I am growing. I can feel it. Physically, I think I've grown an inch. Spiritually I've grown a mile. My first journal is filled up. I have successfully wrote in it every day since I've been out. I occasionally look back and read my old entries. There are a lot of differences between the new entries and the old ones. My hand writing has improved quite a bit, haha. Most of all I can see the change in myself from these old entries. I won't go into too much detail, but the mission does amazing things for an individual. I still have a long way to go. I look at all my friends in the mission that are going home soon, or have already gone home. I look at Elder Heimuli, Elder Hansen, and Elder Shelley and I wonder what they were like when they first came out. It makes me so curious as to what I will be when I am finished with my mission. There is so much for me to do, so much for me to learn. It is crazy to think that I am still in the beginning of my mission because I feel like I have already done and learned so much.
My new mission President, President Harding, is absolutely amazing.
He reminds me so much of my Dad it's almost as if I never left home.
You can tell that President Harding has a deep love for all his
missionaries. I was invited to go to a leadership training meeting this
Wednesday. I don't know for sure why I was invited to go because I am
not in a position of leadership. My guess is that I will be training
next transfer. At this meeting I got to hear him speak. His vision for
the mission is to make missionary a better person, therefore making a
better mission. That is the whole purpose of Preach My Gospel. I am so
thankful to have him as a mission president. I know that I have become a
better person because of his influence.
I have been really sick over this past week. My sinuses have been
clogged and my ears won't pop. It is very annoying. I feel like I just
got done being sick, and now I am sick again. I don't know what my
problem is. I probably keep getting sick from all the stupid germs on
Marta. I had dinner with a couple doctors and they took a peak inside my
ears. They said that they are pretty swollen up and I should probably
go get them checked out. So I probably going to go do that pretty soon.
As far as missionary work goes it is the same as last
week. We have been trying and trying. Still not much success. I know
that God has plans for me though and I have seen them throughout this
transfer. If I would have gotten transferred last transfer, then I would
not have been able to see what happened to my recent converts. I would
never know that Gaki has become such a strong and active member of the
church. She attends every single week. She goes to all the activities
and brings her grand kids. We have grown so close and she truly loves me
and is thankful for me. I would have never known what happened with
Brian. Brian had to move to North Carolina to take care of his children
while his ex-wife cares for her mother who had a stroke in Tennessee. I
am so thankful that God chose to keep me in this area and give me the
opportunity to watch the seeds I planted grow.
I have been able to help a couple less active members regain their
activity in the Church. One of those people being a man named Ray. He
has had a very tough life. I can't go into detail, but just trust me,
this man has a tough life. He went to the doctor a couple months ago and
found a growth under his chin and around his neck. The doctor said that
it may be Lymphoma and that he needs to go see a specialist. When I
first met Ray he wanted a blessing before he went to go see the
specialist, so I gave him one. We met with Ray on a consistent schedule
and a few months past and he still did not make an appointment to see
the specialist. I told Ray that if it is cancer that time is not your
friend and you need to find out what it is as soon as you can. He shared
with me his concern about finding out if it was cancer or not. He told
me that he just doesn't want to know. He said that he didn't have much
to live for anyways so he just didn't care. I felt so sad for Ray, I
wanted to help him so badly but I couldn't make him call the specialist.
Last week he called me and told me that he made an appointment to go
see the specialist. I was so happy. Then yesterday I walk into the
chapel and I see Ray for the first time. My joy overtook me and I ran to
him. The first question I asked was, "did you go to the specialist" and
he said "yes, and they determined that it wasn't cancer." It was one of
the first times that I saw Ray smile genuinely. I was so happy for him I
gave him a big hug. I was so happy to see him at church. I was so happy
to see him taking steps to getting a better life. These are the moments
in my mission that I just want to press pause and live in forever.
I hope all is well back in SLC. I love you all and miss you guys SO much. I hope to hear from you over the next week.
Last thing I'll say is that I am proud to be a Cougar. I think that I
was the only BYU student in the crowd of missionaries that was allowed
to go to the game. You can bet Bronco could hear me from our nosebleed
seats. I am so happy that I got to go to that game. GO BYU!
Love you all. The Church is true, Jesus Christ Lives.
Elder Ryan Romero