This week was great! I can say that it has rained everyday without fail for the past week! I am getting more and more impressed with my Ecco Brand shoes and how well they take the abuse that comes from walking through mud, cow poop, small lakes, dead rats (which was super gross, my shoes smelled bad all day), kicking angry dogs ( yes they try to bite), etc.... If you have a missionary coming to the Philippines tell him/her that they are very lucky, its literally the best mission in the world (Sorry Elder Lingen).
This week we had another baptism! And it was the kind I have been looking for my whole mission, WE BAPTIZED A FAMILY!!!!!!! I was asked by 3 of the kids to baptize them, and it was great! Definitely a highlight of my mission. My son was able to baptize the other two, and we had a bit of a funny experience. We had to repeat the mother's baptism 8 times before we got it right. First two times my son said her name wrong, then she didn't get completely immersed 4 times (she was a bit nervous), then my son forgot her name again, then we got it right! Later when I was baptizing the youngest child, she was very nervous to walk in the water, we had to tell her "sigi na, balis na balis, kaya mo!" (alright, it will be fast, you can do it).
Earlier this week I also mastered cookie baking in a toaster oven. My mom sent me a bunch of cookie mixes, so decided that I would at lest try to cook them. It took constant surveillance but I did it ( Mom, you should be proud). When I got my birthday package, I was ready to share it with everyone in my apartment, but they all said "iyaw Elder, mesado matamis yaon!" basically the candy in the USA is too sweet for them, so now I have to eat my weight in candy by myself (But who's complaining?).
Earlier today we went bowling in Dagupan for my birthday! (Don't worry, it was P-Day). I still can't break 100, but it was still fun. I learned a lesson though. The first few throws I was coming out empty handed, but then Elder Pacamara told me that if I focus on the markers that I would be able to get solid hits every time. I can relate this to setting and making goals. When we have something to focus on, when we line ourselves up with something it is almost guaranteed that you with make a "solid hit". Now notice I didn't say that you would get strike every time ro even a spare, but you will receive some doable amounts of success if you have a goal in mind and stick to that goal. When thinking of how this applies to the gospel I think of setting goals to the temple. When we set clear goals to receive the blessings or the temple, the Lord will give us a way to get there. It may not be easy to find "spare" time but in the end, hte blessings that come from it are worth far more than the hours spent at home watching TV. Especially since I don't have access to a temple, I have come to miss it a lot. If you "can't find time" to go to the temple, remember this, if it makes you feel a bit guilty its intended. People here give up meals for weeks just to get money to go and see the temple. People here give up the precious hours they have working to give their families food just to do 1 endowment session in a temple that takes 6 hours to get to. If you can't find 2 hours to go the temple every once in a while, "you need to loosen your schedule up a bit" -Brian Regan. If you have plans to watch Netflix for 3 hours tomorrow, go to the temple instead! Netflix can wait, the blessings that others will receive cannot.
I have had an awesome birthday so far, the best present I have is being able to labor here for 2 years!
Elder Trevor Kent Johnson (TWMYK)