December 9, 2018


San Juan


Elder Armadillo

Week #12 San Juan

Wow that sounds like a watery, slippery mess haha!! That stinks! Im sorry. Im super excited to hear about all your travel plans! Thats gonna be so much fun for you. Im excited to be a part of it when I get back. Im happy that youve had a lot of missionary opportunities and that the ward is working really hard at missionary work. Thats so great. To answer questions, my stomach has been fine for a while now. I sleep fine now, and feel perfectly healthy. There was a ton of body stress with being
introduced to a new climate, tons of work, and the stress of being away from family. Now that Ive adjusted, I feel completely fine.

Training is over. That is super weird. Tomorrow we will find out our fates for the next transfer. I have such mixed feelings with what I want to happen. I really want to stay in san juan, but Im not gonna lie-palawan looks gorgeous. I really dont
care, what ever happens will be the right thing.

What have I learned in my training?
so much. Training is a very uphill adventure. It was really hard, but went by so fast. Mission life truly passes by quicker than regular life. It is much more tiring, but is so full of joy and fun. I learned a lot about how to teach, how to help people
with their problems, and most of all how to rely on christ more. The last has been by far the most important. There have been so many times that I fell short. So many times where i didnt know what to do. So many times where i felt overwhelmed. Duyring
those times, I turned to my savior. He gave me the strength to go on. He gave me the peace of heart to focus here. He made up for my weaknesses with his atonement. Of everything Ive learned, constantly relying on the savior has been the most important.

San Juan: my first area. The childhood of my mission. Ive enjoyed my time here so much. The people here are so wonderful, and I love them all so much. Manila in general is the absolute best. The ward is like a giant family. This people is a special
people. They love playing basketball, singing karaoke, boybands, and all of the classics. I will always remember the fun times here. No matter where I go in life, san juan and the people here will always be very dear to my heart. 3 month here already,
can you believe it? It seems like yesterday that we were exploring this place for the first time. It seems like yesterday that I woke up to a completely new country and new life. Seems like yesterday that I had no idea how to speak tagalog. Wow these last
12 weeks went so fast. They have only been getting faster too. It is a fun experience to be immersed in a culture. To fall in love with their personalities, games, and way of life (minus the hand wiping thing. Thats just plain GROSS haha!) Ive loved my
time here so far. There are so many more memories to come. So many more jeepneys to ride, so much rice to eat. Thats the exciting part. Im only getting started with my adventure.

This week:
Okay, so I just realized something this week. One of my district mates (a filipino named elder contado) has been calling me peter parker forever. He always says that I look like spider man. I thought that was a pretty cool nickname haha. but then,
the other day I was walking down the street and all the kids started calling out "spider man! Spider man!" Apparently to all the fil;ipinos, I really look like spider man. My comp says that I look like the Spider man homecoming guy to all of them. Thats
pretty cool! I like the nickname haha. Im also known in the PI as "tatum" because I always wear my tatum shirt when we play basketball. Anyone who plays with us knows me as tatum. I feel like that is because 1) they absolutely LOVE nicknames here and 2)
my last name is really hard for them. Being known as a superhero or my fav NBA player is okay though.

Zone conference: Our zone conferences are always so fun! This time, we had our area president come and speak to us. We learned a lot of different things on how to progress the work. WE focused a lot about spiritual preparation and spiritual discernment
which was great. Afterward, we had a huge lunch and birthday party for president fermanis. The office elders made a birthday song for him, and there was a questionare things about president fermanis to see who knew most about him. it was really funny to
watch him and his wife. They had to answer the questions too which was awesome. It was so fun! Zone conference is super fun because we get to see our batch. i got to hangout a lot with elder Lainhart which was awesome. Its so weird that we are done with
our training. It feels like yesterday that we were all hanging out in the provo mtc. Man i miss my batch. If i could relive a day of the provo mtc I totally would. Seriously Ive been so blessed with great people and memories out here.

Splits: I got to go on splits with Elder Bickmore this week which was awesome! It ended up being two days since our companions both ended up having to go to the mission office the next day. i got to go work in his area. They are teaching a lot of really
cool people right now. It was super fun to experience his area and hangout with him. We talked a ton about missionary work, nba, and life in general. It was so awesome. He is a great missionary. He is absolutely hilarious, and is also one of the hardest
working missionaries that Ive ever met. Which I loved. It was a very satisfying experience and taught me a ton about how I want to do the work in my area, and how to improve my teaching and stuff. i LOVE his focus on the savior. no matter what lesson we
teach, he teaches the doctrine of the atonement very well. i absolutely love how he ties everything back to christ. It was a super awesome learning experience for me. It was also funny because we worked so hard, that we didnt get a chance to read our additional
10 pages of the book of mormon throughout the day. We got back to the appartment and began reading. He finished his reading and said "alright elder Dyches, you ready for bed?" he turned, and I was wiped out. 100% asleep, with my book of mormon open on top
of me. I wish he wouldve taken a picture. Man I had so much fun. he is a really great guy. He is the type of missionary that is valiant and upright in all things, which I appreciate. He truly gives his heart to the work by being as efficient as possible,
and being exactly obedient. I really appreciate those qualities about him. What a fantastic elder. We had such a fun time, and ate a ton. All of his members and investigators cooked us snacks which was great. I had so muhc fun. His plan is for us to
get transfered to palawan together and take over a zone over there. That would be so fun haha! I love that guy. Its super fun to tease each other too. i have the type of relationship with him that I cherished with my dad. basketball trash talk, trash talk
about which part of washington is better, and talking about music and such. hes real great.

My filipino "father": Okay so we met this guy the other day. We were knocking doors near our appartment, and this drunk 40 year old guy starts talking to me in english. He says, "hello little boy. You are so handsome. Just like me. Youre like my son!
I love you son!" It was a very hilarious encounter for me. He sat there the rest of the time we were knocking doors, and would yell "dont waste your time little boys! DONT. WASTE. YOUR. TIME" oh my word, that guy was nuts. It was hilarious. Weve seen
him a couple times since (when he was sober) and he always says to me "AH its my handsome son! I love you my son!" Oh my word that guy is a riot! Super duper funny.

Baptism of cesar!
We had the baptism of cesar borja this week which was awesome! He has been going to church for a long time, but still had a lot that needed to be taught. it was awesome to watch his excitement about baptism. We taught him the fundamentals really really
well. We reviewed prayer, bom, and prophet joseph smith a lot. There were initially some things we had to correct and teach, but in the end it was really fun to share in the joy of his baptism. He is really excited for the temple and we are really excited
for him! He speaks a lot of english in his prayers and in our lessons which is always kind of fun to hear. He LOVES the missionaries. He would always refer to us as his angels. He made sure that we signed his book of mormon so that he could always remember
us. The ward was also very excited for him because he has been waiting so long for this. It was really great! So happy for that guy!!

Jenny: Jenny is seriously on fire. She is almost done with Alma in the book of mormon, and asked for two copies to share with her parents. During our last lesson, she taught us about her learning from the book of mormon and taught us principles! It
was great!! Im hoping she decides to serve a mission! we shall see :)

Jm got the priesthood on sunday which was great!! He is gonna serve a mission too! its so fun to see him and oneal strengthening each other and being little church friends. Tis so great! Oneal is gonna work with us soon, and hopefully we are gonna spend
the whole day teaching his various friends (that is our plan haha!)

Im having so much fun. I wish i could convey all the inside jokes, all the spiritual experiences, and every part of my adventure. Im super excited for christmas to actually talk to you!!!

Love you all!! I miss you tons!!



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