April 19, 2016

 

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Goodbye Paita, Hello Talara!

 So the day finally came. Transfer day once again rears its head and its time for us to shove off and move on. After 6 months of serving in Las Begonias, I packed my bags yesterday and headed off for a new town called Talara. I can say with absolute sincerity of heart that Las Begonias was my favorite and most beloved area. The members were absolutely fantastic and I have come to find the biggest and most marvelous blessings of my mission within the families of the people I had come to know, teach, and love in these short 6 months I was allowed to labor among them.

 On Sunday night, the branch members organized a little going away fiesta for me and the 2 other missionaries who had also been transferred out. I entered the chapel and there I saw all the familiar faces and warm smiles that have greeted me so many times before. Members, converts, less actives and even investigators had come to say their goodbyes. We all sat down and each member was given time to stand up and say something on behalf of the missionaries who were leaving. Many comments were directed toward me. I have never seen nor experienced heaven or know what or how it feels like, but I am certain that being there in the presence of so many who I had come to truly love, and to hear them express their gratitude toward me, I felt close to heaven, and closer to my Heavenly Father. Lots of tears were shed for us and many hugs were given.

 Before closing out the meeting, I stood up and asked if I could sing a hymn for the branch members. I dont know why, but I felt so strongly compelled to sing Battle Hymn of the Republic. WIth the best voice I could muster, I belted out the hymn and I noticed that as I sang, everything got quiet and something entered the room. When I had finished the last note, I felt the Spirit like I had never felt before in my life. It was incredible. It was the best musical number I have ever done in my life.

 Now here I am in a new area called Negreiros. My companion is Elder Villalba who if you remember correctly, was actually my 2nd companion almost a year ago. For some odd reason, we are back together again hahaha. I dont know how or why it happened, but I am happy to be back with a good friend. Looks like we have lots of work ahead of us. Negreiros is one of those proselyting areas where you tell you another missionary “Hey I’m going to Negreiros!” and all they do is look at you and say “good luck man”. Haha but I got high hopes for this place, lets see what God has in store for us.

 

Elder Cruz

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