Monday, March 30, 2015

How are YOU preparing?

Zona Ica with Elder Waddell, member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy
Hello everyone!!
First off - shout out to the best eternal family in the entire world :) I received the package that you sent for Easter slash General Conference, and it was THE BEST. Seriously, you guys are way too amazing. I shared everything with my companion and the other 2 Hermanas that are in our ward :) I think they were all just as excited as I was - maybe even more ;) Thank you SO much, Mom!
ALSO, Alena I hope you don't think that I forgot your birthday!!!! I was thinking about it all week, and ESPECIALLY all day on Saturday :) I cannot believe that you are 14 years old. You are such a strong and beautiful young woman! I am so grateful to be your sister :)
This week it has been SO hot here, and we walked more than I ever have in Ica. We spent all week walking and contacting referrals that we had, buuuuuuut it seemed like everyone decided at the same time to hide away in their houses and not answer the door. Sooooooo yup, we just walked even more. But that's okay! I hope that this week we will be able to find more people :) We don't have that many investigators right now... that's why we are spending so much time searching for new people!
I guess I haven't really told you a ton about the people we are teaching - and I am sorry about that! The truth is, it's because we really don't have that many people that we are teaching. We are working 50% in our area, and 50% in family history, and for that reason alone, it is hard to help our area flourish like we should. We are teaching a few investigators and a handful of less actives, but most are struggling to progress. We pray everyday to be able to have the capacity to focus our efforts on BOTH areas of our work so that BOTH can be excellent. It is hard, let me tell you! My capacities and capabilities are definitely being stretched. Heavenly Father is giving me so much more strength than I have by myself!
Something funny that happened with Hermana Santiago this week - we both decided that we were not being very good with our health... and were eating too much... hahaha so we decided to go on a diet. Hmmmmmmm hahaha reminds me of the million times that Lenise Volmer and I decided that we would go on a diet together. I don't know when that has EVER worked. (Isn't that right, Lenise? ;) jejeje. Well, Hermana Santiago and I decided this JUST after I received the package from my family, which was FULL of yummy Easter candies... and junk food... that we love... hahaha. Kind of a problem, right?
So what did we decide to do?
We decided that we would eat ALL of it in one night, so that we wouldn't have the temptation anymore. 
Hey, we're brilliant, right? ;)
Well, brilliant or not, we did it. We spent literally the whole night eating (in the name of our diet of course), and then in the morning were completely committed to not eating junk food ;) 
And hey! I lost 2 kilos (I think that's like 4 lbs?) this week, in spite of the night when we ate enough to feed half of Perù. So that's good :)
On Saturday we did get to watch the Women's Conference!! It was so amazing. I loved every minute of it :) It was in Spanish, but that was just fine! 
I cannot even tell you how EXCITED I am for General Conference. I have been counting down the days for WEEKS now!!!! And - I think that I might get to listen to it in English :) What a blessing :) 
I hope that you are all preparing well for General Conference. Prepare your hearts and minds to be able to APPLY what is said, REPENT, and CHANGE. I am anxiously looking forward to recognizing more of my weaknesses, and applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ to repent and become more like Him. 
How are YOU preparing your heart and mind for General Conference? Make it a priority - I promise it will be worth it :)
He lives! I know it. So let's be happy about it :)
The Church is true!!
Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Why do missionaries exist?

Has anyone ever mentioned how STRANGE time passes on the mission?
Like the fact that I feel like I just got off the plane, but when people ask me how long I have been here, the answer is "almost 6 months." Orrrrrr how the days sometimes feel like they will never end, and then all of the sudden it is Pday again, and a week has past. And transfers? Oh gosh. I don't understand how so much can happen, yet they can pass so fast.  
Mission time is like another dimension, I swear. 
But it's the absolute best :)
This week was so wonderful! It was cambios this week, but Hermana Santiago and I didn't have cambios! So we will be here in Ica as companions for another 6 weeks :) I am really grateful! I know that the Lord has miracles for us to perform here in our area, as well as family history and retention!

On Wednesday, Elder Waddell from the first quorum of the Seventy came for a tour of the mission. He was here in Ica all day, and ALL the missionaries from Chincha, Pisco, Ica, and Nazca were here! There were about 80 missionaries. Elder Waddell came with President and Hermana Douglas to do a training. 
IT WAS AMAZING. I learned so many things. I couldn't even write in my journal fast enough all of the things I was learning by the Spirit!!
Elder Waddell was so direct and powerful. And I am pretty sure he has the scriptures memorized. Everything he said was so PACKED with doctrine and truth.  

At one point, he stopped in the middle of what he was saying and pointed at an Elder. He asked the Elder, "Elder, do you ever eat?" The Elder, a little taken back, responded hesitantly - "Um.. yes?"

"Very good, Elder. Now why do you eat?"
(The poor Elder probably thought it was a trick question, I think I saw his eyes dart to his Preach My Gospel to see if maybe the correct answer would be found there.) 
"Umm... so I can work?"
"Elder, why is it important that you work?"
"So that I can fulfill my missionary purpose."
"And why is is important for you to fulfill your missionary purpose?"
"So I can bring others to Christ."
"And why do you need to bring others to Christ?"
"So that they can have eternal life."
"Why do they need to have eternal life?"
"So they can have an eternal family."

At this point, Elder Waddell almost reached out to smother the Elder in a hug as he exclaimed, "EXACTLY! So what you are saying, is that you eat to create eternal families."
We didn't even have a moment to snicker or laugh before Elder Waddell leapt onto another Elder. 

"Elder! Why do you sleep?"
"So that I don't fall asleep during the day."
"And why is it important that you don't fall asleep during the day?"
"So that I can work."
"And why is it important that you work?"
(Catching on now, the Elder responded with a smile) -
"So that I can create eternal families."

"So, what you are saying, is that you SLEEP to CREATE ETERNAL FAMILIES."
(turning to a brand new Elder, just got out in the field)
"Elder! Why do you breathe?"
(without any hesitation)
"To create eternal families."

My eyes were opened as he ended this little exercise. As missionaries of Jesus Christ, we EAT, SLEEP, and BREATHE to create eternal families. Literally everything we do revolves around this purpose. Missionaries do a lot of things during the day - we wake up, exercise, plan, study, practice, teach, contact, call people, ask for referals, talk to everyone, teach more, plan more, report numbers... and about a million other things in between. But honestly, everything has the same purpose. 

We exist to create eternal families :)

Everything I do is to fulfill that purpose. But it is not MY purpose... it is Heavenly Father's. That is His plan. To strengthen families through the Atonement and gospel of Jesus Christ so they can live with Him forever :)

I love my eternal family!
I love you all. 
This church is true!!!

Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Temple = change = happy

Hermanas de Perú Lima Sur!!
Not all of us... but about half :) Most of these Hermanas are in Lima right now, so they were there to bring some of their recent converts, too. Of this group of Hermanas, only 4 of us are in the South right now. 
I love Hermanas. And the temple :)

The recent converts that we took to the temple!! :)
Here are 2 of my favorite Hermanas from the CCM :)) Representing México in Perú!!
Hello friends and family,

Let me just tell you - changes are good :) Repentance is good. I have changed and repented a lot this week, and have applied the Atonement of Jesus Christ in ways that I didn't even know were possible. I am so grateful for the love of my Savior Jesus Christ.

This week went by SO fast, because we had so many things to do. We are already in the last week of the transfer.... which I cannot even believe. Time is going SO fast in the mission - and I don't want it to! I feel like I just got here, but I am about to complete 6 months. YIKES.

This week we took another group of recent converts to the temple!! It was so wonderful. We had 11 recent converts that went with us. All of them had such amazing experiences. I love the power of the temple! I know that the temple changes and unites hearts. 

My companion and I were SO blessed to be able to attend a session while were were there. Once again, I was reminded that God has a perfect plan for His imperfect children. Our Heavenly Father is absolutely amazing. His love is infinite, JUST like our potential!

This week will FLY by, too - on Wednesday, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy is coming to Ica for a training! All of the missionaries from Chincha, Pisco, Nazca, and Ica will be here for the training. I cannot wait!! The whole mission is kind of going crazy in preparations. It will be amazing :)

Sorry that this email is a little short - I lost some time in a little battle with my camera, trying to upload all of these photos. haha :)

I know that this church is true! I am grateful for the changes that I am going through. I am grateful that I am not the same as I was 6 months ago. I am grateful for repentance. Repentance is not a punishment - it is hope. Hope that we can change, and overcome our weaknesses.

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and your continued faithfulness.

The Church is true!

Hermana Sintay :)
So get this... one of the Elders who works in the office is from Switzerland. (?!??!??!!) Yeah, I'm not really sure how it works either. He looks Peruvian, speaks perfect Spanish, but was born and raised in Switzerland and speaks perfect German, too. 
ANYWAY, his parents sent him a package FULL of chocolate from Switzerland. (naturally)
We were in the office for a little bit while we were in Lima, and he gave my companion and I the BEST CHOCOLATE I HAVE EVER EATEN IN MY WHOLE LIFE. 
Encerio, I was in heaven. Thank you Elder Mendoza from Switzerland.
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Monday, March 9, 2015


This week was a turning point in my mission. 

Just to be completely straight-up and honest - If you think that missionaries are perfect... and that they don't have struggles or problems... maybe you shouldn't read this. 
If you think that everyone you see with this little nametag ALWAYS is smiling and whistling in the street - perhaps you should read another missionary blog, or scan to the next email in your inbox.

If you have ever felt -
1) weak.
2) in need of help.
3) unsure of what to do.
4) desperate for someone to understand.....
PLEASE read this. Please lean on my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and realize that you are NOT alone. Please realize that there is someone who understands, and there is hope.

For me, as a missionary here in the south of Perú, these last few weeks have been extremely hard. Little things just seemed to be building up... and seemed to be making EVERYTHING difficult. We are struggling to find new people in our area. We don't have people to teach. My companion and I have not been getting along, and we don't have any unity. We walk all day, in 95° weather, contacting referals that we have, and no one is ever home. It has been harder to feel the Spirit. And about a million other little things that have made me feel just a tad bit overwhelmed and beaten down. 

I started to wonder WHAT I was doing wrong. Why wasn't I able to teach with the Spirit as well? Why didn't my companion and I get along? Why did I feel sad all the time? ... What was I doing wrong? What was I lacking?

When I started thinking these things, it just got worse. I started to focus on EVERY single one of my weaknesses, and starting to feel more and more like a failure. I kept seeking to improve, to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ, to get up and keep working. But nothing was happening. 

I remembered a talk that I had read one time... talking about the Savior´s death and resurrection. In this talk it describes how the disciples must have felt that Friday morning of the Savior's crucifixion. They were completely surrounded with darkness and sorrow. That Sunday morning right before the Savior's resurrection, they must have felt like the world was heaping sorrow after sorrow upon their backs. Little did they know that they were about to receive the greatest light and hope - if they could just hold on until Sunday. I felt like I was living in Friday. I knew that Sunday was coming... I knew the light was there... but I felt like the world was heaping more and more upon my back and my heart.  

Right when I was feeling like this, we received news that President Douglas was going to come to Ica for interviews with everyone. I had NEVER felt so grateful. More than anything, I needed to talk to President and lean on his insight and help. If I was doing something wrong... I just wanted him to tell me. I just wanted to feel the Spirit again, and be happy.

President came for interviews on Friday. I was the first missionary to have my interview (the Hermanas are always first). As I entered into the room, and he closed the door, all of my feelings just came to the surface. He asked me how I was... and I couldn't lie. I told him everything I was feeling, and it was a miracle he understood through my mess of tears. 

Right away, President told me, "Hermana Sintay. You are not doing anything wrong. Please do not think that. Remember where your strength comes from. Remember how capable you are."

For 25 minutes, he gave me the best advice and council I have ever received in my whole life. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. Every word comforted and encouraged my soul and heart. I continued to cry, but I saw the light. I KNEW that I could do anything and everything through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I knew that the feelings I was feeling were from Satan. He wanted me to feel like i couldn't do it - but my Heavenly Father wanted my to unlock the enabling power of the Atonement to KNOW that I could do it. 

President told me that the BEST way to overcome these feelings was to do exactly as the Savior did - turn out. Never look inward. Focus absolutely every single one of my efforts on others. Serve. Love. Lift. Forget yourself. Accept your weaknesses. Apply the Atonement. And move forward with faith. 

At the end of my interview, President asked if he could give me a blessing. It was the most beautiful blessing I have ever received of comfort, peace, and strength. I felt the Spirit SO strongly during the blessing, I felt like Jesus Christ himself was standing there speaking the words directly to my heart. 

From the moment I left the room from that interview, I was changed. I knew what I needed to do. And it was not for me. I needed to serve others with ALL my heart, might, mind, and strength, to show my Savior how grateful I was for His infinite gift. ONLY with His power do I have the strength to do these things.

If you are still reading this, I want to speak directly to you. Perhaps you have felt like I did at times. Like the whole world is piling sorrow after sorrow on your back. Like you are stuck in a never ending Friday... not knowing where the light or hope is. But please - I plead with you - remember that Sunday comes. Remember where your strength comes from. Remember how capable you are. 

I testify as a representative of Jesus Christ that He lives. He knows how you feel. He is the strength that you need. 

Turn out. Let Him lift you as you lift others. Trust in His enabling power.
This church is true. I LOVE my calling as a missionary. I am grateful to grow, and learn, and change. 

With the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I am happy :)

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. 

Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Keeping covenants and COMING unto Him :)

Hello everyone!!

Did you have a happy week? I hope so :)

Did you see LOTS of blessings from the Lord? Did you thank Him for those blessings? Did you seek to serve others? 

....... Excellent :) I knew I could trust in you, my wonderful friends and family, to continue to bless the lives of others!!! And let me tell you something - if you want to have a happy day, serve others. Make them happy. Trust me, it works :)

I had a very rewarding week, because we worked SO hard to serve everyone around us. Every night as I fell into bed, I honestly felt like I had given everything to the Lord. And that made me happy :)

We are working hard to prepare for our next trip to the temple, which will be on March 14th! Our goal is to take 20 recent converts with us :) For all of them, it will be their first time going to the temple, and their first time taking their own names to the temple to perform the baptisms :) I know that it will be an AMAZING experience! We have to work so hard to prepare, though. One of our greatest trials is animating and encouraging the Elders in our zone. To be able to take these people to the temple... the Elders have to coordinate a lesson with us here in our office. They bring their recent converts and then we are able to teach them and prepare them to bring names to the temple. But if the Elders don't bring their recent converts and less actives who are reactivating.... we can't do anything! 

The zone leaders asked me to give a workshop to all of the Elders on Saturday morning as a special training. They realize that there are difficulties with the Elders... but they didn't know why. So they asked me to figure out why... and present a workshop to fix it. .... Wow. Pressure, no? My companion was going to give a workshop on another topic. 

Soo.... I prayed a lot. I thought about the times when we are teaching out in the field... and an investiagtor doesn't keep their commitments. WHY does this happen? When an investigator doesn't keep their commitments, they will always give you a million excuses. But those excuses are not the reason why. When someone doesn't keep their commitments, it is because they don't understand the DOCTRINE. Here in our zone, in Ica, Perú.... we are not keeping our commitments when it comes to family history. We are not reaching our goals. ..... WHY? Because we didn't understand the DOCTRINE. 

So - I studied the doctrine. I prayed. I meditated. I listened to the Spirit. And Heavenly Father prepared me to be able to teach with the Spirit the things that the Elders needed to hear. 

The doctrine of family history really starts in the Restoration. 

What do we teach in the Restoration?

Every missionary knows that through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ's church was once again restored, with the same authority and principles that existed when it was first established.
But what does that MEAN? What was restored? What Priesthood? What keys? What powers? What authority? What ordinances? When the Church of Jesus Christ was restored, ALL OF THE ORDINANCES AND KEYS were restored. Read Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-16. Think about it. Think about what happened. What an amazing truth. We HAVE all of the keys for this dispensation. 

We have the keys to seal on earth and in heaven.

We have the POWER to have eternal families :) 

Hearts are turning. We are living in the Restoration. The Lord tells us in these verses that "the time has fully come." The time is here :) The time to prepare for the "great and dreadful day of the Lord." ...The Second Coming. 

Jesus Christ is really coming :) Now here is my question for you. What are you doing to COME unto Him? What are you doing to help OTHERS come unto Him? Think about the covenants you have made with the Lord - and how you are keeping them :) Every day we have to come unto Christ by repenting and honoring our covenants. Not just on Sundays when we take the Sacrament... every day :)

I know that this is the true church. I know that covenants with God are real. I know that the power of covenant KEEPING is real. I know that families are forever :)

Have a happy week - keep your covenants. Seek to serve. Come unto Him. 

The church is true!
Hermana Sintay :)

PS. HAPPIEST news that I received this week....... Hermana Maylin, our wonderful golden convert who was baptized while I was in Chincha... went to the TEMPLE to do vicarious baptisms for her FAMILY this week :) Now I know her heart is changed. And it is changed forever. And I PROMISE you that my heart is happier than ever :) :) :) :) :)

I love Peruvian food, but....  
We made TACOS on Saturday!!!!!!!!! We made them just because my comp is Mexican, tacos don't exist in Perú jajajaja :)  
My Mexican companion taught me how to cook like a REAL Mexicana ;)
The hermano that is with us owns this restaurant, and let us cook with him :)

It's a good thing I am not serving my mission in México ;)If I served in Mexico, I would gain 50 lbs.. jajajaja
Hermana Villena (de Ecuador) and me, eating mangos.............. Let me tell you. I am obsessed with mangos. I eat at least one mango everyday. jajaja   THEY ARE MY WEAKNESS!!!