Monday, August 31, 2015

8-30-2015 it's beauuutiful here. Sobrang maganda


  Oh my goodness, I miss you guys so much. The past week was a little hard for me since I wasn't able to send a proper email at the MTC and I missed everyone like crazy. I thought they said we had time to email again at the MTC but we ended up not having time. So sorry about that. The Manila Temple was also closed so we weren't able to do a session or meet sister Barba from Hawaii. Two elders met her in the grocery store though, but I wasn't there to meet here. But I'm glad you received the pictures from Pres. Rahlf so you knew we arrived in Cauayan safely! 

  The first thing that Pres. Rahlf said to me when we met them at the airport was "Aloha!" so I immediately knew he was going to be a great President haha. He knew everyone's names and where they're from before we arrived. We go back to the mission home in a few weeks to do another kind of orientation thing. I can't wait to see everyone from my batch again. I wish my whole district was in Cauayan, but half are in Urdaneta. Anyway, so my companion! elder Rebojo is super super cool. He's a great missionary and example for me to follow. His English is also good enough to communicate pretty easily so that's awesome haha. He was also a breakdancer back in highschool too! So sick. When they read out the companionships I was hoping I'd get paired up with another elder from Hawaii - Elder Medeiros from Kona side - but I'm glad I was paired with Eder Rebojo now. And that's funny what Aunty Roxy said about our dimples, haha. I don't have any nicknames here yet besides the occasional Elder Mitsubishi haha. The first questions I get when I say my name are always: Where are you from? Half Japanese? Do you speak Japanese? So if Ohu wants to make people proud, learn some Japanese haha. Sorry if there are typos by the way, this keyboard isn't that good. Oh I also met Elder Brandon at the mission home! The Iurika's family that sent me malasadas told him to find me and give me a big hug, so he did haha. 

  Man, it's beauuutiful here. Sobrang maganda. The people are so nice too! They're so humble and willing to listen to our messages, even when they're of a different faith or something like that. The food is so masarap (ono) too. I looove lumpia. I have to confess though, I've already drank more coca cola than I ever did before my mission haha. A lot of the time that's just all they have. But when water or something without caffeine is an option I still prefer those. And yup, it's pretty much the way it looks haha. The car lanes don't really apply here. But the people are really good drivers. you should've seen the traffic in Manila! The cars get sooo close to each other and people cross or walk through the street wherever they want. It's pretty nuts. I'll try to send as many pictures as I can after this email. 

  As for the box of things, most of it was from my MTC card and missionaries get a discount on everything, so I ended up only paying like 5-10 bucks of my own money :) I'm gad they got to you guys safely though. tel Hali'a I have her letter hanging on my mirror so I see it every day. 

  I can't believe I'm actually here either. It's such a sad thought that I won't see everyone for so long, but I'm also very excited to be here and I'm loving the people already. Today has been good so far. We woke up at 4:30 to run over to the zone leaders' apartment (ike 9 kilometers from us) and then played basketball at the chapel. Then we had a service project which was helping someone build a house. We weren't able to finish since we had to come back and email and do other things, so I'm hoping we can go back tomorrow or something. Random fun fact: you know how we have black outs in Hawaii? In the Philippines they call it brown outs haha. We had a brown out yesterday. But by the time we woke up, everything was working again. Luckily the water still runs during brown outs so I was still able to bucket shower haha. Those are fun. 

  Anywayyy, I think that's about it! I miss you guys soooo much. And I hope you're doing okay, mom. How's your health and everything? I pray that you and everyone remains healthy and strong while I'm gone. I love you guys! I can't wait for your letters! How much did it cost to send? 

