Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 29 - Teaching English

Hola Everyone:

Hope all is well with everything and life is good! Man another week here in the books down here in Peru, life is awesome down here for me! This past week we worked a ton! We are currently just trying to teach as much as possible in every second of everyday! 

Here are some highlights and stories for you this week!  So down here in Peru, everyone wants to learn English! So, with the Sister Missionaries we have been teaching an English class for an hour and a half each Tuesday and Thursday! I teach the class each Tuesday and one of the Sisters teaches it on Thursday! It has been really fun to teach it and see how difficult it is for people to learn a language! It took me back to the beginning of my mission as I myself struggled through the language! Learning Spanish hasn’t been easy but, the Lord has absolutely blessed me with the Gift of Tongues as I’ve worked to get better! Teaching English has also been a hilarious thing as well because a lot of the people down here have heard our music and so they will start singing a random song and then ask me to translate it into Spanish. It’s kind of fun until they start asking me to translate rap music that isn’t exactly clean…hahaha!

Anyway this week we had a special broadcast from the Church to all the Missionaries in the world! They talked about missionary work and also revealed a new flexible missionary schedule for us. As of now, President Herrera has not informed us as to how the schedule will work for us here, but he said he will institute it at the start of the new change, next Monday!

This week we also had a Multi Zone Conference with President Herrera and it was way cool! We talked about a lot of amazing things and also had interviews with President Herrera! It went way awesome for me as President Herrera told me the difference in my Spanish is night and day difference from when I first got here almost 6 month ago! He was really pleased with what my Companion and I have been doing and encouraged us to keep it up!

So, this week we were down in the meat market where they sell absolutely EVERY type of meat that you could ever imagine! They had a bunch of live sheep that they were going to kill and cut up when a dude walked over to me and asked if I could slaughter a sheep. Being in proselyting clothes and that we were busy contacting I was a little hesitant… but decided to use it as a cool opportunity to share the Gospel! Unfortunately my camera battery was dead, dang it! Let’s just say it was a good thing the guy gave me an apron to cover my white shirt! Didn’t get too much stuff on me thankfully, but I am pretty sure the lady that washes my clothes is going to be a little confused haha! We ended up mostly just help the dude carry the meat hahaha! Thankfully the guy seemed a little interested in our message haha!

Just want to end by share my testimony that the work I do here isn’t mine. It belongs to our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ! Any effort I put forth with any person down here in Peru is not in vain. Whether it’s a baptism, a seed I help plant, or just a door slammed in my face; I will do whatever I can to help in this great missionary effort!

Love,

Elder Fawcett  


2 Showers a Day Before I Left Home,
Now I am Lucky IF I Can Fill the
Bucket Once a Day to Shower!!!








Brings Back Memories of Me
When I Started to Learn Spanish
.










Teaching English








Yep, Just Like Learning Spanish in the MTC




Some More of the P-Day Ties I Have Collected

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 28 - My 6 Month Investigator

Hello Everyone!

Hope your week was fantastic for each and every single one of you! My week was absolutely terrific! I just want to start off by telling you about the great highlight of the week. So as I’ve talked about in my previous letters, we’ve been teaching a man named Jhon. As you may know, Elder Iza and I found Jhon my second week in the field. The lesson we had with him very first started out with him just wanting to learn English from me. So, we taught him English and then at the end I decided to share a little short Gospel message with him and set up another appointment. The following few lessons went about the same. Us teaching English and then sharing a short Gospel message after. As time progressed, Elder Iza wanted to just drop him, but I always felt like we shouldn’t. But after time the lessons then solely became about the Gospel and nothing more. As Elder Iza left and Elder Sarceno entered, he as well wanted to drop Jhon. Again, knowing that Jhon was progressing, just very slowly, I refused. Do not get me wrong though, Jhon was a very difficult investigator. To give you an idea, let me tell you a little bit about him. Jhon did not have any form of religion in his life before. He believed in God, but he didn’t believe in Christ at ALL! He thought that Christ was just a good person to set an example and to help contribute to the Bible and nothing more. As well, teaching him about the Church of Jesus Christ was nearly impossible without a knowledge of him. So after visits and much patience, Jhon gained a testimony for himself of the Savior and the role he plays for each and every single one of us. Once he grasped that, everything else seemed to follow. He still was incredibly difficult however, because to be honest, he asked the absolute weirdest questions. But staying patient and waiting for him to accept it all was the key to everything. Although the weird questions persisted each visit, for example he wanted to know how he could become the Prophet and other such things. We persisted and prayed each day for him. After being here in Puno Peru for nearly 6 months and teaching Jhon for nearly 6 months, this past Saturday I had the tremendous opportunity to step into the baptismal font and baptize Jhon. As I pulled him out of the water, I couldn’t help but remember the first visit we had with him when he only wanted to learn English. As I stepped out of the font, the joy and happiness I felt for not giving up on Jhon for 6 months is something that I will never forget. Jhon also asked if I would be the one to confirm him a member the following day and though I told him to have Elder Barrios do it, he insisted that I did it. As I laid my hands on his head and pronounced a very special blessing upon him and confirmed the Holy Ghost, it was incredible to see the change that he had in his countenance. Jhon has now told me that he would like to serve a mission and him being only 21 years old, he is now preparing to serve for himself.

Today for P-day, we went and visited some ruins of the Ancient Kings that used to rule over Peru and surrounding area.  It was really neat and I have included some pictures of what we saw today.

 I am so grateful to be a member of this Church and to share this Gospel with people like Jhon each day. I am just the Lord’s mouthpiece and he absolutely is the reason that Jhon had such a change of heart. I testify that the Lord can change the hearts of anyone. If he can change a man who didn’t even believe in any religion or let alone one that didn’t even believe in the Savior, to someone who is now preparing to represent him someday, He can change the heart of anyone. Never give up on someone. At first they might just want English, but later they may want something much greater!
I love you all!

Love, 

Elder Fawcett



Preparing for Baptism




Elders Fawcett and Barrios with Jhon




Dany (Ward Mission Leader), Elder Fawcett, Jhon, 
Elder Barrios, Sister Missionaries, Bishop Yupanqui







Jhon and Elder Fawcett
Entering the Font












Ancient Kingdom Ruins








Petroglyphs



More Petroglyphs









More Petoglyphs


Castle Wall Stone







Carving in the Stone










One Pillar of the Old Castle






What is Left of the Castle











Been a While Since I Showed Some of My New P-Day Ties!!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 27 - 6 Month Mark!!!

Hola;

Well, 6 months done, 18 more to go! This past week was absolutely awesome! Elder Haws and I celebrated 6 months in the mission this week and it was awesome! He and I have been together since the beginning and we’ve had lots of legit experiences! So to celebrate we burned ties. Now, considering that I live in such a poor country and a tie is something that not everyone has, I felt a little bad just burning it so to make up for it I bought 6 ties in the market that didn’t cost much and gave them to investigators, converts and members to make up for just burning the tie that someone poor could have used. We gave speeches and burned the ties and we drank the National Peruvian only soda “Inca Kola”! It was great! Now that I’ve got 25% of the mission done, I realize how far I have come and how little time I have left! The next milestone is less than 6 months from now and will signify I only have half the time left to serve the Lord 100% of the time. So, I now understand how precious each and every day is!

As I have reflected over the past 6 months, it is incredible how much personal growth I have had.  6 months ago I never would have thought that I would be able to say basically anything I want in Spanish, dream in Spanish and would have had the experiences that I have had.  There have been a lot of difficult times but the Lord has been by my side the entire time helping along as I have needed it! Aside from learning to rely on the Lord, I have really learned a lot about life.  People here in Peru don’t have near the world possession that I was blessed with back home.  In the stores, they have things like clothing that don’t sell at the DI and the people that wear it are happy with what they have.  No one judges anyone else for what they have or what they wear.  People come to church in wearing what they have and no one looks down upon them!  I wonder why that isn’t the same back home and why people there cannot be satisfied with all that they have been blessed with in life  and are always comparing and wanting the next latest and greatest thing!

Other than that, let me share a few stories from this week. So my Companion and I were out and we had a little spare time. So, we decided to knock on some doors. After knocking on probably 10 doors and having the majority slammed in our faces we came to the last door. We looked at it and immediately we saw that there was a paper taped to the door that said “We believe in Mary and Jesus, forever Catholics”. Feeling like we should knock anyways, we did so and after opening the door, they spoke to us asking what exactly we believed, explaining we were representatives of Jesus Christ, they became interested and we now have an appointment to go back. “Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you”.  You never know who the Lord has prepared for you to find.

