Monday, July 10, 2017

Back to Kumamoto and Some Awesome Members!


I feel like I was just emailing yesterday! Another week down!

Notes/Stories from the Week
-On Thursday we found ourselves on another 4.5 hour bus ride to Kumamoto for interviews with the mission president! Being with President and Sister Egan is always incredible. Their role in my life has become something like a loving, strict parents who push me to be better than I see my self, best-friends who can laugh with and at me :), and really those cool Uncle and Aunt who I love to be around so I can be more like them. There were probably many reasons why God assigned me to serve in the Japan, Fukuoka mission, and being with them was certain one of them.
-Some of the lessons this week:

1) Another fun lesson with Francious from Haiti. She always has a lot of small questions about things like the age of baptism, why we worship on Sunday, and other things like that,  but we always try to tie it back to the Book of Mormon and the restoration. Our message is rather simply actually, a loving Heavenly Father has and always will tell us what we need to know through prophets of God. This past Sunday that finally clicked for her. She realized the potential of her unanswered spiritual questions being able to be answered. Pretty incredible!

2) Teraji is also doing well. She is a japanese lady in her 40s or so and is exploring the possibility of God being real. We retaught her the message of the restoration and it clicked for her this time! She understood a bit more about how because God loves her, He has given her everything from prophets, to Jesus Christ, to the Book of Mormon and Bible, and the Spirit. She realized at least a small amount of how much He is doing to help her.

Miracle/"Tendy Mercy" for the Week
I once again learned the important of member joints in lessons this past week. As missionaries, we do our best to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but we are largely foreigners in whatever place we serve in. Thus, having local residents that are members help in lessons are a HUGE help. For example, in Teraji San's lesson, we had two joints who just like her, and honestly the majority of the Japanese population, grew up thinking that there really is no true God, and that religion is most man-made. To most Japanese people, they feel they don't really have a choice to not be Buddhist. Their ancestors were and expected them to be, so they feel they need to continue their family traditions. The sad truth is that nearly everyone we talk to doesn't believe in any of it anymore, but because being Japanese to them means being Buddhist, anything but "Buddhism" is a foreign idea that they can't believe and follow, even if they want to. 1) I can't explain it all in a short amount of time, 2) I don't fully understand it all, but that is the basic gist.

Anyways, having Japanese members able to explain the different between culture and religious truths, as well as how they balance being Japanese and a Christian is a life saver for missionaries. It is very difficult, but I've learned that to truly be a Mormon/Christian, that has to be the priority. For example, more important than being American is that I am a Mormon/Christian. The same goes with the Japanese. To truly be converted, we all must see ourselves first as children of God, and then as members of a nationality/culture.

Video and Invitation for the Week
The link below is to a collection of videos that are made up of quotes from last years General Conference, where the leaders of this church speak to us (Kind of like Paul writing epistles to us for our day). please find your favorite and share with a friend!

Pictures for the Week.
1: The stud himself! Good ol' sterling hanging out with President Uchtdorf!

2-3: Having a party cooking meet we got from a member! Go out and buy meat for the missionaries who live close to you! They will love you!

4: Elder Ricaldi on the bus ride to Kumamoto!

Love you!
Elder Kevin Cash Colton
Japan Fukuoka Mission

ケビン C. コルトン 長老

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