Sunday, April 3, 2016

Thrilla in Manila Part II


My life is completely different since I last emailed. So much has changed.

It started out on Tuesday morning getting a text from Sister Guanzon telling me to pack everything and that they were sending me to the MRC. The MRC is in Manila, the "Missionary Recovery Center" and it's the only one in the world. Basically when missionaries are sick here in the Philippines, they get sent to the MRC to do testing and treatment to help them (ya know, because the medical care here is less than satisfactory). So I packed. And waited. I didn't here anything else until I bugged the AP's and they told me they were bringing Sister Delgado to my apartment that night and that we would be going to the MRC together. She has some medical problems going on right now as well. When Sister Delgado got to our apartment, she told me our flight was scheduled for Thursday morning.

So Wednesday I went on exchanges with Sister Haag. She's from California and she's one of the best missionaries I've ever met. She was very patient with my sickness and my inability to work very much. We talked a lot and it was an incredible exchange. She taught me a lot of things that I needed to hear at that time.

We got picked up early Thursday morning by the office elders and went to the airport. Worst airport experience ever. We go through security and everything and are just waiting, when they announce over the speaker that our flight has been cancelled. Due to weather. So everyone is freaking out and we wade through a sea of Filipinos to get to the desk to reschedule our flight. It was insane. We somehow managed to get them to allow Elder Dalit to come in and fix our flight even though they're typically not allowed to come in. Sister Delgado may or may not have pretended she couldn't speak Tagalog to get that to happen... haha. So, after LOTS of waiting, we finally get a flight booked for Friday afternoon. We spend the rest of the day in the air conditioning in the mission office and sleeping in the Daraga sisters' apartment.

Friday we get to the airport and guess what... our flight is delayed. The 2:25 flight became a 5:15 flight. Welcome to the Philippines. But, we met a family of members in the airport. They are from South Jordan I believe and the dad works in Manila in the embassy and it was so cool to meet them and actually speak in English for once. It was such a good conversation talking about all of the culture differences and quirks of the Philippines. Finally we landed in Manila and we ate at COLDSTONE. Yeah. I am deprived. Our driver, Pilo, was very grumpy during the drive to the MRC so that was no fun. We got to the MRC at about 9:30 and we meet all of the missionaries there. Elder and Sister Kasteler are the senior couple running the place. Right when we get there, Sister K sits us down and gives us a muffin. I'm just thinking "I like this place" haha. not much else happened, I just had culture shock from being in civilization, and we slept.

Saturday we got to go to the temple to do service. We folded laundry in the basement for about two hours, went back to the MRC and ate chili, then went back to the temple to do an endowment session. It's been almost a year and it was the greatest thing of my whole life. I. love. the. temple. I never realized how blessed I was to have a temple 20 minutes from my house all throughout growing up.

Sunday we went to church in a ward under Quezon City Mission. It was the most spiritual sacrament meeting ever. There were incredible testimonies and I was bawling through the whole thing. The members were so kind and sweet even though they didn't even know us. We got to watch a little part of General Conference later that day and it was INCREDIBLE. President Eyering's opening talk was absolutely incredible and I definitely receive lots of answers to questions.

The MRC is an incredibly spiritual experience in itself. I've learned so much and I've met some incredible people. We're just trying to figure out my migraines and letting me rest. I'm very grateful to be here, it's definitely part of God's plan for me. I love the Philippines and I love being a missionary. I have complete trust in God that it will all work out. I've been given some incredible priesthood blessings and some amazing counsel. I'm grateful for this trial, because I've learned so much and grown so much. I'm incredibly blessed to have Sister Delgado here with me experiencing all of this. That's definitely a tender mercy.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Never forget that God is in charge, and everything will work out!

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Wilkins

Re: Pictures Week 51

1. I missed the temple
2. again
3. I'm orange thanks to Sister Delgado's camera
4. yeah. print this one out and frame it.
5. Polaroids

Pictures Week 51

1. On the plane
2. After the cancelled flight.. before we left for the airport the next day
3. waiting at the airport
4. Bye, Legazpi