Mom and Dad,
Goodness me! Marisa is 16! That's crazy! I'm glad to hear she had fun going on a date and going to Masquerade. I'm happy to hear all went well with Grandpa's surgery. I keep him and all of the family in my prayers.
It's been another excellent week. The weather is getting really chilly. Another typhoon came and passed and It's been cloudy just about every day and rained about half of the week. I've been rocking the sweaters and I found a sweater vest in the house, too. Probably next week I'm going to go buy a hat and a scarf. There's one of each in the house already, but they're old, nasty, and not oshare.
This last week we had interviews with Zinke Kaicho. It was great to have some time to talk with him about how things are going and how dendo is and all. Since I'm a Zone Leader we also discussed a bit about how the missionaries in the Zone are. I don't know if I explained before, but we separate the responsibilities for investigators and training/missionaries between the Zone Leaders. Elder Kawabata focuses on investigators and I focus on missionaries and training. Because of that when I talk with the Assistants and Kaicho we tend to focus on how we can help further the Lord's work by helping the missionaries in the Zone under my stewardship. I absolutely love being a Zone Leader. It's such a blessing for me to serve in this way, and it's been wonderful to feel the Lord's help and influence as I ponder, study the scriptures, and work with the District Leaders to help the missionaries in the Zone. I've been thinking a lot about Dieter F Uchtdorf's talk in conference a year or two ago about lifting where you stand. I've definitely found that is the easiest and best mindset to have as a missionary and as a servant in God's kingdom. It doesn't matter if I'm in a regular companionship in the trenches, or if I'm a District Leader or an Assistant - all that matters is that I have an eye single to His glory (not the merits and congratulations of others) and serve with all my might.
We've been working hard this last week and I feel the confidence and joy that come from serving the Lord. I've been keeping positive and I'm trying to show the Lord my faithfulness and trust that He will move His work forward through me. We haven't been having much success with finding lately, and I'm doing my best to not be discouraged. In Preach My Gospel chapter 1 it explains about being a successful missionary. It says essentially that it's okay to be sad when people don't accept your invitation to come closer to Christ, but to become discouraged is not okay. I feel that discouragement springs when we choose to lower our faith and confidence in the Lord when things don't go as we hope. With sadness, I seem to understand that it comes out of a love for the people we serve. The great missionaries of the scriptures were often grieved and saddened at the wickedness of the people. They were sad to see people sinful, because of their love for them and the desire for their happiness and salvation. I feel a bit sad, but it only serves to motivate me to try to bear more powerful testimony, and to do all I can to help the person behind the next door or "ping-pong" box I talk to.
It hasn't all been soldiering on knocking doors in the rain this past week though. There's a yakusokusha in Toyooka who is absolutely incredible who we've been able to meet with a few times this past week. He is just an awesome guy who honestly just wants to do what is right and have Eternal Life. Because he understands his relationship with God and has a good understanding of the big picture, accepting the commandments has been no problem for him. It's beautiful and inspiring to discuss God's commandments with him. He asks many good questions, and while he does have concerns about whether or not he'll be able to keep the commandments, he moves forward with faith and does his best. His date is for the 10th of November, and it definitely seems like he's going to make it.
Tomorrow I'm excited for the opportunity to attend Mission Leadership Council. The Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, Assistants, and Kaicho will all be there. I'm sure it will be an inspiring and motivating meeting where we can discuss how to best help the Lord move His work forward. But goodness, I've been doing a lot more traveling lately as a Zone Leader! I'm poor getting poor waiting for travel reimbursements!
I'm happy and healthy and I love what I'm doing! Thank you so much for your love and support!
Elder Kyle Hutchings