Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Party in Fukuoka, A Party in Kumamoto, and a Party in Amakusa


At this point on the mission, a large majority of the friends that I've made over the past year are either already done with their mission, or will soon be heading home. While at first two years often felt like an eternity, I am realizing more and more how little time we have as missionaries to devote every ounce of our time and energy to this great cause. Our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ have given us everything we have. Two years is nothing compared to that. Ganbaro!!!

Anyways, fantastic week. The highlights were Missionary Leadership Conference in Fukuoka, zone training meeting and heading down to Amakusa!

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Missionary Leadership Conference
    • Like I've said before, every 6 weeks, all the zone leaders and sister training leaders in the mission (about 28 missionaries total) head to the mission home in Fukuoka to council with the assistants, Mission president, and his wife about how the mission is doing. It is always a spiritual boost as we are surrounded by our incredible peers with incredible faith, as well as a humbling experience as we realize how much more we and our zones can improve. See pictures below!
  • Zone training meeting
    • Sorry to the rest of the bajillion missionary zones around the world, but we have the best zone with the best missionaries I've ever seen (see picture below). This pastFriday we met with all 25 members of our zone and gave a three hour training on a number of topics. 
    • One of the highlights for me was a training we gave on unity and teamwork. Our zone is mainly elders who love sports and things like that, so we based our training off a talk called, "Band of Brothers." Please read it!
    • To share the story of Easy Company, I walked over to the piano and struck a chord, as Elder Bunker started telling the story. As I continued to play epic background music, the two district leaders in the district stood up and joined in at their assigned parts to help tell the story as epically as possible. Waaaaay fun times. Super cheesy, but I think everyone enjoyed it.
    • The other highlight was a training we gave on being a "challenging and testifying" missionary. The basic idea was to be ready to bare your testimony and beliefs to anyone at anytime. 
  • Beautiful Amakusa (look up pictures online!)
    • We have a group that is a part of our ward that lives about 3 hours away by car. My companion and I go down there every 3 weeks or so to help them out. Currently they have a solid 8 people that go to church each week down there at a member's home. In addition to talking to some fantastic people (see miracle for the week), we saw a gorgeous sunset on the way back. See pictures below!

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
One of our reasons for heading down to Amakusa this past week was to meet with an 18 year old, 1st year college student who is interested in learning about Christ. He is the boyfriend of a semi-active member down there who we had briefly met once before. This time we had a meal at the girlfriends house with him and taught the basic ideas of God and baptism. It was thrilling to see his eyes light up when he realized for the first time in his life the possibility of all this being true. He committed to be baptized next month if he receives a confirmation from God that He exists and that this message is true. Please pray for him to let Christ into his life! His name is Shou kun.

Video and Invitation for the Week
Like Shoukun, there are billions of people around the world who sadly have never thought of the actual reality of a living, loving God that is willing and ready to help in more ways than we can imagine. This video introduces the idea of this all-loving God through the analogy of fatherhood. ENjoy!

Pictures for the Week.
-1: Sister Shibayama and Elder VanAlfen from the conference in Fukuoka!

-2-3: The Kumamoto zone!

-4: A giant, ugly spider my companion and I found this week in Amakusa.

-5-10: The car ride back from Amakusa

Video: Amakusa

Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老

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