Hey mom!!! :)
Guess what? I am officially not a trainee anymore. :) Woohoo!!! I am transfer 3! So, today we had transfer calls. :) And guess what? I am staying with Elder Squire in Hodogaya!!! Yeah! However, there is a catch. . .we are training. :) I am so so so excited! We go to the mission home on Thursday to pick up our new companion, and we will be a threesome for two weeks, and then Elder Squire heads home. (He has a weird extension schedule). And then I will train, on my own. :) Mom. . .I've been here for three months. I definitely feel inadequate, but I am so so excited to train. It is already a humbling experience to think that the Lord is trusting me with the opportunity to train another missionary. I don't feel ready, but at the same time I do, because I know that through the Lord I can do anything. I am excited for this new growing experience, and I will be praying for the ability to trust in the Lord more fully, because I need His help.
Let's see, this week . . .well, first of all, Dunkley san couldn't meet this week, so we may actually have to push his baptismal date back. However, I know that he will be baptized, and that as he continues to follow the Spirit and do the things that he needs to, he will feel confident that everything is going to be okay. One thing that is hard is that he needs parental permission (you are not an adult in Japan until you are 20, so I get to become an adult twice in my life!! haha) but doesn't have the best relationship with his parents. Pray for him that he will have the courage to ask his parents, and that their hearts will be softened. However, I am not worried. The Lord wants Dunkley san to be baptized way more than we do, and I know that He will provide a way. Just like with Nephi and the Brass Plates. It really is incredible how much we can learn from the Scriptures and apply to our lives. :) I love them so so much. I actually really like making documents/organized-thinger-dingers that help me focus more in study. I know that is super vague, but in a week I will send you this big lesson/talk thing that I am writing on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It really helps me to apply the scriptures more, and find talks and things that connect with the gospel principles that we talk about with people.
I also want to say, whatever your calling is, just love the people. Love them with all that you are. I want to talk about Norton san right here. Norton san is really amazing. He doesn't have a huge interest in church, but is always willing to talk about it, so we are going super slow and teaching at his pace. He has a hard time understanding a lot of the things we talk to him about, so we teach him the same thing multiple times. But I can honestly say that he is one of my best friends. I love him so so much. I am going to be super sad when I have to transfer away from here, and away from him. He is someone that I will definitely do my best to stay in contact with for the rest of my life. I love him. Love is the motive. It is the reason why I am here serving. I love the people of Japan. They are so nice, and have such an interesting culture. It is completely different from America, but I love both of them. Love the people that are even slow to listen to you, or have a hard time talking about the church. Just love them. When they feel your love their hearts will begin to open and you will be able to share with them just how much you love the gospel. I may have told you this before, but my MTC teacher said that, "They won't care how much you know until they know how much you care." And that is so true. Love people. Love them like Christ loved them.
Christmas details! Okay, so I do not actually know. I know that the honbu (Mission home) asked us to confirm your email information and they would be sending stuff to you, so if they haven't yet then they will. They said that our email times will be sometime the week of the 22-25 (Monday through Thursday). The call will be for 30-40 minutes like it says in the Missionary Handbook (Some missions are different depending on the Mission President, like how I get an hour and a half to email). That is about all that I know right now. :) I am sending the package this week! Everything is squared away and I just need to take it to the post office, finish sealing it all up, and send it! I am so excited, I think that you will really really like what you are all getting. :) I tried to get something small for each of you. Also, today I bought heat tech (the underarmour-like stuff to keep you warm) so I am excited to try that out soon.
Well, I love you so so so much, Mom. You are such a great example to me, and some things that you said in your email really helped me today. Just the fact that we should trust the Lord and continue to feel peace going forward because He will qualify us for what he calls us to do. I definitely know that is true, and I will be praying for his strength as I train. Thank you for everything, and for being the most incredible mom in the entire world!! I love you! <3 <3
Love, Elder Livingston
P.S. I miss you! <3 Love ya to infinity infinities and beyond!!
Note: Some names may have changed for privacy.