Sunday, November 17, 2013

Things you never thought to be grateful for

Hey Mom and Pops!

I just started my half hour, so and I'm already writing you guys so this is great! Also, it makes me happy to hear that you are sending me letters. I haven't received a single one since my first day in El Salvador, and I was worried you had stopped sending them. It is incredible to me how much love I can feel in every letter and email you send. Today I made it my goal, since it is P Day to write more letters so that other people can feel the same love I feel whenever I get a letter from someone I care about.

One thing I really love is reading Mom's summary of the talks in Sacrament that week. For instance, last week she talked about a recent convert giving a talk about the importance of inviting friends to church activities (including non-Sunday ones, which are often way less scary for the inviter and the invitee), and this week, it just happened to apply perfectly to the ward of Las Arboledas! This month, we have a theme in our mission (as in the whole world, since last General Conference) of working with the members, so this short email from Mom was exactly the answer to our prayers! We have been working on encouraging members to bring friends to activities, and inviting our own investigators, so we'll seen in a couple weeks the fruit of this

Okay, here is my funny thing of this week. In honor of Thanksgiving coming up, I have made a list of things you never thought to be grateful for:
-A sink and a toilet that work every day
-Not having a lock on every door of your house (including inside your house)
-doors you can knock on without something metal
-being able to wash your toothbrush with tap water
-being able to drink tap water
-showering from a shower, and not a bucket (although for the bucket, you have to give credit to the eco-friendly nature of such showers...much more efficient!)
-hot water!

This week, for various reasons, I have felt a little bit down, but today, I looked back at our three (almost four now!) weeks in Las Arboledas, and I realized we have achieved so much. Even though I am by no means a perfect missionary, I know that I am getting better every day, and that I am doing the best I can to help others enjoy the close relationship with our Heavenly Father and truly, the joy! that comes from living the principles of the Gospel and truly trying to follow Christ. Every time I open my mouth to testify, I can feel the Spirit confirming to me what I say. I can feel that this is an incredible work and that sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ really brings such happiness to me.

Love to you and the whole family and every friend that reads this blog! Enjoy this precious precious autumntime (seriously, that's one of the few things I miss)

Hermana Romero

PS. I am hoping that something really awesome happens this Saturday and that I can send you pictures, but until then, I am making no promises. Await my next email eagerly. :D

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No lights, Animal droppings & a Disappoinment

Hola Ma and Pa,

Thanks as always for your love and prayers and letters! I just think of you all and your support when the going gets rough, and I know I can overcome any challenge!

This week has certainly been exciting! Tuesday to Wednesday, we had exchanges with the sister training leaders--Hermana C. and I went to Ciudad Delgado (also in Soyapongo) and Hermana I. stayed in Las Arboledas with two other hermanas. It was an incredible experience, and I learned so much about how to teach, how to contact, how to study, etc. more effectively.

When Hermana C. and I got back to Las Arboledas, that's when things started going wrong! First our light went out, and it turned out we had been paying the receipt of our neighbor and he hadn't paid ours. Now everything is straightened out, but for a day or two, we lived like the pioneers! Then I started finding small droppings all over the place, and this was a little bit terrifying for me. I do not like animals, and especially not in my house! After searching for the light box, we discovered that there was a bunny! It escaped from our neighbor's house, climbed onto our balcony (everything is right next to each other here, so it makes sense), and from there got into our house. We left it on the balcony for an hour or so. It wasn't there when we got back so I guess that turned out alright!

I think the most disappointing thing of this week is that this sweet hermana was going to be baptized on Friday, but her parents did not react very positively to this and decided to keep her in the house and not let her talk to anyone, including her (member) boyfriend! (She is in her late 20s, so it surprised me that she lets her parents have this much control over her life).

Another crazy thing happened this week--Dia de los Muertos! It is insane over here, everyone out in the streets with their family, everyone else selling plastic flowers to put on graves. It's festive and bright and I love it!

Ahh so our email time has been cut in half, and I really am struggling to type & send all the amazing experiences I have been having. One of my favorite spiritual experiences or insights of the week is this incredible realization I had about what grace and the Atonement can do for us in our daily lives. I have been thinking a lot lately about my tendency to get frustruated with people that I spend a lot of time with. I personally consider this a weakness, and one that can be remedied by learning to have true charity. As I flipped through the Bible Dictionary the other day, I read the following sentence:

"It is through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, recieve strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means."

I know that there is so much more that I would like to do than I can acheive on my own. As I have tried to come unto Christ and be the best missionary I can, I have become more aware of my own weaknesses and have been filled with a desire to overcome them. But I cannot acheive this on my own. Whenever I think that there is too much for me to do, I know I can rely on Christ. I do my part by trying as hard as I can to develop patience, love, charity, diligence....any good quality that I desire...but it is Christ that grants me the ability to do so.

I love you all so much! I hope that you have had a happy Halloween, and I am praying for you all. Love,

Hermana Romero

PS One thing we have been doing as a companionship that I really love is, every night, before our prayer together, each listing a miracle we saw in our lives that day. There really are daily blessings and miracles when we are living righteously!
Here is my mailing address if you'd like:

El Salvador San Salvador East Mission

Apartado Postal 3362

CP San Salvador, San Salvador

El Salvador