Called To Serve

Called To Serve
I am so excited for this opportunity to serve the people in Ghana for the next 2 years! Hope you enjoy all the letters and pictures!

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Savior Is Born

Alma 56: 48   And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Family and Friends!
What a great experience I had this week celebrating the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ. And the experience was made even better being able to celebrate it in Ghana with my brothers in the field. I will never forget the experiences we had and the memories we have made. This week Elder Kambwiri, Elder Nissinen, Elder Madsen and I created one of the most memorable weeks I will ever have on my mission. I think the reason Christmas is so special is because it brings together two of the most important things in our lives, Christ and our family. This week we had the opportunity of being able to feel the love of both of them. And although we were not able to celebrate with our families at home, I did celebrate with my family in Ghana.

Since last week our apartment has been trying to get into the Christmas spirit so this week we decided we would go Christmas caroling! We quickly learned that the people in Ghana have never experienced good American Christmas Caroling. It was hilarious as we went from home to home and met the people and they each gave us the same reaction: "STOP SINGING!!!" We would walk up and just start in with whatever Christmas hymn we felt we should sing and people from all over would come running to see who was singing. As the crowd was gathering the members we were seeing would start telling us to stop singing! But the crowd loved us and as we finished our hymn and then we wish you a merry Christmas we got a round of applause. I felt like we were a famous caroling group on tour and they sure treated us like one! I wish we received that same kind of response in America.

One Christmas Eve we also had some serious celebrating. I had been gathering wood for about a month (since I had had this wonderful idea) so we had a huge bonfire Christmas Eve. As the fire died down we sat around the fire and sang a few Christmas carols. We shared good memories from home about camp fires and especially the fires we had at home on Christmas. After, we went inside and by the lamp light we read about the birth of Christ in Luke Chapter 2. Then we sang a few more hymns, ending with Silent Night. The Spirit was very strong as we sang that song and I felt my loving Savior beside me as I sang and reflected about Him. I had been pondering a lot about how I could love a man who I never knew, my Savior Jesus Christ. Then as I was reading the next day I came across a scripture in 1 John 4 : 19. It says "We love him, because he first loved us." This scripture struck my heart and it is so true. I love Him because He first loved me. That is why he came to Earth. He came to Earth for me, to save me from my sins so that I can return to my Heavenly Father. I felt Him as I sang "Silent Night. Holy Night. All is calm, all is Bright." The Savior can bring those things into our lives and that is why He came. Because of Him I can feel calm in a world of trouble. I can feel holy and bright in a world that is growing ever increasingly dark. A Savior was born for me and a Savior was born for you. Let us remember Him always.

On Christmas I woke up early to watch the Ghanaian sunrise and then I went down and we opened presents. After, I made a large breakfast of pancakes and sausage (hot dogs, it's the best I could do) and man we had a feast. In the afternoon my companion and I went out to give a few of our investigators and members some gifts. While we were riding out I saw a woman walking from house to house with her small son walking behind her and an even smaller baby boy on her back. I didn't know what she was asking for until later. We stopped at the end of the road to talk with an investigator and as we were talking this same lady called us over. We came over and in very limited English she asked us if she could wash our clothes. My heart was so heavy. This woman had spent her Christmas day walking around looking for a way to get money so that she and her two sons could eat that night. I said we didn't have any clothes but that we could buy her some food. She asked if she could have some rice. We walked down the street towards a store and I held her young sons hand and just thought of how grateful I was for the many blessings that I took for granted. I bought that wonderful mother some rice, tomatoes and onions and as I looked into her smiling face I testified to her that her Father in Heaven loves her. She didn't understand English very well so I just kept repeating the line with tears in my eyes, "God loves you." I walked away wishing I could give her a place to rest her head, a place where she and her sons could take a bath and wash away the dirt that covered them, but I know one day they will return to their Father in Heaven and He will give them that rest. All thanks to our wonderful Savior. 

