Friday, August 28, 2015

Charlie's last post from France
 La famille Jardon
La famille Jaquier
Hello everyone! It has been a great week :) Time has once again flown by. We started off by doing an exchange with the Zone Leaders. Elder Willits (my MTC comp) came to Gex and we had a great exchange. He is such a good person. It was fun to finally do an exchange with him. We went to Ferney-Voltaire and talked to a ton of people. We found someone who knew the missionaries in Tahiti and she was going to be baptized over there but moved to France! Her name is Maeva and we hope to see her soon! After the exchange, a member from the Branch in St Genis offered to take my comp and I out to lunch to get some kebabs. His name is Ruben and he is from Puebla, Mexico :) We talked about real Mexican food and I made him homesick, haha. Afterwards, we did service for the Jardons. It was so hot that day, haha. I love frère Jardon so much, he is such a sweet man. Then we had Ward Council where I talked about a new project that the mission is doing where we will talking about temples much more in our contacting and teaching. I LOVE it. In the Church we share the message that families can be together forever and TEMPLES are how families can be sealed together for eternity. I am personally so grateful for this knowledge and I love being able to teach others about how they can be sealed with their loved ones forever and not just "'til death do we part." 
After Ward Council, we went to the Thiesset's for dinner and talked about relying on the testimonies that we already have. I talked about Alma 5:26 and talked about how it should be own goal to always answer in the affirmative this question, "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"
The next day we had a Zone Finding Day in the beautiful city of Annecy!  It is paradise. It is a beautiful French city build next to a crystal blue lake surrounded by the famous Alps. We talked to many people and taught about the family and the Restoration to tons of people. The next day, we had another great day in Ferney and visited some Less Actives - one of which came to our ward hike on Saturday. We hiked through the Juras with the ward and about 20+ members came. 

Okay, miracle time. So later on Saturday, I made a cheesecake and we brought it over to Anthony and Christelle's hoping that they would be home. Well, they were and they were so happy to see us. When we walked in, the dad called his 14-yr old son on the phone and told him to come home to hear us because he really wanted to meet us. Their daughter was there too and we had such a great time with them. The mother has started reading the Book of Mormon daily and she is filling out her "My Family" booklet for her family history. It is almost too good to be true. But it is true!  They are taking the lessons now and we are going over this week and they are going to make me a traditional French plate that I haven't had yet on my mission before I leave. We are going to invite them to church this week. 

Yesterday was such a great day. One of the most bitter/sweet experiences of my mission. We went to Lyon for a multi-zone conference and I bore my final testimony. I never thought that the moment would come. I had to say goodbye to so many good friends. I bore testimony on how it is only by and through our Savior Jesus Christ that we can return home to our loving Father in Heaven and be with our family again. It has finally started to hit me that my service as a full-time is coming to an end but I am so happy for all that I have learned out here. I have one more week left in the field to show the Lord that I love him and I plan on giving it my all. I will be sending my last email next Monday. I love you all and I will talk to you soon - and the best part about it is - it's all true :)


Monday, August 3, 2015

Bonjour everyone!
You all sound so great, thanks for writing me this last week :) So this past week has truly been heaven sent. At the start of last week I was a little bit nervous about how my comp and I were going to achieve the goals that we fixed for the sector but the Lord provided as He always does.

We started off with an exchange with the Saint Genis elders. I went to their sector and was with Elder Pien, a Chinese Canadian with a ton of energy. We started of by painting a gate for the Zinsius family and Fr. Zinsuis was on one. Afterwards, we passed some old Amis in the centre ville of Saint Genis. We talked to everyone in sight and we got several phone numbers and fixed a good amount of rdvs. We ran into a man from Tanzania who lives in our sector and Elder Loosle and I are going to see him tonight. After our exchange, we met back up in Gex and passed some potential Amis, Anthony and Christelle. They are the parents of a family of four. They were home and invited us in. We told them that we had some family booklets that we wanted to give them before and so we brought them and explained what we do. While we were showing them the family booklets I had the impression to ask the wife about her mother. I asked her about what her mom was like and what she liked to do. She talked about a very sacred experience that happened with her mother and her two kids before her mother passed away at the hospital. There were tears in her eyes as she felt the Spirit. She wrote down the story in her family booklet and promised to fill out the rest. Then the father asked, "what makes you so different than all of the other religions that come to our door?" I looked at Elder Loosle and we taught them the Restoration. When we told him that the Church has been restored he looked at us and said "c'est la bonne nouvelle ça" :) They loved every bit of it. The husband asked for a Book of Mormon before we even offered and we fixed another rdv with them this week.

The message of the Restoration really is such a great example of the Love of God.

After that awesome rdv, we went to the Zinsius's for dinner and I said good bye to them for maybe a very long time because they are going on vacation for two weeks and I may not be able to see them before they get back. He said he would drive to Lyon to say goodbye to me though, haha. The next day, Elder Loosle and I did some work in a ville called Ornex. We passed a single Peruvian sister there who invited us in. She had two of her nephews from Albania over and so we came in a sat down. So here is the fun part.

The two nephews ,who are about 27 and 23, only speak Albanian and Italian and the sister we visited only speaks Spanish and Italian so I taught them by speaking in Spanish and a little bit of the Italian that I learned from Sara in Toulouse. Holy guacamoles it was funny haha. We watched "Because He Lives" in Albanian. Then later that night we taught Aurore. We shared Elder Bednar's talk "Converted Unto the Lord" with her and talked about how there is a difference between having a testimony and truly being converted to the gospel. She was really touched by what we said and is starting to really make changes in her life. While studying this, I thought about how our testimonies are gifts from God given to us through the Holy Spirit and how our conversion is something that only we can give to the Lord through our own diligence and obedience in truly living the Gospel. After Aurore, we went to the Jardons and ate a classic Swiss meal. They gave us some amazing raclette and a great dessert with meringues and Gruyere cream.

The next day we went to Geneva for Zone Training. Afterwards, we went to the Thias for dinner and taught about the hope that comes through Christ.

The next day we blitzed a new ville called Chambéry. It is south of Geneva in France and guess who is serving there? Elder Spencer (my son (trainee)) and Elder Beck (from St Genis). I was with Elder Spencer and we had a great exchange. We got invited to a soirée with some really cool young people who we played soccer with. We had a bbq that night and answered a lot of questions about the Church. The next day we went to French class in Chambéry and then took a bus back to Gex. Time is flying by so fast. We just had a Zone P-day in Geneva where I played volleyball with Elders Schalk, Willits, and Pederson. It was like an MTC reunion!

I am so grateful for choosing to go on a mission. I have come to understand the Savior and His Atonement so much more. I am so grateful for this Gospel which helps me become a better person on a daily basis. I am confident that the Lord will always provide what we need and will help us to progress and develop our talents. It's a blast :) Have a great week everyone!
Elder Charlie Bollard

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bonjour à tous!
Hello everyone!! Wow, what I week! It feels like I was just writing you all yesterday. Time is FLYING by... Well I have a new companion! Elder Loosle is a great Elder. He and I have a good bit in common and he is really good and not talking about the fact that I am going home in 3 and a half weeks :) I am grateful for that so that I don't get too distracted. 

This past week has been filled with miracles - which I am so grateful for. So, bascially everyday this past week we found people who were interested. We did a fair amount of porting and found some really cool families. We met this really great couple (Christelle and Anthony) and they invited us in to talk about the family and the Church. We taught them a lesson and they gave us drinks and fixed another RDV with us for tomorrow :)  We also ran into another really great couple. They are praticing Catholics with enormous faith. We talked about the Plan of Salvation with them and they loved it! The wife plays the organ for the Catholic church in Gex. Her name is Catherine and they invited us over in two weeks as well!  Also, I made cheescake for the first time for a member family. I dont know how I did it, but it tasted like pure glory and honor. I am pretty sure eveyone in the room was "astonished" (Jacob 7:21).  Also, we did service for the Lipperts who are moving into a new house. We dug trenches for the foundation of a wall and I had the pick axe. It was awesome :)

We visited the Zinius family this week. Fr. Zinsius is off the wall crazy, haha. I love that man so much, he is probably reading this blog right now. Je vous aime frère!
 Fr. Zinsuis
                                        La famille Gardon (He reminds me of Ben)

We also taught Christophe this week. He is going to get baptized in September or October. He is very excited for his baptism, he is just not quite ready.  He still has alot of different opinions on doctrine. He is pretty Evangelist, like speaking in tongues and stuff, so that is fun :)
I have been reflecting alot on my mission recently and I cannot help but feel so grateful for all of the support that members of the Church give missionaries. I love this country and I love this people so much. I can never be grateful enough for my mission and for all that I have learned out here!  I love this Work, we are not just building the Lord's Kingdom but the Lord is building us. I am grateful for the principle of faith. It is something that will never die off. No matter how smart or talented we are, we will always need faith. I have seen so many miracles come from faith! I love you all and wish you an awesome week :) 

Elder Charles Clayton Bollard

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Quelle merveilleuse semaine

Hello everyone!  Well here we go, another awesome week in France/Switzerland :)  So this past week was legendary. We had some cool miracles. I started off on exchange with Elder Beck again in Gex. We had a blast contacting people in Centre Ville and met some fun people. We also visited the Jardons. Frere (Brother) Jardon just got out of the hosptial so we wanted to see him.  He was super happy to see us and we shared a message on Nephi 18 when Nephi was tied up by his brothers on the boat. His family was suffering and the Lord let him stay tied up for a good amount of time before giving him the strength to break free. We, like Nephi, will not only need to faithfully and patiently endure trials, but it is also up to us to understand the work and hand of the Lord in our lives. We can be in affliction and still have faith. I love this quote from President Uchtdorf "We can choose to limit our gratitude, based on the blessing we feel we lack. Or we can choose to be like Nephi, whose grateful heart never faltered." 

After the Jardons, we taught Aurore with the Bishop. It went really well, we taught about the Atonement and its ability to change us. After that, we spent the day in Divonne and got kicked out of the city by police :) They said that we couldn't proselyte in the cities of Divonne, Grilly, and Vesancy because of some laws that the Marie of Divonne made even though we can legally proselyte in France. That was a neat experience :) So, nevertheless, we decided to go to Grilly the next day and guess who we ran into? - the same policemen HAH. They kindly told us to leave and we did. We talked to our Bishop about it and he is doing some research on the laws in those communities.
Anyways, we had some great FMP RDVS with Arnaud Jaquier and his wife. They are one the most hipster families I have ever met. After that, we visited Sammy Zinsius and his family for the FMP. They loved it and are setting goals now. Also on Thursday, we taught the coolest English class! A Japanese investigator came as well as four other members and we did charades to teach English. It was the most hands-on English class that I have ever been to.

On Friday, we received transfer calls  - FOR MY LAST TRANSFER. Like that is crazy... I cannot believe that I am in my last transfer. I am serving with Elder Loosle from Highland Utah for the next 4 weeks!  After we got calls we planned and visited some members so that Elder Brown could say goodbye. That night we went to the Zinsius's. Oh wow Frere Zinsius is the man! I love that Frere so much! We have too much fun together.  Then on Saturday night we had some sweet miracles. One, the Jardons invited us over for an amazing lunch and gave us pop tarts and peanut butter. And two, we had an amazing RDV with our ami Madeline from New Jersey! She invited two of her friends and we had an amazing dinner at her house. She is a great cook :) They asked us a ton of questions about the Church and we ended up teaching them the Restoration. We gave one of her friends a Livre de Mormon and it went really well.

Well, I have to go but it was a great week!  I hope you are all doing well. Have a good week LOVE YOU!!!!!
Elder Bollard

Monday, July 13, 2015

Serving the Lord in a Beautiful Place

Hey everyone! This past week has been extraordinary! What an awesome 7 days! We started off by doing an exchange with the St Genis Elders and I was in their sector. There, we had a really great RDV with their amis Steven and Josée. They live in a suite that looks over Geneva. It was really impressive,haha. They are some really cool people. Steven is English, Josée is Brazilian, and they had their friend James from Wales there too. They showed us around their place and showed me (the new one) all of the sculptures and Indian bridal veil curtains and other cool stuff, haha. They both work for world-wide organizations in Geneva and told us about all of their travels.
The lesson went really well. We talked about the Refiner's Fire with them. I shared Alma 5:14, Malachi 3:2-3, and Moroni 7:48 with them and talked about how the Lord will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and will purify us until He can see his image in our countenances. As we yield to his agenda, not ours, we can become purified silver in the hands of our Master. I love this concept so much and it gives me motivation to continue to live the Gospel. They really enjoyed the lesson and invited us to come over again. 

Then on Wednesday, we went to Lausanne! We had District Meeting, which I didn't have much time to prepare but it went well. The district is great. There were 12 people there because the Sister Trainer Leaders came as well, so it was alot of fun. I referenced a talk by President Packer and we fixed goals on how we can help our amis progress more. Afterwards, we did a zone finding day in Lausanne. We changed comps and I went with Elder Lucas Peters from Germany. He is a great missionary and we went HARD. We had a ton of great conversations. We had about 20 conversations about the Gospel with people and taught 2 lessons in about 3 hours. I found this man on a bridge and I walked up to him and started to chat with him and I ended up teaching him the Plan of Salvation. He didn't speak French very well but at the end of the discussion he had tears in his eyes and wanted to be taught by the missionaries in Lausanne. I met this Italian painter who had the coolest mustache ever named Ernesto. He is married to an American and he gave me all of his info and wants to "grab some coffee" with me the next time I am in Lausanne, haha.
After the finding day, we visited a less active family in Gex and prayed with them and then did some tracting in the area until we went to the Cosentino's house for a BBQ!  It was so good!  We are still making a ton of progress with the FMP and we are getting coordonnées (contacts) from it now! 

We also taught Christophe this week. He is not progressing as much as he has been in the past but he committed to read more in the Book of Mormon. He prays for us as well as other members of the ward every week. I also saw that he prays for Austin Murphy and his friend Jacob because they came with us to teach him one time, haha, rad.

On Saturday we had a really great RDV with the Celi family. They are half Peruvian and half Argentinian. We walked in and there were a TON of people there. They invited about 9 other people to come and they were all speaking Spanish like crazy!  I want to become fluent in Spanish after the mission because it is a pretty cool language (almost as cool as French).  We had a great time with them and testified of John 16 and talked about Jesus Christ and why we are PERSONALLY grateful for Him in our lives. I think we can all take time to reflect on why we are personally grateful for the Savior.  It was a great RDV and el espiritu was there :) 

Today was the cherry on top :)  Probably one of the best Pdays on my mission. One of the members in Gex, Nicolas Zinsuis, took us to see Lac d'Annecy and the Chateau de Menthon today.  According to my watch, we hiked up more than 2,000 feet. It was a view that was  très magnifique!

Love you all!  Have a great week :)


Monday, July 6, 2015

Joyeux Jour de l'Indépendance

Hey everyone! Happy 4th of July :) I hope it was awesome. We spent ours on our balcony looking over Geneva at a group of Americans lighting off fireworks over the city. It was marvelous! It was cool to see some patriotism from across the world.

So this past week was great. I met President Brown, the new mission president and had my first interview with him.  He is a great man and he is going to do some great things for this mission. He is a very inspired man and we had a very heartfelt interview. He knew about what happened with my Mom while I was on my mission and appreciated my decision to stay out here. I already love him.

We had some great lessons this week. We went over to Christophe but he wasn't himself, he was really down and discouraged about a lot of things going on with his life right now and we shared with him the story of Mosiah 24 and it really supported him.  It was pretty emotional as he told us about his worries and issues but we were able to stay really close to the Spirit and help him. This was while I was on exchange with Elder Price. He is serving in Lausanne and he is from London, England. We had a great exchange.

This past week in Geneva, I contacted a man whose family is from Versailles and he is royalty, pretty cool. Things are also rollin along full speed with the Family Mission Plan program. All of Ward Council is on board as well as the Stake President. He bore testimony on it when he came to our ward on Sunday. I am so excited to be engaged in this cause. I am staying focused and having a great time.

Little big miracle from today. So I am on exchange with Elder Beck and we are walking down the street in St. Genis and I contact a guy who only speaks Spanish. His name is Ricardo and I mustered up all of the Spanish I knew to try to talk to him. Before I knew it we were having a full blown conversation in Spanish and I told him that I lived in Guadalajara. He said he is from Ecuador and I could understand most everything that he was saying. I asked him if he wanted to see the missionaries and he said yes!  We got his number and we will have the Spanish equipe in Geneva contact him. I am so grateful for that awesome experience to have received the gift of tongues. I love this work so much!

Well that's all for this week, I'll talk to you soon :D

Elder Bollard

Monday, June 29, 2015

Au Revoir President Roney

Saying goodbye to President Roney

Hey everyone :) Elder Bollard reporting in after another great week in Gex, France. Things are moving forward here and we are loving it!
We are working with the members hardcore here. This is one of the strongest wards in the mission, but the work has been lacking and we feel like this Family Mission Plan is going to do some great things. We have presented the FMP to more than 10 families now and from what we can tell, they love it!

So, we started Monday night by going to the Mattias's home. The father is American and he is a great man. He told us his conversion story and it is super intense, there are ghosts in it. We had a great time with the family and they have started fixing goals for their plan. On Tuesday, I did an exchange with Elder Walters from Illinois.  We worked in a ville called Grilly and it is absolutely beautiful. It is on a mountain overlooking Lake Leman.
We had a great time there and had a miracle. I was praying so that we could find water because we were super thirsty walking up this hill and I walked up to this gate where there was this massive house with a big yard and I saw a woman out front. I called over to her and she didn't want to hear anything about Jesus or God but I just asked if she knew where I could buy some water and she was like "You want water? Come," and she took us into this courtyard where she had a fountain that had water from the mountains in it and then she gave us glasses and let us drink.  Afterwards, she brought out berries and introduced us to her husband and we talked about America with them and we were finally able to explain why we are here and she loved it!  She told us to come back whenever we wanted :)

After the exchange, Elder Brown and I went to the Celi family's house to do the FMP. They are Peruvian and Argentinian and they fed us the exact same dish that I remember eating when we picked up Sam from his mission. It was like potatoes with some sort of yellow sauce over it. Anyways, they loved the FMP and they are a partial member family that we are working with as well. One of the sons is an ami (investigator). 

We also went to the ville Ferney this week and did some work there. On Friday, we did service for the Lippert family and we sanded like crazy inside their new house. My hair was white with dust after #silverfox. That night we went to a ville called Chevry which is really small but we had some really great miracles there. We met this girl who was super interested and she gave us her email and asked us to contact her about coming to Church.  Also, we had some really great convos. I chatted with a French papi for like 30 minutes and at the end he invited me to come and live next to him, haha. Also we did the FMP with the Tagg  family (Morgan and Sarah). They loved it and invited us to come over this coming week. 

On Saturday, we had Samedi Sportif (Sports Saturday) and a TON of people came. Someone fractured their ankle BUT it was cool to see so many people respond. After that we taught Christophe with Fr. Mattias. What a RDV!  Christophe is such an amazing man. He is really reflecting on baptism and he has so much faith.  He has the desire and we are just helping him understand the doctrine.  It went really well and he started crying as he told us about his time at Church. After Christophe, we went to the Bolognesi family's house for a BBQ and we presented the FMP to them. 

On Sunday, at church, members were coming out of nowhere asking to have us over this week. I have never done more member work before. It is amazing, these people are warriors. Today we went to Geneva for soldes (sales) and I got some new clothes :)

I love this work so much. Thank you for all that you do. I know that God loves each and every one of us. I know that the Atonement can heal ANY wound that we have. I know that it is all about love and the Savior. Keep on keepin' on. LOVE YOU


Monday, June 22, 2015

Au Revoir La Famille Roney!
My MTC District

Wow wow wow. What a week! So basically this past week was insane. We started off by teaching Aurore and we had a great lesson with her. Then we had dinner with Stephen Tagg's family. They are awesome and we presented the Family Mission Plan to them. Then on Wednesday we went to Aix. It was so cool to go back to where I started the mission. It felt like things had come full circle and it was really nice to realize how much I have progressed since I left that city.  
We spent the night in the ZL's apt and then had a zone conference with the Roneys.   President Roney called me up to speak to the missionaries about how my family survived the trials that we faced last year. I got up and told them that it was in that same chapel where I found out that my Mom passed away. I felt the love of God so strongly as I bore testimony on the fruits of the Gospel.  I told of the peace that I felt that night and the hope that filled me as I taught the Plan of Salvation right after hearing about my Mom. I encouraged the missionaries to be of good cheer, because we are here on earth to be happy and to have joy! (2Ne 2:25). It was a very emotional experience and I hope that I was able to touch some of the people listening to my talk.
After the conference we took a train to Lyon and I presented the same message there. How great it was to be with the Roneys before they left. I love them so much and I am forever grateful for their examples and love. I was able to have a final interview with President Roney and say goodbye to a lot of my mission buds. I will not be seeing many of them until after my mission. 

I love this work and I love the Lord, I know that He is patient with me in my trials and I know that He sustains me. You all rock, I love and pray for you! 


Charlie was asked to accompany President and Sister Roney during their final "au revoir" conferences throughout the misson (they return home at the end of this month) to share his remakrable experiences as the Lord sustained him during the challenge of losing his mother to cancer during his mission.  We are so grateful to these wonderful servants of the Lord.  The Roneys have been angels in supporting Charlie during this time of tender mercies.  We will always love them for their kindness and charity toward our son.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

On a bien travailler cette semaine :)

Bonjour everyone! I am so excited to be writing home this week because we had some super great miracles. So for starters, we have this new idea for the Gex Ward called "Family Mission Plan" (FMP).  It consists of two goals: (1) to strengthen our own family; and, (2) to share the gospel with those around us. So this past week, we have been visiting members, presenting this plan and it has been working really well so far. There are so many young families in this ward and we hope that this will strengthen the area.
We first went to the Magalhaes's on Monday night and shared it for Family Night. Then on Tuesday, we taught Christophe with Olivier Thia and then went to the Zinsuis's for the FMP. On Wednesday, we taught Aurore just before Ward Council and the lesson with her went really well. She is going to really try to make the effort to come to Church more often . On Thursday, we went hard and passed out a ton of invitations for the Open House that our chapel had last Saturday. Then we went to Divonne and spoke with some really cool people. We met an awesome Polish family who invited us to come back. Then on Friday we taught Jean-Christophe (member) and his mom (ami). During the lesson, I got a call from the APs saying that President Roney has requested that I accompany him on his "au revoir" conferences (we're getting a new president on July 1). I am not sure what he is going to have me do but we will see. The lesson went really well and I am good friends with his mom now.
I love chatting with old French people. They are so wise and have so many cool stories. Later Friday night, we went to the Jardons and had a blast!  We presented the FMP and ate a marvelous dinner. On Saturday we had the legendary Open House. It was glorious! A good numberof people came. Three of our amis came to check it out!  One of them (Michel) gave us a ton of Swiss chocolate. The members did a great job of presenting everything. And that night we went to the Thia's for dinner. And guess who was there? My good friend Austin Murphy from Irvine! HAH - yep. We had dinner together and shared a thought on Christ with the family. The following day, Austin and his friend came to Church. And check this out. During church, while we were translating for the English Speakers, a woman walks in and says: "I'm here for the Open House," and I was like "well that was yesterday but I can show you something even better" and so she stayed for Sacrament Meeting and loved it. We invited her to come again next week. After Church we taught Christophe with Austin and his friend Jacob. It went really well and they bore strong testimonies. 

I love this work! And nothing brings a greater joy than working hard till the very end of whatever we do. In these last 10 weeks, I am going to work my hardest and "feed" His sheep! 

You all rock. LOVE YOU

Monday, June 8, 2015

La Sainte Vache (Holy Cow)

With Elder Iliffe from England at Lake Geneva

Hey everyone!!! j'espère que you are all doing great! Its raining pretty hardcore over here in Gex, France and lightning keeps going crazy all over the place. I feel like I am in Desert Storm or something. 

Okay, so this past week was great! I basically spent more time in Switzerland than in France. We started our week off by going to Geneva to meet up with the Geneva Zone Leaders. Then we visited with Aurore (a less active member of the Church) and talked about Mosiah 24. We also read President Eyring's talk "The Comforter" with her. She is super chill and she came to Church yesterday for the first time in a really long time! WOHOO.
After that, on Wednesday, we went to Lausanne for a Zone Finding Day. It was legit. My new fit bit (Birthday gift from Silver) said that I walked 26,000 steps that day #beatthatheidi. Lausanne is ridiculously beautiful. We contacted and taught two lessons near the coast of the lake in a town called Ouchy. It is a really pretty view with Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps in the background. For lunch, we went to a place called the Holy Cow, where I dropped 24 francs.... It was one of the best burgers I have ever had (Dad, I need more money). 

Then on Thursday, we had District Meeting in Lausanne. MY district is enormous!  There are 5 equipes in it. I conducted the meeting in the chapel. It was on using safeguards for technology as well as teaching. I shared the Bible Video: Feed my Sheep and talked about the importance of showing our love for the Lord by feeding His sheep. Then on Friday we did service for Brother Stuart in the Geneva English Speaking Ward. He is from Texas and we helped him move into a house in our sector with the Saint Genis Elders. We also received our transfer calls! I found out that I am staying in Gex - YES!  President Roney called me and said that the things that I said during the Geneva Stake Conference has really helped some people so I was really glad to hear that. 

Then, last but not least, on Saturday our ward held an Open House for our chapel in Gex. It. Was. Glorious!  Elder Beck and I stood outside and contacted everyone in Gex while holding a huge banner. We got a ton of people to wave at us. We even wrapped up a passing French man in our banner and he loved it. 

My dear friends, life is awesome!  I am so gateful to be a missionary.  I will work hard until the last minute out here.  I have ten weeks left to change peoples' lives!  I love this Gospel and the many blessing we receive when we embrace it.  I am grateful for the Priesthood and the love that we can feel from it.  I love you all and I hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Bollard

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hey everyone! So yes, its true our mission got iPads. They are legit. Too bad I forgot how to use technology.... 

This week has been crazy. We started off with a Zone Training in Lausanne, Switzerland where we were instructed on how to set up the iPads. The zone is almost entirely European - Irish, French, Italian, German, British, Spanish, etc.  After we got our iPads and set them up, we left and went to a city called Versonnex where we taught the African woman who we contacted last week. Her name is Beatrice and she is golden. We taught her with Stephen Tagg and in the first RDV things got emotional and I pulled out my iPad to share Alma 7 with her. It was so cool. She has had a rough time here since she has moved and is looking for a place to worship. The RDV went really well.

Later on, I did an exchange with Elder Perry in St Genis and that went really well. We taught a super cool African man named Chico and I played the drums with him. He is really cool and asked us what he needed to do to be baptized. We explained alot of things to him and answered all of his questions.

It was a great week. We also found a really cool man who lives in Divonne. He invited us over for next Saturday. His name is Arnaud and we talked to him for about 30 minutes in the street about the gospel.

Sorry I dont have a ton of time this week. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!!
Napoleon's drinking fountain
à la prochain!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Une Semaine Inoubliable
Hey everyone!!! I hope you all had a great week :) These past seven day have been GLORIOUS!
So Tuesday was my exchange with Elder Beck who is one of the greatest men I know. He absolutely shreds on guitar and piano. We had a blast teaching some fun people who really love America, haha.   After the exchange, we had dinner with Clement Jaquier, his wife and a less active named Jean Vincent. It was a great dinner and we shared a solid spiritual thought. Wednesday, we saw a less active sister named Aurore. She is awesome and we taught her the ten commandments from the Book of Mormon.  It is cool to realize how important the original ten commandments (if none others) really are in our lives. Then we spent a killer day in a ville called Versonnex.  We biked there and I got electracuted by a cow fence when we stopped to take a picture.  It was gnarly, you could see sparks coming off of the wire.  My hand was numb for the rest of the night...   Anyway, we scheduled three RDVs while we tracted over there.  It was absolutely great. The next day was my exchange with the ZLs in spectacular LAUSANNE SWITZERLAND (look it up on line - it is beautiful). We had a blast and taught a lesson in the library.  I probably heard more English/Italian/German in that City than French.  I met some people from California and they were shocked that I could speak French and I was like,  "yeah well I have been living here for about 2 years." The exchange went really well and Switzerland is beautiful.

So BIG NEWS. Yann from Bordeaux was baptized and confirmed this past weekend!  WOHOO I am so happy right now. He is the man and it is such a great experience to see the answer to soo many prayers.
Charlie with Yann
ALSO Kevin from TOULOUSE was baptized as well!!  I taught him during the entire six months I was there. I am so happy for him as well.  I talked to Elder Mcbeth and Elder Miner about his baptism this morning. Missions are the best.
Charlie and Elders McBeth and Miner with Kevin
Also, I had an incredible experience yesterday.  The Geneva Stake held its Stake Conference. There were a TON of people there. President Roney was there as well as Elder Homer of the Seventy. It was a wonderful meeting. And during the Conference as I was sitting with members in the way back. Suddenly, I was called up to speak in front of the whole Stake. I bore my testimony about having an eternal perspective, I shared from Alma 37 where Alma speak to his son Helaman and I told them about my feelings when my Mom passed away during my mission.  President Roney told me afterwards that the whole building went quite and the Spirit was so strong as I bore testimony of how Christ guided me through that challenge.  After the meeting, many people came up and hugged me.  Also, an African woman came up to me and got emotional and told me that the same thing is happening to her right now and how grateful she was that I gave her an example of staying stong in my faith. I also had another frere come up to me and say that the analogy that I used from Alma 37 (I compared the "small and simple things" to the strokes of an artist painting a portrait) was the same analogy he used to motivate his daughter to come to church. And he said that his daughter asked him during my testimony how he had told me to say that, hahaha. He was very grateful. Also, Sister Roney gave me cookies!!  They leave in a month and the Clarks leave in a couple of weeks..... I will miss them.
Also today we hiked the Jura moutains that look over Geneva and the Alps.  It. Was. Glorious.  Check out the pics please.

You all rock, love you. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Une autre excellente semaine en France

Hey everybody! What an honor it is to be writing all of you :)
What a great week we have had here in Gex! The members here are great people. We have had some cool experiences this past week. We taught a really cool colombian/portuguese family at Rosa's house. Rosa is the Colombian that we visited a couple of weeks ago. The lesson went really well and they were so happy and grateful to talk about God with us. They live just on the other side of the French/Swiss border in Geneva and are such awesome people. We taught them about prayer from Alma 37 and then watched "Because He Lives."  Afterwards we ate some authentic Colombian empanadas. Shoutout to Latin American food!

We also had a really cool Ward activity on Thursday. We played the French game Pétanque. It is a super fun game that is kind of similar to bochie ball.  There were a lot of members and a few amis there. I brought an American football and taught people how to throw it. It was alot of fun and we made some new friends as well.

Things are going well here. I am going to do a cool thing with my district this week. It is called a monster week. We are going to find, find, find!!!  We have set daily challenges and also each equipe will be sending out some cool motivational testimonies to boost the district.

Today was great. We had a bbq in the forest with the other elders. Not sure if it was sanitary but ça va. We searched for wood and cooked up some hamburgers by a stream near the mountains. I am starting an exchange tonight with Elder Beck. We are going to have a blast in his sector. He is a great guy from upstate New York.

Well, that's about it for this week. It has been so great to be able to grow closer to the members here. I love this work and being so close with the Spirit. I truly believe that our Heavenly Father blesses us with His spirit to give us a taste of what Eternal Life is like. I am so grateful for the cleansing effect of the Spirit and for its guidance.

You all rock. I love you have a great week!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Le jour de mère heureux
Hey everyone!!! Happy Mother's day to all the awesome mothers out there :)

What an awesome week!  We spent time with so many awesome members. Also, I turned 20!  So, we started off by going to the Bishop's house on Monday night where we talked about the Ward Mission Plan.  It was très rad. Then on Tuesday, we went to a city called Vesancy. A member drove us there and we ported (tracted) the entire village. We were there for like 6 or 7 hours doing work. After that we taught our ami Christophe and then taught an English class.

Wednesday was the grind!  We had 3 tombés-vous (cancelled appointments). So we worked hard and talked to a lot of people. On Thursday, and Friday we went to Geneva to go to the hospital for my comp. He had some health issues in the past and we just did some check ups with some pretty fancy doctors in Geneva.  After Geneva on Thursday, we went to a primary activity where we taught the kids how to search scriptures and how to tie a necktie. Then we went to an Argentinian family's house for a family meal for the birthday of the grandma. It was so sweet! We showed the Because He Lives video to all of the nonmembers there.
Then Friday was my Birthday! wohoo! We had 2 Mangez-vous (meals) and it was awesome! We went to the Thia family's house and the Lipperts. The Thias are from the Reunion Island and the Lipperts are from Germany and Canada. I got root beer and Mac & Cheese wrapped up as presents.  And you don't find that stuff easily here.  On Saturday we had samedi sportif (sports saturday) and played frisbee then had an awesome rdz with the Jardons. They are a great family and the dad is a legend in the church. He is the man. Then, yesterday was the best!

It was so great to Skype with my family. To all of those who were there, you looked great. I am sorry if I said weird things because there was a point when I was translating from French to English in my head, haha! Congrats to Teddy for turning 8 and being baptized! wohoo!  It was so great to see everyone from Australia to Utah :)  I love you guys so much and I know that Mom was there during our conversation. I could feel her presence :)  It was a great Skype and it gave me some great motivation to finish even stonger!!! Thanks again for everything. I love you!!!

Elder Bollard

Monday, May 4, 2015

Une Ville des Miracles
So, I'm back in that good 'ole missionary life without all of the Zone Leader distractions. This is different than my past 5 transfers. But it has been an awesome week! On Monday, we took the bikes through the countryside to a city called Echenevex to visit some members. We went tracting up in the hills where there were some really nice looking houses and we had some really good conversations. We met a really cool family called la famille Arpino and the mom said that we could come back another time. On Tuesday, we went hard in the paint and tracted up pretty much half the city, haha. One of the convos we had was with an 85 yr old dame named Françoise. She told us about WWII. She was living in Normandy at the time. During the Allied bombardment she hid in a trench that her father built. She was young but she remembers seeing Canadian troops coming through the streets after taking the beach. We also fixed a RDV with a Spanish woman named Pepi.  Then we had ward council and I showed them the Ward Mission Plan that Elias Serrano Millone showed me from Toulouse. They liked it and we are going to make a solid plan together. On Wednesday, we taught three lessons.  We tracted into a house where a woman named Madeline from New Jersey lives!  She has the best Jersey accent.  We talked about the family with her and then took a bus to a pretty city called Divonne les Bains.  We had some really cool experiences in that city this week. On Saturday, we played frisbee and taught a less active who hadn't been to church in 6 years. Afterwards, we went to Rosa Santana's house from Colombia. She was there with a Peruvian member as well. It was awesome!  Their testimonies are so strong. Then at night we had crêpes with the Saint Genis elders; Elders Perry and Beck. Side note, Elder Beck is going to be a famous indie artist one day.
Yesterday, we attended church and set some sweet RDVs with members.  Then we went over to visit the Arpino's (from monday). They let us into their beautiful house in the hills. They talked about their trip to the United States and we talked about the My Family booklets with them and they loved it. Then we showed them "Because He Lives." After that, we went to the Houdin's house. They are a young couple and they're super cool. Today we were at the Saint Genis Elders' house and they were showing us their guitar skills. It was a great week!  We saw plenty of miracles. I am really loving being able to apply all that I learned as a ZL to my sector. The district is great.
I love you all and have another great week!!!
Elder Bollard

Monday, April 27, 2015

Et voilà quoi, je suis arrivé à Gex

With the Bishop of the Bourdeaux Ward
Hey tout le monde! It is a beautiful day here in Switzerland. Yeah, that’s right, I was transferred! I am now serving right outside of Geneva, Switzerland in a little ville called Gex.
                                                                        The LDS Chapel in Gex
It was a long trip from Bordeaux haha :) So, basically this last week was absolutely nuts. I dont even know where to start. So, at the start of the week we taught our ami Yann a few times. The RDVs were amazing! He understands well and is making alot of progress. They are extremely spiritual rdvs as well. He is just simply awesome. It really is so cool to see the beginning phases of someone's conversion.
We missionaries are lucky because we get to witness conversion often. Earlier in the week, we reviewed Alma 32 and 2 Nephi 31 with Yann. These are chapters that we love and know very well but seeing his reaction to these scriptures really touched me. It made me think about when I first starting reading the scriptures and felt like the Lord was really speaking to me. I feel like sometimes we tend to lose the savory taste of the Gospel and forget the awesome feeling and experiences that we had in the very beginning.  Just like Laman and Lemuel (two people from the Book of Mormon)did, we sometimes forget how great the Gospel really is. When I saw the joy and conviction in Yann's eyes it made me feel so grateful to have had those experiences.  I am making the effort to have that same excitement when I read the scriptures every day. It was difficult to say goodbye to him and to our other amis and members. It’s crazy how attached we get to people on our missions. I feel like I am going to get attached to the people of Gex as well because the ward is just awesome!
Anyways, after I packed my bags we took a bus to Lyon where we saw Elders Kearon and Nielson of the Seventy speak to the whole mission. IT. WAS. MARVELOUS. (as elder Keaon would say in his dope South African accent). They presented iPads to us.  And WOW - things are going to get intense. Missionary work is going to change like crazy. We will be getting Facebooks and now we will be proselyting online. I saw so many that I love while I was in Lyon; former comps and great friends. It hit me that I am getting pretty old in the mission. Apparently, I only have 2 and a half transfers left..... that is crazy.
Anyway, I will write more about my area and district next week. My district is the district of Lausanne Switzerland, so I will be going there often for meetings. I hear that it's a beautiful city.
Hanging with locals in Agen, France

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