January 25, 2016


Canyon Texas


Elder Elies

Birthday Week!

Thanks everyone for all of the birthday wishes! They meant a ton! Thanks fam for the packages! They were sorely needed!
So this week was truly one of the most spiritual weeks of my mission! We had Zone conference; the world wide missionary broadcast, and stake conference! It was incredible! I wish I could tell you everything about all of them but that would take the whole week to talk about! I'm just going to share the parts that stuck out to me the most! I also got to see Elder Nielsen and it was so great to see him! Ha-ha I have pics that I'll be sending over!
So in Zone conference we talked about how we need to make companionships work. President Heap told us to read Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden. When their eyes were "opened" they realized that they were naked. They used fig leaves to cover that up. President pointed out to us that fig leaves don't last forever. And that they don't even grow in the winter. As long as they were in the garden, fig leaves were available to them. But we all know the story, they were kicked out and the ground was cursed for their sake. But later in that chapter, it says that the Lord made them coats of skins. And President explained to us that it's not easy to make a coat of skins. He showed us the process that it takes to tan a hide; it's a very long and difficult process. He also pointed out that the Lord probably didn't do all of it for them. He probably made them get in there and help out. The point that he was making is that the Lord didn't send us on a mission to learn how to sew fig leaves together and wear it like an apron. He sent us here so that we can learn how to "tan a hide". And that's what I'm here to do!
I loved the Missionary broadcast and how that it's the first one that they've done in over a decade. I love when Elder Nielsen was addressing us and he asked, "What is the meaning of 'real intent'?" He explained to us that it is the total sincerity to act on the answer that you receive. I thought about that a lot and there's so many things that people say that they do with real intent, or that they have asked with real intent. And I ask myself, "Have you really?" We, as individuals, need to realize that once we receive an answer from our Heavenly Father, we need to act on that answer IMMEDIATELY or else we're going to miss out on a testimony building experience!
Stake conference was so sweet! Elder Foster from the 70 came and talked to us and it was sweet! One thing that he told us that really stuck out to me was he said, "I don't want you to ENDURE to the end, I want you to ENJOY to the end." That is so important because everything that we do in life we have to enjoy, or what's the point? We should enjoy all of the tasks that the Lord gives to us because he knows that it will help us grow and become more like his son!
I was recently eating at taco bell with some other missionaries and as I was about to tear open into another sauce packet, I read the phrase that they put on the labels. It read, "DO IT WITH PASSION OR NOT AT ALL." Now, this may seem like a minor coincidence, but I don't believe in those. As missionaries, we need to serve with all of the passion that we have, or we shouldn't even be out here. We are participating in the greatest work in the world and we need to enjoy every second that we have out here. I love you all and I'm so glad for the wonderful opportunity that I have to serve the Lord. If there is anything that I can do for you all PLEASE let me know! Stay safe and stay sweet!
Elder Bollwinkel


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