Monday, December 7, 2009

My Heart is Full & Rejoicing

Flashback to 2003
Dear Mom,
My heart is full and rejoicing! A spiritual weekend was capped off by the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, which was once again powerful and went right to the center! It doesn't seem to matter what the setting is: The Lord's anointed never fail to get their message acrossed, due in large part to their ability to teach by the Spirit. Teaching by that power has resulted in Joey Couch being able to get baptized on Saturday. A few inches of snow made the day particularly symbolic, but it didn't prevent some members from coming and showing their support. It was, as I think I mentioned before, the first time I have ever baptized someone. I was both excited and nervous, but everything went perfectly! I will get the memory card sent as soon as I can, since you haven't had new photos in a few months. Anyway, back to the baptism. Afterwards, Joey shared a great testimony, talking about how a friend of his whom he knew in college contacted him out of the blue, and from their conversations he learned that she had recently joined the Church in Oakland, CA. This occurred, he said, while he was praying about the truthfulness of this Church, and that this experience just furthered his assurance that it was what the Lord wanted him to do. A very similar thing has happened with Dustin Cornett, who, although he can't be baptized until July, has nonetheless also been heavily influenced by a member of the Church, which he says has only strengthened HIS testimony of the gospel. He's what you could call a "dry Mormon," basically a member without baptism! Dustin also was able to hear Pres. Monson speak for the first time last night, which was really looking forward to and really enjoyed the devotional overall. Joey and Dustin will be tremendous assets both to the Hazard Branch and to the Church in general. In fact, Dustin especially likes to get on internet forums and set the record straight about the Church, since there is a lot of misunderstanding and just plain nonsense out there. It's pretty crazy to hear him talk about it with us, but he has no fear telling people the truth. They are both outstanding young men who have helped me appreciate my own membership in this Church even more! I liked the idea you mentioned about sharing something with some people I've met out in the field. I will come up with a short list and send it to you with the memory card. In fact, I'll try to get that done today if I can. As for Bernard Taylor back in Hamilton, the last thing I heard was that he had gone back to Georgia where he's from. I'm REALLY hoping he got in contact with the Church and was able to get baptized. He was SO incredibly solid! I left Hamilton soon after his baptism was postponed, but I found out that he came to Church every week until he moved back to Georgia. I would love to get in contact with him somehow, but as you said, that is beyond my power. It's great to hear that everyone is doing well and is happy. I couldn't ask for anything else! Well, it's hard to believe that we're on the last week of the transfer, but we are certain the Lord will give us more success as we keep doing what we're supposed to. Look forward to hearing from you again next Tuesday, no matter where I might be. I kinda hope I stay around here for at least another transfer....but, we'll leave that up to Him. Love you all, have a great week!
Elder Isaac Livingston

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