Saturday, October 25, 2008

Transfer Day

Dear Family,

All I have to say is that the weekend of transfers is not very fun. This has been a very long and tiring day, and I am only now getting around to e-mailing you. Just for future information, the end of this transfer will be on December 3rd, so that should save us a lot of unnecessary confusion. First off, some news. Elder Hall was transferred today, I have no idea where. My new companion is Elder Allred from Canada. He has not been out much longer than I have, only a month or so I think. They brought him all the way from the other side of the mission, in Huntington. For that reason, I was stuck at a meetinghouse for 8 HOURS waiting for him to show up. It was truly terrible, but at least I was able to get some sleep, seeing as I have been up since 4 AM. We've been rushing around trying to get things done, so we aren't really acquainted at all yet.

As for the work, I don't remember if I told you in my letter, but we have two new investigators that we are now teaching. We have an appointment with them on Thursday. Their names are Preston and Linda Johnson, and they seem very well prepared to receive the messages of the gospel. Also, on a less-important note (but still important to me) they are VERY big Reds fans, so we talked about that for a couple of minutes last time when we met them! We have plenty of potential investigators that we are scheduled to see throughout the week, so I'm really hoping we can eventually teach and baptize all of them. Nice to hear that the weather out there has been nice, as it is getting considerably colder out here. It's kind of weird because there hasn't been any clouds lately, but it keeps getting COLDER! Well, eventually I'll be able to break in that nice, new coat.

My spiritual moment today came while I was waiting for Elder Allred to get here. Myself and the other elders that were also waiting watched 2 Church films: Special Witnesses of Christ and How Rare A Possession. Those are two of my favorites, and it really reinvigorated me because I was so tired and I was the only elder from my district still at the chapel. The testimonies of Pres. Hinckley and the other apostles, plus that of Parley P. Pratt and Vincenzo really made me feel stronger. I once again realized that my testimony is my most effective tool in bringing people to a knowledge of the truth, so I really do need to be in tune to the promptings of the Spirit. I am very hopeful that in this next month I can have the opportunity of seeing someone I taught enter the waters of baptism. I don't think anything could compare with it; except that is receiving letters from you back home.

I know that the Lord continues to love and care for you as He has for me, and that is only going to continue and get better. So until next week, I love you all and pray for you all!!


Elder Isaac Livingston

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Power of the Word

The power of the word from BIG BROTHERS... We are feeling blessed by the letters home- they strengthen each of our testimonies greatly. Cal has had a harder time than the rest of us adjusting to the absence of his best buddy. It is therefore such a blessing to read him Isaac's letters home.It helps strengthen his fragile little testimony as he hears the joy his big brother has in the work of the Lord.
Oct 13, 2008-I had my first interview with Pres. Robbins this past week, and that went really well. He's encouraging all of us to use the Book of Mormon more when we teach, so I'm glad that I started reading it once again. Amazingly, we have the potential to teach up to 10 INVESTIGATORS throughout this week....that will only happen if we remember to call all of them and set up appointments. I am hopeful that I can eventually see them all get baptized, but it will take a lot of work. The talks at general conference definitely help to strengthen my resolve and motivation to do missionary work, but I have to believe that we can experience success. In other words, success is not just going to fall into my lap, because as James 2:17-18 says, "Faith without works is dead."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The latest from Hamilton

Here's the latest news from Ohio:

Dear Fam,
I got your letter yesterday!! In fact, I got three!!! One from you, one from Adam, and one from Larry. I really enjoyed them all, especially yours! WOW, six pages!! That was a lot of fun to read. So as you can see, my p-day is on Mondays. Last time I e-mailed on a Tuesday was because of the hurricane that knocked out the power, as you know. The only other times that I will ever be writing on Tuesdays will be on transfer days, and that only happens once a month. We do our
e-mailing at the local library which is only about 10 minutes from my apartment. We usually do it first thing on Monday but we went bowling and then shopping today, so we did it last.

Oh yes, and I have some information that I'm sure will be beneficial to you and a lot of other people. I FINALLY got my new address for the apartment in Hamilton that I'm staying at. It is:
194 Westbrook Dr. Apt #15 Hamilton, OH 45013 This should make mail travel a bit faster, so it won't have to pass through the mission office first. That delays it by a day or two, so we can get information to each other quicker now.

Now for the really good stuff. We are currently preparing lessons for 6 potential investigators, with possibilities for more people throughout this week. Also, the bishop announced a Ward Mission Plan yesterday which was sustained by the congregation. Already the ward is beginning to respond, and have commmited to finding people for us to teach and coming with us when we see them. Also, we have several dinner appointments scheduled during this week. So anyway, I really do believe that this area is ready to open up, so I hope I'm around long enough to see someone I teach get baptized.

Congrats to Kenz on her new calling as ward pianist, I know she'll do great at that! And you were right Mom, my rusty piano skills have already been put to use....but not in any church meetings, thankfully. I hope that never happens, but we'll see.

I am very much looking forward to general conference this week, I think it's always at the perfect time. I am still operating on Utah time somewhat, so it's going to be weird to get out of Priesthood Session at 10 PM!!! Oh well, I'll survive. Something that I've noticed since I've been out here is that even though we plan our days out, it is a lot like the MTC in that we just go from one thing to the next. So therefore, I'm not paying any attention to the time, which means that I'm still busily engaged in the work. It's nice to come back at the end of the day knowing that our plans were carried out....well, not always in the order we would've liked, but at least I'm learning how to make adjustments. There isn't a day that doesn't start or end without prayer, and that sets the tone for everything else.

I am very happy to hear that the Lord is blessing you while I am away, because I pray specifically for that each and every day. Say hello to everyone for me, and let them know that I would love letters whenever they have the time! I love and miss all of you 24/7, but I know that everything will be all right. And before you know it, you'll see me walking down that escalator at the airport just like Uncle John did. Oh, and wish him a happy birthday for me!! I'll write you at some point this week, so until then....I LOVE YOU!!!!


Elder Isaac Livingston