Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rain Rain Go Away

 I don't think that there was one day this week that it didn't rain. Continuous rain every day and night. I don't know where it all comes from and where it all goes. I am so sick of rain. I need the sun. Due to the rain Elder Greene and I didn't get to walk around much this week. I am really looking forward to the Summer and being outside again. I really hope that my next area is a bike area or a walking area. I am so much happier in the outdoors rather than in a car. I hear the Spring in Georgia is gorgeous. I am really looking forward to it. 
    To be honest, I have had better weeks on my mission. The missionary work this week wasn't very good. Being on a mission is so difficult sometimes because you take things so personally. When good things don't happen it is really easy to feel like it is because of something that you did. I think in reality it is just God giving us the trial of our faith to see if we will continue to press forward. I am sure that the Saints the same thing during their exoduses out of Ohio and Illinois. It took a lot of faith to get to the Salt Lake. I know that I need to just have faith and I will eventually arrive in my promised land. 
    Beth is doing very well. She comes to Church every week without fail. She keeps all of her commitments and is reading The Book of Mormon. I am very confident that she will make it to her date on April 6th. Just pray Satan won't throw anything her way. Our other investigators aren't doing as well as we would like. Satan is really working on them whether it be through Word of Wisdom issues, Sister in-laws threatening to stop helping with their rent if they continue to meet with us, sickness, or anti-mormon literature given to them through their church.  Satan is very mischievous in the way he works and the things that he does. Our investigators really need all the prayers that the readers of this email can muster up. 

    I really don't have that much time to write today because we gave some Elders in our district a ride to their library and are emailing with them. This Library is much more crowded than the library we normally go to, so there are people waiting for me to finish. I just want to let everyone know that God is good. I want to  share with you one of my new favorite scriptures. Haha, wow. I am realizing that I am starting to sound just like I do with the scriptures as I did with music. "This is my FAVORITE SONG.", "This song is the best it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!" Now you could just replace the word song with scripture and that is how I talk. Haha. The scripture is John 16: 33. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." This scripture is the best, and I have found it to be true. In the world we do have tribulation, that is why the Gospel is so amazing. Because it is not of the World. It is of God, and it is the only way to have true joy. In Jesus Christ we can find peace. 

    I have got to get going now. I love you all so much! 

-Elder Ryan Romero 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Up on My Feet

Elder Baker, Tran, Hansen, Post, Kimball, Me, Greene, Armenta

  Five more weeks in Dunwoody. I guess the Lord feels like my work here is not yet done. The members of the ward seemed happy to have me stick around for another transfer. There is still a lot of work to be done in this area and a lot of souls to save. I am pretty satisfied staying another transfer. I feel like that I really have a work that I need to complete here. I know that there are people out there that I need to find, and I am going to work so hard to find them.
    Multiple times this week Elder Greene and I spent the whole day on our feet. I have grown to hate the car we drive. I feel like I am in a bubble moving through crowds of people that need to hear the gospel. I told Elder Greene that for a couple of days we are going to ex our vehicle and do missionary work on our feet. We are only going to drive for appointments. This past week has been very successful because of it. We  have talked to loads of people and have found a couple really great people. I feel a lot more like a missionary when I am up on my feet walking around talking with people.
    This was a very good week, we had a lot of lessons and our investigators are really progressing. We took one of our investigators named Mike to go see the Church and the Temple. He loved it so much that he wanted me to take a picture of him with the Angel Moroni in the background. He is a really nice guy. He has very strong Jehovah's Witness beliefs. Learning about what other religions believe I'd say has been one of my favorite things about my mission. It is so interesting looking at the Bible through another religion's eyes. Then deciding for myself, and listening to the Holy Ghost for what is true and who is right.
    This week I decided to make a DVD on a member's computer of the Bible Videos that the Church has put out. That way if the person I was teaching didn't have a computer or access to the internet (which is usually the case) we could watch these videos. I have never really taken the time to watch them until I had this idea to make the DVD. I knew the Church had them, and I had heard they were good, and that is why I wanted to make a DVD of them. When I watched them I was overcome with the spirit. I never really liked the Finding Faith in Christ DVD. It is pretty out of date and very cheesy. These videos however are extremely professional, and very moving. The one that struck me the most was the one entitled "Jesus is Resurrected" and it goes over one of my favorite scriptures. It is John 20: 17 and it says, "Jesus Saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: But go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God." This scripture for some reason strikes me so strongly. It is my "James 1: 5". When Jesus Christ says this scripture in the Bible video it struck such a chord in my heart. Does everyone realize that is reading this that we are the Children of God? And what that means!
Death can not overcome us. We can overcome the effects of the fall, and be heirs of the kingdom of God with our older brother Jesus Christ (Romans 8). How amazing that is. I can't begin to tell you how much I LOVE the Bible. It has a place in my heart like no other book besides the Book of Mormon. I can hold a conversation about the Bible like I could music. And if you've ever heard me talk about music, I can really talk.

     I have got to get going. Time is short and it only seems to be getting shorter. P-Days seem to be the quickest days of the week. So much to do, so little time. I love you all so much. The Church is True.

-Elder Ryan Romero

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On the Bright Side

  Another Transfer down, another one coming up. Still haven't received a call from the AP's yet, so my guess is I am staying here. To be safe though I think that until I can know for sure that any mail you send this week should go to the mission office in-case I do get transferred.

     Miracles are happening, the work is moving forward. This week has been a week of what people would call "coincidences", but I'd call it the hand of God. This week has been a really interesting week, but I actually don't have too much time to tell everything that has happened. I will try and share as many as I can.
     This week we had a very good District Meeting. Probably one of the most spiritual ones I have ever had. The Zone Leaders came to my District Meeting this week. They came to report the numbers of the zone. During their report I had the strongest feeling that I needed to completely change what I had planned for District Meeting. I originally planned to encourage my missionaries to work with the Elder's Quorum to find a way to get them more involved with missionary work. I had a feeling that we needed to read the last chapter of John and discuss it together as a District. So that's what we did. This chapter is the one where Jesus Christ asks Peter if he loves Him. We probably all know the story pretty well after listening to Elder Holland's last conference talk. I felt inspired to share this chapter of scripture because I was beginning to fear that missionaries are losing their focus of why they came to do missionary work. I am scared that missionaries are doing the work to gain an accolade, a number to their name. When that is not the purpose of missionary work whatsoever. We should be doing missionary work because we love Jesus Christ, and we want to feed and gather his sheep. If we are doing the work for any other reason, we need to correct our intentions. During the discussion I was so emotional I could barely speak. It was sort of embarrassing but it was something that I felt very strongly about. I fear pride. I am scared of the effect that if can have on missionaries as well as the investigator. It is something that even the best missionaries can get caught up in. In fact, it is probably easier for the best missionaries to fall into pride. It is what destroyed the Nephites, it is what brought down civilizations, and I don't want it to bring down me or the missionaries in this mission.
     Our investigators are doing pretty well. We had three amazing investigators at Church this week. Ward, Beth, and Marcus. I can't quite explain the joy that I feel when I see someone we taught come to Church. It is one of the best feelings ever. I have told you a bit about Beth and Marcus, so I think I'll focus on Ward.
     Ward is a man that Elder Armenta and I tracked into awhile back. We had a prayer with him on his front door step and prayed for his daughter who was having chronic headaches. We had that prayer with Ward and were on our way. After Elder Armenta was transferred Elder Greene and I were visiting a member that lived on the corner of the area, fairly far away from Ward. While leaving this member's home I had a feeling that we needed to go visit ward. It was a strange thought because we haven't seen ward for about a month and a half and he lived far away. When we got in the car I drove straight to his house instead of home for Lunch. When we knocked on the door Ward answered and I barely recognized him. He had a scruffy beard and his head was totally shaved. He seemed very despondent, a totally different person than before. The first question I asked him before even saying hello was, "Ward, is everything alright." My first thought was that his daughter passed away due to something from the headaches, but it turned out not to be that. Ward struggles with a few things and has had a pretty tough life. It turns out that right before us knocking on his door again that things seemed to get a bit more complicated. I won't go into detail, because it isn't needed. We sat in Wards home and talked with him and told him that we are here for him and that our message is going to change his life. I told him that it was no coincidence that we knocked on his door. I know that God sent us there especially for him. I asked him about his daughter's headaches and his eyes got bright and said, "You know what? They're gone. It's a miracle. No medication, no doctors appointments. They just disappeared. After you guys said that prayer, they just left." I told him that God is real, and that he really answers prayers. Ward came to Church this week and loved it. He loves the members and the members love him. I am so excited for Ward and I can't wait to see the Gospel take even more of an effect in his life.

      I had a pretty good Birthday on Friday. It was really weird being away from home for my birthday. The members really tried to make it a great day. A member in our ward passed away this week and his viewing was on the night of my birthday. So things had to kind of get moved around. The Asper's were planning a get together with some of the ward members and the investigators for me, but because of the viewing it got moved to tomorrow. I am very excited to take lots of pictures and share them with you guys.

     That is about all that I have for this week, well all that I have time to share. I love you all so much.

-Elder Ryan Romero

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Untitled Post...things are about the same :)

  I can't really figure out how to start this letter. I don't even know what to title this letter as. It doesn't feel like much has happened this week, but at the same time it feels like a lot has happened. I didn't spend much time in my area this week. I focused a lot on my district and helping the Elders in my district strengthen the relationship with the members in their ward. I went on two exchanges this week. I went Elder Tran who is the Vietnamese Elder over the Vietnamese Branch. He is an amazing Elder with an amazing story. Then I did a half day exchange with two sets of Elders who share a ward with each other. I love getting to know the Elders in my District. I know I have said that in the beginning of the past two letters, but I really do love each Elder of my district. We are all becoming best friends and they really respect me as their leader. I am so happy to have the opportunity to help them out and be their friend.
     As far as my area goes... There is the good and the bad. What do you want first? Well Tony and Kim have really been struggling because of Tony's unemployment. We have given him many resources that the Church provides for him use. Elder Grassley and I were the ones that first gave him these resources. Then Elder Armenta and I continued to encourage him to use these resources to help him find a job, but he would never utilize them. Finally I think that it has come to the point where he feels like he is in need of these extra resources and he has turned to us more and more for help. We eventually just took him to a member's home and we sat down until we found a promising lead for him to follow up on. We were successful in finding him one, but I hope and pray that he follows up. I feel like Tony's life is just so hectic right now that it is taking him away from studying and living the Gospel. Satan works in diverse ways, and I know that he is working on Tony and Kim. He is so tricky in making people believe that "If you get this job, and focus on getting your feet set on the ground first, then you can learn and live the Gospel." Which is a completely twisted and backward doctrine. In reality God teaches, "If you focus on learning and living the Gospel, then you can get my feet on the ground." This teaching is a teaching that is has Faith as its underlying foundation, and that is how God works. Satan's doctrine requires no faith whatsoever. I have found throughout my mission that this is the main way that either people fall away from the Church or it prevents them from ever joining.
     Claudie has the same problem as Tony. She is looking for a job and this is preventing her from hearing, learning, and living the Gospel. We haven't been able to meet with her, and she hasn't been able to come to Church due to her job search which seems to consume most of her time. I know that if they can just understand God's doctrine that I shared earlier that they would be able to act in faith and work with us, and come to Church. Then see the evidence of their faith by obtaining a job or some sort of work because of their act of faith.
     Now for the good news. We set another baptismal date with Beth. She is doing well. Her date is for April the 6th. When we first set that date I at first didn't recognize the signifigance of that date. When we were driving back it occurred to me that that is a very special day in the Church. The day the Church was organized. Now that would be a great day to be baptized. We had a baptismal date with Beth and she wasn't able to make it due to some commandment issues. She is working through them though and yesterday talked to the Bishop and things went very well. The bishop feels that she will be able to make it to that date! So that is very good news. We are continuing to work with Beth and pray and fast for her.

     That is about all the news in the past week regarding the people I am working with. This Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting. I decided to get up and bear my testimony due to the fact that it may be the last chance that I have to do so in the Dunwoody Ward. In my testimony I thanked all the members for being such great examples of the Gospel and how the truth of the Gospel has manifested itself to me in all of their lives. I felt such gratitude for having the chance to sit in each members home and get to know them. I love Sundays, they are my favorite. I love going to Church and being able to feel the spirit that everyone has to offer.

      Well I better get going. I have got a fun P-Day planned out with my district today. I hope that you all have a great Monday. May God be with you!

-Elder Ryan Romero