Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Service and Love- Aug. 18, 2014

¡Buenos Dias!

     Today as I sit here and write my weekly email to you all, I am just filled with gratitude for everything that the Lord has blessed me with. For little miracles that happen everyday, for hearing about converts from my other sectors that are preparing to go to the temple, for the hilarious and wonderful Chilean people that I get to teach everyday, for the person the Lord is shaping me into, for the opportunity I have to be a representative of Jesus Christ everyday, for the people supporting me at home, for the relatively comfortable life I have lived, for the trials and tough moments that we often have in the mission that makes me become stronger, for everything!!!! It is the miracle of a mission!! 
     First off this week Martina got baptized and confirmed!!! She was so cute and got so emotional. She said afterwards that she felt that angels were taking her by the hand and guiding her. Then she had a dream that night afterwards where she got baptized again and said it felt so great like the day before. Haha. I have come to love her and her family so much!! Actually this week we got to do lots of service for them!! So they finally moved out of their little house or basically metal box they were living in!! We helped them move into another house that we helped the dad build (even though it still is tiny), but it`s better and there is lots of room outside for the kids to run around. So my arms were super sore from hammering in all of the little nails in their ceiling (since I`m the tallest that was my job), but it was worth it! Everything went great during the baptism and we had it right after an activity for the new converts, so there was about 60 people there and then of course we had to have queque (cake) for desert. The Bishop baptized her and now her mom Pilar is excited for her baptism after her husband`s divorce gets finalized and then can get married. I`ll include a picture below! 

     Then we were able to keep helping Fernanda for her baptism this Saturday and she told us last night she is so excited! Ahhh I just feel like so much happens every week and I wish I could include it all! However, there`s not quite time for that and so I will just have to tell you guys about lots of stuff after. 
       To conclude, this morning I was studying a little bit about our purpose as missionaries to help some Hnas that have been struggling a little bit and I love the quote by President Howard W Hunter that says: “Surely taking the gospel to every kindred, tongue, and people is the single greatest responsibility we have in mortality. … We have been privileged to be born in these last days, as opposed to some earlier dispensation, to help take the gospel to all the earth” 
“What does the Atonement have to do with missionary work? Any time we experience the blessings of the Atonement in our lives, we cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others. … A great indicator of one’s personal conversion is the desire to share the gospel with others.” 
      It really hit me this morning that it is the MOST IMPORTANT thing we have to do. I love that I get to do that everyday and I invite everyone of you at home that you can always always be on the look for who to share the gospel with and little moments where you can help others. Life really is better as we focus on others. Have a wonderful week and I love you all soooooo much!!! Oh and Mom to answer your question about how I celebrated 1 year on the mission, yes I did burn a skirt! It was great! 
Con mucho amor,
      Hermana Romney 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Waterfalls and Miracles- Aug. 11, 2014


  ¿Còmo estan todos? Espero que han tenido una semana genial! So right now as I am writing this, my hair is still a little wet from the going to a HUGE waterfall this morning in a zone activity!! A group of us got soaked because we decided to go behind the waterfall.. not very smart haha but it was so worth it. Mom and Dad, after your mission when we come back to visit Chile, we will have to go here! I`ll attach a few pictures. 

    On other news, we had a miracle happen. So remember the familia Cares Garay that I talked about last week? Well, we thought that everyone in the family was a member except for the mom because the parents are not married yet. Well apparently we heard wrong because when we went over to teach them on Friday night, the dad told us that he had a mission for us: to help Martina (11 yrs old) get baptized! I just looked at Hna Call as both of our eyes lit up and said yes of course! Since she has already been to church 2 times, we told them that she could be baptized on the 15th of August and they said yeah as soon as possible! So we have been going like crazy every day trying to teach Martina everything before her baptismal interview. She is so smart though and already knows everything so it has been no problem! She is super pumped and so are we! 

   Then Fernanda has been doing great as well and will be baptized the following week on the 23rd of August. She is the daughter of a less-active named Gustavo that we helped reactivate and is so happy to be baptized. And the best part is that the Bishop gave the okay that Gustavo can baptize Fernanda!!! We have been praying to find families and these two families I know have been an answer to our prayers. 
   One thing we have been focusing on a lot is reactivation! It is so true that if you want to baptize, you have to reactivate!!! We have just seen miracles one after another and I know that the Lord is blessing us. I am so happy for all of the progress we are seeing in these people. I have come to love them so much and love it even more that the Lord is blessing their lives since they have been coming back to church and keeping the commandments. It really is simple. Obey and you will be blessed. It`s all up to us. He is there wanting to bless us with open arms, but we have to earn it and follow His plan. I love everyone of you so much so you better be good boys and girls so that we can all have eternal life together!!! Have an amazing week and happy late b-day Dad!! 

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Pics from the waterfall and from the snow last week with all of our lovely Hermanas! 

Sledding in the Andes! - Aug. 4, 2014

¡Buenos dias!

   Okay so as the title of my email this week says, today we had a multi-zone activity where we went up to a ski resort and just got to go sledding and play in the snow. It was super fun (even though it killed not being able to go skiing) and it is gorgeous here. Last night we even got to have a big sleepover with 12 of us (we were just missing 2 of our hermanas)!!!! It was crazy, but I loved every minute of it. Hna Call and I did a dance for all of our hermanas since they all reached their 140 contacts, so I`ll try and send a video somehow.... but we have just been having a blast over here. 

    Work wise, this week has been so great with menos-activos!! We had some amazing lessons with them and they all came to church! There is a family in particular that we are working with - the familia Cares Garay. The parents of the 4 kids are not married and he is actually married to someone else and is just waiting for his divorce to be finalized at the end of August and then they can get married 1 month later, so hopefully we will have a wedding in about 2 months. The dad and two of the kids are members and they used to live in a beach town here until the huge Hurricane they had here took everything that they had away. They were left with nothing and lived in a mini-van for 6 months. Now they came here to Chillan and have been living in literally a metal box for 6 months. It had to have been one of the most humble living situations that I have ever seen. They didn`t want us to visit them, but as we insisted they let us. So their metal box has a bunk bed and 2 small mattress on the floor and that is it. There is no floor you can walk on and the whole thing is like a giant bed. Their kitchen is out side with a piece of metal covering it and there is no door, just a blanket. They have to use their neighbor`s bathroom or just go outside. I feel like I don`t do it justice, but it humbled me so much and just made me think how ridiculous it is that we sometimes complain about the color of our house, the decorations, or that it is too small or it looks old or whatever. That family has gone through soooo much and it amazes me that they all still had smiles on their faces and were doing good despite their circumstances.
 It reminded me of Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon therock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

I love that scripture and how they have been able to do that thorough all of their trials. We still have to help them build that foundation a little bit more by coming back to church and getting married and the mom getting baptized, but they are on their way!! I truly am so grateful for everything that I have - my family, friends, the gospel, my savior, my mission, and so much more. 

    Our week has been great and we even taught a woman who we are pretty sure that there is a demon inside of her, as she told us she is not herself and feels their is a bad spirit inside of her. Hna Call and I also felt a bad presence so strong in her home too. We left her house quickly after entering and will be bringing a priesthood holder to give her a blessing tomorrow. Creepy to say the least. 

   Then we finally got to buy gas and I had my first long shower in a month!! All of my showers as of now have been a quick 1 min rinse with freezing water and then washing my hair in the sink with warm water that we heated up. It`s been interesting but I am soo glad to have my warm showers back! 

   Well I`ve got to run, but thank you for everything family and know that I am being changed and refined as you always say Dad. I love you all so much and keep being strong in the gospel of Jesus Christ!!  

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney

Okay so I am trying to attach pics of the snow... but this computer is jank so it looks like it will have to wait or maybe I will use my comps computer.... we`ll see :)

Lluvia and Mini-Cambi​os!!- July 28, 2014

¡Hola mi familia y amigos!

   Wow another week gone by in the mission! Time is going by sooo fast and I just want it to slow down! The rain here has been insane!!! Almost all of the streets are flooded and it rains non-stop. Last night we literally had to put our umbrellas in front of us and push along against the pouring fierce rain to walk. Although that didn`t last for long as then my umbrella flipped inside out and we are just wet down here in the South of Chile!!! But I love it!!! 
 Before I forget Mom, you asked me about the details of packages and stuff, so our mission has a blog and so you can look at all of that info here: http://chileconcepcionmission.blogspot.com/p/contact-infromation.html?view=classic
    So today we are emailing a bit later because we just had Consejo (Leadership Council) with the Zone Leaders and the Hermana Leaders so that was awesome! We talked a lot about what we want to do with the mission about really having the focus being baptizing, reactivating, and retaining, not just baptizing. So in the next few weeks I think a few of the Key Indicators are going to be changed to have that focus. Elder Wadell (of the Seventy) came to our mission and talked about the missionaries today have a whole new focus from back in the day. We are missionaries 2.0. A whole different type that are not only focused on baptizing, but really building the church in whole especially since Chile has so many less-actives!! 
     Then we did 2 mini-cambios this week with Yungay and Quillon. I got to go with Hna Raziera (Brasil) and then Hna Glazier (Utah). It was so weird since I was the one who had to put goals with them on what they are going to do better and analyze their work and sector instead of the other way around. It was quite intimidating too since one of the Hnas has more time than me in the mission and the other has just 1 cambio less, but I learned a lot and hope they did too.   
      So one awesome thing was that I got to see Jose Miguel (Julia`s son) pass the sacrament yesterday!!! He looked so happy and his dad was there too (non-member) and was so proud of him so we are excited to work with his dad too!!! Then the Bishop brought some less-actives and investigators to church and gave them to us the Hermanas to teach them! That was a miracle and he is one of the best Bishops I have ever seen! Also another miracle was that we found a less-active this week named Gustavo and got him to come to church with his daughter that is about to turn 10 that is not a member to church too! 
      I have been studying a lot about Faith and Hope these days and there really is a big difference between the two. Faith is related to what Jesus Christ did for us. Hope is related to what we believe and our desires for ourselves. I hope that makes sense. But there are so many people out there who need to grow in their hope of having eternal life and also in their Faith of Jesus Christ. If we really know that Jesus Christ is our savior and that because of Him we can live with our Heavenly Father again, then we can have hope in ourselves that we can have Eternal Life. Me cachay?? (You get me?) Haha
      Well I am all out of time, but I love you all so much and thank you for all of the support and the stories of your mission too Dad. Thanks Mom for all of your great insights and siblings for your own missionary stories!!! You guys are the best!! Keep studying the scriptures daily so that both our Faith and Hope can increase!!! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

The Hermana Leaders. Oh yeah then one morning we had a youth conference here and I had these 4 girls accompany me the whole morning! It was awesome! 

Deja Vu- July 21, 2014


       Okay so this week has been so crazy and sometimes I still feel like I am living a dream. It was so strange wandering the streets of Copihues AGAIN! I am so surprised how much I remember too and that the members remember me too. It really is so nice though that I don`t have to learn everyone`s names again and so I know this is going to be a rockin time. Also in our ward we are 6 missionaries and one of the zone leaders in my ward is Elder Ainge (I knew him from before since he was one the BYU mens basketball team so that`s been fun).   
       First miracle that happened al tiro (right away) was on Tuesday when we had just walked outside to start out the day and I saw Julia and Triana!!! They were my converts from the last time I was here and were the first ones I wanted to see. They were going to el campo right then and were waiting for the bus and we just happened to walk by. I started yelling "Julia, Julia!" and she saw us from far away and totally freaked out and started going crazy and crying. Hahahah it really was hilarious and gave me one of the biggest hugs. She thought I was just visiting and then I told her that this was now my sector again and so she was pumped about that. She admitted she had been a little bit lazy to go to church recently, but said she is going to get things going again and I got to sit with them at church yesterday. Also her son Jose Miguel is going to receive the Preisthood next week and so that was so exciting to see as well. This is the perfect way to retain converts!! Mariana moved away to another ward and so I am hoping that she will come to our ward just once so that I can see her as well. Then Francisco has kinda gone inactive, but we are going to work to get him going again too. The reaction on people`s faces when they saw me again after 9 months was priceless. I love Copihues!! Also the ward here (first off it`s a ward) is so great and the bishop is so hard working and goes out and visits so many members every week. 
       This week has been pretty great though. On Thursday I had to travel down with some elders to Concepcion to go to the new leader training and that was so great. President Arrington is so inspired and so basically the hermana training leaders are like zone leaders, but we still have a district leader over us and we report to the president, it is a cool dynamic and Dad I think you would have liked it in Monterrey.
    Also my comp is Hermana Call from Mexico, but she is practically gringa and this is her last transfer so we are planning to give it everything! I feel like we are laughing 24/7 - maybe a little too much, but she is an amazing missionary and we both feel like we have been together for so much longer than just a week. Well, sorry this email was a little boring, but next week it should be better. I love you all so much family and thanks for everything!!!! You are the best!!!! The mission is the best!!!  

con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Hna call and me!

Back to my Birth Place- July 14, 2014

Hello hello,

      Okay so first thing off, cambios were today and I am going back to Copihues in Chillan Viejo!! The ward where I started my mission and was there for about 1 1/2 and then got emergency transferred out of there. President called me last night and extended the call for me to be an Hermana Training Leader as well. So hello to my own cell phone and to lots of mini-cambios! I am a bit nervous, but it should be good and I am excited for the new experiences. I also am going to be with Hermana Call, she is from Mexico, but is practically American and I already know her really well, so it should be a blast!!! I am super excited to go back to my old sector and see my converts from there!!! President told me that he knows that I have already been there, but he felt that it wasn`t enough time and that I needed to go back. So I know there are people waiting for us there! 

      However, I am super sad to leave Cauquenes and especially the Scholes (the senior couple in our branch here). There are so many people and things that I came to love about Cauquenes. At times I have to admit that I was a little bit fed up with all of the gossip that goes around with the members, but I came to love them soo much. Especially our investigators, la familia Rojas Milla. They have been progressing so well and should be baptized this Saturday!!! Even Jose Miguel (14) had a soccer game yesterday at 10 am, but after we talked, he decided that he was going to put God first and go to church. It was so awesome to see him there and it reminded me of all the times where I wanted to play sports on Sunday, but in the end decided not too and I know the blessings that come form keeping the Sabbath day holy. I am going to miss Maribel soooo much too!!! We had a mini-cambio this week where I went to a different sector and my comp made a joke that I got changed and she started tearing up.. awww so I am a little bit hesitant to tell her I am leaving, but I have no doubt that they are going to remain strong in the gospel and they will just have to send me lots of photos from their baptism. I can already see Maribel as a Relief Society President. :) Also right when we were making lots of progress with the dad (Jose Luis) as well. He went hunting instead of going to church yesterday and when we saw him in the night, he said that he didn`t catch a thing and that he is going to go to church the next time instead. 
          So while today is going to be a little bit lame, since I hate saying goodbye, I am super excited for the new adventures with Hna Call. I am going to miss Hna Orona soooo much though!! Why do we have to have so many torn feelings sometimes?? Goodbye to the wonderful american breakfasts every Monday morning with the Scholes, to cleaning the church every Saturday morning and then playing fùtbol after, to cooking our own meals at least 2 times a week, to traveling an two hours every Tuesday for District meetings, and to all of the people that I love here. 

        That`s the beauty of life though right? That things are always changing and we have new opportunities to become the person that our Heavenly Father wants us to be. On Friday we had a branch movie night where we watched the Other Side of Heaven and boy did that make me sad to think about the moment when I will have to leave Chile. I have exactly 11 months in the mission right now and only 7 to go. How forever grateful I will be for this experience of being a missionary and I am excited for the time that still awaits me. Thank you family for the pictures and for the support!! You guys are the best. I love you sooo much! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

A few pics from the activity that I promised last week from the German town.  We had to ride on this truck where we all felt like we were on an Indiana Jones adventure. Then last night Nicole, Mary, Maribel, and Hna Orona decided they wanted to pick me up... haha that was a riot. 

Snowball Fight!!! - July 7, 2014


     So yes, as the title of this email says, we got to have a snowball fight in real snow in the Andes mountains! We finally had a zone activity (after ages of planning) and we went up into a little German town in the middle of the mountains with a population of about 150 people. The history of the town in super interesting and a big group of Germans were held their captive until a few people finally escaped and they took out the dictator (Paul Shepard I think was his name or something) in like 1997. Crazy stuff, but once we arrived, a German man who knew little Spanish took us in a truck (a car that they would use in an Indiana Jones movie - it was sweet!) and we went up the whole mountain until we got to the top in the snow!!!! It was Hermana Oronà`s first time to see the snow too!!! She was sooo excited and it was so funny. I think she threw more snowballs than anyone today. It was way fun and Dad it sort of reminded me of when we would do high adventure things in Mexico and how we would have to ride in a truck that got so close to the edges to do Matacanes. I loved it. 

    But, we have almost no time to email now, but all is well here!! Loving the mission as always. I am so glad that everyone had fun at Aspen Grove and thank you for all of the pictures! Investigators are doing great and we had to push back the baptismal date of the familia Rojas Milla because of family and health problems, but they are still loving the gospel and all is well. I continue to learn so many things here on the mission that I know I would not have learned else wise or that it would have taken me many years to learn so I am grateful for that. Have a great week everyone and be obedient!! Blessings come!!! Love you all soooo much!!! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

And of course now i don`t even have time to upload any more fotos, so i will put them up next week, but it was beautiful!!!