Friday, July 27, 2012

Elder Bolliger Grand Terrace, CA Week 99: Closing Testimony

President Godwin would like to include spiritual experience that has helped strengthen your testimony.  Please take time and reply to this email with your special experiences.  - Mission Secretary

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!
Elder Bolliger

Elder Bolliger Grand Terrace, CA Week 98: Answering Questions

Just a few thoughtful questions from mom.

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.

The Spirit.
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
Making Covenants
Keeping covenants

Elder Bolliger

Elder Bolliger Grand Terrace Week 97: Invitation to Departing Mission Devotional

Elder Bolliger & The California San Bernardino Mission 
cordially invites you and your family to the Departing
Missionary Devotional which will be held at the

Woodruff Building
6541 Woodruff Pl
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701

at 6 pm
July 29, 2012

Elder Bolliger Grand Terrace, CA Week 96: Progressing to end strong

Hello family from The Colton 1st ward,

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!

Elder Bolliger

Elder Bolliger Grand Terrace, CA Week 95: Answering Questions from Home

 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.

Elder Bolliger

Elder Bolliger Grand Terrace Week 94 - Final Transfer, Tender Mercies,Answers to Questions

Hello family and friends from the Colton 1st ward.

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.

Elder Bolliger

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.