12.30.2013

For Christmas this year, Vermont got precipitation.

Dear Everyone:

Christmas was awesome! I hope everyone had as splendid a Christmas as Sister Burton and I did! It started by us pulling our mattresses out of our bedroom and sleeping on the floor of the living room on Christmas Eve. Then, Christmas morning, instead of exercising, we opened presents! Then we went to a member's house, Sister Garland, for breakfast. Her only daughter lives across the country, so Sister Garland adopted us for the day and invited us over for breakfast.
Then we had district meeting with the Elders in our ward and the Elders and Sisters from Burlington. President Stoker had moved district meeting to Tuesday this week (because we typically have it on Wednesdays) but we wanted to still have it on Christmas, so we got special permission to not move it. So we had an awesome lesson all about faith, then we had lunch together (we made Cafe Rio!) and had a white elephant gift exchange!
Then Sister Burton and I went to another family's house, the Young's. They're an awesome family in the ward, one of my favorites, so we were excited to spend Christmas with them! We were able to use their computers to skype our families so that was awesome. Then we had dinner with them - some kind of European dish where you melt cheese, then pour it on potatoes. That's about it. It was delicious.
Other than that, the week wasn't too eventful. We met this one girl, Brittany, who has a lot of potential. We're meeting with her tomorrow so hopefully she'll turn into a new investigator - finally!
We also went to a really fun Yankee Swap (White Elephant for all you westerners) party on Saturday. The Goodrich's are a family in the ward, and President Goodrich is also in our mission presidency. They had a Christmas party for a lot of their friends and family (almost none of whom are members) and invited a few of us missionaries as well. It was a ton of fun - we swapped presents, ate a lot of food with maple syrup/maple sugar in it (the Goodrich's are maple farmers), and met a lot of really great people. Unfortunately, they all live in the Elder's area, so we won't really see them again, unless they come to church. But it was still a great experience!
Last night we went to a member meal in Waterbury, which is the opposite end of our area from Northfield, the town where we live. We have very few miles left for the month (we have a limit on how many miles we can go in our car each month, and we have none left), so we decided to use our GPS to find the shortest route home, rather than take the highway.
But, trusting a GPS isn't always the smartest thing to do. So we ended up in the middle of nowhere on a back road that all of a sudden ended in a big pile of snow. While it was snowing. Of course, we had to document the experience, so that's what the picture is this week. Me, lost somewhere between Middlesex and Moretown, Vermont. No worries though, we made it out alive. And it's probably good that we're out of miles, because it rained and then snowed all weekend, so now everything is super icy. And driving on ice is never a good idea.

So that was this week. I hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas! I am so grateful for everyone who sent me letters and gifts - you guys are the best! Have a wonderful New Year, and make some resolutions that will help you become a better person this year! I don't mean the cliche resolution to lose 20 pounds like everyone always makes, I mean something that will really help you to improve your life! Think about that one, long and hard, and make it count! Maybe watch this video for some ideas? Apply it to your life this year! It'll improve your life like you wouldn't believe!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

12.23.2013

Happy Christmas Harry.

Dear Everyone:

I really hope you all get the Harry Potter reference in the subject.
Anyway, this week was pretty mellow. We were basically the only area in Vermont that didn't get covered with ice this weekend. So that was good. We also had Zone Interviews on Wednesday and that was really fun. Then, on top of that, we had exchanges so I spent a day in Rutland, Vermont!
So I guess this week was actually pretty eventful.
Other than that though, not a whole bunch has been happening. We've been trying to talk to people like crazy and we've found a few people who have some potential, but no solid investigators yet.
We had the ward Christmas potluck on Friday and it was a blast! I'm attaching a picture of Sister Burton and I in our festive Santa hats...
The potluck was packed though. We even had Troy, a less active that we've been working with, playing Santa! It was awesome. Best Santa ever.
Well, sorry that this week's e-mail is so short. I'm kind of bad at managing my e-mail time. My bad.
But I hope everyone has a marvelous Christmas! Don't forget the reason why we're celebrating it - because of Jesus Christ!
Thank you to everyone who has sent me a card or a package. I really do have the best friends and family back home :)

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

12.16.2013

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

Dear Everyone:

Church was a little quiet yesterday. Saturday night it snowed. Really really hard.
I think we got about 15 inches of snow. Maybe. Tons of fun.
But, because the snow was so bad and this is Vermont and most people live on little podunk dirt roads, very few people were at church yesterday. I counted about 35. Compared to the 135 we usually have.
So we had sacrament meeting, then the rest of church was cancelled!
It was actually really fun though. Having such a small group for church. It seemed so much more cozy. The Spirit just seemed so much stronger as well. It was awesome.
That's pretty much the most exciting story I have from this week. Nothing else is really going on. We're just slaving away in the freezing cold, trying to tell people about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and how wonderful it is. And no one wants to listen to us.
Vermonters.
We did meet a couple people this week who have a lot of potential. No new investigators yet, but we're hoping they'll be interested again next time we go back. Stay tuned for next week and I'll let you know if anything happens!
I mean we've been spending most of our time lately trying to find people to teach. Something has got to come of it soon. Either that or Sister Burton and I are just terrible missionaries. But we're trying really hard. So we should find people eventually, right? That's what we keep telling ourselves. And we're praying really hard that we'll find people. So it'll come.

Meanwhile, Christmas is in just over a week! And what gets people in the spirit of Christmas more than watching Christmas videos? Watching Christmas videos on mormon.org! I watched this video earlier this week and thought it was pretty good. It's featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and one of the stars of the Youtube sensation, Kid History! Watch it and enjoy.
Well, that's the update for this week. Not much else to report. Vermont is cold, missionary work is hard, but the church is true! So it's worth it.

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

12.09.2013

#ChristmasDevo

Dear Everyone:

So my new companion is Sister Burton! Berg and Burton. We sound like a law firm. We're getting a long great though. She actually was just serving in Bedford, New Hampshire and her companions (she was in a trio) were Sister Aeschbacher and Sister Cloward! All my companions are now becoming companions with each other. It's a little weird.
Other than that, I don't really have much to report for this week.
We went to a member family's house for the 1st Presidency Christmas devotional this year and we even decorated cookies before. It was so much fun. A couple of the YSA's (young single adults) from the ward came as well, so it was a blast. Not to mention that the Christmas devotional was marvelous as well.
We aren't really teaching anyone at the moment. Kind of in a lull. We've been spending a lot of time trying to find people to teach, but we aren't having much luck. It gets dark at like 4:30 in the afternoon here and as soon as the sun goes down, people don't want to talk to you. We knocked on someone's door at about 6 and he chewed us out for being out so late. So it's a little frustrating, trying to figure out what to do.
One cool thing I learned this week - so there's a lot of symbolism in the story of Christ's birth. But one aspect especially that I thought was awesome was about the three gifts that the wise men brought. So the gifts they brought were gold, frankincense, and myrrh, right? Well here's a little more about each of those gifts and why they were brought specifically:
1) Gold. Gold is one of the most precious metals. It's pure, and it doesn't rust. So it symbolizes Christ's life - pure, precious, and unmarred.
2) Frankincense. It's super precious and was used in the incense for sacrifices. It's symbolic of Christ's death - the sacrifice of the Son of God.
3) Myrrh. It's very very rare and was used as a healing balm. It's symbolic of Christ's resurrection! That it is through Him that we are healed!

So, that's my cool gospel knowledge for the week. Yes, this time is all about celebrating Christ's birth, because that was a pretty essential part, but it's also about 'what happened next' (as Sister Wixom said). Don't forget about that!

Well, I love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

12.02.2013

Woof.

