Homeward Bound

Dear Everyone:

Have you ever heard the song "Homeward Bound" by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? If I could link to youtube, I'd find it for you, but I can't. You'll have to look it up yourself. But it pretty much describes how I feel right now.
This week was crazy. We found out that our area, Topsham 2, is being closed for a transfer, because a few Sisters had to go home early and we don't have enough right now to keep it open. So the Elders get to watch it for the next 6 weeks until more Sisters come out. Because of that I haven't really felt much like a missionary the last few days. We've been too busy packing and cleaning the apartment and going through papers to make sure everything is taken care of so the Elders will survive covering our area as well as theirs.
Yet, Heavenly Father has come through like He always does and still helped us see miracles!
Such as the lady who chased us down Saturday morning. We were walking to a lesson and passed this couple going into a diner. We smiled and said hello, kept going, then heard "Girls! Girls!" coming from behind us. We stopped and turned around, and the lady came up to us. She looked at us and said "Yes! You do have nametags!" Then, the guy, who turned out to be her son, said, "How did you know they were missionaries?" The lady's response was the best! She said "Because they're my sisters!"
I love this church.
Apparently she was baptized out in Washington State a couple years ago, and the Elders had been teaching her son (who was with her) a few months ago. So we told her about how we were leaving, and we gave her the Elder's number so she could call and talk to them about coming and teaching her son again.
Gah, my mission has been so great you guys. Going from never wanting to be out here, to not really believing it's over - it's crazy!! I've learned so much! It's been physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually exhausting - but so worth it! I'll never forget the people I've met out here, what they've taught me, and what I've felt.
I can't even begin to express how worthwhile this last year and a half has been. Through all the headaches, tears, laughter, blisters, adventures, rain, miracles, awkwardness, cold, spiritual highs, lost sleep, and frustration, it's been totally and completely worth it.
And I wouldn't trade it for anything.
You guys. This gospel is true. Christ really did die for all of us. The Atonement is real. It applies to each of us, more than we realize! If we can just learn to use it in our life, to reach out to Him and allow Him to change us, life would be so much better!
And then, when this life is over and we reach the other side, we can hug our Heavenly Father and our Savior and tell Them the same thing. That this life was hard. But it was worth it!
To close, I'd like to quote John:
"Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full."

Love you all! See you soon!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Lobstah, gratitude, and Maine sunsets.

​Dear Everyone:

I'm going to miss New England. There, I said it.

I mean, with gorgeous sunsets like this one, wouldn't you miss it too? Oh Maine. Beautiful, eh?
This week was a good one. I've been working really hard on gratitude. The end of my mission is not going as I had planned. Or even hoped.
(Because lets be serious. The longer I've been on my mission the more I've realized that it really doesn't matter what kind of plans I have, I'm not the one in charge here. But that's a story for another day.)
Back to gratitude. I've been working on that all this week. And not just being grateful for things, but being grateful in all things.
See what I did there?
Elder Uchtdorf gave a great talk on gratitude last conference, called "Grateful in Any Circumstances". It was kind of my inspiration on my gratitude kick this week. Last Saturday, the 26th, I was kind of frustrated. So I started reading the Ensign, and happened to open up to that talk from President Uchtdorf. I didn't finish it though. But then, the next day in church, we happened to have a lesson in Relief Society on that very talk. And then this last Saturday, the 2nd, I had a fortune cookie after dinner at a less-active's house. And my fortune said "One should not forget the language of gratitude".
I'm starting to get the hint.
I've loved my mission you guys. There have been times when I really wondered what the heck I was doing out here, and times when I really wanted to do anything other than this, but overall, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. It's been hard, it's been frustrating, it's been exhausting, and it's been totally, completely, undoubtedly worth it.
And I am so grateful for that.
I'm grateful for all that I've learned, the things I've seen, the people I've met, for the opportunity I've had to help people apply the Atonement in their lives and make them better - and for the time I've been able to spend up-close and personal with the Atonement, applying it to my own life!
Sometimes I feel like Nephi did in 2nd Nephi, chapter 4, verses 28-30. There's nothing like a rejoicing soul.
It's been a beautiful year and a half.
However, I still have one more week. And I'm excited for it. Yes, I am stoked to come home!
But, I still have so much I need to finish out here!
And I'm grateful for it all.

One big blessing from this week? A fresh lobster dinner :)

You haven't really lived until you've ripped apart a lobster with your bare hands, dipped it in butter and lemon juice, and eaten it in the lobsterman's backyard.
Have I mentioned how much I love being a missionary?
It's great.

Love you all! See you soon!!

Sister Lindsey Berg


The gospel makes everyone better!

Dear Everyone:

The Topsham ward had the annual Pioneer Day breakfast on Saturday, and since the members who gave us a ride to the church had to be there early, Sister Keigley and I were early as well.
So we got recruited to flip pancakes. 12 boxes of pancake mix later, we had enough flapjacks to feed a small army. It was great!
We also had Zone Conference this week. My last one ever. It was sooo good. We spent the first hour going through 2 Nephi chapter 31 verse by verse.
If you haven't read that chapter recently, go read it. It's amazing! This chapter pretty much contains all you really need to know in order to gain eternal salvation. Everything else we learn in the gospel just builds upon the knowledge found in this chapter!
I especially like verse 20: Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
Seriously you guys. Is there any better promise or reward than that? And really, it's easy. The gospel is simple. It's the world that makes it sound complicated.
I love this bible video, Go and Sin No More, about the woman taken in adultery. I think it really shows the difference between the gospel and the world - aka Satan. The world is always out to get people, to keep them beneath their true potential, to keep them doing things that won't really bring them true happiness. The gospel - aka Christ - is about helping us to become better than we are. To help us find and keep true happiness, that lasts not only in this life, but for forever! There's a quote by President David O. McKay that I think I've shared before, but I'm sharing it again: "The purpose of the gospel is to make bad men good and good men better."
I love it. The gospel, the Atonement, applies to all of us. No matter who we are! It can help us all!
I don't have a ton of time today, because we're leaving to go to Yarmouth in a few minutes, for district P-Day. We were supposed to go to the beach, but it's pouring rain, so who know what we'll do. But it'll be fun.

Love you all! Go out and become better!

Sister Lindsey Berg


CS Lewis would have made a great general authority.

Dear Everyone:

Here in the New Hampshire Manchester mission, we have a scripture memorization program. Everyday we work to try and memorize a new scripture/quote. President Stoker, my mission president, will spend days selecting scriptures and quotes to go on the list, and we memorize a specific verse everyday.
Unfortunately, I'm terrible at memorization.
However, there was one quote from this week that I remember. Mostly because I like it a lot. It was a quote from CS Lewis - "We are what we believe we are."
I know I talked all about change last week, but this week it's hope. And faith. And charity.
Because those are the big three. If you've got those three things, you're golden. You've got it all. Best starting lineup ever.
However, if you're anything like me, it's frustrating. Because just saying you need to develop faith, hope, and charity is kind of vague. Faith in what? Hope for what?
Here's the answer:
Faith in Christ, hope in yourself, and charity for others. That's it.
Now how does this relate to my CS Lewis quote? 
Mostly because of hope and charity. Faith is the basis for everything, so I'm just going to assume everyone reading this has faith in Christ. (If you don't, feel free to go here, fill out the information, and hit submit. In a couple days you'll probably get a visit by two very nice young men both named 'Elder' or two very nice young women, both named 'Sister'. They can help you.)
CS Lewis' quote perfectly fits having hoping in yourself and charity for others. And if there is anything that I've really learned on my mission, it is that not only are we what we believe we are, but others become what we think of them. Companions, friends, strangers on the street, etc.
If I think my companion is lazy and sloppy, all I'm going to notice about them is that they do more stretching than jumping jacks in the morning and that they never make their bed. I'm never going to notice how much they love others or how well they answer questions.
If I walk up to someone thinking that there's no way they would ever be interested in the gospel because they have 'REBEL' tattooed across their forehead, I wouldn't see them as Christ sees them. I would just be thinking about how painful it must be to get a tattoo on your forehead, which would make it hard to go by the Spirit, considering I wouldn't be listening to Him.
See why hope and charity are important? They affect every aspect of your life. What you do, how you interact with others, how others perceive you. It goes back to the whole 'love thy neighbor as thyself' scripture. If you don't love yourself, how can you expect to feel love for others?
So that's my message for everyone this week. Love yourself! Love others! See the good in yourself, and have hope for how much better you can be!
I guess that's how faith ties in with today's e-mail, more than just being the basis. Faith in so vital because if you have faith, you have a purpose. And you know you have all the help you need to accomplish that purpose. Because you know and love the Savior. And the more you get to know Him, the more faith you have, the more hope and charity comes naturally.
Today, I just want to close with a scripture from Moroni, the last prophet who wrote in the Book of Mormon. We've shared this scripture with a lot of people lately, and I just love it.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified, even as he is pure. Amen.

Zone Conference is tomorrow. It'll be my last one ever. I'm stoked!
3 weeks left!

Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Redeeming the past, changing the future.

