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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Peru

Good news everyone!  It is (was) Christmas in Peru this week!  And that brings a question, how is Christmas in Perú?  Oh where to begin...?

Now here is what I want you to do in order to visualize a Peruvian Christmas.


1)  Think about Thanksgiving

2)  Think about Christmas
3)  Think about New Years Eve at around midnight
4)  Now think about putting those all in a blender and hitting 'Puré'

That should give you a good idea of how Christmas is done here in Peru.  At midnigt the place goes fireworks crazy and looks like New York Harbour on New Year's Eve but sounds like Baghdad.  It's really really cool!  Anyways, we spent most of the time in our pension with the family there enjoying the night.


Okay, I'm not going to lie, I already talked about a lot of this last night with the family and well, I decided to spend more time reading emails today.


Anyways, I have a change (yes, that fast) and well sometimes that is just how life is.


This email is really sucky....


Anyways, till next week.


--Elder Will Sowards

Waiting to find out where the new sector will be.




Mom's Note.....

We spoke to Will for 45 minutes on Christmas Day.  It was great to hear his voice and how much he has matured.  The call kept cutting in and out, but we did find out what he has been up to....and that he needs new pants!!!

The call made our day!!  We next talk to him on Mother's Day....and he will be home by Christmas next year....maybe even by thanksgiving!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Maachu Picchu and Other Tales

A somewhat sad admission to make, it took me like 5 minutes to figure out that tales in that context is 'tales' and not 'tails'.

Anyways, today I (along with about 14 other people) went to Machu Picchu!  It was AWESOME!  Hard to believe that someone was able to build something so huge out of nothing more than rocks and sheer ingenuity.  And well...I'd love to share pictures but we came straight here from Machu and I didn't have a chance to grab what I need to pull my photos so I guess those will have to wait till next week along with pictures of Thanksgiving and other stuff and...I really need to get better with sending pictures.


On another note.  We've been working with a family for a few weeks now, teaching them and what not.  The husband, Mauricio, is from Ica where Elder Moreno is from and technically speaking everyone in the family is a member except him.  But, his wife for some odd reason isn't in the church records.  Well, about two weeks ago we found out that they aren't married (a bit of a shock with how much we
thought they were married, in the words of my mom 'You know what Thought thought?') and we began to talk with them about how they could go about doing it and could be baptised (in one case re-baptised) and receive the blessings in their lives.  Till Sunday it was going rather slowly till we came over to talk with them with our first counselor (who looks creepily like Elder Uchtdorf, just another photo I need to send).  We found ourselves hardly doing any talking as they explained the blessings they had recieved and how creat it was to have them.  We asked them to set a goal for their marraige and they told us the 30th of December!  It's truly amazing how much the members can help in the work.  I remember I didn't do it much before I left but I probably should have.  Another story for another time.

Well to everyone that isn't here right now, have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!  And I weep for Packers. 


--Elder Will Sowards

Santiago, Cusco, Perù

(End of blog post)


To all:  We have permission to use Skype to talk to our families and 40 minutes of time to talk!  So that should be awesome!  I'll be calling later this week to confirm when and what not.  So I guess we'll talk then.


Username:  willsowards

I Have Run Out of titles

December 12, 2011



Hope everything is going well there on...well...if England is the other side of the Pond then I guess here I could say the other side of the Canal.  Well, that just doesn't sound as whitty as I'd like it to...oh well.  Anyways this week has been fairly interesting, and by interesting I mean service filled.


On Tuesday we went to a members bakery and helped him make bread, on Friday we helped remove all the grass from around a concrete soccer field and on Saturday we helped paint a house.  I honestly thought I was in an episode of some kind of combination of 'Wait Wait Don't Tell Me's' segment 'Not My Job' and 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'.  And though that might sound negitive I don't mean it that way at all.  They were all really fun and aside from that great experiences...of which I will send photos when I can find a new card reader because my old one is still haning around somewhere in Abancay.  But from these we found a TON of new people to teach who really want tot listen to us.  I can honestly say that service is probably the best thing any single person can do for another.  The scriptures state:  when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.  And it is true, in those moments you can feel the Spirit stronger and feel a special love and connection the both the person you are helping the the people whom you are working with.


Anyways, I was going to right more but I can't get the audio file off for some reason but I'm going to leave it here.  Just want to take this moment to say a few words...okay a lot of words.  It is just awesome to be here working in Perú helping the people here.  Even if they don't want to listen to our message just to be here as a help and support for them is amazing.  I can honestly say that I love the people, that I love helping them in any way I can and that just to have these two years here is a great blessing.


Well, that about does it here.  Till next week,


--Elder Will Sowards

Santiago, Cusco, Peru

PS:  GO YOTES!

Why I Hate Conferences

 December 5, 2011

There was a time, not too long ago when I loved conferences broadcasted by satellite, they were just so...so cool.  Then I came to Perú, or more aptly put to a country where no one has ever given training to the people that run the stuff.  On a quick side note I think in my next sector I'm going to find the guy that is in charge of that kind of stuff and train him on a P-Day or something, it's really the least I could do.

Anyways, so yesterday was the Christmas Devotional transmitted from Salt Lake and we had the opportunity to go!  We all (pretty much every missionary here) were really psyched about it and looking forward to having some Christmas cheer (and something to watch in English for those of us who are gringos).  But, when we showed up 5 minutes before showtime Elder Will Sowards had to become Producer/Showrunner/Son-of-a-son-of-a-Sailor-whose-son-is-a-video-guy and well...that just isn't fun when there are 8 other people who are acting like someone from Tech Management (for those of you who get the reference AWESOME, for those of you who don't think the Borg from Star Trek, if the borg had the minds of guinea pigs, which would be some pretty bad tasting brains).  So after about 30 minutes we found a work around and got everything working.  We only
saw about half the conference but what we saw was awesome!

And really the whole experience made me realize something, aside from the fact that when it comes to tech situations keeping my cool is extremely difficult...see previous references to guinea pigs.  But aside from that something very important.  I have really been blessed with the life I have had.  I've worked almost a year in a radio station, practically two years in public relations and a mom that taught me a lot about medical care.  I can hardly identify anything that hasn't been a benefit to me in this time here in Perú.  Even some of the skills Dylan Bacon taught me (I'll leave that to you LoneWolf).


I know this email hasn't been really mission work focused but I just wanted to tell you all how I feel and next week we'll have story time.  So till the next message, this is Will Sowards signing off.


--Elder Will Sowards

Santiago, Cusco, Perú

PS- Did you all know that Cusco loosely translates to stomach or abdomen?  Weird right?

Monday, November 28, 2011

T Day in Peru

Well, this is a short one because I have FINALLY figured out how to get the recorder to work.

Just a bit of background, I spent Thanksgiving dinner (lunch) with Elders Christensen, Whittaker and Moreno (my now awesome comp).


Which on the comp front, I spent this week really trying to get to know him and serving in any way I could (which I now have a testimony of) and now everything is going great!  I have absolutely nothing to complain about, and like I said, this is going to be short because I'm working on the recordings right now...


So, hopefully my parents will be able to find a way to post those on the blog.  Because this is a Thanksgiving from Perù!


--Elder Will Sowards

Santiago, Cusco, Perù

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Call to Peru

 So...as you derived from the last email, Will was sick.  I started to think about it and decided that I needed more information.  I called Salt lake and obtained the email address of the mission, as we had never received it.  I then sent the email below.  
 
Since I did not hear back as quickly as I expected to, I called Salt Lake again and got the mission phone number.  Luckily, I had a Verizon International card in my purse, so I called.  My first word were "Do you speak English?".  I figured I could get my on my espanol, if I needed to.  

Elder Whittaker said he did and proceeded to tell me that he had just answered my email as it came across my computer screen.  It made me feel much better to speak to someone---and I am sure Will was horrified that I called!!!

Wouldn't you call???

Vicki
 
 
Sister Sowards,
 
I was with your son this morning, actually, and everything is all right. He got sick in Abancay, but he is alright now. They brought him here to Cusco just to make sure everything is alright, and they haven’t found any problems with him. He has been staying with me this whole time, and he is just fine. Elder Sowards is a great kid, and has a great attitude about the mission. You have no need to worry. If you have any questions you can always contact me on this email address. Thanks for your care about Elder Sowards, and the Peru Cusco Mission.
 
Elder Whittaker
Secretario Ejecutivo
Mision Peru Cusco
TElf: 084-242521 cel: 984-503861 RPM: #623574
Sowards, Victoria
Actions
To:
M
 '1194372@ldschurch.org' 
Will
Monday, November 14, 2011 9:13 AM
I received an email from Will this morning stating that he has been ill.  I just wanted a little reassurance that he is OK.  When I hear he went by ambulance, scans, IVs…I begin to worry.  I know he is OK since he emailed me and asked about his iPod, but being a nurse, I think the worse!!!
 
Victoria R. Sowards, BSN,RN, CMPE
Clinical Site Manager
Valley ENT, PC

One Crazy Week

Well, where should I start.  On Tuesday I went to Cusco for training for Zone Leaders and Trainers which was pretty awesome but it's what happened the next day that wasn't quite so cool.

So, we were sitting in our zone meeting and my hands began to go numb then my face and next thing I knew I couldn't talk in English or Spanish.  Well, we went to the hospital and...I don't really remember what happened after that.  The short version is they needed to give me some fluids and other things and with some of what happened they decided it was best to just send me to Cusco.  Which meant and ambulance ride from Abancay to Cusco, just one more awesome thing I don't remember.  They did some scans and other things and everything now appears to be normal but I'm having a change to Cusco for a bit just so I'm close to the doctors just in case.  Just to reiterate, I AM FINE!  I figure it was just dehydration or something and the truth is we may never know what exactly it was.  So that's been my week in a nutshell.

Since everything that happened I have been chilling in Cusco just waiting for the changes and it's been pretty awesome.  I've been working with Elders Christensen and Whittaker and it has been AWESOME!  And helping out around the office which has just brought me back to my days working at KTAR and in Mom's office.  Mainly because the office was a mess and I decided to clean it up a bit.

So, in other news.  About two weeks ago I tried cuy (guinea pig) which is DISGUSTING, just imagine eating a rat.  And that's about what it's like.

Well...I think that about does it for this week.  I really don't have a lot to say other than I'm fine and that actually deciding to write home about that was a lot harder than you would think.  Like I don't want to worry any of you but you should know what is going on.  So that about does it.

--Elder Will Sowards
In a Cusqueñan limbo

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lino and Audio

Hello All!



Once again, Elder Sowards is writing from a small internet cafe in Jiron Elias in Abancay and this week WITH AUDIO!  That seems almost creepily happy...whatever!  Anyways, I'm just going to jump right in.



On Friday we found ourselves contacting and ran into Lino.  Now, Lino seemed pretty cool about 25-years-old and fairly interested in what we had to say but didn't have time.  Well, as usual I went to give him a pamphlet and the only one that I could find was one of the Word of Wisdom.  Well, at first I thought 'There is NO way I am going to give him this.' but something told me 'Do IT!' to which I replied 'No' and felt to do it again.  On the third time I listened because if I have learned one thing during my realitivly short life it is that when the Spirit tell you to do something you DO IT because if you don't you will regret it for a very long time.



Saturday we came back to teach him and he let us inside.  Where we saw that he runs a bar.  We talked to him for a bit explaining what we teach and ourselves and he began to ask us about the Church and the Word of Wisdom.  In the end we committed him to a bautismal date.  It was so cool to see how the spirit worked us in helping him in what might have been his need in those moments.  He is such a cool guy and I really need to take a picture of the bar, because it looks AWESOME!  Well, more because it has shrunken heads than anything.



And well, I'm trying to get the audio to work, but it's not wanting to.  I'm thinking maybe it's a problem with my USB cable.  So this one is going to be short, next week I hope I'll finally have it working.  Sorry bout that peeps.



So, till next week.



---Elder Will Sowards

Patibamba, Abancay, Peru


Of Police and More

Just to answer your question right now, No, I was not arrested.



On Friday we were doing some contacting and heard someone yell--Elders, Elders!-So we turned around to see who it was and I found myself face to face with a member I'd met in Andahuaylas.  It was a fairly cool and interesting event and was made even more so when he presented us to Alfredo, one of his best friends.  Alfredo is really awesome, he's a police officer and on the side is studying international business but what is even cooler is that he has wanted to listen to the missionaries for literally YEARS.  So, on Saturday we went to his home and taught him, and this is where it gets interesting.



As missionaries we are always practicing teaching, always.  And for that usually one missionary is an investigator, well I have an 'investigator' that I like to use, a mix of a few people I know (both members and not) and Alfredo was almost the same as this imaginary person.  Seriously almost EXACTLY the same which kind of weirded me out.  Well, we challenged him to baptism and he accepted.  It was just really cool that we could help him out that way.



We also taught a few other really cool people this week that I'll talk about next week because I'm running out of time but, I leave you with this.  An audio recording!



--Elder Will Sowards

Patibamba, Abancay, Perù



Well, maybe more like next week...looks like the computer doesn't want to work with me on this one.  Which means double for next week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Can You find Will??

I stole this from Elder Boucher's blog.... Thanks, Elder!!!

Icing

Well, it's been a tough week here in Abancay, to avoid getting into too much- Osbid went on vacation, three days without a new investigator and a few other items that follow that line.  Anyways, here we are, on the raggedy edge (for those who get the reference KUDOS).  So this isn't going to be a very investigator driven email, rather how Juliaca almost blinded me.
 
So, I'd been having some headaches, again, with my glasses and figured it was just because they have transitions lenses so I decided last week to stop by a optomistrist to see what was up.  And it went something like this.
 
