Homeward Bound

Dear Everyone:

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

Love you all! See you soon!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Lobstah, gratitude, and Maine sunsets.

​Dear Everyone:

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

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

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

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

Love you all! See you soon!!

Sister Lindsey Berg


The gospel makes everyone better!

Dear Everyone:

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

Love you all! Go out and become better!

Sister Lindsey Berg


CS Lewis would have made a great general authority.

Dear Everyone:

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

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

Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Redeeming the past, changing the future.

Dear Everyone:

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

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

Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


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

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


Goodbyes make it hard to think.

Dear Everyone:

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

Sister Lindsey Berg

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


Working at the car wash as the Gospel rolls forth

Dear Everyone:

These last few days have been full of service. Lots of weeding, helping with a yard sale for the retirement home we do service at, and being a part of the first ever Saco Ward car wash! Free car wash, free hot dogs - it was a great event. So much fun!

Can you find me in the front? Hint, I'm wearing a BYU shirt. Since those are like the only non-missionary shirts I brought out here with me.
Some exciting news from that less active I told you about last week? The one who yelled at us from her car? Well we went and saw her last week - her name is Tisha. And she really wants to try and get back into the church. And we also picked up Tisha's cousin and best friend as investigators. Finally! More people to teach! We're stoked about that. 
On Sunday we also had a fun activity formally titled 'The Gospel rolls forth' (see Doctrine and Covenants chapter 65 verse 2). Pretty much it was just an attempt to encourage home and visiting teaching in the ward. We had a few ladies in the ward volunteer to make several dozen cinnamon rolls and then divided those up onto plates. Each visiting teaching/home teaching companionship was supposed to take two plates and go visit two people on their list. We had to organize who was going to see whom so that families didn't get doubled up on (although I doubt anyone would have been upset if two people showed up at their house with cinnamon rolls). The whole point was to try and get the ward members to go visit those on their list who they don't know as well - and it's a lot less scary to knock on someone's door when you're holding a plate of scrumptious cinnamon rolls. Hence, the 'Gospel rolls forth' name ;)
New England wards are well known for slacking on their home and visiting teaching. All that those two things entail are visiting ward members, in their home, once a month. Men are home teachers, women are visiting teachers. They go and visit, make sure those people they visit are alright, help them if they need anything, and then share a brief gospel message. And the message is practically prepared for them each month - it's in the Ensign!
So easy. All you're supposed to do is be a friend.
I probably shouldn't be so annoyed. I wasn't a very good visiting teaching the last few months before my mission... but I'll be a great one when I get home! Home and visiting teaching is so easy you guys. It's missionary work to people who've already accepted the gospel at one time! Whether they are currently active or not, you automatically have that one thing in common with them! So just go and be a friend and build on that! It would solve so many problems and help so many people if we just were more consistent in that!
Ok, off my soapbox now. But go do your visiting/home teaching!
Last Thursday, I spent the day with Sister Brown while our companions went to the temple. She's currently serving in Portland. We decided to have our own exciting day, so we went mini-golfing, thanks to free game tokens from Brother Smith! I even got a hole in one! But I also went 22 over par. And got beat by Sister Brown, who has never been mini-golfing. Beginner's luck.

Well, that's all for this week. Transfer calls are this Saturday. We'll see whether I finish out my mission here in Saco, or if I'll get to try out somewhere new for my last 6 weeks.

Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Humidity and I do not get along.

Dear Everyone:

Having P-day on Thursday makes for a long week. It's been good so far though - we had FHE with a couple different families on Monday, zone interviews on Tuesday, and then lunch with a couple ladies from the ward yesterday. With all kinds of other missionary work mixed in.

This is Sali and Buffles, the two ladies we had lunch with. We go over every Wednesday for lunch and to help take care of stuff around the house and help Sali run errands. Buffles (on my right) is 105 years old. You read that right. 105. And still going strong.
Sali is her daughter. She's been a member for a while, probably at least 20 years. Buffles got baptized when she was 98. Went through the temple at 99. This lady is amazing. They're so much fun though. I love going over there. Sali is the Gospel Doctrine teacher, so she keeps us updated on what they're studying in the Old Testament, since we typically go to Gospel Principles or help out in Primary. I'll definitely have to study the Old Testament more when I get home.
An awesome miracle from this week - On Saturday, Sister Bateman and I decided to have a 'car fast' day. So we walked all day, trying to talk to people as we walked around town. We were waiting at a stop light to cross and a lady yelled out her window at us, "Hey girls, when you get a chance, come visit me please!" Then she yelled her address to us. Neither of us had any idea who she was, and we didn't really get a good look at her either, because she was like 4 lanes of traffic away.
We stopped by later that night and no one was home. Then we tried again Monday night and still no one. We were walking down the stairs (apartment building) and ran into a couple of guys at the bottom. We started to talk to them and one of them said "Oh hi Sisters!" Apparently he was a less-active member. Who we had the wrong address for. And his wife was also a less-active member. Who we also had the wrong address for. And their daughter is also a less-active member. And her records aren't even in the ward. So we had no idea they lived there. We're pretty sure it was their daughter who yelled at us on the street, because it was a younger lady. Unfortunately, neither his wife nor daughter was home, so we couldn't stay. We're going by again tomorrow and hopefully they'll be home then.
We finally got an A/C unit this week! I love living just a few miles from the ocean, but you guys. I hate humidity. I don't like drinking my air.
Other than that, life is good. We still aren't really teaching very many people, but we've been busy. Trying to find people, helping the ward members, doing all kinds of fun stuff. Missionary work is great.
That's all for this week. I'll be e-mailing again in 4 days, so I'll try and have some more exciting stuff to report by then :)
Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Expecting the best.

