April 20, 2015

A new week has drawn to a close out here in the mission field with Elder Cruz and his companion Elder Casimiro and with it, has brought many new and exciting experiences. First may I begin as always by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to all who lift me up and support me as I try my best to make things work out here in Peru. Sometimes when I am out proselyting that thought hits me that I am so far away from all those I care about and I will continue to be so for the next 2 years, but almost instantly the thought is replaced with the words of the Lord, “Peace be unto thy soul”. There is never a moment out here in the blazing hot sun that I dont feel the peace of heart and soul that my Lord and Savior offers me. There is no more greater work than this, and while I am far from a perfect servant, God knows I am trying.

Physically and spiritually, this week has been rougher than others. Our apartment, and seemingly all of our area of Catacaos, was without running water for about 2 or 3 days. We had to get by with collecting water from the Chapel or the other missionaries in our area and we had to bring the buckets back to our place. Not exactly a fun experience, but we made it work. We also have been having a bit of a struggle getting our recent converts to church, and some of our investigators baptismal dates have fallen through. Nevertheless we push forward and we constantly look for the little things we can improve. Sometimes nothing really comes up and at times it appears that we are at a spiritual stand still.

Earlier this week, while I was struggling to decipher just what I could to improve as a missionary to overcome these spiritual bumps, I was directed to a scripture in 1 Nephi 4, verse 7. I cannot quote it exactly, but the words of Nephi were something like this, “And I went, guided by the Spirit, not knowing where I should go. Nevertheless, I continued forward”. Thats when the Spirit hit. Throughout my mission, even in this very moment, I know without a doubt in my heart that I have been guided by the spirit, in every critical moment, and every important desicion. Like Nephi, I dont exactly know where I am going sometimes but nevertheless, I will continue forward as he did and let the Spirit direct me as to where and what I need to do.

My testimony of this gospel grows everyday, and while the physical discomforts of being out in the mission sometimes get the better of me, the spiritual gifts that Heavenly Father has prepared for me are literally pouring down from Heaven, and thankfully enough I have been receptive enough to catch them.

I always love hearing about how the family is progressing. I hope with all my heart that they know I pray for them and I wish them all the best. Distance may seperate us but I am grateful for the knowledge that there is still a home back in Washington with my name written on it, and in due time I will be back to claim it. Until then, I love you all and never forget that Elder Cruz, your son, is doing his best to make you proud!

Sincerely,

Elder Justin Cruz

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