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