Sunday, July 9, 2017

7-9-17 Talia & Io

I'm oddly overwhelmed right now... I say oddly because I just got slammed with so much news that I'm almost in shock. Holy smokes, I don't even know where to begin.

I love Talia so much, so looks so beautiful and healthy! My head is still wrapping around the fact that there's a new little Watson at home. I really like the name Talia! And her smile is EXACTLY like Jeremias's was when he just popped out. Thank you SO MUCH for the pictures U'i!! I can't wait to come home and love them in person again! That's way unfortunate that you had to miss 'Io's homecoming because of Talia haha, but how LUCKY for 'Io to be able to see her right out of the airport! Just plan not to have any babies or family reunions between April and June of 2018 and you shoould be able to make my homecoming. I actually can't be sure of that either though because in the light of a conversation I was having with Sister Higgins, I said I wouldn't mind extending my mission. I'll give yous further details on that when it becomes relevant again. ANYWAYS, WELCOME HOME TALIA!

I'm also still trying to grasp the fact that 'Io slept at home last night. I can't believe 'Io's home! I don't reckon he can either, haha. It's true, the mission does go by stupid fast, and I can't say that I feel like it's been two years since I've seen him. I don't even feel like I've been away from home for over a year now, what a tender mercy of the Lord. 'Io, I reckon it's a bit of a struggle adjusting to normal-joe life. I was talking to a senior missionary and I asked him a question. His answer disappointed me (I guess because, much like a lot of the people I teach, I had a predesignated/preferred answer in my head), and when he found out I had a brother returning home in the following week, he suggested I share the same answer with you. My question was this: What should my first priority upon returning home from a mission? My predesignated/preferred answer was this: School and work. Get financially stable, get a good education, find something that you don't hate doing and get paid to do it so that you can support yourself (and someone else, when the time comes). The answer that disappointed me: GET MARRIED. Elder Edmunds explained why "The five years after your mission will be the most difficult five years of your entire life. You'll be dealing with the daily stress of school; assignments on classes on due dates. You'll be looking for work; appointments on interviews on shifts in addition to your classes and assignments and due dates. You'll be looking for a place to settle and/or a car to drive, adding all those other things to the load (I don't even know where to begin in the process of purchasing a car or home so I don't know what those other things are).
I know you know this already because I've never heard a different answer, but I guess that's my tip as you go about trying to become a normal person again, haha. I reckon Herbert and any old guy in the ward can attest to that as well. Suuure you can wait for me to get home to get married if you REEAALLY want to, but you don't haaaave to. Wait to have a kid, though. 
One other tip I was given by our late mission president, President Layton, was this: Go to the temple.
President Layton owns this and that company back home in Utah, and when asked how he became so successful, the answer is always the same: Go to the temple. I heard that answer and I was like... okay, but... but like howwww- I've decided not to put too much thought into it, however it works, that's good advice anyway. I've come to realize how blessed we are to have a temple on the Big Island, as Fijians for decades have had to fly over to Tonga for the temple before 2000 when the Fiji, Suva Temple was dedicated. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE TEMPLE, I miss it sooo much. You'll be blessed with guidance and further enlightenment as to what your next step in life should be. 
I just got the pictures, what a skuuuxx guy you. Grandma still looks absolutely GOLDEN, oh my goodness. Also I can't believe how lucky you are to have no shortage of people to speak your mission language to, sa. 

Just know I love you all more than I can write. I love you all so much, thanks for your prayers and your support and the love you send me every week. 

I have so much to write but so little time, so I'll squeeze everything together. 
President and Sister Higgins are absolutely lovely. I miss President and Sister Layton heaps, and I know that the Higgins's will escalate the work beautifully. President Layton is a business man with a sense of humor. White-haired Spirit giant, both figuratively and literally (he's a taaaall man, even to average sized people). Low voice, very serious and stern man that likes to point and tap the table when he trains to make his point, and it's always a very bold point. He knows how to make crowd laugh, and he knows how to make a congregation shake in their vavas (shoes). President Higgins was a surfer back home, and he's expressed that he missed that above all. In fact, he was out on dawn patrol when Elder Renlund called their home to set up an interview with then-Brother and Sister Higgins. He's still pretty young and really active and expressive in the way he goes about his trainings. The contrast is staggering, but it's nice haha. 
Sister Higgins is wayyy sweet and I can't wait to get to know them better. They know the Bournes! In fact they're pretty close apparently, they send their aroha to the Hilo Bourne whanau. 
Zone conference was incredible and so fulfilling, but I'll go into more detail maybe next week. A big stress of the conference was humility; the importance of delegating important responsibilities to your junior companion as learning/growing opportunities and of sustaining/obeying your presiding authority whomever it may be. 
As a junior companion to someone younger than me, my head often gets big in that I feel like there's a better way to do or say something (in other words: my way is better than his, and that my way would spawn more success). Something valuable that was reiterated to me was that: Whoever presides, decides. I've been busted before for trying to take charge over my senior companion that didn't do things the way I figured they ought to have been done. I learned that my responsibility as a junior companion is to assist my senior companion in the work and to sustain him as he leads the area. Though I don't make any final decisions, my ideas are valuable and my help is not unnoticed. We'll all have the opportunity to preside over something, whether it's a district or a family, and being presided over is more of an opportunity to learn and follow the good example of the presiding authority; pick out things we can use as we prepare to preside.
I'm working harder at being supportive of his choices and methods but bold when it comes to right and wrong. 
The rest of the week was good, Jaden and Danya were confirmed yesterday! There's real potential in Sister Prasad, as she stayed again for all three hours of church. we weren't able to meet her throughout the week, so we'll invite her to take the lessons this week. We also had more members of the Tarbiti family attend church yesterday, more and more come every week! We've STILL yet to see Bennett in church, and we'll definitely try HARDER to stress that again this week haha. Rina and Meverick are recovering from an accident that occurred last week, so they're still simply in our prayers. Elder Mo'unga and I were blessed to see 9 investigators in church yesterday. The work is moving powerfully and beautifully, miracles are pouring in!

We're supposed to meet the zone leaders soon so they can take us to LDS tech for another combine qito, so I'll be heading out now. This week was awesome, the next week will be as well! We're pumping out so much good work right now, I feel so in the zone haha I love it. 
I love you all so much, again thank you so much for everything! 

Bahut pyaar, khyaal rakna,
Elder Ishibashi-Fiji

-Pre-zone conference

-Zone conference!

-Post-zone conference (w/ district)

-Ties came in late, but that's okay because we could look skuxx for church

-Suva 3rd Elders (E. Arrieta and E. Smith)

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