Monday, December 1, 2014

Spiritual Gym......... ONE YEAR

Well this week was so bomb! I was able to hear the words of the Prophet! It was so great and I learned so much. Wow what a spiritual hunger I had! I was so active in the conference, I was writing everything down that called my attention! I would have to say that Holland just called my attention the most with fasting and fast offerings. I love it! I was listining so closely! I hope each and everyone of you guys paid close attention to everything that they said to us. Wow I love conference I was thinking........  its our spiritual gym. We have to get strong and we have to get ready for the game and be ready for those 6 months to fight against Satan! So I hope we worked out hard!Other than that we had found more familes this week and we have been trying to meet our goals and have most of our lessons with members. It was so great! Its a little hard though to take the members with us because we have so many mountains to climb hahah by the end of the day the members are so tired! We had a blast this week! We are always having fun! My comp is a beast he always gives me "animo" (encourages me) I love him hes such a good example to me! We are contacting a lot and we had so many good experiences of finding people. We love our area! There are so many people that are poor! Its great, because they are a little easier to teach them I love these people! Also...... I have officiallly completed one year! Yep now I am old in the mission haha but wow how weird! 1 year ago I left my life to serve My loving God! I love my duty as an Elder! I know Christ lives and I am so happy to be here do something really important! I know the gospel is true! love you all! - Elder Santacuz

One year tradition.... Burn a Shirt!


High on a mountain top

Monday, October 6, 2014

Excited for Conference!

Wow! I would like to start out with the coolest thing that happened this week. First we set a baptismal date with a family. It is in November! It was so cool that they accepted the baptismal date! It was so dope! The problem is that they are not married but we are gonna help them get married! So we are so excited for them to get married so that they can be baptized. They are just a little sketchy about the marriage still so we asked them to pray about it so that they can receive an answer! But wow we have a family with a baptismal date! DOPE! The father is so cool! He told us that he knows the church is true because he had felt something in one of the lessons. He said his heart just felt warm and he feels something every time we talk to him!! That's really cool, they went to church for the first time last Sunday! YEAH!
Something else cool about our week is that we had members leave with us everyday this week! It was so cool! No there is not a lot of members in the branch but we managed to have a member with us everyday! We know that this branch is gonna grow so fast! I am so HAPPY to be here because there is so much WORK! There is a lady named Hermana Reyes wow, her testimony is so strong! She loves to help us whenever. The funny thing is that our area  has so many hills like mountain hills and she still climbs without complaining or anything. She is such a good member of the church. She shared her testimony with some of our investigators and some had said, wow what a testimony! It was great being with her! 
My comp and I have been working so hard that everyday we come home, I am so dead that I have fallen a sleep twice in my night prayer hahah oops!
Oh and can you believe that conference is this week! wow I am SOOOOOO PUMPED to hear the words of the prophet! My comp and I have planned to fast the day before just to feel the spirit even more! I am so GREAT! Can't be any happier! 
Love you all guys! Miss you!

9 year old girl with baptismal date set

Hermana Reyes. Lights went out so family night with candles it is!


Working Hands

All the zones in Santiago 

Professional Chef

Hard and Great

Hello from the DR!!!! This week! was a lit bit of both! Hard and Great!
To start out with the good! We worked so hard everyday that we have had so much success!! We have found so many more people to teach! We have seen so many miracles! W have felt the spirit in literally every lesson! The way we work together is great! We are just two missionaries that are just focused on the work with nothing distracting us and we push each other to be better! He pushes to do more and with that we get home every night SOOOO tired! Wow! 
Also! Elder Cornish came to Santiago to talk all to the missionaries! He is the President of the Caribbean! He was so great! He helped us so much to give us more energy to work harder! He said that we needed to be more organized to work with the members a lot more! 
This week there was some bad news! We had two investigators that had baptismal date set and they dropped us. They don't want continue with the lessons it was hard but we know that the Lord is helping us to focus on the right people! This week was definitely funny,crazy, short, HOT, a lot of rain everything!
Love you all! Have a good week! 
Elder Santacruz

My Awesome Companion

What More Can I Ask For?

