Monday, November 2, 2015

11-1-15 It felt super great being able to get back to work

Kumusta po family!

 Man, this past week was a refreshing one. It felt super great being able to get back to work. A few of our investigators are really progressing! And we got to meet with Tatay Rafael (less-active) for the first time. We met him last month but never did get to have a lesson with him because there are so many people in his area that we visit and he's only free on Saturdays and Sundays. Since the first couple people we planned to visit weren't home, we finally were able to see him. Tatay Rafael is blind and lives on his own, but he said close friends and family visit pretty often to help him get the things that he needs. What I loved about our visit was that the spirit was there because of his strong & humble testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. He spoke English really well (most of the old timers are really good in English since it was once the main language in the Philippines) so I understood most of what he said and I was able to express my feelings more. He knows that the church is true and he continues to pray and do things that are pleasing unto Heavenly Father. It'll be hard getting him to church eventually because of his disabilities, but I think we can do it. 

 Meeting Elder and Sister Schwitzer was suuuper cool! Before they spoke we all got to shake their hands. And at the end Elder Schwitzer wanted to know our thoughts about what he said which gave me the chance to speak to him and express my thoughts and gratitude for the things he taught us. So many of the things he shared were exact things that I needed to hear. A lot of the time I tend to think about myself and the language too much, and forget why I'm here. He shared a story of an elder who served in Russia. He said you would see this elder every week at church talking to as many people as he could and building relationships with them, even though he was one of the worst Russian speakers ever haha. He would be doing this while his companion would be sitting on the side studying the language. Elder Schwitzer said that although the first elder was horrible in the language, he was the true missionary. As of right now, I know I'm the elder sitting on the side. I choose not to talk to many people because of my worry of not knowing what to say next. This story was a big eye-opener for me, and although it's hard to do right off the bat, I have a goal to be like the other, true missionary. But hopefully I will eventually be really good in the language haha. The conference really did motivate me though and gave me more confidence in our lessons for the week.

 Oh yeah, this cycle ends on Wednesday. That means transfers. We gathered as a zone this morning to wait for the zone leaders to get the transfer list. It finally came in after what seemed like hours of waiting. Long story short, I'm getting a new companion on Wednesday! Elder Rebojo along with a few others are leaving our zone. It's definitely a bittersweet feeling losing Elder Rebojo haha. I learned so much from him and enjoyed working with him, and now I'm excited to learn more from a different perspective.

 Overall, today was just a great week here in the mission. Oh, I hope you guys had a great Halloween! I loved seeing all the pictures U'i sent of her family on Halloween. Send some of you guys if can please! They don't really celebrate Halloween here in the Philippines. I forget what they call it, but on the night of Halloween many people go to the graveyard and kind of just party there all night haha. They actually sleep over and all. Ask Uncle BJ about it, I could be wrong. Besides that though, Halloween felt like any other day here. No one dresses up or goes trick-or-treating. I think Christmas is a big deal though! I'm so excited to skype you guys!

 I hope you guys had a great week! Love you guys!

Elder Ishibashi

p.s. Mom & dad, are you guys familiar with any Hafokas in Laie? The other elder from Hawaii is actually from Laie! I don't know why I thought he was from Kona. E. Rebojo, he, E. Paea (taga Tonga) and I slept over the ZL's last night. They slept over since they were going to Banaue today to teach the single adults. Elder Rebojo and I slept over since we were getting together today. It was super cool being able to talk story with another Hawaiian haha, especially one from Laie! He's adopted by the Hafokas (Tongans). Sister Hafoka's maiden name is Ofahengaue or something like that. Her first name is Lucy. Does that sound familiar to you guys at all? He also said something about an Aunty Gay that works at PCC. What's sad is he returns home at the end of December so I'm not sure if I'll see him again. But I loved being able to speak pidgin again and talking about Hawaii. It was super refreshing haha. Okay that's it. Elder Rebojo and I are gonna try check out another computer shop since these computers can't read our flash drives. I was able to send one picture now but I'll try to send more if we find a good shop. Love you guys!


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