Sunday, December 14, 2014

My dearest Family,

How i miss you guys this christmas season. Things are sure picking up around here and we are busy with all the Christmas devoctionals that we will be having with all the zones around here next week. We have also been trying to contact many more people using the new video Él es la Dadiva (or He is the Gift…in English). And I just love this time of year. You can feel a difference in peoples attitudes and feel the Christmas spirit…the only thing throwing me off…is it is getting hotter, we don’t hear much Christmas music going on, there are zero lights up on the houses and I don’t have a Christmas tree up in my house….yet. J But there is a beautiful one set up in the mission home that sure makes me happy.

Just want to first off say thanks to all those who sent me happy birthday wishes! Cant believe I am 20 years old now. Im so old!!! When did that happen!!??!! But I had a great birthday. Started out in the morning with the whole office coming into my room and singing happy birthday to me before they broke eggs all over me and dumped flour and chocolate all over my head and back as well! Yes it is a Peruvian tradicion here to make a cake out of you on your b-day! So tradicion complete. J I will send pics of my egging. I also had my face get smashed into a cake that the zone bought me. On cleaner matters….lunch was spent at T.G.I. Friday s and I spoiled myself and bought me the hot wings platter! I can not tell you how good those wings were. Maybe they were really bad on American standards but after not having them for almost 17 months….they were FANTASTIC! The waiters there also came out with instruments and sang happy birthday to me and then gave me a free chocolate cookie with icecream stuffed in the middle and glazed over with chocolate and caramel. J Yum yum yum. It should be my birthday everyday. J That night we went to the mission home for a farewell little gathering for all those that left for their homes this change. I was able to direct the proceedings and it turned out to be a nice evening full of the spirit as we got to hear their testimonies and experiences from their missions. Sure going to miss some of my good friends that left…but I know I will see them here shortly at the BYU. Speaking of that…mom when do I need to start selecting my classes? I heard something about February??

But President that night went out and personally bought me a cake too for my birthday. What a great guy president Zobrist. Love him so much. He is the best president ever.

Other news that has happened around these parts of Arequipa…it sad that we are having to send home 2 other elders for reasons of health. One of our best elders here just developed diabetes and lost 10-15 pounds in a week and we had to ship him off very fast so that they could get him better medical treatment there in the states. Another elder is going home because he is going blind and has to have an operation on his eyes and we almost had to send another one to his house due to his knee that has bone on bone rubbing. But it looks like he will be able to stay afterall…he only has 3 months left anyways and he wants to toughen it out to the end. Really sad to see all that happen just this last week. Kinda been a headache for us here in the office but things are quieting down…but are shortly going to be picking back up. Because tonight we have to call everyone for their changes. Tomorrow we are going down to Moquegua with President and Hermana Zobrist for a Christmas Concert that I have been asked to play at. Whew, I tell you what. I am tired of traveling to play. :) haha and I was asked to play in the ward primary program as well. but I guess as president told me…”Elder, you have a talent, you gotta use it.” So that is what I will be doing. J

So yeah that is what is happening around here. This next week we will be busy with all the Christmas devotionals with all the zones here in the mission. We have some get togethers el 17, 18, and 20 (Wednesday, Thursday, Sabado). Then on the 15 and 16 (Monday and Tuesday) we will be training the new trainers and then receiving all the new missionaries in the mission. Fun no? All week long will be crazy. But it will be fun. Then Saturday is kacie´s wedding and then the next week is Christmas and WE GET TO TALK!!!! And then December is practically over. Oh my gosh…were is time going?

Well there is my update from Arequipa. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for everything again. I love you all very much. Know that I have a testimony of the gospel and that I know its true. It really is!

Serve, love, be true to the faith.

Con mucho amor,



 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hola todos :)

 Again, another hecktic week with all that we have been doing with the mission and with changes and getting ready for la navidad. This last sunday we were in tacna once again for our last Recital musical in my old stake (where i first started the mission). It was so fun and exciting to see all my old friends and ward once again. That was one of my return and see them all once more. crazy that i was there over a year ago. time sure goes by fast. The recital turned out wonderful. Probably one of the best ones we have ever done. We ended on a good note. :) 

However rumor has it that there is a christmas program happening down in Moquegua that i have been asked to go down and play for this next sunday (the 14th). So we will be heading down there with president and hna. Zobrist. 

On last monday we flew back into Arequipa just in time for our leadership training meeting with the ZL and Hermana leaders....that took place monday and tuesday. And i feel it went okay. The mission has sure improved dramatically in numbers, baptisms, rescuing the less actives and the excitement of the mission is up! we are sure happy for the change that we ahve seen and are seeing right now. We will continue on! :) 

And as for this last week...really a lot of office work and getting ready for changes coming up the 14th of December. We got to visit 3 zones as well this last week and train them and make sure all is well with them. So far, so good. 

We now have planned out when we will be doing our 3 christmas parties/conferences with the whole mission and we are trying to plan out days that we can get all the missionaries in Arequipa to go to the Plaza de Armas and sing christmas carols. i think we will do that christmas day in the night time. 

I was just thinking about everything and i sure miss going to the christmas lights at the temple. boy to i miss that. so go to the temple and take a cardboard cut out of me or something so that i can get some of that joy once more. :) 

enjoy this time of season. please do. i miss the lights, the cold, the spirit of the season. Peruvians arent too crazy about their celebration of christmas. not many lights up either due to the possiblility of them getting stolen right off the house. but we are still all happy around here. 

just staying busy and feliz and awake sometimes. 


take care, have a wonderful week. do well on all your finals and look for ways to bless someones life during this christmas season!

love you for always,


 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa

Celular: #956-885-626
Oficina: 054-271-48
Buenos dias,
I hope everyone had a fantastic thanksgiving this last weekend :) So many things to be grateful for. We certainly have more blessings than we can ever count. Thats why i thank you dad for telling and teaching us kids...give thanks to god for the blessings seen and unseen that the lord gives you. It is so true.
We passed Thanksgiving with President in his house :) He invited the office over for some grub. And grub it was!! An amazing turkey and THE BEST STUFFING I HAVE EVER TASTED!!, and mashed potatoes and gravey and PIES!! haha we should be so grateful for just the great food that we have in the states :) 
Well the recital in Tacna this last sunday was another success. We filled up the Tacna Tacna stake center up and we are getting more creative and putting up slide shows full of pictures and videos of the church as we sing. And it is turning out really really great. Getting better each time we do it :) We then stayed Monday through Wednesday in Tacna with the 3 zones and got to visit with them and train them up and had some meetings with them. It was also my companions birthday this last tuesday. So the 3 of us (him, president, and i) went out to eat at a steakhouse which was WONDERFUL! Real American steaks. yum yum. Once we got back to Arequipa on Wednesday we egged him up :) haha let me explain....
here in peru if it is your birthday...the tradicion is to crack eggs all over your head (doesnt matter what you are wearing, suit and tie doesnt matter) and then they pour flour all over you as well. He thought he had escaped the "egging and flouring" because we were in Tacna during his birthday...but the 5 of us in the office sure got him good in the house on Wednesday night!!! hahaha i will send pictures. 
Thursday was spent with President for thanksgiving dinner. and yesterday we were super busy with planning for our zone leaders/sister leaders conference this monday and tuesday, and we are planning for all the things that we will be doing this year for Christmas visits in the mission and the fiestas that go along with those. So this next week will be training again and then going outside of arequipa for divisions and visiting zones. Tomorrow we fly down to Tacna again for our LAST recital musical in my old Zone´s stake!! i am super excited about that! i will get to see all my old friends and pentionista again. But then wew come right back to arequipa for the training. whew. gonna be another fun week. 
they are sure flying by...cant seem to keep events in order, nor figure out when we did what this last change-its been crazy. 
On a personal note...on how i am doing. I am tired hahaha...but i love life. I love being a missionary. I get a little frustrated at times not being able to work much in my area. I wish i could visit and teach more people individually so that i can help them get baptized. but our focus right now is on the mission-and that requires that we go to the whole mission. I understand what this calling requires. and the mission is first. but the lord is helping me along. i can feel his prescence and i know his voice. it is familiar and it is always guiding me. 
I am getting excited for the christmas season. there is a big push for everyone to see the new video that the church has just released "He is the Gift." There is more christmas music being played in the office and the city here in Arequipa. I love this time of year. My companion and i are best of buds. we love working together and i am learning so much from president zobrist. that is one of my learn all i can from him. We sure had a fun time talking on the 4 hr. car ride back to arequipa from tacna. We talked about hunting and camping and our families...great man President Richard Zobrist. I love and sustain my President. 
Well the Arequipa sun is shining very beautifully today. Makes me happy to know that the same sun shines there in AZ over all of you too. Be happy. Be grateful for all that you have. I am happy. 
With all the love i have,

pics: our stay in the Grand Hotel Tacna during my companions birthday :) and companionship unity in teaching and in soccer!!! :)
 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa

Celular: #956-885-626
Oficina: 054-271-485 
Move to:   
 Prev  |  Next