Monday, September 23, 2013

His Will

Hey Everybody,
     This week has been really confusing to me, but I continue forward with faith in Christ knowing that His will will be done.
     I found myself asking a couple of times this week something that Tanner had wrote in his email. ''Does God want baptisms, or does He want me to grow?'' Let's just say it's been a pretty hard time as far as people coming unto Christ is concerned. It seems like everyone just keeps falling through, so I thank my Heavenly Father for this ''mountain to climb'' like Aannaliisa wrote (great talk). My will is that I don't hurt and that people come unto Christ, but I am trying my best to do what He wants. I prayed this morning and told Heavenly Father that He has everything of me. I'm done wanting what I want. I will just do what He asks. Still not easy, but I'm getting there.
     Just 2 weeks ago I felt invincible and that everyone in this area was progressing towards baptism. Well, I can definitely say that I have been humbled and will just trust in the Lord's strength from now on to forever. I don't know how many times I have made that promise or how many more times I will have to for the rest of my life, but I will do it as many times as is necessary.
     I'm trying to stay positive though and know this time will be different. I am really trying to find happiness in the midst of afflictions. I know it's not easy, but I don't want to just wait this one out. I want to learn to overcome adversity and for that I thank the Lord. I know He will help me through this. He has never asked me more than I could handle and I trust it will be the same.
     It's really funny because I really thought the hardest times were over. Well, maybe they are. I feel a lot more prepared and stronger this time, but need to continue to learn and grow. I just thank all of you for the support you give me. It helps me so much to know I have so many people behind me.

     I want to be positive now though. I know this will pass, just as you all know too. We are all going to get through these days together, but I wanted you all to know exactly how I felt. I remember some letters like this from Mariah where she had the best week ever and then the next was so hard, but by the next one she was so happy again. I have faith and hope that next week I will be sitting here looking back and laughing so happy.
     I had a really cool experience with an investigator this week named Manuel. He is this 12 year old kid that just explained all of 1 Nephi 1 to us. He said it was talking about the Messiah and then about God, Jesus, and the Twelve Apostles. That was just amazing, I could hardly believe my ears.
     I loved the email Hillary wrote last week about commiting someone to be baptized who was already baptized (in the only true church). That made me laugh a lot because that has happened to me before. You just have to keep going forward and try not to be too embarassed.
     I got to see Elder Custer this week and that was amazing. I am so grateful for all of the friends I have made in the mission.
     I also got to met Hermana Hooper who said she was from Australia then later explained she actually was living in New Zealand. That was so cool to be able to talk with her for a while about The Land of the Long White Cloud. She's from Auckland, but I can't remember what part. I'll have to ask her again when I get to talk to her, but it was so much fun just remembering our amazing family trip there. I love New Zealand so much and am so grateful we were all able to share that experience together.
     Hermano Simon and Hermana Martha (the people that cook for us) send thier greetings and so does my companion. I love it here even with the hard times. I am just becoming a better person and am so excited to be a better son, brother, cousin, nephew, and friend when I get home.
     I am so grateful to be here on the mission and feel like miracles are on their way.
Scripture of the week: Job 5:17-18
General Conference talk of the week: all of them, I'll get more specific, but definitely Mountains to Climb by President Eyring like Aannaliisa.

     I love you all so much and thank you for all of the prayers. I'm excited to tell you about all of the miracles that will happen this week. My miracle for the week was me changing, little by little, but it's sure a miracle.
     I love you once again, have the best week ever and know I am happy doing the Lord's will,

Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

I Love Less Actives!

Hey there everybody,
     So this week started off with a big scare. Well, actually it happened 2 weeks ago, but I didn't want to worry anyone. Let's just say that my SD card got cleaned by the computers here and I lost ALL OF MY PICTURES. I was just praying something would happen and some nice guys helped me out. I don't really know how, but I got back almost all of the pictures. I was gonna be so sad losing all of my memories from Huacho, but God is merciful. I know that's true.
     So two cool people I met. There was this lady named Nomy (pronounced no-me) and that's not a coincidence. She's the sister of Antonio Medina who was baptized and well, it was just cool. I love you back home Nomi!
     The other great person was Hermamo Simon Silva. We eat at his house and he's this awesome 67 or so, year-old guy. He went out with us this week and it was exactly what I imagine going with Opa would be like. He is such an awesome guy and just loves talking with everyone. He is so friendly and has no fear or shame of anything. It's fun to be with him and we're going to go out this week too so I'll probably be writing again. So fun to be reminded of grandparents.
     Rocío finally accepted a baptismal date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's been so hard to find her, but on Saturday we were finally able to talk with here. She was doing her usual, I don't know if I've received an answer which is hard. She had read until 1 Nephi 9 almost though and that was awesome. She said she just loves reading, but no one JUST READS the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for that book and the spirit it contains. So we challenged her and she said ''yeah, I think so'' Then her brother and another non-member got talking and that was a little scary. I could see the look on my companions face and knew I had the same one, so I just prayed. They were all saying ''it's not a game, you have to be sure'' and ''is it yes or I think so''. Then Rocío beat them down and said ''yes, means yes doesn't it?'' And I was just so happy. Her brother in law who is a less active return missionary told her it is the door that leads to everything and it was so cool to see him remember what he had taught so many times. Well, we were all so happy, I think Elder Arciniegas and I more than her, but either way it was AMAZING!!!!!! OH yeah, it's practically impossible to feel the Spirit in her house. Not sure if you missionaries know what I'm talking about, but light always defeats darkness and I know the Spirit was there. Sometimes it's hard to realize, but I know the Spirit is with us.
     President Archibald gave the whole mission a goal of doubling thier number of lessons with less actives and well, we had 11 last week so we thought it was going to be really hard, but we wanted to do it. We worked our hardest all week and Heavenly Father blessed us so much. We were able to reach our goal and that felt so nice. I just love working with them so much because, I don't know, it's just so rewarding. We are working a lot helping two families prepare for the temple and another from that family to get married and baptized. I love working with them so much.
     We had a Stake Conference yesterday that was for all of Perú I think (the 100 stakes and 22 districts or something like that). It was so amazing and I am so excited for General Conference.
Elder Arciniegas is still the best companion ever and I love being with him. Thank you for all of the prayers in our behalf. I am loving it here in Santa María and it just gets better each and every day.

     I attached what I wrote to my president below. I think it's pretty good stuff, hope you like it.

     In my studies this week I've learned a lot from the war chapters in Alma. I've read them many times, but now it's different. Maybe it's because I'm reading in Spanish, but I don't know. I've just been able to apply them a lot more to my life and it's been really cool. I really liked how Moroni fortified the weakest spots with the most men and that made me think that my weakest points need to be protected the most by my thoughts. I also loved reading General Conference addresses from April. I don't know why I haven't been reading them before, but hopefully I will be able to read all of them before October. I love General Conference so much and the Stake Conference yesterday made me so excited to hear our leaders. Elder Arciniegas and I also had an awesome companionship inventory and it's just so amazing to be with someone that doesn't want to change everything about me, but instead wants to help me become a better person. I am so grateful to be with Elder Arciniegas.
     My spiritual experience this week was probably the whole week. It was actually a pretty hard week as far as my mind went. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but I wasn't letting myself be super happy. I just kept working really hard though and now looking back I feel so happy and so fulfilled. We worked so hard with so many people and so many of them did what they needed to come unto Christ. We asked Rocío for like the fifth time if she would be baptized and she just said ''yeah, I think so''. Her brother was there and another non-member too and they got all worked up and said ''bautismo no es un juego''. Then she just said ''yeah, Saturday''. It was so awesome to see her stand up for what she knew was right. I know she received her answer as she has read the Book of Mormon and that is what gives her the strength to do what God asks. A lot of less actives took some big steps this week too and it was just so special. Looking back this whole week was a spiritual experience of learning to work when it's hard and the good times will come. I know Heavenly Father is over this work because I can see His hand as I look back.
     That's so crazy to hear about all the rain you are getting in Provo. It's looking pretty good here. It's almost always cloudy in the morning, but hardly ever rains. It's pretty funny because if the ground gets wet everyone says that it rained pretty hard. I don't really know how to describe it, but it's more of just really humid air, or really tiny rain thingies, they call it llovizna, I think. But the afternoons have been really nice this past week.
     I am praying for you all. And Brianna you looked so BEAUTIFUL, just GORGEOUS (sp? maybe I should stay away from big words) in your Homecoming pictures! 
     I hope you all have the best week at school, at work, and at play.

Love your son, brother, cousin, nephew, and friend in Perú (Matthew too),
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Monday, September 9, 2013

Elder Arciniegas

Hey Everyone,

This week has been such a great one.  I know the Lord has so many more blessings just waiting for us as we serve Him with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my companion Elder Arciniegas. Well, he's the bomb. He just does what the Lord and President Archibald ask him to do without thinking twice. He is such a hard worker and I get home so tired everyday. It is so amazing to have a companion who just wants to work because it is the right thing to do. He doesn't worry about what others think and has such a love for the people. Also, he broke up with his girlfriend last week. Oh yeah!

Now, I'm not saying everyone else needs to do that, but the Spirit told him to do it and he did it. That was so cool to see someone give up their own desires and something so special to them, to follow the will of Heavenly Father for them. It wasn't even that big of a distraction before, but he wanted to give everything to God so he did it. What a stud!

I got to work with Elder Poole this week too and that was really cool once again. If you don't remember, we were companions in the MTC and it just amazes me how far we both have come as missionaries. It was a great day and lets just say I wasn't prepared for what was coming up. A lesson fell through so he took us to another house. These people have been in church every week so I just asked the guy how long he had been member. Elder Poole then tells me in English that he isn't a member. I was totally confused and then it turns out the mom is a member who won't get divorced so she then can get married to the guy she is living with and so he can get baptized. But it gets worse.

She has an 8 year-old daughter that she won't let get baptized. I was totally unprepared for that. I opened up the scriptures, tried asking some good questions, tried to understand but nothing. I never thought I would come across a member that didn't want their child to get baptized. Well, she does want her to get baptized she just doesn't think she's ready yet. That's really sad and I just want to thank you Mom and Dad for teaching me what was correct and then allowing me to choose. I love our family so much.

So the lesson fell through with The Killers lady, but we have another appointment this week. I heard a guy playing sax from the street so we of course had to knock his door. He wasn't super interested, but I loved the sax and know I have to buy one when I get home.

Now for quote of the week. ´´Don´t give two years of your life to God, but give your life to God in two years´´ That one was really good and I'll be living it extra this week.

Thanks for all of the love and support. I love you all so much and you are all in my prayers.

BYU COUGARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love your pal in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Monday, September 2, 2013

Brandon Flowers!!!!!!

Hey everybodies,
I'm trying to send this out to a few of my brothers. Not sure if you want to hear what's going on, but I suggest just taking a picture and reading it later so you don't take up internet time. If you don't have time to read it don't worry though. I just love you all.
So now on to my title. I was walking one day to lunch and we had to recharge our phone (not a cellular device) so I crossed the street to go to the shop. Well, lets just say I was being watched over that day because if I never would have crossed I would have never been blessed with the heavenly sound that entered my ears. I was walking by a house and I just stopped dead in my tracks. I would have recognized that voice from a mile away and a tear of joy almost came to my eyes. Yep, you guessed it, the one and only Brandon Flowers. I assume it was the new The Killers album because I didn't recognize the song and it was beyond anything I have ever heard on this earth. So for you guys back home, I urge/exhort you to listen to anything and everything that has been touched by the hands of that man. Oh yeah, almost forgot the best part. We're late for lunch but there was no way I was gonna deny a sign directly from the heavens so I knocked the door. This lady opens and I just tell her, ''that's The Killers, isn't it''. She's all confused to see some gringo at her door but tells me yes. I explain that I love him and then decide to be a missionary and tell her who we are. Turns out that she's a big Catholic and wants us to pass by and talk about the Bible this Wednesday. I hope we can help her learn about the only true Church of Jesus Christ and trust He will help us. Talk about going original on contacting. I love being a missionary!

My spiritual experience definitely came in a lesson with an investigator Rocío. We were just talking before we were going to start teaching and it came up that her son had died a couple of years ago. It was so easy to see that she was still hurting from that, like any mother would. My companion started talking about the Plan of Salvation and I was just thinking about jumping straight to what happens after this life. It didn't work out so we just kind of explained it all, where we come from, why we're here, and where we're going. As we talked about what we need to do in this life she 100% understood that we are here to follow Christ. Then we explained about the spirit world and how her son was taken care of. Her sister who is a member was there too and talked about how their mom had died too. The mom and the sister, María, had been baptized and that was a special connection for them. I was freezing cold because I was in a short sleeve shirt and it just got super cloudy, but you could see that the Spirit was working in them. Not because they were crying, but because you could just see the change in her heart. We explained that there is a judgment and to be able to live with Heavenly Father again we need to follow His Son and be baptized. My companion invited her to be baptized and she was a little hesitant, then he asked her again and she said she would pray about it. It was so amazing to be a part of helping someone else understand the Plan of Happiness that Heavenly Father has given us. I think the more amazing part was me learning about the Spirit though. I used to always think that it had to be something big, that I had to REALLY feel it. But just being there and seeing the change in everyone around me I could recognize that we weren't alone. Heaven is always helping us in this work. Just like it says in Galatians, I felt: peace, joy, love, faith, and good things so I know the Spirit was there.
I also got to talk with Antonio and Reynalda this week and we had a great lesson about the temple. I am so excited for them to continue learning and growing in the gospel and am so grateful to be a part of their lives. It is just so amazing to me all of the people I have come to love here on the mission.

We were able to help a lot of less actives go to church yesterday and it was great to see our investigators make it too. I had fun explaining 1 Nefi 4 to some investigators this week and she was laughing so hard. She said I made it just like a movie.  It is so much fun to be teaching the gospel to these people.

My companion is the greatest ever and we get along so well. We just talk about anything and everything. He really loves cars and I'm learning a bunch about them too. He used to do street racing and he's so cool. I love him so much and am grateful for Elder Arciniegas. This work is the greatest!

Have the greatest week ever and enjoy school! I'm praying for you and am looking forward to hearing all about it.
Love your best friend forever,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

P.S. I was trying to send more pictures but this is the only one that worked. I just saw it painted on the side of a house and it's a great quote. I hope you guys all have fun in the rain today.

"Don't wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain!"

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Happy Days!

It's a great day everybody,

This week was one of the most rewarding weeks of my entire mission.  I just love it here in Huacho:Capital de la Hospitalidad.
I don't remember if I wrote about Anahí before, she's the girl that here parents are really messed up and I just felt that her only way out of the cycle created here is through baptism (I guess that goes for all of us though). Well, she was baptized on Saturday and it was amazing. We didn't get very many opportunities to teach her, but when she said the Spirit ''is an angle that we can't see, but we can feel it'' we both knew she was more than ready for baptism. Her mom and older siblings are all members of the church and her dad came to the baptism which was awesome.

Alright, now for the story. It all starts with having to do the baptism at 6 because her dad would be working until then. Then of course we add the fact that we are in Perú and the baptism didn't start until around 7:15 or 7:30. So I get into the water and you can imagine it's pretty cold. Now remember, we're talking about a 10 year-old girl that is about to get baptized. So I try to help her in the water and Elder Arciniegas takes her other hand from outside of the font. She makes it little by little down the steps and is on her tip toes in the water. I'm trying to help her, but she's already breathing pretty heavily. It was really cool to know we were making a difference in her life though.
I say the prayer and am about to help her under the water when she resists with all the strength her body can muster. Well, I take a second and try to talk to her like President Archibald had told us was okay to do. We try again and even worse. It was freezing cold and she doesn't know how to swim so she was double scared. It had been a couple of minutes so I decided I should say the prayer again and then nothing. We walked over to the stairs and she said she was going to do it herself. I'm not exactly sure how it all works, but I just was doing everything to help her get under the water. She went all the way up to her neck and couldn't go any farther. The bishop decides to shut the doors and comes into the font to try and help us. We keep talking and he says we should do it tomorrow to which Anahí replies immediately ''I'm doing it tonight''. Well, that was enough to make any grown man stop and we let her exercise her agency. Nothing was working and now comes the best part of the story.
Once again, not sure about church policy, but I was going to do everything I could to help her follow Jesus Christ. So, I go into the font and submerge myself completely, all the way under. It was so freezing cold, but I did my best not to show any reaction. She starts to feel a little better and when we open the doors the few people that are there are all surprised to see me completely wet and not her. Needless to say, I was pretty surprised too.
We muster up the courage for one more and I say the prayer. She tries to hold on to the railings that are out of the water so I put my arms under the water and try to support her. She almost goes all the way under, but just the tippy top of her head doesn't make it. That was after a couple minutes of talking after the prayer too so we give it one more go. The bishop is a witness inside the font and my companion is outside. I say the prayer for the fourth time and after about 40 seconds and two or three attempts on her part, she gets here whole body under the water and comes out. It was really special and she was so happy. So was I and freezing cold too after about 20 minutes in the font.
After we get changed she bears her testimony and says she felt clean after her baptism and ''new''. That was really cool to hear because we hadn't been able to explain things in much depth to her. I know Heavenly Father is watching over and loves every single one of His children because I was able to be a part of helping Anahí. She's such an awesome girl and can break the cycle now.
We are also helping an ex-obispo (bishop) make his way back and that is really rewarding. It's so sad to see them fall away, but we'll help him and his family back.
I hope everyone enjoys school this week. I can't say I'm jealous or anything though. I really am loving the mission and wouldn't trade this for anything. I'll be joining you all before we know it though so let's enjoy our time now.
I'm so happy to hear everything went well at the wedding and am so happy for Charlie and Kaitlin. I got the announcement this week and it was awesome. I'm glad Mariah is back safe and sound too.

Happy Birthday Aunt Kimber!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't have your email to write to you, but know that I'm thinking about you.
Have the best week ever and I hope you liked the story. The mission is the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your classes!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love your best friend living it up in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley