Monday, March 30, 2015

Mar 30 2015

Monday Mar 23 2015 - Last Monday was super fun! We had an opportunity to go on a walk with Lasse to the city park which also has a gorgeous view of Jönköping, plus animals, etc, but not all of them are out this time of year-soon though! But it was a good time. We also got to go and have family home evening with the De Lima's and they are adorable. It was on Easter :) so much fun. 

My experiences with improving my teaching- we have been asked to study chapter 10 of PMG on teaching skills this past transfer, and I've decided to focus on certain parts. I have noticed the more and more I strive after using the scriptures, I have been better at remembering them, etc. but mostly that my teaching is improving. Rather that the spirit is really the teacher. I know personally I don't know how to always apply the scripture to have a strong effect on them, but when I plan on explaining and applying the scripture the spirit leads me and it is more powerful than I could have said myself. 

Little about the people we've met who are actually progressing in the gospel:

  • Mats - he is a swede, middle aged man, he is sometimes progressing and sometimes not. But I believe that he is progressing because he is holding the small commitments and his faith and love for the gospel is definitely growing. He was agnostic, but now believes in God and prays, we text him scriptures daily and he loves that and feels the spirit when he reads them. We are hoping to get him to general conference. 
  • Victoria - she is amazing! It is so awesome, because we have a good YSA group here, and she has clicked with quite a few of them, they are hanging out or doing something with each other almost every day. She came to all three hours of church and was in primary with one of the YSA's and she just seems to really enjoy it. We've taught her 3 times the past week, and we hope to continue doing so. She is building her faith, really has a desire to believe, but it all is really new for her. Between prayer and reading and church, etc. but she said she is getting used to it and that it isn't so much of a pain as it was at the beginning (mostly with prayer). Haha single mother, agnostic. I totally see her getting baptized especially because she has the friends! It's just our job to give her the nourishment and help her understand. :) 
  • Emelie - (less active) we've been meeting with her every other day to help her feel the spirit and recognize what God is telling her to do (repent!) and guess what! SHE CAME TO CHURCH!!! It seemed like that was the big first obstacle and I of course know that there will be more to come with repentance but that she faced her biggest fear of coming back, and now it will just be continuing forward for her! I am very excited for her. :) 
  • Danny - he has been sick, so we haven't been able to see him the past two weeks :( but he says he is reading and praying still! We will just probably move his baptism date back so that he can receive all the lessons first.
At district meeting in Goteborg
Friday Mar 27 2015 - Fun Activity- we had Oscar's friend; Jonas, come and teach everyone the Lindy hop for an activity. It was awesome! Victoria came and met a lot of people, and the ward members loved it, so it was a blast. Sister Gardner and I were able to dance as long as we danced together. Hahaha super fun though. :) 

TRANSFER NEWS!!! I am moving to STOCKHOLM INNERSTAD. So the very middle of Stockholm will be my proselyting area, and I will live in Solna. I am really excited for Stockholm! Although a little nervous and a bit unqualified, I feel like that is where I am supposed to go. It is quite odd because my heart is in with all these progressing investigators, and less actives, and members and I am excited for them. But I felt a very reassuring feeling that the Lord wants me in Stockholm now. I will be sister training leader there, so it will be a great opportunity to go on splits every week and learn from other sisters, and hopefully help them in their work as well. What a fun opportunity! I will also be with sister DeMille- we came together:) the long blonde hair from the MTC. I think it will be a lot of fun. Everyone says I will work well there because it is a lot of stress and I can handle that- that there is always something to do and the city is just moving really fast. It will be a lot of fun to be able to learn Stockholm (so when I come back and visit;) haha) but really! I am super sad to leave Jönköping, I thought there was a solid chance of me staying here, but I trust that Sister Gardner and Sister Sandelin will be able to do a great job at taking care of all these people here! Now it is time to pack..

BIG THANK YOU's for all the birthday wishes!!! It will be a great day and a great year I am sure :) can't believe I will really be turning 20- the time has flown by. Grandpa Parks- thank you for the big box of cookies :) we plan on enjoying those altogether today. Woo :) also thank you mom and dad for my package! Plus Chelsey and Andre for whatever it is that I haven't opened yet, haha plus thank you for all the birthday emails- you guys are so sweet. Siblings - isn't it weird your little sister is 20? That means you are getting OLD!! Haha Love you all!! :) 

Birthday Cookies in the mail
Picture with Jonkoping in the background. Heads to Stockholm this week
Have a great week :)

Love, Cassie or Syster Bolton

Monday, March 23, 2015

Mar 23 2015

Monday Mar 16 2015 - we had a great time last Monday going to Göteborg with the elders and Oscar, a YSA who drove us there. We met up with almost all the missionaries in our zone and played laser tag at the hugest laser tag dome I have ever been to! It was a bunch of fun! Seriously a great release and a party. Oscar, Elder Jones, Elder Farnworth, Sister Gardner and I all also had a picnic in the park. It was a good day, so the pictures of the dinosaur (we are under it in the picture... all four of us), and the ferris wheel, and the laser tag were all during that little road trip.


That evening we went to a less actives home and did a family home evening with them! The dad is active, but the mother and the 5 children are not. So we had a great plan with a funny object lesson, etc. and then we got there... and only Åsa was home! whhhaat. well there goes the lesson and everything. We sat down and talked with her and such, but we both were praying soo hard because we were just a little nervous about it and what exactly we could teach her instead. But we had a great conversation, got to know her better, and teach her according to the spirit. Then what was even better is that two of the children got home and came and talked with us happily. They are super nice. It was Micheala, 17 year old daughter, and Issac 10 year old son. So we did our object lesson, and that is when we got flour all over our faces :) haha So the picture with that is the Lingerfors family, Åsa, Micheala, and Issac. We each had a bowl and we had M&M's at the bottom, then flour on top, and we each wanted to eat the M & M's (joys in life) without getting flour (sin) on our face. And then explained how we all sin, but that is why we have a Savior, who is perfectly clean, so that he can help us be clean, but so that we can also enjoy our M & M's! it was so fun, and a great opportunity to visit them and strengthen them! I hope to continue to be able to do so so that we can help reactivate them!


After that we got the opportunity to teach Emelie a little lesson, and the spirit touched our hearts. It was really special. She is so awesome.

Well we met with Emelie almost every day this week to give her opportunities to keep that feeling and desire of coming back to church. It was sooo good. She is the best. She has short, blond hair, there is a picture of us three. (my hair is braided in it). But anyway, she is really cool. Wants to truly repent and come back to the fold. She is an all-in or all out kind of person, so she is nervous about it, but really feels like it is something she needs and wants! She has been overcome by the spirit of gratitude and hope. She says "ah, I am so grateful for the gospel, it is the best thing in the world." There is a difference between living it and not. But what is so wonderful is that the Lord always wants us to live it, and will forgive us of the times that we didn't/don't, as long as we face our shoulders back towards him, and continue to try and come back. It is a happy way to live :) 

Thursday Mar 19 2015 - Taught Vahid, one of our investigators, the one with the Muslim background, and it went well. The sad thing is that I am not sure that he is seeking truth rather than just information. But we are trying our best to help answer his questions, but to also help him go home and pray and read for himself. If he doesn't start keeping commitments soon, we will have to stop teaching him. We went to a hockey game with a group of members, investigators, and less actives, which was a lot of fun! Sadly we didn't take pictures with everyone, but that is of Alex, and Oscar. Before the hockey game we also had super great dinner of.... SWEDISH TACOS with Alex! soo good. I loove Swedish tacos. it is fine. Anyway, twas a good day.


Friday Mar 20 2015 - Met with Emelie, had a good time! Went to Christer Rasmussons house in the middle of nowhere and helped him clean his windows, then had dinner and a missionary meeting, and a lesson. It was fun! Then we played innebandy that night, which was fun! I thought it would be harder than it was, but it was super fun and we all had a good time. 

Saturday Mar 21 2015 - We taught Amy, and Vahid, and a random guy Daniel who knows some of the members on the street, too bad he wasn't interested in learning more. But it was still a great day! Actually the best part of that day was that we had an activity at the Schelin's house and Victoria our investigator came, Vahid came, Jonas (Oscars really good friend who he has been trying to have us meet for a while) came, and then another member family. So we had a party there! It was super good for everyone to mingle and have an enjoyable time together, our investigators seemed happy and to make more friends and to feel more comfortable. Really good night!

