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


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