I am doing very well. I am still having a super fun time at the MTC. I spend the most time with the elders in my room. My kasama Elder Litchfield is from Salt Lake City Utah. He enjoys power lifting and hopes to study finance at a large school somewhere.
He has a great sense of humor and makes all of us laugh a lot. Elder Grant is from Utah as well. He is super into baskeball and we talk a lot about it. He is super funny as well. Elder page is from a tiny little town in idaho. He is a super kind hearted guy and i personally relate to him a lot. He is very humble and easy going and i admire how happy he always is. Elder johnson is from utah as well. Elder johnson is so great. I spend a lot of time with him. He is super kind and compassionate and easy to talk to. He apologizes all the time which is hilarious. for example, I scored on him in bball and he called me a rat afterward (not even in a mean way, as a joke) and then proceeded to apologize a hundred times. He cracks me up. Elder Lainhart is from wyoming and has the dryest sense of humor ever. its so funny. he hardly ever talks but when he does its gold. I love these guys. They are loving my package so far too haha! we had a snack draft as i revealed each of the items in the box and they went absolutely nuts for each of them. I mean like screaming and shaking the beds type crazy. we all had sore throats after that. They have been a blessing to me and i love each of them so much. The rest of the district is great as well! especially elder hollinshead, elder dunyon, and elder lyons. Ive been able to have heart to hearts with each of them and help them out with stress. WE have such strong bonds and each of them are such lights and such good missionaries. Sadly all of my friends are going to san pablo.
Elder litchfield, myself, elder lainhart, and a couple others go to manila while elders grant, page, johnson, lyons, dunyon, and hollingshead all go to san pablo. its gonna be sad to part ways but those fantastic elders are needed elsewhere.
Our floor is nuts. We have the tagalog elders on one half of the floor and spanish on the other. The spanish elders are biserk. They steal our couches and have pullup competitions. THe pullup competitions are so funny because they all count each pullup in spanish as loud as they can. That is, until they reach ten (which i assume is how high they can count) and then they repeat with increasing hype, Diez! Diez!! DIEZ! DIEEEZZZZZ!!! Its hilarious to hear. Man the mtc rocks. I bought a mission shirt which is fun. ITs great to rep the PI.
Thanks so much for the package and the pics! they have been super helpful to look at whenever i need a pickup. Also thank you for all the dear elders. I love them so much! a few people have written so far actually! I've gotten emails from Amy, Nathan,Sean, Courtney, Marissa, Pam, Nolan, Mrs scanes, papa boyd, and a hand written letter from camree. its been super helpful to hear from people at home. I have had more ups and downs when it came to leaving home than i thought i would. I guess it makes sense that large growth comes with a lot of heartache. Reading my scriptures and prayer have become super important and i feel like i have gotten over the initial sting of loneliness. I miss music a ton. I cannot wait to be able to listen to it in the field because
it is a huge part of my heart. I don't want you to think i was overly sad though, i wasn't...most of the time. I just wasn't my normal always smiling self at times. This week has been filled with blessings though. every time i feel despair, God has given me tender mercies to lift me up. I've felt more compassion and genuine love in these few weeks than ever before. Especially going to the temple this morning was what i needed. It gave me so much happiness and reminded me of how i feel about the savior and how much i love the work i'm doing. I love this gospel. It has made me so happy. My relationship with my savior means so much together and its super cool to be able to only rely on him. I am happy. I am excited for the Philippines! time is flying and it wont be long before i'm in manila!!
We are starting to teach more. Monday we did TRC for the first time. We taught two 20 min lessons in tagalog which was exciting and very fun. HAHAH except i had a funny story already. so we only have tagalog books of mormon right? we forgot that and chose to share a bible verse in the lesson. so after realizing that, elder litchfield turns to me and says "elder dyches has a scripture he would like to share" to which i had to quickly recall scriptures about the love of christ. Except i accidentally read the wrong verse, unable to really tell since it was tagalog, and read a scripture about the wrath of God. I quickly fixed my mistake but it was quite funny to watch our tinituruan's (investigator) reaction. good times. For TRC we taught two return missionaries. one was a filipino named nathan and the other was a white girl who's name i forget. TRC was a great experience because it reminded us about our purpose as missionaries and gave us an opportunity to develop love for the people. Even though we understood every
other word in their machine gun language action haha! Class is super fun. Our teachers are both fantastic and now we have two training teachers in there too. (brother leeshman is one) Brother leeshman has been a huge blessing for us. He has shared a ton about his mission and its super helpful to us as we prepare to love all the people and struggle through an impossible language. One of my favorite things about teaching in the classroom setting (not trc) is that when we teach each other or our teachers, we act and take on the roles of real people from their missions. My favorite was one night when we got to teach as if we were teaching to little kids. It was THE BEST. we got to teach so simply and with so much love, it was unbelievable and the spirit was so strong. We acted as a little girl named shakira, and we got to see a picture of her. she was adorable and it was so much fun pretending to teach to her, and to respond with so much kindness and empathy, explaining hard concepts with so much simplicity and love. I loved it. We are now finishing our basic core, which was a bunch of phrases and passages we had to memorize. I am almost done memorizing moroni 10: 4-5, our purpose as missionaries, the first vision, baptismal questions, and a bunch of phrases.
We are going to be moving into intermediate core which is memorizing 2500 words, 250 phrases, and 9 more scriptures before we leave the manila mtc. At first we freaked out because thats like 50-60 words per day, 10 passages, and 2 scriptures in an hour per day. I received a lot of comfort from the experience that i shared to dad. God is so powerful. He is in control. I will work as hard as i can and trust his wisdom. He knows so much more than me. Turns out its not so bad anyway. I memorized about 55 phrases yesterday in 15 mins. It will be okay. I am actually having so much fun in that class. The spirit is so strong and we are learning so much as we humble ourselves. Mom i am so happy. Jesus Christ is real. his love is real. The peace that i've received through these hard things have been unreal. That and the love that i am feeling for those around me. God has given me a glimpse of how he views people and i am so grateful to get out there and life those around me.
I have been so blessed. Blessed with a great family, blessed with the unconditional love of a perfect savior. Blessed with an amazing group of missionaries. Blessed with an awesome ward and bishop, blessed with great friends. Its good to just take a moment and realize how blessed we are. Its so important to be happy. Its our choice to be happy. The mission field is just as difficult as dad said. Everyone is here for different reasons and different levels of preparedness which has been a struggle, but through the love of Christ i don't even think about it anymore. The difficulty is swallowed up in the joy of service of my God. I am trying to increase my love and compassion as well as increase my humility. During class we discussed what it means to be "sufficiently humble" . I was inspired with the thought that, " to be sufficiently humble, we must realize that we are not sufficiently humble" this has kind of been my personal motto with principles in the mtc. It would be easy for me to say, I really know how to love/ i don't need to work on that, but then where would the growth come? IT is important to approach every spiritual gift with a desire to improve. I want to work as hard as i can to be as loving and kind as i can.
Sunday once again was amazing. We had such good district meetings and priesthood meetings. We learned a ton about charity and love and set goals as missionaries to love those around us more and to pray for them. IT was amazing. We also watched the joseph smith film. It was so good. I never realized how big a part alvin played in the growth of joseph smith. what a great example of a big brother. I was crying by the end of the film thinking of the joy that being a big brother has been to me and for
how much my big brother Jesus has done for me. The part where they find out they can be with alvin forever broke my heart and made me so happy that I can be with all of you forever! isn't that so wonderful momma?? we will be together forever!!! we will have endless momma son dates, endless pig games, endless walks. It is the best part of the gospel, that God loves family enough to give us them forever. Ah it makes me so happy momma. THats what im excited to bring to the philippines, so that i can show them the blessings of eternal family and show them that they can be together forever. I cant wait.
I've been singing a lot, per your advice in letter #1. My roommates really enjoy it and join in sometimes. singing brings the spirit unlike anything else for me and i want to share the joy of the gospel through my passion of singing.
I love you momma! i think about all of you guys every day but I know you will be blessed as your little missionary goes out into the world. I'm so happy momma. Mom i feel like crying typing that. GOd has been so good to me. Read the chapter about ammon rejoicing in the lord. That sums up the mission. It has been the most humbling experience to know that i am absolutely nothing but through the mercy of my wonderful redeemer that i can be happy and share his word. I love missionary work. I am so happy to hear about your experiences at home. Keep it up!
would you please print out all the emails and photos i send? i know that's a lot of work but id love to have them all in some sort of binder to look at someday.