Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Watermelon! - Jan. 13, 2014

¡Hola todos! ¿Cómo les han ido? 

   Everything is good here in Chile! This week has been good and the weather is incredible here! I am pretty sure it is in the 80s or high 70s everyday with a constant wind, so it is about perfect! Also all the fruit is in season so we ate watermelon EVERYDAY this week from the members and they constantly kept giving us fruit so I have been super happy! We were able to teach and do service quite a bit as well, which always makes it a good week. Hna Lino has been progressing a lot as well and even though she says she is always sore and her feet hurt, we keep going and she has got an awesome attitude to keep working through it! I feel like this week we laughed about everything this week, especially the million and one times I hit my head on tree branches or street signs (this country is not made for people who are 6 ft or taller...) or when we were running to get some where and I slipped on some sand and did a sweet 360 rolling on the ground (don`t worry mom I am okay) or when a very old man said that we had "hands of an angel" and then asked me if I would marry him and then decided he would take both of us.... Hahah oh crazy times. 
   Also we got to eat at Papa freaking Johns today!!!! Yes Papa Johns! The only one that exists in Chile is in our sector and is brand new, so obviously we had to go. It was amazing and was the best piece of America that was well needed. Photos attached below. 

    On a spiritual note, Karen has finally decided that she wants to get baptized either this weekend or next weekend!! It came out of the blue when she told us and we were so pumped!! We haven`t really been concentrating on her that much, but the other Hna`s in our house have been helping us with her and had the genius idea to just go and read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with her every day starting from the beginning. So both of us went and started helping her do that and I know that is what changed her mind. She has been receiving the missionaries for 3 years now on and off and hasn`t been able to give up smoking for long enough to get baptized. However, she has been clean for about 2 weeks now and says that she is never going to smoke again. Putting a baptismal date on her wasn`t working either, so we just decided that she was going to tell us when she wanted to be baptized and it worked! Also her dad who isn`t a member has lots of emotional problems and has been really closed to talking with the missionaries for about 2 years now after the first Hermanas that ever came to their house left. However, apparently I look just like one of the first missionaries that he listened to and so now he will listen to me and even reads the Book of Mormon with his family now and is praying!! Even more, he came to church on Sunday with his family!!! Only like the second time ever and even though he had to work the night shift the day before, he still decided to come with no sleep. I know that has affected Karen`s decision as well and I know that I am supposed to be here on a mission and in this sector for a reason. Even if it is only because I look like another missionary, as long as it could help someone receive the gospel of Jesus Christ in their lives, then I am happy! 
     We have been also working with Claudia and Alex and their 4 kids and that has been going well! They have a baptism date set for February, but they are a little lazy to read or anything, so we have been working with the members to help them with that. They are awesome though and fit right into the ward in activities and everything. 
 Welp I hope everything has been going great at home and that everyone is reading their scriptures everyday. I know the Book of Mormon has great power that we can benefit from everyday. We need the blessings of our Heavenly Father in our lives everyday, it all just depends on us and our obedience. I love you all soooo much!! 

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Years! - Jan. 6, 2014

¡Feliz Año Nuevo Familia y Amigos! 

     How has everyone been enjoying 2014? I hope all of you have made many new years resolutions to become more like Christ and share the gospel even more! This is the only complete year for me that I will spend in the mission field and I plan to give it my all. We had a great little New Years celebration where some members gave us dinner and then we went back to our house at10:30 where us 4 Hermanas celebrated with Root-beer floats and all! (Yes real Root-beer!!, some members gave us some Root-beer and ice cream so we could celebrate!!). When it was midnight crazy noise and fireworks were going on everywhere making it impossible to sleep, so we decided to enjoy it too :) Thanks for the little laser lights that you sent me mom, those came in handy that night! But of course the next day we went out to work like normal even though about everyone was gone! However, there were a lot more drunk guys in the street than normal... that always makes things interesting. One of them yelled at his friends, "Ahh alli viene la Barbie, si la Barbie Mormona..." Translation: "Ahh here comes the Barbie, yes the Mormon Barbie.." Hahahah that`s a new one for the books. Anyways, Hna Lino always makes fun of me now and calls me that. Haha. Speaking of, Hna Lino is doing so great! At first she was tired a lot of the time from not having her usual siesta (nap) everyday like she did before and she would always tells me that I have long legs and that I need to walk slower for her haha. But now she is rarely trying to run to keep up and is becoming a power house and contacting everyone! I love my hijita!
      Apart from that, we had a few more interesting experiences this week where we taught a guy who randomly came up to us and told us he used to share with the missionaries and that he read the Book of Mormon in 22 days! So we automatically went to talk teach him in a member`s house that was close by. We shared something really short because they had to leave, but when we asked him why he hadn`t been baptized yet, he said he couldn`t and needed more time... anyways so after we left the member`s house he talked to us more and said he escaped from jail... I think he just means on house arrest or something because apparently he has the weekends free and then he works the rest of the week. Anyways, his friend gave him a Book of Mormon when he was still in jail and that is when he read it all the way through and he said it changed his life completely. That he saw life in a whole different perspective after that and so he is out of jail for a certain time because of good behavior. Crazy right!!??? Afterwards, we figured out that he doesn`t even live in our sector, but the power of the Book of Mormon is so real!!! It really changes lives and I know that book was written by ancient prophets for our day. To give us direction and meaning in life. What a great gift that we all should be taking advantage of everyday! If we want to receive direction or the answers to our problems: READ. If we want to have the spirit constantly with us: READ.  If we want to always stay centered in the teachings of Jesus Christ: READ. It is such a simple concept and doesn`t even take that much time, but it has eternal consequences and blesses us immensely.
         Then another guy on New Years day came up to us and wanted to take a picture with us and we thought he was drunk or a "snake" (creep) at first. We then told him he could take a picture as long as we could teach him first. He agreed and so then we started talking and he actually really was interested in the church. He had tons of questions for us and said he wanted to come talk to us, he just didn`t know how, so he used the picture taking as an excuse. That was pretty cool and we`ll be going back to teach him. 
        Anyways, everything else has been going great here and we have been finding a lot of less actives and bringing them back to church and we are starting to see the fruits of being able to teach their family members, so that is awesome! Welp I hope everyone keeps Christ in the center of their lives in the year 2014 and I love you all soooooo much!!!!!!

!Les quiero tanto!
Hermana Romney       

An AMAZING REAL American breakfast that the sweetest senior couple (the Kimballs) made for us in their house
Photo of New Years with fireworks in the back and everything that we can see from our window since our house is up on a hill!! 

Christmas and Baptisms- What Could be Better?? -Dec. 30, 2013

  ¡Hola Familia!

     I hope that this week was incredible for everyone and that you all remembered the Savior and the true meaning of Christmas this year. This was definitely one of the best Christmases I have had yet!!! 
     Starting off with last Monday, we had a Family Home Evening in the church with the whole ward where we reenacted the birth of Jesus Christ. No worries family, still kept the tradition alive even here in Chile. I had to be the Angel Gabriel (Gabriela in my case :)) and Hna Baturitè was Maria. We had a great turnout and even had a whole family of investigators come that a member invited and then more came as well! 
     Everyone here in Chile celebrates Christmas on the night of the 24th and we had dinner with our bishop and I got to cut the turkey!! It was sooo good and was basically Thanksgiving and Christmas combined. Not bad at all. We even had quite a few members give us presents! Our ward is incredible. 
    Then on Wednesday I got to talk and see my family on Google Hangout!!! The best Christmas present by far. I am so glad I was able to talk to everyone and even got to see all of my nieces and nephews! Thank you siblings for making lots of weird faces through the camera - good to know you all are still the same. Haha. I have the best family ever. Also thank you for the package with all of the letters in it!! I finally got it today... a little bit after Christmas, but it`s all good :) Oh and thanks for sending me the old gummies that I bought in Jerusalem back in July.... hahah y`all would. On Wednesday we also taught Roxana and her family about the true meaning of Christmas and got everything ready for her baptism that weekend! Nothing better than teaching on Christmas day! 
      Then on Saturday was the best event of the week... the baptism of the Pino Peña family! Roxana, Mauricio, and Sebastian were finally baptized and confirmed on Sunday!! It was so beautiful and they were beaming with light the whole time. Also of course we always have trouble filing up the water in the baptismal font and this time when we got to the church about 45 min before, the water was boiling hot!! I literally could hardly put my hand in it for more than 3 seconds. We turned on the cold water automatically, but it wasn`t seaming to do anything... however when it was time to get in the water, they said it was the perfect temperature. Thank you Heavenly Father!! It was such a spiritual experience for everyone and especially for the Pino Peña family. Now their whole family is in the church together and they are excited to be able to get sealed as a family in one year as well!! (Mom and Dad, we also talked about the possibility of us going through the temple together and seeing them get sealed all together in February of 2015 when you come and pick me up!!!!!) Anyways, I love that family soooo much and Hna Lino and I are going to do everything we can while we are still here to help them progress towards the temple. They all gave their testimonies after their baptisms and all said that they were so happy to be in the gospel. When Roxana bore her testimony, she looked at me with tears in her eyes and thanked us for helping her and her family and of course I started to ball my eyes out! She told us afterwards that she felt something that she had never felt before and she knew it was the spirit telling her it was the right thing. Ahhhh I love this gospel sooo much and feel so blessed to be able to share the Truth everyday. 
     Well I`ve got to go, but I love you all so much more than I could ever express in words. Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm that you give me. I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ restored today on the earth without a doubt. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and I owe everything to Him. I love Him and I know that He loves everyone of us so much. 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney

The Love of Christ - Dec. 23, 2013

Hola Familia, 

     I hope this week has been an outstanding week one everyone. On Tuesday I got to go picky up my new comp and daughter, Hna Lino!! She is so amazing and I am very lucky to have her as a companion. She is from Lima, Peru and well it would be an understatement to say that there is a height difference between us haha. People call us "Blanco y Negro" or "Litro y medio" (I`m a liter and she is half of one). She is 22 years old and is a convert of less than 2 years!!! Crazy huh? I have no idea if I would have gone on a mission only being in the church for 2 years, so I definitely admire her. She has such a strong conversion story and really brings the spirit. I can tell that she is going to teach me way more than I will teach her. 
   First off, Roxana, Mauricio, and Sebastian`s baptisms will be this Saturday!!!!!!!! I am sooooo excited for them and they are the most amazing family. They will be able to join the father, Ricardo, in receiving saving ordinances so that they can get sealed as a family in the Temple in a year. Just only a few months ago, Roxana did not like the missionaries at all and would always try and get her husband not to go to church, but look at her now!! Apparently she didn`t really like the Elders as much and after a while she listened to them occasionally because of the change that she saw in her husband, but since Hermanas switched over and started teaching her, she is much more accepting and tells us that she is actually excited about her baptism now! Sorry Elders :) This really is what missionary work is all about. Bringing whole families into the gospel so that they can go to the Temple and have an Eternal Family!!! Ahhh I just love this gospel so much! Also, Karen stopped smoking for a whole week!! It was a miracle! She called me one day and said she decided she was going to stop smoking out of nowhere. She did fall and smoked one cigarette on Saturday due to a series of unfortunate events, but that is major progress for her!!
     So now that I have about 3 1/2 weeks here in the mission, I still feel like a newb to missionary work, but as I feel the spirit working through me, it gives me more confidence. I am confident that this really is the Lord`s work and He is there right next to us every step of the way. I know that when there are hard moments in the mission and we feel inadequate, He will work through us and give us the strength we need. I am also so excited that in two days it will be CHRISTMAS!! My favorite time of the year and a most wonderful time to remember our Savior Jesus Christ. I think this will be one of the most memorable Christmases and I wouldn`t rather be any other place than here in Chile, Concepción serving the Lord. This Christmas season I have been really trying to think about how to give back to Heavenly Father and Christ. Our Heavenly Father really did give us the most amazing gift - His son and salvation by Him. I feel so privileged to share this message this message each and everyday. I want to invite everyone as well to think about what they are going to give to Christ this Christmas. I know the gospel is the most amazing gift we can give to someone and I know that when we give this gift to others, God is so happy because it really is His work and His glory to bring to pass the immortality of man. 
    Family, I cannot wait to see you and hear your voices on Christmas day!!! I love you all so much and remember the true meaning of Christmas during this wonderful season!! 

Hermana Romney  

Feliz Navidad from Santa Sabina!! 
My hija!! Hna Lino! 
Teaching our investigators how to make cinnamon rolls at a members house!