Monday, December 25, 2017

Week 76 - ¡Feliz Navidad!

¡Feliz Navidad!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you enjoy this very special day. I just wanted to take a quick minute to give you an update on this week! First off as you may know we gave Brownie, the Little puppy as a Christmas gift to my Pensionista and I just wanted you all to know that she loved the gift and her reaction was super awesome! She loved it but perhaps one of the coolest gifts we gave were to poor Little Children here in the City. So earlier this week I had the idea of giving toys to little kids who would not be receiving Christmas gifts this year so I bought some gifts and last night (Christmas Eve) Elder Vargas and I walked around the streets in the poorest areas in our Sector. We knocked on the doors of dirt homes and gave little kids some toys and I can honestly say that the reaction they had was absolutely priceless! They were so thrilled and it also helped my Companion and I to feel of the true Spirit of Christmas during this time of year. We also were able to turn the activity into an opportunity to find more people to teach which ended up working super well!

Perhaps one of the biggest miracles of the week happened this past Friday. Up until Friday it had been a super difficult week and we had not had a whole lot of success up until then. We had several service projects during the week but my Companion and I were both pretty frustrated because in the aspect of investigators we had not had much up until Friday night when we were in a small market. My Companion was at the cash register buying something for a Ward activity that we had when a man walked up to me and said “Hey you are a Mormon aren´t you?” I responded and told him that I was indeed a member and a Missionary for the Church. He then said “ I am not a member of the Church but I was wondering if you had  a copy of The Book of Mormon that you could give me” I pulled out a copy and was able to talk to him a little more and find out that he had never received missionaries before, but had Heard very things about the Church from friends at his work. I was able to get his address and set up a visit to be able to visit his entire family this coming week. Very rarely does someone ask to hear the Gospel from us as missionaries but I know that there are many people here in Manco Capac ready to here this message and for that reason we always need to be ready to share this message that we have.

One other awesome experience occurred this past week when we were doing a service project. As soon as we got to Manco Capac, my Companion and I have had many service activities and the opportunity to help 5 different families move. On Saturday night we received a call late at night asking for help the next morning at 5 am to help a family move. I was a bit reluctant to go because we had helped one family move that day already (Saturday) along with another service Project that day. Although we were exhausted we went to the activity and began to carry many things up and down 4 flights of stairs and although I we were exhausted we happily served and at the end came the blessing that we had been hoping for. Not knowing beforehand, we found out that 3 of the 6 members of the family were nonmembers and the rest were very inactive. At the end of the activity we invited them all the come to Church with us and were really surprised when we arrived at Church and saw them all sitting together as a family. It truly is incredible how much the Gospel can bring families together and bless the life of every individual.

In closing this week I just wanted to share my testimony of how grateful I am for the opportunity I have to be a missionary in this very special time of year. There is such a special Spirit during the Christmas season in Peru and I have loved the opportunity I have had to serve here during this time of year. One thing that has really stood out to me is that every family here has in some shape or form a nativity set displayed in their home. As I have worked here I have learned that these people all have very strong desires to follow our Savior. They serve and do just about all they can to do based on the knowledge that they have been given them. As a Representative of the Savior and his Church I have been blessed to meet these incredible people and teach them about the truthfulness of His Church. I love being a missionary and doing my best each day to love and serve as he would. I love you all and wish you a Feliz Navidad!


Elder Fawcett

                                                         Christmas Parade / Dancing in Peru! 

Our Penchanista with Her New Dog and Her Husband

Giving Our Penchanista Her Christmas Present!

Going Door to Door Giving Toys to Children for Christmas

Elder Fawcett and Elder Vargas Hanging Out at the Ward Christmas Party

Decorating the City

Sort of a City Nativity!!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Week 75 - Walking and Our Christmas Present


Walking! Just like last week we walked a whole lot! My Companion and I are currently in the process of trying to find more people to teach. I think we knocked on more than 100 doors and it seemed like every single one of them got either slammed shut, we got sworn at, or just had flat out rude comments made to us. It was a pretty tough week as far as finding new people to teach. But we did have some incredible success when it came to the investigators that we are teaching.

First off I think I mentioned one of the people we are teaching, Ronald, has a lot of questions. This past week my Companion and I were doing our morning studies when we had the really strong impression to do a big study on the hardest questions to answer when an investigator asks. We sat down and were able to find scripture references and even practiced teaching the principles to each other. When the afternoon came, we had a visit set up with Ronald and as soon as we sat down he began to ask us questions, the exact same questions that we had previously practiced that morning. We were both so very grateful as we were able to teach him the things which we had prepared (not knowing that we were going to need) and help him to feel the Spirit testify to him that the things we were teaching him were true. As the visit came to a close, for the first time Ronald had a satisfied grin on his face as he did not have any other questions to ask us. He committed to pray about everything we have taught him but perhaps the most interesting thing is at the very end of the visit he made the comment that he had never felt such a good feeling before.

This week we did manage to find a really awesome new investigator name Yboica. She is 24 years old and we were able to go and teach her a lesson. In the end she felt the Spirit super strong and accepted an invitation to come to church in the very first visit that we had. The best part of the visit was at the end when she told us that she had more people that she knew of who would be interested in what we were sharing, so we are hoping that this week she can present us to even more investigators to teach.

