Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Elder Bolliger - North Fontana Week 35: Learned a Lot from Elder Waldon, Good Fun Time for Easter Dinner, Excited for the Week

Wow so its been 6 weeks already here in Northern Fontana with Elder Waldon. Time really has flown by pretty dang fast here. Well its been a good albeit sometimes difficult transfer, but I have learned alot from everyone here especially my companion. So it was good but I am looking forward to the next few transfers, first of all and being out on a mission for 9 months. Yes 9 Months, it really does start to pick up speed and I will probably hit a year before I know it.

So yesterday was Easter, and one of the biggest things that I remember about easter time is the big, fun family dinners well yesterday we went over to a member's house and we hadn't been over there before so we didn't know what to expect, but after a couple minutes of eating good food we really had a good fun time, with the conversation going and tangenting all over the place. It turned out to be a really good easter dinner, kind of like how our dinners would go back home and that was a good experience out here on the mission.

So I am excited to see what this week will bring.

Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 53: Mingling Missionaries, AMAZING "Savior of the World" Play, Favorite Families!, Wonderful Temple Visits!

Hello from Lemoore!
We are excited as this Saturday we will be having a mission wide conference and Bishop Burton of the Presiding Bishopric will be speaking to all of the missionaries! They told us "not to mingle" afterwards but I don't think I'm capable of not mingling! Haha. It will be quite the opportunity to see everyone and it's saving me lots of postage because several sisters have birthdays this month!
This week was great. The Visalia, Hanford, and Porterville Stakes have been working for months on the "Savior of the World." And this last weekend it was performed! It was AMAZING. Being my snooty musician self, I was a bit worried for what it would turn out to be, but it was fabulous! Some of the vocals I even preferred to the soundtrack! We were able to go on two conditions: (1) That we have a ride from Lemoore to Visalia, and (2) That we have an investigator go whose attendance with us was critical to their conversion. :) Well, we decided that Alicia would really really benefit from this. So, we decided to try and take her with us to the performance. We encountered a few trip ups with the situation. Because of the car accident that she suffered the week previous, she was VERY hesitant to get in a vehicle, let alone take the 40 minute drive to Visalia. So...we compromised by telling her that we'd find the LARGEST BIGGEST truck we could find to take us there. This was solved by one of the members in the ward, a recent convert of about two years. His huge diesel double cab fit the bill. Alicia also insisted that we start the drive there and back with a prayer and be surrounded by us--missionaries of of the Lord that would be protected. We found a sister to come with us (thanks Roro!) and planned to go to the matinee showing. We were all ready to go when Saturday morning we got a text at 10AM from Alicia saying that she wouldn't be able to go. Because of some tricky financial situations, she needed to find work and was offered a job in a town about an hour west of where we live. She needed the day to find a ride there as she needed to go there that day to sign paperwork. We eventually convinced Alicia that we could help her find a ride and got her with us on the journey to Visalia! It was amazing to be back in my old area!
The play was AMAZING! There were only a few numbers that were a bit off, but most everything went smoothly! It was so fun as I began to recognize some of the actors. The man who played Joseph kept looking SO familiar to me and then it came! He was Brother Smith...from one of my fav families in Visalia! There were so many from our ward and stake..and from my old Visalia ward.. it felt like coming home. :)
I was able to see SO many of my old friends! All of my recent converts from the area were there, many many members of the ward, and even one of my favorite investigating families was there that I worked with SO much! I also found out another family we began teaching was there..and they have subsequently been baptized! Yes! Amazing! Overall it was pretty much the best afternoon ever.
After returning to Lemoore we were on a hunt for someone to spontaneously take Alicia to her job. Enter my least favorite part of missionary work. Calling various members for immediate favors. Hahahah. Ahhh! Sister Anzelmetti and I took turns and it is so not fun! But...we called one of my fav sisters (you know who you are) and she gave a ride for Alicia where she needed to be! I so appreciate those that are willing to help us out!!
This week I have been learning LOTS of spanish and having fun training my gringa tongue to speak more like a Mexican. Haha. Sister Anzelmetti has been really patient and I have been tearing up "El Libro De Mormon" -- I'm currently in the middle of Alma. It has been wonderful to read and learn so that I can prepare to teach in Spanish!
In a weird twist of events, Sister Anzelmetti has been the one down with stomach problems this week. I have had a lot of opportunity to do some extra studying (which I desperately need) and time to organize and get ready for the next transfer!
Today we were able to go to the temple and it was wonderful. I wish I could stay there all day! A sweet sister in the ward drove us there and how I wish I could go more often than once every four-and-a-half months!!! I am so excited when I can access the temple as frequently as I want!
Good news, remember Chuck the Cowboy? He's starting the temple preparation classes. His year comes up this August! In talking with him at the play, he said he is really excited to prepare for that special time!
I am insanely stressed about transfers but am just breathing. Having two companions go home in one transfer is not so good for my nerves. Lots of decluttering, travel details, and unusual circumstances have manifested themselves on my face. Hahahha.
Lots of zits. But that's okay.
I got the Easter letters from the ward! How special! I can't believe people are talking about me coming home. Hahah. That's 6 months away people! I am already in denial.

Sister Bolliger

Monday, April 18, 2011

Elder Bolliger - North Fontana Week 34:Slowly Getting Better, Cool Gift Baskets, Dinners Reminding Me of Old Times, Ward is Awesome

Well its been 2 weeks since I last sent out an email.

Things have been slow here in this area, but things are getting better..... slowly.

Well we have been working with the ward mission leader Brother Kessler to make gift baskets for people who have friends that went to the Saints Unified Voices and those who have had friends that are investigating the church. Its going to be pretty cool to give to them for the ward, as this should help to increase the members support of missionary work in this ward.

But we had a dinner with a family that seriously reminded me of us when we were younger. There is a family in the ward that has a newborn girl a 2yr old boy and a 3 year old girl, and the boy is hyper and has fun with his sisters, I am sitting there like, that was me when I was that age, stuck in the middle and playing with my sisters. It reminded me alot of growing up and the videos and pictures of us. It was cool to see what I may have been like with Katie and Ann Marie growing up at that age.

This transfer really has flown by faster than I can imagine I am coming up on 8 1/2 months out here in the mission field.

But our ward is awesome but just needs some helpful direction in how to get missionary work really going in the area, yesterday in ward council we had a really good talk over missionary work for an hour and a half. It was good to start getting some possible referrals and possible people to go contact and talk to about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

But I hope that yall stay safe whereever you may be, and those tornadoes I have been hearing about are crazy.

Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 52: Still Alive, Amazing Spirit in the Temple & Sister's Meeting, Good ol' Texas, Native Spanish Speaking Companion

Well.. LOTS has happened this week in Lemoore. But I am still alive! Haha. And breathing... after a bout of bronchitis!

We were able to go to the temple last Tuesday. What an amazing opportunity to renew covenants and bask in the beauty of the spirit! My companion and I were going just the two of us from our zone, because she was leaving, and we ended up seeing two other zones of missionaries! Which means I got to see Sister To'a, Sister Petersen, Sister Lake, Sister Galati, Sister Hebdon, and Sister Boyce! It was an unexpected little Sister's meeting. It was wonderful to catch up with everyone and just feel the sisterhood during the session. I felt so enlightened and inspired. It was like my mind was just flooded with thoughts about what I need to do to progress and how to help others around me. It was amazing!

My companion left today for good ol' Texas. Hahah. I suddenly became nostalgic as she was saying goodbye...missing the humidity and barbeque. :) My new companion is Sister Anzelmetti! She is from Mexico, and is 34 years old. I am SO excited though! Being a native spanish speaker, she is here to help me with the spanish families we're teaching, and help me with my own spanish! She has served in Lemoore before, and these two weeks are the last of her mission as well!

I am getting spanish I guess I'm really going to have to start learning this stuff ASAP! ;) Hermana Bolliger. That will be weird to introduce myself like that! The funny thing is that it's really hard for spanish speakers to pronounce my name. The "B" "G" and "R" sound are unusual when they're put together like that. Hahahha. So maybe I should have got a tag that said Hermana Loca?! :)

We had a fiesta this week. In order to help fellowship the Spanish speakers in the ward, we had a fiesta where all spanish speakers were invited! Gringos and natives alike! Everyone was to bring their favorite food. It was great for those that attended. Some children we're teaching came and they were able to play around with other kids and adults were able to talk to each other and feel included in the ward! It was awesome!

I am excited to get to work and learn my spanish!
Wish me luck!!!!

:) Hermana Bolliger

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Elder Bolliger - San Bernardino Mission Weeks 1 - 33: Photos of Fun Mission Memories

The night I became "Elder Bolliger" just before leaving for the MTC. I am here with counselors of the Stake Presidency and My Dad. (Pres. Oldroyd, my Dad, Me and Pres. Brown)
Tradition has it in the San Bernardino Mission that we burn a tie on our 6 month mission anniversary. Awesome Fun!Mission Families - Great!
The P-Day I got the high Bowling score of 184!
Hiking in our Area!
Wall Art...
Provo MTC Map and the California San Bernardino Mission!
Cool Colton missionary moments seeing people turn to Christ...serving with Elder Hall
More Cool Missionary Moments in my first area...Colton!

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 51: Food for Thought, Many Miracles, "Hermana Loco", Excited To Go To The Temple!

Greetings from the Lemoore public library! This week has seen a lot of wonderful milestones in relation to food.
I must give a shout out to Roro for introducing us to the BEST little hole-in-the-wall burger joint this side of the 99. It is called White Top and dangerously resides just two blocks west of our apartment. :) The most amazing part about this particular place, though, is the chocolate peanut butter shake. Due to my recent discovery of being lactose intolerant, I was not able to fully participate in the wonder that is the chocolate peanutbutter shake. However, on one of our frequent drive-thrus I got to talking with the worker and discovered that the shakes made at White Top are LACTOSE FREE! I ordered myself a chocolate peanut butter one right then and there! As such, it has been our tradition to stop there and partake of the DELICIOUSNESS that is the chocolate peanut butter shake. It tastes just like you are eating a Reese's candy bar. And because I can't eat Reese's candy bars, this has been quite the blessing. Haha. Initially Sister Denton was going for the Strawberry shake...but after a taste test has been truly converted to the wonder of chocolate peanut butter. :)
This week the King of Hanford and the Queen of Reedley graced us with their presence and the Vineyard Inn Restaurant (the most happening restaurant in Lemoore if that gives you any idea of how small it is). ;) Thankfully they made it there in safety as the King of Hanford with his desire to be efficient took them on the very scenic route between Hanford and Lemoore to make their way for the rendezvous. It was a wonderful evening, especially because I was having sweet potato fries. The only way I like to eat sweet potatoes. We had way too much chatting and laughing and being generally ridiculous. Hahhah. It was awesome!
We have seen many miracles this week. Jose P, the non-member husband of a member family committed to be baptized! This was my first real baptismal invitation in Spanish and phew! it was crazy! Thankfully our Ward Mission Leader was with us and between the two of us we were able to address concerns and start preparations for his baptism! We have been able to find many new investigators through referrals and somehow...everyone is spanish speaking. Haha. I don't know what the Lord is trying to teach me, but I am getting a HUGE dose of humility! There is a family with a ten-year old girl that is the SWEETEST little girl ever and so smart. She and her brother came to church on Sunday and she kept asking me about the Sacrament or different things and I would give her scriptures to read and that helped her understand what they were doing. We are so excited for her and know that she is SO close to being baptized! We have another teenager that has been making HUGE leaps and bounds and told us that she would be baptized when she understood how to repent. Duh duh duhhhh! That's what it's all about girl! We've had fun teaching her and checking up on her family and getting the ward involved. This week we are having a fiesta for all of the spanish speakers. A Mexican Potluck. Yes, that is my genius idea. Hahahha. Music, food, and chatting in spanish. Could there be a better thing? We're just trying to create a spanish speaking community here and I am very excited for it!
This Sunday (4/10) I had to teach Gospel Principles again in Spanish. Phew! I am so grateful they have questions written out because that really helps me as I'm trying to figure out how to get the class involved. ;) I love our spanish speakers. And they tease me mercilessly, teaching me little tongue twisters, calling me Hermana Loca, and having to explain words (especially slang) at every turn.
It has been quite the week! I think I already know who my new companion will be on the 18th and she's a spanish speaker so that'll be interesting! We are so excited we are going to the temple Tuesday (4/12) and I can't wait!!!!!!!
Keep up the faith!
Sister Bolliger

Monday, April 4, 2011

Elder Bolliger - North Fontana Week 32: Amazing Serving in the Redlands Temple, Quite Notable General Conference

Well this past week, Marcos who I baptized back in the Colton ward turned 12 last week!
This means that he is now able to pass the sacrament and go do baptisms for the dead in the temple! So this past Thursday I called and got permission to go with them and other members of that ward to the Temple and do baptisms there!

It was amazing and so awesome seeing other members of that ward that I helped in coming back to the church or just coming to church in general. Art, Philip, Victoria, Shavonne, it was so dang cool. It was an awesome event to see every one there and we were all able to help out in baptisms and confirmations for the dead.It was awesome having other missionaries there as well, Elder Hall was also there with Elder Wilding.

And that was the most memorable moment this past week.

Then came general conference, it was quite notable, I felt that it was good to explain different things at different times, and there were some really good messages that were shared in there.

Elder Christofferson's talk was really good and its pretty much what my companion has been talking about for the last 3 weeks, I am not joking, he has shared practically all that was in that talk about reproof being for the wise amongst other things. But so far this transfer has been a good learning opportunity for me especially and I am taking advantage of it, whole heartedly.

Well the work is still going slow here. But we hope that it picks up sooner than later. But it is difficult in affluent areas.

Well I hope that yall have a great week!

Elder John Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 50: ER Trip, Referral Hunt, Watch-it... Fed by General Conference

Hello from Lemoore!
This week has been full of lots of crazy times. A trip to the Emergency Room, hunting down some referrals in the country, jumping through windows, rescuing my watch, ridding our apartment of mold, and being spiritually fed at General Conference!
Soo...Sister Denton has asthma and both she and I have allergies. We have been weirdly both under the weather in regards to our breathing these last few weeks. Let me explain the situation in our room. There is a large window and the blinds don't do the best job at keeping the light out. So, some ingenious sisters that lived here before us tacked a blanket to the wall to keep the light from coming in. Well.......this was all fine and dandy until we tried to move the blanket on Thursday. Duh duh duhhhhhhhhhhhh. Because the blanket was thicker, it provided the perfect warm and moist climate for MOLD TO GROW! Yes. Mold. It was hairy. It was black. It was disgusting and alllll over the window sill, blinds, and it was growing up the walls. DISGUSTING. We discovered it right before one of the sisters in the ward came to pick us up for dinner. She took us to the Dollar Store where we geared up with bleach, gloves, and scrubbing things so that we could conquer this mold! It took probably an hour to get all the mold gone...using straight bleach. Ah! We tackled our bathroom as well, using papertowels saturated in bleach to work on stubborn mold. While the fumes made us a little loopy, we have been feeling SO much better as there is no more mold contaminating our living environment. The kicker? My head was RIGHT next to this window as I slept. It gives me the shivers! Haha.
I also dropped my watch in the toilet this week. That poor watch. I dropped it on the ground about two weeks ago, and the second hand is now lodged between the 12 and the 1. haha. As I was rushing around getting ready, I was putting on my watch while grabbing my face wash from the shower. In doing so I made a flicking motion and down went my watch into the the (clean) toilet bowl. With some quick thinking I fished it out. And's still working!
General Conference was AMAZING this weekend! I can't believe how fast it went! We went to the church building, and were usually there with one other family. I went with many many questions, and it was almost eerie to see how quickly they were answered! I had to keep coming up with other things I needed direction on because I kept receiving the answers to my prayers. I loved so many talks. Especially Elder Kent F. Richard's talk about pain. Oh I just can't name them all! I really loved Elder Christofferson's talk about chastening as well. Ideas just flooded my mind the whole conference of things that Heavenly Father wants me to change and to continue to be a more effective servant! Sister Denton and I teased each other about all the marriage references. :) I am so excited to get the text of the talks because so many of them are perfect for our investigators and individuals that we are working with in the area!
We have found some amazing new investigators and we are really excited to teach them and help them come closer to our Heavenly Father! One woman we the country (we don't even have a map that shows these streets)...and she was a referral from her daughter in Virginia. While this woman was visiting her daughter in Virginia last month, her daughter was receiving the last of the missionary lessons and was actually baptized! This dear sister already has a Book of Mormon and is excited to hear what we have to say! We are excited to go back and see her tomorrow!
It has been quite the week with a lot going on, but through it all I have felt the comfort of the Spirit guiding me to know what is most important for me to focus on at each turn. I feel so grateful that I don't have to do this alone and feel like I have become reenergized in my desire to share this message with everyone!!

Sister Bolliger