Monday, August 25, 2014
Week 32 - Gravatá

Hello! Thank you for the pictures and the emails. Carter is so cute in his uniform :) And yes I got those pictures of dad hahaha so funny! To answer your questions....yes I’m eating very well (have you seen the weight I’ve gained lol). Usually for exercise me and Sister Andrade do squats, push-ups, and sit ups, but we've been kinda lazy this week. I don’t know if I got your package yet, but I’m guessing it’s in the office in Recife. I think I’ll get it next transfer.

It was another one of those best weeks ever :) We went to Kaio's house every day this week. And I don’t even think he got sick of us! I love love love spending time with his family. Alana is hilarious. Ahh I wish you guys could hear the things she says. I’m always laughing when I’m with her. We taught all of the commandments this week for Kaio before his baptism and Alana joined in the lessons too. When we taught about tithing, she goes, "Ava Maria! I’ve been a member for 2 months and I haven’t paid tithing yet!!!" So yesterday at church we showed her where everything was and she was so excited to pay her tithing. I think the reason I love this family so much is because they are so obedient. They don’t ask why they just do it because they know it’s a commandment of God. Maria is that same way too. I love sitting up by the Bishop during church and watching them because they pay so much attention. And then after if they have any questions they ask us because they want to do everything right. Ahh I just love them! Also another funny story- we taught Kaio the law of chastity. There was a lot of giggling and not from me! At the end of the lesson we asked if he had any questions and he goes, "but sisters....can I kiss??" Hahaha we just busted up laughing. His baptism went really well. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time I was so happy. Kaio is such a good kid and so happy. He is different than other kids his age! I can just see him going on a mission some day and then getting married in the temple. I’m so grateful that I get to be a part of his progression.

This week we had an activity at the church and 5 of our investigators were there and a less active family came too! A guy from the ward gave a good message and afterward we taught them how to play a game I always played with my volleyball team. It’s where everyone is in a circle and there is one person in the middle. Someone in the circle is the "frog" but no one knows who it is. So when the middle person isn’t looking the frog sticks out his tongue and anyone who sees sits down and the frog can sit down any time he wants. Hopefully that makes sense kinda! It was so funny though. I have never seen more competitive people in my life. It got intense.

This morning we went to Caruaru (about an hour away). There is a HUGE fair there with so many clothes for soooooo cheap! And it is literally huge!!!!! I bought so many things I’m so happy!!!!!!! I bought 6 shirts, 4 dresses, and 5 skirts all for 130 reis which is like $60!!!!! What the crap, right?! And they are nice too. I was going crazy with the same clothes every 7 days! Sometimes I try to picture what it would be like with our family here in Brazil walking through the streets. I think it would be too many white people in one place haha. I forget that I stick out a lot until I can feel 100 eyes staring at me! Sister Andrade always says I’m gonna dye your hair; I don’t like everyone looking at us! She thinks that people put the prices higher when they see that I’m an American!

I feel like I’m missing a lot of things, but I can’t think of it right now.  Thank you for all the emails and for always supporting me. Love you guys!


Sister Bedke

Week 31 - Gravatá

I can’t believe you guys are in school again! I feel like summer just started there. Crazy! What made Carter want to run cross country? I didn’t know he liked running that much. Does he have friends that do it too? How many miles is each meet? Does he like it? I’m sad that I can’t message with Rae and Carter now :( I don’t want them to be in school!!!

This week was pretty good. We had a lot of lessons fall through and a lot of people not in their houses. The highlight of the week was Kaio at church yesterday! He was shy, but I think he made some friends. Everyone was really nice to him and he said he really liked it. He has opened up a lot more when we are at his house. He told us about his girlfriend!! His mom was like WHAT??!! haha I still don’t know if he was kidding or not. But as of now his baptism will be next Sunday!! I’m excited.

Jô still hasn’t come to church yet. We visited her yesterday with a member and had a really good lesson. She wants to come just not bad enough yet. She lets little things stop her from coming. But we're working and praying a lot to know what she needs. Hopefully we can figure it out soon! She is perfect and reads the Book of Mormon and lives all the commandments and loves learning more.

We taught a lesson last night for a less active older lady. When we got there her nonmember niece was there helping her clean. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy. The member that was with us yesterday, Graça, bore her testimony and the Spirit was so strong. I know that she felt it too! Members help sooooooo much!

One cool thing that happened this week that I think you guys will like. During companionship study Sister Andrade said that she read a scripture and it reminded her of me. It’s 3 Nephi 12:9, the one that talks about peacemakers. I’m not telling you to brag but I just thought it was really cool how dad talked about how he blessed me to be a peacemaker when I was a baby but I was always kind of the opposite. I know everyone was thinking what the heck when I was at home because I wasn’t the best at making peace but I guess some things just take time to actually happen :)

I have a couple videos to send of how pretty it is at one of the member’s house. He lives way out in the country 30 minutes from Gravatá. I love having lunch at his house! Sorry this letter is kinda short and brief. I can’t think of everything that happened! I hope you guys have a good week! Love you!

