Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sept 25th news from the MTC

Thanks for the email and the letter with the article in it. Thank you so much for the package!! I loved the cookies and the protein bars are my breakfast on temple mornings since the cafeteria opens after we leave for the temple and closes before we get back. I am so grateful for the temple...always such a great way to feel the Spirit and start the day off right.  

I'm glad to hear about Josh's mission call!! I was so excited for him that I think it was making it hard for me to fall asleep last night! haha. Your letter hasn’t come yet but Sister Mangum said it had arrived (I'm glad I heard the news). Also glad to hear that he likes shopping for himself. I always enjoyed that too. Thank you dad for the story about Haw's mission, I had forgotten that he went to the Philippines. Also thank you for the football update. I enjoyed reading it just picturing how excited you would have been if telling me about it in person. Sorry we lost. I'm glad your speech went well, I never had doubted that it would. BTW, pizza is Friday night and yes all fo the days run together like crazy but I love each one of them. (Admitedly, some more than others. haha.) Thanks for the prayers, I can definitely use every single one of them.

CONGRATULATIONS-- to Adam and Shalisa. That is so exciting!! Hope all is going and goes well. You will be in my prayers. Sad that I am missing out on that excitment, but so excited for you.

Also thank you to all my friends who have been writing me, I am so excited each time I receive a letter.

So, some stuff about here. Taco salad is probably my new favorite meal although I love a lot of the salads. This Sunday in church I got really excited becasue I understood a lot of the words in the hymn we sang, many of the words in the sacrament prayer and almost all of the 2 talks that were given in Tagalog. It was such a good feeling. (And nice to be able to understand the Church service again haha!) I gave the closing prayer, thank you zone leaders, and thought my heart was actually going to beat out of my chest during the last verse of the closing song. I have prayed at least 50 times in Tagalog but it didn't matter I was still so nervous. Ridiculous. But it went well and I remembered how to say pretty much everything I wanted to. Yea! We got to see the Brigham City Temple dedication so that was nice and what was very special is that I got to use Grandma Allen's handkerchief. Thanks Bammer! (I think I will mail that back to you now so it doesnt get ruined in the Philippines. :) )

And now for a funny story.... So you've heard about gym and how we usually go outside. So we decided to try going out at night for the first time. (8-9pm) It was dark out but the field had lights so we went out to play four square (which is actually way more fun than it sounds) but the court was to dark so instead we played some tag games that were hilarious. Then we were getting bored and decided (who knows why) to try duck duck goose. (some games are not allowed but with some many to choose from I still don’t know why we chose that.) Anyway we all sat down in the circle and took a minute to establish rules that nobody really knows. Then we started it was a little to easy but whatevs. Then I got chosen as goose by Elder Woolsey and was chasing him. Well we were both running full speed when he slipped. (it is a very slippery field, someone always falls when we are out there.) When he slipped he was on the ground laid out right in front of me and I jumped to try not to hit him and ended up flying through the air and rolling to land safely. Sadly I did kick his head before clearing the rest of his body. So sad but also funny. Now that I say that I guess you had to be there but it was fun. Suffice it to say that we had no idea Duck Duck Goose could be so dangerous and they are never going to let me live down the fact that I kicked the Zone Leader in the head. Well let me know what kind of things you want to hear about.

Sister Hamm

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sept. 18, 2012 email from MTC

So here goes a bunch of random thoughts in 30 minutes. Pacenta. (Sorry) 

First off, thank you so much for the package I ate some of it for breakfast this morning. Also thank you everyone who has written me. :) It is always such a pleasant surprise.  

Second off, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me become who I am. (If you are reading this, then you are most likely included in that. :) ) Thank you to my parents, my family, my friends, ward members, teachers, everyone.  I just was overwhelmed with gratitude the other night for the impact that all the people in my life have had on me. Thank you mom for teaching me, "You can do hard things." And dad thank you for Fall semester of 2010 for a phone call that put me in place and taught me that "stressing excessively doesn’t improve the outcome or get anything accomplished".  I hear your voices in my head. :) And I think often of all the examples I have seen of different Christ-like attributes in all the people I have been around. 

