Tuesday, March 31, 2015

march 30, 2015 letter

Dear family,
I am super excited for these upcoming few weeks. This week is going to be so awesome. We are all guessing that in this conference or in the ones to come will be some huge announcements because of the huge push to listen to the prophet and how the current prophet takes precedence over what has been said before. In this last April's Liahona there is an article that talked about the prophet and that how the prophet's revelations always supersede the prophet before him. The way they explained that is that Adam didn't receive revelation on how to build Noah's ark. So we are really expecting some kind of big change within these next few general conferences. I also do expect a huge push on the internet and that a lot of talks will be based on pushing the gospel out onto the internet, so i will be excited to hear those. I've really never been so excited to listen to the prophets and apostles speak! 

Also in the next couple weeks we will be able to go to the temple and I cant wait for that. I wish I could just live there all day everyday. and when I get home, I want to try and go once or twice a week if possible and keep it that way for the rest of my life! And Mother's Day is coming up soon, crazy huh? I'll be able to call back home in almost a month, and by that time I will have been out just about a year. Time is flying out here, but I love it and I couldn't be happier. Looking back, my life in the past just seems kind of like a blur, and i hope that I can come home as someone changed and someone who is more humble and willing to look to the Lord in all things

We had an awesome lesson the other day a man. The brother that is going to baptize him is his boss and is in the English ward. He went to the McAllen Texas Spanish speaking mission, so he can help us teach. We taught this man about tithing and fasting and he agreed with it and promised to follow it. They are really so willing to follow whatever the Lord asks them to do. And at the lesson, we got him to officially ask the brother/boss if he would baptize him and his wife. Ahh it was so awesome! (: And then we were able to teach them about the Sabbath day and word of wisdom and they wholeheartedly committed to following it always. The other day it was fast Sunday and he fasted for the first time in his life. When the sacrament was passed, he asked if he could take that or if it would break his fast. Haha he really is the best. I would love for you all to meet him someday. He is so sweet and kind of shy and just wants to be a part of this gospel. His brother just moved from mexico to molala, which is sadly out of the mission, but we are hoping to get his brother to his baptism! Then he would see that all of his family here are members and hopefully he will want to be baptized as well!! 

This was a super awesome week of being able to give a bunch of blessings and randomly knocking on a potential investigators house and her telling us that she had surgery on her back and then giving her a blessing right there. And then being able to teach at church in gospel principles class about the priesthood. I really am so thankful for the priesthood and the blessings that it brings. I also shared that I am so thankful that I always had a worthy father who held the priesthood and was able to give me blessings of comfort, peace, protection, and health whenever I asked him and whenever I was in need of one. I am so thankful for him giving me that example of how a dad should be, and I am always trying to be as selfless as he was with me, like giving me everything he had, even the last bites of his favorite foods, and his shoulder (from helping me with sports) and all the time in the world. I can't thank my parents enough for that. I can't wait for this week and the following weeks to come!! 
Happy Easter!!!! 
Love, Elder Romney (:

Our zone went to the huge tulip festival they have here in Oregon
The tulip tractor
All of the zone on the tractor at the tulip festival
At the tulip festival

Elder Anzures and me....This picture is like the one we took at Silver Falls, remember?

Monday, March 23, 2015

march 23, 2015 letter

Dear family:
I wanted to start out with something funny that happened to me the other day. Sometimes we go and play catch with one of the family's c sons and when we were playing I saw this guy riding his bike off in the distance. As he approached, I noticed that the bike looked soo familiar, and when he got right to me I realized that it was my bike... hahaha yeah, so apperantly the other Elders thought I didnt want my bike anymore because it was handed down and was so beat, up so they threw it in the nearby dumpster. and this fortunate Hispanic gentleman found it and took off with it! haha So there goes my bike! It's somewhere lost in Woodburn being riden by a little mexican man(:  I saw him again the other day and thought about tackling him for the bike, but didn't think that would be approriate, and it would probably be more benificial to him, so I let it go (: But i thought that was a funny story and that you would appreciate it! I guess I'll just have to look for another bike now!

And I want to tell you another funny thing. The other day when i was at another family's for dinner with the other elders, she was talking about wanting to go to Utah for sister Kitchen's wedding in August and I told her that she had to run by and say hi to you guys while she was there. I told her that I would give her your numbers so that she could call you anytime and when she got down there she could call you and pass by the house. While I was saving the number in her phone I thought that it said to save as the cellular number, but it actual said to call... so here I am at dinner calling dad. haha I kind of panicked and threw the phone at her and told her to turn it off! haha I definitely didnt want to go through telling president that I was calling my dad at dinner! So thats when she texted you and told you that she was sorry and that she had miss-called by accident. Yea, that was me who accidentaly called you! And I was there the whole time you guys were texting haha, so that was fun (: Oh and if you text her and ask her to send you pictures of noche de hogar and everything, she has a ton of photos and she said that she would send them to you!

A friend is also going to utah here pretty soon in about April or so, and I gave him our address and he said that he wanted to come by. He said that if you were to make a dinner for him, because I told him you would, he said that he would want caserole, funeral potatoes and green jello! haha he said that was his favorite thing in the world and nobody makes it up here. He is our ward mission leader and we are super close! He's probably one of the closest people to me in the branch, so it will be fun to meet him. and he speaks english too, so no worries (: i think he comes down around the 13th of april or so, but i gave him your phone number, so he should call if he is going to be able to make it down to the house (:

On Sunday, after our gospel principals class, i asked a boy to pray infront of the class. Holy cow, he is probably one of the most amazing little boys I've ever met. He is literally 8 going on 40. He acts so mature and wants to go on a mission when he is older. We got him a little future missionary plaque and gave it to him with his awesome suit that he wears to church. He would change lives if he became a member of this church and I cant wait for him and his family to finally accept completely the gospel of Jesus Christ (: Oh, and he executed the prayer perfectly and probably prayed better than anyone could have in the entire class. After he had finished, there was an astonished look on everyone's faces, and everyone kind of just laughed out of shock of how amazing and brave this little boy is. I'll attatch a photo of him and me with his little plaque (:

Recently, we had a meeting where we were talking about leadership and the importance of being one as a companionship, as a district, as a zone and as a mission. That is the big push right now, especially with the ipads we're getting and everything. They gave examples of good unity and bad unity so that people will kind of get the grasp of what it means and feels like to be part of something that is united as one, under a leader who has a vision that helps them be one. The whole time I was just thinking, I already know what it feels like to be part of a team where everyone is completely united and the leaders had a vision and pushed you.  I remember that I was was part of a group like that from 5th grade to 9th!  I've been reflecting a lot back on those few years that I played football with coach Joe and Ryan and all of my team. We were 18 little boys, but we were one in heart. Whenever someone flat backed one of us, we went up to our player, and said "no worry, i'll knock the snot out of him, because nobody hits my brother". Or when someone couldnt finish the run in practice, we all ran back to help him. And when someone fell down, they had 18 brothers right next to them, who loved them and supported them. I truly miss that team and the amazing leadership that we had with Joe and Ryan. I wouldn't be the person I am today without them. They truly loved me and every single one of us individually and that is what motivated us to work so hard and be united as one. When i think of a leader I think of them, and want to be like them. I don't think they'll ever really realize how big of an effect they had on a group of 18, 11 year olds. I miss being a part of something like that, and hope to strive to have a district and a mission and one day a family of my own like that. I want to be united as one with those around me. And just like Shadrack Meeshack and Abendigo, when they were one, Christ was with them. Especially with how crazy and hectic the world is getting, theres never been a more important time than now to be one and have Christ in our midst.

I love you all!
Love Elder Romney

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

march 16, 2015 letter

So this week, i just basically just wanted to focus on one day in particular which was Sunday. So I'll tell you the events leading up to this day. 

I have worked with this family for the longest time, ever since I got here.  They are members that were baptized a year or so ago.  It was super hard for the father because he didn't feel worthy to receive the priesthood because he is illiterate and felt that it wasn't his time to get the priesthood. But through Pres. Pister following the Spirit, and basically telling him it was time, and he needed to accept the Priesthood.  He got the Priesthood and has changed in amazing ways ever since. But probably one of the most amazing things that happened this week was his opportunity to baptize his son. But on to my story leading up to it.... I was cleaning the chapel on Sat. morning and Sister McCrite came up to me and said, "you're playing the piano at the baptism because I have to sing along with all the other sisters...."  Haha  So I offered to do it and in a half hour i had to learn all of the song "when i am baptized". It's a good thing I practiced so many times back at home on youtube, or i never would have gotten it down!  But that is just a side story, the really crazy part was that the day of the little boys baptism we were all super nervous, because we weren't sure if it was really going to go through or not, but we kept that Brother in our prayers.  During the Sacrament meeting he had gotten up and looked at Jorge and me and said "ya me voy" which means that he was leaving. We didn't take much thought of it as he always had to leave with his kids to take them to the bathroom or something. Then, in the middle of one of the talks, Pres. Pister signaled to me and told me to come to him, so i got up and went over to him. he told me "go find that Brother and make sure that he is okay and that he remembers the baptismal prayer and how to do the baptism." So off I went with one of the members to go and find him. We literally went around the church three times and checked every room and couldn't find him. I finally just came back and sat down in Sacrament meeting and just looked at Pres. Pister and just shrugged my shoulders with disappointment. All the hard work that we had gone through to get him to do the baptism was just gone and it was heart wrenching for the both of us. Jorge told me that he wanted to go and look for him one more time, so we got up and left again.  After the first circle around the building, we saw him coming back in through the doors! Ahh I was so happy! So we quickly went over the baptismal prayer with him. It was super tough for him, because he is completely illiterate so he had nothing to go off of but just his own memory. He was struggling a little bit, but it sounded like he would make it through after a try or two in the font. I went and told Pres. Pister that he had come back and that the baptism was still on. I was given the assignment to be the guy behind everything running around making sure he had clothes and making sure the font was filled and the chairs were set and everything was set so that it would be a smooth transition from Sacrament meeting to the baptism.  Everything was great and he said the prayer amazingly and did everything perfect the first time!! I was sad that I didn't actually get to see the baptism because I was still in the back doing some things, but it doesn't really matter, I'm just happy that he got to baptize his son!  Then after they had all gotten changed I had to play the piano while all the sisters sang. I struggled a little bit the first verse because I didn't have much time to prepare, but thankfully I nailed the second verse so we ended on a high note (:   This week was super cool and i loved seeing someone that I've worked so long with progress so much to the point that he was baptizing his son! 

After the baptism Pres. Pister came up to me and told me that it would be best to move the baptism for that couple I mentioned last week either up a week or back a week, (because it had been planned for Easter Sunday, which is also General Conference weekend), and we decided it best to move it up and not try to push the date back later. I walked up to him and asked him, "So how would you feel about changing your baptism date to the 29th instead?", and he said that he would love to, so we are super super excited for him! Now we just have to get him completely ready, so please keep Elder Carbajal and me in your prayers and also them so that everything will go smoothly and that we will help them be ready for baptism in two weeks (: 

This work is hastening and we don't have time to mess around. Just like the scripture says in 1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.". We don't have time to be a child anymore, because the Lord didn't save the weak to come for the last days. Something that pres. Samulien has told us repeatedly is that the stippling warriors would have chosen to fight their battles against those incredibly awful and vicious men over and over again before they would want to fight against what we have to in these last days. The Lords work is hastening and if we aren't ready for it, he will come like a thief in the night and we'll wish we had prepared, just as the virgins with the olive oil. We honestly don't have time.
I love you all!
Love Elder Romney(:

Elder Ashcraft and his family.  He trained Elder Perryman, Elder Joly and me, and I'm training Elder Carbajal.

the family at the baptism (:

Monday, March 9, 2015

march 9, 2015 letter

This week was super good, the only bad thing was that on Saturday, we had 7 member presents set up, which has to be some kind of record for this mission. but sadly almost all of them fell through.  We ended up losing 2 of them due to sickness and more due to members not being able to go at the last minute, but it was still super good none the less!

Some exciting news is that we put a man and his wife on date to be baptized the first Sunday of April!!(: We had given them 3 nephi 11 which talks about how we need to be baptized, and when we asked him this last lesson how his reading was, he said that he really liked it and realized that he needed to be baptized. We are only ever able to see him once a week, so keep us in your prayers that we will be able to teach him everything in 4 more lessons before his baptism and that they will be ready for it! We are super excited for them (:

We had a meeting on Sunday after church where the District leaders and Zone leaders and STL's got together and discussed the needs of the zone. We had graphs and everything printed off of the last year and this year and everything. I was looking at the numbers and pointed out that all of the things are completely backwards.  When we had the most member presents in the month, we had the least baptisms, when we had the least at church we had the most baptisms, and that was so dumbfounding because that went against absolutely everything that we had been taught as missionaries.  We went back and forth with a bunch of ideas as to why the numbers were this way. It was a huge roller coaster back and forth, back and forth of what we could do. and we finally figured it out. The baptisms shot up when we had gone back to the basics. When we made a push for the basics and didn't try to create some crazy plan or idea to fix things, everything improved. It was when we went back to the basics of missionary work that our numbers skyrocketed. So we will be making a huge surge in the next few district meetings and zone meetings on going to the basics, which is in the 12 week training book. (which you probably don't know what that is, but its basically what we use to train the greenies). 

I was thinking about it and wondered why the Lord let us go through that crazy roller coaster ride just to realize that it was the basics that are important? I realized that it was Heavenly Father showing us that it really is the basics that we need to come back to. There doesn't need to be some crazy plan. One thing that I have learned on my mission is that God is a God of simplicity. That's it. He doesn't try to trick us or make things complicated or anything like that. It's straight forward and to the point. I've also learned that God is all powerful and that he literally just wants to give us blessings. He wants to pour blessings out on us. It doesn't take away from his power or drain some "energy source" by giving us blessings. So literally he just wants to bless us all the time, and we are just too blind to realize it sometimes. Whenever we give up something for Him, He will give you something sooo much more than what you had given him because he loves us, and he can. I love it! the Lord has blessed me so much and I love being out on my mission more than anything and I love coming so close to my Savior!
 I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney (:

Eating (:

At a service project making a "tree house" for a member(: 
We are making cement in this picture!

We went and played Frisbee golf today (:

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

march 2, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
So, basically my whole entire letter is going to be about my experience on Friday. It was easily one of the craziest and most fun days I've had on my mission, from wanting to punch a hole in something, to being so happy and hugging O in the baptismal font.

All this week we just had been planning on how we were going to get O baptized and if he was going to be able to, or if he was really ready and what not, so that was a pretty crazy process that we had going on with him. On Friday morning around 11 we were in the clerks office working on the papers for O when one of the other Elders called us and said, "are you Elders still at the church?"  We told them that we were and he said... "I need you Elders to do me a huge favor! We have this investigator that wanted to play basketball at the church, and we thought she had canceled on us so we made other plans and we are in a lesson right now, so will you be able to play with her and whoever comes with her?" I told him that we would and waited for her to come. when she arrived she came with her other friend and her mom. Soon after her mom left and we were just shooting some hoops! After about a minute and a half I realized, oh crap, we can't be in here doing this, we are in a room alone with 2 other 14 year old girls and that would look so bad!! so I immediately called Sister Villalobos, because I knew she would have my back and I asked her to drop everything and come to the church right away and she came to save us! She was super awesome and was here within 2 minutes. She saved my life! haha Definitely don't want to be hanging out with some 14 year old girls! 

 We hadn't eaten anything all day because we had been running around so much.  Later that night, about an hour before the baptism, we heard that A was having pizza at her house, so we decided to run as fast as we could and get a couple of slices of pizza and bring them back. We run out to our car and we go speeding off. I am coming up to a light near French prerry middle school and see the left turn light turn yellow, and so with the dad coming out of me and not wanting to be late, I sped up to the light and got it just as it was turning red.  well.. the cop in the other lane didn't think it was too sly and flipped on his lights. haha I was thinking crap... the last thing I want to do before this baptism is deal with the cops.  I wasn't even going to fight it and was just more ticked than anything for him slowing us down. He came up to the car and asked for my license and registration and he looked at my license and said, "Well it may be okay to run red lights in Utah, but here in Oregon, its not" haha so I was like... I'm screwed. He looked at my name and said, "Romney? are you related to Mitt Romney?" I was just hoping and praying he loved Mitt Romney and just said "yes, he's my dads cousin". Immediately after he said, "okay i'm going to my car." I looked at elder Carbajal and said, "Welp, get ready for a ticket, because he obviously wasn't a fan off mitt!" haha We waited about 2 minutes and came back and said, "Here's your warning for the night, drive safely". so good old Mitt saved me from a ticket (: well and obviously my Savior too!  haha

The baptism was super cool because I was able to dress in white and help baptize O.  He was a little bit heftier, so we thought it would be smart to have an extra person in the font.  We said the prayer and It was so awesome to be able to enter the font and help baptize O. I couldn't have been happier after and just gave him a huge hug! However,I didn't anticipate needing a change of garments or shirt... haha Luckily Hermano Pacheco brought me a shirt and I just had to go commando for the rest of the meeting (or in other words without any underwear or anything!) which actually helped me build my testimony of garments and I never want to be without them again because I felt so gross! or maybe it was just because I didn't have any underwear.. haha either way I am always going to wear them and have an extra pair with me!   Then on Saturday we had a huge awesome quincenera for a girl in our ward, so that was fun!  

I love you so much!! 
Love, Elder Romney (:

Before the baptism, with all the people who taught O

After O's baptism

All of the missionaries
Eating after the baptism