Monday, January 30, 2017

Is Your Grandpa Sterling Colton?

Notes/Stories from the Week (or two)
  • The Changes
    • Must of the next few weeks around the world will have some very big changes for missionaries. Here are some:
      • All of the world: a much more loose schedule with more decisions for missionaries to make. From 10am-9pm, we now choose our entire schedule (dinner being done before 6pm), and where to fit in our studies and what not. For those who have ever been missionaries, it is quite the change. The main reasons that the LDS Missionary Department announced in a world wide broad cast this past week were to allow missionaries to 1) be more productive each day, 2) set more inspired goals and plan more effectively, 3) be healthier, and 4) use our agency to make righteous decision about how best to spend our time.
      • All of the world: The four key indicators we track and set goals for now are investigators baptized and confirmed, investigators with a baptism date, investigators who attend sacrament meeting, and new investigators. For those who have never served a mission, this is also a very big shift in the way missionary work it done. Previously we had nine of these "key indicators" that we used each week to help us bring others unto Christ. I'm excited to see how this helps make us more effective missionaries!
      • All of Japan: A new English class program that focuses on the rising generation! We will now be teaching towards two English proficiency tests taken by millions of people in Japan: Eiken and TOIEC. The Eiken is taken primarily by middle school and high school students, and the TOIEC primarily by college and young working adults! We are excited to be able to work much, much more with the young generation of Japan.
  • The End of Seeing Japan!
    • This past week we finished up this round of interviews by heading to Okinawa (see map below), Kumamoto, and Kagoshima. I got to go on companion exchanges with Elder Lustiv from Bulgaria (one of two missionaries in the world serving from his country; fascinating missionary) and Elder Hardy (my senpai from the MTC). Good times.
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
  1. Two for this week:
    • See picture below: Sister Hazelbarth, one of the office couples who works with us in the mission office, was baptized in Maryland years ago. While eating lunch with her husband this past week, I mentioned my grandparents live in Maryland. Elder Hazelbarth than asked, "Is your grandpa Sterling Colton?"
    • It turns out that when Sister Hazelbarth (at the time Patricia Dao) was baptized, my grandpa was her bishop in Maryland! To this day, she remembers him for his kindness to her and to his wife (my grandma). She said that he could never talked about my Grandma without his eyes watering. She had never seen a husband have so much love for his wife in her entire life.
  2. I meant to share this a few months ago but just remembered. I think I have the details.
    • Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints value family history a lot (See  for more information. Simply put we see it  is a way to save more souls and strengthen the eternal family unit. In Japan, doing family history is often very difficult. A few months back, a missionary raised in America that was half Japanese/half American, was called to serve in the Kitakyushu area in our mission. While there, a member of their the congregation they were serving at realized there was a shrine nearby that contained his family name. Sure enough, when this missionary visited the shrine, he found records and records of his ancestors that went back hundreds of years. If he hadn't been called to serve there, finding those records would have been nearly impossible. 
    • Thus, God truly knows us and knows where we need to serve. Sometimes it is to baptize someone, sometimes it is to change the life of a companion, and sometimes it is as specific as finding the records of many of your ancestors!. We just finished one more round of transfer board discissions with President Egan, and once again I realized that President Egan is not in charge. Rather, an all-loving, all-powering Heavenly Father is.

Video and Invitation for the Week
As missionaries, we share a bold message that can honestly sound crazy to those not family with our message. One of those bold truths we share is that reality of living prophets and apostles that lead this church under the direction of Jesus Christ. The video below is from one of those very people. Mormon or not, please watch and think about the possibility of what he is sharing.
Pictures for the Week.
1: Two of the best people this world has ever known! My grandmother said this quote to my cousin, Dan, on the phone and he made this for them.

2-5: Nothing like good food! Had this waiting for our flight in Okinawa.

6: Okinawa map- That island where all the flights go into are where about 50 of our missionaries are at! 

7: Sister Hazelbarth who works with us in the mission office. See story above.

7 Leaving the Hiroshima apartment and heading to the Eki on Sunday morning

Love you!!

Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老

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