Good things are coming in Dallas. Slowly but surely. I would first like to update y'all on the status of our investigators. David and Carmen are doing very well. We got to have a great lesson with Carmen about prayer and why it is so important. She has grown up Catholic, but has fallen away from that faith. She hasn't really ever prayed formally for quite some time. The lesson was powerful and the spirit was so present. We had a great discussion and Carmen committed to read and pray vocally with David each night they are together. This lesson was a great experience for me and allowed me to reflect on all the amazing experiences that I have had with prayer. I forgot to write about this experience that happened just a couple weeks ago that I would like to share right now.
Two weeks ago we scheduled a dinner with our investigator Linda. The dinner was to be in the Tatum family's home. We felt that Sister Tatum and Linda would really get along. We have been having trouble finding a good female fellow shipper for Linda. We hadn't thought of Sister Tatum before, so when Brother Tatum brought up the idea that his wife would be a great fellow shipper we took it as revelation. Haha. We scheduled the dinner with Linda and she seemed really excited. She was planning to bring her daughter and grandbaby. We saw her the day of the dinner and confirmed the dinner and gave her the address to the dinner and all seemed like it was going to go through smoothly. We were really happy about this dinner because we've really come to love Linda and really want her to come into the Church, it would help her so much.
The dinner was planned for 6:30PM. At 6PM she called us, and we missed it, so she left a voicemail telling us that she can no longer make it because her grandbaby is sick. I was so frustrated I wanted to just chuck the phone at the wall after listening to the voicemail. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Everything was planned, everything was perfect, this dinner with Linda was suppose to happen! Or so I thought. I tried calling her back right then and there, still frustrated. Luckily she didn't pick up. Because my intentions were not good. My plans were to let her know that it isn't very kind to make commitments to eat at somebody else's home and cancel minutes before. The Tatums have done a lot to make this meal happen, and now you're canceling it. Like I said before, LUCKILY she did not pick up. In my frustration I decided that I needed to pray and ask God for help. Immediately I got down on my knees and prayed and asked God why this was happening. Everything was going great, Sister Tatum is perfect for Linda, she will come into this Church if this dinner could just happen. Right after I spoke those words I got a thought, almost a voice that said, "They will come in my time and not yours." I recognized this council from the Dallin H. Oaks talk "Timing" that recently listened to. Right then and there I realized that this dinner with Linda wasn't suppose to happen, it was not the Lord's time for her. Then another thought popped into my head, "Text Daniel." So that is what I did. I realized this is a great opportunity to have another investigator in the Tatum's home. Maybe Linda canceled because somebody else was supposed to come. So right there, still on my knees at the foot of my bed, I texted Daniel and asked him if he wants to go to dinner tonight. Right after the text sent Linda began to call back and I answered. My frustration with Linda was gone and I told her that I hope everything gets better with her grandbaby and that we can reschedule and have dinner with her another time, don't fret over a thing. Right after that short conversation Daniel texted me and said that he would love to go.
At dinner I watched God's plans role out before my eyes. Formerly we planned for Sister Tatum to fellowship Linda, that is the whole reason that we planned the dinner in the first place. Through the conversations at the dinner table Daniel and Sister Tatum just hit it off. Sister Tatum is a nurse, and Daniel is studying nursing. They both just laughed and joked around and it was awesome. Sister Tatum was so funny, she enjoyed Daniel so much she began to show him pictures of her daughter out in Utah. Daniel's face went red. Haha. It was all fun and games and you could tell that Daniel indeed was suppose to come to the Tatums that night. On the ride back with Brother Tatum, Daniel said, "You know, your house just has a great feeling to it. It is so welcoming." I turned to Elder Anderson and nudged him and said, "The spirit." Haha. Right at this very moment Daniel is with Brother Tatum doing service at the Bishop's Store House. He is doing pretty good. This experience with prayer was amazing and helped me learn that the Lord's plans are always better than our own.
We are working with some amazing families right now. We are working with Rex and Trina who I love so much. Trina was supposed to come to a Relief Society event this past Saturday. She told us that she would try and make it if she could find a baby sitter, because unfortunately there was not a nursery at this event. Elder Anderson and I went to the Church that morning to see if she was able to make it. She wasn't there, so we knew that she couldn't find a baby sitter. We were really sad about this because at this event they were making "Families are Forever" decorative wall hangy thingys (you know, the normal vinyl on wood things mormon decorative pieces). I really wanted Trina to have one to hang in their home. When I saw that she wasn't there I took of my jacket, sat down in the midst of woman, and got to work. Haha. The only boards that they had left were pretty scratched up so I decided to sand it out and make it look a little rustic. A half hour later I had the best looking mormon wall hangy decorative piece. I wrote a little note on the back for Rex and Trina. After all was said and done we got in the car and went to their home to drop it off. Trina was so happy to receive our gift. Giving her this gave us the opportunity to explain what it means in the Church when we say, "Families are Forever." She was amazing as we explained Temple marriage and sealings. We gave her a picture of the Salt Lake Temple. She told us that her and Rex were planning to renew there vows over the next year, and I told her, "Well you could be sealed for time and all eternity in the Temple by this time next year!" This thought really got her thinking. We are really excited to see what happens with Rex and Trina.
Next family is the Styles family. I LOVE this family! These four girls and their mother are just the coolest nicest people. They are so intelligent and open hearted. Mrs. Styles is such a kind good-hearted lady. Yesterday we finally had the opportunity to teach them all The Restoration. These girls are just smart as whips, they understood everything! Mrs. Styles was very engaged in the lesson and had a lot of really good comments. She is very open-hearted and encourages her daughters to be open hearted too. After this lesson the family committed that they would read and pray about The Book of Mormon together. We are confident that they will.
That is mostly it for our really progressing investigators right now. We are so happy with all the amazing people God has given us to teach. I just can't believe how far these individuals have come. It seems like just the other day that we knocked on their door. Please pray for them. Pray that they will receive an answer about The Book of Mormon. I love them all so much.
I almost forgot, this week was Halloween! My favorite Holiday ever! This year we spent it at the Kelly's home. The Kelly's are one of my favorite families in the Dallas ward. Brother Kelly is a very successful business owner. They have probably one of the most well known home's in Dallas. It is referred to as the Governor's Mansion. Because that is indeed what it is. On Halloween they get thousands of trick or treaters coming through. Each year they invite the missionaries to come and hand out the candy along with a pass along card. Elder Anderson and I had the honors this year. We must've passed out over a thousand pass along cards and actually got to see a lot of people that we've tracted into! One of my favorite people that stopped by was a guy named Rizwan and his amazing family. Rizwan was a guy that we ran into at the start of my time in Dallas. He is a Muslim and loves learning about religions. We've had very good contact with him ever since we've been here in Dallas. He's a great guy. The best part of the night was of course getting to eat Reese's. Haha. My best buddy in the ward Brother Crisp took a picture of me with the Reese's because I was trying to hog all of them to myself. I would pass out worst candy first, and work my way up to the best candy. It went first the Woppers, then the Milky Ways, then the Snickers, and as a last resort the Reese's. In desperation that there would be some left over for me. Haha. It was all fun and games. I didn't end up taking any Reese's home. I realized that I don't want to relapse on my addiction. I've done pretty well not having them for awhile. So many fortunate children got a lot of Reese's. Haha.
This week was a good week. I am excited for the events that will happen over the next week. It is always an adventure. I love you all so much!
-Elder Ryan Romero