Mailing Address:

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Someday I will Climb Mt. Fuji!


Week 89 - June 18, 2017 - Transfers
So this week, as you know, was transfers, so there is some good stuff going down.
So basically I had my last ride off to Kōfu district meeting the other day and that was a great time! Some day when I come back to Japan I'm going to climb Mount Fuji.

On Thursday I went to the mission home and I got to see Elder Smith there 'cause he was training as well, so now my mission posterity is growing. We received a lot of trainings as usual about how to be a good trainer and that's always needed 'cause training is an important duty. Then we got our companions and there were 2 elders I already knew that were just coming back for one reason or another. I got paired with Elder Shephard! He was in my zone when I was in Yamate and he is Elder Harrison's MTC companion so it was great to see him again, and I think we will have a great time together. I also saw Elder Pratt when he was going home so that was cool to see him one last time. The rest of the day was just a lot of planning.

On Friday there were a few different things. We went searching for some former investigators and talked to everyone we could on the way. Almost got a few people's numbers but at the very end they declined. We adventured the back streets of Takao a little more which was kinda fun.

On Saturday we went and got Elder Shephard a bike. It's slowly getting hotter and hotter which I'm not too excited about but it's better than Winter so hurrah! We also got to do a decent amount of housing that night. Got some pretty classic elderly people saying 7:00 was too late and a grandma shining a flashlight at us, so that was fun.

Sunday was great! We got to talk to a decent amount of the members and get to know them better. One kid who was going to come to church said his grandpa was dying of cancer and recently got worse so I told him we would pray for his grandfather. One Ekaiwa student came to church and we were able to help teach her about what the church is and who missionaries are. The ward mission leader is awesome and created a book with members pictures, addresses, and basic information so now we can visit him and all the less actives yay!! We visited an investigator family who said we could come back and we had high hopes for but he said he has no interest even though he thinks it's great. I told him that this can change his life and if he reads the BoM he can know that. Again he said he's good. So we were pretty sad and I kinda wondered why people had to do that. But then the next house we knocked on cheered us up 'cause the elderly lady who lived there gave us an umbrella 'cause it was raining. We tried to say no but she insisted, so we took it. Then at the next house we went to we meet a man who had come in contact with missionaries 40 years earlier! He said he remembered some of the Lehi stories and stuff and we were pretty blown away. We invited him to learn again but he said he has no time and can't. That was a bummer but we gave him a pamphlet and he said he would read it.

Today we are going to Hachiōji cause I need to download my pictures onto a flash drive. Also it's a pretty cool place and we're gonna check it out. But ya, we saw some cool miracles and disappointments but the work moves on! Talk to you all next week and happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there!! Keep working hard. Love you all.
The gospel is the best!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mexican Leg Fire - Polynesian Night - The zoo


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Week 88 - June 11, 2017 -  This week was pretty good but also kinda crazy so I'll give you the important stuff.
So since before I came to Takao I was informed we were being evicted so we went to check out of the new apartment we will move into.  They hadn't cleaned or refurbished anything yet so it was pretty disgusting. The guy was like, "Don't worry, it will all be cleaned and stuff so don't worry." I hope they get a nice deep clean in there before we move in.
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Wednesday was still taken up with going to Kofu and having district meeting but after we came back we were able to set up for Ekaiwa and have a lesson with our investigator R---a. He is reading the BoM and has a pretty big desire to learn it seems. He is doing very well and we are excited to keep meeting with him 'cause he's way chill and keeps our commitments.
We also had MLC for this month and we talked about a lot of different stuff.  I really think that the mission is at a good changing point where people change themselves/work with the ward and then see all the miracles that come from that.

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We had splits on Friday with the Hachiōji elders and it went super well! We had 2 lessons that went great! First we met an investigator at the church for a lesson. He is kind of a quiet guy who seems a bit awkward but he is awesome. He understands a lot of what we teach and I think he has tons of potential. We set really good expectations of the purpose of missionaries and also figured out what he's expecting. I think that was a really good point of the lesson 'cause he knows that we expect him to follow our commitments and that eventually we want him to be baptized. We followed up on the restoration pamphlet we gave him and he had read some of it. The rest of the lesson went really well and he understands a decent amount.

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Then at night we were going to have a church tour with a friend from Mongolia that we met a while ago but I didn't have the keys to the church so we couldn't get in! So we just told him why people go to church and how it's a wonderful good place. Then we went to get dinner with him at ramen and we explained our purpose more. It was a lot of fun.
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On Saturday we had ping pong for a little and it was also supposed to be transfer calls but they said that it was going to come late so we just continued on with our normal stuff. We had to leave ping pong early to go to SPM. We were able to talk about a few things to do/improve in the stake so that was good. After it was over, we realized we had our transfer calls! So everyone opened up and I am so happy! My dream came true. I'm district leader here in Takao, but my new companion is a new missionary, so I get another son! I am straight up Abraham, so that made me happy. At night we finished a nice weekly planning session for this next transfer week.

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Sunday was pretty good as usual and we were planning on 3 of our investigators coming to church but they all bailed! I was so sad but it's ok 'cause we will get them to come next week! We were also planning on visiting 2 less actives and an investigator but a huge rain rolled in and started dumping on us so we were only able to visit the 2 less actives. One wasn't there and the other said not today and shut the door so we will cheer him up with some goodies or something next time we go over.
Today is beautiful weather and it should be pretty good but I'll start with sending all those videos from last week. Love you all!
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A Plethora of Animals


Week 87 - June 4, 2017 - This week was crazy busy.

First off, we had splits with the AP's in Kichijōji which was a wonderful time as always. There are always so many people that you would probably have to try hard not to talk to people. I always learn a lot every time I go on splits about how I can improve the way I teach. I think it will be an eternal quest.
Then we also went to the middle of Tokyo in Iidabashi for the doctor to get my ingrown toenail fixed again. So now it feels a lot better and less painful. We found a Wendy's there but it wasn't the same. They didn't even have frosties! It was blasphemy. But it all went well.

Then we had to head to Kofu for district meeting on Friday which always takes a long time. There was an awesome view of Mount Fuji which was really cool. We got back and we're able to give a church tour to a new investigator. We talked about baptism and the sacrament which I think he was able to understand really well. We gave him a Restoration pamphlet and set up a next appointment for the next Friday! It was a great success. Then we went and played soccer with our college friends again but it seems they might not have too much interest in anything we have to offer so we are gonna take a break from the for a week or two so we can use that time more effectively.

On Saturday we headed down to Kichijoji for Polynesian night practice and set up. We made sure everything was gonna go smooth and made it look as good as possible. There were tons of people who showed up and I think everyone had a good time watching it. We went pretty hard with all the dances and stuff so I'll try and get those videos to send back as well. It was a huge success and we had 3 investigators come to it so that was awesome!

Fast Sunday was great and we were just kind of busy with a lot of different stuff. Another one of our investigators sadly wasn't home at the time we planned to visit so that was sad. But we were able to find 2 new potential investigators so that was a blessing.

I think the biggest thing I have to work on at this point is my teaching skills. I feel like I've learned how to find people effectively but I still need to share personal experiences and specific blessings with people or else it just turns general and doesn't really give them a desire to have it. So that's what I'm working on these days. Anyways, the work is moving forward and I've really been able to gain a testimony of that recently. Just do your best and the lord will help.

That's all for this week and I'll send the other pics/videos in another email when I have them so ありがとう!So ya we gonna go see a plethora of animals later I'll try to send pics.
The gospel is the best!

We are Climbing a Mountain Today!

Week 86 - May 28, 2017 - We are going to Mount Takao later so that should be fun.

