Monday, November 30, 2009

1st BAPTISM, Sports & The Gospel

Dear Family,
Wow! What a list of things to be grateful for! I really liked the BYU one as well! I may be cut off from technology, but I knew full well when the big rivalry game was. However, it didn't distract from the work, which is going tremendously! THERE IS MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR!! We enjoyed a great Thanksgiving at the Lee's, a family in Paintsville that joined the Church last year. I met them in Wilmington, and they've wanted me down in Kentucky ever since then. We played basketball all afternoon with their son Levi and a few of his non-member friends. It was totally awesome! It felt good to get back out on the court, considering our meetinghouse doesn't have a cultural hall. There's another thing to be thankful for: A weight room to exercise in every morning, otherwise I'd be a bowling ball! Anyway, the Lee's fed us a great dinner (turkey by the way), and on Saturday the Flinchum's had us over for THEIR Thanksgiving dinner and we stuffed ourselves again! As I put that holiday behind me and prepare for Christmas, I plan on making the most of it, especially since it's my last one in the field. I enjoyed the card you sent as well as the pictures. It's incredible to see how much EVERYONE has grown since I've been away! What a crazy week this was, with another one about to begin! We taught 18 lessons this week, which is incredible considering we had only 5 going into Friday! All I can say is that God is all about miracles. This will be an especially promising week because Joey Couch is getting baptized this coming Saturday....and by me! He asked that I would do it, for which I feel honored and somewhat nervous at the same time. I've never baptized anyone before, but I guess the only tricks are to say all the words right and get them all the way under the first time. That notwithstanding, it's great to see people you teach take that big step and join the Church! Another thing I'm thankful for is all the counsel and advice you've given me over the years that is paying off today. It has been a great aid to me throughout my mission, combined with Preach My Gospel and the scriptures. It makes me think of an interesting analogy. As you know, I love sports, and because I love sports I absolutely HATE to lose. Just hate it. However, as I look at the reasons I lost those games, I discovered something that was infinitely worse than losing itself...and that is that my team COULD'VE won but we made stupid mistakes, we didn't try our best, or we weren't PREPARED. Life, including missionary work, has a lot of parallels with sports.... well at least for me anyway. You aren't going to succeed 100% of the time, because you'd never learn and therefore never progress. I like this phrase: "We aren't called to be successful in all things, but to be faithful in all things." In other words, what do you have to lose when you try your best? Nothing! Yeah, we didn't quite reach 20 lessons this week, but we sure tried hard. At the same time, there may have been a few opportunities to have additional lessons that the Spirit may have prompted us on but that we chose to ignore, and that's no fun to have that feeling. I hope your following along with this, I can get really scatter-brained sometimes. :) Being involved in sports virtually all my life has taught me some timeless principles that have carried over into the mission field, and as a result, I am better able to cope with challenges that come up. Another blessing in disguise was being low on miles for basically the last 2 weeks. Evidently this was the Lord telling us we needed to be on our feet a lot more, and because we listened to His counsel we had 45 contacts this week that resulted in 4 new investigators! We've given out quite a few "Joy to the World" cards and will continue to do so! How can you "Talk With Everyone" when you're driving past them all?! I haven't figured out a way to do that yet. We've determined that whenever we will be staying in the Hazard area, in order to save miles and talk to everyone, we'll work on foot. This ought to bring about even more success, and should cause us to pay less and less attention to the fact that our feet might be sore. I'm thankful to be serving a mission, it's something that has been nothing short of rewarding....and yes, I'm talking about hard times as well as good. More to come this week as we look to bring souls unto Christ! Have a great week!

Elder Isaac Livingston

1 comment:


Growing up right before our email eyes! Great young man you guys raised. As he mentions towns out there I can't help to reflect on my own time spent among those wonderful people!