Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 72 - Learning to Listen to the Spirit


To start off this week I just want to get the big news out. So first off, President Herrera has asked that I stay here in Cusco till Thursday this week to help with the changes and a few other things before I head off to my new area. Now for the big news! I have been assigned to open up a Brand New Sector that has never had missionaries before in area of Puno called Manco Capac in the Zone of Bellavista. My new Companion is Elder Vargas from Bolivia who will finish his mission with me this coming June. He is an ex Zone Leader as well so I am really excited to have him as a Companion and to go back down to Puno to work as hard as I can in this new area. Like I stated, this area is brand new which means that I am literally going to be carrying the area book in my bag with me for when I get to my area. It is pretty much like we are starting out at Zero and getting the work moving along. There is currently not a place for us to live, furniture to use, or even a Penchanista to feed us. So before I head down to Puno, we are going to go furniture shopping for everything and then when we get there we are going to head out to search for a place to live and someone who can feed us (the pension). So that is so far all I know as far as changes go, but I am really excited for this new adventure to be doing something that I never thought I would do!

As far as this past week in Cusco, it was super busy! I was crazy busy trying to finish the training of Elder Larsen and trying to help get him as ready and as independent as possible for when I leave. Also I spent a good chunk of the week going and visiting members, investigators, and converts that I have had during my time here. But perhaps one of the coolest things that happened was talking to Julio, one of the converts I have had here. Julio has struggled a lot during these past few months as a member. He has had a lot of trials but has strived each day to do the best he can. Perhaps the greatest blessing for me is to see someone who started out with such little knowledge, grow to gain a testimony of this Gospel and of its reality!

This week was also Thanksgiving and we were able to have a great big Thanksgiving dinner with President Herrera and his family as well as some of the other missionaries here in Cusco. There is an awesome senior couple in our mission who got a package of some stuffing mixes and pumpkin in cans so they prepared us a few things from the States and it was really awesome! Sadly, I just want all of you to know that the food back home is VERY SWEET!!! My taste buds have become accustomed to eat food with less sugar and after eating some food for Thanksgiving it was almost like I couldn’t handle all of the flavor. It was delicious though and was a good experience to be able to experience Thanksgiving in Perú since it doesn’t really exist here.

Also this week we had our P-Day on Saturday, so we decided to visit the last set of ruins before I leave Cusco. This time we went and visited the city of Pisaq which was a city full of temples, agriculture, warfare and many other things. It was a huge city and it was incredible to go and see the last big set of ruins that I haven’t seen during my time in Cusco. It has been such a blessing to be able to go out and see so many ruins of cities that were constructed and inhabited by the descendants of Lehi.

In closing this week I just want to share a quick story that occurred while teaching a lesson to a new investigator this week. We were asked a really tough question that I honestly not have the answer too. The investigator looked at us waiting for the response and I sat there trying to think of how to respond. It then just came to my mind that I should just tell him that I didn’t have the answer and that, that answer would be good enough. Thinking twice about how to answer, I decided that I would try to answer the question to the best of my ability. As I began to answer the question I immediately realized that I should have listened to the prompting that I got from the Spirit to answer the question with a simple “I don’t know the answer”. After the visit, I was really upset with myself for missing the prompting of the Spirit that would have helped the investigator understand a little bit than he did when we left. It made me ask myself the question “How many times a day am I missing the simple promptings”. Throughout this past week I have realized that there are so many times where a prompting will come, but I will just dismiss it. In life, we are all given the gift of the Holy Ghost when we are baptized and all have the right to receive the promptings of the Spirit. Sometimes I think that it is so easy to just dismiss the promptings of the Spirit when we are going through our days and miss out on opportunities. Something that I am trying to work on currently is to recognize more the little promptings. God loves us and he will use us to bless the lives of others, we only need to be willing to listen to recognize the promptings. I love you all, have a great week!


Elder Fawcett

Thanksgiving in Cusco

Office Elders with President Herrera's Family

My Cusco District

One of My Favorite Peruvian Dishes
Lomo Saltado

City of Pisaq
Pisac is a village in southern Peru’s Sacred Valley region. It's known for its lively handicrafts market in the main square. A path winds from the square past agricultural terraces up to Pisac Archaeological Park, a hilltop Incan citadel with ancient temples, plazas and the Intihuatana, a stone structure thought to have been a sundial. Views from the top stretch across the Quitamayo gorge and surrounding valley.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 71 - Fish Head Soup


Down to my last week here in Cusco! Man time sure does seem to fly by really fast! Just in case any of you are wondering, as of now I still am not sure where I will be having my change to next week but I hope to be finding out soon… this Wednesday I will know! I am really excited about the adventures I have had here in Cusco and for the incredible people that I have been able to meet here. It truly has been a place in which I have continued to grow and learn to become the person that I know our Heavenly Father wants me to become. Although I am unsure where exactly our Heavenly Father will send me next, I know that he will send me to the place where I am needed most. No matter where it is, I look forward to the next adventure and to continue serving with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength.

This week was a super busy week for us out in the field teaching the gospel. We had a lot of visits with many of our investigators but perhaps the one of my favorites of the week was visiting one of the new family that we found. They are a family of 4 and the father, Ricardo, is perhaps the most interesting of all. As we spoke to him and got to know him a little more, he explained to us that he grew up in very humbling circumstances. Circumstances so humble that he never was able to go to any school during his youth and still to this day has never really received a formal education. He also explained that he has worked in many jobs throughout his life in order to provide to meet the needs of his family members. As we talked for a while, we began to talk about Joseph Smith and his story. We explained that he was raised in situations similar to his and as we began to talk about the Book of Mormon and its background, it really began to catch his attention. Miraculously he didn’t seem to have many questions or doubts about any of the things which we taught, and seemed very receptive of all of the things which we had taught. We were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he has accepted to read it with his family during this week.

Now for some interesting information. I know I have talked several times about really strange or weird things that I have had the chance to eat here in Perú, but one of the things that I don’t think I have mentioned (there are many things I won’t mention until after I am home, I don’t want to freak my Mom out), is fish head soup. Now honestly it probably sounds really disgusting to all of you but it has honestly become one of my favorite soups that they make here in Perú. Not only is it super delicious but it is also one of the healthiest things that you can eat because as I have heard over and over from the Peruvian people, the head of the fish has a higher concentration of vitamins than the rest of the body. This week we were invited to the Bishops house to eat fish head soup with a dish of fried trout. It was absolutely delicious and I can honestly say that Peruvian Fish is the best!

Another cool story for the week occurred when we were out knocking on doors. So as we were climbing one of the big hills in our sector, we began to knock on various doors as we climbed the mountain. As we climbed we knocked on several and then walked up a ways to knock another few doors. As we knocked one particular door, I was amazed as one of the first investigators I ever taught here in Cusco walked out. It was a little hard for me to realize who it was at first because about 6 months ago was the last time we ever taught him because one day after going to visit him, we found out that he had moved and he didn’t own a cell phone so there was no possible way for us to contact him. As we began talking to him, he expressed his interest in having us visit him again and to continue where we left off the last time we were teaching him. So this coming week, we are going back to visit this investigator that I thought we had lost about 6 months ago.

Today we played American Football here in Cusco with 3 other Zones for Thanksgiving this week. It is an annual tradition to play and honestly it was a blast. Although it took the Latinos awhile to learn how to play we had a super fun time. I was the Quarterback and threw 4 TDs so I guess you could say I am preparing for the NFL while I am here in Perú!  I guess all that time I wasted playing Madden paid off in some way… Hahaha just kidding! It was really fun though.

In closing this week I just want to end with a thought that I have had during the week. Since I am heading out to perhaps my last area next week, I asked myself a question that changed my perspective a lot. I asked myself “Am I getting out of my mission what I wanted to get out of it when I came?” As I have thought about it this week, I have realized that although I am not the perfect missionary and although I make mistakes, I am trying to do the very best I can. As I stated early about Ricardo growing up in humble circumstances and having to work for everything that he has, I have realized that the mission is the same as life. In life, nobody gets what they don’t deserve. Although at some points it may seem that others receive something they didn’t earn, in the end they get what they worked for. Nothing that anyone has in life is free or just given. It requires hard work and a large desire to obtain that which one is striving for. It is no different here in the mission. You get out of it what YOU put into it. It is completely your decision of how the mission will go for you. Although there are things you cannot control, in the end it depends on the missionary and their personal desires and decisions. I have been asked countless times by future missionaries what advice I would give them and my advice is simply to prepare to have and be the type of missionary that they want to be.  You will get out of it what you put into it. If you want to be obedient, successful, and work hard each day of your mission; you should prepare yourself to be that type of missionary now. It is simply YOUR decision. I love you all and hope you all have a great week!


