Luke 22: 42
“Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
Family and Friends,
Bolu wa ti fe! (It is the way God wants it.) Elder Ferrell, Elder Koronikalou, Elder Labeja and I had a wonderful week. I included all of our names because the 4 of us live in the same apartment and we enjoyed this week. On Tuesday, I celebrated my 19th birthday and then on Saturday Elder Koro celebrated his 20th birthday! So we made some unforgettable memories as we celebrated by serving the Lord. This week was great in our apartment but it was one of the most difficult in our area. We had a baptism and confirmation this Sunday and besides our recent convert, there were no other investigators who attended our meetings. I was disappointed but not discouraged, because I know that Elder Ferrell and I are doing our part. Each day we are working and sharing the light that we have with others, but many are not ready for this wonderful light. But we will continue on doing the Lord's will.
As I said before, Elder Ferrell and I are working hard trying to find those who are ready to come closer to Christ. We went to go see an investigator and she was not at home when we had planned to meet. We had about an hour until our next appointment so we parked our bikes and began exploring the area, looking for someone to help. As we walked we knocked on gates and talked with many people all telling us that we should come back next week. We reached the end of the neighborhood and I was about to turn back when Elder Ferrell said that we should go talk to the young man that was sitting down in front of a chop bar. As we approached he quickly stood and cleaned off two chairs for us and asked us to please sit down. His name was Samuel and we introduced ourselves. Then I asked him if he knew who we were. He said, "Yes, I am a member of the Church!" We were surprised because we had never seen him before. He told us that he had been at school in the Volta Region of Ghana and had just returned for vacation. And he told us much more. His father is also a member but because of the demands that come from providing for a family, he is not able to come to church. His father is a taxi driver but he does not own the taxi, which means that he is only able to drive it when the owner is not using it; nights and Sundays. His father is providing for Samuel, his younger brother who is in a private school, and his mother who is struggling with health challenges. Samuel was expressing his concerns and also his feelings to us. He said he had been praying for work for a long time but that Heavenly Father was not answering him. In his own words he said, "Is He even listening?" I have felt the same way at times in my own life. I was praying with my full heart but it didn't seem like my Father in Heaven was even listening to me. But I can always look back and see that He was with me and He was listening to me, but He was allowing these things to happen so that I could become what He wanted me to be. I shared with Samuel Mosiah 24: 15 where it tells that the people of Alma did "submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." Each of us must remember that Heavenly Father loves us and that is why we are here on Earth. We will pass through struggles but He has not left us alone. Submit yourselves to His will and all will be well.
We had 2 birthdays in the apartment this week, which means a lot of good food (that is a Bergeson tradition.) But the tradition in Ghana is that you soak people with water on their birthdays. I woke up on Tuesday morning and found a bucket of water sitting right next to my bed. Elder Koro had woken up at midnight and had come in with the bucket, ready to soak me, but he had compassion on me and decided he would not. How kind. But on his birthday Elder Ferrell and I were not feeling as kind. Elder Koro was smart though so he locked his bedroom door that night and we were not able to get inside, but we were patient. That night I cooked a potato/bean soap for our dinner and it was delicious, and then we had Elder Labeja take Elder Koro out to go and buy something. They left and Elder Ferrell and I dressed up in our black clothes and grabbed our buckets of water. Our apartment is on the second story of an apartment building and there are stairs that go up the side. So if one is walking up to the apartment they must walk right past the stairs leading to the third story to get to our apartment door. That is precisely where Elder Ferrell and I lay camouflaged, waiting to get our 20 year old Fijian. They came home and Elder Koro was first up and walked right past the stairs when 10 gallons of water hit him from behind! It was beautiful. Elder Koro played for the Fiji Under 18 National Rugby Team. He is not small. He grabbed the nearest thing next to him, a broken broom and came after us! It was great. After we swept the water off of the porch I went back in to finish cleaning the dishes. Then from the hallway I hear a "squweesh squweesh squweesh squweesh" and I turn and see Koro holding a huge wash bucket full of water. He soaked me. And it was a great birthday! We spent another hour mopping the kitchen.
I learned a lot about Humility this week. Humility is submitting our will to the will of the Lord's. I made a Ghanaian dish called Light Soup. It is very simple. You boil Tomato, Onion, Garden Egg and Peppe until it is very soft. Then you put it in the grind bowl and you grind it. The grind bowl is a bowl that has grooves down the sides and you grind the vegetables against the grooves until they are smooth. Then you add it back into the boiling water and you eat it on rice or with fufu. As I was making it my mind was making connections, as it always does. I was thinking about how much the vegetable must go through until they become what I want them to be, Light Soup. You have to clean them with soap and a scrubber. But being clean doesn't make them light soup. Then you have to boil them until they are very soft, but still it is not Light Soup. You then grind them. You push and mash and move them until they are completely broken down, but still you are not done. You have to add it back to the boiling water. Finally, I have the Light Soup that I want. It reminded me a lot of our lives. Our Heavenly Father is our cook. He is completely in charge and is willing and able to help us become something great. He is holding each of us in His hands and if we put our trust in Him, He can make us into something better than we can imagine. But the process is difficult. It includes scrubbing, boiling, grinding, mashing, smashing. And sometimes during the process we think that our Heavenly Father doesn't know what He is doing. We forget that He is in control and that He wants what is best for us because He loves us. We think that this difficult process is an accident or that we are completely alone in this. But we are not alone. Our Heavenly Father and our Savior are always with us. They know what we can become and if we humble ourselves and say "not my will, but thine", then They can make something glorious out of us. I do not know what things each of you are going through, I don't know how you are reacting to these trials, but I know that they are here for a purpose. Without them we can never become what our Heavenly Father wants us to become. Humble yourself and allow your Father in Heaven to lead thee through this life back to Him.
I love you all and I am thankful for your prayers and support.
Elder Bergeson celebrating his 19th Birthday
with apartment Elders
as he made a chicken dinner
A normal lesson in Ghana - close quarters