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