Thursday, September 25, 2014

9/25/14 "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

I sent this picture to Chad today... here is his email to me.

She is ridiculously adorable.   What's that in her mouth?  It looks like metal. 

My favorite scripture hmmm.  I really like Matt 5, Alma 17 (If I recall correctly) the part where Ammon is teaching Lamoni, D&C 95:1-2, D&C I do not remember the section.. umm "and the very jaws of hell gape wide the mouth after thee. . . All these things shall be for thy good. . . Art thou greater than he?" that's probably my favorite.

What does Diana teach in joy school?

Yes I saw the letters, thanks.  Tell Blake I really liked his and thank you to him.

We had a devotional this morning and in passing one of the speakers said "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." and I liked that quote a lot.  Also, I was reading in the ask questions and listen section in Preach my Gospel and that had lots of good stuff not only for missionary work, nor even solely for teaching, but for just talking to people in general. 

As far as gym, my favorite thing is probably "cage soccer" which is in a fenced off outside basketball court that is underneath the hoops.  It has smallish soccer goals so it's faster paced (and with less running since it's so small--it's seems even a little small for basketball) 

Spanish is coming along pretty well.  At the devotional on Tuesday we were passing out translator things (does he mean headphones?) to those who didn't speak English so I grabbed one of the extras and listened to the devotional in Spanish in one ear and English in the other and it was surprising how much I could figure out in Spanish also how much faster the translator had to speak because every word is like twice as many syllables than English.

I'm excited for conference, although I wish I could have cinnamon rolls during it. (family tradition, I am going to send him some from HERE)

How was Paige's homecoming talk?  What did she talk about?
I haven't got the chance to take any more pictures. 

Here is his email to his dad...

I took a pic (close up) in front of the temple that I sent for the plaque last week.  That's a cool story from brother Pexton I would like to have seen it.  I don't think I'm gaining weight but I haven't weighed myself, even if I did I'd have to convert it from kilos to pounds to know the difference. It depends on the day whether I have much food anyway, last night was good they served corn dogs.

Yeah the whole district is pretty good and all.  It's funny, when someone wants to know something, someone in our district almost invariably says something like "oh just let me look that up on my IPhone... oh wait" as a joke.

On the subject of shirts... those shirts-I cant recall the brand name-that Dallin seemed to love so much don't have pockets haha so I mostly wear them with suits and stuff. 
My companion and I went to get our suits dry cleaned today so we could get one this week and the other next week so they're ready for the field and they charged us 60 pesos or about $4.70ish it's funny both how cheap things are here and how much less a peso is worth.. anyway haste la proxima semana. (Until next week)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

9/18/14 To reach a goal never before attained, you must do things never before done!

We usher every week, on Tuesdays and two or three on Sundays. I'm warm and fine.  Yeah, the computers here have a temperature thingy so I saw it has been hot there.  Sorry.  I've written in my journal every night but it gets repetitive.  We went to the temple today but it is under renovation so we really just got to go in the visitor center.  Here are some pictures that I took while we were there.

The guy in jeans es nuestro maestro hermano Gomez.  Today was his day off (since it's our p-day) but he met up with us there, he is really cool.
You were asking about the food, here is a picture.  We had a good lunch today.

There are so many people here, they stack houses on the hills.
It rains plenty

It's a pretty nice looking place 

though odd.

The New York thing is just something made by New York Times that we use so we can think of what points we would focus on in teaching the people because we "teach people not lessons".
As you saw in the early pictures the visitor center has this thing where you swipe a book of Mormon in whatever language and the screen shows what countries have missions that speak that language.  I didn't get a picture but it's funny how the Arabic one has 2 countries which is funny and sad considering how many more countries than that speak Arabic.
I memorized part of the first vision in Spanish this week from " there came a pillar of light" (vi una columna de luz) to "hear him" (escuchalo-- the computers don't do accent marks when it's typing in English by the way) with like one sentence cut out. 
I gave my first talk in Spanish on Sunday.  They said "one more" after everyone else had spoken "Elder Berkeest" or at least that's what it sounded like haha. 
I suppose I would rather have doughnuts than cookies,  are you planning on sending some or something?
I had two short emails from Holden and Austin, they were just like,  hey what are you doing? It was good to hear from them.  Yes, I have a great time with my district.  Most of them are from Utah but one is from George, Washington.  That would be pretty cool to say (he's the one who has pole vaulted 15 feet, also I guess while pole vaulting he tore the meniscus, and ACL, and one other thing in his knee from falling and his spikes sliding in the pit) 
I'm starting to learn how to actually construct sentences rather than just follow the patters for how to pray and bear testimony in Spanish, which is good.  ¡hasta luego! te amo.
Oh and umm, I just started 2nd Nephi, just about where he's quoting Isaiah 51 to his brothers.  (I had asked him where he is in this reading so I can read along with him)
(I asked him if he is speaking up and this was his reply) I still usually prefer listening. I speak up sometimes though. They often ask me to explain how Spanish works (either me or the hermanas) I'm happy, yes. I don't think I need anything. 
Oh and this Monday was Mexican Independence Day so we had this big thing where we watched a bunch of Mexican dancing and performances and stuff and since our district ushered we sat in the back in chairs just outside the auditorium.  We were standing up with the teachers and they were teaching us the dances and having us shout viva Mexico and arriba in unison.  They said we could have our cameras for it but they didn't tell us until dinner so i didn't have enough time to go back to the casa to get my camera sorry. It was pretty fun.
Here is his email to Brad...
haha classic Weston. (Brad had told him about Weston's soccer game and how Weston had said, "yeah, and nobody knocked me down!")
In a talk this past Tuesday Elder Scott said "don't just have a good mission, have a blast!" he also said--to those learning languages--"to reach a goal never before attained, you must do things never before done" and the talk was majorly about prayer so I'm going to focus on those last two things (I've got the first one down just fine) 
oh and we have Costco pizza on Tuesdays....
 Yeah I've got to work on relying less on the arm of flesh and more on the power of the Lord which apparently in Spanish is el SeƱor which was odd to get used to, I just think of it as being like when he's referred to as Master since sr. is like Mr. and mister comes from master like master of the house.  Also many times, especially in the Old Testament, where it says the Lord, in Spanish it says Jehovah (like Psalms 23).  Of course that's because, if I recall what "Jesus the Christ" said all (or at least many, I don't remember) of the times it says the Lord it originally said, "Yahweh" in Hebrew and they made it The Lord to avoid repetition which is funny because that's also part of why YHWH was made Jehovah instead of Yahweh.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9/11/14 The possible potential of the next two years!

(In his email I told him about doing a pretzel/prayer activity with the young women so he starts his email out responding)

That's actually the origin of pretzels, they were given to children for praying and it was meant to look like arms folded (if I recall correctly, I can´t confirm that out here).  Sorry there´s so little time to take pictures since we can only do it on P-day so I don´t have one but I´ll try to get one by next week.  Yeah I´m still reading Jesus The Christ, but I decided to start The Book of Mormon over, having read my Patriarchal blessing and noticed an emphasis on such.  My week was great.  Our district has been asked to be ushers now at devotionals. and on Tuesday we had one in which we watched a talk by Elder Holland that he gave to the Provo MTC in 2013 (in which he rededicated the Dan Jones building and two others which I don´t remember).  It was a really good talk.  Also in one of our classes we watched the Mormon message "The True Story of Todd Sylvester" which is pretty good.  Did I mention the New York Times 8 million stories or some such thing?  They´ve incorporated them in the teaching on several occasions and the ones I´ve seen are interesting.   (I have no idea what he is talking about, I'll ask him next week)

The language is a little difficult just because it´s hard to memorize vocab but its not too bad as far as Spanish the grammar is easy to get.  Marleigh is full on walking?  Wow that´s really cool. I wish I could see that.  Yes, they have milk here and chocolate syrup so yeah, but I haven´t had any yet.  My companionship is cool Elder Larsen is cool we do pretty well together.  It was funny the other day we did a little practice where each person taught one other person in our district about prayer then a few minutes later we did a similar thing as companionship's, and in the second one my companion shared the same scripture that I had earlier (it was an obvious one: Moroni 10: 4-5 but still it figured into the lesson at the same spot and all).

(I asked him when he felt the Spirit the strongest this past week) During Holland's talk.  He spoke about how we must have at least one convert when we get home, and that had better be ourselves.  I cant remember how he worded it but he said something to the implication that his mission was the most spiritually powerful time of his life--for an apostle!  That sets the bar high for the possible potential of the next two years!

Yes, it does seem like EFY a lot except that how the genders are to interact is the opposite (in some ways but not all: the hermanas have to go to the font of the line at meals in el Comedor). The days aren't too long, no I haven't gotten any more pictures sorry.  Krew was right both times, it's plenty of fun here, with so much to learn.  Plus we have gym time most days where we play basketball, volleyball, etc. (Brad told him that we had forgotten to take the garbage out to the street) That's weird that you forgot with me gone, when I'd forget the majority of the time myself.  I haven't written Holden yet I was just about to after this. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

9/4/14 First Preparation Day!

I knew Chad, or Elder Bergquist, had arrived but I had NO idea when his Pday would be.  I looked every day, okay honestly, I looked several times a day to see if he had written... finally, on Thursday his email arrived!!!  Okay, Thursday is now my new favorite day!!!  Here is what he had to tell us!

Yes, I took the Typhoid pills, they said I didn´t need any more. Elder Larsen, my companion is from Idaho. We have 4 to a room in the casas. We have bunk beds, I am on the bottom bunk. We have10 elderes y 2 hermanas in our district. Elder Humphreys who is in my room is our district leader. We taught an investigator (pretend/practice), Josue Angulo, who will now be our teacher, Hermano Gomez. Hermana Garcia who was our teacher will be our next investigator. I love my district. They´re awesome. We had an awesome spiritual unofficial testimony meeting as a district in a circle on Sunday night after everyone in the CCM went to the auditorium and watched the John Tanner story and a video of the Crucifixion and atonement. We have been praying in Spanish and trying to speak in Spanish but it´s funny because there´s always a lot we don´t know how to say so it´s a lot of Spanglish. We took some pictures today...

But yeah I love my district. Elder Bushman who is also in our room and is ridiculously good at yo-yoing and apparently vaulted 15 feet in Pole Vault. It was really weird when we first came from the airport, it is an extremely packed city with really constant traffic and building stacked unorderly. Then you come to this huge wall with barbed wire around the whole thing and inside there is all this grass area and these suburban style little houses on I think they said 90 acres. And there are always people working on the lawns and stuff. We try to speak to them a little bit in Spanish and they´re all really friendly. Oh our Branch president served his mission in Riverside. He said he was going to talk to me about it but we´ve not gotten to yet. for each Sunday (except this coming week being fast and testimony) we all have to prepare a talk in Spanish and we get called to the stand right after sacrament. I was surprised when learning how to pray that we address Padre Celestial in the tu form which is informal and everyone else we address in usted. it was a shock. Last Thursday when our teacher gave us a tour of the campus in pure Spanish. We do a lot of our studying without the teacher just as a district. I suppose to get us used to studying on our own. When getting on our bus to come here a girl told us to tell you about this website I guess to send us select things to the MTC not that I really need anything but knowing you you´d probably want to know about it. Sometimes I forget we´re actually in Mexico (despite the Spanish) until I look at all those buildings on the hill and it looks really cool. as you can tell my p-days are Thursday. All the elders were really excited last night saying its our first p-day eve. The food is pretty good. plus they have cereal as an option at most meals. Elder Clouse in our district eats like 5 bowls per meal that they have it. It´s kind of awesome having like 13-15 minimum prayers per day. And having a lot of personal study time is great since there´s so much to study. I´m only about 14 pages into Jesus the Christ because even when not studying Spanish there is so much scripture to cover. I really enjoyed Acts I think it was chapter 5 or 6 where the saints were rejoicing that they were worthy of being persecuted in the name of Christ. And continued to preach of him regardless of how much the council in Jerusalem put them in prison and told them they could not. Also for some reason I never realized the saints just after Christ ascended, lived the law of consecration. Why isn´t that talked about more? Hermana Garcia was pretty impressed with a few of the others in our district and myself when we were getting ahead by studying the preterit together.
Adios, Elder Bergquist 
I was on line when the emails came through so I quickly asked him a couple of questions and here are the 2 replies...

