Elders McCleod and 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