Mathew 11: 29
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
My Family and Friends!
A mission is wonderful. I have grown and learned so much. The time goes too fast. Each day feels like a week and each week feels like a day. It is hard to describe, but by the end of each day I ask myself if I have done all that I wanted. Was I able to come closer to my Savior? Was I able to feel His Spirit this day? Did I help ease someone's burden today? Did I share my testimony of Jesus Christ? I pray that each day I can say Yes to these questions. If I can then I feel that I am doing what I can. The work is difficult in this new area but I feel that my Savior is with me and my companion as we work each day to help others come closer to Him. I love it here.
Elder Ferrell and I decided this week that to we needed to build a better relationship with our members. Missionary work, anywhere you go in the world, always moves if the members are involved. The members know the people in their area and they know who might be prepared to receive our message. So this week we began the process of becoming friends with our members. I want to share with you the stories of two of the Sisters we met this week. The first is Sister Melissa. Sister Melissa is a returned missionary form a Nigeria mission. She is married and has three children, Gilbert (8 yrs.), Diego (5 yrs.) and Ruth (2 yrs.). Her husband used to have a great job in Accra working for a bank, but he got layed off a few years ago and Melissa told us of the struggle that they experienced for many years. Now she works as a hawker selling avocado on the streets. Her husband works in Kumasi in a construction company and he only comes home once a month. As she told us small about herself I could tell that each day was a struggle, having to take care of her children on her own and not being able to see her husband, but that through it all she was staying positive. Elder Ferrell shared Mosiah 4 : 30 and I shared my testimony on watching our thoughts. Each of us struggle with negative thoughts. Thoughts that say we are not good enough or that nothing will go right for us. I felt this a lot when I first came out on my mission and I could tell that Melissa was feeling it as she thought about where her life was. But as we watch our thoughts and remember to direct them always to the Savior, we can endure each day with joy. Life will hardly give you what you want, but as we first change our thoughts we will be able to pass through any challenges.
Sister Milicent is the second sister I want to talk about. Sister Milicent was married at a very young age, before she finished her high school education, and had two children. But her husband wanted a divorce leaving Milicent with the two children and no work. Milicent shared with Elder Ferrell and I the many miracles that followed. She found work at a local school as a primary teacher. Her son was sick and received medical care free of charge. Milicent and her family also found the Church. She wasn't able to read when she joined the Church but the Church has been helping her. When we went to visit her that night, I asked her to read a scripture. At first she refused because she cannot read well, but I showed her that it was a short one so she agreed that she would. The first word was "Nevertheless." When she finished I asked her if she picked anything from the verse. She just said, "Nevertheless. Nevertheless. I like this word. What does it mean?" I had never really noticed this word before. It is used many time in the scriptures, usually as a transition word, and I always seem to look right over it. But Milicent helped me to come to love it. In this verse it was telling us that Nephi suffered much and had gone through a lot of pain, NEVERTHELESS, he still thanked God for all things. Basically, no matter what happened to Nephi, he would still thank his Heavenly Father for his experiences. Regardless of the trials, he would always thank his God. We applied it to Milicent. Milicent has gone through much pain and afflictions, nevertheless, she will still thank her Heavenly Father for His many blessings. Each of us will pass through difficulties, nevertheless, it is my prayer, that we will always keep our faith rooted in our Savior and thank our Father in Heaven for the experience.
This past week I was struggling with a heavy feeling. I felt that I was pushing and pushing but the work was not moving. I was reading in Mathew and I came to a very familiar verse that I had forgotten. I read it and pondered, and read it again. The part that I loved was "learn of me.... and ye shall find rest unto your souls." As I pondered about this, I realized that it was a rest to your soul, not your body. Missionary work is a struggle and very tiring. Every night I fall asleep quickly and each morning when my alarm goes off at 6:00 it is hard to move. But you can push through the physical tiredness if your Soul is strong. The hard times are when your Souls get tired. As missionaries we share our testimonies all day and you feel that no one is listening and that no one wants to change. It is hard and your soul gets weary. I could feel my Soul being tired this week, but I took the advice of Mathew, to learn of Him. Each of you will have difficult times where you will get worn out spiritually and physically. I look at my sister Tanae as an example. She recently had twins and is now raising her 2 year old daughter and the young twins. I know that the 3 of them are a handful and I marvel many times at my sister's (and her husband's) ability to handle this. I know she feels physically drained each day, but I also know that she continues to learn of our Savior Jesus Christ. As she learns of Him she grows in charity and I know she feels that love as she raises her daughters. Tanae is not the only example of this, but I hope that each you can follow her example. You all have your individual challenges that will weigh you down, but I promise that as you learn of Him, you will find rest and more strength to your soul.
I love you all and thank you for your prayers. I feel them each day and they help me to continue pressing forward.
Elder Bergeson bought a new hat -
He said, "it is to go hunting for
Weeding with a cutlass at Chapel cleaning
Missionary Sunday yesterday
Elder Bergeson with PJ