Monday, September 28, 2015
Happy day :)
How AWESOME is it to be a member of the TRUE Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints?
Pretty awesome. Let me tell you :)
NUMBER ONE: We have a living prophet! A PROPHET! Someone who actually talks with God and tells us what He wants us to hear. Ever thought about how amazing that is? Pretty amazing. And even better, he is going to talk to us this weekend. How many of your friends know about this incredible blessing? I hope that every single one of us will make the sacrifices and arrangements to be at every single session of this amazing General Conference on Saturday and Sunday.
NUMBER TWO: From a modern day prophet, we have been commanded by revelation to participate once again in the law of the FAST. I will be completely honest - I did not have any kind of testimony about fasting before my mission. On just about every single Fast Sunday growing up, I remember waking up and going downstairs early in the morning, just to find the cupboards and refrigerator covered with Dad's homemade signs reading: "FAST SUNDAY. DO NOT EAT." Without a personal testimony of fasting, those signs just made me wince and groan and murmur and start counting the hours for the long-awaited return from the chapel... where I would promptly hide myself in my room and sleep until lunch/dinner (we called it "linner") would be prepared at the earliest hour possible (usually 3 or ). I would say the FASTest prayer ever to finish my FAST (that in my eyes did not pass by that FAST), and start gorging myself on any food that I found in the house. As a teenager, I was sure that this kind of hunger that I felt must have been the same as what the pioneers experienced when they hadn't eaten anything but flour for weeks.
That was how I lived "the law of the fast."
I have since repented.
The first time I ever did a 24 hour fast was in the MTC. It must have been our 4th week or so, and they announced the rules for Fast Sunday there in the MTC. We would eat lunch on Saturday like normal, then start our fast. The cafeteria (and every other way to obtain food there on campus) was closed through dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday.
That fast in the MTC was also the first time that I had ever fasted with full purpose of heart. I was the first time I didn't think about food for 24 hours, nor did I have any desire to complain or groan or murmur. It was my way of showing the Lord that I was willing to be exactly obedient and complete with the law He had given me. I fasted and prayed with a specific purpose. I used that fast as a starting point of ACTION. After recieving revelation and being uplifted, I changed. I had a new perspective.
For the last 11 Fast Sundays, I have done the same. A 24 hour fast, from Saturday lunch to Sunday lunch. I have prepared myself the week before with prayer and scripture study to know what the purpose of my fast should be. I no longer hide myself in my room until the food is ready.... nor do I suffer for lack of physical nourishment. Since I have changed my way of observing this commandment, I have changed. I have more perspective. And I LOVE the law of the fast.
I declare my testimony that the spiritual blessings that come from obeying the law of the fast are real and WORTH our physical sacrifice. Read Helaman . These are the blessings of fasting that I have gained a personal testimony of.
Friends, family, all of you....... What a blessing that it is to be a member of THE true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints :) We are the Lord's people. His laws and commandments are one of the ways that He shows His love for us. We show our love for Him through our exact obedience to said laws, reguardless of the sacrifices.
The DOCTRINE OF CHRIST is true. I testify it.
Hermana Sintay :)
Monday, September 21, 2015
Last week for P-day, we went to a beach here in Pisco! All of Pisco is on the coast, and all of our areas have playa, so we just walked a little bit to find a good one to play some sports for a while :)
On Saturday, we got to participate in a Mormon Helping Hands activity :) It was the best! I have ALWAYS wanted to put on that yellow vest and get sunburned in an activity like this :) And Saturday was just my chance to do so! It was so fun. All of the missionaries in Pisco participated!
|MPLS... Mision Peru Lima Sur :)|
|And the Elders... some good team work to clean up these beaches :)|
|It always has been on my bucket list to wear this yellow vest and help in a worldwide service project... and what better place than here in Perù :)|
|Here in Pisco, on the coast of Perù, everyone eats fish. And this is how they eat it.|
I think I have officially gotten over my fear of fish bones. Que rico :)
Lots of miracles happened this week, but the time won't permit me to cuent them all! So I will just invite you to LOOK for your own miracles this week :) If you can, and if you have the time, send me an email to tell me about your miracle! It can be small… big... the Lord's hand is in everything :) And I would love to hear about your experiences!
I love you all!!
The doctrine is true!
Monday, September 14, 2015
Family, friends, and anyone else who has stuck around this long!
This week I received my new companion from the CCM! Her name is Hermana Luna, and she is from Argentina Buenos Aires. I sent a few pictures :) She is 23 years old and comes from a family of 5 brothers and sisters. Hermana Luna is incredibly spiritually and emotionally strong. Her mom passed away one month ago, and she still decided to come out on the mission. She was less active for almost all of her teenage years, and just reactivated about a year ago. She has such a strong testimony of the Atonement and of eternal families.
I have really been able to feel all of your specific prayers for her and me, because although this week has been incredibly difficult for the both of us, the Lord blessed us with tender mercies and has helped us through all sorts of trials.
Given that we both only have about a week in the area, we have become rather accustomed to being lost in these last few' days. Life would be a lot easier with paved streets and actual street names, eh? Pero bueno, we make it around :) Lots of prayers and following the Spirit. I feel a lot like Nefi. (1 Nefi 4:6).
This week we had a miracle happen that I would like to share with you all!
On Sunday we left our apartment after lunch to go work. We had plans to find 2 new families to teach (yippee!). As we were leaving, we realized that we only had ONE Book of Mormon to give away. We had already given away every single other one… and were down to one, bottom of the box, pretty beaten up, Libro de Mormon. Considering we were going to find two different families, and each needed their own Book of Mormon, we said a prayer to know at least which family we should give the Book of Mormon if it came down to that. We went and taught the first family, and they were wonderful. A family of 4 kids, mom, and dad. But the whole lesson, we felt that they were not the family that needed the Book of Mormon that day. We apologized, promised that we would bring Books of Mormon the next time, and continued on with faith to the next family.
As we arrived to the second family and were starting the lesson, my companion realized that she didn't have the Book of Mormon from before. She had accidently left it in the first house. We searched everywhere - in her bag, on the floor, in my bag - nothing. We had left it. We were so disappointed. We really had felt that this family was the one that needed a Book of Mormon that day.
We taught the message of the Restoration, and the Spirit was so strong. This family wanted to read, pray, and know. We checked everywhere once again to make sure that we really had left it. We felt so bad as we apologized, and promised to bring them all Books of Mormon in the next lesson.
We stood up to leave after the kneeling prayer with the family. As we were saying goodbye, my companion went to wave to the family, and for the first time we noticed something in her hand.
A Book of Mormon. Brand new. White spine. Crisp pages. Not a single mark on the cover. Perfect blue.
She just looked at me for a moment, with her mouth wide open. Neither of us had an explanation for where the book came from. Just moments before we had searched through everything and there was not a single Book of Mormon. This book was not the same bottom-of-the-box-Libro-de-Mormon that we had left in the first house. It was truly a miracle.
We gave the Book of Mormon to the family, and they almost had tears in their eyes they were so grateful. I had tears that fell. I will never forget what happened in that tiny humble house here in Pisco, Perú.
I know that God still works miracles. They are not always manifested in grand things like a brand new Book of Mormon appearing in the precise moment. We see miracles every day. Finding a house when we didn't know how to get there. Crossing paths with a member who just needed a smile to help them get through the day. Feeling the Spirit as we study for our investigators.
There are miracles :) Seek them. Treasure them! It's one of the ways that God shows his love for us :)
The doctrine is true!
Hermana Sintay :)
. I am sure loving Pisco :)
Monday, September 7, 2015
Wowzers, lots of things to report from this week. Since I arrived to Pisco in the change of emergency last week, I have been living in a whirlwind of learning the area, getting lost in dirt hills, being attacked by dogs, and all the other lovely perks of being down south in Perù :)
*Side note, we figured out that it has been almost 2 years since a GRINGA gringa (o sea, someone who really looks gringa, blonde hair, blue eyes, ME) has been here in Pisco. You can imagine the reaction from the people. There are a lot of stares and open mouths, that's for sure. But hey! As long as they let me talk to them about the gospel, I don't mind if they stare :)
I arrived here to Pisco late Saturday night, and church on Sunday was really great! The ward is wonderful. We don't have a chapel.... church is held in a dirt field with various benches. When the sun is too strong to bear, they put up a tarp so that we don't sweat to death. The happiest thing is that they are building us a chapel right now and it is going to be finished in November! YAY! These saints have been waiting so long for their chapel to be done. There is a big cultural celebration being planned - it will be amazing :)
Since I am still sister training leader here in Pisco, on Monday we had to take the 5 hour bus ride back to Lima for Concilio de Lideres that was on Tuesday. As all of the liders in the mission, we met together to discuss the needs and weaknesses of the mission and how we can better serve the missionaries. It was a meeting full of revelation! I love being able to get together with such wonderful missionaries and leaders and learn so much from them. President McGinn expects a lot from us as the leaders of the mission, but he loves us. He shows that love with his expectations and standards for our conduct and examples.
On Wednesday, back here in Pisco again, we had our Concilio de Zona! With the liders of zone we were able to create an environment for all of the Elders where the SPIRIT could be the teacher. One thing I have really learned in these last weeks is that if one person is doing all the talking… teaching and LEARNING by the Spirit is not happening. When we neglect to ask questions, listen, and interact, we are just talking to ourselves in front of other people. The liders of zona and I were in charge of creating the right enviornment for the rest of the missionaries so that the Spirit could teach us all through type of interaction. It went really well :)
Also, on Wednesday night, we went to a little branch about an hour away from Pisco to train their family history consultores in family history. It was so fun, they meet in a casa capilla! (house chapel? Don't know how to say that, not even sure if we have them!) One of the Elderes took some great pictures, I will send them to you after he passes them to me :)
On Thursday, for service, we cooked with our pensionista a Peruvian dish called Pachamanca. (not sure how it's spelled. but something like that). It is a typical dish from the north, from the jungle, and they cook it in the ground. WOW it was amazing, if you can google it, please do, the best part is that you eat it with your hands!
On Saturday..... cambio calls. And you will never going to believe it! Even though I only have one week in Pisco, my companion Hermana Zambrano had change! And.......... I AM GOING TO TRAIN AGAIN :) Another brand new missionary from the CCM :) I am actually in Lima right now (another 5 hour bus right this morning) so that I can pick her up tomorrow :) I have no idea who it will be, so you'll have to stay tuned until next week!
Things are going to be pretty crazy. I have 1 week in the area, and am still getting my feet under me. I will still be sister training leader as well. And I am working in family history (this means I get to plan all of the trips to the temple! yippee!). It is going to be a transfer where the Lord can really show me what I am capable of.
One thing I have learned in my mission is that specific prayers receive specific answers. If you would let me, I would like to ask you all, my family and friends, for some specific prayers.
Please pray for my new companion. Please pray that she will be able to hit the ground running, and that she will be patient with me as I strive to fulfill every part of my calling. Please pray that I will be able to recognize my weaknesses. When I recognize them, I am more able to apply the Atonement to overcome them.
Thank you all :) I really do love you.
The doctrine is true!
Hermana Sintay :)