Monday, January 31, 2011

Sister Bolliger - Fresno Week 41: Lots of Miracles, "Just How Bad is the Bug Problem", Master Haircut, AMAZING Answers to Prayers,, "Toko"!

Malo e lelei my people! :)

Greetings from Fresno where time is moving too fast! We find out about transfers this Saturday and Sister To'a and I can't believe how this has zoomed by!

Lots of miracles again this week. One of our investigators got a marriage license on Monday and so that means we're one step closer to getting him ready for baptism! Sister Gonzalez keeps calling us to make sure that he's on track for baptism and it's so fun to see her personal involvement with our investigator!

The Zone Leaders came and inspected our apartment this week and learned just how bad this bug problem was that we had been speaking of. They graciously left ten large cockroaches (that they killed with copious amounts of Raid) on our kitchen counters and then proceeded to call our Housing Coordinator. So, the exterminator has one last turn to get the bugs out of our microwave, dishwasher, oven, kitchen, and bathroom, or we're moving out! We also got a courtesy carpet clean out of the deal so we're rather excited. :) We seriously never eat in our kitchen and I only eat prepackaged foods or things that I keep in two ziplocs in our cupboard. Haha. No bueno at all.

One evening after planning I convinced Sister To'a that she was a master haircutter and she cut me bangs! They look super awesome (even if I do say so myself) and it's pretty fun having a different hairstyle after eight years or so of having the same thing. They're the swoopy to the side kind and look exactly like Sister To'a's. Hahah. My hair looks even redder these days and I keep getting asked if I'm from Ireland. I guess the pasty skin, red hair, and stubborn attitude make it seem like I'm Irish? haha. Hey, but if that menas I'm entitled to the luck o' the Irish...I'm totally okay with that!

We had a miracle with an investigator this week. Keiha is the girlfriend of an investigator that the Elders in the Young Single Adult ward are teaching. We go over to the house as well for the rest of the family, and we really got to talking with Keiha. Last night one of the wards had a baptism, and we just felt like we needed to text her and invite her to the baptism. To our surprise she came and it was AMAZING! One of the missionaries gave a presentation after the baptism, while the baptizee and baptizer were getting changed. All of a sudden I looked at Keiha, who was sitting next to me, a cute twenty-year-old student at Fresno State, and I saw tears. Then, she started sobbing. Sister To'a got her some kleenex and she continued to just cry. This made us cry, because we knew that the spirit was so strong in the room and that she was reallyy feeling it. After the baptism, I asked her what she thought. She said it was just beautiful and began to ask us what she needed to do to be baptized. We told her that the feeling she had was the holy ghost and that she could have that peace and calm with her all the time. She began to cry again and said this is what she had been looking for and that she had never felt such an overwhelming feeling of love in her entire life. :) It was awesome! She asked to have Sisters teach her, so she'll continue to go to the YSA ward, but we'll be the missionaries that get to teach this insanely prepared young lady! We taught her to pray last week and she asked even before the baptism started if she could pray again at our next lesson. Hahah. Yeah. Seriously. She texted us again last night and told us that she has been praying for something and feels this is Heavenly Father's answer to her!!

We continue to have the most random dinner schedule. Some days our dinners cancel and then other days we are double booked---so you know what that means! Two dinners! Hahah. That's actually happening today. Sister To'a and I are getting pretty skilled at packing food away. :)

We also have been asked to spend two hours a week on exploring and looking at the wonderful resource that it is! We just love watching the little clips of people's lives and reading, in great simplicity, about our beliefs! There are new pass-along cards that we use and it simply directs people to this website to be able to see how normal Mormons really are! Haha.

We were able to have a Regional Conference this last Sunday for all of Northern California. It was a broadcast and we were able to be blessed to have many many investigators there! A huge family came that we've been teaching and it was amazing as we heard President Eyring speak of the importance of a modern-day prophet. It was amazing as this was the answer to many of the questions that we'd been asked by this particular family and the spirit was doing some wonderful teaching!

