My mission is a success!

Friends, family, and strangers.
According to our ward mission leader, it doesn't matter what else happens throughout the duration of my mission - I should consider my mission a success. Why? Well, because we got my favorite old lady, the darling and grumpy Betty, to agree to help someone. She gave a less active, Sister Constantine, a ride to church yesterday! And she agreed to do it again this week! And she also came and taught with us again yesterday! Miracles really do happen!
This week was a long one. The sun has finally started to arrive in New England. We've helped 2 people do yard work so far. We decided it'd be a good idea to start keeping a pair of jeans in the car, because it's a little more difficult to garden in a skirt.
I feel like we aren't teaching quite as much as we used to. We've been visiting a lot of former investigators, trying to rekindle that desire to learn. Most haven't responded in the most positive of ways. But we're keeping on.
I'm doing another exchange with Sister Aeschbacher tomorrow. Hopefully we won't get lost again this time - I'm pretty sure I know the area pretty well now. Transfers are also next week. There's a really good chance that Sister Buxton will be leaving - she's been in Bedford for 4 transfers already. So the question is whether or not I'll be staying here as junior companion, senior companion, or if I might even be training someone. But then again, Pres. Willkey isn't really known for following the norm, so there's also a good chance that I could be leaving and Sister Buxton could stay here and train again. Or that we could both be leaving. Or staying. So essentially, what I'm saying is that we have no idea what's going to happen next week.
One of the harder things from this week - so we're teaching this one lady. Carolina. Oscany's mom. Carolina has been an investigator for months. She has a baptismal date of June 14th. But it's really frustrating, because she isn't keeping any commitments. She doesn't come to church, she doesn't read, we're lucky if she keeps her appointments. We had a lesson with her this last week and we didn't even teach her. We started talking to her and found out that she hadn't read at all. She wasn't really focused on the lesson either, she was doing something on her computer while we were talking to her. So we had to just tell her that we couldn't teach her if she didn't follow through on the commitments, and we would just leave and give her a few more days to do the reading. It's really hard because I want to teach people and I want to help people, but they won't do anything to help themselves! I feel kind of hypocritical telling people they need to read their scriptures for even just 5 minutes a day, because I rarely did before my mission, but already I've noticed a huge difference in my life. I just don't know how to make other people see that difference as well!
You guys. Missions are hard.
But, like I said, we're keeping on. As long as we're trying our best, the Lord will take care of all the rest of it, right? That's what I keep telling myself.
Anyway, I love you all. Choose the right. Read your scriptures, it really does impact your life!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Buxton & Berg are at it again!

You guys. We have 4 investigators with baptismal dates. And another one who said she wants to get baptized, we just need to set the date.
The missionary duo of Buxton and Berg is on fire!
Seriously though, this week was a pretty good week. We also got 6 different members to come teaching with us this week! That was more than I had gotten to come with us my whole mission up to that point! Which, I know, isn't saying much. But still. Members are the biggest help ever. Go teach with the missionaries. Investigators will listen to the members so much more than they listen to us. It's our job to live what we're teaching them and to encourage them to live the commandments. They trust people so much more when it's someone without a name tag telling them how much of a blessing it is to read the scriptures everyday. So go teach with the missionaries.
At the same time though, this week was pretty rough. No one came to sacrament meeting. I look forward to church all week long. I'm not sure how to get our investigators to do the same thing.
One highlight from the week - there's an older lady who we go and visit on Sundays. She's a less active - something happened at church years ago and she's refused to go back ever since. She smokes and loves her coffee. Yesterday she called us to cancel her appointment. She said she was having a terrible day and didn't want us to see her all grumpy. So we went over early, talked to her for a while, and decided to just read some chapters out of the Book of Mormon to her. We read her 3 Nephi 17 and 18 - which are the chapters where Jesus blesses the children and sets up the church in the Americas. She loved it. The best part though, was after reading both those chapters, without us even saying anything, she told us "That's it. I'm going to give away the rest of my coffee and throw my cigarettes down the trash chute." She even told us that she thinks she'd like to go to church again soon! The Book of Mormon brings miracles kids, don't ever doubt it!
And on a less -missionary-but-more-human note, all we've been hearing about all week are the bombings in Boston. Lots of people out here have family down in Boston. Lots of people even work in Mass. And the Boston mission borders ours. But it's amazing some of the things we've heard. People who ran towards the sites of the blasts afterwards, because they knew people were injured. Strangers allowing the runners to stay in their homes, because the runners couldn't get back to their hotels. My favorite thing I've heard about is Random Acts of Pizza - people from all over the world calling pizza places in Boston, ordering several pizzas, and telling the employees to just take it outside and give it to the responders and those helping. It's sad that it takes a tragedy for people to pull together like this. Yet, the fact that we do pull together is amazing. It's the same individually. As I've met people, talked to them and gotten to know them, I think the people I've gotten closest with are those who I can sympathize with. Those who have faced a similar trial as me. Even if our trials were completely different, who have faced the same emotional hardships as me.
I've really struggled so far with opening up with people. I'm still struggling with it as well. But there's a few people I've have no problem sharing those stories with. It's just a testament to the fact that hard times do make us stronger - not only individually, but they bring us closer to those around us as well.
I feel like a lot of my e-mails are kind of cheesy. And I know you're all reading these to know what I'm doing and who I'm teaching, not so much what I'm feeling. But it's hard to pick out just one or two stories to share. And there are so many amazing things happening every day that it's hard to remember what happened this week and what happened weeks ago. And right now I think I'm the one learning the most. So you all will probably get to hear about all my personal struggles and triumphs for a while. Sorry not sorry.
But I love you all. I appreciate your support, I really do! You're amazing. All of you.



I love old ladies with all of my heart and soul.

The people out here in New Hampshire are the best.They say 'wicked' all the time. "I'm wicked sick." "It's wicked cold."
No one ever uses their front door - it's always the side door.
Everyone has a 2-liter bottle of Ginger Ale in their fridge at all times.
Whenever a word ends in -a they always add an 'r' to the end. I've heard 'idear' so many times I think I'm starting to say it.
But my favorite people are the older generation. There's a couple spunky old ladies in our ward. One of them, Sister Betty Butler, is 87. She's a ward missionary, so she's supposed to come teach people with us. She hates it. Sister Buxton and I really wanted her to come teach a less active who lives in her same building though, so we offered to visit Betty and help her clean her apartment. We helped organize her closet and put a bunch of boxes on some shelves that were too high for her to reach - she's a really tiny old lady. Betty told us that she'd take us out for pizza or ice cream sometime to repay us. When we told her all we wanted her to do was to come teaching with us she just kept saying "No, no. No, I'm no good. No, no." So we told her we'd come and pick her up later that evening.
When we got to her apartment that night she told us very grumpily that she was not very happy that we were forcing her to come with us and that we shouldn't expect her to say anything because she wasn't going to. Then, when we got to the less active's apartment Betty proceeded to talk to her for the first 15 minutes. She made lots of great comments during the lesson and almost had us crying with laughter a few times. Then, as we left, she complained that now she would wouldn't get to bed on time because we had kept her out so late and she still had to wash her hair.
I love her so much.
But this was a good week. I extended my first baptismal invitation! It was to this 16 year old girl, Oscany. We've been teaching her mom for a while, but she's not progressing very much. Oscany, however, is amazing. She is so prepared. She's still really curious and not completely certain, but she's amazing. We're hoping she'll be ready by June 17th, and she said that if she gets a confirmation by then she'll get baptized. We're going to try and get the rest of her family to agree to be baptized then as well, because we've been teaching almost all of them somewhat consistently.
Life is good in New Hampshire though. We had 4 investigators come to church yesterday - including Nancy, the investigator who I was so worried about last week. We have 7 members coming to teach with us this week. Everything is going well. We haven't had to do much finding, because we're so busy with the people we already have! Some days we don't have time for lunch or dinner because we have so many appointments scheduled. But I'd rather be too busy than trying to think of new ways to spend our time.
I hit my one month mark this week! It's kind of weird. Someday I feel like I've been out here for forever. Actually most of the time I feel like I've been out here for forever. Sometimes it's a good forever. Other times it's a never ending forever. But we're moving on. Always moving on.
I love each and every one of you. Individually. I really do.
Send me letters. They're better than Christmas. Pray for missionary experiences. They happen more often and are simpler than you'd think. Do work.

Love you all!




You guys. I love General Conference with all of my heart and soul. Elder Holland is my most favorite man in the world - other than my dad of course. His talk was exactly what I needed to hear. I can't wait to read it over and over again once the Ensign comes out. I loved it. I might have almost started tearing up during it - but then again, I might not have. Pres. Uchtdorf's talk was amazing as well. And who would have guessed that our Prophet is a former arsonist? It's amazing the things you learn in conference.
So this week was an interesting one. We were challenged to a waffle eating contest at coordination meeting by the Elders in our area. I won. I also learned how to crochet. Those are some highs. Then there were also some lows. We had to drop one of our investigators - she has Alzheimer's and can't remember what we teach her. And she also told us that she will never ever go to church. That was really sad.
But the hardest day was Tuesday. After that day I was about ready to pack up and go home. If that day was any indication of what kind of missionary I'll be without Sister Buxton, I'm not sure why you guys told me I could do this.
Sister Buxton had to go to a leadership training meeting that lasted all day. So we did exchanges with another companionship with a Sister who also had to go to the meeting. I was paired up with Sister Aeschbacher, who had been in my district in the MTC. It was really fun to see her again and we were excited to go and try to figure out missionary work without our trainers. Unfortunately, it didn't go too well. First off, New Hampshire has the most confusing roads in the world. Half the streets aren't on maps and our GPS stopped working. I still don't know the area that well, and since I can't drive (I don't have permission, as I totaled my car this summer... oops.), I was attempting to give Sister Aeschbacher directions. Luckily, we not only stayed within the New Hampshire State boundaries, I'm pretty sure we stayed within the area boundaries as well. Miracles all around. Still, it was frustrating beyond belief.
The hardest part however, was this lady we taught. Nancy. She's been an investigator for a while, and is really moving along. We tentatively planned on extending a baptismal invite, but that didn't happen. As the missionaries have been teaching her for a while we're past the first lessons and now focusing on commandments. We attempted to teach her the importance of reading the scriptures daily and why we're commanded to do so. We thought it would be good, especially since she hasn't followed through on her reading commitments the last several weeks. However, the lesson didn't go very well. Let's just say that Nancy told Sister Aeschbacher and I that we were ganging up on her and she didn't like it, along with several other things. Not good.
Luckily however, she did set up a return appointment still, so hopefully Sister Buxton can salvage this relationship next week. I had never been told that I was intimidating and forceful before, but I guess there's a first for everything.
In other news, in case you couldn't tell by that story, I still have no idea what I'm doing. I'm really hoping I'll figure it out soon though. I think there's a good chance that Sister Buxton will get transferred soon - she's been in this area for 4 months already. And there's a good chance I could be training starting in June - we have 19 new sisters coming out then. I feel so sorry for the poor girl who gets me as a trainer.
I hope you all listened in conference however. Help the missionaries! When members are willing to go teach with us it makes it so much easier. Investigators need friends in the church. Otherwise, they never want to go. Also, referrals are the best thing in the world. They make finding those people the Lord has prepared so much easier. Think of who you know who maybe needs a little more of the Lord's help in their lives. Then tell us about them.

Anyway, I love each and every one of you. You're all the best.

Love, Lindsey

P.S. Paige Montgomery, Julie Linton, Sarah Brothers - I know you guys read this. And I haven't gotten a single letter/e-mail from any of you. I'm calling you out. Right now. Love you. Kthanksbye.


Life in the Shire

Well kids, I'm here. Out in the white field that's all ready to harvest.
My area is the Bedford 2 area. It covers part of Manchester, Bedford, Goffstown, and New Boston - all in the southern part of New Hampshire. The weather has been really nice so far, sunny, in the 50's and 60's, no snow, no rain. Perfect.
My companion is Sister Buxton. She's from Pleasant Grove, Utah. She's been out for 4 months and this is her first time training. And Bedford 2 is the only area she's ever served in. We get along great, it's been so much fun so far. We realized how inspiried President Wilkey really is when we realized that I like the corner and edge pieces of brownies and she likes the middle peices. It's a companionship made in heaven. Seriously though, she's great. We've had so much fun so far and she's been really supportive and encouraging as I've tried to figure out what the heck I'm doing.
My area is partly urban and partly suburban/rural. Bedford is full of nicer houses, more spaces (trees) between houses. Manchester is full of apartments and streets. I've never missed the grid system of Utah roads more. Our GPS doesn't work half the time, none of the maps are completely accurate, and there's like 4 different Old Bedford Roads. But we do have a car, which is really nice.
Now to the actual missionary work. We have two people with baptismal dates set - both the end of May. We don't tract very much, because we already have such a large list of people that we can barely keep up as it is. We have lots of investigators - although some are more interested than others. There's also a lot of less-actives that we like to visit every so often. It's a pain when people keep bailing on appointments, but we've been lucky in that we usually have a backup that will work.
Personally, I'm just trying to figure out what I've gotten myself into. I've never been so happy to have a 10:30 bedtime. I feel bad for Sister Buxton, because I haven't really participated in lessons all that much - I just don't know what to say to people. And I thought the MTC was supposed to prepare me for this. It's gotten better though. I'm figuring it out as I go along.
Also, anyone remember the the Spencers? Shout out to Michelle Spencer - I got to hang out with your mom last week. They're in my ward, which is fun, since I haven't seen them since like 9th grade. She came and taught a lesson with us.
I honestly don't really know what else to say. I wake up, exercise, study, study some more, go to appointments, eat, try to catch people at home, eat, study, plan, and go to bed. It's so interesting, meeting all these new people. They tell you in the MTC that you're there to teach people, not be their psychiatrist, but they are so intermingled. People will tell you everything about them, every problem they've ever had. But it's great, knowing that you can help them. You can help them find that hope that they so desperately need, that hope that can get them through, if they'll just look for it and put in the faith and trust required. The hard part is helping people to see that they need this hope, this extra help, when they're already happy. If they're already content with how life is, how can I make them know that there's more out there? That's been the hard thing for me so far.
But like I said, I'm figuring it out. The work is moving forward - it just takes some trust in the Lord.
Thanks for all the letters and e-mails! I can e-mail family and friends now, so feel free to do that. But I only have like 2 hours of e-mail time a week, and I can only read e-mails once a week. However, I have all day to write letters, and I can read mail 6 days a week ;) If you e-mail me maybe put your home address in as well, incase I don't have time to e-mail back and I have to write an actual letter? Kthanks.
Sorry that this letter isn't quite as entertaining as the ones in the past. It's full of information though, which is almost as good. I appreciate everything everyone has sent me - including all the food. However, my one request for the moment: please don't send any more food unless it has 0 calories, is extremely healthy for me, or contains caffeine. The members out here are taking good care of us, and I sit in a car for most of the day :) Letters are always appreciated though! I can feast on your words ;)
I love each and every one of you. And I mean that. As a missionary I'm so full of love for the people around me that I don't know what to do with it all. So I'm passing some on to you guys. Hope everyone had a good Easter, and remembered why we celebrate it in the first place.
You're the best.
Love, Lindsey