yes happy. yes having fun. yes learning plenty. no not stressed do you know me? love you too

I did…
learning Spanish
teaching fake investigators
drinking yogurt at breakfast
studying the scripture
most recently reading Acts

watching while my district plays pranks on the other elders in our casa et

The Trip to Mexico City CCM (Missionary Training Center)

It was an early morning, we got up at 4 am.  Brad gave Chad a Father's Blessing and we hurried out the door.  We got to the airport an hour and a half before he was to leave, we thought we had plenty of time, we had been told to be there an hour before.  Brad dropped us off and then he parked.  Chad and I went inside and got in line to check in his luggage.

We were relaxed and not feeling rushed... UNTIL, we got the luggage checked and we went to get in line for him to go through the airport security!  OH  MY  GOODNESS!!!!  The LINE!!!  YIKES!!!  And this was just the line to get up the escalator where there was another line to go through security!  They let 10 go up and then stopped us all.  Then, they would let 10 go up and then stop us again.  It took FOR.ever!  I was so stressed he might not make his flight, we all were!  He finally got up to the escalator and it was 20 minutes before his flight was to leave!
(You can barely see him at the top of the escalator, you can also see the line up there for security!)

After he headed up I asked the security guy if he thought he would make his flight (he was still in line upstairs to get through security).  He told us he might not, that they usually shut the gate 15 minutes before the flight is to leave!!!  That gave him 5 minutes to get through security and to the gate!  Brad and I just stood there not knowing what to do!  All I could think was, "I sure wish they would let us go with him to the gate like in times past so we would know if he made the flight for not!"  (He did not have a cell phone, they are not allowed to take one with them)...  We finally slowly walked out to our car, not knowing if he made the flight or not... wondering... stressing....

IF he made the flight, he only had 1 hour for his connecting flight to Mexico City!  He was to change flights in the Dallas Texas airport!  I knew it was a very big airport and was worried enough if he would find his way to the gate and make THAT flight...

I headed to work knowing there was nothing I could do but pray, so pray I did!!!

FINALLY at about 4 pm (10 hours after telling him good bye at the Ontario CA airport) I got an email!!!!  Here is what it said:

yes I made it to the plane in Ontario just as they called my name for final call. we landed in, and took off from, Terminal D so there was no rush in Dallas. There were also two sisters on the Ontario flight. As the four of us made our way toward the connecting flight in Dallas, we saw a large table outside a Mcdonalds filled with elders and when Elder George and I said we´re going to Lima, Peru, a lot of the missionaries there shouted about how they´re going there too. Elder George is cool. I think we´ll get along fine. this is toward the beginning of the process so I don't know the logistics regarding districts and all yet. however, it appears that my MTC companion will be an Elder Larsen, whom I've not yet met. 

My prayers were answered!!  I was SO excited to hear from him and to know he had arrived at the CCM in Mexico City!!!

The Night Before...

