Monday, October 26, 2015

Blonde Hair Black Market

 "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple."  

Psalms 27:4. Ponderize. Week 4.

This week we have been up to our ears with preparation for the temple trip we will be taking this SATURDAY (yes, Halloween.) We helped a small branch here organize their FIRST ever trip to the temple as a branch! They are about an hour away from Pisco and have been an organized branch for 2 years-ish. They still don't have a chapel - but they love that little house chapel that they have :) We also will be taking a handful of recent converts and rescues with us from the rest of the Stake. 

OTHER great news :) Remember how I told you that we didn't have a chapel here in my area? And that we met for church in a dirt field with benches? Well.... THEY FINISHED BUILDING US A CHAPEL! And on Sunday, we will meet there! We will be having an open house to invite everyone to come and see (John 1:39). The saints here are so happy and just feel so blessed to have a chapel. And I feel so blessed and happy to be here for this historic time :)

Completely different topic. I cut my hair for the first time here in Perú this week. When you reach the point where you find single hairs.... with 6 split ends.... it is time. I guess 1 year of constant sun exposure, ponytails and bucket showers will do that to ya. 
I was 100% terrified to cut my hair here. Down to strangers on the STREET try to reach out and touch my hair, just because they have never seen blonde hair before. Plus there is a black market of hair here in the south of Perú. Bottom line, I was pretty wary of letting a Peruvian anywhere near me with scissors. Don't get me wrong - I love Peruvians. But I would like my hair to not end up in a black market.

So, I gathered up my courage and took my record setting split ends to the nicest looking barbershop that I could find here in Pisco (the options were very few). When I walked in, the eyes of everyone there turned into saucers. When I explained that I needed a TRIM, JUST A LITTLE BIT CUT OFF, PLEASE... they rushed me into the closest chair and started running their fingers through my hair, asking how much I wanted for all of it. I had committed my companion to be my wing woman and make SURE that they did not take off more than I wanted. She was laughing so hard that she couldn't even talk. (Yeah, real funny. I was about to have a heart attack.)  After denying the highest offer for my whole head of hair ($50, tempting, no?), they started away with the scissors. Thankfully, after BOLDLY explaining that I was only there to take off my horrible split ends and NOTHING more, they did a good job. When I finished and went to stand up from the chair, I realized that there was not a single hair there on the floor. I wondered where it all must have gone... because they had definitely cut hair off. It was then that I saw the apron pockets of the woman who had cut my hair - brimming with blonde hairs. Maybe those ones made it to the black market... who knows. But the one thing I do know is that no matter how bad my split ends get in these next 6 months, I will NOT be cutting my hair again here.

Well, there is the news for this week :) I love you all and pray that your week is full of miracles. 
Don't forget to go to the temple this week and inquire of Him there in His house. 

The doctrine is true!
Hermana Sintay :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

15 Years Later

HELLO family and friends!

Sorry that this email is one day late, yesterday was cambios, so our Pday is today. Hermana Luna and I do not have cambio, so we will be here together for another 6 weeks here in Pisco :) I will finish her training! I am really happy about that. 
First legit fútbol jersey that I have owned. These shirts really are the best!

Lots of GREAT things happened this week here in Pisco, Perú. 
On Tuesday President made the trip down here to have interviews with us! He taught me a lot about teaching as the Savior would. With all of the assignments I have right now, such as trainer and sister training leader, there are more than plenty of opportunities to teach through example. In my interview, the Spirit taught me that I need to be more sensitive to the Spirit and that I need to be more humble. My ponderize scripture for this week is DyC 67:10. Because I know that Christ lives and that He loves me, I have the courage to repent and humble myself every day so that I can be who my Father in Heaven wants me to be. 
With the best team shirts you have ever seen. 
Keeping things serious.
Well, sometimes :)

On Wednesday we traveled up to Lima again so that my companion could go to migraciones. 2 days there in Lima, a few tramites, and we were back to Pisco!
Trip to Lima so that my companion could go to migraciones... getting to spend some time with other Hermanas :)

Okay, I have a great story to tell you about a family here :)
Our next door neighbor's names are Américo and Charo. (Charo is short for Rosario. Not sure why. But it is). Américo and Charo have an 11-year-old son whose name is Cesar. When I first got here, I thought for sure they were members. I saw them every Sunday in the chapel, they would come to Family Nights with us, and they just seemed like good Latter-Day Saint people. After I few weeks, I learned that they were not baptized, which SHOCKED me! The only reason that they were not baptized is because they were not married... Américo had been married to someone else before, and even though they had separated 20 years before, he could not pay for the divorce so that he could be legally married to Charo. For 15 years they have been attending church. 

Long story short (short because email time is short), the Elder that FOUND them 15 YEARS AGO, paid for their divorce so that they could get married. 
They were married on Friday and baptized on Saturday. The Elder (Elder Young from Utah, now married with 5 kids) came to Perú to baptize his faithful converts that he had taught 15 years ago. 
It was one of the most powerful baptismal services that I have been in. 
This is what the patio looked like BEFORE... 
And here it is after :) It is amazing what can be done with a few helping hands. It was READY for a WEDDING!!!! :) :) 
Picture right after the ceremony with the Elderes and Americo y Charo :) The next day, they were baptized. It was glorious :) The church is true, and families ARE forever!

The Church is TRUE, and families are forever. 

I love being a missionary and seeing these changes in people's eternity. 
And most of all, I love the doctrine of Christ. My testimony of the doctrine is why I am here. 

Love you all,
Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sorry, time is up and I can't think of a title

Fun Peruvian fact of the day: Here in Perú, we never say "Adios." It is always "Chau."

Another fun fact: That is not only true for Perú, but just about every other South American country. 

Chicken feet. New addiction.

A little note on the preparation. Make sure you cut off the fingernails before you cook it. Those are not as fun to eat.

My FAVORITE part of the chicken. That we eat all the time here. Who ever thought it would be so good? Boil it in a soup... mmmmmmmmm GOOD 
BUENO - on to the news from this week! 

On Monday I had to go up to Lima for Concilio de Lideres - the meeting was all day on Tuesday with President, the assistants, and the rest of the leaders in the mission. Our new mission President's way of teaching and instructing is very different from that of President Douglas, but the truth that I have learned, through everything, is that the DOCTRINE is the same. And the Spirit testifies of the doctrine of Christ. We can never go astray as long as the DOCTRINE is our purpose and focus. 

While I went up to Concilio, my companion stayed here in our area BY HERSELF, with another Hermana missionary from Ica! The Hermana that she stayed with is also brand new... and the Hermana Luna was able to lead the area for 2 days by herself :) Goodness, was I a proud mama :)

After Concilio, the Hermana lider from Ica and I had to travel back to the south. We got out of Lima a little late, and weren't going to make it into Pisco on time... so the assistants told us to stay in Cañete for the night (about 2 hours away from Pisco). We stayed with a missionary senior couple there in Cañete... and it was AWESOME. They are so sweet, they are from Utah, and remind me a lot of Oris and Helen Goodey, just about 20 years younger. They made us dinner at night (BROWN rice and CROCKPOT chicken.. something that I haven't had since I left home), and pancakes in the morning (with SYRUP, another delicacy that missionaries just cannot afford). It was wonderful :)

Also, this week, President McGinn came into Pisco for a couple meetings, and Hermana McGinn came out and proceltyed with us :) She got to climb the giant hill in our area... that was fun :) She doesn't speak much Spanish at all ("Hola," and "Chau," and that's about it), but she could feel the Spirit as we taught. The Spirit is a language that everyone can understand. 
We are already in week 6 of the cambio, which means that cambio calls are this Saturday. I don't think that we will be having cambios, given that I only have 6 weeks here in Pisco. But, nevertheless, we are praying to know and accept God's will and President's revelation. 

I love you all! Thanks for the support and prayers.

The DOCTRINE is true!

Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Spiritually charged.

Pday adventure.... to some Incan ruins!

Of course... the first thing that Elders do... when they see a bunch of rocks... is climb. Even though I was in a dress, I kept up with them pretty well ;)
My companion, Hermana Luna and me! (and I? Yikes. No sé. Sorry Mom. I might need you to reteach me English grammar)

The bus ride on the way to the ruin. A little crowded. Lots of fun.
Given the absolute BATTLE it is to upload photos here in these Peruvian computers.... this email might be a little short. But I hope you enjoy the pictures that I finally was able to send :)
Eating Pollo a la Brasa on our Pday. 
I was a little excited :)

Coming to the end of this week... I feel spiritually charged and physically drained. That sums up the life of a missionary pretty well. 

On the way to General Conference :)

General Conference was perfectly inspired, just as it always is. With special permission from President, I was able to watch it in English with the rest of the gringo Elderes. I am the only Hermana who speaks English in all of Pisco... so President gave me permission to be ALONE with the Elderes there in the room to watch it in English. The rule was that I ALWAYS had to be with 4 Elders... they were pretty protective, it was great, and we got to watch it in English. I really don't know what I am going to do my first few days that I am without a companion... I really felt like a fish out of water.

We have a rule here in Pisco that we have to be with a Priesthood holder and his wife if we want to leave our apartments after 7:00 pm... for our safety, that's all. But on Saturday night, with the Priesthood session, we were a little out of luck. So we had girls night with the family of members that live next door :)

Doing hair.

Drinking mate. (an herbal drink from Argentina, SUPER rico.)
Tomorrow there is Concilio de Liders in Lima... so I will be taking the 5-hour bus ride today and be there all day tomorrow. My companion will stay here in Pisco with another Hermana!

Times up. Well, I love you all. Don't forget to reflect on all of the messages of Conference time and time again :) I sure will be doing it. 

The doctrine of Christ is TRUE!

Hermana Sintay :)
That smile says: "Okay. Take the picture, Elder. Before I fall off of this ruin. Gracias."