Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I am a Missionary and Representative of Jesus Christ - March 24, 2014

¡Hola Hola! 

    ¿Còmo ha sido este semana para todos? It`s been another great week here in Santa Sabina and the mission is just as great as ever! So many great memories made and life changing moments that I will remember forever. This past week as we had breakfast with the Mission Presidents and the other Hermanas in our zone, it hit me that I am now one of those missionaries who I looked up to when Mom and Dad were serving in Mexico. I remember that I always had so much admiration for all of those missionaries who came over to have their last supper before they went home. They always had such strong testimonies and funny stories that they would tell. Well this past week it hit me that I was one of those missionaries telling funny stories and laughing till it hurt while President Arrington would translate for his wife just like Dad used to do for Mom! It hit me that I now have my own crazy stories to tell and experiences from the mission that will affect me for the rest of eternity. However, I still have lots of time left and lessons to be learned in the next 11 months, so bring it on! 

    This week was so much better than the last! We were able to have Javier, Fernanda, and Evelyn come to church all with a date for the 12th of April! Fernanda is the grand daughter of Alejandra who got baptized last month and just came to live with her from Antofagasta, so we are excited for her! She is one of the best investigators I have had. Our first lesson we left her the pamphlet for the Restoration and she read all of it in two days and underlined every word that she didn`t understand and answered all of the questions in the back!! She has read everything that we have left her and she is so excited to get baptized and go into the "pool" as she calls it! And she is only 9 years old! It is crazy how she does things that not even adults do...! She just has the purest desire to follow Jesus Christ and we are pumped for her. Evelyn is progressing like crazy and is already in Mosiah 21 of the Book of Mormon! Javier is doing great too and we even had an activity this Saturday where we played basketball with the other Elders, some members, and our investigators! 
     So this week Hermana Lino has been learning lots of English. This week we focused a lot on the pronunciation and for the whole day we had to practice how to say words in English that start with an S. For example to say "stop" she would always say "estop" or "estart". Haha. It cracks me up, but she has been getting so much better!!! 

      Well I have got to go, but this I am so glad that all is well at home and I got my package from home today!! Thank you so much mom and thank you cousins and family for the sweet Valentines notes. It made my day for sure! Also happy late birthday Blake! I love you all sooooo much and continue to keep sharing the gospel in anyway you can! 

Hermana Romney 

From our zone activity making a pyramid, our activity playing basketball, and my comp Hna Lino is a Wiz Kid at doing braids and did this one in my hair yesterday!!

Little things for Granted -March 17, 2014

¿Hola hola como esta la mejor familia en todo el mundo?

  So this morning we just got back from eating gourmet French Toast at the President`s house with all of the Hermanas in our zone! Then we decided to do a little bit of yoga and breathing exercises, which was sooo nice. It was super American and I loved it. I`ll send pics next week. 
Funny moment:
    So one of the members named Hermano Jorge is soo hilarious and is just a little bit of an odd ball. You know the type that usually every ward has one of them haha. But I love him so much and he always calls my comp Machu Picchu (because she is from Peru and that is the bottom part of Machu Picchu) then he calls me Wayna Picchu (because that is the tall mountain that is on top of Machu Picchu....hahahah) Anyways, he always jokes about our height difference and right after Sacrament Meeting, he comes up to me and stands on one of the benches to say hi to me while everyone was still basically sitting down... hahaha oh Hno Jorge! 
          Well this week was a little bit more of a tougher week; however, whenever we serve the Lord, it always is a good week! We will start with the good miracles and things that Heavenly Father has been blessing us with. So our investigator Hector (the one we met on New Years and called us later) came to the baptism of an 8 year old kid in our ward and said he felt the spirit so strong there. He said he really pays attention to energies that people give off and when we talked to him later about the baptism, he said he felt such a good energy there!! That when he was inside of the church that he felt like there was a bubble protecting us and he felt really good inside. He was also so impressed that the little kids could understand so much and were so spiritual. It really made me think about how we take those little things for granted. We really have such a great opportunity to be able to go church and feel of the spirit that many people don`t ever get to feel. 
         Also it has been amazing to see the difference of kids that have grown up in the Gospel and those who haven`t. It is a huge difference and the kids of the members are usually well-behaved and have a special spirit about them, whereas those who aren`t are usually pretty wild haha. Even in the familia Pino Peña (new converts as of December) have changed soooo much!!! It`s incredible and it really is so important to raise children in the Gospel and to teach them the plan our loving Heavenly Father has for us! Hector is doing good now and even called the other day to thank us for everything because his life has gone so good since we have started to meet with him and he has started to feel happy again. Before his Faith in God was very little, but now he says that he knows God exsits!  Life really does get better when we have Faith in Jesus Christ!! Another example is Hno Pedro (recent convert of November) has Parkinson's. Before his baptism, I remember the first lesson we had with him he kept shaking and looked pretty miserable to be honest. He could hardly walk and it was hard to understand him when he talked. However, after his baptism, he is able to walk so much better and he looks so much better than before. When we went to visit him this week he was making jokes the whole time. He knows that he changed after his baptism and has such a strong testimony!! Ahh this Gospel is soo true and real! 
    So a bummer this week was that Hna Lino has been pretty sick these past few days, so that is always hard, but she is a fighter and is trying not to let it get her down. Then yesterday it rained right in the morning for church and in the morning we got 3 calls in a row from all of our investigators calling on us to say that they woke up sick and weren't going to be able to come....ahhh something has got to be in the air that is making everyone sick!! But what do you do? You keep pushing along and confront the hard things in life with buen animo! I invite all of you to reflect on your life and think of how the Gospel has blessed your lives and then go and share it in whatever little way you can so that others can have those blessings too!! I love you all soooooo much!!! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Picture of the hole in my running Nikes..... luckily we found a less active family that fixes shoes and so he fixed it for me and we were able to teach them at the same time!!! 
Then my sweet foot tan!!!! And no that is not dirt... 
And the Chilean sunrise that we see every morning from our balcony!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Still Rockin Santa Sabina!- March 10, 2014

¡Hola Buenos Dias!

Alright so transfers were today, but turns out that I will still be kicking it in Santa Sabina for another 6 weeks making it 6 months in total at the end of this transfer! However, the other Hnas that we live with will sadly be leaving us :( And just when Hna Baturite was really helping me learn lots of Portuguese :( Their sector will be closing and so we will be back down to 4 missionaries in our ward. Two Elders and two Hermanas now. I think it will be really strange to live with just Hna Lino, but I am super happy that we are staying together!! I don`t have to let my hija go just yet!! We still have lots of work to do together here in Santa Sabina so let the good times keep rolling.
Also I let my comp cut my hair today....not quite professional, but she did a good job and the best part was that it was free! (Yes I am my father`s daughter). I just may need to get a good hair cut when I get back... but for the mission, it is great!
This week was another good one full of miracles! So this week I started to feel a little bit sick for the first time here on the mission, but we had a full day planned ahead of us and there was no time to be sick. So I decided to get down on my knees and pray and ask Heavenly Father to make me feel better or at least make some of it go away. I told him that I had the Faith that if we went out even when I didn`t feel well, that he would help me so that we can help more of His children. And guess what? It totally worked!! Just a little bit after we left I started feeling better and as the day went on, I totally forgot that I wasn`t feeling good and we had a great day! I know that God really is a God of miracles. I know that with Him, we can do way more than we ever thought and will have "strength unknown to man". Anyways, that was just one of the many sweet experiences that happen every week as a missionary!
Also this week on Friday we had Elder Zeballos (of the seventy) who is from Chile, come and talk to us. It was sooo great!!!! He talked a lot about that we need to be converted from the heart and have our missionary purpose deep inside our heart. To be able to do everything we can to help others during our short time as missionaries. To just try and do a little bit more and be a little bit better than yesterday. That concept really applies to all of us about how we all just need to try just a little bit harder to be a little bit better. I know we all have things to work on and during our journey in life, our job is to try and become a little bit more like Christ everyday so that we can return to our Father in heaven. Elder Ballard also talked with our mission president not too long ago and promised us here in Chile Concepcion that if every one of us missionaries contacted at least 10 people everyday, that we would see a huge success. That more people would receive the Gospel and we would have more baptisms as a result. I also invite each one of you back at home that you can try and talk to one person a day about the gospel. Just one person whether it is at the super market or out on a walk, just start talking with someone and there is always a way to bring the conversation to the Gospel.
Well we are hoping that Javier and Francisca will be able to get baptized her this weekend or the next. Our investigators are doing great and sorry I don`t have much more time to talk about them, but I LOVE the Chilean people!!!!! They are so hilarious and are "buena gente". I hope you all have an amazing week and keep sharing the Gospel whenever and wherever you can. It really does change lives!! Love you all sooooo much!!!

Hermana Romney
1) Family Home Evening where I taught everyone how to make brownies!!!
2) Conference with the Pulsiphers -they are like my second parents here and they leave this month ;((
3) Just grillin a real Chilean Asadoooo!!!! So good!


The Atonement- March 3, 2014

¿Como estan todos, que me cuenten de este semana? ¡Ojala que todos esten muy bien!

So this is going to be a short one this week since we went to the playa today!! We had a zone activity at the beach here in Talcahuano where we played some sand volleyball and ate choripan since this will be our last P-day as a zone since transfers are next week! I have been here in Santa Sabina for 3 transfers now, so I could go, but I really don`t want to!! I love the people here sooooo much and they really have become my family away from home. Also Karen (recent convert) told me to send "saludos" to the family.
This week one of our focuses was on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Everyday we tried to read a little bit on the Atonement and ponder it throughout the whole day. Wow what a difference that makes! I know I still have so much more to learn and understand, but as I try to imagine the sacrifice that our Redeemer went through for us so that we can have Eternal Life and live with our families forever, I am filled with gratitude and love. Love to know that someone cares enough for me and everyone else that has ever lived to be able to go through unimaginable pain for us. Even when He didn`t do anything wrong and was in fact perfect. I invite all of you to read Luke 22:39-44 and to remember the sacrifice that our brother has made for all of us. A sacrifice that makes it possible for us to repent and be forgiven for our errors. How great a message we as missionaries have to share!!! I know that even when I think that being on a mission is hard, or I am tired, or my body hurts, or everyone is rejecting us, it is not even close to what He went through. I know that we can`t expect Eternal Life to be easy or a mission to be easy because it was never easy for Him. There is no other way than to go through moments that are hard and will refine us so that we can progress. Yet how wonderful it is to know that we can repent and He will forgive us!!!! Ahhh I just love this Gospel!!!
As far as our investigators go, they are doing great and we really saw progress this week! Francisca`s baptismal date is this Saturday, but we have to make sure of a few things first, but pray for her! Also we had such an awesome Family Home Evening with Barbara yesterday. She is 19 years old and reminds me so much of myself and my friends in Mexico ( that I miss soooo much!!) She loves music and so we got to sing a little bit with some other members and she busted out singing "Stay" by Rihanna, so of course we are soul sisters already :) She told us she felt the spirit so strong and now really wants to take everything really seriously and read better than she has been doing. It was awesome! Javier also has his baptismal date soon and he loved church yesterday! I love seeing investigators progress, even if sometimes it is slower than I want! Also Roxana and Ricardo (recent converts) started commenting in our class on Sunday about how they are going to have an eternal family soon when they are able to go to the temple!!! Wooooo!!!!
I hope everyone has had just a lovely week and thank you for all of the support and love. You guys really are the best and I love you lots!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Romney

Be Strong- Feb 24, 2014

¡Hola Hola!

How has this week been for everyone? It`s been another good one down here in Chile, Concepciòn! This past week I learned over and over again to not let anyone else determine our salvation or even our attitude for that matter. We met a lot with some less-actives this week and finally had 6 of them at church on Sunday!! Gisela, one of my favorites, had not been to church for about 10 years finally came! A little about Gisela: She had her first daughter when she was 17 and hasn`t had the best childhood and parents. Her daughter, Tami, who is 16 now is going through a lot of rough things in her life and all Gisela wants for her daughter is to have a bright future and do more than she was able to do. Gisela`s life got a lot better when she became a member of the church, but after a comment that another member said to her, she decided to not come back again. Obviously the comment was not nice and hurt her a lot, but that is no reason to leave the Gospel of Jesus Christ! After meeting with her a few times and helping her find her testimony again, she decided to come to church and bring Tami, who isn`t a member and is now our investigator!
They both absolutely loved church and some members invited them to a Family Home Evening tonight that we are going to go to with them! Anyways, with her story, it really made me realize that we CAN NOT let anyone else affect what we do. We CAN NOT let them keep us from receiving all of the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for us. Occasionally while contacting people in the street, we will get a few rude comments, not many, pero hay de todo. When that happens, Hna Lino usually takes it personally and I can tell it affects her a lot. I always try and make a joke right after to cheer her up and to get over usually just ends up me laughing at my own joke...haha. But point is, we cannot let anyone else determine our attitude and especially our relationship with God. People are imperfect, but God isn`t and his teachings aren`t either. Well I think after we banged that idea enough around in Gisela`s head and several others, they were able to come to church and renew their baptismal covenants!!
Funny moments:
- My comp told me that I was a "roadrunner" because I walk to fast... (It took me a while before I realized what she was trying to call me in Spanish. Haha.)
- We were talking to some little kids in the street yesterday and this one little boy told us about how he was so sad that in his new church, you can only get baptized if you are younger than 8 years old. Well this kid was 8 years old and we then we went on to tell him that in the Church of Jesus Christ, that you can only get baptized when you are 8 years and older. His face then lit up and he asked me if I had a pen. I said yes and gave him the pen and then he wrote on his hand "escuela mormon" or "mormon school" and then he ran inside and told his parents that he wanted to go to the mormon school so that he could get baptized. Haha! Too bad he was just visiting and doesn`t live in our cute. I was touched by his simple desire that he had to follow the example of Jesus Christ at such a young age. I am so grateful that we have the knowledge to know that baptism is only necessary when we can repent of our sins and know what we are doing.
Well as always, I am sooo glad to be apart of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to be able to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ everyday to the incredible people of Chile. I am so grateful for my family and continue wondering what I did right to be able to have the family that I do. I am so grateful for our investigators that we have and they continue to progress so much every week!! I hope all of you have an amazing week and know how much our Heavenly Father loves everyone of us. Keep choosing the right and we will be blessed.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Romney

Not sure what order the pictures are in, but where my hair is crazy, my comp wanted me to send that one after she put lots of braids in my hair!! Then burning my shirt for my 6 month mark and some missionary cookies that we made!! They are supposed to be my small comp and me with Books of Mormon with us!!