Sunday, December 30, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      I know this time is crazy for you all back home, especially in the Moulton household, but I hope you have been able to feel the Spirit during this time of year testifying to your hearts that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. I read Luke 2 this week and if you can read it too, I know it will bring a lot of joy to your life.
      I finished the Book of Mormon again this morning. It was my goal to finish it for Christmas as my gift to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I was marking all the times it mentioned Christ and there's a lot of red in the book now. Please tell Brother Taylor and I think Brother Haddock thank you because I think it was their idea to give all us young men a Book of Mormon to mark two years ago now. I'm going to start reading again for the new year and I invite any of you who would like to to join me. My plan is to read 3 pages a day so I can finish in the middle of the year. In time for my birthday and the birthday of our great nation. I would love to do it with you if you want.
      Now onto another week in the life of a missionary. This week was pretty crazy with all of the goings on so I'll do my best. Last Monday it was so amazing to be able to talk to you Mom, Dad, and Brianna. It's really weird hearing your voices but it sure made me happy. That day we also played soccer on a turf field and it was so amazing. It smelt just like home. Those long summer days of practicing and those great Friday nights. That's so weird to think about high school sometimes, but I am so grateful for all of the experiences I have had.
      On Wednesday we had a marriage here in our ward. Elder Perez has been working with their whole family for a couple of months now. They are the Rojas and they used to be inactive. It's a mom and dad and their 6 kids. One of their boys Elder Perez already helped to get married and then his wife was married and this week one of their other sons, Giancarlo, got married to his wife Angela and she was baptized on Saturday. It was special to be a part of all of that and to just see the happiness that they felt. I thought how crazy it was to be thinking about marriage and how it just feels like something that will always happen in the future, kind of like how I  always felt about a mission. Life is pretty tricky sometimes.
      We had a Christmas party in the offices this week with 3 of the 12 zones in our mission. It was really fun to just be with all of those other missionaries. Sister Dorius had been cooking for all of us and it was so great to eat that turkey. She also baked carrot cake and even though I've never liked it too much, it was just so good to think about home. President and Sister Dorius gave us some gifts including a satchel with a llama on it and I forgot to take a picture, but it's about the coolest bag that could ever exist on the face of the planet. We had to do sketches, I think that's English too, but if not plays, as a district and ours was the highlight of the show. We did it again during our ward Christmas party and yesterday in church everyone was just talking about it.
      Yesterday I went on exchanges with Elder Brimley. He is from Arizona and this is his first transfer. He lives in the same house as me.  We just went out and worked and it was amazing. It's really true that quote that says the great secret to missionary work is work. That's my one piece of advice to everyone as a missionary, but I also think we can apply it to our lives as Papa did. When we work hard for what's right and do the will of our Heavenly Father we will be happy. When I work I don't think about anything else, I'm just happy with the time I have been given. I'm so grateful for that lesson I learned and that I could work with Elder Brimley and just have a fun time, two gringos who don't speak Spanish well just loving the people, spreading the message of the restored gospel, and wishing everyone a Feliz Navidad.
      I had another experience with Elder Brimley that I want to tell real quick. We were walking along and I stopped because we passed by the house of a contact. I didn't know if we should try to have a lesson so I just stopped and waited. Out of no where this man comes up and asks us how he can find the ward that he belongs too. His name is Silverio and he went on to explain that he was in Iraq for 5 years because he was in the military and he had been receiving the lessons there, still not really sure how that works out. He said he wanted to talk to the missionaries so he could be baptized and he knew he needed to go to a certain ward that he belonged to. We told him how to find it out and it was just amazing that we were there at that moment. I didn't feel the Spirit telling me really strongly anything, but I know it was directed by God and I'm so grateful for that.
      I'm wishing you all the merriest of Christmas's from here in Peru. I know it's a crazy Christmas for us all but my prayers are in your behalf and I hope you can feel the love of our Lord and Savior and the love of our Heavenly Father who sent His Son for all of us.
I love you all so much.
Love forever,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another Week Goes On By

Hey Everybody,
     This week just happened. It's so crazy sometimes. I like to say that my life doesn't go fast or slow it just happens and that was definitely this week. I have learned so much on my mission, but more than anything I have developed more patience and humility. I read a quote two days ago by President Hinckley that says during these 2 years a person can grow more than in any other 2 years of their life. I know I'm not here only to change myself, but I am so grateful for the changes that are happening in my life as I help others come unto Christ.
     It was so amazing to receive a package from Oma and Opa this week. I bawled real hard. I was just so overwhelmed and so grateful for all of our family. I love you all so much and can't say it enough. Oma, the cookies were one of the greatest presents I have ever received and I look forward to a lot more when I get home. I just want to bake and bake. It's so funny to me all the things I want to do now that I can't do them, but I'll get into that more later.
      I got the letters you sent Mom and once again bawled like a baby. All of your support means so much to me. I also got a letter from Uncle Tyler that meant so much and one from Elder Seth Cannon. Please pray for him and for all of my brothers and sisters out on their missions. Most of you know what it's like to be out here and for those of you who don't, I hope you can experience it because the mission is amazing. All the great stories from aunts and uncles made me laugh and just filled my heart. I know this isn't an easy time for any of us, but I am so grateful that you would all take a little time to make my day, week, and mission a little better. I love you all so much and hope you can receive strength from my letters.
     A couple cool stories now. We went to the clinic this week for my companion and how great it was to be ack among civilization. It was part of the Central Mission and it was like I was back in the grand ol' USA again. I ate some Burger King as I waited and just enjoyed a little more space with a lot more cleanliness. I know I'm supposed to be here in the Peru Lima West Mission and I love thinking about the day I opened my call, but it's still nice to be a little more clean every once in a while. (I know there are a lot dirtier places in my mission so we'll see what my thoughts are when the time comes for me to go there!)
     My door got knocked by some Jehovah's Witnesses this week and that was hilarious. My nametag was clearly visible and everything so there's no doubt the poor lady knew what was happening. Well I think she did because she just said something like ''How many books are in the Bible?'' and I said I didn't know and then she just kept looking stunned and asked again. I told her it wasn't my house and that I would take her magazine to give to the people who lived there. I felt really bad for her because I know exactly what she was feeling, but afterward I couldn't help but laugh. If they come knocking on your door I hope you are nice to them and then afterward you can think of me and all the missionaries out there working hard to spread the message of Jesus Christ.
     We did splits this week and it was an amazing experience. I met this man named Jose.  I have never talked to a recent convert like him before. He admitted that he didn't know everything but his faith is so strong and he just wants to share it with everyone. He is so happy.  He could pronounce as well as remember my name perfectly after seeing my nametag only once, which is a miracle in itself.  For some reason as we were talking he said something about the Ingles family and I just nodded my head and smiled as I sometimes do (thankfully less and less as the weeks go on). My companion for the day, Elder Galicia, asked who they were and then he said something about Michael Landon and I was just like WHAT?????? He then explained there is this TV show where a family lives in the olden times in a small town and luckily this time I didn't bawl as I thought about my dear beloved ''Little House on the Prairie''. This is where the longing for things that didn't have too much importance before I came out on my mission comes back into play. I have been reminded of TV shows or songs that haven't come to my mind in years and now I'm making a mental list about a mile long of things I'm going to do when I get home. Okay, that's an exaggeration, but all you returned missionaries or current missionaries I hope can relate.
     The other amazing thing was we were talking to this old couple and a little boy was there with them. At the end of the lesson the little boy just said he wanted to be baptized without us asking or really having even talked to him very much during the lesson. It's so amazing to me the example of little children. They are so special to our Heavenly Father.
     Yesterday was the Primary program and I just thought about all the great times I had participating and eating the goodies back in the Edgemont 3rd Ward. I grew up so fast and I'm sure you are all feeling the same. I'm so grateful to be on a mission though.
     I'm excited for Christmas and I hope you all have the greatest Christmas ever. I know it's a little different in the Moulton household right now, but what a great gift is the time we've all been given together as a family.   Please tell Papa and Nomi, Oma and Opa, and everyone else that I love them so much.

Love you this much ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (that should be about my wingspan)
Elder Aaron Wheatley

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Happening

I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm really starting to get into the groove of things. I still have some time to go, but I'm on my way and that makes me feel so good. This work is so different from anything I have ever done and I love it so much. I'm so grateful for all of the encouragement you send me it makes me so happy. About the packages, it seems like all the boxes have been coming through just fine for my mission, just make sure you send them through the United States Postal Service. It's still so weird to me that we are in December and that Christmas is around the bend. The weather here is reasonably hot and very humid. Last night it got a little cold and I was starting to feel the Christmas spirit. I would guess it's in the 80's everyday and the nights in my apartment it's pretty hot too. Like I said we're in the first floor of a four story building and the air kind of just lingers. There is no carpet anywhere which is a cultural experience. I'm grateful we have cement though, because some people just have dirt floors. This is definitely a different world I live in.
This week I finally made it to the Peru MTC. All of us gringos were rounded up and we went to the MTC to do our immigration stuff all together. It was great to talk some more English, I don't know why I just love it so much. Spanish is coming along great, but it's just nice to speak English every once in a while and just talk about all sorts of things. We were just driving and then I looked out of the window and there was the Temple. It was really cool to finally see the Temple and MTC. All of us missionaries just talked about all of the experiences we have had up until now and it was so fun to hear about all of the other experiences. The thing I learned was just what Dad said when we talked. Even when things were hard, when we look back they were just awesome experiences and we can smile and laugh. I have learned so much from my mission and the hard times are some of the greatest memories I have.
I had a great time this week when we went to the members house in another area and we sang some hymns. I love the people here, but I can just say that the confidence I have in my own voice has gone up exponentially since I've arrived in Peru. I love the hymns and more than anything the Christmas songs we can all enjoy together.
I spent a lot of time reflecting yesterday and it felt really good. I just love settling things down every once in a while and thinking about all the amazing things that have happened in my life. I really have been blessed with such happiness from our loving Heavenly Father. I have had such great experiences and I know so much happiness is awaiting me and all of us. I am learning so many things on my mission that I know will bless me for the rest of my life. It's so crazy all that has happened in such a short time, but I have learned to be so much more humble and I'm working hard on being charitable. There are little things that I'm learning too just to help things go more smoothly in life.
I read a talk entitlted ''The Fourth Missionary'' by Lawrence Corbridge and I would suggest it to any future missionaries and really anyone. I know if I would have read it before my mission I would have enjoyed it, but I wouldn't have understood it fully. I'm sure I'll understand it even more as the time goes on too. Experiences change everything in our lives and I'm so grateful for this time I'm given to experience being a missionary. I am trying my best to submit my will to that of our Heavenly Father because I know that is the only way to true and lasting happiness.
This week my testimony of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened so much. When I read it I feel the power so much. There is no way that a man could have written it. We all need to receive a testimony through the Spirit first, but after that comes we are strengthened so much just by knowing that no man could write such an amazing book. It's too crazy for anyone to come up with and it's not even really appealing at first. It just doesn't make sense, but then you read it and fall in love. I am so lucky to be able to testify of the Book of Mormon so often and it amazes me too how much we are strengthened when we share our testimony with other people. I am strengthened so much as I share my testimony and I can feel the Spirit testifying to me that my words are true as I testify to the children of our Heavenly Father.
We spend a lot of the day teaching lessons. We are really blessed with a great area where the members help us a lot. Of course we get to ''find'' people too and I really just love talking to the people. My Spanish is coming along and I feel comfortable talking to just about anyone. The culture is so different that I don't really know where to start. Things are so different, but at the same time I can always feel that we are so similar because we are all children of our Heavenly Father.
I love getting your long emails, I just don't want you to be spending so much time like you used to if it stresses you out or anything. I want you all to be happy and to know that I am happy. Of course everyday isn't amazing, but I can view miracles everyday and feel the Spirit as I do the Lord's work. The weeks pass by so quickly. I am praying for you all and especially for Papa everyday. He amazes me too!!!! I love hearing all of the news and seeing all of the pictures. I was thinking about the pioneers and those first missionaries who went out and left it all behind. I receive strength everyday from those who have gone before, especially you Mom, Dad, and Mariah (well really all of you). I am so grateful for your examples and your love.
Have the greatest week ever! I really feel all of your prayers and hope you can feel mine too. I love you all more than I can say. I'll be writing and calling before either of us knows it. Please send my love to Nomi and Papa and all of the family.
Love your son, brother, and best friend,
Elder Aaron Wheatley

Aunt Julie's two nephews serving in Lima Peru!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Changes and Craziness

Hola Everybody,
       Before anything I want to congratulate the greatest little sister in the world for here dance concert. It's so fun to hear about all the things you're doing. Also, I'll be thinking about you and praying for you today that everything goes well in your orchestra concert.
       Please tell the family how much I love them, especially Papa. I'm so happy to hear that you are all staying strong and are as happy as you can be at this time. I love you all so much. And yes, Papa will never cease to amaze people with his feats of sheer awesomeness.
       This week was full of changes and new experiences. I think I like transfers because it's fun to get to know new people, but it's also just straight up craziness. I'm learning to love the people. You asked about my new apartment and it's kind of like a dungeon, but that doesn't matter too much because we get to go out and enjoy the full strength of the sun down here. It's a different member that cooks for us here, but it's still great food. We live with her and her son the bishop.
       That reminds me, there's a facebook page for our ward because the bishop is like 24. It's ''Barrio Faucett'' just search for it on facebook and you can see some pictures of the area.
My companion is a good guy. I'm learning to adjust to his style of things now, but I think that can only bless me for the rest of my life. He tries to be the best he can be and we work hard so that's really nice. He's been in this ward for 10 months so that's kind of crazy, he just is really comfortable with everything. I don't really know what to say. His name is Elder Perez and he's from Bolivia. I want to write a little about my last companion though because he helped me change a lot.
       Elder Claros is a crazy elder from Columbia that used to be in the military. He was really stern, but we also had a lot of fun together. He taught me a lot how to love everybody and how to love working. He encouraged me a lot and made me feel good by saying that he was learning so much from me. I think that's one of the biggest things I learned from him that you can learn something from every one of your companions and from everyone in your life. I miss the members and investigators in Fiori, but I've been blessed with a great area full of help from the members.
       Yesterday we had two baptisms and it was so amazing to be a part of that. Even more this time I felt distanced from them because I had only known them days, but I felt the Spirit testifying to me that they were ready to take this next step in their life. I pray that they will stay strong and they have a lot of help from members in their family and friends, which helps me feel reassured. It was a gift to be able to take part in helping them and I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for trusting His children to us as missionaries.
       Our area actually includes the airport I think and it's amazing to see them take off. What amazing things we have been blessed with from a loving Heavenly Father. I know that man made it with their mind, but God gave us our minds. I guess the funniest part is how close I am to being able to leave and yet I am happy to be here. I know these two years will pass by so fast. I was reading in the scriptures and in just a couple verses many years can pass by. Life just happens so quickly and I'm really trying to learn to love everyday.
Last night we watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional and those thoughts were going through my mind a lot. President Uchtdorf talked about being a gracious receiver and I thought about being grateful for everyday. 
       It's a little hard because we're so far away, but we have so many great memories of Christmas's past and I know there are a lot of great ones ahead too. I think I miss out on a lot of happiness because I'm spending too much time missing something that was amazing, but just can't be right now. I was reading in Helaman and the part where Nephi wishes he lived in a different time. My emotions definitely aren't just from me, everyone at one time or another wishes they lived at a different time or at least that hard days would passed by. I'm really learning to be patient as I trust in the Lord's timing.
       We had a great service activity where we built a room. It's nothing like the United States. I just need to remember that I really am in a third world country sometimes.
       Now for the craziest news of the week. We went to the bank on Thursday and the bank where we usually go was closed. We had to cross the street to get to another bank. While we were there we saw some missionaries from the North Mission. I got pretty excited and then found one of them was named Elder Wilson. I asked him if he was related to Julie and he told me no. I just kept thinking about it and when we were both inside I asked him again and he said ''wait, Julie?'' I guess he thought I said some other name. So I met Elder Wilson down here in Lima and we got to talk for a little. It was so awesome to just see him even though I had never met him before in my life, well maybe I have.
       I said something about the aunties going to pick him up and he was surprised so I tried to backtrack. I don't know if I ruined a surprise or if it's real or what really happened. I hope I didn't ruin anything for anybody because it was sure great to see him.
       I wanted to write real quick to Johnny in this email because I got your letter this week. Don't worry about anything Johnny, I love you and there's nothing that would change that. Just make sure you stay true to what the Spirit has told you and you will be blessed. I still pray for you everyday specifically and know you will be blessed for doing what's right. I love you -- so many people love you.
       I'm going to try my best to get letters off today because these last couple of weeks have been crazy. I'm doing my best and if you haven't got a response yet just know I love you and that it's coming soon.
       Love you all so much. The language is coming along great. I'm looking forward to the day that I don't even have to worry about Spanish but I'm counting my many blessings that I can learn this great language.
       Love you again because we can always use a little more love.
Elder Aaron Wheatley

Me with my second cousin, Sister Mangum.  We had been serving in the same district and didn't even know we were related until her family back home figured it out!!!!!!

Family in Fiori

My companions, we all live in the same house and same ward. My companion, Elder Perez, is next to me.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


I love you everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so much for all of the pictures and the emails. It was so comforting to just hear and see about all that´s going on. I´m so grateful that you could all receive the comfort from the Comforter and keep moving forward. That´s so amazing that Papa was able to eat and have a great time with you all. I am praying for you all constantly. I fasted yesterday for you all (joining in the family fast 2 weeks late) and I know Heavenly Father is strengthening us. I have never felt like this in my life. It´s the craziest, I just don´t know. The mission is like nothing else.

I am so excited for Hillary. ARGENTINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I actually am sitting next to an Elder Maimo who is from the Resistencia Mission. Have the best of times visiting Iguasu Falls (or however you spell that). Also, Elder Dane Taylor´s there and he´s a stud. She wrote me a couple of weeks ago and I´ll write her back, but I just wanted to write some advice for her and all other people preparing to go on missions. I can´t even describe the feelings that you will go through. It is the biggest roller-coaster ride of your life. I feel the only way you can prepare yourself is to live worthy of the Holy Ghost. It seems so simple, but really if you have the Holy Ghost everything else will come. Don´t become discouraged when you can´t speak because it´s just a fact, or really anything else hard. This week I let my brain get the better of me a couple of times and I really have learned that becoming discouraged only makes things worse. Stay positive and happy. When you don´t feel like you feel the Spirit search for it (or should I say) seek and ye shall find. I promise you the Spirit will be with you because it has been with me.

The other thing I would suggest is read all of The Book of Mormon and Preach My Gospel before you leave. I know it´s really hard, because I didn't finish Preach My Gospel. I promise you though if you study The Book of Mormon everyday a different spirit will enter your life. (That goes for everyone). I love the Book of Mormon more than I could ever express and am so grateful I can read it and pray to my loving Heavenly Father. I think a mission is something you just have to experience. The other thing is when you have a hard day and are close to hating something, just remember so many people have felt the same as you. Talk to all those around you who have served missions before and ask them all the questions. Ask them what was harder than anything and why it was worth it. Ask them what they loved more than anything and how much love they felt. I promise you a mission is worth whatever sacrifice you need to make either before or during your mission.

I wanted to share a couple of scriptures I found really helpful this week. Doctrine and Covenants 42:44-46 and Doctrine and Covenants 59:15-20.

Some other crazy things from this week. Here in Perú there is this thing which is called Panetón. It´s pretty much just glorified fruitcake and it´s everywhere. I guess Christmas really isn´t that different down here after all. I´m laughing just thinking about all the crazy things people eat. It´s not bad, but where did it come from? We may never know.

We were contacting this week and this person said ´´how are you? hello.´´ all the usual. I´m learning to just embrace being a gringo. So I said to him that my companion isn't a gringo, but that I was. The other guy sitting there started to speak in English but I didn't really understand. I thought he was just joking around too, but then he didn't stop. I realized THIS MAN HAS A SOUTHERN DRAWL!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, I about cried. It was so amazing. He was from Georgia and we talked for a couple of minutes. I really can´t even describe the joy that brought me. I mean, a southern drawl for real? I've never been so happy to hear one before in my life though. It´s just a tender mercy from God to allow me to talk with someone in English (even if it is practically a different language in the south).

Really this week has just been a week of growth. I have learned more than I ever thought possible. I was tried by so many things but always Heavenly Father rescued me when I thought I couldn't go a step further. It´s amazing to me that one good thing can erase all the hard that has happened. That one thing is feeling the Spirit and allowing the Atonement into our lives.

I found out that I´m going to be transferred to an area called Faucett. I really don´t know too much, but of course it´s farther north in my mission. I´ll take lots of pictures with my new companion and the new area when I get there. I am really going to miss the people of Fiori. I feel like there are so many miracles just waiting to happen there, but I know I have learned what I needed to and I am being sent to where the Lord needs me. I feel peace again just knowing that His will is being done.

I hope you all have an amazing week. It´s so great to hear that you are enjoying all the time you are given. That´s really how we all need to live life. I´m learning to love being a missionary. I really do love my mission. I think I´ll understand it all more with time. It´s so fun to see you all having a great time at the house. What an amazing blessing from God that house is and I am also grateful to hear the news about Wallace Lane. I´m so happy that someone else can love that house as we all did.

Send my love to everyone and give them all hugs and some kisses too. I am so grateful for all of your examples. Your strength keeps me going everyday. Knowing that you have all gone before me and trusted in the Lord (especially all you who have served missions). I love you all so much. I´m praying for you and know more than ever that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He is always watching over us and wants to bless us.

Love you more than words can say,
Elder Aaron Wheatley