first off, your teasing of cereal and noodles have no effect on me hahah!! After temporary jealousy, I found something that will make you all very jealous indeed ;) I found a black kyrie jersey for 8 bucks!! it will be in my pictures when i send them. Holy cow this week went by so fast!! working hard and having fun are two ways to make time speed by! Most days I pass out on my bed as soon as we get back to the appartment. Missionary work has a sweet exhaustion to it! The language is getting better, people are finally starting to progress, and I'm settling in more and more. 'Im super happy. I will get to the week in a second, but first I wanted to compliment my family.
Nicole! I'm so proud to see your continued growth. I know you went through a lot of hard things last year and I'm so grateful that it has led to a lot of positive growth for you. That's the funny part of mortality! We all have trials, but if we choose to let them soften our hearts and use them for our benefit, we become more like our savior and become stronger/happier. You are an example to me sis and I'm so proud of you.
Landon! Awh my buddy I'm so proud of you! it still really weird me out that you are a middle schooler and not in primary anymore. That's absolutely wild! in another second, you will be the one out here writing home. Time goes so fast. I'm so proud of your testimony and know that you will be without a doubt the best missionary!
Colts my man, I'm so happy to hear that you are doing well with reading and such!! buddy that's so great! I'm so proud that you are so happy and smart. Good for you my buddy boy!! Keep it up! when I get back, we are gonna read a lot together because reading is the best! maybe we will try eragon!! thats my fav (well besides the book of Mormon of course ;) )
my momma and dad! I'm so happy to hear about your individual adventures! Mom blowing away the audience and getting the praise of a company!! I would expect nothing less of that amazing woman!! Oh momma thats so wonderful! I'm so proud of you! And dad going
mountain biking and playing pig! That's so fun! I'm so happy for you! Finally you can have competetive games without ME CREAMING YOU BOTH HAHAH! There will be plenty of that when I come back, I promise you that! Im sorry that you've all had some hard times this
week missing me! you are always in my heart. Its been wonderful because I've gotten to share your pictures in lessons and with members a lot more this week. We have a pretty special family and I'm so grateful that it is eternal!! I'm so grateful for the effect that each
of you have had on me. You are the smile on my face and the love in my heart. I learn so much from you every p-day and am uplifted by your examples. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!
Okay now for the week:
This week went so fast and frankly i don't remember a lot of individual days (which is a good sign that 'mm starting to lose myself!!!) But i will share what i do remember!
We had a bunch of exchanges this week. 3 to be exact. I went one day to the district leader's area and then had 2 mtc exchanges! They were all so fun! I'm not gonna lie, it was very comforting to go to another area and see that people missing appointments and such are a general problem. It made me feel better that we are doing a good job and working our hardest! It is also fun to get to work with another elder. Exchanges are a ton of fun but i found myself missing my area, which was a weird sensation. When i went to bed I was like, "wow i really miss my tinituruan and the members of san juan!" It was really funny to me actually! I love my area so much! all the members are so wonderful and i just love them all!! The 2 mtc exchanges were wonderful and are such a boost of confidence, because I'm forced to do 100% of the talking. Its always fun to go and talk to people. I am starting to get more and more compliments on my tagalog and am feeling more and more comfortable speaking. i find that I am never lost in conversation anymore. That and my humor is finally starting to convey itself in tagalog more and more! Oh i'm so blessed! man, the blessings of a mission seem so great while i'm here. I cant believe that they only get better when i get back and start a family!! Our father in heaven is truly a God of mercy. I cant believe that he rewards us so much for our imperfect efforts. Man, we are lucky to know him. I am so grateful to be out here serving. sorry, i got sidetracked, back to the mtc. We met a lot of potential tinituruan and got to share a lot! one of my companions was from the states, but one was from mainland china!! The chinese guy is serving his mission in australlia! he didnt speak a whole lot of english so it was a very fun experience haha! on the way back, we were misled by a woman and were hopelessly lost. I got back to the chapel half an hour late, sweating and panting from running around everywhere and trying to find the place (since it isn't our area) everyone just laughed when i walked in. Man missionary life is the best!!
I am trying more and more to open my mouth and speak with everyone. I find that doing that makes the day go by so fast and brings increased joy and happiness. there is a good line from the ricardi letter (look that up!! its so good!!) that says, if you want to give satan a good kick in the mouth, open yours. Its kind of entertaining to think of it that way. After sharing with random people i think, "haha, you didn't like that did you satan!" Its so easy to forget how blessed we are to be missionaries! we
have the simple task of sharing one message for two years. The only job we have is to testify of our savior. That and talk to people. OH GOODY, my two favorite things!! man its so fun.
One of our zone goals is to find a family to turn into a missionary family. We visited the villarte family a couple days ago. I sat down with the parents and shared my family book. They absolutely loved it! the father is a return missionary who is inactive.
He told me, "elder dyches its so great that you are out here being an example for your siblings. They are going to benefit so much from your example as they try to be like you. I wish i was that example for my kids, but im inactive" I expressed that he was an example because of his service and asked him if he would like to come work with us on wednesday. He seemed very excited to, and i'm hoping that it rekindles his desire to be active. Man missionary work is great. sorry, I know i say that so much.
But how special is it that God trusts 18 year old boys to work his fields. Wonderful indeed.
Today you will see a picture of jenny. She is our best progressing tinituruan. She reads every day, marking up her scriptures, and has been to church every week. If everything goes to plan...I WILL GET MY FIRST BAPTISM THIS SATURDAY!!! I'm so excited for her. We've taught her everything and the spirit has been so strong. She is even taking personal finance classes at the church right now! im so happy for her! She has had several sets of missionaries but is finally ready to be baptized!! i'm so grateful that i have gotten to be a part of her journey. Its so special to me!!
sundays are the greatest day ever!! every sunday it seems that you come to church pretty exhausted and stressed. But oh, the spirit is real. Every sunday i feel so refreshed and happy! Getting to take the sacrament and enjoy that special day. I believe god gives extra miracles on sunday. Yesterday, we were approached about teaching a 9 year old boy whose entire family was baptized except him. My companion and i were shocked at our luck!! how did that even happen?? the family is even active! what even??
so tomorrow we get to go and teach him for the first time! his name is ferb. i literally think his mom named him after phineas and ferb. That woman is a genius! why didn't i think of that as a name for my kids?? so we are very excited for him too! such a beautiful little tender mercy. We also visited another one of the people that we had shared with. The first time, she seemed sort of interested but didn't have time, but now she says that she will read and that she is free anytime we want to visit!! the spirit has a special effect on sunday! so happy!!
one thing my companion does is sometimes pretends not to know locations so that i have to lead. Last night, when we visited the girl (her name is rose ann) elder armadillo said, "i dont remember her at all" so I had to lead. that little liar! hahahah! he is the best. He also did the thing where he wouldnt talk. man do i have a great trainer!! im so blessed in everything right now!
okay im going to try expressing my own little parable of missionary work that I call the parable of the rock tumbler:
when I was a kid, I loved rocks and gems. With all my heart, i was fascinated by them. I loved studying them and identifying them by types. one day, my dad bought me a rock tumbler or rock polisher. The way a polisher works is in cycles. You begin with ordinary, gross looking rocks. You end with beautiful polished rocks. The way the machine works is by polishing by degrees. You begin by running the rocks with a few ounces of "grit". The grit is coarse and is used to grind out the imperfections by
degrees. After running the machine for a day, you empty out the machine and have a handful of grosser looking stuff. At first it looks like no change has been made to your rocks. But as soon as you wash the grit away, you notice the changes that have begun to take place in your rocks. i would imagine the rocks feel rather relieved at being washed with the water after a vicious circle of grit and turbulence. After this washing, the rocks must be put into the machine with the grit once again. The process repeats as the rocks receive continual rounds in the machine, and continual rinses of water. Over time, the blemishes are smaller and smaller and you have to use less and less grit to get them out. By the end, you end up with a beautiful gem. From the start, you
knew that the rocks would turn into gems, but are almost surprised at the amazing change that took place.
I find that mortality and missionary life is quite similar. This earth life is a time for polishing. we, as rocks, cannot see the big picture at times. Christ knows the polished gems that we will become, but all we can see at times is life inside the machine. we forget our end result and the relief of our finished project. Life sometimes feels like its full of a lot of grit, with washing every so often. In this scenario, the washing represents the atonement and love of our savior. As we rely on him
and trust his plan for us, we allow ourselves to be rinsed free of our worries and sorrows. But, in our short sided views we often ask, "Lord please stop the machine". In those moments, he often rinses us, but does not stop the polishing process. He does this because he knows what we can become. he loves us enough to turn us into the valuable gemstone, rather than let us be satisfied with the partially polished rock. We, as the rock, cannot see our progress in the moment. All we see is the gross looking stuff that comes out of the machine. But after the polishing progresses, we begin to look back n the changes in ourselves. we begin to thank the lord for his wisdom in not delivering us from the grit, but letting it perfect us and diminish in degrees. I have felt that a lot in the first transfer. I am so grateful that the lord let me struggle through things before relieving me. I'm so grateful for my time so far in the machine. The best part is that there is more to come!
an essential part of the process is the washing. Without it, the rocks would not become polished and clean, but would rather continue in filthiness and misery, becoming a pile of dirt rather than a gem. The key is to turn to our savior in everything.
To allow him to enter our hearts and change us. He suffered all of our sins, all of our pains, and all of our grit so that we could become clean! so that we could find the relief here on earth and enjoy the blessings of the finished project in the life to come. I am so grateful that the perfect gem of God allowed himself to enter the rock tumbler. That he allowed himself to take on all the grit in the world, although already perfect and unblemished. My savior has become the most important part on my mission.
Exercising his atonement and feeling his love has helped me through so much. I am so grateful for him.
okay fist, to answer dad. It is always hot here. always. nights are a lot cooler so they are relief definitely. But it is always really really hot. oh well! thats life! maybe next time ill make a parable about the furnace!! HAHAH jokelang!
foods are so great here. My absolute favorites are chicken curry, mungo, and chicken pininahan!! oh the last one is so good!!! it is a pineapple, coconut milk dish that im in love with!! oh man that stuff is so good! my comp started his testimony last month with sharing his favorite foods. I might do the same to get some extra chicken pininahan!!
taho is another thing that is amazing!! you would be surprised, we are actually allowed to eat street food here (i dont really though, i prefer safe than sorry) but one delicious thing is taho! it is a sweet, soy dessert that the sell every morning. I love that stuff! i have a pic coming!
bread shops! they have a ton of those things. They have little bread stores that sell pastries for really cheap! like 5 pesos for a cinnamon roll! its so great! i love those things!!
man, i'm having so much fun. I miss you all so much though. Time is going so quickly though. Time flies, even though it seems long in the moment. I love you all so much and am so blessed to have you. I love the tagalog in your emails so much!! so adorable.
totes adorbs. Or should i say. Super fleeky! thats a classic hahaha!! I miss you all! don't be too sad! your baby boy is helping other families be together forever. he will be home soon enough. he will always be yours. I love you more that i could ever type out into words. Thank you for staying true to the faith. This is the way to be happy. I love you all so so so much!! talk to you soon!!