How Do You See Yourself?

Posted on 4:35 PM by Elder Bergloff

Have you ever watched one of those movies, hopefully not on your mission, where someone is about to die and their whole life flashes before their eyes? The other day I had a similar experience where I felt my whole mission just flash before my eyes.
In this experience, I saw myself entering the MTC. I saw myself walking down the streets of Philadelphia. I saw myself gain a testimony of the Restoration. I saw myself teach some of the greatest people I have ever met. I saw myself happy. I saw myself tired… a lot. I saw myself serving God.
How do you see yourself?
Do you see yourself happy? Do you see yourself angry or mad? Do you see yourself lazy? Do you see yourself urgent in the work? Do you see yourself getting along with your companion? Do you see yourself still at home? Do you see yourself as a child of God?
I have often pondered on how my mission has affected me and in what ways I have grown. I strongly encourage each of you to do the same. Now this isn’t an excuse to get, “trunky” or homesick, but it can be a great opportunity for you to evaluate the changes that you’ve made in yourself and the changes that still need to be made.
So what will you see, when you see yourself? Will you like what you see? Will you want to change what you see?
At the beginning of the mission you were asked to complete the PPM “D.I.E.T.” or Dynamic Initial Entry Training. In this D.I.E.T. you were asked to complete the second bullet point in P.M.G. page 152. On this page it asks you to think about your final days as a missionary and then to ask yourself: “What do you want to say you have done as a missionary?” “What do you want to have become?” and “What difference would you want others to notice in you?”
Now at the end of my mission I have reflected upon what I said in regards to these questions. One of the greatest things about missions is the amount of reflection we are able to do. To reflect back upon our lives and the changes we are able to make. President Murray said that a mission is like rehab. We are able to go through it and completely change from our old selves and become something new, something better. President Schaefermeyer has said that a mission is like the Lords University. It is here that we are able to learn and grow and gain a strong testimony/diploma of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Upon reflection of these questions we should then determine what we can do to further change and improve. We should be like those people in the vision of the “Tree of Life,” continually pressing forward.
I have often pondered on the steps of change, and asked myself, “What can I do to begin the process of change to become a better “Me?” Some steps that have helped me are to first, recognize my imperfections; second, resolve to change those imperfections; third, reach worthy goals that will help me complete this change; and finally, rely upon the Savior to help achieve this change within myself. I call this the 4 R’s to Change. Recognize imperfections, Resolve to change, Reach worthy goals, and Rely upon the Savior. 
Recognize imperfections. Recognize that we have imperfections and have a desire to change them. Some imperfections we might seek to change might be our pride, our selfishness, our lack of charity, our attitude towards the work, etc. If you struggle with recognizing what to change, take Moroni’s advice in Ether 12:27, “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness…” Come unto Christ through prayer, through diligent scripture study, and I promise you that you will be shown what weaknesses you have and what God would have you change. In the scriptures Alma counsels his son Corianton about recognizing his sins and mistakes. “And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance. O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility (Alma 42: 29-30).
Resolve to change. I think many people would say that Recognizing and Resolving would be the same; however I have found that we must not only recognize, but resolve or decide to change. We must actually determine within our minds to give up whatever imperfection we might have and become something greater. This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of change. The natural man within each of us desires to, not only remain stagnant in its progression, but often to digress in glory. “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father” (Mosiah 3:19). You might ask yourself “how” can this be done? In one of my last interviews with President Murray we discussed resolving to change. He told me that I was like the man who comes to the edge of a cliff at the darkest time of night. The man steps right up to the edge of the cliff and looks down. Nothing but darkness. There are only two options, step off the cliff and trust in God to be there, or stand there and wait for something to happen. At the time I was the man who chose to wait for something to happen. We must each resolve to be the man who chooses to trust in God and take that step of faith into the darkness. Resolve to change and know that the change will be for the better. It might be scary and uncomfortable, but it will be worth it in the end.
Reach worthy goals. After recognizing and resolving to change we must then set goals that will help us obtain that desired change in ourselves. Goal setting is an eternal principle. When I think of goals I think of a caterpillar. A caterpillar is one of the miracles of God creations. A caterpillar’s life starts out in the form of a tiny, green, almost “warmish” creature. It then has, but one mindset--to eat. After its consumption of food it begins its phenomenal transformation into a butterfly. Now how does a caterpillar relate to goal setting? By setting goals we are able to leave our old selves behind, we are able to become something far more incredible then what we left behind. A key point to remember about goal setting is to make our goals obtainable and not overwhelming. Unobtainable and overwhelming goals lead to discouragement and frustration, and will, more then likely, lead to failure. Another key point to remember is to not give up. Sometimes results will take time, and it is important to “press forward” and keep working at those goals that we have set for ourselves.
Rely upon the Savior. Relying upon the Savior is probably the most important part in our journey of change. It is only through the Atonement that change is even possible. I like to think of the story of Alma the Younger when I think of this principle. After seeing an angel, Alma was in a coma of guilt and sorrow. After being in anguish for the sins that he committed, the scriptures say that he remembered what his Father had said about Jesus Christ. “…Behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophecy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. And now, behold, when I though this, I could remember my pains no more…” (Alma 36: 17-18). Alma illustrated this principle perfectly, showing that it is only when we acknowledge, and more importantly rely, upon the Savior that we able to change. We must, like Alma, plead with our Heavenly Father and pray as Alma prayed for Christ to have mercy on us and to help us reach our potential.
Elders and Sisters, many of the struggles and challenges that we face as missionaries come because we have chosen to not change. Righteous change will always lead to happiness. God desires us to have joy in His work, and to have joy in this life. Change and Happiness go hand in hand. Often times a missionary will realize that they aren’t happy on their missions and he or she will immediately begin to wildly hack at the branches of their life. Meaning they will blame their companion, their so called “dead” area, or their unsupportive ward. We need not hack at the branches of life, when, if we will only look to the root of our lives we can see where our true problem lies. The root of the problem is a spirit that is screaming to change, but has been placed in a carnal body that is suffocating it from reaching its true potential.
Once again, Change and Happiness go hand in hand. A missionary once asked me, quite spontaneously, if I was happy. Taken aback I said the obvious, “Yes.” “No Elder, are you really happy?” was his reply. I then thought for a second about the past transfer I had been in, and I couldn’t answer with a true yes.
Our spirit once lived with God. Our spirit knows what it was like to live with our Heavenly Father. That same spirit that lived with God now dwells inside each of us. Our spirit desperately wants to return to live with God again. Our spirit wants us to change.
Are you happy? Let us all be able answer yes to that question.
I testify that righteous change brings happiness. I have seen it not only in my life, but in the life of countless individuals I have come across on my mission. Change will give meaning and substance to your life; and will bring joy to each day of, not only your missions but, your entire lives.

Attitude Changes Everything

Posted on 8:29 AM by Elder Bergloff


Anyone who knows me knows that I am kind of a pessimist. Meaning that I don’t always look at the bright side of things, it’s pretty hard for me to look out my window and see rain and not be upset. On the other hand I have had many friends who are able to look at the bright side of things and when they see rain they think of the blessing that it is for us not to be in a drought.
Throughout these experiences in my life I sometimes just look at them, and in my mind I say, “Really.” You really think that?
As a missionary I have been grateful to meet so many wonderful people who have been able to teach me, through their example, about how attitude changes everything.
On December 22, 2011 Elder Bessey and I were driving to an appointment to one of the members homes of our congregation. On our way there we got a call from our Mission President informing us that we were going to be training a new missionary who would be part of our companionship. This missionary was going to be waiting for his visa and wouldn’t be here in the Pennsylvania area indefinitely.
After getting off the phone with the Mission President I started to think of all the problems this was going to create. What if this missionary didn’t want to be here and he was dragging his feet everywhere, what if he didn’t like the people we were teaching, and on and on I thought of these problems.
Then one week later me and Elder Bessey piled into the car and began our drive to the Mission Home to pick up the new missionary.

The new missionaries name was Elder Siebert. Elder Siebert is from Orem, Utah and was first assigned to go to Taiwan where he would speak Mandarin Chinese.
Elder Siebert was waiting for all of his paperwork to go through so that he could go to his mission in Taiwan.
Well my pessimistic thoughts were pretty much all wrong. Not only was Elder Siebert happy to be here, but felt that God had a work for him to do here in Philadelphia and that he would stay here for as long as the Lord wanted him to. He emulated the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants section 51:
        16. And I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence;
     17. And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn unto them for their good.
He truly treats every day like he is going to be here a year. Like I said at the beginning attitude truly changes everything. As his attitude was positive and happy, even though he wasn’t serving in the mission he was called, the Lord blessed him to love those he taught and to feel inner joy and peace in his circumstances.
Attitude changes everything. Even when we are in the worst of circumstances, if we look at life with positive eyes those circumstances suddenly become a whole lot better.

On Christmas Day...

Posted on 8:47 AM by Elder Bergloff

12:00 A.M. in the morning. I woke up to a terrible stomach ache. Just a couple hours before I had been happily eating and playing games. Now I felt like someone had just thrown a brick into my stomach. The stomach ache quickly progressed to nausea leaving me in the bathroom looking at the leftovers of the dinner. AKA a lot of vomiting. The whole experience, of basically losing my dinner and what felt like all the dinners I had eaten that week, left me exhausted and I ended up missing church the next day. Instead I ended up sleeping from noon that day to 6:30 the next morning. 
During this whole process, however I was able to do a lot of praying. I remember asking God to heal me, to take away the pain. As I said this my thoughts were turned to Christ who in the Garden of Gethsemane also asked His Father to take away the pain and discomfort.

Mark Chapter 14:
35. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
36. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cupfrom me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

As I thought on these things I thought of all the pain that He must have felt to truly take upon himself the sins of the world. 

11. And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations  of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and
the sicknesses of his people.

 Perhaps God sometimes allows us to feel a smigion of what His son felt as He was in that Garden and as He hung on the cross.
I believe with all my heart that God does love us and is there with us when we suffer and are in pain. 

 I love this poem because I think it truly shows our Saviors love for us and His role in our lives when we struggle.
 

 

My Christmas Card

Posted on 7:54 AM by Elder Bergloff

Elder Lake and myself love Christmas. So we decided to make Christmas cards to send to all of our family and friends wishing them a "Merry Christmas."


The other night I sat looking at the cards pondering on Christmas.
As a  missionary I get to teach a lot of different people about Christ. Most of the time I teach people about the death and resurrection of Christ. These are all important things of course, but something I love about Christmas is that I get to teach on the birth of Christ.
I think that we often forget the true meaning of Christmas. I'm to blame as well. For years growing up I didn't think about Christ during the holiday season. My thoughts were mostly on what was lying under the tree instead of why we were celebrating this time of the month.
I'm very grateful to be a missionary. For missionaries, Christmas can be a very hard time for them on their missions. Why? Well being away from families during the Christmas time can be often very lonely and sad. As I've progressed in my time as a missionary I've come to love the time I spend as a missionary during Christmas. This is because I am away from all the presents, the tree, the lights, the big Christmas feast at home. My thoughts can be easily focused on Christ because there is no other distractions. Now I don't recommend that we all leave home during Christmas or that we shouldn't have a tree or lights. No those are great things that we should all have, no I recommend that we all put a greater focus on why we have this holiday, why we have the lights and the tree, why we have the feast.
I testify of the peace and happiness that can be brought into our life as we do so. I have felt such a warmth during this season and such a peace and calmness. As our thoughts are upon His birth this season we can truly appreciate the spirit of Christmas.

"When the Savior, Jesus Christ, was born, the prophecies were fulfilled. The time that all the holy prophets had waited for had finally come. An angel appeared to shepherds while they watched their flocks. The angel spoke to the shepherds, saying, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11.)

Who Wants To Be A ButterFly?

Posted on 8:34 AM by Elder Bergloff

Who wants to be a butterfly? I love butterfly's. I think they are some of the most interesting insects in the world. To think that from a catterpillar can come a beautiful butterfly. Thats what catterpillars do best...Change!

Who likes change?
If anyone raised their hands then I need to talk to them to find out the secret.
I think the majority of us out there don't like change.
The reason why?
Change can often bring a lot of fear and trepidation.
If you have read my other posts you know how I love using the dictionary, so once again I wanted to get the definition of change.
The dictionary says that the word change means:


1.       to become different: Overnight the nation's mood changed.

2.       to become altered or modified: Colors change if they are exposed to the sun.

3.       to become transformed
I really like these definitions. I chose those definitions that were verbs. The reason being is because the change I’m talking about is the change that has to do with changing oneself. Some of our greatest fears come from when we actually decide to change ourselves, our personalities, our views, our beliefs.
As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I ask people to change almost all of these things. As a tool in God’s hand I help people to change those things in their life that are not in accordance with how God would have them live their lives.
When I think of change I think of an experience that I had while serving here as a missionary. As missionaries we get the opportunity to meet hundreds of different people with different backgrounds and beliefs. The wonderful thing is that the gospel is for everyone and even though we may have different views or beliefs, if it’s God’s gospel then it should be right for everyone.
Back to my experience though…Someone I met as a missionary was a great lady named Sonja. Sonja is a mother of one daughter and married to a great guy. She lives in Upper Darby Pennsylvania. Living there with her in-laws she was struggling to find a faith in Jesus Christ. Then on a cold December morning two sister missionaries from the church knocked on her door. After explaining who they were they taught Sonja a few points of our beliefs. Sonja then began to investigate the church and started seeking to know if it was true. At first there was a lot of disbelief and uncertainty, plus probably some amusement at the beliefs she was being presented with. Over months missionaries taught her and prayed that she might come to understand these things and believe them for herself. Then after months of prayers and lessons Sonja had an experience, a change of heart through the Holy Spirit, that this message was true. Then Sonja’s countenance changed. She began to have a greater faith not only in God, but in baptism, in Jesus Christ, in Repentance. There was a light and goodness about Sonja that everyone can still feel when they meet her.
Sonja is an example to me of change.
 -And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;…” –Mosiah 25:27
Let us all choose to change. Let us choose to become more like Jesus Christ. 


"God never said that it would be easy, He only said that it would be worth it."

Daily Miracles

Posted on 9:44 AM by Elder Bergloff

What are miracles?

Well according to dictionary.com, a miracle is:

1.   An effect or extraordinary even in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.


As I thought on this definition I realized that not too many daily occurrences would fall into this category. In fact many people could probably live and die without seeing a miracle, according to this definition.
That’s why I like the second definition given for miracle.
2.   Such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.

I think many of us could say that we have seen God’s hand in our life, whether by a relative, who overcame a life threatening illness, or a prayer that was answered, or peaceful comfort that you received when in sorrow.
I can say that there has been many times in my life where I have seen God’s hand in my life.
Fact: God lives and he is aware and involved in the very miniscule details of our life.
As a missionary for God in the Philadelphia area I have faced a lot of discouragement you might say, a lot of rejection from people who don’t want to learn more about Jesus Christ.
At the beginning of my mission this was incredibly hard for me. I wondered why I was here on a mission? Why was I wasting two years of my life when no one wanted to talk to me?
Then I was in a conference where a missionary named Elder Chan gave a testimony on “Mini Miracles.” He talked about how we often don’t see huge miracles in our life, such as God appearing to us, water being turned into wine, being able to part the Delaware River. He then shared how God will often perform “Mini Miracles” in our lives, like I said at the beginning with prayers being answered, your pet poodle getting over its illness, small things that show Gods hand in our life.

As I pondered what this missionary had said I realized all the many miracles that God had performed in my life. I then changed my perspective and the way I looked at, not only my mission, but my life. I began to notice all the good things that happened to me, all the small miracles that happened. For instance I remember one day it was raining very, very hard. My companion and I were without an umbrella so we decided to run over to an apartment complex and see if we could teach people there by knocking on their door. Not a single person wanted to listen to us, but at one door a nice lady opened it up. She said that she wasn’t interested, but noticing our lack of umbrella’s she gave us one of her really nice, big ones. I told her we would bring it back, but she said kindly, “Keep it.”
I know God lives. He loves us, and according to our faith he will bless us with miracles.
He is providing us with miracles…Daily!




"There are two ways to live your life. One is live as though nothing is a miracle. The other is to live as though everything is a miracle."   -Albert Einstein



Why I Believe What I Believe

Posted on 10:51 AM by Elder Bergloff

What do I believe might be the better question for some?
Well I believe that the church that Jesus Christ established while He was here on the Earth was lost, that through a modern-day prophet, Joseph Smith, it was restored to the Earth.
I believe that this is Christ's church. His only true and living church found on the face of the planet.
Bold huh?
Some might ask why do you believe this? And then I am given a list of concerns as to why I shouldn't.
I believe this; in fact I know this for many reasons.
One, it makes sense. If anyone takes the time to learn about this church then they realize just how much sense it makes. Daily I will be reading some piece of doctrine and I just look up and think just how much sense this makes.

Two, I have seen the blessings that come from living this gospel. I love my family. They are the most important people in my life. My family is not without our struggles though. Often times our family goes through great struggles whether it is financial, spiritual, physical, or personal challenges. There have been times when I was growing up that I didn’t think that our family was going to make it through that trial that we were going through. But we did. I felt Gods hand in my family’s life. Through all our trials we kept our faith, we prayed, we went to church, we read the scriptures, and because of the gospel that we lived, we were blessed.

Three, I believe in the Holy Spirit of God and that it can confirm truth to me. I grew up in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was raised to believe in these things, but just like it is with any religion, there comes a day when you have to choose to continue following or go down a different path. To be honest I didn’t make this decision until about 18 months ago. The problem I faced at the time was that I was being asked to teach people about this church. Well it’s hard to teach people what you don’t full heartedly believe yourself. So I started praying, I started to really ponder what I was learning and teaching. Then one day I had a meeting with a few other missionaries, and we began to practice reciting “The First Vision.” “The First Vision” is Joseph Smith, the prophets, vision where, as he was praying, he says God and Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith later records, in his own words, what actually happened.
In Joseph’s own words he says:
 

16 …I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the dsun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
  17 …When the light rested upon me I bsaw two cPersonages, whose brightness and dglory defy all description, estanding above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My fBeloved gSon. Hear Him!

 This was what I and the other missionaries were reciting. One missionary pulled me aside and asked if he could recite it to me. As he began to recite this a feeling of such peace and happiness filled every fiber of my being to the point that I couldn’t hold the tears back. I felt it in my heart and in my mind that this really did happen. It wasn’t just a good story or an interesting experience, but it was a fact. It was true and just as Joseph Smith said, I knew it, and I knew that God knew it and I cannot deny it.