Wednesday, December 31, 2014

december 29, 2014 letter

Dear Family:
This week was super awesome. It was really one of the most busiest times that i have had on my mission. It just seems like i was running around like crazy all week. And holy cow it was crazy to finish my first 6 months. Before you know it I'll be home and be playing ball. Wow thats pretty scary. I definitely don't want to come back to the real world yet and i dont want to play football yet because i would get smashed with how weak i am right now! But i know that the Lord will bless me for being out here and doing his work!

It was such a cool experience to be away from home during the christmas holiday. Yeah i missed everyone back at home, but it was so nice to be out here and be focused on the Lord. One way that elder perryman and i always think of it is a Father and sons outing for two years. We are just out here with our heavenly father for two years having so much fun helping bring back his children(:

Really one of the most amazing things happened this week. There is a recent convert family that we have been helping out for a long time. I have been working with them since the day i got here. At first they seemed to be against some things and not really wanting to do some things and the dad didnt want the priesthood because he cant read and didnt feel worthy of it. So they had to postpone the baptism of their son for a while. It was so heart breaking. But just a little while ago they had this huge change of heart and we were able to give him the priesthood and its like they made a 180. Now hes getting ready to baptize his son and he is going to everything and is even memorizing the prayer to bless the sacrament! It was one of the craziest things I've seen. It's like hes a new person now(:   On the 24th it is a huge hispanic holiday so we went around all day just eating food with people and talking with them and the last person we had on our list was this family. We get there with all the other missionaries and president pister and his family, and when we got there, there was absolutely no one there and they were just cooking food. I could tell that the mom had been crying for a while and the family just seemed super sad. We didn't say anything but just went and tried to liven up the party and help them feel loved and that they had friends(: it was super weird because we were expecting to see so many people there because they have such a huge extended family. But come to find out just yesterday that none of their family decided to come because they had to decided to be join the church and be LDS. Their family is super rooted in their catholic beliefs and it just seems to be hard for the both of them. But it was so cool to see the mom and dad stand up for what they believe. They are some of the nicest people in the world and i love them to death. It's amazing to see how truly converted they have become (:

Also this week we went to go see another family. They are about a 30 minute drive away so we are only able to see them once a week. They come from some serious poverty and it just breaks my heart to see them. The mom just loves her kids to death and is taking care of them by herself and her kids don't ever treat her well. She literally works day and night with almost no sleep to help her kids. The member that we are taking with us is the same way and just loves her kids and works all by herself 24/7 to put food on the table. But the family is really coming around and they are showing some true desire to be baptized, her only problem is that she just thinks any church is good, It'll just take a little time to let her connect the dots that we have laid out for her. We are excited for them and the son who is 16 said he wants to come out and play basketball with us on Wednesday with all the youth, so we talked to all them and we are going to have a huge lesson with all of them on Wednesday so that will be super good(:

Well nothing too crazy happened this week, just a lot of parties and a lot of talking to people!! i love you all and miss you so much!

Love, Elder Romney (:

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

december 23, 2014 letter

Sorry this letter is going to be a little short, because we dont have a bunch of time and because i will be able to see you on thrusday which will be ten times better!!! This week was literally just full of singing. haha We have something called our Christmas Concert where all of the missionaries get together and they sing for members and investigators in the chapel on one day. I was on the traveling  choir so I got to go to the other zone conference in Lebenon which was super fun! All of the people in the traveling choir packed into a huge white van and drove the hour or so to get there. Since it wasnt our conference we didnt have to stay there when president started talking for the conference, so we were able to go out to people and carole to them and invite them to go to the concert. I was with 3 other male missionaries that spoke spanish, so we took our little spanish hymn books and knocked door to door and sang to them. It's funny because normally when you knock a door they are just rude to you and shut the door on you, but we wouldnt give them the opportunity to say anything to us and just sing to them instead. They actually were really appreciative of it and loved it and we didnt get any doors slapped in our face the whole time (: and then later that day we were able to sing to all of the members and investigators that came. It was a huge event with probably around 500 or so people at it! And then a couple days later on Sunday, Elder Perryman and I and Pres. Pister and his son sang a song in church which turned out to be really fun(: We sang the first noel and they designated me to sing the high tenor part in the chorus and I was like pooping my pants I was so scared to try and hit that high note, but luckily when it came to game time it worked out just fine(: And then just yesterday we had to go up to Forest Grove, which is an hour away and is a crazy drive up there and we had to drive ourselves. I've literally never seen roads like this. They're all up and down and left and right so half the time you're having to slam on your breaks because you don't even know what is ahead of you! We drove up there and we did another conference up there and it was super fun(: We had to do some skits as zones and my zone did one where we did renditions of songs but put to words that missionaries would say it, like contacting  situations on the streets, It was pretty funny. Elder Perryman and I had to do a newsies songs and then sing a pitbull song while we danced.. that was probably one of the most embarrassing things... haha but it was way fun and then a guy in our zone rapped at the end and we all jumped out and through a bunch of candy canes at everyone while some girl in our zone who can break dance did this awesome handstand pose thing at the end! Anyway, much of this week has been crazy driving everywhere! I had to drive home from the conference and that was pretty nerve racking because the fog gets so thick out there you can only see a couple feet ahead of you and we were going on crazy windy roads, so we made sure and said a prayer and everything turned out fine and we got home safe (:

The other day right after church one of the sisters investigators came up to Elder Perryman and was like, umm.. can i talk to you guys for a little bit and we were like sure! and then he started asking us some pretty deep doctorine about like kolob and how mary got pregnant and stuff like that and so we pretty much answered as best as we could but told him that he wouldnt be able to have a testimony about any of it without praying. so we ended up talking to him and he told us he didnt like the church and this and that, so we took him over and sat him down and was like, is there something else that is going on right now? and long story short, we spent 3 hours in the chapel talking about his past and how he has resentment for churches because of his experience in the catholic church as a baby and seeing exorcisms and things like that and how he hadnt eaten or slept in 3 days. it was crazy to hear all of the things that were on his shoulders and just give him an opportunity to vent and let the spirit take over in his life and replace the bad with the good. He is such an amazing guy and i love him to death. I cant wait to see what the future holds for him.

Now everyday we get the chance to go and help a lady in our ward at 2:30. She is a tiny old little lady and her son got in a car accident when he was 20 a few years back and split his head open and had to have brain surgery and is now a complete vegetable and isnt able to do things on his own, so she has been taking care of him night and day since the accident, and just moved to a new house and the way the room is set up she isnt able to work the device to pick up her son and put him in the wheel chair. So she called us last week and asked if we could help and we told her that we would love to. It must be so so hard for him because he can understand everything that is going on and can communicate with blinks and grunts and stuff. It just makes me feel so bad for him because he is trapped in his body and there is nothing to do. Its just like he is paralyzed. But interestingly enough the doctor said that there is a possibility that he could walk again and that it would just take time. I've never seen such a little lady with so much faith. She always tells us, i know he is going to be healed, i know he is going to be healed. I hope and pray that the lord will one day heal him, but i know that He has a plan and its perfect whatever it may be. And she has an amazing testimony as do we, of the after life and that his body will be completely perfect and restored (:

I can't wait to hear from you on thursday!!! I love you all,and make sure you've got some good stories and your spanish A game on (;

 love you, love, 
Elder Romney (:

A carful of travelling missionary singers
At the Christmas conference
Spencer and Elder Perryman doing their skit at the conference

Monday, December 15, 2014

december 15, 2014 letter

Dear family,
This week was a pretty good one! it really just feels like the christmas spirit is just coming out of everyone(: 

Literally one of the nicest things that have ever happened on my mission happened on Sunday. I had to pass the sacrament that day and as I was doing it I looked over the aisle and saw that one of the investigators of the sisters was sitting by himself. So right after it was over, I picked up all of my stuff and went over and sat by him. Now you have to know this guys. He is literally one of the sweetest guys in the world and is so shy. he is super selfconscious about his weight and so he doesnt ever really want you to talk to him, so he doenst really have many friends in the ward to be with. I decided I would go sit with him and try and spark up a little conversation with him to try and make him feel better. I went over there and asked him if I could sit by him and you could just see the light on his face because someone wanted to sit next to him(: I just talked to him for a little bit, but I wanted him to be able to listen to the talks, so i kept it really short. I was so tired that day, and I was literally trying so hard to stay awake, so I finally crossed my right leg over my left to try to try and make it tingle so it would keep me awake! haha As I was doing that he saw that I had a hole in my shoe ( they are some really cheap dressier shoes that i bought for 15 dollars and only wear on Sundays with my suit, so i wasnt really that sad). It was really hard to understand him in the meeting house and it kind of mumbled his Spanish, but I finally got what he was saying and he said, "do you want some new shoes?" and i told him, haha no im good, (: and he was like, "no, really im going to get you new shoes". He doesnt have a lot of money and so I kept telling him no, like really, im okay. but he insisted on giving me new shoes! So literally that night he calls me at 8 at night as was like "where are you, can you meet me at the chapel"? and i was like of course, thinking that he just was having a hard time and need someone to talk to. so when we got there his old beat up white van pulls up and he gets out and is like, holding a box in his hands, "i hope you like these shoes...". it was literally one of the sweetest things on my entire mission and i wanted to start bawling! he told me about how thankful he was that i would come and sit by him and be his friend and that he would do anything for me if i ever needed it. He is one of the nicest people in the entire world and I would do anything for him. I want to take a picture with him today at fhe and I will send it to you(: He looks kind of like a rugged guy, but he is one of the sweetest people in the world.

The other super awesome story that happened this week was when we went to an investigators of the sisters house for dinner. Her name is alejandra and is so so sweeet too. Any time that we dont have dinner she always calls us and makes sure that we are fed and is just a sweetheart. We went over there and right now she is trying to quit smoking so she can be baptized here pretty soon and this was her first day being completely off of it and she said that she was having a really really hard time, so we taught her about blessings and offered to give her one and she accepted! I have come to love blessings so so much. There is no way that you can describe the peace and wonderful feelings they bring. We promised her that if she read and prayed everyday then she would be able to overcome her challenges of smoking. I'll have to get a picture with her as well and send it to you(:

Today when we were at walmart shopping, some random white lady came and walked behind me and put her hand on my shoulder and was like, hold on just a sec. and she bent over and was trying to rip off a string of my jacket. haha i just stood there pretty much in shock! haha so yeah, i got my bum touched but some completely random stranger today too, so that was interesting!

We were also able to go to a baby shower this week of some random people that we helped do service for, and found a family of eleven people that want to hear about the gospel, so i am hoping for good things from that(:

I love you guys so much and I cant wait to see you at Christmas (:
Elder Romney

This is a picture of a guy who was shot when he was 17 and is partially paralized! I love him so much and his conversion story!! And that is his mom who takes care of him (:

Outside of one of our investigators houses with an elf (:

This is when we were practicing for doing the skit today! its Perryman and me and Elder Anzures, who i love to death. I hope he is my companion one day!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

december 8, 2014 letter

Well this week was a pretty good and interesting week! As you know we have been working with a family (of 8 people) for quite a while, about 3 months now, and they just weren't seeming to progress at all. so elder Perryman and i decided that we were going to go there and just tell her that we had to stop coming by because she wasn't keeping any of her commitments and we couldn't keeping driving forever away to get to her house. So the whole day we were thinking about how we were going to do this and how it was going to be so hard because we really do love the family so much and love the kids to death. We made it into her house and caught her before she could leave and sat down and talked to her for a while. We talked to her about how we couldn't keep coming by if she wasn't going to keep her commitments and that it was really important what we were doing and that we couldn't just keep doing this over and over again. Through all of the talking with her and trying to drop her, she eventually broke down and started telling us all about her past life and how hard things are right now and how she says that she wants the gospel but doesn't know if she can do it. We told her that we would be there step by step if she just promised to keep her promises and read and pray every night. She told us that she would. We also offered to give her a blessing and to her children, too, and she cheerfully accepted as we explained what it was. It really was such a beautiful blessing to be able to see that huge change in her, we went from about dropping teaching her, to giving her and all of her kids blessings of comfort and peace. That was such a tender moment when we did that for her. We couldn't do it in the house because the grandma wouldn't let them, so we ended up finding an old beat up chair outside and put it on there porch in the pitch black. We were all freezing and just kind of huddled around trying to keep warm in the 30 degree weather. i was given the opportunity to give a blessing to 5 of the 6 children as we asked them who they wanted to give the blessing. Each one that I gave to them was completely different and you could feel their spirit in each one. It was amazing to see the blessings that were promised by the Lord as I acted as a proxy and mouthpiece for Him. During the blessing for one of the youngest ones who was 5, we had promised him that if he stayed faithful and was baptized into the church, he would one day be a leader in the church and help change lives. I cant wait to see what happens with him in the future. The majority of the kids are boys and almost all of them have expressed how they want to be baptized and how they want to eventually serve missions like us. So in all reality their future now just hangs in the balance if there parents will follow them and be there support them because we aren't allowed to baptize them if they aren't old enough to drive themselves or if they don't have somebody who will be able to help them and guide them as they grow up, namely their parents. So it all hinges on whether she can commit to keeping her promises and be baptized eventually, because that would be 5 missionaries that would get sent out to help change others lives as well. Please keep them in your prayers and that this change of heart will be able to continue and that eventually they will be able to make that covenent with the lord and all be sealed in the temple. I really do love those kids and there futures are so bright.

Well, so i have a kind of crazy story... haha so the other day on Sunday, we went up to Mcminville for a baptism and we were going on this super super crazy and windy hilly road. like nothing you've ever seen before. I would literally close my eyes and I felt like I was on a roller coaster because we were going so fast and turning so sharp! The whole entire road is lined with trees and it was pitch black, so you couldn't see what was in front of you while you were turning until you were already there. I was sitting in the back and we had a member driving us because it was out of our area and I was thinking the whole time,"welp, if I die, I lived a pretty good life and I'll go to heaven because I'm a missonary!"  and literally as i was thinking that, jorge (the guy driving) slammed on his brakes and we go flying forward sliding of the road because there was a deer that jumped out right in front of us. I think its leg nicked the front left side of the car, but not to much damage was done to the car. We were able to get back on the road and eventually make it there safely! haha that was one of those moments where your heart just stops and all the adrenaline rushes form your face to your legs. haha, it was pretty scary, but I'm glad to know that I'm a missionary and that there is an afterlife in case things didn't turn out as miraculous as they did! i definitley know the lords hand played a part in this and that all the prayers from back at home kept me safe and made sure i didn't have antlers through my head (;

The weather here is really quite depressing. the place is beautiful, but the weather is awful. It just rains all the time and averages about 36 degrees. But no worries I'm hanging in there and my face just goes numb after a while (: but things are going well and we are still working with a bunch of families right now!

i love you guys so much!!! Love Elder Romney (:

"This was our little Christmas party that we had this past Saturday.  Santa and I were best friends (: "

With a couple of missionaries from Newberg

"These were our family pictures.  Elder Ashcraft trained all of us."

Monday, December 1, 2014

december 1, 2014 letter

Well this week was pretty fun because I was able to give a talk in sacrament meeting! it was pretty funny, just about 5 minutes before the sacrament meeting, our president came up to me and was like, well looks like you have to give a talk and you have to pass the sacrament. haha so I literally had no time to prepare anything for my talk at all, and i was the first speaker. so i was a little nervous to get up there, especially in front of everyone where they would be able to criticize my Spanish! but it was so nice, because once I got up there right after the sacrament was over, i just felt like an overwhelming peace and like i knew exactly what i was going to say and do. i opened up into 1 nephi where it talks about when lehi partakes of the fruit and how he wants to share it with his family. and i explained that that is exactly why i was here, and in fact why they were there too. its because they had tasted the fruit of the lord and now they just need to go out there and share it with others, such as there family. i then opened up to doctrine and covenents 15 or 14... don't remember, but it talks about how the most important thing that we can do in this life is to share the gospel with others. more than work or school or anything like that, it was to share the gospel and let the world know from what church they belong. i loved being able to give the talk because i could feel the spirit working through me and giving me the gift of tongues. i can speak pretty well in spanish, but it felt so much smoother this time and like i was speaking in a native tongue! 

We were looking through our closet the other day and found a bunch of old progress records sitting on the shelf and we decided to pick it up and start looking at them. it turns out that there were some people who had some dates and that they were never baptized, so we decided to go and look up those addresses. we went and tried to find this house, but literally for the life of us, we couldnt find it. it was like it was gone. so there was one house that was the closest to it but it didn't have a number, so we just decided to knock on it anyway to try and find out who lived there and if it was them! we knock on the door and we were like, so is this the lopez family? and they were like uh.... no, but come in! turns out after talking to the guy for a little while that he had grown up around mormons and that he loved the religion a lot! so we are going to be able to start talking to him and he is soo ready for baptism! ahh I'm so excited for him!

oh and today when we went to choir practice sister samulien was like, okay now who is going to sing a solo, and elder perryman started pointing at me and was like he is! he is going to do it! hahaha i was like there is no way that i am going to sing in front of 300 people alone... haha they kept trying to get me to sing, but i kept telling them that i wadn't going to. so needless to say, i chickened out pretty bad on that one. but after the thing two of the hermanas were like, so  can you actually sing or was elder perryman just making fun of you? and i was like no, i definitely can not sing. but they made me sing like 1 verse of the song and long story short sister samulien found out about it and she made me join and octet! haha so now i still am singing in front of everyone, i just dont have to do it alone (: haha i was never good at singing back at home, but maybe i just hit puberty or something and my voice came in enough to hit a few notes (;

sorry this letter is so short, i really have hardly any time because we had so much to do!
but i love you so much!!!! love Elder Romney (: