Monday, April 11, 2016

The last one.

Changes have never been hard for me. In fact, I have always loved fresh starts, new beginnings, and blank pages.

In the mission we always have cambios - new areas, new assignments, new companions, new people - and I have loved it :)

This week, as many know, I will be having a new change. 

I will be coming home. 

It sounds strange to me, because right now I feel like Peru is my home. But I know that God has a new area, new assignments, and new people that I need to know.

A lot of reflecting has happened in these last few days and weeks - and under the impressions of the Spirit, I have been able to put on paper some of the feelings and impressions I have been having these last couple weeks.

As my last email home as a missionary.... I would like to share them with you. My mission means so much to me, and I wanted to preserve a small part of the waterfall of emotions and thought I have been having recently.

Here it is :)


"Earthly and Heavenly Homes"
Hermana Sintay
Misión Peru Lima Sur

I had a thought the other night,
A thought profound and deep.
It came when I was too worn down,
Too tired to go to sleep.

A day of teaching, sweating, walking;
Just like every other one.
For 18 months and a little more
Representing His Perfect Son.

I remembered when I made that choice
To come here to Peru.
My mind was made, my heart was set –
God had a work for me to do.

“Forget yourself,” and “Be like Him,”
The advice from Dad was clear.
 And my mother’s tear-stained promise,
“He will ALWAYS be near.”

Now the weeks have flown (the months have, too)
I’ve almost reached the end.
Mind still made and heart still set –
But emotions I can’t comprehend.

I’ve been bit by dogs, chased by men,
Even shot at once or twice.
I’d be an understatement if I said,
“The mission’s changed my life.”

I now can say with all certainty
That I know and love the Lord.
I can testify with them of old
As I preach His holy word.

I know what He felt in Gethsemane
Is too much to comprehend.
I know He did it all for us;
We have no greater Friend.

18 months might seem a lot,
2 years is even more.
But our sacrifice is minuscule
Compared to blood from every pore.

While they might put me on a plane
And tell me I am done –
My mission has NOT finished;
I can still represent His Son.
There will be hands to lift, hearts to heal,
Smiles to give, and His DOCTRINE to share.
My mission is my life on Earth;
It’s His name I have covenanted to bear.

Our mission as children of God is this:
Find the lost sheep that roams.
For we ALL must return with honor
To our earthly AND heavenly homes.


The doctrine is true. As a representative of Jesus Christ - I testify it.

I will see you all soon,  

Hermana Aubrey Michelle Sintay
Misión Peru Lima Sur
Oct 2014 - Abril 2016 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Mom - this one is for you :)

Remember that workshop I was going to give in Leadership Council? Well, President had asked me to give an interactive one-hour discussion about the focuses that we had been given last month as leaders..... well, given the fact that the Council was the last week of March, and I had to figure out a way to successfully interact with 40 Elders for an hour without losing their attention................................. I decided to host a March Madness Championship. It was golden.

We discussed everything EXACTLY as President wanted, but were able to stay awake and energetic for the whole hour. The details were sweet, and I should have taken pictures of when they were shooting baskets and everything...... but it was just so exciting that I forgot! Definitely a great Leadership Council for this month :)

I really wanted to be a part of family General Conference traditions this year..... so I woke up at 5am and started making wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too many pancakes for my companion and I. (I really wanted to make crepes, but I didn't trust myself to make them as good as Dad) :) I hope you know how much I LOVE our General Conference traditions! 

PS, please excuse the photo taken at 6am. I was just too happy and excited to wait and shower and look like a missionary. haha :)

All of my life, as I have listened to the prophet announce new temples, I have loved to imagine how the people watching feel as they hear that is a new temple is to be built in their country or home.

This conference, I was able to be a part of such a once in a lifetime experience :)

Let me tell you a little bit about it.

Just like last conference, I got permission to watch it in English with the other gringo Elders in the zone. We were in a different room there in the Stake Center. Due to the translation and transmission glitches,  what everyone else was watching in Spanish was about 20 seconds behind the live transmission in English. You can just imagine how excited we were as missionaries to hear the announcement of a SECOND temple in LIMA, PERU - but what we really wanted to see was the reaction of the humble and faithful members who really called Lima, Peru their home.

Study journals and pens were practically thrown into the air as we jumped out of our seats and booked it down the hallway to where the rest of the members were about to hear the announcement - exactly 20 seconds after us :) 

The gasps and exclamations of joy are just something that you would have to SEE and HEAR to understand. People were crying, they started to pray in their seats, hug their family members, shout "thank you" to President Monson... it was a sight to behold. 

I know that the members here in Lima, Peru are faithful and prepared to use BOTH of the temples that the Lord has blessed them with. What a blessing it was to be a part of such a historic day in the lives of these humble and joyful Saints :')

Ok, Mom - this is a story that I have to tell just for you :)

 So we had been teaching a less active sister named Pilar - she is a return missionary who went COMPLETELY inactive after a bunch of really unfair things happened to her in her life. Even when we went to visit her, she never went to church.... never read her Book of Mormon.... and just never progressed. She had lost all of her hope of salvation for her and her 3-year-old son. 

Well..... this week we visited her, and she was 100% different. She had come to church. She was reading her Book of Mormon. She wanted to have an interview with the Bishop ASAP. She told us that her goal was to renew her temple recommend and start to use her garments again in these next couple months. 

Obviously, we were shocked. We asked her WHAT IN THE WORLD had changed her attitude and perspective so quickly. She was a little timid to tell us, but then she looked at me and said, "Hermana Sintay, does your mom bake bread?" .. I wasn't sure if I understood the question, because it was so out of context. She could tell it caught me off guard, and so she asked again, "Hermana Sintay, does your mom bake bread?" I told her yes, that my mom baked bread to help support me on my mission. Pilar then told us how somehow she had come across on Facebook a picture of the bread you make, and for the last name "Sintay" knew that you were my mom. She said that it touched her so much - the sacrifice that you made and are making so that I can be here serving a mission. She said that in that moment, she realized that she wasn't making any sacrifices for her 3-year-old son. She still had a hope that he would serve a mission someday - but was doing absolutely nothing to honor her covenants and prepare her son to make such covenants one day on his own. She told us, overcome with tears, "When I saw the picture of the bread that your mom bakes for you, God told me so strongly that I needed to be braver and make sacrifices for my son - just like your mom does. I realized that I was being selfish. Seeing what your mom does for you gave me the courage to come back. It gave me the courage to make the changes I need to so I can enter into the temple again and be sealed with my son."

Mom - THANK YOU for the sacrifices that you make for all of your children. You are not only changing our lives, but you are changing the lives of SO many others around you. I love you forever. Thanks for being a part of my ETERNAL family :)

The doctrine is true. I love you all.

Hermana Sintay :)