Elders McCleod and Romney

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Missionary forever

Good morning!
Yeah, I think something is happening this week around Thursday... true I can't put my finger on it. OH WAIT! Yes I can. I get to see you! That's going to be a very long day of flying... worth it I'd say though.
A's baptism was fantastic. We had it up at the Hopeton chapel. She wasn't feeling good at church so we gave her a blessing and when she came for the baptism there was no sign of illness - happy and jumpy as always! President Durrant did the baptism. Her foot came up the first time so he had a second go round at it and she went all the way under. It was definitely a little surreal taking baptism pictures. I would say that it's the last time I'll be taking baptism pictures but the whole baptism I had the distinct impression that if this is my last baptism of my life, I've completely missed the point of my mission. ALWAYS A MISSIONARY. That's something I'm really excited for - to be that member in the ward that missionaries can go to for whatever. Food, a ride, go teaching with, referrals, whatever they need. Honestly that's what it should be for everyone. We covenant to give all we have to the Lord, time, talents, any means necessary to build the kingdom. Missionaries are direct representatives of Christ - if a missionary asks you to do something, it's as if Christ were asking you directly. Whoa, got of on a tangent there. But yes, A's baptism was terrific. We took lots of pictures and lots of pictures with the members in Santa Cruz. Plenty pictures today!
To answer your questions - I think I miss crepes the most. Snacks? Oh boy... your trail mix for sure! Wow, that stuff is nice!
I feel good. All the gatherings and get- togethers and appointments and everything, those are alright. I think I'm underestimating the overwhelmed-ness that's going to take place. Just like I underestimated it going into the MTC, coming to Jamaica, going to Nassau, etc. I'm Captain Underestimate, which is ok I guess. I feel I handle being overwhelmed much better than I used to - serving as a zone leader has helped with that. Transfers are always a gong show haha Speaking of which, this week is also going to be a gong show. We have FIFTEEN new missionaries coming in! YA! And all their trainers come in a day early for a training meeting. So basically Tuesday at 2PM, the craziness of driving, meetings, transfers, etc has begun. Tonight is my last night in Santa Cruz - we're staying with the AP's and Kingston Zone Leaders Tuesday and Wednesday night. Plenty of time with Elder Hitchcock and Elder Worley before we depart and rendezvous in a month!

I'd spend time talking about costs of laser treatments and stuff, but I can talk about all of that when I see you! That's crazy to think....
Well Mom I love you! You and the families prayers have carried me through much more than I think you will ever know. I look forward to going to the temple with you Friday and with Haley next week and seeing you late Thursday night!! See you then! I love you! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Mission President & Last baptism

What a great weekend! When I saw the pics of the zip lining trip. I leaned over to Elder Adamson and said, "Is your family doing a bunch of fun stuff while you're gone too?" haha What a blast! Mac wears that harness nicely.
President and Sister Brown are amazing. Yes, both native Jamaican. We had Missionary Leadership Council on Thursday, which is where President Brown instructs us on what needs to happen in the mission- whoah, it was one of the best meetings I've ever been a part of. He's such a powerful teacher and all the adjustments to the Jamaica Kingston Mission he is making are inspired. He is focused so much on training new missionaries and helping others reach their potential, it is brilliant. Once again, Elder Adamson and I are left to try and convey such a powerful message to the zone and we are a little bit beside ourselves at where to start. Thank heaven for the Spirit, eh?
We also had two trade off's this week, one I went to Sav and another Elder Worley came to Santa Cruz. Going to Sav was cool, the missionaries there are well. I got to say goodbye to all the people I wanted to, minus Sis. J (we are headed to Sav Thursday so I'll say goodbye then). I realize that I have to have an international calling plan for my phone. It's been so long since I've had a phone to call internationally, I don't remember how all that works. I guess I'll have to get up to date with calling out of country more than 2 times a year. Elder Worley's trade off with me was great, as expected. I cannot express enough thanks to Heavenly Father for giving me companions like that. Elder Hitchcock and I were reminiscing on the MTC days - it was he and me right from the beginning! Our two year mark was Saturday so that was fun to look back on.
The deck looks so great! As does the house, I seriously don't know if I'm ready for culture shock all over again. I remember going through it when I first got to Jamaica, then again to the Bahamas, then again when I came back to Jamaica, now it's going to be hard core culture shock. That's awesome the garden is growing! I hope you have a big bag of spinich ready and waiting at the house- we've been hitting steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinich) mixed with a can of tuna with some garlic and eating with with crackers- so good! And good for you!
This week is A's baptism. She is ready! Her Book of Mormon reading is great, Friday she was in Chapter 8 of 1st Nephi and now she's in Chapter 14. There is a noticeable difference between those who are willing to accept the gospel and those who are not. She's being baptized just in time too - the Area Presidency is organizing a temple trip/EFY in the Dominican Republic and she will get to go! That's going to be so fun for her. When she found out there wasn't going to be snow she was a little disappointed, but still excited haha
This week is going to be great. We're headed to Negril tonight to do a trade off with the Elders there, Tuesday night we have a sweet lesson with a young man that is a friend of a member, Thursday have Zone Meeting, Friday is A's interview and then her baptism is Saturday morning at nine along with transfer calls... I know I'm being transferred, just not sure who my next companion is! ;) I love you!

Elder Romney 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Just a quick note and a few pictures


Things are going so well here. President Hendricks is probably somewhere in Texas riding his horse around, crazy to think about! I talked with President and Sister Brown on the phone the other day, they are doing so well. It's going to be different than with Pres. and Sis. Hendricks were here because Pres. and Sis. Brown have four kids, oldest being 12, youngest being 2! Ya! Mission family! We have MLC this week so I'll get to meet them all. This week is going to be awesome. Two trade off's (one with Elder Worley) then MLC Thursday. Going to fly by!

Things in Santa Cruz are good. A was early to church! Whoo hoo! She's such an awesome little girl, she's going to boost the Santa Cruz branch because her baptism is going to be a branch effort. Everyone is stepping up their game to help fellowship her. President Brown is putting a lot of emphasis on getting potential missionaries from Jamaica in the field. We spent quite a bit of time this week helping a young lady get her doctors stuff figured out. Driving from clinic to clinic, gathering information, setting up times, I feel bad because without us she wouldn't be able to get any of this done, President D and M are so busy, I'm glad we are here to help. She only has her dental and a couple other things to sort out and her's are done! If she gets a passport, maybe she and Haley can serve together in Singapore! 

Well the computer is kicking me off here, we will be on later. Headed to Mandeville to play some ball. I love you!

                                                          Jackson's wheat mango pancake.

Karaoke night ward activity

A sweet sister that feeds them every other week.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Good morning!

Robbie is married! I can't believe it. Well I can, not saying he couldn't do it, it's just crazy that it actually happened. There was much celebration in Santa Cruz between Elder Adamson and I and our branch president (he provided the fantastic celebratory fried chicken and chips as well as the ice cream.) I'm so pumped for him. Soon be Rob and Kate plus 8! And the pic of Augie and Ty! Ahhh! Those are my boys. 

I knew you'd like the chicken pictures! Fresh fried chicken is hard to beat, especially from President Durrant's shop.

So much happened this week it's hard to know where to start. Tuesday night I got a call from Elder Hitchcock saying that only Elder Nugent returned from the round of off island zone conferences and Elder Worley and Sister Hendricks were still in Miami. I was soooo confused because I talked to Elder Worley Sunday night about Nassau and everything was fine. I guess Monday he started throwing up blood and stuff, got very sick, when they flew back to Miami Sis. Hendricks took him to the hospital and they had an emergency appendectomy. Pretty crazy. He's fine now, I talked to him on Thursday night. Sounded pretty drowsy but he's well. He should be getting back to Jamaica tomorrow. Miss that guy!

So that leads into Thursday which was mine and President Hendricks last zone conference. He went out with a bang. I want to type up all the notes I've got from my mission and organize them on the computer, I think that would be sweet. Anyways, it was a great meeting. President gave us some parting council. He said there are two things we must do when we get home. 1. Don't let your life forget that your mission happened. 2. Make the temple as high of a priority as the Lord says. Hit me like a ton of bricks. I can't imagine going home and forgetting that my mission happened. The lessons learned, experiences, and goals that I've set now cannot be changed when I get home. There are even some little things I've got my mind set on and I can't let those go. After all of this going back to the way things were?? No way. So that hit me hard, then making the temple a priority. President is all about the temple (being a temple president for 7 years would do that to ya I guess). He always brings up the fact that when we went to the temple, we put everything we have on the alter. All our time, talents, and means to assist the kingdom of God. His quote is "You don't take anything back. Not one dime, not one minute, not one anything!" It's all there. So not going to the temple regulary is out of the question. Even when we think about it, we make time for so many eternally unimportant things... we cant make 2 hours a week for the temple? I'd love to hit a morning session once a week. Can you imagine hitting a 5:30 am session every week for the rest of your life? Talk about holding steadfast to the iron rod. 

I asked President for a blessing. I want to share the things that were in it but I forgot my journal and I want to get them all in. Hands down the most inspired and special blessing aside from my patriarchal blessing. 

Friday night we had a sweet Friday night activity. Kareoke! The senoir couple Elder and Sister Wright came out with their projector. It was a hit, we had like 25 people there! Lots of ice cream too. I've had way to much of that lately. One of the Sisters in our zone got attacked by a dog and got bit up pretty bad on Saturday and we just found out this morning. We made her a card and bought a 3 gallon box of hot fudge nut ice cream and took it to them this morning. Ice cream fixes everything! Being a missionary is sweet. When else can you just drop everything, spend $15 and make someone's day? That is going to need to happen more when I get home. 

Did you watch the missionary fireside last night? IT was so good!! The Lord is right- missionary work happens through the members. I hope that Jamaica can apply those principles taught as well as state side missions. It's a sweet time to be a missionary. Haley is going to be right in the thick of everything, I've catching just the beginning of the new wave. Pretty sweet. President Hendricks watched the fireside with us and said his goodbyes. Pretty sad but that guy deserves to spend as much time in the temple as he wants and then ride a horse for as long as he wants. I think he's pretty excited for that. 

After church we saw A. She was late to church so we went to find out why. She's so awesome. She came right out and said I stayed up to late on Saturday, I cried Sunday morning when I woke up late because I was going to miss the Sacrament, I already prayed and asked Heavenly Father to forgive me. Yeah. You gotta love lessons like that. Because they don't happen often! She knows it all. She's doing great. 

Talking about lifting again gets me excited! I'll wear my suit home, but in all honesty I'm probably not going to wear it again after that. The suit I buy the  Friday I get back will be the big ticket. But you're right, might as well wear it home. Anyways, ya, lifting, you and me! You may be surprised by this next statement, but I think I want to focus a lot on cardio, swimming mainly. I've seen some drastic changes over the past 3 months (not so much the past 3 weeks, they've been thrown down the tube) and it's been because of cardio and diet. I hope you're ready to be my dietitian! I feel like I'll have a lot of momentum right when I get back, with everything of course, but especially the diet part. Hitting the Y every morning is going to have to be a must. Once it's in the routine it doesn't leave. So I say that to say I hope you're ready! You've got a workout buddy coming your way. 

Well I better scoot. I love you Mom! I'll send pictures later!

Elder Romney

Monday, June 17, 2013

Blessings of the Spirit and pics

SINGAPORE??(Haley got her mission call to Singapore) Are you serious?? That is awesome! Ya sister Evans is great, she called and I couldn't believe it. First thing out of Elder Adamsons and my mouth was "Where's Singapore?". That is going to be sweet. Safe country, is it nice over there? First world? We did a little research on LDS.org and they have a stake! Oh boy, she's going to have SUCH a riot! AND speaking English? Wahoo! That's great news!
I can't believe school is done already! Things are cruising along. It's so weird to think that it's that time of year over there. I've given up on keeping track of what the weather is like over there in the month. It's just always hot. And sunny. And beautiful. You work so hard at the farm. I hope people appreciate the things you do there.
Fathers Day was yesterday! Happy Fathers day to everyone! We had a good day, our birthday packages came in and President Medley brought them to us - Gram and Grandpa Bruce sent me one - thank you Gram and Grandpa! All I've eaten the past three days is jerky, sunflower seeds and candy! True the diet is in need of starting back up. E. Adamson also got his birthday package so we shared seeds, jerky and candy with President D and Bro. M at our branch presidency meeting. IT would be hard to have fathers day without their kids. I think we made them pretty happy though.
So this week was fantastic. We are going to have a baptism in Santa Cruz! Only the fourth one in the last year and a half. Missionaries have been teaching a woman named C for years and years and she keeps coming to church but never progresses enough to be baptized. She has two daughters, A and T, 12 and 8. A is the smartest 12 year old I've ever met. Anything you teach her, it sticks. She's been at church almost every Sunday for 3 years and her mom just thought she wasn't old enough for baptism. The idea to teach her came from two members who are very close to her. We thought a lot about it, and usually we want full support from the family, so we had a sit down chat with a member and C and she was all good and supportive of A getting baptized! We walked with them to church yesterday, it's only 5 minutes, they live so close! Honestly she could be baptised this week, that's how awesome she is but true we are going to go through everything one more time. July 13th is her date. Saturday night we committed her to pray and ask Heavenly Father if July 13th was the right date to be baptised, because she wanted to be baptised on her birthday in November. Her follow up question was "How will I know I got my answer?"... from a 12 year old! We are teaching grown men and women who can't wrap their minds around that and A is just all about it. She even asked "How does the whole mission thing work? I want to go, but I also am going to be a doctor so I'll have schooling to do. How does it work?" .... SHE'S 12! Very bright girl. Anyways, Sunday night we followed up with her prayer and it was one of the sweetest experiences I've had on my mission. In her own words "I prayed last night and asked Heavenly Father if July 13th was when I should be baptised and if the Book of Mormon was true. I could not stop smiling. I went to bed and woke up smiling, my cheeks hurt because I think I was smiling while I was sleeping. I know July 13th is when I should be baptised and that the Book of Mormon is true." Such a tender moment when she said that. I think the experiences I've had with the Spirit are the coolest and most enriching experiences of my mission. She's great!
This week we had Zone meeting, led by Elder Adamson and I. We had the District leaders speak on different topics, one on focusing on our purpose in all our activities, one on sustaining our leaders, and one on training. They all did really well, we've got some stud missionaries. Elder Adamson spoke about working with the branch and nutrition (kind of random but we the Caribbean mission doc came out and did a big presentation at Mission Leadership Council) and I spoke on working with less active members. That wasn't my whole topic though, I really wanted to make an impact on these missionaries, something that they would remember and look back at on their missions. I had them all take off their name tags and just look at it. Notice the scratches, the scuffs, but more importantly think back to all the sacrifices they've made to wear it. Saving money, getting active, finding a testimony, etc. I really wanted them to understand how much they've put into being here and that if it doesn't feel worth it now that it will soon. I thought it went really well, the Spirit was thick in that room. I got a little emotional. We talked about how it's a privilege to be serving at at time like this and how there has always been waves of the way missionary work is done. Golden questions, discussions, and now it's working through less active members. It was an awesome zone meeting. Teaching is a lot of fun. This week is Zone Conference - President Hendricks, Elder Worley's and my last. I'm so looking forward to the council President has for us. At a missionaries last zone conference he bears his testimony- talk about weird. I remember my first zone conference when Elder Dale bore his testimony and I thought how far away that day was. Noooo I was wrong, it came much sooner than expected.
Well I love you Mom, we're in Junction today with the Elders and Sisters here. I'm going to get a haircut and then we're playing beach soccer. Did Bishop Payne get back to you about speaking on the 21st? Please let me know. I love you!!
Elder Romney

Monday, June 10, 2013

Prayers are answered

Honey Bunches of Oats sound fantastic right now. But so was the cup of ice cream i just slammed. Yeah, had a weak point in the diet. But it's been going well! I weighed myself at the mission home this last week and I was 159 pounds! Crazy huh! That is pretty much just diet too, our workout's are mild compared to what they will be this up coming transfer. Gotta step up my game!
I read you're letter from 6/3. Thank you so much for your prayers. It was like an "ah ha" moment when I read that email. It all made sense as to why I was receiving so much council. Heavenly Father is truly aware of us. By answering your prayers, he answered mine too. I feel much more at ease with whats to come in 5 weeks, even if I don't know all the details about it. Thank you so much for looking into school stuff for me. I'm going to do it when I get home for sure but this helps a lot just so I can know what I'm working with. I don't have many regrets in life, but one is not taking high school/ running start seriously. Moral of the story- do your homework kids! You think if God can change my life the way he did that he can bump up my GPA a few notches? That would be too easy... looks like I'll be making up some classes!
This week was quite the week. It was transfer week. Drove around Jamaica placing and picking up missionaries. It's an exciting time watching these brand spanking new missionaries as they get to transfers. Their shirts are super white, their skin is super white, just ready to soak anything up that anyone says. I remember my first transfer day like it just happened and now my next one will be my last. We had only one new missionary enter the zone- he's serving with Elder Odendahl, the branch president in Junction. What a great first area! I got to see Mama H and some of the members this week- always good to be back there.
Thursday was Missionary Leadership Council, formerly Zone Leader Council but with the addition of the Sister Training Leaders it's now MLC and not ZLC. It was President Hendricks last one. I am going to miss him so much. But I'm very excited to serve with President Brown for a short time also. One line that stuck out to me that almost made me cry was "It would be frankly apostate to say after June 29th and 9:00PM that Presdient Hendricks is my mission president. You turn your back on me and turn towards President Brown. I will be grateful all my days for the responsibility I have had for President Brown." He's right. When Pres. Hendricks leaves, all eyes are on President Brown. He will then be receiving revelation for the mission and the country of Jamaica. That's a vivid image in my mind of turning my back on President Hendricks though, but as far as leadership is concerned that's how it goes. We don't say "Well, Heber J. Grant is still my prophet, not Thomas S. Monson." No, that's absurd. Very excited for what's to come with President Brown.
It's going to be a quick month. This week is Zone meeting in Sav, next week is Zoen Conference in Sav, week after that president Hendricks leaves, week after that is MLC in Kingston, week after that is Zone meeting in Sav, week after that is transfers. Whenever we travel in the week it seems to just make the days go by so fast. We don't get as much done which is not ideal, but it's necessary.
Elder Adamson was sick this weekend, had to nurse the boy back to health! We spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday getting him better. We hit church though which was obviously important- he's a trooper. Excited to get back out this week- staying in that very very hot house was getting to me! Stir crazy! haha
Haley's call could come as early as this Thursday??? Whoah! Be sure to email me directly afterwards! Lots of pics. That is crazy. I feel like I'll be the only one that isn't crying when she leaves only because I know what is coming for her and she is going to have the time of her life.... In Winnepeg!
Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy... I can't wait to see that guy. I hope he's feeling alright. I'll be sure to send a note. That is another person that's played an important role in my life. Chopping wood, shooting pool listening to Jimi Hendrix, and countless stories back and forth. I'm grateful to call Jim Gilson my friend.  
Well I better make a step. Thank you for everything Mom. You're prayers have provided me with the opportunity to learn so much from the inspired people around me. I love you!
Elder Romney 

Monday, June 3, 2013

and the inspiration just keeps on coming...

Ok if you do anything else to the house, I literally might have lock jaw- it looks so great! I can't wait for the grand tour. NiCole Fisher asked me if you guys still lived in the same house haha I said "Yep! Looks way different than when we were 10 doesn't it!" It's good to hear from her every once in a while.
Well this week, wow, I'm not sure I've had so much inspired instruction in a week on my mission. And we covered almost 1000 kilometers to do it. We had a mission conference with Elder Cornish and Elder Gamiette of the 70 in Kingston! Those men are called of God. Listening to their council was exactly what I needed to hear. I sent a pic of Elder Hitchcock, Elder Cornish and I. The trip out was a hoot too. I played bus driver! It's safe to say I've inherited Grandpa Jenk's bus driving skills- must be hereditary. Thursday we drove from Santa Cruz to MoBay to Negril to Sav- 5 hours. I drove the bus and Elder Adamson drove the truck. Then Friday we got up at 4:00AM so everyone could shower and get ready, then the 12 of us left at 6 AM, stopped in Maypen to to get those four Elders, and continuted to Kingston- 4 hours. It was great to see all the missionaries there. So many! Compared to when I first came out, it's doubled. And we learned at this conference that it will double again very shortly. The conference was awesome. We heard from President and Sister Hendricks and then Elder Gamiette and Elder Cornish. Elder Gamiette had a presentation on 5 principles we must adapt if we want to see change in our mission and Elder Cornish gave on on working with members - absolutely wonderful. That wasn't the best thing about it though. That picture I have with Elder Cornish- if any picture I've ever taken says 1000 words it would be this one. Elder Hitchcock and I were the only ones who got a picture with him, then for only about 5 minutes he gave us some council that will shape my life forever. I won't share all of it but one line he said was "watch how the next year of your life unfolds, this is going to be very very important (not knowing where E.Hitchcock., myself, and the three other missionaries around us were at in their missions). The only thing you need to do is be guided by the Spirit, then follow, then let it guide you a little more, and follow. The Lord will micromanage your life if you let Him." That and the remaining council is something I will hold dear for many many years. After the conference we grabbed lunch at the mall in Kingston (I tried that really nice suit on again, I'm not going to buy it. I'll by my suit after I get release Friday so I can have it for that first Sunday back) we left Kingston at about 5, got to Sav at 10PM, slept there and left at 8 Saturday morning to Negril, MoBay, then back to Santa. All in all, it was about 19 hours of driving but worth every kilometer of it.
President Brown swung by the branch after church yesterday and we got to talk for about 15 minutes. I'm not sure if there is a sign on my forehead that says "Please give me all the inspired council you can" but if there is, I'm not taking it off. He also shared somethings with me that left me pondering and excited for the last 6 weeks of my mission and for the next part of life when I get home. Thankfully I had a pen handy to jot this stuff down after it happened.
As far as your question goes I'm not really sure how to answer. I've seen both, there are some struggling people who have sincere desire to get themselves out of their situations and to work at it and are humble and willing, and then there are also many people who are in the same position and aren't willing to change anything for themselves. Plenty of both in Jamaica.
Haley turns in her papers! How exciting, I can't wait to hear where she's going!! And it's her birthday this week too, crazy town. That Jewel concert and walk around sounds like so much fun. I didn't know she was still doing music.

Well I better get going. Did I mention I am sweating like a dog in this Internet shop? haha
I love you! Have a fantastic week! I can't believe it's June already!
Elder Romney 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last birthday in Jamaica

Yesterday was a great birthday. Really, this whole week has been quite the celebration. Elder Adamsons birthday was Friday the 24th, so we celebrated his birthday eve, his birthday, then my birthday eve, and my birthday- all with home made ice cream in the blendtec. Yeah, safe to say the diet was totally off this weekend. We let loose and we let loose hard on that one. It's alright though, today is Monday and we are back on track.
But like I said, it was a wonderful birthday. This was the first birthday of my life it hasn't really felt like a birthday (welcome to being old I guess?). I was so certain I was going to be floured! Bro. M floured Elder Adamson Friday and I knew it was coming. I was on pins and needles at church- President D faked me out a couple times and got a good laugh out of watching me bolt out of the office like I stole something. We have a great time in this branch. After church two of our investigators cooked us birthday dinner! I will talk more about them in a bit, but dinner was delicious. Oxtail, potato salad, rice and peas! Oxtail is really good. Not a ton of meat on the bones but very tender with the meat you do get. After a lesson with them, we dropped off Bro. M and had ANOTHER dinner appointment, this time a fatty plate of curry chicken and rice and peas. SO full at this point. We get a call from a member telling us she cooked us dinner and we are to pick it up whenever we want. Round 3! It was crazy. We could hardly even touch round three, so it's saved in the fridge. Great birthday for sure.
Things in Santa Cruz are looking up. We had such a busy week. Tuesday we went to made the 2 hour drive to Negril and did a trade off with them. They are stellar missionaries over there. After a full day of that we drove up to Montego Bay and stayed the night there to attend their district meeting. Both companionships up there are training and both are doing very well. After district meeting we drove home and holy smokes, I was soooo tired driving. Much to tired to drive, which is saying something because we drive so much as it is. For some reason I felt dead to the world. I thought about pulling over and taking a quick nap but we pushed on and made it in one piece. Thursday was Labour Day so we got to help paint a school! It was a hoot, it was with the branch of the Jamaica Nation bank because one of our investigators (same on who cooked for us) works there. We met some awesome people and got a few contacts, well worth the time. I think that was the hook, line and sinker also for our investigator. We were painting machines!
We are working with some awesome people, two in particular who now have accepted baptism dates. C and S. We met C while doing our 'drive-by finding'. After 2 weeks of not having any contact with her we were finally able to swing by and say hello. Married, works as a banker, and has the cutest 9 month old baby boy. She was a little stand off-ish at first but when we met her it was a few days before the service project at the school so we offered to help and pulled through on our offer. The reason we met S was because we called C's phone once and S answered. We thought we had dialed the wrong number but asked if we could come and see her also. Turns out she just answered C's phone! We were very surprised to find out they were sisters. S has her degree in teaching. Yeah, awesome! They are honest seekers of truth. In our lessons they are always asking the right questions, they understand things they read and then it causes them to think and act on it- wahoo! We're very excited. We met C's husband yesterday also, he's a busy man and hard to catch, but got his number and are going to start meeting with all of them. I have a testimony of working effectively. It may seem more frustrating at times or like you're not doing as much but working effectively is always better than masking true progress by trying to fill a number. Simple as that.
This week is going to be great. We have a mission conference with Elder Cornish of the 70 on Friday in Kingston. Yep, that means Elder Romney and Elder Adamson are playing the role of bus driver Thursday and Friday! The office elders are dropping off the mission bus today (it's not a huge thing, more like an astro van with a bunch of seats) and Thursday we are picking up Mo Bay and Negril Elders (6) then sleeping in Sav, leaving Sav (with 4 more elders in the bus from Sav) by 6AM Friday morning, picking up Hopeton Elders (4 more) and the conference starts at 11AM. We're trying to see our investigators all before Thursday. Thing about it is that they all have jobs and get home at the same time, well worth the juggling of schedules though!
Saturday we had a funeral for a lady in our branch. Elder Adamson conducted it and I gave the dedicatory prayer at the graveside. It was a good experience. Of course, it starting pouring right as we got to the grave site. Giving a dedicatory prayer was a humbling experience. That's a priesthood ordinance I've never performed before. My outlook on death has changed drastically since my mission. Death is never an easy thing, that hasn't changed. When you told me about Sis. Farman my heart just sank into my stomach. I feel for that family and the hardships that this causes especially the ordeal that must have been in the way she passed. But President Hendricks gave some powerful insight in a ZLC. He told us that the day we die will be the happiest day we've ever experienced, so long as we are keeping faithful to our covenants. That's so true. The reason we fear death is because it's unknown what's on the other side. But really, there isn't anything unknown about it, so long as we are keeping our covenants. We are overjoyed at the birth of a child and saddened at the death of a loved one, but from an eternal perspective it should be the opposite. We are still saddened by the temporary separation from our loved ones, but that's all it is - temporary. Not to say that if any of you passed away right now I wouldn't be sad, but it brings comfort to me to know that we have a Heavenly Father who's plan makes it possible for us to be happy eternally even if we experience sadness temporarily.
When it comes to our diet and working out, this is crunch time for you and me Momma! No more slacking! haha I put on a fantastic suite the other day in Kingston- whoah, fit nice! Slim fit, tailored 38R jacket and 32 pants- I may buy it so I don't have to come home in the circus tent I have for a suit now haha I'm really glad we bought a cheap one. You were right yet again!
Crazy about my friends! Zach and Allie, A and Tiffany, Augie is coming home?? When he gets back makes sure to tell him hello for me! Which mission is Cody going to? Elder Worley's brother just got called to the Texas McAllen mission, Spanish speaking. He even goes to the Mexico MTC, that's how Spanish McAllen is.
Well I love you Mom! Have a great day working out in the yard!
Love you!
Elder Romney 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New investigators, pictures

You guys were busy! Crazy that Summer is already 16. I'll come home just in time to lay some butt whooping on anyone that tries to pull anything shady. True, I've got some new moves on butt kicking that I've learned from mi Jamaican bredren. Watch out.
Another week in the books. This week was alright. We have some great people we are working with and things are still pretty early. We had a few lessons with some new investigators we've met the past week - all have jobs, cars, and are married- cha ching! We're really hoping for them. None were at church but that's ok, usually the first week is a freebee. We tried to meet up with C and M. Called, no answer. Went to their house, they weren't home. Bummer. Big bummer. Life goes on though, I hope the best for them and their family.
We had a Friday night activity! The first one Santa Cruz has seen in quite sometime, I think it was a hit. We bought 4 gallons of ice cream (safe to say the diet was on hold for the last three days when it came to finishing that) some cones, and we watched the young women's broadcast from conference and then had a little talent show and ice cream afterwords. It was fun, we had about 10 people end up coming out, one of which was an investigator and the other who was a friend of a member- score! Elder Adamson and I played a couple songs on the guitar, I think it's either a cultural thing or they just love hearing different kind of music because when ever we bust out the guitars and sing and play, people go nuts and I KNOW its' not because we are that good haha It was fun though, Elder Adamson's and my band name is Every Other Thursday because every other Thursday we have a FAT meal appointment at Sis. W. So our investigator M was at the fun night, she's pretty cool. 20, her best friend who is living now in North Dakota is preparing for a mission, met her in a pharmacy where we was handing out fliers for the St. Elisabeth beauty pageant she entered (she ended up in the top 5 I think she said) she's way cool. About 30 minutes into it she got up and said she had to leave and was king of in a rush. We didn't think much of it until she texted us and said that she was on the way to the hospital because her 1 year old niece fell down a flight of stairs and was hurt pretty bad- WHY THE STAIRS??? again?? Yikes man, not good. So that was that, her niece is alright though. M won't be as busy this week because the pageant is over so we will be able to see her more which will be good. Lots of people with lots of potential, just gotta real it all in!
I've been reading the conference talks from April the past couple days- during conference I didn't get much out of it honestly, I felt like I got more out of the October conference.; But re reading the talks, whoa! I can't get though a whole talk without having 4 sticky notes posted up on the wall with quotes! So good, my favorite so far as been Tad. R. Callistars from priesthood session I think. It's about how the Lord trusts young men as priesthood holders. Favorite quote was "With increased vision comes increased motivation." True true true! That's something a mission has helped me a ton with is looking at things big pictures instead of little picture. In making decisions, managing time, helping other missionaries, trying to have the Lord's vision makes those decisions much easier to make and much more effective in the result. Pretty sweet.
Well that was our week this week. We played futbol in Mandeville with this half of the zone and the assistant and Kingston ZL's aka Elder Worley and Elder Hitchcock. I'll send a pic of the jersey's we rocked- They both have Spain jerseys and I have a Barcelona jersey which is a club team. I love those guys. and I love you! Have a great week! Pray that I won't get floured on Sunday! (They throw flour on birthday people... terrible tradition)
Elder Romney

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

green smoothies and tough experiences Pics

Good morning!
I can't believe mothers day is already next Sunday. Seems like yesterday Elder McLeod and I were at his house and I was skyping you from there. Time flies! Lets Skype at 6:30pm my time, so thats like 4:30 your time I guess. We count tithing, have a Branch Presidency meeting, then do some home teaching on Sundays so 6:30 would work out pretty perfect. I'm trying to track down a webcam. We are homies with the guy who runs this email shop, he said he'd open up Sunday for me. Thinking that may be the best option and most reliable! Fast computer already loaded with Skype and a webcam- just makes sense. That would be cool if Rob and Mark could comel. I can't wait to see you!
You love that little dog. It's almost like having a little baby in the house again. Hopefully he doesn't ferociously attack me the first time we meet. I think the way Henry felt about eating a foam ear plug is how I felt after starting my fast with Hamburger Helper. Yeah. Never again. You will actually be surprised to know that the Hamburger Helper I had was the most unhealthy thing I've had in probably 2 weeks. Elder Adamson is a health nut and also worked for VitaMix before his mission. VitaMix is a brand of blender that will litterally chop everything. Their competitor, BlendTec, is also an awesome blender. When I say blender what I really mean is a weed whacker motor with a container to catch all the shrapnel. Everyday for the past week we've been drinking green smoothies. I had one at the Dinkelmans once, but they are delicious. Watermelon with the skin, oranges with the pith, callaloo, cabbage, string beans, mango, basically anything you want you throw it in their whole, just chop it up into like fourths, add ice and a bit of water and blend. It comes out smooth as water, no chunks, no grit, it's amazing. I'll have to buy one eventually. They are $400 but worth every penny. I've never felt healthier maybe in my whole life. With 2-3 of those a day, an occasional tuna or egg salad sandwhich on wheat bread and running/jumproping every morning things are setting up nicely. I wasn't sure the Lord heard my prayers towards my diet and exercising . He did, and answered it in perfect timing!
This week was pretty good. After dropping all our investigators last week we went on the find for those who are prepared and can contribute. Bro. M has a classmate who asked him for a Book of Mormon. We went to go see him Wednesday night. He's an awesome kid. 19, self driven to be successful, going to electrictian school, and had read 4 chapters in the BoM already. We had a stellar lesson in which Bro. M accompanied us. His friend, T, is one of those who are considered an honest seeker of truth. He's been studying religions his whole life looking for the full truth. He committed to be baptized when the Lord answered his prayers. We left him with the testimony of Joseph Smith to read until we came back. Came back Friday, brought a young man from the branch with us also, and he actually read. The whole thing! We were so excited. He recited it back near perfectly, his comprehension is incredible. We had a lesson on the Restoration, another Spirit-filled lesson. I think the Spirit was so strong in his lessons is because we finally had an environment where it was quite and calm and easy to recognize. At the end of his lesson he had a few questions about the Plan of Salvation- perfect, that's what we are going to teach you next time. We gave him it in a nutshell to ease his curiosity of our beliefs, met his great family, and then left. We were feeling so good about T. Finally someone who is ready and willing to act. We got a call from Bro. M that night and he said he would forward a text he got from T. In effect the text said to Bro. M, "I don't want to hurt your feelings but I don't want the missionaries to come back for now. I can't believe what you believe." UGGGGGGGG. That was a bit of a sucker punch to the gut but we are sure he will come around eventually. He's a good kid. Maybe just faced some opposition.

