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.