Monday, October 19, 2015

A little about Japan and Japanese

Konnichi wa Kazoku to Tomodachi!

Yet another week has gone by here in Shimonoseki, Japan. This past week was actually quite possibly the fastest of my life. The days are going faster and faster as I learn to give my 100% effort to this work. While the past three months haven't necessarily been the most fun weeks of my life, I can without hesitation say that they have been the best three for my life.

Notes on the Week
  • Time Spent Doing "Missionary Things:" Missionary life is pretty fantastic. Mentally exhausting, frustrating, but fantastic. We are kind of like salesman, but instead of selling a product, we hand out free pots of gold to whomever is interested. As of now, next week we are holding a baptism for an incredible lady who's husband was baptized about a year ago. I'll explain more about what baptism is and why it is so important next week. Another one of our investigators will be getting two weeks after that! Both are incredible people that I've learned to love as I've seen them grow closer to their Father in Heaven. Before coming to Japan, I was told that missionary work in Japan is slow. I refuse to accept that. I know that God is preparing many, many people here in Japan to receive His Gospel. It is my responsibility as a missionary to do everything I can to play my small part. I still have sooooooo much to learn and a lot of humbling to go through, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that the church will soon start to explode in Japan. I guess Colton stubbornness can have its perks. 
  • A Lesson in Japanese: Japanese has three alphabets: Kanji (Chinese characters), Hiragana (basic native Japanese words), and Katakana (foreign words adopted into Japanese). This week I'll talk a bit about Katakana. Katakana makes communicating much easier. Here are some examples: アイスクリーム is also written as aisu kurimu, and is pronounced I-sew-koo-ree-mew (ice cream). プリン is also written as purin, and is pronounced poo-reen (pudding). Pretty convenient.
  • Japanese Cuisine: I have still yet to eat something here that I don't love! This past week, a member in the Branch took us to a nearby all you can eat restaurant called a Tabehodai. Literally heaven on earth. All you can eat Sushi, meat, ice cream, vegetables, fruit, cotton candy, desert, and the list goes on. And is was all only about $10! Not a bad life.

Spiritual Thought/Invitation
Since I was 10 or so, I have kept a journal off and on. Some years I wrote a few times, and some I wrote close to everyday. Over the past few months, I have written in one everyday. There are few things I treasure more than my journals I have kept over the years. Being able to go back to Kevin as a freshman in high school and see what my life was actually like is pretty incredible. It may sound lame, but journaling is worth it! Whether is it a microsoft word document, an actual journal, or something else, I promise you that if you keep a journal everyday, or week, you will look back a few years from now and be glad you did. It also allows your kids and grandkids to be able to understand you better. 

This past General Conference (see last email if you don't know what that is, or the blog atelderkevincolton.blogspot.com), one of the talks was on the last words of prophets before they passed away. For those not of my faith, before you assume anything, I invite you to read this talk, specifically the latter part of it.https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/chosen-to-bear-testimony-of-my-name?lang=eng

Video for the Week
The video for this week is a short one. The attached link has tons of short videos of clips from General Conference. Feel free to watch more! https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2015-10-420-nothing-will-change-his-love-for-you-veme?category=october-2015-general-conference-video-quotes&lang=eng

Pictures for the Week
1. P-day Adventures: Every Monday, we have Preparation day, where from 10am to 5pm, we prepare for the rest of the week by doing laundry, shopping, and going on adventures! This past week, we biked about 30 minutes north, and then hiked about 45 minutes up a mountain, with no idea where it led. Our hope was that eventually we'd find a good view! Well, near the top, we did. To put it in perspective, we are looking at the southern tip of Honshu. Gorgeous view!



2. Buffet, Japanese style: See above (Japanese Cuisine) for more info, but this was at the all you can eat place! Yes, that is a grill in the middle of the table!



I love you all!!!

Elder Kevin Colton

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