Hey mom!! <3
Hey, are you alright? You hanging in there? I know that it is really hard with this surgery, and your lyme, and life sometimes seems to fall down on top of us. It makes me think of the titan Atlas. He had the weight of the world on his shoulders. I know what it feels like to feel the pressure of the world on your shoulders. But more than that, there is Someone who knows exactly how you feel. His name is Jesus Christ. He didn't just suffer for your sins, mom. He suffered your sickness, your pain, your sorrow. He knows perfectly how to comfort you. I challenge you this week to try to come closer to Him and your Father in Heaven. I want you to try and make your prayers more meaningful. This is one thing that I have really been trying this past week, and it has helped SOO much! Open the prayer, and then talk like you are talking to a normal person. Put pauses to listen to what He says. Phrase your sentences exactly the same as you would if you were venting your problems to me (with the exception of thee, thou, etc.) and I promise you that you will see a huge increase in the amount of Spirit that you feel. It is absolutely incredible. I love the Lord and all that He does for us. The miracles that He performs on our behalf each and every day are absolutely astounding and I hope that you can take time to notice those.
Tom, is absolutely incredible!! I love him so much. He is the best. So, two weeks ago we gave him a Book of Mormon, right? Last week we called him on Thursday to see how he was doing, and he said that he was in Nephi 2....so, I thought he meant the second chapter of 1 Nephi. Nope!! He was on pg. 63 (ish) and was in 2 Nephi!!! Incredible, huh? He is so cool, and we talked with him again last night. He said that he is really open to learning, and he has such a sincere desire. It is incredible to see how good people come from all over the world. Tom isn't Mormon. He drinks, he smokes, he swears, and he is one of the best people in the world. He is so positive, and wants to help people. If you look at his heart, you would see gold. He isn't perfect. But I'm not either. I would never judge him for his faults, and I know he wouldn't judge me. He is without guile, which I think is amazing. He is always so sincere, and loves to talk about religion, movies, anything and everything. And he can feel the spirit. I know it, and he is starting to recognize it too. He said that every time he reads the Book of Mormon he feels calmer, which I think is amazing. The Book of Mormon really does that for people. It can help you come closer to God, and feel His love. Indeed, Joseph Smith said that it would bring a man closer to God than any other book on the planet. I testify that is true. I have read the entire book, and I know for a fact that it is true. I love it. I love the power that it brings into my life when I read it. Make sure that you take time to read it every day.
Another miracle that we saw this week was a man named Yuki Dou. He showed up to the church after District Meeting and started talking to the zone leaders that were here for district meeting. He then came inside, and we got to teach him a lesson about English, as well as a lot about the gospel. We went in depth about repentance, and challenged him to pray and repent this week. He said that he would, and that he has interest in learning the gospel. He really wants to change his life around. He is so incredible. Elder Suzuki (the Japanese Elder in our district) called the person that first contacted him and found out more about him, and then told me that this man was much more prepared than we even knew. The Spirit hit me so strongly, and told me that Yuki needed to be taught by Elder Suzuki and Elder Kerr, not by me and Elder Tolen. It was hard for us, especially Elder Tolen, because it was the first real first lesson that we got to teach together. I am grateful that the Spirit was the one guiding that decision, because I don't know if I could have made it otherwise. I know that he will progress, and be able to see incredible changes in his life. The Lord is so incredible, and infinitely merciful. It is on that fact that I rely for strength every single day of my life. I love this gospel so much.
I love you, mom!! So much. I hope that you know that. You are such an example to me. It is okay if you don't know what to say in your emails, any email from the family makes me smile. :) <3 I love you all, and I am so grateful to have this opportunity and trial to serve a mission, even if it means I have to be away from you. It will be over much too quickly. Cherish the time we have apart. Really think about that sentence. Cherish the time we have apart. And before you know it I will give you a huge hug, and tell you all about how my day went!! ;D haha Love you, mom!!
Love, Elder Livingston