Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Japanese!!!

こんにちは!


Another great week in the land of Beppu. It's a mix between Japan and every other country in the world. When we street contact, a solid half of the people we talk to are from other countries. This past week we met a way friendly baptist from Philadelphia, a stud Muslim from the United Arab Emirates, a way outgoing Hindi from India, and a fascinating Jewish man from some country in the Middle East I still don't know how to pronounce. Quite the week.

Notes/Stories from the Week
-Interviews with Kaicho and Shimai (mission president and wife)! Another four hour car ride to Kumamoto where I used my skill of being able to pass out anywhere :) I try so hard to stay awake...one day. Those two have become family to me so seeing them was like seeing my family again.

-Overall, lots of Japanese this week! Two hour district meeting in Japanese during interviews, a 15 minute talk on prayer in sacrament, a baptism mensetsu with the most kyokaiinpoi investigator I've ever met!, and another district meeting tomorrow! 

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
This past Wednesday we had a rather awkward experience that has turned into a miracle. There is a college nearby where two freshman members, Ramoni and Natalia, and one investigator, Chichi, attend. This past Wednesday we drove 30 minutes to the campus to put on a lesson for the three of them and to teach the investigator a lesson. The students assumed we could meet in the library, but once the library people saw our nametags, they wouldn't let us in. We then tried to go one of the student's dorm rooms, but the front desk of the dorm saw our name tags, and would only let us stay in the lobby (after tons of paperwork). In the dorm's lobby, we did our best to teach an hour class and then have a lesson with Chichi. Not thinking too much of it, we shared scriptures and said a prayer to close and open the class and lesson. There were students coming in and out of the lobby at the time, so we tried to not be too loud.

After we left, it turns out that the lobby staff sat the three of them down and told them we can't come back. They expressed how if they let us meet there, they have to let all religions meet and prayer in the lobby. The logic made sense, but it was rather embarrassing for the two members and investigator.

At church this past week, I heard about the rest of that story from Natalia, and she told me how at first she was a bit upset and embarrassed, but it forced her to make a stand for what she believed in.  She found some scriptures that helped her and then shared them with Chichi. While the entire situation turned out to be a bigger deal than we intended, it helped us all realize a bit more how much this message means to us.

Video and Invitation for the Week
I actually can't access this video from my iPad, but I saw the title and have to share it!

Pictures for the Week.
1-4: Just a sweet dam we found with Elder Ueno!




Today we are having a district P-day so many pictures to come next week!

Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission
ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

Monday, May 22, 2017

People and Faith!

こんにちは!


Overall great week! Tons of faith building experiences and some awesome friends made

Notes/Stories from the Week
-I've come to the conclusion that my entire mission, and life for that part, is simply relationships. Yes, work and money and all that is important, but my relationship with God, my family, and friends are the focus.

-That being said, here are some of the people we are meeting with:

-Chichi- Japanese freshman here at one of the colleges. She lived in Utah for a year with a Mormon family her junior year of high school and LOVES the church. Not a member, but has strong faith and came to our institute last week. We met her when she ran up to us in a grocery store.

-Kanchana- he is a member from Sri Lanka! Baptized a few years ago and is struggling with his faith a bit. We are meeting with him and his wife each week. He is the man! Fluent in English, Japanese and a few other languages. Loves God and missionaries.

-Arai- way chill college student from India. We met him on the street a few days ago and he called us today and asked to meet up tonight! More to follow next week!

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
As for the faith building experiences this week, there were a lot:
-I'm reading the Book of Mormon each day and searching for what is teaches about our relationship with God. Everyday I'm amazed at how every single page talks about it!

-Last night we were out by one of the colleges and ended finding an incredible mother with two kids. My companion talked to the Mom while I played with the kids. THey kept bringing out different games and stuffed animals! When we follow the spirit in dendo, we are always led to those with interest who match our personalities. 

-Institute! We started an institute class this past week for the college members. See pictures below! We are teaching a basic course on Christ and all that He has, does, and will do for us!

Video and Invitation for the Week
Good old bible videos!!!

Pictures for the Week.
1-2: Not sure if I sent this a few weeks ago, but Kumamoto zone!



3: I just had to throw this in here. Shout out to my friend Brad and his hair haha love ya stud (you too Austin, even if your hair isn't like brads)


4: A mask we found! Elder Roncal and Nishizawa!


5: Insitute! Me, Chichi, Natalia, Ramona, and elder walbeck!


Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Happy Mothers Day!

こんにちは!


Notes/Stories from the Week

Highlights of the week

Monday- for P-day Elder Ueno took us to a sweet park and to a famous onsen place. Beppu is famous for Onsen (hot spring spa's), but sadly as missionaries we can't enter. Still way cool though.

Tuesday- Lesson with Tanaka Kyodai, a member who is currently struggling with his faith. He wants to believe in God, but hasn't been able to recognize God's help in his life since he was baptized a few years ago.

Wednesday- Eikaiwa (English class)! About 12 or so people came. Elder Walbeck and I taught and had a blast doing it.

Thursday- Left at 6am for a zone training meeting in Kumamoto! That night I got to go n a companion exchange with Elder Metekingi, one of my old companions. We had the time of our lives. Saw tons of miracles and met tons of interested people. He called me today and said three of those we met they are still teaching! Ii haven't laughed that much during dendo in a while.

Friday- Four hour bus ride back to Beppu, and then some solid planning time for how we can help Beppu group. It is the smallest congregation in the mission and needs more solid members.

Saturday- The day of miracles! Met with a few members as well as Minh and Leo. Minh is from Vietnam and was found in Fukuoka from Elder Sherrill. He is a musical genius and we jammed out on the piano/guitar together some. He played a version of "You had a friend in me" on the guitar and it was incredible! He was more interested in being friends than in the message, but way good experience.
Leo is a college student who is looking for a Christian community here in Beppu. Fluent in both English and Japanese. We gave him a Book of Mormon and send him scriptures to read each night (My friend Brad always did this with the Bible in high school. Thanks for the idea Bart!).

Sunday- Went to the Oita ward for church in a GORGEOUS building. I don't have a picture yet, but I will try to send a picture next week. The Beppu group goes to church there once a month.

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
The companion exchange with Elder Metekingi was honestly fantastic. We didn't always see eye to eye when we were companions, so it was great to be able to give it our all one more time together. We walked the streets of Kumamoto for about 6 hours total that day, and talked to countless people about our message. When my friend Ashton finished his mission in Mexico a year or so ago, I asked him what he would miss most about it. He said it was being able to going up to random strangers on the street and making them laugh and cheer them up. I now completely understand! ELder Metekingi is hilarious and was making everyone we talked to laugh. Once the mood was light, introducing the gospel was easy. 

Video and Invitation for the Week
As your all know (If not, this is your reminder), today is Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to al the mothers and those who have played a motherly role in the lives of many. I may be biased, but mama Jeri Colton is pretty darn cool. Not many mothers could put up with me, but I'll be forever greatever for a kind, loving, patient mother who has never given up on me. Love you, Mom!

Here is a video about mothers. THere are a few on this page, so please explore and then send your mother the one you think she would enjoy the most!

Pictures for the Week
Note from the editor ... Elder Colton didn't send any pictures this week.
1: SOme friends we met on P-day. They have been bikingaround Japan for 2 years of so now. Quite the bros.
2-6: The hot springs
7: Raman from Sapporo (where my comp is from).
8: spending the day with elder metekinig and his apartment in Kumamoto! Elder metekingi is the one in the back giving the thumbs up.,
9: A picture from the bus ride back.  

Videos
The amazing park!


Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Beppu!!!

こんにちは!

Notes/Stories from the Week
  • BEPPU!!!!
    • Well, I am now in a place called Beppu on the east coast of Kyushu! I love it here! My companion is Japanese and just came from the MTC. We are seeing miracles everyday here!
    • Beppu is about he opposite area as Fukuoka. It is a relatively small town with the smallest congregation in the mission. At church in Fukuoka, we typically had 150 or so members each week in a church building. We meet on the third floor of an office building with 15 or so each week, 5 of them being active members who come each week. I love it! There are some LDS students here at the college (APU) who are just starting to study Japanese. I got to translate for them yesterday which definitely makes church a much more meaningful experience. 
Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
Sugimoto San! She is a women in her 40s or so who has had a pretty rough life. The missionaries Elder Sekine and I replaced found her a few weeks ago. Yesterday we had a lesson with her about the basics of God and some of the ways he helps us (Christ, prophets, baptism, and prayer). She had some questions such as, "How do we know what is right and wrong is this life?" And "How can I know if this is true?" That the GOspel of Jesus Christ answers! She has set a goal to be baptized next month and is willing to come to church each week and put in the effort to figure out if this is true. We are excited for her. 

As for the lesson, it simply flowed. It was Elder Sekine's first real lesson and he handled it like a boss. He was actually the one who invited her to be baptized. In Mormon terms, we say that the Spirit let the lesson. What to say wasn't hard. God put the words into our mouth. Quick the miracle actually.

Video and Invitation for the Week
One video and one article for this week. The first talks about our Savior, the second talks about what faith in Him can do.



Pictures for the Week.
1: Nagoya- one of our investigators in Fukuoka


2: Elder Foust, one of the missionary couples down in Okinawa



3: the zoo!


4: the crew!



5: Practicing!



6: My companions and elder tofa after getting soaked on new missionary dendo day in Fukuoka.



7: New missionaries outside the temple



8: Sam and Effy! Gaijin in the fukuoka ward



9: Elder Ishikawa, the funniest Japanese person i know



10: the crew doing morning exercise!


Round 2
1-2: more asaundo- Elder Strickland is jacked




3-6: A tour of honbU!





Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老
日本福岡伝道部