Elder Tolen's Transfer History

Elder Tolen's Transfer History
Elder Tolen's Transfer History


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving, and the Last MTC Email!

Whew! This week was so busy! It is my last week in the MTC! I leave this Monday for the great land of Japan! How cool is that? I think It's pretty cool. I don't know about you though. It feels almost surreal.

Anyway. As you all know, Thanksgiving was this week! And for those of you that don't know what that's like in the MTC, please allow me to enlighten you! First we woke up and had breakfast, then had choir practice. We sang "Come Thou Fount" arr. by Mack Wilberg! I sang first tenor. That was a lot of fun. After choir practice we had a devotional given by David A. Bednar! How cool is that?? Then, just to add to the excitement, he passed out cell phones and had everyone text in their questions to his I-Pad! It was an amazing experience. My favorite quote from his talk was, "We receive no witness until after the trial of our faith."  I really like that because as long as I have faith, I can make it through anything. After that, we had lunch, and a service project. For the project we made little bags of food for kids who might not have a Thanksgiving. It was really awesome. After that we had dinner, then a Thanksgiving program with lots of Missionaries performing. After that we got to watch Meet the Mormons! I was so glad I got to see that! Then they announced that they had a special present for us. We all went outside and they had all of these Christmas lights on! It was really amazing.

I forgot to mention that Elder Dallin H. Oaks also came on Tuesday! It was amazing!

I hope you guys are doing well. If you want feel free to shoot me an email. I love you guys, and I hope to talk to you soon!




Zach's travel itinerary to Tokyo (received 4 days ago):

I got my travel plans this week, so I thought I would just let you all know about them. I'm taking Delta Air Lines Flight #1857 to Seattle. That flight starts on Monday, December 1 at 8:30 am until 9:37. Then from Seattle, I take flight #167 to Tokyo Narita, Japan. That flight leaves Dec. 1st at 11:25 a.m., and I arrive in Japan at 3:15 pm on Dec. 2nd. I love you guys!


Elder Dunn as Supermissionary!

Elder Dunn and Elder Tolen--MTC companions

Sister Packard and a few other MTC Japan missionaries enjoying a beautiful day!

Sister ___-Zarate and Elder Dunn enjoying a gorgeous p-day at the MTC

Elder Tolen and Elder Clarkson

Elder Tolen with BC9th Ward pal Elder Burgener

Elder Tolen and Elder Matua

Elder Burgener and Elder Tolen on Thanksgiving Night with the MTC lights

Elder Tolen wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Birthday Week!

Well guys.

I only have a week and a half left in the MTC. It's crazy to think I've already spent 1/12th of my mission in the MTC. I love it here, but I'm ready to leave. AHHHHH.

Well this week has been a pretty average week. We had some devotionals, and other than that, we didn't do much. Well this week my companion and were teaching our "Investigator" and we had one of the best lessons ever. I couldn't believe how much I was able to understand and how much I was able to say. And then yesterday, we got to teach over Skype again with another actual Japanese person, and I understood most of it! It was amazing! I can't believe how much I've improved in just a week. I can't wait to see where I am by the time I'm in Japan! It's going to be awesome!

I just want to thank all of you for the birthday wishes. It really meant a lot to me. So my roommates decorated my room while I was in class. Let's just say that it was a really good day. So I'm 19 now. I don't really feel different....... Which is weird. I usually feel older, but I don't really feel anything out in the field. It just came and went.

I just want you guys to know that I'm thinking about you, and praying for you. If you ever have any time, and feel so inclined, I love getting emails. It always brightens my P-Day to see emails from all of my friends. Well I think I'm going to be sending emails on Wednesday next week. With Thanksgiving and all. I hope you are all doing well!

Birthday Cards

Birthday Wishes

Decorations set up in the room

Birthday treats

The Zone...

Laundry Day

Thursday, November 13, 2014

D.L. and Dai-Senpai

Well. It's the middle of week seven in the MTC. It has been so crazy. It feels like forever, but before I know it, it's another week. Ugh. Well. Big news this week. I became the new and last District Leader for our District (District 27B, the best one there is). It's kind of stressful being D.L., but it's also a lot of fun.

So this week we got more kohai! Which means we're Dai-senpai, which is a lot of fun. It's kind of weird to think about, but out of everyone at the MTC we have almost been here the longest. That is kind of exciting. It's almost our turn to leave.

