Hey Mom!!! Ahh, it was so so so good to hear from you all. Sorry this is later than the past couple weeks. We had a super fun activity today with the zone (blowdart nerf war) and it was a blast. I really learned from this activity, or rather from planning it and putting it together. A couple things that I learned were:
1. It takes a lot of planning and scouting out the supplies that you need for something.
2. You can do a lot more with a little money from everyone than a bit of money from one person and
3. You have to make sure that activities are fun. :)
Needless to say it was a hit. Elder Scott said earlier, "You know, I shouldn't be prideful, but I'm pretty sure we are the funnest zone leaders." haha :) I love being a zone leader. It is so fun to interact with so many people, and I love the opportunity to lead. I actually get to go on splits later today with a Japanese elder named Elder Otsuka. I have gone on splits with him once before back when I was transfer one or two. :)
This week has been a blast, and yes, I do have some more pictures. :) haha Just for a quick rundown for the week. Tuesday was SPM (Stake Presidency Meeting....? Something like that). It is where all of the zone leaders and the sister training leaders come together with the stake presidency to discuss how things are going in the stake and how we can better work together, etc. It was actually way fun (lots of people don't like it) and we got super good custard cream puffs, so I can't complain. :) haha Wednesday was a blast! We have a friend (he isn't an investigator) named Yodai, and his sister is a recent convert. We have been trying to reach out to him and build a
relationship with him so guess what we did? We played soccer. :) :) <3 It was the best! I loved playing soccer again, and I have a ton of pictures from that. :) So I will send that soon. Thursday was Weekly Planning and then we had sports night that night. Friday was two of the three district meetings, and then we had to get all of the supplies for this P-day activity. It was super fun. And then Saturday was a pretty normal day, and Sunday was Fast Sunday! We got to go to a BBQ with Yodai's family, and then straight from there (we actually had to leave a little early) and go over to the Powell's the senior couple in the Kichijoji Office. :) The dinner we had at both places was incredible, and I was literally in pain with how much food was fed to us. :) It was all extremely good food though. :) haha And that pretty much brings you up to speed with me! There is one thing that I want to talk about more though.
This past week has been a really good week full of learning for me, and one thing that I have come to realize hit me extremely hard yesterday. There is an amazing brother in our ward named Nasu Kyodai. He is super cool, but has had some extremely hard things happen in his life. Elder Scott and I were listening to him and talking with him last night and I came to an important realization. We have to listen SO much more than we need to speak. I think that is a universal principle in all relationships. But the biggest part of last night was when he asked me why I left on a mission. I honestly think that I left just because I knew it was what I was supposed to do, and I had always planned on it. If you have ever talked to missionaries, lots of them will tell you that the reason you come out is not the reason that you stay. And the reason that you stay is not the same reason as why you go home. I found why I have stayed this past week, and why I could never ever leave the gospel. I have been pondering a lot this past week, and I came to an incredible solution that I have never thought of before, but is absolutely true. If my entire family died, if Jenna passed away, if I lost my scholarships, if I lost my ability to move, if my entire world came crashing down, I can not ever deny that I know this church is true. I have felt it in my heart. I know it. I know that God knows it. And just like Joseph Smith, I could never deny it. When I finally realized that, it was like a great burden/chain was lifted from my shoulders. Not that I had been carrying a huge burden
necessarily, but all of the sudden I found the eternal perspective that God always wants us to have. I know this Church is true. I know that Christ is our Savior, and that He is the Son of God. God, our Father, loves each and every one of us because we are His children. He put us in families, like you said, to be together for eternity. It is an incredibly perfect plan, and He provided a way for us to go back to Him someday. I am grateful for this gospel. I know it is the correct path to our Father in Heaven, and no matter how bumpy or hard it is, the way will NEVER be impossible. Keep pushing on.
This week has been incredible. I would also say that this week has been one of the hardest. Thank you so much for all of the love that you send my way, mom. :) It is incredible. I love you so so much. :) <3 You have always known how to help me, no matter how hard my problem may seem to me. :) Do you remember that day years and years ago when you showed me 2 Timothy 1:7? (I think that is the reference). The time when I was worried that I hadn't cleaned the sink well enough, so much so that my hands were raw because of the chemicals and water? :) haha Well, that day defined a lot of my life. That scripture has always strengthened me, and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent the angel that you are to bless me in that way and infinite others. I am so excited to see you this next week! :) I will coordinate with Dad when we will be talking together, but it should be 7:00 a.m. for me, or 4:00 p.m. for you (I think). Also, just so that you know (I assumed you were going to do this anyway) Jenna will be there. :) haha I will admit, I am super super super super super jealous that you get to see her this week! Take care of her. :) <3 I love you so much, mom!! I'll talk to you soon!
Love, Elder Livingston