Basically the big things this week were that we had zone conference and splits. Zone conference was really good. It was all about improving our prayers and helping our investigators gain a testimony through prayer. I have been wanting to improve my prayers for a while so that was a real help for me especially. Shout out to Nathan who got home this week 宜しく。
Also splits was way fun! We housed in the rain cause I didn't want to carry an umbrella. Luckily it wasn't coming down very much. We found a bunch of Buddhist people this week and when we asked them why they are Buddhist they said they have no idea. I was thoroughly confused that someone doesn't even know why they believe in something but that's ok 'cause we are here to give them the good news and a good reason.

We were also able to find 6 new investigators this week! That was a huge miracle. We met with a family at a restaurant and we were able to share the Family Proclamation with them. It went alright but it was kind of a loud place and their baby got frustrated. But next time he said we can go over to their house before I transfer so that's sick!

We also got a new investigator who came to church yesterday! He is super nice and is from Okinawa so naturally he is also chill. We have a lot of good things going on over here.
The work is moving forward and I'm excited to be a part of it. I'll send more pictures later but that's it for this week! Cya.  The gospel is the best.

Another Week in Takao and First trip to Kofu


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Week 85 - May 16, 2017 - Another Week in Takao
We've been pretty swamped like this entire week with just meetings and planning so I will try to make it interesting.

 We had MLC on a Tuesday! It was a way awesome one is time cause we are focusing on just the restoration and linking everyone back to that. All the trainings were way bomb and I think everyone was able to feel the spirit during that. We had an activity where we read Joseph Smith History verses 14-19 (the first vision) and we just talked about every truth we could find within that. For example, Heavenly Father and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone. It was crazy! There were so many it was unbelievable, and it was one of my favorite activities I've done. So needless to say, that MLC rocked. Also we got hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch and I almost cried.

Next, I made my first trip to Kōfu which takes 2 hours by train. It's a huge bowl close to Mount Fuji and it was way cool. I'll attach the pics and videos with it. We had district meeting there and introduced our zone theme which we think went pretty well. Everyone seems excited and we are certain we will see tons of miracles this transfer.

Then we had English class at night. The 人数 was 少ない so we will have to work on getting more students there.
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Thursday we had a lot of stuff to do. We had Jitensha taxi. It just means bike taxi and we drive elderly to their apartments for service. I'll send the video for that too. It was way fun and we did some planning with that as well. We then had district meeting in Hachiōji which also went well with introducing the theme. We got back to finish our planning and contact some people but that was about it for that.
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Friday was pretty sick. We had exchanges with 2 of the Hachiōji elders. We had a good time during the day and found a few potential investigators. The time schedule was a bit weird though. At night we got invited by one of our investigators to play soccer with all his college friends on the campus so we were like "awesome!" So we went there and made good relationships with all of them and told them we were missionaries and stuff. It was a ton of fun and I think next time we will be inviting them to the Polynesian event to see if they can come.


Saturday we got to help a member move. So we carried and lifted a bunch of stuff into a different apartment. We got uncomfortably stuffed into a Japanese truck and it was just a blast. After that though we had to go to a meeting with the stake president since we are the zone leaders. Elder Battaglia, Elder Riggs, are the other zone leaders so they were there as well. We talked about the wards and if there was anything we/them could do more to get the work moving forward. It was way good and he's an awesome stake president. Then we had priesthood meeting where I actually got called out by the stake president randomly to talk about how the work is going and things like that so I did my best and winged it.

Sunday was pretty funny. For Mother's Day I expected to hear all the usual songs and flowers and all that, but I was the only person who talked about it. The rest of church was focused on the priesthood!! It was pretty funny 'cause the primary kids even sang about the priesthood and I was like this is so weird, why aren't they talking about moms. But ya, Japan does what it wants.

