Monday, June 20, 2016

6-19-16 Happy Father's Day!

Kumusta po family! Happy Father's Day!

 Man, this past week was a craaaazy crazy busy one, but also a crazy great one. I guess the first thing I'd like to mention is that the baptism was a success! Thank you guys so much for praying for tatay! Lee & Michael were married on Saturday morning and were immediately baptized afterwards, along with tatay Danilo and Michaelangelo. Tatay cried of happiness at both the wedding and baptism, and expressed his gratitude & excitement multiple times throughout. What a cool experience and testimony builder for me. 

 One of our jobs as District Leaders is to do companion exchanges with other elders in our district to know how they're doing, how we can help them, etc. I'm guilty of pushing that off to the side for a really long time, but President Rahlf strongly suggested that I do splits with the Paddad elders this past week. It was a pretty cool experience working with an elder who will be on his way home in just a couple days. I learned a lot of things I can apply to myself, and also some things I probably shouldn't haha. Overall it left me seeing the importance of being obedient and enthusiastic about the work throughout the whole mission. One of President Rahlf's departing counsels to us was, "Finish stronger than you started". There's a huge (and obvious) difference between one missionary who works hard until the end and one who doesn't. I was filled with gratitude again this week for Herbert, being a returned missionary. If I didn't see the change in his life because of his mission, I don't know how seriously I'd take it. Because of him and dad I know what a returned missionary should be like, and knowing that keeps me motivated to keep going and working hard.

 On Friday we had a specialized training meeting in Cauayan. This was our final meeting with President & Sister Rahlf before they go home at the end of this month. Just like every other meeting with them, the spirit was so strong. They chose to give their final message on the Atonement. They both gave such powerful talks on how deep & amazing the Atonement really is. My testimony has been strengthened so much on Jesus Christ & Heavenly Father and their love for me. I know that the Atonement is infinite. It is for all worlds and all things. It hurts knowing that Jesus Christ had to suffer alone, but I love Him for it. It's amazing that no matter what our weaknesses or shortcomings are, the Atonement balances everything out. Because of the Atonement we are able to return to our Father in Heaven. After sharing about the Atonement they gave us some departing counsel and then we had some time to take pictures before heading back to our areas. It was great seeing Elder Rebojo again! This was Elder Umpat's first time meeting his lolo (grandpa). We had a great time catching up on things and had lunch together nearby before splitting up again. 

 On Saturday and Sunday we had Stake Conference which was great as well. I love hearing from the leaders of our church; they tend to be the most powerful for me. Through those talks I received some personal revelation on how I can improve myself as a missionary. That's pretty much it for the week though! Sorry if some things seem a little scrambled again, so many things to talk about in such little time. I learned that it's also a curse to have a good camera. I now have like 50 pictures that people want me to send and print haha. Also, I am transferring this coming Wednesday :/ I was almost certain I'd be Elder Umpat's follow-up as well, but I guess that's not what the Lord has planned for me. Although it's a little sad & I'll miss Alicia like crazy, I'm pretty excited to get hit with something new! So I'll be in a new area by my next email. Thank you guys for the emails! Sorry I can't reply to everything you guys talked about. I love you guys so much, and have a great week! :)

Mahal ko po kayo,
Elder Ishibashi  

On Wednesday we had a CSP (Community Service Project) at an elementary school. You know the phrase, "Be careful what you wish for"? I testify that it's true. I was like "I want the hardest job". Next minute I'm painting the school rooftop under a nice, bright sun. I don't think I've been that hot in my life haha. Be careful what you wish for!

Just before the baptism :)

Still working on smiling in pictures :p

3 generations

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