February 8, 2016

We worked ourselves into the ground this past week. Theres an extra layer of dust and dirt covering the other layer of dust and dirt that were already on my shoes from last week, or in other words, we did a lot of walking this past week.

I recently had the opportunity to attend a leadership training meeting with the mission President in the mission house, and it was a spiritual eye opener for me. I think the Lord has been putting new and interesting challenges in my way this week to help learn patience, not only with my investigators but with my companion, those in my district, and myself. In the leadership training we discussed a new way of finding and teaching the first lesson, and so far it has brought about some crazy results. Last week my companion and I found 5 new investigators. This week we found 11. The difference is almost a miracle to me, and I was pretty shocked at how blessed we were throughout the past week.

The new families we have found come from all walks of life. Some are construction workers, some are fishermen, some are students, catholics, evangelists, single moms, and everything else you could possibly think of. What always surprises me about the gospel, is that while it does have “general” answer for everyone, it can be applied in such a profound and personal way as to touch the heart of any individual who makes the effort to live and understand it. One of the Elders in my district this week told me that I should try and slow down my teaching pace, and really try to get on a personal level with my investigators, and so I did. The results were those 11 new investigators now eager and willing to hear more of our message. I came to the subtle the realization that as missionaries sometimes we pre-judge those we come in contact with, but our Father in Heaven sees them with eyes that we simply do not have. As I tried to slow down and take a few steps back in my teaching method this week. I feel very strongly that for some very short and brief moments, I could see my investigators with the same eyes through which God sees them. I felt a stronger love for them, a stronger desire to help them. My companion always tells me that the people come first, then come the numbers. It is some powerful advice, and its what I was able to learn this week.

In other news, 2 families that I had taught (and baptized) back from my first area in Catacaos decided to show up to Paita today and pay me a visit. Looks like they still remember me hahaha. It kind of made me wonder why these people praised me so much for what I did for them because when I think back on my first area, all I can remember is how awkward I was and how little I spoke the language. I am pretty sure the doctrine I was teaching them may not have even come out accurately. Nonetheless, they were all super happy to see me, and as was I to see them. It was one of the nice and happy moments where God allowed me to feel proud of my work. He was kind enough to put these people into my life, and kind enough let me be the one to teach them and help them be baptized, and today was a sweet little reminder that my efforts were not in vain. Each member of these 2 families that came today are active members, dutifully fulfill their callings, and are actively preparing to go to the temple (some of them actually already went!).

It was a good week.

Elder Cruz

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