Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Working hard in...

Dear Family,
First order of business: I'm still in Hazard!

Second order of business: You can start e-mailing me next week at this new address-

Third order of business: Well, the usual weekly report! Well, I'm glad to still be in Hazard! And despite all the success we had last transfer, we plan to aim higher during the next 6 weeks. One of our primary focuses will be on finding more investigators, something that was a little bit difficult last transfer. Teaching, however, was not: 142 lessons in all! WOW!! We plan to accomplish our goals in 3 areas: Book of Mormon Class, Black Gold Referrals, and Working with Stake and Ward Leaders (Preach My Gospel, ch. 13). We've identified specific actions for each goal and plan on seeing them carried out successfully.

I feel this area can do even better than last year, when the branch was blessed with 7 convert baptisms. I can see at least 4 people we're teaching that should definitely get baptized: Dustin Cornett, Emily Cornett, and Wilma and Jessica Bowman. We have great recent converts as well, and we were able to take Joey Couch to a couple appointments last week! He's totally up to going with us every week as long as we give him enough of a heads-up, so we plan on taking full advantage of THAT blessing! He has most of his braille materials, and my goodness there is a lot of them! His Preach My Gospel alone is 3 volumes!

This coming Sunday, we are teaching the combined lesson about none other than a Family Mission Plan. Good thing we have that form President Robbins gave us which tells us what an FMP is and how to develop one! It also helps that this was something I did a lot of with the ward members while I was a ward missionary, and you know how passionate I am about member-missionary work! So, it sounds like you all have been very busy lately, but at the same time things seem to be going well for everyone. That's good that Kenz could be headed back to Quiznos for work, good ol' Larry and Denise. Well, this should be another great transfer! The Lord has really blessed us so far, and I know He will continue to do so if we trust Him and follow Him! Have a great week!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year from Hazard

I was excited to hear about Caleb's baptism, and it sounded like there was a good turnout from family! I'm guessing he and Ellie got the letters I sent to them last week. I have to start this letter with a rather funny moment that happened just this morning. We headed to the library to e-mail, but when we got there the parking lot was completely empty. A sign out front answered my confusion: LIBRARY CLOSED DUE TO LACK OF HEAT. I must confess that I have never heard of a place being closed for that reason, but then again, I'm in Kentucky. And down here, they panic at the smallest amount of snow! So instead, we're sitting at the technical college using their computers.

Anyway, another week filled with plenty of teaching---24 lessons. That was the good news. The bad was that none of our investigators made it to Church yesterday. Our two most promising ones, Emily Cornett and Dustin Cornett (no relation yet that we know of) fully intended on being there, but couldn't make it out of their driveways due to ice and snow. Emily was scheduled to be baptized this coming Saturday, but she just started nursing school which has thrown her schedule into disarray. She fully intends to be baptized, but said it would have to wait until at least the end of this month, possibly the beginning of February. The Lord knows best! Our last lesson with her ended on a spiritual high, as she worked up the courage to say her first vocal prayer in a long time. It was very simple, and she immediately started crying afterwards because the Spirit once again bore witness. She said she never doubted that this was the true Church!  Dustin is a never-ending learner, and he now has his own quad to further enhance that! We had "The Encyclopedia of Mormonism" in the Church library and loaned it to him to read through. You should've seen the look on his face when we handed him all 4 volumes! Priceless! As for the rest of our investigators and not coming to Church, I'm not sure what happened. It's real disappointing when you teach and commit them to act, and then they do nothing. Oh well, agency is a great gift and it needs to be honored.

On a better note, I'm going right ahead with my goal to improve the work with the branch leaders, and we have 4 consecutive days scheduled this week for members to go with us to appointments! Thanks to the Lord, we have several recent converts AND investigators that we are able to teach pretty frequently. The Lord has also given us a couple of promising new investigators, one of which was previously taught by missionaries in Louisiana. She approached us the other day while we were heading to an appointment, and asked us to start teaching her and her Spanish-speaking husband. Good thing Elder Rush took Spanish in high school! I believe this experience was the Lord's answer to our constant prayers of having the elect led to us. In fact, we specifically fasted for those specific things to take place, and lo and behold the Lord plopped one right in our lap! As long as we're out among the people, He can continue to do things like that! It was also cool to hear about another person I taught in Wilmington getting baptized, Randy Wisecup. It's always exciting to find out things like that, and all the credit goes to Heavenly Father of course! Well, another busy week awaits! I love you all and am deepy grateful for the strength and depth of your testimonies. It has definitely strengthened my own! Have a great week!                    


Elder Isaac Livingston