Elder Tolen's Transfer History

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


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Week 72 [81]: My Firstborn in the Wilderness

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hello everyone! It's been a pretty good week! My companion was down with a fever for a good chunk of the week, though, so that was interesting! It gave me lots of study/pondering/ area book finding time! It was very good! I learned a lot. This week was a lot of fun, and we even went to hike Mt. Takao with a bunch of other missionaries today! I even got to see Elder Hunsaker again! He is one of my best friends out here. We were able to talk a lot, and have a good time. He actually goes home this week, so that's a pretty weird thought! It's interesting seeing all of these missionaries who aren't that much older than me going home. It's quite a strange feeling! Pretty scary!

So we got transfer emails this last week, and I will be staying with Elder Ishikawa! But, there's more! We are having a son! We will be training a new missionary together! I'm so excited for this. I have always wanted to train, and I'm so grateful that I will be getting this wonderful opportunity to help a new missionary adjust to life in Japan. He will probably be American, but he might also be Japanese as well, so we will see! It would be interesting to live an apartment of more then two people, but still only be able to speak Japanese. We'll see what happens!

As for a spiritual thought for today, I would like to kind of continue my thoughts that I shared recently about the Sakura trees! Recently, as you know, all of the Sakuras are gone! I was so sad. I was very sad because this was the last 桜季節 that I would get in Japan. But as I was walking down the road with Elder Ishikawa the other day, I saw some Sakura flowers blowing around in the street. It actually looked like a Sakura tornado! I was very impressed! But upon seeing it, my mind was brought back to some revelation I received a couple of weeks before pertaining to Sakura trees blooming, and spiritual light and knowledge. I think I might have already shared those thoughts with you, but anyways, I saw these Sakura blossoms swirling around, and I started thinking about how Sakura blossoms are only on the trees for like a week! That's it! Then they fall off! For good, that's it, bye-bye, see you next year. I thought about how our spiritual experiences are like that! They come in just a fleeting moment! We have to be ready to see them, or we miss them. But I started thinking about this Sakura tornado that I was witnessing! I thought about all of the different trees these Sakuras could have originated from. I doubt they all came from the same tree! Then I thought about how, in our lives, we will probably have lots of Spiritual experiences, or in other words, lots of different trees! But eventually, the leaves from the trees will fall, but that doesn't mean it's done! What I was witnessing right now was all of those Spiritual experiences, being controlled by an unseen force, wind, or at least in this たとえ話, God, swirling together to create something beautiful! All of the knowledge and spiritual light we were able to gain from the trees wasn't lost when  our "霊的な桜季節" ended! It was all there, so that when then time came, the Lord could use it to influence others! So we need to make sure that we get everything out of our それぞれ霊的な桜季節! That way, when the time comes, the Lord can make a beautiful "Sakura Tornado" and use us and our experiences to impact others, and help them see what the Gospel can really do!

I really do love his gospel. There really is a such thing as a second chance. As I have served as a missionary, I have truly come to understand what the Lord means when He says He is full of mercy and grace, because I have seen so much of it out here! Everything in this life is a blessing from the Lord! Every trial, and hardship was made to make the small things easier. We have big challenges occasionally so we can tackle our daily battles with ease. The Lord truly does love each and every one of us, and everything he does is for our benefit!

I love you guys, and I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Tolen


Ran into a Friend at the Temple Last Week!
A Friend at the Temple Last Week!

Pictures from the Hike!

Pictures from the Hike!

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