Well, I'm not sure if the sun rises yet . . .our windows are always covered when it comes up! haha (it comes up super early right now). But, that is beside the point. Thank you for your emails. I love hearing from everyone.
Well, how should I sum up this week? I think the best way to state this week is to say that I am starting to get a hang of things and figure out the schedule. There is a surprising amount of study, and sometimes that can be a little frustrating because you don't even get out of the house until around 1 or 2 o'clock. But, that is okay! I am learning so so so much from study and I love it. Also, one goal that I have is to read the entire Book of Mormon in Japanese by the end of the second transfer at the latest. I really want to have it done by the end of the first transfer, but we will have to see how that goes.
How about we start with some miracles? haha First of all, this past weekend I had the opportunity to go on splits with Elder Kerr (the Hawaiian Elder that is in a couple of my pictures) He is a transfer 3 Elder, so we are both pretty young. It really gave me an opportunity to just step up to the plate and do my very best to speak Japanese. I surprised myself with how much I knew, and understood, but there is still so much I need to learn. I really am trying to differentiate words and phrases that I can learn, because sometimes I really just can't even figure out where the words break up! haha But, it was a fun miracle to see that I am doing a good job, and I am going to be able to be fluent, I just need to give myself time. Also, one other huge miracle is the relationship that we are building with Nelson Kasper. Nelson is a 15 year old boy who is the son of two less active members. He plays video games a lot, and likes to read light novels, and his dream is to have a job where he never has to leave his house. We have had a hard time really reaching out to him and getting him to connect with us. However, earlier this week we dropped off a daily message for him. They were just simple little notes that we wrote for him. Since then, he has really opened up to us more, which has been so cool to see, and I am so grateful that slowly we are getting to really be his friend. He doesn't have a huge interest in the church right now, but we are working on that, and working on getting him interested in the cool stories that the Book of Mormon has about right and wrong (He loves to think about the moral difference between right and wrong, so we are trying to work with that interest). So that was super cool to see this week!!
Also, you said that you had some questions about my companion? Elder Squire is actually from Eagle Mountain! He is 25 years old, and he is so great. He is a transfer 15 (I think that I mentioned that) and comes from a very different family background. He has three little sisters, and he loves them a lot. His older sister is actually on a mission, and returns home in just a few weeks! I am learning so much from his example, and really how to love people.
Speaking of which, did you know that is what missionary work is all about? Loving people. Our mission motto (we have a mission logo and motto and logo and they are awesome) is: Obedience is the price, Faith is the Power, Love is the Motive, the Spirit is the Key, and Christ is the Reason. It has been the theme for many missions for years, and it is awesome. I love it so much. It is so true though. When we really love the people that we serve, we are able to reach out to them in the way that the Lord needs us to, and to really show them why the gospel is important for them.
As far as Japanese culture, I know some people were wondering in what specific ways does it differ. Here are just a few examples: they drive on the opposite side of the road, the garbage truck plays music, not the ice cream truck (I thought that was ironic and that you would get a kick out of that, Mom ;) haha) You have to sort your garbage, there are hardly any garbage cans, but basically no garbage in the streets, and things like that. The picture of the spider that I sent you? Not only is it the neighborhood spider, they are EVERYWHERE. Except for in the houses. haha I see so so many of those spiders, but I have yet to see anything but tiny flies every once in a while in the apartment. It is very different here, but it is great here. I am still learning all of the culture, but I will learn little by little.
As far as emails go, I love getting them mid week! Getting emails is awesome every day, and I can read them at night, so it is really just something that I get to look forward to. :) So, anytime that you want to send emails, feel free to send them!! Also, I still haven't received your letter. I'm not sure why, but I will be keeping an eye out for it.
I love you all so so so much! Don't you ever forget it. You are the best family in the universe, and I am so glad that I get to share some of my adventures with you. :) Thank you all for your examples to me, and for writing me so consistently. Emails are incredible to get, and I love them so so so much! I love you all. Thank you for being the best family ever, ;) Keep it up! haha I love you.
Love, Elder Livingston
P.S. let me know if there is anything that I forgot in this email! I will send pictures in other emails. Thanks! :)