1 Corinthians 9: 22
“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”
My Dear Family,
What a week it has been. The mission is great because it is all about change. Every day we must change our hearts and give them to Christ. We give them to Him because often we have no one else to turn too. In times of problem we just pray and humble ourselves in an effort to understand His will for us. We face challenges as missionaries. We have a wonderful message of peace to share with others but oft times we can't find a friend to share it with. Luckily, I am learning to adapt and become like Christ, as well as become like my friends, the Ghanaians.
It was our second full day of proselyting and we had called and confirmed our first appointment for the day. That friend lives about 30 minutes from any one of our other investigators so we made the journey and when he got there he told us that he was busy. That is always disappointing but pretty normal for missionary work. So we started the walk towards our next area. Because we had some free time we started contacting to find new friends. Funny enough, the 2 people that we talked to separately were both evangelists for their Churches. That was exciting and it was looking to be another great day! We still had some more time when we passed by an investigator who we had taught for a long time but who seemed uninterested to act on our message. When we arrived she was so surprised and happy! She had missed us so much and had wondered why we had not been coming. Then said that today was not good though. She did not have any time for us because she had a lot of wash to fold and bring into the house. Elder Hanberg and I offered to help. In Ghana it is not really okay for men to do that kind of work, but I am not totally Ghanaian yet so we went to help her fold her large amount of wash. At first she tried to refuse the help but I can't watch someone work and not help. The men across the road laughed but my mind went to the scripture in 1 Corinthians. To the laundress I became a launderer. We finished and she decided that she did have some time for us. Elder Hanberg led a great discussion on the Apostasy and the need for a Restoration. When you give your heart to Christ you are willing to sacrifice to lift others.
This week we cleaned the apartment like we have never done before. We came home one evening at 8:30. Elder Hanberg and I planned and then went out to buy some soap to wash the next day. As we walked through the gate to our compound I received a call from the Zone Leaders. "Elder Bergeson, we will be coming to your apartmenttomorrow morning at 8:00 am to check the cleanliness of your apartment. We will be bringing a senior couple also." This is the end of the week. The apartment is dirty. The other Elders are showering and we are dead tired. In Twi when a situation comes up like this you say, "Well as for that one kraaaa." We ran up the stairs and I grabbed the bleach and my cleaning rags and went directly to the worst part in our apartment; the kitchen. I want you to imagine trying to live with 4 teenage boys, of whom many do not like washing dishes or cleaning up spilt food and drinks. I had cleaned the kitchen on Monday but already it was a mess. I was opening cupboards throwing old kitchen wear out and bleaching everything. I spent 2 hours in that kitchen and I have never had a greater respect for my mother. I don't know how she did it, cleaning up after 6 of us. But the next morning our leaders were very impressed and I learned never to leave any dishes for my mom because I know how it feels now! I love you mom for always being patient with me, and my dad for teaching me how to wash dishes.
I learned a very valuable lesson this week about teaching people by becoming like them. We met Regina this week when we went to see our sister named Jackline. Jackline is very less active and struggles with the Church. We love her though and try to see her once a week. She was plaiting a woman's hair but we decided to sit down just to talk. We were talking and learning how to plait hair and just trying to show our love for our friend Jackline and also for the mommy she was working on. We shared many laughs and the old lady said that she had a granddaughter who was single if we liked. We graciously declined. Then a sister came outside. She had been inside cooking and her mother was the one who's hair Jackline was plaiting. She saw us and immediately became defensive. She thought that we had come to preach and take money from her mother. She started talking in Twi, trying to find out what we had been doing. Her mother and Jackline told her that we had just been talking. She was surprised. We told her why we were in Ghana, to share a message that can explain about our purpose here on Earth and how we can still find direction from God in these last days. She was busy cooking that day but invited us to return on Thursday to see her, all because of the way we had presented ourselves. We did not really come to these people as missionaries to preach and go. But we came as friends, friends who are on a mission to help others find Christ, but still friends who care about helping people find joy. To the people we became people. This principle is one to be learned through our whole life. To truly help others we must love them and also change to help them. We cannot help people rise up unless we are willing to reach down and lift them up. Give your hearts to Christ and you will be an instrument in His hands. Give your life to Him. As you give you may lose many things, but you are promised to find yourself, because there is so much more of you to find.
I love you all and ask for your prayers and support. You are loved by me and our Heavenly Father.