Well I don't know if you guys know this, but in the MTC, if one missionary gets sick, all of them get sick. There was a huge flu going around, and I happened to get stuck with it. Ugh. That was tough. I was throwing up all day. It was pretty rough. But I made it through. I hope no one else has to go through that. It was pretty bad.

Last Sunday I got to sing in a quartet in Sacrament Meeting. That was a lot of fun. I've never sung in a quartet before. Who knew it could be so much fun?

Another interesting thing: My birthday is this week. That's going to be interesting, because it will be the first birthday I've ever celebrated away from home. It should be pretty interesting.

I also got a package from the Hagens. It had 2 air fresheners, a Santa hat, a stress ball, m&ms, Christmas lights, and a giant rice crispy sheet. And a letter from Uncle Gary, and Jacob. It was so nice to hear from them.

So I found out that it's okay if we do family history here at the MTC, and it's really cool! I found out the my companion and I are related! We're both related to a guy named "Grandmaster Boaz". How cool is that name? So as I was looking at the family tree, I saw the Great-Grandfather Loomis wasn't on there. So I added him, and now I can trace my line all the way back to Adam and Eve on both sides! I think that's really neat.

One of the best experiences I've had during my time at the MTC happened this week. My Sensei, Cook 兄弟, took us up to the top floor of the highest building on campus. In that building, there is just a wall of glass looking out over the Valley towards Spanish Fork. As we're looking at this beautiful sight, he points out the mountains on the other side by S.F. canyon. He says, "You see those mountains over there? Are they big, or are they small?" Every one being at least a little confused said, "Big..?" "Yes," He answered, " They are. Really big. I know that sometimes you have problems, or stress, or you just don't know what you are doing, but God created those mountains. He created those huge mountains over there. Do you think he can't help you solve your problem? God can help us do anything, whether it's homesickness, stress, or learning a new language. Nothing is impossible with God."

I just want you guys to know that I love you, and even if sometimes you can't tell, God does too. I hope you are all doing well. I miss you, and if you're not busy, feel free to shoot me an email. I love talking to all of my friends. 

I love you guys

Elder Tolen
The Zone...a couple weeks ago.

Elder Dunn modeling the new lights, Santa hat, and Krispies treat from the Hagens

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Halloween, and the Existence of Children

This was a really fun week! 本当に楽しかったです [it was really fun]!It was Halloween! My roommates and I all dressed up and went trick or treating! My companion dressed up like a ninja, Elder Phillips dressed up like a scarecrow, and I was a ghost. Elder Jennings didn't really want to participate..... But the three of us sure had a lot of fun! It was a blast.

Elder Tolen, the ghost
Elder Dunn (Ninja) and Elder Tolen (Ghost) on Halloween
Trick-or-Treating missionaries!
This week was also fast Sunday. That was rough. I was starving. The MTC doesn't serve food until dinner, which I guess is a good thing. If there is no temptation, then there's no risk of breaking our fasts. But let me tell you: Boy was I hungry after that. This week we also got to walk over to the BYU Marriot Center and watch a devotional given there! Entering into the outside world--that was a weird experience. We saw people in normal clothes, and families and stuff. I don't think you guys know how cut off from the outside world you really are in the MTC. I saw a baby and I was like, "Oh. I forgot children existed". That was a really neat experience.
Waiting for the devotional to start
Elders and Sisters waiting for the devotional
Marriott Center, waiting for Elder Golden to speak

So yesterday new missionaries came in, and I got to host again. I knew my friend Elder Holdaway was supposed to come in, but with the amount of missionaries coming in, I knew the chances were slim-to-none that I would actually get to host him. As a car was pulling up for me to host, I just had this feeling that I should let the Elder behind me take that car, and I would move up and take the next one. So as I did, I saw a car that I thought I recognized. As it pulled up I realized that it was Elder Holdaway. I was so happy! I couldn't believe that I got to host him! Probably one of my favorite experiences of the week.

Elder Tolen hosting Elder Holdaway as he entered the MTC
Well our 先輩 [senior-ranking missionaries] left this week. It's been pretty quiet since they left. I miss them, and I can't wait to go join them in 日本 [Japan]. Before they left, Elder Law drew a picture of me! I'll be sure to post it. It's really awesome.

Drawing of Elder Tolen by Elder Law
I love you guys! Please feel free to write me! I miss you, and I hope you're all doing well!

Elder Tolen, Elder Dunn, Elder Law, and a few other elders in the Zone.