Monday, August 22, 2016

8-21-16 Alright kumusta po family!

Alright kumusta po family!

 So many great things has happened this past week! I doubt I'll be able to cover everything. I guess the first thing is that for most of the week we've had Elder Pangilinan, Elder Warren's companion, with us here in Bambang. Elder Warren wasn't feeling well again on Wednesday so was taken to Manila. We were really worried, figuring that this was probably the last chance to keep him in the field. I'm happy to report that President Hiatt emailed us today and said that Elder Warren's doing great, and will return either tomorrow or on Wednesday :) such a blessing! And it's been a huge blessing working with Elder Pangilinan, especially for me. Elder Pangilinan has a super quiet voice, but one of his greatest strengths is talking to people. He's the type of missionary who enjoys talking with people and bringing up the gospel. Thanks to his and Elder Labrador's great examples I'm getting a lot more comfortable and confident in speaking with others. 

 This might have been the best week we had work-wise since I've been here. We're still a little short of hitting the standards of excellence in every category, but it's a great feeling seeing the numbers go up. We taught about tithing a couple more times this week and my testimony and excitement to do it continues to grow. I often share Aunty Roxie's tithing experience. I remember her telling me that at one time she set a goal to visit the Laie temple once a month and did so for a while. One month she found that if she were to pay her tithing, she wouldn't have enough travel money for the temple. What would you choose there? the temple? or tithing? I remember aunty saying that she chose tithing and trusted that the Lord would still provide a way for her to be able to accomplish her goal in getting to the temple. She said that some time later an unexpected envelop came in the mail, and inside it was the exact amount she needed to go to the Laie temple. This experience shows that the Lord's promise in Malachi 3:10 is true, and it helps those I share it with see the importance of paying an honest tithing.

 My favorite lesson of the week was on Saturday. I worked with an RM, brother Joker Igna, while E. Labrador & E. Pangilinan worked together. Bro. Igna & I visited the Ballesteros family, who haven't been to church in years. The original plan was to just focus on teaching their daughter who is an investigator. But when we got there we noticed that the whole family was together for the first time, so we took advantage of that and decided to change what we'd teach. I had a scripture verse in mind but just after the opening prayer was finished I felt that it'd be best to share the first 2 principles in the Restoration pamphlet: a loving Father in Heaven and families. Some of the things I shared I have never taught before, but bro. Igna was happy to add on to those things and give his own insights on the effect of the gospel on families. The Spirit was powerful as he bore his testimony and boldly invited the family to return to church. We talked about the experience afterwards while walking to our next destination, and we both agreed that that lesson was lead by the Spirit. What's cool too is I had an extra Aklat ni Mormon in hand that I intended to give to another investigator earlier that day, but he wasn't home. I ended up giving it to this family and Sis. Ballesteros told us how she would love reading the Book of Mormon back in the day, but they haven't had one to read in a long time. Everything just turned out perfectly!

 We were sad to not see brother & sister Ballesteros in church yesterday, but their daughter said that they were called at the very last minute to work. But she said they were willing and ready to go to church when they were called, so we found comfort in that. Hopefully next week! They have the potential of being a great example for other less-active member families and for the nonmembers who live around them. Keep them in your prayers please!

 Alright so many other great things happened this week but I'm already over time, so we need to leave. I love you guys! Thank you for the updates and for being great examples of how members should be! Thank you mom for your desire to share the gospel with others; we just had a lesson earlier where the sister said she was a little shy to say openly that she's a member. We should be happy to pronounce and make it known to everyone that we are members of the true church of Jesus Christ! There is no shame in that. Sincere prayer and diligent scripture study can help us to come over that fear or shame. Have a great week!

Mahal na mahal ko po kayo,
Elder Ishibashi

Got punted for a little while so made a new friend. He was so chill as we each got on his back to take pictures haha

The elders in our zone met together and hiked up to a cross at the top of one of the many hills here. It was pretty awesome! Beauuutiful view

Bambang zone elders


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