Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Families

This was an incredible week. We've found two amazing new families, had the Trunk or Treat, and had to opportunity to hear from Elder Oaks! So many other great things happened this week. I will start with telling you about my experience this Saturday with Elder Oaks.
      We've known about Elder Oaks coming to the mission for about two months now. I don't know why I haven't mentioned that he was coming before in an email... Oh well. Well he came and it was amazing! It was my first time meeting an apostle. And I have to say, it was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences I have had. First I have to express my fear in meeting an apostle. I have heard so many stories about missionaries shaking hands with apostles and the apostles just staring into their eyes and knowing everything about them. I was very nervous to shake Elder Oaks' hand, not because I have anything to hide, just because I am not too comfortable with people peering into my soul. Haha. The mission took Elder Oaks coming to our mission extremely seriously, as we should, but it really made everyone quite scared. "Hair cut, shoes shined, suits pressed, teeth brushed, clean shaved, no talking, reading scriptures." We must've got that reminder 20 times before Elder Oaks'  arrival. The tension in the room was palpable. When Elder Oaks walked into the room and down the isle the feeling of the room litter ally changed. Elder Parker and I were sitting next to eachother and he turned to me and I turned to him and he said, "Did you feel that?" The room went from being tension filled to complete peace. When Elder Oaks was sitting up on the stand you could just tell that he was full of happiness and joy. He was just smiling and laughing and having such a good time. He was so human. He was not a robot. All the fear that I had of shaking his hand immediately went away once I saw him. Shaking his hand was great! I still haven't washed my right hand since Saturday.
      Elder Oaks has been one of my favorite (if not my favorite) apostle even before this meeting. I have always admired Elder Oaks. He is such an intellectual, so organized and straight forward. People like that are just my type of people. In his conference talk you can tell that he always follows an organized pattern. Of course this is because of his background, but I really admire his organization. He's given some of my all time favorite talks. Particularly his talk on Timing. From this talk you learn so much about Elder Oaks. You learn about his personal life and about his sense of humor. It is a really really amazing talk.
     In our meeting with Elder Oaks he didn't really follow any pre-thought-out outline when he spoke. He really just followed the spirit. I felt that that things that he said, I really really needed to hear. He spoke about the sacrament, and other missionary related things. As he spoke I just felt so full inside. I could not stop smiling. It was everything that I wanted it to be and more. I loved hearing him and his wife speak. His wife has got an amazing testimony and she is such a wonderful speaking. Our mission was so privileged in having the opportunity to hear from them.
     That same Saturday we had the trunk or treat. It is my favorite church activity of the year, because Halloween is my all time favorite Holiday. A member of the ward, Sister Embry, crocheted me and Elder Anderson beard beenies. So that was our costume! It was awesome. The best part about the night was that all of the people that we invited to come came! We had a totally of 17 none member souls there! We had Daniel, David and his little brother Anthony, the Style Family, and the Cowert Family! Everyone had such a great time. It was one of the best nights of my mission. I am so excited about the Style Family and the Cowert Family. We found all of these people through our own efforts, and they are all very interested in the Gospel. The Style family is a great family. There are four girls in the family. Shanell, Shadaysha, Stephanie, and Kristin. The mother's name is April, and she is so nice! We haven't had the opportunity to meet the Dad yet, but we are excited to meet him. Every member of this family is just so kind. Shanell and Stephanie came to church the next morning and loved it! Sister Kelly took them under her wing and they will be coming to mutual this friday. Their Mother is very supportive of them. The rest of the family wasn't able to make church because they had other things going on at that same time, but we hope to see them next week! Rex and Trina are another family that we tracted into. Rex and I really get along. Rex is a biblical scholar and through his studies he's recognized an apostasy, and now understands the need for a restoration. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and is gaining a testimony. He was so impressed by everything inside the Church, and how it is all organized. Because he knows that this is the same organization you'll find in the New Testament. His wife Trina is so loving and awesome. We got along really well. I am so excited about these two amazing families. The ward is really excited about all the people that we've been finding and have been coming to church. They are really getting excited about missionary work.
     The best part of the week was a lesson that we had last night with David and his Mother, Carmen. David's Mother hasn't really sat in on any of the lessons, but has been nearby as we've been teaching David. She seemed kind of aloof during the lessons and we didn't really know if she was interested or not. Carmen was actually the first person that we talked to when we tracted into the house. She didn't seem too interested so we just tried to focus on her son. Carmen has seen an incredible change in David, as have we. After seeing this change she told David that the next time we come over she want's us to teach her, and of course we were excited about this. This lesson was amazing. David was practically a missionary, helping us teach his mother, and testifying of the feelings that he has felt as he has prayed. I just wanted to see inside Carmen's head and see what she was thinking as her former agnostic son taught her about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon. It was clear she was touched by the love and time that we've given her family. At the end of the lesson David gave the closing prayer, perhaps the first time his mother has ever heard him pray. The spirit was so strong and David's words were so sincere. After the prayer Carmen just looked up at me and Elder Anderson just gleaming with joy. She says that she wants to hear everything that we have to say. We are ecstatic about David and his family.
     Things are going really well in this area. I could not ask for better people to teach. We are so blessed, God's hand his truly been in every second of the time I've spent here in Dallas. I love it here. I love the members with all of my heart, and I love the investigators we are teaching. Brother Crew is my favorite, The Bush Families are my favorite, the Kelly family is my favorite, the Seawell family is my favorite, the Crisp family is my favorite, the Conyers family is my favorite. I just love this ward. I am so excited to have had the opportunity to serve here and to have gotten to know all of these incredible people. I truly feel like I am making friends that will last the rest of my life here. Wards that start with the letter "D" are just the best. I wish that y'all could meet these families. I wish you could meet George Bush and his father Miles Bush. They are hillarious. Happiest guys on earth and they just crack me up. George and I get along really well because we have very common interests. He loves cameras as do I and he's been very impressed with my camera knowledge. His father Miles is just the coolest guy ever. He's got a radio announcer voice (and he used to be one). He just has a great sense of humor. I love Dallas.
     Well I have got to get going. I love you all so much.
 Brother Alderman
 Brother Crisp
 Brother George Bush
Elder Anderson and Elder Romero

The Styles family

Monday, October 21, 2013

Big Changes for the Mission

I don't know if I have time to completely recount everything that has happened this week. A lot has happened. Sometimes I am overwhelmed trying to fit the most important things from an entire week in a letter that I only have about 30 minutes to write. My goal in each letter is to try to lift the hearts and spirits of those reading my letters, but when so much has happened in a week like this it is hard to pick and choose the best things that will do just that. I will  do my best.
     There are huge changes that are going to be occurring in the Georgia Atlanta mission. Changes that were very needed. I don't feel like it is necessary to go into detail (at least in this email) but I will tell you what I have learned from it all. Simply, there have been certain things that I did not quite agree with going on in the mission. I have not wrote about them in these emails, because I didn't feel like it was something that y'all needed to know about. But I have felt very strongly about a lot of the things that have been going on in the mission culture for quite awhile. Culture meaning the way things are handled, taught, reported, and carried out. And again, I won't go into detail. Many things have been happening that I have disagreed with, but let me make this clear, I did not revolt against them. They were what my leaders asked me to do, so I was going to be obedient. But in my heart, I could feel that things were not being done the Lord's way. I would do what I could to get my voice heard and I would pray for guidance. However, I always felt like I was kicking against the pricks. I felt like a heretic just thinking the thoughts that I was thinking, and having the feelings I was feeling. I was so confused and burdened down by the weight of not knowing what is right. I felt like the devil and God were raging inside me but I couldn't tell which side was which. Yet in my mind, when I felt closest to the spirit, I just knew in my heart and mind that things had to change because they were not being done the Lord's way. But I did not have the authority or the keys to fix it. I remember clearly my last exchange and the Elder and I talking about key indicators, and all sorts of other mission protocol. He asked me my opinion and I told him everything, and spilt my heart to him how I felt. I remember him saying, "Well Elder Romero, I agree with everything you're saying. But that is just not what they are telling us to do." And I said, "But what there telling us to do just does not feel right." and with tears in my eyes I said, "Elder, I want to do what feels right."
       The whole situation I was in reminded me a lot of my ninth grade geography class. I had a teacher that handed out reading material and a worksheet that we'd have to do for homework. The reading material and the worksheet did not correlate with each other whatsoever. So I never finished my homework. I remember spending hours trying to do that homework and being just so frustrated because it just did not make sense. I was failing the class because I would not complete the homework. The school got my parents involved, and told my side of the story, and my geography teacher told hers. To spite me and to prove that I was not completing my homework my teacher sent me home with a mound of homework from the other students in the class. To show that other students are completing their homework, therefore I must be lazy. Unfortunately for her, this tactic turned against her. As my mother and I looked through the other student's homework we began to notice that none of the students were getting the same answers for the questions. They were just filling in the blank spaces and she was marking it right. A student even put, "this class is stupid." and she marked it correct! In her attempt to prove my laziness, she proved her own. After our discovery we scheduled an appointment with the principal to show what we've found. While in the waiting room my teacher came in and with the homework in hand we showed her our discovery. After realizing her mistake she grabbed the papers our of my mother's hand and said, "I wasn't suppose to give you those. It is against school policy to give out other student's homework." And we were never able to show what we found to the principal... I ended up failing the class. However, I was honest. I could have easily turned out with a good grade in that class if I would have just did what the other students were doing. But I wasn't there to get a good grade in a class, I was there to learn. Throughout high school I did extremely well. I graduated with a good GPA, got into the college I wanted to go to, and even achieved all the goals I've set out to accomplish since my childhood. I know that it is in large measure due to the integrity that I had in my ninth grade geography class. This geography class seemed like it at the time it was going to stop me from achieving my goals. I know that because I chose to do what felt right, I was blessed by God throughout the rest of my schooling.
       Sorry for that tangent, but it does tie in with my original story. My purpose in sharing that story is not to compare the leadership or organization of the mission to my ninth grade teacher. My only purpose in sharing that story was to compare how I've felt through both experiences. This week we had Elder Evans from the seventy come and speak to our mission. Elder Evans is the chairman of missionary work for the Church. He is extremely important. We had our Zone conference on Friday, and he was our main speaker. It was a seven hour meeting. Within the first hour it was clear why Elder Evans was here, to call this mission to repentance. It was clear from all the topics that he spoke on that he was addressing the very issues in the mission that I had qualms with. Minute after minute I could feel burdens being lifted off of my shoulders. My feelings and thoughts were not, "Yes, I was right all along." Because I was never concerned about BEING right. I was concerned about DOING what's right. When he was speaking it was a sense of relief of knowing that my feelings and thoughts were not heretical at all. The spirit is real and was leading me to feel what was truly right all along. My prayers were answered and overall my concerns that I prayed about were addressed the way God would address them. That way being through the organization of the church, through the keys of the priesthood.
       President Harding was our last speaker of the conference. He said in the most humble way imaginable, "Elder Evans lovingly has called us to repentance, and we will do everything he asks immediately." I am so thankful for President Harding. I love him so much. I know President Harding is my mighty leader. My love and respect for my mission President only grew through this whole experience. I've never doubted his calling or his choices. I want to make that extremely clear. I love my mission President, and he has absolutely positively changed my life. I know that if it wasn't for his tireless effort and love for his missionaries that I wouldn't be anywhere near the person I know my Father in heaven wants me to be. I will follow him into any battle. I happy to have a humble mission President that is so willing to follow his mighty leaders wherever God directs. I don't know the every detail of why the events that occurred this week happened. All I know is how I felt, and what I saw happen. After the meeting Friday IMMEDIATELY all the things that I was concerned about got changed. And I mean EVERYTHING. I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this church is ran by God. I've witnessed it with my own eyes this week. I know God answers prayers. This experience has honestly been so enlightening. This truly is the same organization that you find in the new testament. Elder Evans was Paul, speaking to the church of Rome, or Corinth. This whole experience only strengthened my testimony in how true this Church is.
      Now I know I've already written a lot. I wouldn't be surprised if most people just stopped reading in the middle of my ninth grade drama. But like I said, a lot happened this week. We found a great new family. Daniel and David are doing well. Please continue to pray for them. Brother Crew's wife had a heart attack, she is doing well though. I love Brother Crew so much. My heart goes out to this man. He has the biggest heart. Every time he ends a conversation with always asks us this question, "Do y'all have nourishment?" and never fails to tell us how much he loves us. I feel so much love in this ward. I just never want to leave it. The people here are just so loving and caring it brings tears to my eyes.
       Oh my goodness I just have so much to talk about! On Thursday we went to a devotional in Atlanta. And guess who was there?! Brother ASPER! It was the greatest thing ever! I got to talk with him and give him a big hug. He told me about how the ward was going and how much he missed me. It was so funny, within three minutes of the conversation he pulls out this folder and hands me a five page paper that he wrote on the premortal life. He says, "I wrote this this morning. I think it will come in handy for you." Haha. Who else does that? He is a scholar! I love him so much. I also got to see one of my other favorite people from the Dunwoody ward at this devotional, Sister Albanes! Her and I got along so well. We could always joke around. It was so nice to see her. That wasn't the last person I got to see from the Dunwoody ward though. The next day at Zone Conference I met Sister Whitehurst. The Whitehurst family was one of my favorite families from the Dunwoody ward. I don't think I wrote too much about them. Sister Whitehurst was very excited to see me and told me that her family missed me a lot, and that their son Jared really missed me. Jared and I were really close. He is a huge sports fan and could tell you any stat on any player playing any professional sport. NO JOKE. This kid had a photographic memory. She said that I was such a good influence on Jared that now he wants to go on a mission. This almost brought tears to my eyes (I say that so much, I really don't cry that often). There has not been a single thing in my life that has brought me more joy than being able to affect and influence other people for the good. Not a single thing. Hearing that Jared now wants to go on a mission seriously made me so happy.
       Now for my last and final thoughts. I want to end this letter with my testimony about The Book of Mormon. And encourage all to read this amazing book. If anyone reads any part of this letter, please read this part. The Book of Mormon is true. It is true, it is true, it is true. Please everyone, consider these things, and give ear to what I have to say! I just want to scream this out to the world. Jesus Christ is the son of God, Joseph Smith is his prophet an revelator in these last days, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is once again the Lord's Kingdom established on the Earth. And I know these three things because I have read, pondered, and prayed about The Book of Mormon! If you do not have a testimony of this Church, you've fallen away, or you are having doubts it is because you have not read (and I am not talking about a page, a chapter, even three-forths of the book. I am talking about the WHOLE book), pondered and prayed on The Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith could not have written this book. I have studied and studied and studied and studied. Joseph was 23 when the book was brought forth. He translated it in less than three months. There are two big theories that have been proven totally false about it's origins, and the only theory left that people are turning towards is that he wrote it out of his own mind, his own experiences from his life. Of course when you run out, or lack, any evidence to prove that he couldn't have brought it forth the way he said it came forth, you are going to either have to accept that he translated it from golden plates and accept the he was a prophet, or deny he was a prophet and once you've ran out of evidence that could prove the contrary (which the critics have ran out) resort to the theory that he dictated it out of his own mind. Isn't it obvious, that theories (besides the theory that Joseph wrote the book himself) were developed because everyone who knew Joseph, and lived during that time KNEW that Joseph was not intelligent enough to write such a profound piece of literature. People tried hard to find the ways Joseph could have written this book, because they knew he couldn't have done it by himself. Isn't it interesting how the critics developed theories to explain how the book could have come forth regardless of Joseph's incapability to write the book, and then go back and say that Joseph wrote the book as the theory to explain how the book came forth? When studying the history of Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon all people will come to the same crossroads. Either you read with an open heart and pray about the book to know if it is true, or you don't. There is no other interpretation for The Book of Mormon. Either it is true or it is not. Let me tell you right now, no amount of research is going to prove The Book of Mormon false, or even true! The only way to gain a testimony about The Book of Mormon, and the thing that continually strengthens my testimony of The Book of Mormon, is to READ, PONDER, and PRAY about it. There is no way to know whether this Church is true of false without doing that. I invite all those who read this, whether you are a member or not, to read and to pray about The Book of Mormon. Because quite frankly, The Book of Mormon doesn't mean anything to you if it is false. All it means is that Joseph Smith was a criminal and that he deceived a lot of people. BUT IF IT IS TRUE, then it means the world to YOU. It means that God the Father and Jesus Christ love you, you can live together as a family for all eternity, the things that you've done wrong can be made right, you can go to a Church and be sure that the things being talked about are true, that there is a life after death, and that God still speaks today. Those things are so much more important to prove to yourself than to prove that Joseph Smith was a charlatan. Because if the book is false, then it won't affect you and it doesn't matter to you. But if it is true, regardless of if you believe it or not, it will affect you and it should matter to you. I want to tell the whole world that I know The Book of Mormon to be the world of God and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. It has blessed my life. It has changed my life. Please consider what I've said and read The Book of Mormon.
"You don't know me - you never will. I don't blame you for not believeing my history had I not experienced it I could not believe it myself." - Joseph Smith (Journal, April 7th, 1844)
      I love you all so much. With all of my heart. I wouldn't take the time to say so much if I didn't feel love for all the people that read my weekly letters. I don't write back home to try let people know how great of a missionary I am or whatever a selfish motive may be. I really write back home so that all can see that this Church is true. Because the truthfulness manifest itself daily in my life out in the mission field, and I want to share my experiences with the world.
-Elder Ryan Romero
Elder Jordan, Elder Romero, Elder Macmahan, Elder Schneck, Elder Sandoval

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ending the Transfer Strong!

Miracle after miracle this week! Oh my goodness, great things are happening in dynamic Dallas!
      Alright, I'll start off with the first miracle. It happened just last P-day. Last P-day was got to spend some extra time with David and just hang out with him for a little before our P-day ended. Once our P-day ended we went to have dinner with a family in the ward and David came with us! And we had an awesome lesson. After dinner we went back home where one of my favorite members of the ward, Brother George Bush (yes, that is his real name!) was waiting to take us out on a team up. Our plans were to go see this one guy named Daniel that we tracted into the week prior, but I felt like we should go see a couple more people before we go see Daniel. So that's what we did. We drove to the people's homes but unfortunately they weren't home. After about 45 minutes we went to go and see Daniel. He opened the door and says, "Wow, you caught me, I just got home." Coincidence? Doubtful. This was our first time sitting down with Daniel, and let me tell you, he's been prepared by the Lord! Daniel has served two terms in Iraq and now suffers from PTSD. He has things together pretty well though. He is a Catholic but is not too firm in his faith. His faith in God and Christ is struggling a bit after his time in Iraq. We taught Daniel the Restoration and the first thing he says is, "Well yall say you have prophets, can I hear one?" And our reply was, "Well of course you can!" So we pulled up conference on his laptop and threw it up on his big screen and we all had the feeling that we should watch Elder Holland's talk on Depression. Daniel, just one minute into the video, paused it and said, "Oh my gosh, that is exactly what I needed to hear. The Catholic Church just won't say that. They say, 'Well that's just how God made you' and just beat around the bush. But he said it exactly how it needed to be said!" He was astounded. Since that visit Daniel has come and done service with us at this lady's home that needs help, taken us out to lunch, taken a church tour, come to Church, and had us refer his mother to the missionaries in Texas. Daniel is a total miracle and we are so excited about him.
       Miracle number two. This Saturday we had an awesome lesson with David. We had the bishop with us and read one of my favorite chapters out of The Book of Mormon, Alma 42. It explains the Plan of Salvation so well and how God is both a justiceful God and a merciful God. I told David that I really like chapters that teach a lot of doctrine, and this is one of those chapters. We read that chapter and he was just loving every second of it. He was pulling out things from that chapter that I had never thought of before. After we read that chapter I asked David one simple question, "David, did Joseph Smith write this? Or did God?" and he said, "There is no way Joseph could have written this." We then expounded and asked David how he's felt since he's been meeting with us and he said, "I feel warm, especially when we pray." I can't even explain the joy I felt as he answered each one of our questions. We then invited him to be baptized on October 26 and he accepted. He still has a couple more hurdles to get over before he gets there, but I am confident that he will make it. Please pray for David.
      Miracle number three. Both David and Daniel are coming to a devotional that we have this Thursday with Elder Evans from the seventy. The miracle is that Thursday is the only day that David has off from work this week. And he has it off because he took it off in advance. Another coincidence? Nah. David and Daniel are both committed to come to this awesome devotional that is designed for investigators and recent converts. Brother George Bush has already committed to drive us all. I am so excited! It is going to be so much fun. David and Daniel are just complete gifts from God. Please continue to pray for both of them!
      I love the Dallas ward so much. The Bush families, the Kelly family, the Seawell family, Brother Crew, Brother Hoddow, just every single member of this ward is so amazing. I can't even express the love that I have for Brother Crew. His wife isn't even a member and he devotes so much time to help us out. He is serious the best ward mission leader I've ever had. His testimony of the Gospel just shines through all his good works. I love the the Bush families. Miles Bush (Dad), George Bush (Son) and Spencer Bush (Son). All in the same ward. George and Spencer remind me of my family members. They are both electronic loving, apple fanboys. They are so funny and cool. I love spending time with them.
      Random thought that I wanted to throw into my letter. This week I bought a thing of canned beets, because they reminded me of home. Poppi, my grandpa would always eat them. The smell just reminds me of my grandparents home. I was also looking for healthier things to eat so I thought that I might give them a try. Unfortunately Poppi, I still hate beets. They were so gross. Haha. I ate them though. I miss you guys and love you so much!
     I love you all, I hope to hear from whoever reads this over the next week!

District Picture 10/13
-Elder Ryan Romero

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference Week, My Favorite Week

What a great opportunity we had this week to hear from the prophets of God. I love conference so much. This conference really gave me the spiritual uplift that I needed this week. I don't even know where to start. I loved it so much, I feel like every talk was written just for me. Subjects were talked about that I didn't think would ever be talked about in conference, yet they were exactly what I needed to hear. I love knowing that the General Authorities are not given topics to speak about, but seek revelation and speak about what God wants them to speak about. I love seeing the trends in the talks. It is important to realize that they prophets and apostles are not just speaking for the church, but for the entire world. Just think how much better of a place this world would be if everyone sat down and listened to these oracles of God and took heed to their words.
      I had a couple talks stick out to me. David M. McConkie's talk spoke to me, because his words were my words. If you read my last letter and listened to this talk, then you will understand what I mean by this. This talk was specatular. So well layed out and so clear on how to become a powerful teacher. First I want to say that I was not aware at all that Marion G Romney said word for word exactly what I said to the Elder I was on an exchange with. I told him that I know that I am teaching by the spirit when I learned something from the lesson I taught. When David M. McConkie said this quote I stood up out of my seat and said, "Whoa, I just said that exact thing like two weeks ago!" I was so excited. The Gospel is truly amazing. I did not come to this conclusion of teaching by the spirit by reading about it in any book, or hearing it from any other person. I came to the conclusion you know when you are teaching by the spirit when you learn something from what you teach from my own personal experiences. I was so excited that Marion G Romney came to the same conclusion that I came to through his own experiences. It just shows how true the Gospel is.
      Elder Holland's talk, as always, spoke to me. He spoke on the subject of depression. This was a talk that I feel a lot of people needed to hear. It was something that I needed to hear. Throughout my mission I've stuggled with depression. I've gotten down and sometimes it's felt like something I just could not get out of. I won't go too deep into the details of my own depression, but it was very similar to what Elder Holland described. I felt like his advice was quite litterally an answer to many of my prayers. It was a direct message from God to me. I almost felt like that talk was not written for anyone else. I felt like Elder Holland called me into his office and just sat down with me and said, "Elder Romero, we need to have a little chat. God loves you, he's been listening to your prayers, and he's given me this message to give to you." Goodness, I can't describe the awe I was in while listening to that talk.
       Now I must admit my disappointment that Elder Tad R. Callister did not speak. Haha. I am just kidding (kind of). Elder Callister is my hero. He is my favorite General Authority. I was crossing my fingers the whole conference that he'd be given the opportunity to speak. This man is my favorite. His understanding of the apostasy and the atonement absolutely blow my mind. This man is a MASTER teacher and is truly inspired. His talk on the Book of Mormon that he gave a couple years ago is a masterpiece. He is one of my favorites.
      I love the modern day prophets and apostles. If anyone wants to gain a testimony of this Church I'd encourage you to study the lives and the teachings of these amazing men. I have spent a considerable ammount of time listening to and reading about these amazing men. SOME of my all time favorites (in no particular order) would have to be Bruce R. McConkie, Ezra Taft Benson, Joseph Fielding Smith, Legrand Richards, Matthew Cowley, Marion G Romney, Hugh B Brown, Neil A Maxwell, and many many others. I am so intrigued by the life and teachings of Brigham Young. He was an incredible man. However, I don't think that anyone can trump my love for studying the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith. The more and more I study about this man the more and more I fall in love with him. His life was absolutely incredible. He did more in his short lifetime than most could accomplish if they were given many lifetimes. I love studying and learning about all these amazing people. Their lifes are amazing examples of how we should live because they have all patterned their lives off of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
      David is doing AWESOME! This kid is so great. We met with him last night after conference. He is so serious about finding out if this is true. He knows how it will change his life and he is so ready for that change. I am so happy that Elder Anderson and I found David. I am so glad that we are friends with him and have the opportunity to change his life for the better.
      I love the members of the Dallas ward so much. This week we had dinner with one of my favorite families in the ward, the Kelly family. Brother Kelly is a business owner and is extremely successful. He is a very humble and giving man. At dinner I expressed to him my interest in hopefully starting a business of my own and shared with him a couple ideas of my own. He was impressed with my ideas and my enthusiasm. He gave me many great tips on what I should do to start my own business and to be a successful businessman. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have met all the amazing families in the Dallas ward. Each one of them I feel like was placed here just for me. Each one of them has had an affected my life, and I know that each one will have a lasting effect on my life.
        Well I love you all so much and hope to hear from anyone who reads this! God is good, the Church is true.
-Elder Ryan Romero