Im honestly overjoyed to hear that the wonderful tradition of "all i want for christmas is you" still goes strong. It is a wonderful tradition and I can't wait to be a part of it again someday. Im sorry that you all had a hard time. Christmas time is
such a mixed bag of emotions. Its super exciting that we get to talk to each other on christmas, but this is definitely the hardest season to be gone. It really helps me that there are no seasons here tbh. Because the wheather is always the same, it is surprising
how fast the time is flying. You get what i mean? because there is no change in temp it is often surprising how much time has passed. Im already in my 5th month. What the heck??? Don't worry Ill be home before you know it. 19 more fast sundays hahah
Ill talk a bit about learning a language. Learning here is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I know tagalog 100x better than I ever knew spanish. Learning a new language teaches you to think in a different way. I had heard that before,
but never really understood that until now. you dont learn to communicate your english thoughts in tagalog. When you learn a language, you learn a culture. You learn how they speak and how they think. It's really cool actually. Its been really fun to do
the 1/2 day of english. Its fun because Elder Armadillo will ask me, "elder how do you say this in english?" and I realize that there is no english translation. There are a lot of things that we say in tagalog that make perfect sense in tagalog, that makes
absolutely no sense in english. Its so weird, and really cool to think in a different way. Oh my word, teaching the gospel in english is REALLY HARD. Its seriously so much easier in tagalog. Its super fun to be able to communicate without thinking about
the tagalog anymore. Its seriously such a relief. the ward and my companion love it. They are seriously so hyped. Oh man, I love them. Sometimes i'll tell my comp a story in tagalog and he will just laugh and say, "elder dyches You are fluent after 2
months, what the heck." Ive dreamed 2 or 3 times in tagalog. In one dream, I came back to america and was teaching filipinos over there. In another, ben bagley came and was my companion here in the PI. The first time was an absolute shock to me. I was
probably a month into the mission, and my tagalog comprehension was way better than my ability to speak. In my dream, my companion was speaking rapid fire tagalog. I woke up like, how did my brain comprehend that?? Seriously, learning tagalog has been so
much fun. Now I just need to keep gathering vocab. You pick it up naturally though. (with a ton of help from the spirit) I find that I am starting to use words and phrases that i never studied. Though to be honest, I never studied out here. President
fermanis' advice is not to spend time studying but go out and speak. It was really helpful to have a native companion too. That way I was hearing and practicing tagalog all the time. I was really blessed with the right people and help from the spirit to
learn tagalog. Its been a really fun process.
This week we had the baptism of JM Francisco. He was a referral of a young man named oneal. Jm came to Jenny's baptism and wanted to be baptized right then and there. We have been teaching him for the last month and got to baptize him yesterday. His
family is all wonderful and I hope that we can teach them too. They are super supportive of him and said that he is welcome to be baptized. it was a really fun process teaching JM. He is such a happy and nice kid. Love that guy! Its exciting because he
will probably serve a mission! Who knows how many lives he will effect. Who knows how many lives that Oneal impacted with his one invite. We would go over three times a week and teach him (and sometimes his little sisters). His parents arent interested
in listening yet, but I have faith ;) It was a really fun experience with him because I got to confirm him!! With baptisms, I have done the last 2 because elder armadillo "feels too lazy to baptize now" hahah. But he wanted to do JM, so that was good by
me! We asked JM who he wanted to do the confirmation. We started listing members and bishopbric when he responded, "can elder dyches do it?" I was super excited!! It was so much fun to confirm him. With tagalog it is occationally tempting to plan out what
you say before, but I try to never do that. Better to not hinder the spirit. just let him guide. i got up there and the words flowed naturally. I feel so honored to wield this priesthood and be a part in the gathering of the lord's sheep. Jm is a special
soul to me and Im so excited to watch him get the priesthood and progress in the gospel. At jm's baptism, Oneal brought another friend!! what a stud!! so hopefully we can teach her too.
Its super funny because we are having a lot of success in this area (100 % credit to heavenly father) but it feels like no one is going to church and no one is really progressing. i turned to my comp yesterday and said, "wait, how is it that we have no
progressing people, but yet have weekly baptisms??" I truly believe that success is a gift from the Lord. i have found that success has come from unexpected people and places. if you would've asked me a month ago who would be baptized, my answers would
be very far from the truth. I believe that if we work hard and love our savior with all our heart, The lord makes up for our weakness. He gives us success from unexpected people. Im so grateful for him. Ive seen his hand a lot in my mission.
Man I have very mixed feelings about transfers next week. I am very close with my comp and my district. I dont want it to end. WE got to do service together and have a sleepover at our place last night. We are gonna go to mega mall after this. And
then next week hopefully we are gonna go to ocean park (a really cool underwater exhibit thing. where you are surrounded by water and can see all the fishes). The service was a blast. We repaired a house which was awesome. WE had to tear down a bunch of
it first though. It was hilarious because elder mulipola started tearing down part of the house, when the 2 year old kid living there ran over to him and said "huwag! huwag! Lagot ka! Lagot ka!" which transalted means "stop it stop it! youre dead! yopure
dead!" It was adorable and we all got a good laugh out of it. The rest of the service was full of pounding nails, sawing stuff, and trading mission stories. There are some areas in this mission that sound awesome! they have some wild stories! Im collecting
stories of my own too haha. Man i love this place. The sleepover was fun too. Its just such a relief to all get together and hangout. Missions are fun but stressful. So p days and sleepovers are a welcome relief. WE also have zone conference tomorrow
which is gonna be great!
The closer I get to transfer day, the more I realize that I dont want to leave this ward. i absolutely adore this ward. it feels like a big old family. I absolutely love talking with them all and Im sure gonna miss them if I get transferred. Hopefully
they have the canadian "eh" here!! I realized this the other day when we were at a dinner appt. They use eh the exact same way. Thats pretty cool eh? hahah!! classic! That was just a funny little thing i noticed.
tatay and nanay: So tatay means dad and nanay means mom. But you refer to any man and woman by these. Like, if im walking down the road I would say "hello po tay!" thats completely normal, but the direct translation is basically calling him dad.
Im really enjoying myself here. Im loving all the kids, food, and the hearts of these wonderful people.
I love you all and can't wait to talk to you in a few weeks!! I love your videos a lot! Its such a joy to see that you all are happy. keep on being awesome! Big brother wont be gone for long! its so weird that the holiday season is almost over! after
this, just one more! I miss you all and pray for you! love you all so much!!!!