Monday, November 14, 2016

11-13-16 Magandang hapon po!

Magandang hapon po!

 Alright I have a good amount of time to write today. Like I mentioned before, we had the crazy cool privilege of having Elder & Sister Schmutz visit our mission a couple weeks ago. What's awesome is they taught us in our MLC so the zone leaders & sister training leaders got to spend a little more time with them than the other missionaries. The following day we had a meeting where about 5 zones met up and we got to hear again from Sister & Elder Schmutz. Elder Gatus & I conducted the meeting which was a really neat experience. Elder Schmutz is probably the best example I know of D&C 84:85, which promises that we'll know what to say when the time comes, as long as we effectively read & ponder the scriptures. He taught by the Spirit and supported things the missionaries said with scripture verses! It was the coolest thing and it motivated me to get better at "unpacking" scripture verses, and then to rely more on the Spirit while teaching. That was pretty much the biggest thing that happened the other week. 

 This past week was another great one as usual. We had a good zone training meeting on Tuesday (my 16 month mark...) where we relayed Elder Schmutz message about foreordination to the zone. Among the many scriptures we discussed Abraham 3:22-26 where Abraham learns about foreordination. This topic was really cool too. I love the fact that I was chosen to serve here in the Philippines way before I even received my mission call, and that goes for every other missionary in the world. It kind of solidifies my testimony that everything happens for a reason. And it's very motivating too knowing that we already promised beforehand that we'd serve honorably and fully. An elder had a great question to which Elder Schmutz gave such a simple answer. The question was: How can I know that I'm fully fulfilling my foreordination? or achieving everything God wants me to achieve? The answer was: simply obey. Through obedience we'll receive and accomplish everything God intends for us in our lives. If we're truly obedient, nothing can hold us back. 

 We had some really good work this past week as well. We set some time specifically for finding new people to teach and less-active members we haven't met yet. We were also able to spend some time working with a brother who came home from his mission because of home sickness. He's actually a really good teacher, so we're hoping he can overcome that and head out to the field again within the next couple months. Our most-progressing investigator right now is Lloyd, who was actually a referral from his member neighbors. He was really shy when we first got to know him but is really opening up now. He's living the things we teach and we're seeing the change in his life. Lloyd is excited to be baptized and even has a desire to serve a mission! I actually really hope I don't get transferred this next cycle so I can witness Lloyd's baptism on December 10. 
 Yesterday we were so excited to see bro. Marvin, sis. Susan's husband, in church! And even their one daughter who was afraid of going to church in pants since she doesn't like dresses. This was their first time going to church as a whole family in many years, such a cool thing to see. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture with them after church. 

 But anyway that's pretty much it! Everything's running smooth with Elder Gatus and I'm actually learning so much from him language-wise! He's not afraid to correct me with my language which I appreciate. I also continue to learn great things from him as a missionary. Thank you guys for the updates, and congratulations again U'i & Mikel! I'm stoked! Love you guys! :)

Elder Ishibashi

Elder & Sister Schmutz

Since I got the package after my birthday we just partied it up Tuesday night in celebration of my 16 month mark. Elder Gatus also made graham cakes for us which is one of the best desserts ever. Uncle BJ should know what that is.

We had a fun district activity this morning and 4 of our district mates are now new members of the buga-buga club. I'll explain that when I get home

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