Doc- To what line can you read (out of 12)
Me- Eight.
Doc- Hmmm...and when did you buy these?
Me- About 8 months ago.
Doc- Can I see those glasses?
(Takes a look)
Doc- Yeah, those aren't for you and have actually damaged you eyes some.
Me- WHAA?
Doc- But they'll heal.
 
So, basically Juliaca tried to blind me with bad glasses of the wrong size for a stigmatism that I don't have.
 
Fun.
 
But whatever, now I have the right glasses and everything is right in the world.  But, look!  What's that!
 
Q and A time!

How big is your branch?
---We have about 50 people attending every week, so for a branch a bit large.
 
Do they have Halloween down there and if so is it a big day?
---As far as I can tell they have it but it isn't that big.  Don't exactly know, guess we'll see in a week.
 
Have you gone to Machu Picchu yet?
---No, I'm waiting till June when you can see the entire face.
 
Please send more photos.
---I'd love to but every computer I have used here in Abancay freezes up when I plug in my adapter.
 
Well, that just about wraps up this report.  Till next week...
 
--Elder Will Sowards
Patibamba, Abancay, Perù
 
P.S.
 
To all Vikings fans I know.  It's a little thing called PAYBACK.

The Blessing of the Blog!!!

When Will left for his  mission, we began this blog.  He was against it and told me and told me that I am only to blog what he says.  Every week, he sends his weekly email with the title for this week's post.  He then types (Start blog here) and he types what you see every week.  He then types (End blog here), after which he types whatever he needs to tell us individually.  

Mom's will boys(or girls) on missions try to read each the blogs to see what is happening with their kids.  There is a list serve wwwdsmissionarymoms.com, where many moms help each other with everything from getting the kids ready to go, overcoming our sadness at the kids leaving, sending packages the best way, and generally supporting each other.  One day, I looked at Will's blog for comments, and I read this about one of his posts:
 
It does actually concern me!! :) I am not sure who posts to this blog, but I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. E. Sowards is so articulate and funny. My son E. Eggleston has never been very descriptive in his writings so I have relied on this blog to give me my "Peru fix". I hope to see E. Sowards when I visit Abancay in 3 weeks and I will give him a hug from his mother. What a ride it has been. 

This was from one of the mission moms.  I kind of forgot about this, until yesterday, when Debby signed off of  the mission mom' site, as they went to Peru to pick up her son.  I emailed her and asked if she was able to see Will.   Here is the response:

Yes I did!  What a cutie.  I also gave him a big hug.  for you and for me. (some missionaries were hesitant to hug me. Not your son though!!)   I think I told you I just love that you post his letters.  My son never really got into too much detail when he emailed us.  I have truly enjoyed his letters not only because he is just a good writer but because he tells details.  I will continue to read them.

I told your son how much I enjoyed his letters.  He said sometimes he doesn't know what to write.  I told him to just give details even if he thinks they are nothing.  They are sooo interesting to us back in the states.  He said he would.  :)  Your son was smiling and he seems to be doing well.  My son is jealous of him because I told my son that I loved his letters.  Of course it was all in fun.  My son really loves your son and said he enjoyed working in his zone.  Elder Sowards is a great missionary!!

take care Vicki,
Love,

Debby

So....no  matter where your son or daughter is, it is still a small world!!  This email made my day and year!!  I know we will see Will in a little over a year and I know that another mom has expressed my love to him through her hug!!  I hope this blog is that hug to other mom's!! Will loves to write, so it is me or us giving to you!!  Remember this blog, when one day he is the Pulitzer prize winner----he is a journalism major!!!


The use of the internet has allowed us to have such great communication with Will and those he comes in contact with.  I cannot imagine this journey without it!!  

Madre (AKA Vicki)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Week Too

So this week was a little bit less eventful than the last that was till Sunday.  Almost all week we were working our butts off trying to find new people and helping those we had to progress but when Sunday morning came around we only had one out of a possible 7 in the church.  We were both down a bit not knowing what we might have done wrong when a member family walked in with an uncle who had just moved to Abancay.  Samuel, 25, and awesome was introduced to us on Friday but we hadn't had the chance to visit him but he still came to church with his family.  It was such a blessing, and I'm still amazed it happened.
 
We are still teaching Osbid, whom I believe I already told you all about.  Anyways, he's progressing and will get baptised this week.
 
Elder Velarde is doing great and we are really getting things done here and helping the branch to progress.  I can honestly say I have never had this much fun and spiritual experiences during the mission.
 
And now to question time!
 
What the weather been like? Does is rain much?
--So far, not a lot but it will be coming in November.

Your in the Spring heading into summer right, what's Spring time like in the Andes?
--Well, here in Abancay HOT!

Have you eaten goat or guinea pig?
--Not yet, but we have plans!

Have you read all the standard works yet?
--No, I hit Isaiah realized that there is a lot in the Old Testament that wouldn't help me alot and left it there for now.  But I'm sure I will before I end, OT is all I have left.

Awesome!  So that about wraps this up.  Elder Boucher and I went to buy him some shoes so were kind of here alone now...Yes, why are you looking so intently at what I type...it's because I'm talking about you isn't it.  Anyways, I'm going to go now.  And GO YOTES!
 
---Elder Will Sowards
Patibamba, Abancay, Perú
 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dads

Hello all!



Elder Sowards here reporting from Abancay with some AWESOME NEWS(TM), I'm training!  His name is Elder Velarde from Santa Cruz, Bolivia (which it seems almost all the Bolivians are from there) and it has been some of the best few days of my mission.



In this time I've had some the opportunity to think back to my trainer and the things that could have been done better.  Really I still feel in a lot of ways my second companion taught me more than my trainer (well, between him and Elder Whitton) and because of that I want to focus so much on being 120% obedient 180% of the time.  I remember I picked up a few bad habits from my trainer that I had to change with Elder Sanchez and doing so wasn't exactly easy just because I was under the impression that the mission was like that, nothing more.  Now I find myself in the same basic position as the first time but in reverse.  Anything I do Elder Velarde will take as the norm in the mission and for that I need to do the best that I can.



Our first day was spent contacting and we had some awesome success (which I will talk more about next week) but were I'm trying to go with this is that we have made a good start, and I hope to keep it up.  Sometimes being that example isn't easy, like I said it requires changes by both parties but I know we can do it.



Well, I'm running down on time and will write more next week.



From Patibamba I,



---Elder Will Sowards

Abancay, Apurimac, Perù

Show Running

10/03/2011

So, I assume you all know that I love show running, whether it is running camera on a charity event or producing for the NUMBER 1 RADIO SHOW IN ARIZONA, Yeah that's to you Mac and the Cat, I just love it.  But, I prefer it when I have an option and don't find myself forced into it.  Which is exactly what happened on Saturday...

Anyways, so we show up at the church building at 10, expecting everything to be ready and well...nothing was.  Luckily I have a father that made me come with him to set up for General Conference even though I much would have prefered playing some Modern Warfare 2 (to which I might add all of you who are currently playing 3, YOU CAN FLY!).  So nothing is set up and we ended up waiting 15minutes till anyone showed up and they didn't know how to do anything.  See previous statement about my dad.

After about another 10minutes I had everything up and running and suddenly found myself with an unexpected task, showrunner in Abancay for the 181st Annual General Conference provided by my old boss Bonneville Communications.  But I'll get back to conference in a second.

So this is also change week, and I don't have a change but Elder Carbo does.  What this means?  Maybe I'll finally have a kid!

Now back to conference, and that was really Jack Keroac...or however you spell his name...There is nothing better for a missionary than conference...well success and having the Spirit but aside from those things nothing...well let's just say not much...Anyways back to my main point, CONFERENCE WAS AWESOME!  I loved every minute of it!  From start to finish, even though I missed some (and plan on fixing that) it was AWESOME!  A few favorite moments-

--Elder Holland's talk, which I like to call The Call to Arms
--President Monson's story about the 5dollar bill
--And Elder Bednar's talk which is something I have been saying since I read Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Well, that about wraps it up.  If you have questions, you know where to sent them.  And next week is probably going to be all questions because, well, change week doesn't leave a lot.  Till next week.

--Elder Will Sowards
Patibamba, Abancay, Perù


Monday, September 19, 2011

Replacements

Hi all,
 
So now that I have found out that Adrian Accoin loves me I can die happy...not that I'm planning on dying anytime soon...
 
Anyways...So a few weeks ago I told you all about Raul the really cool guy that we found, well he kind of blew us off and told us he would call us when we could come vist...which to be honest 90% of the time means, 'Yeah...it was cool and all but I'm not that interested.'  Well, we were a little down about that but stuff happens right.  Tuesday comes and we went contacting after an appointment fell through.  We met a guy named Rafeal who was pretty cool, a nurse who works in one of the hospitals here.  Well we got a time with him and came back the next day.
 
As it turned out he had gotten his schedule wrong and had to work during that time the next day and we met his daughter Jennifer.  She is about 25 or 26 but is like the female version of Raul.  She has travelled all around the world and is really receptive to what we have to say.
 
It was just really cool to see how we were helped.  We had this guy that seemed awesome but for his own decision chose a different path and then the Lord put Rafeal and his family here for us.  I just can't describe how awesome that realization made me feel.
 
Well, that's my story for this week, short though it is.  Questions, comments, concerns, email me.  And if you happen to know how to keep mosquitos and this things that look like mini-flies but bite away, please tell me.
 
From what has turned into a mosquito haven, yet the coolest mosquito haven since Philmont...
 
--Elder Will Sowards
Abancay, Peru
 

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Note to All

 )this should have gone before the last post....Mom is derelict in her duties!!)

Okay, so if you want to put this up as a blog post you can, but well, that’s kind of up to you.  I’m not very excited about it.  So, where to begin?  Remember the waterfalls?  Well, we went up there as a zone (or almost all of a zone a few people stayed behind for one reason or other) and during this hike (at times a mountain climb) a rock about 7inches long fell.  Much to my anger and soon to be dismay nobody said OJO or CUIDADO or even the one gringo LOOK OUT or HEADS UP or DUCK, nothing and said rock decided to fall on top of my left foot.  Normally this would not be a problem; it hurt for about 15minutes but after everything normal.

Skip forward to Wednesday of last week.  We, Elder Aguilar and I, were walking to an appointment with a guy that is really cool, he and his well…esposa, which is basically a term for not-married 90% of the time; they accepted a baptismal date and everything.  The Spirit was so strong in the lesson we could see that it touched his and his wife’s hearts and they were 100% wanting more.  Anyways, I degress, as we were leaving my foot began to hurt a bit and I thought, Oh, it’s my left foot and it’s a little cold, surely it is just my old fracture from track. I was wrong.  Thursday was tough, my foot hurt fairly badly but in standard son-of-Mom fashion I didn’t say anything to anyone and kept going as normal.  And that is when Friday decided to smack me in the face.

I woke up on Friday and could barely walk; we called up the ZL’s and went to go see a doctor at the hospital here.  The guy was a total fool so we went and talked to the doctor who happens to be our neighbor and he looked at my foot and said he figured it was broken but didn’t know so we went to get an X-Ray he read it and I have a break a bit below my middle toe on my left foot.  The problem is that toe takes on a lot of weight so it causes pain in the entire foot.  We are going to go see a specialist today like he told us we should and we’ll see what happens.

Basically, as he explained it my break sound like the one Mom had about 2-year-ago when it was nothing and then one day kind of snapped because she was still using it.  The doc said it will probably call for a week of keeping off of it but I’m going to see if I can’t get crutches and still work.  We’ll see what the doctor says but I have hope that it’ll all turn out well.

When we called Hermana Calderon on Saturday we found out I was going to have a change to Abancay, a city near hear that is WAY bigger but now that might not happen, like I said we’ll see with the doctor today.  Don’t be worried, everything is fine here.  If it weren’t I probably wouldn’t be writing this as I am, so…yea.  That’s been my week.

A New Format and Other News

(This post should have been put on the blog on August 30)
 
Well, maybe I've just gotten lazy but I've decided to change the format for this stuff because, well, the other was taking way too much time to get it done.  Anyways, allow me to begin by saying a few things...
 
1)  The Peruvian medical system is...well...how could I put this civilly?  I've experienced better care in the back woods from a Scout Manual.
2)  The foot is NOT broken!  The doc told me that I did some internal damage to tendons and muscles and what not and had I known at the time that it was damaged and rested it would all be normal but because I didn't I know just have to take it light and be careful so that I don't do lasting damage.  The doc said he would like to do an MRI but they didn't have one in Andahuylas and such a scan would run about 100-200soles and would probably show nothing more than what we already know.
 
So that was a huge relief.  Also, I did have a change and now am in Abancay!  It's kind of like Cusco, but smaller and tucked closer to the mountains.  As in everything has steps here.  EVERYTHING!  I'll send some pictures when I don't forget my SD card reader.
 
Also, we had on Saturday in Cusco our mission conference with everyone in the mish.  Elder Anderson of the 12 spoke to us, Elder Holmstrom of the Presidency of the 70 and Elder Uceda one of our Area 70's.  To say it was AWESOME would be a grand understatement.  They talked about the work in the area and how we could improve there, I think explaining it more might bore some people.
 
After that and the Change Meeting (where, well, we find out about the changes) we headed off here for Abancay.  My new comp is Elder Carbo from Ecuador and is pretty cool.  He has 15 months in the mish and knows the area and my district so I'm sure we are going to have a great change here.  To give you a better idea of what Abancay is like when I don't have a picture, think about the area around Lake Powell then put the area around Payson, AZ there.  That about does it.
 
