Monday, March 27, 2017

3-26-17 D&C 4:2

Kumusta po Family!

 Alright I have only a little time to talk about my week since I replied to other emails and stuff first. I also spent some time writing to Makana. Something I love about testimonies, and this is what a prophet said before, is that your testimony itself grows every time you bear it. I realized while emailing Makana that my life has changed even more than I thought, because of my decision to serve Heavenly Father on a full-time basis. If there is anyone reading my emails who is thinking about serving a mission, and is fully capable and worthy, please do it. Something that comes to mind is what a missionary said in one of the "The District" videos. He said, "If there's anyone who's capable and worthy to serve a mission, and chooses not to, you're making the biggest mistake of your life." And I know for myself that that's true. The Lord needs us to serve missions. He doesn't just suggest it or is happy when we do it, he needs us to serve missions. If we don't go out and teach all those that the Lord has prepared for us, who will? Please act by faith and do it. I can't think of a better way to earn His trust and to know what His will/plan is for our own individual lives.  

 This past week was awesome. We had a great zone conference on Wednesday that got me more inspired and excited to work hard. Two Filipino RM's that just returned home recently also attended, one of them being Elder Antenorcruz! One of my favorite past APs. Our work with Elder Doctolero is going really, really well. Like I said in my last email, I've made it a goal to take that extra step of faith everyday. I've realized this week that faith and fear can never co-exist. They can never work at the same time. If we fear, we lack faith, and if we have faith, we will not fear to act. Elder and I are striving to speak with more people and we're setting higher goals for ourselves and for the work. For some reason the number of investigators in church have gone down since we've been working harder than ever, but that's okay. It gives us a good opportunity to keep exercising faith that something great will happen eventually. I made a new goal to read from the Book of Mormon but really focus on the principle of faith.

 One cool experience that I can't get out of my head for some reason is actually something that just happened earlier this morning. We decided to work 2 hours this morning and will work one more hour after emails before doing the rest of our P-day duties. We spent some time contacting or "tracting" in the states. We came across this small compound of about 4 houses and introduced ourselves to the people there. We met one man who had a question about marriage. We speak with him for a little bit before sharing a message to understand his beliefs as a member of a different church. He said that once we go to heaven we won't have families anymore. Our parents won't be our parents, children, wife, husband, etc. We won't love anyone the way we love them here. It was then that I realized how many people must have that same belief, and that that's why it is so important that missionaries preach the gospel to all nations. The thought that people are living with the belief, and being okay with it, that we can't love people or be with our families forever, almost hurts. It's such a sad thought that someone can accept that. I know that it's not true. We can and will live forever with our families if we and they do our part and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

 I also learned the importance this past week of listening to the Spirit. And not just the importance of it, but how to do it. As zone leaders we do surprise apartment checks on the elders in our zone to make sure they're doing what they should at all times. We checked one companionship where both elders don't exactly have the best reputation. I prayed in the jeep on our way there that I might know what scripture verse the Lord would have me share with them. Usually after I pray I'll wait for a little while for an answer, but then leave and stop thinking about the things I prayed for, kind of just expecting that somehow an answer will break through all the other every-day-thoughts I have. But this time in the jeep I kept my mind blank, waiting for something to come. Then after a short while D&C 4:2 came to mind. Besides that my mind was still blank. I took that as the answer especially since I still haven't yet memorized D&C section 4, so that couldn't have come based off of my own knowledge of the scriptures. We found the elders not doing what they should have been, but had a great accounting session and tried to motivate them to give their all, especially since they both only have a few months left. The D&C verse fit perfectly with what we wanted to get across to them. I learned that when we ask for guidance from the Spirit, we need to focus on that thing and give space in our mind so that the Spirit can speak to us. 

 Alright, I've now gone overtime and Elder Doctolero is waiting for me. Thank you guys again for the emails and updates! I love you guys!

Elder Ishibashi

Bro. Antenorcruz

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