Mailing Address:

Elder Jarron McKay Molen
Japan Tokyo South Mission
1-7-7 Kichijoji, Higashi-cho
Musashino-shi, Tokyo
180-0002 JAPAN

Sunday, April 2, 2017

We are so busy it's insane!


Week 79 - April 2, 2017

So basically I'm not gonna do a day-by-day.  I'll just write a bunch of stuff.

This week we found a bunch of new investigators! We have just had to plan and pray and dendo as hard as we can all week. We have been trying to improve the zone because it just didn't seem to be going anywhere, but now everyone seems a little bit more excited and is ready to go hard in the paint!

Wednesday: we had planning for a lot of stuff but we still found some time to dendo. We talked to a college student who is gonna meet with us this week so that was something way awesome. We hope to bring some people to church this week for general conference. We went to visit a referral and instead met his dad who was super nice and we hope we can continue to build a good relationship. 

Thursday: Wwe had MLC which was pretty good but mostly the thing I was excited about was the new Easter video and the fact that we are significantly going to improve Ekaiwa. We are gonna make it a lot better so that it's not just a bunch of people who never wanna hear the gospel. Also, the new Easter video is way awesome and you should all watch it 'cause it's great. At night after Ekaiwa, we were heading home but I kept trying to talk to people even though we had to hurry home. The first guy I said hello to stopped and we talked about Heavenly Father and a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. It was way awesome 'cause I was holding faith that we could find someone that day and even though it was at the very end, we were able to talk and we got his number. God really does prepare the way if we try our best.
Friday: We had district meetings at which we presented our vision for the zone. We are focusing on getting people to come to church early on so that they can be easily fellowshipped by the members and have a better path to baptism. Also we just told everyone that we want to be happy, have fun, and work with faith and diligence. Everyone seems way excited so we are looking forward to some good stuff. 
Then we went on splits! We brought 2 of the Kawasaki elders back to our area. We had a really good time just being excited about the work and doing our best. Elder Hemi and Elder Schow were able to find a few investigators in just one day so that was wonderful! This week we are expecting to see a lot of people all over the zone become new investigators. It was pretty cold and rainy that day but we tried our best and had a good time.
Sunday was great just like every week lol. The young women dominated the stand with testimonies this week cause they went to youth conference but it was way good. Kanagawa ward has a lot of really strong people and everyone works together which I think is great. Then after church we learned some shuwa. That is Japanese sign language. There are 3 people in our ward who are deaf and so we learned from them to say some stuff in sign language and we are going to continue to practice so that we can communicate. It's actually pretty fun. Now I will become trilingual! 
Today we are going to Yakiniku as a district so that should be pretty fun. Ill get some pictures for y'all. Anyway this church is true, Jesus loves you.  I love you all! Until next week. 
The gospel is the best.

The New Transfer Has Begun

Week 78 - March 26, 2017
This is gonna be another wonderful transfer, I can feel it!

Wednesday:  Basically all we did was, I cleaned and Elder Murata packed. He had a lot to pack away and I had TONS to clean in the apartment. I made it pretty spotless and I took out all of the old useless futons and trash in the apartment. We had to rip up and cut like 12 total and it was pretty gross but we got them all in garbage bags. Now our apartment is beautiful.

Transfer day!!
  So we helped pack one elder's bike and sent him off. Then we went to the station where Elder Murata was leaving from and met a member who he wanted to see one last time before leaving. It was kinda sad to see him go but he's off to bigger and better things now.  My new companion Elder Hemi came!! He is from New Zealand and is way pumped up so I am super excited for this transfer. We got to do weekly planning and we are looking towards a lot of improvements and changes in the zone to get it bumping again.

Basically the rest of what I have to say is the fact that we have a lot to work on in our zone to improve finding and getting those baptismal dates and I think that everyone wants to work hard as well. We are preparing and doing all we can to be diligent and put in the needful work so that people are brought unto baptism! We had a miracle on Saturday where we met a cool guy who spoke English went to New Zealand and who I had a mutual friend with on Facebook! We are hoping to go out to get some food with him and talk more about the BoM which we gave to him. Way exciting!
Church was wonderful as usual. Everyone appreciate the sacrament and use it every week.

It's been really cold over here recently and Sakura has yet to bloom sadly but it will happen soon so I await that day! That's all for this week really, love you all!

