Monday, January 26, 2015

january 26, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
Well this has been a crazy week so far! it really feels like it has been forever since i have been able to email because so many crazy things have been going on and happening.

On Tuesday we had transfer calls and I was with another elder ,Elder Lafrance who is from Canada for two days and that was so much fun. We both were getting ready to get greeny's so it was fun to be able to talk to him about that. 

It was pretty nerve racking going in there to the transfer meeting and seeing all of the greenies there and trying to figure out which was mine. There were four Spanish ons so I had a 1 in 4 chance of getting the one that actually spoke Spanish! It was super awesome because I was the first one called up in the meeting. i went up there with my palms all sweaty knowing that whoever i was put with i had to train for the next twelve weeks! I can get a long with people really well, but you can ask any missionary, if you have to be together for 24 hours a day and you're always under so much stress, if you don't get a good companion it can be really tough. Luckily I got Elder Carbajal.  He is super nice and knows Spanish really well!  He has a huge testimony of the gospel but needs some help with the actually doctrine.  It will be good because he can help me improve my spanish and I will help him improve his knowledge of doctrine(:  For some reason he reminds exactly of Lee Illi, same skin complexion, they talk the same way, and just always says the most random funny things all the time. But i was super impressed by him when we went knocking for the first time. He was super nervous and kind of stumbled on his words, but he was fearless and didn't back down. That is exactly what we need! He is an awesome elder and just wants to share the book of mormon with everybody so it is really good to be with him.  I just have to help him kind of channel the doctrine and things like that so the lesson doesn't get off track, but other than that he is doing super good for a greeny! 

I had my first district meeting and it actually turned out to be a really good success. I focused on working with members. Some stats are that in the US, 3% of baptisms comes through missionary efforts alone, and the other 97% comes from the members giving us referrals. It just helps so much and they already have somebody to be there friend in the church. I taught about the three "keys" that we need to have success and how we already had 2 and just needed the last. The first key was investigators, the second was missionaries who want to do the work, and the 3rd is the members getting involved. We came up with a really good idea for when we give dinner messages and it will help out so much with the members! You could definitely feel the spirit in there!  

We are having a lot of success out here and I just hope I still get to stay in my area because we had 1 family on date and another 2 almost there! I really hope that I get to keep working with them, but if all the lord wanted me to do was plant the seed in their hearts, that's what I'm going to do. Its tough, but i know that the lord will guide me in whatever i need to do. keep me in your prayers! 

I love you all!! 
Love, Elder Romney(:

Elder Allridge and me
So many Groceries
All 4 of us are packed in this little room!  We'll be moving to a larger apartment in a week or so.
All of the elders in our district
Sister Villalobos thinks she is so funny! haha

Me, with a cute little girl holding a dog(:

Me, with some of the investigating boys(:

Monday, January 19, 2015

january 19, 2015 letter

Dear family:
So this week was pretty fun! All of the investigators that I told you about in the last letter are still progressing and we actually have noche de hogar with them tonight at 7 with a member family, so that is going to be super good for them to get to know members even better. We are going to have the members invite them to be baptized today after we read with them Alma 32, so keep us in your prayers that that will go good!

So as for transfers this week, we found out that Elder Perryman will become the zone leader, and i will become the District leader down here. which means that we are getting a new companionship here with us. They are splitting us up, so we are not sure yet who is going where and what is happening yet, I just hope and pray that I still get to work with these families that we found because I truly do love them so much. I am a little nervous because on top of being the district leader I will be training a brand new person from the mtc! So yeah, i'm basically pregnant right now... not sure how i feel about that, but luckily my birthing process wont be too hard and he is just handed to me instead(: Its crazy because I will be training in the same exact place that I got trained. I'm super excited for him because this is one of the best places that you can be trained with how high the Hispanic population is, so it will be good for him to talk with a bunch of different Hispanics! There is a good chance that he could be Hispanic as well so that would be super good to be able to practice my Spanish with him. I am pretty nervous about this all but I know that it is what the lord wants and I will do whatever he asks me to do. I'm excited to find out who my new companion is and show him what it is like to be in the mission! 

