April 5, 2016

Another week down. Things have started to level out in our area and little by little we are seeing progress. 2 more weeks her in Paita and I feel that it will be my time to ship out. I had a lesson recently with a family whose daughter I baptized 2 transfers ago, and they, like many, begged to know why it is we as missionaries come and go. Its always a tough answer to give but as I speak and spend time with these people who have so much love for us, it makes me realize how much love God has for me by placing such wonderful souls in my path. It is a privilege to teach these people and to be worthy of their friendship and trust has and always will be my goal.

In the coming weeks we should be seeing a baptism of an 11 year old boy whose mother is a member. His father never gave him permission to be baptized when he was 8 but we have stepped into the picture and we are working with the family to get things straightened out. Many of our less actives families are making the journey back to church. We saw many of them at the Sunday sessions of conference, all dressed in their Sunday best. There’s this one girl named Juvitza who is 18 and has been less active for years. She works the 12 hour night shift at a gas station market and gets home at 6 in the morning. Even so, I have seen this girl come home dead tired, take a one hour nap, and be up and ready to get to church at 8 in the morning. Her dedication is something admirable, and I feel so happy for those faithful few who make such sacrifices in their lives to be able to keep Gods commandments and be true to the things we have taught them. Juvitza is one of many whom I have put their trust in something higher in order to be worthy of their blessings. The work of reactivation here in Paita gives me a lot of hope.

Conference was wonderful. Finally I got my Spanish to the point where I can understand everything the Apostles and Prophets say even if it is translated live into Spanish. The first couple times watching conference in Spanish was a struggle, but now its awesome. The talks were incredibly inspiring. You should have heard the cheers of the members when President Monson announced another temple here in Peru! They were thrilled. Kind of brought an indescribable joy to my heart as I looked around and saw the saints so happy to hear that another temple would soon be available to them.

I hope you all had a spiritual renewal this week as you listened to general conference. I find comfort in knowing that this Church is directed by inspiration and revelation from on high.

Funny side note, during the Saturday session, the camera zoomed in on a young Asian singer in the choir who has glasses just like mine and literally everybody turned around to look at me and joked about how they didn’t know I had a twin at general conference. Apparently being the only one of Asian descent around here makes you fairly popular.

Elder Cruz

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