Monday, March 28, 2016

28 March 2016 Letter

Well, this week has been interesting.  I think we did a great job and I know we have left a mark here in this transfer.  We have found a lot of families that we are going to continue working with.  The interesting news is that I am getting transferred after just one transfer here in this area.

I am getting sent to San Borja in The Santa Patricia stake, and from what I hear it is a really rich area.  They closed our area due to much fewer missionaries entering the mission than normal, so they have combined the two areas here in Villa Hermosa into one.  Elder Cornejo and Elder Sanchez will stay here together in all of the area.

My new companion is named Elder Aguirra and I don't know him, but I am sure he will be a great companion.  I am ready to keep working hard and to learn this new area as soon as possible so I can focus and concentrate on the people we will be teaching.

I am a bit sad but this is what the Lord has prepared for me.  He knows where to put me and exactly when.  I will try to keep in contact with those here in Villa Hermosa so I can see them continue to progress in their testimonies.


Elder Wilcox


Monday, March 21, 2016

21 March 2016 Letter

This week our Mission President, President Boswell, sent us this letter.  I think it is great and it really made me think about the things I was to do differently this week.  I know the things of which he testified are true.
Apreciados Elderes y Hermanas, 
Les invito ésta semana a recordar a nuestro Salvador Jesucristo.
En cada contacto recordar como Él habló a todos...siempre levantando y aliviando dudas y dolores.
En cada lección recordar como Él enseñó...siempre con amor y según la necesidad.
En cada paso recordar como Él caminó...siempre con propósito y con una buena disposición.
En cada oración recordar como Él oró...siempre con fe y con verdadera intención.
Hace más de dos mil años, Él nos dio el ejemplo perfecto. 
Él vivió, enseñó, sufrió en el jardín de Getsemaní, dio su vida en la cruz, y resucitó y lo hizo porque Él amaba al Padre y a nosotros. 
Les invito esta semana a repasar la última semana de Él estudiando estos capítulos y versículos durante sus estudios:
- Mateo 26-28
- Marcos 14-16
- Lucas 22-24
- Juan 16-21
- Doctrina y Convenios 19:15-19
Testifico con todo el poder de mi corazón que Él nos salvó de la muerte física y espiritual. Por medio de Él tendremos la inmortalidad y podemos alcanzar la vida eterna. Yo sé que vive mi Señor y yo le amo con todo mi corazón.
Representamos a Él, trabajaremos por y para Él. 
Les invito ésta semana a ser un poquito más como Él.
Well, this week was a bit difficult as far as lessons go because we pretty much never have anyone to accompany us and that makes things really hard.  All the great contacts we have can't turn into news because we can't go back and enter in the home.  It is a bit frustrating but we are there working with the members trying to gain as much confidence possible to get them to help us.

We did find a brother who lives in our area but has been attending at Los Ficus, a church building much closer to our area.  This is the case with many families we have heard of but do not personally know them unfortunately.  We found one named Mario.  He is an Elder and his wife is a less-active member.  He has decided to be obedient and come with us to church.  He is an example to me because from what I hear, Los Ficus is a strong ward and the members are super great and friendly, something our newly converted branch-into-ward is still working on.  He is now accompanying us and helping a bit.

The Lord is providing.  Our goal is to find and visit all these members and families that live in our area but go to Los Ficus and try to help them understand.  The ultimate goal is a branch in our area according to the bishop because we are so far away from the chapel.  I agree with him and am supporting him.  Elder Sanchez as well, along with most of the members that live here.  That is what we are working on and we feel a new sense of purpose, a sense that the Lord is on our side in this, supporting us.  It is a really comforting feeling.  To work!

Also, Angi was baptized on Saturday and it was great.  Lots of people came to support her.  She is one of the strongest converts I have ever taught.  She is already the most faithful of all the Young Women in our ward, and has 100% attendance in seminary.  On Sunday I was able to confirm her a member and confirm the Holy Spirit as well.  I never have confirmed anyone and it was so cool.  I am still amazed at how the Spirit guided my words.  I just waited and the words came to me like someone was literally whispering them to me in my ear.

I know that the Priesthood is the authority to use the power of God.  I feel that so strongly.  The Holy Ghost is so key in that Priesthood and I am grateful to have that restored authority on the Earth today.  Pics will come.  Her parents both came to church and stayed the three hours along with Oscar and his family!!!

Love the mission!

Elder Wilcox


14 March 2016 Letter

(Note: we did not receive a letter from Wesley last week, 7 March 2016.)

This week was really cool. We saw how the Spirit of God really softens hearts. This week, that led to the Father of a investigator family signing a permission slip for his wife and daughter, something they thought would never happen and now we have Angi's baptism this Saturday. That should be nice after the whole ordeal with Alex's baptism not happening.

I am so grateful for this work. I think I have learned something this week. I have felt something special. That word is happiness. I feel so happy. I don't even know why because I am so exhausted.

Also, we are working with Oscar and his strong addiction he has to cigarettes. Last night we gave him a blessing with his brother-in-law and it was so powerful that afterwards he went over and hugged his wife and two kids and then all of us.

I am excited for this coming transfer. I don't know if Elder Sanchez and I will still be together, but we have seen the things we are improving help us in the work. We had a great companionship inventory this week and we talked a lot about the Christlike attributes.  We have seen an improvment in our relationship. After Elder Robbins' visit, we have been trying to be more obedient and it makes us happier. What most called my attention was 'how my mom wants me to be.' What type of missionary does she want me to be?  It is a great question that usually leads me to feel a bit disapointed in myself but to improve. This week should be a great one.

Elder Lynn G Robbins from the presidency of the 70 came to visit the mission.  We had a meeting with him and the Lima North mission as well.  It was really interesting.  He talked about Chapter 6 from Preach My Gospel - Christlike Attributes.  It was a great learning experience.

He also shared a talk with us called 'Tasting the Light' from a seminar he gave to Young Adults last Spring.  It talks about faith and a certain spectrum on that.  It talks about how we can realize we have more faith and a stronger testimony that we think.  It talks about how we learn and gain light - revelation.  The only way we can receive a testimony is by asking God, because seeing is not believing.  Seeing is not faith.  Seeing God won't help you know he exists.  It is strange but it is how things work.  How many people in the scriptures saw signs or angels and still didn't believe?  Many.  I thought that was cool.  I realized I have a stronger testimony and faith in Jesus Christ.  Just what I needed.


29 February 2016 Letter

This week I just wanted to talk about baptism.  'cause that is what we are preppin' to do here. We have Alex's baptism this Saturday and we will see what will happen. We have been working hard and praying for the Comombian family and after a great lesson on Thursday, we invited them to baptism and they now have a date for the 26th of March.

We also have Oscar they guy I wrote about last week. He came to church this week with his family. We walked in with them all and everyone saw and their jaws dropped to the floor every one. Even the bishop was so surprised that he stood up and welcomed Oscar personally in Sacrament meeting.

Everyone knows them and later asked how we did it, how much we paid him haha. But we really didn't do anything. Everyone has their time. He is a very skeptical and critical dude, and seemed comfortable but still a bit nervous at church. They let out some deep doctrine in Elders Quorum and he was asking questions too.

That night, last night, we had a lesson with him on faith and repentance. At the end he told us everything, that before he was in drugs and drinking and escaped, but through the addiction to cigarettes. He wants help. He wants to quit. Then he asked how long us 2 would be here in Villa Hermosa. Then he said he asked that because he wants Elder Sanchez to baptize him before he leaves!! Whatttt!!!????

God works in mysterious ways but I am okay with that. Happiness is the end result always. Always.

I know that this church is true. These things don't just happen. All is part of a wise purpose.

Elder Wilcox

Papito Espinel

Sweet sweet ceviche. Saturday is always fish day in the pension

Slushie time. First one in a year

This is a chola hat

(The following is some correspondence between Wesley and his trainer.  I'm including it here simply to have is as part of the record of his mission.)

Wesley's 2/22/2016 letter to Elder Espinel:
Q tal papa!! Veo q sigues ahi en Salamanca!!! Locazo son casi 5 cambios o algo asi no? te extraño mucho y me di cuenta q tu tiempo ya es corto. le falta poco. Haz todo lo posible por trabajar con toda diligencia hasta el fin!!!! hasta pronto en la multizona!!

Elder Wilcox

Elder Espinel's 2/29/2016 response:
Mijitoo!!! que gusto fue poder verte en la multizona, has crecido bastante y debes seguir haciendolo y bueno tambn extraño hablar contigo ejejje de todas esas cosas!! pero bueno , asi es el tiempo va pasando y uy!!!! :O cuando uno menos piensa ya esta es casi afuera!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😨 jaja sabes...? hoy me mandaron mi itinerario de salido :P es loco esto , pero bueno a disfrutar lo que queda!!!!!!!!!! Exitos mijooo!! trabaja!! te quieroooo!


Monday, February 22, 2016

22 February 2016 Letter

This week was super cool. I learned a lot about patience and hope. Knowing that through our obedience, good things will come is hope! We were both a bit frustrated last night at dinner because we had just had a stressful appointment with an investigator. His name is Oscar. He is married to his wife Tina, who is a recent convert along with their two children. He has never wanted anything to do with the missionaries, but he accepted a lesson with Elder Sanchez and I and read his Book of Mormon! That was cool.

Then last night we had our lesson with him and found that he was even more closed up than normal. He was almost contending with us, trying to deny the simple truths we taught. He refused to go to our church, not understanding why it is important to actually congregate. We did teach very well and the Spirit was there. That's why we were a bit confused to why he was acting that way. All his family was there with us and as we left we talked about the lesson, you know, the normal how things went and how we are gonna burn him the next lesson.

In the planning session after dinner we got a call and it was from Oscar. He talked with Elder Sanchez saying he was sorry and that we wasn't being fair and true to us. He told us some personal things that were happening and we saw his real necessity. He asked us to pass by his house this Sunday to pick him up and all of his family to go to church. He said it is finally time that he humbles himself and goes to a church! We were awestruck. God is a God of miracles and he always has been. He continues working miracles today because he loves us! He shows us every day.

We are also preparing another family - The Rojas family. Noe, the step-dad is around 40. His wife (same age) named Angela is super cool and has a testimony. She came to church once. Angi her 15 yr old daughter has been to church 4 times and is cool too. Her brother Alejandro doesn't listen to us. Edu, the 6 yr old is Angela and Noe's son together. He is a bounder. None of them have committed to baptism. They are on different paths of progress. The mom needs a bit more time to repent and the Dad still isn't "convinced" as he sometimes says but they are a great family.

Saturday night we finally asked her straight up - So when are you going to get baptized? She told us after we finish all the pamphlets she will get baptized. That made us laugh because it is a requirement anyway haha. She is awesome and has a testimony. She is already halfway through 2 Nephi and that is all Isaiah stuff. They have about 2 months of investigators time but they didn't visit them much before I got here. I know this family has a lot of potential. We found two new families this week as well and we still need to have a good lesson with them to better get to know them but I am excited.

The ward here is good. The bishop is a great guy who just overcame cancer in his throat or something like that. Now his throat has a hole in it and he talks a bit different. They call him a gringo because he can't pronounce very well his R's hehe. There is a decent amount of support but there are absolutely no home teaching nor visiting teaching reports. We are having an activity, like a training, this Thursday for all the Priesthood and Relief Society. Hopefully this will help. It will interfere with my English class so it better be good haha.

Time to get down to business here 'cause there is a ton of potential, and as you can probably all see, the Lord is on our side and working miracles according to our faith.

Elder Wilcox


15 February 2016 Letter

New area, new comp, new opportunities! Here I am in Villa Hermosa en la Estaca Central. It is sweet. We are a lot closer to downtown Lima so it is hotter, more humid, and has wayyy worse air quality. It is way more alive here in the nighttime. I am in the chillest part of the stake. My area is the safest of all. That's always good news, because that really should not be an impediment to the work.

My new companion is Elder Sanchez! We were in the CCM together! We actually have a lot in common and we get along super well. This week we worked super hard, getting back to the room exhausted every night.

I got here and there was nothing. The last Elder here maybe wasn't trying his best and they couldn't get a lot of work done. Elder Sanchez was excited to finally get to work so I was too. We were able to get two people to come to church and they are going to get baptized now. It is crazy. Just a little bit of work here and the Lord does the rest, as long as the person is doing their part as well.

