Philippines time is fourteen hours ahead of Utah time.
After a long day of flying, Elder Watkins arrived in Manila around midnight. He and his traveling companions - two other elders and a sister missionary - were taken to a nearby hotel to spend the night. Elder Watkins and his companions arrived at the Philipines MTC around 6:30 am Friday, September 13. Within a couple of hours of being in the MTC, Tom and I received the following email:
I just got to the MTC, got a haircut and now I get to email you guys. They say just to say that I got here safely so I don't have much time. It's funny - most teachers are Pilipino (Filipino) and first speak Tagalog to me, but after my vacant expression they go back to English haha. Not much to report on. We drove through Manila to get here and the the Manila temple. It is right across the street and looks amazing. Hopefully we get to go soon. My companion is Elder Howlette. He's from Delta, Utah and is a farm boy raised on a farm. Pretty quiet but I'm pretty open when we have met other people so it's ok. I met a few elders from New Zealand and they are all pretty smooth. One is huge and they are all way nice. One is like my size but weighs like 75 pounds more than me, says he wants to play for the Jazz when I told him I'm from Utah (he's kidding). So nothing much else happened in the first 2 hours being here but I love you guys and I know this is the place I'm supposed to be. Serving Christ because of all he has done for me. I can finally serve Him and pay a little bit of that debt I owe him. I'm feeling excited and ready to start learning some Tagalog! Love you guys. I still don't know which day is my pday yet but I'll be sure to let you know when I find out.
Tell Mariah I love her and all is well.
Elder Watkins :)