Monday, July 24, 2017

7-23-17 Humbling experiences

Bula vakaise hamaar parivaar wananavu!

Man it's been a long week, which is always way good! We were able to go out on exchanges with the zone leaders and the other elders in our district, double-exchanges weeks are always longer but heaps productive. 

When I was out with Elder Roberts (ZL) on Tuesday, I had several humbling experiences. 
I haven't had an umbrella for a long time (I have a horrible habit of losing or breaking them), and I haven't seen much use for one lately since we haven't seen heavy rain in a while. We saw it on Tuesday. While we were out finding, I was getting dumped on and soaked. We contacted a few houses in the rain, all of which bese'd us. I was cold, wet, my shirt became transparent and my kamakis were uncomfortably visible. As we walked, I received several impressions to knock on several doors/gates, but I ignored them because 1. I didn't want to sit on someone's couch soaking wet and 2. I didn't want anyone to see my underwear through my shirt (3. I didn't want people to pity me for not having rain gear). I bought an umbrella a few hours later when the rain cleared, and I haven't had to use it once yet. I didn't think much about the promptings I ignored. 

Tuesday night, we visited the Tarbiti family. Their 11 year old son was in the hospital having a tumor removed from his ear. Last we heard, he's doing alright and the operation went well. We brought a member with us to the lesson (another RM from Vanuatu) and taught a good brief lesson about the importance of receiving personal revelation through prayer, reading the Book of Mormon and church attendance. I led the lesson. When we left, I was mortified to realize that we didn't start the lesson in a prayer. We've made that mistake with that family a couple times before; it's usually because we're waiting for our member-present to arrive when the family starts asking questions about the reading assignment we gave them in our last visit or particular things they heard/noticed in church. We start answering the questions, then accidentally connect our answers to the topic we were planning to discuss with them and head straight into the lesson. Since Elder Mo'unga always leads the lessons, I blamed this last incident on him and the fact that it's happened before; like I was just ma'a starting the lesson without a prayer.

When Elder Roberts and I got home that night and discussed our exchange, I thought about the decisions I made throughout the day. 

Something happened a few transfers ago that I never wrote home about, but it's one of the most humbling experiences I've had so far in my mission and I feel like I need to share it. 
I told yous about how I found Shryna, the little girl I taught in Nasinu that was baptized improperly a couple years ago. There's more to that story that I found significant as I've gained experience over the last few transfers. When we were out that day with Raymond Koyamaibole, Elder Datoon told me to OYM a nani sitting on her porch. For me, if I receive a prompting and I have a good attitude about it, I'll OYM without hesitation. I personally felt no prompting whatsoever to talk to this nani, so I said no. He went off on all that "maybe she's the one you came to Fiji for, she's been waiting for you since the pre-existance, you're denying her salvation" stuff, and in all honesty while it was helpful in the end, it made me super mad. After several stubborn no's and with a really stink attitude, I walked back to the house and asked the nani if we could share a message with her. In the middle of my asking, she waved us away like flies. I was already upset, but after that I lost the fire to work. I walked silently ahead as Elder Datoon and Raymond conversed behind me. After a few minutes, I received a really strong prompting to knock on the door of a pink house on the left side of the street. As the spirit prodded at me, I told him "No way, I'm not in the mood right now" and walked past the house. Immediately afterward, Raymond told us to stop. He pointed straight at the pink house and said that he used to visit the family there with the missionaries. That's how we found Shryna. I don't believe she's being visited anymore because the missionaries after me expressed some difficulties with her, but I learned heaps of teaching methods (and patience) in our visits. 

Reflecting on Tuesday made me think about that experience. You'll be pleased to know that I'm definitely receiving my lessons on humility by our Father and I'm learning every day. I've stressed it countless times in my letters over the last year haha, but DON'T IGNORE PROMPTINGS. Blessings are promised as we follow the Holy Ghost wherever he'll take us; often in odd or unexpected ways, but they're blessings nonetheless.

I talked about how I saw my role as a junior companion in my email two weeks ago. I realized how selfish I was to throw Elder Mo'unga under the bus because I didn't begin the lesson in a prayer. I often feel like if anything goes wrong in a lesson, it's his fault because he leads the lessons and it's his responsibility to tell me what and when to teach/testify. I often forget that I have my own conscience and that there will be a time where I preside and will have no one to shield me.

Speaking of which, it's transfer week, and several sources say that I may be made a senior companion in the coming week. 

The sisters in the district held a baptism for two young men on Saturday, to which President and Sister Higgins were invited. President Higgins said something in his closing remarks that I always knew but never really thought about. He told the young men who were just baptized that at that very moment, they were completely anew. As they sat there in that chapel, they were without sin or blemish, like a baby straight out of the womb having committed no sin. In that moment that they left the water, they were perfect. It made me think of the urgency of receiving the gift of the holy ghost as soon after baptism as possible. Newly baptized members NEED that guidance to keep themselves clean and pure. Inevitably sins will be committed, but repentance will consciously become an important and essential thing in our lives as have the spirit and are sensitive to his promptings. 

This last week was definitely one of reflection and learning haha. We'll be heading out soon because Elder Mo'unga had a lot of things he needs to do as he approaches his last six weeks in the mission.

RIGHT OOOOON JADEN!!! It's not Fiji but HOLY SMOKES I'm so happy and excited for him! Tell me when he reports so I know when i can start writing him!

WAYYY GOOD ON MAKENNA, ILIHIA, AND SANDY AS WELL!! That really is awesome that they all get to serve in the same mission! It's like one area too I think, I don't really know how the temple square mission works but MAN how lucky for them!

Suva is doing an excellent job at sending missionaries out, in my time here we've already dismissed three on their missions. This week, two will be leaving, and another five or so over the next month! What a beautiful thing to see the work of the Lord increasing in numbers and vigor.

Alright we're heading out now, know that we're busting out as much as possible before one of us leaves the area and that we're doing it in great health and spirits! Can't wait to see what the next transfer has in store! I love you all so much, hope all is well! Have an amazing and blessed week! 
Khyaal rakna!

Bahut pyaar, 

Eldar Ishibashi

-Service project two weeks ago in the teitei (cassava patch)

After Church on Sunday 

-From museum P-day

Museum P-Day

-From last night

-Let me eat in peace

With an old Indian tapestry

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