First week in the mission field. I have got a lot to say! I don't have a ton of time to write so I will try to get as much in as I can.
I was assigned to serve in the Atlanta East zone. The area I am serving in is called the Lithionia area. Atlanta is much different from Utah. Hahaha. I am the minority. When I go into a store I am usually the only white person in there. My trainer's name"S" are Elder Hansen, and Elder Heimuli. Yes, I have two trainers. Hahaha. They are the zone leaders for the zone and Elder Hansen is going home in 6 weeks. So once he leaves Elder Heimuli will be my companion. Let me first start off by telling you how incredibly blessed I am. I know that God knows me better than I do. I know he loves me and cares about me IMMENSELY. I know this because I have been assigned to serve with two of the greatest people ever. Elder Hansen is a carbon copy of my Dad, and God knows that there is no one else I'd rather train me in the mission field than my Dad. He is loving, caring, understanding, and an incredible leader. The other missionaries call him "Prophet Hansen." He is really smart and spiritual. My other companion is a really tall Tongan. God also knows that I love Tongans and love people that like the same things I do. Elder Heimuli is me in Tongan form. We listen to all of the same music and have very similar style. In the MTC I did not meet one person that knew who Brand New was or even Taking Back Sunday. HE LOVES THEM, and I love him for loving them. Hahaha.
So I'll tell you about my experiences so far. I am already in an odd situation by being trained by two zone leaders. To add to the oddness we are white-washing an area and creating a new zone. So I have had my work cut out for me. When you white wash an area you replace both of the Elders in the area. So we have no one telling us about the people or where we should go. Besides the notes they left us. We have met some amazing people. I will tell you about three people. I do not have a lot of time. The library I am at only gives you an allotted time for the computers. So I am sorry if I can't get everything in.
The first person Brandon Corely. Brandon has been a member of the Church for 1 year. He was the first person that we taught. Brandon looks a lot like Ludacris and talks like him too. He has two young kids, a boy and a girl (they are both adorable). Brandon doesn't have a phone so we just dropped by. We dropped by because he was on the less active list. When he opened the door I was not expecting the reaction he gave. He opened the door smiled and said, "Elders, where have you been? I have been waiting to meet you!" and gave us a good handshake and a hug. Brandon just recently got out of jail and has been on probation. I don't think I should go into detail but he has had a rough life. He found the gospel and has been cleaning up his life. He wants to receive the priesthood and get sealed in the temple to his family. He has an amazing testimony. His testimony of Joseph Smith is inspirational. He knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet. He has read all about Joseph Smith from both sides (the LDS side and the Anti-LDS) side. Nothing can shake his testimony. It was really funny hearing him talk about Joseph. He looks up to him so much and wants to endure to the end just like Joseph did.
The second person that I want to talk about is a man named Bro. Burgs. The best way to know what this man is like is watching finding Nemo and analyzing the character "Crush". Or going on youtube and watching the channel goodneighborstuff and watching Kyle do his cool guy impressions. He is the coolest man I have ever met. He is from our ward, the Twin Oaks Ward (I'll tell you more about it in a second). This man is a tall skinny guy. He is married and has two kids. He doesn't do up his top button and won't have his tie done up all the way. He looks like a surfer punk. Yet this man is a testament to the saying "do not judge a book buy it's cover". This man is full of love and the spirit. He is hilarious! Bro Burgs volunteered to be a scout leader (Well he more of just asked the bishop if he could do it) haha. After church he came up to us and asked us if we could go home teaching with us. We said we could. He went home and dropped the family off and came back and picked us up. He came with sandwiches, jones soda, cheese, and gum. Haha. When we got in the car he told us, "Elders, I'm brother Burgs. I like to have fun, I am a laid back guy, but don't worry I obey all the rules." I don't know how to explain this man other than sincere and real. He wasn't trying to impress anyone by being "cool" that is just the way he is. On the way to the appointment he told us all about his mission and his experiences with the atonement. When we got to the appointment we talked for awhile and then he went right into the lesson. He gave a great lesson and listened to the spirit. This guy is living proof that you can still live the gospel, obey all the rules, and still be a fun cool person to be around.
Alright, last but most certainly not least. Leesa Postelli. This women is an investigator. She has been around to every church. Investigated every Church. She has even been a preacher in a Southern Baptist church. This women is educated as all get out. She knows the bible. One day she decided to go to the LDS church. She got in contact with the Elders before us. She took asked them questions and visited with them and absolutely fell in love with them. When she found out that they were going to be transferred her heart was broken. She called the mission president and told him to please not take them away from her. She was very hesitant on meeting with us. She was scared that we weren't going to be like the other Elders, but she agreed to meet with us. We met with her in a members home and she poured her heart to us. It took some work, but we got her to open up. We asked her about the Church and why it interests her and she told us that when she met the members, and met the Elders, that there was just a light in them that she has never before seen in her 48 years of living and searching. She says, "it must be in something you guys drink." as a joke. She knows that it is our religion and she wants everything that we have. She has a desire I have never seen before. I am so blessed because I bet some people go their whole missions without meeting people like Leesa, but we've found her within the first week of my mission. She has an unbreakable testimony of Joseph Smith. She is reading the Book of Mormon and starting to accept it as scripture. She is amazing.
Alright, I am completely out of time. I have to use some of my companions time so I can just send this email off. I will try to put some physical letters in the mail today. I have a lot of pictures for you all. I have so much more to tell you but the computers and the library won't allow me to have the time to write it all...
I know that God loves all of us regardless of who you are or what you believe. I know he is there watching over all of us.
I haven't got any letters yet... Get to work! Love you all!
-Elder Ryan Romero.