Monday, September 22, 2014

9/15/2014 Email!!

From: Camille Weller []
Sent: Monday, September 15, 2014 4:40 PM
To: Melissa Wheatley;
Subject: Last email from PERU!

Wow what a weird feeling to think about not ever having to get online in Peru again to write my friends and family... this past week has been amazing, especially because it ended with seeing my mom for the first time in 18 months! What a sweet reunion that was, and I’m so glad I get to have her here in Peru with me for this next week! Monday was super cool; we got to go to a place called Yura and got to hike through a little creek going through a canyon, which ended at a huge waterfall, talk about an adventure in Peru for my last p-day! Tuesday we had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators about how she wants to be baptized, she said she doesn't know that much about the church but that just from watching the members and how they are she wants to become a part of that. She said there is a clear difference in our way of living and our attitudes that she loves. it was cool to hear that from an outside source. I think we forget that each one of us as members of the church are an example 24/7 of the true church of Jesus Christ. People are watching us and the impression they get is their impression of the church. Which can either be for good or bad (: Thursday I had my last meeting with my zone, they made me a cute cake that said "bye w" haha they´re the best. We had a little goodbye party and then went and said goodbye to some members, packed up all my stuff and headed to the mission home! I didn't get much sleep that night knowing that my mom was in Lima and that i would get to see her the next day but that's okay (: Friday I went and picked her up from the airport!!! It was so good to see her again! I’ve missed my mama.  That day we took all her stuff to the mission home and unpacked a little bit and then we went on a 4 hour bus ride to MOQUEGUA (: we stayed with my pensionista there and had a lot of fun chatting with them and having dinner, which was just grilled chicken (she was lucky that day (; ) we also got to go get ice cream with some of the missionaries there that night which was fun! then on Saturday we went to the market and i had her try some Peruvian fruit that wasn't really her favorite.. haha we visited some of my converts and then we had lunch.... which my mom will never forgive me for (: haha they made us civiche which is raw fish cooked in lemon juice.. i thought that I couldn’t leave Peru without trying it but after i actually did... i think i could have gone without.. haha i think i hated it more than my mom did! definitely backfired on me.. that night we headed back to Arequipa and then Sunday morning at about 4 we woke up and got on a bus to go up to CHIVAY (: we got there, had breakfast in the plaza, and then went up to the little chapel to go to church. She got to see firsthand what a beautiful disaster it is up there.... there was no one to play the piano so i lead the music and i was pretty much the only one singing...... which does not sound good haha then the cutest old man blessed the sacrament and even though he could barely walk he still knelt down to say the sacrament prayer... you could sense the pain in the elders voices as they had to make him repeat the prayer until it was said right.. the classes were good, as always the members were full of interesting questions (: then after all the meetings the relief society made us lunch, arroz choufa, and we handed out the dolls and toys that my family sent with my mom. they all loved that! Then we still had lots of dolls left so we took them up to the plaza and started to hand them out and people started to run over to where we were to get them, so we handed those out pretty fast. (: my mom got to see some of the houses that they live in and i think it was a pretty humbling experience when these people who live in a one room, dirt floor house run to go buy US a present.. then a little later we got on a bus again and headed back to Arequipa! We´ve been here since last night and are trying to take a little bit of a rest before we leave to go to Cuzco tonight!