Third, I know God answers prayers. Of course I have known this for awhile now for many different reasons, but it has been reiterated to me many times just in this week. (If you don't yet know for yourself, try praying for patience or humility... He seems to answer those prayers especially quickly. haha jk... sort of. :) ) I had a great experience with prayer this week that really helped me get through a rough moment. 

As I laid down in bed one night I thought of a general conference talk in which the speaker said sometimes we feel like saying to God, "Hope you know, we had a hard time." It was a good talk and I felt like saying that one night but then I realized that in reality what I had had a hard time with that day was relatively easy because I can honestly say I felt the support of the Spirit and Christ with me every step of the way! It is so wonderful to be able to turn to Him with anything I know that I will receive help. 

Our district has up-ed our language goal to 50 words and 20 phrases a day. No, I am not awesome enough to accomplish this yet but I think I will get there someday. It is really starting to freak me out how little time I have left here! (yea, yea laugh it up. I know I still have a month and a half. :D ) We do not speak all Tagalog (to answer dad's question) even though we should. We definitely speak Taglish :) But we are going to step it up starting today because the older Tagalog districts all left on Monday and we get a new district tomorrow!! So yes, we are the oldest Tagalog speakers now which is sad and crazy but we are excited to be as good to the newcomers as our older district was to us. (although, there was a bigger time gap between us and them so that helped with their SYLing. Oh well.)

Congratulations to Tyler on his touchdown. (Even though that is old news by now) Please send me Josh's Idaho address so that I can send him a letter I wrote. I know I've said it a lot but make sure Josh dearelder’s me about his call. He should open it Thurs or Friday if they make his call right?  It’s so hard when you can't communicate except for once a week! :)  Dad we do have pizza once a week, but believe it or not I don't know which night. We also have soda but I have yet to drink any while here. Booyah for me! I also have not had a single doughnut while here but I eat plenty of other desserts so I can't brag about that too much. :)

My time is ticking down but I don't know what else to say. How are you all doing? Anything new or exciting happening?  Is Jake managing to keep 80% attendance in seminary?

Things here have pretty much the same schedule everyday, except tues and sundays. We got to hear from Sheri Dew on Sunday. It was a great talk about women's roles in the church. I'm still having a great time. Wishing I could learn the language faster. Loving kickball and the sunshine. My companion and I do our personal study outside usually at a table next to trees and flowers. It is so nice. Oh, the trio (three elder companionship) from our district were called as the new zone leaders. We were all excited for them and saw it coming a mile away. :) Which reminds me... I just wanted to make a little shout out to all the 19 year old guys who come out and do this. It is totally worth it and it is a calling from God, but it is not easy and I admire them for it. At 21 it's hard for me and I was way more ready than I would’ve been at 19. Anyway. I love you all and miss you so much! Thanks for that quote dad... it is so true!
Sister Hamm


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sept 11 2012 email

So first off, thank you for all the mail and the package! I always feel so loved.

Sorry if you are someone I haven't written back yet... I promise I will get there. :) The weeks here feel like months. Seriously. But that is okay because they have been a really good 2 "months" :) haha. There are some days when I think, "Oh my gosh, I’m already 1/4 of the way through and I still have so much to learn. I can't leave in 7 weeks!”  But I’m sure all will come in time.

I understand forgetting questions when you sit down to type because I always have that problem. Here are some answers to your questions. When we have gym at night I love to play volleyball and then in an effort to not gain weight I run for the last 15 or 20 minutes. But my new favorite is when we have gym in the afternoon. We go out to the field and play kickball! It is a blast. The first time we played it was me and my kasama (companion) plus elders from our district and we played 3 on 3 with a pitcher that rotated. But this last time we played we had our entire district! We played on teams of 6. It was such a blast. Sister Finau had never played kickball before. Someone said it's kind of like baseball (okay?) and we were informed that they didn't really play that in Tonga either. But after her first kick she ran two bases and laughed the whole way. “I love this Game!” she said.  It was great to do a fun activity with the district that we practically spend ALL day with in the classroom. Good thing we like each other... or at least most of the time. :)

Our district is half going to Manila and half going to Naga Philippines. We actually had one elder from our district go home and it was surprising how hard it hit after only a week and a half. We all hope that he is doing well and wishing he were still here!

