Thank you so much for all that you said in your email. It meant a lot to me, and I am so grateful for you too. I think that if I were to try and make a list of 10 things that I loved about you it would be pretty hard. But I will share one thing. Thank you for your testimony, and your knowledge of the gospel. You taught me that learning the gospel is fun, and that knowing it helps you in your life. Application. That is what it is really all about. :D <3 <3
Speaking of which, I want to share one of the things that we do in our mission. It is called RPLA. I do not know if I have explained it before, but it is super good and can be super helpful if you do not know what to do for scripture study. It stands for:
R: Read. Read a section of the scriptures (not too hard, right?)
P: Ponder. We have to ponder the scriptures. In Japanese the words for ponder (it isn't one word) is to think deeply. Think deeply about the subject.
L: Liken. We need to liken the scriptures to ourselves. We have to see how we can use it in our lives. The Book of Mormon was written for our day. Why? Why would they write this for us? If we do not liken it, then we are not using the tool to it's full potential. It would be like having an iPhone 6 and using it for only calls.
A: Apply. Now, if we liken the scriptures then it is like buying a lot of Apps for that iPhone. Applying is using the apps that you bought. If you buy a lot of apps and do nothing with them....what good do they do you? If you use them, then they enhance your life.
Mom, I challenge you in some of your studies, some of your family scripture studies, maybe even in a lesson with the young women, etc. I promise that it works. I have such a testimony of that. I love the scriptures. Especially the Book of Mormon. It is so powerful. Read it every day, and pray about it often to know if it is true. Even if you already know. I remember one day that Elder Squire asked me why he would need to ask again if it was true if he already knew that it was true. And I thought about that a lot. It is a good question. I told him this. If I had something in my hands, and you couldn't see it, but studied about it and asked me if you could see if it was real or not, and I opened my hands, would you know it was real? He said yes. I then said, Well, if you asked me again and I showed you again, wouldn't your knowledge about that thing just increase? Wouldn't things that you hadn't noticed the first time stand out? Wouldn't it just increase your faith in that thing? And he said yes, and that made sense. Maybe that helps if you or someone you know has ever wondered why we need to frequently pray about the Book of Mormon. I like that book. It's a keeper. ;) haha
Well, some things that happened last week. I did get to go on splits with an Australian! He is so incredible. His name is Elder Van Dyken, and I love him so much. He is two transfers older than me (in mission age) and is a zone leader in our zone. He is an incredible leader, with really good insights, and I learned a lot of things from him this week. He helped me to recognize how to plan better, and how to be a bit more bold in my teaching. He has a way cool accent. And it is way fun to hear him speak in an American accent. :) haha
I also started teaching . . . .wait for it . . . .an American from Kansas! I have knack for finding everyone that doesn't speak Japanese in Hodogaya. :) haha He was actually a referral from some other sisters in Fujisawa Area. He is super cool. Being an American who doesn't speak Japanese is hard in Japan. I feel really bad for him and people like them. They just aren't happy. They get depressed a lot of the time, and I really wish that I could just help them instantly. But, that is why we are taking the gospel to them slowly. :) He is a really nice guy, and just talked our ears off. I am looking forward to meeting with him more.
So, lastly, this week we get to meet . . . . Elder Nelson!! He is coming to our mission. :D Cool, huh? I will let you know how it went next week! We also get new iPads soon! :) haha We are no longer just a pilot mission, but we will get the official iPads now. I am excited for the new iPads! They will have more data space and allow me to more freely download things from Gospel Library without feeling like my space is gone. However, I made need to buy a USB or Hard-drive of some sort to save the notes that I have and the pictures that I have. I will let you know. Thanks! I love you so so so much, mom. You are incredible, and you have influenced my life so much. I love you! <3 <3
Love, Your Son, Elder Livingston