Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Elder Bolliger Hesperia, CA Week 68: Awesome experiences helping families, Christmas Day Confimation

Hello family from Hesperia,CA where its nice outside and I am in the middle of a desert.

This past week was really good as we had some awesome experiences and we have a baptism coming up this Thursday!

Well there is a family that we have been working recently with, they are a part member family where the dad has been off and on for the past couple of years, so we were talking to bishop and he told us to give the father a deal, that if he came and talked to him and was clean for w.o.w. for a week then he would let him baptize her, so we went over there and told him about the deal and he accepted, and said that he would be at church on Sunday, well we hoped that he would go and talk to bishop before Sunday and our hopes went down a little bit.

So on this story, fast forward to Sunday, we are at church and every one of his family is there except him. So I get a little down on myself thinking if only he would come and talk to bishop and baptize her! So while we are singing the sacrament hymn he walks through the door and sits down! My companion and I were so happy when that happened as it had been a long while since he came to church and now he really came, well he talked to bishop and after that bishop comes in and says, well we will be having a baptism on Thursday @ 6:30 and we need to start preparing it, so since yesterday at church we have almost all of it completely planned out now and ready to go.

So the baptism will be on Thursday while the confirmation will be on Sunday, yes confirmed at church on Christmas. This is going to be a really, really special one for them as well as for me.

There were some other highlights of this past week, but nothing really compares to the one that I just shared though, our work is looking to start picking up in Janurary/Feburary as February is now a missionary month with a 40 day fast and missionary themed speakers. So work is starting to pick up and I am getting excited for this ward.

I don't think that I will be moving but I think I have one more transfer after this.

Oh and my trainer just went home today, yes he trained me that young.

Elder Bolliger

Talk to you on Sunday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia, CA Week 67 : Food for Thought - Cooking up Success in the Maple Ward served with Lemonade!

Hello family from Hesperia, California.

Well this past week we had some major success in the Maple Ward, this past week we had our ward Christmas Party and our investigator family, the Leepers came to it! It was a great success as we had other less active and part member families show up. Yesterday at church all 3 of our investigators showed up and it was really, really good as one of them had never been or only been once to our ward, our work is paying off as last night we were talking to him and he said that he was going to come this next week.

Well we have a baptism coming up this weekend of a girl named Torri who is 10 and we are really excited to see how that turns out this weekend on the 17th, we are also working with some more families and will hopefully be setting some more dates for this next week.

It's an exciting time once again being a missionary and I love the work.

I have recently recommitted myself to being much more obedient and waking up on time, and I feel like this is the key I have been looking for my whole mission and just found it now. I feel so much better and even though today my lemonade might not be that good, tomorrow's will be better with what lemons it gives me.

Well Christmas is coming up soon and I can't wait for that to call you guys and when I do I will have 7 months left on my misison, this is too much crazy talk. The mission is moving way, way too fast.
P.S. For our Christmas party I made some Helgas Coconut Cookies and they turned out awesome! a ton of people asked me for the recipe and I still have like a dozen left over. So many memories of cooking back home, and I will be helping a family make Cloud Light rolls for the holidays. Also that chef's frock or whatever you call it is so handy to wear over my white shirt and tie.

Elder Bolliger

Friday, December 9, 2011

Parents Friends and Family:

We have moved into our new office. As of today, send all correspondence to the new address at:

California San Bernardino Mission

6541 Woodruff Place

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701

California San Bernardino Mission

Monday, December 5, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Adelanto to Hesperia Week 64-66 : High Desert in the Maple Tree Ward, 2 Thanksgiving Dinners, Singing Bass at the Creche Festival

Three Short letters make for one long entry :)

Elder Bolliger Week 64

Hello family, well I found out that I will be getting transferred again to the high desert on Tuesday and out of Adelanto, CA.
I really wasn't expecting to go but we will see how it all works out on Tuesday, I think I will be going to Apple Valley next. Well, yesterday on Sunday its was difficult leaving this ward after only being here one transfer, I didn't realize the effect that I had and it was not easy leaving the ward, I helped to get a lot of investigators/ and a few families a lot closer to listening then they had in a year or two but I believe all will be well as I move onto the next area. Although this transfer doesn't seem like much fun being only 2 days before Thanksgiving but it will also include Christmas and New Years so that should be a lot of fun.

Next week I will tell you guys where I am and I am also excited to find out where exactly that is. But we will have to wait and see.

Elder Bolliger

Week 65 - Hesperia Maple Ward

Hello family well I am back in Hesperia, CA and right next to my last 2 areas, its the same stake as the Greentree Ward, and I am learning to adapt and to apply myself here. And I also had Thanksgiving here actually 2 Thanksgiving dinners, and we have been getting too much food recently and unfortunately probably gaining some unneeded weight as well.

Well we had a really really slow week as pretty much everyone cancelled their appointments on the day before and day of Thanksgiving. But this week will be a good one for missionary work and it will be fun though, there is a cookie making competition at our ward Christmas party - Helgas cookies and cloud light rolls.

Well have a great week and I will send pictures the next!

Elder Bolliger

Week 66: Hesperia Maple Ward
Hello family or should I say Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad?

Well I had a pretty good week this past here in the Hesperia Maple ward, we had some good appointments but the best one was just last night, a little back story.

So yesterday during church we had an area authority attend our ward council, well that was a lot of fun actually as we all learned a lot from him thinking of asking the question for investigators and less actives - What is the next ordinance that they will be doing?
For some of them he would say - the sacrament which even I sometimes forget is one of the most important ordinances in the gospel. Using that knowledge we taught a lesson last night where we emphasized the importance of the sacrament and actually got a committment out of the family to all come to sacrament the next week, it was awesome! And the 10 year old daughter has a baptismal date in 2 weeks.

Also on Saturday in Upland,CA there was the Creche Festival where a ton of different groups came together and sang and during that I was part of the basses in the choir and after practicing for the past couple of weeks we got fairly good but no where near what happened on Saturday night, it was incredible it reminded me how much I love to sing in Choirs like being in the "He is Jesus Christ" contata and it brought back so many memories from it, it was awesome! And I hope to sing in many more choirs in the future as I forgot how much fun they all are.

Well up here in the High Desert it gets pretty chilly every day now in the 50s for a high and the 30s for a low, and I have come to realize "Red at night -sailors delight, red in the morning - sailors warning" about rain is completely true. Its worked the last 3 times I have seen a red sunrise even though there were no rain clouds in the sky, apparently it has to do with light defraction/refraction plus the low pressure system.

Well I can't wait to call in a couple of weeks, it will be so awesome to hear y'alls voice!

Elder Bolliger

Monday, November 14, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Adelanto, CA Week 60 - 63:

No Letter - Week 60

Hello Family, Week 61
(non-blog) Lessons in Following the Promptings of the Spirit - Blessings and Baptisms.

