Sunday, March 5, 2017

An Even Better Week

こんにちは!

My email from last week said that week was pretty good, but this past week was even better! We had the opportunity as a mission to be trained by Elder Whiting of the Quorum of the 70 and President of the Asia North Area (This is his background- https://www.lds.org/church/leader/scott-duane-whiting?lang=eng). Simply put, it was incredible. He had no script and no powerpoint. He simply asked for a whiteboard and a marker. Over the course of the week, I listened to him talk for about 12 hours total, and had absolutely no problem staying awake (For those who have ever sat next to me at a military briefing or General Conference, you know I often struggle with that...). Incredible public speaker that invited the spirit with power and used and understood the scriptures like he had written them himself. Below are some of my take-ways.

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • Xuzhe- Episode II
    • More to follow for next week! He was a bit busy this week, but he had the chance to talk to him a few times on the phone this week. He is about half-way through 1 Nephi now in English and reads whenever he can! He is in pretty desperate need of Gods help, so please pray for him!
  • Elder and Sister Whiting
    • Wow, talk about to Christ-like people. Whether you believe in LDS doctrine or not, it is impossible to meet someone like Elder Whiting and claim that the message that has shaped who he is has an evil in it. He is a man of love, of understanding, and of an ability to connect with all he talks to. He and his wife had spent the last two weeks with Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and thus could give us tons of advice and counsel like Elder Holland would.
    • Here are some of the take-ways I got from him, his wife, and President and Sister Egan throughout the conferences.
      • Christ has commanded us to "Be ye therefore perfect" (Matthew 5:48). Thus, we need to strive daily to do so. This strive leads us to true conversion in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here is an activity for you, read the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-3 (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/25.1-13?lang=eng), but replace the world "lamp" with "testimony" and "oil" with "conversion." A belief in Christ is good, but only a whole-hearted conscious acceptance of the will of God is what is expected of us.
      • Our missionary purpose at it's simplest is to "Preach My Gospel by the Spirit" as Doctrine and Covenants 50:14 says. Language skills, scripture knowledge, obedience, testimony, it all goes into that.
      • The Atonement of Jesus Christ covers everything. Whether it be an addiction, a hot temper, or even low-confidence, believing we can't change is in essance not believing that Jesus Christ suffered enough for each of us. That is the miracle of Jesus Christ. Because he suffered for all of us, we can overcome any weakness through his help.  "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them" (Ether 12:27).
      • The most important work in the universe is the work of saving souls. Our entire purpose of existence is just that. Thus, family/parenting, missionary work, service to others, and virtually anything that leads to that needs to be the focus of our life.
      • There are a lot of problem identifiers in this world. That is an easy skill to have. The world needs more problem solvers.
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
Growing up, my grandpa has always told me a few phrases at the end of ever phone call or visit. These were, "Remember who you are and what you can become. Keep the commandments (and all the mission rules). Work hard and work smart. We love you." My Grandmpa would then always chime in, "and have fun!"

I'm a bit slow, but this past week I realized that, although they have never met, my mission president's "rules" for us are practically identity. His are 1) Work hard, 2) Work smart by the Spirit, 3) Be strictly obedient, 4) Have fun, 5) Come home tired. He also tells us all the time how much he loves us.

For some reason, it seems the Lord wants to me understand and master those principles. Two of the best men I know always telling me virtually the same thing! 

Video and Invitation for the Week
Elder Whiting said that during his just short of two weeks with Elder Holland, he didn't hear one negative comment about anything! They have conferences daily and all sorts of unexpected problems. Despite all of that, nothing but positivity and encouragement, This video talks about some of the importance of being optimistic and loving all, even those we don't understand. Please watch and think about how you can judge others less!

Pictures for the Week.
1: The Naha/Ginowan Zones!


2: The Kumamoto/Nagasaki/Kagoshima zones!



3: The Fukuoka/Hiroshima/Yamaguchi zones!



Love you!!

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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