Mom and Dad,
So, guess what? I'm going to be coming home on December 3rd. I received an e-mail confirming that my release date has been changed. After some thought and prayer, I feel like that's a good time for me to come home. It for sure is crazy fast.
President Ringwood conference was great. Elder Asai and I switched off translating during the whole thing so I was able to think and listen a little bit. Normally, though, whichever of us wasn't translating was on edge to look up scriptures that the speaker was going to share in Japanese. What stuck out to me the most from what President Ringwood shared was about progress and improving daily. He said that we should be the very best missionary we are on the last day of our mission because everyday we should be improving. He also gave a very good explanation about hope and faith.
This last Saturday we went and did some rather unique volunteer service. We received a call earlier in the week from a sister in the ward indicating that she wanted us to participate in singing a song for something. We went to the place - which was this large and very nice building a little ways up a mountain, filled with many conference rooms, etc. - and met up with this sister and a few other members. The man who worked at the place started explaining to us what was happening. They were working on translating an old American movie and were making it so that those who are deaf and blind can enjoy it as well. He explained that it's the first time this movie has been translated into Japanese and done with voice overs, etc. so it's a bit of a historic work for Japanese film history. I was still pretty clueless about what movie it was until he started to explain the story. He said it's a really really good story which can really help people who feel down about life - something about a guy who doesn't feel like he's helped people in his life, and who was going to commit suicide but he's stopped by an angel who then makes a world where he didn't exist or something...and then it finally clicked for me that he was talking about "It's a Wonderful Life." They wanted people who are Christian to come and sing "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and "Auld Lang Syne" in Japanese for the scene in the movie where all of the people are singing. It was way cool. We went into this really cool recording studio and stuff. Last Saturday was just the practice, and next Saturday will be the real deal. I'll probably be able to get a copy of the finished DVD. Pretty sweet, eh?
Our 17 year old investigator is doing well. He came to church again yesterday. He really really likes church. It sounds like one or both of his parents don't really have a good image of religion, so we're going to give him a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet to give to his parents next time we see him. Otherwise, he's going to be coming to church in another couple of weeks. The work is going good in Matsue and we're having a lot of fun.
Elder Kyle Hutchings