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.

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