Monday, August 29, 2016

A Cup, with Dirt In It


Great week! Another transfer has come and gone. I will be staying in Kumamoto! Elder Metekingi his heading out. I'll find out who my new companion is tomorrow when I pick him up from Fukuoka!

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Free Tabehodai!
    • On Thursday one of the younger members brought a ridiculous amount of meet and vegetables to the church to feed us and Sato Kyodai (see last week). It was endless amounts of delicious meat and vegetables! Heaven!
  • Another concert!
    • This past Saturday, four famous singers from around Japan came to our church and put on a concert. They asked the missionaries to join for a song called, "I'll find you my friend." Wayyy cool experience.
  • "It's a cup, with dirt in it. I call it a cup of dirt."
    • This past Sunday we had a meal and a lesson with Ayumi San and her two kids! We all ate some delicious food with the Tojo's (see pictures below). For the message, we planted some seeds with the kids and explained the seed and faith analogy in Alma 32.
    • For those who don't know it, a Book of Mormon prophet named Alma compares faith in Christ to a seed. He explains that just like a seed starts small and takes nourishment to grow, our faith needs the same. Often that planted seed of faith is "no more than desire to believe" (Alma 32:27). He further explains, "Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me (Alma 32:27).
    • He ends the analogy by explain what this seed of faith can turn into: "But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life" (Alma 32:41).
    • Thus it is with faith. A simple experiment. If a seed it good and you nourish it with water and sunlight, it will grow. If it is faith in truth, our seed of faith grows with simple things such as prayer and scripture reading.
    • To read more, see and search for Alma 32.

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
While our seed of faith often seems to be struggling to break free past the soil, God is pretty incredible and will help if we let Him. Thus it is as missionaries. We work and work and work, but often feels like it's all for nothing. I have found, however, that if we do our part, God will always bless us in ways we don't expect. This past week, we got a call from a member in the ward who said that her daughter's boyfriend is interest in learning about Jesus Christ.

The three of them live in Amakusa (three hours away), but came up this past Saturday to go to the hospital and to meet with us. We realized early on in the lesson that it was more the Mom wanting him to learn than his own interest.

As we got to know him and became friends with him, we were able to figure out some of his current concerns and troubles in life, and then relate how God and Jesus Christ can help. By the end, he had a Book of Mormon in his hands and was excited to learn! We have a lesson set up with him the next time we head down to Amakusa in a few weeks!

Video and Invitation for the Week
This past week we were able to spend a lot of time with families. While no one has the perfect family, it is beautiful to see the influence that living the Gospel of Jesus Christ has in family relationships. The video for this week is a simple one, and expresses the important of the important things in life. Please watch and post this one on social media somewhere!

Pictures for the Week.
-1: Dinner on Monday with Kenji, one of the English class students

-2-4: We did some service at a member's house this past week. Before and after pictures! Wayyy hot but fun.

-5: The zone for this transfer!

-6-7: Meal at a members this past week with Ayumi San and her kids!

-8: A run/bike ride Elder Bunker and I went on this past week.

-9: The plant we are growing with Ayumi and her kids!

Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老

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