Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 59 - Julio's Baptism

Hola,

I absolutely had the best week!!! To start off I just want to cover the biggest highlight of the week which was Julio´s baptism! During the week we had a few lessons with him in which we taught him about Temples, and Receiving the Priesthood, so by the time his baptism came he was more than ready! On Saturday we had his baptism and I was asked and given the privilege to be the one to baptize Julio. His baptism went very well and perhaps one of the coolest aspects was the fact that President Herrera came to the baptism and was one of the two witnesses of Julio’s baptism! As Julio was baptized he hugged me after being baptized and told me how clean and pure he felt. It was truly incredible to see the change in him!  Following the ordinance we took Julio out to eat to celebrate and had a great time! 

The next day we had the opportunity to confirm Julio in Sacrament Meeting give him the Holy Ghost. The ordinance was incredible and the blessing that was given him following was as well. Julio is new preparing to receive to Priesthood and has been attending Elders Quorum to prepare. One of the cool things that happened is in our Elder s Quorum meeting they were talking about home teaching and although Julio doesn’t have the priesthood responsibility do home teach, he raised his hand and asked if he could go home teaching. With a smile on his face, the Elders Quorum President told him that he could accompany him to go and teach! So this week Julio is going to go and teach some families with the Elders Quorum President! He also has desires to serve a mission now and is currently preparing to serve next year when he completes one year as a member of the church! It is truly incredible how the Lord has prepared him and led us to him. I testify that this is the Lord’s work and that everyone has the potential to come to know this Gospel, we are just the hands to go out and find those who need the message that we bring! 

Other than that, this week was awesome as far as work goes! My Ward hasn’t had a Ward Mission Leader since I got here and this past week we finally got one and he gave us a ton of referrals! So we have been trying super hard to get out and find all of the people that he recommended that we should visit! 

As far as Ismael and his family go they are slowly starting to progress a little more each time we visit! They are finally starting to overcome their fears of reading the Book of Mormon and I know without a doubt as they do so, the Lord will help change their hearts by doing so. Perhaps one of the most incredible miracles is the fact that they gave a reference of their niece, Dina, who has been having a lot of troubles in life. She has a lot of bitter feelings for a lot of people that have done some pretty bad things to her throughout her life. So what we have been trying to do is teach her about the Power of Repentance and how through it we can forgive others. Just as our Savior does for us each and every single time that we make an error. So far it has been working and she is starting to get rid of the bitter feelings that she has for others. In time I know that the Savior will help her to completely forgive those who have done wrong to her throughout her life.

Lastly, today for P-day we went to some ruins called Moray. The history of what these ruins were used for anciently are not well known but many believe that it was an agricultural area where the Incas tested the effect of elevation and temperature on crops. The difference in temperature from the top of the ruins to the bottom ranges between about 25 degrees which is incredible as you decedent and can feel the change in temperature. It is such an incredible experience to be able to live in a place where there is so much history and so many things to learn. I absolutely love it!

In closing I just want to bear testimony of the Power we have to bless others. I have seen this Gospel change the lives of so many people as I have worked down here in Perú. But perhaps the biggest change I have seen is in myself. I have truly learned what it means to Sacrifice Yourself for the will of the Lord. When we give the Lord all of ourselves, he will use us to help others. That is the purpose of this life. To be the hands to help those that are lost or struggling to find their way. Although at times we become selfish and want what it is best for us, I have come to learn that selfishness only brings temporary happiness. What will truly make you happy in this life is seeing the life of someone else blessed through your service to them. The true reward comes when you help someone else have a better life through your actions. The Savior is the perfect example of this as he gave every day of his life in the service of others, never asking for or expecting anything in return. I love the time I have now to dedicate 100% of myself to others and I know that even after the mission I want to continue to be the hands that our Heavenly Father needs to help others. I love each of you and hope that you all have a safe and good week! 

Love,

Elder Fawcett


Julio and Elder Fawcett



Elder Ordonez, Julio, Elder Fawcett
and Elder Pinedo











New Ward Mission Leader on Left with
Julio, Elder Fawcett and Ward Members




Moray Ruins Outside of Cusco


























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Made from 100% Alpaca Wool


Locals Selling Goods
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Elder Fawcett Has Really Learned to Love the Children in Peru!
Office Elders All Dressed Up

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 58 - 20th Birthday in Peru!!!

