Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Daddy Micah Wheatley!!!!!!!!!!!!!‏

¡¡¡¡FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS!!!! FRÜLICHE GEBURTSTAG!!!!! (I hope that's how you spell it). I hope it's the greatest day ever for you papito lindo (literally, pretty daddy -- makes me laugh every time).

This week was a really great week, but this next week is going to be even better. I am so blessed to be able to go to the Lima Perú Temple this Thursday to see the Santiago family sealed for time and all eternity. They are a really special family to me and I am so grateful I have been able to know and love them. It is going to be such a special day and I'm really excited to send you pictures next week. If any of you guys that read this thing can go on Thursday it would be a really cool treat. Either way, I hope you guys at home are able to go often to the temple. That's one of the things I'm most looking forward to after the mission. I'm going to be going in the morning, but you guys can go whenever you have time. Just let me know about your experiences.

It was kind of a really weird week seeing as it was ward conference  There were activities everyday this week. We had one of the coolest activities I've been a part of because the games were super cool. We did like a Fear Factor eating thing and I of course couldn't resist that. So I was privileged to eat for the second time on my mission something nigh unto horse poop known as ''tocuch''. It is absolutely disgusting and the majority of Peruvians haven't even tried it so I'm setting some sort of record. Then afterwards there was half a red onion, a clove of garlic, some strange thing that I don't remember its name, some ginger to spice things up, and an ají (pepper) that burnt me to death. I was dying for about 10 minutes afterwards and everyone was so worried. But the good news is I won.

So with all the activities it kind of cut down on prime proselyting time, but we saw some big miracles. We are teaching together a lot more in unity as we continue to practice and I'm feeling the Spirit a lot more as we invite the investigators to kneel down in the first lesson and ask God if Joseph Smith was His prophet. Then we keep silent for a couple of minutes and let them feel.  It's changed so much.  I have so much more faith that God answers prayers.

I was able to do a couple of baptismal interviews this week and it was cool to invite them to kneel down right there during the interview and ask God, if they hadn't already done it. Most people haven't heard of, or just don't remember about, President Thomas S. Monson, so I invite them to ask God and He answers every time. It's so special.  I love being able to do interviews. I'm so grateful for all that I learn in them.

Another miracle is how much less my companion is singing. He's really trying his best, he's the man. I'm working on some rough edges of my own, namely patience, and things are getting even better. I love Elder Carrillo and am grateful he is helping me become a better person.

A couple quick cool stories from the week -- there is a band of kids and every time we pass by they freak out and try their best to speak the little English they know. So we were walking by this week and the little kid screams out ''here comes, 'hello'''. That was pretty cool because my name has been all sorts of slaughtered, but he literally changed my name to ''hello''. Cool little kid.  I'll have to stop and talk with him some more.

Another cool thing was this guy I spotted from down the block. He was walking and I saw something cool on his kid. It was a Donovan McNabb jersey from the Eagles and then I looked at the guy and he had on a Utah Jazz hat. This time I was a man and decided to contact him. We had a good conversation and he said he loves playing NBA on the playstation and that his dad used to live in Utah. That was super cool. We've passed by a couple of times, but haven't been able to contact him. And he told us his wife is Buddhist so that would be super cool to teach them, we're gonna keep trying.

The other coolest contact of the week was when I manned up and talked to some Germans. I always freak out when I see white people, but I really wanted to talk with them. I tried to use the little German I knew, but it was way cooler when I asked if they spoke English and then they were really good at speaking English actually. They are named Tilman and Noga and she's here on a service mission for a year and he's her boyfriend visiting for like a month. They're from the southeast of Germany next to Switzerland.  I tried my best to talk about the church too, but I don't remember the churches name in German. They had kind of heard of Mormons before though. Once again it was kind of embarrassing to not even be able to speak proper English and keep getting mixed up with Spanish so now I have been beaten by a German in an English contest too. Welcome to my life! I love it!

Happy Birthday to Charlie too. I hope it's a great week. Have tons of fun everyone.

I'm so excited to go to the temple. I love you all so much.

Have the best week ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love your happy, ready for the temple, best friend,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley
Service comes in many forms -- and levels of dirt!

After winning "Fear Factor" -- and feeling not so good!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Milagros and Miracles

So good,

This week was just so awesome and so hard as always. But  ''Welcome to the life of a missionary Elder Wheatley, that's just how it is!''

