Sunday, May 25, 2014

Early Email having a Zone Conference leadership meeting on Monday

Today is Saturday, but we've been given some time to email today. Due to Memorial Day the mission's P-day got moved to Tuesday. However on Tuesday Elder Wahlen and I will be going down to the mission home for some training. So we won't have a P-day next week but are given some time today to write our families. 

Things went pretty well this week. I have a lot to write about, but as usual I don't have a lot of time to write it all. So I am going to try to cover as much as I can. 

This ward is interesting... It is very different from the Snellville ward. I am having a pretty difficult time here. I feel like a foreigner and the members are not very welcoming to me. I don't know why that is. I haven't done anything wrong or offended anyone. I just feel like since they know that I am going to be leaving soon, no one wants to take the time to get to know me or take me seriously. 

Over the past week I have been seriously pondering why God put me here in this ward. What am I supposed to do here? Why am I here? I know that God has a purpose for me here. I have come to the conclusion that God definitely wants me to have an effect on this ward in some way, but that perhaps God wants this ward to have more of an effect on me. The lesson is for me, not for the ward. If that makes sense... 

One of the benefits to being a missionary is seeing all of the different wards. It is incredible how different a ward can be. 

I don't know why. I just can't think straight right now and I am having a difficult time trying to write down all of the things that I want to write down. 

Our investigator Celentria is doing pretty good. She is still smoking... But we have faith that she is going to stop so that she can be baptized. We had a great lesson with her this week. She got very emotional as we talked with her about her life and how baptism and this gospel can change her life. Celentria is amazing and really just a good person. She has the best spirit about her. 

I really love Elder Wahlen, he is a great companion. It has been so awesome getting to know him and learn from him. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to serve alongside him. 

Well I love you All so much. 

-Elder Ryan Romero 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Week of Exchanges

This week I did not get to spend too much time in my area. I went on two exchanges this week. One with Elder Rogers in Snellville, and the other with Elder Smith in Jackson. It was a great week with some really great experiences. I am so greatful for the wonderful Elders serving here in this zone. Elder Wahlen and I had a pretty good week in our area. We really get along and he is definitely one of my favorite companions. He has taught me so much and I am so greateful to be serving here with him. 

     On Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Rogers in Snellville. It was a great exchange. I had the opportunity to attend his first district meeting, which went great, and to introduce him to all of the investigators and some of the mighty members in Snellville. It was really just a perfect day. Everyone that we wanted to see we were able to see. We saw Yolanda, Regina, Chelsea, and Angela. We went to dinner with one of my favorite members from Snellville, David Josue. He surprised me by taking us out to eat at my favorite restaurant in Snellville, Provino's! It is just this awesome italian restaurant that has the best garlic rolls ever! We found two incredible families that day. One of the people we found was name Secely, her and her son are now on date to be baptized. We also got to give a blessing to the friend of a member. He name is Kaya, and she is super awesome. To finish off the day I got to say goodbye to my other favorite Snellville member, Brother Tackett. We made his "secret recipe" ice cream (as he was making it he said it was secrect, but he would occasionally look at the recipe on the ice cream salt to see what came next in the recipe. Such a jokester. Haha). 

      On Friday I went on an exchange with one of my favorite Elders in the mission, Elder Smith! Elder Smith and I served around each other while I was in Dallas. Elder Smith is just an incredible missionary who I can see myself being lifelong friends with. I have the greatest respect for Elder Smtih. He is a quite Elder and keeps to himself. He reminded me a lot some of my friends back home. He doesn't say much when he is around other people, but he is a powerhouse of a missionary. I feel like Elder Smith has not gotten recognized for how great of an Elder he is, not that it is important to get recognized for your works. But I just don't think that people realize how great Elder Smith is. He is such a great teacher. When you get in a lesson with him you can tell of his sincere care and love for the people that he teaches. You can tell that he sincerely LOVES the Gospel. I really believe that he is one of the best Elders out here. Him and Elder Holt I really respect because you can tell of their genuine and sincere love for the Gospel. 
      Our exchange was awesome. Elder Smith serves in Jackson Georgia. It is the Southern-most area in the mission. and it is SOUTHERN. Goodness, this is probably my favorite places I have been in Georgia. It is the first place in Georgia where I was just in awe over how beautiful the surroundings were. The houses, the archecture and the people. I felt like I was in the movie Forrest Gump. The first lesson that we taught was with a guy named Arthur, he was a recent convert of almost a year. This man was Southern, you could hardly understand a thing that he said. Haha. The second lesson that we taught was with a part member family named the Knight Family. Brother Knight is not a member, but loves the missionaries. This was probably one of my favorite families I have met on the mission. I loved them to death. Sister Knight cooked us some great spaghetti and we ate and ate. After we ate it was time to have teach Brother Knight about the Restored gospel. Brother Knight gives all the missionaries nick-names. Elder Smith's name is Elder Smooth. He said that he only gives the missionaries he likes nick names, and some missionaries have to wait months to get one. We sat down and I asked Brother Knight what was holding him back from getting baptized, because he would make an incredible member of the church. He said that he had a problem with the idea of living day prophets. After a few scriptures and my time-machine analogy and our testimonies, Brother Knight annointed me with the nick-name "Brother K." Haha. He said that the K was for knowledge. Haha. He said that I really impressed him and that I was a great teacher and that the things that we taught he never really clicked before until that day. It was a great lesson. I really loved this exchange with Elder Smith. It was a great day. 

       I don't have too much more to write about. I am trying hard to get to know the ward and all of the things the members of it. It is hard because I know that my time is limited, and I am trying to do as much as I can before I leave this area. We have a few really great investigators. One of them is named Celentria and she is preparing to get baptized. She just has to stop smoking and she will be baptized. I have a lot more that I want to say, but I really just don't have time to say it all. 

       I have come to realize a lot about missionaries and mission culture throughout my mission. I have had such a great change to really get to know some amazing missionaries that have just impressed me so much. I have been so inspired by other people's testimonies and it has made me want to be more motivated and work harder. These missionaries aren't district leaders, zone leaders, or an assistant to the President. Just normal missionaries. I have come to realize that truly great missionaries are the ones that try their very very best, and do it because they love Jesus Christ and have a testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel. I have a testimony of the changing and enabling power of the atonement. I know that I have seen it work in my life and in the life of those missionaries that work hard and love the Savior. I love this church, and I love this gospel. 

-Elder Ryan Romero 

Monday, May 12, 2014


I am out of Snellville =(. I really loved that place. I am very happy about what occurred this transfer though. I am now serving in the Conyers Ward. The Conyers ward is in the same stake as the Snellville ward was. I ended up just moving down the road. This last transfer I am serving as a zone leader with an incredible Elder named Elder Wahlen. Elder Wahlen is from Bountiful. He just turned 24 and is seriously just amazing. He's so full of faith, so positive, and has such a great work ethic. It is really an honor to be serving with him for my last transfer of the mission. I've known Elder Wahlen for awhile and have always thought that he was one of the best missionaries out here and have always wanted to have the opportunity to serve with him. I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed my to finish the mission this way. In a great area, with a great companion.
This week has sort of been a blur. I was not expecting to get transferred. I never ever enjoy packing. The Snellville ward members were surprised to see me go. It was really tough saying goodbye to many of the members and investigators there. Luckily I did not go too far away. In fact, I will be going back there on Tuesday to train the new District Leader that took my spot. I am really going to miss all of the members in the Snellville Ward. Bishop Clay was truly the best bishop I've had on my mission and he really was an example to me. President Roberts was one of the best Elder's Quorum President's I've had on my mission, he was so wise and really has become one of my heroes. Brother Cook was just the nicest guy and best team-up there is. I am going to miss him so much and all that he did for me. Brother Tackett, I can't wait to hike Timp with him in July. He truly did make the best ice cream as he said. Brother O'Dell, just a Gospel scholar with an incredible attitude. I am going to miss Brother McIntyre and him taking us out to go get hot dawgs at Rivals! Ugh. These are just a few of the members of the Snellville ward who I am going to miss very very much.
I am going to miss Regina and her family. I am going to miss Brother Ellsworth, and doubt I'll ever find an investigator I enjoyed teaching as much as I did him. I am going to miss all of the investigators there and really hope to keep in contact with them. I pray for them daily. It is so hard to leave an area. It is incredible how much love you develop for the people that you serve.
I am really happy to be serving with Elder Wahlen because he is helping me get really fit before I go home. Each morning since we've been together we've ran four miles, and are going to continue doing that. We have been working really hard and trying to talk with all of the people that we can. We have really been studying how to rely on the Lord, or how to involve him more in our daily lives. The way that we have prayed has changed and become a lot more sincere. We have been noticing miracles happen over the past few days and people just seem to be delivered to us. We don't have too many progressing investigators as of right now. But I am confident that that will change very quickly. This week is going to be a great week. I can feel it.
It was great being able to talk to my Mother yesterday. I love her so much. It is incredible how my love for my parents has grown on my mission. I realize that I would not be anywhere without my Mother, of course I wouldn't be living, but I do not believe that I would be here on a mission. If it wasn't for my Mother and her loving counsel, I would have made many terrible decisions, and wouldn't have gotten far. I have learned that the Gospel truly does bless families. It is made for the family. I know that because I have seen how this Gospel has blessed my family and helped my parents raise me.
Well, it is about time for me to get going. I can't wait to tell you about what happens next week!
-Elder Ryan Romero 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Will I stay or will I go?

No word on transfers yet... I am hoping that I will stay in the Snellville ward for my last transfer. I really love this ward. 

This was a pretty rough week. Chelsea did not get baptized this week because her parents will not allow her to be baptized unfortunately. She feels that she will be baptized, but not right now. We are going to continue to teach Chelsea and help her gain a stronger testimony. 

Brandy who we found last week and was awesome got antied by her family and won't talk to us anymore. We still have not been able to get into contact with Roger... Satan has really been working hard lately. 

We found two awesome new families this week. The Womac Family and the Williams family. Sister Womac came to Church this week and loved it. My companion and I taught Gospel Principles. It was about Jesus Christ's Church in the former days. My favorite subject. It was really a great lesson. Everyone was talking about it afterwards and it was just powerful. I really love teaching, I love using the scriptures. Every time I teach I can just feel the spirit speaking through me. It is truly an incredible experience. 

I can't believe that this transfer is over. Only one more to go... I don't know how I feel about that. I am very excited to go home and begin my life. I am excited to see all of my family and friends. I am excited to go back to school and start life again. I am sad to leave though, but excited. I am sad to leave all of the loved ones that I have in Georgia. But I still have awhile left so I don't need to think about it all yet. 

My studies over the past transfer have just been great. I feel like my understanding of the Atonement and Jesus Christ's role as the redeemer has grown tremendously. It is a subject that I really should have focused on at the start of my mission. I love this Church so much. I really really love the Restored Gospel! 

It never seems like I get enough time on these computers to express all of the feelings that I have. A lot has happened this week, but I just don't have enough time to write it all. I am very excited for Mother's day! I can't wait to talk to my family! 

Well I have got to get going. Love you all so much! 

-Elder Ryan Romero