Monday, July 4, 2016

7-3-16 I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us

Kumusta po dad! 

 This past week flew by crazy quick. I'm loving it so much here in Bambang! Elder Labrador and I got sick a couple times throughout the week so the work was a little on the downside, but the work we did have was great. Elder Labrador is the type of missionary to work literally until he just has to rest, and even then just for quick moment and then he'll get up again and we'll get back to work. He's a great example of what a missionary should be! 

 This coming Saturday we'll have 2 investigators enter the waters of baptism! They are both super great. The first is Rona Bitagan. We teach her and her sister and they are always so sunk into each lesson. I think the only reason her sister, Sheila, won't be baptized yet is because she's waiting for her husband (member) to come home first; he's working abroad. When I first arrived to Bambang Elder Labrador told me something that happened to Rona. Long story short, she was terrified of a certain thing happening to her, to the point of not being able to eat or sleep. Elder Labrador & his last companion advised her to pray fast. And she did it! It really was a miracle. She said that she's back to normal & now has a testimony on fasting. And she hasn't even been baptized yet! 

 The other is April Dangilan. She is so ready to be baptized as well. Her family lives pretty far from the church and they are very watchful in how they spend their money, yet she finds ways to go to church. April is the kind of person who just smiles all the time, even when in a rough situation. That makes it really easy to feel the Spirit around her. When we visited her on Saturday we noticed something was wrong. She still smiled but we knew there was something on her mind. She said that out of nowhere she's been having second thoughts about continuing with the baptism this Saturday. There I saw that Satan really does try as hard as he can to stop the Lord's work. We tried to comfort her and promised blessings if she would be able to endure and keep commitments. I was so relieved to see her in Church yesterday, back to her bright attitude. Something crazy happened as well in our Gospel Principles class. April brings her 3 children, who are all very young, with her to church. In class her youngest fell from her chair, head-first, onto the tiled ground. What amazed me was that her head hit the ground first before her back following, but she was completely okay, didn't even cry! I thought, "How would April have been affected if her baby's fall was fatal? How would that have affected her spiritually?" My testimony has been strengthened that God's promises are always fulfilled. I believe April's baby was saved because of April's faithfulness and diligence in following Christ. It's interesting that although Satan is working 24/7 to bring us down, the Lord is also working 24/7 to keep us up.

 Another fun thing I was able to do last week was return to Cauayan for our New Leaders Meeting. You guys remember Elder Kane? I forgot to mention that he's in Bambang too, and he's now my District Leader! The other District Leader in our zone also came from Alicia, Elder Oredson. Since they're both new District Leaders the three of us went to Cauayan and our companions were in a tri-some for the day. The Meeting was super great - great lessons, messages, and awesome seeing many batch mates and Elder Rebojo again. It was also pretty special since this was the last full day of President & Sister Rahlf as Philippines Cauayan Mission President & Wife. The thought is a little sad but I'm also excited to learn from other spiritual giants, President & Sister Hiatt. Besides, I'll see President Rahlf on TV soon, because he'll probably become an apostle haha. He also said we'll have reunions in the future which I'm stoked for. 

 Alright, that's enough for now. We still have some things to do before work in a couple hours. I realized I haven't born my testimony in a while so I'll just bear a quick one now. I know that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us. I think everything I know & love about the Gospel sprouts from that knowledge. Because He loves us he provided a plan, a way for us to become like Him and receive a fulness of joy. I know that the center of that plan is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of Their love, He suffered for us and paid for our sins, pains, sorrows, regrets. The suffering is done. It's up to us now whether we are willing to accept the gift or not. I know that if we accept the gift and use it throughout our lives by repenting and walking the right path, we will receive the greatest of blessings, even eternal life. I know that this church is true, that it was restored by Joseph Smith, and that Thomas S. Monson is now the chosen seer & Prophet for this time. If we follow his counsel and endure to the end, we will be able to return to the presence of our Father. 

 Love you guys! It's great to hear of so many people preparing to serve missions! Let me know if there's anything I can do from here to help them in their preparation. Hope you guys have a great week!

Elder Ishibashi  

Elder Perkins & Elder Bice

Oh yeah I saw a snake for the second time! It was alive before I took the picture haha. I watched a tricey driver kill it with a stick

Wishing I was this kalabaw


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