Elders McCleod and Romney

Monday, September 24, 2012

The icing on the cake

Hey! I'm just glad that someone loves me :) 

Oh the D's- gotta love them. I should take more pictures of the people we associate with, then you can see who my homies are! Ya M is a big boy. He's playing basketball for his school- I'm sure he does some serious work down on the block. He's a funny kid, quite the actor. We will go into a lesson with him and the first ten minutes will be him acting like he's fighting a bear in his sleep... Elder Worley and I envy that kids energy. Always bouncing around!

Bishop and Krissy's new callings sound sweet! A calling like that would help this branch out sooo much. It would be so weird to be in a mission where there are callings like that, or where there is a Branch Mission Leader or branch missionaries. There are a handful of young fellas who are either mission age or will be in the next year or two. One thing I've learned is that you can't plant desire into someone. If you can, I clearly haven't figured out how to do that yet. Speaking of missions and desire, J told us this week that the Spirit has been prompting him like crazy to go on a mission so he decided that he is.  The fact that he laid out his plan on how he was going to be prepared by March of this year to turn in his papers was awesome. He's getting a new job out at Atlantis being a lifeguard, ditching being the garbage man and sounds like he will be making much more money. He says that this job came through right as he decided to go on a mission so he's going to save all he can because he recognized that this job was given to him to pay for his mission. So cool! He gave a talk in church on Sunday, did really well. T passed the Sacrament :) Such a cool thing to see. I think that's my favorite part of a converts conversion is watching then participate in church. The baptism is great, the confirmation is fantastic, but them giving a talk or bearing their testimony or passing the sacrament is just the icing on the cake. Both T and  J have callings. T is 2nd counselor in the Young Mens presidency and J is 2nd Counselor in the Sunday School presidency. Nothing like learning the gospel in a leadership position! It will be good for them. They are a bit overwhelmed, but hey, aren't we all at some point or another? 

That was probably the highlight of the week, having J express his desire to go on a mission. I really don't have much to say about this week, it was an overall bust. Just one of those weeks to learn from and forget about. Like Coach Fisher always said "Live and learn Jacks! Live and learn!" 

CHRISTMAS!! IM SO EXCITED! Here is the thing about Christmas this year. I don't know which island I will be on, New Providence or Jamaica. The transfer before Christmas is December 12th, also my 6 month mark in Nassau and there is a high high chance I will be in Jamaica for Christmas. The best bet would probably be to send them to the mission office, or we can just wait until Dec. 12th to send anything. I think either way I'm going to send your guy's stuff from the Bahamas- the mailing system is more reliable here than on the rock. Last year when you sent them to Jamaica I didn't have to pay any duty on them, but I know I would have to pay massive duty on them here. Elder Worley got a tie in the mail from his Grandma that only cost $5 to send and he had to pay $6 in duty. Ya, ridonkulous. 

We did pretty good at exercising this week- this week will be better. We've been on this cold cereal kick lately. I have forgotten how much I like a good bowl of cereal. 

I think that's great that you guys are studying Preach My Gospel. It takes on a whole new meaning when you are applying the things in it regularly. My suggestion would be to read Chapter 6- Christlike attributes. You might find that more applicable to the kiddies lives than the lessons. That is my favorite chapter. I didn't apply PMG as much as I should have in the beginning of my mission, but it's a huge blessing in teaching. Funny how things are always better when you apply what the Prophet says!

Well that's about it for this week- one for the history books. We have the A's for dinner tonight (YUM!), gonna go buy more corn flakes and capn crunch and maybe hit downtown. Thanks for the emails Momma :) Have a great week! I love you!

Elder Romney 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pulled over in Nassau! Pictures!


Haley is right. You and me are in different stages of life right now, both have great importance but are different for sure. It's pretty nuts to see the difference though. I was telling Elder Worley the other day how weird it will be to just read the Book of Mormon straight through for enjoyment- something I struggled with back home. Studying for your investigators is so much more meaningful. I've found that I've grown the most from studying what an investigator needs as opposed to studying what I want to learn and hoping it applies to something going on that day. 

G is doing much much, much better now! She found a place to stay with the whole crew, its close to work and still pretty close to the church. There were a couple apartments that were clear the heck out of the way of work and church and I'm so glad she got one so close to both. We went over there the other night and it was nice to just be able to get back on track. Got her work schedule, set up times to see her, we're back to normal. M's baptism was great too. I'll send a picture of the big fella. 9 years old and probably bigger than I was at 13 or 14.   His dad baptized him. Elder Worley was on his game that day- we weren't the witnesses, two other men were, but after Bro. C dunked M, Elder Worley looks at me and says "He said the wrong name." It sounded right at first, but sure enough Bro. C said his own name. So he re did it and all is well, good ears Elder Worley. The constant ringing in my ears must've been louder than the Bro. C's voice. We did it right after church, it's always a bit of a struggle for some reason to get everyone in the room and out of the halls and quite, never once have we started when we say we are starting, but its all good. The boy was baptized and is as happy as can be. 

We had a cool experience this week, a little odd, but cool same way. We were actually driving around looking for G's new house. We probably drove 15 miles in loops and circles trying to find this place (my sense of direction hasn't changed a bit. We even have a map... its sad..) Anyways, driving around for probably the fourth time looking for this barber shop, then some brick wall and a pink and green apartment building- standard Caribbean directions. I should note that every other building is a barber shop and everything is made out of cynder bricks. I take a right onto this little road and a cop behind me flips on his lights! Instantly my body gets all shaky and I'm back to the 17 year old kid saying "Oh shnikes, I don't think I was speeding!" Except this time I know I wasn't speeding and I used my blinker... so the cop gets out, he has his hand on his gun... weird... roll down the window. "How ya doin' officer?" He kinda pokes his head in the window, leaning on the car and says "Yeah I'm doing good, I just had to pull you over and ask what you guys do? I see you walking around Nassau Village (the 'hood' of the Bahamas) and everywhere else and I just want to know what you do?" HA! Such a relief. So we tell him we are missionaries and first thing he says "You aren't Jehovah's witness right? Cuz if you are, you have some crazy beliefs". No sir, not the J-dubs. We had a good 5 minute conversation and he accepted a pamphlet, we got his number and set up a time to meet him Saturday. Saturday rolls around, (spend another 20 minutes driving in circles trying to find this guys house), finally found it and he's got a whole family in there waiting to hear what we have to say. Walk in, he, his daughter, his sister, his girlfriend and mom are all there. Mom didn't stick around, but he, his sister and girlfriend did (later we found out they aren't living together either, score!) Had a great lesson with them. She had so many questions, it was fantastic. Sometimes peoples questions  make the lesson ramble and really have no end, not gaining any ground or anything, but her questions were great and she always had a point to them. He said it sounded good and that they would talk about it. They weren't at church but they seem pretty solid. We are trying not to get over zelous because it seems when we do that, things fall through haha But it was cool, hoping it pans out. 

We are teaching another guy named T. We knocked into him out on Cable Beach, super cool guy, been looking for some sort of peace in his life. Family man, he's an all star. Our big thing is getting people to church, just like im sure in every mission. Can't get an answer from Heavenly Father if you don't read from the Book of Mormon, pray to know it's true, and come to church. Simple as that. We are seeing him this week as well. We have a few potentials we are hoping to get in contact with, things are looking good. 

We started our new fitness program this morning. We finally got a key to that nice soccer field/park I was telling you about, and we pack our 15 lb dumbells and the soccer ball. It's probably 100 yards long, so on the imaginary 50 yd line one person is doing curls or flys or press or something with the light weight and the other is running down one end, all the way to the other and then back to the middle. 2 sets of 5 of that this morning and oh boy... had to find a tree to lean against while I spewed. I am SO out of shape! But I think this will be our best bet into getting slim. Fruits and veggies, corn flakes, tuna, and a fat meal appointment every so often missionary diet plan!

We are teaching a lesson here at the church in about 20 minutes, a referral from Church Headquarters. She's meeting us here so I better get changed. I love you!! Glad to hear that Shelby went church- I miss that fella. He's a good wingman. Girls dig his hair, then girls dig him... then im left with no girls... wait... he's a terrible wingman! haha Have a great week!!

Elder Romney 

Elder Worley, M, Jackson and M's Dad, Bro. C.
 Elder Worley, Jackson and D who moved back to Nova Scotia.
 Cute little girls at church.
 Is Jackson Lost?
 This is a picture of J's MacGyver invention to open the locked door to get their keys.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Someone from HOME!


