Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday May 27, 2013 - Week 20

Mom and Dad,
I know I say it every week, but it's great to hear that everything at home is well.  I'm glad to hear that Marisa made it to the end of the school year and has got a chance to work and chill.  Oh man, I'm missing the hay haul!  That bums me out a little, not going to lie.  I loved hauling hay...but, the field is white all ready to harvest and that's certainly apparent by the number of missionaries heading out to dendo!  It's so exciting to hear about everyone who's leaving for missions (even more exciting to hear about folks headed to the Kobe, Japan mission!).  Crazy that Aunty Laurie, Paul, and Spencer did all of the shopping in one day, but I'm glad to hear that all is well with them.
This past week was awesome!  Like I probably mentioned last week, there was a taikai in Okayama with Elder Aoyagi (2nd quorum of the Seventy I'm pretty sure) this last Wednesday.  Unexpectedly, I was called Monday night and informed that I was going to have an interview with him.  Besides all of the Zone Leaders, a few missionaries were chosen to have an interview with him.  I'm not sure if Zinke Kaicho chose them or what, but I was one of the lucky few!  Wednesday morning before the taikai started I was able to meet with him for a little bit.  I was the last scheduled to be interviewed, and since the interview before me went long I was only able to meet with him for about 2 minutes, but it was an awesome two minutes!  He welcomed me into the room, asked me where I was from, and then simply asked me if I had any questions for him.  I wasn't sure what to say, so I asked, "What do you think is the most important thing about being a missionary?"  It's interesting because he said many of the same things that he said throughout the day during the taikai, but the way he said them, and some of the extra things he included when he was talking to me, addressed some personal questions and things I have been thinking a lot about lately.  I felt the Spirit as he spoke, and I felt the love of my Heavenly Father as I felt that He was teaching me through one of His special servants.  Whether or not he realized it, in the space of 2 minutes Elder Aoyagi followed the Spirit and helped me feel God's love and receive personal revelation.  After that, he gave me a hug and then I went to the chapel with the other missionaries.  It was an amazing experience, and I'm so glad to have had that opportunity.
Just this last Saturday, Elder Day and I went on a run to Nankoku Shi.  Nankoku is an inaka (rural) place outside of Kochi Shi.  It is an absolutely beautiful place and was such a good day, but it was also quite a bike ride!  We went to visit one of our investigators, a few former investigators, and we totsuzened the Branch President.  We navigate via a map on our cell phone, and it tells us how far away our destination is straight as the crow flies from where we currently (sadly, it doesn't have turn by turn directions).  Getting from the shinai (main city center) in Kochi to the area our investigator lives was about 6km straight as the crow flies.  From there going between the former investigators' places was about anwhere from 4-6km or so each.  Then to the Branch President's place, then back to the shinai where our apartment is.  Considering that we weren't traveling straight as the crow flies, and that we got lost once or twice, we definitely got in some good exercise!  Dendo is the best!
Things are getting warmer and warmer here.  It's going to be getting into rainy season very soon from what I understand.  It makes me really appreciate all of the Scout camps and activities I went on - I know for sure that being wet, hot, tired and uncomfortable is survivable.  Thankfully, as a missionary I get to shower everyday, so no worries! 
Thank you for all of your love and support.
Elder Kyle Hutchings