Elders McCleod and Romney

Monday, July 30, 2012

Big week in Nassau!

Hello sick ward!! 

Shnikes momma, that sounds awful. Being sick I've decided is the worst thing that can happen to a human, besides having their femur cracked in half.... what if you were sick WHILE having a cracked femur? That's gotta be a level 10 ;) I'm glad you're feeling better though. I wish I could wrap my little mind around why or how our bodies can one day just be sick as dogs and the next be fit as a fiddle. That was always a bonus of being sick;  dropping a few pounds- then you go and drink a glass of water and its all back, but for the moment it was nice. I DID NOT LIKE that part of my mission when I wasn't used to the food yet and anything I ate went straight through the ol' system. Third world countries don't have public bathrooms, and most people don't have water in the house so when it would hit, you'd better hope you can ride your bike to the church or home before mass chaos ensues. 

This week was quite possibly the coolest week of my mission thus far and will be tough to beat in the future. It was soooooo sweet. All the festivities started Tuesday morning when we went and picked up Elder Taylor and Elder Hitchcock at the airport. I don't think there is a boat that takes people to each of the islands; Bahamas Air airline hits them all I believe for pretty cheap because you don't have to go through Miami. Leaving the Bahamas for another island or to the States is pretty common. I think a flight to Miami is like $70 so it's no biggy for people to jet their and back. 

So we picked them up in the morning, it was so good to see them!! Elder Taylor is getting a little husky- but aren't we all- he's put on about 15 pounds since he left me in Sav. Elder Hitchcock is still the man, I would love to serve with that guy. Served with him in the MTC, served around him in Spanish Town, now just gotta get with that fella!! The drive is about 30 miles roundtrip from our house to the airport, we picked them up and went straight to the Atlantis breakfast buffet. Oh yes, it was tasty and fancy and wonderful. After that we gave them the royal tour of the place, showed them around downtown, they love Nassau. Freeport is much smaller as far as people and tourist stuff, they say it has a small town feel. Quite the opposite from Nassau. Elder Hitchcock was like a wide eyed kid in a candy store driving by all the big buildings and walking through the Rolex store and John Buell and fancy store we would never spend money at. We ran home and dropped off their stuff and Elder Taylor and I went to Ts' house so Elder Taylor could do a baptism interview, he nailed it of course- T is a stud! We went to dinner at the D's that night and that was a treat. Bro. D- I can't say enough about that guy and his family. Down to earth, hilarious, very very sarcastic humor- good guy. After dinner and giggles we headed out to the airport again to pick up President and Sister Hendricks, the Assistants and the Turks and Cacois Elders. With my fantastic directional skills and it being dark and never having drove to the airport, Elder Taylor and I got totally turned around and lost. Thankfully Turks flight came in later than Presidents so we just picked them up. Elder Nelson and Elder Stubbs came in and we drove home- SO good to see those guys. I've got the coolest mission family ever. We drove back, sang some kumbaiya's and had a fantastic time.

Zone Conference was in the morning and so we all drove out to the church- Elder Worley and a few Elders went to pick up President and then me and the others went to the church. Zone Conference was fantastic. The Assistants talked about the commitment pattern and how we can better help our investigators keep commitments. That is probably the biggest struggle in the Caribbean is getting people, members or investigators, to do what they say they are going to do. It's not like back home where you say you will do something and you do it because you said you would. People say they will do all sorts of stuff and there is no effort whatsoever in doing it. So that was really good, Elder Randle and Elder McCready are awesome assistants. President Hendricks laid it down as always. He started out by talking about Locking Our Heart. We've had 5 missionaries who have come back to Jamaica and taken back a girl to marry, one very recently so that's what stemmed him talking about that. Then something really cool happened. His whole topic was based off the talk that I read last week about there being 4 different kinds of missionaries. Yeah. Call it an answer to my prayers. It was such a good talk and President (as he always does) taught the principles so simply. 

The gist of the talk was that the first two kinds of missionaries, 1 and 2, are disobedient, do what they want, and the first one gets sent home early, the second one finishes his mission but both don't reap the blessings of a mission and the work they would've done goes undone. They feel guilt and shame the rest of their life because they horsed their mission. 

The third kind of missionary is obedient to the commandments and mission rules, teaches with the Spirit and enjoys its companionship, has outward success, brings people unto Christ, and is a successful missionary. The only thing he withholds is is heart. He works hard, but compares his success to other missionaries. There is always this constant struggle between what he wants to do and what the Lord whats him to do so he grins and bears it, bites the bullet for two years and does what the Lord asks but his desires weigh greater on him than the Lord's desires. He goes home unchanged by his mission and may fall back into the same patterns he had before he left making no spiritual growth. 