We have 2 more people who have the potential to be fantastic. One we met this week who works at the post office and has a child, he and his baby's mother want to get married and baptized, then another young lady who's 20 and already a teacher who has a friend preparing for a mission- her friend lives in North Dakota. We've only had one lesson with her as she is swamped with work and promoting the St. Elizabeth beauty pageant she is competing in but after the pageant is done we are hoping her schedule will loosen up.

Tuesday we were in Kingston for Elder Adamson's nose check up. He broke it about a month ago and had surgery but the doc said it's looking good. Thursday was ZLC and President laid it down as always. His main focus points were teaching doctrine to solve concerns and fore ordination/being a literal representative of Jesus Christ. Whoa. It was awesome. It's always so hard to try and communicate what he says to the zone because he teaches so powerfully. I'm teaching about teaching doctrine to solve concerns. We have such a big zone now- the visa waiters visa's came through so we now have 5 brand new missionaries and 3 who've been out 3 or less transfers. It's exciting to see so many new faces and see that the mission is now theirs. This isn't the same mission I came into 22 months ago. It's much better!
We've chopped some serious bush this week- we're talking hacking down trees with machetes. han tuff yu nuh!
Well I'll attach some pics of our green smoothie adventures. I'm telling you mom, this is exactly what you need. We may have to go half-sies on one when I get back, this seriously makes eating healthy easy and the best way to get your fruits and veggies in. I love you! See you Sunday at 4:30/6:30!
Elder Romney
                                When it is your birthday in Jamaica, you get flour poured on you!

                                                     The great green smoothie!

So many choices for blending!

Friday, May 3, 2013

driving ALL over!!!

Good morning!

What a week. Things are getting changed around here in Santa Cruz and I'm loving it! My new companion, his name is Elder Adamson. He's from Mesquite, Nevada, he's almost 24, actually his birthday is may 24th two days before mine. He's the man! I feel like I say that about all my companions. I'm still not sure why the Lord saw fit to bless me with the best companions I could ever ask for, but I won't question the call. He's been on his mission for 15 months and served in Cayman for 6 of that. He's a solid missionary and a great friend.
I feel like in my past 6 emails have been all about how much we drive. Well it's true haha 1000 km in 3 days for transfers. But we were able to do some good work with the few days we had in our area. Basically everyone we've been teaching the past 6 weeks, we are not teaching anymore. We had the realization that if we want the kingdom in Jamaica to grow we are going to have to stop teaching people who aren't keeping their commitments. That's always how it's worked, that's how missionary work goes, you can't drag people into heaven. Usually after dropping your whole teaching pool their are feelings of slight discouragement followed by and equal feeling of readiness to make things happen. But there isn't any discouragement in this one. 

I feel more excited than every to go find someone who is ready to take the gospel and to make a contribution to the branch. Everyone needs the chance to be baptized and enter the kingdom but we just looked at things realistically and the people we were teaching weren't progressing. Sadly M and C and their family fall into that category. We haven't had a drop lesson with them yet because they've been avoiding our phone calls, but this week we will drop by and let them know why we can't come anymore. That's all we've had this week was drop lessons. It's not in a rude or mean way, but so that our investigators see that we are here for much more than just a bible study. This is eternal life. If they aren't on board, we can't teach them anymore. It doesn't mean they won't ever be ready, just not now.
So that was the majority of our week haha We are really excited to hit the ground running with finding. I feel great!

Prom as a first date? Whoah, I think that would be that little girls dream. I guess we will see about that one, eh? And I don't care how much you complain about Henry, you LOVE that little dog haha I got your package! And the DVD worked! Thank you so much! I love watching those, im sure Elder Adamson thinks my family is nuts, but we are, so thats ok. Summer and Mac are getting so stinking good at their instruments! I can't wait to hear Summer play the guitar too, we can have a serious jam session! I'll need someone to jam with as Robbie is engaged and will be married before I get home! How crazy is that. I'm excited for him. That will be great!
Thanks for the update on the driving stuff and such. I'd comment on them all but we are crammed for time today! Crazy that we get to talk in like, what, 3 weeks? two weeks? Final skype session! 

Well that's all I have time for today, we are buzzing out to Mandeville to spend time with this half of the zone. I love you mom! I had a dream the other night and it was you and dad and me, we were just driving around and talking. it was nice :) Love you!

Elder Romney 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Being the Elder in a dream, strong spiritual experiences

Good afternoon!
We just got back from Little Ochi- this fantastic seafood restaurant right on the beach in Alligator Pond, about 40 minutes away. The Spanish Town ZL's and two companionships from their zone came out and then us and the Junction Elders and Sisters. It was such a hoot! Jerk lion fish, the ocean, good company, and a soccer ball. Can't beat it. I've developed a love for soccer on my mission- weird I know, since soccer is banned at our house haha But I really enjoy it. I got a couple knock off jersey's to add to the appearal. Pretty sweet!
Henry cracks me up. Imagine if humans pee'd a little when they got excited to see a friend. Huggies would be the top company to invest in. Thank you so much for printing those emails! They are like a journal to me, yeah. Missionaries say that when you get with a companion you struggle with your journal becomes fantastic because you don't have much to talk about- well, I haven't experienced that yet so my journal suffers because of it. Big stuff will make it in there. I'm sure I'll regret it. So thanks for the little book of emails home!
Elder Nugent, yes, my companion for only another 2 days. I can't believe it's already transfers. He is going to be the next assistant with Elder Worley and a missionary named Elder Adamson will be my companion. I'm bummed Elder Nugent and I only spent one transfer together, he's an all star missionary and a great friend. Yes, his dad is Jamaican and his mom is from Utah. His grandpa, grandma and father were the first baptized in Jamaica.
This week was a roller coaster but we had some awesome experiences. We are teaching a lady named Y who is the sister in law of an investigator. We were getting to know her and explaining our purpose as missionaries, it went really well, she's an awesome woman who's come through a lot to be where she's at. At the end of the lesson she says "I knew you guys where going to come see me." We were like, "What? How?" She proceeded to explain how the night before our visit she dreamed that a white truck parked at the end of her hill and two white people in white shirts and ties came and taught her about Jesus Christ (Elder Nugent is considered white by Jamaicans). I've always heard stories about people having dreams that the missionaries would be sent to them but this is the first time I've been the missionary sent- it was a Spirit filled moment and she explained her dream. We have high hopes for Y. She's keeping her reading commitments and has a great little family.What a blessing.
The next experience from this week was the lesson with M, C and their family and it was emotions from both sides of the spectrum. Our lesson with them and their three kids was awesome! We taught about the restoration and how God answers prayers, they understood everything, very involved,  and tying everything into how their family can be eternal. it was actually quite outside so the Spirit was easy to recognize. At the end of the lesson we invited the whole family to kneel and have M offer a prayer asking if this is the path that Heavenly Father wants he and his family to take. We knelt down, all 7 of us on the concrete floor. M didn't understand that he was to pray aloud so he was praying in his head which was alright. We knelt for a good 5 minutes and I can honestly say that lesson was one of the most powerful outpourings of the Spirit I've felt during a prayer. I literally thought my bosom was going to go up in flames. I was certain everyone on the block could feel of that Spirit. Right as M got up from his prayer we sat in silence for a moment and asked him how he felt. His demeanor was almost angelic- a smile and just saying "I felt something, I felt something. I feel so good. I think I've almost got my answer." We were about to confirm that he did have his answer when C's phone rang and chaos ensued. At the exact moment when M and their family were going to commit to be baptized on May 18th, they received that call. In retrospect all I can think about is how when Moses saw the glorious vision of time and the whole earth and how Satan was their to immediately oppose that. SO FRUSTRATING! We haven't been able to get a hold of them since. Sunday morning we called and they confirmed that they would be at church. They weren't there. They are so ready for the gospel it makes me feel sick thinking about letting them slip away. BUT we will link back up with them and see where they are at. I'm not concerned. But it was a very Spiritual experience being in that lesson, I'm grateful for a Heavenly Father who allows us 20 year old young men to experience things like this.
This week is transfer week- out to Mo Bay and back Tuesday night, Spanish Town to Hopeton to Sav to Negril and back to Santa Cruz Wedneday. There is a mileage limit but no one has ever told us what it is so we just drive. With the zone being so spread out (half the island) and doing tradeoffs and district meetings in a different area each week, it's a lot of drive time. But the experience is sweet. I love working with other missionaries. It's a hoot. I'm really excited to serve with Elder Adamson. He's a stellar missionary and It's looking like he may be my last companion. Craziness.
I love you! Have a wonderful week!

