As time goes on I am realizing how important little acts of kindness are. The simple things seem to be what people notice most. There is a member in our ward named Brother Bennett. He is an amazing man. He was less active in the Church ever since he was a little kid. When he was about forty when the missionaries stopped by his house and helped him rekindle his testimony again. He now has a bonfire of a testimony. He has to be the most charitable man I've ever met. Always volunteering to serve whenever he is needed. The thing that is interesting is that not a single member of his family is a member of the Church. He married outside of the Church and by the time he was reactivated his children were already pretty grown up and were doing their own thing. He has tried sharing the Gospel with them but they just haven't showed much interest. Last week he invited us to have dinner with him and his family. During dinner his 17 year old son and I began talking about Alaska, music, t.v. shows, and all of these things we had in common. We really got along well. I didn't know if his son has really connected with the missionaries like that before. The next time I saw Brother Bennett I asked him about his son and asked him if he had any friends that were members of the Church, and he said, "No, he doesn't really know any of the kids in the ward." and I said, "Well, we'd like to be his friend. Do you think he'd be interested in playing tennis sometime?" Brother Bennett was so happy. He told us that he was so excited for his son to have friends that were members of the Church. Seeing his joy made me realize that I may not stay in this area for much longer, but I do have enough time to impact each one of these members by doing kind simple things for them. I know that the small things that I do in this ward are what may have the most impact in the long run.
Beth is doing very well. We have been able to meet with her twice this week. We even were able to set a baptismal date for February 2nd with her! That is if it won't cause contention with her an her husband. Ever after we set the date with her Satan has been working hard on her. She has had quite a few trials but her faith seems to be prevailing. We were able to meet her husband on Sunday and that was a huge milestone. He came to pick her up from Church and she wanted us to come out and meet him. I think that he was very surprised when we walked out with her towards the car. Luckily he was nice and got out and shook our hands. Hopefully he see's that we don't have horns and we are just normal 19 year old young men. I think that it was very good though. I just hope that she will be able to make it to her date and that everything goes smoothly.
I really want to stay in this area another transfer. There is so much going on. So many seeds have been planted and I really want to be here to see the harvest. That is not important though, what is important is that the harvest happens. Elder Armenta and I have grown to love the people on this area so much. We were at dinner last night with the Huckaby family. They have three of the cutest children alive. One of them is a three year old boy. I asked him what his favorite t.v. shows are and he said, "I love Mr. Tiger's Neighborhood." I think that is what it was called that but I guess that it is an animated version of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, but with a tiger instead of Mr. Rogers. Haha. After he said that the Mom started to explain to me what the show is. In the middle of her explanation her son cuts her off and screams, "I like the show but Mr. Tiger always calls me his neighbor, BUT I'M NOT HIS NEIGHBOR!" Everyone around the dinner table busted up laughing. Elder Armenta and I almost fell out of our chairs. He was so angry at Mr. Tiger for calling him his neighbor.
Seeing this families makes me so excited for a family of my own. My favorite thing is when the parents ask the children to give a blessing on the food, and the child gives a humble little prayer. When I was little I never realized how great of a gift it was to know how to pray, until I got out here and began to meet people who had no idea how to pray. I want my children to have what all these amazing member's children have. I want them to have parents who will teach them how to pray and teach them how to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While in these members homes I have never felt such joy. I feel this joy because it makes me so excited to have what they have. The joy I find in these families cannot be produced by things you can buy. It is only produced by parents who love their children and teach them how to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. That is exactly what I am going to do with my family. I am never going to forget being in the homes of these families and feeling the way I've felt.
Well I hope that you have enjoyed reading about my week. I love you all so much! I hope to hear from y'all soon.
-Elder Ryan Romero