Saturday, August 22, 2015

Week Four at the Missionary Training Center

Konnichiwa Friends and Family,

It's pretty crazy to think that I've been here for over a month. In just another month I'll be in Japan! I still don't really know Japanese, but that's a minor detail. On the bright side, I'm getting to the point where I am more comfortable in Japanese than Chinese. Not that my Chinese was that great, but I did take it for four years, whereas I've taken Japanese for a month. The MTC must be doing something right. It also probably doesn't hurt that I have God helping me out.

Highlights from the week:
  1. Piano! My companion's patience is pretty incredible. After lunch and dinner almost everyday, I pop into one of the rooms with a piano and play for 5-10 minutes. It's my way to relax and escape the world temporarily. This past Sunday I got to accompany on of the missionaries in my zone during our sacrament meeting (our main church service) on "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief." She is an incredible flutist, so I loved the experience. Accompanying talented musicians/playing duets is probably my favorite thing to do on the piano.
  2. The Gospels: Yesterday I finished reading the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and Acts from the New Testament. I had a few take-aways that I think relate to all of us (Christian or non-Christian)
    • Just about everything we need to know on how to be a good person can be found in Matthew 5-7 (The Sermon on the Mount).
    • Part of West Point's mission statement is to create "leaders of character." Well, the character of Christ is exactly what I think West Point tries to create. Time after time when He is persecuted and put through trials, He patiently turns out and helps others. He loves, leads, and helps others in ways that we can all learn from.
  3. My Mission President: I found out that my mission presidents's (kind of like the superintendent of the Fukuoka, Japan mission) five expectations for his missionaries are: 1) work hard, 2) work smart, 3) Be obedient, 4) have fun, and 5) come home tired. As a squad leader for cadet basic training a few weeks ago, my expectations that I told my squad were: 1) work hard, 2) work smart, and 3) work together. I also found out that my mission president loves music. I have a strange feeling that I am going to love working under him when I get to Fukuoka.
Video for the week: My video for this week comes from Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." It is about anti-bullying. It's amazing how even here at the MTC bullying goes on. No matter what stage of life we are all at, we all see bullying to a certain extent go on. Life is hard enough as it is. The last thing any of us need is for others to bring us or others down.

Love you all!

Elder Kevin Colton
Fukuoka Japan Mission

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