Monday, November 23, 2015

11-22-15 I love being a missionary!

Kumusta po mom!

 Everything here is going great! I'm trying my best to be healthy haha. We eat so much sometimes and I don't have time to exercise! It's hard finding the time when there's just so much to do. The work is going really well. Elder Capulac likes to throw the "I don't know this area" card a lot so I'm always leading even when we get to a place that I haven't been to before haha. It's actually a huge blessing though. For the past few weeks I've been annoyed with myself because I learn so much during PS and meetings and stuff, which brings me to a kind of "spiritual high", but when it comes time to work I'm too shy to talk to people. There's so much joy I receive from this gospel and I'm keeping that from so many people because of my fear of man. Because of that I've been praying hard to Heavenly Father, asking Him to give me strength and confidence in my work. The past few days we committed about an hour each day to contact (tract). You guys know how much I disliked tracting with the elders at home haha. But the Lord answered my prayers for sure. It's hard to explain the difference, but I know that through my efforts, Heavenly Father has given me confidence. Even when it's a person who has no interest in what we have to say, it's a great feeling knowing that I did what I could. Yesterday we were looking for the house of someone we met through contacting a few weeks ago. It was a good reason for me to talk to people and ask if they knew where his house was. He wasn't home when we found the house but a sister (neighbor - same lot but separate houses) was out taking her clothes off the lines. We talked to her through the fence and then she let us come into the property. Her daughter brought out chairs for all of us and we talked as we waited for brother Arial to come home. This is when Elder Capulac did pretty much all of the talking haha. I understand most of what people say but it's hard to speak quickly in conversation. He's really good at talking with people and discerning their needs. Eventually brother Arial came home and we spent another while talking and getting to know each other. We weren't able to teach a lesson but Elder Capulac did a great job in preparing them for our next visit; they were more than willing to let us return and share our message. We had a lot more good experiences this week but I left my planner at the apartment so I can't remember everything haha. I just know that it felt really good, especially the last few days. 
 Sorry mom, no pictures this week. I took a bunch and was excited to send them, but we're in a different net shop this time and the computer can't read my camera. Next week na lang. But I love this place so much and still can't get over how beautiful it is! I'm constantly seeing new things. Today our district along with the zone leaders went on a hike. It was hot but a really cool experience. We even crossed a really shallow river (knee-height) which felt so great. It was pretty hard resisting the temptation to "fall" haha. We're also going back to Banaue in a few weeks! I'm stoked. 
 Man, I almost tear up every time I read that you guys are doing well haha. As a missionary all I want is for people to have the blessings of Heavenly Father. It's such a testimony builder knowing that my family is doing their part in obtaining those blessings. Every day I think about how different my life would be if I didn't have such a strong, gospel-centered family. Even though I "let go" of the iron rod countless times throughout my life, you & dad have always been there to guide me back to it. Words can't describe how grateful I am for that. I know that this gospel is true. I've reached the point where I couldn't deny it if I wanted to. I want so badly to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and I feel myself getting there as I search, ponder, pray, and obey. These things have become a source of great joy to me. Man, I love being a missionary! 

Love you guys! Have a great week!
Elder Ishibashi

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