Tuesday, August 30, 2016

8-29-16 Found this cool post on FB

8-29-16 Found this cool post on FB

"Tina Kanahele Ishibashi, Jolene Kanahele Guess who I met last night in our home and again tonight at an FHE!!  I was so excited to meet him...in my home of all places...came in for a mtg with the ward mission leader who happens to be our nephew and I'm all shaking hands politely then my husband says he's from big island and I'm like what then looked at his name tag then forget the mission rules, it's Aloha kind bear hugs, hahaha...it's his first area covering 2 wards teaching indo fijians...the 1st Elder Ishibashi served in our stake but not my ward.  So yeah thought you'd be happy to see him n no worries will stuff him every chance we get! Lol."

Mahalo to the Maiwiriwiri Ohana!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

8-28-16 Yes, I am indeed learning Hindi!

Bula bula bula vinaka na noqu matavuvale!!

Well, shoot. I guess the word is out. Yes, I am indeed learning Hindi! Oh man, I have so much to say that leads up to that though, let me start from the beginning...

First order of business, SO SO sorry about no phone call before leaving!! I'm not entirely sure what happened, but apparently and for some reason, the funds on my card lowered significantly since I called last in Utah, and I didn't even have enough money on it to call home! Nor did I have enough on my person at that time, in coins anyway. So yeah, so sorry! I was wayyyy bummed when the airport person called out that our flight was boarding as I frantically figured out how to call. 
It was pretty cool, Elder Hunkin and I got to meet up with the MTC Tonga and Fiji districts at the airport. The Tongans left about an hour before us, so we got to catch up with the Fijians. Seems like an awesome group! The flight wassss...
Too long.
Fortunately, Elder Hunkin and I were able to cheat the system and sit next to each other. I got probably a good five to six hours of sleep on our 11 hour flight, the rest was spent talking to Elder Hunkin, writing, reading and listening to Fijian music.
Then, BOOM. FIJI. Elder Hunkin was absolutely siked out of his mind, and so was I. This place is just incredible. You'll see in the pictures, though Herb seemed to show up on a clearer day so my pictures are a little muggy haha. It was actually supposed to be a three hour flight, but because of traffic, it ended up being five hours. The scenery helped a lot, but it was still toooo long. When we got to our stop though, my intake was picked up by KAI KUBERA! I was sooo happy to see him, what are the odds ay? Apparently he's the zone leader of the Suva area or something, but yeah! He's doing really well and he said he loves you guys. Elder Kubera and his companion Elder Carlson took us to the mission home where we met President Layton, who greeted me with "Oh, we've been waiting for you!"

Then, curve balls of the flipping wide. In about two seconds, President Layton pretty much spiritually punched me in the gut. With a truck (hint hint). Let me start off by saying: The people here drive absolutely mad. Taxi drivers are insane and people walk off the sidewalks and onto the road willy-flipping-nilly, rarely ever looking. Also, they drive on the left (or WRONG) side of the road here. Now there's this: I have roughly one year of driving experience, I don't have my corrective lenses. here, and I have never driven stick in my life nor do I know how.
GUT-PUNCH  NUMBA DUA: I have been assigned to drive a Toyota HiLux. 

I've had some brief lessons from the ZLs, so I'm honestly getting more and more confident about it. I can't wait until I can go without stalling or halting! It's honestly way exciting a tiny bit scary but wayy cool! I'm taking more lessons today at qito. 

GUT-PUNCH NUMBA RUA: Let's start with some good news, 'Io doesn't have to feel left out about Herb and I speaking Fijian to eachother! Shocking news, it's because I'm speaking Hindi!
To practice a bit, and I'm probably spelling this wrong because literally my Hindi learning materials consist of Elder Mong Yen and Indian people:
Humar naam Elda Ishibashi hai.
Hum Hawaii ke hai.
Still working on it, but as we visit with people, I get more and more stoked to learn it! It's actually super cool sounding and I can't wait to understand these people and be able to respond! Also can't wait to meet Joseph one day and talk to him in front of Herbert. Vakajealoustaka saraga. One super cool thing about my mission, I'm among the first and only missionaries EVER, ANYWHERE, to serve a full mission learning and speaking Hindi. They've been switching Elders from Fijian to Hindi for a while, but only recently did they start calling Elders to proselyte in Hindi right off the bat. That's super cool, I think, and I seriously just can't wait to learn this beautiful language. I will definitely pick up Fijian along the way, so hey, I'm sure to come home able to have a decent conversation! I'll come home speaking two new languages. The gift of tongues is real, and Elder Mong Yen is a testament of that.

