YES I SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS LAST NIGHT. Ah it was sooo amazing. Loved it.
Monday Sep 22 2014- pretty effective P-day of cleaning and organizing. It felt really good to get stuff done that we just don't have time for during the week. Oh and someone from the apartments came and unclogged our shower drain. I haven't ever said anything about that.. but it was quite terrible. We had tried everything you can, and finally someone came and got it done very quickly. haha glad it is fixed! I am trying to lose less hair... haha
Tuesday Sep 23 2014 - we met with Simon a 25 yr. old who I contacted about 3 weeks ago because he could finally meet. We taught him about God and prayer because he has no religious background. We committed him to pray and as we followed up over the phone about prayer he said he feels good when he does! Since it is something so new and different I hope he still takes the steps we invite him to take. Random fact though, he rode a giant unicycle to the library where we met him, and by giant I mean like 10 feet tall. Really though. haha it was cool. That night as we were tracting a little bit, we got a call from a member saying they had a class where they had to feed those who came, and only 4 of the 7 people showed up, so they had a bunch of chili left, and we were welcome to come and get it. Let me tell ya- BLESSINGS of paying FAST OFFERINGS. We were not going to make it throughout the week on the food we had, no matter what, and we didn't have enough money because we didn't get reimbursed for paying for our bus cards.. so the Lord provides when we follow his commandments, I promise you that. After we had a lesson with Asefa and he was so cute, and usually he prays in his own language, but he said he would in English so that we could understand him this time. And his prayer was SO sincere. He was truly speaking with his Father in Heaven, and he would say in his prayer "oh my God," so dearly and humbly. It showed me his testimony and relationship he has with God.
Wednesday Sep 24 2014 - Okay, this is a crazy funny experience. I wish I could explain this to you out loud because the tone of voice that was used. But anyway, we met with a lady we had met in the park and she had explained that before she came to Sweden about 4 years ago in Africa she believed in God, but now she just doesn't really know, especially since seeing so many people being killed or raped etc. After being soft and talking to her and explaining that there is a God and that he knows what is best for us and stuff, she just wasn't buying it. She just kept saying, well maybe. We both bore stronger testimonies of Him, and then felt the prompting that we needed to be bolder. She said she just doesn't feel like God has ever really talked to her, she is expecting to hear a voice, or to be shaken by him. We were like; He is talking to you right now, through us, and we are pretty loud!! (totally stole that from the District.) Then she was like, yeah, okay. We told her she needed to stop denying what she knew! She knows there is a God and she just is doubting. It was getting more intense, but the spirit was really strong. Lydia, the women, said "yeah, yeah, but I don't know, we'll see." and Sister Eborn strongly says "Yeah, you'll see that there's a God when you're in freaking hell." and Lydia was like "I'm sorry, what?" yeah well she listened the rest of the time and admitted that she was just denying that there is a God. It was crazy, but definitely a calling to repentance that was needed and from the spirit. So that was super funny, shocking, but hey, we are called to call repentance, so yep! haha
Later that night we taught Ehsan again and we ended up teaching him about tithing, temples, and baptism and confirmation because of his questions and that we just where the spirit prompted us to take it. It was a good lesson, and solidified that Ehsan wants to be baptized and will be entering into that covenant :) He is a super great guy, and I love working with him. He is a biomedical engineer and works at the hospital, so that is super legit. But yeah :)
Thursday Sep 25 2014 - We had district training in Skellefteå, and hour and a half south of here by driving, then we took a bus back for two hours. The training was super good, and totally by the spirit. We talked a lot about Mark 11:22-23 but I also like 24-25 which reads:
"22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses."
President and Sister Beckstrand have asked us all to memorize 22-23 this month, and remember the power of faith. Something that really stood out to me was in 24, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them. Sometimes I feel unworthy, or not as good as other missionaries, so why should I be receiving? NOO! That is totally the wrong thing to be thinking. I just need to be asking believing I will receive, and as I have been doing that, I have received. Crazy how the promises the Lord makes are TRUE. It is honestly a lot simpler than we think. Sometimes I would say, oh but if I don't receive that is okay.. blah blah blah, but that is me DOUBTING. Faith and doubt cannot coexist in you. I realized that, and walahh, I receive inspiration from my Heavenly Father, because I know I am His daughter, and He loves me, and I have right to receive guidance from Him. I think we all know that God can give us our answers, but don't think we necessarily deserve them or what not. WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD. HE WANTS US TO SUCCEED. He has commanded us to ask Him, why in the world would he hold that back from us? Yes we need to understand our will must be aligned with His, but we also need to trust that when we really want to do what is right, it is usually pretty right! Otherwise he will guide us another way. Just have faith that as you pray, you will receive.
Oh something while we were driving to Skellefteå and on the bus back, I was able to weekly plan like all by myself, well do the draft at least, which was a good experience for me, and helped me learn afterwards the few things I forgot about, and I learn best by doing something, so I was happy to really be able to do that and not just following sister Eborn do it. So that is exactly why she had me do so, so that I could really learn it for myself also. It was good :)
That night we had a lesson with Joel, who is a recently activated member, and went to institute with him, and brought one of our investigators, Ehsan with us as well. The lesson was stellar, and even though it was on the Doctrine and Covenants which is harder to teach when he doesn't have a lot of background, he followed it, and it solidified his understanding of the restoration of the gospel because we went over the first 16 sections. It was really wonderful because the teacher, Sister Liljiansalo shared her conversian story and the spirit was just super strong, and Ehsan shared his experiences of the spirit confirming truth to him, and that he was feeling it again. Super cool :) (institute is little, and sometimes there are two other young adults from the ward there, but neither were, so it was Joel, Ehsan, Sis. Eborn, and me.) But it was great :)
Saturday Sep 27 2014 - Marcus' baptism was amazing. It was outside since the church house is closed, but we did it at a pool, and although it was very simple, and a little hectic beforehand, the spirit was incredibly strong. Marcus is a great guy that the elders have been teaching and it was just a great experience to be there for it. It was very special and Marcus really understood that this was the right thing to do. :)
Sister Eborn had a crazy little prompting as we were tracting,
Oh I am a JW (Jehovahs Witness) magnet. I contact them all the time or sit by them on busses and stuff. Its just funny.
Sunday Sep 28 2014 - We met with Stefan and he is doing great, we talked to him about moving his baptism up to this week because of the chapel closing and such, but he said no... His no was backed up with a wonderful reason though! He said he has prayed about the 18th of Oct. and knows that is the day he should be baptized! He said he wants to be baptized no matter if his mom doesn't agree (he lives with his dad and step mom) and knows that the spirit is telling him it is the right thing! But because he has received an answer about the 18th he wants to keep it there. Is there a better way for a kid to celebrate his 11th birthday? I'm excited for him, and glad he realizes that it is totally what he wants to do!
Scripture Study- Found a little gem in 2 Nephi 14:5-6 "And the Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory of Zion shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and a covert from storm and from rain." I felt that this was talking about the temple, and I loved how it is also a shadow in the daytime from the heat. When life is a storm and seems impossible to get through, the temple seems to shine brighter in the darkness, but even when life is going well, with the normal stresses or heat, the temple still provides the shade and protection we need. I love the temple and loved that they focused so much on that in the Women's Conference on how important the temple is, and the covenants that we make in the temple. :) They really are here to bless us and so we can come closer to God. GET TO THE TEMPLE!!
Mom, I realized that Rosemary M. Wixom, the general primary president looks like you :) The women general broadcast was really good, we just watched it this morning, and I loved it. I think they want people to realize how important the temple is ;)
Most importantly from this week though, Last week I said I had a really hard week, and it is OKAY! Because I have learned something that I thought I already understood. I always have wanted to be a consecrated missionary who truly forgets herself and gets to work. I thought I was doing that pretty well, I left my family, I am putting my all into the work, I am trying my best, and trying to become a better missionary so I can help others. I was trying to get over all my weaknesses that were stopping me, trying to make them strengths so I could be a good missionary of the Lord. My view on forgetting myself changed this week though. I stopped worrying about trying to figure out how I can overcome all those weaknesses so I can be better. My prayers seemed to just be about giving me strength, help me learn, help me perform well, etc. All with good intentions.. but still something missing. But now they have turned to praying for my investigators, what is it that they need? Bless them, thank thee for them and for my companion. How would you like me to serve them? I was not focused on how I needed to grow so I could help them. Rather I only focused on them, and asked for guidance for them. This may or may not make as much sense as it does to me, because I am not the best at explaining things, but I hope you understand what I am meaning. It has been very special to truly forget myself, and get to work. Constantly thinking about the children of God that I am blessed to be able to serve. I am happy here. I know my Redeemer lives, and that He can do anything through me. That is why I am here. I love the work of Salvation. Yes I am striving to be a better missionary still, but my purpose is much clearer in my mind and heart. :)
Well, I love you all soo soo much. You are wonderful and I am grateful for you love and prayers. I hope life is going well, and I love hearing about your adventures. Sorry this email was really long, and a little random. But I know the Lord loves you!
Love, Sister Bolton