Monday, December 29, 2014

Don't be grumpy, be grateful!

Hello friends and family!

Christmas came and left way too quickly, so it's a good thing we can celebrate Christ every day :)
I had a wonderful Christmas week, full of smiles, tears, memories, and miracles.
Monday we had our Mission Christmas party with all 250+ missionaries there. It was fun! We had food, some skits and musical numbers, and then a wonderful testimony meeting!

Tuesday, Sister Melgaard went home. I have since received word that her grandmother has been diagnosed with ALS, but will hopefully have a few years left. I am so grateful for the knowledge of what comes after this life though. I know she WILL see her grandmother again after her time on the earth is complete.
I met my new companion, sister Quent! She goes home in March. We laugh all the time. Awkward things always happen to us. Haha.

Christmas Eve we had a Christmas party in the VC! We got lots of food, shared our Christmas traditions,and each got a handmade missionary stocking and picture frame!  It was wonderful. We are a big family in the VC. We ended the night with the most beautiful and last VC Christmas performance by a family of 13 children, who all sing and harmonize together. Their parents taught them as little children to match pitches and harmonize. So cool!
Christmas Day was super different, but special.
We got to play some sports at 6am with our zone, and had a wonderful Christmas breakfast in a member's home. They were super generous to us.

Miracle ALERT:
During our breakfast, the Zone leaders dropped of a package from my wonderful cousin Lisa, but then they returned a couple minutes later. They asked us to come with them and told us they had a gift for us. We went outside, and they told us they had met a lady walking on the street and she was interested in the gospel! We went and met her, sang a Christmas carol to her, and set a return appointment for next Friday! So cool! It was definitely a Christmas Miracle! We will see what happens..

We went with another companionship to downtown Portland afterwards and gave out cookies and "He is the Gift" cards to the homeless people. We had some really interesting experiences there. We met one girl in particular, who has been in tons of foster homes, but her favorite was when she was with a Mormon family! We talked and shared some thoughts, she took a Book of Mormon, and then we sang to her. It was an eye opening experience and very humbling to see all those in need. We are all so blessed. Christ is so giving and so loving, and we can always turn to Him in times of troubles AND joy.

Christmas dinner was with another wonderful family. We received bars of chocolate from 7 different places. The husband is a chocolate connoisseur. :) I look forward to trying all the different kinds. We ended the night by caroling in a neighborhood. We met people of all different faiths, but they were all open to our songs and feeling the Christmas spirit.

Overall, this Christmas was so different, but so special. I was really able to celebrate CHRIST and remember his birth and love for all of us. Christ did not have to choose to be good, to always do what is right, to turn the other cheek, to love his enemies, and to die for us. He did not have to choose the harder path, but He did, willingly, because He knew it would enable all mankind to have indescribable joy and to return to him. Jesus Christ was born in love, and died, because of love, for us. let us continue to remember him EVERY DAY of the year. EVERYDAY is Christmas.
Miracle ALERT:
While we were walking around in the cold on Saturday looking for a member home, a man started to walk past. I was going to ignore him, but sister Quent said hello and asked him where this said apartment was. He, Charlie, did not know, so I was going to walk away, but sister Quent kept chatting with him. She is such an awesome missionary. From this conversation, he learned what Mormons are, what the Book of Mormon is, and how our religion came to be. He wants to come to our scripture study class, and gave us his # so he can learn more. MIRACLES! I, being shy, would have passed by the opportunity, but sister Quent was a great example of opening her mouth, and we saw miracles from it. I have a feeling he and George will be great friends! I wonder what will come of meeting Charlie! I will keep you posted.

Miracles ALERT:
Later Saturday, I was also super blessed to be able to attend my first baptism. The lady we taught in the VC got baptized! Sister Priday, who also taught her, came with me! She was so excited we were able to get permission to cross mission boundaries to come! She is from Vancouver. She was so happy and had such a glow about her. She is such a changed person already from when I first met her. The gospel is such a wonderful thing that changes lives and brings so much joy and happiness.

This life truly is full of miracles. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and all the gifts he has given me. I hope with this new year, that we can all recommit ourselves to follow Jesus Christ and love others with a more Christ-like love, giving of ourselves, our time, and our talents. I know we will be blessed.

Quote of the week:
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said: “Life was very inconvenient for [Jesus], and, unless I miss my guess, it will often be so for you and for me when we take upon us his name”.

Doing missionary work IS hard and inconvenient sometimes, but it IS worth it. Loving the gospel IS usually inconvenient and difficult, but IS incredibly worth it.  I know that to be true. We can show our love for Jesus Christ by living inconvenient lives.

Have a wonderful new year! 
Love, Sister Bergman

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