Elder Colton

Elder Colton

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Visit, a Side Note, and a Favor

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
Well one of the greatest parts of serving in a small mission is that word gets around quickly and it's fairly easy to visit old areas (my new area is a 5 minute drive from my first area of my mission).  I went on a drive with one of the missionaries serving over there (Elder Curbelo) and I showed him the people who I remembered teaching who he can visit.  On the back end, I convinced him to let me visit one of the families who I had taught (though only the mom and daughter were baptized).  The Mom's name is Eugenia and the daughter's name was Dona (she was actually baptized a few months before I made it to Salt Lake).  When we got there, Elder Curbelo realized it was the house of a family who he was already teaching.  Their oldest daughter had just been baptized a few days earlier.  And now the son is going to be baptized in a few weeks.  (More info and pictures in the future).  Way cool.
And on a side note: at the end of June, our mission will be splitting into two new missions, the Salt Lake City Mission and the Salt Lake City East Mission.  We will be getting a new mission office for anyone who stays part of the Salt Lake City Mission (which is what I am currently a part of).  I would recommend not sending any letters after June 15th or so because it may never get to me.  Once the mission splits then I'll have a new address to get you.  So if you plan on sending any letters then I would recommend sending it between now and June 15th. 

And now a favor: One of the other cool parts about serving in Salt Lake is that we have the Salt Lake City Temple and many other incredible and historic sites within walking distance (I can actually see the Temple, the Church Administration Building, and the Conference Center from where I'm sitting right now).  So if anyone has any connections so that we could do any cool tours of anywhere down here (especially the Temple) then it would be most appreciated and remembered forever.  What I am basically trying to do is call in any favors I have with anyone who knows anyone in Salt Lake.  :)  But remember, it will be very appreciated and you might even get a thank you note (and anyone who has written me knows that I am not the best writer/responder in the world).     

Love ya'll,
-Elder Colton

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Disciple of Jesus Christ

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,

Well they finally sent me out of Layton where I've been for six months.  Oddly enough, nearly every LDS person I know has been in my new area at some point: Capitol Hill.  Our area covers Temple Square, the Conference Center, and pretty much everything in the nearby area up to Ensign Peak.  If you're down that way keep an eye out.  My new address is:

215 E 10 Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84103

And on that note I want to just remind everyone about one of our rules: Family and Friends are not allowed to visit.  No-one is exempt from that rule, especially all of you people at BYU.  If you decide to visit or go by our house then I will probably not receive you with open arms.  If I happen to see you on the streets by pure coincidence then I will be happy and excited to see you, but if you visit our house or try to catch us leaving our house it will be different.  

One of the odd parts of serving here is that no-one wants to talk with us, or they don't want to stop talking to us.  This part of Salt Lake has some of the most anti-mormon people in the world.  Just yesterday we talked for a few minutes with a guy who served a mission, was married to his wife and sealed to his family in the temple, and served in many a calling in the church for at least 25 years.  But when his wife and he were divorced he blamed it all on the Church and though he fully "supports" missionaries around the world by giving us pump-up talks, but refuses to change his ways.  

On the other hand, we have an entire congregation of senior missionaries (old people who are serving missions as family history specialists and the like) where all they want to do is talk with us.  

One of the things that has been on my mind recently is what it means to be a Disciple of Jesus Christ.  One of our mission "themes" is from the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi 5:13 when the prophet Nephi says, 

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of him to declare his word amoung his people, that they might have everlasting life."

One of the greatest gifts my mission has given me is the conviction and knowledge that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Missionaries are judged by a lot of things: how many people they baptize, what leadership positions they held, and how many lessons they taught each week (to list a few).  Based off of those, I haven't been the best missionaries in the world by a long shot.  But I know without any doubt, they I have become a disciple of Jesus Christ.  He is my Savior and my Redeemer. I will forever be grateful for Him and His Atoning Sacrifice because it has allowed me and those I love to find true happiness.  

A few days ago during a moment of reflection, I finally found a answer I had been looking for.  My focus for these next 7 months of my life will be this:

Matthew 5:16 - Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 15: 8,16 - Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples...ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.

Love ya'll,
-Elder Colton

Monday, May 6, 2013

"Mawage is Wot Bwings Us Togeder Tooday" -The Princess Bride

Hola mi familia y mis amigos,
We all officially know where my priorities are.  My little brother Kevin has had quite a few shout-outs recently about lacrosse and school (ps....HE'S ALL-AMERICAN FOR TWO YEARS IN A ROW NOW).  But my older brother, Jared, on the other hand hasn't had any for his big news.
A few years from now, Kevin will be fat and no one will ever have guessed that he was good at lacrosse.  Marriages, on the other hand, are the type of thing that last and don't get forgotten (theoretically).  

Which brings me back to my first point: I think my priorities are a little reversed considering Jared was engaged a few weeks ago and I forgot to mention that (it was a bit of an embarrassing moment to notice that as I was writing my letter today).  So without further Adieu (spelling?).....JARED IS ENGAGED TO EDEN (thankfully I met her before my mission so I don't have to sneak away to interview her).  Plus she passes the Mom test with flying colors and that is all that really matters.  And the cool part for me: they are getting married in the Salt Lake Temple in August so hopefully I'll be able to go.  Take that all you people who serve in cool places like Brazil or Taiwan....I get to go to my brothers wedding still.

And speaking of getting married in the Temple: Marcos was baptized this past weekend.  He has been married to a member of our Church for about 3 years and she has been teaching him the restored gospel of Jesucristo (Spanish for Jesus Christ) that whole time.  (Unfortunately not all of their family members are supportive and have stopped talking to him and banned their children from doing the same).  But Marcos couldn't be more incredible.  He and his wife want to be sealed in the Temple (one of the main reasons he was baptized in the first place) so that there isn't of the "til death do you part" business.  Everyone deserves to be with the ones they love forever. And being married in a Temple by someone with the proper authority from God is the only way that is possible.  So now Marcos is well on that track (see picture below).  
ps. who says Hispanics can't smile :)

Love ya'll,
-Elder Colton