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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What a Week!

So, that's about all I have to say for the week.

I think I need to echo the feelings of Jacob in Jacob 7:26. It's all just a dream and it's passing by so fast. I have always thought it was a pretty cool scripture, but my life took "likening the scriptures" to a whole new level this week and I wasn't even trying. All you missionaries can definitely understand what I'm saying there. I'm glad that this life isn't everything though.  It's pretty cool that "a dream is a wish your heart makes". Don't really know where that one came from, but it's a gospel truth. There aren't any pesadilla (night mares) here, I mean even the hard times turn out to be amazing opportunities for growth, but it's definitely feeling like a dream these days.

The best part of the week was definitely my studies in the morning. I've just been soaking it all in. Jacob 5 is so amazing and even better when I'm literally one of those "laborers in the vineyard", that made it way real. Then of course chapter 6 is good stuff and 7 knocked my socks off. Jacob rebukes evil with such power and I was thinking about Sherem's last words. He finally decided to tell the truth before he died and then I thought about how Joseph Smith died for the truth. It's weird how different the situations are, but there is no way that the last words someone says are going to be  a lie.

I had a cool work visit with Elder Brown this week and talked way too much about The Lord of the Rings. It was good though because we kept it all tied back to the gospel. So looking forward to that movie and hoping it's still a go for Labor Day. All 3 extended versions in one day equals one of the best days of the year and time well spent.

So way too many lessons fell through this week and I've never had a harder time getting into houses. Sorry for the lack of stories, but this week is going to be even better.

Oh yeah, two in one. So I saw two huge houses in my area last week and the first one I really felt like we should knock. It had an intercom and that's always a bummer. My companion thought I was crazy and I thought I was too. So I rang it and the lady was real cool. She came out and said she's been to church a lot of times. That was amazing. We went back and taught the family once and the house is so nice, like even for the US, it's so beautiful. Then later I saw a huge house and had wanted to ask what it was before, because it's way too big to be a house. So I saw someone go in and I asked them. She was a really nice lady too and said she wanted us to come back. I mean, it is a monster house and there are like 6 people living there. It's gonna be so cool this week. I'm really excited.

The branch presidency got changed so that was crazy and cool. What I wrote to President about it, The branch is going to get so much better. The old branch president was really starting to understand things, but I'm also really excited to be working with Presidente Gonzales. We already have a really great relationship with him. He used to be the pensionista and loves helping the missionaries in any way he can. He owns a pizzeria in his house so he is also going to be able to spend more time during the day to visit people and also he can work his schedule at night better to do interviews. The majority of the members are really excited and us as missionaries are ready to go too. The branch council was great and he helped every organization commit to visiting one family this week and will ask for a report next week. I know that is going to help us so much.

And a cool experience I wrote him too. A spiritual experience this week was with a less active named Juan. His neighbor is the ward clerk and we asked him one day if he knew anyone else we could share our message with. He told us his next door neighbor was a member, but hadn't gone in years. We've gone there lots of times and reminded the clerk to talk to his neighbor because he didn't let us in. On Saturday we got a call and the ward clerk told us that we had an appointment at 3 with Juan. The lesson went really well and at the end he gave a prayer that was so sincere. He asked for forgiveness for not going in more than 30 years and promised he would go Sunday. We asked him several times if we could talk with his family and we set up an appointment for Monday. So yesterday he went to church and then his wife showed up too, who turns out to be a member of more than 30 years too. Their children and grandchildren aren't baptized and we're really excited for our appointment tonight. It was amazing how the Spirit worked with him and you could see the joy that he felt in the church.

I love you all and you are all in my prayers. Have the best week ever!

I'm grateful for down weeks that keep me humble and am ready to just give it my all this next one.

Love your friend in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

One Elder said I had the White Hand of Sauron look going on. (Uruk-hai  --  Lord of the Rings)
Football felt so good. Never played on the beach before. Quite an experience with the Latinos too. I love Perú!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

BEYOND AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!‏

Hey there beautifuls (and handsomes too),

So yesterday was so great being able to talk with my family and just feel like we haven't been apart at all. It amazes me how quickly our hearts jump the time barrier and it feels like we were together yesterday. Once again, I imagine that's what heaven is going to be like and I'm really excited to see Papa and all my ancestors. It'll maybe feel like we never even left them, or that they left us.

This week was amazing and really hard. I mean, sounds like a mission to me. I loved that Dad said all missions are really similar, just the names of the people change. I was talking with my companion and I think that the majority of the time it is just so hard, but the amazing even celestial moments make it all worth while. I really don't remember the hard times that well, but the amazing things just can't leave me. We are all truly blessed more than we could ever deserve. I know that God delights in blessing His children and that includes us too. I don't deserve His miracles, but am so grateful that He is merciful.

So Elder Waddel (of the Seventy and the Area Presidency) came and talked with us this week. I learned a ton and am so grateful for my mission. I was just so excited to go out and apply it all, but then came the week. I was trying really hard, but things just weren't working out. I really like what he said that ''the strength of a missionaries faith can't take away the agency of an investigator''. I think we can all apply that a little more in our lives.

So I did the Attribute Activity like Hillary (Hermana Young) asked us to and I've gotta be honest. There weren't really very many surprises. Still got a lot to work on in regards to patience (no surprise to any of you), but I'm gonna make it. It opened up my eyes a little though as to how I'm gonna achieve it and I'm so grateful for Preach My Gospel, it's an amazing book.

I'm dedicated more than ever to becoming the missionary I always wanted to be. I want to be like Christ and He'll help me. Elder Waddell helped us understand the importance of obedience too and I know our mission is going to change so much as we as missionaries all change ourselves first.

In my studies this week I was reading in Jacob 5 and it just helped me understand more than ever my purpose as a missionary. I really liked how it says ''what more could I have done for my vineyard?'' because we feel like that a lot as missionaries too. But then I learned something so important. The servant kept telling the lord of the vineyard to spare it one more time, and just work a little longer. I know in the mission and in life that we are going to be knocked down way too many times. We're going to mess up, but what matters is how many times we pick ourselves up. I know God will bless us as we show to Him that we are going to keep working no matter what happens. I am going to keep picking myself up no matter how many times I fall down. I really liked how it talked about how the lord needed the fruit to lay up in store too. God really does want ALL of His children to come back to Him and He never loses hope. I want to help Him in His work.

So that's what I was talking about. Everytime I think I have it under control, or I've learned to be a missionary I fall down (sometimes hard). But I'm not going to stay on the ground. I can't, there's no time to lose. I'm gonna pick myself up everytime I fall during the mission and for my whole life. I can't promise perfection, in fact I promise a lot of mistakes, but I also promise an eternal endurance.

It was so amazing to talk to you and to those of you that I didn't get to see in person, I love you tons and tons. Thanks for being such amazing examples to me.

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

Love your imperfect, but ever better friend in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley


HAPPY MOTHERS' DAY to all of you mothers, future mothers, and everyone blessed by a mother too. Please give a huge hug to Nomi and Oma if you're going to see her again. And just spread the love to everyone else too. I'm so grateful for you Mom and the amazing example you are to me. The good I have comes from you and I'm sure you can all attest to the same in your lives.

This week flew by so quickly with a trip to Lima (not as eventful as the last one) and two trainings from Presidente. They were really cool and I just loved how he unfolds the scriptures. I'm sure looking forward to religion classes and institute when I get home. You should all definitely take advantage of those things now.

Probably the coolest part of the week was the root beer floats for Brianna's birthday. I really never thought I would find root beer in Perú, but God does miracles. Then I went on to find Cadbury chocolate in the same week that of course comes from Birmingham, England. Yeah, it was a good feast for me.

So I met this guy at the bus station the other day. Well, I walked up to him and tried to talk at least. He was the gringoest looking gringo I've ever seen so I was sure he was going to speak English. Usually I'm pretty afraid when I see a white person because I don't know if they'll speak English, but this time I was sure. He was super tall, had a beer gut, and was smoking a cigarette. So I walk up to him and talk in English and then he says Franz. I was thinking he said France so I was like cool, you're from France. Then he said France again so I said, oh you speak French. Then he said Italian so I thought that was pretty cool. I was a little sad by my inability to communicate so tried again and asked his name. He said Franz and then said he's from Italy. It still didn't click so I gave him a pass along card and walked away. Then I realized that he was trying to introduce himself and I didn't even tell him my name. I guess he's just thinking I'm another stuck up American that doesn't want to learn a new language or something like that, and he has every right to that. What an adventure! I'll do better next time.

In church yesterday I was thinking about sacrifice and about Abraham and it just hit me. There are so many people that say they have to work on Sunday for their kids and I think about me. I mean, if I'm going hungry that's one thing, but I don't know how I would react if my kids are starving too. That sounds like a perfectly normal fatherly instinct to me. Then it just came to me. Abraham was not only going to follow the Lord's will and let his son go hungry, he was going to sacrifice his son. That must have gone against everything he was feeling, but he always remembered that he had made a covenant with God to always be faithful, no matter the price. Abraham is such a great example to me along with my ancestors. The pioneers did the same and I pray I will be like them. I'm so grateful I can learn these things on the mission.

My spiritual experience was definitely the baptismal interview that Juana had. I guess it's even better though because I had nothing to do with it. When Elder Salazar went working with me this week he asked Hermana Juana if she would be willing to have her interview on Sunday right after church and she agreed. I thought that was something new, but it just might work. So on Sunday her daughter told me that she was busy, but my companion passed by with another member and were able to help her come to church. We announced that her baptism is Friday several times to the members and every time she would shake her head and say no, but we just kept going. She accepted to have the interview and Elder Brown was led by the Spirit to what he needed to say. I feel like it was really spiritual for me because I didn't lose the faith. It was hard to keep going when she kept saying no, we didn't want to force her, but we know she's ready. She had the interview and we're all ready for Friday. It was really special and I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father comforted and quieted her fears.

I can't believe that Ulysses, Jeremy, Matt, and Andrew are all home. I love you brethren so much. Stay strong and we'll be seeing each other soon.

I love you all more than I could ever say. Thanks for all of your amazing examples. Have the best week ever!!!!!!!!!1

Love your ever dedicated servant of the Lord,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley