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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

BAptism and the Uros

Hey everyone!

So this week we had a baptism, Heidi.  She was a door contact during divisions with Elder Cevallos who works in the Uros.  I think I may have talked about her before but I don't exactly remember...Anyways, We started teaching her and her brother and though Luis was kind of interested he pretty much told us that he wasn't THAT interested but we kept talking to them both and put a baptismal date for the 19th. During the week their mom showed up from the country, she lives in a small pueblo about seven hours away and only comes to visit about once a month so we talked to her as well, and she was HUGELY receptive to us  , even though she isn't married she told us that she would start making plans.

It's just great to see the gospel blessing a family like this and how the members, more than anyone else the young adults have been helping them. As I said previously the ward here is not that strong but we are doing all we can to try to bring it together and strengthen it as much as we can.

Also this week we did divisions with the Uros again and I went over there for the day and WOW it is AWESOME!! I can't even describe how great it is to work out there with some of the coolest yet humblest people I've ever met. A real missionary dream.

Hmmm, what's that over there?  Questions?!!!

Do people have TVs there?  Movies???
---Everyone has TV's here but almost there are no movie theaters here at all, probably why piracy is such a HUGE thing here.

Do all homes have phones?
---They used to but now everyone uses there cellphones, a lot more convienient and cheaper.

What is the best local food you have eaten?
---Queso frito, translated to fried cheese, extremely unhealthy but extremely good!

That should just about wrap it up for this week.  Till the next,

---Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru


Let's hope the Yotes make it!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012


This is just going to be a quick update because I talked to the parentals yesterday, which was GREAT!  Anyways, everything is going great here in Puno and even though the Yotes lost game 1 I'm sure they can pull it out.

So let's see...what else is there to say...It really sucked that I wasn't able to talk to Grandma and John nor Bacon and the Crue but we'll have our chance soon, 199 days!!!  Yes, I got bored while my comp was talking to his family and did the count.

To Bacon and Crew:  I've been thinking and I really can't decide between goalie and defenseman I guess we'll just get out on the ice and find out what suits me and the team better.  And yes Dad I said defenseman, just to prove all the people that say d's are dumb wrong!  And could you tell me about how much we'd be looking at for gear and team costs?

Hmmm...what else to say....

I'm waiting for my comp to pass me his camera so I can upload the pictures from when we did service in the Uros this week.  We cut an island in half!  As the elders who serve there told us, when they first started visiting the island they didn't want anything to do with them and mocked them and what not but after gaining some confidence there they offered to help them divide and enlarge the island.  When we got there they were a little bit hesitant but when we started working they warmed right up and by the end were laughing righ along with us.  It was awesome and a great testament as to how great service can help the work.

Well, still waiting on the camera...think it will be next week.

till then


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Puni, Puno, Puno

May 7,  2012

Hello everyone,

Well, what can I say but the rumors were wrong, I don't find myself writing you this from beautiful Urubamba but rather from the sunny banks of Lake Titikaka!  Yes, that's right folks same city, different zone from the last time around.  This time I'm in Bellavista with Elder Agazzani as zone leaders.

Elder Agazzani is AWESOME!!! He's from Argentina, Cordoba to be exact (Tanner shout-out!) and we really get along well. The ward is...well small, 2 blocks by 5 blocks to be exact and attendance is down, like 20 in the church yesterday type of down, and yes I did say ward on the first part...But I'm mega-psyched to be here! When I left Victoria in my emergency change I felt that though my work was done in that ward it wasn't in Puno and to be back here, though it is the other zone is a HUGE blessing for me.

Anyways, I feel like doing a Weekly Rundown so here we go:

Mon: Prepped my bags for my change and said good-bye to a few people, generally a chill day.
Tues: P-Day and Change Day, found out I was going to Bellavista and were this an average week I would have been headed out here on a bus, but alas it was not!
Wed: Zone Leader Counsel with President and the assistants, I'd get into it but I don't think you all really want to hear about mission number stuff, if I'm wrong tell me and the next time we have one I'll tell more about how it is.
Thurs: We showed up in Puno around 5am, slept for a few hours, unpacked and got to work. The sector is kinda tough but we are really excited to be working here and found people to teach quite quickly, I'll get a bit more into that next week.
Fri: Interviews with president and zone conference together with Puno Central. It was a training filled week! But we came away with some great ideas to help Huajsapata, weirdest ward name ever...just for how it sounds...
Sat: Baptismal interviews and working.
Sun: Church, fast and testimony meeting, working, numbers the usual and more than anything looking forward to a normal week to be able to work in the sector the whole time.

Hey!  Look!  What's that? QUESTION TIME!!!

Honestly, sometimes I find myself questioning my own sanity...

What is your favorite Scripture right now?
--Right now I'd say 1 Nefi 17 in general.

What did you do with the Jiffey Pop?
--We popped it my last night in Cusco!

Guess that wraps it up till next week!  Till then...

---Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Bellavista, Puno



(End of blog post)

GO YOTES!!!  Just to be certain you all understand me.


April 30. 2012

Hello everyone!

Firstly, I have a change and rumor is that I'm going to...well there really isn't one this time but I'm sure it will be awesome no matter what.

Yotes made it to round two!!! Wow, shaving everyday instead of growing a Playoff Beard works! At least in the mish. It's about time we made it!

On similar lines we were really hoping to be zone of excellence this month but, alas much like the Yotes from 1980-something till this year we weren't able to get it done. However just this week there were 14 baptisms in the zone and for that we are pretty happy, we met the mission record.

To help get that done we spent most of the week working with companionships in the zone and only a little bit in our own sector, but through doing so Elder Uriarte and I came to a realization, we shouldn't leave our sector completely to help the rest of the zone but that our job as ZL's here is, more than anything else, to be fixers.  To help the missionaries with the problems they have in the facets that they most need our help be it that person with a difficulty or something with obedience or whatever for those two may be the issue our #1 priority 90% of the time is to help those elders. Change a few words there and I think you might find it applicable to the vast majority of leadership roles. It's about helping those we lead, not just running toward the goal alone.

Do you think it will be your last change?
---No, I probably have this one and one more, maybe two.

Do you ever hear about the people you baptized through the other elders?
---Sometimes but not very often.  Not that it doesn't happen just that news isn't always passed rapidly.

Since you are not supposed to drink the water, what do you drink?
---Bottled water, boiled water, or soda.  There isn't really a lot in the way of options for that.

Are you going to go to Macchu Picchu agian?
---Nope, maybe at the very end of the mish but for right now no.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Questions, comments, concerns?  Just send them my way! Till next week!

---Elder Will Sowards

(End of blog post)

No Subject

April 23, 2912

Well, this week has been AWESOME!  All the crud of last week paid off in this one.  It's looking like we probably won't have a baptism in April but the zone is going to have a TON and as the zone leaders here that makes us just as happy.  We figure it's like this, maybe WE aren't having a lot of success but because we are still doing the best we can the rest of the zone is being blessed.

This week though we did a bit of spring cleaning with investigators leaving some that wern't progressing and that was tough.  Real tough.  But it's a necessary process that allows us to try to find new people, which we were able to do.  Monica is 47 and lived in NYC for a good 20 years but recently came back to Peru.  We found her contacting and she is really cool.  She knows WAY more than we do about the bible and what not but wants to hear what we have to say.  It's just really cool to be able to teach people that are willing to accept something outside of their norm.

To the questions!!!

What do you think you have learned about yourself that you did not know about you?
---That I can be a good leader.

Do they have a piano in the Church??
---Yes they do, but nobody knows how to play it.

What songs do they members like the best?
---Pretty much the same ones as in English.

Where do you go to email us?
---To an internet about 3 blocks away from where we have zone meetings.

What does your room look like?
---I'll send a pic next week!

That about wraps it up!  Till next week!

--Elder Will Sowards
Tullumayo, Cusco, Peru


To All: Cheer on the Yotes!  And thank you for the Easter package, the JiffyPop is awesome!  I love you all and stay safe!

Bacon/Joe/John/Troy- Thanks for the update and sorry about the Nucks

Till the next one!


Another Week in Cusco

 April 16, 2012

Hello everyone!

It's been a hard week, not just for the work but how much we have done.  Elder Uriarte and I...I don't think I have ever worked this hard in my life.  10 to 9:30 with maybe 40min for lunch and the entire time contacting or teaching and all of it with members.  It's been an awsome week, like I said, but a hard one.  Like a good 5 mile run, it's hard but afterwards you feel great.  We are hoping that it all pays off for a baptism in April and everything is looking like it will.

Now I ask for your help from everyone.  After 17 months a lot of what is cool to me is cool but a normal kind of cool, if you get what I mean.  So if you could send me some questions to guide me that would be awesome.

Anyways, now to questions!

What are the Names of all the Zones in your mission?
---Inti Raymi, Cusco, Valle Sagrado, Abancay, Juliaca, Andahuaylas, Puno Central, Bellavista, Sicuani, Puerto Maldonado, Quillabamba and that's all of them!

Have you cooked you jiffey pop yet?
---...There was a Jiffey Pop....?

Do the Peruvian people work on food storage?  what foods do they eat that are storeable?
---That I know And to answer the second question, ALL OF THEM

Are the converts active after their baptisms or is it like the other countries where they join and then are not active?
---It really depends on the ward.  If the ward helps in retention then they stay, if they don't then they don't.  I think I'll share a story on that next week.

How often do you see the mission president?
---Here in Cusco, quite often.  In the other provinces, about once a month.

Did you get the Easter package?
---Not yet, but I'm sure it will show up soon.

Well, that about wraps things up on this end, till next week...

--Elder Will Sowards
Tullumayo, Cusco, Peru