Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Great Plan of Happiness and (This Land of Make Believe)

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really can´t express in words all of my feelings but I will try to do my best. I wrote 10 pages in my journal just to get it all out and on paper. I hope you all will take some time to do the same. To write down all the things you are thankful for and how amazing God is.
Well I guess I should write, yesterday I found out that my Grandpa (Papa) has stomach cancer and doesn´t have long until his next and greatest adventure yet comes. It was like all the breath was sucked out of my in one breath but when I breathed in I was feeled with comfort and peace. The Spirit really is the Comforter I promise you that. The peace I have received has been unlike anything else in my entire life. It´s the most amazing feeling and it comes from our loving Heavenly Father. I´ll get back to all of this but I want to tell you about PerĂº a little.
Last week we went into the city center and it was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Well first, congratulations to Riley on your call to one of the most beautiful places in the world, but Mom I know I´m supposed to be here so I´ll just take a long vacation in Italy some day. I loved seeing the architecture in the city center and thinking I was in Italy for a little though. Also, congratulations to everyone else on your mission calls. I can´t remember them all but first and foremost Hillary this week, I´m so excited to hear where you will be serving. Verina, Kristy, Miriam, Bentley, just everyone. I´m so excited for you all. And that announcement about 4 weeks for other languages and 1 for natives is just about the craziest thing I´ve ever heard. He is hastening His work and really wow! When you get out in the field and it´s the hardest thing you´ve ever done, don´t be discouraged. I don´t really know how to say that. I guess I can use the words of my mission prep teacher Chris ´´it´s the best two years, but it´s definitely not the best 730 days´´ You´re not always happy, but the happy moments are worth the pain and take away everything bad.
Okay, back to the city center. We got to go up on a hill and could see all of Lima. Let me say that the air here is disgusting. It was so smoggy and you gotta love it. I ate a double whopper at BurgerKing and that was one of the best things that has happened to me here in PerĂº. I love the food, but really nothing compares to a good ol burger. I will definitely be looking forward to some BurgerSupreme when I get home so to all of you still in el fabrico (the factory as the call it down here because Utah produces so many missionaries) enjoy yourselves a good burger or whatever is your favorite treat. We went bowling and that was crazy fun, but probably the best part was just speaking English with my friend and brother Elder Sines. He´s from Draper and he´s a gift from God. He´s helped me adjust so much and I owe him a lot. I only wish I can help some poor struggling new missionary some day like he helped me. Well, I don´t want you to think that I´m dying or anything, it´s just nice to have people helping along the way.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Everybody I hope you enjoy yourselves. I will be thinking of you all family but know that my heart is full.
I want to talk some more about Papa now. Really, you don´t need to worry about me at all. I need your prayers but then really I just need you all to be happy. I know Heavenly Father is watching over us all. I felt peace immediately and I want you all to feel the same. I prayed last night for a miracle if it was according to God´s will and my mind was enlightened. I realized that the miracle has already happened. The miracle is the life that Papa lived, is still living, and the legacy he will leave. The miracle is the time we all had and have together. The miracle is that we can love and be loved. The miracle is that we can be together forever (which I don´t understand at all, it´s just so amazing). The miracle is that we know the Plan of Happiness. The miracle is the Atonement. The miracle is that ´´the sting of death´´ can be swallowed up in Christ. The miracle is all we have been given from a loving Heaveny Father.
I really can´t put into words my feelings. I am full of light, peace, and joy. I don´t really want to say I´m happy but like Dad said yesterday I know I´m going to look back and say ´´wow, that was awesome, I learned so much. It was hard but I learned so much´´. I want you all to know that you can receive the same feelings that I have. I think you already have received them just from all the time we got to spend talking yesterday. Just love and laugh together. It´s a hard time but we can´t stop doing the things that are most important like reading our scriptures and saying our prayers. I love writing it all down like I said before and I hope someone else can be helped that way too. When we focus on all our blessings there is no room for the bad.
President Dorius gave me a blessing yesterday and it was one of the sweetest and most tender moments of my life. He barely even knows me and he´s never seen or talked to Papa in his life but he knew by the Spirit what will happen. I don´t want to go into too many details, but I think everyone should receive a priesthood blessing because it will bring so much peace and comfort. I am so so so so so grateful for all the worthy priesthood holders in our family. I know the words come from God. I know He loves us and wants to comfort us.
I also wanted to write some things I´ve been studying. Tanner wrote about a devotional in the MTC that said we can all study together to feel closer. I´ve been reading in Alma and of course Alma 17 is extremely special to me at this time in my life. I also studied in Alma 29, well right now I´m in Alma 43 and I´m trying to read 6 pages a day so I can finish for Christmas. Then I´ll probably start over and read 3 pages a day so I can finish for my birthday. I invite you all to read with me this week if you want or to just share what you learn from your own reading. I also want to share James 2:26 which I think was written about Papa. ´´For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also´´. He´s the greatest example of work I have ever known and will probably ever know. He has shown our God by his works that he is ready to inherit (or build more likely as we talked about yesterday) his mansion in heaven. I´m so excited to see what he can build with the most amazing materials I could ever imagine. I really don´t understand what it´s like being together forever, but I know it´s the happiest thing ever because I know that God loves his children.
Now back to the mission. For all of you going out when it´s hard just remember that your companion is human. They´re imperfect but they´re trying. Sometimes I wish I had a perfect companion but then I realize it would be so weird to have a companion that wasn´t human. Just work your hardest and I can promise you that you will grow in ways on your mission that aren´t possible doing anything else. Like Mariah told me I would encourage you all (especially on your missions) but really throughout all your life at the end of the day look back and see all the MIRACLES. I want you to write down all the things that you´re grateful for but I also know there are MIRACLES everyday and we just need to look a little harder to find them.
You wanted to hear about my companion and some of the members. My companion is from Columbia but he looks like a gringo. He´s the only member in his family but they are really supportive of him. I guess the Church just isn´t where is family lives yet because they´re far out in the country. He found the Church when he was living in Bogota and a friend told him to go to the employment center. He was baptized 3 weeks later and he´s a real strength. The members here are all really nice I just wish I understood what they were saying more. Really though, after 1 month I have learned so much and I know the gift of tongues is real. I am so amazed at it all.
About a package. Really, the thing I want more than anything is peanut butter. You have to send all packages through the mail DO NOT USE UPS OR DHL OR ANYTHING ELSE ONLY USPS. I think the best thing would be to just use a flat rate box. Really peanut butter, honey, and some Snickers. I don´t know, I can pretty much buy anything else I need to here. Like Mariah wrote, more than anything I just love hearing from all of you. It´s fun to just hear about your classes or your work or anything, just be real. Your lives are so different from mine right now so everything is interesting. If you want to buy some piano books such as The Killers and Mumford and Sons and The Head and the Heart I would love those when I got home. And Brianna make sure you´re keeping up on the music for me. Oh yeah, that reminds me. Last week when we were bowling I heard ´´One Thing´´ by OneDirection and it was so fun to think about you.
I love you all so much!!!!!!!!!!
Know that I am filled with comfort and peace from the Spirit. I don´t know if you´ll believe me but you don´t need to worry. I am so grateful for all of your prayers though and I hope you receive strength from my prayers for you everyday too. I think it was Aunt Melissa that said ´´I hope you notice the blessings we pray your way´´ and know I´m praying them back for all of you too.
I can´t express the feelings I have right now. I know I´m where I´m supposed to be and I know that all that is happening is the will of God. I have never felt like this before in my life and I am so grateful for it.
I love you, wow just like yesterday.
Love your brother, son, grandson, cousin, nephew, friend, and whatever else I may be
Elder Wheatley


Monday, November 5, 2012

Great Week!

Hola Everybody,

Well, this week was my first baptism and I can´t even describe it. Elder Claros was sick so I baptized Hermano Luis. I didn't really want to because I wanted my first baptism to be really special, someone I had really come to love and helped along the path. I prayed and learned one of the greatest lessons of my life though. My thoughts were directed to my baptism and how I felt that day. I didn't know everything, but I knew I needed to be baptized so I did it. I didn't feel super special that day, well maybe because everyone was so happy for me. I was happy to be given the chance to help change someone elses life. I kept thinking about it and still felt it should have been a little more special. Then it came to me that it´s kind of like a birthday. It´s just like any other day but something special happened. You were changed instantly. That real change doesn't come until after some time though. You don´t feel 19 until after some time. I think it´s the same with baptism, receiving the priesthood, going to the temple, being a missionary, maybe getting married (not sure about that one). It was such a blessing to me to be able to help someone enter the gate and learn so much about the ways of God.

I´m so happy to hear that you had a great birthday Mom. And that´s awesome that you got to go to the temple on your special day. I really can´t explain how much it means to me that you would think about all of us missionaries while you were in the temple. I feel heavens help everyday and there´s no way I would be able to do this without the strength of heaven. I know Heavenly Father watches over His missionaries and all His children.

I´m also happy to hear that Halloween was great for everybody. What a fun time together and this next little while is just family packed.

The elections sound crazy and I´m praying that God´s will will be done. I´ll be looking forward to hearing the results next week, or more likely some member will tell me something. They always have some crazy news. Which reminds me about Hurricane Sally I think. It sounds like everything is okay, but I've been praying for all the people in that area.

Now time for the great firsts. I rode in a mototaxi which is a motorcycle taxi. It´s super fun, I guess it´s just all knew and exciting. First compliment on a tie, and I have to say good choice to Mom for the green tie that you thought was the best because someone here thinks the same. First crazy food. I don´t know if I wrote, but I was pretty close to eating chicken foot soup but she didn't want to serve me because it was cold. Well this week I ate Caucau which was really good. It was kind of like a really light curry. Well, I learned after that the meat was mondongo or literally translated intestines. I was told it was really cow stomach which seems better to me. Either way it was fine. I wasn´t super impressed but I really loved the spices so I´ll definitely eat it again.

How exciting for Mitch this week. Send my love to him and all the family. Like I said it´s a day that will change his life for ever. Also, way to go Aunt Michelle and Uncle Steve. I´d love to see pictures when it´s all done.

Hillary, I´m proud of you for facing your fear of needles to serve the Lord. I´m so excited for you and can´t wait to hear where you will be serving. It´s definitely not a walk in the park, but I've learned so much already and I know the mission is where I´m supposed to be. If anyone else is trying to decide, just pray. God will tell you what is best.

That brings me to Matthew. Pray about it and you´ll find out what is best. I think it would be awesome for you to go to BYU though. I would love to have a class with you or something like that. It was so fun with Charlie. I´m so grateful that we are all so close. Just pray and I´ll be praying for you too.

I´m praying for Nomi and Papa and Oma and Opa and all the family every night. I´ll be even more specific with Papa and Oma this week. I know everything will work out.

Thanks for all the love and encouragement. That´s crazy to hear about the MTC and all the other changes. Thanks again for all the updates.

Have the best week ever! I´ll keep praying for all of you and please pray for all the missionaries, we can´t do this alone.

Elder Aaron Wheatley