It was an emotional night.  Pres. Norman came to our house at 7:30 to set Chad apart as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I love how he talked to Chad about where he was going and what he would be doing.  He then asked me to say a few words to Chad.  I, of course, was pretty emotional.  Chad and I had been blessed to have some really tender moments together the last couple of months, I was able to tell him some of my thoughts and feelings...  I told him how very proud I am of him I am and how very much I love him.  I remember one day as we were in the car chatting, and I was crying, he leaned over and hugged me... he just rubbed my arm so tenderly.  He is a very sweet and sensitive young man.  Another night, as he and Tanner were helping me return things we had borrowed for the wedding reception, we drove from home to home and we sang hymns, talked and laughed, it was a great evening.  I am grateful for these sweet moments we had before he left so when Pres. Norman asked me to say a few words, I just recapped a couple of things I had already told him... how proud I am of him and a little last minute advise as he was preparing to leave home and serve the Lord.  I bore my testimony to him and told him how I know this is the true church and that the gospel had been restored to the earth.  I am excited for him to get to go and share this message with our brothers and sisters of Peru!  Pres. Norman then asked Brad to say a few words and then Pres. Norman set Chad apart, Brad and Devin were able to stand in.

Afterwards, since Chad loves ribs we all went to dinner at Hoggs.  When we got home we went to work getting his luggage all packed.
And, Brad gave him a fresh hair cute!
We went to bed about midnight... It was a great day but it was all becoming a reality!

Farewell talk and party

On Aug. 24, 2014 Chad gave his farewell talk in church.  Here is a copy of his talk.

Allow me to begin in testimony that this is truly the churn of Christ and I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of its great missionary effort.  One scripture - which I'll shortly have to memorize in Spanish - that effectively defines this effort is Doctrine & Covenants section 4, which reads:

1 Now behold, a marvelous works about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest' and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul'
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
7 Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.

This is a sort of great culmination of scripture in just a 7 verse section, beginning by clearly showing that that which was prophesied in Isaiah chapter 29 verse 14

14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the widow of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

And corroborated in 1st Nephi chapter 14 verse 7

7 For the time cometh, saith the Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other - either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their heart sand the blindness of their minds unto heir being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, accordion to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.

This marvelous work is begun, and I am to be full time in the work to effect that wonder.  Simply because I "have desires to serve God" may I be qualified for the work.  "For many are called but few are chosen". As is said in Doctrine and Covenants section 121 verse 34 through 40.

34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. Any why are they not hose?
35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to then honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson -
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparable connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our price, our win ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
38 Behold, ere he is aware, he if left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.
39 WE have leaned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they supple, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.
40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

Thus, must I be among the chosen in order to be qualified for the work of calling people to repentance and "to invite (them) to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  As is my purpose as a missionary.  And in that way I am charged to, and will thrust in  my sickle with my might, that our Father might have  great and bountiful harvest of children to be brought back into his fold.

To that end, we must have faith in The Lord and His love for us.  We must be virtuous and upright in our dealings. In the coming tow years I will gain a great deal of knowledge, through nearly constant study.

It is an interesting phrase found in The Doctrine and Covenants section 4:  "brotherly kindness."  It is a good descriptor of the most lofty of commandments:  to love one another as Christ has loved us.

Interesting how often scripture is directly corroborated by other scripture!  It would seem even scripture itself often requires the mouth of two or three witnesses.  That phrase itself of course is one written in a few different scriptures:  Deuteronomy, 2nd Corinthians, et cetera.

Regarding missionary work, President Hinckley proclaimed, "The great genius of missionary work... is taking young people who don't appear to be of any consequence, bringing them into the mission field where they teach the truths of the gospel - face tremendous challenges - learn to get along with companions - often learn other languages.... And then go home with an ambition to make something of their lives and o it in a magnificent and wonderful way and grow in the Church and make significant contributions.  They marry in the temple and rear families of faith and testimony and integrity."

I have been told time and time again how great an experience it will be, and how greatly I'll grow.  For that reason I think of it as more as an exiting adventure, that any sort of  sacrifice.

He went on to bare his testimony (this is just what he had typed up).

That evening we had a farewell party for him!  My dear friend, Ann Mitchell made him a darling cake!  It is a llama with a missionary name tag!
He had lots of friends and leaders come and support him!
Saying good bye to Taylor.. the Chad way and then then Elder Bergquist way!