Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013 - Week 24

Mom and Dad,
I'm glad to hear you had a nice birthday, Mom. I apologize for failing to wish you a happy birthday. So...Happy Birthday! Dad, It's good to hear that Ragnar went well. I'm envious that you got to go do it, I really enjoyed running the Ragnar. It's great to hear that you will be going camping soon. I sure miss all of the fun activities that come in the summer. Even so, I love being a missionary!
That's very exciting to hear that Marisa will be receiving her Patriarchal Blessing soon. It's proven to be an invaluable source of strength, guidance, and comfort for me as a missionary. I've been able to learn more personally of what the Lord expects of me as a missionary as I've repeatedly read and pondered it.
It's been rainy a bit cooler these past couple of days, but I don't know how long it will last. Elder Ogasawara says Hokkaido is definitely not as hot as Kochi. He says even though the winters get to be pretty nasty, the summers in Hokkaido are very nice. He's on his seventh transfer right now, so he's been out for nearly 1 year. It's been different being with a Ni Hon Jin companion. We're not able to talk and communicate as easily, but we're getting along just fine and we're working hard.
On Saturday we attended a the wedding of a member at the church. It was kind of weird being a missionary at a wedding. Especially at the reception right after, I just kind of felt different being at a wedding reception with music playing and food and all of that. It was a good experience though.

Finding this last week has been okay. We were able to meet with an investigator (I may have mentioned about him before) who recently returned to Kochi after having to go to a place around Tokyo for work. He was gone for about 2 months and he said he wasn't able to meet with the missionaries in that area. I was a little concerned that after so long his desire may have dropped or he may have forgotten the things that he had been taught before, but that was not the case. He actually contacted us to meet, and he remembered things well and still has desires to improve himself. He's still not entirely sure if he believes in God or if the things we've taught him are true, but he has a desire to know if they are and he said if he receives a confirmation that they are true that he will receive baptism.
We had a great lesson yesterday with a lady, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized. The baptismal goal date we set is in July. She seems to just be honestly looking for what is true, so we feel quite good about her potential to receive baptism.

What advice would I give to Matt Stevens? I think it would be good for him to be prepared for the fact that Japanese is backwards from English. I've found beyond speaking and thinking, listening in particular is a different ball game because you don't really know if the whole sentence is in negative or past tense until the end of the sentence. Also, something you'll probably hear a lot is that as a missionary you should be yourself. I wholeheartedly agree with that, but, it's different at first being yourself in another language that you're trying to learn. Something that I've found quite helpful is that when I'm with other missionaries who can speak English, using Japanese words in normal English conversation and listening to them do it too. Japanenglish has helped me to get a better feel for which Japanese words are more "me"...if that makes any sense. Sorry, that's about all I can come up with advice-wise right now.
Elder Kyle Hutchings