Sunday Mar 22 2015 - Exhausting but soo good!! Sister Gardner was in charge all week, so it was really easy when Sunday came around to give our all, and as one of us would do something, it would give the other energy to do it as well. It was like that more and more throughout the week! (I was super grateful for that :) But we got a ton of things set up with members for the coming week, we also had Victoria come for sacrament meeting! Super cool :) she is great. Sadly Danny and Mats were both sick this week so we didn't get to meet with them! But I am sure we will be able to soon. We also sang in sacrament meeting! Woo! :) It was a lot of fun actually. It was the four missionaries, with Christoffer Rönndahl, and his wife playing the piano. It was the music of Homeward bound, with the words from a Swedish hymn.

Monday Mar 23 2015 - Also this morning we went to the park with Lasse, our old ward mission leader, which was fun, and had a good time talking about the gospel. Pretty much I love being a missionary! I love the work and I love being able to share the gospel, strengthen the members, and help people learn and find truth!

I hope you are all doing well, and that you know that I love you!! Thanks for everything!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mar 16 2015

Well guess what!! it has been a big NINE MONTHS!!! Yeah, I hit my hump day!! so weird! But it is fun to be out serving the Lord. I am glad that I have gotten to this point, and I know that there is a lot ahead as well.

Monday Mar 9 2015 - We went to the Nilssons for dinner, and that was super great, I just love those people. Honestly we have the best members here. He has the coolest little model train set, and I think it is fantastic to see people's hobbies. 

Beze, a.. Now old investigator.. We taught him a GREAT lesson about the plan of Salvation. It was amazing because he just knew it was true as we spoke it. The spirit was SO strong and I could NOT deny, for the life of me, that what I was saying was right. I was so happy as we taught that lesson because the spirit confirmed to all of us of how wonderful of a knowledge this is that we are talking about! So cool! Seriously though. The only sad thing is that Beze the investigator felt it and loved it and was super grateful for his new knowledge, but was then really sad and said he couldn't change his life, etc.. :( but he can't deny the truth that he felt :) Change is hard, I understand that, but it sure is worth it!!

Tuesday Mar 10 2015 - We met with Mats, the swede, who didn't have a faith in God at all before he met missionaries, but now he does, and he prays, and he reads the scriptures sometimes, not perfectly, but he really enjoys it when he does. He is terrified to come to a service because he has never been to church before in his life. but if you remember him, it was the end of January was the last time we met with him. And he is just super cool. We had a good lesson, he has just been so busy, but it is okay, because he is still slowly progressing. We talked about Alma 32:26-43 and it was so good. The spirit could testify to him, and he is slowly coming to trust on God more and more. SO COOL WHAT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD CAN DO TO PEOPLE. It gives so much hope and happiness!!! 

We also met with Farad, a new convert, and had Mojgan translate to Persian for us, and taught the plan of salvation. Which he was super grateful for because it helped him remember and understand a lot more, since it has been a while since he heard it before his baptism... that is why it is so important that people hear the gospel continually. We take for granted that we are taught things over and over, but we would forget if we didn't hear it again, and we wouldn't understand it very well. I am grateful for the knowledge we have of God's plan, that we can see all those who have passed on before. And I have a strong belief that will also include our pets. :) We will see our cute Roxy again. I am sorry to hear how that all happened. But I am grateful for the wonderful life of Axel, that he can be here now and help us feel God's love for us.

Wednesday Mar 11 2015 (Hump Day) - Well, this was the half way mark officially! Kind of fun :) We went out to lunch to celebrate, with Alex, Oscar and the elders. It was fun! :) sadly I didn't burn anything because we didn't even have matches... haha but that is maybe for the better :) That night we ate with the Ahlströms and we had a great time role playing with them. We have been teaching the members one of the lessons, so that we can practice more, and it has been really helpful, and fun! Love them. Then we taught Rikki, which was good! He is awesome, but I don't know exactly how to help him. We had his home teacher come with which helped a lot, and we talked about testimonies and building our testimonies. The spirit was with us, but I wish he would make the connection that it means he should be living all the commandments to their fullest. But I guess we all have to come to that decision. Remember that the Lord gives us those feelings so that we know we should go forward making those good decisions, and more blessings will follow, it is the happy way to live! 

