Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The phone call :)

Oct. 30, 2012

So, there is no letter to post from Jaclyn today.  I am sorry for those of you who look forward to it every Tuesday like I do.  Instead, we were able to talk to Jaclyn on the phone for about 20 minutes last night while she was at the Salt Lake Airport! Yay!  And today she is spending the entire day traveling, stopping in Hong Kong, even crossing the International Date Line, before arriving in Manila tonight about 11pm our time and at 11am on Wednesday, Oct. 31 Philippine Time. 

She sounded wonderful!  She was very excited and not nervous, except with respect to her Tagalog skills.  She spoke to us in Tagalog, however, and it sounded great to us! :)  She is traveling with 2 other Sisters and a larger group (8-10) of Elders, all of whom are headed to Manila or other Filipino missions. 

She told us an interesting story.  She said that there were 377 missionaries leaving the MTC on Monday.  At their send-off meeting, Monday morning, they had groups of missionaries headed to different areas stand.  For example, they called those going to Ohio and 6 stood, then California and 7 or so stood, then Brazil and 10 stood, etc.  They didn't call them by mission, but by large geographical areas like that.  She said there were always about 5-10 missionaries who stood.  Then they called those going to the Philippines and there were 72 of them!  She knew that there were that many because the day she entered the MTC there were two groups of 36 missionaries all going to the Philippines.  She just didn't realize that they were comparatively so large in the MTC for the past 8 weeks.  Don't know why, but it was exciting for her.

She also said that with the new program (18 and 19 year old Elders and Sisters), everyone was instructed to train their junior companions to be trainers so that within 12 weeks of arriving in your area, you could be called to be a trainer.  It made her a little anxious to realize that she could be training a new missionaries in 12 weeks.  The Elders in our Mission (Washington DC South) who ate at our house on Sunday night had already told us that this mission has been doing that for a long time already. 

We hope to get an email from her shortly after her arrival.  We will keep you all posted if it comes! 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oct. 23rd last email from the MTC!

First--- HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH!!!!! Sorry I didn’t get a card in the mail sooner. Just know I have been thinking of you today. Love you!

Second-- THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the packages. I received two packages FULL of love this week. First the Larson's package arrived. Thank you sooo much Kaylin for the cookies, they were delicious (my district agrees). Also thank you for the caramel popcorn it is a great bedtime snack! I am excited to be able to give those cute stickers to Filipino children. If I am able to I will take and send a picture of someone with them on. :) Thank you also for the wonderful drawings from Jenna ( I think the fruit bowl one was Jenna?), Mia and Ryan. I loved the letters you included as well. The chocolate bars were so delicious and fancy. I felt so spoiled and am still enjoying the treats every night. :)

Mom--- Thank you for your wonderful package full of love. You know me so well. It was overflowing with great stuff. It was perfect! I loved the bread, you know it's my favorite. And thank you for the beautiful and laminated copy of the song, I was not expecting that to be so nice. I am so grateful for the Christmas pillow case. The duffle bag will be a perfect carry on and the airborne will be well used. :)

Thank you for all the news. God is hastening His work and it is SO EXCITING! I absolutely LOVE the individual updates on people. They are really fun and it’s nice to know how everyone is doing. You all are crazy for driving down to the ND game but I am glad you both had a great time! (Or at least Tyler, I didnt hear wheather we won or not. :) )  I did think of you dad when they mentioned The Little Prince in conference, how could I not? Thank you for all of the encouragement and relating Kristen's prayer story to me - such a good message and cute story.  I promise to be happy 98% of the time... Deal? :D (I’m only worried about the end of a hard, long day when it’s hot and something pushes me over the edge. Give me a couple hours to recover.)  I love it 100% of the time and know that each morning brings renewed happiness. :)  Like mom was saying in one of her letters we just have to put the happy stuff in our foreground.  I am learning (from some people around me) just how important it is to put the positive and good in front and just how difficult that can be for some people. Grateful that I was raised that way so that it is a little easier for me, even though I don’t always do it. (Okay that sounded kind of bad but I seriously am loving almost every minute of everyday and the people around me are mostly positive as well.)   I voted weeks ago dad, no worries! :)

Thirdly-- WE HAVE FLIGHT PLANS!!!!!!! Oh my goodness. I was almost more excited to see these than I was about opening my mission call. So here goes. I realized from your last letter that you didn’t realize my departure date had changed from the 31st to the 29th. So we are down to 6 days!!!!!!!! We leave SLC at 8:30pm the 29th. Leave LAX at 1:05am 30th. Leave Hong Kong at 9:05am on the 31st and arrive in Manila at 11:15am on the 31st!!! :) I thought it was kind of fun that we get three different days to mark leaving MTC, and leaving country and arriving in Manila. :) Yay!!!! I am so nervous and also so excited. I am really excited to be wearing my tag somewhere outside of the MTC. I am worried because I know my Tagalog is very poor but I know Heavenly Father will help me and I will get better while there.

So the English Elders that came in are only staying for two weeks.  We were told the new time shortening would take place in January but looks like they may start early.  (I know I spell some stuff wrong but Tagalog is messing me up and I’m in a hurry.  Please don’t judge. :) ) Josh will probably be here only for 6 weeks.  He will do great I’m sure!  Well I have to go. I love you SO much.  Thanks again for all the love you send my way.  I send prayers back. :)  Ingat po. (goodbye)

Sister Hamm
 Sister Jaclyn Hamm
 Sister Hamm's MTC District
Sister Hamm with three of her friends from the Nursing Program at BYU
(also all missionaries in the MTC)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Oct 16, 2012 email

kumusta pamilya!!

so... not that much to report from this end. I am getting really excited to go to the philippines but i am also really nervous because i still dont feel like i know the language well enough at all! but i just keep studying my heart out and praying that heavenly father will help me and i know he will. so the shift key on this computer is broken. please excuse the lack of capital letters. haha.
thanks for the news report from elder holland and brother bruton's email. its always fun to get those.

so sorry to hear about heather's dad. im glad he is doing well, i know he had lots of prayers sent his way. this morning in the temple one of the workers told us that the number of girls that started there missions this week jumped from a normal average of 600 to 3600!!! insane right. it will be insteresting to see how the mission field and mtc handle that. i'm glad josh's wrist isnt broken. i have to warn him..... be careful in gym at the mtc. there are a couple people who have hurt themselves and had to go get surgery or just recover and it keeps them in the mtc for weeks and weeks extra.... um no thanks.... its a great place to be but extending your stay is not worth a great shot in basketball etc. sorry for tyler that oddessey of the mind fell through but im sure he will find many other fun things to do. cant wait to see pictures of the et costume. dad wrote about how time flies, life time wise, and i have to agree but its so fun to reflect back. i often find myself singing scripture scouts when we talk about 'fisher's of men' or what we can give to jesus. c; i cant make a normal smiley without a shift button.... oh well. haha. you get the idea. c; Well i feel like i really dont have much to say. if you wanna know any specifics send me questions. i know the church is true. im grateful i have this awesome oppurtunity to serve the lord and help others learn about the beautiful blessings of the gospel. if you want to pray for me, pray that i have a good trainer so i can improve my teaching skills and learn the language well. i love you all!!
sister jaclyn hamm

i love and miss you lots. but i am also seriously loving life here.... absolutely loving it. besides the stress of not speaking tagalog. c; but it'll all come with time. love your letters and appreciate them all. love you so much!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 3:42 PM

Thanks for the love emails from last week. :)

Crazy general conference announcement, huh? You said you would send me an article about the interview with Elder Holland, that would be cool because we do not hear anything! around here. :) haha. I wrote you about conference a little already and it should be coming in the mail. Just know that I did think of you all lots. Definitely with the bees and during called to serve. We laugh around here because we sing that song almost every time we gather for a meeting but I still love the song and definitely hear my family in my head.  I miss hearing all 4 parts! :)  Along those same lines it was so weird to sing with Sisters only during the Relief Society broadcast after 7 weeks of being surrounded and drowned out (in a good way) by Elders. haha.

I think a semester for Jacob might be great but we will see what he decides and see if the spirit has something to say about it. :) There are a lot of Elders and Sisters here who may be out with siblings now. Just think we could possibly have 3 from our family at once! ah! So exciting. Glad that Jake had a good time at homecoming.

Nathan-- Good luck with German and bringing up your grade. I was failing a class in 8th grade when interims came out too! BUT through extra work I was able to bring my grade up. Think about how cool it would be if you brought yours up. You could brag and say you changed your grade from an F to a B ... or even an A! I know you can do it!! Let me know how it goes. Don't worry about writing me but it would be nice to hear from you sometime.... :)

Go Mom for volunteering to help with Odessey of the mind!! You go girl! :) I'm sure Tyler REALLY appreciates it. He loves when you help out with his stuff.

Tyler-- ET sounds like the best costume idea ever! Just remember you wont look exactly like him. I'm thinking you should carry a little flashlight so you can pretend that your finger lights up! :) (MOM-- brown sheet and face paint? Good luck! Just make sure the top of his head is big and flat! :) haha)

Thanks for the picture of Josh! Now I just need some of the rest of you. Maybe a picture of Jacob ready for homecoming, or soccer or flag football or something. Its just fun to see. Maybe I can send you another one soon.

Sounds like a cool Filipino store you went to. We might have to go after I get back when I’m longing for the Philippines. :P But as for packages... not only do you have to pay to send them but I have to pay to receive them....so keeping those super limited is a good idea. :)

As for here.... things are going well. Conference was a blast! So fun and uplifting. Then after conference Sunday night we had a fireside by Chad Lewis (thank you mom and true or untrue stories about wearing his jersey for halloween b/c that’s the only way I know who he his) It was a really good fireside that made everybody laugh and feel uplifted. The way he taught kind of reminded me of dad so that was nice. The count down has begun... 20 days left of the MTC. (days sound long but less than 3 weeks!! Eek!!) I am getting really excited. Monday I felt like I was done with being at the MTC, but then I got really nervous because I still hardly know anything and I don't want to go not be able to understand anything for weeks. Oh well. Good that I have both emotions cause now I can be nervous and excited and just let it motivate me to study harder, pray harder and appreciate the time I have left.

Something I will not miss is the static here!! ugh! It is OOC. I also will not miss the cold... okay, lets be honest, I wont miss being cold for the first 3 or 4 days and then I will probably be sick of sweating. :) haha. But we are looking forward to the heat as the cold October weather rolls in. I love you all! Miss you!

Sister Hamm

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2, 2012 email

J   So I feel like I have less to share this week but we will see....
First, CONGRATULATIONS JOSH!!! I was so excited to hear the news. Thank you for writing me. I didn't want to hear about your mission call from anyone before you so Wed night I got two sheets of DearElder letters and told my companion, "Scan these really fast and see if you see the name Josh." I explained why and then she did and I got all excited because one was from you!! So I read yours first and I'm glad I did because one of the other letters I got had your call in it too.  I’m so excited for you!!!!  Talk about death trap.... :) Philippines. Mexico. Who knows. Everyone in my district is also excited for you and the Branch Presidents wife said that she has been to that city and that it is a beautiful place. I’m sure you will get LOTS of advice and information from all sorts of people. I want to write you a letter but it may have to wait until next Tuesday. :) Congrats! I love you!
Second, congratulations to Jacob for getting voted homecoming prince. That is exciting. I'm glad his job is also going well!
Glad to hear about Nathan and Tyler's sport teams. Hope they are still having fun, and for mom's sake, not complaining about practices. :)
I'm glad you had fun at the YC bbq. I think it's great that you get together like that! On a related note, we get to teach volunteer members (2 different ones) every Wednesday night. It is fun way to practice or Tagalog and our teaching of gospel lessons. We just treat it like a dinner visit to members. :) And of course most of the volunteers are return missionaries that attend BYU. (Although 3 weeks in a row me and my companion have taught a man everyone calls Tatay (father) who is a convert from the Philippines who has only lived her a few years. He is fun to teach and he loves the gospel!) Anyway, the first person that we taught this week was an RM who served in the Philippines and we were getting to know him and were talking about where we were from and he asked me what part of Virginia (all in Tagalog of course, except mine is slow and horrible) And I told him and he asked, "Do you know the Scholz's?" I was so surprised. I, of course, said yes and he said that he does marching band with Coleman! It was fun to have a little connection cause we are in such a bubble at the MTC. Anyway, just thought I would share that.
Everything is going well here. I have actually fallen in love with... (no, not a boy) cracked wheat for breakfast! :) I like it much more than oatmeal and sometimes mix it with cream of wheat. They have almonds, raisins and cinnamon and sugar to put on it. It's great! And I'm still loving the fact that I don't have to prepare it. :)
The language is coming along. I am improving but I still wish I could speak more fluently. It will come in time I know. Teaching is getting a little easier and we have one "investigator" that is preparing for baptism. :) I am looking forward to General Conference this week! YAY!
Well I think that is about it for this week. Everything kinda feels the same but everything is good so I can't complain about it staying the same! :) I love all of you! I think about you often (usually when I have to zone out for a second to keep my brain from exploding with Tagalog.) and miss you. Hope you are all doing well!
Sister Hamm