Hello family - Week 62

Hello family from Adelanto,CA after a long week of people cancelling we had some really good lessons with some of the people that we have been working with, right now we are teaching a 'lost former area book investigator' and she has some really good examples of what being lds can really be to her family and doesn't have any misconceptions. Also one of the recent converts in the ward named Michael is doing missionary work already after being baptized 3 weeks ago. Tonight actually we are teaching his friend with him and I can't wait to do that actually. Its going to be awesome.
I am starting to get a grip on this ward and the people and its starting to pay off now but things are just moving slowly. This weeks email is no where near last weeks but next weeks should be a lot better progress. Sorry for the lameness but it rained up here and snowed in the mountains too!

Elder Bolliger

Well I am still in Adelanto, CA. - Week 63

The work here seems to take a step forward and a step backward at the same time, it changes often as in missionary work this is not uncommon, but is the life of being a missionary. Its not the most consistent thing in the world, and honestly I am amazed I can be so flexible when it comes to missionary work, because every time you think its going to be set in stone, people cancel, different people are there than you were wanting and other events happen that throw a lot of wrenches into everyone's plans. But over the course of the mission I have learned to trust in the spirit and to follow what its saying and what we should be doing. Its weird to think that I was more stingy about being flexible before as now its common to expect being flexible and I am grateful that I could learn such a skill.

Also this past week on Wednesday we had a really, really good day. We met with one of our main investigators and taught her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she is someone that has very good LDS friends that are good examples to her and a good example of what the Church can really do. It was really good and in the lesson me and my companion got the same prompting to give her a blessing of comfort and counsel. We weren't expecting to do this at all and in my mind the spirit said again 'she needs a blessing of comfort' but to myself I thought that this was crazy and giving a blessing on the first lesson. I was hesitating saying it and then suddenly my companion said it and I was like, yup that was a prompting and he said it before I could, we both got it at the same time. And after the blessing her demeanor completely changed from one of a sullen, depressed to a joyful happy one, and that's what the gospel does for people, it makes them genuinely happy and feels good in their life when they are following the gospel.

That day was not over yet, it turned into a very different one than we were expecting and than what we had originally planned. It was a good day though and the spirit was helping to guide me along through out the day on who to go see as we had nothing planned for dinner, but the spirit said 'go and see [these people] and they are going to get need priesthood blessings'. And the spirit was right once again, as we went over there and didn't saying anything other than being there supportively and talking and having a good time with them and then it wasn't until the husband said ' thank you for coming over' then I knew that the spirit was right. And they both asked for priesthood blessings and one thing that I have noticed as I have been giving them, every times is a learning experience, every time I give a blessing I learn something new myself. Whether it be how to give one, how the blessings are manifested, how sometimes the spirit gives more direction than others, and you can pronounce blessings without sometimes being specific as its what they feel sometimes rather than what you are actually saying. Its just a learning experience and like following promptings its a precept upon precept learning curve.

Then over time you can really start to see how far you have come.

But since then its been a little slow in terms of missionary work as this week wasn't the fastest one.

But I am curious to see how transfers will go now, and if I stay, my companion stays or one of us goes.

Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Returning With Honor Oct 2011

We attended the AMAZING missionary farewell fireside at the mission office on October 16th. As we waited to see Sister Bolliger, several other people gathered too. I think we overwhelmed her a bit as she seemed pulled between realizing that it was nearing the end, crying in the car listening to a song her mission president played for the sisters departing, and seeing her parents and others waiting there. We got some fun hugs and then off we were to listen to a very spiritually rich fireside. Sister Bolliger recited the mission motto for all the missionaries to rise and repeat. Each missionary invited 1 person they worked with to share their testimony. Siser Bolliger invited Chuck but he was out of town on a family matter so he was not able to speak.
The others that shared their testimonies were amazing. The spirit was awesome!

Later in the program she bore her testimony. She mentioned how much she's loved the people and how she's developed a love for the gospel beyond an intellectual knowledge. She shared how seeing the atonement work in her life, the life of her companions, and those that she served was wonderful. The mission president spoke for the last 30 min. giving a stirring talk about doing God's - His work and being on God's - His team! Photos and hugs followed. It was such a special night.

The next morning we arrived to pick up Sister Bolliger. We put her things in the car and were invited in to a final prayer with the mission president, his wife, and all the missionaries departing. I cried through the prayer. It reminded me of being in the temple. We all kneeled in their family room. There was so much love, faith, devotion, and willingness to serve in that room. I LOVED it! It is a precious memory for me!

The Assistants to the President took the others to the airport and we drove over to the temple to visit. It was great. Later we went back to the mission office to get see Sister Jackson from our home stake arrive from the airport and take a photo. Sister Bolliger also got to see Sister Biasayl from Mongolia, Sister Croft, and others. It was a sweet treat though a bit misty eyed for Sister Bolliger. It was hard to leave and talk about completing her mission.

Saturday morning the family went to our Stake President's home so that Sister Bolliger could give her report, talk to him, and be released. She didn't like taking off her name tag right away. It was hard. She loved being a missionary and could feel the mantle of love it brought to allow her to see others and love them the way that God does!

Sister Bolliger spoke about the atonement the next day in church - her "homecoming!"

Favorite thoughts I jotted down from her talk:

Read Scriptures - it's a handbook of life - Book of Mormon

Faith is not just believing - but acting
Gospel challenges us to be converted to do and become who He wants us to become.
Atonement - God takes us wherever we are at and makes us better.
God knows us personally.
The atonement is for all of us!

The Holy Ghost is like a GPS - if we are not understanding the directions....
maybe the volume is down.
maybe we are in a place where we cannot get reception.
When we choose to NOT follow the instructed course, we hear "recalculating."

Pres. Gelwix taught "Keep on Keeping on!"
"If you knew the final score of the game, would you switch jersey's mid game?"
"We do know the final score!"

"Which team are we going to play for?"

Pres Gelwix also taught "Repentance is like weeding the garden. If you go to the root - everything is gone"
She shared about people she'd taught like Andres that prays wherever and whenever he can.
She shared about Chuck that studied and learned and hungered for the gospel.

Finally she shared about helping a companion that struggled to love herself and learning i
t is not our pace but the direction that we are going that matters! We are all imperfect people trying to follow Christ! 2 Nephi 31:20 "Press forward in steadfastness in Christ..."

Christ revealed himself in his perfect form so we could have a perfect hope in him.

Again, she shared how she intellectually bought into the atonement before leaving to serve a mission. But now she feels it too!

She concluded with her testimony in Spanish.

It was a beautiful day.

This concludes the weekly updates on the mission of Sister Katalin Bolliger


Sister Bolliger - the Elder :)

She's now a nursery leader working with the 18mo old - 3 years olds in our ward. Awesome!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Adelanto, CA Week 59: "Now the only Bolliger Missionary in the field"

Hello family,

I can not believe that Katie is going to be released as a missionary today! it seems just so weird to think about.

Well right now I am in Adelanto,CA which is only about 10-15 minutes away from my last area, so close yet so far. But the area is one... just different honestly. But already we have had some miracles here, there were two appointments that turned out to be different than we were thinking initially.

