June 22, 2015

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Monday once again rolls around and once again I find it difficult to know where to begin. This will probably be my last week in Catacaos, Piura before I am sent off to a different area. The last week of the transfer cycle is always exciting and a little bittersweet. Its full of goodbyes, anticipation, and amazing experiences. For many missionaries, the last week of the transfer cycle is their last chance to leave their mark on their area and, for lack of a better phrase, go out with a bang. My companion and I recently had our very last meeting with President and Sister Rowley and the words with which they left us really impacted me. These two amazing individuals have put a lot of trust and confidence into us as missionaries, and it just makes me want to be a better person everytime I think of their example. Cant wait to see what happens next with the new Mission President thats on his way.

 This week we have made fantastic progress with our investigator family. You remember a couple weeks back I talked about a little kid named Ricardo? We have been working very hard with him and his family to prepare them for baptism. They have all readily accepted the commandments and the missionary lessons and its exciting to finally see them getting prepared to partake in this saving ordinance. I remember the first time I met the mother, Rosa, in the street. She didnt seem the least bit interested in our message but nonetheless we told her we would stop by. We didnt. We felt that there were other people out there we could teach. But a few days later, she found us in the street and called us “Mentirosos!” which translates to “Liars!”. As it would happen, she was anxiously awaiting our visit. We kind of laugh it up a bit and decided that this time we really would visit her. And we did. That was back in March, and really the rest is history. This family will likely be baptized this early July, but unfortunately, I will probably not be there to witness it. Its a little heartbreaking, especially since I have known this family since the very first date of contact, but it matters not what I want. The Lords errand is to bring all souls to salvation and as a missionary, my service is to all those that need me. The reward for this work is indeed not my own, but for those whom I meet and teach. I have come to understand that more than ever, as I find myself being more and more spiritually uplifted by all these unforgettable people.

 Also, this past Sunday we had the chance to view the dedication of the Trujillo, Peru temple via satelite. Unfortunatley, Trujillo is not part of our mission and so we couldnt watch in person. But it was amazing to see a house of the Lord being built and dedicated and all the blessings that came with it. When the whole congregation began singing “The Spirit of God”, which was the very same song the saints sang at the dedication of the Kirtland Ohio Temple, I felt something I could not deny. I am so proud to be a member of this church and to bear the name of the savior Jesus Christ every day I walk out of the house. I am grateful for the temple blessings he extends to us so that all of Gods children can recieve the gift of salvation. It was a wonderful experience. I wont forget it anytime soon.

 I hope all went well for Fathers day over there in Washington. Love you Dad, thank you for being my greatest example. As always, I extend my love and thanks to the family, friends, and members of the word that continue to lift me up. I wouldnt be here without you all. Until next time, stay strong, read the Book of Mormon, pray like crazy, and know that Elder Cruz missses you all.

 Sincerely,

 Elder Cruz

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One thought on “June 22, 2015

  1. Hi Justin,

    We enjoy reading your letters and learning about your missionary experiences. You are such a great example to us.

    Lora graduated from elementary last Wed. Before her graduation, she joined her school play – Arabian nights where she was one of the main characters in the scene. We are very proud of her seeing her perform. She reminded me when you performed in your school play – Annie Get Your Gun. I guess she got some inspiration to join her school play from you 🙂 I am amazed to see her acting,singing and dancing. She looked very comfortable performing. Tita Eva said Lora got that from her dad 😉

    Michael will be in 8th grade next fall. He is very active in boyscout and his young men activity. I started reading the book of Mormon with him. I feel that this is important to help him gain testimony of the book of Mormon.

    Keala and Lora were recognized in their school assembly 2 weeks ago and got the Academic challenge trophies. We continue to encourage them to use their Spanish as well as speak Tagalog at home.

    We are enjoying summer. The weather has been very good – warm and a lot of sunshine 🙂

    Take care you are always in our prayers.

    Tita Jossie

    Like

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