Called To Serve

Called To Serve
I am so excited for this opportunity to serve the people in Ghana for the next 2 years! Hope you enjoy all the letters and pictures!

Monday, July 25, 2016

In Whom I Am Well Pleased

Matthew 3 : 17

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 

Wo nea eho tew.
This saying is quite a complement to give someone. It means, "You are perfect/without blemish." Elder Hanberg and I learned it as we were teaching a lesson this week with Emmanuel and his family. As I pondered these words I started to think of our perfect example, our Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Him we will one day be perfect, but for now we can only be perfect in trying. And as I thought on that remembered the words of our Heavenly Father to His "beloved son, in whom [he is] well pleased." As I went about serving and changing myself into the man I desire to be, I tried to imagine my Father in Heaven saying those words to me. 

I continue to see the hand of the Lord in my life each day and especially as I look back on these weeks. Elder Hanberg and I have felt such great joy as we have seen others come closer to Christ and we it is so humbling to be a part of it. We just get up each day and do our part and the Lord works through us to bring joy into the lives of His children in Ghana. This week we had a baptism for our dear friend Patrick. We held it Saturday morning because he would be leaving this week to travel and wanted to do this all before he left. On Friday night we called him and he said he would be there by 8:30 Saturday morning to prepare for the baptism at 9:00. We arrived at the Chapel by 8:15 and arranged the place and prepared for the meeting. 8:45 came and still Patrick was not there, so I called, and called, and called. No answer. Great. I was worried but we had nothing to do buy wait and pray. At 9:05 we are standing at the gate looking down the road hoping to see him coming. Then we see someone run around the corner of a building about 200 yards away; it was Patrick! He was sprinting to his baptism! He ran in sweating but ready and we went to change. He came down and I asked what happened. His grandmother had asked him to fetch water for her and when he had finished he looked at his phone and it was ten minutes to 9:00 so he grabbed his Book of Mormon and ran the 3 kilometers to the Chapel in 15 minutes in his sandals. I was asked to give a talk on baptism and I shared the verse above with him. I know that as Patrick was lowered into the water and as he came out, his Father in Heaven was so proud of him because he was following the example of his Savior. Patrick, like many others, showed his love for his God as he ran to make it too his baptism. 

What an adventure we have each day. We went to see our Mama Hotor and we met her daughter there named Portia. Portia is a member of the Church also and one of our great friends. She is an actor and has been involved in many Ghanaian movies and commercials. We were talking with her one day and she shared with us that she was dating a Ghanaian singer named Klem. He is very popular here and his songs are great! I told Portia that I was also a singer and joked that Klem and I could sing together one day. Wellon Saturday that day came. I met Klem. And he sang for me. I have never before heard a professional singer in real life, unless you count my dad who sings Les MIserables very well. It was amazing to hear such a trained and beautiful voice. I just sat in awe and watched him. He finished and then he turned to me and said, "Well before we go on I think you should also sing for me." No no no no no. I am very shy of my voice and it is difficult for me to sing in front of my friends, how much more in front of a professional Ghanaian singer! But I remembered that I am supposed to share my talents. So I sang for Klem. I finished and He said, "Wow. That was so good man! Your voice is very unique. I did not expect you to have such a groove. That was great." I was blushing bad but it was worth it and I am no longer embarrassed to sing in front of people.  

This Sunday Patrick convinced his mother, Eva, to come. We have been asking her, serving her, praying for her, and even pounding fufu for her, hoping that she might give us a moment to share our message. And then this Sunday she just came to Church. After Church we shared the message of the Restoration, and by the end of the lesson Eva said, "I was baptised once already, will that stop me from being baptised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?" She accepted to be baptised at the end of this August and I again thought of the words of our Heavenly Father to His Son. When we do all in our power to follow our Exemplar, we can be comforted to know that Heavenly Father is well pleased with us. Many times as we follow Christ we will pass through trials and tribulations, but this is to help us grow, and to see if we have faith to endure. Our faith must be centered on Him and His Gospel. We must must change our hearts and choose Christ each day. No matter what trials come, have the faith to choose Christ. What ever temptations come, have the faith to choose Christ. Then you will have the peace in your heart and you can hear your Heavenly Father say, You are my beloved Child, "in whom I am well pleased."

I love you all and am thankful for your examples. Continue to do the things that would make your Father proud.


Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson

Charles and Comfort

Elder HanBERGeson
Elder Bergeson and Elder Handberg

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Helaman 5 : 12

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. 

