Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013 - Week 15

Mom and Dad,

Do you realize that you both e-mailed me pretty much the same thing?  We're in Hawaii going to awesome places, eating tons of delicious food and visiting with family and friends.  Part of me was jealous when I read it, then I remembered I'm in Japan and I felt better again.  Haha!  I'm really glad to hear that travels have been safe so far and you're having a good time.  Seems like the weather in Utah is still a bit less than Springtime-ish.  Hope it warms up soon.  The weather here has been pretty good lately.  We got the okay to go without suit jackets, but we're still wearing them some days because it's been pretty cool lately.

It's transfers week, but I'm staying in Kochi with Elder Day.  It's his last transfer, and my second.  During weekly planning last week we discussed a lot about what we want to accomplish this next transfer.  We really want to work hard.  He wants me to learn and be ready for anything.  Our mission is going to be experiencing plenty of growth over the next few months.  It's possible I could train by my third of fourth transfer, or be with another third or fourth transfer missionary.  It's so exciting to consider how much the Lord is hastening His work - especially in this part of the vineyard!  In any event, there's still so much I need to learn!  I'm sure I'll always feel that way as a missionary (as is the case with anything in life) but right now especially where I'm still just starting out, I feel as though there's so much I need to get down.

Things have gone well this week.  We found a new investigator housing this past week, and met with him for the first time last night.  When we met him we were doing sing-song housing.  We'd sing a hymn for whoever we talked to before we asked if they wanted to meet again - we felt it would be a great way to invite the Spirit.  He was probably the 3rd of 4th house we knocked on that night.  He's 37 and he and his siblings live together with their parents.  When we first housed into him it was really funny.  He opened the door and jumped a bit in surprise to see two foreigners in suits standing on his front porch.  After a bit of an awkward pause I said "O genki desu ka?" and he just laughed.  Then after we were talking for a bit, I was getting tripped up in what I was saying and just said "We want to sing you a song!" without explaining why.  He laughed at that too, said something to someone in the other room and they laughed too.  In retrospect, if 2 gaijin showed up to my house for no apparent reason, asked me how I was doing then said they wanted to sing me a song, I'd probably just laugh too.  Anyway, Elder Day jumped in and explained a little more about who we are and what we are doing, and the guy was really cool about it.  We sang "Nearer My God To Thee" in English and he thought it was great.  We talked with him about eternal families and things, and he agreed to meet us again.  At first, it just seemed like a funny housing contact to me, but looking back I realize the Spirit helped to orchestrate and guide that contact.  My awkward and Ganbaro (just doing my best) Japanese helped to warm up the situation and open him up to what we had to share and want to meet with us again.

Like I said earlier, we met with him just last night.  In this mission there was a training plan set into place to help potential investigators turn into investigators.  Essentially, in the first appointment you have with a potential investigator you do all you can to help them feel God's love.  You introduce some basic and magnificient restored truths like God is Our Loving Heavenly Father, The Atonement of Jesus Christ, the 3 big questions of where did we come from, why are we here, and where do we go after we die and ask them questions to help open their mind to the influence of the Spirit. It's so amazing how it feels when you start talking with somebody about the fact that God is their loving Heavenly Father.  That you can talk Him.  That through Jesus Christ, you can be with your family forever in happiness.  When we talked with this man, it was absolutely incredible to see the expressions on his face and the pondering in his eyes as he began to feel the influence of the Spirit as he considered Eternal Truths that have probably never crossed his mind.  It was really a wonderful experience that reminds me of the basic and fundamental truths that completely change the way I view everything - I'm a son of God and all of these people around me are my brothers and sisters.

It's crazy to think it's already been a transfer!  It's been great so far, and I have so much to learn!  I hope to never be content with how much I've learned and always strive to improve.  Ganbaro!

I hope you continue to enjoy Hawaii and continue to be safe!

I love you,
Elder Kyle Hutchings