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, January 25, 2016

For I Am Not Ashamed

Romans 1: 16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

My Dear Family and Friends,
Why ye die pa!! This means you've done well, and we love saying it to the little kids after we finish playing football with them in the streets. They love to hear us speak Twi and they are always surprised to hear a white man speak their language. Elder Kambwiri and I had yet another great week! We have 8 investigators who are preparing for baptism in the coming months and we can only thank our Savior for His help in our work. We are feeling the blessings from the Lord each day, whether it is a new investigator or a funny moment that we are able to laugh about, we see it as the Lord's hand. He is with us and He will never forsake us. 

Holy cow this week was full of a lot of new experiences, both spiritual and physical. I'll start as always with the crazy experiences. On Thursday afternoons we always visit our Bishop's mother named Mama Matilda and we button shirts for her. She sells collared shirts so she goes and buys them in the market and then we button them for her. She loves feeding us too so I get to experience real Ghanaian food every week. That morning we had eaten at another members house and apparently the fish had gone bad so of course when it had gone through my stomach it was ready to come out that afternoon, right when we were at Mama Matilda's. And it just hit me like a wall. I was sitting there folding shirts and then I was up and saying, I need to go to the bathroom. NOW. I called Mama Matilda and asked where I could go to the bathroom and she pointed to a small building that I later found out was a public restroom. I ran over and paid the 50 peswas to get in and as I am hobbling my way over to the building the guy yelled at me, "Do you need any paper?" I thought he meant toilet paper and so I said yes. He dug into a box next to him and pulled out a newspaper. I accepted it thinking I was supposed to read it and that there would be toilet paper inside. Well, I pulled open the door and the smell that came to me reminded me of rotten potatoes mixed with the paper mill smell that you get when you travel to Walla Walla. (I think) But like I said, I needed to go bad, so I pushed through the smell and went to the first stall. I looked in and there was just a hole in the ground with two cement blocks on each side. Next stall had the same thing, and these stalls don't have doors. So basically the public restrooms are just cement buildings that are built over a big pit with holes for toilets. And there was no toilet paper, just the newspaper I was holding in my hand. Great! I had to go to the bathroom, so I did my best. I just stepped onto the blocks and held my pants and shirt out of the way so that they wouldn't get anything on them. Luckily I had some tissues in my pocket so I was able to enjoy my newspaper. In Ghana no one has a toilet in their home, unless you have a nice house like our apartment. It was an interesting experience and I gained a new respect for toilets. 

Then on Saturday our District (that is 10 Elders who work in the same area) came to our apartment for Dinner. I cooked Jollofrice, Fried Chicken and Fried Plantain. I used 3 kilos of rice in the Jollofrice and we ate the whole thing. It was the most I have ever cooked and it was completely on my own. So I feel ready for college and any ward party when I get home. After we ate we went around the table telling each other about ourselves. I told them I had danced for 5 years so they asked to see some clogging. I stood up on the table and showed them a double step rock step! They loved it.

This week we had the opportunity to go out with a Ward Missionary named Beneficent. We go out with him often because he loves missionary work and he is preparing to go on a mission himself. Because he is preparing for missionary work, we decided to do finding with him, which we had never done before. We worked our way into a compound and were able to sit down with a family of 3; Rita, Bernice and Lorishia. We introduced ourselves and they asked us to share a message with them. I shared with them the scripture in Ephesians 2: 20 that tells us that Christ's church was built upon the foundation of apostles, prophets and Jesus Christ. I was sharing our message about how our loving Heavenly Father has called a prophet in these days to lead and guide His church, when Lorishia, an 18 year old girl, began to yell at us about how what we were saying was all lies. She became so loud that her older brother, I am guessing he was 28, came out of the house and he was drunk. Very drunk and not in a good mood. He walked up to me and squatted until he was about a foot from my face and started yelling at me in Ga. I was very concerned that he was going to hit me but right when he started raising his hand Bene said something in Ga. Bene is only 18 years old and he is a very shy and skinny young man and the drunk man that was standing in front of me looked like he had been lifting from the time he could walk. But Bene said something in Ga and then he did the most amazing thing; he bore his testimony. I watched him as He testified that Heavenly Father did call a prophet, Joseph Smith, to lead and guide His church in these days and that we have a living prophet today. He testified of the Book of Mormon and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and as I watched him I felt the truthfulness of his words in my heart. He didn't say much but what he did say was powerful. He thanked those people and then we left. I gave him a knuckle bump and told him I was so proud of him. The only thing he could say was, "Is that what missionary work is really like?" I said yes, bearing testimony of the truthfulness of this Gospel is exactly what missionary work is like. And bearing it no matter what opposition is standing in your way. 

Elder Kambwiri and I went to see one of our recent converts named Robert. I am working on becoming good friends with all of our members so I was asking Robert a lot of questions. He is 63 so I asked him what role religion has played in his life. And he told me an amazing story of faith. He and his brother went to Nigeria when he was newly married to work in a Bank. He left his wife in Ghana with his children and was sending them money each month. After a few years he wanted to return home to see his family so he and his brother took a company car and started for the Nigerian border. They reached the place they wanted to cross but they would not allow him to cross. He showed them all the correct papers but they did not allow him. They were about to return home when 3 young men came to him and said that they knew a different way that he could get across the border, this way was through the bush. They drove for some hours north and they were deep in the bush when they came to a village in the afternoon. The young men told them to park the car there and then in the evening they would come back to show them the way. Evening came and when the young men came back they came with a mob of men carrying torches, cutlass, machetes and axes. The young men had led them to a band of robbers and they wanted to kill Robert and his brother. They surrounded the car and they were threatening them but apparently they couldn't kill them until their leader returned. So they had to wait for three hours as these men surrounded the car and talked about killing them. Robert told me that his brother was so frightened but that he wasn't scared. I was amazed and asked how. He told me that he trusted in the Lord. He knew that if it was his time to die then this was it, but he felt that there was still more that he needed to do so he knew that his Savior would protect him. They started praying, and that is when the robbers started to mock them and laugh at these Christians. But Robert was not ashamed to pray because he knew that he needed the Lord's help now more than ever in his life. He kept praying and then the leader returned. The leader for some reason said that they were not killing these men and that they were to let them go free. He can still remember the look in those men's eyes as they looked from their leader to Robert, but they reluctantly let them go. Robert told me that it was a miracle and that he has never forgotten the Lord because of that. The experienced reminded me of Romans 1:16. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ." Robert in the midst of his trial called upon Christ to help him and his brother, and although he was mocked, he was not ashamed because he knew that the real help would come from Him. Most of us will never have an experience like this, but we do have experiences where we are mocked for our actions or beliefs. As members of the church and as followers of Christ we stand out from the world. We suffer judgments and persecution because of it but we must always remember to never be ashamed. In the difficult times we must remember our Savior Jesus Christ and we must never be ashamed of it. Living the Gospel is the only way that we will be able to live with our Heavenly Father again. Life will be difficult because of the choice we have made to follow Christ, but we must never feel ashamed of who we are. We are sons and daughters of a King and we must stand tall, boldly telling the world that we are not ashamed. And one day we will stand before our Father and we will be able to say, "I am not ashamed." This mission is helping me grow and each day I am seeing the blessings that living the Gospel brings into my life and the lives of many others. May we all be a little bolder in living the Gospel and sharing it, because we will not be ashamed. Our Savior is there for us and through Him we can make it back to our Heavenly Home. Never be ashamed of that. 

I hope this week we can all feel of our Savior's love and remember that we should never be ashamed because He is on our side. I love you all.


Elder Bergeson

Spencer drew pictures of
Elder Bergeson and Elder Kambwiri

Elder Bergeson cooking Jollofrice for 10 Elders
at his apartment for his District - 
that is 3 kgs of rice that they ate up!

Homemade pancake recipe from home 
So good!

Public Toilets - Yikes!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Because of Him

Isaiah 41: 10

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Family and Friends, 
Mi ma wachien! (Good Morning) You respond, Ye ja!

I pray that all is well and that you are constantly looking for the Lord's hand in your lives. This week was quite exciting for Elder Kambwiri and I! We have been focusing on finding those who are prepared to hear our message and we were literally looking everywhere. We even ended up walking down a canal of garbage and sewage to get into a compound. We were in areas where I have never even been and I've been in Teshie for 5 months now, but man it is exciting. For me it feels like a game of hide and go seek because you find a lot of people but that doesn't mean you are done. We find everyday as missionaries and although we don't always meet people who listen to us I know that the Lord will put in our path those who are prepared. Because my Savior knows me, He loves me, and He loves His children in Teshie, He will make it possible for me to find them as long as I do my part. 

