Monday, February 29, 2016

february 29, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
This week was a huge week of a bunch of meetings!! We had 2 Zone Conferences, a Stake Conference and then all of the church meetings. So needless to say, my back and mind were hurting from sitting there so long! One of the things that President taught at Stake Conference was teaching by the Spirit. He talked about the lack of the spirit at times in our church meetings and the need to bring the spirit into the room as we teach. We got to drive President down to the meeting and we talked about it the whole way there and he just blew our minds with simple truths that I loved. I have made the commitment that I will always try to teach by the spirit in every possible way.

We had three of the most spiritual meetings that I have had on my mission this last week, the 2 Zone Conferences and the Stake Conference. I think part of the reason that I was called as an assistant was the opportunity to be around President so much and be a part of such spiritual meetings. It has been the biggest blessing I have had on my mission, and has helped me to learn and grow.  
In the Tuesday Zone Conference, it was all about the atonement. I learned more from that meeting about the atonement, than probably any other meeting. Besides personal experience, that meeting helped increase my understanding and testimony of the atonement the most. President talked of when Jesus Christ was hung on the cross, and all that he had gone through that last 24 hours of his life, and then all of a sudden, his Father removed his spirit from him. The Son of God, who had done no wrong, had the spirit removed from him, so that He could understand the extent of the sorrows of man, the deepest being spiritual death, or the separation from His Father. Funny thing is that a few weeks ago, before the transfer started, Elder Joly and I fasted for humility. haha Sometimes that could be the worst idea, or the biggest blessing, depending on the way you look at it. Saturday night, I hit a big low for some reason. Probably a lot of stressors and things going on and it just seemed to push me further than I had on my mission yet. I think the Lord was preparing me for this moment through these zone conferences, and stake conference, specifically on the atonement. I put on some sweats and a sweater and sat out on our deck until midnight just praying to my Heavenly Father. I have grown to love and hate these moments. I hate them in the moment, and love them for the experience. I have learned, especially from reading from the Book of Mormon, that Heavenly Father gives us these lows to bring us back to Him. Not that we are doing anything wrong, but because Heavenly Father realizes that you have made it to a certain point in your progression and He knows the only way for you to continue to progress is by bringing you to a low, and then lifting you back up, with the result being that you are closer to your Father in Heaven. 

Going back to those meetings, zone conference on Thursday was awesome.  All of a sudden, President Samuelian came up to us and said, "I'm  turning the meeting over to you. You have the rest of the hour to teach what you want." So we ended up teaching about our investigators experience and helping him pray. It was awesome and the spirit was there so strong. President called us the next day and told us how impressed he was with the teaching we presented. I am so thankful for the spirit. Then, at Stake Conference, the music was incredible and the spirit was so strong. One lady who spoke was an institute teacher and gave the most incredible talk about Jesus Christ I think I have ever heard. She went through the last 24 hours of Jesus Christ's life in detail. The whole place was so silent that you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone began to cry as she explained what He had to go through. Elder Bromley also sang and he did a really great job. 

We had an awesome lesson and he committed to come to church with us next week and accepted to be baptized on April 9th. He has been taught, on and off, for 10 years, so that was an incredible feat! 

It was a great week, and I'm grateful for the growth, even when it's difficult.
Love, Elder Romney (:

Elder Anzures

Elder Carbajal

Elder Perryman....He goes home this transfer!

Elder Allridge

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

february 22, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
Hey! So this week was definitely an adventure to say the least! It has been pretty crazy lately because of the Zone conferences, but just a blast. I love seeing all of the missionaries and talking to them and helping them out in any way possible. We taught them about how to use inspired questions to overcome when someone says that no, they aren't going to keep a certain commitment. It was crazy, because the few days leading up to it, we got together with President and Sister Samuelian and role played these things. I love role playing, which is when you act how you plan to teach, and they respond according to what the investigator would probably say.  It prepares you for the lesson and helps you get several insights to what might happen in the lesson.  It also helps with your teaching skills and being able to ask them inspired questions. But let me tell you, that was a pretty intense meeting with President! Ha, It's not every day that you get to practice with your mission president and teach him! We practiced asking him to pray at the end of the lesson and then helping him overcome his objections. We practiced several times and then we taught it in zone conference.  We also got to sing at zone conference, which was cool, and then on Sunday we got to sing in Sacrament Meeting with two of the priests. 

