Thursday, August 30, 2012

Time To Recharge

This weekend we had another baptism of a wonderful guy from our YSA stake. He was prepared to be baptized before we even met him. It was a wonderful experience. To add to the baptism, a less-active member we have been teaching came to the baptism and shared his testimony on how his faith has increased in the past two weeks. A non-member we were teaching was also in attendance and really felt the spirit.

Over the weekend, we had a weird series of events that built our confidence. Sometimes you wonder, "Does the Holy Ghost really work through me?" and you walk out of lessons wondering if you said the right things. We had four separate incidents where individuals told us that we told them "exactly what they needed to hear". Moments like that help you to realize that this IS the Lord's work, that we ARE set apart for it, and that we ARE doing an effective job.

We have five people that we are teaching who could all be baptized in September. We are doing all we can to help them. Three of them are in a single ward -- which makes it interesting to walk through that chapel. It's almost like we have a little posse in there! There is great joy when you can see all these souls coming closer to Christ.

Elder Bolling

Monday, August 20, 2012

Forget Me Not

This week we have been lifting spirits. We are doing exceptionally well in our zone and continue to see growth from the new missionaries. However, many of the missionaries have high expectations of themselves that cause them to get discouraged even when things are right on track. We have been sharing a talk by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to strengthen them. It counsels us to never forget five things:

1) Forget not to be patient with yourselves
2) Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice
3) Forget not to be happy now
4) Forget not the "why" of the gospel
5) Forget not that the Lord loves you

These simple truths have made a world of difference for our zone. Many times, missionaries and others look for perfect circumstances in order to find their joy or success. Rather, we must refocus them to realize that miracles are happening and that they are doing exactly what they are expected to do.

I've found over the past few weeks that encouragement is just as important, if not more important, than teaching or training. As we are helping those we serve to set their visions higher the success follows naturally.

Elder Bolling

Monday, August 13, 2012

Riverton Expanded!

Transfers took place last Wednesday. I am still in the Riverton zone but have a new companion. His name is Elder McCaffrey. He was born in England but moved to Australia when he was 16. He was baptized into the church when he was 19 and is 23 now. He has served for 8 months and is a new zone leader. He is a great missionary and we should have quite the transfer together! Our zone also changed quite a bit. We expanded to 24 missionaries, but 11 of those 24 missionaries are new. All of the changes were inspired and we have already started to see blessings from them as a result.

We had a baptism on Saturday. It was for a 9-year-old whose family has recently started coming to church more regularly. Almost 70 people from the local ward came out to attend and show their support. The spirit was incredibly strong at the baptism and the parents felt it strongly. On Sunday both parents came together to church for the first time in a long time. They even bore their testimony at church! Moments like those make all of our work worth it.

I keep having more strange experiences that help me realize I'm getting old in mission time. We did an exchange to learn from one of our assistants and he told me multiple times that I was the veteran support of the mission. As I thought about it I realized I have been in mission leadership for over 9 months now. Good gravy! And with the look of things I will certainly stay until at least Christmas. It's a humbling thought because I often think, "I don't know anything!" yet there are so many others saying the same things.

Elder Bolling

Thursday, August 9, 2012


As I reflect on the last six weeks of this transfer, it has been quite the learning experience. The mission has been stretched as we have seen an influx of new missionaries and not quite enough experienced missionaries. This past week we spent an inordinate amount of time resolving concerns and helping people stay motivated. It was certainly a test of endurance.

After spending the whole week working, we had a baptism and some very positive experiences with our zone. It showed the principle taught in D&C 121, that our afflictions will be "but for a small moment". Then, if we endure it well, we will find greater joy. The experiences of mission life truly reflect the things that the gospel teaches us.

This upcoming week is transfer week. All I know is that there are many big changes expected in the zone. I have no idea where I'll end up...but there will be changes nonetheless. We'll see in 24 hours!

Elder Bolling