Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 16 - The Floating Islands of Lake Titicaca


Well, this week meals consisted of mostly chunyo (3 meals for almost every day) and A TON of hard work! It’s truly wonderful down here in good ole Puno.

This week, it was ironically Halloween today because a lot of out of this world sketchy stuff has been happening to my companion and I. Things that are paranormal, with evil spirits. I am not going to say a whole lot because I feel like these stories are things I need to share after I finish the mission, but just know that I have a testimony that Satan and his followers are real and they are set on stopping our work here. Enough of that for today.

On a happier note, my companion and I committed our investigator (John) that I taught English too, to baptism this week! :) John is the investigator that a few weeks back I told you just randomly showed up to General Conference and watched it all with us.  It truly is incredible to see that a desire to simply learn English from the missionaries, turns into a potential future member! It’s difficult sometimes to be patient in cases like this, but mark my words that if you are patient, that’s when the Lord will bless you! I have seen the hearts of drunks, staunch Catholics, etc., turn into people who have a desire to join us in following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 

This week, my companion and I were asked to give a blessing to a baby girl who has been really very sick for quite a long time and has consistently cried every day, all day for quite a while. As we gave her a blessing of the sick, she cried the whole time but as we lifted our hands off her heads, she immediately stopped.  It’s truly incredible to see how the power of the Priesthood works. I see miracles everyday as a holder of it and I am so thankful for a Father in Heaven who trusts a 19 year old imperfect guy like me to hold it! I testify that it is real and it is a grand blessing in each of our lives.

As follow up to my stomach issues from the past few weeks, they did more tests on me and the Doctor ruled out a parasite but says it is just a very bad stomach infection so they are going to try some more powerful antibiotics so hopefully that will work and I can finally get rid of it but no big deal, it is just part of the experience!

Today we visited the floating islands of Lake Titicaca and that was pretty incredible! Our zone is the best zone in the mission this change, so the Mission President allowed us to go because it’s normally not allowed! We went out there by boat and they are located about 20-30 minutes off shore. There are quite a few people who live out there and they very seldom come to the mainland.  The floating islands are made out of reeds that they have to replace about every 23 days, which make the ground really squishy, and it was really neat to go out there.  The people were extremely nice and the missionaries used to be located out there but haven’t been for quite a while due to some issues with Elders in the past.  With the new Mission President being put in our Mission, hopefully this area will be opened up again.  We actually have an old church building on one of the islands and the members would love to have us come back out there.

Another funny thing we have been doing down here involves the major beer company here in Peru.  There are a lot of alcoholics down here that drink a lot of beer.  Underneath the bottle caps there are points that you can collect for prizes so all of the missionaries are collecting the bottle caps because one of the prizes is this really nice jacket with a picture of Machu Picchu on it.  We only collect them on P-day but just in walking down to the Pier to catch the boat today my companion and I each collected over 500 points because the bottle caps are everywhere.

I love you all so much and thank you all for the tremendous support! Oh and BTW I am going back to Lima for my Visa this Wednesday, so that should be quite the adventure.  8 hours in a bus to Cusco, and then a plane trip to Lima and back! But, they do have a McDonalds in Lima so I can’t wait for that! 

Love Elder Fawcett

Pop Corn in Peru

Elder Fawcett Waiting for the Boat

UROS or the Floating Islands

Artifacts From the Floating Islands

Our Zone on the Boat to UROS

Gathering Reeds Every 23 Days!

Approaching UROS

Docking at UROS

Some of the Zone Elders

Elders Fawcett and Haws in Typical Island Clothing

Our Church on UROS

There are Many Very Large Islands

The Reeds the Islands are
Made Out of Are Edible,
Yes I Ate it, I Eat Anything!!!

Elders Haws and Fawcett
On Top of the Look Out
On One of the Islands

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 15 - Spaghetti Noodles and a Parasite


This week was great! We had a conference with President Herrera and it was super awesome. We also had interviews with him as well. My interview went pretty well, President Herrera was very happy with the work Elder Iza and I are doing and he was also very impressed with how much my Spanish Language abilities have progressed. Our Mission President is super awesome, I think he probably the best one out there!

This week we did quite a bit of teaching and we have investigators at different stages of the teaching process.  We are hoping to schedule a few more baptisms in the next few weeks but we will have to see how things go.  Also this week, we received a new less active who has a number of problems that we are helping him to work with.  Ironically, his name is Richard even though they pronounce it differently down here!  He was baptized when he was 8, got married and had a daughter that is now 6 but hasn’t seen her for quite a while.  Along the way in his life, he made some bad decisions that caused his life to make a turn for the worse.  He lost everything; his wife and his daughter and has forced him to live in the streets. He has been living in the streets for several months and has many problems with a number of things including a big dependence on alcohol. But one day, he said he had a personal revelation that people would be sent to help him, and that’s when we found him.  He really has a desire to return to the Church and so it is great to help him do that. We are helping him out a lot and it is amazing to see him change and overcome his weaknesses.  It is really cool to see the change in people’s lives, it doesn’t matter where you are, where you have been or what you are doing.  The Gospel can make you whole again.  If you are doing bad things, you can always change and can come back!

In the last little while, I have been thinking a lot about my mission and I have realized that it really doesn’t matter if I have 1 million or one baptism while I am out here. That is not what matters and that is not why I am here.  I am not working out here to rack big numbers or statics, I am out here because at this time in my life this is where the Lord wants me to be and it doesn’t matter if I am teaching new converts or reactivating members, I am here representing our Savior Jesus Christ.  So far, I think that the biggest convert in my mission so far has been myself. I have grown up a lot and my Testimony has really grown in the short time I have been here. 

In sacrament meeting this week, I was sitting down when the Bishop came up and asked me if I would talk because the assigned speaker’s couldn’t make it this week. So, I agreed even though I was scared out of my mind. I didn’t have time to prepare anything really, so I went up to the pulpit and somehow I was able to give a talk for over 12 minutes on how every member is a missionary, It was very difficult because I had to completely do it by the Spirit because I didn’t have time to prepare. But all the members said my Spanish was great and that they really appreciated the message.

This week, I got served some sort of what I thought was spaghetti noodles... but as I began eating it, I realized they were NOT noodles at ALL! As a matter of fact, until after I had eaten it all, I really didn’t want to know what it was because it was so nasty! After I was done eating, I found out it was Tripe or Small Cow Intestines. As for my stomach infection I mentioned last week, the antibiotic didn’t do anything so after more tests, I guess I get to go back to the doctor’s this week and get treated for my First Parasite! Not a big deal and I am not the first Elder to get one! 

I love this work and all of you! Thanks for all your support!


Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

Elders Hatfield, Coils and Haws
Part of my MTC Group

Elder and Sister Herrera
See, I am Taller than 2 Months Ago!

See I Did Pay Attention in Sewing!!!

Not Quite the Davis High Band
and No Candy but Parades Everyday!!!

Maracuya Fruit
It is Really Good!!!

Kind of Weird Inside but
Still Really Good!!!

My Companion Elder Iza is Quite the Artist!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 14 - 2 Baptisms


Well this week was pretty dang great! My companion and I had 2 Baptisms on Saturday for 2 really awesome people!

Kevin (12 years old) was our first baptism this Saturday and he was baptized by my companion Elder Iza. Kevin has had a really tough life. He grew up without a Dad because his Dad left right after he was born. So, he has been raised by his mom and 2 older brothers who want NOTHING to do with the church. Kevin’s Mom is a member but she is very less active and has been for a while. Through many visits, and many conversations with Kevin, we were able to commit him to baptism and in the process, rescue his Mom and bring her back to activity. His baptism went very well, and was absolutely incredible to see him after he was baptized. On Sunday, I had the opportunity and Privilege to Confirm him a Member of the Church. As I confirmed him, even though my Spanish is getting pretty good, the spirit took over the blessing and I have NO IDEA how but I said things that I cannot normally say! It’s truly incredible!

Bryan (age 24) was our second baptism. His whole family was baptized several years ago, but he didn’t have any interest at the time. When my companion and I contacted him, he was a little hesitant and through many more visits, we were able to commit him to baptism as well. On Saturday, his whole family came to the baptism, and it was truly incredible to see as his family welcomed him into the Church. They have waited for it for so long. He was baptized by his older brother and it was incredible to see as they walked out of the font, and the Spirit that was felt! He says that he is thinking about going on a mission now, since the cutoff for the age is 25! It’s truly incredible to see the change in his heart!

This week, I actually had to go to the doctors for the first time since being here. I have had stomach issue for over 2 weeks now so it was time to go.  As it turns out, I have some kind of stomach infection or something and so I am on some sort of antibiotic.  Everyone says its normal and just part of the mission experience here in Peru so I am good and it really doesn’t affect my abilities to serve as a missionary. 

I am still losing weight but I am getting really fit as my sector is pretty hilly and I get lots of exercise.  Also Dad, I have finally passed you up!!!   I am continuing to grow into my size 15 shoes.  When I first got here, I was able to walk through the door at my Penchanista’s Apartment without any problem but now I have to duck when I go in so I know I have grown a few inches taller so that is pretty cool!!!

As for food, right when I think that I have eaten everything, I find out that I haven’t because there are weirder things and they just seem to be getting weirder and weirder.  I have eaten a lot of internal organ stuff, but this week I had something new and I ate it but honestly, I didn’t ask and don’t want to know what it was, at least yet!

My companion and I are continuing to work SUPER HARD every day and are continuing to search and teach as many people that will listen to us! I love my mission and all of the opportunities I am being blessed with each and every single day to share the Gospel! I see miracles every day, but the true miracle is the change that is happening in Me. My testimony is being strengthen each day as I work to bring souls to our Savior and Redeemer!

Love Elder Fawcett


Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

Elder Fawcett and Elder Iza
Tracting in the Rain!

Rainbow over Lake Titicaca

Kevin and his Mom and Ward Member
with Elder Fawcett and Elder Iza

Elder Fawcett and Kevin
at his Baptism!

Bryan and His Family
with Elder Fawcett and Elder Iza

Bryan with His Brother
and Elder Fawcett and Elder Iza

Poster at My Desk, Daily Inspiration!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 13 - Evil Spirits


I am doing amazing here in Puno! It has been another great week and I am really excited about sharing a few of my experiences.

First off of the lighter side, my companion and I were walking around trying to contact people this week when this man came up to me and was convinced that I was a celebrity from Hollywood. Although I kept trying to tell him that I was just a normal white guy who was serving a mission and teaching people about Christ, he refused to believe me.  He commenced to pull out a piece of paper and wanted me to sign my autograph for him.  So anyway although I may not be famous, but some guy here in Peru thinks I am and now he has my autograph!

Also, Soccer is really big down here in Peru and when we are out tracting, people are all the time trying to challenge me to a soccer game because I am this tall Gringo. But, I am always telling them, no, you’re going to beat me anyways.  But Elder Iza and I do sometimes accept the challenge on condition of if we beat them we get to share a message with them afterwards.  So far, its been really fun and has worked pretty well at finding people to teach!

One more story that is a little more serious, so my companion and I were contacting this week and we saw this very strange man walking in the middle of the street and we immediately noticed and felt that something was wrong with him. Cars were swerving around him and he was almost getting hit. We thought he might be drunk. So my companion and I went and helped him out of the middle of the road. As soon as we touched him, we knew something wasn’t right because he became really agitated and started freaking out. After we got him on the side of the road, the man got really aggressive and tried to punch us and kept saying that people were all around him trying to hurt him.  He tried to run back out into the street in front of the cars but, we convinced him to stay and told that we were trying to help him. He sat there for a minute but then got back up and started punching my companion I didn’t know what to do because it was either my companion gets punched or this dude gets hit by a car. So, I had the impression to give him a blessing and so I did. I placed my hands on his head and immediately I knew what I needed to say. In the blessing I commanded him to be still and as soon as I did so, he stopped punching my companion. As my companion and I were talking trying to figure out what was wrong with this man, we could feel this really bad feeling. That was when Elder Iza and I looked at each other and immediately knew that this man had evil spirits with him. So, we said a prayer and commanded the evil spirits to leave and they did so, because after the prayer, the evil feeling was gone and the man was completely calm. The man, it turns out was under the influence of some sort of drugs which he had taken with his own agency, but evil spirits had used it as an opportunity to gain a hold of this man. Satan is Real, I have a testimony of that, he is a real person and he is set on destroying those that choose to follow him.  I know this is one of the crazier experiences I have shared but I have really seen a lot of crazy things so far on my mission and they only strengthen my Testimony as the Truthfulness of this Gospel more.

This coming week we have 2 baptisms scheduled! I will tell the story of the 2 people who are being baptizing next week but it truly is an incredible story as well.

The food is normal now, at least there is nothing that has surprised me lately! I have chicken part soup about EVERY day… so if you name a body part, I GUARANTEE you that I have eaten it. I am realizing that by the time I get home, I will be able to eat just about anything!

