Sunday, July 8, 2018

Week 91

4th of July BBQ!

¡Vive América! 🎉

United States on Google Android 8.1

Happy 4th mis amigos!

It’s been a hot and rainy week. 104 degrees on Friday and with the humidity blasting it gets pretty rough. haha! And we helped this member move a ton of couches that day! Elder Cross and I have had another good week here in St Paul. To be honest, it has been a lot slower because last week was transfers and we gave half of our area to the new Hermanas covering Frogtown. So now we just cover the eastside. Unfortunately, most of our work was in Frogtown, so we are starting basically from ground zero again! We’ve also been trying to have more teaching lessons with the members, and we’ve started teaching a couple new inactive families and part-member families!

So a couple weeks ago Elder Cross got a nametag approved that says ‘Elder Cruz’ (Cross in Spanish) so that the Hispanics have an easier time saying his name. As you could probably guess, people have an even harder time trying to say “bo-leen-dare” so to go along with his name, I’ve adopted my own fake Latino name: Elder Boliche. Which means Elder Bowling. Our investigator who suggested it thought it was hilarious 😂. So there ya go, I have a new name!

Some other highlights from this week: We had a super good MLC (Mission Leadership Council) with all the mission leaders in Bloomington. Exchanges with the assistants on Saturday, so I got to spend another day in Bloomington. Super fun! Although it’s been slower, it’s been super great to have super inspiring meetings and exchanges that always pump you up.

Lately I’ve been reading about Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon, and my goodness he is such a beast! Here’s a scripture I thought was fitting for today:

“And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it--In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children--and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.”

“And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come. And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.”

Moroni fought all his life for his God, family, and country. Just contemplating how much Moroni valued freedom makes me so grateful for the liberty and religious freedom that we have today in this country. I hope we all carry this gratitude throughout the year and not just on this day of remembrance.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week. Enjoy the fuegos artificiales!

God Bless America!
-Elder Boliche

Grillin' With The Boys!
Family Time
More Family Time!

Week 89**


Party Crashers!

[**Note from the Minions: We missed posting this update for 6/18/18, but we didn't want you to miss some good stuff, including the making of a potential new nickname for Elder Cambo... "Mango!"]

Hola todos!

Things have been muy bien here in St. Paul. Our Spanish ward received a new bishop on Sunday, originally from Puerto Rico! We are super pumped about that. Speaking of Puerto Rico, Evelyn and Angelo are still doing great! Angelo has been reading the scriptures and progressing pretty well. Evelyn couldn’t make it to church because of some health issues, so keep her in your prayers!

We also went on exchange with the assistants. It’s was suuuper hot! It was 97 with humidity blasting, and we were outside all afternoon on the find grind. Still not used to humidity yet lol. But it was really good because we found a couple new people to teach!

Ok so a funny story from this week. We were out talking to people sharing la palabra in this trailer park. We came upon these two families and a couple other of their friends and kids, just a big group just chilling on their porch. They were having a good time, pulling out some Coronas and had a huge plate of mangos sitting on the porch rail.

We started teaching them the message that we bring to the world - the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was super cool! Not all of them were too intrigued, but two of the guys accepted copies of the Book of Mormon to read!

So, at the end we offered a prayer with them, and afterwards we got talking a little bit more and we were about to say goodbye. I step back to lean against the rail because we had been standing there for a while… Well, I totally forgot all the mangos were there so I knocked it off and it all spilt on the grass below! Haha I felt so bad!! I thought, oh great, now they aren’t going to let us back for sure! Fortunately, they just laughed and didn’t get too upset, and they also gave us their contact info to talk in the future. I’ll definitely remember that lesson for a long time - the time we crashed someone’s fiesta! 😂

Honestly, I am so grateful for my mission and the opportunity I have to meet so many people from all over. The Latino people have a special place in my heart now. I know this is where the Lord wants me to be, and I thank all of you for your love and support!

Con amor,
-Elder Bolinder

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Week 90

Ganó Méxicooooo! 🇲🇽

Happy Monday 😁
It’s been another good busy week!

Our week was filled with meetings, giving trainings, interviews with president, and we even took a guy joint-teaching with us from the Missionary Department in Salt Lake! His name is Brother Littlefield, and he basically tours all the missions in the US to see how they’re doing and how they can improve. So pretty much the boss of our boss haha! Pretty nerve racking. But it was super good, we had some great lessons and he even took us out to Red lobster afterwards!

Well, from interviews on Thursday we already know who is staying and who’s getting transferred - President Barney keeps nothing a secret lol. So good news, I’m staying another six weeks here in St Paul! Woohoo! It’s been another really awesome area, one of my favorites for sure.

Also some good news we’ve heard form practically everyone we’ve talked to recently....... Mexico beat Germany in the World Cup!!! Hahaha, seems like that’s all that everyone brings up now. Good conversation starter for contacting though!

Our investigators are doing great as well! Evelyn and Angelo have accepted a date to be baptized - The 29th of July! Angelo told us that he prayed to know if what we have taught them is true, and if he should be baptized again by proper authority and he said he felt a warm, tingling feeling from head to toe, and had a feeling of peace in his heart. Prayers really are answered!! They still struggle to come to church though because they were sick again on Sunday. But we are super excited for them! The sad news, however, is that we are getting a new set of hermanas here in Frogtown so we are splitting our area and passing them both off for the sisters to teach them. But, the work goes on! I’ll keep you updated on them.

Saturday we visited a ton of families from the ward. We were chatting with this 17 year old young man, and asked him if he is wanting to go on a mission. He said he wasn’t sure, so we all bore testimony of the blessings of serving a mission. There was a sweet spirit in the room. He committed to pray about it! But, afterwards I was just contemplating of how grateful I am for my choice to serve a mission. It has truly been such a blessing to me. But not just for me and the person I’ve become, but more importantly for the lives of those I’ve met here! It’s not been an easy journey, but as they say in Spanish it’s been “vale la pena” which means worth it. Literally translated, it means “it is worth the pain”. The pain and challenges of leaving your family for 2 years is worth it. The pain of repentance is worth it. The pain and sorrow of our life here on earth is worth it, because with out it we wouldn’t know what true joy is like. I know we can find so much happiness and joy through Christ, and it is worth every ounce of effort to grow close to Him!

I love all you guys!! Hasta ver

-Elder Bolinder

Elder Cross, Evelyn, Angelo, Elder Bolinder
Ice Cream Sandwiches!
Carne Asada

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Week 88

Otra semana loca en Frogtown🐸

Hola todos😁 Had a super eventful week!

We got to teach Evelyn, the lady from Puerto Rico who showed up at church last week. We met her husband and daughter, and they live in a small basement room of this Hispanic house. They are so humble! Which is super great because they are receptive to the gospel of Christ. We found out Evelyn can’t read, so we are going over there to help read the Book of Mormon with them. When we went back the husband had underlined parts of the introduction and asked us questions about it. Super excited for them!

Went on exchanges with the Hmong elders. They were zoo heve (very good)! We set a goal to give away 6 copies of the Book of Mormon, and we hit the streets hard and passed out 7! It was sweet! Learning some more Hmong phrases, so next transfer I’m going to ask President to go into Hmong work haha😂

On Saturday we had an opportunity to go with Manuel, a recent convert in our ward, to the temple for his first time! It’s always so refreshing to feel the sweet peace that’s in the Lords house. 

Sunday was an eventful day to say the least!

First thing, we are so happy because Ashley Flores got baptized!! We originally thought we would have to push back the date, but we asked them if they were willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make it happen, and they did! Such an awesome family, and we are so happy to have helped them come back to activity and welcome them into the Spanish Ward. To see the change in them has been such a wonderful experience. Ashley was smiling during the whole thing and just gleaming with joy!

In the temple and during the baptism I had a lot of time to ponder on the covenants that I have made with God to follow Christ. I am so grateful for the promises I made at baptism and especially the opportunity to have the same feeling of being pure and clean every single week while taking the sacrament! I absolutely love the sacrament now, it has so much more meaning to me since being on a mission!

One more story from this week.

The spirit of the day took a weird turn later that evening. We just got done with a lesson in this apartment complex and we were walking back to our car and these kids run up to us and yell, hey! Are you here for Yoshi?! (This 13 year old kid who’s family is in our ward). They told us he needed help and he’s not moving on the couch. Long story short, it seemed as though he had some evil spirit inside of him that was possessing him, it was super freaky! My first time encountering something like that and it was crazy. But the weirdest part was before we could do anything he headed for the door and started running through this field and eventually across a busy street! We chased after him and made sure nothing happened to him. Eventually he made his way back to the apartment and his parents were there and they were able to get him to stay in his room. We then gave a blessing on the house to bring peace and cast out any evil spirits through the power of the priesthood, and after that there was a spirit of calmness in the house. Yoshi was pretty shaken up but he was alright. Man, I am so glad that we have the power of God restored to the earth today! Crazy experience😂

Well I don’t want to end on an unsettling note haha. So, I want to end by bearing my testimony. I know this work is truly the Lords work. I am filled with joy everyday as I serve the people here. I know Christ lives and loves us, and truly is our Rock and Redeemer. I hope all of you will find someone to serve this week as the Savior did. 

Love you all! Cuídense
-Elder Bolinder

Ashley Flores Baptism
The Flores Family

Dinner With Brother and Sister Vega

Frogtown (part of our area)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Week 87

Shirts and Ties!

Sick week turns into.. a sick week!


I hope everyone is doing well!

This week we had a mission conference with 4 zones combined, because we got a visit from a general authority from the church Elder Timothy J Dyches! He was a mission president for the Portland Oregon mission and gave some super great trainings on how to be a 'Preach My Gospel' missionary. My favorite quote from him: "Excuses never produce results, and never correct mistakes." Powerful.

Must have been something in the lunch we ate that day, because after that day I got really sick for the first time in a long while. I was out for the count for a good 3 days, so that threw a little wrench in our week😂 luckily our two roommates the Hmong elders were able to do a little exchanging so they could still teach the Flores Fam and a couple others. But the sad part is, because I was sick I missed MLC with more trainings from the General authority! Haha. I was pretty bummed for sure.

Despite the hassle of being quarantined for a bit, the week ended with a bang! We had a sweet miracle on Sunday -- we had four investigators to church! And a member that we gave service to earlier in the week met this lady at the bank who knew missionaries in Puerto Rico. She invited her to come and she stayed all three hours and for potluck afterwards! We set up a time to start teaching her!! The Flores family also came which was super awesome because now we are moving Ashley's date back up to the 10th. We had her interview and she passed! Whooo!! She's super pumped and I am too. I have never been happier doing the work of the Lord!

I love you guys! I'm so grateful for all of your support.
Hasta la próxima!

-Elder Bolinder

St. Paul Spanish Ward - Post Church Potluck

Friday, June 1, 2018

Weeks 85-86

Building the Primary...

Time Keeps Flying By!

Hola Familia!

Since I missed my update last week, I'm gonna combine these past two weeks into one. So, buckle up!

Things have been going swell here in San Pablo, new transfer means new miracles! It was sad to say goodbye to Elder Calderwood. But, my new companion, Elder Cross, is great! He has already served in this area for a transfer a while back, so we've been trying to rekindle some progress with former investigators. We started teaching this couple named Silvia and Alejandro who had been investigating for about 4 years, and they are super hilarious! We left them with our testimonies of Christ and left them a picture of Him. Hoping to help them start keeping commitments again. Also stopped by this other former investigator in the area and turns out they moved. But the new Hispanic family living there let us in! There was a young mom, and her two parents from El Salvador. Honestly, I think it is the smoothest, best sounding Spanish out there! (So much better than our Americano accents lol). Unfortunately, they are moving back down to their country in a month, so they won't stay long.

Okay quick funny story of the week. I swear, people are going crazy at the library! Hahaha. So we were just chilling in the library typing up our stake report one morning and this lady, probably about 40 years old, next to us listening to music just starts busting out dancing in her chair, and yelling at the top of her lungs in a dead silent library! We were like what in the world!!😂 Then, the next day we sat next to this other lady who just out of the blue grabbed my companion’s pen and starts writing a note to us like we are back in 2nd grade lol. Then she just walked away! On the note it said, “I need the church, me and my friend need help, get Bishop Foster, he will know what to do.” We were like, who is Bishop Foster? She ended up coming back into the library 20 minutes later and we asked her what the heck was going on. It turns out she is an inactive member of the church in St. Paul and we got her friend’s address to send some missionaries over to try to help. It was just really freaky to have her tell us that just so suddenly and on a creepy note😂 fun times!

We got in contact again with a Hispanic lady who we found on exchanges last transfer named Reina and she let us in to teach her family! They have the cutest little four-year-old daughter ever! When we were sitting there, she would hide her face with her hands and play peekaboo and say, "aquí! aquí!" We had a great lesson with Reina on the plan of salvation, and when we left the little girl said to us, "please come back later!" Que linda! We came back the next week and gave them a Book of Mormon. We are hoping to see them progress. 

The Flores family is still doing really well! They've been reading and praying as a family, and we have gone over about 3 times in the past few weeks. We watched the restoration movie with Ashley and, honestly, I can't watch it anymore without my eyes tearing up! The Spirit is always so sweet, testifying of the truthfulness of the restoration of Christ's church. We also chalked-out the Plan of Salvation (and unfortunately forgot to take a picture, and it was washed away from a couple crazy thunderstorms!) and also taught about tithing. They've still struggled to come to church, and they missed this week because they were in Wisconsin or something, so we will have to push back Ashley's baptism a week or two. But we are still super pumped!

Speaking of those thunderstorms, we got out of a dinner and had to book it to our car and got drenched! There were trees knocked over everywhere and streets flooded. Then literally the next day was 95 and sunny. I still don't understand Minnesota weather lol.

Some other highlights from is past week - we went on Karen exchanges this week. Luckily, I stayed here so I didn't have to go eat chicken feet and spicy Thai food like my companion😂. I had a great day with an Elder Foutz from Utah, though. Spiritual giant! We also went to Minneapolis for a double baptism of investigators who Elder Cross taught. Oh, and I learned something new! Apparently the Minneapolis Spanish Ward is the biggest in the entire country!! But only because they really need to split it haha. Some other good news, our beastly recent-convert Manuel received the priesthood last week and blessed the sacrament for the first time this week! We are planning a temple trip with them in a couple weeks. We also got in contact with an inactive Hispanic lady who was converted to the gospel about 15 years ago but has had marriage and family problems. She shared about her conversion to the church, and it was powerful. Well long story short, we are teaching her and helping her to come back to church and also teaching her 11-year-old son, Manuel, who had a baptismal date last year but something got in the way, so we are teaching him again! Before you know it, we will just baptize a whole new primary for our ward😂 Also had a ward potluck last week, and guess who randomly showed up.. our investigator Johnathon!! It was awesome, we had some carne asada and played kickball. It was a blast!

I have been studying a lot about priesthood power recently, and it is such a blessing that we have this power from God given to us to bless the lives of others! Here's a powerful quote from Harold B Lee:

       "Never is the power of the priesthood, which you hold, more wonderful than when there is a crisis in your home, a serious illness, or some great decision that has to be made." 

In our moments of struggle, we are so blessed to have priesthood authority restored to the earth again to call down the blessings of heaven! I know this power is real. 

Have a wonderful week! I love you all and thank you for all your support😊

-Elder Bolinder

P-Day Games
Elder Bolinder and Elder Calderwood
Elder Bolinder and Elder Cross
The Trevino Family - "Elder" Trevino was the first Spanish elder ever in Minnesota!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Week 84

Ashley's Baptism Calendar

Last Call!!!

Happy Mother's Day!!😁 it's been a wonderful week and I got to skype my lovely family which was SO great! As usual. It still hasn't hit me that I am done with my last call home. Time really flies.

We had some sweet miracles this week, one of them was we met with the Flores family again who are a part-member family we are helping to return back to activity in the Spanish ward. We set a date for baptism for their 10-year-old daughter Ashley, and she was super excited the last time we invited her, so we decided to go all out and make a huge baptismal calendar to help her prepare! It's was pretty dang epic. They also came to church on Sunday so we are really pumped for them.

We had a combined ward Mother's Day "asado" (grill-out) with some rico Hispanic meats. This week we did a huge zone service project for Red Cross. Also went through the temple on Saturday with a member in Lakeville whom Elder Calderwood taught, going through for the first time. Oh! And I almost forgot, but we found out that elder Calderwood is being transferred for his last 6 weeks here. And I will be staying here in St Paul with a new companion Elder Cross! 

I read a scripture this week that was really powerful. "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; ...Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men."

Jesus Christ truly took upon himself all of our sins, pains, and sorrows. There is so much depth to the atonement knowing that he is literally prepared to walk alongside us in our mortal journey, because he has already walked the footsteps we will take.

Have a fantastic week! Thanks for all of your prayers. Love you guys!

-Elder Bolinder

Volunteering For Red Cross
St. Paul Temple