Saturday, January 2, 2016

Pictures this week - 01 January, 2016

Elder Jesperson and Elder Livingston on splits in Kichijoji

Elder Richardson tickling Elder Peterson in the office

First sunrise of the year in Inokashira Koen with President Wada (splits with Elder Cook)

Kento - Suit of Marjora's Mask

The Promised Land - Letter to Dad - 01 January, 2016

Dear Dad,

I want to share with you what President Wada shared with us. It is all about the promised land.

If you read in the first book of Nephi we can learn a lot about the promised land. But first, we have to understand what a promised land is. A promised land is a land that has been promised by the Lord to his faithful followers because of their promises. Because of their promises. Think about that. So what promises did Nephi and his family make to the Lord? If you read the first few books of Nephi with that in mind, think about how much you will learn about covenants. But, let's keep going.

I want you to think about your promised land. Just take a minute and map it out in your mind. Get all of the details squared out. Now think about what the Lord has planned for you. I would throw in here (this is my own thing) read the end of Ether chapter 1. The Lord promises that His land promised to us is better than what we have in mind. Cool, huh? Anyway, what can you do to reach the promised land? What did Nephi and his family do?

They had to leave the world behind and follow the path that the Lord had outlined for them. That is the key. If we want to reach the promised land that the Lord has for us we need to let go of the world and really follow Him. This includes making promises with Him. That is why it is so important for us to be baptized. That is why it is important for us to go to the temple. That is why it is important for us to be sealed in the temple. These promises are the things that bind us to the blessings of the Lord.

We learned a lot about that. That was the main thing he talked about. I would ask each of you to read the beginning of the Book of Mormon again and think about your promised land. And think about the promises that we need to make with the Lord.

I love the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Book of Mormon is divine revelation from God. It is the word of God. I urge you to use it more every single day. It is the guidebook to life. If you have a problem, no matter what the problem might be, you need to turn to the Book of Mormon. I promise it will help.

I love you, Dad! I hope that during this new year you will be able to feel the influence of the Lord stronger every day. Make sure that you take time for Him, and He will make sure that you are taken care of. I pray for you, and I support you in all that you do.


Elder Livingston

Conferences - Letter to Mom - 01 January, 2016

Dear Mom,

How are you doing this week? How was the week after Christmas and the New Year?? Happy New Year!!! :D Have you done anything fun today or yesterday? I would love to hear all about it! The New Year is
definitely the bigger holiday here. They love to celebrate it! Haha it is really nice for missionary work. It is really fun to just talk to people about their different new year's resolutions and what they want for the rest of their lives. It is a really easy way to introduce how God is always there to help us and will lift us up. It is also an incredibly easy way to talk about the Book of Mormon, but I will probably talk about that more in my email to Dad. :)

This week has been SOOO busy! I am pretty sure that Wednesday and Thursday both had at least 48 hours in them haha. :) It was pretty crazy. We had our mission Christmas conferences on those two days, and
we were in charge of everything! So it was pretty crazy. We had to make sure that all of the assignments were made, that everything was set up, and then conduct the meeting and help with the flow throughout the entire meeting. It was pretty stressful, looking back on it. It was a good stress, though, just helping Elder Richardson and I push even harder and work harder to be better missionaries. It was so much fun. I will give you a run down of how the day went:

We woke up early to set up and make sure that all of the preparations were done. Then we had to herd everyone into the chapel and make sure that they were seated reverently studying. After the meeting started
we had some spiritual messages from various speakers (people in the mission presidency and stake presidencies and the Area Medical Advisor). It was so good. We then had a short break and then did some Christmas song singing together, in your language of choice! Haha It was definitely a cacophony of languages just ringing with Christmas Spirit. :) Then President Wada taught us all about the promised land and the Book of Mormon. He is SO good at reading the Book of Mormon, it is insane. I have definitely built such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon because of the principles he has taught us to apply. I am so grateful for his example.

After that we went and we had lunch! It was this fantastic lunch that Sister Wada had a group of people help make. It was basically Cafe Rio style burritos and things to go along with that. So good. After that we had Santa come and direct a white elephant gift exchange. Then we had people open some stockings so that everybody could see what we got from President and Sister Wada. They got us these INCREDIBLE pins for our suits (or necklaces for the girls) that had the mission logo on it. :) It was so cool. :) I will have to send pictures soon. :) Then we had everybody help clean up and head back into the chapel for a mission slideshow (not the one that was sent to you, but a different one) and then everybody sang the mission song that an Elder Wrote a year or two ago, and then we had a testimony meeting that always went about an hour longer than scheduled (President was anticipating that, I think. :) haha)

And that was the schedule! After that we had to clean up and things like that, so it was really really busy. But it turned out so good, and Elder Richardson and I feel like we really did our part well. The Lord definitely helped everything fall into place! :D

The other biggest highlight of the week (in my opinion) was that we got to meet R!! Do you remember him?? :D He is one of the investigators that I had last time I was in Kichijoji. He is one of my best friends in Japan. I love him so much. He is completely fluent in English, but we use Japanese sometimes too. After Elder Driscoll and I left he kind of disappeared off of the face of the planet. So, now he is back! We are trying to get him going again on the path to Baptism, so that is going to be really good. :) We made a lot of new year goals with him based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ principles, and set up the expectation that we will be in contact with him daily. He is one of my best friends. Please pray that he will continue to meet with us!

This has been a good week, and my testimony has definitely been strengthened. It has blown my mind to think about this next year and everything that is going to be happening. This is a big year for me. Basically all of the biggest things that will happen in my life happen this year. Haha It is going to be an adventure. I look forward to having the Lord's help in all that happens. I love you so much, Mom. I miss you, but I am excited to see you later THIS year! ;D haha Keep working hard and taking care of the family for me, okay?? I love you!!


Elder Livingston