Monday, September 28, 2015

Sep 28 2015

Good news! I have been better at keeping up in my journal, and including more details, ( just a little less to do now that we are not STL's.) but, because of the better journal entries... that probably means less details about the week.. haha sorry, the tiredness of the mission has hit on all ends. Including cooking. (I never thought I would cook so little as I have here.) we've eaten a lot of cereal. haha running is fun, except its dark and FREEZING in the mornings now. :( it’s so sad how fast everything changes. Fall has hit, and the sun is disappearing slowly but surely. Sweden is a great place i så fall. 

So life here in Kungsbacka... there are just about 98% Swedish people, and it’s like the wealthiest city in Sweden. So that is like super opposite from Södertälje, which has like 28% Swedish people and like 62% Syrians, and then the rest are like Africans, and such. haha soo weird how different they are, but I love both cities just the same. I am super blessed to be here in Kungsbacka, it isn't too far from Göteborg, so we go to the YSA center with some of our investigators, etc.

Tuesday Sep 22 2015 - Oh so funny story... our phone battery lives for lie TWO HOURS. Okay that is kind of an exaggeration, but it probably keeps a charge for 4 hours before it dies, and that’s just when we hardly use it. So pretty much, we sent our phone to Stockholm all day Tuesday in hope that the office elders would be able to fix it... they reset our phone as a brand new iPhone, and it helped a little bit... so now it is better, but definitely not great. so our super great friend Elder Sahlin sent over his portable charger that we can use, and pretty much our phone lives off of that! He was a life saver. But I will say, Tuesday all day without a phone was DIFFICULT. I don't know how ya'll did it without technology. haha missionary work is much easier with technology. I feel very blessed.

We were led to some incredible people this week, literally! I just feel super blessed. We worked our tails off, and we have a ton of faith! Our goal is to help six people CHANGE their lives this transfer. Well, we have found a few of them. I feel so happy to be a tool in the Lords hands, and to be able to see these people already start changing!

Wednesday Sep 23 2015 - We had dinner with Mollie and Joel, and they are saints! so much fun. Mollie is American, and an adorable mom, so we are helping her with her Swedish, even though they are active members. :) they feed us food, we speak Swedish only ;) haha good exchange right? ;) They are the best. We also met with a new member that was baptized a year ago, and his name is Jami. He is seriously has an incredible story. he like walked through 3 countries in the mountains, and then had to figure out bus transportation, etc. to get out of Afghanistan. He is seriously amazing. Like, we are so blessed.

Friday Sep 25 2015 - We had zone training, and that was super great, just inspired of what we should focus on, MEMBER work! Plus the Sabbath day! Just truly stressing the importance of these. One thing I really liked is, how out of all our key indicators the most important one is "investigators attending sacrament meeting." because it will make the biggest difference in these people lives if they are coming to church, and giving that time to God! :) Really a good reminder of how important the Sabbath day is for me, and for us as members. Obviously we shouldn't just be going to church every Sunday, but we should be giving that time to the Lord, and really keeping the day Holy.

That night we got invited to the patriarch’s home for dinner, and it was a group of older members there because we ate the one and only..... SURSTRÖMMING. Yes I did it again. Remember last year when I talked about that gross fermented fish... well it was that time of year again. And I actually am going to be super weird.. But when one eats it correctly, it isn't horrible. I kept eating it. But I still ate barely any! But I lived, and I think I could eat it again! It is just the smell that is HORRIBLE.


Saturday Sep 26 2015 - We had an AWESOME day. Seriously so spiritual, and so many prepared people. Plus Camilla (23 YSA, recently returned missionary from temple square mission.) came with us practically all day! We taught Stefan, who is totally going to be baptized, plus Diana the one from Venezuela that we had taught the law of chastity to, and she has a baptismal date! She looooovvvvveeess the gospel!! And then Andre, and Samir. All with Camilla. haha she is the best. And while we were in the car driving away from the baptismal service that we attended in Utby, I helped Camilla with math. It was so much fun. Honestly, I forgot how much I love math. It was simpler math, but I just love it! :) can't wait to do that again.

I ran into Amy at the Utby chapel, she was there for a stake meeting that was being held before the baptismal service! shes doing awesome!
Sunday Sep 27 2015 - Was insane with a lot of people, a lot of lessons, and just a great spirit during sacrament meeting. It is my favorite day of the week. I love love love church, and am so grateful that I can attend weekly, and be strengthened by those around me. This ward is the best. Sooo many incredible examples for my life. I am very grateful for that! :)

Well, I love you all, I love my companion sister Giles, let’s just say... we are hilarious together. We are having a ton of fun. I just don't know how to describe the funniness to you, but it is exploding over here. :) hahah 

I love to laugh.

