Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ola Minha Familia!

Week 14 - Brazil

This week has flown by! It was a great week! Most importantly.....we had our first baptism yesterday!!! Sister Fortes and her last companion have been teaching her for a while but she came to church for the first time last Sunday and felt the spirit so strongly and wanted to be baptized. She was baptized after church yesterday! Her name is Maria and she is such a sweetheart.  She was crying the whole time yesterday and kept saying over and over how happy she was and how pure she felt.  She told us over and over how her life has been so much better since she met the missionaries. It was such a great day! Me, Sister Fortes, and the other two sisters in the area sang How Great Thou Art at her baptism. I love singing and music in Portuguese because it’s the one thing that is the same as in the United States!

Some of the days this week have been really hard. It’s been hard for me to keep a good attitude sometimes when I always feel so out of the loop and never know what the heck is going on.  And sometimes I don’t think that is just because I don’t know the language. But all that being said I have felt it over and over again this week that Brazil is exactly where I need to be right now. I have grown more in these past 2 weeks I think than I did in my whole transfer in WA.  It’s because things haven’t come very easy and I have to rely on the Lord. And now I know I need to do that ALL the time not just when things are hard. I also know that there is a reason why I have to learn a language.  I’m learning better how to study and focus and just how to work hard for something that I want to be good at. I was getting impatient with myself (for some reason I keep thinking I need to be fluent with the language by now, don’t ask me why) but then I just realized that I wasn’t working as hard as I could.  So I’ve started to try to talk just Portuguese whenever possible no matter how long it takes me to say it and I spend extra time going through these notecards learning new words. That’s helped a lot. And the most motivating thing ever is going to lessons and not being able to say everything I want to say. That always makes me want to work that much harder. 

This week we got 10 new investigators! One of them is 20 years old and she just had a baby. Her babies name is Camilla and she is the most beautiful baby ever!! She is only 2 weeks old. Natalia is the mom’s name, and she seems really interested in the church. I still can’t believe how interested everyone is in learned about Jesus. They see the name on our name tags and want to talk about our religion.  It’s so crazy! We are teaching all women.  In church it’s mostly moms and their children and then like 5 men there.  

I put my pictures of snow in my bag this week and showed some of the people we teach. They loved it!!!! No one has ever seen snow here before and they all thought it was the most beautiful thing they have ever seen.  Yesterday in church I sat by a 12 year old girl name Cecilia.  She asked about my whole life! She thought all of our family’s names were so funny. She especially laughed at Brice and Carter and she loved the name Jessica.  I told her that her and carter should get married and she thought that was funny too :) She thinks Carter looks a lot older than 11.

I can’t believe I forgot this in my last letter! My area is Boa Vista!!! I’m not sure exactly how far away it is from Recife because we took the bus here. But it was like a 3 hour bus ride and we had to switch buses twice. It’s one of the coldest areas in the mission. and it’s still freaking hot as heck!!!! I have tan lines already! If you want to send any package or and mail you send it all to the mission office. 

Sister Malyssa Bedke
Brazil Recife Mission
Rua Das Ninfas 30
Boa Vista-Recife-PE

If you ever do send anything I’d like those granola bars that I like and then gum. They don’t have any of that here.

I think that’s it for the week! I don’t have a picture of the church here but I’ll get one and send it next week. The churches are BEAUTIFUL here. I wish I had a picture of the one in downtown Recife. It is like 3 stories and so pretty!!! I took some kinda good pictures from this week. One of me drinking a coconut. It’s not as good as I thought it would be. It’s so cute so I thought it would be like this sweet juice stuff on the inside so I was disappointed. And then I have some of all the chocolate people have given us for Easter. I’m gonna gain 10 this week I already have accepted it. Everyone just kept giving us more chocolate! And then some from Maria’s baptism too!

Good job to Rae in track! Tell me everything that happens. Times and everything! And congrats to Christine!!! They are adorable and I love the names! I can’t wait to meet them!! :)

Love and miss you all!!!

