Monday, September 29, 2014

Sep 29 2014

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sep 22 2014

Dear family and friends,

I'm apologizing now that this email is... meh. haha just shorter with a lot less details. But anyway,

Tuesday Sep 16 2014 - we visited Syster Broström and painted a dresser for her. The picture of me in all black with a red belt on and an older lady which is her. She is so sweet, we usually visit her and her sister but her sister was sick. These are the ones that we visited about 3 weeks ago who hadn't had a visit from anyone for five years. We shared a message about gratitude, and I shared my experience of trying to be more grateful out here in all the circumstances I am in and how I have felt so much happier, and she said she can see it. That I am happier and more confident than I was last time we came. It was good to hear that things I have been working on have been improving. :)

Wednesday Sep 17 2014 - We had our sister training leaders come and do work overs with us, and this time I was with sister Anderson. She is darling, and it was so much fun to be able to work with her. It was a good opportunity for me to feel the responsibility of the area on my shoulders, and to lead. But she is just darling and was energy that I needed! It was fun to talk and get to know her, and learn from her. 

Thursday Sep 18 2014- We had zone training in Umeå which means a 4.5 hour train ride there, and a 4 hour bus ride back consisting of studies and weekly planning. But the training was really good. I heard some things that I specifically needed, about moving mountains and how we can continue to defeat them. They also recommitted us to a week of exact obedience. So we've been trying to really focus on every little thing again of what we can do.

Friday Sep 19 2014 - We had two pretty dang good lessons, and both of them now have a baptismal date! One of them we set the baptismal date on Sunday, but still they are both awesome. The first one is Giovanni, he is from Colombia, and really only speaks Spanish, and is just starting to learn Swedish, so one day we'll be able to communicate but for now we use a missionary, Elder Pavon who is in our district who's first language is Spanish. Elder Pavon has just taken over the teaching, and we are just here to be his friend and see how he is doing, but because we don't get to teach him really, we just also need to know what is going on since he lives here in Luleå. But we committed him to baptism on the 4th of Oct. so yes that is general conference weekend.. but we will figure that out. The second is Essan who come from Iran, he has explored many different religions, and is Christian, and trying to find the truth. He speaks both English and Swedish, fluently but not enough of either for all the gospel discussion. So we will have a translator help with some of it. He is super great, and has committed to baptism for the 11th of Oct. I am excited to continue working with both of them, because they are really great! Essan is also very much of a he needs to find out for himself, and he is going to do what we say like read, pray come to church, so that he can know. It is really cool to see his desire. :) 

Saturday Sep 20 2014 -We taught some good lessons, and had a dinner with the Vinberg's and Asefa and taught Asefa about following the prophet and about general conference coming up. It was good to have them fellowship him, and it was nice to be in their home. They are such a sweet old couple, who are so committed to the Lord and His work.

Sunday Sep 21 2014 - We have church in a school now!! Woo! I put on some pictures of our old church that they will be building upon. They need to make it bigger since so many people come :) It will be nice to have church in the school since it is bigger, but a little weird. haha I'll have to take some pictures of that too. But we also had dinner with the Danells and had spaghetti, which was really good. Mom yours is great too, but I think I just have become to love the almost american or homey foods that people serve us. haha :) but yeah!

I can't really explain everything I experienced this week, but I did have an experience, or many that made me grow to appreciate and know my Savior better. I know that He has felt all that I have felt and that He is the healer of my heart. He understands, and He will never let me go through anything alone. This is His work, and I am happy to be a part of it! I love the Lord with all my heart, and am grateful that He suffered and that He knows how to succor and comfort me. He has all power and knowledge. Turn to Him for guidance, because His advice and counsel is the best you're going to find.

I love you all so so much, and am grateful for your prayers. I know this Church is true and that God lives.

With love, Cassie

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sep 15 2014

I can hardly think how to best describe this week, but it's been great! It has been a little weird because there hasn't been a ton of proselyting time, but we have done everything we can!

Monday 8 Sep - We had P-day and we went to a couple second hand stores because sister Eborn wanted to buy a new outfit for our big conference on Thursday, and so that was fun, I found a really cheap good rain coat, and got a $5 skirt so that was fun, but I am sorry, I didn't write you guys a letter last week :/ I am sorry! I am planning on doing one today. But anyway, last Sunday was the last time we would have church in this building, because they will be making this one bigger. So for like the next year we will be having church in a school! A little weird to invite people to, but that's how they use to do it, and still in some parts of Sweden they don't have their own building, so I can't really complain, and the branch definitely needs it bigger! :)

Tuesday 9 Sep - We did a bunch of record organizing and such before they closed the church and we don't have a way to get everything off the computers and such. Then we had a member dinner with Sister Marianne Näslund, who is just a sweetheart. I absolutely love her, she is older, and is very loving to us sister missionaries. haha Plus her food is amazing. Then we had a sisters meeting that was broadcast to all the sisters in Europe I believe, it was given by Bednar, and Ballard, and one of the 70. Super good.. although I listened to it in Swedish, still wonderful spirit and wonderful messages. 

Wednesday 10 Sep - After studies we got on a plane and went to Stockholm! We did workovers with the sisters there, I went with Sister Vaarola, who is from Finnland and goes home in like 2 weeks. She was sweet and it was fun to see how others worked. Helped me remember I have to set my bar with companions, and I can decide how the work goes, and I want to have it high. But she shared a lot about having a balance on the mission, and it was fun to see her strategies with missionary work, and helped me see how I can grow more. 

Thursday 11 Sep - Elder Bednar came and had a conference with all the missionaries. It was so amazing, it was like an open discussion with him really. He is truly an apostle of the Lord, he is called of God, and he has the Priesthood power and authority to direct the church! We also heard from Elder and Sister Kiriana (of the 70, I apologize for the spelling..) and Sister Bednar. They were all so full of the Spirit and I was grateful for what I was able to learn from them and the spirit that accompanied them. I will share some of the things I learned from them following, according to what I think can I apply to you guys and that you can also learn from. After we missed our flight home to Luleå because of traffic and complications, not really anyone's fault though. We had some time that night so we went contacting and taught a street lesson. 

Friday 12 Sep - We had open church and weekly planning, when we went through records earlier in the week we found a list of old "think about only investigators" (don't know what english missionaries call them.) but I called and called and called lots of people trying to set up times for this coming week to meet and such, so that was good. I am getting more comfortable on the phone and talking to people slowly. I don't remember what else we did that night...

Saturday 13 Sep - We traveled to Umeå for district conference (like stake conference.. but we have branches not wards, so we have districts not stakes.) with the Elders and a new member Abdi. I drove the 3 hours down there and it was a lot of fun. We stopped here and there to get out and take fun pictures. Then the evening session of the conference was super stellar. I learned a lot, and came out with questions which I have been seeking. I know I need to ask questions as I go into studies and meetings, etc. so that I can learn specific things, but I just have been empty, I don't know what to ask, yes there is a lot to learn, but I just was having the hardest time with coming up with good questions. But I feel like now I can start with some simple questions, I want to expand my knowledge on a scripture story, then I will go in asking any questions I can about it, what, where, why, how, who, etc. and so I can really come to understand more. I felt like I received direction of how to continue improving, etc. It was really good! Then that night we stayed at a members apartment who was out of town, with the other sisters in our zone, Sister Barton and Sister Young. They are really nice, and both of them will be going home in 2 weeks as well. 

Sunday 14 Sep - Also really good direction given in the conference, one quote I loved from Sister Beckstrand; "Make His house, your home!" aka go to the temple often enough that you are truly making it your home. I hope all of you are doing that :) But after I was able to really visit with Sister Beckstrand, which was so much fun. I just love and adore her. The Beckstrands (mission president and wife,) are the best. They are so inspired and are working so hard! I'm grateful for their leadership and love. We also visited with other missionaries as we had lunch together before we all headed home. It was a ton of fun, and I just was able to be completely me these past couple days is what it felt like. With teaching people on Friday, and then really getting to know people, being friendly, and loving. It was just really nice. But yeah :)

It was really weird that we weren't in our area that much this week, but I was grateful for the council we received. I want to share just a couple things with you. I have prayed about what it is that I should say, because I never have enough time like I would like to have. But this was mostly from Elder Bednar, but I learned a lot about it throughout the whole week I felt like.

Plain and simple: "The gospel is not hard to live, it is hard to not live!" read that again, a little slower. Understand it? Not exactly, well I want to explain what I have learned about how true that sentence is. Mosiah 2:22-24 reads

 "And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
 23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
 24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?" 

