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