Tuesday, May 31, 2016

may 30, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It has been an awesome week! I have had some really cool experiences and I am going to miss having these on a regular basis! I got to interview someone the other day to be baptized on June 11th for one of the sister companionships in my district. I had known these people from over a year ago and loved them a lot and was happy that they had made the decision to be baptized. After I interviewed them I had this weird feeling and it went in through the night, but I kind of ignored it because I didn't exactly want to known what the Lord wanted me to know because I knew it was going to have to be something about postponing their baptism. Their interviews went pretty well, so I kind of just brushed it off until the next morning when it was bugging me enough that I finally said, "Okay Heavenly Father, I'm ready to listen to you." I was instructed to push her date back a week. We had a meeting with the sister missionaries that same morning about being accountable for their goals for the month of May and I brought it up with them. The Hermanas told me that they were actually feeling the same thing, but didn't want to say anything, either. So I learned, that whenever you are feeling that weird feeling, you can't just talk your way out of it and ignore it, because it will always come back. I felt the spirit as I talked to the Sisters and knew that was what the Lord wants accomplished. I also came to know even more that this is His work, and not mine. 

The mother and father that I interviewed that I told you about before, asked me if I would baptize them. They said that they just felt the need that I baptized them. So I plan to baptize them on June 11th and I am so humbled and grateful for that oppurtunity as it will be the first time that I personally will be able to baptize someone for themself, and not for someone deceased. It will be an awesome oppurtunity and we will see if that is still what the Lord wants me to do and if they will get baptized that day. So, that's really cool.

We also had 7 people at church which was awesome! We are teaching the niece's cousin and her mom. The cousin's mom told us the other day how grateful she was that we came and taught her about the prophets and how excited she was to come to church. We also had someone else new come to church who I just really love.  She will probably be baptized this month. There is so much success going on in this area I can't even explain it! I know I probably won't see a lot of the fruits, but as I have seen in the past, the Lord will always keep his promises and bring His people unto Him. 

I am also excited for this SaturdaySaturday from 10 am- 12 am President Russell M Nelson will be visiting our mission and having a special meeting with all the missionaries. He wants to shake all of the missionaries hands personally and then he will spend 2 hours teaching doctrine to us. Ahh I'm super super excited. The whole mission is fasting the day that he comes, and president promised us that if we spiritually prepare and look into his green eyes as we are shaking his hand, that we will receive a confirmation from the spirit that he is an Apostle of God. I also get to be part of a 27 missionary choir that will be singing "I'll go where you want me to go" to President Nelson and the entire mission. It is going to be awesome!  It is such a huge blessing that he is coming just before I leave! The last time I shook an apostle's hand was at Aspen Grove when president Monson was the senior apostle. And now I get to shake another senior apostle's hand who very well could be the next President of the Church!  I was reading about Elder Nelson's accomplishments and he has accomplished a ridiculous amount of things and is very successful. I look up to him a great deal and can't wait to meet him! We will also be taking a mission picture after, so it will be nice to have a picture of everyone just before I leave. 

This last Sunday President Aguiar, who is the 2nd councilor in the mission presidency, went out to teach some lessons with us after he had spoken in our sacrament meeting. He wanted to stay with us for 2 hours, but we ended up spending 4 and a half hours with him. We had a ton of awesome lessons and saw so many miracles. It was awesome to be with someone who loves the gospel that much and is willing to take of his own time to be with the missionaries. It was a true example to me of how to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. He didn't just rest, we went and taught and visited the lonely and the sick, and lifted the hearts and hands of the downtrodden. It was awesome. We even drove out to a hospital and taught someone who had just had a baby and wanted to learn more about the gospel. At the end of the night we were waiting for the Abuelitos (they are a senior couple that I can't wait for you guys to meet. She is the only person in the mission who has been given permission to hug elders. They have taken such great care of me and we will have to make a stop to see them when we come back to Oregon) to enter in to a home of an elderly double-leg amputee.  When they arrived, we went and gave the sacrament to this man who had lost his legs and gave him a blessing. It was such a powerful little meeting and humbling to all who were there. 

The last cool experience that I had this week was with a council meeting that we were holding as leaders in the zone. The objective of the meeting was to find out our strengths and our weaknesses as a zone and figure out how we could correct them. We went on for about a half hour and it just felt wrong, like we weren't getting to the root of the problem, so I kept quite and waited for an opportunity from one of the zone leaders to speak. They asked me what I thought and I told him that what we were talking about just wasn't right, and we were just skimming the surface. I told them that I felt we were missing the spirit and unity in the council. We all knelt and prayed for the spirit to be with us and the spirit immediately entered into the room. I think that often times our sacrament meetings are like that. Ill prepared on both the bishoprics part, the people who are speaking, and the people who come to attend the meeting. I have sometimes found the rest of the church meetings to be even more spiritual (except the sacrament) than sacrament meeting, and that's not the way it should be. I think that the prophet's putting an emphasis on the sabbath day is so inspired, with the worship within the home and the worship within the church. It such a different meeting when everyone comes prepared and we are all able to be spiritually uplifted. I don't know where I was going with that, but it was an awesome opportunity in that meeting to figure out the real problems within the zone, and we needed to be unified in the spirit. 

I know this church is true without a doubt, and I am dreading the day that I have to take off my tag. 
Love, Elder Romney

By the railroad tracks in Woodburn.  Ever since I was in Albany, I have always made sure to have a Book of Mormon in my hand whenever I am out. It is one of my "things"

Elder Carbajal, Elder Gessel and me at zone conference. It was awesome!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

may 23, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It has been a great week! We have been teaching a ridiculous amount of people! When I first got here, we were only teaching 4 people, and now we are teach about 49 people! It has been so amazing to be able to follow and listen to the spirit. 

I think there are things I learned from each of my areas and my companions. In the MTC I learned about the atonement and its ability to heal mentally, spiritually and physically, and the understanding that God gives us trials and allows us to struggle for our eternal growth because He loves us. While I was in Woodburn the first time, I learned the gospel and what it means; the need to be humble, and the Spanish language . In Forest Grove I learned how to lead and care for missionaries; to talk openly with companions and humbly take correction, and to change a group of people and their culture.  In Albany I learned to hold on during a rough patch, that God loves me even when I'm not perfect, and to love missionaries that are harder to love. In Newberg I learned how to really teach doctrine and how to manage the things that are most important, compared to the things that are not, and how to correct missionaries with love.  Now that I'm back here in Woodburn, I've learned the need to work hard and follow the spirit with exactness, and that it doesn't matter what I do, if I don't do it with charity. I have learned many other things through my experiences and my leaders, but those are the ones that stick out to me the most in each of my areas. 

It has been awesome listening to the spirit and seeing the fruits that come from it. I have a testimony that when I follow the spirit, that I'm blessed. I am working my hardest and we are seeing so many miracles.  We are teaching the nieces of a recent convert, and his son as well. We are just waiting for approval from the niece's mom and they will be baptized! 

I know this church is true and that Joseph Smith was a tool in the hands of the Lord to restore the Gospel. 
I love you all! 
Love, Elder Romney (:

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

may 16, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It was a great week this week! It was awesome, as always, to be a part of MLC. The two topics we discussed this time were "Choosing Happiness" and "Charity". It was a great oppurtunity to learn more on how to gain charity and how to choose happiness in hard times. I love President Samuelian because his view for us as missionaries goes far, far beyond the mission and what we will do here.  He often trains us on things that will affect us here, and also after the mission, and not just strategic things as missionaries. I have a greater desire to develop more charity for the people with whom I work. That MLC meeting will be one of the things that I will miss the most when I return home. I will miss the spirit and the wisdom of my leaders and to be able to learn at the feet of the Savior. My biggest concern about being home is not feeling the spirit with the frequency that I have felt out here. I obviously won't, as I won't hold this calling any longer, but it will be a hard transition back into the world! 

We had an amazing experience the other day tracting. We felt impressed to knock on the door across the street from one of our investigators, and a man opened the door and after a few minutes of talking, he invited us in (that still blows my mind that I am a 20 year old kid knocking on strangers doors and then entering into their homes... Haha) and we were able to share one of the most spiritual lessons with him about the restoration.  I was really able to grow in my ability to teach and understand the gospel when I was in English for close to 9 months of my mission, and I have felt slightly impaired when working in Spanish at times, because of the inability to perfectly express what I wanted to say.  I never felt less than confident, nor a lack of the spirit, but I didn't feel I had the same ability that I felt when I taught in English. I have realized this last week that I feel I have finally come to that point with my Spanish proficency and my ability to teach in that language. More and more frequently have caught myself expressing things as I would in the English work, and it has been such a big blessing. We ended up teaching this man an amazing lesson and he accepted a return appointment and the challenge to be baptized. 

I know this church is true, and that if we listen, the spirit will guide us to where we need to go and what it is that we need to say. 
I love you all!
Love, Elder Romney

Our District

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Elder Romney's Article for the Mission Newspaper

(This is an article that Elder Romney wrote for the mission newspaper. It will come out in June)


I was listening to a John Bytheway talk on being disciplined, specifically in things pertaining to the gospel. One of the quotes that has stuck with me ever since is, “Discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons”. This quote has had a large application in my missionary work. There have been several times in my mission where I've decided to keep driving by someone, or I've decided that I wasn't going to say exactly what the Savior wanted me to say to someone, because it might offend them, or I've coward away from some kind of impression from the spirit, and every time that I have decided to subdue that impression from the spirit, I've felt a huge weight on my shoulders and felt as though I hadn't accomplished my purpose. On the other hand, every time I have decided to put forth that small amount of effort in the very moment and follow that impression, I've felt a huge relief and a greater abundance of the spirit. The effort, that sometimes seems difficult in the moment, brings a lasting peace, and a knowledge that I did what Christ wanted me to do. When I decided that it would be to hard to follow that impression, or that I didn’t want to, the consequences lasted much longer into the day, and I felt the need to repent.  In comparison, the discipline it took to follow the impression weighed ounces, while the regret would weigh tons. Christ gave us the perfect example of being disciplined and knowing His purpose when He suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane;
Mark 14: 35-36
35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.
36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

In that moment Christ showed us that the discipline to follow God's will and pay for our sins, paled in comparison to not drinking of the bitter cup and giving up the opportunity to save the children of God. I testify that if we will follow the impressions of the spirit, we will feel the confirming witness that we have done what our Savior wants us to do and have a lasting peace.

Elder Romney

may 9, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It was awesome Skyping home! I have such an awesome family. Thank you for all of the support and love that you give to me. Sometimes I forget how richly I am blessed to have such an amazing family who cares so much. I was sad I missed the Shawn and Karey clan, I hope they get feeling better, but I will see them soon though! 

This week has been such a crazy fun week. Elder Poch and I get along really well and we are probably working harder than with any other companion I have had. The only other time that I have been busier was when I was an assistant, and that was because of all of the extra things we were assigned to do. We are excited to see what the next 5 weeks hold in store for us!  I am, in no way shape or form, slowing down, in fact I feel that I am speeding up as the end is approaching. My biggest fear is that I come home with regrets, and I don't want that to happen! 

We have 5 people on date right now, all for June sometime, and 5 people came to church. We had a Mothers Day party at the chapel on Saturday night, and we scouted out the entire place and made sure that we introduced ourselves to every non-member and person we didn't know. We had a lot of success and found some people who seem really prepared. We found 5 new investigators there, and I can't wait to see what happens with them.

The thing that has stuck out to me the most this week was my ancestors and family. I have been studying a lot at the end of the night on family history. I have never been too interested in family history, but it says in my patriarchal blessing that I will do a lot of family history and that seems to be coming out now more than ever. I have been fascinated with the stories of Anson Bown Call and Miles Park Romney. They are the ones I have been reading the most about and I love it. It makes me have a larger sense of urgency to fill in the large footsteps that they have left for me. It also makes me more appreciative of the footsteps that I am trying to fill of my Dad and older brothers and brothers-in-law. They are some big shoes and hope that I can fill them and live up to them at some point! Even more than anyone else, I want to try and follow the footsteps of my Heavenly Father and my Savior. The sealing power in the temple has seemed to be more relevant to me the past week and I can't wait to see all of the people I have been sealed to some day and feel and experience their faith in Jesus Christ! I would love to study more stories of our ancestors when I get home, so if you find any good ones, let me know so I can read them when I am home! 

It is fourth quarter now, and I love it. It's the quarter where you have to work the hardest, it's the quarter that is the hardest to work in, and it's the quarter that shows who you really are. 
I love you all!
Love, Elder Romney.

P.S. Elder Romney will come home on June 15th. His homecoming is on Sunday the 19th. More details to come as it gets closer! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

may 2, 2016 letter

Dear Family:
It has been a really good week! There have been a lot of changes that are happening and I'm right in the middle of all of them! We found out that our zone is being absorbed into the Keizer Zone because of the lack of Spanish missionaries right now. It will now be the biggest zone in the mission with over 30 missionaries. We are super excited. We have set some pretty big goals for the zone and we are hoping to complete them all. The sisters that were in the branch with us had their area shut down, and we are now splitting their area between our area and the Hubbard Spanish area, which I used to be in when I was training Elder Carbajal. 

When I talked to president on the phone, he told me that I was supposed to train the new Spanish missionary from Mexico, but he sadly didn't get his visa, so he's not coming yet. I am excited to see what this transfer holds, but I am nervous for it! I have grown so used to being a missionary and doing missionary things, that the mission feels like home. It will be weird for me to come back home. I am excited to see the family, but not excited to leave the mission behind. Luckily President Samuelian comes home with me, so I feel more like the mission is leaving in my transfer anyway! (; 

We got to go to the temple this week and it was awesome. I love the temple so much. I am excited to be able to go whenever I want when I get back home and be able to go to the new Provo City Center temple. We went all together as a zone and it was fun. 

We also got to go to the tech training, which is one of my favorite trainings in the mission. President got pretty intense in it and told us that he wanted us to up our game and work even more diligently than we have been. I love the Tech Training because of the real life applications to technology after the mission.

Our investigators are doing really well and my new companion and I are literally going to be swamped with work covering our area and the sisters old area. It just never seems to slow down (; Going into my last transfer, I feel super weird. I don't know what to even think. I feel prepared and ready to work hard, and my biggest fear is going home with regrets. They commonly use the word "trunky" in the mission, and i'm definitely not trunky yet! I feel more than ever the desire and the drive to bring people unto Christ. One of the cool miracles this week was going on an exchange with Elder Caldwell, one of the Elders that are in our apartment. In about 40 minutes we found 6 solid investigators that want to come to church and change their lives. The work is beginning to hasten even more!
Elder Romney

Our District:  Sister Garner, Sister Holt, me, Elder Anzures, Elder Caldwell, Elder Peltier

Our Zone went to the temple