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 -
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 :)