Monday, January 30, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

Well, I've never had quite a week like this flew by! My Wednesday morning/afternoon was taken training missionaries and office staff on a new referral system we have been developing for the mission. Then on Thursday we had the opportunity to take a person we've been teaching to Temple Square. I always love going to Temple Square because of the strong spirit you are able to feel as you learn about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration of the Church in the presence of the House of the Lord. That person will be baptized this upcoming Saturday and we are excited for the opportunity.

Other than that we had great success! We found 6 new people who are preparing for baptism. As a result we ended up teaching 25 lessons and keeping very busy with the logistics of helping everybody progress. The week just breezed by. I wish every week could be so good. (I guess it can be if I keep working!)

I've also begun to see the rewards of journal writing. I've done it my entire mission but have just started using it effectively. I've begun really writing down my study notes and thoughts that I have which have really made me able to recall them and find them at a moments notice. It's also a lot more rewarding to look back and read the details of my day rather than the vague snippets I had been putting in there. There truly is joy in writing things down.

This week already looks to be super-busy again. There will be a visit by an Apostle and a meeting with mission leadership. And to think...transfer talks are beginning again!

Elder Bolling

Monday, January 23, 2012

Changing Tires

The "highlight" of our week came on Saturtay as we went to pick up some materials from missionaries. As we parked the car we noticed a nice hum of air coming out of our right front tire. A flat tire! Fortunately for the situation is was also 8:00pm, 25 degrees and snowing heavily. I've never actually had to change a flat tire but it made it much more enjoyable and memorably to do it in the snow. So much for keeping my suits clean!

The rest of the week went by pretty quickly because we stayed pretty busy. We had a baptism for one of our investigators in the YSA stake. I was called into a meeting with President Miller regarding the new referral system and will be training the mission on it this week. We also started receiving numerous ward mission process referrals. We had 4 new investigators last week and should have 4-5 more this week. The momentum is rolling! We're very excited about where our area is going.

It continues to blow my mind how fast time is moving. It's the end of January already! What the what! I look forward to each day and each new opportunity to share the gospel as a missionary because I'm truly beginning to realize how quickly it will be gone.

Elder Bolling

Monday, January 16, 2012

The East Coast Zone

On Wednesday transfers happened and I received a new companion. Elder Hipp! He was in my district at the MTC and we became good friends...and now we're companions! He's from not too far away. We are both really excited for the transfer and to see what happens in the Sandy Zone. It should be a good six weeks!

This week were interviews with the mission president. As a zone leader that is quite an undertaking. The entire zone comes in between 8:30am and 4:00pm to interview with President Miller. We performed trainings throughout the day with the individual companionships and answered questions. It was actually one of the most exhausting days of my mission so far because constant training was involved.

We also met a wonderful couple this week. They are prepared to accept the gospel and desire to be sealed in the temple. The first step is to have them get married, which should happen this week, so that they can be baptized. Some of the most special experiences on the mission are when you work with couples and families so I am cherishing this opportunity. They are truly blessed by the spirit that they are able to feel.

Elder Bolling

Monday, January 9, 2012

Transfer Time!

t's transfer time again. Already? Yep! We will receive word on the new transfer assignments tomorrow at noon. I'm not too worried about where I will be as I believe I will be in Sandy for at least a few more transfers. (You never know, though!) The big question is with my companion. Elder Raymundo has been a zone leader for over a year and in this area for a year also. It's a 50/50 chance whether he finishes his mission with me or moves somewhere else for his last 6 weeks. The rest of our zone should stay fairly similar since there were so many changes...but never know!

This week brought some new and exciting challenges. In our area we had to drop 5 investigators because they weren't progressing. While that was sad we were able to find 5 new ones who seem much more promising. It builds my testimony to see the many different ways that the Lord prepares people to hear the gospel. I also got the opportunity to work on a new mission project - rebuilding our accountability on tracking media referrals. I spent a lot of the week in the mission office learning the system, coming up with ideas and making a proposal to send to President Miller. It feels like I'm back in the office at Kings Dominion or Accenture...only we're saving souls here!

This week I also hit my 6-month mark on my mission. It's funny that I'm 1/4 of the way through yet it still feels like I just got out here. I guess they weren't kidding when they said it flies by fast. If it goes any quicker it will be July 2013 the next time I blink!

Elder Bolling

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Water Your Grass

This week was very busy but I'm at a loss for how to describe it. We continued rolling out our efforts to work more closely with the ward leadership in both our YSA stake and our family stake. We began to see some fruits from our labors as we found three new people to teach solely off of that member work. It's also been enjoyable to meet the different people in each of the wards who offer so much to the work.

The most impactful part of my week came while meeting with a Bishop. He is planning a move to California soon and we asked, "How do you feel about leaving Utah?" He has traveled a lot and he gave us this response. "It will be great. Everywhere I've lived has been great. Many people think the grass is greener on the other side...and that's only because they water their neighbor's grass. If you water the grass where you're standing things will be greener for you."

How true is that? I thought about his point and talked about it with my companion. "Watering" our grass is when we are grateful for the things we have, when we keep an optimistic point of view and look forward with faith. We "water" the other side of the grass when we compare ourselves or tell ourselves we will be happy once we have something that somebody else has. That brief idea to water your grass has stuck with me since that meeting.

All is well in Utah. We're slowly eating through the candy stash that we accumulated through the holidays. I only gained 5 pounds through December so I can't complain. We also had a baptism this past Saturday and are planning on another this Saturday. Our zone is doing well and the Elders and Sisters are doing great work. The grass is green in the Sandy Zone of the SLCS mission!

Elder Bolling