is me and Sister Castleton outside the mission office right after I picked her up. It was kind of wind so my hair is a little crazy. Enjoy!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Amber Pics: 2014-05-12

Sister Webster and Amber

Amber Cleaning the Frig

Mother's Day Dinner Family - Michael, Sister Webster, Roberta, Amber

Southern Wendy's Sign

Amber Ltr: 2014-05-12

Subject: Grandchild #50?

May 12, 2014

Hey family!!!

It was so great being able to talk to all of you yesterday! It definitely made it seem not so far away :) You all seriously looked so good and it was way fun to catch up with all you. Michael and Roberta said to tell you all hi :) We had chinese food and fried twinkies for dinner. I always thought those sounded gross but it was one of the greatest things ever!! Definitely something y'all should try sometime if you ever get the chance!

I don't have a ton of time today and you got most of my highlights when we talked yesterday. Just trying to get everything ready to train on Wednesday. I really just want her to have a good first experience here in this ward and to start out just loving her mission. I am excited for this chance that I have to train but I would appreciate you sending some prayers my way on Wednesday. Haha maybe my baby girl can count as grandchild #50 for grandma and grandpa :) Congrats Mike and Emily!!

Everything is going good here :) We are just trying to help our potentials start moving forward but I know that it will come. The Lord is so mindful of us and I am so happy to be able to serve as His representative. I love this Gospel!

So sorry that this is so short but I'll send some pics home to make up for it. I love you all so much!! Have a great week!

Sister Bedke

Monday, May 5, 2014

Amber Ltr: 2014-05-05

Subject:  "I may not know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow"

May 5, 2014

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Glad to hear that it has been a good week for everyone :) Thanks for sending on the pics! Those are my favorite thing to get. Only 6 more days til I get to talk to all of you! So excited! We are calling from Michael and Roberta's so you will get to meet all of them! We are just heading over there after church which ends at 4:30 Georgia time so I will probably be calling anytime between then and 5 my time so around 3 your time. That should work for both of us I think. It seems like we were just working through all the details of this for Christmas... Time is just flying by!

Poison ivy update: it is almost all of the way cleared up now! It doesn't itch anymore and there is just a little redness remaining. And I haven't had any weird side effects from the steroids so that is good news :) Also for the record, just because something has 3 leaves doesn't mean that it is poison ivy. Poison ivy has a very distinct shape. Of the 3 leaves, the outer two have jagged edges on the outside and smooth edges on the inside and the center leaf has jagged edges on both sides. It is also characterized by a reddish stem and is much more common in the east than the west. The "whole leaves of 3, let it be" isn't enough information to classify the plant. Just so y'all know :)

That is awesome the yard is starting to come together! I'm sure Traci will help it to be beautiful :) And Chamber's bball court is huge! I can't believe Ashlyn is getting married. That is so crazy but tell her congratulations for me! I haven't gotten that announcement yet that you sent but hopefully soon.

That text came from Sister Oliver. She joined the church about 5 years ago from being a very devout Catholic. Her best friend was Mormon and one day she just decided to listen to what they had to say and decided to join.  Her kids got baptized in December and January. She is such a nice lady and is so good to us :) She came up and gave me a huge hug in church yesterday for my delivery from you guys. Thanks for passing it on! Are the sisters staying busy in that are assigned to our area? What all are they doing? How big is there area?

Transfers are next week! What the heck? I have been in Collins Hill for 3 months now. It has flown by so fast! So next week we will find out some news. I'm pretty sure that I am staying but Sister Webster is probably getting transferred. I'm going to miss her! We have had a lot of fun together and she has taught me a lot.

Funny that you asked about me being on a bike... So you know the goal I had to never touch my bike? I failed. On Wednesday we were out of miles so we broke out the bikes. We were riding on the main roads and I was a little scared for my life but no worries we survived and all is well and I think I grew a little from the whole experience. Not sure yet though.

Donna is doing awesome! She came with us to church yesterday!!! She seemed to really enjoy it and the members were awesome. We met with her almost every day this week and had some awesome lessons. She is doing so well! She took us out to dinner on Saturday and always tells us how much she loves us. Love that woman!

Well that about wraps up my week. I'm out of time but I will catch you up on the rest when we talk on Sunday!! I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of you!! I know my Savior lives and that He truly is there for each one of us.

Love, Sister Bedke