First off, shout out to Sam Pool from the West Point Class of 2018 for getting his mission call to the best mission in the world (the Japan Fukuoka mission!!!). Excited to see you here in August!!! Thanks Brother Fleek for the good news!
Anyways, life is running and I don't think it will stop until the end of the mission. This was one of the harder weeks of the mission for some reason, but had some incredible moments.
Notes/Stories from the Week
- Heading back to the mission home! One of the best opportunities as a zone leader is the opportunity to meet with the other mission leaders and our mission president at the beginning of each transfer (every 6 months). To give a quick break down of mission leadership: there are two assistants to the president in charge of the mission (198 missionaries and nine zones). For each zone, there are two zone leaders and two sisters training leaders that are responsible for the missionaries in that zone. At the Mission Leadership Conference this past week, all the zone leaders and sister training leaders (about 20 missionaries) met with the mission president and his wife to discuss the needs of the mission and receive training from him, his wife, and the assistants. Quite the party. President Egan and his wife have become to of my role models in life. Down to earth, hard-working loving people with testimonies that carry the mission.
- Zone Training!!!: On the first Tuesday of each transfer, the missionary leaders go to the mission home for training, and then they then present that information to their zone. Thus, this past Elder Whitmer, Sister Parmley, and Sister Butikofer and I help zone training for the Kumamoto zone. It was a blast!! The focus for this transfer is our mission president's second of five rules, "Work Smart through the Spirit."
- Zone service: This past our zone had the opportunity to give service to parts of the area devastated by the earthquake. All 16 of us and few members spent 6 or so ours cleaning up a destroyed cinder block wall (see pictures below). We will continue to do that probably twice per week.
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
Recognizing the help of God in my life has honestly always been a struggle for me. There are some members of the church that seemed to have always believed and never really wavered in that belief. While I hope that is my future, it has certainly not always been my past. Weeks like this one, however, are the reason why I believe. For a number of reasons, this was one of the hardest weeks of the mission so far. For most of it, I felt pretty alone and useless. Looking back, it as more of a self-pity party than real problem.
As I turned to God and pleaded for help for a number of things, through a power and force I can't explain, I was lifted up. Do I have physical proof of His help? No. Did I see an angel or some glorious manifestation? No. I did, however, see my attitude and life transformed over the course of a week. John 14:26-27 explains it better than I can, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." That is one of the beauties of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can receive actual comfort and actually peace when we reach out to God.
Video and Invitation for the Week
On the topic of receiving help from the Lord, the video for this week is on hope! It is a short one, so please watch and share on social media!
Pictures for the Week
1- Sister Parmley, Sister Butikofer, Elder Whitmer and I on the way to Fukuoka for MLC!
2- After English class!
3-4- My previous companion with two recent converts from Shimonoseki (my first area). He told me they both went to the temple a few weeks ago for the first time! They Gospel has lit up their lives!
5- Zone conference!!!
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老