Konnichi wa Kazoku to Tomodachi,
Somehow another week has flown by at the good ol' Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. Life here continues to go well. At this point, the daily routine is starting to get a bit old, but I'm sure in two weeks when I am in Japan and can't understand a word of what anyone says to me, I'll wish I was back here.
A few memorable events happened this past week that I'd like to share:
- The Conversation: Just like the military, there is an organizational structure in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That organization carries down to the mission level, where there are both adults and missionaries in leadership positions. At the MTC, we are split up into districts and zones. My district has 12 members, and my zone is made up of 6 or so districts (72ish missionaries). We have two zone leaders, both missionaries like me, that help lead the zone. One of their responsibilities is to interview all of the missionaries in the zone periodically. Well, last week I had the opportunity to meet with one of them. On first impression, he just seems like an average missionary: about 5'10", just graduated high school, not shy, but not too outgoing. That was honestly my impression of him until I got to talk to him one on one. The interview started off as normal as he asked how I was doing, how it was going with my companion, etc. After the questioning finished, he asked if he could share a scripture with me. I honestly forget what scripture he shared and exactly what he said, but I'll never forget what I saw in him. As he was talking, I felt more Christ-like love coming from him than I have any other missionary I've met yet. I had no doubt that he knew exactly why he was here, what his purpose was, and who his Savior is. That's the kind of missionary I am striving to be! The kind that can inspire other to be better people, even through simple 5 minute conversations. No matter our religious beliefs, we can all aspire to be that type of person who simply inspires others.
- The Performance: This past , I had the opportunity to accompany Sister Rachel Sorensen on a piano/violin arrangement of "I Need Thee Every Hour" in an the MTC devotional. I performed the same song in church with her a few weeks ago (see August 27, http://elderkevincolton.
blogspot.com), but this experience was different. It wasn't the 2500 other missionaries listening that was memorable to me (although that was pretty freaking cool, not gonna lie), but more so the music created. The piano part had no solo's, so my entire role was to follow her lead. Her violin filled up the entire auditorium. If you know me well, you know that music is my life, and that I feel the most consistent joy in life through music. Thanks to an incredible piano teacher and supporting parents, I've played in countless performances since I was 6. That being said, this was probably the most spiritual and memorable performance I've ever been a part of. See picture attached.
- The Other Performance: In Sacrament meeting this past (if you don't know what that means, think of it as church), I had another opportunity to accompany. This time it was 12 of the sister missionaries in my zone. The song was, "Jesus, Redeemer of My Soul." The three verse song started out with three sisters taking turns singing the first verse, the other nine joining in on the second, and then all 12 singing the third verse in Japanese. Another beautiful arrangement and beautiful song. Music is incredible!!
Video for the Week:
The video for this week is an inspiring story on selfless service. The first few minutes are a bit slow, but it gets better, so watch until the end! Selfless service is something that I've always struggled a bit with. I've often gotten too caught up in trying to perform well in school and other events, that I feel I am "too busy" to help everyone who asks for or even shows a sign they need help. Thanks to my good friend Antony Park, I've gotten better at this over the past two years. For those of you who don't know Antony Park, I hope you get to meet him and spend time with him at some point in this life. He takes selfless service to a whole new level. He will literally to ANYTHING to help anyone at any point. I roomed with him my first semester of sophomore year of college, and saw what it truly means to put others first.
Challenge for the Week:
It goes along with the video. Pick one person this week and do something nice for them everyday (if married, a spouse wouldn't be a bad idea). Keep track of what you do, and then write down how you feel at the end of the week.
- Picture from after the devotional performance. From left to right: Sister Stay (the performer's companion), Sister Sorensen, me, and Elder Bauer (My companion). Yes, there is a missionary rule where we can't put our arms around members of the opposite sex in pictures...I apologize for the awkwardness.
- My room has chips and queso night a few nights a week!
I love you all!
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission