Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013 - Week 18

Mom and Dad,

Hey Mom, pretty sure I forgot to tell you Happy Mothers Day! on the phone. Sorry... It was absolutely wonderful getting to hear from all of you. It was so nice to hear from everybody and hear that everybody is doing so well. I'd be a liar to say I don't miss all of you and home. But if I don't allow myself to allow my thoughts to dwell on home or on anything else but this work for too long. Sure it may make me sad right now to not be with my parents and family, but how would I feel if in the end - in the Celestial Kingdom - I was with my family and my Heavenly parents and there were souls in lesser Kingdoms who weren't able to be with their families and Heavenly Parents? Souls I could have found and helped onto the path to Exaltation? Worse than how would I feel - how would God feel that some of His precious children weren't in His presence eternally? There's no time to be homesick - there are souls to save!

I am very happy and healthy! I honestly can't think of anything else besides toothpaste and razors that I would like to request for the package. Oh, actually, maybe a pack of toothbrushes too. If you could get a big pack at Sam's Club or somewhere that would be great.

Just to recap some of the things I shared over the phone - as a missionary you truly do experience some of the greatest joys as the message from the First Presidency says in Preach My Gospel. But, along with that, you experience some of the greatest disappointments and sorrows as well. This last week all was going well for our 17 year old investigator to be baptized on Mother's Day. He had so much faith and was accepting everything and reading the Book of Mormon and praying. Last Sunday we ate dinner with him at the Branch President's house and had a lesson. It was so great and the Branch President's family shared some really good personal experiences and testimony. Through the week we weren't able to contact him much, but we still had faith we could finish teaching what he needed to learn, he would accept it and be ready for an interview on Saturday. On Thursday he sent us an e-mail that changed all of that. He said that he thought that meeting with us would be a really good experience, everything was new to him, but that he's not the person we thought he was he's not able to change, and he's not able to receive baptism. He asked us to forgive him and forget about him. He deleted his e-mail account (we had our Zone Leader's try to e-mail him as well as a member) and he also blocked our phone number. That day, Elder Day and I got in the map book and looked up the area where he lived (we didn't have his exact address) and found every house with his same family name. We went and tried every one of those houses but unfortunately weren't able to find him or his family. But we're not giving up hope. We're still going to try and find or get in contact with him again. Even if we can't right now, we know whether it's now or in 20 years he'll find his way back. We don't know what might have caused it, but right now he's chosen to not accept the Gospel, as such he's chosen to go without the blessings and help and comfort that come through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But we know God has a plan for him and that someday he'll be able to enter the gate onto the path back to God.

It's been a really saddening and heartbreaking experience. But on the other hand there was a miracle this last week as well. One of our investigators who has been all over the place with her testimony and has gotten into anti-Mormon literature has committed to be baptized. She received the Conference Liahona and read it around the beginning of the month. Just this last week she was having a really busy and stressful week. She had the idea/feeling that she should read Boyd K. Packer's talk. When she did she felt the Spirit strongly and felt comfort and peace. Shortly after, I (unknowingly - undoubtedly orchestrated by divine power) called her to see if she could meet for a lesson. We met Saturday evening and after she explained her experience we asked her some questions to see where her testimony was. She believes that the people who gave conference talks are called of God, and since they are the leaders of this church, this church is true. The member there at the lesson asked her if she'd be willing to stop going to the Protestant church she goes to and she said she would. We set a goal for her to be baptized on June 9th, and she was a little mad because she wants to be baptized before the end of May - or as soon as possible. There was truly nothing we could have done to cause her to change like that. We have been blessed with this miracle, and now we're going to work very hard to make sure she doesn't fall back into her old wishy-washy ways.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary. The Lord has been teaching me so much and I've learned so much in just the transfer and a half I've been here in the Japan Kobe Mission. There is so much more for me to learn! The more I learn the more I realize I don't know and that there is so much to learn. That may have been worded weird, but I think you get the point. Anyway, I'm so glad I'm a missionary and I just wanted to say thank you for all that you've done and are currently doing so that I can be here serving the Lord.

Elder Kyle Hutchings