Monday, May 27, 2013

Choose Your Happiness

Dear Family, Friends, and Everyone!
Well another great week has passed. So many awesome things have happened this week. To start off, last night we had probably the most amazing devotional. Brother Stephen Allen (he's over managing the missionary dept of for the church). He had his entire talk all planned out, but then when he got up he changed the ENTIRE thing and it was amazing! Everyone was crying and the Spirit was so strong. Also yesteraday we were supposed to hear from the 1st counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency but she never showed up! Hope she's ok, but it was super strange so the MTC Presidents' wives all spoke to us because they always have back up talks prepared and it was really good! We also got to watch Sister Monson's funeral last night. It was so good, but my prayers go out to the Monson and Johnson family. 
June 23rd..mark that date. The church is doing a big missionary fireside. I'm in the missionary choir here and it's awesome. So on June 23rd (if we're still here, we're supposed to leave for France on the 24th) President Monson, President Packer, and President Holland are speaking and we get to sing for them in the Marriot Center! I'm SOO excited! It'll probably be broadcasted so if you want to watch it you might see me ;)
Happy belated birthday Jordan! Congratulations Colton! You look great in your graduation picture and I'm so proud of you. Congrats to Lauren and Phil and Trent! The baby is just beautiful! Congrats Kirstie on finishing school and seminary.
Also a BIG THANK YOU to the Berge Girls for the AWESOME package! Seriously, you have no idea how happy and loved I felt! Thank you thank you thank you! Also thanks mom for the other package :) I got that one too. Also my hair dryer died. It started to burn up and almost caught fire, but it's all good. I unplugged it and threw it away. I can just use my companions' hair dryers in the mean time and buy one in France.
The MTC has started to slow down a bit. The French is really coming and our instructors told us that we're so much farther ahead than a lot of people they've taught before. That makes us feel really special haha
As I've been here longer I've really grown a love for the scriptures. They're so amazing and powerful! It's truly a blast to read the French scriptures next to the English ones because while I translate French to English they come out with different meanings. Way cool!
Our Sister Training Leaders are leaving next Sunday to go to their mission to Vanuatu. They're names are Sister Andreason and Sister Martinez and they live next door to us with the other 2 sisters in our district. They're so fun and I'm so sad they're leaving!! The Hunsakers got moved to a different ward :( but I saw them yesterday in the Cafeteria! Maddie Skillings! Ah congrats on the mish call! You're gonna rock it out there.
So I know everyone is probably curious about what it's really like here since there are always so many rumors about the MTC..well I'm gonna clear all that up..
-the food isn't that's just like Cannon Center food..there's alternatives though like fruit and there's always a fresh wrap station that is good.
-everyone here is so nice
-there really aren't that many rules... there's really only one rule: act like a missionary should act, but I guess people don't understand how to do that? lol idk
-there are so many sisters here that we have to share our residence buildings with elders
-you don't need to buy toiletries..they're all in the bookstore
-bring your own sheets. these ones are gross
-bring hangers, there aren't any here that are left over
-the sooner you are truthfully open with your companions and tell them how you really feel, the better your experience will be here, teaching, and just overall
-Companion Inventories->do them! They're truly a part of Heavenly Father's plan
-drink lots of water
-your main accessories are your name tag and a watch so make sure you have a good watch
-we study all day, but we do have fun..I promise it's not just all studying all the time
So this week I heard a really cool story from the wife of the 2nd counselor in our Branch Presidency. She served in Africa on a mission with her husband and they had two elders that were in an area that was going through a rough political time and the elders were instructed to stay in their apartment and wait til it was safe. They told these elders to keep the same schedule. Wake up at 6:30 and study during study time. No one was watching these elders. They were on their own. They could've slept in a little longer, no one would've noticed; however, these missionaries were obedient and kept the missionary schedule. Around 7:30 am one morning someone outside their apartment shot through a window and straight into the pillow on one of the elder's beds. If they had not obeyed the rules with exact obedience, even though they were instructed to stay in their apartments all day, that elder would've been killed in an instant.
The difference between a great missionary and an average missionary depends on what happens during the hours of 6:30-11:00. We were taught that principle in a fireside I think, but it's very true. Obedience is the key to success.
It seems like this week's theme has been obedience and trials. God doesn't allow bad things to happen. He blesses us with trials that refine, strengthen, and mold us into the person He knows we can be. We can't fight or beat the system. We can't argue with Heavenly Father's plan for us. It's so important to humble ourselves and allow God to refine us. Heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves and he can make a lot more out of our lives than we can.
I'm so grateful for this gospel. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission and give my all to wear Christ's name over my heart and spread His beautiful gospel with others so they have the chance to use the Atonement to wipe away their pain. The gospel is much more beautiful when you use simple words. God loves us. He gave His Son Jesus Christ to take away our pain and suffer for our sins. Jospeh Smith helped restore the gospel. The Priesthood is the power of God on this Earth. Modern day prophets are so important to receive revelation for our time. When we pray, God hears our prayers. He can also answer our prayers if we have faith in Him and faith that we will receive an answer. Temples are true Houses of the Lord. They're the closest thing we have to heaven. The Book of Mormon is true writings of prophets and the principles are clear and for our time. The gospel is true.
The weather here is so beautiful! I'm so lucky I wasn't here during the winter..that'd be rough. There are beautiful tulips everywhere and it's so green. There are so many birds that will fly by your head and there are nests everywhere. It's super cool and also freaks you out haha. I have no idea why so many people say they don't like the MTC. They're just crazy because this is the best place ever. Honestly it's all about your attitude. You have a good time if you CHOOSE to have a good time. You have a good companion if you CHOOSE to love your companion and see them for their potential not for their flaws. I just love it here, and I love that I can choose my happiness. We all can choose to be happy! :)
Well my time is running low..
Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The first of many

