Mom and Dad,
Wow, Grandmas' birthdays already! Happy birthday Grandma Ingrid and Grandma Hutchings! And Elder Landon Swenson returned?! Goodness how the time flies!
Things are still good here in Japan. It's still way hot though! This last week we had a good bummer of a day when two of the people who had committed to baptism with the previous missionaries both said that they don't have any desire to receive baptism. One of them we had only met for the first time that day, so it was a bit understandable how things could change over about a month since he last met with missionaries. But the other one we had met a few times before, and he straight up said he wanted to stop meeting with us. It was very saddening, but we haven't become discouraged or frustrated. We understand that as missionaries all we can do is prepare, teach, invite, help, and pray. People still have their ability to choose.
We had Zone Conferences this last week, and it was great! We received some good training from Zinke Kaicho (President) and from the Assistants to the President. It's crazy just how many new missionaries are coming into this mission! Right now we have about 100 missionaries who are 4th transfer (6 months in field) or below, and that number is going to keep growing. There's been a lot of emphasis on making sure that everyone is trained properly and ready to take on more responsibility with less in field experience.
Being a District Leader and a Trainer is still a bit hectic for me, but I've got a better hold of what my responsibilities are and how to fulfill them. This last week I was blessed with opportunities to fulfill my role as a Priesthood leader. A couple of the Sisters in my district asked for a priesthood blessing, and so it was my privilege and honor to be a part of ministering to them. Beyond that, I had the opportunity to provide a priesthood blessing to one of their investigators. He has been having some problems with overcoming temptation regarding the Word of Wisdom, as well as recognizing answers to prayers. Ministering priesthood blessings to others has been a great blessing to me, and has reminded me of the great responsibility I have to remain worthy.
Last preparation day we went into Osaka and rode this big ferris wheel on top of a shopping mall. I'll send some pictures of that as well as some pictures of the apartment.
I love you and I'm grateful for all of your support and prayers.
Elder Kyle Hutchings