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 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 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