                                                                       Provo Temple

Soeur Bradley, Soeur Berge and Soeur Huckstep in San Francisco to get their visas

                                                            Getting treats in San Francisco

Dear Family and well Everyone!
Wow, can I just say I love the MTC and I love everything about a mission. Everyone should serve a mission. It's the best thing you could ever do. I've already learned so much and everything here is truly amazing. The Spirit is so strong and when people call it 'a little heaven on Earth' I totally agree! It's beautiful and everyone here is just so amazing. I've run into about 30 people I know here. My poor companions...oh by the way. I'm  in a TRIO companionship! I absolutely love my companionships. It can be really difficult with 2 other sisters as opposed to just one more, but it's also really awesome because it's like automatically having 2 best friends instead of 1! Their names are Sister Huckstep from Eagle, Idaho and Sister Bradley from California. Sister Huckstep. Oh my I love her. She's 21 and Sister Bradley is 20. It's kinda weird because I'm the senior companion, but I'm the youngest and I just feel like I have so much more to learn from them, but it'll switch off which is nice :) They're the best. I'm so blessed to have them. We are already so much closer.
Also, I have NEVER laughed so hard in all my life than on my mission. I've never been happier. I've never gone through such emotional ups and downs (in good ways) and I've never felt the Spirit so strongly.
Ok, so yesterday was our actual P-day. Ours is on Mondays so expect letters around the middle of the day on Monday. Yesterday we had to wake up at 2am and fly to San Francisco to get our finger prints for our Visa applications. There were about 10 of us that went. Half sisters and half elders. It was so fun. I'll attach pictures. So that is why today we had to have a partial P-day so we could get laundry and stuff done.
We've already taught twice in French! It's crazy! There was absolutely no English and we did pretty good. Our last lesson was 30 mins! I was so proud of my companions because the first lesson I had to do most of the talking because I think I've had the most previous experience with French (which I'm so grateful for) but I'm sure they'll catch up soon. The French is really not that difficult. I love it! It's beautiful and so much fun. I can already bear my testimony in French and pray! (which is huge) haha, but I love it.
Wow, I feel so close to my zone here. I love my district! There are 5 Sisters and 5 Elders in our district and then there's another district in our Zone and there's 12 Elders in the other district so our Zone (ward) only has 5 Sisters (which makes me feel special to be a Sister here) Also there are about (I'm guessing here) 30-40 Elders and about 10 Sisters going to Paris, France. I absolutely love all of them and I'm so excited. There are 2 Elders in our Zone going to Lyon mission and 3 Elders going to the DR-Congo Mission (French speaking) They're all awesome! I love everyone. We really know how to build each other up and we are SUCH hard workers! We've made a lot of goals as a district and we're keeping most of them up! It's great.
Ok, I LOVE the teachers here. We have the best teachers. Frere Smith and Soeur Judd and there's another Soeur named Soeur Scott and she comes in every once in a while and she's dang hilarious. Frere Smith is the awesome! He is always telling us hilarious stories from his mission and I honestly wouldn't be able to learn as well if I didn't have him as our teacher. He went to Lyon mission and just got back and got married and he's just hilarious. Soeur Judd is great too. She really knows how to make us feel unified and bring the Spirit to our classroom. Soeur Scott reminds us of Kate Hudson in 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 days' and she quotes it too! She's hilarious.
