Sunday, March 1, 2015

Elder Ballard - Letter to Mom - 24 February, 2015

Hey Mom!!

So, to answer your questions about where I am going to be transferred,
I am going.........maybe you should scroll to the bottom of the email
for this. ;)

Anyway, the biggest news of the week was definitely getting to learn
at the hands of three general authorities. Elder M. Russel Ballard,
Elder Ronald A. Rasband, and Bishop Gary E. Stevenson came to do a
combined mission conference with us and the Tokyo mission. We went to
a place called Nakano for that in the North Mission, and it was
absolutely incredible! The spirit was so so so strong, and I learned
so much. A few things that I want to share:

First, never ever underestimate the power that PMG holds. It is
absolutely magnificent. Elder Ballard talked a lot about being master
teachers, and how we really can not move on and teach the other
lessons if we have not been able to really communicate who God is to
our investigators. That is something that we have to work with a lot
here in Japan, since they have virtually no idea who God is. it is
pretty different here. I love it though, and I would not want to have
been called to any other mission. He talked a lot about how we have to
really know the doctrine in order to teach with the converting power
of the Spirit. That really stuck out to me. I know the doctrine that
it has in PMG, but I am not nearly the teacher that I wish that I
could be. And then during the conference I really realized that I need
to know the lessons so much better than I do right now, so I have some
goals to change my study so that it can be more effective and more
inclusive of the PMG lessons. I love PMG. I also learned this week
that reading PMG in our mission language and really studying the
lessons from that can help our language increase so so so immensely.
So, I went out and bought a PMG today at the temple in Japanese! So,
now I have two Japanese ones. If you ask why, it is because I can't
read the one that I bought today! haha at least, all of the way. I can
read a bit of it, and depending on how well I know the English I can
figure out quite a bit of kanji. The other one I have is a Romaji
(english lettering, and it is such a pain to try and read! It's weird,
but reading Japanese spelled the English way is so so so hard, and
just wrong. haha). I will be using them side by side to increase my
usage of PMG in Japanese. I am excited to see how these changes
increase my ability to teach through the Spirit, and really invite it
into my life.

Also, I got to go to the temple today!!! I loved it so so so much. The
Temple is such an incredible place, and the Tokyo temple is definitely
one of my favorites. For your information, I will also be going to the
temple next week because of the way that transfers line up with my
area! :D So, next week I will also be emailing on Tuesday. Which
brings me to the big announcement. I have been called to serve with a
new companion named Elder Frischknecht in this incredible area! It has
so many parks, and this one is actually the biggest park in Yokohama,
from what I have heard. The ward is great and has about 80 ish
members, and there are tons of hills. It is.......Hodogaya!!!! ;D ;D
haha <3 But, seriously, I am staying in Hodogaya. Elder Frischknecht
is one transfer below me, and I am so excited to work with him. He was
in my branch at the MTC and he is such a spiritual Elder. He has a
super fun personality, and I think we will get along really well. He
is super cool. I am staying district leader here, and I really hope
that I can help Hodogaya see a baptism in this next transfer. I know
that we can do it if we trust the Lord and do all that we can to be
perfectly and exactly obedient, teach with the Spirit, etc.

Mom, I'm sorry that Dad has to be away on a business trip this week.
:P That is no fun at all. I want you to know that I am praying for
you, and I will be praying for the whole family that this new
medication starts working! I am so excited that we might be making
some really good progress. I am so excited. I love you, mom. <3 <3 :)
So so much!! I am going to apologize right now, we didn't really get
any good pictures this week, and so I will probably just take one with
my new jersey that I bought (It is SOOO incredibly awesome!!!) and
send that! I will be better with pictures this next week! I love you,
Mom!! <3 <3

Love, Elder Livingston

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