Sunday, January 29, 2017

1-29-17 My flat burnt down, but it had to happen. Palaces await.

Don't be alarmed, our living quarters are completely fine haha.

NAMASTA hamar bahut julum pariwaar!!

To be totally open, this was definitely one of the more challenging weeks of my mission. I experienced amongst the lowest of lows, but was also blessed to be able to witness the rainbow following the storm. Do NOT take this as a bad thing at all. 

Your fingers will hurt and even blister when introduced to a guitar for the first time. The music from the instrument is so sweet and soothing and pleasant to the ears, but sometimes you might wonder if it's worth the pain you experience when you play it. When one feels discouraged and ready to give up when this kind of doubt enters their minds because the learning process seems to painful/lengthy, remember this important fact: Blisters become calluses. Calluses won't form without the skin first having been irritated and beaten, but what a blessing that irritation is to us that we can eventually continue to play and enjoy that sweet music without pain or worry.

This week was a week of paining and spiritual blistering, and thus one of growth and spiritual progression. This was a week of learning.

Let me put it this way: I am to fingertips, as Elder Datoon is to strings. Last week, Elder Datoon chucked me out of my comfort zone. This week, he locked the door and chucked the keys off the pali. I am no longer allowed to enter my comfort zone whatsoever, it seems. HOWEVER, like I said, it was a week of growth. Incredibly, even to me, I have ALMOST no problem with approaching Indians sitting on their porches with our message invitation now. The words seem almost natural coming off my tongue now, and I'm more open to the spirit's urges to approach the gate of an Indian home. Two weeks ago, the things I did almost every day over the last week would have been absolutely impossible. Heck, please try getting a hold of Elder Datoon's family and thank them for raising such a hard worker and great example. His dad's name is Joven. Anyways, this last week was pretty much just heaaps of finding every day along with some awesome visits with awesome people. 

On Tuesday we had a lovely district meeting, from which one of the insights stuck out to me. Elder Larsen gave an insight on How to measure success in the mission. In very short summary, he talked about three important people from the scriptures: Peter, Abinadi, and Corianton. 
Peter, while preaching to a multitude in the city, is mocked by the people saying Oh he's just crazy, he's drunk off wine. Peter stands up and tells them off a bit, basically saying that his words are the words of God. Peter tops the day off with a good 3,000some baptisms. That's a pretty good day in the field, I'd say. 

Abinadi is offered his own life if he'll deny the existence of a living God. Abinadi refuses, is killed, and has zero baptisms that week. Alma, who believes his words, preaches in secret. 
Corianton, who was once a valiant servant and tool in the hands of the Lord, pursues the harlot Isabel and forsakes the ministry. 
Peter and Abinadi were obviously successful missionaries. Although Abinadi himself was not able to lead such a multitude into the fold of the Lord as Peter, he planted the seed of the everlasting gospel into the heart of the boy Alma (who goes on to establish the church).
Corianton set his priorities somewhere else and fell into wickedness so he go the short end.
MORAL: Success in no ways is measured by numbers, but by commitment and dedication to the work. 

I just realized that I never got around to telling yous about Sister Brown!
Sister Brown has us over for dinner every Thursday night. She has three daughters, all of whom are active in the church, whereas she herself is not a member. She's been asked by missionaries and her daughters for years to be baptized, but she simply stated that she didn't feel quite ready to take that step in her life yet. Last week, when the sisters called their numbers in to Elder Datoon, they shared an incredible experience they had while visiting with Sister Brown. They again extended to her the invitation to be baptized, to which she didn't reply at first. She sat there quietly, but listening. After a brief bit of silence, she looked up at the sisters and said "I will be baptized." She expressed to the sisters that three voices entered her head telling her to be baptized, and she followed that impression. We're all, us missionaries and her family, WAY excited to witness her baptism on Saturday. WHAT a blessing, ay? 

Speaking of baptism, we were so blessed to witness the baptism of Sister Sunita Goundar yesterday! Her transformation since I first met her only four weeks ago is so incredible. The service was absolutely beautiful, after which she bore her awesome testimony. We look forward to following up on all the lessons with her! 

Welp Elder Datoon is finishing up, so I think I should too. In closing, I just wanted to share this scripture: Mosiah 2:22-24 There

 22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

 23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

 24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

There is nothing we can do that will ever fully "give back" what the Lord did/does for us. It's like a scale. The Lord performed his great eternal sacrifice for us, as well as created us, so we're indebted to him for that. That makes his edge of the scale heavier, requiring that we do what we have to to give back and balance the scale.  We can pay him back by doing what he's asked us to do: follow his commandments. That equalizes the scale for only an instant, when the Lord fulfills his promise and blesses us immediately for following his commandments, thus putting us in debt to him again. We are and will ALWAYS be indebted to God, nothing we do will ever be "enough". We need to serve him every minute of our lives (which he gave us) with every fiber of our beings. I like to relate Mosiah 2:17 (which I literally just noticed precedes the above scripture...)

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that yemay learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in theservice of your God.

ONE small thing we can do to give back to our God for his blessings and tender mercies is serve our brothers and sisters. Serve fervently and full-heartedly your brothers and sisters in any way that you can, and I promise, just as the Lord does, more blessings than you'll space to receive.

I'm so glad everyone at home is being well-taken care of by our loving Heavenly Father! Glad all is well with schooling, work, sports, and fishing!! I'm actually way stoked to come home and go diving with yous!

I love you all soooo so much, please give my aloha to the ward and the family! Hug and kiss grandma and the babies for me please! Dad, thank you for sharing that story about grandpa. I know he's watching over all of us, no matter where we are. He's been popping into my head a lot lately, when I'm discouraged or afraid. I think about what grandpa would do or think, and honestly everything overwhelming me seems so nothing haha.

Again, thank yous all for everything!! Have an incredible week! 
Ham aaplogke bahut BAHUT pyaar karta hai!!

Elder Ishibashi

PS my "flat" is my comfort zone 

- Sister Sunita Goundar ke baptisma 
- District shirts (courtesy of S. Tupaea), can't wait to rock up to qito in this today!
-He had me conduct weekly planning. That was a journey 

Monday, January 23, 2017

1-22-17 This week has been a week of miracles!

To quote the sisters when they called in their numbers to Elder Datoon last night, 
"This week has been a week of miracles!" I am BEYOND ECSTATIC to know that it hasn't just been a week of miracles for me, but for my whole family!

NI SA bula bula bula magandang hapon po hamar bahut julum ohana!!

This week, I saw the difference between blessings and miracles. I guess it's not so much something you can see as it is something you FEEL. My prayers were longer this week, my heart was fuller, and my faith was tested more than ever. 

On Tuesday, I was privileged to give a training in district meeting themed on a part from President's mission email from the week before. It discusses the differences between an "elevator missionary" and an "escalator missionary". Very basically, the greatest difference between an elevator and an escalator is this: Elevators stop, escalators DON'T. An elevator opens its doors, lets people in, closes its doors, and begins its ascension. An escalator is always allowing people on and is constantly progressing. This is all about finding, and how we should NEVER close our doors to those who are potentially ready and willing to accept this gospel into their lives. We should always be finding, always be open and ready to share this great gospel to those to could benefit from its teachings (EVERYONE). It was a really good district meeting, and it seems as though our district really applied it over the last week! We're all really focusing on finding those who are ready, and we have a good amount of people who have invited us back to share more! What a blessing!

Sister Sunita is progressing wonderfully. In fact, she has kicked her current husband out of her home so that she could be baptized. Some may see that as a bit harsh, but I honestly see that as golden dedication, and even a miracle! She has accepted the invitation to be baptized on Sunday, January 29th! Apparently, the missionaries have been working with Sunita closely for a very long time, and I feel so blessed to be able to witness her long-awaited baptism! We're all way excited, she will be interviewed on Thursday by the zone leaders to determine whether the baptism can truly be carried out, and I have absolutely no doubts in my mind that her baptism WILL take place on Sunday, and the service will be beautiful. The change is Sunita's heart is so pure, and I can feel of the Lord's love for her as well as her love for the Lord every time we sit with her. What a blessing!

On Sunday after church, we stopped by a member's home to give some blessings to sick sisters. After the blessings, the mother of the small family told us that her daughter had just turned 9 and had not yet been baptized. She asked us to teach her daughter and baptize her asap, a request we GLADLY accepted! Shreya is SUCH a sweet and smart little girl! We went over several days ago and taught her the "five steps to heaven" (the five principles of the gospel). She understands everything really well and has expressed her desire to be baptized. What a blessing!

The next blessing happened just before we left the house, after the blessings. Shreya's cousin happened to be over, a young and awesome little boy named Kreesh. He asked us if we knew a boy named Arien. When I first arrived, we visited and taught Arien consistently. Arien is 12 and also SUPER smart and observant. Three weeks ago, when we arrived at Arien's house prepared to teach him with Benji Kumar (Reuben's brother, called to serve in South Africa), we discovered that Arien's house had burnt down. For two weeks we worried about Arien and his family, as we hadn't heard from him since. Kreesh told us that Arien is a friend of his in school, and that Arien told him that he had been taking the discussions. Together, they rehearsed the five principles of the gospel, the law of the tithe, and CATTS (word of wisdom thing we use with kids. Coffee, Alcohol, Tea, Tobacco, Say no to drugs)! Arien requested our number from Kreesh because he wants us over again! We asked kreesh to get Arien's address for us, and we'll be visiting with him again as soon as possible! Arien and his family are all okay and are living with family while they look for a new home. What a blessing!

These have been just a few of the countless blessings and tender mercies that were so graciously showered over us over the last week! This past week has truly been amazing. 

On Wednesday, Elder Datoon and I visited some of the homes of the Nasinu 1st elders for baptismal interviews. At the last home before dinner, I met a(nother) young man who knew and LOVED Herb. WHY, though, gave me a bit of a wake-up call. He told me that he loved Herbert because out of the companionship, Herbert was super social and open and HE was the talker. Now I spent quite a bit of time with Herb in my day, and he never really seemed way OUT THERE while we were growing up. I can only imagine Herbert had to leave his comfort zone a bit in order to get to that point, and he had to do it until it became natural. My goal is to be more social, become more comfortable around the people. My goal is to see people for who they really are: Children of my father in heaven, and thus my brothers and sisters. I'm sure that this will span great blessings!

Thursday is our service day, and we had a combined service project with the sisters for one of their investigators whose daughters are members. That morning, Elder Datoon and I rose a little earlier than normal, got on our service clothes, and taxi'd over to the chapel for a wake-up ball-up with the district! WAY fun and nice to have been able to get together for basketball before we separated for our service projects. The investigator we serviced, Sister Brown, is incredible and I'll share a bit about her later. 

Our district started a "Fast Friday" last week, and we'll continue to carry it out. I love the idea of fasting weekly, and I've already seen what has to be the results of these righteous efforts! 

Saturday morning, Elder Datoon and I decided to go for a morning run. One of two things resulted from this morning run, I'm not exactly sure which. Either 1. my thighs doubled in size overnight and have been sore since then because running is just THAT good, or 2. my thighs are swollen and throbbing because I haven't been jogging in like a year and now my body is scolding me. Anyways, it was way nice to go running and the pain was actually pretty nice. A burn I haven't felt in a while haha. 
Elder Datoon and I have decided to eat and live better. We've decided to drop fizzy drinks and sweets (unless offered by Indians, and it always is) and to run every few mornings. He's the man, I've already puffed up since I've been in Nasinu and We're about to shrink again. 
Elder Datoon continues to be a sick companion and excellent mentor to me. He has no problem kicking me (launching me) out of my comfort zone by making me find and lead discussions, and for that I'm honestly so grateful. Being with him has been so humbling and I've already learned and grown so much in our companionship. 

WELP that's been the week. That's been my week of miracles!!
NOW, in response to the letters...

LET'S GOOOOO KALA'I!! I was straight up jumping around in my chair reading your letter! MAN I'M SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU MAN!! I'm just overjoyed that yous did NOT let those cocky Kona-growns get yous discouraged. G, doesn't hard work, discipline and determine just pay off?? That's the one too though, NEVER ever get cocky yourselves. I'm glad yous good-gamed your opponents, it's sooo important to maintain unity not only within your own crew or team, but within the sport. Who's your stroker btw?? but WOOO LET'S GO, O'AHU! It's not Maui but STILL HOW COOL IS THAT?? All jokes but I'm seriously so crazy proud of you Kala'i. you don't even know. Whatever you do, stay humble and remember who you are and who you represent. Don't stop training your face off, be a great example to your team mates and a great help to the coaches. Kea'au isn't so bad a school after all, aye? To me, that's a testimony builder that the Lord will put you where you need to be and the time that you need to be there. Maybe getting out of Kamehameha was a bit of a downer at first, but you would never have been able to accomplish this incredible feat there. You would not have learned the things that you've learned, met the people you've met, especially that girl you're working with! Continue to be a great example to her and trying to bring her back to the Lord's fold. 
Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! It's honestly crazy to think you're 16, your face says 14 and your arms say 20. I love you man, and I'm so proud of you. Never back down, never give up!

Dad, I remember Damien them. Man, I haven't seen Donovan in years! What a blessing that La'i was able to befriend in and invite him back! Please continue to work with them and try to bring them back, Damien was a really good friend of mine back in the day and it'd be WAY nice to see him as an active member at my homecoming! Also, good luck with Aunty Debbie and Uncllllllle Lito? Storm's dad, I forget his name, but good luck with them! And thank you for the tip on being bold! I will definitely keep that in mind as I go about my work this week. 

I'm glad everyone is doing well, and that work and school are going good!

Welp I'd better head out now, Elder Datoon and I are getting haircuts before qito and we don't have very much time left before it starts. I'll try sending photos, sorry of it doesn't work! 

Thank yous for your prayers, I feel them working on me every day. The blessings from our prayers collectively have been SO evident lately, thank you. 
I love you all SO much, thank you all for everything! 
Ham aaplogke bahut pyaar karta hai!!! Have a great and blessed week! 

Aaplogke pyaari larkaa,
Elder Ishibashi

-Nasinu district boiiii (E.Ishibashi, E.Datoon, S.Pea, S.Tupaea, E.Arrieta, E.Larsen)

-Found this while on exchanges with the Zone leaders in Raiwaqa!

-Heavy rain don't stop the work of the Lord! (Except for maybe about ten minutes while we wait for the rain to die down under a roof of whom we don't know it belongs)

-Obviously spells "Nasinu"

-Nasinu All-Blacks

-"Sunday morning selfie!"

-Too hot 

-Mahalo nui loa, tutu!

Monday, January 16, 2017


Aur namaste hamar bahut julum pariwaar!

This week has been awesome! Learned and felt a lot of new and super important things. 
To recap the week a bit, Monday was awesome! The two Suva zones got together and we had a mass qito. Wayy fun playing basketball and American football with the Suva North zone. That night, we had dinner with a family who'd JUST sent their son off to the England, Manchester Mission on Wednesday! He said he knew and really liked the first Elder Ishibashi (as well), his name is Elder Sumeet Chand. Way excited for him! He ran into some pretty tough roadblocks as he prepared to serve, but through his undying faith in Jesus Christ, diligence and perseverance, he was able to get everything done!
On Tuesday, district meeting was replaced by Zone Training Meeting! This ZTM was excellent, and I felt like it was almost set up for me, based off what I needed to know and improve on. A huge part of it was focused on finding, which is easily my biggest weakness. When I find, I typically feel like I have to get comfortable with the person before I start dropping doctrine and asking if we can enter their homes to share a message. Hey, how's it going, what's your name, what do you do. After those trainings and ESPECIALLY after being on exchanges with the zone leaders on Wednesday, I learned that ALL those things can be discussed IN the house. Makes more sense, really. Elder Datoon showed me a finding technique that seems to work 80% of the time with Indians, something he learned while on exchanges with Zone Leader Fitisemanu. It was really uncomfortable and new for me at first, but after trying it a few times and watching Elder Datoon do it, I feel a lot more confident about it.

"Hello! Kaise hai? Aapke din kaise raha? Too ha, humlog missionaries hai lds church se. Humlog ek message share karta hai pariwaar ke bara me, aur humlog kali mangtaraha jane agar humlog sakta ee message share kare aapke pariwaar ke sange!"
(Hello! How are you? How's your day? So yeah, we're missionaries from the lds church. We share a message about families, and we just wanted to know if we could share this message with your family!) 

Indians are bold and straight to the point, so the whole social approach doesn't seem to work.
Anyways, most of the responses to this approach have been warm yeses! When we're in the house, they're way open, kind and social. This will come in way handy this next week, as we'll be doing HEAPS of finding. 
On Thursday, we were privileged to be joined by President Layton in a lesson with one of our investigators. Sunita has been living with her husband (to whom she is not legally married, which is the issue) for about 3-5 years now. She and her first husband, who is unwilling to divorce her, has been separate for ten years now. Elder Datoon and I were not exactly sure how to handle the situation, so we asked President Layton to join us for a lesson with her. He'd met with her once before, and since then, she had not missed a single Sunday in church. Her Muslim brother also allowed her to attend church after speaking with President one-on-one, so we had a testimony that President has quite a powerful way with words. He was very bold as he told Sunita to do whatever it takes to divorce her first husband and marry her current one. The weeks or months it will take will be completely worth in the long run, as she will then be able to be baptized and sealed to her current husband. These couple of instances have made it really evident to me that I have to work on my conviction and boldness. Finding the line between firmness and rudeness however, I'm still trying. 

The rest of the week was just heaps of finding and the same ol' same ol' awesome visits with awesome pariwaars. I think dad will be pleased to know that I can make a killer fried rice now, ask Elder Datoon (if he says otherwise, let me know). 

MAN sorry I'm gonna have to cut this super short because I've been running into computer problems the while time I've been here. IN RESPONSE TO LETTERS:

I'M SO SORRY, YES I've received everything!! I feel like such a brat, I'm so sorry! Thank yous SOOO MUCH for the package! You may be pleased or scared to know that that massive bag of wonton chips did not make it four days, and thank you SO MUCH for them! Also thank you so much for the little snacks, Elder Datoon and I went ham on them and he thanks yous as well haha. Forgive me if you notice that I may not wear the tie for a while for two reasons. 1. It's SO nice and I have a way of staining or ruining ties and I don't want to risk anything happening to it. 2. It happens to be exactly Elder Datoon's favorite color and I see him eye it out every time he goes in the room. He has like four ties to match it, and I'm afraid of him kerekere'ing it off me. Again, THANK YOUS!! Also, please give grandma yet anOTHER hour-long foot rub and a BIG hug and kiss for me please, as I have received her card as well. I will ask Grandma about these foot rubs when I come home, and if she reports that these foot rubs didn't happen then I'll be really disappointed. Mom, the Hindi equivalent to "Au lomani iko" is
"Ham aapke pyaar karta hai"
Ham- I
Humlog- We
Tum- you (inf. when addressing children, friends, etc.)
Aap- You/thee (form. when addressing adults, the Lord, nanis, etc.)
Tumlog- Yous (inf.)
Aaplog- Yous (form.)
Pyaar- Love
Karta- Doing currently/generally
Hai- is/are/am
Bahut- very much

I don't have enough time (on my mission) to express to yous how grateful I am to both of yous for EVERYTHING you've done for me. Thank you both so much for everything I have and everything I am. Thank yous for everything you've done for me and for the way you raised us. Yous are better parents than any of us ever could have asked for, and I mean that fullheartedly. I realize that I shouldn't just be saying this kind of stuff when your birthday comes around, so I promise that I'll make the extra effort to express to yous how much I love and appreciate you both. I'm glad you both had incredible birthdays, and I hope yous have another INCREDIBLE week! 

I love you all so much, thank you all for everything. Elder Datoon and I are in great health and greater spirits, and we are excited for the work this next week has for us.
Au lomani kemudou sara vakalevu, 
ham aaplogke bahut pyaar karta hai,
aloha no au ia kakou,
I love you all so much!

Aaplogke vinakaduadua larkaa,
Elder Ishibashi

PS I don't know if I've told you already but ELDER LEE CHIP SAO was called into hindi program! Like I predicted!! HA.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

1-8-17 Namaste

NAMASTE hamar bahut julum pariwaar!!

MAN what an awesome week it's been, UNFORTUNATELY I don't have a lot of time today. We have combined qito today with the Suva North zone, so everybody's meeting up early today. WAY stoked, should be onst. ANYWAYS a bit of a recap on my past week!

Qito with my new zone was awesome, it rained a bit beforehand so rugby on the field was dirty, splashy, and heaps of fun. Everyone seems to get with one another which is nice, and almost everyone participates! That night we had dinner with a senior couple and a recent convert. The recent convert's name is Aaron, and he has an incredible testimony of this gospel. The senior couple, the Clarks, have been transferred to Waila ward! I'm sure they'll love it. We had spaghetti and garlic bread followed by pineapple upside down cake and ice cream. I had hot snakes for DAYS that night but in my opinion, totally worth it. It was a nice deviation from the nightly chicken curry and roti (not that I could ever get sick of that, I don't think so anyway. We'll see in 17 months). After dinner, we were able to share a scripture. Elder Datoon let me lead that lesson, and I decided to share Moroni 10:7-8 accompanied by 1 Nephi 3:7. Aaron gave some excellent insight on those scriptures and shared his testimony of the truthfulness of their contents. Wonderful night!

We held an awesome district meeting on Tuesday with my new awesome district! The district consists of: 
The Nasinu 1st ward (Fijian ward) elders, Elder Arietta and Elder Larsen 
By the way, I get heaps of people from the Nasinu 1st ward approaching me saying they knew and loved Herbert and Elder Grotepas haha. 

The Nasinu 2nd ward (English ward) sisters, Sister Tupaea and Sister Pea (who just started her mission this transfer)

The Nasinu 2nd ward Hindi elders, Elder Ishibashi and Elder Datoon
We just did some activities to get to know each other a little better and had some great insights on the importance of teamwork and unity. Sister Tupaea's insight included something I really liked, turning the word TEAM into an acronym. 
Sister Pea also included something I liked, #IF
The idea of it is like, IF I go out and find then we'll find someone to teach, someone who's ready and willing to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts. IF I do all three hours of study diligently and sufficiently, I'll be more prepared for lessons and more susceptible to the spirit's promptings. IF I eat better, I'll be more alert, energized and thus productive throughout the day. ALL of these are acts of faith, that if I do this thing that I'm supposed to do, I will receive blessings. She also turned IF into an acronym. 
I testify that obedience and diligence will undoubtedly spawn blessings.

The rest of the week was mainly consistent of work, all day every day. I LOVED it. There's enough work in this area to stay busy all day every day, which is awesome, but as people pass their recent-convert dates and complications arise for several investigators, we're starting to see the importance of finding as we teach. We will definitely be doing heaps of finding over the next week. 

Two manini inconveniences came up this last week, but we're working on it as swiftly as we can. We discovered that two woman we teach, both of whom were dated to be baptized this coming Saturday, are not legally married to their husbands. Both are absolutely golden. They both have strong testimonies, they really want to be baptized and they attend church regularly. The marriage thing is the only barrier, and unfortunately, it's a really difficult barrier to overcome. One woman, Shayal, has talked about marriage with her husband before, so her issue isn't huge. The option of marriage is definitely there, only they haven't been together very long, so they feel it's a bit rushed to decide right now. We invited her to watch the Together Forever DVD with her husband, and we'll check up on how that went tomorrow. She has such a sweet and genuine spirit and such a strong belief and faith in Jesus Christ. The other woman, Sunita, is not yet divorced to her first husband, so this could present quite an issue. We all together are praying and fasting that everything will work out. Sunita's faith is incredible, as is her desire to be baptized. Her desire is evident through her faithfulness to the gospel and her keeping the commitments, and I know that Heavenly Father wants her to be baptized just as much, if not more. While we are doing everything we can for these two strong women, I suppose it is important to realize that Shayal and Sunita WILL receive the opportunity to be baptized in the LORD'S time. All blessings though, for sure.

DON'T FORGET TO THANK THE LORD FOR THE TENDER MERCIES. EVERY SINGLE LITTLE ONE. I've seen such a spike of joy and gratitude as I've done this is in every single prayer I say lately. I promise the same for yous!

In response to the letters:
Dad, I'm all good! In fact, I'm better than I've been in quite a while! Don't worry about me, I'm working hard, speaking Hindi, and trying to work out every morning. Strong mentally, physically, and spiritually! Socially, still working on it, and what better time to improve that than on a mission aye? 

WAY happy for Kahi and Kealoha! Give them my aloha!

WAYYY proud of Kala'i! OH MAN! You see Kala'i, the paddling team, they suffered last year. I mean they did pretty good, but not half as good as they could have. Do you understand why? That year, they did not have an Ishibashi on the team. This year is the year Kala'i, the year to destroy. You've been placed on the team to do what I couldn't do. And I mean, I did heaps. Like HEAPS. I pretty much made the team, really. Anyways, you can and will do more. Please give my aloha to coaches Grant and Anna, and GONGRATS ON BEING CHOSEN TO GO TO STATES! You will carry the team, just train your face off and stay committed. As well as keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy however, keep up with the good missionary work I hear you're doing. Stay strong in your faith and I PROMISE that you'll see those blessings pour into your athletics. 

Give Makana a pat on the back for me and give my aloha in bear hug form. 

Good for Lehia, honestly the Waipio camp outs were always my favorites. Did you get to work in the Lo'i? Swim in the waterfalls? Waipio valley just seems to have this comforting and rich spirit to it, and it's an excellent place and opportunity to reconnect with your heritage. Mean how you got to cook rabbit!

WOOO Jeremias!! Good on that boy!

I'm so glad and blessed to know that all is well back home, and that yous are all trying to increase your faith and love for those around yous.

WELP, I have to go. Elder Datoon and I are in great health and greater spirits! He's honestly the man. I hope yous all have an incredible week! Work hard, be safe!

Au lomani kemudou sara vakalevu,
ham aaplogke bahut pyaar karta hai,
I love yous all so much! Take care, and kalougata tiko!

Elder Ishibashi

On a side note, I got a few emails from people who were concerned about the earthquake that take place here. I didn't feel a thing, neither did anyone we talked to, there doesn't seem to be any damage anywhere in Fiji that I've heard about, so it must literally have been nothing haha. No tsunami either, not even a rise in the tide. All goods here, as always in Fiji. 

In case you saw it and was wondering. It says Ishibashi.

Currently (camera still isn't working, sorry! Only way I can get pictures is on my camera memory alone)

Sunday, January 1, 2017


ISA LEI, 2017!

NAMASTE hamar bahut julum pariwaar!

MAN heaps of big news and not a lot of time, so forgive me if I jump around!

SO as I've told yous this last week was transfer week, and I was about 90% sure I'd be staying in Nausori with Elder Hariprasad for another transfer. On Tuesday, Elder Hariprasad and I were on splits with the Zone leaders when I received a call from President Layton. 
President Layton called me to the NASINU HINDI AREA, where I am currently serving!!
My companion Elder Datoon is Filipino from Toronto, Canada, and is an absolute BEAST. He's the man, hard/diligent worker, way chill, super patient and super funny. Elder Datoon was Elder Mo'unga's companion in the MTC! Last transfer, he just finished training Elder Christensen, who traded places with me in Nausori. Nasinu seems like an awesome place so far. Seems like a good amount of great work had been done before I got here, and I'm super excited to work with the investigators and members in my new area. It's a lot more city and hilly than I'm used to, so I'm still adjusting just a bit haha. BUT YEAH, I'm loving this new area and my companion so far, I see great potential for this transfer. 

Apparently, Herbert served in this area so heaps of people recognize my name and remember Herb! The Nasinu 1st ward elders (Fijian) and Nasinu 2nd (English ward, Hindi Elders and Sisters) missionaries all cover the same area with different targeted people, but heaps of people in my ward know Herbert from Nasinu 1st haha. Herb, give me family or individual names that you'd like me to visit and check up on! Cathy Brown sends her regards, as well as Una Moce kei na Inoke matavuvale. 

OKAY WELL sorry this one is so short but I have to head out. I actually just spent heaps of time trying to figure out what's wrong with my camera because files have been moved into it that's write protecting it and every time I delete them, they reappear right away. I sent what I could, hope you like them!

MAN it was a bit hard being away from home over the last two weeks but it's all good now, Elder Datoon is the man and this new area is a bit refreshing for me haha. Overjoyed to know that everyone had an AWESOME Christmas and a WONDERFUL New years celebration though! Dad, no talk about the food like that to me, your fault was so hard. 
It was pretty funny, we spent New years eve at the Fijian Elders' flat just talking story and eating. Elder Larsen just looked at his watch and was like "Oh hey. Happy 2017." We all looked, saw that it was 12:02am, and we're like huh. 2017. Well, now I can say that I came home next year! And 'Io comes home this year! MAN can't wait for those pictures, goodness. I definitely have my New Years resolutions, one of them being to stay committed to my resolution (because come on who still remembers them in February?). OKAY I gotta go, just know that I'm happy and healthy and looking forward to meeting new people in my new area with my new companion! 

Yous have an incredible week!
Au lomani kemudou sara,
ham aaplongke bahut pyaar karta hain,
and I love yous all so much! Until next week, moce!!

Elder Ishibashi

PS The Kumar (Reuben) pariwaar expresses their love to the new Ishibashis!

-Naiyaga matavuvale

-Singh pariwaar


-Flood cruising

-Intake vata from mission tour

-Fir milio, Elder Hariprasad 

-Found this guy crawling across the road?? Nowhere near a stream????

-In the flat 


-Just walking to district meeting 

Elder Datoon

Language study with a multi-linguist. This features (from top to bottom) Fijian, Kiribati, Hindi, French, and English. 

Here in Nasinu we preach the gospel and defy physics