Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Miracles.

Merry Christmas from the Zone!

And the district! :)

PS, please note our district leader, far right. ....Payaso con placa..... He's a hoot :)

This was probably the biggest miracle that I have seen my whole mission. I can't wait to cuent you all about it!!!!

Saturday was already planned to be "the best day ever." 20 converts to the temple AND a long-awaited baptism, all in the same 12 hours. Can you say stress? And EXCITEMENT?! :)

The miracle started at 5 am when we woke up to go to the temple. We had 20 new converts and rescues that we were bringing to the temple for the first time, and had to meet up with them all at 6:30 am. Well...I woke up................ and was SO sick. I don't know what I ate, or what was wrong with me, but for the first time in my entire mission, I was sick. I was throwing up all over the place, and couldn't really do much about it. I just kept thinking, "No.... not today. Any other day. I CANNOT be sick today."

I pulled myself together well enough to call the Zone Leaders and tell them to meet me at the Stake Center to give me a blessing - ASAP. Being the valiant and worthy Priesthood holders that they are, they arrived at the Stake Center at 6:15 am to give me the blessing I needed. 

Everyone started arriving to travel to the temple (about a 2-hour ride in city bus), and I just kept PRAYING that I would make it there without making a scene on the bus. Thankfully, immediately after the blessing from the Elders, I started to feel SO much better. I wasn't nauseous at all. I just felt a peace that everything would be alright in the temple.

And it was! EVERYONE got there in time, and the 20 converts and rescues were all able to enter into the temple to do baptisms for their ancestors. (pictures attached). Everything was guided directly by the Lord's hand!

When we left the temple, I was still feeling fine. And we had a baptism to go to! 

The baptism was of the Hermana Margot - we found her about a month ago, and she is WONDERFUL. She has a muscle and bone disease which makes it so she can hardly walk. She is only 38 years old.... but her body acts like that of an 80-year-old. Her teenage son was baptized 4 months ago in Huancayo, and they just moved here to Lima. When we found her, she was ready. She accepted everything and was SO excited to be baptized.

The only problem was.... there are hardly ANY chapels that have hot water for the baptismal fonts in PerĂ¹, and Margot could NOT be baptized in cold water because the disease that she has. We finally found a capilla that had hot water, and once we coordinated everything to hold the baptism there, we scheduled the date.

We came directly from the temple to the chapel to start cleaning and getting everything set up for the baptism. The Zone Leaders came to help us with the hot water... they were the ones who knew how everything worked. We got there about 3:00 - and the baptism was supposed to start at 5. We filled up the font, and the Elders turned on the water heater - assuring us that in 1 hour it would be hot and ready for the baptism. 

Before I continue on with the rest of the story, just remember - the Lord cannot do ANY miracle without our faith. And faith is not faith without being tried.

Long story short: One hour later, the water was still freezing cold. FREEZING cold. The heater didn't work. We tried everything....
I can't tell you HOW many times we tried to get the water heater to work.

 ... and nothing. 

Our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader got there 30 minutes before the baptism was supposed to start, and we told them what was going on. We all knew that there was no way that Margot could be baptized in this water. 

Our Bishop, with the keys and mantle that he has, decided that we should kneel down as the missionary team in our ward and ask the Lord what to do. Postpone the baptism? She was so set on this date. Baptize her anyway? It would be terribly dangerous for her health. We needed divine inspiration. The four of us (2 missionaries, 1 Bishop, and 1 Ward Mission Leader) knelt down and said a prayer together. When we finished, the Spirit was clear. Margot was going to be baptized that day. We just needed to ACT to get that water heated. 

The Elders called all of the members that were close and told them to bring their biggest pots to the church. There we started to heat up as much water as we could in the church's kitchen. We were 10 minutes away from the time the baptism was supposed to start. The Elders even sacrificed walking the 5 blocks to their house to bring back buckets of hot water from their shower.
Plan B? Have the Elders walk the 5 blocks to their house and bring buckets full of hot water from their shower. Throw it in the font. Pray for a miracle. God works in mysterious ways!
We were running around like CRAZY trying to get everything worked out. 

5:30 we started the baptism. Up until the VERY LAST moment, the Elders were throwing hot water into the freezing font to try and get it, at least, lukewarm. 

