Saturday, January 31, 2015

Kinda glad this week is over actually. it was one of those go by kinda quickly but super long days kinda week. And ive been stressed and im super tired but this week should be a lot better. 
My new comp rolled in Monday afternoon. His name is Elder Roman from Ecuador and he is a great guy, ready to work and ready to have some fun. We trained the trainers Monday evening after our dinner with them and President. I feel it went well. Its a great new bunch of trainers that should really have some success with their new kids. 

Tuesday, we picked up the new elders and sisters from the airport and did the normal tour to the temple site and to the center of town...they sure enjoyed it. then came back to the mission home for their debriefing and then sent them on their way. There is an elder who came who is from arizona, who knows a bunch of my football buds from mvt so it was fun to chat with him. love it when an arizona brother rolls into town here. :)

Then Wednesday through friday were getting out and teaching in the evenings and getting ready for our one hecktic ride for the month of February. You should see our calender. (By the way thanks mom, for the calender that you sent me! i love it! and its getting good use....reminds me on the calander that you always use at home-trying to fit all the activities in one tiny little box :) ) 

I wasnt feeling too good either this past week, but now i am doing fine. just buckling up for februrary i guess. and it starts on monday.

We have the leadership counsel/training meeting monday and tuesday and then we hit the road for the rest of the month to do the interviews for all the 250 plus missionaries here. pray for mi. i will certainly need it. 

i am hanging in there. gonna be an adventure here in the next couple of weeks. but it will be fun. lets all just put smiles on the faces and enjoy what life brings us! love you guys como siempre.



The following Post is out of order and was a letter from December that didn't get Posted-  Oops !

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hola todos :)

Glad to hear all are safe and happy campers. 

We are also happy campers here in peru. 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. 

and i love all the rest of you guys as well. 

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: 054-271-485 

Muy buenas tardes a todos,

Good to write you guys again. i really enjoy this time during the week. :)

My week was filled as usual. Started out busy with office work and reports as we usually have on mondays and working a bit with president. We were able to do divisions as well this last week. i was able to go back once again to my old area in 15 de Agosto to help the elders there a bit, because they are both new and have no idea who to work with or where anyone lives and they espeically dont know where my converts are to continue to work with them. And it was a really great experience to see everyone again. i was able to stay the night in 15 de Agosto and it just hit me at how much i really miss all those who i really love back there. sometimes i get so foucsed on my area and the mission and many times i forget about them and how they are doing and it was just great to see how they are doing once more. :) great memories i have there. on wednesday i was swamped with informes and getting ready for those that are coming into the mission on monday and sending those off to their houses. We also have 4 new elders coming into the office here. my companion will be leaving this change and heads out on monday :( sure like being with him, but i am exicted for my new companion. he is one of my best buds, another elder from equador, named Elder Roman. haha i love those ecuadorianos. he will be my 3rd from equador. :)

and we will get him running really fast just like i did when i first came in. we train the trainers on monday night and get the newbies on tuesday and then train them and do some divisiones and then start all the interviews for the 240+ missionaries here in the mission. 

Thursday we did have a lunch with all the newest elders and hermanas here in the mission to see how they are doing and to coach them up a bit. and later in the evening we had the farewell for those leaving for home. kinda crazy to send off the sisters that i came with. that sure went by fast. but asi es. 

well there is the work side of my life. as for me. i am doing well. i feel the great need to look for the spiriit more in my life. i am looking for more spiritual experiences everyday and i am just trying really hard to be the guy the lord wants me to be. its not easy sometimes, but i am up for the challenge. i am coming closer and closer to my Heavenly Father each day and i love it. there is no greater feeling :) i am happy, i am a little tired, but hey its pday. its time to PLAY!!! :) ready for the new change and ready to keep running and serving. 

i love the mission. i have learned so much and i still am learning. always look for the spirit. recognize his voice and his impressions and he will guide you and us to life eternal. i love you guys so much. i really do. hope you know that. 

wish you all a wonderful week. 