Dear Everyone:

When I got to Topsham I found a nice little quote on the back of the mirror in the bathroom.
"What you do in the present redeems the past and thereby changes the future."
I love it.
That sums up a mission pretty perfectly. How it applies to my life, the lives of those around me and those we work with. It doesn't matter what we've done previously in life. Who we WERE can be completely and totally changed by what we DO today. And that changes who we BECOME.
That's the whole purpose of the Gospel. To help us know what to choose today, to become better than we were, and to reach our full potential of what we can become.
I know I've shared this video before, but I really love it. Waiting on Our Road to Damascus totally fits this quote. Saul was a terrible person. He was imprisoning and killing Christians mercilessly. Yet, because of one miraculous experience, he changed. And because of that change, he changed his future - he became Paul and eventually became the kind of man who gave one of the greatest teachings on charity ever!
Alma the Younger was the same. He was also a terrible, terrible person, and he eventually became one of the greatest prophets in the Book of Mormon! He taught on faiththe Plan of Salvation, and so many other amazing things!
Both these examples are kind of unique, because they had pretty extreme moments of change. But guess what.
You can too. And you can make it happen.
All it takes is 20 seconds of extreme courage everyday to change the world. Serious. Try it.
And it's even easier when it's YOUR world you're trying to change.
The Gospel brings happiness. I see it all day, everyday. It really works!
We just have to let it.
It's scary. It's hard.
The world today is all about 'bigger and better'. So why not go for the BEST - eternal salvation?

That's my spill for the week. Nothing too exciting has been happening here. Sister Keigley has a few health problems that keep us from going out sometimes, so we've been struggling finding new people to teach. It's mostly due to a lack of effort on our part though, so hopefully we'll be able to figure out a way to do more.
Life is going good.

Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike.

Dear Everyone:
So I've been transferred to Topsham, Maine. It's about an hour north of Saco.
And my companion is Sister Keigley - the same Sister Keigley who was my companion in the MTC!
Anyone who says God doesn't have a sense of humor hasn't served a mission.
Anyway, in this area we are in a car share with the Elders. Which means that we get the car Monday thru Thursday, and they get the car Friday thru Sunday. So, on the weekends, we get their bikes.
I was told by a loving older sister of mine that I wouldn't be a real missionary until I had ridden a bike on my mission.
Although, if I had a choice, I would have gotten my own bike. Elder's bikes aren't always in the best shape. Mine is a little too big for me, so my feel barely reach the pedals when they're all the way down, and the brakes on Sister Keigley's bike are a little less effective than is normally desired. So it makes for some adventures. Not to mention that it poured all weekend. Which made riding bikes even more fun. Seriously though - it's a blast. Tricky in a skirt though.
Other than that, things are very slow. We only have one investigator - Gena. She's super awesome though, loves church, loves us. No baptismal date, but only because she wants to read all of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants before she decides. Understandable. She's blazing through them though - I think she read 25 sections of the Doctrine and Covenants last week. Pretty cool!
Work with the ward is kind of non-existent. I don't think it's a lack of desire on their part; it's more of a lack of knowledge as to how they can help us. And Sister Keigley has only been here for 6 weeks, so she doesn't really know the ward at all.
I almost feel like I'm opening a new area. We're basically starting from scratch.
But that gives us a lot to do. So that's exciting.
That's the update for this week. Not much else to report. Life is good. We're just gonna keep on, keeping on.
Here's a cool Bible Video everyone should watch. It just makes me happy every time I see it.
Love you all!
Sister Lindsey Berg


Goodbyes make it hard to think.

Dear Everyone:

So, this will probably be the worst e-mail I'll ever send home.
Sorry about that.
Transfers. I'm getting transferred. Kinda bummed about that. It would have been nice to stay in Saco for my last six weeks. But at the same time, it'll be fun to experience somewhere new for a little bit. I also have a feeling that's going to make these last six weeks go by even faster than they would have normally. The first transfer in a new area tends to go by pretty quickly anyways, and time has just kinda sped up the last few months.
Today has been crazy already, which is why I can't think. Saying goodbye to people, visiting a couple places I haven't really been much, it's been fun. Just busy!
This week we've done a lot of service - helping people move, weeding, etc. Also stopped by a lot of potentials, tried to do a lot of contacting, and so on.
New Englanders are difficult people to get to do anything they haven't done before. They don't really like change. So you offer to help them find greater purpose or direction in their life, and they're interested, but then they find out that to actually gain that purpose it requires effort on their part, and they're no longer interested.
We're working on it.
Uplifting message for this week - check out this new Mormon Message. I think it's pretty good. You gotta love old men and motorcycles, right? :)
I'll let you know where I end up next week! Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. The picture this week is our district this transfer - Sister Bateman, me, Elder Smith, Elder Adams, Elder Harper, and Elder Gray. Elder Harper and Elder Smith are our ward mates, Elder Adams and Elder Gray are in Cornish. It's been a fun transfer.