Monday, March 28, 2016

march 28, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It's been a pretty crazy week this week! My new companion is Elder Anzures. He is from Palmdale California. I've sent some pictures of him a long time ago when I first got into the mission. He is the one, when I went to the waterfalls, that was holding me up in the air. I don't know if you remember that at all? But he and I have always been really close, and we are excited to serve together. His parents don't speak very much English, so he is fluent at Spanish and we are able to speak in Spanish all the time, and he is able to help me when I don't know a word or something like that.

We saw so many miracles just in the first little while that we were together. I had been praying that people would be prepared here, and the Saturday before I got here, there was an old investigator that said that they wanted to go to the temple, and then will probably want to be baptized soon!  It's been amazing to see such an incredible amount of miracles already, and we have found 8 solid new investigators that have the potential of being baptized. I wish I had time to write about each investigator and the experience in finding them, but that would take too long right now. It has just been amazing these past few days, with literally miracle after miracle!

I am also living with two other Elders. Elder Caldwell and Elder Peltier. Elder Caldwell is adopted from the Marshall Islands like Lee Illi, and even looks and acts like him.  Elder Peltier is from Canada, but his mom is Guatemalan or something like that. Sadly he didn't speak Spanish before coming out on the mission. They are both really awesome Elders. I go home with Elder Caldwell in June. Elder Peltier was sick for 3 days, and I decided to go out with Elder Caldwell to teach some of his investigators. They were probably some of the most intense lessons I have had on my mission. We taught a young boy who is 17 years old, and when we stopped by his house, we asked him if he had done any reading in the scriptures, and he said that he hadn't because he was busy and didn't have time and things like that. By the time we were done with the lesson, he wanted to read out of the Book of Mormon so badly, and he wanted to come to church. It was incredible to see the spirit work on his heart. He came to church this week and had an awesome time and is going to be baptized in 4 weeks from now. We also taught another family and they decided to be baptized too. 

We had interviews with President Pister, and it was incredible to be with him. He told me about all of the confidence that he is putting in me and how much he expected me to do. I am excited for it and I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for this area and zone!

One cool experience that happened today was when we were shopping at Walmart. We were talking to this cashier, who was not Hispanic, and she said that she had lived in Mexico for 7 years. We had asked her why and she said that her husband had lived there for a while and they had a home there. As we were talking to her she told us that her husband died there, and we asked her how, and she said that he had been shot in the head. We told her about the afterlife, and she almost began to cry and told us she wanted to meet with us. We got her number and we are going to go see her next week!

I love this area and it was awesome being at the Pisters home for la pasqua and to be able to be back in my old area. Keep me in your prayers that we will be able to receive revelation for this zone and that this area and our companionship will grow in faith, and that we will find people who are prepared to listen to the Gospel. 
I love you all!
Love, Elder Romney (:

A gross banana we found in the transfer van that the Assistants use to pick up new missionaries! haha it had been there for 7 weeks.

Me with a baby goat in newberg. 
Transfer meeting. All three of us are from PG. Elder Nathan Allridge, Sister Megan Lovell, and me!
We ate sushi and this one had squid!

Mochi balls at the sushi place.

How i feel at night...

I'm eating my greens!!

easter sunday - march 27, 2016

Elder Romney is now back in Woodburn, the first area he served in when he got to Oregon.  He's excited to be speaking Spanish again, and is so happy to be back with many people he already knows and loves, especially President Pister and his family.  President Pister sent us some pictures from the Easter dinner they fed the missionaries, and the missionary meeting they held after the meal.

Monday, March 21, 2016

march 21, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It has been an incredible week this week. We have seen so many miracles and things in this ward have completely flipped around since Elder Bromley and I got together. It has been a blast serving here. 

This week, we got in contact with one of the old investigators in the teaching records that Elder Searcy and Elder Serr met again. We asked Elder and Sister Abrams if we could invite Justin to dinner with us to have a discussion there with him. We had a lot of small talk, and got to know him a lot better. The spirit prompted us to begin to talk to him about the Book of Mormon. We asked him if he had read from the Book of Mormon before and taken up the promise in Moroni 10: 3-5. We didn't expect the answer that we received, but he told us that he had read from it and had prayed and came to know the church is true. He felt a very overwhelming feeling, as he prayed, that it had to come from God. We asked him what he thought the next step was, and he said that he needed to be baptized. We asked him when he wanted to be baptized, and he said "in the spring time... so like now..." Haha it was awesome. The next meeting we had with him he set his own baptismal date for the 16th of April. We set up all of the appointments and all of the other necessary things that he needs to do, to be ready for baptism. He called us out of the blue a day after this meetings and said "I know we didn't plan to meet today, but can we meet again today anyway"? We taught him the restoration and it was awesome.  He came to church with us on Sunday and got along really well with all of the people there. He said that he loved it and loved the feeling that he had being there. 