Elder Mong Yen is the MAN. He's from Tahiti, and has a thick Tahitian accent. He speaks French and Tahitian from home, and in the field, he's had to learn English, Fijian, and Hindi, and he's super advanced in all three. He has four and a half months left in the field, so when he's finished training me, he'll have one more transfer before he heads back to Tahiti. I'm his first son! Meaning he's training for the first time. I can see he's a little stressed about it sometimes, but I try to be as big a help as possible and he handles everything like a champ. Says he was way excited to have a son, just took him by surprise haha. Speaking of lineage, and on a side note, I met Herbert's grandson! His name is Elder Heines and he's in my district. Elder Heines was trained by Elder Morgan, who was trained by Elder Ishibashi, and Elder Heines said that Elder Morgan spoke very highly of Herbert. It was pretty cool to meet him! Anyways, Elder Mong Yen is awesome saraga. The best thing about him, I think, is that he reminds me DEAD ON of 'Io. His build, his mannerisms, the way he talks and walks, it's all so familiar and nice to have around haha. He doesn't say much and he's suuuper humble about his language skills. I'm super excited to serve with him for the next three months. 

SO YEAH. Basically, President Layton was like,
Here's your trainer, here's your area, you're speaking Hindi and driving a truck. Go to work.
MY AREA. I'm serving in the Nausori North Hindi Area, with covers both Nausori North and South and a little bit of Suva I think. I spent my first night in Suva with missionaries that cover Suva 3rd ward. Both families we visited knew Herb, even though he served in Suva 2nd! Anyways, about Nausori, something AWESOME happened last night that I'm sure you've heard about already. Elder Mong Yen and I were walking to our WML's house for a Missionary Correlation Meeting, Brother Maiwiriwiri. He'd recently returned from his mission in Utah. Now I knew the name sounded familiar, so I thought "... huh." When we entered his property, I noticed a Hawaii sticker on the back of their car and a Kahuku Red Raiders emblem hanging from the rear-view mirror, and I thought "... huh." I asked about it, and Brother Maiwiriwiri said "Oh, my mom went to Kahuku." and I thought "...huh." After the meeting, we went inside for dinner and I was introduced to Sister Maiwiriwiri. 

"Where are you from, Elder?"
"Ah, I grew up in Kahuku."
"My mom too!"
"Who's your mom??"

She gasped, covered her mouth and threw her arms around me saying "Oi! You're Elder Ishibashi!" It was at that moment that I remembered that MOM told me about Sister Maiwiriwiri! The Maiwiriwiri matavuvale is the bomb. Afterwards, she told me they watched my letter opening and we all took a picture. I imagine you were sent those already haha. But yeah! Soooo cool to meet them.

Welp, I paid for two hours and I don't know exactly how much more time I have, and that's basically what's been going on, so I'll stop here! 

I'm so so so glad you're all doing alright and you're still being so immensely blessed. Just know that despite all of these sudden (BIG) changes, I'm way happy that I get the opportunity to face these challenges. I know that these challenges are God-given, and they will be an enormous blessing to me here in the field and forever thereafter. Somehow. 

I love it here. The scenery is almost as beautiful as the people. Take care my family, I love you all more than I can ever express. Au lomani kemudou valevu sara dina, I'll know how to say that in Hindi by next week! Again, I love you guys so much. 

Until next week, danbaad, and moce!

Tumarlog best son, 
Elda Ishibashi

-Elder Sinden

- Mosaea 3:24
"You speaking Hindi now, brass."

-Stalk-peaking over LA

-Moce toka USA!

-Temple right next to the mission home

-Kids that live upstairs have the neighborhood kids come over for roka sometimes, and Elder Mong Yen likes to join in.

-Bus ride to an area to see some families

Friday, August 26, 2016

8-26-16 News from Fiji!!! President Layton

Just received the following from the Fiji Suva Mission Home:

Dear Brother and Sister Ishibashi,

Your missionary, Elder Ishibashi, arrived safely in the Fiji Suva Mission. He is assigned to serve in the Nausori Hindi area with Elder Mong Yen as his trainer.

Elder Ishibashi will be a fine missionary! He is excited to be serving, and we are happy to have him. We know your family will be blessed by his service here in our mission. Thank you for the role you have played in his preparation.

We know you will support him with your letters and in turn, we have asked him to write to you each week. For your information, missionaries are able to e-mail their immediate family once a week on preparation day. However, please be aware that from time to time our missionaries are assigned to the more remote areas of the mission where e-mail is not available. Sometimes the regular mail is a little slow, but be assured that we will do our best to keep the communication channels open. A phone call home is permitted on Mother's Day and Christmas Day.

We ask that if you should have a change of address, e-mail or phone number you let us know so that we can continue to keep you advised of his progress. You can send this information via e-mail to 2015757@ldschurch.org or to Fiji Suva Mission, GPO BOX 215, Suva, Fiji.

We look forward to a wonderful association with your fine missionary. With warm regards,

LaMar L Layton, President Fiji Suva Mission

Cc: Missionary, Bishop/Branch President, Stake/Mission President

2-20 LAKEBA ST., SAMABULA, SUVA, FIJI TELEPHONE: (679) 338-8930 – FACSIMILE: (697) 338-8943

President & Sister Layton

Monday, August 22, 2016

8-22-16 Moce Colorado!!!

Bula na noqu matavuvale wananavu valevu!!

Yeap, this is it!! I meet with Elder Hunkin and President Mendenhall in about four hours, then head to Fiji! It is so bittersweet. I've come to love this area so much, and everyone in it. Something awesome that actually happened this past week! Elder Sinden received permission from the bishop to steal the youth talk (from a very grateful young man) and addressed the congregation one last time before he left! He used this opportunity and invited almost our entire teaching pool to attend sacrament to hear this "sermon". Most of them attended, and those who didn't had prior obligations but wanted to. Still, it was awesome! SO nice to see a bunch of the people we teach regularly in our chapel. Elder Sinden gave a wonderful talk about heeding to and recognizing spiritual promptings. Immediately afterwards, bishop Warnick asked ME to go up and address the congregation with a quick testimony. I can honestly say that that was the most nerve-wrecking testimony I have ever shared, but I'm glad I had the opportunity. My voice and hands were shaky and my legs felt like they were about to give out, but the words of my heart poured out as steadily as I could. I thanked the ward for the awesome warmth and kindness that they've shown me in the short time that I was there, and expressed my appreciation for the willingness of the members to help us missionaries. I can quite honestly say that we could not have done the work that we did without the support of the members. The members of the Tallyn's Reach ward are absolutely incredible and I will love them forever. I'm serious, I might name my child Tallyn. It's a cool name and it holds such great meaning to me. We'll see. Anyways, I got to share a quick and simple testimony in Fijian. I feel great about this area and the work that I've done. I feel great because I did the best that I could do, and I honestly feel that I've helped these people come closer to our Lord and savior. Sure, it wasn't to baptism, but our primary purpose as missionaries is to help others to come unto Christ. Mom, like you said, everyone has their time. Their time may be next transfer, their time may be in ten years, their time may be tomorrow. Their time may not be in this life, but I am confident in my efforts to help the people that I did. However, like I said, our successes have relied greatly on the support of the members. I was blessed to have served here, there's no doubt about it. I also could never express my gratitude enough for the immense blessings the Lord is bestowing upon you folks in my time away. I'm overjoyed reading your letters every week! If these blessings are the partial result of having a child on a mission, I could stay out here forever! I love reading about mom and dad's jobs and the kids pursuing their passions and increasing their talents. Mom, thank you for always being that example of strength and undying love to me. Be that example for your co-workers, be that example of Christ-like love and charity, and the missionary opportunities will come. Also, pray for them. That tends to help a lot too haha. 

To cap off this week, mostly spent just saying goodbye to people and getting their contact information so Elder Sinden can keep up with them from Spokane. We did teach some awesome lessons, and yeah, invited people to hear Elder Sinden speak on Sunday. OH! The temple! On Monday, I was able to attend a special early viewing of the Fort Collins temple with Elder Sinden, LeRoy, and Brother Knight (He should have sent you a picture of us there. If he didn't, he will). It is beautiful, and I'll attach photos. Being in there with LeRoy and several other small groups of investigators was wonderful. The Spirit, even without it having been dedicated yet, was way strong, and LeRoy felt it. Afterwards, we asked LeRoy if he was any closer to his decision to be baptized. He said Definitely. Another funny thing, before we went in, one of the lady ushers asked "Are you a member?", to which he replied (again) "Well, not yet!" Elder Sinden and I looked at each other in a silent little "yeee." Anyways, ONE WAY COOL THING about this temple. We were in the instruction room, which walls were painted beautifully with a big blue sky over lush green hills and trees with deer and elk grazing all about it. The head usher told the small tour group that the walls were painted by Keith Bond, a Colorado native who lives in Hawaii now. I thought that was so cool! And Brother Bond is super good, like those walls are super impressive. Tell him I said good job. I also thought that that was such a little and almost unnecessary detail for the tour, but I was like WOAH. I KNOW THAT GUY, WHAT ARE THE ODDS? In my head of course. But yeah, how cool is that!

Another big part of the week was packing. I'm completely packed now, and I got everything packed that I'm sending home. This leads me to GOOD news and BAD news!

GOOD NEWS: I got the things shipped off this morning! Includes all but one pair of pants, my suit coat, glasses case, some CO mission books I won't need and personal items I want to remember the area. Also included is a pinecone, some rocks, a baby and weirdly-shaped acorn (the top popped off, you'll know what I mean) and Herbert's PMG! Sorry I took it, didn't think I'd need my own but I bought one. There's also Elder Morgan's PMG, just didn't wanna carry it around. Small little portion of the bad news I'll sneak in here, I forgot to load the prairie dog head before I sealed the package! Dang it! I'll send it some other time.

BAD NEWS: IF the package you sent comes in today (I called the mission office and it has not arrived), it will come at 1, and I MAY have to send it again directly to the Fiji mission office myself because my bags are most likely near 50 lbs and I don't wanna chance packing it and adding more weight. Anyways, whatever happens, eh it'll work out, but thank you! 

Anyways I should head out now, we have shopping to do before we meet with President, but I will try and call you folks tonight! Expect it at about 5! I love you guys so much, keep doing what you're doing! The Lord is blessing you folks for your service and righteous efforts. I'm overjoyed that you're all doing great, and know that i'm doing great too! Again, I love you guys so so SO much, you guys are constantly in my prayers. Au lomani kemudou valevu sara dina. Take care, tukuna vei kemudou vamaliwa! Moce!

Na tuakaqu/luvequ/ganequ lomani,
Elder Ishibashi

 P.S. Give grandma tons and hugs and kisses for me! I thought about her a lot this week, I love you so much Grandma! 
Also go pet and kiss Lily for me.
GIVE MY ALOHA TO: (few people I thought about)
The Alexanders
The Bonds
The Anius
The Akanas
The Stephens
The Haveas
The Quihanos
The Fuchigamis 
The Castillos
Heck just tell the whole ward I love them. 

-Fort Collins temple!

-Way home

-Got SUPER cold Friday night (lower 50s) and everybody laughed at me. It's shaky because I was shivering. All I had was my suit coat (lost the big coat at a member's home) and Elder Sinden let me borrow his gloves and beanie. Members thought it was hilarious as they walked around in their shorts and T-shirts. Apparently snow is due in a week or so, so kind of sad but at the same time I would die in the snow here so I'm glad. 

-This morning's breakfast! So good!

-Moce Colorado!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

8-15-16 What a(nother) blessed week!

Bula na noqu matavuvale wananavu sara dina!

What a(nother) blessed week! 

We've had lots of great teaching and service opportunities this weak! Though we were unable to contact either of the two referrals we received this past week, we have hopes to meet them this week! 

We've had several wonderful visits with our awesome investigators and some less-active families, and always searching! I've witnessed several miracles this week, several testaments of God's pure love and power, but I'll only share one.

It happened in that appointment we had with LeRoy directly following my email last week. The week before, when I was on splits with that missionary I exploded the eggs with, we stopped by LeRoy and taught him the Word of Wisdom. He really likes his coffee and his tea, and enjoys a glass of wine or a pint every now and then, so he was a little hesitant but willing! When we stopped by on Monday to discuss some questions he had from gospel principles the day before, we asked about his progress in keeping the Word of Wisdom. Now here's the miracle. He said that ever since Elder Rodriquez and I taught him the Word of Wisdom, and he doesn't understand why, but he has had absolutely no desire to partake of any of the things we taught him about. He didn't feel the need to drink coffee or tea in the mornings, and he had no desire to have a glass of wine or anything. He took us to a service project this morning for a friend of his, and he still hasn't partaken of any of those things. He just doesn't want it. In fact, he went to a friend's birthday party last week, and ordered a juice to his buddies' surprise. Instead, they all ordered juices and had a great (and sober) time! When he first told us about this little lack of desire to drink, we knew why, and we told him why. 