When Margot put her foot into the water, I thought my heart was going to stop. I had felt the water - and it was luke warm at best. I didn't know how she was going to react. 

But God worked a miracle with that water. She just smiled and entered into the font. It was perfect. She was fine. She told us that the water had never felt warmer. 

God works miracles - but he NEEDS our faith and action. I testify it. We saw SO many Christmas miracles - like little presents from our Heavenly Father - just in one little day :) 

The doctrine is true. I love this work.

Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, December 21, 2015


Okay... I thought about writing my whole email this week in alternating red and green... but I don't want to give Mom a headache as she reads it :)

So we'll just stick to the classics :)

BUT - Happy Christmas!!! To everyone!!!!

This week was so GREAT! We had our Christmas MultiZona with President McGinn and half of the mission. There were probably about 100 missionaries there - and more variations of red and green ties than I can even express. It was such a happy day!! Each zone had prepared a Christmas program with songs and scriptures that we presented. They all turned out really well :)
The Zona Villa El Salvador wishes you all a Merry Christmas :) 

Afterwards, we had a White Elephant gift exchange - kind of crazy but HILARIOUS with 100 missionaries. I ended up with pan chapla (a type of bread from the jungle) and a block of cheese that the mamitas sell up in Ayacucho. Pretty darn good gift if you ask me.

It was so great to see so many missionaries from all over the mission - even though we are far away from family and our normal Christmas traditions, the Spirit of Christ is the same :) Maybe even stronger.
Temple trip.... this 97-year-old convert named Marcelina is my favorite. It was a miracle in itself that she made it to baptism on this side of the veil. And because of that, she was able to help her family on the other side! 

Gosh, this gospel just WORKS so well.

Apart from Christmas and talking with the family (!!!!!), we will also be going Christmas caroling with the zone, taking 20 converts to the temple for their first time, and having a baptism.

Life is just good. The gospel works. Christ lives.

Remember - God cheers on EVERY runner, calling out that the race is against sin - not against each other. 

The doctrine is TRUE!!!

Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Miracles with Ward Members.

Countdown - T minus 11 days.
#navidad #faltapoco

This week was great :) Things here in our ward are changing - the members have started to accompany us and support us SO much more! The grand evidence and proof that we had gained their confidence was manifested in an activity we held on Friday night... It was a miracle. Let me cuent you.

Our ward mission leader wanted to organize a "Noche Misional" with the whole ward to bring investigators, less actives, and members together. A week and a half ago he asked us to start planning the activity. On Sunday, we had announced the activity to the whole ward, but the response was..... lukewarm to say the least. Hermano Javier (lider misional) was tempted to cancel the activity, because not a single person had committed themselves to come. He told us that the last time they had a Noche Misional, only 4 members came. No investigators. No less actives. He wasn't too excited to have that happen again. BUT - we were not going to give up that easy :)

During the week, my companion and I visited every single member of the ward council to commit them and their families to attend and invite someone else. We spent time in their houses serving, helping, and animating them. In the end, we had committed about 25 people to come, which we felt pretty good about!

Friday night was when the real miracle happened :) 60 PEOPLE attended the activity!! And almost half of them were investigators and less actives!! WOW, our ward mission leader was so happy :) The Bishop and Stake President were also able to attend, and both of them were congratulating us on how well things turned out :) The activity was based on the church's Christmas video "A Savior Is Born."  We watched the video (and a few other short ones), shared, interacted, had a refreshment, and played some games :) Everyone loved it. 

The only reason we were able to make it happen was because of the members. Thank you to all of YOU for supporting the missionaries and helping hasten the work :) What a great Christmas present to give to our Savior this year. 

The doctrine is true!!!!
Hermana Sintay :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Happy Christmas!

This is the most amazing Nativity I have ever seen.

It is even more beautiful in person... and all of the pieces are handmade here in PerĂ¹.
Mom, if I could fit one in my suitcase for you, I would. 

Goodness, I am just feeling the Christmas spirit today. I was feeling it yesterday, too. Well, and the day before.

Okay, let's be honest - I have just been FEELING it this week.

We spent 4 hours during service on Thursday decorating the house of our pensionista for Christmas :) Hermana Emma is the wife of the Stake President, and she is wonderful. She is like our mama away from home. She has a son in the mission right now in Argentina, and all of that missionary-mom-love just gets shoveled on top of us. It's great :) We love her!
CHRISTMAS DECORATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We live in the Stake President's house (well, downstairs), who just happens to be the co-president of an extremely wealthy international company here in Lima.

Their house in gorgeous. Nothing like I have seen in the rest of my mission.
And we made it even more amazing with CHRISTMAS decorations :))))))

This week was FULL of work - we have been running on "star-power-mega-speed" since I got here to Villa El Salvador. There is just SO much to be done here in the Lord's vineyard! The ward is great, and we want to work with them as much as possible. The last couple cambios here in this area have been almost lost because of disobedience. It makes me sad - but things are changing. We are starting to gain the confidence of the members again. It might take a while, but we are willing to serve and sacrifice until they trust us fully again to work on the same team. 

On Thursday, we went to the TEMPLE! And GUESS WHAT! Here in Lima, we go to the temple EVERY SINGLE WEEK with converts and rescues :) It is beautiful. I really love the temple. WE work with 2 whole stakes - when the Elders bring their convert or rescue for the first time, they get to come to the temple as well. The miracles in retention are real. I love this part of my calling. The Lord is hastening His work on BOTH sides of the veil, and we have to help Him... on both sides.

The Christmas devotional last night was perfect :) I loved the songs that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang. I felt the Spirit so strongly. I love hearing from prophets, seers, and revelators. It just gives me comfort to know that the Lord loves us enough to send His word through them.
Nos ha nacido UN SALVADOR :)

The doctrine is true!
Hermana Sintay :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Full Week

3 temple sealings.
20 hours of bus travel.

Well, if any of those things sound relatively interesting to you.... this is the email for you :)

Saturday was the most fulfilling day of my entire mission. With special permission from President, I was able to travel to the temple in Lima to accompany 2 different families that I taught and rescued in Chincha in their TEMPLE SEALINGS :)

Wait, let's just say that again....  TEMPLE SEALINGS!!!!! ETERNAL FAMILIES!!!!!!! People, this is what it is all about. 

Rosa and Jose C****** were completely inactive when I met them in Chincha a year ago.... they hadn't come to church in over 40 years. We found them, taught them, rescued them, and supported them until the happiest and most important day for their eternal family... the day that they could be sealed for time and all eternity :) I was so full of emotions. All happy :)
Rosa y Jose. Sealed for time and all eternity the 28 of November, 2015 :)

I also was the escort for Maria T******** while she received her endowment... another of my rescues from Chincha :) After her endowment, she was sealed to her husband that passed away 2 years ago. 3 months ago his baptism was also performed there in the temple. Maria was also completely inactive when we found her in Chincha.

The 3rd sealing was a MIRACLE. A family of rescues that I taught in Chorrillos sent me a letter a month ago to tell me when their sealing was. The mail system to get things down to us in the south... is not too reliable. I never received their letter. BUT, the sealing was the SAME DAY! I was there, and able to attend with them. A family of 4 - Mom, Dad, and 2 daughters ages 8 and 6. 

We entered the temple at 10 am and didn't leave until 5 pm. Dad... now I know how you feel when you spend all day in the temple working! Spiritually charged.... but physically EXHAUSTED. It was wonderful. 

Right as we were arriving back to Pisco, after the 5-hour bus ride, we got transfer calls!
Waiting for transfers in the bus.... my comp didn't quite make it. 

I have been transferred away from Pisco. Right now I am in Villa El Salvador here in Lima!  It's the slums of Lima, all dirt, all hills. I am training again, still sister training leader, and am now in charge of family history for 2 entire stakes. We are the only hermanas in the zone again. (well, actually, we are the only Hermanas in the 3 closest zones). My companion is Peruvian.  There were tons and TONS of disobedience problems here right before I came, so President told me I am here to clean it up. There is LOTS of work to be done! The Hermana who was training my companion before was sent home for disobedience. President told me that I will be retraining her - and doing the entire 12 weeks of training in 6 weeks. 

Prayers would be good right about now. 

I love you all. Thank you for supporting me and loving me. 

The doctrine is true.

Hermana Sintay :)