Sister Bedke

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Week 13 - Brazil
I survived my first week in Brazil!! I still can’t believe that I’m actually here! I feel like I’m in a movie. Brazil is amazing!!! I love it here. I cannot get over how nice the people are.  I could literally write a whole page just of nice things people have done for me. I don’t even know where to start! On my first day, I was the only American of the new companions so I couldn’t really talk much to people, it stunk. But a few of them could speak a little English and they tried to help me. And the secretary missionaries could speak English so they translated everything for me! I flew here (from the US) all by myself but it was totally fine. And then when I got to the airport we still had like 4 hours till all the other missionaries would arrive from the Sao Paulo MTC. So I got to know the secretaries very well!! haha One of them told me that the hardest part for him when he was learning Portuguese was to not start daydreaming during lessons and church when he had no idea what anyone was saying. I think we are twins! It is sooooo hard to focus when I’m just so lost!! The good news is I have my whole life planned out because I have a lot of time to think about everything! But I’m getting better at focusing because I want to learn this language as fast as possible. It so frustrating being confused all the time. 
I love my companion!! Her name is Sister Fortes and she’s from Sao Paolo. She speaks English pretty good too!! Sometimes I’m not sure if that’s a good thing though because then I’m too tempted to talk in English and not figure it out in Portuguese. She’s awesome though!!! She takes really good care of me. On our first day she spoke a lot of English with me and the other missionaries kept telling her she needed to speak Port and she was like you try going to another country where you don’t know the language and see how you like it! It was so funny. And she is so protective of me!! You don’t ever have to worry about my safety seriously. She always makes me walk on the inside of the sidewalk and practically holds my hand when we cross the road. Haha  She told me “eef anyone toches you, i keel dem!” Oh and also she always makes me wear sunsreen and bugspray even when I don’t want to!!! I told her I want to get tan and she still makes me!! I still am burnt though. She is so awesome and does so much for me. I’m lucky I’ve had such good companions.
Ok so about brazil!! These are the biggest differences that I’ve noticed so far. First of all the drivers are crazy!!!!! And everyone is always honking. I don’t think anyone looks for pedestrians ever. And then there is a million motorcyclists and they just weave in and out of everything going so fast and literally are like an inch away from hitting other cars and no one even cares.  The second big difference is the people are so friendly!!! Not that they aren’t in the states but it’s just way different here.  Everyone we talk to says we can come share a message with their families and they’ll give us their address and everything. And that’s like ten people a day that will invite us over. I can’t believe how open people are here! And then everyone hugs and kisses our cheeks. There was this one lady...I wasn’t really sure who she was but I figured that she was a member of the church because she invites us into her house and gives us water and food and then after we leave I asked who she was and Sister Fortes was like I don’t know I just met her! Everyone is so nice! Yesterday we were at the people’s house and I was sitting next to the grandma and she says something to her grandson and he comes back with sunscreen. Next thing I know she rubbing it all over me! She said I’m red and that I’m going to get cancer haha. I don’t think I’ll ever be tan because everyone forces me to wear sunscreen dang it!!
Our ward is so small.  I counted yesterday and there were 37 people in Sacrament Meeting. But we have 500 less active members. We have our work cut out for us. I keep wondering why I was sent to this area because it needs so much help and I feel like I can’t do much since I can’t communicate, but I know that there was a reason. I’m trying to figure out ways that I can make a difference with my limited Portuguese. We will figure it out! I had to play the piano right on the spot in Sacrament Meeting. They were about to start singing and then Sister Fortes says Sister Bedke can play the piano!! So I had to go up there and I had no idea what song it was because I couldn’t read the title!!!! But I got through it!  The last song was High on a Mountain Top which is supposed to be fast but I didn’t recognize what song it was till like half way through! Everyone was singing way faster than I was playing.  I thought I was playing the wrong song lol. I shared my testimony! It was really short and very simple, but I know that my comfort zone has grown a crap ton since I started my mission. When i went up there of course everyone gets silent and decided to pay attention!! But it was so cute because I could tell everyone wanted me to do well. Like the whole congregation would nod when I would say the words right and they would mouth the words that I struggled with. All 40 people in there did that. I about started laughing up there! And then when I said amen everyone said amen so loud like yay you did it!! Everyone is so nice! The little girls LOVE the missionaries. They want to be by us and hold our hands all the time and it’s adorable! And then they say all the English words they know to me. They were like "sister....HOT DOG!" :) And also in every class and every meeting I have gone to I get called on to say the prayer. Every single one!!! People like hearing me try to speak Portuguese I think.
The food has all been delicious. They eat really big lunches here and we go to someone’s house for pretty much every lunch. I don’t know how to say I’m full and not be rude!! But they say come mais come mais Sister! Eat more, eat more and I just have to suck it up because I’m not sure if it really does hurt their feelings or not to refuse. But it’s really good! And they make this juice stuff from scratch and I love it!!
My apartment is really cute! I think it’s nicer than my old one!! Maybe not nicer just cleaner.  I love the Brazilian style of it. It doesn’t have AC, but we stay pretty comfortable in there. I’m still not used to sleeping just on a mattress with no blankets.  I don’t want a blanket because it’s too hot, but I just feel weird not having anything covering me! It gets so hot here in the day! I’m just accepting the sweatiness. I pit out my shirts so bad and I don’t even care! Our area is HUGE and we have to walk up a lot of hills so by the end of the day I am a sweaty mess! 
The hardest thing is just not ever knowing what the heck is going on. I already never knew what’s going on and now it’s a lot worse.  I just want to be a good missionary and sometimes that seems impossible because I am so clueless!  I get frustrated at myself, but at the same time I have made a lot of progress in the first week. I just need to get better at focusing and studying every chance I get. This stuff takes time and I need better patience. I just want to talk to people!!! We live with two other girls and one of them is American so she can translate for me when I’m lost.  That is such a blessing!!
I have only a couple of pictures from Brazil because we aren’t supposed to carry our cameras around with us. And the pictures I have don’t even come close to showing how beautiful it is here! It is amazing!!! I want you guys to come see it! And everyone is just always having fun and so laid back. Oh and they like American music.  Every night is some kind of party and they have music blasting that we can hear at our apartment! But I’ll send the pics I have and then I have a few from Couer d’Alene in Idaho!  I probably left out so much stuff because so much happened this week, but my internet time is almost up!  I love and miss you guys!! Thank you for everything!!!
Sister Bedke
Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dear Family and Friends

