Elders McCleod and Romney

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas email

Hey mom!
It was awesome talkin to you guys! It was definetly a breath of fresh air. Elder Taylor had a great talk with his family too, I love Christmas!
After we got done talking to you and Elder Taylor's family we just went home. We were pretty out of it, I was soooo tired. We talked all about our families and stuff, and before I knew it I had fell asleep on the matress couch. I've eaten nothing but candy and jerky over the past two days! That is what we would call a Merry Christmas! :)
Yes, Jamaican's pose for everything! It's hilarious, guys and girls both. Sis. Dixon is probably 38-40ish. she has 5 kids who are all homies, I love that family. Whenever we are havin a rough day, goin over to the D's for a little bit puts us in a good mood. One day we went over there, my acne was really bad, and Sis. D (in only the way a mother could) says "Elder Romney, have you been eating to many sweeties (candy)?" "Yes..." "Have you been drinking lots of soda? "Yes...." "I can tell... Thats not good for you!" haha And then she gave me a whole list of tasty things that are healthier than soda and told me if I go and buy this special tea that purifys your blood and clears up your face, she would make it for me every week. The tea sounded absolutly disgusting so I chose to kick back on the sugar instead and drink more water, but she is awesome.
I miss the ward choir! And am glad that you guys did well as usual.
Well I cant' think of anythign else to say that wasnt said yesterday, we are havin a quite week for sure. I loved talking toyou guys! I cant wait for Mothers Day! I love you mom!!
PS: The picture with us and all of our shaweet sweaters is our boy band.We are called The Card Agains... get it???

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tis the week before Christmas!

Hello hello hello!
ITS ALMOST CHRISTMAS! We are SO stoked. Yeah, I've never sweat outside at Christmas time, so its definetly a new experience. But, we still have the Christmas spirit. Ill be skyping you guys at about 10:30 your time, right? Is that when you said would be best? Im so excited to see everyone!
This week was pretty good. Elder Taylor and I got sick, I caught a cold first and a sore throat and then he caught on to the stuffy nose. We had a Christmas party with the Negril branch in Negril friday night which was pretty fun. The food was delicious buuuuut gave Elder Taylor food poisening... sometimes food isnt prepared the most cleanly here so he was pretty miserable Saturday and I went through a almost two rolls of toilet paper blowing my nose, but we had a good time doing it! haha The highlight was definetly having N confirmed on Sunday. I was looking forward to doing it but I guess a member of the branch presidency has to do it (didn't know that) but I was still able to be in the circle and awesome nonetheless. She's so great, I'm grateful for the blessing she was into my life and that Elder Taylor and I were trusted with one of Heavenly Father's children. We are really starting to get along with the branch and are friends with them now. That makes Sunday's much more fun when you know who people are and can joke around with them. We are recieving more referrals (hallelujah) and so missionary work is goign to be picking up. It's been a slow start, and I keep saying that because some days it litterally feels like we are starting from scratch because some days we are, but things will and are getting better for sure.
I love the pictures! All those cookies and such make my mouth waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaater! I was telling Elder Taylor all about fruit loop cookies, and we are going to try and make some, wish us luck! Since we've had cooking gas, we have gone all Betty Crocker Martha Stewart in the kitchen. We wanted a tasty snack the other night so we got creative... home made funnel cake (Dad, listen up). If you deep fry buttermilk pancake batter, and put chocolate syrup and icing sugar on it, watch out... your body won't know what hit you! IT was delicious, ripped both of us in two, but sooo worth it haha. My new years resolution is to eat a little healthier.. I think its a good resolution :)
Anyways, that was about all that happened this week, pretty quiet! I am so stoked for the Christmas party, we are wearing matching rasta ties to it, gonna be lookin fresh! I will tell you all about it on Sunday at 10:30 your time! Email me back if that works!
Love you!
Elder Romney
PS: In the pictures you sent me... who is the baby?? Do I have a new baby brother???
PPS: A couple pics for you, check out the rasta CARDIGAN.. yeah, I bought a cardigan. Hard rocker Jackson bought a rasta cardigan... i amaze myself too...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dec. 12th letter (I can't stand counting the weeks-it makes time go too slow!

I love your Christmas tree! (Lynette's note-we made our family tree this year with nothing but gold and green lights and ornaments with little Jamaican Flags)  We love walking past the banks here because they are some of the only buildings with Christmas decorations up. As far as food goes, I've only had one loaf of white bread since I've been here, and that was my first week, I've been getting whole wheat every week since. We got cooking gas this week thanks to President and Sister Hendricks. They were all the way out here in Sav and already they took us to get some. So we went straight Betty Crocker and Martha Stuart last night and deep fried some dumplings (still working on the flour to water ratio) and Chiky's last night :) Chicky's are like a vannila oreo outside with strawberry frosting in the middle... yes not healthy at all, BUT I didn't drink much soda this week, I only had two, and my face is like butter. Definetly watching the soda from now on, I dig not having acne! It's a nice change. Fruits, yeah.... there isn't much fruit here to be honest. It's not in season, but summer time there are mongos and guinepp and all sorts of fruit. I drink Tropicana at KFC, that counts right? ;) 

The baptism was great! Things went pretty smoothly, getting the branch to sit down for it was a gong show for some reason, with little kids and such. That was kinda frustrating, but we held it right after church and it was awesome. Elder Taylor did the baptism, there was lots of people there, we got a picture with her, the Spirit was so strong, I loved it! She was very happy as well. She is receiving the Holy Ghost next sunday at church and she asked me if I would give it to her, so that will be exciting as well. We had an investigator at the baptism too and he said he liked it a lot which is shaweeeeet. Things are good!
The rest of the week was kinda slow. We still don't have many people to teach so we are doing a lot of referall hunting and finding still. We were focused on meeting with N more than anything this week. It POURED on Thursday! It hasnt rained like this since August. We were soaking wet, Elder Taylor had an umbrella, I on the other hand, flew without one and goodness sakes, I was wet haha And cold! It gets cold here at night when you're wet!
Oh! Big news! We tracked down a computer and soooooo we will be skyping this Christmas! I need to know what the time difference is exactly between me and you and when works for you for us to call. You guys will have to create an account on skype and give me the address of it so when I log on I can type it in and call you. Im so excited! So Definetly let me know those thigns in this email because it will be the last one before Christmas! I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I don't think I will ever ask for anything for Christmas again, kickin it with you guys will be good enough. Defienetly one thing my mission has done for me is made me appretiate what I have. And I will be sending your package this week! You will love it, hopefully everything fits... better delete that part before the kids see! haha
In other news, it's election time here in Jamaica and everyone goes crazy for them. Its PNP (orange) and JLP (green) and both are having huge rallies here in Sav as we speak. I can feel the bass of the speaker towers in the internet shop right now, its nuts. We avoid them at all costs because Pres. told us to and because its stupid to be around them. They get pretty crazy, we arent allowed to wear green or orange ties because some people are lookin for a reason to beat the snot outta ya. But either way, things here in Sav are getting better! 

Tell the family I love them, I was thinking about Grandpa on Saturday too. Family temple day sounded like it was awesome. Well I love you all! 

Tell CJ Ive been waiting for an email from that homeboy!!
Elder Romney

Monday, December 5, 2011

Week 22

Well hello!
Christmas devotional?? Heck yes we did! It was kidna frusterating though because streaming it over the internet at the church was a bust, it had to buffer every 10 seconds, but the parts I saw were really good. It's so funny, everyone from the branch came to the church to watch it and it started at 8 our time... at by 8:30, there was more people asleep than awake! Little kids and adults alike! Everyone here goes to sleep so early and get up so early, it was pretty funny to see 20 of probably 30 people zonked out in the chapel. We were so pumped for the christmas singing, and we did get to hear all the hymns which was awesome. I love christmas music! We have a christmas CD here that a member made for us, we gave her a list of christmas songs and she put them on a CD and of course, had to have Amy Grant's "Grown up Christmas list" and "Rockin around the Christmas Tree" and Harry Connick Jr's "When my heart finds christmas" and "Sleigh Ride". It feels like im at home jammin with you guys! Christmas here is so much different, I wrote a Christmas parody in the shower this mornin.:
Oh the weather outside is windy
dandy and hot and sandy
with only 19 more months to go
I miss snow I miss snow I miss snow!! haha... I thought it was pretty funny.
This week was rather interesting. First the not so good, Elder Taylor got robbed down in the hood on saturday... it wasnt scary or anything, just some punk kid, probably 19 or 20, riding his bike past, turned around and said "hey can I see your sunglasses?" Elder Taylor took them off his face, knowing if he gave them to him he would steal them, so he was holding them away and the kid just snatched them out of his hands, put them on and said "I look good in these. Im keeping them" and rode off. We were both really mad, I wanted to go get them back but, as a more wise seasoned missionary, Elder Taylor pointed out that its not worth getting stabbed over a $5 pair of shades. Which is true, but we were pretty put out the rest of the day. Even in Spanish Town, the HEART of the ghetto, even in Gordens Pen, the HEART of the HEART of the ghetto, we got more respect than here. It's pretty sad. But whatev's, all is safe and sound. So to answer your question about if there is ghetto is Sav, there is, but its hardly even the ghetto. Spending the first 3 and a half months in the real ghetto makes New Market Oval look like hollywood.
But, the good news.... N IS GETTING BAPTISED SUNDAY! Yay! She is a super star! Seriously, she's a friend of a member, and she has kept every commitment, every appointment, and done everything we've asked her to do. She was already living a very good lifestyle so she didnt need to make many changes at all, she's been to church every sunday and arrived before most members do, and read 1 Nephi chapters 1-13 already and asks quetions when she doesnt understand. It is so cool to see how she's grown in the last 4 weeks. Her little girl is soo cute too, she's 2 and an active lil girl. Her interview is wednesday and then after church Sunday she will be baptised.Talk about a blessing! She's going to be a great member. Oh, and double good news, V IS GETTING BAPTISED ON SUNDAY TOO! He's our super star in Spanish Town that we "randomly" came up to us outside the church. We won't get to see it but that doesnt really matter, I'd love to serve in spain town again and link up wit him. It's gonna be a good weekend!
Oh right, the other questions. The food here is good. I've taken a new approach to food since we dont have gas for the stove and havnet since spanish town, I just buy PB and J, bread, and some snacks every week and eat that at home. There is a KFC here and a Burger King that we hit up every now and again, but I would love to get stove gas so I can start doing eggs again, maybe when the zone leaders are here they can take us in the truck to go get another tank. Lactose wise I think i've still got it. I've had Ice Cream twice and both time's ive been pretty mashed up. It didnt stop me though... funny how that works haha It has stopped me though after I remembered "oh yeah, I don't like this feeling". I don't buy milk or anything, i drink about 3-4 liters of water a day and about a Pepsi or Grapefruit Shweeps a day too. I've kicked back on the soda though, not helpin my teenage bumps (thats what they call acne here).
This month is going to fly by. Baptism this week, a full week next week, then the christmas party in Kingston! We are so jacked for the christmas party and christmas, it will be fun. Yes skype will be awesome! We're still tracking down a computer, we might be able to buy or borrow a camera and mic from someone and use the church's computer which would we way cool. Are you really 4 hours behind? Thats pretty wild.. we have a few more emails to figure out wah gwaan so im not to worried. Ill let you know for sure whats up though by next week or the monday of christmas week. as soo as we know, you will know.
Can you put a some more dough on my card? I need to send your christmas package :) Thank you!
You guys sound like you're havin a hoot, everyone eat some Russian Tea cakes and short bread and cinnomon rolls and fruit loop cookies for me! Oh and your package made it, I think its your package, but Ill be opening it at christmas time, just fyi. OH and Pryors sent a package too! Beef jerky, toosie rolls, licorise, gum, and propel packets... they know how to make a boy happy! The jerky is almost all gone... i couldnt stop eating it haha anyways, I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Romney

