This has been a tough week. The start of this transfer is not starting out as I would have hoped. We have no one. We are trying. We are working hard. We need to have stronger faith that God will provide a way. We have walked and walked and walked and walked. We have had doors slammed on our faces and people tell us to get off their front porch. I have had about as much of MARTA as I can handle. MARTA has recently been going through a time economically. Their prices keep going up and up. This could be due to the fact that none of their buses arrive on time and their weekend schedule is horrific. So people choose to no longer use it because it is not a source of reliable transportation. It is hard when you take two hours to go and see less active members. You get to their house and knock on their door and you hear people inside but no one answers. If they only knew what I've given up and knew the efforts and took to see them. They don't know though, and I can't blame them.
I think of Alma and Amulek. Amulek is probably one of my favorite people in The Book of Mormon. Right next to Ammon. Amulek gave up everything. He had a high status where he lived, and he was wealthy. He gave up all of it and didn't look back. He preached to his own people and they rejected him. They bound him and Alma up naked and made them watch as they burned all the people who believed their words. I can't imagine what Amulek must have felt. I can't imagine the "drought" he felt like he was in after that event. He had faith. He knew God had a plan for him. This event did not destroy Amulek but made him into one of the mightiest missionaries in The Book of Mormon. His hardest moments defined his character.
Now I know that my situation is quite the same as Amulek's. At least I hope people aren't being burned to death in my area... Although, this is a hard time in my mission just as it was in Amulek's. I am not going to let the past two weeks discourage me, but define me. I will show God that even though I am praying my heart out, being obedient, and wearing the soles out on my shoes and not finding success. I will not give up. I will not give up on the souls that can benefit from Christ's restored Gospel. When times get tough that does not mean that my hard work and obedience is not paying off, it just means that I need to endure to the end and show God I am dedicated to him. Salvation was not meant to be easy. Even if I don't find success this transfer, maybe the success was meant to be found in myself.
The people in the Twin Oaks Ward are amazing. There are so many great examples to me there. The two that I love the most are Brother Berg and Brother Saldana. They both are amazing fathers. They always have a child in their arms. Even when they bare their testimony, teaching a lesson is priesthood, or walking in the halls. They are being the best fathers they can be. They respect their wives and will do whatever they can to help them out. They magnify their callings in Church and often feed us great food =). I love these two men and their amazing wives. I know EXACTLY the kind of future father I want to be. I can tell the difference in their lives compared to the fathers in the ward that don't help out their wives or magnify their callings. They just aren't as happy. They aren't as happy in their lives, relationships, or in their home.
Well I have got to get going. I love you all. I love hearing from anyone that reads these letters.
-Elder Ryan Romero