Monday, August 11, 2014

Oh Buddy, What a Good One!‏

So good!

A quick shout out to my grandma Nomi.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!
My week was absolutely amazing and probably just too full of experiences to even say them all. We went on divisions yesterday and the member that was with me asked if things like you see in ''The Best Two Years'' actually happen and it was awesome just to tell him some of the stories. Now, I'm not sure if my mission is the stuff of legend. If you watched the whole thing it would be super boring. Maybe it won't be making it into a General Conference talk any time soon, but it's mine and I love it. I'm so grateful for all of the experiences I've been given here. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Part of my heart definitely is going to be left in Perú. That's a fun part of the adventure too though. I just love all of the twists and turns.
I don't know why, but I was thinking about Brother Bramwell yesterday. I don't even know if they are still in the ward or not, but sometimes when I'm reading in the scriptures I think about what he said one time about ''the wiles of the devil''. It's cool how things I learned years ago can just come back to my memory so quickly, maybe that's how the Spirit works though. Hey, maybe we all feel the Spirit more than we usually realize. I know I've been guided so many times on my mission without knowing. Well, if he's still living there please tell him thank you and I'll be passing by to say thanks soon too.
Oh, before I forget. Please sign me up for the Liahona in Spanish. I love reading it so much and hopefully that can help me keep up on my Spanish and spiritual things too. I'm super pumped to speak with Hillary, Charlie, and just everyone else too, you too Mom. Also, Tito, I'm counting on you to help me in my Spanish class. It's so awesome to have family and friends that are there no matter what and Spanish just makes it even better.
So yesterday I think we all had a good class in Priesthood and Relief Society. Well, at least what was in the manual was awesome. Not really sure what happened in your neck of the woods, but Perú kind of got turned upside down because of some of the issues with people not being married. We're all just sitting there with investigators and they're asking me if it's required to get married so I said they would get the answer in the class. Then all of a sudden the bomb was dropped. Of course it was some less actives who are coming back to church and trying their best that just had to ask the question. They were all asking what happens if you're sealed to more than one person and how it can be possible to love more than one person  and everything else imagineable. Well, things actually kind of worked out because while all the other members were just talking about all sorts of things (definitely not even close to the doctrine) I just talked with the two investigators by me. I just explained that I don't really know, but I'm sure that God has it all worked out. I'm sure that the celestial kingdom will be better than we could ever imagine and perfectly perfect. I told them that they needed to follow Christ and that He would take care of the rest. They liked that and in the end I actually think it was a great experience to help them strengthen their faith.
In my studies this week I continued to read the words of Abinadi. They are so powerful. I really liked learning about how we are as men: carnal, sensual, devilish. It just made me think that if we continue forward, we're never going to make it back with God. We can't just continue forward as normal, we have to change and to become better. Lots of people say that they live a good life and don't hurt anyone, but that's not enough. We have to follow Christ and do what He has asked us to do. I also studied the attributes of Christ and felt really good to see lots of areas that I have improved in. I also was able to notice a couple areas that I can still work on or that got a little worse without me noticing. Now I know what I need to do better so I can apply it and just get better. In our studies as a companionship we were able to work really well together to make lesson plans that were fitted exactly to what the investigators needed. It helped so much as we taught to have already talked about what we were going to say, what scriptures or examples we were going to use, and other little things. I know as we plan better together the Spirit will be able to be part of our companionship more. I really liked my language study this week too and am trying my best to leave all pride behind and just get better.
 My spiritual experience was a man named Guido. We had been planning for a couple of weeks now to talk with people in the mercado in the mornings, but something kept coming up so that we didn't go. Finally on Saturday we had time in the morning so we went. We were talking to a couple of people and it was cool because there were just so many people that came there instead of us having to search for them. We left for a little to search for a house, but then went back. My companion was talking to a group of people and a man came up to me and said ''elder''. He then explained that he knew a member who was sick and wanted us to go talk with her. I told him that we for sure could go. He took us to the house which was pretty far away and on the way he explained that she was the mom of their kids, but they had been separated for a couple of years. He still felt some responsibility towards her so he was taking care of her now. We got to the house and could talk a little with the member. Guido, the man, said he would go to church yesterday and we were waiting to go with him. He didn't show up for a long time so we decided to just go. Then in church we turned around and he was there. He was able to talk with the bishop, relief society president, and elders quorum president. They were able to visit the member yesterday and things are looking better for all of them. My companion challenged them to get married and Guido said he wanted to. It was a miracle because he had come from so far and we were there in the only spot he would have ever found us because we had no plans of going anywhere near his house. God is aware of all of His children and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of helping a couple of them to feel of His love.
Just a huge thanks to Hillary (Hermana Young). Your challenge to do the attribute activity in Preach My Gospel helped me so much this week. It was so cool to see the ways I'm improving and the things that I still need to work on. I definitely encourage all of you to try it this week if you didn't do it before. It's nice to know that we aren't perfect, but we can all take the steps necessary to keep getting better.
I love Perú so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for all your love, support, and above all else your prayers.
Have the best week ever and know that you are all in my prayers too! The mission is too amazing and so is this life. God gives us so much more than we could ever ask for.
Love your little all-American boy in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley


Monday, August 4, 2014

Part Peruvian

Hey Everyone,

Yeah, I would definitely consider myself part Peruvian now. Rice has long since become a staple instead of an annoyance and well, I kind of find it beautiful in it's own special way here. Well, yeah, I've said that for like the last couple months, but it just keeps getting clearer. I'm sure gonna miss this place, but then again, I sure do miss the US a whole bunch still. It's cool to me how our heart can grow and include more people, places, and things. Just because I love Peru doesn't mean I don't like the US anymore, but instead they are both a part of who I am. That's something special about who we are and I'm grateful God made us that way.

In my studies this week I continued to study the words of Abinadi. It took me a long time to study even just one chapter and I kind of felt like I wasn't making any progress. Then another day I felt like I wasn't really learning much, but instead just reading. There is so much to learn from the scriptures and even though I am moving forward I feel like there is more I can do. I tried to just reflect on what I read one day and that helped me a lot as I tried to apply it to my life. Then yesterday in church I was able to bear my testimony and I realized that I actually did learn a lot from the scriptures this week. I learned from Abraham's example as well as Lehi's that it doesn't matter what happens with our family, we need to do what the Lord asks of us. I know I've felt this before on the mission, but this time it was even more. I feel like I can sacrifice for the Lord, but it would be really hard to ask my children to give up things, for example to go hungry for a couple of days if I didn't have work instead of accepting a job where I worked on Sundays. Then I thought about Heavenly Father and how He lets all of His children suffer to learn and grow. It must not be easy for Him, but it's so necessary, as it was with Abraham, Lehi, and their families. I hope I can be strong like the examples in the scriptures and always show my children that the most important is following the Lord.
I'm not sure how much sense that all made, but just know that I love the scriptures so much and am learning so much from them everyday. I'm going to miss having so much time everyday to study the scriptures, but am grateful that the mission helped me understand and make habits so it will be even more of a habit for me for the rest of my life.
 My spiritual experience for the week was when Elias received the priesthood yesterday. It was really special to be there when he received the priesthood and to feel the Spirit telling me it was something really good, really important, and saying good job for helping him. I didn't participate, but was there to watch and could still feel the Spirit so strong. Elias said later that he felt a heat go through his whole body when the hands were put on his head. It's something special to hear people talk about feeling the Spirit for the first times in their lives. Later we went to his house to teach him some more and help him understand about the priesthood. Then after he asked if he could accompany us and ended up guiding us to one of his friends that turns out is a member. We didn't get to see him all week because he was working and then lots of special things happened with him on Sunday. I'm grateful I get to know Elias here on the mission.
Before I move on I just want to wish Opa (my grandpa)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!!!
Another cool story from this week was how I thought I might have gotten pulgas (fleas) again. So I pulled out those flea collars and now I'm fine. I don't have any bites or anything, so maybe I just overreacted, but either way I'm clean. And let me tell you how nice it is to not have fleas. Thanks again for sending the flea collars.
Things continue to go well here in Miramar and I'm loving giving my all to the Lord. It's nice feeling so tired and just knowing that I'm following the words of a prophet (can't remember which one, but you should look it up) ''my life is to be like my shoes, worn away in the service of my Lord''. I think that's how it is anyways. I'm a big fan and hope my shoes are a good testament to my hard work too. Actually, maybe I should have bought cheaper shoes to make it look like I worked harder. These Dansko's have been holding up so well.
It's nice to know that we're never done learning and growing. I feel like everyday I find something else that I think I should have already known, but find that I lack. It's nice to be able to get better each and everyday. I'm so far from where I want to be, but I feel like I'm giving a good service to my God. I don't notice all of the differences, but I sure hope all of you can see some changes when I make it back. I'm so excited to go to the temple so you all need to get ready to go with me.
Have the best week ever and know that you are all in my prayers! It was cool to read my Patriarchal Blessing again and see how some of it is playing out right before my eyes. I know this is God's church and it is definitely directed by revelation.
Thanks for all of your love, support, prayers, and examples.
I love you more than I could ever say.
Love your part Peruvian, but mostly American, ever learning, son of God,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Monday, July 28, 2014

Feliz Fiestas Patrias!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Perú!!! What a great place to live!

I was thinking about it last night and realized that there was a Peruvian festival or something like that in Utah right before I left that I wanted to go to but couldn't. So then I thought about it and realized that it must have been for their fiestas patrias (independence day). I'm so excited to go celebrate when I get home. I'm gonna be getting me some ají de gallina, some lomo saltado, some picarrones, and of course the mother of all Inca Kola. Yeah, just glorying in all things Peruvian for a second there. Gonna miss that fine food. Here I come Las Tinajas. Any and all are welcome to join me as well. I think I'll be going on a no rice diet for a couple weeks and then I'm just going to get all sorts of withdrawals and run to the Peruvian restaurant.

So, about the week. Well, it was a good one and I remembered to right a couple things down. To start it all of I'm gonna share what I wrote President.

In my studies this week I continued reading the words of Abinadi. I really like chapter 14 of Mosiah where it quotes Isaiah again. I know that Isaiah is so important because Jesus said it, but also because it's quoted so many times. As I read the footnotes I realized that those scriptures were quoted a lot of times in the New Testament too and that was something I hadn't realized before. It amazed me more than ever this week how all the books of scripture are so intertwined and interconnected. It strengthens my testimony every week as I am able to find the same doctrines consistantly taught throughout all of the scriptures. I was also able to study about the Creation in Preach My Gospel and that amazed me too, how many seperate accounts we have of the same events. I know it's one of the most important things to understand and as I was able to study all the different scriptures it broadened my understanding and instead of taking from one another, they all built upon each other. I know the scriptures were written by prophets of God.

