Sunday, August 24, 2014

Letter to Mom - 21 August, 2014

Okay, here is my real email!! :) haha okay, so first of all my visa. They will give it to me the day that I leave from the MTC, and the only way I will know if it is a problem is if a week from Friday I don't get my travel itinerary! haha But I am not worried about it being a problem, because it is Japan. :)

I am so happy that you are all doing so well!! Man, I really have the best family in the entire world. :) No comparison. It is so fun to hear all of your stories, and it seems like things have been pretty busy there lately! I'm glad that things are going well though, and that even though it is busy you are enjoying it. :) Also, congrats to Ammon and Audrey on getting the garage door open! :) haha that's always good. And I love seeing the pictures of everyone, (especially Emmett ;D haha) so keep sending them!! :)

What is the update with me this week? Well, I have quite the experience to share, so wait until the end, because it's a thriller! ;) haha About last Thursday, I was really hit with intense feelings of low self-worth. I'll admit, it came as a complete shock. If you know me at all, and I know you know me better than anyone else, you know that on the contrary one of my bigger trials has been not letting my confidence be too high. haha so when these feelings came, I'll admit I was at a complete loss as to what to do, and I didn't really know how to cope with it for a little while. Over Thursday, Friday, and into Saturday and Sunday a teensy bit, I struggled with this low self confidence. I really felt lower than the dust of the earth, and that I really wasn't worth anything. But I always kept in mind that I knew those feelings were not from God. So I prayed. I prayed so hard. I put my heart and my soul into prayer and did everything to remember the good things that I have been able to do, as well as who I really was (A Son of Heavenly Father). As I prayed and really tried to focus on those things, my spirit began to lift. It was incredible to me that all I really had to do to come out of what was honestly the lowest self-esteem point in my life was to lean on God instead of leaning on myself, and instantly everything was made better. :) Does that mean the answer came right away? No, of course not. But it came. It came quickly too. I am not struggling with that at all anymore (do I still feel inadequate enough to motivate me to be better, of course. But that is good if it drives us to God :) ). It was incredible for me to see a 180 degree change in myself as I trusted the Lord. If anyone is struggling with self-esteem who is reading this, I plead with you to turn to God. He is the source of all goodness. Remember what Paul wrote to Timothy, "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." God is waiting to help you. He is trying to place miracles in your life, and all that you have to do is open your eyes to his grace and goodness and you will see all of the incredible things that He has done for you.

Also, this week our investigator had an amazing experience. We got to teach about the Word of Wisdom, and she didn't want to give up tea. She made the goal to give it up Saturday, but that she was going to continue drinking it until then. We decided that would be okay, but made sure that she knew we were going to follow up. Then, when we went to teach her yesterday she told us a story. She said that on Tuesday she had gone to make tea, poured it for herself, and then realized that she didn't want it. So she got a drink of water. And then she stopped and realized what had happened. She poured out her tea, and told us that she was going to keep the Word of Wisdom. She was grateful that God had helped her to overcome her desire to drink tea, and I couldn't help but beam as she told us the experience. It was so incredible, and I can't wait for real experiences like that to happen in Japan.

Speaking of Japan, I am so so so so so excited to go!!! It is less than three weeks away, and I really don't think that it could come fast enough!! I just want to get out there and share the gospel with everyone there. I know that this gospel is true, and that we really will come so much closer to God and be able to serve Him if we desire to. The Book of Mormon is true. I challenge everyone who is reading this right now to share their testimony in person with one other person outside of their immediate family this week. And be bold. If God tells you to share it with someone who you think would completely reject it, don't trust yourself. Trust God. It may be that they need to hear it at that time anyway, to prepare them to receive the message later. I love you all so so much, and don't you ever forget it!!

Love, Elder Livingston

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