Jackson is now in Nassau, Bahamas. If you want to send something to him you can send letters and packages to this address: Elder Jackson Romney
13 Graham Avenue
If you want to send important things, Fed Ex, DHL or UPS is the way to go as the Jackson will have to go pick it up. Just know that he will have to pay duty on whatever you send, so don't send stuff that is expensive.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
So, what a week! We got transfer calls Saturday, Im leaving tomorrow at noon to go to the bahamas. Our last Sunday President Hendricks came out again to talk to the branch, I hope it does the trick and calls them to action- Highgate was an experience for sure but I wouldn't trade it for anything, I learned more about the gospel in this transfer than I have all of my mission, and people say that when you go off island you learn the most out of any area of your mission... Im excited to keep learning!
We still don't have water, so we showered this morning in Linstead. I tell ya, learning to appreciate the little things is one thing a mission does. Water, electricity, hot water even, washing machiene, all fantastic luxuries of life we take for granted.
Not to put a damper on this email, but remember I told you about mom and grandma? Mom died last night in the hospital. We got a call this morning from grandma so we went over before we left. She is hanging in there. It was such a blessing though, she was soooo misserable. We visited her this last week and she didn't know where she was and wanted to go home, we couldn't understand her speech or anything, pretty sad :( BUT she's doing jumping jacks now and enjoying herself so thank Heavenly Father for that. Her kiddo's are doing alright, I think they will stay with grandma until they figure out what to do.
Well thats about it for this week, not a whole lotta action but next week will be exciting! First email from the Bahamas!! Can't wait to send you pictures! I love you!!!
Monday, June 18, 2012
Here we are back in Ocho Rios on yet another p-day. This time we are coming back from Montego Bay- I can now say I've seen every area but one on the island! We hung out with Elder Ostburg and his trainee Elder Famui there, it was pretty legit. Mo bay is so stinkin big!! But they have a 5 star pizza hut which was absolutly fantastic and kickin' it with E. Ostberg for a last time before he goes home was totally worth it. He's gonna play the bass for us when we get home! haha
My stomach problemo's are pretty much handled. We've been eating cheap, trying to budget for big stuff like Mo Bay trips and gas for the truck. Cup of Noodles are the meal of choice these days. We were without water until Friday again, but we've had it steady since which is a huge blessing in that the water at the church is still wonky. It's a Jamaica wide problem. There are people in Negril who haven't had water for 6 months- bonkers. 2 weeks was a good enough experience for me to appreciate it. I'm such a Nancy- we got up early this morning to head to Mo Bay and after a shower I was so cold my gums were hurting. I jumped back into bed to try and warm up, looked at the thermomoter on my clock and it was 73 degrees this morning- The last time I was in 73 degree weather was back home!! Seriously, I don't know what I'm gonna do about winter, even summer time. Maybe I'll bring back the turtle neck sweater... rocking out on stage in a turtle neck, I'm sure the ladies will love that.
I can't believe school is already done! I remember when I got out here school was just starting and everyone was so excited for all their classes and teachers, now Haley is graduated and still a genius, Summer is gonna be a Sophomore and still a genius, and only two B's for Mac?? Yo- BOY genius. Good thing they will be making lots of money so they can support my band on tour ;) Just kidding... at least half kidding.... Haley has a $2500 scholarship??? Dang, that's whats up. How much is it for a semester at EWU? Last I heard before I came out it was like 6 G's or something like that.
This week was another experience to remember. Something awesome that happened was that we have now four members who say if the branch closes they will be in Ochi every Sunday- better than last week! We are sure they will- super strong testimonies in the gospel, not just coming to church to come to church. Pretty rad when you can find people who are truly converted to the gospel. Other good news I found out today is that the converts I helped teach are still active in Junciton and Sav! Junction had a baptism Saturday of a girl who we were teaching. She was ice cold when we first got there, but slowly warmed up and accepted to take the lessons- found it was true and was baptised saturday. She's a cousin to M, N, R, and Elder G who's on his mission out here. The gospel is taking over that yard!!
Yes, I remember well when me and Robbie had our crazy plans to move out- thing that got me was how much mula I would be losing and the family time I'd be loosing too. When pop's laid it all out it was like "how ya gonna pay for a phone, car, gas, rent, utilities, food, tv, and save for your mission, plus when you're laying in a cold bed because you can't pay the electricity bill, you're hungry because you used your money to pay for gas, me and Mac will be sitting on a nice leather couch throwing back some NB's watching a hockey game on a huge TV with the whole family there to kick it with... how's that gonna work out?" That was enough for me haha Crazy kids- to all you children out there (children = pre-mission) enjoy every second with the family and everything your parents provide for you! Trust me- when you're sick to your stomach from some bad chicken and you don't have running water or your mom to make you feel better- you'll understand haha Im jelous Haley gets her own room! Something I will never have. Honestly, I loved the freedom you and pop's gave me. If I wanted to go to Robbie's and kick it or go to a concert or go somewhere after work, you guys never had a problem with it and that was really cool. You made it easy to keep a curfew because I knew if I kept the rules, I would get to do more stuff- Alma 2:41- Consider the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments. It's the way to go! I always loved when you and pop's wanted to hangout with me, because true- you guys are pretty stinkin' cool to hangout with. Whenever I talk about my concert attending, motorcycle riding, movie watching, kick it on the couch and quote Brian Regan, 43 year old parents, people are pretty jealous- as they should be!
I think Im gonna get a hammock for college instead of a bed- it just make more sense.They sell some sweet knit rope rasta coloured ones here- might snap one before I head home. I bet dad is loving that thing though!! Summer time in a hammock, sounds pretty nice.
Dr. Kacey?? Atta bwoy! Thats so sick. I'll be driving over there to have him check out my pearly whites. Time is pretty crazy- sometimes it feels like it is soooo sloooow but at the same time back home everything is moving at normal pace. Perty crazy.
Im so excited for your race!! I'll be thinking about you running and swimming and biking your lil heart out on saturday! What time does it start?? what are you wanting to finish in?? Im so stoked for you!!! You've got a cheerleader over here! Make sure pops takes lots of pictures!
Well momma I love you. Thank you for your prayers and the families prayers- they are what carry us through sometimes!!
Love Elder Romney
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
AHHHHHHH i miss family gatherings!! Seriously, I have been thinking about it and its so true how when you get older your family becomes your best friends and the people you wanna hangout with. Cant wait to get in on that action again! You guys all look great, thats so exciting that Haley graduated (not that it was a surprise- if I could graduate, Haley better be able to graduate!) All the little cousins are getting so old! Caitlin looks so cute! I just wanna pick her up and give her a zurburt. Soon Haley will be in college, that is nutso. My companion is registering for school this month. It's made my mind start tinkering with the idea of where I wanna go. He was saying that there are priority deadlines that are almost a year before school starts first pick at classes or something- can't forget about that! Don't wanna end up hosed outta school because I forgot about a deadline. That would sound to much like my last quarter at SCC, and no, I don't want that again :) My comp. goes home in 15 weeks (yes, its down to weeks) and in two weeks he's stoked to be able to say that he has less weeks than I've been out months haha SO it goes, I hit my year mark in like three weeks! Crazy, eh?
Since I've been out here I realize what you mean when you're always trying to find foods that go well with your body and things. I don't do it as much as you obviously but having to find things that don't wreck your stomach while you're out teaching.. crucial lol I've found that corned beef is only 120 calories and has 14 grams of protien per can, and if you cook it with ketchup in the pan wit a little pepper sauce it tastes like a ghetto sloppy joe- pretty tasty.
This week in Highgate was an experience as well. The government here isn't as on top of things as back home and there are many people that haven't had running water for quite sometime. It's a good thing we have a truck to help our members get water- two families especially, grandma and mom (mom by the way looks a lot better, we visit her in the hospital about 2-3 times a week) and then a family of 8 havent had water. We rolled up to visit this family to have a lesson and right as we pulled up they were fresh outta water. We loaded all the bins and went and filled them at the church. We were outta water from Sunday to friday this week... its been a sticky week haha We showered at the church one day, then it got all plugged up so we went to Port Antonio early for district meeting and showered there, then we just didnt shower because all the water we had we needed for the toilet because we both had a bad case of runny belly this week. Water came back Friday and Saturday and was gone again yesterday. We showered in Porty this morning because we had a combined zone p-day in ochi. It's so crazy how much a difference running water makes. We are outta water again today and hopfully it wont be gone for too long.
This week we instituted home and visiting teaching, a fireside every Wednesday, interview night with the Branch president and weekly saturday church cleaning. Made up a bunch of nice forms on the computer for all of them, did the home teaching and visiting teaching lists, weekly calander, we are praying our guts out that the branch will act. It's not looking so good. They asked for 2 months, its been over half way now and not a change has been made. Mad props to Abinidi- that guy is a stud.
One thing I've learned so far this transfer is how to recieve the answers God has for me. That scripture "Ask and ye shall receive", I've always thought that you can only ask certain things to God or that only things pertaining to church stuff, but I'm here to tell you that is not true. You can litterally ask anything. If you have the faith and the desire to understand and know, you can get an answer that is as clear as day. They come from the scriptures. A habit I've started to try and get into is when I have a question to ask Heavenly Father I ask it, then turn to my scriptures. Everytime I've done this, I have receive the answer I needed. An example would be when (without telling each other) my companion and I prayed to know what we could shre with the members to that it would hit home for them. When I turned to my scriptures I opened right up to the story of the Brother of Jared and Elder Baird opened up a number of scriptures about faith and how if we don't do what Heavenly Father commands we aren't accepted of Him. It was nuts, our lesson plans have been taylor fitted to the situations and people we meet. Cool huh.
Well Ill be sending pictures and the song a bit later when we get back to highgate! I finally got the song that we recorded so ill send it in an email and you can listen to your boy in a Jamrock studio singing about the mission! I Love you momma!!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
We've come down with a lil sickness but will it away so we don't have to stay in our tiny little house all day. That would drive both of us bonkers. Im glad everyone is feeling better there though.
This week was something else. We had an experience that was pretty eye opening. There is a family here who has been less active for a while, its a grandma, her daughter, and her three kids. One of the kids is a member, but both grandma and mom have cancer. Grandma's is in remmision but was really bad this time last year. Mom's is taking over her body right now. It's cervical cancer and she has a tumon the size of a CD in her stomach and its rubbing against her pelvis and puts her in so much pain. We go over there and the first time we meet her she asks us to write a letter on her behlaf to the hospital to give her morphine... "Morphine? Thats what they gave the guy in Saving Private Ryan right before he died!" Yeah, lots of pain.
She ended up being able to get some and it helped for a little but she's been waiting to get into the hospital in Kingston so she can have a 2nd round of radiation and chemo. She didn't respond well to the first round, but there werent any beds open in any hospitals around. We gave her a blessing last week and she had the promise that if she read her scriptures when the pain was the worse, it would be relieved. Came back a few days later and she said she's been reading and feeling much less pain. That was last week.
This week Friday we were eating dinner and Grandma calls us and asks if we can come to the house right away because Mom has to go to the hospital. We drive down there and there were a couple nice peace corps ladies there that were gonna drive her to the hospital. We were the muscle of the operation, carrying her from the house, down the hill into the waiting car. It was one of those situations that just runs through your mind because you don't know if this lady is gonna live or not. She had some serious bleeding the day before and lost a lot of blood, and she was completely limp and helpless, still conscience though. We put her in the car and went back to the house and gave Grandma a blessing. I gave her the blessing, and in it all I wanted to do was say that Mom was going to be ok and make it through, but the Spirit restrained me from doing so and guided me to assure the comforts that would accompany grandma and the grandkids if mom passed. it was the worst feeling in the world.Grandma is so stressed out, but the blessing said that she (grandma) has done all she could to care for her family and that now it was time for the Lord to take care of her and her family. We left that small little house knowing that what was said is what was directed by the Spirit, but sealing someone up to the Lord is just an indescribable experience. We went and visited mom in the hospital yesterday and she is looking better, pretty hopped up on pain killers but looked happy and much better.
I will never forget Highgate. It's kinda like a football game. You try one play and it doesn't work, so you try something different after studying it out, watching film, and practicing. I've had 11 month's of practice and my companion 21 months, and finding a way to motivate people to act has been our challenge. Took the first week just to befriend everyone, get to know them, understand their situation, and in this 2nd week we hunkered down and spoke very plainly and simply. Week 3 we're going to have to up the ante because we still haven't seen a change in nearly anyone. There are three members who we have seen a slight change for the better. One described their feelings as Alma when he saw and angel and decided to change. It was the first time someone has cried in a lesson on my mission, but we werent sure if they were tears of change or self pity. After asking a few questions, it was more of the fact that the person felt they wouldn't be able to get to church in Ochi every sunday. This week we are going to focus on Faith. Faith faith faith. Because faith leads to action. And if everyone continues not to act, this branch will be closed. We invited people to visit one less active family this week, we are hoping for the best!
It's so funny how even when in the tough times in life, you find a way to get through it. Highgate is an experience, but we are having a blast. Whats the point of being somewhere if you aren't going to find a way to make it enjoyable? I'm having a hoot and a half over here :)
Only three weeks till your big race!! That is so sweet! Im so excited for you, where is it again? I forgot. Is it the 1/2 iron tri you did a couple years ago?
It blows my mind that haley is 18 this week and graduating. Seriously. WEIRD! That means its been two years since I graduated... ALSO WEIRD. Elder Baird is signing up for classes for school when he gets home, it almost feels like im going home too haha Not quite! Still got a few more people to meet out here before I can head on back to the Pacific Northwest. Speaking of school, he was saying that I need to find out when the priority deadlines are for the schools I want to apply to because they are pretty early in the year. He was registered in December of last year for school in October of this year. We gotta keep that in mind.
I love the picture of Danny and JET! I am SO pumped to have etheopian cousins- my honorary Jamaicanness wont stick out as much anymore! I can see it know, me, Jet, and Danny, kicking' it old school, chattin' about Africa and Jamaica and the good ol' days haha
Thanks for the pointers about lifting. We are gonna start cooking more at home so I will be buying tuna and beans and salad and such. We got a nice recipe for chili from Sis. Smith in the office which we are stoked for. I totally forgot that cookbook at home that I got for my mission!! GRr! haha
The house looks so good! As do your glasses lol Those crack me up, I've got a pair of welding goggles that I wear as sunglasses, usually on P-days. Pretty fashionable.
Well I love you guys! Be sure to send pictures of the grad and things!!!