Mom and Dad,
It's transfer announcements again! I'm sticking around in Toyooka still as a Zone Leader. Hoshino Choro is going to be headed out to a new area Tsuyama and will be training a new missionary. This will be my 5th transfer in Toyooka. Up until now I've been in Toyooka for about 6 months - I got here last fall the weekend before General Conference. I'm here for another month and a half which means I'm going to be here for spring General Conference. Wow. I'll have watched General Conference twice in this area. My new companion will be Elder Nelson. He'll be a new Zone Leader, so I'm going to be training him on how to be a Zone Leader and such. It'll probably be nice to be able to learn how to speak English properly again, instead of the Japanglish Elder Hoshino and I speak.
It's really touching and encouraging to me to hear that I was able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands in answering Elder Donaldson's prayers. I strive to follow the Spirit in all I do, and then trust that even if I'm not able to say what needs to be said, that the listener will hear what needs to be heard. I love Elder Donaldson - he's humble, hard-working, and really just wants to be a good missionary. He's a joy to work with as a leader because he's intelligent and respectful. As it is, he'll be transferring out of this zone this week and I'm rather sad that that's the case. Fun to hear that you've had contact with his parents. Tell them that Elder Donaldson is certainly the missionary that they think he is. I expect that he'll go far as a tool in the Lord's hands.
This last Saturday I've realized that I've come to become a bit prideful over these last few weeks. As I was studying about repentance in personal study in preparation for a lesson for an investigator, I came to the awful realization that I haven't been truly repenting lately. It's not like I've been out-right rebellious or anything. It's simply been that I haven't been beating down the natural man inside of myself. I've unfortunately allowed the natural man in me to gain some ground. I haven't been very cheery about my work, nor have I been very proactive about things. I've been forgetting to think about the Savior's example in all that I do, and because of that I feel like I've really been doing a poor job as a missionary and a leader. I feel like I haven't been able to feel the Spirit as strongly nor have I been receiving the strength and guidance I need to do this work. I'll be honest in saying I feel like I've rather failed in a lot of things over the past 2 weeks and that because I haven't been actively applying the Gospel in my life, I have been a reason that the work of the Lord hasn't moved as quickly as it could in Toyooka. I feel like there's a lot of progress that I've lost as a missionary. It's frustrating, but I have faith in Jesus Christ, The Son of God that as I strive to follow His ways, He will help me become what He wants me to be.
Despite my personal drop, yesterday we had 2 baptisms in Toyooka! The Sister Missionaries have been teaching the Branch President's aunt lately, and she was baptized. Our investigator, Yamanishi Kyoudai also received baptism. I performed the ordinance for Yamanishi Kyoudai. I unfortunately forgot my camera today, because I was going to send pictures. I'll send them next week. And in the Zone one other area saw a baptism and a confirmation, and in another a sister who was baptized last week received confirmation. It's a beautiful thing to see that God's children are making covenants and receiving saving ordinances. It's a wonderful thing that the missionaries in this Zone are able to feel that joy as well.
I love being a missionary, and I really hope to do all I can to help Toyooka again this next transfer. I really want to build up this little branch.
Elder Kyle Hutchings
P.S. Anniversary omedetou! I love you Mom and Dad!
|We came back to the church. Here's a picture from the baptism|
|The brother in in the white shirt and tie behind me is Yamanishi Kyoudai. The adorable old woman behind Hoshino Choro is Satake Shimai, the Branch President's aunt.|
|From last week's trip to the sushi place. There was some way good maguro (tuna) that day.|
|It's only 105 yen a plate and it never stops coming!|
|Elder Donaldson and Uehara came to Toyooka to conduct a baptismal interview for our investigator - Uehara Choro is our District Leader. Ueahara Choro is Okinawajin, if I haven't already told you.|
|Always get some good pictures when I hand my camera over to the kids in the branch.|