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
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