Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sister Bolliger - Visalia, CA Week 18: Duh duh duh duhhhh TRAINING!, Talk to the Wall, I'm Crazy, Chuck's Wonderful Baptism! 50% Mormon Investigator!

Dearest people:

I have some news to share with you. Duh duh duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

Sister Lemalu is being transferred to Riverview ward (my first area!) and I, Sister Bolliger, am remaining in Visalia 3rd ward and TRAINING. That's right. Training. I'm getting the newbie. And boy oh boy are my bowels responding to this news! Yeah, I said that. Haha.

Let me recount to you the circumstances that are now dictating my pain. We were minutes away from Chuck's baptismal service when Sister Lemalu indicated to me that we had a missed call from who other than President Gonzalez. Oiaue! The precious voicemail stated, "Sister Bolliger, this is President Gonzalez. I'd love to talk with you. Please give me a call as soon as you can!" My stomach instantly dropped. I screeched out to the people assembled, "President wants me to call him!" I then realized that I might have taken away the Spirit with my loud, albeit sincere, statement and rushed outside where we get reception to call him back.

On the phone leaning against the red brick wall outside the Church, I made the attempt. President has this precious little scenario he goes through every time he asks someone to do something ridiculous. It goes as follows, and was recounted to me at this time: "Sister Bolliger, do you love the Lord?" and then "Are you willing to do whatever he asks of you? Even if it's hard?" Blah blah blah. I knew the bomb was coming and then it hits: "Sister Bolliger, will you train the new sister missionary coming into the mission?" I said yes. Duh duh duhhhhhhh. Hahah. This is ridiculous. After hanging up the phone I then talked to the wall and responded with my concerns, knowing that it would be more understanding then President. Hahah. "Um, brick wall, I have only been out four months. There are tons of other sisters that would do a better job. Um, President, I'm crazy. And craziness doesn't jive with quiet dignity well." I then realized that I was talking to a brick wall and went inside for the baptism. Wonderfully enough Elder Arnold and Elder Tipa were watching me through the door with Sister Lemalu. My crazy reputation stands.

Then Chuck's baptism went off without a hitch--except for the part where we ask people ahead of time to be witnesses. Oops! I played the piano, Sister Lemalu led, the best talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost were given, and Chuck was baptized by precious Brother Lewis! Chuck being the cowboy he is didn't plug his nose, and Brother Lewis actually lost hold of Chuck as he was in the water (that man's all muscle!) but somehow we all survived and Chuck was baptized by the proper priesthood authority of God. :) It was wonderful and he had new church pants--and they're pinstriped--(no more wranglers!) and was basically awesome! He was confirmed in Church last Sunday and my goodness it was a beautiful blessing where it talked about him sharing the gospel with his family and being that example to those he came in contact with! He's riproarin ready for the priesthood and we're so excited at how the ward is fellowshipping him and helping him grow!

Something I learned is that I have to learn to love and live in the moment. So frequently on the mission I have stated, "Oh, I'll recognize my efforts when I finally see a baptism." Or, "I'll be happy about my service when I can see someone baptized." Wrong. Well not only are baptisms insanely stressful, but I came to realize that I was postponing or waiting to be happy and appreciate the time I have as a missionary. Phew! So much to learn. It was so wonderful to see Chuck baptized but the work keeps moving on! He transitioned from investigator to recent convert almost faster than I could blink and my goodness! So much change!

Another favorite investigator told us today that she's 50% Mormon and 50% in her feelings and has decided to no longer affiliate herself with her other church. Ahhh. She is feeling the spirit and changing and growing and it is so hard but she is doing it! And we cry together and boy do I have 4-5 pages of notes with scriptures and quotes and ideas and things to discuss with her. She is the best and is helping us become the best! We just love her!

Ahhhhh. Ridiculousness is my middle name apparently. There is much for me to understand and learn! And I just kind of pray and keep going and try my darndest to get the Lord's work done here! I have also discovered a wonderful frozen yogurt shop that is also making life in Visalia wonderful!!

Pray for me and especially my new companion from Cambodia that she'll be able to deal with the craziness of Sister Bolliger!!

Much Love!

Sister Bolliger

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