Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Week 27

The Mankato Crew (helping with a move)

¡La primavera está aquí!

Hola Todos! I hope you guys are enjoying the warm spring weather! It is starting to feel so nice here, and we don't have to wear sweaters every day! haha. We had another great week here in St. Peter! 

I'll start this week off with a highlight from the week with our progressing investigator Nate Hernandez. He has been investigating for a few years now. His wife and five kids joined the church but he was hesitant and never did. He's been meeting with missionaries for quite a while now, but we saw him for the first time in about 3 weeks and had a powerful lesson with him! The Spirit was so strong throughout, and it really helped him to open up a little. He told us he feels he is not seeking an answer with true intent because he feels a bit scared of actually receiving an answer and it changing his life. We testified to him that the Holy Ghost is a Comforter, it will bring an answer of joy and peace. Also, that one of Satan's biggest tools is fear. Fear is the opposite of faith, and if you continue to press forward and make an effort to read and pray with a sincere heart, you can feel of the joy that the gospel brings and a love of your Savior Jesus Christ. Dieter F. Uchtdorf beautifully explains about the hindrance of fear and how we need to trust in the Lord in all we do in his talk from last week's conference, "Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear" (One of my favorites!). We could all feel the Spirit and we could definitely sense his desire to develop his relationship with God and know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Super awesome lesson! Hopefully the Easter season will help him have more motivation to come to church and continue to try to grow his testimony!

Some other good news from this week is we got to reconnect with the guy we found in Le Sueur last week, Robert! We had a really good lesson with him about the restoration and gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon through sincere prayer and the Holy Ghost. He doesn't have a lot of knowledge or experience when it comes to scriptures or the gospel in general. But, he's really awesome, and really open, so hopefully as we keep meeting with him we can help build his testimony and relationship with Christ!

So something really awesome that we have been starting up this transfer is we are hosting Ward Soccer every Saturday morning with the Mankato elders and some of their investigators. And guess what? It’s finally warm enough to play outside! lol. Of course, my companion Elder Christensen has to sit on the sidelines and be our cheerleader so he doesn't break himself again! I feel bad for him. But we had a decent turn out this week. Hopefully we can get Robert, and Nate and his family, along with some other investigators and less-actives to come, and give them a more of a social push to come to church on Sunday. And maybe we'll attract some more Hispanics to start teaching!

This week we have had a plethora of service opportunities! First off, on Wednesday we got to go into the food bank here in St. Peter and help out with unloading food trucks, bagging orders, and helping people get all the food items they need. It's a really cool chance to meet so many new people and just talk with them and help out those in town. Then, Thursday we helped a member of our ward measure and cut wood for a garden she is building. (And fun fact: She's actually the mother of our progressing investigator Shun!) Super sweet lady! Later that day we got a call from a member in the ward saying that her brother had just passed away. We were in New Ulm, and they needed us to come out to a small place called Sleepy Eye and give her a blessing. So, we hurried and called around and got a member, Brother Rush, to drive us all the way out there and help them out. It was really hard for them, but we were able to give her and her non-member sister a priesthood blessing and it was so powerful. In this difficult moment of mourning, it meant so much to them that we were able to go out there and give them comfort.

As a lot of you may already know, we have another holiday initiative video put out by our church, and it's incredible! It's called #PrinceOfPeace and really reminds us of the real reason why we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Jesus Christ! It is so powerful and reminds us of the true joy that a testimony of the Savior brings to our lives. We have been focusing on sharing it with as many people as we can. On Sunday, we and the Makato elders presented the video to all auxiliaries including primary, priesthood, relief society, and youth. We encouraged them all to share it with their friends and family. And I invite you to watch it and do the same! There is a link at the bottom of this update.

I've watched the Prince of Peace video several times before. But, after watching it at a member’s home yesterday after church, I had another cool insight from the Spirit. The scripture 2 Nephi 31:20 came to mind, and it really put new meaning to the words "Having a perfect brightness of hope" and "Steadfastness in Christ." We so often forget or put into the back of our minds the comfort and peace we can feel from the Savior’s atonement and resurrection. We get so caught up in our day to day lives that we don’t think about what Christ did for us at every moment of the day, and especially in challenging times. The video really reminds us to not just think about the Savior during this Easter season, but to be joyful and have a brightness of hope throughout every day of our lives, and be grateful for the gift that our Savior has given us! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and through him we can be cleansed from sin and live again. 

Have a wonderful week!😊

Happy Easter!!

-Elder Bolinder

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Shopping With Elder Christensen!
Easter Treats!

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