A week full of liquid sunshine.

Dear Everyone:
This week was a wet one. It rained almost everyday. A Sister Carrier, a member we went teaching with, called it 'liquid sunshine', which I thought was pretty cool. Although it wasn't warm sunshine. It was actually really really cold. But there's sunshine today, so it should be improving.
This week was a busy one. I did my first exchange! I left Bedford and went and stayed in the small town of Sanbornton, which is in the Laconia area. The sisters there live above a member's garage. The members live on a farm. It was gorgeous! All you could see were green fields and miles and miles of green, rolling hills. Loved it. Not to mention, they run a pancake house that is to die for. I'll have to make everyone some Cranberry Orange or some Butterscotch Oatmeal pancakes when I get home. They're so good.
Now to the actual missionary work, rather than my (lack of a) diet.
The exchange was Tuesday to Thursday morning.  My companion for the day was Sister Bickel, who has been out one transfer longer than I have. She was pretty cool. Their area is still pretty new, so we only taught one lesson. Then we did lots of tracting. Sanbornton/Laconia is really rural though, so we actually did a lot of walking and only a little bit of knocking. It wasn't too bad though, and we found a few people who might be interested.
We had Zone Conference on Thursday. It was amazing. It was a little different than most Zone Conferences will be, because it was the last one for President and Sister Wilkey. They're leaving June 27th and the new mission president and his wife will be taking over. I honestly have no idea what it'll be like with the new president - the Wilkeys are so amazing I don't know how President Stoker will ever be able to measure up!
We talked all about repentance and how it's not a guilt driven process, it's changing for the better. We talked about bearing testimony through hymns. We talked about listening to and acting on the Spirit. We talked about a million more things that I don't have time to list. But it was an amazing meeting.
Then, after that, Sister Aeschbacher and I went to the Earnshaw's for dinner and a lesson with Kelly. First off - the Earnshaw's are a family in the ward here. Brother Earnshaw is our ward mission leader. They're the most amazing family ever. They've known Kelly since she first started taking lessons (about 2 years ago), so we thought it would be good to teach her there. And then the Wilkeys came to the lesson. I don't know how Kelly knows President and Sister Wilkey, but she knows them really well. I have to say, it is an amazing blessing to have the mission president and his wife there for a lesson, especially when the mission president and his wife are as spiritually in tune as the Wilkeys are. It was an amazing lesson. Kelly wants to get baptized so badly! She just has so many self-doubts that she struggles with actually going though with the decision. She had a baptismal date for last week, but she can't seem to kick smoking. That was what the lesson was for. It was an intervention of sorts. We had to make sure that Kelly was moving towards baptism because it was something that SHE wanted (and felt ready) to do, not because it was something that she knew we wanted her to do. Or not because she wanted to do it because the Wilkeys are leaving and she wants them there.
Unfortunately, I don't have a happy ending to report right now.
We gave Kelly a couple days to think about what she wanted to do. She wasn't at church on Sunday, and we haven't gotten a hold of her at all. But we're going to keep trying, and I know she won't blow us off forever. So I'll keep you all updated.
On a happier note, I thought I'd tell you about our (occasional) third companion.
Sister Carrier and her husband just got baptized about a month ago. She comes teaching with us two days a week now for a few hours at a time. She is amazing. It gives me a little bit of hope, seeing how much she loves the Gospel right now and how on fire she is with the Spirit. Keeps me working towards helping our stagnant investigators to feel that as well. We saw her last night and it was so great talking to her and her husband about their goal to go to the Temple in a year and how excited she is for it.
The Church is true!
Another fun thing from this week. I ate dinner at the Spencer's yesterday. It was nice to talk to people from home, and really funny too. They all struggled calling me Sister Berg, so for the first time in 2 1/2 months I was Lindsey again. It was fun though. Not to mention that Sister Spencer made Café Rio. So it was almost like I was at home again!
Well guys, I'm not sure what else to share from this week. It was a good one, we taught a good amount of lessons. We just don't have very many people who are really progressing, so we're trying to figure out how to help them with that.
But that's all. Just doing missionary work, all day everyday. The usual.
I love each and every one of you! Enjoy the sunshine!
Sister Lindsey Berg


The e-mail this week has no real purpose.

Dear Everyone:
This week was alright. Nothing to exciting to report unfortunately. We found out today that for someone to classify as a 'progressing' investigator, they need to be going to church. Which means that we have like 2 progressing investigators. Out of the 7 or 8 people we teach regularly. I don't know what it is with New Englanders, but they do not like to go to church! Which I just don't understand. I love church. It gives me the chance to feel like I'm home every week. That is the beauty of this church you guys - no matter where you are in the world, it's the same everywhere. I love it.
Sister Aeschbacher and I are teaching a lot better together. We still have to work out a few bugs here and there, but we've improved a lot. We're also trying to find more people now. We've knocked on more doors this week than I ever have in my mission. We've talked to a lot more people on the street. We've found a few people who might be interested, but no one that we've actually taught yet. And we technically live in the Elder's area, so almost everyone that we contact around our house, we end up just referring to them. Those blasted Elders, stealing all of our people.
Last Monday was both mine and Sister Aeschbacher's 2 months mark. We celebrated by getting frozen yogurt! This missionary life, it's pretty hard core. It really is crazy to think that I've been out for 2 months already. And I know it's not really a milestone at all. But sometimes it feels like I've been out here for a lot longer. Other times it seems like just yesterday I was hanging out at King Henry or watching Lord of the Rings with the family at home. Time is weird on a mission.
I'm sorry the e-mail this week is wicked lame. I really don't have much to say. Kelly, the investigator who we're hoping will get baptized soon, is still struggling with Word of Wisdom stuff. We're gonna set another date in June and hope she can reach that one. She's in the middle of moving to Concord right now, which doesn't help the situation. Mostly because our area doesn't cover Concord, so we won't be able to visit her once she moves, unless she comes to Manchester. Luckily, they're only about 30-45 minutes away from each other, but that's still a drive.
The weather is hot. And humid. And rainy. It's super pretty though. There really are trees all over the place out here. Sister Aeschbacher and I have kind of starting wondering why God chose green for plants. What would Earth be like if he chose purple instead? Just a thought from an easily entertained missionary who walks around for 3-4 hours a day. I'm sure you all feel so much more enlightened now. You're welcome.
Life in the Shire is pretty good. Like I said, not much to complain about. Just walking around, trying to bring people to Christ, help them know how they can be happier. The usual.

I love you all. I love getting letters from people (I actually got quite a few this week. Good work team! Don't start slacking on me now though. Endure to the end!), they make my week. I hope life is good. Read your scriptures every day. Moroni 7 has been one chapter we've used a lot recently, it's a pretty good one. Check it out maybe?

Seriously though. I love each and every one of you.

Sister Lindsey Berg


This is how New Englanders use 'wicked'.

Dear Everyone:
Transfers were last week. Not gonna lie, I was wicked nervous to see who I'd end up with. Ready to know who I got?
Sister Aeschbacher!
Yup, the very same sister who was in the MTC with me and who I had already gone on two exchanges with. Now we're actual companions. It's wicked fun. And wicked hard. Our teaching styles are wicked different. So this week has been rough. Wicked rough. Because not only are we trying to get used to each other, but almost everything we've planned all week long fell through. Our appointments fell through. Our backups fell through. Our backups for our backups fell through. It's been wicked frustrating.
On top of that, very few of our investigators are actually progressing anymore. We've still got a couple of solid people, but not very many.
Free agency is the worst thing ever.
It's all good though. I'm still in Bedford, which is the most wicked area in the mission. We've got all kinds of potential. Wicked awesome potential. So we're carrying on. And one of our investigators, Kelly, is still pretty set on getting baptized as soon as possible. She is wicked sweet, probably my favorite person that we're teaching. We really aren't even teaching her all that much. Kelly has been an investigator for like 2 years, and she knows with all of her heart that the church is true. The Word of Wisdom is just a little bit of a struggle. Which is understandable. Quitting smoking is wicked hard. But she's moving forward and we're shooting for May 31st. It's wicked exciting!
As we all know, yesterday was Mother's day. There's a wicked awesome video that the church made about mothers. Go watch it here. It's wicked cool. Send it to all those women in your life who you love. And maybe a couple you don't love, but who you know would appreciate it. It'll make you feel wicked good inside. Promise. And missionaries aren't allowed to lie.
I know my mother's day was wicked great. Nothing better than getting to call home! It was wicked fun.
I hope my continual use of 'wicked' wasn't wicked annoying. I'm just trying to give you all a feel for how wicked it is out here.
Seriously though. The mission is wicked hard. It really is. I coasted along with Sister Buxton. Neither Sister Aeschbacher and I really know what we're doing. It's all good though. No worries. We're figuring it out.

Love you all. Hope life is going wicked well. If you ever feel like writing a poor missionary a letter, it'd be wicked. And I'd love you forever.

Sister Lindsey Berg


Did I Stutter?

Dear Everyone:
Fun fact for the day. I don't have driving privileges. I'm assuming it has something to do with the fact that I totalled my car last summer. Luckily, there aren't as many sneaky mountains out here in New England for me to run into. But, I do have to do this defensive driving course. And there's a DVD that I have to watch for it. And Stanley from The Office is in one of the videos on the DVD. Just thought I'd share that with all of you.
Now for my big news of the week. Transfers! The good news: I'm staying in Bedford 2! The bad news: Sister Buxton is getting transferred. I'll still be junior companion, so no training for me. Sister Buxton is training, opening a new area, and was called as one of the first ever Sister Training Leaders, aka the girl version of a Zone Leader. She's a little stressed, but I know she'll do great.
My job is to help my new companion learn the area. We'll see how it goes, since I feel like I barely know the area. Luckily, we've got lots of maps and everyone's address is written down. For the most part.
Other than that little bit of news, this week was pretty quiet. The exchange with Sister Aeschbacher went much better this time. We didn't get lost at all! Our teaching pool is shrinking a bit. We were really overwhelmed at the beginning of my mission - there were a lot of people whom we'd visit all the time, yet they would never keep commitments or appointments. We've been trying to kind of weed out those people who have no real intent. I feel bad dropping people, but sometimes they do make it a little easier when they flat out tell us that they won't ever get baptized and will most likely never read what we ask them to do. I'm not here to spoon feed the gospel to people or to force it down their throats. I'm here to invite them to learn about and to help them out along the way. I like blunt people. It's the people who continually tell us that they're sorry, they'll do the reading next time, they'll come to church this week, they'll be there next appointment that bug me. Because many of those people rarely follow through.
No worries though! Some people are solid. Kelly is hopefully getting baptized in just over 2 weeks! She's still struggling with a few things, but she's working hard. The Elders in our area had a baptism yesterday and she came to it with us. Kelly is probably one of my most favorite people that I've met out here so far. I love her. She's been investigating the church for almost 3 years now. She wants to get baptized so bad - this is actually her 3rd baptismal date. She just struggles with Word of Wisdom stuff. But I know she'll kick it this time. She is such a sweetheart, I'm so excited for her! 3rd time's the charm, right?
Life is good. Sometimes I feel like I've been out here for so much longer than 6 weeks. Other times it feels like there's no way I've been here for 6 weeks already. Time is weird on a mission.
It's getting hot and sunny out here in New Hampshire and the bugs are growing bigger and bigger. We're walking around a lot and I've already got a weird tanline on my feet. It's great.
I love you all. Send me letters. They're the best thing in the world. Other than you guys of course.
But seriously. Letters. Please.

Sister Lindsey Berg