We went on splits (for the first time in my mission) and have set them up for every Thursday night with different sisters in the ward. I had severe companion separation anxiety and I got severely lost, but we still had a wonderful time!

Random subject change. Sister To'a and I call each other "Toko." In Tongan, "sister" is "tokoua". And "Tokoua" shortened is "Toko"! We've been having a grand time and are just generally being ridiculous in the most quietly dignified manner. Haha. We're both super nervous about this next transfer because we both think this might be the calm before the storm--but we'll have to see what Saturday brings us!

Peace be the Journey,

Sister Katalin Bolliger

Elder Bolliger - San Bernardino, CA Week 23: Awesome Spirit Felt at the Gladys Knight Fireside, My Tie-Burning at 6 Months!

Well this past week had 2 big things for me,
in our mission we have traditions where at different marks on the mission ( 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months) we burn different things. At 6 months you burn a tie, at 12 you burn a shirt, at 18 you burn pants and 24 months its a full suit if you so desire. So this past friday on the 28th of January another elder and I from my MTC District ( Elder Twede) went to one of the missionary houses where there is a fire pit and burned 2 ties soaked in flammable fluid.
So that explains what I am doing in the first picture.

And now for the big thing, for the last month or so our stake in combination with the San Bernardino California Mission have been pushing and getting hyped and non members to the Saints Unified Voices Choir Directed by Gladys Knight. This was set up as a missionary activity to get people to come to the event, feel the spirit and listen to the music and get a ton of referrals. So on Saturday night Elder Welch and I went with LaLa ( our main investigator ) and her grandmother, when we arrived at the building, the line to get in was wrapped half way around and the parking up and down the street was completely full. Well when we got inside the amount of people there was just astounding, they say it was just under 1000 and reminded me of stake conference except that there is a professional sound system and much more in there with chairs packed to the back and the stage.
When the music started playing it was different to me as it is not your normal LDS gospel music but has more of a southern influence and also Hawaiian influence. It was so cool to see Gladys Knight and over the course of the 2 hour show they talked about the latter day saint religion and different misconceptions and more stuff. Then she got up to share a little bit of her conversion story, during that the spirit was so strong and it was awesome to hear how her daughter and her husband were the first ones and that she was baptized back in 1997 and has been doing this all volunteer saints unified voices choir since 2001 ish. Well it is definitely something to go out and buy on iTunes or in a store, its called One Voice by Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices.

Well the outcome of this choir concert has so far seemed to be extremely positive and seems to be a big plus and it will be cool to see in the next few weeks how much more referrals that we get because of it.

Well for me Transfers are tomorrow and I am staying here in San Bernardino California while my follow up trainer is going, and I will see tomorrow if I am senior companion or junior still, so next week I will have to get back to you on that.

Well this isn't as long as last week but its still a good letter.
Elder Bolliger

Monday, January 24, 2011

Elder Bolliger - San Bernardino, CA Week 22: A Very Spiritual "Spirit Finding" Experience!

Well this week is gonna be a good email.
A very spiritual "spirit finding" experience.
This past tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Mitton, the south area's junior companion. We were in our area and after 3 pm we were going to go see a less active that lived in a rest home next to our apartment complex. But while I was walking outside and inbetween our apartment complex and the rest home/ medical center or whatever you call it, I had the prompting that it wasn't the right time to do that and that we should go tracting a little north of our apartment which we started too but stopped. So for a minute I sat there and did nothing, hmmmm I thought to my self, I feel like it would be better to go tracting over there, so I followed the prompting not knowing what would become of it. But putting my trust in the lord and following the spirit, although unreluctantly. So we set out and skipped the quadraplex that last time we knocked and went straight into the next one. The first door we knock on, a lady answers , she has a little boy who inquires what our names are and after a couple minutes can't stop saying missionaries missionaries... etc. We talk with her for a couple minutes about our message to strengthen peoples faith in jesus christ and she tells us that she has talked to missionaries before but it was about 5 years ago and wants another "Finding Faith in Christ DVD" so we get down her information and she tells us that we can come back this next week and talk with her. Sweet me and elder mitton thought, like 10 minutes into finding and we already have a new investigator! So we knock on 2 more doors and the 3rd one a girl answers and we can see her family in the background but we continue with our message, and at the end of it we ask if this is something her family would be interested in, because of the family in the background usually people aren't so accepting of us coming back and talking but she accepts and we are going over there to teach her family later this week. Me and elder mitton look at each other and are amazed that she accepted and that we know have 2 investigators and we have been only out 20 minutes.
We move onto the next quadraplex and an older lady answers the door, we talk on how the plan of salvation allows us to know where we came from, why we are here and where we are going after this life. (One thing that elder Hall taught me was to go pamphlet finding, to pull out a pamphlet and explain while going through what its all about.) So we proceed to give her a pamphlet on the Plan of Salvation, and she tells us that she already has one and she loves the picture on the front of Jesus Christ rising from the tomb. In my head the spriit was kind of pre-empting me that we would end up giving a book of mormon to her but I really didn't trust it as much as I should. So we proceeded to go to the restoration of the gospel and how the gospel of jesus christ was needed to be restored more than just reformed, and all the while we teaching her about the restored gospel her thirst for the truth was visibly increasing, she wanted to know more and more and was excited for us to come back and teach her. I can't wait to teach her more. After giving her a book of mormon and testifying to her that like the bible, the book of mormon can change her life we also gave her a restoration pamphlet and also talked to her son who is interested in coming out to our friday night finding basketball activity we put on every friday night.
By this point me and elder mitton are looking at each other, holy cow we just found 3 new people in like 7 doors. This never happens and it is most definitely spirit finding.
So we proceed to the next door because we feel like there is still another person who is waiting to her our message. The next door over from the one spoken earlier an older lady answers and is initially a little cold. We go on and talk about our message and she also says that missionaries have talked to her before and were going to get her a KJV smaller bible because someone came in and stole hers. We talk to her and learn that she is very very sick and goes to a lot of different doctors but wants to know more regarding the gospel of jesus christ.
So after this 4th new investigator we are just amazed, by following the spirit we were lead to 4 new people and we stood there and both got the feeling that we had found who we needed to find and that was all we were supposed to do. That day we ended up only tracting for about 45 minutes and found 4 new people. After getting back to our apartment we said a prayer of gratitude for this amazing experience and are so greatful for doing that, neither him nor me had ever experienced such finding on our missions, he has been out 8 months and me now 6! And knew that it was the spirit that led us to those people.
Also I got a letter back from a recent convert family that I confirmed their son while serving in the colton ward, I baptized/confirmed her son marcos when I was serving in colton and now I got the word that I can baptize her daughter, veronica the sister of marcos and is the little girl in the photo that I included in this email. Sweet news! I love having a positive influence in peoples lives and knowing how much the gospel of jesus christ can help them in almost every way!
Also here are the 3 ways to stay active in church. And to recieve personal revelation.
1. Pray Often
If you pray often you open up yourself to our father in heaven and share with him your problems the good and the bad and thank him for all that you have in this life, its brings calmness and peace into your life. It also allows you to pray and ask for forgiveness about things that we have done and starts the repentance process.
2. Study the Scriptures
If we study the scriptures and hearken unto their counsel they bring a special spirit in our lives that you really can't get any other way. If we are doing what we are not supposed too he will smite us with the rod of his mouth. ( a figurative expression form D&C19:15, which means the iron rod = the word of god). Pretty much you won;t be able to read it without things popping out at you smacking you in the face.
3. Attend Church
When we attend church we show our committment to god and his commandments and worship him. It gives us a spiritual boost in our life and allows us to refill both physically, mentally and spiritually for the upcoming week. This is one of the best ways to recieve revelation for yourself and serenity.
If we follow these ways we will stay active in the church and its so simple yet profound.

Sister Bolliger - Fresno Week 40: "This Week Was Full of Much Ridiculousness", Mini-Zone Conf, Teamups With Sister Gonzalez, The Lord Seriously Know!