Dear Everyone:

First off - congratulations to my little sister Sandy! Going on a mission to BRAZIL! I'm so proud of her :')
Now, on to the week. Not too exciting.
We're still in a dry spell investigator-wise. We've been contacting a lot of less-actives lately. I think that's one of the saddest things. When someone who knows nothing about our message turns us down, it's a little more understandable. But when someone who has learned about this, has experienced the blessings that comes from this Gospel turns us away, my heart breaks a little. Because I know that they know the blessings they could be receiving - yet for some reason they don't want to accept them.
It's like making someone's favorite meal for them and having them say "No thanks, I don't really want this gourmet steak. I'm gonna go eat spam straight from the can instead."
You guys. That's just ridiculous. Don't eat spam. Steak is better. Don't settle for less than the best - because the best is exactly what each of us deserves! And the best is what the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us! Because Heavenly Father loves us! And He wants to give us everything!
Just think about that. Do you want fake meat and salt in a can, or do you want everything that our Heavenly Father has - aka, eternal happiness?
It's not really all that hard of a decision. Or at least I don't think it should be.
But sometimes that's easier said than done. Choosing the best over choosing the immediate. But the immediate is right there. Right at our fingertips. While the best isn't quite as close. It's on the horizon, but the horizon is kind of far away.
And that's how Satan gets you. That easy.
That's why it's important that we always keep up our A game. You gotta look for that sneak attack, that trick play.
Luckily, reading your scriptures, praying daily, and going to church make the best defense in the world. You just have to do them. And put them first. Because if you put the Lord first, everything else will fall into place!
That's what we're doing right now. Expecting the best, and settling for nothing less. Hopefully we'll start seeing some major miracles soon, and next week's e-mail will be a little more exciting. We're spending a lot of time this week talking to everyone - at least that's the plan!
Sister Bateman is going to the temple next week, since she hasn't been since she left the MTC (about a year ago), so we're going on exchanges with the Portland Sisters. And P-day is on Thursday next week, so no e-mail until then.
I love you all! Make good - and eternal - choices!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Motorcycles and birds in walls.

Dear Everyone:
We had some excitement this week. We were in a car accident... oops.

Not my fault. We stopped for a pedestrian, and a guy on his motorcycle behind us didn't see us stopping until it was too late. He tried to swerve and miss us, but didn't quite make us and tore off the back corner of our car. It's currently in our backseat, because we aren't really sure what to do with it.
The good news is, nobody was hurt, including the guy on the motorcycle!
Another interesting thing that happened this week involved a bird we named Pete. He got stuck in the wall behind our kitchen sink.

Isn't he a cute little guy? We have no idea how he got there. But our landlord came and rescued him this morning, so it was a great way to start off the week - rescuing a soul.
Speaking of souls, we found a new investigator this week! An older lady named Andrea. She lost her only son a few years ago and she's been kind of bitter about it ever since. She's estranged from most of her family and doesn't really have any friends. She said she's been pretty hopeless for the past couple years.
Luckily, we have a message that is full of hope. And peace. And happiness!
So I'm excited to teach her. She's a sweetie - just needs a little love.
Funny thing though, how we met Andrea. She was a referral from a member in the ward - which, if you don't know, is the best way for missionaries to find people to teach. And guess who the referral was from - Brother Farmer! The same member who led us to Abby!
You guys. Brother Farmer is a plumber. Our ward mission leader, Brother Smith, is a mechanic. They've given us the majority of the referrals I've received here in Saco, and have also been the ones who have found 3 out of the last 4 people who have been baptized recently into the Saco ward.
How have they managed to do that? Because they aren't afraid to talk about the church and the gospel with people.
I mean come on. They're a mechanic and a plumber. Not necessarily occupations that move easily into religious conversations. (Can you imagine though? "No really, you need your brakes changed. Otherwise they will fail, and you will die. Which actually isn't as bad as you would think. If you go to Mormon.org, you can learn more about what happens after you die..." Although I doubt conversations start like that.)
Seriously though. Talking about the gospel is just like talking about ice cream. If anyone asks you what your favorite ice cream is, most people can answer right away. And then, if you push, you can find out why.
I love coconut ice cream. Why? It's simple, yet delicious and different.
The gospel is the same way. Just like how most people love ice cream in general, everyone has a favorite. As members of the church, we love the gospel in general, but I know you have a favorite.
I love knowing that there is a prophet on earth today. Why? Because it shows that God loves us, just as much as he loved the people who lived in biblical times; it allows us to receive modern revelation that helps us in these days; it gives me someone to look to for guidance, for clarification on questions I have. And I love that all the words of the prophets - current and past - are available for me to read, either in the scriptures or on lds.org.
It's beautiful.
So everyone take a moment. Think about what you love most about the gospel. About Christ. About what He has done for you. Think of how you can express that to others.
Then decide that you're going to do that this week. Somehow, sometime this week you will share that little piece of the gospel that you love with someone else. If you're really dedicated to it, you'll find that chance. There's a talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, who was an apostle, that I just love. It's entitled 'Called to Serve'. In it, he talks about being a disciple of Christ. And there's one paragraph that just applies to this. He said: "There are more meaningful moments than we use profitably, just as in terms of Christian service there are more opportunities around us than we now use. God is ever ready, if only we were always ready."
I love that. We really are given countless opportunities every day to serve our Savior. The only problem is that, as humans, we often don't notice those opportunities we're given. We're too caught up in our own lives, in our to-do lists and our worries and our excuses.
So just start with one thing. And look for an opportunity to share that one thing. I promise that if you're looking for it, you'll find it.
Just like happiness. If you're looking for it, you'll find it.
Love you all!
Sister Lindsey Berg


Missionary work is exhausting.

Dear Everyone:

Meet my new companion - Sister Bateman! She's 23, is from Orem, Utah, and has been out for a year, as of next week. Sorry I don't have any pictures... eventually.
I actually already knew Sister Bateman. We were in the same district for 3 transfers while I was in Montpelier and she was in Burlington. So that's fun.
Other than that, I don't really have much to report this week. Our teaching pool is looking more like a puddle. Hopefully we'll add some depth to it soon. Today marks the official start of tourist season in Biddeford/Saco/Old Orchard Beach. Which means a lot more people will be out and about. Which is awesome news for us missionaries. 
You guys. I love being a missionary. Really, I do. It's great. I get to be there as we watch people's lives change through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I've seen people gain hope, find purpose, and just completely change their lives.
But being a missionary is exhausting. In every way imaginable. Seriously. That's one of the purposes of being a missionary though. It's not only to help others come unto Christ.
It's so that we can learn to depend on Him too.
And it's hard. Really really hard.
I read a scripture this week that just really screamed 'mission' to me. It was Alma, chapter 26, verse 27. In this verse it's a guy named Ammon talking. Now Ammon was a really great missionary. One of the best actually - he helped to convert an entire country. Not to mention a lot of other people as well. Ammon and his brothers just finished their missions and are kind of talking about the experience all together. Ammon is talking about how great his mission was, and about how blessed by the Lord he was throughout it all.
Now what does this have to do with me being exhausted?
Well, I'm positive Ammon was exhausted at points during his mission as well. If you read the scripture, Ammon said "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us..." Even Ammon was depressed at times! Yet he was able to find strength in the Lord.
The scripture continues: "the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success."
Ammon only had to do two things in order to gain success: go out among the people, and be patient in his problems. As long as he did those two things, the Lord promises that he will have success.
And he did. Ammon had an insane amount of success - as did all of his brothers. Because they did exactly what the Lord said. They went out and worked, and were patient, trusting in His timing.
So that's what I'm doing right now. Trying to make more of an effort to go out and talk to people. Trying to make more of an effort to really trust the Lord, and trust His timing.
Although patience is still something I haven't really learned as well as I probably need to.
This is good council in everything though - not just missionary work. Heavenly Father gave us bodies, gave us the ability to act for a reason. If it is according to His will, He promises to help us. But only if we're going out and doing all we can first. He's not gonna help us if we sit in the apartment all day playing uno - as tempting as that is sometimes.
So, I'm exhausted. But it's worth it. Or at least it will be. Because I'm not alone in this. My Savior has my back.
That's my challenge to you all this week. Find something you've maybe been dragging your feet on. Or that you've been struggling with. Then go out and work on it. Trust in the Lord, and He'll help you with it. Just go and do it. Knowledge comes through experience. And it'll be worth it in the end. Promise.

