Tuesday, December 30, 2014

¡Feliz Fin del Año!

Good afternoon family and friends!

I hope all had a good Christmas! It was so good to call home and talk to the family.  The night before on the 24th, a Hermana Betty in the branch gave us dinner of chicken and rice which was pretty good.  The next day I continued with the Lomeli Christmas breakfast tradition and made breakfast for Elder Gonzalez and I of french toast, eggs, and ham.  ¡Que rico!  I also opened all my letters and gifts that were in the package that was sent.  Thanks to all who sent me a letter! It really made the day even better.

Then as I prepared to call home, I literally ran all over the city here looking for a computer that had a working camera and microphone for Skype.  I ran all over for about 40 minutes, and finally found a computer that worked that was pretty much right by my house.  Go figure....  But calling home was great!  And to cap off my Christmas day, we had to be in the house by 5:00 and we had buttered toast for dinner.:)  Made it almost like they do in Bethlehem haha.  

This week has gone by unbelievably fast yet again.  We have three families that are progressing, and three people with baptismal dates for the 10th of January.  I hope that I am able to stay here in Lago Agrio long enought to see all of them get baptized.

Remember how I wasnt feeling good last week with stomach pain? Well, I figured that it was because I had eaten hardly anything and my body was telling me to eat something quick.  Well, this week I almost have stomach pain for the opposite reason.  We have been fed SO much this week its insane.  On Saturday alone, I ate rice, eggs, chicken, plantain, and menestra FOUR TIMES.  Oh I thought I was going to explode.  Good to know that the members and investigators think Im skinny and need tons of food.  Mom, I might need a Gold´s gym pass for when I get home.  Right when I land, they will call me and say: "See you tomorrow, Elder Lomeli".  I just know it.

Things are going well here if you cant tell.  I will ask though to pray for the health of the missionaries here.  It seems that one of us is sick and we just take turns.  Im pretty sure the mission nurse is "sick" of getting calls from the Orient about sick missionaries haha :)

Happy New Year! The Church is true, and being a missionary is GREAT!

Elder Lomeli

We all have to pile into a little car if we want to go somewhere with a member :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

¡Feliz Navidad!

Hola friends and family!

This week has been a crazy one to say the least.  To start off, you might be wondering why I am writing on Wednesday instead of Monday right?  Well, our Mission President changed our PDAY to today so that we could have more time to proselyte before the 24th and 25th.  On these two days, we need to be in our casas by 5:30 at night and we arent allowed to leave.  So to make up for the lost proselyting time, we have PDay today!

So while we were in Quito, we had our dinner with President Richardson.  My zone ate with all the zones out in the coast, and that meant that I met up with someone that I know!  I saw Elder Ryan Call!  It was so good to see him and catch up with him after not seeing each other for almost 6 months!  The dinner we had with President was an AMERICAN meal! Oh it was very delicious.  Too bad we couldnt have seconds....

The traveling to and from Quito killed me almost.  Once we hit Quito, I got a big headache.  The alitude change from Lago Agrio to Quito is almost 12,000 feet or more, so thats what dealt me in for a big headache.  When we got back to Lago Agrio, I was hurled over in stomach pain for two nights.  I think it was just becuase I was REALLY hungry, or I have a little friend that might be inside me.  I think Ill name him Steve.  Hopefully Steve stays asleep for a while, I gave him a big bowl of food, so he should be happy :)

Things are going really good with our investigators.  We had 8 of our own investigators come to church on Sunday, and just last night, we committed 2 of them to be baptized on the 10th of January!  We are hoping to have all 8 baptized in the next two months or so.  We really want to make sure that they are going to be faithful, longterm members of the church.  Numbers dont mean a thing, but Eternal Salvation does!

I hope all have a Merry Christmas tomorrow! And always to keep the TRUE meaning of Christmas in your hearts.  If you havent seen the He is the Gift video yet, WATCH IT.  It is really good, and invites the Spirit really well.  I plan on Skyping home about 2 or 3 MY TIME.  I think that makes it 12 or 1 Utah time.  I cant wait to hear about all the good things that are going on at home!  I hope you all have a WHITE Christmas, becuase mine is nice, green, and warm :)

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Me and Elder Call!

my christmas dinner with president

With one of the Assistants Elder Lindeman.  He is a Lone Peak alumni as well.  Such a cool guy!

Merry Christmas from Elder Lomeli, President and Hermana Richardson!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Baby its...Warm Outside???

Buenas Tardes a todos,

Well, how do I put this gently.....I LOVE ECUADOR!  But as the title explains in perfect detail, its warm.  Not quite the Christmas weather that I am accustomed to, but it feels like Christmas down here anyway :)

Throughout this month, we have been giving aways little cards that say "Èl es el Dàdiva" or "He is the Gift", to help people remember the real meaning that we celebrate Christmas.  Yesterday, we went to the main park here in Lago, and passed out the little cards.  To make it more interesting, we made it a game.  There were four of us, two gringos and two latinos.  We made the teams GRINGOS vs. LATINOS, to see who could give out 14 little cards in as little time as possible.  Us gringos won, and we even got to talk with some cute Colombianas :)  We passed out 28 cards in 15 mintues between the four of us.  It is so much fun to contact when us two gringos talk.  They think we´re really weird and I love it! haha

We have a few families that are progressing slowly, but they are progressing.  The Querevalu and Vargas families.  I am almost sure that they will be baptized someday.  We also have a family of recent converts who are struggling.  The Ceballos family have struggled with some family issues lateley.  Satan always works on us during the most crucial moments of our spiritual progression.  We have tried to help and pray for them as best we can, and it seems like they are on the upswing.

On Thursday and Friday this next week, we get to go to Quito to have Christmas dinner with Presdient.  Hopefully its an AMERICAN dinner.  Not rice, menestra (lentiles), and a teeny bit of meat.  I cant wait though, because we are schedule to eat with the zones from the coast, which means I will see ELDER CALL!!! That is if he is still out in the coast.  I hope I can see him and see how he´s doing!

As far as calling home on Christmas, we have the ablitlty to Skype.  On Christmas day, we need to be in our homes from 5p.m. and on.  So, I will most likely call home around 2 or 3 in the afternoon that day MY TIME.  Next week, our Pday is on the 24th, so we can work out details on that day when I email.  I cant wait to talk to you all!

Yo sé que la Iglesia es verdadera.  Yo sé que es por medio del Espiritu Santo y fe en Dios que podemos hacer cualquier cosa que queremos hacer.  La escritura Josue 1:9 he sido un gran ayudo para mi en estos semanas.  No necesitamos tener miedo cuando tenemos el Señor con nosotros.  Yo sé que el Libro de Mormón es verdadero, y que lo contiene la plenitud del Evangelio de Jesucristo. 

The work is progressing out here in Ecuador.  I love being a missionary!  I really do find much joy when people accept the Gospel in their lives.  The Church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni is always on the ball.  May we all remember the true meaning of Christmas.  That is why it is call CHRISTmas.  I love you all, and hope that you have a great week!

¡Feliz Navidad!

P.S. I ate cow hoof this week.....

See? They have Christmas trees here!

Us four missionaries that contacted the park!  Equité, Lomeli, Ashby, Gonzalez

Elder Santa

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Already?

¿Què tal mi familia y amigos?

The title perfectly explains how this week went.  It absolutely FLEW!  I literally feel like I was writing home just yesterday.  Now I know what return missionaries mean when they say that the mission is too short.  If the rest of my mission goes this fast, I´ll be home tomorrow Mom :)

My companion was sick this week too, and that was the only downer for the week.  He ate something bad when we went to Coca for a Zone Conference (2 hours from Lago), and was running back and forth from the bathroom to the bed all night.  Stuff coming out of both ends.  It was terrible.  He did say that our bathroom is really convinent because you can sit on the toilet and vomit right into the shower which is right in front of it haha :)

This week my confidence has really increased as far as teaching goes. I have been taking more of the iniciative when we teach lessons to members and investigators.  I am also making more and more small talk with every person that I come in contact with.  My fears of knocking doors is almost completely gone.  There is a scripture that says that if we bear our trials with patience, that God will grant us the things we want in His own time.  So true, and my testimony of that is stronger than ever.  

The saying that the "Lord doesnt call the qualified, He qualifies the called" is so true.  I didnt feel prepared to serve at the start, but now I do.  All that have ever wanted to serve a mission SHOULD.  Dont worry about your weaknesses, because through our Lord, we can overcome them to bring to pass His glory on the earth.

I hope you all are having a great Christmas season!  Till next week!

Elder Lomeli

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Small and Simple Things

¿Hola, persons in Los Estados Unidos!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving this week!  I spent mine on a bus for 8 hours traveling to Quito.  Then, when we got there, we had saltine crackers and Coca Cola for dinner.  Made me more grateful when we have a real Thanksgiving dinner!

While in Quito, President Richardson took all the new missionaries to a monument in Quito called Panecillo.  Its a big statue of Mary I think, that over looks the majority of Quito.  It is so surprising to see how big Quito really is.  I have NEVER seen a city that big, and in a country that is about the size of Nevada.  Really cool view though.

This week I realized something.  I realized that the small and simple things that we as missionaries do each day may seem small and meaningless to us, but to those we teach or talk to, they may change their lives.  The following is that story.

Elder Gonzalez and I found a new family to teach right before we left to Quito this last week.  The Familia Querevalu.  We were walking down their street and we saw the wife, Paula, outside washing clothes.  We talked to her and she invited us in out of the rain.  We gave her a quick version of the Plan of Salvation, and left because we had another appointment to go to.  We returned the next day and gave the whole family (Father, Mother, three daugthers), the Restoration lesson.  Then the father agreed to come to church on Sunday, and see how it would benefit his family.

After church, he told us the most amazing story.  He said that the same morning that we contacted his wife, they had a major argument and that they wanted to separate.  He left for the day, and when he came back to start to gather the last of his things to leave for good, his wife told him that two young men stopped by and want to share a message with you and how it can help our family.  He reluctantly agreed to listen to us.  He even prepared questions and statements to be ready to argue or Bible Bash with us if he already knew the things that we were going to teach were true.  During the acutal lesson though, he said that everything he heard was clear, and gave him a good feeling inside.  We committed them to pray specifically to know if the message was true, and they followed through.

Paula is VERY pregnant and has trouble sleeping at night.  So in the middle of the night, she woke her husband Jhon and prayed again to know if our message was true.  She recieved a big feeling of peace and tranquility, and took that as her answer that this is true.  Jhon, however, didnt feel anything yet.  Also, after they prayed, Jhon said that Paula slept so well the rest of the night, he thought she was dead.  The next day something terrible happened.  Paula fell, and fell flat on her stomach, which means ON the unborn baby.  They hurried to the hospital to get her checked out.  When they arrived, there were two other women there with pregnancy issues as well.  They both has just been bumped in the stomach, not nearly as severe as Paula, but one woman lost her baby, and the other had to have an emergency C-Section at only 7 months of pregnancy.  When it was Paulas turn, the doctor was dumbfounded to find that her baby was 100% fine, and that nothing was wrong.  Miracles do happen!

Jhon proceeded to tell us that his answer that this is all true is that us missionaries showed up right when his family was hanging by a thread.  He had been praying to find a way to make his family more united, or if he should just leave.  Elder Gonzalez and I showed up almost literally at the last moment, and now they have great desires to continue investigating the church and unite their family even more.  

We had transfers this week, but no one in my district got transferred.  We were all waiting in the casa of the ZL anxiously waiting for the call from the Assistants.  When we were informed that we were all staying (we all wanted to stay here REALLY bad), the place errupted.  We then tackled our DL to the ground and tickled him in celebration.  It was a good day.

I hope you all have a good week, and hope to hear from you soon!  The Church is true.  The little things we do everyday that may seem meaningless, can change someone else´s live for the better.  So always strive to be like Jesus Christ is all that you do.  Till next week!

Con amor,

Èlder Lomeli

Elder Lomeli overlooking Quito from Panecillo 

Zona Oriente Norte with our Zone T-Shirts we had made

The statue at Panecillo

Typical neighborhood and afternoon in Lago Agrio

Monday, November 24, 2014


Hows it goin everybody!  Things sure have been great here this last week in Lago Agrio. Elgar and Luz Ceballos were baptized on Saturday!  It was such a neat experience, especially since they were my first baptisms!  I had the opportunity to be one of the witnesses for the baptism, and Hermana Ceballos had to be dunked twice becuase here hand SHOT out of the water the first time for fear of drowning.  It all worked out well though.  We had about 30 people show up to support them which was really neat.  Then the next day in sacrament meeting, they recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  In these last few days, I have literally seen their countenances change for the better.  Really awesome experience that I hope to repeat many times in the future!

 So I finally figured out that I live like 15 minutes from the Ecuadorian-Colombian border this week.  For P-Day today, a member took us to his jungle orchard.  He grows all kinds of fruits like: oranges, coconuts, bananos, guavas, pinapples, and sugar cane.  Then he cut down coconuts, and we drank the water straight out of the coconut.  Not as sweet as you would think, but still tasted good.  After we had lunch there with them, he asked us if we would like to go to the border.  We said yes without hesitation.

About a mile before the border, there were a bunch of military soldiers with full camo and machine guns.  They said that they were going to check us for firearms, so we all had to get out of the truck.  They gave us patdowns, checked out bags, and sent us on our way.  It was a very odd experience for a missionary, but it is something that we will never forget....or tell President haha :)  Then at the border, the countries are separated by a river about 100 yards across.  I almost jumped in.

Oh gosh you all would be so proud of me this week! Most everyone knows that I HATE seafood is almost every form.  I ate fish TWICE this week, straight off the bone, with the head still attached and everything! I also ate shrimp that was that nasty red color that people claim means its cooked.  I got it all down, and most importantly, it stayed down :)

I also had another first this week.  I gave a talk in sacrament meeting!  It was about Missionary Work and how members can participate too.  Everyone told me that it was good, and I didnt sound too much like a gringo when I talked.  They also said that they feel a little more obligated to help us out when the missionary efforts.

Things are going well here in Lago Agrio.  Transfers are next Monday, so we will see what happens.  I believe I will be staying here though to finish my training.  The gospel changes lives for the better.  I challenge all of you to think of a person who could benefit from the blessings of the gospel, and share it with them.  Members are the most important tool in missionary work.  Its true.  Have a great week everybody!


Elder Lomeli

cool lightning storm outside the house of the Familia Ceballos.  Notice the small houses and dirt road

drinking straight out of the coconut

Hide and seek from the comp in the jungle

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Work is Progressing in Lago Agrio

¡Buenas Tardes!

Wow, so good to talk with everyone again!  This week has flown for me, so I hope the same for everyone else too!  The weather is really warn down here.  Someting like 85 degrees and sunny almost everyday, with the occasionaly cold front of 70 degrees and a couple hours of beating rain.  Nevertheless, the work is moving forward.

We have two investigators, Elgar and Luz Ceballos, with a baptismal date this Saturday, they just need to get married REALLY QUICKLY haha.  We also found a father and son who are very interested in the church. Edison (father) and Jackson (son) Graniso both have dates for the 6th of December.  I hope that they can follow through with the committments for that date.  We are doing quite a bit of contacting (tracting) as well.  The people here are willing to talk to anyone on the street.  Then after we get our hopes up, they drop the bomb and say that they are super Catholic or JW, or dont show up to church, or dont make a return appointment.  But I know that we are being blessed for our efforts.

The members here are really caring and loving towards the missionaries.  They are always asking to feed us or give us a ride, so its really nice.  Makes it easier to not miss home, when they are always saying that their home is also our home.  I am really starting to understand what they mean when they say that you need to love the people.  I love all of them, and to be honest, I dont really want to leave Lago Agrio!  One mamita made us SARDINES this week.  I didnt want to hurt her feelings, so I endured it.  Had to brush me teeth twice after it haha :)  I also ate tripe this week too!  Always something new to eat down here in Ecuador.  

Great to hear about the mission calls of Syndey and Tyler!  The people of North Carolina and Arkansas will be blessed a ton by their Spirits!  So many missionaries preaching the truth to the whole world....Amazing.  I love it so much.

This week though, I have had to apply one of my favorite scriptures: Joshua 1:9.  It has helped me beyoned belief this week, and I urge all of you to remember this promise God has given us.  

I love being a missionary already.  Feels so good when people decide to follow the example of Christ and be baptized.  I love you all and thank you for your prayers in my behalf.

Till next week,

Elder Lomeli

Monday, November 10, 2014

Greetings from the Jungle

Hola everyone!

How is everyone doing?!?!  Things have started to improve here in Lago Agrio.  I have started to slowly get over my cold and cough that I have had all week.  Made it a little harder in our lessons and meetings, but Im getting better.

We have four investigators with baptismal dates in these coming weeks.  Elgar and Luz Ceballos, Diana Castillo, and Jani Begai.  The lesson with Jani was the best one we have had yet as a companionship.  We met here while we were walking to another appointment one night.  Elder Gonzalez told me to practice my Spanish and talk to her.  We chatted, explained who we were and what it was that we did.  A few days later, we taught her and her grandpa the Restoration lesson.  It was very apparent that she had been prepared by the Lord.  The Spirit was so strong, and she accepted all of our invitations, including a baptismal date on December 6th! (Happy Birthday Ty).

I thought Id like to share a typical day that we have here in Lago.  We wake up at 6:30 like usual, do some exercises and shower and get ready for the day.  At 8:00 we have our first companionship study. 9:00 is our personal study. 10:00 is our second comp study.  We have two comp studies because I am still in my training and need more practices and stuff.  Its good though, I learn a lot. At 11:00 we have our language study.  Half and hour for me to study Spanish, and the other half for me to help Elder Gonzalez with English.  He is required to speak English before he leaves the mission.

At 12:00 we hit the pavement.  We contact for a bit, or go do some kind of cleaning of the chapel.  At 1:00 all six elders in my district got to a members house or a "mamita" for lunch.  Which consists of some kind of soup, then a course of meat, rice, lentiles, salad, fried banana or yucca, and Coke or juice.  Pretty delicious most of the time.

The rest of the day consists of meeting with members, contacting, or teaching lessons to investigators.  We keep really busy most of the day.  The streets here are dirt and rock, and there are little tiendas or stores where we can buy water at any time of the day.  And believe me, WE NEED the water haha.  There is a mamita that we have that has two pet turtles that walk around the yard all the time.  They are pretty cool.

I did something totally disgusting this week too.  I ate MAYONES, or worms.  They are the size of an almond joy.  They swim around in water, then skewer them and grill them.  When they are done being grilled, you eat them.  They taste like a mix of maynaise and butter, with a hit of peanut.  They dont taste bad, just the thought of eating a jungle worm grossed me out.  I got it down without bringing it back up too!

So overall, it was a good week.  The book is blue, the church is true.  My testimony is growing everyday, and I am learning to love the people.  Thank you all for your prayers.
Love every single one of you!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 2 in Lago

¿Cómo les va?

What is up everyone!  Things are going alright down here in Ecuador.  It is really hot and humid still, so thats a plus.  But slowly and surely the work of the Lord is progressing here in Lago.  We dont really have any investigators right now, so we are doing a lot of contacting and working with members.  We did however, have an potential investigator and a less active sister show up to church  on Sunday! It was so great.  The investigator, OMarya, has a lot of questions and doubts, but she wants to learn.  She is an Adventist.  I have no idea what religion that is, but I think its Christian.

Also on Sunday, I had the opportunity to assist in conferring the Aaronic Priesthood to a new convert.  His name is Camilo Ceballos.  His uncle, Edgar Ceballos, was also advanced to the office of Priest.  They live about a 4 mile walk from our casa, but my comp and I consider their home, our home away from home.

We also have a family that could be investigators. Raul and Lisbeth.  I dont know their last name, but they seemed interested and agreed to have us visit again.  The people here are willing to listen to the message we have to share, but they usually struggle to complete their commitments.  Makes things hard.  Pray for Raul and Lisbeth.  I can see them in my mind dressed in white getting baptized and later going to the temple.  I hope they can accept the gospel into their lives.

This week I ate something I will never eat again.  But I WILL make my new comps eat.  It is called Sábila.  It is this gooey slimy stuff that they scrape off the sábila plant.  Then they mix it with panela and some other substance and drink it.  Tasted like drinking a loogy...YUCK.

Towards the end of this week, my comp and I have been a little sick.  There isnt a whole lot we can do as far as buying medicine goes.  We are told not to buy medicine without calling the nurse first and making sure she is ok with it.  She is also a full time missionary like us, so it can be hard to get a hold of her.  We are getting a little better though.  My comp has it worse than me.  First time he has been sick on his whole mission! 

The thing I am most grateful for this week is a washer and a dryer.  Here in Lago, our mamitas dont have the stuff to wash all of our clothes for us, so we need to take our regular clothes to a laundromat, and wash our garments ourselves.  I spent an hour last night washing my garments by hand, and I mean just my hands, in the shower.  I had a little detergent, but I had to use a lot of elbow grease.  Then we hang them up to dry! Haha I feel like a pioneer.

Though this week has been a little rough, I know that God lives and loves us.  He answers our prayers.  I had a few answered this week myselft, and He will answer all of yours too.  The Book of Mormon is true.  I love you all and thank for the love and prayers you send my way.

Till next week,

Elder Lomeli

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hello Lago Agrio!

Letter from the mission president to the Lomeli Family:

Dear Lomeli Family,

Since today is P-day, we hope that you’ve heard from your son, but we also wanted to let you know that we are delighted to have welcomed Elder Lomeli to the Ecuador Quito North Mission.  We spent three days last week training with him and learned some fun things about him.  He shared with us that his grandparents on his Dad’s side are from Mexico and that his dad served a mission here in Ecuador.  No doubt, he will continue what his father started here.  He has a wonderful personality and has quickly has found a special  place in our hearts and we are confident that he will be a great addition to our mission. 

We assure you that we will do everything possible to help Elder Lomeli grow in his personal conversion, and to thus have a positive experience here in the newly formed Ecuador Quito North Mission.  This is a wonderful mission that experiences a high number of baptisms, and success in reactivation. Our boundaries include coast, jungle, a native Indian area, as well as the highly populated city of Quito so our missionaries have a wide range of experiences.  President Spencer W. Kimball said that the most pure Lamanite people live in Otavalo, which is a part of our mission.  This is easy to believe because of their faithfulness and strength – earning their city the title of “Utah”valo.

The theme of our mission is translated “The Center of the World; Centered on Christ,” and we have a wonderful group of 19 missionaries who arrived with him.  He will be serving in the jungle area of Lago Agrio, an area that was likely not open when his father was here, with Elder Gonzalez of Peru.
The Lord is hastening the Work of Salvation and this is an amazing time to be a missionary.  Elder Lomeli is needed here and we are so grateful he has chosen to serve a mission.  We will care for him as if he were our own. 
We know you’re already planning on it, but we want to remind you to write your son a weekly letter.  His preparation day will be on Mondays.

With love,

President and Sister Richardson
Misión Ecuador Quito Norte

Travins Email:

Hello Lago Agrio!

Hola everyone!

Well, I am here in Ecuador finally in the field.  I am serving in the area Lago Agrio, which is in the JUNGLE part of Ecuador.  It is very humid and hot here, and if you know me at all, I very much dislike humidity.  It was about an 8 hour bus ride from Quito, so my car sickness phobia wasnt helped much either.  There are 6 missionaries in the city, one branch of about 75 people, and a lot of work to be done.

My companions name is Elder Gonzalez.  He is 23 and is from Lima Peru/Chile.  He speaks very very little English, but a rule in our mission is that as the North Americans learn Spanish, the Latinos are supposed to learn English.  So I teach him and he teaches me everyday.  We get along pretty well, and he likes to joke around a lot.  He is my "Padre" and I am affectionately known as his "Hijo".  This is only because he is my trainer.  I will be with him for a total of three months here in Lago, and after that we will just have to see!

Our first actual day of work, we had lunch with a mamita.  We ate rice, beans, fried plantains, beef, and Coca Cola.  Everything was good but the Cola, because Im not a soda drinker haha.  Then we went contacting in a little neighborhood, with dirt roads, wooden houses, etc.  The first lady I even talked to invited us to sit with her and share a message.  Her name was Ines Castillo.  We shared the Plan of Salvation, and I gave the baptismal invitation, and she accepted it!  We just have to track her down now, since she lives all over the place, or so she claims.  We then tried to contact the area more and we wound up at a part member home.  The Familia Ceballos, are a great familiy, and the grandparents that live with them are the investigators.  They fed us, tried to teach me to play the guitar, but I ended up playing the maracas :)  

The next day, it was my turn to take the lead in contacting, and even though I was a little nervous, I did a good job, and we contacted about 7 people that day.  We then went back the the Ceballos home, and taught them another lesson.  Hermana Ceballos fed us afterward, and after I finished my plate, she gave me a whole new plate with even MORE food.  It left maybe one bite, becuase I was about to explode after the first plate.  They love love love to feed the missionaries here.

Sunday was different from any normal Sunday.  We have church at 9:00 like normal, but its not a regular chapel.  Its on the second floor of a Colobian Refugee building with no A/C and no nice pews.  We had plastic chairs and fans the whole time, but it was still pretty hot.  I was called to give the closing prayer at the end of sacrament meeting.  There is only one Melchizedek priesthood holder in our branch, so one of the ZL´s is the branch president, and our DL is his secretary.  The rest of us missionaries are the teacers for classes and stuff.  After church we had lunch with some members.  We ate rice, corn (like Nacho Libre), salad, Coca Cola, beef, chicken and ubre (COW UDDER).  Oh it was so weird.  It was really chewy and had a weird texture.  I didnt know what it was until after I ate it, so I ate like 5 pieces about the size of my palm.  I didnt puke though so that was good.  We shared a message about Christ with them afterward, and I tried to give as much as I could as possible.  It went well though.

Then later that night, some of the young men in the branch came on splits with Elder Gonzalez and I.  Pablo and Christopher were their names, and they are both Teachers.  They bore powerful testimonies to the member that we visited.  One member was less active, and the other was a family where only the father was a member and the rest of the family was investigating.  They taught me a lot of spanish and local terms.  I think that the young men should go on splits with the missionaries more often in Utah.  I never had the chance and I wish I had.  They have such great spirits and testimonies that strengthened mine.  

President gave us little DVD players to watch the District videos to help with the infield training out here.  My comp never saw them, so we watch some each night, and he is astounded at how easy it is in the show for people to accept the gospel.  He gets a kick out of it.

Well, now that I am here, I am ready to start working.  There are people here that I need to find and teach, and I am going to do just that.  The book is blue, the church is true, and Im really really sweaty.  I encourage you all to keep striving to become closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Love you all.

Elder Lomeli

Me and My comp
Elder Keyes and his comp

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Arrived in ECUADOR

Hola everyone!

This is going to be a quick one.  I will send a longer one when I know when my Pday is.  So we left the CCM at 10:30, and our flight left from Mexico to Colombia at 2:15 in the morning.  After a four hour flight we landed in Colombia and had a two hour layover.  I was able to go through customs, call home, and get some Dunkin Donuts before having to board the next plane to Quito.  That flight lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes.  We were met my the AP´s and President and Sister Robinson by the doors.  One of the APs went to LP as well haha.  We had an hour bus ride to the chapel, where we will be having training for the next few days.  I wont get my companion until Thursday, and I will also go to my new area that day as well.

I got here safe, and am happy to be here.  Cant believe dad was here 30 year ago!!!

Love you all, and I will talk to you soon.

Elder Lomeli

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Last week in the CCM!

Hello everyone!

This week really did fly by.  So many good lessons, teaching appointments, and excitement to leave.  I got my travel itinerary a couple minutes ago, and I leave Tuesday at 2:15 in the morning.  So I willl actually leave the CCM at 10:00 Monday night.  I will have a four hour flight to Bogotá Colombia, have a 2 hour layover, then have another 1 1/2 hour flight to Quito.  I cant wait!  We even get a hot meal on the plane too haha.  So I think I will be able to call home either when I am about to leave Mexcio, or once I get to Ecuador.  I will let you all know as soon as I find out.

This last Sunday, my district and I had to opportunity to give a mini sacrament service for the workers in the Comedor (cafeteria).  I gave a little two minute thought on the importance of reading and feasting on the words of Christ.  Afterward, some of the workers told me that my spanish was really good.  Maybe I am learning something here haha.  Then, in our normal sacrament meeting, my comp and I had the chance to pass the sacrament.  I hadnt passed in a really long time, so I jumped at the opportunity.  President Brown then asked me to give a talk on the Holy Ghost.  I tried to just wing it, and use some scriptures, and it turned out really well.  Once again, the branch presidency and their wives all told me that my spanish was good.  Now I just need to completely immerse myself to get the full effect.

We heard some really great news the other day.  This coming Satruday, we are having a special devotional by NEIL L ANDERSON!!! Holy nuts I am sooo excited.  He even wishes to personally greet EACH missionary as we come into the auditorium.  This will be the first time I will shake hands with a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles.  Good thing he decided to come this week instead of next!

I am super glad to hear that everyone is doing well.  Just so everyone knows, I placed tiny cameras in the Lyman house to make sure that everything stays in order. haha just kidding.  Have a good time down there!  Im sorry to hear all the bad news about BYU.  At least we have basketball to look forward to in the coming years when BYU-Alpine trasfers to BYU-Provo :)

Things with my companion have gone up this week.  We had a good comp inventory, that will at least get us through this final week.  Our district has also become closer knowing this is the last week we have together.  Its ok though, four of them live in Utah so we can hang out after the mission. They live in: Riverton, Sandy, Alpine, and Park City, So pretty close

I recieved an email from my mission president that I will forward.  It is a brief welcome and overview of the mission.  I cant wait to get there!

I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I know that Joseph Smith restored this gospel here on the earth.   I know Christ died for us so that we can live with Him again.  

I pray for all of you every night.  You were all great helps and examples to get me out on my mission.  Thank you for your prayers in my behalf.  I love all of you so much.

Talk to you soon FROM ECUADOR!

Elder Lomeli



our new latino friends


Letter from the Mission President:

Dear New Missionaries,

You have one more week in the MTC and then you’ll be coming to the GREATEST MISSION IN THE WORLD!!!  We really feel that way, and there are many reasons for that.

Our mission is new and becoming more and more obedient and diligent with each new group.  We fully expect that your group (of 20) will be as strong as or even stronger than previous groups and we look forward to meeting each one of you.  We have been looking at your names and pictures and have been praying for you.

The Ecuador Quito North Mission is made up of 230 missionaries, of which approximately 130 are Latin and the rest are North American.  We have 65 sisters.  Our mission includes coast, countryside, jungle, and city and you will enjoy a wide range of experiences and climates.   Our missionaries consistently reactivate and baptize because the people are very believing.  President Spencer W. Kimball said that the most pure Lamanite people live in Otavalo, which is in our mission.  That part of the country is often referred to as “Utahvalo,” because of the abundance of members.

We will receive and love you like our own child and will do everything we can to help you have the most rewarding mission.  We know that will happen as you choose to be obedient and diligent, which means following the mission schedule and the mission manual.

Please know that we already love you and look forward to meeting you in person in a matter of days.

With love and best wishes,
President and Hermana Richardson

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Amazing Weekend!!

Hola everyone!

I think the title speaks for itself.  This weekend was one for the record books.  I will admit up front that this was the first time that I have ever stayed awake for all five sessions of General Conference.  And this was the first time that I have taken notes in every session, not just the Priesthood session.  I have to agree with everyone that all the talks in this session were phenomenal, but if I had to pick out just one (three) they would all be from the Sunday afternoon session.  I really really like Elder Ballards talk about staying in the boat.  I liked how he likened our life jacket as the scriptures.  If we read them, ponder them, and apply them we will never sink.  Elder Scott has always been one of my top three favorite speakers, and this session was no different.  The four tools he gave us to resist temptation really impacted me.  Especially the first two tools, which were prayer and heeding the words of the scriptures and of the living Prophets.  And lastly, Elder Bednars talked geared towards the non members.  His talked really strengthened my desire and confidence to help bring more souls unto Christ.  He made it all sound so simple, and thats how it really is.  So I invite everyone to take his challenge that he made at the very end, to COME UNTO CHRIST and see how he can bless your life.

Things with the companion have gotten a little better.  Just gonna have to try to love and tolerate him for another two weeks.  The departure date that my flight itinerary gave is not the correct one.  I dont leave the CCM until the 21st.  The church has to just schedule that flight in case I needed to have anything done with my visa.  They will end up cancelling it, and scheduling me another flight for the 21st of this month.  So now I get to be fed all this delicious, and desirable food for two more weeks.........  I am ready to just get out of here and go to work.  Sitting in the classroom all day gets really old.

Throughout this whole week I have been wanting to watch the BYU/USU football game, knowing that they play before every conference weekend.  I even asked my zone leaders to call our branch president how the game turned out.  He is an AVID BYU fan, and always gives us updates on the games every Sunday in ¨Priesthood.  To be honest, I kinda had a feeling that Bronco would get too greedy with having Taysom run the ball too much.  Yes that would have won him the Heisman, but it would have been the downfall.  Bronco should just fire Robert Anae already, but he is better that Doman was.  Just my two cents, even though they arent very missionary appropriate.  But hey, it is the LORDS university so we should be striving to make it a better school and a better football coaching staff.

I am so so glad to hear that Elder McCown is doing well.  Im sure he will be itching to get out of the MTC and get into the field.  You come to realize in the CCM that it doesnt matter how prepared you are or how well you know the language.  As long as you can invite the spirit, it will teach the investigator all they need to know to come unto Christ.  Knowing the language and lessons just make it a little easier :)

I love you all, and thank you for your prayers. I pray for the blessings of the Lord to come upon all of you every single night.  I know this is where I am supposed to be and I am too excited to serve the Lord.  Kinda hard to believe that I am already ONE MONTH done with the mission.  I am 1/24 done Mom, and next month will be 1/12! But who's counting? :)

Talk to you all next week! Love you! 

Elder Lomeli

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Time really does FLY!

¡Buenas Tardes!

Oh my goodness I dont even know where to begin for this week!  First off, Im writing this email in the afternoon because we were able to go to the Temple today.  They are renovating the temple, so we werent able to go inside and do a session :(  We were however able to go into the visitors center and take the tour in there.  It was probably one of the cooler visitor centers that I have ever been in.  They have a special room dedicated to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.  I just sat in there and looked at the pictures for almost a half hour, and pondered over the life of Christ.  

On Thursday we had a special devotional where we had two general authorities came; David F Evans, and Steven B Allen.  They are both really high on the executive missionary board for the church, and Elder Evans is in the First Quorum of the Seventy.  They gave good talks about what to do while in the CCM to make your experience in the field better.  Then afterward we were able to shake their hands.  It was awesome.

Our lessons with our mock investigators are going really well.  Elder Hagemeyer and I are getting better at teaching with the Spirit and assessing the needs of the investigator instead of trying to pound them with doctrine.  I have to help my comp with vocab words here and there, but for the most part we do a real good job.  Yesterday in comp study we were wondering what to teach our investigator Miguel.  We had been sitting there for a while, and couldnt figure out what to teach. So we got back down on our knees and we said another prayer.  When it was over, we both had the same prompting to teach the Plan of Salvation.  It was amazing to know that we both recieved the exact same prompting at the exact same time.  Truly increased my testimony of prayer.

Im glad to hear that things are going well at home!  I have only received one letter in the mail from Oma and Opa, but I got it like 11 days late.  If there are more letters, I havent seen them yet.  There is another Elder in my zone who said that his parents sent him a package on his first week and he hasnt received it yet....and he has been here for five weeks now.  I dont know what the deal is either.  I would have thought that the letter I sent to dad would be there by now. Oh well.  Maybe the postage will be better once Im in Ecuador.

Im not going to lie, Im getting sick of this place.  I want to get to Ecuador.  The food here is the primary reason.  It is becoming straight up awful.  The casa we live in is filthy, classes get kinda long, and I would be alright with a new comp.  I still love him, I just think its time for a change haha.

Idk about all of you but I for probably the first time in my life am STOKED for General Conference this weekend.  Maybe its cuz we will get out of class, but its mostly cuz we can listen to the Lord speak through his Prophet and Apostles.  AND, for the first time, Im going to try to stay AWAKE during all five sessions.  Wish me luck! I would love to hear what everyones favorite talk was too!

En conclusión, quiero compartir mi testimonio en español  Sé que esta iglesia es verdadera.  Sé que José Smith fue un profeta de Dios y que él tradujo el Libro De Mormón.  Sé que La Expiación de Jesucristo es el camino que podemos regresar a Dios por eternidad.  Sé que este misión no es mío, es el misión de Dios para mí.  Familias pueden ser eternas.  Sé que podemos recibir respuestas a nuestras oraciones si tenemos fe.  En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Love you all.  Talk to you next week!

Elder Lomeli

Don't fall asleep in the CCM haha

 Random guy chillin on the slide in the street

Mexico City Temple

Elder Fierros

Elder Calle (left) and Elder Hernandez (right)