Romans 8: 28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
My Family and Friends,
The work is great and I am continually being blessed with great people to teach. I am just very satisfied with the work right now. It is definitely not always easy but it is always worth it every time I see someone coming closer to our Savior. I love the work and I love my family that I now have in Teshie. As I have served them I have come to love them for who they are. We have come together and I always know that I have family here in Ghana.
What a week.This Saturday was Elder Madsen's birthday (he stays in our apartment) so of course we made some pretty great birthday plans for that evening. But before that Elder Kambwiri and I put in a lot of hard work with finding, teaching and serving the people that the Lord has given us to watch over. I know that as we were working hard we were also being blessed. We were out one morning trying to see some people that we had contacted earlier in the week but they were not home when they said they would be. I was feeling a little saddened but I never lose faith that it is all part of the plan. But while we were trying to figure out who we would see, I received a phone call from Mama Owu, my grandma in Ghana. She called and told me, "Elder, I need you to come to my house right now. I have two people here for you to teach." Yes ma'am. My companion and I were excited! We ran there and met the two sisters that were sitting with Mama O.; Sister Georgina and Ekwa, Georgina is Ekwa's mother. They don't speak English but they understand small small so with the help of Mama O. we were able learn about them. They met Mama O. some weeks ago when they were walking by her home selling some snacks. She called them over and started talking with them. They left Mama O. that day but they said they couldn't stop thinking about her because of the light that was in her eyes. They came back that day and asked Mama O. what it was that made her so happy or that made that light shine in her eyes. She told them that it was because of her relationship with Christ which she gained through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And then she had two people that she would call to come and talk to them. I was amazed by this. Just by talking to Mama O. they had noticed something different about her. The first time they met they didn't even talk about religion, it was just the light in her eyes that brought them back wanting to know what she had. This truly inspired me. You don't have to always be a missionary by just talking about the Gospel or sharing scriptures. Sometimes you can be a missionary just by smiling. Georgina and Ekwa met with us this Sunday at Mama O's before church and Ekwa brought her 4 children. They loved our message about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then we were able to walk with them to the chapel. It was inspiring as I sat watching that small family sing the hymns in Sacrament Meeting that I truly gained a testimony of how the Gospel blesses families. Here they were, together, worshiping their Savior. It was so sweet and special as I looked down at her son sitting next to me and saw him smiling with all of his teeth, so happy to be at Church.
Elder Kambwiri and I love doing service and we look for opportunities each day for service. We have an investigator who came to church but because of work he stopped because he felt that he was too busy. Well we stopped by to see him last week and he wouldn't let us through the gate because he said he was too busy with things. We visited him on Tuesday and found him outside watering his peppers. I immediately offered to help and even added that I had been working on a farm so I knew a few things. He was hesitant but he let us through and we spent about an hour with him watering his peppers. We tried to sit down and have a lesson but he said he was busy so we left him with a scripture and a return appointment. Thursday we came back again and helped him water but this time we noticed the weeds that were quickly growing. I asked him if we could come and help Saturday morning and he gladly accepted. So on Elder Madsen's birthday the 4 of us went and weeded Abraham's garden, or "farm" in his mind. It was so much fun and we had Abraham smiling the whole time! He loved having us there and although he didn't come to church this Sunday I know that our example of joy that comes from living the Gospel will always stay with him.
That evening we returned to the apartment and I started preparing an American Feast. I had been saving my money through the weeks and I was able to buy Irish Potatoes, Carrots and live Chicken. Yes, live chicken. It was alive but as most of you know, you can't eat a live chicken. Well luckily we have an expert in that area and he happens to be my companion. He killed it and quickly cleaned off the feathers. He started cutting up the chicken and I started on the potatoes and carrots. A few minutes later I heard him yell and I turned around to find his thumb bleeding! The knife slipped off of a bone while he was cutting and he sliced his thumb. Deep. And then three Eagle Scouts went into action. I held pressure while the others got bandages. We wrapped it tight and then Elder Kambwiri said he was going to sit down. He said, "Elder Bergeson, you're up." There was only one small problem, I have never cleaned the inside of a chicken. He told me to just cut it down the back, through the bone and then to rip out all of the intestines and liver and heart and stomach and eggs. Yummy. I cut right down the spine and then ripped the chicken open and the smell that hit me... Woof. The whole intestines were just full and as I was cutting, I accidentally cut the stomach so out burst corn, seeds, plants and bugs. But I just kept cutting. I finished that birthday dinner and man it was delicious. Mashed Potatoes, Chicken Gravy with Fried Chicken and Carrots. Yes, I bought a Potato Masher.
This week we were walking to a lesson and Elder Kambwiri and I passed a young girl washing dishes and he said that we should go and talk to her. Her name is Grace and she is 14 years old. Her father died a few months ago and her mother just got remarried to a man with two small kids. The father then pulled her out of school so that she could babysit the kids while he and the mother worked. She was telling me how much she missed learning and seeing her friends and then she said something very interesting. She said, "I just keep wondering if there really is a God listening to me, and if there is, then why He keeps letting these bad things happen to me." I shared one of my favorite scriptures with her from Romans 8: 28. Almost always we wonder why, if we have a loving Heavenly Father, He allows us to suffer here on Earth. Why aren't things easier? This scripture might not completely answer this question, but it does bring a lot of peace to my heart when I am going through trials. "All things work together for good to them that love God." What a powerful promise. We go through much suffering here on Earth and sometimes things never seem to be easier. But we must keep in mind that as long as we love and put God first in our lives, these trials will be for our good. When I came on my mission I heard a great quote, "If you want to be stronger than do something hard." And as we look at life with an eternal view we see that these hard times are making us better people and helping us become more like Christ. We went to pick Grace upthis Sunday for Church and as we walked into her compound we saw her run inside her home, just sobbing and we saw her father right behind her with his arm raised to hit her. My heart sunk into my stomach. I've been praying ever since that she will remember this scripture. Most of us will never be in this kind of situation but we have our own difficulties. I hope that we will always remember our Savior during these times and know that these things will work for our good. You are never alone. Your Savior is with you and He will always be there because He loves you.
I love you all and ask for your prayers in my behalf.
Family Home Evening with the Asante's
Weeding Abraham's garden or "farm" in his view
Elder Kambwiri and Elder Bergeson after
their football match in the Estate
Elder Bergeson bought a chicken and ate it
Delicious birthday dinner with potatoes, gravy, carrots and