Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009


Whats up? How are we all doing? Things here in Vicuña Mackenna are moving along just great and it looks as if i´m going to be here another six weeks with Elder Hualca as my companion again! Good news first right?! We had changes today and nothing changed accept for Elder Hutchins leaving, which was a huge bummer because we were really starting to become good friends and whats more we were making some cool plans for ¨cousins before girls¨ times when we both get back to the old stomping grounds of BYU but all those plans will have to wait in pause for a couple of year/months... So that was a big bummer to loose the hutch dog but the other Elder that just moved into our house is way awesome too. His name is Elder Wyatt and he is from North Carolina! His parents live in Utah now but he claims Nor Carolina as his home, turns out that he is a health FREAK! So we´ll be going running almost every morning which will be a really good thing to continue doing. Oh another bit of bad news, apparantly President hasn´t realized how crappy i am of a missionary yet because he called me last night to tell me that this change i will be a district leader. Not something i am looking forward to. Fortunately enough my district is LEGIT with the Zone Leaders and another companionship of quality missionaries so i´m not stressin it too much. I´m actually looking forward to being taught by all of these great missionaries over the next six weeks. Hopefully by then President will have realized the mistake he made in making me a district leader and i will go back to being junior comp or something! Haha that´d be awesome!

This last week has been another really good one, we´ve really tried to put a focus on inviting people to church this past week. Not that we weren´t before but now we are just inviting EVERYONE to church, in lessons, in contacts, random people in the street right before church starts, at all times, we have got to get the people in the church because they can´t be baptized if they are not in church so thats one HUGE hurdle that if we can overcome will help us complete with the promise that Elder Oaks made us, ¨baptisms weekly¨. So this past week we did a really good job of inviting everyone to church and even had someone who we´ve never taught in church too, it was really cool actually. We´ve known this guy for a while now, he runs the internet café where we do all of our emailing, so he´s here right now actually. His name is Johan and he´s a stud, he´s 20 years old, from Peru and had only been to a church once before in his life but he said he loved it and wants to come back next week! ANOTHER GOAL FROM GRIFFINDOR!!! The next step is to obviously teach him which we´ll see if we can set up a time right here in a second but if you kept him in your prayers it would be MUCH appreciated. We also had a couple of eternal investigators in church, Jose, who is found in the picture attatched, the 40 year old lookin guy. He´s an awesome man, he considers Elder Hualca and I children of his and wants to be baptized really badly but currently cannot because his ¨girlfriend¨ (marcela, also pictured) is already married and not divorced, I can´t remember if i´ve ever mentioned this but that is a huge problem here in Chile and it kills me! Before it was completely impossible to get divorced, thankfully in the past 5 or 6 years they´ve changed that but it still has a very negative connotation and many of the people think that its still impossible so it is really hard to help people to do it! UGH!! Anyways, he will get baptized if it´s the last thing i do! I love that guy! Hmm... Bastian and Sandra also made it to church for the first time this week, bastian is a crazy little kid that is our neighbor, he lives across the street from us and he is just a character, he is really funny, 11 years old and was buddies with some of the missionaries that were here before but they never taught him the lessons. He wants to be baptized but doesn´t really understand what it entails... in sacrament meeting he was kinda goofing around and didn´t really take it all that seriously, again he is 11, i was a huge dork at that age too and i turned out alright ;) anyways, i think they liked it, they had to leave right after sacrament meeting and i didn´t really get the feeling that they were too hot on it but we´ll just have to wait and see, we will be passing by their house sometime this week so we´ll talk to them, see how they felt, resolve some doubts, you know do missionary work in general!

I´ve got a question for all my wonderful sisters and mother, how in the heck do you deal with your kids in church? There are some children here that are TERRORS, i think that it has something to deal with the chilean mothering techniques but i´m not sure.. anyways i´m just wondering if anyone and or everyone could tell me their techniques in helping their kids stay calm and quiet in church. There is one little guy in particular who is a BEAST that he just screams and screams and screams and runs around with his naked barbie named Britney Spears. Its quite commical at times but at other times i just want to drop kick him becuase everyone is turning around and scouling at this mother, whom happens to be a less active that we are trying to reactivate so its just really an inconvenient sitation that i´d like to help her out. So any suggestions would be gladly accepted at this point.

Hm.. running out of things to tell ya´ll. I love reading all of your letters! They are awesome! Keep them coming and if you haven´t written in a while there is still time to repent! Alright gotta run take care, i love you all very much!

August 17, 2009

Whats up family?

This week was a pretty darn good one, really the days are like minutes now, the time is FLYING!! I can´t believe how fast the first 1/3 of my mission has gone by, I don´t want it to end, that’s for sure but one day it´ll have to, and that´ll be a sad day, in the very very far future!

This last week was a good one because we were able to do some good work and find some new people to add to our near empty teaching pool. Unfortunately none of them went to church due to the huge rain storm we had this past weekend! It was awesome! Here it rains like cats and dogs! Honestly it started raining on Friday at about 6 and then didn´t stop raining until Sunday at about 2 or 3 in the morning! I loved it! Going out to work in a good pair of boots a rain jacket and a good umbrella is awesome! I was wading through puddles/rivers that were a good foot and half deep! What a blast!!! Like I said before though, it pretty much killed our attendance on Sunday we had about 80 people in church, 2 investigators, andrea munizaga (eternal investigator because she wants her boyfriend to baptize her and will not accept our baptismal invitations) and jose- the father of jean(whom was baptized yesterday with his sister). So they were in church which was good, the baptism was also really good. I love to help complete families, I can´t stress that enough! I love it! Helping families take one more step to becoming eternal is amazing! Their story is something extraordinary for me, I think I told the story earlier of when elder inzunza and I were walking down the street and we had the impression to pull out or map and double check where we were going even though we felt like we knew the way, and then we met the inactive lady who had been searching for the missionaries for months because her daughter wanted to be baptized. Yeah, that is this family, the duagher danyella is the reason for which we had this baptism yesterday of Jean and the reason why the entire family is being reactivated. So yesterday was her 8th birthday, and she asked me to be the one to baptize her, it was an amazing experience! She is just this pure little amazing girl, who wants to follow Christ and for her desires, her entire family is becoming active again, I have no doubt in my mind that children are WAY closer to God and the spirit than we are!

I´m really grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here in themission field, I know that it is a blessing to be here, i´m very blessed to even be on a mission and I know that it is thanks to a lot of prayers and fasting on the part of all of you, thank you so much for your humble pleading to our Heavenly Father in my behalf, I will never be able to thank all of you enough for helping me to prepare and correct my life so that I could be here! You all are amazing, the best brothers and sisters and mom and dad and grandmother on the planet! I love you! Please continue on in the faith! God loves us so he sent his son!

Elder Livingstone

August 10, 2009

You´ve got mail…

And it´s from me...

This week went by way too fast, I feel like I was sitting here two minutes ago, and I have about two minutes worth of work to show for it too.. shoot.. SIKE! I really do feel like I was just here but that´s just how out of whack my perception of time has become... Benny C, big number 54, once told me that the mission can be summed up in the following three numbers, 2, 40 and 10. 2 because its two years, OBVIOUSLY.. 40 being that if an elder works hard and does the work right, he should mature 40 years in church service, and the 10 is that we grow, or digress, however you want to look at it, in innocence.. haha i don´t know if all of those numbers are right, to be honest i live with a couple of goofs and feel like i haven´t matured all that much or gotten any more innocence but i still have a LONG time to serve, so there is still hope ;) Another thing that Benny C told me was that in the mision there are 3 types of days, p-day, other day, and Sunday.. hahahahaha its so lame but so true, all of the other days in the week have begun to mesh for me and i can never tell what day it is.. BLAHH....

The cool experience for the week happened when i was studying the scriptures, in Alma 48 verse 7: ¨ Now it came to pass that while Amalickiah had thus been obtaining power by fraud and deceit, Moroni, on the other hand, had been apreparing the minds of the people to be faithful unto the Lord their God.¨ obviously he was also preparing the people to war with Amalickiah as well but the scriptures make a special point to mention this first, that our minds need to be spiritually prepared, BEFORE afflictions. That part stuck out a lot to me because it helped me to understand the principle of ¨choose now¨ choose now whom you will serve, choose now that you wont smoke, choose now that you won´t ever, EVER miss a sacrament meeting which happens to be the only opportunity to clean yourself spiritually offered here on the earth. The decisions are easy once we really think about it. God only wants us to keep a couple of commandments and if we do that we guarantee ourselves eternities of happiness. BOOYA!! Life is so dang simple!!! Haha i´m probably the only one who can say that right now because i don´t have much choice in my life, my tie and suit, thats about the only choice i have right now but i love it! I LOVE LIFE!!! So, that being said, the importance of our decisions not only has effect here but echoes throughout the eternities, so do the decisions of your children, thats why YOU need to help them make the decisions right now, RIGHT THIS INSTANT to always obey God and ¨to be faithful¨ in every circumstance. Soapbox, dismounted.

This week was really good, we had a couple of really good lessons, a good find, his name is Julio and he really understood the principles we explained. He is a huge boost and blessing, I love finding news and its even better when they are like him, he asked us to call him to set up another appointment and he said he was going to invite his family to invite the next time we pass because if its all true, he wants his family to have the happiness too!!!! WOOT WOOT!!! We also found a couple of other people thanks to member references, THESE ARE THE BEST!!! Note to family, talk to your friends about God and ask them what they believe and then tell them the importance to you of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ, i.e. ¨thanks to the church i know where i came from, why i´m here in this earth, where i´m going after this life and i know WHO I Am, i know that i have a divine heritage from my Father, who is God. I know all of this thanks to the grace of God that he has restored his Church, with his power again on the face of the earth.¨ that is what being a member of the church means to me and that is what a bunch of people could benefit from hearing because a lot of people don´t know what it means to be a memeber of their church and your testimony of these things will knock them off their feet! And after all that is said and done you can say, look, i have these two friends who are representatives from my church and they would love to come by and share a message with you that WILL help your family to have more peace and joy in this life, when will you come over to my house to meet my friends? Or better yet, just tell them, ¨hey come over to my house this Monday night, my friends will be over then and we can talk.¨ DONE DEAL!!! Alright that is my missionary tip for the week. I love you all like crazy, i hope that everybody is doing well, tito thanks for the insight on Nefi, you are completely right, the Lord has the plans laid, we can´t see the future but he can, for that we just need to play every situation with the spirit and trust that God will provide for us what we need to do... alright love you all like Peter Parker loves Mary Jane.. he he.. that came out funny..

Alright i gotta go, give the missionaries and keep on keeping on, i love YOU!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

What it does?

How are we doing family? I´m doing quite well thank you very much! Things are a great here in the mission, this past week we had a conference and President granted us a lot of freedoms that we previously didn´t have. For instance on our day of preparation we now study in the morning but don´t have to go to a zone class type thing. We clean in the morning, and he lengthened the day by an hour seeing as how our time schedule is different than most of the other missions. So it is nice now to have the same amount of time as every other mission in the world. We also can eat fast food, or eat out in general and another great thing is that we can visit musuems, zoos and other cultural sites which is AWESOME because we couldn´t do any of that before. It is really good, i feel like a free man now! WOOHOO!!!

Highlight of the week... BAPTISM!!! We were blessed again this week to have another baptism, this is a habit that i could really get used to, unfortunately we don´t have anyone lined up for this week so it looks like we wont be continuing the trend but we´ll try our darndest to find someone that we can baptize! Anyways back to the point, this week was the baptism of Javiera, she is this little 9 year old fireball who is the daughter of a less active who has just reactivated herself, meaning she is no longer less active, anyhow, back to Javiera. She is nine years old and hilarious, i am so greatful that she was able to be baptized this week, every time that we pass by to teach her or visit with her she has the sweetest spirit and teaching her i really do know that the Kingdom of God is made up of little children because they are pure in spirit and heart. She is always so happy to talk about God and how she wants to obey him because she knows that it makes Him sad when she disobeys, etc.. after the baptismal interview (conducted by Elder Steven Hutchins, side note, turns out that his grandfather is first cousins with Grandma Livingstone, grandma, did you know that?) anyways after conducting the interview we had a little scripture and sung(sang?) a hymn and the mom was just bawling the whole time and Javiera was sitting there just beaming, IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Elder Hutchins and i left the house with the sweetest spirit and the both of us had the same question in our minds, WHY DON¨T MORE PEOPLE WANT TO OBEY GOD??? We both saw the blessings invoked by living a life worthy of the spirit of Christ and it was awesome, we wondered, why is that people don´t want that happiness? The jury is still out on that subject but it was a very special experience that charged my spiritual batteries. The baptism was a really good spiritual experience as well, when isn´t a baptism a good experience but that one experience is what has really touched my mind and i´m going to use that as motivation for this week to invite others to come unto Christ.

Thanks Tyler for encouraging the family to pray for me, i appreciate every prayer that is offered in my behalf, i really am honored and touched deeply and want you all to know that i continue to pray for all of you. Alright i gotta run but i love you like crazy, i hope that all are doing well and remember that this life is short but the eternities aren´t, they last forever so do what it takes to make the good, little decisions here so you can have the eternal happiness in the life to come. I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!