Hola,

What a solid week! First off I just would like to thank everyone very much for all of the birthday wishes. It really means a lot to me and I am so grateful to have so much support. As you all will see in the videos that I sent home, birthdays in Perú are really interesting. Take the first bite of the cake and getting your face shoved in it, the happy birthday sung in English and then the Perú version, and finally the eggs being smashed on your head. It honestly was a really great time and definitely a birthday that I will remember for the rest of my life. I plan on carrying the traditions of the Peruvian birthday for the rest of my life… well at least without the eggs hahaha! Anyway besides the birthday celebrations with President Herrera and his family and with my Penchanista, my Companion and I had a super great week!

First off I want to let you all know about Julio´s progress! This past week we finished up teaching the Word of Wisdom, The Law of Chastity, and Tithing and he accepted ALL of it. As we explained and taught each and every commandment to him, with tears in his eyes he committed to living each of the commandments for the rest of his life. But perhaps the very best news of all is on Sunday we had him interviewed for baptism. As he came out of his interview the smile on his face was priceless as he told us he was ready to be baptized! So this coming weekend we are going to be having Julio´s baptism and I can honestly say that he is more than ready to be a member of the church. He has such a strong testimony and when he meets other members, they already think he is a member because of his incredible spirit that he carries everywhere he goes. Like I have previously explained, he is very young and he also has a strong desire to prepare to serve a mission in the future as well!

As well this week we continued teaching Ismael and his wife but perhaps the best part was the fact that we were finally able to uncover the reason as to why they aren’t progressing as much as they were. After having a lesson in which we taught the power that the Book of Mormon can bring into our lives, we felt inspired to ask Ismael why he hasn’t been reading it. After thinking for a second he looked at us and responded saying “Are you both Happy when you read it because it seems every time I try to do what God wants, my life gets worse.” After that answer we immediately knew that Satan has been working really hard against him to convince him that doing the things that God wants brings you sadness when it really brings you happiness in the end. It was then that we took the time to explain to him that in all things that are right, the devil is always there to try and stop and us from doing what we know is right. After explaining and bearing testimony to him, he committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. We have another visit this week and are very excited to see how it went for him.

One of the other big highlights from the week was Julio presented us to one of his friends who is not a member of the church. This friend however, recently converted to the 7th day Adventist church probably 4 months or so ago. So as we were getting to know his friend, we were just talking about what we do as missionary and then he started attacking us with his believes and how we were teaching false doctrine. He started attacking us with the whole thing about how God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are the same person and how the Sabbath day was a Saturday not a Sunday and a whole bunch of other stuff. Well, personally this is something that I have faced and heard probably a million times so I knew for a fact where I could show him evidence in the Bible about how it was incorrect was he was saying and having Julio present I was worried that he would start to question everything we had taught him. So worrying about Julio and how he may react I started turning in the Bible to show how God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate distinct beings (I was going to show him the part where it talks about Stephen and how he saw Jesus Christ standing on the right side of God) I felt the distinct impression to stop what I was doing. So I stopped and it was at that moment that Julio opened his mouth. He testified to his friend about how he knew that we were servants of Jesus Christ and how we brought the truth and although other churches taught different things, he knew that ours was True. Shocked, I realized how much different the situation would have gone had I not listened to the prompting of the Spirit.

In closing, I just want to testify of something I have grown to learn throughout this week. When we found Julio he was an incredible person and ready for us. As missionaries our job is to find these people who are ready. All though at times it takes a while and you don’t always get the results that you hope for, I know without a doubt in my mind that God is preparing people to receive his true word. There are tons of people out there waiting for this message, but before our Heavenly Father will trust us with his select we must first demonstrate to him that we are ready and willing to do all we can to help them learn and accept the message. I know this is His Church filled with all of the doctrine that we need to be happy and succeed in this life. I am so grateful to have it in my life and to be able to share it with those that I meet each and every day! I love you all and wish you all a safe and good week!

Love,

Elder Fawcett



Sister Herrera Baked Me a Birthday Cake!!!



My Penchanista and Sister Missionaries Made Me a Cake
It Is Customary For The Birthday Person to Take a Bite First!!


Cleaned Up The Cake But Forgot The
Custom in Peru to Get "Egged" on Your Birthday!!


I Got Avocado's for My Birthday
From the Mission President's Wife!








Elder Fawcett and Julio
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Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 57 - Faith Brings Forth the Fruit of Miracles

Hola,

This past week was way awesome!! My companion and I just got out and worked super hard and we saw some pretty amazing miracles but along with that there were also a few setbacks along the way. So as you all probably know, our investigator, Julio, was scheduled for baptism this Saturday. Well after a successful week this past week (I will talk about later), my Companion, Elder Ordoñez and I feel like he isn’t quite ready despite the success we had in our visits this past week so after a lot of prayer we have both come to the conclusion that we will try to prepare him for the following Saturday! The good news is that Julio is making some GREAT progress! Last Monday we had a family night in the home of our Bishop and Julio was already sharing his testimony of the things he knows to be true. People thought it was crazy that he has already began to grow a testimony. As well, we had a really cool family history activity with our Stake here in Cusco that we took Julio to as well. Although we haven’t actually gotten to talking about Temples and family history, my Companion and I both felt like it would be a very positive thing for him. So after taking him, it turned out that it really did help and edify him. During the activity the Spirit really touched him and he really got into family history as we helped and showed him how it works.

Anyway so besides that we have really been working hard on trying to get the family I have been telling you about ready to put dates with as well. However, it has proven to be a lot more difficult than we had hoped. The Father named Ismael has been super busy at work and hasn’t really been reading the Book of Mormon and to top that off his wife, Alieana, has been working double shifts all week due to the fact that she is a nurse and one of her fellow coworkers quit. Other than that, they are awesome and seriously some of the friendliest people. Each time we are near their home, we always stop by and ask how they are doing (even when we don’t have an appointment) and they always happily let us in. If you all will just keep them and our other investigators in your prayers my Companion and I would be very grateful.

Now to just end with a quick story. We have tons of people to teach right now. Some who are progressing and others who aren’t as much. So while being here in Cusco with my special responsibility to the mission, I have really learned to make the best of the time that I am given by managing my time well. Each and every spare minute we have, we are trying our hardest to make the best of it. One night this past week we seriously had 4 appointments set up and ALL of them fell through, which is really frustrating when you work super hard to make time to actually have all the visits you’d planned on having. As a missionary, when that happens you try to make the best of the time you would have spent teaching by finding more people to teach. Being here in Cusco, I’ve really learned how much more difficult it is to contact because of 2 reasons : 1. The people here have a lot more money which makes them less receptive and less humble to receive us. 2. People here are literally scared of my Companion and I because it’s not every day that a big white guy and a big black guy (my Comp’s Dads family comes from Africa) knock on your door. We literally have racist comments made to our faces because people are either racist against me or my Companion. So contacting here is honestly really hard. When the visits fell through we immediately started knocking doors. Knowing that normally people just slam the door in our face or say “We are Catholics, we believe in Mary, Jesus, and the Virgins, and not in your Joseph Smith, go away and never come back!” I honestly wasn’t thinking we were going to have much success. After knocking on the first door we got a solid contact, then the second door and the same thing. After knocking the whole street we had gotten probably a good solid 9 contacts. Not only that but here in Cusco a lot of people here love to drink and there are always drunks. So along the way we talked to another 6 drunk guys that all approached us and asked us for help. We asked all of them the same question “why are you drinking” and they all responded with an answer about how so and so had died or something along the lines about them being sad. We expressed our Heavenly Father’s love for each of them and they all cried and asked us to come back when they were sober. I guess what I am trying to say is that Lord will always bless us, even when we don’t necessarily expect it.

For P-Day today, we went to the Maras Salt Mines that is really close to Cusco.  These mines were used by the Incas for gathering salt.  To this day, descendants of the Incas own and control the mines!

As a missionary I have really learned how the Lord blesses us, even when we aren’t really expecting him to. I have witnessed his hand in my life each and every day as a missionary and have really learned the importance of always trying to keep the faith that we have with us in our moments of doubt. Doubt bears no fruit whereas faith brings forth the fruit of miracles.  I testify that the Lord works through miracles to bring forth his Gospel in ways that we can’t always see. I love you all and wish you all a great week!

Love,

Elder Fawcett

More Money Than I Will Ever Handle Again!









New Individual Scripture Covers From Member
The Maras Salt Mines


































































Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 56 - Fulfilling Lehi's Prophecy

Hola,

I’m just going to get started right off about my week! It sure seemed to be one of busiest ones yet! Hahaha I know I say that like every week but as you get lost in the work of the Lord you just find more and more ways to serve and work for him. Anyway so one of the biggest highlights of the week was the fact that our investigator Julio is progressing super well! He came to church for the second week we honestly are working so hard to get him ready for the baptismal date we have put for him. This past week we had a really cool visit with him in which we taught him the Plan of Salvation. As we taught, his face seemed to light up more and more as we went on throughout the lesson. As we progressed and came to the part of the lesson where we talked about the post-earth life it was incredible to see his reaction. He literally hugged us and thanked us with tears in his eyes for bringing him knowledge that he has been looking for throughout his whole life. We have very little time until his date but we are determined to help him reach it!

As an update on the family we have been teaching, Ismael and Alieana have both really been busy with work and other stuff so setting up appointments with them has been a little difficult but the family is still progressing pretty good!

Other than that, this week we had Elder Uceda (Quorum of the 70) travelling around the mission and it was pretty crazy for me because I had to take care of expenses and that sort of thing so that was cool. The conference went super well and we all were very blessed and edified because of his visit. Perhaps one of the coolest things was personally having the opportunity to meet him and present myself. It was awesome!

Now just for a quick story! So I may not have told you but being here in Cusco is so much different than any other part of the mission. The people of Cusco are incredible and such but, a lot of them participate in the traditions of their ancestors which means they are all very Catholic. Being a Mormon missionary here is cool. The people really do respect us and watch out for us, however the work here is a lot more difficult. For example one interesting thing that happened this week was when we were out proselyting at the top of our sector. Besides the fact that there are tons of dogs at the top of the sector we like to walk up there because the contacting is usually a whole lot better than down in the city part. So as we were walking I nearly got eaten by like 10 dogs but luckily a nice guy came and got all the dogs away (not quite sure how that works because I am like 2 and a half times the size of the man) and after that it made for an interesting contact. I started speaking Spanish to him and then he started responding to me in Quechua. Knowing that he was understanding me in Spanish but just trying to make us go away by speaking Quechua I kept talking to him in Spanish and as a result he kept speaking Quechua. Then I got this really cool prompting so I took out a contacting card I had on me that had a picture of the savior on it. I pointed to it and said “Wiracocha” which means the Great White God that visited the Incas. The guy immediately stopped talking and then listened. I explained to him that we were bringing a message about the Great Wiracocha that visited the Americas and pulled out a Book of Mormon that had a picture of Jesus Christ visiting the Americas in the front of it. As I did so he began to respond in Spanish and took more interest in what I was saying. It was incredible as we explained what the Book of Mormon was and at the end he ended up taking the copy I had. Though he declined a visit from us, I know that even just the small things we do as missionaries makes a difference.

For pictures this week, some of them are from my Sector in Cusco to show you what it is like.  The other pictures are from the trail the the Office Elders / President run each morning for our exercise time.  Going up is about 2 1/2 miles.  Towards the top it gets a little tough but by running at this altitude, I should be in great shape when I get home!

In closing I just want to bear testimony that I know that Lehi´s prophecy is being fulfilled each and every day. We are literally bringing the Gospel to HIS descendants each and every single day. Though these people seem to be caught up in the traditions of their ancestors I know that as missionaries we have the message that they really are looking for in their life. I love this work and sharing the Gospel with the incredible people of Perú.

Love,

Elder Fawcett



Proselyting in Downtown Cusco Peru!!!




View at the Top of Cusco Peru!!!


Elder Fawcett's Zone with Elder Uceda
and Elder and Sister Herrera









CUY Anyone???
That is Guinea Pig!!



Motorways in Cusco










Typical Street and Hill







Edge of Elder Fawcett's Area









Another Picture


Religious Shrine in Cusco









Condor Over Cusco




Each Morning, Office Elders Run/Jog 






Up the Mountain 2 1/2 Miles!!


View Looking Back (Cusco is 11,200 Ft)








House on the Mountain








Office Elders After Running 
Up 2 1/2 Miles Each Day!!





Elder Fawcett and Elder Lewis
On the Trail Up