January 11, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,


If any of you reading this right now got my birthday email I sent out, then you will already know what was the highlight of my week. This past January 6th I spent my 20th birthday away from home, away from my family and friends and away from Washington. But even so, I felt right at home here in Paita. The members and the missionaries of my district did everything possible to make this day memorable. And by that I mean they threw a lot of eggs at me. A lot. I may have lost 2 good shirts, and 2 good ties, but I suppose it was worth it. I felt the love big time, and I wont be forgetting this birthday anytime soon.

 That’s not to say that this week went by without its set backs. Once again, we were left standing by the church door waiting for our investigators to show up, but they never came. I don’t think there is a feeling quite like looking out at the congregation on Sunday morning and not seeing the faces of those you desperately wish could be there, those you desperately wish could partake of what you know could bring them real happiness. Many of our investigators are great to be quite honest. They read their book of mormon, say their prayers and are always ready and willing to accept our lessons. But come Sunday, and…nothing.

I was flipping through the Doctrine and Covenants the other day looking for some guidance, and I came across a verse that has stuck with me for awhile. “Porque a aquel que mucho se le da, mucho se requiere”. “For unto whom much is given, much is required”. I remember clearly on the night of January 1st, as I reflected on the new year, I got down and prayed and made a silent promise to my Heavenly Father that I would make my last year count, that I would be more diligent in my work and strive harder to do his will. I came to the profound yet simple realization that I needed to change, for I have been given much, and now the Lord requires much of me. As I think now on my investigators and why they don’t fulfill their promise to come to church, I think it has much to do with the fact that I do not fulfill my promises to God to do that which he requires of me. He has given me a wonderful year of service in his kingdom, and he still requires much from me, as he does all of his sons and daughters.

 I am praying that this week will turn out better. My companion, Elder Elizalde, and I have made the commitment to better ourselves so that we can better our area. There’s still much to be done, but if we work hard, we may have a baptism this Saturday. Lets see how it goes.

 Elder Cruz


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