Thursday, December 21, 2017

Week 63

It's the most wonderful time of the yeeaarrr!!!

Hola Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful week this week, because it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! Am I super pumped for Christmas this week?! You Betcha'!!!

This week was on the slower side due to meetings and interviews, but nonetheless we are enjoying every minute our here! Wednesday, we took a trip to my last area in Mankato, and had district meeting and interviews with President. He's always so inspiring! 

We had a lesson with a Hispanic family we were working with a while back, and we are teaching her two sons David and Marlin. We were teaching them about the blessings of daily scripture study and personal prayer, and how we can turn to our loving Heavenly Father in prayer at any time. One of the boys said to us, "So you mean, we can pray at any time not just at dinner? Well then let's pray right now!" Hahaha, it was so awesome! 

So, some good news and bad news - bad news is, our investigator we set a baptismal date with, Kay, is out of town for a month so we haven't been able to meet with her again :( Good news - our returning inactive-active member MaryJane just accepted a calling! We’re really excited for her!! Oh, and also, our recent convert Bob blessed the sacrament for the first time on Sunday and absolutely nailed it! So proud of him.

It's been amazing to see and feel the Love of the Christmas season - Just doing the small simple acts of kindness that arise throughout the day. I came across this quote as I was reading through this year's Christmas Devotional that really captures the spirit of Christmas we feel as missionaries. Modern-day apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf says,

"To me, one word best describes the feelings we experience at Christmastime. That word is love.

After all, the gift that we celebrate at Christmas is a gift of love—God’s gift of His Son.

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love.

Touched by that love, our hearts soften. We feel a tenderness that causes us to reach out to others in kindness and compassion.

Christmas inspires us to love better."

I love you guys so much! Have a wonderful Christmas, and remember the reason for the season - Our Savior Jesus Christ.

Feliz Navidad!

-Elder Bolinder

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Week 62

Elder Montierth and Elder Bolinder

Milagros en el frΓ­o!

¿QuΓ© tal mis amigos? Hope you're all enjoying the wonderful winter season. We are having the time of our lives out here in the white winter wonderland of Minnesota! Let's jump into this week.

We started out the week with another bomb Family Home Evening we had with a couple of families in the ward on Tuesday. And some of the kids even invited a friend! Vamooosss!

Wednesday we had our Christmas Zone Conference combined with 2 other zones. We received some inspiring training from President Barney, had a fatty ham-n-potato lunch, and to top it all off we all got to watch the movie Polar Express!! We talked a lot about the condescension of God. President Barney gave an amazing training about the birth of Christ and how he was born in such humble circumstances - came into the world as a baby just like everyone else, born in a stable, sleeping in a manger with swaddling clothes. It really makes me appreciate the humility of our Savior. He never thought of himself, but was always turning outward to lift others and always sought of His father. And I'm so pumped for Christmas when we get to celebrate his humble birth!!

Thursday we had our weekly coordination meeting at our ward mission leaders home and, in keeping with Faribault tradition, he welcomed my new companion Elder Montierth to the area with his famous PB+J Omlets!! Sounds bizarre but they are the best lol. One of his former students, James, came over to hang out with his son or something, and he ended up sitting down and talking with us at the table. He had some great questions about us as missionaries and the gospel, and basically our coordination meeting turned into a member-present lesson! Haha it was sweet.

We met with the Post family again on Friday. Had a great lesson with them and afterwards decorated stockings with them, haha it was a blast. MaryJane is still progressing well towards her goal to go to the temple, and also Chase towards baptism! 

We'll finish this week off with a milagro (Spanish for “miracle”). After church on Sunday we set out to go tracting in a nearby trailer park to share a Christmas message and find new people to teach. We punched in an address in the GPS, but unfortunately missed a turn and found ourselves entering the freeway! The closest exit to turn around wasn't for another 7 miles, ..great! Well we decided we would change our route and stop by some Hispanic investigators in a small town where we were headed. We didn't have much luck there, so we headed back up to where we originally wanted to go. Literally the first door we knocked, this older lady named Kay answered and opened up to us. She said she lost her husband just 2 weeks ago. She was in tears as we testified of the reality of life after death and the Plan of Salvation that God has laid out for us through his son Jesus Christ. It was so powerful. We invited her to be baptized if she knew our message was true and she said yes! We gave her a date to work towards - Feb. 3rd. We are so excited! The best part was she told us she just got home 10 minutes earlier, so it was definitely inspired timing on God's part that we met her!