This week was full of much ridiculousness...but that seems to be my normal way of life. :) Let me explain how it was crazy, again. Haha.

We planned a mini-zone conference for our ward missionaries where they can understand and be trained just like missionaries! We set the date for the 23rd of January and began preparations early talking with President Gonzalez about how to go about having an exciting and enlightening training. We have been fretting and worrying about it ever since.

Well, last Thursday we had a zone meeting at the mission office and asked Sister Gonzalez jokingly if she would come on a teamup with us. She amazingly agreed and said that Sunday, the 23rd would work for her schedule. Woo! As we approached Sunday, we had many more people to still teach that week than time, and so decided that we would do splits Sunday night. We called a YSA to come with us Sunday evening.

When we woke up Sunday morning to get ready for our ward council meeting at 7:30, we were so petrified! We're always stressed about who will make it to church, but with the training that day and then splits with the Mission President's wife, there were some legitimate stressors.

We actually had so much to do that we ended up canceling our dinner appointment because there just was not going to be any time whatsoever to stop and eat! Haha. We were seriously running around all Sunday trying to get everything in order. Five minutes after we got back to our apartment after the training, one of our teamups showed up! Haha. No time to rest! There had even been more ridiculousness because we had not taken into account the driving situation and had to make a last minute switch as to who would go with who that night. Haha!

Thankfully everything went smoothly! Well, and if it didn't go smoothly, whatever happened we were at least able to fix in a timely manner. :) Our Bishop, and High Councilor over missionary work were also able to attend our training and we had a great turn out from our Ward Missionaries! We kept the training to about an hour and fifteen minutes and it was a great time to help them become comfortable with Preach My Gospel and review the importance of New Member Lessons.

Even though things were harried leading up to our splits, the evening was wonderful and both Sister To'a and I were able to see miracles and be able to get to everyone that we needed to see! Sister Gonzalez had been committed by the Assistants to commit someone to baptism, and she did! Eder Robles has been taught for quite some time, but he and his girlfriend need to be married before he can get baptized. It was a great lesson and Sister Gonzalez set a baptismal date with him for February 5th! She was so excited and the energy of the day just kept going right until we crashed after planning. :)

We have been able to find some amazing new investigators this week as well. It is just remarkable how the Lord puts things in place to help his children that are honestly seeking the truth! We received a referral from the CA Riverside Mission about a woman who felt lonely and whose friend had told her that the answers to her questions was church! We were able to go visit her and take along a recent convert and it was powerful! We all cried and were able to discuss how having Jesus Christ in our life allows us to have someone who knows exactly how we feel! We met her on Saturday and she came to Church yesterday and loved it! It's a unique situation because she is Cambodian, but whadayaknow, a woman just moved into the ward who is full Cambodian and also converted from Buddhism. :) Those little things help me realize how the Lord seriously knows what he is doing!

We have an investigator named Lavonda (who is white, btw), and she has been making slow slow slow progress. We were able to have a powerful lesson with her this week where she finally opened up and told us some of her concerns about coming on a church tour and attending church. She told us how she felt like she couldn't lie to us anymore because it was like lying to God. We were also able to take her on a church tour this week! She's in a wheelchair but lives right behind the church and so we just wheeled her over there! She also accepted the invitation to be baptized and will be baptized on March 5th!

Sister To'a and I cannot believe how quickly this transfer is going and how ridiculous the miracles are that we're seeing every single day! My Tongan is improving and while the cockroaches are still plaguing our apartment, we just keep having fun!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sister Bolliger - Fresno Week 39: Buckets of Fun, Preparing for Mini-Zone Conference, Miracles, Being "Bugged" but Keeping Working!

This week has continued to be splendid!

The climax of the week was when Daisy D entered the waters of baptism Sunday night! She comes from a great family and it was such a pleasure to see the whole family excited at her decision to be baptized! We had a lot of fun teaching her and she is the best little complimenter--always mentioning our earrings, scarves, headbands, or something that she thinks is cute. :) Her brothers gave talks at her baptism, both of them recently baptized as well, and it was so precious to see this family from Palau be unified about her chance to be baptized!

But here is where the real kicker comes in. Right after she was baptized, the plug got pulled on the font. Which meant that gurgling was heard for the rest of the evening. Haha. However, after all the refreshments had been eaten and the room put in order, we went out and saw someone from the Spanish Ward walking into the Relief Society room.

We inquired in our broken spanish what fantastic event was that evening, and we learned that the Elders had a baptism! We realized then that the font was empty and the baptism was in an hour! Eek! So, we ran to go and find them in the library where they were making the programs. We casually mentioned it and then our District Leader, Elder Gutierrez, started running and immediately disappeared. The detail we didn't know was that their baptism was actually to start in 30 minutes. Not one hour!

We went to go speak with our Bishop and get a few membership record numbers, and then went to see how things were going for the Elders. We went around the back of the font and proceeded to see the Elders with their jackets off, covered in water as they frantically used buckets from the Custodian closet to assist in filling the font. Feeling horrible and realizing that this predicament was due to our carelessness, we quickly assisted, sending them off to make sure that all of the arrangements for the baptism were underway.

The newer Elder to the companionship, Elder Ingold, would frequently pause for a photo moment, having the baptizee take candid shots of our attempts to get the water at the appropriate level. Haha. Then the Spanish Sisters from the Spanish branch came back and we had a moment of hilarity as we realized the craziness that was before this baptism. Haha.

Well, due to all of our efforts the font was at least at functioning level and things started just eight minutes late. :) What a wonderful Sabbath day! Haha.

We're continuing to see success and actually we're really working hard on training our ward missionaries to understand their purpose so that we can all be unified together! We were actually able to sit down with President Gonzalez and talk about our outline and vision for this training and he was able to give us some tips and suggestions so this can be an effective mini-Zone Conference for the ward mission leader, ward missionaries, Bishop, and High Councilor over missionary work! We've been doing little steps along the way, but this is the big kick off for all of us understanding our role in the Lord's work!

Sister To'a continues to amaze me with her craziness and faith. We have chortled so many evenings after lights out, had so much fun while teaching lessons, talked so much about how the mission has blessed our lives, and just had the best time being able to serve together again! We went to a Tongan family's home last night and it was so fun being able to hear the language, drink 'otai, eat ribs, and be the only palangi around! :)

Miracles continue to abound and we've been able to follow the spirit and get into homes that were closed before, teach families, and see our efforts pay off in helping others come unto Christ!

We talked to Sister Gonzalez the other day and she told us to really enjoy this transfer because things are going to be tough after this! We have lots of new sisters coming in, lots of changes coming up, and basically Sister To'a and I aren't going to be serving together any more (most likely)!

The exterminator came again this morning and so hopefully we'll get rid of the bugs soon. They are EVERYWHERE. We have to keep everything in ziploc bags so the bugs won't get to things while we're gone or sleeping. Haha. It's rather nasty but is another thing to keep us out working!

I just love the gospel and am so glad that I have the chance to serve here in the California Fresno Mission!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sister Bolliger - Fresno Week 38: "Details, Details, Details"

Helloooooo from rainy Fresno!

Things are going quite splendidly up here in the San Joaquin Valley. Sister To'a and I are having ridiculous amounts of fun and success as we're gathering all the people into the

There is a recent convert ('07) in the ward who everyone calls Sister Jackie. But, we call her Momma. She is the most hilarious black woman of all time and she is an AMAZING missionary! There have been three people baptized just from her meeting them at bus stops. She has turned her life around is now the most crazy spiritual woman! We call her Momma J or Momma Jackie or just Momma and she just adds so much to the missionary work in the area! She's not afraid to open her mouth and can definitely talk the talk and walk the walk of those we are teaching!

