2 Nephi 2 : 23 - 25
And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy , for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they know no sin.
But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
Adam fell that men might be; and med are, that they might have joy.
Abayye yee. (It shall be well.)
My dear family and friends, I started this email with that phrase because I can't tell you how many times I said it to myself this week. I just kept repeating, "It shall be well Elder Bergeson, it shall be well." Sometimes that is what we need to do so that we can get through each day. Elder Kambwiri and I had another great week but it was full of many disappointments. We were supposed to have a baptism but the candidate had an issue with one of the commandments and was not ready. We also started the week with many investigators but after the first day they had all told us they were just to busy to meet with us. So Elder Kambwiri and I spent a lot of time on our feet knocking on gates and talking to anyone who had the time for us. And through it all I knew that everything would be well because this is His work and He is with us.
I'll start first with a good experience. On Wednesday the Zone Leaders called and told us that they would be going out with us that day. At 10:00 they were walking with Elder Kambwiri and I in our area and we had a very difficult day. Every investigator that we went to see was not home or they were busy and told us to come tomorrow. It was hard and we contacted (talked to about the gospel) a lot of new people that day! At 6:00 they left and that happened to be when we were meeting with some of our investigators. We told one to come to the chapel at 6:00 and the others were supposed to come at 7:00, but they both showed up at 6:00! Elder Kambwiri and I knew that we couldn't teach them together because their needs are very different, so we picked some chairs from the chapel and Elder Kambwiri taught Eric at one end of the parking lot and I taught Ovia and Stanley at the other end. Both of us were very nervous because as missionaries you are almost never separated from your companion, especially when you are teaching lessons. But this was our need so there we were in the church parking lot, doing our best to answer their many questions and to share our testimonies with them. We taught each of them for two hours. We finished at the same time and then we shook hands with our friends and they went home. Elder Kambwiri and I were just standing in the parking lot kind of speechless. "What a wow" was all that we could say! We were both so happy that we had been able to teach and feel the Spirit as we taught. Our investigators were happy and we felt so blessed that although we were apart we still had the companionship of the Spirit.
As I said before, Elder Kambwiri and I spent a lot of time on our feet trying to find people who have been prepared for the message that we have. We went finding for new friends in the Estate this week. We normally don't spend to much time in the Estate because the people are very wealthy and most of the time they are at work during the day, but I felt that we needed to be out there. So one morning we were in the Estate doing our best to talk to people. The first opportunity we had was with some sisters that were all sitting around these huge cooking pots. We tried to talk to them but they said that they were working and that they didn't have time. We asked if we could give them something and one said, "Can't you see we are busy?" Alright. We moved on. Next we saw one of the biggest houses I have seen in Teshie and we thought we needed to definitely try knocking on that gate! I knocked and then I saw through the crack in the gate a fleet of 8 cars. That's when I got worried but a young woman answered the door. We explained who we were and she invited us to sit in their veranda while she went to get her parents. A veranda?.... In Africa?! Oh it was cool but as soon as the mother saw us she told me that she was sick and asked us to leave. I gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and I bore my testimony that we could one day live with God again. I felt good as she slammed the gate behind us with a crash. Then Elder Kambwiri said we should go down a road. It was a dead end so we knocked on the house at the end. A young man answered and we bore our heartfelt testimonies that God has once again called a prophet to lead His church in these last days. He told us that he was just a worker there and that he needed to get back to work. But still Elder Kambwiri and I were smiling. We were on our way to our next appointment on our way out of the Estate when I saw an old couple sitting on their porch and I thought I should try one more person. I walked up and went to knock on the gate. My fingers were inches from knocking when I heard, "Latter-days! We're busy!" I was really laughing after this because I hadn't even knocked or said anything yet! We left the Estate and as sucky as it really was I was somehow happy because I knew that we had tried. We were doing the Lord's work and I knew that I had done my part in sharing His message so I couldn't feel bad. I put a smile on the rest of that day and no matter how hard things go I knew that all would be well.
I would now like to share with you the scripture that has brought the most peace to my heart this week. It was really a struggle to stay positive through all of the trials but as I remembered the words of a prophet from the Book of Mormon named Lehi, I was able to stay focused on what matters. Lehi teaches us in 2 Nephi 2 that Adam and Eve needed to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil so that they would be able to learn and grow. If they had not eaten of the fruit then they would have had "no joy, for they knew no misery." Many times the Lord allows us to go through experiences that bring us pain and misery so that we can be thankful for the times that we feel joy and happiness. He allows us to have these feelings so that we can be humble, so that we will always remember him, in joy or pain. And the part that brought great peace was hearing that everything has been given to me from "him who knoweth all things." Our Father in Heaven knows all things. He knows what we are going through and he knows why we need to go through that thing. He knows how He needs to help us and also when we need that help. He hears us when we pray to Him and He will always send His Spirit to comfort us. But the greatest reminder is found in verse 25. "Men are, that they might have joy." Our loving Heavenly Father has given us this life that we might learn and grow from our experiences and that we might find joy. Joy comes from keeping our lives centered on Christ. As we rely on Him and ask for His strength, we will be blessed. As we turn our thoughts to Him and what really matters, like our families and our relationship with Him, then we be able to find joy. I know that our Savior lives and that He loves you and that He loves me.
I am so thankful for each of you and your prayers in my behalf. When I think of giving up I think of those at home who are lifting me up. I love you all.