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!