Monday, January 5, 2009

Why it's called work

Dear Family,

This was a good week, but a tough one. It almost kills me to be writing this, but Bernard did not get baptized this past Saturday. We knew that he had a felony on his record, which was from several years ago but still required that he be interviewed by President Robbins. It was discovered that he is still on probation for some unpaid fines, and will not be eligible for baptism until April. I was almost as crushed by the news as Bernard, but I was determined not to let it hold me back.

President Robbins went out of his way to take Bernard to the government building in downtown Hamilton to get some paperwork so that he can find some kind of job (he's been unemployed since August), and then took him out to lunch and then back home. Bernard was going through a really hard time, his relationship with his fiance was almost finished and of course he isn't working right now. We went by to see him after President Robbins had dropped him off, and he was feeling 100 times better and that he wanted to patch things up with his fiance. He told us that his only family right now is the Church, and he will do whatever it takes to stay on track for baptism. He even told me that he's been thinking hard about moving out to Utah instead of going down to Florida. That would be cool if that happens! So he is still doing well despite the setback, and we continue to see him on a daily basis.

I've mentioned previously that Joey Riddle's baptism was scheduled for this Saturday, but he told us a couple days ago that he doesn't quite feel ready yet. He is a very quiet kid, but a great kid nonetheless. That's hard, though, because we aren't sure what his needs are and we want to find out so we can proceed with his baptism. He doesn't know the other two elders very well, so the Ruiz family (his fellowshippers, and he is dating one of their daughters) has asked me to sit down with him one-on-one and get to know him and find out what he needs help with. I have been praying for guidance and inspiration to know what I can do to best help Joey; the Ruiz's believe that he will only open up to me, so it's a pretty big test for me but I am up to it.

I am confident you already pray for me and for my investigators, but maybe pray today and tomorrow for me and for him since we're seeing him at the Ruiz home tomorrow night. It was really hard to come so close to my first couple of baptisms, only to see them fall through for the time being. I was feeling pretty low when we went to Church, but the fast and testimony meeting brought much needed strength and resolve to push forward no matter what. Our investigators are still doing very well, they are all on track to be baptized before too long, we will be reviewing the first 3 lessons with most of them this week.

You are perhaps aware that one of my favorite set of verses in the scriptures is D&C 121:7-9 when the Prophet Joseph is pleading to the Lord to deliver the Saints from their trials and persecutions, and the Lord responds with words of comfort and peace. I read through that again during sacrament meeting on Sunday and it helped me tremendously. Once again, that knowledge that so many people are praying on my behalf sets me on fire with enthusiasm for this work!

Today should be a really good P-day, we are having a big basketball game at the Church, almost all of the zone is coming down so that should be cool!

Thanks a million for your love, support, prayers, guidance, and everything else that you so willingly give me while I serve the Lord here in Hamilton. This is the last week of the transfer, so hopefully I will be able to talk with you again on Tuesday, but as always, I have no way of knowing where I will be a week from now.

I remain comforted and at peace that I will be wherever the Lord wants me to, and that makes missionary work a lot easier and a lot more rewarding. Hope you all have a fantastic week!! May God bless you everyday!!


Elder Isaac Livingston

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