Thursday, October 29, 2015

27 October 2015 Letter

Okayy... So this past week was kinda cool.  We really didn't think that Erick would be able to be baptized last week 'cause he didn't have all the lessons but we were able to meet with him enough and he passed his baptismal interview on Friday and Saturday he was baptized.  It was really cool and he was already converted to the church before his baptism so I really am not worried about him falling away.  He seemed so happy the next day at church and he has already changed in the short time that I know him.  I will send pictures.

Also, another experience we had was on Sunday night (2 Sundays ago), a guy showed up to the church when we were supposed to have a lesson with Erick, but he didn't show up.  So we had the opportunity to teach Max, really we just talked with him.  He is the boyfriend of a less-active member named Pamela.  They have a 1-yr-old daughter and they have had problems before.  He told us through sobs that they had separated again (this was really the first time we talked to him) and that it was bad this time and how he just didn't want to lose his family.  That it was the only reason he was happy.  That he didn't know what to do and he just felt like the only other place he could go was the church.  We have been visiting him and his family and it doesn't look like they will be back to together, at least not for a long time.  But he has a baptismal date for the last week of the transfer and is really showing real intent and a sincere heart in wanting to change and repent. He isn't a bad guy, he really is a great guy, but it is inspiring to see the lengths he is going to to get his family back and to show his wife he can change.

I love being there for people when they need comfort, help or love.  I love helping those who need it.  I think of the beatitudes that Christ taught and how we can be so blessed for following them.  I feel a true happiness trying to be more like Christ and just doing what I think and feel he would do.

'Cause that's my job.

Thank you all and love you all.

Elder Wilcox


19 October 2015 Letter

Buenos dias todos.

Well this week was pretty cool.  Something that happened during that last 3 or 4 weeks with Elder Cornejo is that we got so caught up in baptizing our investigators and taking them to the temple that we almost forgot that we had no others ready or close to being baptized.  So the last three weeks we had to look and look, contacting and knocking doors a lot.  It was really tough and we weren't too stoked about the work.  Now, Elder Altamirano has cheered me and the area up and we are preparing a baptismal service this Saturday for a 23-yr-old dude named Erick Silva.  He is super cool.  He just showed up to church one day.  And now he is making sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father.  We also have a few more with dates:  Nicol (17), Miguel (14), Yamer (18), and Cristian (17).  It is exciting.

We also watched this video that my comp has about the sacrament.  I am not sure what it is called.  [video title supplied in separate message:  'El Sacrificio y la Santa Cena']  Something like Sacrifices and the Sacrament.  It is kinda an old video but super cool.  It talks about the relationship between the sacrifices of old and the Sacrament.  It really made me treasure up more the sacrifice of the Savior and what the Sacrament really means.  I think about that video always in Sacrament mtg and it is amazing how I feel.

Erick is the one who hopefully will be baptized this Saturday.  He is 24 and a great guy.  Yesterday as we talked with him wondering why it had been so hard to find him to teach him, he told us he was way more busy at work now and it would be harder to teach him Monday-Friday.  We were both a bit bummed.  Then he told us it was because he had asked for a change of schedule at work where he would have to work way more in the week so that he could be sure he would get Sunday off every week.  I was frankly stunned and I think my comp too.  We hadn't even taught him Dia de Reposo [Sabbath Day].  It was so cool to see the change this dude is making in his life, even before we teach him.  The Spirit can make people change.  I know that for sure.  I love this Gospel and seeing the change it makes in people.

I love this work.  I love this Gospel.  I love you all.  I love everything.  Yes, even rice :)

Elder Wilcox


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

12 October 2015 Letter

Well, this week was super cool!

First of all, we had transfers! Monday night, Elder Cornejo was able to say goodbye to a good amount of people.  A member from the YAS took us out to eat too.  That was a real treat!

Tuesday we went to transfers in La Molina to drop off Elder Cornejo and to pick up my new camp, Elder Altamirano.  He is 19, from Trujillo, Perù, loves sports and everything I like, has 10 months in the mission, and is our district leader.  Also, I now am the Zone English teacher which should be a blast and a good learning experience.

This week we worked super hard.  He is whipping me into shape.  We have been a few weeks now, like four, without anyone with a baptismal date but finally this week we have been able to find two guys who have committed to a date this 24th of October.  One is Cristian and the other is Erick.  They are 17 and 23 and are super cool.  If you could pray for them as well, that they can receive answers that they should be baptized, I know it would help, and make the difference.

I am really looking forward to this transfer and know we can do even more here in Ñaña.  Thank you all for your support.  And for your prayers.  I am gonna need them especially with this new assignment to teach English every week.  If you have any good ideas for learning or know good games to play, I am all ears.

Today we will play some soccer hopefully.  Pray for that too haha!!

Elder Wilcox

Elder Altamirano and me after the ward conference

The remainder of the photos are captionless:


5 October 2015 Letter

Well, that was a super week.  Monday we did a gift exchange, watched Monsters University, and played soccer.  Way fun.  We only had three full days of work this week.  Two were occupied by General Conference.  I got to see every session, and all in my native language and live, which was a blessing.  More about the conference later...

Thursday we took a trip to the temple in the afternoon with Israel and Alicia, two recent converts who have been baptized in the past two months.  We had a great experience doing baptisms for the dead in the Lima temple and we got to be the witnesses while a member from the YAS accompanied us to perform the baptisms.  I saw that they really changed walking out of the temple, really understanding more about it and the Plan of Salvation, and the perfection in it.  I remembered how sacred and special the House of the Lord is and why we need to go there.

Our mission President always talks about how the goal is not baptism, but the temple.  I understand why now.  Baptism is only the third of five of the principles of the gospel.  Going to the temple to receive other saving ordinances and help others receive them is part of the last step - endure to the end!  Being able to not only help people receive a baptism, but also help them in the long process of enduring to the end is a miracle.

I love this work.  It is not the work of Baptism.  It is the work of Salvation.  I am really understanding and loving what Alma described as being an instrument in the Lord´s hands.  Or as someone described it in Conference: placing myself of the center of the potter´s wheel so He can mold and shape me, and helping others to place themselves of the center of the potter's wheel.

Love all you guys. I really do.

Elder Wilcox


Thursday, October 1, 2015

28 September 2015 Letter

Wow, busy past couple of weeks, but then again, every day here is super busy.  From the last week, like 2 weeks ago, I explained a bit about the highlights.  But we had a super fun English class where we played Jeopardy.  This week, I was in charge of English class, and we ended up playing a few games like charades and Pictionary.  It was a blast.

I think the coolest thing was when we went out to Huaycán with the new Elders and Sisters from the CCM (Missionary Training Center or MTC). I went out with 2 Elders.  They are both from Perú.  One is serving in his own country, and the other is going to Dominican Republic!  How cool is that?  Well, as we were there proselyting for a good 4 hours, they were just saying 'Hi' to everyone and walking with big old smiles on their faces.  I remember when I did my first in-field practice with Elder Manzanera over in Southern Lima.  We were so excited to be there and speak in Spanish and talk to people and just be missionaries.  I feel like that is something that a lot of missionaries lose.  I feel I have lost that enthusiasm a bit, just losing myself in the work, forgetting about my life.  I forgot how much of a difference it is to be here.  I had that contrast more a while back.  Yeah, maybe they didn't know too well how to answer questions or teach certain doctrines, and I had to help them, but they really helped me too.  I have set a goal to be more like that.  To be just more excited about my calling.  It isn't something I will ever have again.  I only have two years.  Well, I have already finished 1/3 of it!  I don't have much time to do my best.  I have to give it all and right now!

We all should have a better attitude about everything, realizing why we are here, having an eternal perspective.  This life also is only a short time.  And it determines, just like my time here, so much of the future.  Our future for us and for our families.  Our trials shall only be for a short time, and if we brave them well, we shall be lifted up in the last day!  I know that is a true promise.  We have to do our part so the Lord can do His!

Also, we had our stake conference last weekend, the 19th and the 20th.  My mission president and his wife go to every one in the whole year in all the 10 stakes in our mission.  A seventy came down.  It was super powerful.  Pres. Delgado, the first councilor in the stake presidency, spoke about how many times we think about how cool it would be to live in the times of Adam or Abraham, or Noah. How cool would that be though?  To see them and the things we only can read about in the Bible.  To see Moses part the Red Sea, to see Jesus performing his miracles, teaching to the multitudes.  To see Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery translating the plates, to cross the plains with some of the first Latter-Day Saints!  To live in any one of those time periods.  So amazing, right?

A few years ago, the church announced that it was time to accelerate and hasten the Work of Salvation here on the earth.  We have the biggest missionary force the world has ever seen.  We have the largest family history program the world has ever seen.  There are more members of the church today than there have ever been in the history of this world.  He said that Moses, Enoch, Adam, Abraham, David, Isaiah, Joseph Smith are probably up there looking down on us right now saying something like, "Man! I wish I could have lived in these times, when they hastened the work for real!  When they have over 85,000 full-time missionaries!  When the stakes of Zion were stronger than ever!  How cool would it be to live right now and be an instrument in the Lord's hands!"  We live in the Fullness of times!  We have all the tools accessible we have all things revealed unto us!  We live in an amazing time.

Put your shoulder to the wheel!  Push along!

Elder Wilcox

Multi-Zone Conference with Elder Godoy

Centro de Lima


Monday, September 21, 2015

21 September 2015 Letter

Well this week was full of fun.

