Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 14

New Brighton District

"Minni" Miracles

Wow, so I guess Boise stole all the snow from Minnesota this week! All we've had this week is a bright sun, clear skies, and oh yeah... -20 degree wind chill lol. It's so deceiving because it will look so nice out with the sun shining and everything and then you walk out and you get blasted into an icicle. What's weird is that it actually warms up when it snows because the cloud coverage insulates the heat. But either way, I’m loving it here in “Minni” more and more every day!

This week has been a good week. On Wednesday I got to go on splits with another elder in my district, Elder Farish. He was called to be English speaking, but half way through his mission they asked him to learn Cambodian! And he is the only Cambodian speaking missionary in the entire mission. Luckily, we only did English work, but it was super sweet to hear and learn a few things in Cambodian! Also, on Tuesday, the zone leaders had an MLC meeting all day and they are in a trio, so we took another elder under our wing for the day. He just got here last week from Thailand, and he is still learning English so all throughout the day we would teach him some English and tell him all about America. We went out tracting and it was funny to see him with his first experience in below zero weather😂 he said the coldest it got in Thailand was 65! Ohh man I feel bad for him. We had a blast with him, though.

When we were knocking on doors through this trailer park that day, we ran into a welcoming older gentleman named Bill who let us in to warm up. He just about talked our ear off telling us all about how he was trying to save the trailer park that apparently was bought illegally and he's forming a committee to try to fight it in court and all about the flaws of the legal system in America and how the judge misused this statute and on and on. You would think he was Hispanic because he loved to talk so much, but he said he's grown up here in Minnesota all his life. He's an incredibly nice guy! Elder Cardwell and I came back a few days later and gave him the first discussion, and it was super powerful! We bore our testimony and witness of the restoration of the gospel through the prophet Jospeh Smith and the translation of the Book of Mormon and the spirit was so strong! He was really receptive and was super excited to read the Book of Mormon and strengthen his already solid testimony of Jesus Christ. We invited him to be baptized on the 18th of February and he accepted! It was amazing to hear him say how much he appreciated us wanting to further his knowledge and testimony of the gospel and bring him closer to Christ. Such an awesome experience!

Saturday morning we played soccer at 6 en la mañana with some people from the ward. And of course we played it Minnesota style.. indoors😂Nevertheless, it was still fantastic. We had 3 teams rotating and when our team would sit out, we had a buddy on our team named Amado and we would do comentarios en español and he was so hilarious! Haha. Now I feel more like an official Spanish missionary now that I've gotten some good fútbol in!

On Sunday we had a great day! First off, Bill came to church yesterday! That was super exciting for us, and confirmed to us that he genuinely wants to learn more about the restored gospel and prepare for baptism! With so many of our investigators it's hard to tell if they truly are interested in learning about the church or not because of everyone being Minnesota nice. So that really made us happy, and Bill was very happy as well to meet so many awesome people in our ward! Also, in our ward's primary, since they haven't called a new teacher for the 7 year olds yet we got to teach them! That was such a blast. It's funny how your perspective changes over time. Year after year we would always learn the motto 'Choose the Right' and you don't realize the magnitude and importance of that phrase until later in your life. I can see not only in my life, but in visiting with so many other people about their lives the importance of using our agency wisely to make right choices and follow God's commandments.

Later after church we went over to see la famila Condela, and we helped them make Floutas for lunch. It's these crunchy deep fried corn tortillas with shredded chicken inside, and you sprinkle cheese, lettuce, and jalapeño salsa on top and it is just divine! We also watched part of the movie The Best Two Years in Spanish while we were making it, that was exciting haha. They also invited one of their friends over to eat with us and her name was Karina. We got to talk to her all about what we do as missionaries and also taught her about the restoration of the gospel and the Book of Mormon! This week we have had lots of first discussions and lessons on the Book of Mormon and it has really been such a wonderful experience. I've grown to love testifying of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon because it really is the focal point of my knowledge of the restoration of the gospel. It is another testament of the Lord Jesus Christ and an amazing tool we have to help us grow even closer to our Savior. I love telling people that it is the keystone of our religion, because it's true.

Every question and doubt we have can be answered by a witness that the Book of Mormon is true. If we read and pray with real intent to receive an answer from a God that it's true, we can know that not only that the Book is true, but that Jospeh Smith truly was a prophet called of God to restore the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church that Jesus Christ established on the earth. I can testify to all of you that I have received this witness, and I know that it is true. I have seen the amazing blessings of the gospel in my life and the joy that it brings to me! I hope you guys have a great week this week😊

¡La Iglesia es verdadera!

-Elder Bolinder

Minneapolis Sunset

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