Monday, August 31, 2015

Aug 31 2015

Alla,

Another adventurous week in the land of Sweden filled with running 2 miles daily, eating lots of knäke bröd (Crispbread) and butter, and people wanting to chat on the street. 

No crispbread here, just a waffle cone with ice cream from Ben & Jerry's, Yum in Stockholm

Chalk activity in Stockholm on Aug 24 with Pence Family and others
BYU shirt from home
I honestly don't remember this week very well, I made a new planner, so I have that one with me, and not last weeks with me. But we had a tough week in just things not working out super well, but that is okay. We figured out our problem, and it was just that we didn't take enough time to plan well last week. We know how to plan well, just didn't have enough time to do so. And boy it had a big effect on our week. I am grateful that we can continue to learn and grow and see our faults and improve on them.

Thursday Aug 28 2015 - We went on exchanges with Hägersten and I was with Sister Mecham. We had a good day together, and it was really cool because we taught some AWESOME people on the street. Sadly we didn't get their phone numbers, because they weren't that interested in meeting yet. But they have a Book of Mormon and have a desire to read it! It was an answer to many prayers, because at the beginning of the week we just had a lot of not positive or not friendly people, and I have been spoiled here in Södertälje for a while, so a few days without positive street lessons, really pulls ya down. But, the weekend was really good and helped a bunch! :)

Systers Bolton and Mecham
As for a funny story: This week we stopped a ward member family because we had a half hour to fill. They were really excited to see the missionaries and instantly started running to and from to show us this and that they were working on, and getting us this sort of food and that sort of food. This family comes from Chile and so Spanish was flying to and from and I was just not even trying to guess what they were saying because I definitely never learned Spanish. tyvärr. (unfortunately) Anyway, Italo turns to us and says, 'I killed a man.' we look at him like, 'Should we run away?' he giggles and then pulls out this giant something covered in a cheese cloth. It looked pretty suspicious. Italo pulled of the cheese cloth and revealed a WHOLE PIG LEG. I have never been in South America, but this was probably the closest thing to is. Italo took a giant knife and started carving off little bits of ham for us to taste. It tasted pretty good and I highly recommend it. :) haha

Some good stuff from the week:
  • I contacted an old investigator on the bus and he took us out to McDonalds where we discussed our beliefs in God and my all-time favorite quote from him was, 'You cannot buy life. You can only celebrate it every day.'
  • Our investigator Rolf, the one who doesn't want to be baptized anymore, came to church and stayed all throughout sacrament. :)
  • We met the prettiest girl on the street and I was terrified to talk to her, but she was actually interested in meeting and became a new investigator. Lesson learned: even pretty people can be prepared. hahha...

I feel super grateful to learn from the scriptures daily, and from the prophets words, all in all. We studied the talk "You Are My Hands" from Pres. Uchdorf this week, and it was SO good. I know that each of us have that opportunity to be his hands, to help others, and when we do that, we feel the love that God has for each of his children, including ourselves. It inspires me to keep going, keep preaching, and keep smiling, even as the sun starts setting earlier, and the clouds are rolling in. But it makes me happy when I can help others understand that God exists. That we can pray. That he truly will do miracles in our lives, especially when we ask him.

I love the gospel, because that is my true and eternal source of happiness! I love you guys and hope you have a great week! :)

puss o kram, (kisses and hugs)
Love, Syster Bolton


Monday, August 24, 2015

Aug 24 2015

Well, this week has been good, but it was long. It was one to endure, because every day I woke up more tired than I was when I laid down to sleep. But we ran a mile and a half almost every day, and we worked all day long everyday. Trying to be diligent as we can!

Yet during this week, I did get to re-learn the "don't run faster than you have strength. but be diligent" because I have been kind of doing that first part. But I'm trying to keep a balance, so to keep being diligent yet still being able to renew my strength!

