So sorry that it is a little bit later than I normally email - but there is a GOOD reason. WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE THIS MORNING! :) :) Since it is closed for renovation, we didn't get to do a session (sad), but we went through the Visitors Center and got to see the outside :) Oh my goodness, I love the temple. And even more - I loved getting outisde the walls of the CCM! I love this place so much, but sometimes I forget that there are real people outside of this little oasis :)
And GUESS WHO I SAW AT THE VISITOR'S CENTER.
You will never guess.
So I will just tell you :)
HERMANA MARISSA RHOTEN!!!!! :)
Holy cow, I pretty much started crying when I saw her. I will send a picture - you can see how HAPPY it was to see a familiar face in such an unfamiliar country :) Her companion is actually from Lima - so she was stoked when I told her that I was headed there in just 3 weeks.
UM. 3 weeks. That means I am halfway through the CCM!! What the heck! I just got here! But I am SO excited to get to Perú :)
This week has been full of tender mercies and happy answers to prayers :)
I have decided to devote this email to share with you all of the tender mercies that I saw this week.
I promise... there are SO many tender mercies in YOUR life. Open your spiritual eyes, and let Heavenly Father show you how much He loves you :)
Here goes my list for this week :) Just the ones off the top of my head!
1 - toilet seats. Sounds a little strange, eh? jaja :) The first 2 weeks here in the CCM, we didn't have any toilet seats in the bathroom by our classroom. Then... this week... Hermana Lindstrom and I went to go to the bathroom annnnddd.... YES. TOILET SEATS. I had never been so happy for something so little. We literally said an out-loud thank you prayer in the stalls. hahaha :)
2 - Buenos and Chokis. Mmmmmmm yum :) Goodies that we buy from the tienda literally everyday. My whole district is kind of addicted :) The Buenos are these little crunchy chocolately cookie things filled with a heavenly Nutella-ish substance. And Chokis are kinda like Chips Ahoy :) We are a little obsessed. :)
3 - hot sauce. I think I mentioned this before.. but I literally put hot sauce on everything that I eat here. There has been ONE meal in 3 weeks that I haven't enhanced with hot sauce. And that was french toast. hahaha I just couldn't bring myself to do that one :) All the Latinos think it is so funny - whenever they see me carrying the hot sauce around, they tell me I am more Mexicana than they are ;) hehehe.
4 - my zone. There is only one other distrito in my zone - and we have gotten SO close to them! We laugh, we joke, we cry... They are all leaving for the field on Monday, and I am sad to see them go. Can't believe that will be me so soon!
5 - cage fútbol. Everyday during gym time, the Elders in our district play cage soccer. Sadly, Hermanas are not allowed to play with Elders... but Hermana Lindstrom and I love to watch them play. We kick around a soccer ball in the grass by the cage and just enjoy the sun. The weather here is SO perfect. Ahhh such a blessing :)
6 - roommates. Hermana King and Hermana Bailey... they are incredible roommates. They love and serve Hna. Lindstrom and I so much. The other day, I forgot to change my sheets in the morning (we change our sheets every Monday), and when I got home after a long day, Hermana King had changed my sheets and made my bed for me!! It was the sweetest thing ever.
7 - hymns. Okay so... this might sound a little silly. But every single night before we go to bed, my roommates have me sing them to sleep. One night I sang a hymn as requested... and the spirit was so strong in our little room, with the lights off, after a long hard day... they all begged me to sing again. And again. And again. haha :) So now, every night around 10:10, we turn off the lights and I start to sing hymns. I borrowed an English hymn book from Elder McDonald in my district, and I sing right up until 10:30 every night. Everyone is always asleep before I am done singing. It helps me calm down so much... singing is a natural stress reliever for me. And the Hermanas LOVE me for it. They ask me to sing ALL THE TIME. And of course - I always say yes :)
8 - my teachers. I love my teachers!! I don't think I even mentioned this before... but my first investigator, Ana, became one of my teachers after we were done teaching her! Her real name is Hermana Silva. She speaks Spanish SO fast. But I can understand everything she says now! And she actually speaks pretty good English. She loves coming over and giggling and talking with Hermana Lindstrom and I. She is our teacher every afternoon. And Hermano Gallegos is still our morning teacher :) I love him so much. I will really miss both of them after our time here!
9 - the Elders. In my district. I cannot even explain how much I love them, and how close we are! Thank HEAVENS we are all going to the same mission - because at least I will have chances to keep seeing them :) They really are like the Army of Helaman! I learn so much from them everyday.
10 - Hermana Lindstrom :) probably my biggest #TMOTL. (hashtag tender mercy of the Lord. We say that all the time ;)) jajajaa, think we can make it catch on?) :) She is so wonderful!! We are seriously like best friends, we laugh ALL the time, she always keeps me smiling - seriously, I could not be more blessed!! And I love teaching with her. We have really just hit our stride in teaching, and keep improving everyday!
I probably could write for a whole extra hour about all the tender mercies I see every day. The Lord is SO good to me! Being a missionary and a representative of Jesus Christ is the greatest blessing of all.
Just a quick spiritual note here before I'm done :)
I just want you all to know that I TRULY believe this message that I teach. And I love it :) I am not just telling people that Christ lived, died, and was resurrected. I am testifying to EVERYONE that He is coming again. That through Him, you can be clean again. That there is hope. That no one is ever lost and alone. This message and truth has changed my life. It changes everything that I do. And it is SO IMPORTANT to share this message!! PLEASE, my dear friends and family at home :) - share what you know. Show your love to the Lord by loving His children. By helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ :) I promise you - it's true. If you don't know that it is true - lean on my testimony. And then get on your knees and ask. Your Heavenly Father will answer you. He always does.
I love you all :)
Hermana Sintay :)