Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 11 - My First Baptism


Este semana fue lo maximo! I had a ton of absolutely amazing experiences, but the best was the blessed opportunity to baptize my very first person! My companion and I have been helping teach these 2 twin boys named Eduardo and Fernando who are 14 years old. They have had a VERY difficult life! They live with their Mom who also has two other young sons. She’s raised all 4 boys by herself because they father was VERY abusive! He was so abusive that now she doesn’t have any TEETH! They currently live with their uncle who also isn’t a very kind person. But nonetheless they are a happy family.

I was surprised when Eduardo asked me to baptize him... I just didn’t expect it. But of course I accepted the opportunity and on Saturday my companion and I baptized the 2 twins! It was incredible! My companion was first and he baptized Fernando. Next, I baptized Eduardo and it was truly an incredible experience as I uttered the baptismal prayer in Spanish. It truly is a blessing to be a holder of his Priesthood! The baptism went well and I have honestly never seen those two boys smiled so much! They are really shy but they sure were happy!

On Sunday, I wasn’t expecting to be the one to confirm. As we were sitting in the back greeting people, the Bishop called the missionaries to come and confirm. I can honestly say I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t know what words to say but the Lord blessed me. My companion confirmed Fernando first and I listened and then it was my turn! It was incredible as I laid my hands on his head and confirmed the Holy Ghost. The Spirit was SOOOO Strong! I can honestly say it was one of the most incredible miracles ever! I don’t know what I said in the blessing because I have NO CLUE! The Spirit of the Living God spoke through me as I gave him a blessing in Spanish! Once I was finished, everyone told me my Spanish was amazing! I have no idea how, but the Lord truly spoke thru me! I truly have a testimony of the Priesthood! It is REAL! These two boys have had a tremendously hard life, but now they want to prepare to serve missions for themselves! They have been through things you wouldn’t imagine, so the next time you think your life is hard, always remember that there are others who have it way worse! This week really strengthened me and I thank my Savior and Redeemer for the opportunity I had to baptize Eduardo!


Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

Two of our Investigators
Scheduled for Baptism in October

Elder Fawcett with
Eduardo and Fernando

Eduardo and Fernando with their
Mother and Brothers at the Church

Eduardo and Fernando's Baptism with
the Bishop and Ward Leaders

Elder Fawcett and Eduardo

Elder Iza and Fernando

Still Cold in the Morning, Member Made Me a Hat!

Scripture Case a Member is Making for Me

Zone Hike Today Around Puno

Some of the Ruins Around Puno

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 10 - Miracles in Spanish


Este semana fue lo máximo! This week was great! My companion and I went to Cusco all week to do things for his Passport, so I was on splits with the Zone Leaders all week and it was fantastic! We worked really hard together and saw a lot of amazing miracles.

The longer I am here the more I am astonished by the poverty of the people down here. They have nothing worldly! But they have one thing and that is their families and loved ones.  It’s very interesting to watch how a family who has nothing is so willing to give anything they can to the missionaries.  Each house we are in, we are offered something.  Every single one!  I truly know that these people need to hear the gospel because they all are so prepared for it!

One of the interesting things about tracking down here is the dogs!  The whole dog situation down here is pretty awful.  We are constantly chased by dogs, they are everywhere.  Dogs of every breed, shape and size.  But the dogs are very very different from the ones back home!  These dogs are very mean! We get chased by a dog at least once a day, sometimes it’s pretty scary especially when it’s a mega, mean hungry dog! But, the secret is if you just throw a rock at them, they leave you alone. 

When I finally returned to my sector with my companion, we got right back to work! Sadly... our investigator family we have been teaching and had committed to baptism is no longer committed. The father of the family who has felt the spirit so strong in our lessons, is beginning to deny it all. It’s really tough. He will not allow for the rest of his family to be baptized, but my companion and I are going to continue to do all we can to help him.

The family is so incredibly poor, the father just has trouble thinking about paying tithing in the future. With more faith and work, my companion and I hope to get him to commit to baptism! We have 2 baptisms this week, and my companion is going to be baptizing them. It truly is incredible (the work). We walk all day every day, uphill praying for the strength to push onward. As we do so, the Lord truly does bless us.

Most of our investigators right now are fairly early in the teaching process. So, one of the things I taught a lot this week was how to pray. This is perhaps my favorite thing to teach. It truly is incredible to see and hear a person pray for the first time in their life. My favorite experience was teaching a little boy named Mateo how to pray. His whole family is not interested in the church, but every single week my companion and I go and pick him up for church and he absolutely loves it! He is growing rapidly and we are inviting him to baptism this week! But, with each success is a downfall it feels like. People down here are staunch Catholic and we have had many investigators bail because of it. But one thing I am realizing is that Heavenly Father has truly prepared certain people for us to teach. I am realizing more and more every single day that this is where I was called and it is for a reason. It truly is miraculous!

I have a testimony that Puno Peru is where I need to be right now. Every day is so difficult. Spanish is hard, but I see the Lords hand as he puts words I have NEVER heard into my mouth. My companion tells me every day that when I speak, the spirit talks through me. My Spanish is somehow perfect. I don’t know how, but when I speak it just flows. I thank my Heavenly Father every moment for this. It’s truly a miracle to me! I Love being a missionary! I testify that God answers prayers! I have prayed EVERY DAY to speak Spanish and I am finding that the Lord helps me in every moment. I love you all!


Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

Elder Iza and I at an Investigators House

Kevin's House, One of our Investigator Families
Schedule for Baptism in 2 Weeks

A Lady we Pass While Tracting

Puno Central Zone!

Zone Shirts

Every Zone has a Different Custom Soccer Shirt!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 9 - Success at the Very Top


This week was pretty dang crazy so I’ll get started right away.

First off food. I swear every week the food gets wilder haha! This week I was eating this really weird stir fry with rice and stuff and I looked down and noticed the chopped up pieces of meat were really strange. So… I made the mistake of asking my Comp, Elder Iza, what it was. Turns out… Cow Intestines!!!! Here’s another one for you. So we were eating this really weird fish that was alright but after I finished eating all of the meat, my Penchanista and Elder Iza asked me if I was gonna finish it. Turns out here in Peru they eat the scales and all the fish skin and everything. So… I ate all of it and I have to say that I did it with a smile. Alright enough food hahaha! I have plenty worse stories but I will share those later!

Anyways we are working with a TON of people right now. The investigators are really tough now though because they will not keep commitments. We had all of them committed to sacrament on Sunday and all of them bailed. But with faith and much more work, Elder Iza and I will have success eventually! This week we were working with a less active who has problems with alcohol so… I had the impression to give him a Spanish CTR ring and told him that every time he has the urge to drink to remember the ring. I am pleased to say that he has been sober ever since!

Speaking of alcohol there are TONS of drunks here in Puno. It’s very common for Elder Iza and me to be walking around the streets and be stopped by a group of drunks. Most of the time they make fun of me and tell me I can’t understand them but in reality I understand hahaha! They usually ask us to share things about Jesus. So we usually share a short message and we get several contacts this way as well!

We are working with this really special investigator family who lives at the very top of Puno and the whole family accepted our invitation for baptism except for the father (Paul). Paul has been searching for the “True Church” his whole life and is progressing really slowly. Elder Iza and I think we can get him to commit with another few visits and a through faith and prayers.

Anyways I just want to close by sharing a quick message. Here in Puno, there are TONS of less actives. But every single DAY I see people have a change of heart and accept the gospel again into their lives. I have learned very quickly out here as I have spoken with people who haven’t been to church in YEARs reaccept the gospel into lives that EVERYONE gets another chance because of our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ. He will NEVER give up on us EVER! No matter where we are or what we have done! I have watched the poorest people accept the gospel into their lives and seen an immediate difference! I testify that Christ Lives and this is his Church! I see miracles every day because of it!

Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

Top of Puno by Day

One of the Kids we
Helped Reactivate

"The View Point of the Condor"
Monument in Puno at 13,091 Feet

At the Foot of the Condor

Puno from the Monument

At the Monument

Elder Iza and I in a Moto Taxi

Our Moto Taxi Driver

Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 8 - I Am a Really Good Eater!!!


Well this week was pretty loaded! My companion and I are doing a ton of work right now. The Ward I serve in is named the Inca Pachacutec Ward and has around a 1000 people baptized. But... sadly only around 100 to 150 are active. Most of the members are offended and believe the Church is true, but just don’t want to go to church. This week we visited a ton of families and bore testimony to them that the Church is perfect but the members are not. We successfully got a few people to come back and are working on others. One of these is a man named Victor who is in his 70s and hasn’t been to church in years nor let ANY missionaries in his house. For some reason he let us in and we taught him and we believe that him and his wife will be in church this week. We are also teaching a bunch of investigators and are planning to hopefully have 4 baptisms in the Ward by the beginning of October!! One of these is a boy who is 14 years old in a non-active family. We are talking to his family and believe that his father will be able to baptize him once he comes back to church! It’s truly amazing.

This week the food.... Well... That’s a story. The members enjoy giving me this nasty hot grain drink that I cannot stand and I honestly think I drink 5 cups or more a day. YUCK! My Penchan tells me I am a really good eater and that she’s never had a Gringo eat ALL her food so well! So... That means I have been eating indescribable nasty things. One of such was this weird shell fish thing that was in a soup. It was so fishy and I mustered it down with a smile. Saturday it hit me though. I woke up Saturday morning with the most indescribable pain have ever felt in my stomach. I threw up and spent the whole day inside studying. It was pretty miserable, but I managed through it.

Sunday... We were contacting and my stomach was still iffy and since my area is all a hill, I get tired really fast. But then my comp looked too me and told me that he felt we should go to the very top of the mountain and knock doors. I was pretty shocked at first because I was WAYYY tired and my stomach hurt but, I did it anyways. We reached the top and felt like we should knock on this one door. So... we did. We were answered by a man who truly was ready for us. He asked questions that were perfect for us to answer. Such as Why are there so many churches, etc. He is a father of 4 little girls and lives in utter poverty. Mud hut you name it. But he is so happy and wanted the truth and we were there to give it to him. We are going back this week to teach his family this week and begin answering all his questions.

Today at this moment there are lots of crazy political marches in the streets. Guys with guns are running around doing all sorts of weird things. I am not sure but people are protesting something so my comp and I are sneaking around to avoid the political protests. My stomach is still a little iffy but I know that as I work hard my Heavenly Father will take care of me! I love you all so very Much!
Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

It is Still Winter Down Here!!
City of Puno at Night with Lake Titcaca in Background

Daily Study with My Trainer Elder Iza

Together We will Teach the Gospel!