Elders McCleod and Romney

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lose the Flab February!

Hey there,
I looked at your text email, mom, and laughed because it was hard to make out with the spelling errors, but it was funny :) I can picture you trying to text and run at the same time... kinda like that time I dropped my iPod at the Y on the treadmill and it went zinging out the back along with my towel. It's safe to say I am still just as graceful. We were taking a picture yesterday and I was setting the timer and had to do a James Bond barrel roll over the bed and run to the wall and smoked my knee on the chair on the way over and slipped on the floor... graceful. 

But! The reason we were taking the picture is because we have another missionary with us! Do you remember the W family? Elder Nelson and I ate at their house every Sunday in Maypen. Well T (Elder now) is serving with Elder Taylor and I. He hasnt even been to the MTC yet! His mission call is to Tallahassee Florida but his Visa has been giving him trouble and he was supposed to start his mission in December, so they decided just to get him started out here. So Elder Taylor and I are training him, he could leave at anytime but says that he will probably be outta here by March 5th, transfer day in his mission. It's cool serving with a Jamaican, we had shrimp and rice and peas for lunch yesterday, Elder Weir cooks like an angel. Im definitly going to come home with a Jamaican cookbook of the real authentic stuff. 

Speaking of food, It's almost February, and you know what that means.... the third annual "Lose the Flab" February! So starting today it's healthy time. And more working out in the morning and the night time. 100 pushups a day, pullups, and some abdominal workouts that don't include a Zinger and KFC.... With beach season only 18 months away, its about time to whip this weak, slightly pudgy body into shape! haha But seriously though, its time. Im going to buy some peppers and eggs and maaaaybe some chicken today. What else would be good for me? Mom, all these things that you've been telling me my whole life about being healthy are now going to be used because... well... it's time to be more healthy haha So... can you tell me some things that would be good for me to eat? Im thinkin oatmeal or eggs in the morning, lunch we are usually out on the road, but maybe packing some peanuts or something, I don't know, this is where I need your expertise in the healthy department. 

This week was basically cut into two parts. Tuesday, Wenesday and part of Thursday not one single person returned our phone calls. We called probably 10 people multiple times and got no response. So, we put on some serious miles on the finding shoes. It wasn't to bad looking back, but finding all day makes for long days especially when you feel you've already gone everywhere. But the zone leaders came out and dropped Elder Weir off Thursday afternoon and it's been cool having a fresh missionary in the companionship. Even though he's from here, mission life is always different and takes getting used to. His feet are pretty sore from walking (brings back memories) but he's doing very well actually, much better than I was when I first got here. 

The exciting and most important news of the week though is that Sis. J is getting baptised on Saturday!!! WAHOO! She is ready. We've been meeting with her almost everyday for the past two weeks and at least 3 times a week for the last month, and she's been taught by previous missionaries for 6 months before we got here. She's very solid and we are so excited for her baptism. N is doing well, still coming to church and reading her scriptures a lot. It's been pretty legit. We spoke in Sacrement meeting yesterday, well, Elder Weir and I... Elder Taylor was like "Oh, you go first, I'll go last" and sure enough, he only had time to bear his testimony... lucky ducky haha It was good though, I spoke on prayer. Talked about how Lehi, Enos, and The Brother of Jared are all excellent example of prayer, and that there are really two prayers that are the most important prayers spoken by anyone, anytime in the history of the world. Christ in Gethsemane and Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. With one prayer, Christ made it possible for us to return to our Heavenly Father, and with the other prayer, Joseph Smith recieved the fullness of the gospel to bring back to this time so that we can all work toward returning back to our Heavenly Father. I learned a lot while preparing it. There is so much more power in prayer that anyone gives credit. Prayer is a two way conversation with God, not just us talking to Him. Pretty rad.

 Oh! Something crazy, Uncle Brett's cousin is serving here in April! I got an email from him last week saying so, thats pretty wild, eh? That will be fun and cool to serve around him, shoot stories back and forth about Uncle/Cousin Brett haha 

You guys have a great week! Ill be sending pictures this week! 
I love you!
Elder Romney 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Zone Conference

Holy smokes that is so much snow almost overnight!! I remember SCC getting shut down back in the day for school, I loved those days. I think the only reason they close it down is becuase the parking lot wasnt built very well so getting all the snow out of it is a joke. haha
This week was pretty good. It was a slower week it seemed like but it was still good. We had Zone Conference on Tuesday which was really good. Everyone in the zone (Negril, Hopeton, Santa Cruz, Junction, us, Mandeville) plus President and Sister Hendricks and the Assistants came out here to Sav for it. I love listening to President Hendricks. That guy is so funny, not in a slap stick way but a lot like President Monson. He tells a lot of stories to make his point more clear. 

One thing that really stuck out to me that he was talking about is grace. Yes, we are saved by grace, 100% absolutely; but the question really is have we been changed by grace? "Heaven won't be heaven to people who aren't heavenly" was a sweet quote from Pres. Hendricks. We have to let grace change us if we want to live with Heavenly Father again. A lot of people say that we as latter day saints are trying to earn our way into Heaven. Not at all, we are trying to learn Heaven; something else that was a sweet quote from Pres. 

Anways, it was so awesome and it gave me a new outlook on the relationship between us and Jesus Christ. Take a piece of paper, put a dot on top and a dot on bottom. Christ is the top dot, we are the bottom dot. Move your pencil from the bottom slowly up to the top and draw a line where you think we are finished with our part and Christ makes up the rest to the top.... Makes you think, eh? Another awesome quote from Pres. Hendricks, "Christ doesn't make up the difference, he makes all the difference". He takes up all the space between the dots, and we just have to try. Pretty rad! We have the coolest mission president ever, hands down. He will throw this deep docrtine at you and you can soak it in, but by the end he has you crying because you're laughing so hard at his stories. I'm calling it right now, he's going to be a General Authority in my lifetime!
We are still teaching a couple great people. Sis. J is preparing for baptism on Feb, 4th, and she's the only one who's still coming to church consistantly. We had a great referall from the mission headquarters, a man's sister lives in the States and is a member and called the mission office and refered him to us, so we went up about a 20 minute taxi ride, out to the boonies of Sav, and met him. He's awesome! He seems so interested and wanting to know more but he didn't come to church and didn't keep two appointments so that was kinda frusterating. But, this week was still great!
Elder Taylor's birthday was this week! Yessiree, Thursday the old fart was the big 20. So we baked a cake, got a nice deal on some Vitamin Water, and had a legit birthday party with... cake and Vitamin Water haha. It was fun though, I think he had a good birthday. We are goin out to Negril to really celebrate at Margaritaville :) A man can't spend his 20th birthday a KFC! Oh man! Also this week we were helping a member out at the church, trying to find him a another hose so he didn't have to carry a five gallon bucket all over the church to water the plants. So we go out to this little building with chairs and stuff in it, sure enough there is a hose. BUT we go to open the door and BEES come flying at us like we said somethin nasty about their mother! There was litterally probably 30 wasp nests, and bees everywhere. So we get the hose out real quick and close the door... but we have to lock it... and the lock is underneath a metal protective cover... so Elder Taylor and I went straight Steve Erwin/James Bond on this lock. I poked out the wasp nest from inside the lock cover and got down and was trying to lock it up while Elder Taylor was standing behind me swatting bee's left and right with a book... I'm sure from the road people were thinking what in the heck are the white men  up to now... it was hilarious.
I got your guy's package too! Thank you so much! I'm wearing the shirt right now, still smells like a basketball game! Thank you so so so so much! Can't wait to eat all the goodies inside!
I love you guys!! Have a great week, don't get stuck in the snow aaaaaaaand, yep, I love you!!
Elder Romney

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A busy week and new pics


Yes, Elder Taylor and I are very excited to stay together as well.
It's crazy, it always seems like the harder your week is, the better
blessings come out of it. This week actually wasn't terrible, it was
really good. Mission life is so weird. Weeks fly by but days seem like
they go on forever sometimes. We had two full days of teaching this
week which flew by! And by full I mean going from appointment to
appointment without needing to find in the middle of them. Those days
flew by. We had a couple days that just seemed to go on
foooorrreeevvveeerrrr and thats when you look at your week and get
discouraged. BUT there isn't anything to be sad about because we have
two people with baptism dates! And they are very solid. One is an
older lady who is the sweetest lady I think I've ever met. She's
been coming to church every Sunday for 5 months or something like that. 
A really long time she's been meeting
with the missionaries. We loves the gospel, LOVES the Gospel
Principles book and reads it along side the Book of Mormon, she's a
star. We needed to make sure her husband would be supportive of her
choice to be baptised and had a cool experience with that. We just
finished up meeting with someone and had a couple hours before our
next appointment. We were walking up town and just decided to call her
up and see if we could meet. We had meet the day earlier and were just
planning on seeing her at church but we called anyways and asked if we
could come say hello. It wasn't some big sign in the sky being pulled
behind and airplane saying "CALL HER CALL HER CALL HER", just a little
thought, just like the Spirit works. Sure enough we walk over to her
house and her husband is there. He works and lives away from town and
was just in for the day helping her put up a bathroom. We met, started
talking, and asked if he would be supportive of his wife getting
baptised. He said yes, but didn't understand why if she'd been
baptised already why she needed to be baptised again. We had a really
great lesson on authority and how someone gets the authority to
baptise. A great way to explain it is if you're driving down the road
in your car and an ice cream man waves you down and says "Hey Mister,
Im going to write you a ticket. You're going way to fast". You would
say "No way Ice Cream man! You can't write me a ticket because you
don't have the authority". But as you continue down the road a
policeman pulls you over and says "Hey Mister, Im going to write you a
ticket, you're going way to fast". you have to pay the ticket because
why? He has the authority. The ticket is baptism. Anyone can write you
a ticket, but whether or not they have the authority determines if its
valid. Welcome to a lesson with Elder Taylor and Elder Romney! haha

Things are lookin good though.  Another woman about 21, and then
we have recieved 3 refferals from the branch... cha ching! We are

You guys sound like you're having too much fun skiing and boarding!
You remember the one time I went snowboarding with Trev and Morgan and
ended up being slightly concussed? I hope the little nippers and Pops
are better than I was. Do they know how to stop yet? That was the one
thing I never really got a hold of... flying down the bunny hill,
yelling out "MOVE! I CANT STOP!" and then gracefully belly flopping,
starting from about the middle of the hill and ending at the bottom so
I didn't ride out into the parking lot. Gotta love the snow!

Don't worry about getting old mom, I feel the same way. My arm was
sore from carrying my bag of groceries last week.... It's time to jump
back into my push up routine. I bought some perfect pushups from Elder
Nelson in Maypen, they actually work really well... when you use them.
I notice they don't do anything for me when their collecting dust..
funny how that works, eh? :) Also, my hair... let the laughing and
giggling begin but it's becoming uncharacteristacally... thin. I
already checked to see how much Rogaine is here and I about choked on
my candy. Elder Taylor has hair like a wolf... think George Kastanza
versus Jerry Seinfeld... guess who's George haha

Well family I love you! you guys keep up the good work over there, I'll
do the same over here. Attached are some pictures of my six month mark
tie burning (those are my comfy pants, notice how big they look on
me!) a nasty tarantula in the church and a recent convert's birthday
party we were invited too! haha His name is R, he's Sis. D's
son, turning 10. I tell you what, Jamaican's know how to throw a
party. I wasn't sure if I we showed up to a ten year old's birthday
party or a hip hop concert. Music blazing, people and kids dancing, it
was pretty fun!  Love you guys!

Elder Romney

Monday, January 9, 2012

six month mark

Did you like my song? haha Happy 39th birthday!
Im so glad you got my package!! Me and Elder Taylor busted up looking at the pictures you guys sent. Very funny! I already sent Haley another shirt, it's a large, I it looks like the meduim fit, but now you have large for someone to wear if they are feeling like a homie.
This week was pretty regular, besides my 6 month mark! Only 3 more quarters to go! It most definetly has gone by very fast. We went to Burger King to celebrate, and in typical Elder Romney and Elder Taylor fashion, something got ahold of Elder Taylor and wrecked his stomach the next day and my stomach this morning.... NOT doing Burger King anymore! But it was fun, I burned a tie, it was fun! It totally blows my mind that Robbie has been out almost a year! I think it's a year on the 19th or the 12th or something like that. At this time next year, he's gonna be coming home! Crazy. 
Yes, we did get transfer calls and... We're staying! Yep, at least one more transfer here in Sav. Both me and Elder Taylor. After this transfer we will have spent Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years, my 6 month mark, his birthday, valentines day, and maybe his year mark! It's been a busy 3 months and looks like it's going to stay the same. We get transfer calls on the saturday before transfers, transfers themselves are on a Wednesday. No public transportation, the zone leaders come pick you up in their truck and take you to Spanish Town with all your shwag and then you get handed over to your new Zone Leaders and verse visa.
We are excited to be here for at least one more. That investigator I told you about last week, the really awesome one, called us this week and pretty much told us not to come back. Definetly a bust, she's great but I guess not as interested as we thought. That made us sad, but we recieved another refferal from a member last week so we went and checked them. They are cousins of the member, brother and sister, 17 and 15, and are way cool. They are very good at singing! They actually are signed to a record label from America and have done legit gigs. They sang at Kitefest, it was on New Years day here in Sav and they opened for a guy name I-Octane who is one of the biggest names in Jamaica and pretty much all of Sav was there.. This is no gig at the Cretin Hop playing for 6 people and the sound guy haha We talked music for quite a while, shot stories back and forth about gigs and such, I liked it a lot. Some people say that talking about that stuff with investigators isn't why I'm here and isn't very spiritual, but finding things in common with people helps build your relationship with them to start teaching. Investigators aren't just some random person we want to baptise, i've made so many friends here in Jamaica, some who wanted the gospel and some who didn't, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to be friends with them if they aren't ready or don't want the message we have to share. It's cool to be able to walk down the street and amidst all the chatting and swearing at us, we will hear a "Elders!" "or "Missionaries!", turn around and its someone we are teaching or someone we met in the road, just saying whats up. It's pretty sweet!

You guys sound like you're doing well. Can you give Shelby my email address? I'd like hear from that homie.
A couple business things, I am out of batteries here for my camera and buying pack's of AA's is pretty expensive. Maybe in your next package, I know we have some rechargable ones a the house, doyou think you could send those and the charger? That would help me out a lot. Also, you asked what I wanted in packages and all I said was beef jerky and seeds... you can send me anything you want! haha Candy, food, cookies, whatever you'd like. I am accepting to all package items :)
Anyways, thanks for the email, I always love hearing about what is goin on back home. You guys have a great week and I'll catch ya next week! I'll send some pictures too in a different email.
Love you!
Elder Romney

Monday, January 2, 2012

It's a new year!

Hello family!
Happy New Year! I can officially say I am coming home next year! :)
I am soooo glad this week is finally here! We get to actually go out and do missionary work! haha Its funny how when all you do is go out everyday you wish you just had a day to relax and do nothing, and then when you get the chance to stay inside you are dying to get out of the house.
As far as the elections go, there was a shooting on Tuesday night downtown, JLP was rallying and PNP came in a shot up the place. 1 dead, 3 injured. We werent down there when it happened thankfully, and we found out about it the next day as we were delivering Christmas goody bags to some members. We came in Wednesday night at 5 for dinner, and then at 6 got a call from our branch president saying there was a curfew on the whole city becasue of the shooting, so we had to stay inside from wednesday night at 5pm until friday at 2pm (friday is our super planning day so we stay in and plan for the up coming week from 10-2). Thursday we cleaned the house up a bit, since we clean it every p-day it stays pretty clean. We have turned into quite the baking duo though. We won a cookie and brownie mix at the Christmas party and had a cake mix and frosting already and baked all three this week... yeah, hasnt been the healthiest eating week every, BUT it was absolutely delicious and helped get us through 45 hours posted up in our house! We played futbol friday night and then saturday had a nice full day of seeing people.
We have a new investigator, she was a referal from a member in the branch and she is awesome. She was being taught by missionaries about 7 years ago, and admitted that at that time she wasn't ready to join yet because of school and things. She's settled down now though, has a cute little kid and married, she coulnd't make it tto church on Sunday but actually called to apologize and ask us when we are coming back to see her. It's pretty exciting! We had a branch council meeting on Sunday and asked that every member or every family pray about one person they know that we could teach. I think its going to be great, we are getting more involved with the members and they are helping us get people to teach. Thats been our biggest struggle lately is finding people. We will have a couple great lessons planned out in a day but the rest is just finding, and the only people that are out in the streets are those who are unemployed and drunk by noon because people who have jobs are at work. Getting the members involved is how to get er done!
We had a really cool experience this week too. As we were leaving the house yesterday to go to church and I just really wanted to break my fast with a dinner appointment instead of Mac and Cheese.. no disrespect to Mac and Cheese, it's a celestial meal for sure, but I was out of kethup and have got in the habit of putting WAY to much jamaican hell hot sauce in it and i end up with watery eyes and sniffing the whole time I'm eating it because it's roasting my mouth...  Elder Taylor always says "Yo Elder Romney, there is NO need to get emotional at a time like this!" haha It's pretty funny, BUT ANYWAYS. We say our prayer before we leave and just ask "if it be thy will, please let us have a dinner appointment". So we get to church, sacrament meeting goes by, gospel principles goes by, priesthood goes by, and nothin comes up. We weren't to put out, a little bummed for Mac and Cheese again but no worries, i love mac and cheese. We had a branch council meeting after church, so it's like 2 o clock now, and Pres. Blake asks Elder Taylor to give the opening prayer. Litterally right as he says amen, Sis. Blake (who we've never even really talked to before) says "Excuse me Elders, I just thought of this, do you have dinner tonight?" We smile "No, no we don't". She's says "Perfect, come over at 5". Prayer answered! Not only though were we blessed with that but we show up and its this gourmet meal! Chicken stuffed with calleloo, fried chicken, beef, rice and peas, mashed potatos with carrots and butter and peas in it, and as much of us as you want! It was soooo nice, the whole family was there talkin and eating, just shootin' the breeze. It was like a dinner appointment back in the states. We finish up dinner, and sure enough, she sends all the left overs home with us AND dessert! Talk about a prayer answered. It was awesome. Definetly the perfect way to end the night and week.
On another note, transfer calls are coming Saturday! Im 99% postive I'm staying, I think Elder Taylor will be outta here, so I might be getting a new companion next Wednesday. We realized too that Elder Taylor and I have spent 4 holidays together! thats pretty nuts, I hope we stay together for one more, he's a homie. I can't think of anything else really! It's crazy, I hit my 6 month mark on friday!! and It's your birthday on Monday! So happy early birthday Mom! Ill attach some pictures of the week, you guys have a great week!! Love you all!
Elder Romney