Called to the Peru Cusco Mission
Reports to the MTC November 17, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Have Run Out of Titles

As you can tell I've become less inventive for titles this week,
hopefully writers block can be demolished for my next dispatch.
Christmas in Perú was awesome!  We had a devotional from the CCM
President Christmas Eve and then went outside to sing Christmas songs
(which were mainly in English because the Latinos aren't big fans of
singing) while having hot chocolate and PANETONE!  Yes, they have
Panetone in Perú and it is part of a tradition.  This place was like
made for me...well with the exception of the Spanish.

Which, is actually coming very well.  Yesterday I taught a lesson in
the TRC (where we have mock teaching scenarios) entirely in Spanish
with little help from my companion on whom I will simply say these few
things:  1) Obedience is necessary and it should take the CCM
President to tell you to do something correctly.  2) Effort, it's
something that needs to be made.  3) I love my companion, but that
doesn't mean I necessarily have to like him...which is something I
never really understood till I started using it to describe my
feelings towards him at the moment.  But I only have one more week
with him so we should be good and if he is able to make a few changes
will do wonderfully.

Next week we have a tour of Lima while newbies come in to the CCM so
I'm not sure when I will be sending this (probably either Tuesday or
Thursday) hopefully after so I can tell about the wonderful city known
as Lima, Perú.  Hasta Lleugo and if my spelling and grammar are poor I
apologize, I'm starting to loose English.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Soccer is NOT Hockey

Hi all!  I once again report from the land of futbol and 80 degree Christmases. Anyway, as the heading states futbol is NOT hockey, at ALL.  I decided that playing goalie would be fun because you know I wasn´t a ´bad´ goalie on NHL 11 and that was a hockey video game so should at least be adequate at being a real futbol goalie and I was fine till I nearly took a ball to the face which was.entertaining..

It´s actually kind of like Phoenix here in Lima, the weather right now is in the low 80´s to mid-90´s and the cityscape surrounding us here at the CCM is very reminiscent of Phoenix just with a bit dirtier of a look from all the pollution.  Much of the time it is overcast here, but that cloud above us isn't made of's kind of nasty.

We aren't exactly sure what is going on for Christmas here yet but we are told it is going to be 'amazing.'. My compi for the next three weeks is Elder Ramierez from Lima, Peru.  He only speaks a little English but we are able to communicate pretty well and we like each other.  Being a native Spanish speaker, he is only here for three weeks so I'll have a new compi (probably another native) after he leaves.  I'm picking up the language fast and being basically forced to only speak Spanish makes picking up the language a little easier. Well I gotta go, because of the mail system here we are allowed to email family AND friends here so feel free to email me at Hasta lleugo!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And Now Reporting from Spanish Land

It´s a Spanish keyboard and I can´t figure out where the ENTER button is because it doesn´t do the same thing. So I think I´ll just use ---  ---After having only about 4 hours of sleep we are now in Perú (and Spanish keyboards are confusing so...).  We got some time to write home but the line is long behind me so I´ll be quick.  I now have a Peruvian companion who speaks about three words in English but we have found ways to communicate.  Also the food here is AMAZING in spite of it being made by Aramark.  It´s going to be tough but I think I´ll survive, if this Spanish keyboard doesn´t kill me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To the States We Bid Adeiu

A bit late in sending this off today but packing has taken up most of P-Day.  We leave for Peru tomorrow and making sure both suitcases are 50lbs or less and that my carry-on weighs no more than 17lbs has kept me pretty busy.  Hmm, what to say.  Most of last week was taken up by prep for leaving tomorrow; a meeting about health and safety in Peru (which as it turns out has not-as-bad water), a meeting about in-field language study and a Departure Devotional took up both class time and study time for those of us leaving.  However, we found out that probably around 30 other people are leaving for the Peru CCM (MTC en Espanol) on the same day.
Honestly it feels kind of strange to be leaving the country for two years, I'm not really nervous or anything about it but the thought that I won't be living in the United States is just...I guess ironically enough foreign.  To think that buildings would be waving a flag that isn't red, white and blue and that Independence Day will mean nothing more than July 4th and a really awesome movie just seems kind of odd.  But I'm sure that will change.
Well, I need to get back to getting ready to head off into the...well I guess Lima isn't exactly blue or a let's go with wild mildly hazy coastal place...nah...I think Lima is probably a better way to put it.
Signing off with a mildly lame joke,
--Elder Will Sowards

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

You mean it ISN'T 20 degrees in Lima?

Hi all!  I once again report to you from the wilds of Provo, Utah where all the snow has melted and it is now in the...I don't know probably 50's.  There was a nice little cold snap the end of last week but now in comparision it is almost unbearable.  But....
Not nearly as awesome as GOING TO LIMA, PERU ON THE 15TH!  Visas came through and last Wednesday we got travel plans for our 18 hour long adventure to the urban jungle known as Lima.  We leave SLC at 5pm have a quick transfer at LAX (probably around 30min) followed by a 14-ish hour flight to Lima.  All four of us Peru elders in our district are extremely excited to finally get to interact with real people who speak real Peruvian Spanish.
Hmm, what else is there to say.  We (Elder Martin and I) were talking earlier that there isn't really much to say in these emails because we aren't really doing anything so I guess I'll just run through a day in our MTC lives (our schedule is a bit different every day so here is just one):
6:30am- Wake Up and get ready
7:00am- Breakfast (which we usually skip because we aren't very hungry that early in the morning and grab a snack from a vending machine later)
7:30am- Class with Hermano Shelline (He is from Utah and served in Peru, he teaches us Spanish but occasionally helps us with preparing lessons and other stuff)
10:00am- Gym! (so running on an indoor track for me and two others in our district, basketball or something else for most other people)
11:00am- Shower and change
11:30am- Lunch
12:00pm- Personal Study (where we study what we want from scriptures and the Missionary Library, lately for me it has been "Jesus the Christ" and "The Book of Mormon"
1:00pm- Companion Study (where Elder Martin and I will prep for lessons or will study things to help us with teaching)
2:00pm- Language Study
4:30pm- Dinner (Too early?  We all say, "Yes!")
5:00pm- Language Study
6:30pm- Class with Hermano Duarate (an awesome teacher from El Salvador who has helped all of us a TON with the language)
9:00pm- Plan for the next day
9:30pm- Back in the Res Hall for preparing for the next day (relaxing a bit, writing in journals, showering, shaving, whatever)
10:30pm- SLEEP
So that is a day!
To close it out allow me to say:
1) Calochies (think a way more awesome danish) are amazing
2) Calochies are AMAZING
3) Krispy Kremes are also amazing!
4) Did I mention Calochies
Thank you everyone for all of the letters and packages and if you could please make sure there is a return address I would love to write you.
P.S. I've heard may to Peru has a 4 month turn around time (two there, two back) so email might be a better option, we will see how that works soon.
Thanks again and I love you all!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The News of our Blizaard Exaggerated

To all those reading this memorandum, the news of our blizzard has been grossly exaggerated.  We had 6 inches of snow in the past 4 days and that has been about it.  Last Tuesday there was a "Winter Storm Advisory" which apparently means it will get to about 20 degrees and spit snow at you for about three hours.  But I digress...

To those who were wondering, because I don't think I stated it in my last dispatch, my companion, Elder Martin, is from American Fork up here in Utah and we are doing great together.  Though the first few days were kind of rough the MTC is awesome.  On Thanksgiving we heard from Elder Holland who (though I probably should have one) is now my favorite apostle to hear speak.  There is nothing quite like the spirit that those men have.  He talked about giving thanks and the Atonement of Christ and a few other topics which, for the sake of time, I'll skip over.  The food for Thanksgiving dinner was good and the kind of mini-P-Day was very nice.
Tonight we have another devotional (every Tuesday and Sunday) and the odds are on another member of the 70 (last week was Elder Per G. Malm from Finland) but I think we are going to have a current or former mission president.  So far no one has been right on any of our guesses so who knows maybe we will have President Uchdorf.

On what I guess would be a kind of side note my companion is doing much better.  Last week he was having some issues but it's all good now.  The only problem we seem to be facing is that our district leader and his companion aren't exactly getting along.  Yesterday we were studying for the TE in the hallway and returned to our classroom before we left.  Though we had been relaxing while studying Spanish trying to relax a bit before heading in the Spirit was still there and when we walked into the classroom to grab our jackets we could feel a Spirit of Contention within the dead silent room.  We are trying to figure out how to go about helping them (Elder Martin, myself and our roommates Elders Crist (Masoola[sp], Montana) and Giacolletto (pronounced Jock-o-letto; Cody, Wyoming) and are going to see what we can't do.  It is completely true, a companionship without the Spirit is the worst kind.

The more I think about it the more I realize you are right, I am going to miss this place even when we go to the Peru CCM.  Which, by the way, we found out doesn't have any 'simulation' investigators for us but rather takes you in a van drops you off somewhere in Lima then has you tract back to the CCM.  It sounds AMAZINGLY fun and a little scary but it will be nice to have some experience with actually teaching non-members not just RM's.  ....On thinking about it you probably shouldn't tell Mom about the tracting stuff there, it might freak her out.

Thank you everyone for the letters and packages they have been fantastic to have (the pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies were gone by Thanksgiving evening).  I can't wait for my 'Yotes hat, I'm pretty much the only hockey fan here and when I realized I need a hat this morning and that it was coming I was quite happy.  Gotta run!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 1


It's my p-day so I have some time to write.  So far the MTC has been great, my companion is fantastic and our roommates (also going to the Perú Cusco mission) are just as good.  We've been doing a lot of Spanish work and the first few days were tough, no time for personal or companion study and no time for practically anything except sleep and there didn't seem to be enough of that either.  The food has been pretty normal fair with an occasional "I think my desert just blinked" moments but otherwise fine.  Today we are going to the Temple (in fact in about two hours) and that will be a good time to just let go of some of the stress of the past few days.

As it turns out pulling a few things out of my bag at the last minute was a good idea, with the books I've picked up and the realization that some of what I packed was entirely unneccessary I should be able to make weight when we leave (December 15 is the date as of now).  Among the four of us in our room I had the lightest bag so the days before we leave ought to be interesting if for no other reason than finally having some things to put in our Narnia Box (a cubbie behind our drawers which can only be accessed from the top of the dresser and is usually filled with fun and occasionally strange things for the next Elders to have the room).

I am happy to report that my last shower before leaving home was not my last warm shower for the next two years, that likely won't be till mid-January when we leave the CCM but I do miss some of the creature comforts of home, like being able to eat whenever and having a wider section of clothing than what tie am I going to wear today.

Thank you everyone for the letters and packages (the gloves Grand Ma sent have been quite helpful now that it is snowing pretty much every day) and I will write again soon.

Hasta Luego!

--Elder Will Sowards
Peru Cusco Mission
Est. Return Date:  Nov. 28, 2012 (Yes, that is a day before that year's Thanksgiving)

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Makes a Mom's Heart Full

Will worked at KTAR 92.3 as an intern during the Spring semester at ASU in 2010.  After his internship, he began to fill in for various producers during the summer.  He mainly worked the 3-7PM show with Mac and Gaydos.  He loved his time there!!  As anyone who knows Will knows, he loves politics and news.  He is great investigating things on the internet. 

Wednesday, I decided to thank them for all they did for Will.  They introduced him to a whole other aspect of journalism, which he loved.  Here is the response....

Between Larry Gaydos and You
Vicki Krane Sowards November 17 at 6:22pm
For you, Mac, and Shawn...
Thanks for all you taught my son while he was working with you. I know he has really enjoyed getting to know you guys and working with you!! We dropped him at the airport today for him to begin the adventure of his life!!
Larry Gaydos November 17 at 11:55pm Report
Vicki - he's a great kid and really worked hard for us. he's got a great future in radio if he wants it. great work ethic, loyal and he hustles!

Vicki Krane Sowards November 18 at 7:51pm
Thanks!! I know he appreciated all that you guys taught him and he did talk about continuing in radio at some point when he gets home.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Bye Elder Sowards!!

Today Will left for the Provo MTC at 7:30am from Sky Harbor Airport.  Gram joined us for a few days as we said good bye to Will.  We had a FFHE (Farewell Family Home Evening) on Monday night and last night, after being set apart, we went to dinner at Grimaldi's. 

I swore I would not let anyone see me cry....but I let a few tears fall!!
Bye, Will.   See you in two years!!!  We will all miss    you!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Will's  Farewell was this afternoon.  We all spoke, which is a rarity these days.  The best part was that our Home Teacher, President Johnson, who was on the stand with us, talked about our experiences being together as Home Teachers and the blessing her received here last week.  He is such a powerful man, that I would not be surprised if the entire Church has the  opportunity to listen and learn from him in the future.

Papa Otto, Gram, John and all of the Sowards' clan were there, including Tammie and her boyfriend, Jeff, from Washington.

Luckily, we do not say "farewell" for 31 more days!!