Tuesday, October 27, 2015

october 26, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
So, this week was a pretty fun week! We were tracting in a trailer park this week that we call "the gold mine", since that is like the only place in our area that has a bunch of Hispanics. While we were tracting there one night, the owner ran up to us and started yelling at us saying that he didn't want us there, so we left. But we have like 5 sets of investigators there and had an appointment with one of them the next day. We left to go to the appointment, and as we were walking to the house, we saw the manager driving in again and immediately just ditched our car and began to walk straight to the entrance of the park, and then we started running because we didn't want another confrontation with him again. We were right next to a highway, so we had to walk on the side of the busy road to the light that was just ahead. While we were there at the light, we saw the manager in his truck driving towards us, so we played it cool and just kept looking forward.  We decided that whatever way he was going to go, that we would go the other way and cross the street. So, when he turned left, we decided to go straight instead and keep walking. He turned around and kept following us, but we got away and had some other Elders come pick us up. The sad thing is is that we have almost all of our investigators there, so we have to keep going back! Now, whenever we go there, we have to sneak around the place (;

My favorite part of the entire week was when our zone went to go sing at an old folks home. it was so much fun. We got there a little early and were able to go walk around and talk to the people that were there. They could barely hear us when we were talking to them, so I can guarantee they couldn't understand the words of the hymns we were singing, but you could feel the spirit there so strong. I invited everyone there to just open up their hearts and let the spirit enter in. It was such a cool experience and i loved it. We also ate at an old folks home for dinner with one of our members, so we spent most of that  day with super old people and i loved it(:

On Saturday, we had 4 baptisms in the zone, and Elder Sumner and I decided to go to all of them. We spent about 6 or 7 hours going to baptisms, and each one was such a spiritual experience.  I am going to be so sad when i have to go home and I'm not part of something like this all the time. We get almost numb to these type of things, but I hope I can cherish every moment out here!

This week, my studies were very focused around the sacrament. We listened to a talk by John Bytheway (oh and ps, if you can send me more of his talks, that would be so so awesome, like for Thanksgiving or something, You could even send it early!) about the sacrament and the importance of it. He used church as an acronym and it was awesome. This Sunday was the first Sunday that i had actually been to church in our branch. The first week I was here was General Conference, and the second i was with Elder Carbajal, and then the third it was Stake Conference, and so now, the 4th week, I finally went to the little branch! Elder Sumner and I were asked to speak, and I talked about 3 Nephi 18 about the Sacrament. I have grown such a huge testimony of the Sacrament, and how it represents our Savior. I read in Jesus the Christ about it as well and how Christ is the bread of life. I love it and am so grateful to be able to partake of it every week!
I love you all!
Love, Elder Romney (:

We are carving pumpkins for zone pday, Everyone is here except 4 of the Elders.
It's sunny in the pumpkin patch!
My pumpkin.....isnt it pretty?
Sister Wirick who helped me carve it!
Elder Heywood and I talking to an older lady at the Senior Center. Elder Heywood is one of my favorite elders! He is a state champion wrestler and is going to wrestle for UVU on scholarship when he gets home from his mission.
This is us singing at the Senior Center.

Monday, October 19, 2015

october 19, 2015 letter

Dear family:
This week has definitely been a lot more calm than the week before! There was still a lot that went on, but it was fun to do some of the things that we did (: We went to the temple on Tuesday and had Stake Conference this weekend and had interviews with President Samuelian too. I don't know if I told you this last week, but Elder Sumner and I got a blessings from president after MLC and it was such a cool experience.  I had a lot of questions that I needed answered and the Lord was kind enough to answer them in the blessing. 

I would say that this week was a very good catch-up week and a week to allow me to get my feet back underneath me. One thing that I learned a lot about this week was charity. As I knelt in prayer one night, I prayed for each person in my district and for their investigators and that they would come to baptism. I ended up falling asleep on my knees at my chair and waking up at 11:30 and then I crawled into bed, exhausted. As I prayed, and especially today, I felt love for each missionary so much more than ever before. It's true what Paul said in Corinthians, "If ye have not charity, ye are nothing." That is my goal, and the thing that I want to work on more this week, gaining charity. Along with your love for Jesus Christ, charity gives you the extra drive you need, and makes the work so much easier. 

I had a lot of questions I was seeking answers for this week, and I'm so grateful that the Lord answered them for me. I'm sorry that I don't have much time to write today.  There were some other crazy things that happened involving stuff I can't really talk about, but all in all it was a great week. We also interviewed 4 people for baptism, and I got to personally interview 2 of them and it was awesome. I love the mission and I know the work is hastening. I know I don't have too much time here, but I'm doing my best to push harder and fully consecrate myself to His work. I love you all! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Love, Elder Romney(:

P day!

At the temple with Elder Sumner
On the way to the temple with Elder Heywood and Elder Sumner. Elder Heywood is a stud! Haha

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

october 12, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
Where do i even start with this week?? It has been one of the most crazy weeks that I have had on my mission! 

This week we had two of our big meetings, MLC and ZTM, MLC is the one with all of the zone leaders and ap's and then ZTM is the one that we run. So I was busy,running around doing all of that, but they were some awesome meetings!! We learned that right now the mission is faithful, but not full of faith. meaning we are doing everything that we are supposed to do, but we aren't doing it with charity and with faith. So we focused a lot on that in ZTM. I personally trained on using the Book of Mormon in finding people and teaching them. Just before it was my turn to train, I felt the impression that i needed to also talk about a talk in general conference called 'It works wonderfully". I loved that one because one of the points in it is, "start where you are". I felt the zone needed to know that it didn't matter where their testimony of the Book of Mormon was at right now, they could "start where they were this moment". I invited them to write their testimony in the Book of Mormon and then hand it out that day. And then my other invitation was to always, always have a Book of Mormon in their hands and expect to hand it out to someone in need. They all accepted it and are excited! 

Earlier in the week I got a message from Elder X saying that Elder Y was having a really hard time. Elder Y was told that his scholarship to run at Ohio State would be taken away if he didn't go home and take the scholarship right now. On the way home from MLC I got permission to stop by their apartment at about 10:30to see how Elder Y was doing and he just kind of brushed it off like nothing had happened. Then he called me later that night, saying how grateful he was for being my companion and was grateful for my example, but that he was going to go home. I tried to talk to him on the phone, but he wouldn't talk very much. I made him promise that he would at least let me go on an exchange with him before he left and he said he wasn't sure. On Friday night, I got a text from him saying that he was going home and that if I want to go on an exchange with him, it would have to be that night. so I got permission from the mission president and the ap's to go to another zone and go on an exchange with him. I was thinking that i would only be with him for a day, but the president later called me and told me that I would stay with him for a little longer, even a couple of weeks if I had to. So when I got there I only had one shirt and a change of garments and one tie and no suit for Sunday. so I had to borrow Elder X's suit! This experience was one of the hardest things I've done! i don't know that I've ever relied so much on the spirit as to what I was supposed to say. I honestly did all that I could to persuade him and we stayed up until about 12:30 in the morning talking. I felt more of the Saviors love at that time than ever before. I felt the distinct impression that I was doing exactly what the Savior would do if he was here. That next day, we worked so hard. I've honestly never seen so many miracles in one day. I won't go into a bunch of detail with them, but we put someone on date for baptism in the morning at the church, and then we taught a lesson to a less active family that went super well and they said they would come to church on Sunday.  Then we met a Hispanic guy outside of his house and ended up just asking him if we could walk in and we taught the entire family as they sat in the living room and they accepted to come to church and to read from the Book of Mormon.  There were many other miracles that day, but the biggest one, and probably one of the biggest miracles that I've seen happen on my entire mission, was from a homeless lady. We were late to a dinner appointment and we were running as fast as we could to the car and we ran past this lady sitting on the sidewalk and a hispanic lady cutting down some branches. We yelled "hola" to the lady and kept running. We heard from behind us, "hey, are you mormons"?! and we stopped and turned around and it was the homeless lady on the sidewalk. She said, "I have to tell you a few things". In my mind I was thinking, "aww man, she is about to rail on us and the church, and we don't have time for this". But we went over and started talking to her. She just had lost her house a while ago because she had several heart surgeries that cost her 3 million dollars in the end with all of the bills and she had gotten robbed just weeks before in her home. So she has nothing now. She said that she hadn't showered in 45 days and that she just wanted to be done with everything. She told us that she used to be a member, but fell away and told us how sad she was because of it. My heart was broken and I felt so bad for her. Her son couldn't even help her. We told her we wanted to teach her and help her, but she said that she wouldn't be here in a couple days. We weren't sure what that meant exactly. But we tried as hard as we could to persuade her to not give up, and knelt behind her on the side of the road and gave her a blessing. She grabbed our hands and began to cry as we gave her the blessing. The biggest part  of this miracle is what she said to Elder Y. I had been praying for a way to help Elder Y that whole day. This lady took his and said, "Don't ever give up, even if you save one soul like mine, it's worth it". Elder Y and I almost began to cry. I got the very distinct impression when she was talking to Elder Y that she was sent from God to be in that position at that time and that the Savior was talking through her directly to Elder Y to let him know that he can do it. I also got the impression that, that lady will be blessed for helping one of His disciples and that God would be merciful to her. 
It was an amazing day, and it was so hard. Elder Y ended up deciding that he still wanted to go home. It broke my heart, but I hope the best for him. It taught me a lot about what it will be like when i have kids. I just need to be patient and long-suffering and do everything I can to help them. 

One really fun thing was that I got to go to a baptism up in Woodburn because i was in Keizer on that exchange. it was so good to see everyone and everyone was so surprised to see me! It was a great boost, and I loved it (: 

I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney (:

Playing soccer with some little kids!
My zone. We are the biggest in the mission at 26 missionaries!

Doing some service.

At the baptism
We all sang at MLC
At MLC. Elder Joly became AP last week! I love him, and he is my brother in the mission, meaning we were both trained by Elder Ashcraft

 Here I am with two of my former companions, Elder Perryman and Elder Carbajal, along with my former Branch President and his wife.

Monday, October 5, 2015

october 5, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
Well, a lot have changes have happened since I last talked to you guys! I packed up my stuff and moved all the way to the other side of the mission down south, and it's definitely a lot different down here. My companion's name is Elder Sumner and he is a super awesome guy. He grew up in Virginia and then lived a couple of years in Utah before his mission. We white-washed into a new area, which means that we are two completely brand new elders in a new area, so we have no investigators and we don't know the members. I've done this once before with elder Carbajal when I trained him, and its always an adventure! 

This area that we went into was just created, and we had to decide the boundaries. Previously we just had sisters that served in the Spanish branch down here, but they said they had enough work, and that they could use another set of missionaries. so we opened a new Spanish area, and Elder Sumner and I filled that area. We are still serving as zone leaders, just as the only completely Spanish zone leaders, other than the zone leaders over Zarahemla (that is the completely Spanish zone i was first in). It has been a lot of fun, and we have just been tracting a lot and having a lot of meetings. It's nice being back in the Spanish culture; they just seem to have a more open heart to the gospel. These past couple days, all we have had are copies of the Book of Mormon, and that is all that we have been using to tract. We have found some pretty solid people and we are really excited for them! 

This week was amazing because of General Conference. There were so many messages that helped me focus more on my purpose as a missionary. One of my favorite talks of all the sessions was the one about "What Lack I Yet?". I feel, as a missionary, that I still lack many things, and I hope and pray that the Lord will reveal to me the next step that I can take to becoming a better servant of His. That talk had such a great message, as it points us inward on what we need to change. Not what our surroundings need to change, not what the people around us need to change, not anything like that. It reminds me a lot of the talk, "Lord is it I?" 

 I also loved the talk about centering your life on Christ, like a potter does when he is "throwing" clay. I did a lot of that in high school, and I could totally relate to them when they said they couldn't make anything without it being perfectly centered. When it was perfectly centered, you could make it into exactly what it needed to be. That's how it is with Christ; He will make us into exactly what we need to be.  

One of the sweetest things of that conference was the talk by President Monson. As he spoke, he conveyed many things, one of them being that doubt and faith can't exist in the mind at the same time. I learned a lot from that talk, but the biggest thing that I learned from that talk was- to "waste and wear out  my life in the service of God". President Monson truly has no guile in him, and as I sat and watched him struggle to speak from the pulpit, it gave me all the more love and confidence in him that he is a prophet of God. I know that he is, with all of my heart, and I will follow his counsel, for I know that it comes from God. I know without a doubt that, as he spoke over the pulpit, the spirit of God carried him through it. I love that man. I know that he is a man and that he is not perfect, but I have the utmost confidence that he will lead me to the promised land. 

My birthday was a lot of fun. I didn't really tell anyone it was my birthday, just my companion. We went on just like any other day and I loved it. After the first session on Saturdaywe went to go and talk to people in a trailer park, and as we were leaving, I felt the impression to go and talk to a lady. I knew we would be late getting back for the afternoon session of conference, but I knew Heavenly Father had asked me to go and talk to that lady. So when the 3 new apostles were called in this dispensation, I wasn't sitting in someones home or at the church building;  I was talking to a family and preaching the gospel to them. Nothing spectacular came out of it, but I am so glad that I could be doing the Lords work when that amazing moment happened. I love being on my mission and I hope that I can, just as Thomas S. Monson has done, waste and wear out my life in the service of God. I know this church is true and that it is led by a prophet of God. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen
I love you all!
Elder Romney

My new companion, Elder Sumner, and me