Hello mom and dad! I'm here and safe. They are giving us 15 mins to email home that we are safe. I am so so happy! Our flight to Manila got delayed so we got in really late and didn't get to bed till about 4 am but I got to sleep in until 8:30. I don't feel tired, I feel great. We have the same companions and district. Today we are going out with real missionaries in the Manila mission for like 5 hours! It is humid but not that bad right now. It's kind of sprinkling. The MTC president and all the older couples are American and so friendly.
Guess who came to the airport to greet me?! The Pajaro's! (The Pajaro's live in the Philippines and their daughter is in Mesa, AZ serving a mission. She and Abby became good friends before Abby left.) They were so nice to wait for our flight, it didn't get in until like 2 am. I started crying when I saw them it was such a nice surprise. They were carrying my luggage and being so so helpful. They gave me this cutest gift with this sign that has a Proverbs scripture on it that says something like "Commit to the Lord whatever you do and he will make your paths great." I am so committed and ready for this!! The MTC is sooo nice. Hot shower, nice rooms, and breakfast was good!! It was a lot of rice and this good meat/vegetable stuff with a hard boiled egg. It was so good! I am so happy. The minute the plane touched down I got such an overwhelming feeling of love for this place and these people!! I have to go but I am safe and SO happy and excited!! I feel healthy and I'm well taken care of. I don't know when I'll email again but I love love love you!
While she was in Manila waiting to go to her assigned area in San Pablo, there was a big typhoon. So she stayed a few extra days in Manila. Our Mesa neighbors, the Ostler's, were able to visit her in the MTC. He is the mission President in Manila. He sent us this letter:
Dear Dawn and John,
This morning we went to the MTC and were able to spend a few minutes with Abby. When we saw her, she burst into tears—no surprise there:) She is radiant, beautiful and excited to be a missionary! She went out teaching the gospel to 2 families yesterday. She is feeling healthy and is liking the food fine so far. You should be very proud of her. It is amazing to see how she has grown.
We know what it is like to send a daughter on a mission. It pulls at your heart strings…especially for Dad. But don’t worry, she will come back so much stronger and so much more capable of meeting the challenges and opportunities of her life. In the meantime, she will do a “marvelous work” here in the Philippines.
President Creg D. Ostler & Sondra Philippines Manila Mission