Monday, September 26, 2016

Get Up, and Finish the Race

こんにちは!!

Last week I went on a bit of a rant about success. I'll keep this short, but I'd like to share another thought on the topic that I took from a poem that our mission president gave us a few weeks ago. I wrote it out and keep it above my desk in my apartment (see attached picture).

Here is the poem:

The Race


"Quit, give up, you're beaten"
They shout at you and plead
"There's just too much against you
This time you can't succeed".

And as I start to hang my head
In front of failures face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race

And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene
Or just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being

Childrens race, young boys
Young men, how I remember well
Excitement sure, but also fear
It wasn't hard to tell

They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race
Or tie for first, or if not that
At least take second place

The fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son
And each boy hoped to show his dad
That he could be the one

The whistle blew and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win and be the hero there
Was each young boys desire

And one boy in particular
Whose dad was in the crowd
Was running near the lead and thought
"My dad will be so proud"

But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win
Lost his step and slipped

Trying hard to catch himself
With hands flew out to brace
And amid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face

But as he fell his dad stood up
And showed his anxious face
Which to the boy so clearly said
"Get up and win the race"

He quickly rose, no damage done
Behind a bit that's all
And ran with all his night and mind
To make up for the fall

So anxious to restore himself
To catch up and to win
His mind went faster than his legs
He slipped and fell again

He wised then that he had quit before
With only one disgrace
"I'm hopeless as a runner now
I shouldn't try to race"

But in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his fathers face
That steady look which said again
"Get up and win the race"

So up he jumped to try again
Ten yards behind the last
If I'm going to gain those yards he though
I've got to move real fast

Exerting everything he had
He regained eight or ten
But trying hard to catch the lead
He slipped and fell again

Defeat, he lay there silently
A tear dropped from his eye
There's no sense running anymore
Three strikes, I'm out, why try?

The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind so error prone
A loser all the way

"I've lost, so what", he thought
I'll live with my disgrace
But then he thought about his dad
Whom soon he'd have to face

"Get up" the echo sounded low
"Get up" and take your place
You were not meant for failure here
"Get up", and win the race

With borrowed will "Get up" it said
"You haven't lost at all"
For winning is no more than this
To rise each time you fall

So up he rose to run once more
And with a new commit
He resolved, that win or lose
At least he shouldn't quit

So far behind the others now
The most he'd ever been
Still he'd give it all he had
And run as though to win

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling
Three times he'd rose again
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end

They cheered the winning runner
As he crossed the line first place
Head high and proud and happy
No falling, no disgrace

But when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line, last place
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race

And even though he came in last
With head bent low, unproud
You would have thought he'd won the race
To listen to the crowd

And to his dad he sadly said
"I didn't do too well"
"To me you won", his father said
"You rose each time you fell"
written by
D. H. Groberg

Thus it is with life, especially life as a missionary. We make mistakes, embarrass ourselves, and fall down. We then get back up, even more determined to change ourselves and the world, only to fall down once more. Often staying down seems to be the only sensible thing because getting back up only means we have another chance to fall! Luckily for us, the Savior's hand is always waiting to pull us back up and give us a little push to finish the race.

While I'm not perfect, I've learned on the mission I don't need to be. Whether we "fall" from self-exhaustion, being pushed down by others, or any other reason, all the Savior expects us to do is get up, and finish the race!

(Stepping off soap box now) :)

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • A Little Bike Ride in the rain
    • This past week we had another companion exchange. This time I went with Elder Owens from (you guessed it!) Utah. Wow, quite the day. We started out by biking about an hour and a half to two the area where some members and less actives live. It was by far the biggest hill I've seen yet in Japan! We just might have walked part of it...Anyways, after some awesome lessons with the members and a delicious lunch, we had the time of our life biking down the hill! I have a speedometer on my bike...the peak speed was in the 40mph range...wayyyy fun, even if it might have been in the rain. 
    • We also ran into Elder Lotti (lived with me in my Shimonoseki apartment) and Elder Sherrill (my 5th transfer companion) who were heading back from service in the areas with members. Later than night we had a meal at another members with Ayumi San's family there (see picture below)
  • Maybe they drank just a bit too much...
    • Last Sunday before church, Elder Serville and I tried some morning finding and found an awesome couple who let us come back the next day, and then invited us to a BBQ this past Saturday. Their house was destroyed by the earthquake, so they are currently living in an apartment. Wayyy fun people. Our plan for the BBQ was to eat dinner, and then teach a lesson. As soon as we starting eating, however, they asked us to start explaining who Joseph  Smith was. Thus, we explained all of that (what we call Lesson 1) over the course of a rather long, chill dinner. They knew we didn't drink alcohol, but that didn't help them from drinking throughout themselves. At first it started out fantastic, but as time went on and they continued to drink more and more, they got a bit crazier and crazier :) I forgot what it is like being around drunk adults. My companion seemed a bit uncomfortable, but I had a blast. Hopefully they will remember most of the details of the lesson. They are coming to English class on Wednesday and church on Sunday!

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
Before reading this, please read last week's miracle post (elderkevincolton.blogspot.com). God is great! The miracle card works! Our investigators bumped up from 2 to what will soon be 8 this week! We are focusing on praying at every decision point in the day and pleading with the Lord to lead us to the prepared. Sure enough, the Lord fulfills His promises.

Video and Invitation for the Week
This week is simple! Simple visit this website and check out some of the videos on it. I'd also recommend checking out some of the music videos. Yeah, it's meant for teenagers, but you can all find something you relate with on it.

https://www.lds.org/youth

Pictures for the Week.
-1: "Get up, and Finished the Race"- see above


-2: Meal and the Suzuki family (ward mission leader and one of my heroes in life) and an investigators family




-3: French toast party with French toast elder Serville made for us!



-4-9: some of the members in the congregation








-10: some delicious udon kare we ate today!



Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

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