Elder Tolen's Transfer History

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


Monday, October 12, 2015

Week 45 [54]: Another Baptism!

Monday, October 12, 2015

I'm going to cut right to the chase! We had a baptism yesterday! It was so amazing! He [the new convert] was so prepared!

Elder Burton had the opportunity to baptize him! I was so happy for him. It was the first time he's gotten to baptize someone, and he killed it! It was awesome!

Other than that, not much happened. Just lots of meetings, interviews, and traveling! It was a lot of fun.

We finally got to watch General Conference! And it was amazing! I learned so much! I do miss watching it at home though; sitting in metal chairs for 6 hours in one day is not quite what you would call comfortable! But much revelation was received nonetheless!

Probably my favorite thing that I learned this conference was from President Nelson. Interesting right? The thing that stuck out to me the most was something that was supposed to be directed to the sisters! I'll quote it because that is easier for me to do:

 [President Nelson:] Fifty-eight years ago I was asked to operate upon a little girl, gravely ill from congenital heart disease. Her older brother had previously died of a similar condition. Her parents pleaded for help. I was not optimistic about the outcome but vowed to do all in my power to save her life. Despite my best efforts, the child died. Later, the same parents brought another daughter to me, then just 16 months old, also born with a malformed heart. Again, at their request, I performed an operation. This child also died. This third heartbreaking loss in one family literally undid me.

I went home grief stricken. I threw myself upon our living room floor and cried all night long. Dantzel stayed by my side, listening as I repeatedly declared that I would never perform another heart operation. Then, around 5:00 in the morning, Dantzel looked at me and lovingly asked, “Are you finished crying? Then get dressed. Go back to the lab. Go to work! You need to learn more. If you quit now, others will have to painfully learn what you already know.”

President Nelson's wife's counsel really struck me. Recently I've been pondering about trials, since, as a missionary, they come in abundance, and this was an answer to my prayers. I've always known why trials are important, but I never looked at them from a third-person perspective. I've always viewed trials as being for our own personal gain, when, in reality, they are in order to help others as well. Sometimes in the midst of our suffering we try to find out how we can benefit from the trial, instead of how we can help someone else benefit because of our trial! If we choose to give up, someone else might have to suffer through what we just suffered. It brought to mind a quote by someone you probably know:

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don’t quit'. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."  -Muhammad Ali

The trials are our training. Suffer them now, and live the rest of your life as a champion. You only get as much out of a trial as you choose. It's completely up to you!

Well. I just want you all to know that I love you, and I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Elder Tolen
Takao District (Minus Elder Burton)!


  1. Thank you. Elder Burton did not tell us he was the one to do the baptism.

    April Burton-Elder Burton's Mother

    1. Very cool, right? I'm so happy for him! Elder Tolen LOVES working with your son!!