Monday, February 6, 2017

2-5-17 He will help us

Magandang tanghali po family!

 Man, I always enjoy reading yours & Elder Ishibashi's (Fiji) emails each week. Thank you so much for the experience, dad. That's easily one of the coolest things I've heard happen to someone, and then the fact that it was to my own father makes it ridiculous haha. I'm going to print it out and probably share it sometime in a lesson or something. I love that God is, and never will cease to be, a God of miracles. The truth is I wish things like that happened to me more often, but I know that God doesn't always give us what we want, but will always give us what we need. And you never know, maybe things like that do happen to me but I'm not aware or grateful enough to realize it. Maybe this happens with all of us sometimes. It reminds me again of that experience Nephi had on the ship. He had every right to complain, yet only thanked God for the blessings that he did have. I've noticed over the past couple weeks that I still have sooo many weaknesses that need to be overcome, and I'm trying my best to be patient with them and trust that these struggles are part of God's plan for me. 

 But anyway, so the past couple weeks were great! A lot of ups and downs for sure. Probably the biggest thing that happened recently is the worldwide changes that have been made to missionary work and schedules. The Brethren have made some changes to our schedules and key indicators so that we can be more focused on establishing the church in our specific missions and areas. It's actually a pretty big change, but it's really exciting. We gathered as 3 zones to watch the broadcast. President & Sister Jones (senior couple, counselor to President Hiatt) were there and gave me this thing called 'the trunky letter'. It was like a nightmare come true haha. This is the letter that we get when we're on our way home, talking about how we can finish strong and "keep that torch lit". I'll read it sometime this week. 

 Alright we're kind of on our way out now, sorry for the short email. I want to share about one of the less-active members we have here real quick, Sister Ailyn. We actually met her for the first time about 2 months ago. We were having a meryenda at one of the small tindahans in San Antonio when we first saw Ailyn and decided to speak with her. We found out she was a member but hasn't been to church in a really long time. From there we went straight to her house and got to share a message with her and her 2 kids. Since then we've been trying to visit her at least once a week (her house is a pretty far walk from the highway) and helping her to get to church. She's shown the desire to attend church but things have kept her from doing so. Until she finally made it last Sunday! And was even there before we arrived. We visited her again later on in the week and asked how her experience was, and her response was the coolest thing. She said that she was so excited to go to church that her trials in doing so were like nothing. She had to walk a distance with 2 kids, one in her arms, in the dirt & drizzle, but did it happily because her thoughts were focused on church. And she was so edified and happy afterwards that the way back was also a breeze and seemed so quick. 

 If we truly have the desire to do the right thing and especially follow Jesus Christ, we can do it. It's really that simple. Troubles come and won't ever stop coming, but there's no excuse for not following the Lord. He says it pretty well in 2 Nephi that it's not Him who sells us, but we sell ourselves, or remove ourselves from His presence, because of our own iniquities. I have a strong testimony that if we will put our trust in Him and show our desire to follow Him by work & action, He will help us. He repeats that over and over again throughout the Book of Mormon. We will take on our struggles and trials with more ease and a brighter attitude when we focus on our ultimate goal, which is to be with Heavenly Father again. 

 I love you guys! Thanks again for the updates and experiences! Sa uulitin,
 Elder Ishibashi

How I feel sometimes

Basically every LDS parking lot in the Philippines

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