Dear Everyone:

The results of transfer calls: I'm staying in Montpelier! Unfortunately, Sister Frampton is leaving me :( So I'll be receiving a new companion tomorrow. Hopefully she'll be just as great as Sister Frampton is. It's hard to believe that we've been together for more than 4 months - it went by so fast!
This week was pretty good. We spent a lot of time with the members. Between pie-hopping on Thanksgiving and visiting people so Sister Frampton could say goodbye, we saw a lot of people. And the members here are amazing. Great people. I was actually really glad that I didn't have to be the one saying goodbye. Now I get to spend Christmas in Vermont!
Teaching-wise, not a lot is happening. It's really hard to find solid people to teach here. There's a lot of people who just want to learn about the church for the sake of learning. Then there's also a lot of people who really like what we teach and what we believe, but they don't want to progress or change. It's really sad when you talk to someone and you know that they know the Church is true and that it can bless their lives, but they just aren't willing to make the changes necessary to let it bless them.
People are super frustrating.
So, once again, we're back to trying to find people to teach. Walking around in the snow is a ton of fun. Good thing we walk fast, so that we can stay warm!
Speaking of staying warm, the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial (JSM) is about an hour south of us. And every year on the weekend after Thanksgiving they have this cool lighting ceremony - they decorate it all fancy, then they have a live nativity presentation and they turn all the Christmas lights on super dramatically and give away free cider and doughnuts. It's a big deal. We went down with our bishop's family on Friday to see it. It was a toasty 8 degrees outside, but it was a lot of fun! There were a lot of less-active members of our ward who went who we were able to talk to. There were also a lot of people from other cities and a lot of other missionaries there, which was fun. It was a good night. The picture this week is from that - it's super blurry, but it's the best one of the night. Guest appearance by Elder Zilles.
Well, that's all for this week kids. I'll let you know who my new companion is next week and how things are going! Stay warm and drink lots of hot chocolate!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

11.25.2013

I'm thankful that little kids love getting baptized.

Dear Everyone:

I meant to send some really awesome pictures this week, but I forgot my camera cord. Sorry.
This week was good! Saturday we had a baptism for Ezra, an 8-year we've been teaching for the last 2 months. It was really awesome - he had a lot of his family there, none of whom are members except for his mom. They were super nice and it was a really happy event. We were also able to give them a tour of the church building afterwards and go to lunch with all of his family as well. They were really cool - one of this aunts and uncles had even gotten him a CTR ring! It was lots of fun though, and now we're just hoping that Ezra and his mom will continue to stay strong and active!
We also got to spend all day Tuesday baking with Kathy. She taught Sister Frampton and I how to make cinnamon rolls and I made my very first apple pie. It was delicious. We taught Kathy's granddaughter Frankie a little bit about the church as we mixed and ate and left her with a Book of Mormon. She seemed really excited about it and promised to start reading it! We're going over to make cookies again this week and Frankie should be there again, so we'll follow up and hopefully she'll continue to progress.
This weekend is transfer calls and I'm super nervous - I have no idea what's going to happen! I really don't want either of us to get transferred - Sister Frampton is my favorite and we work so well together! Sister Frampton has been here one transfer longer than me, so technically she should be the one leaving, but we aren't sure. I don't want to leave though! I love Montpelier. The ward here is amazing. We weren't very good missionaries and made faces at the little girls sitting in front of us all during sacrament meeting yesterday. It was so much fun! I love little kids.
For Thanksgiving we're going to dinner/lunch at a member's home. Then we're just going pie hopping for the rest of the day. The nice thing about being a missionary is that normally, people feel so bad for you that you're away from home for the holiday that everyone invites you over. So we have 5 different families we're eating with that day. It'll be awesome. And fattening.
This is the best time of the year to be a missionary though! It's almost Christmas! And most people are totally open to hearing about Jesus during Christmas time! The ward has come up with some great activities for this year, so we're working on spreading the word and getting some excitement going - both within the ward and among those we come across. We're practically inviting everything that moves to come to our activities.
Sad side note, I'm pretty sure I ran over a chipmunk this morning. So that's no longer moving. Apparently I'm dangerous when behind the wheel of a car.
Back to missionary work though, it's going great. And now it's starting to snow, so we get to start doing what missionaries in New England do best: shovel snow and tell people about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ - all at the same time! I'm really excited, I feel like our work is going to start picking up a ton over the next couple weeks!
Well, since Thanksgiving is this week, I might as well end with a couple things I'm thankful for: warm coats; the US Postal system; Mission Presidents (especially President and Sister Stoker); Mountain Dew; little kids; pictures; ward members who are professional chefs; mormon.org videos; my wicked awesome family; and most of all, I'm grate to be on a mission right now and I'm grateful that I get to tell people all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ! It's wonderful! And it just keeps getting better!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

11.18.2013

I've never eaten so many leftovers in my life.

Dear Everyone:

It's been a rough week. Sad news from this week: Anthony isn't getting baptized on Saturday anymore. Satan is way too good at what he does. We aren't really sure what happened, but Anthony decided that he just isn't ready to be baptized and doesn't want to go to church at anymore - at least for a little while. It's a disappointment, but people have their agency.
Ezra is still getting baptized Saturday though, so that's good.
Zone conference was great! Elder Nielsen is an awesome speaker. It was really exciting listening to him and I learned a lot. We talked all about how when it comes down to it, everything we do in this life, everything we work for is between us and the Lord. No one else really matters. The only thing that is important is my standing with the Lord. Which is true. We also talked about how we weren't sent here to be average. We were sent here to be extraordinary. And if we're willing to put in the effort, it'll happen!
Talk about an awesome pep talk!
Other than that we've just been doing a lot of finding this last week. Trying to talk to people and find new people to teach. We haven't really found anyone new yet, but we've talked to a couple people who have a lot of potential. So hopefully we'll be able to talk to them again this week and turn them into actual investigators.
So we're just chugging along here in Montpelier. There's not a whole lot going on, but what is happening is good for the most part. The members here are amazing. Sister Frampton and I must look like we're starving or something, because we've had so many people give us food this week that we barely had to buy anything grocery shopping today. It's wicked awesome. We've also had like 6 people invite us over for Thanksgiving. We're planning on making the rounds.
Well that's the report for this week. Hopefully things around here will pick up soon and I'll have something more exciting to share next week!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

11.11.2013

I'm an awkward missionary.

Dear Everyone:

This week we went to dinner at a member's home. They're a fun, young couple with an adorable little girl, and we've been over there a few times already. We were sitting there eating dinner and there was a little bit of awkward silence. For what seemed like the 50th time that night so far. And it was then that I came to one of the saddest realizations thus far on my mission: I'm an awkward missionary.
I have no idea how to hold a normal conversation anymore.
Dangit.
Maybe that's why we haven't had much success so far with finding new people to teach. I'm not very good at the whole 'first impression' thing. Working on it!
Life is moving on though. Anthony passed his baptism interview this week, and he's so stoked for the 23rd! It's going to be a fun day. We've been teaching this 8-year old boy, Ezra, for a few weeks now and he's going to get baptized that day as well. His mom is a less-active but she's really been trying to come back and support Ezra. They've been coming regularly for about 4 weeks now, and we just really hope they'll continue to be strong after he's baptized!
This week should be good though. We have Zone Conference on Wednesday and the exciting news is that we have a General Authority coming! Elder S. Gifford Nielsen is coming - exclamation point! It should be fun. After all, he did play football for BYU.
That's about it. Not much else happening here in Montpelier, Vermont. We had someone tell us this week that our apartment building is haunted. That was fun. It actually explains a lot though...
Well anyway. Missions are fun. We're working hard. Or trying to at least. Hopefully with Christmas coming up people will be a little more open to learning about Christ. That's what we're praying for!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

11.04.2013

What happens in Vermont, stays in Vermont... but nothing really ever happens in Vermont.

Dear Everyone:

Guess what everybody! Anthony is getting baptized! On November 23rd! It's so exciting!
It's amazing because I'm about 99% sure that the only real difference between when the Elders were teaching Anthony and the time that we've been teaching Anthony is that ward members got involved. Like I said last week, we've been teaching Anthony at a member's home. And their house is so much more welcoming to the Spirit that it makes it so much easier to help Anthony feel and recognize the Spirit as we teach him!
Seriously you guys. Member missionary work is the way to go!
Other than that miracle, this week was really slow. A lot of our appointments fell through and just not a lot happened. Kind of rough. We're trying really hard to find new people to teach and nothings happening yet. It's hard to get people to want to learn more about how they can draw closer to God when they don't believe in God in the first place. And it's really frustrating to me, because I just can't see how people can't believe in God! It's so obvious that He's there, just look at the world around us!
Sometimes I don't understand people.
So ya. Not a ton to report for this week. We got a new ward mission leader last week and he's super excited. We've come up with some really good ideas on how to get the members in the ward more involved with the work by trying to come up with events that will give them the opportunity to share the gospel with their friends.
It's awesome when members tell us how they've been praying for missionary opportunities and they've been given opportunities to share! It's just hard because nothing is coming of those experiences yet and I'm really impatient. Unfortunately, not everything happens when I want it to happen.
I just keep telling myself that it's the Lord trying to make me a better person. Hopefully it'll actually work.
Well, that's it for this week. Not much else to share. Hopefully we'll find some awesome people to teach soon. We're trying!

I love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. So the picture this week is of Sister Frampton and I with Donnella, one of the girls from the ward here. She moves to Utah tomorrow. Sometimes people call us Charlie's Angels, so we thought this pose was fitting.

10.28.2013

Trick or treat - wanna learn about Jesus?

Dear Everyone:

We started teaching a new guy this week, Anthony. He's actually not that new - the Elders have been teaching him for a couple months. But, it got to the point where it was almost impossible for them to actually teach him anything, because he just viewed them as friends and would just tell them about all of his problems every time they went over. So they dropped him. But, he's really good friends with a ward member, who wasn't willing to give up on Anthony yet. So now we're teaching him twice a week at the ward member's home. It's awesome. Anthony is so prepared - he is totally willing to do whatever it takes to help him get closer to God.
On Saturday we did a service project at Troy and Kathy's house. He's got a really bad back and she works a lot, so they had a lot of stuff around the house that had been kind of neglected. We helped stack wood and we helped build a stone wall around his trees. We also helped another family in the ward rake their leaves again this week. I'm practically a true Vermonter now.
Saturday was the ward Trunk or Treat. It was like almost every other ward activity - chaos. It was lots of fun though, and there were tons of people there, active member, less-active member, and non-member alike. Sister Frampton and I were on a budget, so for our costumes we just switched name tags and confused everyone who didn't know us very well.
For Halloween this week the mission rule is that we all need to be in our apartments by dark - or 5:00 here. Probably because if we were trying to tract on Halloween we'd mostly just end up with lots of candy and not very many return appointments. So instead of getting free sweets, we get to spend all evening deep cleaning our apartment! I love missions!
This week was kinda slow. We're starting to run out of ideas on how to find new people - it's getting colder so people aren't out in the streets as much anymore and it gets dark earlier, so people aren't as willing to let us in in the evenings. So we're struggling a bit. But it'll get better. We can feel it!

I love you all. Slip a couple mormon.org cards in someone's goodie bag this Halloween. Eternal salvation is a much better treat than a Snickers or Kit-Kat. Seriously.

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

10.21.2013

The odds are ever in my favor.

Dear Everyone:

So last weekend was the Reaping. Or, in other words, transfer calls.
Luckily, Sister Frampton and I are staying together another transfer in Montpelier! Yes! We're stoked!
This week was a good one though. We just started teaching a less-active couple, Troy and Kathy. They are my favorite. Troy looks like ZZ Top, and has Kathy's name tattooed on his arm. Kathy has a pink mullet. They're the nicest people ever. Fun story about why we're teaching them again though:
Kathy has had a strong testimony of the Gospel ever since she was baptized 12 years ago. She just doesn't come to church because she usually works on Sundays and Troy decided to stop going. Troy stopped going because he felt like he didn't know enough, and hasn't really been interested in learning for a while.
Troy works as a night janitor at Norwich, the college in our our area. There'a a member of our ward who works as a professor at Norwich. This member was challenged a few months ago to place a Book of Mormon on his desk as a missionary opportunity. He had it there for about a month, yet no one said anything, so he took it off. Little did this member know though, Troy, who cleans his office, had seen it. And noticed it. And wanted to talk to him about it. But, despite being pretty intimidiating himself, Troy was scared to bring it up.
Fast forward to the week before General Conference. Troy finally mustered up the courage to talk to the member about it, and this member invited him to Priesthood Session. Troy loved it and so we set up an appointment and went and started teaching him and Kathy again!
Member missionary work is the best!
This week was also interesting though, in several ways. One of which is finding out how awkward it is to teach the Law of Chastity to a single man, right after he introduces you to his girlfriend that you didn't know he was dating. That was a fun one. Luckily, it went over well though, and he's still moving forward :)
Life is good though. Missionary work is great. We're working on finding lots of people to teach and helping the ward as much as we can. The ward members here in Montpelier are amazing. They're trying so hard to share the Gospel, they're making it easy for us! 
But, I'm about out of e-mail time. Thanks so much to those who have already sent me their missionary experiences, you guys are great! Hopefully I'll continue to receive more next week!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. The picture this week is of our district at district lunch. Obviously, us Sisters get along well. The Elders are a little more awkward.

10.14.2013

When you rake leaves it sounds like the ocean.

Dear Everyone:

This week was a strange one. I'm not completely sure why. It was just off. But it was still pretty good.
We raked leaves this week! You can't serve a mission in New England and not rake leaves for service at least once.
Hopefully I'll only have to do it once.
Just kidding. It really wasn't that bad. It was actually pretty fun. It just took a long time. And there were a lot of leaves.
We saw Jeremy this week and talked about General Conference. He was able to go to the chapel and watch one of the sessions, so we were really interested to see what he thought about it. Luckily for us, Jeremy is awesome. He said "I wanted to really know if these people were called of God or not. So I prayed about it before I went, while I was there, and after I left. And I felt really good. I'm pretty sure they are called of God."
I love missionary work.
Unfortunately, smoking is a hard habit to break. So Jeremy still doesn't have a set baptismal date. But he said he'd pray about one this week, so that he'll have something concrete to work towards. I'm so stoked about it.
Speaking of being stoked, President and Sister Stoker spoke at our Stake Conference yesterday!
It was awesome. They talked all about how to be member missionaries. Our mission recently came up with this sweet list: 82 ways to do Member Missionary Work.
We're going to start incorporating that into our interactions with members. A lot of the people out here want to share the Gospel. They just have no idea how.
And I can't blame them. I have a name tag and most of the time I have no idea how to share the Gospel either.
But that's what this list is for. To help give some specific, practical ideas.
However, we think 82 is a weird number, and Sister Frampton and I are working on compiling more to make it an even 100. So I'm expecting participation here - if you read these letters and you've had any awesome missionary experiences, send them to me! Send me the ways you share the Gospel with people! Even if you don't think it's awesome, if you've done it, share it!
K thanks. You guys are the best, so I'm expecting millions of e-mails next week.

That's all I've got for this week folks. Life is going good. Transfers are next week and Sister Frampton and I are crossing our fingers that we'll stay together another transfer. We'll see what happens.

Love you all! Do work! Especially of the missionary kind.

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

10.07.2013

The most wonderful time of the year!

Dear Everyone:

I love General Conference! No joke, it's more exciting than Christmas for missionaries!
Of course, I haven't been on a mission during Christmas yet, so I can't say for sure.
But still. What's more exciting than listening to modern-day prophets and apostles tell you revelation from the Lord meant specifically for US?
Nothing. That's the answer. Nothing.
Seriously though. General Conference was so great. I loved it. President Monson is amazing.
Other than that, this week wasn't too extraordinary. We had Zone Interviews last Wednesday, which were great. President and Sister Stoker are so awesome. We were talking to Sister Stoker about eating healthy. She went on a little bit of a rant about how the Elders don't take care of themselves and eat nothing but frozen pizza and mac & cheese.
Sister Frampton and I just looked at each other, because we had had frozen pizza for lunch the day before and brought mac & cheese with us for lunch at Interviews.
If I'm gonna get chubby, I might as well serve a mission and get chubby for the Lord. So no worries.
Jeremy was able to come to the Sunday morning session of conference. He really enjoyed it and he's doing really well. Still no set baptism date, but he's continuing to progress and move forward. We were sitting a couple rows behind him at General Conference (because we were watching it at the Chapel) and at one point one of the speakers brought up 2 Nephi 31. We had talked about that chapter this last week with Jeremy when we taught him. When the speaker brought it up Jeremy turned around and looked at us, pointed to the screen and gave us a big thumbs up. Apparently, he remembered that we had talked about it as well. He's so great!
Other than that we've just been working on finding more people to teach. We've been working with a few less actives but we've also had to drop a few people. One thing that really amazes me is actually something they talked about in Conference - how people can have a strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, yet not truly be converted to it enough to live it.
I just feel like they go hand in hand. It's like knowing the way you have to go to get home, yet choosing not to go that way.
Actually it is exactly that. When you have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, you know that it is the only way that you can go to return to our Heavenly Father someday. Yet if you choose not to live it, it's like you're purposely going in the opposite direction. Which makes no sense.
I just don't understand people.
So we're working on finding those who are looking for the way back home. Hopefully we'll find some soon. We're certainly trying!

