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