How is everyone? I want you to know, first of all, right off the bat, that I love you all so so much!! You are amazing!. Mom, thank you for your sweet message this week (I think I got it Saturday night). It meant a lot. You are so incredible. I love you!!
So, guess what? The Lord definitely prepares you for your mission, whether it is 5:15 morning piano lessons, or 6:00 in the morning soccer games. Piano has been such a huge blessing on my mission. I am actually the unofficial priesthood pianist again haha. :) I love it, and it is so fun to share that talent with the ward. I have also been able to play in a couple of our investigator's houses, and that has been amazing. I absolutely love piano, and I am so so so grateful that you didn't give up on me, even when I "hit my limit" ;) haha I love piano. Thank you for sending the songs that you have sent. If you find any other decently easy ones, I would absolutely love it if you could send them! :) Also, like I mentioned before, soccer has also been so so great! It is a very quick, simple way for me to connect with kids around my age who are just randomly playing in parks, and I always invite them to church after. Even though they haven't come yet (yet is the key word!! ;) haha) it is very fun, and they get to see that we are normal people really fast. Plus, it is always super funny to see them react when you walk up, and they look at you like, "You really want to play? In those clothes? okay . . ." haha And then I'm actually better than they thought, so that is way fun. Really though, what I want you to take away from this is use your talents. If it is playing instruments, use it. If it is playing board games, use it. If it is knitting, use it. If it is programming, use it. Take whatever the Lord has given you, and use it. He will help it to grow in ways that you never knew possible, and most importantly He will provide a way for you to help others through your talent.
Also, I wanted to share another story about an incredible experience! We were housing, and knocked on this one apartment door. The man opened up and said that we could share a message. And I totally froze. hahaha Looking back it was hillarious, but I really should have just simply testified to him. I felt bad that I had frozen up in the situation, but undeterred we turned around and went to the door on the other side of the stairway. We knocked, and a very sharply dressed young man stood there with his grandma. Elder Squire introduced ourselves and asked if we could share a message. He told us to wait just a minute, and stepped to go into the house. The grandmother then stepped forward and said, "Kaerinasai!" Which is literally the command form of go home. haha But, the young man turned back and told us to wait, and told his grandma it was okay. He went into the house, and she talked to us for a minute, telling us how she was Sokagakkai (Spelling?) a religious group that actually is very similar to ours (the man who founded it wanted to be prophet, so he made his own church based on buddhist beliefs) and people use it because they think it is a cop out to not convert to another religion. We found out later she was actually shinto (just the normal Japanese beliefs). The young back came back out, and introduced himself as Dunkley san. He is an 18 year old who has always wanted to learn about Christianity. He said that there are so many beliefs that he really doesn't know what to believe, but that he wants to learn. He said he likes Christian beliefs. We were so thrilled. It was easily the best part of the day!! :) :) We should be meeting with him this weekend for the first lesson, and I can not wait! He is super cool, and has a really deep voice. Also, he lives right by one of our member's houses!! (I'll actually send pictures of the member and his family because we had dinner there last night. He is in our bishopric too!) It is such a miracle, because he can't have lessons in his grandma's house where he lives, but Saijo 兄弟 said that we could do lessons in his house. I am so grateful for the Lord preparing people to receive the gospel.
Well, I love you all so so much. Look for the small miracles in your life. Don't forget to thank the Lord for all that He does for you. He is incredible, and even when times seem really really hard, remember that the Lord has a plan for you and that if you follow Him everything will work out. Notice His hand. I promise it is there.
I love you all so much, and I hope that you have a fantastic week!! Love ya! :)
Love, Elder Livingston (リビングストン長老)
Note: Names may have been changed for privacy.