Hey mom!! :)
So, I just wanted to let you know, first of all, that from now on (at least while I am in Kichijoji) my emails will probably be coming in a lot sooner. :) haha Around this time every week, probably. Thanks for everything that you do. I love you!! Oh, also, if you could send pictures as soon as possible that would be great! I love you! :)
Also, before I forget, you may have noticed that I took out about 120 dollars from my personal account. That is because I sent a package to you! :D haha I know that this one might not be quite as fun, because it is really just a bunch of stuff that I didn't need here, (I also sent a letter explaining it a little), but it is super super important to me. Please Please Please let me know when it arrives, although that could take a few months because I took the cheapest route possible, which meant that it was going to be a long time getting there.
Well, now that is out of the way, let me update you all on Kichijoji! It is SOOO big. I am basically in Tokyo. But, that makes it super super convenient, because anything that you could want is right there, literally a 5-10 minute walk from the church. There is also a park here that is probably more beautiful (in some ways) than the park in Hodogaya (although there are still things that I love more about it there!) Elder Scott is great, and is a super kind man. He loves people so much, and he is a really good zone leader. He is really hoping to get out and be a normal missionary for his last transfer though, so we will see how that goes. haha
Kichijoji ward is so great, and it feels a lot like an American ward. The people here are great, and I love actually having Japanese down enough to communicate with members the first time that I meet them. That was one hard thing in Hodogaya for a long time, when I felt like I couldn't just go up and talk to anyone
because I didn't know how to really talk to them. But that is much better now, even though I feel like I have a long ways to go for my Japanese, haha :)
Oh, quick little shout out to the Cordners, McKay and Maryann's family! Thank you so much for the letters that you sent me! I love it out here, and the work is going great. Keep being incredible, and work hard in school, work, etc.! I love you!!
One of the hardest parts of Japanese culture, and something that has hit really really hard this transfer, is work. They work so so so so so hard. Working hard is such a good principle, and such a good skill to have, but if you do not balance your time, it quickly becomes too much of your life and takes over. That is in many ways what has
happened in the Japanese system. The people here work like crazy! Way way too hard. They work 5-7 days a week, usually with an hour to an hour and a half commute, and then they will work anywhere from 10-12 hours...every day. It is way rough. It makes it really hard to teach people, because they have no time to meet. This is especially true for college students, who usually have one to two part time jobs in addition to going to school full time. :P It makes it hard to meet. So, I would love to report on the investigators that we have, and share about them, but I have not been able to meet with them yet. It is super sad. But! We should be meeting with people soon.
One thing that I have learned and thought about this week is working together well in large groups. There have been some disputes about how to do transfer planning, and so all of the zone leaders have had to come together and discuss it over conference calls. As one zone leader put it, "Sadly, communication between zone leaders is sometimes less Christian than it should be." haha For some reason there are some people who think of being a zone leader as a position of power, and others that hate on those people, etc. It can make it hard to communicate and come to one conclusion. It has dawned on me, and I have studied a bit, that it is hard to work as a team. That is just a fact. It is even harder when you do not throw away your pride. :) haha When we humble ourselves, then we start to do all that we do for the good of others, and we don't worry about selfish needs or wants, some of which can be just wanting to be right. However, things are working out, and we still love all of each other. :) haha
One of the things that I love most about Kichijoji is that you get to be with the office elders and the assistants all of the time. They are so cool, and before I came here they really just seemed like this mysterious group of missionaries. haha But now that I know them all and I know that they have hilarious personalities, it is so incredibly fun to work with them. I love them so much, and they are incredible examples to me, every single one of them. I will send a video of one of them later, that pretty well describes the amount of fun that we have in this district. :) haha
I want you to know, Mom, that I love you with my whole whole heart!!! This much: 無限 You are incredible! ;D haha I hope that you are having a great day, and that you know that there is a boy in Japan praying for you!! :)
Love, Elder Livingston
P.S. Look up Dr. Livingston (the adventurer in Africa) and tell me some stuff about him. People in Japan bring him up all the time when they learn my name. Apparently he is really famous here too! haha (even though I am pretty sure he is a Livingstone, right?) I love you!!!