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

Monday, August 15, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 51: "If you aren't having fun, you aren't working hard enough!" Awesome Spirit Finding, Pure Intelligence

So this last Thursday our two week missionary went back home as his two weeks were up, they seemed to go fast and to go slow at the same time. Since this last Wednesday up until now work is just getting crazier and crazier, referrals are practically falling into our lap and we are getting more new investigators and more new people than ever.
Its the missionary work that I love to do, where you get out at 10 am and get in at 9pm or 9:30pm at night, it seems like its crazy though but really a good quote is " If you aren't having fun you aren't working hard enough" and I have come to see how true that statement really really is. Everything is starting to really begin to take off, but the work in this ward is interesting because we need to find and have new investigators while helping strengthen the ward, one of the ways is going to everyone, less actives, part members as well as active members and asking them for referrals and just overall strengthening peoples testimony in the gospel and of Jesus Christ. Well we started and taught 4 of them this past week, but come Sunday and after thinking about our lessons we came to the conclusion that we need to drastically change the order of the Restoration Lesson, instead of going through all of the Principles in Preach My Gospel I felt inspired to start off with prayer and then go teach about prayer and how joseph smith had questions that he couldn't answer and he was reading in the epistle of james and then tell the restoration account and then how all of the other principles ( God is our loving heavenly father, the Gospel blesses families and prophets, the book of mormon and the holy ghost) are all impacted by the restoration of the gospel with questions like "How has the restoration of the gospel enhanced your view of Jesus Christ and his atonement" or "How has it blessed your family that the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored once more again on the earth?" and questions like that, because as we are doing that unbeknownst to them they are testifying to us about a principle of the restored gospel and that is literally how easy it is to tell a friend about the gospel and about what you know in the gospel. You don't have to teach a 40 minute lesson and when I was coming up with this I learned what revelation feels like, it really does feel like pure intelligence is flowing into your mind at an increasing rate that is hard to keep up with.
I can't wait to teach this to some of the members in our ward, its going to bring so many blessings to us and especially to them as we are starting our 40 day fast here soon in a week from today and we are going to be also calling people and encouraging them to fast for missionary work, its starting on august 22nd and ending september 30th, literally the day before general conference. Its going to be amazing!

We also had a an awesome spirit finding tracting experience this past week, the first 4 doors we knocked on that Elder Gibson wanted to go tract from a prompting all were interested and said come back, and this happened in 30 minutes, I have only ever had that once on my mission and I can't wait to go back and to talk to those people now.

Well there are some pretty amazing photographs that I am including in this email, and one funny one there are 3 pictures of one of the most incredible sunsets I have ever seen, the sun was setting and it was causing light rays to shine through the clouds, one of moms favorite things ! all tied up in string. the next is an awesome sunrise that I took while hiking a mountain at like 4:30am, crazyness but it was way sweet.

This week was incredible but just wait until next week, its going to be even more incredible!
Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 69: "When do I get my lesson? I haven't had one yet!"

This week was pretty good!
We were able to see lots of miracles. :) We had a potential investigator that lived in a trailer park near a member family that we visit frequently. Well, we had tried to set up some appointments before, but nothing came to fruition. Well, as we were walking to the member family's trailer, this lady was outside and asked us what we were up to! We explained again that we were dropping by a few things and then were off to go teach some lessons! Well, she then asked, "When do I get my lesson? I haven't had one yet!" So, she left cleaning her yard and we went into her trailer and had the first lesson with her! She's in her late 20's and has a 9-year-old, a 7-year-old, and a 1-year-old. We committed the mom to baptism and she readily accepted! She has been saying she has really wanted God in her life and that although she didn't know how to pray, she wanted to learn how! :) We invited her and her family on a church tour the next day. They came!!! We had a sweet ward missionary there and it was such a privilege to show them around the building and explain more about what we believe! Her daugher also committed to being baptized on the tour!
We were also able to have a wonderful lesson with a part-member family. It has been difficult for us to get into their home and have a real lesson--but a real lesson we had! The whole family sat down and we were able to briefly begin teaching them. The father offered a beautiful prayer and it was so amazing to see how they have been prepared for this time!
We had a Zone Conference on Thursday and it was interesting to see President Gelwix's vision for the mission! He committed all of the missionaries to read the Book of Mormon again before December 24th at 10:30 PM. Weird how I will be home by then! Ahhh! I am reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish so I hope to count that for his goal. :)
We had a linger longer after Church this sunday. It was fabulous! We have had so many new families move into the ward and so we were able to munch and get to meet new people! A sister in the ward challenged everyone to meet five new people they didn't know! It was fun to watch lots of people mingling that you'd never seen talking to each other before!
School started today here in Lemoore. It's weird as I've been here the whole summer break! Church was packed on Sunday. Such a relief! Everyone can't be out of town anymore. :)
One of our investigators, Miguel, is really doing quite well. We were afraid he might have been scared off after last sunday, but he came back! We had a wonderful lesson with him and two converts in the ward. It was interesting how we thought of bringing a certain brother with us to the lessons, and how Miguel and he had SO many things in common that we didn't even know! The Lord does work in mysterious ways. :)
Hermana Bolliger

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 50: August 22 Begins 40 Days Before General Conference!

Hello family,

This week we are starting up some ideas that are already helping to improve the ward here. For one we are going to all the different members and teaching them the first discussion ( a little tweaked to members over investigators) and also starting up our 40 day fast here on August 22nd, exactly the first 40 days before general conference.

Its going to be amazing, our bishop is really a great guy and is very open with us in talking about the ward and suggestions of different things.

So this next week we are really looking forward to the appointments that we have set up, hopefully this next monday will be a much happier one if all our appointments go through this week, and I feel like this is going to really work with teaching everyone the message of the restoration, encouraging them to fast and pray and then following up on what we committed them to do.
Its exciting to be a missionary!

Elder Bolliger the Younger

(John is in a trio this week with a young man on a two week mission).

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 68: "I am turning into a Lemoorean. I am just fine with that!"

This week was busy as usual!
We have started teaching one of the Elder's investigators from the Hanford ward. She is amazing and hilarious and progressing so well! She's probably the coolest 13-year-old that I have ever met. lol. She is busily working on drawing the cover of her baptismal program!
We had a baby shower for Frankie this week. It was so well attended! We had about 25 ladies there and it was amazing to see lots of inactive and less-active sisters there to fellowship each other and get to know one another! Sister Croft drew a picture of a temple for Frankie as our gift. We had some doctor appointments in fresno so she worked on it in the car there and back! It looked so good! I know that Frankie felt like people cared!
People say I am turning into a Lemooreon. :) I am just fine with that! I love these people!
Peace be the Journey,

Hermana Bolliger

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Elder Bolliger - Hesperia Week 49: Great Desolate Desert, Really Good Appointments, "Two Weeker," Saving Money Skills, Hike with a Mere Scratch!

Hello family from the great desolate desert of Hesperia, CA.

This past week has been pretty good, and we have had some really good appointments with investigators- yay! We actually have them this past week and hopefully soon. We have been doing a lot of things here. Life is just slower up here in comparison to the valley, its definitely different but I really do enjoy it.

On Thursday we got a two weeker who is from Ontario just down the hill. "Funnily" soon thereafter we spent 2 days in Ontario getting our car fixed. I put my good talking skills to use and saved some money on the repairs, but car repairs just take forever for sure.

Today we went on a hike up to Wrightwood, CA. It was pretty fun and memorable as we heard of waterfalls up on this one path, but it turns out that they are pretty small. We kind of took a very different hiking path, and although I got some small scrapes and bruises I will be alright and no worries about that, - its just a mere scratch.

There are a number of appointments that I am looking forward too in this transfer as we really can get a lot of work done and things just seem to fall into place for us.

Well I hope that yall have a great week!

Elder Bolliger

Sister Bolliger - Lemoore Week 67: Fellowshippers, Showers, My Final Zone Conference Testimony, Easier to Wake at 6:30am, Romans 8!

Well, greetings once more from the Lemoore library.
This week has been quite the week! We were finally able to get some of the fellowshippers we had lined up to come to lessons with our investigators!!
The big thing this week will be a shower for Frankie! A dear sister in our ward is putting on a shower for this less-active sister. She just turned 18 and is having her first baby in less than a month! We are teaching her husband.
When one of our investigators, Pattie, came to Church last week, she noticed a sister in the Ward that gave some comments in Relief Society. After church, Pattie asked us if that lady could join us in a lesson! Way to fellowship herself! Haha. This sister came with us and we had a POWERFUL last half of the plan of salvation lesson. This sister reminds me SO much of my Grandma Sorensen. She is a teacher by trade and just puts things so splendidly! It was amazing how Pattie opened up and shared with us some of her concerns. Pattie is very excited to keep attending!
We were also able to line up a cute Filipino sister in the ward with another investigator. Maria is 78 and still has quite a quick wit! Her daughter is a member in southern California and so we went to visit Maria after finding her name in our Area Book. When we came with this Filipino sister, they started going off in Tagalog! Haha. Then we heard Maria's thoughts on how Filipinas are the best. Hahah. It was rather precious. She will be coming to church next week when her daughter comes up to visit for a high school reunion! Sweet!
We had another splendid lesson with Alicia, a daughter of a recent convert, that we have been working with for quite some time. She has experienced some heart-wrenching things in her only 16 years, but that night, for the first time, she finally seemed humble and open to the message of the gospel. She closed our visit with a prayer and oh my goodness! It was amazing! Sister Croft and I marveled at the change in her demeanor.
We are having a zone conference on August 11th. Because we only have zone conferences once a quarter, any missionary that is going home before the next zone conference has to bear their testimony. The Zone Leaders were joking around with me about how it's my time to bear my testimony this zone conference, and after thinking about it I realized it's true! This will be my last! Ahhhhh. Where has the time gone???
I think I have FINALLY found it easier to wake up at 6:30AM. Haha. Finally! I have been doing it my whole mission but only lately have I been able to open my eyes and function more quickly! What a tender mercy.
I have been rereading one of my favorite chapters in the Bible--Romans 8. We shared it with a sister that is really struggling Sunday night and I was amazed how truly all of the gospel is centered on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. God's love for us and his sacrifice are really what my testimony is founded on. As we read the words of Paul, before some of the most bitter persecution the Church encountered, he tells us that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. He reminds us of our divine natures and how with Christ we are joint-heirs to all that the Father has.

Peace be the Journey,

Hermana Bolliger