Hello again from Shimonoseki Japan!
These emails never adequately describe my week. Simply too much happens in the life of a missionary in Japan each week to be able to fit in a short email. But, long story short, this work is incredible. While I loved high school and college (well, sometimes I loved college), watching a real person find God in their life is a bit more thrilling and rewarding than playing in a state championship high school lacrosse game or performing well on a CS301 test at West Point. I love this work!
Notes on the Week
* Watching a life change: One of the best parts of missionary work is watching God work in the lives of others. As missionaries, we spend all day everyday trying to help people, but what we can do is immeasurable compared to what God can do for others. Recently, Muraishi San (the 65 year old guy, see past weeks for more information) has been finding more and more joy in his life has he has learned to recognize God in his life. This past week we committed him to write down one blessing each day that he recognizes. This past lesson, he brought out the notebook by himself and showed us all the good things he wrote down. Yesterday he drove an hour and half with us to District Conference (a meeting with 5 or so local congregations). He is incredible and is progressing towards baptism.
* District Conference: Speaking of District Conference, it rocked. We got a ride with a recent convert who takes us everywhere. While I'm still not understanding all that much of what speakers are saying, Muraishi San seemed to have a good time. Egan Kaicho and Shimai are technically responsible for this district, so I got to see them as well (my mission president and his wife). They are both incredible!
A Messenger From God
Last week I shared a story about finding my scripture at the MTC. This week is another miraculous story that I experienced during one of my first few weeks at West Point.
About ten days into CBT (Cadet Basic Training) as a new cadet at West Point, my roommate quit. At that point, he was my only friend. I had struggled adapting to the new environment during those ten days and had relied on my roommate for support and encouragement. Well, now he was gone and I had missed my chance to say goodbye.
The night he left, I had a few hours by myself in the room before my new roommate came. I felt utterly alone and scared.
While my belief in God at that time wasn't all that strong, God was the only person I could turn to. So, I prayed with all my might and asked God for help. I wasn't quite sure how God possibly could help, but I knew I needed something.
Sure enough, a few minutes later one of my old roommates's friends knocked on my door. He was hoping to say one last goodbye to his teammate (hockey team), but instead found me. He stayed for a few minutes and I ended up breaking down in front of him. He told me how he'd been strugging too, and we helped build each other back up.
Do I know exactly how prayer works? Honestly no, I don't. I do, however, know that God and prayer are real. I have had way to many experiences in my life where my prayers have been answered. Sure, you can call instances like this coincidences? Or, you could call it a miracle, and then experience with prayer yourself. God is there. He will answer you. Not always in the way you expect, but He always will.
Video and Invitation for the Week
In continuation of the prayer theme, the video for this week is about the role prayer can play during hard times in our life. The video is entitled "Wrong Roads" and walks us through what role God plays in hard times, and what God expects us to do in hard times. It is only 4 minutes. Please watch and share the link with a friend!
Pictures for the Week.
1 and 2。Yamaguchi Zone! This is my zone for this transfer! My companion and district leader it the big guy to my right. Elder Tschirki from my MTC Zone is still with me, and Luczak Shimai from my MTC district joined the zone this week (the red head a few to my left).
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老