Sunday, April 28, 2013

Don't be Hasty

Hello Everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoo, hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a great time we're all having down here in Perú. I hope it's going equally well for all of you living in the land of make believe. (I sometimes call it that because it's only in my dreams, which have been coming on strong lately). So this week was crazy and I'll do my best to help you all be excited too.

Well, the time keeps speeding up and as far as I can see you are all super busy too and that's a good thing to hear. Before I get too far, I want to make sure you are all taking some time to have fun and relax too though. It's good to stay busy and get things done, but those little fun times are some of the funnest to remember. Just go out and get an ice cream with your siblings or sit down and play a board game. I'll be tearing ''Sorry'' up when I get home as well as ''Farkle'' because two years of luck is just building up on me right now.

I got to have a work visit with a new elder this week and it was a really great experience. His name is Elder Arnett and he's fresh out of the CCM. With 6 weeks it seemed like things were going crazy and I was really happy I got to be with him. He's a great Elder and I learned so much from him. His simple testimonies were so powerful and brought the Spirit so quickly. I also got to reflect a lot on how far I've come and I amazed myself. It was pretty cool to realize how normal I feel with everything going on all around me. We just got on the bus then I told them where to stop and we got off. I looked back and was like, YEAH!!! I guess it's really like everyone always says, it just takes TIME. I realized how far I've come with Spanish and how I can really communicate and then the rest of the week I kept seeing how comfortable I am to be in such a strange place. All you people who have gone on missions know what I'm talking about and it sure is a nice feeling. 

This week I was also smacked with a good one as our baptismal date fell through. He's 22 and his mom is also listening to us and everything was going great. Then one day we were passing by and she asked us to come in. It was a little scary and my companion was super weirded out. We both knew what was going to happen and she said she likes the Church and wants to be baptized, she just doesn't like how persistent we are. It's not the first time I've been dropped by an investigator, but she is the first person who said she didn't like us coming over so often (once or twice a week). She's having a hard time though because she straight up said that she likes drinking and smoking. I'm not really sure what to do, but we are learning to have even more patience and I know the Lord will take care of it all. Oh the adventures!

We were a little disheartened, but then we had weekly planning and realized how many people there are in our area to teach and to help come unto Christ. It really amazes me all the blessings we are receiving from God and I know they will keep coming as we keep doing our best to be obedient and just work. Sometimes I'm tired and think it would be nice to just rest a day, and then the next day we leave an hour or two late for a myriad of reasons and I am just bored out of my mind. I think we can safely say that I'm going crazy, but I'm sure loving it. For all you people leaving on missions, those two words will change your life. Obedience and Work.

Now for a couple things I will never stop missing from the good ol´US of A. I smelt something like a barbecue going on yesterday and that was just about enough to make this missionary cry. Okay, not for real but I sure miss it. Also, I miss green, there's just no denying it. Utah seems like the Garden of Eden to me right now. And on to the most important, NOISE RESTRICTIONS. I don't know exactly what the law is here, but no one obeys it if there is one. Saturday nights are definitely party nights and I'm sure grateful for the ear plugs I brought from home. Just a couple things I'm grateful for.

This last week we had interviews with President Dorius and it was awesome. It was about 10 minutes, but I sure learned a lot. I'm looking forward to getting to know my new mission president too.

Oh yeah, Josafat, aka, the best investigator I have ever seen, got to go to the temple this week. He loved it and is enjoying reading the Bible now that he has finished the WHOLE ENTIRE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE. I have no idea how it all just happens, but God is merciful. I just talked to this kid on the street and next thing I know he's reading the scriptures like a mad man. For all of you out on missions, just keep it up. I have such a testimony that Heavenly Father prepares His children to hear His message. They're not all the same, but there truly are prepared people just waiting for us.

As for my reading for the week, I loved it. Moroni is such an awesome guy. So young and fearless. I really loved Alma 48:17-18 and then to finish it all off with 19. Helaman was such an awesome guy too and went on to lead one of the greatest armies I've ever heard of. I also really liked Alma 44:10 because when it's over, it's time to be over. Alma 47 is a great example that we can't come down even a little, we need to stand strong in truth and righteousness. Alma 50:23 with 2 Nephi 5:27 definitely help us find the key to happiness. And above all else, I'm a guy and reading about wars is just pretty interesting. Wars, peace, and preaching.

I love you all so much and hope everything is going well. Have the greatest week ever and don't worry about me because I am loving life here in Perú. Now we just have to keep it all going. It's all flying by and you gotta love it.

Love your pal in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hurrah for Israel!

Hello World,

Thank you Elder Tanner Christensen for the title idea. It helps so much to know that we are all in this together, the building of Israel.

This week was another week of learning and growth as we helped a lot of people come closer unto Christ. We had a bunch of lessons and I felt the Spirit a lot, but hardly anyone went to church and we aren't having much luck helping them accept baptism. (I know this is Perú so it's still higher than some of my brothers and sisters are seeing in their missions. I'm just grateful we can all do this together.)

We went to an area in my ward called arboleda and it definitely is not an arboleda!  (Arboleda means grove of trees.)  It's even more of a desert wasteland and maybe I'll have pictures next week. We met a really great family from a member referral and I hope we can continue to help them come unto Christ.

Walter and Leonor are so awesome, but they just don't go to church. We had a lesson with them and watched the Testaments with a bunch of members which was special. We got to eat dinner with them too and that was a great time just talking. A real easy way to teach the Word of Wisdom when she brought out coffee too. It actually went over really well and it is just going slowly. Walter is awesome though and I can see so much desire in him.

I loved my reading in the Book of Mormon this week and especially enjoyed Alma 36:19-21. I was thinking about all the hard things that happen on missions and tried to remember all the hard things I've done before in my life. I know I've gone through hard things, but couldn't remember in detail. As I read this scripture it just became so clear to me that forgetting is a gift from God. We aren't supposed to remember how hard things were, that's just not how it's supposed to be. We remember that it was hard, but the pain is swallowed up in the Atonement of Christ which fills us with indescribable joy. That is the gift of the Atonement, that we can forget. That we can let go of the past and be so happy. Maybe even overflowing with joy. I also loved reading all the other counsel Alma gave to his sons and am so grateful for my mom and dad who have always been there to counsel me. I love you Mom and Dad.

We had a great lesson with a less active who served a mission and he said that it all started one Sunday when he didn't go to church. I'm grateful for my mission and the base it is giving me for the rest of my life. It's a refiners fire sometimes, but we are becoming FIT for the kingdom of God as we pass through this life.

Now quickly about Josafat. He never ceases to amaze me. He has read almost all of the Pearl of Great Price and received the priesthood yesterday. What a great blessing Heavenly Father has given me to see someone so strong enter the path to eternal life. I am so grateful for all of the people I have met and come to love on my mission. They have all shaped me in one way or another to help me become more like Christ.

I love you all so much and hope you have the greatest week ever known to mankind. I'm praying for you and feel your prayers for me.

Love your brother in the Lord,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wise Optimist

Wow, oh, wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was the greatest week of my whole mission. So good!

We got to go to the temple Tuesday and it is the most amazing place. Even just being on the grounds was so peaceful. It seemed like the sounds of the city just couldn't reach us and I was finally able to touch the grass. It felt so nice to lie down and relax. Going through the temple was also so special. I am so grateful for the temple in our lives. I am so looking forward to doing the temple session with all my brothers out there and everyone else in my grand family. There is really no describing the feelings I felt. I wasn't overpowered by the Spirit or anything, but the constancy of the peace I felt was pretty overwhelming. I haven't felt so peaceful in all my time in Perú and wouldn't trade that feeling for anything. I know it was the Spirit and am so grateful I was able to go. It was great to hear that you got to go too Mom and Dad. Keep going all of you and I'll keep the temple close in my thoughts and heart.

Before I forget. Happy Birthday my brother Johnny Liao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never stop praying for you and hope everything is going well for you in school along with everyone else who is currently studying or working. Just keep up the good work and I'll be doing my job down here in Perú.

I also want to thank Charlie for the letter last week.

I don't know if Daniel Wheatley gets my emails, but I just wanted to let him and the whole world know that he is a boss. I loved your email home last week and this week was awesome too. Just keep the work going down/up there in the South. I got your letter along with Rachel's yesterday and they were so great. I also got a letter from Starszy Jacob Jespersen and was laughing and just so happy for all of them. Thank you so much for all of the love and support you all give to me.

This week I was also able to spend some time with my best friend in the mission Elder Howell. We are pretty similar and it's fun to talk with him about all sorts of things. I am so grateful for all of the people I have come to know and love on the mission. He is being transferred tomorrow and I am staying with my companion. I am really excited for him and me too. We will both have the experiences we need. The Lord really is over His work.

Now on to the best part of the whole week. GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, that was the most amazing General Conference of my entire life and I am forever changed. I was thinking about all the changes I need to make and was starting to feel a little overwhelmed. I was pretty happy the whole time and was just soaking up the Spirit along with the revelation. I went home and decided to say a prayer and my life was forever changed. I was thinking about the talk that said we know who Our Heavenly Father is and what He looks like and I just wanted to see Him. I felt like I knew Him, but still don't remember His face. I finally had the faith and the courage to do something I have wanted to do for some time now, but just took the initiative yesterday. I promised I wouldn't talk bad about anyone or anything or think bad about anyone or anything from that moment on. I know I will slip up and it's going to be pretty hard, but I am committed. I have to admit that I sometimes like making fun or talking bad, it seems to make things easier sometimes, but I know that isn't true because it isn't the way of God. It's going to be a big change, but I promised to be an optimist. I also want to be a realist though and I expressed that in my prayer. Then I got a letter from Uncle Lane that was supposed to arrive in November, but went to the MTC. He wrote in there about being a ''wise optimist'' and I realized that is what the Lord wants me to be. I encourage you all to join me on this quest for perfection. We aren't going to make it there overnight, or probably even during the course of my mission or life, but we can make it together. I AM SURE OF IT!

We can do this together. Whatever you felt during General Conference, just do it with me. I missed all the family and eating monkey bread, but will be there eating with you all soon enough.

Have the greatest week ever. I am really enjoying the Book of Mormon reading and although I fell behind a little, I am so excited for this next week.

Remember I love you so much and am praying for you. You are the greatest gift I have ever been given.

Love your best friend forever,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley
The temple is so amazing.

I finally got to sit/lie on grass and it felt so wonderful!

The visitor sitting area reminded me of a hobbit hole a little. Just fun to think about those good things.

My best friend in the mission -- Elder Howell

Friday, April 5, 2013

Looking forward to General Conference!

How is everyone doing?

I am so excited this week for General Conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D It really is one of my favorite weekends of the year (I guess 2 weekends) and we'll see what it's like down here in Peru. It's definitely not going to be the same, but I'm sure I will feel the Spirit. I have a lot of questions I'm praying to receive answers to and probably more than ever I am focused on General Conference. I think that will make a big difference, going in really searching for something.

Also, we didn't go to the temple last week so we are going tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Once again I invite everyone that can to go. And if you've gone the last two weeks, that's awesome. Nothing is ever really sure down here, but I have a good feeling about tomorrow. Like I've said before I really miss the temple and am so grateful for all the times I was able to go before my mission. It prepared me so much and I'm so grateful I can go for the rest of my life.

About Matthew really quickly. I'm actually not sure exactly where he will be going on his mission. It sounds like he could be going to the Iquitos Mission too, it just depends. Whatever happens it will be pretty cool. All the things I brought on my mission I am pretty grateful for. My shoes seem like they are holding up really well. I know it wouldn't hurt to have another pair to alternate or something, but that's pretty expensive. The towels are just about the greatest thing ever. And we did get a water bottle, but I'm grateful for two. I'm looking forward to hear all the announcements with missions and such.

This week was the baptism of Josafat and it was really wonderful. 4 investigators made it to the baptism and I really hope they felt something special. It was really amazing for me because he is the first person I have met and seen all the way to baptism. It was a gift from a loving Heavenly Father and I will never forget him. He is so awesome! He read the whole Book of Mormon in a little over 2 weeks and is on his way for the second time. He talks about serving a mission a lot and is just about to turn 17. I am so excited for him to see General Conference.  He is so prepared and I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's hand in all things.

I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting yesterday and it went really well. I was asked to talk on the resurrection for Easter and I just used some scriptures along with The Living Christ. I highly recommend that special document to all people all over the world. I am so grateful Bishop Tirrell had us memorize it 2 years ago. I then talked a little about Papa and just started to cry. I held it in a little, but I don't know, it just kind of came. I think that's what it will be like for the rest of this life though. A couple people came up to me and thanked me. They said it really touched them and I'm grateful I was able to help some people. It felt kind of nice to just show emotion though instead of being a steadfast missionary. We're definitely not perfect and we need comfort sometimes too.

This week two young men got there mission calls and I promised one of them in his opening I would never stop being a missionary so he needed to never stop too. I think I might have just said it more for me than for him, but I think everyone else out on the mission can relate with that. I didn't want to give him advice, I just wanted to let him know I was in it for the really hard times as well as the incredibly amazing times. Another member got called to the Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission and so Elder Jesus Salvador will be meeting up with Elder Matthew Woodruff some day I hope. If you read these Matt I love you! And a shout out to all my other brothers out on missions. Cameron Kapp, Tito Galvez, Jacob Jespersen, Jeremy Sherman, Matt and Andrew Woodruff, Ryan Tirrell, Michael Suprise, Daniel Shepard, David Bean, Seth Cannon, and Tanner Christensen. There are a lot more too and I love you all.

Have fun out at the Aunties!!!!!!!! And everyone enjoy General Conference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll sure be thinking about you.

Love your friend in Peru who will never stop being a missionary,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Great friends and examples
A cool little band I ran into twice.  (Notice the Peruvian flute)