Monday, April 29, 2013

New Transfer-Breath of Fresh Air

 I love the start of new a new transfer. It is like a breath of fresh air. I have a new companion. His name is Elder Barraclough (bear-uh-cluff). Not one person has been able to get his last name right. He is a nice kid. Very very quiet... But has a strong testimony of the Gospel. He is from Kentucky and was going to school at the University of Louisville. He was studying Mechanical Engineering just like me. So we often have nerdy conversations about Math and Physics. He is a nice kid and I am excited to serve with him. 

      Ward did not get baptized this week. He got kicked out of the house that he was staying at and we currently don't know where to find him. His phone is shut off and has fallen off the face of the Earth. There is more to the story but I don't know how much I can really share, but I think saying that he is gone with suffice for now. On the other hand Beth wants to be baptized on May 18th and she is pretty confident on that date. She says that she took work off for that date and told her family. She has been off coffee for four weeks now and is very proud of it. I am excited for her. Satan has already started to work on her immediately after she set that date. She ran into anti-Mormon literature for the first time this past week, but she seemed to handle it pretty well. Pray for her, she is going to need all the prayers she can get. 

      The members of the Dunwoody ward are pretty surprised to see me stay another transfer. Brother Asper was pretty happy about it. I think the other members are too. When I first came to Dunwoody I never thought that I would be serving here for this long... I have enjoyed it though. I have become very close with the people here. I have made lifelong friends. I am so grateful to have families in the ward that truly love me and care about my well being. Brother Asper and I are going to be lifelong friends. I am so excited to keep in touch with him over the upcoming years. He believes that I am going to be a Mission President one day, but I think he may be shooting a little high with his prophecies. Although it was nice to know that he has such high expectations for me and it really pushes me to live up to them. I am going to miss the people in this ward when I leave. 

      Other big news. The Dunwoody ward has been split into a Northern and Southern areas. The Elders (us) are in the Southern area and the Sisters are in the Northern area. This was a big change. It will be good though. The Sisters are in the wealthier part of the area and I think that they will do better getting into the people's homes than we would. I can't begin to tell you how hostel the wealthy people are to the Elders. I really prefer tracting in an apartment complex rather than a nice neighborhood. 

     Well it P-day. Every P-day we meet as a District and play basketball. I have gotten really good at basketball over the past little while. I dare say I'm the best in the district, haha. But seriously, I love basketball. Well, the Church is true. Somebody asked me this week what the most important thing that I have learned from my mission thus far. I told them that now I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that this Gospel is true. Of course I had a testimony of this Church when I came out on my mission, or else I wouldn't have come out. What I have now is different than a testimony though. I don't quite know how to explain it. I am converted, I am changed. I just know it is true. I have deduced through my studies that if this Church is not the true church then there is no hope for Christianity, period. The Book of Mormon was the best thing to ever happen to Christianity, but people are still in the cave and choose not to view it that way. Of course the only way to truly know it is through the spirit, and I've had that spiritual confirmation. I don't think that any other of the skills that I have learned on my mission such as being able to work with people, organize, lead, and cross people over in basketball will help me more than knowing that God and Jesus Christ are real, and that they love me. Nothing. 

     Well I love you all. 