And someone asked me if I felt the earthquake here in Perù.  To be entirely honest, I didn't even know that we had had one.
 
Well, that about does it here.  I have a cool comp, a cool district, a foot that needs to be cared for like a hungry angry baby and a new zone that is just awesome!  And a side note to whom it may concern, I am back with Elder Eggleston as me ZL!  He'll end this change but it's awesome to be back with him again.
 
I just realized that I'm using `'well,' 'so' and other stuff like that alot so I'm just going to end this before my lack of use of the English language begins to show any more.
 
Reporting from Abancay in Perù, this has been Elder Will Sowards
 
---

Email:  william.sowards@myldsmail.net

Snail Mail:
Elder Will Sowards
Jeron Ricardo Palm
Manzana A Lote 2 4to Piso
Urb. Santa Monica
Cusco, Perù
 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Radiomen and Angel Faces

Hello for the second time after my computer decided to stop liking me and start being annoying and shut down, but whatever this is why we love Google for saving at least a bit of it.

Anyways so I'm going to jump right into story time.  On Tuesday night we didn't have any appointments so we went tracking and after about four houses with nobody we finally found one that looked a little promising and...nothing.  After about 10minutes of the same we knocked a door and a man of about 50 answered with a bible in his hands, immediate reaction 'Oh no, what have we gotten ourselves into...' but all he did was ask us, 'Are you missionaries?'  'Yes,' we answered a bit taken aback, 'Then come on in, I want to talk to you.'  His name is Manuel and he told us everything that has been going on in his life, his wife basically left him after his business flopped and his dad has a bad case of prostate cancer and that is why he is here in Abancay, trying to help his dad out.  What was even a bit cooler was that he was a bit cold to us and I felt that I should drop something about radio and it turns out he has a show here on one of the radio stations and when I explained a bit he really opened up to us.  He has a baptismal date for the 24th and he wants us to talk to his dad so we'll see how that goes.

A few days later, I think it was Thursday if I remember right...we had another appointment with Manuel but when we arrived nobody was home so we knocked a few door around his house.  At one Raul answered.  Now what you need to do to understand this is imagine how Raul looks.  He is 28 and RIPPED, we are talking boxer of UFC fighter type of ripped.  And the conversation when he answered was about like this.

Raul: You're Mormons right?
Us:  Yes, have you ever...
Raul:  You have 2 minutes, impress me.  And just know I don't believe in organized religion.
We explained a bit about how Christ created one church not so that we'd just go to it but to help us have support in our lives.
Raul:  I'm mildly convinced and interested.  Come in.

This guy is a RIOT!  I've never had so much fun teaching anyone, we have another appointment with him and his family tomorrow, but we are going to pass by tonight to invite them to a Family Home Evening we are having.  And on the angel-faces.  So, we invited Raul to pray to close the lesson and when he did he said something which I find awesome and mildly funny.  'And Lord, thank you for sending me this missionaries who have taught me a lot I didn't know, you know I was about to tell them to leave but then I saw their angel-faces and couldn't help but let them in.'  Just remember what I said about how Raul looks and then you'll feel the same.

Now don't misunderstand me here but I love Abancay, the people are so open and willing to listen which is a bit of a relief from Puno.  Now that is what I'm going to explain.  The people in Puno aren't as open because it is a part of the culture there, to really progress in the work one HAS to work with members otherwise it's pretty tough but those people are almost sure to progress.  Here it the people are very open to listen but sometimes only want to listen once and then, 'Yeah, thanks but this isn't for me.'  Neither is better than the other just different.

Well, I'm running low on time.  I'll save questions for next week.  Till then...

---Elder Will Sowards
Pantibamba, Abancay, Perù

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Picture...Pictures....

The missionaries climbing....

To this waterfall.....

With the District.

Waterfalls and Other Fun

Hola once again from the eastern wilds of the Cusco mission.  This week we found out something cool, an apostle is going to come to the mission on the 27th so we’ll all be heading to Cusco, change or not, for a few days there at the end of the month.  We still don’t know who it will be but it should be cool.
Anyways, this week on Monday we went to some waterfalls near here and then started the week.  And this week included a few cool things.  We ran into an 8-year-old kid whose mom is a member but really inactive, he told us he wanted to be baptised and he wanted to do it the 27th after we teach him a few things (his words not ours).  So, well, it's always interesting to have someone ask us instead of the reverse.  But I don't have a lot of time so now to questions!
I looked on like at photos of your area and it looks like you have pine trees around there is that so?
---Yes, 100% true!
Are the native people speak the same native language or is it different language?
---The same Quechua different dialect.
Cool that you have been made DL how many companionship in your district?
---3:  ours, the Zone Leaders, and one more.
How big is your district miles/kilo (k's) wise?
It would probably be about 5miles.
Are you serving in a ward or a branch? How big?
A branch with a LOT of inactives, which we are trying to change.
Well, that about does it for now and I'll be sure to write more next week but the photos took a bit so sorry for the short note.
---Elder Will Sowards
San Jeronimo II, Andahuaylas, Apurimac, Perú
Email:  william.sowards@myldsmail.net
 

Snail Mail:

Elder Will Sowards

Jeron Ricardo Palm

Manzana A Lote 2 4to Piso

Urb. Santa Monica

Cusco, Perù

Monday, August 8, 2011

And Now, Not in Puno....

So…Tuesday we were sitting in the church building waiting for a meeting with some leaders to start when our phone went off.  No, we don’t have a cell we had just gone to try to get it fixed and were told that it couldn’t be.  Anyways, the call came from Elder Huntsman, one of the assistants to the president, and what did he say?  That I, Elder Sowards, have an emergency change.  Well, that about rocked my week but this my friends was not the end.  He told us we would have details the next day.
 
Well about 9:30am the next day we get a call from the zone leaders there in Puno, my change is to Andahuylas and I’m going to go up to district leader, needless to say I was rather surprised.  And on Friday I finally got here after an 8hour bus ride to Cusco and then a 13hour bus ride to my new zone.  It’s pretty cool here; I’ll send pics next week, but think northern New Mexico or southern Colorado but in Peru.
 
My companion is Elder Aguilar, the ‘son’ of Elder Christensen both of whom were with me in Juliaca so we already kind of know each other and are getting along great.  He is from Chiclayou in northern Peru and all of his family is members.
 
Saying goodbye to Monterrosso was pretty hard, we’d gotten close in the very short time we were together and I just hope I can be in the change meeting when he heads back to Guatamala.  But having this opportunity here in Andahuylas is pretty awesome.  The zone was kind of messed up by missionaries who were here and did some very dumb things but everyone here now is dead set on turning it around and having a zone of excellence like Juliaca was.
 
District leader and senor comp is different as well, even though with both Elders Sanchez and Monterrosso we working equally and I was able to learn a lot about district leading and being senior comp it’s been a bit of a change that has taken some getting used to.
 
Well, I’m running out of time and I’ll save the questions of this week for the next.  So, hasta la proxima!
 
--Elder Will Sowards
San Jeronimo II, Andahuylas, Apurimac, Perú
 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Questions...Because I am Lame

Lake Titicaca
Will and his companion, from Guatemala
The Room
Hi all,

Now that the NFL lockout and Peruvian Independence Day are over I think that both lives of those in the US and Peru can come back to normal.  Thanks to aforementioned Independence Day and a multi-zone conference not a lot went on this week so I'm just going to skip to the questions and if I think of anything more during that time I'll go for it.

Do the kids have vacations like the kids do here?
---Yes, in fact they are in vactions right now till the middle of August.


In your new area, do they have Primary?
---Yes they do and it is HUGE.


What do they do for YM/YW there?
---Basically joint activities every week as far as I can tell but that may be because so many people are vacationing.


Now that you are in a more populated area, are there any American restaurants?
---No, but there is an AWESOME pizza place in our sector.


I know you can't swim on p-day in the lake, but do you have any
opportunity to fish in the lake?
---Well, I would but then I found out the fish there are polluted and nasty and would kill you if you ate them.


What is the main food staple in the area?
---Potatoes and rice.  And both in abundance.

Have you eaten anything that you could not identify, and if so, was it good?
---Other than chicken heart, no.

What is the main source of work in the area?
---Here in Puno, tourism.

Do you get a lot of tourists in this area?
---Not really, there are more in the area above us which includes the Plaza de Armas

Do you have any Canadian missionary in you mission? And if so from where?
---No, sadly we do not but about 5 missionaries without even hearing me speak or anything have thought that I was Canadian, and no I was not wearing hockey appearal at the time.

Do you have a Ward mission leader? And if so do get to go on splits with them?
---Yes and yes but not as much right now because everyone is taking vacations so it's hard to find people to go on splits with.

Well, that about covers it.  Though I did remember something cool that I'll talk about next week because, well by then we'll have our appointment with this person.  But till then stay safe and don't do anything I wouldn't do.  Which gives you a good amount of room to work with.


Elders eating


Snail Mail:
Elder Will Sowards
Jeron Ricardo Palm
Manzana A Lote 2 4to Piso
Urb. Santa Monica
Cusco, Perù