Monday, December 29, 2014

Bonne Année!!!!

Hey everyone! Christmas was such a great time and the spirit was so strong all throughout the week. It was so great to Skype with my family on Thursday!  You all look great :)

So this week was glorious.  We were treated like kings by the members!  On Tuesday, we had an exchange with an equipe in our zone and saw tons of little really cool miracles. Then on Wednesday, we went to the Janda's house for lunch, the Van Tonder's for dinner and then we had all of the elders sleep-over Christmas eve and we opened gifts on Christmas morning.  After that, we went to the Toulouse family's house and had some amazing seafood and then that night we went to the Kahne's for a Christmas roast.  WE GOT TO WATCH FROZEN (don't worry, President Roney approved it). IT WAS UNREAL, it was the most intense movie I have seen in 2 years and I loved it...

Then I Skyped with my family!  It was so great to see you guys. I was so happy to talk to you and I can't believe how good you all looked. It was a change from last year's Skype but I am very optimistic about the future.
Later in the week, we did an exchange with the assistants and I was with Elder James Taylor from Bountiful Utah who knows the Swartwoods super well. He is great and we will be good friends for a long time. Right now, we are with the Albi elders, Elder Andrew and Elder Ottesen and we will start an exchange soon. It was a great week and I posted some funny photos. 

What a great opportunity we have this week to set goals for the New Year!  It is a great time to do some self evaluation and figure out how we are doing and what we can imrpove on. The Lord will guide us as we act. You are all amazing and I love you all.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Joyeux Noël everyone and Merry Christmas :)

WHAT A WEEK! From teaching the Capitain of the Toulouse Rugby team (one of the best in Europe), to Mission Leadership Council (MLC), to caroling in Lyon, to seeing old mission friends, to meeting David Archuletta, to Zone Training and to Marie-Antoinette's BAPTISM...

So this week started off with a trip to Lyon for MLC. Elder Mcbeth and I took a super long train ride to arrive in Lyon at night. I love going back there and seeing the place where I served. MLC was great and we prepared for our huge multi-zone conference with David Archuletta as well as Zone Training.  Zone Training was great.  We talked about John Chapter 15 and love - how love is what unites us with the vine that is Jesus Christ.  We made a slogan "Become 1 with the 5avior" for 2015. Our missionaries loved it and we bought them all Santa hats that say Toulouse as a gift.

As for the multi-zone Conference, it was such a great conference.  David A. has the voice of an angel. I talked with him and learned that he has family near Irvine. I also met his pianist who was baptized in Huntington Beach.  He sang some Christmas classics and his song "Glorious" from the new movie the church made.

Later that night, I was able to reunite with some good friends such as Elder Dupres, Elder Castillo, and Elder Taylor. Elder Taylor is Assistant now and they are coming for an exchange on Saturday. This past Saturday was the baptism of Marie-Antoinette. She is doing so well and loved it!  I love this ville so much and the work is just exploding.

Speaking of the work, we went and saw Census Johnston, the Captain of the Toulouse Rugby team... HES HUGE!  He is from Samoa and he was wearing a Lakers jersey when we walked into his very, very nice house. We are homies. He and his wife are less active members of the Church.  They have two kids. We became good friends and showed them "He is the Gift."  I told him that my cousin was Tongan and he says he knows a ton of Wolfgrams. They are originally from New Zealand and have amazing accents.

This week was crazy and super stressful at times, but everything went very well.  I had a total of 12 and a half hours of sleep from Tuesday to Saturday because of things that we had to do and missionaries that we had to help out.  I know that the Lord was supporting me and lifting my burdens as I was trying my best to serve others.  I was able to truly feel his love for me this week and I, like always, was extemely touched by what President Roney had to say on Friday. He told the missionaries the story of losing his mother during his mission in France. It was very spiritual and we have become very close.

After all that's said and done, I am just stoked for Christmas. We are having a massive sleepover with our elders and opening presents together at our apt. I am so excited to talk with the family and have a good time. Tis the Season :)

I love you all and I'll talk to you soon!! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside
Toulouse Christmas Market

Hey everyone. Another great week in Toulouse!!!! We are super excited for Maire Antoinette's baptism this Saturday! She is solid and super excited. Pics will come. Please pray that all will go well and that everything will be organized (when I explain this next week, you will understand why things need to be organized). So, this week we have Mission Leadership Conference in Lyon, Zone Conference in Bordeaux, Zone Training in Toulouse, and Maire A's baptism. CRAZY!