Man, one way to know if you're a good missionary..if you're toenail cracks in half. I had to get it super glued this morning in the Doctor's office. So embarrassing, but Sister Mangum (Branch President's wife) told me to go get it checked out so I just did exactly what I was told! Obedience is key for anything here! Honestly, life is so much better when you follow every rule with exactness. Make Heavenly Father proud by being obedient and never trying to find loopholes to the commandments and standards, because honestly, there aren't any loopholes in the if you cheat, you're only cheating yourself.
Anyways, ok so some funny stories! So, on the airplane I sat next to an elder in my zone (but not my district) and his name is Elder Beane. He's amazing. He told me a lot about his life and I was just amazed and so humbled. I kinda felt like such a brat because my life seems so much easier than his has been and I just gained such a respect for him. Anyways, so he had never flown before and I had the pleasure of sitting next to him..(you know where this is going...) So when the flight attendant talks about the oxygen mask things that come down in case that they needed them he was confused so I told him we have to wear them every flight when we hit a certain altitude and he says, 'Oh..ok.' So when we're taking off he looks at me and says, 'Sister Berge, when do we have to put those masks on?" hahaha, poor Elder. I told him I was just kidding. He's a good sport and we had a great time in San Francisco.
Also while Sister Huckstep and I were waiting outside of the bathroom waiting for Sister Bradley, there is this Elder named Elder Noho and he is from Tahiti and he speaks French really well and he was talking to us in French so we could practice our French some more and he leaned back and his bottom hit one of the hand sanitizer dispensers and it squirted out onto his bottom! Haha he turns around and he looked so shocked and said in broken English, "It's for the hands! Not the tushy!" hahaha oh man, such a great guy. I just love everyone here.
A mission is the most amazing experience anyone could ever have. I know I'm supposed to be here for a reason.
Je sais que l'Eglise de Jesus-Christ Des Saints Des Derniers Jours est vrai. Je sais que parce que Pere Celeste nous aime, il a donner ton Fils, Jesus Christ. Je sais que l'Evangile est vrai! Je sais que Jesus-Christ est notre frere. Il nous aime. J'aime le MTC. J'aime l'Evangile. J'aime precher l'Evangile et j'aime les ecritures! Je sais que Thomas S. Monson est le prophete de cet eglise. J'aime notre prophete! J'aime l'Eglise de Jesus-Christ! Je sais que la foi est tres importante! J'aime ma famille!
Everyone needs to read Preach My Gospel. It's so important to study it with the intent that you are trying to learn everything you can to help bring the lost sheep back into the fold. The MOST IMPORTANT thing I have learned while being here is that the gospel saves souls, not through the missionaries, but the Holy Ghost is the most important teacher present in any conversation with non-members.
Remember that Heavenly Father loves you, no matter what. He wants you to be the best you that you can be. I thought about this concept one day and I want to share:
We are all ultimately going through the big test of life right now. We are all going through different trials and difficulties. Most people can understand that idea, however the one concept that most people don't understand is that Heavenly Father is cheering us on the whole way. He wants us to succeed SOOO badly because He loves us so much! So never forget that He is your friend and rooting for you on the other side!
Also, everyone write me a Dear Elder! I'd love to hear from you! :)
Well, my time is running out, but that's ok because I have work to do and things to study. I love this gospel so much. The church is true!
Stay righteous, be true, be you!
Avec amour,
Soeur Berge

Thursday, May 16, 2013

May 15, 2013

Sister Berge being dropped off at the MTC by her friends. She's a happy camper!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013