Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 7 - Arrived in My First Area, Puno, Peru


So much has happened since my last email. I will go really quickly because I am limited to an hour. First off, I finished my 6 weeks in the CCM! It was fantastic but I was definitely ready for the field. We left at 3 am on Tuesday to go catch our flight at the airport. After arriving at the airport we had difficulties with baggage but we were able to make it through security and all of our bags worked out just fine! We then went to our gate and caught a little tram thing out to our plane. The tram took us straight to the plane on the runway just like in the old movies! It was awesome! We then flew for an hour to CUSCO!! After arriving in Cusco I immediately felt the difference in altitude! I was fine though! There were coca leaves for free as we exited the airport but of course those aren’t good... especially for missionaries. We then met up with the Mission President and took bus to the Mission Office. We then had an orientation and I got my pic was taken with the President and Sister Herrera. We then went to President and Sister Herrera’s house for lunch and interviews. It was awesome and my interview went very well. We then went to a hotel where we spent the night.

The following day we were assigned our areas. I was assigned to labor in the Puno Central Area. My trainer is Elder Iza! He is from Ecuador and only speaks SPANISH!!! He was in the military in Ecuador as a National Guard type thing! Pretty legit if you ask me! We take good care of each other! The next day we took an 8 hour bus ride to Puno! It was long and interesting because they had a television for the whole bus.  Some Australian people gave them a James Bond movie to watch on the TVs. Of course none of us watched it but it was funny because after James Bond was over we gave them the restoration video to watch and they didn’t like that very much!

Once in Puno the work began! My area is pretty much ALL a hill. So I walk up and down every single day all day long. It’s a really good workout. We have a penchanista and she’s pretty good at cooking. This is my meal basically cada dia. Breakfast: Fried eggs, bread, and a death grain drink (I drink this pretty much all day because the members like to give it to the missionaries, it is sort of like postum). Lunch: Either chicken feet soup or Chunyo soup (Chunyo is rotten potatoes soak in a river for a month and then stomped on by barefooted Peruvians), and chicken and rice. Dinner is pretty much just rice, bread, and some sort of meat. Yes... I have had guinea pig. It’s not bad. Nothing is really too bad... but most of the Elders hate chunyo but I eat it all. Sometimes my stomach hurts but its all good!

We live in a house with another set of Elders and thankfully I know one of them, Elder Haws.  Elder Haws is not only in the same house with me, but he is from Riverton and was with me in the CCM. He and I are good buddies because we can speak English together once in a while. Every day here is work. We work hard and are teaching a ton of people right now. It’s been really neat because doors that have been closed on other Elders are opening to my Companion and I.  It’s amazing! I bear testimony that the gift of tongues is real. I don’t speak good Spanish but I have been told several times that I sound Peruvian and that they understand me. I testify that this is the Lords work and that through him ALL is possible.


Elder Fawcett

Boarding the Plane from Lima to Cusco

Our Mission Messenger Bags

Me and My Trainer Elder Iza

Elder Iza Showing Me My New Bed!

I Bought Toy Story Sheets For My Bed..
Just Like the Good Ole Days!!!
Cost Me 6 Bucks!!

View Outside Our Window,
 Looking at Puno and Lake Titicaca

Looking at the Front Door of Our Apartment!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Week 6 - Elder Fawcett Arrives in Cusco

Dear Parents,

As you can see in the attached photo, your son has arrived safely to the Peru Cusco Mission!  We are thrilled to have him here!  He looks great, a bit tired from the travel, but ready to go!  Thank you for allowing us to watch over him for the next two years.  He has promised that he will be a missionary we can trust, and we have given him that trust.  As well, you can trust that we will do everything that we can to care for him and to help him to become a successful missionary.

Con Gran Amor,

Presidente y Hermana Herrera

Elder Fawcett with President and Sister Herrera

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Week 5 - Getting Trunky in the CCM (Peru MTC)


This week has been fantastic! Spanish is starting to come a lot more. I am beginning to understand a lot of what is being spoken to me. This week, it’s been pretty tough though. It’s gotten a whole lot more rigorous due to the fact that we are leaving to the field in a few short days. Let me tell you a little bit about some experiences this week. This week, we have gotten to eat some new food!!! :) All sorts of new kinds of chicken and they have even started putting beets in the rice! But seriously though, it’s been great! I am loving all the food and enjoying it very much. This week we had the opportunity to teach the MTC Presidents wife.  She played the role of the investigator and I think it went pretty well because we only had to teach for 20 minutes and we ended up teaching for 35 minutes! Hahaha! But I cannot WAIT to get in to field and begin the work!

Some interesting things from this week:
  • The other night, it was the middle of the night and one of the Elders in my room started sleep talking. Everyone woke up and was laughing so hard listening to this Elder say things in his sleep!  
  • I wanna share a quick story about what one of my MTC language teachers. He is a convert to the church and has been home from his mission for only a few years. Before his mission, he was a VERY GOOD soccer player. In fact, he was so good that he had the chance to go professional. But... He made the decision to serve a mission and he says that it has blessed his life beyond measure even though he isn’t a Pro soccer player!
  • We have trying to speak Spanish at all times during the day except for meals and physical activity. For every word you speak of English is one push up. So... When I get out of here I am either going to be really good at Spanish or be buff.  Sooo I see it is a win win either way! Hahaha
Finally I just wanna share one quick spiritual message with you all. Throughout my time in the MTC I have learned about the principal of Faith more than anything. It’s the VERY FIRST Principal of the Gospel and is so frequently overlooked. The MTC has not by any means been easy. I have worked harder than I ever have in my life, but it’s been incredible to see the results of my labors. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is what gets me through every single day. With Faith ALL things are possible! Faith means more than just believing, it means eliminating all doubts and pressing forward at ALL times. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be in this BEAUTIFUL country and teach the MOST incredible people. Even though each day is the same, I am beginning to become a better person and man through our Savior. I know this is His Church and that He is at the Head of it. I LOVE YOU ALL! I cannot wait for Cusco. FYI: I fly to Cusco Tuesday (23 Aug 2016) probably early in the morning but I don’t know for absolute sure. I don’t know when I can email next but I look forward to sharing my experiences as soon as I can!


Elder Fawcett

Finally a Bed my Feet Don't Hang Over On
My Bed is the Top One, I'm 6'2", Bed is under 6'!

My Room Companions
Always Grateful, but this Isn't Provo!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week 4 - First Contact, First Proselyting Experience

Hola mi Familia y Amigos,

This week has been amazing!  Spanish is coming along and I am studying hard and working hard every minute! This week I had several amazing experiences, so let me get started with talking about them! On Friday, my companion and I were outside practicing some Spanish with our teacher when he told us that one of the maintenance workers working near us was not a member of the church. So, thinking we would try and practice a first contact, we walked over and talked with him.  He was very open and receptive to us, so we asked for his contact information. I handed him my daily planner and he wrote down all of his information and we told him we would be sure to have some missionaries come visit him. He apparently lives in the Lima North Mission, so on Sunday a few missionaries were going to visit. It was an absolutely incredible experience and one that I shall never forget! My very first contact! :)

On this past Saturday we went proselyting in the Lima East Mission. We all hopped on a bus and drove over to a church at which we met up with missionaries who were serving in the area. My companion and I split up and each went with a Latino Elder. The Elder I was assigned to for the day was from Guayaquil Ecuador and he spoke only Spanish which was a really big awakening when I realized that I do NOT really know Spanish hahaha! We began our proselyting experience by walking through the streets of a really poverty ridden area. People crowded the streets around open meat markets, around people selling beat up shoes on the curb, it was absolutely poverty ridden. We walked up the streets for a while, and I couldn’t help but realize that I was doing real missionary work at last! It was incredible! After a while of walking, we hopped onto an old bus in which I had to duck my head to fit on. We stood in the aisle and drove through the streets of Lima, the bus stopping every so often to let people on and off. I can honestly say that I have never been on a scarier bus ride, but I loved every bit of it. We then hopped off the bus and my temporary companion asked me if I would like to visit the top of a huge mountain and visit an investigator or stay at the bottom and do some contacting. I said a prayer in my heart to know what I should do and I felt strongly that we needed to go to the top. So that’s what we did. My companion called a moto taxi over and we hopped in. Now for those of you who know what a moto taxi is, you will understand why I feared for my life, if not google it and you will understand, it’s basically a motorcycle with a little cabin behind it! I loved it so much though!

After riding to the top of the mountain, I noticed the area I was in. It was poorer than you can imagine. Dirt floor houses, with stray dogs laying around the streets. After stepping out of the moto taxi, I glanced around and noticed a little boy who was waving to us. We walked over and he spoke to us and asked me about myself. It was like he had never met a white person before, he was so excited to see me! He told us to come and teach him and his family, so we followed him to his house. As I entered his home, I was immediately humbled. The whole house was smaller than my bedroom. The only things this family owned were stuffed into corners of the house and there was a small table in the center. The boy’s mother pulled up a chair and told us to have a seat. So we all gathered around the table. This family consisted of a Mother, Father, the boy and his younger sister. As I sat there, they asked me all sorts of things about myself. They asked about my family and the things I liked to do. They were so incredibly friendly! Then, they asked me if I would share a favorite scripture of mine with them. So I pulled out my scriptures and felt like I needed to share 1 Nephi 3 verse 7 with this family. As I did so, I talked about how we needed to be like Nephi and do as God commands. That was when the little boy asked me how he could learn more. I pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon that I had brought with me in which I had written my testimony in Spanish on the inside cover and told him that this was for him. The family already had their very own copy of the Book of Mormon, but I handed this Book of Mormon to him and told the boy that this was his very own. I told him to read it and he would learn so much about what God wants him to do. As I handed him the book, the 13 year boy was really excited and I realized that this Book of Mormon was probably one of the only personal possessions that he would own. I teared up as I thought about how my younger brother Tyson was the same age as this young boy and it was very humbling. Then the mother asked us if we would be able to give a blessing to her niece. So she walked out of the house for a minute and called her niece over. The niece walked in and sat in a chair next to us. She was sick with some sort of illness, I am not quite sure. That’s when I realized that I had never given a blessing in Spanish so I asked my Latino companion to write down how to say everything. So he did and once he was finished I studied it and memorized what I could. Then, I placed my hands on this girl’s head and performed the anointing portion of the blessing. As I did this I felt a feeling that I have never felt in my life. I felt the love that Heavenly Father had for this girl and for everyone else in this small humble home. It was truly incredible. My Latino companion then blessed the girl and we then thanked the family for their time. Once we left, my companion looked at me and said that the family were the investigators that we were supposed to visit. He said that he had never seen that family so receptive. Tears came to my eyes as I realized that Heavenly Father had placed me there to be there at the right time. Following this experience we then walked around and knocked on a few doors and had a few slammed in our faces and others who we asked if we could give them a pass along card and that the Elders in the area would come visit them again.

It was truly an incredible experience to go to proselyting. I Felt Gods spirit with us as we taught and helped families come unto Christ. I testify that this truly is Jesus Christ’s work. He is at the head and I am his servant to declare his word to the people of Peru. I cannot wait to get to Cusco and serve the people there! I may not speak hardly any Spanish yet, but I know he will bless me as I strive each day to be better. I love you all very much and wish you all the best in whatever you may do.


Elder Fawcett

Quechuan Book of Mormon
Inside Quechuan Book of Mormon

Example of a Moto Taxi in Peru
from Google Search from Elder Fawcett's Dad

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Week 3 - Half Way Through the MTC

Hola todas mis Familia y Amigos;

Week 3 in the MTC is complete and it feels like each day is moving quicker.  Spanish is still difficult and I am striving each day to become a little bit better. Each day, I feel the strength of the Lord in my life as I feel his spirit helping me and carrying me through the rough days. A foreign MTC isn’t easy, having Spanish around you all day long is hard. But, it is so well worth it. I love being a missionary, it is a blessing to be a representative of my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ each and every single day. I love this gospel and I testify with all my heart that it is true. The Savior lives, this is his church, and I am one of his missionaries. I am so proud to represent him!

So this week was pretty much the same hahaha, nothing really changes all that much from day to day but let me tell you about a few of my experiences from the week.
  • Last Wednesday I bought a Quechuan Book of Mormon at the Distribution Center. Quechuan is the native language of the Incan people and is spoken by a number of people in Cusco. So, over the course of the next two years, I hope to pick up a little of it. I am sending a picture of it so you can see how crazy it is. The words are all like 10 plus words long hahaha and I can hardly speak Spanish so I am praying that I don’t need to know a whole lot of Quechuan.
  • So these past few weeks, my right ear has been hurting like crazy. So I went to the doctor and I found out that I had some sort of funky infection… So I have been taking ear drops and it’s getting better hahaha… I need all the hearing I can get so I can pick up this Spanish!
  • Sunday my comp was super sick. We went to sacrament meeting but he had to leave a few times and I had to run out after him to help take care of him. Then he just slept and I did all I could to take care of him. I offered many prayers on his behalf and he was better by the next day for the most part, no more throw up!
  • This week I just wanna say that the gift of tongues is real. There have been so many times this week where words have been brought to my remembrance. It has truly been incredible and I pray for more experiences with it.
  • This Saturday we are going on splits with the missionaries in the Lima West Mission. We are going to do a little bit of proselyting with them so I am thrilled for it.
  • This past week was Peru’s Independence Day, so it was cool because we got to eat some unusual dishes… I couldn’t tell you what they were because I honestly have no idea. But they were delicious so I am thrilled to have some more once I get out in the field. That’s pretty much it for this week. I love you all and miss you all so much. I testify that with Jesus Christ, all things are possible if you have faith in him.

Elder Fawcett

Peru Temple

Selfie with the Peru Temple