Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 68 - Miracles


Miracles; that’s what this week was all about. I know I am constantly talking about miracles but honestly, this week was incredible. First off, I just want to start off by talking about some big news. During this past week my Companion and I were able to have a few visits with Billy and in the last visit we had with him for the week we were able to talk to him once again about baptism. When we brought the topic up again, there seemed to be a huge change in his countenance and he seemed so much more excited to talk about it. When we asked him what he thought about be being baptized he looked at us with tears in his eyes and told us that he wanted more than anything to be baptized. So we asked him how this next Saturday sounded and he accepted it! He was able to have his baptismal interview and passed it, so this coming Saturday Billy has asked me if I would baptize him! Not only were we able to see an incredible change in Billy, we also were able to see some other very interesting miracles that occurred this week. 

In my Ward here in Chasqui there are also a companionship of Sister Missionaries that also serve here with us. This past week they gave us a call and asked if we would come give a blessing of health to their investigator named Juanita. Well to give you a little bit of background of information, Juanita is 82 years old and has the same exact illness that my Grandma has. Her mind is in a state of complete innocence and acts like a child so as we arrived to give the blessing, I was able to help just because of the experience I have had seeing from what my grandma is like. Juanita is married to a man name José (Age 86) who plays the same role that my Grandpa does, having to care for his ill wife each and every day. As we arrived to give the blessing we were told that for whatever reason, Juanita had something happen to her that made her become unresponsive. But after giving the blessing, she slowly went back to her old self before we left. For me, it was such an interesting experience to be able to help bless as the Savior blessed. As we got up to leave, José got up and went into the backroom and left us for a few minutes. When he returned he brought some beautiful cultural paintings of Perú that he personally painted. He asked me which one I liked and I told him that I thought they were all beautiful. He then grabbed one of them, rolled it up and began to hand it toward me. Not wanting to accept such a beautiful piece of artwork, I told him that he didn’t need to do that but he responded saying that he wanted to give us something in return for us blessing his wife. Knowing that rejecting a gift in Perú is considered very offensive, I accepted it and thanked him very much for it. He then commenced to do the same with my Companion, giving him another of his beautiful paintings.

Coincidentally, I was informed by the Sister Missionaries that José was ready for his baptismal interview. So Sunday, I was able to interview him in an interview that was very special for me. We sat down and had his interview for a super long time (Over an hour or so, they normally last only 20 minutes). Although José was a bit hard to understand (his voice is super crackly, he speaks very quietly, and doesn’t pronounce his words very well), I was able to understand everything that he was saying perfectly. We talked about many things, or should I say he talked about many things including the situation with his wife. He commenced to tell me that he has felt for years that the sickness that his wife has is a punishment God is giving him for having committed sins in his life. I was able to explain to him that though he may feel that way, it takes a very special and chosen person to be able to have the love, patience, and the ability to care for his spouse the way that he does each day. He was able to express the love that our Heavenly Father has for him and explain that our Heavenly Father is loving, and that though this may be a huge trial and tribulation in his life it has been given to him because he can learn and grown in ways that others cannot. As we finished the interview, the Spirit was very strong and I knew he was ready for baptism. So this Saturday, the sister’s missionaries will also have 2 baptisms. José has asked me to perform the ordinance for him and for his wife (special permission has been given for his wife to be baptized as well). Elder Pinedo and I have been given permission to “both” baptize Juanita due to her condition. Even though neither of these 2 investigators are people that my Companion and I have personally been teaching, I know without a doubt in my mind that they were also placed in our path to not only help them but to help us.

Also this week, I had another amazing miracle occur when we were riding in a taxi. I know I have so many taxi stories, but this story seriously was crazy. So, we were riding in a taxi and I was sitting in the passenger seat when I got the feeling that I needed to talk to the taxi driver. So I started off with small talk and he didn’t seem too interested in talking. But still feeling the prompting, I kept talking to him. We eventually came to the point of talking about why I was here in Perú. He asked me and I looked at him and told him that I came to Perú to help people just like him. Still not seeming interested, he sort of started ignoring me which made contacting him that much harder. Before I knew it, we had arrived at our destination. Not having enough time to take any information from him I told him the address of the Church where we attend and told him that we hold our Sunday meetings beginning at 8:00 am each Sunday. We hopped out of the Taxi and I thought that would be the last I ever saw of him… or so I thought. As Sunday rolled around, we had the chance of talking in Church again and as I was giving my talk I saw the taxi man walk in. After Sacrament meeting, he was able to come with us to the second hour class with our investigators and following that to Priesthood! As Church concluded we took his information and we are having a Family night in the Bishops home with our new investigator, Pedro, tonight (Monday Night). You never know what a small prompting of Spirit can lead to, it could lead to your potential next convert.

In closing this week, I just want to share a little bit of what I shared in the talk I gave in Church this week. I was asked to talk about how we as members can avoid self-apostasy in our lives. So, I decided to use the Prophet’s words from the April General Conference and talk about the importance of the Book of Mormon. While preparing for my talk, we had a conference with our entire zone this week in which President Herrera talked about the importance of true study of the Book of Mormon. He used the example of 3 different types of swimming that people do. There are people who just swim. They stay on the top of the water, and never really see anything beneath. Then there are people who snorkel. People who stay on top of the water occasionally entering a bit, and can see more. Finally, there are people who dive. These are the people who understand the deep things that most people are missing. While preparing for the talk, I asked myself this question. How frequently am I just swimming or snorkeling in the Book of Mormon? Each day I read it, but how often am I trying to understand the deeper meanings it contains? As I prepared for my talk in Church I realized that not just “reading” the Book of Mormon is enough. What the Prophet wants us to do is to dive into it. To search the deeper meanings that it contains and to use that to overcome the afflictions and trials that we are faced with each and every day as members of the Church. I know that it is very important for us to listen to the words of the Prophet and to take them into our actions daily. As a missionary I have come to learn that the Book of Mormon is not only the key to conversion it is also the key to helping us maintain our conversion. I love you all and hope that you each have a great week!


Elder Fawcett

Original Painting Elder Fawcett Received From José

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 67 - Census in Peru


I cannot believe that another week is already over.  This past week we were super busy with all of the Changes, so we spent a lot of time doing that along with preparing for a huge meeting that we had with all of the Zone Leaders. It was a busy week for us here, but we still had a great time. As for stories go, I have a few cool ones to tell you for the week.

First off, I am not sure if I have mentioned it before but as the Financial Secretary I am in charge of making all of the Legal Housing contracts whenever the missionaries move somewhere new. Well, this past week some missionaries decided that they wanted to leave a house where they were living and move to a new one. They were able to get out of the old house easily, but the problem occurred when they attempted to move into the new one. I went to the house to get the contract signed and take care of all of the legal stuff but something just didn’t feel right. I began to read the contract that the home owner was trying to get us to agree too (I don’t sign the contracts we have a member sign so that the missionaries aren’t apart of anything legal, I am just there to make sure that all of the legal stuff works out).  The written contract was completely against the things that we had agreed on. Not wanting to get in an argument with the home owner I felt the Spirit guide me in knowing what I should say. I won’t go into a lot of detail but I will just say that the Holy Ghost is real because I felt the words just come and knew what I had to do so that we would avoid any problems with the homeowner. Sometimes the promptings of the Spirit will come, even when we least expect them too.

This week we were out in the street when I heard someone yell “Hey Elder!” I turned around and saw that it was an investigator that I was teaching back in Puno about a year ago. I almost didn’t recognize them but I knew that I was helped to remember who he was. After talking to him for a few minutes I was able to find out that he had recently moved here to Cusco with his family and that after I left Puno, the missionaries hadn’t visited him a whole lot since I left. But he still had a lot of interest in hearing our message once again. I was super thrilled, thinking that I was going to have the chance to visit him all over again but as I started writing down his information I slowly realized that he lived in another Sector. So I had to pass his information to some other missionaries who are now going to visit him where he lives. At first I was really frustrated knowing that I wasn’t going to be the one to visit him again. But after thinking about it I have realized that no matter what happens I have been able to play the role that the Lord has wanted me to play and that is what is really important.

As far as our investigators go, this week was super tough. It seemed that for whatever reason they all had things going on. We had some visits set up and everything but it was really frustrating as we watched a lot of them seem to just fall through. The good news is that we had some solid visits with some of our top investigators that are all progressing super well. I am super excited to continue to help them grow their testimonies so that they can one day become great members of this Church.

In closing this week I just want to tell you about an experience that I had this past Sunday. Sunday was the Census in Perú and it was very interesting because we were not allowed by law to leave our houses all day and to top that off I was super sick so it gave me a lot of time to just think. I was able to read a bunch of the Book of Mormon and think a lot about the message that it contains. The Book of Mormon contains a powerful testimony of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through it we can all come to know him more than we did before beginning to study it. So often, I am out in the street or in the house of someone I don’t even know trying to teach them about Christ and more often than not, they completely reject us. After pondering it a lot, I have come to the conclusion that we cannot make people accept the Saviors’ Message. As Members, the way we let the Book of Mormon affect each and every one of us in our lives is the same way in which others we introduce it to can also be affected.  Everybody has to allow the change to happen for themselves!  I am grateful for the knowledge I have of the Book of Mormon and pray that others can see the change that it has brought for me in my own life and will also want that to happen to them. I love you all and hope you have a great week.


Elder Fawcett

Elders Pineda, Fawcett, Lewis and Fincher

Fountain in Plaza de Armaz, Cusco

He Didn't Provide a Caption
So This Is What We Came Up With!

Dinner After Zone Leaders Meeting

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 66 - Noticing the Little Things in Life


We had a great week this week down here in Cusco. Honestly I think that every week we seem to have more and more work to do! It’s a good thing, I just wish that there was more time in the day to get everything accomplished that we need to accomplish. To start off, this week we had our Open Church activity that we invited tons of people to last week! All of the missionaries had assignments and my Companion and I were in charge of talking to every person that came and getting their information so that we could visit them. In total I think that we like 125 references for the entire Stake so I guess you could say that it was very successful! It was just such a cool experience to be able to help people get to know what we do as members of the Church. As missionaries we all got to wear a flag under our name tag so that the people knew where we were all from without having to ask and the funny thing is that most of the people told us that they thought we were from Perú… even though I am really white hahaha.

As for Billy, he was able to go to a Young Single Adults activity for the Stake and got to meet and dance with a lot of members of the stake. It was really good for him because we really have been trying to help him meet lots of people so that when we leave, they can help him in his times of need. We still are trying to help him get ready for his baptism and are hoping that we can have it soon. Diego on the other hand has kind of let his doubts overcome him a little bit and it seems that every time we try to talk or teach him, he questions it. It really has been a good experience for me though because it helps me to always be ready for those tough questions when he wants to see exactly where it says it in the scriptures.

Now for a really cool story. So as you know, last week we invited a TON of people to our activity in the street. Well the other day I was riding in a taxi and the guy pulled out his invitation and said “Hey you guys gave me this but I won’t have time to go. Can I still come to your church?” I responded and told him that he if he couldn’t come to the activity, he was always invited and welcome in our Sunday meetings. He accepted and from what I hear, he was able to attend church in the Ward where he lives. Now can I just say that here in Cusco there are soooo many taxis. We passed out a ton of fliers and “coincidently” we ended up in one of the taxis we gave an invitation to. Coincidence, I don’t think so.
This week we went with my Penchanista to a place called the Baratio (barato in Spanish means cheap). Now in the Baratio they sell all kinds of things, but the coolest thing is that they sell lots of souvenirs and my Penchanista knows how to barter things super well. So the 4 of us in the office went and got tons of souvenirs for some bomb prices that everyone else would have paid 10 times the price for. 

In closing, this week I just want to say how much I have learned about how such a small act can make the difference in the life of someone. In the apartment where we live, there is a worker who we see every day when we are leaving. Every morning it has become a habit to tell him Good morning and walk past without saying much else. So this week I decided to stop and actually talk to him. What started as a basic conversation quickly moved to a deep discussion about the Book of Mormon. After explaining it to him and what we believed, we were able to give him a copy of it and he has been reading it every time we have walked passed in the morning this week. For me, I feel bad knowing that we have walked passed him countless times before and hadn’t talked to him sooner than when we did. At this point, we have passed his information on to the area in which he lives but I frequently ask myself the question about what would have happened had we not stopped to talk to him? So many times in our lives we are too focused in on the things that we are personally doing, that we don’t notice those who really do need our help. This experience has taught me that I need to be pay more attention to those small opportunities I have to not only talk to others, but to also look for opportunities to help and serve them. The little things that we do each and every day can and will make a difference if we are willing to stop worrying about ourselves and focus on others. I love you all very much and hope that each of you has a fantastic week! 


Elder Fawcett

Elder Pineda and Elder Fawcett with
President and Sister Herrera's Girls

Elder Fawcett / Elder Pineda at the Stake Activity
(Honestly not even going to guess on this one)

Although He Never Showed it While Home
Elder Fawcett Seems to have the "KNACK"
Click Here (Dilbert)

Elder Fawcett Has Become the Mission
Fix-It Guy!

Pizza After Stake Activity

Elder Fawcett and Elder Pineda

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 65 - The Best P-Day, Machu Picchu


Definitely one of my favorite weeks in the mission! This past week was filled was some awesome highlights that I will remember forever. To start off, I want to talk about an experience I have been waiting to have since I got to the mission which is going to MACHU PICCHU! I know that almost none of you have ever visited Machu Picchu so I will explain what the journey to the famous Incan City is like. So first off, we woke up a little early Monday morning and hopped on a private bus that took us to a place called Ollantaytambo. You may or may not remember that name but a few months ago I went to some ruins called Ollantaytambo and it is at this place where we got on a train. The train ride was way cool! Since we are legal residents of Perú we got to ride in the special train cabin that is reserved only for the Peruvians, which means the only difference is that we don’t get food like the tourists in the other parts of the train. I have to say that the train ride was very cool because the train unnoticeably descended into the Jungle that Machu Picchu is located in. After about 1 hour and 15 minutes in the train we got off the train in a place called Machu Picchu Pueblo, which is basically the tourist town below where Machu Picchu is located. We then got in a bus that began the ascent up the windy roads to Machu Picchu. As we rode the bus up the rocky road, I couldn’t help but feel like I was riding the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland… only tons better! Finally after the 20 minute bus ride we arrived and went through the ticket gates.

After finally getting through the gates, we were then greeted by our awesome tour guide name Hiram! He then began talk to us about the history as we started to walk around a few of the lower ruins and gradually began to ascend to the higher portion of Machu Picchu where the well-known photos are taken. Although it rained for the first 20 minutes of the trip, the rain quickly departed and we were able to have an incredible time! It was amazing to see a place that was built by people so long ago that has been kept in such good condition and also have to chance of seeing the famous Inca Bridge that Elder Uceda talked about in his General Conference talk in the October 2016 Conference. I learned so many cool things on the trip about how intelligent and smart the Incan people were and how they believed that the great Wiracocha (in Quechua means the Great White God) came and visited them there. After spending several hours touring around Machu Picchu, we were given the chance to have a little free time to take pictures and do what we wanted. The time sure flew by and before I knew it we were already on our bus back down the mountain and headed back on the Train to return. Visiting Machu Picchu was the opportunity that so few people have and I am so grateful to have had it. Serving in this mission is the best and I would be willing to argue with anyone on the fact that I am serving in the best mission on the planet, not only because it contains Machu Picchu but also because the people here are the absolute greatest!

Other than going to Machu Picchu we also had some incredible experiences with our investigators. Diego is still struggling a bit with a lot of question but overall I know that he will someday be baptized. Billy on the other hand is progressing like crazy! This past week we had a visit with him in which he told us that he finally had received a question from God that the things we were teaching him were the truth and that this is where he knew he needed to be! He even told us that he was willing to do anything to be baptized to become a member of this Church. It is such a blessing and a miracle for us that he has had such a great change in his heart. My Companion and I both know that our Heavenly Father is looking out for us and is helping our investigators receive the truth and light that they need in order to come unto him.

As far as Dina goes, we haven’t had a visit with her because she left for a few weeks to go on a trip to do some work. But as soon as she got back here to Cusco she gave us a call and told us that she wants to have a visit this week. So we are really looking forward to meeting with her again and seeing if she has been reading and praying to know without a doubt that what we are teaching her is true.

Now I want to tell you all about an awesome activity that I did with my District! This Saturday we are having a huge Stake activity that has had a lot of time and thinking put into it that is especially for investigators and people who want to understand what exactly Mormons are. So we are hosting Open House type activity here in the Chapel with all of the missionaries in the Zone and trying to get as many people invited to the activity as possible. Today I had the idea that something that could really work is if we do something that will catch the attention of a lot of people and make them have interest. Today Perú is playing Colombia in a soccer game that is very important because it is a make or break game for Perú. If they win they go to the World Cup for the first time in 20 years or so but if they lose, they have no chance of going. A lot of people here in Cusco are really excited for the game and have been decked out in Peruvian gear for the game. With my District I planned an activity that we did outside of our Chapel in the intersection of the street in which we all wore or had Peruvian gear that we used to do a little pep rally thing to get people not only excited for the Perú vs Colombia game but also to get people excited to come to our activity on Saturday. We went out in the street and talked to all of the cars in the intersection and all of those passing by and I have to say that it ended up working super well! People drove by and honked and were just really happy and began taking more interest in what we were doing. We ended up passing out like 850 invitations to the activity on Saturday and almost everyone I personally talked to told me that they would be there! It sure is incredible how something I thought would help invite a few people ended up inviting a ton more.

In closing this week I just want all of you to know that I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. He is at the helm. He is in control. I know that he lives in a perfect resurrected body and that he is not resting. Just as we work, I know that he works. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a missionary. To help change a handful of lives each day, which in the grand scheme of things might not seem like a lot. But I know that no matter what the service that we do is, all of it helps the Lord to bring about his larger work. I love you all and hope you each have a great week!


Elder Fawcett

District Activity to Pass Out Invitations
To Our Open House This Saturday!

Elder Fawcett and Elder Pinedo
In Front of The Church

                          Not Afraid To Approach Anyone At This Point Even If They Are In Their Car!

Machu Picchu

                                                       Hiking Machu Picchu In The Rain

                                                                       Machu Picchu