The next day was Saturday and our day was wonderful again. At 7:00 am we were called by a member in the Sangonaa Branch telling us that he had a cat for us and that we would eat it that afternoon. Yes, I said a cat. We got ready for a baptism we had that morning. We baptized a man named Robert who is 63 years old and a small boy named Spencer who just turned 8. It was so special because it showed me that we baptize anyone who wants to follow Jesus Christ, whether they are old or young. It was great experience and after we went and chopped (ate) cat! They gave me the best parts, the cat heart and tail, mostly because the other Elders were too afraid to put that in their mouths. Cat surprisingly tastes like Chicken and it has the same texture too, so I may have eaten it before. Who knows! But it made for a good memory I will never forget.

Every missionary is given the opportunity to call home on Christmas to talk with their family and it was quite a special opportunity. But leading up to it I was so nervous because I was afraid it would make me miss home and my family. So I sat down to read my scriptures, praying desperately for peace. I read Alma 56 where it talks about some young men who were called to fight a war against the enemies and although they had never fought, they did not fear death. They didn't think about their own lives because they could only think about the lives of their families. And they knew that if they did not doubt that God would protect them. They said, "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." Those words at that time became my words. I do not doubt, my mother knows it. I can relate very well to those young men. I have been called to serve a mission and right now I don't feel that I know much about missionary work. But my mother has always taught me that if I do not doubt in the Lord that he will support me. And because of that I will never doubt. My Lord is with me and he will never let me fall. I will go through hardship and trials but He is always near me. It is the same in each of our lives. If we have faith in our Savior then he will be there to protect us and help us through our battles. He loves us and that is why He came to the Earth. He knew He would be killed but He allowed it to happen because He loves you. Remember Him at all times and He will support you through this life, because He loves you.

I love you all and ask for your continued prayers in my behalf. As I think of you it helps me to work harder.



Elder Bergeson

Not only are these boys missionaries but 
they are professional carolers in Ghana:)

Eight Elders in 1 taxi on the way to 
Zone Christmas Party

Elder Odili on left (Elder Bergeson's MTC companion) 
and their companions 
at the Christmas Party

Christmas Bonfire 
(picture taken from the roof)

Kissing cats - must be missing Sabra our dog

Elder Bergeson eating cat heart and liked it

Robert at his Baptism

Monday, December 21, 2015

What Gift Can I Give?

Mathew 2: 11 

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Abusua! Afehyiapa!!! (Family! Seasons Greetings!!!)
We had yet another wonderful week. We worked hard teaching and helping as many people as we could. We focused on looking for opportunities to serve and I can't tell you how many 10 gallon water jugs I carried this week. And we also took some time to get into the Christmas Spirit inside the apartment which included making a CHRISTMAS TREE! Yes I said "making". I found a nice strait stick that they use for pounding fufu and then we took some palm tree leaves and tied them to the stick with some old sheets. Our final touch was two big, yellow flowers on top for our star. When we finished all we could do was step back and look in amazement at the creation that we had before us... Let's just say that I know why girls are always in charge of crafts; they can make things that are actually beautiful. But we put a lot of work into it and I get happy every time I walk into the dinning room and see our Christmas Tree standing tall in the corner, just like at home. Christmas Spirit can be created any where you are, including in our little missionary apartment in Teshie, Ghana.

