Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dear Family and Friends

Week 5 - Provo MTC
This has probably been the most exciting week yet! First of all, I got my reassignment to Spokane Washington!!! I am so excited!  There are four of us Brazil visa waiters going there.  And one of them is from my district! We are teaching companions right now so we're already good friends! I was excited to know some people headed there with me!  So from my district this was our reassignments: me and Elder Kaiser are going to Spokane, one is going to Portland, Oregon (I’m kinda jealous of him), one is going to Rochester, New York, and one got his visa and is headed to Recife on Monday!!! I don’t know what day I’m leaving yet but it will most likely be early Monday or early Tuesday.  So I have like a week left here!! It’s crazy and scary but I’m excited!! I met a guy here that is from the Spokane area and he was talking about how awesome it is and how pretty it is there.  And he said there are a lot of members there.  Which scares me because I’m probably gonna get fed all the time and gain so much weight!! Oh well though, I’m so ready for real food! The food here at the MTC is getting a little old!  I love the breakfasts, but everything else I'm sick of having.  But considering how many people they have to feed they do a good job with the food for the most part. Oh also I met a guy from Recife here!!! He is the most friendly guy ever!!! He was so excited to have met someone going there. hahah  He was so funny.  He told me all about the area and told me about his favorite soccer team there and made me promise him I would cheer for them.  I hope everyone there is as nice as he is!
Another awesome thing that happened this week, Elder Holland was at our devotional on Sunday!!!!! It was so cool!!! His son, who is the president of UVU, was the speaker.  So he came with his family and sat up on the stand! He talked to us for like 5 minutes and introduced his son.  I thought it was cool how he kinda took all the attention off of himself and put it all on his son and how he is so proud of him and the rest of his family.  It was kinda sad that we didn’t get to hear much from him, but his son gave such a good talk! It was definitely the best one so far!! He talked about the life of Joseph Smith.  I learned a lot of cool things about him that I never knew before.  And then it was also cool because the choir at the end sang the prettiest version of Praise to the Man.  I lost my voice though!!!!!! I was so sad that I couldn’t hardly sing!!!! I literally couldn’t sing above a G. I just pretended like I was singing the whole time.  It was such a great night though! And it was perfect timing for me because I’m about to be done with the Book of Mormon from cover to cover.  It was a great testimony builder.  And then at the end when they were leaving Elder Holland blew us a kiss and it was the cutest thing ever it about made me cry!
The other good thing about this week was me and Elder Kaiser and Stutz had our best lesson ever yesterday! We taught about the restoration of the gospel.  My favorite part was when we told him the first vision (which I don’t have memorized in English, only Portuguese so I need to do that for WA).  There was the best feeling in the room! And we all worked together so well.  Like we would build off of what the other person was saying and it flowed really well! And then at the end of our lesson we usually just ask if we can come back tomorrow and say bye but this time he told us to stay in the room because he wanted to talk to us.  He told us that that was the best lesson he has been taught yet since he's been working here! And he said that it was also the most unified lesson he's been taught! We were soooo excited!!! I like when he told us that our Portuguese wasn't perfect, but the spirit that he felt there was perfect. It was the best feeling ever! We were so proud of ourselves because we have been working hard this past week and trying to stay focused and on task during our study times.  It’s the best feeling to see that hard work pay off!
I can't believe that I only have less than a week here and then I'll be out in the real world! I feel like I just got here! But I’m so excited to move on and start teaching real people.  I don’t really feel ready but idk if I ever would even if I stayed here another month. 
I got the valentines package.  Thank you soo much!! I love all the pictures too.  I showed everyone in my zone how cute Rae and Carter are :) I’m so excited someone is interested in my car!!
This sunday in church me and the other girls in my zone are singing A Child’s Prayer in Portuguese!! It sounds so cute in Portuguese! We’re going to record ourselves practicing and I’ll send it to you if I can figure that out.  The words are kinda a lot different in Portuguese if you translate it exactly but it’s still really cute!
I think that is about it for this week! DONT FORGET THAT I CAN CALL YOU AND DONT FORGET TO ANSWER YOUR PHONE!!! Idk when the next time I can write another long email will be because I most likely won’t be here next Tuesday. But i get to check my email pretty much this weekend so email me back!!! Thank you for everything! Love and miss you all!
Sister Bedke


