Monday, July 28, 2014

Feliz Fiestas Patrias!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Perú!!! What a great place to live!

I was thinking about it last night and realized that there was a Peruvian festival or something like that in Utah right before I left that I wanted to go to but couldn't. So then I thought about it and realized that it must have been for their fiestas patrias (independence day). I'm so excited to go celebrate when I get home. I'm gonna be getting me some ají de gallina, some lomo saltado, some picarrones, and of course the mother of all Inca Kola. Yeah, just glorying in all things Peruvian for a second there. Gonna miss that fine food. Here I come Las Tinajas. Any and all are welcome to join me as well. I think I'll be going on a no rice diet for a couple weeks and then I'm just going to get all sorts of withdrawals and run to the Peruvian restaurant.

So, about the week. Well, it was a good one and I remembered to right a couple things down. To start it all of I'm gonna share what I wrote President.

In my studies this week I continued reading the words of Abinadi. I really like chapter 14 of Mosiah where it quotes Isaiah again. I know that Isaiah is so important because Jesus said it, but also because it's quoted so many times. As I read the footnotes I realized that those scriptures were quoted a lot of times in the New Testament too and that was something I hadn't realized before. It amazed me more than ever this week how all the books of scripture are so intertwined and interconnected. It strengthens my testimony every week as I am able to find the same doctrines consistantly taught throughout all of the scriptures. I was also able to study about the Creation in Preach My Gospel and that amazed me too, how many seperate accounts we have of the same events. I know it's one of the most important things to understand and as I was able to study all the different scriptures it broadened my understanding and instead of taking from one another, they all built upon each other. I know the scriptures were written by prophets of God.

My spiritual experience of the week happened on a companionship exchange. I went to Rosales
 where I had been over a year ago and was remembering lots of people there. I had thought earlier in the day of a young man that I had helped be baptized and then we were really close to his house. The appointment fell through so I asked if we could stop by. He had stopped going to church like 1 or 2 weeks after he was baptized because he worked on Sundays and it was really hard for us to get a hold of him. I thought he would probably be working, but it was worth the try. We rang the doorbell and he came out. He kind of took a step back when he saw me and was really surprised. He let us in and we were able to talk for a little. We talked about his baptism and he said in that moment he was able to feel such a difference in his life. He said he wasn't working anymore and said he would go to church on Sunday. I was really hoping he would because it was a nice little lesson to remind him of the change that takes place after baptism. Yesterday, the elders in that area called and said that he had gone to church. I was so happy and feel like he has been prepared for this. I don't know why he stopped going to church, but I know God was watching over him this whole time and was being prepared to come back to church. I told him that God has so much more prepared for him ahead and know God wants him to go on a mission. It was so special to arrive when he was ready. I don't know why he hadn't made it back to church before, but he's back on the path now and that fills me with joy.

That young mans name is Marco and it was so cool to see him again. That was a huge blessing from God.

Now about the baptisms. They were super cool. Elías was baptized and he's so cool. I just kept talking to him about going on the mission and he's really excited. He's 16 years old and a super miracle. In the picture you can see his nieces and nephews. Well, I had seen his niece that is super white before and was gonna talk, but I don't know why I didn't. But then I saw her again with the mom of Elías and the brother of Elías too who is super white, like whiter than me. Well, I thought he must be from another country and took the courage to talk. We got their address and everything and they are so cool. Elías went to church on his own his first time, which hardly ever happens. He's been reading in the Book of Mormon and is so cool. He reminds me of Josafat who I was actually able to see again this week. That's another huge blessing.

So the baptism went really well. It started later than ever because María Esther who is the investigator of the hermanas had to come from Lima a couple hours away. She's the lady I wrote about a couple weeks ago that came up to us and said that she's listened to the missionaries a bunch of times but could never get baptized because her work always moved her before she could. She told me that she's wanted to be baptized since she was 12 years old and now she's 47. She asked me to baptize her so I was able to baptize them both. That was really special. I've really been trying to get members to baptize, but this time it didn't work out and I was blessed. It feels so special to help others take that step towards Christ. To start on the path. To walk on through that door.

One more cool story about the family Caruajulca. They're the family where we eat. And if you remember they've had some car troubles. So I was telling them that you were praying for them and the car and everything. Then we ask if he can help us take Elías and his family to the baptism. It was all going perfectly and then we are coming down to the car with everyone and he starts saying something. Then I finally understand that the key was locked in the car. It all worked out, but took some time for the locksmith to come. And then of course that was money spent that he didn't really have to start out with. He took us and everything and then picked us up too. He wasn't going to accept my money to pay him, but then he did knowing that I wanted to pay for the locksmith too.

Now for the even cooler story. Elías had said that he didn't have a white shirt and tie so Hermano Caruajulca said he would give him one. On Sunday we did divisions and I went with Hermano Caruajulca to pick up Elías again. They had a white shirt and pants set aside, but then their son Josue said they wouldn't fit. He picked one out of his drawer and when his dad asked him if he used those pants, he told his dad to just take them. That was so cool to me so I commented it to the Hermano when we were driving. He said he loves giving and giving from his heart. Then he said he knew God would bless him tomorrow or the next day with clothes that someone else offered him. I thought that was a lot of faith and just an awesome dad who taught his children well too.

So, after church we show up to eat and he says he needs to show us something. He takes us to the bedroom and there are 4 bags FULL of clothes. He was blessed even faster than he thought. He said that in church two separate hermanas had called for him and his wife simultaneously and given him all the clothes. They have 7 kids all boys (7 Brides for 7 Brothers?) and one is married and out of the house, but the others are going strong. They said they would pick out the clothes they could use and then continue to bless other families by sharing the rest. They are such great examples to me and I love Peruvians so much. I mean, they're not all so amazing, but I'm grateful I can learn from the great Christlike things they do. I love it here and am so grateful for my mission. I feel so blessed to be able to serve among these blessed and choice people.

I continue to learn and grow each and everyday. Thanks for all the love, support, and above all else prayers. I love you all more than I could ever say.

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

Love your maybe half-Peruvian elder, son, brother, and best friend,Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Riding home in the trunk of the car -- gotta love Peru!

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