Well, I love you all. If you didn't have the chance to listen to conference, go to lds.org and listen to it there! Heck, go and listen to it again! It's that good!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

9.30.2013

I'm 21?

Dear Everyone:

I'm another year older! Not sure about the wiser part. Pretty sure I still feel like I'm 17. But whatever.
This week was great though! Jeremy committed to baptism! His date was October 19th, but for various reasons he won't be able to be baptized then. So we're gonna have to figure out a different date. But still, he wants to be batized!
It's so great! Jeremy is awesome. I guess he had a couple people tell him to be careful, because Mormonism is a cult, we don't believe in Christ, and we're all polygamists (all of which, in case you didn't know, is false. If you have any other questions, feel free to watch this great video! Even if you knew those were false, feel free to watch the video anyway, because it's awesome!). But Jeremy told them what's up! He said "I don't think so. I'm pretty sure it's true. So I'm gonna follow it. Because it's true."
I love it. Being a missionary is great.
We also went on exchanges this weekend. When I got back to the apartment on Saturday night, my amazing companion had decorated it all to surprise me! Isn't she great?
Saturday night was also the General Relief Society Broadcast as well, and it was great as usual! Before the broadcast our Relief Society had an activity, where we all had milk and cookies and a little bit of extra spiritual enlightenment! Sister Frampton and I taught the ladies in the ward a little bit about how to use Preach My Gospel in your own personal, and how it can apply to everyone's life - not just missionaries!
Wondering how you too can use this awesome tool? Here's a brief summary of what we taught Saturday:
There's a lot of great chapters in Preach my Gospel for all different questions, needs, and desires. But we focused on Chapter 6. How do I develop Christlike attributes? The attributes are Faith, Charity, Hope, Love, Virture, Knowledge, Humility, Patience, Diligence, and Obedience - all things that everyone continually needs to work on! There's a really cool activity at the end of the chapter that asks questions in each category. You rate how you're doing with each question on a scale of 1-5. Then, you see how you score. That helps give you an idea of which attribute you could study! Or, you could just pick one that you know you struggle with! But don't spend the next 4 months studying patience. Everyone always needs more patience, but we're supposed to strive to be well-rounded individuals. Add in some variety.
That was pretty much the just of what we went over. We went more in depth, actually studying one of the attributes, but I'll leave that up to you guys to actually do. My e-mail time is limited, after all. There's some suggestions as to how you can study the sections at the end of the chapter as well. So check it out!
So ya. That was the week pretty much. Vermont is great. The leaves are beautiful! I tried to take some pictures, but cameras just don't do it justice. Sorry.

Love you all!
Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

9.23.2013

Autumn

Dear Everyone:

Fall is in the air! It's cold! The leaves are changing colors! It's gorgeous!
But back to missionary work.
Jeremy came to church yesterday! We weren't able to talk to him a whole lot afterwards, but I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it. We have a lesson with him tomorrow, so we'll be able to talk more about what he thought then.
So we have a college in our area - Norwich. It's a private military college. Fun fact, we were told that it's also one of the top 5 most haunted college campuses in the US. Not sure if it's true or not, but it is kind of creepy.
Anyway. We're doing the New Testament/Life of Christ for institute this year. So Sister Frampton and I decided that we're going to start spending a few hours each week inviting people to institute! Because even if they aren't LDS, everyone could learn a little more about Christ! Hopefully we'll see some success from it.
We also were able to go and visit a lot of less-actives this week. It's sometimes really frustrating, the reasons people give for not being active anymore. Sometimes I really just don't know how to help people who refuse to see the hand of God in their lives.

Side note, have you seen this video? I think it's a pretty good one. A little cheesy, but good. Watch it!

Shout out to my mom, Aunt Audrey and Uncle Alan, Aunt Madilyn, and Angie, Abi and Paige for the awesome birthday presents! I have the best family ever.

So that's all for this week! Stay warm, drink some apple cider, and enjoy fall while it lasts!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

9.16.2013

Ice cream and La-Z-boys.

Dear Everyone:

This week was a good one! It started out with free ice cream at the Ben and Jerry's factory and ended with ripping apart an armchair.
Missionary work is great.
So Jeremy is doing great! We taught him twice this week. He's really progressing well. He was supposed to come to church yesterday, but was really sick so he couldn't. He's already read almost half of the Book of Mormon though, and we've only taught him three times. He's awesome! It takes us a long time to get through the lessons because he asks so many questions. But it's so much fun, because you can tell how sincerely he wants to know and understand what we're teaching him. And his questions are really interesting too. They really make me think about what we're teaching him, which is good, because no one likes being taught by a robot. He's so golden though, and I really really hope he keeps progressing like this!
Other than that we've been really working to get to know the members here. We're really starting to develop good relationships with some families and people are really willing to come out teaching with us. Now our challenge is to find people to teach so that they can come teaching with us!
That's why we were ripping apart an armchair. We're supposed to be doing 8 hours of service a week and sometimes that includes helping new families paint their house and re-upholster second hand La-Z-boys.

That's all I can really think of to report for this week though. Just doing missionary work all day ery day!

Love,

Sister Lindsey Berg

9.09.2013

My streak is broken.

Dear Everyone:

It's a miracle! My streak of never having a companion for longer than a transfer is finally broken! Sister Frampton and I are staying together for another transfer and we're both staying in Montpelier! We're stoked! We both have a feeling that things in this area are really going to start picking up soon, and we can't wait! We've got lots of big plans for this transfer, so now we've just got to put them into action. We're pretty excited!
So, last week I promised I'd tell you more about Jeremy after our lesson with him. He's incredible! Like I said last week, he had asked what he should read before our appointment. We had suggested Moroni 10, because it's one of the best. When we got there for our lesson, this is the first thing he told us:
"I didn't do the reading. I hope that's ok. I didn't want to read just that one chapter, so I decided to start at the beginning of the book. I got through chapters 1-8, but I didn't have time to finish 9 and 10. I'm sorry."
Ladies and gentlemen, that is what a golden investigator sounds like.
Jeremy is a gem.
He's such a great guy though. The lesson was awesome. He already has such a strong relationship with Christ. He grew up in a very strong Christian family and loves the Bible. That's actually one thing that he pointed out - he enjoyed the Book of Mormon because it was so similar to the Bible and it said essentially the same things. He really wants to go to church next week, and we're excited for him to come!
Kellie is out of the hospital, which is good. She came to church yesterday, which is even better! But she's moving to St. Albans today, which is not so good. So we're not going to be teaching her anymore. But we're going to refer her to the Elders out there and hopefully they'll be able to connect and she'll continue to be taught. She really has a desire to get baptized and to receive those blessings that the Gospel can bring her. I'm not completely sure if she's ready to make the changes necessary to receive those blessings right now though. Hopefully she proves me wrong!

The picture is from district meeting this week. Elder Jones is 'dying' and going home tomorrow, so we had a funeral for him. Also, we decided to take a district picture. Enjoy.

So that's the report for this week. Vermont is great. I'm loving it.
Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

9.02.2013

#missionarymemory

Dear Everyone:

Sometimes I'm really not sure what to write each week. Missionary work is really repetitive you guys. We do the same thing everyday - teach people about Christ.
It's also really hard to remember what to write home about each week when I can barely remember what we did yesterday, let alone last week.
Anyway, I'll do my best.
Lately we've really been focusing our work on less-actives and working with the ward members out here. I've already said how important rescue work is here - 600 people on the rolls and only 150 coming is not a very good ratio. The ward is so great though. They're really trying to reach out to as many people as they can and have done a lot already. Right now we're working on trying to coordinate times for us to go visiting teaching with the sisters. A lot of the women in the ward don't have a visiting teaching companion since they're spread so thin. And it can be pretty intimidating to go alone - especially when you don't know the person you're asked to visit. So we're working on figuring out times to do that, so we can not only get to know the less-active members we're visiting, but also so we can get to know the sisters in our ward better.
We found a guy who has a ton of potential though, and I'm stoked to start teaching him. His name is Jeremy. He came up to us as we were sitting outside the library trying to find an address on our map. I guess he had a friend who had given him a Book of Mormon a couple months ago. Jeremy read the introduction and started reading Alma (a suggestion from his friend). We went and saw him this last week and he told us he's halfway though Alma, reads a couple chapters every night, and really like it so far. And we haven't even taught him anything yet! He's great. We have an appointment with him this week. Before we left he asked if there was anything he should read before our visit. I about passed out. Very rarely do people ask what they can read before we come again - usually it's like pulling teeth just getting people to read at all! Hopefully he'll be a good one. I'll keep ya posted.
We went to dinner on Saturday with this sassy old man in our ward named Bill. He's less-active, but he takes us out to eat every week and he's been coming to church pretty regularly lately. It's really fun, because Sister Frampton is a really sassy person and I can be pretty blunt. So it's great to teach him, because he expects us to be sassy and blunt with him. It's usually one of our more entertaining lessons from the week.

