Arizona, Week 4 – Anything is possible, The Great Spiritual Harvest, and missionary bucket lists…

(Mesa area with Sister Tatiana Haar)

Ok, I’ve been really slacking on writing good blog posts because of lack of time, but today I’ll try to do better. I learned SO MUCH this week! I can’t even believe that it’s only been a week, because so much happens everyday. It was a beautiful Easter and I also want to thank my family for the package they sent me! It was so great and you totally saved me with the summer clothes, because I literally had next to nothing!

So, I feel really humbled this week, because there have been so many miracles and sacred moments. What I have learned more than anything else is how God grants us what we really desire. If our will is aligned with His and we have God on our side, ANYTHING is possible. If my desires are selfish, it’s probably not God’s will and it probably won’t come true. But if it’s something good that God wants too, then He will help us make it come true. God wants to save your struggling marriage, help your wayward son, give you the courage to share the Gospel, help you find work to support your family, help you leave behind addictions, have peace of mind, heal your sicknesses, and as a loving parent do anything to make you happy. He loves us, and with faith we can seek out His will and align it with ours and anything in the world is possible.

Right now I want with my whole heart, and everything in me, to share the Gospel with as many people as I can. I really feel like I’m giving all of me because I want it so bad. God sees what we really desire in our lives and that’s what He gives us. I’m pretty sure that if I wanted a reason to go home early, God would give me a reason to go home right now. I know that I’ve had days where I didn’t really want to talk to work so God didn’t give us anyone to teach and all the doors shut in our faces. Then at the very end of the day when my desires had finally changed and I was sick of being outside all day and really had the desire to teach someone, was when God would see that my heart had changed and give us someone to teach. I love what it says in Alma 29:4, “God granteth unto men according to their desire,” and also the quote by Neal A Maxwell that was shared in conference, “What we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity. Only by educating and training our desires can they become our allies instead of our enemies.”

So honestly I was praying and fasting this week to try to figure out why I’m here in Arizona. I want to know why God brought me all the way here from Chile for just the last few months of my mission. So during my fast this idea came into my head that we needed to teach a whole group of people together and baptize them all together. We need to do something like Alma did in Mosiah 18 at the waters of Mormon. 204 people got baptized from that group that they taught. So I told my companion about it and we started planning what we can do — how we are gonna get a huge teaching group together. So, we are going to do something called, “La Gran Cosecha Espiritual” (“The Great Spiritual Harvest”). We are going to teach all the missionary lessons in the chapel together for a week and invite tons and tons of people. I can’t even explain how special it’s going to be.  It’s been so exciting to see this idea grow. From the first day that I explained it to my companion and we felt the Spirit and felt that something huge was going to happen. Then we got our mission leader and bishop excited about it. They announced it in church and we drew little flyers and made tons of copies and we just cranked them out and gave them to everyone and told them to invite all their friends. We told them that this week is going to change their lives. It’s so exciting. We know it’s gonna work because the idea came from God and we feel the Spirit whenever we talk about it. The elders in the ward are gonna teach it with us and they’ve been finding more people than they have time to teach. We have had a ton of people interested lately too. We even had 11 investigators come to church this Sunday, I’m pretty sure all the members were shocked to see so many people they didn’t know, but it’s helping them build their faith and see that God has something huge in store for this ward.

Your prayers on behalf of this project would be appreciated. I think it’s one of the coolest things I’ve done on my entire mission. I’m never going to forget this. It starts next week! Please pray that everything goes great! So also…. we started a mission bucket lists this week (Hermana Haar has the exact same amount of time on the mission as me). Any ideas would be appreciated. Especially from RMs if you have anything you wished you had done on your mission that you never got to do. We are making the absolute most of the time we have left! We honestly go to bed so tired each day and I’m sure I’ve never worked so hard in my whole life. My body is tired, but I don’t even notice it because my Spirit feels so alive.

Got to do my first exchange this week with one of the English-speaking sisters. She came to our area, so that was the strangest thing, because everything was in Spanish and the poor sister didn’t understand anything. Then at the end of each lesson I would kind of translate her testimony as she shared it. The good news was that we had one lesson with investigators that speak both English and Spanish. We taught them in English and it felt strange, but fun. We invited them to baptism and they now have dates for this next month. (= They are so great.

Anyway, I don’t have sufficient time to tell you about all the miracles this week, but know that I love you all and I’m super happy. (=

LOVE!
Hermana Berbert

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Arizona, Week 3 – New companion, new area, and out of time…

(Mesa area with Sister Tatiana Haar)

I’m out of time again!!! This is so hard! haha. I want to read all your lovely emails! This week was as beautiful as can be. I am now working in Mesa with Hermana Haar, from Texas. We also have a third companion for just a couple days who served in Ecuador and went home for health reasons and now she got reassigned here. Her companion is pretty sick so she’ll be with us for a few days. Also, Hermana Haar started her mission in Phoenix, Arizona, and got moved to this mission. So together, the three of us have the experience of 6 different missions in one single companionship. Isn’t that cool?

This area is really cool. We are whitewashing. It’s a lot easier with smartphones that you can just enter an address in and the GPS tells you where to go. haha. I’m getting used to all the technology and it’s really exciting. The ward here is sooooooooooo awesome! Our mission leader is the best and the members are really willing to help us! It was amazing. There are people from all different Spanish countries and two families from Chile. It’s exciting and I know we are gonna have tons of success here and see lots of miracles.

I wish I had time to tell you all the cool things I learned this week and how beautiful the Easter pageant was in Mesa in front of the temple. We got to help host at the Spanish session. It was way cool. Check out John 15 if you get the chance, that was one of the coolest chapters I studied this week. Love you all!

Hermana Berbert

Arizona, Week 2 – General Conference, transfers, and blessings of the Gospel…

(Phoenix area with Sister Miranda Taylor)

Hey Everybody!

Wasn’t conference beautiful?? I absolutely loved it. Conference is like Christmas on the mission. It’s only been a week-and-a-half but I absolutely love Phoenix and my companion, Sister Taylor! We have already seen a bunch of miracles and found some of the coolest people ever. We already have one couple that has a date to get married and at least 2 who are going to get baptized this month! It’s been an amazing week and a half. The sad news is that it’s now transfer time here and they are separating us and I have to leave this area. In the Tempe mission, they don’t tell you ahead of time where you are going or who your next companion will be, they just tell you that you are leaving and then everyone goes to a big transfer meeting with their suitcases and they tell you there what will happen next. President Toone called us last night and asked if I would accept the calling to be a sister training leader here. Yay! I’m gonna be a training leader again! I’m so excited, absolutely love that calling. So all I know is I’m going somewhere new and I’ll let you all know how it is next week.

Hermana Berbert with President and Sister Toone. In case you are wondering, he says that he is only 5 feet, 24 inches tall.

Hermana Berbert with President and Sister Toone. In case you are wondering, he says that he is only 5 feet, 24 inches tall.

So I just want to tell you all about a way-cool guy we found this week. I was reading in Preach my Gospel in the first chapter and it talks about how we are surrounded by people and tons of them need the Gospel to help them feel secure in a world of changing values; they are worried about their families, or they need to feel relief from the guilt that our past mistakes cause, but they don’t know that the Gospel is what can fulfill all those needs. I wondered if people really all feel those things. Reflecting on my own life, I have felt every single one and I know that the Gospel is really what helped me in every situation too. So that day we prayed that God would put someone in our path who had those needs so we could show them how the Gospel can help.

Hermana Taylor

Hermana Taylor

Fast forward a bit. It’s after dinner and we are at the chapel getting ready to bike again. My stomach is killing me because I’m still not used to eating anything in the night time, much less buckets of Mexican food. They always pile our plates up and then make us eat seconds! There were only 30 minutes left until we had correlation meeting back in the chapel. We wondered out loud if it was worth it to try to teach one more lesson or just hang out until correlation started and let my stomach rest a bit. But… we decided to try a couple of people that lived nearby anyway. We went and knocked their doors but nobody was there. Just as we were heading back, we passed a guy with his little son. We didn’t contact him because he was already talking with someone on the phone. But just as we passed him he calls out, “Señoritas!”  and waves at us to come. I screeched to a halt and turned around to talk to him. Sister Taylor didn’t even notice and kept biking so I had to go chase her down and then we came back to see what he wanted. He asks us, “You guys are Mormons right?” We told him we were. Then he starts to explain that he never really worried about worshipping God before but lately tons of bad stuff has been happening to him and he keeps remembering when he talked to missionaries one time while he still lived in Mexico. So we set up an appointment to talk more with him and went on our way.

Hermana Berbert in sunny Arizona

Hermana Berbert in sunny Arizona

He is so prepared and totally told us that he had all of those needs we had prayed for. He came to conference and is going to get baptized. So cool! Anyway, I’m out of time again. Tons of miracles and more to come all the time. Love you all. I’m almost going to be caught up on my emails. I think next week I’ll be back to normal so keep ‘em coming (= LOVE YOU ALL! Thanks so much for your prayers and support!

Hermana Berbert