Friday, June 9, 2017

Week 35

The Green Giant!

Picnics, 'Gators, and Conference!

¡Hola todos!

This week was a great one. And this week, for the first time in a while, I felt like an actual Spanish missionary! It started off with going on splits with the Elder's Quorum president, Bro. Peterson, to visit some less active and part-member families. He served a mission in the Dominican Republic! So, it felt good to practice some Spanish with him. We also saw a less active member and her husband who we are teaching at their Mexicano restaurant, and we got to try these delicious 'tacos de al pastor' which is basically marinated pork. It was the best! Later in the week, we also found 2 new Hispanic investigators!! That was a super cool miracle.

So Friday night, we were up in the Hispanic hub of our area, Le Sueur. We ran into a lady we contacted the other week and invited to church. She just got home from work, and we started talking and invited us in to teach her. We hit a stroke of luck because her brother was there too! We proceeded to teach them the first lesson and in the middle of the lesson there was a knock on the door.. Christina got up to answer it, and it was a member of our ward!! Josefina, she was taught by the missionaries and baptized a year and a half ago. So it was a super sweet miracle, we got two new investigators and literally walked into a member present lesson! Sick! Haha We committed them both to come to church next week, so we are crossing our fingers they keep their commitment.

And to wrap up the wonderful week, we had a fantastic Stake Conference in Lakeville! I definitely enjoyed seeing some familiar faces from my first area in the Spanish branch. The area looks completely different without all that snow! Super green and gorgeous. It's been super warm here lately, and I love it!

Another cool highlight from the week, we had another lesson with our investigator Ardice! Unfortunately, it was just her who showed up to our group lesson, but she brought us a PICNIC!! It was soo awesome! She brought ice cream, cookies, and apple juice. Such a sweet lady. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and she understood a lot. She was amazed at the fact we don't believe in just a heaven and a hell, but three degrees of heaven or kingdoms of glory. Really powerful lesson. Unfortunately, she didn't accept an invitation to be baptized, but it's funny because she mentioned she isn't very active in her Lutheran church because she can't drive, so every Sunday she stays at home, says lots of prayers, and watches the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on TV! We will keep teaching her and develop that deseo para asistir la iglesia!

Saturday we got the chance to do some muscle work for a couple in the ward living in St. Peter. They remodeled their garage and we got to put up sheetrock on the walls/ceiling! Super fun. And they fed us dinner afterwards which is always a plus! I love every opportunity to serve others because it truly gives you a feeling of joy knowing that you helped one of children, and in turn, you are actually serving God! As the famous words of King Benjamín go.. "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." So true!

We were privileged to hear from Area Authority, Elder K. David Scott during our stake conference. There were some really powerful talks and a lot of great topics! I'll just summarize some of my favorites from my notes:

1) We can control our level of happiness through righteous living.
• The more we reach out like the Savior, the more joy we find in helping others.
• "Kindness is the essence of a celestial life."

2) We have modern day prophets to protect us.
• Jesus Christ leads and guides this church today, and he will never lead us astray.
• Three words to describe the message the First Presidency wants us to hear:

3) The gift of our Savior Jesus Christ:
• "Always remember Him" means:
   - Knowing He lives and is our Savior
   - Learning, Applying, and Sharing His gospel
   - Having the privilege to do his work/will
• Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins, he is desirous for us to enjoy and take advantage of the gift! 🎁 True joy fills us as well as him and our Heavenly Father when we truly repent.
BAT: Begin Again Today

4) Keep Sabbath Day Holy:
• Why? 
   - We have been commanded by the Lord and our modern prophets
   - To Strengthen our faith in our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ and His atonement.
•When we partake of the sacrament weekly and repent, we are becoming more like our Savior
   - "The do comes when we become"
Invitation: Hold a family council about how you can better keep the sabbath!

I was definitely spiritually nourished and energized for this upcoming week. Should be a great one! It's been an amazing journey so far on my mission and I am beyond grateful to have this time to testify of Christ, grow closer to Him, and become more like him. I hope you guys take advantage of the miraculous gift of our Savior and the chance we have every single week to start fresh, renew our convenant to follow Him, and receive His strength and Spirit! I know God lives. Christ is his son and our Savior. I love you all, and have a wonderful week!

-Elder Bolinder

Picnic With Ardice!
Tacos de alpastor y pollo
The Muscle Crew
For My Sis!
Sunday Dessert at Possin's
Lunch at Sam's Club
The Crew

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