Monday, February 17, 2014

Hello everyone! It has truly been an interesting week for all of us. I have had so many spiritual experiences that have helped build my testimony in the past 5 days. But nonetheless, I miss my Mom... I know that she is in the Lord's hands right now.

This has been the most emotional week of my life, but with the knowledge I have and with support of my family I have been able to feel at peace.  You are amazing.  All of you.  Our Heavenly Father loves us so much.  It is trials like this that bring us closer together.
Everyday on the street I hear grumpy French people ask me why God lets bad things happen to good people. I know there isn't a perfect answer for this but a couple days ago I contacted a Chinese mother with her stoller. She asked me this same question. I just looked at her with tears in my eyes and said "parce qu'il nous aime" this means because he loves us.  I then proceeded to talk about my Mom and showed her a picture of my family.  When she looked back up at me, she had tears in her eyes and asked me how I knew that I would see my Mom again.  I pulled out a Book of Mormon and handed it to her and told her that "this is how I know."  I just got off the phone with her and we are meeting with her this Wednesday.  

It is so important to put our trust in the Lord. Nephi was such a strong example of this.  I truly feel so empowered when I read 2 Nephi, Chapter 4.  It is right after his father has passed away and he puts his trust in the Lord forever.  "I know in whom I have trusted, my God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions."  Sometimes all we can do is just put our trust in the Lord and have faith in the Plan that he has for each one of us.  This will strengthen us and help us grow closer to Him. 

Always be thankful for what you have and count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will suprise you what the Lord has done. 

Elder Bollard

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Charlie's Zone Conference 
(Second Row on the Left)

Friday, February 14, 2014

To be read at his Mother's Funeral tomorrow:
I am Christy's youngest son Charlie. I am currently serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the France Lyon mission.  I would like to share a few words regarding my mother and the Plan that our Father in Heaven has for us all.

My Mom is my hero. She has taught me so many things that I will cherish forever. Her passing is most definitely not the end and death is not a tragedy. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" The Apostle Paul (Romans 8: 38-39). 

I know that my family will be reunited, and I know that I will see her again, for surely the Plan of Salvation is true.  Ammon's words have great meaning to me when he says that "God loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the Plan of Salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto our future generations" (Alma 24:14). This "Plan" is the sole reason we are here on earth. 

Ever since I was little, my Dad would always tell me "son, you need to have an attitude of gratitude."  Lately, I have been rehearsing that saying in my head and I have realized that my mother will never be forgotten. She will live on through her children and grandchildren, and she will be with me for the rest of my life.  The Savior has promised that "whoso receiveth me, there He will be also, for He will go before my face.  He will be on my right hand and on my left, and His spirit shall be in my heart, and His angels, my beautiful mother, round about me, to bear me up" (D&C 84:88). It is such a blessing to have her spirit with me.

My friends, faith looks forward.  I know that if we are faithful in tribulation, we will receive great blessings.  During our very short time here on Earth, the Savior taught us to live by faith, hold fast to hope, and show compassion one to another. This is how my Mom lived her life and it is how she taught me to live mine.

I wish I could be with all of you today, but I know that what I am doing right now is what my mother has always wanted me to do, and it is what the Lord needs me to do. 

I believe in my Savior Jesus Christ. He walks with me in my daily life and when I fall, His arms of mercy are extended towards me to pick me up. He loves me and he loves my family.  He is and always will be with us.  I say these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hey everyone! 

I am going to start out this email by thanking all of you for your emails. I have received 50+ in the last week. Needless to say I have tears in my eyes while writing this... but they are not tears of sadness. My perspective on a lot of things has changed since I have been on a mission. The love that I had for my family has grown so much that I truly cannot even express the amount of joy it brings me knowing that we can live together forever. 

I appreciate all of your support and emails to me. I am so sorry that I cannot respond to them at the moment. I am so happy for my friends who received mission calls this last week! Congrats. I am so stoked for all of you!

A lot of you see no reason why my family was given this trial, but I promise you that the Lord has a plan for all of us. I have been sent to France for a reason. Before my mission I had a conversation with my sister Heidi and we talked about my mom and her not being there for me when I have a family of my own. But the thing is, I KNOW that when she passes on from this life, she will go and find my future children and love them and hug them just like she does with all of her grandkids now. I also KNOW that I chose to come here on earth, knowing beforehand the trials that I would face. AND it is how we react to those trials that matters. I can promise you all that if you act in faith, the Lord, our Savior, will provide a way.

My Mom is the strongest person I know and I have been raised on her faith and testimony. I stand with the 2000 strippling warriors when I say that "I do not doubt that my mother knew it."  Alma 56:48. 

I was so blessed to be able to talk to my Mom this last week on the phone. She had me smiling the whole time :)  My mom's love and faith is needed elsewhere and I am so grateful to have shared the time that I have had with her. I couldn't have asked for a better mother and I couldn't have been more lucky to have been raised in such a valiant family.

This is most definitely a challenge. But everyone should use this as a time to grow closer to one another and to help people feel the Love of Jesus Christ. I know that is what our Heavenly Father wants. That is what my Mom has done her whole life, and now it is our turn. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hey everybody!!  I am so happy to be writing you all today! We had a super cool day today and I was able to hike Saint Victoire with our Zone and Elder Thompson  (Tori's nephew) and I just had a blast!  It was snowing at the top!!  It was crazy hahaha, once at the top we blessed the city.  It was way cool.

I was able to give TWO blessings this week! Both in French! It was amazing and I really felt the love that the Lord had for those people. 

We have Zone Interviews this week and I am excited to talk to President. We went over to a cool nonmember family's house this week and he talked to us about how much he loved the US haha.  The father has tons of John Wayne films and a Harley. 

In testimony meeting this Sunday, Sister Pichon bore her testimony on the scripture that I gave her family last week. It was really neat and I love that family TONS. 

I am so thankful for my family and for the Gospel and love that we share. I am not there physically to help you guys out during this tough time but I know that the Lord is there and that he loves us. So we should not fear and we should be of good cheer - because He is with us.  Have a great week everyone.  I will write more next week

Elder Bollard
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