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

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