The first one was a group of friends of a girl in the ward who met with missionaries once before and helped to answer questions, this time we watched the Prophet of the Restoration with them, it was good as for the most part it is self explanatory but it helps to put the Restoration in a more easy to view format, the movie went over good but it was afterword that his interest really started to peak up, we were going back and forth in a Q&A about different gospel subjects and his attitude completely changed, it went from a "II respect you but I really don't believe it" at first to him feeling that it is true and willing to read and pray about the things that we taught. It was quote the changed and I have noticed on my mission that 'golden investigators' progress noticeably during the actual lesson and he was definitely doing that.

We had another such appointment with a daughter of a member in the ward who is the only member in her household and in the past the daughter has been pretty mean to the missionaries. Well this time we offered her to pick any of the discussions that we had to teach and she chose the Plan of Salvation, it was a very,very good lesson with the spirit there and we answered many different questions about where we go after we die and so forth. it was awesome, we could see her be impacted by it and especially when we started applying it to her directly, she got much more involved in it and we actually set up a return appointment to teach her again, actually on her birthday so we will be making cookie brownies for her and hopefully will help her to come unto christ even more.

Well we had a good week and this is sure a learning experience being a senior companion for the first time, its definitely interesting but good nonetheless.

Here are some pictures from Judy Y Baptism on Saturday,
They are of me, Judy and Elder Gibson.
This baptism was one of the sweetest spiritual experiences I have ever been to and had, when she came up out of the water she asked "Did it look as beautiful as it felt?" And the spirit was so strong there, and she was beaming after that and the Sunday afterword where she was confirmed a member of the church. It was awesome!

Next week we have yet another baptism that I am looking forward to of Paul another Golden Investigator

Elder Bolliger - Now the only Bolliger Missionary in the field
Helaman 5:12

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 58: Staying in the Victorville Stake, Progressing Investigators, Amazing Mission Tour, I Go Senior ...

Hello family from the High Desert of California in Hesperia,

Well I just found out this morning that I am leaving this Hesperia Greentree Ward and that I will be leaving tomorrow morning, I have only been here for 3 months and I have already grown to love the ward a ton! I am anxious to find out where I will be going to serve next, whether its in the High Desert or back down the hill in the Valley. I don't know yet.

Well yesterday our golden progressing investigator got interviewed and she is now ready to be baptized this Saturday, regardless of where I will be going in this transfer I will be coming back this weekend to baptize her! It will be so exciting to see her get baptized and then confirmed the following Sunday. Then a week later another of our golden investigators is getting baptized! So it will be twice up here for baptisms in 2 weeks in a row. Fun stuff.

Well this is going to be a hard move from this ward to the next, and I am sorry this email is so short. Today I have to get cracking on packing and that's going to be a lot of fun.

We had an amazing Mission Tour with Elder Alan F. Packer and his wife Sister Terri Packer. It was really long but it was really good and helped assess how to help "Eternal Investigators" and the things that they need and how people are truly converted to the gospel.

Well I am in Victorville still - just a different area. But I am in the Victorville Stake. Right now I am follow up training a missionary named Elder Paget who has been out 3 months.
Just as Katie is going home I go senior......

Well I hope yall the best and I will talk to you next week!

Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 77: Miracles, Plan of Salvation in Video Game Language, Farewell to Fresno Mission

As I was praying last week I got the distinct impression that there were still many more miracles that I would see on the mission. And boy if that wasn't true!

This Wednesday we got a call from a recently reactivated member that her fiancee wanted to take the lessons! We called him that day and set up an appointment with everyone. We went to his little teeny house--which you can definitely tell is a bachelor pad--and had our first lesson with him. His expectations for meeting with us were just to "learn all that we had to offer!" :) We can certainly accomplish that! We started with How to Begin Teaching and then it quickly transitioned to teaching the first lesson. He is really smart and so it was so wonderful to hear him dealing with the language of the Book of Mormon and Bible so easily!

We scheduled a church tour the next day and we were so excited for it! They all showed up again (investigator, his fiancee, the daughter of his fiancee, and the mom of his fiancee) and we gave them a tour! He accepted the invitation to come to church. The whole tour was basically him reteaching us the restoration! We watched part of the Restoration DVD and then committed him to be baptized. And he readily accepted! Hahahha. His date is for the 30th of October.

This particular man is very into video games. And so as Sister Wiese and I were preparing for our next lesson with him, the Plan of Salvation, we decided to put a little twist on it all. So, we related the plan of salvation to a video game! And my goodness. It went so well! Haha. Before we lived here on this earth, we lived with God and he was telling us about this video game that we would have to play so that we could receive more blessings! We were so excited for the release date (hah) and he explained to us the rules. That there would be consequences for every action but it was up to us whether we would follow God! Then, the video game was written (the Creation) and the first players came into the game. Adam and Eve. Our purpose here on earth is navigate the video game and get as many points as we can! But God hasn't left us to our own devices. Just like a video game, we can build our immunity and upgrade weapons by doing certain things--keeping the commandments and making covenants. And...the controller is in our hands. We can choose to wander around.. or we can proactively try to fulfill our quest. We're not alone though! This is a team effort. We can talk to our friends and family and learn from their mistakes. And..we have all of the secret codes and tricks! The scriptures! After we die we are waiting for our final score. Then, God tells us how we did! And based on our score, we can inherit one of the Kingdoms of Glory. :) He was so into it!!!

We also saw miracles with our investigators this week. Another insanely progressing young man in the Navy is preparing to go on detachment for three weeks. Well, we made him a det survival kit! It has all of the pamphlets, mini military scriptures with some awesome scriptures already marked, and a few DVDs. Haha. He was so excited! He nonchalantly mentioned that he had to switch shifts so that he could come to church on Sunday. Wow!

Things are a bit interesting this week as this Saturday is also another preparation day. Transfers got moved to Monday becuase of some things president has later next week, so everything is kind of crazy! I am not looking forward to leaving the mission. I love it so much! I am just trying so hard to stay focused and keep finding, teaching, and baptizing!

Sister Bolliger's Invite to the Fresno Mission Farewell Testimony Meeting

From the bottom of my heart, I'd just like to say,
How much I truly do want to stay!
This missionary time has been a privilege it's true,
Especially because I have met all of you!
I just wanted to thank y'all for the example you've shown,
From your Christ-like love, service (and teasing) I have grown!
So as it's time for me to prepare to leave,
This invitation to my farewell I hope you'll receive
With the remembrance of which missionary I am -
and that you'll come to my farewell if you can!
I'm off to new adventures with my faith in the Lord...
and with my missionary memories I'LL NEVER be bored!