Week 11 - Post Falls, Idaho
I have one week till I go to Brazil!! Have you guys had a travel scheduled emailed to you yet? They said they would do that.  I got an email today and it says I need to be at the mission home by 7 am on Monday and that my flight leaves at 10:15. Hopefully that's all I need to know!
Thank you everyone for all the birthday wishes! I had a great day! When I woke up, the sisters I live with wrote me birthday notes on the mirrors and shower!  I opened my presents and I love everything!! Thank you so much!!!! But after that it was just a normal day. Then that night at the women's broadcast, Sister Jeffery told Sister Chamberlain that it was my birthday so she insisted on taking us out to the Mexican restaurant afterwards.  Her 8 year old came with us too.  She was so excited to hang out with the missionaries.  It was cute :)  And wasn't that so nice of her to send you those pictures?! I didn't even think of asking her to do that.  She was just taking all these pictures and then was like oh we have to send these to your parents! And then she thought it would be even better to make you guys a video.  :)  She was hoping it wouldn't make you cry haha! She is so sweet!
I loved the Women's broadcast! It was so good! Penny watched it too and loved it.  She was very impressed with the music which I though it was great too. She came to church again yesterday and loved it.  Yesterday was such a great testimony meeting.  Two less active people that we meet with regularly bore their testimonies.  It was amazing! One of them is in her 50s.  She bore her testimony of how she knows that Heavenly Father is aware of us and that he answers our prayers. And then it was so funny she singled me and Sister Jeffery out. She turned to us and said "and yes girls I AM reading my Mormon book." Everyone started laughing. It was such a good testimony! And then the other girl is a 14 year old. She bore her testimony about the temple and how she could feel how much God loves her when she was there.  It about made me cry! She has a really hard life and no family support.  Her and her sister would be at church every week if they could.  I took pictures with them this week because it was the last time we are meeting before I leave so I'll send those later.
I'm getting my hair cut today! I'm getting it all one length.  Hopefully its not too short :/ I probably won't get to write next week because I'll be on a plane!! :) But they said I could call when I'm in the airport if I have enough time. So be ready to answer! I might call during a layover and not in the morning. Just be ready all day on Monday! I'll get a picture with Sister Johnson today...I'm pretty sure I'll see her later.  That is so crazy that you served with her dad!! I can't wait to tell her!
Mom and Dad, thank you for the scriptures. I love all of them and it was a good reminder! You two are the best!! I love and miss you all so much! Next time I email I'll be in BRAZIL!!!!!
Sister Bedke
Malyssa with her companion, Sister Jeffery

Sam and Ramie (in the picture above)

Sister Hood is going home after this transfer. Malyssa said this is what missionaries do when someone is going home :)