Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 37 - Hitch Hiking

Hola,

What a week it was! This week was SUPER loaded with tons of Hard Work! My Companion, Elder Melo and I, spent our week finding over 20 new investigators to teach along with a ton of work for the Zone. I absolutely love to be busy and working hard in this Marvelous Work! It truly is the best! It’s all super awesome to see how the Lord will bless you with incredible stories as you are working hard in his work! Here are a few experiences from the week.

So one day this week we had to go out to another Sector in our Zone that is about an hour and 10 minutes away from Juliaca. As we were out there, it took a bit more time than what we had planned for and so by the time we were finished it was 8:20 and all of the buses to get us back to Juliaca had stopped for the day. Knowing that we needed to get back to Juliaca, my Companion said a prayer that somehow a way would open up so we could get home to Juliaca. We decided to just wait where we were for a bit to see if any buses would pass by. After a bit of time, nothing was passing. We were not sure what to do, but still felt like waiting a bit longer. After a few minutes, a car came by and stopped. A man rolled down his window and asked if we needed help. We told him that we were looking for a way to get home to Juliaca. He told us that he was headed there and that if we wanted, we could go along with. At first, we were a little hesitant because hopping in a car with a random stranger usually isn’t the best idea. But, both feeling the prompting of the Spirit, we hopped in and headed back to Juliaca. As we were riding, I realized that the Lord had opened up a way for us to return to Juliaca, even if it wasn’t what I was previously thinking. In a sense, I laughed and thought how funny it was that we essentially ended up hitch-hiking back to Juliaca. 

Another pretty cool story occurred this past week when we were out street contacting and felt like we needed to stop at the house of a member. Thinking it would be a good chance to ask for references, we knocked on the door and were invited in. Not any more than two minutes after we had sat down, did we hear a screeching of tires outside. We got up quickly and found the sister of the member climbing up, her motorcycle wrecked a few feet from her. At that time, we were able to give her a blessing, a blessing I know that helped her a whole lot. At first, I thought we ended up there by coincidence, but then I realized that our Heavenly Father does not work that way. 

Other than that, a few interesting things I would like to share about my life here in Juliaca.  On the side of the Church they sell sheep heads and raw meat. Yes, sheep heads. I thought it was crazy when I found out that they sell these because if they sell them, then there is also people who eat them. My Penchanista Hermana Roxanna, owns a Cevicheria. Ceviche is a type of fish they make here in Peru, but unfortunately it is against the mission rules to eat it. I would encourage you to look up what ceviche is and then you may understand why we are not allowed to eat it.  Ceviche is typically made from fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices, such as lemon or lime, and spiced with ají or chili peppers. Additional seasonings, such as chopped onions, salt, and cilantro, may also be added. Ceviche is usually accompanied by side dishes that complement its flavors, such as sweet potato, lettuce, corn, avocado or plantain. This dish is not cooked with heat. (Inserted by Parents)  Along with Ceviche, she also fries up octopus tentacles which I am allowed to eat. So many times for the past months here in Juliaca, I have found myself snacking and eating the octopus tentacles that are actually SUPER good!

We are currently working with so many investigators right now. Many of which are new. We are hoping that we can start to get a few Baptisms going for Nely, Melsy and Denis. It’s super incredible to see the progress of an investigator. Our Heavenly Father truly does prepare these incredible people for us. 
This Tuesday (tomorrow), I am headed up to Cusco for a leadership meeting with President Herrera. I am excited to go, but also anxious to get back here to Juliaca and work hard in this work. 

I testify that Jesus Christ lives. He walked this earth showing many miracles unto God’s children. It has been an incredible blessing to watch how he is helping me to see miracles. He lived and died for us to provide a way for each of us to return to our Heavenly Father. If we can each accept Him and His Atoning Sacrifice into our lives, we can each be blessed with noticing the incredible happiness that can only be found through following Him. I am so Grateful to Represent a Perfect Man who has walked every step of my mission with me. Helping me and changing the hearts of the people we come into contact with. I know that my Redeemer lives, and because he lives, we can and all will live again.

Love, 

Elder Fawcett

Elder Fawcett and Elder Melo
Playing Soccer on P-Day 














Didn't Ask What Type of Meat it Was
But, Might Explain Why I Get Fly's with Dinner!!!









Sheep Heads!!!
All Cooked up and Ready to Eat!!














Not Quite Sure Where the Meat is;
Some of Them are Still Smiling!!!













Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 36 -Allergic Reaction

Hola,

What a fantastic week it was this week! I’ve found that time keeps finding a way to speed up. First off, since I am left without a Companion this week, I spent this past week working with Elder Perry. It was sure an awesome time and I have to say that having a Gringo Companion is something I’m not quite used to. His Penchanista isn’t here so he/we didn’t have anyone cooking for us. Thankfully she gave us the money and so we spent this week cooking for ourselves. I have to say that although having a Penchanista is great and all, I would have much rather just cooked my own food. We made tacos (they don’t exist here), guacamole (it exists, but the Mexican Elders taught us the real way to make it) cheese sandwiches (don’t exists either), and foods that contain peanut butter (because I got a bunch I brought from home), and no bake cookies. You name it! We cooked so many things we both haven’t eaten for our entire missions!

Speaking of food, I haven’t really talked about the food and all the things I’ve eaten in such a long time. I’ve found that since I am in South America, I eat a TON of fruit! My favorite by far is the mango because it is just absolutely delicious. Also, I’ve realized that I Love fruit so much due to eating it so much. As well, I also have found an allergy I have that I never knew about before. Pineapple has become a fruit that I love eating down here, but this past week I ate a whole half a pineapple and then realized that my entire mouth was numb. I tried eating a bit throughout the week in small portions and large ones, but found that each time my mouth would go numb. After all these years of wondering what my allergy is, I’ve finally found out what my allergy is too. Haha! Thankfully, I’ve decided that I love pineapple too much and that I can’t stop eating it, even if I am allergic to it.

Now for a few stories of the week. Since I’m a Zone Leader, this past week I spent a bunch of time getting ready for changes and the people that are going to be changing and coming and such. Elder Perry and I also worked super hard in two of our sectors.

I have been trying to track down the investigator that randomly showed up at the church a few weeks ago now. For some reason, he just completely disappeared. He wouldn’t answer his phone or anything. But Tuesday, after my Companion, Elder Aguilar had left for Cusco, he called me. We taught him this week and I have to say that it was way good!

As well, this week we were out tracting when a guy came up to us and said, “You guys are the Mormons right?” We told him we were. So then he asked us if we thought it would be alright if we visit him. We said yes and then he asked if he could come to church and wanted to know the address and everything. People are so prepared for us!

Just to end, I want to share a funny story.  The Seventh Day Adventists Church had all of their members out in the street giving out a free book that talked about being happy. So all the members were going around hugging people and telling them they loved them and such. Well, let’s just say that they wanted to try and hug us! We had to navigate through the streets trying to avoid these people. Haha!

Before I forget, I get my new Companion tomorrow, his name is Elder Melo and he is from Columbia.  While I was in Puno, he was my Zone Leader.  He is a great missionary and I am really excited about working with him in Juliaca as well as running the Zone together.

In closing, I hope that everyone has a fantastic week! I absolutely love being a missionary and for the incredible experiences I have each day! I love our Savior and the chance I have to put his name on my chest each day!

Love,

Elder Fawcett

Top of the Mountain View of Juliaca at Night

Skyline Of Juliaca, What It Looks Like On A Nice Day!!!

