Friday, July 27, 2012
Howdy yall, the past two years have been some of the best of my life but they are not without some of the hardest times of growth. In the past I had heard from other missionaries that a mission is the craziest rollercoaster that you will ever be on, with some of the greatest times of joy and happiness when you can feel of the pure love of Christ but also mixed with sadness when people choose not to follow after Christ's example. But in the end the mission is perfect for all of us,and the experiences that we have help to sculpt us for the rest of our lives. One thing that I have learned that I would like share is a realization I had out here, that life and the mission is a Grand Orchestra with God as the Conductor, our 'sheet music' or the part that we play may be different from others as we all have different strengths and skills, but if we align ourselves and follow the conductor in the part He wants us to play, then we truly become Instruments in the Hands of God. And when we have the spirit and are following the impressions that he wants us to, that is when we can have joy. And the joy for us missionaries comes from the people that we can help and bring unto Christ as it says in 1st Thessalonians 2.
Hurrah for Israel!
Describe the spiritual impressions and tender mercies of the past week. Do you invite a convert to share their testimony at the farewell fireside?
I think the Katie's mission and mine do this differently, only the missionaries share their testimonies in the departing fireside/devotional, but I invited a ton of people, they only gave us 16 invitations and in the true fashion that I do, that wasn't enough so I made 35 invitations, and went to Kinkos to print them on card stock, you got a sampling of what they will be like.
Will you be singing or doing anything else?
Just bearing my testimony and talking to people that I have grown to love for like 40 minutes afterword. There will be a lot of pictures.
What verses in the scriptures have been meaningful to you this week?
Alma 26, and a verse in the bible where it talks about how the joy of missionaries comes from their converts. And that is completely true!
Describe your farewell testimony in your
a) District Meeting
Well we will be having a district meeting on Christlike attributes, which ones we need to work on and how we can all be more like Christ.
b) Farewell Fireside
It'll be by the spirit.
c) With your Mission President & the other missionaries in the departing dinner / private devotional?
It sounds cliche but same as above
What three - five things has the Spirit taught you the most during your mission?
Well if you look back on other emails you can see them,
1. That we all have a different instrument to play in God's orchestra. This one is a difficult one to swallow, but its true, there are others but just this one is on the forefront of my mind.
2. That I will not understand my purpose for going through what I am right now for awhile, until a later time makes me think back to it. Patriarchal blessing stuff.
What lessons do you feel you been “schooled” by the Lord?
That he can make weak things strong, and if you ever say no he rebukes you for it.
Describe the circumstances or experiences where you feel your testimony grown in some of the following:
Prayer & Fasting
Through the 40 day fast we found some amazing investigators and helped to unify the ward when they are willing to do so
Serving others is what Christ did and that's what we can do to follow his example.
This is one that I have learned more, when we both (in companionships or couples/ eternal companionships) make sacrifices to have unity and accountability with the other, the spirit of the lord can be there in much greater abundance than you thought you could, it brings humility as well and a atmosphere of learning.
Family Scripture Study
I always think back to 'scripture buddy time' lol, and it meant a lot to me.
Living Free from Debt
Ask me about this when I get home, I could go on for 3 hours about this.
Using Time Wisely
Its the one currency we all have the same amount of.
Good Friends to build you up.
We will have the same associations here as we will in the next life, and good friends build you up as you help them.
Influence of the spirit in making decisions
It is infinitely crucial to making good, correct decisions to have the spirit be there.
Discerning the Spirit
As important as the question about
Following the promptings of the Spirit
I'll answer these at home.
The Reality of the Atonement
The healing power of the atonement
This past week Elder Crandall and I helped our two main investigators, Natalia and Carmen G to progress towards baptism, there are some hiccups in the road but I am pretty confident that they can be baptized before the end of the month. Besides that we are working with some other people but with the 4th of July being this past week, some people are proving hard to get a hold of, but were still trying though.
Katie had a funny visit with my zone leader in Rancho Cucamonga this past week, lol.
Katie in my mission on a very June gloom day, it was foggy in the morning.
But besides et al I am still moving towards the end of my mission, its in sight but I am on my way to end strong!
Here are a few questions on my list (mom)
What is the church building like?
Its one of a kind in the church, what we have now is a modified ward building with a smaller gym but there are 3 main hallways, the bishops offices can seat from 15-25 people comfortably and 6 doors to the outside.
What is the town like? Rural, small town, small city, med. city, large city?
Its more of a metropolis here, where one city ends another begins and it goes and goes and goes, from where I ran this morning I can see more than 3X the number of people that live in the greater Austin area, Colton is around 50k and Grand Terrace is 12k. So combined its the same populous as Round Rock, but its in 20 sq miles of land.
What does the area look like? flat? rolling hills? A lot of trees?
(See attached photo of blue mountain / grand terrace on right and Colton on front and left), we live next to a 2400 ft mountain that we run up every day, its a 2 mile run and 1000' of vertical climb. Great for quads and glute's.
How hot is it? How cold is it? How often does it rain?
The rainfall here is only 12" per year, so a third of Austin. Right now its around 90 and will slowly climb to 100s/105 by August, while the coast is 30 degrees less than us here in the IE. Rarely does it rain.
How is your companion? How long has he been out?
He is really good and we are alike on a lot of things, he has been out 9 months and his family is lds and his 3 older brothers served missions.
Are you sleeping well? How is the food? What is the best food you've eaten? What is the weirdest food you've eaten? How many dinner appts do you get? What do you usually eat for breakfast? Lunch?
Yeah I am sleeping well, good almost too good
I've become addicted to barbeque ribs and I could eat a whole rack just by my self.
These little fried Octapi that we gross and juice came out when you bit them on the head.
This week almost none like 3 of 7 but usually 5-6-7 a week.
How are your clothes? Shoes? Socks?
Good except for the shirt I burned symbolically 2 weeks ago, shoes I bought some shoe goo to repair my pair on the bottom right (its from driving) and socks mostly good.
How are your feet? Any problems?
After buying the orthodic inserts, no problems at all and for running the support running shoes are amazing!
What is your flat/apartment like? Is it in a big building? Are your neighbors friendly or scared of you?
We live with members in their house, have a room and a bathroom and share the kitchen with a small fridge. Its relatively quiet here and planes fly overhead in a landing pattern going to LAX all the time.
How far away is the Mission Office? How many in your District? Where are they from? Who is the District Leader? Zone Leader? How often do you have Zone Conference?
The mission office is about 24 miles away by car from here in Colton.
2 elders 2 sisters,
Utah, Ohio, American Samoa and idk?
I'm the DL still.
Zone is Elder Melendez Amaya (San Salvador, El Salvador) and Elder Kunzelman ( Illinois),
once every 3 months, I probably won't have another zone conference on my mission.
What do you usually do on P-day?
Email, miniature golf or batting cages, go harass members who work at the DI ( not really harass but say hi) and raid for gospel books.
What service are you doing this week? How often?
About 2 hours a week and we also go to the Bishops Storehouse and pack potatoes and others etc.
Have you had a chance to visit any of the people that the members have mentioned since they began their fast?
Yeah a good number of them, and there as been some small miracles like what I mentioned last week.
What day is it in the 40 day fast?
Its day 32.
Mom thanks for all of your questions and your emails as they really mean a lot to me and I look forward to them.
This past week we had a number of awesome experiences that I am glad are happening for my last transfer in the mission.
So on Tuesday was transfers and got the rest of the ward ( it was previously split) and my new companion, Elder Crandall from Vancouver, Washington. And the fact that I have to combine both areas is still a little confusing but I am off to a good start.
On Wednesday nothing really happened, we started to visit people and got around to some of them, a recent convert and an investigator but it really wasn't going anywhere on that day, but we were still hopeful.
Thursday is where things started to improve, we made a big long list of people to go visit and we had splits later that night, but when time came we had not been able to contact all of the people quite yet, so we went on splits and interestingly enough the people we visited or tried to visit were those on the list. Which we thought was awesome, but we still had to try more.
Come Friday we had a visit with our investigators but that got pushed back and we had 2 visits with members, one who suffers from an anuresym and the other is Victoria and her kids.
Here comes Saturday.
So on this day we decided to start with a prayer and a had a big long list of people to go see in addition to our 2 main invesigators, Carmen and Natalia G, we met with them and set a baptismal date, and the younger one who is 9 said the closing prayer and the spirit was there as it was very sincere, they even came to stake confrence the next day. Her older Sister Natalia went to girls camp this past week and loved it and now we have some more fellowshippers for her! its awesome.
So on our list was an unknown member that missionaries taught in the past and 4 part member families to try. So we tried all of them, and by the end of the day we were able to see All of the people on our list and all but one ( the LA guy) said that we could come back.
And I have never had that happen before, currently we have 10 lessons set up this week ( 7 of them are with non-members and mostly going to be with members there as well),
So on stake conference Sunday, our two investigators (Carmen and Natalia came to stake conference, pretty good for just being the ages of 9 and 12). One of the members who fasted earlier that week came up to us and said that when he finished fasting no names came to mind, but his wife came home later that night and told him that one of her coworkers wanted to take the lessons, and he didn't even tell her he was fasting :). And yesterday afternoon we got another referral from the Spanish missionaries who cover our area were tracting and found some more people to teach. We anticipate teaching another 4 more lessons than we have scheduled right now this next week.
I am so happy that I am finishing on a note like this.
Answers to questions:
What scripture has stood out to you the most this week?
2nd Nephi 25:26, which is a great scripture that teaches us all how we must be examples to our children and point the way for them to see how to pray and gain a remission of their sins, its how we can all be shepherds.
What principle or doctrine seems to be the lesson you are learning this week?
Actually this earlier one, for one of the members in the ward I was sending them a scripture of the day and it was that one and later that night we used it in a lesson with a very less active family. it was the perfect application.
What is your goal for this week?
Well during church I had some ideas and goals to accomplish before the end of the transfer.
Finish the Book of Mormon for the 4th time, finish the NT and D&C.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Well today is the last day of the 2nd to last transfer of my mission. And I found out on Saturday night that I am going to stay here.
The mission has been one of the biggest roller coasters of my life, with all of its ups and downs, lefts and rights, and hidden roadblocks but now the final destination is in view and I am glad that I came here. It wasn't easy at first to come to California but I over the past 22 months I have learned a lot about myself, the church and most importantly the gospel. Right now I feel like I am suiting up for the final football game and somewhat nervous with anticipation on how to proceed but I know that I can remain focused these last 6 weeks and end on one of the highest notes of my mission. I look forward to seeing ya'll soon but I right now my duty still lies here and I will return with honor on the last day of July.
Monday, June 11, 2012
(Question asked by family) What has been your spiritual insight recently from your scripture study?
There was one that I was thinking on how profound it was, although I am not sure exactly where it was but it was talking about Christ and how much he did for us to be able to relate to us that he may be able to have mercy over us.
But there was a phrase that came to mind after praying that really helped me to understand my purpose here as a missionary and how not everyone will do the same things on a mission ( different people at different times put into the right place to talk to the right person).
What came to mind was
" Not every instrument plays the same [part / song] in the [orchestra / song of life]" And if we are all instruments in the hand of god then we will play different parts like in a orchestra ( mom I think that all of us kids will understand this very well ) but its all done by the director( God ) who knows and instructs in this finale of life.
Thats a little poetic as well I believe.
(Question asked by family) What did you teach last week for your District training?
We had everyone train on one a Christlike attribute that they were worst at, mine was pride and humility. And it was really, really interesting as you come to grips with yourself over it.
(Question asked by family)
We found some suit/pants still in the closet. I suppose we'll keep it here for you?!
Yeah and you'll see how much i have lost weight on my mission as well. My suits are both fitted now and they feel really good and they are clean and you'll have to wait and see.
Well day one was last Tuesday.
Day #1 - Tuesday,May29 - Victoria B opened the 40 day fast on this day. You'll remember from earlier emails about how much of a drastic change she has made in her life and how important the gospel is to her. Her miracle was that she was able to contact one of the ladies that she Visiting Teaches for the first time and she got in and she has not been able to do that at all. And was really really excited.
Day #2 - Wednesday,May 30 - Bishop Sorensen, he fasted and a name came to mind of someone that he had shared the gospel with in the past and he was able to talk to his boss about the gospel, and it was a missionary opportunity.