I love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Cookie Monster

Dear Everyone:

I was right! Something changed! Sister Jackman is getting transferred, and I will be staying here in Saco!
I'm actually really stoked about staying. Part of me wanted to leave, go somewhere new, but I'm glad I'm staying at the same time.
You guys. I only have TWO transfers left. Crazy. So I really hope I stay here the rest of my mission. I feel like there's still so much more I can do here! So I'm super excited.
We did something really cool yesterday. There's a family in the ward here, the Tippetts. They're awesome. Every so often they'll make cookies for us missionaries to take to our investigators and people who we've been trying to contact. This time they decided to take cookies to ward members who are less-active, or who just need some extra love. There were a few other ward members who came with us, and we ended up delivering probably about 30 plates of cookies total. It was so great.
Sister Jackman and I went on splits with the Tippetts to deliver, so Sister Tippetts and I went to some people while Sister Jackman went with their daughter, Madi. Out of the 5 people we stopped by, 4 were home, and we had really good conversations with 3 of them - 2 of whom were less actives I had never met before. It was so great, and I'm excited to go see them again!
See the miracles that occur when members - aka, normal people - get involved?
Speaking of normal people, have you guys seen the I'm a Mormon videos? They're super cool videos, with all kinds of different people talking about how they came to gain a testimony of Christ and how it impacts and helps them in their life. They're really cool actually. I really like this onethis one, and this one.
So go watch them! They're only like 3 minutes long. You can do it!
Well, I love you all. I hope you've been reading your Book of Mormon everyday like I told you to. If you don't have one, go to mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon. Then you'll get a couple nice looking young kids like me who will happily deliver one to you. It really does bring happiness, I promise! I see it - and I feel it - everyday!
Love you!
Sister Lindsey Berg


Climbin' in your windows... bringing happiness.

Dear Everyone:

This week was a good one, finishing off with me climbing through our neighbor's window last night to open her door after she locked herself out.
We're pretty serious when we say missionaries can help with anything. It even says so in the scriptures (check out verse 17).
Abby (our recent convert) had a good week. She came teaching with us, and taught her first lesson in Gospel Principles! Unfortunately, something came up and she wasn't able to go to the temple, but she'll be there next time.
Her lesson in Sunday school was on missionary work, ironically enough. During the lesson she was talking about how the greatest way we can share the Gospel with people is through our examples. She said, "It helped me when I first started learning, because the Sister Missionaries are the same age as me, and they're always so happy! There I was, out doing crazy, stupid things and I was miserable. And they aren't doing any of that stuff, and they're happy. So I wanted to be happy too!"
Definitely pulled on my heart strings a little with that comment. Missions are the best.
Seriously though, everyone loves being happy. Happiness is kind of the purpose of life, right? It's the one thing that everyone is constantly striving for, yet there seems to be no surefire way of how to find it - until now.
In 8 words, I can tell you how to find happines:

Sincerely read the Book of Mormon every day.

That's it. That's all you have to do.
The key, and the difficult part to that is the sincere part. If someone truly and sincerely reads the Book of Mormon, it will change their life. Why? Because it is the word of God! Because it helps bad men become good, and it makes good men better! Because, as one sincerely reads the Book of Mormon, it will cause "a change in [them], or in [their] hearts, that [they will] have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually" (Mosiah 5:2).
There's all kinds of examples in the scriptures showing how the Gospel changes lives! Enos, Alma the younger, King Lamoni, Paul, and so many more! Unfortunately, I have limited e-mail time.  Elder Bednar talks about the purpose of the gospel in a little more depth though, in this talk of his, 'In the Strength of the Lord'. It's a good one. Read it. That's how you find happiness.

Transfer calls are this Saturday. Sister Jackman and I have been together for 4 1/2 months. We're pretty sure something is going to change.
But then again, I've been wrong before.

Thanks all for this week kids. Love you all :)

Sister Lindsey Berg


Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Hola mi amigos!

I know, I know. I'm serving in New England, where there isn't really a booming Hispanic population. But hey, the fifth of May is world-wide, so I'm celebrating (and using my extremely limited Spanish vocabulary) while I can!
This week wasn't overly exciting. We went to see that potential from Subway, and she wasn't home for the appointment... bummer. Hopefully we'll be able to see her sometime this week.
We had dinner with one of our other investigators, Peggy, on Saturday. Our ward mission leader and his wife, Brother and Sister Smith came. They're really good friends with Peggy so we all went over. She had heard about the Easter message we were sharing, so although it was a bit late, we shared it anyway. And it was magnifico. The Spirit was so strong! It's never too late to share a message about Christ and His resurrection and how that impacts our lives every day! We were able to talk about all the different blessings we receive in our lives, through the Atonement of Christ - of which the resurrection was just the finale.
The Gospel is good stuff you guys. Muy bien!
Speaking of things that are muy bien - this week for district meeting, we had a green smoothie party. Sister Jackman's parents own a couple different smoothie stores, so she's pretty professional. She actually spoils me and makes me a smoothie every morning - full of all kinds of good stuff like kale and beets and celery. The Elders were talking about smoothies one day, so we decided to treat them and we made them all smoothies for lunch.