The gospel is the best
Week 77 - March 20, 2017
There were a lot of random things so I'll try to remember them all.
Tuesday: We just got to do a whole lot of dendo. We housed a ton and it got pretty cold that day but it was no problem. We found one guy who said that he had met lots of Mormons before! He lived in San Diego at one point and he was only like 22 years old. He also went to Russia and said that he met Mormons there as well. He said we were super nice. We taught him all about the BoM and gave him one. He said he'd read it but that he doesn't really have time to meet for a while. So we will periodically see how he's doing until he makes time for the gospel. Way cool miracle.

Wednesday: We had a district meeting I know that. Everything else seems to have fled from my memory. Nice. Oh, I remembered. We went to the Takakusagi's house at night and they were super nice and had 3 kids going wild. It was pretty fun.
     But here is something I have been doing for a long time. So at the apartment here there is just a bunch of old trash and useless stuff so I'm healing it! I broke apart like 5 old chairs and dismantled a bunch of stuff. Also threw out like a bunch of bags of old stuff and a whole tone of useless junk.  I swear missionaries are so dirty.

Thursday:  We had a nice long planning session to get our investigators moving and we are just trying to repair the area book and phone and previous carelessness from missionaries. So we are still working on that. At night we had Ekaiwa which was normal as usual and I'm trying to think of better ways to get them more involved and stuff. The students are fun and good though.

Friday the highlight!  So we had a conference in Shonandai again and Elder Choi from the Asia north Area presidency came to speak to us! It was a way awesome conference with too many things to include but one thing that he emphasized a lot was this, "if you don't like it, like it!" He talked about opening our mouth anywhere and liking the things you don't like and having fun with missionary work. He calls it "fun with the spirit." He says if it isn't joyous and fun sometimes then it's just all hard which isn't what we want. Sister Choi was also funny and super, super nice. They reminded me a lot of President and Sister Wada, so it was like we had 2 sets of mission parents. Also, I got chosen to have a personal interview with Elder Choi so that was awesome! He is super nice and just wanted to hear my conviction and simple testimony of the gospel and in return gave me some encouragement with his testimony. The church leaders are really called of God. All you have to do to know that is see how they act with love all the time. Also I got to hug him at the end of the interview so I can now check of my list that I've hugged a general authority.

On Saturday it was way nice and warm. We had lunch with the Shuto Family and it was a really good lesson as well. We were able to share about how everyone is a child of God but not everyone knows that. We tied it in with the restoration and the family said they really felt the spirit. They want to invite their friends to learn or do something.  It's just they sometimes don't know how 'cause Japanese people don't talk to each other and are way shy, so ya. But I think they got fired up towards dendo so that's way good.  After that we housed for a while but nothing too big happened. Then we went to Kawasaki district meeting. It was Elder Murata last district meeting before he goes home so ya. We also got to open our transfer calls there! I'm staying in Kanagawa and my companion is going to be Elder Hemi. He is super nice and fun so I think we will get along just fine.

The last supper:  It was Elder Murata last Sunday as well as the last meal appointment that we had at night. Church was just wonderful as usual. We got to visit the Kude family in the daytime which was way great! They are a super nice family and have such strong faith it's crazy. We got to know them better as well as their 2 boys who we all want to help become good priesthood men. At night we went over to the Itou's whose house is connected to ours. Brother Itou was the former stake president and he rents out the part attached to his house to the church for the missionaries. We had a nice dinner and we got to give some words of thanks to my departing companion and to Elder Pierce who is moving areas.

Monday:  Normally it would be p-day but we were asked to do service at the temple 'cause they didn't have enough help at the baptistry. So we went and I got to do confirmations so basically I was able to help open the doors of the celestial kingdom to more people in that one day than in my whole mission.  Crazy, right!! That was a super good experience especially cause Motoki came with us so I got to go do baptisms with someone I helped baptize! Great time, definitely would recommend. At night we had a family home evening activity with a couple of members and we watched a spiritual video and all shared our opinions. It was actually way great.

Today is p-day!
It's raining a bunch and we bought a lot of home cleaning items and other stuff 'cause I'm about to crack down on this apartment and eliminate all ゴミ. Anyway, yes the Gospel is true and families are forever. Keep believing and realize that family is happy when they follow the gospel. That's all for this week and I'll talk to you next time!

The gospel is the best!

Spring is on the Rise!

Week 76 - March 13, 2017
I'm hoping it gets warms and stays like that soon 'cause then more people are outside to talk to!
This week's was pretty interesting at least I think it was, but I don't remember it 'cause it goes so fast.

Wednesday: We had a meeting in Shonandai to watch the broadcast that was supposed to be just for mission presidents, but it was announced that the missionaries should watch it as well. So we did that but there's a twist. Elder Murata and I were asked to translate the meeting.... so the things people were saying weren't too bad to translate but when we watched the broadcast and had to translate the general authorities, that was a bit rough. If it was Japanese to English that's a lot easier but I had to do English to Japanese which is way annoying. But it was a lot of fun and I feel like I did pretty alright with the Lord's help and also realized how much I have to keep studying Japanese. I'm convinced I still don't speak Japanese.

After the meeting we went back to our church where we met with a guy who was desiring to get baptized. He had some things to work out and fix before he could do that so we told him directly that he has to meet the standards and then he can get baptized. I felt just way uncomfortable the entire time meeting with him and could just tell he wasn't ready by the prompting from the spirit. He wanted to get baptized on the 12th even though he wasn't ready so we had to tell him straight up that it wasn't happening 'cause a lot of Japanese people are indirect and don't say things that need to be said. So that was interesting as well.

On Thursday we had zone meeting! It was super good being able to tell everyone the information from MLC. The zone seemed to accept it and want to apply it without problem. They are all super awesome and want to work hard which is way wonderful. We taught them about teaching repentance and baptizing converts which is what the broadcast focused on. We are trying to help people repent in every phase of missionary work. We made a plan as a zone and everyone seems way excited about carrying it out and we expect to see a lot of miracles and improvement.

Friday we had a pretty normal day except in the evening we had exchanges with the Kawasaki elders. We were able to find 2 potential investigators in a really short amount of time so that was way sick. They were both around 22,23 which is the best age group for us to teach. One of them is a girl we referred to the sisters but we are gonna go back and visit the other guy to see how he's doing later. The rest of the split continued into Saturday where we just did dendo all day. We went over towards the ocean to see what was over there but sadly it was a lot of factories and a U.S Army dock so we couldn't proselyte there. But regardless, we found some other places to knock on doors and say hi to people. I accidentally knocked on the back door of a bento box store so now I can say that I have tried to dendo a restaurant.

Sunday was great. Sacrament was great. Members are great. We had an awesome experience as well! We went to go visit a member but he wasn't home. His house is right next to a parking lot and while Elder Murata was writing a note to the member, I said "hi" to this random guy who was getting stuff out of his van. He said hi back and I did the whole missionary introduction and asked him how he was doing. He said he was doing great and that he was Christian. From there we proceeded to have a 45 min conversation about Christianity and what he believes and we taught him about the restoration and the BoM. He was super friendly and cool and accepted the BoM. He then said "wait here I'm gonna get you some drinks 'cause it's cold and you are volunteers," and Elder Murata quickly told him we don't drink like a specific tea and coffee and he's like "ok!" So we wait and he comes back with a different tea that we can't drink. And I'm like, Oh no this is terrible! So we tell him that we're sorry but we can't drink that and he's like "oh really, ok wait here." So he proceeds to go back to the little convenient store and comes back with 2 cups and I'm like, Oh no, what could it be this time. He shouts "it's hot chocolate!" So I'm thinking, Ok this is sweet, I found the nicest man ever. He told me to taste it and I said it was wonderful. He also said "there are good wonderful Christian people here in Japan even if it doesn't really seem like it sometimes." That really helped me out to see that people do still have a desire to follow Christ even here in Japan. People really are prepared and the gospel will keep going forth.

That's all for this week and today we are going to play some frisbee so I'll send the pictures from that if I can get any. Love you all. Here's a picture of me looking weird at the temple as well.

The gospel is the best

Translating the General Authorities

Week 75 - March 6, 2017
Yes this week was pretty normal but I'll try to get some good stuff in there.

So basically we had MLC last week! We received a lot of good trainings about setting baptismal dates and helping people achieve them, 'cause people sometimes mention baptism once and then never talk about it again until the date approaches and that is very bad. We should always be talking about it 'cause that's our whole purpose here! Anyway, MLC was wonderful. But it was sad because it was the last time I was with Elder Matsumoto. He just stayed at the mission home and then his family came and got him.  Now, it is just me and Elder Murata left.

We did a lot of finding this week. We are trying our very hardest to find new investigators, but they are just a bit hard to come by recently. We will keep knocking on doors until we die! -- really because there are so many doors in Japan than it's impossible to finish. I guess that just means more people to talk to, right?
Yesterday I got to go on splits to my bean area, Kohoku. It was way rainy and bad weather that day so nobody really wanted to talk but we had a great time anyway. We adventured new places and tried to talk to many people.  I also got to visit a family that I taught when I was there who is now less active. It was sad when I heard about it but they are still super loving and nice, they just don't go to church. There are just a few little problems or things they had with the church where they didn't have their roots of faith deep enough so it sort of picked away. But that's okay, 'cause the missionaries don't give up!
Fast Sunday was good, lol.  I don't what to say in this e-mail. I have lots of random stuff to do. Tomorrow I got asked to translate for this broadcast thing and I'm probably gonna die 'cause general authorities are hard. Anyways that's about it for this week. Keep living and loving the gospel!
The gospel is the best

I'm Pretty Sure it's P-Day Every Single Day!


Week 74 - February 26, 2017     I also think it's Sunday every day.

This week.... ya this week went so fast I'm not really sure what happened. We found a new investigator who works at a center for people with disabilities. We are going to hopefully do service and also we have an appointment set up to meet and talk about the gospel so that's really good.

We had a stake blitz!! We planned it and we went over to Yamate!! It was way nostalgic to go back to my old area and it was way awesome as well.  God completely prepared everything for the blitz that we had over there. It was amazing weather, first of all, even though it was raining in the morning. Then when I didn't know how many people would be out and about, we figured out that on Motomachi Street (a really famous shopping street) that there were huge bargain sales going on so there were tons of people!! We had everyone focus on sharing the BoM and it went unbelievably well. We passed out tons of BoM's and everyone got a huge faith boost. Then we had Ekaiwa at night which was way awesome as well 'cause 2 missionaries from my first district who had already finished their missions came back to visit! Elder Ikeda and Sister Suzuki came back 'cause they had both served at this church before and it was way awesome to see them again.

I also want to say that we have some seriously awesome missionaries in this mission. Going to district meetings and other zones and all these different things makes me realize how awesome people are. Everyone is working super hard and has such a huge desire to share the gospel. 

On Saturday, we met with a recent convert named Lee. He is Chinese and he is way awesome!! He has an amazing testimony and has a ton of knowledge even though it hasn't been a year since he was baptized. He invited us into his apartment and it was way chill. We had milk and donuts and the gospel, so what more do you need? 
Later, we met with a guy we had set up an appointment with the previous Saturday -- which was way cool that he followed through and came to the church. We talked about prayer and a little about our relationship with God. He seemed to really like it and he was really grateful for us talking to him 'cause he had recently moved to Yokohama and didn't really have any friends. So we look forward to keep going with that.
Sunday was way great! We had church and it was Elder Matsumoto's last Sunday so the members were wishing he wouldn't go.  He wants to stay longer as well.  But after church we went and visited a family that is in our boundary but goes to Tokyo ward and shared a simple message about the commandments. It went pretty well and they seemed to be grateful for us visiting. After that we were invited for dinner by a family called the Mimaki's. They have fun little boys that run around and go crazy so we all just had a jolly old time. Then we went over to our next door neighbor who is a member and the previous stake president but one of his sons is leaving on a mission! Also, since Elder Matsumoto is leaving, they wanted to have a goodbye party/get together for both of them. It was a lot of delicious food, crazy kids and mission talk. Needless to say it was wonderful. All the ward members made Elder Matsumoto want to leave even less. 
I think that's really it for this week. I have been thinking lately about how we really have to live the principles of the gospel.

Are we really being humble at all times?
Are we patient with everyone?
Do we show love and thanks to people?
Are we acting like Jesus Christ would?

That's what it really is. Sometimes we look at the gospel from a too complicated standpoint when all we have to do is realize that we should do as the Savior did. I know if we do actually do those things that we can receive real joy. Anyway, that's my rant for this week!

The gospel is the best

This Week Was Really Awesome! "Mercy always triumphs over justice"

Week 73 - February 19, 2017
The biggest thing was getting to see Elder Holland on Sunday but I'll get to that later.

Contacting:  This week we called and contacted a lot of people. The area book is filled with potential investigators that haven't been contacted in forever that either need to be contacted or dropped. So we went really hard on that and were able to find 2 new investigators because of it. They were willing to meet, it's just that they hadn't been contacted or when they had they didn't really have time. Either way it's always really fun to try and talk to people you have never met before and try to give them something about the gospel that relates to them. 

We also set a goal within our zone that we want to find 2 new investigators every week at least because recently the count has been very low. So until Elder Matsumoto goes home in a week and a half we are gonna try to find that many. After he leaves, we are bumping it to 3. We found 3 or 4 last week so it's definitely possible and we want to throw that to the zone. We had zone meeting and gave some trainings and asked what everyone thought about it.  It seems like they want to achieve it but just need to get past their fear barrier and go for it. So to do that we planned a stake blitz with the entire stake of missionaries and we are gonna go hard with the dendo in my old area, Yamate. It's gonna be great. 

