Elders McCleod and Romney

Monday, March 26, 2012

Life in Junction

This week! This week was something else. I guess to start off, Elder McLeod and I are still getting along great. We make a good team, in teaching and in running the branch. I was sustainted as branch clerk on Sunday, and it will take some getting used to not getting home from church until about 3:00-3:30 but it has been really sweet. We had planned to take P-day on Tuesday like I said in last weeks email, but we ended up having a whole heap of things to get done (which isn't all too terrible) but today is verrry nice :) Did my laundry this morning, we washed the truck, it was nice. The people in our apartment are so nice!! We already know just about everyone there, at least the stay at home mom's and the retired couples. There is Auntie B and Uncle P, they are a retired couple from England, very funny and nice, there is Uncle W and Auntie S who are married and have 3 girls, A, who actually went to high school with Elder McLeod (and we are currently teaching her), S and M who are SO cool. M is 11 and had a little guitar, one night I was sitting on the tail gate playing a tune and I see his head poke out of his apartment... couple minutes later he comes out and we start talking and he says he wants to learn how to play. So I'm teaching him how to play guitar. It's nice to come home and havce neighbors to chit chat and shoot the breeze with before we go inside. Very cool. 

Also in excellent news, we had a baptism this week! Yeah, not mine and Elder McLeod's baptism, but the sisters had one and they asked if I would baptize him. His name is S, he's 21, and he has the SICKEST story about faith I've heard thus far on my mission. So good it's worth writing the whole thing in this email. So I met S only on Wednesday to interview him for his baptism on thursday, but a little background on him, the sisters found him about 6 months ago, just talking to him on the street and he wanted nothing to do with the church. He wasn't living a good like (in his own words) but didn't want to go to church or anything. About a month later they ran into him again and he started taking the lessons. 5 months later, we are at this point last week, he's ready and dying to be baptized. He knows the gospel is true, he wants to clean up, his testimony is rock solid. His interview was so sweet being able to hear how he got his answer about if the Book of Mormon was true. He said he was really really wanting to know and he prayed after he was done reading part of it and sure enough, he said that he just felt so good and so at peace. He wasn't worried about anything anymore, his questions were answered, he knew it was true. Now tuesday of this last week he went out on the road with J$1800 (about $20 US) in his pocket. He didn't spend it, he didn't lose it, but when he got home it wasn't there anymore. He had no explanation what happened to it, and he was shocked and worried because the baptism had to be in Mandeville which is two taxi rides away, about $800 round trip, and he's got zero money now. Wednesday rolls around and we aren't sure what he's going to do, even if we had it in Junction down in Alligator Pond he couldn't taxi up there and back. We are about to leave and we ask him if he's got any fare yet. He says he doesn't as yet. He says the closing prayer and in his prayer he says "Heavenly Father, I know I'm going to get to my baptism tomorrow. I know I am, please just let me find a way." Talk about faith!!! It gave us all the chills it was so cool. He text the Sisters that night and told them he was going to try and sell a ring in the town Thursday morning, 3 hours before the baptism is supposed to start. Funny thing about this ring- it was his absolute favorite ring, it was made of gold, and he has had it forever... and he was willing to go into town the morning of his baptism and sell it so he could make it to his own baptism. Thursday morning rolls around and we've been praying like crazy hoping he's been able to sell his ring and that he actually went out and tried to sell it. Sure enough, we get a phone call that morning saying that he had sold it and had fare to come up to Mandeville. His baptism was so awesome. It was such an honor for me to be asked and able to do that for him. You could tell and he would tell you how good he felt. He seriously just looked like his smile was gonna go through each of his ears. It made for the sweetest Thursday ever. Sunday I gave him the Holy Ghost, also very cool, and he received the Aaronic Priesthood. Something I will never forget. 

Junction is just so great, we are being blessed beyond belief. We are teaching four boys, 19, 17, 16, and 15, all of them and working towards being baptized April 21st. The The 17, 16, and 15 year old are brothers and cousins and are studs. Teachings dudes around your own age is so sweet. They flip when you tell them you're only 19 haha Yep, this week has been pretty much amazing. And this up coming week will be so sweet too! Conference! We are going up to Mandeville for the priesthood session and the sunday sessions because we are having a man in our branch receive the Melchezidek Preisthood and this was the only time we could do it within like 6 months. It's gonna be legit. 

The young womens broadcast was pretty nice. We watched it on the computer with the sisters and some branch members at the church. I feel bad for all the times I chose to work rather than listen to conference. My mission has made me reallize how important that stuff is. So make sure you watch it! haha

In other news... I began driving this week... yeah, talk about scary. Right hand driving on the left side of the road with drivers and taxis taht are in in a hurry going no where... I think I gave Elder McLeod a few grey hairs this week. Don't worry, I still drive like a little old Grandma, especially now. Driving stick lefty has been weird getting used to, and will be even weirder adjusting back to when I get home. It's pretty fun though. Also we have about 70 pounds of weights with a straight bar and a little curl handle. Thats been nice, I've been running stairs in the morning, we have 15 of them up to our apartment. Hopfully that will fend off the fat for a little bit. It's crazy how much less I eat though since being in a car. There was 3 days last week where all I ate was crackers and water and one legit meal and I was totally content. We were making shakes in the morning for breakfast until the Magic Bullet died on us... yeah, we were so pumped to have it... and now... its gone :( haha Oh well, just gonna have to con the sisters into giving us their blender :) 

I'm gonna send some pics, buckle up for them, this place is the bush! haha I love you!

