Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 54 - Climbing to New Heights (Salkantay 20,600 Ft)


Another real quick week. This week we were super busy getting ready for the visit of Elder Uceda from the seventy (he is the guy who talked about Cusco in General Conference in October). So it has been really crazy getting ready for that along with all of the changes that are happening today in the mission. Overall everything is going well so far, just a whole lot of work for us here in Cusco.

Anyway so to get started this past week, I just want to tell you all about how the work is going with some investigators. First off, I think I told you all about Hugo and his story. Well, we are still continuing to teach him, his wife, and his son. But he is beginning to progress very well. This past we had a really powerful lesson with him in which the Spirit testified to him very powerfully. Perhaps the coolest part was the miracle that happened after testifying to him. With tears in his eyes he told us that he would be at church on Sunday and that he felt something as we taught him. He said he really wanted God to give him an answer in his life and really wanted to do all he could to get an answer, so he told us he would be at church. He seems to be progressing very well and although at times it’s not always as fast as we want it to be, I know that our Heavenly Father is slowly preparing him.

This week we also had another really cool lesson with the little girl named Juliana and her mom. Her mom is super hard to teach. Literally any concept we try to teach them, her mom whips out her Bible and is always trying to find a scripture that proves us wrong. However, we used to always respond with another and it would turn into a big mess. So in this visit we had this week, we were going in with the mentality that we wouldn’t respond with a scripture and not try to prove ourselves right but rather to let the Spirit convince her that we were right. As we went into the visit we started teaching and the mom started trying to bash us but as we did continued without responding, we bore testimony that the things we were teaching were correct and as we did this there was a change in the eyes of the mom and a new desire to listen to us. For us, it was a miracle because we know that slowly our Heavenly Father will also change her desires to learn and someday be baptized.

One other big thing that happened this past week is for the past like month or so there has been strikes in Cusco and really just all over Peru because all of the teachers here want to make more money. So they have been doing way crazy things such as blocking off the cities so that no tourism buses can enter, taking over Machu Picchu for a day and also throwing rocks at taxis on certain days that they are strike. So it literally has been super crazy here in Cusco for the past month or so and we are hoping that at some point the government will do something. But in the meantime the strike just keeps getting worse and this week the government declared a state of emergency in Cusco one night and we had to be inside past a certain time. No need to worry though, we are all good here as far as missionaries go, no one does anything to us because the all know who we are and who we represent.

Finally like I have previously mentioned before since I am in the office, we have our P-Days on Saturday before changes and this past Saturday we went to Salkantay (elevation 20,600 ft)  which is a way cool mountain a few hours from Cusco that has a really incredible and beautiful lake called Lake Humantay (elevation 13,800 ft). If you have ever seen pictures of it, you would think that I was visiting the Caribbean except for the fact that there are huge snow topped mountains behind. Overall the trip was really cool and it was a very interesting experience to hike up to it because it’s very steep and the altitude is way high. So most tourists take like 2 hours to get up it because they quickly lose their breath in the high altitude and have to sit and rest for a while but all of us were able to get up it in like 45 minutes because we are all super acclimatized to it hahaha!

In closing I just want to wish you all a very Happy Pioneer Day! This week I have been doing a lot of reflecting on the sacrifices of my ancestors. Those who made the sacrifice to become members of the Church and those who have continually lived it. I am so grateful to be a member of the Church and for the sacrifices that my ancestors and parents have made for me to get me to the point where I am now. I love you all and hope you have the best week!


Elder Fawcett

Lake Humantay and the Salkantay Mountains
The Salkantay trek is one of the most difficult to undertake from Cusco and National Geographic lists it as one of the top treks in the world. Besides the stunning beauty of the Cordillera de Vilcabamba, the Salkantay Mountain was one of the most holy places in Inca religion. Indeed it is one of the two most holy apus (mountain spirits that protect indigenous communities), in part because the Southern Cross appears directly above this snow-capped mountain on the summer solstice.  At the foot of Salkantay sits Lake Humantay which sits at approximately 13,800 feet.  This hike to this majestic lake is listed as Moderate to Difficult.