Mahal kita
Elder Ishibashi

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

8-26-2015 Letter and Pictures from the Mission President

78 Burgos Street
3305 Cauayan City
Isabela, Philippines
Dear Family of Elder Ishibashi
We are happy to let you know that your son arrived safely today as a missionary in the Philippines Cauayan Mission.  After his arrival we had a welcome luncheon and orientation meeting.  I also had the opportunity to have a wonderful interview with him before he met his prayerfully selected companion and trainer.
Elder Ishibashi will be serving in Solano.  Enclosed is a map on which we have marked the location of his first proselyting area.  He will be working with Elder Rebojo who will carefully train and introduce Elder Ishibashi to missionary work in the field.  We encourage you to write your son every week.  Please share positive, uplifting messages that will support and help him stay focused on this sacred work.  Such contact from home can build a great foundation for a successful mission.
This is a wonderful mission and we are grateful to have Elder Ishibashi here.  The new missionaries always bring with them an exciting and special spirit.  Please know that we will watch over him with great concern.  We have been praying for him for several months now and have looked forward to serving together.  We know that with your support and encouragement, he will progress and strengthen beyond your expectations and develop a great love for his fellow missionaries and the precious people he will serve, teach, and bless.
May the Lord bless you for all you have done to help Elder Ishibashi prepare for this mission.  If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to email me [Email removed].
With warmest regards,
President George R. Rahlf & Sister Lori C. Rahlf
Mission Map 
Picture with President and Sister Rahlf; 
picture with new companion

Your missionary’s mailing address is:
Philippines Cauayan Mission
78 Burgos Street
3305 Cauayan City
Isabela, Philippines
The Mission blog:


  Map showing mission home and first area.
  President George R. Rahlf, Elder Ishibashi and Sister Lori C. Rahlf

Elder Rebojo and Elder Ishibashi serving in Solano

Saturday, August 22, 2015

8-21-2015 We're finally here!

Kumusta mom! 
We're finally here! Sorry for not being able to call in Japan, we ended up not having a lot of time. We have a short time to email right now; they said we'll have another day to email later. But they said we could email now to let you guys know that we're okay. 
We arrived at around 10 last night. The flight wasn't too bad; I got a few hours of sleep throughout the whole travel. I'm so excited to be here! This MTC is way different from the Provo one. This one is super small, it's humbling. The feeling is a little different but the Spirit is just as strong here. So far we just had breakfast (which was reaaally masarap [tasty]) and a small orientation thing. And we're going proselyting later on! I'm super nervous, but excited at the same time. 
Anyway, just wanted to let you know again that everything went well and we're safe and being well taken cared of. 
Mahal ko po kayo!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

8-19-2015 I'm leaving tomorrow!

Magandang umaga mom!

  Thank you sooo much for keeping me up to date with everyone. I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow already! We leave to the airport at about 6:30 in the morning. The 6 weeks here went by so quick, it's crazy. It almost feels like I'm graduating from high school all over again haha. I'm gonna miss the people I met here so much. But at the same time, I'm so stoked to finally be heading into the field! I can not wait to meet the people of the Philippines and love them like I love you guys. I'm not gonna say anything, but definitely sleep next to a phone please, haha. 

  I miss you guys so much too. Some days it just hurts to think that I won't see anyone for 2 years. But it helps a bunch knowing everyone is doing so well. I'm so proud of everyone! I'm so glad 'Ohu is continuing to progress in his teaching. And I look up to him so much for being the example that he is to Kala'i and the younger siblings. And I'm glad Kala'i is hanging out with Kekuahiwi them in school! Having friends with good standards is so important. And it's awesome that they seem to have the same interests and desire to work out after school. Man I'm so excited to come home and see how much progression Lehia made with his dancing and surfing. And all that while maintaining straight A's! That's nuts! That has to be like an Ishibashi record haha. Tell Hali'a I miss her so much and loooooved her letter! I got the box just after my email on Sunday. Thanks for all the things you sent! I'm so grateful for the photo album and calendar haha. It's good to hear U'i and her family is doing great too. I would love more pictures of them if can! But if it's too expensive, sending them through email is alright. I'm so happy for Herbert! Dad told me about his job and everything, and how he has the opportunity to do a bunch of leadership programs! I'm so happy that he doesn't have to stress so much about money. And I'm happy for him in getting to move into a cooler building haha. 

  Anyway, I don't want to spend too much time on the computer today. But thank you so much for your and dad's letters. It's definitely a bittersweet feeling that I'll be out of here in less than 24 hours, but I'm crazy excited. I love you guys so much! And I thank the lord everyday for you guys. Mahal Kita! 

Elder Ishibashi
Sorry real quick, I got this email:

Aloha Elder Ishibashi ~
Please check your mailbox today after 3pm.  You’ll have a special delivery waiting for you.   My Postmaster friend who helped me get this to you, has a son who is now a Zone Leader in Cauayan.  He will be there to welcome you.
I’m sure you don’t know me, but my husband and I go way back with your Ishibashi family.  Your dad served with my husband here in Salt Lake way back in the dark ages and Elder Ishibashi took care of him, keeping him on the right track.  We also went to BYUH together.  Your grandpa Herbert was good friends with my dad and had some work done on his trucks when my dad had a welding business at the Iron Works building by Suisan. 
Anyhows, just wanted to send you a little something to spark the energy as you go and serve the people in the Philippines.  There’s a great work ahead of you and you have that special spirit and love for the gospel that will radiate to all those you serve.  We wish you the best!  Looking forward to hearing of your adventures on your blog.
Take care and God bless.
Love the Iurika-Jeremia ohana,
Tema, Lorry and Isaac

I replied and thanked the Iurika-Jeremia ohana already, but can you thank them again for me please? Thanks mom. Love you guys!

From: Sky & Tina,

To: Tema, Lorry, and Isaac


Mahalo nui loa for such a loving act of kindness and support for our missionary!  I know he appreciated it and enjoyed his Malasadas immensely!!

Yes, our families go way back.  Lorry being a Hilo girl and Tema and I serving the same mission. Only good memories!

Lorry I didn't know that your dad did some welding for my dad's truck! I bet it was his pipe racks or maybe mounts for the different size engine he put in.  Whichever one it was, I still got my dad's truck and both is holding up great!! Excellent workmanship! I love that old truck!! Mahalo again Lorry, Tema, and Isaac!

Love you guys!
Sky, Tina, and 'Ohana!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

8-15-2015 We're leaving [for the Phillipines] in less than a week.

Kumusta dad!

Ayos ako! Kumusta po kayo? Kumusta po ang pamilya? It's so good to hear that these storms keep dying down. Man, the time here is going by sooo quickly! It's a really bitter-sweet feeling that we're leaving in less than a week. I would say I'm all of the above [this statement was in response to my question, "Are you excited? Nervous? Scared? Faithful? All of the above?"], haha. This week I've been really missing you guys and Hawaii, but I know and remind myself constantly that this is where I need to be.

Yeah, it's been a great experience being a zone leader! I'll be released tomorrow and more will be called. There was a lot to do as zone leaders, but I know that through this work I was able to grow as a missionary and person. I'm also so grateful for Elder Warren's companionship and his great leadership. 

Hey dad, do you remember the first day you came into the MTC? They do a workshop thing at night where they split up all the new missionaries into groups and put them into rooms. The moderator introduces an "investigator" and two missionaries come in and start a conversation with them. Once the conversation starts going into the gospel, the moderator pauses them, the missionaries leave, and the new ones get to ask her questions and talk to her, trying to help her understand the truthfulness of our church and gospel. Do you remember that? Our district had the awesome privilege of being those missionaries! We went into different rooms as companionships. Elder Bice and I met 2 women, Olivia and Barbara, and they were both super sweet. Like I said, we didn't get to talk much about the gospel since that was the new missionaries' job, but the spirit was still really strong when talking to and trying to get to know them well. It's super important to be a friend before talking about the gospel. 

But anyway, I'm so happy for Herbert! [New calling, 7-1 girl/boy ratio @ BYU-HawaiĘ»i, lol]. He better not be single when I get back haha. I'm excited for him and know that he'll make the right decision when it comes down to marriage. It's great knowing that 'Ohu's still moving forward [preparing for his mission] and working hard! And Kala'i! That's so awesome! [top of his Math class] Please let him know that I'm crazy proud of him! And man, tell Lehia to be careful! But also continue surfing haha, I wanna see him shredding it up when I get home. Also, tell Hali'a I love and miss her please. 

