Mom and Dad,
Just a little info about transfers. The next transfer day will be Friday the 9th. Next Monday I'll come to know for sure if I'm going to be transferring or not and if I am, where I'm going. We still haven't received any word about what will go down for Mother's day calls. I'll let you know what will happen as soon as I know.
About the discussion you had on "Hastening the Work", I have definitely seen some of the lack of communication skills due to electronics. Beyond just being weird, I personally don't feel like I've had any struggles with face to face communication because of using electronic communication. I feel like I'm just a strange person to begin with and would attribute most of my problems with face to face communication to that. However, I have noticed some Elders and Sisters who do seem to have been affected by that. Especially as a mission leader I've detected some of that coming through in some of the missionaries I've worked with. It's especially apparent in those who dislike street contacting. I feel like those with the electronic-communication dependency have a much greater problem opening their mouth and asking someone to talk. Obviously what I've just said isn't the whole of the story because it's just been from my experience, observations, and perspective.
About following the Spirit in a conversation, that's definitely true. Along with that comes what Zinke Kaicho has taught us about situational awareness/kuuki wo yomu. I'm not sure if you're familiar with the Japanese concept of kuuki wo yomu. It literally means read the air. It comes down to really listening to what the other person is saying, paying attention to body language, the clothes they're wearing, etc. Just as those in the military learn to be aware of their situation and pay attention to the details, we must also learn to pick up on signs and signals that those we interact with are giving. Just as the lives and safety of those in the military depend on them being situation-ally aware, the eternal lives and salvation may depend on our efforts to truly understand the individual we're talking to and do all we can to seek God's guidance on what their current needs are and how to go about filling them. With the Spirit, reading the air and situational awareness is how the great missionaries in the scriptures (for example Alma in Alma 32) blow minds and bring about mass spiritual good. Without the Spirit and correct motives though (as we also find in the scriptures with the examples of priest crafts and such) it just turns into manipulation. Anyway, that was a bit of a bara-bara explanation of it all, but it's something else to chew on.
Been another great week of working and loving it. I believe so strongly in Jesus Christ and His gospel. It works. It's true. I love being alive!
Elder Kyle Hutchings