Elder Tolen's Transfer History

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


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week 25 [34]: Crazy Week: It's a Jungle Out There!

Hello! As you can tell by the title of this email, this week was, well, crazy! So much happened! We were so busy!

So I'll just start off with a very interesting story, that turns into a miracle. So! Recently, we haven't had any luck with finding people to teach. So Elder Uemura and I decided to do a fast. So we fasted the entire day, and talked to a lot of people, like more than I have ever talked to in a single day, but none of them were interested in the Gospel. So we came back, ate dinner, and went back out to finish our night. So we climb this mountain with our bikes, and come to this area in the middle of nowhere. Just like this little town on the side of a mountain. It was like an adventure. I kept thinking to myself, man, this is a missionary life! Finding people on the sides of mountains in the dark! So we continued to knock on doors, and continued to get rejected, when, all of a sudden, these monkeys came out of nowhere! At first there were three of them in the road: a baby, and two big ones. The baby kept walking between the two big monkeys, making little monkey noises, as little monkeys do, and then, suddenly, a giant monkey came out of nowhere and kidnapped the baby monkey!

That is when everything went crazy. The mountain came alive. Monkeys were screaming and howling, running through the trees, stampeding through the forest after this baby monkey. It was literally terrifying. I have heard stories of monkeys attacking people, so I thought, "This is it. I will be the first missionary in Japan to get killed by monkeys." But, as you can see, I didn't. Just as quickly as it started, it ended, and a strange peace came over the forest.

So after that, we decided to move away from the forest for a little bit, and it was almost time to go home anyway, so we saw this house on the top of this hill, and decided that it would be our last house for the night. We rang the door bell, and this cute little old lady came to the door. She actually allowed us to share a message with her, and we returned the next day and gave her a Book of Mormon, and shared a powerful message about Jesus Christ. I just want to say that fasting really does work. Never have I fasted and not seen a miracle.

So as you all have noticed, today is temple P-day, so why is Elder Tolen emailing at such an early hour? Well, that is because I have to get my bike fixed because it is pretty broken. So we are actually going to the temple next week! Which will be interesting. But yeah, today we have to get my bike repaired from all of the crashes that I experienced in the winter in Japan. It is all good! I didn't take any pictures this week! I'm sorry! We were just so busy! I hope you can forgive me! I love you guys!  By the way, dad, I love 気がつく [notice, perceive], but the word that I wrote on my planner is 希望. It means hope. Hope is probably my favorite word. I have spent hours studying it! I'm sure you would love it too! Love you!
[When asked about a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that rattled Tokyo earlier this week, Zach had the following response:]

Haha--how did you know about the earthquake?  What magnitude was it? All I know is we felt it down at the bottom of the mission, and it originated from the top of our mission, and we felt it pretty strong! Love you!

[Later that evening Zach wrote again to provide an update on the adventures of taking his bike to be fixed: ]

So! Update on the bike story. Today, after a short round of emailing, we began our trek to the bike shop, which first of all is really far away, and to make matters worse, it is on the other side of a mountain. So we began our laborious climb over this mountain range, only to find that for about a mile, we would be unable to use our bikes, because we had to hike, with our bikes.

A Little Hiking, Bikes on Shoulders
So, with our bikes on our shoulders, we continued our ascent. I had told my companion a few weeks ago that I was thinking about MAYBE joining the Navy when I get home, and while we were climbing, he just kept chanting, "Naby Tuuraiiiniinguuuu!" in a very thick Japanese accent. It was hilarious. It made it so much more fun.

After we reached a point when we could use our bikes again, we continued our climb up and through this mountain. After about two hours of very hard biking, we reached the shop, only to find out that the part we thought was only kind of broken was completely destroyed, and because of that, we would have to replace the entire section that holds all of the gears together and stuff. So I was like, "Okay, so how much is that?" It was only about $40, but they didn't even have the parts to fix it, so we would have to order it and come back in about a week. But! More news! Even though it was the same chain of bike stores, because it was in a different area, there wasn't really much they could do. So we had to call the store that I bought it from, and we have called back and forth throughout the day, and finally they said that the managers of the stores would talk to each other and get everything worked out! So they said maybe I might just exchange my bike for a different one. We don't know yet though. We are still waiting for another call back from the bike store!

The way back to Odawara was much easier, and downhill. But I don't know how well my legs will be feeling tomorrow! Check back next week to find out! I took a couple of pictures at the beginning of our biking climb, and at the end of our hiking portion!

Looking back, today was quite the adventure! You can only get adventures like these on the mission! I am so grateful for all of the blessings the Lord has given me!

I hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Elder Tolen
The Beginning of the Bike Climb over the Mountain

The Bike Climb Before the Hike
Lost and Asking for Directions

A Tired Elder Uemura, at the End of the Day!

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