Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Great Start To Our Mission

Our First Week At The Manila Temple

The Temple Gardner
We have just finished our first week at the Manila Temple.

There are more Filipino Temple Ordinance Workers assigned to the Temple on their respective days than Temple Missionaries.  They fill the Coordinator roles and the general leadership positions.  The various assignments are published each day for the two eight-hour shifts.  Though we can generally plan for the day according to the schedule, we use "flexibility" as our motto so we can adjust to accommodate the varied number of Patrons.  We have had the opportunity to participate and officiate in all of the various Temple assignments this week.

Presently we are assigned to the morning shift which starts at six am and ends at two pm.  We retire to bed at nine pm and arise at four forty-five am.  This is a very unusual schedule for us and may be the reason we have not felt any "jet lag".  We are grateful for that, and we feel energized as we begin each day.
MTC to Temple Grounds Tunnel

There are four ordinance rooms, which seat twenty-five, and there is generally one session each hour for a total of twelve sessions most days.  The busiest days are Wednesday and Saturday when there is one session every half-hour.  On Wednesdays the young Asian missionaries from the Manila MTC come to receive their Endowments.  On Saturday many of the Saints are free from work and they come to the Temple in large numbers.  Twenty-seven patrons can be seated in each ordinance room by adding two additional chairs,  and throughout the day each session fills the respective room.

Of interest to our Danish friends that follow our blog:  The Manila Temple has a Temple Presidency, one Recorder, a Secretary, an Engineer and four Assistant Engineers.  Other statistics of interest are:  There are twenty-five stakes in Manila, plus a number of additional Stakes throughout Luzon.  The Temple District also includes many other Asian Island Nations.  When there are only ten to fifteen Patrons in attendance at a session in the Copenhagen Temple, which has three Stakes, it is a higher percent attendance per membership than a Temple with twenty-five plus Stakes.  We love you Denmark!

My Temple service this past Wednesday has given my testimony of the gospel a wonderful boost.  I hope the following descriptive narrative will convey some of the feelings I experienced.  The Manila Missionary Training Center (MTC) is across the street from the Temple.  It houses several hundred missionaries from the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Mongolia and other Asian countries.  Each week over one hundred of these young missionaries receive their Endowments in the Temple.  As an Officiator, facing twenty-five of them, my heart was full and my eyes were filled with tears.  They were slender boyish guys dressed in the white Filipino Barong, with trimmed black hair, dark eyes and almond skin looking back at me in all seriousness.  It was obvious the experience meant something very sincere and special to them.  The Spirit spoke to me of their purity and value.  I had just left the MTC in Provo, but these young men and young ladies were different.  The Church is a World Church and that is significant.
Filipino Barong

Speaking of the MTC, we were given a DVD of a report on the Provo facility done by the KSL TV station.  We enjoyed it very much.  I will attach a link to the report which is in several segments and lasts about forty-five minutes. You will want to watch it in its entirety.  It will give you a comprehensive view of Ben's and Jake's and our time there.

We have been confined to the Temple neighborhood so the photo gallery this week will not give you very much of a spirit of the city and the people.  That will come as we get the time to venture out.

Neighborhood Street
Temple View of High Rise Neighbors
Enlargement Of Above View
Mom's Vegetable Side Dish
Bye for now,

We love you,
Mom and Dad
Elder and Sister

1 comment:

  1. How amazing to have so many personal ordinances happening so regularly, & to be part of this special day for them.
    I think that the tunnel between the MTC & Temple is brilliant.
    I hope you are able to travel out soon & see the beauty of the country.
    I am also very happy that mom found veggies in her favorite form so quickly. ;o)
    Love & miss you,