Thursday, May 22, 2014
Week 18 - Gravata

Ok before I forget because I keep forgetting to say this and I don’t know how! Penny got baptized on Saturday!! Sister Jeffery has been emailing me and letting me know how things are going. Remember how I told you that her granddaughter was dating a guy that is on a mission? Her name is Hannah and they started teaching her and she got baptized on the same day too! I was so so so happy to hear this. I wish so bad I could’ve been there, but I wrote her a letter this week and I’m sending it today. Also she said Hannah wants to serve a mission now too! Ahhh it’s so exciting!

Last week flew by! I can’t believe how fast each day goes by here. It’s crazy! We are seeing some progress as well! We are teaching Alana, the daughter of Maria, and her 11-year-old son and they are awesome! They are reading the Book of Mormon and saying their prayers! They didn’t come to church yesterday dang it! But we're not too discouraged, she'll come next week! Also Sevè wanted to come so bad but she had to work. Also, there is a lady- we still don’t know her name but she works at this pastel place (Malyssa told us a pastel is kind of like a calzone). We call her pastel lady. Every time we talk to her she’s working so we can never talk much, but she said she wants to come to church! So we've eaten there like 3 times in the past week haha. We want to ask her where she lives so we can go visit her house but she is always so busy making food. Hopefully we will see her at the church this week and we can talk to her more there. But she is also interested in the English and guitar classes there! Also we went to a wedding at the church this week, and the parents of the groom were very impressed with the church and the bishop and they want to start meeting with us and learning more! So we're excited for that, they are so nice!

Now I have to tell you about the interesting part of this week. Everyone is like don’t tell your parents about this but I don’t think you guys will freak out. At least you shouldn’t because I am perfectly fine and I haven’t felt unsafe once since I got here. But this week the police went on strike for a couple of days. They wanted a 30% pay raise. So anyways a lot of people decided that they would take this opportunity to go crazy and do all the crimes they wanted because there was no one to stop them. So we had to stay inside all day for 2 days. And then yesterday and today we have to be home by 8 pm. It was the most boring days of my life!!! We were all soooooo bored! But I got to take a nap for the first time in 4 months so that was nice! Idk what even happened out there or if it was even that bad, but President wanted to be extra safe just in case so all missionaries had to stay in for those 2 days. But it’s normal again now! And we were never even scared or anything so don’t get worried or think I’m in an unsafe place!!

Thank you dad for the detailed description of the track meet. Do that every time please!! And wow Rae you are awesome!!!!!!! I’m so proud of you :) Good luck in sectionals this week! I’m glad you guys got my letter finally!! I think it’s crazy it took 6 weeks to get there! I haven’t gotten anything from you guys yet. I wonder how long a box takes to get here! We will get to go to the temple in June. I’m excited! Also, idk why I always forget to tell you guys this too, but we are getting a new mission president in June too. He is from Salt Lake and he has I think like 3 kids that are still living with him! I hope it’s not too hard for them finishing high school in a different country! I think that would be so hard!

I have some good pictures this week. Some from us being bored to death staying inside all day and some from the wedding. We got all fancied up for the wedding because we had nothing better to do. It was on one of the days we had to stay in, but since the church is right by our house we were allowed to go. Hope you all have a good week. Love and miss you!!!!!


Sister Bedke

Bride in the middle.

Stuck inside the apartment (in the picture above too).

Malyssa and her companion.

