Hey Mom!! :)
How are you? I love you so so so much. Just so that you know. :) Also, you said that you have been studying grace. I definitely agree with your statement that if you substitute divine power it becomes easier to understand. I also like the talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. I believe that you can find it in the August Liahona for 2014. Read that one, it is super super good. :) <3 <3
I am so glad that Britta's birthday party was so good! I love the museum of curiosity! It is so fun. It really looks like they had a good time, and that Emmett loves it! Ahh, I miss that guy. :) Tell him I said hi and that I love him! He sure is smart! Wow . . . how is it that our family is so sick? Don't you just love it? ;) haha It's okay. The refiners fire has to be hot. Otherwise there would not actually be any refining. We always need to make sure that we look with an eternal perspective. That is so so important, and something that Elder Frischknecht has helped me do a lot. He is an incredible missionary and he knows the scriptures so so well! We have a ton of fun. :) <3
Speaking of Eternal Perspective, that brings me to the title of this email! Goals and Accountability. I guess that I actually want to start with accountability. Accountability is an eternally important principle. I realized this morning in my personal study a bit more about just how important it is for us to be accountable for our actions. Accountability is eternally linked with agency. If you destroy accountability (which is what the world is telling us that we should do), you essentially destroy agency. Agency's magnificent power to change the hearts of men gets destroyed. Consequences become null and void, destroying the opposition to our choices. There really must be opposition in all things. With that, we always need to improve and grow, because there will always be something telling us that we can just sit down and let things happen, not stress, etc. But that is not true. We are born to become heirs to the throne of God, and as such we need to act and grow in such a way that we can be worthy of that divine heritage. One very important way that we can do that is through goal setting. (I LOVE GOALS!!!!). Goals are checkpoints, things that we aim for so that we can improve. One missionary described it much like an archery target. If we want to hit the center of the target, then we aim a little bit high. The same is with our goals. If we put our goals right where we want them to be, they will be harder to reach than if we set them a little bit higher than we would like to hit. And then we work for that higher goal and inevitably achieve or surpass our originally desired goal. How are your goals, Mom? Do you have goals? Are they written down? Are you being accountable for them to yourself? Most importantly, are you being accountable to Heavenly Father for the goals that you have set? Do you account to Him in prayer? Again, if we are not accountable, then we are not going to improve as much. President Monson said that, "When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates." That is so true. Make sure that you are reporting to yourself, and to the Lord. And maybe to
Dad too. That would be good. ;) haha Those were just some of the thoughts that I have had recently.
To update you a bit on our investigators, Norton san (no longer an investigator) is actually sick right now, so he could use all of your prayers. I really hope that you are doing okay. We haven't talked to him in a couple of days. Tom is....good. Keep him in your prayers. He is having a hard time being in Japan and not being able to understand Japanese. We love him so much, though, and we still meet with him a couple of times a week. Joseph, our new investigator, is good as far as I know. We are going to meet with him again tomorrow. We are excited to work with him and help him. Sanders Kyodai is doing great, and slowly progressing. He actually accepted the soft baptismal commitment yesterday! That was super good. :) Morgan Kyodai is super busy, so that has been hard, but hopefully we will be able to meet with him soon and help him get a baptismal date.
Mom, I love you so much! I miss you. A lottle. Thank you so so much for the pictures and the videos that you sent! They mean so much to me, and they aren't distracting, just heart-warming. I love all of your smiling faces, and the bloopers were perfect! haha :) さすが Livingston family! ;D haha I love you so so so much!!
Love, Elder Livingston
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