Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Parenthood and Weddings - Oct 13, 2014

Hola familia y amigitos, 

     This week has been pure joy to the point of exhaustion! Seriously so much happiness and I don`t think I have ever been this tired in my life. I absolutely love it though and I feel like we do sooo much everyday which is exactly what we want as missionaries. First off, meet Hermana Love, our "hija"! Ella es puro AMOR no mas....haha!! She is from Gilbert, Arizona, 19 years old, loves sports and music, tall, and so excited to work. She is awesome and all 3 of us just have a blast together!! Hna Ayuso is basically my best friend in the mission and now Hermana Love just adds so much spirit to the companionship so we are exhausted everyday, but so enjoyable and full of laughs every second. So of course being new, Hna Love has a very limited Spanish vocabulary, but she is not afraid to talk at all! She just goes up to everyone and lots of time they don`t understand her (which makes me laugh a lot) but she`s ready to learn. It is really interesting that Hna Ayuso and I both are training her and we decided it is the perfect practice for parenthood. We both have different training methods, but both are good and we compromise to do what we feel is best for her. Weird, but good. 
      This Tuesday in District class we had to say which movie our comps would be. Hna Love said I was Lego World (never seen it...haha) but apparently everything is cool there and Hna Ayuso said I was High School Musical because I liked to play basketball and sing.....hahah pretty funny but true. Then I said Hna Ayuso was Dr. Doolittle because she always talks to all the animals on the streets haha and then Hna Love was Bring it On because she is just so excited and has the energy of a cheerleader. So now you can sort of imagine our companionship. :) 
      Thursday morning was so amazing as Hna Ayuso and I were witnesses for Flavio and Pilar`s wedding!!!!!!! They finally got married!!! Us three did Pilar and Martina`s hair and make-up for the wedding (that`s why it`s good there are Hermanas too :)) I had to sign for them and they were so happy. We took lots of pictures for them and it was so special. 

      Then Saturday night Pilar got BAPTIZED and we had a ward activity/celebration for their wedding!!!! It was an unforgettable day and Pilar was so emotional. She told us afterwards that when she got baptized, that the water filled her ears and all after her baptism she could hear a chorus of angels singing and she just felt pure peace. So cool! She bore her testimony after to lots of her family members who are less-actives and a few non-members that she hopes they can feel everything that she is feeling in this moment and to experiment the same peace she feels.
     Then the ward made a huge 3 layer cake for them and they had a huge party afterwards that the ward threw for them. It was so awesome to see the ward come together to put something on for them since they don`t have too much. We had lots of fun too! They thanked us so many times and now want to share the Gospel so much. So cool to see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ changes people. Family I wish you guys could have been here to see it, but I really hope you get to meet this family someday. Mom, I gave them the nice silver CTR rings that match that you sent me as a wedding gift and they loved them, so thanks for those! 
     Then last highlight of the week was that Johana and Sebastian came to church yesterday with their two kids for the first time!! They loved it so much and want to keep progressing, we just have to get them married too.....but at least we are experienced at that now. 

    I literally am so exhausted and I think am getting sick since I have gotten a few headaches which I never get, but the work is going great and I am happy. There is no time for that sickness stuff....haha. Thanks Brielle for sharing your experiences of sharing the gospel with others and Mom and Dad you too!!! I love that!! Oh and all of your thoughts on General Conference. Glad you guys loved it just as much as I did! Keep it up and I love you all so much. I know Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us and can work miracles. 

Con mucho amor, 
  Hermana Romney 

Pics of the wedding and the baptism!  

Cambios are...... - Oct 6, 2014


    Okay so cambios were announced this morning and I am.......... staying here in Copihues with Hna Ayuso and we are TRANING together!!!! I didn`t even know that was possible.... but we are so excited!! We both are still STLs and are co-companions so we are now going to be co-madres haha. Hna Ayuso has never had an hija before, so I am super happy for her and our hija better be ready to work and learn a lot, because she is going to have two moms!! We will be going to Concepcion tomorrow to go pick her up in the morning. I have no idea what the mini-cambios are going to be like with 3 of us, but the triple threat trio is back! 

     I am so relieved that I will be here for Pilar and Flavio`s wedding and actually we made it so that Hna Ayuso and I are both witnesses for the wedding, so I would have to had come back anyways to be there. So on Thursday they are getting married by the registro civil and Saturday is Pilar`s baptism and the celebration. This week we really are going to have to be just like wedding planners and want to make this a special moment for them. The whole ward is coming together to make everything work since they don`t have money to be able to do much. They are both so excited and love each other so much. 

   Then General Conference was amazing this weekend!! Just what I needed and I loved all of the talks! I loved how Elder Bednar spoke directly to our investigators and let them know just how much this Gospel can help them. President Monson`s talk was also great and is exactly what we do every day, help others follow Christ. We actually have an investigator named Cesar that came to conference who is atheist. He lives with the familia Sandoval and has never come to church before until yesterday! We asked him afterwards if he wanted to do what the Prophet said and to follow Christ and he said no... haha but he is progressing at least! (Picture attached is with Cesar and the food he made us!)  We finally got to watch the women`s conference this weekend and it was so good!! It made me miss temple`s so much, but made me excited to keep working and preparing the people here en la mision Chile Concepcion to be worthy to go to the temple. That`s where it`s all at. 

    Well I have to go, but I love you all so much and thanks for the pictures and everything!! Hope all is well at home and know that I am happy and loving life. The mission is full of ups and downs, but there is no reason to get down when we are doing the Lord`s work. He is ALWAYS there to help us. ALWAYS. 

con mucho amor, 
    Hermana Romney 

Sitting on the bed in the tiny house of the familia Cares Garay where we always teach them. 

Familia Sandoval- Sept 29, 2014

¡Buenos Tardes! 

     What a week. This morning we work up really early to go to Consejo with all of the ZLs and STL where they talked so much on working with the members. IT IS THE ONLY WAY. It was really good just the spiritual uplift I needed. Then we went with everyone to go play volleyball in one of the churches here that used to be a church school and had a court inside, so I obviously loved that!! 

      This week has been great though and we actually have been able to work much better with the members and there were very few hours in the week where we did not have a member with us out visiting. Hna Ayuso and I did 2 mini-cambios this week which always leave us exhausted, but the good kind of exhausted. The familia Cares Garay are still doing amazing and now we finally have an official date for the wedding and Pilar`s baptism on the 11th of October. Because of general conference and different legal situations, we had to push it back a little bit, but she is still doing just as great as ever. Earlier in the week we taught them about temple work and baptisms for the dead and she her face just lit up as she told us about a dream she had a few nights ago where her dead father was dressed in white and wanted to be with her. Helloooo.... totally about baptism and she got so excited as we told her that we would start working with her so they can do all of that work for him. Then last night they had all of us missionaries over to their tiny house to eat completos and celebrate Fabian`s 17th birthday (they kind of love us :)). Fabian actually just got back from being a mini- missionary for the weekend and he loved it so much!!! It was so awesome to see him progressing and to be so excited to go and serve a mission in about a year more!!! I love seeing them progress!! It makes me so happy to know that I have at least done a little bit to be able to help someone else come unto Christ. There is nothing like it. 

      Then the familia Sandoval is doing awesome!!! Remember them? Fernanda the little girl who got baptized a month ago? Well the dad, Gustavo is now such a stud and got a calling to teach the youth yesterday at church. Then Gigi, the 17 year old sister who did not want any thing to do with us when we first started visiting them is so excited to serve a mission and has gone out with us more than 4 times now!! When we first visited them, she said that she did not know if God existed. That 2 years ago when she got baptized that she knew he did, but now she wasn`t sure. Anyways, we taught her a lot about prayer and told her just to ask Him. Well about a week after that she came back to us and told us, "Hermanas, I prayed and know that he is there and loves me". It was the sweetest thing every and now loves to go out with us and we are hoping she will get called soon as a ward missionary! Not to mention this week she made us lasagna one day when we didn`t have lunch and then completos another day! Everyone has been feeding us sooo much recently!!! I hardly have to buy any food... but hey I`m not complaining :) 

Funny moment of the week:
    Guillermo... a guy who came to church once with us showed us his "temple" that has a big sign out side of it that says "Church of Miracles". It is just this little tiny church and there is about 5 people who come every week....... We entered just for a little bit because he begged us to and wanted me to start preaching at the pulpit.... it was really awkward hahahaha. I had to try really hard to keep my composure, but we invited him to come to General Conference next week to hear a real prophet and he says he will be there "si o si" so that will be interesting. 
     Also, we are teaching 7 different people named Maria!!!! 7!!!! 

     Well cambios are next week and I have been praying so that I can stay in Chillan Viejo for at least one more cambio with Hermana Ayuso! We are just having so much fun and don`t want it to ever end. I love you all so much and know that the Atonement is real. It not only can help us to repent, but also to be strengthened during hard times. Help the missionaries in the ward and share the gospel at all times. I love you all so much!!! 

Con mucho amor, 
    Hermana Romney 

Sorry I forgot my camera cord.... so no pictures this week. 

DECIOCHO!!!-Sept 22, 2014

     Oh man, this was yet another amazing week in the mission full of all sorts of surprises and activities. We had a huge celebration on Thursday this week for Chilean Independence day!! There was so much good food!! They really go all out and I am pretty sure it is bigger than Christmas here. They started the party at the church at 8 am and it went until about 9 pm at night. We as the obra misional had to make chilenitos for the activity (photo attached). There was so much national pride and I even learned how to dance the Cueca (their national dance). Then some members let us borrow some of the Huasa dresses and we wore them for part of the activity. It was a blast.  

     However, how it usually is with holidays, work wise it was a little bit rougher. We got to teach lots of recent converts and less-actives in the activity with our "missionary room" that we created, so that was great. Lots of our investigators went out of town so we didn`t get to see them, but still had some solid lessons and are making progress with them! Pilar and Flavio were supposed to get married this Friday, but with a few problems in the Registro Civil, it may have to be pushed back until next week with her baptism too, but they are doing great and Fabian even got to bless the sacrament yesterday!! Soo happy them progressing so much! 

      Anyways, I don`t have much time to write, but this week was also great with a good mini-cambio where we were really able to help the other Hermanas who were struggling in a few aspects of the work. A few good goals can go a long way!!! Then Hna Ayuso and I taught an Hermana Study on good communication and read a great talk by Elder Holland with them. We made cookies for them and then had a relaxation exercise. I love our Hermanas sooo much!!! 

    I wish I could write so much more like every week, but I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying life. There is absolutely no other place I would rather be right now. I love you all and remember to share the gospel every chance you can! Dad, Mom, siblings - I love it when you guys write me about how you are sharing the gospel. Keep doing it!!! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Surprises! -Sept 15, 2014


       Espero que todos han disfrutado este linda semana y que la vida es rica. So Hna Ayuso and I decided last week that we every other day would be English day where we only talk to each other in English so she can keep learning and it has been going great. I realized that honestly me da lo mismo if I am speaking in English or Spanish. It`s actually kinda cool and in my brain it sounds just about the same. Yay for the gift of tongues!! 

      Well this week started off with a miracle. Last P-day we were in the centro doing all of our normal things and we were walking in a big group and I feel someone tugging at my backpack and start to feel it and notice that it was open. Although I wasn't surprised because I do that often. So I turn around to close it and the women behind me sees my name badge and then quickly pulls my camera out of her jacket!! She said that the guy behind her tried to steal it and that I need to be careful with my things(lying of course....) but she totally tried to jack my camera... How grateful I am for my name badge that has JESUCRISTO in large font!! It was a miracle for sure because I would have lost all of my pictures otherwise... 

     Then on Tuesday, we get a call from the mission nurse saying that Hna Ayuso has a doctors appointment that same day in Conce at 7 pm. So we canceled our mini-cambio and headed to Conce and her foot is doing a little bit better (she has had problems her whole mission with it.) Then her eye starts to hurt, so the nurse made another appointment with the eye doctor for the next day in the morning. Anyways, it didn`t make sense for us to travel all the way back to Chillan just to head back the next day, so we had a genious idea. We called up Hna Arrington and asked if she would let us stay the night with her and President and she said yes!! So that was just a little tender mercy and Mom and Dad their house reminded me sooo much of the mission home in Monterrey! I felt like I was back in Mexico for the night and I loved it so much!! However, it was much better to get back the next day and to get out working once again! Even though Hna Ayuso`s foot hurts her, she is a trooper and doesn`t let anything stop her!! We are seeing miracles because of it! 

      We have been teaching a lot of investigators recently and Eduardo with his two teenage daughters are some of them. It was cool, because we were on the micro (bus) and naturally started talking to the guy next to me and told him we were representatives of Jesus Christ and are here to help him (I usually don`t introduce ourselves quite like that) but he told me right away that he needed help and told us to come to his house right away. So we got of the micro with him and he led us right into his house where we met his daughters. They have been having a really hard time since his wife just died a few months ago. We taught them the plan of Salvation and it was so powerful!! They are so ready for the gospel and are excited to come to church next week since they couldn`t come this week and be baptized in the near future too!! It was awesome and I love it that Heavenly Father puts the prepared people in our path. We just have to open our mouths. 
      The family Cares Garay is also doing awesome!!!!! They are making sure that everything will work out fine this week for their wedding next week. 

    Everyone is getting ready for deciocho this week!!!!! It`s Chilean Independence day and I am sooooo excited!!! It is a bigger celebration that Christmas here and the food is so good!!! Crazy that I will be able to celebrate it in the same ward that I did last year.... yay!!! Well I have to go, but I love you all so much!!! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

P.S. we went to that huge waterfall again today!!!!! Even better this time!!!! I`ll attach pics! 

At the president`s house!! 
With a few of our hermanas and with my comp! 

The Mission is Better.- Sept 8, 2014

¡Hola Hola! 

      I am so glad that this past week was such a good one for everyone. Glad that the guys had a good boys trip to Austin and that BYU actually won this year!! You guys would take a Segway tour around Austin... and oh my Brielle you would try and go too. Hahah I love it. And just like you said Dad, it is a little bit hard to see pics of all the family together and not be there, but I have to say that the mission is better! Even if you guys are eating the best barbecue in the whole world, there is nothing that beats the mission. It is a once in a a lifetime experience. If there is anyone reading this trying to decide if they should go on a mission or not, JUST GO. This week Hna Ayuso and I read the Miracle of a Mission by Elder Holland together and it really is the most important time of our lives. When we are involved in the saving of souls. There is nothing greater. However, yes Dad I am excited to do lots of fun things with all of you when I get back. :) 

         So this week work wise was great!! We found lots of new people to teach, however, quite a few of them now don`t want to keep meeting with us. We are pretty sure that they maybe talked to some friends or family about visiting with us and they told them to stop. That either their family is Catholic and nothing is going to change that, or that we are American spies from the CIA (my personal favorite rumor about us). So after having this happen a few times, we decided that we are basically just going to work with references or incomplete families. The way mission work should always be done - through the members. Obviously we are going to keep talking with everyone, but honestly, almost all of the baptisms I have been apart of on my mission were references or less-actives that we have helped reactivate. Anyways, I absolutely love working along side Hna Ayuso and am excited for this next weeks with her and hope we can at least be together for one more cambio after this. Mom and Dad - glad that you guys are teaching mission-prep again! Mom, my advice for them would be to study the scriptures as much as possible right now, they will need it. To go out with the missionaries a lot!! And just to live right so they will be worthy to be representatives of Jesus Christ. Just a few things. I am sure you guys have way better advice than I do anyways. :)

     So just last thought, this Sunday, Fabian, the oldest son (16) of the familia Cares Garay gave his testimony about the blessings he has seen since his family started coming back to church. About how they used to fight a lot, but now they just laugh about it all and that he has been happier. It brought tears to his mom`s eyes (not a member yet) and mine. It hit me so strong sitting there that the Gospel of Jesus Christ really works. It makes a difference. It`s not just some "story" like some people think, but it`s real and has real effects. I felt the spirit so strongly there and am so happy to be a part of this work and to witness their lives change. Not just for now or for a year, but for eternity. There is just no other feeling even close that I have ever felt in my life. I can`t wait to keep working this week and thank you family for everything. I owe you so much Mom and Dad for always making Christ the center of our home. It was the best thing that you could have ever done for me. I love you all soooo much!!! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

Sorry no pics this week... this computer doesn`t work. 

Temple - Sept 1, 2014


            Okay so this is a sorry in advance, but this email is going to be really short this week! This morning we had an amazing leadership conference. We started off going to Conce where we met at the temple grounds where the Concepcion Temple will be built. It was such an amazing experience where President Arrington talked to us about Consecration. How Brigham Young worked day and night with 4 hours of sleep average to help as many as possible make sacred covenants with the Lord, despite the dangerous circumstances. It was so powerful as we all stood around contemplating on how we can consecrate ourselves and help the other missionaries do so also. I felt the spirit so incredibly strong there and got a confirmation that without a doubt we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. We then walked to the President`s house (about 10 blocks away) and had the consejo. There was a lot of empasis on trying to teach in different ways and how to help others keep their commitments, since that is a huge problem here. Let`s just say, I have a lot to work on, but what would be the fun if we didn`t have anything to get better at right? Progress is key. 

          This week overall was great though and I absolutely LOVE working with Hna Ayuso. She is so full of energy and we are constantly cracking up. Her English is getting so good too so we have a rule that she can only speak English in the house along with the mission rule that the Latinos have to pray in English when we have comp study and in our meetings. This Tuesday, the day we got together, President called me in the morning to let me know that Hna Ayuso`s grandma passed away and that he was going to come to our house that day to tell her in person. It was quite hard for her since they were close, but she was such a trooper and wanted to just keep working right away! After shedding lots of tears, me included, she was a lot better and hasn`t let it affect her hardly at all. She just said after wards, "Well at least I know that in one year I can do the work for her in the temple and there are so many people out there that need to know that they can see their loved ones once again after this life. Let`s go find them Hermana Romney!" I admire her a lot. 
        That same day we even found an awesome family that is so willing to hear about the gospel so that was awesome!!! We have found some good people this week and are excited for their progress in these next few weeks. 

        Then the familia Cares Garay is doing soo great. They have been so blessed and the dad even told us that he never wants to leave the church ever again. They are planning on gettting married the end of this month and having Pilar (the mom) get baptized the same day. SO pumped because I love weddings!!!!! 

      Love you all lots and have a fantastic week. Thanks for everything. 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Romney 

With Hna Ayuso 

Crazy Cambios and Fernanda`s Baptism! -Aug 25, 2014

!Hola Hola familia y amigitos!

   Wow what a week!!! Probably one of the craziest in my mission so far (but I feel like I say that just about every week :D). The bad news was that I had to say goodbye to my companion Hna Call yesterday. She was the second companion that I have gotten to "kill" here in the mission. It was soooo hard to say goodbye to her, but we had an AMAZING last week together. Worked hard all the way up until the end! I have to admit that it was really trunky saying goodbye to her knowing that she is going back home (sometimes I felt that I was going with her haha). But I am so excited for this next transfer!!! Sooo my new companion is Hna Ayuso!!!!!!!!! WOOOOO!!!! We lived with each other actually here in Chillan when I was born and we got along soooo great. She is from Ecuador, but moved to Chile when she was about 11 and actually speaks pretty good English, so it will be a party. We lived here together until we all got emergency transfered out, so it will be interesting to see how it goes, but I am PUMPED!!! 

     So along with Hna Ayuso being my new companion, I have to train her how to be a Sister Training Leader, so that should be an adventure since I am still trying to figure out what in the world I am doing... Haha. And on top of that, all of the 13 hermanas in our group are either training or doing follow up training, so lots of newbies!! Tomorrow there are 15 new Hermanas coming!!! 15!!! Mom and Dad, can you even imagine getting 15 new Hermanas in one transfer? Ahhh I love it!! I think we will have to do quite a few hermana estudios on adjusting to mission life. :) Ohh and my hija is training!!!!! Woooo Hna Lino!! I am going to be a grandma!!! 

    Then, last Monday, we got a call from some of our hermanas in Yungay that said that they both got a really strong impression that something bad was going to happen and that there were some freaky things going on in their sector. After talking with president, he decided the best thing to do would be to have them come live with Hna Call and I for the next week! So this whole past week, we have had Hermana Garces (from American Fork) and Hermana Raziera (from Brasil) live with us and do splits everyday. Talk about double numbers!!!!!! It was a great experience and we saw tons of miracles! A few of which are:

1) Nothing bad happened to the Hnas of Yungay (thank you spirit for that one!) 
2) Michelle Bachelet, Chile`s President, came to Chillan Viejo on Tuesday and we almost got to go give her a Book of Mormon...
3) As we were walking to the baptism on Saturday, it was pouring rain (as always) and Hna Garces didn`t have an umbrella so I gave her mine telling her that my rain coat was good enough (even though I was getting soaked haha). Well I think I literally met an angel that day. A lady wearing this long white coat came up to us and asked us if we were missionaries and gave me her huge good umbrella. I tried to tell her I was fine, but she wouldn`t take no as an answer. I really believe she was a real life angel and we are going to send the other missionaries in her sector to teach her! 
4) One of the members had their roof catch on fire from their estufa(fire place) and we happened to be walking by just as they were putting the fire out. They called us from the streets and asked us to come say a prayer with them and help them clean a little bit. I felt the spirit so strong as the member was saying the prayer in that house with ashes around us. I loved how she was so grateful even in a time like that. It was amazing that we happened to be in the right place at the right time. 
5) Fernanda`s baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It went perfectly and she was so nervous, as was her dad, but it was so special. At the service, us Hermanas sang the primary song, "When I am Baptized" while I played the Ukelele (I have gotten pretty good at it BTW). Fernanda even was vomiting the morning of her baptism, but didn`t let that stop her and she was so happy. After, they took us to their house to celebrate with cake. On Sunday when she was confirmed, the Hermano who gave her the blessing blessed her to serve a full time mission!!! Yay for missionaries!!! 
    Ahh it really has been an exhausting week, doing double plans everyday, but I wouldn`t have it any other way!! Thank you family for everything. Mom I am so glad that you learned so much at Education Week at BYU and you too Dad at the mission retreat. Isn`t life good? When we are living right and doing the things we are supposed to, Heavenly Father promises us forever happiness. Isn`t that what everyone strives for? Welp, I would say we have found the answer... The Gospel of Jesus Christ my friends. It`s that simple. 

   Well I hope you all have a fantastic week and I love you all! 

Con mucho amor,
           Hermana Romney 

     The parade for Michelle, Fernanda, Fernanda and her dad with their family and the Hermanas from Yungay!