Elder Tolen's Transfer History

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


Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 59 [68]: I'm Dreaming of a White January!

Monday, Jan. 18, 2016

Hello everybody!

Like you can probably assume from the title, IT SNOWED! I don't think you understand how big of a deal this is! It doesn't really snow in Japan. At least not in the area I'm in, but we were still able to wake up to a good  5 inches of snow this morning! That a great miracle to wake up to.

This week we were able to meet our progressing investigator Yamaguchi! It was great! He is so prepared. We were able to teach him about baptism, and we even extended the soft baptismal commitment! He said yes! I'm so happy I got to work with him. But I probably won't be able to see him get baptized unfortunately. I have been in Takao for  over half a year now, and transfer announcements come this Saturday. I really love the Takao area. It is a fantastic area, and I really have grown attached to it. It is like my second home. I guess that's what happens when you spend a quarter of your service to the Lord in one area. I'm grateful for the time and trust He has blessed me with in this corner of the vineyard.

So this last Sunday, there was a baby blessing in the ward. Baby blessings always bring the sweetest of Spirits into the room. There is something amazing about a soul beginning its adventure here in this life. Children have an amazing Spirit about them. It's amazing how quickly this transfer has gone by. So much has happened, and so much has changed. It really is hard to believe how long I have been in Takao. Honestly speaking, I wouldn't be upset if I spent the rest of my mission here in Takao. I have grown to love the people here so much.

The Lord truly is hastening his work. I have seen it firsthand. I have seen so many miracles recently it is impossible to comprehend. We are finding so many prepared people to learn. Recently I have been focusing some of my study time on the New Testament. I realized that as we are engaged completely in the work of the Lord, who better to turn for for an example the He who created the work in the first place! As I've been reading in Matthew, I've realized how lonely the Lord must have felt throughout this life. Jesus Christ walked on this earth knowing that there wasn't a single living person on the face of the earth that was his intellectual or spiritual equal. He traveled with his disciples teaching and spreading the Gospel, only to be killed by the very men unto whom he preached salvation. I began to wonder what this must have felt like for him. Even so, before the end, He gave us a challenge: Take up thy cross and follow me. He knew the price of discipleship, and He knew the challenges that we face as we enter into adversity.

Being a member of the church is not an easy task. No one said it would be. The Lord commanded us to be in the world, but not of the world. By following Christ, we literally face the world. What an insurmountable task this appears to be! Such a challenge would literally be impossible to overcome, if it wasn't for one thing--something that we, as members of the church have. That key piece is help from the very being who created the world. Jesus Christ has never said that the price of salvation would be cheap. It would literally take everything we have to give. But something the Lord did promise us is support. In the 88th section of D&C we can find this promise: "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." He will not forsake you. So hang on to the rod. Stay on the Old Ship Zion. You're on the right path. The quote that I always put at the end of my email is from Elder Holland: "Hope on. Journey on."

That's all I have to say. Hope on. Journey on. I love you all more than you know. Thank you for all of the support you have shown me. If you have a dream build it! If you have a goal, attain it! The only thing stopping you from doing it is yourself. I hope you all have a fantastic week.

Keep striving,

Elder Tolen
The Sisters Made Snowmen!

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