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!|