Sunday, July 31, 2016

Last Pics

My last pics. The batch before is when I finished my mission and was in my mission president's house too. It was amazing up there! And here are pics of my last days in the area, Chancho al Cilindro, pic with my old comp Elder Hurtado who was the assistant and us doing his classic don't look at the camera pose. Love that guy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My Last Letter

Hey Mom, this letter I would like everyone to receive, if you could send it to everyone or something.

Well, as I never thought it might, the time has finally come. I have 4 more working days in my area, then Im going to the office to finish my mission. This time has been unforgettable, and I dont really have the adecquate words to express my feelings right now. I have fought the good fight, and I have served the Lord and the people of Peru for the past 2 years of my life. I dont know if I even deserve all the thank yous that the people are giving me, cuz what I have learned and received here is much more that what I feel like I have given. My time in the mission hasnt come to an end quite yet, but this will probably be my last letter home, and as I still have a nametag on, I want to share my testimony with all of you. These have literally been the most demanding 2 years of my life. Never before have I been away from home, from family, friends, and culture to live amongst strange people that I am somehow supposed to learn to love. It has been a difficult road, one where I have fallen in the bumps and gotten knocked down on my butt many times, but I have finally made it to the end. Ive literally been waiting for this time ever since I started, cuz when I started the mission, my 2 greatest and conflicting desires were to finish my mission, but go home right away. I didnt know how I would be able to learn a new language, live what seemed to me to be hard mission rules and teach a people that I didnt even know. But now, estoy complacido poder compartir con todos de ustedes, que ahora sé español, y puedo hablar, leer, y escribirlo. Ha requirido mucho tiempo y bastante esfuerzo, pero con la ayuda de mi Señor y el don de lenguas, he podido manejar y dominar este reto. No lo sé con perfección, pero estoy demasiado agradecido por el nivel de confianza que el Señor me ha dado al hablar y compartir el Evangelio en la lengua materna de mi familia, los Peruanos. Ya, thats enough Spanish for now. haha. But to be honest, my mission has been an amazing experience for me, I have learned about the Book of Mormon, the keystone of our religion, and I understand why it is the keystone of our religion now. Maybe I havent read it as many times as I thought I might as a missionary, but I am now familiar with the Book, and I have grown to love it. I had a testimony of Joseph Smith much before I had a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but thanks to much study, prayer, and fasting, I can now say with assurety that I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I have had many experiences that have strengthened that testimony, and I have seen it influence and change the lives of those that I have taught. I love this Gospel and I love my Savior so much. I first learned and grew to trust in the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ thanks to this marvelous work and wonder. I had always heard testimonies of others about the Book of Mormon and the Atonement, but until I really decided to look and search the Book of Mormon with real intent, that is when my personal appreciation for the work of the Lord started to grow. I have made a myriad of mistakes on my mission, and I am grateful that the Atoning sacrifice of my Redeemer Jesus Christ has the ability to still rescue me. I thought that the mission would change me completely, change my desires and change my personality right away. But I think I learned it best from a song that I have heard on my mission, "its not in the letter I cant wait to open, its not in the badge that will carry His name. Its not gonna grow in just 3 weeks of study, or magically come when I get on a plane." That opened my eyes to the reality of the grace of the Lord. I have needed the Atonement many many times on my mission, and I know that even thought I have failed the Lord at times, I am sure that He has forgiven me for my sins. My testimony of repentance is even stronger than it was before, and I will never be able to repay the Lord for that amazing blessing. I have been able to change so much on my mission, maybe not to the level that I would have liked, but I am 100% positive that I am not the person that I used to be. It has been thanks to much time, slow progress over a long period of time. Thanks to the efforts of many, my 12 companions, my 2 mission presidents, my 7 areas, and the wonderful influences and leaders that have taught me how to be. I thank so much my trainer and the Elders that I was blessed so much to be able to train. The mission is the roller coaster that I never would have paid for if I would have known, but the most exhilirating experience that I have ever lived, and the one that I am most grateful for. I know that this Church is true, I know that we are led my living prophets and apostles, and I know that they know the voice of the Lord. I know that this is the Lords church once again restored to the earth. The times that I stood up in church as a young man to bear my testimony, I think I always did it with nervousness. But now I can do it with a certainty that I didnt have before. Im grateful for my family that always impulsed me to do the right and that motivated and encouraged me to go on a mission. I testify of revelation, for I know that the Lord needed me to work here in Peru with the people that I did work with. My testimony is very simple yet very special to me. Im grateful that its small, cuz I still need to work hard so that it can grow. I love my Father in Heaven, and I know that He loves me. Im grateful for the investment that the Lord and the Church has made in me, and I hope to continue to repay it the rest of my life through my service and the way that I live. I share these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Mom, there it is, my last dying words that I want you all to know. I want you to know that I am finishing with no regrets. I feel satisfied with the work that I have done, the way that I have lived, and the lessons that the Lord has seen fit to teach me.
My flight to the states is monday night at 12:45am, or in other words tuesday early morning, if im not mistaken, so i dont know if i will have the chance to write you again until i get home, or be able to call you, but keep that in mind, and that the flight will be about 12 hours, if im not mistaken. I still dont have a flight itinerary, but that is the info that i currently have. plan ahead!

i love you so much, mom. ill be home soon, i cant wait to see you all and hug my best and wonderful and beloved family. i love this gospel and i love all of you. thanks for your examples and love that i have always been able to observe and receive. see you soon, before you even know it!!

Elder Wilson
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Misión Perú Lima Sur

Friday, July 1, 2016

June 27, 2016

I’m getting sort of burned out. I wanna finish with fire, not in flames. This last week was kind of a doozy. Thanks for the letter of anticipation about sort of what to expect getting home. I’ve gotten kind of worried about going home and not knowing what to do next. It’s been a topic of thought. To be honest, lately I’ve not known what to do here. I have so many mixed feeling and nerves. I don’t know what to think sometimes. I feel like my heart is sort of leaving where I actually am and longing to be back home with family and resting for a time. When I get home, the only thing that I’m sure of what I want do right away is eat American fast food, rest, watch a movie, and lounge for a minute. I’m super excited to do that. :) Hahaha. Other than that, I sort of worry about dating and stuff like that. To be honest, that doesn’t even stress me yet. In my ward here, there’s like 3 missionaries that have just returned home in the last 2 months (some in the last 2 weeks). I’ve been talking to them and getting some advice as well. I’m excited for the reunion in the airport and all that jazz and excited to be with family, tell awesome stories maybe, eat real American food, and sleep till whenever I feel like. Also, I wanna hear about everyone else’s lives, like David, who I haven’t seen in 3 and a half years! I’m really excited to see him and hang out with him if he has time for me. I know he’s working and everything, but I really miss him and would love to catch up with him. I’m excited to be talking my native language all the time, and maybe have the chance to talk with other friends that know Spanish as well. There’s lots of things that I’m looking forward to and that’s been the major part of my thoughts lately.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still concentrating on where I am. I have heard and learned from many people, that the journey is what should be enjoyed more than the desire to reach the destination. I desire the destination, but I hope and pray every day to enjoy the journey. I wanna go home with a stronger testimony than I had. I remember before my mission I thought I would be a completely different person…strong in the gospel, completely changed, better, and converted. I realize now that testimonies and changes are particles at a time. The nametag doesn’t make the missionary, it’s every small virtuous decision that makes the missionary. To serve a mission is the easy part, but to BE a missionary is what requires courage and a willing heart. I hope that my time here hasn’t been wasted. It has never been my intention to waste my time nor the Lord’s time. When we were visited by Elder Rasband 3 weeks ago, he told us that the Lord has made and is making a huge investment in us. In the time, effort, and hard work of all the people that help us, and also all the assignments and things that we do as missionaries are the investment that the Lord is making in us. I do hope that I do not squander that investment. I wish to continue to grow and strengthen others at the same time. I’m excited for these last 2 weeks, and honestly at times a little too excited to finish, but that’s the reality. I love the Lord’s work, and I love my family and miss them. That is the paradox that has me stuck between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t know what to write today, mom, to be honest. These are the things that I’ve been feeling, but please know that your words have helped me. Every effort you make to help me and to encourage me is worth it, thank you so much for your love. I’m working hard, and anxious for all there is to come. Continue to give my love to everyone. I love you all and miss you so much. I know the Lord loves me, and I hope to always feel His love with me. It requires lots of work and effort to have the spirit at all times, even as a missionary, but it’s a goal of mine to always be worthy of such a precious gift from my Heavenly Father.
Elder Wilson
Pic: A sweater that I just bought! I was recently estrenandola.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

June 20, 2016

Well, I don’t really know what to talk about for this week. I’ve had lots on my mind. I’ve been thinking so much about finishing strong, and I don’t want to get distracted, but I can see the end. To be honest, it’s been getting to me somewhat. I’m still working hard and giving it my all. I can see the shoreline, but I’m still rowing hard! This week I had 2 interchanges with elders in my district. The first one was with an elder from Peru that doesn’t even care about what he does on his mission. It was super lame to be honest. He’s lazy and doesn’t try hard to be obedient. Then, I had an interchange with his companion. That one was awesome. He’s from Utah, and he is finishing with me. He’s still working hard to help the people in his area, while his comp couldn’t care less about what goes on. Sad. We talked a lot about how to help his comp to take more part in the work. We identified many aspects of how he can help his comp to try harder. It was a great time together, and this week I’ll be having more interchanges with them to verify their progress. I don’t want the other elder to get trunky and ruin everything, because they did something stupid this week and we had to correct them. I just wanna make sure that they aren’t doing anything stupid nor wasting their time in their area. It’s good because it’ll keep me busy helping them out. 

We had our last zone conference with President and his wife. In that conference me and 3 other elders from my group gave our last testimonies. It was weird to do. My whole mission I could never see myself giving the last testimony in front of everyone like that but the time had arrived. It’s interesting to reflect on my mission and all the things that have happened, all that has gone on, and all that I’ve done and seen. I’m very happy with the mission that I’ve had. My only worry is that I won’t be able to stay focused these last weeks. I continue to pray for concentration and help to not get trunky. I’m not trunky. I’m fighting it. I pretty much only have 2 and a half weeks left in my area. Then we’re gonna travel to Lima on Friday of the last week here in order to do a temple trip with all the missionaries from my group. It’s a new thing that President is doing, taking all the missionaries finishing their missions to the temple for one last session in the Lima temple. It’s awesome! I’m excited for it! 
This week we placed Luis Angel with a baptismal date, a PF that we’ve been teaching for about 3 weeks or so. He is so great and after doing many inspired questions with him, he told us that what he knows he needs to do is repent and be baptized. So, right then we invited him, and he accepted. It was great. We also invited a young man Diego that we’ve been teaching for about 3 weeks as well. He also desires to join the church. He is very curious and very receptive to the teaching. I’m happy with the work that we are doing and the success that the Lord is granting us here. I feel like we are doing our part here. I just wanna keep going.
Please know that I love you so much, and I’m gonna finish strong. I’m excited to be finishing, but nervous and anxious as well. I love this work. I love the Lord. I am so grateful for this gospel in my life. I love you, my family. Send my love to dad, and tell him to keep hanging in there. I’m so excited to hug him hard, but his back has to be better for that! xoxoxo!!

Elder Wilson

Sunday, June 19, 2016

May 31, 2016 (I missed a week sorry!)

This week was a very interesting week. We were able to teach the new family that we had found last week, Jorge and Gabriela. We placed Gabriela with a baptismal date. She had actually asked us about 3 times when she could get baptized. We taught her about baptism and then invited her. She and her partner that is less active, still need to get married, but we’re working on that for this month of June. Then she’ll get baptized in July. They are a really great couple, really desirous to live the gospel and be able to improve as a family. That was the good news of this week.

The not good news is that we haven’t been able to contact a recent convert that we had just baptized earlier this month, Felipe. We finally got to see him on Thursday night, after waiting in the street for 45 minutes, so that he could come downstairs. It was the only time that we had found out that he was home. We decided to wait. It turns out that he has had a dream a couple nights ago, and he believes that God speaks to him through dreams. In the dream, he saw a group of people entering in to the chapel through a window, even though the doors were wide open. He said that there were some people that denied and questioned why they had to enter in through the window, and that the leaders told them that they must be obedient, and then pushed them inside. He woke up from the dream questioning what we had taught him about the vicarious baptisms. It was something that he had problems with even when we first taught him. Felipe knows the whole Bible from front to back, and he says that there aren’t any records of the ancient people getting baptized for their dead. When we explained to him the scriptures in 1 Corinthians and in D & C 128, he said that the scriptures don’t help answer his questions. They aren’t clear enough. Well, it was a very difficult lesson because he had a very closed heart that night and wasn’t going to accept anything that we told him. He had an excuse for every explanation that we gave him. It was very disheartening to see how his doubts and fears had entered into him and how he had closed himself off to the truth of the gospel. We don’t know exactly why, but he believes that God tells him that he shouldn’t go to church. That’s why he hasn’t come the past 3 weeks. I’ve been studying a lot to be able to help him understand the principle of vicarious work in the temple and to be able to search out his own answers as well. I feel like the Lord has helped me to find answers to his questions. Now we are just waiting for the opportunity to meet with him again.

Well, we had a good week finding new people to teach and lots of less actives as well. We’re continuing to have progress and it’s been great. 
I’m doing fine. This is officially the first week of my last transfer in the mission. I didn’t get transferred either. I’m in my same area with my same companion Elder Peña. I’m excited for these last 6 weeks. I’m gonna give it my all! I wanna thank you for the letter you sent me a while back about finishing strong. In the language studies that they give us, I have translated it into Spanish. I’m gonna send it to my past comps in a sealed letter that says that they can’t open it until they are getting close to the end of their missions. Just like what you guys sent me in my Christmas package! BTW: I still have the letter that you sent me that I can’t open until I’m getting ready to come home. I think I’m gonna open it when I have like 2 or 3 weeks left. But, I’ve opened the rest of them already.
A letter from my mission president, President McGinn:

Thanks for the update. You don't have much time. Teach those principles like crazy in your last cambio. We need missionaries who understand and are ready to put the principles to work. We can't have missionaries who are taught and then forget. Make sure your comp nails it.

You are the best. I hate to see you going home. Ugh!


A quick little note from president to give me a boost, to keep going, and teaching like crazy! Anyways, that’s about it for the week. I’m doing well and loving my mission. Loving my Savior, the patience and unconditional love that He has for me. Love you so much Mom, see you soon!
I hope dad is doing well. Give him all my love and excitement. I can’t wait to hear that he’s back on his feet and doing well again. I love my family so darn much!
Elder Wilson
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Misión Perú Lima Sur