It is hard to know what to write when you've had a rough week... This was one of those weeks that really tests your patience and your faith. I would like to take this time to reflect on the positive things that happened this week. Because in-between all of the canceled appointments and unexpected tragedies, there was some good things that happened. I need to really just sit down and think of the blessings that we've received this week.
First off, the members of this ward are amazing. This morning we went with our best friend Brother Crew to go and put up American Flags along the highway for all the Veterans from Dallas that have been lost at war. It was a great experience for me. I was patriotic before my mission, and that patriotism has only grown since I've been on my mission. I have always had a deep deep love for the founding fathers and the people who've given up there lives to make sure that we maintain our freedom. Establishing The United States of America was incredibly important to bringing about a restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My heart breaks when I hear about unrighteousness in this nation's government, and I fear greatly for its future. The flags were very tall and large, I felt so patriotic as we'd run from the truck to the place where we'd post the flag. I am so thankful for people like Brother Crew and the other Southern Folk that still love America enough to sacrifice their mornings to pay there respect to their country. I know that as long as there are still people in the country like Brother Crew, Alderman and Hoddow, this country is going to be OK. Haha.
Elder Anderson and I got to do service for this part member family, the Rice Family, in the ward that we have been working so hard to try and see since we've been here. We tracted into them on accident at the start of last transfer and has had pretty good contact with them ever since. The wife is a member, and the husband is not. They have the three cutest little kids. Elder Anderson and I love this family so much, we've had some pretty good opportunities to get to know them but we haven't had much of a chance to teach the husband the Gospel yet. We went over there with the Bishop one night and talked with Sister Rice on the front porch. We asked them if we could meet with them sometime soon, and she brought up that they are going to be busy because they have a lot of yard work to get done. I told her that we work for free, and that Elder Anderson can carry a lot of weight on his back, and I am really good at watching. Haha. Just kidding. Sister Rice said, "Don't let my husband hear that you work for free! He'll really put you to work." After she said this I yelled for her husband to come outside and sure enough he did. I told him, "Your wife says if you hear we work for free you'll put us to work. Haha. What do you need done?" And she sure was right, he put us to work! The next day we came by in our work clothes and totally cleaned out there whole front yard. It looked very good and they were very happy with our work. Sister Rice promises us that in the next week we will be able to have dinner with her and her family! So that was some good news.
We got to teach Carmen and David again this week. I love teaching them so much. This week we taught them the Plan of Salvation. It is just amazing to see the change in David. As we teach the lesson, he just sits right there and teaches with us. His knowledge and testimony of the Gospel is growing and growing. Carmen really enjoyed the Plan of Salvation. It answered a lot of the questions that she's had. We've invited David to be baptized many times, but does not quite feel ready yet. We think that David will be baptized very soon and will baptize his Mother. That would be so awesome!
I am sorry that this letter lacks much detail and probably isn't as interesting as my past emails... This week has really been a very tough week. I know that when weeks like this happen, it just means that something good is waiting to come around the corner. My mind has been really going this week. It's weeks like these that really get my mind stirring and I begin to ponder.
Throughout my mission I have struggled with doubt, worries and fears. As I am sure all missionaries have. I am not a fearless missionary. I am not a perfect missionary. I am not the perfect teacher. And I am not the perfect anything. I have come to realize throughout this week that perfection is the destination, but it is not a destination that I am going to reach while on my mission, or even after my mission. I have really come to realize the need for a Savior. Because sometimes I feel like I try and try to be perfect, but I screw up. Because I know that I have a Savior it gives me reason, it gives me motivation to GET BACK UP and try again. I've scraped my knees many times while on my mission. I think that the most valuable thing that I've learned on my mission is simply to just try and try again. I have been reflecting on a scripture about this subject.
Perhaps my favorite scriptures, D&C 76: 58-60
"Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
AND THEY SHALL OVERCOME ALL THINGS."
I put the last verse in all caps on purpose. Because that verse has been going through my mind all week. They SHALL overcome ALL things. Ponder that! All things? Everything.
My mind can't comprehend that! It is incredible to me to think that I, Elder Ryan Romero, SHALL (that is a commandment) overcome all things. EVERYTHING. These problems that I am facing. These fears, doubts, worries I can overcome them because Jesus Christ overcame. "In the World ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer I have overcome the world." We will overcome all things, even the world, if we just stick to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and just GET BACK UP and TRY AGAIN. I invite you to go and look for all the scriptures that have the term "Overcome" in them.
Well I have got to get going...
I love you all so much.