Monday, February 26, 2018

Week 85 - The Family Missionary


To start off this week I would just like to inform you all about my new Companion that I will be training. His name is Elder Guarchaj and is from Guatemala. Coincidently, if any of you may remember but the last 2 missionaries I trained are from Guatemala as well. Which means this make all 3 of the missionaries I have trained are all from Guatemala. It is very interesting to think about considering that there are only like 4 Guatemalans in the entire mission.

As far as this week goes, it was a very interesting one. On Tuesday I got on a bus and headed to Cusco. While there, I had the chance to go out and eat some Chili’s because there is a Chili’s restaurant in Cusco. After being in Puno for 3 months and eating some very different food, it was nice to eat something similar to what we eat in the States. As Wednesday rolled around we were then placed in a room where President Herrera announced who our new Companions would be. Just like before, as soon as I saw the face of Elder Guarchaj, I knew he was going to be the one I would train. It is really quite interesting how that worked out! As Thursday rolled around we came back down to Puno and got right to work.

One of the First things we did when we got back to Puno was go out and contact. We went to a part of our area that we haven’t visit much and began knocking some doors. Starting out I did a lot of the talking and we were able to set up a few visits with some new investigators. Elder Guarchaj is very shy and doesn’t talk a whole lot so I have been giving him a lot of opportunities to talk and do the contacting to try and get him to open up a bit more. He is a fantastic missionary and has a lot of desires to work hard.

On Sunday we had the blessing of seeing Russell (our recent convert) receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be ordained a Priest. Something that I always strive to do in every area I am in is to have a good relationship with all of the Youth, especially the Young Men. As soon as Russell was ordained they received him well and we were able to attend the 3rd hour with all of the Young Men. While there we were able to plan a big activity for this Thursday in which we are going to go out on divisions with all of them and visit all of the inactive Young Men in the Ward. There are more than 20 inactive so we have a lot of work to do but they are all very excited to go out and work hard with us to bring back their fellow Quorum members.

Another thing that we have been organizing in our Ward is an idea we had called “The Family Missionary”. Basically what it consists is every week a family in the Ward is assigned to be the Family Missionary which means that all of the family has to participate in helping us throughout the week in visiting investigators, less actives, and also opening their home for us to have a family night. For this week we assigned the family that I have gotten to know really well, the family Oliveira. They have 3 boys just like in my family and one of them is getting close to serving a mission so this week we have plans to work a lot with this family with all of the investigators and people that we are teaching right now.

Perhaps one of the greatest highlights of the week was the fact that Luis´ brother paid off his debt which means he is no longer being pursued by the Gangsters here and we can finally start working with him again this week. Not only that but Russell also brought his cousin to Church this week who is not a member. We were able to set up a visit and are planning to start teaching him this week and hopefully get him set up for baptism as well! Since Russell is now a Priest, he is now able to baptize which would truly be amazing watching one of our converts baptize another convert!

In closing this week, I just want to state how grateful for all of the things I have been able to learn on my mission! Each and every Area, Companion, and Assignment has been exactly what I needed each day in my mission. It has been far from easy but, the Lord has taught me so many different things. Without him I would not be the missionary nor the person that I am today. Each day brings new challenges and struggles but I testify that the Lord is involved in every single day of our lives. Even the little things to us are important to him. Out of all of the people who live on the earth he knows us all individually and for that I am grateful. I love you all and hope you have a great week!


Elder Fawcett

Elder Guarchaj and Elder Fawcett

Picking Up New Missionaries

Elders With Their "Greenies"

Trainers and New Missionaries

Monday, February 19, 2018

Week 84 - The Adversary and Peruvian Gangsters!


So this week I just wanted to start off by telling you about today and what happened in changes. First off, my Companion Elder Vargas is leaving Puno and headed to another Zone. It has been great serving with him and I am grateful for all of the things that I have been able to learn from him. My change on the other hand is I will be staying here in Puno but have been called to train a new missionary! This means that tomorrow I will be getting on a bus and head to Cusco in order to pick up my new Companion. We will have a few trainings until Thursday when we get back to Puno and get started on teaching the incredible people here!

Perhaps the biggest highlight of last week was having the baptism of Russell this past Saturday! His family came to support him and we were able to contact them. They are super great and very supportive of Russell and his desires to become a missionary someday. To tell you all a little more about the backstory of Russell, I need to start off by saying that he has been raised by his mom. His dad left when he was little but he never really had a father figure in his life. His mom works in a really nice hotel down here in Puno all day, every day which has made it so Russell has essentially grown up on his own. He turns 17 here in a month or so but he is extremely mature for his age and has expressed great desires to go to the temple with the youth soon while also preparing to serve a full time mission in a year or so. It was a great privilege to baptize him and there was a very special Spirit as he came out of the water with the biggest smile on his face! It truly is incredible how much the gospel of Jesus Christ can bless the life of someone and change them forever!