That was our week. It's crazy to think that it's week 6 of the transfer already! Transfer calls are this week! I don't really think that President Stoker will transfer either of us - but I've said that every transfer so far and my track record isn't very good. So I'm not even really going to make a prediction this time. It sure would be nice to stay in Montpelier with Sister Frampton for at least one more transfer though. She's so much fun! And I'm loving Vermont. Something about driving for 45 minutes on dirt roads to get home at night reminds me of home. And there's so many more trees here than in my other areas - autumn is going to be gorgeous!
We'll see what happens though!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg


8.26.2013

Sorry I'm so boring - although I do write raps.

Dear Everyone:

Not a ton to report this week. Teaching has been pretty slow lately.
Kellie is currently in the hospital for some issues. She no longer has a baptism date and we're pretty positive we're going to drop her soon because of various reasons that I'd rather not talk about on the internet. She's just not emotionally stable enough to make a commitment like baptism.It's a bummer, but it'll be better for all of us. We're here to teach the gospel to people, and we can't spend time teaching people if they aren't willing to make those changes that will eventually bring them closer to Christ.
We did meet a lot of people this week though. No new investigators yet, but a few of those contacts have some real potential. I feel like we're going to get really busy really soon. There's people out there who are ready and waiting for the gospel. We just need to find them.
One fun thing from this week though. Sister Frampton and I decided that we need to be prepared for every situation. So, as we were walking around downtown Montpelier trying to contact less actives, we wrote a rap for the 1st vision. Not gonna lie, it's pretty sweet.

Think Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:

In upstate New York Joseph was confused,
Studyin' different religions, wonderin' what he should do,
Readin' and ponderin', askin' sincere,
Tryin' to find the purpose of why he was here.
When a couple of guys, the Father and the Son,
Appeared to young Joseph, shared what had to be done!
He translated one little book that would change the nations,
It's our guide back to God and eternal salvation.

What up!

Don't worry. We're working on verse two (Plan of Salvation) and verse three (Gospel of Jesus Christ). It'll be wicked awesome.

This week was a slow one. It happens. Life is good though. Just being a missionary. The usual.

I love you all!

Love,

Sister Lindsey Berg

8.19.2013

A pep talk in every drop.

Dear Everyone:

So this week was full of highs and lows.
Low: Getting sick. You know how your parents always told you not to go
outside with wet hair/wet shoes and you never took them seriously
because it sounded like something they just made up to ruin your life
and annoy you because that's what parents do? Well it's true.
Wednesday we spend all day walking around Montpelier in the pouring
rain. So our shoes and socks were soaked and cold. Then Thursday
morning Sister Frampton and I both woke up with sore throats and it
went all downhill from there.
High: Dayquil and Nyquil. Not ON dayquil and nyquil. Just the fact
that they exist is a miracle. I'm being completely serious.
Also, Hall's cough drops are really inspirational. They tell you
encouraging things on every wrapper, like "Impress yourself today,"
"Don't give up," "Conquer today," and "Don't wait to get started."
It's really motivating.
Low: Kellie might be moving to Burlington, which isn't in our area.
She found out on Saturday that the Barre shelter is under construction
for the next couple months. She can move to the Burlington one, but
she doesn't want to. Right now she's living with a member in our ward,
but she can only live there for another week or two and she's not sure
she can find her own apartment by then.
High: The members here are great! We're really starting to work with
members. President Stoker told us to get to know all the members as
well as we can. We stopped by 6 different member families yesterday
and they all love us. It was great.

This week wasn't too exciting. Just teaching people about Jesus. It's
pretty great.
Fun story: The elders are teaching this guy, James, who works at
Pricechopper, which is where we do our grocery shopping on Mondays. We
saw him last week, but didn't say anything. When we told the elders
about it later, they chastised us for not going up and talking to him.
We told them it was because we didn't want James to see how awesome we
were and want us to teach him instead.
Then a couple days later the elders taught James. And he told them he
saw us at Pricechopper. Then he asked how he could meet with us, and
if there were rules on who he had to be taught by.
Sisters:1
Elders: 0

The work is going good. We're just working on getting to know as many
people in the ward that we can. Vermont is great. Being a missionary
is great. The Gospel is great.

That's all for this week kids. Stay tuned!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

8.13.2013

I know it's green, but what else is about it?

Hey all!

Sorry I'm a day late. We had Zone Conference yesterday, so we're taking P-Day today instead. Hopefully I didn't mess up anyone's week by not e-mailing yesterday :)
This week was crazy. Chaotic. I'm still not completely sure what happened.
The big news? Kellie has moved out of her apartment! The bad part however, is that it wasn't really of her own free will. She got home one night, and her roommate wasn't in a very good mood (that'll happen when you drink 8 beers), and he decided he didn't want her living there anymore. So he decided to remove her. In a not very nice way.
As a side note, we're well acquainted with the cops here in Northfield.
So, to make a long story short, Kellie's roommate was arrested Tuesday night. She was out of the apartment Thursday and moved in with a girl she met at the gas station. Then on Sunday we had to help her move out of that girl's apartment into the apartment of a girl in our ward. She's staying there for a week, then there's a good chance she'll be moving into a shelter until she can find her own apartment.
Like I said, crazy week. We're still planning on her baptism on October 12th though! And she still came to church on Sunday! It was great!
Another fun thing from this week. We went to the JSM Friday afternoon! We took Heather, a less-active that we're working with. She was baptized at 8, but went less-active shortly afterwards. So knowledge-about-the-gospel-wise, she's essentially a non-member. It was great though, we were able to go and learn all about the early life of Joseph Smith! And the memorial is beautiful. It was actually kind of awesome - it was rainy and cloudy and miserable all day.  But then like 30 minutes before we left it stopped raining. And by the time we were at the memorial about an hour later, it was sunny and warm and beautiful! So great!


Our Zone Conference yesterday was amazing though! President Stoker runs the mission in a lot more business-type way than President Wilkey did. Which I actually really like. President Wilkey was very inspirational and loving and I always felt the Spirit so strong whenever I met with him. But I'd leave meetings all fired up and excited to be an amazing missionary, and then not have any idea how to do it. So I'm stoked about the direction the mission is heading in. We were told essentially that we should try to avoid tracting as much as possible - music to my ears! We're starting to work with members a lot more - getting to know them, serving them, building them up. That way they'll be more confident in introducing their friends and families to us for us to teach, because they'll know that their loved ones are in the hands of two awesome missionaries, aka Sister Frampton and I.
It'll be great.

Well kids, that's all for this week. Vermont is small-town, expensive, and green. I can't wait for the leaves to start changing colors, it'll be gorgeous! The scriptures are great. Share the gospel with everyone you meet. It's a beautiful thing, so give others the opportunity to learn about it too!

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

8.05.2013

Doing work in the 802

Dear Everyone:

So guess what. I'm in Vermont!
Montpelier, Vermont to be exact. And I love it.
They have MOUNTAINS here. Well sort of. Nothing like back home, but there's a lot more up and down. Everything is covered in green trees though. And it's a lot more rural. We cover several towns and it takes like a half hour to get anywhere. We drive on dirt road almost every day. I love it.
My companion is Sister Frampton from Payson, Utah. She's only been out one transfer, so I'm back training her. She is my absolute favorite though. It's like we're the same person. We haven't been the best at going to bed on time this week, because we always get distracted and end up telling stories and jokes until like 10:25. So we're working on that. But she's sarcastic and chill and gets all my random youtube references. It's great. I've laughed more with her this last week than I have my entire mission so far. I love it. Plus, she shares her M&Ms with me. Winner.
The work here is a lot different than it was in either Bedford or Augusta. There are about 500 members on the ward list here. Only about 120 show up somewhat regularly. So we're doing a lot of work with less-actives. We're also doing a lot of searching out, trying to figure out if addresses are even correct or not. There are some people who have been on the ward roster for 20+ years and have never shown up once during that time. There have been a lot of people who've died/moved, so there's no reason for them to still be in our records. So we spend our time trying to clear out those names.
I'm living in a smaller town called Northfield. There's a small university here, Norwich. It's half military, half civilian. They aren't really doing much right now, but apparently the new cadets should show up at the end of August and we tend to be teaching quite a few people from the school every year. That'll be fun because right now we spend most of our time in the other towns in our area - Northfield is kind of dead.
We have one great investigator though. Kellie. She lives in our apartment building. Apparently Kellie came up to Sister Frampton her first day on the mission and asked if they (Sister Frampton and Sister Robbins) were from a church. Kellie lost her husband to cancer in January and has been kind of lost and searching for direction since then. She had a baptism date for the end of July, but her roommate is a man. And until she moves out, she can't get baptized. Law of Chastity ya know.
So we decided yesterday that we were all going to fast and pray for a date together. And we came up with October 12th! I didn't know this, but Sister Frampton and Sister Robbins had been praying for a baptism date before transfers. They had picked October 12th. But Sister Frampton didn't tell me, because she wanted to see what date I would come up with. So I guess it's meant to be! Kellie is stoked. Now we just need to work on getting her her own apartment so that she can actually get baptized. 
Vermont is different. It's small town and rural and kind of ghetto. The Elders live in a town that is affectionately referred to as 'Scary Barre'. It's cool.
Speaking of Elders, I don't understand why people in the ward keep telling us when they think the Elders are cute. It's not awkward at all. But I've had at least 2 people in every ward that I've served in tell me how cute the Elders in our area are. It's a little weird.

Anyway, life is good. I'm loving Vermont. We're only about 45 minutes from the Joseph Smith Memorial so we're hoping we'll be able to go up there sometime soon. It was a bummer to leave Augusta, because I was finally figuring out where everything was. And now I'm still lost and confused. And windshield GPS devices are apparently illegal in Vermont. But I'm driving a Subaru, which is fun. And Sister Frampton is a pretty good co-pilot. So we're figuring it out.
That's the update for this week. Everything's going pretty good. Not much to complain about. I'll attach some pictures next week.

Read the scriptures. They're great.
Love you all :)

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

7.29.2013

Well that was fast.

Dear Everyone:

It's official. I'm getting transferred.
Here I thought I was going to be in Augusta for forever. I love Augusta. But President Stoker called us Saturday and said otherwise. Sister Cloward is going to stay in Augusta for another transfer, and I'll be going somewhere new and follow-up training someone who came out last transfer. I was pretty disappointed. I really hoped Sister Cloward and I would be together for another transfer. But I guess the Lord has other plans.
This week was a pretty good one though. Ken has a new baptism date! And he had his baptism interview yesterday and he passed! His new date is August 10th. He told us that he hadn't smoked since that day we visited him and he had picked it up again. So we were pretty excited about that. He gave us a pretty good scare though. We showed up with Brother Maschino, all ready to teach Ken about the joys of daily scripture study. He tells us, in a very serious tone, "I've got a lot of questions today. And they're serious questions. I'm not sure if you can answer them." Then he starts bringing up all these questions about events in church history. The ones that anti-sites just have a hay-day with. Polygamy, mountain meadows massacre, mis-quoted things that Brigham Young supposedly said. The works.
Luckily, Brother Maschino is retired and spends his days crochetting and studying church history/the scriptures. So he knew about all the events and what really happened. So we talked about them all and then, after we talk about them all, Ken tells us that he knew that most of the things were false. That most of the stories and accounts weren't completely true. He just wanted to test us and see if we would tell him the truth about them, or if we would brush them under the rug or not. So we apparently passed his test.
He's such a punk.
Another fun event from this week. I went into a mental institution for the first time! There's a woman in the mental hospital here, Eliza. She's apparently met with missionaries before, but dropped the Elders for some reason. Then someone stole her Book of Mormon. So she referred herself on mormon.org and we stopped by. She's a sweetie. The only problem is that they keep her so medicated that she isn't completely coherent. But she apparently is going to hopefully upgrade to a group home soon. And she told us that she would like to work towards baptism someday. So that was great. Kind of weird, but good.
So that was this week. I really am going to be sad to be leaving this area. The ward here is amazing, I love them all so much. They're just great people. Really humble, really sincere, and just doing their best to share the gospel. And eventually get a temple in Maine. That's the goal.
So the picture this week is Hussey's General Store. Their sign describes Maine in a nutshell. Gah, I'm gonna miss it here.

That was this week. I'll let ya know where I end up tomorrow. Maybe I'll get Vermont this time? Or our mission also covers Dartmouth college. That would be fun, being on a college campus. Guess I'll find out tomorrow!

Love you all!

Love,

Sister Lindsey Berg

7.22.2013

Change is hard.

Dear Everyone:
This week was a rough one. More than half of our lessons feel through, Sister Cloward was sick most of the week, and the worst of all, Ken started smoking again. So he no longer has a baptism date.
Satan is the worst.
First, Ken. He had a family tragedy this week, so it's sort of understandable that he relapsed. It's just so disappointing. Because he has to have stopped smoking at least 2 weeks before he is baptized we have to change the date. Right now we haven't set a new date yet. I want to wait until he has completely quit before we set another one. A baptism date is meant to be a goal for the investigator to work towards. It's not going to work if there's no motivation to make it, if they know that they can just keep pushing it back. And it's just so frustrating to me how Satan can have so much power over people. I can't blame people when they relapse with things like smoking - I've never had to give it up so I don't know how hard it is. I just want to help them understand that they can't blame their relapse on their surroundings or allow themselves to even consider starting again when it gets too rough.
And that goes for everything, not just smoking. When someone has something to overcome or accomplish they need to start with the belief that they will not fail. That it's not acceptable to fail. Rationalization is of the devil. Maybe a little harsh there, but seriously.
If someone can manage to stay strong through the hard times, how much easier will it be to stay strong in the good times? It goes with everything! Quitting smoking, reading the scriptures, going to church, paying tithing, etc.
And lets face it. Life is hard. If we keep waiting for the easy times to come to make any changes, we're never going to actually change. Because life will never be easy enough. Change is hard. People don't like doing hard things.
This is another thing that I've realized this week. Change is hard. I kind of feel like I've been fighting against change for a while. I decided to go on a mission because I wasn't happy with where I was, with who I was. I wanted to change and become better.
Yet, I think I've been fighting against it my whole mission so far. I'm worried about changing because I'm worried that if I change, I'll lose who I am. I won't be the same person I've always been. So instead of changing for the better, I've been changing for the worse.
This isn't a stagnant world or a stagnant gospel. If you're not moving forward, you're moving backward. We can never stay in the same place. It's not possible.
So we might as well just suck it up and accept it.
That's my project for the week. And hopefully it'll last for longer than just this week. I want to accept change. I want to allow the Lord to change me. I need to stop being so stubborn and accept it.
I hate giving up.
Then again, I guess it's not really giving up. Right? It's more of just giving in. Letting the Lord take over.
Which is still hard.
But missions are supposed to be hard. And I've never been a quitter.
So much self-reflection this week you guys. Sorry if you feel like you're reading my diary or something. To be honest, you kind of are. But it's all good.
I can't believe this is the beginning of week 6 of this transfer! We'll find out on Saturday if Sister Cloward and I are staying together for another transfer or if either of us is leaving.
I really hope that we stay together. I love Augusta. The people here are wonderful. And I really like Sister Cloward. We have our differences, but we get along well. I feel like I've grown more with her as a companion than anyone else so far.
And I would really like to have a companion for more than 6 weeks.
But I guess we'll see what happens on Saturday.
Love you all. Don't quit. Ever.
Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg
P.S. Have I mentioned that Augusta is the capitol of Maine? Well here's a picture of me in front of the Capitol building. Enjoy.

