Mom and Dad,
I can't believe it's already August! It's been very hot and humid in Matsue. Basically all I do in my free time is drink water. It's my hobby during the summer. Crazy to think that school is going to be starting back up for Marisa in another couple of weeks. It's cool to hear that Kevin's switching jobs. I hope all goes well with that transition. Grandma Hutchings filled me in on Grandpa's condition in her last letter to me. I always love getting letters from Grandama. It's nice to get a taste of how everybody is doing.
I've been doing well lately and things have been going great. I feel kind of bad for my trainee sometimes - I'm really weird and American and stuff. At the same time, we have tons of fun and get along great. As a trainer, I don't go very easy on my trainee. I don't make his life miserable or anything, but I make him think. Deeply. A lot. When he asks me a question, more often than not I fire a question straight back. When you can get people thinking to answer their own questions, or work harder to answer their own questions, then they value the answer much more. It provides a better opportunity for the Spirit to provide inspiration when the cogs and gears in the mind are spinning and they dig deep into their souls. Sometimes I give hints, but those are also generally come in questions, and as such I'm able to lead them to a conclusion rather than just handing out the answer. I do it a lot with my trainee. It also applies for investigators, but I generally go a bit easier on investigators. Asking questions that make people think deeply is a really convenient tool - basically people just end up teaching themselves. I make Hashimoto Choro think a lot. It's tough for me too, because I have to remember how much he knows and has experienced, etc. so that I don't ask him a question that just leaves him guessing or dead stuck. Also, sometimes asking questions is tough in Japanese. There are multiple ways to say why, how etc. But it all works out in the end.
This last week was transfers week, and one of the Japanese Elders in our apartment transferred. A gaijin came to fill his spot. I don't really speak much more English than I did before. The picture I attached is from before transfers. It's kind of funny how much I'm leaning down to level out with everybody. Also, I have pretty long arms.
I love dendo and I love being a missionary. I feel a bit more tired in the summer because of all the heat, but there's a really sense of satisfaction in coming back to the apartment at night feeling worn out, hot, and sticky from sweat and humidity.
Elder Kyle Hutchings
PS. Thank you so much for sending a package! I'll let you know when I get it!