Monday - P-day and we played UNO all afternoon!
Tuesday - District meeting given by the Sisters.
Wednesday - Elder Godoy (Area Seventy) visits the mission.
Thursday - I get super sick with fever.  Also, interchanges with Elder Gleason and
          Elder Enamorado.  I went to their area with Elder Gleason.  Elder Enamorado came to
          mine with Elder Cornejo.
Friday - we finished the exchanges and had a great day.
Saturday - activity with the elders from the CCM.

Sorry, got to go!!!

Elder Godoy chose 4 missionaries in the mission to interview!  He chose me!  First time a General Authority has interviewed me.  It was super cool.  He has really helped me out.

Elder Wilcox

We are gonna go play soccer on a turf field!


Monday, September 14, 2015

14 September 2015 Letter

Well, this week was super sweet.  I don't know how to send pictures now 'cause they are too big a resolution but I will figure it out.  On p-day we went to Centro de Lima.  There is this central square that is pretty sweet.  You don't even feel like you are in Perú.  And then you see all the Peruvians and your companion and signs in Spanish and Llama stuff.  It was a really relaxing time.  It took like an hour and a half to get there and like two to come back.  Elder Wilson and I saw Hermana Vernon there (a sister missionary from our district in the CCM who went to Lima Norte mission) so we did some catching up.  We got some cool things and took some sweet pics.

This Saturday we had Isrrael's baptism.  Yes, we found out his name has two r's which was pretty strange to find out as we filled out his baptismal record with him.  A member from the ward was going to baptize him, but at the last second flaked out so Elder Cornejo did it.  It was a great service and hearing his testimony afterwards was so cool.  On Sunday, he showed up in all church clothes - before that he went in a t-shirt and jeans.  He looked super happy and like he is ready to go on a mission.  All he needed was the plaque - tag thing.  I think it is tag in English.  We confirmed him a member and then it was official.

We also are working with 9 less-actives in total that have come back to church.  We have to teach them all the lessons and they have to go to church three times and be interviewed by the bishop to be officially called reactivated.  It is a statistic we have in the mission just like baptisms.  If you noted, the process is very similar.  So hopefully they we all be reactivated in these next few weeks.

See you all next week.  Thanks for all the support, packages, and letters.  It makes me super happy.

Love you guys,

Elder Wilcox


Monday, September 7, 2015

7 September 2015 Letter

Well, this past week was awesome.  I just wanted to talk a little about a couple stories.

The first one is about the Diaz Cañari Family.  One day we went to an appointment kinda far in our area and when we got there, only women were present in the home.  So we went to a member's home to see if the brother could come with us.  He said he was busy but directed us to a home where other members lived.  He told us - go knock on that door.  The brother will help you.  We didn't even know that members lived there but we went over and knocked on the door.  Brother Diaz, as we later found out was his name, answered the door and very reluctantly accepted our request and he changed into some church clothes and came with us.  After the lesson we took out an appointment with him and his family, and went back the next week.  Hermano Diaz told us that they had been inactive for over a year and that when we knocked on his door, he felt that Heavenly Father still hadn't given up on him.  I told him that I knew God's hand was in all of this and it wasn't a coincidence that we had found him.  He had served a mission and his wife as well was a return missionary.  He said that he remembered his mission when he went to the lesson with us.  Well, that all happened like 4 weeks ago, and he and his wife and two little kids have come to church for three Sundays in a row.  I was so happy to see them make that decision to come back.  I am grateful to the Lord for directing us to that home and that family, even though it was in a way we really didn't expect.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

We also have been working really hard with a 19 year old kid named Israel.  He has accepted and is super excited for his baptism this Saturday at 5 in the afternoon.  He is an amazing kid.  He told us he wanted to change his life, and that his parents wanted that he change his life, so he felt this was the way to do it.  He has been to church three times now and loves how he feels.  He did tell us though, that if his parents found out that we were visiting him in his home, they would freak out, even though they like the results.  Luckily though, he is over age and we don't need his parents' permission.  He also plays semi-professional soccer and always has championships or tournaments on Sundays.  He is thinking about completely dropping soccer because there are very few games during the week anyway.  He also said it was probably best for his injured knee.  It is amazing to see the change in Israel and the changes he is willing to make.  I love seeing his testimony grow and how prepared he was by the Lord, but also the fruits of hard work, good lessons, great help from the ward and Young Single Adults, and fasting and prayer. Israel is a miracle.

I love this work.  I know this Gospel is true.  I know our Savior and Father live and guide us today through a living prophet.  I love you all and pray for my family and friends every day.

Elder Wes Wilcox


31 August 2015 Letter

Original message, unedited:

Hola mamá, ¿como estás?  Te amo y te extraño muchísimo.  Yo he estado pensando en ustedes mucho en esta semana y espero que todos estén bien y felices con el nuevo año de escuela.

Ahora me imagino que te encuentres allí en casa, solita todo el día.  Quiero que nosotros, ahora que tu tienes mas tiempo libre, que podamos leer El Libro de Mormón juntos en este cambio.  Mas o menos, tenemos que leer como 6 capítulos cada día.  Termina el 6 de octubre!  Sería super genial hacer esto contigo.

Pero, ahora con la carta semanal:

Oh!  Tambien ya recibí un paquete de Tía Jenny (de Dave).  Y tambien para que cuando me envien el paquete... quiero algo media extraña ... Instant oatmeal!!  To show my comps and 'cause I love blueberries and cream!!  And we eat in our apartment every morning!

I don't have time for a weekly letter but we saw Elder Bednar this week and he answered one of my questions.  Also, Cornejito and I are still together in the good old Tierra Prometida de Ñaña!!

Elder Wilcox

Interpretation of Spanish portion above:

Hi Mom, how are you?  I love and miss you so much.  I've been thinking about you all a lot this week and I hope everyone is fine and happy with school having begun.

Now I imagine that you find yourself there in the house, by yourself all day.  I'd like it if we, now that you have more free time, could read the Book of Mormon together during this transfer.  More or less, we have to read like 6 chapters each day.  The transfer ends on 6 October!  It would be super cool to do this with you.

But, now on with the weekly letter:

Oh!  I also received a package from Aunt Jenny (Dave's Jenny).  And also, when you send me the package . . . I'd like something a little strange . . . Instant Oatmeal!

End of interpretation.

The Zone finding out about the cambios (transfers)

Crazy haircut

Only 20 Soles ($6.19 US)

Brianna hahaha

With Sebastian

My new nightly routine: tea and Jesus the Christ
(not so new of a routine)

Workin' out like a Peruvian!


Monday, August 24, 2015

24 August 2015 Letter

We will find out about transfers today.  I feel like we will both stay, not really sure why 'cause that would be strange, but it is possible.  This week was a bit difficult because we didn't really have some one to accompany us to our lessons where only women were present so we missed out on a lot of appointments.  It is a tough rule.  We could enter and nobody would know but it is better to follow the rules, for whatever reason.  The highlight of the week was the baptism of Hermana Alicia, an 18-yr-old girl, Daniela's older sister.

But first, last Monday was a blast.  All the sister missionaries of the mission had P-day (preparation day) together and so that left us Elders here free to go out to Chosica and spend the day with the Elders in that other zone.  It was the first time I had done a multi-zone p-day.  We played soccer and american football with all the guys and it was super fun.  I also got to spend that time with Elder Espinel and Elder Wilson.  It was way cool to see them and talk about what had happened since the last time we talked.

The baptism all went well.  Elder Cornejo was able to baptize her.  Afterwards she gave a super powerful and strong testimony.  The whole time I was just smiling so big and so happy.  This work really does make me happy and I love seeing a strong conversion.  There is nothing like it.  After Alicia gave her testimony, she came up to me and asked me why I was laughing at her in her testimony!!  Haha, I tried explaining to her I was just super happy and excited, but maybe she didn't get it all the way.  Thats OK.  I love all you guys and thanks for the prayers.

Elder Wilcox

Alicia's baptism 1

Alicia's baptism 2

Alicia's baptism 3, with all the YAS (don't know,
Young Single Adults?) and the Bishop

Cold water!

Alicia's baptism 4

Being weird

with Elder Wilson

with Elder Espinel

Daughter of my pensionista with her niece


Saturday, August 22, 2015

17 August 2015 Letter

So this week was super cool.  We had a great week number-wise.  We were able to meet and have interviews with President Boswell.  We had two baptisms and a great Sunday.  Today we are going up to Chosica to play soccer with that zone.  I will be able to see Elder Espinel and Elder Wilson. Should be a blast.  I think we are going to play soccer.

This week I have really noticed that my companion, Elder Cornejo, and I are really learning how to work together, and we are getting to know the area better.  So, we are working better and more efficiently.  Using your time wisely and with responsibility is something we really learn here in the mission.  I am glad I am learning this stuff because before, I wasn't even a bit responsible or wise with my time.  It really is a valuable lesson.  President said we might be staying together another transfer, which I would love.

The baptism was also great.  We baptized two primary aged kids named Arez, and Suha.  They are super smart and are ready to be members.  We have another baptism planed the following week, and another investigator just committed to a date for the week after that.  Hopefully all will go well.  I know lots of times it doesn't, but I have found it is better to have faith in and trust the people, even if we get disappointed.  We develop a greater love for that person, and that is what our Father in Heaven wants and I think it is what Jesus would do.

Elder Wesley Wilcox

Random Pic 1

Random Pic 2

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Random Pic 6

Baptism 1

Baptism 2

Baptism 3

How to eat like a Peruano 1

How to eat like a Peruano 2