I wanted to end this email by sharing with you how much I have loved my mission.. my mom sees a lot of things about Peru that I don’t notice anymore, I have come to know and love their weird corky ways here and to me it feels like home. I know that I will miss Peru dearly and especially everyone that I have come to know and love but I’m starting to feel like I’m ready to come home, that I have done all I need to do. I have loved this time that I have had as a personal representative of Jesus Christ and all i hope to do is to continue to be so, only without the name tag. I know that next week will be when all that i have learned will be put to the test. I know that trials and difficulties lay ahead, but that with the things i have learned i will be able to meet them, overcome them, and learn from them.  I have felt the joy and unexplainable happiness that comes from sharing the gospel and I don’t think my love for doing so will ever go away. I have seen the gospel change people lives... it brings a certain happiness that they have never experienced and opens their eyes to the wonderful and bright future that awaits them. I have helped people to feel the love that their Heavenly Father has for them and helped them to become closer to him. I have worked side by side with my Savior in hopes of helping people come unto him to receive forgiveness.. To help them understand that He is waiting with open arms to cleans them and help them be free of guilt, to give them strength to face their problems and pains, and to change their weaknesses into strengths. I feel as though i had a strong testimony of the church and its teachings before I left, but that each individual principle has been more deeply etched into my heart. I have seen and felt the importance of prayer.. Without it I wouldn’t have made it through the beginning of my mission when i first got to Peru. I had never felt so alone, so scared and most of all so frustrated with myself. I felt like all of my weaknesses were being brought out of me and i learned that i am nothing without the help of my Heavenly Father.. I think it was crucial that i learned that in my first couple months because i needed Him more in these past months then ever did before. As i have gone from area to area and had to leave the people that i loved so much and had such amazing experience i had to trust in my heavenly that he would watch over and take care of them better than i ever could. I have loved and learned so much from each of my companions, and consider each one of them my very best friends. I have also been so blessed to come to know so many other young men and woman who made the decision to come out here and serve the Lord and to leave behind their families and lives. It’s funny because we all come from such different backgrounds but somehow we all come to feel like family. There will always be a special place in my heart for all of the memories that have been made during this time. I also feel very blessed to have such amazing friends and family that have been by my side through it all. I couldn’t have asked for a better support team and I can’t wait to hug you all and see all of your beautiful faces! Thank you for everyone that prays for the missionaries... let me assure you that your prayers are felt and very appreciated. I guess one of the major downfalls of being released as a full time missionary is that I will no longer have millions of people praying for me... but new missionaries will come and they will need those prayers just as I have. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ and that all of its teachings are there for our good and will truly bring us more happiness than anything else. I know that God loves us, we are his children and he knows us perfectly. I know that Jesus Christ suffered and paid for our sins so that we may be forgiven of our mistakes and be able to return to live with Him and His father one day. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ.. I will never be able to thank them enough for the opportunity they gave me to come here and be a part of this great and marvelous work. As I’m writing this I’m thinking to myself that this email will never be able to exemplify how I feel about my time as a missionary.. My heart is filled with gratitude, joy and sadness as this wonderful time comes to a close. Thank you for all of your love and support, I will see you all soon.

Con Amor,

Hermana Weller

 "And after all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel." -Joseph Smith

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

9/8/2014 Pictures!!!

Sometimes you just need a little time
at the park! 

Scary dog security...yikes 
I once met a garbage can... 
Titanic...Peru style 
love my companion! 
Visiting Hermana Marylin in Graficos! 
Lunch with some of our sisiters! 
Isnt that just the cutest companionship? 
With my cute comp at leadershiop council 
All of my White friends...haha 
My new pensionista has a bunny store
that she runs! 
Assistants, Elder Priebe and Elder Cornejo! 
Elder Jocobson! 
Hermana Waldren 
Elder Birtcher and Elder Chipman! 
Quick motercycle ride...just kidding, just one
of our less actives cool bike!

Monday, September 8, 2014

9/8/2014 Email!

From: Camille Weller []
Sent: Monday, September 08, 2014 9:25 AM
To: Melissa Wheatley;
Subject: Can ye feel so now?

 So this week was pretty eventful and fun, thats probably why it went by so fast! "time flies when your having fun" (: Monday and Tuesday we had a leadership council with all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders in the mission, we played soccer with everyone on p day and man have i gotten rusty.. haha but it was still a lot of fun! We had a BBQ at the mission home and then that night all of the office secretaries talked to us about stuff that we need to do better and change in the mission. Tuesday we were in the conference all day and i absolutely loved it! we talked about the atonement and how to teach it better to the people here in peru. we´ve been very blessed to come to a country where most people believe in God and Jesus Christ and have a religious background. one of our jobs is to help them understand the atonement and that it is more than just Christ dying on the cross.. it also includes His suffering in the garden of getsemene, the journey to the cross, and the resurection, and to also help them realize the depth of what that means for them personally in their lives. That through the atonement we can be forgiven for all of our sins, we can receive strength to get through trials and sicknesses, that we can know that no mater what we are going through there is someone who understands us perfectly. Later on we talked about change... specifically about the change of heart that each of us need to have and also the change of heart that we need to see in our investigators for them to be able to be baptized. I had told President a little bit about my story of coming back to church when we went to tacna and during the conference he asked me to share the story of my "change of heart" .. as i shared it i felt so greatful for that experience and for where i am today. I wondered what made that day in Lake Havasu different? why was it that morning that i woke up and decided to change? Throughout the week i studied and found something that i really like... its all in Alma 5... Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word; yea, they were encircled about by the bands of death, and the chains of hell, and an everlasting destruction did await them. God is the one who changes our hearts...

12 And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. And it is through our faithfullness that we are able to make that change... i beleive that it wasnt me who decided to change that day.. but my heavenly father who knew that at that moment, i would be able to do it. 13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved. After we ourselves experience this change, we have the desire to go out and help others to do the same. Which is one of the main reasons that i wanted to come on a mission. 

last one.. 

 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?

15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?

26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the songof redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

i expecially like verse 26 and plan on asking myself that question frequently throughout my life... can i still feel that change of heart now?

On thursday me and my companion and the zone leaders taught our zone what we had learned at the conference, one of my favorite parts was a movie clip we showed of a talk by Jeffrey R Holland called "the first great commandment" and i loved it. I attatched it so you can all go and read it (: But it talks about when Christ asks peter "do you love me?" and then follows with "feed my sheep" he talks about how after the Lord leaves the earth, the apostles go back to fishing.. then Christ returns and asks why they are fishing and reminds them of their calling and duty as apostles.. I feel like when i was called to serve the Lord in His work of salvation, it was not just for 18 months.. it was for eternity. That in a couple weeks when i have to take off my name tag and am no longer an official representative of Jesus Christ, that doesn´t mean that i will go back to my former life.. just as the apostles, i can not go back to just fishing after walking side by side with the Savior.. i must keep working to help bring more of Gods children unto their Savior Jesus Christ.. i must continue to "feed his sheep" and prove the love that i have for Him.

The rest of the week was filled with unforgetable memories.. i had the oportunity to go on divisions with one of the sisters in graficos for a day and to go visit some of my converts. i was filled with so much joy to see them and see the progress they  had made over the past six months since i had been there.  One of them is about a month away from having her baby and is happier and more filled with light then i could have imagined. She did a 180 in her life and i feel so blessed to have been a part of the start of that change. It was cool to also be with another sister from the mission and work with her. I did my best to help her, although i think i learned more that day from her than she did from me. haha

Friday after we ended divisions we had an activity with the Relief Society  and made brownies, it was cool because one of our investigators, Carmen, came and got to make some new friends. plus the brownies were delicious (: Saturday we did a service project with the whole zone and helped move about 3,000 bricks off of a truck and into their back yard.. it was fun to work together and to be able to give service together as a zone... plus it was a pretty good workout.. from which we are still sore. haha Sunday was a great day. It was the last fast sunday i will have in the mission and the last sunday before my mom comes here to peru (: i got to share my testimony with the ward and we also got to see some miracles in our ward that were in line with what we fasted for this week. 

I loved this past week.. it was probably one of my favorites. I am so excited to see my mom in 4 days and for her to get to see peru and meet all of these wonderful people! It also breaks my heart to think about leaving this country and not being a full time missionary anymore.. but i know that endings in this life.. however sad they may be, are always beautiful beginings, and i look forward to what the Lord has in store for me. I hope to be able to complete all that the Lord needs me to in these last weeks and to be able to enjoy every lst moment that i have with these amazing people <3 I will write one more time next week and then i will see you all at home! (:

Con mucho amor y respeto,

Hermana Weller

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

9/1/2014 Pictures

All packed up and ready to leave Chivay! 
Saying Goodbye to the branch! 
First companion picture with hermana Clemens! 
Amazing view of Arequipa from the office!
Victorias baptism! 

Conference with Elder Anderson, met up with the
Elders from my district in the MTC! 
Hermana Robinson! 
We found Elder Hulet! 
My generation picture! Hna Bazan(daugher) Me...
Hermana Flora and Hermana Davis (grand daughters!) 
my new, cute little room (: love it!

Saying goodbye to Hermana Stone...
no those are not tears(;

9/1/2014 Email

From: Camille Weller []
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2014 10:58 AM
To: Melissa Wheatley;
Subject: The time is far spent.

I swear each week i come to love the mission more and more... which only makes it harder to believe that this amazing journey will soon be over. Well a lot happened this past week so i guess i´ll just start from the begining!

Monday we had a goodbye Family Home Evening in Chivay, It was a lot of fun! We made arroz choufa, and they all talked about how sad they were that we were leaving and that they wanted our mission presidents number to tell him we should stay... haha it was hard for all of us i think, they´ve become family to me and its wierd to think that i wont ever have the chance to work up there again as a missionary.. Tuesday we went around and said goodbye to the members and then we packed up our whole room, cleaned up and headed out that night. 

Wednesday we had a practice with the choir for the conference and then Hermana Zobrist had us help her with a couple things. 

Thursday we had the mission conference with Elder Andersen, Bishop Davies, and Elder C. Scott Grow. We all got to go shake their hands and greet them and then they gave us some great advice and ideas on how we can become better missionaries, and children of our Heavenly Father. They talked a lot about honesty and how the world we live in is not a very honest or trustworthy one, but we as members of the church of Jesus Christ need to be honest people. That God knows all.. therefore we cannot lie to Him... another thing they talked about is that if we are not honest we can not have the spirit with us. I thought that was cool to think about... God is the one that gives us the spirit.. He knows whether or not we are being honest and according to that will either bless us with the spirit or not. Another thing he said is that it is hard to be a missionary.. but it is  impossible to be a unworthy missionary. loved that. It was a super great conference and the musical number went perfectly... so perfectly that i missed my cue to flip the page... hahaha but it all worked out.(:  Afterwards we got to chat with everyone, which was fun because its very rare that we get to be together with our whole mission, got to see some old friends. Then we all went and ate at TGI fridays with the zone... reminded me of how excited i am to eat american food again! 

Friday was time to get back to work (; i´m now in an area in arequipa called Casa Blanca (white house... hahah) in Paucarpata. Im with Hermana Clemens and we are the sister training leaders in our area so we have 7 companionships of sisters that we´re in charge of making sure they are doing well and all that good stuff (: Hna Clemens is amazing, shes from morgan utah and is 21, She ends her mission in december and yeah... shes the best i love her. We had an interview friday morning for an investigator and then had weekly planning, i got to meet the new zone, that is just hilarious.. they´re great. Then we went out and had some lessons with some members and i got to know some of them. Then we went and said goodbye to Hermana Stone.... which was harder than i thought it would be.. turns out that when you spend about 3500 hours straight with someone you miss them a little when they go to a different country (: 

Saturday morning we went to contact a reference and it was an example of persistance.. haha we sat there knocking her door for like 15 minutes but no one answered.. then finally her dad came home and let us in.. i guess her room is way in the back and didnt even hear us.. reminded me of a quote by elder holand to be persitant.. that "his wife has avon ladies that are more persistant than some missionaries" haha It ended up being such a cool lesson. Her moms sister is a member and almost all of thier family has questions about the church and want to know more! great way to start off a saturday morning (: then we had the baptism of Hermana Victoria! She is awesome. Shes 61, pretty much only speaks quechua and man... shes just the cutest thing. After she was baptized she was smiling ear to ear... even though i didnt understand anything she said i knew that she felt the spirit and that she could feel her Heavenly Fathers love. After the baptism we got invited to a BBQ with some of the bishopbric and members, it was fun to get to know them and to meet their families. Its very different here than it was in chivay.. everyone has their own cars and big houses and its just cool to see the gospel in such different circumstances. 

Sunday we had church at 8, and i went from going to a branch of about 20 each week to a ward of about 120..... quite the change haha but the ward is great and i cant wait until chivay grows into a ward like that. We even had ward council and A little training that night for the leaders! i love this ward.. im sad that i only have a couple weeks to get to know them.. to love and serve them.. and then to say goodbye.. time goes by too fast! 

This past week was busy but it was amazing... the past couple days i have been working as hard as i can and i can definately feel it.. im tired a lot but i know that the Lord will help me to endure to the end and to give it all i have these last couple weeks. A couple days ago i pulled out my english hymn book and was reading through the songs when i found this one that was exactly what i needed to hear as i come to the last weeks of my mission.....


The Time Is Far Spent

1. The time is far spent; there is little remaining
To publish glad tidings by sea and by land.
Then hasten, ye heralds; go forward proclaiming:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven's at hand,
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven's at hand.

2. Shrink not from your duty, however unpleasant,
But follow the Savior, your pattern and friend.
Our little afflictions, tho painful at present,
Ere long, with the righteous, in glory will end,
Ere long, with the righteous, in glory will end.

3. What, tho, if the favor of Ahman possessing,
This world's bitter hate you are called to endure?
The angels are waiting to crown you with blessings!
Go forward, be faithful, the promise is sure.
Go forward, be faithful, the promise is sure.

4. Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you;
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you;
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.

Go forward in faith, the promise is sure (:

Love you all!!!! Nos Vemos pronto!!! (:

Hermana Weller