Dear Family and Friends,
Its been a super hot week in Asingan. I am under doctors orders this week to be using an umbrella. For the past few weeks I've had these sweeping feelings of sleepiness and it has led to on some moments to falling asleep in lessons, not a good thing.... I don't like using the umbrella, I like the sun, but teaching investigators is more important, so I can do without for a while.
I also hit my one year mark this year! As tradition here, when an elder hits his one year mark he burns a white shirt! So that's exactly what we did! I had one polo that was in need of serious TLC but it was time to put him out of his misery, he will be missed, but as Paul says "[The White Shirt] fought a good fight". IT burned really bright so when we took the picture it had to go fast cause it was really hot. Earlier that afternoon we went to Shakey's for lunch! (pictures in the following email) Which was fun!
This week I read in 3 Nephi. I love this book so much, to be honest I used to roll my eyes when people got excited about this book, thought it was cliche, but it really is a great book to read. In chapter 9 verse 2 there is a surprising verse that made me cringe a little bit. It mentions that "the devil laugheth" as he sees the chosen people of the covenant fall away and be destroyed. Now what does this mean? It means that every wrong move we willingly take makes the enemy happy. So how do we keep the other guy quiet? By following the commandments. It makes sense that often times we feel that we must make exceptions because "conditions are different", but I think that puts us in lower perspective. Like I always hint to, I believe that life is a game of perspective. The truth is there whether or not we like it, but we have a choice where we look, and where we look. Just as the Pioneers did, they didn't see their journey as a trip to certain doom, but as a hard road to promised success. It takes faith to move mountains, but I think it sometimes takes more faith to walk them.
It been a fast first year, but it goes too fast. I love you all! Have a great week!
MAhal ko Kayo!
Elder Trevor Kent Johnson (TWMYK)
Dear Family and Friends,
This week was a good one, had some rough spots, but that just comes from living life. the important thing is that I'm still alive and have most (all) of my limbs last time I checked. It's been a rainy one for Asingan, but we have also seen a lot of sun which has been nice for getting all my clothes washed, so that's always nice!
Now for the Subject Line. We were outside teaching a lesson when a sister came to sit down and listen to us as we taught another investigator. Moments into the lesson we started to involve her in the lesson and I first asked "What's your name Sister?" well I noticed that my companion started to giggle a little bit. So I asumed that I may have messed up with my Tagalog a little bit. We continued with the lesson, and when we had concluded our visit my companion called me aside and said "That's not a woman Elder....", What!? I was a bit confused but my companion explained that sometimes that's what they do here, some of them are better than others, but this one had me stumped and fooled me! Like they say here "It's more fun in the Philippines!"
Now for a lesson I learned about complaining about our blessings. Now when you read that last sentence you may ask "only a really picky people complain about their blessings" but this week got me to realize how often we actually do it. On Friday we were in a far area, at night it is impossible to find a ride home, so we have a service tricycle that always comes to pick us up at night. Well on Friday our ride had to cancel on us at the last minute, leaving us 6KM away from our house at 9pm (our curfew is at 9:30). So we started walking, and decided to say a prayer. In the prayer we asked to find a way home so we could get home in time for curfew to be obedient. We continued walking, and we saw a trike! But it refused to take us home. I got a little angry at this, but we kept walking till we saw another tricycle (finding 1 tricycle is lucky, but 2 is crazy), when we told him where we were going to the town center he told us to get in, but when we told him we were going to the town center in Asingan, he told us he was going to another city's town center. At this point I was wondering what we were going to do, until a 3rd tricycle found us. We told him where we were going, and he agreed to take us, but for a very high price because of the lateness and the distance. We had no other option so we did it anyway. As we got home I noticed that the time was 9:25, which meant I wouldn't be able to cook a big dinner. So I started to complain in my head. After a few minutes a thought came into my head saying "Elder Johnson, what are you complaining about? I answered your prayer, and you're complaining about it?". Sometime the Lord's answer isn't the most convenient, but he will always give us a way to accomplish what matters, being obedient. As it mentions in 1 Nephi 3:7, the Lord will provide a way, but on His terms, and in His way, but he still answers. Sometimes our answers come in odd ways, in ways we don't necessarily like, but the answer we receive will always be the best one, and the one we need. I relate this experience to that of the Israelites as they traveled in the wilderness for 40 years. The Lord provided Manna, His way, but the Israelites started to complain. Its my belief that the Manna is only as delicious as you want it to be.
Hope everyone of you have a great week! Mahal ko kayo lahat!
Elder Trevor Kent Johnson (TWMYK)
P.S. I will send picture next week.... I don't have a card reader... whoops!
Dear Family and Friends,
Wow this week has been a great one! I love it here in Asingan! Elder Baniago and I are getting along great and it really makes the whole experience go well! We are plowing through the work here and trying to get our area ready for another meetinghouse and an extra set of missionaries, its a lot of work, but its fun and very fulfilling to do! It has rained everyday this week but its all been good and adds an extra sense of adventure. IT rained really hard on Wednesday and while we were inside a member's house Elder Baniago gave each one of those looks like "Let's do this!" Nothing working in the rain!
This we saw another way to talk to people we don't know! We were walking out side and decided to take a 5 minute break at a rest spot on the side of the highway. Elder Baniago went to the CR first and I followed, but I listened as Elder Baniago left yelling "Freak! Bastos ang langam" well I look down at my feet and find my feet covered in huge red ants making their way up my pants! So I go running outside with my companion and we're both freaking out throwing our shoes off and brushing all the red ants off. With team work we got them off pretty fast and few bites, but not before half the town saw two guys freaking out about ants in the road. Well one the bystanders came up to us and asked if we wanted to use his house so we could check and get rid of ants. Well we tlaked to him and we got a return appointment! Go to show that we can make even bad circumstances into finding opportunities!
I watched a video this week called "After the Storm" in the mormon messages. I really liked what its says about the Lord planting his footsteps and riding on the storms. The Savior promises us that no matter what we face he will be there to help us. So what makes us scared? I think it comes when we see others in less intense parts of the same storm. I think we often times tell ourselves "Wait! I'm in the eye of the storm, the very worst of the storm, and others are on the outside. How can he possibly save me and them at the same time?" I think we sometimes forget that its not the "where" or "why" or "what" but the "when" and "how" that really matters. Its "when" we decide to let the Savior help us, and "how" we exercise our faith that determine how the storm affects us. We can't tell the storm where to go, or control where we stand in it, but we decide what we do to prepare and what to do when it passes.
I love you all!
Mahal ko kayo lahat!