October 10, 2016

October is now in full swing and here in the mission we are all pretty pumped to keep the work going. We had our zone meeting this past week and once again Elder Norman and I were able to rock the house. We got some good news this month. Our mission has made incredible changes and has improved substantially in the time I have been a missionary here. President Rasmussen shared with us in our last leadership council meeting that in the average baptismal rate now for a single companionship in our mission is about 12.4 per year. In December of 2015, Elder Godoy of the 70 came to our mission and told us that Peru, Piura was the worst mission out of the 30 that exist in South America Northwest. The average baptismal rate for a companionship was only 4 per year. Well, its been less than a year and we have managed to triple that number. Miracles indeed never cease and just looking back on the last 20 months of my mission, if there’s any word that could describe all that I have seen and lived through it would be this: miraculous.

 This past week was full of meetings, meetings and more meetings. The highlight of our week was probably on Sunday when a drunk man asked us to help him find his way back home and ended up trying to get into a fight with us. We tried giving him a little pass along card but he decided to tear it up right in front of us. We just walked away after that and he tried to follow us but he was a little too dizzy to move very fast. Kind of annoying, kind of sad, but all hilarious.

 Among other things, we are working hard with a wonderful new family. The Dad is named Jorge and his wife is Jessica. They came to church last Sunday and decided to stay the whole 3 hours. The fact they even came is a miracle because their whole family lives way out in the middle of nowhere. Literally they live in the middle of the desert, there’s not even a real road that goes to their house. But they came, and they loved it!

 Last Sunday Elder Norman and I visited a good friend of ours named Pedro Pardo. He is the grandfather of our recent 13 year old convert, Julio. His wife is a member as well but Pedro still cannot bring himself to make the decision. We entered his house last night and with the help of another faithful member of the ward, we decided that the best thing we could was have a testimony meeting. The spirit was powerful, the ambience was almost indescribable. Julio’s mother, who also has refused various times to be baptized ended up crying. Pedro was left almost without words. Now, I would like to say that this whole thing ended up with Pedro accepting the baptismal invitation but that’s not how it turned out. But I can say this, that as I left that lesson and went home that night I got down on my knees and thanked my Father in Heaven for putting power in our words. I thanked him for putting conviction into my heart and for allowing me to be his instrument through which he could bring the Spirit into Pedro’s home. These are all amazing families and I can only hope that our efforts will bring about change in their lives.

 Elder Cruz 

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