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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Marlow and the B.I.K.E.

This week was less than fun, our four baptisms fell through because the family was travelling and I came down with some kind of funky stomach crud.  I’m better now and the baptisms are on for next week so it’s all good.  But now, story time!
I remember once seeing a man without a seat on his bike about 30miles away from any major city when traveling from Phoenix to Albuquerque, I now know how that man felt.
Marlow is about an hour and a half bike ride away from Lampa and we went there to teach a family yesterday, and I thought the B.I.K.E (Because It Kills Elders) which we borrowed from our pension was going to do me in.  It was permanently stuck in third gear and for all intents and purposes didn’t have a seat.  Just look at the picture.
But it was going back that was interesting.  When Elder Condemarin decided that we were going to take a ‘shortcut’ and we ended up having to ford the river in chest deep water.  Yeah, the picture doesn’t even say all thousand words of my opinion of that move.  But so is mission life.
Now for a little Q&A, I could find all the questions that have been asked me so if you could resend them I’ll see about answering some every week.
Are you above the tree line?
--I think so, there are practically no trees and it’s almost 13-grand in altitude so I’d kind of assume.
How are you doing with the altitude?
--The first few days were a little rough but I’m fine now.  Some physical activity is a little difficult but welcome to 13,000 ft.
How large is your area?
--It is pretty much just Lampa but does extend out to some of the outlying communities like Marlowe but since we don’t have easy transportation we pretty much stay in Lampa
What food thing do you eat most and do you like it?
--Probably rice or soup, the rice I like and I’ve never really been a big fan of soup but our pension has kind of figured out that neither Elder Condemarin nor myself are fans so we have it a lot less now.
How many missionaries are there in your mission?
--I think a little north of 100 but I’m not sure.
How many mission zones are there?
--There are 9, and the z doesn’t work on this keyboard.
How is the language coming? Have you learned any of the Indian tongue yet?
--The language is coming very well, I’m pretty much fluent in understanding but speaking is a bit difficult at the moment, I just don’t have the vocabulary.  I know about two words of Quechua but I plan on refocusing my language study to it after I have a better handle on Spanish.
Thanks for all your emails and support!  Hope everything is going well state-side and have fun with Spring Training which I think should be starting soon.  If you have questions feel free to email me at!  Have fun!
The story explains it all---not the green stuff hanging off the pedal!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Going Native

Don't have a lot of time to write because I had a lot of emails to
catch up on but here are some photos from Saturday after the baptism
we had.  Firstly, there is me eating chicken hearts (which are
actually kind of good) then a picture of Alex (in red, he is our
pention) and his nephew who was baptised.  Alex and his esposa Nancy
are great and we are currently teaching them as well.

On questions regarding Sundays, because Lampa itself is kind of small
it is just a branch and we only have Sacrament Meeting and Sunday
School because Elder Condemarin and I are the only priesthood holders
in the branch.  It's great though, everyone knows everyone in our
small group and most of Lampa recognizes us as missionaries and seems
to be fairly comfortable with the fact.

However, comfort has been a bit hard to come by when it has been
raining a good three inches every afternoon.  Once again glad to have
a warm sleeping bag, good clothes and a roof because without those it
would be a very miserable time.

Well it's time to go, don't forget you can email me at and stay safe!

Eating Chicken Heart---Luckily Will is not a fussy eater!!
Alex in red-Will and his comp are teaching him

Monday, February 14, 2011


Buenas Dìas from Perù!

If I remember correctly today is Ovi Day, as in Number 8 Alexander
Ovi.  Being a missionary it doesn't feel right to celebrate the real
day therefore I've decided to celebrate the only date on the Phoenix
Coyotes schedule that I can remember the day they are playing the
Washington Capitols.  But aside from fake holidays as mild P-Day
distractions it has been a rather interesting week.

On Tuesday Elder Trillo and his companion visited Lampa, he opened the
area, and we went on splits.  From his visit alone we gained two
families both very excited about what we have to say.  We are teaching
them and as of now have 8 investigators with fechas (baptismal dates).

On Thursday I went to Juliaca on splits with Elder Obana (one of the
zone leaders) while his companion (Elder Whitten) was with Elder
Condemarin in Lampa for baptismal interviews.  All went well with both
and on Saturday I had my first baptism.

Most of Edwin Ticona's family are already members and he was really
excited to be baptised.  I kind of screwed up twiced when I was
baptising him, first part of his hand was out of the water and the
second time I forgot to say "Amen" but I guess everyone has a story
like that for their first time, at least that is what Elders
Condemarin and Christensen said.  But aside from that it was amazing
the Spirit that was there during the baptism.

All else is going extremely well and it's just great to be out here
doing something which, though a bit hard, is fantastic.  We are
teaching 7 progressing investigators (people we have taught more than
twice) but not many inactive members or other member lessons, mainly
because in Lampa there are only about 15 members from two families
both active.  But, in other sectors teaching inactive members is
fairly common, when I was with Elder Obana we taught an inactive
family and I have heard in Cusco proper there are some sectors where
that is more of a focus than finding new members.

Hope everyone is having fun State-side!  Happy Ovi-Day and don't
forget to throw a hat in for me when it's Stemp and not Ovi that
scores a hat-trick tonight.

Reporting from Perù, this is Elder Will Sowards pretending he is still
a journalist.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Hello all!  Once again I am in Juliaca but this time I now know a team
with a new trophy for the mantle!  Aaron Rodgers thank you for making
Super Bowl champions out of our Green Bay Packers.

And back to the subject at hand.  So last Wednesday I was in Juliaca
with Elder Vasquez (another elder in my district) while our companions
went to Cusco for training.  It was really interesting to see the
difference between working with a ward in a city and a branch in what
is basically a small town.  However, it was much more interesting when
the next day it was impossible for Elder Condemarin and I to return to
Lampa because of Dìa de Pero (Day of Stop) when all drivers take day
off.  Literally all.  Luckily we had a District Meeting that day and
some other district stuff to take care of so we were busy but because
we didn't have the ability to get back to Lampa till Friday afternoon
and had a meeting for baptismal interviews at 4pm we didn't get back
to Lampa till almost 7pm on Friday.  A journey which we thought would
only be two days turned into almost four.

But, all else is going fairly well.  We will probably have our first
baptism this Saturday, possibly two!

So, in Juliaca there is a place called Tu Pac (not to be confused with
a dead rapper)  if it exists you can buy it there, for really cheap
and with instructions in Chinese.  It's just the coolest and weirdest
thing you have ever seen, I'll need to add pictures in my next post.

Well, hope all is well!

-Elder Will Sowards
The ONLY Green Bay fan in Lampa, Puno, Perù

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

When They Said It Was COLD......

Hello all!  I am currently in Juliaca, Puno, Perù which is about an hour north of the city of Puno!  Juliaca is pretty awesome, but my sector is in Lampa about 45min west of Juliaca and is the GREATEST PLACE EVER.  Why do I say this?  Because the climate is like southern Colorado/northern New Mexico, the people are amazing nice and the food is by far some of the best in the world.  But more on that later.

The flight from Lima to Cusco was short and nice, as well as mildly disgusting to see the giant black cloud over Lima from all the pollution but as we came into land in Cusco the amount of green was truely astonishing, it was like a giant golf course but without flags and ASU alumni.  We were met at the airport by the assistants to the president and President and Hermana Calderon who took us to the mission home where we had a lunch to rival all lunches.  We were then given a little instruction, had interviews with the president then, at a meeting at a chapil nearby, told where we were going and handed off to our companions.  That´s where I learned I was going to Lampa however I didn´t meet my companion till after the 6 hour bus ride to Juliaca.

My trainer is Elder Condemarin, once again from Lima but this time Miraflores (where the pictures of Lima are from on our tour).  He´s been a member since birth and has only been out five months.  We are getting along great and the language is coming along fantastically.
However, it is a little cold here.  Like 50 in the days 20 at night and rainy, but I'm fine with it.  I'm just glad I didn't decide to dump all my cold weather gear like one of the elders in our group.

Well, we only have 45min here and can only send one email so I´m going to go but feel free to email me at and Í´ll see if I can´t answer you here on in a letter or something.

Have fun and go PACKERS!
Snow in Provo
It had to hurt to see this from the window!!
Here is where Will is       

Provo Pictures of Elder Martin (Primero Compri)

Pictures of my district in Provo

Now in Peru....

Providing Service
Elder Ramierez (Primero Latin Compi)

CCM (Peru MTC)

Exercise at the CCM

Tour of Lima Peru
Tour of Lima Peru

 More to come proximo Lunes!