Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013 - Week 29

Mom and Dad,

It's great to hear about the 24th of July fun! The pictures of Mimi destroying her cake are adorable! Thank you for sending them.

This week has been great. Way humid and hot, but great. It's still been a bit hectic in my head figuring out the new area, the investigators' situations, and getting to know the ward, but it's been fun anyway. We've been blessed this past week to find a few good potential investigators. 

One young man we met last week was able to meet with us last Friday and he seems to have interest in our message. He said he'd come to church, and even though he didn't, we are still hopeful that he can meet again and that he can be a solid investigator.

Last week as we were on our way back from a lesson with an investigator, Elder Baldwin had the thought to go house a row of houses on the street. We stopped and parked our bikes and walked across the crosswalk. As we were walking to the houses we stopped an older man to talk with him. It turns out he has a background in Christianity and likes to speak English. We talked with him about what we believe about God and a bit about the message we have to offer. He thought highly of us for working in the heat to help people learn about God and wanted to meet with us. He called us today and said he'll be coming to Eikaiwa (English Class) this Wednesday, we're really excited to meet with him again!

I have yet to take pictures of the apartment or anything really. Sorry...I'll make sure to get some pictures this week and send them with next week's e-mail.

Hey Mom, you mentioned you might be sending a package. To be honest, I can't think of anything that I need, but I would love some cinnamon flavored gum. There is absolutely no cinnamon flavored anything here - it kind of makes me sad. If you could send me some Big Red or something, I would be in heaven. If I think of anything I need that would be nice to have you send, I'll let you know, but as of now just some gum would be nice.

Thank you so much!

Elder Kyle Hutchings

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013 - Week 28

Mom and Dad,

I'll be completely honest, it's been a bit of a tough week. Whitewashing, training, and being a District Leader is all very new to me. There are a lot of new things that I have to learn how to do and that I'm experiencing. It's been difficult. But I ever take comfort in knowing that my Heavenly Father is by my side every step of the way, and will help me so long as I am humble and seek His guidance.

Takatsuki is a nice area. The apartment is huge! There's a study room, a sleeping room, and a tatami room. The church building is also huge! It's actually a stake center, so there's a gym, a full chapel, and two levels of classrooms. It's a building shared by the Takatsuki and Ibaraki wards. The members in Takatsuki are very kind. The Bishop is young, fun, and very helpful. And the Ward Mission Leader is also way nice and dedicated. Whitewashing has been crazy. I don't know the area or any of the investigators. Also I'm not exactly pera-pera (fluent) in Japanese, so communicating with the Members and stuff has been a bit crazy and stuff. But that's life right now!

My companion/trainee's name is Elder Baldwin. He's from Idaho and he's an incredibly solid missionary. He has a lot of desire to serve and a lot of dendo (missionary)  fire. He's a real muscly guy too, he's going to be playing football for BYU when he returns. We've been getting along fine and working our best these past few days.

The way transfers normally work is that we get our transfer calls on Monday, and we don't transfer areas until Thursday or Friday (depending on how the flights of the incoming and returning missionaries are. We have to have everything packed on Monday, and we send our luggage through a shipping service.

Being a District Leader has been all right so far. My district is just my companion and I, and Sisters in Ibaraki. It's all been going all right. The biggest frustration/difficulty in all of this new stuff has been whitewashing. I've been reporting to my Zone Leaders about investigators I know nothing about and things like that. I think in a little more time things will settle down a bit and I'll have a little time to think. Right now my head has been going crazy and in about 12 different directions all at once. But, because the Lord has called me to do the things which I have to do, He'll provide a way.

Oh, I almost forgot. On top of all the craziness, I kind of sprained my ankle last Saturday at a volleyball activity. I jumped up to tap the ball over the net (which worked and was the winning point of the match) but I landed on my right foot sideways. I've been icing it and keeping it elevated at night. One of the Ibaraki Sisters lent me her ankle brace which has been helping. It wasn't really a bad sprain, no bruising or anything, and it's been been a lot better today, so I'm not too concerned with it. If it gets any worse, I'll definitely go to the hospital, but if it's not necessary, I'd rather go out and do some limp dendo.

I love you and I'm grateful for your support and prayers!

Elder Kyle Hutchings

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013 - Week 27

Mom and Dad,
So today was transfer announcements! It's crazy to think that this last transfer has ended already. 6 weeks can sure go quick. I'm going to be transferring to Takatsuki (in Osaka) and I'm also going to be Training and a District Leader. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little nervous about transferring and all of the new responsibilities I'll have as a District Leader and a Trainer (especially because I'm only in my 4th transfer right now!). But, I believe so long as I trust in God, He will help me rise to fulfill my callings.
Great to hear about all of the missionary comings and goings. Wow, Josh Randolph returned? Time flies! Matt is going to the MTC on Wednesday? Holy Cow! Ganbatte Matt Stevens!