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dear Family

Week 4 - Provo MTC
Jessica-- you met Zac Efron?!!!!!! What the heck?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I AM SO JEALOUS!!!!!!  You can’t write me that and then not give me the details!!! I literally teared up when I read your letter that’s how jealous i am! I read it at dinner and I started screaming! Everyone thought like someone died in my family haha! Did you get a picture?! Please tell me you did!! And send it to me if you did!!!!! I’m tearing up again right now. Email me or write a letter asap telling me everything!!
I met Coach Hunsaker’s son this week at gym.  He was playing bball and I was over playing volleyball and I was talking to his companion and he was saying how he was a legit basketball player at UVU and that his dad was the coach there!  And I was like wait are you a Hunsaker?  And I think he thought I was like a creeper at first but I explained how my dad knows his dad and that I’m from North Manchester!  He thought it was the craziest thing ever!  Small world!  I’m pretty sure he is going to Mozambique and learning Portuguese too!
 I’m going to miss Sister MacArthur and I’m sad she’s leaving.  We were getting good at planning/teaching together.  So now I will be a “solo” sister and I’ll get a cool sticker on my nametag – that way I won’t get in trouble walking around with just guys.  It has been kinda weird teaching with elders. I thought I wouldn’t like it, but I actually don’t mind it!  They let me choose who I wanted to teach with between the two other companionships in my district.  I didn’t know who to choose because I really like all of them and we are all good friends, but two of them seem to have a little tension between them and I felt like that could be awkward, so I went with the other two.  I think it was the right choice. They are both really great missionaries and I’ve already learned a lot from them! It’s nice to teach with other people sometimes, it has shown me a lot of things that I should be doing that I never thought of before!  I was nervous they weren't going to want another person teaching with them but they have been really nice and welcoming!  When we say a prayer before our lessons, they always say they are glad that Sister Bedke is with them. That makes me feel good!
Now I teach their investigators and not mine anymore.  It was weird on the first lessons with them because even though it’s just our teacher acting like someone, I still felt like I didn’t know him because it was my first time teaching the person he was acting as! And they had taught him like 6 lessons already and knew him really well so they were asking him about all these things and I didn’t know what to say! But it has gotten better now.  It was easier to say what I wanted to say when I was with Sister MacArthur, but this will be good for me.
So this week has been interesting.  After my companion left, the other girl in my room left for New Mexico a few days later.  So I had to move all of my stuff out of the room because we aren’t allowed to have a room to our self.  It took way longer than you would think! And I’m just gonna have to pack it all back up in two weeks to leave again.  I’m now rooming with three girls that are in my zone and got here a couple weeks after me.  They are all really nice, but I kinda feel like an outsider because they are all companions and have class together all day and are really close, and I don’t really know them that well.  Hopefully that will change though.
I could get my reassignment as soon as this Friday!!!! I can’t believe it!! I’ll email you if I get it this weekend, but most likely I won’t get it till next Tuesday or around that time!! Also, the MTC gives you some warm clothes for free! And I heard they are actually really nice and cute! So that’s good. But hopefully I’ll go somewhere warm and won’t have to worry about that.  A guy in my zone who is two weeks behind me got his visa yesterday and already left this morning.  I was jealous.  But at the same time I am really excited to see where I get assigned! There is a website where you can check the status of your visa and mine is still on the first part- as in they have received it but haven’t done anything with it.  Two of the guys in the district are on the last step! They’re lucky!
 I’m trying to focus better this week in personal study time.  Usually it turns into our district talking time.  But I kinda feel like I’m not progressing as much with my Portuguese!! I’ve set goals for myself and that really has helped so far with me staying on task. I’m trying to memorize scriptures in Portuguese and learn 10 new vocab words a day. My life would be so much easier if I was just fluent.  I can’t wait for that day to come!
 I’ve seen Isaac a few times here. He said he is doing great so far!  It’s fun every time I get to see him.  I can’t believe he is leaving the MTC before I am! If i was English speaking, I would’ve already been out of the MTC for 2 weeks!!!
 I keep forgetting to mention this but I wanted to let you know that I keep my part of the room so clean!! I have never been so organized in my life! You would be so proud. And I also make my bed pretty much every morning!
 I can’t believe all the snow you guys are getting! I bet it is so pretty there. Rae said she already has to go to school on 2 Saturdays? That’s crazy!  I like hearing about how all the basketball teams are doing! Keep keeping me updated! I’m glad Rae is shooting more, she takes after me ;)
 Ok well I think that’s about all for this week. I’ll probably think of a whole bunch of stuff I forgot to say and send you a letter later this week.  I’ll send pictures in a sec! Love and miss you all!
Sister Bedke
Thursday, February 6, 2014

Oi! Como Vai?

