Elder Tolen's Transfer History

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


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 62 [71]: Baptisms, and President Whiting

Monday, February 8, 2016

This week has been crazy busy. The sister here in Fuchu have been working remarkably hard, and this week, they had two baptisms! It was crazy! I've never been so busy in my entire life! We are busy from the second we wake up until the the second we hit the bed. I'm exhausted, but I've never felt more satisfied in my life.

We have been able to see so many miracles this past week. This week, we had a conference with the area president, President Whiting of the seventy. That was an amazing experience. I learned so much from him. I was able to receive a lot of personal revelation in order to help me progress. I learned that I should not be afraid of finding my limits. I shouldn't fear reaching the edge of my capabilities, because that's when we let the Lord take over. It's only once we reach the edge of our boundaries that we can progress forward. In order to improve, we need to push to that edge, then rely only the Lord. I've realized that over my mission I've been so scared of pushing myself because I've been terrified of finding out that my best wasn't enough, and at the conference I realized that I was completely wrong. It when we do our best, that the Lord can help us obtain our full potential, because in all honesty, from an eternal perspective, our best will not ever help us obtain salvation. At least, not on its own. It is through the power of Christ that we can progress,and it's through our faith in him that we grow.

Today while studying in the Old Testament, I was reading the book of Nehemiah (which I had forgotten was a book in the bible until this morning), and I was able to read chapters 1-8. In these chapters, it covers Nehemiah leading the construction of a wall. I was pondering it, and I was trying to figure out why this wall was so important. I then began to liken the wall to faith, and the thing the wall was protecting was our testimony. We have to continually have our guards round about protecting our faith from things seeking to destroy it, but simultaneously constructing the wall, because even the best of guards get tired, and that wall needs to be there in order to protect our testimony. And then, once our wall is sure, and our faith is stable, we start to gain more knowledge. We start to increase the substance of our testimony, and we begin to thrive. We begin to grow in ways we can never imagine, but it is only through hard work, and determination. I would highly recommend reading those chapters, because I couldn't cover everything that I wanted to in a small email, and there is just so much great spiritual feasting to be had in those chapters.

Using this revelation, I was able to come up with a theme for our district this transfer. The theme is "Strive." We are going to strive to be our best selves, and reach our full potential as servants of the Lord.

It was a great week. I'm loving every second of the time the Lord has allotted me in this vineyard. There isn't anywhere I would rather be.

I love all of you, and I pray for you all continually.

Elder Tolen
Awesome Hats Elder Tolen Made to Reflect District Theme

District Theme Hats:  "Strive"

Photos from Baptism

Photos from Baptism

Week 61 [70]: Fuchu!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Well everyone, this email will be pretty short! I don't have much to report on!

Elder Brown is an amazing companion. I'm so glad we get to be companions. We live in a two man, which I have never done, so I didn' know what to expect, but it is fantastic. What's also weird is that we sleep on beds in this apartment! I haven't slept on a bed since I left the MTC. I didn't realize how much I actually missed beds.

Being a district leader is stressful, but there are only four members in the district, so there aren't too many stats that I need to round up.

Recently we have been working really hard on finding, and it has been great! We have seen so much success. I have one interesting story I would like to share about our Chinese investigator named Tom. I had never met him, and Elder Brown had just met him one time when they found him last week, so we decided to set up a dinner appointment with him, and then, after dinner, go to the church and teach him a lesson with a member. So we ate dinner at this awesome Ramen shop, and we actually taught him right there in the restaurant, and we were able to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. It went remarkably well. After that, we get a call from the sisters asking us where we were, and we found out that we had a meal at a member's house that night, but we didn't know about it because a member told a missionary that transferred out, and unfortunately he never passed that message along (haha). So we rushed over to the member's house, still with Tom, and ate another dinner. It was an awesome experience. Tom is such a funny guy. We were able to set up an appointment with him next Saturday as well, so that will be great.

Other than that, we have just been finding our own rhythm out here in Fuchu. It has been fantastic. I love Elder Brown; he is so great, and is helping me so much. I know that the Lord will always help us if we rely on him! That's my testimony!

I love you all!

Talk to you next week,

Elder Tolen
Elders Tolen and Brown with "Tom"

Teaching some Hospital Workers in Takao

Week 60 [69]: Transfer Time!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Hey everyone! As you guessed, we got our transfer emails. And there is some big changes. I'm moving! I'm going to be transferring to Fuchu (府中), and I will be serving as District Leader and my companion will be Elder Brown! I knew Elder Brown before he came to the mission! In fact, we went to the same school! So I am very excited for this transfer. I think we will see many miracles from it. I am really sad about having to leave Takao. I've been here for so long, I feel like it has become my home Ward. So it has been really hard to say goodbye to everyone, but I know that the Lord needs me to tend to another portion of his vineyard.

This week was pretty slow. My companions have been out of commission this week, so I spent a lot of time on the phone trying to call people, or cleaning. It's been worth it though. Tonight we have an appointment with the stake president. I really do love this man. He found out I was transferring, and the first thing he did was give me a huge hug. He really treats me like one of his sons. This man has really helped me through some of the roughest times of my mission.

This week my scripture I've been ponderizing is from Matthew 21:19-21:

19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

I've really been pondering about faith. Over the course of my mission, I have realized just how important faith really is. Miracles cannot occur if faith is lacking, but even the smallest amount of faith can move mountains. Even just the desire to have faith is enough. Everything we do, every action we make, every step we take, should help us increase our faith. This life is hard, and is full of trails of faith, but faith isn't something gained easily. Faith is earned. It reminded me of a quote from Mohamed Ali that says, "Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion."  Faith isn't supposed to come easily. Nothing good should. But when we finally earn our faith, there is nothing sweeter on this Earth. That I can testify of. I know what it's like to be on both sides of the line, and I know which side I would choose. But we have to constantly be increasing our faith. Faith is something that can easily be lost. And it can be lost through very small things. I have watched investigators and members out here lose their faith, and it never happens all at once. Be watchful. Be mindful. Satan is always a stone's throw away, and he wants you, so my challenge to you all is to show him what it means to really be a disciple of Christ.

I love you all so much! Thank you for all of the support! Keep being amazing.

Love you all!

Elder Tolen

The Machida West Zone!