This week has been all right. It's been hot hot hot. Very humid and very hot. But dendo has still been great. On Saturday we went to go teach an investigator who lives pretty far away, and on the other side of a small...mountain? There's a good sized hill standing in between the city where we are and where he lives. Biking up and over it in a white shirt and slacks was very hot. But it's a small thing to do in order to help one of God's children feel His love and come closer to Him.
I gave another talk in church yesterday. It went all right. I feel like my language learning is coming along pretty well. Having Ogasawara Choro as my companion has helped me a lot. I feel like my comprehension has greatly improved from the beginning of the transfer.
I'm really doing all right. Besides a bit of jitter in my gut about the upcoming changes that will come with transfers, I'm really enjoying what I'm doing and health wise I'm doing fine.
I appreciate your prayers and all of your support and love.

Elder Kyle Hutchings

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2018 - Week 26

Mom and Dad,

Genki desu!

It seems like the weeks are going by faster and faster.  Last Friday we had a Zone Training Meeting.  After the meeting ended, one of the Shimai in the zone pointed out that even though it was the 5th, due to the time difference it would have been the 4th of July in America.  I didn't even think about the 4th of July when it was the 4th of July in Japan.  It's crazy to think that it came so quick!  It sounds like the usual party at Grandma Hutchings' was good.

It's been really rainy and crazy here this last week.  Still very, very mushi atsui.  Some days it's absolutely poured for hours, and there's been plenty of thundering and lightning.  Yesterday was pretty weird - we came back to the apartment for dinner and nothing was going on outside.  All at once it started downpouring with thunder and lightning.  Then after about 10-15 minutes it settled down.  After another 15 minutes or so it suddenly started pouring and raging again.  Then things cleared up and there was a rainbow, and not too long later it started up again.  I was told that rainy season is supposed to end in mid July, so I hope that's not too far away.

It's been bit of a slower week with work.  We've been working hard despite the weather, but a lot of our investigators cancelled appointments because of the weather.  We're still trying our best to keep a good attitude and serve as effectively as we can despite the circumstances.

We had a weird experience on Friday.  During Zone Training Meeting we received a phone call from a man who said he knew one of the missionaries who used to serve here (we remembered the missionary's name from the teaching records) and wanted to meet with us that evening.  We weren't really sure what to think - we didn't know if it was a former investigator or a potential investigator from a while ago.  We went to the church building and he walked up shortly after we had arrived.  It turns out he was an inactive member who was baptized 30 years ago.  He wanted us to send a woman's watch, some stamps, 1962 American quarter, and an Indonesian coin to the missionary who baptized him.  He gave us those items and then left.  We were left scratching our heads and not really sure what to think.  We're still not really sure what to do with the stuff because he only gave us the old missionary's first name.  Sometimes, really weird things happen when you're a missionary.

In any event, I'm doing well.  It's been difficult sleeping at night because of the heat and humidity, but it really hasn't been too much of a problem.

Thank you for all of your love and support!

Elder Kyle Hutchings

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013 - Week 25

Hi Mom and Dad!

Oh man, camping sounds like it was so much fun! Nice to hear that you got to escape from the heat for a little while. It's still hot and humid here and that probably won't be changing for at least a couple of months. I don't know what the temperature is, but it definitely feels really hot. There are plenty of bugs and mosquitoes, and there's really not much we can do about it when we're out dendo-ing, but thankfully it's more controllable in the apartment.

Sounds like the Japanese culture night was fun and you ate plenty of good food. Not too surprised to hear that the natto was unpopular. I eat it pretty much every day, but even my Japanese companion I'm with right now rather dislikes the stuff. Dad, to answer your questions, we are sleeping on futons. Our sleeping room has tatami mats and our closets and the doors to the study room and sleeping room have sliding doors. In our apartment there is a good old western style flush toilet. In some places there are "squatters" but for the most part western style flush toilets are what you'll find just about everywhere. The bathing room has a bath tub and a little spot to shower to the side of it. The showers in all of the apartments I've been to are a shower head that you hold which is on the end of a hose. We typically eat in the apartment - at most we go out to eat once a week (that probably depends on the companion your with). In the apartment we make udon, yakisoba, miso soup, cha-han, curry - just simple stuff.

Things have been going well this week! We had a very good experience this last Wednesday. On Tuesday evening after we prayed I felt that we should cross the river and go to an area not too far to the South. I didn't feel like we should go to any particular place, but we both decided we should follow that impression. On Wednesday when we went out it was pouring rain and there was almost nobody on the streets, so we decided to go housing. We picked an apartment building and started knocking on doors. The whole top floor kekko-ed us. We went down to the next floor and started knocking again. When we had almost finished all of the doors, a potential investigator that I met on the 2nd of June came walking up the stairs. We both had no idea where he lived before we went there, but he lived in one of the apartments we had just tried. For all of the month we had been calling him trying to meet with him, but our schedule and his had never allowed for us to meet. He invited us into his apartment, we had a great lesson with him and came to find out that he has really been searching for something more in his life and he wants to change himself. I know that the Lord led us to meet with him. We followed the Spirit and guidance we had received, and the Lord guided us and made up the rest. It's amazing to be a missionary and be blessed to have experiences like that.


Elder Kyle Hutchings