I have been called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines Cauayan Mission. This blog is managed by my parents. If you would like to contact them, you can email at lindalarson1598@gmail.com

Monday, March 9, 2015

I went to Manila

I'M TRANSFERRED! This last week of the cycle has been absolutely fantastic but I guess I have to back up and do some explaining. I hardly even know where to begin but here goes. Try to keep up with me...

So normally--a couple weeks before they are about to go home--all the foreigners in every batch take a little trip to Manila to do fingerprinting for Visas or something. The newer batches don't have to worry about that because now (after they have completed like 5 weeks at the Provo MTC) they go to the Manila MTC for like a week and get all that stuff done. Since they started doing that only kind of recently, (My batch never went to the Manila MTC) I figured that I would be going with my batch around August or so. Well I don't know what happened, but apparently it became technically not legal for us to be here right now without those fingerprints and Visa stuff. So last Monday they informed us that we would all be going to Manila for a few days and they sent us all at the same time (There was like six batches at once and around 40 of us in all).

That's just the intro. Hopefully you followed that. Anyways, Thursday afternoon, I left Villaverde and met up with Elder Lawrence from Bambang Zone so that we could travel to and sleep in Cauayan. All the missionaries that are going home this week had a career workshops thing that day, and for dinner at SM (a big mall in Cauayan) I was able to see a bunch of my really good friends in the mission for the last time before they went home.

                Elder Allred                                                                       Sister Lasay

                                          Elders Heumann, Camain, Larson, Bangal                     

Friday we went to the Cauayan airport and flew into Manila and went directly to the bureau of immigration for fingerprinting. I am not lying when I say that I probably saw more white people in two days than I have seen in the last 16 months that I've been here. A lot of those included white guys who were probably in their late forties with their Filipina wives in their early twenties hahaha funny stuff. It was a bit hectic there and it took about two hours for our whole group to complete the whole process but that is actually way faster than what we were expecting. But after that...it was time to party!
Bureau of Immigration

We got to the hotel at around 5:00 and then we split into our groups and basically had the rest of the night to go to MOA (Mall of Asia) to eat and wander around at the mall. It was freaking huge! I must've spent around 40 dollars on food alone in a 24-hour period but that didn't phase us because this was a once-in-two-years kind of deal that we got to eat this kind of food. Good riddance I've missed that stuff! Our Manila trip seriously felt like senior year Choir Tour at Disneyland with the boys haha and I got a little America-trunky because it was like taking a step back into the real world for a day! But it's okay; I think I'm recovered now haha but here is a lot of pics!

 T.G.I. Fridays with the boys:
Elders Tribe, Thorpe, Waldron, Poulter, Larson

 Coldstone for dessert

Elder Coronel was our former AP. He went home last September. We randomly ran into his sister Friday night but then we were able to arrange for him to drive us to MOA Saturday morning. 

IHOP for breakfast

 I've missed this stuff

Not sure what this store is

 They've got an ice skating rink inside!

Subway takeout for lunch 

Rockin' that Jamba Juice the airplane ride home

Saturday afternoon we flew into Tuguegarao and then it was another six-hour bus ride back to the southern part of the mish and we ended up sleeping at Bambang. The only part that sucked about the trip is that I had to miss Jessica's baptism but I am still happy for her and that things turned out alright. Although it was a little annoying because apparently nobody from our branch presidency even showed up to the baptism so we had to get someone from Solano to preside. Elder Baquiran ended up performing the baptism because Mario hadn't been ordained to the office of priest yet but at least his family was there.


After church with Jessica

So yeah it's been a great week and we also went to Banaue today but I will have to wait until next week to send those pictures. And yes, today I found out that I will be transferring. I have enjoyed my time here in Villaverde and developed good relationships with the members but I was definitely ready to change things up so I am excited to be able to report next week on my new companion and area. And mom, you have been asking for a 'city' picture for quite a while so here are three very different ones that kind of reflect the change in environments.

 Highway in Manila (actually one of the few times there wasn't traffic haha)

Main street in Solano 

Street view in Villaverde

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