Peace be the Journey -

Hermana Bolliger & Sister Bolliger - The Younger

Friday, October 7, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 57: General Conference...and other Golden experiences

Hello family from the high desert of Southern California where yes it is still above 100 degrees and its strangely cloudy and sometimes rains as well.
This past week we helped our investigators progress closer towards baptism, sometimes it feels like 3 steps forward 1 step back, as we help people become much more spiritual they slide back a little bit but like that talk yesterday you have to keep on moving forward and when you look back you see how far you have really come. Our main 2 golden investigators continue to progress towards baptism, one of them named Judy is progressing very very well, getting closer to her date for the 15th of this month. She watched conference and loved it, it answered a lot of her questions and she is excited for her baptism date. When we teach her we are definitely being led by the spirit how to answer her questions and how to best teach to her needs, Teach People - Not Lessons, is what I have definitely been learning out here on a mission and it in turn applies as well to Home Teaching, to Teaching at Church and everywhere else where we have to teach people, it pretty much comes down to not worrying about covering everything in a lesson but helping them to understand whats being taught, asking the right inspired questions to clarify and following the spirit when it leads you down a different path then you would have normally been going down. Our other main investigator named Paul is also golden and also answering his own questions, he also has a baptismal date for the same day and is also progressing towards that. It is exciting to have investigators that are getting so close to baptism and some others that are well along that path.
But we are still going along good here.
I really thought of conference and being back home with yall as a member bought me a razzleberry pie and it was so good! It made me think of home and of yall but i am not getting trunky.
This next thursday Elder Alan F. Packer and his wife will be having a mission tour here in the mission. I am excited to see what he says that he knows June and Henry Johnson and grandma and mom as well. Its going to be a small world for sure.
But transfers are the 11th of this month and we find out this saturday who stays and who goes. Its going to be an interesting one for sure.
Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 76: This week was full of more wonderful missionary things!

This week was full of more wonderful missionary things!
I could hardly wait for general conference!
Early in the week we had a splendid lesson with a lady who was a referral from her neighbors. She said that we are her "spiritual adivsors" and that she had such a wonderful week as she read the Book of Mormon and prayed daily, as we asked her to. She said that the time couldn't go by fast enough for our next appointment! I have really come to know what it is like (as it says in D&C 50) when the teacher and the receiver do both by the spirit, and both are edified. Sister Wiese and I just looked at each other in looks of astonishment and gratitude for this woman's desire to change and recognition of the spirit. As we taught her about the Restoration we could tell that she was having some questions or doubts. After we finished, however, upon asking her to share with us some of her concerns, she said that there was just something about us that took away all of her doubts. Duh duh duhh! The Spirit at work yet again!
One of my least favorite things to do on the mission is have a lesson with people that are not progressing and explain to them that we can't visit them anymore if they do not keep their commitments and progress. We had a few of those this week. And they were all in Spanish. But, I have come to trust in the Lord's timing and in the Lord's way and in the promptings that we receive. It went over much better than we expected, and I hope that soon these families will understand the importance of the gospel in their lives.
We had some great lessons with our resident golden investigator. Haha. We had a lesson at a member's house on Wednesday with the intention of teaching him the Law of Chastity. We felt impressed to start teaching the commandment by talking about prophets (another good thing to explain General Conference). Well, it turned out that prophets was actually his concern! He said he had kept thinking about it since our previous lesson and we were able to explain to him the process by which a prophet is selected by God and how we can know for ourselves if he is a prophet of our Heavenly Father!
We had a teamup the next night and so we texted him to see if he would be okay with yet another lesson the next evening. He was. We met at the church and THEN it was law of chastity time! Haha. We were a bit anxious to teach this---with him being 25, male, and in the Navy--but it actually went over quite well! He explained that he had already come to a similar conclusion previously on his own, and that he wanted to do everything he could to be "sealed" in the temple with his girlfriend. Having lessons with him are so amusing! We were explaining why we were talking about the law of chastity (as it is a commandment that must be lived for one to be baptized) and I said, "It's not like we woke up this morning with smiles on our faces that we'd have to teach you the law of chastity!" And he responded, "Are you sure? Because you both always seem to excited and happy in our lessons!" Hahahah. Little does he know it's the "Golden Factor"--it's so exciting to teach someone that has been prepared!
Well...resident golden investigator came to the Sunday morning session of General conference. And did quite well staying awake! :) We got a text from him during the afternoon session saying that he was watching it at a members house! We had teased him suggesting that as a marathon runner he could handle another session of conference.. but he had a rough night so was going to go home and watch it online. Well, he got to his house and was locked out! As he was pondering what to do a member texted him inviting him for lunch and the last session. Hahahah. Yes! God works in wonderfully mysterious ways.
Conference was wonderful. I went with questions again and was so edified! It went by far too quickly. As one of the Seventy was talking about Returned Missionaries I began to tear up. I was sitting next to a recent convert and surrounded by people that I have grown to love in my many months here. I do not want this experience to end. However, I gained great comfort from conference that no matter what I am doing in life, or where I am, I will be able to still be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I will still be able to access guidance from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost. I will still be able to endure difficulty and trial--for in fact that is why I am here.
I realized as we were driving around on Sunday night that I had two weeks from that day until I would be released. Ah! I haven't started packing. And I have tried to push it out of my mind.. but I think the time has come to man up (haha) and face the future! One of our members took us out to dinner. She's a psychologist at the prison..so I was asking her about helping me deal with change. Hahah. And she mentioned how there are pro's and con's to every situation in life. And the fact that there are pro's to being a missionary and pro's to being a civilian (lol) and that accepting and appreciating the pros of both things doesn't mean that I am diminishing my appreciation of either one. It's just a logical way to go about it!

Peace be the Journey,

Sister Bolliger - the Younger

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 56: Studying and Favorite Scriptures, Working with Golden Investiagors

Hello family,

Well this week I have been studying and then napping, hehe.

Well that was mainly because my companion, Elder Gibson has been sick with a stomach bug for the past week and well I haven't been sick so that means study, and also falling asleep while studying, well it was good for me as I hadn't updated my journal in forever and I updated it with an entire transfers worth of information, not quite as detailed as it could have been but good nonetheless. But I learned and read a lot in the book of mormon, in the old testament, new testament and in the missionary library for additional understanding. I was watching the Testaments this past week and decided to find out what prophesy that christ is reading when he is in the synagogue , that prohpesy is Isaiah 61:1-3 and is an outline of what christ will do during his life time, from the account we have in Luke 4:16-19, that they got mad at him saying " Is this not joseph's son? " and cried blashpemy. The Account in Isaiah is very interesting as it talks of those that are in spiritual prison. And I have also read almost all of Helaman and I am finding out so many things that I never knew before. Especially when Helaman 10 where Nephi (son of Helaman and brother to Lehi) is given the sealing power in verse 7 but look at verse 6 and the wording that is used. Its so fascinating.

Well our 2 golden investigators are progressing well and rather quickly actually, towards their baptismal date of October 15. I can't wait for that day and there will be more people getting baptized in November and beyond, also in this ward our 40 day fast is ending this friday as here comes general conference! I don't think I have ever been this excited about conference ever and I am anticipating the messages the prophet and apostles will be having. This the greentree ward and the colton ward are the two wards that I love the most, I love the people and being loving and bold to the point that we can help correct and reproof them while helping them come closer to Christ.

Well have a great week yall!

Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 75: Baptism, Training in Visalia, Fresno Farewell Fireside, Back Seat Driver

Well this week was fantastic.
We had a baptism last night. And it was splendid! Isis Yamilet B was baptized by one of our pre-mission ward missionaries. Isis is 9 and I think her baptism was a great reminder for her family about the importance of baptismal covenants. She felt so special! It took four times to get her baptized, haha, but it was well worth it! Her primary teacher gave a talk, along with another sister in the ward that does the music in primary. Isis really wanted to swim in the water after being baptized, but I think that being baptized four times took away that desire! She just wanted to get dry! Haha. A huge part was that Isis' older sister, Alicia, bore the closing prayer. She has been an investigator that I have worked with off and on the whole time I have been here in Lemoore. She was very nervous, but I walked up with her to the front and she said a beautiful prayer in Spanish. I was so proud of her!
We had specialized training in Visalia this week. This was my last big meeting as a missionary. Ah! Tradition in the mission is that new incoming missionaries and departing missionaries bear their testimonies at such meetings. Oh my goodness. I was the first to go to bear my testimony and I had promised myself I would not be emotional. But, for the first time really...it has hit me that all of this is going to end. That I am not going to be "Sister Bolliger the full-time missionary" forever. Gah! I have been taking a lot of comfort in a talk from Elder Holland, however, that says "faith is pointed towards the future." I am trying to have faith for the future and be calm as this transition quickly approaches!
We got the fliers for the farewell. It will be in the evening on Sunday, October 16, at the mission office (1814 n echo). I am redoing mine to look spiffy and should be sending those out ASAP.
I loved going to the Relief Society broadcast. In the Hanford stake, they have a tri-tip dinner beforehand! I didn't even hold it against them that it was tri-tip. Haha. They had leftovers that they gave to us. What a spiritual and physical feast that was! I love listening to our church leaders and especially being able to prepare for General Conference that is coming up!
This week we have been all over our huge area contacting former investigators and going through the records that we have for members. I am trying to set Sister Wiese up with all of the information that I have in my head--in an accessible location! I'm doing an intense color coding of the map with everything and it should hopefully help her out!
Also, for the first time EVER in the mission. I am no longer the driver. We requested to have Sister Wiese be the driver so that she could learn the area. Ah! It is freaking me out! I just realized the other day that I don't have to look at the road while a passenger. I have driven every day of my mission. And it's a weird adjustment to be a passenger! haha. But it is great as Sister Wiese is able to learn the roads and the area better. It's also a great mental exercise for me as I have to transition my autopilot driving into coherent directions. lol. Thankfully we have something called a u-turn! :)
We had a great lesson with a referral from the ward. It was awesome as we started out with our expectations and hers as well. She has come from a rough religious background but she is excited to change! We had anticipated that she might have some problems with the Book of Mormon but she readily accepted our reading assignment and treating it as scripture!
I have still refused to look at a calendar to see how many days are left. With the change of when we're released I know that takes away a preparation day for me to get ready to leave! Ah!

Sister Bolliger - the younger

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 55: Amazing Week & 40 Day Fast, Temple Session for Victoria, Progressing Investigators,

Dear Family and Friends,

The past week has been an amazing one for us and for this missionary work in this ward. The 40 day fast is bringing us so many prepared and golden investigators its just amazing. Right now we have 4 people with a date and we hope by the end of this transfer that number is around 8, which in all actualality is possible. This last week we contacted 2 referrals we got, one of them from the spanish elders and another one from a family in the ward. We contacted them both and on the first visit committed them to baptism and they accepted, a couple that accepted and a non-member husband of another. We invited them and they both came to church on sunday and it was great having them there, the non-member husband during elders quorum said that he had questions about the church and that they were answered during that class, its so exciting!
This past week I went to a temple session for Victoria and it was amazing, Elder Hall was there as well and it was an amazing time to see people progress from where they were a year ago to such strength in the gospel.
Our main progressing investigator [Judy] is progressing in learning the gospel at an incredible rate, we have been teaching her lesson 3 and 4 over the past 2 weeks and everything we teach her she accepts so readily, she is the most golden of investigators I have ever taught and my love for this ward just increases daily, we help out in the ward to remove pride and communication problems, we work really really hard and people are starting to get to a good comfortable situation with us ( this actually isn't bad) people are getting to the point that we can be loving and bold and correcting with them and still have a good atmosphere free from contention and hard feelings so that through the enabling power of the atonement people can be free from grudges, offenses and other things that people nurse and let control them rather than being in control of their emotions. I am definitely beginning to open my heart to the ward and to my companion so that we can be unified in all things so that the spirit of the lord will be able to be strong with us as we teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can achieve Eternal Life with heavenly father.
I am excited to see what this week will bring as we keep on getting more and more referrals and my understanding of how the gospel works and especially how missionary work works. Its a very interesting thing once you understand about how some referrals and people you teach are to just tide you over until the real golden investigators come, I know that may be a harsh way of approaching it but it seems like this is how it happens, or the time for them to truly accept the gospel has not come yet. Sometimes it seems like people are put in our removed out of our path in order to teach those who the lord wants us to teach.

In one week from today I can count the number of months I have left one two hands. I will have been out for 14 months, and have less than 10 months left, what is going on? This mission is going by too quickly for me.

One of the most incredible things in being a missionary is to have the Joy that comes from seeing people progress in the gospel. I believe I now know and understand what it means to 'love the people and to open your heart to the people around and to your companion'. And you just grow to love people and especially your converts as your family, that is truly one place your joy comes from as a missionary.

My spiritual sensistivity continues to increase as I learn about how the spirit works - more and more its just incredible what it does.

I hope that yall get some rain back in Texas and I love you all.

Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 74: My First ? on My Mission, Other Lows, So Prepared Investigators, Baptism on Sunday

So a funny story that I forgot to send you last time. :)

Well.. I had my first police run-in in the mission. And might I add, life. We were on our way to the church, and driving down a road I have probably driven on daily since I have been here in Lemoore. Well, in lovely California, the left arrow to turn and the main lights to go straight do not turn green simultaneously. So, I was next to a policeman waiting to go straight, when I suddenly acted on pure reflexes. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the arrow to turn go green, and I immediately sped out of the intersection. Well, all of a sudden I realized that none of the other cars had followed me. And that there was a policeman behind me with his lights on. Oh how precious. I pulled over into the Quick 'n' EZ parking lot.. and was prepared to explain myself. Haha. I felt so dumb! Well, as the policeman was talking to me, I heard the description of our car over his radio. Hahah. We were wanted women! He replied, "I got 'em." Ooh! I'm infamous! I explained that the lights in Texas were NOT like that. I probably should have checked my Texas pride a bit, but it turned out in my favor. He ran my license through his computer and came back telling me to be more careful next time. I wanted to give him a mormon.org card but decided not to press my luck. lol. My first time ever to get pulled over! Not that I haven't merited it before, but I was caught this time!
This week has been intense!

We met with the most golden investigator EVER!! His girlfriend is a member and is in Iraq at the moment. We had our first lesson with him at a members home (which happened to be just down the street from his new apartment) and it was AMAZING! He said that he just wanted a relationship with God. And wanted to pray daily, not just when he needed help. And wanted to come to church. And understand the scriptures. Hahaha. FOR REAL! He had already read 1 Nephi and all of the information on Mormon.org. It was sooo cute though. He was explaining how he just didn't understand how we could get the Book of Mormon from the plates. He was like.. "Well...the plates HAVE to be round." As soon as Sister Wiese and I understood the dilemma we whipped out a picture and showed him that the plates were thin sheets of metal bound together like a book. Hahah. He was SO relieved to understand how it all came together! The members were AMAZING and invited him to sit with them at church.
We set up a church tour for the next day and the member said he would love to come. Our golden investigator said he would love it if the member came to help him feel more comfortable! The church tour was great. Spirit-filled! He wants to be baptized. So bad! Hahah. There is just a bit of trickiness in setting a date since he is being deployed for a month in October. We're pushing for October 2nd and I know that he is SO SO prepared!
He came to church this last Sunday and although the lesson material was a bit heavy (eternal marriage and way too indepth plan of salvation), he LOVED it! Haha. He was like.. "this is the most lively church I have ever been too!" (thank you young families and rambunctious children). He also volunteered the information that he only drinks a glass of wine very occasionally and that he thinks that drinking alcohol is stupid. :) We were already planning on teaching the word of wisdom next!

This week did have its lows though.. a family that we were teaching that was so promising got REALLY REALLY anti-ed. It was so sad to see them declining to find out for themselves through prayer. It was a bit discouraging but Sister Wiese and I both felt that it was a testimony building experience for both of us. The gospel is just so true!

We picked up a few former investigators this last week. There are lots of people prepared here in Lemoore for the gospel!

We are having a baptism this next Sunday. This week is going to be amazing!!! I am so excited for the Relief Society general meeting. This Sunday is going to be the Primary Program. I am so excited! :)

Hermana Bolliger

Monday, September 12, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 54: Tough week in Hesperia,CA but there is light at the end of the tunnel

Talofa family,

Well let me start out by saying that this past week has been one of the most difficult weeks so far on my mission. The week we had planned and the week it turned out to be were two very, very different things. We had an awesome week planned with tons of appointments with investigators and members to be there too, it turned out to be that we did not have any members there at any of our appointments, which was disappointing but nevertheless we struggled through and we are still diligently moving onward.

Our main progressing investigator, Judy, is moving along very,very well and very quickly, we went over the baptismal interview questions and also the word of wisdom, she committed to follow it and has been significantly reducing her coffee from 3 cups a day down to 1 and I committed her yesterday not to drink any from sacrament to our lesson on tuesday. It is amazing when you have someone that progresses so much every time you teach them, its a noticeable difference from before to after the lesson, its so incredible to see how much joy and light the gospel gives to people and their lives.

The 40 day fast is going strong in this ward, the blessings that we are recieveing from that in conjunction with the fact that the ward is getting to know us and knowing that we are hard workers and we are here to 'help others come unto Christ' and not to mess or play around. The ward is starting to trust us more with referrals and people that they know that want to take the lessons, as of right now we are averaging 4 or 5 referrals recieved every single week, which is more than 4X what I have gotten in the past in former areas. And one of the things that I am so grateful for is the fact that as missionaries we are given more mental strength, to juggle yes juggle around like 30 people that we are working with from investigator families to less actives, part members, and others. And if we didn't have the planners and we did not organize ourselves how we do, we would just get lost trying to teach everyone.

I have been really finding out for myself why the rules are they way they are and that it is true that every blessing from heaven is predicated upon obedience. There is a reason to plan nightly for the next day, there is a reason to pray before every lesson, there is a reason to weekly plan every weekend. And when you find out these reasons and do them for the right reasons you do recieve blessings and peace of mind.

Yesterday during church a good number of people kept asking us if we were both going to stay here for a longer amount of time, and we both replied that yes we are going to since we have 4 weeks left in this area, and we are getting complements that we work very well and the ward is beginning to trust us, we are also learning that when you open up your heart to an area, that you literally starting loving the people, it seems like a very cliche missionary thing to 'love the people' but it is so true. And when you do love the people you can be bold to them, in a loving way and if it is in line and in tune with the gospel and spririt then it is the right thing to do and to help heal the wounds of people. Our fast has been for 2 of the 3 missions of the church, the spreading of the gospel to every person, and for the perfecting of the saints.
Well we both hope for the best for this upcoming week and it will probably happen as we are being diligent and always looking forward, I am thankful for all that you do to help me out. And the support that you give.

And I hope yall the best and that Texas gets some RAIN!
Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 73: Always Hectic Transfer Week, Splendidly with 5'10" Comp, Vineyards & Spiders- No Worries, Providential Referrals!


Well, this week has seen its fair share of miracles. :) Things are always a bit hectic transfer week, but I am happy to say that things are going splendidly!
It took quite a bit of work to get the apartment ready for Sister Wiese. I like to have things clean. And we have a mold problem in our bathroom that I hadn't noticed until a few days before transfers. Because I never wear my glasses in the shower and our lights have burned out in the bathroom...I couldn't see the mold. Gross! So..I attacked it with straight bleach. And boy does it look beautiful now! Sister Croft was sad to go to Madera, but we had some bonding time where I dyed her hair before she left. Haha.

Sister Wiese is from Bluffdale, Utah. And she is 5'10"! It is so odd to have to look someone straight in the eye! Hahah. We keep bumping into each other because we are used to littler companions. I feel the spirit SO much with Sister Wiese. She's a bit quiet, but appreciates my humor. What more could I ask for? :) We have seen lots of miracles as we have worked together in this area.

This Wednesday was the vineyard time! It was so much fun! Each congregation is assigned a certain number of rows to take care of throughout the year. We were scrambling for a ride to go up to Madera to help, and we finally found one and were able to go! We got SO dirty but it was fabulous. We picked grapes (and I didn't even hurt myself!) with special knives and it was a great way for Sister Wiese to get to know the ward! There were lots of spiders and bugs but I didn't care at all. I was wearing pants. And tennis shoes. Haha. But...leaves kept getting stuck in my hair so I am pretty sure I looked verrrry special.

We had a phone call from Bishop last week saying that a woman in the Bay area wanted her sister to be visited by the missionaries. So, we went to try and contact her. It took us probably 4 tries because her roommate would keep answering the door and saying that she wasn't there. Well, we finally met her and she is adorable!! Roxanna is so spunky. She is going to school at West Hills for Culinary Arts and has a two-year-old son with Autism. We were able to help her move out of her apartment and then into a storage unit. Our height came in handy!! We were able to stack those boxes all the way up to the top! Haha. She then came to church yesterday with her brother-in-law and nephew (who are members) that were visitng here for the weekend. It was perfect! We already have a great fellowshipper in mind...a lady who is a caterer and herself has an autistic son. :) We introduced them on Sunday and we're excited for Roxanna to get baptized!
We also had another providential phone call from Bishop last night. He said that a young man from the Navy base had contacted him trying to find the missionaries. Haha. Yes! He had talked with the missionaries when he was living at home, but his parents had them stop coming. Well, one of his friends reintroduced him to the church and so he wants to learn more! We're having a lesson with him this Wednesday at a member's house. We invited him to go on Mormon.org before the lesson and he replied that he has already been on there! Haha. Sweet!
I don't know what it is about the water here--but it seems like EVERY animal has little babies. In the trailer parks the chihuahuas have their little chihuahua puppies. A member's house we stopped at yesterday had little husky puppies. Another house had a little toy poodle puppy. And then another house had baby guinea pigs! Ay caramba!

I am excited for my district this transfer. My new District Leader is from San Antonio, Texas. We talk about Rudy's a lot. Haha. And there is another Elder from Texas here as well! Maybe Heavenly Father is trying to prepare me to go back home? Hahah.

Peace be the Journey,

Hermana Bolliger

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 53: - PHOTOS - "One of the best weeks I have ever had on my mission! "

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 72: "I will finish my mission here in Lemoore!" Great Miracles & Lots of Referrals - Amazing!

Well, the verdict is in. I will finish my mission here in Lemoore! I can't believe that time has been flying by so fast!
Sister Croft will go to Madera to a Spanish Ward, and I will be getting Sister Wiese, one of Sister Croft's MTC companions! It is unusual as the whole ward has kind of figured out that I am almost done with my full-time missionary service! I've been getting a lot of questions about what I'm going to do when I go home. Gag me! Haha. I don't even want to think about it. :)
We have seen some great miracles lately. There was a family that we found knocking that is SO ON FIRE! We had a lesson with them last Saturday night, and then they came to church the next Sunday! They loved it! We had a lesson with them last night with our member fellowshipper and it is amazing to see how prepared they are! We joked with one of them that she could see Sister Croft again when she was baptized, and she was like.. when am I getting baptized? lol. :) They have been reading and the Mom is SO prepared! Oh my goodness! It is astounding. She even said that she wanted to come and go pick grapes at the vineyard with our ward this Wednesday. Pretty amazing I'd say!
We have received a lot of referrals and everyone as of yet has been bilingual! Imagine that! Haha. It has been amaizng to see the hand of the Lord working through all different sorts of people to help us find those that are prepared to receive the gospel at this time!
My body is deciding that it is tired. Haha. I had to buy a heating pad last week because I am just in so much pain these days! Haha. But no slowing down yet!

Hermana Bolliger

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 53: "One of the best weeks I have ever had on my mission! "

Well family this past week has been one of the best weeks I have ever had on my mission! As you may know our ward started a 40 day fast last monday with Bishop Casady as the starting family and we didn't expect the blessings to come this fast and not nearly this much this soon.
So this past week we have had a number of awesome and amazing lessons. The first one was with a Samoan family named the Pelettis and we have been trying to get over there and to teach them for months now, the last missionaries that taught them were over a year ago and they are prepared and know that the gospel is true, but are just letting some things prevent them from following christ's example at this time but we are starting to get weekly teaching appointments with them and are really looking forward to teaching them that amazing Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson and I can't wait for that appointment. And the parents are ready for the gospel and pretty much come to church regularly every single week. And we taught them about Lehi's dream and about being an example to your family and Lehi's beckoning to his family to follow him on the iron rod. Thne about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can bless their lives, after that they fed us some polynesian teriyaki and I think I had 3 or 4 plates of it, dang good but if you know polynesian people and missionaries then you understand what I mean by feed and feed you. This was just tuesday.

On Wednesday I was on exchanges out in Phelan which is way the heck out there from where we live, its practically all dirt roads and the truck that we drive is so beat up because of the abuse the roads put on it, its fun but man is it bumpy, it kind of reminds me of west texas a ton acutally and its been hot up here in the 105-110 range but withour the humidity, the sun still soaks your energy away.
And while I was gone we had another amazing lesson with a girl and her boyfriend who we met in our apartment complex and taught the restoration pretty much just sitting there on the grass. They went back and taught her and her boyfriend and once again they both felt the spirit when they talked about the gospel of jesus christ, while out in the desert we had a good day with some good lessons and had some fun with Elder Hatch, who Elder Hall also trained and is my mission brother.
On Thursday we got a phone call from the bishops wife (they fasted on monday) about a lady that wanted to meet us that day and wanted to take the lessons from us, we went over there and had a very,very spiritual lesson and she felt the spirit and knew that it was true and wanted to meet with us again the next day. She is an older lady that has been searching for the gospel all of her life and as we taught she knew what we were saying is true and many of her questions that she had asked people all of her life were answered by the power of the holy ghost which we had and used to know her needs.
So on friday weere pretty excited and were excited to come back and to teach here once again, we taught her the Doctrine of Christ and committed her to baptism in a few weeks and she readily accepted, she is one of the most golden investigators I have ever seen or heard of on my mission so far, she also has a friend and a daughter that are also seeking for truth and we will be teaching them this next week as well, how exciting the lords work can be !
That night we had dinner with a young married couple named the Humes and it was like being back home with the missionaries we talked and talked about different things and it was really really relaxing to just be ourselves with them, it was really a lot of fun, he is a super solid member and will be coming out with us this next week to a couple of appointments.
On Saturday we went out with a rececently reactivated member named Brother Wall who is an older guy but quite the character when it comes to talking with people, we took him around on exchanges and it was a great thing as we visited some people that we felt that we should go and see, we had a ball talking and laughing with the members as well as doing some Damage Control which seems like a common thing for us in this ward.
Okay now we get to sunday and we meet with the Ward Council and the members in the ward and go over some of the problems and ways that we can help fix them with this 40 day fast and the miracles that occured in the past week, we also got up in sacrament and did the exact same thing and told the ward how much this WILL help and the MIRACLES that have come from fasting and praying oft ( Alma 6:6 ). The ward really responded well to that signed up with the dinner calendar more than they have in the past as well as signing up like 10 sopots in the 40 day fast calendar, we have already seen the positive effects of it and can't wait to see what will happen next.
But the amazingness of this past week is not over yet, after church we had a casual appointment with a part member family and I learned many small but important lessons about the holy ghost, namely that the to invite the holy ghost to be there you do not need to necessarily pray but that that prayer is one of the quickest ways to bring the spirit into a situation, because this situation would not initially allow for such an event to happen we talked and then testified about the gospel of jesus christ and about how much it can bless his life, the spirit was so strong there and we commited him to be baptized when he finds out that undeniable witness for himself that the true gospel of jesus christ has been restored to the earth and Christ wants him to follow after him and to be baptized by one holding Authortity, it touched his wife who was a member and it touched him as well and we set up a return appointment for the following week, we are so excited for that even to happen!

So that was the amazing week that Elder Gibson and I had and we are looking forward to this next one so much.
Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 70 - 71: Phew! We made it through this week!

Well this week has been insane!!!

On Wednesday we were able to go to the temple and it was such a joy! I love going! Although I could barely stay awake (whenever I sit down I seem to fall asleep) the Spirit was absolutely beautiful. :) Wednesday night we drove back up to Fresno for an exchange. Sister Croft when in a Spanish area and I was able to be here in Lemoore with Sister Gurecki! I sat next to Sister Gurecki's twin in my French and Italian Cinema class my last semester at BYU! So we had a splendid time! We found lots of new investigators and did tons of spanish chatting!

