Monday, June 29, 2015

Hermana Artigas - testimony in English :)

I have yet to have a companion that speaks English - and in these last 9 months I have had some really fun experiences teaching my Latina companions my native language ;) Hermana Artigas, my new companion from Uruguay, has been practicing reading her testimony in English for the last 2 weeks - and here is where we have gotten ;)

I just love that testimonies are the same, no matter the language. 

This is NOT a sacrifice.

Hello everyone!

On Tuesday we had our very last meeting with President Douglas. He and Hermana Douglas are finishing their mission on Wednesday, July 1st, and will be getting on a plane back to the United States that same day. After 9 months of loving, trusting, and serving with this exemplary family, it was an emotional few hours. To say the least. 
All of the missionaries that are serving in Lima (about half of our mission) was at the Multizona with President and Hermana Douglas. They taught, testified, and instructed us for the very last time. Between the hundred-or-so missionaries and the Douglas's - I don't think there was a dry eye in the room.
Individual pics with President Douglas, Hermana Douglas, and their son Chris! The other pic is of my comp

ZONA CHORRILLOS!!!!!!! In the last Multizona with Pres Douglas!!
The mission is completely prepared to welcome the new mission President and his wife this week - President and Hermana McGinn. I know that this change is just what the Lord had in mind for the Perù Lima South Mission. 

This week my testimony was strengthened of WHY I am here. A lot of times people talk about how much of a sacrifice serving a mission is... how it is a sacrifice, but worth the price. Honestly, I thought the same things for the first few months of my mission. Because let's be honest - it is hard. Leaving home and family for 18 months is not for the weak hearted. Walking 10-12 miles a day doesn't come quite naturally for most. Not without some kind of a price.... there are emotional, physical, temporal, social, and mental "sacrifices."

But let me be the first to tell you that serving a mission is NOT a sacrifice. 

It is NOT.

This is a full investment. 

I owe so much to my Heavenly Father, it is not even fair to use the word "sacrifice." How can I call it a sacrifice when EVERYTHING I have, I already owe to Him? How can I think that I am giving things up when I am more blessed now than I have ever been in my whole life? How is that even possible?

I have said it before, and I will say it again - This is not my mission. It is His. 

I love you all. Thank you for your specific prayers and devotion to supporting the missionaries around the world. We feel your prayers. We feel your love. We need your help in this work. 

The Church is true. I know it. 

Hermana Sintay :)
From left to right -My two "moms" (trainers) in the mission, Hermana Lara y Hermana Chavez. Then me, and my hija here in the mission :) Hermana Artigas! Hermana Lara and Chavez are her grandmas ;) jajaj

Monday, June 22, 2015

It's all part of the process.

FAMILY! FRIENDS! All of you who have stuck around for this long :)

This week has been unbelievable, and there are so many things that I need to catch you up on. 

So remember last week, when I told you all that I was training the missionary who had already been in the field before? Her name is Hermana Mendoza. Well... let's just say that revelation exists, and things are not quite how I thought they were going to be.

On Tuesday, all of the trainers and trainees had to go to a meeting/all-day training with President Douglas. The trainers were in one room, and all the new missionaries in another. We were separated from each other and wouldn't see each other until the end of the training, where everyone would be assigned their new companion. The whole day during the training, I knew that my companion was upstairs, I had already met her, she had already been with me for one day, and I felt no stress. After all, the assistants and President had already told me that she was going to be my companion. I even felt a little sorry for all the other trainers who had the stress of wondering who their companions would be... jaja :) 

The training finished and we went upstairs to be assigned our companions. They always say the name of the trainer first.... and then they call the name of the new missionary who will be with them. When we got up there, I smiled at my companion, again being grateful to not have the same crazy nerves as everyone else.  Hermana Mendoza also looked super calm and really happy to not have the stress of waiting to be assigned.... jaja. 

President called the first trainer's name (an Hermana who would be going to Ayacucho, about 12 hours from Lima) - and the rest of the room kind of held their breath to see who would be assigned first. 

President looked me right in the eyes as he said, "And her companion will be... Hermana Mendoza."


Wait.... WHAT.

My jaw dropped, and so did those of the assistants, Hermana Douglas, and every single other person in the room other than President Douglas. He just smiled and said softly but firmly, "Revelation exists."

I don't really remember much of the next few moments, but I was assigned my NEW new companion - a brand new missionary straight out of the Perú MTC. Her name is Hermana Artigas, and she is from Uruguay. She is 20 years old, and she is FULL of all the nerves and energy that a new missionary should be full of :)

Heavenly Father knows a lot better what we need - and I know that my companionship with Hermana Artigas was inspired by Him. This week we have worked so hard - Hermana Artigas is adjusting really well, but there are still some things that are really hard. We have both learned a lot about the Atonement of Christ as we apply His sacrifice and are obedient to receive His grace and overcome our weaknesses. 

Having a brand new companion from the CCM has helped me remember to be grateful for the little things. My poor sweet companion has blisters all over her feet from walking so much this week, yet every single night when we pray together she thanks Heavenly Father for the chance she had to walk all day. She says that it helps her feel like a missionary.

It helps me feel like a missionary, too :) It helps me remember that sacrifices are okay. It is okay when appointments fall through. It is okay when people reject you. It is okay when you have blisters on your feet. It is okay to get on your knees and plead for forgiveness. It is okay to feel inadequate sometimes... it is okay. It is part of the process :) Not only part of the process of being a missionary - but part of the process of becoming perfected in Him.

Enjoy the journey :) Appreciate the process. Repent. Apply the Atonement. Live the doctrine. Seek the good. Be happy.

The Church is true!!

Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Cambios. Training.

Well... happy week of cambios!

Exciting news!


We got the cambio calls on Saturday night, and my companion is going to another zone while I stay here to train a new missionary.

Normally, when someone is training, they don't receive their companion until Tuesday, but the missionary that I am training came directly from her house, not from the CCM, and so she is already here with me!

Hermana Mendoza is from Chiclayo, Perú, and is 23 years old. She was serving in another mission in México, but had to go home for some reason (I still am not sure why), and was in her house for 1 year. They reassigned her to this mission to finish her last 6 months of her mission. I will be training her for these next 3 months! I picked her up from the airport an hour ago, and I can tell that she is going to be a great companion, and that she is a good missionary :) It is going to be pretty strange... because she already has some experience in the field. But she has been in her house for over a year. She told me that she actually served for 6 months in Arequipa... then 6 months in México... then over a year in her house... and now here. I think it was for health reasons, but I am not sure. I am super excited to get to know her, and to be her trainer here in the Perú Lima Sur mission... aka the best mission in the world ;)

Tomorrow we will have a meeting with all of the new trainers and the new missionaries... there I will learn a lot more about what I will be doing for the next 3 months as a trainer ;) jeje. 

I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be, and that the cambios are inspired by Him. 

I love being a missionary :)

The Church is true!!!!

Hermana Sintay

Monday, June 8, 2015

Just a good 'ol happy week.

Hello everyone :)

This week was full of unexpected and out of the ordinary things, so it went by WAY too fast. I will try to remember everything to tell you all about it!

On Monday we didn't actually have Pday... we only emailed and then procelyted (still don't know how to spell that word) like normal. We had our Pday on Thursday instead, so we could go to the TEMPLE and do a session as a zone! What a blessing :) I will get to that part in a second.. :)

Tuesday there was Concilio de Lideres, and my companion was invited to go even though she is not a leader :) Every once in a while they invite people... usually it means that they will be called as a leader the next transfer. I was so happy for Hermana Guelet, she is so amazing and would be a GREAT leader. This was the last Concilio of President Douglas, so we knew that it was going to be something especially amazing :) Since she was at the Concilio all day long, I stayed with some other Hermanas here in our zone, one of them being Hermana Bailey, one of my roommates from the CCM :) It was so fun to be with her, jajaja and talk English and work in her area. It was a good day :)

Wednesday was the Concilio de Zona, where the zone leaders gave us all of the training that they had received from President the day before. It was so great, and I learned so much through the Spirit. 

On Thursday we had our Pday - and we went to the temple to do a session as a zone :) We had to leave our house at 5:30 in the morning and ride city buses for almost 2 and a half hours to get there in time... but it was so worth it. It reminded me of all the mornings I would wake up super SUPER early to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead before zero hour at home :) I love the temple so much! Once again my testimony was strengthened of the divinity and PERFECTION that is Heavenly Father's plan. He is perfect. We are not. He knows it. And His plan STILL allows us to return and live with Him, and inherit all that He has. The gospel is amazing, and it sure is good news!

This is the last week of the transfers, and while I know that I won't be leaving Chorrillos, it is most likely that my companion will. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us and this area :)

I love you all!

The Church is true!!

Hermana Sintay :)
We all happened to wear the same dress to a Stake activity... not even embarrassing, just a great opportunity for a picture ;) jajaja, don't we look like bridesmaids or something? Good times... good times. Hermana Nielsen (on the right, finishes her mission this week :( Hermana Rush (on the left) only has one more cambio. Sad. I love these Hermanas!

Monday, June 1, 2015

What SUCCESS as a missionary means to me.

Hello everyone :)

A couple noteworthy things to report this week!

Number 1 - we had an activity on Saturday with the whole zone, called an Actividad de Rescate. Activity of Rescue? Sounds a little better in Spanish. jajaja. Anyway, all the missionaries from our zone gathered together, divided up, and went to search for less active members in the same ward boundaries/area. We got a list of names, a map, and went to go visit :) They are activities that the Stake hosts, and they are really fun! The most fun thing was that this time..... 50 missionaries from the CCM came to teach with us!! I had 3 brand new missionaries that came with me, and the 4 of us went out searching and teaching together!! The 3 Hermanas were from Colombia, Ecuador, and Perú, and they are all going to Bolivia on their missions :) It was so fun, they were super terrified.... but they had desires to talk to everyone and teach from the heart :) They have been in the CCM less than 2 weeks. It was so fun to be with 3 little hijitas ;)
The mission asked us to take some pictures procelyting... (no idea how to spell that....) so here they are :) Just a few fun ones!

P.S. It is really awkward walking and having people take pictures of you.... jaja :)
Number 2..... This week we had our last interviews with President Douglas. He finishes his mission in less than a month, and Friday we had our very last interviews with him. It was very bittersweet. In these 8 months with President Douglas, I have reached a profound level of love and respect for him as a called servant of God. While in our interview, he gave me the greatest compliment I could have ever recieved from a mission President. He said, "Hermana Sintay, I have never worried about you. I have never once had to worry that you were doing ANYTHING but the absolute best. I know you are obedient. I know you are consecrated. I know you are converted. But more importantly - your Heavenly Father knows it."

That is all I could ever ask for as a missionary. I don't need to be a trainer, or have a leadership calling, or even the highest numbers to know that I am fulfilling my purpose here in these 18 months. The most important service that I do it only recognized by the Lord. I just want Him to know I am obedient. I want Him to know I am consecrated. I want Him to know that I am converted. I want Him to trust me. 

I feel so humbled and blessed to be a missionary and representative of Jesus Christ. This is His work, and He could ABSOLUTELY do it without me. But He has given me this chance to represent Him, serve in His place, and become converted as I give everything I have to this labor of love.

I love the doctrine of Christ. I do not have a perfect knowledge of the doctrine... but I do have a perfect testimony. Because I KNOW that it is true. I cannot and will not deny it. That testimony keeps me here even when things are really hard. It keeps me going even when my spirit and body are exhausted. It keeps me smiling all the time - becuase this is the GOOD news of the gospel :)

The Church is TRUE. 
I know it.

Hermana Sintay :)
This food that a member made for us.... you eat it in leaves! Classic peruvian food, it was super yummy. And more than anything, it was fun to eat it out of a leaf.

Also the super cute little girls in their family... They always tell me that I am Elsa from Frozen, because I have blonde hair and sing. jajajaja :)