Joshua 1: 9
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
My family and friends,
Ye be hyia wa heaven. (We will meet in heaven.)
I said this phrase many times this week as Elder Kambwri and I said goodbye to our friends and family in Teshie. We got a call this week telling us that our apartment was being transferred to Nungua, a settlement about 20 minutes down the road from Teshie. We moved there and we were able to visit our old Ward to say our final goodbyes and to share our testimonies. I didn't know how hard it would be to say goodbye to those wonderful people. I have learned so much from them and I have felt of their love and the great trust they have in our Savior Jesus Christ. Everything inside me wanted to stay but I took one last look as we walked away and I am going where the Lord needs me.
We had quite an exciting week! Elder Kambwiri and I have really been putting our faith in the Lord and his timing. Many times we have appointments fall through because people are not home or they do not have time for us, so we just start walking and looking for someone to help. Each day we leave at and on one day we went to our appointment and she was busy, we went to the next and he wasn't home and the next person called me and told me that we should come . So it was and we didn't have anyone to see until so we started walking, and talking to everyone. And I believe because we were doing out part in finding those who are prepared the Lord blessed us. Elder Kambwiri and I were walking past a large tree with branches that hung down and from inside we heard, "My Elders!" I ducked under the branches and found a group of people relaxing in the shade of the tree, and one of them was Deborah. She is a member but I had never met her. She said she is very busy with schooling but she loves the Gospel and the Elders. She has even been sharing the Gospel with her friends, the same friends that were under the tree with her. And I believe that one has truly been prepared for out message. His name is Collins. He is a Ghanaian from Kumasi and he is 30 years old. He used to own a bar in Kumasi but he ran out of money so he moved to Accra with his wife and daughter. He has been looking for work for a long time but it is difficult to find if you don't have friends in the area. He had so many questions for us, especially about the Book of Mormon and Baptism. We answered both of these questions as we shared the message of the Restoration with him. Our message is very simple. It is that we have a loving Heavenly Father who created us and who sent us to Earth to become like Him. He also created a plan for us so that we may one day return to live with Him. This plan, or path, that He has provided is the Gospel that has been taught to us by Jesus Christ and the Prophets of old. We know that even in these last days God has called a prophet to lead and guide His children back to His presence. And through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be changed to be able to live with Him. By the end of our lesson he just kept saying, "I want to join you people. This message is truth." He was so prepared and ready to change. His life has not been easy but he knows that as he puts his trust in God that he will find peace and joy and that is the testimony that I shared with him.
Elder Kambwiri had our last baptism in Teshie Ward 2. Our dear Sister Gifty was baptized and I was amazed at the faith that she showed as she prepared for it. Because of some things she had done in the past, she needed to go and visit my Mission President before she could be baptized. We set the meeting for . She works as a cook at a chop bar but she took off work, something she has never done because she was afraid she would lose her job. But she had courage and she asked and her boss reluctantly said yes. Elder Kambwiri went to pick her up and she came out of her home in a beautiful dress. Each day I see Gifty she is wearing work clothes and even when she comes to church she wears a very worn dress, but today she was glowing. We picked a taxi and because of traffic I sent a text to the assistant to President telling him that we would be a little bit late. Immediately I got a call telling me that President was not at the Mission home and that he would not be coming for the interview. They had asked someone to call me but they had forgotten to do so until Sister Gifty and us were at the Mission home. I explained that she might not be able to get work off again and that we were willing to wait until someone could be there to hold the interview. Well after a lot of praying and sacrifice by many, Gifty was able to have the interview so that she could be baptized. We left the Mission home at and took Gifty and her one year old daughter home. Then morning I was able to see Gifty dressed in another beautiful white dress as she followed the example of her Savior Jesus Christ and was baptized. As we were walking into the water she hesitated and then told me that she was afraid of water. But she showed so much faith and just took one step, and then another. I said the prayer and gently pushed her underneath the water. She came back out and was beaming with the biggest smile that I have seen. She kept thanking us and I was so thankful that she had the faith and the courage to do what the Lord has asked of her and all of us.
Finally I'll end with the story of our transfer. I got a call morning from President Heid and he told me that he wanted to come by and to look at our apartment. He told me that the Sister Missionaries in Nungua had had some men break into their compound and had tried to break into their apartment. The men didn't get through the doors and the Elders in the area ran them off. The Elders then escorted them to the chapel where they slept that night. President knew that our apartment is very safe and so he called to tell us that he was switching the 4 Elders in Teshie with the 4 Sisters in Nungua. We would be leaving after our baptism. We were so excited and then they called us to tell us that we would be receiving new companions. My new companion in Nungua 2B is Elder Mickelson. He is from Wyoming and he is 19 years old. That is about all I know so far because I've barely seen him since I came. Our first official day together is but I know he is a great guy. He is quiet but he is here for the right reasons and ready to work hard. Elder Kambwiri and I traveled back to Teshie to say goodbye to our ward. I was honestly surprised at how difficult it was. I found a family in Teshie and I had to say goodbye. It was almost worse than saying goodbye when I left on my mission. I've helped many people come to their Savior and I felt so close to them. I love the people in Teshie and I will miss them as much as my own family. As we were leaving my heart was just sinking. I was afraid to leave my family and my friends because I would no longer be able to help them. I was afraid to be in an area where I have never been and to meet people I have never known. Basically I was afraid to leave everything I knew and to start over. But I thought of the scripture a dear friend shared with me, Joshua 1: 9, "for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." The Lord has given me the blessing to be able to serve Him by serving his people in Teshie, but now it is time for me to serve His people in Nungua. It won't be easy to re-learn an area, people's names and a companion. But the Lord has commanded me to be strong and to have courage and I must always remember that He is with me. Many times in our lives, each of us must move from where we are comfortable and what we are used to too something different. Things will never be easy but we can be thankful for the thing that will never change; our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is always ready to help us and to save us. He loves us beyond what we know and He will never leave us alone. We must be strong and have courage and then we can know that our Lord and Savior is with us. No matter what we go through, let each of us look to the thing that will never change. Let us look to Him and then move forward with faith and love in our hearts. I first left my family that I love in Moses Lake for a God I love more. Now I have been asked to leave my family that I love in Teshie because I love my God even more.
I love each of you and thank you for your continued prayers. Your Savior is there for you. Be strong and have faith.
PREPARE IT Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson spent his last hour of church in Teshie
helping in the Primary
Mama Lydia, an investigator who became
Elder Bergeson's African mother in Teshie
Elder Bergeson had to say goodbye to his African family
in Teshie. He is with his best friends, Junior and Eliza.
Hand-washing in Teshie. It is tough to get the collar
stains out of a white shirt:)
Elder Bergeson in his new area - Nungua