Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Teenage Pregnancy...What?- Dec 16, 2013

Hola todos!! 

  Okay so first off, cambios were today and........ I`m going to have a baby girl! Yep, I`M TRAINING!!! (When you get a companion who is brand new, they are considered your child.) I just finished my own training two weeks ago and barely have 4 months since I entered the MTC! I haven`t met her yet, but I got to see her name and it`s... HERMANA LINO! She gets here tomorrow and I don`t know where she`s from, but I know she is Latina, so we are going to have a good time! Ahh I can`t believe I`m going to have an "hija" and I`m freaking out just a little bit, but it`s all good. If the Lord has Faith in me that I can do it, then I should too. 
   This past week was awesome. We were able to teach A LOT of lessons and really have our investigators progress. I went out with a few young adults 4 days this week and that was such a blast! Yes they had no idea really what they were doing and I had to plan and guide everything, but their spirit was so strong and I loved it. I`m hoping it was a good warm up for when my brand new companion comes tommorow! We were able to visit a lot of people and that really is the best thing ever. A teaching missionary really is a happy missionary. The girls who were my companions for the day loved it too and now they are so willing to go out with us again when we need them next time. I could tell that they really were able to feel the joy that we feel when we share the truth. It is the best feeling in the world. 
   Miracle of the week: So our main investigators that we have been focusing on is Roxana and her family. Her husband, Ricardo, is a new convert and her two kids Mauricio and Sebastian are working towards their baptism goal as well. Roxana is also a teacher in the Catholic church to help kids prepare for their First Communion. Friday night we had a really good lesson with the whole family and committed them to come to church on Sunday. However, the whole time we never saw them and I was feeling super bummed the whole meeting because I thought they hadn`t showed up. Well turns out, after sacrament meeting, some members told us that they did come, but it was during sacrament and there were guys guarding the door to not make a lot of noise and she didn`t like that so decided to leave. Well it turns out that the Catholic church is right next door to our church where she recently taught at and decided they would go to the Mass there instead. However, later on Sunday night when we saw them, she said that she felt like something was missing when she went to the Catholic church and that as a family they all decided that they like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints better!!! She told us that it was a confirmation to her that our church is the true church and that was where she wanted to be. It was incredible!!! The Lord really does work in mysterious ways and her baptism along with her two kids will be next week, so pray for them!! 

    Anyways, we have been working a lot with the members lately and they have been inviting their friends to a lot of things and to learn about the gospel, so that is so awesome!! Ahh I just love sharing this gospel so much!! We have the responsibility to share the love of Christ so others can feel it too. Just like in 1 Corinthians 15:22, "even so in Christ shall all men be made alive". Have a great week everyone and I love you soo much!! Sorry, I`ll try and write a lot more next week! 
Hermana Romney 

attached the photos:

there are some of my companions and also a member who was my companion for the day and a Family Home Evening with Roxana and her family and the Bishop!!!

Triple Threat Trio- Dec 9, 2013

¡Hola mis queridos!

   ¿còmo estan todos? This week has been a wild ride, but definitely a good one. In the trio we switch off working in both of the sectors everyday and we`ve got a good system going now. We`ve already got a member to go out with me everyday this week, so it will be a little interesting to have different members as my comp, but this way we can do twice the work and help even more of God`s children! It`s definitely heating up here in Concepciòn. Luckily, there is a constant wind blowing; however, this has proven to be very tricky wearing skirts everyday. 
    So this was the first week with my training wheels off!! At times it was a little shaky and unsure of where we were going, but it`s so comforting to always know that we can look to the scriptures and learn from the example of our perfect trainer, Jesus Christ. For all of our questions and doubts, there is an answer in the scriptures. As well we can always pray and receive revelation from our Heavenly Father and confirmation from the Holy Ghost. Knowing that can calm even the most troubled minds. Many times in lessons I have no idea what I am going to say when I open my mouth, but every time I do, without fail, an inspired message comes out which I know does not come from my own thoughts. It is incredible being a missionary!! 
    So we had a few amazing lessons with Roxana and her family and her and her two kids should be getting baptized in two weeks so they can join their father in being a member of the church of Jesus Christ. I love that family so much and feel so privileged to be teaching them! We really did have a "miembro escogido" come with us who used to be in the same situation two years ago! It was amazing and she is finally willing to really read and pray everyday. 
    Okay so there`s no time left and I`ll write about the other investigators next week, but everything is going great here in Santa Sabina and we`re going to have another fun week in our triple threat trio. I hope everyone is remembering to constantly be praying and reading the scriptures so that we can become the people that God wants us to become. I love this gospel soooooo much!! I don`t know where I would be without it in my life. I love you all!! 

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney  
Pic: Family Home Evening with Roxana and her family and another member family!! *WOULDN"T UPLOAD

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Finished training: now an "orphan" and in a trio.- Dec. 2, 2013

Hola familia y amigos! 

    ¿Còmo estan todos? So today has been just a rush of emotions. First off, my mom is "dead" and I "killed" her! (That`s what they call it when your trainer completes her mission and I was her last companion.) I said goodbye to her this morning and since she is leaving two weeks before the cambio (to spend more time with her parents in Argentina), I`ll be in a trio for two weeks with the other two Hermanas in our ward. It`s weird to even think about being here with out Hna Lovell, but it`s time to grow up now and I`m excited for the change. I already miss her so much and am so grateful for all of the things that she taught me.I will admit though that having your companion go home is just about the most "trunky" (homesick) thing ever. For a while it felt like I was going home with her too, but that is definitely not the case haha. I`ve got lots adventures ahead of me and lives to change!! Also I am done with my training and no more 12 semanas for me! However, these next two weeks I think will be quite interesting. I`ll be with Hna Batuirtè from Brazil and Hna Skirvin from California. They are both superstars and it should be a good time. The only thing I`m sort of freaking out about is that we will still have two sectors and one companionship. We share the ward, but we have to keep both Santa Sabina A and Santa Sabina B alive and full of investigators for when my new companion comes in two weeks. Juggling both will be quite a task, but the plan is just to go on divisions with as many members in the ward as possible and have faith that Heavenly Father will help us. 

        With it being Hna Lovell`s last week, we wanted to finish strong and that`s just what we did. We ended up completing the mission standards of excellence and gave our sector a kick-start. There was even a mini-cambio thrown in there where Hna Alvarez from Nicaragua came to our sector while my trainer went to hers. We had a pretty good day planned ahead of us full of lessons with members, but of course they all fell through (common quality of Chileans, I love them to death, but dependability is not one of their best qualities haha). However, as always, God had a better plan for us ahead where we needed to help and find those who need the gospel at this moment. I`ll tell you we sure walked a lot that day, but Heavenly Father put incredible people in our path who we were able to share the redeeming message of Jesus Christ with. If we are just humble and willing to accept the challenges of life, we will be shaped into the people that God needs us to be, to help His children. 

     Funnies: (This section is dedicated to my girl Sister Asay :) haha)
- This week I learned that Panitas (Chicken liver) tastes like dog food. AKA - nasty stuff that no one should eat. That`s where napkins, pockets, and good distracting conversation comes in handy. Successfully saved my stomach and taste buds with that one.
-  We found a wallet this week in the street and obviously wanted to return it. We looked for the guy`s house for about an hour until we finally found it. We knocked on the door and only his mom was home and as soon as she opened the door I started telling her that we have been looking for her for a long time and she immediately cut me off and said no, that she didn`t want to hear anything. Again we tried to tell her that we were missionaries and once again we were cut off. After the third time of her practically yelling at us and telling us not to insist, we whipped out her son`s wallet and she immediately felt so bad and started telling us to come in and if we wanted juice or something to eat. Bhaha she felt so bad which of course we told her that it was okay and it was totally normal, but boy I sure hope she`ll think twice the next time missionaries come to her house.   

     Well I hope that everyone had a great thanksgiving and happy birthday Mom!! Please keep Karen, Roxana and Ricardo, Nicole and Maria Eugenia in your prayers! I love you all so much and keep sending me pictures of the family! Remember to be good so that you will be happy.  

con mucho amor, 
   Hermana Romney   

- birthday cupcakes we made for Hna Baturitè
- A less active family that we reactivated and they now call us "their" missionaries :)
- Birthday celebration for our investigator Karen (shes in the purple)!

Love Your Neighbor- Nov. 25, 2013

Hola, buenos días family and friends, 

      This week should be an exciting week at home with all of the Thanksgiving festivities going on! Sadly they don`t celebrate that here, but every one of our lunches with members is about the quantity that one would eat on Thanksgiving, so I´m not too bummed about the food part haha. I think I am finally getting used to the food quantity by now. We eat so much for lunch at 1:30 and then nothing for the rest of the day until a snack when we get home at 10, so my stomach has been struggling, but I think it´s finally getting used to expanding and then shrinking everyday. Good news is that now that it´s basically summer here, there are little fruit and vegetable stands everywhere and the fruit is sooo good! It´s like the fruit we used to get in Mexico, so that makes me really happy!  
      Anyways, this week has been a really good one! We had our "ward conference" this week and there was activities everyday in the church which is prime for missionaries and bringing investigators. On Monday we had a family home evening in the chapel with the whole ward and we had 2 whole families of our investigators come! We brought Roxana and her family with us and then Claudia and her family came because one of the members, Margarita, invited them. Margarita was so happy when she saw that they came and she came over to us and was so pumped and was beaming with joy. Margarita is usually pretty shy, but one day we went over to her house and did a practice with her on how to invite her friends to activities and it totally paid off! That has got to be one of the best things - seeing how the members become the missionaries and the joy that it brings to them when they see their loved ones finding happiness in the gospel.
     So we almost had a super cool moment this week. We had a mini-cambio and as we were just contacting the people that walked by, we ran into a mom and her two kids. We then taught her at a nearby park where her kids were playing and she just moved to Chile a month ago from Venezuela. It´s not normal to see a very dark skinned person here, so for a second I thought she might be from the US, but nope definitely not. Anyways, her daughter is named Shaneska (my favorite name I have heard here yet) and she accepted baptism and a date as well, but she didn´t remember her address and we have been trying to call her, but no luck. Super lame, but hopefully we`ll run into her again.  
        Also this week we found the sweetest girl named Nicole who is 16 and her mom who are super prepared to hear the gospel. On our first lesson, we talked a lot about families and they both had tears running down their faces. You can tell that they both want that happiness and unity in their family that only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring. On our second visit, we brought a joven-cita member with us named Stacy and as we walked in Nicole was so excited to see Stacy and apparently they know each other from school! The spirit was so strong in that lesson and it was an instant connection. I am so grateful for the spirit and how it guides us to have inspired thoughts and make inspired decisions.     
      Especially this week I have learned how important it is to love the ones who are closest to us. The other Hermanas and especially our companions need to know how much we appreciate them and how much we love them constantly. I think sometimes I get so caught up in helping our investigators that I forget to think about the ones who are really close to us. Most of us I think can be guilty of this. We get so caught up in school or work or even our callings that we forget to love those who are closest to us. I encourage all of you if you haven´t done so recently to tell the ones who are closest to you how much you appreciate them. To slow down and take the time to do so because those are the people that matter most. Here on the mission we see so many examples of families who don´t do so because they are caught up in work or what not, but the deepest happiness really does come from the family. 
       I have been eternally blessed to have the family and friends that I do. I want each of you to know how much I love you and appreciate you. I know I don´t say that enough and I definitely didn´t before the mission, but you all mean the world to me. I love you all and remember to constantly stay rooted in the gospel of our savior Jesus Christ. He has given us the example and has shown us the greatest example of love. Have a good Thanksgiving week! 

Hermana Romney 
P.S. my trainer Hna Lovell has only one week left in the mission!! Crazyyy and I´m going to miss my "mama" so much! She´ll actually be going over to Argentina to spend Christmas with her parents since they are mission presidents in Neuquen! Sweet right?? We had an instant bond. 

Pics: one from the newbie conference which was amazing! Another of a texas cow a member had in their house!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lessons Learned- Nov 18, 2013

Hola Familia y amigos, 

     I hope all is well with everyone at home or on your missions wherever you may be! This week was another great one and thankfully it is warming up here! It`s usually pretty sunny in the day and warm, but we are by the coast and so there is a nice constant cooling wind. I`m still getting used to the fact that we are just starting summer time in November. 
     So this week was definitely one for learning. Since my comp only has two weeks left in the mission now, she`s been helping out a lot of the other sisters going on mini cambios (where we switch companions). In fact, this week she was gone for 3 days straight leaving me in charge with other Hermana`s that have less time than me in the mission. (Fun fact: our mission is super young and about 2/3 of the missionaries haven`t hit their half way mark yet.) We refer to ourselves as New and Newer, kinda like Dumb and Dumber, but hopefully not as bad. Haha. Anyways, it was quite interesting having to plan everything for 3 days when only one companion (me) knows the sector, but I am so glad that the Lord is on our side, otherwise, we would`ve been lost. Okay so it actually wasn`t bad, but I definitely learned so much! Especially when Hna Lovell came back and I got to see her role in a new light. 
     I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that we have to really be guided and comforted. I know that there is no way I could be doing this all alone and I am so glad that I don`t have to. For our whole entire life we are entitled to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost as long as we are worthy of it. How great a gift we are promised. 
     Investigator time: so we just started teaching Karen this week who is 25 and is so cool. She used to go with her mom to church for about a year until 6 months ago when she stopped. Well last week she decided to come again because something inside of her moved her to do so and she`s pumped to learn more. Anita is the mom of two recent converts and she is super stubborn and sassy, but we love her and with the gospel she opens up more and more everyday.  Roxana and her two kids Sebastian and Mauricio are working towards their baptismal date coming up. The father Ricardo is a new convert of 2 months and now we just have to help Roxana and her kids. We talked about getting sealed in the temple with Ricardo and he is so motivated to help his family and I just love them all so much. They have seen countless miracles happen in their lives as soon as they joined the church and their family changed completely. They used to hardly talk to one another and would fight all the time. However, since Ricardo got baptized, they have seen a complete change in everyone and they are so much happier now. This gospel really is meant for families. 
      I have been SOOO incredibly blessed to be born into my family. Mom and Dad I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me and siblings you are the best!!!! I know the gospel has been a HUGE factor in the way we were raised and I am eternally grateful. I am working as hard as I can so that every family in Chile can have the same, as I expect all of you to be doing the same in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all!!! 

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Pictures are from the zone activity we had today. Chile is so beautiful!!!!!

Nov 11, 2013


    Alright so I don`t have much time today, so this week`s letter is going to be a little short. Luckily nothing too crazy happened this week like the last one, but it has still been eventful as always. I learned to never assume that a nasty couch belongs outside. Otherwise if you put it outside to make room for two new Hermanas in your house, the old evangelical lady who owns the house will yell at you for an hour and make you clean all day (Yes this did happen to us). Speaking of our apartment, the picture below is of an actual fugus mushroom type mold that was growing in our shower that we found. Other than that, our week was really good and I feel a lot more comfortable in our new area. Actually Elder Holland had a meeting here with all of the bishops and stake presidents in our mission, but we didn`t get to see him....bummer. However, we did get to have a meeting with the bishop afterwards and he is excited to change things up and we are super pumped as well!  

         So my trainer didn`t want to admit this to me at first, but we are in a much harder sector and the people are a lot more reserved and not as willing to accept the gospel. It`s all good though because we have just been finding new ways to work and really concentrating on working with the members. Actually we had a super sweet family home evening with a family of 5 (the father is a new convert and the rest of the family is not), who we are teaching and another young family in the ward who the husband is a return missionary and hasn`t been to church in a while who came for the first time yesterday! The family home evening went super well too and we as missionaries hardly had to do anything, the members did it all which is definitely much better. Hna Lovell and I like to call ourselves the catalysts. We are here to help members do missionary work and to help reactivate and retain other members. And why not do all three at the same time? I know that the Lord really does work through us as missionaries. It`s incredible.
      Actually this week I have really been working on trying to follow the promptings of the spirit. It`s hard! However, I have seen miracles happen and I know that it is definitely not me that`s making it happen. I know God loves each and everyone of us so much and knows us individually. He cares about us and wants us to be happy. I love you all as well and hope you have a good week!

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nov. 4, 2013


    Wowzass I`m beginning to think that there will never be a normal week here in the mission. Transfers were today and I will be staying in Santa Sabina with my comp Hna Lovell, but she leaves early in 4 weeks so we`ll see what happens then! Also 2 more Hnas are coming to live with us though and share the ward and I am super pumped about that. The ward boundaries are HUGE and there is so much potential. Also I found out that we have about 15 new pet slugs that like to just chill in our bathroom and kitchen every night at about 3 am. One night I woke up to use the bathroom and just about woke up the neighbors when I saw them all. The next night of course I had to see if it was a normal habit for the slugs and so I set an alarm to wake up at the same time and sure enough there they were just hanging in our shower. We have still yet to cure the problem, but we`re working on it. 

     So Santa Sabina is such a great ward. My comp says she has never seen a ward like this ever outside of the US and I am pretty pumped to be working here! Since we didn`t know anyone or how to get anywhere, we decided to work with the members and the investigators of the Elders. I think the members trust us a lot now and we got tons of great references! We even had a baptism this Sunday! Pedro was baptized and he`s a champ. He`s got Parkinson`s Disease and so mentally he`s all there, but physically not too much. He`s niece is on a mission and he loves reading the scriptures. We were mostly excited about Mariana`s baptism yesterday though!!! I love her sooo much and she is super cool. Reminds me a ton of my friends in Monterrey. We were bummed we had an emergency transfer the week right before, but all of her nonmember family came! The president even gave us special permission to call her right after and she just seemed soooo happy!! Ahh moments I`ll never forget. 
     It really is so true that when we follow the commandments, we will be happy. Heavenly Father loves us so much that he has given us guidelines that we should follow for our own happiness in this life and in the one to come. He only asks us to be obedient and we are promised eternal life and everlasting happiness. What more could you ever want? Who knows better God? I am so grateful for the sacred scriptures that we have and especially the Book of Mormon. I have gained such an appreciation for the Book of Mormon and it brings an incredible spirit. It is so important to read it everyday!! But really! 

   Well I love you all and am so glad that everyone is doing well and having a good time together. Cuidanse muchisimo y les quiero tanto! 

Hermana Romney 

1) Julia and her Fam
2) Mariana and the necklace she made me! 
3 and 4) from our morning run - you can see the ocean from that hill! 
5) Pedro`s baptism

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What a WACKY Week! Oct. 28, 2013


     So I`m pretty sure this will probably be the strangest week of my mission! To sum it all up, we got to live in the Pulsiphers (Best senior couple) super nice apartment for a week and then had an emergency transfer to open up a sector one week before real transfers. 
     I`m not going to give any details, I`ll do that after the mission, but basically the area where we were was pretty dangerous and we had to get out of our house as soon as possible. We live with two other Hermanas as well and so all 4 of us had no where to live but with the Pulsiphers. I have no complaints though whatsoever because it felt like we were living in America again and Hna Pulsipher is an amazing cook!! Everything is fine though with all of us and we are all perfectly safe, but they took us out of our house just in case anything more happened. 
      We all 4 got transferred yesterday and luckily I still have Hna Lovell as my companion! We are actually opening up a sector and are now in an area called Santa Sabina, which is apparently the richest area of the mission and is right in Concepcion. We got to our new house last night where Elders used to live and boy does it smell... we have some serious cleaning to do. We are pretty excited to work here though and the sector is HUGE! We are about 75% sure that next week they will probably split us up and put in two more Hermanas in the ward with us, but we`ll see.
      It was pretty difficult to leave my first sector though! We had 4 baptisms lined up within the next two weeks with people we have been working with for a while and I`m pretty bummed I won`t be there to see them, but the most important thing is that they continue forward. I am so excited especially for Mariana who has finally given up her addiction and is so excited for her baptism this Friday. She is sooo cool and she has so many friends in the church so I have no doubt she will be a strong member. (Picture below is of her and the necklace that she made me!) Julia and her two kids Triana and Jose Miguel are in the other picture and they are rock stars. The father Jose Miguel is also excited for his baptism as well, but he works in Northern Chile so he`s not in the picture. Please pray for them though, especially since we won`t be there to help them! 
        Sometimes I don`t understand why things happen and why we had to leave Chillan, but I have faith that God has a plan for everything. We were just about to see the fruits of our labors and then everything was changed. This week I learned that even though I may have a plan for what I want to happen, which may be good, Heavenly Father has something else in store for me. When we submit our will to His, he can sculpt us into much more than we could become on our own. 
      I hope all is well this week with everyone at home and that you enjoy Halloween! Thanks for all the pictures and letters that I absolutely love! Remember to always let Heavenly Father direct your paths. Come what may and love it, because why would you do anything else? I love you all soooo much! 
      Hermana Romney 

P.S. I just realized I forgot my camera cord oops...so I`ll include the pictures next week!   

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sharing is Caring- Oct. 21, 2013

So first off I just want to say congratulations to Blake and Erika on their new baby boy, Greyson! I am so excited to meet him after the mission and can't believe I now have 6 nieces and nephews. However, my companion is the youngest of 9 kids and has 22 nieces and nephews already, so siblings pick up the pace... haha no just kidding, but I am so excited for you two!!
Everything is still going well here in Chillan Viejo. It's really interesting because the whole focus of our mission is changing and I think it's changing all around the world too. There is so much more of an emphasis on members who are less active and recent converts to make sure that there is a real growth in the church. That people don't just get baptized and then go inactive super fast. There is a huge stress right now to work with members and how we as missionaries are there to aid the members in their missionary work. Those of you at home, it is your responsibility to share the gospel with others. It shouldn't be something that is a pain, but rather an act of love to your friends and family. Let them know that you care about them and that you want them to feel the same happiness that you do in your life. It's the simple and small things that make the difference in the end. Don't miss out on opportunities to invite others to come unto Christ. Looking back on my life before the mission makes me realize how many opportunities I had to share the gospel and didn't. I have now committed to always be a missionary when I get back and not miss out on those opportunities!
So sadly Mariana fell again and so we will have to wait a while for her baptism, but we have faith and so does she that she will be able to get through this. She has had such a great change so far though and I LOVE seeing the change that the gospel can make.
Okay so not much time today, but PLEASE share the gospel with your loved ones. I love you all so much at home and keep sending pictures! Keep true to the faith.

Hermana Romney
PS - so that one picture of the horse is right next to our house. We live out in the campo and I love it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Lord's Work- Oct. 14, 2013

Hola todos!

I hope everyone has been doing lovely and enjoying life. There really are so many great things to be enjoyed during our time here on earth! This week I really tried to enjoy the little things in life that make us happy and what a difference it makes.
So this past Monday we were in one of our usual areas just contacting when out of nowhere, I turn around and see this dog coming full sprint out of his gate right at me. It was about to jump up at me when I took off the other direction not knowing what to do but to run! It was a big black dog and the only thing going through my mind was that I did not want it to bite me because then I would have to go through a series of shots to make sure it didn`t pass on any disease. So... "I RAN FOR MY LIFE" (Sweet Brown black woman voice - Youtube it), screaming as I sprinted about half a block!! I tried to kick my feet up behind me hoping to scare him away. Finally I guess he gave up or something because he stopped after a while. However, the neighbors started poking their heads out of their windows probably wondering why there is a 6 ft gringa (white girl) sprinting and screaming down their block...oh well maybe it will give us more publicity? Hahaha well we actually don`t need more of that, but lets just say I was a little freaked out and maybe carried around a rock in my hand for a good while after just in case...
The rest of this week was pretty good though! I definitely learned a lot about humility and that this is no doubt the church of Jesus Christ. Everything works out so much better when we are guided by the Spirit and are humble enough to admit that the Lord knows better than us. We had a lesson with member this week where my companion and I barely even said a word. The member and Mariana (our investigator) just talked together all about her conversion and it was EXACTLY what Mariana needed! Mariana has been dealing with an addiction but has been clean for more than a week!!!! Super pumped for her baptism this Friday! Anyways, the member had never even met Mariana before, but it was such a testament that this is the Lord`s work. We are only the instruments in his hands and have to be humble enough to not do what we think is correct or maybe what we had planned, but instead what the Spirit is telling us.
Well I hope all is well with everyone! Happy Birthday Erika and Sister Asay and Happy Anniversary Brandon and Brittani (thanks for the letter too!!!)! Thanks Mom for the package and all of the wonderful letters in it!!! I love you all so much and don`t be afraid to do what is right and follow the spirit.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Romney
1) At our ward "Show de Talentos" with completos!! Our ward mission leader wanted to take a picture of me with them....maybe for publicity to sell more?? Still unclear on that one haha
2) Having to leave notes and homework for investigators in front of their door through the gate while trying to throw rocks on the papers so they don`t fly away.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Conference- Oct. 7, 2013

Hello everyone!

    Wasn`t conference just incredible? It really is such a privilege that we have to be able to know what exactly it is that God wants us to hear. That was one of the amazing things that we got to share with contacts this week is that we have a prophet and 12 apostles today just like in Christ`s time. I´m not sure if anyone else noticed, but they sure talked A LOT about missionary work and getting the members to work with their ward missionaries. So if you haven`t done so recently, please take Brother Nielson`s advice and go help your ward missionaries, they will appreciate it so much and especially if you invite some of your friends over for a Family Home Evening with them. If you are already helping them out, then keep up the good work! I now realize the importance of it and am committed to help the missionaries wayyy more when I get back!

     All of the talks were just fantastic!! This was the most enjoyable session of conference I have had yet! I really enjoyed Elder Vinson`s talk during theSunday afternoon session all about how the Lord wants us to build the Faith to turn to him during our trials to know how to solve them. That`s why He allows bad things happen to us. As a 19 year old girl, I know that I do not have much power, if I did not have the help of my Heavenly Father, this work would be impossible. But when we combine forces with God, we will be so much more effective and have more power than we could ever imagine. I like to think of it as a wind current - Heavenly Father has his current full of righteousness blowing in one direction and when we are disobedient and try and go against it, then we won`t have as much power. But when our current and God`s current are moving in the exact same direction, then we will be infinitely stronger and do things we never thought possible. 

        This week was a good one though. It was kinda crazy too since we had to take a random trip to the center of Concepcion to have my companion tested for Tuberculosis. It`s not dangerous to me at all, but there is an Hermana who has active Tuberculosis and has to be isolated for about 4 weeks....that would be horrible as a missionary, I feel so bad for her! My comp lived with her for a while before and had to get tested for it just to make sure, but no one here has the test so I think she will get it next week or something. I really don`t think there is any risk that she has it, but at least we got Dominos pizza (best thing ever here!!)  when we had to go to Concepcion! So that was crazy, but otherwise all is well! 

    Seems like everything is great at home! Awesome that all of my nieces and nephews were able to go to Disney World! Send some pictures! Mom and Dad enjoy your cruise this next week with Mumphy and Pops, send them my love! You all are so great and keep the faith! Love you tons. 

   Hermana Romney 

P.S. the picture is of our sweet ghetto curtains that we made out of a poncho and a sheet in our new house since we don`t have any that aren`t transparent...  
the other is "our" dogs that follow us around frequently named Rosy and Roldi.... BTW the dogs here are CRAZYY and are everywhere! They will bark so loud out and just about give me a heart attack when it`s late at night and we can`t see anything....

Monday, September 30, 2013

First Baptism- Sept 30, 2013

Buenos Dias!

  Yet another great week here in Chile.! This week was a bit crazy too since we had to change houses, but we got some good brothers in the ward to help us and we got everything moved and unpacked in less than an hour and a half. In our new house we can at least shower with two hands! No more holding up the hose thing over our heads the whole time! 

   We had another mini-cambio this week, but this time I stayed in our sector and Hna Lovell went to the other one. I was just a tad nervous about only being in the area for 3 weeks and then trying to show my companion around for the day (Hna Canari from Peru) ... However it went really well and I knew way more than I thought I did! We had a great day with a Family Home Evening (picture included) and I actually liked being in charge a little bit for once, but I know I still have lots to learn. 
     This Sunday we had the best family come to church all together, even the dad! The mom and her 3 kids have come before, but this time the dad came too! We went and made french toast for them at their house as a little bit of an incentive for the dad to come and it worked! They all really enjoyed church and the mom, dad, and 2 kids who are old enough to be baptized have a date in October. The only problem is that the dad works out of town for 15 days at a time (like most dads here) so that´s kinda a bummer, but they are awesome! 

   Highlight of the week was definitely Francisco´s baptism! So about two hours before the baptism Hna Lovell and I went to the chapel to make sure the Elders had turned on the font and everything was going good. Well of course we go and there is barely any water and it is ice cold. The font takes about 3 hours to fill up to a comfortable height with warm water and so we were freaking out just a little bit. We tried to turn on the warm water, but it wasn´t really coming out so our last option was to go to the kitchen and boil water there and take buckets full of hot water into the font... Haha did about 15 trips until we realized that it was going to take forever (picture included) The bishop said he would be over soon, but in Chilean terms that means in about an hour...so Hna Lovell and I did the only other thing we knew how to do which was pray. We knelt down there and left it in the hands of God. The font was filling up some, but it was freezing cold water. We told Francisco right as he was about to go in that we were so sorry but that the water was freezing. The baptism still went on and it was one of the most incredible things I have seen here yet. He bore his testimony afterwards of how he knew God was happy with him and that he was going to keep moving forwards and going to church every Sunday. He´s such a good kid and it´s incredible to see him changing his life for the better. The service went so well and we even had about 40-50 members show up to support him! MILAGRO #1!! Then Hna Lovell and I went to clean the font afterwards and the water was warm! MILAGRO #2! Scientifically it makes no sense in my mind, but it was warm! Even Francisco afterwards said it felt really warm to him. It just strengthened my testimony even more that this is God´s work. We as missionaries are just here to help guide people to the right path and incapacitate them so that they can receive their own answers and God can perform miracles. 

  My testimony of prayer has been strengthened soooo much while here on the mission. I have prayed more than I ever have before in my life and with more of a true intent than ever before. I have no doubt in my mind that God answers our prayers and performs miracles everyday. 

   I am more pumped than I ever have been before about conference this weekend! We are trying to get as many people as we can to come to hear from our living prophet and apostles. We have been telling them all to come to conference with at least one question in mind that they want answered and I challenge you all to do the same. It is one of the greatest blessings that we have a prophet today that can lead and guide us back to our Heavenly Father. Well I love you all so much and keep updating me on everything! 

Hermana Romney 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Miracles after Trials- Sept 23, 2013


Wow what a week! I haven´t even been here in Chile for quite 3 weeks yet, but it feels like I´ve been here for about 3 months now. Time is one of the weirdest concepts out here. This week literally flew by and it was incredible. I continue to learn so much and my companion (Hna Lovell) is incredible. There were transfers this week and I was freaking out a little bit because my comp has already been in this area for 4 months and so either she would leave now or stay here until she finishes, which isn´t until Dec. 2. Also one of the senior couples in the office thought she was in a different area than she is now a day before the transfer, so I was definitely worried. Hna Lovell just kept telling me not to worry and that I already know everything and could totally train right now if I had to. I don´t quite believe that, but luckily for me everything is still the same and we made a bunch of goals to hit the ground running this transfer!

Sadly the baptism didn´t go through this Friday with Francisco... on Chile Independence day he got pressured into drinking. Both of his parents get drunk on a regular basis and occasionally has to take care of them and he is trying his best not to follow their path. He told us he really regrets it and that is the miracle of repentance. He is still super solid and will get baptized this Friday instead! We have 2 other families working up towards baptism as well and they are just awesome! We have been focusing on working with members more this week and that has made all the difference. I have felt the presence of the spirit so strong every day here and I just love it!

This Thursday we went back to the new area that we haven´t really worked in before and now I see why. It was freezing cold and pouring rain almost the whole day and no one would let us into their house for 3 hours. We contacted so much that day and it wasn´t very pleasant. We had crazy dogs follwing us, an old man yelling at us, trucks splashing water on us, and some not so friendly people. I would like to think that most people would let two young girls in their house if they saw that they were standing in the cold rain, but nope. I realized that the name tag makes all the difference, we aren´t two young girls, we are missionaries and missionaries mean commitment and most Chileans don´t like commitment. Oh well! That´s life and we made the best out of it. We were laughing just about the whole day since it was just ridiculous and we made it fun still. It really is just about the attitude that you have towards the situation. Anyways, we finally were able to teach two lessons that night, but we got home and were exhausted. We knew something had to change. 

That´s when we knew we had to work with members more. I guess we just had to go through that long day in order to learn that. It really strengthened my testimony that after we are patient in enduring our trials, we receive miracles. We then went out with a young girl in the ward and find a young family who is just so ready for the gospel. They were old investigators of some Elders and I´m not quite sure what happened, but their extended family didn´t like the Elders or something. Anyways, I guess they just needed more loving Hermanas to be able to work with them :) The wife has been searching for a religion that would fill her up inside, since she has not felt anything at the other churches. Well, that is exactly what we have! We have the gospel of Jesus Christ restored in perfection. I just love it so much. We also got some great references from the girl and we plan on doing that with each one of the youth in the ward who has gone out with previous missionaries and showing us their old investigators.

Heavenly Father has blessed me so much! I compare my life to those of the people here and wonder how I ever got so lucky. I have an incredible family and parents, not to mention never having to worry if there was going to be food on our table at home and so much more. I can´t help wondering if it´s because I am not nearly as strong as the people here or if I just got lucky or it´s blessings from obedience. I have no idea, but I do know that I admire the people here so much for their strength.

I have seen so many tender mercies this week, including a collectivo driver that now takes us to our house for free when we need, a beautiful rainbow after all the rain, and so much more. When we endure our trails and continue to be obedient, I know we will be blessed. We have been sent to this earth to learn and to grown and we can´t do that without trials. I love being a missionary everyday and wouldn´t give up this time here for anything. Sounds like everyone is doing great back at home and I love you all sooo much! Continue to update me on your lives and what´s going on!

Hermana Romney 

Attached is a photo with one of our investigators at the big Independence Day party they had the the church that started at 10 am until 11 pm! Latins know how to party.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 2! - Sep 16, 2013


    Wow this week went by so much faster than last week. I think I am finally getting the whole missionary life style down and I´m getting used to all the walking. My comp and I are in the city of Chillán Viejo in the ward Copihues. The ward is pretty great and everyone is pretty willing to help us since we have a goal of reaching assistance of 100 members by the end of this year and then we can get our own ward building that is closer to the people. My companion and I live with 2 other sisters in their area and so we have about a 15 min walk just to get to our area and then we still have to walk about 20 min or more to get to our appointments and what not. We take the micro (bus) or a collectivo (a car that goes the same route as the bus) sometimes, but it´s mainly just speed walking all day! Emotionally I am exhausted, but I love it at the same time. I just love all of these people sooo much and I want them to have the blessings of the gospel in their lives right now!

    So the food here is actually quite good. We eat pan like there is no tomorrow haha, although the bread is so good. I never really liked to eat just bread until now, Chileans know what´s good in the bread factory.  Churascos are the best. They are basically just mexican tortas with avocado and all. Dad, I have not gotten up the courage to eat a completo yet. They are just hot dogs smothered in mayonesa and what not, but I´m sure I´ll eat one soon.We eat lots of potatoes and chicken, but overall everything is pretty good. After every lunch that the members give us I wonder how in the world I got all that food down...haha. They give us so much! I guess it´s alright though because we don´t eat dinner at all. We have lunch at 1:30 and then we have language study after till 4 and then we are out all day until 10 pm when we come back. The missionary schedule here is changed. We get up at 7:30 am and then go to bed at 11:30, which is totally fine by me! 

    Sunday at church was great! We had 8 investigators there! It was a miracle and simply amazing. A mom, Julia, told us afterwards that she felt so welcome and warm being in church and she´ll for sure be back. She and two of her kids now have baptismal dates! 

    Francisco is getting baptized this Friday!!! He´s a stud and told us all in gospel doctrine class this week that he has no doubt that the church is true. He´s pretty gangster and is 19, but he´s awesome. Mariana sadly didn´t get baptized this week because she has some things in her past she needs to clear up, but she is still solid! 

    On Wednesday I got to do a mini cambio to the little town of Coihueco! (Pictures attached) My comp has to do a mini cambio every week as a leader, so it´s fun for me because I get to experience different areas every week. I realized just how grateful I am for my companion and our ward. It was so great and in a tiny little town, a 6 foot gringa is a sight to see for them. Boy did I get some interesting comments and weird looks. Not to mention the creepy old man with no teeth who kissed my hand after I rejected his cheek kiss... haha but whatcha gonna do.

    Also Mom, you know how I was happy that I probably wouldn´t wear makeup for 18 months? Well I was wrong. I have to wear even more now so that it´s noticeable or else we look like Evangelicas. The Evangelicas wear skirts all the time, have long hair, and don´t wear make up...bad combo for me. Haha so the only way to really differentiate in the streets is to make it look like I wear make up. Am I sorta bummed? Yes, but I guess it´s better this way. 

    Hna Lovell and I have been working in sort of a new area recently and are trying to come up with new ways to find people since we know no one. Anyone have any good ideas??? This week we are going to try singing, service, less active list, FHE with members, and Saturday basketball night! I´m super pumped for the last one. There is a basketball court right in the middle of the area so we are going to play with members and hopefully get some more people to come out and play.

 We got a reference this week (best thing ever!!) of a less active mom, Antioneta, and her non-member daughter, Vanessa(13). We went by to see them and at first Antioneta was very reluctant to let us in. We then told her that we knew her friend and then she decided to let us in. Within about 5 min she was in tears and telling us how much she has missed the gospel in her life. Her parents are members and she went to seminary and everything but she married a non-member who is very Catholic and doesn´t like our church too much so she stopped going to keep peace in the family. She told us that she felt the spirit so strong and I did too. She hugged me for a long time and whispered that our visit was exactly what she needed. She wants to come back and have her daughter baptized, but she has to work things out with her husband first. That lesson was just what I need too. That day had been freezing and raining outside and no one wanted to let us in until we came to Antonieta. It reminded me that we really do help people and that after we have the patience to endure trials, miracles come.    

    The mission is so great. My testimony grows everyday and there are constantly trials and miracles. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but mainly I am just amazed at how the Lord truly loves each and everyone of us. We have a perfect plan here for us on this earth complete with the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Many of these people live in the most humble of circumstances and are addicted to drugs or have horrible family situations and I just want so much to help each one of them. We truly are all sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who wants the best for all of his children. I´ve been here for less than two weeks and I have already seen countless times how the message of the Restoration can change people´s lives. It´s frustrating at times when people don´t want to change or are just hopeless and think that they have no chance. I feel so privileged everyday to be a representative of Jesus Christ and spread the light of his love and Atonement. I love you all and share the gospel with whoever you can!! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

P.S. This week is the 18 of September which means Chilean Independence day!!! Everyone has been celebrating already and it´s gonna be crazy here. Our taxi driver last night was drunk and almost killed us...it´s pretty great. Only problem is everyone tells us to come back after the 18th because they are busy preparing and what not. Attached is what I like to call a Chilean Nativity scene. All the dolls are dressed up in the traditional Cueca dresses. At least they have national pride. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chile is CHILLY- Sept 9, 2013

Wow what a week! There is so much that I want everyone to know about and to express, but time is limited and this keyboard is hard to type on, so I`ll do the best I can.

So basically Chile is the best. I`m exhausted after working everyday and it sure seems like we only sleep for about 2 hours and then get right back up and go and work again, but it`s so great. The people here are so loving and possibly the most passive agressive people I have ever met. When we contact in the street they hardly come out and tell us no, but rather they just make up all kinds of excuses, rather funny ones too, but at least they are nice. It was quite cold when I got here and I use lots of layers, but today it is warming up! My first day it rained soo much; however, my comp and I`ll still got up and went running in the rain. A little water doesn`t hurt right? Luckily now, the rain has stopped for the most part and the sun is out so it´s a great day!

My companion is amazing. Her name is Hermana Lovell and I actually read her blog before coming out here to prepare myself so that was crazy, but you can look it up and read more about our area! She is so awesome and is the BEST trainer. We are super obedient and work our tails off everyday. She is one of the Sister Missionary Training Leaders (equivalent to a zone leader) and so she`s a rockstar. I`ve learned so much from her already and we are a lot alike. She says I`ll for sure be one of the sister missionary leaders too someday, but I kind of set that talk aside. Our goals we made together as companions is to work more with members to be more effective, workout everyday, eat healthy, keep our room clean and be more punctual. I couldn`t be happier with my trainer.

Our apartment is super tiny. We live with two other Hermanas named Hermana Snyder (from California) and Hermana Ayuso (from Chile). They are all-stars as well! We all sleep together in I guess you could say the living room and there is basically no room to really walk around much. In our shower you have to hold the hose up to bathe, but at least we do have hot water! It`s way different than anything I`ve ever lived in before, but it is great and I wouldn`t be anywhere else!

So before I got here I thought I understood Spanish perfectly...wrong. The Chileans are quite difficult to understand and it`s such a different accent. By now I can understand probably about 90%, but the first 2 days was hard. They say if you can understand Chilean`s speaking Spanish, then you can understand anyone speaking Spanish haha. Everyday Hermana Lovell and I have lots of "too friendly friends" as we call them. They are the men who make creepy kissing noises at us or yell "Barbie" as we walk by. We try and talk to everyone on the streets except for our "too friendly friends", we stay clear of them.

So many awesome and spiritual experiences have happened with our investigators this week! Mariana has her baptism date for this Friday the 13th and she is incredible. She is young and kind of a hipster, she just needs to leave the smoking and drinking completely behind. She reminds me a lot of my friends in Monterrey actually.
Mariela(24) and Francisco(18) should get baptized next week and they are both gems, a little bit flighte (gangsta), but amazing. We had a super spiritual experience with a 70 yr old named Carlos. We were knocking on a less active`s door and he came out of his house asking if we were looking for him, which of course we replied yes to. He invited us into his patio area and he told us that his wife had just died 3 months ago and was crying his little eyes out. We got to tell him all about the plan of salvation and baptism and he has an interest in being baptized, he just wants more time. The spirit was so strong. He was so glad that we came by and we`re going to see him again this week.
I have already gotten to invite 3 people to baptism and 2 accepted and then Carlos isn`t quite sure yet. So in our mission we are really trying to focus on baptism, retention, and reactivation all at the same time. That means we work with lots of less actives and recent converts trying to teach them and get references from them. The ideal scenario would be to teach a less active family with members who aren`t baptized yet with a member present. It`s a lot to try and do, but it has been working great so far! It`s really sad because the retention rate here is about 10%. There are about 570 members in our ward boundries, but only about 70 of them come to church. Really sad, but we are working to try and help with that.

The work is hard, but so great. D&C 24:10-12 gave me a lot of comfort to know that God is on my side and will give me strength. I want to share more, but I´m all out of time. I love this gospel sooooo much and I see the hand of the Lord everyday here. These next 17 months are going to be incredible. Love you all.

Hermana Romney

Thanks everyone for the emails!! Keep them coming!!

Hermana Brooke Danielle Romney
Chile Concepcion Mission
O'Higgins 940, Oficina Casilla
2210 Concepcion