Dear Brother and Sister Thorne,
Thank you for your wonderful letter about your wonderful daughter. She is every bit what you described and more.
Sister Thorne arrived safe and sound Monday evening, part of the first wave of the surge that resulted from the October announcement in General Conference; to us it felt quite historic. Her group came in three separate flights so it took some coordinating to get them to the Mission Home, but we somehow we managed. President Woodbury got started with interviews right after the first group got settled in, and I started orientation after the last group arrived. We had dinner together and a wonderful Testimony Meeting before interviews resumed and those who had been interviewed previously went off to bed for the night.
In the morning I served a hot breakfast after which the Assistants led Companionship Study and Elder Bolliger from the Mission Office gave instructions on finances. Individual and group pictures were taken, then bags were once again loaded into the MIssion trailer, and our entourage moved over to the church next to the Mission Office, 2 1/2 miles away. During Transfer Meeting, the new missionaries met their Trainers and then attended a meeting which introduced the Church's 12-Week Training Program. After lunch, companionship pictures were taken with President Woodbury and I in front of the Mission Office, then they were off, to their first areas and their first day as real missionaries.
Sister Thorne's Trainer is Sister Earl, a bright, positive, hard-working, dedicated missionary who will provide a great start to her mission. It appeared as if they instantly hit it off.
Their address is: 5221 Normandy Plaza, Evansville, IN 47715
You can send mail to this address or to the Mission Office at 1325 Eastern Parkway to be forwarded the next day. Packages sent to the office by UPS or Fed-X cannot be forwarded so they will have to wait to be given to your missionary as soon as someone from the District or Zone comes in to the office.
For your information Preparation Day in our mission is on Monday, which is when you should hear from your missionary by e-mail. When Monday is a holiday then P-Day will be the day following when libraries are again open. Instant Messages, emails going back and forth on the same day, and texting, are not allowed.
It is probably safe to send mail directly to the missionary apartment, except as it gets close to Transfers, which are every six weeks. Sisters and Elders can be transferred at any time, though generally they are in an area two to four Transfers, but can be there more or less than that number. It is difficult to get mail forwarded after a missionary leaves an area since it costs additional postage and the new resident doesn’t know where the former missionary was sent. So, to be safe, send mail to the office when it is getting close to Transfer time.
President Woodbury and I thank you so much for sending your precious daughter to us. We already love her and are looking forward to great things with and through her as she serves in this choice corner of the Lord’s vineyard.
Sister Woodbury, me, President Woodbury
Sister Woodbury, my companion Sister Earl, me, President Woodbury.
Where I slept at the missionary home. It is literally 6 sets of bunkbeds. It felt like living in the Brady Bunch.
The Missionary Home living room. It's HUGE!