On Thursday, we switched back at 8PM that night.

On Friday, we did weekly planning and then prepared for Special Ops. Special Ops is when priest and laurel age young men and women (16-18) from the Hanford stake are able to be set apart and go with full-time missionaries for the weekend. It was great! I was able to have Sister Willis as my companion, and Sister Croft had Sister Preston! We stopped by the ward party before we went to Hanford to get the new missionaries, and it was so spectacular looking! :) We drove home late Friday night back to Lemoore and had to make an emergency stop at the church to get another chair for one of the Special Ops ladies to sit on! Haha. Planning Friday night was pretty intense as we did it for two sets of us!

Saturday began with lots of incredibleness. Sister Willis and I went all around town talking to everyone we saw and knocking some amazingly fruitful areas! Sister Croft and Sister Preston went on bikes for the day and it was amazing how many new investigators we found! That night a brother in the ward took all of us out to eat---and that was quite a treat! The restaurant was Ethel Red's Chop House. Doesn't that sound delightful!! It was so delicious!! And reminded me of good ol' texas.

Sunday was also a full day! We had the Special Ops sisters make phone calls and send texts to remind people to come to Church taht morning while Sister Croft and I went to Ward Council. Then it was Sunday business as ususal getting the translation equipment ready and to work! (I had to go up to the stand during Sacrament Meeting to go fix the translation material) Then, Sister Preston's parents showed up to take her home. We took a picture and they followed us to the apartment to go and get her things! Sister Willis stayed with us for a bit longer. We went to go contact some people we had met the day before and then she was off back to her home ward! Then, the work was not over! We had to go and get ready for our baptism that night! Destinee D our cute girl in the Hanford ward that we were teaching was getting baptized! We went over to the Stake Center to make sure things were getting ready. Well, thre were no Elders to be found! Since it was not our building we don't have keys to the font so that it could start getting filled! Well, after a few frantic phone calls, the other set of Elders from Hanford (not from the ward where Destinee lives) came and opened it up for us. :) We were a bit nervous! hahah. We filled up some garbage cans with water to make it go faster. Well, the baptism went really really well! Fortunately it started a little bit late...which gave the font plenty of time to fill up! :) Destinee had asked me and one of the Elders from her ward to sing a duet. We sang "I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me." With our like five minutes of practice before the baptism...it went really really well! The talks were perfect and it was so wonderful to see her baptized! Her Bishop baptized her. Sister Croft gave Destinee a picture of the Savior that she drew. We both signed the back of it. It was swell! She calls me Sister Boulevard, and Sister Croft, Sister Kraft. It was so beautiful and so exciting!!

Phew! We made it through this week! I am pretending that I am never going to leave the mission. And that I am never going home. Haha. This Saturday we find out about transfers. I don't want to leave Lemoore!!

Peace be the journey!

Hermana Bolliger

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 52: One of the Most Incredible Weeks! Teaching the "Sundae/Sunday" Lesson, Faith and Other Object Lessons!

Holy cow familia, this week has been one of the most incredible weeks that I have had in a very, very long time and it was and is still full of miracles that have begun to happen.

So our we met with our new investigator, Felecia, with a member in our ward who could relate to her situation very, very well and the lesson went amazing! She was so excited to hear about the gospel and kept on answering questions, it was so cool to have someone who was so excited and ready to hear about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ! We have an appointment with her this next week and are probably going to be setting a date along with a number of other investigators we hope to set a date with.

Fast Forward to Thursday, this is where the amazingness really starts to begin.

We had a lesson with a less active family that has not come out to church in months, after visiting with them multiple times and hearing their reasons for not attending church, we decided to teach them the Sundae/Sunday Lesson.

We started out by informing them that we are going to be bringing over dessert and not to have some that night. As well as asking them what kind of ice cream they like the best. So we brought over the ice cream and put on some choclate and some butterscotch then going to the way of mustard and ketchup explaining that these things we perfectly fine on a hot dog but not on a sundae. It proved to be a very,very effective lesson about not doing things on a sunday that we aren't supposed too and was very, very effective.

Now comes friday, we had a lesson with a part member family in the ward and we didn't want to do just an average sit down lesson so literally 30 minutes before we were coming up with an amazing object lesson. Because in the past the regular old lesson proved to be not very effective we decided tinstead to Transform the Gospel of Jesus Christ into all object lesson parts.
Gospel of Jesus Christ
1. Faith
2. Repentance
3. Baptism
4. Gift of Holy Ghost
5. Enduring to the End
So this is what we did
1. Faith, we made a faith rocket with the tea bags from herbal tea packets, it proved to be very good way to show faith and I will explain it to you. You empty the bigelow herbal tea from the bag and you cut it in half, but it on your hand and light it, it will take off before the flames run from the top to the bottom of your hand, "have faith"

2. Repentance, we got some silly putty and a nail, and had them poke holes in it symbolizing what happens when we sin and don't repent, but when we do repent and forsake our sins we literally become 'new creatures in christ' and are spiritually born again, so that we may see be able to return to live with our heavenly father. Now someone may ask 'it wasn't the same as before you poked the holes in it' and that is very true but we are different after we commit sin and are forgiven of it, we have the knowledge to never do it again.

3. Baptism, to do this one you use an hard boiled egg and a vis-a-vis marker and 'mark some sin on the egg and draw a face on it too' and then get a bowl of water and when you submerge the egg in the water the sins away, and we are white, but you also remove the outer layer of the egg and its still an egg but there's one more thing to do with the egg...its not done yet.

4. Gift of the Holy Ghost, so with the gift of the holy ghost you get a 32oz gatorade bottle and you light a piece of paper and set the egg on top, the egg will drop through the hole symbolizing that its not easy and the 'baptism by fire' when you recieve the holy ghost. ( Scientifically the burning paper uses up all of the oxygen creating a low pressure in the container and the natural air pressure, 15 kilopascals pushes the hard boiled egg through the hole to equalize the pressure )

5. Enduring to the End, we used a bar of soap still in its wrapper and this symbolizes how we go through the repentance process and if we never use it, ourselves will get dirtier and dirtier all of the time, if we by chance use it once then never again, we still get dirty but when we do the 3 things that help us to continue along the path, 1. Read Scriptures 2. Pray and 3. Attend Church we are washing ourselves spiritually every day and week and renewing our covenants that we made at baptism.

Another object lesson, get 3 cups and put them together, with 3 knives, make isometric triangle and the distance from cup to cup must be the length of the knife. get the three knives to support a book of mormon in the center without allowing anything but the cups to touch the ground and still the same distance away.

Then email me a picture of it this next week if you figure it out.
Yesterday- the Baptism of Veronica. So remember when I was down in the Colton Ward and baptized Marcos? Well, yesterday I baptized his little sister and it was absolutely incredible. I loved being there for the baptism and it was an incredible experience to go and visit some people from that ward afterword. It brought back so many memories from Colton and the people that we taught there and even though it took up most of our day, we got a referral out of it that I can't wait to go and talk too, a family member of Victoria the mother of Marcos and Veronica.
I hope that yall have a great day where ever you are!

Elder Bolliger