Friday Mar 13 2015 - We had an activity with the young adults and investigators,etc. Which was fun. We played volleyball, and lets just say me and my companion sister Gardner are pro servers. It is super fun ;) haha But Emelie ( a less active, who is 25 years old, who we have been trying to work with, etc.) came and we had a good time with her, then we taught her a little lesson afterwards, and I just am super grateful I can be her friend. Like we are super close now, and I just love her to pieces!! I am excited for her, and the way the Holy Ghost is working with her. She knows what she wants, and now it is just changing and making those decisions, and she is on the right path. I truly don't want to leave Jönköping any time soon, mostly because of this girl. I know she is getting the light back into her eyes, and I have poored my heart out in prayer over her. She is ready and needs the strength to overcome the world. But I know she will :) She is amazing. ah, I am so grateful to be here and to be able to work with her. 

Saturday Mar 14 2015 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOY LYN CHRISTENSEN!!!! HAPPY PI DAY EVERYONE ELSE!!! :) haha pi day was great. like zero swedes had heard of that before, just because they pronounce things differently, but it was a lot of fun. We made a pie, and the elders made a pie. Sadly I didn't take any pictures of them :( Someone else did, and we are hoping to get some. If not maybe we will just have to make another pie ;) haha but we had a fun activity that evening with investigators and new investigators, which turned out great. Then after we taught Vahid, which was super cool. He really wants to learn about Christianity, even though it may be a little dangerous for him :/ aka like we can teach him, but he won't be able to be baptized because he comes from Iran.. and yeah, just a touchy situation. Kind of a bummer. But he really is seeking the truth, and he has felt the spirit while we have taught him. Super cool :)

Sunday Mar 15 2015 - Church was great! Danny (from Vietnam) came to Sunday chool and sacrament again, and then we got to teach him after church and Alex came with and we reviewed things he has learned and read, and we also invited him to be baptized, and he was so excited! Seriously this boy was so grateful that he would have that opportunity. He is amazing, so sincere, and he has already born testimony of Christ, when he learned a little bit about Christ starting 5 weeks ago. He said that Christ cheers him up and gives him hope. HOW AMAZING. This guy is so ready to accept the gospel then go to his homeland and teach it there. Ah, the Lord is truly blessing us. His baptismal date is April 11th, (almost did April 4th.. my birthday.. but because of general conference ;) haha.) But we will continue to teach him on the weekends to help him be prepared. SO COOL!! Last night we also met with Emelie for a bit. She feels the holy Ghost and she wants to keep that feeling. I hope we can continue meeting her multiple times throughout the week, because that is really what she needs.

Pretty solid week, right? Yes! I love it. I love the Lord, and I am grateful for how He works through us. I know this gospel is true. There are things that happen everyday that make me turn back to Christ, and want to follow him more truly.  

Mosiah 3:19- "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever,unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

I love this scripture. Something that was pointed out to me is that it really highlights that our purpose here in life is to put off the natural man. Why? Because it is an enemy to God and our goal is to return to God. When I think of the natural man, I think a lot about laziness. Of course there is so many more things that also points too, but for me, my point is to put off the natural man, be determined, and reach my goals, etc. Commandments help us put off the natural man, and to come closer to God. That is why I keep the commandments, to overcome my own natural desires, and to align my will with the Fathers. 

Swedish Fun Facts:
1. Knäckebröd. It's this hard, flat bread that they eat at almost every meal. And I am sold. It is the best thing ever. That is something I will consistently buy from IKEA when I go home.
2. there is a place in Sweden, which is pretty isolated, and the dialect is so bad there that no one else can understand them and it is barely considered Swedish.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Mar 9 2015

Yay hump day is this Wednesday!! I am excited, but it is a little weird. But fun. 9 months down! 9 months to go!! 

Tuesday Mar 3 2015 - Was a great day of missionary work! We worked hard and we reaped the rewards... of feeling good :) haha our time was used effectively, got Jennifer Thörn, a member to follow with to swing by some people and we got a lesson which was good, but pretty short. It was just a solid day of missionary work. ah yeah. That is something we needed to get us running again.