Sister Bedke

Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Week 30 - Gravatá

I think I’ve said this a few times before but this was probably the best week of my mission! I was just so happy this whole week. It’s the best thing ever. Last week I don’t even really know why but it was hard and stressful and I prayed and studied a lot and this week was just the best!!

It started with our lesson with Kaio. We had a great lesson just about the Gospel in general. Faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. He is perfect! He knows a lot more than most of the people we teach. I want him and Carter to be friends!!!!! Ok I just want to explain him to you so you can understand how cute he is. So he usually is out playing with his friends when we come so Cassiane runs and tells him to come to the house for a lesson. So he comes running in and he always gives his Gma Maria a kiss and sits by her and listens to everything. And he’s not annoyed or bored by it, he likes learning more! And then throughout he asks questions and makes comments. At the end of the lesson we asked when we could come back and he said.....can you tomorrow?? Ummmm YES WE CAN! We taught him three times this week! We invited him to be baptized on the 24th and he was so excited! Aww and he can get the priesthood too and pass the sacrament and he’s going to go on a mission someday. The only sad part...he was all excited to go to church on Sunday and obviously we were all excited too. But we get there and just Maria and Cassiane showed up and Maria told us that he had to go to his grandpas house with his parents (you guys know that Alana is his mom right?) because yesterday was father’s day. And she told us that he was so sad he cried! But it’s alright, he'll be there next week.

We taught a lot of other good lessons. Jô is progressing and reading the Book of Mormon in between our visits. She still hasn’t come to church yet, so she can’t be baptized on the date we had marked but everything will happen in the right timing. We taught Josa and Marcio. Ok so they are the couple that came to church a couple weeks ago, they are friends of a member. And Marcio is the nicest most purest guy.  We teach them again tonight!

I can’t believe I’ve never told you guys this. But there has literally been times when I’m walking down the street and I can just feel that people are praying for me. I don’t really know how to explain it, but hopefully you know what I mean. It’s a really good feeling!

Ok but I don’t have that much time left because I still need to write to President. Sorry I didn’t talk much about the rest of my investigators.  I’ll tell more next week! Love and miss you guys! Thank you for everything!!!


Sister Bedke

Monday, August 4, 2014
Week 29 - Gravatá

Hello everyone! I loved your letters and all the pictures. It looks like you guys had a great vacation. All the pictures are so pretty! Thanks for always writing and sending pictures! I still feel included even though I’m in a different country. You guys are the best :)

I’m still in Gravatá!! Phew I wasn’t ready to leave. Only two people from my zone got transferred...Elder Benitez our district leader and Sister Dana :( I was so sad she got transferred!! I’m gonna miss having her around the house so much. She is such a good missionary, I learned so much from her. We weren’t expecting her to be transferred because she only has one more transfer left before she goes home. There were a lot of tears last night between the four of us girls haha. But her parents are coming to pick her up and they’ll come visit Gravatá, so I’ll see her in 6 weeks and also she’ll go to BYU. We will definitely be friends after our missions!

We had interviews with President this week. I really, really like President Bigelow. He was so easy to talk to and had a lot of great advice. His family is awesome too. He was excited to hear that I like basketball and volleyball. His 15 year old daughter loves to play sports too. He said that if I’m ever serving in Recife closer to where they live that we will have to get together on p-days and I can pepper with his daughter and play basketball. That would be so much fun! I think the kids are doing a little better than last time I talked to them too. They seem happier at least.

We had some great lessons this week. Idk how much I’ve told you about Jô before. She’s someone that Sister Fortes and I started teaching a long time ago. It’s hard for her to go to church because her husband only has one leg and she does pretty much everything for him. But she wants to come!! She is on date to be baptized on the 17th. We taught her the word of wisdom yesterday and she loved it. She drinks coffee sometimes but said she’ll have no problem stopping since it’s a commandment of God. Aww I love people who are so willing to change to follow the commandments. Also we talked to Kaio yesterday. He is sooo cute!! He reminds me of Carter. He has been reading his Liahona and everything. Alana is doing great too. She is looking for a job where she doesn’t have to work on Sundays!!!! She is awesome!!! Also this week we taught a mom and daughter who are so great. They have extended families that are members. They listen so intently to everything we say. We are going back there on Wednesday.

I’ve been reading Preach my Gospel a lot during study time this week. I love that book! It is perfect! I’ve been reading the Christ-like attributes section. Right now I am working on having more charity. I think when you truly have charity you also have a lot of the other attributes it talks about in that section. I like how it says that when you have charity you will feel a stronger desire to share the gospel with everyone you see because you want them to have the same blessings of the gospel. Also it says that charity is a gift from God and only those who honestly seek and pray for it will receive it. I have a goal for this transfer and the rest of my mission really to be able to develop this gift and charity for everyone that I serve.

Yesterday in church we had a lot of less active people that we´ve been teaching. I love that! For me I’m just as excited as having an investigator there!

I don’t have any pictures I don’t think! I had a lot on Sister Andrade’s camera but it’s not working. I need to take more pictures!! I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Sister Bedke