Sunday, March 8, 2015

...Words cannot explain - Letter to Mom - 3 March 2015

Hey mom!!

This week has been so hard. My new companion and I have barely spoken to each other. He has such a hard head, and it has been so humbling..... ;D hahaha Just kidding!!!! Like, completely. Elder Frischknecht is absolutely amazing, and this week has been the most insanely jam packed miracle week of my entire mission....and I've been with him for six days. :D ;) haha I love it!!!

Let me start with last week, just meeting Elder Frischknecht. We already knew each other because he was my kohai (group below me) in the MTC, so we already had a pretty good relationship. And then we got together Thursday and had a crazy transfer day, filled with lost missionaries, and going all over Yokohama to find them! haha so fun. We finished off the day with our weekly planning, and then we hit the streets super hard next day. It was so good, and he is so bold and good at getting people to stop. That day we also had one of the most incredible experiences of my whole mission! Morgan Kyodai, the man that has been investigating for 20 years, and his wife invited us over. (His wife is an active member). She recently fell on her moter-scooter and broke her leg. So she asked us to bring oil, and to give her a blessing. I don't know if you remember when I gave you a blessing, Mom, or when I gave Jenna my very first blessing, but those are definitely humbling moments. Moments that make you a little bit nervous. And then this week I had to go and give someone a blessing in Japanese. Needless to say I felt completely inadequate with my Japanese, but  I learned a lot and I just did the best that I could. It was such a special experience, and something that I will cherish forever. I feel more confident now. After that, we had a really good lesson on the priesthood and the fact that not only does Morgan Kyodai need to have it to lead his family more, but that he is ready. I have never been that bold with him before (we have all been on a pretty big spiritual high since Elder Ballard). We asked him to be baptized on the fourth of April, and he said that he still couldn't commit, but that he would pray about it. We will be praying for him so that he can have the courage to make a baptismal date and follow through with it. I know that it will bless him and his family more than he can even comprehend.

That was Friday. Saturday was good, and was a pretty normal day. And then Sunday came.

And the miracles went crazy.

Sunday was a super rainy, cold day. It was also fast Sunday. We planned to go housing, and the Spirit told me to go and visit this one family that Elder Squire had known, and who had rejected him, but they once again said that they weren't interested. After that, we just decided to go housing and follow the Spirit. We went all over the place, and got a little bit lost, but decided to just go for it. It came close to time to head back for dinner, (about 4:30) and Elder Frischknecht and I decided to do just a few more houses. Nothing. After that, we started heading back. Elder Frischknecht felt like we needed to do a couple more, so we did! Nothing. We were walking, and I saw this tunnel and had this sudden urge to walk down the path. We followed it and decided that we needed to keep housing. So we did that. We just kept walking (we were completely soaked, and way hungry) and housing. Then we came this big street, and I told him we should probably head a certain way and get on the train station so that we could go home and eat (it was about 5:15 ish at this point). As we walked down this street we saw this one apartment  building and we felt like we needed to go and house it (there were only...10 apartments? I think). We did that, and the second to last house we knock on this man comes out, and says that he doesn't speak any Japanese. He is actually from Manila and speaks English. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could come back and teach him this Thursday at 6:30. He said yes. :) Thirty minutes past dinner time, soaking wet, super hungry, and full of hope to find someone we found a man that is willing to listen to the gospel. I know that he will see it change his life, and that he will continue to learn and to grow. It was so incredible. Then we went home and changed our soaked pants and socks, and had dinner, and headed back out. Except, we prayed about it and we felt like we needed to take the trains about three stops further than we had planned. We got on the train, and there wasn't that many people. Then this man walks in in a black and white hoody, and seems like he has had a rougher life. I decided that I had to talk to him, so I started a conversation across the train. He asked us what we were doing, so I took the opportunity to move over by him and show him my tag, and then we had a really good conversation about God. We asked him if we could meet again, and exchange numbers to set up an appointment, but he said that he was super busy, and even though he wanted to talk more he didn't want to give us his number. But it was such a good conversation. And then we just did a little more streeting and housing and we went home. It was a great day. And then we planned for Monday.

