Monday, November 17, 2014

Top Two Questions

Phew. This week was a rollercoaster!

The top two questions I get when I introduce myself are:
1: "Oh your from where is your Southern accent??"  I always respond..."Well my parents are from Utah.."  I think I am just going to start faking one 

2: "Oh your a music major, do you play piano?
What do you play?
What's that?
Well....a mini tuba.. lol
Maybe I should get a recorder and answer all these basic questions, and then I can just replay it when I meet new people...:)

Beaverton is so diverse! It is cool to meet people here from all over the world. We met so many new people in church today, and they are all so nice and supportive of us. 

A little story about the "diversity" in Beaverton, Oregon:

On Sunday, a wonderful family  in the ward brought us dinner. I had told her at church that I liked "normal" food, so I hoped I would like dinner. I am a picky person and due to the diversity of this area, dinner is always a surprise! There are people from Tonga, the Philippines, Cambodia, Columbia, Brazil....etc.) Sister Melgaard came up to me and said "Our dinner is here...but you aren't going to like it." I was like " oh no..." She said "well...Her husband served his mission in Africa... and they said they like to help the missionaries experience new food...I don't even know if I am going to eat it..." My stomach dropped...I worriedly asked "What is it??" She responded..."Cow tongue". I thought  "No way.. Your just messing with me..."
Turns out she was... (wipes sweat off forehead)
We ate Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner (rice, pineapple, and chicken with a yummy sweet sauce) Thank goodness.

Here is a cool story for the week. 
We have a couple "regulars" who come in the visitor center, but two guys in particular have been coming into the VC for a year or so now almost every week. They are both recent converts. One of them (we will call him Jim) was actually taught by a sister missionary from Georgia! Anyways, they are really goofy people and like to joke around, but they have great spirits and love the gospel. They have had hard lives, but they gospel has brought them a lot of happiness and joy. The director of the Visitor Center, has been trying to motivate/help set up "Jim" to go to college.  This week he came into the VC and told Elder Morgan that he was  NOT going to go to college. He was devastated, but then "Jim" said "Actually, I have decided to go on a mission instead!" :) We are SO excited for Jim. Everyone in the Visitor Center knows him and have seen him change his life around, so it is truly amazing he now is going to serve a mission himself. He hopes to serve somewhere close to a Visitor Center, because that is how he was introduced to the Church - through a Visitor Center. Miracles truly do happen here.

That is all I have time to write this week, but I am enjoying my mission and starting to get into the swing of things! I see sister Thomas, my MTC companion on a regular basis, which is GREAT, and am meeting so many great people. Oregon is a great place.

I love yall' and hope to hear from you!
Sister Bergman

Monday, November 10, 2014

First week in the field!

Hello All!
Well, the first week in the field was definitely a crazy learning experience. As you may already have read, my trainer is Sister Melgaard. For some reason, her name is SUPER hard for me to remember.
I've written it on my hand for a couple days, and I even woke up one day to sticky notes all over the apartment with her name on them, so I could remember :) I even found a sticky note on my box of cheese-its! After a week... I think I have finally learned her name. Names are not what really matte right?
Oregon is beautiful! Though it rains a ton, we have actually had sun 3 of the 8 days I have been here so far. When its sunny, its GORGEOUS! The Portland Temple, which I get to see 24/7 is also gorgeous, rain or shine. There are stunning evergreen trees everywhere. You can't find those in Georgia! 
My mission president and his wife are very caring and have welcomed me with open arms to the mission.The Visitor Center Director are so caring as well. We also have two other senior couples who work in the Visitor Center. One of the couple looks like the couple off of the movie "UP!" They actually got called to see if they would work in the "UP" house in Utah because they resemble that couple so well - they dressed as them for Halloween.

A lot of people have questions about what we do in the Portland Temple Visitor Center. We serve there half of every day. Here are just a couple things we do!
- talk with people who come in. We don't give "tours" in the normal sense of the word. We get to know them, share our testimonies, and use the many videos, talks, and displays at the VC to teach them gospel doctrine and help them have good, spiritual experiences. 
- we teach lessons to investigators that we bring in or other missionaries bring in.
- chat with people on who have questions
- study
- give Temple tours where we show people around the temple grounds and teach them about what happens inside!
Also, right now we are practicing music in our downtime because we are hosting a Christmas Music Program in the VC. It is very exciting!

Fun fact:
Our stake center (the church building we meet at every Sunday), is in the MIDDLE of a neighborhood, and almost impossible to find...LOL My companion and I almost gave up looking for it, because we thought our GPS was being dumb, but we finally took this random back road and found the building.
It is one, if not THE largest stake centers in the US! It is 36,000 sq feet and two stories! It was built by members over 50 years ago. Also, the grandson of one of those bishops now lives in one of the wards that attends there! SUPER cool! :) It does NOT look like a "normal" LDS church building from the outside, but inside, it is beautiful! Its amazing what people even 50 years ago could create!

There are lots of stories to tell, but I don't have time to share all of them, so I will just share two.
#1: This week we went to a huge apartment complex to visit a new member. As we looked for her apartment, we realized we had the apartment complex number, but not the actual apartment letter....SO we proceeded to knock on every door! We got through Letters A-G and I was ready to give up...Sister Melgaard walked around to the back of the complex and sees a second floor apartment, (the only second floor apartment there) and says" lets try this one!" I said "Fineee..." so we went up there and knocked, and guess who it was? the new member! :) I guess I need to learn more patience... So she answered and started crying. She said she was just so happy to see us and really needed us today. We were able to help her feel better and let her know about some events coming up in our ward, like stake conference. Fast-forwarding...she came to stake conference and a new member meeting- and both were PERFECT for her. They helped her a lot :)  I know the Lord has prepared people and that if we let him, he will work miracles.

#2: We were also out trying to contact a less -active. We found her door, but she was not home, so we left a note. On our way out, we saw a lady pulling in. We went up to her to introduce ourselves and be friendly, and she turned out to be a member we had been trying to get ahold of earlier this week! We were able to help her put her groceries away and talk with her about the ward and get some questions answered. It was great the Lord put her in our path so unexpectedly!

Have you ever heard of the movie "Saratov Approach"? It is about two Mormon missionaries who get captured in Russia and Held for ransom! One of the Missionaries, who escaped alive, is coming and speaking next Sunday at our church! It will be super cool and I am very excited.

This week, our area had our Stake conference, which is a big meeting where multiple congregations come together for a big meting. It was wonderful! Two prophets of God spoke: Elder Anderson and President Thomas S. Monson! Elder Anderson said over and over again..." Faith, Diligence, Patience."
That is such great advice. Those 3 things: "Faith, Diligence, Patience", are the key to so many things. I know that if we have faith that God has a plan for us and is guiding our lives, that He answers our prayers and wants us to be happy, and if we persevere and keep trying to have this faith and follow the commandments. that everything will WORK OUT! :)

Elder Anderson also shared a story about a lady in San Paulo, Brazil who was 102 years old when she was introduced to the LDS church. Though many would say, "whats the point? life is over?"...she still cared about finishing her life in the way strong, with a faith in Christ. She joined the church, and at 102, she would save money and travel to the temple to be there for a week, once every year. She did this until she died at the age of 114!!!!
I love this story. No matter how old we are our our position in life - it is NEVER to late to change and better our lives, to increase our relationship with God and come unto Him. Never give up. Never be complacent - we should always strive to be better, to improve!

 Quote of the week: "When you succeed, its NOT because you merit it. Success is a GIFT! Give Thanks."

Sister Bergman

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The rain is not the only thing to get used to!

Hello Everyone!
I hope I find you all doing well! I am definitely feeling better compared to when I last wrote.

My temple visitor Center training in the MTC went well. On Saturday we got to go to Temple Square again and work with the sisters there - answering questions, giving tours, and chatting with people on Though it was freezing outside, it was a great experience! Sunday there was a great devotional, given by Wendy W. Nelson. Sheri Dew, one of my favorite LDS speakers, was there too! Sister Nelson gave a wonderful talk. My favorite quote from it is:
"If you could gaze into heaven for FIVE minutes, all your struggles/worries would fall away."
"Someday, when you know who you really are, you will wish you used your time better" - Henry B. Eyring

Monday I woke up at 2 AM. We loaded a bus and headed to the train station at 4 AM,which we then rode to SLC for our plane! By the time I landed in Oregon, it felt like it was dinner time and it was still only morning! Needless to say, it was a CRAZY long day, but I'm now safe in Oregon.

Portland is definitely rainy, but I can see it is going to be SO breathtakingly beautiful in the summer! Even now though, all the colors are beautiful and all the grass is perfectly green everywhere.

My trainer's name is Sister Melgaard. Transfer day was SUPER long but good. We are whitewashing Beaverton, Oregon. Whitewashing means that both my companion and I are new to the area vs. having one companion new and the other having been there for a transfer or two. This is a new experience for me and my trainer, but we are facing it head-on! My companion is great.
She is always making plans and staying focused. She has just 12 weeks left in her mission. Exciting!

My mission President is President Ballard and our apartment is great! We have lots of space for us to study, a washer and dryer, and TWO bathrooms. Definitely a blessing.

Thursday I get an ipad to use - very awesome! And I will be posting inspirational things on facebook each week - so keep an eye out for them!

Next week, the missionary, Elder Tuttle, from the movie Saratov's approach is coming - the one who survived being held hostage! So that will be really cool to listen to.

Well that's all the time I have! I look forward to a busy, but interesting week ahead!

Pray everyday to the Lord! I promise he will answer your prayers and help comfort you and bring you direction in your life. I know this to be true!

I hope to hear from you all!
I will send out pictures next week! :)

Love, Sister Bergman

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Roller Coaster Week!

Hi everyone!  I hope you all are doing well!

This last week in the MTC has been a whirlwind. I will write some highlights.
 Sister Wilson and the rest of my District ( my class for the last 2 weeks) left this week. My companion and I got called as the Sister Training Leaders for our zone! It will be great to get to know them better until we leave.
We finished up our lessons with our investigators Melissa and Fabiola. My companion and I have grown super close to Melissa and we have ate lunch together a couple times. I will post a pic next week!
I got to sing with my companions in the choir for the Tuesday devotional, which was great! Sister Rosemary M. Wixom from the primary presidency spoke. We sang Lead, Kindly light.

Story time...
On Tuesday, I brought my camera to lunch to take some pics, and later realized I had left it on my tray and put it on the line to be thrown away. We checked the front desk multiple times, but no camera! :/ Some of you may remember how I did the same thing with my glasses in 3rd grade...
I'm VERY happy to say we checked Wednesday morning with the cafeteria employees and they had found it! Thank goodness! I know the Lord cares about even the smallest of our worries. :)

We started training for the Portland Temple visitor Center on Wednesday, which has been great! Its exciting to learn what I will be doing each day for the next 18 months. On Saturday we will get to work with the Sisters on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. We learned that only 2% of all missionaries get to serve at a Visitor's center, so I'm very excited! I also learned that we will get to go to the temple about once every 6 weeks - that is great news!

I have been learning a lot about the Savior's Atonement this week. His sacrifices for us are so much farther reaching than we can ever imagine. I am so grateful for the opportunity He has given us to repent and be clean enough to return to live with God. I'm also grateful that Jesus Christ has experienced every sickness we could possible imagine!
This has been especially relevant to me since on Wednesday, I started having a stomach ache, which turned into food poisoning! My companion was SO kind and helpful. She took care of me and made sure I was comfortable as I relived my day's meals... I was miserable all night and didn't sleep, so we missed most of Thursday's classes and I slept. We made it to the last class, where I slept and she took notes. Haha. I ate a half a bag of goldfish and a bottle of water that whole day.

I feel a little better today and was able to eat some carrots and soup.

I know the Lord has a plan for all of us and desires us to be happy. There is a purpose to our lives now and afterwards. I know if we turn to the Lord in prayer, He will answer us, bring us comfort, and help us feel His love. He will help us in whatever trials we struggle with. I know this Gospel is the greatest blessing we can EVER share.

I leave for the Mission field on Monday! I am super excited :) Hopefully our plane does not get delayed since it is supposed to snow Monday!

Till next week, 

Sister Bergman