Other than that, I don't really have a whole lot to report. Abby, our recent convert, just finished the Book of Mormon! And got called as a Gospel Principles teacher! And got her temple recommend to go to the temple with the ward this Saturday! 
She's on fire. I love her and am so excited for her!

Well amigos, that's all for this week. It's been a little slow, but overall, muy excelente.

I love you all! Happy Cinco de Mayo!


Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. It's been almost 5 years since I've taken a Spanish class. So no judgment. 


Amazing Grace

Dear Everyone:

This week was awesome. And slow. But there were enough miracles that took place to make up for it being slow.
Miracle #1: Sister Jackman's "Best Two Year's moment".  It was about 7:30 and we hadn't eaten dinner yet. We were driving to visit a potential and invite her to the Stake women's conference this Saturday. We passed a Subway on the way, and, remembering that we had a giftcard from a ward member, Sister Jackman suggested we go to Subway for dinner, since we had no food in our apartment. I agreed, so after visiting the potential, we went to Subway. There, we discovered that the girl who was making our sandwiches is friends with our recent convert Eliza! Then, as we were talking to that girl, the other lady working there, Amber, heard us talking about church, and at the first pause in conversation asked "What church do you go to?" We started talking to her and found out that she's been looking for a church for her and her 6 year old daughter to go to. She wants to learn more and we're going to go see her this week!
Some people would say that was coincidence, we were hungry and happened to go to Subway. We prefer Elder Calhoun's view of it as inspiration. Side note - that potential, Peggy, also became a new investigator, and we're having dinner at her house Saturday :)
Miracle #2: A couple Elders in Massachusetts just got themselves a golden investigator. We had another lesson with Steven, Sister Miranda's friend yesterday. We taught him about the Restoration and talked with him about how he can know the Book of Mormon is true. And then, we committed him to be baptized!
That's where the Elders in Massachusetts come into play. Unfortunately, like I said in my e-mail a couple weeks ago, Steven actually lives in Mass. So although he's been coming to church up here, he has to be baptized in the church in his area. Which luckily is a singles ward (Steven's 25 and single), so that will be good for him. We got the phone number for the Elders down there and had Steven call them. While we are all at Sister Miranda's. We also had him put it on speaker phone, because we wanted to hear the Elder's reaction. Steven called them, they answered, and he said "Um hi. My name is Steven. I want to get baptized." Every missionary's dream come true. The Elders sounded awesome, set up an appointment with him for tomorrow, and Steven was stoked. I'm so excited for him! Bummed that we won't get to be a part of it anymore, but excited for him to draw closer to Christ!
Another fun part: right after Steven hung up the phone with the Elders, we all just sat sat there in silence for a moment. Then Sister Miranda said, "I never would have imagined this happening." It was really funny. And that is why you should share the Gospel with all your friends! You never know who's ready! The life it could bless next!
There were many more miracles than just those 2. But those were probably the most exciting ones from this week. We also had one of our less-actives tell us that she gave us our own ringtone on her phone- 'Amazing Grace'. That's how you know someone loves you. When you get your own personalized ringtone.
That's all for this week though. I can't believe May starts this week, and that Mother's day is in just 2 weeks! Time is going by so fast!
I love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Butter makes everything better.

Dear Everyone:

This week wasn't too exciting. Yesterday was awesome - Easter! We had an amazing sacrament meeting out here, all about the Atonement. Which, speaking of the Atonement, if anyone feels like reading a talk that will totally change your perspective, read this one - 'Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ' by Elder Neal A. Maxwell. It's soo good. It goes along really well with Elder Bednar's talk from general conference as well, talking all about how the Atonement is so much more than just what we use when we repent. The Atonement is what helps us get through everyday. It's what gives us strength in hard times, what helps us become better and more like the Savior.
That's why Easter is so wonderful.
Other than that, our week was pretty slow missionary-work wise. We had Zone Conference this week, which was exciting. Those are always good.
This week I also had a true New Englander experience - ripping apart my own lobster. Brother Smith is our ward mission leader, and he is all about us truly feeling like we were born and raised in Maine. So he treated us to lobster and clams this week. The lobster was all nice and warm, and, dipped in melted butter, it was pretty good! The clams were a little interesting, but dipped those in butter as well and they aren't too bad.
Yesterday, for Easter we went to two different houses for lunch and dinner. The members here in Saco take good care of us! For dinner we had deep fried turkey - that was good. There were like 5 families from the ward there, as well as us and the Elders. Ward family parties are the best kind of party.
Nothing special is coming up this week. Just the usual - finding people to share the gospel with! It's been really hard to find solid people to teach out here. A lot of people are willing to listen to us a time or two, or they love us coming and sharing messages with them, but so many people are unwilling to commit to doing anything. 'Faith without works is dead' isn't commonly known around here apparently. So we're just trying to find those people who are willing to put in the effort to allow the Gospel to change their lives. Nothing good ever came without a little effort, and we're trying to help people recognize that.

Well, I hope everyone had a good Easter, and that you all watched the Because of Him video. If you didn't, go watch it now! It's amazing! It works for all the time, everyday, not just around Easter!
Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Because of Him

Dear Everyone:

It'll blow your mind. At least it did to me. It's amazing.

You guys. Easter is on Sunday! Isn't that exciting? I love Easter. It symbolizes rebirth, new beginnings, new opportunities. Just as Earth is finally waking up from winter, we can wake up from darkness and coldness and find greater light and happiness in our lives!
Because of Him!
We've studied a lot about the Savior the last few weeks. We've been sharing a wicked awesome Easter lesson with the ward members and pretty much anyone else who'll listen. Definitely has impacted my life. Thinking about all the Savior went through is kind of depressing, but has so much meaning knowing that He did it all for ME. And the knowledge that He was resurrected also means so much. It's the ultimate happy ending. And it just has that much more power and hope it in, because of all that happened before.
Isn't Easter beautiful?

This week was awesome. So many miracles! The Saco ward just finished something we called the '40 Day Fast'. Everyday for 40 days a different family/person fasted for an opportunity to share the Gospel with someone, or simply to bless someone's life in some way. Then last night we had a fireside as a kind of closing celebration. There was an opportunity for anyone who had had a missionary experience to stand up and share what had happened - and there were a lot!
Seriously. Seek and ye shall find. Ask Heavenly Father to help you share His love with someone, and He'll give you that opportunity. The hard part is recognizing it.
One miracle that happened to us this week happened yesterday actually! After spending six hours (no exaggeration) at the church for different meetings and such, we had just pulled into our apartment and were about to go in and have a lunch break. But we decided to make a few calls first, make sure that there wasn't anyone else that we needed to go see right then. Sister Jackman decided to call a member of the ward, Sister Miranda, and make sure she knew about the fireside. So we called her, and right as Sister Miranda answered she said "I have a question for you!"
Sister Miranda's friend Steven has been driving up from Massachusetts to come to church with her for a few weeks now. And recently he started reading the Book of Mormon. Yesterday after church they watched some of General Conference, and Steven had all kinds of questions. Sister Miranda was trying her best to answer them, but had kind of gotten stuck. Right then, we called!
Talk about divine timing.
We went over and talked and answered Steven's questions for a while, and now he's a new investigator! It'll be interesting, teaching him when he lives in Mass. and only comes up for Sunday, but he doesn't want to meet with the missionaries or go to church down there, because he doesn't know anyone. So we'll figure it out.
We also had a really cool Sister's Conference this week! All the Sister missionaries in Maine and Southern New Hampshire got together and we talked all about girly things and stuff like that. I don't really know how to describe it. Extremely uplifiting, super motivating, and a ton of fun. Sister Dixon and Sister Burton - my last two companions who happen to be companions now - were there, and that was fun to see them again!
This week is Zone Conference (remember how I said that missionaries love conferences?) and that'll be exciting. And it's finally starting to get warm, so people are outside again! Biddeford and Saco are actually inhabited! It's great.

Well, that's about it for this week. If you didn't watch the video before, go watch it RIGHT NOW.
Heck, even if you did watch it before, go watch it again! Share it on facebook and twitter! Call all your friends and tell them about it! Easter only comes once a year, but the blessings of Christ's Atonement and resurrection bless our lives EVERY SINGLE DAY. Let's make sure that everyone knows that!

I love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. I know I promised pictures from tapping trees, but the computer isn't working. Next week. 


Round 3

Dear Everyone:
Sister Jackman and I survived! So it'll be a third transfer in Saco and a third transfer with Sister Jackman!
This week wasn't too exciting teaching-wise. We aren't really teaching anyone at the moment. A couple people on our radar, but no one who is really progressing. The saying is that good things come in threes though, so hopefully Sister Jackman and I can use this third transfer to find some awesome people to teach!
So, now on to the most exciting thing that happened this week - General Conference!
I sure hope you all paid attention and took lots of notes. It was a good one!
And, to all you slackers (like me before the mission) who didn't watch Saturday's sessions, those were the best ones. Luckily, repentance is an option and you can watch them all online.
I loved Elder Holland's talk. That man is amazing. I loved Elder Andersen's talk. I loved Elder Bednar's talk. I loved President Packer's talk. I loved Elder W. Craig Zwick's talk. I loved Bishop Stevenson's talk.
Essentially, to sum it up, I loved all the talks.
This quote from Elder Andersen kind of sums up the biggest message I got from general conference though. That in today's world the best way to show our faith is by serving others and standing up for our beliefs. And just like Elder Perry said in his talk - it doesn't have to be hard. Humans are the ones who make things hard, who make things complicated. Sometimes the most complex problems require the simplest answers.
We just need to love God, love Christ, and love each other.
And we show that love through obedience.
That's the part that so many people don't understand today. If you say you love Christ, yet you don't follow any of His teachings, you don't really love Him. Love, just like faith, requires action.
And just like Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis spoke about, faith requires work. It requires effort. It doesn't just come.
But, going back to simplicity, that work is simple. Pray, read the scriptures, go to church, serve others. We aren't being asked to walk barefoot through hot coals here. We aren't being asked to sacrifice our first born - Abraham was, and he was still obedient! Luckily for him, he didn't actually have to sacrifice Isaac. He just had to show he was willing to follow - no matter what.
Yes, just prayer and scripture study isn't going to solve every problem. That's where more of the hard work comes in. But it definitely isn't going to hurt. And like Elder Bednar talked about, it's through that spiritual strength that we gain physical strength and help, because we're not going at this life and our problems on our own. We've got extra help - divine, omnipotent help.
Sounds like a good trade-off to me!
Moral of the story? Pray, read your scriptures, go to church, and be a good person.
That's all for this week folks. I'm off to go tap some maple trees. Seriously. I'm fully experiencing life in New England.
Love you all!
Sister Lindsey Berg


Missionaries love conferences.

Dear Everyone:

'Conference' is a favorite word in a missionary's vocabulary. Zone Conference, General Conference - they're some of the best days ever! And guess what! General Conference is this weekend!
Seriously though, General Conference is like spring break for missionaries. It's so amazing. There's nothing better than spending all day listening to modern prophets and apostles! I'm so stoked!
This year's General Conference is off to a great start, with the General Women's Meeting taking place last Saturday.
One of the best moments for me though, was more personal and not really spiritual at all. We were sitting in the chapel watching it here in Saco, and a ward member whispered in my ear asking if I was homesick, as they showed shots of Temple Square and talked all about different wards and stake back in Utah. I said "Not really, I'm liking Maine." Then, not even a minute later, the first song started. And who can you see sitting in the choir right about the chorister's left shoulder? None other than my neighbor Carol Olsen!
That might have made me a little homesick.
But it was so cool!
Anyway, one of the biggest messages I got from the meeting was that it doesn't matter what our backgrounds or our age or our looks or anything. We are all brothers and sisters. And we can all learn something from each other. We just have to be willing to learn!
I also really liked this quote: 

"All of our feelings of inadequacy dissolve when we link arms and DO the Lord's work, SERVE Him in His glory, and LIVE as His disciples."

You guys, I think Nike plagiarized Nephi when they said 'Just Do It'. Just as he said in 1 Nephi 3:7, if we're doing what the Lord wants us to do, He'll help make it happen. Our responsibility is to move forward with faith and just do our best. There was another scripture I found this week that I loved - Doctrine and Covenants 64:33. We don't need to be weary in well doing! It is through the small acts that great things happen. Just because something isn't heralded by angels, doesn't mean it wasn't inspired by God, and just because something didn't go the way we wanted it to go or have the impact we wanted, doesn't mean it didn't do what God wanted it to do!
As humans, we only see a teeny-tiny fragment of the whole picture. Heavenly Father sees it all. So I think I'm gonna trust Him, and let Him call the shots, because he knows a little more than I do.
And that is another reason why General Conference is so great. Because not only is it Prophets and Apostles speaking to us live, but it's our opportunity to gain revelation from Heavenly Father live! Right away!

Isn't General Conference amazing? I love it. Better than Christmas.
So watch General Conference this weekend! Take notes! Trust me, it's worth it!

Transfer calls are this weekend - I'll let you know if anything is changing. Sister Jackman and I have no idea what's going to happen. So it'll be a surprise to all of us.

I love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Has spring finally sprung?

Dear Everyone:
Life is good. Abby was confirmed yesterday - so now she's official!
She's so cute. She was confirmed at the beginning of sacrament meeting, and then she came and sat down by us again. She was just beaming. She leaned over to Sister Jackman and I and whispered "I feel so warm! My face, my head, everything! It's just so warm!" We said, "You know what that is, right?" And she goes - "Yup! It's the Holy Spirit!" It was awesome!
We also found 3 new investigators this week - Mike, Leslie, and their 8 year old daughter Leah. They also have another little girl named Kiki, but since she's only 4, she doesn't count as an investigator. Super cool miracle how we found them though - it was actually thanks to some members from a nearby ward, the Windham ward! Leah is in the same dance class as some of the girls from that ward. So Leslie is friends with their moms. And at dance class a couple weeks ago they were talking about food. Leslie apparently was talking about how much she loves feeding people; they're always having people over because her parents own a huge organic farm up by Augusta, and her husband is a chef. Beautiful.
So, to shorten up this story, one of the moms from the Windham ward mentioned that she knows some people who are always hungry - the missionaries! So she called us, gave us Leslie's number, and said she would love to have us over for dinner!
We saw them last Monday, had delicious steak and potatoes, and talked all about the Book of Mormon. Both Leslie and Mike are religious but said that they don't really know much about our church and would love to know more. Tonight we're going to teach them the Restoration, and I'm super stoked. Hopefully they'll continue to want to learn more! They're an amazing family. Leah and Kiki had colored pictures for us to take home with us, and Leslie sent us home will all kinds of homemade canned veggie goodness. If we keep teaching them I foresee our grocery bill getting much smaller.
Isn't feeding the missionaries great? You give us physical sustenance, and we'll help you draw closer to Christ and Eternal Salvation! Sounds like a fair trade to me!
Other than this, this week wasn't overly eventful. Just trying to find a lot of people. We had a funeral on Saturday morning for a less-active lady in the ward who we had worked with. Then that night there was a baptism for one of the 8 year olds in the ward. I was lucky enough to get a call about an hour before the baptism, asking if I could fill in and do the talk on baptism. I didn't want to just copy the talk I gave at Abby's, so I prayed really hard and was able to come up with a new one. I compared life to a corn maze - faith and repentance is helping us find our way to the correct maze, baptism is paying the ticket to get in, and the Holy Ghost helps us find our way through to the end - eternal life. Considering how much time I had to prepare, I thought it was quite a-maze-ing. Ba dum pssh.
So ya. That was this week. This next week will be a lot the same - just trying to find more people to teach. I'm not really sure what's changed; the first several weeks here in Saco I felt like a chicken with it's head cut off. Now we've got all the time in the world, and no way to fill it. We're working on it though. With all this warm weather that's starting to come, the Mainers are starting to thaw out a bit and hopefully people will start answering their doors because they won't have to worry about letting the heat out.
Missionary work is great. The Church is true. General Conference is in two weeks - get excited! I've been counting down the days since last general conference. Invite someone to listen to a prophet of God with you - it'll change their life!
Well, I love you all :)
Sister Lindsey Berg


Hoping for another lucky week... and not just for the Irish.

Dear Everyone:

This week was great! Abby got baptized! It was an amazing baptism! There were so many people!
Her family and a couple of her friends came, as well as quite a few ward members. A member of our mission presidency, President Hawkes and his wife were able to come as well! President Hawkes was the one who interviewed Abby, and he said he was so impressed by her in the interview that he had to come to her baptism as well.
The Spirit was just so strong at the baptism. It was wonderful. I gave the talk on baptism, then Abby was actually baptized - by none other than Brother Farmer, who had first introduced her to the church! It was the first baptism he had ever done as well, so it was a cool experience all around. As she was getting ready we showed the Restoration video - and you really have to try hard not to feel the Spirit during that movie. After that Sister Jackman gave the talk on the Holy Ghost and then President Hawkes spoke, and then Bishop Bryant. So it was really fun.
On Saturday we had Zone Interviews! They were a blast as well. I had an amazing interview with President Stoker, then we had 'zone meeting'. That's where the zone leaders (a couple of the Elders, and here they happen to be our wardmates) present some kind of training. Typically, this meeting isn't overly exciting. So the Elders tried to spice it up this time with a game show theme, complete with a disco ball borrowed from someone in the ward and sound effects supplied by the ringtones on their phone. It really was hilarious though, and one of the better trainings I've been to.
We also had Stake Conference this weekend! There were so many great talks given there, I don't think I could even do them justice if I tried to sum them up for you all. Just go to your own stake conference and I'm sure they'll be almost as good :) The stake here (each ward, or congregation is part of a larger group called a stake) covers from Augusta south - roughly half of Maine. Not only did I get to see some old favorites from the Augusta ward, but it was also kind of empowering to gather together with so many members of the church here. Something about a lot of people who believe the same thing all coming together just gives me goosebumps. Maybe it's the Spirit?
One cool things from my studies this week - I'm currently in the book of Alma, right in the middle of the war chapters. All kinds of crazy things are going on with some of my favorite people, Captain Moroni, Teancum, Helaman, etc. And some more of my favorite people are the 2,000 Stripling Warriors - 2,000 guys who are probably 18-21 year old kids who are trying to help defend their families and their country. In Alma chapter 57 they were just in a huge battle with the bad guys, the Lamanites. And the stripling warriors are very outnumbered. However, since they have God on their side, they win! Helaman, their commander, is worried though, because all 2,000 of his men were novices. And he's sure that many of them have been killed. Then, in verse 25 we read something miraculous - NO ONE DIED. Not one of the stripling warriors (2,060 of them to be exact) was killed. All of them were wounded in some way, but no one was killed.
This totally applies to our life now! We're all in battle! And the reality is that none of us will make it out unscathed. We've all been wounded in some way - and we'll be wounded again. However, because Christ is the Master Healer, we can be healed from all our wounds! Spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, whatever. Through faith in Him and His Atonement, we can be healed!
Seriously you guys. The Gospel is amazing.

Well, that's it for this week. Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. The picture is from - no surprise here - Abby's baptism! There's me, Abby, Brother Farmer, and Sister Jackman. Sometimes you try really hard to take a nice picture, and then the only picture that turns out somewhat decent looking is the one where no one's serious. It happens.


Rapping up a storm.

Dear Everyone:
This week was pretty good. Awesome news - Abby passed her baptism interview! She's all set to get baptized tomorrow, and we're super excited! Unfortunately, it'll be about a week before she's confirmed though; converts are confirmed in sacrament meeting after the baptism, and we have Stake Conference this weekend. So she won't get confirmed until the next week. Everything is set to go for tomorrow though, and we're stoked! I'm so excited for Abby - she's worked so hard to get to this point and I can't wait to see the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for her!
You guys. Being a missionary is awesome. Sometimes I feel like Ammon does, after his mission to the Lamanites. Look up Alma chapter 26 and read about it - it's a great feeling!
Besides that, our week was been pretty tame. Sister Jackman and I are working on contacting a lot of less-actives, as well as trying to find new people to teach. Other than Abby, we aren't teaching anyone who's very solid. We aren't really teaching anyone else at all. We're really focusing a lot of finding this week though, so hopefully it'll work out and we'll find more people to help bring unto Christ!
Another highlight from this last week - Saturday night was the annual Saco Ward Talent Show/Silent Auction. It was just like they used to do it in the Mill Road Ward when I was little - lots of baked goods for sale to help raise money for scout camp/girls camp, a couple little kids singing 'I Am a Child of God' for their talent, and a whole lot of laughs. The show also included original raps by us and the Elders, although one of the Elders can beatbox, so they kind of showed us up. The night ended on a high note with the Young Men Presidency and one of the young men reenacting a beloved scene from 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' involving a vicious rabbit and a holy hand grenade.
Overall, it made for a great night. We also got to meet a lot of people since a lot of the ward members invited family and friends to come as well. I would definitely dub it a success.
That's about all for this week though. We have Zone Interviews this weekend, which I'm really looking forward to. The weather has been super nice the last few days - I even ventured to go out without tights one day and didn't regret it at all. However, there's supposed to be another blizzard coming on Wednesday, so spring continues to be elusive. Someday the sun will come.
I love you all!
Sister Lindsey Berg


Another week sharing the gospel.

Dear Everyone:

So, not much to report this week. Life is good. Abby is still getting baptized next week! She quit smoking last week and has been staying strong! She's truly amazing.
Other than that, I don't really have much else to share. We've been trying to get our bearings a little bit, and figure out how to work in this area. The fact that Sister Jackman and I got here together is pretty nice - we're on the same page for the most part in trying to get to know people. The ward here is awesome, but hard to get to know. We also aren't quite as busy as when we first got here. Most of last transfer I felt like a chicken with it's head cut off - running around from place to place and not really taking much in. We aren't completely sure what changed, but things have been much easier going lately, which is actually really nice. It's given us a chance to slow down, catch our breath, and figure out what we really want to accomplish here in Saco.
Hopefully we'll get our bearings and create a solid game plan, so that we can start running around like crazy again. We're trying to start going visiting teaching with the ward members - a lot of the women in the ward have people on their lists who they've never met and they know nothing about. And it's kind of intimidating to try and visit teach someone who you don't know. So we're trying to help with that and get some relationships going. That'll help our work as well, so that we can get in the homes of some people who we might not otherwise have been able to get in with. There's so much potential here and the Lord has blessed this area so much in the past - if we just keep working hard I know He'll continue to bless us with more people to teach!
Yesterday was the first Sunday of the month. Which typically means it was fast and testimony meeting at church - aka, open mic! It's no different here in Saco, and we had some great testimonies this week. One was from this older lady who got baptized about a year ago. Marge. She's a sweetie. One of those grumpy old ladies that seems so hard and spiky on the outside, but just a big softie on the inside. She lives in a retirement community down the street from the church building. In her testimony she talked about how she used to sit in front of her window and watch all the people go to church, and how she would think "I wish I had a church to go to." She would see all the families there and she would think "I wish I had a family here." And then she talked about how her mechanic (who happens to be our ward mission leader) gave her a Book of Mormon. And then sent the Elders over to talk to her. And now she's baptized, she has a church to go to every Sunday, and she has a family - her ward family! It was probably one of the sweetest testimonies I've ever heard. She talked about how she had felt more love and more happiness in her life over the past year since she's joined then church than she has ever before. Isn't it great how the gospel blesses people's lives in so many ways??
Life is good. Maine is cold. Missions are great. The Church is true. The Atonement is eternal. And Heavenly Father loves all of us.

That's it for this week. Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. We saw this license plate on a truck today. I was meant to be here. 



Dear Everyone:

Sad news this week. Only part of the trio survived. Sister Dixon is leaving us :( However, Sister Jackman and I will rock Saco! It'll be great!
There's always good news with bad news though. One of our investigators, Abby, is getting baptized!
Abby is super awesome. She's 22 and started taking the lessons right before Sister Jackman and I got here. Her dad's best friend is a member of the ward here - Brother Farmer. One day, Brother Farmer went over to Abby's house and saw her reading some kind of book or something about God, and when he asked her about it she said she had recently become interested in religion. He said "Well you don't need any of that stuff! Just come to church with me!"
So she did. And the first time she went, it was a fast and testimony meeting. And she stood up and bore her testimony!
This girl is rock solid.
She's been to church basically every week since then, she comes to our Book of Mormon class on Tuesday nights, and she also brought her mom to a Relief Society cooking class we had last Saturday.
We're super stoked for her. The date is March 11th - which is really soon. But she is so prepared. It's people like Abby who, sometimes when things get hard, help me remember why I'm out here. And they help me remember how much the gospel really does bless lives. Even in just the short almost-2 months that I've known Abby, she's grown a lot. It's amazing to see!
One big reason that I'm pretty sure Abby has progressed so much is that she's awesome at reading her scriptures. She started the Book of Mormon from the beginning about a week and a half ago, and she's already in 2 Nephi! There's a huge difference between the people we're teaching who sincerely want to let Christ in their life, and those who are doing it more passively. Those who are sincere experience so much more change, so much more quickly!
It's interesting though, because this change and growth doesn't just come to those who are learning about Christ or the gospel for the first time. It applies to all of us. It reminds me of a series of videos on mormon.org, called 'Daily Bread'. There's 3 of them: PatternExperience, and Change.
Which is on purpose I'm sure, because first we need to establish a pattern of something, then we'll gain experience from that, and then the change will come over time.
The series is Elder D. Todd Christofferson, talking about why it's so vital that we take time to work on our spiritual side, our relationship with Christ every day. I know I've noticed on my mission the difference in my growth the times that I've really focused on my studies versus the times when I've gotten a little lax. There's a huge difference! The hard part is that we rarely notice the difference right away. Change is subtle. And we're constantly changing. The hard part is making sure we're changing for good!
So watch the videos. They're awesome.

Well, that's all for this week kids. Stay warm!

Sister Lindsey Berg

P.S. Photo for the week - Sister Jackman, Sister Dixon and I at the temple last week! This was right before we went in, and right before the blizzard hit.


I'd walk through a blizzard to go to the temple any day.

Dear Everyone:

Super short e-mail this week. Life is good. We've been getting lots and lots of snow.
Like today.
First, the best thing ever happened - we went to the temple today!! I'll send a picture next week. But, then we had a bit of an adventure getting back to Saco. Because of the blizzard currently attacking the east coast (it's still snowing as I type this), the drive that only took us an hour and 20 minutes down took us about 4 and a half hours to get back.
But it was totally worth it. Because the temple is amazing.
Suggested reading for this week? Doctrine and Covenants Section 109. It was the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland temple and it's amazing to read! And, if anyone doesn't really know much about temples, or you just want a reminder, watch this video all about temples and why they're so cool!
So that's the e-mail for this week. I love the temple. I'm so happy we were able to go today. You just feel so at peace in the temple. Even just pulling into the parking lot - it's like all my cares were gone, just for the couple hours we were there. It was absolutely worth the 4 hour car ride in a blizzard home. I never appreciated the temples when I was at home. Living in Utah, especially while I was at BYU, there were so many temples within an hour drive! And people here consider themselves lucky that the Boston temple is only an hour and a half away! Definitely makes me grateful and excited for all the opportunities I'll have to attend the temple when I get home!
Transfer calls are this weekend. I'll let you all know if the trio survives next week :)

Love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg


Zone Conference, blizzards, and big news!

Dear Everyone:
This week was full of snow, learning, and excitement!
We had a couple big snow storms this week. Wednesday it snowed all day long, really bad. So our cars were grounded. We had an appointment with a really solid couple though, who had come to church twice already, and we didn't want to cancel. So, we decided to walk! They live about 2 1/2 miles away, not too bad, and it was really fun on the way there. The walk back after the lesson however, was not quite as fun.

We were a little bit cold. However, we survived, and isn't walking a few miles in the snow what missionary work is all about??
We also had Zone Conference this week. So all the missionaries in Maine got together for a big meeting. It was really fun - the meeting was in Augusta, so I got to see a few people from the Augusta ward again, which was awesome!
The topic of zone conference this time was a talk called "The Fourth Missionary". It's by Lawrence E. Corbridge, who is a member of the Seventy. He gave the talk while he was serving as a mission president in Chile. (The talk isn't on lds.org... however he did give this talk in General Conference a few years ago, and it talks about a lot of the same kind of things.) "The Fourth Missionary" talks about how we can become the best missionary we can be - how we can make our mission something that impacts our life forever.
Elder Corbridge described 4 kinds of missionaries: the first two are disobedient, not very good. The last two, the third and fourth missionaries, are both good missionaries who do a lot of good and get a lot done. However, the fourth missionary learns a lot more and gets a lot more out of his mission, even though there's only one real difference between the two. The difference? The fourth missionary gives his heart to the Lord.
Sounds like a small difference, but the results are huge! We spent a lot of time talking about what it really means to give your heart to the Lord, and essentially, what I got out of it, is that it comes down to your attitude.
In life we are constantly asked to do things. Things we enjoy, things we despise, we constantly have things to do. But, our attitude has a huge impact on what we learn from those things!
The third missionary doesn't really want to do a lot of things the mission involves, but he does them anyway. He doesn't really enjoy his mission, he mostly accomplishes things and works out of a sense of duty. Since he still works hard, he's still successful - to a degree. However, he doesn't learn as much as he would have if he had a desire to do those things a mission involves.
And that's the key. It applies to every aspect of life as well. If you take a class because it's required for your major and you hate every day of it, you're not going to learn very much. But, if you study because you want to learn and grow, you'll not only do better in the class, you'll learn and retain a lot more information! If you wake up everyday with the perspective that you 'have' to go to work, you'll dread your job. If you have the attitude that it's a privilege to go to work, you'll love your job!
That's the point of the fourth missionary. And that's how it applies to all of us. Elder Corbridge said it best in the fourth missionary talk, and he said it in his talk in general conference. He said: "The Lord’s way is not hard. Life is hard, not the gospel. “There is an opposition in all things,” everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us, but life is also simple. We have only two choices. We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power and have peace, light, strength, knowledge, confidence, love, and joy, or we can go some other way, any other way, whatever other way, and go it alone—without His support, without His power, without guidance, in darkness, turmoil, doubt, grief, and despair. And I ask, which way is easier? . . . Life is hard, but life is simple. Get on the path and never, ever give up. You never give up. You just keep on going. You don’t quit, and you will make it."
So that's the question for this week. What way have we chosen? I know I've been thinking about that a lot this week. What my attitude is. Am I choosing to be happy, or am I waiting for others to make me happy? Because there's no reason for me to not be happy, right now, today. If I'm not willing to let the Lord and the gospel change me, it's not going to change me. I have to let Him guide me, and that's how I'll grow. I like simple, so I think I'm gonna choose the Lord's way. That's the only way that really brings happiness, after all.
Speaking of happiness, here's where I'm revealing the big news from this week: we get to go to the temple!!
Previously, missionaries here in the New Hampshire Manchester mission were only allowed to go to the temple at the end of our mission, because the closest one is in Boston, which is outside our mission boundaries. However, President Stoker is the man, and he managed to get the rule changed so that now we get to go every 6 months! We've already found a ride to go, and so we're going next Tuesday! We have to change our P-day, so I'll e-mail next Tuesday instead of Monday, but it's totally worth it.
Well, that's all for this week. It's been pretty good. It's crazy - I get home in exactly 6 months from this week. Time has gone by so fast!! I can't even believe it!
I love you all!

Sister Lindsey Berg