Monday, June 24, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

 Busy busy busy. Running from appointment to appointment, house to house. The work is picking up. I am so excited to be in this District and this Zone. The work here is really moving forward. Each day I feel like I am growing and growing becoming a better missionary. I am so excited to see what the future has to bring me with my time in this Zone.
    The Missionary meeting last night was amazing. That was definitely the highlight of my week. I am so grateful that the Brethren decided to make that meeting public and not just for the new Mission Presidents. This work it truly going to move forward like we've never seen before. I am so excited for the future.
     My companion and I are doing good. We get along great. We are planning this music festival thing for July 13th. It is going to be a large event. We are going to have a concert and a lot of other performances. The members will be able to invite their friends to come and eat and be entertained.
     This ward is really great. There are so many people that are so involved in the missionary work and really care about how we are doing. I can tell that I am going to make great friends in this ward. We just got a new bishop on Sunday. Our previous bishop got called to be in the Stake Presidency. Our old bishop and our new bishop are both great men. I am excited to get to know our new bishop. We are having dinner with him tomorrow.
      I don't have much time to write. We now strictly have one hour on the computer to email. There is a lot that I have to report to the Mission President during this time. So that leaves me less time to write my loved ones. I hope that this email will suffice.
Hope to hear from some of you.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What? It's been a Year!??

  Time has no substance in the mission. It doesn't exist. It comes and then immediately it is gone. I can remember the day going into the MTC like the back of my hand. I woke up, went to the gym and ran with my Dad, came home and finished packing, rode in the car down to Provo, stopped at the bank to cash a check that a friend's parents gave me, went to Sensuous sandwich to have my last supper, drove to the MTC, got out of the car and my good friend David Graham escorted me into the MTC. It honestly feels like it was yesterday. That is why I can remember it so well. People tell me that the next year is going to go by even quicker, but I don't know how that is possible. This year has already flown by.
     Hitting my halfway mark is exciting, but also depressing in a way. I don't want it to be halfway over. It is very hard for me to look at myself and measure how far I have come. You just get use to how you are. I don't feel like I have really changed that much, and that upsets me. I always imagined the man who I would be at the end of my two years. Now that I am at my one year mark I feel like I should be half the stature of the man I envisioned. I don't feel like I am quite there and that makes me sad. I know very well though that I could be there, but just not notice it. I am going to work so hard over the next year and consecrate myself to this work. I know that God is molding me into who he wants me to be, and maybe that man I envisioned isn't the person he wants me to become. I know that God's vision for me is much greater than any vision I could ever come up with.
     This week has been a good week. I will tell you a bit about some of our investigators since I didn't get a chance to last time. We have an awesome investigator named Edythe. She is an older lady. She has a huge heart and loves Jesus Christ. She has been a member of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church. She loves meeting with the missionaries and has really come to love this Church. She has a baptismal date for June 29th. She came to the Church for the first time yesterday and absolutely loved it. On Saturday we taught her the Word of Wisdom and she committed right on the spot to stop coffee and she has been off it since that lesson. She has great faith.
     We have a couple other investigators but the other one that I want to talk about today is named Kenneth. Kenneth is a nice guy. When we first met him he had a ton of questions for us that didn't really pertain much to the Gospel. Such as aliens, mermaids, GPS tracking, and poisonous atmosphere. Haha. He is a real skeptic, but I was in his shoes not too long ago. Kenneth and I could really relate. Luckily we were always able to bring the conversation back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The biggest stumbling block for him is he doesn't know if Jesus Christ really existed or what his purpose was. Every time we would bring up Jesus Christ you could tell that it unsettled him a little. We gave him a Book of Mormon and explained that if he knew this book was true, he knew Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and he knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet and this Church is true. He seemed to understand this idea pretty well. The next week we stopped by and followed up and he had a load of more questions for us. However, this time it was different. His whole countenance had changed. You could tell that his faith, even though it was a small amount, in Jesus Christ was beginning to grow. And it was changing him. The questions he asked no longer were wild, but they were sincere and heartfelt. He really wanted to know if The Book of Mormon is true. It was a completely different person we were teaching. No longer when we brought up Jesus Christ did it cause him to fidget in his seat, but it made his eyes brighten and he just wanted to learn more and more. It was a great experience.
      Elder Mcmahan and I are getting along great. We are becoming really good friends. We had a pretty crazy experience this week. We were almost caught in a tornado! All my life I have wanted to see a tornado. Not in a city where there are people, but in like a field where there are just cows. Haha. During a lesson the tornado sirens went off and it was just crazy! The wind was howling and the rain was flying. Luckily.... No tornado ever touched down, but it was close! I felt like I was in the movie Twister. Haha.
     I love this new area. The members are great and the people are kind. Very religious, and don't really want to hear much about what we have to offer, BUT they are nice about it. Haha. I know God will provide us with new people to teach.
    Well I got to get going. I love you all so much. Hope to hear from some of you this week.
Fireflies I caught in a jar...took awhile to get a good picture of them!
-Elder Ryan Romero

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lost Mountain

  I am in a place called Austell Georgia. It is a small town, extremely small compared to Atlanta. It is West of Atlanta. The Ward I am in is called the Lost Mountain Ward, it is in the Powder Springs Stake. I am so happy to be here. From what I have met of the ward members, they are all amazing. This ward is so missionary minded it is astounding. The Stake President is so on top of missionary work it isn't like anything I've ever seen in my mission. This Stake President, President Owen, is amazing. I see him being a Mission President in the very near future. He just has that demeanor. He is mighty. The place that we live in is the coolest ever. It is a mini house, sort of like a cabin, in the back of a non-members home. The non-members are named the Marks. And they are the kindest people in the world. They are so friendly and so helpful. I am excited to get to know them and become close with them.
    Now to the companion... Where do I start... Ugh. Let's just say I didn't get lucky this transfer. It is going to be a hard transfer. The past couple nights my companion has had night terrors and woken up screaming bloody murder at three in the morning. Then he's punched mulitple holes in the walls. I don't know what to do. President told me that he refuses to take his medicine so I have to sneak it to him in his food so he will calm down. He doesn't like teaching when we're in lesson. He likes yelling at the investigator till they submit and say we're right..... It's tough.... Alright, enough with the joke. Haha. Hope I didn't scare you too much.
     My real companion's name is the Elder Mcmahan (pronounced Mcman). He is AWESOME. We are already best friends. He is from San Diego California. We get along so well. He loves music just as much as I do. He even plays guitar. He actually doesn't just play the guitar, he shreds on the guitar. He is extremely musically tallented. I am so excited to be his companion. We both dress very similar and it is quite funny. When we got called to be companions an Elder named Elder Clements turned to me and said, "You two are going to be the most hip looking companions in the mission." Haha. It is true! We look good together. Hahaha.
     He has been out for about five months now. He is already a great missionary. I am the District Leader here in the Lost Mountain District. It is a small District, and they're are only Sisters in my District. Haha. Besides us there are two sets of Sisters in my District. They are great missionaries. I am so excited to be here. We have been working so hard the past couple of days to get everything rolling. I am going to work so hard this transfer to bring as many people I can into the fold of God.
     There are a couple more things that I would like to talk about but I don't have the time because I don't have a library card. I will fill you in on all the people that we are working with next week. This is a great area and the field is ready to harvest.
     I love you all so much. I hope to hear from some of you soon. My new address is:
 Elder Ryan Romero C/O Debara Marks
 4590 Harris Lane
 Austell, GA 30106
P.S. One of my favorite missionaries named Elder Parker is in this Zone! That's just good news.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Leaving Home

  I am leaving Dunwoody. I was told that I am going to be the new District Leader in the new area that I am going to. I was also told that I will need a bike. It's an exciting time for me. I feel very ready to leave Dunwoody. Not because I have disliked the area, because I have loved this area, but because I feel that my work here is done. I really feel like I am leaving home for a second time. Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting I had the opportunity to bear my testimony. It was really hard for me to get a word out because I was so overcome with emotion. As I looked at all the members, the Roldan Family, and my favorite investigator Tony I reflected on all the amazing experiences that I have had over the past 30 weeks. I told them that when I first came on my mission I thought that leaving my home and family would be the hardest thing I'd have to do. But I've come to realize that leaving the members, and people you've taught and come to love so dearly is much harder. I know I'll see my family again, but I don't know if I will see some of the people that I've met on my mission again. 
      Sunday was a great day. I got to bless the Sacrament with Brother Roldan and Gerardo. Tony came to church without his girlfriend Jamie, who is a member. So the fact that he came without her showed me a lot. Saying goodbye to the Roldans was hard. I knew that it wasn't really goodbye though. I will see them again. Saying goodbye to Tony was very difficult. I don't know if I have wrote a lot about Tony, so I'll tell you a little about him now. Tony is getting his PHD and Georgia Tech for Chemistry. He is the most intelligent person I have ever taught. He is a genius. I really look up to Tony. He is such a nice guy and extremely focused on the things that really matter. He is constantly finding ways to better himself. We get along so well. We listen to the same music and have a ton of similar tastes in things. We both love logic and reasoning. He has been my favorite investigator to teach because he just gets it. It makes sense to him. Saying goodbye to Tony was the hardest goodbye I had yet on my mission. I care so much about him and really hope that he continues to meet with the missionaries. He would be the best member of the Church. He would be the next Eyring.
Elder Romero and Tony
      We had dinner with The Beavers family last night too. That was a hard goodbye. I love the Beavers so much. Brother Beaver is the coolest guy in the ward and has done so much for me since I have been here. We have had such good times when he has come out with us to teach investigators. He is the best team up because he can make the investigator laugh with one comment and then immediately bring the spirit with another comment. 

      It is strange that I am almost at a year. Time has flown by. I want to write about a dream that I had recently that really had a profound effect on me. In this dream I was home from my mission. I don't remember how long I was home for, or if I was home early, or what. All I knew was that I was no longer on my mission and therefore I could listen to the music that I have missed sooo much. And so I grab my headphones and pop them in and start listening to music. Then I realize, I'm not happy. And I think to myself, "Why am I not happy? I am doing my favorite thing in the world, listening to music." Then I immediately have the thought, "I just want to go back to preaching the gospel. I want to go back on my mission. I was much happier then." And that is the dream. I woke up. That dream made me realize a lot about myself. I realized that people, especially me, usually tell themselves "I'll be happy when...____" Fill in the blank. And sometimes, especially during the rough times, I'll tell myself this. That dream however made me realize that the moments that I have had on my mission truly have been some of the happiest times of my life. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else in the world than sitting in Tony's living room and teaching him the Gospel. Or sitting next to Gerardo in his baptismal clothing. These are the times that I will never forget. 

      Well I love you all so much. Please don't send mail to my old address. Either send it to the mission home or wait till next week when I have my new mailing address. 

-Elder Ryan Romero.