Monday, May 15, 2017

5-7-17 Kumusta po na naman family!

*This email was written last week but Elder Ishibashi mistakenly sent it only to his brother in the Philipines.  In our skype session tonight we told him that we got no email and he was able to resend.  

Kumusta po na naman family!

 These weeks are just flying by like crazy di ba? Today I hit 22 months since entering the MTC...nuts. We had another super great week though! 

 Last week was pretty much just ridiculous great all week haha. Saturday was slightly hard, but it got better again yesterday (so much better!). We found many people and almost all of them accepted the invitation to be baptized in the first lesson! I gotta tell you guys about James though. This is one of the coolest things that's happened so far in my mission. After District Meeting on Tuesday we visited the home of a less-active family with the intent to share a message with them. They weren't home but this brother who's just renting a part of their home came out. He seemed a little annoyed at first since all of their dogs were barking and we kept "tao po"-ing which is like the "anybody home?" here. We just decided to introduce ourselves and I was gonna say we'll return on another day when the family is home. What's interesting is he told us his name and I remembered an investigator we had with the same last name in my first area, Lamut. This investigator never really progressed but I never forgot him for some reason. I asked if he knows him and he said they're first cousins! I think it was at that point we got a little more comfortable with each other. Out of nowhere it began to rain. This is the only time it rained hard all week last week. Just before it got hard he told us to just come undercover for a while and wait for the rain to settle down. We talked with him a little more about our purpose and asked if we could teach him about the restoration. The rain was really rough so we were kind of yelling the whole lesson (haha), but the spirit was so strong. We taught the first lesson super simply, putting emphasis on Christ's perfect church being lost then restored in its fullness through the prophet Joseph Smith. Throughout the lesson we asked if he had any questions and his responses kept surprising us. He went from, "Nope, I just want to try attending your church so I can hear more" to "no, I just really want to keep learning more about what you guys have to say". That never happens. We invited him to be baptized and he thought about it for a bit since he's been baptized before, but accepted it after we taught a little more about the Priesthood. He was very interested in learning more about the Book of Mormon. At this point we were on our very last copy, but told him that if he promises to actually read we'll be more than happy to give it to him. He was like, "I'll read the whole thing". We acted on faith and was given 2 more copies by our zone leaders the next day. We had many investigators promise this past week that they'll go to church on Sunday (yesterday) but only one actually came. Brother James. It was testimony Sunday which was perfect, the classes were great and something that kept coming up throughout the 3 hours was the truth of the Book of Mormon. We asked throughout the day if he had any questions and he was just like, "No, I'll just keep listening and reading and ask later." He returned home in the mountain province after church but will back at the family's house on Wednesday so Elder Marquez them will visit him then (we'll have splits with the zone leaders). Sorry for the long story, but this guy is one of those investigators that just makes everything worth it. 

 Nanay Cauilan is doing super great as well. I think she couldn't make it to church yesterday because one of her daughters, Karen, will give birth any day now so she's watching over her. Her RM daughter, Kat, bore testimony yesterday though and said that while she was getting ready for church nanay Cauilan out of nowhere said, "I don't know why, but I really want to get baptized!" Kat said she also heard her mom and Karen that morning reading the assignment we left with them about the Book of Mormon. 

 As for Mitzi, we're not super sure about her. Her cousin dropped us which was heartbreaking. I feel like they may be pushing Mitzi to stay with them and not listen to us anymore. We're praying that she'll find the strength to do the right thing even though it may be hard and uncomfortable. I like President Monson's saying "May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."

 We'll try to find out this week why the others who promised to go to church weren't able to do so and how we can help them do that. Elder Marquez is still super awesome and fun to be with. I learn so much from him and am humbled because he continues to sustain me as the senior companion and listens to me even though he's already better than me at everything haha. He applies the things I say immediately and just keeps seeking ways to improve in every way possible. There's no doubt in my mind that he'll witness miracles throughout his mission. I'm stoked that he'll be here to meet the soon-to-be Elder Koyamaibole! Congratulations to him! He's gonna love this mission so much.

 Thank you guys for the emails and pictures! Glad to know everyone's safe and healthy. As for the Mother's Day call, I guess I'll call around 12 here which will be like 6 there. Is that okay? We'll be using our neighbor's computers along with the zone leaders so hopefully everything will work out. I'm excited to see you guys though! I forgot my cord this week so still can't send pictures...sorry. I'll just forward one that a member sent for today. Have a great week!

 Mahal ko po kayo. Kita-kita po tayo sa Mother's Day!
Elder Ishibashi


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