April 13, 2015

Dear Family,

Writing to you all every monday really does bring me an immeasurable amount of joy. Sometimes it never really occurs to me while I am out working just how far away from home I really am. But nonetheless I know that you and the rest of my friends and ward family are supporting me through everything and I can work each day in the blistering heat with a smile on my face.

To answer your questions about house help, we have a sister in the ward who cooks our lunches 5 days out of the week and another sister near our house who does our laundry. On weekends we eat lunch with members however other than that, all the rest of the cooking for breakfasts and dinners are up to us. The mission gives us enough money every month to spend 4 soles (peruvian dollars) for every breakfast every day of the month, and another 4 soles for dinners. However, this usually doesnt cover the cost of what we want or need to eat so we have to budget and spend carefully.We have had some fairly hillarious experiences that have stemmed from a lack of funds sometimes, but I am not going to go into that haha. Aside from all that, we dont have anymore house help. We clean the apartment as often and efficiently as we can. You would be proud of how much I have improved when it comes to chores, Mom.

This week I really have gained a powerful testimony of the truth and the diving purpose of the Book of Mormon. One day as I was studying, I felt a sincere and deep spiritual impression to kneel and pray about what I was reading. I had always known the Book of Mormon to be the conerstone of our religion but I cannot say for sure I truly honestly believed in it fully. That is, until now of course. I knelt down that day and pleaded for a witness that the book was true. In reality, the answer to this question would determine if everything I stand for as an LDS missionary was indeed true. That God lives, that Jesus really did come to the Americas, that Joseph Smith really was a prophet of God, all of that weighed on this one question. Was the Book of Mormon really true?

I cannot say that God gave me the exact answer I wanted, but it was what I needed. There came into my mind a sense of peace, but whats more, a sense of purpose. I sit down every day out here in the mission, open up my book of mormon, and my mind is whisked away to what seems like the kingdom of God. There is no doubt that this book is divinely inspired, and that it is true. I am so thankful for the testimony I have of it. It has helped me climb over spirtual hills that I never that I could have. It has given me hope, happiness, and above all, answers. I feel so bad for all the times you guys told me to read my scriptures and I never did. I testify that there is power in the words of the prophets, for they are indeed the word of God. Anytime doubts creep up on us, I know with surety that God has prepared a way for us to overcome them, and that is through his holy scriptures.

This week also, we have been working with a certain family with the last name of Ramos Chiroque. I love them all, especially the 2 sons who have come to be some of my very good friends. The kids are all fairly young, the oldest of them only being 12 years old, but in them I can see a testimony growing, and their spirits are so strong. You can just see it in their eyes, their genuine desire to learn more, and their desire to follow Jesus Christ. Sometimes they teach me more than I teach them. This family lives pretty far away from the Chapel so you can imagine my joy when I saw two of the kids, named Angel and Ricardo, walk through the doors and sit down for Sacrament meeting. We still have a long way to go with this family but I have the utmost hope and faith for them. I can almost feel the baptismal water.

That about wraps this one up. I try each day to be worthy of the support and love you give me. As a missionary, I am expected always to observe the highest standards of conduct, but as your son, I am always trying to do those things which you have taught me to do, and I am proud toi say that my parents were kind enough to me to raise me in this Church. Love you all, talk to you later.

Sincerely,

Elder Cruz

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My multi zone mtg

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Semana Santa in Catacaos

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My study desk

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Me and my companion

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Sunset in Catacaos

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