Thursday, May 5, 2011


Elder and Sister Bird after 20 hours of flight. Hong Kong Airport. Next Stop Manila

A view out our apartment window

A hard days cleaning, and we are now ready to serve

April 11, 2011

We arrived at the airport ready to take the long flight to the Philippines. Our luggage was within weight limits and with a tearful good-bye to the Peterson’s, we were off. Our flight to San Francisco took about 1 1/2 hours and then we sat for about three hours waiting for our next flight on Cathay Pacific. It took us quite some time to find their terminal, but finally did and sat until time for our flight. We boarded the 747 and marveled that a plane so huge can stay up in the air for so long. Our flight to Hong Kong lasted for about 14 hours. We sat in economy and it was grueling. At first we thought we would read, watch a movie or two, etc. but the entire flight was in the dark. People all around us wanted to sleep so we didn’t feel we could turn lights on and wake them up. So we endured the flight and departed our plane and WOW!! we were in Hong Kong. Just like that we are half way around the world. We quickly found our connecting flight to Manila and boarded where we sat with the people we would grow to love for the next 18 months. So, we landed in Manila, got our luggage through customs (no problems) and found our ride to take us to our new home. WE first went to the office and met people there. Then it was over to the realtor who took us to our new home. The Pioneer Apartments were going to be our new apartment, and while driving here, I thought, I’ll never be able to drive here in this land. It was like bumper cars with over 20 million people. Three lanes of traffic with five lanes of cars trying to fit into it. The one with the bumper in front had the right of way and also buses moved any and everything out of their way. We got to our apartment located in Mandaluyung. We are on the 25th floor and upon opening the door a terrible smell came out of the kitchen. The realtor said that’s O.K. it was the smell from the recently cleaned grease trap. You see, they have no garbage disposals, no hot water, so everything goes down the sink into a “cesspool” underneath the sink. It sits there and eventually gets cleaned out. This one hadn’t been cleaned out for a while. The apartment was somewhat “dirty” and didn’t quite feel like home. With faith we said, “We’ll take it”. The door closed and we were now left in this “stinky” , dirty place. Carla’s motto became, “I can do hard things”. We took the entire next day cleaning this apartment from top to bottom and said, Let’s dwell on the good things and sure enough, we focused on what we are blessed with. We have air conditioning, a flushing toilet, hot water in the shower, a bed, a washer and dryer, and new refrigerator (I am taller than it is), and wood floors. WE even have a water purifier which allows us to have clean drinking water. WE are so blessed.


  1. Elder and Sister Bird!! This is Julie's siter Sheryl, she sent me the link to your blog. I just wanted to say thank you for being such wonderful in-laws to Julie. She is really going to miss you so much and in a way I will too! You are both such great examples to everyone you come in contact with and I consider it a blessing to know you. You will be amazing missionaries, may the Lord bless you in your service!


  2. Congratulations on your calling. It will be fun to watch you serve. This is something that seems far away in our future as I married a younger man, so he will retire later than most my friends my age. I wish you well.
    Oh and I know about the long flight. We flew to Taiwan to pick up our youngest son from his mission and I have never endured such a grueling flight in my life.
    hugs to you both