Monday, February 23, 2015

One year older and wiser, too :)

My wonderful companion, Hermana Santiago de México!!!
Also, please note the man photo bombing in the picture. jejeje
WOW. 20 years old.
Probably the best birthday I have ever had, thanks to all of your birthday wishes and prayers! THANK YOU to all of you :) I am so so so so so blessed :)

Best birthday package in the whole world!!  Sorry about the blurry picture.
Thank you family :)

This week was PACKED with eventful things!!! I have only been in Ica 2 days this week. jaja.... let me tell you all about it :)

On Wednesday we had a MultiZona with President Douglas and the assistants - I learned SO much. But it was not one of those "share-happy-scriptures-make-you-feel-good-about-yourself" MultiZonas............ jaja. It was a "practice-teaching-in-front-of everyone-and-realize-all-your-weaknesses-at-once" kind of MultiZona. BUT, I loved it. I realized so many things that I need to improve. It was a little overwhelming, but I know that with the help of my Heavenly Father, he will help turn me into the missionary He needs me to be. 

Right after the MultiZona, which lasted all day, my companion and I got on a bus to Lima. I had to go to immigrations again because I am still not legal. jajaja... :) 7 hours later, we arrived. We stayed the night with Hermana Lara (my old comp) and her companion who is a brand new missionary from the United States. They are serving in Lima. I had a really long talk with this poor brand new missionary, who is in her 1st week, and is SO overwhelmed. It made me reflect a lot on the progress I have made... I am only 3 months ahead of this Hermana, and I remember being exactly where she is. But with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we truly can do all things. I talked with her, cried with her, and she felt so much better afterwards. So did I - being able to lift others makes me so happy :)

Immigrations was only fun because I got to see all the missionaries from my CCM group again :) :) :) What a blessing. I love that group of kids. They are my best friends here. :) And hey! We are legal now ;)

Another 7 hours in a bus, and we were back in Ica (pronounced eee-kuh, in case you were wondering). We worked for one day.... and then..... at Friday night, at 1 in the morning, we got on that bus again....... TO GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!! :) :) :) We went with our ward and a group of recent converts and reactivated members that we are working with. All together, 60 PEOPLE made the sacrifice to go to the temple. We left at 1 in the morning and arrived a little after 7. All day long these members were in the temple - WOW it was incredible. For many, it was their first time. The Spirit that was there was SO strong. Since the temple in Lima is the only temple in all of Perú, there were a million people that had traveled from all over the country to come to the temple on this Saturday morning. It was an incredible experience. Families everywhere, waiting outside to enter... youth groups anxiously waiting their turn to do baptisms for their own family members... people waiting to be sealed, to recieve their endownment... it was glorious :) 

I wish all of our temples looked like this!The temple grounds FILLED with people :) What a glorious sight :)

We left Lima and the temple about 3:00, and were here in Ica again at 9:30. It was a long and exhausting week, but SO rewarding. When I finally got to sleep in my own bed again on Saturday night, I just could not stop smiling as my head hit the pillow.

Wanna know something...? 
None of you are ever going to see 20 year old Aubrey Sintay. 
You will all see 21 years and 2 months old Aubrey Sintay.... but this ENTIRE year of my life while I am 20 years old I am going to be here, helping people come unto Christ. Helping people have eternal families. Helping them see the light :) 
It is hard. I am going to be working. I am going to be sacrificing. I am going to be learning. But I am doing it because I love my Savior. I know he lives. Not only does He live - but He is coming again.
This. Is. His. Church. 
We. Are. His. People.
There is no greater truth :)

I love you all. Thank you for your sacrifices. Thank you for your love and prayers.
Keep pressing on :)

Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

A few little thank-you-prayers :)

Hello everyone!

I have a lot that I want to share with you from this week! It was a week full of miracles... changing... and learning :)

First of all.......... I cannot believe I am turning 20 this week. There is no way. jajaja. That makes me sound old. I am excited though :) My companion from Mexico is going to make me tacos to celebrate on Sunday!!!! :) #stilllLOVEmexicanfood

So, this week :) Here in Ica (pronounced eee-kah), my companion and I are working part-time proscelyting (still have no idea how to spell that word jajaja) and part time as Family History Retention Specialists! ..... Sounds fancy, no? ;) jeje. It really is the best. I have gained SUCH a testimony of family history since I started working with it in Chincha. Now in Ica... seriously, family history works MIRACLES in retention. When someone is baptized, the MOST important thing is for them to go to the temple. If they go to the temple, and do vicarious work for their own ancestors... their retention rate is AMAZING. They will not become inactive. They will be truly converted. I have seen that change in people. And it is incredible :)

Being able to work in an area AND in family history is really hard - because both have to be excellent! We are not only responsible for all of our own investigators and people - but we are in charge of all of the recent converts and reactivated members of 20 other missionaries!! We always are slammed with things to do, and are always running around to make sure that everything gets done and that everyone has their needs met :) I. Love. It. It is exhausting. President Douglas told me in my letter this week that we were reaching the level of work that the assistants have ;) jajajaja. I highly doubt that, but we definitely are working hard :)

Probably the reason everything is so hard and hectic is that we opened a new area this transfer at the same time as everything! Meaning.... my companion knows absolutely nothing about the area, neither do I, we only get to work there 3 days a week, and we still are expected to find 10 new investigators every week, have 30 lessons, and have 10 people with a baptismal date. ................. yeah so we have our work cut out for us ;) Once we learn the street names I will get back to you on that one, okay? ;)

This week on Saturday, we are taking a trip to the TEMPLE in Lima with all of the recent converts and reactivated members that we are working with in FAMILY HISTORY! We have been working so hard to help them all find names to take to the temple, and we are all going to go together on Saturday!! :) :) :) We have to leave at 1 in the morning, ride a bus for 7 hours, and then we will be there all day :) Hermana Santiago and I don't get to go inside the temple with them, but we will be outside the whole time and will be there to share the experience with them :) We have a group of 20 people, and for all of them it is their first time going to the temple :) They have been so changed by the Spirit of Elijah, they are willing to make any sacrifice to make it to the temple :) They are sacrificing time... money... so many things, just to go to the house of the Lord. It is such an example to me.

If you are reading this, and you have a temple within 3 hours of your house, say a thank-you-prayer to Heavenly Father right now. No, seriously. Stop reading this and say a 30 second prayer. ...................... Okay, said your prayer? Ready? 

You are blessed. 
....You are SO blessed. 
I don't think you know how blessed you are. 

Now, if you have a family that was sealed in the temple, say another prayer. I hope this one might be a little longer than 30 seconds. 

..... Do you realize how blessed you are? Do you realize how blessed you are to not only KNOW that families are forever, but to have one? Do you understand how BLESSED you are to be able to go to the house of the Lord and participate in the work of salvation? The work of SALVATION. You are saving people. Just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side. Think about that.... you can be a Savior for someone in your family. Someone who is waiting. 

So, what are you waiting for? 
Go to the temple :)
Go to a family history center. 
Find names, find SOULS, in your family that are waiting to be saved. 
And then save them :)

I testify that this is the work of the Lord. This is His Kingdom. The temple is HIS house. I love being a part of His army, and I love being engaged in the work of salvation. But remember - you don't have to be a missionary to love and serve the Lord :) You can do it today. You can do it now. I testify of a loving Heavenly Father who smiles on His children every time they make a choice for good.

Okay.... one more thank you prayer. This time, make it a long one. Think of the blessings your loving Father in Heaven has given you that you have yet to thank Him for. Let Him know you are grateful :)

I love you all. I am grateful for YOU. You are a part of my life that I give thanks for every day. 

The church sure is true :)

Hermana Sintay :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Finishing my training... transfers..... starting my new adventure in.............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow, what a week. The things that happened earlier this week seem like NOTHING now that I have SO much more to tell. So, in about 2 sentences, I will tell you what happened earlier in the week. Then I can focus on the good stuff ;) hehe. 

Monday we traveled to Lima for a training in family history work. I don't know if I told you all about this, but Hermana Chavez and I opened family history in Chincha! A couple weeks ago we started working one day a week in the family history center :) The Elders bring all of their new converts, rescues, less actives and investigators to work with us. We help them create an account in Family Search, and then help them prepare names to bring to the temple :) Seriously, it is awesome, and it really helps the missionaries stay focused in bringing people to the temple! Honestly, the temple is the BIGGEST focus in our mission right now. The sacrifices that people make to go to the temple here in Perú are amazing. Hours and hours of travel... just for a few moments in the Lord´s house :) It makes me so so so much more grateful to have temples close at home!

So.... yeah we were in Lima for a training with ALL of the Hermanas in historia familiar. There are a ton - now that we started in Chincha, every area has Hermanas to help in historia familiar :) It's the best! The training was really awesome, and I learned a TON. 

We were in Lima until late Wednesday night, and had to work SUPER hard Thurs, Fri, and Sat to make up for the time we lost. 

Saturday night..... we got the calls...... for......... CAMBIOS!! TRANSFERS!!!! 
I am no longer in Chincha. 
I was transferred.
(I was kind of expecting it, after the robbery and everything that has happened)
I am in.....




:) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Whoo hooooo!!!! Even more south in Perú than Chincha...... I am in Ica :) It is bigger than Chincha, HOTTER (holy cow I am going to be black by the time I get home), and I am so so happy to be here :) Wow!! It is going to be such an adventure! My new companion is Hermana Santiago de México :) She is wonderful, and she LOVES to sing just as much as I do ;) We are definitely going to be singing at the baptisms that we have...... :) 

We are working in historia familiar again, and we are OPENING a new area also. Meaning... my companion has no idea what is going on, and neither do I. hahahaha we are going to work so hard to get started in this area and start to establish the church even more here :)
Sorry Mom, I still don't know street names so you can stalk me.... haha but I am here in Ica, and my program is San Isidro! That's an area in Ica, so you can look for it :) jaja :)

I honestly am so happy to be where I am. It was amazingly hard to leave Chincha... that was my first area, and I had been there for 3 months. I cried when I had to say goodbye to M****n and her family. She cried so much, gave me the sweetest gift, and bore her testimony once again to me. She is a REAL convert. I look forward to seeing her and her family be sealed in 1 year :)

Another thing that happened this week..... Hermana Chavez, my comp in Chincha, was going to stay in Chincha with another Hermana. That was her transfer call on Saturday night. We kind of figured that would happen, because we KNEW I was getting transferred (there will never be gringas in Chincha again... it's just too dangerous...) On Sunday, though, our ward mission leader was talking to us and told us a TON of things that had happened in our area that we didn't know about. Robberies... assaults.... drug arrests... tons of things. He said that in the street that we live on, there was a ring of people who were planning all of these things. He told us to be careful, because his friend (who is a police officer), warned him that "the Mormons were being watched" and that they are "always in sight." .............. so yeah that freaked us out a ton. We called President (obviously), and told him everything we learned. I already knew I was being transferred to Ica, but my companion now needs somewhere else to go. President closed our area, and Hermana Chavez went to Lima. There will never be Hermanas in Chincha again :( So so so so so sad. I was born in Chincha! Azu.. but it definitely is for the better. I would hate for something terrible to happen to the missionaries again. 

So, bottom line..... I finished my training (YAY!!!!), they closed my area (sad....), and I am starting a new adventure in Ica (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) :)

Oh - and I am happier than ever to be a missionary :)
I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that the Lord gives us trials so that we can grow and learn. There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone! We have to have changes so we can progress :) I am about to go through a lot of changes here in the mission, but I know that they are to help me grow as a missionary and as a person :) Thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I have the power to improve every day, and become a better servant and representative of my Savior. :)

The church is true!!!
Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, February 2, 2015


Hello family!!!!!

This email is going to be a little short, because I spent forever sending a ton of pictures!! I hope you enjoy them all :) And a picture is worth a thousand words, right? :)

I just wanted to write and tell you about my FIRST BAPTISM that I had this week!!! M****n and her 2 kids, Adrian and Jenifer were baptized on Saturday!! :) :) :) :) :) :) It was the best experience of my whole life!! They were SO happy, and so emotional. Maylin was crying the whole time, because she felt the Spirit so strongly. When she came out of the font, she was absolutely glowing. She shared her testimony with everyone that was there at the baptism, and shared about the moment that we first knocked on her door... she said that she usually doesn't ever answer the door for people coming to talk about religion. When we knocked on her door, her son A****n answered. She was in the back room, and wasn't going to come out. She said that when she heard my voice, saying something about Jesus Christ, something pulled her directly to the door. She said that she felt like someone literally carried her to the front door to listen to us. Since that first moment, she knew that what we were sharing was true. She knew that we were angels sent to her door. She said that when she came out of the baptismal font, she felt like a part of her was left there in the water... she felt new. WOW, I loved listening to her testimony. And the sweet testimonies of her children, too :)

I know that this work is true!! I am happier than I have ever been in my whole life here in the mission. I am happy because I get to feel the Spirit every second of every day :) Because I get to help people come unto Christ. ... there is NOTHING better. 

The church is true!!!
Hermana Sintay :)
My wonderful companion and I :) She is the best!

Just hanging out on the roof of the house... drinking mate... (It's a chile/argentina thing, pretty sure I am going to be addicted when I get home. hahaha)

On top of our roof again!

We lined up all of our nametags in the sand to take a picture, hoping that a wave wouldn't carry them away.....

Unfortunately, we weren't too lucky. hahahahaha here is the aftermath of that brilliant idea ;) Thank heavens the Elders were quick to recover them all ;)
I found this crab in the sand.... pretty sick, yeah?
How does that saying go? You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince? Does that apply for crabs? ;)

Zona Chincha!!

Featuring Elder Rivas, our zone leader. hahaha. 

Riding the bus home from the beach