We are also working with members a lot because the ward mission leader really thinks they have referrals but they just need to trust us. So since they know me a little and know Elder Matsumoto really well it's been going super good. They welcome us and we just need to keep on going to visit and encourage more.

Also, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and things I had a wonderful birthday. We went and got my favorite ton katsu and it was way fun. Also, thanks family for the package and stuff. It's just so weird that I'm 20 years old now so now I have to start being an adult. 

Sunday: Sunday was amazing! Elder Holland came to Japan and gave a talk at a multi-stake conference. He mostly just talked about the scene in 3rd Nephi where they looked at Jesus and with their tears said "please don't go" but were too kind to say it out loud. He honestly made it feel like we were there and it was amazing. One thing he said is that "mercy always triumphs over justice" -- if we want it, that is. Justice required Jesus to go visit the other tribes and report to the father but he had mercy and stayed to heal the Nephites because of their faith. I liked that a lot.
In the evening, we went with 2 recent converts to go see his devotional. He came to the Kichijoji church and it was crazy to see him right there. He talked about how we all have hard times and that that is what life's about. It's the whole reason Christ suffered.

He also said that "God loves broken things." He must because there are so many of us that are broken and he loves us. He talked about the law of sacrifice and how we all have to suffer a little and get a bit broken. But that's how we improve and that's how we progress. Honestly, just hearing him speak on all this stuff was just so awesome! I really hope it gave the Japanese people a big boost of hope so that they can keep going forward and share the knowledge and joy with others.

But ya, that's basically this week.  It was totally sweet and I think it is starting to get warmer and warmer 'cause it's close to spring again. Way excited to keep going forward and serving out here. This gospel is true and all we need to do is have a broken heart and contrite spirit and we can be healed and feel the joy. Anyways love you all!image2.JPG
The gospel is the best. 

This week was wonderful! Let me tell you all about it.


All of my Yamate friends at the temple
Week 72 - February 12, 2017
This week was wonderful! Let me tell you all about it.

Hibarigaoka:  So we kept trying to do our best as a 3 man. We tried to talk to everyone and visit less actives that hadn't been to church in a long time. They will keep on trying until we finally can grab them and bring them back to the fold (you know, if they want to) but ya. 
Kanagawa Kohoku district meeting
Transfer day:  It was nice and rainy 'cause you know that it wouldn't be transfer day without rain, right? But I packed up all my stuffs and carried my bike on the train all the way back to Yokohama. This is my third time in Yokohama and my second time coming back and I'm way excited, 'cause I love Yokohama! Kanagawa is the same church building as Kohoku (my first area) and there are a few places we go that connect so it's way cool to be in the places I was in a year and some months ago. Also, from coming on splits I know a little bit about the area and I think it's gonna be pretty fun. At night time we had Ekaiwa which was also great 'cause I saw all those students that I taught a long time ago. Everyone is still doing good and some of them remembered me, so that was nice.
Kanagawa Kohoku district meeting
Friday:  Elder Matsumoto came to join us!! So we are now a 3 man again with me, Elder Matsumoto and Elder Murata. We had district meetings most of the day and I got to see everyone in the zone. On the train to Kawasaki we talked to 2 guys from Nepal and were able to get a phone number so we passed that on to the Kawasaki elders. At night we had a lesson with a man who is struggling a bit. He's got some health problems emotionally and physically so he wasn't the most responsive at the lesson. He is nice but doesn't seems like he's super interested or zealously involved in learning the gospel. 

Saturday:  We went to an awesome park! It is called Mitsuike Koen which means "three pond park." There were indeed three ponds. It was pretty cool and we talked to a couple nice people there. There were a few Sakura trees that bloomed way fast and it got me excited to see all the Sakura. 
All of my Yamate friends at the temple
Sunday: Sunday was totally great! We got to see all the members, and all of them remembered Elder Matsumoto 'cause he was here for a long time before and a lot of them remembered me since I was in Kohoku for a little while. They are all super friendly and really welcomed us back to the ward. Also, there are a few people in the ward that really have that missionary fire and have asked us to visit all the members and start their fire with the doctrine. It's gonna be way awesome! I think that strengthening the ward and contacting some old investigators was definitely a reason Elder Matsumoto and I came back. At night we visited three member families and they were way chill. They let us in and we just shared a super fast message about the BoM and restoration and hopped on out. 

It's been super cold lately but soon it will be reviving into the warmth of spring. Can't wait! Also serving and helping people is lots of fun, everyone should try it sometime. Well that's all for this week! Love you!

The gospel is the best.