Week 3 - Provo MTC
I can’t believe that I am half way done with the MTC!! These past three weeks have flown! If the rest of my mission goes by this fast I'll be home before I know it! 
So the devotional speaker on Sunday told us the score at halftime :( I was so sad! And then i couldn’t focus the rest of his talk because I was just ticked!! What the heck happened? What did Peyton say in his interviews?  I wish I could've watched! I bet it wasn’t too fun to watch though.
Thank you for the updates about Rae and Carter’s sports!  I love hearing how they are doing and wish I could be there to watch.
I sent a letter to Rae and Cart a while ago. Hopefully they get there soon! And i just got a letter in the mail today to Emma, Ainsley, and Hadley! I loved their letters and pictures! :)
This week me and my companion got asked to be the sister training leaders of our zone! We got a binder and everything.  So basically we just have to make sure all the girls in our zone are adjusting well and answer any questions they may have! Oh and btw there is another girl from Indiana in my zone now!! She just got here last week! I was so excited! She just graduated from Purdue and is from Lafayette as well.  I think she is like 22. She is really nice!  Also, I forgot to tell you that I'm the pianist for my ward :/ I get so nervous because I never have any time to practice so the prelude is pretty much my practice time! But so far I’ve only noticeably messed up one time. It was really bad though haha.
The district ahead of me is getting their reassignment this week!  One of them is going to Indianapolis, Indiana!!!! I told him to look for grandma and grandpa and told him their names.  He actually was kinda bummed and then I told him I’m from Indiana so then he was like oh I mean I’m really excited haha.  I told him about all the snow you guys have been talking about and that made him even less excited! He’ll love it though! Two of the other guys are going to Arkansas and then 3 of them still haven’t heard anything.  So if my visa doesn’t come, I'll get an email in about two weeks telling me where I'm heading! My wish list is either California, Texas, Florida, Alabama, or Georgia with Amber!! Anywhere warm really!
I feel like nothing too exciting has happened this week!  Mom you asked about our schedule on Sundays...they are my favorite days!  We have leadership training meetings in the morning, we go to music and the spoken word broadcast, relief society with everyone, temple walk, sacrament meeting-- which on Saturday we have to write a talk in Portuguese and then our bishop will randomly call on two people to speak.  I’ve made it half way without talking yay!!-- and then we go and walk around the temple and take lots of pictures, choir practice, devotional, and then they have a whole bunch of different church movies playing in different rooms that we get to choose to watch and then that’s it!  I love Sundays here but it really doesn't feel like a Sunday just because at home that was always my day to just relax and take a long nap but we're always on the go here. 
I think the most important thing I learned this week is that this mission is not about me! It is about serving God and bringing people closer to Him. One of our teachers talked about that in class this week.  I have really tried to remember that.  I listened to a recorded talk by Elder Bednar called "Characters of Christ."  It was so good! I wish you guys could all go watch it online but it is only available here at the MTC :(  He talked about instances how when the natural man would turn inward and think about themselves, Christ always turns out.  He gave specific examples of it found in the bible.  He put it into really great perspective!  He talked about their being a difference between having a testimony and being truly converted to God.  He said just having a testimony will never be enough for us or our investigators.  I also like this that he said, "Testimony is knowing what is true by the Spirit--conversion is consistently being true to what you know." and I liked this that he said too..."when you lose yourself in the service of others, ultimately you will find yourself."  But I tried doing that this week.  When I felt bad for myself because I would have no idea what to say to our investigators and felt bad that I can’t understand Portuguese I remembered that this is not about me and it always helped my mood.
Ok well I think that is about it for the week! I’m gonna start writing something exciting down every night that happened that day because I never remember when it’s time to write our emails! Thank you everyone for the emails and dear elders... I get so excited when I get them!! I wish I had more time to write everyone back! I miss and love you all!
Sister Bedke