Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Week one is Done

It has been an eventful week for the Elder and Sister Wolcott. We left the MTC at 3:30 AM MDT, Flew from SLC to LA and then cooled our heels from about 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Our flight crew to Hong Kong had crew rotation issues so our flight was delayed five hours. This caused us to miss our Hong Kong to Manila flight so we had to stay overnight in Hong Kong. The accommodations were nice, but the night was short because we had to be at the airport at 5:40 AM for our flight to Manila. We arrived in Manila at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, just 12 hours later than planned.
In SLC we met our traveling companions; Elder and Sister Hansen and Elder and Sister Simon.


After arriving in Manila we stayed at a motel in Quezon City, a few Kilometers from the Manila Temple. Day One was a rest day and trying to adjust to the jet lag. Thursday we processed our immigration paperwork which took 20 minutes of time and about 3 hours of driving.  The traffic is interesting. 

This picture is from the front of our motel, during a relatively quiet period. My observations: Traffic lanes are suggestions only, even the center double striped lines dividing the direction; Blinkers are optional – probably an American; He who hesitates is lost – point your nose the way you want to go and … go; Give way as necessary; Don’t be in a hurry, it may take an hour to go a kilometer; Go with the flow; Don’t get wrapped around the axle when  motorcycles pass on both sides of you, or cut across between your car and the next; Philippines means patience.
On Friday morning, during rush hour (a period of time, no one is ‘rushing” anywhere) our driver pulled into this chaos with barely a pause, drove across three lanes and made a left turn.

Of interest: There are relatively very few accidents and no one gets angry. It works as well as possible in this metropolis. In short we Americans can learn a lot about how things can work differently.
After we finished our immigration processing Elder and Sister Simon and Sister Wolcott and I went to the Manila Temple. It is the same design as the Boise Temple, but is much smaller.

Members getting on a jeepeney at the temple

Friday morning we got our Philippines Driver license.  

For our friends in Libby and Missoula that are disappointed and frustrated spending an hour getting a license:  This is the processing line at the LTO: NO air conditioning, 6 stations, Three hours. And we didn’t have to take a test! But we now have a license! But again the people are incredibly patient, kind and gracious. I'm not sure I want to drive in Manila though.

On Friday afternoon we met with President and Sister Ostler. We reviewed our assignments and a little of what to expect on the Palawan island.  

After dinner in the mission home Sister Wolcott and I went on a teaching assignment with Elder Hadley and Elder Wilson. A young investigator has committed to baptism; we continued teaching her and her two LDS friends about the atonement of Christ and the Restoration. For privacy reasons we will not share the names.  The investigator has the blue top, she is a sweet spirit. We met several ward members and the children were excited to meet us and shake our hands. Just as we were told the Filipino people are warm, somewhat shy, but love Americans. It was a great start!

We spent about an hour Saturday morning at the American Cemetery and Memorial. This was a spiritual experience, very similar to Arlington.  The sacrifice to retake the Philippines in WWII was tremendous!

On Saturday afternoon we flew to Puerto Princessa where we will live for the time being. President and Sister Hiatt met us at the airport and we started our training on the way to our bungalow.

We really appreciated their preparation and the detail. We also really appreciated the full pantry and being able to move into our cozy bungalow. It is very nice.

On Sunday we visited four branches, Puerto Princess 1 and 2 and Santa Monica 1 and 2 after that we came home, spent time reviewing transfer material with the Hiatts then went to a Family Home evening at a members home.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. Its almost like being there but without the hard work. You are God's elect! Ed