Love you guys!

One of our teachers: Elder Kovach

The field  

sand volleyball

I passed a journal I bought around to the rooms and an elder from my intake, Elder Hilbun, drew this hahaha. He's going to Cauayan too so I'll hopefully see him there!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

8-8-15 sooobrang masaya

Kumusta dad! 

Man it makes me sooobrang masaya to hear that Heavenly Father is continuing to bless my family! I'm so glad that you guys are doing well and that the storm never hit! How awesome is that! And thank you so much for being such a great patriarch for our family, dad. I'm so grateful that 'ohu was able to be with you as you exercise your priesthood power in so many ways. Well, we're really trying to have exact obedience this week, so I only have an hour to reply to as many people as can. But thank you for the email! 

Kala'i is such a beast! I'm stoked to see how big he is throughout our skype calls and especially when I get home.

Poor thing Lehia hahaha. If I were home I'd probably call him diddy kong haha
I'm glad everyone else is doing great too!

My week has been pretty great! The language is coming along. My district actually decided to have an English fast today so we're trying our best to speak only Tagalog all day, besides when we go to the temple. Mahirap! But I know it will help us, especially when it comes to lessons and things like that. We had a TRC activity on Thursday where we actually skyped someone in the Philippines and taught a short lesson! Luckily they're all LDS so it wasn't too bad, but we definitely have a bunch of things to work on. We have another chance next Thursday, so I'm excited for that. 

The Lord saw fit that I be a zone leader along with Elder Warren, so we are over one zone and there are 2 leaders over another zone. I love our zone! And I hope that they can see me as an example and someone to look up to (even though I'm probably like the 3rd shortest Elder in the zone haha). This is the first time that our branch had to break into 2 zones. We're growing so quickly and abundantly! In 2 weeks there will be a little over 40 new missionaries coming into our branch! I'm so excited to meet them and see who else was called to Cauayan. I gotta get to the other emails now. The pictures I'm sending are with the elders who left this past week to the Philippines. 

Anyway, that's pretty much it I think. I'll try better to write down things that stick out throughout the week so I can share them in my emails.

Oh! And Russell M. Nelson spoke to us on Tuesday night! It was so awesome! You could feel the power of the spirit that he has with him. They said this was his first talk as the new President of the 12 apostles.

Love you dad! Tell everyone I love them! Ingat po

Elder Ishibashi
From Left to right: Elder Hofeling, me, Elder Howard

From Left to right: Elder Davis, me, Elder Lance, and Elder Smith. The 2 Elders on each side of me in both of these pictures, all left to the Philippines this past week. Elder Smith is one of the zone leaders for the other zone, he just wanted to jump in the picture haha. These elders are super good examples! They'll do amazing things in the Philippines.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

8-1-15 Don't ever neglect prayer

Magandang umaga mom!


Awesome! Actually I do have some things I want. Can you send over my black elastic sweatpants? It has white lines going down the sides and small zippers on the bottoms. And the fabric is almost like the extra support garments. So that, a jeans, my quiksilver hat, and pictures? Pictures of like the family, temple, grandparents, stuff like that. I think that's it for now, but I'll let you know if I need something else. You can also send me a surf shorts too in case I like swim in the Philippines ;) 


Oh and please thank Uncle Keenan guys and Aunty Lani them! They sent me a bunch of ono snacks! The elders in my district got a bunch of snacks too, so the table in our room is covered with all kine stuff haha. And uncle Keenan sent me one of his CDs! I can't listen to it here, so I reaaally hope I can listen to it in the Philippines somehow. I was so excited when I saw it though! I've been thinking about it for some reason for a few days before I got it. Anyway, tell them I said thank you so much please! 


I also met Elder Damuni just this morning! We sat next to some elders at breakfast and I asked where they were going. From there we started talking story and he said he was from Maui, went to Kamehameha school, and is going to Samoa. As he left to dump his plate, I realized he was the boy with the popular dad haha! I remembered watching his video before I left. So on his way back I told him I knew him and I'd tell you guys I met him. So let his parents know he's doing great in the MTC! He's a cool guy.


Sister Alapa is really cool too! She came up to me this week and we talked story for a bit. Are we cousins? Or are you and her parents just really close?


Anyway, I'm so glad that you and everyone else are doing okay. Thank you so much for putting so much time into me and our family, even though it meant neglecting your schoolwork. I'm so grateful for you mom. Man I miss Jeremias sooo much! And it's so funny that Fia doesn't smile as much like U'i (it's almost like karma hahaha). 


Alright, I still have to reply to dad's email too. Elder Bice is almost ready to go. I'm so glad you guys remember to write me haha. I remember thinking it wouldn't be anything special to write you guys or have you guys write me while I'm out here. So thank you guys so much. And I'll say this is my email to dad too, but I am so proud of Ohu! It's amazing that he's working so hard so he can serve his mission. And that would be so sick if he got called to a spanish-speaking mission or something haha. Let him know that he's such a great example to me and that he'll be so prepared to come out here from working to being a [Sunday school] teacher, it's crazy. Knowing he's doing well makes me so happy. Tell him I love him. And I love everyone else. How's Kala'i doing? How was the orientation? Still doing football? And I'm glad Hali'a is doing great, and Herb too. Oh and tell uncle BJ I said salamat! I'm so grateful I had people help me with the language before coming out here.

 Okay, last thing. I want to know where Hamblyn is going on his mission! Either let me know or give him my email please! Let him know that I miss him!


Thanks so much mom! Mahal ko po kayo!


Elder Ishibashi



Kumusta dad!

Thanks for the emails! It's so nice to hear that everyone is doing okay. Can you give me Herb's email please? His emails come in the mail but they don't show up on here, so I don't know how to reply to him. But let him know that I do get his emails and I'm so masaya (happy) that he's loving it at BYUH! And it's so sick that he met the elder who hosted me and saw Ammon them! Man I can't get over how proud I am of Ohu. He's such a great example to me and his other siblings. And huge props for wanting to teach in sundays! We teach so much here in the MTC, so he's going to be so far ahead of so many people here. And I don't want to be one of those "READ FROM PMG" guys, but if he ever needs help or is at a block when preparing a lesson, the PMG (Preach My Gospel Manual) is a huge help. And don't ever neglect prayer and asking for revelation and help from the Holy Ghost. I know that he will receive those things as long as he asks for them. Alam ko po na totoo ang simbahan. Salita ng Diyos ang Aklat ni Mormon. Alam ko po na mga propeta ng Diyos sina Joseph Smith at Thomas S. Monson. Mahal ko ang simbahan at mahal ko ang ebanghelyo ni Jesucristo. Nagpapasalamat po ako para kay Jesucristo at sa Kanyang Pagbabayad-sala. Sa pamamagitan ng Pagbabayad-sala, puwede po tayong bumalik sa Ama natin sa langit. Mahal ko po kayo, dad! Miss you guys! I hope the whole business thing works out. Thanks for the emails dad! Love you guys!



Brahhhh that video is so sick Lehia! I couldn't stop watching it! A small group of my friends came to watch it too. You're so good! Man I can't get over how sick that video is. Elder Warren says you're a little stud haha. That's sick that you guys were charging gainers! You'll get it down in no time. Man I'm so stoked to come home and learn everything all over again from you! But remember, the gospel is the most important thing. I love that you're reading the Book of Mormon. Eh and Maligayang Bati! Happy birthday! I'm glad you got to go out and surf and watch movies for your birthday. How was Pixels? Oh and you can keep my BK hat as a birthday gift. K love you bro! Send more vids! You guys are in my prayers too!

Elder Ishibashi

President Howard our branch President