Perhaps one of my favorite people to visit is Milder! Milder is awesome! He is pretty close to our age and we have become such great friends with him. We frequently pass by his barber shop since it is on our way to the church and he always stops us to talk. He is progressing slowly but we have enjoyed teaching him and helping him to feel of the love that our Heavenly Father has for him this past week.

Finally, I just want to share a really cool story from this past week. So as most of you already probably know, there are a TON of dogs out in the streets here but in order to get to our apartment, we have to walk down this big alley. There is no other way to go so as we were walking home the other night, there was a huge Rottweiler standing in the middle of the alley. As soon as we entered the alley, I got the huge Spiritual Impression to slowly walk out. I grab my Companion and we slowly backed out of the alley. The dog then ran full speed at us. Luckily there is a gate that you have to open in order to get into the alley because it saved our lives since the dog could not get us. We stood outside of the gate for a few minutes debating on what to do. As time passed and it got later we wondered if we would ever be able to get home, so I prayed. I kept getting the impression that we needed to just wait. So we just waited. After about 10 minutes a lady randomly walked out of a house and told us that she was sorry for leaving her dog in the alley. She had been in a party and had randomly remembered that her dog had been left in the alley way. She put the dog away and we were both able to safely get home.

In closing this week, I just want to close with a brief testimony that I have gained. This is my second Christmas in the mission and I have been trying to focus as much as I can on my objective as a missionary. Inviting others to come unto Christ. Although this week has been really difficult, I have remembered each day of this very Special Calling that I have. Each and every person needs the Savior of mankind in their lives, they just don’t know it yet.  No matter how many doors I get slammed in my face or how many people say terrible things to us, I know that the Savior loves all of us and that he desires that his message reach every single person here in Manco Capac. I love him and am so grateful for this special time of year that we have to remember and keep our focus on him. I love you all and pray that you all have a Merry Christmas and that you each remember the true reason why we celebrate this time of year.


Elder Fawcett

                                                                         Our Christmas Present! 

Peruvian Pizza for Lunch!

Our Penchanista's Christmas Present

About the Size of a Guinea Pig


Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 74 - Solar Showers When It Rains!


I am exhausted! This week my Companion, Elder Vargas and I walked a TON! We have been contacting like crazy to try and find people to teach. Opening an Area is very difficult especially when the Ward doesn’t have a Bishop. It makes it so much harder. The apartment where we live has a solar shower and it has been cloudy and rained a ton which means that I have had cold bucket showers all week. But I honestly have loved every single day here in Manco Capac! Cold showers are the BEST! I have never been so excited to get out of bed even though I feel exhausted still, bathe myself in cold water and then walk up hills and talk to friendly and not so friendly people all day! It is the absolute best and each day I feel so privileged to be able to do so! As I stated, Elder Vargas and I have been contacting a ton of people, so I would like to let you all know about some of the incredible new investigators that we are teaching!

The first person I want to tell you about is named Milder! Milder is 25 years old and I met him last Monday when he was cutting my hair. Besides giving good haircuts, he is the father of a little 1-year-old boy and is currently living with his girlfriend. They aren’t married so I can’t call her his wife. As he was cutting my hair this past week I just started talking to him and he immediately started to open his heart up to me and tell me about his life. He has had a lot of problems with his girlfriend and such and has felt so many times throughout his life that God has just abandoned him. I took the time to explain to him that our Heavenly Father really does love him and his family. As we have taught him I have felt of the love that the Savior and our Heavenly Father have for him and we have begun to help him progress.

The next person I will tell you about is another young man named Ronald! Ronald is 22 years old and is super smart. Ronald owns a shop where he sells materials to make pants, suits, and many other things. So this past week we walked into his shop and contacted him. He had a well-worn copy of the Bible sitting on his desk so I knew that he was going to be a really good investigator. We were able to set up a visit with him and went back to teach him. The visit we had with him was awesome! He was really interested in the Book of Mormon and has already read all the way to the Book of Alma! Not only that but the next visit we had with him, we noticed that he had highlighted many parts of the Book of Mormon that he liked and was interested in. He is an incredible person but he knows the Bible super well! Honestly he knows it like the back of his hand. As we taught him lesson 2 he was really interested in what we were teaching. He took notes and everything. But the only problem is that he also has a ton of questions about almost everything we teach. There are a few things he has doubts on but we are striving every visit to resolve them using the Bible that he knows super well along with the Book of Mormon to help him understand even more! Perhaps one of the most spiritual experiences I have had in a lesson occurred when I was teaching him this past week.

As I stated, Ronald knows the Bible super well but doesn’t seem to believe that there is life after death. It seemed strange to me as we began to teach him about the Plan of Salvation because he told us that after we die, there is nothing. As I began to pray in my heart, I wasn’t sure what to tell him. I knew that he knew the Bible and I didn’t want to fight with him on scriptures so I just shared my testimony with him. I told him that I knew that God had a plan for him in his life and that he loved him and wanted him to live in his presence again someday. Ronald began to get emotional and I could tell that he felt the Spirit witness to him that there really was a life after this one. That God really did love him and want him return to live with him someday. I then pulled out a picture of my family and that’s when I knew that he could feel that what we were teaching was true. I explained to him that not only he could return to the Presence of God but he could also return and live with his loved ones forever. The experience was very powerful and I know that he could not deny the Spirit witness to him the truthfulness of the things we were teaching him.

In closing for this week I just want to bear testimony of the reality of the work I am doing here. It is honestly really tough to open up an Area and there has been so much opposition in everything we have been trying to get going. But at the same time I have never seen the hand of the Lord more than I have while I have been here. There has never been a day when I have not felt His hand on my shoulder, pushing me along, telling me to contact that last house! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve as a missionary here in Manco Capac and for the great opportunity I have to share this message with the people here. There are so many incredible people to meet and I know that the Lord will continue to lead and guide us to find them. We are merely his hands to accomplish a work much greater than we can comprehend. I love you all and wish you all a great week!


Elder Fawcett

                                                                New Apartment in Manco Capac

One Final Shot Leaving the Office!

Hermana Ana, My Very First Pensionista Invited Us to Lunch Today

Hermana Yesenia and Elder Fawcett

Saying Goodbye to My Mom in Peru

My Family Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree We Made

Elder Vargas and Elder Fawcett

Elder Fawcett, Beti and Elder Vargas

Beti, Our New Penchanista

Just Loved Beti's Facial Expression!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 73 - Starting From Nothing!


What a busy week it has been! I am sure you are all dying to know what happened in my transfer to the new Area where I am serving. But first I just want to tell you about what happened in my last few days in Cusco. So on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I spent a ton of time going to say goodbye to members, converts, and investigators. It was really hard for me to say goodbye to so many lifelong friends that I made in Cusco but I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to get to know each and every one of them! It was such a blessing to work with so many great members of the church who are going to make a big difference here in Perú. I will miss them all so very much! But perhaps the hardest goodbye that I said was to my wonderful pension! She has honestly become one of my best friends here in Perú and I loved spending time in her home with her family each and every day! She is the best and I know that I will always be in contact with her for the rest of my life!

As Thursday rolled around, I was invited to go eat in a very nice restaurant with President Herrera and Elder Fincher (the other Elder who left the office with me) for lunch. It was great to sit down and talk with him and eat some delicious food! Perhaps one of the greatest blessings and privileges that I had in the Office was getting to know him personally along with his family. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with him in such a unique and special way. Following Lunch I finished getting things ready then I went and picked up my new Companion, Elder Vargas. We went and bought a few things to take down to Puno for our new house than that night we hopped on a bus and travelled down to Puno. The following day we arrived in Puno early and immediately got to work looking for a place to live. After looking for a while, we ended up finding a nice one room apartment in the middle of our area. Since I have experience doing contracts (I did probably a million while I was in the Office), we set everything up with the Land Lord and were able to take the room. Following that we went shopping and got some mattresses and blankets and that night we slept on the floor. It reminded me of camping, in the middle of Perú without anything except for my bags and a place to sleep.

The next day we were able to get the rest of the furniture we needed and set everything up. Our next task was to find a pension (someone to feed us). So we went and talked to some members and were told to go look for an older woman who lived the street above our house. We did just that and ended up finding a really sweet old lady named Beti who told us she would love to feed us all 3 meals every day! The craziest thing is she “coincidently” lives literally 4 minutes walking from our new apartment! It has made things really easy because everything is so close together, including our Chapel which is about 5 minutes in the other direction.

As Sunday rolled around we went to Church and were greeted by some very friendly Ward members who were super excited to have Elders in there Ward. As we were looking around, we asked who the Bishop was and were told that there was not a Bishop because he had been released about a month and half ago due to some issues in his life. Currently the Area where we are serving is being led under the direction of a High Priest and only about 50 members who come to church each week. There is a lot of opportunities to serve here and I am really grateful and humbled to be able to serve in such a unique and special way. The members are so grateful to have us here and it almost made me feel sad as members greeted us with great big smiles on their faces, eager to help and serve us in whatever form or way that they could.

In closing this week I just want to share a quick thought that I had this week. As I stated earlier in the letter, there seemed to be so many coincidences that occurred this week. The way that everything seemed to fall into place seemed so much simpler than I thought it was going to be. It almost seemed as if everything had been prepared before we got here to make the transition here so much easier. I know without a doubt in my mind that the Lord was directly helping us to make opening up this new Area an easy transition so that we can get right to work finding people to teach and helping to establish his kingdom here on the earth. There is no such thing as coincidences, only miracles. I hope that each of you have a terrific week and a great start to December and Christmas time. A talk that was given in the Christmas devotional reminded me so much of what it is like to be away from home during such a special time of year. As I have served my mission, I have truly come to learn and feel the love of Jesus Christ in my life. To truly love him means to give up your greater desires for the needs of others. This Christmas I am so grateful I get
 to share that love with the people here in Perú and to help them come to know and feel the love of our Savior in their lives.


Elder Fawcett

President Herrera, Elder Fawcett and Elder Fincher
Farewell to The Office!!