Monday, April 4, 2016

4-3-16 Elder Umpat is awesome

Kumusta po dad!

 So much has happened this past week! It's been another super great one. You guys probably saw it on the mission blog, but my "anak" is Elder Umpat! He is so awesome so far, holy smokes. He's 22 years old and from Palawan, a place in the Manila mission. He was the Branch Mission Leader at home before he came out here, so he already knows pretty much everything about the work and mission rules. It's a huge blessing for me. On the bus back to Alicia he told me that he'd been praying that his trainer would be exactly obedient. I know I'm nowhere near it, but I was so glad to hear him say that. That means that he himself has the desire to be exactly obedient, and I've seen his efforts the past few days. We've already had some awesome experiences at work! Got a new investigator the day he came in, had a couple lessons with people Elder & I knew but never got to share with, found some LA houses, etc. We even met these 2 girls on Saturday and one actually called us the following day! That never happens haha. I'm a little worried that her mind isn't exactly on our message, but she has friends who are members and she wants to go to church this coming Sunday, so I'm pretty excited to teach her tomorrow and kind of discern with Elder Umpat what we should do with her. 

 But anyway, I'll try to make this email a little more organized. On Tuesday we spent the day visiting members so Elder Flores could say his goodbyes. We shared a quick message with most of them though which I appreciated. That night, while at a family's house for dinner, President Rahlf called me. He told me that, along with being a new trainer, the Lord has called me to be a District Leader. He said our meeting for people becoming District Leaders will be this week, so I'd have to teach one lesson beforehand. The DL has to teach a lesson in District Meeting every week to his district for about 1-1 1/2 hours. The thought of being a new trainer and DL is preeetty stressful, but I know that these callings are from the Lord so I know it's possible. I heard Elder Bice just became a DL too! So I'll get to see him at the meeting! Miss that guy. 

 Wednesday was great! We were the first to show up in Cauayan for transfer day. We didn't meet with Elder Umpat them until like 3 so while waiting for them we just spent time with the other missionaries who came to Cauayan for transfers. It was so great seeing familiar faces again! I got to talk story with people from my Utah batch and others I served with in Solano zone. Sister Abalos, our Sister Training Leader in Solano, is now in our Alicia zone! She only has 2 cycles in the field left so she's not an STL anymore. I'm stoked about our zone though, we have a lot of cool, new people. After a while everyone left to their areas and only us new trainers were there. Meeting with our new companions was awesome. It's actually pretty cool, I saw their pictures a few weeks ago and was like, "I feel like this one is gonna be my companion". And it turned out to be him! Again, Elder Umpat is awesome. He has a super soft voice and is shy, but he doesn't let that affect his work. The Spirit is strong with him in lessons, and I know it's because he actually lives the things he teaches. I already know these next 12 weeks of training are gonna fly by. I'm so excited to experience miracles though!

 Thursday was my first lesson as a District Leader. It was pretty boring for those in my district and I wasn't fully prepared, but the Lord did help a lot in putting words in my mouth and experiences in my mind that I could share. Do you guys have any ideas or advice on how I can make my lessons more powerful or interesting? Please let me know. 

 Friday was a great day of work and just flew by. On Saturday we had a CSP and then a baptism later on that day. I was given the opportunity to be one of the baptizers! It was a pretty cool experience for me since this was my first time ever baptizing someone. I'll send pictures with this email. 

 Elder Umpat's ready so we're heading out now. But on a quick side note, ask Kaimi Bourne if
he remembers an Elder Acosta. His family's in our ward and we had dinner at their house on Thursday. He said he served in San Pablo so I asked if he knew Elder Bourne. It was awesome hearing about Kaimi from the view of a fellow missionary! They served in the same zone at one point but never became companions. But anyway, so that's it for the past week. We're gonna do some grocery shopping then Elder wants to get some lessons in before FHE tonight, what a hastener! Thank you for the picture and email dad! And for the experience you shared. I constantly find myself trying to follow yours and Herbert's examples as missionaries. Thank you guys!

Mahal ko po kayo,
Elder Ishibashi

Our bishop, Bishop Soriano, and his wife

FHE with the Castro family. I don't know if I mentioned this yet, but every FHE here is accompanied with some kind of game haha.
After our CSP. Elder Umpat, Elder Elicay, and me.
Baptism ng mga batang Esperanzate! 

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