Monday, November 28, 2011

week 21

I MISS THANKSGIVING!!! I will send some pictures of Elder Taylor's and my thanksgiving. It was definitly not the same, but we celebrated for sure. He did a trade of in Negril the day before, so Elder Gray and I taxi'ed out there that morning and served in the soup kitchen. It was pretty fun, definitly the most rockin soup kitchen in Negril since we were there... I think I've found my calling in life after that... I can see it now, big lights down the side of the strip in Vegas that says "SOUP!" I couldnt stop thinkin about Nacho Libre being making soup, it was very similar. BUT ANYWAYS! We went to Ricks Cafe and got the dog bowl ice cream dessert for our thanksgiving feast. Most delicious.
This week was good though, we got transfer calls on Saturday, we are staying in Sav (no surprise there). Things are still pretty slow as far as a teachign pool is concerened. We are teaching about 6 people I think, but 4 came to church on sunday and 3 have baptisms dates and are very very solid, reading their Book of Mormon, coming to church, definitly genuienly wanting to be baptised which is SHAAAAWEET! December will be a fast month for sure, I hit my 6 month mark Jan 6th! Crazy how fast things go. It doesnt seem like ive been here long at all though because the weather doesnt change. It's not as rainy as it was when I first got here, but its still hot and sunny every day.
We are so pumped for Christmas!! If we can find a computer to use on Christmas day at a members house or something, that means we can skype each other! How cool would that be?? I think that would be most triumphant. There isnt much Christmas celebration here. We saw that inside the bank they are decorationing but other than that, there isnt anything. The electricity bills here are ridicoulusly expensive anyways, so christmas lights are out of the question for most people. We have been singing Christmas songs though since the beginning of November and will probably sing them until at LEAST April. Gotta love Christmas!
This week we had some great lessons. One lady we are teaching is just so solid. She says yes to everything we teach her and at first we werent sure if she was just saying that or if she really cared, sure enough we went back after one day of not teaching her and she'd read all the intro, testimonies of witnesses, and the firstfour chapters of the Save about a year ago so its very nice, air conditioned and everything.
Elder Taylor and I are having a lot of fun here (but not to much fun... its obedient fun ;) ) Im going to send some pictures a bit later, so dont worry! You will have some! love you!
Elder Romney

Monday, November 21, 2011

week 20

Hey family!!
This week was a lot better than last week for sure. Sav is beautiful! As is Negril! We went there for district meeting and are going back today for p=day, ill have some awesome pictures for you guys.
We did a loooooooooooooooooooot of finding this week. I kinda feel like Robbie might feel in France. We rode around forever, talking to as many people as we could. In the schemes of Sav, the people are always at work during the day. So we walked through all of Llendilo and maybe saw two people. That makes days a little difficult, but there is always people down in New Market to talk to. New Market is right along the ocean and we spend a lot of time in there. There are a lot of members down there and out of the 3 people we are teaching, we meet two of them in New Market. The vibes here are a lot different than in Spanish Town, that east coast vs west coast vibe I guess. People here are a lot more kick back and not as busy, but not as open to discuss with you and if they are discussing, they just want bash. Its not terrible at all, we had a couple discussions (I wouldnt call them bashes because no one was yelling and we were keeping it pretty cool) with a few people and obviously throwing scriptures to them proving what we are discussing doesnt do anything, so after about 20 minutes into each of them we just end it and invite them to come learn more at church. It is fun to see how people interpret the bible so differently though... and when I mean differently, I mean more different than anything Ive EVER heard. It makes for an exciting day.
Our branch here is great. We are really clicking with them and earning their trust. Back in February, 18 people were baptised in the space of 3 months, all from member referrals. So we are definitly trying to get those. There are a few people we call up to come teaching with us every once in a while which is a huge help because they take us to their friends. Its been a slow go as far as gaining a teaching pool, but we arent discouraged. Things are good! Two of the people we are teaching have already accepting to be baptised and have come to church. We arent teaching many people as of now, but the people we are teaching are solid which is definitly nice.
Snow? Whats that? ;)
I cant wait to get that video! That will be so cool to see everyone. Oh, and mom... Ive only been out 4 and a half months, not 5 and 1/2... but good try! haha Christmas time I will call later. Our church is from 10-1 so calling early would be a little bit obscene.. I want to talk to my family, not the zonked out zombie version at 4 in the morning your time!

A couple biznizz things: I now know what I need for christmas... My shoes ripped the other day and its my only pair so I would LOVE some dough for some new church shoes and also I need a new bicycle seat... Im sending a picture of it, its a little.. uh... worn. Its been handed down from father Nelson to me, and goodness sakes, its time for it to retire! A good pair of shoes that will last are abut $70 in in the department store and my Cloud 9 bicycle throne is about $35.. so... yes... that would be lovely!! 
oh yeah, i got your letter with the pictures!! I laughed so hard when I saw the one of all of us! Made my day! Thanks!!
I love you guys!
Elder Romney 
Pictures :1. The throne itself in all its glory... its rather painful! 2. Nothing makes a missionary happier than a cold pepsi and some mallows! We roast them out on the veranda on a hibachi grill that a missionary left. A great way to wind down the evening. 3. The combo.

Monday, November 14, 2011

week 19

Hey there family!
What. A. Week. Im not sure where to start.... Well I guess we will start with Monday night. Monday was a hoot, gotta love p-day in Spanish Town, had family home evening at Sister C's house, it was so much fun. We got home and recieved a call from the AP's saying that... we are getting emergency transfered to Savana La Mar on Wednesday. Yep, so we are here now in Sav, whitewashing our second area in 6 weeks. It's hard to describe because we really really really loved Spanish Town, in three weeks it become both of our favorite area. Had three baptisms lined up, lots to do, everything was going great. And now we are in Sav, which is amazing. Its right on the ocean, I get to see the other  side of the island, its really nice over here, but its a complete whitewash. There wasnt much left to work with in the area book, it hadn't been updated for about 9 months and we still don't know many people... its just been a crazy week. We spent the first two days here just cleaning because the house was a disaster. But, all is well now, its a very nice house, big, washing machine AND hot water :) we are blessed for sure. The past four days after that we have been exploring our area. We walked friday but got our bicycles fixed saturday and rode everywhere, trying to talk to everyone and get to know the place. We were blessed on our first day out on the town we ran into a member and he showed us were some members live and introduced us to some people. The branch here is very friendly and we do have some friends that we made at church. Missionary work was booming here about 9 months ago, all from member referalls so that is definetly the way we are going to go about it. Its the best way.
Things are really good though. We are stoked to be here, stoked that we finally saw the ocean (especially Elder Taylor, hasnt seen it since he got here 8 months ago). I never thought I would serve in three areas in three transfers but its good, I'm learning so much. Sav is sweet, talk about a kick back ocean town. Everyone here is so chill, even traffic here seems relaxed (besides the accident we saw this morning, that was crazy!) But there is a lot to be done and we are ready for it. Some good news from Spanish Town, V came to church and went to a baptism! He is such a boss, sad to leave him but Elder Hitchcock and Elder Colluci will take care of him. The Lord works in mysterious ways for sure. I'll attach some pictures of the latest excursions. I love you all!!
Elder Romney 