Elder Kambwiri and I had a lot of fun this week as we continued pushing along in the work. The work never seems to get easier but it is getting easier for me to find the joy in the journey. This week we faced disappointments as investigators did not keep their commitments but like I said, it allowed us to do a lot of finding. On one particular day we went to meet with an investigator in the morning at the time he set up. We went to his home and his neighbors told us that he had traveled. So I turned to Elder Kambwiri and said, "Alright, let's go find a new friend." We have been working on looking at missionary work and finding as just finding and helping a new friend, so when we do finding it goes a little like this. We walk up to a person and greet them and then tell them who we are and ask them if we can sit and share a short message with them. The people normally say yes so we sit and then we start becoming friends. I always like to tell them a little about myself. I say, "For me, my name is Elder Bergeson. I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am from America and I am 18 years old. (The people here never believe that I am that young and usually tell me that I look 30.) I just graduated from S.S. Before I came on mission I worked on a farm. We grew Irish potatoes, maze (corn), and wheat. I did a lot of weeding and I used a shovel a lot. (Then they ask to feel my hands and they are surprised to see calluses because I am a white man and they don't think that we know how to work. This is when they really start listening.) I have been in Ghana now for 5 months, and my favorite food is Banku with Palm Nut Soup and Tuna!" They always laugh when I finish because again, they don't think that the white people eat their food! Then you ask them the same questions and you learn so much about them. This week my new friends' name is Lydia. She is 32 years old and she has lived in Teshie for 2 months with her husband. She sells fish for a living and her favorite food is Banku with hot peppay and fried Talapia. After this we talked and shared some of our message and set an appointment up to see her again. And that is missionary work. We saw her again on Saturday and had one of the best lessons I have ever had on my mission. The only way I can describe it is that Elder Kambwiri and I taught by the Spirit. We just asked her questions, listened and taught the Gospel as it applied to her. She accepted to be baptized and I truly felt that the Lord directed us to my dear friend Lydia.

One evening we went to see one of our investigators named Abraham. He lives in the Estate and when we got there we found him in the back yard watering his pepper plants! I was so happy to find that he is farming right in his small backyard. So we helped him as he watered and then transplanted them into his "field". He told me that he has been growing these pepper now for a month. He goes out and waters them six times a day and he only uses a small plastic lid to water each plant (there are about 100 of these tiny pepper plants), so it takes a lot of time. But he does it because he really wants them to thrive. The plants are very small and so too much water is not good for them and they need it constantly so that the sun will not burn them up. He has a vision of one day selling them in the market, so no matter how tiring or annoying it gets, he waters them six times a day. We helped him water and move them and then we sat down to have a short message. We read from Alma 32 where it compares the word of God unto a seed. That is we plant it and nourish it, it will grow within us and by our faith, diligence and patience that seed will grow into a plant that will bear much fruit. I learned a lot from this experience talking to Abraham. Things in life do not always come easy but as we continue doing the right things each day, maybe even six times each day, we will be rewarded with our "fruit". 

I had a very special experience this week with a dear sister named Ruth. We were walking down a very busy street one afternoon and I saw a sister sitting on the curb, holding her knees close to her chest, rocking back and forth and just sobbing. I have been trying to lift at all times, just as the Savior would, so I walked to her and asked her what was wrong. She told me that she was a seller and that she stayed with her husband and his mother and her two young children. Her husband is a drunk and the family relies on her to feed and support them. That day she took the money she had made from selling and started walking to catch a tro-tro to the Accra Market so that she could buy more. She had walked for about 45 minutes when she reached inside her pocket and found nothing. There was a tear in her pocket and her money was gone. She had been looking all morning and afternoon for the money and finally she had just given up and started crying in frustration. She kept saying, "I can't go back there. I can't go back there." Her words have been replaying in my mind all week. For her she felt that she couldn't go back there because her husband would surely beat her, his mother would insult her and her children would be going to bed hungry that night. I can't even imagine the pain and fear that was going through her heart when we spoke with her. But as I kept thinking about her words I started applying them to my life and the lives of everyone. Because of my sins I could be saying those same words in regards to my heavenly home, I can't go back there. And many of us when we make mistakes we feel that we can't go to our Savior because we feel like we have disappointed him. But this is wrong. Because of Christ we can be cleansed from our sins and we can return to our Heavenly Father. Christ is our Savior because he has saved us from our sins so that we can live forever with our Heavenly Father and our Heavenly Family. We don't have to think that we can't go back home, because we can. We have a Savior and he suffered, died and lived again, making it possible for us to be cleansed. This made me think of one of my favorite scriptures. Isaiah 41 : 10 tells us not to be afraid or dismayed, for He is with us and He will uphold us. No matter what comes our way we must always remember that because of Him we can return home. We can return to our Father and we can find peace and joy in this life and in the life to come. Because of Him.

I love you all and I ask for your continued prayers in my behalf. 


Elder Bergeson
Finding investigators in Teshie....
looking everywhere....
even in the gutters

KFC - the best ice-cream that Elder Bergeson
has ever had (he stated this)

Abraham watering his peppers

Monday, January 11, 2016

Put a Smile On

Doctrine and Covenants 123: 17

Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

Family and Friends, Ghana eye fe! (Ghana is beautiful!)
I am really falling in love with the work here in Teshie, Ghana. Every day is difficult but it is all so worth it when you realize you are bringing people closer to Christ, including yourself. I love the people here, the food, the dancing, the music, the Gospel and the people we are able to teach. There are some days when the going gets tough and I am learning how to buckle down and just push forward with all that you have. The Lord is there to strengthen us and He will never forget us. 

Ghana is experiencing the dry season right now and so the weather is hot and bone dry. Everyone is getting sick here but it just reminds me of a good old Moses Lake Summer! It is also the Hamatan season, which means the wind is blowing dust from the Sahara Desert into Ghana, or at least that is what they tell me. So my lips were incredibly chapped and we were getting blinded by sand as we walked down the roads this week, but it was a lot worse for some people. Their noses bleed and their feet even crack and bleed because they don't have shoes to wear, so I remain very thankful for my circumstances. But the kids here are on vacation from school right now so no matter how bad the weather is they are outside playing football or running around naked. We went this week to go visit a less active family and we were able to sit down and have great talk about the blessings that she and her family could receive from going to the temple. We shared Mathew 16: 19 and bore testimony that if she would return to the path that Jesus Christ set, then she would be able to live with her family forever. Right after the only question she had was "What do I need to do to prepare to go there?" I was touched by the sincerity in her eyes and I knew that she knew it was true. After we were saying our goodbyes when the children come sprinting past us chasing a football (soccer ball). They dug two holes and stuck two pieces of wood into the ground and began playing a game of football. They called to us to join and we couldn't refuse the invitation! I quickly realized that these small boys were better than most of the kids on our Varsity team at home. I'm sure I looked like quite the fool but Elder Kambwiri and I had a blast! And because of the Hamatan my freshly washed and polished clothes were completely covered in dust when we finished, but we were blessed to see that family at church this Sunday. I am sure it was Elder Kambwiri's football skills that impressed them enough to come, mine still need some practice, but I still have 2 years to go!!

This Sunday we had one of the coolest lessons on my mission. Almost everyone in my area is very well educated so we have not had a problem with communicating with investigators. But this week a member came to us telling us that he had someone he wanted us to come and visit, his wife! She is not a member and she just came to Teshie from her village and she doesn't speak English. So we went to visit her after church with one of our ward missionaries, Beneficent. We sat down and we began teaching the lesson. I would say a short sentence in English and then Bene would translate it into Twi. It was awesome! And she was asking questions and Bene would then translate it too us and we would do our best to answer in very simple terms. It was a lot of fun and the sister, Gifty, accepted to be baptized. At the end of the lesson we asked her husband, James, to bear his testimony of the Book of Mormon to his wife. He turned to her and said the testimony in Twi and he even got emotional, which you don't see very often in Ghana. Then he turned to us and translated it. He told us his conversion story. He always was a very religious man of great faith but he was never able to read. He had always wanted to read the Bible but he didn't know how. He used to sit outside in the evenings with his friends and everyday he saw the missionaries walking by. Finally he called them over one evening and asked them why they were here and where their church was. They told him and he was impressed by their words and the next Sunday he attended church with them. They gave him a Book of Mormon and from that day on he started teaching himself how to read. He was baptized in 2005 and now he reads anything he can get his hands on, especially the scriptures. The Book of Mormon was the first book that he read and he said he has never read anything better. His testimony touched my heart because I share the same feelings about the Book. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It brings me closer to my Savior and it tells me how I can follow Him. Brother James knows it and I believe that his wife will one day join him in that knowledge.

I had a very difficult week as my companion and I faced a lot of challenges in the work. We had a wonderful investigator who was supposed to be baptized this Saturday but when we tried to meet with him he didn't show up and he would not pick our calls. He wasn't baptized and I was honestly very disappointed. We also had to stop seeing 5 of our investigators because they were not progressing along the path towards Christ. This was so difficult for me because I have a deep love for them. They were some of my best friends but if they are not willing to change then we need to find those who are. I was praying with all my heart that I would be directed towards those who are prepared for our message and that we could help people come closer to Christ, but this week we weren't able to find anyone who wanted to listen to us. I was feeling bad one day about how the work was going so I opened up a letter that my sister had sent me and I saw a small sticky note that I hadn't seen before with a scripture, Doctrine and Covenants 123: 17. I turned there and read the scripture and tears came to me as I felt my Savior's love for me, and especially the love of my sister and family. Our Savior knows just what we need and when we need it. This scripture helped me so much as I tried to apply it. From that time forth I prayed with all my heart and then I went out each day with a smile in my heart, cheerfully bringing light into the lives of the people around me. The work didn't get much better the rest of the week, but I wasn't discouraged. I knew that I was doing everything I could and that the Lord would be pleased with my work. This is a lesson that each of us need to learn. Life is never easy. It is easy to get discouraged and to look at the bad things that are happening. Sometimes there is nothing we can do about the situation we are in. But we need to change our hearts and our minds and focus on the things we can do. For me it was putting a smile on my face and walking out that door. Every day. It wasn't much but it made the difference between me being happy or sad. I knew that I was doing all that was in my power and because of that there was nothing that I should be disappointed about. I know that as we do all that we can, the Lord will bless us. In your life the only thing you might be able to do is smile! You might have difficulties with family, in school or you may feel helplessly alone. But I promise you that He will lift us when we are down and He will bring peace to our hearts when we are troubled. Life is difficult, but it is more difficult without Christ. You have a Savior. He loves you and He gave His life for you. He has made it possible for us to change and live with our Heavenly Father again. I am serving my mission for that reason. There are many who are out there who don't know this message. How can I leave them in their circumstances? The Atonement of Jesus Christ is not only for me, but it is for all of us. It is up to us to use Him in our lives and to do everything that "lies in our power." Then we can feel of the joy that comes from living a life that is pleasing to Him.

I love each of you and thank you for your prayers. They strengthen me and help me to keep pushing forward. 


Elder Bergeson

The Children in Ghana

Service - Elder Bergeson learning how to cook
Ka Kra Ka Kra

Playing football with a less active family

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Time to Change

Mosiah 23: 21 - 22

21 Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people: yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. 
22 Nevertheless - whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day.

Me Abusua! Etisen? (My family! How are you?)
What. A. Week. I am loving this great opportunity the Lord has given me to serve Him by allowing me to serve His children in Ghana. I am amazed each week with the lessons that I learn and I know that these are lessons that I will use the rest of my life. A mission is difficult but if it wasn't hard then I would not need to change. And as I change each day I feel myself becoming the man I have always wanted to be and the man that my Heavenly Father wants me to be. It is a new year, 2016, and with it comes a chance to change. We all have an image of who we want to become, now it is up to us to make it happen. As I said before it will not be easy because change is never easy, but I and many others can promise that it will be worth it. This week I have spent a lot of time looking at who I am now and who I want to become. And I have made the decision to change. 

I was pondering a lot this week, thinking about my mission so far and a lot about the investigators that Elder Kambwiri and I are teaching in Teshie. As I was pondering I came to the realization that we were doing a wonderful job of strengthening those that are already in our circle but that each day we were walking past many of our brothers and sisters who may have needed our help. So this week I opened my eyes and began looking for opportunities to lift in each moment. We were blessed greatly with many new investigators but besides that I was blessed with joy. I want to share just one of these experiences and keep in mind that Elder Kambwiri and I were experiencing one like this each day. We were walking through our area towards a members home when suddenly our path was blocked by a wall. I've written before that in Ghana people just build walls and houses wherever they want so this happens a lot. We found a way around and we were walking through a compound in which I had never entered. I looked to my left and saw a group of women and children seated in the shade under a large coconut tree. There was a young mother chopping vegetables and then two grandmothers who were watching 5 young children. I had the thought that we needed to go talk to them so I tapped my companion on the shoulder and we walked over. My goal was to lift each day, so I asked the mother if I could chop the vegetables for her. She laughed and said thank you but asked if we would like to sit down. We took our seats and started talking with the three ladies. One grandmother and the mother spoke English well but the other grandma had only been speaking Twi to us for the few minutes we had been there and I had used every Twi word that I knew! I asked if we could share a message and they agreed and quieted all of the children and we began with a prayer, which I offered. And I about gave that grandma a heart attack! I prayed in Twi for the first time!! I've been learning from a member in our ward so I said the Lord's prayer and each time I paused the grandmother said a excited "Amen" and when I finished the whole group shouted "AMEN!" and everyone was looking at me like I was an alien from space. I just laughed. We started our lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and right at the begining a young man walked outside from a nearby house and realized that the grandmother could not understand us, so he offered to translate. He sat down next to me and translated every word that we taught. His name is Michael and at the end of that lesson I knew the reason that we had been prompted to talk to those ladies was not for them, but for Michael. We finished the lesson and the mother prayed and then I thanked Michael for his help and he turned to me and said, "Is everything you just taught true?" I bore testimony to him that it is. I was so thankful for that wall that made us walk another way and that we sat down to visit with those ladies, because we met Michael. I learned again that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that he guides us and puts us through experiences so that we can find or become the people we need to. 

