Sunday, December 27, 2015

Transfer Emails Strike Again!! - Letter to Mom - 1 November, 2015

Hey, Mom!! How are you doing this wonderful week? It has been fantastic here!! :D I have had a great week, and now I get to email my wonderful family, so that is always the best. I will say that my hands are basically frozen. We just biked over to the church from our apartment (about a 10 minute bike ride) and it is raining....and it is November.....and the temperature is super if there are typos or things that don't make sense in here, let's just go ahead and blame it on the fact that my hands are really cold, okay? :D haha

So, what is new in the ling ling home? Anything fantastic or fun? Have you made more progress on redoing the kitchen? haha I haven't seen anything huge in the pictures that I have received, or heard about it, so I assume it is the same, but I know that is something that you were looking to improve. :) I also have noticed that the couch continues to get more and more rips. ;D haha so funny. Life is kind of like that, huh? We get a couple scratches and tears, but just glue it up and keep going because we know that everything is going to be okay, even if we don't look perfect on the outside! It's all about how we react to the things that come at us anyway. :) I love the way that you have always faced the trials that come your way, Mom. It has been a huge strength to me throughout my life, and the poem that Ammon wrote about trials is so so so true. It describes you extremely well. :) <3 I love you so so much!

So, this last week was one of the crazies weeks of my entire life!!  We had to go to the dentist on Monday again for Elder Loi-on to finish up his dental work, so that took up a lot of that day and just made it a really full crazy day. And then we had FHE that night, which was good.

Then Tuesday was absolutely insane. We woke up and got ready, and then headed to the church so that we could set up and finish getting ready for zone meeting. That was really good. Zone meeting went well, and our training ended up being good as well. But, after that we had some splits and things that we needed to do. So, here is how it went. We practiced a performance that we were going to do at the Halloween party as a district for about an hour, and then I went on splits with
a man named Elder Gonzales! It was a good split, but was only 3 hours, because we didn't have time for anything more than that. We then rushed back to the apartment, and then had dinner. After dinner I started splits with another elder by the name of .......... Elder Clark!!! Haha It was super fun to go on splits with Elder Clark. He is such a great elder, and we had a great time together. We went and visited N and then went knocking on houses for the remaining little bit of time that we had that night. 

The next day we had an appointment with a man by the name of Ogawa kyodai. We went and met him, and it went really well. He is a really sweet member, who was re-activated recently! So that is a good miracle. :) Then we headed out to Kawasaki (still Elder Clark and I) for their district meeting. That went well, and then we went out to dinner with their district and found out that the next day Elder Shurilla (Kawasaki District Leader) was going to Mission Leadership Council with us. So.....we took him home with us! haha It was so fun. Also, on the way home I asked a man to be baptized. It was the first time that we had met, but we had a good conversation and we had just learned about doing that on the street/train/etc. in district meeting, and I felt like I should, so I asked him to be baptized! Obviously he was a little bit shocked, but he took it pretty well. He said no, and then I said, "Well, what if you actually knew this was true?" and he said he would if he knew that! Sadly, he doesn't live in our mission so I won't get to see what happens with him right now, but I think I'll see him again someday. :) So, we get home, and we go to bed.

And we wake hour later than we were planning to! Luckily we were still on time, because we were originally going to wake up early to get to MLC early, but now we ended up 30 minutes late for the MLC breakfast. We had to eat that super fast, and then we went to MLC where I proceeded to translate for 3 hours. It was SO exhausting. I have never been so mentally drained that I literally felt like the words I was saying were repeating over and over again. It was really hard, but such a good exercise. We had lunch after that, and then Elder Loi-on and I had to get up and present our plan to get the entire mission to pass off what are called the Basic Training Requirements before Christmas. That actually went super well, and then the rest of MLC was a great spiritual feast. We rushed home after that and had to go to Eikaiwa (English Class).

Then Friday we had our district meeting in Kanagawa and Kohoku, so that was good. We got home after practicing our song a couple more times, and then had a monthly/weekly planning in about half of the time that we usually do weekly planning. Because after that we had to eat and head to the church to teach N about fasting! He absolutely loved it, and I really think that as he learns to fast and really speak to the Lord through prayer he will be able to overcome the trials that are still in front of him. Please continue to pray for him. After that we went up to the Family History Center and had to prepare the statistical report for the meeting that we have with the Stake Presidency on Wednesday. So we got that all ready, and barely made it home on time. Again, we just completely crashed that night.

Saturday came just as quickly as the rest of the days of the week had gone, so that was crazy! We woke up and went to a basketball activity where we are trying to build a relationship with some Chinese people so that we can introduce the gospel to them. We then went to sushi for lunch, and then headed to a seven eleven (they have free wi-fi) and picked up our transfer emails. And I am.......staying!!! Elder Loi-on is actually heading to Kamakura, which was a little bit of a shock. I thought that we would have one more. My new companion is Elder Cook. If you remember WAY back to the MTC he was in my district! I am super excited to work with him. He is a genius! He got a 35 on the ACT, straight 5's on all of his AP Tests, and is going to Harvard. :) Needless to say, he knows how to work hard, and how to work smart. I happen to also know that he is a spiritual giant, and that he sees tons of miracles. So it is going to be such a blessing to work with him. We get along really well too. :) After those emails we had to go to the church to get everything ready for the Halloween party, and then we actually had the party! It turned out really good, and I am pleased with the Spirit that was there. We then went to tell N that Elder Loi-on was going to Kamakura. He was sad, but thrilled that it isn't too far away. We had a nice little lesson with him, and then went home for dinner. Things slowed down a little bit in the night, and we were able to go and visit a less active by the name of H. He is a nice man, who just recently has stopped coming to church and is struggling a little bit. Please pray for him.

Sunday was fairly normal, except we had a meal at the Ito Family's house. Interestingly enough, they are our neighbors! More than neighbors, really. They built their house with an attachment on the side specifically for the missionaries. So we live in the same house as them. :) haha They are such a nice family, and we had really good food. As a side note, have Ammon look up how to make Karage (it is essentially a chicken nugget for grown ups.....haha fried chicken, but SUPER good!! This is one Japanese food I love so much). We had a good time there, and then came home to have a conference call with the other leaders in the stake, talking about the concerns and things we want to improve in the zones. So that was good. :)

And that brings you up to date!! :D Crazy week, huh? The time really does go insanely fast on a mission. I can not believe that I am already as old of a missionary as I am. I really don't have that long left, and it is super sad. Granted, I am super excited to see all of you too. :) Mom, I want you to know how much I love you. I want you to know how much I love the Lord. I love Him so so much, and I am so grateful for the opportunities that He has blessed me and our family with. One of those being Lyme Disease. :) I am grateful for that sickness, in a strange way. I would not be as close to my siblings, to
you or Dad, and particularly to the Lord if it was not for that sickness. So, in retrospect, that is one of the great blessings I have ever received. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for being such an incredible person, mom. I love you so so so much!! :) <3 <3 Have a fantastic week, okay?? :) I can't wait to hear from you! :) <3 I love you!

Love, Elder Livingston

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