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!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Prepare Him Room

Our family saw Kaden for the first time since he left on his mission over Google Hangout on Christmas Day which was wonderful! He looks great and loves being in the "bush" serving the Ghanaian people.  Our connection wasn't perfect but it was so nice to see his smiling face and feel of his love. We love our missionary and all those who are serving. Happy New Year!

Revelation 3: 20
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

Dear Family,
Afishyapa! (Merry Christmas!) And a Happy New Year. I spent the past year in the service of others and I have come to love the people and the culture here. I feel like they are the ones blessing my life, so this Christmas we tried to give a bit of our hearts to the people of Asutsuare.
Elder Tolzmann and I were blessed with four baptisms this month, the first that we had was for a Sister named Agness. She is 68 years old and is married to a recent convert to the Church, Brother Robert. She loves the Gospel and is the first to speak up whenever a question is asked. She loves to smile and only has 1 of her front teeth that is showing. Agness is a joy and we wanted to make her baptism special. We went to the Chapel on Saturday for cleaning and set up the font. The font we use for baptism here is really just your average backyard portable swimming pool. It has a metal frame with a rubber pool that you fill up. To fill the font you climb up to a water tank, you put a hose inside, and you siphon the water into the font. But on Saturday there was no water flowing from the pipe going to the tank. We opened the pipe but water only came on Sunday morning. Tolz and I raced to the Chapel and did our best to siphon it but it was not catching. I was using every farm technique I knew but the water was not making the 30 ft. drop from the tank to the font. Finally we just held the hose to the sink and put water in that way. We spent our Sacrament meeting that Sunday in the bathroom taking turns holding the hose to the faucet. But still it was not filling in time for the baptism. We tried it one last time. I climbed to the tank and we did our best to siphon it but it was not catching. I said a prayer. Nothing. Then out of irritation I started throwing the hose back down to the ground. Apparently the trick in siphoning is to let gravity do the work... I had forgotten that. As I threw it down it pulled the water down and it erupted into the font. We had the baptism and Agness it brought great joy to see her smile once again.
During Christmas we often talk of giving for Christ, but my dear friend Emmanuel is a great example of giving up things for Christ. Before the missionaries met Emmanuel he was unhappy and did not have purpose. He spent his time fighting, drinking, and smoking. His nickname in town is 'Big Boss'. He is a farmer and the little money he received went to those things. He stopped fighting as he got older and when he met the missionaries he stopped drinking, not because he knew of the Word of Wisdom, but because it felt like the right thing to do. When I met Emmanuel, Elder Tolzmann and I were teaching him the commandments. I remember talking about the Word of Wisdom and specifically about smoking tobacco. He told us that by December he would be done, and truly we witnessed miracles as he began to fight against his addiction. He went from smoking 12 cigarettes a day to only smoking 1 a day in 4 weeks. His legs would pain him enough that he would not be able to walk,  and his body craved a cigarette to dull the pain but he had made the choice to stop. Emmanuel made the choice to quit by the time of his baptism and when he came out of the water he left that habit behind. Emmanuel is a happy father who loves his wife and loves where his life is going. He gave up a lot but gained much in return.
This Christmas Season and New Year have made me ponder on a line in the hymn Joy to the World, that says "let every heart prepare him room." As a babe, our Savior was born in the humble circumstances of a stable. He was laid inside a manger, a place that was used to feed animals, because there was no room in the inn. The inns were full, there was no room for the Savior so He must go. As I pondered, I wondered if my "inn" was full, or if there was no room in my heart for the Savior when he came knocking. Christ is always at the door, knocking, calling, waiting. Let us hear Him and open up our hearts to Him. Make room for the Savior in your hearts and find the joy that comes through Him.
I love you all. I hope this long winded email finds you with joy.
Mi Kwaba,
Elder Bergeson

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