Elder Tolen's Transfer History

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


Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 33 [42]: Hot!

It has been quite a week. And quite a hot week at that. Actually, temperature-wise, Utah is hotter, but with 90-100% humidity over here, it is not too fun! But I love it none-the-less!

So, this week started out with our interviews from President Wada! That was great! For some reason, this interview was just amazing. I always learn so much from President Wada. He really is the best! Then, right after that interview, we had an amazing lesson with our friend from Iraq! He really is one of the most fun-loving, spiritual people on the Earth. He told us of the amazing dream he had where he saw his son that was killed in a car accident many years ago, and his son told him, "You found the right path dad, please keep following the missionaries," and then he healed him. I don't know if you know this, but this investigator is 80 years old, and he had a whole bunch of veins on his legs that he was going to get surgery for, but his son healed him in this dream, and he woke up, and he had no pain anymore, and the veins on his legs were gone. It was probably one of the most spiritual lessons I have ever heard of, let alone been in. I learned so much about faith from him.

So now, in my companionship, we have two baptismal dates. I've never seen that before. It is such a blessing to be able to see all of these miracles. I'm really thankful for all of the things that I'm learning out here!

I love you guys lots! Sorry! I'm running really late today! Gotta run!

Elder Tolen
With Our Investigator from Iraq

Ping Pong This Morning with My New "Bro"!

Bloom Where You're Planted!

In Our Apartment

Week 32 [41]: Getting Hotter!

July 13, 2015

Hello! Can you believe it's already been another week? Crazy right? In about 2 months I will be hitting my year mark on my mission. That's pretty crazy to me. What about all of you?

Well, this week went by fast, but it had a lot of ups and downs. At the beginning of the week, we taught a lesson to our investigator who is from Iraq. He is so funny. He is just this bubbly 80-year-old man. But he has done so much during his life! He has worked on movies for Hollywood, and been in numerous movies back in the day! It's crazy. So, we had a lesson with him, and he took us out for a little snack after, and I guess I got some bad food, because I was taken out of commission for the rest of that day, and the next day. So that was hard.... What made it even harder was my companion got really frustrated with me about it. So that made me feel even worse. I didn't try to get sick... So that was kind of a bummer. But I'm better now, and been working hard.

After that, a miracle we were able to see this week was we were walking in this park that I forgot the name of, and we stopped this one young man. We started talking, and he told us he had no interest in the Gospel. So we both just testified to him, and the Spirit instantly swept over all of us. He looked at the Book of Mormon, and just said, "I want that book."  It was so crazy! We got his phone number, and I'm excited to see where this goes! The Lord truly will put prepared people in your path, as long as you are doing everything you can to do your part! It really never ceases to astound me.

Another miracle! So yesterday, we went to visit a member who was in the hospital, because we wanted to bring him some banana bread we made, so we made the trek over there and had a great conversation with him, and it was a blast! He was so nice! So after that we left, and got on a train to go home. So we got to a station where we had to transfer trains, so we go and wait for out next train, and this guy wearing a "Needs more cowbell" shirt sits down next to me. You better believe I pounced on him. Turns out, as expected, he was a drummer, too! He actually has a rock band in Seattle! So we started talking about that, and then of course, I asked him if he believed in God. He told me he didn't know, but he doesn't believe God is there. So I told I knew that He is here, and he said, "Well, how do you know?" Great question, yeah? I started talking about my experiences with prayer, and testified to this man. The craziest part was watching him as he felt the Spirit. I ran out of time when my train got to my station, so I just had to give him my number and run before my companion left me, but I know he felt the Spirit. It was amazing to watch that. It's amazing how the Lord will use your talents in the ways that he does. It really is great!

Well, I love you all so much, keep loving each other!

Elder Tolen

Elder Tolen and the Drummer

Missionaries after Singing Primary Songs to Chinese Investigators

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Week 31 [40]: Exhausted in Tama


I'm tired. And typing emails is hard. So this one might be kind of short. I also forgot my keyboard at home, so that makes typing even harder haha! But! I will do my best!

So, I'm in Tama now! And my companion is named Elder Parberry! He is a transfer 11 missionary, so he is pretty old. Right now we are living in a four-man apartment, but it was made for two, so that is hard, but it's all good! We are actually going to be moving to a nicer apartment in a week or two, so that will be nice! Today for P-day, we went to Costco! That was super nice! We were able to buy a pizza for about $10! And it was an American sized pizza, which is super rare! It was delicious.

This week was super busy! Elder Parberry and I have been working super hard since we got together, and I don't think I've ever taught so many lessons on the street! We have found about 12 new potential investigators in four days! That is more than I've ever heard of!

Other than that I'm really exhausted! Tama is so different from Odawara. It is so crazy to be in the city. I haven't really been in the city since I came to Japan. So that is really crazy. We don't ride bikes as much, because I don't really like riding in the rain...And on my new bike, it's kind of dangerous. Haha.
Working in the rain in Tama
Other than that not much has happened! I'll be sure to write a lot more next week! Love you guys!

Elder Tolen

Working hard in the rain in Tama
Elder Tolen and Elder Parberry
The last English class in Odawara before transfers...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Week 30 [39]: Transfers!

June 29, 2015

Well hello! I'm sure you're all wondering, "Gee, what is Elder Tolen going to be doing this transfer? He has been in Odawara for a little while. What's going to happen?" At least I'm sure you are, mom! Well. I'll tell you, since there is really no point of putting it at the end because everyone will just scroll down. Well, I'm transferring! And, this time I'm leaving Fujisawa stake! I've been in this stake since I came to Japan. I'm going to be transferring to an area called Tama! I'm really excited! It is basically in the heart of the city! And I love the city! So I'm really excited! My new companion is named Elder Parberry, and I hear he is one of the hardest workers in the mission, so I'm really excited to be serving with him! I haven't actually met him yet because our actual transfer day has been changed to Thursday. So we get our calls on Saturday, then transfer the following Thursday. So I still have a ton of packing to do! I'm not really too big of a fan of packing, but since my new bike is about 20lbs lighter than my old bike, carrying it on the train will be a lot easier.

So, Sister Tachibana, one of the sisters in my district, is going home a
fter this transfer, because she is done with her mission! So today we went to the beach and had a party, and a water balloon fight! It was the bomb.com.  I'll send some pictures. Other than transfers not much has changed. Just continuing to work hard! It is crazy how fast time starts flying. My year mark is coming up sooner than later, so that is way crazy. My sisters from my MTC district actually hit their halfway mark recently, so there's that.

Well, I love you guys so much!

Elder Tolen
Fun on the beach on P-Day in Odawara

P-Day on the beach in Odawara
Beach fun on P-Day

Zone Conference in Odawara

Week 29 [38]: Splits and Parfaits

June 22, 2015

Hello! Happy Father's Day! I'm sorry you don't get a Skype call home too, dad, but it doesn't mean I love you any less! ;) Well, I just want you to know that I am a little bit tired, and the thought of writing numerous emails sounds like a very laborious venture, I'm not going to be sending a ton of personal emails this week! Not because I don't love you, but because I'm almost out of time, and I'm really tired. I will try to do better next week! But that might be hard too, since next Monday is Transfer Day! We find out if we are transferring this Saturday! Crazy, huh? I'll be a transfer 6 missionary! Weird. I'm not old, and I'm not young. Strange. Anyway! Let's dive into the weekly report, shall we?

This week started off with a bang with Zone Conference. It was fun, because President Wada came down and we got a lot of great spiritual sustenance! There was one thing though that was really embarrassing. So, I didn't know, but we were all supposed to memorize the Firs Vision in Japanese by the time of the conference. But, I had never received that information. Of course, I had a little memorized, but not 100%. So it turns out he called out two people to recite the First Vision. And out of all the people, he calls on me. Of course right? So I get up there, and I tell the President that I didn't have it memorized, and he said that was okay, and that everyone would help. So I led the entire zone in reciting it, and then had the opportunity to bear my testimony about it. That was a lot of fun. Needless to say, I had it memorized by the next day. :) And then, right after zone conference, we got to go on splits! So I had the opportunity to serve in an area called Shonan! I served with a great missionary named Elder Wallace. He is so smart, and such a great missionary! I'm so grateful for the opportunity that I had to serve with him! I'll attach a picture with him.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to go visit our less active friend who lives up in the mountains, but this time, we went with a member, who was able to drive us, so that was a blessing, but we got up there, and we were able to share a message with the husband and his wife! They were so happy! They really want the Gospel in their lives, but they are so busy. I hope we can find a way to help them.

Today, we had a fun P-day! We went to Yokohama, and ate at the one Mexican food restaurant in our entire mission! That was a blast! After that we came back to Odawara, and ate giant parfaits! It was great! I'll be sure to include pictures!

I love you guys!

Elder Tolen
Giant Parfaits! Elder Cluff and Elder Tolen ate an entire one by themselves...

Elder Wallace and Elder Tolen

Visiting the Less Active Family

Friday, July 3, 2015

Week 28 [37]: Eventful Adventures

June 15, 2015

Well, it sure has been an eventful week! Let me begin with what we did today! We woke up early, and went to a place called Endoshima with some missionaries that are friends with Elder Cluff, and that was a blast! Except it was really hot! But we got to do lots of hiking! Endoshima is an island, so we were able to look at a whole bunch of tide pools and stand right next to the ocean. But, unfortunately, my name tag jumped off my chest, and decided to take a swim in the ocean. Forever. So yeah... Good thing I have other ones! After that we caught some shellfish rocks next to the ocean, and saw a few stingrays! That was really amazing! After that, we went and explored some caves located on the island, and they gave us these cool candle things to carry as we walked around in the caverns! It was quite an experience!

A miracle I was able to witness this week was... This entire week! We were so busy this week! We taught at least one lesson every single day, which is a first since I have come out into the field! I don't know if you remember my email from last week, but that man we found that wanted to take lessons, showed up for his lesson appointment, and we were able to have a wonderful lesson with him! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be able to help teach this man.

Update on the bike: So I sold my old bike! After much trial and testing, I was finally able to sell the broken thing, and was able to purchase a new bike! I bought a nice road bike. Let me tell you: When I came here, they told me to buy a mountain bike. So I did. Don't do that. Mountain bikes are great! If you are mountain biking. But as missionaries here in Japan, we never leave the roads with our bikes. So there really isn't a point to having a giant heavy bike that you have to carry around when you transfer.

Another miracle that happened this week: We set up an appointment with this man to meet who was listed under our PI list, so after we rode to the meeting location, on my new bike, which was 20 Km away, we met this wonderful man! We did some service by trimming his trees, which was a lot of fun, except one of them had huge thorns, so I was impaled a few times, but it was all fun! After that he took us out to dinner, and told us he is going to take us to do Kendo next week! Which is the Japanese bamboo sword thing! That is the best way I can describe it..... It is going to be way fun!

Love you guys!

Elder Tolen
Endoshima Adventure

Shrine inside the caves on Endoshima
Elder Wright and Elder Tolen
In the caves at Endoshima
Endoshima Caves...creepy... 

Finally, a new bike! No more repairs (hopefully!)!