7.15.2013

'Muracles'

Dear Everyone:
This week was an amazing one. Seriously. One of the best weeks of my mission, by far. So many miracles - or as we say it, 'Muracles'. It's like 'Murica, but not.
First thing that made this week great? My parents sent me a package! With nothing but cheese in it! Juustoleipa cheese to be exact. Which is the best cheese in the world. They even sent me maple and brown sugar flavored juustoleipa. It was delicious.
Second thing. We had interviews with President Stoker this last week. So great. President Stoker is so easy to talk to, so personable. And it's amazing how well he seems to know each of us already - especially considering this was only the 2nd time I had ever talked to him. You can tell he really cares for each of us missionaries. I don't know what it is about mission presidents, but I felt like I started bawling everytime I talked to President Wilkey, and President Stoker has the same effect on me. Gah, it drives me crazy. Interviews were perfect though, President Stoker seemed to know exactly what I had been struggling with without me even needing to tell him about it. Even things that Sister Cloward didn't know I was having a hard time with. He is called of God for sure.
Third thing - we had one of the most amazing lessons ever this week! We're working with a less active - Shelby - and teaching her 9 year old daughter, Mo. Shelby had been talking to a distant cousin of hers who had been going through a really rough time. Shelby's cousin and her husband had both starting trying to find their way back onto the right path and they had started looking for a church. Shelby set up a dinner with us and this couple, who are now living with Shelby. The dinner/lesson was AMAZING! As soon as we walked in Eric, the husband, started asking us all these questions about the Bible and the church. We sat down to dinner and started talking about what our church is like, about the Book of Mormon and how it relates to the Bible, and things like that. Unfortunately, Eric and Kristie (his wife/Shelby's cousin) had to leave after about 45 minutes, because Eric had a karate class. He considered skipping his class and staying because he really liked talking to us, but felt like he needed to go. So they left and Sister Cloward and I stayed and talked to Shelby. 10 minutes after Eric and Kristie left they called Shelby and told her that Eric had written down the times wrong - his class had started earlier and they missed it. Then they asked if we were still there and if we could keep talking! They came back and we started having a discussion again about what has been going on in their life and how they knew they needed to start doing the right things and start following Christ. They had just been telling us all about how they had felt so judged in their old church and how they never really felt needed or cared for when all of a sudden someone knocks on the door - it's Bishop Dawbin with boxes and boxes of food from the Bishop's Storehouse for Shelby. She broke down into tears. She told us after that she had been talking to Kristie the day before about how she had been struggling yet was too proud to ask for help. It was PERFECT. Eric and Kristie were both so amazed about how the Bishop knew that Shelby had been struggling and how he came with everything she needed, without her even asking for it. After talking to us, Eric told Shelby after that he hadn't felt so spiritual in a long long time. And Kristie asked Shelby the next day how they can be baptized! They came to church yesterday and loved it as well! We have another lesson with them on Wednesday and we're excited for it!
The Lord truely does have a hand in this work - and it's amazing how he lets us know about it.
Fourth thing - Ken is getting baptized! We're pretty stoked about it. I had a lot of people in Bedford who had baptism dates, yet none of them seemed to really be working towards it. Ken is pretty dedicated to it though, which is awesome! His interview is tomorrow. He quit smoking last week, so we're pretty much set to move forward.
Quote of the week - Ken has a really REALLY bad back, so the actual act of baptizing him might be a struggle. We asked Ken who he wanted to baptize him. Ken's response? "Let's go straight to the top and have the Bishop do it. If I'm going down, I might as well drown with authority."
Isn't he great?
Fifth and final thing that made this week great - coconut ice cream. If you haven't tried it, go get some. It's divine. Serious.
You guys. Augusta is getting really to explode. There's just so much potential in this area! I love it.
The church is true. The Lord is preparing people. Our job is just to go find them. It's like the best scavenger hunt ever.
I love you all. Read your scriptures!
Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

7.08.2013

So stoked to meet the Stokers!

Dear Everyone:

This week was a hot one. Not only was it like 95 degrees everyday, there was like 90% humidity. At least. I'm not completely sure, because we can't check the weather, but it felt like a ton. That's the problem with the east coast. You feel like you're constantly sticky. Gross. And we didn't get an AC until Friday night. But it's all good, we're surviving!
Anyway, we met President and Sister Stoker this week! They're awesome. They are definitely different than President and Sister Wilkey were, but not necessarily in a bad way. Just different. Nothing has really changed in the mission so far, but we have Zone Interviews this week, so we might find out some stuff then. I'm really excited though, because in interviews we'll actually have the chance to talk to President Stoker one-on-one. So it'll be great to get to know him a little more.
That was how we spent the 4th of July. Meeting the Stokers. Then one of the less-active members in the ward took us out to lunch and out to get ice cream. Then we tried contacting some people, and no one was home. Then we had dinner at another member's house. So we were well taken care of.
As a side not, being in an area where everyone likes to feed us (and feed us a lot) together with having a companion that doesn't like to run is not a good combination. On the bright side, we get fed so much that we have to buy hardly any groceries each week!
Ken should be getting baptized on the 27th! He came to church yesterday! He told us that he has a lot of questions now, but he seemed to really like it as well. He was supposed to quit smoking last Saturday, but we aren't sure if he's completely dropped it or not. We have a lesson with him on Wednesday and we'll double check everything then. Hopefully none of his questions are too major though, and we'll be able to handle them all. He's pretty solid though, I don't think there's much that'll shake him. We do Book of Mormon classes every Tuesday with the Elders and he came to it this last week. We were discussing the chapter and he said at one point the best thing I've ever heard: "I told my sister (who is a very strong, devout Catholic) that I was gonna be a Mormon..."
Sister Cloward and I just looked at each other. Elder Flake and Elder Neilsen just looked at us. Then we all did the Napolean Dynamite "Yesssss!", with the arm pump and everything. Really subtly of course.
Our ward family missionary plan is going really well too! I love this ward! We were at a family's house, the Houstons, last Monday presenting the mission plan to them. They have 4 kids - a boy and 3 girls. The girls all told us that when they play Barbies they like to make their Barbies go on missions. They're adorable.
We've also been getting a lot of ward members to go out teaching with us. We had a picnic in the park this week with a young woman in the ward - Courtney. It was supposed to be with an investigator as well, but he didn't show up. So we just had lunch with Courtney instead. We even took a picture!
This week was pretty good. Sister Cloward is great, we're getting along really well. Maine is awesome - I actually really really like it here. We've met a few people who really seem like they have some potential. I'll update you if they end up going somewhere! But for now we're just working on getting Ken baptized and strengthening the members!
One other exciting thing - President Stoker told us that we're going to start using the internet and technology a lot more in just a few months! We don't know for sure when, but soon. Which would be really nice. I can handle knocking doors in the heat, but I would really appreciate not having to knock doors in the middle of a Maine winter. Hopefully we'll find out more about what's to come at Zone Interviews!

That's all for this week. Hope everyone is doing well! Love and miss you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

7.01.2013

Augustar and Mexican Food

Dear Everyone:
This week was a busy one. Lots and lots of missionary work getting done out here in Augusta! Or, as the Mainers say it, Augustar. Gotta add that extra 'r' to everything.
Well I guess I should mention that I wasn't in Augusta the entire week. We did exchanges again this week and I got to go up to Yarmouth, Maine. I was with Sister Brown, who just came out this transfer. It's always fun to go somewhere different and work with someone other than your typical companion. It helps to find ways to be more effective in our own area. Although there are few things more discouraging than tracting for 4 hours, especially when we were told 2 days before by an apostle (namely Elder Perry) that tracting is just not effective. Little bit of a downer. But it was really fun, we taught some great people. The work is going great all over the mission!
One of our Investigators, Ken, is progressing really well! He actually set a baptism date this last week, but he didn't make it to church Sunday, so it doesn't count. Ken is great guy. He's very blunt, very honest, and very sincere. He asks questions in weird ways that we don't realize are questions. He loves Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh, and Glen Beck. He's a treat. His biggest problem though is that he has a lot of health issues. Specifcally with his back - he's constantly in pain. That's why he didn't come to church this week. He ran out of pain meds and could barely get out of bed. Which is frustrating. He also promised to come to church the week before, but fell off a roof that morning, so he didn't make it then either. No shortage of excitement when it comes to teaching Ken. But we're going to try and line up a priesthood blessing for him this week to help with the pain, and he's planning on coming to church for sure this Sunday! If all works out we'll be able to set a new baptism date for him then!
So every Saturday we do what we call 'Bishop Business'. We meet with Bishop Dawbin on Saturday mornings for brunch and to discuss how we can help him and the rest of the ward. It's really good, because it helps us to get to know the ward members better and we also can ask for Bishop's advice on the people we're teaching and how we can best spend our time. This week we did lunch instead of brunch. Sister Cloward and I went over an hour early to help cook it (service!) and we made mexican food! Homemade Cafe Rio! It was soo good. They have no Mexican food in New England. I'm actually pretty surprised that I missed it, considering I rarely ate Mexican food back home. The things you crave on a mission.
The 4th of July should be really fun. We're meeting President and Sister Stoker! I'm really excited to get to know them and see what changes they'll bring to the mission. President and Sister Wilkey were amazing, and it's strange to think that they're no longer here. But change can be good. Especially when it involves helping people change for the better!
Missions are a blast you guys.
Love you all!
Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

6.24.2013

The Work of Salvation

Dear Everyone:
So I was a little wrong. I'm not in Vermont. I'm actually in Maine. Augusta, Maine. Funny story: my companion, Sister Cloward, came out the transfer after me. Her trainer was Sister Buxton. Sister Buxton, if you remember, was my trainer. So in missionary terms, Sister Cloward and I are actually sisters, because Sister Buxton was our mom. It's pretty fun, we get along great. She's from Mesa, Arizona, and she went to BYU for 5 semesters before her mission. We like to joke that we're kind of the same person. We are so similar in so many ways that it gets a little weird at times. But it's wicked awesome.



Sister Cloward is kind of a hipster though. Which is great. Especially when she dresses like a hipster version of Snow White. And everyone on church comments on it. I had to take a picture to share with you all. Enjoy.
Augusta is a lot different than Bedford was though. Augusta is the capital of Maine, but from what I've seen so far, it's not a very large city. It's barely a city at all. It's kind of like Provo. Manchester was definitely more cityish. But I'm liking Augusta. The ward here isn't very big, but our bishop, Bishop Dawbin, is so missionary minded! It's so great to know that we have the ward's help and support.
Speaking of help and support from the ward, I really really hope that each and every one of you went to the World Wide Leadership broadcast last night! Wasn't it amazing?? You guys. Missionary work really isn't that hard to do every day. You just tell people how awesome the Gospel is and invite them to learn more. It's simple! Leave all the really heavy lifting to us full-time missionaries. It's what we're supposed to do anyway.
Something else that's happening this week: I'm getting a new mission president! It's both really exciting and really sad. I love President and Sister Wilkey so much already! I can't believe that they're leaving! But President and Sister Stoker should be great. Sister Cloward knows them actually, they're from her home stake. It'll be very, very different. But different can be good.
We work with two Elders in our area - Elder Nielson, who has been out for about 6 months, and Elder Flake, who just barely came out last week. They're great missionaries, and lots of fun to work with. We're working on coming up with a family mission plan to share with everyone in the ward. We're gonna set Augusta on fire with missionary work, it's gonna be amazing!
It's been hard, adjusting to a new area. It's hard to plan what to teach people when you know absolutely nothing about them. And this area is a lot different than Bedford - when I got to Bedford we were already pretty well established and had a good base of people to teach. Here in Augusta we have about 3 people we're teaching. Sister Buxton and Sister Cloward just opened this area last transfer, so it's still very new. We're working hard though, doing our best. That's all that we're asked to do, right?

Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

6.17.2013

Goodbye Bedford, hello...?

Dear Everyone:
Transfer calls were last week. Yup, I'm getting transferred. I'll find out tomorrow morning where I'm going. Luckily, I'm not training - I don't think I'm quite ready for that yet. I will be senior companion though, so we'll see how that goes. The best part though, is that means I'll get to drive! I've missed driving so much!
But with my luck, we'll probably be in one of the areas that doesn't have a car.
Unfortunately, we didn't go to the JSM yesterday. Jackie, our investigator wasn't home when we went to pick her up. We couldn't get a hold of her at all. Her car was in the driveway but no lights were on. She didn't answer the door, she didn't answer her house phone, she didn't answer her cell phone. We aren't sure what happened, especially since we talked to her on Friday and she was so excited about it! We don't know what's going on. It was a pretty big disappointment.
But we keep moving on. We spent all afternoon tracting instead. Woo hoo. Missionary life is the best. In the words of Nacho Libre, "It's fan-TAStic!"
Seriously though. It'll be weird to leave Bedford. I finally know my way around! Now I have to go figure out some new place! I'm really excited though. I can't wait to see what my new area will be like.
Cool story for this week - the second exchange Sister Aeschbacher and I went on, before we were companions, we found this woman named Maria, who is from Austria. We saw her once at the beginning of this transfer but then we kind of lost contact with her. We finally got in contact with her again last week. We happened to stop by late Thursday night and as we talked to her she said "I've been reading parts of that book you gave me. It's really good. I would really like to go to church sometime!"
So she followed us to church yesterday and stayed all three hours. She is so awesome.
The church is true!

The picture for this week is fun. It is me with the Earnshaws, the greatest family in Bedford. Brother Earnshaw was the ward mission leader, and he just got called to be Bishop yesterday. Every Saturday we'd go to his house for coordination meeting and they would make us waffles. Maddie and Nicole Earnshaw (by me) are the cutest girls in the world and I love them both with all my heart and soul. I'm gonna miss them lots.

Well that's the letter for this week kids. I'll let you know if I'm still in the Shire or not next week. I feel like Vermont is calling my name. We'll see what happens!
Love you all!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg

6.10.2013

If looks could kill.

Dear Everyone:
This week was mostly uneventful. Sorry. Although I did do another exchange this week! And I even got to DRIVE!! I stayed in Bedford this time, and Sister Capito, our Sister Training Leader (the girl version of a Zone Leader) came here. She goes home next week, so she has a pretty good idea of what she's doing. It was so great. She is amazing at missionary work and talking to people.
We had a great lesson with Nancy. She's the investigator who Sister Aeschbacher and I had such a terrible lesson with the first time we did exchanges together. It was kind of rough at first, but luckily we figured it out, so now we teach Nancy every week. But anyway. Sister Capito and I were teaching Nancy, and we decided we needed to ask her to pray about the Book of Mormon. Like, specifically about the Book of Mormon. I'm pretty sure she's never prayed about it before. So Sister Capito asked Nancy if she would pray about it right then, with us. Nancy doesn't like to be pushed to do what she doesn't want to do. And she doesn't usually pray with us there. So when Sister Capito first asked Nancy to pray about it, Nancy said she would - in her own way. Which was essentially a no. Sister Capito just said "Alright. So how about that prayer?" Then she folded her arms, bowed her head, and closed her eyes. Which was a good thing. I'm pretty sure that if Sister Capito had looked at Nancy after she asked that, she would be dead now. Nancy was shooting daggers out of her eyes like you wouldn't believe.
But she did it! Nancy actually prayed about the Book of Mormon, there, with us! The Spirit was so strong. It was amazing. We left right after that, and although Nancy was at church yesterday, we didn't have a chance to really talk to her about it at all. But it was great.
Some more exciting news from this week - we're going to the Joseph Smith Memorial this Sunday! There's a nice memorial set up at the birthplace of Joseph Smith in Sharon, Vermont. Which is in our mission. We're driving up on Sunday with Jackie Scott and Sister Pastrana.
I don't know if I've mentioned Jackie before. She is the sweetest lady. She's in her 70's and is a total sweetheart. We've been teaching her for a while. She grew up Catholic, and because of that she hasn't ever been to church. She feels like going to a different church would be betraying the God she grew up with. But she knows the Book of Mormon is true and she knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. So we're hoping that visiting the memorial will be the last push to help her overcome that guilty feeling. Sister Pastrana, who is coming with us, also grew up Catholic, so they have a lot in common. It'll be great! I'm so excited!
Transfers are next week. We'll find out if we're changing or not on Saturday night. We have 20 new Sisters coming out - we only have like 30 in the mission right now. So I am pretty sure that Sister Aeschbacher and I won't be staying together. But I could be wrong - it wouldn't be the first time. I can't decide if I want to stay in Bedford or not though. I'm finally feeling like I really know the area and the members. And they're great. But at the same time, I kinda want to try somewhere new. But we'll see what the Lord has in mind for me.
But that's life right now. Just doing missionary work like there's no tomorrow. Because tomorrow we're going to be doing missionary work too. Its great.

Love you all! Make good choices!

Love,
Sister Lindsey Berg