Ok, if Mac gets any funnier (is that a word? Elder Worley corrects me all the time with my bad grammar/making up words. The other day he tripped on a bump in the road and trying to sound not like I've been in the Bahamas or Jamaica for 14 months I said "Be careful Elder, there are lots of informalities along this road" Yeah, that got shot down REAL quick... but anyways), I don't know what I'm going to do. Every time you tell me about something that comes out of his mouth, I can't stop laughing! I bust up every time. Eating dinner at the D's is much like family meals back home. This conversation sealed the deal for me yesterday. 
Bro. D- "We should've invited the so and so's to dinner tonight"
Sis. D- "I'm glad we didn't, I don't feel like being social.
Daughter- "So the missionaries don't count as being social?"
Sis. D- "No, they're more like family. They don't count as social."
Dink- "Romney! Gimmie more spuds!"

Classic. I love that family. And the E's too, we eat there every other Monday night. Such a hoot! They've got 3 kids living at home and all have a super sarcastic sense of humor, makes for fun dinner appointments.

And so begins the crazy schedules. this is the last year before you only have high school and college kids.... whoah. That's pretty crazy. Mom, do you realize that by the time you're 49 you will be an empty nester???? I just thought of that, that's so weird! You're right, time is smoking by. I hit my 14 month mark last week on the 6th and I didn't even realize it until a couple days later. Elder Nelson goes home in less than two weeks. That will be a sad sad day for the mission. Their whole group is awesome, Elder Nelson- that guy is the man. I think he might deploy when he gets back. He's still not sure, but that will be weird not seeing him over skype at district meeting. Time doesn't stop for anyone! 

Speaking of fitness, we are forgoing the gym this month, swallowing our pride, and going to run, run, run in the mornings. Elder Worley played soccer for Utah State before he came out and loves the game, he's got me on a soccer kick these days. It's defintly good exercise. There is a park by our house that has nets, so every morning we are gonna pack some light weights out there, do down and backs, light weights, kick the ball around a bit, I have new motivation to exercise now. Hopefully it works out. 

This week was actually a pretty great week. We were door knocking FIENDS! We knocked a couple nights this week four about 2 and a half hours each night in Cable Beach. I'm getting better at it. At first it's so awkward and you don't know what to say but its getting more natural. I had a cool experience with the Spirit while knocking too. We knocked this one door, no one had answered or accepted a pamphlet the last three streets, and this nice Philippeno lady opens the door, we tell her about the church and yadayadayada, and she says that she can't entertain us because she just works for the family at the house. Right when we opened the door before we even said anything, I had the thought, "Bring up M". So conversation continued and she said she couldn't let us in and I asked her "Can you make good Loompia?" Loompia is like like a Philippeno egg roll you dig in sweet and sour sauce, Mercury makes a mean loompia, and she says "Well of course! I'm Philippeno! How do you know about Loompia?" I mentioned that we were teaching lady named M and that she makes Loompia like an angel. The lady says "You know M?? She's a good friend of mine! We are from the same island in the Philippines! I can go to her house and you can teach me there!" Boom. New investigator. And, fantastic Loompia for my belly. It was a win win situation. The Spirit nailed that one. 

Also along in our finding excursions this week, I had an experience where doing something even though you really aren't in the mood to gives you the greatest blessings. Friday we had a bust of a day. Our only two appointments cancelled, everywhere we went no one was home, and we had planned on knocking Cable Beach area in the evening. We make our way out there, both of us are in a bad mood, and didn't feel like knocking doors one bit. But, we said "Alright, buck up little camper and knock for an hour." So we park, and the original plan was to knock the street over a bit, but there was a cross street and we said why not, might as well. Knock one door- nothing. Second house there is a rasta outside chopping the yard, so we start talk to him, find out he's just the yard man, and then a younger guy comes out of the house. He looks mid-twenties, right arm has a sleeve tattoo, and we start talking. Introduce ourselves as missionaries and he says that he's been church shopping lately. We explain to him a little about how no one in the church is paid for their service and how this is Christ's one true church back on the Earth again, and for the next 30 minutes this guy lays down his life story to us. How he's been looking for truth for his whole life, and how he lives a higher moral standard than his peers because he feels that it's right. Long story short, he's cleaned up his life minus smoking and everything he says he wants in a church and feels is right is literally everything the Gospel is centered around. He's got a little  baby daughter and a fiance who doesn't attend church, and he just wants everything for his family. Wants to go to church together and as he's telling us all this I can't help but just feel DUMB for almost not knocking doors that evening. His name is T, and he's a boss. He wasn't at church Sunday but we are going to meet up with him this week and begin teaching him. It is so cool to see people being prepared for the gospel. It gives us some much needed hope that people actually are prepared. Moral of the story- buck up lil camper, the Lord is bound when we do what He says. 