We had a pretty intense lesson with a family. This is the family where the wife isn't a member and she won't let the daughter be baptized. She is such an amazing lady and we love talking to her, but she just isn't open to the message of the restoration at this time. We ended up talking to her about reading the Book of Mormon and she said that she had read it and felt that it wasn't true. After asking her some questions, we realized that she wasn't even praying to know for herself if it was true, she was praying to try and see if it was true for someone else. The spirit became pretty intense during the lesson. We asked her what was the most important thing in her life, and she answered that it was her family. We explained that the only way that she could have any hope of her family being together after this life, and having those relationships perpetuate beyond the grave, was to be sealed in the temple. It doesn't matter if you're a part of another major religion, or self proclaimed, or atheist, or agnostic, no other sect professes to be able to seal families together forever. I explained to her that I hope and pray this message is true, and I believe that this message is true, because if it isn't, I wouldn't be able to be with my family after this life. It was an amazing lesson and we will see if she ends up reading from the Book of Mormon again, and sincerely praying about it for herself.

We lost contact with an investigator for a while because of family matters that were going on with her, but we ended up just going by and singing to her and we invited her to the fireside that we were going to be holding on Sunday evening. The fireside was so great, and consisted of 3 speakers. All 3 were converts to the church and it was amazing. Elder Bromley and I sang "I Need the Every Hour". I could feel the spirit there, but I also specifically felt Annie's spirit as we were singing. It was a great experience. There was a girl there who was recently baptized and she came up to us after and asked us how we chose that song? We hadn't planned to sing it at first, but felt the spirit guide us to it about an hour before. She explained that it was a song she had listened to in her christian church a long time ago and it brought back so many warm memories. She is awesome!

I am being transferred this week and it is going to be hard to leave all of the relationships that I have built here in Newberg. It has been such a great experience serving here and has probably been one of the areas that I have grown the most in all of my mission. I feel like I am actually getting the grasp of missionary work as my mission comes to a close in the next few months. We have worked hard to flip two areas around here in Newberg and have ended up being successful. I will be headed back to work in Spanish again, which i'm really excited about.  I can't wait to see what the Lord holds in store for me. Please pray for me to remember my Spanish and be strong enough to do what the Lord needs me to do.

I am going to need a lot of prayer this next week and prayers for the peoples hearts that they will be prepared by angels.
I love you all!!
Love, Elder Romney (:

Eating breakfast

Lunch as a zone

Exchange with Elder Ansures and Allridge.

Monday, March 14, 2016

march 14, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
This week was awesome. I guess the not so awesome part was that I got hit in the eye with a pinecone last Monday. I went to see the eye doctor this last week and had my eyes dilated to make sure that everything was okay and he said I just had a little bit of bruising in the corner of my eye, but he said that everything should be just fine.  I'll go back next month and see how it has progressed, so nothing to worry about there.  The eye doctor is one of the Stake Presidents I have worked with and he is really awesome, and I really appreciate his help! 

Last Tuesday was filled with planning for a bunch of meetings, and on Wednesday we taught all of the district leaders in the mission. It was awesome. We taught them about how to hold effective district meetings and exchanges, and how to hold their missionaries accountable and to look at the key indicators to understand the needs of their missionaries. That night we ended up feeling inspired to go to an apartment complex and set up a meeting with one of our investigators.  Unfortunately, they weren't there when we arrived, so we were beginning to think we hadn't come to the right place. But as we were walking out of the complex, we spotted a lady taking several garbage bags out, and we ran over and helped her. We ended up talking to her for a half hour, standing in the pouring rain in our suits. She told us that she had adopted severely handicapped kids and now they have all passed away. The last girl that she adopted was paralyzed from the neck down and she sat in a room for six years, only leaving once in a while. She would resuscitate her and help her when she had small heart attacks. The little girl was on a ventilator to live and ended up deciding that she was ready to leave this life. It was such a heart breaking story. We ended up singing "I Need Thee Every Hour" to her, and she told us we could come back and teach her. She has only let one person into her house in several years, but she told us she didn't think meeting us was a coincidence and she knew we were from God. We will be teaching her next Monday

On Thursday, we did some planning for the week and it was great. Then I went on a mini-exchange with one of the other Elders in our apartment and we saw so many miracles. Probably the greatest of all of the miracles was meeting a woman we met. We had received a referral to go and contact someone in that same complex where we met the lady who adopted children. We knocked on the referrals' door and nobody answered. As we were walking away, we saw a light on in one of the apartments next door. We felt the impression to knock on the door. This lady opened her door and you could tell there was just a light about her. We talked to her and her kids at the door. We talked about Jesus Christ and how the family can be together forever. She said it just sounded right and told us that she wanted us to come back. We ended up going back the next day with some members and had an amazing lesson. She told us that there was just something different about us and that she could feel a sense of the spirit so strong as we sat there with her. It was one of the more powerful lessons I have had on my mission and she said she would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and come to church. We are super excited for her and her progress. 

We are still teaching the little girl whose mom won't let her be baptized, and things are going great with her. She and her dad came to church on Sunday and we sat with them. There have just been so many miracles this week I cant even count them,. and I am so grateful that God is willing to let me be a part of these amazing experiences! I'm so thankful for the Gospel, and love to see the way it can change people's lives.
I love you all!
Elder Romney

Monday, March 7, 2016

march 7, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
So this week has been crazy!! It has been another one of those weeks where I was so exhausted that I couldn't even think straight a lot of the time, but it's really by far the best when that happens (: 

The week started off super busy, and never seemed to slow down. We had to put numbers and other things into the computer for the mission before we and the president held an accountability meeting with each one of the zone leaders. So we spent several hours in the office trying to get that task accomplished by Tuesday at 8 pm, and we got it done about a half hour before the deadline, and then left for the meeting, which lasted about 2 and a half hours. President calls each zone leader and we sit with him and we figure out what is going on in the zone and who is planning to be baptized and such. Because it took so long, we didn't get home and into bed until about 11 pm.  Then we had to wake up early and get ready for MLC and drive all of the STL's (sister trainer leaders) and zone leaders over to the mission home. We always hold councils in this meeting about situations in the mission and things like that. We normally do this in the evening, but we decided to do it in the morning this time. We had a couple of trainings, and then Elder Bromley and I presented the actuals and goals for the mission, and then we held the council. We all get in a large circle and council about topics that are pressing in the mission, such as when to hand ipads to new missionaries and how to hold certain meetings etc. We counciled for 2 and a half hours straight. I have come to realize that I don't like sitting still for so long. After that, president and sister Samueilian did some training, and it was amazing. We talked a lot about Joseph Smith and the trials that he went through and the need for us to have trials in our lives so we can progress. Elder Bromley and I had planned to teach about inviting someone to read the Book of Mormon and teaching the doctrine behind that, but we all decided it would be best to have president continue with his training because the spirit was so powerful at the time. The meeting started at about 10 in the morning, an went until 7 pm and then we had dinner until about 8. 

We had decided to go on exchanges with Redmond because they hadn't had one for a long time, so we decided to drive up with them the night of MLC.  At 8 pm we left and drove all the way to Redmond, which is 3 and a half hours away and got there around 1 am. Needless to say, I passed out on the couch as soon as we got there. We woke up early and played b ball with the elders there and then started the exchange. The elders we were going on exchange with were struggling with obedience, and I was ready to go in with more of an iron fist than anything, but as I prayed about it and talked to elder J, I felt the impression to let him do what he normally does, and then to talk with him and council with him. It is like the saying that goes, "nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care". So I figured he would close off to me if I had come in a little more abrupt than I had. We ended up not really getting very much done and then we had to look for an apartment for some sisters that were going to move in.  We parked the car outside the church, and the Elder started making calls, and immediately after the 2 phone calls he made, I passed out in the drivers seat. Haha, that is the first time I have ever fallen asleep on an exchange! But he could tell that I was getting a little frustrated that not much was going on in the area, so we ended up having a long conversation about what was happening, and it was awesome. We ended up teaching two people that night.  We found one of them when we only had about 8 minutes left to work, and we prayed to find someone who was ready for us to teach, and we saw this guy in the middle of the road and hopped out to go talk to him. He looked pretty sketchy, and he thought we were going to jump him and rob him at first, but we quickly explained we were missionaries. We ended up walking with him for about a mile and a half talking about the Gospel. We said some things to him that shook him, because they were the things that he was thinking right at the moment. We ended up stopping on a street corner to part ways, and I began to testify to him. Haha, he just stared blankly at me like a ghost! He said, "This whole experience is so weird, it's like you can read me, and then we stopped here and the street lamp is right behind you and it looks like you guys are glowing!"  Hahaha, it was so funny. But he said he would come to church next week, so that's great. (: Because of this last minute contact, we didn't get home until late that night either. The next morning we had zone conference and it was awesome. We taught the same things, but president was super intense this last time with all of the missionaries and basically called them all to repentance! 

We drove home that night with Brother and Sister Abrams and Brother and Sister Van Leeuwen, so we got to sleep in the back of the van, which was really nice. We got home at about 9:45 pm and then drove to McMinville to go on exchanges with the elders there. We got home from Redmond on Friday night, and we started the exchange that same night, so we were proselyting on Saturday. I was with someone named Elder Moea'i, who is from Hawaii and wants to play football for BYU as an outside linebacker. He is huge!  We had an awesome exchange with a bunch of miracles. and then we exchanged back on Saturday night. Through that whole time I hadn't been in my apartment, so it had been from Wednesday morning until Saturday night that I hadn't been home.  It was really nice to be home, after being gone for 4 days. (: 

We had a bunch of meetings on Sunday and had an awesome miracle with a part- member family whose kids aren't baptized. The mom wants nothing to do with us, but we ended up catching just the husband home, who is an active member. We talked to the kids who are 8 and 11 and they both want to be baptized. We asked how the little girl felt when she had prayed about baptism, and she told us that she had felt warm inside and wanted to be baptized, but her mom wouldn't let her be. So i guess we will see where all this goes! 

This was an awesome and super busy week! 
I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney (:

The Newberg missionaries were lucky enough to get haircuts from Sister Van Leeuwen's daughter

MLC on Wednesday 3-2-2016

Eating dinner at Zone Conference.  Elder Romney is sitting between his current companion, Elder Bromley, on the left, and his former companion, Elder Joly, on the right.