Elders McCleod and Romney

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving-no turkey, but a b-ball tourney, lots of pics!

Happy Thanksgiving/Merry early Christmas!

Great pictures!! It looks like Thanksgiving was a hit yet again. I think Thanksgiving and Christmas have to be my top two favorite holidays, next two Arbor Day and Boxing Day of course. Looking at the pictures you sent, Cameron is huge!! That guy is so tall! He's gotta be at least 6 feet tall? Yikes, whatever he's eating, I'll take what he's having. Everyone is starting to look so grown up. It's a little scary!

I don't even know where to start in describing the AWESOMENESS of Thanksgiving here. The tourney was probably the coolest extra curricular thing I've done on my mission. I took like 200 and something pictures and a bunch of video's, it was well documented. The gates didn't open until 12 but we got to Atlantis early to see what was going on. They did that place up right! Huge posters of the teams, other fancy things, they know how to have a basketball tournament. After walking around for a big we just sat on a bench in the main lobby and were on the look out for teams walking through- not hard to spot them. We saw Stanford, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Minnesota, Louisville and Duke all walk through, got them all on video, I felt like such a stalker haha the coolest thing though! Elder Worley is a die hard Duke fan (so I played the part for a day, I can respect Coach K as one of the greats) and we were sitting on this bench and we see some of the managers from Duke walk past... so we get up and head down the hall to see if Duke is on there way. Sure enough, strolling down the hall is the entire team. I was videoing them walking past and then we saw Coach K! Right there! 10 feet from us! So we had to hail him up! We probably looked like goons but we were standing there and all that came out was "Coach K!" and he gave us a fist pump! Yes, Coach K acknowledged mine and Elder Worley's existence with a fist pump. It was subtle, but it's on camera documented as the day Coach K fist pumped the missionaries. We still believe our hail up to Coach K gave Duke the motivation to win the tourney haha It was so much fun. We had awesome seats. 7 Rows up to the left of the basket. They played the games inside the grand ballroom. It was a super cool atmosphere. It was a pretty low ceiling and the place was packed so it was a big game feel in a little area. I'll be sure to send pictures. It was such a good time, if you would've asked me 5 years ago where I thought I'd be at on my mission I can guarantee I wouldn't say in the Bahamas watching some of the best teams in the nation play. Great time!

The week other than the tourney was pretty decent. We got to see E which was good. He wasn't at church again this week- we are seeing him Tuesday to see what's up. I really think it's more of a logistics issue than a testimony issue. He's got this new job, he was in a car accident so his car isn't running, we just need to regroup with him and make a plan for him to be at church. He was all about it when we saw him Wednesday. We had a great lesson with him about how the Book of Mormon fits into the gospel and why it's necessary.  We read scriptures about how it prophesies of Christ and how it's entire roll is to be that second witness that he is the son of God. E is one of those guys that is a believer. We asked him if he prayed about the Book of Mormon to see if it's true and he said "I have, but it's pretty obvious that it is. Reading it makes me believe that it's true." That's pretty fantastic. We explained that it's important to have that spiritual witness as well, I'm confident he kept his commitment to pray and ask. 

J is doing really well still. He's been at the final chapters of Alma for a couple weeks now and we kinda expected him to be finished with Alma by now. At first the thought was that he hasn't been reading as much as he could be, but we were wrong. One of the most common excuses we get when we asked people if they reading is "I'm really just taking it slow to get the full understanding." which interpreted is "I'm reading one verse a day because I don't want to read". Not the case with big Josh. When he said he was in chapter 59 we were like "come on big fella, gotta find time to read" And he said he was taking his time to understand it all- he sure is! We start talking about what he's been reading and he's telling us the story of Teancum and the Epistles from Moroni to the leader of the Lamanites almost word for word! He's loving the Book of Mormon, it's so true that the more you read the more you want to read. He's doing awesome, he's the second counselor in the Sunday School Presidency and he plays hall cop at church when the kids won't go to class or primary. He takes it pretty serious too, which is good. Can't blame a guy for taking his calling serious. He makes a great hall cop too, he's more like a hall shepherd. You'll see him walking down the hall with his arms spread open and a heard of primary kids swiftly walking the opposite direction and running to their class. A big fella like that demands respect! Nobody is gonna mess with him. When I try to hall shepherd kids all I get is a kick to the shins and my pen stolen... I'll leave the shepherd duties to him.

Brother D was at church! That was so awesome to see him. He's the husband of a member,  from Spanish Town Jamaica so it feels like going home when we go to their house. Bro. D is super cool. Just a chill guy, LOVES music. Holy smokes, me and this guy are two peas in a pod when it comes to music. He's really good at rapping too. We brought the guitar over when we went and saw him and he freestyles so well. I guess it's not really rapping, technically it's called DJing because it's all in Patios. Our goal is to establish a really good relationship between him and missionaries. His situation is similar to Sis. B's in that they both have been to church often and are married to strong members. It was so awesome to see him at church because he doesn't get many Sunday's off and if he does he's usually sleeping because he's working like 15 hour days every day. Baby steps!

You can probably deadlift more than I can!! I'm so out of shape, Saturday there was a Young Men's activity- BBQ and basketball. After watching all that ball I got all giddy to play... yeah... it was the weakest game of 21 I've ever participated in. Two games and I was losing my lunch... good thing there were burgers and dogs to revive my spirits! haha Elder Worley and I manned the grill as the Young Men's president had never grilled before. It was pretty tasty!

Well I love you momma! I'm glad my letter made it safe and sound, can't wait to hear back from you! 

Elder Romney

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

P-Day Thursday for Basketball Tournament

Hello Mother,

So today's email is going to have to be cut short a bit. We aren't taking P-day today so we are emailing on our lunch break. Why are we not taking P-day on a Monday you ask? Well, long story short, Thursday is Thanksgiving, and at Atlantis Resort they are holding a college basketball tournament which Bro. D invited us to attend... Yet again another reason why President Hendricks is the man! He gave us permission to P-Day Thursday and attend a pair of basketball games! It's Duke versus Minnesota, then Stanford against Missouri. We are so excited! It's going to be such a hoot. I'm thinking about wearing my Gonzaga shirt just because Elder Worley is a die hard Duke fan and it would bug him :) haha I think I'm gonna. Maybe you will see us on TV! I love my mission! This Thanksgiving I am thankful indeed. We also have a dinner appointment every night this week... extra running in the morning anyone? We will see how that goes... 

This week was a pretty good week actually. We were able to talk to a lot of people this week. We realize knocking doors during the day is such a bust and really not an effective use of our time. Knocking doors from like 4-7 is perfect, but at 10 in the morning people are either sleeping still or at work. So, we went back to the basics - roaming. Pick a street in town, pamphlets and Book of Mormon in hand and go into every store looking for something. Works like a charm every time. We roamed into this clothes store looking for some jeans, one thing leads to another and we come to find out that the girl working the store has been to church before. Nice. We are meeting back up with her this week. Sometimes I think I make things to difficult for myself. There really isn't a secret to finding people to teach. Have the Spirit + going where the people are + inviting them to come unto Christ  = finding. 

E wasn't at church Sunday. We will probably have to move his baptism date back because it sounds like this new job has him pretty wrapped up. Not worried though, he is reading the Book of Mormon,  keeping his other commitments, he's just fine. We need to sort out a way that he can get to church though. Coming up this week and weeks to come we are going to be taking a couple guys with us who are preparing to serve missions. Both still in high school, one will leave in June and the other December of next year. It will be sweet, especially bringing them to teach E. It will get them a little more acclimated to missionary work and teaching with a member brings very strong spirit in lessons. Obviously if the member isn't present mentally in the lesson having them there doesn't do much, but we will be sure to have J and J involved. Big help to us, big help to them, big helps all around.  

Zach is back! He emailed me back his last P-Day, they must not have been able to write anyone but family. That is so weird he's home! I remember when he left, going to his farewell, now the big fella is back on the home front. Good for him. You're gonna have to get a picture of him and send it my way! 

Sunday was the Primary Program, cute cute cute! Primary kids are little cuties wherever you go. Your Christmas Program sounds so fantastic! I apologize for ever putting up a fight against playing the viola or guitar in them. I hope that continues to go well. 

So what are you guys doing for Thanksgiving? Everyone going to our house or Lisa's or Grandmas? Be sure to take lots of pictures! Is there a Turkey Bowl this year? We were some kids throwing around a football in the street the other day- couldn't help but ask if I could join. We tossed the rock a bit, I told one of them to go long... I realized right as the ball left my hand that having him go long after not touching a football for almost a year and a half was a bit over zealous. Thankfully I missed the parked car by about a foot, which was about 25 feet from my intended receiver. I think the ref's would've called intentional grounding I was so off on that throw!  

Well it's about time to head back out on the find. Sorry for the short this week Momma. I wrote you a letter and sent it with Bro. D today. He is sending it from Miami this morning so it should arrive in a few days. :) I love you!! 

Elder Romney

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

commitment to working out and learning Creole

Good morning! 

Seeing pictures of Mac wrestling brings back quite the flood of memories! Watching that little fella kick some serious butt on an early morning Saturday, maybe grab a nice donut at Something Sweet, work on some project at the house- fun fun fun! Or the memories of my own prestigious wrestling career, weighing in bright and early, looking at all the other kids wondering "Which one of you tough guys is going to kick my butt today?" I'm glad Mac is doing well! 

Robbie's statement cracks me up and for the record, I refuse to come home chubby. If I look the way I do now the transfer I'm going home, I'm asking for an extension! I think this month is the month I stop with the reindeer games and buckle down and do some running and stop eating garbage. We started strong this morning. There is that awesome park by our house and we while Elder Worley does a down and back, I do something with the dumbbells. I want to come into a nice set of shoulders so I did mostly shoulder press and extensions. Then we switch. 5 sets twice. You know your a fat kid when you do one set of 5 down and backs with weights in between and your body is trying to release the 6 cookies and two slices of cheesecake from the night before... the buck stops here! 

We had a better week this week! Wahoo! I already told you about E I think. He's been coming to church with a member for about 3 weeks in a row and two weeks ago he was rather apprehensive to meeting with us. Last Sunday he asked how he could become a Mormon, so this week we met with him. E is an awesome guy and is pumped about the Gospel. I'm picking up a little Creole! Not much, I'd love to be able to bear my testimony in Creole, but for now I'm working on just small talk. "Bouswua, como u yea? Miu frum!" That's about all I got. E wasn't at church yesterday, he picked up a job this week and they needed him, but it's not going to be a regular thing- surprise surprise that the week he receives a baptism date (Dec. 2nd) his job needs him to work on Sunday. We called him last night and he's already read the chapters we left with him. He says "Yes Ewda Womney, I am weady fo you." I love Haitian accents! 

Sis. B is doing well. We had a really super lesson with her on Tuesday. She needed help understanding how the Bible and Book of Mormon fit in together like on a timeline. So we whipped out some paper and made a timeline starting from Adam all the way to Moroni, highlighting the major prophets and stories through the timeline and keeping an estimate of what year it was. She said it all makes so much more sense now when she reads the Book of Mormon. Good lesson.

I felt like an idiot last night at the D's, this story just goes to show how out of the loop a missionaries mind is, at least me and Elder Worley. He and Sis. D weren't at church because they had to go lay a wreath at a memorial downtown. It was a big gathering, all the ambassadors where there, government officials, fancy stuff. So he's telling us all about the ceremony, and I ask "So who was the guy who died?" Yeah... didn't put two and two together and realize 11/11. DUH! Totally horsed it. Oh did I get a razzing for that one. 

I'm really excited for this transfer. Two guy showed up to church interested in what it was all about yesterday, that's always a good thing. We are meeting with one on Wednesday, hoping that his "church shopping" (as he put it) will end here. We had a zone fast yesterday to start off what is called the 40 day challenge. When Elder Zivic was here he gave the Zone Leaders a story about a missionary who felt he was doing well but really wanted to have the Spirit with him. He noticed that in lessons he would bear his testimony but there wasn't anything behind it, and when the member they brought would say the same things the room was full of the Spirit. A local leader of the church came to town and this missionary asked him what he could do to have the Spirit more fully in his life. The leader looked him in the eyes for about a minute and then rattled off a list of very personal questions, all pertaining to the missionaries conduct and obedience. This missionary wasn't a bad missionary by any means, he worked hard and had seen results but he wasn't satisfied. The church leader told the missionary to go home and make a list of all the things he either needed or wanted to change about his missionary work or his desires, have a fast for these desires to be changed, and then the next 40 days to constantly be aware of this thoughts, actions, and the things on that list so that he wouldn't do them. He was left with a promise that if he did this, he would see his desires changed. So he did. The story (told by the missionary) talks about how in the beginning of the 40 days the desires he wanted to change became so much stronger. This missionary loved golf and it seemed that everywhere we went golf was trying to occupy his thoughts and time. By the end of the 40 days he said that his desires where changed drastically, he and his companion were having very spiritual experiences, and the results they achieved where pretty drastic. As a zone we had a fast and as a zone we are taking that 40 day challenge. Elder Worley and I made a list, we are ready to buckle down and test the Lord. Small and simple things shall great things be brought to past. That is so true- nothing on our list is this huge change. It's the little things. Excited to see what happens!

Your talk was fantastic! I'm going to print it off and maybe steal it if I have to give a talk in the future :) I really like it, good work Mom! Your workout regimen sounds pretty intense. I realize that what you eat is just as, if not more, important that working out. Carrot sticks and jerky. OH! We found beef jerky this week! Kinda expensive, but everything is expensive here. I'm glad Grandpa Dan's funeral went well. Ironic how it's always a funeral that brings family together, eh? 

Talked to T this week- he said he isn't set on going back to Andros. He has a couple job offers that might keep him here. It was his birthday this week so we bought him birthday cake Oreo's and played/sang happy birthday on the guitar. Fun night. 