My spiritual experience of the week happened on a companionship exchange. I went to Rosales
 where I had been over a year ago and was remembering lots of people there. I had thought earlier in the day of a young man that I had helped be baptized and then we were really close to his house. The appointment fell through so I asked if we could stop by. He had stopped going to church like 1 or 2 weeks after he was baptized because he worked on Sundays and it was really hard for us to get a hold of him. I thought he would probably be working, but it was worth the try. We rang the doorbell and he came out. He kind of took a step back when he saw me and was really surprised. He let us in and we were able to talk for a little. We talked about his baptism and he said in that moment he was able to feel such a difference in his life. He said he wasn't working anymore and said he would go to church on Sunday. I was really hoping he would because it was a nice little lesson to remind him of the change that takes place after baptism. Yesterday, the elders in that area called and said that he had gone to church. I was so happy and feel like he has been prepared for this. I don't know why he stopped going to church, but I know God was watching over him this whole time and was being prepared to come back to church. I told him that God has so much more prepared for him ahead and know God wants him to go on a mission. It was so special to arrive when he was ready. I don't know why he hadn't made it back to church before, but he's back on the path now and that fills me with joy.

That young mans name is Marco and it was so cool to see him again. That was a huge blessing from God.

Now about the baptisms. They were super cool. Elías was baptized and he's so cool. I just kept talking to him about going on the mission and he's really excited. He's 16 years old and a super miracle. In the picture you can see his nieces and nephews. Well, I had seen his niece that is super white before and was gonna talk, but I don't know why I didn't. But then I saw her again with the mom of Elías and the brother of Elías too who is super white, like whiter than me. Well, I thought he must be from another country and took the courage to talk. We got their address and everything and they are so cool. Elías went to church on his own his first time, which hardly ever happens. He's been reading in the Book of Mormon and is so cool. He reminds me of Josafat who I was actually able to see again this week. That's another huge blessing.

So the baptism went really well. It started later than ever because María Esther who is the investigator of the hermanas had to come from Lima a couple hours away. She's the lady I wrote about a couple weeks ago that came up to us and said that she's listened to the missionaries a bunch of times but could never get baptized because her work always moved her before she could. She told me that she's wanted to be baptized since she was 12 years old and now she's 47. She asked me to baptize her so I was able to baptize them both. That was really special. I've really been trying to get members to baptize, but this time it didn't work out and I was blessed. It feels so special to help others take that step towards Christ. To start on the path. To walk on through that door.

One more cool story about the family Caruajulca. They're the family where we eat. And if you remember they've had some car troubles. So I was telling them that you were praying for them and the car and everything. Then we ask if he can help us take Elías and his family to the baptism. It was all going perfectly and then we are coming down to the car with everyone and he starts saying something. Then I finally understand that the key was locked in the car. It all worked out, but took some time for the locksmith to come. And then of course that was money spent that he didn't really have to start out with. He took us and everything and then picked us up too. He wasn't going to accept my money to pay him, but then he did knowing that I wanted to pay for the locksmith too.

Now for the even cooler story. Elías had said that he didn't have a white shirt and tie so Hermano Caruajulca said he would give him one. On Sunday we did divisions and I went with Hermano Caruajulca to pick up Elías again. They had a white shirt and pants set aside, but then their son Josue said they wouldn't fit. He picked one out of his drawer and when his dad asked him if he used those pants, he told his dad to just take them. That was so cool to me so I commented it to the Hermano when we were driving. He said he loves giving and giving from his heart. Then he said he knew God would bless him tomorrow or the next day with clothes that someone else offered him. I thought that was a lot of faith and just an awesome dad who taught his children well too.

So, after church we show up to eat and he says he needs to show us something. He takes us to the bedroom and there are 4 bags FULL of clothes. He was blessed even faster than he thought. He said that in church two separate hermanas had called for him and his wife simultaneously and given him all the clothes. They have 7 kids all boys (7 Brides for 7 Brothers?) and one is married and out of the house, but the others are going strong. They said they would pick out the clothes they could use and then continue to bless other families by sharing the rest. They are such great examples to me and I love Peruvians so much. I mean, they're not all so amazing, but I'm grateful I can learn from the great Christlike things they do. I love it here and am so grateful for my mission. I feel so blessed to be able to serve among these blessed and choice people.

I continue to learn and grow each and everyday. Thanks for all the love, support, and above all else prayers. I love you all more than I could ever say.

Have the best week ever and know that you are all in my prayers!

Love your maybe half-Peruvian elder, son, brother, and best friend,Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley




Riding home in the trunk of the car -- gotta love Peru!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

CRAZINESS!!!!

Buenos Dias,

Yeah, this week flew by faster than...not really sure, just super duper fast. I've gotta do better at writing stuff down because it just all mushes together. Crazy how time just keeps playing tricks on all of us. I hope you are all having tons of fun back home too.

The only thing I wrote down was to thank Nomi for the birthday card she sent last week. It was really cool.

So now, here goes. I think the coolest things this whole week have been my experiences in the Book of Mormon. I was able to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting about the Book of Mormon and there weren't words in any language to describe my feelings. I love the Book of Mormon so much and am so grateful we can read it everyday. I called it my magical world in my talk and that's about the best I could do.

This is what I wrote President. What a great man!

In my studies this week I loved learning about the people of Limhi and how their desires that were a little too strong led them into bondage. I really liked the parts where it said when they relied on the Lord they were blessed, maybe not liberated but at least relieved for a little, but when they didn't even think of Him, they were destroyed. I'm really excited to read about Abinadi this week and learn about standing up for what's right even when no one else does it. I also learned about the importance of our leaders. It's like you said a year ago that one of your leaders told you once that the members will follow their leaders. So we always need to make sure we are a righteous example to others. In our companionship studies we continued to learn about how to extend better commitments and help the investigators keep them. There are so many people who are willing to do what we ask them in Villas so we just need to help them understand what is most important and how it can bless them.

My spiritual experience for the week was meeting Maria Esther. I was coming back from a companionship exchange and we were waiting for the other elders. This lady just came up to us and I thought she was for sure a member. Then she told us that she had almost been baptized so many times in her life but was always moved in her job when the time came. The last time she was going to get baptized on a Saturday and her work told her she had to move on Friday. She's been searching for the Church here in Ancon since April and found it a couple of weeks ago. She said she wants to be baptized so badly. She actually lives in the area of the hermanas, but works in our area. They were able to visit her this week and now she has a baptismal date. It was amazing to be able to see the happiness on someone elses face to feel like they can finally receive the blessings of a true baptism.

I went on a companionship exchange with Elder Sutherland from Redding, California this week. It was so cool to be able to make another great friend on the mission. He's just starting out and I'm so excited to him. I feel so good knowing that he is able to be part of such a great mission. Maybe things weren't exactly like I hoped or wanted when I started the mission, but I feel like God has been able to change so many things here through President Archibald and many of the missionaries. I've really been trying to give others what I wanted and that makes me feel even better than if I would have had it myself. Things here have never been terrible, but they are so much better now and I'm grateful I was able to be a part of it. It's really fulfilling and maybe that's what parenting is like. Sometimes it seems like things aren't really working out, but when we are able to give something better to those we love it feels so great.

Elder Sutherland is a total stud. We were doing a service later in the week and I hurt his finger with a metal pry bar. It scrapped off some skin, but he was a total man and didn't even say anything. I helped him clean it and he didn't even say anything when I poured alcohol on it. He's got it down when it comes to music too and you all know what that means to me. I know these next 2 years are going to be so cool for him and I'm grateful I was able to make another great friend in the mission.

We've got a lot of people who are so ready and willing to do what's right. Thanks for all the love and prayers. I love you all so much.

I hope you have the greatest week ever and enjoy the weather. It got colder this week, but I'm still doing good. It's all just so fun. I love Peru so much.

Love your boy and brother in Peru,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIAH!!!!!!!!

So Good!

Giving service


Cool picture of Salt Lake Valley in an old church book.

Monday, July 7, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARIAH! MIRACLES!‏

Happy Birthday Mariah!!! I hope it is the best birthday ever! You deserve the best.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. I loved the big letter that I got, it was so great to hear from so many people. It got here with good timing too because it was the 4th of July so I read it probably when all of you were out watching some amazing fireworks. I hope you all had tons of fun for the 4th and are all enjoying the great summer weather.

I also got a letter from Aunt Kimber that day.  That's fun that they got a new dog. I hope you all (Mom, Mariah, Brianna, Aunt Kimber, Aunt Stacy, and Aunt Julie) have such a fun time in San Francisco this week. That sounds like so much fun.

This week just flew by. I had a great birthday just serving the Lord like every other day. It was great to be able to give of myself that day though. It was fun to remember 2 years ago when we were working up at Nomi and Papa's house and we ate doughnuts. Then of course how we went out for Peruvian food after. So 3 years in a row I've had Peruvian food for my birthday, I think it has now become a tradition and I'm more than happy with that.

A funny thing real quick. So there are like a billion churches all over the place in Perú. I don't know who starts them or keeps them going, but there's like a different church every block or so. One in my area is ''Casa de Job''. I mean I know he's a great guy and example to us and everything, but I just wish people were able to realize that if we worship Jesus Christ, His church should have His name. I guess that's why we're all out here though, to help them know the truth. I'm so grateful I can help others come unto Christ and live according to His gospel.

So a miracle on my birthday was the familia Felix. We were just walking and there was a family. It's a rule in our mission to contact all the families we see in the street (I don't always do it like I should, but I'm trying) and so I contacted them. He was way too cool about it and we were just talking while we were walking. So I asked for their direction and he just pointed to a house and we arrived there before I could write it down. Then I just asked if we could share a quick message and he said of course. I don't know exactly what the best part is, but it all started great when he said he was married. As we were teaching they understood more than the usual person and the 9 year old kid was way too smart when it came to authority. He just said that God isn't going to give authority to some random church, it has to come from Him. And then when we went back for the second visit he talked about the First Vision and pretty much quoted it. That was so awesome. Oh yeah, and the dad said that so many people pass by and knock the door, but he never lets them in. But with us it was different, he said that he felt lots of happiness in his heart when we started to talk with him. That was such an amazing birthday present sent from Heavenly Father.

In my studies this week I read Mosiah 7 and 8 and it was great to learn more about prophets and seers. I really liked reading the footnotes that I hadn't read before and learning in the Bible what it also says in the Book of Mormon. It continues to amaze me how the Bible and the Book of Mormon teach the same doctrine, but how much clearer it is in the Book of Mormon. And my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and all that Joseph Smith said was strengthened as once again it all just fit together too perfectly. How all the stories are so intertwined and so perfect. 

My miracle for the week was all day yesterday. Hermano Caruajulca had offered to take a bunch of investigators to church which was so kind of him. He has two cars, his son went in one with Elder Sayoud, and I went in the other with him. As we were picking people up his car broke down. So that complicated things, but then his son came by and was able to take all of the investigators to church. We arrived a little later and they were all really happy. They all enjoyed church so much. Then at night we were going to teach a lesson and an old investigator, Jerry, came up to us. I had talked to him a bunch of times, but hadn't ever taught him. He said he wanted to talk with us and so my companion asked him when he was going to get baptized, which he has asked him a couple of times already, but this time was different. He said that he had prayed and felt that he needed to be baptized. So then my companion invited him to get baptized this Saturday and he accepted. He's already been interviewed a couple of times, but every time he bailed. My companion said that this time he was different. So we went inside to teach him right there in the house of a member family that are his neighbors. I felt something really special too and know that God is preparing His children to accept His gospel and receive His blessings. It was amazing how it all worked out.  I know that God does work miracles.

