Monday, August 15, 2016

8-14-16 I love being a missionary

Kumusta po family, magandang hapon!

 I so enjoyed reading your emails! What a cool job mom! Although I can't help but feel like it's a dangerous one if the building is so secured haha. I'm so happy for you though and love the thought that you and dad are able to have lunch together every day! Such a blessing. Not that it matters, but does this mean I'll come home a rich man? Haha joke lang. For people here absolutely any one from America is automatically rich. They're like "Libre mo kami!" which is like "treat us somewhere!" and I'm just like, "you can have this rock." Honestly though since I've been out here my "love" for money has died down so much. I read a talk a little while back about paying tithing and fast offering. I don't even remember what was said, but since then it's almost become a joy to pay fast offering (since we don't pay tithing as missionaries). A thought that comes to mind frequently is to think of paying these things as investing in your mansion in the next life. Sometimes I just wanna give everything haha, but then I wouldn't be able to eat. All things must be done in order I guess. I'm excited to pay my tithing again when I get home though, because I believe full-heartedly that it's true. I feel bad for not paying an honest tithing for most of my younger life before coming out here. 

 Thank you dad for sharing that experience. You don't know how cool it is for a missionary to have a father experiencing those kinds of things. The other day I began reading "Church History in the Fulness of Times" during my free time and I'm hooked. Here it goes into depth about Joseph Smith, his family, the coming and translating of the Book of Mormon, and I think it'll go all the way until the end of his life. It is so interesting! It's crazy how many miracles happened during these times, there are already so many things I read that I never knew before. The Spirit is so strong every time I read and I feel it testifying that these things are true. I love the knowledge that God will never cease to be a God of miracles like it says in Mormon 9:19-20. I love that's it's so possible to have experiences like Joseph Smith and like you, dad. We just need to keep ourselves truly worthy, faithful, and willing at all times. What cool doctrine! 

 As for me and Elder Labrador, we're doing super well. I enjoy having him as my companion and continue to learn so much from & with him. We had a great week overall this past week. Venalyn continues to absorb everything we teach and is keeping commitments. I thought it was interesting that we didn't even finish the first 3 lessons but Elder Labrador said we should teach her the Word of Wisdom. I'm glad we did, because there we found out she has a slight coffee problem. She wasn't able to attend church yesterday for some reason, so we'll visit her soon and ask how that's going. We also got a handful of new investigators, and I have high hopes for most of them! Some just don't seem super ready to accept the Gospel yet. But I have a good feeling that at least half of them will progress. A couple of them already came to church for the first time yesterday! I think the coolest thing though is that one of our progressing investigators. Germalyn, finally got her husband to attend church as well! We had a CSP at April Dangilan's house again and Germalyn's husband, Filipe, jumped right in and helped a bunch. While helping he got to know the leaders of our branch who were there. This strengthened my testimony of the power of service. It really is a great way to build relationships with others and gain their trust! It makes it a lot more comfortable for others to attend church when they know they already have friends there. 

 Alright, those are the main things that happened this week. I love being a missionary and having been given 2 years to focus 100 percent on the gospel. I know that this gospel is true and that the fulness of it was restored through Joseph Smith. The more I read about him the more I know that it's true. We are so blessed to have the Book of Mormon which contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel. And we are so blessed to know God's plan for us & how we can return to Him. Something we've been emphasizing this week is the principle of enduring to the end. Elder Labrador says that there are 3 steps that we need to do if we want to be able to endure to the end: pray, read the scriptures, and go to church. And to do those things always. What of those things are we not doing as often as we should? I know that if we can honestly say we're doing those 3 things always, we will always be on the right path. 

I love you guys! Have a great week!
Elder Ishibashi

 Zone picture. We have 2 greenies in our zone, Elder Abubo & Elder Kearl. They're both awesome and excited to be missionaries!

Adding to the Dangilans' home, no expenses! We have such a great & supportive branch!
The one in the black tank-top above is brother Filipe

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