Friday, May 16, 2014
Week 17 - Gravata
I feel like I don’t have much to write since I just talked to you guys yesterday! It was soooooo good to see you guys!! Everyone said you guys are awesome.  It made me miss you all and kinda sad though. But it was definitely worth it! Next time we skype I’ll have almost a year on my mission! I can’t believe how quickly it already has gone by though.  Today is the first day of our new transfer. All the girls in my house are staying which was a big surprise. Sister Rodrigues has been in Gravatà since October so we figured she would get transferred. I like her so much so I’m glad we get one more transfer with her.
I wish that I had a few awesome investigators that I could tell you about. Well everyone that we teach is awesome but we have none that are progressing! It stresses me out thinking about it! Most of the people just love having us in their house and they’ll listen so intently and always invite us back but when it comes to making any kind of commitment or coming to church no one wants to. So we always come to the point where we don’t know if we should go back and keep teaching or if they aren’t ready for the gospel yet. BUT I told you a little about the daughter of Maria. She couldn’t come to church yesterday because she works but she said she’ll come with her mom this Sunday. And also another lady that we're teaching name Cefè said she is coming to church this Sunday as well. So we are excited for that! We're going to try to see them as much as possible this week. Also the 10 year old that I told you about last week, we called President and he said she needs to come to church for 3 months before she can be baptized.  I think I explained all the rules about kids being baptized in my last letter so read that if you have questions. But we are going to go to her house this week and try to teach her parents too because if her parents are getting baptized then there is no rule about kids. So hopefully that goes well. And also we got a referral from the other sisters for a kid that was being taught a few years ago and wanted to get baptized but his parents wouldn’t give him permission. So he had to wait until he turned 18 which he is now and he's in our area! He hasn’t been to church in forever though, but we are excited to go see him this week. We had a lesson on Saturday with the family that I told you about last week. She is a single mom with young kids so we thought we should make her a cake and card for mother’s day.  I’m so glad we thought of that! She about cried she loved it! And her kids were both like tomorrow is mother’s day?? So I’m glad we could do something for her! We had a good lesson with her about the plan of salvation and we talked about baptism at the end and she doesn’t understand the need for priesthood authority. I think we need to teach the first lesson again (about the restoration) because the first time we taught it was really hectic and the kids were asking me a million questions about the United States. So I think we didn’t teach it and the need for a restoration very good. That is always so hard to keep people focused during the lessons because everyone always wants to ask about the United States!
I hope you get my card soon!! And I hope I get the box soon too! What is in it? I miss American grocery stores! I want good snack food. All I eat when I’m at home is bananas and crackers. Literally!!!! And sometime tomatoes too when I can find good ones.
Happy Birthday to Rae this week!!!! I can’t believe you will be 15. You look so old in the pictures dad sent. And your hair is so long!!!! And your legs are so toned what the crap?!!!! I was thinking about sending you guys a birthday package since all your birthdays are coming up, but I decided I’ll just bring stuff home with me when I come home. They have the best clothes stores here in Gravatà. The other day I bought 2 skirts for what would be 6 dollars in the US!
I have lots of pictures this week. Thanks dad for sending me pictures I love them! But remember to only send one at a time because it always will only load one and won’t let me see the rest. Mom makes sure he knows that! And also dad I think you need to change your profile picture for skype. I don’t think you realized that you put that on there haha. It’s like a picture of you not paying attention. It looks like you are trying to figure skype out and accidently made that your profile picture. Everyone thought that was funny :)
I hope you all have a good week. I loved talking with you yesterday and can’t wait till Christmas!!! Love and miss you all!
Sister Bedke

We were SO happy to be able to Skype with Malyssa on Mother's Day. This picture (and the one above it) was taken by a member of the ward Malyssa is serving in, who also let Malyssa Skype with us in her home.
Malyssa's Zone

Sunday, May 11, 2014
Week 16 - Gravata

It rained this week! The weather was the best!!!! It is so much more fun to work when you aren’t dripping with sweat :) And everyone is saying that the weather should stay like this for a while now that fall is here! And then in winter it will rain more.

We had a good week this week! Still no one came to church yesterday, but we have 19 new investigators from just this week. We´re teaching 2 families now! One of them is a mom with a 12 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. They come to the church for English lessons, but the mom was never very interested in us coming to her house. But idk what changed because she invited us over this week. They are awesome!!! The kids are so smart and literally fought over who got to answer the questions and who got to read from the scriptures. The boy his name is Mateus wants to know everything about the United States. And it was the sweetest thing when we were leaving their house he said "Sisters I like you guys because I’m so happy when you’re at my house." It about made me cry!! They live really close to our house too which is good so we will be able to see them a lot. Hopefully they will come to church this week! The other family is great too. It’s a funny story how we met them. We were at the door of someone else’s house and talking to a man on his porch and this little girl was outside playing and she comes up and says come to my house next! So we did but her mom was busy. Then she told us go to my neighbor so we did and had a lesson with her. And then she told us where her friend lives and we went and taught them too! This girl is like 8 years old and gave us 3 referrals! But we went back to her family the next day and they are really nice! We had a really good lesson with them and are going back on Wednesday so I’m excited for that.

I did a division this week with Sister Dana. She’s the other American that I live with. It was a lot of fun! She is a great teacher and was soooo encouraging and complementary of my Portuguese. I think I am just really hard on myself! Actually I know I

am. This morning I was reading my journal from the MTC and literally on the second day I was all frustrated because I wasn’t making any progress. Like what the crap it was the SECOND DAY!! I think I have issues!

I almost forgot about this!! Yesterday a lady in our ward had her little 10 year old cousin with her and she wants to get baptized. She’s been to church a few times in the past but it was before I got here. But anyways we talked to her about the gospel and she is awesome! but there is a rule in Brazil that just started in November that you cant baptize kids under 15 unless their family is getting baptized too or unless they have been coming to church faithfully for 3 months and have a responsible adult that will continue bringing them to church.

For my visa I’m not even sure why I had to do that. I think it was just to finalize everything. They took fingerprints of all my fingers and I had to sign some things. We stayed with the sisters that live in Recife. The picture of Recife was taken from their apartment.

Good job Rae with track! What are her times? I want to know everything with specifics! Good luck at the county meet!!!! Good luck to Cart with baseball! I want specifics for that too please!

I can’t believe you guys haven’t gotten my letter yet! I hope no one messed with it. It was kinda thick though maybe someone thought there was money in there. I don’t even know if that’s real that people will go through your mail or if everyone just says that. I’m so excited for that package though!!!! What’s in it?! I can’t wait! I haven’t gotten mail since I was in Idaho!! Sister Dana just got a letter last week from Valentine ’s Day. So sometimes mail takes a loooong time!

I am so excited for Sunday! We are going to a member’s home and my time is 4 or 4:30 so 2 or 2:30 for you guys. Make sure you are ready and answer! I will talk to you guys then :) Love and miss you!!


Sister Bedke


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hello From Brazil!

Week 15 - Boa Vista, Brazil

I’m jealous you guys are in Oakley right now! And you get to eat grandma’s food!  I bet you are having such a fun weekend. I can’t believe Jessica is graduated from college! She doesn’t seem old enough to be done with school. And it seems like just yesterday we were roommates. Time flies! Wow and I also can’t believe Rae’s track times!!! That is so awesome she broke the school record!!! I wish I could’ve seen it. She’ll have to break it again when I can be there to watch :) I think I got confused about the city that I’m in because my ward is the Boa Vista ward but I think I’m in the city of Gravatà. Don’t think I’m stupid for not knowing because it’s really confusing! They have like cities and then a whole bunch of little neighborhoods with different names too and then I try to remember the street names so I can get around and that just makes me more confused. and then on top of all that the house numbers are so random. Like we will be walking down a street and one house is 22 and then the next house will be 372. Like what the heck! Everything is so unorganized it’s really hard to find people’s houses. And sorry my emails are really bad grammatically but this keyboard is different and I can’t find all the buttons!
This week was kind of slow. We didn’t get to work as much as we normally do because Sister Fortes was sick and then the next day I had to go to Recife and stay the night there and then go to the airport to do something for my visa. I went with Sister Dana who is the American that I live with. It was nice talking English for a while!! Going to Recife is quite the trip. We have to take three different buses and they are all packed full of people. We both felt so awkward because we were the only white people and everyone stares at us! I didn’t think I would stick out as much as I do here! But I literally have not seen one other blonde person in this whole area! At the airport for the visa thing the lady loved my hair. I had it up in a bun and she kept saying it’s natural and asking for me to take it down so I did and then she wanted me to leave it down haha. She was really nice!
We always eat lunch at the house of a church member.  They eat huge lunches here and then just a little dinner. There is always rice and beans and usually noodles too. And then either chicken or beef and then they cut up tomatoes and onion and also they love green olives here! But they don’t have the red thing in the middle they have a seed. And I didn’t know that the first time and I about broke my tooth biting into it! And then sometimes people will mix it up and I’ve had this casserole thing with bologni a few times.  They also love bologni (idk if thats how you spell that). Oh and they always have juice too! But their juice is like a smoothie and it is soooooo good! They have this fruit I can’t remember the name but we don’t have it in the US and it is my favorite for the juice! I love all the food! There hasn’t been anything that I haven’t liked yet! You would think I would have a lot of stomach problems but I haven’t yet!
Portuguese is getting a little better. I need to be better at always speaking it. Sister Fortes knows enough that if I don’t feel like thinking it out in Port then I just talk in English to her and I need to stop that!! I definitely have been able to start saying more when we teach people though so that’s good.
We have a lot of people that we are teaching, but none are really progressing. We don’t know what to do! It kinda seems like everyone really loves having us in their house, but just want to talk to us about life and not about the gospel. There are a few people that have a lot of potential though! It’s just hard because we can’t see them as often as I would like to. Our area is HUGE!! And a lot of the places we aren’t allowed to be in when it gets dark which is 5 o clock here. So by the time we are finished with lunch at the members we usually work around that area because it would take another hour just to walk to the other parts. We want to do something different because we don’t feel like we are being as affective as we could be but we just aren’t sure what! Hopefully we can figure that out. We haven’t had any investigators at church for 2 weeks now! Yesterday we had a really good lesson with a lady named Zefé. She told us that she felt God’s presence when we talked with her. And she even told me that I spoke with power!! And that made me so happy because I talk so slowly! But it’s true that it’s not the words that I say that they remember it’s the feelings that they feel. We were so happy about that lesson. Hopefully we will see her at church! I wish we could just drive up to her house and pick her up!! She lives like a 40 minute walk away dang it!
Have you guys got a letter in the mail from me? I sent it two weeks ago from today. I hope it gets there and no one opened it because it was kinda thick. I put a map of Recife in it and some other things I can’t remember. Oh and for Mother’s Day what time would work best for you guys? Would 2 or 2:30 work? That would be 4 in the afternoon here. And what is your skyping address? Let me know all that!!! I am so excited to skype you guys!
How is Livee? I miss her!!! There are so many stray dogs in the road here it about breaks my heart! And we can’t pet them because a lot of them are sick. Sometimes I still do because I can’t help it. But when you pet them they start to follow you haha.
Dad-- when you send pictures only send one at a time because it always only lets me see the first one and then not the second. But keep sending them because I love seeing you guys! I have a lot of pictures to send so hopefully it will work!
Love and miss you all!
Sister Bedke