|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 :)