Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Legend of Elder Yamanashi

Happy Almost 2018!

(P-days got a bit weird. My next one will be sometime next week).

Maybe there is some mathematical proof behind it, but life seems to go faster and faster the older I get (There is probably some cool psychological studies about that). Anyways, I just realized this time next year I will be in a very different place! For one, I'll be an uncle! Maybe of more than just one niece/nephew (***cough cough Meredith/Trent and maybe even Brandon!).

Anyways, fantastic week. Working everyday with Elder Yamanashi is incredible. Last night in my journal I was writing about our relationship, and realized we are similar in some ways, but opposites in many. 
I am more of the "Let's simply get the job done" kind of person, but easily gets stressed out doing it. I am currently working on our prophet President Monson's council of, "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." Elder Yamanashi, on the other hand, it a patient, easy-going, God trusting saint. He knows and truly believes to the core that God is in charge of this work, and that everything always works out. 

As far as planning goes, I am more of a "Lets throw out tons of ideas and talk our way to the answer" type of person. He is more of a "Let's think, and ponder, and use the Spirit to figure out what to do."
As far as leadership goes, I am more of a "Let's love them, but give them a little slap in the butt when they need it" type of person. He is more of a, "We can't change others. Only the true love of God can change people long term and bring them back unto our Savior" type of person.

Working with him now over the past three months or so, I have realized that his some of his strengths are virtually all of my weaknesses. I'm not sure if he has learned much from me other than how to easily stress out :), he has taught be through example of what it truly means to trust in God. I have never heard a single negative comment about anyone from him. He has never even said anything remotely mean to me, despite my often overly-dominate personality. It is incredible the companions that God puts us with. God knows us and what we need. He knows that I needed an Elder Yamanashi to help overcome my Cash/Colton stubborness (love you family :) ).

Gomen, that went a bit longer than expected. It's always fun to start typing these up and see where my thoughts go.

Notes/Stories from the Week 
  • Seeing some more of Japan!
    • Starting next transfer, much of our focus as assistants will change. We have been traveling around the mission a lot recently to help assist President Egan in trainings. Starting next transfer, our role will change slightly to traveling much less, and getting out and dendoing (proselyting) a lot more! 
    • That being said, this past week we attended zone conferences in Kumamoto, Nagasaki, and Kagoshima. I absolutely love seeing the missionaries and participating in their trainings. Each training lasted about six hours, with trainings from President and Sister Egan, Elder Yamanshi and I, the zone leaders, and the sister training leaders. It is always fun to see what plans the zone leaders and sister training leaders come up with for their zones (one of the fun ones was the theme of "The Lord's Gym," building your area like your body. It sounds cheesy, but they related how just like working out, we have to work on different parts of dendo to be effective as possible. If you skip leg day, you don't improve!).
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week

The training we just gave to all eight zones was based off the idea that true joy comes to the faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We used the good, better, best principle, and related it to it is GOOD to follow God because of fear and guilt (from Him, family, friends, etc), it is BETTER to follow Him out of faith in the promise that obedience brings blessings, but is is BEST to be obedient to God out of true love for Jesus Christ. "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). 
One of the miracles I shared for the BETTER portion, was how when I trained, my companion and I struggled the first few days with getting along. We were both a bit stubborn and didn't want to change. We had the same goals for the mission, but couldn't see eye to eye on a lot. After a few days of struggling, we talked it out and decided to followed President Nelsons council of, "Obedience brings success; exact obedience brings miracles" by making a "Miracle Card" of some of the mission rules we were struggling with. We made a list of 15 or so things we could do each day to be more obedient. We set out each and every day to do our best, bore our testimonies to each other nightly before daily planning, and started loving the mission. In my journal I wrote how I had never been happier. 
Thus, the scriptures are true. While it may sound strange, the more strictly we head the teachings of Jesus Christ, the happier we are!

Video and Invitation for the Week
This week is actually an article that is short, but powerful! Like I said above, Elder Yamanashi understands the key to happiness to loving God and loving others. Check out this article if you want to be happier (yup, that's all of us).

Pictures for the Week.
1-3: The Kagoshima train station

4: The office staff with ties we all got from Elder Haoka's Mom.

Love you!!

Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老

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