So really we are not required all that much, and as we do that, we are blessed immensely. So it isn't that hard to live the gospel. But it is hard to not live it! Why is that? What do you really mean by that? Well think about it, when you aren't living the gospel, how happy are you? When you try and do things on your own without God, is it easier? Sometimes the influence of the world makes the gospel seem like it is hard to live, but really isn't the world having a harder time because they don't have direction and understanding of what they should? Living the gospel is different, but the Lord only asks us to live it because He loves us and He wants us to be happy! He wants to bless us.. so let Him. Live the gospel to its fullest, because it is easier when you are, I promise you that. When I hold to the Lord, His plan, and His way, life is just easier and happier! Work, don't be lazy, that isn't what we are here to do. 

The second thing that I really learned was about agency. Elder Bednar explained that agency is the thing that is most misunderstood in the church. We read Moses 7:32-33

 32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;
 33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood;

 I don't have much time to describe this like I want to, but key points in this scripture. We are given agency... to choose God. We are commanded (vs.33) to love one another, but also to choose our Father in Heaven. He has given us agency, but we need to recognize there are parameters that are on that agency. We cannot say "I have agency, I can do what ever I want." No- we can't we are given agency to walk to church or to drive to church, but not going to church is not an option. It is out of the parameters. We are given our agency to choose God! I am still trying to understand what this really means myself, but I think it is pretty profound, from how Elder Bednar addressed it-wish you all could hear that, but just can't. I hope to gain more understanding myself..

I love love the gospel and am grateful for all I am learning daily. It is so much easier to do it the Lord's way. I love you all and I pray for you. The Lord loves you and wants to help you grow.
Work hard to stay close to Him.
I Love you!!

Love, Cassie

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sep 8 2014

Well this week, there was about six different things that we did. 1. sleeping 2. eating 3. being blowsted 4. tracting 5. having emotional break downs 6. teaching people but them not being interested.

It is pretty crazy how slow the work is here, and it is a little harder on our spirits, but we definitely are taking care of that, and have the energy to continue giving our all, trusting that whatever happens is what the Lord wants. 

Sadly, Dodo didn't show up to either of our appointments this week, and didn't come to church. He doesn't have a phone, and he never gave us his address. So I guess he wasn't  sincere after all? I was really sad about that, but I think one day he will run into missionaries again. 

Stefan is going good, we don't push him very much, but he has been reading and praying!

Andrew, the one we gave the super intense law of chastity lesson to and call to repentance has been keeping it! We are definitely excited about that. He has been coming to church for like 2-3 years, and so we'll see how much of his life he starts actually changing!

I honestly don't have too much to say this week even though it has been a week of so much learning and growing. The spirit has been strong daily and my relationship with my Heavenly Father grows constantly. I love it. Missionary work is hard, not necessarily for the reasons I expected, but I kind of like why it is hard. And that is how I am growing the most. 

Sister Eborn received a priesthood blessing on Thursday from Elder Archibald, and it was a wonderful thing for me to be in the room and feel that spirit. My thoughts mostly went to all the Priesthood blessings I have received, and to how I felt after them, and the strength I truly received from Gods power. That power is in my life, and my heart was full of gratitude. Thank you dad for always being worthy of the Priesthood that you hold, and for using it to serve our family. I thought about the time I was at school and couldn't head home from a priesthood blessing from you, but was luckily able to call my cousin Taylor Moroz and he give me a blessing, or Tom Christensen who quickly came in a time I needed. I know that you truly hold the power of God, and He has given it to you to further His work, to serve His children. Thank you to those who have the Priesthood, and remember that you have covenanted to serve others with that Priesthood authority. Okay, I'm done on that spill, but my heart and mind were truly enlightened on the blessings I have received from the Priesthood. I love it :)

I read "The Lords Way" by Elder Stanley Ellis from the April 2013 conference and certain things stood out to me. He talked about how the Lord has a way for everything we must do; "God has the way to live, to love, to help, to pray, to talk, to interact with each other, to lead, to marry, to raise children, to learn, to know the truth to share the gospel, to choose wisely what we eat, etc." I loved that, and it was right when I was seeking guidance on how I could be better, specifically how I could still be myself, a leader, and still be humble willing to learn and take guidance from my leaders. I need to have a balance of it, and as I read this talk he said; "The Lord’s way is that we hearken to our leaders’ teachings, understand correct principles, and govern ourselves." Okay so how can I do that? I have been hearkening to the things I have been taught, and now it is time to apply them, to govern myself, to truly go forward with what I learned, not expecting to just watch and take everything in and still follow because sometimes I'm 'not sure' but to just do it. To just move forward with it. I wanted to know the best way to do so. I really didn't fully understand how. He also said; "Especially in the work of salvation, we learn that “in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way” (Ether 12:11). The doctrine of Christ “is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God”" So this was my answer. That it was simple, the way to be better, is to do exactly what I am inviting people to do. To have faith in these things and in Christ, to repent- not because I was going about sinning and wanting to do bad, but to change my nature, behavior, thoughts, etc. to really focus that Christ will help me overcome and will and is helping me be better as my desire is there. Really remembering and renewing weekly the covenants that I've made, and following the spirit. As I truly strive after these things I can accomplish whatever I want. This is the formula for everything. The Lord has a higher way to do all we need to, so I say to you, when you are faced with things that you don't know how to tackle, remember to simply have Faith in Christ, Repent-(truly try to align your actions with Christs), Renew and remember your covenants, and follow the Spirit. These four simple steps are what we must do to endure to the end. I promise as I've been doing these things daily, I have become stronger, and the Lord has helped me triumph over all.

Oh Thursday during our dinner hour, we didn't have time to really go home then to our next appointment so we just went to the middle of the city because they were having a big festival thing, really like a little market, lots of different foods and then the little random things. So we got some good spanish food, and some fudge! haha we were pretty excited about that. Sister Eborn also bought a really pretty necklace and bracelet! It was a fun good hour break for us I thought :)

Asefa is seriously the humblest guy in the world. He is studying at the university (which is free here- you actually get money for food and housing if you are a student) but there was a fire in his apartment because of something, wasn't his fault, but don't understand the situatuion, but it messed up his schooling last semester because of all he has to do with that, and so he isn't getting money to support him because the schooling got messed up. But he can't get a job (its a joke, seriously impossible, especially up here in norrland.) and so he has been going around collecting cans and bottles to make money so he could pay his tithing and fast offering, because he is being sustained by a friend with the food and housing. But he was just the most humble, and truly willing to give to God his all. He spends his time going around doing that so he could have money to yes try and support himself, but he made sure he gave his 10% and his fast offering yesterday. Seriously, this guy was totally prepared by the Lord. So happy to be able to work with him, and see his faith!

Well, that's all I've got time for this week, and hopefully you enjoyed it. haha But I love you so so much, thank you for the love and support. You guys are my favorite :) Keep doing the little things (praying and reading your scriptures- they are crucial) and you will be blessed immensely :) I LOVE YOU. I keep each of you (dad, mom, jared, shalee, ryker, talya, kyson, tyler, abigail, hayden, jack, gunner, baby, candice, ryan, grayson, vivian, austin, amanda, oakley, cannon, chelsey and andre :) in my prayers daily. I plead with the Lord for your well-being, and thank him for the blessings you are in my life. Remember He loves you and wants to help you, you just need to ask.

All my love, Cassie

Fudge Anyone?


Monday, September 1, 2014

Sep 1 2014

Monday Aug 25 - we visited two less actives who live far away and we will continue to work with them. Once seems more positive than the other, but both sweet ladies.

Tuesday Aug 26 - We contacted in the middle of the city and ended up teaching five lessons during that time. It was really good, and that is where we met and taught Dodo (I'll talk more about him later.)

Thursday Aug 28 - we had district meeting, and we have a new elder in our district, his name is Elder Landeen, he took the place of an Elder in Skellefteå, and his comp is Elder Palvon.. I don't think I've talked about them before, but they are both great. Thursday night, that was exciting! So Asefa had his baptismal interview with Elder Noso, and we were at the church for that. It was Elder Noso's first time giving an interview, but they went in and did it.. time passed.. then some more time passed... and we were a little worried.. they don't usually take too long, and Asefa isn't a super talkative guy, so we were assuming Elder Noso just talked and shared his testimony a bunch. Anyway, they came out 45 minutes later, and after Asefa left, Elder Noso shared with us what happened. When they went in there Asefa just spilled all these stories and was talking about his life, and bore his testimony on all the principles. Elder Noso was amazed by how prepared he was. We met Asefa August 7th and he was baptized August 30th. AH it was such an amazing experience to be a tool in the Lords hands!! Asefa told Elder Noso a story about having a dream. In his dream he was walking down the road and he came to a fork in the road, he saw a girl (who looked like a sister missionary) on one way, but decided to go down the other, than the girl went and said, no you need to come this way, and brought him to the other road. The next day after that dream he met us on the bus! He thought it was exactly connected, and was super happy and talkative. We were so excited for his baptism, because we could see how excited he was also! He truly knew this was right!

