Elders McCleod and Romney

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What truly matters

Merry Christmas Eve morning!!

You guys look great in the Bahamas gear! I'm so glad the package made it. I'm looking at last years picture of you guys in the Bob Marley stuff and comparing- everyone still looks great! haha Macky is starting to look like a young man instead of a little boy and it's starting to scare me a bit. Watch out ladies- Cheeseball is growing up. I'm glad you like the stuff. I realize that I love to spend money- that hasn't changed, but I like spending money on you guys more. I think about your reactions when you open them or if the girls would actually wear the stuff to school, I've enjoying shopping for you! It's about the only time I feel like a tourist here. Unless they try and charge you to much- then you pull the "Uh, I live here, can't pull the wooly over my eyes bwoy!"

I think the ding dong ditch to a family would be awesome. We will talk about it and make it special for someone. 

Well I'll save most of the chit chat for Wednesday, but I just want to share an experience I had in Sacrament meeting yesterday. We got to church a little earlier than usual to make sure everything was straight for church, and I just felt so full of joy. The word happy wouldn't do justice to my feelings yesterday. We were planning on having two investigators at church- D said she was coming and E as well. Church was getting close to start, people are usually late, it's safe to say I've never been so ancy or anxious waiting for investigators to come. It's not that I doubt that they will come, but so many times their ride bails or they can't catch the bus. But about 5 minutes before church started, D showed up and I was just so thrilled. SO THRILLED. 5 minutes after the meeting started, E came and I just felt at peace. They have friends in the branch, they are sincere seekers of truth.  When we saw D saturday night she said she was going to catch the bus early so she didn't have to rely on anyone else for a ride. She understands how important church is. E- that guy is ready for church by like 8:30 waiting for his ride every Sunday. Awesome. 

Yesterday after church we went to the little girls' house and sang Christmas carols while I played the guitar. We were leaning against an old broken down car, a party full of drunks next door, police sirens blaring past us, but in that little circle of 5 there was hope and happiness. We were laughing, making up silly songs, singing their favorite Christmas songs, it seemed almost surreal.  These are the same little girls that asked what it was like to get a Christmas present, but for that 45 minutes none of that really mattered. I think of when Christ visits the Nephites in the Book of Mormon and blesses all the little children. I don't picture Christ checking his watch saying "Well times up kids, love to stay but I've got more important things to do". I have a testimony that as we do little things for people, whether it be going to their house with the choir and singing for someone sick or smiling at someone and asking how their day was, that is when Christ is closest to us. If charity is the pure love of Christ, why do we turn up our nose when an opportunity to serve comes along? Everyday we should be looking for ways to do what Christ would do if he were here. We ask everyone if they are excited for Christmas and it is so sad that nobody cares anyone. Out of the probably 50 people, maybe 1 has mentioned they are grateful for the season or excited for Christmas. When we ask why they aren't, you find out clearly that people really miss the whole picture of why we celebrate Christmas. So go do something nice for someone today!

I love you Mom!! I can't wait to talk to you on boxing day!! 

Elder Romney 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Twas the week before Christmas! Lots of pics

Good morning!

ONLY 8 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! AHHH! I guess you could say I'm a wee bit excited. I seriously don't even know where the time has gone. No idea. I still feel like I just got to Nassau.... I've been here coming up in over 6 months! And Christmas is in 8 days? It never ceases to amaze me how time flies. President Hendricks asked me in our interview the other day if it seemed like my mission was flying by or going slow. He said something that surprised me. When I told him how fast it was going he said "Good."... Good? Then he expounded a bit by saying "I find that missionaries who are enjoying their missions and want to be here say their missions feel like their going fast. That's a healthy sign." Well, consider me the healthiest horse in all the land because it's cruising right along. 

Speaking of cruising, Yes, I got Sis. Evans email! When I read it Elder Worley said "Your Mom probably freaked out when that happened!" Was there a freak out? I think it's funny Dad thought you would want to cancel your Christmas plans because our phone call couldn't happen on Christmas Day. No worries, Boxing Day will be just fine. I'll Skype from the church, that way we aren't bothering the E's or D's two days in a row.  The internet connection here is really good, we got it fixed a while ago. That will work out perfect because we have district meeting Wednesday morning from about 10 -12, grab a bite to eat and chat to you guys!  Make sure you take lots and lots of pictures! I lost one of the rechargeable batteries for my camera and went through a set just for the Battle for Atlantis, gonna have to grab some more for Christmas pictures! 

Have you got my package in the mail yet?? I sent it in the beginning of November... if it gets lost in the mail I will be sooooooooo bummed. So so bummed. 

This week was one of our best weeks in quite a while. There were a lot of good things that happened and not many bad things. Good things - bad things = good week. One thing Elder Worley and I are doing is teaching a man how to speak English. It's a completely new thing for me, I'm not sure how great of teachers we are... but we are trying. His name is W, he's 35, married in the temple, his Father has lived here for 14 years. Bro. R (W dad) has 10 kids, most in Haiti, but they are a super family in the church. He's had like 4 sons serve missions, W served in the District presidency there, super stars in the gospel.  It's hard to do anything in the church when you can't speak the language. So about twice a week we teach both of them some English. At first we weren't sure what to do but we thought about it and came to the conclusion that the best thing for both of them would be to learn first how to pray and maybe recite the Sacrament prayers so the can participate in meetings. And to speak in as much English as possible to each other- which isn't much- but it's hard to learn a language when you're only speaking it a couple hours out of a week and the rest of the time you're speaking creole. So that's been a task as of lately, it's going well. W is making progress.  When we teach it's just like teaching the gospel- very, very simply. Which is how it should be. No point in teaching complicated when people aren't going to understand it. 

Another cool thing that happened this week was... we got a referral! Who actually wants to meet with us! We were out at DHL picking up a package and we got a call from a member who lives near by and she said she had someone she wanted us to teach. So we rolled over there and met K. A super nice lady and has a little boy. Very sincere. We went back to meet with her Saturday but she was a bit tied up so we are going back Tuesday. But we were able to have a really great sit down lesson with her the first time we met her. Not even really a lesson, more like an initial overview of what she's looking for and what we believe. It was nice. 