Love, Syster Bolton

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sep 21 2015

There went another week! A few train rides, and some tears later, I had to say goodbye to my lovely lovely Södertälje friends, but to heal the wounds I got to say hello to some amazing Kungsbacka friends. I will say, it was definitely painful leaving, and my heart will forever miss that place. I truly hope I can go back and visit them.

Monday Sep 14 2015 - We made my last trip to Stockholm! It was a party! haha We met up with the Pences. Had lunch with them at a place called Kaknästornet, which is a super tall tall tower. It was super cool, with a beautiful look out over Stockholm! We had a great time with them! Love those people. It'll be just 3 months before I see them one last time as I hit Stockholm before I get home to the USA. WEIRD. Time flies when you are having fun. Then we went to the center for about 45 minutes and got to see a whole lot of other missionaries and pretty much say good-bye to them... so weird! But it was fun. Also that night we had FHE with all our friends, said goodbye to Mathias, Lasse and Johan. Oh they are the greatest.

Tuesday Sep 15 2015 -  Was a LONG day full of TONS of stuff, it was great fun. We woke up a little earlier, went out and ran our dang 3 MILES!! woo. it was great. :) then met with Dani- he makes our life. haha He is the best. Also met with Rolf, had the most amazing first lesson with this guy named Milad the spirit was SO strong bearing witness of the restoration, met with Johan afterward, and then actually said bye to him. Then met with Enzo and then the Omakas, then had dinner at the Birgerssons. It was full of too many good byes, many good lucks, and just some fun times. The spirit was amazing, and it felt good to give Södertälje my last bit. 

Wednesday Sep 16 2015 - Then I was off! The next morning we left bright and early and put me on a train towards Göteborg, the last stop being Kungsbacka. Well I had a good cry saying goodbye to my sweet Sister Allred, and then headed off. ahh... my heart was put back together as I arrived in Kungsbacka and have met some AMAZING members and people. It will be home soon. But funny story... I arrived at the Göteborg central station at 11:30, figured my companion would be right by my train ready to pick me up... not quite how it worked... after pulling my heavy bags around and around searching for any signs of missionaries, I took a seat, talked to this really cute girl, borrowed her phone, and then taught her about prayer, waited another bit and used her phone again to try and get in contact with my new companion. No answer. :/ she had to leave, and so later after seeking after a pay phone, finally finding it, and it not working, I made a friend with another stranger, and finally got ahold of my old companion Sis. Allred, who gave me other missionaries phone numbers and then they got ahold of Sister Giles. hahaha 2 hours later we found each other. Don't ask me how we never saw each other in that place!!

But we made it! haha and we had a good day! Set some good goals, and expectations, and got to know each other a bit better. She is hilarious. She comes from LA California, she is a genius, and pro at everything. mostly singing. and she is super funny. oh wait, I already said that. but she has a strong desire to work hard and learn a lot, so it will be fun, and it will just be teaching her how to fulfill that desire that she has had in her.

Thursday Sep 17 2015 - We had District meeting, and I got to see some of my FAVORITE missionaries ever. it made me happy. :) it was good. good day, taught some people, and went out with faith! 

Friday Sep 18 2015 - was fun! we met some members and we helped someone with painting their kitchen! It was just a fun day. 

Saturday Sep 19 2015 - Was a good Saturday, best part of it was teaching this investigator the law of chastity! We were super nervous, but she has already been taught 3 times, and they were the first 3 lessons, so we figured we'd take it big to that which she has a problem with.. because she is living with a guy without being married to him, and she actually took the law of chastity REALLY well. Her name is Diana and she is from Venezuela! She is a mother of 2, and soo cute. The spirit was super strong, and she realized that she has to fix it, and that it would be the best for her cute little family as well. So that was bomb! :)

Sunday Sep 20 2015 - Was one of the best sacrament meetings I have been to in a while. The spirit was INSANE. These people here in Kungsbacka are SAINTS. They have had a lot happen in their ward, but those who are still here, and SO STRONG. they are just great great examples to us as missionaries, that even when the waves come we can listen to Christs invitation to 'be still and know that I am.' It was a huge testimony builder to me. God hears and answers our prayers because there were somethings in that meeting that I had been praying for. :) 

Syster Bolton & her new companion Syster Giles 

The Lord is great, and his plans are much bigger than ours. He gives us pain so that we can come closer to Him. That is truly how my relationship grows the biggest every time. I'm grateful for his love and his atonement. The fact that we can repent and change ourselves daily. We aren't perfect, but we are in training. I love the Lord, and I am so happy to be out here doing his work. My heart is just exploding with love for these people, and I am so grateful!! :)

I hope you all have a great week!! Love, Syster Bolton

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sep 14 2015

Sorry, I don't have much time this week, I had a lot of pictures to organize. But, life is great. Oh.. TRANSFERS. ah. I was honestly not expecting to leave Södertälje, but it is okay. I will be going to the west coast, to Kungbaka, which I am super excited about. I know there are great members there, plus I will be in a great district of missionaries! I don't know my future companion really at all, but her name is Sister Giles, and she’s from California, and she is pro at like everything. So it will be a lot of fun. I heard she is hilarious. So I am looking forward to all her energy!

Sister Allred was miraculously speaking Spanish, even though she like doesn't really know Spanish... that was insane! how cool. :)

We also taught my favorite human beings here in Södertälje... DANI! He is so fun. He was baptized about a year ago and went less active right after, but he still loves meeting with the missionaries and so forth. We taught him about knowing God and repentance, because he told us the only thing he wants in life is to know God. The spirit was there and.... HE CAME TO CHURCH! I think I was happier seeing him in church than anything. After church he came up to us and told us, 'You two are my favorite sisters.' haha thank you Dani!

We taught this man named Anders. We had planned on inviting him to be baptized, but after practicing we realized that baptism shouldn't be the focus during the lesson. Well we focused on the plan of salvation and in the end he said, 'I know that this is supposed to make me happy. I like that. I am going to keep reading and praying.' That made me so so happy. 

We also taught Rolf. He is my favorite person ever. He is totally going to be baptized on Oct. 17th. He said he believes the church is true! wooo :) I am so grateful to know him, and learn from him every time we meet. I will miss him.

Here is a funny story: We did some service at a ward member's house. We were cleaning her windows. They were wanting to do some fall cleaning before it got too cold. Anyway... This lovely ward member bought some nifty cleaning cloths so that we could just wipe all the windows down and then they sparkled. I highly suggest that people invest in these little inventions. It makes life so much easier. Just wipe and you are done!... Well after 5 minutes of wiping the downstairs windows, we journeyed upstairs to finish the cleaning. The first door we walked into there was something black and red lying on the floor. As we got closer to it, we realized that is was the bottom half of a RABBIT just lying there. The feet, legs, but and liver were sitting on the floor because the house cat couldn't finish his dinner. After a few screams and disgusted faces we started laughing. Erika, the ward member rushed up the stairs and said, 'OH NOT AGAIN!' Apparently the cat eats the bunnies he catches in her study room about every other day. At least it makes life adventurous. Cats are the same in Sweden... absolutely disgusting.

But the best thing of this week, was Saturday... being able to go the TEMPLE!!! I absolutely loved it. It has been 8 whole months since I have had the opportunity to attend a session in the temple, and oh how I missed it. But it was SO AMAZING. I learned so much, and I was so grateful for the spirit that was there.


I feel like this transfer absolutely flew by. I am soooo sad to leave Södertälje because I gave it my all. But I feel so happy that I could give it my all. We had ups and downs along the way, but I can say I have never worked so hard and with so much love. Of course I need to improve in that, but it does feel good. I am happy to feel how much the Lord loves us daily. I depend on Him, I can't do it without Him. I feel so indebted, and I always will. But I am happy. I am at peace. I will miss all these wonderful people!

Here we go to KUNGSBAKA!!! :) west coast.

LOVE YOU ALL!! have a great week :)

Love, Syster Bolton





Monday, September 7, 2015

Sep 7 2015

Monday Aug 31 2015 - Last P-day was great fun! Actually not anything too crazy, but we did have a great lunch at the Schiazzano's and then we sewed the skirts that you sent to make them smaller. Let me correct that... Sister Allred sewed the skirts since she is pro :) I helped unpick them. haha. But the Schiazzanos are great, and we just love them to pieces.

Tuesday Sep 1 2015 - Was a great fun of crazy pack full of missionary work. Lots of great lessons, member presents on that one, and the spirit was nice. We taught this guy named Thomas and his friend Elias, and it was cool because a few weeks ago we got a text from Thomas that said "My name is Thomas. I am interested to talk about Jesus." So he was positive! He has lots of questions, and he has been feeling like he has been doubting. We used the Book of Mormon to answer all his questions, and a member who speaks Arabic in Norrköping was on the phone to help translate when needed and then he bore strong testimony in Arabic. Because he can speak English, just not perfectly. But we also taught him Sunday night, and he came and he just has a desire to believe, just is having a really hard time. We had planned to teach him the Plan of Salvation, and honestly, it is the most simple I have ever taught it. But we had the pictures, and we just explained how Gods plan is really out of love and is perfect, and when we can understand that, it helps us understand the meaning behind so many things. He felt so comforted, and we watched "the hope of Gods light" Mormon message which was exactly what he needed. He said he will do it! He will read and pray, and truly seek. Ah, it is super cool! :)

Wednesday Sep 2 2015 - We had an awesome zone conference with president and sister Beckstrand. They did a great job, and I loved it. It was focused on becoming a preach my gospel missionary, and honestly just applying everything that we've been learning. But it was kind of funny, because I loved everything that was said, and talked about, and could see how true it was. But I am glad because I didn't feel a huge lack of anything, I didn't feel a huge hole in my missionary work, that I super needed to work on. As I have been here in Södertälje I think some of the biggest things I have learned is really how to balance it, and let them all become your strengths together. And God just gave me my very personal inspiration on little things I can do. I have felt for the past twoish weeks that I just need to spend more time studying the New Testament in my personal study. So I have been doing that. And I also felt so strongly that I need to commit to memory where more scriptures are. But I love it. :) There were other things that also just touched my heart, that help me come closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. And I think really studying out the New Testament is also going to truly help me come closer to Him. Already my testimony has increased on how the Bible and the Book of Mormon and the church today really do teach the same things. All that will bring us closer to Jesus Christ.

Wednesday evening until Thursday evening (Sep 3 2015) we went on exchanges with the sisters in Västerhaninge. It was great fun. I was with Sister Irene, and honestly just had a great time. She is a great missionary, and I was able to I guess show her, that her leaders aren't perfect, and its okay that she isn't perfect, but just help her increase her confidence and love of the work. :) 

Friday Sep 4 2015 -  It was fun to be back with Sister Allred, and honestly, it was such a spiritual day. I can witness to you people, that the Lord guides us! Even in small things. and sadly sometimes we have the choice to choose not to follow. Friday morning we were running out the door to an appt. and I needed to grab an English BoM to put in my back pack. I didn't look, but then I accidentally pulled out an Arabic BOM. I was like, ah shucks, and went to put it down and grab an English. Then the thought came, 'maybe I'll need it.' then I pushed it away, and said ah we will be back after this lesson, and I can grab that one for the rest of the day. So I set it down and grabbed the English one. Well when we got on the bus... there was a man who we've met a few times who wants a BoM in Arabic... and I've never had one with me when we see him! Ah! The Lord put it in my hand, and I set it down. Dang it! Well I learned my lesson...

But continuing with the day... We went and taught Raphaela, the less active that we have been working with weekly as I have been here. She is so cute. I love her. She read the talk we gave her about the atonement, and she understood it a lot better, and then she had some questions, and we were led with very clear answers, that helped her understand it better, and she felt Gods love just as we were talking about it. But then we were able to also listen. She is having a rough time, but she has also been receiving an answer to her prayer, but having a hard time recognizing it. It was neat to be able to listen, and then share experiences of how the Holy Ghost has touched us in that same way. She felt truly happy as we left, because she felt like she had more direction in her life. It is amazing what the gospel can do for somebody.

Later that day we had a few lessons very led on the street. And I can say, God is amazing! Really putting specific people in our path that were willing to listen. I talked to the nicest Jehovah Witness I have ever talked to before. And we actually taught him. It was neat, because I honestly saw how our message entered into his heart, and he truly considered it. Sadly that day, he denied it, but I understand why. (Considering if he would have taken the Book of Mormon he would be considered damned or something.) But one day he will come.... We also taught this father of two adorable little girls on the street, and exchanged numbers and sent him home with a plan of salvation pamphlet. The next day he texted us saying he had read and he has questions! Ah, how cool. The spirit really touched him, and he really considered our message :)

Then we had a great lesson with Mathias. He was baptized in June, and honestly the adversity has been pushing hard against him. He had questions, and he wasn't sure. But we listened, and honestly we were silent the first 20 minutes of the lesson, even though he wasn't talking the whole time. But the spirit was teaching him in those times of silence, and then he would say a little bit more. He realized that he has found that which is right, and that which will help him! It was super spiritual, and we were on our toes during the lesson, but by the end, he really saw how God is right by his side, even when these things are hard. Keep strong in the faith!! :)

Sunday Sep 8 2015 - Church was amazing, and I loved it. I love fast and testimony meeting, and it was a really good one. Oh by the way, next Saturday we will get the opportunity to go to the temple, we are so excited! :) It will be with the Relief Society and it is because I haven't done a session since January. So I am STOKED for that. Ah. I love the temple.

Monday Sep 7 2015 - Today for P-day we went to Stockholm and met up with the sisters in Uppsala, which is Sister Kamauoha and Sister Powell, and that was just stupendous. We had great fun together, and it was good to see our previous companions :) Also... this morning while we were emailing... the coolest thing!! Andreas, someone I met the first week I was here. A solider. Has been deployed in the time I have been here. Sister Kamauoha had taught him twice before he left, then while he has been gone he has been studying the Book of Mormon! Well he luckily walked into the church this morning looking for us! Guess what, he has felt the spirit, he feels the hope of the gospel, and he said he is half way in on the baptism thing. He just wants to read and understand more. haha well that was a miracle. We now have his RIGHT email, and we will have contact. It’s so good. I love being a missionary!

I love you all and I know the gospel is true!

Love, Syster Bolton