Hey mom!! :) <3
So, I want you to know that I will be hoping and praying that I have the Spirit with me as I write this email. Reading everyone's email today I really felt like this email needed to be more guided by the Spirit instead of me just spilling stuff out about this week. So, here it goes.
Mom, don't worry about your health. Don't worry about the girl's health. Don't worry about Ammon's health. Now, I know that sounds crazy. And you should definitely still try to do everything that you can to follow the Spirit in finding new ways to help and treat the Lyme disease that is hurting our family, but don't worry. As I was reading all of the emails that I got today, I really didn't feel worried. Which I felt was strange. I have been so involved with making sure that all of you were okay, and I am used to being worried about you, but today, even reading the emails, I just felt peace. Mom, as you follow this new program your health will improve. The girls will be okay. Ammon is going to get better. I promise. I say that because I feel like it is the right thing to say. I am not going to pretend that magic fairy dust will sprinkle down and make all of you better. But as you perservere, as you strive, fight, and patiently wait to see the Lord's hand, you will be shocked at how powerfully it comes. I promise. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to be a missionary. I see so so many miracles, every single day of my life. And really, I am just super blessed to have the Spirit with me. Don't forget that Spirit. Don't forget how powerful it is, and notice it in your life. I promise that you have it a lot more than you might think you do. It is incredible to see people experience the Spirit for the first time. Don't worry about your health. :) <3
Speaking of the Spirit, I had an incredible experience this week. Dunkley san, who I think I mentioned last week, is so incredible. Just to recap if I didn't put it last week, we found him housing, and he really wants to learn. We were able to have our first lesson with him this last Saturday, and it went really well. He really really wants to learn more, and is so willing to act. It is incredible. And then yesterday, we invited him to church! He came, but only made it for the last song and the closing prayer. And then Elder Squire went and got a bunch of the people in the ward to come and introduce themselves while I continued to sit with him. It was incredible, and the ward here did such an amazing job at reaching out to him! I was so so happy. And then one of the most amazing experiences of my entire mission happened. He turned to me, and was smiling and said, "I'm feeling this new feeling." So I talked to him about it, and I helped him realize it was the Holy Ghost that we had talked about the day before. He loved the feeling. He is such an incredible young man. He is 18, and really has his priorities right. He said that he doesn't think he is smart, and he has had some super super hard family trials in his life. But more than anything he wants to feel happy, and to feel God's love, and to find out what is true. And he wants to find an incredible woman someday, and get married. I am so blessed to be able to be working with him. Don't forget that feeling of the Spirit. It was so new to Dunkley san, but he loved it. Don't forget just how amazing it is. It will lead you in all things that you need to do. :)
Well, now for a little bit about this week (more random fun things that we did). First off, I got to go to an all you can eat cookie place!! :D haha it was super fun, and the family that we went with is so incredible. Elder Squire found them in his last area, and we really hope that they start taking lessons soon. They are an incredible family and I really believe that they will join the church someday and be able to be sealed together. They are so happy and friendly. :) The next best thing this last week was the fact that I got to see a zebra . . .horse . . .giraffe . . .mix. ;D haha You might not think it is possible, but I will send pictures! ;D haha So, to answer some questions, first of all the language is hard. I still don't understand most of what people are saying, but depending on the person I can usually follow a little bit of what the conversation is about. My conversational language is getting a bit better, and I feel like I can say a little bit, but there is just so so much vocabulary that I still need to learn! But, I am not stressed about it. I know that as I continue to work at it, it will improve. And plus, the Spirit is what we need to communicate the gospel, not the Japanese language. :) Let's see . . .chopsticks. I am a lot better than when I got here. :) haha we use them a bit, but every home in Japan will also have spoons and forks and knifes. Depending on what you eat, you might not use them. For example, ice cream they still eat with spoons. :) haha thank heavens!! But I am definitely getting better with them. :)
Well, I love you so so so much, mom!! I miss you a lot too. :) Also, I am working on everyone's Christmas presents still, so be patient! I will send them as soon as possible! :) I love you so so so much! I know this gospel is true. I know that me being here on a mission is where I am supposed to be, even if it is hard sometimes, and even if I wish that I could go home and help you. :) I love you. Keep trusting the Lord, all will be well. :)
Love, Elder Livingston
Note: Names may have been changed for privacy.