Yesterday
was also really good. We had skype with the fam, good to see you guys. Then we had a zone meeting on all the stuff we learned at MLC which went really well but was kinda of difficult with the time frame we had. Regardless everyone had a good time and realized what President Warnick's focus is. Then we ate dinner and had a blitz in Takao! I went with Elder Ayala. He is on his last transfer and I'm on my second to last so we just had 2 grandpas going for it. We somehow found he one Hispanic guy in the area, and Elder Ayala talked with him for a while and it was a big miracle 'cause we got his number too. Then we talked to a few other great people.

Today we went to the temple and now next time I go will be my last! Oh my gosh! It's getting kinda weird now. But ya, as usual the temple was a great experience. The Restoration is real and if you don't thinks so, read it! Until next week. Here is the loads of pics and stuff.

Week 84 - Practice for Polynesian Night in Takao, Japan


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The gospel is the best. 


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Week 84 - May 7, 2017 - Polynesian Night

I have no time at all cause we had practice for the Polynesian night so here's pics love you all!

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Transfer 15 Has Begun! Shinkou Station, Machida Stake, Takao

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Week 83 - April 30, 2017 -  This is another crazy week so I'll try to remember everything.

So on Tuesday we tried to go over near where the docks are in our area. That turned out to be a really interesting time. We had five hours so we were like "oh we can just walk there." So we start walking and try and talk to some people. We started getting towards the docks, we passed beer village and kept going. Once we got there, however, all we found was a big freeway road going over it, factories everywhere and nowhere to talk to people. So we get three hours out there and we are like this is pretty useless and we should turn around, ha ha. But then we saw a sign that said, "Shinkou station."
Shinkou in Japanese means faith -- even though it was a different character so it didn't mean that -- we saw it and we were determined to keep going! But then we kept walking for a while and got nowhere and had to escape by bus lol. So that was a good adventure. After that we found one high school kid who said he's down to meet again. Also we got a college student's e-mail so that was cool after we went through 4 hours of craziness. 
We did service at the special needs place again. This time was kinda funny because they had us join in with a cheerleading activity. They do fun activities with the people and one of them was cheerleading, so Elder Hemi and I are now experts of shaking Pom poms. It was fun to see the people have fun and it's really nice that people help people with disabilities for their job. 

I kind of went crazy during weekly planning. I got really bored so it ended with me wearing my jacket like a lava lava and a bandana over my eyes. Needless to say we still got a lot of planning and good things done. 

We were able to find a cool kid this week as well. He is pretty honest on the fact that he doesn't want to join our church but that he would meet with us. We aren't worried about that 'cause the spirit can change all hearts. He's super nice though and I think that if he meets and feels the spirit he could do great!

On Saturday we had transfer calls!! So I am finally going to one of the stakes I've never been to. I'm going to Machida stake but my area is called Takao. It is a smaller area as far as city goes 'cause it's not Yokohama but there's also some nature so I'm excited for that.
My new companion will be Elder Dowdle. It's crazy 'cause this transfer is my second to last so I have to work extra hard and do everything I can. Elder Hemi is staying here in Kanagawa.
After that we decided to go to a big park to see who we could talk to. When we got there though there was a huge track meet at least region level so there were tons of people, but we couldn't really talk to them so that was a bummer. We tried that for a little then headed back towards the church area. We had to prepare for a takoyaki party that the Kohoku elders were putting on so we helped with that. At first like nobody was showing up so it looked like a big flop but one of our investigators came as well as the bishop's family. It was pretty fun and everyone had a good time. 

Sunday was kind of sad to be leaving Yokohama again but I'm excited to see somewhere else as well. As we were trying to talk to people we found a dad and his son tossing an American football  around and I just had to talk to them. So I asked if I could throw it with them and they said absolutely. We talked to them for a while and they were super cool! We told them who we were and what we do and then gave them the free family English program so we are hoping to get in contact with them again. Then at night we had dinner with the Itou Family but we wanted to bring an investigator. We tried a few and they couldn't come but then this super cool kid said that he could come and we shouted for joy. So we went over there with him and he totally hit it off with the family. He is the same age as one of their sons and they just talked the whole time which was awesome 'cause now when he comes to church and he can be fellowshipped way easy. We had to leave to be back at our apartment so we couldn't walk back with him but the family was like "we got this, no worries." So we left and he texted us later saying thanks so much for inviting him 'cause he had a really good time. That was a great miracle.
Now is the first day of May so we can wear short sleeves again and this week's is gonna be busy.