Monday, November 7, 2011

week 18

hello! my shift key is still all wacky on this computer so my apologies.
This week was really great. i am really loving Spanish Town. We had some really cool experiences, ones that i will remember for the rest of my mission.
First, so on tuesday we went out, had a full day planned and walked out to gorden pen to try and meet with R (our investigator with a baptismal date). We got totally lost, had no idea where anything was, spent about an hour walking around trying to find it. We find his street, and as we are walking a man stops us and asks us what we believe about Spirits and the devil. So we talk to him a bit, and he's posted up on this cement building window so we go sit with him. An hour later after hitting what seemed like every topic there is about the church, he asks when we can come back and teach him more because he hasnt ever been so interested in something in his life. He already goes to church but got really hooked on about how in 1 peter chapter 4 saying that spirits get taught in the spirit world but are held accoutable to the laws of the flesh and it blew his mind, so we were stoked!! Just a random guy on the street and turns out to be the nephew of someone in our branch presidency. Cha. Sweetness. So then we go down to R's and he's got a friend there who is also extremely interested. Before this we had only met with R 3 times and he had just learned about the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. We ask him how those things are going with that and after only 2 days he turns around and teaches his friend both principles, word for word. It was so awesome! He has grown so much in just two weeks. He couldnt come to church sunday which was sad but he's still a stud.
So then later that day, we get blown out of 2 appointments, and are sitting outside the church finishing up a soda and about to head off to a lesson and a a man walks by, we exchanges 'goodnights' but he turns around and asks what this building was. Long story short, he had no idea what church we were and hadn't heard anything so we took him inside and showed him around and asked if he had time this week to meet with us again. He says 'well I have time right now. I have time every night because I walk past the church everynight to go home from work". BOOYAH. Teach him about the restoration and he is just asking all the right questions and on board to be taught and learn more. here's where it gets really cool. We leave the church and Elders Hitchcock and Colluci are walking past the church and feel impressed to talk to the guy they just walked past. They flag him down, introduce themselves and the man says "I know, I just got done speaking with Elder Romney and Elder Taylor'. Ya! Talk about meant to be! He told the other elders how he felt something different when he walked into the church and how he was meeting with us and very interested. It was a great experiance. we aren't sure what happened to him though, we havent been able to get a hold of him for 4 days so I think he must be out of credit on his phone.
all in all this week was nice. The last couple days were rough, had all of our appointments cancel besides two from thursday to sunday so we spent a lot of time finding, which is cool. get to talk to more people and get to know the area better.
Shoes, I did buy some but not church shoes. There was a shaweet sale on shoes so I snatched a couple sweet pairs, my church shoes are holding up fine. My feet are all callused up and manly now.
Address, I actually do not know my address :) If you google earth spanish town and find the church building, we live about a 5.45 minute walk from there.
Sounds like things at home are going great! Love you all and stay warm! I know I am!
Elder Romney

Monday, October 31, 2011

week 17

Hey there fam!

my shift key on the keyboard is sticky so i might not have the right punctuation on some things.... just to let you know! ok, questions off the top: Nope, no package from Amanda.. which makes me saaaaaaaad!! Elder Taylor and I live in a four man house with Elder Hitchcock and Elder Collucci and then the Zone leaders have the other side of Spanish Town so there is 6 missionaries here. Makes for some pretty rad P-days and days in general. We have been prankin Elders Hitchcock and Colluci pretty good... it gives everyone a laugh after a long day :) Pres. and Sis. Hendricks finish their mission about the time I finish mine too, two weeks before or something like that.

ok, SPANISH TOWN! It is awesome here, I love it already. Our branch is so awesome, there is two branches, The ZL's are in the other branch, same building though. We meet at 11:30 and we have some studs in there. Our Elder Quorum president and Mission leader come teaching with us all the time. They are so dependable, and teaching with a member present is so much more effective because the investigator already now has a connection to someone in the branch. This week smoked by but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here for month's already. since we are white washing, its like starting from scratch. We are taking the approach of using the branch and lots of referrals instead of aimlessly calling at gates all day (we don’t knock on doors, we call at the gate). And wow, talk about effective! We have four solid investigators, one of which is named R. His sister had been taught by missionaries and he would just listen and sit in but we called him up and he got to the church, found fare somehow, and knows so much about the church already. Accepted to be baptized on Nov. 20th and i can see the blessings he's already received. For one he doesn't have a job... not true anymore. Our Elder quorum pres. hooked him up, he also was at the church when a senior couple was there and they gave him a shirt and two full schoolbags of notebooks, pencils, color pencils, the whole nine yards for his two little sisters. Its awesome, its building my faith the more and more we are teaching him. He came to church Sunday as well. He was late and we were really bummed out but I was fasting for him to come to church and whala, he came for the last part of sacrament meeting and the rest of church. 17 years old and a sick kid.

White washing is new to me, but we literally talk to everyone and invite everyone to church. Everyone. Every human. It's cool. None of them came but still, there's a promise in Doctrine and Covenants that says 'open your mouth and I will give you strength that man cannot know'. Tried that this week and it works! Imagine that, the Lord keeping his promises! We are teaching another teenage guy and a couple other solid people who we are friends with now. one week here and we have been blessed like crazy. Thursday we did splits with Elder quorum pres and mission ward leader, O and I took a WALK all the way out to Thompson pen, like a two hour, two and a half hour walk out there and oh man, I’ve been sore ever since. Walking 11 hours a day will do that to ya! but my feet are getting used to walking and not bicycling again. We talk to so many more people because we walk. I dig it.

In other news, guess who's lactose intolerant?/ me! found that out after two rounds of cheesy pizza... which makes me sad, but I’m over it. It beats being up all night with runny belly. elder Taylor bought a pull up bar and I have a set of perfect pushups from E. Nelson so we are going HARD workin out everyday. I dig it also.

Well fam, things here are great. I miss Halloween for sure, you have to tell me what everyone is for it!! Love you all!!

Elder Romney

Monday, October 24, 2011

week 16


Wow, you guys sound wicked busy. The house looks awesome! It doesn't even look like the same house! This week has been pretty crazy. I ended up not leaving Maypen until Saturday because the new Elder's Visa didn't clear, so I stayed with Elder Johnson and showed him around Maypen. Bicycling all the areas we go in three days makes me realize how huge Maypen is. Our area is the whole parish of Clarendon but we only ever go as far as Twin Palms one way, Tollgate the other way, and Hayes to make up the triangle because its about a 1 and a half to two hour bicycle ride out there one way. But it was really fun showing him around, introducing him to some investigators, he and his trainee are whitewashing so I know it was a help to him to have a guide around for 3 days before Elder Nugent got there. 

Spanish Town! President Hendricks came and picked me up Saturday afternoon and dropped of Elder Nugent to the Maypen house, and then we met up with the Zone leaders and Elder Taylor in Spanish Town. Got all unpacked, the house is nice! Washing machine, two bathrooms, a separate study room, a laundry room, kitchen, little living room space where Elder Hitchcock and Elder Colucci study, its a wicked nice house. I was so used to scrubbing out my laundry I forgot how to work a washing machine... but learned real quick :) Talk about a luxury, I love that thing. My clothes all fit properly again and aren't streched out at the neck (my t-shirts) and everything is white! whoo hoo!! Elder Taylor is a boss. I already knew him from being in the same zone and we get along great. We are excited to see what Spain holds for us as we whitewash. We had church yesterday and a meeting with the branch pres., got a couple refferals which was awesome, and are stoked to get out and meet them. We do home teaching in the branch too to the less actives so we have about 12 people to see each month. We are going about this a lot differently just because we are whitewashing I think.  We are using the branch to get refferals and being really involved with them because 80% of baptisms are from member referalls (I dont know how to spell that!) We are pumped to be here! We have a microwave here too and a way to watch a family DVD as well. 

Well I don't have much time this week to email, got lots to do! But know that Elder Romney is one happy camper in Spanish Town! Things are great, I'll have more to email about when things start picking up. Tell everyone I love them and i'll talk to you next week! 

Elder Romney

PS: halloween is not celebrated here, it is for the sake of parties in the tourist towns, but no where else... which is sad because I miss having candy at my disposal!! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

week 15

This week seems like such a blur! To answer your questions off the top, no, we didnt have any investigators at church that we are teaching, but we had one come from somewhere else, so at 11:15 our time Elder Nelson and I were teaching her about faith and the Word of Wisdom in Gospel Essentials class. But this week was pretty good. It rained a lot. Has there been a hurricane passing by? Because we had some biiiiig rain fall which was awesome to watch. Tuesday night I rode my bicycle in it to get home, talk about wet! It was a lot of fun though. Once you're wet, it doesn't matter how wet you get. But Iearned an important lesson: don't ride through puddles because puddles equal covered up pot holes... yeah... ouch!
I went on a trade off in Old Harbour with Elder Gayle and I tell you what, that guy can cook! We had curry chicken, rice and vegetables. He's a Jamaican, so you know he cooks authentic. I chopped the carrots... and made peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches as an appetizer.... some chef I am, eh? I think when I get home, Pryors is going to have an all new Jamaican addition to the menu with all the food I'm learning how to cook. That was fun, teaching in Old Harbour. Thursday was zone conference. I love zone conference. Spanish Town and Kingston zone all meet in Kingston. It was great, learned a lot.

A story was told about some sister missionaries in Vermont who had been serving the heart of NYC and loved being out in the country, small town area. They were driving up a huge mountain to get to an investigators house out in the middle of no where on some switchback roads. One of the Sisters got the distinct impression to lock the car doors. She ignored it twice, but he third time locked them and told her companion to do so as well. Not 5 seconds after they locked it, they heard a huge thump on the roof of their car and a man was looking down on the windshield and another one on the passenger window. They just kept driving, keeping it cool, and the guys fell off the roof and ran the other way. They made it to the house, got out of the car, and there was a distinct handprint on the handle to the back door. They didn't even notice another man running along side the car trying to open the door.... yeah, crazy story. Moral of the story, follow the Spirit! Don't put off those feelings, especially as a missionary because we are protected when we follow those promptings and need that protection.
Friday night activities are way fun, we're still going. It's a great teaching tool too. Elder Nelson and I aren't harldy ever playing basketball at the same time, one of us is always sitting out, so the one who is sitting out talks to the other guys about the church and stuff. Its good to just get the word out. Nothing has come of it yet, but the seed has been planted.
Ok, time for the big news... Elder Nelson and I are both getting transfered! He is going into Kingston and I'm whitewashing Spanish Town! (Whitewashing is when we are new missionaries, not one who has been in the area at all) I will be with Elder Taylor, who is the man, he served in Linsted which is in our zone so I know him pretty well already. He's actually my brother in missionary language, because your father is your trainer (Elder Nelson) and your second companion is your mother (now Elder Taylor). But Elder Taylor was Elder Nelson's first trainee, making my mother my brother and my father my grandfather.... yeah, my missionary family is whack! Spanish Town will be exciting. It's a big big city, with lots going on. From what I hear its a solid branch with lots of great members, Im so excited! So today we are cleaning our house so its nice for the new missionaries coming. Wednesday is when we are actually leaving Maypen. I'm happy but sad because I was finally getting to know the members and getting places with our investigators, but I know the new missionaries will pick up right where we left off!
Moral of this email: Life is good! You guys sound busy and happy. We don't use Mormon.org as a teaching tool really because no one has internet, but I hear its awesome in the U.S. I love the pics of Mac and Summer and their braces!! They will look so much different when I get back... hope I can recognize them!
Have a great week! Love you!
Elder Romney

Monday, October 10, 2011

week 14

Wa gwan family!

