Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday, April 1, 2013 - Week 12

Mom and Dad,

I forgot to bring my camera this week to the e-mail place, sorry. I keep saying it, and maybe next week I'll actually do it, but I'll send some pictures soon.

Another great week! My Japanese is improving sukoshi zutsu (little by little), but definitely improving. Something that I've done better at this last week is slowing down and taking it easy when talking to people. Also, just having confidence in what I'm going to say makes a huge difference. As it goes for just about anything, if you're confident, you come across as being more competent than you actually may be. Understanding what others say is still challenging, but there's not much in my power I can do to help that. I pray often for the Gift of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues, because as is taught in PMG, seeking the gifts of the Spirit will help you learn the language more quickly than anything else. The Spirit is so key in all aspects of this work.

Yesterday we had Shibu Taikai (Branch conference) and President and Sister Zinke came to the branch. Almost everyone in that is in the ward came - it was kind of crazy. Normally there are like 14 people at church, and this week there were like 30. But it was really good! It was great to see the Zinke's and hear their talks in Seisankai (sacrament meeting). They gave amazing talks centered on Christ's resurrection and Easter. There was also a Shokujikai (food "meeting") after church was over. It was a potluck, and there was plenty of really good food.

We also had a great experience with a getting a new investigator yesterday. We were streeting on Doyoubi (Saturday) and I talked to a younger looking guy. We talked for a bit and he agreed to meet with us on Nichiyoubi (Sunday). He was going to come around 2:00 pm but by 2:30 he still hadn't showed up. We called him, and it turned out that he had just gotten lost finding the church. After walking a few blocks from the church, we found him and all went back to the church together. There were still plenty of people at the church because of the Shokujikai, so we grabbed 2 young men - 1 with his mission call to Sendai - to come doseki (member lesson) with us. We talked to the guy (he's 17 and in high school) about what he believes and what we believe, and talked a lot about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. He seemed genuinely interested, and when we brought up baptism, he said he thinks that it's something he wants to do. Beyond that, his Sundays are free! (a bit of a rarity in Japan. Most folks either work Sundays) He's the first investigator I've been able to be apart of finding and beginning to teach. It's really exciting for me, and I really hope he accepts the Gospel and starts on the path back to Heavenly Father.

Our other investigators are doing well as well. A lot of them are very close to becoming Yakusokusha (investigator with a baptismal commitment). My companion and I have faith that by the end of this week we'll have more than one Yakusokusha with a Mother's Day (maybe earlier) baptismal date. It's been interesting, though, just how many Christian or Christian influenced people have been in this area. One of our investigators was meeting with Jehovah's Witnesses for a year (she doesn't think their teachings make any sense though) and 2 of our investigators are Protestant. We ran into a guy the other day streeting who said that Jesus is inside of everybody and he's been saved. My companion even said that this has been a really "Christian" area.

One kind of funny experience I'd like to share. We were housing and we came across a really funny guy. He was in his 40's I think. He thought it was cool that we were from America. He likes how in America we have big cars and he thinks we have funny movies. He was really surprised (not impressed necessarily, he thought it was unusual) to find out that we didn't drink or smoke. He spoke a little English, but mostly all he said was "Beer and nachos" "Motasaiku" (motorcycle) and "Icy Hot". As we were starting to wrap up the contact we gave him a chirasshi (flyer) about church. Inside is a picture of Jesus, and the first thing he said was "Obi wan kenobi!" I thought it was pretty funny.

Dad, my bike is in really good shape. The Elder that had it before was nicknamed the "Maid" of the mission. He was a really clean person and always cleaned the apartments really well. He also kept his bike really clean and good.

So exciting to hear about everything going on, good to hear everyone is well.

Thanks for all of your love and support,
Elder Kyle Hutchings