Monday, August 11, 2014

8-11-14 Mangos were falling on a tin roof

My dear family,

Well, even though I didn't get to stay with my dear Hermana Hernandez in Roosvelt, I haven't changed wards (personal record!) and I now am here with the lovely Hermana Herrera, from Peru.

She has a couple more months in the mission than I and is (as we say in El Salvador) super pilas. I really felt like the Lord inspired these transfers, because even though we're not very similar in personality, Hermana Herrera is exactly the companion I've been praying for. I know I'm going to learn so much from her faith and her exactness.

The ward is doing pretty well. I still want to help the members capture the Lord's vision of their potential and how much they have the potential to do to help others come unto Christ. I feel like we lack unity and Christlike love somewhat and there is a bit too much of gossip and bitterness (somewhat typical of the culture here...people tend to hold grudges). In sacrament meeting a few weeks back, one of the members of the ward gave a talk about anger/hatred is like holding burning only hurts the person holding it. I really hope these words can just sink into our hearts and we can apply them. (I continue to learn patience as people progress at their own rate and not the rate I wish they would).

We are supposedly in the rainy season here, but we've been in the middle of a drought, which means any of our investigators or less actives that are farmers (quite a few) have been losing their crops and don't have money to come to church. And possibly not enough to feed their family either. But, as an answer to many prayers, it FINALLY rained this week. And, boy did it rain! (see attached). In one of these grand torments, we were trying to teach a lesson and ended up just shouting (because our investigator has a tin roof and mangos were falling so there was a lot of background noise). We had adventures heading home that night, wading through flooded streets and jumping over puddles because our friend the taxi driver didn't answer.

But I think my biggest takeaway from my time here in San Miguel (aside from the excitement of adventuring through the countryside), is seeing the effects of breaking the commandments more clearly, and wanting to help people overcome the effects of their mistakes. We have been helping several families that have problems with alcohol, and I see now why it is so destructive and why God would advise us to abstain from it.

There are so many people in this area that have desires to change their lives and I am so happy to help them do so. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, as taught in his church, has the guidelines to a happy life. Not without trials, but with an internal peace because we have the promises of God that he will help us carry us through them. We have been given this life to show Him what we are willing to do, and we have been given the right to choose. I love Dad's column of the week, that even though sometimes we feel powerless, this is just our attitude...we always have the ability to choose. And I know that we see more results when we are proactive.

Thanks for your love and support! I want to hear what you're all up more often. :)
Hermana Romero

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

8-4-14 I am here to be bold.

Dear Family,

Birthday shoutout to BETH!!! I hope you and Hannah and the whole family can do something excellent this week to celebrate! All my love and a ton of virtual hugs!

This week was super awesome becauuuuuse we had investigators that came to church! An entire family (a couple, their son, and the grandma). We have been teaching them since my first week in Roosevelt, and it's basically a miracle every time we teach them because they have tons of questions, want to learn everything... They had some trials, such as they didn't want to get married, and the mom of the family has classes ONLY Sundays. But this week, they showed up on their own (thanks to August vacations) and loooved it! We were so happy. We also contacted a part-member family that is interested in learning and progressing.

One thing here that marks the culture here is that everyone likes to give us food (hah and my waistline is showing it a little bit)... and although I feel bad when I can tell they're not in a great situation financially, I remember that we represent Jesus Christ, and the way they treat us corresponds with that title. I feel really honored sometimes with the chance to be a missionary.

Scripture of the week...I love 3 Nephi 5:13, "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." I love how clear and bold the scriptures are. This is the Lord's work, and I am here to be bold.

I hope you have all been having personal success, in your studies, in your jobs, in your personal relationships. I hope that you feel the love of God in your lives. Sometimes we feel he has abandoned us or doubt that He exists, but he's only a prayer away. I invite you all to put this to the test this week!

Love you so much,
Hermana Romero

Monday, August 4, 2014

7-28-14 Sometimes it's so hard to be a missionary...

Dear famsauce,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!! May your week be filled of celebrations, delicious desserts, and kind words from family and friends.

We had a week of adventures. First, we went to visit some less active members who have to travel TWO HOURS to get to the chapel! We took a bus, walked an hour and crossed a river and a sugar cane field to get to their house. By the time we got there, we understood why they aren't active...four hours traveling every Sunday just to get to church. But they are such sweet people and have such a testimony of the Gospel. (Hermana Hernandez has some photos that I'm going to send next week since time is a little short...I'm only sending you my photos of the BEAUTIFUL scenery we passed to get there). We want to try and form a branch there so that it's a little more convenient and they can enjoy the blessings of coming to church--recharging spiritual batteries, feeling the Spirit, edifying one another, etc.
The river we had to cross
on our way to visit some less active members

Crossing the river!

The sugar cane field we walked through.
The whole trip took TWO HOURS!

We have found a lot of new families (I am so excited because working with families is my dream as a missionary. I know that my family has been so blessed because the missionaries taught my parents, and I want to help other families learn of and live the Gospel) in these past weeks and I am so excited to be working with them. I am so excited to work with them. Hopefully more news next week because we're really just starting with a lot of people. (and continuing, as always to help Karina and Alex...who have recently had some problems with the Word of Wisdom and need our support more than ever).

Sometimes it's so hard to be a missionary because I want to help the people to make changes in their lives, but sometimes they are stubborn or don't do the things that they know will help them. Sometimes I don't see the results I hope to see, but I will not cease to work as hard as I can. I am learning so much about patience, love, and charity. The Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible that we can be different. It doesn't just cleanse of our sins (although I know that it does that as well) but it enables us to be better, to have more faith, to have strength when we feel like we've given everything. I know that the message of which I testify every day is true, that God has restored his church and his Gospel in the earth, and that it is the guidelines of a loving Heavenly Father to have a happy life and the only way we can have an eternal happiness.

I love you all a ton.

Hermana Romero

PS: If you're wondering about the Almendarez family, well...the wife and children and extended family still haven't come, but Brother Almendarez came! And he stayed for the second hour, which he hadn't done the week before. We're making progress with this family, and I know they're going to continue making changes in their lives.