How are you?? I don't know if you will get this before or after you leave for Young Women's camp, but if it is before then please know that I love you and I will be praying for you. Do not worry. The Lord has a better plan than any of us could have. :) So, whatever happens at camp will be exactly what needs to happen. I honestly actually thing that if you do end up getting sick there that it will be a huge defining moment in a lot of the girl's lives as they get to see the grace and poise that a queen like you has in spite of the trials that buffet around every side of you. (That was probably the most complex, beautiful English that I have written in a long time! hahaha) Also, it will give them an opportunity to serve you. So, don't worry. :) :)
I was so glad to get all of your emails and such. I love it when those come in before I email, so it was really really nice to have Temple P-day and get all of those! That is the best. :) I also had an absolutely incredible time at the temple!! it is such a spiritually refreshing place, and I realized today again how much I love the Spirit, and how empty it feels when it is gone. Always live worthy of the Spirit. It is worth any sacrifice in the entire world. :) I know that you have it though. Because you always made sure that it was in our home. That is one of the most incredible things to see as a look back on growing up, just how much you had the Spirit in our home. It definitely set the mood for everything, and it is something that I want to establish in my home as well some day. Thanks for that amazing example, Mom!! <3
So, we have this really cool Eikaiwa student (English Class) who is named Asato. He is so great. He is about 19 years old and is studying.....fashion design!! Actually not uncommon, even for guys in Japan. One of our ward members is a really good fashion designer and actually makes all of his wife's clothes. He is super cool. But, anyway, we got to go out to dinner with him last night, and to talk about his life and his dreams, and we talked about another English program that we do that is half English, one on one, and half about the gospel! He said that he had tons of interest!! We are so excited to start those lessons with him. I also think that it will really help him come closer to his dreams and to religion. He is non-religious, and he really really wants to study fashion in England, so he has to know English. We are going to help him with both! He doesn't have a huge interest in religion right now, so we have to help him along slowly. He also asked us to do some modeling for him.....we decided it might not be the most appropriate missionary activity. ;D haha
Let me explain a little bit about helping Japanese people become converted, in the way that President Wada would. First, you have most Japanese people. They are non-religious. Most of them will tell you that they are Buddhist, but that is more of a cultural thing to 99% of people than an actual religion. And then there is the 1% that are religious with it. Haha. But anyway, there are about 3-4 steps that they have to go through. This is part of why Japan is not just booming with baptisms yet....yet. ;D haha They have to first become religious. That entails thinking about deeper things like God and life after death, etc. This is the first step, and probably one of the hardest. It is hard to explain why God is important to someone who believes in only their own self, and in money and things like that. The next step that they have to go through is going from just religious to becoming Christian. That is another big step, because it involves belief in Jesus Christ specifically, and starting to act a little bit on the things that they believe. And then lastly they have to take the step from just Christian to being members of the Church. That is one of the harder ones too. It is fairly simple to just be Christian. You don't have to do much with it. You just proclaim that you are Christian in much of the world. But to really be an active Latter-Day Saint, you have to work, and you have to serve, and you have to DO things. That is a big change. But, we are helping them move slowly towards Christ, which is really what missions are all about.
But it is not impossible. I love Alma chapter 5. It is a very good check on whether or not we are converted. If you ever want to go through and get your conversion to "level up" then I suggest you go through and read that. I love that conversion is a never-ending process. That makes it so much more fun. :) I challenge you to make sure that your personal conversion does not go stagnant. I love you so much, Mom!! :) :) <3 Make this week at camp one of the best weeks ever, okay?! I love you!!!
Love, Elder Livingston :)