We met up with a guy named A this week. We met two weeks ago while walking to the immigration office while our car was being serviced. Super cool guy, got some big plans in life. We set up a time to meet with him and had a great lesson. As of lately, sit down lessons are so scarce it's so refreshing to have them. We were just talking about life and his plans and just like Elder Holland said, something always ties into a principle of the gospel. Everything A was saying was tying into the gospel- his questions, his concerns, it's one of those feelings like when you're in the MTC and just learning how to teach and it's all laid out there so you don't miss it. Kinda like teaching C, everything seemed perfect. He wants to marry his girlfriend and have a family, wants to provide a good life for her and their eventual kids, looking for the purpose of life... great time to run into the missionaries! He's leaving right after Christmas to go to a community college in Arkansas and then eventually to University of Arkansas to be an engineer- the Little Rock, Arkansas mission is going to be getting a great refferal in a couple weeks!

E is doing well! He was at church yesterday, we've moved his date back to January 13th. We had a great lesson on the word of wisdom and law of chastity. No problems.  I remember at the first of my mission teaching the law of chastity was so awkward... you got kinda squirmy explaining it. Just because it's something totally new you're talking about. The Caribbean culture is completely opposite of the law of chastity. You've just met this person and you're going to tell them to stop having sex with their significant other who they are not married to or to stop watching pornography, when their whole life it hasn't been a bad thing. 17 months later, teaching the law of chastity is the easiest thing to teach. It's so simple. Do things in God's order and you will be blessed. Cut and dry. The hard part comes in when you're helping them overcome their old habits. 

We had an AMAZING branch Christmas party! I'll get the pictures from Elder Worley, it was so sweet!! The best branch function of my mission yet. There was probably 90 people there, great food, great people, great conversation, it was great! When the food was served we went Pryor's waiter style and were doing drinks and getting people food, it was awesome. That's something that's always stuck with me, among many things from working at the restaurant, is Capri and Kevin saying "Whatever you do, make sure everyone's drink is full. Full drinks = happy customers". It's true, I had a two liter of soda in each hand and was going to town on the drink full up! It was lots of fun, we performed two songs. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on the guitar and then the First Noel with me on the ax and Elder Worley on the keys- turned out nice. There was a full PA system and mixing board and everything so the sound was good. I love playing and singing for people. You couldn't catch me singing unless it was with the band before now- a mission changes many aspects of your life for sure! It was really good for our missionary work too - not the singing part, but the party- Bro. D was there, a few potential investigators came, a ton of less actives showed up, it was really great. 

As far as working out and eating healthy, last week got away from us. BUT! We've re-grouped and are ready to be perfect this week. 

As far as Sacrament meeting goes, they do a great job here. Things run how they should, nothing out of the ordinary. We always stand and sing an intermediate number, that's a little different, no musical numbers from members. There is a choir but they've only performed once in the 6 months I've been here. Every once in a while something will pop up that isn't the norm but the leaders are good at being on top of things. The biggest difference is starting on time. They've been doing a good job as of lately of starting right at 10, but there are like 15 people in the chapel at 10, and by the end of Sacrament meeting you've got about 100. There isn't a huge sense of timeliness in the Caribbean. 

I miss the Pryor's crew! I had to take a second to realize that it was MJ - I'm used to seeing a pregnant MJ haha Is anyone new working there? When I left it was Kev, Capri, Missy, MJ, Cheryl, Morgan, Pam, and a new girl who's name escapes me at the moment, I think that was it. They're looking good though, the last two months I've had the biggest craving for a Fish Taco - nobody does it like Pryor's! 

I'll attach some pics in a different email. I love you!! Talk to you in 8 days!! 

Elder Romney 

Ward Christmas Party

Happy Missionary

A potential band member?

TCBY Frozen Yogurt!

J's Homies!

Anonymous Angel

Ward Christmas Party

Young Men and Young Women skit

Horns in every country

Ward members

Ummm this is sparkling cider!!!!!

Relax J it is just cider!


Ward Christmas Party

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Good morning! 

Your week sounds so crazy! Trips to the DOL always turn out to be quite the experience though, eh? Two government agencies in one day is almost to much to handle. At least you had really nice people helping you out, that makes all the difference. We've learned to plan at least an hour and a bit for trips to the immigration office here- take a number and wait it out! We were filing papers for someone once and so we head out to DHL to get the papers that Jamaica sent, then drive all the way back to immigration, get out of the car and realize that we forgot to buy the $10 stamp required to sent the forms wherever they send them! Back into the car, drive to the post office, back to immigration, wait it out.... I feel your pain! It's so interesting though, many times these trips to immigration or other errands we have to run for the office turn out more fruitful for missionary work than knocking doors. It makes sense- if you have the mindset of always finding wherever you are, going to immigration or to the bank or wherever is a perfect opportunity, there's people everywhere! 

Should I be worried that everyone in my family seems to have something wrong with their health or is this normal? When I left everyone seemed punky dory and now Mackie is a fire breathing dragon and having camera's put down is eso-fagus and I don't really remember what a thyroid does but it sounds unpleasant. I hope you guys stay healthy and the doctors can figure out what's up. 

Luke and Jared are leaving??? That is so weird- I remember sitting in a Stake Youth meeting of some sort with Jared and we were talking about how when he goes on his mission I will have already been out for almost a year and a half- here we are! Bonkers. 

As for my week, it was alright. Not the best week but not the worst either. We got transfer calls on Saturday and.... da da da da.... Elder Worley and I... will be together for yet another transfer! Yep, it was a bit of a shock to the both of us. We weren't sure if they were going to send him right when the papers went through but the Assistants said he will stay an entire transfer, which is until January 23rd. So, in looking at that, unless there is a whitewash in Nassau, I'll be here until March. I don't really know what's going to happen, but it looks like your Christmas package will be a St. Patrick's Day package, (which is totally fine, I'm not worried about that one bit). I'm really happy he's sticking around for one more transfer. Elder Worley is the man. I've had the best slew of companions I think of any missionary to ever exist. Nelson, Taylor, McLeod, Baird, Worley - some of my best friends. I still hear from Elder Nelson every week and Elder Montgomery as well.So yeah, that's the scoop on transfers, one more with Elder Worley and who knows how long in Nassau! 

As for as investigators go, E wasn't at church again. We weren't able to see him this week either- pretty frustrating  It's hard to be upset though because the man is trying to make it and he's got this new job, we've just gotta touch bases. I'm completely confident in E and him getting baptized. Like I've said before, he's a very intent listener and is one of those people ready for the gospel. He has already made the changes necessary so it's not like anything that he is asked to do by the Lord and his commandments is new, he's already changed his ways and now he's going to be able to reap the benefits and blessings President F actually talked to him last Sunday for about half an hour and he said E is solid and ready as well. His date will be moved back again, but there really isn't any rush. He's solid, still the man! Sister B is going to be out of town pretty much all month, her and Bro. B both.  She's such a sweet lady, very excited (as is everyone) that Elder Worley is staying another 6 weeks. 

I love the pictures! Mac is such a goof... I dig the boots little fella. I guess he's not such a little fella anymore. 

So Mom, are you totally pumped for the Skype call??? I'll email Dad and see if he has an idea of when that will be. We are going to the E's Christmas morning and the D's in the evening so either way I'll be able to Skype from either of their houses. I'm pretty confident Skype will work, I'll ask Dad to throw some money on my homecard so I can load some funds on my Skype account in case the skype doesnt work I can call your phone from Skype. The downer here is that in the Bahamas if you call anywhere but the Bahamas and Florida, its $4 a minute... so yeah... Skype will work just fine. the E's have great internet and a bunch of different ways to call (computers, tablets, etc.) It will be just fine, just need to know a time. I'm excited!
Well that's about it! Hope you have a fantastic week! Sorry this email took so long to get to you, while I was writing it my computer wigged out and then wouldn't let me back onto my email. Weird. Love you!!
Elder Romney

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Box of Trust

Good morning,

Yes, the Christmas devotional was so sweet! It's so interesting how your perception changes about General Conference and devotionals as you get older. I love listening to the General Authorities speak! Everyone's talk yesterday was so good. I think my favorite was President Uchtdorf's talk. Being a gracious receiver is totally over looked these days. I never thought about it that way but the way he used the story of Peter having is feet washed by Christ and the woman that anointed Christ's head with oil, being a gracious receiver of gifts is definitely a Christ-like attribute. President Eyring's was great too. It's so true- how much money you spend on a gift isn't what makes it special. And President Monson's talk- they were all so good! He had a quote that was something like "He who gives his money gives some, he who gives his time gives more, but he who gives himself gives all." I love Christmas! The music was so great, my favorite was "What Child is This". AH! So good! With the little flute thing going in the background I felt like it could be the music to Lord of the Rings or something. 

President Hendricks is the man. I just think about how trusting he is. If he can trust two 20 year old's on their own island in the Caribbean, how much more can I trust someone. Obviously we aren't just two 20 year olds, we're representatives of Jesus Christ, but still- he's a very trusting man. The first day on our missions in the mission home he drew a big box on a piece of paper and said something to the effect of  "This is the box of trust. It's big. You can go anywhere inside this box. If you stay in this box, you're mission will be a joyful experience. You will have opportunity's you didn't think you would have, you have my complete trust and confidence. (He was drawing a squiggly line around inside the box, then the squiggly line went outside the box) and he says "If you leave this box, you enter into another box (draws a tiny little box). This is the box of no trust. (tries to draw the line in the box- so small there isnt much space to move). There isn't much space to move around, is there? You lose a lot of freedom in this box, but you can always get back into the box of trust." It's true, that man will forgive quicker than anyone I've ever met. I had a great interview with him this week over Skype- I love listening to him teach. He's always teaching. We talked about how our teaching pool should be like an escalator, with people constantly getting on the escalator going up, rather than an elevator where you pick people up at the bottom, some people get off halfway, maybe one or two at the top but then no one else is in the elevator so you have to go back down and fill it up. Wise words! 

Interesting you should mention the huge number of missionaries coming into the field. That was actually the reason for the interview with President Hendricks. He informed us that because of the huge numbers, the MTC won't be holding the missionaries as long as I was in the MTC, therefore sending them out sooner. To accommodate this they are making one transfer in each mission anywhere from 3 weeks shorter to 3 weeks longer so they can have a better stagger in the mission field for when missionaries come in. Our mission is having a 7 weeks transfer, so one week more which means rather than getting home July 11th my mission will be one week longer, getting home July 18th. Speaking of home, I will probably be calling for Christmas from the E's house- we are going over there tonight for dinner so I'll ask them what the usual protocol is for us and phone calls on Christmas. I guess they've had the missionaries over every Christmas since the beginning of time- not bad! 

This week was pretty good. E was at church! He's such a boss. We were able to meet with him three times this week, all solid lessons. He's like a sponge. Everything we teach him he just soaks it all up. Even in Gospel Principles class Sunday, he's one of the most intent listeners I've taught on my mission. You ask him if he has questions and he usually says no and you think yikes, maybe he doesn't understand us, but then he will ask a great question or explain what you just taught in great detail- it's so refreshing to teach someone prepared. There is a huge difference between teaching someone like E who is ready to make changes, ready to act and willing to believe and pray as opposed to trying to convince someone the gospel is true. He's the man! His date has been moved back to Dec. 16th, hopefully Elder Worley is still here. That's the week after transfers and paper work has been moving super slow. We get transfer calls this Saturday so we will see.

Ya, those cookies aren't going to make it haha Especially since I might not be opening that package until the end of January if I go back to Jamaica then. Fruit loop cookies are my favorite! Last year I remember when you sent those Elder Taylor and I killed the bag in almost a night. Crazy to think this is my second Christmas away from home. 

The branch here is so sweet. It's probably the second best branch in the mission (Cayman Branch being the first). We have regular PEC meetings and Branch Council, it runs fairly smoothly. There are about 600 baptized on record but we have about 50-80 at church every Sunday. That's how many of the branches are in the Caribbean, huge size but only a small percentage active. It doesn't help that addresses, especially in Jamaica are virtually non existent so tracking people is hard. The branch actually is probably a split right down the middle between Haitians and Bahamians with a few Jamaicans and then the E's, D's and B's from the States/England.  We have tourists every week. It's such a small world, I've met people who know Uncle Brett, John Gjendems sister, a good friend of Chanda, Parish Hansons roommate at BYU who also knows Elder Randle (AP who went home a couple months ago),  it's always fun. 

This week is going to be great. Teaching E the rest of the things he needs to know, we will see Bro. D this week, hopefully Sis. B, some solid finding time, another great week in Nassau. 

Well I love you Mom! I'll let you know next week wa gwaan with the christmas call. Have a good week, don't get sick! Love you! 

Elder Romney

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving-no turkey, but a b-ball tourney, lots of pics!

Happy Thanksgiving/Merry early Christmas!

Great pictures!! It looks like Thanksgiving was a hit yet again. I think Thanksgiving and Christmas have to be my top two favorite holidays, next two Arbor Day and Boxing Day of course. Looking at the pictures you sent, Cameron is huge!! That guy is so tall! He's gotta be at least 6 feet tall? Yikes, whatever he's eating, I'll take what he's having. Everyone is starting to look so grown up. It's a little scary!

I don't even know where to start in describing the AWESOMENESS of Thanksgiving here. The tourney was probably the coolest extra curricular thing I've done on my mission. I took like 200 and something pictures and a bunch of video's, it was well documented. The gates didn't open until 12 but we got to Atlantis early to see what was going on. They did that place up right! Huge posters of the teams, other fancy things, they know how to have a basketball tournament. After walking around for a big we just sat on a bench in the main lobby and were on the look out for teams walking through- not hard to spot them. We saw Stanford, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Minnesota, Louisville and Duke all walk through, got them all on video, I felt like such a stalker haha the coolest thing though! Elder Worley is a die hard Duke fan (so I played the part for a day, I can respect Coach K as one of the greats) and we were sitting on this bench and we see some of the managers from Duke walk past... so we get up and head down the hall to see if Duke is on there way. Sure enough, strolling down the hall is the entire team. I was videoing them walking past and then we saw Coach K! Right there! 10 feet from us! So we had to hail him up! We probably looked like goons but we were standing there and all that came out was "Coach K!" and he gave us a fist pump! Yes, Coach K acknowledged mine and Elder Worley's existence with a fist pump. It was subtle, but it's on camera documented as the day Coach K fist pumped the missionaries. We still believe our hail up to Coach K gave Duke the motivation to win the tourney haha It was so much fun. We had awesome seats. 7 Rows up to the left of the basket. They played the games inside the grand ballroom. It was a super cool atmosphere. It was a pretty low ceiling and the place was packed so it was a big game feel in a little area. I'll be sure to send pictures. It was such a good time, if you would've asked me 5 years ago where I thought I'd be at on my mission I can guarantee I wouldn't say in the Bahamas watching some of the best teams in the nation play. Great time!

The week other than the tourney was pretty decent. We got to see E which was good. He wasn't at church again this week- we are seeing him Tuesday to see what's up. I really think it's more of a logistics issue than a testimony issue. He's got this new job, he was in a car accident so his car isn't running, we just need to regroup with him and make a plan for him to be at church. He was all about it when we saw him Wednesday. We had a great lesson with him about how the Book of Mormon fits into the gospel and why it's necessary.  We read scriptures about how it prophesies of Christ and how it's entire roll is to be that second witness that he is the son of God. E is one of those guys that is a believer. We asked him if he prayed about the Book of Mormon to see if it's true and he said "I have, but it's pretty obvious that it is. Reading it makes me believe that it's true." That's pretty fantastic. We explained that it's important to have that spiritual witness as well, I'm confident he kept his commitment to pray and ask. 

J is doing really well still. He's been at the final chapters of Alma for a couple weeks now and we kinda expected him to be finished with Alma by now. At first the thought was that he hasn't been reading as much as he could be, but we were wrong. One of the most common excuses we get when we asked people if they reading is "I'm really just taking it slow to get the full understanding." which interpreted is "I'm reading one verse a day because I don't want to read". Not the case with big Josh. When he said he was in chapter 59 we were like "come on big fella, gotta find time to read" And he said he was taking his time to understand it all- he sure is! We start talking about what he's been reading and he's telling us the story of Teancum and the Epistles from Moroni to the leader of the Lamanites almost word for word! He's loving the Book of Mormon, it's so true that the more you read the more you want to read. He's doing awesome, he's the second counselor in the Sunday School Presidency and he plays hall cop at church when the kids won't go to class or primary. He takes it pretty serious too, which is good. Can't blame a guy for taking his calling serious. He makes a great hall cop too, he's more like a hall shepherd. You'll see him walking down the hall with his arms spread open and a heard of primary kids swiftly walking the opposite direction and running to their class. A big fella like that demands respect! Nobody is gonna mess with him. When I try to hall shepherd kids all I get is a kick to the shins and my pen stolen... I'll leave the shepherd duties to him.

Brother D was at church! That was so awesome to see him. He's the husband of a member,  from Spanish Town Jamaica so it feels like going home when we go to their house. Bro. D is super cool. Just a chill guy, LOVES music. Holy smokes, me and this guy are two peas in a pod when it comes to music. He's really good at rapping too. We brought the guitar over when we went and saw him and he freestyles so well. I guess it's not really rapping, technically it's called DJing because it's all in Patios. Our goal is to establish a really good relationship between him and missionaries. His situation is similar to Sis. B's in that they both have been to church often and are married to strong members. It was so awesome to see him at church because he doesn't get many Sunday's off and if he does he's usually sleeping because he's working like 15 hour days every day. Baby steps!

You can probably deadlift more than I can!! I'm so out of shape, Saturday there was a Young Men's activity- BBQ and basketball. After watching all that ball I got all giddy to play... yeah... it was the weakest game of 21 I've ever participated in. Two games and I was losing my lunch... good thing there were burgers and dogs to revive my spirits! haha Elder Worley and I manned the grill as the Young Men's president had never grilled before. It was pretty tasty!

Well I love you momma! I'm glad my letter made it safe and sound, can't wait to hear back from you! 

Elder Romney

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

P-Day Thursday for Basketball Tournament

Hello Mother,

So today's email is going to have to be cut short a bit. We aren't taking P-day today so we are emailing on our lunch break. Why are we not taking P-day on a Monday you ask? Well, long story short, Thursday is Thanksgiving, and at Atlantis Resort they are holding a college basketball tournament which Bro. D invited us to attend... Yet again another reason why President Hendricks is the man! He gave us permission to P-Day Thursday and attend a pair of basketball games! It's Duke versus Minnesota, then Stanford against Missouri. We are so excited! It's going to be such a hoot. I'm thinking about wearing my Gonzaga shirt just because Elder Worley is a die hard Duke fan and it would bug him :) haha I think I'm gonna. Maybe you will see us on TV! I love my mission! This Thanksgiving I am thankful indeed. We also have a dinner appointment every night this week... extra running in the morning anyone? We will see how that goes... 

This week was a pretty good week actually. We were able to talk to a lot of people this week. We realize knocking doors during the day is such a bust and really not an effective use of our time. Knocking doors from like 4-7 is perfect, but at 10 in the morning people are either sleeping still or at work. So, we went back to the basics - roaming. Pick a street in town, pamphlets and Book of Mormon in hand and go into every store looking for something. Works like a charm every time. We roamed into this clothes store looking for some jeans, one thing leads to another and we come to find out that the girl working the store has been to church before. Nice. We are meeting back up with her this week. Sometimes I think I make things to difficult for myself. There really isn't a secret to finding people to teach. Have the Spirit + going where the people are + inviting them to come unto Christ  = finding. 

E wasn't at church Sunday. We will probably have to move his baptism date back because it sounds like this new job has him pretty wrapped up. Not worried though, he is reading the Book of Mormon,  keeping his other commitments, he's just fine. We need to sort out a way that he can get to church though. Coming up this week and weeks to come we are going to be taking a couple guys with us who are preparing to serve missions. Both still in high school, one will leave in June and the other December of next year. It will be sweet, especially bringing them to teach E. It will get them a little more acclimated to missionary work and teaching with a member brings very strong spirit in lessons. Obviously if the member isn't present mentally in the lesson having them there doesn't do much, but we will be sure to have J and J involved. Big help to us, big help to them, big helps all around.  

Zach is back! He emailed me back his last P-Day, they must not have been able to write anyone but family. That is so weird he's home! I remember when he left, going to his farewell, now the big fella is back on the home front. Good for him. You're gonna have to get a picture of him and send it my way! 

Sunday was the Primary Program, cute cute cute! Primary kids are little cuties wherever you go. Your Christmas Program sounds so fantastic! I apologize for ever putting up a fight against playing the viola or guitar in them. I hope that continues to go well. 

So what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving? Everyone going to our house or Lisa's or Grandmas? Be sure to take lots of pictures! Is there a Turkey Bowl this year? We were some kids throwing around a football in the street the other day- couldn't help but ask if I could join. We tossed the rock a bit, I told one of them to go long... I realized right as the ball left my hand that having him go long after not touching a football for almost a year and a half was a bit over zealous. Thankfully I missed the parked car by about a foot, which was about 25 feet from my intended receiver. I think the ref's would've called intentional grounding I was so off on that throw!  

Well it's about time to head back out on the find. Sorry for the short this week Momma. I wrote you a letter and sent it with Bro. D today. He is sending it from Miami this morning so it should arrive in a few days. :) I love you!! 

Elder Romney

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

commitment to working out and learning Creole

Good morning! 

Seeing pictures of Mac wrestling brings back quite the flood of memories! Watching that little fella kick some serious butt on an early morning Saturday, maybe grab a nice donut at Something Sweet, work on some project at the house- fun fun fun! Or the memories of my own prestigious wrestling career, weighing in bright and early, looking at all the other kids wondering "Which one of you tough guys is going to kick my butt today?" I'm glad Mac is doing well! 

Robbie's statement cracks me up and for the record, I refuse to come home chubby. If I look the way I do now the transfer I'm going home, I'm asking for an extension! I think this month is the month I stop with the reindeer games and buckle down and do some running and stop eating garbage. We started strong this morning. There is that awesome park by our house and we while Elder Worley does a down and back, I do something with the dumbbells. I want to come into a nice set of shoulders so I did mostly shoulder press and extensions. Then we switch. 5 sets twice. You know your a fat kid when you do one set of 5 down and backs with weights in between and your body is trying to release the 6 cookies and two slices of cheesecake from the night before... the buck stops here! 

We had a better week this week! Wahoo! I already told you about E I think. He's been coming to church with a member for about 3 weeks in a row and two weeks ago he was rather apprehensive to meeting with us. Last Sunday he asked how he could become a Mormon, so this week we met with him. E is an awesome guy and is pumped about the Gospel. I'm picking up a little Creole! Not much, I'd love to be able to bear my testimony in Creole, but for now I'm working on just small talk. "Bouswua, como u yea? Miu frum!" That's about all I got. E wasn't at church yesterday, he picked up a job this week and they needed him, but it's not going to be a regular thing- surprise surprise that the week he receives a baptism date (Dec. 2nd) his job needs him to work on Sunday. We called him last night and he's already read the chapters we left with him. He says "Yes Ewda Womney, I am weady fo you." I love Haitian accents! 

Sis. B is doing well. We had a really super lesson with her on Tuesday. She needed help understanding how the Bible and Book of Mormon fit in together like on a timeline. So we whipped out some paper and made a timeline starting from Adam all the way to Moroni, highlighting the major prophets and stories through the timeline and keeping an estimate of what year it was. She said it all makes so much more sense now when she reads the Book of Mormon. Good lesson.

I felt like an idiot last night at the D's, this story just goes to show how out of the loop a missionaries mind is, at least me and Elder Worley. He and Sis. D weren't at church because they had to go lay a wreath at a memorial downtown. It was a big gathering, all the ambassadors where there, government officials, fancy stuff. So he's telling us all about the ceremony, and I ask "So who was the guy who died?" Yeah... didn't put two and two together and realize 11/11. DUH! Totally horsed it. Oh did I get a razzing for that one. 

I'm really excited for this transfer. Two guy showed up to church interested in what it was all about yesterday, that's always a good thing. We are meeting with one on Wednesday, hoping that his "church shopping" (as he put it) will end here. We had a zone fast yesterday to start off what is called the 40 day challenge. When Elder Zivic was here he gave the Zone Leaders a story about a missionary who felt he was doing well but really wanted to have the Spirit with him. He noticed that in lessons he would bear his testimony but there wasn't anything behind it, and when the member they brought would say the same things the room was full of the Spirit. A local leader of the church came to town and this missionary asked him what he could do to have the Spirit more fully in his life. The leader looked him in the eyes for about a minute and then rattled off a list of very personal questions, all pertaining to the missionaries conduct and obedience. This missionary wasn't a bad missionary by any means, he worked hard and had seen results but he wasn't satisfied. The church leader told the missionary to go home and make a list of all the things he either needed or wanted to change about his missionary work or his desires, have a fast for these desires to be changed, and then the next 40 days to constantly be aware of this thoughts, actions, and the things on that list so that he wouldn't do them. He was left with a promise that if he did this, he would see his desires changed. So he did. The story (told by the missionary) talks about how in the beginning of the 40 days the desires he wanted to change became so much stronger. This missionary loved golf and it seemed that everywhere we went golf was trying to occupy his thoughts and time. By the end of the 40 days he said that his desires where changed drastically, he and his companion were having very spiritual experiences, and the results they achieved where pretty drastic. As a zone we had a fast and as a zone we are taking that 40 day challenge. Elder Worley and I made a list, we are ready to buckle down and test the Lord. Small and simple things shall great things be brought to past. That is so true- nothing on our list is this huge change. It's the little things. Excited to see what happens!

Your talk was fantastic! I'm going to print it off and maybe steal it if I have to give a talk in the future :) I really like it, good work Mom! Your workout regimen sounds pretty intense. I realize that what you eat is just as, if not more, important that working out. Carrot sticks and jerky. OH! We found beef jerky this week! Kinda expensive, but everything is expensive here. I'm glad Grandpa Dan's funeral went well. Ironic how it's always a funeral that brings family together, eh? 

Talked to T this week- he said he isn't set on going back to Andros. He has a couple job offers that might keep him here. It was his birthday this week so we bought him birthday cake Oreo's and played/sang happy birthday on the guitar. Fun night. 

Remind me who's in our new bishopric? I think you told me already, but I can't remember. Bishop Payne, John Nowels and who?

Alrighty Momma, that's about it for this week. Crazy to see pictures of snow from over there. I shiver just thinking about anything below 78. I wore my long sleeve shirt to church yesterday because I was tired of being cold at night (cold as in 70). It was weird wearing long sleeves- I felt kinda fancy for some reason. Maybe because I've only worn that long sleeve shirt like twice for baptisms and it's super white and crisp still. 

I love you! Have a great week!

Elder Romney 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween in Bahamas


Those are some pretty fantastic pictures. I look at the pictures before I read the email so I was very confused as to where on earth you, dad, Linley and Kasey where that had a ping pong table. I know, out of all the things to wonder, I wonder about the ping pong table. Sounds like a very fun weekend. I wish I could watch the video's you send but these dinosaur computers just won't have any of it. I save them on my hard drive just in case something works out but no, I haven't seen any of the video's you've sent. The reason I don't think I'll be transferred before Christmas is because Elder Worley and I will do this last transfer which ends Dec. 12th, and then I will show the area to the next missionary for at least a transfer, putting me back in Jamaica January 23rd. That's kind of the standard way switching areas happens. I will be able to get my package either when I get back to Jamaica or maybe the office can send it out here. Either way, thank you! Christmas is pretty fantastic when you have a family who loves you an will send you a package! 

This week the weather was near celestial! I'm not even kidding, nights it would get down to like 60 degrees! We would wake up to go run and we'd be cold outside. Days were probably not even  80 degrees, it was something else. Great breezze, nice clouds, it's the post hurricane weather. We were asking people if it would stay and they said no... which is a bust but still, it doesnt feel as humid. I'm going to shrivel up like a prune back home- I'm cold in 65 degrees and my skin gets dry when the humidity drops a little bit. It was great weather for knocking doors though. We knocked for days and I don't think I ever broke a sweat. 

We met some pretty cool people this week. None of them came to church yesterday but we met one guy named Mr. J. He's a grandpa and great grandpa who really loves his family. We had a sit down lesson with him and you could tell he was interested if his family being together forever. Only problem is he doesn't have a car and is an older fella so walking is rough for him. But it was nice to have a sit down lesson. Another family let us in when we were knocking doors, they seems very nice and interested as well. The church is helping missionaries out so much by having commercials on the TV and stuff like that. Very often we hear people tell us that they've seen our ad's on TV (none of which I've seen so when they try and explain which one they saw I just nod my head and say I'm glad you like them). That's a big help though.

Halloween was this week! The E's had us over for dinner and candy and such. The pictures tell it all. They are an awesome family. Sis. E is so nice, I told her about when you send me those instant Betty crocker potatoes for Christmas and how good they are. Along with our personalized goodie bags, she bought me a pack of those :) Great family. We were at the door handing out candy for a bit- Elder Worley and I dressed up as Mormon missionaries, everyone thought it was a hit. One parent sarcastically said "Hm, I wonder what you're dressed up as" and we said "Church is Sunday at ten on Soldier Road!" Yep, not costumes my friend. 

That's quite the topic for your talk. We are going to come back and finish emailing in a while, so in between then I will be able to think of something that really hits home. 

Here's something:  It really goes back to the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's. They received a spiritual witness of truth through prayer AND buried their weapons. If we receive a confirmation of a truth we must bury the weapons of untruth we held on to. If the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's left their weapons in the closet instead of burying them, Satan still has the opportunity to make those weapons, temptations, habits, manifest in your life to hurt you. I look at the people who have done as the A-N-L's, who follow the same pattern that everyone else does before their baptism, read the BoM, pray about it, and come to church, achieve the same result (baptism) but who are able to completely and totally let go of their old ways because they recall the spiritual witness they received through prayer in their times of trial and discouragement. Like Elder Hollands talk, "Why are we still here at the same seashore with the same nets doing the same thing?" We must bury our old ways and we can do that by accessing the Atonement through sincere prayer and seeking that spiritual guidance. I guess that ties in with your talk, eh? 

So that is pretty sad, but we were blessed on Sunday. A man who's been coming to church with a solid member for a number of weeks, this being his third week in a row, asked us "How do I become a Mormon?" We told him the process of meeting with us and preparing to be baptized and he says "Yeah. I would like that. When can you come over?" YES! This is the same guy who last week was still shaky about meeting with us when I asked him. Something must have happened this week. He wants to meet with us everyday, so tomorrow we will see what he's all about. Pretty sweet! 

I love you Mom. Have a great week!!

Elder Romney  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Surviving Hurricane Sandy!

Hey Momma!

Yes, the D family is pretty amazing. It really does feel like being back at our home. When we showed up Thursday afternoon, Sis. D says, "Well I don't want to be asking you all the time if you're hungry for the next two days; you know where everything is, just have at it whenever you like." It's true- we could tell you where everything in the kitchen goes, where all the goodies are; it's like an extension of our own home. They are awesome- I can't say enough about them. So down to earth, just great great people. You'e right, I think I'll be in touch with the D's for the rest of time. Bro. D smoked me (and S, and M, and Elder Worley) in Risk, much like Dad used to on a Sunday afternoon back home. A fun couple days indeed.

Hurricane Sandy slapped the Bahamas pretty hard. From the D's house we had a pretty good view of the real power of the storm. Ocean waves would smack against the retaining walls and crash 20 feet over them, spashing up on the road. The wind was so loud! There was some large damage done on the west side of the island, a retaining wall broke and an entire section of Bay Street was flooded . Flooding is such an issue here, the streets don't have adequate drainage systems so everything just sits on the road until it evaporates (which is pretty quick with the heat here). A couple huge palm trees were blown over around the D's house. It was crazy to see how powerful the elements can be. Uprooting a 50 foot tree? No big deal. The church held up well. The entry way was pretty flooded but we were able to clean it up and have regular church Sunday. Freeport was hit harder than we were. The Zone Leaders were telling us that at the entire airport was flooded and the little two passenger planes were blown against a fence and smashed together. Pretty bonkers. I can now say I survived a stage 2 hurricane! Take that Sandy!

The hurricane and preparing for it was pretty much the whole week. This week we are hoping to implement our flyer we made for member referrals. We brought it up in branch council yesterday and asked if it would be better to just pop in on members or call them in advance and we got mixed feelings about it. The thing is that if we call members, it gives them a change to dodge us, and if we just pop in we may never catch them. We got responses from "My door is always open to the missionaries" to "I don't want you to call or pop in." We aren't bent out of shape about it, it's going to be more of a task than anticipated (as all things are in missionary work) but we are excited. I don't know why it's taken us this long to make a push in incorporate the members. I feel bad for all the times the missionaries asked me if there was someone I knew that was ready for the gospel and all the times I shrugged them off; what goes around comes around kids! Things will be awesome this week.

We had dinner with the B's yesterday. Sis. B made her homemade lasagna (did I mention she is a full fledged New Jersey Italian?) It was delicious! It was a meatless lasagna but she served meatballs and spare ribs on the side. My belly was very happy after that meal. She's progressing well. There are so many things going on in her life right now that I'm not sure taking the lessons is a priority yet, which is ok. We have established a fantastic relatiohship with her. When we first started teaching her we could've either gone in and forced the lessons, forced a baptism date, and tried to just do things quickly... and we all know when you force things you horse things.I feel we've taken the right approach in not pushing her too much, but just enough to have her understand the big step this is. Those first few lessons we made such huge steps, and everytime we go over there we continue to make progress. The Spirit is working on her so hard. Sadly the adversary is doing the same thing but I suppose that's how it always is. She's doing well though, they are awesome.

I'm sad Grandpa Dan is gone. From over here that was quite unexpected, but Grandma Dottie is the happiest camper in the Spirit world right now. Grandpa Jenks will be teaching them the gospel very soon.

Transfer calls were this week! And ..... (drum roll)..... Elder Worley is staying at least another transfer! That will make 6 months with him. One fourth of my mission, spent with the same companion on our own island. Safe to say I will never spend this much time with any individual ever again. Good thing he's the man! I should be in Nassau for Christmas now. Halloween is this week! This time last year I was in Spanish Town with Elder Taylor... crazy how fast time is moving.

The farm is put to rest, eh? What are you filling your time with now? How's that new (I guess it's not new anymore) workout routine Randy had you doing going?

Well I'm off. I love you Mom! Christmas phone call in less than two months!

Elder Romney 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zone Conference-lots of pictures!

The internet wasnt working at the church, so $12 later we are in a public library that looks exactly like a scene out of harry potter... there are big bookshelves with glass doors, stacks and stacks of newspapers ining the halls, and the building looks like a mini hogwarts. It smells like a mix between mold and the hospital- I imagine that is what hogwarts smells like as well. To bad I left my wand at home!

Yes I got all the pictures and they are fantastic! Thank you so much! Everything was in there. One of the CD's didn't work though, it had something like 250 files on it, for some reason it won't load the pictures- not a huge deal though because the other two CDs I got a HUGE laugh out of. I look like a child in the MTC! Elder Hitchcock looks like a starvation victim, and everyone else looks the same. It was cool to see pictures of Elder Layton. He's doing well, he and his wife were at conference, he's doing school up in Calgary. Miss that fella!
Well this week was not the week to be swinging out of the slump, but it was still an AWESOME week! We had our zone conference with Elder Zivic on Satuday but the whole shindig really started Thursday morning when Elder Taylor and Elder Hitchcock flew out. It was such an awesome day. We wanted to introduce them to everyone over here so we spent the day bouncing around Nassau seeing people and checking out the island. We saw J and C in the morning. C is so funny. She's 10 and was baptised by Elder Worley and Poulsen right before I got here, her whole family are members, but she has the biggest crush on Elder Worley. It's hilarious, he will ask her a question and she will literally forget to breathe. She just sits there and has her hand covering her face and just taking big breaths- she's a funny girl. We went and saw everyone at Cariloha and Del Sol (the store on Bay Street mangeded and run by members), cruised to a couple other stores that members work at, it was sweet. We really wanted them to meet Sis. B but we knew she was slamming at work at not going to be home. Bro. B and her own a HUGE condo complex on Paradise Island so we went over there and sure enough her car was out front and she had time to talk.  We got the grand tour of this place though- HOLY SMOKES! I'm sending pictures but they don't do this place justice.  It was really nice to see her though, she even said herself that we should swing by the building more often that it was a good stress reliever. The views off of this place are one in a million, the rooms themselves are things you see in magazines, it's incredible. From there we went and got soda's and fries and Johny Rockets and went and saw T. T is doing well. We need to tie his ties for him this week though- he keeps coming to church without a tie because we never remember to tie them for him. Pretty funny. It was so nice to catch up with Elder Taylor and Hitchcock. Even though we talk to them almost everyday and skype every week for District Meeting, nothing beats having the Baha Men staying in Nassau for 3 days and 2 nights!
Friday was hectic! We were late picking up Elder Zivic and President with their wives and the Assistants, then by the time we dropped them off at the hotel we took off to go to the church to make sure it was clean- traffic in Nassau is ridicoulous and it took us at hour to drive what usually takes us 10 minutes. By the time we reached the church it was time to turn around and drive back to the hotel to pick of President Hendricks and Elder Zivic. But we got to the church right on time with them so we could start our interviews. Being interviewed by a General Authority has got to be one of the coolest things that's happened to me in my life. Eder Zivic is the man. I was the first to be interviewed  and the Spirit was just so strong. He asked about you guys. I had my box and he loved looking at all the pictures. He says I look like Dad. It's cool to see a man who's got so many things on his plate to take time one on one with each missionary in our zone and talk with them. In Jamaica only 10 people were interviewed but since there are were only 4 of us at this zone conference we all got the opportunity. That night he hosted a fireside which was awesome. He talked about families and the way that the Lord has established they should be raised and what not. Really great. After that we drove them to the Hotel and they just kept one car and we took the other. Bro. D bought us all pizza and we went home only to find out that on the keys to the car we left with President are also the keys to the house. Oops! Thankfully our landlord was still awake and had spares.
Saturday was Zone Conference itself. It started at 8:30 and was really great. Elder Hitchcock played a sweet version of Come Thou Fount as a musical number. It never ceases to amaze me the Spirit that accomanies sacred music. I snatched the music from him and am going to try and learn it. President Hendricks asked me last week if I would prepare a musical number on the guitar (which was a bit of a shock). It was hilarious, when he asked last monday if I would play he says
"Elder Romney, can you play hymns on that guitar of yours?"
"Well of course I can Pres. What would you like me to play?"
"You play whatever you feel will invite the Spirit, you're the musician here. I don't want any of that rock and roll or rap stuff, I know guitar isn't your typical musical number for a church meeting but I feel it would be a nice touch on the Zone Conference."
President Hendricks is the man! I played and sang Nearer My God To Thee, I think it sounded pretty good.
The overall topic of Zone Conference was how we are going to reach out new Mission Standards of Excellence. My whole mission there hasn't been a mission goal for anything really but now President has implimented three standards to help us have a vision where to go. They aren't a quota to meet by any means. To illistrate, the Assistants had me stand up and told me to jump straight up. So I did. My earth shattering 3 inch vertical blew the minds of everyone in the room. Then Elder McReady (who's 6' 4'') put his hand above my head and told me to jump and touch his hand with my head. It caused me to jump a litle higher to reach the goal. They likened this to how we can be on our missions without goals and just be jumping. By setting a standard to reach we have something to looke at and jump up to. It was a good analogy. Elder Zivic talked about changing the mindset of our missionary work and our lives. He mentioned the man in the 1940's (who's name escapes me at the moment) who brokethe 4 minute mile when the mindset of science and the people was that it couldn't be done. It really opened my eyes to how much of an excuse I use that. "That's just how I think. That's my mindset" Even the word mindset is narrow minded. It implies that there is a set way of thinking and that it is unalterable. Even outside of missionary work in the real world, the mindset of people and society is set one way when really it doesn't have to be. At the D's yesterday he was telling us about a returned missionary who is a DJ in New York making $150,000 a night. In talking with Bro. B, that guy started out with a seat cover business in Los Angeles and became the very best at what he did, moved to construction and became the very best at what he did, and now this guy is worth millions and millions of dollars because he's continually lived the gospel and worked his can off in being the best at what he does. These people didn't succumb to the mindset of everyone else, and Elder Zivic's point was that we if we want to see these goals achieved we are going to have to throw out the notion that the Jamaica Kingston Mission doomed to a one generation church. To reach out goals we basically have to double everything we do. How many people we talk to, have at church, invite to be baptised and baptise. There is change in the air!
45 degrees???? YIKES! We've left the AC on two nights in a row and I literally wake up frozen and it was 62 in our house! I was SO COLD! I had to snatch the big thick quilt from the couch. I'm such a Nancy... I really do miss winter, I miss the snow and the skating and the hot chocolate when you're cold. I'm just going to have to bundle up like an eskimo when fall hits and when snow falls I'll walk around with an electric blanket all day. Do the have battery powered electric blankets?
I didn't even recognize T. Cox in that picture!! He's looking good. Thanks for sending that letter from Josh- he's going to do great on his mission. 
I've got a ton of pictures to load and not much time left so im going to end there and let the pictures do the talking. I love you momma! Have a fantastic week, you and me are putting on the rally caps this week and reporting how the farming/knocking went next week. Love you!
Elder Romney