I love you all so much and want you to know the peace I am feeling right now as I just heard (or read) that Papa passed away this morning. You really don't need to worry about me for one second, but I do ask (even though I know you already do it) to pray for all of us missionaries. We need your help and support. I don't want to talk to much about this because I have a lot of crazy experiences I want you all to enjoy too and I feel like the Spirit is with all of us and we all know Papa is in a better place, where he wants to be. I just know he's already started hugging his loved ones and working up there. He's never going to stop working and I know that's exactly what he wants.
This Christmas was the most different Christmas of my life and I think it was equally crazy for all of you. The night sky was lit up for about 15 minutes at midnight and it was so amazing. The fireworks here, as just about everything else, aren't very well controlled so everyone was just going crazy. I've never seen anything like it and I'll try to send the video home somehow within the next little while so you can all enjoy it.
It was so amazing to be able to Skype you and just see your faces. I'm so grateful I was able to see Papa and tell him that I love him. It was so much fun just to talk with all of you and to see the house. I love getting your pictures to see what things are like, especially when it's probably 90 degrees down here with quite a bit of humidity. I was a little afraid of becoming homesick after seeing you all, but it's had the opposite affect. I am more focused than ever and I love this work. The other cool part about Christmas is that Elder Brimley got really sick so from about 6 in the afternoon and for the rest of the night I was in the apartment as he was throwing up. Definitely not going to forget my first Christmas in the mission field and first Christmas away from my family!
This week something has been happening with my brain. I really hope it means Spanish is just starting to infiltrate my brain because that's what I need. I am feeling so much more comfortable and I know it just takes time so I hope the time is now. The other crazy thing this week is how comfortable I felt here as we were driving. It felt clean somehow and more than anything like a vacation. That's the best way I can describe it. It felt like I was driving through St. George and was just excited to be there. It's somewhere I'm happy to be and it feels like an adventure. It's getting hot and that makes me feel happy and like a vacation too. Maybe I'll have better words to describe it all next week, I'll try my best.
A couple crazy things about Peru. Here everything is fake and illegal, well I guess it's not illegal here. One member family runs a shoe factory where they make fake nike's, adida's, puma's, really what ever you want. The cell phones here are fake, the clothes are fake. Some times I wonder if the plants are bamba (the word here for fake/illegal merchandise). The people are real though and I love them.
I got packages this week from Bekkah and The Aunties and that was so kind of you. The experience was another thing that I won't soon forget as I waited in Serpost (their post office) for 4 hours to pick up the packages. The fee was like 4 dollars, so in the end it was no problem I just have a great story to tell. I almost cried like 20 times, but I held it in somehow. Thank you so much to The Aunties, Mom, Dad, and Brianna for the amazing and very useful presents. I was so grateful to see the Conference Ensign as it still hasn't arrived here in Lima (everything is just so slow). Please tell Bekkah that the package got here on the 8th, but I didn't get it until the 28th. It was all intact and they opened it up in front of me just to make sure that there was nothing inside (you can only send clothes with tags on them, no used clothes). It cost practically nothing so you don't need to worry about that. Thank you so so much for thinking about me.
Now I want to talk about two amazing investigators. That Silverio guy that I was telling you about last week came to our church yesterday. We got to talk with him some more and had a great lesson with him. It's so amazing to me how Heavenly Father prepares his children not only to hear the word, but also to accept it. The other man is named Gustavo and I have never met anyone like him in my entire life. He just keeps telling us that he wants to be baptized and that he wants to be a missionary like us. He is 37 and said that he is just waiting for a girl that he can go and preach the gospel with. He has so much faith and I have never heard anyone pray, or even talk about prayer, the way he does. He is so ready to accept everything. We leave a pamphlet with him and he reads it all and believes it all so when we teach the lesson all we really do is talk about what he read really quick because he already has a testimony. We were walking with him to church yesterday and he was telling the people ''venga a la iglesia, La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias''. He is so amazing and his baptism is scheduled for this Saturday so I'll be writing more about him. Oh yeah, one more thing about him. He said that he has a hunger and thirst in his heart, but it's not for food or water it's for the word of God. He knows the Bible so well.
Oh yeah, my companion was transferred so I'm in a trio with Elder Brimley and Elder Aparicio for this week until transfers next week. I love being with them and I learned how to be even more patient and persistent from Elder Perez. I'm grateful for the time we got to spend together and I will continue to learn from all of my companions.
Thank you so much for all of your love, support, and prayers. I loved reading Alma 7 and Luke 2 this week and I would suggest reading them if you didn't have time. I'm looking forward to reading the Book of Mormon again and I'm grateful that I get to do it with you Mom.
I'm praying for all of you and know the Spirit will be with us as we pray and read our scriptures and do all that is asked of us.
HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I love you all so much.
Love your son, brother, cousin, nephew, grandson, and friend forever,
Elder Aaron Wheatley