Thursday, June 2, 2016

Off to Kumamoto!


Well, transfer calls came! I will be transferring to Kumamoto, the focal point of the recent earthquake. My mission president told me to get ready to join the missionaries down there in doing hands on service for the area. I'm excited to get to work!

Thus, a new companion, new branch, and new investigator pool. I have come to love Saijo and all of the members here. I was convinced I was going to stay since I felt I have so much I still have to do here, but at times like this we just have to trust in Jesus Christ. He is, after all, the one leading this work. Thus, "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord."

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Wednesday and Saturday English class: We recently started doing English class on Saturday, so it is now Wednesday and Saturday! Man is it fun teaching English. It is the last thing I expected I'd be doing as a missionary, but it is something I look forward to every week. Each week on Wednesday we have a class of about 10, and Saturday is a class of about 5. We have a work book we teach out of, but the fun part is being creative and simply helping them learn this impossible language of English. Good times.
  • Saturday Meet the Mormons! This past week we showed the movie, "Meet the Mormons" to some investigators. One of the people who came was a Japanese graduate student who spend two years in Mozambique as a humanitarian volunteer. We still wears traditional African clothing everyday! His English was way good and is quite the character. No interest in our religion, but a fun guy to get to know.
  • Saturday service ball: Another highlight of each week in Saijo has been Saturday service basketball. I've talked about it before, but every Saturday from 6-8:30 pm we volunteer at a near by rehabilitation center to help teach  and play basketball with a group of special needs kids and adults. I have learned to love some of those kids and will miss their smiling faces each and every week. One of the 19 or so year old kids every week follows me around and makes sure I run and stretch with him. He is simply always smiling and laughing. Does he always know what's going on? No, hence during the game part of it we have a volunteer who shadows him and tells him where to go. The most fun part is watching him score a basket during a game, as everyone cheers he runs around the court yelling and cheering with excitement. I'm miss that kid :)
  • Japanese for the week: This idea came from my sister. The word for this week is simple. It is the word for America!! It is...drum roll... " アメリカ," pronounced "Ah-meh-ree-kah." That is some katakana for you! Those Japanese words are the easiest to learn. Stay tuned for next week's word!

Miracle/"Tender Mercy" for the Week
The idea to do this also came from my sister, but each week I'll share some small miracle or "tender mercy from the Lord" for that week. This week's was a simple "Totsuzen lesson," or on the spot lesson, we had with an older lady we found while knocking apartments. We talked about the "basic" concept of God as our Heavenly Father and how if we ask Him for help, we can actually receive it. We asked her if this was true, what kind of help she would like, and she  sweetly responded, "shiawase," meaning happiness. We shared our personal experience how that God can give us exactly that, and so much more. She lit up and wanted to learn more. Hirose Choro and my replacement have a return appointment with her this Thursday

Video and Invitation for the Week
On the topic of service basketball, there are so many pure, simply good souls in this world that for reasons I think impossible to fully understand, have some sort of special need. The video for this week is of a mother of two boys with autism. The beauty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that it can transcend all cultures and languages. As she has devoted her life to service, she has found hope and peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please share with someone who you think would benefit! Or post it on social media! We all need some more good in this world!

Pictures for the Week.
1-  picture of the bullet train from last week to the Cook Choro conference!

2- The most incredible missionary couple ever! They serve here in the branch and spend all their time figuring out ways to strengthen and serve the members here. They are retired, but are some of thousands of senior couples around the world who leave home to serve the lord.

3- Picture from last, last P-day in Hiroshima.

4- District lunch!

5- Meal at the Minamimoto Fufu's apartment!

Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老

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