I'm so looking forward to the fireworks down here and all the loud noises. They do like bombs and stuff, so I'll take a video that you all can see, it's really awesome, and I'm sure horrible for the atmosphere. Bienvenidos a Perú (welcome to Perú). Gotta love it.
So this week was absolutely jam packed full of awesomeness and I hope you enjoy my take on things.
The greatest part of the week hands down, turn around, all that jazz was talking with my family on Skype. You all look so amazing and I love you so much. It's funny though how nervous I was to talk to you all. I mean, I walk up to complete strangers and knock random doors, but calling my own family gets me nervous, I'm gonna work on that one. I just was so excited to see you all and it was more than I could have dreamed of. I love writing you every week, but nothing compares to seeing your beautiful faces.
That reminds me. For those of you that haven't seen my face in a while, well funny story. So we had to get our hair cut and all the places were full. Finally we settled for a place that costs way too much. I told her I liked it pretty short and that's where it all went downhill. She just went to town. She started on the sides and I was like, oh well, it's done now. She then went to the top and too much again. Then I thought she was just going to go around the ears, but she didn't. I got a hack job. I just was thinking the whole time about the story from my dad's mission where the guy sitting next to him just kept saying ''too short''. It's really nice in the heat though even though I did get a little burned. Gotta love the fun experiences.
We had some awesome activities in the ward this week including a parrillada (grill) that brought more people than the regular sacrament meeting attendance, Christmas day there was fútbol and ceviche (which I didn't get to eat, we're not allowed and a member of the mission presidency lives in our ward), but the best was Christmas going around to the kids and giving out Christmas presents along with some panetón. It was really special and united our ward so much. We destroyed it this week in Sacrament Meeting with so many people and I love it here so much.
One of the most special parts of Christmas was Christmas Eve which was our p-day and we got to be together as a zone. We ate so much pizza and I was stuffed full for one of the first times on my mission (PizzaPie Café, Imma comin). Then my companion had the amazing idea to have a testimony meeting. He said it was the assistants who had suggested it, but it really was just an amazing idea from him. I felt the Spirit so strong and remembered so much about what I have learned on the mission. He talked about Galatians 6:17 where it talks about the marks that Paul carries to remind him of Christ. He said they are the scars we all have and I thought about the scars I have received in this life and even more on the mission. Not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. We're not perfect and we're not whole, but we will be someday. Those scars might never fully heal in this life, but I rejoice knowing that one day we will all be made whole and perfect again and they will be taken away. But for now I too rejoice in the scars that I have received serving my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We had an awesome baptism this week with freezing cold water as usual. It was Alex the son of Lucy who was baptized last month. He escaped us like 3 times for his interview, but we finally met with him. He's just a little kid that loves playing with his friends more than he remembers his interviews though and so innocent. He understands it all so well and is the bomb. It was really special too because Rocío, the lady that knocked on the church gate, was baptized too. She was taught by the hermanas, but is still one of the coolest stories from my mission and I'm grateful I was able to be a part of her story. The other baptism was a kid named Vasilay, he's the son of a recent convert and counted for the ward, but wanted me to baptize him. He was so awesome. The water was freezing, but he didn't even complain one bit. He jumped out of the water and was just so happy. That's such a great example to me. What a stud.
Then Sunday we get to church and I'm sitting there and the bishop says I'm going to confirm Alex a member of the Church. I've never done that before and it came out of the blue, but it was so special. I feel so blessed to hold the Priesthood of God and be able to bless other peoples lives. That's something I'm never going to forget.
I read ''Jesus Christ-Gifts and Expectations'' by President Ezra Taft Benson this week and it was absolutely amazing. It's so crazy how much things change when we are happy and loving life, than when we are going through trials. I know hard times will come again, but I'm just loving life right now. I wouldn't trade the hard times either, but this is extra special. I just felt several times this week how special it is to be able to be a servant of Jesus Christ during this time of year and love being able to testify of Him and His restored gospel. I love the mission so much and love Perú. It's not the most beautiful, but this is my Waters of Mormon. I'm learning to love the people, the culture, and the language and am so grateful to be here. I love Perú!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I finished el Libro de Mormón this week and am so grateful I was able to read it in Spanish. I learned so much and love that book more than I can ever express. But now all I want to do is read it again. I'm going to read the Book of Mormon again this year before my birthday. I'm going to read 3 pages a day and want to invite any and all that want to join me on this amazing adventure. I just thought it would be a fun way again to feel close to all of you. Let me know what you all decide!
I'm loving it with Elder Herrera right now. We are being so blessed. He's most likely going to go home around the 15th of January for knee problems. It's only one transfer early, but I'm sure gonna miss him. Keep him in your prayers please. We are being so blessed and I'm learning to be lots more patient. Heavenly Father is so good to us and I can feel your prayers in our behalf. Thanks so much!!!!
I love you all more than words. Have the Happiest New Years ever and know I'm thinking about and praying for all of you. Thanks for all of your love and support. Talk to you next week/next year. Gotta love those jokes. See you all soon!!!
Love your happier than ever in Perú, New Year partying, good looking, best friend forever and ever,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley