Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25 2015

Happy birthday last Monday to Gunner! and Happy birthday to our beautiful Eirlyse this Thursday. <3

We've had a good week! People recognize us as missionaries! Which is really great, but sadly they often still don't really care. But one day a man walked by us as we were walking out of our apartment and he said "are you going to save the world?" I said "Of course!" pretty happily even though I knew I was being a little sarcastic. But then I asked him "Would you like to be with?" and he answered "nope!" (all of that in Swedish.) but how sad the world is that they see us knowing we are bringing people to salvation and they don't want to be with! This is the work of the Lord and even though people aren't always accepting of that, every single one of us will know who the winning team is at the end of it all. I'm on that winning team, and inviting every single person to come with, and sometimes they still choose to loose. It is amazing to me. Breaks my heart really. But let’s be honest, how often in our lives do we sometimes just choose to stay on the loosing team? We can't be on both teams and win. We have to get off the bench and choose to be on the winning team. If you haven't decided what team to be on. Hurry up and get over to Gods team. Its salvation.

This week we were teaching a Chinese lady and she got stuck on the word salvation as she was reading the pamphlet we gave her. So she had asked about it. After much explanation of what it includes, the simplest way to sum it up was happiness! We want to be happy right? Well that is what God is providing! Choose Him!!

We went on exchanges this week with Norrköping, and I went there with Sister Crawford. We had a great time! I just love her. She was trained by Sister Lindsay, who I trained so in mission terms she is my "granddaughter" haha. She is such a hardworking and motivated girl. I was very impressed. Reminded me of Sister Lindsay exactly. They are champs. We had a great time together, and the weather was priceless. So nice. :)

Well, life is great and I am happy to be here. I am very grateful for the adults that are around us that I have come close with. Either missionaries or ward members. I just really appreciate them and all that they do for us. Makes me feel very loved and happy even on the hard days. :)

A scripture that stood out to me from this week was: 3 Nephi 18:22-23. It talks about praying together at church. As I read that this time it kind of opened my eyes up to something I have been doing wrong for most of my life.

 It says; "22 And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not; 23 But ye shall pray for them, and shall not cast them out; and if it so be that they come unto you oft ye shall pray for them unto the Father, in my name." 

It reminded me of Moroni 6:5 which says something similar; "5 And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls." 

We use this scripture all the time teaching investigators or less actives about church. But when I go to church I often go to sacrament meeting, we open with a prayer, and close with a prayer, but to come together to pray to pray for one another. The prayers during church is something I don't focus on as much. We should be listening to those prayers that are given and making them our own. If we let our mind wander during that prayer, it is like one person is saying that prayer. The strength of many isn't really coming through is it? I think that may be something that many of us struggle with, and don't pay much attention to it. But as we combine our faith in prayer, miracles can happen. We just often don't fully combine our faith in those prayers. So that has become a new goal of mine to really focus on the prayers that others give and make them my own. So that when I say amen and agree, that my whole heart agrees with all that was said. 

I love studying the scriptures. I learn new things from them daily. God really answers prayers, and I know that because He has come to me and comforted me multiple times after crying to him in prayer. But it is once I am humble enough and willing to listen that is when He comes.

I love the Lord and His gospel. My testimony has grown so much from all that I am experiencing. Although I wish and pray that more people would accept the message we are sharing, I am happy to know that I am serving the Lord, my God. That is what is most important. And He is letting me learn and grow during this time.

I love you all so very much and hope you find yourselves having a good week. Remember to pray during the good times and the hard times. When you want to pray very least, that is when it is the most important to pray. And I don't mean just mumble words under your breath for 20 seconds. I mean really talk to God in Heaven because he is listening. He just wants to have a real conversation with you!

Love, Sister Bolton

Honest, a less active that we are working with
Fumi, who the elders are working with and will be baptized soon
Beautiful fields of flowers!
In front of the Täby chapel. (our ward shares the chapel)

Monday, May 18, 2015

May 18 2015

Monday May 11 2015 - Well somehow lots of missionary work got done even through the crazy week that we had! haha But last Monday we went to Hagaparken and that is where we took all the beautiful green photos! It was super nice out and just amazing. They had the weird circus tent looking building there.. don't ask me why. But the princess Victoria lives in that park, and oh my goodness it’s stunning. Really fun to be able to just go and enjoy it. 

That night we had FHE with the Pences! They had set that up a long time ago, so that it would be just before transfers so they could say goodbye to any missionaries that would leave. Elder Downing (our district leader) and his companion, Elder Sweat got doubled out, which was surprising! But we had a great time with the Pences and they made their own title of liberty (the shirt that Cash is wearing that is all written on.) I just love that family. It is really cool to strengthen members, and I especially think it will have a good influence on their kids. I can just imagine being a teenager and having fun missionaries come over often, it has got to be a good influence and strength, so I am super grateful we can do that :)

Tuesday May 12 2015 - We helped the Tolley's clean their apartment, we were going to move in there, but with the surprise of the elders doubling out, we ended up moving into the elders place since it is in town. Really nice. But had a great time with the Tolleys. Pretty sad to say good bye to them. But they are awesome. Then we helped Sister Wood with lunch for all the new missionaries! Had lunch with them, there were only two sisters and two elders! But we got to go out and contact with them. It was great fun. Really neat too, I went with a sister that is actually half Swedish, and she has lived here before, so she is fluent, but contacting and teaching a few street lessons with her was AWESOME. It made me remember the spiritual pump up of contacting. It was a great experience for me, and her. We then ran home and packed a bit, then went and visited Sabine, an active YSA, who has actually been really sick the last 6 months, and it just is getting worse, and they don't know what is wrong :( but it was really good to visit her and strengthen her, especially because she hasn't had the strength to come to church recently.

Wednesday May 13 2015 - Was a fun day of MOVING! woo!! so we met the elders at Stockholm central and they gave us our keys. We went expecting to clean for a while, but we went and it wasn't bad at all! Those elders are awesome and did a great job!! It was crazy! haha but then we went back home and packed and cleaned until Sister Pence came and picked us up. We loaded her car with everything, including all of our food, cleaning supplies, and missionary supplies, and hauled it over to the elder’s old apartment. Boy were we grateful we didn't have to take all the Book of Mormons and everything. haha. But it went well, and let’s just say Sister Pence was an angel, and spoiled us as well! She brought us great American food, like mac and cheese, brownie mix, and ranch dressing!! It was so sweet of her. Plus they later gave us a huge jar of peanut butter. It was our 'house warming gift.' haha But that night we taught Felicia and had a great time with the spirit! ah it was great! Then institute, and I was able to teach Mira, an investigator from Gubbangen, but she just was asking me questions about prophets and was able to really help her. She will be baptized soon :) ah so cool

Thursday May 14 2015 - We got to go to lunch with KINSEY EBORN! say what! Yeah, my mission mom, haha it was so fun to see her. Her and her mother treated us to lunch, and we had a great time catching up. She is a sweet girl. Then we taught Janice, an investigator that is sometimes hard to schedule with but really positive and Chinese! It was a good day of a few other teaches, and some cancellations by people :( But we got to teach some others as well.

Friday May 15 2015 - We had mission leadership counsel at the president’s home and it was AWESOME. I love learning from President and Sister Beckstrand and the assistants Elder Noso and Elder Sahlin. They are just all super awesome and great teachers! I learned a lot. It was soo nice because I really felt like I needed some renewed motivation. So that was really cool! 

Saturday & Sunday May 16 & 17 2015 - Were both great days, got some good missionary work done, had some good spiritual teaches, and all. Church is great and I love the ward. We went to the Pences again after church, and I swear they are going to get sick of us, but really they love it and we love it. haha its our second home for the time being.

One thing that really helps me stay motivated and have the energy to keep going would be reading the scriptures! Ah I love the Book of Mormon and I feel like I learn so much. In the MTC last year I started reading in a new copy of the Book of Mormon, and had a question and a certain way to mark it as I find certain things that apply to that. Well I am still going at it reading that Book of Mormon, as I have read just a tiny bit each day, but I am getting closer to the end, and my testimony has grown so much! I know that book is true and really holds the word of God. Which can help us in whatever we are going through in life. It is amazing! Ah I feel so blessed! :)

I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!! Thanks for all the support and remember to read the scriptures daily!

Love, Sister Bolton

Monday, May 11, 2015

May 11 2015

Talking to you all yesterday was AMAZING. I just love you guy’s soo much! I didn't want to say goodbye, but I am super grateful for technology these days!

Monday May 4 2015 - We taught Tanya and Nikki, and had a great lesson with them! Tanya is getting baptized! The 15th of June! soo exciting :) Tanya is 16 yrs. old, and Nikki is 14 yrs. old. So hopefully Nikki will soon decide she wants that as well. 

Tuesday May 5 2015 - We taught a whole bunch of people, and it was a busy fun day!

District selfie. Sister Hong, S. Allen, S. DeMille, and I. Then Elder Downing, E. Sweat, E. Dickson, E. Smith, E. Kapp, E. Reed, and usually E. Floyd and E. Rassmusson are also there, and Elder and Sis. Wood.
Wednesday May 6 2015 - We met with Felicia which was a lot of fun, and she is progressing. We talked about prophets, and we are just really trying to help her build her testimony, and she is going home with the conference Liahona from last year and reading through it! She was so excited about it as well- so that was super good.

Thursday May 7 2015 - We taught a few people as well. Oh something funny! Well we got on the subway, and we usually sit separately so we can talk to more people, but always pretty close to each other. So I got on the tunnel bana, and I started talking to this guy, and I started teaching him about our beliefs. Because I got into that I kind forgot that we were getting off soon... a few stops later I thought about where we were and then realized I had missed the stop! It was the one before! ah! Well... Sister DeMille was smart and didn't miss the stop! Well it was a good thing we had talked about what we would do if that happens, and so I got on the next tunnel bana that went back and met her there. It was just fine, but really funny. Well I won't be missing my stop any time soon. I am much more aware of that now. haha whoops.

Thursday we also went on exchanges with the Västerhaninge sisters, Sister Poulson and Sister Lund! It was a lot of fun :) I went there with Sister Lund, and they had a sports night, and so we played SOCCER!! It was awesome. It has been a llooonggg time since I have played, but it definitely felt really good. I was happy :) Oh, plus I saw Elder Featherstone from my MTC group which was kind of fun! It was a good time.

Myself, Sister Lund and Elder Featherstone (Soccer Time)

Idi, an investigator in Västerhaninge (on splits.)
Friday May 8 2015 - We taught some awesome investigators of theirs, and it was great. I loved being with Sister Lund, being able to learn from her, and share experiences that I have had. I feel pretty blessed to be a sister training leader and be able to go on exchanges, etc. It is a lot of fun!

Sister Lund and I in front of the Stockholm Sweden Temple
Saturday May 9 2015 - Well transfer calls came out, and Sister DeMille and I were quite nervous about it. She has been here in the area 3 transfers now, so it was pretty likely she would move! BUT she didn't! We get to stay together another transfer! I am so excited! :) We had a good day, but I think the best part was stake conference at the end of the day! There was a member of the seventy there, Elder Boom, from the Netherlands, and he did an awesome job. He focused on keeping the Sabbath Day Holy- Wow it is SO important to do that! And it really opened up my eyes. One promise he made was that if we would keep the Sabbath Day Holy, teach our children how, and we will be a lot more likely to have an eternal family. He made great tips and points of how to do that more. For him he keeps on his Sunday clothes, then he isn't likely to go out and do yard work, or any work. It is a way it keeps his mind on what day it is. etc. It was really awesome, but it really gave me hope for when I raise kids, one of the key things is to help them keep the Sabbath Day Holy.

Sisters Irene and Griffes stayed at our apt. Saturday night for stake conference
Sunday May 10 2015 - Followed with more stake conference, and Sister DeMille and I translated that whole meeting, which was tiring since it is two hours long. But Anil came, Tanya and Nikki were there, and a less active we've been working with came as well! It was really awesome! :) Then we had a wonderful time with the Pence family! They spoil us. But it was great to skype home and see your lovely faces :)

Pence kids in background.  Spoke with family in USA from here.
I am super grateful for the gospel, and I love this wonderful work. I cannot say thank you enough to all of you who support me! But I hope you have a great week :) Remember the Savior loves and knows you personally. 

And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. -Moroni 7:33

I love you all! Hej då! (Goodbye)
med kärlek (with love), Syster Bolton

Fountain in Stockholm central area

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4 2015

AH! I can't believe you guys found out! Well, yep! I cut off my hair!! wooo!! I took about 10-12 inches off, but it feels super nice. I have been wanting to do it for a while, and had the opportunity so I took it! Sister Hong cut it, because she went to beauty school before her mission. Super nice :) But I was going to keep it a secret, and surprise you on mother’s day, but then we took tons of pictures all the week through, and others took pictures with us, etc. haha But there is some fun news :)

Monday Apr 27 2015 - We had a sister’s party at the Tolley's house. They are going to be going home this transfer which we are really sad about :( They are the best ever. We just love them. They are like the second parents of the mission. haha They just have been able to work with a lot of missionaries and such because they are the apartment couple, so they travel all over Sweden. But we had a good time there. (That is also where sister Hong cut my hair.)

