Monday, July 30, 2012

Surprise Visit!

Yesterday I walked into a linger longer for our Young Single Adult stake to find a friend from Washington, DC there. Surprise! We were able to catch up and talk for just a few minutes. That was certainly a welcome little surprise. We started talking about the good ole' Langley Ward and it was amazing to hear about all of the changes. Time certainly does fly!

We finished the month of July with the second highest number of baptisms in the Riverton zone. It was pleasing to see and we are moving forward to a strong August. Personally, we have found some wonderful individuals who will be baptized in August. Our focus for August will be increasing excitement, motivation and the "fun" factor in our zone. We train and teach very well but sometimes people just need a little pick me up. We will continue to focus on making sure we're doing the right things but in an upbeat way.

We had a baptism on Saturday. She was baptized after only two weeks of teaching her. It was amazing to see all of her friends there who helped her along the way. She was truly being prepared to be baptized into the church for years by friends, parents and coworkers. Missionary work is not just for missionaries...but for all who love the Lord and His Church. We had such a small impact on her conversion -- but it was still wonderful to be a part of it!

Elder Bolling

Monday, July 23, 2012

Miracles From Above

I've learned an important principle over these past two weeks. Both weeks we have gone through our week, Monday through Saturday, without finding any new people to teach. That's a pretty frustrating feeling. You start to wonder if you're spending too much time with the zone, if your activities are productive, and what you can change. However, two Sundays ago we found 4 new people to teach that day. This Sunday we found 4. I'm learning what Alma 38: 5 teaches:

"I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day. "

It's an equation. As much as we put our trust in God is how much we will be delivered from our troubles and afflictions. As we continue doing what is right even when results don't happen -- the results do happen. They are gifts from God and not something we acquire on our own.

It's two weeks away from transfer day. It's strange to think that it's once again time to figure out who's leaving and who's going. The work goes onward!

Elder Bolling

Monday, July 16, 2012

Traveling Onward

This week was an interesting week. There's a funny phenomenon among members. Up until I had been on my mission for 11 months, I regularly was told "oh you're a new missionary!" Now that I've begun to tell people that I've been on my mission for "almost 13 months" they have changed their tune. "Oh, you must be ready to go home! What will you do when you leave your mission?" You'd think they would give you more than one month to enjoy being in the prime of your mission, but nope! So, it was interesting to hear that for the first time and talk to members about my post-mission plans even though I have plenty of time left.

We had much success this week. We found 4 individuals who all are committed to preparing for baptism. Each time we find souls who are prepared for the gospel it brings a lot of excitement to our week. If all goes well, we should certainly have a baptism or two before the end of the month.

We've started a new "program" to find new people to teach. We have found that many of the members in Utah don't see missionaries very often. So we've begun going to families during their family home evening time and teaching them the basic doctrines of the gospel. We've always done this, now we've just doing a lot more of it. It's already born fruit with members being excited to talk to their coworkers or neighbors about meeting with the missionaries. It's true that the members really are the best missionaries.

Elder Bolling

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pressing Forward Through the Summer

This week we spent a majority of our time lifting and building the zone. We didn't have much time to proselyte in our area. On Sunday we were frustrated because we had not found any new people to teach for the week. But as we went through church we met two people who approached us because they had been attending church for the past few months and wanted to meet with us. Miracle! The Lord certainly does bless those who are diligent.

This week we have interviews with President Miller. We will be using the time during the interviews to train our district leaders, trainers and new missionaries. It will be a busy day from about 8am until 4pm. Afterwards we plan to split up with the Assistants and work the areas of struggling missionaries. Interviews always wear me out but are a productive venture.

We also had our July 4th mission conference last week. It was fun to see all the old missionaries I served with. Everyone says that in missionary life you know most of the missionaries at your year mark...but as time moves on towards the end of your mission you stop knowing the new people who come in. It was strange to see missionaries who I never thought would go home talk about their travel arrangements. I certainly will be there before long! It will be a weird feeling.

Elder Bolling

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's a New Day and a New Mission

Our mission is now 80 people smaller. On Sunday, July 1st the Utah Salt Lake City Central mission was created. I am still in the Riverton zone. Now the challenge moves to add more missionaries to this mission until we reach 200 missionaries again. That means many areas will be split and new areas will be created. The busyness hasn't let up yet!

We have the baptism of our investigator Eric this Saturday. It was a very rewarding teaching experience because Eric was so excited about the gospel from day one. We didn't even need to teach him! He spent his free time each day learning and studying and becoming more educated on the gospel. As he did that and prayed about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon he was ready to be baptized. Even his parents, who are Catholic, came down from Idaho to witness his baptism. It was a special experience.

We've also had lots of wildfires this week. Herriman, which is in our zone, was on fire from Thursday into Friday. We had to evacuate the missionaries from that area and have them help with cleanup after the fire ended. It's incredible how many fires can happen in a hot summer when you live in the desert. They're not pretty and they spread pretty quick.

I also have my one year missionary birthday this week. It still doesn't feel like I've been a missionary for a full year...but I guess it's true. This time next year I'll be packing up and returning to the great East Coast. Until then, I'll keep working and enjoy the July 4th celebration we will be having with our mission!

Elder Bolling