Elder Fawcett

Cusco Missionary Turkey Bowl Today!

Bishop Inca Roca and His Family!
My Bishop here in Cusco

We Are Starting Rainy Season Again!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 70 - The Lord Is Willing to Bless Us With Miracles!


It was quite the eventful week for us down here in Cusco. First off I just want to inform you all that I received my office child last Monday! His name is Elder Larsen and he is from St. George, Utah. We have been working really hard and he has been learning all of the many things that I have to teach him. In total, I will only have 3 weeks with him so at this point I only have 2 left until I have my change and leave the office (I still don’t know where too yet). He is learning very quickly and at the same time we have been working hard with some of the people we are teaching. So with that, that brings us to some stories for the week.

First off, I just want you all to know how much the Lord is willing to bless us with miracles. This week we went out and found this awesome new family to teach. We were leaving the church one day when a man came up to us and said “Hey what is going on here?” We responded and told him that we were missionaries from the church and we were heading out to go and teach people about Jesus Christ. Turns out that’s exactly what he was looking for because as soon as we mentioned that, he told us that he wanted us to go and visit his family. So just like that we got a new family to teach. Although I know I probably won’t be here to seem them progress all the way to their baptism, I know that the Lord used me as his hand to help bring them into the correct path in their lives.

This week we also talked to our recent convert Billy, about missionary work. After we began talking about it he got really excited and he told us that he wanted to present us to the rest of his family of about 4 along with one of his good friends. Not only that but we also explained to him that after he completed his first year as a member of the church, he could also become a missionary just like us. He sat there and thought about it for a minute and he told us that he had never realized that he could someday be a missionary as well. He said it was something he would love to prepare to do. With that being said, he told us that he would be preparing for the next 11 months or so to be a missionary. This week Billy also will be receiving the Aaronic Priesthood and being ordained a Priest so we are very excited to be able to participate in that ordinance for him as well. It truly is incredible to see someone begin to make decisions that will not only change there life now, but forever!

Now for a really neat story. Honestly I never thought that this would happen to me but we were in the middle of the Plaza and we were approached by some tourists. They told us that they were from England and asked if we were the Mormon Missionaries. We told them that we were indeed the Mormon missionaries and asked if they had ever had the opportunity to listen to missionaries before. They told us that they had never talked to them but had noticed them back home in England along with other various parts of the world. We then began to explain what we did as missionaries and why we were all over the world. They seemed really interested and I wanted to give them a copy of the Book of Mormon but sadly, I don’t carry and English copy with me due to the fact that I have never thought of needing one. So instead I took their information and have passed the reference along to the missionaries that serve near where they live. But, the good news is that it taught me a lesson about always being prepared with a copy of the Book of Mormon in English, so from now on I will always have one in my bag as well.

I am so grateful for all of the incredible experiences that I have on a daily basis here in Perú. Although I know that I am far from perfect I know that the Lord is blessing us in so many ways as we strive each and every day to bring this gospel to all of the people that we come into contact with. Although I know I will never see many of these new investigators begin to change their lives and become members of this church, striving to do my best each day is very important because I know this work is not about me. It is a greater work for the benefit of others. I love serving the Lord and helping in perhaps a small way to bring others into the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all and hope that each of you have a great week!


Elder Fawcett

Eating Out With the Replacement Office Elders
Elder Larsen is the One With Blonde Hair

The First Giant Christmas Tree I Have Seen in Over a Year!!!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 69 - Little Friends Living Inside of Me!!!


Sure loved this week a whole lot. Despite a few setbacks, I loved it a lot. First off, some big news that I got this week is that I found out why I have been so sick lately. After going through a few tests I found out that I have some new friends living inside of me…PARASITES! I honestly have never had my stomach hurt so much in my life. The good news is that I have some pills that seem to be helping things get cured. So no need to worry about that, I am just grateful to know that I am getting better! Although I never expected I would ever have little friends living inside me, again.

The highlight of the week was definitely Saturday because we had the baptism of Billy, José, and Juana. It was such an incredible experience for us to be able to see as Billy entered into the water and as he came out because he had the biggest smile on his face. The chance we have as missionaries to not only invite others to come unto Christ but also see them make a Covenant with our Heavenly Father is something that I will never forget. Billy was so ready to be baptized and honestly the experience to baptize him was very spiritual for me. It was also equally special for me to have to opportunity to baptize José and Juana. They are such incredible people. As José emerged from the water, the Spirit was so strong and I knew without a doubt in my mind that there were so many of his family members celebrating in Heaven that day because he had finally accepted the truth into his life at the age of 86. The experience was one of a kind but the experience that I had baptizing his wife was even more special.

So like I mentioned last week, the Hermana Juana is ill with an illness that basically has made her lose her memory all the way and made her go back to the state of a child. After getting permission, I was asked to baptize her along with her husband. Before entering the font to perform the ordinance, we offered a prayer because we were not quite sure how she would react to entering the water. After the prayer, I commenced to carry her into the water to baptize her. Immediately as we touched the water she began to freak out. She immediately wanted to get out but her husband told us to keep going. As we got into the center of the font she began trying to leave and then I got the prompting to give her a blessing. So I placed my hands on her head and blessed her to be calm and still so that we could perform her baptism. It wasn’t a moment after I said amen that she calmed down completely. We were then able to baptize her and I carried her out of the water. This experience taught me something very powerfully in the aspect that I have realized how important baptism is for everyone. This is a women who is in a state of innocence. A state in which she doesn’t understand right from wrong. But it was just as necessary for her, as it was for our Savior Jesus Christ who was perfect in every aspect. Perhaps the part of the baptism that was the greatest miracle is after changing, Hermana Juana came back into the room and immediately started repeating the word Angel in Spanish. I know without a doubt that on this very special day in the middle of Cusco Perú, the Lord´s Angels were present.

Other than that, this week we had an incredible experience with our new investigator named Pedro. He was the taxi guy that I invited to church and came last week. In our visit this week he was super excited to learn about the Gospel. He seemed to accept everything that we said and although we are just starting to teach him, I know that the Lord is preparing him each and every day so that someday he can also make a covenant with our Heavenly Father to be baptized into his Church.

Also our new convert, Billy, is currently preparing to receive the priesthood very soon and has already seen the blessing of it in his life. He was very ill the day that he was confirmed and I had the chance to give him a blessing and bless him that he would be able to heal quickly and be able to have the strength that he needed. As we took our hands off of his head, he was healed miraculously and I know that our Heavenly Father is already preparing him to receive the priesthood for himself.

Finally, in closing this week I had an interview with President Herrera in which he told me that my time in the office has come to an end. I was informed that tonight I would receive an office “kid” ( President wants to surprise me with who it is, so he hasn’t told me yet, I will find out when he gets off the bus) as they say and train him to be the new financial secretary for the mission. I will be training him for the next 3 weeks of the change and then be off to my next adventure in the mission. President told me how proud he was of the work I have accomplished here and told me that I have helped him learn a lot. I am so grateful for the time that I have had here in Cusco and for the chance that the Lord has blessed me with to be able to serve in a way that I never imagined I would. I know that there is a reason why I was called to this position and at this moment, I personally am not sure why I was the one to be called. But I know and have a testimony of that the Lord works in ways that we sometimes don’t understand until later. For some reason I was needed here at this time to be able to serve with my Mission President and to help all of the missionaries in a way so very differently. I am grateful for it and I know that even though I don’t know the reason now, sometime it will be brought to my knowledge as to why I was here. I love you all and hope that you all have a fantastic week!


Elder Fawcett

Ya Gotta Laugh at Life!
Yep I Got Parasites, Again!

Elder Pinedo and Elder Fawcett,
Before the Baptisms

Sisters Adams and Aquino, Ward Mission Leader
Hermano Villavicencio, Elders Pinedo and Fawcett

Elders/Sisters and Chasqui Ward Members
at José, and Juana's Baptism 

Elders and Chasqui Ward Members
at Billy's Baptism

Sister's / Elder's with José, Juana and Billy

Baptisms with Ward Members

Elder Fawcett and Billy Before

After Baptism

Elder Fawcett and José

Sisters Aquino & Adams, Elder Fawcett and José

Juana Entering the Font

Juana's Baptism