Monday, April 25, 2016

4-24-16 Start doing missionary work now!

Kumusta po dad. salamat sa email!

 Man, everything is just going so great here in Alicia. Elder Umpat continues to be a great missionary and companion. I'm stoked to introduce you guys to him in just 2 weeks!! We're continuing to find new people to teach and less-active members who haven't been taught in a long time. Elder Umpat is definitely a hastener! 

 We also have 2 baptisms set for May! The first is Charlyn, I think I mentioned her last week. We only met her 2 weeks ago but she is progressing so quickly. All she needs to do is attend church a few more times and she can be baptized! The other is tatay Porras, the father of a few members and another progressing investigator. I've known of him since I got here in Alicia but he was always busy while we shared messages with his kids. A few weeks ago he fell and has since hasn't been able to walk on his own. He asked for a Priesthood blessing last Sunday and we were finally able to share a message with him for the first time. In the lesson he didn't seem very interested so we didn't think much of it. Yesterday though, Lee (daughter/progressing investigator) told us he's been wondering when we'd return to teach him. We went straight to him and shared another message. He's been having a hard time feeling Heavenly Father's love for him. We were able to help him remember that God does love us and knows what we're going through. And then somehow we connected it to baptism and was impressed to invite him to follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized. He said yes pretty quickly, so we're 100 percent sure if he understood haha. But I have feeling he will progress and will be baptized in May. Great thing are happening! 

 I'm also so grateful for the YSA's (young, single adults) in our ward. We've been trying to visit Adesa, a ysa less-active member, for a while but haven't gotten a hold of her for over a month now. Yesterday the ysa's decided to do missionary work on their own and visit the less-active ysa's in the ward. They were able to get a hold of Adela and teach her a lesson about faith. How is that! None of them have served their own missions yet, but they're freely going out & doing missionary work. Through them we were also able to talk to another less-active ysa who usually hides from us when she sees us haha. After talking for a little while and getting to know her better, she said we can teach her sometime this week! My testimony on working with members in doing missionary work has been strengthened so much. It really is so much easier and more effective when you work with members. Thanks to another ysa, Charlyn had a friend at church and won't be to worried about returning this coming Sunday. For those who haven't served a mission yet, you don't have to wait until you enter the field. Start doing missionary work now! Even if it's just being a friend to a new face at church. It makes a huge difference. 

 Another tender mercy we experienced on Thursday was in a lesson with these 2 brothers. I was a little worried about returning to their house since our first visit wasn't exactly the ideal first visit you'd want as a missionary. The younger brother seemed pretty humble and willing to listen, but the older almost seemed mad and acted like we didn't know what we were talking about. Well this time, it was kind of the same thing haha. In the beginning at least. They came out with their bibles and it seemed like they were ready to bible bash. Somehow we were able to keep everything calm though and they're now willing to hear more about the Book of Mormon and read it! We'll hopefully get a hold of them this week.

 Alright that's about all I have time to share about for this past week, but the tender mercies don't stop there. We are being so blessed it's crazy. Although I should mention I totally jinxed myself with what I said about adidas last week, since I've had it twice this past one. It's not bad anymore! Another tender mercy haha. We also celebrated Elder Umpat's birthday on the 20th at the Porras' home. I'll send a picture with this email. But anyway, that's all. Know that I continue to pray for you guys and am still crazy stoked for 'Ohu. President Rahlf also says congrats on getting called to the second best mission haha. Have a great week!

Mahal ko po kayo,
Elder Ishibashi

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