Elder Kambwiri and I were blessed with a baptism this week. My Ghanaian brother, Lester Nii Sekoh, made the decision to follow His Saviors example by being baptized. And holy cow it was a memorable service. Our baptism was scheduled to start at 9:00 am so we rode to the chapel at around 7:00 and put the plug in the baptismal font and started the water. The font takes about 2 hours to fill so we would be good to go! We rode back to the apartment, got dressed and had breakfast, and then at 8:15 we rode back to the chapel to meet Lester. I walked into the room and opened the door to check on the font and I about had a heart attack as I looked in. The plug was out and sitting on the steps and there was no water in the font. The baptism was supposed to start in 35 minutes and the font was completely empty!! I put the plug in and turned the water on full blast and started praying. At 9:00 everyone was ready to go, but the water wasn't even up to the first step, so we were waiting. Then Jojo, a member in our ward, walked in and said "Elder Bergeson, do you have a white Mission President?" "Yes, why?" "I think he's outside." Perfect. Just perfect. The one in a million chance the Mission President attends a baptism and he came the the Teshie Ward 2 one. Well I walked out to greet him and he immediately asked why we had not started yet. I explained what happened and it was very awkward but President Heid understood. He told me a story about how he once baptized his own daughter in a foot of water and then said we might be able to do something like that. Then he went into meet Lester and realized we might be waiting until the font was full. Lester is a very large man. He is about 6'5" and weighs around 275 lbs. but President said that we needed to perform the baptism as soon as possible because he had somewhere to be. So at 9:15 we started the baptism, just as the water was coming past the first step in the font. I conducted the meeting, Elder Kambwiri gave a wonderful talk on the Holy Ghost, we sang a special musical number (Praise to the Man, Elder Kambwiri's favorite hymn) and then Lester and I walked into the baptismal font. The water came up barely above my knee, so there was close to 2 ft. of water. I told Lester he was going to have to let his feet straighten out because his knees would be above the water if he left his feet. I began, saying, "Lester Nii Sekoh, having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen." Then I lowered him into the shallow water that we had in the font. His whole body was literally touching the tile floor of the font. His body was completely spread out in the water but his whole body was under the water. When I lifted Lester out he just asked, "Was I under?!" And with a big smile I told him that if he was any bigger this baptism wouldn't have worked. We laughed and changed back into our clothes. President Heid then gave us some closing remarks. He talked about our water shortage but told Lester that he knew that even without the baptism he had been forgiven of his sins. Lester has been through a lot and I can tell you that he has completely changed and given his heart to our Savior. And that is what this life is about. We must change our hearts and desire to be like our Savior. It takes work and each day we just need to be a little bit better and rely on Him. Slowly, with his help, we will become like Him and one day we will be able to stand before Him and he will know us as His Child.

Elder Kambwiri and I took some extra time this week visiting the less active members in our ward that we know of. One of them is Sister Owu who we call Mama O. Mama O is considered less active because she hasn't been to church in many years, but this is because she has a disease that has made her feat and legs swell extremely to the point that she cannot walk. But she loves her Savior and knows who He is. This week as we were talking to her she said, "My Lord is amazing, and I will worship Him until the day He comes again." As we sat and talked with her this week I asked her a few questions to better understand her background and I was amazed with her story. I learned that Mama O is a retired police officer, and she was no regular police woman. Mama O worked with the group that was assigned to protect the President of Ghana. She is a big lady so I wasn't surprised when she told me that, but then she started showing me the scars that cover her body. She showed me a huge scar that ran the length of her foot and up her leg and then told me that this one was from a bomb. It still gives her much pain when she walks on it which also prevents her from walking. She was standing in a square while the president was talking to a crowd. She was in the front row of guards and there was another woman, her very good friend, behind her. A small girl walked up with a flower inside a pot and suddenly she threw it towards the President. It landed directly by Mama O's feet and exploded. The blast only reached her foot but her friend that had been behind her was instantly killed. She said she rolled over to see what damage the bomb had caused and she saw her friend and in her own words said that "the bomb had turned her friend to mashed kenkey." She can still see that image in her mind and she still feels that it should have been her that had died. But she told me that she knew her God saved her for a purpose and she will tell you that it is because she had so much work to do. She is now a member of the church with 6 children, 30 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren who are also members. She shares the gospel with every person that walks by and is continually telling us who we need to teach. She loves the Gospel and the Church, but because of her legs she can't participate like she would like. We visited her Saturday and as we were leaving she told us, "Elders, pray for me. God willing, I will come to church tomorrow." She had said this many times and I have always had hope. Well we were sitting in the Chapel singing the opening hymn on Sunday and I looked out the window to my right and I saw a miracle. There was Mama O. walking through the parking lot towards the Chapel, never taking her eyes off of the front door. My Faith was strengthened as I watched her take each step, with much effort and obvious pain, towards that front door. It was a miracle that I witnessed. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and through Him, all things are possible. As we show our desire to serve Him I know that he will give us the strength to complete our missions. When Mama O. made it through that door she slumped into a chair and I quickly ran back to her and enjoyed singing and worshiping our Savior with my dear mother in Ghana.

This week I read through the birth of Christ and the events that came after. I was especially touched as I read about the wise men who came following a star, looking for the Savior of the World so that they could worship Him. And when they found Him it says in Mathew 2 : 11 that they "fell down, and whorshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts." These were wise men and they knew who the Savior was. They brought him gifts to show their respect and love for Him. This scripture touched my heart and made me remember a song that we sing as a family each Christmas. The lyrics say:
How precious and mild, the little Christ child, as in a small manger he lay.
What gift can I bring, that's fit for a king, that time will not take away.
Two strong hands that are sure, and a heart that is pure, are the gifts that are mine to give.
Just writing these words bring tears to my eyes. What gift can I give? What gift can you give? I feel almost every day that I don't have much to give. I am just Kaden Bergeson. In the eyes of the world I don't have much to give. But in the eyes of my Savior I can give Him so much and I can truly bring Him a gift that he would cherish. Each of us have gifts even though many times it is hard to see them in a world that is constantly trying to bring us down. But if we can see ourselves as the Lord sees us then we can know the wonderful gifts that we can give. Each day I want to bring the Lord the gift of a willing heart and body that will serve Him with all my heart, might, mind and strength. What gift will you bring your Savior. He suffered, died and resurrected for us so that we could become clean and return to live with our Father in Heaven. Can we not sacrifice our lives to show that we are thankful for His gift? He loved us and gave himself up for us. I love Him and that is why I am here. Leaving my family and life behind was difficult and it doesn't get easier during this Christmas season, but I remember the gift that my Savior gave to me. It wasn't easy to suffer as he did, just like this mission is not always easy or life is not always easy, but we must remember that one day we will see Him and we will show our gratitude by how we used His Gift. I will use His Gift by becoming a Gift in the lives of others. What gift will you give?

I love and miss you all so much but I am remembering His Gift. I am so thankful for my Savior and I love Him with all my heart. 


Elder Bergeson
Elders played football with some random kids 
at school on P-day. So fun!

Teaching kids in Ghana about Christ

Lester  on his Baptism Day
(It was fun pulling Lester out of the water) 

Christmas Tree in Ghana
(made by the Elders)

Monday, December 14, 2015


Mathew 5: 14

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Bacho me chyowo. I hope you are all doing fine and that all is going well this Holiday Season. Well I am really feeling the spirit of Christmas even in Ghana. Our apartment is filled with the sounds of the Michael Buble Christmas Soundtrack and a lot of dancing. Elder Kambwiri and I love getting down and feeling the rhythm so the apartment is pretty exciting as we teach each other our country's moves. Let's just say that it is a good thing there are blinds, otherwise our neighbors would think that missionaries are also trained on how to dance.... But yeah, I love this time of year. The only thing is that the weather in Ghana never changes, besides having a wet and dry season. The sun always rises at 6:00 am and sets at 6:00 pm, and the sun is always hot. I still feel like I am in Moses Lake during the summer, especially this week because I got to help my neighbor in her yard.

Most of our area in Teshie is full of people and their houses are so close together that no one has a yard. If they do then they don't take care of it. But that changes when you get into the estate. The estate is full of large walled homes with beautiful yards. Our neighbors are no exception. Sister Nanama is our next door neighbor and happens to be an investigator. We went over on Friday to see her and noticed that her yard was getting a little unkempt and so I offered to help! She knows that I worked on a farm before I came on mission so she was very enthusiastic about me coming over. I should also mention that Nanama is a actually a title that means "Princess" and she is royalty because her mother is the queen of a village in the Eastern Region of Ghana. So not only am I teaching royalty the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I am also getting to weed royalty's garden and mow her lawn. You don't get to do that everyday. :) So Elder Kamwiri, Elder Nissinen, Elder Madsen and I went over to her house 8:00 Saturday morning and I had the funnest time doing what I love; WEEDING! She put me in charge of the garden because it was the most difficult to weed. We spent about 3 hours on that yard and we had a blast. I was barefoot in the cool morning soil, swinging a cutlass and pulling out mountains of weeds. I remembered the many hours spent with my family weeding our own yard and I look back now and cherish those memories.I never thought I would miss weeding but boy it felt so wonderful to be back in the dirt. Sister Nanama was so impressed with my job that she told me I would be invited every time they worked on the yard. After we finished she fed us Banku with hot pepay and grilled Talapia. The work is sweet. But I learned a lot from this experience. If you don't take care, your yard will be overcome with weeds. We each have a "yard", whether we take care of it or not, and we each decide if it is beautiful or if it is full of weeds. It all depends on how much work we put in. We can either put the work in every day by praying, reading the scriptures and serving others, or we can wait and hope that we will have enough time in the end to fix the mess that has been made. I pray that you will be like my dear Sister Nanama and ask for help if you feel you are overgrown with weeds, but that you will do all that you need to do so that you can have your own beautiful yard. 

This week the Christiansborg Stake put on a Christmas Chorale night. We had the opportunity to attend with an investigator, Francis, and a less active family, the Asante's. We traveled to the Temple Site in Accra and we were able to enjoy the great music that was put on by the wonderful choirs. It is really funny to go to a program like that with Africans. In Africa, if the people like the song being sung or how the person is singing it, then they start singing along. It was hilarious because they had the choir up at the front who was there to sing the song, but the whole audience was singing along as well! If you liked the beat of the song then you are totally free to stand and dance. The night was full of fun and a lot of smiles. I was truly feeling joy and I loved it. The Temple was beautiful and the grounds were even decorated with a few Christmas lights. After the program Francis told me that he was really surprised by the program. I asked him what surprised him and he said he didn't know that Latter-day Saints "knew how to have fun." I had to laugh because if he knew how my family and we had fun then he would be even more surprised! I responded with "Of course we know how to have fun!" But I think that Francis's view is held by many around the world, that Mormons are somber and quiet people and that the Church is the same way. But I can tell you that is not even close to true. It is true that we are quiet in church and that we take time to step back from the world to listen to our Heavenly Father, but boring is not something that is taught in the church. I love the quote that says "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are taught to find joy in this life. I hope that during this season we will focus more on finding joy in every part of our journey. And that as we focus on the positive things in our own lives, we can help others focus on the positive in theirs. If you need to, get up and sing your favorite song and dance with your family. That seems to be my trick in Ghana. :) Find joy each day, and if you can't find it, then make it.

During the week I spent some time looking at the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is the time of the year that we remember Him and I wanted to be able to remember Him by remembering what He taught us. I found two scriptures that really made me sit and ponder. The first is in John 8 : 12 which reads, "I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." I loved this because our Savior is telling us that He is our light. He shines in darkness and shows us the path that we must take to find everlasting life. Then I read the scripture in Mathew 5 : 14 where Christ tells us that "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid." Christ told us that HE is the light, but then He also tells us that WE are the light. We are a light that shines in the darkness. We are a light that can lead people back to our Father in Heaven. Because we know Christ, we have His light. But this made me think about how we are using our light. We all have this light but are we hiding it? Are we shining it the wrong way? Are we setting it down and moving away from it? Or are we being bold, and holding it high above our heads, to share our light with all those who are lost in darkness? We have been commanded by our Lord to be a light to those in darkness. You can be a light in many ways; sharing a smile with someone, giving a compliment to a friend or family member, even giving someone a call or a visit to see how they are doing. This time of year is for us to let our lights shine. It is the time for us to come to know our Savior so that we can be saviors to our brothers and sisters. I hope that this time of year will be one of light as you let yours shine forth.

I love each of you and hope that you will all look for the joy and the light in each day.


Elder Bergeson

Sister Nanama's Yard

Yard Work Fun!

Grilled Talapia - so delicious!

Banku and hot Pepay

The Asante Family