We have added even more investigators to our teaching pool and were blessed to see many of them attend church this last Sunday! As we were sitting there, we just kept seeing family after family of investigators, recent converts that had gone less-active, and other families that hadn't been to church in months! Sister To'a and I were sitting on a bench that was really squeaky and so every time we'd turn around to check out who else had made it the bench made a VERY loud noise. It was hard to control our laughter and excitement and in combination with the rumbling of our stomachs it made for a noisy Sacrament Meeting.

Duh duh duhhhh! Mission update: We just got texting on our phone! It is a weird weird feeling to text members, investigators, and other missionaries but wow has it already proved to be a wonderful resource! I might have forgotten exactly how to be super efficient and speedy but it is all coming back to me now. It's amazing how many people use texting exclusively these days and now we're finally able to get in touch with them! They've been promising us this for months but we thought it was just an illusive tool, but it has finally come!

Sister To'a and I are gearing up for a training for our Ward Missionaries. We realized that the main difference between missionaries and members was that we receive training continually and practice how to go about sharing the gospel. So, we're having a mini-zone conference with our ward missionaries, ward mission leader, bishop, and high councilor over missionary work. We were able to talk to President Gonzalez about how to go about making this effective and to try and emulate his amazing teaching style. We have an outline ready and President is going to help us tweak it this week so that it can be inspiring and help everyone understand their role in this great work! We're really excited to help teach about how to use Preach My Gospel, to use the new Preach My Gospel DVDs and to show them how much potential for good is out there!

We are getting ready to lose many sisters in the mission. Four go home this month, two of which have been my companions! Sister Hernandez and Sister Tupou (my trainer) are leaving! That leaves only two sisters out longer than Sister To'a and I that are english speaking! Ahhhh!! We are so glad that we've been able to serve together.

I have been so blessed with my health. I am still getting sick, but fortunately every time we're in a position and place where it is okay. I am so grateful that I am being blessed to not have the work affected. I wake up early in the morning in pain and am able to take medicine early enough so that when I wake up at 6:30 the pain is taken care of.

We are just really seeing the hand of the Lord in our area and are able to serve with some awesome missionaries! Time flies by when you're having fun and doing the Lord's work!

Sister Bolliger

Elder Bolliger - San Bernardino, CA Week 21: Phone Call, Moving Apartments, Splits with Zone Leader - Elder Hall, Praying for Progress

So about 2 weeks ago I had just taken lunch and was sitting in bed when I heard the phone ring, hmmm I thought this is strange so I as I look at the phone it has an 801 number, okay this just got weirder as why is a utah phone number calling me, then I look at the rest of it and it says 801-455- and then I'm like why is a familiar utah phone number calling me?

So I answer the phone and its Uncle Al, I think to myself, what the heck is uncle al calling me for? He tells me that he talked to President Godwin and he wants to take me and my companion out to lunch and that he is bringing Britton and that he will be there in 2 hours. How in the world did Uncle Al get my missionary cell phone number and that he will be here in 2 hours.

So three hours later after an intense rain storm uncle al rolls up with britton in a denali and we go out to this good place called pat and oscars. We had a really good discussion about how he comes down here to riverside and fontana about once a week and buys cars and then drives them back up, he also told me of a good book called "Drawing upon the powers of heaven" by Grant Von Harrison that helps to use prayer and draw upon the powers of heaven to find people ready to receive the gospel and use that effectively.

Well this past week we have been in the process of finally cleaning and moving apartments. Which really uncovers a ton of stuff that gets piled up in missionary apartments, it would really surprise you what random stuff you find in there (we split the ward). While driving on their bikes the other elder's carried took some stuff that we didnt want back to their place.

Well this past week our Zone Leaders have been doing challenges like get so many houses knocked, find the quote in the Book of Mormon, white handbook and stuff like that. So this past week we increased our numbers and we found some possible new investigators. We tracted into one guy on Wednesday while on exchanges with my former companion Elder Hall. This area has a lot of older, retired people so its an interesting thing up here to talk to people.

In regards to our other investigator, this is a interesting situation that I am hoping will be resolved and that she can be baptized soon.

