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

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another Crazy Week!!

August 6, 2012

Hello everyone!

Hope it's all going where ever you might be because this week has been INSANE! I'm not entirely sure where to start...

Mon: A crazy race searching for two baptismal forms to send to the office. But it all ended well and some soccer was able to fix all the frustration.

Tue: Visit some people and received the news that Elder Condemarin was going to go to Cusco for two weeks so Elder Galvez can help with a mission-work themed music recital. It's a cool idea to excite members about missionary work and kick off a mini-MTC program, both I'll explain next week.

Wed: Zone Leader Meeting in Cusco, nothing special to report.

Thu: I made a little bit of a mistake Thursday and it went a bit like this.

E' Galvez: So what did you study before the mish?
Me: Journalism.
G: Cool, so what do you want to do with that?
Me: Production.
G: Have any experience with that?
Me: A bit. (Begins to tell a funny production story)
Me: (internal monologue) oh crap....

So that's how I became showrunner on the musical recital...all three of them. In Juliaca, Puno Central and Bellavista. I'm in charge of everything and my only question is, WHY IS THERE NO PERUVIAN BROADCAST RENTALS? They explained to me what they wanted and I though immediately, oh yeah! Just a two camera shoot with a switch so we can run it through the church system and g2g as Taco Bell once taught me. It turns out switches don't exist in Puno, or at least not in the three 'production' places I've gone. OH JOY!

But that I know all of this and can help is a great blessing for this activity. I'd put a tech management joke in here but I'd rather not get The rIghTeous in trouble. So here I find myself in the same position I found dad many a time and I can honestly say now at this very moment, I UNDERSTAND! and thank you so very much for all those times I had to hang around. Though my nose was in a book 99% of the time I was listening. Really, anyone under the age of...better yet if you have parents or mentors that want to teach you something at ANY age listen to them. You'll be grateful for it later.

Fri-Sun: You know what is awesome? The flu! But it wasn't that strong (thanks go to Glaxo-Smith-Klien and Merk) so we just kept on trucking.

I guess that about covers it and I'm out of time, till the next one!

---Elder Will Sowards

Once More with Feeling

July 30, 2012

Hello everyone!

It has been a fun and interesting week to say the least so I guess we'll just start from the top!

So, my new companion is Elder Condemarin...well I supposethe word would be new being as that he trained me. It's awesome to be with him again and we are doing great together. Being with the same comp again is really a blessing because it's not like you have to find the synch because you already have it. It's like a teaching bonus that just falls into your lap. You can start right on teaching and you are good to go. Also he is finishing this changes which means two deaths in a row for me.

This week we had an awesome experience with Arturo, a reference that we recieved from Elder Beachum who was here about a year ago at the zl meeting, and he is AWESOME!  We found him on Wednesday and from then on it has just been great teaching him and his family. We even helped them paint their house...which makes me think there is something with me, Puno and paint...anyways, it's just been a fantastic week!

Hey!  Look! Questions!

Do you get to drive a car at all down there? Does the mission have a car?
---No and no, the only person with a car is president, and no I haven't had the chance to drive it...sadly no...

When you go to Cusco do you take the bus?
---Yep, going and coming back. It's fun but not something I'm going to miss.

How are the Olympics down there? Are there a lot of people interested in them?
---There are a few Peruvian athletes there but nobody really cares. I'm just happy I'm not missing the winters. Sochi 2014 HERE WE COME! If I could somehow find a job that would get me there for free......

Well, that wraps it up for this week, till the next,

--Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru

Quick thoughts

July 23, 2012

Hi everyone!

This message comes a bit late due to a power outage here in Puno that started last night around 10ish and just ended (it's about 5 now). Hope everything is going well for all of you and with and that you don't have a nearly 20 hour power outage in Phoenix or whatever hot place you might be in.

This week was interesting with some high and lows. To start out the week the zone wasn't exactly in the best place number wise and Elder Aldave and I found ourselves doing all we could to help in any way that we could. It felt good to help them out, and it helped a lot. The zone is now about where it should be and we are mega-psyched for the next change.  In the sector we are still working with Wilson and a few other people who I am sure will be baptised in August but to end July without one, well it makes you think. I remember and I don't know if I ever mentioned it here but I've realized that sometimes the success or lack thereof that we might have at a time is just temporary, we will be blessed in the long run. I really learned this in Cusco where Elder Uriarte and I didn't have a lot of success in the sector but the zone had more baptisms than any other time in it's history as a part of Mission Peru Cusco.  We are here sometimes to reap and sometimes to sow but there is always something to do and always some kind of way that we can help in the work.

Changes where this week too and with Elder Aldave finishing his mission I find myself one more change here in Bellavista. It's great to be here and I know it's where the Lord wants me to be, even if it is as cold as Michigan sometimes but without the joys of hockey...which is a bad analogy because there is no way the Red Wings can bring joy to anyone.

Hey, look at that! Questions!

What is your favorite thing to eat in the street? 
---Churros!  Oh the joy of Peruvian Churros!!!!

Does the lake have fish in it and do people eat them? Have you ate them?
---The people in Uros eat them but nobody else, they say they are contaminated. Yes, I have eaten them and I tend to agree with the contamination assessment.

Well that about wraps it up for this shorter addition, till next week

--Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru

ly 23, 2012

Interviews and Sickness

Ju;y 16, 2012

Hello everyone!

This week was a crazy one; sick people in the zone, interviews and baptisms so let's do the rundown!

Mon: Soccer and cleaning the room to prep for the inevitable room check, which surprisingly never came. But, nobody ever complained about having an overly clean room.

Tue: This was the day that almost everyone was sick and it was not fun. We ended up spending most of the day buying pills and helping with divisions in other sectors so they could visit their sure appointments. It was good to be able to help everyone out and though we felt like nurses it worked out well.

Wed: More helping of the sick and prepping for the interviews. In Cusco this was easy because the office did everything but here in Puno it's all on us to prep the church and everything like that. It takes me back to producing and show-running, just as fun as it is stressful.

Thu: Interviews!

Fri: Multi-Zone Conference with Juliaca and Puno Central. President Calderon has changed a lot since the beginning of my mission and the trainings we have are now epicly good. After the conference we did divisions with the assistants which were extremely productive.

Sat: The zone had a lot of baptisms and we found ourselves running all over the place bringing clothes or doing interviews. Also, the stake did a cool family history conference that we helped out with collecting references.

Sun: Church and finally a normal workday, great way to end a week.

And that was pretty much how it went, fun yet stressful. But you know what's awesome? Questions!!!

Do you know a Elder Anderson? is he from AZ?
---Yes, but we were never together which makes me kind of confused on that part....And he's from Surprise.

Are you getting better in playing soccer?
---Not really, but I can do D really well!

Do you have any older missionaries or couples in your mission?
---Still no, but there is a sister that is 33.

Think that wraps it up, till next week,

--Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru

A Great Week

July 9, 2012

What's up everyone?!

This week has been great and I mean truly wonderful, now were to start...?

Tuesday we were in Cusco for the zone leader council and honestly it was probably one of the best experiences that I've had in my mission. President at one point began to talk about the difference between aptitude and attitude and in  those moments I came to a hard realization. In Huajsapata I hadn't exactly had the best attitude, though I was working I wasn't doing it for the right reasons nor the right way. I was working just to work not because I wanted to nor because it would help people. I was thinking of Huajsapata as a quasi-lost cause because of how small the ward is and how many inactives there are not as the potential that it is. Needless to say a change was in order. Elder Aldave and I talked after and when we got back on Wednesday things began to change.

On Thursday we found Wilson. He's a man about 30 years old with a wife and kid and is awesome! I remember the night before we had prayed for some help in finding new people and that day we found him, and in a bit of a way he found us too. As we were talking to him he told us that eight-years-ago he and his family listened to the missionaries for a bit but due to something (he didn't know what) they had never come back. He had learned about the commandments and since then has been following them the best he could. To me the part that well...he told us that the same night where we were praying to find new investigators he was praying to have the same feelings he had when the missionaries taught his family. The Lord blesses us, we just need to ask.

Since deciding to change our attitude toward the sector we have had a few more experiences like this. It's truly amazing how much of a change just a difference in that one simple thing can make.

Well, that about wraps it up. Till next week,

---Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru


July 2. 2012

Hi everyone!

So it's been a great week so I guess we'll start with the Rundown!

Mon: P-Day spent playing soccer then a Mega-FHE in the church where members brought two of our investigators!

Tue:  Found another inactive family that we are working with whose kids aren't members.  I'm not sure how I feel about baptising just kids but I guess completing families is cool.

Wed: More work and some zone stuff we had to take care of. That's a kind of not as fun part of being in Puno we have to deal with as Zone Leaders here. We have to go to the terminal almost daily and a lot of the things that the office just takes care of in Cusco we have to do. It sometimes hardly takes any time out of our days and other times, like Wednesday and Thursday this week almost all of our time.

Thu: Helped the sisters move which ran into a few...let's say hiccups like losing keys and crazy old ladies trying to beat Elder Henniger for reasons I'm still not sure on. But we also ran into a few more inactives in the sector that we are working with.  If this keeps up Hujsapata is going to turn into the ward it should be!

Fri: Worked like normal in the sector, just a good day.

Sat: A member went with us to visit some inactives and give us references, I honestly think this was one of my best days for a WHILE. It's just great working with members and since arriving in Puno it's something we haven't done a lot. I can't hardly describe how awesome it is!

Sun: A lot in the church and some good work after, a great way to close a good week.

Now to the questions!

Do you want a steak that is cooked right or do you really want one WELL DONE!!! ?  (over cooked)
---Well done is not overcooked, it's just cooked.  Rare is otherwise known as raw and medium-rare as half-raw. :)

How cold is it getting?
---I live at 12600ft, it's winter.  It gets cold. Like in the negatives at night cold.  But during the day it's hot.  It's weird. TIP (our catch all term for Puno, This Is Puno or Peru depending on the situation)

Do you eat at their home or somewhere else?
---Here we don't eat in member homes hardly ever, not exactly sure why....

Do you ever get to read the newspaper?
---Not really, every once in a while but it's not a common thing. And it's not that great, it's like reading one of those ALIEN ATTACK IN TEXAS! papers that they sell in the checkout line at the grocery store.

Well think that about wraps that up, till next week

--Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru

Another Week in Puno

June 25, 2012


Where to start with this week? I'd probably have to start with the month as a whole for the zone. We ended with only nine which isn't bad but not exactly good either but looking at how the month ended we are hoping for at least double that for July. It's a different change and a different crew here in Bellavista and we are really excited for what we'll be able to do in what's left of the change.

In the sector it was a pretty hard week, a lot of appointments that fell through and a few other difficulties but it all paid off in the end. We live with Elder Scholes and Phillips (a Peruvian though his name sounds gringo) and we do divisions all the time so we too had taught an investigator named Karina. She was what we call an eternal investigator, she went to church every week (probably more active than the vast majority of he members here in general) and just never wanted to go any further. Tuesday there was an appointment with her and she told the elders that she wanted to be baptized! It was just awesome! Elder Scholes baptized her and I confirmed her. It was so uplifting to see that the Spirit can help people when perhaps we least expect it.

Then, on Sunday, the church was almost full. I honestly have no idea how it happened, even more so with it being a holiday weekend (no idea what holiday either, I think it's one of those things like In Canada that there has to be a holiday every month). I know that for just going on during a kind of tough week the Lord has helped us a TON!

But hey, look over there! Questions!!!

What food are you craving that we eat here?
---Steak, a well-done steak.
Do you have FHE with members?
---Right now we are starting Mega-FHE to help the members learn how to do it and be excited about it, it worked really well in Abancay.
How do you knock on doors? I know where Dad served that would stand outside and clap. Bro Lake said that everyone had a gate so they would rattle it. How is it done in your mission?
---Knocking with a pen or coin, almost never with a hand.  Not entirely sure why....
Do you ever show Church DVD for contacts and if so how?
---No but we have talked about doing it, giving away DVD becaus they are so cheap but don't know whatever happened to that idea.
How often to you get to talk in church?
---About once a month, sometimes more sometimes less.
Do you ever get to bless or pass the sacrament?
---Every single week we are blessing, passing...? I don't think I've done it sense Lampa.

Think that wraps it up for this round, till next week!

---Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru

A Great Week

June 11, 2012

Hello everyone!

Hope everything is going well for everyone out in non-MPC land because it is going pretty awesome for us here! Where to begin?

Elder Aldave is my new comp and we are working great together, we worked together before in Juliaca, Cusco, and in Bellavista last change. Elder Aldave like myself went up to ZL within the zone. He is from Lima and is going to end this change so it looks like I'm going to be here till at least September, which I am actually kind of happy about.

This week was pretty awesome and by pretty awesome I actually want EPIC! We received a golden reference from a member family and went to visit them. The parents are already members but their children, ranging from 17 to 3 years old and there are around 10 kids in that age group. Watching them walk into the church was just fantastic. They filled it up and the other members were shocked! We set the baptismal dates for June 30.

It's great to be finding people like the Escalante family and others that are very similar in that they have been prepared to receive the Gospel. And just this week we have had a few other people/families that have been that way. It is a great blessing.

Hey look! Questions! (Is it just me or are my segues getting progressively lamer?)

Does Peru celebrate Father Day? and if so how was it?
---Not really, at least from what I saw.
Did you ever get the Hockey Gloves you said you saw?
---Nope, the guy still wants 70soles and I think to keep on asking would just up the price.  $26 for a pair of fairly used gloves seems pretty expensive.
Is Peruvian toilet paper like European TP?
---If Euopean TP is basically the same as US TP then yes, if not....
Are the bathrooms like ours?
---Pretty much but the shower is electic which means it can kill you.

Think that about wraps it up here. Questions, comments, concerns? You know were to send them.

---Elder Will Sowards
Huajsapata, Puno, Peru