So being companions with Sister Willson is excellent, to say the least. I don't even know where to begin with this. Ok so, arrived at the bus station Tuesday morning, Sister Willson, me and the AP Elder Paasi who is also from Aus just met up in a circle and literally instantly our accents came back. We had a wicked 3 way fist pump and all confirmed that this was going to be the last transfer of our lives as were all about to die next month. I saw President and asked him just where he thought he was going with this and he just laughed and was like, 'yeah, I knew you'd love it'.
After one glorious morning of work we got the text, pack your bags youre going to Manila - TOMORROW. I realise no matter how I tell this story its just not going to be as exciting to anyone else as it was to us. But were missionaries and were easily excited. We stroll into the airport, a group of about 20 white people which just shocked the locals who probably aren't used to 20 people in general being in the tiny airport, so we were the focus of attention. SO not to waste an opportunity we just jamming out and start an impromptu baby tabernacle choir in the terminal which got everybody interested to stay the least.
Hit the airplane and rolled out of the Manila airport like high rollers, suddenly we seemed to fit in a little bit more dressed in suits and business skirts, everything seemed to make a little bit more sense. Climbed in a van and asked the driver where we were going. He gives us the little eyebrow wiggle and goes 'TEMPLE!' Needless to say a cheer was heard as far back as Laoag itself. Sister Willson and I clutched each other as we came into view of the MTC and our temple that we loved so so much. I shant go into the details of my experience inside except that I haven't cried like that in a long time. Nothing feels more like going home than walking inside the temple for the first time in 15 months. Rolled into the hotel and spotted Mormons in the hallway - including one lone Elder that just had no idea what he was doing. We walked up to him to try sort him out, he flew in by himself and they told him he was at the wrong hotel and wouldn't check him in or tell him where to go, plus he didn't speak Tagalog because he was still on his way to the MTC and had no food or money. After a minute hes like, 'wait, I know you guys!' Hes from Sydney and we used to be in the same chapel and him and Sister Willson were in trek together. Basta it was a beautiful moment where we saved him and found out where he was going, gave him all the food we had and we said goodbye to our new little brother. We're a sweet little team. I was more than excited for a hot shower since I also haven't had one of them in 15 months. Water was cold. I sucked it up, but turns out that we were the only ones that didn't have hot water. It hurt my heart a little bit but its ok, I'll have one again one day....
Friday morning we hit immigration to get some fingerprints done, and what should have been a half hour adventure turned into a 6 hour frustrating time in our lives, which meant we couldn't go back to the temple like we had planned. Sad. So we did the next best thing - we hit the MALL OF ASIA! It was the biggest mall I've ever seen, and they had every store I've ever seen. It was Babylon. But it was beautiful. It was overwhelming to say the least and I didn't know where to start, but something told us to look up, and we looked up, and right above us was a Max Brenner chocolate shop. I'm not proud of the scream that came out of my mouth, but it was so so happy. Bonding with the batch was the ultimate joy of the weekend, and the fact that we just happened to see 3 of our favourite sisters from this mission who had already gone home to Manila. It was amazing. Then we came back.
So we get back to Pasuquin and get into weekly planning. All the investigators here just moved, what do you know, so the work here is hard to say the least. The missionaries had been having trouble getting members involved and getting much done, so we tried to figure out what the plan was. We both go home at the same time and then our area is getting pulled out from the lowering number of missionaries, so we decided we could either die together with Pasuquin, or we could resurrect it and go out with a bang. We started talking about how we didn't want to leave with any regrets, and I remembered this idea we had a while ago that we never got to do. Basically we want to change the way we do missionary work here. Every one of the 843543 times I've watched the Restoration I see how they have town meetings and everyone comes out in droves to listen to the missionaries, and I wish that we could do that. So we thought, WHY CAN"T WE? By the end of the night we had all the missionaries on board and had personally spoken to every single one of the Barangay captains in the Pasuquin area, which are like the mayors of each little neighbourhood and set a time with them. Basically every night for a week were going to run town meetings where we preach the word to all who will come and hear it. The next day we got the whole branch presidency on board and in two days we have the whole thing happening. Pasuquin's not gonna know what hit it. The Mormons are coming. They better get ready.
Then just to top of our perfect week, white people appeared at church on Sunday! They're from Utah and the wife was born here but grew up in America and they were just incredible people. They invited us over for dinner and referred her whole family to us. They cooked us pizza. Like, organic pizza, with real cheese, I don't even know where they got real cheese from because its not even available here. He's a director/composer who has worked on a ton of my favourite movies. We sat there with our pizza in awe of his every word, and at the end they gave us their card and told us to look them up when we're in Utah. We will. Plus one of the nieces is about to go to BYU and is so excited to be taught so were gonna try get her baptised soon, and the grandma has just been waiting to come so we could invite her to church with us. She is excited to say the least. Best week ever.
So all is well. We are very happy and are driven more than ever to work hard and give it all we got. I love this mission. I love my life. I love you all.
See you all in Babylon!