Monday Aug 17 2015 - We went berry picking with Rolf, and it was super enjoyable :) It is fun to be able to pick the berries from the forest and pop them in your mouth. plus they are delicious. :) And I will say, being in the forest, and picking berries, it just helps you see how incredible of a Creator God is. Each little berry, bush, or flower. In its own unique form, but each serving its purpose. I love God and am grateful for his many creations. :)



Tuesday Aug 18 2015 - We had District meeting in Katrineholm, which was really good. Then had exchanges with the Norrköping sisters. I was with Sister Sandelin here in Södertälje. But it was super fun. She came in to Sweden with my group, but she is actually Swedish, so she went to the MTC in England. She is super funny, and a great missionary. It was fun to encourage her, and help her work harder. :) We have started reading the Book of Mormon with Lasse from the beginning. Or, going over the story with him, and then sending him home to read it. It is fun, and we meet him twice a week.


Systers Bolton, Sandelin, Johansen and Allred

Rolf, well we had another lesson with him at Håkan and Gertie's house, an old couple who does the most missionary work ever - they are amazing! - and it was good, a lot of review, and Rolf said he would keep thinking about it all, and trying to live it. He is super good at reading and coming with questions. But the Saturday morning we called him to see how things were going and see if he would be coming to church, and he actually ended up telling us that he feels like it isn't for him. :o :( well we asked if he prayed about it, and he said no.. he doesn't feel very confident in his praying when it comes to asking things. But he said we can talk next week, and he will continue to think about it and he might try to pray about it. At least he is still willing to act. He said he would keep reading as well. Oh, I was so sad to hear this, but I still have faith in him. He has felt the spirit, it just may be some pressure from his son, and uncertainty. But we will still have contact with him! 

I feel like we have some of the most prepared people ever... and then they drop off. Tor Leif isn't positive at all anymore, so we don't have contact with him. Kelly is super African and blåsts us a ton now. And then Rolf... BUT it is okay. We will find the prepared, and because Rolf is still willing to act, I believe he will come around! :)

The Lord blesses us, even though sometimes it is at the last minute. But it always comes before its too much for us to handle. I was really exhausted, plus there was a festival in centrum, so it ruined our usual finding efforts there. Which that is where we usually spend our weekends.. so that was hard, but the Lord inspired us to go to this new area Sunday evening, and we found a lot of people to teach in just the little time we were there! So I am excited to start teaching them, and see how it goes.

Our hotdog with mashed potatoes on top. Yay for a festival!
This week we studied a talk every day as a zone. It was 

The Purifying Power of Gethsemane by Bruce R. McConkie. He gave this talk two weeks before he passed away. It is super strong. I want to invite you to read, study, listen to it, etc. Because it is truly amazing. Something he says in it that hit me is when he says 'the atonement is the most basic and central doctrine, yet it is the least understood of all revealed truths.’.. Which means that we need to study and understand the atonement! Each and every one of us. Don't ever think you have done enough, or know enough, because if we want to 'have faith like Enoch and Elijah we must believe what they believed, know what they knew, and live as they lived.'


I also know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I hope each of us can continue to learn and study Christ's sacrifice and triumph for us!

I love this gospel, and I am so very grateful for all your love and support! Have a wonderful week! :)

Love, Syster Bolton

Tracting.. and finding funny stickers. (Jehovah Witnesses; NO, thank you.) 
 
People with weird decorated hats. pretty sure it is to start school, but there were like 50-100 students on that train with different weird hats. haha

Monday, August 17, 2015

Aug 17 2015

Life is great! It feels good to be going, and I am exhausted but so good! :) I love love being with Sister Allred. We have had countless amazing experiences this week, and i just wish I could explain them all. But for now..

This week has been a lot of work. We have been running around talking to everyone, preaching the gospel to all sorts of people, helping our investigators get ready for baptism, speaking Swedish, and just having a lot of fun. At the end of every night, Sister Allred and I just crawl into bed because we are so tired and we have to have energy to keep going the next day. :) 

Tuesday Aug 11 2015 - We had Mission Leadership Council, which is always the best. We learn so much from the assistants and the Beckstrands. I felt really uplifted by that! We learned a lot about preparing ourselves to find the prepared people that God puts in our paths! And then also about leadership, and being Christs hands as we lead the other missionaries in love. It was super great, and the spirit taught us specific things that are needed in our areas for our sisters. I love that. God is great. Sister Allred and I have really been applying that to our work and it has just worked like magic... but really it works because the Lord has really been our #1 support. We came to the conclusion that for the rest of our missions we are going to be diligent in being selfless.

Systers Bolton, Powell, Allred and Kamaouha

We got to teach Rolf twice this week, and let me tell you- he is the cutest old man I ever met. So he is 77 years old, and we've met with him about once a week, and he has come to church 6 times. He is totally progressing though! We taught him with this old couple in our ward, and had lunch with them, then he had a lot of questions out of the Book of Mormon with him, so we just focused on that, and read with him. Then Saturday we met with him, and taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and invited him to be baptized! he stopped us and said, 'I don't think I can be a Mormon....' we paused for a moment and then he continued... ,'Until I know everything I need to.' He thought about it, and said, after I know more. Sister Allred and I smiled and promised him we would help him along the way! We are so excited for him. We set the date as the 17th of October! He got really excited and took out his planner and wrote on the 17th... 'Baptism Mormon' :)

We have also had some other miracles this week from all over the place. In church a man whom we contacted and taught on the street came and afterwards he texted us saying, 'do you know why I came today? I wanted to go to a place I could pray and now I am so happy.'


We also contacted this woman who said that she had read religious works her whole life and finally decided to try being religious for a year. She joined a vegan church and was religious for a whole year. We asked her how it went and she told us it was really hard... but she did it. Then we asked her if she would like to try our religion and she smiled and answered, 'with pleasure.' THE LORD PREPARES PEOPLE! Olga is her name and she downloaded the Book of Mormon in Russian so she can read it on her vacation. :) Seriously amazing. I am so excited to teach her.

Our last one was with this less active man named Johan. Johan has very low self-esteem and really feels unworthy to come to church. He has been working really hard throughout the years and trying hard to come back, but then he falls and can't pick himself up. We like to bring him on lessons because he has such a profound view of the gospel. Anyway one of our investigators cancelled and so we just took the time to teach Johan. We read with him out of Alma 33 and focused on the atonement. The spirit was really strong there while we witnessed about God's love for him. He smiled and said, 'I have never thought about the atonement that way.' He had never realized that the Lord wouldn't help us out just a little bit and then exclude us from salvation. 

I seriously, can't express the joys and exhaustion I have felt this past week. But I know I couldn't do it without the Lord. He is great, and the way I have found the most joy is as I am being diligent at being unselfish. It is my new motto. I have such a strong testimony that God is GREAT. I am so grateful he is using me as his tool and hands to touch other people, because in reality, he is changing me and sculpting me. I have seen miracle after miracle on my mission, and I just wish I could express that to everyone in the world. But for now, it goes to you. I hope you all have a good week! :) 

I love you!! :)
Love, Sister Bolton

They really drive sometimes haha 
And cook too.




Monday, August 10, 2015

Aug 10 2015

Okay, so this week was super great! We did a ton of work, and I really enjoyed it, although I am seriously exhausted. But it feels good, I just feel like usually we are able to get back up with energy, but like every morning I wake up still so tired! haha I hope it is a sign we are doing something right.

But this week was fun. Had a last P-day and full day of work with Sister Kamauoha and that felt really good. It was weird though, and I felt a little nervous for the transfer, just because I feel like I learned soo much from Sister Kamauoha last transfer, what if I wasn't able to hold on to it. But.. then I got Sister Allred and she is just super great! I had no need to worry!! I love being her companion, and we are having a great time as well. So Sister Allred has been out one less transfer than me, so a year now, she is a stellar missionary! We work really well together, pretty easy to just dive into the work and figure things out together, so that is really nice! She went to BYU before the mission, and she will go back there, so that will be fun to see her. 

Thanks for sharing from Kyle's talk, that is really cool. That makes me crack up, he would take a ton of time in sacrament meeting! haha But it sounds like he did really good, and I am glad he learned a lot. I would imagine that Ukraine would be even harder than Sweden, because at least swedes love Americans, even if they hate/dislike religion. (not all of them do.. just many many who are atheist or agnostic.) And I will say, I have been blessed to be in Södertälje. There are tons of people here from all over, especially from Syria, but what is so funny is that all of our investigators are male Swedish people. Which I would guess that is just because they are surrounded by people who do believe from other countries. So it has been a huge blessing to be here at this time, because we are finding truly prepared people!!


 We taught a ton of lessons again this week, which feels really good, but it has just been insanely hard to get new investigators. They are willing to listen and talk on the street, but they aren't really interested at meeting again. So this past week we set a high goal for new investigators, and daily prayed in faith to find new ones. Well, the Lord didn't answer our prayers in the way we expected. Instead of giving us 5 new investigators which would have been super great, he did give us one. But I will say, one who is very prepared. It wasn't until Sunday when we finally got that new investigator, and his name is Kelly. He is from Nigeria, and he truly is very ready and willing. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I am grateful that he always answers.

Sister Allred and I
The work with Lasse who was just baptized is going well, he will be receiving the Priesthood soon. Rolf, is slowly progressing, but coming to church just about weekly, reading, and loving all the new things he is learning, and praying daily now. It is really good, I am excited to see him baptized in the future. (we don't have a date yet.) and Tor Leif is still on his vacation, but we have daily contact over the phone. He has a little opposition from his family members who he is on vacation with right now, but it seems like when he gets back he is ready to his thing, and do that which he wants, which is be baptized! So he is still on track for the 5th of September. Kelly also has a baptismal date for the 11th of September. So lets just say the Lord is blessing us BIG time, and I feel so just amazed at how great He is. I am grateful for the daily revelation I can receive, and the daily addition I get to my testimony. Life is good, and even when it isn't, we can trust in God that things will work out. That is one thing I know.. things always will work out.

Their apartment complex
Well, that's my week folks. Okay, just kidding, here is a funny story... We were talking to the elders about Mathias (the new member of two months, who is 21) and about having them teaching him, and we just thought it would be good for him to see them since we think it would be really cool for Mathias to go on a mission! And they hold the priesthood, so they could teach him more deeply about that, etc. But it was really funny, because Elder Burgin goes.. "Well, yeah we are used to using the Priesthood, but you guys are used to it being used on you." hahaha we died laughing, and at that moment, I was sitting on the edge of my chair, and leaning kind of weird, but let’s just say I.. slipped. haha I definitely fell of my chair laughing. It was good stuff. Then it all become just funnier and funnier.

Sorry I never share funny stories, but I will say, missions are hilarious, and I write them down in my journal, or try to, but when it comes to the email, they slip my mind. haha Life is good, and I hope you guys feel the same way even though it is a bit chaotic. 

I love you guys, and I know the gospel is true. Just decide to live it and you will find happiness- that is a promise!

Love, Cassie

Not everyone wants to listen


Monday, August 3, 2015

Aug 3 2015

Okay, so this transfer has gone by WAYY too fast. Sister Kamauoha will be transferring up to Uppsala, which is a bit north of Stockholm. Not very far, but she will be an STL, and be with Sister Powell- she will do awesome, but I will definitely miss her. :/ But the good news is that I get to stay in the promised land of Södertälje and be companions with Sister Allred!! I don't know her super well, but she has been an STL the same amount of time as I have, and she has been in Göteborg. I know she is really great and nice, and an awesome missionary, so I am excited to work with her!! :)

Well this transfer has been full of miracles, and a lot of learning. I have probably not had a more full, and happier transfer on my mission. I just feel like I have an idea of what I am doing, and so does my companion, and God is seriously in this work, and we are letting him lead it more than we ever have before. It feels super good.

Tuesday Jul 28 2015 - A huge miracle we witnessed has to do with Tor Leif. As I said last week, he had started to stop smoking.. he made it about 2 days and then gave in again. But he said he wasn't giving up, but he would wait until the next Friday when he would go on vacation with his brother (who wouldn't allow him to smoke) to quit again. Well, instead on Tuesday.. we actually had a really good lesson with him, and had two Melchizedek Priesthood holders from the ward, come and give him a blessing. Well, the spirit was SUPER strong, and right after they finished, Tor Leif said he felt a physical difference. He said, okay, I am going to stop today! He got really excited, and he said I need to crush these!! So he pulled everything he had out, and crushed his cigarettes, and threw them in the toilet!!! ahh!! it was soo cool! We were so proud of him, and his decision. Plus- he has STUCK TO IT!! He hasn't smoked one cigarette since Tuesday, and he has stopped drinking coffee and tea as well!! It is amazing!! :) He feels happier, and we have been so blessed to be a support to him while he is quitting! Plus he is very much looking forward to his baptism! He will be on vacation with his brother for 3 weeks, so we will have contact with him over the phone, but we have more to teach before his baptism. But he felt the power of the Priesthood. He has smoked for 55 years of his life, he has tried to quit multiple times, and the power of God is what does it for him. He is also full of faith. He knows it is God, and he is super happy! :) I know that God can help us with any problem or difficulty we face in this life. Hand it over to Him, and He will help as you have faith!

  

Thursday Jul 30 2015 - I was also super blessed to see my best friends, the Pence family! They came and visited us in Södertälje and took us out to dinner. They truly spoil us too much. But I love them :).

 

Also, we went and visited a less active, Raphaela, and it was such a spiritual time together. I felt super happy to be there. They have been coming back to church, and she loves the Book of Mormon, we usually visit her and her family every week. They are super cool, and also have a big desire to come back! :)


Saturday Aug 1 2015 - Lasse was baptized which is another huge miracle and we are soo soo happy for him! The baptism was small, but very peaceful and spiritual. Lasse was happy, and we were super happy for him. He will be a great member. We have taught him soo many times, and we know that he was truly prepared for this day. It was about 2 weeks before his baptism that we saw the change. The light turned on, and it is all because the spirit. :) I felt to blessed to help Lasse take these steps, and when it comes down to it.. it is because of his study in the Book of Mormon of why he is so happy and a new member in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! :)



Well, I love being a missionary and I know I am spoiled out of my mind. I have been so blessed, and I am grateful that the Lord is shaping me! It feels good to be exhausted after a week of hard work. This is the Lord's work, and He is all powerful and all knowing. Pray to him, because he listens and he answers prayers- even for the smallest things. I sadly don't have time to tell those stories. But daily my prayers were answered, even when it was just the smallest thing of being able to find one more person who will take a Book of Mormon and read it. :) Amazing. :)

Thank you so much for everything! I love you all and hope you have a good week!! :)

Love, Cassie


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jul 27 2015

Well today we are going to have a super awesome volleyball pday with our zone, so we are short on time for everything.



But can I just tell you guys, I have had an AWESOME week!! I seriously LOVE being a full time missionary, and I have been sooo blessed to be here in Södertälje with Sister Kamauoha at this time. I have never felt as much as now that I am a tool in the Lords hands to work miracles and help people change their lives to find happiness. I feel so blessed. The Lord does miraculous things to us as he refines us, and we learn to open our eyes to how he is doing it to us and those around us.

My favorite part about this week was meeting with Lasse. We have been meeting with him the whole time I have been here, and his baptismal date was for the 25th of July, but a few weeks ago we moved it back one week to be August 1st. Well, Lasse is ready for that date, and we were able to go over the baptismal interview questions a couple times with him, and he had his baptismal interview on Saturday. But one thing we have had a really hard time with while teaching Lasse is helping him recognize the spirit, he was in an accident once, and it messed with his memory, and such, but it also seemed to be holding him back from connecting how he has felt the spirit. Because he would say I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but "not because of the spirit, it’s just because he read it and he knew." But this week, as we went forward and asked him the baptismal interview questions, he felt and recognized the spirit. It was insanely strong. We were all SO happy. He couldn't stop smiling, and neither could we. It was a very special moment, and I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to teach Lasse. He will be baptized this following Saturday!

Thursday Jul 23 2015 - Okay, and we had workovers in Orebro, which were super fun. I seriously loved it!! :) I was with Sister Bourelle, and we had an awesome day. We were able to do a lot of training with the sisters, and give them suggestions, and teach them new things. Sister Bourelle and I had a good day of street lessons, and met some amazingly prepared people!! seriously, so prepared. 

Sister Bourelle and I
 A giant book ball in örebro
Some guys on the street that were excited to meet us and we taught them for an hour. The guy holding the Book of Mormon is one of them he and his friend came to church on Sunday!

But one of my very favorites would be the last and most unexpected one. We were just finishing up our day by eating some dinner before we met the other sisters and Sister Kam and I would drive back to Södertälje (we borrowed the car from the elders- and it was SUPER fun to drive again :) ah I love it. haha) But anyway, we actually were super led by the Lord to find these people in Subway. Because we didn't just go into Subway first.. nor second.. but the third restaurant that we went in. But as we started ordering, we said something in English to each other, and another customer, (Jan (pronounced with a Y sound.. so Yan)), turned and was like, are you guys from the US? and I was like yeah! We talked a little bit, and then I was like, after I order, we will come and talk. But really shortly into the conversation, we began teaching him. He is about 20 years old, and actually already Christian, but he has felt that his relationship with God has drawn apart, and he doesn't know why. Well.. we had probably the most spiritual lesson of the day, sitting there and teaching him, using a subway napkin rolled up to teach a concept, and he just stared at it and let it sink it. He was so open to the spirit, and the spirit was testifying strongly. We read from the Book of Mormon, and right as we finished the verse, he said, 'that is true. exactly.' He even explained to us how he never comes to this subway, but that God definitely led him here. The lesson was strong, and he decided that he must change, and become better. We explained where the Book of Mormon came from, and he said he would go home and read it. It was amazing!! and let’s just top it off, by... when we were ordering, the lady working asked about our name tags, and we were able to describe it a little bit, but then there were more customers, so I told her I could explain more after she helped them. Well, she ended up being busy, for most of the time we were teaching Jan, but towards the end she came over and asked us. We re-taught her where the Book of Mormon comes from, and taught her and Jan some more together. I don't know if I have ever seen two people so drawn to knowing what it’s all about. We had a prayer all together in the Subway before we left, and set up a time to meet with each of them. To bad, that they live in örebro, so I won't get the opportunity to teach them again, but I am super grateful I had the opportunity that day, and that the Lord led us there. :)


Our week was really good, and I just am so grateful for the spirit! One thing that I have mentioned before, but that I have seen so definitely in the work recently, is while we are exactly obedient we have the spirit, and that is when miracles happen. Before it was so easy to say, when we are exactly obedient, miracles happen and those miracles are baptisms. But guess what, miracles can be in all forms, and just by having the spirit with me so purely and strongly I have learned that that is a miracle in itself. I love the Lord and his work!! :)

Lasse is getting baptized on Saturday! oh and Tor Leif has a baptismal date!! The miracles come in those forms too ;) haha

Thanks for all the love and support and I hope you have a great week :)

Love, Cassie