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