Sunday, April 24, 2016

We're in Manila!!!

We arrived in Manila last night! We flew from SLC to Seattle to Tokyo to Manila...very tiring.  We were transported to our hotel where we stay for three nights. On Monday we have to be fingerprinted, get our permanent visas, and go to a missionary devotional at the Manila MTC. Tuesday we get to attend the Manila Temple before being driven to our new "home".

Today, we went to church with 2 sister sisters (like us) that are serving in the Area Office here in Manila. In Sacrament Meeting, a young man opened his 'mission call letter' and bore a beautiful 'tanglish', a cross between tagalog and English.  We sang from an English hymnal, the announcements/business were in English, and the talks were half English and half tagalog.  The Sunday School and Relief Society lessons were in English, but some of the comments were in tagalog, and prayers were all in tagalog.  We were told that everyone understands English, but many are uncomfortable speaking it.  English and Tagalog are both National Languages.

We passed our MTC office training!
Our last week at the MTC wasn't as hard as we were anticipating.  That was a relief!  We were in office training from 8am-5pm Monday through Thursday.  We made it through that, but were worried that we weren't going to receive our visas before Friday when we were scheduled to fly out.  I checked with the travel office each day with no luck.  Then, on Wednesday before we finished class, the secretary came in to tell us that our visas arrived in SLC...we could pick them up on Thursday in the Provo office!!!  The travel office had told us our flights would be cancelled Wednesday night if our visas didn't show up...they were just in time!

Our adventure continues. 
Love to you!
Donna and Diane

Sunday, April 17, 2016

and the journey begins ...

this is the place!
Philippines Olongapo Mission

Well, our homes were secured and we arrived at the MTC in Provo late last Saturday night, weary from the all the preparation and international travel that preceded our journey here, but excited about what the weeks here would bring.  Entering the cafeteria on Sunday morning and seeing approximately 1000 young missionaries was overwhelming!  Their spirit and enthusiasm were evident and it has been a joy interacting with them throughout the week.  the work of the Lord is in excellent hands!

Our teachers have been fantastic and the teaching experiences intimidating and humbling but we are learning to rely on the Spirit to guide and it has not let us down.  The first day, they asked a question, "Who will you bring to Christ?" and i couldn't help but feel that my answer was, "me".  I've been learning the Gospel my whole life but nothing prepared me for the feelings I would have here.  My eyes are raw from crying (not from sadness but from an overabundance of spiritual feelings) and, while i don't want it to end, my poor eyes just can't take much more!

Tomorrow we begin four days of much needed office training.  we are hoping it brings some clarity to what our assignments may be in the Mission Office.  then friday morning we head to the airport bound for Seattle > Tokyo > Manila, where we will spend a few days getting acclimated and also picking up Philippine drivers licenses!  Yikes!  Our Mission President, President Dahle, and his wife will then retrieve us and drive us the three hours to our new home in Subic for the next 18 months.  

i still can't believe this is happening.  i have been blessed in so many ways already, and i know Diane feels the same.  i can't imagine what God has in store for each of us but i'm going forward with faith and know it will be fantastic!!!