Well, what to write to my dear, beloved father on this wonderful Father's Day...... ;D haha I want to say thanks. For all of the little moments.
I have realized a lot on my mission how missionary work is really just a work of love. This work isn't about fancy speaking, or being the best teacher in the world. It isn't about being perfect at a language, or never making mistakes. It isn't about rushing around so fast that you drive yourself into the ground. It isn't about numbers. It is
about people. It is about love. It is about giving up some of the things that you love so that you can help the Lord with the things that He loves. It is about selflessly helping and lifting others up. It is about being humble. I have learned so many of those things from your example in one way or another throughout my life. It has always been the little moments, too, that stick out to me so clearly.
I remember one day years ago, when we were at a Father's and Son's campout. We were laying in our great big tent on our stomachs, staring at the small screen of your computer as we watched "The Greatest Game Ever Played." I remember how just before the last putt, the computer died. And then we talked a little and called it a night. Later that night you woke me up and we had to go call the police because of the crazy people with the lights and stuff. Do you remember that? I felt your love so much that campout. I felt it because you took the time to be with me, and to do something fun with me. I felt it because we had our own tradition of watching a movie on the campout. I felt it because I remember how you woke me up to take me with you. I remember knowing that you would protect me. You showed me that you cared. You showed me that you loved me.
One of the things that I admire most about you, Dad, is that you know how to love people. You showed it so much as a bishop. I remember when what's-his-bucket would call all day every day, there would be times that someone in the family would ask you to not answer, because they wanted your attention. And you would just smile and say that you had to answer. And then you would help him. That was a little bit of a pain growing up, but from the perspective that I have now, it was an incredible act of love. I know some of the missionaries in our zone who have the same problem now with a new member, and they are struggling with it. It was cool to see your example and be able to share it with them. :)
I remember the times that we woke up super early in the morning to go and play basketball at the Church. That meant a lot to me. It has come in handy on my mission! :D haha I get to play sports at least once a week, and it is so helpful to be able to actually play. If you can't play sports then you can't really connect with the people that are
playing, so I am very glad that you taught me how to play a variety of sports, from t-ball to basketball to soccer. :)
Dad, you love the scriptures. And it shows. I wish that I knew how to consistently drink from the scriptures the way that you do. I am so excited for all of you to start that new scripture study challenge with the Book of Mormon! I can testify of it's power. I am currently at the beginning of Ether with the study topic of "How to Gain Faith, Hope and Charity." It has been an incredible journey. :) I actually had one of the best scripture studies that I have ever had today. I got to read Alma chapter 8. I read it first in Japanese with English by the side, and then just in English while marking and annotating a bunch of parts. It took me about an hour in total to read it and mark it the way that I wanted to. But I have never felt so rejuvenated at the end of a study session! I love reading the scriptures in Japanese. When I finish the Book of Mormon that I am working on right now I will probably switch to mainly studying my scriptures in Japanese, so that is going to be an adventure! :D haha But thank you so much for teaching me the importance of the scriptures. :) That means so much to me. :) <3 <3 I truly owe a lot to you.
Well, I know that this wasn't about what I did with my investigators or my zone or my companion this week, but that is because yesterday (or today for you) is all about you. Thanks for all that you have taught me, and for all that you mean to me, Dad. :) You are an incredible man, and the Lord is working miracles through you. Continue to be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit and I promise you that you are going to be amazed by the miracles that the Lord will perform through you. :) You are the best!! I love you! <3 :)
Love, Elder Livingston