Elders McCleod and Romney

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