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


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