Monday, October 26, 2015

10-25-15 I was sick this week

Kumusta dad and everyone else!

Man, I was sick this week too haha. Monday night my fever started and then it just got worse by Tuesday morning. We spent the day resting and got back to work on Wednesday. Thursday I felt worse than I did on Tuesday, so I couldn't work then either. Also on Thursday 2 elders got into a pretty bad tricey accident. Their driver actually passed away in the hospital. What a blessing that they didn't suffer anything fatal like that. It took Elder Reynolds only a day or two to be able to walk again.

The next couple days after that kind of just flew by. I've learned a few things about missionary work and about myself this past week. I now see the reality that just because your first lesson with someone goes exceptionally great and the spirit is super strong, that doesn't mean they're eventually gonna get baptized haha. Sometimes that one lesson is all you get, and they lose interest by the next one. As for myself, I now know how it feels to go so long without work. I'll admit we had a few moments this past week where we could've put in a couple more hours of work, but somehow convinced ourselves that it was okay to stay inside. It's not a good feeling at all when you realize how little trying to be a good missionary. Nonetheless, I know for a fact that this week will be better. It excites me to think that we both have the strength to work hard and effective everyday! Especially since this might be Elder Rebojo's last full week here in Lamut! Transfers are next Wednesday. 
But anyway, that's about it for the past week. My highlight was the package! Thank you guys soooo much! I got it Tuesday night which made me feel really good after a long day of just sitting around. The hat is super sick! And I was so so excited to see all of my favorite candies and snacks haha. My favorite part was the letters though. 

Man I was so sad when I reached the end of the last letter haha. I'll reply to them real quick on here.

Thank you so much for your letter Ohu! Your letters are always so fun to read. I loved reading about your experience seeing Herb in Laie and your feelings about BYUH. I know exactly what you mean, it just feels right to go there. The amazing thing about this gospel is that as long as you stay close to Heavenly Father, everything else will fall into place. In Mosiah 2:41 (I think?) the Lord promises us spiritual AND physical blessings as long as we obey the commandments and stay close to Him. How cool is that! It's super funny that Hyrum told the world about what happens in AP Camp hahah. I'm sure the spirit was strong though and made a lot of young men consider going to the next one. It's so good to hear that you're going to mission prep, institute, and even temple prep class! Man you're going to appreciate the temple sooo much more when the time comes to receive your endowments. Tell the Baileys I miss them please! And I'm so grateful for knowledge I received through their teachings. Also Sister Bailey's syrup is sooobrang masarap haha. Man I can't believe you sang the Star Spangled Banner in front of a whole school! I'm convinced that you're meant to do big things in the future. Huuuge props! Eh and while you're at it write me a wedding song too yeeee. Joke lang I shouldn't be thinking about that right now haha. Elder Teikauea is a mean jammer so we play guitar and sing a lot when we go over to their apartment. As for me and Elder Rebojo, everything is awesome haha. It'll be such a weird feeling having a new comp in less than 2 weeks. Man I'm just so excited for you to have the mission experience! Email me as soon as your papers are in! And read your patriarchal blessing often if you got it already! Thanks again so much for the letter Ohu! Love you bro!

Kala'i! What's your grade in English? Haha, you're a really good writer. I so enjoyed reading your letter about being the "Alpha" and stuff hahah. I'm proud of you for winning both wrestling matches, but I'm more proud of you for being humble about it. Being humble after something like that is super hard for so many people, me included. Don't worry though I'll be humble when I still lick you after my mission ;) Hahah joke lang joke lang, you're right, I probably won't be in the fighting mood right after my mission. You'd guarantee win though, no worries. But yeah, thanks for being a great example along with MaQ by staying humble. People will look up to you for that. I can't wait to hear about your sports and stuff! You always were a natural at sports; the coaches are gonna love you. And that's so sick that Herb won a sector 9 board! Maybe he'll just save it for me yeee haha. On a serious note, thanks so much for your letter Kala'i. It's so good to hear that you're doing well and just improving in so much. Keep up the good work! I can't wait to see you on Christmas! Love you Kala'i!

Thanks for your letter bro! Spot on your drawing hahah. Joke lang, it's sick though. I hope the surfing and dancing continues to go well. Love you bro! Send pics when can!

Hi pretty girl! Thank you so much for your letters and gold plate! I wish you could've been here for my 20th birthday too. It's almost your birthday though! Almost 7 years old! Are you excited? Love you pretty girl!
Okay my time is up so I need to go. Thank you guys again so much for your letters though! They made my week. Mikel's drawing had me buuuss laughing. Ohu "The winner" hahaha. Thanks for your letter too Mikel! I hope the lifting and everything is going well. I'm stoked to lift with you again after my mission. And thank you mom and dad for your uplifting, inspiring letters. Oh and you mentioned Gregory A. Schwitzer, mom. He's coming over to speak to us this coming Thursday! We're so excited! I'll let you guys know how it went next week. 

I love all of you guys so much. And I'm so glad you're doing better, dad. I'll keep you guys in my prayers. Love you guys!

Mahal mahal kita
Elder Ishibashi

PS mom I need a new journal (the same kind as my last one if can). I'm almost out of pages. If you find, can you buy like 2 and send them? Use my money please. I have a backup "record book" I bought here so no rush. I just prefer the kind I've always used.

Love you guys! Have a great week!



Monday, October 19, 2015

10-18-15 A great blessing

Kumusta dad! 

  We're all okay here in our area! What a great blessing from Heavenly Father. I heard some other areas weren't so lucky. We slept over the ZLs apartment the night of the storm since I wanted to go over there for my birthday. We worked in Lamut (our area) and had dinner at the Balubals home, and then went to the ZLs. That night Elder Rebojo and I had a really hard time sleeping since the wind outside was so strong and loud. I was a little worried about us, but I couldn't help but think about the members in our Branch whose homes aren't that strong. When we looked outside in the morning, we saw that there were a lot of leaves and some small branches on the ground, but no serious damage at all. We still had church yesterday, but only sacrament meeting. They didn't say anything about any families or people who need help because of the storm, so I'm assuming they didn't go through anything serious either. What a blessing! Today the wind is still pretty strong at some points, but nothing serious.

 The rest of our week went well too! Our plans were constantly changing because of the storm and other things, but we were able to get some great lessons in. We met with a part member family where the mom was baptized a long time ago, but since then has become less active. She has a son who just turned 9 on the same day as my birthday who hasn't been baptized yet, and an 11 year old daughter who was baptized at 8 I think. Jong, the 9 year old, seems really excited to learn more and eventually be baptized! I'm thinking of how we can get his mom more excited about it though, I'm not sure why she isn't right now. It'll be hard for her son to come to church if she doesn't want to take him. We'll just keep trying. It's awesome that we finally have the opportunity to teach them though! We've been going to their house once or twice a week ever since I came here but they were never home until we finally caught them last week. The plan is to meet with them at least once a week to prepare Jong for baptism. 

  Thank you for the update on everyone dad! I loved reading this email from you guys! Man Herbert must be crazy stoked hahah. I gotta see a picture! That's so exciting that Ohu's papers are almost in!! What an awesome time it must be right now for the Hilo Stake, so many people leaving on missions! I know Petter must be stoked too haha, he always talked about how he feels more white than Filipino. And man, Kala'i is such a stud! Mad props for having the guts to ask so many girls to dance; that's something I still wouldn't be able to do. And poor Lehia for inheriting the Ishibashi curse hahah. How's the surfing coming along though? Has he ditched the bodyboard for good yet? It's so good to hear that Hali'a is still the same fun, pretty girl she always was. I'm so grateful for her email! I'll reply to it after this. Eh and thank you guys so much for the video! I wasn't able to hear, but I watched it and just heard it in my head. It was great seeing you guys again! Thank you! On my birthday President & Sister Rahlf called me and sang happy birthday to me too haha. I love them! I also got a text from the Shorters who work with them, and a few calls from other missionaries. Oh and on Thursday I got a letter from grandma and the Heinzens. The next time you see them tell them I really appreciated it and was motivated from it please. And tell grandma to stop sending me money haha, too much. 

 Anyway, I think that's about it for the week! I really hope you guys weren't stressing out about my safety the past few days. If it ever happens again just know that I'm 100% okay, so don't worry about me. We're at a different computer shop right now and it can't read my camera, so I can't send any pictures today. I didn't take a lot this week anyway. Oh but real quick before I go, I have a request. If possible, can you try to send some songs to me? Like Musical Truth, Poly, mission appropriate songs? It's fine if no can though. Okay love you guys! Thanks for the email!

Mahal kita,
Elder Ishibashi

Monday, October 12, 2015

10-11-15 Kumusta po mom! Maraming salamat!

Kumusta po mom! Maraming salamat!

 Man, I received so many emails today of people wishing me a happy birthday and telling me about how they're doing back at home. So if there are people reading this that I haven't been able to reply to, thank you so much! It was sooo nice getting letters from Aunty Kapua, aunty Lorry Iurika, and others who took time out of their days to email me. Not gonna lie I had to rethink when my birthday was haha, I wasn't expecting birthday wishes until next week. But again, thank you to everyone!

 We had a pretty good week this week! General Conference was suuuuper good. Like you figured, we were able to watch it this past Saturday and Sunday. I'm so glad it was in English, because I wouldn't have learned as much as I did if it wasn't. This was the first time ever that I watched General Conference and heard things that I truly felt the Lord wanted me to hear, like they addressed my thoughts to the T. It was amazing. There's no doubt in my mind that these men and women are called of God, and that God knows and loves every one of us personally. The rest of my week was pretty great too. The first few days were really busy because of transfers. The elder who replaced Elder Petersen is Elder Teikauea taga (from) Tuvalu! Do you know anyone from there mom? He's suuuper cool; it's awesome having another poly elder in the zone. Sobrang magaling siya. Elder Rebojo and I had some great lessons towards the end of the week. We met a mother who really desires her 13 year old son to grow closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, so we were able to meet with him. It's crazy how mature he is for a 13 year old. I think she's only concerned about him because he doesn't pray as often as he should haha, nothing super serious really. He said he's excited to hear more about our message, so the next time we go over our goal is to teach them as a family. Yesterday we visited nanay Isabilita who was converted a long time ago, but is now searching again for the truth. We tried our best to bear testimony on how we know this church is true, but we weren't sure exactly what to say. When we got home and did our 12 Weeks Training, we watched a couple videos on "Conversion through the Book of Mormon" from The District. If anyone reading this is preparing for their mission or knows someone who is, The District is amazing. It shows you pretty much exactly what happens in the field and helps soooo much if you're trying to figure out how to present/share something about a certain topic. It's awesome how these videos were filmed years ago, but through watching it you can feel the same spirit that they feel at that time. But anyway, through those videos I realized that we need to talk about the Book of Mormon with nanay Isabilita. If the Book of Mormon is true, then every single thing we teach must be true, and this must be the true church. I now know realize the huge significance of the Book of Mormon. Man, it's just so cool how much things stand out to you and how much you learn having the mindset of a missionary. 

 As for food and things like that, wala pa haha (none yet). For lunch today though we ate at a little side restaurant and there was a niiice big load of fat mixed with my meat. I'm not sure yet if I am becoming more open-minded or if I am just hungry, but I was able to scoff it down without making a weird face I think haha. At one point I considered eating balut, but then I saw Elder Rebojo eat it. The half-desire to try it left just like that haha. I know I'll have to try it someday though haha. 

 Thanks for the update on the family mom! It's so good to hear that everyone is well and happy. Grabe (my goodness) I miss the babies so much. Tell Kala'i I love him please. And I hope he's enjoying my clothes because he only has 21 months left haha. Man I can't wait to hear about Ohu's call! Aunty Kapua told me about Kana! Sooo exciting!! The Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission sounds like a crazy sick mission. Oh and I bought a hard drive so if you send pictures I can download them now! I don't know about videos though. 

 Anyway, I think that's about it for this week. Thank you again for the birthday wishes! What you said about me and Lehia is pretty cool haha. Now I know the secret to having such good, well-behaved kids ;) as you can see I'm still working on being humble haha. And you don't have to send anything mom, so expensive. Nonetheless, thank you haha. I'll let you know next week if I got it or not. Last thing before I go, a sister in our zone said something about applying to BYUH while out here in the mission. Do you know anything about that? I would love to be able to head out to BYUH as soon as can once I get home. After a couple months of being with you guys of course haha. I love you mom! Thank you again for the email. I hope you guys have a great week!

Mahal kita,
Elder Ishibashi

Monday, October 5, 2015

10-4-15 We had another awesome week

Magandang hapon po mom! Or for you guys, magandang gabi!

 Man we had another awesome week this week! I can't say we're 100% exactly obedient yet, but I've definitely received so many blessings from trying. This week I was able to go on splits twice. The first time was with Elder Petersen on Saturday. He returns home this Thursday! He leaves tomorrow morning for Cauayan and then to Manila on Wednesday I think. That meant that this was his last time going on splits, so I was so blessed and honored to be the last for him. I learned sooo much from him that day and since the day we came into the field. Great, great missionary po siya. The next time was yesterday. We had 4 members who wanted to work with us, so Elder Rebojo took two and I took the other two. The two members I worked with were bro. Dulnuan and sis. Bayatan (those are their last names). What's awesome is Bro. Dulnuan just got home from serving a voluntary 3 month mission. He lives in Lamut and wanted to serve so bad that he did that and is now leaving this Friday for his actual mission in Quezon City. How cool is that! He was a huge help in our lessons, such a good missionary already. 

  Although I enjoyed and learned so much from splits, the lesson that stood out to me was on Friday with Elder Rebojo. On our way back from a house, we saw a trail that Elder Rebojo has never been on before. So we followed it for the first time and it lead to a big neighborhood. The first nanay we met spoke really good English and said that she hasn't seen missionaries for 5 years! She also said that she has a relative who's married to an Ishibashi haha. What are the odds? She was busy then but said that we can share a message with her another day if she's not busy. The next house was where we met sis. Mariam a.k.a. Marina. I could tell she was very reluctant to let us share a message with her, but she let us anyway. Before we taught she seemed to have a problem with our beliefs. I felt like the best thing to do was to teach her about Jesus Christ's ministry on the earth, and Elder Rebojo must've felt the same because everything we said complimented each other perfectly. She also shared her thoughts and beliefs during our lesson which I love when people do because it makes it easier for us to know what to share. The spirit was very strong when we invited her to read the pamphlet and pray to know if it's true. When I went to check on her yesterday with bro. Dulnuan and sis. Bayatan, she was busy so we couldn't teach another lesson. But I'm really hoping she'll do those things if she hasn't already and we can visit her again soon. 

  Now on to a not-so-spiritual but also fun experience this week. After a lesson we went to a members house. I don't know why they texted us to come over for, but it turned into sis. Jing making me a small plate of chicken intestines! I might've mentioned eating intestines once before, but that was just a small piece. This time it was a spoonful...which I guess really isn't that much either haha. And honestly, it was actually pretty good. The after taste was weird but it went away after a while. I still have yet to eat something really scary haha.

  Man we weren't able to watch General Conference yet! I think we'll be able to this week (hopefully in English for some of us). I'm really looking forward to this one! It sounds like it was a really great one. I think about that a lot too, how sad it is that some people choose not to "partake of the fruit". But it reminds me of how truly blessed I am for having the gospel in my life, and how important it is for me as a person and missionary to constantly strive to be an example and bring those people unto Christ. I love being here on a mission! It's so exciting to share what I know to be true with others. Alam ko po na sobrang mahalaga ang missionary work. 

  It's great to hear that you're doing well too mom. I miss you guys, but I know that the Lord is watching over you and I'm soooso grateful for that. I hope you guys have a great week too! Love you!

Mahal kita, 
Elder Ishibashi

This was a day to gather with "batch mates" and companions for additional training and counsel.

Chicken Intestines! It was pretty good!

Branch President Bumatay in the yellow. We had dinner at their house last night.

Oh and bro. Brian, our branch mission leader, designed zone shirts for us! We had a zone activity this morning since Elder Petersen is leaving and 2 sisters are being transferred on Wednesday. We played some super funny games and ate adobo and bikol express that Elder Petersen and Elder Rebojo cooked before hand with rice that the sisters cooked.

Oh and I got to touch a kalabaw the other day too! I was super scared but did it for the thrill haha. I also love riding on the back of jeepneys and stuff. Don't worry mom, it's really not that dangerous haha. Keeps me sane I think. Love you guys!