And then Monday happened. This was when the miracles really started to ramp up. (You thought that last paragraph was good ;) hahaha) We started by going to the church, but on the hill we saw these two boys looking like they were about to start playing on their DS's. We talked to them, and invited them to church, and then Elder Frischknecht pulled out the Book of Mormon, and introduced it to them. We ended up exchanging phone numbers with both of these 15 year old boys, and they both had a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was so great! And then we went to the church. We got some of the more administrative parts of missionary work done, and then we headed back outside, where we met a man who had just lost his wallet (we didn't understand him until after he left and we looked up some words). I really wish that we could've helped him more. It was a humbling experience about following the Spirit in what to say, and helping and loving those who need help and love. Sometimes we are just called to mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. That doesn't always mean that we shove gospel down their throat. (We shouldn't be shoving it anyway. :) haha). We went to the park after that, and met this super nice old couple on the way. They were really nice, but said that they weren't interested. We went to the park (which, by the way Mom, I am in the area with the biggest park in all of Yokohama from what I have heard, and they have a place called Cherry Blossom Hill. ;D haha I will definitely be able to send some of the best pictures of Cherry blossoms in all of Japan. I am so excited. It is an absolutely incredible park.) and didn't get to talk to as many people as we would have liked, but we did get to see a king fisher (look them up! They are in that little predator book that I was obsessed with as a kid, if you remember. They are way cute). We left the park and started walking towards Tsurugamine when who do we run into....Tom!!! haha He is in the station with a Japanese 18 year old that works at the 7-11 where he shops. They were waiting for one other young man and then they were going to go and get ramen. They invite us to go, and I will be honest that I was a bit hesitant at first, but then I realized that this was a really good opportunity to make some new friends. One of the funniest parts of this whole situation....Tom speaks no Japanese. The boys speak almost no English. They try and communicate through a phone's translation app most of the time. hahaha :D so funny. The boys were thrilled to have us there because we could translate everything for them and talk to them easily. haha We went out to ramen, and I decided that we could introduce the Book of Mormon with Tom's help! So we asked Tom if he had been reading it recently, and he said that he had, and pulled it out (he always has it with him). That made the other boys ask what it was, and we pulled out copies for each of them, and while Elder Frischknecht talked to Tom, I taught them both most of the first lesson (focusing more on the Book of Mormon). It was so good! We gave them those copies of the Book of Mormon, and we exchanged numbers! One of them actually said that he was coming to Eikaiwa, and that he would be interested in learning more. It was so great! Then we went out to eat again for Elder Suzuki's birthday and had some really good food! Then we got a birthday surprise ready for Elder Suzuki, and set everything up at home. And then we felt like we needed to get on the train, but we didn't know where to stop. So we got on. And after one or two stops. Someone walked up to us. I would have recognized him anywhere. It was the man with the black and white hoody, and he sat down and started talking to us again. We told him that it was destiny that we met again, and he agreed. Our conversation was all over the place, but centered mostly on repentance and forgiveness. And then we talked about baptism as well. :) It was so good. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon, and he said that he loved it and really wanted to read it, and then we also gave him the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet. Again, he said that we couldn't exchange numbers, but that if it really was destiny we would meet again. Please please pray for us to meet him again! We started a fast last night, and focused on that today at the temple. We know very particularly that this man needs the gospel right now, and we need help to have the Spirit guide us to meet him again. I can not wait to see him again. I know that I will.

Wow. That was super long. I am so sorry. hahaha I hope that you can tell this last week has been the best week EVER! I love my companion so so much, and I love the Lord. I have felt the love that He has for his children so strongly this week. I know that this church is true. Always trust the Lord, and do all that you can to follow the Spirit. I love you!

Love, Elder Livingston

Note:  Some names may have changed to protect privacy.

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