LeRoy, right now, is in a critical part of his conversion where he's reading, pondering, and asking Heavenly Father if he should be baptized. Elder Sinden and I know that the Lord has blessed him with this little window of sobriety so that he can receive that answer fully. 

To fit into this, something else awesome happened. The Colorado Denver North Mission has put out a notice allowing missionaries to attend the Fort Collins Temple's Open House today (almost a week before the open house really even starts) WITH an investigator or very recent convert. LeRoy agreed to go with us, so a member is taking us and LeRoy to Fort Collins in a bit. A few reasons this is super, super cool:

I've never been to a temple open house (No huge-ie I guess because I've been in the temple, but not this one!)

Since the actual open house starts on Friday, and this is a special pre-viewing for the missionaries and their investigator or recent convert, the place will be virtually empty, and LeRoy and the others don't have to deal with the big hustle and bustle of people and members and whatnot.

The Lord prepared ALL this for LeRoy. He is obeying the Word of Wisdom like a champion AND he gets to enter the house of the Lord and feel the powerful spirit within. This is huge for me personally. I can't stress enough how blessed I am, and how sure my knowledge is that I'm here in the right place at the right time. I get to assist LeRoy in entering the temple of God, and I get to be a witness of his first impressions of the temple. 

To finish off, some big news! IT'S IN!! My visa came in on Wednesday, and I was actually shaking trying to contain my excitement because I found out in the middle of a home visit. I met up with Elder Hunkin at a training meeting on Saturday (Where President and Sister Mendenhall make sure our intake is being trained well and our trainers are well in line), and there we received our travel itinerary! I'll post a picture of it with some additional notes, but I'm SO excited!

My experience here in Colorado has been absolutely nothing but an enormous and an incredible blessing. As I've said before, Arapahoe will always have a special place in my heart. Of course my work is not nearly done yet, as I have several more proselyting days. The next/last few days will mostly be spent on visiting families, cleaning the apartment and garage, packing, and preparing the paperwork for the new-coming missionaries. It'll be tough because we're covering two areas and we're BOTH leaving (I to Fiji and Elder Sinden home to Spokane, Washington), so they're whitewashing BOTH areas. We have a lot of notes and paperwork to leave behind so the new missionaries in both areas know what's going on and so we don't lose any of the awesome momentum we have going on right now. I really do feel like things are going really well in our work. We've been teaching some new people lately and getting several less-actives to church, both pretty big successes for our particular area! I love these people so much, and I'm hoping and praying for good, strong-hearted and strong-spirited missionaries to come in and pick the work right up from where we left it. 

Also in the next few days, I need to figure out how to send things home. No more pants in a week from now, WOO! Also have to send home my prairie dog skull and rocks and extra clothes and whatever. I'm leaving the coat for the next set of missionaries, they'll definitely need it way more here than I ever will in Fiji or Hawaii haha. 

Thanks for the letters mom and dad! I'm so glad everyone is doing great and everyone is healthy. MOST GLAD that you're loving your new job, mom! It sounds so great and super convenient!! I'm sitting here in a library almost weeping at how blessed we are. I'm so so so proud of my awesome family and your accomplishments physically, mentally, and spiritually!! I'm so grateful for my extended family and all their supports of my service to our Heavenly Father.

I have to head out, we have a super tight P-day today so I'm lucky to have gotten the time I did. I love you guys so much more than I can say. Thank you for everything, I pray for you folks every single morning and every single night and I am blessed to know through you guys that my prayers are being answered. I love you guys and I love this gospel so much. I know that god loves us and knows our needs and challenges, and WILL bless us so long as we heed to his word. Moroni 10:7-8, awesome. 

Again, I love you guys so much and I hope you have an incredible week! 

Au lomani kemudou valevu sara dina, sa vinaka duadua kemudou!

Na luvequ/tuakaqu/taciqu vinaka duadua,

Elder Ishibashi

-More deer outside our complex, with antlers!

-Losing the MTC chub and regaining tone

-Celestial doughnut 

-Suit's fitting better!

-Elder Sekona from La'ie! Said he knows the Sikas!

Fiji haircut acquired this morning!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

8-8-16 Love people like our Savior does.

Bula na noqu matavuvale wananavu!

Not much time to write today, which is really fine because I don't have veeery much to write about haha. Our investigators are doing really well and progressing. It's way important to keep in mind that things come at the Lord's pace and not ours haha. We met several people this week that seem interested and I'm excited to continue teaching them, see where things go! We've also received two pretty promising-looking referrals for this week by members, which is so great! We teach one tonight and one on Friday, can't wait!

The weather cooled down for a few days last week, which was SUPER nice. What's a little off is that when it "cools down", it gets COLD. When the sun wasn't blazing and pounding down on us for those few days, I was in my big coat all day haha. It was super nice, but if that was cold (it was apparently like 76), pray that I get sent out before winter. I will die. 

Elder Sinden and I compared our bodies to what they were at the beginning of the transfer, and we both seem to have made some crazy progress! He's actually suuuper proud haha. What's crazy is that he always flexes by raising his arms and just letting his shoulders and wrists droop all lazy-like, but he flexed for real this morning and showed pretty huge biceps and pectorals that didn't exist yesterday. Apparently it isn't as impressive as when he first arrived, but still progress. I'm still trying haha, with you folks! 

We went to one of our investigator's homes for some gardening service, and I caught a snake!! I'll be totally real, playing with that snake was one of the coolest things I've ever done in my life. It is a garden snake, so it's completely harmless. They're like skinks, and apparently this one was really young and small. It was pretty funny how the thing wrapped it's tiny little body around my wrist and tried to squeeze me and how it tried to bite me with its tiny little toothless mouth. I'll attach pictures, SO COOL! They're also super fast, it was a chore trying to catch that thing! I took a video you guys can watch in two years of me releasing it, but yeah AWESOME. 

That might actually be everything I can think of right now concerning me, I'm doing really well! There is definitely lots of work to be done in Arapahoe (my area) and we're doing it to the best of our ability! The people here are incredible. I spoke to President Mendenhall briefly yesterday, who said that the whereabouts of my visa are still unknown but I should be here passed this transfer. No biggie for me, personally.

Dad, thanks so much for the letter! Holy smokes, THAT'S PROGRESS dad! And mom, WHAT?? You can't just leave it at "Oh, mom got a job. Anyways,-" I'm so happy for you mom, and I can't wait to hear about it! I'm just overjoyed right now that everyone is doing so great, the Lord is so good to me, it's incredible. It would be Lehia making those jokes haha, keep Book of Mormon studies up! I wanna read it with you guys when I come home! I mean, hopefully it doesn't take you folks two years to finish it but it'll be nice! I imagine it's easier to do it now, what with less siblings and less distractions. I'm so proud of you guys for starting that and holding to it! And Kala'i, if eating the fish helps you to focus on your righteous passions and endeavors, no need catch the fish. It is way fun though, js. 

I'm glad grandma's doing well, give her a BIG hug and a BIG kiss and massage her feet for me!

Sick Mikel! Man, I'm so glad U'i's family is doing well! The pictures and videos of the babies she sends me is so refreshing, I love it! Keep em coming! 

Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY U'I!!! YOUUUU DA BEST OLDA SISTA I'VE EVER HAD! And the best olda sista I could ever ask for. I love you so much U'i, thanks for being mamma bear my first year in high school and for aaalways being so willing and thoughtful and loving. You have a great day, go do something awesome with people you love. Sorry your favorite brother couldn't be there to celebrate it with you, but I'll be celebrating your birthday here! I can, because it's P-day. P-day, B-day, same thing. I'll make you a little cake and eat it JUST for you. Foreal, love you sis, love your family so much, give them all big huge and kisses for me! 

Alrighty well I better head out. ONE FAVOR. My I've discovered that I need my glasses more than I anticipated. IF POSSIBLE, please obtain and send me a pair of glasses ASAP. It's just handy when reading street signs or the ward directory or scriptures or what not. IF NOT, don't sweat it at all. If anything, I won't be here much longer and I won't need to read many street signs or whatever in Fiji, so just send me glasses with a Christmas package or something. 

