Sunday, April 3, 2016


Iyon, kumusta po family!

 Sheesh, thank you guys sooo much for all the emails! I was already having a great day, and you guys lifted my spirits so much more. It's soso good knowing you guys are only getting better and progressing in everything. I'm also so grateful that you're back to normal, mom. I'll keep praying for you specifically though just to be sure haha. Also, thank you and dad for your examples again. I don't like telling people my dad's bishop and have people saying I think I'm so cool, but sometimes I just can't help but brag haha. I've been blessed with such "perfect" parents, it's hard for me to understand the things other people go through. And happy birthday again Ohu! I love reading your letters haha, it's so easy to picture the things you talk about in my mind. Kala'i is a stud! Man and these pictures of the boys campout are awesome. Lehia's a shredder! And I'm so proud of him and Kala'i for being so helpful to their fellow scouts. Aye and tell Hali'a I said thank you for the email too. She's so good at typing already...I'm not sure if that's a good thing haha. I'm also grateful for U'is diligence in sending pictures and videos every week. And I'm happy for Herb and the whole dating thing haha. Keep me updated on that! 

 As for me, this week was a suuuper great one. So many crazy, awesome things happened. Oh but before I get to that, I remember what I was gonna say last week. I saw a snake! That's all, haha. I've seen a handful of dead snakes that have been run-over by a tricey or something, but this one was the first living one I've seen so far. Elder Flores and I were walking to the chapel to meet up with the sister missionaries and then head over to our dinner appointment when we saw the snake next to a curb. I was able to get a picture of it as it got over the curb and was just about to hide behind some bushes. I'll send it with this email. It's really not big at all compared to other wild snakes I hear about it, but I just thought it was so cool to finally see a living one haha. Foreigner problems.
 The first big thing that happened this past week was on Tuesday morning. We were preparing to leave for a special training meeting at the chapel when the APs (assistants to the Mission President) called. Long story short, MAGIGING TATAY NA AKO! They told me I've been called to be one of the trainers for the incoming missionaries on Wednesday. I'm pretty horrified haha, but excited to learn and grow too. The special meeting was super great as well. President and Sister Rahlf taught us about what we can do to better ourselves as missionaries and children of God. President also taught us in depth about Easter week and the things Jesus did in the last week of his mortal life. The spirit was so strong and I learned so much! Again, I so wish we could have meetings like that more often. Unfortunately I don't have the notes I took with me right now, but one thing President said that I really liked and wrote down at the front of my planner is this: Until there is obedience, sacrifice doesn't mean anything to the Lord. For missionaries, of course Heavenly Father is proud of us for making that step to leave home for 18-24 months, but if we're gonna spend the whole time doing things not related to our purpose, what's the point of serving? Something else he said that I liked was "selective obedience brings selective blessings". I've learned for myself that unless we at least strive to be exactly obedient, we aren't worthy of Heavenly Father's help in our work. 

 Wednesday was the new trainers' meeting so I went to Cauayan. I was stoked to see some familiar faces! The 2 other elders training are in my batch and the 3 sisters came in one cycle before us. There are a total of 5 new elders coming in but the other 2 trainers have trained before, so they didn't have to attend this meeting. The meeting was super awesome though. President, Sister Rahlf, and the APs did a great job at motivating me to become a trainer. I'm still terrified haha, but ready I think. 

 That's actually pretty much it for the week haha. Work is continuing to go so well. On Thursday we got a couple new investigators and found a few less-active members who haven't been visited by missionaries in a really long time. The Lord helps us big time in finding people when we reach out of our comfort zone! That's something I'm still working on, and another reason I'm excited to train. I need to be a good example all the more now. The language is really coming along too. I find myself being able to tell stories now which makes hanging out and getting to know people a little more fun. I skipped language study the other day and I noticed I stuttered a lot that day haha. Just shows how much the Lord helps when I do my studies effectively. On a quick side note, I've made 7 months in the Philippines! And I'll make 9 months as a missionary next week on the 8th! Time is going by so quickly, it's crazy. But yup, Elder Flores is finished so I'll stop here. Sorry to those I wasn't able to reply to. Love you guys! Thanks again for the emails and pictures. Have a great week!

Mahal ko kayo,
Elder Ishibashi

Ahas! (snake. Elder says it's Sawa in Ilocano)

The infamous Elder Kane if I haven't sent a picture of him yet. We figured he'd be transferring this coming Wednesday so we took a picture after the special training meeting last Tuesday. Mamimiss ko siya!
New Trainers' Meeting last Wednesday. 

After lunch today (member's house). The others were downstairs

Trainers in training

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