Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013 - Week 43

Mom and Dad,

This last week has been a lot of fun! It's been ridiculously humid in Toyooka lately! It makes it feel really cold in the evening and the morning, and it's pretty warm during the day. On the big bridge next to our house there's a sign that tells the temperature so people can use caution in case the temperature gets to freezing. The other day we had to go to the church in the morning. Everything was foggy and chill and the sign said 8C on our way out. When we were coming back to our home the skies were clear the sun was shining and the sign displayed 20C. We've still been having some rainy days lately, but from what the members say it should be turning to snow before too long.

I've been doing just fine with money. I've been doing a lot of traveling here and there for meetings, but it's just how the timing of everything worked out lately. This last month I got a little less money in my MSF account, and where I transferred this last month and had all of the meetings (and beyond just traveling to the meetings, there's buying lunch and what not too), and went on an exchange, my cash ran short quick. The way reimbursements work is that you fill out a paper form with a list of travel expenditures and mail it to the mission office. It's a bit of a pain for me and the mission office to go through a lot of those, so usually I wait until I have a more substantial reimbursement before I send the form. It usually takes about 4 days for it to get processed and the money to get into my account. I'm really doing all right on money. I get about $300 every month in my Mission Support Fund account. Between Elder Kawabata and I we're able to eat tons and have surplus on less than $50 of groceries in a week. I'm really doing fine, it was just a bit hectic this last month.

I'm all right with sweaters and scarves - I can just get those here.. However, if I could make an o-negai (request), it would be one of those...what are they called?...mad bomber hats? (I think that's what they're called, you know, with the fur, ear flaps and what not?). I haven't been able to find one here and I'd like one for the winter. Also, I had a Saucony runner's beanie at home that would probably be nice for wearing under my bike helmet when we're riding in the cold. If you can find that and send it that would be great, if not, don't worry about it.

Mission Leadership Council was very good. It was awesome being in a room with the leaders of the mission and with Zinke Kaicho and being able to spend time discussing how we can better help move the Lord's work forward. It was at the honbu (mission home), and we got to eat Costco pizza for lunch. Oishikatta desu! (delicious)

This last Saturday and Sunday there was a District Conference. It was awesome to hear from the District President and some of the other church leaders over the district. I found out that the Relief Society President here is the oldest woman serving as a Relief Society President in the world. She gave a talk and it was rather difficult to understand what she was saying, but there was a powerful spirit and sweetness in her words. Zinke Kaicho and Shimai came for the meetings on Saturday and Sunday, it was great to see them again and hear from them. During the Priesthood meeting on Saturday and the Sunday Morning meeting and the Dendo (mission) Fireside Sunday afternoon, I translated for the younger missionaries and a couple of foreigners living in some of the branches around here. Translating what people are saying from Japanese to English on the spot is so hard! But it was fun and I feel like it really pushed my language skills.

Thank you so much for all of your love and support. I'm so happy and I love this work!

Elder Kyle Hutchings

p.s. We made a pumpkin cake last Preparation Day in our rice cooker. Sometimes my companion is just as weird as I am (but usually he's the one throwing me the "What on earth are you doing?" look). It's great!

Elder Kawabata with our pumpkin cake