God and Jesus Christ are in every part of our lives. They help us in ways that we see and don't see. Sometimes we need patience and sometimes it comes right away. Either way they love us and they prepared the way for us to walk, and what a joyful walk it is. Until next week everyone! Love you!


Last P-Day Before Transfer Calls! Spiders, spiders and more spiders!

Week 82 - April 23, 2017
It's kind of nuts how fast this transfer already went. I'm excited for whatever comes next though.

Wednesday:  Ok, it was ridiculous. I told a recent convert who has been struggling that we would come over to his house for service and help clean up. We got to do just that. Two Elders were outside cleaning the front and two elders were inside. I was elected for inside and it was way worse than I expected. The house was way filthy and looked like a huge challenge so we were like "oh no." But then it got worse. We looked around and noticed there were big spiders and webs everywhere. We asked him and he said "ya we have lots of friends hanging out." I was kinda worried at that point. When we went upstairs I looked around and there were spiders and webs like crazy!! We had to clear all those out as well as up where the loft was. I killed at least 50 spiders and we had enough webs to decorate for Halloween, not even kidding. It looked like a haunted house. We cleared out tons of them and it was pretty gross. It was good to help him out though. At night we tried to find a member's house but my maps led me the wrong way so we were a bit lost and our time kinda disappeared.


Thursday was pretty normal. We had a lot of planning for the next week and Ekaiwa. One good thing was that after Ekaiwa, two people stayed for a gospel lesson so that was awesome. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how he is the way. He walked the path first now we just have to follow and he can help us.
We went to district meetings most of the day talking about how everyone was doing and what we are gonna do about the many plans we have. We are gonna go blitz in Kawasaki on Saturday of this week so that was something we had to plan around. After the meetings we went to visit a member who has had a lot of health problems so he couldn't come to church. He was super nice and just a great old man. We want to do anything we can for him so we will let the ward know and figure out what we can do.
On Saturday we went to play basketball with a recent convert named Lee. I've talked about him before but he's Chinese and he's way chill. We went to my beloved Yamate and played there. It was good to go back and see everything again. We had a fun time balling it up but had to leave a little early 'cause we had lunch with an investigator after that. We went and got some ramen and talked about then BoM a bit. He seems like he's pretty interested but he didn't have time to talk very much so we just gave him a restoration pamphlet and told him we'll talk about it the next time we meet. After that, we streeted around and were able to find one cold kid that we might be able to meet in the future. At night we had stake conference which was actually really good cause a member of the seventy was there and he was pretty funny. After that meeting we met with R--- for dinner at a Chinese place. It was his birthday a few days ago, so we congratulated him and gave him some stuff. We talked about happiness and the purpose of life. He doesn't know what to think right now but as soon as he starts reading the BoM and stuff like that I think he will be great.
Sunday was stake conference as well so we had a good time there and I got to see all the members from Yamate, Kohoku, and Kanagawa. Basically everyone in Yokohama knows me 'cause I have been chilling here for so long.

After church and stuff we went to go talk to people in Tsurumi. We wanted to find a new investigator really bad but nobody was stopping! So we kept trying really hard and after a long time we finally found a way chill 22 year old kid! He was super cool and he wanted to meet us another time so that was way sick! He has been to California and is swaggin' for days. We are excited to see where he goes. At night we visited a referral who doesn't seem too interested at the moment but we keep visiting, being nice and praying with him.

I think that's it for this week but I just want to let you know that if you have faith anything is possible! I have miracles happen many times just by having a little bit of faith. So keep trying and don't give up!! Until next week. Love you all! Here's some casual pics from Elder Brown and I's photo shoot when we got bored.
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Tokyo Temple - Three Years of Renovation


Week 81 - April 18, 2017 - This week is special! Because I don't have a lot of time .
So this week we were able to find a lot of new potential investigators and we can't wait to follow up with them and see where we can go. We found a new investigator again right outside the church and he's 19. He is interested in religion and we are meeting with him on Saturday so that's way sick.
Our investigator who said he would come to church actually wasn't able to so that was sad. Also the guy who Elder Hemi and I thought was golden got a little slippery and now we haven't met him in a while. So that was another bummer BUT we found a bunch of other young college students who are chill so it'll be good.  Being a missionary is pretty awesome being able to preach the word every day. I just wish people could understand how much better life is with the gospel. They just don't know what it's like and are afraid to take a step so they don't receive the blessings. I guess that's why I'm here right? Gotta do all I can to help me reach the tree of life.

Today we had temple p-day which was way awesome. Also the Tokyo temple is going down for 3 years for renovations in October so if any of y'all wanna go you better hurry.  Anyways, I love this gospel, the Savior, and all of you. Until next week!
The gospel is the best!

Sakura is Finally Here!

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Week 80 - April 9, 2017   Sakura is finally here!  But it might die cause it's raining so much :( lol.

So this week has just been meetings like crazy and we have had absolutely no time to do things.
Tuesday:  We had interviews on Tuesday which was really good talking to president. Also Elder Hemi is planning a Polynesian culture event to invite people to so we got to talk about that a little bit as well.







Wednesday:  We had zone meeting on Wednesday as well as one district meeting. It wasn't anything too spectacular. We just followed up on what we learned at MLC and we are trying to pump up the zone still. They don't seem to be too genki right now and we are not sure if they really have the faith to find investigators. So we are trying to change that.

Thursday:  We fixed Elder Hemi's bike cause it randomly popped one day. Then we had weekly planning and Ekaiwa the rest of the day. We started sharing a gospel message after Ekaiwa for people who want to stay so we are hoping to get a bigger attendance as we go along. 
Friday: We had zone meeting which was all about following the Spirit. I really liked learning more about following the Spirit because if we are always striving to follow that, then it's pretty hard to go wrong.  At night we had a meal appointment with a member which was awesome!  She made us basically the Japanese version of tacos. You get seaweed, put rice and sushi on it, then wrap it up and eat it! It was way good. 








Saturday and Sunday: got totally taken over by General Conference. But that's ok 'cause it was
awesome! I noticed they focused about God being our father, doing the basic gospel principles and following the spirit. It was way good to hear even more about the spirit at conference. I can definitely follow my first promptings more often. I also loved Elder Eyring's talk in priesthood session.
Here's the miracles for this week! On Tuesday we met an investigator that we met 3 days before. He read some of the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and we got to talk with him more about it. He was super interested and had a really strong desire to learn. We really felt that he could progress to baptism if he commits. We invited him to General Conference but sadly he wasn't able to make it so we will keep trying. Either way, we testified to him about living prophets and it was way sick!

Another miracle was after zone conference we walked out of the church and the first guy we talked to was a college student. He was way chill and we had a good conversation. We then asked him if he would want to take a tour of the church and he said he would love that! So we gave him a tour of the whole thing and showed him the baptismal font. He said it felt petty 神聖 which is like sacred. We explained to him the meaning of it and he said that would have been so cool if he learned about that since he was a kid. We also invited him to general conference but he couldn't come either. He agreed to meet us again though so we are still very hopeful! Anyway that's the miracles.

Anyway, I know his church is guided by living prophets and it's the only true church out there. So be grateful you are in it. That's all for now. Talk to y'all next week! Love ya,