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

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