Another cool story. So this past week, I was in bed unable to sleep. That was then that I got up to get a drink. When I exited the bedroom, I saw one of the Elders we live with staring out the window with tears in his eyes. It was Elder Caal, the Companion of Elder Haws. I walked over and talked to him and was able to help him out and it turns out that he had been praying for somebody to come help him. In the mission, I’ve truly learned to recognize the promptings of the Spirt. There is always going to be that one person that the Lord needs for you to help.  I’ve learned that you need to listen or else the Lord will stop sending you those promptings. So, I’ve made it a goal to try and always follow those promptings because you never know how the Lord will use you to bless the life of someone else.

One more quick thing for the week.  So, during my time here in Puno, I’ve met some really incredible people!  One such person is the Stake Patriarch.  He frequently eats at my Penchanistas and it has been really amazing to hear his stories.  He has been a convert for about 25 years now and has served ever since he was baptized.  The amazing this is his right hand has some sort of problem, so he cannot use it really.  Amazingly, that hasn’t stopped him.  He has continually served in various Church callings and now places his right hand on members and gives them their Patriarchal Blessings.  It truly is an incredible example of True Service.

Well, that’s all for this week!  Hope you all have a fantastic, safe and happy week!  Really excited to see what adventures this week hold for me!

Love

Elder Fawcett


Not a Great Picture But Sort of
Gives you an Idea About the Packs of Dogs We Have to Deal With While Tracting!
.






If Only I Could Go Into Details!!!
Much Needed Mate Drink My Penchanista
Makes for My Stomach Pains,
Works Great But Tastes Like Weeds!!












Finally Completed My Sole Coin Collection
.





Used the Collection as a Way to Talk and Trade
Coins with Random People on the Streets!


Official Soda of Peru!!
Celebration of 6 Months

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 26 - Guinea Pigs

Hola,

Another week in the books here in Puno!  This week was yet another week of VERY hard work for me!  We are finding and teaching so many new people, it is absolutely crazy right now.  We are finding a lot of amazing people who are so very ready to hear our message.  Here are a few cool stories from my week this week.

First off, we are teaching a really strong Catholic family. They’ve been Catholic their entire lives and interestingly enough, they are listening to us. One of the members of the family named Watson Is really interested in what we have to teach him. He knows so much about the Bible, its crazy. My Companion Elder Barrios being a convert of 6 years having been Catholic before also knows the bible well so it is really interesting to hear them talk back and forth about the Bible.  The one thing I’ve been trying to focus on is helping him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  As we’ve been working on this he is gaining a strong testimony of it and the Truthfulness of the Gospel.  As I’ve learned, it is so important to set your sights on the Book of Mormon. Without it, you will not have any success as a missionary.  As well this week, I was teaching one of my recent converts, Bryan. It is crazy to see his progress from where he started to where he is now. He started with hardly any testimony and now, he is so strong that he is preparing to serve a mission for himself. While teaching, he opened up his scriptures and showed me a picture that he’d put under the front cover of them. It was a picture of Elder Iza and I standing with him on the day he was baptized. It is so crazy to think that a person who just became a member is going to go off and do the same thing I am doing now.

This week, I had the opportunity to eat a Guinea Pig again!!! My Penchanista cooked my Companion and me a guinea pig for each of us. I’ve had it before, but never an entire guinea pig to myself.  Now I know what you are all thinking. EWWWW!  Disgusting!  But, before you say that just remember if you haven’t eaten it, you don’t know if you like it yet.  Considering the fact that none of you have any idea what it’s like, I will describe it to you.  First off, Guinea Pig Is pretty dang expensive!  It costs 25 Soles for just one. Here in Peru that’s a lot of money! When you cook it, you leave every single part of the insides in. Liver, heart, intestines and all.  You place it in a frying pan with oil and grill it up. Now, normally most Guinea Pigs have hair right?  Well, let’s just say they don’t get it all off when you eat it! After it’s grilled, it’s served with rice, potatoes, or whatever else and you just dig right in.  It’s a big traditional dish here in Peru so, it’s very offensive not to eat it all of it!  I just dug right in.  Eating the legs.  All the internals and leaving all the bones, rib cage etc. too be honest, its actually pretty good…kina tastes like Chicken… but not really! Hahaha!

Anyways I just wanna close up and thank everyone for their continual support for the past 6 months! That’s right, this week on the 12th is my 6 month mark and it’s honestly been the Best 6 months of My Life.  I’ve changed so much as a person and seen so many amazing things!  I Love teaching this message each day and I know the next 18 months are going to fly by!  It definitely has NOT been easy, but the Lord has gotten me this far and I know he will help me get through the rest of it! I love you all so very much! Hasta la proxima semana!

Love,

Elder Fawcett


P.S. My Penchanista thought it was really funny that my brother had a Guinea Pig as a Pet so she took the video and the pictures!


                                                       Yes, I Did Eat the Entire Guinea Pig!!!


Yep, Those are Whiskers and Teeth!!!







Guinea Pig on the Inside!!!












Fry It Up in Oil!!!






Served with Rice, Corn, Potatoes and Tomatoes


Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 25 - Beginning an Awesome New Year!!

Hola mi Familia y Amigos:

I hope everyone’s week was good and that everyone had a great New Years.  I am doing really well and it was fun to celebrate my first New Years out of the country.  New Years here in Puno Peru is pretty much like Christmas, with a lot of fireworks and a lot of drinking.

Today for P-Day, we went to the Puma of Puno which is pretty much like the Condor that I have shared with you in the past.  It was pretty cool and the group of us that went had a lot of fun today going over there and I took some video along the way as well as some pictures that I will share below.

What a week! This week involved teaching a lot of new investigators! It’s Super awesome to be working hard, that is one aspect of the mission I love! As far as teaching goes, things are moving along pretty good with our investigators and my Companion and I have a few that need just a little more work and then they will be ready for baptism.  But overall, things are going really great for us.  One of the really neat experiences that I had this past week was I was able to share my Testimony with some people in Quichua. There are a few people here, especially the older ones that speak this language.  Interestingly enough, there are a lot of people here who think Quichua is the language the people spoke down here at the time of Christ.  There are Quichuan books that refer to the "White God" that visited the people and promised to return some day.  Also, there are a lot of people here that think that Machu Picchu is the place that Christ appeared to the people here.

Now, let me tell you a story from this past week! So on Sunday, we were walking to Church for Sacrament meeting. As we were walking, we walked passed a drunk man who I thought was passed out from the New Year’s night before. He looked over and speaking perfect English said “Elders come help me!” Normally we ignore drunks because we don’t want to face any troubles. But this time, it was different. I felt the impression to go and help him out. So, I walked over even though my Companion protested against it, and helped. As I walked over I noticed the giant tattoo on his chest and smelled the super strong alcohol and marijuana that he had been using the night before. I helped him up and helped him put on his shirt. He then said in perfect English “Elders I am coming to Church with you today!” so, we continued walking to Church and on the way I spoke to him in English asking how he was so fluent and if he was a member and such. On the way, he explained that he was born into the church and had lived in Salt Lake City for 8 years when he was 11 till 18. While there, his Dad served as a Bishop in a Latino Ward in Salt Lake City. After his Dad had been released the family decided to move here to Puno where his Dad would continue his work as a Doctor. It was when he returned to Peru that he decided to leave the Church and began drinking and doing drugs. Now 29 years old, with his life in a shamble he was walking to Church with 2 - 19 year old missionaries after not setting foot in a Church for 11 years! As we entered and sat in the Chapel the meeting began. Coincidentally the first opening hymn was the Spirit of God.  As we sat there and as I shared my hymn book with this man, he began to sing. The Spirit became very strong and he started sobbing. He spoke and told me that he wasn’t worthy to be in the Church. He tried to leave but I stuck my arm around him and told him that he was exactly where the Lord wanted him. He sat and then it was time for the Sacrament, the Deacons came by our row and the tray was handed to him. Not taking any, he passed it to me and began to cry again. He said “I am not clean enough to be taking of this, but because you brought me here today I know I will be take it again someday!” 

After staying for all 3 hours of Church he thanked me and told me that he wanted to change his life and that he’d be back next Sunday. That was \when that I learned his last name. I realized that I knew his family, they were in another Ward but on one occasion when I did discussions with another missionary. I had a visit with his family several months ago. In the lesson his mother prayed and asked the Lord to let someone come and help her son. Months later, the Mother’s prayer would be answered through a prompting. I got to help pull a drunk man back onto his feet and then have him come to Church with me. I testify that God answers prayers in his time, all things will and can be made right again. I testify this is the work of our Father in Heaven here on the earth, I am just an imperfect 19 year old trying my best to get through each day! We are just the hands to rescue those in need, his lost sheep.

Love,

Elder Fawcett    

                                                                        Proselyting in Puno Peru 

Elder Fawcett at the Puma of Puno






Overlooking Puno from the Puma



Puma of Puno








Serpent by the Puma



Elder Fawcett and Elder Barrios
Don't Even Know What to Say About This One!!!













We All Thought This was Funny!
Says "I Am Hugging You in My Mind"