What a fun Mother's Day treat for me to hear Kaden's voice and his African accent! He is doing great and really enjoys working hard to serve the Ghanaian people. Our Father in Heaven knew the place he needed to be, I have no doubt. He fits right in and is positive and happy. His testimony of faith, courage and perseverance touches me and I see blessings in his life and our lives as He does his best to serve on this mission. Thank you for all the prayers you offer in his behalf and all those who are serving missions at this time all over the world. Enjoy his email! Love, Janet
Alma 32: 21
And now as I said concerning faith - faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.
Ma dam fo, etisen? (My friend, how are you?)
I pray that you are all doing well. I know how my family is because I had the opportunity to talk to my mother yesterday. I am eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending me to such a wonderful woman. Her example to me of love, charity, patience, endurance, humility is something I will always keep in my heart. But the thing that impresses me most about my mother is her FAITH. Each day I experience disappointments but my mind always turns to my mother and father, and my Savior. I think about how they would react and I follow their example. I know that my mom is not perfect, I know that she falls short sometimes, just as each of us do. Nevertheless, I know that my mother has Faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. She has Faith that if she follows Him that she will find true joy and that she can one day be made perfect. Even though many times we think our mothers "have a perfect knowledge of things," I know that they walk by Faith, leading us back to our Father in Heaven. Thank you to all mothers and future mothers for your Christ-like sacrifice as you follow and lead with Faith. I love you mom.
Now to the week. First off, Elder Ferrell and I had a very humbling experience with two evangelists from a Christian faith. Last week we had a man named David stop us and tell us that he was an evangelist of Christ and that he wanted us to come by to do Bible study. We expressed that our desire was not only to study the Bible and other scriptures, but to learn of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and to live it. He said that he would be happy to hear our message. We went to see him the first lesson and he had a great question on Agency, the freedom to choose, and predestination. Thankfully the Spirit works through the Lord's servants and we taught a powerful message. We left him with a Restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon, committing him to read and pray about them both. Elder Ferrell and I came back a few days later and David told us that he had read and prayed and that he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Book of Mormon was true. We were shocked. We all just kind of looked at each other and blinked. After a minute David then followed by saying, "I know that Joseph Smith was called of God, but I don't believe that he is the only one that is called. God would not only call one man to do his work or it would never get done." He then asked many questions about priesthood and the Church that Christ established, and also about prophets. We shared the scriptures we felt answered his questions perfectly, yet nothing was helping him. I was praying for guidance as Elder Ferrell taught but still nothing came. The lesson was not progressing and David was getting frustrated, as I was also. I was just praying that I would know what to say but it seemed as if nothing would come. I shared my testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His Gospel through Joseph Smith and then we closed with a prayer. Elder Ferrell and I were confused why we could not speak. We both had felt the Spirit but we couldn't say what we felt needed to be said. We met with David two days later and this time he also had his friend Dalentine. We prayed to begin and they started asking questions, but this time when we answered they understood. We actually used the same scriptures in that lesson as we did in the lesson before. We felt the Spirit working through us and we could see that it was touching David and Dalentine. After the lesson I was trying to understand why we could speak the second time, but not the first? My conclusion was that their hearts were ready to receive our message this time. The Lord knows what His children need and when they need it. I know that the Lord blesses us when we are obedient and although things might not work the first time we should always keep trying. Things will work out in His time. He will work through us in His time.
I had a hilarious experience this Saturday at Chapel cleaning. Our Chapel is a two story building that is in a nice compound which has a fountain, flowerbeds and a grass field. Every few weeks we weed the flower beds and cut the grass in the field. This week was our first time to help the Ward in this part of the cleaning. The Bishop brought out the tools; cutlass, hoe, and shovel. I grabbed my most favorite farming tool, and one that my mother taught me how to use very well, the hoe. I picked it up and walked over to the flower bed and started going at it like we did at home and on the farm with my family. I finished the first flower bed and turned around to find everyone watching me. One of the members, Brother Johnson, spoke up and said, "Elder Bergeson, how big is your farm??" I died oh! I am thankful that my hoeing skills have come in handy here in Ghana.
I learned a great lesson about Faith this week as we met with our great friend Paul. Paul is the greatest examples of hoping for "things which are not seen, which are true." This week we shared with him the lesson of the Plan of Salvation. Our first statement was that God has a body of flesh and bones like us, except His body is perfect. He was very surprised by this because this doctrine went against everything he has ever known about God. He has learned his whole life that God is a Spirit. We did our best to answer his concerns with scriptures but in the end we asked him to pray. We gave him a place to read in the Book of Mormon, Alma 40, and set up a meeting for two days later. He called us the next day and told us that he was traveling to the funeral of his mate form college who had been murdered. I could tell he was a little depressed and I encouraged him to pray and even read because that scripture would give him great strength. When we met with him again after the funeral, I could sense this peace about him. After we had prayed to open our lesson, he bore his testimony to us of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. He said that just the one page he read answered questions that he did not even know that he had. And because he know those things were true, he knew that the other things which we taught were true. Alma 40 talks about what happens to our spirit after we die, and also how we will one day be resurrected and live with our Heavenly Father again. This brought great peace to him at the time of his friends death. He had faith that these things really are true and that we will live again. Paul is full of faith and I hope that we can follow his example. In this life we are asked to walk by faith, not by sight. We do not know what lies ahead of us, we don't know what will happen or what trials we will be asked to endure, but as we walk with faith we will know that all things will work for our good. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father and that He knows what we must pass through to be better servants of Him and His Son. Your faith will be tested each day and you will have to choose to believe, even if you cannot see. But always remember that you are being watched over by one who sees everything. And He loves you. Walk with faith each day and you will be walking with my mother, Paul, my self, and my Savior. You will never be alone.
I love you all and ask for your continued prayers. I have been called to train a new missionary from the USA who I will meet tomorrow. Everything in this life is temporary and I am grateful for this learning experience.
Hiking and seeing a spot that reminded Elder Bergeson
of the First Vision
Working hard at chapel cleaning with Jo-boy