Sorry we’re behind schedule on keeping the blog up to date. We’ve been inundated with learning new responsibilities, getting our accommodations up to speed, learning to drive, finding food, getting internet, etc.
Here's a brief update:
The night of Tuesday, March 25th we arrived in Manila around midnight after 20.5 hours flying time from Salt Lake City (SLC to Detroit to Nagoya to Manila). There were three international flights arriving about the same time, so there was chaos in customs as we disembarked to a steamy room with hundreds of people navigating their way out. We were met by a wonderful couple and they took us a short twelve mile trip to the Missionary Training Center/ Missionary Recovery Center that sits across the street from the Manila Temple. We spent the night there and the next day we went on a tour of the site. It was a great morning as we learned a little about the many people who help in the work of our Heavenly Father.
Here's a picture of us with Kim Ellison, another Nurse Specialist whom we met in the MTC, and flew to the Philippines with us. She's great and will be serving in the Cebu Mission.
Later in the day it was time to go back to the airport and take a 1-hour flight to Bacolod. The twelve mile trip to the airport took over two hours. There are over 20 million people in Manilla and I think they were all on the roadJ. Lanes and traffic restrictions seem to be only suggestions here!
Last Sunday, April 6, 2014, we had the opportunity to attend a baptism and attend Church in an area far from where we live. It took two and a half hours to travel to this paradise including single lane roads, often not even paved. Once we arrived we had another mile walk to get to the make shift chapel. We walked uphill along a stream where people were bathing and washing hair and clothes. It was muddy, but it was a wonderful experience not soon to be forgotten.
|Walk up the hill to Church|
We also were able to attend a baptism which required another long walk. One of the young women that was baptized, later shared her sweet testimony.
|Baptism in irrigation pool|
What you can’t see from the picture of the baptism, just about twenty feet away were a mom and baby carabao (water buffalo to us). These large animals are hard workers, working in the fields.
|Karen with Momma and baby carabao|
The chapel in Colonial Divinia was a make shift structure made out of bamboo with a thatched roof. The ground was dirt and chickens and dogs wandered in and out of our little Chapel during Sacrament Meeting. At one point a chicken jumped up on the Sacrament Table before he was shooed away. Even though little English was used, the spirit was strong.
|Meeting place at Colonial Divinia|