Well thats my week.

Have a good week yall!

Elder Bolliger

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sister Bolliger - Fresno Week 37: "Missionary Work is ON FIRE, My Companion is HILARIOUS, and the Work of the Lord is Moving Swiftly Swiftly Forward!"

Greetings from Fresno 5th ward where the missionary works is ON FIRE, my companion is HILARIOUS, and the work of the Lord is moving swiftly swiftly forward!

It is SO much fun to serve with Sister To'a AGAIN. It's only been a few days and we have laughed SO much! :) I am learning more Tongan and just revelling in ridiculousness. The phrase of the transfer is, "What was President thinking?" He knows how much fun we have so we continue to wonder at the privilege of serving together.

The missionary work here is BLOWING up. We found nine new investigators in the last three days. It is absolutely exhausting! Every day there seem to be so many miracles that I can't even keep track of! These people are TRULY prepared to hear the gospel and Sister To'a and I are working our hardest to truly follow the Spirit and teach what they need!

Fresno 5th isn't perfect though. When I got to the Apartment (which Elders inhabited six weeks ago) I found a disgusting amount of cockroaches. And bugs. And all things nasty. I even refused to shower that first day. Maybe that's why we're having so many miracles here--we're on a spiritual high so that we don't even care about our extra roommates (cockroaches). Management is coming with an Exterminator tomorrow though, and we get to deep clean today and I am using my skills at getting the smell of (the former tenants) out in just a few hours!

There are some scary areas particular street is called "Sin City" but with a Tongan at my side and my huge black purse that weighs more than I would care to admit, we have no fear. :)

Sister Bolliger

Elder Bolliger - San Bernardino, CA Week 20: Phone Call Questions and Answers & "Black Hole Year has Just Begun"

Comments from our Family Christmas Phone Call with Elder Bolliger:

Question: What was it like with the recent weather?

Answer: "We had a six day rain storm that started on Thursday and ended this past Wednesday. For three days it didn’t stop raining. It was weird. Not hard but constant rain. We were soaked from the water from biking. It would pool and collect. We had fun biking through the rain."

Question: What happened to your suit in the rain?

Answer: "You wear washable pants and dry out your shoes in the bathroom."

Question: How is your music (singing and piano) coming?

Answer: "I am brushing up on my musical skills."

Question: What are your thoughts on missionary ties.

Answer: "I sent a picture to grandpa of several cool ties I have. I like better trading ties and ties that are the "bomb." I love paisley’s now but not the 80’s colors. I love good ones. Skinny ties and wool one's too."

Question: What do you like to get in letters?

Answer: "How people are doing, what stuff is going on. How people have been. What they are doing recently. More up to date on what people are doing. Like family, extended family, family friends, stuff like that."

Question: What do you do for your devotional for Christmas in the San Bernardino Mission?

Answer: "The Valley met separate from the High Desert. We had lunch, sang songs, presentation, sang songs, received our mailed packages, conversed. For 4 ½ hrs. It was everyone’s giant meet up. 140 elders and 10 sisters everyone knows everyone else and talks for a couple hours. Pretty dang fun!"

Question: What is it like being a missionary and following the spirit?

Answer: "It is interesting how promptings come. Things to do that you would not have thought of by yourself. You can’t deny an impression."

(John's Mom....This week Elder John shared about an woman they have been teaching about the gospel. She has been learning and studying a lot! They are encouraged by her dedication and hope that she'll be able to progress in the gospel this next month or so.)

Here is the rest of his letter this week.

"Well for me, black hole year has just begun. And last week on the 28th, I turned 5 months old! (John's mom... this must be missionary lingo for time flying by and your age starting when you arrive on a mission). Its crazy to really see how fast time goes by and you have to work hard and it goes by faster. What I can't believe is that in less than a month ill be 6 months out. 1/4 the way through."

My old companion is my new zone leader. The district leaders go on splits with zone leaders. We are going to go in a couple weeks- cool.

Well I hope that yall have a wonderful week ahead!

Elder Bolliger