Wednesday, January 6, 2016

january 4, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It was a really good week full of miracles! I have been loving being able to get out there and just teach. That is probably one of my favorite things in the world. It is still a little nerve wracking at times even though I have been out for a year and a half, but I absolutely love it. I had a missionary ask me this last week what my favorite thing to do in the mission was, and I told them that my absolute favorite thing to do in the mission is to ask people to be baptized. I love the rush of adrenaline that comes from it, and the spirit that enters into the room. Sometimes we forget about how big of a question that is.. We are basically asking them to change their life completely to be in accordance with God, and to live that way for the rest of their lives. I used to be really disappointing in myself when people would say no, but I've come to better understand agency and the role that it plays, and I know that if I don't ask them it will deny them the opportunity to use the atonement. I love the way a missionary explained it in Zone Training Meeting this last week. He compared sharing the gospel to orange juice. He said that if you were at home and you were drinking a glass of orange juice and your friend walked in but you didn't want to offer him some orange juice because you were afraid he wouldn't like it and would be offended. That would be a pretty ridiculous assumption right? It is, to a much larger scale, a lot like sharing the gospel. If we don't ask them to be baptized, or don't ask them to take the lessons, or to come to church because we are afraid they will be offended, its frankly a bad assumption! But I would have to say that, that is my favorite part of being on a mission, the rush and spirit that you get as you lean forward and ask someone to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. 

I went on two different exchanges this week. I went on one with a set of zone leaders and I got to stay up in my area in Newberg. We had a great day and we were able to teach a bunch of people. At the end of the night, we drove 15 minutes to a city called Dayton, which is actually where my church building is for the Spanish branch, YSA branch, and another English branch. We went there to teach some potential investigators that we had found. They didn't answer, so we felt the impression to knock a couple of the apartment doors around it. We knocked on 2 others and nobody answered, but on the 3rd one, a Hispanic guy with his shirt off answered the door. He told us we could come in. He was there with his wife that he had just gotten married to a year before. We pulled up some chairs and began to teach them the restoration, and the spirit was so strong there. They have a 7 year old little girl who they just want to give the best of everything. He was looking for worldly ways to give her the best, but we boldly testified to him that there is no school, or job, or money that could do better for his daughter, than to be a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit immediately filled the room and he couldn't speak. It was so amazing to see him trying to rationalize, but as we bore testimony to him, the spirit bore witness to him that what we were teaching was true. We asked them to be baptized, and they said they would, if they came to know this was the true church. Fast forward 4 days, I am on an exchange again, and we are planning for our next lesson for them and decide to ask them to be baptized on a specific date. We took our branch president's wife with us and it was an amazing lesson, again accompanied by the Spirit. We asked them to be baptized on January 30th, and they accepted to prepare for baptism on that day. 

I was on an exchange that day with a struggling missionary. I was also sick to my stomach for the first time on my mission. Normally I am just sick with a headache or a stuffy nose, but I have never been sick to my stomach on my mission, and it wasn't fun. You know how I am when i get stomach sick......I'm just like Dad!  I would probably rather have a broken bone than to be sick like that!  There was another elder that was sick in the zone, and we were just going to have our companions go together, but I got the distinct impression as I prayed about it that I needed to stay with the struggling missionary and I just needed to tough it out. I got a blessing and was able to push through the day. Sister C, one of the sisters in the branch is my mission mom out here in Newberg, kind of like A was, or like L was in Forest Grove. Haha she made me some special kind of herbal tea at dinner that helped a lot! When we come back you will have to meet her....she is so so awesome and actually reminds me a lot of you mom!

On Sunday, it snowed for the first time in this part of Oregon in two years! It was the first time that I had seen snow in a long time! I had to drive to Dayton in a mini van and there was a lot of ice, so that was a little scary. A lot of the wards got cancelled, and it was like no snow at all, compared to Utah!  But I guess they don't really take care of the roads here very well when it snows and nobody knows how to drive in it. There was a lady from El Salvador in our branch who had never seen snow before in her life, and she is like 30 years old. So we showed her how to throw her first snow ball! 

It was a really good week and I loved being able to get members out to lessons and to see some success. I love you all and its crazy to think that its 2016... time is just flying way too fast!
 I love you all! Share that orange juice with everyone (: 
Love, Elder Romney.

Elder Joly and me at the Rock.

On an exchange

Our view from our back window
The tree of life, haha or just a tree at the mall, either way (:

Zone leader exchange

Doing office work

On the phone with president in the van

A while ago when we had to sleep in the van at the airport

At the office

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