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, November 21, 2016

Be Strong and Work

Rice Harvest in Asutsuare

Elder Bergeson carrying 135 pound bags
of rice 1/4 of a mile
Helping in rice harvest

Elder Bergeson with his companion,
Elder Tolzmann

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Living in the "Bush" and Address

Kaden's email 3 weeks ago:

I've been transferred mom. My new Area will be a challenge. It's reputation is that missionaries are sent to this Area and they "die". I'm a leader over the missionaries and need to gain their respect. This will be a hard Area. 

Also, it looks like I'll only be able to email once a month. The cafe is far, 4 hours, and the transport is 120 cedis, that is 2/3 of the money they give us for transport in a month. We don't have the means to email each week mom. I don't know what to do because I want to communicate with you, but it costs more in many ways. Also, I won't receive letters when I'm out here. It is too far from the Mission Home. This will not be easy, but I know I can make it. Bergesons are tough! Thank you for teaching that to me. But know that I will be obedient here and follow the example of Christ in every situation.  

I love you and hope to talk to you soon. You all are always in my heart and in my prayers. 

Elder B

And then yesterday, I received a text from Kaden: 

Good afternoon family! How are you all? This is the long lost Bergie son who has received permission to text his family. I'm doing great here in Asutsuare. We are on the frontier of the Church. We went rice farming on Saturday with an investigator and helped in the harvest, the Africans have never seen a white man work. The work is sweet and my companion is the best. I LOVE YOU ALL, you are in my prayers. You are allowed one response. 

Elder Bergeson

Thank you for the continued prayers for Elder Bergeson, I'm sure he feels them. We have so many questions about this new area and hopefully we will be able to talk to him at Christmas and find out more detail. 

I thought I would give everyone an update on why you haven't heard from him.  Have a great week!

His address to send a letter is:
Elder Kaden Bergeson
Ghana Accra Mission
PO Box 2585 Accra Central (ARC)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Gird and Go

John 21: 7

“Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him,... and did cast himself into the sea.”

My Abusia,
I got transferred this week. After 8 months of working in Agbogba, I've been transferred to Asutsuare. Agbogba is in the city and is a very industrious area and has one of the biggest markets in Accra. My new Area is the exact opposite. Asutsuare is labeled a "bush" Area. It is called bush because every direction you look you see bushes and trees and rivers and bugs! It's an agricultural community and most homes are spread far apart. The main produce in the Area is bananas and Talapia. This village is located right on the Volta River here in Ghana, so there is a lot of fresh fish, Talapia, and they even have Talapia farms to make them really big before they send them to Accra Market. The bananas here are amazing. What you would pay for 5 cedis of bananas in Accra you can buy the same amount for 1 cedi out here in the bush. It is a lot of fun. When you think of what a typical African village might look like, then you can look at Asutsuare. I am excited to see how the work will go. Right now I know that the people here are very humble and are looking for a foundation to rely on. As we teach them of Christ and how we can truly follow Him, they can find that foundation for themselves. What a blessing it is to serve these wonderful people. Life is hard here for Ghanaians, but they trust God and rely on Him for strength. 

This week I had to say goodbye to my family in Agbogba. We went to go see a sister in a far township called Boi. She is 9 months pregnant and a week over her due date. Her name is Sister Attipoe and she has her two young kids, Junior and Andra. We showed up to her home and she told us to sit down and that she was going to prepare us some food. Her stomach is HUGE but she just slowly swayed her way around the front yard picking some vegetables and fish to make Akpilay and Peppe. She wouldn't allow us to cook with her so we grabbed a football and started up a game with her kids. The food was finished, we ate, and then washed the dishes. As we were talking I told her that I was being transferred. She just stood up suddenly, eyes wide, holding her stomach. She looked at us and said, "You almost just made me give birth!" We were laughing with her for long time about that. She wasn't happy I was leaving and apparently the baby wasn't happy either. :P It is difficult to say goodbye. You develop a love for these faithful members and investigator friends. I love and will miss them.

I read this week of a story of Peter and Jesus Christ. After Christ was resurrected, He visited His apostles. He shared with them many truths and confirmed their testimonies of Him. But as He left, the apostles decided that they would go back to what they knew how to do, they went fishing. They were in the boat fishing when our Lord again came to them. When they recognized Him as Christ, it says that Peter "girt his fisher's coat unto him,.. and did cast himself into the sea." He saw Christ and he couldn't wait. He didn't wait for the boat to take him back to the Master, He chose to gird up his coat and go to Christ then. As Christ comes into our lives we will have a desire to come closer to Him. Don't wait. Go to Him now. Gird up your lions and Go to Christ.

I love you all and ask for your prayers as I move on to a new adventure in my mission.  


Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Become as Little Children

Mathew 18: 3-4 

“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Mi Abusia (My Family), 
Ghana is great! I received an email from my dear mother this week telling me that she is loving the cool weather in Washington, as well as the beautiful colors of fall. I am also enjoying my time in Ghana. Although the temperature is far from cool and the colors only change if the dirt has been soaked with rain, it is beautiful here. I woke up this morning to watch the sunrise after a night of rain and it was wonderful to feel of our Heavenly Father's love here. I felt like a little kid again, just enjoying life. And it is good for each of us to become as a little child and see God's hand in our lives. 

Last week Elder Hanberg and I received a referral from our Ward Missionaries, Etonam. Etonam used to be a preacher before joining the Church 3 years ago, so he has many friends that are always interested to hear a message about Jesus Christ. Luckily, our message talks of a Restoration of the same Gospel that Jesus Christ taught. The referral, and our new friend, is named Robert. He is a Rastafarian. Please Google that if you don't know what that looks like. We arrived at his compound with Etonam and he asked if Robert was around. They said, "You mean Rasta?" They called him and out came a thick tall Ghanaian with wild dreadlocks and a thick beard. He smiled and we shook hands. We sat down and introduced ourselves. He was a police officer who worked in London for over 20 years. He used to be a pastor but stopped as he saw some differences with his church and what he found in the Bible. I knew that our message would be able to help him. We then asked him questions and were able to teach him about the message of the Restoration. We invited him to pray and read. The next day we were in the apartment for lunch when I received a call, it was brother Robert! He had a question and needed us to come that afternoon.  Robert knows the scriptures and he has had much experience in the Gospel. I was a bit nervous, to be honest. But I was praying that the Spirit would give my companion and I the wisdom to be able to answer the questions of our friend. Elder Hanberg and I prayed and went out with faith. He had one question. "How can we, as Latter-day Saints, put a picture to Jesus Christ.? None of us have seen him so we cannot create an image to His name and worship that." We were not expecting that. We first cleared up that we do not worship the image of Jesus Christ, but we follow His example to return to the Father. We tried our best to answer but he kept challenging us. I've learned that in many cases when you try to convince someone intellectually, you cannot touch their heart, so I shared the one reason why I accept having a picture of my Savior Jesus Christ. I shared with Robert Joshua 1: 9, and bore him my testimony of God, even Jesus Christ, always being with us. I have a picture of our Savior over my study table which brings me strength each time I look at it and I shared this with him. Robert had nothing to challenge because you can't challenge what somebody knows and feels to be true. He has not invited us back yet, but in that moment I realized the power that comes from sharing a simple testimony and I continue to pray that something we said will touch his heart. 

The funny story this week came as Elder Hanberg and I went to visit our dear members, the Nyemasin's. Sister Nyemasin prepared fu-fu with Peppe soup. Fu-fu is normal for me and I can eat it quickly, the peppe soup is something I am still getting used to... Peppe soup is one of the cheapest foods to prepare in Ghana. They use tomato paste, onions, and a gallon of peppe (hot peppers). Elder Hanberg and I had hand washed our clothes the day before so our fingers were a little raw from the scrubbing. As soon as we prayed and put our fingers in the soup, we about died. OUR FINGERS WERE ON FIRE!!! I finished the fu-fu, and quickly washed my hand and mouth. I turned to Hanberg and he just burst out laughing. Apparently there was a red ring around my lips because the peppe was burning it, and my right hand was on fire. I held it in the washing water for a few minutes. Then Sister Nyemasin came and gave us a cup of yogurt to help with the peppe. Yogurt, perfect! I was thinking of home when dad made the salsa too hot, we would just drink milk to dull the burn. So as soon as she walked out of the room I was rubbing yogurt all over my hand! And it worked perfectly. :D In case you are ever being burned by peppe, just remember to rub some yogurt on it. Works every time.

Elder Hanberg and I had a baptism this Sunday of a young woman named Dorothy. She lives with her mother who is a member and decided to be baptized at this time. We have been teaching her for a few months and finally the day of her baptism came. We woke up Sunday morning and it was pouring. We were afraid that Dorothy would not make it because her home is quite a distance from the chapel, right by the mountain where it rains the most. As Elder Hanberg and I dropped from the tro-tro at the Junction leading to the Chapel, we heard a small voice yell, "Elder Beg-a-sin!" (That is how they say it... :P) and there was Dorothy hiding from the rain under a roof. We ran to her and then made the short sprint to the Chapel. We had a baptism in the rain and I was so impressed with the humility and desire of Dorothy to make it too her baptism. I pray we can all become as little children and enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Thanks for all you do. Continue on in patience.


Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson

Elder Bergeson's buddy, Apostle

Ghana this morning

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Sweet Spot

Alma 32: 42

“And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.”

Family and Friends!
There are some weeks you have where you might feel like a piece of gum. Like the world just took you, chewed you up, and spit you back out. And then there are weeks where everything just seems to be so sweet, like biting into a delicious pear. Last week I felt like a piece of gum, but this week I can say I was having fun and enjoying The Sweet Spots of my mission.

Last week the Ghana Accra Mission and the Ghana Accra West Mission had the opportunity of hearing an Apostle of the Lord teach us and show us what we can do to improve in our work as missionaries. As Elder Gary E. Stevenson spoke with us, he asked many questions, giving the opportunity for missionaries to comment. As each missionary stood, he asked them how long they had been on their missions. The answer varied for each missionary. They said they had been out for 3 months, 11 months, 13 months (like myself), or even 20 months. And to every missionary Elder Stevenson said, "Oh wow. You are in the sweet spot of your mission!" Of all the things that he taught us, the greatest thing that I picked from him was his ability to see each day as an opportunity to find those who need to be helped personally by you. As we live each day like this, we develop a desire to be more and to serve more. We truly see each day as an opportunity to go and do. Each day brings new challenges, new triumphs, new people and new knowledge to be gained. You see each day is your own little spot of sweet. Elder Stevenson taught me that no matter where we are in our mission or in our life, we are living in the Sweet Spot.

This week Elder Hanberg and I were enjoying the sweet spot. Because of time I will talk about the most precious moment to me, and that was seeing two of our dear friends choose to come unto Christ by being baptized. Brother Samuel Addo and his daughter Valentia Addo were baptized this Sunday. It was so special to me to see as these two children of our Heavenly Father faithfully pressed forward in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We met Brother Addo only 5 weeks ago. Valentia came to Church with a member family. We were introduced to her and set up a day to meet her at her home. That next week, we met her family and her father Brother Addo. In our second lesson we invited him to come to Church, which he accepted. Elder Hanberg and I were overjoyed as we saw him walk into the Meeting House, proudly holding his Book of Mormon. The second Sunday he came to Church our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Isaac, gave him a copy of the Gospel Principles book. The next time we met him in his home he had studied several chapters and knew that everything that he had read was true. He had prayed about it. Brother Addo only had one question, "Elders, what is a D&C?" We explained that it was the Doctrine of the Church and included many of the Covenants we make. Hence the name, Doctrine and Covenants or D&C. Immediately he said, "Then I need to get one of these books so that I can study it, because I will be a member soon." After only 4 weeks he wanted to be baptized with his daughter. It was special to see them standing by the baptismal font together, both dressed in white, and ready to show their love for their Savior, even by following His example. It truly is sweet to have experiences such as these. As missionaries we work diligently each day to find and teach those who are prepared to come unto Christ. Many people are not yet ready and even turn you away. But the moments like the one we had with Brother Addo and Valentia this week was worth all of the work and patience we have given. Just as Alma teaches, as long as we show our faith by working diligently with patience, we will taste the fruit that is "sweet above all that is sweet."

Elder Hanberg and I have been seeing miracles here! It has been said that I am in the sweet spot of my mission. I have been out for a few months and I have a good understanding of what we teach and how to teach it. Truly it is sweet! I sometimes think that many of you are experiencing "sweet spots" in your own lives. I'll speak of my dear parents, who I love, as an example. For the past year my parents have been living as "empty nesters." This is a very accurate term for those who have had a very full nest which suddenly seems to be empty. The nest is left for just the two parents. Some people might see this as a boring time or sad in some way, as they have lost a large piece of their entertainment (high school is an entertaining time, I must say). But my parents always express how fun it is! They find new ways to enjoy together. They have time to grow as friends. They must be creative and find ways to do more work with fewer hands. It is a sweet spot to them. My oldest sister is living in Texas with her husband and 3 beautiful girls. The girls love helping Tanae and Garrett work together on their patience, love, and endurance, what a sweet spot! My brother is now a newlywed going to Medical School. Garin and Morgan are both working but still find time to grow in love, what a sweet spot! My middle sister is raising her darling little girl while her husband is in harvest. Mattie and Andrew serve and care for each other through it all, what a sweet spot! The youngest sister is at college, working, dating and preparing for her future employment. There is a lot of pressure for Dayna but she always smiles, what a sweet spot! Wherever you are, whatever you are going through, as we open our hearts to Christ, every moment can be a sweet spot for us.

I love and thank you all for your support.


Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson

Baptism of Valentia and Mr. Addo

Dancing the Kpalago 
(the fishermen pulling the net)

Conference with Elder Stevenson

Enjoying some delicious food at the 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Let Us Be Faithful

Kaden is doing well. He wrote me and said that some investigators gave him some water to drink and he has been sick from the bad water but he is on the mend now. Also, his camera is broke so he hasn't been able to send any pictures but his companion actually took a really short video of him dancing which I attached to this email. 

Thank you for the many prayers offered in behalf of all the missionaries serving all over the world. It amazes me how many are serving at this time and wonderful miracles happening. 

1 Nephi 7: 12
“Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.”
Mi Abusia, me pacho why.
My Family, forgive me okay. I want to thank each of you for the strength you have given me as I've been serving as a missionary. When I think of you I remember that I am not the only one to pass through what I am passing through, and that many of you are also struggling through more difficult trials than I am. You give me strength to continue and a knowledge that all will be well in the end. I am continuing to enjoy serving with my companion Elder Hanberg in our Area, Agbogba. We love the members here and the many friendships we have made. As we serve them we feel all of us coming closer to our Heavenly Father and it is the greatest blessing to experience. 
Elder Hanberg and I have been witnessing miracles here! We got a call one night as we were getting home to prepare dinner, it was from one of our dear member friends Sister Naomi. She had introduced us to a family a few months ago; a mother and her two sons, Eva, Patrick and Joseph. Patrick was baptized in our Ward and Eva had been to Church a few times but has not been able to meet with us for some time because she had become so busy with work. She is a seamstress and work does not always come. But when the work does come for them here, they jump on the opportunity, not knowing when their next job will be. Sister Naomi called us and told us that Eva was suffering severe back pain and that she wanted the Elders to come to give her a blessing. She had done all she could to relieve the pain but it was not going as it usually did. Elder Hanberg and I grabbed our sandals and hopped on our bicycles to go see our friend Eva. She was not doing well. We had Sister Naomi give us a prayer and explain to her that we would give her a blessing and that she would be blessed according to her faith. She understood well and Elder Hanberg performed the anointing and I followed with a Priesthood Blessing. As you rely on the Spirit, you will touch the hearts of those you are blessing. Towards the end of the blessing I remember feeling Eva nod her head slightly as if faithfully affirming that she knew that what I was being prompted to say would come true. As we left her that evening I knew that we had healed her heart, and that was the greatest blessing. We met her the next afternoon and she was strong and healthy again. As we trust in the Lord with all our heart, we can have faith that He will bless us according to His will. 
I've come to have a family here in Agbogba, a Ward family. You know that you are close with them when they invite you to do a cultural dance with them in a Stake Competition. Adenta Stake was having a Cultural Activity that each of the 13 Wards/Branches of the Stake were invited to. I was invited to dance with my Ward and we danced the Kpalago. The Kpalago is a dance of the Ga's, the tribe of Accra. They are a fishing tribe so the dance goes something along those lines. And through it all the women are shaking their bottoms. I'll just throw that in now and try to imagine it. I have never seen a Relief Society President move herself quite like Sister Sheri can. And there is no greater shaker than our Young Women's President, Sister Fianko. It was so much fun to see all of them just move and show the culture of Ghana so well. There were 5 women and 5 men. The women walk in carrying their bowls on their head, preparing to go and get the fish that the fishermen bring in. Then the 5 men walk in, dressed as fishermen, carrying their net. We wore short shorts, a nice big sun hat, and a flower button up shirt. We set our net and then pull the fish in. The women come and we give them the fish. Then as they are going to sell, we see how beautiful they are. We do our best to fix our hair but the women go to sell anyway. Then we decide to go and change. We remove our flower shirts, and put on a white shirt, bowtie, and suspenders. And then we go and try to dance and impress the ladies. They deny us a few times but we finally catch one! :) And then we dance with them away. We have one solo part and my move was to shave off the back side of my partner, Sister Milicent, because it was "too big". The whole crowd loved to see a white man dancing like a Ghanaian and we enjoyed learning that culture.
This week I learned of faithfulness and exercising faith. I had been a bit sick so I was not able to jump rope as I had usually done. Well this morning I jumped rope for my normal amount of time and I about died, because I had been lazy and had not been maintaining the strength that I had had. This applies to showing our faithfulness. If we are not careful we might get distracted and forget the purpose of our lives. I pray that we will not forget. Remember who you are, and remember who those around you are. Love them, pray for them, and serve them. They are often praying to God for someone to help them and you could be that person. But we must be faithful. As we are faithful we will have the strength, the courage, the desire to become more. We will trust in our Savior. We will love our Savior. And in return we will feel His love and trust. Whatever comes to us, always remember Him and be faithful to Him and those that have helped us as He has.

Let us be faithful.


Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson