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!
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