The Thorns had me put on a jacket so I was dressed like them

Wednesday Mar 4 2015 - Was super awesome! ah we woke up at 5 in the morning and didn’t go to bed until about 12:45 the next morning... ah! haha We woke up early because we had a mission tour and we had to get to Göteborg by 9. We got there and it was an AMAZING conference. I just wish I could tell you every detail.. or if you could have just been there.. but neither of those are possible. So I am just going to say it was definitely a need and more than a blessing. I got to see my cute sister Austin, which was lovely, plus a whole bunch in my MTC group. We learned from President and sister Beckstrand at the beginning, then the assistants; Elder Noso (my dad... aka first district leader in Luleå, he trained elder Archibald, and he is Finnish.) and Elder Lambson, and that was super good. They ended up using me in a role-play which at first I was not super excited about as they volunteered me, but it was so good for me, because I learned a lot. What a neat experience. They are super great teachers and it helped me learn :) Ah the spirit was sooo strong during this meeting, so I learned a lot from the Lord. I am really grateful for that. We also heard from Elder and Sister Donaldson, who is of the Seventy. They were soo great. We had interviews with president after the conference, but then the whole reason of us getting home at midnight was because we had a crazy ride home when the conductor of our train was missing! As soon as the train was to leave, a voice comes and say that when he is found we will depart. We ended up on a bus pulling into Jönköping at about Midnight. Those are the nights to remember, right? 

Elders and Sisters who were in the MTC with me and Sister Beckstrand

Something I learned from Elder Donaldson was to "Minister to the one in front of you!" sometimes it is easy to look past my companion, the elders, and even some of the members, but the Lord has them right in front of us for a reason! To minister unto them!! It really hit me, and made me understand a balance between it all that I have been searching for. It is always easy to look past serving your family, or your roommates, and to serve the random stranger instead. Not because that isn't good, but we must not forget who is the most important, and that it is our responsibility to take care of them!! 

Thursday Mar 5 2015 -  There was a relief society activity for those who are free during the day, and so we invited our investigator Victoria, and she enjoyed it a lot. It was perfect for her to be able to make some more friends, etc. Really cool. We really think she will progress in the gospel soon. It is totally what she is seeking in her life, it just is baby steps :)

Friday Mar 6 2015 - Was a boxing/work out activity, taught by Christoffer Rönndahl. It was a bunch of fun. We just died because it was super intense work out but those are good. Rikki had a great time there and we had a good little lesson with him afterwards as well. Before we started the activity we had a lesson with an investigator named Beze, he came thinking we were doing Book of Mormon study... haha so we just ran and taught him more about the Book of Mormon. It was really cool, he said he knows the Book of Mormon is true, and we talked about the Holy Ghost, but he just said he didn't know if he could keep all the commandments and follow it. It will be a work in progress, because he used to be Christian then walked away from it because of commandments. Really interesting, but hopefully he will have the strength to live them because it is SO WORTH IT.

Saturday Mar 7 2015 - Was some waffles and volleyball and we taught Amy, etc. It was good and fun. Nice to prepare ourselves a little for Sunday also. 

Sunday Mar 8 2015 - Was super good. We were a little worried because we were asked to teach young women, and then that morning we got word that the two active girls wouldn't be there today... but that an inactive girl Olivia would! Ah, it was her first time in a year or so, so we were a little nervous, super didn't want to ruin it and make it really awkward for her, but it ended up going really well! We had a lot of fun and the lesson went well. She is so cute, I really hope that she recognized the spirit that was there and will want to continue to come. Danny showed up to Sunday School! The Vietnamese. We have had a really hard time getting ahold of him, so we were worried he wouldn't be there, but in he came! super cool :) He is still planning on always coming, plus we figured out his phone wasn't working. After church we had Swedish tacos at the Rönndahl's house for dinner, and they were delicious. That is something I could never get old of. Swedish tacos. yum. yes I am telling you to put cucumber on your tacos. it is normal. haha :)

Jönköping Ward Council
I pretty much love being a missionary, and this week was great. I feel happy, and that the Lord is happy. I know there are so many ways that I can improve, and I know the atonement can help me change. I know that the happiest way to live is to live the commandments. It makes life easier, because more good consequences come. Life is full of choices which lead to consequences... why not choose the GOOD ones. it makes it all the better :)

Well I love you guys sooo much. Thank you for your love and support! Have a great week, and remember... on Wednesday, it is all downhill from here :)


Monday, March 2, 2015

Mar 2 2015

Congrats to me!!! :) I have a NEW NEPHEW!!! :) :) He is the cutest thing ever. Okay truly congrats to Ty and Abby! Axel Adam Bolton. He is adorable. I love the name Axel. It means shoulder in Swedish :) But it is a name here, and I love it. good job going Swedish ;) remembering the aunt Cassie without probably knowing it ;)  I love hearing about all the exciting news happening at home.

I can't even begin to list it all, but I am grateful that you guys let me know. Yay to my cousin Jordan who is engaged, and happy birthday to every one recently... I know I have been the worst, plus there have been lots of nieces and nephews recently and more coming up and I am not so talented with that, but don't worry I am sad to miss the little parties. I love you guys at home. Seriously you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear from you :)

Pretty much this week was great! I learned more about myself and more about the Savior, which was really cool. I felt the atonement daily working in my life and others. I felt the spirit lead me and others. I felt the love God has for each and everyone of us. I felt the discouragement that the Savior felt when he was rejected and spit upon. I felt the hope that the Father gives. I felt the joy of the gospel. And I felt a greater love for my Savior Jesus Christ. It's not because this is the first time I felt these things, but I don't always say them. I want you to know that these things are real in my life though. That it isn't just something I talk about. But it is the truth. I am grateful for that knowledge and understanding. 

We had a great lunch with a member and investigator last week, which is a highlight. It was the member, Aurora's friend. Her name is Victoria. She is in her 20's , and has a little 18 month girl who is the cutest thing in the world. It was really cool though, because it was the missionary work of Aurora that made this all possible. Victoria explained that she wanted what Aurora has. The perspective and the happiness that she seems to have even when her (Aurora's) life has been absolutely crazy recently. People notice the difference the gospel makes in our lives when we live it. It is our responsibility to help them know what it is that makes that difference. That is what Aurora did. She invited her friend, countless times, and it really gave Victoria a hope. Victoria has no religious background, grew up not at all believing in God. And in the Swedish school system they teach about religion but they teach about it in a way that it makes it all sound like just a story. Because they aren't supposed to preach or anything, but it makes it so many swedes don't believe in anything. But she has such a pure desire to know. She really wants it, and I know that one day, she will be baptized, and find the truth she has been seeking for. I have only met her twice, but it is in her desire. I don't know how long it will take, but oh how much joy truth brings. And how grateful I am that we all can reach that!! :)

Thursday Feb 26 2015 - We had a zone training this week in Göteborg, and it was a lot of fun, and a great learning experience. We are studying one attribute of Christ every transfer this year, and a chapter or two from PMG. So this transfer is HOPE and chaps 9 and 10. Finding people and teaching skills. They really focused on teaching skills. It was great, because president is now wanting us to be more of a practicing mission. In Sweden we don't get half as many lessons as people in the states do. But he wants us to be able to know the lessons when we get to teach people. So he has asked that we teach one of the discussions to a member daily. As a role play, etc. Super cool. Way excited to do that.

We had a great, teach with a less active, Marianne Persson. I have met with her one other time before and she told me like her life story. But that was just before Christmas. But she has come to church twice during February, and I really think she is in a place where she can become active again. She is a super great lady, so so nice, and it just warmed my heart to see her in church. Ah the gospel changes lives :)

Sunday Mar 1 2015 - was great, I always love church. Oh it is great. Sadly no investigators came, which was definitely a huge bummer, but all is well. I feel like I am coming closer to the Lord. We watched the video The Atonement and Missionary Work which I suggest all to watch- especially missionaries. But it really hits home. I feel like the hardness brings me to understand on the tiniest scale what the Savior felt. Which I am truthfully so grateful for. 

I know this church is true and that it is the only way to eternal happiness :) We are all just walking each other home. So let's lift up heads that hang low, and help each other remember the hope that we can have while we are here! :)

I love you!!! 

Love, Cassie