Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello from the peruvian! 11-18-2013

Hey everyone!
Wow did this week go by quick or what? i was praying that time would just slow down for a second so we could get everything done down here! But it was a great week with a lot of success. Hey i just have to tell you! so i was writing right now and my zone leader elder heward just hands me the phone and says it is President. so i answer and he asks me how my violin is going. i told him that i play a lot and that i play every week. well he says to me...elder birtcher i need a special musical number what do you have for me. i respond that i have a really pretty piece, come thou fount of every blessing, and he says okay and we talk about it and he assignes a pianist to accompany me and another elder to help accompany me, its actually elder comp in the ccm! apparently, Elder Nelson of the 12 and Elder Rasband of the 70 are coming to Arequipa and I, Elder Ellsworth, and an hermana get to perform a special musical number for them!!! HOLY COW! I am so excited! and nervous at the same time. it is going to be so awesome! yeah that just happened too. wow! faith and jake keep playing so that you can play for members of the 12 some day! Anyways getting back to this last week, we play soccer and had a great family night with our investigators. The spirit has been so strong here in all of our lessons and we just love it! Oh this last week we had the chance to do a lot of service for people. Moving rocks, carrying rocks up to roof tops and things of that nature. Haha one funny story is we were talking with one of the members who is a menos activo and he asks if we could come and help him with a service project on wednesday. we said sure and when we showed up to his house, his service project for us, well actually just for me, was to teach his little girls how to play the violin!! haah they went and bought a violin after hearing me play in church these last few weeks and want their daughters to learn how to play! so i got to teach them for almost an hour while elder pulido taught a little lesson with the dad. it is actually kinda difficult to teach someone how to play in spanish but they did fine and are excited to continue playing. wow, i guess the theme of this last week could be centered on the violin now that i think of it. because i got to play in sacrament meeting again and the primary president asked if i would accompany and perform with the primary in their program next sunday. so i went in and played with them, i am a child of god. and to be honest i loved it so much. i felt the spirit so strong from those wonderful, and such pure children of our heavenly father. they just have a radiance about them that is amazing to behold and you can feel their spirits so strong. We are all children of our heavenly father and he loves us. Anyways we had a ward baptism this last saturday and i also got to play for that as well. the violin is becoming a huge hit around here and the members always ask for it in family home evenings and in the church. honestly when i dont bring it somewhere they ask where it is! haha what a tremendous blessing!
Well i dont have much more time but our investigators are progressing just fine and we were supposed to have 3 baptisms this last week but satan is really working hard against us. but we continue to fight the good fight every day and pray for our investigators. know that i love you all and i wish i could write more!
Till next week from the good ole city of tacna, peru...this is Elder W. H. Birtcher signing off.

Haha mucho amor por todos y gracias por su apoyo y amor,

Elder Weston Birtcher

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Hey All!
¿Como estas? ¿todo bien? Well from the letters that i have recieved sounds like all is well back home. Well we had another busy week! Our investigators are progressing and we are continuing to see the outpour of blessings from our heavenly father to his children here in peru. We were supposed to have a baptism this last week with a mother and daughter but we couldnt get permission from the husband so we couldnt baptize them! we are trying to obtain the permission but everytime we try and schedule an appointment with him he isnt available and when he is....he is drunk. So we are praying and praying for them! please pray for gloria and ariatna!!! But we have been working with Marco some more and he is progressing so much. his baptism is this saturday!! just need to continue to keep working with him and help him overcome his addictions. but what is cool about marco is he came to church with us yesterday and after sacrament meeting he needed to leave. so we said goodbye and then during sunday school he comes back and finds us....this time with his mom! his mom came into tacna yesterday from lima to visit and will be here for 15 days. she is such an awesome lady and just loves us for trying to change the life of her son. she is in total support of us and she wants to join the church too! so possibly we will have both of them baptized soon! such blessings. anyways some highlights of this last week....on monday played soccer with the zones and had a family night with 3 families! we all had a great time playing games after our spiritual lesson about eternal families. think about that for a second. how blessed we are to get to have our families be sealed for eternity. i wouldnt have it any other way. i am so grateful for you guys and that i will be with you forever! during one of our games we got to play ninja. haha the peruvians really like that game. we had a great time with all the little kids and the adults enjoyed it too. The wife of the bishop then brought out the treat for the night. in my honor we had hot dogs! haha yeah american food! what else...oh we were tracting an area this last week and we found a family moving all their things into their new house. which was halfway up a mountain with no trails....yeah i will never ever complain about moving people into their new houses ever again. at least there is cement and stairs in the states. but it was a great experience and oportunidad to serve them and we have return appointments with them this next week. One experience that i think stood out for me this week was our numbers were just so low every day and we couldnt complete goals like we have been in the past and we were praying and praying trying to find more people and complete goals and on friday our prayers were answered. we found 2 new of them all 4 accpeted baptism and they came to church yesterday with us and we found 8 new investigators and they accepted our message and baptism and we were able to complete our goals. i know heavenly father hears our prayers. and yesterday we had another packed house in the chapel again!! everyone says its the violin but i think it is the lord working miracles and building the desires of the members and investigators in coming to church and living the gospel in their lives.

Overall, we are happy and excited for this next week of work. I dont have much time left but i do want to share my feelings about the overall lesson that i have learned this last week. I guess you could say there are certain lessons that i learn every week that summarizes the week. for example the answers to prayers one week. or repentance changes lives another week. well this week the lesson that i learned was how much love our heavenly father has for his children. this last week was amazing as we got to teach the people. i love them so much and i want what is best for them! i really do. i pray for them everyday and just want them to come unto their savior and recieve a remission of their sins. I know that our heavenly father loves his children and all he wants for us to do is return to his presence. because we are truley his children. he loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son to atone for our sins to be able to return to his presence. Now think of the love of our savior jesus christ for us. he suffered beyond comprehension for us in the garden. he didnt have to. he had his agency too, he asked the father if there was another way...but in final he said glory be to the father, thy will be done. i like to think of him saying, this is going to be so hard and painful, but i love my brothers and sisters. i love Weston. i will suffer and die for him. and he did. he suffered for my sins, he paid the price for my mistakes and my errors and he gave me the chance to return back into the loving arms of my father in heaven. I love my savior. i have read of his life in the book jesus the christ and my testimony of him has grown tremensly. he lives. he truley bore our griefs and carried our sorrows and with his stripes we are healed. I ask all to learn of their savior whose love for you is infinite and incomprehensable. The most precious blood that has ever lived was spilt for you. the best life that has ever been lived was freely given for you. learn of him who paid the price for eternal life. I testify that he lives and that this is his work. He desires all of his children to come into his loving outstretched arms.

This is my challenge to all who read this. Learn of your Master and Redeemer. for i stand all amazed at the love jesus has for me.

I love this work. I love being a missionary. I love this people. And I love all of you.

Till Next Week,

Elder Weston Birtcher


Monday, November 4, 2013

Hey Guys- 11-4-2013

Hey guys!
Wow another week gone. Crazy! Hahaha oh i dont even know where to start this one....just that i am so happy! i love being a missionary! we had a great week with many blessings from the lord that we saw. but i guess i want to say thanks for everything first. all the support and love that you all give to me is such a blessing to me in my life and i am so grateful to have you all in my life. so thank you. and to all those who have recieved mission calls!! Congradulations!!!!! this is the best work you could be doing. i love serving my savior and our heavenly father. i truely love this people and the chance to bear my testimony to them every day and watch this gosepl change their lives. it is such an honor to witness all these miracles on a daily basis.
well let me tell you about the week....
the first couple days were just work work work. we had some success but for the most part it was pretty tough with all our investigators and trying to find more to teach. we were praying so hard to find some more people and it seemed like everything was in a sense failing becasue we couldnt find investigators and what not but the lord answers our prayers after the trials of our faith. he builds us stronger after we are tried and after we show our faith and willingness to follow him no matter what happens or trials we face. because after a long week of trying and trying and trying we were blessed to teach all of the investigators that we needed to teach and they are progressing just fine! especially yesterday. sundays here are great but it is a real problem with people coming to church. members included and yesterday we had a record high of over 80 people in the sacrament meeting!!! we had a full chapel for the first time in weeks! we also had 5 investigators show up with 6 menos activos tambien. in our gospel doctrine class that we teach we had a lot of people show up and actually give us references for their families and friends. we were so excited and thrilled. the fast and testimony meeting was so spiritual too and all the testimonies that were given were exactly what our investigators needed to hear. it is the simple yet powerful testiomonies of the book of mormon and this gospel that touch their hearts. you dont need to be eloquent in your speaking or have an excellent vocabulary to touch the heart of an individual and allow this gospel to change their lives. Elder Pulido and I got to have that chance and we bore our testimonies and the spirit was so strong. gosh i love it. have i said that before??? oh i got to play the violin again not only in sacrament meeting but in many homes and family nights. everyone really enjoys it...especially me. i love playing the hymns and it invites the spirit which is the most important thing. one hermano in our ward told me that he hasnt seen that many people in sacrament meeting in years and that he says it is all because of my violin. it really made me feel good and hey if the violin is bringing people to church then yeah i will play every sunday. what a blessing it is to be able to play. faith and jake-dont you ever quit.
What else....oh we have been working with this wonderful lady and her daughter (Gloria and Adriadna) and she has refused and refused baptism because she has fears and doubts. and we have been praying for her and we planned a special noche de hogar (family night) with them in the house of one of our members. i got to play the violin. i played families can be together forever and she just broke into tears. we talked about families and all the blessings that this gosepl brings to the family. i share with her pictures of teh family and it was a really sweet and spiritual meeting. and she excepted baptism for this saturday. we are praying so hard for her and that she wont get scared off before saturday! what a blessing.
Oh it was fun this last week to watch all the little peruvian kids dress up for halloween and see them go around for their candy. oh a we had dia de los muertos this last week to. it is such a huge holiday here and we took advantage of the opportunity to teach the plan of salvation to a ton of people in the cementaries!! haha we passed out plan of salvation phamplets to everyone! it was a fun day...lots of drunks. hopefully when they are sober they read about the gospel and hopefully want to change. they always tell us they do. Oh and later that night some of the members took us out to this polleria (a chicken place restuarant) and we got to have a feast of chicken and french fries! It was amazing not to have rice!!! it was really good and we had a great time together. The people here are so amazing and so loving.

Well i got to run. i think we are getting all the zones together again for a soccer game. got to get pumped!!!! haha. but know that this is the church of God on the earth today. this work is the work of our savior jesus christ and our loving heavenly father. he loves us. he loves all of his children and wants them to return to his presence for every soul is of great worth and is precious in the eyes of god. My testimony has been strengthen so much in just these 3 months of my mission and i know the book of mormon is true. i know it without a doubt in my heart. i challenge all who read this letter to share this message with your friends and neighbors. open your mouth and just testify of what you know to be true. it may be scary and a little unnerving but i promise that if you will do this, the lord will bless you and will work miracles through you in changing the lives of our friends and families. this is the work of salvation among the children of men. fortify your testimonies, keep the faith and fight the good fight. everyone is called to fight this fight. read and reread DC 4. I testify that jesus is the christ and that he suffered for the sins of the world. He is mine and yours savior and he loves each and everyone of us. Share this glorious message with the world. for ¨The Standard of Trugh has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of god will go forth bodly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of god shall be accomplished, and the great jehovah shall say the work is done¨.

I love you all so much. Take care.

Elder Birtcher
Con mucho amor