Thanks so much for all of your letters. I loved them so much. It´s so fun to hear about all the things going on back there in the good ol USA.
I love it here in Perú. I´ll try to write it all in the time I´m given. Oh yeah, so I´ll be writing around this time 10:30 every week. Well probably like 10:40 because here they like to be late to everything, but I´ll get to that in a minute. Also, I´m only supposed to email immediate family so I´ll try to write some good hand-written letters to everyone. I think the post is pretty good. I got a couple letters this week that I guess were waiting at the mission home for me. I got the one from Dad, but not from you Mom. Thanks so much for your emails though. And please send the mail to the mission home, I really have no idea how to get mail at my apartment.
My first experience of Perú is indescribable. It was night -- the streets were empty and it kind of looks like no one lives here. It´s a desert so there aren't very many trees and pretty much every house is run down. I was so excited. We slept at the mission home and in the morning went to the chapel for changes. The driving there was crazy and pretty much I've been smiling ever since. My Mission President is a great man and he made me feel really comfortable. My companion looks like a gringo but he's from Columbia and he´s been helping me a ton with my Spanish. Everyone is really surprised when they hear I've been here for less than a week and that makes me feel really good. And then we start talking to someone on the street and I can´t understand a word. Well, that´s an exaggeration.
The people here talk really fast and I hope they're using words that I don´t know because if I've learned them they don't sound the same. We were riding in a bus one day and it was a little crazy. I thought about it and I would compare it to being in Chicago or New York, the poor part of town but not very dangerous, and you can't speak English. I just started laughing -- I love it. The people are so nice even if I can't understand everything. They are so friendly and even though I wish they would talk a little slower sometimes I still love them. The buses are crazy and I´m glad my companion knows the area. The ward is really helpful and the food is fantastic. Everyone said it would be really hard and I can see that, but really I've just smiled and nodded all week long. Heavenly Father has blessed me so much to be happy. Tell everyone that goes out it can definitely be hard but a smile changes everything. I just laugh at all the craziness. (Also drinking so much Inca Kola add!) The people are always offering food or drink and I hope my teeth don't fall out. ¡I've been brushing really well!
Also I wanted to give you my address so you could look it up on GoogleEarth or something like that. my address is Jr Las Encinas 554 I guess in Lima or something like that. Maybe Fiori, I really don´t know. We´re on the very edge of the mission touch Lima North which is just south of us and I think east of us too. I just remembered that you could probably just look it up on the lds website ward thingy. The ward is Fiori and the stake is Trebol. Hopefully that works if not I´ll send some pictures to give you an idea.
If you see Daniel Wheatley before he leaves please tell him I love him and he´s going to love his mission. Also, I can´t remember if I ever got the address for his mission. Also tell him congratulations on Tough Mudder. He´s going to be a great missionary.
Yesterday was my first Sunday in Perú and it was also my first talk in the mission field. It was crazy. I don´t know, I guess I don´t get nervous first, because the Spirit comforts me and second, because I know it´s going to be bad. All the people say poco a poco and that´s what I´m doing. Learning little by little. One man we´re teaching gave me one of the greatest compliments of my life. His nephew had just prayed and I said the things of your heart is what God wants to hear because He is our Father. Then the man put his arm around me and said "he only says a little but what he says arrives, it arrives" or "it comes" would be better in English and he pointed to his heart. The people here are so nice and I´m really not being fair. Some of them talk really well and I understand what they´re saying. The gift of tongues is real. It´s such a blessing from God.
Oh yeah, so I had no idea what I was going to talk about and I figured it would probably turn out the same if I prepared or not because I can´t speak. I just talked really simply and shared two of my favorite scriptures 1 Nephi 11:17 and 2 Nephi 2:24. I also talked about being called to Perú and how much I love it here. It was really simple but the people smiled back and I think they understood.
Pretty much I love it all. Some things about the culture are a little hard for me. It´s such a different world down here. Things aren't as clean, the streets are crazy, and they talk for forever. I think it will help a lot when I really learn the language though. I´m so excited for the day when I don´t have to say como or just nod even when I don´t know what´s happening. I know it will come in time though.
Thanks for all your love and support. And above all else thanks for your prayers. I really see the hand of God in my life.
I love you all so much and am praying for you.
Love, love, love,
Elder Aaron Wheatley