Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014 - Week 94

Mom and Dad,
Sekime is in the middle of Osaka.  It's a big city area.  I think that just in this area, there are over 9million people or so.  That may have just been for one of the little sub-cities in this area.  In any event, there are a lot of people!  Just yesterday we went up to the 14th floor of an apartment building to visit a former investigator and we looked out to see buildings as far as the eye can see.  Osaka Umeda station and Universal Studios Japan are also in this area.  There are a couple of sisters in the ward from America who work at USJ at the new Harry Potter thing they've got there.  There's also a large African man who was converted about a year or so ago who's been faithfully coming since he was baptized.  He and those 2 sisters don't speak any Japanese.  Elder Eberhard has been translating for them for the past little while, but I gave him a break and did some translation yesterday during church.   Last Saturday the ward had a Halloween party, so I was able to go and meet a lot of ward members right off the bat.  It was really fun! 
Elder Eberhard is a great guy.  He's originally from Colorado, but went to high school in Ogden and his family is still there I think.  We should be in for some fun times and good work this transfer.
I'm still a little bummed out that I was transferred out of Matsue, but I know it's not for nothing.  There's a reason why I'm here, and whether I see that reason now or if it takes until after I die to know, I don't know.  But it doesn't matter.  God has revealed to all men the biggest "Why?" of all - and that is that He loves us and wants us to be like Him.  All things God orchestrates in our lives is to help us personally, and help us help others, get to that goal.  As much as I want to know the smaller "Why?"s and the reasons behind things, I know that it's all in God's wisdom to bring about his great and eternal purposes.
I love being a missionary!
Elder Kyle Hutchings

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014 - Week 93

Mom and Dad,
So, as it were, I'm getting transferred for my last transfer!  I'm headed back over to Osaka to a place called Sekime.  I'm getting paired up with an Elder Eberhard.  Hashimoto Choro is going to be transferring as well and they're going to be bringing in a couple of other Elders in to replace us.  I'm excited to head back to Osaka.  Sekime is a very tokai area from what I understand.  It'll be fun to spend my last leg of my mission in the big city!
Due to transfers and missionaries heading home, etc. I'm actually e-mailing in an internet cafe in another area.  One of the Elders here is heading home and got on a bus alone to head home this morning, and so another Elder from Matsue and I came so he wouldn't be alone.  We'll be headed back to our area sometime soon so that I can pack up, etc.
Because of all of that this is where I'm going to be ending my e-mail.  A bit short, I know, but we've got to go do stuff!

Elder Kyle Hutchings

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014 - Week 92

Mom and Dad,

I'm curious now about who Whitney talked to.  Any other details about what he looked like?  Where they are from?  How long they've been off their mission?

Do I need to start registering for the Spring Semester right now?  I wasn't sure if that would be something I would need to do until I got home.  If I need to, I can request permission to visit the UVU website and take care of business.

This last week was pretty hectic.  I did 3 companion exchanges.  One on Wednesday with the Elders in our area, one on Thursday in another area, and then another on Friday after District Meeting with the Zone Leaders in their area.  Then there was General Conference on Saturday in the Zone Leader's area, and everyone from Matsue and another area in the Zone stayed over to watch conference again on Sunday.  Conference was so good - I loved how they had some of the Seventies speak in their native languages.  I just really hope sometime soon they throw in Yamashita Choro or Aoyagi Choro and have them speak in Japanese!

This week will be some crazy busy fun too I'm going to be doing another couple of exchanges this week, and there's also Stake Conference on Saturday and Sunday which will require us to travel a couple of hours away to attend.  Thankfully the members will drive us, and it won't be quite so expensive for us, but it's still quite a bit of time.

It's strange to think that this is the last week for two of the missionaries in my district.  They've been working hard and don't show any signs of slowing down.  They're going to keep on working to the end and beyond.  It's also really strange to think that after this week I've only got one transfer left as a missionary.  I really don't know how I should feel about it, so I don't really think about it much and just keep working like I am.

There's a pretty good storm that's blown in today.  It's a typhoon, and it's supposedly come in pretty close to our area.  It was nuts going out to go shopping this morning, and the winds and rain haven't let up a bit since then.

Elder Kyle Hutchings

Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014 - Week 91

Mom and Dad,

Wow, it's really strange to see that travel itinerary.  It still hasn't quite sunk in for me that I've only got two months left as a missionary.

This last week was a bit frustrating.  We had a lot of appointments that fell through.  Last Saturday, for example, we had about 4 appointments to meet with people.  2 of them cancelled, but thankfully rescheduled.  However, the other 2 just didn't show up and haven't been answering phone calls.  There's really not much more we can do than pray and go look for people who will meet when other people won't.  We try to keep a good attitude about it and not let it affect our faith.

Among the frustrations, thought, we did have a pretty cool experience last Wednesday.  We had the feeling that we should go try to visit a former investigator.  This person lived pretty far away by bike - it took us around 40-60 minutes to bike out to where they live.  It was in the dead middle of nowhere about 7km south of the main city in our area.  We got there and there was an elderly woman on the doorstep.  We talked to her for a bit and she just said, "Oh, I normally just turn down all of you Christian people.  I really don't get anything because I'm old." (tons of old people in Japan say that).  Before we let her get away, we asked her if her family still lived there, and she said yes.  With that we said we'd try visiting again.  As we returned to our bikes which were right next to this house, I was thinking, "Oh great, we came all the way out here for nothing."  I just wanted to jump on my bike and get moving to the next thing we had planned, but I felt like I should check my phone, so I pulled out it out and noticed that I had missed a couple of calls and received an e-mail or two on the bike ride over.  Even though I still just wanted to go, I felt that it wouldn't hurt to return the calls.  While I was talking on the phone returning the missed calls, a young woman walked up the street with her dog and started talking to my companion.  As it were, she and her mom had been the former investigators, and they hadn't met with the missionaries for 3 years.  They stopped meeting because she started going to college.  She had also been to Utah and homestayed with an LDS family during that time.  She was delighted to meet us and she asked if we still did English conversation class, and then excitedly agreed to come.  We're hoping she comes to Eikaiwa tomorrow - and even if she doesn't we switched contact info so we'll be able to contact her again.  Things like that don't happen by chance.  We were in the right place at the right time, because we followed the subtle promptings of the Spirit.

This last Friday we went to a Zone Training Meeting.  It was wonderful.  For a lot of it, we just had a really big discussion/testimony meeting about the Atonement.  There were many missionaries there who are getting up there in transfers and drawing near to returning home - and so it was awesome to hear all of their experiences which they've had over the course of their mission with the Atonement.  I was translating the whole time, so I didn't get a chance to share or testify much, but I didn't mind.  The Spirit in that room was powerful, and it bore powerful witness of the reality of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

I love being a missionary.  I'm so excited for the opportunity to watch General Conference this next Saturday and Sunday.

Elder Kyle Hutchings

We found this shop named Satan.  So I took a picture with it.