My favorite lunch is a wrap.  You get to decide what goes into the tortilla but the toppings change daily so it’s always an adventure, but I haven't had a bad one yet. They also get Creamery ice cream every Sun and Wed.  Let's just say I am absolutely in love with that! :)

Well, I don’t have much time left so I may have to hand write you some stuff.  I am still loving learning the language even though we have started learning grammar which has never been my strong suit. It is, however, frustrating to try and teach a lesson when you have so much you want to say in English but don't know how to teach in Tagalog! Can't wait ‘till that gets a little better. They have helped us more with lesson planning so I feel better about my english teaching even though that stills needs work too.

On Sunday, we got to see a talk by Elder Holland given at the MTC years ago. I don't know the real name of it but it was soooo good.  Totally left me on fire about my mission and made me really want to give it my all. Can't wait to hear about Josh's mission call. Tell him to dearelder.com me. :)  I did get your letter yesterday.  Thank you. :)  Dad, I haven't found a great word to teach you yet for fine. :) We joked the first week that they only taught us Mabuti so that when people ask us how we are we have no choice but to say great! haha. :) Works for me. Okay, well, I will write more in a letter later.  

Mahal Kita!  
Sister Hamm

MTC Pictures

The photos are top to bottom:
  Jaclyn in her MTC room showing her brothers her little white handbook,
 The Tagalog speaking MTC Sisters,
and Jaclyn's Tagalog MTC District

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sept 6, 2012 excerpts from letter to Mom

Sept 6, 2012

Excerpts from letter to Mom

Um…I do not need a filtering water bottle, they actually gave us one free for our mission.  Nice & scary!  Haha   Thanks for all your fun letters.  I love them. 

The first 3 days were differently scheduled but now my days will all be pretty much the same.  My roomies and I all get up at 5:30 or 5:45.  We have an hour of planning after we get ready.  Then we have a half hour for breakfast (10 of which are spent in line).  Then we have 3 hours of language class/study/and teaching our investigator.  Then we have an hour of study time (personal scripture study), then lunch where the lines are even longer, then an hour of gym and half an hour to clean up after gym.  Then 2 hours of language study then 45 min. for dinner (lines even longer!), then 3 hours of class (language) then home for 1 hour to get ready for bed and write in journal, etc.  The order if sometimes a little different but this is pretty much the schedule.  J  Busy, but honestly, not bad.  I enjoy most of it…except when frustration & discouragement takes over for a max of 2 hours. J

Love you so much! 

(Sobra Mahal Kita!)

Sister Jaclyn Hamm

Oh and sorry for no pictures.  We have to use one of 4 computers for that and they were busy.  I’ll try really hard next time. 

Aug 30, 2012 - written letter via USPS

Aug. 30, 2012 – written letter via USPS

Dear Family, 

Hello!  How are you all doing?  I hope school is going well.  So we usually can only write our families on P-day (which for me is Tuesday) but the President told us we could write on our first or second day here since our families are probably worried. J Haha I hope not.  

I am having a great time! (I almost hate to admit it. I haven’t been homesick at all).  Heavenly Father has been so nice to me.  I had my first Tagalog Lesson and met my district.  They are great.  My companion is Sister Bloxham from Utah and we share a room with 2 other sisters.  One is from Tonga and the other is from Hawaii.  They are all a lot of fun!  Tagalog was awesome.  It was fun to hear our teacher speak it.  I like how it sounds.  We did learn Mabuti! J But we say “Mabuti poako” for “I’m good.”  “Oo” (“yes”) is pronounced Oh-oh but is sounds so much like uh-oh that I still sometimes do a double take like, “what’s wrong?” haha.   