New Year's was this week and holy cow I have never seen so many fireworks and people dancing. We had a combined Ward/Branch New Year's Party at the chapel this Friday and it was something to be remembered! Let me just tell you, Ghanaians know how to dance. And I am talking about all ages, even the little 2 year olds that are barely learning how to talk can dance just as well as I can! And the old people.... I thought for sure there were going to be some broken hips because 80 year olds should not be able to shake like that! Haha, but it was I night of fun. And part of the fun was the dance offs. They had a dance off for each age group and even a couples dance. We were getting to the end of it and then all of a sudden we heard over the speakers, "Alright, time for the Elders Dance Off!" Oh no. The crowd cheered and pushed us out onto the dance floor. There we were; Elder Nissinen, Elder Madsen, Elder Kambwiri and I. They started the song and we all spread out to our separate dancing areas and then the beat dropped. And literally at the same time we all just broke it down! I was feeling it, holy cow. I felt like I was back in Boy's Club and the crowd was cheering and laughing like crazy. Well after about a minute they stopped the music and then began the elimination. They yelled out each of our names and the crowd yelled "YOOO" or "NOOO". Elder Kambwiri was eliminated first and then they turned on the next song. I did every move I could remember. The Shoki, Spongebob, Mormon Shuffle, Hip Shaking (thanks to my Mom and Dad) and in the end they said my name and the crowd roared their approval and I won! We started walking back to our seats and then they told me that I had won but I didn't get my prize until I did one final dance by myself. They started the music and I had already done all of my moves so I was trying to think what I could do, and then it came to me. Toe Touch. I can now testify that Ghanaians really love when people jump into the air, do the splits and touch their toes. I finished and was rewarded with 4 suckers and a lot of hand shakes. My bishop was proud to have me serving in his ward. I was just thankful that I didn't tear my trousers!

This week was very humbling. We found out that an Elder in my MTC group lost his father in a car accident. I was deeply troubled when I heard this and I thought about how I would feel if my father, mother or sibling passed away. I was thinking about how I would feel and I would react. Would I be bitter and angry that the Lord had done this to me, or would I remember them and have faith that if I serve the Lord faithfully the rest of my life that I would be able to see them again? It made me think of a scripture in Mosiah. The Lord tries his people's patience. He allows us to experience trials and temptations, pain and sorrow, but as you keep reading you find that what you need to do is put your trust in Him. Life will always be difficult because it is a journey. As you hike to the top of a mountain the journey does not get easier. The path gets steeper and it gets harder to breath and you get more tired with each step that you take. But it is all worth it in the end. The Lord promises us that if we put our trust in Him we "shall be lifted up at the last day." We just need to remember Him in our trials and remember that we experience trials because He loves us. And as we rely on Him we will be able to bear them. He loves us. He experienced every single thing that you are going through. He weeps with you and he rejoices with you. He is there for you and you just need to have faith and to put your trust in Him. This new year is the time to change and I pray that you will ask Him to help you change. And then allow yourself to be changed into the person He wants you do be.

I love you all and I am thankful for the examples each of you have been in my life. Please remember Elder Kambwiri and I in your prayers.



Elder Bergeson
Elder Bergeson ate crab for the first time
and despite the expression on his face,
 he actually liked it

Sister Sarah had the missionaries over for a
Banku Party

New Years Party - The Dance Off