Monday, October 5, 2015

Missionary firsts...

Konnichi wa Kazoku to Tomodachi!
 
Another week in Japan has come and gone. Japan is a pretty incredible country with incredible people. I`m excited to continue to learn Japanese so that I can continue to understand the people and this culture!
 
Anyways, lots of memorable moments from the week:
  • Why I`m here: Earlier this week, we approached a man walking on the street and starting talking to him. When he found out what we do (share the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), he got a bit frustrated with us and told us that as missionaries, we should be focused on helping impoverished countries with electricity, water, education, etc. While he had a good point and I am a strong believer in that type of service, that is not why I am here. I am here in Japan to help improve lives through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for life. If you teach a man the Gospel, you feed him for Eternity. Yes, that is a bit bold, but I wouldn`t be here if I didn`t believe it from the bottom of my heart. My purpose is not to force my beliefs on anyone else. Neither is it to tell  anyone that their beliefs are wrong. Rather, it is to simply invite others to come unto Christ and experience more joy and peace than anything else in this world can give them. While humanitarian work is necessary and many LDS missionaries around the world are in fact assigned to do just that, my purpose is to invite others to find something greater than anything money or education can get them.
  • The Police: It seems like every missionary has an awkward/terrifying encounter with the police at some point in their mission. For me, it happened my second week in Japan! As a missionary, much of our time is spent knocking doors and talking to people in the street (my companion and I call it housing and streeting). Well around 8:30 a few minutes ago, we were knocking on some doors in an apartment complex when a truck pulled up and slammed on it`s brakes. To our surprise, a man stepped out and started chewing us out. Luckily for me, I don`t really understand too much Japanese, so I wasn`t quite sure what he was saying. Still, because he was about a foot away from us and screaming, I figured he was pretty upset. Before I knew it, he had his phone out and was making a phone call. A bit terrified (we were in a pretty sketchy area), I told my companion we should leave. He just laughed and told me the man called the police and that we should stay. He didn`t quite catch all of what the man said, but the basic gist was that he was upset for us being out so late and knocking on doors, as well as me locking my bike to a pole. According to this man, both were against the law. Long story short, the police came and were total bros. They calmed the man down, sent him on his way, and they talked to my companion and I about life in Japan. We gave them an invitation to our English class we teach on Wednesday. We`ll see if they actually come.
  • Other firsts that happened this week:
    • Eating Sushi in Japan.
    • Having had a door slammed in my face.
    • Biking in down pouring rain (on the way back from buying my bike while wearing a suit. Fun times.)
  • The Shimonoseki Branch: The branch (congregation) here is absolutely incredible. It has about 40 active members that are all firmly rooted in the Gospel and extremely supportive of the missionaries. One older man makes bread for us each week, and another lady gets milk for us each week. They also love to come and help us in our lessons to people. To put it in perspective, the first Sunday of every month, all the leaders of the congregations (about 10 or so) meet at a nearby park at 6am to pray for missionary work in the area. The work is a bit slow still, but I can feel momentum building.
Video for the Week
Everyone reading this probably knows someone who has suffered from or is currently suffering from some sort of an addiction. Whether it is alcohol, pornography, sex, drugs, food, or any other type of addictions, addictions are real and can destroy lives. Luckily, through a higher power, any addictions can be overcome through change. The LDS church has a 12 step recovery program that is open to all. They recently came out with 12 videos that explain 12 real stories of addiction recovery. Just a heads up, because of the nature of addictions, the videos are a bit intense. Here is the trailer and website. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW1fkViJLPk
 
Pictures for the Week:

1. Madsen Choro (my companion) and I

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2. Shimonoseki is apparently famous for Puffer-fish. One of the other missionaries in my apartment always wanted to get a picture with this giant painting.

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My Address:
My address for mailing letters and packages is the address for the mission office:
     Elder Kevin Colton
     Japan Fukuoka Mission
     9-16 Hirao-josuimachi, Chuo-ku
     Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka 810-0029
     Japan

Love you all!

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