February 11, 2015

Its week 4 in the MTC and I am officially what they call an Advancado (meaning I am part of the oldest group of missionaries here). In a manner of just 2 short weeks my friends and I will be shipped off into the big bad Mission Field where my test truly begins. The thought of it is exciting but also rather daunting. True, there are many things I have learned here on my mission but I constantly question myself if I have done enough. Exact and diligent obedience has been hard to come by at times in my life and I have never been held to a higher stander in anything than I have as a representative of the Lord. I pray each and every day for a little heavenly back up in the hopes that when I finally say goodbye to Lima and hello to Piura, I will be ready, both spiritually and intellectually.

I apologize for my lack of pictures. I don’t have my camera with me in the computer room as of now so I will try next week. Those comments you included in your email regarding me were so heartwarming and thoughtful it almost brought a tear to my eye. Not joking. Heavenly Father has really been blessing with me many things thus far into my mission but all of you back home have really been the biggest blessing out of them all. I truly appreciate what everyone has done to build me up in this Gospel and inspire me to continue on.

I don’t know if I mentioned this but my companion and I were made Zone leaders for the Elders here at the MTC. Everyone said they expected to happen but I was still caught a little bit off guard. It is definitely a huge responsibility and sometimes I doubt my ability to lead or be an example to others. For sure it means that I have that much more to think and take care about during my stay here, but I am privileged to work in this capacity and I know it is something I can do if I just work hard. There’s a saying that has been running around my head lately and it is this: “Lord, I am in your hands now”. As a missionary of the church I have become an instrument in the hands of someone much greater and much grander than I. Sometimes I forget that, and sometimes I forget the purpose for which I came to Peru but if one thing is for sure, its that wherever I go from here on out, it wont be my will being done, but His.

Im running short on time so please help me out and share this with the rest of the family. I say it every darn week but I miss you guys and your support means the world to me. Tell Alderwood 1st Ward that they always remain in my thoughts and prayers and not a day goes by the where I don’t drop to my knees and the thank God for giving me such a wonderful ward family.

My time here at the MTC is almost up. Im going to do my best to step up my game. Until then, take care family.

Sincerely,

-Elder Justin Cruz

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