Luis is still doing well! This week the adversary was working really hard against him. Luis´s  brother is sort of a Peruvian gangster who got himself into some trouble this past week because he owed some people some money. So basically, these people threatened Luis´ brother that if he didn’t pay up, they were going to go after his family. His brother is working on getting the money, but in the meantime Luis has been stuck in his house until his brother pays off his debt. Once Luis found out what was going on, he called us and let us know that we needed to stay away from his house until this problem is resolved. I know this story sounds a little crazy but we know the Lord is protecting us and Luis. We pray every day for him and he is striving to continue reading the Book of Mormon with his desire to be baptized once the problem is resolved with his brother.
This week we also were able to meet the family of our investigator Milder. They are super hilarious and this past week we had an awesome visit with them. They are all willing to hear us, so we will be returning to visit them this coming week. The Lord is preparing so many people for us to teach down here in Puno!

In closing this week, I just want to bear testimony that I know for a fact that the Book of Mormon is true. This past week I finished reading it for the 10th time and I can honestly say that each time I read the Book of Mormon my testimony of it grows even stronger. It truly is a sacred record of scriptures that the Lord saved for this very special time. Just as the Bible does, The Book of Mormon testifies of the Jesus Christ. His divine attributes, his miracles, and most importantly his Atonement for each and every one of us. Just as President Monson challenged all of the members of the Church to do last April, I know that it vital that each of us have our own testimony of this sacred book. It is a testimony that is necessary in these difficult times and a testimony that we all need to continue nurturing throughout our entire lives. I know it is True and it has blessed my life as I have read it each and every day throughout my mission and will continue doing so for the rest of my life. I love you all and pray that you have a fantastic week!


Elder Fawcett

Russell's Baptism

Russell and his Mom

Russell and His Family

Russell, Elders Fawcett and Vargas

Congratulations Russell!

Russell and Elder Fawcett

True Happiness!

Brownie is Growing Pretty Fast!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Week 83 - Running Fast and Blocking Drunken Punches!


What a fantastic week! We had several visits with our investigators this week, but it was still pretty tough due to the Virgin de La Candelaria which is still going on down here (it ends tomorrow, Tuesday). Most people drink so much alcohol that they either spend the entire next 24 hours laying on the side of the road or super drunk bothering the missionaries. Hahaha. But it was a very interesting week as far as drunk people go. Most are friendly and just try to speak English to me even though they don’t even know any words besides “Hello”. One of the most interesting experiences was when a little 5-foot drunk man came up to me and wanted to fight. Luckily I have had lot of experience with drunk guys so I just told him a hilarious joke and he laughed and accepted a visit from us this week when he is sober again. Sadly, the joke doesn’t work for all of them and let’s just say I am glad that I can run pretty fast and block a few drunken punches in order to get myself out of the situation!

For starters this past week we finished up teaching our investigator Russell. He is super prepared for baptism and passed his interview yesterday super easily! He is super excited for this coming Saturday and is also excited to go to the Temple with the Ward here in a few weeks after he receives the Aaronic Priesthood the week after his baptism! It is such a great blessing to be able to watch our investigators learn and grow. Russell was such a blessing to find and we are constantly striving each day to find those who are ready and prepared, just as he was.

Luis was another story. Luis has the desire to be baptized, but he wants the support of his father. His mother is completely willing to give him permission and even signed his baptismal register. His father on the other hand doesn’t want to support him. After explaining many times to Luis the importance of baptism, he is still set on not being baptized until his father will help him. So, at the end of one of our visit I asked him to commit to a promise that I had made him. I told him that our Heavenly Father would answer him if he asked him if he should be baptized now or wait until his father is willing to accept it. I then promised him that if he would kneel beside his bed after a sincere prayer and not stand until he received a direct answer that the Lord would answer. He committed to do so and that night he had an incredible experience.

After offering a sincere prayer, Luis stayed on his knees for a long time. After waiting, he then fell asleep on his knees and had a very special dream in which he received a very direct answer. I will not go into many details because his experience was very special and sacred. But I will say that he knows that he needs to be baptized and we are just trying to work with him so that he can fully comply with the Word of Wisdom and be baptized.

Perhaps one of the most interesting experiences of the week was this past week we made a video to get the members excited and interested in an activity we are having this Friday. It is about Family History and for those of you who know me, know that I have been able to learn a lot about Family History from my Grandpa and I spent a lot of time in Temple before the mission doing baptisms. The youth in my Ward are very interested in Family History and most have only researched up to their Grandparents and nothing passed that. So along with being able to help teach the youth “Family History” recently, we planned a Ward Cinema Activity in which we will be watching a new Disney Movie (our Mission President allows us to watch Animated Disney movies) called Coco. It supposedly has to do with Family History and as I stated before we made a video as missionaries to get everyone interested in the activity. As I was helping the youth and teaching them how Family History works, I was able to find people who needed their work done and after verifying all of the information ended with about 50 names that I plan on working on when I return from my mission. The Lord is truly hastening his work on both sides of the veil.

In closing this week, I just want to state how grateful I am to be here in Perú. In the area I am in. Doing the things that the Lord desires each and every day. I love being a missionary because it brings me to the greatest joy that I have never been able to experience anytime ever before in my life. Each day brings its challenges but no matter what I will never forget or regret the decision I made almost 2 years ago to submit my papers and leave everything behind to serve the incredible people of Perú. I love you all and hope that you each have a terrific week!


Elder Fawcett

Making Pizza at a Youth Activity
Luis is in the Red Sweatshirt and Hat!

Making Pizza in Peru!

We Were Invited Over to Eat,
Yep Rabbit Again!

Pic Overlooking Puno
Elders Gutirez, Fawcett, Vargas, Boelter

Last Pics of Virgen de La Candalaria


Monday, February 5, 2018

Week 82 - Having Been Commissioned!


This week was fantastic! Although the Virgen de La Candelaria festival (A huge Catholic celebration in Puno) is going strong and hardly anyone is home (either drunk or dancing). The Lord has been mindful of us and this week we had Russell come to church with his entire family who have not been to church in years, they even brought one of Russell’s uncles who is not a member of the church either. The Lord has been blessing us in so many ways but perhaps one of the greatest blessings was finding a less active named Abel, who is currently living with (they are not married) a women named Roxanna. This past week we were blessed to find the two of them and teach them. They both even came to church on Sunday which was awesome.

As I stated before, Russell is progressing super well! He is on track for his Baptism on the 17th of February and he is learning a lot. Perhaps one of the greatest blessing was this past week during our visit he made a comment that made us really happy. He stated that he could not wait to go out and teach people as we do each and every day. The work of the Lord truly is great and we honestly have no idea how many lives we can affect through our service.

Perhaps one of my favorite experiences of the week was baptizing an investigator named Ana. Ana is 18 and is the very first member of the church in her family. Every single member of her family is extremely Catholic and when we have talked to them, they have all seemed very uninterested in what we have to say. Ana on the other hand is very different and although it was very hard to leave behind all of her beliefs in the Catholic Church, she was very happy this past Saturday. It is always such a special experience to baptize someone and to say the words “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ”. It is something so special and sacred that I am always so grateful for the experience and the opportunity I have to pronounce those words and to participate in an event so sacred when somebody makes a Covenant with our Heavenly Father.

Luis is doing very well. This week we invited him to a family night in which we talked about the Book of Mormon. As we were sharing our testimonies about it, Luis interrupted and began to share his testimony that he has gained. Luis has been reading the Book of Mormon very faithfully and has been able to bless the lives of his family members by doing so. He is not quite ready for baptism and we are praying that he can be fully ready to be baptized alongside Russell on the 17th.

Today for P-day we went to a really cool place in a City called Juli. It is off the shores of Lake Titicaca and we went and played volleyball there for the day in the sand. It almost felt like playing on a real beach except for the fact that it is quite a bit colder here in Puno than at a real beach.

In closing this week, I just wanted to share a thought that I have been thinking a lot about throughout the past week. As I have served our Savior Jesus Christ, I have thought a lot about the difference in times where we believe Him and times where we believe in Him. As I have served I know that there has been times when I only did one of the two things. Both of these two things require faith but one requires a much greater level of faith. Faith is the key to miracles but if we are not willing to believe in the Savior and what he can do 100% of the time, we are missing out on the chance to see even more miracles. I know that constant faith is something that we each must constantly strive for, but if we can always believe in our Savior and not just believe him, he will be able to bless us in ways that we cannot understand. I love you all and hope that you each have a great week!


Elder Fawcett

Elder Vargas, Fawcett and Ana

Ana's Baptism

After Ana's Baptism

Sisters, Elders and Ward Members at
Ana's Baptism

Elders, Sisters and Ward Members on the Beach!

Zone P-Day at Juli Beach