Hey everyone how goes it!? This week was so great but wow I am really tired! Haha we worked our butts off this week! We have so much work to do though! There are only 35 members in the branch! Can you guys imagine being in a house and sitting with only 35 members around you makes you feel like the old time when they just started the church! Wow my comp is so cool he is from here in the DR and he is such a humble guy. He is so nice and loves the people! What more can I ask for!?
This week we invited 3 people to be baptized. We talked with everyone its so crazy! I love my AREA but wow there are literally mountains its crazy!!!!!!!!!!!! My legs are gonna be hulk legs by the time I get out of here! 
As for now we are starting to give out a lot of invitations to be baptized. We have to help the President of the branch to build up the branch! We want to bring less actives back to church so we can have a better assistance! Well guys there is not much to say only that I am so happy to have so much work and that we are gonna see so many miracles here in the La Herradura! Love you all and miss you!
Elder Santacruz

New Companions

Our roommates


Inside Church

Elder Hollingsworth

We are cool!

This is how Haitians sell stuff

La Herradura

HEllO everyone how is everything this week? This was my last week in San Francisco. They sent me to a different area!!!!! La Herradura! in Santiago!!!!! I guess they want me back there to work!! I am super excited! My companion is Dominican he is such a good missionary. Everyone tells me he is a hard worker and that he is super spiritual! La Erradura is a branch and its not a chapel its a house hahah. Its crazy, there is only 35 members that assist weekly so we will see how it goes. I am super excited to be in an area that has a lot of problems because I know the Lord trusts me with his work and I know I can doing anything If I just have the faith!
All is great! I am so happy and I cant wait to start working! I love you all and miss you tons! Ill send pics next week! but I love you! Have a great week! 
I know this gospel is true with all my heart! 
In the name of Christ AMEN!

Hello to All

Hello everyone! This week started out with my talk on Sunday! I gave a talk on la obra misional! misionary work! It was so great! Mom I talked about you, how you are such a good example because you found the gospel and how you still want to be a better member everyday!!!!  Wow the Lord helped me so much to have the spirit. The spirit was there with everyone! I enjoyed it so much! After sacrament, the whole ward came to me and said that they felt the spirit so strong, that my testimony helped them so much!
Also we had an activity!!! We planned it really well! We called it viaje al cielo! Trip to Heaven! It was so cool. We had different rooms the celestial room, terrestrial, telestial, paradise, and prision. We put an explanation in each room, it was so cool. Each missionary was in a room talking about the kingdom and it was awesome because a lot of people showed up to the activity and the members brought their friends! My week was super awesome!
Also this week an inactive family that we have been teaching for a while is now officially reactivated! They told us before we started teaching them that they hadn't gone to church for 8 years!!!! How awesome is that?! Well that is my week! I hope you liked it because I sure did! 
Me encanto La mision! Es algo muy especial para mi! Se que este evangelio es verdadero! Se sin una duda! Vamos a disfrutar la bendicion que tenemos! Les quiero!!!!! MUCHO!!! Me encanto siendo un misionero!!
Activity with the Zone