Day #3 - Thursday, May 31st - Kathy B fasted this day and during dinner over there and break the fast, one of her visiting teaching people called her half way during dinner, this was something that has never happened ever to her from this particular person and they had a very, very good discussion.
Day #4 - Friday, June 1st - The Donovans fasted and we shared with them the MRR lesson.
Day #5 - Saturday, June 2nd - Brother Smith fasted.
Day #6 - Fast Sunday - we put everyone on there to make them sacrifice more and not have the easy way out.
Day #7 - Today, We haven't heard anything yet but next week hopefully.
(Question by family) How are you doing with your 6:30 am rising?
A lot better actually, See below for reasoning. Like Today we woke up at 5:45 which isn't too hard especially in the summer as the sun rises early. And its light by 5:30 so it makes it a lot easier, but winter when the sun gets up at 7:30, now that's a little more hard, but I assume in college I will be getting up early a lot to work and stuff.
(Question by family) It looks like Erin works at the store in Palm Desert near Palm Springs?
Thats about an hour drive from here in Colton, and its mighty hot there like 90s and 10% humid at night time.
(Question by family) What ward activities do you have coming up that will involve missionary work?
There is a BBQ/ Church Tour but that is still in the planning stages for now, we will see where it exactly goes.
(Question by family) What are you teaching this week for your district training?
Not sure yet, I need to think about it still. Ill chose something.
(Question by family) How often do you write to your mission president? Is it weekly?
Most Weeks yeah.
(Question by family) How has your testimony grown recently?
In how much fasting and praying can really open the windows of heaven and soften peoples hearts. Alma 6:6 and Alma the Elder with his son. So Missionary work and Ward unity.
Hello family from the grand terrace library where I am serving back in the Colton 1st ward.
Last week I had the idea to do a 40 day fast in this ward and we are officially starting it on the 29th of May. I really hope that I can help to get the ward back on their feet and get the spirit of missionary work here. We will be going around after people have fasted and helping them to apply the revelation that they have received to help talk to their family and their friends. It will be a great way to go out on the mission on a real high note. ... I know that it can really really help it out to get them motivated again and get this ward to be on fire!
Monday, May 14, 2012
Mother's Day was great with technology connecting the family in three states!
Well if you haven't already noticed right now I am back in Grand Terrace/ Colton California, the same place where I started my mission I will now be ending it here and I am so excited for that!
All of my recent converts from here are still active, and truly that is where almost all of your joy comes from in the gospel is seeing how far your converts have come and how much the gospel truly means to them. Well next week I will have to send pictures with all of the people that I have been talking about, but onto the work.
So a lot has changed since I was last here in the Colton 1st Ward in Colton/Grand Terrace/ Reche Canyon California,
I left on November 7th, 2010 and arrived back on May 8th,2012 gone for almost 18 months exactly. Last year they split the ward into two areas so there is an East side and a West side, I am not used to that though as when I was here it was all one but next transfer it should be recombined into one area again.
Our former bishop, Bishop Sorensen had been released and a new bishop had been called, the former Bishop is now our Ward Mission Leader and he is awesome at it, he really knows the ward well and knows how to best help them.
There are some people that were here from the last time I was in the ward and we have been slowly following up with them
Sorry mom for having such a short email. But I was working on some other ones for now. This next week we should have a lot more work.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Elder Bolliger, Upland, CA Week 88: Transferred, 21st Birthday, 3 months Have Flown, Making Lemonade of the Rest of It!
Well this will be my last day here as tomorrow I am getting transferred to my new area.
I got the call on Saturday night, and then had my 21st birthday yesterday, which probably compared to most people was quite boring. But I am now 21 and I just found out that my new cousin was born yesterday as well to share the birthday with Grandma Sorensen as well.
It feels slightly strange to be leaving so early, but this happened last time I got transferred as well but this time I have so little time left. When I got here I had 6 months left, and the past 3 months have flown by, now that is all the time I have left, and here comes college and the world and everything else flying back at me.
But I just need to make lemonade from all of the wonderful lemon trees you get out here in California, Katie I think you know what I mean, but there are tons of thorns on those as well. And don't forget the grapefruit, Avocados ( of course) and Oranges.
This past week our Zone went to the temple ... you can receive very clear and precise direction.
But I wish yall the best.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Well This may be my last week in this area, as transfers are coming up a week from tomorrow. And we will find out who is going and who is staying as early as wednesday/ thursday of this week.
I also turn 21 this week, and that thought is just Its a strange thought to have been here for 3 months and it has flown by so fast, its so strange.
Anyway, our main investigator came to church yesterday with her husband and they stayed for sacrament but due to other work obligations they were unable to stay for longer. But we will be teaching her today as on wednesday we have a temple trip to the redlands temple, its going to be exciting for sure!
I am sorry about this email but next week should be a lot more detailed on where I will be going the last 2 transfers of my mission, I can't believe May starts tomorrow and the "jump" to the end of my mission then begins. Its going to be quite a ride.
Hello family from the crazy weather of Southern Califorina, on Saturday and Yesterday it was in the 90s and hot and sunny, it doesn't help that our AC was broken as well. Oh well, so this morning I wake up to rain around 4am which was very strange but made a little sense. And today is nice and damp and rainy.
This past week there were 2 notable events.
The first was a referral that referred herself to us through Mormon.org and we were going to her house when another member pulled us over and was talking to us. Then the lady who referred herself went to drive away from her house and then drove over to us and started to talk to us. She has lots of friends and family who are members of the church and she has had a large 'spiritual hole' in her life and is looking to see if the church can help fill that gap for her. We taught her a little but we were unprepared for the depth and amount of questions that she was asking us, she really is a prepared person who has some small word of wisdom issues but she is willing and trying to get over them. Its going to be exciting talking to her this next week about the gospel and how much good it can do for her. And also her mother in law got baptized a few months ago so her and her husband are both wanting to learn more about the church. All this next week.
The other big event from this past week was Elder Ballard of the 12, Elder Shayne M Bowen of the Seventy, Elder Whitting of the Seventy and Elder Heim who is an Area Authority.
Here are some notes from the Trainings,
Elder Heim - He Taught us that we have the authority to lovingly correct our investigators in the correct way to pray to our heavenly father and how important this was so that they can feel the spirit and have a personal relationship with god. "Part the veil for those whom you teach"
you have been given the authority but have you done what is necessary to have the power of your calling? Earn the power, it starts with appearance.
Elder Shayne M Bowen
"Many are called but few are obedient".
Covenant People, God deals with Covenant people through covenants, We (missionaries) are the noble and great ones. And you dont recieve more priesthood than you have now, as Jesus Christ organized the world with the same Priesthood, of Melchezidek.
Don't put on the uniform of the world after your mission.
Sacrifice a little for the work. He joked a lot in his talk, one funny thing he said to us was "When I was a missionary you were in the spirit world, and maybe your mission president too and others here". We have every tool necessary to be a great missionary. The World is covered in sin and darkness, lucifier is unleashing everything that hes got to keep people in spiriitual darkness. People don't know who they are, you have got to be really good teachers, A teacher of light and Truth. Trust Him and Know him, and you can go anywhere and be bold and confident in god. And that weak and simple people should confound the wise and learned of the world. Turn over the remainder of your mission to the lord. And then he said how we are the future of the church and this mission is training us to take it over when we are gone. And To have joy have faith in the lord every day.
Fast Foward to Stake Conference Yesterday,
so during Stake Conference Elder Shayne M Bowen of the Seventy had all of us missionaries stand up, he then said "Here is the problem, (pointing out the fact that there are only 12 missionaries in the whole stake), He than said Missionaries can sit down except the one on the end" Which was me... So he first asked my name, and he said it in the right way. He then asked me how long my call is for, I really didn't hear the question and replied 21 months but he asked again, and i replied 24 months, so 2 years, he then proceeded to ask me what my #1 Priority was when I got home. I had a complete brain freeze right then, and was not being as quick as I should have but eventually one of the other missioaries said "The temple" and I repeated that and he wanted a better answer but I now knew where this was going and replied "To Be sealed in the temple to my eternal companion for time and eternity" And that is the answer that he was looking for and had me sit down. He then talked on how these are only the 'part time missionaries' and the full time ones are the members in the ward And went into a good long talk about how important the temple is to members and to less active or inactive members, who he said there was no such thing as if any member really understood the doctrine he would not be less active or inactive.