We are teaching a super cool family from Colombia right now that live in the giant apartment complex in my area. Hopefully we can work with them, because their 15 yr old daughter came to church yesterday and is showing progress. She and her mom actually read the Book of Mormon every day! How cool is that? We have a lot of people here who can progress. We need to work hard in this transfer of 7 weeks and I know we will see fruits! Blessings always come.

I will try to send some pics of my comp and me along with a pic of the activity we did on Saturday. It was a movie night and it was a success for us.

Elder Sanchez (22 yrs old, from Chimbote, Peru,
and loves Age of Empires!)

The Room

Our movie night! We watched Meet the Mormons
(in Spanish though, haha)


Friday, February 19, 2016

Templo de Lima Perú - Celebrating 30 Years!

Found this online at a Spanish-speaking website  The Lima Temple was dedicated 30 years ago January.  Beautiful.

Monday, February 8, 2016

8 February 2016 Letter

*Last week we received no letter from Wesley due to the technical difficulties at the Internet Cafe in their neighborhood

This week was so awesome. We contacted like crazy we talked with over 150 people, which is about 100 more than normal. Each one is about 2 -5 minutes, so you can imagine a lot of time knocking doors hahaha! It was super cool though because we were blessed to find a lot of new people to teach.

We found one 17 year old girl named Mayli and she is super cool. She was really receptive and willing to learn. She knows a Mormon family that lives down the street. She is progressing really well. We found her Thursday and then on Sunday she came to church all 3 hours. That afternoon we went to her house and taught her the Restoration and challenged her to baptism. She is getting baptized on the 6th of March.

Also, Juan Carlos Baldeón, Alisson's dad, has a baptismal date for the same day. He is super cool and said that he received his answer that he knows these things are true. On Sunday he only came the first two hours because his work called him in. He never works Sundays, but we haven't taught the Sabbath Day yet, so that is next on the list. We found a lot of others as well who have great potential. The Lord really blesses us with new people when we show we are dedicated to finding more.

The bad news is this. I have transfers. They are sending me to the Central Stake to the Villa Hermosa ward. My new comp will be Elder Sanchez from my group and Elder Gonzalez will hold down the fort here in Santa Clara 2. He goes home is 6 weeks!

Crazy how the time flew in this transfer. I learned a lot. So now they do the transfers differently and they tell us the transfers on Monday morning, so from now on I can let you know where I will be going. Elder Wilson and Elder Flores are staying together another transfer.

Lets see what the Lord has prepared for me.

Till next week,

Elder Wilcox

Elder Chris Tadje and Wes
(A big 'Thank You' to Trina Tadje for the photo!
We don't know anything about the photo but are
happy to see these young men serving side by side.)

(Also, it looks like we ought to suggest that Wesley
wear a jersey that does not advertise beer.)


Monday, January 25, 2016

25 January 2016 Letter ONE YEAR

Wow, I will hit one year out here!! I can't really comprehend it or believe it. Two years ago I was finishing the last semester of high school. Last year on this exact day, a Monday, I was packing my bags, even though we waited 'til laaaaaate at night to do that.

I was set apart as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, to live on a higher plane, and higher level, to be able to teach to the world the Restoration of the His Gospel. Awesome. The sad thing, I only have a bit over eleven months left to fulfill that sacred calling. I decided to leave all my life back home and give my heart to our Heavenly Father. It is the best decision I have ever made.

I never would have imagined all the things I would learn, all the people I would have the opportunity to help, love, and serve. I never imagined I would become the person I am now and the person I still have time to become. My time here has and will continue to decide how the rest of my life will go. Will I apply all that I have learned, or forget it all and think, yeah that was fun but now it is time for my life? The whole point of giving my heart to the Lord for two years is just so I can get used to doing the same, just without a shirt and tie, for the rest of my life.

I had an interview with Pres. Boswell today, and he told me it was time to step it up. He knows I can always do better, and I know the same. he let me know that here pretty soon when the huge groups go home, there will be more than a 1/4 of the mission entering within 2 months. Someone has to train them and be their leaders. The Lord will look to us, hoping that we will be prepared to accept the calling when the time comes. That means there are things to change and improve.

This week we had a sweet baptism also. We are working with the Baldeon Family. They are so cool. The dad has a baptismal date for next transfer!

Elder Wilcox


Elder Wilson and Elder Wilcox celebrating One Year!

Lovin' it.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

19 January 2016 Letter

Hey fam ;)

Sending some pics home finally 'cause I found a good way.

This week was awesome. We are really focusing on going back to the basics. I think we have done well finding new people. We hopefully have a baptism this week on Sunday morning and we will see how it goes. We are teaching this awesome family. The Baldeon family. The mom is less active, Elisabeth. We are rescuing her. We had gone in with the idea to baptize her 10 yr old daughter and then taught her husband and now he wants to get baptized. His name in Juan Carlos and their daughter is Alisson. They also have a 3 yr old named Danna. They are such a beautiful family. We are really focusing on them. I will send a pic. They are sitting on the right side.

I know that families can be together forever. It is something that if it weren't true, there would be no hope. The family is the center of everything. Everything we do is for our family and for our eternal family. I love that doctrine. It is key to our happiness and thanks to Jesus Christ, it is possible. I am sorry I don't have a lot of time today 'cause we have 30 mins less. I miss u and love you guys and pray for you every night, even when I am completely dead from the day :)

Elder Wes

Family Home Evening last night with the Baldeon fam (right),
the Jauregi fam (older couple), and the Beltran family (left)

Jorge's parrot hehe

New Years' fireworks gone bad

Elder Wilson and me

Elder Gonzalez and me


11 January 2016 Letter

Well this week, nothing really special happened. We did find like 3 new families to teach and they are all pretty cool. We found one just knocking doors and they let us in. The other one was a reference from a member. They are a PF (part-member family). They have one son who is a member. The last family just showed up to church but they didn't come yesterday.

The cool thing recently was a few weeks ago in Ñaña, the Cajavilca family and Max and his wife were both married! And then the Cajavilca parents (Juan and Norma) and Max all got baptized, all in the same day. It was so cool to hear that and I was just overwhelmed with happiness. Juan and Norma both asked if I could go back to baptize them after their baptismal interviews. It turned out that the Zone Leader forgot completely and never askeed permission from President so I never got to go and found out it happed like 3 days after the fact. I was pretty bummed, but I know I did my part. I was too happy to find those people, teach them, love them and then find out that right as I left, they could finish the job. Now, in a year from now, they will be sealed in the holy temple. Awesome!!!!

Elder Wilcox

4 January 2016 Letter

Wow... what a crazy week. So we have been able to progress a lot here in Santa Clara and I think it will only get better here. This first week of the transfer was a bit rough, being New Years and all, but I am really looking forward to this transfer. Elder Escribano and Elder Birkeland left us here in Santa Clara and my new comp Elder Gonzalez came. We were good friends over in the Chaclacayo stake so this should be awesome. He is the first comp that i actually have known before the transfers.

Elder Birkeland left and Elder Wilson came in!! I can't believe it. I think President is testing us to see if we will be obedient or something. I know there will only be success. The four of us here are going to do work. I think it is great that the four of us get along so well because it is something this ward really needs.

Elder Gonzalez is 20 years old and has almost 22 months in the mission so I will probably be "killing" him... finishing his mission. He is from Ayacucho, Perú - my fourth Peruvian, but the first that isn't from the north. We have three investigators right now with baptismal dates and some less-active members with rescue dates as well. Also, we are finding a lot of new people together. He is a good guy and a great missionary, applying all he has learned in all his other areas. What a stud.

Today we will probably watch a movie and play soccer and eat pizza, probably not in that order.

This week we had a cool experience finding a teenager. His name is Kevin and he is a friend of Alex - the kid that recently was baptized. This is the third person he has brought to us since he has been baptized. The kid is cool and I don't know if he will ever be baptized but I do see Alex's testimony increasing more and more. He comes out with us almost every day to the lessons and it is great to have him bear his testimony with others investigating the church, seeing that any normal person can have their prayers answered and be baptized - even if they were baptized for tradition in the Catholic church haha.

It is so important that we introduce people to the Elders. It is okay if they feel a bit uncomfortable. If they aren't super ready or prepared, it is OK. If they dont get baptized, it is OK! Just do your part and share the gospel. It doesn't matter if they say no. If you dont ask them, they will never be able to say yes, will they?

Love you guys. Then make this a great year!!!

Elder Wilcox

(Note: Wes sent many many pictures of a wedding where two couples were married, some investigators we believe.  It appears the baptisms followed the wedding.  I'll post just a few . . . )


28 December 2015 Letter

Well, this week was awesome. It was Christmas (as you probably all know) and it was a bit different here in Perú. They have some traditions that are a bit different but it is all pretty much the same. The main thing to eat is called Panetón which is like fruitcake but it is actually really good. Also, hot chocolate. YES! They celebrate Christmas more at 12 oclock [midnight] on the 24th right when it changes to the 25th with fireworks for like 30 minutes straight. I couldn't sleep. I looked out the window and I saw fireworks (ones that would be way illegal in the States) as far as I could see. It was crazy.

This week we didn't have a lot of lessons but we had a lot of fun and spent time together as missionaries here in the stake and also with the families in our ward that felt bad for us 'cause our investigators didn't want to let us in. I was happy though becasue despite all that we still found a way to find a lot of new investigators. We found two that came to church last week and then taught them, put a baptismal date, they accepted and then came to church this week! It was really cool. Hopefully they will continue progressing. One is Ivett and the other is Alisson. They are both super cool and are super receptive. We have another too that we want to challenge to baptism. Pray for them and for us.

Today we will find out the transfer information and I have no idea what will happen. The most probable is that my comp and I will stay together, knowing my mission president. I am ready for whatever comes, hoping for more learning experiences.

Elder Wilcox

21 December 2015 Letter

Hi everybody.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! From Peru :) I hope everyone has a wonderful week with their families and if they're away from fam, that it is great too.

Last week we all received letters from the First Presidency and they were super cool. I took a pic but left the camera in my room. Also, Elder Holland wrote our mission president who sent the letter to all of us wishing us a Merry Christmas along with a brief but very special message. This past week we did not have Keysi´s baptism because we haven't been able to find her to teach her and she thought she would just get baptized on Friday. We explained to her the order of things, but we aren't sure when it will happen. This girl is way too busy for a 15 yr old.

This week we had a few Christmas activities as well. On Saturday we had a stake one in the morning where we went super far up into the hills and 2 hours before the activity went and knocked doors inviting everyone to come for free hot chocolate, panetón, haircuts and gifts. So many came and it was sweet. We played with all the millions of little kids and sang for them. They were all so poor but also poor in spirit. Love this time of year where everyone serves each other. It is how we should always try to be. This weekend could be super great - the last one of the transfer!  We shall see.

Elder Wilcox


14 December 2015 Letter

This week was probably one of the hardest in all of my mission. We thought that the fast would help a lot and that things would change but they actually took a turn for the worst. This week in total we only had 15 lessons. That left us with hours upon hours with nothing to do, all because the whole week, we didn't have a single person to accompany us to the lessons. That means that in homes where there are only women, we couldn't get in. Almost all of our investigators are women, so we had a super slow week. My comp is struggling too and isn't really wanting to work so I feel like I am pulling a lot of the weight. I try to motivate and encourage him, but it is hard. We knocked doors and street contacted like mad men this week. We talked with hundreds of people, literally. I found though, that as I did things with a good attitude, we found a lot of great people and are looking forward way more to the coming weeks.

It is never worth it to have a bad attitude.

So this week we are having Keysi's baptism and we are excited. She always had some doubts in the past but never really opened up to us. We finally found out what it was. She might be moving in the near future to super far away and didn't want to be baptized 'cause she didn't know if the church would be there where she was moving to. We helped her see the church is everywhere and it is the same everywhere. She is ready now, without any fears.

Love everyone and this week think about what you plan on giving our Heavenly Father and Savior for Christmas,

Elder Wilcox

The companionship


7 December 2015 Letter

Wow. So much to tell. So this new area is called Santa Clara. It is the furthest part east in the Vitarte Stake. It is super cool. We have all the southern part of the area which includes La 5, Campiñas, Priale, Manylsa, Los Jardines de Santa Clara, El Bosque, Remanso, Granja Azul, and a golf course. We live in the other Elders' area, which is more city, but we all have hills filled with little houses.

The ward is cool too. Our bishop reminds me so much of a Mexican comedian named Gabriel Iglesias, but obviously the Peruvian version.

Our pensionista is named Erika Chavez and she lives in a fancy condominium, like apartment buildings on the fifth floor. It is cool 'cause we get to take an elevator up every day. She cooks super well and healthy too which is a first.

This past week we had a baptism. his name is Alex. He is a convert's son who was completely atheist about a year ago, but little by little saw things in his life to help him realize that there is a God, and that he loves us and blesses us every day. This last cambio [transfer] the Elder and my comp that were here helped him a lot. For a year he has always accompanied the missionaries, not even being a member, just helping them ingress [be able to get] into homes where there wasn't a man present. Well, about three days before I got here, they taught him and put a baptismal date as a goal. We taught him everything super fast and the Elder who was here last transfer was able to come back to perform the ordinance.

The cool thing was that Alex wanted it to be a surprise for his mom, so she didn't know until he literally walked into the baptismal room all dressed in white at the baptism. The mom is the first counselor in the Relief Society and we just told her a woman who belonged to her organization would be baptized. It was so cool to see her cry and hug/slap/punch her son to death 'cause she was so irritated and happy at the same time. She bore her testimony about how she had always taught her kids the principles of the gospel, hoping that one day Alex would soften up a bit. Then his 9 year old sister Kassandra sang "When I am Baptized" holding back tears. When she came to the second verse she just lost it and the music kept going so we all started to sing it together and finished the song. The Spirit was so strong and I loved it. I just loved it so much. I was so happy. It was like something from a movie, just better, 'cause it is real and I was there, witnessing that God still performs miracles.

We have a baptism here in two weeks for a young woman named Keysi. She is 15 and the young women and the president are doing a great job fellowshipping her and helping her to feel loved in the church. It is so important that the members fellowship because the converts would just go inactive after the missionaries get transferred.

See you all next week.

Elder Wilcox

One of the converts here is a DJ

Teaching primary in Ñaña


30 November 2015 Letter

Well, this week was cool! On Monday we just went to the church to play soccer and ultimate frisbee which was all fun. This week was tiring.

I was reading in Our Search for Happiness by Elder Ballard from the 12. There is a part about a story of a fireman who kept running in and out of a burning building, each time with a child in his arms. The people told him to stop because the building was going down but he kept going back in. He saved 5 children from certain death and ran in one more time .The people outside told him there were no more children, but he insisted saying he swore he saw another child. The building collapsed with an explosion before he could come back out the last time. After hours of picking up the rubble and wreckage, they fould the fireman's body next to a crib, huddled protectively over an unharmed and unscratched...porcelain doll.

This story moved me to tears. I think of sacrifices that good people make everyday for others. Afterwards it talkes about the greatest sacrifice of them all. That of our Savior. He died for all of us. I wondered why reading that story about the fireman made me cry, but the part about Christ's sacrifice didn't. Its not that I don't appreciate it or am not eternally grateful for it, it is just that I realized we are so easy to forget, or cease to be grateful. I think we can all do better in thanking God every day for giving his Son for us. And using that sacrifice in the way we should. Having faith and repenting every day.

I am out of time but would like to write more. I have another couple of things but I will have to write them next week.


Elder Wilcox

Alex Vilca's baptism this Saturday.
Elder Nunja (in white) came back from his area to baptize him)


23 November 2015 Letter

Hey everybody!

News!! Well, I got transferred to a new area and a new Stake. I am in the Santa Clara ward in the Vitarte Stake. It is the biggest stake here in the mission. There are 26 missionaries and like 10 or 11 wards. My ward has four Elders, so there are two companionships. We live in the same apartment building and it is a load of fun.

My new comp is Elder Escribano from Perù, Chiclayo. He is 20 and has 18 months in the mission. This is his third mission, as he has been reassigned, and had a few problems in his mission(s). I am here to help him, just as he is here to help me. I know I can learn a lot from him. He is a great guy and very spiritual.

The other Elders in the ward are cool too. Elder Birkeland from Orlando, Florida and Elder Flores from Arequia, Perù. I am still learning the area, how to get around, people's names and all that fun stuff. We eat breakfast in the room here and do all our own laundry which is time consuming but fun :)

This week we found a lot of new people to teach. This area is interestng. There are some normal parts. SUUUUUper poor parts and a rich part with a golf course. We haven't gone there yet and probably won't be spending much time there. We have a baptism this Saturday and hopefully another in a few weeks. Alex is 17 and has always accompanied the missionaries, is the son of a convert, but never wanted to be baptized. He was very cold on the subject. This past week, right before I got here they challenged him to baptism and he accepted! So now we are preparing him like crazy, teaching him every day so he can pass his interview this Thursday, even though we already know he will pass. He is a cool dude.

We are working hard because this ward is not very supportive. They just recently opened up my area so we don't have much. We are going to organize a bunch of activities and cool ideas to encourage the members and get them to help us out, 'cause no matter how good the missionaries are, if the ward isn't right there with them the whole time, it is suuuper hard, and even if some people get baptized, they will easily inactivate right after.

There is a lot of work to do here, but we are going to work hard.

Also, super funny thing - well 2.

1. a girl hugged me after a lessons where their whole family was crying in a first lesson when we knocked on their door tracting... I had no idea what to do.

2. My comp was comps with Elder Ysla in Arequipa, Perù while they were both waiting for their visas to leave the country. Elder Ysla served in our ward when I left on my mission. We are going to try to do a get together here in Lima! It is a small world!

Love you all. Thanks for the support.

Elder Wilcox

Elder Escribano, or as I sometimes call him:
Elder Escribaño


16 November 2015 Letter

This week was rad because we actually went golfing this past Monday on a super nice course. I will try to send you pictures. In the week we were able to go to the temple with Erick and plan two marriages for two couples that we be married and then baptized. One of them is Norma and Juan, the Cajavilca parents, after so much hard work. The other is Max and Pamela (Pamela ya es miembro) [Pamela is already a member], a couple that has reunited after some drastic and miraculous changes and steps. This work is full of miracles, kinda like the New Testament, well... all of the scriptures.

I really don't know if I will be transfered. We saw President this week in our stake center and talked a bit. He only said, "We will see you too soon... maybe in the next week. Or maybe not. Who knows?" Thats helps me a lot. So I have just had the goal to work as hard as I can no matter what happens. I'll go where He wants me to go.

They will give us the transfers right after we all finish writing home. Darn Zone Leaders! So you will all have to wait to see what happens.

 Love you guys and I want to testify that I know this work is necessary and precious. It is very dear to me. My calling is one of the most important things to me apart from my very own mother. I know everything I do is blessing the lives of others. What greater joy could I possible feel?

Stay tuned!

Elder Wilcox


9 November 2015 Letter

Well this week has flown by super fast. We worked super hard and have really seen the fruits. In the past weeks we have been able to "rescue" about four inactives from inactivity and are now coming every week after we taught them all the lessons and they were interviewed by Bishop Luis. We have also had an amazing baptism and have about four people with baptismal dates for the next transfer. I am content with my work here because I know I am giving my all and so I know that the Lord is also content with me.

We have transfers this next week so this could be my last transfer here. But the truth is that I really have no idea if I am staying or going. I have had impressions that I am staying and others that I am going. I really want to stay here because I love this ward and this area. Thanksgiving and Christmas are both in this next transfer and I would love to stay here for those holidays. This holiday season is interesting and it really is a bit difficult. Maybe we can find people 'cause they are with their families and all that stuff but lots of people use that as an excuse to not listen to us. We are just starting out but they are already selling Christmas stuff and it is getting hot again (yeah, weird, I know).

Something that I have really learned is that no effort is in vain. Every thing we do has consequences. Some are immediate, others take time, and others are eternal. I just heard about three people from my last ward in Portada del Sol that are getting baptized. The funny thing is that I found two of them and started the teaching and thought that they would never progress or that they weren't ready. Maybe I will be able to go back and see the baptisms but I am not sure. I know that planting that seed was my job and the reason I was in that area.

We can see this every day and I know this is an eternal principle. Nothing we do is in vain. The saying really sounds better in Spanish, "Ningun esfuerzo es en vano." There is probably a better translation for that. We have to do everything possible that we think or feel or are prompted we should do so that when we walk away (transfers), we are happy and the Lord is happy for us. I know this is true.

Love you all and thank you for the prayers.

Elder Wilcox