Sister Bolliger - Visalia Week 30: Visalia- Official Home for 7 months, Old & New Companions, MANY Resources, Amazing Faith, "It is My Understanding"
Visalia is now my home. Officially.
So news flash, Sister Bolliger is staying in Visalia! Sadly, Sister Bayasal is going to Turlock. :( I thought we'd be together another transfer, but apparently not. What this means, however, is that Sister Bolliger will now have been in this area for six, going on seven, months, will have her sixth companion in the area, and will continue to clean up the apartment in which she resides. :) I'm very excited!
My new companion is Sister Denton, who has red hair (naturally) and spent some of her life in Texas. She also is I think a little bit paler than I am. Whoaaa. Craziness, eh? She has been out for 11 months or so and was just Sister Tupou's companion! She'll come from Modesto tomorrow. :)
We are reaping the miracles of our hard work, and I feel like I have had an epiphany. We had Elder Sybrowsky of the Second Quorum of the Seventy come and speak with us. It was an amazing insight for me in how I can utilize the resources that we have. I thought that "doing everything" was just in reference to myself, and up to this point, I had been doing everything that I as an individual could do to bless the lives of those we were teaching. However, as Elder Sybrowsky enlightened us, there are MANY MANY resources in the ward council, ward missionaries, and in the ward that aren't being used! So, in respect to this, I have completely changed my approach and we are seeing miracles! I had a page for each meeting of specific needs that could be met by each auxiliary. In the past I had thought that my role was more of reporting what was going on with our investigators. However, I see that now the reporting is merely to assist in assignments being given to those in attendance. I feel so much more hope towards this work as I am able to see that I am NOT supposed to do it by myself! In engaging the ward we will not only take the focus off the missionaries, but we will foster relationships that will help the investigators transition and remain fully active following their baptism! I don't know why I didn't see this from the beginning. Haha.
We set a baptismal date last night with an investigator that has an amazing faith in Christ! She's an awesome Mom of four little ones under the age of five. :) It was an awesome experience in following the spirit. I was a little off because I couldn't control the environment or the children, and as we were watching a short video I realized that the Spirit doesn't have to wait for the perfect setting to testify of truth. I then prayed for assistance and realized that the Spirit knew how she was feeling more than I would. Duh. Haha. I then felt incredibly prompted to commit her to baptism. I was semi-nervous due to the fact that I had no idea what she had thought of the message we had shared, but I decided that I was going to follow the spirit 100%. It was probably the best baptismal commitment conversation I have ever had and she was able to share with us how she already knew she needed to be baptized and that she had decided that she had needed to find a church for her family previous to our meeting her. Ta da!
It has been an interesting dynamic since our Zone Conference with Elder Sybrowsky. We have been dropped by a few investigators that aren't willing to progress, but wonderfully, Sister Bayasal and I were able to keep the perspective that the Lord was clearing our schedule to give time to those who were ready now to receive the gospel. As we kept our faith and hope alive, we were able to be blessed with many new investigators just in the next few days and many members alerting us of friends they had invited on church tours and to hear the missionary lessons. Ta da!
I just love this area. I am so glad that I get to stay for my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas!
A wonderful member just cleaned our carpets for us and enlightened us as to what the mysterious dark marks were on the floor. Shoe polish. Oh Elders that polish their shoes on the carpet and get marks everywhere, why couldn't you have gone two feet to the left and polished on the tile? Sigh. But now it smells delicious and in combination with the candle that I light any and every time we're home, this apartment is ready for the Christmas season!
Sister Bayasal's English has delightfully progressed this week. We finally hit that moment where she has been practicing words that sound very similar to other words in the English language. Needless to say sometimes it is a little off and I just have to smile. I am so sad that she is leaving just as we are able to communicate a lot! Grr. Haha. Her favorite thing to say whenever we pray is, "It is my understanding that it is your turn." Hahahhah. Oh goodness. I am going to miss her!!! Now there is no excuse to have meat every single night. :)
The next time I write I'll be 22! Ahh! Bring on the old age! Haha. Just kidding. :)