Monday, July 28, 2014

Jul 28 2014

I'M UP HERE IN NORRLAND. That is right, the coldest place during the winters.. which will be coming too soon, but right now it is actually the hottest place in Sweden! The sun doesn't go down EVER. :) It is crazy. I am kind of going to go throughout my days only because so much has happened. But first off- I LOVE IT. I love being a missionary, I love Sweden, I love the people and my companion.

Monday/Tuesday (21-22 Jul) - woke up at 3:30 and finished packing then started our travels. We took a bus to the front runner, then trax then to the airport. It was a little crazy, but we made it! Everyone checked their luggage through just fine. (lets be honest- only because the airport people are nice.) haha I'm pretty sure we were all like at 50. Oh well, I'm not complaining :) We traveled all day, and I didn't sleep much, being sick on the plane was not fun at all, but I am fine. We were able to share the gospel as we traveled, which was so much fun :) We arrived in Sweden at 8 am Tuesday morning. We had a full day of adventures. We did all the stuff you have too, then toured Stockholm a little bit, which is GORGEOUS. Some of the oldest towns in the world. Crazy stuff. The architecture is HUGE and stunning. (of course I would notice that.) But really all so cool. We went to a YSA Center and met a lot of other missionaries, some that were going home, and some that were serving in Stockholm. While all the other greenies went out and contacted for 20 minutes, I received a Priesthood blessing from Pres. Beckstrand for my health. Since my ears hadn't popped I didn't have much balance (that was pretty funny honestly,) but I didn't feel well, but I was grateful for the power in the blessing. After some orientation and stuff, we finished our day early and I was the first to climb in bed and right once I did I was out at about 6:45 pm. haha It was a long two days since I was sick and slept only about 2 hours on the plane.

Wednesday (23 Jul) - Good ol' orientation. But we did get to spend time (plus we had slept there) at the mission home, which was cute and so fun. Felt good to be in a home. Then finally the time came... TRAINERS. We each read our assignments one at a time out loud, I was last, but I ended up with the sister I really hoped I would be with from when they all walked in (I was trying not to choose favorites, but hey I ended up with mine! haha) So while everyone else filled onto the bus, I said goodbye, jumped in a car with two other companionships and we headed to the airport. Yep, another plane. But hey, I kind of wanted to go to the north, and felt like I would be the one on another plane, so all is well. The plane was a little over an hour. Elder Archibald from the other district in the MTC also is serving with us in the Luleå Branch. The most north. :) haha It is fantastic.

Thursday (24 Jul) - our first FULL day of MISSIONARY WORK :) It was so fun. We contacted a bunch and had a few lessons. Sister Eborn is a rock star. She seriously is such a good teacher. I just contributed to the lessons be bearing my testimony on what I was hoping was what was being discussed! haha Swedes ask weird questions so the lessons are sometimes harder for me to follow. But super awesome part of my day was when Sister Eborn showed me the mormon message "Good things to come" by Elder Holland. Here is the link: WATCH IT NOW :) ah it is so good. I wasn't really having a hard time, but the spirit just touched my heart so much and was perfect :)

Friday (25 Jul) - So we live in "Tuna" yes. Tuna. hehe :) But it is right by a small lake, and forestiness. It is hard to explain because there is forest-i-ness all over, and water all over. IT IS GORGEOUS. I love it :) But we run on a trail through the trees by the water every morning. (yes I am running everyday.. be proud. haha) We taught four solid lessons, and two were in english- so that was nice :) haha I felt like there could really be two teachers during that lesson instead of one and a girl who sits and agrees and says I know that is true :) (don't get me wrong, bearing your testimony is so important and so strong, but the fact that I can explain some things too is nice. :)) But I am so grateful for the fact that the gospel is so true, that I can promise that if you will read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true with a sincere heart, and willing to act upon what you find out, including change to live in such a way to follow the gospel, then you can receive that witness from the Holy Ghost for yourself. (used that with Mahommad Ali- super awesome, he is eating up the gospel and loves it, but is just not sure because of his Islamic background.) 

Saturday (26 Jul) - Sister Eborn said I should make it a goal to talk to people on the bus alone. So I did. I was scared considering understanding Swedes is a whole other thing than understanding teachers at the MTC, but it has gone really well! I pull the greenie card when I don't know what else to say in Swedish or when I really just don't know the words they are using. It is fun, but dang scary. We ended up going over time on a lesson because she and the member who followed with are both chatty kathys and so we missed our bus, sprinted to the church (it is a 30-40 minute walk) and then our investigator didn't show up for the lesson, so we turned around, tried to catch another bus which took us to the wrong place, then we finally figured it out after a while and got to our next lesson with Thomas and Kristina. Who we have taught twice now, plus they came to church so that is good! We shall see if they continue to progress. They are very simple thinkers, so I hope that they will see that the gospel will be a blessing in their lives! Or the fact that they should want those blessings. But they are great.

Sunday (27 Jul) - first one! Dang it is hard to stay focused in an hour long meeting that is in a language that you don't really understand. I focused on the spirit and then opened my scriptures. We had 5 investigators come to sacrament meeting though, so that is great :) We also had a member dinner following church... and lets just say. Swedish food is adventurous. (There is your answer to my friend who asked..haha :)) I put only a tiny bit on my plate of each thing and then a good amount of salad. Well after trying the salmon and almost throwing it up it was hard to get anything else down because nothing was uh.. my kind of food. Oh it was bad if I'm being completely honest. Plus I was starving since we skipped lunch. Ohh well. I was given strength by my Heavenly Father to be able to go off of the energy I had. :) haha adventuresss...

Something that touched my heart this week was as we watched the Restoration film with Thomas and Kristina, I opened my scriptures to find one to share after the film. As I peeked around in my scriptures I came upon 2 Nephi 22:2 at the very same time that "Joseph Smiths First Prayer" was playing in the video. One of my favorite songs which brings the spirit so close to my heart as I read "God is my salvation; I will trust, and be not afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation." After a long day of running around that touched my heart and helped me remember why I am so happy. Even when it was a little hectic, all I could do was smile. I am just so happy to be out here doing the Lords work! And I know that only through His strength am I able to look upon all the things that happen with a good attitude. He is my song, so I am ready to share that with the people of Luleå!! It is so fun being here and watching the work move forward!! :)

I am loving the work and am so happy to be here. Thank you for all the love and support. I LOVE YOU

Love, Syster Bolton

Cassie with her companion/trainer Syster Eborn.

A little more of what I have learned

I have learned so much from my personal scripture study! I just started reading the Book of Mormon with the question of how I can have more faith when facing adversity. As I have slowly read and studied, new things always stick out at me. Something I read a couple days ago that I loved so much was in 1 Nephi 15:25. Nephi is talking to his brethren and he explains that "he did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things." the part that stuck with me was that he did it with all the energies of his soul! That is what I need to be doing out here as I am a missionary, and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to do that. To give all my time and all my soul. That is what I plan to do while I am out here serving this mission. To give it my all, so that the Lord can work through me.
Also today during study, I read 1 Nephi 17- oh my goodness it is so good!! :) I learned so much from it. Hopefully you can open up to it and read a couple verses that I refer to. Verse 6. Reminded me of the mormon message "good things to come" that I put the link to in that other email. You will always be blessed for enduring trials. :) Also verse 7. the voice of the Lord said to Nephi "Arise, and get thee into the mountain... and (Nephi) went and cried unto the Lord" which made me start thinking if the voice of the Lord ever said that to me. "Go to the temple" Honestly, I hadn't ever thought about it in such a way, but He has. Weekly. When I went to the temple, it wasn't because I just thought, oh that would be a good thing to do. But because the spirit directed me to do that. The Lord knew I would follow that prompting time and time again and I built my relationship with Heavenly Father often by attending His house. But also the second part of that verse says that Nephi did cry unto the Lord once he got there. I often go to the temple, and I always pray. But how often do I truly plead with the Lord to understand whatever it is that He wants me to understand. Nephi was commanded to build a boat. What is the Lord wanting me to do this month? week? day? He wants to give us direction, but sometimes, we need to be in a place and pleading for it to be able to receive it. I just thought that was super super cool. Ah the scriptures are a wonderful thing aren't they? :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jul 23, 2014

Letter from Cassie on Jul 22

Tour with all the new missionaries with President and Sister Beckstrand

Her new companion and trainer, Syster Kinsey Eborn from Murray Utah. They will serve together in the Luleå II area which is at the north end of Sweden.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jul 21-22 2014

Syster Cassandra (Cassie) Bolton departed the MTC on 21 Jul and arrived in Stockholm Sweden on 22 Jul.  We received the following e-mail from the mission home.

Dear Parents;

Your wonderful missionaries arrived with their luggage this morning safe and sleepy.  Within the next few days you will be receiving letters, and pictures. 

Syster Lowry
Mission Secretary

Sweden Stockholm

We anticipate hearing from her next Monday 28 Jul on her preparation day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Jul 16 2014

I can't believe the time has flown by. We have four more days here. One more normal day which will be tomorrow, then Friday we have in-field training all day, and Saturday laundry, packing, one last time to email, and class. Then Sunday. We have to meet at the travel office at 4:35 am on Monday. It will be... exciting. haha Whatever. 

I am excited to go to Sweden, but nervous as well. It will be so nice to not have to eat MTC food, sit in a class room all day, live (have class in) a smelly building, and actually speak swedish with those who know it. It will be hard- but so worth it! 

So much has happened this week that I am absolutely past exhausted, but I'm so happy to of had the experiences I have had because I have grown so much! I know I don't have time to even describe it really, so I'm not going to try. But I will share some things I have learned from it: 
- Prayer WORKS. He sincerely listens and cares for you, and as you sincerely pray to Him, He will fill you with love and peace.
- The Lord gives us trials to work through because He knows we can get through them, and how much stronger we will be after them. 
- We need to focus on ourselves, not those around us. Don't compare yourself to them, rather focus on the comparison between you and Christ, and you will see how you can improve and that is the only comparison you should be making.
- Angels are real, they speak through the Holy Ghost, and they are lifting us up. We had a neat experience as a companionship as we felt angels surround us in prayer as we pleaded for our investigators with the Lord. He hears us, and loves us.
- Scriptures are POWERFUL. I was so exhausted emotionally, spiritually and physically. I opened the scriptures to get my mind focusing on positive things, I read one verse over and over as I wanted to fill my mind with joy and hopefully motivation. I opened to D&C 31:3 which reads "Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation." I just read the words over and over. After quite some time, I was given strength to continue in my studies and preparation. I can promise you that if you are struggling with anything, that the scriptures can bring you peace.

Devotional on sunday was all about having charity. Funny because that was the attribute of Christ that I wanted to focus on this week. He said " Charity is a gift, it cannot be manufactured by us." I think when I used to go about trying to build my charity, I thought, okay, I just need to be more loving, thinking I could just make myself be more charitable, but I've learned and experienced receiving that gift from the Lord. 
SMILE- remember it is a universal language!! :)
Tuesday devotional was stellar. It was by L. Edward Brown, and he talked about the name of JESUS CHRIST. What a name. We need to remember that we do not just pray in His name because of respect, but because of the POWER. Holy cow. He said "Taking the Lords name in vain is little to do with profanity we see in the world! It isn't just a way we get out of a talk, or close a prayer. We need to make sure we do not use his name thoughtlessly." I wish you could have felt the spirit that was there, I hope you can try to better understand the power in His name. 

I am loving being a missionary, and wearing HIS name on my badge. I am so happy to be here, and am so grateful for the relationship I have with my Father in Heaven and how it grows daily. I love the Lord- that is why I am here. Sorry my thoughts were pretty scattered this week, but hey- I leave for Sweden in FIVE DAYS. Woot woot!! It will be an adventure, that is for sure.

I love you all, and am so grateful for your support!! :)
love love love, Cassie :)

Travel Itineraries in hand!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Jul 9 2014

Okay so last Wednesday we had the incredible opportunity to clean the Provo Temple since it is closed for two weeks. We were there for three and a half wonderful hours. It was seriously soo cool! The sisters were able to clean the chandeliers in the celestial rooms! We took it apart piece by piece, cleaned it then put it back together. The best part was turning the light back on and see how much prettier it was after it was cleaned. It just sparkled. The spirit was so strong in those little rooms as we climbed up on ladders and put the chandeliers back together. It took a long time even though we had four of us working on one. We put them in piece by piece. It reminded me of how we learn; piece by piece, bit by bit. We must have patience with ourselves, we can't do too much at once or we were likely to break one of those precious crystals. I've learned that a lot here, as I learn the gospel and the language both one step at a time, and at first when I tried to get every single thing we were taught I didn't come out with much at all. Once I focused on one thing at a time I can come to understand that, put it in the proper place and continue to grow. I love the temple, and know it is the house of the Lord. I was so grateful to serve there and feel the spirit immensely even as we were cleaning. It is the house of the Lord, it is the closest we can get to Heaven on earth, and the ordinances performed are TRUE. Go to the Temple often, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to participate in the work, remember the covenants we have made and come closer to them. Live worthy of the temple daily. Work towards it, and visit the grounds. Family, I can PROMISE you the Lord will bless you if you make it your goal to visit often if you can go in or not, He will help you understand its importance and come closer to Him.

The fourth of July here in the MTC was great! We like all wore red white and blue, so that was great. I need to get some of those pictures and send them home. I will try to right after this. :) But we had a devotional, lots of musical numbers, and a speaker. The speaker talked about our wonderful country for a while then turned to the freedom we received from Jesus Christ. I know as I have come to Christ I have gained freedom from sin and from Satan. He made a point that we should give our agency to the Lord so that we can really be free. I hadn't thought about it this way. I have heard the saying "Let go, Let God." But this gave me a new perspective on it. The Lord gave us our agency one of the finest gifts, but as we choose to  give Him our agency we can be completely free. We will always say "Thy will be done."

We had a mission conference for fast Sunday instead of our other meetings then had Sacrament with our normal branch. But the mission conference is with all the missionaries. There were 6 speakers in the two hours. It was so powerful, I absolutely loved the things I learned! President Roach (2nd couns. in MTC pres.) talked about Preach My Gospel! Oh my goodness it was INCREDIBLE. He talked about the history behind it, which was incredible, did you know that it is the manuel that had the most time spent on it, and the most people. Every single one of the quorum of the twelve and first presidency worked on it. One of those who worked on it said; "It was written on the other side of the veil, and we had the wonderful opportunity to assemble it here." This book is from latter-day prophets, straight from God. We must STUDY it. "Preach My Gospel was made to convert the missionary before they convert their investigator." Well we are all missionaries aren't we? and we all want to be more converted to the Lord? Well then- study what they have given us. It will help you understand the doctrine of Christ- the most important part of your testimony. The doctrine of Christ should be your foundation, you don't have to understand the deep doctrine of the gospel to be converted to it, you just need to know His simple doctrine of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Enduring to the end is continually building your faith, continually repenting, making commitments, and following the Holy Ghost. We can study Preach my Gospel over and over and still receive revelation every time. I want you to read it all the way through, it doesn't necessarily have to be in a certain order, but study it and I promise your testimony and faith will grow!! :) It explains the gospel of Christ so wonderfully, so we can truly come to have a better understanding on it!

President Nally also spoke and during the new mission pres. seminar, they received knowledge and direction from the first presidency that a couple changes would be made. Those include, 1. You will teach lesson 5 "laws and ordinances" before baptism. 2. It is now the missionaries responsibility to re-teach all 5 lesson after baptism, and 3. that new members will be worked with closely for 3-4 months, and contact should be kept for at least a year. Our focus to "find, teach and baptize," was expanded to also "retain and activate." Just amazing that these things will hasten the work and this is directly from Jesus Christ, He knows that these changes will improve the strength of the church! Ah so cool :) They all had fantastic talks, I wish I could share all I've learned.

On Monday, we studied how we can let the Holy Ghost play a bigger part in our lessons and how the Holy Ghost is the key to conversion. We then taught our investigator Hans and the spirit was incredible! We've truly learned that this is the Lord's work and we are just there to do what He directs us. It was incredible. He still hasn't committed to baptism but I think he is truly experiencing conversion and that he will be willing :)

Okay one last thing, Tuesday devotional was...... NEIL L. ANDERSON. Can you believe how many of the twelve we have been able to hear from recently? We have been so blessed. I was so excited, because last time I heard him speak was at our stake conference at home. That was when I decided with no doubt that I was to serve a mission. So he brought back a lot of wonderful confirming memories. :) I honestly don't remember anything he spoke about at that stake conference, but the spirit is what I remember, and how I felt. Mom it would be awesome if you could find my journal and open up to that day, and send to me what I wrote in it. But one thing that stood out to me was.. D&C 121:45-46. It talks about virtue and then having the Holy Ghost. He said directly "You do NOT need to learn skills to know more about the Holy Ghost, you only need to live a life
that will let you be open to it." Virtue is everything my friends and family. We don't need skills, we just need to be clean and willing. how amazing of a promise. I know I have been worried about being skilled in understanding the spirit, but if I am clean I will have the Spirit to be with me. I felt a pure testimony again that this gospel is PERFECT. I know it is true, and am excited to be sharing that. I will share that knowledge for the rest of my life, and will stand up for the truth no matter what. Because I cannot deny that the Holy Ghost has born testimony to me that it is true. Perfectly true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I hope you can take my testimony and experiences and try them for yourself. Be open to what the Lord wants to tell you. I love you :)

12 more days!!! I can't believe it :) I am scared, but I have FAITH. That is definitely the reason I am here still - Love for the Lord and Faith in Him. It is going to be awesome :) I love you all dearly thanks for being the best in the world. 


Syster Bolton

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jul 2 2014

Well last Wednesday we went to the temple, and I am just so grateful for the spirit that is there. It is truly the best place in the world. But these next two weeks the temple is closed, so we are cleaning it today! I am excited to see what we will do. I'm sure it will be neat. 

This past Friday was the bomb. We taught Hans Frälsningsplanen (the Plan of Salvation) and the Heliga Anden (Holy Ghost) was SO styrka (strong). I absolutely loved it. I have been concerned lately that if I didn't work hard enough, and memorize enough and such that I didn't understand how I could expect the gift of tongues. If there wasn't enough in my mind for the Spirit to draw from- it just wouldn't work. Well this isn't the case. I worked, I studied, yes I could have done more-and am working on that. But I also realized that I am not expected to have everything memorized already, and so I put all my faith in the Lord. I was prepared for my lesson, but I really didn't want to have to read off my paper at all- even though I knew I didn't have it memorized. Well the Spirit works. The gift of tongues is real, and with faith, you can do anything. I know Hans could feel the spirit, and we were able to explain the Plan of Salvation to him. We asked him if he would pray about baptism (he still wanted to learn more-like he said), but it was just amazing how the Lord truly filled my mouth in the hour I needed it. When Hans needed it. Yesterday we went back and taught him, and he reads A TON out of the Book of Mormon, always more than we ask. Then he comes back with questions and such, it is so neat. We asked him if he had prayed about baptism, and he said he did not, he said he didn't really remember how to pray, and didn't understand how the Holy Ghost worked. We spent our whole lesson talking about his questions and the scriptures. It was so neat. I feel like he understands that we are his guide, but he is the one who has to do it if he wants it. I am excited to go back and teach him more of the gospel of Christ. He is such a brilliant guy, so a lot of people in our district don't really like teaching him, because he always has DEEP questions, and he isn't necessarily jumping right on, but I honestly love teaching him. It is way more realistic to what the field will be like, and I am happy to be experiencing it now. 

So every Sunday we have to write a talk on the specific topic, and then after the sacrament they announce who will be speaking. Well that was me this Sunday. It was actually pretty exciting. It is only supposed to be a 3-5 minute talk, so it makes preparation shorter, but it is hard to decide what to say when you only have 5 minutes. So I spoke about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I read 2 Nephi 33:1 and talked about two main points. That first, the Holy Ghost carries it UNTO the hearts of the children of men. So for both us missionaries, and for our investigators, we have to decide to let it INTO our hearts. We can teach our investigator with the spirit all we want, but if they will not open their hearts and let it in, we can do nothing. I also talked about the beginning of that scripture - I am not mighty in writing or speaking (which I am not at all in Swedish, let alone English.) But that if I teach with the spirit, our investigator can understand. And I know that as I have been here, that is the only way they are truly understanding the message that we are sharing with them. I shared a quote from Gordon B. Hinkley which is in Preach My Gospel, pg 94 I think. But I don't have that with me. 

A scripture that I stumbled upon when planning a lesson is Doctorine and Covenants 6:36 "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." Definitely has strengthened me as I have been here. I hope all  of you can also take this into your life, and look unto Christ more often, because with Him we do not need to fear. Trust in Him.

Tuesday Devotional was stellar. It was by Lowell Snow a former of the Seventy. Every devotional, I have gotten the message that I need to be more converted to the Lord, and this devotional along with our devotional district review, I finally understand it. I have felt like, oh I'm not going to have an an Alma the Younger moment, how can I have a mighty change of heart? Something clicked, and I don't remember what was said exactly, but it makes sense to me a little bit more now. My mighty change of heart can be truly just letting the spirit fill my heart. I cannot think how to explain it right now. But I am Choosing Christ, and now all I must do is act because I have already decided. I pray that all of you will also Choose Christ. Choose Him. He loves you, and will bless you. Trust Him!

Sunday Devotional by Stephen B. Allen - He said "you have three choices  when you wake up in the morning; if you are going to have a good day, a great day, or a bad day." DECIDE TO HAVE A GREAT DAY :) love you all.

From Elder Holland, "Never let your faith be difficult to detect."

I love you all sooo much! I know this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, and He wants us all to return to Him. Only through His mercy can we do so. Remember the Atonement can be active in your life, let it be, let Him in.

Jag älskar dig. Jag vet Jesus Kristus lidande för oss. Vi kan återvanda till Gud. i Jesu Kristi namn, Amen.

Love, Syster Bolton :)

Picture; Top left: Syster Powell, Sister Woster (going to Denmark), Sister Demille, Sister Beckstrom (those two are in the other district of Swedes), bottom:Sister Sorenson, Sister Austin, me. :) I love them!!
Picture: Sister Austin and I with President and Sister Nally (Provo MTC President)