I love the gospel and the chance I have to share it. I love and appreciate all of you, and all your wonderful examples. Keep on lighting the world! 😊

-Elder Bolinder

(For P-day we went to the nature center and made some new animals friends, then took a hike to the sick frozen waterfall we found)

Elder Montierth and Elder Bolinder
"The Frozen Tundra"
"I dare you to climb up..."
Merry Christmas!
Found my twin!
Minnesota Minneapolis Mission Ornament

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Week 61

Elder Nielson and Elder Bolinder

Ilumina El Mundo!!!

The Christmas season is in full swing here in Faribault. We have our tree all decorated, stockings hung up, and we are enjoying ourselves Lighting the World!! I mentioned last week that Elder Nielson was being transferred to the cities. It was SO hard to say goodbye! We were super tight. Like two peas in a pod lol. My new companion is Elder Montierth from Mesa, AZ! He's been out just 4 months so he's still pretty fresh haha but we get along great!

The #LightTheWorld initiative has been, well.... LIT! Hahaha sorry I had to, but no it's really been great! We've talked to a lot more people finding and have been sharing the video with everyone, and also working with the members of the ward to help them find missionary opportunities. And this ward has been one of the most motivated wards I've served in, it's awesome! Our Family Night on Monday was spectacular. The peaceful spirit was so strong as everyone went around the room and shared their testimony of Christ! We've also set up weekly family-home evening activities for the whole month of December, so we're hoping to see lots of fruits from working with the wonderful families of the ward😊

Some other highlights of this week were on Tuesday we got to help Bro Hunter (The crazy guy who bit our nametagsπŸ˜‚) do some construction for a new room he's building in his garage. He rewarded us with a ride to transfers lol. And Saturday we had an amazing ward Christmas party! Good food. A cute nativity scene from the primary kids. And we got a couple investigators there too! Also, this week was my first time teaching a Hindu. We taught him about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and explained how God has not left his people alone, he has called a living prophet in our day! Thomas S. Monson! He was like, "No way! I have to go to your church to hear this guy!" We helped him download the gospel library app, and he committed to come to church next week. Sweet! haha. I'm grateful we have a loving Heavenly Father who gives us guidance through modern prophets. I'm not sure what I would do without that guidance, honestly!

It was another great week, and I'm so happy I get to be in the service of others full-time. Keep finding ways to share your light with those around you! I know Christ is our Savior, and if we follow his perfect example we will find true joy!

Also, today marks my 14th month mark! Loco. Time flies! I love you guys and I thank you all so much for the wonderful support you give me (:

Have a good one!
Elder Bolinder

Elder Montierth and Elder Bolinder
Christmas Stocking (...and Go Pack Go!)
"Building the Kingdom"
Faribault Family Night

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Week 60

Thanksgiving with Chase, MaryJane & Family

Adios November, Adios Elder Nielson 😭

Hola everyone! Disculpe for no email last week, we had our p-day changed to Thanksgiving! And we were too busy being stuffed with turkey to think about emailing πŸ˜…. Hope you all enjoyed your turkey day. Now that it's over, we can all enjoy our lovely Christmas music without feeling guilty about it! Lol

Elder Nielson and I have been loving our time here in the Faribault ward, and we had our hopes up to stay together one more transfer because President was hinting at it during interviews. Buuttt, unfortunately we woke up this morning with some disappointment to see that Elder Nielson is leaving for Minneapolis. We've become such good friends and Imma miss him tons😭 That means I'll stay in Faribault a little longer, which I'm happy about! I'll update you guys on the new comp next week.

The past few weeks have been genial!! We've had some amazing lessons this week and met a few new people. I'll just get into some highlights. We had a good time last week celebrating mi cumpleaΓ±os! It's pretty strange to say I'm two decades old now, wow lol. Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes 😊. We got to help this older less active guy in the ward and his nonmember wife who we've been teaching move a bunch of heavy boxes into their giant storage unit. Then we went to MaryJane + Chase's house for a bomb stake-n-potato dinner! Chase has still been progressing well. And MaryJane tambien! A while back, we made them a little bet that if they read the Book of Mormon as a family every night for a week then I would eat 30 sour warhead candies. And they did it! We were so happy! Haha. So, I kept my end of the deal and I regret it. My tongue was fried afterwards, let me tell yaπŸ˜‚ But, hey, it was vale la pena because the best part of my birthday was when we followed up with how their scripture reading has been since then and they said they're still reading every day! And then, MaryJane says to us, "Honestly it's helped me so much! And guess what guys.. I've gone two weeks without smoking!" You couldn't wipe the smile off our faces haha. That was a huge testimony builder for me to see the power of the Book of Mormon start to take root in their lives just as it has mine. She's made so much progress in being active in church again and helping Chase receive the gospel!

Thanksgiving was fantastic! We took a morning hike through these trails at a nature reserve here in Faribault. Quite refreshing! There was this little creek with a waterfall we found, and it was all frozen it looked pretty cool ha. We had two huge meals, one at 3 and another at 6 so we had to pace ourselves on the first one lol. We were stuffed to the brim!! It was an awesome day, we got to see 4 different families from the ward and we're so grateful for their support. Since then, we've been visiting lots of families from church because they have been starting to role out the new #LightTheWorld initiative!! If you missed it from last year, it's an amazing way to serve others as Christ did this Christmas season! And all it takes is one simple act of kindness every day - from Dec. 1 - 25th 😊. I invite you all to check it out on! I have a testimony of Christ-like service and I know that God uses us as instruments in his hands to be answers to others’ prayers.

Another highlight of the week was Stake Conference. For as long as I’ve been in the Lakeville stake, I will never get tired of hearing the stake presidency speak - they are amazing! They talked a lot about the sacred covenants made at baptism and in the temple. It made me really reflect on how truly grateful I am for the covenants I've made with God. He truly does bless us when we strive to follow him and keep his commandments! Apostle David A. Bednar talked about it in his conference address, he says "The importance of the exceeding great and precious promises [of God] are true reminders of where we are going in our mortal journey and why." So many times in life we get so caught up we forget the reason our loving Heavenly Father sent us here, and having the privilege of renewing and being reminded of our covenant to follow him as we take the sacrament weekly helps us remember the plan of happiness he has laid out!

We also have a “Family Home Evening” lesson at a member's house tonight, and they invited another family who they're really close with who aren't members of the church. So that's really exciting! Should be a great lesson.

Thank you all for your love and support. I'm grateful for your kindness and examples to me. I'm so happy to be a missionary and I have a testimony of this gospel and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know he lives! Have a wonderful week(: cuΓ­dense mucho

-Elder Bolinder

Shake it like a Polaroid Picture!
Family Home Evening
The Real FHE Pose!
Land of 10,000 Lakes
Nature Hike

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Week 59

Thanksgiving Holiday Greeting!

A note from the minions: Elder Bolinder did not send an update the week of Thanksgiving. His P-day was changed to Thursday and, apparently, too many Thanksgiving meals made it difficult to write. haha! Instead, we received this little "Thanksgiving Greeting" from Elder Bolinder and Elder Nielson. Enjoy! πŸ˜…

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Week 58

Splash-down in Faribault!🏊

Hola hola. Hope you all had a splendid week!

This week we had interviews with the man, the myth, the legend, President Barney! It's always a good experience. Afterward, we had to get our oil changed for the car and it took FOREVER. We were late to our lesson with Chase that night haha, but it was still super powerful! He's continuing to get closer to baptism. But something really cool is, while we were in the waiting room, I noticed an older couple that looked familiar. Turned out they were some members I remembered from the Mankato ward! It was sweet to get to catch up with them.

Friday was another odd day. Elder Nielson's eye has been really bugging him the past few weeks so we finally scheduled a time to go to the eye doctor. They checked out his eye balls and they got all dilated and huge, so he had to wear sunglasses all day even though it was super cloudy all dayπŸ˜‚. Got a picture to show. But because of all that it made the week a little slow. But some good news - we ended on a high note!

The highlight of the week was definitely Derrick's Baptism!! It was amazing and the peaceful spirit there was so strong! It was a bit chaotic because we planned out everything for the program, and literally the day before the baptism, our piano player cancelled and the primary president said she couldn’t show up! So, we scrambled a bit to find people to fill in, but luckily everything worked out ok. Kevin and the Post family also came which was awesome! We ended up having the whole relief society room packed.

As we were teaching Derrick’s family, we would always teased him about when he gets older he'll have a name tag just like us that says 'Elder Sando'. It was such a cool moment to see him smile from ear to ear and take this important first step closer to Christ and covenant to serve Him😊 Even though he's just 11, he has such strong faith and gospel knowledge. He's an amazing example, and I'm so grateful we got the chance to teach him!

It was another great week in the service of the Lord. I know that He guides this work, and we are merely instruments in His hands! Love you all (:

-Elder Bolinder

Derrick's Baptism
"The future's so bright..."

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 57

Mission Conference

It's Hunting Season!

Hola Fam!!

This week has been fantastico!

To jump into the week, we had a sweet Halloween celebration on Tuesday. We kicked it off with a huge mission-wide conference, and we got to hear from a general authority of the church Elder Michael T. Ringwood. He served as a mission president in South Korea, and he spoke a bit of Korean for us it sounded crazy! haha. It was an amazing spiritual experience and we learned a ton from him. He talked about the importance of planning and goal setting - something I realized is so vital to missionary work! Well, it was just what we needed to get motivated to hit our goals for this week, and we crushed it!! We'd been struggling to get more people to come to church. So, we set a solid goal to get 4 nonmembers to church on Sunday. We beat it by 1 and got a grand total of 5 to church! (That's a really great week for us!!) It's always a huge testimony builder to have your prayers answered and see some fruits from your labors.

Oh, and after the mission conference we had a multi-zone P-day and had a gigantic dodgeball fight it was absolutely madπŸ˜‚

Some other good news, Derek's baptism this week! We went over to review the baptismal covenant and prepare him for his interview. We had a pretty cool object lesson. We got two clear plastic cups and filled one with a pinch of dirt/mud. We had Derek pour water into both of the cups, and we explained that the dirt represents sin, it makes our spirits unclean. But, when we are baptized we are washed clean from our sins and become pure like the cup of clean water. Then it was as if he read our minds and knew exactly where we were going with this, he asked the perfect question! He said, "What if I have a cup of dirty water, how do I get the dirt out?" Well, you can't just pick up the dirt and take it out.. You can't just pour more good water into the cup because it will never be fully clean like it was.. The answer? Through repentance and renewing our baptismal covenant by taking the sacrament, Jesus Christ can heal us and literally give us a new cup of clean water - a clean slate! As Alma in the Book of Mormon explains it, we "must repent, and be born again." Through Christ's atoning grace, we become new creatures in Christ! What an amazing gift.

Saturday we went on exchanges again with the elders in Mankato. Seriously, I can never leave that place!! Haha! It's always a good experience talking to a couple investigators and members from the past. Granted, it's a bummer having two days this week not in our own area. But it was a blast! We did some tracting out in the cold which is always funπŸ˜‚. We handed out a couple Libros de Mormon. One guy answered straight up wearing a shirt with a naked lady on it... super awkward!! HahahaπŸ˜‚ but we ended up talking to him (covering the shirt with our hand of course lol) and he was really intrigued by the Book of Mormon. He committed to read it. You never know who is going to be receptive to the gospel!πŸ™ŒπŸ»

Funny side note. Deer hunting season just started here in 'Sota and they have deer literally everywhere! So, of course, being down south in the boonies almost everyone we run into looovvees to hunt. It's actually been a really great conversation starter and has led to some good discussions about God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a good thing that my companion Elder Nielson is obsessed with hunting!πŸ˜‚ I can't really contribute much to the conversation, but I’m definitely putting that on my bucket list of things to do when I get home!

Have a fantastic Monday my friends. I love you all!
¡Dios bendiga!

-Elder Bolinder

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Week 56

October Snow!


Hola Todos!

Happy Halloween!

Our ward had a big Halloween party on Wednesday that was pretty fun! We were a bit disappointed though because we had about 5-6 investigators and less active members commit to go but then they all fell through. We made up for it on Sunday, though, because we had two families come to church!!

One crazy thing from this week is… IT SNOWED!! It got cold very quickly and Friday it snowed almost all day. Only about 3 inches or so, but still crazy! I've never seen snow before Halloween, it's a strange feeling lol.

We had a wonderful trip to the temple up in St. Paul with our recent convert Bob. He loved it! He said he could notice the peaceful feeling inside. It was a wonderful experience. And the temple looks beautiful covered it snow!

Derek is still doing well and we are trying to meet with him as often as we can to make sure we cover all the material before his baptism. We had a fun lesson on Tuesday and chalked out the Plan of Salvation on the driveway! He's such a fun kid.

Sorry for the shorter update, we lost track of time! But the work it still going great here, and I am loving all the amazing people we've met! I know the message we share changes lives! It's changed mine.

Have a wonderful week all of you (:

-Elder Bolinder

St. Paul Temple

Snow in October!

Chalking the Plan

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Week 55



Hola todos! It's been a wonderful fall week here in gorgeous Minnesota. There are trees EVERYWHERE here, so it makes all the fall colors just beautiful. This week has been a bit on the slower side.
But we are still enjoying ourselves out here in Faribault.

We've been able to come up with some creative ideas to find more people to talk to. This week, the weather was great, so we went around knocking doors and offering to rake leaves to anyone who looked like they needed it. And we had some pretty good success! What was really cool was we felt prompted to surprise one of the families in our ward and rake their yard while we had some extra time. Turns out, the husband had a blood vessel pop in his eye, so he was on bed-rest and she was stressing out about everything. So, we helped out just in the nick of time! It's amazing how Heavenly Father can use us as instruments in his hands to be an answer to someone else's prayer.

Some other good news from the week - Bob received the priesthood and passed the sacrament for the first time this week! We also set a day this week to take him to the temple for the first time, which should be an amazing spiritual experience as usual! He gave me and Elder Nielson both birthday presents since they are pretty close together, he gave me a packers beanie. Haha! I love him!

We visited a less-active Hispanic fam this week, and they fed us home-made flour tortillas and "frijoles de vaquero" or cowboy-beans. I haven't had home-made Hispanic food for a while, it was great!! Our little man Derek is still doing great, and we even helped him give a talk in his class at church! He's so awesome, and we are looking forward to his baptism.

I hope you all have a wonderful week this week! I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone. It truly changes lives! CuΓ­dense (:

-Elder Bolinder

Hangin' With Derek
Streetscape in Faribault
Faribault Tractor Show!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Week 54

Derek & Elder Bolinder

Transfer News...

Hola Fam! We'll start off with a bit of news - transfers are today! Elder Nielson and I will be staying another 6 weeks here in Faribault, which is great news for us because we are loving it here. And some other news... It's his birthday Today!! To celebrate I'm going to take him out to lunch, then hit up Cabela's, and go play soccer with our soon to be baptized little amigo Derek. We met with them again this week and they are such a sweet family! Things are looking good for his baptism in November.

So more about the week... We started off with some exchanges in my last area, Mankato. We spent the night there so we were there for Tuesday and Wednesday. Honestly, it felt like I never left! It was a blast, and the elders there are studs. I spent the day with an elder from Alaska, who is a convert of 4 years and the only member of our church in his family. Such an amazing example of faith! With the recent addition of Facebook and Skype to our mission, he has been able to start teaching his mom more about the restored gospel! We got to have a lesson with her over video-chat and it was the coolest thing in the world! The blessings of technology are unreal.

We've seen a lot of success in this area with part-member families! We're working with the Sando family, the Hispanic family that came to the BBQ the Chavez's, and Mary Jane Post and her non-member boyfriend. Well, anyway, a funny story. We went over to Mary Jane and Chase's for dinner on Friday. We had some delicious tacos with them, and her three daughters are just full of energy and love to talk. It was hilarious, the little 3-year-old was going off about this random dream she had and it made absolutely no sense but we just laughed along with herπŸ˜‚. Then Mary Jane started to tell us a different story, when Alison (the 3 year old) walks over to her and tells her, "hey mom, can I tell you something?" And she was like yes. Then she leans in and whispers, "I wasn't finished!". The sass was unrealπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. So,  then we listened to her crazy "dream" for another 10 minutes hahaha. We were dyingπŸ˜‚. I love that family though. Chase has been reading a bit of the Book of Mormon and got to watch General Conference which he loved! They got in a car accident on Saturday that scared them a bit, but luckily everyone was okay. We went over there after church and shared with them a scripture.

I'm running low on time, but just a quick thought. On Sunday we had a super powerful Ward Conference and got to hear from all the leaders of the Lakeville Stake. I actually had the same conference when I was in Mankato, but it was even better the second time! The theme they used comes from a scripture in the Book of Mormon comparing our testimonies of the gospel to a living plant, specifically a tree.

"But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life."

"And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst."

What a powerful analogy! If we turn to the Lord and diligently nourish our "trees", (Pray, read scriptures, serve others, etc.) we can be deeply rooted in the gospel. And with strong roots, the winds of life in this trouble-some world will not have power over us! I know this to be true, and I've tasted of this "fruit" of the gospel and it is the true joy that is experienced through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ!

I love you guys, thanks for all your amazing examples. Have a wonderful week (:

-Elder Bolinder

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Week 53

Baptism Day for Landon


Hola todos! We have a combined zone P-day today carving pumpkins, so I'll try to fit in as much as I can about another great week in the mission field!

This week was a bit slow, and super-duper rainy! But we still had some great lessons. We saw our favorite Liberian family again, the Sandos. They said their transition back to America hasn't been the best, and it was great to visit them again and strengthen their testimonies of the gospel. It was funny because we asked them lots of questions about what it's like in Africa, and they were like, "We actually have this really spicy African chicken, here try some!" and it was soooo good! Hispanics trained me well lol, I LOVE spicy food now!πŸ‘ŒπŸΌElder Nielson on the other hand was suffering πŸ˜‚ hahaha! He couldn't handle the heat. Anyway, I love that fam and Derek is such a stud, he sat by us at church on Sunday and really enjoyed it. Oh, and we set a date for him to be baptized on the 11th of November, whoo!!

We were able to do some awesome service this week, which is always a perfect stress-reliever. We helped our investigator Kevin build a fence on his ranch which was pretty gnarly! It's pretty amusing, too, because while we worked out in the drizzling rain, all of his sheep would just follow us around like our own little paparazziπŸ˜‚ Then we also helped out some members out in Northfield on Saturday morning. It was actually the crazy guy in the ward who bit my name tag! lol. He's super nice, but just a little crazy. We helped him take down this giant oak tree in his front yard. Made the biggest crash ever, it was epic! Then we spent most of the time cleaning up the branches and what not. Good fun!

Another highlight from the week was that our little buddy Landon got baptized! The service was amazing and the spirit was so strong. His older brother was able to baptize him and they were smiling and had their arms around each other the whole time. Such a sweet brotherly bond! Landon was beaming the whole time, and he was so excited that afterwards we went over to their house so he could give us these sick shades😎 I'm so glad we got be a part of it and help their family who is going through some rough family struggles. But it was so nice to see the family strengthened by the gospel of Christ😊 I know that the gospel blesses families, and through our redeemer Jesus Christ we can have true and lasting joy for eternity!

Well we are about to head out, but I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!

-Elder Bolinder

One Year Mark Celebration S'mores Cake!
(Ingredients sent from home, made by Elder Cambo :) )

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Week 52

Elder Bolinder and Elder Nielson

Conferencia! Y un aΓ±oπŸ‘ŒπŸ»

Well, another week gone in the blink of an eye. I hope all of you enjoyed the absolutely AMAZING general conference weekend we had!! For us, it was like drinking from a firehose. So many inspired messages from our modern-day apostles! In addition to conference, the rest of the week was pretty eventful, so let's jump into it…

We met with our little ball of energy, Landon, twice this week and everything is lining up great for his baptism. We were able to actually push his baptism up a week so it will be on the 8th! We're finalizing the service this week, and we're pumped! Something we didn't really expect this transfer is all these miracles with finding all these young studs who want to be baptized. We were going through our area book and list of families in the ward and we felt like we should stop by this new family that moved in about a month ago. They moved here all the way from Liberia! Long story short, we met with the grandma and her two grand kids and had a wonderful lesson on how families can be eternal through God's plan of happiness. Afterwards, the 10-year-old grandson enthusiastically tells us, "Oh! And I want to be baptized!" We said, "Well, we can sure help you out with that!" Haha. He was wearing a Steph Curry jersey and told us all about how he loves basketball, lol what a bro. The Lord definitely led us to that family, and we had no idea that would happen! We're seeing them again this week. What a great experience!

We had dinner at our ward mission leader's house this week and had an interesting meal - Peanut Butter and Jelly Omelets! Now, I was a skeptic at first. Seems like such a bizarre combo right? But man, surprisingly it was SO good!

We also saw Kevin again this week, he's still reading and progressing well. He showed us his house out in the country and gave us a little tour of his ranch. Got some videos of these cool rams he has! He is still hesitant to set a date for baptism, but we were able to commit him to pray about a date in November. But some good news, he came to a session of general conference with us which he loved!

I'll wrap up with one of my favorite talks from conference - President Nelson! His talk was pretty much a recap of what he spoke about to us during our mission-conference back in April and it was amazing! He asks the question, "What would you lose if you didn't have the Book of Mormon?" There are so many amazing examples, and doctrines, and insights to God's eternal plan for us. I think for me, the biggest thing we would lose is the strength of our testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Because the Book of Mormon truly is another testament of Christ that not only reaffirms the message of Christ in the Bible, but draws us even closer to Him through the peaceful spirit that it brings, it truly is the keystone of our religion! I know it's true.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Remember that God loves you and is always aware of your needs! Keep moving forward. I love you guys!


-Elder Bolinder

(Tambien: Wednesday will mark my one-year mark on the mission, Whoo! It's gone by way to fast, let me tell ya. Next year is going to be even greater!πŸ˜ƒ)

Faribault Rams!
At the ranch with Kevin...

Monday, September 25, 2017

Week 51

Ridin' Tractors! 🚜

Hola todos!

This week was filled with meetings and traveling. So, unfortunately, we only got 3 days to work in our area this week. But we were spiritually fed for sure!

To kick off the week, we headed up to good 'ol Lakeville once again for some exchanges with the zone leaders. It was great! I keep ending up going back there one way or another and it always brings back good memories. One story from that day: We talked to this African American guy named Melvin in the parking lot who was actually tinting his windows. He said, “Yeah you guys can talk to me while I work on my car!” He said he was 21. We got to know his background a little more and he had grown up going to many different Christian churches, but recognized that a lot of pastors are focused on money and there is a lot of corruption in many churches today. We told him how we have an unpaid ministry in our church and that we actually have to pay to be out here on missions. He was like, "No way man, that's dope!"πŸ˜‚ We taught him about what the Book of Mormon is and how we use it hand and hand with the Bible. We explained that it helps clarify doctrine that is easy to be misinterpreted through many translations of the Bible. We ended up sharing the example of God the Father and Jesus Christ being two separate beings. And he says, "Well yeah when Jesus is praying on the cross he says Father why have you forsaken me, I mean that's clear as day man!". Haha. We both just smiled and were like, "Amen to that!πŸ˜‚" It actually took me off guard because you don't meet too many people here who ponder seriously about the nature of God and Jesus Christ! It was a pleasant surprise lol. He said he would read the Book of Mormon, and we set an appointment with him! It's always a joy to find people who are open and seeking for truth.

The next day we drove to the cities and had new missionary training all day. Elder Nielson is a stud! We are like long lost brothers lol. We had some great training sessions. It's always good to review the basics(: Saturday was also filled with district meeting and interviews in Mankato, which is about an hour away. Interviews are always so uplifting! We received a lot of good training on utilizing Facebook in our missionary efforts, and it's still hard to get used to using it again but it's been great for contacting people and organizing events and what not!

Despite a lack of time in our own area, we've had some really great lessons! We started teaching a less active Hispanic lady in the ward and helping her and her two boys coming to church more regularly. We also taught a super energetic kid named Landon who's mom is less active, but she has agreed to have us help teach and help him be baptized! We had a great lesson with him on Wednesday and set a date for him to be baptized in 3 weeks!

We are loving the ward here in Faribault! It's on the smaller side (only about 90 active members), but they are super supportive and missionary minded. This week, we had a ward BBQ and hay ride, and it was a blast! Good food, tractors, and a live band! We got there and walked past the band and we see the first counselor in the stake presidency playing the trumpet, haha! We were like, dang what a savage!πŸ˜‚ Then we see right next to him, the stake president on the Guitar! Man, Lakeville stake is the best! πŸ˜‚ It was good to have all the members invite their friends and introduce us to them. We had some pretty good charlitas but nothing really came from it. We are definitely excited to keep working with the members here and find more people to share our message with! And the awesome part about it is all it takes it an invitation... So be brave and invite a friend to watch General Conference!😊

Some good news though, the less active Hispanic mom we met last week came with her two boys! They had a great time. We're continuing to help them come to church and prepare the oldest who's 10 for baptism (:

I hope you are all super stoked for General Conference! I sure am! I hope we take this amazing opportunity to hear from modern day apostles and prophets with sincerity of heart. I encourage you to write down questions or an aspect of your life that you are struggling with, and promise you that as you listen to their messages you will receive personal revelation and guidance! I know that God leads us with a prophet today. What a blessing it is to hear his words!

Thanks for all your love and support, have a wonderful week!!

-Elder Bolinder

Fairbault Ward BBQ/  Harvest Party
Elder Bolinder and Elder Nielson
Faribault Patriot!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Week 50

P-Day Hockey Game in Faribault, MN

You Did What To My Name Tag??

Hola todos. Hope you all are having a marvelous week!

This week has definitely been a strange one. But don't get me wrong, it was also a great one!

As a lot of you already know, the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission has been approved to start using tools for online proselyting including... Facebook! It has been a weird transition, but it has been a huge blessing to project our voice for truth to an even broader audience. Going along with this news we had some amazing trainings given at our zone conference last Wednesday, and we are SO pumped!

Faribault has been a blast! We are still trying to get to know the area better and all of the members and investigators. We've met some awesome people this week! And also a few crazy ones! lol.

We met with our investigator Kevin on Thursday and helped him work on the house he is fixing up. We painted one of the bedrooms, and the renters who lived there before painted it slime green! haha. Looks a whole lot better now. He and his family are doing a lot better since his mom died. We invited him to come to church with us, and he said "I'm not making any promises!" Then we received a text Sunday morning saying he's on his way! It was great! He seemed to enjoy meeting new faces and feeling the sweet spirit at sacrament meeting. Kevin surprises us so much! Oh, and another thing we found out - he works as a prison guard! No wonder he's so jacked!!

We also taught the new part member family we are teaching, and it was great! They even fed us dinner😏 lol. We taught them about our purpose here on earth and the importance of eternal families. They have a super energetic little 4 year old daughter, which made it a little difficult haha. Cute family. We emphasized the divine mission of our Savior to atone for our sins and healing power he brings us. The husband, chase, really loved the concept of progression. The purpose of our life on earth is not only to accept Christ, but to BECOME like him! He invited us to come back on Saturday and help him set up a trampoline. Long story short, we started assembling it but we were missing a box of parts! So, we ended early and he offered to get us breakfast at McDonalds. Sweet! We had a nice chat with him while eating. Oh, and speaking of jacked, Chase is also huge!! Haha he told us all about how he loves lifting. He opened up to us and told us about his rough past and divorce, along with how he rediscovered God in his life. We testified to him the changing power of our message of the gospel and invited him to be baptized. He didn't commit to a date, but said if he knew our message was true he would! We are excited to help him progress more.

Now for a quick funny storyπŸ˜‚. Yesterday after church we had a potluck with all the members of the ward. Great opportunity to put more names to faces! Anyway, this one member came up to us to introduce himself. He was an older guy with a pretty goofy personality. He said he had a tradition for every new missionary that comes to the ward. We asked him, "and what's that?" He then reaches for my shirt and steals my name tag, and before I realize what he was doing he had it in his mouth and was biting it! He bit my name Tag!! Hahaha. We were like, what just happened?! He said he does it so that every missionary will remember him. And I sure will because now his teeth marks are in my tagπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ it was so hilarious, me and elder Nielson were dying!

Some other great news from this week, Bob is getting interviewed next Sunday to receive the priesthood! We taught him on Sunday about what the Aaronic priesthood is and the blessings that it gives us and those around us. He's super excited! I am personally deeply grateful for this fruit of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have the same power and authority that he and his apostles had when on the earth! We use this authority to bring people the healing power of Christ through essential ordinances. What a blessing!

I want you all to know how much I love you guys! I feel your prayers every day. I know God lives and he is watching over you. He loves you unconditionally! Have a wonderful week.

-Elder Bolinder

Elder Nielson and Elder Bolinder
Group Photo During Transfers
In Faribault, MN