The Spanish is coming along really great and for the past few weeks, I have started to learn Quechua which is the Native Language of the Inca's. There are a few older people that speak it so I need to know it in order to teach them.

I love being a missionary and I am Grateful for the opportunity I have to represent him every day. I Love you all so very much, I testify that this Church is TRUE! Never forget that!


Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

Members of the Ward at a Service Project
for the City of Puno, Removing Propaganda Signs

Elder Iza and I at the Service Project

Daily Lunch, Chicken Foot Soup!!!  Yes I Do Eat It!
There is only a Little Meat and its Really Chewy
Yes, the Toenails are Now Clean After being Boiled!

Not all Parts of the Chicken are as
Good as the Feet!

Styles are Different Here,
Beginning my Collection of P-Day Ties!
Cost me 10 Cents

1st DP in 3 Months, A Little Slice of Heaven!!
Member Got this for Me,
Really Expensive Here!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 12 - Power of Prayer


This week was yet another busy week! Let me tell you some stories!

First off, let me tell you about a few of the fun experiences that I have been having.  There are so many crazy experiences that happen to me every day and I need to get better about writing them down. One of my favorites is that people like to ask me how old I am.  Before I tell them, I always ask them how old they think I am first.  So far, the average age has been about 30 something.  Also, this week, I was walking through the flea market where they sell a bunch of random stuff and a guy came up to me and tried to convince me that he had shoes for me even though I told him he didn’t!  He proceeded to take off my shoes and he then tried to shove various shoes on my feet but nothing would fit.  After trying for a while, I told him, I have a size 15 foot, there is no way you have shoes that would fit me. Anyway, I thought it was pretty funny.

On a more serious note, this week was General Conference and for all gringos we got to watch in ENGLISH! So that was pretty sweet! But we also had investigators come and I was really surprised at one particular person who showed. One of the very first people I contacted while here in Puno was a man who said he just wanted me to teach him English. So I did about 4 weeks ago and then at the end I asked him if I could teach him a quick message. So I taught him the Restoration in about 5 minutes and that was it. Following the lesson, my Companion complained to me and told me that we had wasted an hour of time teaching this man English. So, he refused to go back and teach him ever again! So this Saturday, I was really surprised as this man walked in and watched all of the Saturday sessions with us. We didn’t invite him. I have NO IDEA how he knew but he asked me if I would come back and teach him again. It just went to show me that no efforts are lost. My companion felt really bad, but I am happy to say we are going to visit him and teach him lesson 2 this week. Never GIVE UP on ANYONE!

Also, during Conference, a speaker named Juan A. Uceda spoke. He served in the Peru Cusco mission coincidentally. My first Conference of my mission and someone from my mission spoke on a topic that I needed to hear… Prayer. It wasn’t a coincidence because this week I had a crazy experience with prayer. My companion and I were riding in a moto taxi when I had the impression to pray for safety.  Now I have talked about moto taxis before but they are really just motor cycles pulling an attached cart behind them and so they really aren’t that safe if you were to get in an accident.  I didn’t know why I needed to pray, but I did it. As I said amen, a big old car came zipping by fast and NEARLY hit us and if he had, it would have been on my side and the moto taxi would have flipped and I would have been run over by the car.  In thinking back, I don’t know how the car could have missed hitting us!   Prayer has gotten me so far in my mission and I know that. I am here now because PRAYER Works!  Also, I know the Lord watches out for his Missionaries as this is not the first time I have felt like I have been protected from harm.

One more story… This week, we were in the home of a less active member when I was asked at the end of the lesson to bless and dedicate the home. I have given numerous blessings at this point in Spanish, but this was different from any other Priesthood blessing I had ever given. So, I nervously got on my knees and miraculously as I began to pray, the words to dedicate the home came flowing out. I cannot tell you how it happens, but it seems that every time the Lord needs me to do something he provides a way, each time!

I testify that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. He is at the Head and through Missionaries, His Gospel is declared to each and every person here on the earth! I love teaching people and seeing the change in lives. It truly is incredible!



Elder Taylor R. Fawcett
Peru Cusco Mission

Rain! Have I Told You It Can Rain
Soaked Head to Toe!

"I Walk Up Hills ALL Day",
Top is 13,091 Feet Above Sea Level
Home in Utah is What, 4,500 Feet!

Catholic Church in the Center of Puno
Really Old and and Good Reminder of the Apostasy!

Our Penchanistas Apartment