Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pica la Pulga (Flea Bites)

Hey everybody,
This week was just a grand adventure. I hope it was great for all of you guys too and that you are all excited for school to start up.
I'm so excited for Charlie and Kaitlyn (no idea how to spell that) this week. Sorry about that, I'll learn how to spell it when I get to meet her for sure. I'm excited to have our family get even bigger and I'm excited for the Youngs to be coming to Provo to make us even that much closer. I love you all so much and will be thinking about you all Saturday.
I forgot to tell you last week that Elder Sines was transferred. I learned so much from him and definitely miss  him, but know he is doing great things where he is. I grew a lot with him and am looking forward to growing even more with my companion Elder Arciniegas. He is from Ecuador and is a really cool guy. He only has 3 months on the mission and is a really humble guy ready to be taught. I just am praying that I can guide him for the correct path. I keep learning new things each and everyday and even though I'm not training I feel it is great preparation to be a parent. It takes patience and humility and a lot of love. Thanks for always showing me those three things.
Probably the coolest story this week was how I found Haribo gummi bears in the store here. I loved every single last one of them and it was fun to be thinking about Dad. I don't know if they are better straight from Germany, but I was in heaven for a little bit.
Yesterday, Antonio got the priesthood and it was so cool to watch him bless the sacrament. He was pretty nervous, but it was such a great experience. That family is so special and I feel so blessed to have been here during the time that they were ready to hear the gospel.
We worked a lot this week with less actives and I love it so much. I don't know why it is so fulfilling to me, but I feel like I am doing what President Monson has asked of us ''To the Rescue''. I love helping people realize what they have once felt and later forgotten. The gospel is so special and everyone needs help along the path.
I didn't write much else down to remind me to write this week, but know I am happy and healthy. It's definitely not easy, but it's getting so much better. I love it here in Perú and wouldn't trade this experience for anything.
I hope everyone has a great week starting up school and getting back into the swing of things. I'm praying for all of you and know the Lord is watching over you.
Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. I feel it so much.

Love your amigo fiel,
Elder Aaron Wheatley

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ganó Padre Celestial‏ (Heavenly Father won!)

Good morning,
A quick Happy Birthday to both Opa and Nomi this week. Well, I know it was Opa's last week, but I didn't write, so sorry. And I'm excited to celebrate my year-mark along with Nomi's birthday on the 15th. I hope you both have such great special days.
On the other hand... I can't believe this week marks one year on the mission. It has just flown by and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I was in some sort of trance yesterday after church and just ended up staring at the picture of the Provo Temple and also the St. George Temple that are over my bed. I don't know exactly what I was thinking about, but I think all of you who have served missions understand what I'm talking about. I was just reflecting on this last year and then life in general. I don't know how to describe it, but it was nice. I just feel like I have done the best I could and that I am so blessed to have a whole year ahead to just keep working.
I kind of felt like you do around graduation or something like that. You just reflect back a lot and then look a bunch more forward. Uncle Lane sent me an awesome quote that has got to be one of my all time favorites. ''Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.'' - Victoria Holt
That reminds me a lot of what Dad said last week. He said he didn't have hard times, just growing experiences. I would just say that this last year has had the most WONDERFUL of times and has also been full of GROWING EXPERIENCES. I'm so grateful for every second of it all. I was thinking about all the time I've used feeling sad or down or something. I think it's been good though because it's led me to where I am now. I definitely have to say that there isn't any more time to feel that way though. I'm only 20 once. I only get to be on the mission once. And I may never walk down these streets, or see these people again. I'm going to give my all for the Lord and His Promised Land. I love it here in Perú.
So about the title. We were talking to a kind of less active lady and it was so special. She was talking about how she had just quit her job and how she was so worried. She started crying and then began the rest of the story where she talked about seeing an old friend who offered her a drink. She said the old Yessica would have drank and just forgotten about it. Then she described how the devil was pulling her one way telling her it was only once and that it would make everything feel all better. That she could just forget all of her problems. She also told us that God was on the other side trying to help her. I was so afraid she was just going to burst out into tears and tell us she made a mistake and felt so bad. Well, she told us ''y sabe que hermano, ganó Padre Celestial''.  (Translation from Dayna -- and you know what brother, Heavenly Father won.)  That was so special to hear. I just felt so good. It's so nice for us to win because it just seems like the devil is doing some serious damage at times.
We also got to be a part of the baptism of Antonia and Reynalda. That was definitely some damage on the side of good and they are going to be such amazing members. We got to go over to their house yesterday and she made us some amazing ají de la gallina. Then they gave us a gift each. I opened it and it was some cologne. That was so nice of them. I usually don't like cologne, but it smelled pretty good actually. They are just such amazing people and I feel so blessed to have been here in this area to help them come unto Christ.
Oh yeah, it was inevitable. I got bitten by a dog yesterday. It ripped my pants, but didn't even touch my skin. I'm more mad that I didn't kick it or anything than that it ripped my pants. The next one better watch out though.
I love you all so much and am praying for you. Have the greatest week ever! It's so great to hear that you are doing better Mom!

Love your friend in Perú,
Elder Aaron Wheatley

ps. I'm going ''crazy go nuts'' this year.

Bessos de Mossa (Kiss on the lips)‏

Bessos a todos,
Yeah, I'll get back to that more in a minute. First, it's so good to hear that things are going well for you Mom and that you are recovering well. I know it'll take some time, but I'm super excited for how great things are going to be for you. That's super fun that you get to be out at the Aunties' and I hope you are all having some great talking time. Thanks so much to the Aunties for the package they sent me. I loved it and my companion is enjoying it a ton too.
This week was a great week full of so many amazing moments. We had this thing called Noche Celestial on Wednesday that we came up with and it was a total hit. My whole mission I've really disliked activities because they haven't done anything, but this ward is different. So we just watched a couple of those clips from the new Life of Christ movie thing and then played some 4 corners. I don't think that has ever been done in the history of church activities in Perú and it was amazing. Everyone loved it so much and there was a whopping total of over 40 people. We were going to be so happy with 20, so we're just rejoicing right now and are excited to keep it going.
So now about the bessos. Elder Sines introduced me to the most amazing of Peruvian sweets last week. Bessos means kisses and no one has any idea what in the world mossa means, but I'll keep asking. What we've both come to the conclusion is that it is a s'more in one. You've got this chocolate shell with what we think is jet puff in the middle and some graham cracker type thing at the bottow. So, I haven't been kissed by any Peruvian woman, but I've been kissed many a time. I love it so much and the best part is they are 50 centimos or like 20 cents. So good!!!!!! Oh yeah, and we're probably gonna die because it's also probably not the most healthy addiction.
Antonio and Reynalda continue to be the greatest investigators of all time. We had two amazing lessons with them this week and when they both told us that they are 100% getting baptized the 10th, the Spirit was so strong. They told us they were always planning on listening to the missionaries, but weren't really planning on getting baptized. It's so easy to see that they have felt the Spirit testify to them of the truth. They don't know everything, but they are willing to act on the answers they have received and I know they will just be such a strength in this ward. I am so hoping I can go to the temple with them in 1 year and just love being a missionary so much. It's way cooler than I made it sound, but all you return or current missionaries probably know what I am takling about.
Elder Sines and I are still rocking it. I am so grateful for him as a companion and am treasuring every second I have to learn from him.
My ward also is amazing and I am just loving it here in Santa María. We're far from perfect, but the members are trying their best. Being here has given me such an appreciation for the Edgemont 3rd Ward and all the leaders I had. I'm so grateful for all the people who showed me how to serve the Lord.
It's so great to have Matthew here in Perú and I'm still praying we will be able to get together. It's a long crazy road ahead, but looking back, every single bump was so worth it. I love the mission so much and am so grateful I can learn, grow, and become more Christlike here in the blessed land of Perú.
Also, so great to hear from my friend Gioia Reni. I'm super excited for you to be sharing the true message of God with the people of Milan, Italy. They are so lucky to have you serving them.
Thanks for being the best family and friends ever! I love you all so much!
Elder Aaron Wheatley

We Made a Stand

Holy Cow,
This week was definitely the fastest and one of the best of my entire mission. I am just loving it here in Huacho. I love you all too, but this is just amazing!
On Monday we were able to go teach the parents of a missionary that just left from our ward. He went to Brazil and he was one of the best members in the whole ward with only a year knowing the truth. Before he left he was able to talk with his parents and told them to just get baptized. They came to our activity and then came to church the next day. So, we were able to teach them and it wasn't hard to see where he got all his awesomeness and faith. That was one of the best lessons in my whole mission as far as understanding on both parties is concerned. They are so ready and we were able to visit them a couple times throughout the week.
So we get to visit them with a guy named Waldir who was best friends with their son Tonio. Alright, this guy is THE BEST. I really can't even begin to describe it. He was in an accident when he had 3 years old and a firework blew up. His hands were completely blown off and he's blind in both eyes. He's just so cool about it all though and everyone treats him like it's normal. It definitely helps that he does everything on his own (dresses himself and makes it to church walking). He's always so happy and is ready to tell anyone his story. It's way funny because he goes out with us sometimes and he's like ''aren't we supposed to turn here?''. You can't trick my friend Wally. So, he does remember colors and everything too and it's just always fun to talk with him. He's a great example to me and today's his birthday so we hope to do something fun.
Alright, back to Antonio and Reynalda (the parents). Yesterday we had probably the most well executed Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson ever given and it was amazing. It also just so happened to be THE noisiest and most interrupted lesson of all time. So we had talked about a baptismal date for them and Elder Sines and I felt like the 10th was the day. They had both said they wanted to get baptized, but were a little into the whole ''I want to know more'' game. So Elder Sines with all the power of heaven gives the invitation and they are nodding their heads. Then we promise their answers will come by that date and they were all just so awesome. We finished it up and then drank some Inca Kola. I can't think of very many things better than that.
Oh yeah, so about Huacho. It kind of makes me feel like saying ''the Tooele of Perú'' or something like that. Take it how you want and run with it, because I am just loving it up here.
Another cool story is how we used straight up Soda Crackers for the sacrament last week. That was the first time ever, but for some reason I don't think it will be the last. It's sure a fun adventure being here.
I want to tell you all about another amazing family we have come to know and love. Tonio took us by a family before he left on his mission and told us they were all less actives. Then this little girl walks out with 10 years and we're like jackpot. We keep passing by there, but we can't get in. Her name is Anais and she is so amazing. She has had to grow up so fast and my heart goes out to her everytime we talk. It turns out her dad was trying to kill her mom the other day and was choking her to death. She does not deserve to be around that and we just are doing our best to break the cycle. Also, she is in charge of her 3 year old baby brother Sasha. He is so awesome and remembers my name. It makes my heart melt every single time. I'm just walking down the street a little annoyed at some things and I see him running up saying ''Willie''. I love that family so much and know we can help them live a better life. I love being a missionary.
I loved reading a bunch of those family history stories you sent me in my package and am so grateful for our pioneer heritage. We all owe so much to everyone of them and I am doing my best to show my faith as they did theirs. Please tell Nomi as well as Oma and Opa that I love them so much and am so grateful for their examples of faith and love.
I'm so excited for Matthew to come join me here in Perú and am sure we will be able to see each other soon.
I'm praying for you Mom and that everything goes well in your surgery. I'm so excited to hear about it and know Heavenly Father will be watching over you.
Have the greatest week ever!!!!!!!!!!!! I love being a missionary so much!!!!!!!!! Thanks for all the prayers.
Love your best friend forever,
Elder Aaron Wheatley