Monday, August 25, 2014

Aug 25 2014

Well lots of laughs this week because... Sister Eborn likes to change lyrics to songs (especially Taylor Swift songs) and sing about getting married, killing me and sometimes about missionary work. Yes the killing me is very disturbing and creative, but she thinks its hilarious, haha. We also had a drunk guy sing us some Elvis songs on the bus, which was HILARIOUS. Since people here don't talk on buses, it was dead silent, and he is just belting it. His English and singing was pretty good actually. But we asked if we could record it and he said... YES haha so there will be one of those on dropbox, hope you enjoy it. There were lots of other reasons to laugh, and sometimes you look back on something you thought was hilarious, and realize it wasn't... but in missionary life, it just is. haha

Lots of traveling... this includes by airplane, car, bus, and definitely by foot. 
  • Airplane- we flew to Stockholm for a zone conference. It was with 5 zones, and President Texiera addressed us, he is in the 70, and is president over the Europe area. It was super fun to be able to go see some old friends from the MTC, and meet more missionaries. There were 10 from our MTC group there, and the rest of them had the conference the next day. But it was awesome, and I'll talk more about what I learned later. 
  • Car - we had a member dinner an hour and a half away, but we found out that they hadn't been visited in 5 years, no visiting teachers, and no home teachers. SO sad. They are sisters, both old, but come to church weekly, and no one could drive out there once in the past five years... it blew us away, but super great ladies, and member missionaries!
  • Bus- mostly just the usual, but had to take the bus to the Elders to get the car from them so that was an hour bus ride, oh and that was with the drunk guy. hahah!
  • Foot- well we had some great opportunities to see how much we could run. I'm pretty sure the Lord wants us to exercise every morning for a half hour so we can do what we did this past week! haha we ran in the rain trying to find bus stops to get to places on time, and we had one super stellar time when we got off the bus, and we were 3 plus miles from the church and had an appointment there in 20 minutes with a dead phone. So we looked at each other, then ran the whole way there, 7 minutes late and he wasn't there. We were super afraid we missed him, but he ended up that he didn't wake up from his nap. It was super adventurous. hehe
Lots of improving... boy, I am being stretched, and it is tiring, but I love it!

We learned how we can be more obedient from Elder Texiera, but it was also a little bit of a pat on the back, as he called many missionaries to repentance on the little things, and we were like, hey we do that! haha But it helped me put a few things in perspective and understand that I can shoot big, have big goals and then work my hardest to achieve them. In all honesty, it made me think, why are missionaries ever disobedient? If you are on a mission, you have one goal, bring people to Christ. Yes I miss my home, but if I spend time thinking about it, is it going to make me miss it any less? Or if I take a break, and not spend my time wisely, how does that help me? It really will just make me more sad that the work isn't moving forward as much as I would like it to. So it made me decide (again) to give my 100% because why not? That is what I am here to do, and if I don't I won't be nearly as happy. I also learned a lot from my companion this week, on how I can be better. Okay I'm doing all the things in the white handbook that are things you can like check off so you could say, but am I being Christ like while I do all of this as well? I realized I need to have more charity and patience. With myself and with others. I can't hold onto little things, and I really opened my eyes this week to being considerate about everything, and how I can be better with the little things. I feel like that was really repetitious, and probably didn't make much sense.. but it makes sense to me ;) haha But I am grateful for the refining I have received while I have been serving the Lord.

This past week was my one month mark in Sweden. Actually four days ago, but I seriously can't believe it. It is really weird, but I am grateful for the experiences I have had, and I look forward to so much more! I am really nervous that sis. Eborn will be transferred next week, but we shall see. Mostly scared because that will mean the area is on my shoulders, but all will be well :)

I hope you know all is well here, I am learning to be better and really striving to be. The Lord has been with me every step of the way, and I'm grateful for that.

Asaffa - Oh I want to talk a little bit about some of our investigators we have been working with. We have Asaffa, who I have mentioned I believe a couple times. He is from Ethiopia, and we started teaching him probably two and a half weeks ago, and he is solid! He committed to baptism day one, and we actually have moved his baptism a week forward, so that will be this Saturday! I am so excited for him! He reads and prays every day and has gained a testimony of what we have taught him. He is really smart, in his 30s, studying engineering [woooo] at the university, we teach him in English, although he knows both Swedish and English, it seems like his English is better. He is really quite quiet, but is accepting of everything we teach him. He was really seeking for the gospel when we found him! ah it is so neat!! :) I am grateful to be able to see him progress, and be a part of this great work!

Persian family - not looking so hot anymore.. but we shall see. The language gap is hard to understand if they are actually sincere or not. 

Kevin and Helena - they were supposed to be baptized a little while ago, but they put it off so they could make sure they could keep the Sabbath day holy. They have a testimony, and know it is true, but they aren't willing to change.. so they asked to stop meeting! I was so sad!! But I am sure it will touch their hearts again one day, and that they will change.

Emmy- she is awesome, we've taught her a couple times, and I think she is darling. She is in her 30s, mother of two, but has a sambo (which means living with a guy who she isn't married too) and so I feel like it will take a while, but she totally wants it and seems like she is willing to change. 

Congrats to all those who are pregnant or engaged! holy cow, that is crazy, but exciting! yes all sisters will use a backpack once they are here. I would recommend that they just buy a cheap side bag for the MTC, then buy a backpack here, unless they can find a good professional backpack there. But here we can buy either a professional looking one, or a super Swedish brand, which is what like everyone has. haha
Goodbye Martina :) good luck on your mission! That is soo exciting! Can't believe Rachel is already done! wooo. That is so fun :) Good luck with your wrist mom, I hope all is okay, and that they can figure out a simple way to fix it. Yes I saw Sister Austin, and it was super stellar! I loved it :) Sadly, I didn't get a picture with her on my camera, actually I don't even know if we took a picture, but next time! But thank you for all the updates, I love hearing about home :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA BOLTON!!! :) Sorry I didn't get a card off to you, but I hope you know I love you so much and have been thinking about you and grandpa. I use the cute journal you sent me, and it is so uplifting! Thank you for all your love and your support. I hope you have a wonderful day!

But yeah, I hope you all know how much I love and care about each and every one of you! You are wonderful really :) I pray that you can continue to be more like Christ, and recognize the hand of the Lord in your lives more often. He is there, you just have to ask.

I love you, I know that this gospel is true!


LOVE, Cassie :)

Sunday Aug 24 Beautiful reflections in the water




Monday, August 18, 2014

Aug 18 2014

It was a pretty solid week! I super enjoyed it, and I will try and explain some of my favorite things.
-  Tuesday we were taking buses and had a connecting bus. We got off the one, had about 2 minutes before the other left, we were walking along the side of it, she closed the doors and started driving, so sister Eborn started smacking the side of the bus! We could NOT afford to miss it. We were even running, and then the lady stopped, and we realized all she was doing was moving forward so the bus we just got off could move forward. haha awkward.
-  We had transfers which just turned into work overs because of the time limit, so the two sister training leaders flew from Stockholm up here, and they got here Tuesday night, we took them home, then Wednesday they had to leave by 3:00. It was a little silly since they were so short, but with flights and they had to do transfers again that night, it was just how it had to happen. So I was with Sister Christensen,who is going home in like a month, but she is super super awesome. I really enjoyed getting to know her! It was so neat to see other approaches at contacting, tracting and teaching. It was super good :) The biggest thing I learned though was that I really do have the BEST trainer. Sister Christensen is super great though, and helped me understand some things better, but it also made me appreciate that sister Eborn does EVERYTHING possible. She is very courageous, and so she is getting me in great habits to ALWAYS ask for a referral, etc. it is just so sweet :) But after they went home Wednesday we had four lessons and they were terrific! It was probably the most solid day of missionary work that I've experienced. None of our lessons bailed, and the spirit was super strong in all of them!

We've taught Asaffa the one who committed to baptism three more times, we taught the P.o.S., the gospel, and a group of the commandments, including word of wisdom, Sabbath day, living prophet, etc. He is AWESOME. ah, he takes everything in, and is like, yeah okay that makes sense, I'll pray about it and I'll live it. He has questions here and there like with the revelations scripture of no other books to be added to this, but says he thinks it will come in time and wants to know if the BoM is true. :) Just super cool. I actually taught him yesterday the commandments with a member, while Sis. Eborn taught another investigator. A little nerve racking, but its okay, because they are things I know :) 

Thursday was adventurous, we had zone conference in Umeå and well.. haha we had to wake up at 3:45 so we could leave by 4:30 to catch a bus to catch a train... welll we slept through the alarm that went off, and woke up at 6:10. At first a little hectic, but we were out the door in NO JOKE 4 minutes. and ran to catch a different bus, and long story short, was only an hour late by taking a 3 hr. bus trip instead :) but they moved it around so we missed the lunch with them but were there for the whole meeting! The conference was great, it was just all our missionaries in the zone and our zone leaders conducted and taught us about obedience. They also had the three greenies bear their testimonies, and then after we went and grabbed some lunch. I had my first "kebab" pizza, which was actually super good. Its the picture with the french fries and stuff on top. Super good, super interesting though :) haha 

We are Speak Your Language (SYL)-ing again and it is great. We are trying to find anything that we weren't being exactly obedient with, and realized we super needed to do that. We SYL outside of the apartment and church, and each week we will add one more thing (like next week in the apartment we don't SYL) so in a few weeks it will be constant again, and it has already helped my Swedish a bunch!

Sunday was bomb. I gave a talk so that was terrifying, I had Friday and Saturday to prepare... which means like 2 hours during personal times. I was so scared to do it in Swedish, but I did it. gave a 10 minute talk, and didn't even write it all out, just did the normal bullet points with my ideas and talked about them! It was good, could have been better if I had more time.

Had Sunday dinner with our branch President Newell and his family (son of the old mission pres.) they are adorable, they have 3 little girls, and I just love them dearly! We also had Deborah (10 yr. old) and Diana (her mom) come with us to that dinner, and we taught them, and recommitted them to baptism. I am so excited for them. They are so cute :)

Couple things about a Persian family we've been teaching. Ah they are the beeestt! They are so nice, and I really like them. So two boys who are 21 and 19, their mom who I think is like 37, and uncle who is like 25. Their uncle doesn't know any Swedish, the mom speaks simple Swedish, but the boys understand. But we teach them with a translator over the phone, (she is the sweetest). We taught them the Plan of Salvation (P.o.S.), and the Restoration. We had a baptism on Saturday (the Elders, his name is Sergei) and we invited like everyone to come. The mom of the Persian family came with her son who is like 3 yrs old. And she LOVED it. She ate it up. So Sunday, their whole family came into church, even with the 12 yr. old and 3 yr old sons, and they even brought a friend! They stayed for all three hours, they were taught by two members during Sunday school, and the mom, Camella asked for one of the relief society books so she could read it in advance and so she could follow along more during relief society so she could understand more, etc. Ah! it was just so cool! It really has touched their hearts, I can SEE it. I am excited for them! They are Muslim, so it will be hard with a couple of our beliefs, but I think it is really touching their hearts and they are really pondering about it. I just have come to love them. The uncle is awesome, even though we can't really talk, we just gesture, and I feel like I get him, since I came and was in the same boat of not being able to get to know someone cause you can't talk with them, but he has helped me see that that isn't needed! He is just stellar. :) 

But being a missionary is WONDERFUL!! I have some cool insights from this week that I will write home about and I super want you to share it with all the family :) It was just solid.

Thank you so much for all your love and prayers, you make me so happy! I am so grateful for all of your examples! I hope you know I love you soo soo much! Thanks for everything! :)

Love, Cassie :)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE ONE AND ONLY.... ANDRE!!!! Love you so much, and hope you enjoy it :) you are getting sooo old. ;) Hope you and chels have a good day together.

Monday Aug 11 2014



 Thursday Aug 14 2014 - Pizza with Fries and Kabob

Cassie's comfort food from Grandma and Grandpa McLaughlin

Saturday Aug 16 2014 Baptism

Monday Aug 18 2014 
Secret Agents haha

What a picture!!

Beautiful Sunrise




Monday, August 11, 2014

Aug 11 2014

Short crazy story- but please don't let this make you worried. We received a referral from someone, and we went to visit him, it was farther away so we drove there and went to his house. We walked up to the door, all the lights were off but the TV on. We knocked, and no movement, we knocked again and we both heard what sounded like the cocking of a gun. He came to the door, obviously super drunk. he yelled at us "what"? with a shot gun in his hand, we said have a good day, and briskly walked away then ran to the car and sped off. It was crazy like. That was the only dangerous situation I felt that we have been in at all. Everyone is pretty chill here. :)

BUT. Tuesday, we did service for some members who live out in the middle of the forest. I was smart and very grateful I wore pants.. well sister Eborn did not and suffered from that decision... and so did I. hahaha seriously though, she is allergic to mosquitoes and she was like eaten alive. She swelled up big time, and the next couple days she could hardly stop scratching them. we bought her some stuff and she like drenched her legs in it, and then gave up and went to tooth paste all the time. haha it made for some adventures, and I really got to know my companion as I rubbed all sorts of things on the back of her legs for her.. haha. The poor girl. 

We had a super good member dinner on Thursday, the food was great, and the DESSERT. holy cow, nothing is that great in america after all. Homemade cheesecake. It was frozen, and was a little bit like ice cream, but still cheesecake. best stuff I've ever had. Hopefully I can figure out how to ask for the recipe in Swedish sometime soon :) haha 

We taught an investigator on Friday (who we contacted and set up an appt. on Thursday.) and he committed to baptism! It was a solid lesson, the spirit was really strong! But we will see how committed he is, as we meet with him more.

We tracted like maniacs this week, we are working our tails off, and it is just exhilarating. What is so cool is that I don't really even have to see the success, because I know what we've done and we've  done all we can. we are making ourselves just tools in the Lords hands, anything we are directed to do, we do. We talk to everyone, and we are trying to find those who will act upon our message. It opened up some doors (hehe literally) as we tracted and met people who are actually interested and we set up times to meet with them this upcoming week. Sometimes all we can do is have a lesson with them, bring the spirit in, but we don't have a return appointment. But it is fine, because the Lord is giving us the opportunity to help strengthen their faith. Sister Eborn says, every time we place a Book of Mormon we know it isn't wasted. People in Sweden will give it to someone, leave it on their shelve, possibly even read it, but will never throw it away. So that is always a cool thought. We've placed about 3 Book of Mormons a day this week I would guess. 

This week I studied chapter 7 of Preach My Gospel, "Learn your Language" and under the gift of tongues it said a few things that touched me. Thomas S. Monson said "The language of the Spirit comes to him who seeks with all his heart to know God and keep His divine commandments." also that one must struggle and labor to learn their language. Sometimes it is hard to pay attention for all three hours in church in a language I am trying to understand and learn, and so I prayed and asked my Heavenly Father to help me have the strength to struggle in it and progress and learn something from the meetings. During sacrament meeting, I could catch onto ideas that were being discussed, and the spirit filled in the words around it. As I wrote more and more direct revelation came to me. It was very neat to see how as I struggled with the Swedish, that the spirit gave me what I needed to know. I love that and I know that as we do seek to do all we can, to know God, and to follow Him, he will bless us. :)

I started a letter to you last week, and will finish it today, with a lot more responses to the things you've told me. Also with cooler experiences and such. Emails will continue to get shorter, because writing about my experiences is a lot more fun, because I have time to think about things :) So sorry to.. everyone. haha Mom and dad you can share those with the siblings and such as they come over :) 

But most importantly: I LOVE YOUUUU. I love youuu. i llooooovvveee youuuu :)
I pray for you each daily, and trust the Lord will take care of you.

Love, Sister Bolton

Received the following e-mail from a member of the Luleå branch about Cassie on Aug 9 and sent the following picture as well.

Dear families; 
I want to send a greeting from Piteå in Sweden (Luleå bransch).
We are happy to have your son or daughter with us and for their desire to serve 😄
Äldste Archibald and Syster Bolton is very welcome to Sverige !!!! They are being good care of , by their companion Äldste Noso and Syster Eborn! 
We just had one of our best days this year as we got our son back home from his mission 😄! We felt the Spirit around him and also the hard feelings that came to him , when he had to take of his nametag that said "  Elder Wirtala"   ....and the church name underneath.💚. He had served the Lord with his whole heart and mind and even though it was hard he loved it. 
Syster Bolton and Elder Archibald will really 
Have some hard months with the language and we will try to help your son or daughter to have some uplifting moments here in Luleå area (which is the largest area in sweden mission !).
We are so happy they are here and Äldste Noso and Syster Eborn really want to serve their companion 😉!
I do wish I had someone for them to teach !!! 
Love from a happy and blessed mother in the north of Sweden ,
Victoria



Monday, August 4, 2014

Aug 4 2014

Well, it has been a pretty tough week if I think about all that has happened, but when I look back on it, I feel good about it. We worked our tails off, and the bad things just leave your mind. We dropped many investigators, and our whole investigator pool disappeared. We now have 2 still with baptismal dates (last week it was 6), and then 2 other investigators (last week, I couldn't tell ya but... I'd say more than 10 total). So thinking about it like that.. not so hot. But we know the Lord is in charge of His work, and even though our people have dropped, our work hasn't. I think the Lord was clearing it out so we could start fresh and find. We are contacting and tracting and such quite a bit. We were able to have some street lessons and such along the way. We went out of our way to talk to everyone we saw. We had a great street lesson with a guy, who clearly wasn't interested when we first starting talking, but as we continued to explain the Book of Mormon, as he listened to sister Eborn and I both bear our testimonies on it, he totally changed his mind. it was amazing!! We extended a commitment, gave him the book, taught and bore testimony, and held a prayer together. We got his address to visit him and figured out we've taught his girlfriend before.. so hopefully we can get in and teach them both again soon :)

My companion and I stopped speaking Swedish constantly because we hardly knew each other, and our unity has grown immensely. She is super funny, weird, an amazing teacher, and a hard worker. I love it a lot. Saturday was a little crazy, filled with a TON of walking (speed walking plus contacting along the way for a few hours.) We should have been buying new bus passes, but after much walking we found out you cannot purchase them on Saturdays then to get to our appointments that we had to move because we had to get new bus passes... etc. Already confusing enough for ya? yeah, I will stop, but as we ate our late dinner at the church we watched some mormon messages, and they came out with a new one! One about an atheist, which was super sweet because I am serving in the most atheist country in the world!! And that is a fact. 
Yesterday we had a great member dinner, which I loved. The food was all great, plus dessert :) haha Sister Wirtala (the W is pronounced like a V) has come along on a teach with us before and she is the nicest lady in the whole world. I think I will become good friends with her and her family. 

Oh our AWESOME P-day last monday (Jul 28) will supposedly be the best one of my whole mission... we went to Storforsen. Which is the longest waterfall in all of Europe. Not sure the definition of a waterfall because it is more like a steep river of white water rapids. haha But it was LEGIT. It was seriously so amazing. I took lots of pictures, but a picture could never do it justice. God's creations are incredible. We had a lot of fun, and we decided we are going to go back at our 6 week mark.. which they say that it will be mostly frozen over. AH I'm going to be frozen sooo soon!!






Yesterday during relief society (because it is in swedish, it is not as spiritual and more just brain killing to understand it) I read and studied the talk "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee" by Thomas S. Monson Oct. 2013 conf. ( https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/i-will-not-fail-thee-nor-forsake-thee?lang=eng&query=i+will+not+fail+thee+nor+forsake+thee ) and it was AWESOME. I've read this a few other times, and its funny how different parts stand out. Two lines that got me this time read: "Shall I falter, or shall I finish?" Difficulities always will come, but it is our decision if we will get through them holding with the Lord, or if we will give up and give in. Do not give in. "To finish involves enduring to the very end of life itself" which we will do. Right now I can look at it in the mission sense. I am tired, but will I falter or will I finish? and I already know that answer. I also know that answer for after my mission. I will finish. I hope you can say that as well. Build yourself in your faith that you know that whatever comes your way, it cannot sway you from the gospel. We can do this as we "make the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of our lives. This si what will pull us through whatever comes our way." I challenge you to make this gospel of Jesus Christ the center of your life, because it will make everything else come to balance!!

I wish I had time to go into everything I experience more, but the work is calling, so I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your love and support. Hold to the gospel. Remember who Christ is because He has overcome it all! :)

LOVE YOU,
Syster Bolton

This is my address for probably the next 4-6 months: (you need all of that)

Sister Bolton
c/o Jesu Kristi Kyrka
Tunastigen 24
973 44 Luelå
Sweden