Elder Romney
PS- I sent the driving paper thing through FedEx last wednesday so keep an eye out for it. Thanks!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blessings of faith

Good morning!
Ya, good call on not forging the signature. I'm sure that Spokane County Jail gets pretty good phone reception though, you could use your 30 minutes of phone time to talk to me! haha I printed off the paper just now, I'll fill it out and send it. Problem is that I don't know where a FedEx is... I know there isn't one in Santa Cruz. I'll have to tell the zone to keep a look out for a FedEx in their area. It's super expensive to send stuff as well, so be prepared for like a $60 sending fee. When the office sends us stuff to the Bahamas, it's like $55 for sending one sheet of paper. Yeah, hosed again. But thank you for taking care of this for me. I realized it would expire pretty soon and was ready to just hand the keys to my companion but this way is better. Thank you!
Mark is home! That is so crazy! We got to email the last three weeks of his mission which was nice. I feel the same way too when I run into people here I haven't seen in a while. You should've seen the Mandeville fun day, I was handing out hugs and handshakes like it was my job. I like what you said about maybe that's what it's like in the celestial kingdom, seeing everyone again. That's what happened in my dream last night. EVERYONE from my mission was all congregated in a central location. Companions, members, investigators, converts, it was an awesome dream. When the alarm went off at 5:15, I had to let it go another 5 minutes to finish it up.
Linley is pregnant??? Since when?? Shooks, I feel like the I'm going to have to have a sit down and get to know the new cousins. Austin and Paisley won't have a clue who I am. You're right, every one's birthday this year is a milestone. That didn't even cross my mind. I feel the same way though, Mac and Summer to me are the same 12 and 14 year olds they were when I left. Henry sounds like a handful. The dogs here are crazy. But the way to make them stop barking is to pretend to grab a stone from the ground and they take off running like their tail is on fire. Or actually grab a stone and it's the same effect. Dogs are nothing to people here, but if you mess with someones goat you better run because you will have the owner chasing you down with a machete. That's a lesson young missionaries learn very quickly from their trainers here "DON'T mess with the goats."
Well this week was quite a great week. Monday we went out to Jack Sprat and kicked it on the beach. Jack Sprat is that sweet little pizza and seafood restauraunt on Treasure Beach outside of Junction. That was a lot of fun, we had half the zone there (Mandeville and Junction Sisters, Juntion Elders and Hopeton Elders). Today we are headed out to Negril for P-day with Sav Elders and Negril Elders then we will do splits with Negril, then tomorrow morning head back to Sav for a baptism interview. We drive so much here!
Wednesday we had Zone Meeting. We have Zone Meeting the week after Zone Leader Council every month. It went really well, It's usually lasts about 3 hours and Elder Nugent and I do most of the teaching. I love teaching in that kind of setting. I don't want to be a teacher at all as a profession, but teaching as a missionary is the best. We focused on how we as missionaries can learn from the Lord by improving our prayers, the importance of the Book of Mormon in extending invitations and then the doctrine of desire. Basically we just take what President Hendricks taught at ZLC and teach it to the zone. It's great. The Assistants came out to for it and then Elder Worley and I went back to Kingston and did a trade off. I love that guy, he and Elder Hitchcock, and Elder Taylor (who is doing very well on the homefront by the way). The Kingston ZL's and Assistants share a sweet house now so I got to see both Elder Hitchcock and Elder Gray. We didn't get to teach as much as we would've liked due to a meeting with the Branch President and our appointments dropping through and the drive time back to meet up with Elder Hefner and Nugent but it was a good trade off nonetheless. We had a family home evening with some members and we had the lesson- Elder Worley and I didn't miss a beat with our teaching together- just like the olden days! haha Good to see those guys again.
Sunday was quite the day. I will start this story by bearing my testimony that fasting is a truly powerful way to receive blessings God is willing and ready to grant us. I fasted for the purpose to strengthen my faith. I got what I asked for. We had planned a terrific day out after church, the highlight being the lesson we would have with C and M and their whole family (yes, I said a married couple with four kids and a car, can you say score?) Thursday's lesson with C and M was so great. We originally planned to explain that if they weren't going to act that we couldn't teach them, but M was home as well and so we taught both of them together- I felt prompted that we needed to talk about eternal families (which was something we had already planned on teaching but never had the chance to teach the, together). Elder Nugent finishes the opening prayer and says, without communicating anything to me "Tonight we wanted to talk about families". Can you say Spiritual prompting between companions who are on the same page? Check! It was awesome, great lesson, M was literally giddy about us coming back over to teach the whole family. So we planned that lesson for Sunday at 4. Before our Branch Presidency meeting The 1st councilor (and only councilor) suggested that we go to the hospital in Black River where a member's 7 year old son is and give him a blessing. He had a really bad asthma attack and had been in the hospital for 5 days. We felt really good about going so we called President Hendricks and got permission to go to Black River. There was a branch there but it's been closed for almost 20 years and to go there you need permission from the mission president. So we finish out meeting, do the tithing, hop in the truck and look at the gas gauge- less than 1/8th of a tank. Great. Our bad, should have filled up Saturday.  Oh this story gets better, so not only are we supposed to make the 60 kilometer round trip to Black River, but also the 50 kilometer round trip to Nain where a member had been planning on feeding us all week... on 1/8 of a tank? Yikes. I was praying in my head the whole way to Black River hoping that our gas would at least get us there and back to Santa Cruz. We had to cancel the lesson with Milton and Claudia. As soon as we got to Black River the glass light went on- great. We figured we'd have about 50 kilometers left until we were Found On Road Dead (we drive a Ford Ranger, get it?) We give the blessing, it went very well, then we start our journey back to Santa Cruz. By the time we reached Santa the needle was flat on E. We weren't about to buy gas so we just kept going. I honestly thought we would run out. I thought "There is NO way we can make it the almost 100 kilometers on empty. No possible way. Even if God wanted to help us He wouldn't because it was our own fault for not filling up." But we went on. The dinner appointment was wonderful, chicken, pork, rice and peas, then bread pudding and ice cream for dessert. Absolutely delicious. We finish up, get back in the truck, the needle is now hovering below the line. We took a different road than when we came and were able to coast much of the 25 km home. And sure enough, we pulled into our house without a problem and had enough gas to get to the station to fill up this morning. It may sound like a silly story, but I know that Heavenly Father was watching out for us. You don't just travel 100 km on empty. I feel like when I have had experiences where I've drawn closer to the Lord, many of them I have put myself in the pickle. He merciful and His grace is sufficient for all those who repent and come unto Him. I know that to be true.
C and M tie into all of this as well. M fabricates and welds burglar bars for peoples houses (everyone has bars over their windows, porches, and doors). We offered to drive them up to the house where he would install them, hence why we got up at 5:15 this morning so we could help him. He asked for our help yesterday but we explained that we should avoid doing our work on the Sabbath. So we drove them up this morning and in talking with them after, M says they were all watching the clock waiting for us to come. The whole family was there ready and waiting and when we called and had to cancel they were SO disappointed. We felt so bad, thankfully we are rescheduled for Tuesday evening. There is such a difference between those who are prepared and who are not yet prepared. M and family are anxiously awaiting for the Gospel and to come to church Sunday. There isn't any dragging involved, only encouragement. I know the Lord is preparing people for His gospel, especially now as He is hastening His work.
We gotta run, it's a two hour drive to Negril so we better hit the road. I love you! Have a fantastic week!
Elder Romney

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jamaica Reunion!!!! Pics!

Good morning!
Conference was sweet! I really enjoyed it. We watched it here in Santa Cruz. I took a picture of the set up but forgot my camera this morning to sent it. Oops. I'd rock an Elder Holland foam finger. Crazy that this was my last general conference as a missionary! Ah! Where has the time gone? As always, we had plenty of GC snacks to go around- between Elder Nugent and I and a little bit of sharing we ate a 2 and a half pound back of butterscotch candies... and boy did we feel it this morning! haha The tradition of General Conference snacks had to go on though. I think my favorite talk was the one about how to have a happy marriage. I didn't bring my notes with me this morning, but if Jamaica (and the rest of the world) would adhere to that council, families would be so much happier everywhere. That is something that President Hendricks touched on in Zone Conference as well. He was talking about our relationships with our companions and that if you have the mindset of "My first priority is to make sure my companion (or in his case, spouse) is happy" and your companion/spouse has the same mindset you're marriage will last. That selflessness and then keeping the covenants you've made. Two ways to make a marriage last. I'm telling ya, a mission is the best marriage training haha
So this week was pretty crazy. Not in the sense that a lot of crazy things happened, more in the sense that just a lot happened. Monday we went to Mandeville where they were having a combined district fun day. I got to see members from Maypen, Old Harbour, and Spanish Town, and Junction! That was so sweet. I'd name drop but there was over 1000 people there and I can't even recall how many I was excited to see- so many. When Elder Nugent and I showed up, there were 15 buses parked outside the Mandeville church. I didn't even know we had that many members on this island! Anyways, we had to go to the bathroom SO bad, we drank a lot of water that morning, so we resolved to hit the bathroom first then mix and mingle- not EVEN close to happenin, which was fine. Before we even get to the gate of the church lot Elder Nugent has a member from Kingston who wants to give us something, so we head back to the car twice. Finally get to the gate and there is Khevar (formerly known as Elder McLeod) so we are chatting, and then J comes up we we start chatting, then Mama H, and then AT&T and J from Old Harbour came and then... you see the picture. and we had stepped in like 5 steps onto the property. I felt like a celebrity haha It was SO awesome to see everyone, they are all doing really well. After about 30 minutes we made it to the building to use the facilities, but it was a sweet p-day. After a couples hours we left, and then decided to come back just to honk as as went by. I should mention that there wasn't enough food to feed everyone so by the end of the day people were pretty cranky and hungry. Before I could even say bun n cheese I had this box of food in my hands and was literally running from people trying to snag it all and take it for themselves. It was insanity. I put the box down at the front, the district relief society president took over, and then Elder Nugent and I made a mad dash back to the truck haha It was pretty awesome.
Tuesday was Zone Conference in Sav. I love Zone Conference. It's so instructive and learning from President Hendricks is so sweet. I could listen to that guy teach all day. It was a very similar zone conference as we had back in July, about being the 4th missionary. Since we have so many new missionaries I think President wants to instill this attitude right from the get go. I've got a couple talks Mac needs to read right before he goes on his mission. The Assistants focused on the commitment pattern- Teach Doctrine, Invite/Commit, Promise Blessings, Bear Testimony, Follow Up- this is how a missionary teaches all day every day. As President says "Wake Up. Live the Commitment Pattern. Go to Bed. Repeat." The life of a missionary. It was very instructive and I was able to pick out places I can improve. I think my favorite was when President taught the doctrine of becoming, that we are agents of ourselves and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can change our natures. I really liked that. When we say things like "That's just who I am" "That's just my nature", that's not true. That is implying we can't change. A man said to a jail worker who talk prisoners how to be better citizens "Why do you try? You know leopard can't change their spots." the jail worker said "I don't work with leopards, I work with men., and men change everyday." So true.
Wednesday we stayed in Sav and did spits with the Elders there. There is two companionships so we each went with one. They are some awesome missionaries. I was able to see the whole D family, K, R, K, N and the G's. They are all doing really well. Mama D is engaged! I'm so happy for her. S and A are growing up! A is already 10 and S is 15! AH! I'm getting old.
Thursday we drove into Kingston for a meeting with the Zone Leaders, Assistants, and President. More training! This was my favorite meeting out of any of them. 3 hours of one on one instruction from President Hendricks- fantastic. That went really well. We take what we learn from Zone Leader Council (ZLC) and then teach it in Zone Meeting the following Wednesday (this Wednesday). My favourite part was the doctrine of desire. I didn't think this was something you could teach, that desire was an attribute that has to just be acquired by someone personally. But that's not true. Desire is an eternal principle. My favourite quote was from Neil A. Maxwell. I don't remember it word for word, I forgot my notes, but it went something like 'what we desire most in this life is what we become and receive in the eternities', something like that. Basically we become what we desire, so if you're a missionary and desire to be somewhere else, well then that's what you will receive. You serve with all your might, mind and strength, but withhold your heart. If you with hold your heart and don't make this your desire, the Atonement can't change you because you won't let it. Powerful stuff.
Ok, so no more checklist of the days, Friday was a great day, we actually got to teach our investigators. We had two come to conference and I think they really enjoyed it. One man who is a friend of many members came out of the blue and we will be teaching him. He loved conferences. He's an older gentleman with a cane but he said that he planned on coming to our church today no matter what. He go out on the road and it started to rain a bit but he said no matter what he was coming today. He said he'd be coming back, we are visiting him Tuesday. Definitely a blessing.
Yes we have names for our zones. We have the Kingston Zone, Spanish Town Zone, Mandeville Zone (our zone) then the Bahamas Zone. The only one I haven't served in is Kingston. Within each zone there is a number of different areas. In our zone there is 7 areas and 21 missionaries (including us and our area). This is the biggest our mission has ever been and there is no sign of it stopping growth. Exciting!
Henry the dog! What a cutie. His nick name is blingpup. That's sweet you are bumping up your workouts. thinking about running 6 miles makes me quiver haha
Well I love you Mom! Have a great week! I'll send pictures later.
Elder Romney

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easters! lots of pics

Happy Easters!
You guys saw that video? HA! That's awesome. Crazy what technology can do these days. That was at transfers, you're right. He wanted one final performance before he went home so we popped the tailgate of a truck and sang out little hearts out. We are headed to Mandeville for a District fun day today so I'll get to see him. Crazy that we wrote that song a year ago- time is still flying by... in the twinkling of an eye.... as i sit... ok, enough of that.
There is so much information packed into your email that it blows my mind. SO awesome about Haley and her mission papers. Maybe the Lord needs here here in Jamaica?? I'll start putting it in my prayers haha Just kidding, I think she's going to Missoula. :) Mary already got married? That's fantastic, are they living in Spokane? That's great the Lee's were sealed together, what a blessing. Does Tony know where he's going yet? I can't keep everyone's mission stuff straight. Who are the Daltons again?
Well it was a happy easters in deed. This started out with P-Day in Port Royal with the whole kingston and Spanish Town Zones playing capture the flag in this sweet run down fort, I'll send pictures. That was a hoot, after that we went back to the Assistants house and I gave Elder Worley and Elder Hitchcock a haircut. Dem a mi breddren! This week was Zone Conference off island so Elder Worley got to go back to Nassau! He actually called me when he was there and I got to talk E and M and M. E is doing really well, he's picked up a bunch of work which is awesome. He might even come work in Jamaica! That would be sweet. M is expecting her mission call any minute now and M is is doing really well also. We went to Montego Bay Tuesday to Wendesday to do a trade off with the Elders there. Two companionships are in Mo Bay now so I went with one and Elder Nugent went with the other. It went really well, we were able to do some good training. Elder Nugent and I went running Wednesday morning (as we have worked out every morning since I've been in Santa Cruz). Our original plan was to just run to the church and back which was only 2 kilometers. Well... many wrong turns and 30 minutes later we were SO lost. and it didn't help that the day before all we had eaten was peanuts. That was an adventure. When we were driving around Mo Bay with the other Elders and told them where we were running they said "You were all the way out here? How on Earth did you get that lost?" They underestimated my lack of directional skills. Good Friday is a holiday here as is today, Easter Monday, so everything has been closed but there are SO many people on the streets and SO many parties. Pretty sad when much of the population celebrates the ressurection of our Saviour by throwning super raw pool parties.
Church was awesome. We had almost 50 people there! We had chairs out on the veranda of the house we hold church in. The building used to be a doctors office. It was so great to see so many people there. Saturday night we were having a lesson with L, S, and T. L is S's mother and T is the neighbor. So we were teaching about the Plan of Salvation, great lesson, and we asked how their preperations for church were coming and they said they couldn't handle the walking anymore and couldn't come. It's about 10 kilometers one way from their house to the church and they walk it every Sunday hoping that along the road someone will stop to pick them up. They have so much faith, I've only been here for 3 weeks but I've seen changes in all of their lives and countenances. They are happy. But as we all get sometimes, they were pretty discouraged and the thought of having to walk in the Jamaican sun all the way to church again was unbearable. We offered to walk with them and they all shot up and said "yes! We will be leaving at 7." So Elder Nugent and I drove to their house at 7 Sunday morning, parked the truck and we all made the two hour long walk together. It's the first time an investigator has taken up our offer to walk and I'm so grateful they did. We sang songs, we played eye spy, we cheered each other on up the big hills, they are troopers. They were able to get fare to catch taxi home, there's always blessings from coming to church!
Taking the Sacrament is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I knew it was important before my mission but it's not just important, it's essential to our salvation. If we do not take the Sacrament each week, we are not renewing our covenants. If we aren't renewing our covenants we are not worthy of Jesus Christ, D&C 98:14-15. So crucial! I wish everyone would take it to heart and take seriously the promises they've made to Heavenly Father.
This week will be quite the week. Mandeville today, Sav for Zone Conference and trade off Tuesday and Wednesday, Kingston for Zone Leader Council Thursday, Friday in Santa Cruz, then Saturday and Sunday General Conference! Whoo hoo! Going to be quite the week. I'm so excited for General Conference. It's my last one as a missionary... that feels strange to say. I get way more out of conference as a missioanry the I ever did back home. 
Well I love you mom! you're my favorite mom! ;) Have a great week, don't let Henry the beagle pee on the carpet. Love you!
Elder Romney  

