Dear Mom and Dad,
Transfers went very smoothly and safely with Elder B coming all the way to K by train, especially considering that we have to carry our bikes with us. Elder B hails from the state of Virginia and a family of athletes. He's very thoughtful and concerned about the people who we meet with, and we've already been blessed with many good conversations and little acts of kindness.
from here on as well, I will look at the world, at the people on the street, at the grumpy looking man staring on his phone on the train, at the members of my district as Elder Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled, through God's eyes.
Living in such a densely populated place as Japan really isn't as hard as I might have imagined, and somehow, I feel like I've adjusted after a year and a half to where I'm not completely overwhelmed anymore. The language is flowing smoothly, and the habits of daily scripture study have helped cement them in my memory so I can teach them on the fly.
That being said, the city version of Elder Christensen is definitely different from the Boise, Idaho version of Elder Christensen. With so much going on around me, it is difficult to justify taking the time to develop the talents that I devoted so much time to growing up. Singing, soccer, frisbee, reading, jokes always seem less pressing then the matter at hand so they have started collecting dust.
We've been asked by President Wada to stay off of the beach entirely, but we do get to see it still! The mountains and forests in Kamakura are very beautiful and sprawling. A big portion of our area is covered by forests and mountains.
We've been able to meet with some great people this last week, including a music composer/arranger, two students studying to become pharmacists, a psychologist with a love of foreign relations, and a woman who had lived with an LDS family on an exchange program in California and whose son is currently in St. George in the same situation!
Each and every one of these people is as different as you could possibly imagine in terms of hobbies, likes, dislikes, talents, friends, etc. but as we've interacted with them, they all have things in common: desire to be accepted and needed, fear of hurting others, desire to help others. These things are what bind us together as a human family. As interesting as our Facebook likes and pinterest walls are, I'm more interested in what motivates them as a person and the quality of their heart. The gospel of Jesus Christ won't help us decide who is a better musician between One Direction and Taylor Swift, but it can help us decide how to serve others and increase our desire to do good. It changes hearts. For that reason, it is the most valuable treasure this world has to offer. It is the pearl of great price!
I love you dearly!