One of our rooms

Another room

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Los Frutos de la Mision

Hello family! Wow this week was just so amazing! Do you guys remember the first week that Elder Centeno arrived that we found a prophet! We found a guy that saw Jesus Christ in a vision and that he told him that Christ would restore the gospel through a prophet. We gave him a pamphlet of the restoration and yeah that's it... and we never returned cause he lives really far! This week we were contacting and we found a little path that led to this little village that he lives in and we passed by his house and he was there! We talked with him for an hour and he was so happy to see us! He had a couple of questions about the pamphlet which he read the whole thing! He asked if the church still has the authority from God and if we were still in the apostasy! We told him everything and told him about Joseph Smith and that he saw a vision and after we had asked him if he had any complaints or comments he said that he had been praying about these things and he said that this church has everything that Jesus had we he started his church. Really this is such a good sentence to hear!!! We had asked him to be baptized and he accepted and he accepted the book of Mormon and he said he would read it!!! That visit with him was really so uplifting for me especially in this area that has been pretty hard to find people! He gave the closing prayer and it was so beautiful I felt the spirit, my heart was pounding so hard, I could just feel the love and help from the Lord! WOW! Just gives me goose bumps typing these words! Im freaking happy!!!!! WELL this is my crazy week story and I love each and everyone of you guys! Miss you!
I know this gospel is true and that I could never doubt it! I have the truth in my life! This mission is for me! I love being a missionary! God loves all!
Love your Elder SANTACRUZ

My Amazing Mission President

My district after playing soccer

Les Quiero

Hello friends and family! Wow this week was a little hard for us. We had church this Sunday and the ward here is being so lazy the bishopric is getting lazy. They showed up late to church! The young men are not taking their calling seriously. I know that we are going to help this ward! We have been talking to the President of the stake and our mission President to help more with this ward so I know this ward is gonna progress this transfer I can feel it! Don't worry I'm not leaving this ward without giving it energy to work!!!!!!!
Also this week we visited new people and found new investigators so it makes me happy that we are finding new people! As for right now we are still contacting and finding new people! That's all I have this week guys love you all!
Elder Santacruz!

Rainy Day

Service project and we used machettes

Muddy Shoes

Selfie Sunday


HELLO!! So this week was super special!!! We finally had the baptism of Rosfriely and he was so happy! He is 17 and he is already thinking about the mission!!! He shared his testimony and it is really strong. I know that he will continue in this gospel strong and worthily! What a good example to me and I am so happy I helped him find his way!!!
Also this week we started a class at the church! English class! It turned out pretty good this week. We are hoping that the people will see that the church is helping them and that they will want to know more about it! We have been planning to have more activities so that people can invite their friends and they can think that the church is also cool and spiritual! We are gonna work hard to find people through activities.
This week we have been finding cool new people to teach and we have found 3 new people to teach weekly so that is so awesome! There is a guy named Jose and he is super humble and super nice just wanting to know more about God! He said that he will go to church this Sunday so will see..... but all is good and things are looking up!! The prayers are being answered! I Hope everyone had a good week and will have a fantastic week ahead! Love you all!
Elder Santacruz!!!
p.s. show out to ELDER HUNT!!!   my buddy out in the Mish!!!

Our English Class

Rosfriely's Baptism


Well Familia y Amigos! 
I'm staying in San Fran with my comp!!!! Yeah buddy!! I know we are gonna kick even more BUTT haha but I know that the Lord put us together for a reason and that the Lord needs us in the area to get rid of all of this apostasy! This week we have a baptism planned! His name is Rosfreily and he is a member of the family Garcia! He is really excited to get baptized and to be a member of the church we went over to his house on Monday and wow he shared his testimony with us and he is ready to be baptized. He truly has come a long way and now he is ready to receive the blessings of the Lord!
This week we had a service with all the missionaries in San Fran and they all came to our area to help clean up because there is just a bunch of trash from the Huelga(strike) So we had a great time serving the community and the people were actually happy to see us helping out just a little.
This week my companion and I have been trying to prepare ourselves for the next transfer we have been trying to find new people and wow the Lord has definitely helped us find people. We have been finding 2 people everyday and they seem really interested so will see how their faith will go this next transfer! Also we have been working a lot with the less actives and I am so happy to say that they are changing. They are changing little by little and we have set goals for them to get them reactivated and I know that the Lord will help us with these goals and that the members will back us up as well!
I told myself that I will work my butt off this transfer because this will probably be my last transfer here. I definitely don't want to leave feeling that the area hasn't gotten better or that the ward hasn't changed so every transfer I feel like I need to work harder and be more obedient because honestly time is flying by soooooooooo fast! I know the Lord will help me through the tough times but most of all that I just need the love in my heart to be full!!!!!!!!!
Love you all! Misss you TONSSSS
Elder Santacruz signing out for this week! 

Elder Estacio is leaving us to go home

Elder Hardy is leaving our zone

D&C 123:13

Well Hello my loved ones!!! I am really sorry that my English stinks... uhh every one says that my Spanish is better than my English hahah gosh! Don't worry I'm not gonna come home and only know Spanish haha but just don't make fun of my grammar! haha
This week we left with members every day! How great is that!? The sad thing is it was only the young men not the families but everything is getting better! We left with two young men this week that have their papers in and they want to leave as much as they can with us, so that is great!
One thing that I noticed is that in our area we have been working with less actives more than anything! We don't really have that many investigators that are progressing but there is this boy named Rosfreily. He is gonna get baptized in August he is so prepared and he has studied everything. He is a member of the Garcia family. One by one, each of the family members are going to get baptized so we will keep working with him!
This week I was feeling down and a little frustrated that the work is going a little slow here in San Fran but I saw a scripture that I wrote in my journal that's in the front!
Por lo tanto consumamos y agotemos nuestras vidas dando a conocer todas las cosas ocultas de las tinieblas, hasta donde las sepamos, y en verdad estas se manifiestan  de los cielos. D&C 123;13
This scripture helps me so much whenever I feel down or need a boost!
I know that scriptures help us daily and I am so happy I have them in my life.
But that was my week and that the most important thing I have to share is that this gospel is true and that I will spend my life serving for my Heavenly Father to have all of his children to be with him!
Love you all! Miss you!
Shout out to my boy Garth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck on you Farewell talk bro!!!!!!!!
Elder Santacruz!

Family Night will the Coolest family


Thumbs up!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Huelga! (Strike)

Hola a todos! This week was full of success. We are finding more people and working really hard! My comp is all healthy and ready to start working again. We have been living with members and we have been soaking up the sun hahah it issssssss HOT! Some of our young investigators went to a camp called SOY its like EFY and so we couldn't teach them this week. On Sunday they came back and they all we were saying that they know that this gospel is true and that they loved SOY! That was good to hear. This week 6 less actives came to church and it was so awesome! We finished finding all of the less actives in our area and our goal is try to reactivate them. We have been working really hard with them and we have brought members to visit them so that they feel more welcomed to come to church. I told my comp that we have to focus on the less actives because they are just as important as the investigators. He totally supported me and we are working hard with them!
Also remember when I said that there are huelgas (strikes) in this area..... right now we are in a Huelga and we cant leave the house because it is really dangerous in our area. We have been in the house since Monday. haha but don't worry we are completely fine. The huelga is in our area and we live outside of the area so everything is good! This week was great and that's it for you guys. I still don't have chinkunguya!!!!!!!!!!!
Love you all! 
Elder Santacruz

Finally got his package!

Juan Bautista.. We cleaned his chicken coop for a service project


Well.... this week there is not much to say because my companion was sick for the whole week... It was so bad!! He had Chinkunguya ... Its from a mosquito... The country is getting it its just a bad sickness to get... luckily I haven't gotten it....YET. haha but no we stayed in the house for the whole week he couldn't even walk this sickness consists of fever, throwing up, diarrhea, and causes your bones to just hurt which causes swelling.. Yeah my comp had it this whole week..
I was like his mother!! hahaah I never thought I would have kids on the mission haha jk This whole week I studied soooo much so that was good!
One thing that happened that was just awesome is that my comp was feeling better yesterday so we left and we had received a reference from a member and it was his buddy from work. He brought us to him and we taught him and wife. They were so interested, they were asking so many questions about the plan of salvation! My companion and I were so happy! We got out of the lesson and starting walking back home and we just started going crazy because we had received another family. Oh how the Lord is helping us so much! What a blessing it is. It is also so great to work with members, the work is so much easier! That was my Great Chinkunguya week! hahaha no but we are doing great, enjoying everything, and working hard!!!! Love you all! MISS you all!
Elder Santacruz

Pro Cooker

Chinkunguya is no fun

Happy 4th of July

9 Months... WHAT?Our

Hello Hello Hello to all!! Another P day wow! My week was probably the best week in the mission so far! My companion and I have been killing it! When my comp arrived we didn't really have any people to teach! We have been contacting almost everyday for a few hours and it has been very effective! We have been finding new people and some are really crazy people hahaha but we make the best of it. My comp and I have so much fun! We goof around all the time, the two other missionaries that live with us say that we are never not laughing! haha he's like my brother! He helps me so much and I am so grateful for him!
This week we had a an amazing experience, last Saturday we fasted and made a goal to fast every Saturday. We started and it was so hard...... OMG! We had all of our appointments cancel that day so we practically contacted all day and contacting shouldn't be done for more than an hour..... we did it all day... One thing that happened that was so cool was, we were tired and we had walked all over our area and we were extremely hungry and thirsty. We thought that we should pray and so we found a little ally and we knelt down and prayed. After that we felt so great and had energy, enough energy that we found a less active family. They called us on the street and invited us in their house. They told us that they are members but they don't know anybody that goes to the church so we were like we will bring people over to your house first and they said that would be great and that they want to go back to church so that was so cool!

The next day a family that we started teaching last week came to church, all of them! They loved it! They said that they want to continue going and continue taking the lessons. They said that all of the members are really nice and that the church is different than others!!!!! We were so happy! To top that off 5 less actives came to church! My testimony of fasting grew and I know Heavenly Father is always helping.... ALWAYS! watching! I know that the work is growing in san francisco and I am SOOOOOO Happy that it is!
The MISSION is spectacular and it is definitely worth while! Worth all the  tough times! Everything! LOVE YOU ALL! That was my crazy week! Hope you enjoyed it!
Shout out to Skyler! Have fun in Peru bro! Go save some Salvation!

Long lost Brothers

Another amazing trip to the beach. Beach Samana

Our Area

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Elder Centeno

Oh my gosh! This week was so great! My new companion is so great! We have so much fun together! We are literally laughing 24/7 its awesome! This whole week we have been working hard! This week we have been thinking of ways we could help the ward because the bishopric is having some problems working.
We went to the bishop and we asked him if he needed help because we wanted to gain his trust. So we have been helping him a lot more and hopefully the ward can get back on its feet because its really disorganized. We are gonna work really hard this transfer with that.

This week we have also have been contacting because a lot of our investigators are not progressing so we decided to find all of the less actives because we wanted to find a lot of new people!
We had an experience finding a man that had a dream that he talked to Jesus Christ and that Jesus told him that he was gonna restore his church again.When he told us this story my companion and I looked at each other and we just smiled. We both thought GOLDEN haha but no, the man lives all the way out in the middle of a little community. His house is the size of my room back at home and he is so humble and open to hear anything.
This week I learned the importance of trust. I had so much trust in my companion and he did in me. It made us united and we just had so much fun doing the Lord's work. I put that as an example. If we trust in the Lord no matter what happens if the area stinks, or the members don't work, or if there many less actives, you will always work united. You'll just be happy because you have each others back. Trust is the key! 
Everything is great! I love you all I hope everything is going great 
Show out to my buddy Josh! BRAZIL!!! Wow congrats! They are lucky to have you man. Good luck!
Love from the Dominican Republic!

Elder Centeno

A members birthday party

We have to wear these nets while we sleep because people have been getting sick from the mosquitoes. 

"Please do not throw trash on the ground"