Tuesday, December 29, 2015

december 28, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
It was an awesome week this week! We were able to teach a lot of people, and we feel that we have found people that could be ready for baptism. But first off, it was fun to go to Forest Grove for one of the Christmas concerts. You could feel the spirit really strong there and while I was up there in the choir singing, I made eye contact with T! Do you remember him? He was that young 14 year old boy that I baptized when we first got into Forest Grove. Haha right after the concert he came right up and we were able to talk for a little bit. It is awesome to see converts of the church that are still going strong in the gospel. He was talking about how well he was doing and how he had been ordained as a teacher. We talked about a mission, but he said that he didn't know if he was going to go, because he had gotten accepted into some group that is ridiculously hard to get into and he doesn't know if his parents would let him get out of it. He said he wanted to do it for a few years and then leave on a mission. He and his sister would both be awesome missionaries. But it was nice to talk to him and some of the old ward members there in Forest Grove. Sadly some of our other investigators weren't able to come. But during lunch just before the concert, I was able to meet an 18 or 19 year old young Hispanic man who had just been baptized a month or so ago. We hit it off really fast and ended up talking for about 20 minutes. I bore my testimony in the end about going on a mission and you could see the wheels in his head turning and the spirit testifying that it was something he needed to do. He had such a light about him and thanked me for bearing my testimony about going on a mission, so I gave him my mission email and home email and told him to write me when he found out where he was going to go on his mission, and he had promised to do it. 

The next day on Tuesday, we went to Salem for the other concert. After the concert we went on exchanges with the missionaries in Lebanon, Elder Heywood and Elder Floisand. I stayed down there in Lebanon with elder Heywood while Elder Floisand came up here with Elder Joly. It was soo much fun to be with Elder Heywood.. He is just a stud and was a 4A state champion wrestler!  We decided that we were going to be really good friends after the mission(: But we saw so many miracles during that exchange!  It had been a while since I had been able to go on an exchange and it was a lot of fun to be able to go out there and work the entire day on just missionary work! We  invited someone to be baptized and they said yes, and then we had found like 3 or 4 new investigators. We were walking past a house, and I had gotten the impression to knock it, but for some reason i ignored it for a minute or so, and then turned to Elder Heywood and was like, we need to go back! haha It ended up being a family that just moved in like 4 months ago and would love to hear about the Book of Mormon. It was awesome. I had missed doing things like that!  I feel like I had gotten in a rut and just needed to be shaken a little bit! 

On Christmas eve, I got a phone call from a guy on my phone and it ended up being a 14 year old boy who had been taught by missionaries before and wanted to go to the store with us!  It was kind of weird, but we wanted to meet him, so we accepted! haha We walked around on Christmas Eve through Fred Meyers buying Christmas presents for his mom. Hopefully we will be able to start teaching him and his family. He was very mature for his age. 

Christmas day was a lot of fun because I got to open Christmas presents super early in the morning with all of the elders in Newberg, and then dress up in Santa suits. And then I definitely loved talking to all of you. It was nice to see everyone's faces and hear your voices. When you had called, it left a little bubble on the screen of my phone, and I still haven't erased it, so it looks like you called me every time i look at my phone now (; and i also saved the voicemail!  It was also great to see the kids, and meet little McCoy. He is so tiny!  

On Saturday, We had an awesome lesson with a less active member, and we became really good friends. He is 20 years old and had hit rock bottom and wanted to change. We had such a powerful lesson with him and the YSA elders and he came to church for the first time in like 9 or 10 years! One of our most progressing investigators is married to a member, and we went over to teach her because she is less active, but when we went there, it ended up just turning to him. It was such a powerful lesson and as we talked to him, we realized that he didn't even know if God existed, so the other member we brought with us testified to him that God lives, and that he can gain an answer if he prays to Heavenly Father and asks him. It was so powerful. He used to not even want to listen, but this time he asked us to come over like 2 days later, which is today. We are going to have a lesson with 3 people today even though it is our Pday and I'm super excited for them. I actually have one in like 14 minutes, so I have to go! 

I love you so much and i'm grateful for the opportunity to do missionary work. It is my favorite thing in the world. I know that my Savior lives and that He loves me and all those we meet. I know this church is true and that we have a living prophet that leads and guides it. I know this not through reasoning, but through the Holy Ghost. 
I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney.

Friday, December 25, 2015

december 25, 2015 Christmas Call

Our Christmas call with Elder Romney was fantastic! It was so good to see his face and hear his voice. He is loving serving the Lord and bore his testimony in Spanish for us. The spirit was very strong while talking to him! We love and miss him so much.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

december 21, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
This week was pretty crazy because we had transfers! I had driven and driven and driven some more! haha We had the transfer meeting on Monday and then on Tuesday we had to wake up at 4am and take the returning missionaries to their flight that left around 7 am. We then went into a parking lot of a hotel and parked there and tried to get some sleep, while waiting for the new missionaries to arrive. It's hard for me to sleep when there is so much going on, but I was able to sleep for a little while. 

After that we drove to the temple and showed the new missionaries around the temple. While I was there, I actually saw someone that I played baseball with! His name is Chase Merrill. I think that is how you spell his last name... but apparently he just got to Portland on his mission a couple of weeks ago and it was his day to go to the temple! I was talking with Sister Samuelian and some of the sister missionaries at the temple when I saw him walk by the visitors center and I told them that I just saw someone from home and I would be right back. I walked after him and we kind of looked at each other a little funny, and we were like, "Hey I know you!" haha He is awesome and it was good to see him. I asked him who of everyone in his class had left on a mission and he said that there were actually a lot of people who decided not to go on a mission, which makes me kind of sad, but maybe they are waiting a little bit! It was a fun surprise to see him. 

Then we drove out to the rock and spent some time there, and then came home. haha Every single person had fallen asleep in the car, even my companion! haha. So I was just driving a 12 passenger white van in the pouring rain at night! haha I thought it was kind of fun though. As I was driving I had a really cool experience. Do you remember the girl I took to prom my junior year? Mavanee Mcquivy? she had sent me a pretty cool email this last week about us being like apostles, but with a little "a". As I was driving around I realized what an amazing privilege it was to be driving around servants of the Lord! I was little driving little apostles around Oregon and it made me really happy to be a part of something so great!

I had been struggling for the past little while with having time to actually do missionary work, but there were 2 significant things that happened this week that really changed it around for me and made me feel a lot better. The first was when I went to president's house and he told us what a great job we were doing as assistants, but felt that he wanted us to get out and work as missionaries more. That was awesome! So we are going to be doing less office duties and have more time to go out and work, and I'm so happy about that.  The second thing that I learned with Elder Joly this week was about testifying with our whole heart to each person we meet. We had come to the realization that at times we would bear our testimonies on the street, and yes they were truths that we knew and things that we had a testimony of, but at times it didn't always come from our heart. It's funny, as we have talked to other missionaries about this, they say that it is hard to do that, to put your whole heart out on the line and have a chance for it to be hurt. So I think missionaries all over the world don't always bear testimony with their whole heart until they either know the person, or it is a super spiritual experience. So this past week, we had a couple days that we could work in our area, and we made a commitment to bare sincere, straight from our heart testimonies to every single person we met. member, not member, no matter who it was. I can't even tell you the difference that made. We were having a hard time finding new investigators, but this week we were able to find 8 new investigators, just from changing our approach. We no longer are trying to just connect with the person, we are trying to connect with their Light of Christ. I think I had come to that realization at different points in my mission, but never to this extent. We literally are just trying to connect to the Light of Christ that each person has, as it says in Preach my Gospel! It's funny how the Lord waits until you're almost done with your mission to teach you the important things (; What president has done in the past is that he doesn't have the assistants serve as an assistant all the way until the end of their mission. Each one he has either sent back into the field their last 1 or 2 transfers, or has asked them to train during those last transfers. He does that so we go home on a spiritual high note, I guess you could say. Our mission president really does care about us. So I think that this will be my last transfer with elder Joly, and then I think I will be moved to an English ward for 2 transfers and then be released my last transfer and go and train someone. None of this is set in stone at all, but it's just the feeling that I've had about what may happen. We have a new missionary coming in in May, which would be my last transfer, that is straight from Mexico, and I would love to train him. Things are starting to look up, and like I will be able to do some real work in my area (: and I think I will be out in the field again my last transfer which would be awesome!

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

Oh and please tell Em and Sara that I am so sorry I can't email them today. I have to leave in like 3 minutes to go up to Forest Grove for the Christmas concert.  I love you all and I will see you at noon my time, 1 your time on Christmas! 
I love you! And tell Sara congratulations!! (:

My district!! 

The one laying down in front is my district leader.

I saw A at transfer meeting and Hermana Hedges went home.  You will have to let me know if she contacted you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

december 14, 2015 letter

Elder Romney has been very busy as an AP and was preparing transfers this coming week. Because of this, he just sent a short message saying he was doing well but didn't have time to write. He's keeping busy and loving it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

december 7, 2015 letter

Dear Family:
Well, this week was a very tiring week! There were quite a few days that we had to spend all day in the mission office trying to figure out some things about transportation and sending out long emails and such. There were a couple times where, at the end of the day, my head hurt so bad from trying to figure things out! We had stayed up until 12:30 one of the nights, to send out information and and try to figures some things out and then get ready for MLC. 

MLC was super cool this month. We got to invite all of the district leaders to come, so it was basically all of the leadership at one meeting! We talked a lot about vision and when we don't have vision, then the people perish, and we talked about exchanges and how those can change peoples lives. I would say that is one of the biggest things to help struggling missionaries, is to go on an exchange with them and go to their area and help look at things differently. 

There was an Elder who called me on Wednesday and told me that he wanted to talk to me. He is someone with whom I have worked before, and helped him get through some pretty hard times.  We sat there on the phone and talked with  him for about an hour trying to help him understand what he needed to do. I love this elder and its hard to see him struggling so much, but hopefully the things that we asked him to do will help a lot. 

It's been hard to write lately, because all of the days have just seemed to mesh together and i can't even remember anything anymore! But this week we set up all of the exchanges that we are going to go on with all of the zone leaders, of all 9 zones. We sat down and pulled out a calendar and it was weird to see everything planned out all the way until February. We are filled with meetings and dropping off missionaries at the airport and picking them up and doing training's and a whole lot of things, and then we have to fit in all of the exchanges. We made it a goal to go on an exchange with each companionship once a transfer, and that is going to be quite the task since we also have to hold meetings and man the office, so we will see how this goes(; 

Its been amazing to see all of the changes that the people in the mission have made, and last month we baptized the most that we have all year! haha I was talking to Daniel Jensen, and he said that they baptize that many in a week... hahaha but its kind of funny (: With the new change of how long English missionaries stay in the MTC from 2 weeks to 3 weeks, my return date will be moved back a week two, so that means that i will get to stay for another week out here!   I've realized that I am going to miss the mission a ton. Tonight we are having 4 missionaries come from the Bend and Redmond areas and stay with us, So it is going to get crazy in the apartment here pretty soon (: 

Sorry for all of the mixed thoughts today.  It's been hard to keep all my thoughts together, let alone write them down! I should probably get better at writing in my journal so i can remember things (: But I love you all, and ps thanks for John Bytheway cds! They have been awesome and I love them to death. 
Love, Elder Romney (:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

november 30, 2015 letter

 Dear Family:
It was fun to have thanksgiving out here on the mission! We had 3 different families and taught non members in two of the three. All of the food was super good, and we got stuffed really fast. 

This week we were actually able to teach some of our investigators and it was so much fun. Not being able to have as much time to work with our investigators makes us want to work with them even more. We whitewashed into the area, so we didn't really have any investigators when we came in, but we have been able to find some new ones and have felt the spirit incredibly strong with them. We feel that there are some of them who could be baptized in December and some that could be baptized in January. We are hoping that we can pull down the powers of Heaven and help them to come unto Christ. We have met a couple of girls who just have the light of Christ radiating from them. We are teaching Ashley and Mari who are awesome and have both showed an interest in coming to church. 

The best part of the week was at the end when we taught this family. They invited us to come in  the evening, and we could tell the dad was prepared, but we for the life of us couldn't feel what we should teach. When he had gotten up to get water, Elder Joly and I turned to each other and asked, "what should we teach??"  We finally felt that we needed to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon with him and ask him to read from it. As we began to read from it, he told us that he had read from a lot of it already and knew and felt that it was true, and that he knew that Jospeh Smith was a prophet. We asked him to be baptized, and he said that he would eventually be baptized with his family. They are a family of 5, and we are excited to keep teaching them! 

It was also a lot of fun to help president put up his tree that was super super massive! Things are going really well here and we are excited to see the progression of the mission! 
I love you!
Love, Elder Romney (: