Being LDS, one of the places we knew we had to visit in the Philippines was the Manila LDS temple. This is something we never could have done without our wonderful nanny, for more than one reason.
When we told her we wanted to trek across the city she was, understandably, concerned. The cab fare would have been, by Philippines standards, outrageous. The train station was right next to our building, but with two stops and a jeepney ride she didn’t trust us to get there on our own, even with Jake’s Tagalog skills.
A few phone calls later she had a plan. We would take the train until we reached the first stop. There we would meet her sister at the station, who would take us the rest of the way. I was nervous (travel in general in the Philippines made me nervous), but it all went smoothly. Her sister was super nice, and didn’t mind spending her afternoon taking a couple of clueless Americans through the city.
When we got to the temple we talked to some of the LDS missionaries who were staying in the Missionary Training Center across the street. At one point in the conversation Jake mentioned the name of his Mission President, from his own missionary days. They became excited and told us that he was currently working with new missionaries at the training center!
We eagerly crossed the street and began asking around at offices and front desks. With a little digging we found out his Mission President was working that day! He and Jake were excited to see each other and we were able to have a nice visit.
On his mission, Jake had been close with his whole family, so the next day we arranged to meet his wife and kids for a picnic at the children’s museum. His wife was excited to see Jake again, and his teenage sons had fun seeing the American they had known as kids.
So, our trip across the city led to a fun and unexpected reunion, and a lot of new friends for me!