Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Hello my beloved friends and family! This week has been crazy! So much has happened! I don't have much time! We had to change our Preparation Day to a Wednesday this week for the temple because the temple is going to be closed next week, so I'm emailing on a weird day! The temple was such a fantastic experience. I love going to the temple. The Lord always helps me learn so much. I highly recommend going.
We have had quite a few adventures this week! We did a ramen eating challenge, and each of the Elders ate 7 bowls of Ramen, and we all got our names on the wall of he restaurant. Then we had an absolutely amazing lesson with our investigator. We were able to set a baptismal date with him for the 16th of July. We are very excited to see him continue to progress. There is nothing better than watching the influence of the Spirit change one's countinence. There really is nothing like it. I am so grateful for the Lord and the opportunity he has given me to labor in the land of my dreams. Not a day goes by that I'm not grateful for that.
We also had the opportunity to go to a fireside hosted by President Wada. It was his last big fireside before he leaves the mission on the 28th. It was a very emotional time for me. President Wada has helped me in more ways than I can even comprehend. I will always be indebted to him for the skills and knowledge I have gained from him. He truly is a man who has magnified his calling. The Lord truly qualifies those whom he calls.
Recently I've been pondering a lot about why God allows trials to afflict his servants. I always used to think that God should shelter his servants. These are the very people hastening his work, and yet, I felt that they were the people experiencing the most tribulation. As I was pondering this, Nephi came to mind. I started thinking about 1 Nephi 17, when Nephi was asked to build a boat. The first thing he asked was where he could find the ore to forge the tools. Even Nephi couldn't work with unrefined materials. He needed to forge them so that they could be used in the construction of the ship that would eventually take them to the promised land. We are in the same situation as the tools. The Lord needs refined tools in order to construct the ships for his children embarking toward the promised land, and the only way to refine His tools is through the refiner's fire. The Lord is using us as His tools to construct ships for others to come to the promised land, and not just any tools will do. Only those of the finest quality can construct a ship capable of making it to the Promised Land. He is doing everything He can to ensure a safe journey home for everyone.
I am so grateful for the Lord. The testimony I have gained over the course of these almost two years is invaluable, and I will always be grateful for the Lord's blessed guidance.
I love each and every one of you. I hope you have a fantastic week. I now go to repent, and invite others to do the same. Keeps striving, and never give up.
|Elder Tolen and Elder Languido at the Temple|
|Tokorozawa District at the Temple|
|Elder Tolen and Elder Palomino (He's like a Brother to Me!)|
|At a Fireside|
|At a District Meeting Where We Made a Cake for a Recent Convert's Birthday|
|Visiting a Less-Active Family|