Sunday, March 23, 2014

oops! here's March 10th letter a little late!

Family and Friends:

Just gonna say it. I HATE dogs. they are so dumb. they are always angry here and just want to kill you. but....we are fighting them off with the word of god (the book of mormons that we carry :) ) but all is well. we are getting better with them.

Well...the week.

It was a good one. We sure had some success in finding some new people and have such wonderful investigators that we are teaching. the lord is really preparing this people for his word and his message like the scriptures say. especially in preparation for the temple that is being built here in arequipa. i have truely learned of the importance of family history work and for the temple work. please do the work for the dead. they need those same ordinances that those here need. but it is up to us to do it. i can just imagine the joy of one of our antepasados in heaven as someone did the work for them. anyways...the work is rolling forward here in arequipa. we are working hard and we have seen the blessings of the lord here many a time.

but i just want to express my feelings about the mission. i love it. i love it so much. the scriputres are true. i testify that the book of mormon is the word of god and support the words of joesph smith as he stated that it is the most correct of any book on this earth. i have felt the spirit so strong as i read and continue to study its pages. please study and feast upon the words of christ for they will tell you all what you should do. the lord will guide us in our decisions and throughout our lives as we learn of him and go to him in sincere humble prayer. god lives. i know he does. i can feel of his love for me and for all his children and i know that he wants us to obey his word and come unto his outstretched arms which are always calling to us to come. we must develope the attributes of christ in our lives. like 3 nefi 27:27 states....we must become like unto christ. how do we do that. we must pray for patience, for love and charity, for humility, for the desires to be obedident. we must develope all the attritbutes that are found in mosiah 3:19. i testify that if we strive to apply these attributes into our lives the lord will give it unto us. he will help us. and we will have the image of christ in our counteneces as alma 5 tells us to have. this is the work of our savior and redeemer jesus the christ. he lives. he is my savior! I LOVE HIM!!!!!

I love you. i love you all. i love serving my fellow brothers and sisters here in arequipa. let us continue to strengthen our testimonies daily and have the image of christ in our counteneces. if there is one thing in my life that i have done is that of serving a mission for my lord and my god.

till next week...


as for other announcements....peru is happy and excited to welcome hermana marlee mason to serve here. happy birthdays this last week to kc and this week to nate. and happy anniversary to the best parents that i could have ever asked for.

Elder Birtcher
Perú - Arequipa Mission

Monday, March 17, 2014

Peru Weekly 3-17-2014

My dearest family and friends:

What a week! it was super busy with visits and lessons and we have never been so busy in our lives! there is so much here to do and so many people to visit and help progress and give service is so hard to try and fit everything in the schedule! i just keep praying the heavenly father gives us more time to get everything done!

Well let me tell you about the week.

We are working with some amazing investigators who have accepted to be baptized and really all of our investigators are wonderful. so prepared to hear the gospel and come unto christ and make the decisions they need to to recieve a remission of their sins. We did have a baptism this last week!! Yeah!! Her name is yandery and she has been struggling for a long time about entering into the wasters of baptism due to fear and a bunch of other stuff that satan was putting in her path. but she did it! she made the decision despite the resistance of her parents and family and took the step of faith and couldnt be more happy. it was truely a special baptism service. i got to play the violin really for the first time here in 15 de agosto and..........i think i will be playing everyday from now on. :) the members loved it and have been asking for me ot play at every moment. that and to teach them all how ot play football americano. i think it should be a great elderes quorum activity :) It was actually pretty funny because we had the baptism service where i played and the relief socitey was doing their annevesary party in the other room and afterwards asked if i could come into the activity and play while everyone was eating and chating.....haha so i did. turned out great but nobody ate or talked....they all just watched and videotaped. but if the lord made it possible for me to bring the violin on the mission, i will play for him and for others as often as i can.

As for other things....i have really noticed one thing these past couple of weeks. How important the family is. no im not crying for you guys....i mean the family in general. i have seen satan trying to destroy the family more than ever here. so many of the ward members are going through divorces or spouse problems and the kids are hurting more than ever and it just kills us. because we love them and seeing them in pain and suffering for the want of a father or a mother. I have come to realize that this is the battle we fight everyday. satan IS trying and doing all he can to destroy the most precious thing that we have. our families. because if he can succeed, and we dont have our families, we in turn really have nothing. We are here to learn and grow in this lifetime...and the only effective way is in a gospel centered home. centered in christ, for if we put chirst as our rock and our fundamento we cannot matter how hard satan will try to destroy us and all that we have dear to our hearts and minds. these are the last days. god is hastening his work to save the souls of men...becuase satan is trying more than ever in th ehistory o fthe world to stop the work and bring souls down to hell. it is no wonder why the prophet called for more missionaries. it is no wonder why we recieved the family: a proclomation to the world, years ago. it is no wonder the scriptures give us the details on our responsiblilties as fathers, mothers, children, to have a firm and close family! of all the things that i have seen and dealt with here in peru is that satan is constantly attacking the family. we need to be prepared. we must read the scriptures individually and together as a family. we must pray together and in secret as the scriptures say. we MUST HAVE FAMILY HOME EVENING! we may not see the attacks, we may not see the tactics that satan uses...but he cannot destroy us or our family unity if we are doing the things of the lord and if we are living the gospel of jesus christ. Daily.

To those who have families.....strength them. do all you can for them to protect them physically and spiritually. please, please, PLEASE, read the scriputres, feast upon the words of christ and they will tell you all that you need and must do to survive in this world. Please, please, PLEASE pray, go to church, share your testimony with others, serve faithfully in your callings, and give service!

To those who have been affected negatively by a spouse or who have gotten a divorce: remember that you are a child of the most high god, who loves you and will take care of you. you can find the peace that you need through the scirputures, througth prayers and through the atonement of jesus chirst. you can find the healing that you need and will be strengthened and given the means in which you can progress and perseverar to the end. trust in god. give him all your heart and soul and mind and he will protect you. be examples to your children. continue in the ways of the lord. just because you have had trials and tribulations this is no excuse to leave the standards that you once knew. it is no excuse to not keep the commandments or your covenants with god. it is no excuse to leave god and do your own thing. this is the time in which you must turn to the lord to help yourself and help the family that you have. try to make things right with your companion and forgive them.

To those who are having problems in the home and are fighting with your spouse: in order to have peace once must drop your pride! repent of your ways and forget yourself and your problems. turn to the lord for guidance and do all you can to make things right with your spouse. do not allow satan to win the battle. we must come together and be unified and have the united family that god wants us to have. again, forgive. god will give you the forgiveness that you will need to make things right again.

To my beloved family, i love you. i am so grateful for you and your example to me. we must continue in the ways of the lord so that satan can have no power over us. we do the basics and strengthen each other. and satan will never break us. we are an eternal family.

To all of you, i love you. thank you for your love and support. god loves us. he will strenghten you and your families if we but turn to him and do all that he asks of us. let us get rid of our pride, forgive and put christ as our rock and we will never fall.

i know these things to be true. i testify that god the father lives and his son jesus the christ. my savior and my redeemer. the great jehova. the first and the last. I testify that through him and only through him we can have our families together forever. I cannot imagine living in heaven without you Dad, Mom, Justin, Kacie, Nate, Faith, and Jacob, and to all my cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents.

I cannot express my love for you in words. you are always in my prayers and my heart for always and forever more.

Les Amo con todo mi corazon,


1-4-3 For Always and Forever


Elder Birtcher
Perú - Arequipa Mission 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Well my dear family and friends:

Since you guys recieved a letter this last wednesday i guess i dont have much to say about these last couple days. I am still getting used to the area and trying to figure out where everything is and all but that will come with time. Things are certainly different here. One, its cold! haha we freeze sometimes here and its been raining a lot lately. there is actually an interesting story with that.....we have an investigator named yandari and see has been a little confused if she should get baptized or not, so she made a bet with god that if he would send rain she would know that this is what she needed to do (apparently it hasnt rained in weeks) and what rained 5 times this week. god sure does answer the prayers. she should be getting baptized this saturday if all goes well.. but yeah rain....that is some much different than tacna but i am loving throwing on the jackets and sweaters.....honestly i hadnt the sightlest clue at to why i had those for the mission in tacna, but im glad i brought them. two, the ward here is so strong!! it is amazing. i went to church and my first sunday...there were over 150 people there! They were all really welcoming and are excited to get to know me. and i them. they all still have problems pronouncing my name but oh well. it truely amazes me at these wonderful members here. so willing to give of there time and efforts to help us in the work of salvation. we had a meeting the other day with 6-7 young men all preparing for missions who were all asking elder loor and i when can they come with us this week to do splits and divisions. I love their excitement for the work and it is something that we can all apply in our lives. What else is different....oh! i have been attacked by more dogs in one week than in all my 6 months in tacna!! what the heck! i swear these dogs hate gringos or something. but nothing has been serious so dont worry about that.
But to tell you all the truth, as hard as it was to leave tacna, i am loving this new area. there is just a different feeling that is here that i love. i love getting up in the mornings and am excited to study, to learn and to leave to go and work! the days are just going by so fast and i just dont have much time to do things anymore. that is one thing that i came into this area with....goals. goals to change the things that i have done bad or the things that i wasnt doing. and i have noticed that my desires to teach and help and serve others as greatly increased!! i just want ot serve, i just want ot brign others to christ. it is the best feeling in the world!! i know i havent been here but a week but i have been praying for more love and charity for these people and i just love them. i dont even know them yet, but boy do i have a love for them. especially the little peruvain grandmas...they are great!
Elder loor and i are getting along just great. so blessed to have another great companion who has the same goals and desires as i do. we are excietd to be teaching so many and finding so many as welll. we have great planes for this month for our investigators.
As for the violin....i havent been able to play as much as i have wanted to. we have been super busy and just not enough time to do things. but i will have many opportunities im sure these next couple of weeks....practically because before i even came the whole ward somehow figured out that i play the violin. they didnt even know my name but would come up to me and say....hey you play the violin right? haha yeah i do...and who are you? ;) but things are going great. i love the zone and everything right now. never thought i could love doing this work so much. so glad it is 2 years to serve, wish it could be more. but then again...the calling to be a missionary is for a lifetime and then the next life.
What amazing experiences you guys have had these last past weeks. i loved the photos and am so proud of you jake. totally kicking my butt at the hunting at such a young age. i loved hereing about the gilbert temple stories....and the dating stories.. haha but as for the kacie and the llama nice to the native animal of peru!!! haha

Well i love you all so much. i love serving the lord in this time of my life and couldnt think of being anywhere else in the world! i was meant to come to peru!!!

Till next week,

1-4-3 for always

Elder Birtcher
Perú - Arequipa Mission