We are seeing so many miracles here in Villas de Ancón. I love it so much. Things are going well with Elder Sayoud. We are both trying to change and become better missionaries. It's amazing and I'm so grateful to be with him.

So, Hermano Caruajulca that offered to take us to church is also the family that feeds us. His car broke down like 3 times last week and I know it's so hard on him, but he keeps trying his best. I'm so grateful that we can help that family too and for the amazing help they are to us. There are so many kind people here.  I love Perú.

Hermana Charo fasted on Saturday without an invitation or anything, she just did it. She's so amazing and we taught her a little better how to fast. Also, Matt, the guy we baptized a couple of weeks ago moved to Chile. That was kind of sad, but then he said that his mom had told him that she lives two doors down from the church in Chile so that should be awesome for him and I hope the missionaries in Chile can baptize his family.

Thanks again for all of the love, support, and prayers. Have the best week ever and know that you are all in my prayers.
Love your happy missionary in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

The most American cereal I could find for my birthday breakfast!


Elder Scheiss and I.  We had companionship exchanges.

Monday, June 30, 2014

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!

This week was pretty awesome, but more than anything I am just so PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN! I love the US of A more than ever and enjoyed singing the patriotic songs in the hymn book yesterday. It's kind of a weird feeling right now, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Pretty much all week I was just thinking about how much I love Perú and how much I'm gonna miss it. I've become so used to all the things that used to make me feel so weird and uncomfortable. Now it feels like my second home just like everyone said it would (I especially remember Nomi talking to me about that). It definitely has a big place in my heart, but then this week reminds me of what it's all about.

I love America so much and am so grateful that I was born in that land. We have all been blessed so much by God's hand. So yeah, I could just rant and rave for like 10 hours about all of that, but probably not the best use of my time. I just hope you all enjoy the week and have the best 4th of July ever. I'll definitely be thinking about all of you. Have fun with the fireworks and know that next year is just gonna be even better. I love the USA so much!

The mission continues to be awesome and I continue to learn so much everyday. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

So about Hermana Charo, our landlady, and her baptism. We taught her about only having one earring and she took out the second one right away. She invited us over to eat breakfast on Sunday before we went to church and asked for forgiveness because it was day old bread now that she knows she shouldn't buy on Sundays (that is so amazing, I would say about 99% of the members don't understand they shouldn't buy on Sundays), and she is willing to pay tithing on the little money she reserves as support from her son. Her daughter also went in for tests and they found cancer again, but Hermana Charo is going strong. She is so full of faith and I hope I can come back to visit her someday. She is just so so so special.

I got an email from Rosa the wife of Luis Vigo (the first guy I baptized) and she told me that her daughter, who lives in Spain and was less active, is now going to church and her husband was baptized and her daughter will be soon. That is just so amazing.  YOu can never know how far the things we do can reach. I never imagined this and the mission is just so amazing.

In my studies this week I was able to finish the words of King Benjamin. It was really different this time as I meditated about taking Christ's name upon us or being called by His name. I reflected on the covenants we make at baptism and in the temple too and it's really cool to read the same scriptures at different times in my life, after making more covenants and having more knowledge. It all becomes clearer as we are able to combine it all and it never ceases to amaze me how simple and powerful the covenants we make with God are.

My miracle for the week was yesterday. We had met a family that lives way far away and the son had committed to coming to church. He was so excited from the first time we invited him to go to church. The meeting had already started and I had kind of just accepted that he wasn't going to make it. Then my companion said we should go out and call him. He said he was on his way, but from my experience I just didn't think he was going to make it. We waited for a couple minutes outside and then out of the nothing he just appears walking. It was so great to see him and then during church he was really helped by the young men. They became his friends really quickly and stuck with him all day. He's 16 and we're teaching his family. They're great too and we're going to help the whole family go this week.

It sounds like the World Cup is going great. Just happy once again to be on the mission. It's really weird how those things that were so cool before the mission just don't seem to be as important now. It's cool to hear about it all, but I'm just too happy doing the Lord's work to even think about being distracted. Not saying I'm perfect, but I sure am trying. Thanks to all of you guys for being such great examples to me.

I love you all more than I could ever say. I hope you have the best week and 4th of July ever. I pray that God blesses America as He always has. We are so blessed to live in such a promised land.

Love your happy as ever boy in the other promised land,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

My dominion by day (Catholic church in the background) ........
and by night

Our wonderful landlady's baptism

Amazing maracuyá (gonna miss this fruit).
 
Classic Nephi pic

Besos de moza (still my weakness)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blessed Water

More adventures,

So I forgot the last 2 weeks to write you all about the water situation going down here in Villas de Ancon. So they got electricity not that long ago, but they're still a long ways away from getting running water (welcome to Peru). Oh yeah, so just so you know. Pretty much everything here in Peru is done backwards. Like in the US the streets and electricity and water is all set up, then the houses are built. But here, they just throw a bunch of houses together and somehow kind of make it a little more organized as they go and try to get the government to recognize them as a real place where people live.

Well, it's not as bad as it seems. There are these huge trucks full of water that come by every day and start making all sort of ruckous at like 6 in the morning honking their horns to let people know that they have arrived. So we have a 1100 liter tank that we fill up with water like once every week or week and a half and that gives us the running water in the house. Still not sure about the toilet, I guess there has to be a septic tank or something, but I don't really want to ask. So last week on Sunday my companion just says that he has bad news, there wasn't any water in the tank. That was cool because it was like the first time since I was like 5 that I didn't shower before going to church. Just enjoying the good ol' times here in Peru. Luckily my deodorant supply is still in tact so no one died in church last week.

This week Hermana Charo was baptized. She is the land lady and lives next door to us. She's super cool and invited us over to eat breakfast 3 times this week. She liked messing around with us and was just putting up all sorts of excuses, but then she said she had decided and was ready. I don't know why she didn't get baptized before with the other elders there because she was way close with them, but I'm grateful I was able to be here to enjoy the experience. It was a super big blessing from Heavenly Father. Sorry, I'll try to get pictures next week. I forgot my camera today, super bummed.

Elder Schiess is a new missionary here in the ward too. He's from Manti and is super cool and the member that was going to baptize Hna Charo didn't make it (still don't know exactly what happened) so Elder Schiess baptized her. He said that ''the mission is the most different thing I've ever done'' and that's just about right. It's cool to remember me at the beginning of my mission and I just love looking back and seeing how far I've come.

In my studies this week I took pretty much the whole week to study Mosiah 3 and 4 and I still haven't finished. It amazes me how much time and effort it takes to really delve into the scriptures. There is so much to learn from every verse and I love all the hidden things that are now found to me. I'm excited to continue learning from the words of King Benjamin which I have heard my entire life and see them from a new light. 

My spiritual experience for the week was yesterday. We were searching for a house that we had contacted before, but couldn't find it. We saw a car stopped in the street so we helped them push it, but it didn't start. So then we kept looking and called the family who told us that they weren't home. As we were walking back I heard someone yell ''elderes''. So I turned around and saw the little kid with an older guy dressed in a suit and tie and thought he was from a different church or something. So then we talk and it turns out he's a return missionary who asks us if the area had been opened. He took us to his brothers house who isn't a member and it was his birthday. The whole family was there, 3 sons that are return missionaries, 1 preparing for the mission, and the dad who is less active. They live on the other side of Lima, but came for his birthday. I had just been praying to God saying that I was trying my best and contacting people and to bless us and then the little kid called us. I'm sure the family has been praying to help their brother and dad too and we had a nice little lesson where the family was able to share their feelings. I felt so grateful that God had answered my prayer and really humbled to think that He had also used us to answer the prayers of others.

I hope you all have the best week ever. Thanks for all of the prayers. I'm loving the mission and am so grateful I have been blessed with these 2 years to be able to serve my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Love your ever more grateful for water friend,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Monday, June 16, 2014

Return from Outer Space

Hey Everyone,

For real though. My area is such a crazy place. A member joked this week about how we have to take a rocket to get to our area (we actually have to take a taxi, but it's about the same). I'm loving it so much here though and sand is getting in all my everythings. It's a great adventure and I won't be forgetting it any time soon.

My companion is super cool. He reminds me a lot of Jon-Micheal George and Jordan Barrow mixed together so maybe that gives you all a good understanding. For those of you who don't understand, just know he's awesome and we're getting along great. It's fun to remember my friends back home and to maybe know how to be a better friend with him. We teach really well together and the little things that used to bother me with other companions just don't bother me so much anymore cause I don't really know why, but it sure is cool. He's a hard worker and we are seeing so many miracles. Maybe I should just name my area Miracle Land or something like that. It's something special. So he's from Argentina like I think he said from Tucuman. Just really happy with him.

In my studies this week I studied Mosiah 2 and a little of 3. It took pretty much the whole week to read and study all the footnotes and then remember some other scriptures that I had read that related. It's amazing to me once again how simply the doctrine is presented, but then how much we can learn if we apply our hearts to learning. I really liked the part about opening our ears and our hearts so we can hear and understand. I also studied the scriptures in Lesson 1 of Preach My Gospel about the Book of Mormon and praying and really liked learning once again in Doctrine and Covenants about receiving revelation and making our decision and then asking God.

My spiritual experience of the week was going back to Rosales. It was really special to be able to go back there and see some people that I had taught, but wasn't able to baptize, who are faithful members. It was great to be able to pass by some other people and present them to Elder Rodriguez there. We also went by a less active who I was teaching a year ago that was making a lot of progress, but has since lost his steam, he got really excited and felt the need to go back to church. It was just really great to see all of those people and help them come even closer to Christ. I just felt the Spirit testifying to me that our work really does reach farther than just the couple weeks or months we have in an area. A joven that is preparing for the mission (Josafat) accompanied us the whole day and that was definitely the most special because I was led to find him, teach him, and baptize him over a year ago. I was able to remember how I felt back then and how it just felt natural, but now looking back it was all the hand of the Lord. That was one of the most special days of my mission.

It was great to see Hna Eva my old pensionista and just feel at home in her house. She was always so nice to me and I'm grateful for all the love she shows the missionaries. She reminds me a ton of Oma and that's fun too.

So, the World Cup is pretty cool. It hasn't been too bad on our work, it's just fun cause everyone is super excited. I of course hear all the updates so that's great too. It's weird to me though how little interest I have. I mean, I like it and it's cool, but I'm just so happy to be working and giving my all to God. I'm grateful for sports and I'm excited to watch them after the mission, but for now things are just too great to miss in the work.

Oh yeah, sorry about last week. 
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!

I hope it was a great day for all you fathers out there. I love you so much Dad and Opa and Papa too. And all my uncles and cousins and just everyone. Thanks for being such great examples to me.
I hope you all have the best week ever and know that you are all in my prayers. I love you more than I could ever say and am loving it here in Villas.

Love your intergalactic missionary,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley
 

Josafat -- one of the coolest guys ever!

Villas de Ancon at night
 


Toothbugs

Hey everyone,

You won't ever believe it. Miracle of the week. Well, first of all to get you all updated.

I am currently serving in a ward called Miramar. It is the very last part of Lima called Ancon. I'm actually serving in the part called Villas de Ancon. It's like nothing I could have ever imagined. It's like 30 minutes away from the church so that's cool and I just feel like I'm in Mars sometimes. It's just a ton of dust, 0 roads, and a little bit of hill, but not too bad. The people there are mostly poor and have come from all of Perú to find work in Lima. It's crazy, but I have seen so many miracles too. I'm loving it and could never have imagined to be here. It's actually right next to my old area of Rosales in the stake Puente Piedra and God must have a great purpose for me to be here.

My companion is Elder Sayoud. He's from Tucuman, Argentina and he's a pretty cool guy. We've had a great week together and I'm looking forward to learning some more from him. He played rugby before the mission and is super funny.

So yeah, the miracle of miracles. I was looking through an old hymn book in Spanish and saw Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam in Spanish and thought that was super cool. So I was about to put it down and then I saw 3 great words ''Lavémonos los Dientes'' I could hardly believe my eyes. I had found The Toothbug Song in Spanish. I sang it loud and proud and thought a bunch about Oma. Thanks so much Oma for always singing to us. I sure am looking forward to singing with you again and anyone else that wants to join us. That really was just too cool to even describe. You Wheatley's should all understand, but for everyone else, my grandma would always sing that song to us before bed when we were together and so I kept the tears in.

Oh yeah, so for reals. I am definitely living on Mars. I really can't describe it. I just live so far away from everything else, but the people made the effort to go to church. I wrote this part to President

My spiritual experience was definitely how the three people went to church. Matt has been really excited for his baptism, but his sister loves being Catholic and says she feels so good when she goes to church. We just kept inviting her and helping her to understand all the good that she has felt as she has read the Book of Mormon and she committed to going to church. We were afraid we were going to be late, but they were all changed and waiting for us at the main road to take the car to the church. After she said she felt good, but it wasn't the same as the Catholic. She just kept saying that it's good, but not as good. Well, she said she can't miss her brothers baptism and said she's willing to go again and that she's going to keep reading in the Book of Mormon so we'll just keep helping her along the way. She really wants to know and God is working things out for her. Hermana Charo also told us she wasn't going to be able to go to church. So we invited her to accompany us to the baptism of the elders in Miramar. She went and really enjoyed it. We just kept talking about her being baptized on the way back too. Then the next day she came over and told us that she was going to go to church with us. God is really working miracles here and I'm so grateful to be in Villas de Ancon.

It's just so cool being here and I'm really happy. I was able to see Josafat who I baptized over a year ago in Rosales and he said he's working on his papers for the mission. He's the one that read the whole Book of Mormon before his baptism and one of the greatest spiritual experiences of my entire mission. I love him so much and know he must be a part of the reason that I'm here agan.

I love you all more than I could ever say. I hope you have the best week ever!

Have tons of fun this last week Johnny. And everyone that can just give him a huge hug for me. You're going to do great things in Scotland and Ireland.

Love your happy and not toothbug laden friend,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley


My new companion Elder Sayoud from Tucuman, Argentina

Here I am in Villas de Ancon  -- kind of looks like Mars!

The Toothbug Song in Spanish!!!!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Gone Fishin' !

Yep, I went fishing. So good!!!!!! Didn't catch a single thing and I think that makes it even better. Just a man and nature and of course my companion and other missionaries and the branch president and some other fishermen, but it was so awesome! I'll let the pictures do the talking on this one.
So I learned a ton this week and I couldn't ask for anything more. It turns out that my run in Barranca is coming to an end, but I'm really looking forward to some new adventures and some new people to learn to love. It's gonna be so awesome. Every change has helped me learn and grow in so many ways and even though I'm gonna miss a lot of things here, I wouldn't have it any other way.

So now the updates. Maybe my favorite is that I'm finally in Mosiah. I love the Book of Mormon so much and every day I learn so much.

My spiritual experience is definitely with the family Vilcarino Valdez. They are a family of 4 that we found two weeks ago as we were late for an appointment but felt that we needed to contact that house. It's a huge house and I was just thinking that we were going to get rejected, but then the miracles started. A lady answered the intercom and then said she was coming out. It turns out she's been to church a bunch of times and her sister is a less active member. So we schedule an appointment for another day. It's been really hard to find time to meet and we were able to two times, but then this week happened. On Wednesday we were able to go teach them and it was one of the most Spirit filled lessons of my entire mission. It all just flowed and was so complete and clear. They all understood so well and the daughter Jumiko (9 years old) kept asking such great questions. The mom, Ivon, asked what their daughter needed to be baptized and we were able to explain that we weren't going to baptize her alone, that it's something to be done in family. They all understood so well, Abel the dad, Ivon, Junior, and Jumiko. I don't know if I've ever taught so clearly, simply, and directly and I know it all came from God. It felt so good to be an instrument in His hands to help this family understand what they need to do to come unto Christ. Yesterday they didn't go to church because of problems in the chacra, but we were able to go and have another Spirit filled lesson with the branch president and his wife who are long time friends of that family and I know that together we can help them come unto Christ.

Yeah, it was super hard when they didn't go to church, but then I just remembered what Elder Waddell had said. That a missionaries faith can't change the agency of a person. Then I was thinking about why sometimes my fasts aren't answered like I thought they would be and I realized that it doesn't all depend on me. They have to show and exercise their faith too. That really opened up my eyes and I hope it helps all of you guys too.