Tuesday Apr 28 2015 - We went on splits with the Örebro sisters, which included me sitting on a train for 4 hours.. but that is okay. I was able to stay in Stockholm with Sister Irene, and it was a bunch of fun. She just got done being trained. (she was in Sister Gardners group.) but we had a really good time getting to know each other, etc. Exchanges are great, and I feel like I can learn something from each sister. It is really cool to see how we all do the same missionary work, but it is all a little bit different because of our talents and strengths of what we focus on. But I hope that I can be well rounded and take from all these girls and become better! It was really cool because I was also able to teach sis. Irene some stuff, and just give her a little boost. She is the sweetest though.

Thursday Apr 30 2015 - We had lunch with Jensyn and Kimberly Pence (daughter 18yrs old, and her mother.) because Jensyn is leaving the US for a month and Sister DeMille might not be here when she gets back. But we love them :) They are kind of our adopted family. haha :) 

We also had an AWESOME teach with this guy named Don. He is catholic, but the spirit was amazingly strong as we taught him the restoration. It was the first time we had met him, missionaries contacted him a long time ago, and then he was really hard to get in touch with. But it was crazy cool, and he is praying about the church, about the Book of Mormon and about baptism. Just really down to earth, and of course African. haha :)

On Thursday was also Valborgafton. so Valborg eve. Which pretty much celebrates the end of winter. So it was non-proselyting time. So we went to the Karlssons for dinner and had a great feast, then we went down to a huge bonfire. They do them in all the neighborhoods pretty much. Everyone brings old wood and branches and such throughout the week to this huge pile, then as the evening of the 30th comes, they march down the little hill with torches, then surround the pile of wood and then throw them in. It was really windy, so maybe a little worrisome, especially because the pile was like 5 meters by 5 meters. So it was huge. haha but we had a great time with the members, and we saw quite a few other members there as well. It was a blast! Yay for the end of winter!!

Friday May 1 2015 - We also go to have dinner with the Tolley's, which was so much fun! We will also be moving into their apartment in a couple of weeks because our apartment bathroom is being renovated for like a month, so it won't be usable. So that will be fun. There's is the basement of a house, so it is pretty nice. It is a little bit out of our area, so that is a bummer, but it will work for the month or so! :)

Saturday May 2 2015 - We got bloasted a lot, and it was kind of a struggle. We were both sooo exhausted from the week, and it was kind of depressing. But we kept working, and then a member that we were going to help with her Swedish and then teach her, got sick, so she also cancelled but then she asked if she could get a priesthood blessing from the elders, so we still met her with the elders, and they gave her a blessing, then as they were doing that I felt prompted to ask for one as well. It was kind of out of the blue. But it was just what I needed. A good blessing of counsel and comfort. I was very grateful for it :) We then taught Anil, the guy from Nepal who came to church two weeks ago. It was really cool, he committed to praying every day for a month because he really wants to know. I feel like he is really ready for this message. 

Sunday May 3 2015 - Anil came to church and he didn't drink the night before because we told him not to! haha He went to a party and everyone else was drinking, but he said his juice was good and it was funny to watch everyone else. hahaha whatever works. But church went well, and then we actually went to the Wimmer's house with Anil for lunch. It was SO good. Brother Wimmer talked with Anil a ton, and just made him feel very comfortable, then we taught a lesson, and Anil is full of faith. It was really great to hear the testimonies of the family, and have them help Anil feel the spirit as well. :) So that is really positive.

Sadly the twins, Laura and Anna couldn't come to church because of too much homework. But we are meeting with them this coming week. We are also meeting with Tanya and Nikki, two sisters that really need to be baptized, they just have been cancelling on us recently, but they are still going to church and everything.

Being a missionary is awesome. You have funny times, and sad times. But there are just great times that are irreplaceable, and I appreciate that the Lord really makes them great. He brings us down sometimes so that he can lift us higher! The plan of salvation is perfect. I know that is true. It brings me comfort and happiness!

Well I love you all and I can't wait to talk to you on mother’s day! It seems a little unreal :) haha but it will be mighty fun I am sure! I hope you have a great week and remember to keep praying :)

Love, Syster Bolton

Package from G & G McLaughlin - Thanks!!!