Alrighty I'm gonna head out, got a lesson with LeRoy in 45 minutes. 

I love you guys so much, so glad everyone's doing well! Kids, school and church before anything else. Lehia, mish before fish. Do well! Mom and dad, I wish you both the best of luck with your jobs! Same with you Mikel! All of you, continue to be great examples to all those you come in contact with. Continue to be a great help unto everyone around you, and love people like our Savior does. I pray for your guys' well-being, safety, and happiness all day every day, and  it seems to be working! 
Again, I love you guys so much and thank you folks for everything. 

Au lomani kemudou valevu, na noqu matavuvale wananavu sara dina! 
Talk to you folks again next week, moce! 
Elder Ishibashi

Side notes: 
-Ran into an old couple from Oahu in McDonalds this morning! I saw the lady's UH hat and the man's SPAM shirt, they're old Japanese and the man just ate like an old Hawaiian man, so I asked if they were from Hawaii. Never got their names, but they spend six months in Pearl City and six months in Arapahoe every year. Summer in Colorado, Winter in Hawaii (smart), they own a house in both areas. Honestly felt really refreshing to have someone to speak pidgin to for five minutes!

-We moved a pile of about two tons of river rock for a lady on Saturday, and she posted about us on Facebook and Nextdoor! Basically said we were awesome, willing, hardworking, and she's glad there are still good people on the earth. She used the term Mormon missionaries, which I thought was awesome. Funny story, the members in the area read that on facebook so we got a lot of back-pats for that. The first time our ward mission leader read it to us in gospel principles in front of the whole class, I whispered "street cred" to Elder Sinden. Apparently, it wasn't so much a whisper, because the whole class laughed. It reminded me of that "I am a child of Allah" incident a few years back. Basically the same instance, both showing that I need to watch my mouth. You might be able to find the post if you can access the Tallyn's Reach Community facebook page or something, I don't know. 

-BEAUTIFUL sunset, camera doesn't nearly do it justice.

-"This is why Elder Ishibashi doesn't make lunch."
-The story: I was on splits with another Elder. I tried to boil eggs. Took them out a few times, always a little yolky in the middle. We had to leave soon and I WANTED AN EGG, so I thought "What's the worst that could happen?" (Elder Sinden's signature quote, so funny) and I put three of them in the microwave. I was washing the pot I boiled them in, when this liiiiiittle explosion blows the microwave door open. I checked, and impressively, all three eggs were completely vaporized or splattered on every side of the microwave. I'm safe, the microwave is safe and still completely operational, so it's all okay. Tip for the youth: Don't put eggs in the microwave. Please. 

-Got to go to the temple on Wednesday morning! SO nice! This is the Denver temple at 6am.


-Bee on a temple flower

-Temple flower

-Apple tree!

-Cherry tree!

-Squirrel's muli 

-Finally chilly enough to wear this out a bunch (Tell Makana everyone loves his tie, but not as much as me)

-Temple Flower


-Close-up squirrel 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

8-1-16 What a week!

Bula na noqu matavuvale wananavu sara dina!

What a week!

To skip a few days, because they were important and I wanna cover them last, the last couple of days have been amazing. I honestly love covering two wards. Yes it is tough work and it does mess with our schedule a bit, but it's good work and I get to meet a lot of people. We had several wonderful meetings with some investigating and less-active families yesterday. Every single one of them have such incredible spirits about them, I can't wait to progress with them!

 The heat is still waxing strong, but it's nothing I can't handle (of course). I'm actually really not looking forward to going back to humidity haha. To be completely honest, the more time I spend here, the longer I want to be here. I love this place and the people in it. The Lord knew I would. SO NATURALLY he's gonna take me away from it just as it starts to happen. Speaking of the Lord giving us what we need and not what we want, I've been sharing the pre-mission experience I shared in my farewell talk with several families and investigators, and it seems to have a powerful effect on everyone who hears it. A strong testimony of truth can leave a greater impact on people rather than simply sharing the doctrine alone, I can testify to that. 

Every few days since I've been here, we'd visit Bill's apartment. Every few days since I've been here that we'd visit Bill's apartment, the door was never opened. On Friday, we'd just gotten out of a dinner appointment when we thought, heck, let's go try Bill again. We approached his building and sure enough, there he was loading some mattresses into his little car. We met up with him briefly and found out he was moving to a different complex several miles away. He had a fold-in bed/couch thing that he said he'll call a moving company to help him with, because that was really the only thing he couldn't fit in his car and he didn't have any close friends with a truck. We offered to help and he graciously accepted, which was awesome because there was a part-member family that lived nearby who owned a truck. Brother Smith's family is lds and he's taken the lessons before, but he acknowledges that he's not quite ready to commit yet. We thought it a wonderful opportunity for him to help us and some other members move Bill's couch, and he was more than happy to do it. It was awesome being a part of that little service project, I believe that we planted some seeds there.

 I want to share a quick experience that happened earlier this week. I found out on Sunday that a huge storm was hitting Hawaii. In that moment, I though Eh. Hawaii gets hit with storms all the time. I didn't really put much thought into it honestly. Monday night came, and it hit me like a wall. I was absolutely overcome and wrought with worry. It took me a while to get to sleep, and after many, many prayers. I felt sick that I couldn't know how you all were doing for another full week. I prayed and pleaded to Heavenly Father for an answer, for a sureness that my family was okay. The next morning, we had mission president interviews. Sister Mendenhall came in and started talking about the storm (she'd forgotten I was from Hawaii), and she said that everyone was okay. It was a small thing, a simple statement, but it meant the world to me. It was as sure an answer to my prayers as you can receive. I shared this experience immediately after with President Mendenhall in my interview, and he showed me D&C 100:1-2. This is an experience I will never forget, I know that already. I am so incredibly grateful for the Lord and his love for me.

 I'm overjoyed that you all are safe and happy and having fun! Hou Lehia! You have to let me take that thing out for a spin when I get back and will have probably forgotten how to swim. I'm so happy to hear that you're all reading the Book of Mormon again and getting fit together! I'm with you guys on both! I'm eating and working really well, I already see an immense change in my body and it's awesome.

 I'm so happy for Ketter folks!! That's so great! I can't wait to meet the first Latin-blooded Ishibashi (right?) 

Also so glad to hear about Ka'ai, and heck, Chase!! I really hope they think about missions, because I've not been out with three months and I wouldn't give these experiences up for anything on Earth.

 I bet Kala'i, Lehia and Nina are just STOKED to go back to school ay? Me too guys, me too.

 Just a reminder, prioritize important things! And the most important thing is spiritual growth. You don't have to read the things your teachers tell you to read, just read the Book of Mormon and you'll be taken cared of. Jk read both. Knowledge is power, power is the key to unlock ANY door you want.

I like to think of my being here as like a looong hallway with walls covered in beautiful murals and paintings with doors that lead to rooms full of fun things and service opportunities. At the end of the hallway isa door that leadsto another and much MUCH longer hallway. I've been told how beautiful that hallway is and the fun things it contains, so I kind of just walk through the one I'm in with an eye on the door so far ahead. I see nice things here and there on my wall that draws my attention away from the door now and again. Then I start to peek in the doors and observe the walls. I start to enter rooms and appreciate and fully take in the murals and the beauty. I start to develop a love for this hallway and I forget about the door. Before I know it, I'm halfway. I see the door, but now it looks like a vent. What drew me toward it at first now sucks me in and I'm not entirely sure that I'm quite ready to leave.

 I reach my halfway mark of my stay in Denver on Wednesday, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't sad about it. I do have another three weeks here, which overjoys me. I'm sad I'll miss the beauty of the fall and the chill of the winter (people say it'll kill a Hawaiian but whatever) but Proverbs 3:5-6 I suppose. As you may have been able to tell, I've become especially Vavulagi as I've served here, but that's okay. I'll darken up in Fiji. 

Anyways I'll cut off here. I love you guys so much and I'm so glad you folks are okay. I don't know how bad the storm was, but help others! Service has given me such immense joy here, and it's wonderful to know that I'm helping them to have joy as well. Not only that, but serve each other and serve God. Take care
na noqu matavuvale, au na tukuna vei kemudou ni bera macawa!

Au lomani kemudou valevu sara dina,
na luvemu/tuakamu/tacimu,
Elder Ishibashi

P.S. There's another Elder here named Elder Ah nee. I haven't met him, but I think he's from Kapalama. -

Another Prairie dog

Eye single to the glory of God