One of the best parts of being a missionary is working with other missionaries. Most are either straight out of high school or have a year or two of college under their belt. Nearly all come out with little "worldly" experience, thus it is pretty incredible to see the work that the Lord is able to do through us. Last week Elder Whiting point out to us that there has got to be a better way than working through largely 18-25 year olds to help carry out God's number one purpose, the entire salvation of His children, but the fact that God trusts the simple things of the world (us) in simple language (like me trying to speak Japanese) to share His simple, but powerful message (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) is evidence to me of the truthfulness and power of this message. We speak words, but the Holy Ghost teaches and has the power to impact and change lives. We have the privilege of witnessing a small part of not only this marvelous work, but the wonder that accompanies it.
Notes/Stories from the Week
- Spreading the Gospel
- A large majority of our time as missionaries in Japan is spent walking the streets and neighborhoods of Japan, talking to everyone we see about the message of Jesus Christ. Luckily, Japanese people are VERY kind and either talk with us or politely decline. I think back to some of my time spent in New York city where people passing out pamphlets or things like that are 100% ignored as if they don't even exist. Luckily, our message is much more important than an invitation to a comedy show. While often, many Japanese people see "イエスーキリスト” (Jesus Christ) on our nametag and quickly lose interest, we find tons each day who we are able to have a "totsuzen lesson" with. Within a quick five minute conversation on the street, we are able to introduce who we are, find out who they are, and they relate some aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to their lives. The goal is to have the Spirit touch them in such a way to have a desire to learn more. It might not sound like it, but it's quite the party.
- Elder Strickland breaking records!
- My companion is a legend! This past week we went through the process to get him a license in Japan. The test itself is kind of ridiculous and often takes people 10+ times to pass. The number of times it has taken prior missionaries recently has been 2, 4, 8, 11, and 13. Pridefully, I was hoping it'd take him a few times so I couldn't feel a bit better about myself. Believe it or not, he passed on his first try! He hadn't been behind the wheel of a car in over a year and a half! He had prayed all morning to be able to pass so he wouldn't have to waste any more of the Lord's time (it takes about 7 hours overall to take a test, lots of waiting time), and the Lord heard and answered his prayer!
For almost everyone week of my life, I have had the opportunity to go to church. Once I got on the mission, Church took on a very different meaning. While at first I had absolutely no idea what was being said, I understood exactly what was going on. On of the beauties of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is that God's church is the same everywhere. I can go to an LDS church any where in the world in any language, and the second I walk in, I'm home. I have recently been enjoying church more and more, and realizing the miracle it is for us. While the renewing covenants with God is obviously the most important part, the simple stressfree break from life is incredible. In Japan, the average person works more hours than a first year young accountant in New York city. They all need church as a both physical and spiritual reboost everyweek.
Video and Invitation for the Week
Often we judge others largely based off our own insecurities. Although targeted towards youth, this video applies to us all. Please share with someone you think it could help!
Pictures for the Week.
1: Just one for this week- me, Elder Haoka, Elder Strickland, Elder Haoka, and Elder Ishikawa. Elder Haoka and Ishikawa are full Japanese, the other two are half. I'm just a wanna-be!
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老