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.|