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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Sad Cold Day

Yeah, it’s a sad cold day here in Juliaca.  The ‘Yotes lost to the WINGS, they might just move to Winnipeg and there is no Easter Bunny in Perù; Just a giant guinea pig that tries to hop and fails miserably spilling potatoes everywhere.  But aside from the badness about the ‘Yotes it has been an awesome week!

I am junior companion with Elder Sanchez, once again a district leader, and we are kicking butt in Lampa.  Right now we have seven people with baptismal dates who have attended church and another four who have dates and haven’t but probably will this week (last week was a big week for doing things in campo, like fields, and also a lot of people traveling for Easter, Dìa de Ressurecìon).   Elder Sanchez is from central Perù, Chinchoa(sp) and we are clicking along great.  I just can’t imagine how things could be going better.

But Easter here is a bit weird, Good Friday (or Viernes Santo) is like Thanksgiving state-side with people traveling from all around the country to be with family and staying through the weekend and well I’ll just be a bit honest here the group of people with a coffin containing a Christ-like…I guess mannequin is the best word?  I can’t remember the proper word to use…and having a funeral precession through Lampa was very strange.  I’m just going to chalk it up to some lingering culture shock.

But really everything is fantastic I just can’t describe how happy I am about how things are going.

Well, question time!  Sorry, I probably shouldn’t be but I’m a bit depressed  about the ‘Yotes and I’m taking this half-hour to sulk it up before I through it in a trunk in the back of my mind for the next…well till I get an email saying they are still in Glendale or have moved and then celebrate or cry.  So…

Do you see people in the traditional Peruvian dress?
--Yes, I guess so but here in this region of Perù much of the ‘traditional’ dress is just normal clothing.

How much education do the people receive?
--It depends on who you are talking about.  The current generation has received a good amount about equal to a US high school education.

What fruits and vegetable do you eat that are different than the ones we have here?
--There aren’t a lot of differences, generally just that there are some more tropical fruits here like mango and papaya but otherwise normal.

Where are the pictures of your room?
--I’m sorry the camera has ran out of batteries and I forgot to replace them.

Do you think you will be transferred in the next set of transfers?
--About 90% sure.

Has Montezuma revenge struck you yet?
--We don’t talk about that here

If the ‘Yotes move who will you cheer for?
--1)  I don’t want to consider that possibility
   2)  IF they move possibly for them in Winnepeg and if not the Avs in the West and the Caps in the East till Arizona has its own team again or I move to somewhere with a team that I can bring myself to support.

Well, that ends this slightly morose post.  Thank you for all your writing and support and as always feel free to write me at or by snail mail at

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

To share your sadness or just say high feel free to email or write and we will talk again next week!  Cìao!

--Elder Will Sowards
Lampa, Puno, Perù

Monday, April 18, 2011


Yesterday was the day we found out about changes and the verdict is…

--That I’m still in Lampa!
--Elder Condemarin is headed off to Cusco for a change to…we still don’t know.
--I have no idea who my new companion is.
--I might be senior companion or a trainer…again we don’t know but that is what Elder Whitton has told me.

So right now it’s all kind of up in the air.  Like the Coyotes in Playoffs!  Seriously guys!  Down two games?!  I will not accept that from 6,000 miles away!  Sorry for the diversion, but it needed to be said to at least a few people who would understand without me having to explain what hockey is.

This week we almost had three baptisms but didn’t because the parents didn’t want to give permission and one said he wasn’t prepared.  So Friday was a little tough but the reward came that night when we found two new families to teach with eight people having a baptismal date.  I just hope that we are able to help them out more.

And what do I mean by that?  Well we helped the family move some bricks down the street and up a set of stairs (which actually involved us throwing the bricks up the stairs) which was so awesome!  And there are pictures but they are with Elder Condemarin right now and he left for a second to help out with some district stuff so for next week.

And now time for questions, like WHY THE REDWINGS A SECOND SEASON IN A ROW? But more mission related and less annoyed.

Have you eaten guinea pig yet and if so how does it taste?
--I have yet to eat guinea pig but I hope to do so soon.

It should be fall there, what's the weather like transitioning from summer to fall?
--The nights right now are COLD but the days are mild to hot and it is only raining about once a week so all in all very nice.

Have you played any more soccer? Are you getting better at it?
--Yes, I’ve played some more soccer; no I have not gotten any better.

When you think in your head, do you think in Spanish or English?
--A mix of the two, but it’s becoming more Spanish all the time, speaking English is getting harder all the time.

When you have your personal prayers are they in English or Spanish?
--Spanish with occasionally some English, they the first thing we learned in the MTC was to pray in Spanish and to do it every time so it is very natural.

If you could have one type of food send down for to you from the states what would that be?
--Bar none, steak.  Because it does not exist here as far as I can tell.

Well, thank you for all your writing and support and as always feel free to write me at or by snail mail at

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

I’m itching for some new and interesting questions so feel free to send them.  As well as jokes about the Detroit Redwings who as always are evil and must be destroyed at any cost.

Until next week, the only hockey fan in Lampa, Puno, Perù.

--Elder Will Sowards

Monday, April 11, 2011

And Now....A Special Report...

And now to Elder Will Sowards with a special…yeah that really just doesn’t work out as well as I thought it would.  Anyway, it’s post election day and it looks like there will be a round two here in Perù for the next president.  And because I don’t have a lot of time today we’ll be talking about the cuarto next week when, funnily enough it may not be my cuarto for much longer but more on that later.

Because yesterday was Election Day we were more or less stuck in the cuarto it was kind of boring but we went with Alex to Juliaca for part of the day.  It was fun we helped him with a few things, had lunch together and went to a place he knows where sports stuff is really cheap.  Like a Detroit Redwings (who are evil) jersey was only 1sole or in terms of the American Dollar about USD$.30.  Yeah, so what does that tell us about the Wings?

But aside from brief side trips to Juliaca the work in Lampa has been going great.  We have found two more families whom we have started teaching and have found a TON of people in the past week to teach as well.  We haven’t had a baptism in a bit because our investigators have a few (cough-marriage-cough) problems but the next change will probably have at least six.

And now on to the fan favorite of the program!  Question time!

Do you think you will be transferred in the next transfers, or will your comp?
--It’s about even odds, possibly both of us.  He will have (at the end of this change) three in Lampa and I two.  He is a District leader and I’m fresh out of training so it could go any of three ways with only one of us being changed, both, or neither.

Do you know if there is a Scouting program down there? LDS or non LDS
--There is a Scouting like program here but from what I’ve heard it is very connected to the military and has no Church affiliation.

What is your favorite time of day?
--Night, in Lampa there is practically no light-dome so we can see all the stars there.

What are the cars/trucks/bus like?
--Scary, very scary.  If you ever thought that my driving was bad it’s not, I am in fact an excellent driver in comparison to the craziness I have seen here in Perù.

Well, thank you for all your writing and support and as always feel free to write me at or by snail mail at

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

And I’ll talk to you all again next week.  Reporting from Perù…

--Elder Will Sowards
Juliaca, Puno, Perù

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Be Named Later

I would like to begin with one very disappointing fact about Perù; nobody celebrates April Fool’s Day here.  It’s almost enough to make one cry.

But aside from April Fool’s-ery not a lot happened this week.  We had a meeting in Juliaca Tuesday night and Elder Condemarin wasn’t feeling well so the day was a bit of a bust then Thursday he, along with the other district leaders and zone leaders, traveled to Cusco for training.  I worked in Lampa once again with Elder Aguilar as a kind of mini-trainer for Friday then we returned to Juliaca Saturday for Conference.

Conference was amazing, when you are a missionary you really find a way to apply every talk to yourself, an investigator (present or future) and the situations you may face.  What was fun about this Conference though was that we found ourselves, at the beginning of the Saturday Morning session watching in English (Elders Christensen, Whitton, Lowell and myself) in a small closet where all the satellite and TV-equipment for receiving the event at the building was stored.  After about an hour a TV was found and we watched in the High Counsel room but the beginning was interesting.  More to come later about conference.

Now for RadioShack time!

I'm still waiting on you to tell us about your apartment and your bipolar shower. You have any pictures of it?
--Next week I promise!  I keep on forgetting.

Do you do much tracting?
--A bit, the mission goal is 20 contacts a day and a lot of that we do in the plaza in Lampa but we will occasionally go tracting if we don’t have any appointments.

What other ways do you find investigators?
--References of investigators and members, between those and contacting we have everything.

Do you do much work with less active members?
--Normally we would but there are only 15 members in Lampa and they are all active.

You get time to do some humanitarian type activities?
--We have yet to but around Christmas Zones Juliaca, Bella Vista (outskirts of Puno) and Puno Central went to help in an orphanage.  We do some service for members and investigators in Lampa but not a lot, there isn’t that much to do in that respect there.

What are your prep days like?
--Give me two weeks and I’ll write and email about those.

Other any backpacking or mountaineering stores that you've seen?
--I have yet to see any but have heard that there is a NorthFace store in Cusco along with other assorted backpacking outlets.  I’m very much looking forward to visiting.

Have you seen any hunting or fishing stores?
--No, but I did find the Juliaca firearms-store and hope to visit it today.

How are your Scriptures holding out?  Did they get wet when you took your bike for swim?
--They are a little wrinkly from water absorption during the swim but they will survive but at this rate I might have to get a new set by the 12-month mark.

Well that about covers it for right now; questions, comments, concerns email me at (and if that gives you some problems as I've heard it has email me at and it will forward to me here).  Also, by snail mail at:

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

See you next week and remember to have fun!

--Elder Will Sowards
Lampa, Puno, Perù

(End of Blog Post)

Mom-  I found out the package is sitting in SurPost in Cusco waiting to be picked up so after I send a slip saying that the secretary can pick it up I’ll receive it so no worries there.  And thank you for all the DearElders; it was great to hear some news from home.

This is an example of how we get blog posts every week from Will.  At the end he adds a note to each of us.  I decided to add this, because it has bothered me for weeks. Will sent an email asking for a basketball for his pension (cook), as he is teaching kids how to play.  He looked everywhere, but here was no real BBall to be found.  My mom and John bought one, and we decided that since we were sending a box to send a BOX...It ended up being a 29 pound box with the ball, books, American treats, games....I send it for $131.35 on March 8....It cost more to mail than to put together, so I have wondered where it is.  Now I understand the four pound envelopes!!