This week was one of the best weeks of my life. I have come so much closer to my Savior and I have really seen His hand in my life.
But first I need to answer the questions.
Spanish is coming great and I'm grateful for both the Italian and Spanish I learned before I came here. My district is going to a bunch of different missions: Washington Spokane, California Oakland and San Francisco, Peru Trujillo, and 3 of us are going to Peru Lima West. I don't know my departure date because my visa hasn't come through but I'll talk more about that later. I loved getting Ryan's emails and if you hear cool stories about my friends just let me know. I'm trying to stay in contact too though. Thanks for the package that Brother Dever brought over. I'll try to find out where his office is so I can drop off some things. The one thing I really need is the document holder.
I'm excited for all of you starting school and hope you're loving it. It's kind of funny because I was so excited to be done with school for 2 years and currently I have about 10 hours of studying a day so looks like the joke is on me.
I wanted to thank Emily, Steph, and Catie for the package they sent me (Rosie for the thoughts via Emily too). I don't have any of there addresses so hopefully they see this and know they made my whole district happy with the delicious cookies. I loved the paper crane, which I unwisely undid because I thought I could redo it. Well I can't, but it was fun to see and I'll remember what it really looked like.
Congratulations to Tanner on his mission call. The people of Arcadia California are going to be so blessed by your service. If anyone else gets a mission call I'd love to hear where you're going. I can promise you that there is no better place to be than on a mission.
Now back to the week. Heavenly Father helped me grow so much and I want to share some things with you. We didn't get our visas for who knows what reason and I was a little down. My teacher asked me why I would be sad about God's will and I thought about that for a little. I decided there was no reason for me to be sad and was comforted to know once again that Heavenly Father is directing my life. Later in the week as I was thinking about how cool it would be to be in the Peru MTC I remembered a Tuesday devotional at BYU where Sister Oaks said "If I can't be happy now, how am I supposed to be happy later". I think that is so important for us all to learn. Sometimes I find myself looking into the distance for something that I think is going to be so much better than what I am currently experiencing and then when I really open my eyes I see how blessed my life is. That's kind of what my mission was like for a while, but when I started living in the present instead of the future I was blessed with so many friends and experiences that I am eternally grateful for.
Like I said before the Spanish is going really well and I know I am being blessed. I love the language so much and am excited to talk to the people of Peru. It takes some time just like anything but I trust in the Lord's timing and know he will help me learn and adjust. We got a new "investigator" yesterday and it was my favorite lesson. We understood pretty much everything he said and he was able to understand what we were saying. Oh yeah, and our last "investigator" (they're just our teachers) accepted baptism and that felt so good.
On Sunday I prayed for some help to stay focused on my mission. I haven't been super distracted but I want all my thoughts to turn me to God. The speaker said that we should get thoughts we don't want out of our mind by thinking of a hymn or scripture. I had started memorizing scriptures the day before and the next day I memorized Mosiah 5:13 which was just another testament to me that what I was doing would bring me closer to God. That night we were also able to listen to a recorded talk. It was entitled "The Character of Christ" and it was given here last Christmas by Elder David A. Bednar. I don't know if there is any way to access it on the internet but if there is I encourage everyone to study it. He talked about how Christ always turned out when we would turn in. We can't be self-centered, self-absorbed, or selfish. As I have tried to look out more I have been blessed so much and I challenge you all to pray for opportunities to serve because it brings us closer to Christ. When you are feeling that life is hard the answer is to serve. I'm grateful for this opportunity I have to serve a mission and there is no place I would rather be.
Classes are going really well and I feel the Savior's love in my life. I thought a lot about the times my testimony was strengthened and my path to conversion and I hope you all will do the same this week. Find joy in the path Heavenly Father has set for you and you will be blessed beyond measure. Thanks for helping me become the man I am today.
Elder Aaron Wheatley