This school called "West Point" claims it is the best leadership academy in the world. Well, I'd say an LDS mission sure beats it on that claim! The mission just throws you into awkward, uncomfortable situations over and over and over and over and over and forces you to grow. Leadership also is best taught through the example of Jesus Christ, so the mission had a leg up on that one as well. Sorry, West Point :)
Notes/Stories from the Week
- Zone Conference
- His past week Kaicho, Shimai, and the assistants came down for zone conference! One of my main takeaways was that success on the mission, and in life, doesn't come from numbers and positions (how many baptisms you have, whether you are an assistant or not). One of the definitions I like to use for success/greatness comes from President Hunter, a previous prophet. "True greatness [comes from] the thousands of little deeds and tasks of service and sacrifice that constitute the giving, or losing, of one’s life for others and for the Lord." Service and sacrifice for others and the Lord. That simple!
- Elder Bunker and I got to give a two hour training, focusing on using scriptures and the words of modern day prophets as the basis of teaching investigators. It's a simple concept, but one that brings power and simplicity into our teaching.
- Stake President meetings
- Probably the scariest part of my mission so far has been recent meetings with stake presidencies. The zone leaders meet with them once a month here. My first two times, Elder Whitmer was the area senpai (been there longer) so he took charge and talked the whole time. His past time I had to take the lead. The stake president and his counsellors are incredible, but they expect us to baptism as a zone and for Elder Bunker and I to be on top of things. They also don't seem to slow down any of their Japanese for us haha this past week we had one of those meetings. It was a good growth experience.
- After zone conference elder Bunker and I met with our stake president and mission president to discuss possibly moving some of the apartments in our zone. The two of them actually asked for and listened to our advice (that's a scary thought!). It was pretty incredible to see my mission presidents interactions with the stake president. President Egan is a gaijin like us with imperfect Japanese, but he showed nothing but love and support. Perfect communication isn't necessary to show love. The love and the spirit truly transcend all languages and cultural barriers.
- Just another
- Crazy day. Found a prior investigator who had a baptism date before the quake, but then the missionaries lost contact with because of the quake.
- Met a African American from Las Vegas (you don't see much diversity in Japan) who had his Japanese wife stop his car so he could talk with us. When we asked why he was here in Japan,the first thing he said was that he has a green card. Huh? We also asked if he spoke Japanese, and he proud said, "I am American. I speak English."
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
There is an English class student named Ayumi San who has been coming for about 2 years now. She starting taking the lessons from the missionaries before the earth quake, but things dropped when the quake came. At the concert last week, we closed by sharing how that warm, hopeful feeling from music can always be felt by the spirit. Well, after the concert she wanted to start taking the lessons again, specifically to learn about the spirit.
We taught her with two other members and used scriptures and questions as the basis of our teachings. It went fantastic! She understood well and we were able to understand tons of her concerns and current trials in life. We meet with her again tomorrow!
Video and Invitation for the Week
Luckily for people like me and Ayumi San, Jesus Christ understands us all, and through His grace we can all be healed of whatever problem we experience. The link is to a number of videos that share real stories of people who reached out for help and received it. The Church of Jesus Christ isn't full of perfect people, rather sinners who keep trying!
Please watch and share with a friend who you think it would help!
Pictures for the Week.
I failed this week! No pictures this week except for one I just took. This is elder bunker and I every morning for reporting with our district leaders and then the assistants.
The video is the end of my companion singing at a members house. They always make the missionaries sing a solo. :) I was the one filming. Fun time!
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老