Monday, February 18, 2013

Hola de Peru!

Hello Everybody,

This week was so amazing and I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing me with this time to be a missionary. Last night I had a dream that I was back at home. My mission was over and I was just talking with Mom. We were talking about missions and I looked down at my watch at the date and realized it was 6 months before I should have been home. I got really confused and then really sad. Mom said that she had no fear on her mission to talk to the people and I felt bad. I wanted to come back to Perú so badly and just knock on every door and talk to every person. I woke up with pure excitement to do the work of the Lord and I am so grateful to be on my mission. Another thing she said was something like ''why are the obedient ones the ones who suffer''. I don't have an answer but I think it was something special for me to think about.

I looked back on my mission this week and was amazed at all the growth I have made. Before my mission I knew I would grow, but had no idea in what ways. I have learned to be so much more accepting and loving of others. I feel I have become more humble and teachable, but still have a really long way to go. It's definitely not easy work to be a missionary, but when I look back at it all it is so worth it. It amazes me how quickly the bad times go away when we focus on all the good and one of those amazing days just comes along.

I'm so excited for Hillary and really proud of you for your decision to serve a mission. The next couple months you will go through a lot of ups and downs, but I promise you it is all worth it. I feel like I was in Sacrament Meeting giving my farewell talk not too long ago, but I guess time is just a trixter like that. Enjoy your time in the MTC because I have so many great memories of that place. I guess that's something I'm learning on my mission too. I am really trying to learn to be grateful for the present and just soak it all in because when it's gone, it's gone and it's up to us how much we grow.

We found a family this week that was baptized a year and a half ago in the south of Lima and moved up here. It was so awesome to finally find them and they had been reading the picture Book of Mormon. I don't really know why they hadn't been going to church but they came with us yesterday to Stake Conference and said they will be going to church every week from now on out so that was really great. Also being in Stake Conference in Perú was an awesome experience and I was grateful for the opportunity to sustain the leaders of the Church.

Yesterday we went by an investigator that wasn't in church. We found him lying on his couch and he said he was in a lot of pain. He had an accident a year ago where a big hole was made in his leg all the way to the bone. It hurts him a lot, but yesterday more than ever. We were with a member and all three of us felt that we should give him a blessing. The member asked if he had faith and Ysidoro of course said he did (he is one of the most faith filled men I have met). We explained what a blessing was and he said he had been reading about that in the Bible. I was able to give him the blessing and it was a really special experience for me. It is so crazy to me how many blessings we give as missionaries and I am so grateful for the Priesthood of God given to us to bless others. I am so grateful to see the faith of investigators and the members here who are such loved children of God.

I'm looking forward to reading Mosiah with you Mom and love the words of King Benjamin. It is so fun to think of you reading along with me and it amazes me how far we get when we just are diligent and read everyday.

I just told Mariah and feel like you would be happy to know I AM GETTING LOST IN THE WORK. The mission is the greatest decision I have ever made and I am so excited for all the people who are getting ready to leave.

HAVE THE GREATEST WEEK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keep praying for all of us missionaries because we need it and remember that you are all in our prayers too.

Thank you for all the love you show to me. And I love the long emails from you and my friends attached (I just read them all later).

Happy President's Day! I hope you are enjoying the snow because I am tearing it up in the sand dunes.

Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Shining my Shoes!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Just Like That

Hey Everybody,

Another week passes by just like that and I hope I'm learning all that our Heavenly Father wants me to learn.

That's hard to hear about all the people who have passed away, but I know they are in a better place and there was a talk about that in the last General Conference by Elder Shayne Bowen (I think). It was weird reading it again because when he spoke in October none of us thought death would even be a subject that would come up, but now it is so personal and I am so grateful for the servants of the Lord who speak by the power of the Holy Ghost and that we can hear or read with the power of the Holy Ghost and be comforted so much.

Also about Bishop Barrett. That's so crazy that he isn't bishop anymore. I know whoever is was called of God, but I am so grateful for the service Bishop Barrett gave and I love him so much. If you see him please tell him thank you for all he has done for me and that he should be expecting a big hug when I get home.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well now I'm stuck typing in this color so sorry about that.

A couple quick 

Alright, back in business -- all except the size of the font.......

A couple quick stories from the week. We went and taught a family this week and they are so awesome. We had met them because someone gave us a wrong address and we went and knocked. He answered the door and invited us in and then we found out that he had been taught by the missionaries before. We had to leave, but then went back this week. He is a 50 or so year-old man named Miguel and his two children Luisa and Miguel too. His wife is a Catholic and didn't want to listen so we'll just wait on that. Back to the story. We start teaching him the Restoration and he stops us after a couple of points and then explains it even in more detail to his children. We continue on and then he does it again. We get to the end of the lesson and he says ''Alright, we need to read the Book of Mormon everyday and pray in the morning and before bed'' and this is before we had invited him to do so. That was just so awesome to see people so prepared.

Immediately after we go to Isidoro who is progressing really well, but in a completely different way. He isn't the greatest reader and his wife is really ''slow'' (I don't know how else to describe it). We have to explain things a little better, but they feel it so much easier. He just says that he has talked with 20 religions and he feels different with us and that we were the first that actually invited him to the church. That made me think about how simple it is sometimes. Sometimes we just have to invite people to do something and that's all they were waiting for.

Now to add to that. Yesterday I lost my filtered water bottle and we went back tracing our steps to try and find it. We were on our way back home and it was pretty hot. I saw a man making snow cones and felt I should ask him if he had seen it. I didn't want to do it because it was hot and I didn't want to stop Elder Aubrey. We kept going, but then I felt it would be really dumb to ignore the Spirit. My heart started to burn so we turned around and talked with him. It turns out that he actually has read the Book of Mormon and knows about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. That was really amazing and it was definitely worth loosing my water bottle, which has been amazing, but I have another.

We also got to visit a less-active who returned from his mission a year ago and it reminded me how strong we all need to be. I am being tested a lot on my mission, but I know I can do it if I just exercise my faith in our Heavenly Father.

Oh yeah, my room right now is really big and nice. The pensionista (our cook) has cancer so her daughter cooks for us right now and they are so nice. I am so grateful for all the sacrifices they make for us and it just amazes me what people do for the missionaries. We are just normal people and I am so grateful for all the prayers you all give in our behalf. I'm praying for you too and hope you can feel my love.

Talk to you all soon. Have the greatest week ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Elder Aaron Wheatley

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy February!

Hey Everybody,

This week I guess could be described as a roller-coaster ride, but that's pretty normal now so maybe I'll just say it was another week in the mission (I think it's the same for all missionaries).

A couple of things to start off. Mom you asked about the weather here and, it's just like you would imagen. A summer day walking up and down sand dunes. Maybe a couple degrees cooler than Utah, but it sure feels hot to me. I live in a house with 4 elders, my companion Elder Aubrey, Elder Calle, and Elder Howell. Elder Howell in his own words is a ''stud of a muffin''. We get along really well and it helps that he loves Mumford and Sons as well as Imagine Dragons and for you music canaseur (sp?) out there Sufjan Stevens. His mom also has MS and it's just weird how that disease keeps popping up.

Two other cool things about Perú. As you can see from one of the pictures my feet have become the midnight snack (and lots of other hours during the day too) for fleas. I am one step closer to being a dog which is the good news, the bad news is that it itches pretty bad just before I go to sleep. When I scratch they bleed so, yeah. As my zone leader Elder Argandoña says ''Welcome to Perú!'' The other great cultural experience is the clothes washing down here. My first two areas have been great but last week something happened. I gave my clothes to the person to wash them and they came back dirtier than when I gave them. It's all part of the life down here though and I can just laugh about it.

Thank you to Tanner for your email last week, it really helped me a lot. I loved the talk ''His Grace is Sufficient for You'' by Brad Wilcox and it was awesome because my companion had it on his usb. Also the suggestion to read that talk by Elder Bednar in the April 2012 Ensign you ''nailed it''. Now to add to the list of greatness two articles I would really suggest that helped me just chill out a little bit this week and get to work. ''Forgiving Oneself'' by Elder D Chad Richardson and ''What Does It Mean to Be Perfect?'' by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson in the New Era of January 2006. I definitely recommend them if people are struggling with perfectionism or just wants to be happier. I have never had the problem before my mission so if anyone is reading this that new me from high school, know that I'm not so good at not worrying anymore, but I'm getting back there. And to top it all off Mom, my reading this week was perfect. I learned so much more than I ever have from the Isaiah chapters and 2 Nephi 25:23 really added to all I had read. I love thinking about you when I'm reading too. I love the Book of Mormon!!!!!!!!!!

Now really quickly about the people. This week we had two baptisms. The first one was a 14 year old kid named Antoni. He is so ready and when we asked him the interview question if he was willing to keep the covenants of baptism for the rest of his life he said ''por su puesto'' (you betcha'). He is just so awesome and he wants to go out with us because he loves the church so much. He has never really belonged to anything and his family isn't very close so he feels for the first time that his life has a purpose. The second was José and he's still a teenage boy, but he made a great decision.

Another great investigator is Isidoro. We met him last week from a member reference and even though he's a little slow to understand he gets what he needs to. He loved the church yesterday and said he's talked with about 20 different religions but just feels una tranquilidad (peace or tranquility I guess) he's never felt before and also he just feels happy. He is so awesome and I am so grateful for the time I've been given to get to know him. Heavenly Father really does prepare his children and I am so grateful to be a part of His work.

I love you all so much and am praying for you. Thank you so much for all of the prayers you offer in my behalf, I have really been strengthened this week.

Your flea-bitten, Perú lovin´amigo,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Antoni the man

My flea bitten feet!

Friday, February 1, 2013

One Step at a Time

I love you!

I just thought maybe someone needed to hear that. It's always nice to hear that someone cares.

Before I get too far I want to wish a Happy Birthday today to Matthew, it would be fun to spend it together but I know we're both where we need to be and I trust it will be the best birthday ever. Also to Katherine this Saturday, we have some baptisms scheduled and it's fun to think of you when we remind them of their baptismal date. I love you all so much and know there are a lot more birthdays ahead that we can spend together.

I think I got all of the packages from  the Aunties, Mom, Dad, and Brianna (3 of them) they all meant so much. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and love.

Were you able to show Johnny the video from Christmas? If not don't stress, you can just get ahold of him on facebook or something.

This week was just crazy with all of the miracles we have seen and I know Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much in this area. We had 7 new investigators this week, which is a lot for us, and we have 6 baptismal dates. One of our investigators has been toying around with the missionaries for months now and I think he finally made the change. He knows so much about the church (including things about the milennium and other doctrine) which makes it pretty hard to get anything across because he is always searching for something crazy deep. Well this last week he heard about the book of Abraham in class and was so loud about wanting one. We kind of calmed him saying that we can't give him more if he won't even read the Book of Mormon that he already has. Well we went back a couple of days later and he said he had read through almost all of 1 Nephi and he realized that there was really cool things in the Book of Mormon too. He's still not as mature as I wish but I think he's ready and being a member of the church and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost can help him grow up.

I also found out this week that Silverio José was baptized and that makes me feel so good. He was the guy that had found the church (I still don't know exactly how) in Iraq and was so ready to be baptized. He has a strong testimony and I feel so grateful to have been able to be a part in his making covenants with our Heavenly Father.

All that is going on at home sounds like craziness. I'm excited for all that will be happening up at the house and it will be fun to see it when I get home. I'm excited that Megan, Maren, and Harrison are living in Provo now and please make sure to tell them and all the family that I love them so much.

One thing that I thought would be fun to do is share mission stories. If you Mom, Dad (and anyone else) would like to read your mission journal and then share some experiences I would love to hear them. We talked a lot about your stories before, but I think they are a lot more real now and I would love to hear some that maybe you wrote down but don't remember.

Yesterday I was in a lesson and I started talking about my baptism and I had to fight back the tears. I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I started talking about how I didn't understand it all but I know everyone was so happy for me and I saw all of the smiling faces and just thinking about that (maybe not a picture or movie memory, but somehow I know it happened) filled me with so much joy. Thank you so much for raising me to know that baptism is what I needed to do. That serving a mission is exactly what I need to do now. And showing me how I need to live after my mission.

Thanks for the email Nomi and last week from Oma and everyone else. It is so nice to hear from all of you, I love you so much.

It's fun to hear that you started up P90X again Dad and I know you can keep the schedule you're trying to do. I'm praying for you and all of the family.

Brianna, keep up the good work with softball and school and everything else that you are doing. I love you so much luvbug.

I'm becoming a missionary one step at a time and I am so grateful for every week. Like Dad said, maybe it wasn't the funnest thing but I'm learning and I can look back and be so happy with all of the growth.

Sorry I can't send pictures this week because, well I'm in Perú and these computers aren't the best.

I love you all so much just keep up all the hard work and I'll be doing the same here in Perú. Thank you for all of your examples and love.

I love reading the Book of Mormon with you Mom. Now I'm in the Isaiah chapters and I'll do my best to understand them as you do too. I love the Book of Mormon so much and love reading it with you. 2 Nephi 7:6-7, 2 Nephi 8:12, 2 Nephi 9:52.

Talk to you all soon. Have the greatest week ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Aaron Wheatley