Saturday Aug 30 - Set up for the baptism and all that for a lot of the day. Then the baptism came, it was at 6:00, Asefa came at about 5:15 and got ready, and all was super good. A member, Otto Liljansalo baptized Asefa, and the service was great. The service was given in English for Asefa, and it was just so special. When Asefa got up to go into the font, his smile was just HUGE. When he came back out, it was even bigger, and he was just glowing. His desire was so strong, and it was really special. We had the members pass around a journal we gave to him to write a short testimony in the front and back cover of it as he got changed. Asefa had the opportunity to stand up and bear his testimony, and he was so happy! He talked about his dream, and how he really felt like he was needing to come back to God when he met us. He knows Jesus Christ is his Savior, and that he was reborn as he was baptized. He is SO AMAZING. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of that, because it was honestly...  wow. Asefa was SO prepared, it just blows my mind. :)

I just want to talk about a couple of our progressing investigators who both now have a baptismal date! :)

1. Dodo (real name is Bameltoo)- he is from Thailand, we met him on Tuesday as we were contacting in the middle of town, and sat down and had a forty minute lesson with him on the Plan of Salvation, and set up an appointment for Friday. He arrived a half hour early during our open church hours, and was ready to learn. We taught him the restoration and he took it in, he said he has had really big spiritual experiences, and that is why he hasn't been baptized any where yet because none of them seem right. We tried to make a calender for him to prepare for baptism and he didn't really want it yet. He said he couldn't accept it because he didn't know if being baptized in this church was the right one. We committed him to read and pray daily, and specifically about the restoration and being baptized. He came to Asefa's baptism the next day, and I was able to sit next to him during the service and talk about it with him after the service. I asked him how he felt and he said super good, and that he could "accept the calender now". At first I doubted my Swedish, and then after asking more questions he explained that he wants to be baptized, he felt the spirit very strong, and seeing Asefa bear his testimony was really neat for him. He said he saw a light around him, and that he just felt that this was right. SUPER cool! I was so excited to hear that from him, he was also able to mingle and get to know members of the ward, and it was great. Then Sunday he came to church, attended Sunday School with the young men (he is 17 years old) and said he loved it all. We had a lesson with him after church, and remade a calender for him for his baptism, which will be the 26th of Sept. I am so excited for him. He was either a solid yes or a solid no, so I am glad he has accepted it because there is no doubt in my mind that he will stick to all that he says. He is progressing and we are planning on meeting him twice a week until his baptism, and he is more than happy to come to church every Sunday! 

2. Stefan Muhi - he is the son of a convert, he is 10 years old, and super positive. We have met with him a few times, after church on Sundays seem to be the best for him, and yesterday we were able to set a date for his baptism! He said the 18th of Oct. looks the best to him because it is his birthday! He is nervous because his mom isn't a member and isn't super supportive, but his dad and step mom are active strong members. He knows it is the right thing, and is keeping his commitments with reading and praying. He is great!

Scripture Study and Prayer - Alma 36:16-21 hit me pretty hard this week, and helped me understand the Atonement better, and apply it in my life. I read these verses about Alma being in exquisite pain and burdened down because of his sins, etc. and he called upon God and the mercy of Jesus Christ to lift him up, forgive him, and give him mercy! Immediately, he could not feel his pain any more, and it turned into exquisite joy, better than anything he had ever felt before. That is the power in the atonement, and that is how merciful Christ is. I was having a hard time looking at all my mistakes, and weaknesses being out here in the mission field, and so right after reading that I took the opportunity to do the same thing. I prayed for the mercy of Christ to overcome these, and not feel the burden of them any more, and immediately I could breath, I could see how I could continue, and how I could progress. It was very special and I am grateful for the examples that we have in the scriptures, and are able to apply them to ourselves. I promise you all that as you study the scriptures, prayerfully, the Lord will bless you, He will lift you when you are down, and He will give you inspiration to learn more about His gospel. :)

“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”

None of us got transferred from here up in Luleå which I am very grateful for, and we just continue to work together better, and become better friends. Those guys are great. LOVE THEM. 

I hope you like more of my experiences from this week. I can't catch up with the ones I haven't written about, but I hope to be better about it. I try and write something in my journal every day though, so no worries there! Thank you so so much for all your love and support. You are my world, and I pray for your safety and happiness daily :) You really are my everything. I LOVE YOU :)

Love, Syster Bolton :)

 Goofy picture with Elder Archibald on Thursday Aug 28

Baptism of Asefa on Saturday Aug 30