Thursday, February 5, 2015

Last letter home - 2 Timothy 4:7- Feb 2 2015

¡Hola Hola! 

          Ahhh okay right now I really cannot believe that I am writing my last letter home to you guys. Well I think it will be the last, apparently we will have time to do whatever next Monday before our interviews and everything, but I don`t know if we will have time to email. Anyways, starting off, this week has been a great one! So many miracles and prayers answered. The biggest miracle of all is that Carolina and Andrea are for sure getting baptized this Saturday!!! They were quite hesitant about it for a few days since they have been listening to missionaries for about 2 years now, but we had an amazing lesson where we had Carolina (the mom) kneel down and pray and ask God right in the middle of the lesson if these things were true and if she could get baptized and it was incredible. I felt the spirit so strong as we knelt there in silence in their little house for about 5 minutes just trying to feel. Afterwards they said they felt such peace and an answer that all if it was true and that it was finally time to make that step to commit themselves. Yesterday we went to their house and organized everything for their baptism and I am so so happy that I will get to see my investigators in white one last time before I head home. There is no other greater feeling than seeing them in white making covenants. They are both so happy and I will attach a pic of them. 
        Otherwise with investigators, if a miracle happens, Claudia and her two daughters could also get baptized this weekend too. We went and made them french toast yesterday morning for breakfast to help them get up in time for church! It worked great and they loved it! (I have loved making breakfast for investigators in the morning many times on my mission - a great way to serve and to help them come to church:)) Just Claudia´s family told her lots of bad things about the church and she is having second guesses, so we will see, but if it is not this weekend, for sure in the near future. 
          Funny moment of the week: a couple of members started to comment saying that I could be Miss Universe and then they said, well maybe just Miss something... like Miss Oregon. Yeah not quite the comment I was expecting and I still don`t know why Oregon... haha. 
      Anyways, I really cannot explain how much I have loved my mission and what it has meant to me. My testimony has grown 100% stronger of the church and of my Father in heaven and the plan that he has for us, His children. My priorities have been set in order and I will be forever grateful for this opportunity and privilege to be a full- time missionary and to wear my black name badge. I am changed. I know that I still have one week left and during this time, Hna Blau and I are going to do everything possible and work our tails off. We set some great goals for this week and I can`t wait to see what is in store for us this last week. I love these people and this country and will forever be grateful to them. The good thing is, I know that even when I am home, I will still be a missionary. To better explain how I feel, I love this quote that Emmitt Thomas said in his acceptance speech into the NFL Hall of Fame that says, " Our talent is God`s gift to us. How we use that talent is our gift to Him. My sincere hope and prayer is that God finds my gift back to him a worthy one."  
       I love you all so much and your support has meant the world to me. See you soon. 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Carolina y Andrea - don`t they look like mormons? 
Claudia with her 4 daughters!! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Love me some Chileans - Jan 26, 2015

¡Buenos Dias!

    What a week. Starting off last Monday, I forgot to mention that we went to Chillan to buy souvenirs and I got the Hermanas in my old sector to tell Ivan and his family that we were coming so we got to meet up for the last time and he bought us ice cream and we got to say our last goodbyes. It was so good, yet so hard to say goodbye. It has hit me so hard recently how much I LOVE the Chilean people. Even if they are not good at keeping their commitments or are lazy to come to church or have incredibly hard Spanish, I love them so much and would do anything for them. They have given me so much love over these past months and I am eternally grateful for them and for this gospel that brings us together. I found a scripture the other day that explains this love I feel in 1 Thessalonians 2:8, "So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us."
     This week was really fun as we had a ward talent night here and some hermanas from the ward did a skit making fun of us missionaries. Basically they just acted as if they were the happiest people around leaving notes for everyone everywhere (like we do after lunch a lot) and saying that they loved every lunch and every single person they saw. Hahah it was good and it made me laugh. Then Hermana Blau and I sang while she played the ukelele and then I played the uke while Rebeca (former Hermana Baturite) and I sang a song we translated from English into Spanish. As the obra misional we did a skit and it was a great opportunity for everyone to become even closer friends.

    Sweet story: The other morning we went to a ciber to work on "El Rescate" a website with all of the less-actives in our area and their address. We were just sitting their when the store owner came over to us and asked us if we were mormons. She then told us that she was going through a really hard time in her life and has depression and wants to know if we can help her. Of course! So we set up a cita to go see her and when we got there it turns out that she is already a member (not surprising here in Chile) and had asked her Catholic priest to help her, but he did nothing and she remembered how the missionaries helped her the last time and thought they could help again. She told us that as we entered her store that she could just see a glow about us and knew that we were the answers to her prayers! Cool huh? So we are excited to work with her and get her to come back. It just goes to show that we never know who is watching and always need to be doing what is right, whether we are missionaries or just members in general.

    Quite a few members this week have told Hermana Blau and I that we are "dynamite missionaries" as they put it and that they are getting so excited about missionary work! I just love hearing that and know that this ward has so much potential, they just need a little push. But as far as our investigators, our main ones went out of town and just got back, so we will see how everything is going, but we have been teaching them on the phone as much as possible so they are good.

   Well today we went to Dichato to the beach and it was beautiful just as the South of Chile is. I hate thinking about how little time I have left, but I know that this is the time when I can be the most effective and help lots. This gospel is soo true and I have no doubt of that now. I love you all sooo much. Take care.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Romney

Ohhh and I forgot to mention that Ada Danielle Wells (my new neice) is so beautiful and I can`t wait to meet her!!! Also mom and Dad hope all is well in the DR. Tell me about it next week!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Obedience - Jan 19, 2015

Hola Hola, 

    So today I am just kind of at a loss of words. I feel like there is so much that I want to say and that`s what makes me feel like I don`t know what to say. But I guess I will start out that this week was another good one full of ups and downs. I really feel like I have just tried to enjoy every moment with out getting too frustrated or down on myself and that has made it good. We have been concentrating on Obedience a lot this week and it hit me a lot that my desire to be obedient has grown immensely throughout my mission. I remember at the beginning that I wouldn`t really feel that bad if we left the house late or things like that, but now I feel so guilty if we do or just little things like that in myself which has been a great realization. I have a complete desire to be 100% obedient. The mission really does change someone and how incredibly grateful that I am for that! 

    Anyways, this week we got to watch "Conozca a los Mormones" or in English Meet the Mormons and it was soooo good! I thought I was going to have to wait until after to see it, but we had zone conference this week and they showed it to all of us. Of course it made me cry when they showed the part about the missionaries - mom I can only imagine how you were. Haha. But it was all in Spanish and I loved it! Then right after they made a group of us give our goodbye testimonies and man was that hard. Mom, I hate to admit it, but I am so much more of a crier than before, just like you haha. The main point that I felt impressed to share with the rest of the missionaries was that everything was worth it. That all of the hours spent walking in the rain or being rejected by people or hard companions or investigators dropping us is all worth it. Not everything is going to work out like we hope, but it will be for our good. Just like Joesph Smith said in Liberty Jail in D&C 122:7, "And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

I know this to be true for a fact and I know I say this almost every week, but I am just so grateful for my mission experience. I wouldn`t trade the lessons that I have learned for anything. 

    As far as investigators go, Claudia and her 4 daughters came to church yesterday and are progressing great for their baptismal date for the 31st. Andrea, Carolina, and Emiliana went on vacation this past week and didn`t get back in time for church yesterday so their baptism will have to be pushed back too, but we made a packet of homework for them to do everyday while they are on vacation :) and they did it all, so we are excited to see what they learned. 

    I love you all sooo much and Bri I hope that your baby comes soon! I can`t believe that you are over due, but at least mom and dad can be there for it. Mom and Dad, glad you guys had an awesome experience in the MTC and will be in the DR next week! I can`t believe Elder Bednar remembered me and asked about me! That`s sweet! Enjoy every minute and make sure you are all good boys and good girls as Elder Bednar says. 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney

Sorry no pics this week since the compu is not working :(  

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Church and Cookies. -Jan 12, 2015

¡Hola Hola!

      Wow another week gone by. This week we really were able to see progress and it made me so happy! So I have to admit that when we first got here to Penco, it was hard. There wasn`t much progression in the ward and we didn`t have anyone to work with. For weeks and weeks we worked so hard, but the people just didn`t seem to show up at church, which can be frustrating for a missionary. But finally we were able to have 7 of our investigators come yesterday and 3 menos activos that have never come before. It was a miracle and our ward assistance went up to 126 - higher than it has been in a LONG time. Andrea, Carolina, and Emiliana (fam. Meijas) came and they all are set to be baptized on the 24th if all goes well. Then Claudia with her 3 little girls came. Jorge who is a brother of a member finally got there all on his own and then Javiera, the neice of a recent convert came out of now where too. I wish I could write more about all of these investigators since they are all so special and I LOVE working with them, but just know that they are doing great. It was a day of miracles and I am so glad that Hna Blau and I were able to be a part of it. Oh and then the reason behind the title of this email is that a member came and gave us a huge bag of oatmeal cookies at church and they are so good! My back pack was stuffed with them so you know it was a good day haha. 

     As a mission our focus has changed quite a bit and the only real numbers that we are focusing on are baptisms and assistance at church. That`s it. It has been really really good though and we have been working together will all of the presidencies of the different organizations to help them. Then this week we had a really cool experience where we were able to go to a funeral of the dad of some members here. Here in Penco, they have a tradition where they take the casket after the funeral service in the church to the graveyard and everyone walks behind the hearse on the way there. So we joined in as we walked in almost silence to the cemetery. I had always seen people doing this and have secretly always wanted to do it, so it was a cool experience. Some people were soo sad and crying so loud as they put the body in the grave. It was such a strange experience and it made me so sad for those who were affected so strongly because they do not have the knowledge that the Plan of Salvation gives us. I have been able to teach the Plan of Salvation so many times during these 17 months out here and every time my testimony of its truthfulness grows stronger and stronger. I can`t even express how grateful I am to have known these simple truths as a child and that it is all possible because of our savior Jesus Christ. I just gives me even more of an incentive to give every ounce of my energy to share it with others. 
     So last night it was almost 10 pm and we decided to talk to one of our neighbors before entering the house and she just kept asking us how our moms let us come all the way over here and that she would never let her daughters do that. She kept telling us over and over again that our moms were so so bad for letting us come. It made me laugh to be honest and we tried to explain to her that if she would let us share with her that she would know why, but she was too Catholic to let us do that. But, don`t worry mom, I don`t think that you are bad at all for letting me come all the way over here at all. In fact, it`s just the opposite. I know that this gospel has brought so much happiness into our lives that it would be so selfish if we were to keep it all to ourselves. Plus, this has been the most amazing experience of my life and so thank you for trusting in the Lord enough to let me do it. I don`t like to think about time at all, but it has hit me that time is running out and my greatest hope is that I can completely give all of myself to this work. I love this work more than I can even express and I keep trying to tell President that it would be great if he would just let me serve a 2 year mission, but sadly that`s not an option. :( Good thing the mission doesn`t stop here. I love you all so much and hope you have a fantastic week.

Con mucho amor,
       Hermana Romney 

   So we had a dodgeball tournament with other zones this morning and so there are some pics from that. Also Javier (my convert from Santa Sabina) came and played too!!!!  Then with Hna Baturite (Rebeca) now!!  

Ahhh mom and Dad I forgot to mention that I hope you guys aren`t freaking out too much right now! Good luck getting set apart by Elder Holland in a few hours!!! Love you guys!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015!!! -Jan 5, 2015


      Woahh I can`t believe it is 2015 already! 2014 honestly has been the best year of my life in the sense that I can grown and learned so much. I have lots of goals for this year to be able to continue progressing in the gospel which include keeping a similar routine of studying the scriptures always especially after the mission. That is the only way that we can stay strong in the gospel and really hold on to the iron rod. I hope you all had a wonderful New Years celebration. Some members invited us over to eat dinner at their house on the 31st and we had special permission to be out until 11pm, so that was fun. With the hermanas here in the house we brought out some glow sticks and of course everyone there was a huge celebration outside with a HUGE bonfire!!! We could see it from right outside of our house, so I will send the picture. I love celebrations here in Chile!

    Well this morning we had Consejo this morning with the mission leaders and man are we changing things here! All of our key indicators are changing and we have a huge focus on building the wards or branches where we are. Now we focus on baptisms and assistance to church instead of counting all of the different lessons with members and what not. It will be iinteresting but a good way to focus on getting people back to church and focusing on the people and not on numbers. Our key indicators went from about 15 to about 5.... way different, but I like it.

     Then just an update on what happened back in my old sector in Chillan, well rememeber Johana and Sebastian? The ones who weren`t married when we found them, but they came to church for almost 2 months when I was there. Well now they got married and baptized!!!! That made me soooo happy to hear!!!! They are awesome and I love them sooo much! Then Carmen got baptized too the week after I left - she was the sweetest older lady that we found. Made my day.

    Now to Penco, well we have been seeing miracles and the familia Mejillas (Andrea and Carolina) have a date to be baptized for the end of January if all goes well and they are so great! They actually shared with the missionaries for about 6 months before and came to church a lot, but never got baptized. We had an awesome lesson with the bishop last night and Hna Blau and I talked about it before and we decided that we were going to have them say a prayer during our lesson to help them know if they should be baptized or not. Well it turned out great! After the prayer Carolina said that she felt pure peace and loved everything that she has learned in the gospel so we had her read D&C 6:23 - where it talks about how Heavenly Father answers our prayers with peace. It was so powerful and after she read it, she just said, "I don`t know what I have been waiting for..." Where we then invited her for the 24th and she accepted. I know for a fact that God answers our prayers when we ask with real intent.

    Well the mission continues to be amazing and I love you all so much. Okay sorry one more random thing, so one of my old companions Hna Baturit√® from Brazil was in Penco right before I got here. Anyways, she finished her mission and returned home, but is now back here living with a family in the ward because she is going to marry one of the returned missionaries here!!! Crazy!!!! Although it is great for us since she was one of my great friends and can go out with us and help us here!!! I couldn`t believe it at first, but if she`s happy, then I am too.
   Sorry my email this week was so random, but I love you all and hope that you continue to help the missionaries there in your own wards. The ONLY way to do missionary work is to work with the members!!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Romney

 Johana y Sebastian with Hna Ayuso in Chillan! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Last letter from 2014- Dec. 29, 2014

¡Hola y Buenos Dias! 

    I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and family it was sooo good to see everyone! I am sure that was crazy having all 18 of you in the house! Soo fun though and thank you all for remembering me in your prayers. I can`t believe how big my nieces and nephews have gotten! Here we were able to have a great Christmas where we got together with the missionaries who are close and played sports for about 3 hours so you know I was happy. Then we went out and talked to a bunch of people about our Savior and even got to teach too! Nothing better on Christmas day. 
       So this week we were able to have a few miracles with one of them being that Mauricio ( a new convert of about 6 months) came back to church after about 4 months of not coming! We have been working with him for a while and the first lesson when we got here to Penco he was so pesado (rude) with us. He just kept saying he didn`t want to pray or read and that he would go back to church when he felt like it. Well, after the first visit, every visit since has been better and better and he gets nicer and nicer. He is in Alma reading the BOM now too and he finally came to church! I have loved seeing his progression and I know he is going to come back even stronger this time. We have had a few lessons where we have felt the spirit so strong and I know that the Spirit really is the teacher and that is what has helped him along with the BOM. Our investigators are progressing slowly, but they are there! We also have been able to work better with our Bishop and he now gives us references all the time so we are excited to work with him! Oh yeah then I forgot to tell you guys that I had a parasite!!! My stomach was hurting so bad for about a week and I tried a few different medicines and nothing, so Hna Balden (our nurse) gave me the "bomb" to take which gets rid of parasites and it did the trick! I feel great now so no worries. 
       I hope we all were able to remember the true meaning of Christmas this year and are able to put new goals to be able to come closer to Christ this year. Well I am just going to send some pictures for you guys this week since we already talked, but I love you all! Also I will be staying here in Penco in the same ward for my last cambio in the mission! Ahhhhhhhhhhh can`t believe it. Now is the time to give it all to Him and work, work, work. 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

1) At the Christmas conference with a few previous companions. 
2) One of our HUGE lunches we have everyday. 
3) Our Christmas hats that we went around in on the 24th and the 25th! It was a great way to contact!!

4) Our pancake breakfast on Christmas morning in our house. 
5) A sweet homeless guy that we gave dinner too for Christmas and then shared the church magazines with! He has had such a hard life and is actually a member of the church too, but doesn`t go anymore. It was awesome and he has the desire to go back now! 

Christmas Spirit. -Dec. 22, 2014


  Ahhh okay I can`t believe that Christmas is sooo close. This is going to be a short email since we will be seeing each other on Skype in 3 days! Ya know, not that I am excited or anything. This week went really well though, especially the Christmas Concert that we had on Saturday night. Hna Blau did an awesome job with her solo and it was the first time that I actually felt like it was Christmas time here. There was about 600 people that came out and we had the band of the carabineros (police men) there too. We gave out Books of Mormon during it, so that was awesome. No better present for Christmas than the book that will bring us closest to Christ. I realized that I really really love Christmas in the mission since there is no other greater gift that we can give to Christ than to share his gospel with others. This Sunday I gave a talk in church about Love and Charity and how if we have this attributes, then we are going to share the gospel with everyone. This is so true and I know that my capacity to love has grown incredibly while being here and seeing everyone as our Heavenly Father sees us. Tonight we are going to do a service project with the zone of feeding homeless people and singing to them, so I am excited for that. Tomorrow the whole mission will be going to Chillan and having our christmas conference where each zone has to present a skit. I get to be the angel in the skit (just like last year!!). I guess either me being tall makes me a good fit for the part, or I have just an angelic aurora about me. Probably the first, but I choose to believe the second. :) Well I love you all soo much and will see you on Skype soon! I challenge you all to remember the real spirit of Christmas and reach out to all those who are in need of help as we will be trying to do the same here. 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Oh yeah and to explain the pics, the first is with 2 brand new missionaries that we had this week for a mini-cambio and they were awesome! Then at the concert. And on another mini-cambio a member in Lirquen had this shirt and I couldn`t not take a pic. :)