The fourth is just like the third, obedient, works hard, enjoys the companionship of the Spirit, but unlike the third missionary he surrenders everything to the Saviour. Not just his bad desires but all desires. President Hendricks put it best when he said "You don't think I have a desire to go see my grand kids? Or to have Christmas with them? I would love to ride my horse everyday like I did before being your mission president. Those are great desires, but they are put on hold so I can do what the Lord desires. I want to do what the Lord wants to do." That's true. Changing the desire of your heart to match the Lords is what changes you. It shows Him "Look, I'm ready to have you change me." That's the outcome of the 4th missionary. He goes home changed by his mission. Pretty rad, eh? I loved Zone Conference. This is a principle I am going to apply- giving up my desires for the Lords. That doesn't mean all of a sudden we can't talk about home or about the band or about whatever, the whole drive back from Zone Conference President Hendricks and I were shooting the breeze about his horses and how he loves to hunt and the things he likes to do. I think some missionaries get the notion of changing your desires as "we can't talk about anything but missionary work". Not true. Change your desires and everything happens after that. Go team go! Zone Conference was awesome. President Hendricks is the man. Thursday morning after taking Turks back to the airport (our fourth trip) I had an interview with Pres. That guy is seriously the man. We had a great interview, drove them to the airport (our 5th trip there and back) and went on with the rest of our day. It was a great week!

And to cap it all off, T and J got baptized Sunday! It was so cool, those two are studs.  President Ferdinand baptized J and Bro. Saint-Natus (pronouced San-a-toos) dunked T. A missionary who served here three years ago was back visiting on vacation with his wife, that was cool to meet him. He gave us a couple names of people to go see and teach, we are eating dinner with them tonight because they are staying with our "every other Monday" dinner appointment. This week was just so stinkin' good. 

To answer your question about why we stop doing good things- I'm yet to find that answer myself so when I find out I'll let you know haha Seriously, that is what frustrates me the most out here is when the natural man kicks shows up. 

I don't know why but whenever Elder Nelson and I get around each other, an unimaginable number of Dr. Peppers and Mt. Dews get drank, leaving both of us in a chubby dehydrated mess. So it goes, I guess its a tradition of a father and son. 

I am so excited to see some of those pictures! Are you able to email them? I'd love to see what younger G-ma and grandpa look like. See if Grandpa was really the suave ladies man he always told me he was when I was little :)  

The temple trip here went really well. Everyone got through and enjoyed it, How could you not enjoy it? It's the temple! I was half tempted to ask President Hendricks for permission to tag along... but knew the results of that query so refrained from such nonsensical speech.

I don't mind if you put a straight bar on the monster at all, it's not my bike haha That actually sounds like a good idea, gives you more of an aggressive riding position. Make sure to send pictures! Speaking of pictures, I hope those pics you sent get here too. I should've given you the PO box we use- everyone's mail in the church comes to the same PO box, hopefully they still get here! :) If I don't get them within a month you might have to resend them, or email them to me and I can slap them on my a sim card and we have a picture printer at the house. Thank you for sending them though, I looooooove pictures. 

We're back on our health kick. Shedding the lb's gained over Zone Conference week.

We met a couple sweet people this week too. One lady President Hendricks actually referred to us (we consider that a referral straight from Heaven). She is the D's house keeper. She's from the Philippines and her whole family are members of the church over there, her brother is a bishop or branch president and she wants to read the Book of Mormon. Then we met a guy in Wendys (yes, another Wendy's investigator) who came up to us and said that he was taught by the missionaries for two years in Florida and his whole family had been baptized. He had to leave Florida right before his baptism. People are falling out of the sky and into our teaching pool. I'm not sure what we are doing to deserve these kinds of blessings, but whatever it is, I guess we will keep doing it. I think it's the Wendy's :)  

I see the school thing both ways. Every missionary I've ever known out here has registered for school on his mission, its a phase Heavenly Father wants us to be in, but I see waiting until your two years is done as well. It goes back to the topic of desires. Right now my desires aren't to go to school, I want to be on my mission, I wouldn't be anywhere else. Planning for school isn't going to throw my mission into a funk and it would be a major bummer to have limited options in a large part of my life because of a simple lack of planning. I prayed and asked if now is the time to start thinking about school and the answer I received was a definite no, so we don't need to right now, but I do feel strongly that planning ahead is important. As time goes on I will fast and pray harder about it and see what the Lord wants, but now isn't the time to worry about school, that's how I feel. 

Here are some pics of the weeks festivities! I'll be sending more that ill get from Elder Worley's camera in a bit, but have a great week! I love you!!!

Elder Romney 


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another week in Nassau

Hey hey hey!

Pretty hot there, eh?? Heat is heat wherever you go I guess! I had a cool thought the other day- if you guys were to come pick me up from my mission, I think it would be so cool for Dad to throw on a white shirt and tie and my other name tag and just walk up and down the streets of Spanish Town or something for an afternoon, get a little feel for what being the only white guy for miles in a heat pit feels like. It made me smile thinking about it, I don't think that would be able to happen but a fun thought. It's been scorching here too, nothing like Brazil hot but still hot. 

Sunday was crazy, we had this freak thunderstorm and when I say thunderstorm I mean the shotgun thunder and the blow circuit panel lighting during church. The building has a few design flaws in that water can gush freely under the doors and there are a few leaks in the roof. We were running in and out with an umbrella helping people out of their car so they wouldn't get wet- it was fun! I was soggy! That's the worst humidity is right after it rains! This morning we walked out of the house and were instantly sticky. 

As far as running on the beach is concerned... there hasn't been much of that lately. Our healthy eating and steady working out has dwindled to eating garbage and realizing that any running we do before Zone Conference is pointless because we are going to put on anything we would've lost. We are set that August will be the month to just buckle down, put on the man pants and get thin because... I'm not so thin. I've been taking measurements of my gut and waist since April and it's about time to get back down to that 155 I was 5 months ago. We will be doing MUCH more walking in August, being that two of the 5 main investigators we are teaching are getting baptized this week, and honestly I am excited for it. Go knock some doors, go seek more referrals, things we do already we will be doing on a much larger scale. 

That is a very cool experience with the lady and fasting. Interesting you should tell me about this experience when you did because fasting is something I'm going to do better at. We get into so much of a routine in life of fasting on Fast Sunday and doing it out of habit without real reason. As of lately I realize that there are a number of very important things that I need help with and I feel prayer alone won't show Heavenly Father how serious I am about it. Elder Worley and I read a talk given to us my Elder Randle and it's about four kinds of missionaries and what kind of missionary you are and what you want to be. It focused so much on what you want to become rather than a checklist of things good missionaries do. After reading it I feel so inspired to step up my game. I went to the scriptures and have spent quite some time in prayer and I realize that I have many areas of improvement to make. It's when our desires and Jesus Christs desires coincide that we truly become changed from our missions. With Zone Conference coming up on Wednesday I am SO excited for what President Hendricks has to teach us. That man gets you so pumped to be better. Gonna be sweet!

All of our investigators have had rough weeks lately.  They have all committed to baptism and have all faced serious challenges out of the blue.  I feel like giving out a disclaimer "Hi, we are the missionaries and our message will change your life. Buckle up, Satan knows that and will throw the book at you very soon, but you will be able to get through it, I promise." It's so frustrating! But, it goes to show someones true testimony when they can go through all of that and say "Well I know the gospel is true and I need to be baptized" and still be at church on Sunday. It's amazing. We are working with some stellar people!

Things are going well here in Nassau. We are super excited for the baptisms coming up, the new experience we are praying for in the upcoming month, and the new people waiting to hear about the gospel. Elder Worley is the man- I've lucked out with my companions. I feel like I get the coolest ones. We get along so stinkin' well, our teaching flows well, its so funny too how on a mission you get so tight with people you probably never would've talked or hung out with to back home. I realize how narrow minded and thick headed I was back home. We were walking through the mall the other day and there was a nice blue button up shirt hanging in the window and Elder Worley is like "That right there was my style back home". I just laughed and said "Yep, our paths probably wouldn't have ever crossed." He still can't comprehend me wearing a black band shirt with skulls on it every day, but he doesn't have too, just like I don't have to think why on earth anyone would want to wear a button up long sleeve shirt to school, because we are put here together to preach the gospel. I can honestly say that every one of my companions would be a best friend back home and probably will be. I think back to the Elder Scott & Barwick combo, or the Elder Peck and Heder combo and I think how cool they were and stuff. Been doing a lot of thinking this week- I'm not sure how good that is for my brain. 

That picture of Summer driving scares me.... 

Mac is looking tan! That little fella needs to start hitting the weight room soon! Get some muscle on that little bod! haha Just kidding Cheeseball. 

We chopped a yard Saturday I think it was. Our machetes were working about as well as a plastic spoon would work on jungle grass... about an hour into it the lady came out with a weedwacker and that made our day. God bless technology!! 

This week we taught the Sunday School class (notified about 15 seconds before class). They said they were in Alma so we busted open to the Anti Nephi Lehi's. Talked about how they buried their weapons of war and what "weapons of war" we hold onto these days. First thing someone says is "MARIJUANA!" Followed by us saying "YES! Stop puffing the magic dragon!!" These kids are funny,  takes me back to being in Sunday School, but things like gossip, cursing, judging, bad movies and music etc. were weapons of war they came up with. We handed out slips of paper and told them to write down something they want to change about their life, and we wheeled in the massive kitchen garbage and on their way out if they were serious about changing they could throw their weapon of war in the trash and leave the room a changed person. Every kid did except one. I don't know who is was but I found his or her paper and couldn't help but read it. It said "Big Mac, Wendy's, Ice Cream". I give that kid a pass- I wouldn't put down those weapons either. 

 Well momma I looooooooove you! I had a dream about you last night, I was back home but still as a missionary, almost like I was just visiting, and we were just driving and talking and we were driving past the motorcycle shop with the new BMW super sports out front and I asked if we could go back and look and you said something to the effect of not yet, you're just visiting remember? :) It was nice. I love you!!! Have a fun week!

Elder Romney 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Punked in Nassau!

Hello momma! 

Ok, no more having fun until I get home!! No more! You have to sit inside all day and do math problems until your brain turns into potato salad! (That will be pretty easy for Mac... being that there's only potato salad between the ears, but we can figure something else out ;). I love the pictures!! That just looks like to much stinkin' fun. Funny you should mention that you saw Ice Age 3, yesterday at "Dinner with the D's" (said in a British accent for effect.. and also because Sis. D is British) we got the rundown of Ice Age 3 from their 8 year old daughter, sounds like the squirrel was the funniest part haha 

That's way fun, seeing a picture of Spokane from the skywalk makes me realize how much of a small town feel we have there. Nassau isn't a big island, but it's HUGE as far as people crammed onto one little rock and downtown with all the fancy stores and cruise ships and such, Spokane because home more and more each day- sure wouldn't mind coming back there after school and such. That negatives equipment thingy sounds legit too- I don't think I've ever seen pictures of Grandpa Bruce back in the day- that will be fun! Crazy wit the water flooding your area. It has been kinda dreary here the past couple days (thankfully, you will understand in a minute). 

So this week was pretty good. No 'tisms this week, we hit up the Hard Rock Cafe on P-day... talk about dying and going to heaven. If the Celestial Kingdom is anything like the Hard Rock- oh my I just get giddy thinking about spending eternity with my family there! ;) That was cool, nothing super crazy Tuesday, but Wedensday.. oh Wednesday. After District Meeting (which happens over Skype) we get a call from Elder Randle (one of the assistants to the president). He's the man, super cool, great missionary. Well Elder Randle is talking to Elder Worley and proceeds to tell us that the Dominican Republic (who is over this mission) did an audit and wasn't pleased with the amount of miles the off-island zone was driving a month, particularly the Nassau Elders and that until further notice and until they could figure out what they were going to do, we have been required to park our car and walk. Ok, that wouldn't be a huge deal in Jamaica- you have taxi's, smaller areas, the people you teach are generally surrounded by someone else you can visit- NOT how it works out here. We are teaching people spread all over the island, and having a whole island to proselyte in... walking is a huge hinderance to the work. We weren't sure what to think, if they were gonna take away the car permanetly or whatever, but all we knew is that Thursday we had to walk all day. So we planned it out, and we had already scheduled to see a lady who came to church and Thursday was pretty much the only day we could see her, and of course, she lives clear the heck out past downtown. This was going to be at least a 5 hour journey there and back. We were kinda excited to get back out on the two feet dem... but mostly not. So we set out, takes an hour and a bit just to get to the church, have a nice lesson with a guy who's getting ready for baptism the 29th, then we realize we didn't pack a healthy lunch or any lunch at all... So we trek out 45 minutes to Wendy's (gotta carbo load for the journey- very important) and meet this AWESOME girl in the mall. We were actually going to check an investigator who works in the same store, and Elder Worley was looking at something on the shelf and she just looks at him and says "You're a Mormon". He's like "Uh... yes. How did you know?" She then proceeds to tell him that while living in Halifax Nova Scotia, she was taught by the missionaries from last September all the way to this April, preparing for baptism and everything, and 12 hours before her baptism... she called it off. Got cold feet. Shortly after she moved back to Nassau and didn't know there was a branch here or anything and was SO excited to see that there was.... what are the chances??? We just happen to be walking that day and just happen to decide to go into that store and she just happens to be working and just happens to want to meet with us again?? No sir. Talk about a blessing from Heavenly Father. 

