Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dear Family and Friends

Week 2 - Provo MTC
This week went by soooo fast and that makes me happy! After the first few days it felt like it would be an eternity before I leave the MTC.  But now it’s flying by and I’ll be out of here before I know it.  I have learned so much more Portuguese too! I actually really like class.  I thought it would be kinda like college and get boring but I love learning a new language! My teacher talked to us this week about how we aren't learning the language for ourselves but for the people that we are going to teach and serve in Brazil.  That was a good reminder and was motivating.  The main reason why I hope I get my visa is just so I can get there and get really good at the language right away instead of staying in the states and losing some of my Portuguese.  That would stink.  But it seems like only about 15% of the Brazil missionaries are actually getting their visas before their stay at the MTC is up so chances are I’ll be reassigned somewhere.  But that would be cool too because it would be like serving two missions in one.  I don’t know if you guys have heard but they aren't calling Americans to Brazil for a while now.  So I’ll be one of the last American missionaries there which makes me feel pretty cool haha.
We got another teacher this week! It’s a good thing because now we are learning a lot more in one day but I also miss the "personal study" time that would turn into everyone in the zone talking.  We have 6 hours of classes every day but today and Sunday.  We also have two new people that we are teaching the gospel to (it’s really our teachers acting like someone they taught on their missions).  They aren’t anywhere near as friendly as our first guy.  And our first guy, his name is Anderson, helped us with our Portuguese when we didn't know what to say! But these new two will probably be more realistic.  Yesterday for the first time I taught the lesson without having a little script in front of me giving me the Portuguese translations.  I was so nervous that I was going to go blank once we got in the room but we said a prayer before we went in and I actually remembered how to say everything! It was awesome! I talked more than I ever had in any lesson and I had notes in all those!  I hated reading off the notes because it felt so impersonal.  Our teachers always tell us to teach people, not lessons but that was so hard to do at first when we couldn’t speak their language. I’m so glad I’m past that part now though because I feel like now I can listen and respond so much better and not just be sitting there thinking about what and how I am going to say next.  I still talk super slow though and I know I don’t conjugate all the verbs right.  Having a little Spanish experience has helped me so much! But I already know more Portuguese in two weeks than I know of Spanish from 3 years! It’s crazy!
I haven't gotten the letters from Ains or Had yet :( Hopefully soon! I’m excited for them!)  Did you guys get my letter in the mail? I hope so! You guys need to go check out  You can send a letter online and it gets printed out and given to me that same day here at the MTC and I’m pretty sure you can still do it when I’m out of here too.
Me and the girl I live with who is actually kinda my other companion now (her original companion got her visa and is now in Brazil) have been exercising every day!! And she makes me eat healthy too haha.  I want her to follow me around for the rest of my life! She knows so many different exercises so it doesn’t get boring.  We wake up at 6 every day and work out for like 45 minutes.  I was sooooooo sore after the first few days but now I’m adjusting.  And it doesn’t help that my classroom is on the fifth floor.  Those stairs KILLED me! She and I have become really good friends. She waxed my armpits this morning hahahaha. It hurt so bad! She has the cutest clothes ever and I’ve worn a few! Her mom made a lot of her skirts and they are so cute! I want to learn how to do that when I get back.
We haven’t had a General Authority here yet.  Elder Holland was here the day before I got here and I heard it was super good! I’m sad I missed it.  The devotionals are always my favorite! Every speaker has always been so good and motivating!  I also like the devotionals because the choir gets to sing! Our conductor is so funny and always tells us the best stories.  We’re singing a cool version of “Called to Serve” tonight in honor of the MTC president being here for one year.
I’m excited for Isaac to get here! I’m sure I’ll see him around at lunch or dinner.  He will love it here! I think he will actually leave before I do!
Let me know who wins the Superbowl!! I hope the Broncos do! I wish we could watch it :( and have all the good food we would make for the game!  I miss kipper snacks.

Thank you to everyone who sent me an email! I will try to respond to everyone’s when I have time.  All the support means so much to me.  I miss and love you all!
Sister Bedke
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!!

Week 1 - Provo MTC

It is finally my prep day! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this day for months!  So far I am loving the MTC.  I have to admit the first couple of days were the longest days of my life. I kinda wanted to just come home.  But once we taught our "investigator" (I’ll get to that later) it all seemed worth it and I remembered why I'm here.  My schedule is like this... wake up at 6:30 shower, get ready, breakfast, then we go to the classroom and have individual and companion study for usually about four hours! You would think that that would get boring but I actually really like that time. And plus we don’t have any teacher in there so we can kinda have some fun just messing around with our district :) Sometimes we don’t focus very well at all and it’s a problem. My brain is fried!! And thank goodness all the elders in my district are awesome! So that provides some comic relief (is that the right word?) every so often.  I already am really good friends with all of them so far.  And I honestly don’t think I have opened a door for myself since I got here.  Even if I’m up front they will run around me so they can open the door for us. They are all real gentlemanly.
So far the language is going pretty good! I can't believe how much I have learned in such short time.  I can already say my testimony and a prayer in Portuguese. Granted it probably sounds like a little child saying it but still!  It’s kinda just like "I know Jesus loves me" haha.  I’m really good at understanding the language when people talk but not as good at speaking it.  A lot of times I know what the teacher is saying and everyone else is just sitting there confused so I get to explain it to them.  It makes me feel smart!  Our teacher is so cool! It ended up being my friend from school last year so that’s fun too to see a familiar face every day.  Plus he is a great teacher. 
On Friday we got to teach our first investigator.  And it was in Portuguese :/  oh and it’s not a real investigator it’s really just someone who has served a mission in brazil and is acting like someone that they taught there.  But they do really good job acting! He could've fooled me.  Our investigator’s name is Anderson and he is the nicest guy ever!   It’s been really hard to teach him considering we have no idea how to say what we want to say so we kinda end up reading a script which I don’t like because it doesn’t feel very sincere. But I guess that is really our only option until we learn the language better! And then when he asks us questions me and my companion kinda just look at each other and are just like what the crap because we have no idea how to speak Portuguese! It’s the most frustrating thing ever because most of the time I understand what he is saying and I try to say something back but I can’t! I hate it! I get so frustrated with myself but then i just have to remind myself that I have only been here for 6 days.  And I have learned soooo much already and I know in a few months it will be a lot easier. We have taught 3 lessons so far and each one keeps getting better. And they are so much fun to teach! I can't wait till I’m in Brazil and can do that every day!
The food here is really good! I feel like I’m gaining weight because they have dessert after every meal and it is so hard to pass up!! They have a really nice salad bar though so I usually have that for lunch and that makes me feel healthy.  The girl that I’m rooming with is a personal training major so we are going to start waking up early and working out together so that will be fun! Her companion just left this morning for the Sao Paulo MTC.  Her visa came in and so as soon as that happens you go and finish the MTC there.  I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll get my visa soon! Everyone gets all defensive when I say that I want my visa to come in and they’ll say "if the lord wants you to go to Brazil then your visa will come. If he wants you to stay in the states then that’s what you'll do!" haha  Its hilarious.  I’ve been like rebuked (or debuked hehe) for saying I hope I get my visa. I’m like I know but I still want to go to Brazil!!
Adrienne left this Monday :( I was sad! I got to see her a few times a day and it always made me so happy to talk to her.  She is going to be a great missionary! 
Oh and a kid just jumped up and down in excitement because I guess the broncos are going to the super bowl so that awesome too! Let me know who they are playing and who wins!
I miss you all sooooo much but I truly am having a great time here.  I can feel myself growing every day and it has only been one week.  I’m so glad that I decided to serve a mission.  Thank you so much for the emails! It made me so happy I about cried! Jess, thank you for the letter. It made my day! I wrote you back the next day but just barely put it in the mail today after I had time to buy stamps so you should get it in a couple days.  You wouldn't believe how busy they keep you here.  I think that’s why it feels like I’ve been here for a month is because I’ve already done and learned so much.
I love and miss you all! It was so nice to hear from you guys!!
Sister Bedke