Me ye ke kyere!
In Twi this means, I am the last born in my family. Usually this means that you love your mommy and that you can't do much of anything because you have always relied on your older siblings to do it for you. That is all very true for me. I love my mom and my siblings help me A LOT, but whenever I say I am the last born none of the Ghanaians believe me. They say that I am too confident to be a last born. I just thank my Heavenly Father for giving me that confidence. My confidence comes from knowing who I am. And that confidence comes from knowing who my Savior is. As we come to know Christ and as we build ourselves upon Him, we have the confidence to become who our Heavenly Father needs us to be. 

Elder Hanberg and I are loving the area. We have made life-long friends and have come to learn who they are and the things they have passed through to get there. We are teaching a young man named Patrick. He is 18 and is preparing for his baptism this Saturday. We were sharing with him the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He lives near Sister Naomi, a 26 year old sister who is in our ward. She is married to Brother Johnson and they have the cutest 9 month old named Alpha. We began our lesson with the two of them and started talking about Faith. When we have Faith in Jesus Christ, we show our Faith by acting. We act in Faith as we Repent of our sins. We shared Alma 12 : 34 and talked about how we can soften our hearts so that we will even desire to Repent. Sister Naomi joined the Church about 4 years earlier and so I asked her how it was for her when she was softening her heart and changing to become more like Christ. She shared the funniest story. When Sister Naomi finished Senior High School she when to hair school away from her parents. That is when she came to love going clubbing. She told us,"I used to wear my short knickers and my tight tops and go and dance. Even when I met the missionaries I would wear my hot knickers during the lessons!" We laughed and she continued to say that she listened to the missionaries and began to feel a change. She started to change into modest clothing when the missionaries came, and then when they left she would go and change back. Then she started just wearing the modest clothing always. Then she started coming to Church and coming to know Christ. Her heart changed and she started building upon Him. She was baptised and a few years later met Brother Johnson, and now she is happier than ever. Her heart was softened and she chose to come closer to Christ. We were all touched and we felt the Spirit in her words. We all have parts of us that sometimes take us from Christ, but as we learn of Him we will be changed.

This Sunday we were in our Priesthood class, that is all of the males ages 12 and up, and we were talking about the Priesthood. The teacher asked, "What is the Priesthood." Everyone looked around, not really wanting to answer. Then Patrick, our investigator, raised his hand and said, "The Priesthood is the power and authority given to man to act in God's name." The class was shocked because Patrick has only been attending Church for 3 weeks. Then the teacher said, "That is correct! The missionaries have taught you well. If their Mission President were here they would have gotten an A+++!" The whole class laughed and we sure felt happy to know that we are helping others to learn. It is a special feeling to know that God has worked through you to find those who are ready to accept His Gospel. 

Gifty and Ezekiel have now been members of the Church for 4 weeks and they love the peace that has come into their lives. We love them and continue to see them as we share our testimonies with them. This week we sat down in Gifty's shop and she was very nervous and finally said that she had a question. Her question was, "If someone sees something in your life, like something evil, and they warn you, should you do what they ask?" Elder Hanberg and I were perplexed. At first she was just trying to ask like it wasn't involving her, but finally she told us the story. She had been walking in the Market and she was stopped by a pastor who told her that he had seen a vision of her and that there was evil in her house. He said that if she did not come and see him and bring an offering, then the evil would harm her. She was nervous and wondering what she should do. We prayed and I shared the scripture that has been in my mind all week, Helaman 5 : 12. We talked about Christ and how He is our rock. We only need to have Faith in Him and then whatever storms come, they "will have no power over you... because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation." Christ is the rock and He is always there for us. Our purpose in this life is to prepare to meet God. The only way we can do that is by being perfected through Christ. As we work and pray and sacrifice, we will find Christ and we will be able to build on Him. Then whatever storms come; sickness, sorrow, death, unemployment, embarrassment, miscarriage, temptations, doubt, and fear; they will never overcome us. We are built on Christ. He knows what we need to become like him. Have faith. Be believing. Christ is your rock and He will never fail you.

I love you all. Christ is my rock and you are my supports. 


Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

He Carries Our Sorrows

Isaiah 53 : 4 - 5

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Me di fo,
My family and friends how are you? Me di fo means "I am satisfied" and Elder Hanberg and I say it a lot now that we have learned it! The Ghanaians are so kind and when we go to see them they love to feed us. We went to see one sister and after we had finished the lesson she brought out the biggest balls of Banku I have ever seen. It was about 3 balls in one. We ate it with Ground-nut soup and cow intestine (which happens to be very sweet). When I finished I could hardly move. Then she opened a container and pulled out another ball and started to bring it to the table for me. I about shouted "Me di fo!" because I was done for the day and luckily she laughed and placed it back. Twi is great.

This week was full of learning. Elder Hanberg and I had some unforgettable moments as we did the work of the Lord. The first was with Mama Hotor. I don't know if I have spoken of her before or not, but I love my Mama and she is so strong. Mama Hotor is a less-active member of the Church. She became less-active first because her husband died and going to Church only reminded her of him and it was very painful to be there. He has been gone for 2 years now. A few months ago Mama Hotor was feeling tired easily so she went to the doctor. After many tests they found that one of the holes that allows blood to flow into the heart was blocked. Surgery would be needed to fix it, but the surgery cannot be done in Ghana, so she went home. She cannot walk more than 30 yards before she needs to sit down and rest. Now just living for her has become extremely difficult. We have been visiting her for the past few weeks and just becoming friends and sharing messages about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. She shared with me how difficult her life has been. She said, "The fingers in my right hand are numb and every night I wake up to my arm just pounding with the beat of my heart. It is very painful. I cry but it does nothing to help. I can only pray and wait for the pain to go away." We have all felt similar sicknesses but I tried to imagine having this permanently. My thought were directed to Isaiah and we bore testimony of the Atonement. She gained strength from that lesson and this Sunday I couldn't stop smiling as I saw her walk into the Sacrament Hall to take the sacrament. Mama Hotor has a testimony of the Savior and His Atonement. I pray we can grow our own testimony.

Elder Hanberg and I had many opportunities to serve our friends this week. We went to go see our friend Mariam this week and when we came to her house we found her fetching water from the well into a 10 gallon bucket, then lifting it onto her head, and carrying it 50 yards to her door. We wanted to help her. At first we only pulled water from the well and filled it for her and helped her lift it. I was really nervous about carrying it on my head because I wasn't sure if I could balance it. It was the last bucket and I could tell Mariam was tired so before she could get the bucket Elder Hanberg helped me lift it onto my head. Then I began the 50 yard journey with 10 gallons of water on my head. I don't know if you have ever seen a bobble head before, because I looked something like that. You have to keep the water straight, no matter what you body is doing. I was stepping over gutters and down steps. I spilt water all down my right side when I had to squat and walk into her porch but I finally made it and Mariam helped me put it down. Oh, I was tired! I didn't stop sweating for about 20 minutes and the compound was just so surprised the white men could do it! I had carried the burden for Mariam and with that I was able to more deeply understand how Christ has carried our burdens.

This week I pondered a lot on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how Christ was able to do this miracle of taking our transgressions, our iniquities, but also our pains and sorrows upon Him. He did this first in the Garden of Gethsemane where He suffered these things spiritually, and then on the cross at Calvary where He suffered them physically. He bled from every pore when he carried our sufferings. He was scourged and forced to carry His cross. He had nails driven through His hands and feet. He suffered beyond our understanding, yet He never once complained against His Father. Why did He do it? Because of His love for us and our Heavenly Father's love for us. He did it so that we would never feel alone in our sufferings. He did it so that when you are suffering and crying out "O my Father" (Matthew 26 : 39), you will not be alone. Christ has promised you that He will carry your sorrows, and He will bear your griefs. You were not meant to carry this weight alone. Christ's love surrounds you and He is willing and waiting until you ask Him, to help you carry your seemingly impossible trial. Christ lives. His Atonement is real. He loves you and will always be there to carry you.

I love you all and am thankful for your prayers. Keep the faith.


Mi Kwaba,

Elder Bergeson

Monday, July 4, 2016

Let Us Not Be Weary

Galations 6: 9 - 10

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Wo Ti Se Bus!!
My family and friends, I pray that you are doing well and enjoying the time that you have been given. I love this saying from a recent convert, wo ti se bus. It means, "Your head looks like a bus." It is kind of an insult but because of my companion and I's haircuts, the kids that live in that recent converts house were shouting it at us, thinking that we look like bus's, or tro-tros. I was a little offended at first but had to laugh as they make car sounds when we walk by. Apparently our haircuts are very "fresh" so they look like new cars. Life is always a little better when you laugh, so we just laughed. We all go through challenges that make it easy for you to get down, but when you are feeling a little discouraged, just yell out "Wo ti se bus!" and remember me in Ghana.

Elder Hanberg and I experienced many miracles this week, as it always seems to be when you are working with the Lord in His work. Each week as missionaries, we have goals to find new people to teach. This usually comes from talking to people at their homes or in their shops, or a member introduces us to a friend. This week we were going to visit a member and one of her friends who is investigating the Church. Before we walked into the compound we passed a young man sitting at the entrance just listening to the nice local Ghanaian music. I had seen this young man few days before when we were riding our bikes to Church Sunday morning. He was carrying water on his head and I remember thinking, "He should be coming to Church with us today." I didn't know he stayed around there, but I said good evening and told him that I liked his music. We shared a laugh and I told him we would go come. We met our friend inside the compound and she said that she was just too busy today to meet with us. She listed the excuses and all of them sounded very legitimate, so we sat down with our member to see how she was. After a moment my thoughts returned to the young man. I asked of him and she said that he lived next door. He had just graduated from Secondary School and was now looking for work, so he was staying with his mother. Elder Hanberg and I went back and introduced ourselves to my very good friend Patrick. Patrick is 18 years old and is the most humble man that I have met. He is just a good young man and he does what’s right in every situation. We asked if we could share our message with him and that we would be returning in 2 days. He was excited and quickly said "Yes, I would love to learn." We have seen Patrick two times after that first day and he has been the best learner. He has so many questions and is humbly looking for answers. The question that I loved most from him was right after we learned of revelation. He said, "I pray to God a lot, and I was always told that I need to go to the pastors to have God tell me things. But can God really speak to me?" I was amazed at the faith and desire that this young man had. On Saturday we had our second lesson and at the end we invited him to come to Church the next morning. He said yes. Sunday came and my companion and I arrived with another investigator to the Church and prepared for the meetings to start. We had all of the opening exercises and were preparing for the Sacrament when I saw Patrick at the gate with our member. And Patrick didn't come alone, he convinced his little brother to come too. In my mind I saw the picture of him carrying water last Sunday when I thought, "He should be coming to Church with us today." Now Patrick was coming, he just needed to be invited. The Lord is preparing many to come closer to Him, we only need to be bold enough to invite them to change.

On Friday, Elder Hanberg and I had one of our worst days. Friday was a holiday and we tried visiting 18 people that day. Only two were home and available to sit down with us. In the evening we went to a member's home so that I could show Elder Hanberg where he stayed. His name is Brother Osei. We knocked and out came Brother Osei and he was in a rush. He told us that there was a member in our ward who was in the hospital because her two small children had Malaria. He was going to give them a blessing and was so happy to see us. We quickly walked to the Clinic and met Sister Pearl and her two children. Her daughter is around 5 years old and her son is 2 years old, both were on beds with the sickness that I had had a few weeks ago. Sister Pearl was so happy to see us and asked for me to give the blessing to her daughter and for Elder Hanberg to give the blessing for her son. After both she herself asked for me to give her blessing of comfort. After we left the Clinic, Elder Hanberg and I talked about our purpose as missionaries, that it is to help others come unto Christ, it doesn't say to only help non-members, but everyone. That day, although we had had a hard time finding anyone who wanted to listen, we had helped our sister feel the love of her Heavenly Father and the strength of her Savior, and so we had fulfilled our purpose.

The funny moment came as we went to visit an investigator who we always have trouble meeting. He is sometimes in the house and the way that we know is because his TV will be on. We got to his compound and opened the gate. The TV was on so we parked the bikes and went to the door. As we got closer we saw a small boy lying on a bench in front of the door, and he was just snoring like he hadn't slept in days. I felt terrible having to knock, but we really wanted to see our friend, so I knocked loudly on the door, and turned to see how the boy reacted. The boy didn't even move. And no one did inside either. I knocked again. Still no sound except for the snoring and the TV. I called out and the investigators son answered the door and told us he was not home, and then he slammed the door. Still, the small boy did not move or wake up! My companion and I were amazed at this boy's ability to sleep through anything! We even stopped to take a picture with the sleeping boy. As I thought about this funny moment, I thought of the spiritual comparisons. Many of us are so sleepy, or weary, as the scriptures say. Every day we are alive but we are "tired" of doing the things that will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. We are weary in well doing. Even I as a missionary sometimes get tired of doing the same work every day. It is challenging and often a little disappointing, and I am sure many of you experience the same feelings in your own lives. I took strength this week from Galations 6: 9 where it tells us to "not be weary in well doing." We should not be weary because we will soon reap the rewards of what we have sown. This week as you begin to feel weary, and as you want to sleep like the small boy we met this week, I ask you to remember that you will soon have the reward of what you are working for now. So don't be weary. Do well each day. Serve others, and as you serve them know that you are serving your Savior. Do what you know you should do and be who you know you should be.

I love you all and ask for your continued prayers.


Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson

Elder Bergeson at an investigator's home

Finding a sleepy boy in the front porch

Friend Mariam came to church with Sister Vida