You guys sound so crazy busy! Hearing about snow doesn't make me homesick at all actually... its been 78 degrees here and Elder Nelson and I wake up freezing! It was 77 this morning and I wasn't sure what do do with myself... I'm such a nancy! Anything under 80 degrees now and we get a little bit chilled, I never thought I'd say that in my life. It's been pretty rainy here, and by rainy I mean torrential downpour for a couple hours, then nice sunshine again, ADD weather, but its been really nice. We only got soaked once, the other times we were in lessons when the rain came, definitely counting my blessings! Last Monday we played basketball for zone p-day and oh man, I got quite the tan. My little white calves were quite the scene after a couple hours in the deserts of Port More. There isn't any shade in that city for 30 miles all around! Elder Engebrecht is serving there and has the most solid tan out of any of us new missionaries.

This week was what we would call business week. Elder Nelson had to sign some papers in Kingston, so Wednesday the office elders picked us up and we went into "town" (thats what kingston is called here). Talk about a hustle bustle city! It was awesome. There was some mix up with the papers, so we had to go back Thursday as well. It was cool to see so much of Kingston! Coming back to Maypen felt like coming home though, which is nice :)

One really cool thing that happened this week is that we were able to see W who is dying to get baptized, he and his new wifey K. We were walking through Maypen town and he was standing outside a wholesale store, just standing on duty. He wasn't in full uniform so we were crackin joke about casual Friday for the Babylon (police). I cracked a joke asking if I could take his bulletproof vest, and he said "You have more protection that I could ever have with this vest" and pointed to my name tag. The reason that is so cool is because we are hardly ever able to meet with him and K due to their crazy work schedule and the police duo, but you can tell they really are trying to make progress. They read everynight, we gave them some DVD's like The Testament and Finding Faith in Christ and they came to the Relief Society session of conference because they didn't have to work that night. Whats even cooler than that is that we didn't tell them when that session was, so they found out for themselves so they could come. It's so great to see that W has such a strong testimony, despite having things that are getting in his way of being a fully fellowshipped member. When we walked away, I gave Elder Nelson a high five and couldn't help but smile because its true, we have a lot of protection from the Lord behind our little black name tags and I'm grateful for it and that we are able to follow the Spirit to keep us safe. Without it, I think there would most definetly be a lot more scary things about Jamaica, but with it, Jamaica no problem! 
Transfer calls come next Saturday! It's so crazy how fast things are going now. I'm pretty positive I'll be staying in Maypen, which is fine by me because I really like it here. I'm thinking I will be getting a new companion because Elder Nelson has been here for 7 and a half months... which is a crazy long time! 

In other news, I've learned some shaweeeet versions of church hymns. Nearer My God to Thee and We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet are the perfected ones, working on Come Thou Fount and others. Who knew playing hymns could be so sweet? I guess you did mom... all those Sunday's back home asking if I was ever going to learn a hymn or two... I am now! ;)

Well I'm glad to hear things are pretty good at home, just remember, "Ask and ye shall receive, knock, and it shall be opened unto you". Scripture of the week! haha I'm sending some pictures because I figured out how to make them smaller. They are of the drive to Kingston, some pretty sunsets, and a couple other things, I don't really remember haha

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We can send Christmas packages! This is different info than I got at the beginning of J's mission!

Some of you have questions about your missionaries and Christmas, so we are writing to let you know the best way to send packages.
It is best to send the packages to our P. O. Box:
Jamaica Kingston Mission
P. O. Box 2316
Kingston 8, Jamaica
We moved our mission office, so please do not send packages to 36 ½ - 38 Red Hills Rd., Kingston 10, Jamaica
Also, be sure and write CHRISTMAS on the box in big bold letters.
Normally packages take 3 or 4 weeks by airmail to get here.  But it does take longer at Christmastime, so plan on sending it by the end of October/first part of November (just to be safe). 
We encourage you to send simple gifts:  clothing, ties, socks, beef jerky (can’t get it here), candy, family photos, and various stocking stuffers.  Also, if you are so inclined, you could send extra items for the local missionaries here, who generally do not get anything from home (label, please).
Please be aware if you send electronics (including cameras) customs fees will probably be charged to your missionary.  Customs opens all packages and charge duty fees on expensive items or items they think you may resell.  Then your missionary has to pay these fees to pick up the package.  We have not had any problems with items being stolen, but packages are opened and inspected.
Thank you so much for doing your part for your missionary to have a wonderful Christmas.  We appreciate all your love and support and prayers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 13 letter

Wa gwan!

I looooooooooved conference! Oh my goodness, I had 12 pages of notes and killed a pen in the process. It was so great. Conference as a missionary is way cooler than conference at home. I didnt want it to end. The two hours seemed so short! But anyways, yes, conference was awesome! One of my favorite talks was  Tad E. Callisters,  talked about the Book of Mormon and the Bible and how its necessary to have a second witness of Jesus Christ. He said "how many straight lines can you draw through this dot? (the dot being the bible)" and you can draw an infinite amount of lines through it, the lines being different churches and interpretations of the Bible. Then he said "How many straight lines can you draw from this dot (the bible) to this dot (the Book of Mormon)?" Just one! We are totally using that in explaining why its so important to have it, it makes so much sence!

This week was also awesome. We felt a lot of love from a lot of people. T, a lady we are teaching who is great, we taught her about chastity and she said she would live it. The next day we went back and her friend started talking about how sex before marriage is what you should do and T was totally opposite and said that it wasnt right... which wasnt the case 2 days earlier! Cha Ching! Then they gave us two stalks of sugarcane, a bundle of green bananas, and a ton of guinep! Ya! Awesome!

Later on in the week Elder Krauss and I are on a trade off and we were fed twice in one night! Double awesome. Our investegators are doing well. It was so cool, Sunday night after conference we were walking up to Mineral Heights, about a 45 minute walk, and a taxi pulls over and we wave him off because we didnt have any fare but lets us in anyway and took us to Mineral Heights. Turns out Elder Nelson knows him and has kinda taught him before, so we got his number and he told us we better call and teach him because he's been wanting to be taught again for a while. Yeah, that was awesome.

This week on cooking with Elder Romney, we will be cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner, but with only one meal! What meal is this would you ask? A beautiful thin called Desparado. Take some flour, put a touch of sugar in it, add water, and fry it up like a pancake! Add some powdered sugar and whalah! You have Elder Romney's staple food! haha Its actually really nice. For everything to make it, it was only $600 and will last me foooorrreeevveerrr. Its safe to say I didnt eat very healthy this week.... President Hendricks brought Elder Nelson and I a healthy amount of Dr. Pepper this week, so that also has been and will be (for quite some time) a lovely treat, I love my mission president. Not just for the DP though, he's the man. He knows how to lead missionaries and lead them as a friend, not someone who is hard to follow. Love that guy!

This week was great. It sounds like you are doing good over there, sorry to here about everyone being a little sick and stressed, just live the Jamaican way: "No problems mon!"

I love you guys!
Elder Romney

Monday, September 26, 2011

Week 12

Hello my family!!

I was thinking about it, and my letters home aren't very spiritual, which might be depicting me as a missionary or my mission as just another thing to check off my bucket list. SO NOT TRUE. This week we have been blessed beyond belief. It was seriously amazing to see the things that have transpired since our last email.

One blessing is A, a new investigator. She actually just rolled into church 3 weeks ago to check it out. We had never talked to her or seen her before, and weren't able to catch her number afterwords because D came by after church so we were teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. I love teaching at the church, it's almost like cheating when it comes to feeling the Spirit because it's always there. Anyways, A came back the next Sunday and we saw here twice this week, not counting Sunday, and holy cow, she was definetly one of those people who the Lord prepared for us to teach. She has kept every commitment with reading the Book of Mormon, and she lives up in the hills a little bit so its nice and quite when we teach. Elder Nelson and Elder Montegomery chopped her yard Thursday morning (we had a trade off with the Zone Leaders, so I was in Spanish Town with Elder Mackey) and she was to be baptised, prayed about it and everything. We are looking at Oct. 15th or the week after that, but she came back to church for the third straight week and we teach the Gospel Principles class/ investigator class so we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) and the Spirit was so strong. She said she loves Relief Society which is great, oh man, its wonderful. We are seeing her again on Thursday and we are really excited about her. 

This week was great. I put some new parts on my bicycle because they were going to break off soon, both my tires exploded! It was pretty hilarious actually, so now I am riding a Cadillac of bicycles which makes riding the hills of Clarendon much more enjoyable. I've now lost 20 pounds, almost 25 because when I checked yesterday after two dinners and having soaked pants from the rain I was 165, but I feel great. Who knew loosing fat would make a person feel good! haha 

Things at home sound awesome! I love the pictures of Mac playing football. It takes me back to my ol' playing days... wow, I sound like an old man when I say it like that. The house is looking great, the garden looks huuuuuuge, and I'm so glad you got the SD card. I was hoping you'd get it soon. 

This week is going to be great too. General Conferance! Whoot whoot! And I've only got 30 pages left in the Book of Mormon. Double whoot whoot! 
Well I'm glad you guys had a great week too, enjoy this week and I will be talking to you next monday! My email probably won't be home until later in the day, we are having zone p-day, basketball in Port Mor! Triple whoot whoot! haha

Love you all!
Elder Romney

PS: No, I don't need more pants, I'm still rockin' strong with the 4 or 5 I have, tell Shelby happy birthday!! I miss those guys! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Week 11 letter

Wa gwan!

So! Things back home sound like they are soooo fun! This week wasnt very exciting compared to last week, so the email won't be as long. Jamaica is still hot, and I actually got sunburned again! I think it was because we started eating real food like eggs and... eggs haha So my skin can hack the sun again, got a niiiiiiiice farmers tan goin on. Seriously, its a little scary how at the beginning of the day, people yell "white man!" as we ride by, and at the end of the day they are yelling "red man!" :)

Monday we just had P-day, shot some pool, wrote a song, nothing special EXCEPT!!! (THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK) We found Dr. Pepper at Shoppers Fair (the store)!! Ya! Usually you can only get it in Kingston, but nooooope we found it, and bought the last 3 cases... we are lining our hallway with the empty cans. If there is one thing that is going to get me fat, its DP. They haven't stocked it yet again, but we havent gone shopping... i hope its there!

Tuesday... lets just say me and Nelson are pretty sure someone cast an Obie curse on our bicycles (Obie is kinda like jamaican voodoo). I had 4 flat tires and Nelson had one. 5 flats on the day between four tires, and a broken axle... yeah, that was a downer. We were at the bicycle four like 2 hours for the axle, got a late start to the day, and then on the way back from Hodlins at night my tire popped again, but thankfully some nice people called us over and not only gave me two patches but fixed it, water checked it, they were so nice. It was a first! We almost just kept walking, thinking they were just gonna chat us. But we stopped. It was cool.

Wednesday was district meeting, the ZL's were there too. It was good, nothign to exciting EXCEPT chinese food! It was ridiculously good, left me in an Asian coma, one of the most deadly coma's of its kind! Taught a few people, nothing to crazy. No big bicycle problems.

Thursday was actually pretty normal. The security guard and Juicy's wanted a Book of Mormon so we gave him one and talked to him a bit. We talked to him again this morning and since he works so much he hasnt read anything, but we will go back soon. Like we always do, they have pool tables that we happen to use on our lunch hour and p-day :)

Friday- Super planning, so we arent allowed to leave the house until 2, buuuuut Elder Nelson painted his bicycle all white (it looks sweet) and had some trouble putting it back together, so we didnt get out until 3:30 which suuucked. We went and saw J, a lady who used to go to church and have been seeign for abuot three weeks. She hasnt come to church or read anything so we are wonding how interested she is or if she just likes the white man company. Activity night was so fun. Basketball again, Ive decided when I get home, Im only ever playing in a white shirt, tie, and slacks because you cyaaaaant beat me when Im in that! haha Seriously, it was awesome. Except I forgot my sneakers so my one pair of shoes is already torn and pretty much done... they were ripped like the first 2 weeks i was out here just from walking... so ill be buying a nice sturdy pair of shoes probably within the next six months... stinkin wal mart!! 

Saturday was our Tour de Maypen day... rode allll the way past Palmers Cross to see B who didnt really give us the time of day because she was leaving, then to Burger King for my second medicinal Whopper (ya, two medicinal whoppers in one week... that should explain my level of sanity this week) then allll the way out to four paths to see Rasta C. Did some finding as well, ended up way out in the bush of Four Paths and was talking to a lady who said she saw us earlier in Maypen town... and we just HAPPENED to wander all the way out there and she HAPPENED to be outside at that time we were walking by... yeah, thats what ya call having people put in your place! So we will definetly be going back there. We had a nice conversation with some 7th Day Adventists, that was fun. And then bicycled home and did some more finding out there.

Sunday was amazing as usual. We actually had two investegators come to church! Ya! Thats a first! 10 weeks in a my first investegators at church... about time! :) We had a lesson on the Plan of Salvation and it was really nice, felt the Spirit. It's so true too, I'm so glad that we can kick it with our family after we die. A lot of people don't quite comprehend that here. Anyways, ate at S and W, saw Z (13 year old recent convert ) and then dropped some church dvd's off at W for his wife to watch.

All in all, it was a frusterating week as far as teaching and bicycle problems go, but we keep things in pretty good perspective (me and Nelson) and don't let it get us down to much. Can't force people to follow the Gospel and be happy! haha Wish ya could sometimes, but anyways, i didn't chat back to anyone this week! If anyone chatted us, we just yelled back "ONE LOVE!" It's pretty fun, it's fun when people chat us now. 

This week should be a good one I think, we're seeing some small success with a couple people and hopefully it continutes!! Love you all! Likklemore!

Elder Romney

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 9 letter

Wa Gwan!

So this week though was absolutly insane. Seriously. Insane. Like im so glad its over insane and I can't believe everything that happened insane.

Monday we were in Linstead, went to Natural Bridge and these siiiiick caves! I took a bunch of pictures that you will be seeing in the next couple weeks. It was so awesome, the first beautiful thing ive seen in Jamaica actually haha We got Pizza Hut after (yuuuuummmmm!!!) annnnnd since the ZoneLeaders love me so much, they picked me up a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper when they were in Kingston because thats the only place you can get it! it was sooo nice. Maybe the highlight of the whole week. 

Tuesday... We got a late start to the day due to some extra curricular activities taking place outside our house... which was crazy, but no worries, all is good, so we left at like 11, had to go shopping because we were out of breakfast food and we saw... A WHITE FAMILY! YEAH! I KNOW! WHAT ARE WHITE PEOPLE DOING IN MAYPEN?? Then I looked at my extremely tan arm against a white shirt and realized they were probably thinking the same thing. I waved the the 10 year old boy, I couldnt stop smiling, it totally made my day haha I know thats weird, but for half a second, i thought i was back home in walmart shopping around! So that was crazy, then we dropped our stuff off at the house and made the hour long ride to Four Paths to see Rasta C.  I dont remember much about Tuesday after that. We ate at H like we do every tuesday. Delicious as always, but i can never finish it. Call me a Nancy, but i just have this mental block of finishing my food there. Im always soooooo full. 

Wednesday was transfer day that we werent at because me and Nelson are in Maypen for at least another 6 weeks. We taught a couple lessons, got lunch and juicies where i got slaughtered by Nelson in pool, met a kid named J who wanted to come to church and play ball on friday nights with us, so we gave him our number. Then we went on a 4 hour finding spree, got totally lost out in the bush, ended up above all of Maypen with this sick view and these huge houses around us, nice grass, it was quite, seriously like a little America. We begged a momma a glass of water (you call all the women older than you momma here "Good afternoon momma", its kinda cool, they call you sweetie or darling or bumbaclot (a Jamacain swear word) if they dont like you... we get the third one a lot haha but anyway, she directed us back to Maypen and that was that

Thursday we were fasting and I want to meet the person who said that the devil doesnt have a body... because he does... he took the form of Elder Nelsons bicycle! Seriously, two flats, a broken axle, and 4 hours later we finally got out to four paths to see Rasta C and then to an investegator's church service. I think it was a baptist church and he said if we came to his he would come to ours (which he didnt) but anyways, it was really different. But the best part: we are sitting there, listening to the lady preach and scream, and she gets done, there is only like 10 people there, and the lady next to us is like "before we pray, would you like to talk about your church to everyone?" We couldnt believe it... so guess who was a guest minister in a baptist church teaching about the Mormons??? cha! us! It was hilarious. I mean, we took it serious, read Jacob 3 i think, and Moroni 10:3-5, talked about prophets and the Book of Mormon for 7 minutes, but it was so cool. Walk into a church, not planning to teach and just to listen, and we end up teaching a sermon to the people... we even got a couple amen's and a hallelujah. Pretty wicked. 

Friday we had super planning, we had to walk because papa P locked the garage with our bikes in and left, so we only taught a couple lessons before friday night activity. We got hurricane style rain and lightening this whole weekend, shotgun loud thunder, it was nuts, so we just played domino friday night with these kids C and R. Smoked them. They werent happy white man gave them 6 in domino. But it was funny. Then we say J walking home... He texted us and stuff and asked what we were doing... just weird. 

Saturday we taught a lady who Krauss referred to us. She has had one rough life. I don't wanna repeat it because its not my place to, but i had a bit of the fear tear goin... we taught her about enduring to the end and having faith. We will meet with her this week for sure. ZL's dropped up some Books of Mormon, got Chinese food, and J, somehow... found us in Maxie's buying some new shoes wit the ZL's, followed us to the church, we taught him a little bit, but we was more interested in other things that church stuff... so i was really uncomfortbale and a little mad at Nelson because he kinda threw me under the bus and made a phone call right as J started talkin about weird stuff. So I bit the bullet and tried to help him. On the ride home a guy yelled "f-ing Americans" and i was already on edge and in a bad mood and didnt take the high road. Chatted back, crossed the street and had a little confrontation, nothing big, just asked him what i ever did to him and why he was being stupid, he backed down and stumbled over his words, like they all do... im really gonna work on that though. We usually just ride on, but there is a scripture that says in Alma that says "blessed are they who are persecuted without cause in my name; for theirs is the kingdom of God", im gonna try that. 

Sunday was solid as always. Full of food, went to the CES fireside where Elder Oaks spoke. it was really good. Talked about truth and tollerance. Good talk.

Well that was my crazy week, hopefully this week is better. But, my life is pretty good. No worries about girls, money, where to live, all i do is wake up, play my guitar, go teach the gospel, come home and play my guitar. Jesus and my six string for two years! Not to shabby :) I love you all!!! Have a great week, 

Elder Romney