Monday, December 7, 2015

It's almost Christmas!!

Konnichi wa Kazoku to Tomodachi!

It's almost Christmas!! Christmas is hands down my favorite part of the year. Despite the weather turning drearier, love and celebration fill the air! I love it! See attached picture for the Shimonoseki district Christmas card picture (Picture 1).

Notes on the Week
  • An Unexpected Visit from KaichoOn Saturday night we received an unexpected phone call from our mission president who said he'd probably be coming to our church the next day. He lives about two hours south of us, but he tries to visit a different congregation each Sunday. Anyways, I've never seen the branch so excited (well, except after a baptism). As soon as he and his wife pulled into the parking lot before church started, a greeting party of 5 or so members ran out to the parking lot to greet him and his wife. During sacrament meeting (the main meeting of our church), he and his wife spoke at the end. Despite her very limited Japanese, she bore one of the most powerful testimonies I've ever heard. He served a mission hear back in the day, so he is relatively fluent, but also shared a powerful testimony of Christ and this work. I got to talk to him for most of the last hour of church. He is incredible!
  • The Institute Investigator: This week we started teaching Tanaka San (a different one than previously mentioned). She is a college student who has been coming to institute (a young adult Mormon study class) every week for the past year or so. The institute teacher invited us to come to institute a few weeks ago to start getting to know her. She is super into music so we jammed out after (piano, flute and singing) for a few weeks. Well this past week we met with her for the first time outside of institute and are meeting with her again tonightat a members house! Miracles!
Video and Spiritual Thought/Invitation for the Week
This thought for this week is on Christmas! Every year, my church comes out with a Christmas video. This year's is kids around the world telling the story of Christ from the Bible.

My  invitation is simple: please watch it and send the link to two friends who you think would like it. 

The video is at Christmas.mormon.org.

Pictures for the Week

 


Picture 2.  P-day at the aquarium. Like I've said before, every Monday from 10am to 6pm we have preparation day where we do laundry and shop and email. This past week we also had time to go to the aquarium downtown with our district!!!



Picture 3. Christmas decorations in the church! This past week the members put up some decorations in the church. For those who don't know, my Mom collects nativities. This picture is for you, Mom!

I love you all!!!

Elder Kevin Cash Colton

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Konnichi wa Kazoku to Tomodachi!

Incredible week! Time is flying by. Last week I hit my four month mark!

Notes on the Week
  • Tanaka Kyodai's Baptism: Tanaka Kyodai was baptized this past Saturday! We've been teaching him a few times a week since I got here, so I've learned to love the heck out of him. Here is part of my journal entry from this past Saturday:  "Tanaka Kyodai was baptized today! ... About 25 branch members showed up for it. So supportive!! Watching Tanaka Kyodai's life brighten up as he's learned the Gospel has been incredible. Tonight was the happiest I've ever seen him. At the end, with a smile on his face, he said it feels like his birthday. In a sense it was. 28NOV2015 will always be his birthday into his spiritual new life. Today, he was born again. ... Between watching the Spirit flow into Fukatani Shimai's life since her baptism and seeing the genuine joy on Tanaka Kyodai's face after the baptism, my testimony has been strengthened. ... My faith has increased as the light of Christ has lit up the lives of Tanaka Hiroshi and Fukatani Sumire. I love this work!" 
  • The Professional Primary Program!  I have a new found respect for the primary age members in Japan (kids ages 3-11)! Once a year or so, the primaries around the world are in charge of our main meeting in church and put on a program that lasts about 45 minutes. I participated in countless programs as a kid and loved them. They consist of short speaking parts and lots of songs. In most congregations in America, the primaries are big enough where each kid only says one or two parts, often either a sentence or a short story. Well, the primary here consists of only four children. Thus, each had 15 or so parts and a few solos throughout!! Most of the parts were memorized!!! So impressive!!!
Video and Spiritual Thought/Invitation for the Week
This week is on something we can all do better, love. The video is of a young girl who exemplifies how to emulate Christ-like love to all. The invitation is to 1) watch the video, and then 2) continue the invitation from last week: forgiveness. None of us are perfect. Everyone wants to be and deserves to be loved. Forgive and love kudasai! 



Pictures for the Week (We're still working on getting picture again. They haven't been coming through recently)
1. Tanaka San's baptism!

2.  Elder Tshirki's birthday! 
* One of my apartment-mates turned 19 this week! I've known him since day 1 at the MTC, so we've gotten pretty close. Decorations from Mama Colton (my Mom).

I love you all!!!

Elder Kevin Cash Colton