Sunday was a good day too. There was a young tourist couple that was standing outside the gate with a lady when we pulled up to open the church. We start talking, they say they are from Boise. I mention that I'm from Spokane and the woman says "Me too!".... crazy, right? I ask what high school she went to. She says East Valley. I say "Me too!" She asks "Do you know John Gjendem. I say "Oh ya! Johnny was a receiver on our football team!" She says "That's my little brother!" Ya, SMALL world. I guess she was baptized a year ago May and her and her Boise State linebacker husband (who's last game was the '07 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma.. when he told us that Elder Worley and I both did a seated version"statue of liberty" hand off right there in the chapel) were just married in the Spokane Temple three weeks ago. I gave her my email to give to Johnny, it was so weird! I felt so close to home. The lady they were with I thought was just their ride to the church, but turns out her name is J and she was at church because it was an assignment for her theology class at college. We are actually having a lesson with her in about 30 minutes, she seems interested. Our hope is to have her take more interest that just a simple class assignment. How cool would that be? Showed up because she had to, prays and finds out for her self that its true, baptized a month later.... those are stories you read about in the Ensign. 

G is struggling. We are checking on her today, she still hasn't found a place. One apartment told her yes and then told her it was sold already. I'm praying she found somewhere. We shall see. 

That's cool Ty is back! I've been emailing him and CJ pretty regularly these days, love those guys. 

This week should be fantastic. We are teaching Sis. B wednesday night, hopefully M and I this week, T, J, M (who is getting baptized Sunday!) Maalique is the 10 year old son of a member. Then a slew of recent converts, we will be busy. Busy = :-) I don't know what it would be like to have a large teaching pool. I'll be interested to see how big other missions teaching pools are. If we have 5 people to teach, we are stoked. I can't imagine having 10 or 12. 

That's about it from over here. A good week, hopefully another good one coming up.  I better get changed, J will be here pretty soon. I love you!!

Elder Romney 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Party at the American Embasy


The more I teach people about the Plan of Salvation, the more I realize how short this life really is. That doesn't make things any easier while we're here, but maybe a little more tolerable. I'm such a Nancy sometimes when I think of the things I don't want to do and see what people go through. As Coach De La Rosa from my 8th grade year in track would say (cue Mexican accent) "It's time to buck up lil camper!" Bucking up is what I shall do. 

On a lighter note, I think you guys are having way to much fun without me over there! Dockside, fence staining, , epic Disney Princess Uno matches, I leave and everyone decides to grow up and have a good time! ;) That sounds like a nice way to spend the last week of no school though. School is starting for everyone here as well, today being the first day. A perk of being bud's with the American Ambassador is that one, he took us out to breakfast this morning at McDonald's, and two, the embassy still celebrates American holidays so they are having a big ol' party on the beach today. Food, fun, and two missionaries thoroughly enjoying their p-day there. God bless America... and The D's.

This week was alright, honestly nothing really special happened. We knocked, and knocked and knocked, not much came of it. I think the area we were knocking got together and said "Ok, when those white boys knock on your door, tell them sometimes next week." Classic. It's all good though, we did our job.  Something I just remembered that IS totally awesome is that President Hendricks was here this week! He had to do an audit for the branch, so we got to hangout with Pres. for a day. They got in at about three, and he came out with us to two appointments then we dropped him at the branch building in the evening, went back out and came and picked him up. I love that guy! We introduced him to, T was very excited to meet him. We let President do his thing and talk to T about a mission and the Book of Mormon, I learn so much from the way he teaches. I realize I teach waaaaaay to complicated, which baffled me because my whole mission we can hardly use the word "restoration" without needing to explain what the definition is. So that was good, then we went to M's and she fed us another delicious Phillippeno meal and we had an AWESOME lesson with her. President, again, just teaches so simply. I learned a lot and am excited to apply it. She committed to come to church, she's already been reading her Book of Mormon which is great. We had to explain to her that she doesn't need to feed us every time we come over because we want to come over more than once a week... it took some begging and pleading but she agreed. That would be hard though, she says that in her culture, her mom always taught her that when you have guests over, you feed them. Well, we would run that sweet little lady out of food if we ate every time we came over, so we said next time we will bring some ice cream instead. She has the desire and really understands the blessings that Heavenly Father has put into her life. Very humble, happy, interested lady. Couldn't ask for more!

Brother B, a member from the mission presidency is and has been here since Saturday night. I learn a lot from that man too. We met in Jamaica before, he's Jamaican, and that guy has a sense of vision for the church that is priceless. He's the institute director for the whole mission, and so that was the purpose of his trip was to get institute up and running again. It's been going well, we are ready to take it to the next level though. Our plan is to move it to the College of the Bahamas campus instead of having it at the church, because we have been pondering our finding lately and after Bro. B's visit, we are switching up where we find. We are going to start finding in the nicer area's of the island and closer to the college, as well as at the college. The reason being that for the church to grow, it's going to take a younger, more mentally able demographic. We are getting denied out in the slums and no one keeping appointments or calling us back. We are going to get denied out in the nicer areas as well, being denied is a part of missionary work (and life I suppose) and its not a bad thing, for every person you talk to you are that much closer to finding someone who is ready to hear the gospel. It's not that we are discriminating those who aren't in nice areas- if that was the case, I wouldn't have ever taught a lesson my whole mission, but its that things haven't been working this transfer doing that so we are trying something new. Having the institute class at the college makes it that much easier to invite people to that and church. We have a TON of institute age people in this branch, probably 15, and if they all come out, and maybe two people bring a friend, and even if out of those two people one of them pans out to be legit, then it was worth it. That scripture about the worth of souls being great in the eyes of God is so true. Just one! One solid convert to the gospel does SO much for the progression of the branch, just as much as one wayward convert who was baptized for the wrong reasons hinders the progression of the branch. This week is gonna be awesome! We are pumped to get out there and do work. Knock knock knockin' on Nassau's doors! 

This weekend was kinda crazy. Saturday night about two hours before we went to the airport to pick up Bro. B we stopped by G's house to see how she was doing. Everything inside her house was packed up. She was trying to get into a new place and so we helped her by checking out some places. Checked out one place, came back an hour later and told her to talk to President Ferdinand in the morning. Had a very spirit filled prayer before we left and we are confident everything will be alright. Things are working out, I believe. When we checked on her last night she said that she's house hunting today.  She has gone through the ringer since she's been baptized. I feel the reason is is because her testimony can handle it. She is SO solid in the gospel. To whom much is given, much is required. Well, to whom can handle many trials, much will be given as well. I read up this week a bit about the refiners fire referred to in the scriptures- pretty legit. Makes me wanna say "Turn up the heat!" Buuuuuut I'm not going to say that... it's already plenty hot in Nassau :) So anyways, that was nuts and then T wasn't at church either! We thought something seriously wrong must have happened because that cowboy doesn't miss church. Turns out we were right, he fell out of a tree while cutting some branches and was pretty banged up. I had a mom moment when I told him "I'm not mad you weren't at church, I'm mad because you didn't call us when you needed help!" haha He's doing better now though, that guy is a working machine! He has two jobs that work him all day! Sounds like the pre-mission days :) Now I have one job that works me 24/7 and I'm way more tired here than I ever was working a 15 hour day doing fences a cooking. Interesting, eh? 

That sounds like an awful dream, mom! No more dreams like that. Definitely not the reaction that will occur from me. In my dream last night me and the D were fighting off these crazy bird beast things with pole vault poles we were loading and firing from an Apache helicopter... weird.  

I say the doctors should put something in Mac's chest like they did on the guy in Iron Man... that would be a pretty cool party trick. "Hey guys, check out my glowing circular steal sternum!!" Reflux, Not fun for the little fella. 

Those picture are awesome. The fence looks so good! I need to start taking some pictures, I feel lame when I don't have any to send. I had a bunch in the beginning and now I don't take hardly any. Gonna have to work on that.  Well I love you mom! Have an splendid week,  I didn't get robs email about his baptism, but I think their p-day is tuesday or something because his emails always say they are sent Tuesday, but I would love his letter! I love you!

Elder Romney