Monday, August 11, 2014

Oh Buddy, What a Good One!‏

So good!

A quick shout out to my grandma Nomi.

My week was absolutely amazing and probably just too full of experiences to even say them all. We went on divisions yesterday and the member that was with me asked if things like you see in ''The Best Two Years'' actually happen and it was awesome just to tell him some of the stories. Now, I'm not sure if my mission is the stuff of legend. If you watched the whole thing it would be super boring. Maybe it won't be making it into a General Conference talk any time soon, but it's mine and I love it. I'm so grateful for all of the experiences I've been given here. I wouldn't trade them for anything. Part of my heart definitely is going to be left in Perú. That's a fun part of the adventure too though. I just love all of the twists and turns.
I don't know why, but I was thinking about Brother Bramwell yesterday. I don't even know if they are still in the ward or not, but sometimes when I'm reading in the scriptures I think about what he said one time about ''the wiles of the devil''. It's cool how things I learned years ago can just come back to my memory so quickly, maybe that's how the Spirit works though. Hey, maybe we all feel the Spirit more than we usually realize. I know I've been guided so many times on my mission without knowing. Well, if he's still living there please tell him thank you and I'll be passing by to say thanks soon too.
Oh, before I forget. Please sign me up for the Liahona in Spanish. I love reading it so much and hopefully that can help me keep up on my Spanish and spiritual things too. I'm super pumped to speak with Hillary, Charlie, and just everyone else too, you too Mom. Also, Tito, I'm counting on you to help me in my Spanish class. It's so awesome to have family and friends that are there no matter what and Spanish just makes it even better.
So yesterday I think we all had a good class in Priesthood and Relief Society. Well, at least what was in the manual was awesome. Not really sure what happened in your neck of the woods, but Perú kind of got turned upside down because of some of the issues with people not being married. We're all just sitting there with investigators and they're asking me if it's required to get married so I said they would get the answer in the class. Then all of a sudden the bomb was dropped. Of course it was some less actives who are coming back to church and trying their best that just had to ask the question. They were all asking what happens if you're sealed to more than one person and how it can be possible to love more than one person  and everything else imagineable. Well, things actually kind of worked out because while all the other members were just talking about all sorts of things (definitely not even close to the doctrine) I just talked with the two investigators by me. I just explained that I don't really know, but I'm sure that God has it all worked out. I'm sure that the celestial kingdom will be better than we could ever imagine and perfectly perfect. I told them that they needed to follow Christ and that He would take care of the rest. They liked that and in the end I actually think it was a great experience to help them strengthen their faith.
In my studies this week I continued to read the words of Abinadi. They are so powerful. I really liked learning about how we are as men: carnal, sensual, devilish. It just made me think that if we continue forward, we're never going to make it back with God. We can't just continue forward as normal, we have to change and to become better. Lots of people say that they live a good life and don't hurt anyone, but that's not enough. We have to follow Christ and do what He has asked us to do. I also studied the attributes of Christ and felt really good to see lots of areas that I have improved in. I also was able to notice a couple areas that I can still work on or that got a little worse without me noticing. Now I know what I need to do better so I can apply it and just get better. In our studies as a companionship we were able to work really well together to make lesson plans that were fitted exactly to what the investigators needed. It helped so much as we taught to have already talked about what we were going to say, what scriptures or examples we were going to use, and other little things. I know as we plan better together the Spirit will be able to be part of our companionship more. I really liked my language study this week too and am trying my best to leave all pride behind and just get better.
 My spiritual experience was a man named Guido. We had been planning for a couple of weeks now to talk with people in the mercado in the mornings, but something kept coming up so that we didn't go. Finally on Saturday we had time in the morning so we went. We were talking to a couple of people and it was cool because there were just so many people that came there instead of us having to search for them. We left for a little to search for a house, but then went back. My companion was talking to a group of people and a man came up to me and said ''elder''. He then explained that he knew a member who was sick and wanted us to go talk with her. I told him that we for sure could go. He took us to the house which was pretty far away and on the way he explained that she was the mom of their kids, but they had been separated for a couple of years. He still felt some responsibility towards her so he was taking care of her now. We got to the house and could talk a little with the member. Guido, the man, said he would go to church yesterday and we were waiting to go with him. He didn't show up for a long time so we decided to just go. Then in church we turned around and he was there. He was able to talk with the bishop, relief society president, and elders quorum president. They were able to visit the member yesterday and things are looking better for all of them. My companion challenged them to get married and Guido said he wanted to. It was a miracle because he had come from so far and we were there in the only spot he would have ever found us because we had no plans of going anywhere near his house. God is aware of all of His children and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of helping a couple of them to feel of His love.
Just a huge thanks to Hillary (Hermana Young). Your challenge to do the attribute activity in Preach My Gospel helped me so much this week. It was so cool to see the ways I'm improving and the things that I still need to work on. I definitely encourage all of you to try it this week if you didn't do it before. It's nice to know that we aren't perfect, but we can all take the steps necessary to keep getting better.
I love Perú so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for all your love, support, and above all else your prayers.
Have the best week ever and know that you are all in my prayers too! The mission is too amazing and so is this life. God gives us so much more than we could ever ask for.
Love your little all-American boy in Perú,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley

Monday, August 4, 2014

Part Peruvian

Hey Everyone,

Yeah, I would definitely consider myself part Peruvian now. Rice has long since become a staple instead of an annoyance and well, I kind of find it beautiful in it's own special way here. Well, yeah, I've said that for like the last couple months, but it just keeps getting clearer. I'm sure gonna miss this place, but then again, I sure do miss the US a whole bunch still. It's cool to me how our heart can grow and include more people, places, and things. Just because I love Peru doesn't mean I don't like the US anymore, but instead they are both a part of who I am. That's something special about who we are and I'm grateful God made us that way.

In my studies this week I continued to study the words of Abinadi. It took me a long time to study even just one chapter and I kind of felt like I wasn't making any progress. Then another day I felt like I wasn't really learning much, but instead just reading. There is so much to learn from the scriptures and even though I am moving forward I feel like there is more I can do. I tried to just reflect on what I read one day and that helped me a lot as I tried to apply it to my life. Then yesterday in church I was able to bear my testimony and I realized that I actually did learn a lot from the scriptures this week. I learned from Abraham's example as well as Lehi's that it doesn't matter what happens with our family, we need to do what the Lord asks of us. I know I've felt this before on the mission, but this time it was even more. I feel like I can sacrifice for the Lord, but it would be really hard to ask my children to give up things, for example to go hungry for a couple of days if I didn't have work instead of accepting a job where I worked on Sundays. Then I thought about Heavenly Father and how He lets all of His children suffer to learn and grow. It must not be easy for Him, but it's so necessary, as it was with Abraham, Lehi, and their families. I hope I can be strong like the examples in the scriptures and always show my children that the most important is following the Lord.
I'm not sure how much sense that all made, but just know that I love the scriptures so much and am learning so much from them everyday. I'm going to miss having so much time everyday to study the scriptures, but am grateful that the mission helped me understand and make habits so it will be even more of a habit for me for the rest of my life.
 My spiritual experience for the week was when Elias received the priesthood yesterday. It was really special to be there when he received the priesthood and to feel the Spirit telling me it was something really good, really important, and saying good job for helping him. I didn't participate, but was there to watch and could still feel the Spirit so strong. Elias said later that he felt a heat go through his whole body when the hands were put on his head. It's something special to hear people talk about feeling the Spirit for the first times in their lives. Later we went to his house to teach him some more and help him understand about the priesthood. Then after he asked if he could accompany us and ended up guiding us to one of his friends that turns out is a member. We didn't get to see him all week because he was working and then lots of special things happened with him on Sunday. I'm grateful I get to know Elias here on the mission.
Before I move on I just want to wish Opa (my grandpa)
Another cool story from this week was how I thought I might have gotten pulgas (fleas) again. So I pulled out those flea collars and now I'm fine. I don't have any bites or anything, so maybe I just overreacted, but either way I'm clean. And let me tell you how nice it is to not have fleas. Thanks again for sending the flea collars.
Things continue to go well here in Miramar and I'm loving giving my all to the Lord. It's nice feeling so tired and just knowing that I'm following the words of a prophet (can't remember which one, but you should look it up) ''my life is to be like my shoes, worn away in the service of my Lord''. I think that's how it is anyways. I'm a big fan and hope my shoes are a good testament to my hard work too. Actually, maybe I should have bought cheaper shoes to make it look like I worked harder. These Dansko's have been holding up so well.
It's nice to know that we're never done learning and growing. I feel like everyday I find something else that I think I should have already known, but find that I lack. It's nice to be able to get better each and everyday. I'm so far from where I want to be, but I feel like I'm giving a good service to my God. I don't notice all of the differences, but I sure hope all of you can see some changes when I make it back. I'm so excited to go to the temple so you all need to get ready to go with me.
Have the best week ever and know that you are all in my prayers! It was cool to read my Patriarchal Blessing again and see how some of it is playing out right before my eyes. I know this is God's church and it is definitely directed by revelation.
Thanks for all of your love, support, prayers, and examples.
I love you more than I could ever say.
Love your part Peruvian, but mostly American, ever learning, son of God,
Elder Aaron Micah Wheatley