November 24, 2014

Week Forty-Nine: The Dream Team

With Hermana Romney
Area: Penco
Companion: Hermana Romney
Hermana Romney's blog: Crav, Penco

Oh man, familia ...

For the first time in a looooooooooooong time, this week has just flown by. Ayayayayaya. I am so happy and sooooo content ... it's like ... I don't know. I just feel way better. I feel way better about myself, about the work that I have done on my mission, about life. It's sweet.

Let's see ... from where we left off last week. Oh, I had to say goodbye to EVERYONE in Frutillares. This was super hard, because I love everyone so much. The good news is that I haven't even left the stake. Even though everyone was crying and Hermana Caceres was crying ... I was pretty dry-eyed. I was just filled with gratitude for my time in Frutillares. We ran EVERYWHERE. I tried soooo hard to say goodbye to everyone, but it was impossible. Right when we got in the collectivo to start heading home, I had to call Hermano Carlos Garrido to tell him that we weren't going to make it to his house. In that instant, I just started bawling. He was one of the most important people to me ... and I couldn't even say goodbye right. But I am just going to be in Penco. We are just going to be in Penco is my grand consolation (is that a word??).

Flor, Luis, Carolina, and Isidora Peñalillo
Noelia Sepulveda 
With Hermana Caceres
Andrea, Javiera, Fernando Solis Morgan
Maria Valenzuela (we reactivated her!)
Elias and Patricia Aldana
Familia Cartes (Diego, Kevin, Martin, Paz, Rodrigo, Magdiel)
So, new comp. New area. New responsibility. Let's see ... I think I will start with new comp. Hermana Romney is amazing. She came on her mission with a purpose and her dedication just blows my mind. We are going to be working sooo hard and I love it. I haven't had a gringa companion in so much time. It's nice in a lot of ways, just because we can talk about a lot of different things and there really isn't any cultural barrier at all. We laugh and laugh and laugh together about whatever silly thing. I love being with her so much.

To answer your questions. Yep, she has got a brother in Vocal Point (according to the other gringa that we are living with, Hermana Osborne, all of her roommates in college had a huge thing for him. Mich). Yes, she is related to Mitt Romney. I think her dad is cousins with him or something. Yes, she is related to Marion G. Romney. Yes, her parents are the mission presidents in a CCM in the Dominican Republic. 

Pretty sweet, huh?

Basically, we are cleaning out Penco. I love doing this, because basically we are starting from square one. We didn't really have any good investigators and all of our menos activos are getting ready to finish their reteaching ... so we don't have anyone there either. We don't really understand the area yet, but the big blessing is that there are a ton of members that are willing to come out with us and show us around. We have actually found a lot of people through that. We basically call up a member for the whole afternoon and they show us around their neighborhood. It is so amazing because basically it forces us to work with the members well ... which is what we should be doing anyways.

There was one day that we went out with this member, Flor, for a looooong time. She was showing us around to a few menos activos, but nobody was home. Hermana Romney and I were both praying for a miracle to happen ... when we found two ladies on the street that Flor knew. One of them was a menos activa lady that hasn't been to church in a long time and the other was her daughter that isn't a member. We went into their house for a couple of minutes to teach them and we talked really briefly about baptism. The mom said, "This (pointing to the picture of Christ getting baptized) is the best decision that anyone can make." And her daughter said, "Yeah, I would like to do that." WHAT THE WHAT? What a miracle!

After that lesson, Hermana Flor made us feel awesome. She said, "Hermanas, you are going to do big things here. Don't ever lose the animo that you have. Ever. Because you two together are going to do things." And it's true. We are going to be doing a lot of things here in Penco. Hermana Romney and I are so excited to be here. It is hard starting from zero, but I know that we are just going to keep seeing miracles! I love it so much.

The other awesome thing about being in Penco is that I already know a lot of people here. The familia Ortiz lives here and they are related to a family from Frutillares. Also, we have choir practice on Sunday with all of the people that I love from Frutillares. It is SO perfect. I might end up having a gooooood chunk of my mission in this stake and I love it. I love being Eterna Blau because I have grown to love the people here so much.

I am just so happy. I have written that in my journal every day here. I am so grateful.

Being a Sister Training Leader is something that kind of blows my mind. I still feel like I am on a huge mini-cambio sometimes. I have noticed that my confidence in teaching has gone way up. I have put aside all of my fears of inadequacy and I have tried to throw myself out there ... amazingly, it has always worked. Last night, I had a little chat with Heavenly Father and apologized for hardly ever letting Him magnify my calling. I have always focused so hard on how imperfect I am and so much that I lack that I haven't really ever given Heavenly Father the chance to make me better than I am. It was an interesting realization.

We had a sweet little mini cambio in the middle of the week with some other STL in Collao. That was where I had my first mini cambio with Hermana Oldroyd, so I was so happy to return there. Hermana Romney stayed in Penco to be with Hermana Corbett (who just left Penco in this cambio). With Hermana Glazier, we were able to talk to so many people and I learned so much from her. It is amazing how different my mini-cambio was now in comparison with my first mini-cambio. I know a little bit more Spanish now. I know a little bit more about how to be a good missionary. I have changed sooo much. When I looked at the board for pijamadas, I didn't even see my name right away because it has faded with the time. Crazy stuff.

As I have been getting used to being a STL, the asunto of mission leadership has all started to make a little more sense to me. It makes sense why Elder Calizaya would ask me about things during Rendimiento de Cuentas. It makes so much sense why the Hermanas would always set goals with me in mini-cambios to improve. It actually blew my mind a little bit how informed everyone is about the missionaries. The work of the Lord is incredible and from this point of view, I am seeing it in a whole different light.

I guess that the main point of this email is to let you guys know that I am doing well. I feel really good about the mission and I am planning on taking advantage of every minute. I feel like a huge weight has been taken off of my shoulder because ... well ... I have let Heavenly Father take it off. I made myself suffer a lot when I was in Frutillares ... and now I feel like I am in a whole new, beautiful, crazy world.

I love you guys a lot! I hope that you have an awesome, Thanksgiving-y week. I don't think that anything crazy is going to happen here. It doesn't even feel like Thanksgiving to be honest ... besides the fact that we eat huge lunches always. But I think we are going to try to do something exciting. Tell everyone that I love them a lot!! I am thinking about you guys and praying for you! Thank you for all of your love and support!!

Love from Chile,

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