So this week is was pretty sad, because right after district meeting we came out and found out that our tire had become completely flat from a nail that we had run over, so we changed it, along with the sisters who wanted to learn how to replace the tire. haha it was quite the experience because the jack that we had to jack it up was probably the worst thing in the entire world,  and when we had gotten it pretty high, we realized that we hadn't pulled the E-brake and so it started to slide just a little bit, so we jumped up and pulled it. So that jack got bent, and we had to use the other sister's to finish jacking it up and then put on a spare tire and take it to les schwab. haha it was a fun experience, as well as the other day when we found cat hair and pee all over the back of our car. It turns out we have a cat that loves to roll around in its pee around the apartments!

We were able to have a lesson, well breakfast and a lesson, with a family. I don't know if you guys remember them, but she had read almost of the book of mormon, but her husband didn't want to be a part of the church, so we just were able to testify to him of the importance of the book of mormon and why this church was the church of Christ restored on the earth. It was a strong spirit while we were there and hopefully it changed his mind about our religion. 

And this morning we were able to play basketball with like 25 people in the youth to try and get closer to them and get them to come out to lessons with us and it was super good! We have already been able to use some of the girls and they have been able to come out and help us with some of our investigators that are super shy. It was super good because on Saturday we had a lesson with another family, showing the video of the restoration. It was awesome because we have only ever been able to get the parent and one of their 11 year old sons to sit down and listen to our lessons, but this time we were able to get the whole family to come. After the video was over, we testified of how we know that Joseph Smith restored this church and that we have the true and living church on the earth. and asked the 20 year old son, who previously wanted absolutely nothing to do with religion and his parents swore on it that he would never come, if he would come to church. he sat there for about 30 seconds honestly and truly contemplating on whether he would or not. You could see how much the spirit was working on him. After the 30 second wait, he looked at me and said "I'm in". it was the best thing ever. So now we have almost the entire family, well 4 of the six kids, the other two live in Hubbard, so hopefully we can get the whole family together and baptize them as a big family and then go to their sealing (:

We had another successful week with our investigators at church, two of the families weren't able to go, one of them because her daughter was having surgery and the other because there dad is leaving back to mexico, but we will definitely be seeing them this upcoming week(: 

I love you Guys! 
Love, Elder Romney(:

getting my shirt all dirty changing the tire

sister villalobos cranking the thing for us(: (she wanted to, by the way)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

january 12, 2015 letter

This week was probably one of the best weeks that i have had on my mission! I have seen the hand of the Lord so so much this week! It is amazing to see how much the Lord is preparing the people of Oregon. 

We were able to find three new families this week and it was really awesome how we found them. The first family, which I think you already know about who we got as a referral from one of the members and is cousins with one of the ladies in the ward. We basically went up to her and asked her if she would read the book of mormon and left her a chapter and when we came back that week she had read that chapter 3 times over and pretty much recited it to me. It was  so cool. And her daughter who is 18 said that she wants to start taking the lessons with us too, so they are two super awesome and solid investigators, the only struggle will be trying to get the son and the dad in the picture as well. They were able to come to church and we are planning on putting them on date here pretty soon. 

Another family is a woman and her boyfriend The other day I was on exchanges with one of the zone leaders and we got a call from this number saying that she had gone to the chapel and somebody gave them our number as missionaries and that she decided to call us. So we set up an appointment with her and went over to her house the next day. Come to find out she is a taxi driver and drove one of our families to the church and they invited her to come to church one day and listen to the missionaries and gave her our number. When we got there we were able to sit down and talk to her for a little bit and she told us about this dream that she had about how Jesus Christ had come to her in a dream and told her that she needed to find the right church and start being more faithful. So she decided to call us and we went over and were able to teach her and her boyfriend and they are so ready for the gospel! They also came to church just this last Sunday! 

The last family that we found. The other night, (don't remember if i told you this already or not) but the other night we were driving home and there was this car in the middle of the road. It looked like it was broken down and wasn't working, so we pulled over and offered some help to them and then gladly accepted us to jump start there car. We then give them a card and a pamphlet and tell them who we are and go on our way, until i looked in the rear view mirror and saw that their car had died again, so we parked the car and got out and went to go help them again. We ended up pushing them about a half mile into the apt. complex where they were staying, and then we were able to exchange numbers and they said that we could come by any day that we wanted! We finally were able to catch them just about 5 or so days ago and went in to teach them about the book of mormon. Holy cow it was probably the worst lesson that we have ever given as a companionship, not because of lack of unity, or lack of doctrine, but because of the lack of ability to talk in spanish while we were there. It was literally like our tongues wouldn't work! Come to find out after the lesson and being frustrated about it that it was probably one of the biggest blessings from the Lord not to be able to talk for that period of time.  Looking back at the body language of the father he seemed a little jealous, probably because we were teenage boys in his house, and because he didn't know any doctrine about the bible and his wife knew a lot.  He probably felt like he was below everyone there and we wouldn't have been able to come back. But having our tongues bound for that moment of time made him still feel like the man of the house and that he was better than us and it made us all laugh the whole time. because really our spanish is good, but for some reason we couldn't say anything right! I think the lord blessed us (what we thought was a punishment at the time) to be able to get in with the dad and help him not feel intimidated by us. We went over there on sunday and had an amazing lesson with them and explained everything super well and after they were like, wow, why haven't I heard of the restoration before? They also said that we had really good spanish(: haha and they came to church as well this last Sunday! 

This past Sunday was probably one of the craziest Sundays ever! We don't start church till 1 so we normally go around and remind investigators about church and stuff like that. But when we got there, 3 families came to church! but with those three families we had 12 people at church which is a new record for Woodburn! It's not quite the mission record, but 2 away and we would have broken it(: we also had a record of the highest attendance in our branch this past week at 149 people! That is amazing because we average about 105 people each week at sacrament. And then afterwards we had the baptism, one of the sisters investigators who i aboslutley love to death and is practically my mom out here on the mission! She is the one that always takes care of us and gives us food and everything(: It was so amazing because her son was able to get baptized and elder perryman and i pretty much did everything! We unlocked everything, filled the font, were the witnesses, sang, mopped everything up, printed the flyers and had a bunch of investigators there. It was so cool to see all the people there, almost our entire branch was there and a bunch of our investigators were crying!! I cant wait; we plan to put all of these people on date and possible baptize them in the month of February(: I hope the Lord keeps me here because the work is starting to boom and I love all of these families so much that i am working with! Keep me in your prayers that i can stay here with them!(: 
I love you guys so much! 
Love, Elder Romney(:

These are the aweome pants i got for christmas (:

We like to park super super close to the sisters car(;
The sister's car with ours

Boy who got baptized, and me

Some of the sisters, The family that got baptized, and us(:

Elder Perryman and me with the woman and her son who got baptized (:

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

january 5, 2015 letter

Well another good week here in oregon! this week was pretty good because we were able to find a couple new potential investigators that we think could get baptized sometime here pretty soon! we are still pushing hard with some families but have decided to take a look at all of the families that we are teaching and start dropping some people that aren't ready to hear the gospel. its tough, but its really whats best for them and for us. when we drop them it gives them some time to think about everything and it also gives them time to miss the spirit that we were able to bring with us. we even have some investigators that have told us that they know this church is true and that they love the teachings of the church, just don't want to join because they want to stay catholic because there parents or family or whoever is catholic.  i've come to find that there are kind of like two extremes in the world of religion. there are churches that just teach that all is well and that you don't have to do anything and that you will be saved if you accept Christ in your heart. and then you have the other extreme which says that you cant donate blood to a loved one or that if you even go to another church you'll be excommunicated from theirs. the first one is a religion that everybody wants where God is somebody who just lets you get by with everything and you don't have to do anything, and the second is a church that converts on fear and obligation and works alone. its kind of crazy because over my course of time teaching people a very common concept is the one given by Paul that it is by grace that we are saved and not by works. up to this point i would usually just pull out the scripture in mathew 7:21 that says that there are certain things that we have to do in life. so for the most part i kind of just pushed away what paul said and almost tried to prove paul wrong in a way. but it was super cool because the other night i read a talk called "Salvation, by Grace or by Works". it was really one of the best talks that i've read and it talked about how grace and works, work together. it really was able to expand my mind and help me understand what i'm doing out here and help me gain a greater grasp on the atonement of Christ. each day i seem to be learning something a little bit more about his atonement. i love what joseph smith says when he said "that the atonement is the central part of our gospel and that everything else is just and appendage of it." and its so true. since i've come out on my mission its like the atonement has taken a whole look for me! i have been able to see it in ways that i never was able to and i love that. it truly is one of the greatest things we can utilize in this life. you should definitely read that talk, it was super good! 

We were able to contact into a part member family and a family that the mother's sister is a member. they are some of the best families i've ever seen. the one that is a part member family, both the parents are member and all of the little girls aren't, and there are 6 of them! haha and then the other one is a family who has family members in the ward! so we are hoping to help them out and accept the gospel here pretty soon. one of the girls is 18 and had a baptism date but felt like she was getting pressured into it so she backed off, but we went by and talked to her and she said that she wanted to start taking the lessons again soon, so we are excited about that with them! and i don't know if you ever heard about this guy, but he was one of the first houses that i ever knocked, and through our meetings with him it just seemed kind of like he was going on with the lessons and wasn't really progressing, so we were getting ready to drop him and stop teaching him. but it was super cool because this last time that we went over we taught him about the gospel of jesus christ again and it just seemed like everything was clicking for him. it was one of the more spiritual lessons that i've been able to have out on my mission. we also just yesterday were able to sit down and talk to his brother as well and he said that he wanted to start listening to the lessons as well and that he wanted to take us out to eat! so hopefully we are able to help them both and realize the importance of families in there lives! we also were able to teach a really drunk guy which was probably the funniest thing in the world. he came up to our car so i rolled down my window and he just started ripping on us and could barely stand. by the time he was done talking to us his head was like in the car. i don't know why i found it so funny, maybe because he really had no idea what was happening, but it made my day(: 

oh and speaking of drunk people, the last time that i got my haircut this guy ran into the barber shop, on drugs, and started chanting like voodoo at us or something. haha i looked at the barber and was like, "did you know him?", and he was like "nope!" so i just shrugged my shoulders and he went on cutting my hair. and this barber that was cutting my hair is the first hispanic that i've ever seen with dreds. haha its the coolest thing in the world! looks a little funny, but its sweet!

i was able to read all the letters that you guys sent me this last week and it was the best thing. i love getting hand written letters. it just struck me as i was sitting there how manly amazing people i have that know and love me! i can't thank you guys enough for all of the prayers that i have received and all of the help that i've received throughout my life. i couldn't be happier to have you guys in my life. whether it was with school or with sports or with my mission i've always had the best support(: thank you guys for all you do i really appreciate it!!!
 i love you!
Love, Elder Romney (:

The people that we go and help each week

The party at the home of the people who's extended family wouldn't come because these people are LDS

One of the little kids at the party

A sugar cane from a drink she made.  It was the best thing ever.  You would just take it and chew on it and suck the juice out of it.  It was the best!
This is the family that the parents are mad that they are LDS.

Mom's sweet tie

me kicking trash at this awesome game! haha i was the second persond to actually complete the game that they have ever seen and i did it on my first try!! im the yellow ones(:

the missing piece of the puzzle that the pisters lost and couldnt find forever and said that whoever found it would be there favorite person ever and they would hang up a picture of them (:
this was at a different ward party. this baby, sorry its blurry. but this baby is probably one of the cutest babies in the world (:
this is our district (:
this awesome poster from walmart that a member hung up in her house!

some of the people in my district at our ward party!

 this is the one that got me those shoes (: