Well, Elder Yamanashi has transferred out and Elder Strickland has transferred in! Working with Elder Yamanashi changed my life and helped me realize how much parts of myself I need to change. I'll miss him.
Elder Strickland is half Japanese (mom from Okinawa) and is a total stud. He was a rugby, football, and wrestler in high school and is one of the hardest workers I've ever met. While he has pushed me in the morning to work out harder than I have in a while, I'm most impressed by his faith in and love of Jesus Christ. We are beyond excited to work together his transfer.
Overall, this is by far the most excited I've been for a transfer yet! We have Elder Whiting of the 70 coming in a few weeks for a mission tour and all the zone leaders coming up for companion exchanges. Thus, lots of dendo time :) Expect stories of miracles to come!
Notes/Stories from the Week
- This past Saturday for P-day we went to a close by park and played rugby with some of the youth in our ward. See pictures below! It was my first time actually playing rugby and it was a blast! Elder Strickland played in high school and was the best hands down...either I was never fast, or I have gotten slow... It was two had touch (missionary rules), but still way fun. Julio, the one wearing the light blue "GAVIC" shirt, was actually baptized just two weeks ago! He is pretty incredible. Elder Whitmer and Elder Stennett have been teaching him each week, but we've had the opportunity to go to Sunday school and young mens with him every week. He is 17 and loves the church. My previous companion, Elder Yamanashi, had the opportunity to do his baptism interview, and was blown away at his belief in Jesus Christ and desire to follow him. He was found by the missionaries a few months ago, and was pretty solid the entire way. Miracles!
- Dendo Miracles
- This past week we met a Chinese man named Chin who wants to learn more about Christ, and another man named Taton from Myanmar who is coming to church tomorrow. More to follow next week!
Throughout the past year and half of these emails, I've talked a few times about the Spirit guiding us to prepared people. The honest truth about sharing the message of Jesus Christ in Japan is that there are quite a few people with absolutely no interest in our message. The best part, however, is that there are many that are! A few months ago, Elder Cook of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles came to our mission and have a training. One of the council he gave was to put our spiritual power into planning and teaching. Each day, we plan our very specifically where we need to go to find those interested. Over the past few days, Elder Strickland and I have focused on pleading with the Lord to know specifically where we need to go, and then following every prompting we feel as we go there. Well, the past few days, we have found interested people every place we have gone! Sure, you may call it a coincidence everytime, but coincidences don't have patterns and occur over and over. The Lord heads this work, and is it up to us to decide if we want to follow His council and help or not.
Video and Invitation for the Week
I've shared this before, but this is a video in a series that describes what I talked about above. Please visit and check out other videos on Mormon Channel that look interesting.
Pictures for the Week.
1: The new companion! Elder Strickland. When we don't have much time to eat, this is our goto- bread, peanut butter, chicken/onion, banana, and an egg on top. It's actually waaaay good.
2: The last Sunday with Elder Yamanashi :(
3: The church crew. Every week we join the youth for the last two hours of church and have gotten way close with all of them. Jaimie, the guy on my left, is half Chinese and half New Zealand, but fluent in Japanese. He is the closest I've gotten to any youth in Japan so far. Quite the stud.
4: Elder Whitmer's last sushi in Japan.
5: How to cook and eat a meal in 20 minutes (see #1, this one also had bacon).
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老