Well I only have 2 weeks left in this transfer and only 2 more transfers left until i come back home.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Elder Bolliger Upland, CA Week 85: Thoughts, Really Awesome Lesson & Upcoming Experience, Birthday's Coming
Well I am here and it is strange with my birthday coming up so soon, and other things, right now my mind is in a very retrospective attitude as I look back on all the memories that I have made, and people that I have met. It is really a strange thought.
Well this past week the moment that stands our the most is a lesson that we taught on the Doctrine of Christ, which is 2 Nephi 31. It was really awesome as the spirit was really there and taught both the son and the father about the importance of baptism and the sacrament. It was a really a good lesson and it had been too long since I taught a lesson like that.
Well this weekend I am looking forward to Elder Ballard this weekend as he is coming to one of the Stake Conferences down here and will be speaking just to our mission. I can't wait for it to come as it will be really an awesome experience.
So my companion just had his birthday yesterday and my birthday is now in less than 3 weeks away.
Well I hope all yall have a wonderful week ahead!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Elder Bolliger - Upland, CA Week 84: Starting to Get Warm, Service, Baptism of Tyler, It's a Small World
Subject: Hello family from Upland California
Date: April 9, 2012
Hello family from Upland, California where it is starting to get warm now, and I have less than 4 months now from going home. I am not counting the days but just the months for now.
This past week we spent a lot of time doing service for some members in our ward who were unable to do it for themselves, we have as of recently been able to get into houses that other missionaries have had difficulty in doing so but now we are teaching them and we are again this week. On Saturday we had a baptism of a girl named Tyler who was 12 and it was awesome, we had a great turnout of more than 30 people there including us and other missionaries and tons of family. It was amazing.
And for Katalin, its sure a small world, one of her bishop's parents are serving a mission over there in Rancho Cucamonga and they come and check on our apartment every month, last month they asked me if I had a sister that served in Fresno mission and in Lemoore and I replied in the affirmative.
Well I hope that yall have an amazing week back home!
Elder Bolliger - Upland, CA Week 83:BBQ, Really Good Day with Service and Following impressions to Do Exactly What We Needed To Do, General Conference
Subject: Some awesome experiences and General conference
Date: April 2, 2012
Hello family from the Upland of California, where I am serving my mission right now.
Well on Monday after emailing we had a BBQ at a members house where he smoked 10lb of brisket and 3 racks of baby back ribs, ooohhh they are so good smoked, we have to smoke a turkey for thanksgiving now!
Tuesday was a really good day as well as we did service for like 5 hours at a part member families house cleaning up the front yard and making it look incredibly better, we then did some other stuff, went to dinner and then after dinner we had the best splits that I have ever had on my mission, we went out with a brother in the ward and I had the thought to visit 2 part member families, well the impression, not just a thought turned out to be exactly what we needed to do. We amazingly got in with both of those families and our member was the perfect man to bring as he could really, really relate to them, and we set up return appointments with the both of them! It’s awesome.
The Next day (Wednesday) we had splits again and we had another wonderful experience at a part members family’s house, it was really good and again.
For General Conference, I loved the Priesthood Session a ton!
Here are some of my notes from it.
Bednar, it was an excellent talk and he talked about how persistent he was with his father who was not a member and how he asked him about home teaching and the lack of it in the ward at church,
Edgely, Approach nonmembers/less actives and give them a responsibility to be a missionary to their friends and go in there assuming they are a member, unique approach.
Uchtdorf, spent time on the Why things are the way they are, Callings called of God. But there was a phrase in there I absolutely love, "Inspired Priorities", and why not use inspired priorities more often in everything that we do? to prioritize our lives, and or goals? And how the applications of the Doctrine change from time to time but the Doctrine does not.
Eyring, The Sealing Power of Elijah, And on how April 3, which is tomorrow, back 174 years ago Elijah appeared and put back the power that puts everything else in the gospel together, The Holy Spirit of Promise
Monson, The Call of Duty, The Priesthood is an Everlasting Principle, " When God calls and man obeys God, man will always be right" or something along those lines. Called as Bishop @ 22 yr old. and being persistent cause eventually it will work, "Do your duty, that is best, leave to the Lord, the rest" And how we need to magnify our callings.
I sure do love you all and I am trying to end on a great note.
Elder Bolliger - Upland, CA Week 82: Staying 6 more weeks in Upland, Started Splits, Awesome Yard Service, Looking forward to General Conference
Subject: Hello from Upland CA
Date: March 26, 2012
Well hello family from Upland, California where I will be staying another 6 weeks and after this transfer have only 3 months left, tomorrow I hit my 4 months to go mark, and its just picking up speed way too fast! Recently this past week we started to get splits in this ward up and moving and we are already seeing some positive effects of it! We visited the house of a semi-active member and we noticed how the yard needed a lot of work and upkeep, so we went back a couple of days later and did some awesome lawn and front yard upkeep for the house and we are going tomorrow to finish the front yard and hopefully begin to teach her and her family that lives there the gospel. We are also actively inviting members to pray about people to invite to general conference as it is coming up this next weekend and I am so looking forward to it.
I hope that everyone back home has an amazing week and general conference this weekend!
Subject: First week being a dl in upland
Date: March 19, 2012
So for the past week from tomorrow, I have been district leader since my other companion Elder Jackson went home for school.
And I had to prepare a district meeting for them, so I decided to do some from the book, Spiritual Roots of Human Relations because it helped me to look at the Restoration and to look at how it really does boil down to the root relationship between God and man.
Question to open it up: Is our enthusiasm for the Restoration and what it can do reflected in our conviction to others? This message is so important and it seems (And even I haven't done this all the time) like our conviction is just boring compared to bold and loving b/c of what it can do for them.
God <-----> Man
Look at the first vision in Joseph Smith History and how it helps out people in relationship
God is Real,
God and Jesus Christ are two separate glorified beings of flesh and bone.
God answers prayers, and is reachable.
God knows us individually and by name, he cares about all of us greatly and wants the best for all of us.
The Heavens are not closed.
This is just what it is in 2 scriptures in JS:H and help everyone out about how they can strengthen their relationship with our Father in Heaven. This is what we need to communicate with our investigators and this is why the first vision account is so powerful, the spirit conveys to the hearts of men the truth of these statements and bears witness of them.
We can then look through the perspective of the spiritual relation between God and man and then looking at all of the lessons can see the love that God has for us and can see how this works for our investigators, then I went on from there on the Gospel Salesman / Gospel Teacher and how we can all improve to aim for becoming gospel teachers, its not an easy thing in the beginning but its the thing that is more worth it in the end. While we were on this topic I was showing how becoming a gospel teacher is building your foundation upon Christ and then one of the sister missionaries shared Helaman 5:12, and then I shared about the experience driving up to Utah, the spirit was here in a very large measure and it was humbling yet edifying for me, also from there we talked about the wise man and the foolish man, its a primary answer to a question much older people ask. But that was last week and I thought it was good, I also brought guacamole and it was tastily delicious. But that was last week and I have already planned a lot for tomorrow and will continue to think about it this upcoming week, its humbling to receive the revelation and direction for District Meetings, also we role played door approaches with this new found focus, which we will do tomorrow and help everyone else to improve and help each other out.
Katie how would that be for a district meeting? I shared that last week.
Another thing that I learned was in D&C 50:22 about the Holy Ghost and how it says 'he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together', but that when the spirit is there during a lesson its there for them as well even if they don't recognize it but that they need to open up their heart to the spirit.
Well we had 2 days of leadership training, where we learned that Elder Ballard is coming to the mission and we will be hearing from him for about 2 hours in April, I can't wait for it.
Also I had some other experiences in this ward in helping them out to improve their organization and missionary work in general.
And last night I re-found why I need prayer so much, in applying some of the things that I learned about it. It was a good spiritual experience as I humbled myself in prayer.
But I hope yall have a good week ahead! And I love yall so much! (only 4 1/2 months to go!)