Monday, July 25, 2016

Pokemon Go?

こんにちは!!

"PokemonGo, A Short Story"

Translated into English

Background: Elder Colton and Elder Metekingi are biking along the streets of Kumamoto, Japan, as they sees a young Japanese boy, probably high school age, wondering around with his phone up to his face. Seemingly lost, the boy is obviously zoned out of this world and into the world of his phone.

Elder Metekingi: "PokemonGO?"

Young Japanese Boy: "Yes! PokemonGO!!"

Elder Colton: "Cool! Can we see your Pokemon?"

Young Japanese Boy: "Of course!"

Elder Metekingi and Elder Colton then precede to make their way over to the boy and look at his phone.

Elder Metekingi: "WOW! You have sooo many Pokemon. What is your favorite?"

Young Japanese Boy: "Hmm...probably Garados!"

Elder Colton: "I love Garados! I played Pokemon all the time as a kid on my super cool Gameboy color."

Young Japanese Boy: "Cool, do you play PokemonGo?"

Elder Colton: "No, our phone is terrible."

Young Japanese Boy: "hahaha."

Elder Metekingi: Creative transition from PokemonGo into the Gospel.
The End

Well, that short story about sums up our week. EVERYONE is playing PokemonGo. Our church is for some reason marked on the map as a battle arena. Before we go to bed at 1030 at night, we can look out our window and see a group of 10 or so strangers wondering around our apartment, searching for Pokemon.

Luckily for us, everyone loves to show us their collection, and thus starts a very natural conversation! It is then very easy for us to transition it into why we are here and what our message is. Thanks PokemonGo!

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Mission Leadership Conference
    • Because it was the beginning of the week, Elder Bunker and I had the opportunity to head to Fukuoka on Tuesday for some training from our missionary president, his wife, and the assistants. It's always a party (see pictures below). My big takeaways from the training were that we all simply need to love and respect each other more. Sister Egan talked about how true Christ-like charity means not getting frustrated with others when they mess up, but rather loving them for their strengths and building them back up like the Savior would. For those who know me well, I tend to get frustrated with others waaaay easily, so it was a kind, wake-up slap in the face to me :) 
    • President Egan spent his time talking about what it means to be a leader and representative of Jesus Christ. While leaders can talk and talk and talk, it is their actions and how they treat others that set the tone for their zone. I feel like it is the same for life.
  • Eikaiwa Food Party
    • On Saturday night we had an English class party at the church! We all made some delicious Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba (look those up!). Waaaay delicious. At the end we shared a spiritual message about how  God gives us all opportunities in this life, and how it is our responsibility to make the most of them. My incredible companion, Elder Metekingi, shared a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and how is has changed his life. We gave a copy to everyone there who didn't have one. Waaaay good time.

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
The miracle for this week was the opportunity to do a baptism interview for an investigator that is getting baptized next Saturday. I say this humbly, but our message is big and bold. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the literal Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. Yes, that same primitive church that the very Jesus Christ set up on the earth. After centuries of God's true authority being lost on the earth, that authority by which Jesus Christ and His apostles performed miracles has been restored. As a full-time, set apart missionary, we have the tremendous responsibility to spread that truth to the world.

As representatives of Jesus Christ, one of our opportunities it to interview candidates who have a desire to come unto Christ through baptism. Our guide to missionary work, Preach My Gospel, explains it well. "The purpose of your teaching is to help others develop faith in Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. As Mormon taught, 'the first fruits of repentance is baptism' (Moroni 8:25). The baptismal interview is the way established by the Church to ensure that each candidate meets the Lord’s standards for baptism and is prepared to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Through this interview, baptismal candidates fulfill the scriptural requirement that they witness before an authorized representative of the Church that they have 'truly repented of all their sins' (D&C 20:37)". The fact that 18-25 year old young men have that opportunity is pretty incredible.

Long story short, this past week's interview was one of the most pleasant, spiritual experiences on the mission so far. It was a 50 or so year old man who had humbled himself before God and felt the redeeming love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Lord made it very clear to me through the Holy Ghost that this man was more than prepared to be baptized and enter into a covenant with God.

I love this work!

Video and Invitation for the Week
On the topic of Jesus Christ, the video for this week is a prophet of the Lord testifying of the divinity and reality of Jesus Christ. Please watch and send to a friend!

https://www.lds.org/prophets-and-apostles/unto-all-the-world/president-monson-testifies-of-jesus-christ?cid=HP_WE_20-7-2016_dOCS_fPROPH_xLIDyL1-A_&lang=eng

Pictures for the Week.
1- The bus ride from the train station to the mission home for leadership training!


2- Lunch with some of the zone


3- Reunited with Elder Rowe from the MTC! Literally one of the best people I've ever met!



4-5-  The English class party!



Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

Monday, July 18, 2016

Good Company

こんにちは!!

Overall fantastic week. Being surrounded by people who rock certainly helps makes life enjoyable. My New Zealand companion, Elder Metekingi, is a stud! Certainly a pro at enjoying the small things in life. My new zone leader companion, Elder Bunker, is a chill, hardworking stud from a tiny town in Colorado. Wayyyy easy and fun to plan and work with.

This week will be a bit short! Gomen!

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Service!
    • The Japanese culture is rather against accepting service from others for free. Thus, service activities for us are very limited. This past week, however, we were able to spend a few hours helping one of the ward members move. The four Elders in our apartment and 12 or so members of the ward had a blast doing it. Her apartment was pretty destroyed from the earthquake and had been marked red, meaning dangerous and unlivable.
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
The miracle for this week was a rather sketch lesson in a park. We met Toshikata San last week at the same park and taught him the basics about God and Jesus Christ. We then set up a return appointment to meet him the next week at the same time. Thus, last night at 2030 we had a lesson with him while squatting down at a park with him and his awesome dog. Between my companion and I, one of us would teach while the other petted the dog to keep him quiet. We taught the basics of the Plan of Salvation. 

Our missionary study book explains it well, "The plan of salvation teaches us where we came from, why we are here on earth, and where we will go after this life. It maps our eternal journey through premortality, mortal life, death, resurrection, and to our life in the eternities. The plan also explains what our loving Father in Heaven does to help us make this journey successfully so that we can return to His presence and become like Him. The plan focuses on the mission and Atonement of Jesus Christ in overcoming the effects of the Fall and making eternal life possible for us." Visit LDS.org for more information, or ask my Mom if you have any questions.

Video and Invitation for the Week
Because God is our loving Heavenly Father, He wants to hear from us just like any other loving father would. Thus, He gives us prayer as a way to communicate with Him. I use it everyday! Please watch the video and try it!

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2010-01-01-prayer?cid=HP_TH_7-7-2016_dPFD_fMLIB_xLIDyL1-A_&lang=engd

Pictures for the Week.
1-2- elder hanleys birthday celebrations







3- Elder Whitmer Choros goodbye at eikaiwa



4- a picture of the congregation I served at taken before I got there



Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

Sunday, July 17, 2016

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!!!

こんにちは!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE BEST MOTHER IN THE WORLD!!!!!! Any one who gets this please email or call her to wish her a happy birthday :) She is absolutely incredible and deserves all the love in the world!!!! Love you, Mom :)

Anyways, transfer calls yet again!!! I'm be staying here in Kumamoto with Elder Metekingi!! We are way excited.

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Zone P-day!
    • This past Monday we had a zone P-day to celebrate the fourth as well as to end our zone Golden Week!!! Once again, Golden Week was a special week we had two weeks ago to help make each day of missionary work fun for each companionship. It sounds weird, but kind of like a prom-week in high school with themed days. Overall it was a BLAST and everyone got way into it and learned lots of different ways to do missionary work!!!
    • The P-day itself was a blast!!! See pictures below.
  • Seminary breakfast!!
    • This past week we made a good ol' American breakfast for the seminary students with pancakes. They all actually stayed awake for the first time since we went!

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
The miracle for this week was a lesson with the Tasaki couple! We met them during Golden Week and they let us in! We went back this past Friday and taught them the Plan of Salvation! They loved it! At one point he said something along the lines of, "I want to be able to protect my wife and two daughters forever." We gladly assured him of that! They then came to church this past week and she loved it! He was bored out of his mind, but we can work on that :)

Video and Invitation for the Week
I just found this website this past week! It is a website all about the life of Jesus Christ! Christian or not, please visit it and find a video you like! Please share with a friend or on social media!

http://jesuschrist.lds.org/resources?lang=eng

Pictures for the Week.
1-3- July Fourth P-day!




4- lunch with an investigator!!



5-6- Elder Whitmer's birthday cake!!




7- Crew in Japan!


8-9- Meal at a members!!




Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

Monday, July 4, 2016

'Merica



こんにちは!!

Happy Fourth of July!!!!!!!!!! Celebrating the Fourth of July in another country just feels strange...except for a few people I've seen wearing American shirts, it's just a normal day over here in non-America. Please send me pictures of whatever y'all did for the fourth!!!

Today we have a zone P-day to celebrate the fourth, so this will be a bit short. Overall, fantastic week! GOOOLDEENNN WEEK!!! See below. In addition to that, my companion has a brilliant way of goal setting that has changed my mission. Maybe I'm a bit late on the bus (is that a saying?), but it's incredible how much keeping your goals in front of you can motivate you throughout the week! Goals as in the amount of people we talk to each day, lessons per week, Book of Mormon's passed out each day, etc. We saw miracles this week!

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Golden WEEEEKK!!!!
    • Golden Week is a holiday in Japan where over the course of a few days that have a bunch of holidays where school and work is off. We took that idea this transfer and had a Golden Week as a zone!!! It was incredible!!! The zone got wayyy into it. We had points for each day based off how many items each companionship did. Today for zone Pday we have some AMerican prizes for the winners!!!
      • Monday- Fun list- do as many of the items of the "fun ways to do missionary work" list. Things like push ups contests with people and doing a magic trick to a stranger on the street.
      • Tuesday- Serve your companion day! Do as many things on the "Ways to serve your companion" list we made. Things like compliment your companion every hour and iron their shirt!
      • WEdnesday- chirashi (flyer) day. We have a flyer we always pass out with about 20 questions in Japanese that most missionaries don't actually know what they say. This day's goal was to ask every question at least once throughout the day!!!
      • Thursday- SMILE DAY!!! Simpl count the number of people you can make smile through the day. The winning companionship counted 325 smiles!!!
      • Friday- Miracle day!!!! Each companionship (8 total) sent at least two 1 minute voice recordings of miracles they saw throughout the day. TONS of fun.
      • Saturday- Serve your community day!!! Simply go out and do some good ol' service. My companion and I helped these people outside our apartment load up a ridiculous amount of newspaper into a trash truck.
      • Sunday- Spiritual planning day! Simply focus on using God's guidance in I planning for the day, and then looking for God's guidance throughout the day.

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
We met the most genki, friendly Japanese couple ever this week! We were going door to door on a big apartment complex when we found them. After we knocked, this suteki (look that up) Japanese guy with a goatee pops out and says in English, "What a moment." He then goes back in, comes back out, then invites us in! They both have way good English despite never living outside of Japan. She has a Protestant background and he went to a Catholic high school. 

Overall, they were fascinated by our message!! We stayed for 40 or so minutes and taught all of what we call "Lesson 1." We explained how after centuries of being lost, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth by our loving Heavenly Father through a living prophet. We also explained how The Book of Mormon is evidence of this, and that they can read it ponder the message, and find out for themselves if it is true simply by asking our loving Heavenly Father. They loved it and actually asked for a Book of Mormon. We are going back on Friday for a meal and a lesson. Of course it was the last door we planned on knocking in that one area. Miracles!!

Video and Invitation for the Week
Instead of a video this week, below is a link to ton's of inspirational quotes from inspirational leaders. Please find a quote you like and share it on some sort of social media!!

https://www.lds.org/daily-messages?cid=HP16DM_LSL&lang=eng

Pictures for the Week.
1-2- Lunch with the crew (my apartment)



3-9- Service and earthquake destruction











Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

A Cello and 0600 Seminary

こんにちは!!

(Before I begin, the "smile and wave, boys" philosophy I shared last week goes to one of my previous companions, Elder Sherrill. That was the transfer where we had about a year in Japan between the two of us. That motto saved us haha Gomen for not giving you the credit, man!)

Anyways, great week! The mission is kind of like a mini life. You are born in the MTC and forced to learn a new language; are raised by missionaries older than you that you are forced to trust in; make a fool of yourself while you are trying to figure out how to be like the older kids; mess up and learn from it all the time; eventually become one of those old missionaries that younger ones have to trust in; and it's all over and you "die." That could be made much more poetic, but yeah, it's a 2 year mini life. It rocks!

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • The music concert!
    • On Tuesday a return missionary who served in Kumamoto a few years ago came back and put on a cello concert!! She and one of the best pianists I've ever heard put on a 45 or so minute concert at the church! Overall about 40 members, missionaries, investigators, and less-actives came! I gained a new respect for the cello! I love the mission, but am excited to listen to any music I want to post mission! 
  • Seminary
    • My companion and I decided recently to start going to early morning seminary! It is a scripture study class every weekday at 0600 for all the high school students. This year is the Old Testament! For my four years of high school it was in my basement and my wonderful mother was the teacher (about 20 came each week). As a punk high school, I regrettably feel asleep pretty often due to it being so early, so this is my time to make up for it :) We are going twice a week and trying to help all the high school punks stay awake!

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
I've learned on the mission that service is one of the best ways to gain someone's trust and open their heart! This past Friday during companion exchanges with Mizoguchi Choro, one of the incredible district leaders in the zone, we were housing in pouring rain in an area where the majority of the roofs were covered in giant tarps due to damage from the earthquake. Amongst the downfall, we saw a lady desperately trying to fix her roof to block out the water. We asked if she needed help, and she said she was having a friend come over in 30 minutes, but that we could come back then and help. We enthusiastically agreed.

We went back and ended up staying for about 2 hours helping cover her roof with giant tarps and sand bags. Throughout this time, we talked (she actually asked most the questions for a change) about God and the help we can get from "Kamisama." She has a rather traditional, Japanese view of Kamisama, but was interested in learning more. We are meeting with her again tonight! Pray for her!

Video and Invitation for the Week
While the lady we helped fix her roof had no real concept of Jesus Christ, another lady we found last night is a strong Christian and feels she receives help from Christ everyday! Sadly, many people in this world have no real concept of Jesus Christ, and if they do, don't realize the help they can receive from Him. Thus, please visit he website below to explore more about the life of Jesus Christ. Find one you like, and then look up the corresponding scripture in the Bible!

https://www.lds.org/bible-videos?cid=HP16BV_LSL&lang=eng

Pictures for the Week.
1- A bad picture of the concert!



2- Meal with some of the members in the ward (hair got messed up from rain :( )
3-4- Companion exchanges with two of the Elders in the zone!!





Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部