Called to Serve

January 13, 2010 - January 13, 2012

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011

Dear Family,

Brad sent in his mission papers?  Whoohoooo!  So in about 3 weeks we'll know where he's going?  (Brazil for sure)

What date did he put as his availability date?  I found out this week that i will be home on the 28th of December this year...just a fun fact for y'all. ha.

Today we went to the temple, it was awesome.  I always love going there.  It seems like you wake up from the nightmare of your worries and just get a break.  everything is so much clearer!  I wish everyone could experience what that is like.

I also cut my hair in a different place than usual today.  A bunch of older women thought i was pretty cool being a foreigner and all.  My companion was listening to our conversation and just shaking his head.  I sure miss Shel's hair cuts.  They are killer.

Well this last week flew by again.  It seems like every other day I'm using the computer to send e-mails i don't really understand how that works.  We have a baptism marked for this Sunday.  Its a 10 year old boy who came with his mom to church for the first time this Sunday.  After the meeting he came running up to me and gave me a huge hug and said "Hey i wanted to be baptized with weekend alright?  Convince my mom!"  I had a good laugh about that.  We are going everyday to their house.  Its actually the grandson and daughter of Sister Nilza that had the stroke.  We are pretty determined in baptizing the rest of this family and it looks like the Lord is too.  Rivânia, the mom, has been praying and reading the book of Mormon for a while asking for an answer and she has received about 4 answers so far.  It drives us crazy because she simply doesn't want to accept it.  I have faith that this weekend she will be baptized with her son. 

It seems so simple to us missionaries.  We promised that if they read and pray about it then they will feel super good and will know that it is the Spirit confirming that its true.  Then it happens many times exactly as we said it would and then they still can't seem to accept it.  I have spent many hours pondering why that is exactly.  I was answered with my own example.  If you ask me what is right, i can tell you.  Maybe I can even show in the scriptures why it is right.  But to make it a part of who i am is a whole different story.  Unfortunately change is a little difficult.  Especially a change from carnal, sensual, and devilish to meek, humble and patient.  Things from the natural man side seem to stick a lot better than things from the spiritual side.  Why else do pornographic images endure a lifetime in our minds with perfect detail but we cant seem to memorize a certain scripture?  Only by the Holy Ghost is a change of heart possible.  When our very desires are changed then we can start to see some progress.  When we teach people and they feel the spirit this starts to change their desires.  Ultimately the choice is theirs if they prefer truth or apostasy but at least the answer they can't deny.  That is where i start to get emotional haha.  As Alma says there in Alma 13:27, i sometimes find myself desiring and exhorting so much that it hurts sometimes.  That's just part of the game.  While sometimes we have downs that seem to break a record in depth with every fall we also experience highs that can only come to those truly humble and penitent that seek happiness.  If sometimes we feel like things aren't going to great it, doesn't necessarily mean we are doing it wrong, it just means we haven't finish yet!  After all, the tree of life wasn't planted in the middle of the path, but at the very end of the iron rod.  No diligent effort goes unnoticed or unrewarded by the Lord.  That's been a phrase that has helped me out a lot this last week.  We actually had some great experiences just because we deemed it worth a shot!

Well i love you all and I'm so happy when i hear about the experiences you all have and the things you learn every week.  I'm sooo grateful for my family, there are lots of things that learn from you all.  Things that i took so long to recognise but just recently seem to have "clicked."
Have a great week hold firm to that iron rod!

With a ton of love -- like a surprising amount,
Elder Romm

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011

Dear Family,

How goes it?  Sounds like everybody is starting the summer out very busy already!  Football camp and what not.  That's awesome.  This week was pretty slow for us.  With the cold weather we are finding that the hearts of the people are becoming pretty frigid as well.  We were pushed to our limits a few times this week.  Some serious progress was made haha.

We had one of our best progressing investigators sent us a message this week saying that they didn't want us to come back to their house again.  For no apparent reason.  This happened on a day where we spent the whole day walking and knocking on doors and being rejected.  I was pretty discouraged after this.  I started to let all those 'poor me' thoughts in and gave more attention to them than to the thoughts i knew i should have been thinking and following.  It was like i forgot what i knew.  I started asking a lot of questions.  Why is it so hard?  Why don't people accept the truth easier?  Why does it seem like Satan is always one step ahead?  Why are there so many people here and just a handful that are willing to follow Christ?  After about two hours of this we went home and i did the only thing i could think of doing.  I prayed and cried.  Then i went and started reading the Book of Mormon.  After a while one of the District leaders called and i started to talk to him.  I was joking around with him and told him that i had become less active.  We talked a little bit and he read me some scriptures and i was feeling a little better.  Then later that night i started to think about what i said about being less active.  That is literally what happened.  I had successfully taken about three great and spacious steps towards apostasy.  I realized how foolish i was.  It was like Satan threw sand in my eyes and then i just lowered my arms giving him as many free throat punches as he wanted.  I felt ridiculous.  I went into my room and begged forgiveness from Heavenly Father. 

Its been a slow climb back up the mountain after that fall but i have definitely learned my lesson.  If the enemy throws sand in your eyes in the middle of the battle and you cant see everything; you may not even know what to do, but if you remember whose side you're on and don't let your guard down you'll always come out on top.  The very next day our investigators called us and asked us to come over, it turns out that they had gotten into a fight with each other and one of them sent us that message just to make the other one mad.  They made up and felt very sorry for what they did and now are even more dedicated in making and keeping commitments with us.  The wife, who was pretty weak-sauce called us personally and promised that she would come to church this week.  And thus we see that the Lord works in mysterious ways to bring about the salvation of many souls. Alma 24:26-27 and 1 Nephi 8:5-6 Confidence!

Have a great week! i love you all!  Confia nele porque ele nunca nos desamparará.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 8, 2011

Dear Family,

So we had transferences but i stayed here!  Yay!  I'll be here for a total of at least 6 months now.  I'm pretty stoked because this is like the best place to work.  Close to everything and because we are the zone leaders of the assistants we have access to all the good stuff first ha ha.  Elder Hann stayed too so we are pretty excited to work together for another transfer.  I've been here for a while so today i destroyed our house and moved everything around to try and get a new vibe going, we'll see how that works out.
It was pretty funny too because I've already said bye to everyone here in the area because i was certain that i would leave but now I'm gonna have to be like, surprise! i lied! ha ha.

This last week went by pretty quick. And this week is passing even faster.  We've had lots of opportunities to use the priesthood these last couple days and I've really been grateful for the experiences we've had.  We visited Sister Nilza that we baptized two weeks ago a gave her a blessing.  We had given her daughter that is taking care of her a blessing of comfort the other day and she told us about how ever since that night she hasn't felt the feelings of anguish or overwhelmed in anyway.  Also that she had a dream where she was wanting to be baptized and she was searching a searching for Elder Hann and I but she couldn't find us anywhere; she thought it was funny that she wanted us and not her pastor.  So did we.

There is a hymn that i have been thinking about lately, in Portuguese it's 'assombro me causa' but in English i don't know what it is.  Its a sacrament hymn.  One line in English that i love is where it says 'it is so wonderful that he should care for me, enough to die for me-'...Yes that one that your thinking of now.  I've been studying a lot about repentance and its pretty interesting.  First off you feel worse then the dirt beneath your shoes than later you feel so good that you think your shoes aren't even touching the ground.  I feel like i need to be so much better and feel like there's so much missing in my character but then i get on my knees and i hear a voice that says 'take it easy, you're a lot closer than you think, try again and you'll see!'  This tender mercy and millions others are given to me and all just because He cared enough and He loves us enough.  I remember playing video games before the mission.  That one Mario cart on the baby course on the Nintendo game cube.  Jared had made a record on that course that seemed impossible to beat.  Every time i started out i had to make the first corner so perfectly and couldn't leave any space at all or else i for sure wouldn't be able to beat it.  Whenever i messed up the action was automatic, 'start button - restart race'.  How cool would it be if that option was available in real life!!  As i turned on the replay 'ghost' from the high record time i could follow his line and measure how well i was doing in the race and judge my own status and how i was going along.  Because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ these things are options to us in real life!  Christ came to earth and did everything perfect, he set the record for this life.  Showed us how to make the corners and evade the pitfalls, knowing it wasn't as easy as he made it look he gave us the restart option of repentance and baptism by immersion.  Then left us a guide, the Holy Ghost to show us exactly what line to follow and where to go.  And whats better yet is that he made it a team race!  He had to go it alone, but we have the support of our Bishop, Mom and Dad, and many others! 

I am so glad that i know these things are true.  With all my heart.  Of the billions of people that don't know it, i take peace in knowing i can say "I personally testify that it's true"  those are powerful words that have a powerful effect. 

I love you all sooo much and hope you guys have a great week!  Loves!

Elder Romm

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1, 2011

Dear Family,

This week has started out a little rough.  The end of last week was pretty good, we baptized Nilza!  She is such a funny lil old lady. It was such a awesome experience to be able to teach her.  She suffered a stroke like 20 years ago and so she had problems walking and such but she is so sweet.  It was so hilarious when we taught her because ever since the first message we shared with her she recognized our message as pure truth. Never in one moment she doubted, its incredible.  She would always say funny stuff about her old Church's that she went to, like how they are all run by "the beast down below."  We laughed a lot.  She always told us that she had to get baptized asap because she was waiting to die. We always told her that surely it wasn't so.  We baptized her on Sunday afternoon and on Monday afternoon she suffered another stroke and has lost a lot of memory and ability to walk and talk.  She remembers that she was baptized and is telling her daughter and grandson that they have to be baptized before she goes and that she is just going to leave everything in the Lord's hands now.  

This is the second time in my mission something like this happened.  Its pretty difficult for her family now.  I feel so good that the members here have really stepped up to help them out.  They have all come together to buy things they need and volunteered to help with anything they need.  It all works out too perfectly to be just by chance.

Transfers are on the 8th of June, I'm not sure if i want to leave the area. It doesn't feel like I'm going to leave so we'll see what happens.  I've been studying a ton about repentance lately and I'm getting a little bit more of an understanding about our dependence upon the plan of redemption.  My responsibility and my purpose as a missionary is getting clearer everyday.  Sometimes it makes me a little frustrated that it seems like I'm the only one with the whole picture; but it drives me to always better myself at helping others fit together the pieces.  I love my job, its a rough one, but it is very, very needed.

I love you guys, I know the Lord is watching out for my family so be happy and don't let any blessing pass by unnoticed or unrecognized!  Enjoy them all!! (after all that's why we're here =P)

Love Elder Romm