Hey Mom!! :) How are you doing??
So, you are having a missionary work week, huh? That is so so awesome!! :) <3 What all are you doing for it? :) I am so glad that you are doing this!!
Dear Youth of the Pacific Drive 2nd Ward,
The very first thing that I want you to know is that you have the best leaders in the whole entire world. No, that is not because my mom is the young woman's president....okay maybe that is part of it. ;) But Bishop Miller and Brother Herzog are absolutely incredible as well. I want you to know that they are called of God. The callings in the church are incredible important, and it is actually about callings that I want to talk about.
"We believe that a man must be called of God," and that because they are called of God, they are qualified to complete the work that they are called to. You are indeed a called generation. While you may not realize it in full right now you will someday. You are called to be the greatest generation that this world has ever known. And that very much includes missionary work. There are so many of God's children that have absolutely no idea about the plan of salvation. And we have the duty and privilege to teach them.
Missionary work on the surface is intimidating and kind of hard haha :) You basically just go and talk to people. That takes courage. You have to have the strength to be rejected. But the joy that comes from it is incomparable. Put you whole heart into missionary work, and you will get more than you could imagine. Put the Lord to the test. I have seen powerful missionaries teach time and time again. Do you really think that without the Lord's help 18 year olds could teach 80 year olds how to live life? No. There is absolutely no way. That doesn't even make sense. But through your personal worthiness and effort, you will be given strength to confound the wisdom of the world. Don't forget that. You have to study hard.
If I could suggest some ways to prepare for your mission, I would love to do that using a small analogy to the fight we are waging with satan.
1. Learn to love and study the scriptures now. If you go into battle without your sword, you are going to die. But the word of God is "sharper than a two-edged sword." (D&C 6:2) It will be your biggest strength in convincing others of the truth.
2. Learn how to pray. Really pray. If you don't consult with the general beforehand, you will die in the battle ahead. However, learning to speak with our Lord as a friend is the most powerful tool for direction in this life. Pray more frequently than you think you need to, and really talk to him "as a man speaketh to his friend." (Exodus 33:11)
3. Learn to love church. Learn to receive revelation there. Learn to keep the Sabbath day holy by doing only things that show the Lord that you love him. You wouldn't fight all day every day in a war. You have to have a day of rest in order to be prepared for the fights that are coming. Remember, the Lord loves you. He made all things for your good. And remember, the Sabbath is a delight (Reference Elder Nelson's talk from the most recent conference).
Those three things will do more for you in your life than just about anything else. Follow everything that the Lord asks you to do exactly. I love you and I am so grateful for your examples. Please send me emails of how the missionary week goes!
Be bold. Be brave. Remember you are a child of God. I know this church is true, and I bear my special witness as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Love, Elder Livingston
Hopefully that is what you wanted!! I love you so much, Mom!! In quick response to your questions, the ramen here is WAY WAY better tasting!!! There is absolutely no comparison. But, it is definitely a lot more unhealthy. haha :) It is pretty intense how they make it and what all goes into it. It is so good though. :) The food here is just about all better than anything I have eaten in America that wasn't homemade. And some of it ranks up there with a good Livingston Salad! ;D haha I love you so much, Mom. You are the bomb. You really are. :) Also, someday you and Sister Wada need to be best friends. You should add her on Facebook. :) haha I'll say more about me and my week in my email to dad!! :) I love you!!
Love, Elder Livingston