Mormon Mission World

Thursday, January 24, 2013

As 2013 begins we continue to be excited to be engaged in a great work; that of bringing hope to those who are in despair.  Once the question was asked, “Why do you entrust the spreading of your message to inexperienced young men and women between 19 & 23?”  The answer was, “Because it works!”  We recently came across this poem which seems to sum it up.


A basketball in my hands is worth about $19.
A basketball in Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $33 million.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A baseball in my hands is worth about $6.
A baseball in Mark McGuire’s hands is worth $19 million.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A tennis racket is useless in my hands.
A tennis racket in Venus Williams’ hands is championship winning.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A rod in my hands will keep a barking dog at bay.
A rod in Moses’ hands will part the mighty sea.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

A sling shot in my hands is a kid’s toy.
A sling shot in David’s hands is a mighty weapon.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

Two fish and 5 loaves in my hands is a couple of tuna sandwiches.
Two fish and five loaves of bread in God’s hands will feed thousands.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

Nails in my hands might produce a birdhouse.
Nails in Jesus Christ’s hands will produce salvation for the entire world.
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

As you now see, it depends on whose hands it’s in.
Put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams,
Your relationships with family and friends in God’s hands because…
It depends on whose hands it’s in.

The work of the Lord is in good hands as the 55 thousand (soon to be closer to 95 thousand) young men and women manifest love as they search for those who will listen to their message of hope and peace.  They put their personal plans on hold, learn foreign languages, love people that they previously had no idea existed, and make many other sacrifices.  The Lord’s work is in good hands!

We are blessed to be involved in a great work; the work of bring hope to those in need.  The Lord wants to give hope to all of His children; hope is essential.  Our opportunity to personally spread hope seems minimal, but we use the talents and knowledge that we have to support the efforts in this part of His vineyard.  As we provide support for others who are working each day to spread His hope, we find joy in His service.  All efforts are rewarded when we see the change in the countenance of those who discover hope.  It is such a joy to see a glow on faces where there was once emptiness.  Our Savior lives and loves His children.

"Great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands 'anxiously engaged in a good cause.' Imagine what the millions of Latter-day Saints could accomplish in the world if we functioned like a beehive in our focused, concentrated commitment to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ."
—M. Russell Ballard,

Elder & Sister Segeberg

Friday, January 4, 2013

Reflections and Anticipations

Happy New Year 2013!  As this new year begins we are thinking back on all the surprises and changes of the year just past.  Last New Year’s Eve, after a pleasant dinner with the Boswells and the other senior couples, we listened to the sounds of fireworks, think Beirut. As we lay sleepless in our bed we looked forward to a new year of serving our mission in the Baltics, living in Riga, Latvia.  We were happy with our apartment, had learned how to navigate the public transportation system, and knew where to shop, what products were available and how to substitute for others that were not.  We loved the new friends that we had made and looked forward to more experiences to share with them. How blessed we felt!
            Within three weeks we were asked to move to Bulgaria and were preparing for that move.  Since the process of obtaining a visa for Bulgaria from Latvia was uncharted territory there was uncertainty about how long it would take.  Would it be days or months? I found myself hesitant to buy green bananas.
            Finally we were on our way to our new assignment.  The Roth’s picked us up at the airport, took us to an office staff meeting, settled us into our new apartment and bid us farewell since they were leaving in the morning for several days.  Suddenly we found ourselves in a strange land with no knowledge of the language or how to get around.  We mused on how the young missionaries are given a senior companion when they arrive who knows the language as well as how to get around.  We set out to explore on Saturday and found that we were not far from the Center; we discovered where the food stores were hidden and purchased the things that we needed to prepare for the new week. 
            Our visa process took us twice to Warsaw and once back to Riga (after our temporary visa expired in Bulgaria).  We never thought of Warsaw as a place that we wanted to visit but were pleasantly surprised after our visits with what the city has to offer.  You can’t help but admire the fortitude the people had to rebuild after the devastation of the war. It is a beautiful city and we are glad that we were given the opportunity to visit.
            After returning to Bulgaria, we could finally settle in.  Our first order of business was to work the Office Elders out of a job.  They were not called to office work and are needed to be about their Father’s business.  This we accomplished before July was over.  Periodically there are instances that could use some Bulgarian speaking, but we muddle along. We have made friends at the post office and customs office as we frequently pick up packages for the missionaries.  I have even made peace with the local courier service and managed to order toner on-line in Bulgarian. Elder Segeberg has successfully eliminated cash from missionary apartments and implemented the proper reimbursements and funding through their missionary debit cards.
            In 2012 we were reminded how fragile life is as we unexpectedly suffered the loss of a fellow missionary and dear a friend.  We celebrated with loved ones, though far away, as they experienced milestones in their lives – births, birthdays, baptisms, ordinations, moves, new homes, graduation, and a wedding.  We missed being there for these events, but our hearts were never far away.
            After our experiences last year we realize more fully how surprising the future can be. We are looking forward to all that 2013 has to offer.  In August we will be leaving Bulgaria with mixed emotions.’ There will be things we are sad to leave behind and many things to which we look forward to returning.
In 2013 we anticipate:
·        Reorganizing the Mission Office to make the transition to a new Office Couple smoother
·        Complete a family history project that we have been working on
·        Visit with our family - lots
·        Continue to serve in some capacity
·        Squeeze the new babies

There will of course be things we didn't anticipate. We pray for the grace to accept them, and move on to wherever we are led. However this new year turns out, we hope to serenely accept whatever the Lord has in store for us.

In a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland he stated:
 "'If ye love me, keep my commandments,' Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord."
There is much still to do. May 2013 be joyful as we heed this advice and follow our Savior.  Love, Elder & Sister Segeberg