Welcome to the Philippines!

We arrived on Friday, June 30th just at dusk.  I don't know why it surprised me, but it took my breath away when I looked out the window of the plane and it was sooooooo green.  I know, I know, I've apparently lived in Utah too long.

Our traveling companions, the 4 native Filipino Mission Presidents, were very kind and we are life-long friends.  They had talked in English around us and I didn't realize that wasn't normal, until they got to the airport and we boarded a bus to the hotel that they had worked at that fact, because as soon as they were "home" they began chattering in Tagalog and you could tell they were happy to be home!

We were instructed for the morning by Elder Schmutz of the Area Presidency and then we said tearful goodbyes to our new friends and counter-parts and boarded a van to go to San Pablo.

After an exhilarating drive.....😅😅😅😅😅 , we arrived.  They had painted a banner and had it hanging on the gate.  The office staff, the groundskeeper, the housekeeper and the outgoing president and wife were all out front.  We have been welcomed with open arms.  It was sad to see the outgoing president and his wife leave, but we are in good hands.

We attended church the next morning and even the primary kids welcomed us with little signs.

Then, we had a meeting Sunday night with the office staff and I think we are not landing for the next 1,000 plus days.  It will be busy and awesome.  We will get to go meet the missionaries on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Really looking forward to that!  Many of them sent text messages welcoming us on Saturday night.

Haven't dared drive yet, may give it a go on Tuesday!  It didn't help that the outgoing presidents car is in the shop because he got rear-ended by a bus....just saying.

We live in a compound with a meeting house, the mission office and the mission home.  We have a guard at night, although I feel very, very safe here.  I think it's mostly to keep the items that belong here, here.  There is poverty only steps away from us, but I have never met a more happy people. There are guards at the malls that look under the car and check your bags, but not in an oppressive way like I've felt in other countries.

As a mission president wife, a lot of what I get to help with is the missionaries that have health concerns.  24 hours consisted of kidney stones, possible rabid mouse bite, infected ingrown toenails and several knees that were not happy.  I can do this, just wish I had some of the nurses in our home ward with me.  If any of you want to retire and come on a mission to the Philippines, you would be a welcome sight!😄

Thanks again for your love and prayers.


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