From the age of 9 I participated in the parish activities. It was there that I met a nun for the first time. From then on I felt the desire to become a religious like her one day, but I never told anyone, not even my parents. I led a normal life like the other girls, I studied and I wished that this restlessness I had to become a religious would disappear, but the idea was still present in my life. Time went by and I obeyed my parents to continue my studies until I finished university; I chose to become a teacher.

When I was at university, we had a financial problem in my family and I was thinking of stopping my studies and fulfilling my desire to enter the convent. Fortunately one of my friends had a religious aunt. So I told her my secret of wanting to become a nun and she took me to her aunt's convent. I expressed my desire to become a nun, but the sister told me that first I had to finish my studies and continue to grow in my vocation. So, I continued my studies until I graduated. Then I was working in a school as a teacher. I was very happy with my work.

One day I heard that there were sisters working with us in the school. I don't know why, suddenly, the desire to be a religious appeared again, but I tried to deny it. I told myself that I was very happy with my teaching job and this is what I wanted. I had money, a job and with all this I could help my parents. But the more I denied it, the more the feeling appeared and the stronger the restlessness grew. What was the purpose of my life, I asked myself, is money and work enough to make me and my family happy? I told myself NO. I wanted my life to be for the benefit of others. And that is what convinced me to enter religious life.

And I decided to join the Carmelite Missionary Sisters. I was 24 years old. When I told my parents, they were surprised. They didn't want me to become a religious, but I didn't think twice. I decided to enter with or without their permission because I know that the Man I am following is not just anyone, it is Jesus.

Religious life is the radical way of following Jesus. Like Mary, who is obediently accepting God's plan to be the Mother of God. God has a plan in each of us. Some people may be called in married life, or like me in religious life. The important thing is to be generous and open to God's call.

My "YES" to the Lord is a daily YES, from the time I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night. If you ask me, is it difficult to be a religious today? I can say that there is no life without difficulties. I always need God's help to live in faith, hope and love. Jesus is my model. If I only depend on my own strength, I am sure I cannot cope with this life. I experienced so much mercy and compassion from God!

He gave me more than I expected. I met more people who are now my family, my brothers and sisters. They gave me the opportunity to meet the suffering church through the apostolate. And I am happy to be part of this mission. To be a sign of hope for those people who have no hope and to tell them that Jesus is alive!

Today I am very happy to be a religious. If I ever had a second chance in my life, I would still choose to be a religious.

So here I am sharing my experience. I am still young in religious life for only 9 years. My first 4 years of formation were in Indonesia, after first profession I continued formation in the Philippines for 5 years and this year I will prepare for my final vows in Salamanca.

As our Father and Founder, Francisco Palau, said "O Church, I love you! So I want my life to be also, as that surrender, "is the least I can offer you in exchange for YOUR LOVE".


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