october 15 aroha

Dear family---

I'm just noticing a trend with all the pics we take. It's always with food! How embarrassing.  You probably are thinking you sent me off to Nihon on a gourmet tour and all I am doing is eating!!! There is a lot of that going on, but we really are trying our best to spread the gospel to anyone who will listen ;)
So I am loving our town Nakano. It really made a big turn around. We are meeting lots of friends everyday. We had such a miracle this week. Tokyo is giant and there is this special family we met at a train station a few weeks ago.  The kids just moved from Nepal.  The older son was the spokesperson for the family. He's about 11 and the younger sister is Kristina.  She is about 8. They were with their mom and were so nice and so cute and wanted to meet with us again, but when we tried to email them to set up a time, we were devastated when their email address failed and we thought we had lost contact with this special family forever. So we prayed that somehow we would be able to find them again. Then randomly a few days ago we were biking to a members house and vwalah!! There they were walking on the street toward us! We had dinner with them this week and are meeting with them again Wednesday. I know God really is a god of miracles and knows each one of us individualy and all things are possible with his help. Even finding a needle in a haystack of a city!
Also this week was our good friend Elder Hansen's birthday. The elders are always complaning about how they are losing weight, which does NOT seem to be a problem for the sisters, so we made him a sumo wrestling cake and left it on his door. Sister Stevenson also had a brilliant idea to pie him in the face at 6:30 AM, but of course, I was given the job of pieing, and I missed! I could not forgive myself all day. Oh well, pieing people is an art I've come to find. Need more practice.
We had lunch with our new friend Aki chan this week. We taught her about prophets and that they can help with the challenges we face today. By the way I loved the talk by Elder Uchdorf about living in the moment and how to not live a life full of regret. I especially loved the part where he said "life is not a race. Its a journey. Enjoy the moment.. when we listen to music do we listen only to anticipate the end? No we listen and connect to the rhythm and harmony."
I am challenging myself to truly live more in the moment and find something to cherish everyday. Being here we do the same thing everyday, we have such a routine, but really every day is special, unique and delicious.
I miss all of you so much. I think that's been one of the biggest challenges for me on my mission --- just being away from those that I love so much. But as I envision teaching or just talking with one of you, my love grows for the people here instantly. The people in Japan are so easy to love. They are the kind of people that pack their bags full of gifts just so they have something to give, if by chance they meet someone who needs lifting. I want to be more like them!
I've been blessed with so much. But if there is one thing that I could give to anyone it would be a knowledge of who they really are. Knowing who we are, God's child, gives us confidence and helps us relax knowing that if we do our best, he will make everything else work for our good.  If it doesnt seem that way yet, just be patient, because he's not finished blessing your life yet.
Love you all. It's getting colder here.  Busted out my down floor-length parka last night :) I love being a missionary.

love love love
marni lynn

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