Elders McCleod and 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