Elders McCleod and Romney

Saturday, December 29, 2012

What truly matters

Merry Christmas Eve morning!!

You guys look great in the Bahamas gear! I'm so glad the package made it. I'm looking at last years picture of you guys in the Bob Marley stuff and comparing- everyone still looks great! haha Macky is starting to look like a young man instead of a little boy and it's starting to scare me a bit. Watch out ladies- Cheeseball is growing up. I'm glad you like the stuff. I realize that I love to spend money- that hasn't changed, but I like spending money on you guys more. I think about your reactions when you open them or if the girls would actually wear the stuff to school, I've enjoying shopping for you! It's about the only time I feel like a tourist here. Unless they try and charge you to much- then you pull the "Uh, I live here, can't pull the wooly over my eyes bwoy!"

I think the ding dong ditch to a family would be awesome. We will talk about it and make it special for someone. 

Well I'll save most of the chit chat for Wednesday, but I just want to share an experience I had in Sacrament meeting yesterday. We got to church a little earlier than usual to make sure everything was straight for church, and I just felt so full of joy. The word happy wouldn't do justice to my feelings yesterday. We were planning on having two investigators at church- D said she was coming and E as well. Church was getting close to start, people are usually late, it's safe to say I've never been so ancy or anxious waiting for investigators to come. It's not that I doubt that they will come, but so many times their ride bails or they can't catch the bus. But about 5 minutes before church started, D showed up and I was just so thrilled. SO THRILLED. 5 minutes after the meeting started, E came and I just felt at peace. They have friends in the branch, they are sincere seekers of truth.  When we saw D saturday night she said she was going to catch the bus early so she didn't have to rely on anyone else for a ride. She understands how important church is. E- that guy is ready for church by like 8:30 waiting for his ride every Sunday. Awesome. 

Yesterday after church we went to the little girls' house and sang Christmas carols while I played the guitar. We were leaning against an old broken down car, a party full of drunks next door, police sirens blaring past us, but in that little circle of 5 there was hope and happiness. We were laughing, making up silly songs, singing their favorite Christmas songs, it seemed almost surreal.  These are the same little girls that asked what it was like to get a Christmas present, but for that 45 minutes none of that really mattered. I think of when Christ visits the Nephites in the Book of Mormon and blesses all the little children. I don't picture Christ checking his watch saying "Well times up kids, love to stay but I've got more important things to do". I have a testimony that as we do little things for people, whether it be going to their house with the choir and singing for someone sick or smiling at someone and asking how their day was, that is when Christ is closest to us. If charity is the pure love of Christ, why do we turn up our nose when an opportunity to serve comes along? Everyday we should be looking for ways to do what Christ would do if he were here. We ask everyone if they are excited for Christmas and it is so sad that nobody cares anyone. Out of the probably 50 people, maybe 1 has mentioned they are grateful for the season or excited for Christmas. When we ask why they aren't, you find out clearly that people really miss the whole picture of why we celebrate Christmas. So go do something nice for someone today!

I love you Mom!! I can't wait to talk to you on boxing day!! 

Elder Romney 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Twas the week before Christmas! Lots of pics

Good morning!

ONLY 8 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! AHHH! I guess you could say I'm a wee bit excited. I seriously don't even know where the time has gone. No idea. I still feel like I just got to Nassau.... I've been here coming up in over 6 months! And Christmas is in 8 days? It never ceases to amaze me how time flies. President Hendricks asked me in our interview the other day if it seemed like my mission was flying by or going slow. He said something that surprised me. When I told him how fast it was going he said "Good."... Good? Then he expounded a bit by saying "I find that missionaries who are enjoying their missions and want to be here say their missions feel like their going fast. That's a healthy sign." Well, consider me the healthiest horse in all the land because it's cruising right along. 

Speaking of cruising, Yes, I got Sis. Evans email! When I read it Elder Worley said "Your Mom probably freaked out when that happened!" Was there a freak out? I think it's funny Dad thought you would want to cancel your Christmas plans because our phone call couldn't happen on Christmas Day. No worries, Boxing Day will be just fine. I'll Skype from the church, that way we aren't bothering the E's or D's two days in a row.  The internet connection here is really good, we got it fixed a while ago. That will work out perfect because we have district meeting Wednesday morning from about 10 -12, grab a bite to eat and chat to you guys!  Make sure you take lots and lots of pictures! I lost one of the rechargeable batteries for my camera and went through a set just for the Battle for Atlantis, gonna have to grab some more for Christmas pictures! 

Have you got my package in the mail yet?? I sent it in the beginning of November... if it gets lost in the mail I will be sooooooooo bummed. So so bummed. 

This week was one of our best weeks in quite a while. There were a lot of good things that happened and not many bad things. Good things - bad things = good week. One thing Elder Worley and I are doing is teaching a man how to speak English. It's a completely new thing for me, I'm not sure how great of teachers we are... but we are trying. His name is W, he's 35, married in the temple, his Father has lived here for 14 years. Bro. R (W dad) has 10 kids, most in Haiti, but they are a super family in the church. He's had like 4 sons serve missions, W served in the District presidency there, super stars in the gospel.  It's hard to do anything in the church when you can't speak the language. So about twice a week we teach both of them some English. At first we weren't sure what to do but we thought about it and came to the conclusion that the best thing for both of them would be to learn first how to pray and maybe recite the Sacrament prayers so the can participate in meetings. And to speak in as much English as possible to each other- which isn't much- but it's hard to learn a language when you're only speaking it a couple hours out of a week and the rest of the time you're speaking creole. So that's been a task as of lately, it's going well. W is making progress.  When we teach it's just like teaching the gospel- very, very simply. Which is how it should be. No point in teaching complicated when people aren't going to understand it. 

Another cool thing that happened this week was... we got a referral! Who actually wants to meet with us! We were out at DHL picking up a package and we got a call from a member who lives near by and she said she had someone she wanted us to teach. So we rolled over there and met K. A super nice lady and has a little boy. Very sincere. We went back to meet with her Saturday but she was a bit tied up so we are going back Tuesday. But we were able to have a really great sit down lesson with her the first time we met her. Not even really a lesson, more like an initial overview of what she's looking for and what we believe. It was nice. 

We met up with a guy named A this week. We met two weeks ago while walking to the immigration office while our car was being serviced. Super cool guy, got some big plans in life. We set up a time to meet with him and had a great lesson. As of lately, sit down lessons are so scarce it's so refreshing to have them. We were just talking about life and his plans and just like Elder Holland said, something always ties into a principle of the gospel. Everything A was saying was tying into the gospel- his questions, his concerns, it's one of those feelings like when you're in the MTC and just learning how to teach and it's all laid out there so you don't miss it. Kinda like teaching C, everything seemed perfect. He wants to marry his girlfriend and have a family, wants to provide a good life for her and their eventual kids, looking for the purpose of life... great time to run into the missionaries! He's leaving right after Christmas to go to a community college in Arkansas and then eventually to University of Arkansas to be an engineer- the Little Rock, Arkansas mission is going to be getting a great refferal in a couple weeks!

E is doing well! He was at church yesterday, we've moved his date back to January 13th. We had a great lesson on the word of wisdom and law of chastity. No problems.  I remember at the first of my mission teaching the law of chastity was so awkward... you got kinda squirmy explaining it. Just because it's something totally new you're talking about. The Caribbean culture is completely opposite of the law of chastity. You've just met this person and you're going to tell them to stop having sex with their significant other who they are not married to or to stop watching pornography, when their whole life it hasn't been a bad thing. 17 months later, teaching the law of chastity is the easiest thing to teach. It's so simple. Do things in God's order and you will be blessed. Cut and dry. The hard part comes in when you're helping them overcome their old habits. 

We had an AMAZING branch Christmas party! I'll get the pictures from Elder Worley, it was so sweet!! The best branch function of my mission yet. There was probably 90 people there, great food, great people, great conversation, it was great! When the food was served we went Pryor's waiter style and were doing drinks and getting people food, it was awesome. That's something that's always stuck with me, among many things from working at the restaurant, is Capri and Kevin saying "Whatever you do, make sure everyone's drink is full. Full drinks = happy customers". It's true, I had a two liter of soda in each hand and was going to town on the drink full up! It was lots of fun, we performed two songs. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on the guitar and then the First Noel with me on the ax and Elder Worley on the keys- turned out nice. There was a full PA system and mixing board and everything so the sound was good. I love playing and singing for people. You couldn't catch me singing unless it was with the band before now- a mission changes many aspects of your life for sure! It was really good for our missionary work too - not the singing part, but the party- Bro. D was there, a few potential investigators came, a ton of less actives showed up, it was really great. 

As far as working out and eating healthy, last week got away from us. BUT! We've re-grouped and are ready to be perfect this week. 

As far as Sacrament meeting goes, they do a great job here. Things run how they should, nothing out of the ordinary. We always stand and sing an intermediate number, that's a little different, no musical numbers from members. There is a choir but they've only performed once in the 6 months I've been here. Every once in a while something will pop up that isn't the norm but the leaders are good at being on top of things. The biggest difference is starting on time. They've been doing a good job as of lately of starting right at 10, but there are like 15 people in the chapel at 10, and by the end of Sacrament meeting you've got about 100. There isn't a huge sense of timeliness in the Caribbean. 

I miss the Pryor's crew! I had to take a second to realize that it was MJ - I'm used to seeing a pregnant MJ haha Is anyone new working there? When I left it was Kev, Capri, Missy, MJ, Cheryl, Morgan, Pam, and a new girl who's name escapes me at the moment, I think that was it. They're looking good though, the last two months I've had the biggest craving for a Fish Taco - nobody does it like Pryor's! 

I'll attach some pics in a different email. I love you!! Talk to you in 8 days!! 

Elder Romney 

Ward Christmas Party

Happy Missionary

A potential band member?

TCBY Frozen Yogurt!

J's Homies!

Anonymous Angel

Ward Christmas Party

Young Men and Young Women skit

Horns in every country

Ward members

Ummm this is sparkling cider!!!!!

Relax J it is just cider!


Ward Christmas Party

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Good morning! 

Your week sounds so crazy! Trips to the DOL always turn out to be quite the experience though, eh? Two government agencies in one day is almost to much to handle. At least you had really nice people helping you out, that makes all the difference. We've learned to plan at least an hour and a bit for trips to the immigration office here- take a number and wait it out! We were filing papers for someone once and so we head out to DHL to get the papers that Jamaica sent, then drive all the way back to immigration, get out of the car and realize that we forgot to buy the $10 stamp required to sent the forms wherever they send them! Back into the car, drive to the post office, back to immigration, wait it out.... I feel your pain! It's so interesting though, many times these trips to immigration or other errands we have to run for the office turn out more fruitful for missionary work than knocking doors. It makes sense- if you have the mindset of always finding wherever you are, going to immigration or to the bank or wherever is a perfect opportunity, there's people everywhere! 

Should I be worried that everyone in my family seems to have something wrong with their health or is this normal? When I left everyone seemed punky dory and now Mackie is a fire breathing dragon and having camera's put down is eso-fagus and I don't really remember what a thyroid does but it sounds unpleasant. I hope you guys stay healthy and the doctors can figure out what's up. 

Luke and Jared are leaving??? That is so weird- I remember sitting in a Stake Youth meeting of some sort with Jared and we were talking about how when he goes on his mission I will have already been out for almost a year and a half- here we are! Bonkers. 

As for my week, it was alright. Not the best week but not the worst either. We got transfer calls on Saturday and.... da da da da.... Elder Worley and I... will be together for yet another transfer! Yep, it was a bit of a shock to the both of us. We weren't sure if they were going to send him right when the papers went through but the Assistants said he will stay an entire transfer, which is until January 23rd. So, in looking at that, unless there is a whitewash in Nassau, I'll be here until March. I don't really know what's going to happen, but it looks like your Christmas package will be a St. Patrick's Day package, (which is totally fine, I'm not worried about that one bit). I'm really happy he's sticking around for one more transfer. Elder Worley is the man. I've had the best slew of companions I think of any missionary to ever exist. Nelson, Taylor, McLeod, Baird, Worley - some of my best friends. I still hear from Elder Nelson every week and Elder Montgomery as well.So yeah, that's the scoop on transfers, one more with Elder Worley and who knows how long in Nassau! 

As for as investigators go, E wasn't at church again. We weren't able to see him this week either- pretty frustrating  It's hard to be upset though because the man is trying to make it and he's got this new job, we've just gotta touch bases. I'm completely confident in E and him getting baptized. Like I've said before, he's a very intent listener and is one of those people ready for the gospel. He has already made the changes necessary so it's not like anything that he is asked to do by the Lord and his commandments is new, he's already changed his ways and now he's going to be able to reap the benefits and blessings President F actually talked to him last Sunday for about half an hour and he said E is solid and ready as well. His date will be moved back again, but there really isn't any rush. He's solid, still the man! Sister B is going to be out of town pretty much all month, her and Bro. B both.  She's such a sweet lady, very excited (as is everyone) that Elder Worley is staying another 6 weeks. 

I love the pictures! Mac is such a goof... I dig the boots little fella. I guess he's not such a little fella anymore. 

So Mom, are you totally pumped for the Skype call??? I'll email Dad and see if he has an idea of when that will be. We are going to the E's Christmas morning and the D's in the evening so either way I'll be able to Skype from either of their houses. I'm pretty confident Skype will work, I'll ask Dad to throw some money on my homecard so I can load some funds on my Skype account in case the skype doesnt work I can call your phone from Skype. The downer here is that in the Bahamas if you call anywhere but the Bahamas and Florida, its $4 a minute... so yeah... Skype will work just fine. the E's have great internet and a bunch of different ways to call (computers, tablets, etc.) It will be just fine, just need to know a time. I'm excited!
Well that's about it! Hope you have a fantastic week! Sorry this email took so long to get to you, while I was writing it my computer wigged out and then wouldn't let me back onto my email. Weird. Love you!!
Elder Romney

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Box of Trust

Good morning,

Yes, the Christmas devotional was so sweet! It's so interesting how your perception changes about General Conference and devotionals as you get older. I love listening to the General Authorities speak! Everyone's talk yesterday was so good. I think my favorite was President Uchtdorf's talk. Being a gracious receiver is totally over looked these days. I never thought about it that way but the way he used the story of Peter having is feet washed by Christ and the woman that anointed Christ's head with oil, being a gracious receiver of gifts is definitely a Christ-like attribute. President Eyring's was great too. It's so true- how much money you spend on a gift isn't what makes it special. And President Monson's talk- they were all so good! He had a quote that was something like "He who gives his money gives some, he who gives his time gives more, but he who gives himself gives all." I love Christmas! The music was so great, my favorite was "What Child is This". AH! So good! With the little flute thing going in the background I felt like it could be the music to Lord of the Rings or something. 

President Hendricks is the man. I just think about how trusting he is. If he can trust two 20 year old's on their own island in the Caribbean, how much more can I trust someone. Obviously we aren't just two 20 year olds, we're representatives of Jesus Christ, but still- he's a very trusting man. The first day on our missions in the mission home he drew a big box on a piece of paper and said something to the effect of  "This is the box of trust. It's big. You can go anywhere inside this box. If you stay in this box, you're mission will be a joyful experience. You will have opportunity's you didn't think you would have, you have my complete trust and confidence. (He was drawing a squiggly line around inside the box, then the squiggly line went outside the box) and he says "If you leave this box, you enter into another box (draws a tiny little box). This is the box of no trust. (tries to draw the line in the box- so small there isnt much space to move). There isn't much space to move around, is there? You lose a lot of freedom in this box, but you can always get back into the box of trust." It's true, that man will forgive quicker than anyone I've ever met. I had a great interview with him this week over Skype- I love listening to him teach. He's always teaching. We talked about how our teaching pool should be like an escalator, with people constantly getting on the escalator going up, rather than an elevator where you pick people up at the bottom, some people get off halfway, maybe one or two at the top but then no one else is in the elevator so you have to go back down and fill it up. Wise words! 

Interesting you should mention the huge number of missionaries coming into the field. That was actually the reason for the interview with President Hendricks. He informed us that because of the huge numbers, the MTC won't be holding the missionaries as long as I was in the MTC, therefore sending them out sooner. To accommodate this they are making one transfer in each mission anywhere from 3 weeks shorter to 3 weeks longer so they can have a better stagger in the mission field for when missionaries come in. Our mission is having a 7 weeks transfer, so one week more which means rather than getting home July 11th my mission will be one week longer, getting home July 18th. Speaking of home, I will probably be calling for Christmas from the E's house- we are going over there tonight for dinner so I'll ask them what the usual protocol is for us and phone calls on Christmas. I guess they've had the missionaries over every Christmas since the beginning of time- not bad! 

This week was pretty good. E was at church! He's such a boss. We were able to meet with him three times this week, all solid lessons. He's like a sponge. Everything we teach him he just soaks it all up. Even in Gospel Principles class Sunday, he's one of the most intent listeners I've taught on my mission. You ask him if he has questions and he usually says no and you think yikes, maybe he doesn't understand us, but then he will ask a great question or explain what you just taught in great detail- it's so refreshing to teach someone prepared. There is a huge difference between teaching someone like E who is ready to make changes, ready to act and willing to believe and pray as opposed to trying to convince someone the gospel is true. He's the man! His date has been moved back to Dec. 16th, hopefully Elder Worley is still here. That's the week after transfers and paper work has been moving super slow. We get transfer calls this Saturday so we will see.

Ya, those cookies aren't going to make it haha Especially since I might not be opening that package until the end of January if I go back to Jamaica then. Fruit loop cookies are my favorite! Last year I remember when you sent those Elder Taylor and I killed the bag in almost a night. Crazy to think this is my second Christmas away from home. 

The branch here is so sweet. It's probably the second best branch in the mission (Cayman Branch being the first). We have regular PEC meetings and Branch Council, it runs fairly smoothly. There are about 600 baptized on record but we have about 50-80 at church every Sunday. That's how many of the branches are in the Caribbean, huge size but only a small percentage active. It doesn't help that addresses, especially in Jamaica are virtually non existent so tracking people is hard. The branch actually is probably a split right down the middle between Haitians and Bahamians with a few Jamaicans and then the E's, D's and B's from the States/England.  We have tourists every week. It's such a small world, I've met people who know Uncle Brett, John Gjendems sister, a good friend of Chanda, Parish Hansons roommate at BYU who also knows Elder Randle (AP who went home a couple months ago),  it's always fun. 

This week is going to be great. Teaching E the rest of the things he needs to know, we will see Bro. D this week, hopefully Sis. B, some solid finding time, another great week in Nassau. 

Well I love you Mom! I'll let you know next week wa gwaan with the christmas call. Have a good week, don't get sick! Love you! 

Elder Romney