Smile and wave, boys. Just smile and wave.
That is becoming my life saving motto for staying sane on the mission :) I got the quote from my New Zealand companion, who I think got it from a movie. The idea parallels one of my favorite philosophies of life, the serenity prayer. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” While nothing ever goes as planned for missionaries (or really anyone else in this life), I'm slowing learning that stressing out over the "things I cannot change" is simply a waste of energy and time. I've had a number of friends try to patiently teach me this over my life (Ashton Greenburg and Antony Park are two of the many), but it's a daily struggle.
Notes/Stories from the Week
* Summary of the week!
- - Preparation day until 1800 (We took our time at McDonalds for lunch then played ping pong at the church for a few hours). That night we found a stud named Aoki San (The kanji means blue tree) and talked with him about God and the Book of Mormon for a while.
- - District meeting with our 6 missionary, all elder district! Later that day we met with Ono San, a professional chef and owner of 3 restaurants. He LOVES prayer and the idea of communicating with God. The rest of the day was housing and streeting.
- - The sisters' apartment got pretty wrecked by the earthquake a few months ago, so they had to move out immediately. the assistants, our mission president and his wife, and some other missionaries drove a few vans down to load up all the sisters furniture. That was all day, then we had EIKAIWA at night. About 20 people come each week of three classes. I taught beginner this past week and loved it.
- - Weekly planning (literally just planned for the next week), then took a two hour travel (train and bus) to our district leader's area.
- - Companion exchange with Elder Murdock from my doki (he and I are both transfer 7 missionaries). We had a blast!! His Japanese and teaching skills are way better than mine, so I learned a lot from him! We went to McDonalds again for dinner (I hated McDonalds in America...I'm liking it more and more now...sorry, Mom).
- - We and two of the English students went to a volunteer center and spend all day volunteering! See pictures below. The damage from the earthquake is still unbelievable.
- - Special stake conference for two hours than a party with the ward (Family home evening). The congregation here is incredible!!! See pictures below!!
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
The miracle of this week was seeing the light of Christ illuminated in all of the volunteers at the Earthquake volunteer center. Hundreds of volunteers showed upto go to work. The basic set-up is: 1) sign in, 2) get basic safety training; 3) get assigned a team to work with; 4) pick up supplies (shovels, bags, etc) for the job; 5) head to the job site and work your tail off; 6) come back and wait for another job. Seeing hundreds of people come together to help those in need was simply beautiful. My companion volunteered 6 days a week right after the quake, so the volunteers there LOVE him. As I see it, that genuine goodness in people is the light of Christ. It is the natural goodness in all of us that compels us to help those in need. Look up, "Elder Bednar, patterns of light, the light of Christ" for more information. It is the first video of the services.
Video and Invitation for the Week
I'd be a terrible son if I didn't mention Father's Day somewhere in here!!! Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and fatherly figures out there!! Thanks to my stud of a Dad for putting up with me my entire life!
Please 1) watch the video, 2) send it to your dad or fatherly figure in your life, 3) call them please!!!
Pictures for the Week.
1- Rice that had been left in the sisters' apartment for 2 months after they left. Eeewwwwwww.
2- The door of the sisters' apartment. If you look closely, the top caved in and they were trapped. They escaped through the window.
10- The ward activity. It's a thank you for all the help they received from around Japan from the earthquake.
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老