Juan Snatana is a real cool guy that was inactive for 35 years. He got up and bore his testimony, which was great, but we'll help him understand a little better what exactly is a testimony. It just felt so good to know that God had used us to help one of His children come back home though.

My companion and I had a little tustle this week. I mean, I think that happens in all companionships, but it was so great how it all worked out. We both tried really hard to understand the others point of view.  I'm learning so much about that. I've been praying to be a better listener and Heavenly Father has blessed me so much. We don't have to agree with others points of view, but being a good listener means understanding (or at least trying to) what the other is feeling. I hope I can remember this for the rest of my life.  I'm so grateful for the time I've had with Elder Dorado, he's so awesome.

I just was thinking about how I should be able to learn more from others than they could ever learn from me. Then I thought more and realized that I can't just depend on others to help me change. I should be trying my very hardest to serve and love them and during the process I will be changed. I think we should always feel like we are giving our all and at the same time feel like we are receiving more than we are giving. That sounds like a healthy relationship to me.

I read an awesome article in the Liahona called Hardships are the Blessing or something like that written by a mom in New Zealand. She said that she thought being a mom was going to be mostly amazing and so happy with some times of hard troubles, but then she realized it was really the other way around. I feel that way about missionary work and am so grateful it is that way. We are all able to grow so much from our covenants because God trusts us to be able to handle the hard times too.

So two quick awesome quotes.

''Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.'' - Mark Twain

''The object of this existence is to learn, which we can only do a little at a time.'' - Brigham Young

I'm so grateful for every step I'm taking and that I can help others take steps towards Christ and perfection too. You should all definitely read Hebrew 6:3 especially the Joseph Smith Translation.

Pretty much it was just an awesome week on the mission. I continue to learn and grow in so many ways and I love hearing from all of you. Thanks for the love, support, and prayers. 

Have the best week ever!

Love your ever growing, progressing towards perfection, friend in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley
 


 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happy 25th Anniversary Mom and Dad!!!!!!!!!!!

HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can hardly believe that -- 25 years is a long time!  I'm so grateful you guys are showing me how it's done.

So the week was really crazy.  I think the best thing was last night as I was sitting there I thought...it's a miracle how quickly bad goes away. Or maybe not goes away, but how quickly we forget it when the good comes into our life. It's such a blessing to be able to forget sometimes, but maybe not even forget. It's just that the good is so amazing that it pushes out any need to think about the bad. Sounds like a typical mission to me. Gotta love it.

A quick quote ''A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for.'' - Grace Hopper. Thanks to Uncle Lane for that one. It really hit me.

Oh yeah, and before I forget. Please forgive me for last week. I mean for real, forgive me. I said it was Sauron teh White and it's Saruman the White. Yeah, that's what some time in Perú will do for ya.

One really cool experience from this week was on a work visit out in Paramonga. I had heard that there was a less active returned missionary who had served in the Provo Utah Mission and I had to go find her. We went by very last thing in the night and it was something special. She pulled out her album (which she hadn't looked at in years) and I just recognized it all. She had been to the Provo, Salt Lake, Manti, St. George, and one other temple. Had served at BYU and the mission home is in my home stake so that was crazy. And she's been to Conference too. I just asked her if she knew how blessed she was and she only could reply ''now I do''. She had forgotten it all. I was thinking about how many people would love to go visit one of those temples and about all of the amazing spiritual experiences I have had in each one of them. She didn't go to church yesterday, but she did tell her husband that they won't be breaking the law of chastity until they get married so that was amazing. I was shaking so bad, and I know she felt the Spirit.

In my studies this week I loved learning from Enos and from Jarom. Enos is such a great example to me of wanting to share all the good that we have been given. Right after he was blessed of God he started to pray for his enemies. I want to be more like that and pray for those that maybe don't even want my help. I also liked in Jarom how he talks about how the revelations and preachings and writings of his fathers was enough because they had presented the plan of salvation. He didn't have much room to write, but he wanted to add his witness of the truthfulness of all that had already been written. It also made me think about how important everything that was already written is for all of us. If he didn't need to add anything more then what was written is enough, and probably even more than enough to fulfill it's purpose. I know there is so much to learn, but I'm grateful that God has given us the Book of Mormon as it is now. If we had more pages, then we would need to study all of them, but He lets us know that what we have is enough for His purposes. If we truly study and apply what we have been given it will change our lives in the ways we need. We also had some more really good practices of trying to be direct, specific, and brief in our first lessons and I know that helped us as a companionship this week.

My spiritual experience was pretty much all day yesterday. Hector and Anita both went to church and their two sons will be going with them next week. We were able to teach almost an entire family of a less active member who has gone to church two weeks in a row now after being inactive for over 30 years. The Spirit was present during the lesson and I know that all were able to feel it. I feel like we shared exactly what the family needed and we all left edified from that experience. And then to finish the day we were able to teach another family that is married with two children. We hadn't been able to meet with them all week, but they promised us that they would have time this week and that they will be going to church next week as a family. It was just so amazing to see that after working really hard all week long, Heavenly Father blessed us with families at the very end. I know that we just need to keep working and that Heavenly Father will bless us, sometimes at the very end, but always.

So that last family we were able to visit are so rich, but so humble. The mom is very ready to hear our message. We were truly blessed at pretty much the very last minute we had during the week. That's how missionary work, and life, is a lot of the times though. We just have to keep holding on because God has so many amazing things just waiting for us.

Congratulations this week to Jamie, Joseph, and Hayden who are graduating. Enjoy it, because it's amazing!

I love you all so so much. Have the best week ever and know you are all in my prayers.

Oh yeah, and we're going fishing today so that's gonna be so awesome! Gotta love the wild South American adventures.

Love your happy and forgetful friend in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley