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 :)