September 28, 2015

Dear Families and Friends,

Another week down. This is my 3rd transfer cycle in this area by the name of Morropon. Its most likely that by the end of 6 more weeks I will be sent to a new area, so in other words, this may be my last shot to make a difference in this area. I have no doubt in my mind that the Gospel changes lives, but recently I have been struggling to see if I as a missionary have been a very effective messenger of that Gospel.

 This week has been hard, and I will not lie and say that everything turned out okay. These past few weeks, unity in our ward has been deteriorating. Every sunday it seems there are less and less members. In spite of the new sister missionaries that have come to help us out, the branchs progress is slowly coming to a halt. I have come to the Lord in prayer many times to find out just what it is we are doing wrong but obviously I am not listening hard enough. We have had no baptisms these past 2 transfers, none of our investigators have baptismal dates, and many of the less active members are less than friendly to our reactivation efforts. Even among the actives there are contentions and some arguing going on. Sometimes I have no idea where to go.

 In the face of such trying times, the Lord has responded in very sincere, very simple and miraculous ways. This last Sunday, as always I taught the Sunday School class and the lesson we had was based on 2 Corinthians. The Apostle Paul taught many of the Saints doctrinal principles regarding trials and tribulations. This class honestly hit me hard. In my study of this class I came across another scripture in the 10th chapter of Matthew.

 “El que no tome su cruz, no es digno delante de mi…” Loosely translated into English it reads: “He he does not carry his cross is not worthy before me”. It brought me to some serious reflection. When Jesus Christ was crucified, the soldiers who crucified him made him carry his own cross to Calvarys hill. I cannot help but wonder the profound humility and godly patience that he had in such a moment. That same humility and patience struck me in the middle of my lesson and I came to the simple realization that I have yet to carry my cross. I have yet to struggle as he did, and so I am not yet worthy of his miracles. I got back to the house that day physically drained (because we were fasting) but spiritually empowered. This area has presented me with many “crosses” to bear, but I have yet more to carry if I really want to be worthy of the blessings of Heaven.

I thank my Father for this simple yet powerful lesson. Trials will be a part of my mission wherever I go, be it in a tiny branch or a enormous family ward. I just gotta keep going, remembering that someone much more important than I will ever be suffered more. He has already showed me the way, I just gotta follow his example.

 Thats my little speech for this week. I hope you all find it worth reading. Thanks as always, and I appreciate every single one of your prayers and letters. Love you all.

 Elder Cruz

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