Life is good. I guess that's the best way to describe the mission. Amongst all the ups and downs, the successes and failures, the wins and losses, life is good. As a missionary, our desire is honestly to baptize the world. We hope to share the joy of the Gospel with everyone. The fun part is that almost no one we talk to has any interest! Thus, we go for the one. The one person that will take a step out of their comfort zone and try something new. Someone who is willing to trust two punk 20ish year old missionaries who promise them that there is more to life than they've ever known.
Finding those people is great, but often they are hard to find. Thus, finding joy amongst 99% "rejection" and being with a random stranger 24/7 is quite the task. That being said, I wouldn't trade the past 10 months for any other experience. Life is good. God is good. That, I know.
Anyways (it's easy to get on a soap box as a missionary), great week! I got to talk with my family, have some lessons with some fascinating people, go to Hiroshima for a companion exchange, and then back to Hiroshima for P-day!
Notes/Stories from the Week
- The Coltons!:As missionaries we have guidelines that make West Point seem like true freedom :) among these are two phone calls home a year (Mother's Day and Christmas). I got to call home this pasay and talk to the wonderful Coltons for an entire 40 minutes! Man, they are some pretty cool people. I recommend getting to know them if you get the chance.
- The people: If hearing about the people we meet and teach is boring for you, gomen (look that word up), but people are everything to missionaries. People rock!
* Kodama San- I haven't talked about him in a while, but he is an investigator we have been meeting with for twice a week for a few months, has come to church every week for the past 8 weeks, prays every morning and night, and is obeying all the commandments. He is a humble, remarkable person who is slowly recognizing Christ's help in his life.
* The Nepalese graduate student: The Japanese sisters found him, and then asked us to join for their next lesson (he only speaks English). Most of our conversation was about God and different religions idea of God. Because of so much suffering in Nepal, he simply couldn't fathom the idea of a God. He was even a bit frustrated with the poor, suffering people who still believed in their religion and kept asking their Gods for help. He posed some deep questions, but his fundamental one was, "If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world." We did our best to answer him and tell him the scriptures have the answer, but he didn't seem too interested in actually finding out an answer.
- The companion exchange: As missionaries, we do companion exchanges every so often where we switch companions for a day and learn different approaches to do missionary work. I got to go with my zone leader this past week and had a blast! We had short on the street lessons with over 20 people, and even found time to take a quick dinner break at McDonalds. See picture below.
- P-day: As I am writing this I am on a train coming back from Hiroshima! We went there as a district and went to the Atomic bomb victim memorial site and then did some shopping. The site had a fascinating, eye opening perspective. There was really nothing on World War 2, simply beautiful, humbling parks, statues, and a museum depicting the horror and pain felt from the Atomic bomb. I made a little walk-through slideshow of the museum. Please look through it below. Just 10 pictures.
Video and Invitation for the Week
After seeing the Atomic Bomb museum, my thoughts returned to the millions of refugees in the present world. I sent a website last week, but please visit this link and watch the video!
blog/post/a-simple-way-to- serve-refugees?cid=HP_FR_13-5- 2016_dMC_fBLOG_xLIDyI-1_
Pictures for the Week.
-The second set:
1. Companion exchanges in Hiroshima! I went with Elder VanAlfen, the guy on my right, for the day. He's the man!
2. The trolley! We went as a district: from left to right is me, Sister Raines from Utah, Sister Shibayama from near Tokyo, Sister Lai from Taiwan, Sister Uenami from Japan, and my awesome companion, Elder Hirose, from Japan!
3. More trolley!
6. More Raman!
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老