So we left that store baffled and happy as a clam, realizing maybe this is the way the Lord was working- taking away our car so we could meet this girl. We continue the walk, visit another couple investigators- the daughters of a member, funny little girls, they are all under the age of 12 and little fireballs. talk talk talk talk talk! Our super star T couldnt meet with us, thats a story of its own. Long story short he's born of Hatian parents in the Bahamas and raised by white Mennonite missionaries. Met the missionaries after he jumped ship on the Mennonite church, was preparing for baptism about a year ago and three days before the day he had to go back to Andros (the island he was from) he lost contact with the missionaries. He's back, and he's a boss, getting ready for baptism the 29th. He is super smart, very educated, and is another testimony on how Heavenly Father prepares his children for the gospel. From what he said, the Mennonite culture is very sheltered. He never had a phone or TV, never talked with anyone outside of the 10 families n the congragation, knows his Bible much better than I could ever know it, he's incredible. How he met the missionaries was pretty cool too. He said that his whole life he's just been around white people, and he his very dark, but that he felt weird being around Bohemians for long periods of time or going a couple days without seeing a white person. He was sitting in his friends garage and the Sister missionaries were walking by- he hadn't seen white people in quite sometime so naturally he bolted out just to talk to them. Crazy, eh? He was kept in an environment that was so good for his learning of the scriptures and kept him out of trouble, he would make a solid missionary or branch president- just really got his head screwed on straight.  So he couldn't meet with us, so we start the TREK out to see S. The chaff was in full swing, the sweat was getting in my eyes, I broke my sunglasses so I was borrowing a pair from my companeiro, my dogs were wailing, legs giving way, it was traumatic. Almost to S house and she calls and cancels... well, we didn't just walk 11 miles to get shut down, so we roll over there anyway. That finishes up and we start the trek home. Get home, wiped out, walked about 17 miles, crash hard and sleep like a rock. The next morning: We get a call from Elder Randle saying "We have some news about the car, put it on speakerphone", we are thinking "Oh shnikes,  we are toasted." His exact words were these "Well, we've got some information on the car situation..... We made it all up." Yep, punked by the Assistants. I should've guessed, he's also the same Elder who snagged my toilet seat, all my ties, and a shoe on a visit to Junction when Elder McLeod and I were serving together. So all that walking and the DR and God have no problem with our miles.... pretty funny stuff. If this girl we met in the store on this excursion gets baptised, that will go down in history as one of the coolest stories of my mission- turn a prank into a dunk in the tank! haha 

 and YES, we finally got through to the Wendy's lady! Holy smokes, talk about a relief. We were calling her everyday, went over to her house almost every other day, she didn't keep any of her return appointments, wasn't answering the phone, we were slightly wiggin' out because we just knew that she had been prepared by Heavenly Father, our first lesson with her was to fantastically led by the Spirit for her not to be. So Saturday rolls around we realize we've never tried to go over there in the morning, so we drive out there, honestly expecting to get shut down again, but sure enough she was home and had another amazing lesson. She litterally had the book thrown at her right after our first lesson. Seemed like everything went crazy in her life. We are now scheduled to meet with her three times a week (by her suggestion) and things are fantastic. I love how Heavenly Father will test and try and stretch you as a missionary until you think you can't hack it anymore, and then gives you the biggest blessing. We knew she was prepared, and understood that Satan would oppose her in everyway because she is such a precious soul and is so ready for the gospel- count your blessings name them one by one!!  

We are having zone conference next week here in Nassau and we are sooooo pumped!! It is going to be probably one of the coolest things that happens on my mission because of the all star line up of missionaries coming. You got Elder Taylor (comp in Spanish Town and Sav, my second companion aka mission mother) and Elder Hitchcock (MTC) who are the Zone leaders from Freeport, they will be here, then you got Elder Nelson (trainer aka mission father) and Elder Stubbs (MTC) coming from Turks, and the Assistants Elder Randle (the Godfather) and Elder McReadie. We are sooooooo excited!! 

I can't wait for us to all come back here. That will be weird coming back not as a missionary but having memories all over this island. Pretty rad.  

Sounds like everything is going well on the homefront. give Josh and Justin my congrats, everyone is growing up! Soon its gonna be the whole Dally Wally, the Cody's, Brayden crew coming out here. 

Well momma, thats about it.  Elder Worley and I are trying to take our missionary work to the next level and not plateau. We've been blessed beyond belief in the first three weeks we've been serving together, blessings always come from hard work, something you and pops instilled in me. So thank you :) 

I love you!!

Elder Romney

Monday, July 9, 2012

One year down! LOTS of pictures!


The word hump reminds me of that Brian Regan skit "The humps good, right Brian?" "Oh the humps good dad. Its a happy hump, i love the hump, Im the hump boy! Im riding the hump to Disneyworld!!" Well I am the hump boy indeed and the hump day was fantastic. Being on our fruit, salad, turkey, tuna, and corn flakes diet, we didn't go out to eat (plus everything here is pretty stinkin' expensive) but we couldn't resist the Carmel shake at Wendy's. It was pretty awesome. 

Yes, not being the new guy is AWESOME. I still feel like the new guy at times though. We tried something different for finding yesterday and both my companion and I felt like the new guys. Bro. D told us about this big independence day parade  going on downtown and suggested that we show our faces down there, because true, when we walk down the road, everyones eyes get locked on our name tags (its pretty funny). We are going to have an open forum this summer, hopefully by the end of this month, so we had fliers already made up. We just changed a few things around and instead of the Open forum being the focus point, we had Sunday church be the focus point. Its a coold flier. On the top it has the church's name, then spread down about 6 lines it has the questions "What is the Book of Mormon? Do we have a living prophet? Is there one true church?" Then it invites people to church, directions, and our phone numbers. We did them up four to a page so they were nice size, handed out 90 of those and 20 Restoration pamphlets and talked to SOOO many people. It was very effective and worth our time. 

Nassau is definitly a treat when it comes to temporal possessions. Any kind of restaraunt, nice house, hot water, washer and dryer, AC, car, good roads, educated people, its different from Jamaica for sure. Its much harder to see people here because everyone has a job and says that after 5 works best for them. So far Nassau has made me appreciate what I have. It's pretty easy to get used to having nice stuff, and Im defenetly taking advantage of it while im here (it would be silly not to) but Highgate left quite the impression on my character and had me realizing how much we don't really need to survive. Bucket showers, Cup Noodles, and a good companion- all you need to make a tough area not so bad. 

This week was pretty good. We had the year mark burning of the shirt, and it was Elder Worley's birthday yesterday. I spoke in Sacrament meeting and before I started I said "A little business before we begin. It's Elder Worley's 20th birthday today and he told me he likes to be pinched and poked- so let him have it after Sacrament meeting". We got a good chuckle out of that one. Bro. S, a missionary who just returned from the West Indies mission spoke too and shared some of his mission experiences. I hope to have some cool stories like that when I'm finished. He shared one where Elder Coleman of the Area Presidency at the time came over for a Zone Conference and it was sweltering hot because no one had a key to the branch presidents office to turn it on. They had to wait half an hour for someone to come with a key, and Elder Smith had the impression to just put the car key into the lock of the office door. He ignored it the first two times, but the third he did, and sure enough it opened right up! Pretty legit I would say.

We had a little scare this week, remember that golden lady we met at wendys? Well one thing we always see in the scriptures and missionary work- Satan always opposes righteous decisions and works double time to put doubt into the hearts of people. Even G who was baptised yesterday (I forgot to mention her last week), Saturday night she was just so scared she would mess up and fall away, but her closing prayers was remarkable. By the end she was sobbing thanking Heavenly Father for keeping her strong and leading her to the truth and we were just in awe at the faith she has. She's a rockstar. SO converted to the gospel. She tells us the day before her baptism "I've been telling everyone at work  that Im getting baptised tomorow and inviting them to come!!" She's amazing. The picture of me and the little kids are some of her grandkids. She's why we are out here! 

I can't wait to see some of the pics you are talking about! 4th of July was awesome here. We got permission to go see the fireworks at Atlantis (also know as the coolest resort probably in the world- you will see the pictures) and it was hands down the best fireworks show I will ever see in my life time... well I take that back, it was good, but it looked like a candle stick compared to the Newman Lake show with the Bise family/ward get together :) It was pretty awesome. 

We met a lot of people this week and are pretty much contacting the whole week. There is a temple trip so much of the branch and one of our investigators (he's a members son) are going. That is so exciting for them! We need to increase our teaching pool or our days are going to be looooong after we have the next two people baptised. Things are going great though :) I don't think we got any part of that storm, it  was raining pretty good last week but that was it. It's been wicked hot here too. 

Thinking about Dallas and Rachel's wedding cracks me up. Remember when Dad put his hand in water before shaking hands and then pretended like he was blind? Cracks me up every time. I promise there will be no three piece suits at my reception- swim trunks and sunglasses only with me and pops on the grill cookin up some nice food. None of this stand in line stuff or wear a tie stuff. Beach bum wedding reception Caribbean style. 

When I get back we will be workout buddies again! That will be fun. I dropped two pounds this week- probably put it back on with the D's Sunday feast... minor details though. Everyone is growing up! Justin and Josh leaving soon? Has everyone still been gettign their calls to Brazil? That blows me away how many missionaries are getting called there. Some places the work is just going bazurk. Saw a thing on LDS.org about the West Africa mission- that place has a temple!! Ya! Things we would do to get a stake, let alone a temple. Put your shoulder to the wheel push a long! 

Well momma thanks for the awesome emails. I love reading about all the happenings of the family and the homefront every Monday. I love you! im gonna send pics now so buckle up!

Elder Romney

Monday, July 2, 2012

first week in the Bahamas

Hey momma!!

Don't even worry about reminding me I only have a year left, some missionaries get all outta wack about talking about home, talking about home is something we do A LOT out here haha Pretty exciting though! This next couples weeks are gonna be full of fun things worth celebrating. Fourth of July, my year mark, Elder Worley's birthday, Zone Conference, Elder Worley's 11 month mark, we will be  celebrating all month! 

THE BAHAMAS! Oh my, so many things to say. My flight was supposed to leave Kingston at 12, we got ther eat about 7:30 because Elder Grays flight to Cayman was cruising out at 9ish, so me and Elder Stubbs (who is now in Turks and Cacios with Elder Nelson) kicked it in the airport, got some BK breakfast, and waited for our flight to miami. It was late coming in, I don't think we left until about 1ish. I love flying! It's so legit. It was a good flight, nothing crazy, but flying into Miami... GOD BLESS AMERICA. Holy smokes, I couldn't stop smiling. It was weird to see cards driving on the other side of the road, I kept waiting for them to crash or something. We landed in late, like 3:30, and I was supposed to start boarding my plane at 3:35 ALL the way on the other end of the airport. We have to go through customs again, so I threw a quick goodbye to Elder Stubbs and bolted to through customs, picked up my bags, checked them again, and cooked all the way to the other side of the airport out to a bus on the tarmac and made 10 minutes before the bus was about to leave. Safe to say I could've been Usain Bolt in a race that day, and I even had my guitar on my back. On the flight to Nassau I sat next to a French girl and a French couple and thought of Robbie. The thought was "How in the world does he understand was these people are saying." He's gonna have one goofy accent when he gets home thats for sure.

 It was raining when we got into Nassau, but still about 85 degrees. I felt so out of place (and still do) going from the straight amazon jungle of highgate, not having running water and a building in the basement of a tiny little complex, to coming off the plane and having Elder Worley ask where I want to go to eat... meaning there is more options than just cook shop or Cup Noodles at the house. Pretty legit. Elder Worley is my new companion. He's from Logan, UT and is the man. We were friends in the mission before he left, and so once again, I've lucked out on having the COOLEST companions on my mission thus far. He's awesome, super good at soccer. He played for Utah State for a year before he came out, his Dad was actually in Spokane last week (as he just found out emailing his crew just now), its going to be an awesome time here in Nassau. 

Life here is SO much different that in Jamaica. Nassau is only 7 miles in width but feels HUGE. Downtown is nuts, so many nice hotels like the Hilton and Sherriden, there is a lot of construction happening, they have super fancy stores like Rolex, Gucci, etc. Tons of places to eat, shop, its definetly a tourist town. The best part about it though.... McDonalds. We've hit it up probably three times in the 6 days I've been here. And Wendys, oh sweet sweet Wendys. We quickly realized that we are going to be 700 pounds if we continue to succumb to the promptings of the half pounder with cheese and a carmel shake, so we bought a bunch of fruit and salad stuff, some protien powder (which was ridiculously expensive but probably still cheaper that having you send some out and then me paying the duty on it, everything is expensive here because no one pays an income tax so everything that is shipped in, which is EVERYTHING, has a 85% duty slapped on it. But we because friends with the  manager of the GNC here so he gives us a 20% discount on anything) we have a weight bench and weights in out house, we run every other morning on the beach as the sun rises... life is pretty good. Our house is so nice! Central AC, AC units in all the rooms for the added chill, our own washer AND dryer, two bathrooms, a kitchen, two couches and a recliner, CARPET. It reminds me of Gram and Grandpa Bruces house, just on one floor though. Pretty fantastic. During the day its tough to see people, and since everyone is at work, knocking doors during the day is pretty unproductive (but it must be done anyway). I knocked my first door this week, it was a weird feeling knocking a door instead of yelling at a gate. 

I've already had the COOLEST experience here and its been 6 days. Right when we got off the plane we went straight to Wendy's to eat. We almost went to a different one (because there are like 5 Wendy's on the island, my mind as blow upon receiving that information) but turned around and went to this certain Wendy's. We were just about done eating out meal, sitting back shooting the breeze, and a lady at the table next to us says "Excuse me, Im sorry to interupt, but I've always wondered what you guys do. I see you walking around but I've never known what it is exactly you do. One of you gave me a little blue book mayn years ago and I loved it, so what is it you do?" We explained that we were missionaries and stuff and shes just gushing about how much she loves the work we do and yadayadayada, so we ask her if we can come visit her this week. She gives us directions to her casa  (and we have no idea where she is talking about, Elder Worley's only been here 6 weeks and there are enough roads to cover half the Atlantic if you streched them out) btu we got her number and left it at that. Saturday we got lost for about an hour trying to find her house, turns out Elder Worley knew exactly where it was the whole time (out directional skills are pretty bad, even with the map). We got to her house about two, expecting just to get to know her a little bit and see what she was all about.... not even close. This lady (she's 36) is golden. EVERY word that came out of her mouth or every question she had and every concern about church was perfect. "I just want the truth." "Why are there so many churches and one God?" "How can every church use the Bible but have there be so much confusion?" 2 and a half hours later, we have this awesome friend who is dying to understand the gospel and who's bringing her Aunt, Sister, and two neighbors over this week so they can all hear about this great message that Christ's original church we read about in the Bible is back on the Earth with a Prophet and 12 Apostles leading and guiding the people. Probably one of the coolest experiences I've had thus far on the mish. Super solid. 

Church here is awesome too. There is close to 85-100 members that come out every Sunday, and this Sunday there were about 25 tourists. Talking to tourists is so cool! We met the brother of the Offensive Coordinator of the Seahawks yesterday.  The people are really nice, we have a meal calander! Ya! A "Feed the missionaries" meal calendar! Crazy! Every sunday we have a nice meal with an American family who lives here named the Ds. Bro. D is the FUNNIEST guy I've ever met. I had to strategically plan when to take a drink of my juice so I didn't do it while or right before he was about to say something because everything that comes out of that guys mouth is hilarious and I was afraid of showering the table with juice coming out my noise. It was awesome, they are pretty great. I'm so excited for the next months coming up.

One thing that has been different is people asking me about my name. Just about everyone we meet asks me if I'm related to Mitt. Three or four people on Saturday after I had walked past them flagged us down to ask. Everyone at church asked, and there is a lady in the branch who I guess is super into American Politics and is a die hard Mitt fan, so much so she is flying to Utah to be apart of the election or to see him speak or something (and she's not an American citizen). She bore her testimony about me and Mitt and how proud she was that I was in the branch and stuff... it made me feel a little uncomfortable, but from the looks of how things are going its something that I'll need to get used to. Bro. D was saying that I should really know how exactly I am related to him so when people ask I can go back and start in the beggining when Miles Romney joined the church and turn it right into an opportunity to share the gospel. They got on wikipedia and family search and printed off a tree from wikipedia about the Romney family, and it didnt have the Junius Romney line so I added it in and discovered that Mitt's father George is Junius Stowel's 1st cousin. I think thats right, I have the paper at home. But when people ask Im gonna try to turn it into a chance to share the gospel. I think that will be a good way to make the most of that situation. 

You guys are so busy! I love the pictures you sent, for some reason I cant get the video's to open, its a pretty out dated computer Im using, but im gonna see If I can throw them on my hard drive and watch them on a more updated computer somewhere. Summer is an indexing machine! Good work Mummer! Sounds like the garden is moving along- I can't remember, is it harvest time or replanting time? The weather never changed here so I can't guage when we would plant or harvest or anything like that. It will be so cool to go to it in person and see all the progess that has come along since I left. Time keeps moving no matter where you are at, a nugget of knowledge from Elder Romney.

Well Momma, keep up the good work. Im with ya on the struggle to fight the fat. All of a sudden my options when from fried chicken and rice and peas to any food I want and Im gonna have to buckle down if I don't wanna look like Papa Dudly from Harry Potter. Thankfully they have baby carrots here! I've been snacking on those things like a champ. Baby carrots, lots of fruit in the mornings, a good salad with some egg and tuna on it, and lifting to tone (not bulk up), im hoping to combat the typical missionary body. When I get back, Im gonna swim so much, remembering back to the couple times I did when we would go to the gym, I dont know why I put up such a fight about it haha IT's such a good workout! Then when I think of you swimming lap after lap after lap, I realized that my mom could whoop my butt in a workout contest  haha So keep it up! 

Well I Iove you! Have a great week and 4th of July! Blow something up for me! I love you!

Elder Romney