August 17, 2015

DSCN1882[1] Elder Cruz and his new companion Elder Humpiri from Puno Peru

DSCN1885[1] DSCN1886[1] DSCN1890[1]

Dear Family and Friends,

 Well its official, I am now Senior companion and I have a brand new missionary fresh from the MTC to train up and take care of. His name is Elder Humpiri. He is a Peruvian from a place called Puno which located on the opposite end of Peru. He is 18 years old and he is the first missionary in his family to serve. He does not come from an all member family but nonetheless he has a deep desire to serve the Lord, his love for the work is apparent in his bright and optimistic attitude and he has more than enough energy for the both of us. I expect some great things in the next 12 weeks of our companionship.

 Being a trainer is an experience unlike any other. It is spiritual, stressful, and a little hilarious. My new companion, although he is incredibly motivated and ready to work, doesn’t have a clue and he says he gets nervous all the time. But from what I have seen, he has a firm testimony of the gospel and I really appreciate all his great enthusiasm. It is honestly what I have been needing lately, a companion with energy and heart to compel me to better myself and work harder to hasten this marvelous work. I feel very strongly that this Elder will be our answer to the difficulties we have been having lately and that someday soon he will be an amazing missionary of the Church. Well, he already is to be honest.

 Something unfortunate happened this past Sunday and it has been the subject of all my thoughts and concerns ever since. Last Sunday we had our Branch conference and the stake president and his counselors came to visit our tiny branch in Morropon. The Stake President brought with him a bit of news that honestly came as a bit of a shock to me. He informed the branch that if we do not grow by a substantial amount by this December, the branch will be dissolved. Apparently, the stake cannot spare resources to support a branch that doesn’t grow, or doesn’t show any possibility of becoming a ward anytime soon. Basically, if we do not baptize by December, I will be saying goodbye to this area. It is a heavy task, one that I do not know how we will accomplish to be honest. We have been working left and right, up and down, knocking on doors, arranging appointments and looking for new investigators but baptisms are just not happning. I have praying ever so fervently to look for an answer. For this reason, I feel blessed to have a brand new missionary as a companion. His energy and love for the work of the Lord will be a huge help to this branch as well as to me. I truly believe that he will provide the strength necessary for this branch to move forward.

 I will continue to write about our progress as the months roll by. I hope you all know I appreciate your support and love. Please keep this branch in your prayers. I do not want to lose it.

 Thanks for everything, stay tuned for next week.

Elder Cruz

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