Monday, March 25, 2013

reconnecting with friends

Good Morning!
I'm can't keep track of how many people come in and out of our house anymore! haha It's good to see that the McCreadie crew is doing well. I wonder if there is any relation to Elder McCreadie, a missionary that served here. Only reason I say that is because Elder McCreadie was super tall as well. How is their oldest boy doing? I remember the last time we saw them he as like 6'9'' and still growing and already having college scouts look at him when he was 16. Give them all a big hug for me!
That's great Gram is working in the temple- that's something I want to do when I become a seasoned veteran in the life category. I bet it's fun to see them more often.
Well as for this week, it was awesome! Sunday was fantastic, we had 3 investigators and 2 less active members come back to church. It's refreshing to see the fruits of your labours when Sunday comes around. We are teaching two 14 year old girls. We had a cool experience with service with them. They raise chickens to kill and sell to locals here in Santa and surrounding areas and every 3-6 weeks they have to kill and pluck them... guess who plucked their first chicken?? I did! It was... quite the experience. I will save you the gruesome details, but I now have first hand experience with the phrase "running around like a chicken with its head cut off". Thankfully I wasn't on head cutting duty, I was on pluck-the-feathers-off-the-smelly-chicken-boiled-in-scalding-hot-water duty. It was something; a great skill to slap on a resume back home. Anyways, we did that for about an hour and a half for the girl's mom who isn't a member.  Yesterday we watched the Restoration DVD with the girls and L (the one girls mother who is a member) and D (the other girls mother) came in and gave us some fried chicken from the chickens we plucked and sat down and listened to the last part of the lesson. We invited her to watch the DVD again with the girls and promised that if she prayed to know if it was true that Heavenly Father would answer her. I'm sure she watched the DVD because the girls were  SO excited to watch it again with he and explain everything that was going on. Great experience.
Also this week... I went back to Junction!! We did a trade off from Tuesday to Wednesday and I got to see everyone from Junction. The H's, N, M, R, the whole crew! The H's, I LOVE that family. I didn't realize how much I missed them until I came back. They are doing so well. J just turned 14 and was ordained a teacher, T just turned 12 and has the Aaronic priesthood, T is SUCH a cutie, she's already 10 now! And Momma H is so good, so solid in the gospel. She looked so so happy. She and D go visiting teaching, she's the 1st councilor in the Relief Society, or Young Women's... I can't remember... but she's doing spectacular. So good to see them. N, M and R are doing well also. Their getting big too! N is way taller than me now, M has been going to school this whole year, R is still the little butterball he was when I left, they are doing well. Junction, St. Elizabeth = my home in Jamaica.
This week will be full of driving. Headed to Kingston today for P-day (Elder Worley is headed back to Nassau tomorrow! Whoo hoo! I sent him with a bunch of letters for people.) , then tonight we will drive to Montego Bay to do a trade off and stay for District Meeting on Wednesday, and then drive back to Santa Cruz. About 8 hours driving in total. Good thing Elder Nugent and I are road warriors. We get along so well, I'm always blown away at how I always end up with awesome companions. I've learned so much from each of my companions. I know the Lord put me with each of them to learn something from them and apply it to my life. This may have been the only way the Lord could shape me into who he wanted me to be- by serving a mission in the Caribbean and with the select Elders I've served with.
We had the funeral this week as well. That was a good experience. It was in an Anglican church so there wasn't any hooting and hollering, pretty reverent. It was interesting to see another church service and how they do things. When we went to the grave site it started pouring rain. There must've been a memo on the collection plate saying, "Bring an umbrella, it's going to pour cats and dogs" because we missed the memo AND were the only one's standing in what felt like Noah's Flood part two without an umbrella. No worries still, the family was grateful for our help in the service and we were able to have some pretty good teaching moments at the small gathering at the house afterwords.
Well It's Elder Nugent's turn on the computer. I was thinking about it, do you think you could print off all my emails home and put them into a little book? I think that would be a cool little thing to have after my mission. I sure love you Mom!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Santa Cruz

Good Morning!

You guys sound like you had quite the week! New puppy proof scheming, Haley is taking Catie Couric's spot as journalist of the year, Summer is training to race Usain Bolt, and Mac is preparing to slay the ladies at the dances- all good things! My email today is going to have to be pretty short as I am uploading a bunch of pictures on this dinosaur computer!

So Santa Cruz! This week has been quite the journey to get here. First at foremost, transfer day was a hoot as always. Elder Taylor went home!! It was so strange saying goodbye to him, we shared some tears but he emailed me this morning and he's doing really well. So from Spanish Town we had so many missionaries that were coming back to our zone Elder Nugent (my new companion who is awesome, he's from Provo, his Grandpa was the first member of the church in Jamaica) he had to drive the mission bus and then I took the Ranger. Just about everything that could go wrong went wrong haha It turned out to be pretty comical. I missed our turn in the round about twice, got onto the highway 2000 and the first checkpoint I got in the wrong lane so we had to have all the cars behind us reverse so we could switch lanes, then the second checkpoint we couldn't find the highway card for like 5 minutes, then it started pouring rain so all our stuff got wet, we put a tarp over it in the rain, we reached Sav at about 10pm and stayed the night there. The next morning we drove out to Montego Bay, back to Sav to pick up the bus, then back to Santa Cruz. PLENTY driving! Driving in Jamaica was super weird. Right hand drive, left hand side, but I got the hang of it again pretty quick. We have some awesome missionaries in our zone, 3 brand new ones being trained and one who's in the second transfer of being trained. Pretty young but very vibrant. Awesome!

So Santa Cruz- it's a branch much like Junction. I guess the differences would be that Junction had a lot of priesthood and here in Santa there is maybe about 4 active Melchizedek priesthood holders. But church was fantastic. We had about 18 people there by the end of sacrament meeting, very friendly and loving of the missionaries. I love this side of the island, it's a very different feel than the east side. Not busy, not rushed, just a good farm town of Jamaica. I'm loving it here. We are teaching like 2 sincere persons, but there's a lot of potential for the branch here. I was called as the clerk again. Clerky duties (Nacho Libre voice). I like it. The branch president is awesome, gung ho about the gospel and been a member for years. My companion Elder Nugent is the man, like I said his Grandpa was the first member in Jamaica, his dad is Jamaican, so he's half Jamaica. I've been blessed with the greatest companions on my mission. Crazy to think that I'll probably only have one more after Elder Nugent! He could even be my last companion, crazy town. 

We had a pretty cool experience this week. We received a phone call from a great lady named C. She explained to us that her mother, Sis. S, had passed away and that she was a member of our church. She loved the missionaries so much that before she died she asked that the missionaries in Santa Cruz be pall bearers. We were touched by the invitation and gladly accepted. Last night we went to the home of C who was there with here sister and some cousins (C and here sister are daughters of the lady who passed) and all over the couch were old pictures of Bro. and Sis. S. Bro. S passed away about 10 years ago and was a very active member as well and had missionaries be two of his pall bearers also. Looking through the pictures of missionaries gone before us and the great example they were to these members makes me realize how special our time is here on the mission and that it has a much more lasting effect then I think somtimes we give credit. We had a great discussion about the plan of salvation and I shared my experience with Grandpa's passing. The veil is very thin between us and our loved ones and I'm so grateful for that. The funeral is Thursday at 2PM in a beautiful church tucked in a valley and in front of a mountain that looks like a picture out of the Sound of Music. 

Well I'm going to send all these pictures, they tell 1000 words. I love you Mom! Have a wonderful day! 

Elder Romney