Remind me who's in our new bishopric? I think you told me already, but I can't remember. Bishop Payne, John Nowels and who?

Alrighty Momma, that's about it for this week. Crazy to see pictures of snow from over there. I shiver just thinking about anything below 78. I wore my long sleeve shirt to church yesterday because I was tired of being cold at night (cold as in 70). It was weird wearing long sleeves- I felt kinda fancy for some reason. Maybe because I've only worn that long sleeve shirt like twice for baptisms and it's super white and crisp still. 

I love you! Have a great week!

Elder Romney 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Halloween in Bahamas


Those are some pretty fantastic pictures. I look at the pictures before I read the email so I was very confused as to where on earth you, dad, Linley and Kasey where that had a ping pong table. I know, out of all the things to wonder, I wonder about the ping pong table. Sounds like a very fun weekend. I wish I could watch the video's you send but these dinosaur computers just won't have any of it. I save them on my hard drive just in case something works out but no, I haven't seen any of the video's you've sent. The reason I don't think I'll be transferred before Christmas is because Elder Worley and I will do this last transfer which ends Dec. 12th, and then I will show the area to the next missionary for at least a transfer, putting me back in Jamaica January 23rd. That's kind of the standard way switching areas happens. I will be able to get my package either when I get back to Jamaica or maybe the office can send it out here. Either way, thank you! Christmas is pretty fantastic when you have a family who loves you an will send you a package! 

This week the weather was near celestial! I'm not even kidding, nights it would get down to like 60 degrees! We would wake up to go run and we'd be cold outside. Days were probably not even  80 degrees, it was something else. Great breezze, nice clouds, it's the post hurricane weather. We were asking people if it would stay and they said no... which is a bust but still, it doesnt feel as humid. I'm going to shrivel up like a prune back home- I'm cold in 65 degrees and my skin gets dry when the humidity drops a little bit. It was great weather for knocking doors though. We knocked for days and I don't think I ever broke a sweat. 

We met some pretty cool people this week. None of them came to church yesterday but we met one guy named Mr. J. He's a grandpa and great grandpa who really loves his family. We had a sit down lesson with him and you could tell he was interested if his family being together forever. Only problem is he doesn't have a car and is an older fella so walking is rough for him. But it was nice to have a sit down lesson. Another family let us in when we were knocking doors, they seems very nice and interested as well. The church is helping missionaries out so much by having commercials on the TV and stuff like that. Very often we hear people tell us that they've seen our ad's on TV (none of which I've seen so when they try and explain which one they saw I just nod my head and say I'm glad you like them). That's a big help though.

Halloween was this week! The E's had us over for dinner and candy and such. The pictures tell it all. They are an awesome family. Sis. E is so nice, I told her about when you send me those instant Betty crocker potatoes for Christmas and how good they are. Along with our personalized goodie bags, she bought me a pack of those :) Great family. We were at the door handing out candy for a bit- Elder Worley and I dressed up as Mormon missionaries, everyone thought it was a hit. One parent sarcastically said "Hm, I wonder what you're dressed up as" and we said "Church is Sunday at ten on Soldier Road!" Yep, not costumes my friend. 

That's quite the topic for your talk. We are going to come back and finish emailing in a while, so in between then I will be able to think of something that really hits home. 

Here's something:  It really goes back to the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's. They received a spiritual witness of truth through prayer AND buried their weapons. If we receive a confirmation of a truth we must bury the weapons of untruth we held on to. If the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's left their weapons in the closet instead of burying them, Satan still has the opportunity to make those weapons, temptations, habits, manifest in your life to hurt you. I look at the people who have done as the A-N-L's, who follow the same pattern that everyone else does before their baptism, read the BoM, pray about it, and come to church, achieve the same result (baptism) but who are able to completely and totally let go of their old ways because they recall the spiritual witness they received through prayer in their times of trial and discouragement. Like Elder Hollands talk, "Why are we still here at the same seashore with the same nets doing the same thing?" We must bury our old ways and we can do that by accessing the Atonement through sincere prayer and seeking that spiritual guidance. I guess that ties in with your talk, eh? 

So that is pretty sad, but we were blessed on Sunday. A man who's been coming to church with a solid member for a number of weeks, this being his third week in a row, asked us "How do I become a Mormon?" We told him the process of meeting with us and preparing to be baptized and he says "Yeah. I would like that. When can you come over?" YES! This is the same guy who last week was still shaky about meeting with us when I asked him. Something must have happened this week. He wants to meet with us everyday, so tomorrow we will see what he's all about. Pretty sweet! 

I love you Mom. Have a great week!!

Elder Romney