We then went to a meeting with all the elders and sisters.  We sang “We’ll Bring the World His Truth” but sang “And we are now the Lord’s missionaries…” (yes!).  It made me smile.  We also sang, “Called to Serve” which made me smile as I pictured my whole family singing it so well.  Dare I say, better than the missionaries, just less strong.   

So today we had our second Tagalog lesson and tomorrow we teach an investigator (fave) the first lesson in Tagalog.  Ah!  We are trying to be optimistic about how that will go.  I am excited.  Can’t wait until I can properly announce the guttural tongue sounds of ng (similar to nong) and nga (kind-of munga if your tongue is stuck on the back of your throat  J).  They are really excited about dearelder.com because the letters come the same day.  But not in your handwriting.

I love you all so much!  Hope you are doing well.

Sister Hamm

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First letter from MTC!

September 4. 2012
Pamilya!!! (That is not a typo-- the letter "F" doesnt exist in Tagolog.) 

So my preparation day is Tuesday and thus it is the only day that I am allowed to write you. When we arrived we were allowed to writed you a letter since we were new but sadly due to slow postage (and, let's be honest, your slow to put mail in the mailbox daughter) you will probably get this emial before my first letter. I have a 30 minute time limit so I will try not to be to scatter brained but there is so much I want to say. 

First off, I love you so much! I hope that you are all doing well. How is German going for Nathan? Is Tyler still liking his teacher at school? I hope Jacob is enjoying senior year.

Tagalog was really hard to start but I am loving it now. It is so excting to be learning a new language and I am glad I get the opportunity. We did learn “Mabuti” on the first day! :) It made me smile. Mabuti naman however in exact translation is "That's wonderful." Just so you know. :) Um some other stuff about the language.... The letters "c" and "v" also dont exist which is fun. Umm... to make something plural you put a 'mga' in front of the word. I hoep I can eventually master the prununciation of that. haha.

We taught our first lesson (in complete Tagalog) to an "investigator" on Friday which was crazy! Friday was definitely rough. The whole day was just kind of overwhelming, but not in an I'm drowning kinda way, just a "I hope it doesn’t stay like this too long" kinda way. :) Other than that the days have been great! I am absolutely loving the MTC. My district is so awesome. We have 4 pairs of Elders and 2 pairs of sisters, whom I love. We have so much fun in our rooms for the 1 hour we have to unwind from each busy day. The district always makes meals fun and we are laughing all the time (when we don't need to be serious, of course) ;)

 I am currently enjoying the meals here. They are for the most part delicious and well balanced. It does seem like we have been here forever however. It seriously blows my mind that Josh hasn't started school yet and that mom hasn’t even flown out to Idaho yet.

So we have taught our investigator 3 times since the first time and it has gotten slightly better each time. This last time we actually came out of the room with smiles on our faces so we look forward to getting even better. It is rough because teaching someone the whole gospel is hard enough in English and we are doing it with our very limited vocabulary of Tagalog. However, by the third day here I had completely memorized how to say a VERY simple prayer and bear a VERY simple testimony which was thrilling.

Thank you for your letter. And also thank you to Bammer and Madison. I will write you back it just takes a while since I can only write on Tuesdays. All three of the letters I got came at rough points so they are much appreciated. I don’t have anyone’s addresses, so if you want a letter send me your address please!

We got to go to the temple this morning which was wonderful. So great! Um.. we have been told if we see anyone at the temple or anywhere that we know to simply shake their hands, tell them we can't talk and walk away. Just in case anyone thought they could come catch me Tuesdays, don't try it. haha. :)

Well I have been thinking of things I want to tell you all week but I don't know what is left. Gym is way fun. I run sometimes but really love to play volleyball. It is a blast. I only wish we could play ultimate. :)

Well I love you so much!! Hope all of you are doing great. I miss you, but don't worry... not too much (yet). :)

Sister Hamm