Truly one of the best weeks of my mission, and life for that matter. The highlights were endless. I'll try to describe a few.
Notes/Stories from the Week
- Chin- Episode III
- Well, before I get to the good stuff, sadly the episodes of Chin have come to an end. He planned to come to church with us last Sunday, but couldn't because of getting called into work on Sunday morning. We set up an appointment at his house for that night, but we went, we found the Book of Mormon and a note taped to his door. In English, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese (quite impressive actually), it said something along the lines of he is no longer interested in religion and to not come back. We are assuming his boss said something to him.
- Xuzhe- Episode I
- Wow, he is amazing. Here is the short story. Elder Strickland found him on "phone dendo" last week (going through the phone numbers we have). He was found a few months back at the DMV from a legendary missionary named Elder Pettit. Although too busy to meet back them, Elder Pettit was smart and got his phone number. When Elder Strickland called this past week, he said he could meet! We have met him know three times in the past week and got a referral from him! He is Chinese, but fluent in English and Japanese. Although coming from a background where God isn't a possibility, he feels like he was led by God to Japan, and then led to us, "God messengers" as he calls us in his prayers. He loves the Book of Mormon (well the English one, not so much the Chinese one) and has stronger faith in Jesus Christ than any new investigator I've ever taught. He knows Christ can help him and will do whatever it takes. More to follow!
- Finding by the Spirit
- I've often talked about this idea of "finding by the Spirit." As crazy as it may sound, I fully believe that God can lead us to specific places at specific times to meet specific people. It sounds difficult, but it can be rather simple if we let it. I'll try to explain with an analogy. Yesterday, Elder Dibble (one of our missionaries in Kumamoto) and I felt we needed to go to a certain area to find someone. Thus, we call our smart friend "Tom" and asked Him where we need to go. He tells us to go to an apartment nearby. On the way there, He tells us that first we need to knock the doors of a smaller apartment on the way. We do, and then continue on our way. As we now get to the apartment and are about to start on the bottom floor, Tom calls us back and says to actually start on the top floor. We trust Tom, so we head up to the top. After we finish the top two floors, we are heading down the stairs and see a lady, named Jill, coming up the stairs. Tom then calls all of us at the same time and tells us all to talk to each other. It turns out, Jill was looking for us and Tom wanted us to find her. We talked to Jill and set up another time to meet.
- Luckily for us, this "Tom" figure is a all-loving, all-knowing Heavenly Father who we can "call" through prayer at anytime of the day. He knows exactly who He wants us to meet to share the message that will bring His children back to Him. "Jill's" name is Kuriyama San and had met with the missionaries a few months ago. They lost contact with her, and she has been waiting for them to come back. As the nerdy teacher from the movie "Incredibles" says, "Coincidence?? I think not!"
As I was typing up the above story, President Fukunaga from the Shimonoseki branch walks into the mission office! He was the branch president of my first area when I was there from September 2015 to February 2016. He came to give something to President Egan so was surprised to see me. We ended up talking about how the branch is doing, and he said a bunch of the members actually came to the temple today (it's right above the mission office). He said many of them are in the waiting room of the temple and told me to come up to see him! I headed up and got to see Muraishi Kyodai and Tanaka Kyodai! See my blog posts from those first few months of my mission to see the details on who they were! Tanaka Kyodai was found the week before I got there, and we taught him two to three times a week for those six months I was there. He was baptized during my second transfer. My trainer and I started teaching Muraishi Kyodai the last week of my second transfer, and Elder Mismash had the opportunity to baptize him during my fourth transfer there. Tanaka Kyodai will be performing baptisms for his grandparents today! See picture below! God is incredible.
Video and Invitation for the Week
This is a bit more of a serious movie, but this is the help from Jesus Christ that people like Xuzhe are receiving for the first time in their lives. Christ is there for all of us. Please watch and ponder what this means in your life.
library/video/2013-01-003- mountains-to-climb?lang=eng&_ r=3&cid=HP_TU_21-2-2017_dPFD_ fMLIB_xLIDyL1-A_
Pictures for the Week.
1: Nacho party at the MTC! Picture four will put it in context.
2; Xuzhe, Elder Strickland, and I eating way good pizza!
3: Companion exchange with Elder Dibble and Elder Johnson (from my MTC district)
4: Nacho party in honor of the MTC. Elder Johnson (the one next to me) and I did this almost daily at the MTC! See the first picture.
5: This was today in the waiting room of the temple. Tanaka Kyoudai is the one on the far left, Muraishi Kyoudai is the one on my right. Fukunaga Kaicho is the one on my left. This is every missionaries dream!
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老