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