Monday, September 14, 2015

9-13-15 Magandang hapon mom!

Kumusta dad!

Man I almost teared up when I read of how everyone's doing haha. It's sooo comforting to know that everyone is doing great, especially mom. Thank you so much for the pictures! I'm so glad everyone else is doing great too. The selfie would include ohu and u'i hahah. Tell grandma and everyone else I love them so much please! I wrote my long letter to mom, so you  can read that to everyone. Oh and I forgot to mention, our zone is going to the Banaue Rice Terraces next Monday! I'm crazy stoked! I just hope we still have time to do emails afterwards. We have zone conference tomorrow, banaue next week, and then our Provo batch goes back to the mission home a few days later on Thursday! The next couple weeks are going to be awesome. And it's been so great here so far.

Let me know when Herb has a girlfriend and send a picture! I have to approve before they get married haha. I'm so glad that everyone is progressing in everything. Kala'i is gonna be huge by the time I come home! Tell him I'll be a changed man though so we can't fight haha. But keep it up! I miss the temple. I'm excited to come back to one. Thank you for your emails dad! And thank you so much for being the best father in the world and keeping us all on the right path. My testimony of families have strengthened so much while being out here and it only continues to grow. Many people ask about my family and I almost feel bad talking about you guys because I feel like I'm bragging haha. I'm so grateful for you guys. Thank you dad!

Mahal mahal ko po kayo
Elder Ishibashi
Magandang hapon mom!

Everything here is going great! It seems like every day is an adventure; always seeing something new. I think I can actually send pictures today! So you guys can finally see how beautiful this area is. 

Here tracting is called "contacting" and I still have a hard time with that. I have the desire to talk to these people, but I'm just too scared to start the conversation and then not know how to reply to what they're saying haha. I'm able to understand a lot more now! It's just difficult for me to speak. But this week we had a great experience while contacting. Every appointment on Saturday fell through so we decided to contact people. We saw an old man sitting outside of his house and it looked like he was pondering about something. I was ready to walk past him but Elder Rebojo suggested that we talk to him and that I be the one to start the conversation. I was a little reluctant, but the night before a member in our branch showed me a few short motivational videos and so I've really been wanting to do better after watching them. So we walked up to him and I introduced us. I didn't know what to say after that so Elder Rebojo took it from there haha. But we talked to him for a bit and he had time for us to share a 15 min. message with him. While we taught and spoke with him, he expressed to us his love for his family and how they just had a miracle recently. His daughter was in the hospital for many different health issues and she was finally home. He was teary-eyed as he shared this with us, so I knew how important family is to him. We emphasized families in our lesson and lucky for me he understood English so I was able to share my thoughts and feelings better. Elder Rebojo is a great teacher too; the spirit was really strong. After our message he gave us a referral of an inactive member I think, and lead us out to the front gate (we came in from the back of his property). When we walked out the gate I saw a sign that said something like "A happy Methodist family is living here". I know that if we came in through the front and I saw that sign, I wouldn't have had the confidence I had in our lesson and everything would have been different. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways haha. His tender mercies are real. 

 As for the eating, everything is great haha. Elder Rebojo continues to cook great food and enough to make both of us full. I cook the rice yeee haha. I want to learn a thing or two from him before we split. Members in the branch talk to me about balut and things like that and I just tell them I refuse to eat it yet haha. Don't worry they don't get offended by it; they just laugh. The water is good too. Our sink has a filter for drinking water and we have a fridge to keep it cold. Our pad is also really nice. It's small and hot, but I know that we have more than many people here, so I'm grateful for it. 

 Man that's awesome! I'm glad everything at the dance was a success! Lehia told me about his dance battle with Kekuahiwi haha. And it's awesome that you guys actually did modern-day music haha. That's so cool that you had a whole band! And it must've sounded even more sick with Bruce singing. 

 It's so good to hear that everyone is doing well. Herbert also makes time to email me which I'm so grateful for. I'm excited that there's so many people I can talk to in Tagalog when I come home! Did I tell you guys about the languages here? It's actually 3 languages: Tagalog, Ilocano, and Ifugao. Many many people speak Ilocano but they understand Tagalog, so as of right now I'm just focusing on that. Tell Ohu he gotta learn some Japanese too! Haha, that's super cool that he's learning Spanish though. I can't wait to hear about his call when it comes in! 

 Man, let everyone know that I love them please. I'm going to reply to the other emails now. I love you guys!

Mahal mahal kita,
Elder Ishibashi

We also had a baptism on Saturday! Brother Celedonio Peter Barriga. What's funny is he was actually Elder Rebojo's investigator, but wanted to be baptized by Elder Petersen because he's American haha. He also said it's because they both have Peter in their names haha. If I didn't mention earlier, Elder Petersen and Elder Acosta are our zone leaders. 

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