aloha aisuru kazoku! Sep. 5, 2012

Dear family
In my companions words "we moved to Gotham" where Batman is from.  Nakano is a little bit of a sleepy town Im finding, but we are trying to cheer it up.  I love Sister Stevenson, she has blond hair and blue eyes, and yesterday she got in a fight with a bike shop owner. He made us pay 200 yen just to tighten a screw on my bike. My bike handle bars came off, after we assembled my bike (after shipping).  Anyway she said "this wouldn't happen in america" and that was the wrong thing to say. Japanese people are so polite so it was a bit of a surprise.  
I went to primary here a few weeks ago and one of the teachers brought back candy from a trip she went on.  She passed out one chocolate to each child, and every child waited until everyone had one, and then when the teacher gave them permission to eat, THEN they ate them.  That's one thing that's way different about being an American.  It's as if we don't know what "permission is", or even think about things like that.  If it was American kids, I felt sure that the candy would be plopped into their hands and then mouth immediately upon receiving it.  Anyway they are so respectful.  People are really united in that way where they really take care of each other, and notice things like if something's not right, or if someone doesn't have something.  They are very orderly in that way.
So this week we got all moved in, and since were both new we just have been finding our way around, calling people from the area book, biking to all these members houses, just trying to meet people.  Everyone here seems a little bit sad so were just trying to help them be happy.  I feel like a detective or like I'm going on a blind date when we are calling up these people we've never met before and meeting them at the train stations, we dont know who we are going to meet, but just have heard their voice on the phone.
Our ward was great though, there was about 8 people there that were all BYU-Hawaii grads.  It made me feel like I was in Hawaii, loved it.  My companion looks like Renee Zelwiger and sometimes snorts when she laughs.  She has a great energy about her and tells it like it is.  She has a great motherly touch, makes cookies, likes house plats and is awesome at fixing things and using maps. 
I miss Kichijoji but I know there are people waiting to be found here too.  Kai Shimai called and said that my Eikaiwa class and friends were surprised I was gone.  Our bishop is really nice.  He's kind of soft spoken but really helpful and sweet.
One thing that's hilarious about our ward is that after church all the elderly people line up in a line and all the younger people give them massages.  I sat down for a bit and got one too. 
Sister Stevenson is going home after just 11 more weeks. Everyone has an interview at the end of the mission and she asked me "at the end of your mission what is it that you want to have accomplished?"  I think I just hope I can love everyone with deep love. 
Guess what?!  Next week my friend Seylene is getting baptized!  She is from Cambodia and so sweet! Sister Stevenson and I are going to sing at her baptism on Sunday which were really excited for. 
I read this scripture yesterday and I love it:
Alma 18:32-34
(Ammon is describing God to King Lamoni)
"He looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they created from the beginning"
"I am a man, and man in the beginning was created after the image of God, and I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things unto this people...And a portion of that spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.
I was thinking why when we see something beautiful is our breath taken away?  Or when we use our power for good we just feel so right with the world?  Just like God is our creator he put in us his spirit to create.  Create change, create families, create beautiful things- friendship, happiness, strength to overcome hard times, this power is such a divine gift and s proof that every single person is royal and special.  Every single person, has this spirit in them.  It makes me never want to hurt anyone. 
Its starting to cool down here a tad, but still feels like we live in India a little bit, but trying to do our best everyday.  I love each of you and will talk to you soon.  You are all so special and precious to me!

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