So Milagros did get baptized and it was super awesome. We had a great couple of lessons with her mom this week and she just kept saying that she felt it was too soon. We invited her to kneel down and ask God what He felt was right. Well, to be honest I really had no idea what to say and then I just felt like prayer was the answer. (Prayer is always the answer in case I forget this week). So she kneels down and says one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard on my mission. She's been passing through a lot of hard times lately and she just begged for forgiveness with all of us there kneeling down. She said she didn't know what she had done wrong, but she felt bad for it. It just reminded me sometimes in my life, and I think the lives of us all, when we just finally are able to give it all over to God. We had her keep praying all week long and even yesterday at the baptism she wasn't completely sure so I just tried to help her remember the answer she had already gotten from God that it's what is right for her daughter. It was just so awesome yesterday because Milagros' grandpa was able to baptize her and the whole family is becoming more united. She's gonna go to the temple this week with the ward and I'm so excited for her.

I was thinking about milagros (miracles) this week and about some things that people shared with me at the beginning of my mission. I remember specifically Mariah and Uncle Tyler saying that the mission is full of miracles, maybe not huge ones, but a bunch of tiny ones that can occur daily. I'm really trying to focus on those miracles that strengthen my faith. I'm gonna try to do that after the mission too because I'm sure God gives us miracles daily after the mission too, it just depends on us to find them and recognize them. I invite you all to join me on the ''quest for miracles''. This week I'm just going to do my best to recognize the little miracles that God gives me daily and write them down so I can see how truly blessed I am. I'm pretty excited. Thanks to all of you for helping me learn such an eternal truth here on the mission.

Oh yeah, way cool story from last Monday. We were walking back from the church with the other elders after having played around there. I had taken my football and was just walking with it in my hands. Then this guy is in front of me and has his hands out like he wants me to throw him my football. I was a little confused and thinking, he's definitely gonna rob me and just run. Then I thought that no one would just rob a genuine football in Perú so I decided to toss it to him. He caught it and then said IN PERFECT ENGLISH ''wow, I haven't seen one of those in 2 years''. So it turns out that Alejandro lived in LA for like 14 years and is just a super cool guy. His English once again defeated mine with ease so that was kind of embarrassing, but worth a cool contact. He actually lives in San Isidro which is way outside our mission and like the richest part of Lima, but his uncle owns a trucking company by the church. He said he knew a lot of Mormons in Los Angeles and knows some about the church, but that his lifestyle doesn't really mix with the church. He was awesome though because he was about to swear and I don't know how, but he caught himself and didn't say it. I sure hope we can see him again because he's awesome, but if not, it's just one of those special little miracles.

Probably one of the funniest experiences of the week came when a drunk guy straight up threw up on my companion when we were walking in the street. We were on our way to a baptismal interview so we just had to keep going and it was so gross to just smell like beer. Well, that's not exactly why it's so funny so I'll tell you.

I love my companion so much and he's the man, but he's also one of the most noisy people I have ever met and can't ever be still. I always talk to him about it, but I'm learning to just live with it. He knows more English music than I do and is just always singing (I mean ALWAYS, alright maybe not always but so much). He sings in the shower, he tries his best to be quiet during studies but doesn't always have success, and then he sings in the streets. Oh yeah, and he's always banging things. He always has a beat in his head and he's not very good about keeping it to himself, which is definitely difficult during studies. So now the story. I guess that morning he had prayed that God would help him not sing so much and so when he went along singing in the street God sent him a drunk guy to throw up all over him. He didn't tell me about his prayer until that night and I just laughed. The good news is that he got to shower, the bad news....he's still singing. Gotta love him though. I think he wants to change and we're making a little progress each and everyday. That's life as a missionary though. I love my companion.

A cool experience is that I dreamt in Spanish AND Portuguese this week. I mean, maybe it wasn't that extensive, but I definitely said ''eu falo portugese'' (no idea how to spell it) super cool though. And the Spanish was definitely coherent and just awesome.

This week I just told my companion that if they offered me the option to be able to serve for 2 more years I would take it in a heartbeat. The next day it was harder and I told him I would take time thinking about it, but then at the end of the day I felt I would accept it again. It was so awesome this week and I love the mission so much.

an excerpt from my letter to Presidente Archibald
My spiritual experience for the week was definitely yesterday. We finally got to contact this guy that we have been wanting to contact for weeks now, but he always escapes us. So we talked outside and after asking like 10 times he finally let us into his house. We taught the restoration and it was super cool because he watches BYUTV and said he felt that President Monson was a prophet because he can see a difference in him when he has seen him on the TV. He can tell that President Monson isn't like the rest of people on the earth, he has something special. He said he didn't need to pray to know, but we insisted that he should do it. He said he didn't think he would get an answer so my companion used your example about putting metal in an outlet. So Omar (that's his name) prayed and received his answer about Joseph Smith and Thomas S. Monson too. He committed to being baptized on March 8th and that was super cool. Then we had the baptism of Milagros and everything went so well. Her grandpa was able to baptize her and her mom who is less active attended. Then afterwards we had a lesson with an investigator (Hilda) who had come to the baptism. She wanted to know how long it takes to prepare to get baptized so we explained that it can be in 2 weeks. We want to get to know her children and help them all be baptized together and she accepted the baptismal date for the 8th too. Yesterday was just really cool and I want to exercise my faith like I did yesterday, but everyday. I know miracles happen and I feel so blessed to be a part of all of this.

I love you all so much and you are all constantly in my prayers. Thanks for being such great examples to me and for loving me despite my imperfections. Have the best week ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love your happy as ever best friend in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley
Cool sun rainbow thing.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Be Not at Ease

Oh Yeah,

This week was super duper crazy.  I'm just so happy to be back here emailing you all again. I can't believe how fast this last week has flown by.  I have so much to tell you all. It hasn't been perfect, but hearing from you guys made me forget what little things were bothering me, that's pretty cool.

So my title comes from 2 Nephi 28:24. I wrote in my scriptures like a year ago that ''it's not supposed to be easy''. I mean for real, if life was easy it would be so boring and not even worth it. I know I'm gonna hit some trial patch and wish that it was easier, but I'm grateful for these moments where I feel more enlightened and can see that trials are for our good. I mean if we are at ease, we don't change, and we can't become more like God. It's kind of like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 58:27 about being ''anxiously engaged'', if we're at ease than we're probably not doing much of anything. So that was just awesome. We'll see how I do about putting it into practice in my own life.

We met some really cool people this week and have been super blessed. Our miracle of the week was definitely Milagros (which means miracles in Spanish). She's the daughter of a less active member, but her grandparents are active. She's gone to church on and off for pretty much her whole life and Sunday her grandpa came up to me and said that she wanted to go to the temple with the ward on the 20th. I told him that means she needs to be baptized this Saturday so we talked with her and then went by the house later to teach her and she's preparing to be baptized on Saturday. It's really cool to see that we have nothing to do with this, it all comes from Heavenly Father and we are just blessed to be instruments in His hands to do His work. I love being a missionary.

There was a cool taxi driver this week who's an Israelite (super weird religion where they just dress like people from the middle east and only use sandals, the girls wear the head dress stuff). So he tells me that he loves reading and bought the Book of Mormon once and read a bunch of it. I gave him a new copy and we'll see how that works out.

The other cool taxi driver of the week was definitely the guy that spoke German. Well, he didn't speak that well, not much better than me, but it was something. He said that he was studying German to move there so I tried my best to remember the little German things that I have learned throughout my life. It was fun to remember and I'm gonna need help from Dad and Seth and anyone else that wants to help me learn German when I get back home.

By far our coolest investigator has to be Briana. Yeah, I totally freaked out when she told me that was her name. She's super cool and is the niece of some awesome members. We're setting up a family night to teach all of her family. It's fun thinking about you Brianna when I talk about her.

I got some great letters this week and want to thank Aunt Kimber for the great words and way fun picture. I also don't know if I've thanked Uncle Lane in my letters before. I want to thank him for all the letters and especially this last one. He sent a great talk called ''Becoming a Consecrated Missionary'' (I think it's called that) by Elder Tad R. Callister. I was kind of afraid that it would trigger some perfectionism in me, but I've been doing really well. I just want to be better and give all that I have to God. I'm not at ease, but I do feel at peace.

We had a cool family home evening with the Mendocilla family where we watched the Mormon Message ''Look Not Behind Thee''. It was really special to go around and for everyone to say what they were feeling afterwards. Every time I would think of something to say the next person would say it and it was special to feel the Spirit there edifying all of us.

Fernando and Sonya are still cool, but never have time to meet with us. This month is super busy for them, but we're just going to keep helping them read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true.

I walked into a store the other day and saw on the TV the Olympics. That was super weird to see snow and I didn't even remember that the Olympics were going on. That definitely surprised me so tell me if something world changing happens.

This week more than ever I was grateful for the good ol' US of A and the law known as curfew. For real though, people here don't respect anything. There were some kids (I'm talking like 5 year old kids) screaming outside our window at like 11:30 at night the other day and tons of teenagers have been loud this week too. I mean, it's just a whole new world down here. Oh yeah, and then some other crazy people decide to start screaming at like 6 in the morning. Don't ask me why because I don't know.

I keep catching myself thinking that I actually might be able to live here, that it's not that bad. I didn't think I would ever actually get to that point, but garbage is just totally normal to me now and a house with a tree is like the most beautiful thing. We sure do adjust quickly and I'm sure those thoughts will flee from my mind faster than lightning when I get back home. It's just funny to think about and my companion laughs at me. And just so you know Elder Carrillo is so awesome. We are getting along great and it's so much fun to study and practice lessons with him in the morning.

I want to wish you all a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!!! Go ahead and give each other a kiss for me. I hope it's a great time for all of you.

I hope you all have the best week ever and know you are constantly in my prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love your happy and restless (not at ease) best friend forever,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley
A cool full size soccer field in my area (it's about as good as you get in Perú)

Sheila and Kelly's baptism

Wonderful tacos!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Johnny Liao, My Brother and Best Friend


I had so much to write this week, but I can't stop thinking about Johnny right now. You are the man Johnny!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for you. You get to go to such a beautiful place (Scotland/Ireland) and speaking Mandarin Chinese is gonna be the coolest ever. It's so amazing to see how far we've all come. I can't believe how fast the time has passed since good ol' Rock Canyon Elementary and then Centennial and Timpview. It was so amazing the day that Johnny was baptized and today just makes it all even more special. I'm gonna be writing you Johnny and it's gonna be so fun to be able to serve with you. I'm so excited to have another brother in the mission serving with us all.

Alright, so about the week. For real, I'm just so excited about Johnny. I'm probably gonna cry later, but for right now I'm in shock. Those videos were so awesome.

Okay, here I go. This week was so special to me. I loved getting letters from Charlie, Aunt Stacy, and Aunt Julie. That night I read them and I was just lying in bed and couldn't stop thinking about how happy I am to be here in the mission. I don't want this to end. It is so special to me and I am so excited that Johnny is going to be able to feel the same things as all of us. I've felt that I don't want my mission to end before, but this time it was stronger than ever. I kind of started going crazy and I just told my companion to give me a hug because I was so happy. The mission is so amazing and I'm so grateful to be here. Yesterday I was reading my Patriarchal Blessing and it was just so awesome to see how it is all coming together, how it is all working out just as God planned. I see the blessings being fulfilled right before my eyes.  I'm so grateful for my Patriarchal Blessing and the patience that we all need to have to see the things of God unfold.

So some cool people from the week were Fernando and Sonya. They're the people that lived in Kentucky and now are owners of a school here. They are super devout Seventh day Adventists, but I can see the change. They do the best with what the have, but get so excited when we pass by. Fernando knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but is still trying to figure out if there could be other prophets too, but understands the importance of the Book of Mormon too. Sonya came in kind of late to the lesson and then out of no where said she was going to pray and ask if she was in the wrong church. That was so cool to hear and I love them so much. It's so cool to see people who are so prepared for and desirous to know the truth.

I also got a great call from Josafat this week. He's a kid I baptized almost a year ago and I'm praying he'll go on a mission. He's the guy that read the whole Book of Mormon before his baptism (in 2 and a half weeks).

I got to eat some delicious food this week and my stomach is so happy. I got to eat ají de gallina twice in one day and it was such a happy day. That is probably my favorite food here in Perú and I'm gonna miss it when I get home. Then I ate pachamanca yesterday which is hard to describe, but absolutely amazing because it was pretty much a ton of vegetables with some great meat and the best part NO RICE. Gotta love Perú and their rice for every meal. Speaking of rice, I'm pumped to eat at Johnny's restaurant when I get home. I love Chinese food.

Oh yeah, today we're going to make tacos for p-day so that should be delicious. I also made microwave popcorn last week. It was good and super expensive, but I had to buy it because there was a picture of the Hobbit on its wrapper. Welcome to the life of a missionary.

We watched a cool Mormon Message about a family in the Pacific that went to the New Zealand temple and I love that one so much. Plus I love New Zealand. We've been focusing a lot this week on strengthening families through daily scripture and prayer. I've been feeling the Spirit a lot, especially as I share 3 Nephi 18:21 and let these people know how much the Lord has promised us if we read and pray together daily.

This week was really special too because Sheila and Kelly were finally baptized. It's been a crazy 3 months and I've never taught someone for so long, but it was all in the Lord's time. I know the whole family will get there someday and we're gonna do all we can to help them achieve the ultimate goal of going to the temple together. I am so grateful for the peace and comfort the sealing ordinance has given to me. My companion said I should put a picture of the family in my Manual Misional to carry all the days and it's been cool to share it with people. I have the one of the whole Moulton family and it's the small wallet size one so no one can really tell who we all are, but they just love how big our family is.

The baptism went really well and we had a lot of help from the ward. The pictures before the baptism took like 30 minutes and it was super fun. I'll try to send them next week because it's not working right now.

Alexis left this morning for Connecticut. He's one of the guys that always went out with us and I'm gonna miss him. He lives out there with his sister and was here for 7 months visiting his parents. It's so cool to meet such great people in Perú. I love it here and wouldn't trade it for anything, just like I know all you brethren wouldn't trade your missions.

I love you all so much and hope you have the best week ever. I am so happy here on the mission. Everyday isn't perfect, but I love it all together. Thanks for all the love and support. Talk to you next week.

I love you Johnny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love your happy as ever pal in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley