We've been in the Philippines 1 week now. What an adventure. We arrived in Manilla Saturday night, June 15, after a 20 1/2 hour flight with stop overs. We we' re picked up at 7:30 from the very nice Microtel, and went to church on one floor of of a business building. It was run like a regular ward with the Stake President visiting. They accordioned the chaple off for classrooms. Their last meeting wet over 15+ minutes. Elder. G. got many Happy Father's Day greetings from the ward members and a cup of goodies. They celebrate many of the U.S. holidays. The church is in good hands in that ward.
Monday morning we were again picked up about 7: 30, and we were taken to church headquarters across from the temple. At first were going to get our driver's licenses, then we weren't, then we were. While they were trying to decide, we went to a devotional for the church employees. We met Elder and Sister Dupaix from our stake in Sandy. They're serving a public relations mission.
With wet wipes in hand and tissues, we headed to get our driver's license. They require a urinalysis, which is not very sanitary,thus the wet wipes, an eye test, 3 pictures, and about 2 hours of time. It's scary to drive in the Philippines, especially in Manilla.
We met Elder and Sister Murray across from the temple. We are their replacement. The drive to the Olongapo mission was about 3 hours. We saw caribau, not cariboo, sort of an ox the farmers use for plowing their fields, rice fields, lush green scenery, the military base, a naval ship, and the ocean.
We thought we would be staying in an apartment above the mission office, but that apartment is going to be used for new missionaries and missionaries coming for an over night stay for meetings.
Our apartment wasn't ready until after 9:00 that night. There were 27 new missionaries, the most they've ever had. We were asked to bear our testimonies about 3 times. We listened to the testimonies of all the new missionaries. What an impressive group. It was a spirit experience to be with them. Sister Querido fed this army of missionaries. There we're the new missionaries and their
trainers. President Querido told them he prayed about which new missionary should go with which trainer. He knew it was the Lord's will who they got. President Querido is impressive.
Elder Gorringe, Elder Murray, the APs, and President took everyone home in the pouring rain. Elder Gorringe came back drenched,clear through to his Filipino pesos.
Our apartment is very nice according to Philippine standards. It has a living room/kitchen and bathroom on the main floor. The kitchen has a small propane gas range, and a small stove. We have a water filter on our sink, but no hot water. UThey gave us a sort of an electric coffee pot for heating water.
I'm out of time. We don't have internet so I have to write this at our office.
ELDER and Sister Gorringet