I am loving Toulouse so much and I am growing closer and closer to these wonderful members. Sarah is doing so great. She made us Italian Lasagna and Tiramisu. We are so stoked for them.  Also, this past week I returned to my prior area Pau for my visa to stay in France longer. It was DOPE. We ate at my favorite Mexican restaurant there. 

I did an exchange with Elder Bleak from our Zone this week. He is from near Boston and is a great missionary.

Also, this week we had a couple of Christmas activities. They went really well and I was asked to speak at the activity for the ward. It was a great experience :)

We also saw Margot yesterday. She is doing great and is trying to share the gospel with her whole family. 

It is so great to be serving the Lord this wonderful time of year. I look back and recognize all of the many blessings that I have received - like my family and friends back home. I can only feel gratitude for what my Father in Heaven has done for me and my family. I just imagine how hard the first Christmas must have been for our Father in Heaven, having just sent his Son to earth so that we could all be saved. You are all great! Remember the reason for the season and take care :)

Elder Bollard


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Joyeux Noël

Hey everyone!  So this past week was great!  Transfers were yesterday and I got a new companion!!!  His name is Elder Mcbeth and we are in Toulosue together.  I am training him to be a Zone Leader and we are super stoked for this transfer! 

I will spend Christmas in Toulouse!  YEAH!  I love these members a ton and there is great unity in the ward.  We have a couple of invites for Christmas Day and we are super stoked for Zone Conference and Training. This will be the longest transfer ever because it is 8 weeks long!  I am so excited for Christmas. We want to invite some Elders over for a Christmas eve sleepover.

This work is great. Our engage Sarah is solid and she will be baptized after their marriage in Italy. We are having a blast and loving life. I will write more next week.
Hanging with the Jeremie Pinchon family in Toulouse


Elder Bollard

Friday, December 5, 2014

He Is The Gift
Hello everyone!! Happy December! It is cold and wet here in Toulouse and all of the French people are busting out their huge poofy jackets. It was a great week with many memories. 

We had Thanksgiving dinner at the Van Tonders on Thursday. The wife is American and the husband is from South Africa. He is a great man and he speaks around 10 different languages. It was a real Thanksgiving dinner and we had a great time. They invited their neighbors from Spain and Germany and we laughed a ton!

We are teaching some solid amis and are having great experiences. We are teaching an Italian couple and are hoping that they get married in December so that she can get baptized in January. Also Marie A's date was moved to December 20th. We had Raclette at Margot's house today with the Cuvuliers! She is doing great as a new member of the church and is being integrated well by the members.

Also JEREMIE PICHON is our Asisstant Ward Mission Leader now. It is just like the good old times in Aix. I love this ward a ton.

We had a great week going to Albi and Rodez to do exchanges. They are really beautiful villes. Rodez looks like Minas Tirith. 
On exchange with Elder Rellaford in Toulouse Center Ville
Hey everybody, the Church launched "He is the Gift" this past week. It is a very touching video that I invite all to go see. Please go to WWW.LDS.ORG and check it out. 
I am so grateful for this time of year and for this oppotunity that I have to be a missionary to share the gift that is Jesus Christ. 

Just as the shepherds did two thousand years ago in Luke 2, let's follow, discover, embrace, and share the gift with those we love.

YOU ALL ROCK. Until next week. BYE!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ahhhh, the simple pleasures of life.

Monday, November 24, 2014


Hey family!  So I will start off by saying that I am thankful for all of your prayers for Margot.  She was baptized this last saturday and confirmed on sunday. It was such a great weekend and I feel so grateful to have taken part in her conversion. She is the best and she said that she will send postcards to Irvine!
It was a great week!  We started off by going to Lyon for Mission Leadership Conference and there we learned about the new initiative that the Church is making called "He is the Gift."  It opens the 28th of November and it is going to be huge!  It is a great chance to get the world focused on the true meaning of Christmas during this Holiday Season.  On Thursday we presented this initiative to our missionaries with a Power Point presentation. The Church is buying the masthead space on YouTube and will have a strong presence on billboards in Times Square in December. We are pumped to share the "He is the Gift" video with members and amis alike.  For Zone Training, my companion and I also talked about having a "company of heroes" as a Zone. This is a Ben Bollard approach to things.  I talked about the Easy Company during WWII and about how they were a Band of Brothers all fighting together for a greater cause.  We as missionaries are doing the same thing and the fraternal and Christlike love we gain for each other is enormous. It was a really fun presentation. 
We are also preparing our other amis Marie-Antoinette for baptism on the 7th of December. So please don't stop the prayers. 
Tonight we are going the Kahnes' house. Their son served in California and he is so cool.  Jeremie and his wife are coming too.  I love this ward and these members.  A baptism will really show them that they can trust the missionaries.
Looks like Dad and Joe's family had fun in Vietnam this past couple weeks. Thanks for the invite.
Also huge shoutout to Audra and Pops for helping with my applications to college. 
Elder Bollard

Monday, November 10, 2014

Bonjour from Toulouse

So to start out, I want to say sorry for not writing last week -things got really crazy. This last week has been one of the most eventful weeks of my mission so far.
For starters, Stake Conference was yesterday. The Toulouse Stake is enormous!  It covers from west of Toulouse to east of Montpelier.  There were around 400-500 people there. President Roney came with his wife. It was a great conference with some strong discourses based on unity in the branches and wards.  There are some really strong members here who are doing a lot to build up the Church.
The night before was the Priesthood Leadership Council for the entire stake. We and the Montpelier Zone Leaders (Elders Thompson and Crawley) were invited to come. President Roney was there and at the end he said "get ready to teach tomorrow at stake conference" to me and my companion. I freaked out.  So during his talk yesterday, he asked us to come to the podium (it was in a giant conference center) and teach the Stake something about the Savior. So Elder Montgomery and I walked to the podium and taught a lesson that neither of us really remember. It was pure scripture and testimony on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. One of the scriptures I shared was from Alma 7 and we taught parts of the Plan of Salvation. I felt like King Benjamin, not because I was teaching hundreds of people but because "my whole frame trembled exceedingly" (Mosiah 2:30).
After we spoke, we felt really good and I knew that the spirit had taken over.  As we were walking back up to our seats,  President Roney continued his talk.  He told the congregation that he had lost his mother while he was serving his mission and, at that moment, he decided to consecrate himself. He then said that the "same experience" had happened to me.  When I got back to my seat next to our ami, I looked at the member next to her and she was crying. It was a really cool experience.  It was a bit weird after the meeting because random people came up and hugged me. Haha. But the best was when we went to our ami Margot and introduced her to President Roney. She got emotional and said that she wants sons like us. She is getting baptized the 22nd of November.
Also, I found out that one of the amis that I found and taught in Pau was baptized this past week. The mission is too awesome.
It was so cool to see all of the pics of my family releasing balloons on Mom's Birthday. She was smiling for sure.
Wow I have a lot to say this week.
So - quick side story. The whole city of Toulouse is planning for riots. There was a man killed in Albi by the Police and now there have been major riots in Toulouse. The city was shut down on Saturday which was the day that all of the missionaires from the two zones got into Toulouse and we had to walk home cause the metros were closed. One equipe got tear gassed last week so I feel like I am playing Battlefield 4 sometimes. The French SWAT look like juggernauts with mustaches.

Anyways, the work is moving and we have Margot (from Polan) getting baptized the 22 of Nov and Marie-Antionette getting baptized the 6th Dec. Please pray for them.
The mission is the best and don't forget that the God loves you!
Elder Bollard

Monday, November 3, 2014

Elder Bollard had no time to write a group message this week.  He is busy with his current assignment as a Zone Leader.  He did take time out yesterday though to celebrate his Mother's Birthday by joining the family in sending a message to her in heaven.

Monday, October 27, 2014


Hey everyone! This week was the busiest week of my life. Three exchanges back-to-back, two District meetings and a whole lot of traveling. This next week will be even crazier. We are going to Bourdeaux, west of Montpellier to see Elder Kearon speak and then all of the Zone Leaders are going to a special conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday. We will be driving from Bourdeaux to Geneva with the office elders.... It is going to be crazy. We will cross the country and go into another!

Also I lost my entire wallet this week. Therefore my companion has to pay for eveything now. He is the best. 

We still have our three engagés (baptismal commitments) Marie, Margot, and Kevin. We also found a Romanian girl named Roxanna who has now come to Institute and church and we have done a soiree with her at a member's house. She is great and loves the young adults of the ward. During the soiree, our member invited three of her other friends and we showed "Mountains to Cimb" by President Eyring. They loved it. It was exactly what they needed.

HUGE MIRACLE on one of the exchanges. So I went up to do and exchange in Castres with Elder Poll and he took me up to a tiny ville called Vabre (population 40) for a referral. It is located in the middle of the mountains - in the middle of nowhere. Check out the pics below. So we went to this referral's house and no one was there... so I felt that we should go up a hill to port (tract) some houses. We prayed to find someone with whom we could fix a RDV. It looked like a ghost town. As we were walking I saw a light on in a house and I said "that's it"!  So we knocked on the door and a woman named Nadine answer. She was SO happy to see us. She said that she knew the missionaries 22 YEARS AGO in Montpelier and they helped her and her husband get married. She told us that she read the BOM and she wanted us to return as soon as her husband got out of the hospital. She was so happy and it was such a huge miracle.

God loves us and is aware of each one of us. He works in funny ways but he will never fail us. I love you all and I wish you a super great week! 

May the force (Spirit) be with you
Elder Bollard


Monday, October 20, 2014

Nous avons trois engagés!
Charlie with Mamy
Service Project

Appreciating local art

Nothing Tou-Louse in Toulouse

Hey everyone! I am writing this message with so much joy in my heart for our three investigators who have chosen to be baptized! We also had 7 amis who came to church yesterday!

The work in Toulouse is booming.  We have got nothing TOU-LOUSE in this city!  I love Elder Monty G and the zone. I was able to go on several exchanges this week and it was really great to be with the other missionaries. Life is great and we are extrememly busy. I am busier than I have ever been in my life. Tomorrow we are going to a Ville called Castres to "blitz the sector."  Then we go to Albi for a District Meeting, then Muret for another District Meeting.  Please pray that we will have the time to see our amis this week!  Our enagés (baptismal commitments) are Margot, Kevin, and Marie-Antoinette! Two are for November and one is for December. Pray that they will be strong and continue to progress.

One of my exchanges was with an Elder Yeung from Hong Kong. He is so cool.  We had a really fun time and he taught me some Chinese.  His story is crazy nuts!  He served in his home city of Hong Kong for 6 six months before coming to France. The Chinesse equipe (companionship) here has a ton of amis and they do great work.

It has been a great week. We were able to go eat fufu with Jeremie Pichon yesterday and it was the greatest Sunday ever. Him and I are super close. Dad write him.

This is the work of the Lord and we all have the choice to partake in it. Shall we not go on in such a greater cause?

Elder Bollard

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Elder Bollard's Zone in Toulouse, France

Monday, October 13, 2014

Charlie in Toulouse

Charlie with Elder Cole Thompson (Tori's nephew)

Bonne soirée familiale et les amis

HEY EVERYONE! So this week was actually one of the craziest ever! It started off with Mission Leadership Council, then Zone Traning (where we created a zone title of bapistry, similiar to Moroni's title of liberty), then an exchange with the Assistants to the President, then my first Sunday in the Toulouse Capitole Ward. MLC was awesome and I saw some old friends there. We talked about mothers and we were each asked to share examples of faith that our mothers have shown us. It was a great meeting. Then for Zone Training the APs came down the night before and we had a good time. Elder Elvidge and Elder Beyers are the APs now. Great elders.

Zone Training this past week was great. I loved being able to testify to the missionaries in our zone about their divine potential. We wanted to focus on their original, righteous motivations for coming out here. Then with these motivations, we made an oath to work harder and for the right reasons!

The exchange with the elders was way fun and we taught a family whose dog looked like scooby doo.

Sunday was amazing and guess what?! Jeremie Pichon from Aix en Provence moved into our ward and last sunday was his first sunday there as well. He got married and we hugged for like 5 minutes straight when we saw each other! I was a blue (new missionary) in Aix. It was such a sweet moment and he invited us over for dinner next week! Dad send him a message on FB.  He is great!

We also had a lesson with the FRENCHEST FRENCH PEOPLE I have ever met in my life.  It was a family. François, Marie-Chritsine, Louis-Charles, and Rebecca. They are so French its not even funny. We taught them about geneology and also taught therm some English because they aren't too religious. 

It was a great week and I love my companion and my new ward. There is great progress here. We were teaching a lesson with an ami named Sevane who wants to get baptized. He asked if baptism is something that we should do after we have already walked the path, know everything and our shoes are worn out or if it is something that we should just dive into. This really made me think and I told him that bapitsm is an important convenant with God that shows our willingness to follow Christ and there is no way that we will be able to walk to path without the gift of the Holy Ghost. This made me think about the blessings of baptism in my life and I was able to testify of the power of the HG to him. He is progressing so much and we are seeing him this Thursday.

I love you all and wish you the best week ever!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

October 12, 2014 Email to Charlie's Dad:
"Just had dinner with your two wonderful missionary sons. They are great Elders that you can be very proud of.
Have a great day!
-Bary Turley"

Monday, October 6, 2014

the yellow tie gang

Hello from Toulouse!

So we had a super great week!  I arrived in Toulouse last Monday and we have been working non-stop. The zone is HUGE with three massive districts.  We have some great missionaries in our zone (and some interesting ones as well). We are super stoked for this transfer.

We also got an engagé (baptism commitment) this week!  His date is for the first of November.  His name is Kevin.  Pray that he comes to Church this Sunday!

General Conference was great and I hope you got my past email on my thoughts.  We had the whole zone come to Toulouse for conference and it was such a great experience. I have done several exchanges so far and I love it! I  have met so many missionaries.  Tomorrow we go to Lyon for Mission Leader Training with President Roney.  Elder Kearon of the Seventy is coming to Geneva and all of the mission leaders are going to hear him speak.

We have some great amis here in Toulouse and are super optimistic about this transfer.  Our apartment is legendary.  It used to be the Assistants' apt when it was the Toulouse mission. 

My apartment in Toulouse

There are two wards in Toulouse and they are big (with 100+ attending)

I love my companion and we have a great time riding bikes around the city!

I will write more next week with pics as well!

Love you all.  Stay safe!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Oloron, France

Au revoir Pau!

I am leaving Pau and transferring to Toulouse where I will serve as a Zone Leader!
I got in the Gare (Train Station) this morning and met my new companion, Elder Montgomery.  He seems great and I have met him a few times before.  In fact, he was my ZL in Pau a couple transfers back. 

My new companion, Elder Montgomery
My last companion, Elder Spencer
Anyway, I am so excited to be serving in Toulouse!  YES.  I will have to come visit this city again someday.  It is so famous.  This equipe (companionship area) is coming out of some recent baptisms. I believe they had 7 amis at Church on Sunday.

My last week at Pau was great.  It got pretty emotional saying goodbye to the Pau ward.  I LOVE those members. 

We went to Oloron again and found a giant French-Swiss Lindt chocolate factory.  When we went inside I realized that I was Charlie in the Chocolate Factory :)  Peni Fakalelu invited us over for a BBQ and we invited Yohan.  It was great.  He is going to get baptized this transfer.  We also found a new ami named Joadel and I have a really good feeling about him.  We taught him and he went to church on Sunday to hear my farewell testimony.
I am so excited for this transfer and I know that I will learn alot.  I am looking forward to serving these missionaries in the Toulouse Zone with all of my heart, might, mind and strength.
I love you all!!

Elder Bollard 

PS sorry if I couldn't reply this week, we are on Gare duty!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rainbow in Pau
 Reminds me of Les Miserables
 Me with Elder Castillo

Pau, France

Happy Pday everyone!  What a great week!  So we started off with a lesson on Monday with a girl from Aix (where I began my mission)!  Her name is Colline.  Then on Tuesday we were able to do service for an English couple, the Viscontis, who were refferals from members. The Viscontis are a great family and their kids are awesome.  Then we did an exchange with the Zone Leaders on Wednesday!  IT was great, I went with Elder Castillo and we went to Oloron to go see our ami Emmanuel who is evangilist.  We also visited the Bonet family.  We ran into a crazy man who tried to give us his pants.  Haha.  Then that night we met a guy named Romain - who is a miracle.  He had met with LDS missionaries in Beziers and loved their lessons. We are going to see him on Wednesday this week. Then we had district meeting on Thursday where I taught the district on becoming Master Teachers.  It was great and we had some great discussions.  Friday! We had a cool lesson with Yohan and taught him with the sisters, so that he could hear some other testimonies.  On Saturday we played soccer and taught Yohan again, he is progressing.  So far we have taught him up to the Plan of Salvation. That night we saw a rugby match where we got VIP seats in the second row because a member of our ward is on the team, Peni Fakalelu. It was so legit and Rugby is a gnarly sport. Then Sunday we had Paulo come to church and it was super cool to hear him speak in Portuguese.

Pau has been great!  Transfers are next week and who knows what will happen. I love this church and I love the Lord.  He has supported me through so much and has made me stronger.  I have learned a lot about patience and humility lately.  Please stay close to the Lord and keep me and the other missionaries around the world in your prayers.
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