How are you!! This last week was absolutely insane! So much fun, and so much spiritual growth. I will start with last Wednesday.
We had the privilege and opportunity of having Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Evans of the Seventy come and talk to us. It was absolutely incredible. The focus of his talk was on fulfilling our potential, and repenting. It was so great. He also said one thing in specific for us to do on P-day. And that was to thank our families. And mom, what better place to start than to thank you. :) I love you so much, mom. You have affected my life in so many ways. I don't know if you remember this as well as I do, but one day when I was younger, and had anxiety about cleaning the sink and making sure that every single surface had soap suds on it-remember that?-you shared something with me that changed my life. You talked to me about how satan has no power over us, and about how we don't have to be afraid. You shared with me a scripture in Timothy (I don't have the reference right now) that says, "For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." And that scripture has shaped my life in so many ways. Thank you so much, mom. :) Also, with the conference with Elder Nelson, we learned a bit more about the new iPads that we are getting. Yep, we get new iPads!! :) haha Starting this Thursday we will have iPad mini 2's, 32 GB, Space Grey. I am so stoked. It will hold more than the 16 GB ones that we have now. Also, we are kind of restarting the "test" period so that we can more fully use iPads to fulfill our purpose. Along with that will be the opportunity to take a break from Facebook for 3 months (something that will actually be a little hard for me and Elder Frischknecht because we were going to use it to help one of our investigators. :P haha). It is so great. The new program will be called, Disciples of Christ in the Digital Age, I believe. It is so cool. Also, I synced my photos and things to the iCloud so that I can get them simply on the new iPad. You could possibly hop on there and get some of the photos that I have not sent home! :) haha That conference was so great, and we left feeling so spiritually fed. The men that are called and that we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators truly are holy men, called by God to fulfill a calling that they alone could never do. But always remember that who the Lord calls, He qualifies for that calling.
Back up a day before that, and I got to go on splits with Elder Christensen. He is an Elder in my district who loves to work as hard as he can. He is great. But the experience that I really want to share was that the little things mean the most. We were going home, and we came out of the train station where we ran into....a politician. :) I had said hi to him a few times, enough that we knew who each other were, so I stopped and started talking to him. I found out that not only had he gone and lived in Brazil (which means he is fluent in Japanese, Portuguese, and English) but that he had gone to church as a child. This is super rare in Japan. We talked to him for a few minutes, and invited him to church. He said that he would not be able to come until after elections (April 12) but that after that he definitely wanted to come! He gave us his flyers, and we left. Then we decided to get a treat for the other Elders just to say thanks for being awesome. So we got that, and then Elder Christensen said that he really wanted to take a picture with the politician. I wasn't sure at first, but then I had a thought come to my mind. So we dove back into the store, because I felt like we should go back, but that we should take him something. We got him a drink, and we went back. We took a picture, and then we left. He gave me his contact information so that
I could email him the picture. I was so happy. I will include the picture at the end of this email. It was such a tender mercy to finally be able to talk to this man, and to know that he will come to
church. Because I truly feel that he will. I just hope that I can still be in Hodogaya when that happens.
Thirdly, I had one of the craziest conversations of my life this week. I like to call it Japanese 2.0 If you think of the jump between systems that upgrade from 1.0 to 2.0 it is usually pretty big. This week I went from trying to just talk about church stuff and normal conversation to the next level. Quantum Physics. You might say I should slow down and try to take Japanese a little bit at a time. But, uh.....nah. That's way too simple. ;) hahah Plus, I had no choice! We were over at a member's house and they started talking about how she had been sick, but had gotten better. Apparently it is connected to quantum physics somehow. I am not 100% sure on how that all fit, since this is the first time I have even contemplated quantum physics in Japanese. Now, before you go thinking that my Japanese was good enough to really handle this situation, I really just read the atmosphere as hard as I could, as well as the gestures, and then whatever words I could pick out. That all together pretty much gave me enough to be a participant in the conversation. It was pretty intense, but way fun. I can not wait for the day when I can legitimately communicate on that level of Japanese. Because that is my goal. To be there. :)
The Lord is so mindful of His missionaries. He is watching out for me, and I am so grateful for all that I get to see and learn. I wish that you could see what missionaries do, Mom. :) It is crazy. I think of all of the meetings, all of the organization, all of the contacting, etc. that we do and it baffles me that this organization, at the core, is run by a bunch of 18-21 year olds (some older than that too). It is so cool. I love it. :) I hope that you know how much I love this, and how much I love you! I love you so much, Mom. <3 :) I hope that you have a fantastic week! Stay strong! I know that the weeks when Dad is gone are hard, so you can....send me an email and vent about it! haha :) Actually, I do have a real favor to ask. Could you send me a package? :) haha now, before you go accusing me of being all greedy and needy, There is a legitimate reason. I am starting to run low on toothpaste. So if you could send me one or two tubes of toothpaste that would be awesome. And some floss. :) haha But, I believe that I am doing great with everything else. Thank you so much, Mom!! I love you!!! <3 <3
Love, Elder Livingston