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


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 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?