Monday, February 13, 2017

2-12-17 We had a super great week

Kumusta po Family!

 Alright! I did my other emails real quick before this one so I could focus better. We had a super great week last week! Sooo many blessings. One of the greatest things that happened was our splits with President Hiatt! He and Sister Hiatt go on 24-hour splits with a random set of zone leaders and sister training leaders once a cycle, and this time we were chosen. President worked with us on Wednesday and returned to Cauayan on Thursday morning. We were blessed with great work on Wednesday! We worked in Simimbaan, one of the furthest, but the most progressing areas. We got a few new investigators and every lesson we had went super well. Something I noticed about President Hiatt is that he's a master at correcting with love. One of our investigators, Carlos, has a baptismal date but it keeps getting pushed back because of his smoking & drinking problem. He keeps doing well and then falling again. President taught him super clearly that if he loves his family and wants to be with them forever, he'll stop those things. He taught it so boldly, but in a way where Carlos wasn't offended, but was strengthened and more motivated to avoid those things and become clean and worthy to be baptized. And President Hiatt taught with that same Spirit in every one of our lessons, really focusing on the fact that through this gospel we can be united with our families forever, through the eternities. 

 Something else I learned about President is his inward love and dedication to the Lord. Only at the end of the day (around 8:30) he mentioned that he didn't get to eat lunch. We were walking all over and speaking with so many people throughout the day, though he didn't seem weak or fatigued at all. I remembered what Christ said about fasting, how we should never make it obvious when we are. It was cool that President lives that even when he's not fasting. He also told us about one of his personal rules he made since being called as a bishop. It was so cool to see his strong desire to be seen as a servant & disciple of Christ at all times. We also saw the sacrifices that President Hiatt makes as a Mission President, one being retiring to bed extra late and arising extra early to be able to fulfill his responsibilities. And so many missionaries feel like the sleep we get is not enough. 

 Did I tell you guys about the Imasa family? They're a referral given to us, actually by a less-active member. They're golden though. They accepted our message so well since the first lesson and are keeping the commitments we give them. They even came to church yesterday!! Mario, Mary Grace, and Mario Jr. have accepted the invitation to be baptized on March 18. Pray for them please! There are still many things we need to teach and a few things they may need to work on before being baptized. We were so stoked to see them yesterday though, in the most presentable clothes they have. We'll get to see them this coming Wednesday and follow-up on their church attendance. 

 We also have another new investigator named Rodrigo. His brother is an active member in our branch. Our first time meeting Rodrigo was on Wednesday with President Hiatt. What's interesting is we were actually looking for his mother who some other missionaries met in their area and sent her information. Only when we got there did we find out that he's Ronny's brother. This is what's cool though. Rodrigo doesn't really "radiate" happiness haha. I was wondering if he cared at all to listen to us. We had a great lesson with him again though on Saturday, and I noticed a change in him. He gave the closing prayer and did a great job. He really thought hard about what to say and you could feel that he knew he was speaking with Heavenly Father Himself. I asked him how he felt after the prayer and he said he felt happier and "lighter". His face even seemed brighter. It was a cool experience and I saw how quickly and real the effect the gospel has on people. 

 Many other great things happened but I need to stop here since I've gone overtime again. I love you guys! Thank you for the emails and for being great examples, especially as members of the church. Patuloy lang! 

 Mahal na mahal ko po kayo,
Elder Ishibashi

We literally ate cucumbers and rice one day haha. #struggles

Splits with President Hiatt


Companionship bonding - watching "The Testaments"

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