Because of its strategic location in the Pacific Rim, the Manila Philippines Temple is continually busy as members arrive by boat, airplane, bus or traditional jeepneys. Some arrive on foot after walking many, many miles. Thousands of members have come in the past few months from all over the Philippines, the Pacific islands and even India. On a single recent day, 143 members received their endowments.
Representative of the many who came long distances was a group of 39 members from Kosrae, one of the Federated States of Micronesia. The Kosrae members planned the trip for about three years, said President Randolph Jonathan of the 200-member Kosrae Branch.
"It is the best part of our lives to come to the temple," said President Jonathan.
The trip took seven hours as they flew from Kosrae to Ponape to Guam and finally to Manila. They were accompanied by Elder Robert and Sister Joan Walker of Afton, Wyo., Church Educational System missionaries serving in Micronesia. After arriving, the Kosrae members came to the temple many times, receiving their own endowments and doing work for their ancestors.
One evening, the Kosrae members, who were very grateful to each person who assisted them in seeing their temple dream come true, gathered and sang for the temple workers.
"They have such beautiful voices and such volume we will never forget them," said a temple worker.
When their allotted time was over, the group climbed back aboard an airplane and returned to their quiet island to farm and fish, make handcrafts or work for the government.
They will keep forever in their hearts the happy memories of the Manila Temple. — Sister Sharon Reeder, Oceanside, Ore., temple missionary
Another in a series of "Temple Moments."
Illustration by John Clark.