Elder Romney

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Finally in Junction!

Hey !!

Holy smokes I never thought it would be a blessing to get to email you, but my goodness, the things we've done to make 30 minutes go as far was we can! I have so much to say and so little time. I'm sorry for not emailing yesterday but we were going to take p-day today because of branch stuff... im getting ahead of myself. From the top!

So this week we finally got to Junction. Wednesday the Zl's came out for a trade off and we had a super spiritual experience with a priesthood blessing. It's hard to explain over email, but this week has been all about the power of the priesthood and I've been blessed to be a part of some amazing things. 

Yes I got the shoes! Thank you so much! They came at the perfect time too. Thursday afternoon we packed up and left Sav, which is a whole other story about leaving. Long story short I am going to miss it. It's the first area that I've been so close to the members- I guess thats what happens when you're in the same place four months. So we made the two hour drive out to Santa Cruz, where it was pouring rain and got EVERYTHING all wet, even with the tarp on our stuff. That was a downer, but when we got to the house your package was there so I thank you for that :) 

It's rained everyday for two weeks, welcome to rainy season. Every afternoon without fail it's like a terrential downpour. But the nice thing is... we are in a car! Yep, I'm gonna have to up my working out now so I don't get fat.. speaking of which I went to buy a new pair of pants today because I am down to the two pairs of 33's I cam out with (two pair were ruined by an iron and bleach, one pair I got paint all over, and the last two I gave to Elder Paxman and Edler Snelson because they lost a bunch of weight out here and their clothes dont fit them, plus they were two big for me) anyways, they were 32 and 34's- one to small, one too big, gotta lay off the cake for a while! ANYWAYS! I have so much more important stuff to talk about that my stinkin' pants- my bad.

So Junction! Yes, it is very very bushy. We have been following the sisters around everywhere finding where the members live. Seriosuly, me and Elder McLeod say so many times "Where are they taking us??? There's nothing out here!" And then BOOM, houses. The branch is a decent size, we meet in a rented space with a barber shop, bar, and a Hallelujah church next to us which makes church kinda noisy sometimes but we manage just fine. There was 53 people at church Sunday- the most in quite a while I guess. It was good, the members are very friendly.   I'm loving it already. It's a tougher area because everyone in the town pretty much has a teaching record and was taught something, but we are excited for the challenge. As far as we know the sisters will be staying here as well. 

So we were finally going to take p-day yesterday, like usual and Elder Smith (the branch president before Elder McLeod, he and his wife are now in Kingston as the office couple) said there was a meeting we needed to be at at the church at Ten., then we had to move in and later that day drive out to Mandeville to deliver some forms to the district. No biggy, we said we would just take p-day today... Well, we have a meeting at four, gave a blessing at 12, and are going to see three people about branch stuff- but we have these three hours to email and do laundry which I am very grateful for. Elder McLeod and I are feeling slightly overwhelmed. I'm not the branch president, but holy cow, im along for the crazy schedule. Im going to be the ward clerk which will be cool. Got a rundown of MLS, the program for all the tithing and stuff... its funny, last week we were saying "Man it doesnt even feel real like we are going to Junction" and now we are here and saying "Whoah. It's real alright." 

I got a blessing yesterday from Elder McLeods dad- his whole family is in the district and we had to give that form to his brother so we saw his fam yesterday, and I couldn't help but cry. It was just what I needed. I heard Dad saying the words, it was one of many spiritual excperiences I had this week. Im so sorry for the shortened and not very detailed email, but we have about an hour and a bit to do our laundry and then off to another meeting. Tomorrow is District meeting and Im the district leader (kinda by default) and have a grip load of stuff to do tomorrow, then thursday the sisters have a baptism and we are going back out to mandeville for that because the branch president has to be there.... my mission has taken quite the change from having hours looking for something to do to now being grateful for 30 minutes to email my momma :) I love you so much!!! You sould like you're doing well, pray that I will get a little more time later today to shoot you another one. I love you!!

Elder Romney

Monday, March 12, 2012

getting ready to leave Sav la Mar


Well... we are still in Sav. Not for long though! We finally got a call on Friday saying we will be leaving here this week, probably around Thursday or Friday. We definitely have to be there by Sunday, so this week is basically just packing, making sure I don't leave anything here, and snappin pics of me and homies in Sav. I would be SO sad if something ever happened to my camera. So far so good though. I filled up my memory card so I'll be having to buy one here this week- did you guys send one in the package with my shoes? No I haven't got it yet but I will call the office today and see if it's there. They may have got it. 

Junction is going to be so legit! We are very excited to start something new there. I think I might have told you this already but there haven't been Elders there in about a year, so it will opening up some new doors. This is my third whitewash in four areas- the Sisters in Junction will be there for a little though so they can show us where the members live. That will be a blessing for sure. 

I love the pictures of Mac's and P-nut (Paislee's new nick name as of 3 seconds ago) party! Seriously, that looks like to much fun having all those people under one roof. Mac watched Signs?? He's more brave than I was at his age, its still like pulling teeth to get me to watch a scary movie... go Mac go! His drums probably look way sick... gotta love birthdays. 

This week was pretty cool. Elder McLeod and I did a companion trade off in Negril (as in we both went instead of just him). It was awesome, Negril is a hilly and big area. He served there in the beginning of his mission and so we went so he could hail up his converts and other people he used to teach. He's a very good missionary. The amount of numbers that the Negril and Sav missionaries have got from him since he's been here makes finding pointless when we can contact all his former people. We are getting along great! Yes, he is rather tall and yes... I am rather... vertically challenged, but! It's the small things that confound the great, right? 

In my studies these days I'm diving back into the Book of Mormon. But I'm keeping a fat study journal and hitting just about every cross reference; talk about a difference in studies! Holy smokes, I have learned so much just from 1 Nephi its a good thing I wrote it all down. It always amazes me too how people can say that the Book of Mormon isn't about Jesus Christ or isn't scripture. I guess they can say that if they haven't read it or prayed about it, but that's on them. For someone to say that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon obviously hasn't taken any time to study it or the Bible. God is the same yesterday today and forever, and he deals with Lehi and Nephi the prophets the exact same way he dealt with prophets in the Old Testament. In studying in depth, I've also found how much Nephi and crew followed the plates of Brass (which is the first 5 books of Moses found in the Bible). 
Whenever Nephi is scolding his lame-o brothers, he's always going back to "Look what God did for Moses, you've read it for yourself, don't you have faith that he will do the same thing?" Yeah, pretty legit stuff. Cross references are the way to study. 

Thats cool about the choir singing. I don't know how I could ever sing bass, I get razzed now and again for my buttery high voice, but its all in good fun. This blonde hair boy is still singing, don't have to worry about that :) Tell Mac to flex his golden pipes! If he still doesn't want to... give him the motivation every 13 year old boy falls for "Girls like boys who sing". BOOM, he'll be singing like a songbird in church haha

I've got a TON of pictures to send off so I'll send them in a separate email today. Oh yeah, Whintey Houston's death here was huge here. I saw it on the front page when it happened. 

Well I love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Romney 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Three baptisms!

Ay momma!

Sorry for the late email today, we hit up Negril this morning and afternoon for a little beach walking :) It was nice, it poured right as we were leaving, perfect timing though. 

So! This week! Baptisms! I have a crazy story for you, mixed in with my testimony of why Heavenly Father puts us where we are, even when we think we are supposed to be somewhere else. So, technically speaking, Elder McLeod and I are supposed to be in Junction (at least it would look like that from a humans perspective) but are still here to show the new missionaries around. I can tell you that is NOT why we are still here. So it would've been Thursday night, we were at the S's for dinner and after we ate we decided instead of going straight home to go look at the ocean for a sec and clear our head. So we ride down, its like 30 seconds from their house, and are just looking at it, not really saying much, enjoying the quiet. About 5 minutes go by and we start our ride back from downtown back to the church and Sis. S comes yelling out of her house as we are about to ride by to come inside. So we go back in and Sis. S cant stop smiling and almost looks like she is gonna cry so we ask whats up and she tells us that her sister (who is 11) got permission from her mother 15 minutes earlier to get baptized on Sunday because it was her 12th birthday, and W (the girl) has wanted to be baptized since she was 8 but her mother always said no (she's not a member of the church). So she gets permission to be baptized and she knows Elder McLeod from before and it just so happens that he was in town this week to "show the new missionaries around"... yeah right, Elder McLeod came back for Whitney. So not only did I get to baptize S and A (which wouldn't have happened if I was supposed to leave when transfers came) but Elder McLeod was able to baptize W.  

Holy smokes... you're totally right. It was a much different experience doing the baptism itself rather that just watching and conducting the service. I seriously can't describe it. It started during sacrament meeting when S and A got up and bore their testimonies. I'm man enough to say I was close to tears. I had to get up and say something, and I haven't been that shaky or had that feeling like my heart was going to pound right outta my chest in a while like I did at that moment in sacrament meeting. It was so awesome. The baptism went really well. We sang Families Can Be Together Forever for the opening song and I had the fear tear going again. I was thinking about all sorts of things, watching S and A grow up and do great things, and then it kinda hit me that every big thing I've been apart of, you and the fam have been there. This was a little different, not looking up to see mom and dad smiling, BUT I took lots of pictures, no worries. It was seriously the coolest thing ever and an experience I won't be forgetting anytime soon. 

This week was all just leading up to that, doing interviews for the girls, getting ready for the baptism. No word yet on when we are leaving, I think it will be sometime this week. They are finalizing an apartment for the senior couple in Kingston and so when that goes through we are gonzo, out to the country town of Junction. Elder McLeod hit his year mark this week so that was fun celebrating that.

I've got a TON of pictures to send you guys so ill shoot them in a different email! I love you!!!

Elder Romney