Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Week 74 - Camaragibe

Dear Family and Friends,

Well today is my last p-day. I am sad that it is coming to an end but also excited. It’s a lot of emotions actually! It still hasn’t really set in. I am super grateful for everything that has happened the past year and a half and everything that I’ve learned. I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything.

Today we came to the center of Recife and I bought a few souvenirs. Next Monday I think we have a training for the missionaries going home and then Tuesday I’m going to the temple and then to the airport!

This week has been good because I’ve been so busy that I don’t have any time to worry about anything else besides my work here. We had a zone conference and learned how to make goals and then work to reach those goals. We have to make plans of exactly what we will do to reach our goal. I learned a lot of things that I’ll use for the rest of my life. President Bigelow is so great. I have learned soooooo much from him. I am grateful to serve in his mission. Sister Vasquez and I had to give a training and it went good. We were happy about it. We have been planning the way that President Bigelow taught us and setting goals that make us work hard. I won’t lie I am sooooooo tired. But it’s a good thing.

I’ve been thinking and reflecting a lot about all the things I’ve learned and just how grateful I am to be here. It was the hardest thing ever at times, but also the most rewarding. I love seeing the changes that people make in their life once they come to know Christ. I love seeing the miracles that happen in people’s lives. And I love seeing myself grow and change. I know that Brazil is where I needed to be during this time. I love the scripture in Luke that says "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." And I know that that is so true! I’m excited to apply everything that I’ve learned here once I get home. The last 18 months was just the beginning! I know that the Atonement is real and that change is real! I know that if we have an open heart, he will mold our lives so that we can find real happiness. I just love this gospel!

Love you all! And I can’t wait to see you!!!!


Sister Bedke
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Week 73 - Camaragibe

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy late birthday Carter!!!! Looks like you had a cool b-day party! I loved the pictures! You are so grown up and cute!!!

About my week--it was really good! We have been getting a lot of references from people going on the church’s site and wanting to know more. The hard part is to find where they live though. We received a reference of a couple and we couldn’t find their road. We walked for forever asking everyone and everyone lead us in a different direction. But finally we found the road and we started looking for the house number. And here there is no order at all in the houses. One house is 4 and the next is 528 and the next is 83. But anyways we looked and looked for their house and we almost gave up. But then we found some houses behind other houses on the road and decided to see if one of them were it and we found it!! They live in a super humble house, but we felt the spirit so strong as we taught them. They were so happy that we actually came to see them. They thought that no one would actually come! But they wanted to know about where the church is and the hours and when they could come and visit! They couldn’t come yesterday because of work, but next Sunday they’ll be there! So that was cool and I’m so glad we didn’t give up.

A, the little boy, is doing good. His baptism date was to be this Saturday but it probably will have to be the 27 now. We still have a lot of things to teach because we can only get through a little bit each lesson. But he is getting better and paying more attention. His attention span grew from 1 minute to 3 minutes maybe haha. But also we have been teaching his less active sister and she has come to church 2 times now and yesterday she got an appointment with Bishop to prepare to go back to the temple! She read about ministering angels in Moroni and told us that she knows that angels led us to her house the day that we found her because now she is a lot happier and excited to come back to church.

This week I did an exchange with Sister Fortes!!!! It was a lot of fun to be with her again after all this time. She said how much I’ve changed and how good my Portuguese is now! She has changed a lot too. It is cool to see how much serving a mission changes people for the better.

I was reading Moroni 7 and I love the part at the end that talks about charity. Christ has so much love for each of us. A perfect love that I can’t even understand fully yet, but I can feel when I read the scriptures and teach others. Verse 48 invites everyone to be filled with that same love. The world would be such a happier place if more people developed this attribute of Christ. I have noticed what a difference it makes in my life when I try to look at others through God’s eyes and not my own. It is a huge perspective change!

I almost forgot! This week I had my final interview with President Bigelow. He is the best!! He helped me out with a lot of things and gave me a lot of talks to study and to start making life goals in 4 categories - education, health, social, and spiritual. We talked about a lot of things but I’ll talk more about that later because I’m running out of time!! 

I hope you have a great week! Love you all!


Sister Bedke
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Week 72 - Camaragibe

Dear Family,

How is it already p-day again?! The time has been going by so fast. I can’t believe that this transfer is already half way done. This week has been great and we were able to do lots of things. We are teaching a lot of great new people. The first few weeks of the transfers we knocked a lot of doors and were blessed to find people that have a lot of desire to learn. This week we set a baptism date for A, the 9 year-old boy, to be baptized on the 20th, and also a woman named M for the 27th-I’ll talk more about her after!

A has made a lot of improvements. He is starting to gain his own little testimony, it’s so cute! Yesterday in church he sat on the bench the whole time and was more quiet than the last time so that was good. And also he came to church all by himself! He lives close to the church, but his older sister was still sleeping when it was time for him to leave, so he just went by himself. And also this time he sat with other members and not us, so I think that helped him pay more attention. He says some of the funniest things, it makes it hard to be serious haha. But it is super rewarding to see the growth in him after just a little bit of time.

M and her cousin C (who doesn’t have a baptism date yet) we met knocking doors. It’s actually a weird story that I still don’t understand. So they immediately let us in their house and they said that they have heard of our church before. And they asked if it was the same church that had the young men with a white shirt and tie and a name tag and we told them that it was. And then they said that just the week before two tall blonde elders knocked on their door and asked them for water and then talked a little bit about the Book of Mormon and then went away. Ok and the weird thing is that there isn’t 2 Americans together as a companionship in our whole zone! And even if there was, they would have to leave their area and come into our area (which you aren’t allowed to do) and then take a bus for like 30 minutes to find her house. We have no idea who it was. Sister Vasquez is convinced that they were angels...who knows!! But anyways it was a good thing because they were already a little familiar and prepared for us to start teaching them. M understands the restoration perfectly and has been reading the Book of Mormon. She was telling us how everything makes so much more sense now. We are super excited about her!

We are teaching a lot of other great people too and have been working with a few less actives that are starting to come back to church!! This week we had a leadership meeting with President. It was really good. I always learn soooo much with him. Sister Vasquez and I have to give a training in my last zone conference next week!! That will be fun. But I think those are the main highlights of the week.

This week I gained more appreciation of the Savior and everything that he did for us. We were teaching a less active and he was talking about how when he was active he had to wake up at 6 and go to church meetings and pick people up to go to church and then after church he had to visit people and didn’t get home till late. It was an opportunity for me to share my testimony that we will never be able to do more for God than what He has done for us. We can pass our whole life serving Him and we will still be in debt. It is an honor to wake up at 6:30 and serve until 10:30 at night. I love being able to serve all day and try to live as Jesus lived. There isn’t a better way to understand and know our Savior than dedicated service to Him.

I hope you all have a great week! I love you all and I am excited to see and talk with you soon!!


Sister Bedke
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Week 71 - Camaragibe

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for the emails and pictures. I am sad to hear about Grandma Louise. But I am glad to know about eternal families and understand God’s plan for us. I read some of moms talk and I’m going to print it off to finish the rest at home. It is so good and I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know! She is such a great person.

This week we started teaching a lot more new people again. We have been finding so many people that are searching for the truth. It is great. Yesterday we taught an older lady and I felt like we were in a movie because she was like the perfect investigator. Everything that we taught she had a perfect question that led us to our next topic. She became so interested. The gospel is so perfect and answers any question that a person could have.

We also have been teaching a less active and her little brother who isn’t a member. And he wants to be baptized! He is nine years old, and he has a very short attention span.  It is the biggest challenge in the world to try to teach him. But so far after like 4 lessons I think he has learned that God is our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ is our older brother and that we are all brother and sisters. That part really caught his attention and he likes us to call him Brother Allison now haha. And oh my gosh he came to church yesterday and would not sit still or stop talking!!! It’s hard to be serious with him because he is really funny, but if we start laughing then he does even more crazy things. I think we are learning a lot of patience though.

I have been reading a lot from the conference talks and I have learned so much about the importance of families. I feel so blessed to have been raised in my family with the parents that I have. You guys are the best! I am excited to see you guys soon and share so much more stories with you guys! I hope you all have a great week. Love you!


Sister Bedke

 Domino's Pizza

Dress Up
Monday, May 25, 2015

Week 70 - Camaragibe

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for all the pictures and letters!! I love all the pictures you sent. I can’t believe how tall Emma is!! She is almost the same height as Rae!! They are the cutest little friends together :)

This week has been the best. I have felt like a true instrument in God’s hands and it is the best feeling. I think that everyday just gets happier and happier. We have been knocking a lot of doors and contacting a lot of references and looking for less active families and we have seen a lot of miracles happening. We have been praying a lot to be led to the right people who are prepared for the Gospel and God has been answering our prayers. We worked in a new area that we’ve never been to before and met so many great people. We taught everyone about the Book of Mormon but every lesson was different. I think it is amazing how the Book of Mormon can answer all the questions that anyone could have. And since everyone has different needs we were able to teach about the Book of Mormon but according to their needs. We felt so guided in each lesson, it was awesome. We even taught the wife of a pastor of a really big church here about the Book of Mormon and she agreed to read a chapter and let us come back to teach more. And that is the biggest miracle of all because in 16 months I’ve never taught someone from this church that is open to learning more!!

I am so grateful to be serving a mission. Lately I have been feeling more love for the people that I serve. When we think of everyone has God’s children- as we literally are- it is so much easier to want to serve and help them know the restored gospel. I love getting to know so many people and hearing their stories, dreams, goals, and life experiences. Everyone has a different story and always no matter what their circumstance, the restored gospel will bless their lives.

I love you all!!! I hope you all have a great week!


Sister Bedke

 Olá Poochy!

 Pretty Brazilian Sunset

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 69 - Camaragibe

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for all the cool pictures! Happy birthday to Rae! That is so weird that she is 16!! Is she going to get a car?? I sent her an email last week but idk if she got it because she didn't respond :´(  Also dad and Cart's pictures were cool from Camp Crosley!  Did Carter do the talent show?  Did dad get some sleep this time? haha Glad you guys had a good time!

Today is the first day of my last transfer. I’m super excited for the next six weeks, They are going to be the best yet. I’m staying in Camaragibe, and also I’m staying with Sister Vasquez!!! Which is like a miracle because I've never seen two people stay together for four transfers! But it’s good because we work well together and she is a super dedicated missionary. We have a lot of goals for this transfer. We have both been feeling like this one part of our area that we have never been to before has a lot of people waiting for us, so we are going to start working there a lot and we just need to find a lot of new people. We are super excited!

Yesterday before church was D and R’s baptism finally!! It was worth the wait though. It was super special and they both were so happy. S baptized them which also was really special. It was cute how he got emotional to be baptizing his two daughters. They both got Faith in God books and are excited to start working on that. And also R was already assigned to give a prayer in primary and D a talk. They’re already a part of the ward :)  It was so cute, after they were confirmed they came skipping down from the stand back to their seats haha. Today I will finally be able to send pictures so you can see!!

Other than that this week was pretty normal. I did two companion exchanges which I love doing! It is a lot of fun to work with other missionaries. I always learn so much every time. I have a lot of pictures to send this week!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!!


Sister Bedke

 Banana Farm

 The District

 Happy (late) Mother's Day!

 What does a cool accent get you?  Free sushi!

 The baptism

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 68 - Camaragibe

Dear Family and Friends,

It was so good to see and talk to you guys yesterday! Idk how it was for you, but for me the time went by so fast. I have so much more to tell you. When I get home I’ll tell you guys about everything and I want to know everything that has happened there too. Everett is so cute! It was awesome to see him! I’m glad that everything worked out with the 3-way skype. The Irma was doing like a 6-way skype with her nephew who is a missionary and her sisters. It was awesome! Everyone said that we have a beautiful family. They liked seeing you guys!

This week was good! I don’t have much to say because I told you guys most of it yesterday. We have been talking with a lot of people.  Yesterday before skype we were knocking doors close to the member’s house and we met a young lady. Her name is Karol. We taught her about the plan of salvation and it was a really good lesson. We will see! 

We had a leadership meeting this week with President Bigelow. He taught us how we can teach better about prophets. A lot of people here think that if you believe in God then you are a prophet. Or they think that we are prophets! He showed us a lot of scriptures in the Bible that we can use to help people better understand that there is only one prophet on the earth at a time that has the keys and authority. While I was writing about that I just remembered something funny that happened a few weeks ago. We met the funniest/weirdest man on the street. I don’t know if he was drunk or if he is just really weird. But he saw that we are missionaries so he came up to us and started telling us how he is a prophet and all the things that God has told him to do and a whole bunch of random stuff. He talked for forever and then we had to cut him off to be able to leave but he was like "nooooo please don’t leave!! I’m gonna go with you guys. With 3 of us God will be with us more strongly. Let me walk with you till the light pole!" and by this point I was laughing so hard because he was being so funny! He was saying so much random stuff and then added in your pretty! and then continued on with his sermon. Idk how to explain it very well you just had to be there. But he finally did go away. I hope to see him again someday, because he made our day!

I have a lot of pictures to send! I hope you all have a great week! Love you all! Thank you for everything!


Sister Bedke