 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa

Monday, January 19, 2015

My dearest Family and Friends,

The. Week. Is. Over. For that i am so grateful! Just like it seems to be every week here in the office, we were super busy again. But this week, things are smoothing out (for the most part) and we will have some time to get some work done in our area and do some divisiones with some of the other elders here in arequipa. 

Highlights for this last week:

WE FINISHED ALL THE ZONE CONFERENCES!!!!!!!!! YEAH BABY!!!! Oh, i never want to plan those 3 months time (but it looks like i will be able to escape all those and leave the office before we start those up again!!) 

Haha, no the zone conferences turned out really well throughout the whole week. We had 3 this last week with the 7 zones here in Arequipa and then traveled outside to a small town called Siguas to visit with those outside zones. I sure have learned a lot from these zone Conferences to teach better by listening to the spirit and hearing what he wants me to say to the certain groups of missionaries. i found that a lot of times things changed due to the needs of those elders and hermanas. but all in all, glad to have those done with :) they can sure tire you out.

I have been kinda upset a little bit this last week about the work that has been happening in our area....1 we really couldnt get out much this last week, but when we could all of our citas (visits) got canceled on us or the people just avoided us or werent home. We tried everything it seemed like and like everything fell through. Even a service project!!! how does that happen???? frustrating. 

But even though it has been rough, the lord has blessed us with some new people (that which i haave been praying for all this last week...). So it was actually a really neat story: We were just about to start one of our zone conferences this guy i have never seen before walks into the church looking confused and lost...( i thought he might have been drunk or another crazy-cause those guys always seem to find their way into the church buildings and cause a bunch of problems.) and he walks right up to me and my comp and explains that his mom lives in Lima and she has a friend who is a member of the church. He has moved down here to Arequipa but was really impressed with his moms friend and the church and tells us "Yeah i wouldnt even mind becoming a mormon. what do i need to do to be baptized in your church???" we were shocked and taken a we asked him where he lived first and he says Umacollo-OUR AREA!!!! :) so we are super excited to start teaching him and hope to see him tomorrow at church!! pray for him to understand our teachings and that he can do his part to come unto christ!! his name is roberto. 

So the lord is blessing us. We just need to continue faithful in the work and renew our testimonies and really come to understand the voice of the lord and to really know it. if we can do that and always feel the spirit, there will be nothing that we can not accomplish here. 

So i am very grateful for all that has happened recently. And especially TODAY!! After a long, busy, and stressful week we got special permission to have a SWEET pday today. In the mission peru arequipa, holds the deepest canyon in the whole world. the canyon of colca. it is deeper than the grand canyon and is know for all the condors flying there. but it is 4 hours away from arequipa and the only people that get to visit it are those who are serving in the tiny village up there in Chivay. But we got permission to get up early and head out there to go and tour the canyon and visit the village of chivay. (it has always been my dream to go and serve there in chivay! maybe that is where i will go when i leave the office to finish my mission up there!!!!!) And it was awesome! it was an adventure, it was gorgeous and it was so much fun!! i need that for sure...a really great pday. and i was blessed with one today :) 

i will be sending pictures of our trip and you can see how it went! :)

As for your overview for this upcoming week:

We have some divisions planned for the earlier part of the week and then we have the farewells for the elders who are leaving on thursday, we ship them all off on friday and then we get swampped again by recieving the newbies and training them all over again. it will be a calmer week before we get into the maddness of february (Interviews with the whole mission, mission visit from the area president and meetings and conferences with the leaders......).


hope you have wonderful week. cant wait to hear from you guys this next weekend. 

till then,



 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hello guys,

im tired. i think that can sum up my letter for today. 

i want to do something fun today...but just cant find anything to do...i think i will have to find some wings and make myself a little happier. was a good week. a not stop on the go kinda week...but nevertheless, a good week. 

Mon. and Tues. were in the Mission Home training the Zone leaders and the sister leaders once again. our meeting on monday night went super late and we ended almost at 10:30PMish...Monday president took me and my comp to play some tennis against him and sister Zobrist, and i recieved a HUGE piece of humble pie. i cannot play tennis. lesson learned for this last week. my 1st time playing...and it might be my last. :)

Tuesdays training lasted all day long and we were able to get one lesson in during the night time to one of our progressing investigators. But she is struggling right now. some other churches are visiting her and are really confusing her now on everything that she has felt and what she believes....kinda frustrating but we are praying and asking for guidance on how to help her. pray for her...her name is briggit. 

Wednesday morning and into the afternoon was spent in the office working with president on some changes and other planning things before we hit the road and headed down for moquegua. president had some meetings there that night so we needed to go with him. bought plenty of junk food to accompany us during our 4 hour car ride :) once in moquegua, cornejo and i went to visit some old friends in our areas there...good to see them once again. ate dinner with the zone leaders and with presidente and then slept in the hotel.

Thursday, we got up early and had breakfast before driving to ilo for our zone conference with moquegua and ilo zones. that went well and had lunch with all the zones! fun to see my old zone once again. i think of all the things that i like being an assistant...its that...being able to see all my friends many times throughout the months that keep flying by. stayed in the hotel in ilo that night after doing divisions with the elders there during the night hours.

Friday morning we drove down to tacna for our last zone conference of this week and had lunch with the 3 zones afterwards. Cornejo and i then flew back to arequipa late last night. and we crashed... 

then this morning we cleaned the church with our ward counsel, just played a little soccer with some members and now are going to find something to do. it can get kinda boring around here sometimes. i just need a good pday. 

im good. trying to stay stress free and do what the lord wants me to do. hope i am doing what he is asking. pray for me. i need all the prayers i can get. 

this next week is another rollercoaster of events. we have 3 more zone conferences coming up...the days i dont know yet, i need to check up on that with work work. it never stops...nor do i want it to. 

well there you have it. love you all. stay safe. 


Welcome 2015. holy smokes that one  rolled around fast. 
hey how is everyone doing?? great from what i hear and from the pictures that i saw. 

For our new years, end of december week we actually had some time to work in our area!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YEAH BABY!! it is something that i love doing. we got to visit some very great families in the ward and help others out with some service projects and it just turned out really great! New years eve and new years were defiantely a little bit slower due to the emptiness of the streets and to all the drunks hanging around. But we still managed to find some people to teach and have some noches de hogar with some other families pretty much every night of this week! haha funny story: so on the 1st for dinner this member envites us to come over to her house to eat some grubb. so we show up. she had made a HUGE TURKEY for us and tried to put about half of it on each of our plates, then puts on the other half of our plates chorizos (arequipa sausages) and then puts stuffing on top of all of that....AND THEN...goes and opens up a papa johns pizza box and places some pizza slices on our plates too!!!!!! talk about full leaving that house! and she still tried to give us more food! :) so much for trying to keep off the weight. 

For our new years eve...we were confined to the rooms this year. we could still go up to our roof and watch the fireworks that do not let you sleep at all!! and especially with people shooting some great big ones right over our heads. a great sight to see! sad that it is my last huge firework show here in peru. :( 

However, president did invite us over to the house earlier in the evening to have a new years eve dinner celebration (just the office elders) and did we eat good. We had some american steaks that president found in this random market which were fantastic! especially with that A1 sauce you guys sent me! thank you so much. you were really in tune with the spirit in sending me that one. We also had bake potatoes with presidents homemade sour cream (wonderful!!) and corn and homemade rolls. everything a gringo could dream of here in peru! :) then we had some pecan pie with vanilla icecream. 

so all in all...a great start to the new year! so HAPPY NEW YEARS 2015 TO ALL OF YOU!! hope you guys celebrated it well. When does school start up again for everyone?? good luck with all that starting up as well. 

gald the holidays went well for all of you and that all the family was together once again. 

lets see this week starts off busy as ever. we started the zone conferences yesterday and that is what we will be doing this next week. Zone leader and hermana leader training monday and tuesday, wednesday we go to moquegua, thursday we go to ilo, friday we go to  tacna and depending on if we can catch a flight out of tacna friday, then we return to arequipa that night or come back saturday. so say goodbye to next week. then its the same stuff going on the next week after that. i will let you know on the changes. 

i am happy and healthy and loving the arequipa weather right now. it is starting to cool off quite a bit (unusual)...but hey i am not complaining! :) 

well got to run. got some stuff to do this pday. 

love you all. 

se cuidan 


 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa

Well merry christmas to everyone!
-On wednesday(Christmas Eve) the office went over to the mission home for a christmas eve party!!! :) We played games, ate some great turkey/stuffing/mashed potatoes with gravey/green beans (all in all everything) dinner, and watched the fireworks on presidents roof at midnight and hung out with president as he turned on the elf movie (with will ferrell)! super fun, and sure stuffed ourselves on the great dinner and all the goodies afterwards! we had a white elephant gift exchange to keep the tradition up and just enjoyed the evening! we crashed in his house about 1AM. Best president ever!!

-On Thursday (Christmas Day)- We started off the morning opening the presents that president had boughten us...and came to find out that he had gotten us all nerf guns! And then president even started up the HUGE war that followed opening them!! FUN!!! Then we had a french toast with bacon breakfast and then got to call home!!!! it was wonderful getting to speak with the family again and hearing their voices....been a while since i had heard them.

During the evening, all the missionaries serving in arequipa gathered together in the plaza de armas (center of the city) to sing christmas carols and songs for all to hear and then to contact them for future lessons. and it turned out AWESOME!! i was asked to bring my violin and i was able to play along with the huge choir of 80 plus missionaries there. I will send a short video clip. (president zobrist has more shots that i will have to send when i can get those.) :) Some of my converts found me in the plaza and gave me gifts and it was great to see all my friends again from 15 de agosto! 

And those were the highlights of the week! we had a very merry christmas down here in Arequipa, Peru and i hope everyone else did too! Now i wish you all a very happy new years! 2015!!!!! :)

i sent a bunch of pics...and i know the pictures say a 1000 words so....enjoy!

love you all! Merry late Christmas from Peru!


Christmas night in the plaza de armas...we went there (all the missionaries in Arequipa) to sing christmas carlos and songs. i brought my violin and played for everyone in all the songs. we had a huge crowd show up and listen to us and we contacted like all of them. and we now have a ton of people to go and visit!! i will have to send some pictures of the whole crew later when i actually have them! sure was fun!

1-4-3 for always

 Elder Birtcher
 Misión Perú-Arequipa

My Beloved Familia!
Merry Christmas!!


Glad you had a great time, hope it was a great turn out and the parites were awesome! 

Well sorry i couldnt write on saturday...but you guys were so busy you wouldnt have read it anyways. On saturday we were in Tacna again, but this time for some time to do some divisiones and then have our Christmas Devotional with the 5 most southern zones in the mission. It really turned out fun, the food was great and we even got to go to the plaza de armas and sing christmas hymns and proselyte to all the catholics that came out to watch us. :) Had about 90 missionaries in the choir and what a neat experience. We will be doing the same thing here in arequipa this thursday night as well in the plaza de armas. It will be a huge push for the video he is the gift and we will share it with the world!!! 

Last sunday we were in Moquegua again and we got to attend and play in a Christmas Musical Program which turned out to be a huge success as well. we filled up the chapel once more. And monday was our training for the new trainers which went okay and then tuesday we picked up all the newbies from the airport and gave them a huge tour of arequipa and then had lunch with them before training them. On wednesday and thursday we were busy with 2 other christmas devotionals with 10 zones from the mission and playing games with them and organizing all the activities along with president and his wife. Friday was spent traveling to tacna with presi and his wife and then doing some divisiones like i said. and saturday was the last christmas party, and yesterday we returned home after 6-7hours of traveling!!! yay!!! it felt so good to be home once more. 

it was a SUPER BUSY week that flew by!  

sorry i dont got much more time but i got to get runny. more things to do! love you all and cant wait to hear from you.

nos vemos jueves!