Tuesday, April 28, 2015

april 27, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
Well another week has passed up here in Forest Grove! I'm sorry about last week. I dont really know if any of my emails went through or not. We ended up going to the library in Forest Grove and when we got there we only had about 10 or 15 minutes before they closed. Our P day was ending pretty soon, so we didnt have time to go back to Banks and try to get onto those computers so we decided to go to the local McDonalds. When i had finished the first email, it said it wouldn't send... and so we just decided it was best to wait until Monday to email since P day was already almost over. As a result, I dont know what you really got from my last email. but it is so so so beautiful where i am right now, and the ward is awesome.  We have to drive a ridiculous amount since everyone lives so far away.  It's nice to be back in an English ward just because it runs a whole lot smoother and things get done without having to rely on the missionaries to do everything. but i sure do miss my old branch. I'm excited for you guys to come up someday and meet them all. 

This week was really good. we were finally able to get in with the two people from india. and holy cow, they are some of the most brilliant people in the world. She wasn't able to come because she was sick, but we got to meet with him and he already knew everything, and we hadn't even taught it to him yet! He loves loves to read and knows probably more about the gospel than most people in the church do, and he is only 13. We had a really good spirit-led lesson about the restoration, and we asked him questions like if he thought the Book of Mormon was true, and if Joseph Smith is a prophet, and if Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet now and he said yes to all of them. He said that Thomas S Monson has to be a prophet by the way he spoke in general conference. At the end of the lesson we brought up baptism and we asked if he would be baptized, and he said absolutely. We told him that we wanted to set a goal (date) with him of when he should get baptized, but decided it would be best for him to talk to his parents about it first and pray about it to find out when he wanted to be baptized. His comment was that he would, and that he wanted to be baptized very soon, hopefully in May.  I haven't been able to meet specifically with her yet, but I believe she is on the same page as him. We asked him if he would watch the restoration video with her and invite his parents to watch it with him and he said he would. This guy is awesome!! His parents aren't interested, but are completely supportive of them as far as we have heard. He goes home every Sunday and teaches his parents what he learned in church that day. We believe that he will be the way to access his parents... by teaching him the lessons, and then having him go home and teach that lesson to his parents because they are willing to sit down and listen to him. Things are really looking up for them, but keep them in your prayers and pray that their parents will have open hearts to the message and will let him get baptized  pretty soon here. I'll keep you updated on them. As of right now we are only having lessons with them every Sunday after church, but are hoping to change and accommodate to their schedule so we can have two or three lessons with them a week. The members that we are teaching with are awesome and said that their house is open any time and they are willing to support them. 

The members here are willing to do there own missionary work and are open to inviting and sharing the gospel, so we are hoping to capatalize on that amazing blessing from the Lord. I couldnt be more blessed. We are also excited to go to the Visitors Center this Saturday with our other investigator. Her husband is starting to soften up to the message as he sits in on the discussions with us and just listens. She was able to commit him to come to the temple with us, so we changed it from Wed. to Sat. which is super exciting! We are going to go with the Corbridges, who are in our ward. She is also inviting her friends to church and stuff too, so that is super awesome!! 

We wiped out most of our investigator list and are just focusing on those first twe,  as well as the last woman, so keep us in your prayers that we will also be able to find new investigators through our own efforts and through the ward, as well. I'm loving being up here, although it's tough leaving Spanish and that Branch, but i know I'm here for a purpose, and im ready and willing to do all I can to fulfill that!  If the only reason I spent excruciating hours to learn Spanish was for the investigators in my last areas and the little Branch, I'd gladly do it all over again. I feel like my purpose for Spanish has been fulfilled, but excited to see if I'll go back some day, and plan to try and keep my Spanish sharp for when i get home! 

I love you all so much and thank you for all that you do for me, it really means the world. 
Love, Elder Romney (:

It's super pretty here!

lock screen on my ipad

At a district meeting up in Tillamook

Friday, April 24, 2015

april 23, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
It's been a crazy week with all of the changes this past little while! I went from a suburb speaking Spanish to the middle of nowhere speaking English! It was pretty hard at first teaching and speaking in English because I would say my words backwards and stuff. But I got the hang of it after about the first week or so. It was weird because I had to get used to a language and culture that I was already used to it the past! But it was a pretty big culture shock going from my old area to my new one, but I love it here. One of the biggest differences I've seen is the dinners, obviously there is different foods but the etiquette and how you're served and everything is way different. 

Also street contacting is different. With Hispanics it doesn't feel as weird to walk up to someone and just start talking about the gospel, but when it's with Americans.  It's a little more nervracking. Another big change that I have seen is the education level of the people here. All of the people we teach work with Intel and are chemists and stuff, and everyone back in woodburn were lucky if they had finished the 3rd grade! So the conversations are a lot deeper, which at times makes it a little harder to wrap it back around to the gospel, but I'll get the hang of it! 

I can't even tell you how many times I've been asked in this past week how I'm related to mitt Romney... Probably about 20 times a week. I always just say he is my dads cousin, which I know technically isn't really correct... But it's close enough! But can someone find out what our actual relationship with him is? Haha we have an investigator who is absolutely in love with mitt Romney.... Like she worships him and has read every book about him. When we sent her a text and it had our last names in it, she immediately called back and was like, is that a Romney I see on the text?! Haha she freaked out and couldn't wait to meet me! It's a good thing I'm not in Portland, because then I would have to lie and say that I am not related to him because they don't really like him over there!

One thing that I have noticed about myself since I have left in my mission is that before, I didn't really like to read or anything like that, but since having been out here I'm like a sponge for information! I love sitting down and talking with the people here. There are some brilliant people here and it's fun to talk and learn from them during dinner and things like that. I've had this new hunger of wanting a ridiculous amount of information in my head and I just want to study everything, but don't have the time for it. So you best be saving up some good books for me when I get back home (; 

So, we have one investigator who is progressing really well and we are taking her to the temple next Saturday and that will be fun and then we are teaching 2 Indian kids (from India) and they are incredibly intelligent and have already read the Book of Mormon and are reading it to their friends at school and they are 14 and 15. We plan to baptize them in the next month or so. The ward here is awesome and they are super missionary minded, so we plan to capatalize on that as much as possible.

Things are going awesome here and I'm loving it and being a zone leader is such a blessing and I love serving those around me! 

I love you all so much! Love elder romney(:

On an exchange with Elder Allridge!

This is how all the roads are here.... so pretty!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

april 13, 2015 letter

Dear family:
Well this week has probably been one of the most emotional weeks that I have had in a long time. I got a call this last week from president that I was called to be a zone leader in an english area. I am so happy to go and serve the missionaries out there, but it is so hard to leave everyone here. The best way to explain it is that I feel like I'm going out on my mission all over again. This literally became my home and the people here became my family. Saying goodbye to them has been heartbreakening, but I know that the Lord has a purpose for me to leave. With this new calling it means I will be teaching in English. I am sad about that because my Spanish had gotten to the point that I could explain exactly what I wanted to say and I felt comfortable teaching in it, and then I get called back to English. It's okay though, I have faith that I did my work out here that the Lord wanted me to do and there are some people in this new area that need me and I'm excited to go and find them! 

It was pretty tough saying goodbye to the people here, though. The other day in the gospel principles class they were talking about me leaving and two investigators hadnt found out yet, and you should have seen the sadness in there faces, it was so sad! I promised to stay in contact with them and gave them my email address. I truly do love them. They will get sealed in the temple next June in 2016 and I want to come back for it. They said that they would save me a spot there, so I cant wait! I hope that I get home before they get sealed so I can come back and go to the temple with them!! 

The baptism of those two was amazing. Again, I was running and running around and literally was busy till the point that they stepped in the water, and I loved it. I love being busy out of my mind and helping things go just right. It was so awesome because this time I stood in the back with her while her husband was baptized and then stood in the back with him while she got baptized. They are going to be an amazing family. I havent met a family who was so ready to be baptized and who is going to be able to help this church so much. They have such a strong testimony, and my hope and dream is that they both keep that for the rest of their lives. They plan to go back to Mexico in a while because they have a 4 year daughter there right now, so I am hoping they will stay here long enough to get sealed, and then be able to go back and help the people there in Mexico! I love this work so much, I cant even begin to tell you. The love I have for these people is what keeps driving me. 

The other night when I said goodbye to O, he offered the prayer and cried during the whole thing, wishing that I could stay, and blessing me with safety and comfort in whatever place I go. And we just went to a members house and they both wanted to offer prayers for me and they, too, cried during both of their prayers, thanking Heavenly Father for the oppurtunity to get to meet me and have me teach them. I love these people so much, it feels like I am leaving home again, but I'm ready for whatever the Lord has in store for me!

 This week was super good, lots of emotions from leaving and having the baptisms. But to sum it all up, it's been one of the best weeks I've had on my mission. 
I love you so much! 
Love, Elder Romney.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

april 7, 2015 letter

To the Family
So this is a pretty exciting week this week because we were able to get the ipads. Just in the few days that they have trained us on it, I can really see how much the hand of the Lord has been in this to hasten His work. It will bring a new light into missionary work. They made it very clear to us that the ipads were only just another tool in our tool shed, Just like preach my gospel and the scriptures and the white handbook and cellphones and cars are. They are all just tools. We wouldn't use a saw to try and hammer in a nail, as well with with the tools in our mission, They all have a purpose. We have to be able to learn which one to use and how to use it, or we will be sitting there frustrated trying to screw in a screw with sand paper. I am so greatful that i was sent to this mission just for this reason. the ipads. And no, not because i needed or wanted technology or because I think it would be more fun, but because of the amazing benifits that it will have for me and my family after my mission. A lot of the things that we learn on our mission are just so we can be better parents and have a more succesful family. Getting these ipads and recieving training on them will be able to help me when i get home. no longer, like this generation is so accustomed to, will technology be used as an outlet for anger, for boredom, or just to get out of the world. Too many families are distroyed by technology because they dont know how to use it right, they can't communicate anymore, or are too distacted by it.  I am glad that I am recieving this training so that I can apply it into my life when I get home and at some future point, I'll be able to teach my children how to correctly use technology to better their lives. I now know that is one of the reasons I was sent to this mission, to overcome technology. I love what the church is doing. Instead of hiding from the descructive power of the internet, they're saying "Bring it on." We aren't running from the enemy, we aren't running from pornography, and we aren't running from anti-mormon posts; we are taking it head on.

Easter was so super good! We watched the first session at a house in Spanish, and the best way that I could explain watching conference in spanish was like reading a textbook. You read it and you understand the point of it and understand most all of the words, but it just doesnt penetrate into your heart like you want it to. But it was a good experience none the less, I just would prefer to actually here their voices. The second session we watched with at another home and that was a good experience. Priesthood session we just watched at the church with the other elders and then the final two session we watched at the Branch Presidents house which was really nice.  We invited some investigators over to a member's house to help them get new friends in the ward and it ended up being super super successful! They ended up staying at their house for 12 hours, watching conference and eating and talking. They are doing awesome and are really so ready and prepared for this gospel. Tonight we are going over the baptism questions with them and then tomorrow they are having the interview and then thursday we have a lesson to cover a couple more things like temples and stuff, but that should be an easy transition. We are so so excited for their baptism this sunday, please keep them all in your prayers that they will be able to stay strong and perseverar hasta el fin! 

It was a pretty tough week at the beginning because a lot of lessons that we had planned had ended up fallng through, but it ended on a high note with conference and the upcoming baptism this next week (: 
Love, Elder Romney.