Monday, November 25, 2013

I'm a Father. 6'4" 240 Lbs

 My new companion's name is Elder Robison. He is from Spanish Fork Utah, but has spent most of his life in Mesquite Nevada. He is a great kid and excited about missionary work. He is now my second half-black companion in a row. Haha. He is awesome. Him and I have a lot in common and I am very excited to be his trainer and to show him to in and outs of missionary work. This past week has been a good week and we've had a lot of great experiences that I am excited to tell y'all about.

      David is going to be baptized this weekend on his birthday, November 30th. Before Elder Anderson left we went over to David's to say goodbye and to discuss more with him about baptism. The spirit was so strong. We reflected with David on how far he has come from being an agnostic, to now feeling the Holy Ghost and knowing that he has a Father in Heaven. We invited him to be baptized this Saturday on his birthday and he accepted.
      It is incredible for me to look back on my experiences with David. He is so different from anyone that I've taught before. Actually, I take that back. He is exactly like someone I've taught before. And that person is Tony, in the Dunwoody area. Tony and David were both agnostic when I first met them. Teaching an agnostic is very different than teaching a Christian. They are very different than teaching the normal Georgian citizen. Yet in some ways you have to teach them the same way you'd teach anyone. By the spirit. Let me explain. When teaching David, you cannot refer to the Bible, because he's never read it and doesn't know if it is true. You can't refer to Christian doctrine that he may know to be true, because he doesn't know any Christian doctrine to be true. With David we had to start from ground one. In this way, teaching David was different from teaching a Christian. However, the process to having him come to know that this Church is true is always the same. By helping them have experiences with the Holy Ghost, and that is exactly how David came to believe that our message was true. Experiences create a belief. David's experiences have now formed a belief for him. His road to baptism was not an easy one. David has probably read more anti-mormon literature than any investigator I've ever taught. Much of this had no effect on him because it didn't clash with any of his pre-existing beliefs, because he didn't have any pre-existing beliefs. But some of it did create doubt, but through more spiritual experiences and study that doubt was swept away by the elightening power of the Holy Ghost. It's been amazing teaching David and watching him change and grow into a Christian. Please pray for him and his mother Carmen. She is also investigating the Church but has been unable to come because of her busy work schedule. She will be able to attend David's baptsim though!
      Now I want to share with you my awesome experience with Linda! Just a couple of days ago we got to teach Linda and her friend Valerie again! Valerie wanted to meet with us again. This was a very unique and special experience, because guess who came with us to help us teach this lesson. DAVID! Haha. He wanted to come out and teach with us, and so he came to teach Linda with us. I think that it was a great experience for all three investigators. David got to see what it was like to be a missionary, to hear different doctrine (Jehovah's Witness, and Pentacostal), and to feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. A couple days after the lesson you could tell that he felt the same way about Linda that we did, he cared about her just like we do. He was asking us questions like, "Do you think she is going to get baptized?" and while at Church, "Is Linda going to come to Church?" It was a really great experience for David. Linda is amazing. Her testimony is sky-rocketing, she is facing a lot of adversity in her Church about visiting with us. But she sternly tells them,
"I am going to read the book and decide for myself!" She already has a strong testimony of Joseph Smith and can see how the truthfulness of the Gospel is present in the lives of its members. Linda just needs to come to Church and I have no doubt that she will be baptized within this transfer. She is awesome. Valerie is so kind and awesome. She is very supportive of Linda investigating the Church and loves hearing what we believe. You can tell that the things that we are teaching and begining to turn the gears in her head, and she is begining to ask more questions and become more interested. Everyone that surrounds Linda has just been so kind and nice to us missionaries. I feel like her choice to join the Church is going to open doors for others to join the Church after her.
       I can't believe that I have been out for 17 months now. I really don't know where the time has gone. My mission has just flashed before my eyes. I can't believe when this is all over I will be two years older. It just blows my mind. My mission has changed me, but in a good way. Like I've said in past emails, I don't feel like a different person... I still love all the things that I used to love. I am sure that I will still love the same music and movies when I get home. I still speak the same and use much of the same jargon I used two years ago. I haven't lost very many interests that I had prior to my mission. I still want to become a Bio-Medical engineer. I still want to do and become pretty much everything that I wanted to do before my mission. Sometimes this gets me down, because I expected to become a completely new and different person through these two years, but that doesn't seem to be what has happened. I realize that maybe that is not what was supposed to happen throughout my mission. Because I wasn't a bad person before my mission. My interests, desires, and personality before my mission may have not been too far off course what my Father in Heaven wanted for me in the first place... I don't feel like that my mission has changed who I am. I feel like it has highlighted the good qualities that I had, and helped me gain new interests in addition to my old ones. It has helped me gain new desires and dreams in addition to my old ones. It has helped me appreciate the things that I've already had. Throughout my life I have always wanted to write a book. That has been a dream of mine, and I have quite a few ideas for some pretty good novels. But never ever have I felt the way about writing a book as I do now. Not a novel, but a book about the Gospel. My love for this Gospel and its doctrines has been the number one thing that has grown within me throughout my mission. And now all I want to do is just write a Gospel oriented book. I have a very clear idea for the book that I want to write, and I think that it is very good. I can't wait to write it when I get home. I'd tell you about it in this letter, but I am scared that someone will steal it! Haha.
     Alright, it is time to get going. I love you all so much.
-Elder Ryan Romero

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