-Elder Ryan Romero 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Well this was a week full of surprises.
     Elder Armenta's investigator named Bobby was getting baptized this week. I am very close with all of the Elders in my District and even the people that they teach. I know them all by name and have got the opportunity to meet most of them. Bobby is a great guy. He is pretty shy but a very humble man. I have had the opportunity to teach him with Elder Armenta and to give him his baptismal interview. We seemed to really click. After I gave him his baptismal interview we drove back to our area and had a lesson with Beth. Our lesson went very well and at the end I invited her to come to Bobby's baptism. She said that she would love to come and asked if I could have Elder Armenta give her a call because she wanted to catch up with him. So I did. What she was really doing was planning a surprise for me. She and Elder Armenta were planning her baptism to surprise me when I went to Bobby's baptism. She wanted to be baptized with Bobby and have me baptize her. The next day Elder Armenta called me and told me to bring my baptismal clothes to the baptism because Bobby wanted me to baptize him. I was very surprised and honored that Bobby wanted me to baptize him, but confused as to why he didn't want Elder Armenta to do it. The real reason Elder Armenta told my I was baptizing Bobby was just so I would bring my baptismal clothes so I could baptize Beth and he could maintain the surprise. The next morning I am ready to go to the baptism about to walk out the door and we get a call from Elder Armenta. The first words that he said were, "Elder Romero, I am so sorry. You weren't supposed to baptize Bobby. Beth wanted to surprise you and be baptized today and she wanted you to baptize her, but she just texted us and said that she doesn't want to be baptized anymore." I can't begin to explain the disappointment that I felt. I don't know why Beth cancelled. It was a surprise indeed. I don't know what to do with Beth anymore besides pray for her and hope that things work out.
     That was probably the climax to my week but Elder Greene and I did meet a couple interesting people. One of those people is named Bro Al. Brother Al is a really smart real estate agent that knows a lot about a lot of things. He is definitely one of the most eloquent talkers I've ever met. Brother Al wouldn't tell us anything about himself. He wouldn't tell us what he did, or really what he believed, but at the end we figured it all out. To get down to it Brother Al does not believe in Christianity. Brother Al is a black fellow and believes that Christianity was made up to keep black people in bondage by making black people believe that their God is white. He made a very good case, and all I did was just listen. He knew quite a bit about Joseph Smith but didn't have anything good to say. I really didn't feel like there was much that I could say to Brother Al to make him think differently. We never once argued or "bashed" during our conversation. Honestly, I enjoyed our conversation and I feel like I learned a lot from Brother Al. At the end of our conversation I just felt so low, and so spiritually drained. Just during that whole conversation I can't recall feeling the spirit about anything that he said. When he'd speak about black's and the priesthood, slavery and God, Jesus and Paul. Every case that he had just didn't click with me and I could feel that something was missing.
      Luckily this night we were having dinner with Brother Asper and we had a chance to talk with him. We told him about our conversation with Brother Al and about all the different things that he brought up. During our conversation we got into a discussion about Joseph Smith. Immediately the spirit was so strong that it almost brought me to tears. During that conversation I just knew that Joseph had to be a prophet. It was the complete opposite of how I felt with Brother Al. Immediately after dinner and we got in the car and turned to Elder Greene and said, "Did you feel that?" and he said, "Yeah." and I yelled, "Dude, Joseph Smith is a prophet!"
      That event was probably the best part of my week and I keep reflecting back to how I felt during that dinner. It was amazing. This was a contrasting week. I don't know how else to put it. The mission is tough, but it has its rewards.

I love you all.

-Elder Ryan Romero 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Miracles are just around the Bend

This week was a difficult week, but I know that the next week has miracles waiting for us. Beth and Ward were not baptized this weekend. We still have not been able to get in contact with Ward. We honestly have no idea what happened to him. We've tried everything. His roommate told us that he went on a vacation and came home without his car and that he has been acting kind of strange since. I just don't know what happened. This trial confirms to me how true this Church is and how much Satan will fight against this work. Beth does not feel ready yet for baptism. She says that she is still concerned about how it will affect her relationship with her husband. I know that Beth will eventually be baptized, I just don't know when that day will be. I know God uses trials to give us the opportunity to grow, and I am going to choose to grow from these trials. 
     So many things happened this week. I just don't know where to begin. Elder Greene and I decided that we were going to do a car fast to help the work progress in our area. A car fast is sacrifice using your car for the day to help bring blessings. We decided to go and knock on a house that Elder Greene felt like we should go and knock on. The problem was that that house was six miles away. Well, we decided to walk anyways. During our journey we had the opportunity to talk to a lot of different people. When we finally got to the house and knocked on the door, no one was home. Haha. We couldn't help but laugh. We decided to knock the rest of the neighborhood and found a really nice old man named Jimmy that has been to Salt Lake and loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In all we walked about 13 miles. During the walk I couldn't stop thinking of the primary song, "pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked." I couldn't stop thinking about the sacrifices that those pioneers made to come to Utah. I am so proud of our heritage. I know that blessings will come from our little car fast.
     Luckily this week ended on a high note with conference. I want to talk about another little experience that I had this week before I talk about conference. A night this week an Elder from my District gave me a call and told me about an incident that happened with them and their recent convert. Their convert accidentally stumbled upon some anti-mormon literature. Because of her first exposure it caused her to look into it more and more. Well when the Elders visited her she told them about all that she has come across and showed them some of what she has found. Some of the stuff kind of shook them up and that is why they called me. They didn't have answers for some of the things that she brought up and they wanted answers. I told them that it all comes down to The Book of Mormon. Is it true? They will try to attack and attack its validity, and we can come back with answers and explanations. Then they will just come up with more things to attack  it with, and it is just a battle that will never end until Jesus Christ comes himself to reveal the truth. The breaking point is our person wittness of The Book of Mormon. That is the only way that we will ever know that it is true. By the power of the Holy Ghost is how we will know the truth of all things. We all need that spiritual confirmation, because we will all face adversity. If we don't have that firm foundation and testimony, when we are faced with trials like anti-mormon literature we will fall. No one can ever take away, or deny, your spiritual confirmation of The Book of Mormon. This applies to all of us, not just missionaries facing adversity or the new investigator. I loved Elder Hollands talk this conference. We must fan the flame of our faith. We must. If you want to know this Church is true. Read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it. Simple as that. 
      Well that was sort of a tangent... But I love this Gospel. It is so true. I have got to get going now. Peace. 

-Elder Ryan Romero 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pretty Good Week

  A lot of walking was done this week. My Florsheims are getting real worn out. We had quite a few awesome adventures this week. I really like walking out in the sun and talking to people. Elder Greene and I decided to walk to the edge of our area and on the way we stopped and knocked this neighborhood. The first door we knocked on looked kind of iffy and I knew that whatever was on the otherside of the door was going to be interesting. My assumption was correct. An old white typical white southern man (definition: huge man that looks like Colonel Sanders) opens the door in nothing but his whitey tighties. Haha. Goodness, I don't know how I kept my composure. Elder Greene didn't quite keep it all together so I had to speak. Turns out he isn't interested in the Mormon faith, but it was still a good experience. Thought I'd start off the letter with that little story.
     This week was a pretty good week. We got a lot of work done and found a couple new pretty promising people. We found this awesome lady named Kita (short for Marquita). She is so cool! Nicest lady I have ever met while knocking doors. I sure hope that things go well with her. We are meeting with her tomorrow. Regarding our current investigators we have a little progress. We got a baptismal date with Ward for this Saturday but I don't know if he will make it to that date because he didn't come to Church this Sunday and we haven't been able to contact him since Saturday. I am really worried for whatever it is that is going on in his life. Please pray for him. Beth is another story... She is on track for Saturday. She is the most confusing investigator I have ever met. Things will be going well one second and then the next things will be terrible. Yesterday we had a huge break through with Beth. We had dinner at a members home and we invited her to come. She came and brought her HUSBAND! It was awesome. I think that her husband really enjoyed it and we know that he will support her in her baptism. Beth sent us a text this morning that made her really sound like she is getting cold feat about Saturday. I am just so confused with her. I know that if she doesn't get baptized on Saturday that she will eventually get baptized.
      I love Easter. I love the the resurrection and atonement of Jesus Christ. That is what this is all about. It is central to the Plan of Salvation. I love what Paul says in Corinthians chapter 15. He expresses how extremely important the resurrection is to everything thast we do. Without the resurrection everything that we do would be in vain. Because of Christ we are all promised a resurrection. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. I still continually think about Jesus first appearing to Mary. Jesus and Mary were extremely close, and both had a deep love and care for eachother. She was so grieved by the loss of her master. I can only imagine the Joy that she felt when Jesus simply uttered her name "Mary" and she recognized that the person she was talking to was her beloved master. I don't think that anyone (even the apostles) really fully understood quite what the resurrection was. Everyone was astonished by the news that his body was gone and immediately assumed that his body was stolen.  Even though Jesus had told them multiple times that he was going to be resurrected. I think that his resurrection truly was too amazing for all of them to grasp. I think a lot of the times that it is too amazing for us to grasp, and we forget about how truly amazing that this event is going to be. We are each going to have the chance to stand in the place of Mary and meet our loved ones again. I can't wait for that day.
      I love you all so much. I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter. I hope that everything back in Utah is great. I truly miss everyone there so much.
-Elder Ryan Romero