Saturday, November 20, 2010

Elder Bergloff: LDS Online Missionary

Elder Bergloff, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission
What do I mean by "My life in the Trenches?" Well for the past 18 months of my mission I've been able to spend a lot of time in inner-city Philadelphia.

My family more then anyone has asked me, "What's it like." Well coming from suburbia in Idaho it's a lot different. Where electricity, running water, and heat were necessities; appear to be commodities out here. A huge culture shock, but has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Living here in Philly I am able to meet people who are the most loving and giving people in the most urban and poor conditions. I've really gained an appreciation for the things that I have.

I love humility. It's probably one of the hardest qualities to obtain though. Christ is my ultimate example. How he could allow himself to be beaten and nailed to the cross is unimaginable to me.

As I spend my time here in Philly I have met lots of people who have developed that Christ-like attribute of humility. Giving, caring, hard-working, loving, willing to help and give of all their substance; these are qualities that I have learned come from those who are truly humble. As a missionary I have met many people who have nothing, but have developed this great humility towards others.

The other day I was reading in the Book of Mormon about a prophet named Alma. He goes and teaches a people called the Zoramites. However, he finds that they are proud in their hearts and are not willing to listen to his message. He then comes across the poorer class of people and begins to teach them.

In Alma chapter 31 it reads:

"1 And it came to pass that they did go forth, and began to preach the word of God unto the people, entering into their synagogues, and into their houses; yea, and even they did preach the word in their streets.
2 And it came to pass that after much labor among them, they began to have success among the poor class of people; for behold, they were cast out of the synagogues because of the coarseness of their apparel—
3 Therefore they were not permitted to enter into their synagogues to worship God, being esteemed as filthiness; therefore they were poor; yea, they were esteemed by their brethren as dross; therefore they were poor as to things of the world; and also they were poor in heart.
4 Now, as Alma was teaching and speaking unto the people upon the hill Onidah, there came a great multitude unto him, who were those of whom we have been speaking, of whom were poor in heart, because of their poverty as to the things of the world.
5 And they came unto Alma; and the one who was the foremost among them said unto him: Behold, what shall these my brethren do, for they are despised of all men because of their poverty, yea, and more especially by our priests; for they have cast us out of our synagogues which we have labored abundantly to build with our own hands; and they have cast us out because of our exceeding poverty; and we have no place to worship our God; and behold, what shall we do?
6 And now when Alma heard this, he turned him about, his face immediately towards him, and he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word."

I love these verses. I’ve learned at what a blessing it can be to not have everything, and to have to struggle in this life. Like these people struggled, the people I visit in Philly struggle to, and because of their situations they are humbled and are able to receive the word.
I am grateful for humility, and to learn humility from my brothers and sisters here in Philadelphia.

With love,

Ellder Bergloff

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