Monday, December 19, 2016

12-18-16 Kumusta po Pamilya! Maligayang Pasko!!

Kumusta po Pamilya! Maligayang Pasko!!

 I can't believe Christmas is already coming up so soon! I'm pretty stoked about this week; we have a feeling it's going to be a really great one. I know this past week was. But first off congratulations again to Herbert & Jazamin! Super happy for you guys :) And thanks dad for the updates on the others. That's crazy to hear about Darren! Tell him I said congratulations too! 

 Alright, I'm excited to tell you guys about my week; this past week was a pretty amazing one. We had such great things happen! It already started off on a good week by getting a new investigator on Monday night, Sister Chelsea. She's super golden and accepted an invitation to be baptized in January! And we got a few other investigators who are just like her throughout the week. We're also super excited for a baptism coming up this Saturday! For Crisma Manuel. Tomorrow is her actual baptismal interview but we already had a practice interview last week, and it went really well. I usually like to ask at the very end of each baptismal interview: Why do you want to be baptized? She shared a beautiful testimony that she feels at home at church and knows that she's as happy as she is because of it. Just the night before our lesson with her she was offered alcohol and then teased when she refused. But because of her strength one of her friends asked her about the church and seems to have a desire to take the discussions as well. Crisma said she'll follow up on that first and we'll ask how she's doing tomorrow at the interview. We're excited for her! Especially since it's Christmas Eve, and also her birthday!

 The absolute highlight though of the week for me was on Saturday. On Saturday and yesterday we had District Conference. Since the very first session was the Priesthood session and we weren't going to attend since we didn't have any investigators to take with us, Sister Hiatt asked if she could work with us while President Hiatt attended the meeting. It was such a cool thing working with Sister Hiatt! In our first lesson she boldly told the father of the girl we teach that he needs to go to church and set a good example for his kids. Something she shared that was really cool was about Joseph Smith's first vision. She pointed out that Heavenly Father knew Joseph Smith, even by name. I don't know how many times I've taught that experience, yet never had the thought to use that in teaching that Heavenly Father loves and knows us so well, even down to our very names. I noticed that Sister Hiatt is very good at making people feel important and loved.

 After that first lesson we were walking at the highway, looking for a good spot to cross the road. I noticed a man sitting down at a small waiting place on our side of the road, but didn't think much of it. Then Sister Hiatt suggested that we contact him. And this turned out to be the coolest thing I got to be a part of so far on my mission. The first thing this brother, Enrico, said was that he's been wondering how to become a member of this church. That never happens. He said that every time he passes the church he feels a strong want to be among the members. He even inquired about the church on the internet and was replied to by church services. The only thing that didn't come, he said, was actually people to share the gospel with him. What's awesome too is he's very good at English so we communicated in English for Sister Hiatt (although we found out later she's also really good at Tagalog). She was prompted and told us to share a lesson with him right there on the side of the highway, so we did. The Spirit was so strong as we taught him about the restored gospel, and he was soaking everything in. Sister Hiatt showed him a quick Restoration video on her iPad and he said he feels exactly how Joseph Smith felt, truly seeking for the truth. We gave him a pamphlet and Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies that the things we shared are true. I left feeling so amazed and grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me to be a part of something like that. It was the neatest thing. 

 Thanks to Siater Hiatt a member who hasn't been to church in years and her husband was also there at the District Conference yesterday! Elder Frei was super surprised since he knows her a little better than Elder Fernandez and I do. Overall though it was such a cool experience working with Sister Hiatt and I can easily sustain her and President Hiatt fully as our Mission President and wife. 

 Sorry I can't go too much into the other things that happened! We're out of time now. Know that we're continuing to do really well here and I love my companions. I hope you guys have a great week and a Merry Merry Christmas! 

 Mahal ko po kayong lahat!
Elder Ishibashi


Sister Hiatt

Brother Enrico!

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