Monday, June 22, 2009

June 22, 2009

Hello my loved ones,

SWINE FLU!!! Pysch! Got you all worried didn´t I? Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system because down here it is very taboo to talk about ¨the disease that will take over the world¨ or so the chileans think.. To explain myself let it be known that 3-4 chileans have died because of the swine flu and for that almost every chilean has this undescribable fear of the illness. Its quite silly actually, I don´t know why everyone is so concerned about it. Less people have died from this than the amount of people who die from drunk driving in 10 minutes or so. Whats the hang up people? Oh well, you all already know that and know that it´s silly, or do you?

This week has been pretty good, well not really, it was pretty bad from the works stand point. Tuesday we had our devotional with Elder Dickson, newsflash, the man has one arm! Regardless he gave us a very deep devotional about how the roots need to grow faster than the branches, something i´ve heard before from Dad but it´s always good to hear quality doctrine again. The part that really was good during the devotional was delivered by Lawrence Corbridge, that man is a spiritual GIANT!!! He is one of the 70´s that lives in my previous sector and he gave us a quality rundown of a discourse(is that what a paper is called?) that we now are going to use as a lesson with the less active members of our wards. It´s a really huge problem down here in Chile. To the point that yesterday we had 6 elders in elders quorum 2 whom have the ¨name badge¨(AKA me and elder Inzunza) and when they passed around the list to mark off if you are ¨present¨ in elders quorum it was 4 stinking pages long... OH MY GOODNESS!!! Yeah so that kinda got me really down about the whole activity rate here in Chile, returning to where i got off on this crazy tangent, we now have a document called ¨perseverad¨ or persevere the which we will be using to drive the point home to the less actives that we all have hope and it comes through the atonement of Jesus Christ and there is no other way. ¨Any other way is foolish¨ as E. Corbridge put it (see his talk in the November 2008 edition of the Ensign) so that was a good charge on the spiritual battery. The next thing of importance that happened this week is that on Thursday I woke up sick, which was no fun but we worked anyhow, Friday we had our last zone conference with Pres which was even less fun because he´s the man. The part that I really took away from his words was how we know if we truly love someone. It was really powerful because he explained to us that love is wanting to be together with someone for the eternities. Obvious that part is my young ones, but the other part was what made me think, If we want to be together with them for the eternities how do we accomplish that? Taking the sacrament weekly, going to the temple, etc... what does all that mean? KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS.. every single one of them. It was a huge lightbulb moment because I remembered all the times when mom and dad had nagged me to do this or to do that or had made me promise to stop dating someone who shall go un-named and I remembered that in those moments i didn´t feel like they were trying to help me. I felt like they were just nagging me to nag me or what not but I came to the realization that they really were exhorting me to keep the commandments out of Love, pure, pure love and nothing else. This lead me to think that really if I love someone, my comp, my buddies, my family of course, anyone who I think I love I need to help them to keep the commandments so that I can be with them forever. This is ¨family business¨ as Señor West put it. This is forever and not just a game, I need to take it more seriously, that being said i want to extend the invitation (haha i´m a good missionary and not gonna let you off the hook without a commitment) to really love your loved ones and help them in anyway you can to keep the commandments, start out small, not killing for instance. Should be easy for the rest of you, me however... PSYCH again! But seriously, every moment we have here in this earth is to do the Father´s will, do what Christ would do if He was in our shoes. In that we will find the happiness that lasts. The happiness that has no end. This past week i can´t tell you how excited i was when i opened a letter from Jayson and see Kobe with the trophy, i was stoked! But ask me how long it lasted... a day? Maybe two? Lies.. it lasted longer than that, in fact i´m still happy about it but i know that someday, in a couple of years, maybe 80 í´ll forget that they won the championship. But i can tell you that the atonement has no end, there is no end to Celestial Glory.

Alrighty i´m outta time i´ve seen many blessings this week, for instance i was way sick the whole week and Saturday night i even hit a fever of 101.2 at which time i almost thought i had that swine flu but with blessings, prayers on your part and mine and a little bit of faith i´ve been able to see miracles. I love the mission, i´m bummed i haven´t baptized in a while, this next week promises to have some for the which i´m happy but i´m even more happy that the family is doing good, that everyone is going to have a ball of a time these upcoming weeks together. I expect some killer pics, maybe some sent through the mail too? That would be cool, also if anyone feels the need to send me some reeses i wouldnt complain about that either. Recipes i´m hungry for some homeade food but i gotta cook it so send some easy recipes my way cuz i´m a little bit on the lamer side of the cooking business, meaning i can´t do much, ask Jayson, he remembers ¨what drew can cook¨... alright gotta run, i love you all. Keep in touch and STAY CELESTIAL!!!
Elder Livingstone
p.s. kirk or ty or kev or amy do you understand what that sign said in the pictures that i sent last week? i thought not, thats cuz chilean spanish is RIDICULOUS!!! it says -- drunk, you don´t save anyone!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 15, 2009

My dearest family!

How are the things going for all of the Livingstone clan and the amazing brothers and sisters in law that I have? I hope that all is well with everyone and that every brother and brother-in-law that I have has a very very special fathers day this upcoming week! you all are amazing! Especially i hope that dad has a very special fathers day, i know he´ll be working hard so he probably won´t even get to enjoy it that much but i have no doubt that he will be well taken care of in just a few weeks here...

Primarily i want to thank all of you for all of your emails and support. Í´m so excited every week to go to the internet and read about all of your lives. You might think that they are boring and not worth writing down but i promise you your stories are great, they are quality, funny, heart warming things to read, so keep ´em comin´!

This week was a pretty good one for the work here in ¨Vic Mac¨. My area is boomin with lessons, i love having lessons to go to all day. Sometimes we get a little down because there is not a lot of time to knock but i can´t complain about having tons of lessons to teach! It´s what this work is all about! So i guess i should tell ya a little bit about who i´m teaching then... The best family that we have right now is the Pereira family, he is a member, their oldest daughter too but the wife and the two youngest children are not. Gabriela is the name of the mother and Francisco is the name of the son who is an age of eligability to be baptized. They were going to be baptized this week, unfortunately he got chicken pox this week and was therefore not able to get into the water and the mom wanted to wait and do it together with him. So unfortunately their baptizm will have to wait until next Sunday (2 weeks from now) because their father is going out of town this week meaning he won´t be there to baptize them... One problem we´ve experienced with them is that he is iliterate and it is really hard for him to understand. It has forced us to really liquify our teachings and make them really simple which is way good for us but at the same time, really hard. I never thought i would say that it is hard to simplify spanish, me being a spanish wiz ya know, anyways its really helped me a lot because simple powerful teaching is the best, teach simple and powerfully with the spirit so they can´t deny it is my new motto!

We also have some other investigators, one named Andrea who is a difficult situation because she has a boyfriend who she wants to baptize her but he doesn´t have the melquisedek (spell check anyone?) priesthood and he doesn´t like the missionaries either. I guess he talks behind all the missionaries backs (us and the missionaries in his own ward too) that we don´t teach with the spirit and that we are bad people, i think we´ve come to the conclusion that he is the one who doesn´t have the spirit as he doesn´t attend church regulary and there is a long list of other things that aren´t exactly lining up.. this is not to say he can´t repent, lets remember who is talking here, but it just stinks being on the other side of the fence, knowing what is going through their heads and i know that they think they´re right, i was there for heaven´s sakes! Regardless that is something we are trying to overcome, unfortunately we haven´t come up with any ways other than to just tell her straight to her face that her boyfriend is wrong and she is waiting in vain...

We have other investigators but mainly we are working alot with less actives right now, its so hard to see people like this, former bishops, former elders quorum presidents that want almost nothing to do with the church. In one case their is a former bishop who is mad at the church and/or God because his mother died.. it is such a bummer to see priesthood holders who have gotten mad at the world over something that at one point they probably gave counsel to someone about. I´ve heard of some elders who tracted a former mission president who is now inactive. I don´t think thats possible but i can promise you if i were to ever find someone like that i would smack them. Why is it that we are so blinded by our own personal pursuits at times in our lives? why is it that we do foolish things like that sometimes. Agh... stepping off the soapbox...

Other than lazy less actives things are really good here. It rained pretty hard yesterday which was good, it has started to get a little cold lately which is no fun. Its a humid cold here which is the worst! I´ll wear a couple of layers of coats etc.. and its still cold! Bah humbug! Haha beyond that life is great, elder Inzunza is the man, unfortunately he gets a little trunky sometimes, most days i mean, but other than that were doin really good, its always in the morning when were studying that he/I get trunky which puts a damper on the day but fortunately 1130 rolls around and we go out to work and i forget all about you suckers at home! Haha just kidding, i don´t forget about you all but i do love to get out and do the work! There is nothing like some good old missionary work to fill the hearts holes!

Well i was really excited because Elder Oaks is in town and word on the street was that he was going to talk to us. We were going to hear from him tomorrow morning but turns out he´s gonna be busy ¨laying down the law¨ elsewhere so instead we´ll hear from a 70 Elder Dickson, i believe is his name so im lookin forward to that! I´ll take copious notes and send them next week! alright, runnin out a time, love you all, take care and keep the faith!

Love elder Livingstone

June 8, 2009


Hello, how goes life? Things are just splendid here in Chile. Turns out being senior comp is not all that fun because its a ton of responsibility but what can ya do? It´s the calling that I have for this change so i´ll just do the best I can and move along next change.

The really awesome part is that my companion is amazing. Elder Inzunza is a great great great missionary. I really respect him a lot for a whole gaggle of reasons. First of all he is the first member of his family, and the only current member. Reason number two being he has a girlfriend of 6 years that he left to come and serve and she has a child that is 8 years old, the both he has converted... Reason number three is that he is 25 years old. This guy is amazing! he´s got such a strong testimony and really is here for the right reason. Oh and I almost forgot, he is a cancer survivor... ha, oops almost forgot that small little detail, really i´m just floored with how amazing of a missionary he is, he is kickin my lazy butt around and we´re doing some great work here, I love him, I can already tell that he´s gonna be a life long friend, it just stinks that he is from here and will never live up in the States so i can see him that often... thats a good little summary of my comp, I believe i sent a pic of me and him last week so that´ll have to do for now.

This last week was a great week, we have lessons coming out of our ears, which i love. because it really helps me to learn spanish and i´m finding that having a latin comp also helps that but the teaching lessons part i really love. unfortunately we didn´t have anyone ready to be baptized this week but we´re gonna work dang hard this week for the investigators that we have to help them prepare. two of them are from a part member family, the mother and the son, the father recently has been reactivating himself due to his own ¨come to Jesus moment¨ as Jay likes to call it, regardless we have a baptizmal date set for them for this sunday but we´re still waiting to see if the father will be ready to do the baptizm. we suggested it to him last week and he is talking with the bishop tomorrow to propose the idea so please if you can, offer a special prayer for Hermano Pereira and his family. They are great people, he is a painter, he has some beautfil paintings but its more of a hobby for him than professional business so he doesn´t take it too serisously but they still come out beautiful!

The experience of the week this week has to be what happened on saturday. alright to give you a little background I have to let you know that i have dejavu every once in a while, like every 2 months or so. what it comes from is my dreams, what happens is every once in a while i´ll have a dream during the night and it will be very very real, it will be so real that i´ll feel like i´ve already lived that moment in my life and it is just a memory, then i´ll wake up and realize that hasn´t ever happened in my life. the cool part is that i´m just foolin myself because that thing will come to pass sometime in the next couple months. alright, now that the table is set and you understand a little more, last month i had one of these dreams where i saw this wierd looking white guy that was speaking spanish to me and we were sitting down on a couch and he was showing me some colorful map that i didn´t understand. THE EXACT SAME THING HAPPENED ON SATURDAY!! turns out this wierd looking guy is our ward mission leader and that he was showing me some outdated map of the stakes here in santiago. It was cool though because i remember seeing all sorts of stuff in the foreground during my dream like these stuffed animals and a BUNCH of illegally obtained movies.. anyhow i´ve come to the conclusion that dejavu is to warn me of something that is coming in the future because later that day, after we had spent some time at his house we left and went to another sector in the mission for a planned zone activity, and the time worked out exactly perfectly that when we were in the other sector we experienced one of the coolest/scary things i´ve seen in my life. my comp and i were walking down the street in the broad daylight when a man passed us on his motorcycle, he was going pretty fast but all of the sudden we heard the screech of his tires and looked ahead not 20 feet to see two men in the middle of the road with a 9mm pointed at the man on the motorcycle! it was pretty dang crazy. what happened was they yelled at him and told him to get off his bike which he didn´t like. in response to his displeasure in giving up his bike the man with the 9mm decided to pistol whip him in the forhead (pistol whip meaning he held the pistol in his hand and then hit him in the head with the butt of the pistol) which caused the man to start bleeding and comply with what the asailants wanted. the unarmed man took the bike and the one with the pistol started waving it around telling all of us that we didn´t see anything. elder Inzunza and i had already taken the next street and were on our way to the other side of the sector. it was a pretty crazy experience that i won´t be forgetting anytime soon. a lot of prayers of thanks have been offered since then! the crazy part is that within 10 minutes we were back knocking doors again, which lead me to think the following, ¨you know you are a missionary when you´re life is threatened and within 10 minutes life is back to normal.¨

haha well i gotta get outta here before i am struck down for going over my time limit, i love you all like crazy and hope that life is treating you well. enjoy the summer because it is starting to get pretty darn cold here!

Elder Livingstone

June 1, 2009

Hello loveys,

It would appear as if yours truly is now located in a new location with a new companion. The awesome part is that I now find myself with a latin companion. Elder Inzunza is from Concepcion Chile. That is just down the road from here about 3 hours or so by airplane. I´m really excited to work with him because he is going to really teach me to speak spanish! woot woot! the hard part is that i´m in a new sector (thankfully its a little bit smaller) but also the hard part is i´m going to have to shoulder a lot of the responsibility now. Partly because i´m now the senor comp and partly because he has only a small amount of time in the mission. meaning this is his second change. i´m not ready for this at all. i´m actually really overwhelmed right now becuase this is the first time that i´m really going to have to be on the ball, always and lead the lessons. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME. I don´t know why i´ve been placed with this responsibility because i´m not ready for it but I will do what i´ve been called to do to the best of my ability. excuse me if this email seems a little scatter brained, its because i´m feelin a little stressed right now but i´ll do my best to explain some of the past week so you know what has gone on in my life.

This last week was pretty good, we had a number of lessons with members and we actually found a couple new investigators through members. I can´t stress enough the importance of the members in the work(thats you guys!) It is imperative! without the members we have nothing because they help us in every facet of the work, especially finding investigators! one thing that i hope each of you tries to do this week is talk to a friend about one principle of the gospel, it seems difficult but honestly when you think about how happy we are because we have this gospel, it is natural to want to share it with a friend so they can have that joy too. anyways long story short we found some awesome brazilian investigators due to one of the members in our ward and i´m pretty sure that elder Jennings and his new comp are going to teach them this week, tonight even! well it might be hard for him seeing as how they are the new AP´s but i´m sure they´ll get over there sometime soon.

it was a tough last week with elder Jennings because he´s such a good elder and i knew that since we got along so well we weren´t going to be together again, i don´t know why that is the way that it is, i´ve just heard that from various different sources.anyhow we tried to make the best of our time and teach our investigators, tried to keep working hard because we know that is where true happiness lies, helping the others to come unto Christ.

shoot, i haven´t written anything but my time is already up and i gotta get to work. i love you all and pray for you like crazy. keep smiles on your faces, mom and dad will be home soon enough ;)

love loves
elder livingstone

May 25, 2009

Greetings loved ones!

How is life in the good ole United States of FREEDOM!! Life down here in Chile is really good, I could not even dream of complaining!

This last week we had an awesome experience, stake conference. It was really amazing because we had presiding at the conference Elder Carlos Amado of the Seventy (nothing new, he presides at sacrament meeting every week, we also have Elder Lawrence Corbridge of the Seventy in our ward too, look up his talk from two or three conferences ago, its killer.) Anyways the treat was that President Morán asked us to be at every meeting of the conference to help our ward leaders out and we also were there to help present a ¨ward council¨ according to a talk that Elder Tom Perry wrote to all the mission presidents a while back. It outlines an efective ward council meeting and how the missionaries can help every auxilary retain its members and help strengthen its quorom members, its a killer plan, i suggest that all read it, unfortunately i only have it in spanish but i can still send it out if some of the spanish readers would like to take a look at it, just give me a hollar. Anyhow Elder Amado made a couple of things crystal clear to us all in the Priesthood session, primarily he asked us all what was more important, our families or the church. A few answered in the affirmative for the families before he threw the hammer down on them and asked them what ordinances their families have done to bring them salvation. The obvious answer is that the family can´t help us to complete any saving ordinances but he went on the explain how they are both equally important, the family can not exist forever without the saving ordinances the church provides and without the family the church wouldn´t serve a purpose. It was interesting. The theme of stake conference was that and also that we need to find and help the lost sheep, he said that the single mothers that are praying for their loved ones to see the light have no answer to their prayers without us, the faithful members of the church. It was super powerful, especially for me because he asked me to read the quote that President Monson told him that he needed to share with the stake which goes as follows:

If you don´t intend to do it,

You wont do it.

If you don´t do it,

Why are you here?

We also had a sweet conference earlier this week with the missionary who baptized our President of the mission when he was a young kid. it was cool but it made me realice how precious and short life can be. I think he is 55ish and he already has cancer and doesn´t have a long time to live. Its scary that honestly their are things like that in the world that can just creep up on us and take our loved ones away in the blink of an eye. Don´t let it happen to any of you, i love you far too much!!!

Alrighty i´m runnin out of time but i love you all like crazy and miss you too! Put a smile on and invite someone to listen to the missionaries!