We taught this very lesson on prayer to a guy the day after all of this practicing, and after zone conference. It went just as we had practiced, and it was awesome.  It was the most amazing experience of the whole week.   

It is crazy how fast time is flying. I start a program called "myplan" in a couple of weeks, which is where you go through some things to study and so on for the last 12 weeks of your mission. So its weird that that it is coming up so soon. But we had a great week and am excited to see where the work keeps taking us! 

I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney (:

Elder Romney's parents went to Sister Wirick's homecoming, and were happily surprised to see Elder Adams, who had been Elder Romney's companion, there, too.  We recognized him right away, because of all the photos we'd seen. It was fun to be able to send Elder Romney a picture of Elder Adams, instead of the other way around!

Elder Romney and Elder Ales at Zone Conference

Elder Romney and Elder Bromley ate dinner with a Sister in their ward, and she texted this picture to their parents.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

february 15, 2016 letter

Hey Family!! 
It was a great week, but it's been a little tough, because we don't have many investigators right now, and we are trying to find new ones. So keep us in your prayers that we can find prepared people, or that they can find us! 

We had MLC (Mission Leadership Counsel) this week and it was awesome. We taught about asking inspired questions on the street and with our investigators, and how inspired questions can open the hearts of our investigators. 

I think one of the biggest lessons that I have learned this week is to rely on God. I think for a while I had been relying too much on my own personal ability and not enough on Jesus Christ, or really remembering that He will be able to help me in the work. That has been a very humbling thing, to realize that I can't do anything without my Savior. So keep me in your prayers that I can figure it all out! haha 

We also had an amazing Area Stake Conference where they talked about keeping your testimony strong in the church. This week was so busy, so it is honestly just a blur, so I feel like don't remember very much. I'm just trying to work on my patience and focus on the fact that God will help us find new investigators. 
Sorry about the short letter, but we're so busy, and I've got to run!
I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney

Monday, February 8, 2016

february 8, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
Hey everyone! It was a crazy and fun week this week! I think that transfer week is one of my favorite weeks in the whole transfer. I think I love it so much because I love working with the new Elders and Sisters that come in. We take a strengths test when we first get in the mission, and one of my strengths is "developer" which basically means I like to help people grow and see that growing process. So it is a lot of fun to get to know these missionaries on a personal level and then see them change during their mission. I think that is one of the biggest blessings that I could have asked for on my mission, seeing the atonement work in these Elders' and Sisters' lives and seeing them change. 

We took all the newbies to the rock, and this time around was by far my favorite. There was a different spirit there than there had ever been before, I don't know why, maybe its because I am growing more, or because I was more spiritually prepared or something, but it was amazing. We got to re-bury our fears in the sand at the foot of the rock and use the atonement to take away those fears. Each time my fears that I have written down are a little bit different, but based around the same basic theme, of wanting to change and staying changed. After we wrote our fears on a little piece of paper and buried them in the sand, I was asked to bear my testimony. I shared my experience at the MTC of being homesick and wanting to go home, but how I had knelt in prayer and felt the atonement overcome me and truly lift my heart. I don't know where I would be or what I would be doing if I decided that I wanted to give up and go home that week. I am so grateful to this day to Jade Smoot for helping me out, and because of that little phrase he said to me, "to pray for the atonement", my experience has been able to affect not only my life, but the many missionaries that I have been responsible for, and all of my investigators and people I have come in contact with on the street. I guess it goes to show, that when the Lord prompts you to do something, it may seem small at the time, but in the end will make a world of difference to someone, and most likely the people around them. It reminds me of the talk that Elder Uchtdorf gave a while ago about a plane flying, and how it needs to stay right on its course, and how if it goes off even one degree, the destination in the end is completely changed. Had I decided to give in to my feelings and come home, the course of my life would have ended somewhere completely different. I may not have ended up with a testimony, I may not have come to know my Heavenly Father, and I may not have been able to overcome personal challenges that I faced. One decision made the course of who I was, who I am, and who I will become, especially as a worthy husband, father, and priesthood holder in God's church. As I bore my testimony of these things to the missionaries and promised them that the Lord is patient with them in their desire and ability to change, a witness came to me, and I know, with all my heart, that the atonement is real and will always help us. After my testimony Elder Bromley sang Savior Redeemer Of My Soul and it was awesome. 

We were so busy with transfers that we never got to proselyte in our area, and then the day that we got to, we were on exchanges. Now that was kind of weird!! I stayed in the area because I knew it the best, and Elder Schmidt and I just walked around and talked to random people and met some people in the ward. Elder Bromley and I fasted specifically for new investigators and for the area. The meal that we broke our fast at was at a members home and there was a non member there which was a miracle! She is engaged to one of their sons that is less active, and we asked them some pretty bold questions and asked them to go to the temple with us and walk the grounds. They accepted and so we will be going back to the temple this next week to show them around. She seems to be basically ready to be baptized. It increased my testimony of fasting, and we immediately saw the blessings of it. 

Elder Bromley and I have been doing some "Singing tracting" haha. Elder Bromley is a phenomenal singer, and so we go and we sing at peoples homes. We sang for a girl and gave her a Book of Mormon and it was sweet. I have also gained a testimony about hymns and how they can bring the spirit, because after we sing, the spirit is just so strong there. We plan to sing at a large fireside in March, so that will be fun. 

It was an awesome week, especially since we found a new investigator that could be ready for baptism soon and this next week we have MLC and then we have Zone conferences coming up this month, and we are going to the temple this Thursday or Friday. We are excited for the work here! 

I love you all so much, and I am grateful for all of the support from my family and friends, it really means so much to me and I can feel everyone's prayers.
Elder Romney (:

We photo-bombed the newbie group photo (;

My usual "everybody asleep in the car" picture.... Well everyone but Sister Otteson, I guess!

We went on a walk with president to talk about the misison and the world wide training meeting, and it was awesome!

After the exchange with Elder Schmidt and Elder Brittany who is on the far right.

At the temple

Holding a parakeet at dinner on Sunday where we found that new investigator! (:
All of the Elders that were in Newberg just before the transfer meeting. 
I'm wearing Brian's jacket that is super awesome (:
President digging the hole to bury the fears into.

Elder Joly and I just before the meeting in front of our new van.

Everyone behind us is burying their fears.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

february 1, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
Hey! It's a new week, and there is going to be a new transfer!  It will be another crazy ride this transfer and it has been an amazing two transfers with Elder Joly. We learned so so much together and I am going to miss him. The clock is ticking fast, and now more than ever I want to give it my all! I only have left half of the time I spent in Woodburn which just boggles my mind. 

I will be receiving a new companion who is awesome. We will serve as assistants together in a new ward, so I will be speaking English again. This area I am going to be working in hasn't had missionaries in their ward for over 2 years, so it will be fun to go in and get some work going. I will have white-washed 4 out of the 5 times I've moved, which has been a burden and a blessing. It makes me so happy, though, that the Lord trusts me enough to go in and start up areas. I also enjoy the excitement of having to exercise my faith and find all of the investigators that I teach! .  Since I will be going into an English ward, I will be teaching in English again, so that will be interesting. I already spent a quarter of my mission speaking in English, and by the time I'm done, I will probably end up speaking English close to half of my mission. I remember in an interview with president, he said the reason I was being assigned to speak English was because the Lord trusted my Spanish enough that I wouldn't lose it.  The Lord has definitely blessed me so much to retain and keep my Spanish while being here. 

This week we will be having 15 sisters and 4 Elders coming in, so go sister power! haha I believe that it will be the first time in Oregon Salem history that the sisters far far outweigh the Elders and it will be an awesome change up. I guess the Lord is in need of Sisters here in Oregon. It will also be the first wave of elders who will go home in 2018. That is crazy to me, but it was probably crazy to the elders who were older when I came in that I was going home in 2016. 

I don't have too much time to write today, but one of the miracles that I experienced was teaching a lady and her daughter. We found them tracting with a member and invited her to a different members house in her complex to eat dinner and have a lesson. The lesson ended up happening and it was awesome. I was on splits with a member in our ward while Elder Joly had to go to a meeting we needed to attend, but I decided to stay and teach instead. It was super powerful and we taught them about the restoration. I plan to hand them off to the Spanish Elders that are coming on Tuesday

 I love you so much, and the work here is going great. And remember the Lord always protects the families of those who serve Him (: 
I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney (: