Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 83 - Running Fast and Blocking Drunken Punches!

Hola,

What a fantastic week! We had several visits with our investigators this week, but it was still pretty tough due to the Virgin de La Candelaria which is still going on down here (it ends tomorrow, Tuesday). Most people drink so much alcohol that they either spend the entire next 24 hours laying on the side of the road or super drunk bothering the missionaries. Hahaha. But it was a very interesting week as far as drunk people go. Most are friendly and just try to speak English to me even though they don’t even know any words besides “Hello”. One of the most interesting experiences was when a little 5-foot drunk man came up to me and wanted to fight. Luckily I have had lot of experience with drunk guys so I just told him a hilarious joke and he laughed and accepted a visit from us this week when he is sober again. Sadly, the joke doesn’t work for all of them and let’s just say I am glad that I can run pretty fast and block a few drunken punches in order to get myself out of the situation!

For starters this past week we finished up teaching our investigator Russell. He is super prepared for baptism and passed his interview yesterday super easily! He is super excited for this coming Saturday and is also excited to go to the Temple with the Ward here in a few weeks after he receives the Aaronic Priesthood the week after his baptism! It is such a great blessing to be able to watch our investigators learn and grow. Russell was such a blessing to find and we are constantly striving each day to find those who are ready and prepared, just as he was.

Luis was another story. Luis has the desire to be baptized, but he wants the support of his father. His mother is completely willing to give him permission and even signed his baptismal register. His father on the other hand doesn’t want to support him. After explaining many times to Luis the importance of baptism, he is still set on not being baptized until his father will help him. So, at the end of one of our visit I asked him to commit to a promise that I had made him. I told him that our Heavenly Father would answer him if he asked him if he should be baptized now or wait until his father is willing to accept it. I then promised him that if he would kneel beside his bed after a sincere prayer and not stand until he received a direct answer that the Lord would answer. He committed to do so and that night he had an incredible experience.

After offering a sincere prayer, Luis stayed on his knees for a long time. After waiting, he then fell asleep on his knees and had a very special dream in which he received a very direct answer. I will not go into many details because his experience was very special and sacred. But I will say that he knows that he needs to be baptized and we are just trying to work with him so that he can fully comply with the Word of Wisdom and be baptized.

Perhaps one of the most interesting experiences of the week was this past week we made a video to get the members excited and interested in an activity we are having this Friday. It is about Family History and for those of you who know me, know that I have been able to learn a lot about Family History from my Grandpa and I spent a lot of time in Temple before the mission doing baptisms. The youth in my Ward are very interested in Family History and most have only researched up to their Grandparents and nothing passed that. So along with being able to help teach the youth “Family History” recently, we planned a Ward Cinema Activity in which we will be watching a new Disney Movie (our Mission President allows us to watch Animated Disney movies) called Coco. It supposedly has to do with Family History and as I stated before we made a video as missionaries to get everyone interested in the activity. As I was helping the youth and teaching them how Family History works, I was able to find people who needed their work done and after verifying all of the information ended with about 50 names that I plan on working on when I return from my mission. The Lord is truly hastening his work on both sides of the veil.

In closing this week, I just want to state how grateful I am to be here in Perú. In the area I am in. Doing the things that the Lord desires each and every day. I love being a missionary because it brings me to the greatest joy that I have never been able to experience anytime ever before in my life. Each day brings its challenges but no matter what I will never forget or regret the decision I made almost 2 years ago to submit my papers and leave everything behind to serve the incredible people of Perú. I love you all and hope that you each have a terrific week!

Love,

Elder Fawcett



Making Pizza at a Youth Activity
Luis is in the Red Sweatshirt and Hat!










Making Pizza in Peru!





We Were Invited Over to Eat,
Yep Rabbit Again!












Pic Overlooking Puno
Elders Gutirez, Fawcett, Vargas, Boelter




Last Pics of Virgen de La Candalaria









Downtown!









Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 82 - Having Been Commissioned!

Hola,

This week was fantastic! Although the Virgen de La Candelaria festival (A huge Catholic celebration in Puno) is going strong and hardly anyone is home (either drunk or dancing). The Lord has been mindful of us and this week we had Russell come to church with his entire family who have not been to church in years, they even brought one of Russell’s uncles who is not a member of the church either. The Lord has been blessing us in so many ways but perhaps one of the greatest blessings was finding a less active named Abel, who is currently living with (they are not married) a women named Roxanna. This past week we were blessed to find the two of them and teach them. They both even came to church on Sunday which was awesome.

As I stated before, Russell is progressing super well! He is on track for his Baptism on the 17th of February and he is learning a lot. Perhaps one of the greatest blessing was this past week during our visit he made a comment that made us really happy. He stated that he could not wait to go out and teach people as we do each and every day. The work of the Lord truly is great and we honestly have no idea how many lives we can affect through our service.

Perhaps one of my favorite experiences of the week was baptizing an investigator named Ana. Ana is 18 and is the very first member of the church in her family. Every single member of her family is extremely Catholic and when we have talked to them, they have all seemed very uninterested in what we have to say. Ana on the other hand is very different and although it was very hard to leave behind all of her beliefs in the Catholic Church, she was very happy this past Saturday. It is always such a special experience to baptize someone and to say the words “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ”. It is something so special and sacred that I am always so grateful for the experience and the opportunity I have to pronounce those words and to participate in an event so sacred when somebody makes a Covenant with our Heavenly Father.

Luis is doing very well. This week we invited him to a family night in which we talked about the Book of Mormon. As we were sharing our testimonies about it, Luis interrupted and began to share his testimony that he has gained. Luis has been reading the Book of Mormon very faithfully and has been able to bless the lives of his family members by doing so. He is not quite ready for baptism and we are praying that he can be fully ready to be baptized alongside Russell on the 17th.

Today for P-day we went to a really cool place in a City called Juli. It is off the shores of Lake Titicaca and we went and played volleyball there for the day in the sand. It almost felt like playing on a real beach except for the fact that it is quite a bit colder here in Puno than at a real beach.

In closing this week, I just wanted to share a thought that I have been thinking a lot about throughout the past week. As I have served our Savior Jesus Christ, I have thought a lot about the difference in times where we believe Him and times where we believe in Him. As I have served I know that there has been times when I only did one of the two things. Both of these two things require faith but one requires a much greater level of faith. Faith is the key to miracles but if we are not willing to believe in the Savior and what he can do 100% of the time, we are missing out on the chance to see even more miracles. I know that constant faith is something that we each must constantly strive for, but if we can always believe in our Savior and not just believe him, he will be able to bless us in ways that we cannot understand. I love you all and hope that you each have a great week!

Love,

Elder Fawcett



Elder Vargas, Fawcett and Ana



Ana's Baptism








After Ana's Baptism






Sisters, Elders and Ward Members at
Ana's Baptism



Elders, Sisters and Ward Members on the Beach!












Zone P-Day at Juli Beach











Monday, January 29, 2018

Week 81 - Delicious Lomo a lo Pobre!

Hola,

What a week! The biggest news of the week is about Luis. We were super busy teaching him all week and he has progressed a whole lot! It truly is incredible to see someone who almost seemed unteachable become someone who has kept his commitments well and is progressing a lot! I am excited to announce that this coming Sunday he will be having his Baptismal interview so in a little less than two weeks we will be baptizing him! He is very well prepared and has even been talking about leaving on a mission a year from now. He turns 18 in April, so his parents had to authorize his baptism (which they did). He is pretty mature for his age and who knows, he could be serving with my little brother a year from now!

One of the other cool experiences of the week occurred when we least expected it. We had a visit set up with one of our investigators but when we went, the visit fell through. It had been a pretty hard day with not much success at all. As we were thinking and praying about where to go next, we were interrupted by a young man who asked “Hey are you Mormon missionaries?” Surprised we told him we were. As we began to talk to him it turns out he had gone to church with his uncle when he was little but had never been baptized. He said that he felt a big hole in his life and that he had felt inspired to talk to us. So we set up a visit with him and so far he has accepted everything we have taught him 100%. He is about to turn 17 in a few weeks and also has huge desires to serve a mission in the coming year. We are hoping to have his baptism the week after the baptism with Luis!

One of the other cool experiences we had was with a new family that we received as a reference. As we were out proselyting we decided to pass by a reference from some other missionaries. As we knocked on the door we were greeted by a lady who was very happy to see us. It turns out that when she was contacted by the other missionaries they set up a visit but neglected to tell us that they had set up the visit. Thankfully we were able to set up another visit with them for this coming week and we are really excited to go out and visit this new family!

Today we do not have P-Day (only email is allowed today) because President Herrera is coming this Thursday to have a special P-Day with us. However today we received an invitation to eat with one of the families in our Ward. The Oliveira family has become one of my favorite families to visit here in Manco Capac. The father of the family is the First Counselor in the Stake Presidency and with his wife they have 3 sons. It has been really fun to get to know this family because they remind me a lot of my family. There oldest son, Jonathon, is 17 and is getting ready to go on a mission. He reminds me a whole lot of myself 3 years ago when I was 17. As we have gotten to know this family it has been fun to get to know them. As I stated, today they invited us and the Sisters to eat and I can honestly say that the restaurant we went to made a very delicious Lomo a lo pobre!

In closing this week, I just want to close with my testimony that I know that our Heavenly Father guides us each and every day. Sometimes we walk to places as missionaries and do not know why we are there and quickly realize why. I know that we are personally led as Representatives of Jesus Christ to where he knows and needs us to be as his servants! I love you all and pray that you all have a fantastic week!

Love,

Elder Fawcett



Lunch with President and Sister Oliveira Today










Elder Fawcett and Elder Vargas




Really Delicious Lomo a lo pobre!









Did I Tell You I Love Mangos!
Ate Both the Same Day!




Elder's and Sisters in Manco Capac!





My Comp and I For Some Reason Thought This Would Be a Funny Pic!!