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