Just Some Cool Graffiti, I Guess If You Do It, Do It Well!!!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 35 - Multi-Zone Conference

Hola,

What a difficult week!!! To start off talking about the week, I need to update everyone on the fact that these past five weeks of the change have been really hard. My Companion Elder Aguilar has been working out some issues in his life and I don’t want to go into them but this past week they came to a head and the Mission President thought that it would be best if he was moved up to Cusco for the last month of his mission.  Changes are next Monday so for this last week of the change I will be partnering up with the other Elders in my house. 

Other than that, the big thing we had for this past week was the Multi-Zone Conference with 3 other Zones of the mission here in Juliaca. In total, there were 80 missionaries and so it was pretty dang crazy planning for it. Sadly, I had to prepare the whole conference by myself because my Companion wasn’t able to help me.  It was really crazy, but somehow I was able to make all of the plans for the Multi-Zone. Now I know that I did not do it alone. The Lord’s hand was there each and every step of the way as he carried me through each and every one of the difficulties.
  
With it being Multi-Zone Conference there was a really incredible story that happened.  So at each Multi-Zone, the Mission President likes to celebrate birthdays for the missionaries who will have their birthday before the next Multi-Zone. One thing I had to do was buy four large cakes in preparation for the Zone Conference. I bought the four cakes early that morning and with the help of a few missionaries, I brought the cakes to the Chapel where we were having the Multi-Zone Conference. We got all four of the cakes to the church safely, but then a missionary accidentally knocked a cake off the table, completely destroying it. After cleaning it up, I assured the Missionary not to worry and that I would figure something out. Not having much time, I realized there was no way we would have time to fix the cake situation. So I prayed for the Lord to help me somehow figure out what to do. That’s when I remembered the story of the Savior feeding the masses with only a few fish and loaves of bread. Somehow I felt like the same principle would work if I just had faith. So when it was time for the cake, they began serving the three cakes to the 80 missionaries present. After serving a nice decent size piece of cake, I realized that there would end up being enough somehow. With the size of the 3 cakes and the big pieces that were served to each missionary, and a large amount of missionaries, it truly was a miracle that there was more than enough for everyone!  

This week we also had the chance to visit a family. This family consists of the father (member), the mother (nonmember), the oldest son (member), and the two youngest sons (nonmembers). We taught them about prayer and invited them to start praying together as a family. That night we had the chance to kneel with them as a family and pray with them. The father offered the prayer and immediately I realized that it had been a long time since he had prayed. After he finished the prayer, he looked at us with tears in his eyes and said it had been years since he had prayed. He told us that he knew God lived and that he would never miss a day praying again.

In closing, I want to share one other cool thing. So at Multi Zone I was able to see Elder Barrios (the missionary I trained in Puno). He is currently training a new missionary and I had the chance to hear about the success he is having in the Inca Pachacutec Ward. He has baptized three of the investigators we were teaching along with having three more with dates to be baptized. That was really neat to hear about how well he is doing but the neatest thing to hear about was that Jhon (the investigator I was able to baptize right before I left Puno after teaching him for six months) is very active in the Church and attends each week.  Not only that, he recently went to the Temple with the Young Singles in the Ward and did Baptisms for the Dead.  He also is dating one of the young women in the Ward and has plans to someday be married and sealed in the Temple for time and all eternity. Elder Barrios told me that Jhon has also been called to serve as the new Ward Mission Leader, so he will have the chance to help so many other people as well.

I testify that Missionary work is a privilege. A privilege that so very few are blessed with. It is a chance that so few are blessed with. To be a representative of Jesus Christ is something so Sacred. It is so important to remember that we represent the best and most perfect missionary there ever was or will be. I am so grateful for His Perfect Example. I am so far from perfect, but I know that this is exactly where I need to be right now, I am so grateful for the incredible experiences the Lord is blessing me with and the chance I have to put on my name tag  as a representative of Our Lord and Savior each day. I love you all so much, thanks for everything!

Hasta la proxima sermana!

Love,

Elder Fawcett


Elder Coil, Elder Fawcett and Elder Beaver
At Multi-Zone Conference















Zone Leaders at
Multi-Zone Conference
















Elder Cutipa, My Good Friend
and One of the Elder in My House
.
.










Elder Diaz, Another One of My Good Friends, He Has Really Long Hair, (Which is Ok with Mission Rules), as Part of the Customs of his Village in Ecuador 













Adonis and his Mother Hermana Roxanna in their Home
My Penchanista here in Juliaca

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 34 - Flooding in Juliaca

Hola,

Time sure just flies! Already March, heck I feel like its still October! Anyway, let me get down to the week. This week I got the chance to do divisions, this time with and Elder named Elder Perry. He is from California and we had a super fun time. We cooked cinnamon rolls and ate pizza because they really don’t exist much here in Peru. Other than that, this week was super crazy busy because we are getting ready to host Multi Zone Conferences here this week in Juliaca. There will be a total of four Zones here for it, so like a hundred missionaries or so. It’s been crazy busy planning for it but we are excited to host it this Friday. Let me now tell about my week as far as stories and experiences.

So this week it was raining really hard! When I say really hard, I mean I have never seen anything in my life like it! Not only that, but it started hailing really hard as well! It hailed so hard that the ground became covered in white and it looked like it had snowed, when really it was just hail. To top all of that, the combination of all the rain and hail caused some super severe flooding here in Juliaca. I put on my rain boots and took some pictures in the river. To describe how bad the flooding was, I will just say that in parts I couldn’t walk because if I had, the water would have gone up to my knees.

With all the flooding, I had a really funny story that happened. So since I had rain boots and none of the other three Latinos I live with didn’t, I had to carry them over parts of the street where it was super deep. Everyone who was out on the streets and saw what was happening thought it was pretty interesting since a Gringo was wading around in the river of the streets while carrying Latinos.  I guess that wasn’t a very normal daily thing to see for them. Haha!

Now with some spiritual stories for the week. First off, one of the big highlights that happened was we were teaching two of our investigators names Nely and her daughter Melsy. They have been really receptive to everything so far, but were looking for a concrete answer to whether everything we taught was true or not. After several visits this past week, we asked them if they had received answers yet. They looked at us and the Spirit filled the room as they said that after praying, they felt a feeling of happiness and knew with surety that it was an answer from God. We are continuing to prepare them for baptism.

One of the other big highlights is we got to watch the placing of the first stone for the Temple in Arequipa, Peru. Even though the Temple isn’t actually in my mission boundaries, it was still an incredible experience! The joy of the members here in Juliaca was so tremendous because this new temple will become the closest one for them to attend. It’s about 5-6 hours by bus from here to Arequipa, but the people were so thrilled and excited for this experience to see the start of it. I myself felt the same joy for the people because I miss the Temple so very much. I am so grateful for the blessings I have received through attending the Temple. Back home we take it for granted and all of the Temples that just surround us. After being here, I realize how incredible it is to have Temples so close to home. Though my mission doesn’t have a Temple within the boundaries, I know that someday it will. I work every day with that mindset. The people I am helping, the people I will help and those I have yet to find, will someday all have their own Temple. It could be years off, but I know someday it will be built.

I am so grateful for this work and for the blessing it has been in my life. Two years is such a short time to teach the key of salvation to the children of God here in Peru. I love doing this and I would never change where I am or my decision to be here because I know that this is one of the greatest things I could do!  

Love,

Elder Fawcett


Never Good When You Are Tracting and it
Starts to Rain!!














Even Worse When You Turn the Corner
And Water is in The Street















Feeling Out How Deep the Water Is!!







Not the Deepest Part But Still!





Getting the Other Elders to the Other Side!
Note the People in the Van





American Carrying a Peruvian!
Guess Not Something they Usually See in Peru




Elder Fawcett and Elder Aguilar


Take Time to Enjoy the Simple Things!