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)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

CCM Week 2

¿Cómo les va? Or in English, Hows it goin?

So the second week here in the CCM has been a pretty good one.  Lots of spiritual experiences.  To start off, we finished out appointments with our mock investigator David.  He said that we did really well, we just need to slow down and not do too much doctrine in each lesson.  Now we have TWO new mock investigators: Miguel and Luiz.  They are really just our actual class teachers but they do a really good job at making it seem real.  Miguel is really hard to read, and he doesnt share his feelings and past experiences.  Its like teaching a brick wall, but Hermano Cates says that it is good practice for how the real investigators will act.  We got a new teacher for the afternoon classes.  His name is Hermano Vargas.  He is 23, and is the most happy, bubbly, and caring person at the CCM.  He is always laughing and smiling, which makes it a lot easier to learn.

So I need to share and experience about this last Sunday.  For our intermediate hymn, the district that would be leaving on Tuesday sing.  They sang a Childs Prayer.   I had never had that primary song hit me so hard as it did on Sunday.  I had been praying to know that Heavenly Father would hear and answer my prayers, but I didnt get it till that song was sung.  I actuall started to cry a little, and the branch president, Presidente Machado saw me doing it.  He asked me after if I was ok, and I just told him that I was feeling the Spirit really strongly.  He gave me a hug and said that this is the reason I am here.  To feel the Spirit so that I can go out to Ecuador and share that same spirit that I felt.  It amazes me how much I have progressed since I have been here.

The food here has dwindled a bit.  Most the other Elders in my district have had "Montezumas Revenge" all week long.  That one Nacho Libre quote has never been heard that many times by human ears.  Its "Easter" every single day, if you know what I mean haha.  The Costco pizza we get to eat every Tuesday is the same as back in the states.  The only drawback is that we have the last Comedor (cafeteria) time, so the pizza is on the colder side.  But it is still delicious none the less!  I just have Mexican blood, so the food doesnt effect me the way it does with the other American elders :)

Just hearing that we are gonna have a hopefully completed backyard when I get home sounds great!  When they mow the grass here, I kinda wanna hop on the mower and weed wacker and show them how its done at a Country Club.  But they do  a really good job, they just need to make the air smell like fresh cut grass more often.

Things with my companion have improved a lot.  We made a goal to be more than just companions.  We are also trying to be friends.  The only thing we need to work on is exactly what to teach our investigators, becuase we sometimes think they need to hear different messages.  But we somehow make it work when we are actually in the lesson.  We work by the Spirit and the lesson always seems to turn out alright.  The Spirit really is the Real teacher, not us.

I got the package y'all sent, and I loved it! I ate the beef jerky right away haha.  I hope you had a good BIrthday Dad.  I sent you a letter, but I dont know if it got to you in time.  Also, happy birthday TODAY Oma!  Dont have the party with the baloon slide until I get home, ok? Haha just kidding.

The language is going really well.  Most of our lessons are taught in Spanish, so my ears are getting better.  We sometimes sit with the Latinos during meals and talk with them.  They are really funny people.  In fact, they invited our district to play cage soccer with them today.  Im sure they are going to kick our butts.  I am getting better at praying in Spanish and being able to speak my mind when the Spirit helps during the lessons.  I just love speaking this language, and cannot wait until I start dreaming in spanish. That will be so cool.

To finish, there are a lot of Elders here from my high school. Everyone is amazed at how many people I already know, and they get a little jealous.  Im gonna try to remember as many names as I can: Jake Irving, Sterling Dahl, Kolin Powell, Austin Keyes, Zach Frampton, Alex Pocok, Austin Burt, Luke Yamada, Matt Christensen, Braden Vance, and Maddi Rees.  Small world Eh?  

Love you all, Thanks for your prayers!


Elder Lomeli

Our district with our teacher Hermano Cates

Dad, even our buses down here are all MERCEDES!!!! IM IN HEAVEN hahahaha

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

First week at the CCM!!!

Hello everyone!

It has been a great week here at the CCM. CCM stands for Centro por Capitación de México.  The MTC is for all those provo missionaries.  My companions name is Elder Nathan Hagemeyer and he is from Colorado.  He was born in Guadalajara, so he has dual citizenship and doesnt need a passport to enter Mexico.  We definitely have different personalitites.  I am more easy going and like to collaborate when it comes to planning or teaching, whereas he likes to be the one in charge.  But I am trying my hardest to love him and get along with him!

The food here is not quite as bad as everyone says it is.  We get to eat authentic Mexican food everyday for every meal.  The Mexican food is COMPLETELY different from the food we eat back at home.  There are no such thing as burritos, flour tortillas, or cheddar cheese.  Oh how I have longed to have some cheese with my refried beans....  They do have have things like cereal, and a full on nutella bar for those that either have diarrhea or dont like the Mexican food.  I have only had one "bathroom" problem, but I popped a pill to take care of that.  But every Tuesday, we get pizza night from the local Costco.  I cant wait!!!!!! Also Tuesday is my P-day, so my emails will come then.

I met my district on Wednesday.  There are eight of us and there are no hermanas.  There are only two districts here in the CCM that are all elders, and we are one of them.  The elders are: Christensen (DL) and Miller, Hagemeyer and Lomeli, Atkinson and Harmer, Tague and Jaussi (yowsee).  We all got along really well right of the bat, and we consider ourselves brothers.  This unity really has brought the spirit when we are doing our studies in the classroom.  We are not afraid to tell each other how we are feeling and how we think we can better help the district.  In my last email, I think I forgot to mention that the name of my district is 12B, not just B or 12.

The studies here have gone really well.  Our teacher is Hermano Cates.  What makes him special is that he is also the Director of Teaching and Operations of the CCM, and he said that he HAND PICKED our district to teach.  I feel so blessed to have him.  He and his family live here and the kids are hilarious!  To go along with being blessed, we also have a great zone.  The ZL's (Grantham and Schmidt) are amazing, and they also said that we are the only zone that has a little family night every Monday, and that we are the only zone that meets together every night before we return to our casas to sing and pray together.  The spirit is so strong when we are all together.

On Thursday, we began teaching an investigator.  He is really a member, but he does a good job at role playing an investigator.  His name is David Urias, and we have already had three discussions with him.  In our most recent one, we invited him to come to church, read the Book of Mormon, and be baptized! It was amazing.  Knowing as much spanish as I do has really helped.

I know this email is long, but a lot has happened and I just HAVE to share!!
Yesterday was Mexican Independence Day.  We got to be done wit classes and have a program where we learned how Mexico gained its independence, and watch closes to 20 traditional dances of Mexico including: The Mexican Hat Dance, and the one that goes like Bamba bamba over and over again.  At the end we all stood and sang the Mexican national anthem.  Dont want to sound rude, but the Mexican one is SOOOO much cooler.  They actually sing it with gusto and with pride.  They dont try to change it and make it over the top like they do in the US.  ¡Viva México!

Lauren: Yes the keyboards here are in spanish.  There are keys for all the different symbols and letters, and the normal symbols arent in their normal places, which makes it harder to type.  But there is a function where you can change the keyboard from English to Spanish. It makes it nice.  Just go ahead and gleek on all the boys.  They deserve it.

Dyl; Keep helping out mom and dad.  You need to learn how to do the technology stuff so you can teach ME when I get back.  But Im sorry to say that you wont beat me in Tiger Woods ;) And make sure mom doesnt break the vaccum haha.

One last thing.  I did find out that you can send my packages while I am here.  You need to do it through a website called www.missionarypackagemx.com.  I dont know the kinds of things you can send, but yes you can send me a package :)

I love you all, and thank you for the prayers and support!  Write to you next week around the same time!

Con amor,

Elder Lomeli

Friday, September 12, 2014

Just got to Mexico!!

I have been here in Mexico for about three hours now.  I hardly slept on the flight to Atlanta as well as to Mexico City.  While in Atlanta, we kinda just sat around at the gate and talked.  I dont know why but all the other elders and sisters seemed to follow me around the airport like I knew where I was going.  I eventually led us to the right gate, then we went to other terminals in shifts so we could get breakfast and still have someone watch our stuff at the gate.  And yes, we did need to take a subway to get from terminal to terminal.  All the people at the airport looked at us like we were on some weird field trip or really young FBI agents.

Then as we flew to Mexico City we flew over the Gulf of Mexico, straight to the city.  People really arent kidding when they say that Mexico City is the largest city in the world. SOOOOOOOOOOOO many buildings of all different shapes and colors.  I took a few photos from the plane, but they dont do it justice.  The drive to the CCM (MTC) was crazy.  There are no traffic lights and the drivers tailgate like none other.  They dont signal, and they honk the horn like crazy.  Sounds like my kind of place to drive right? Haha :)

The next few days are going to be registration and orientation, they we will get down to the needy greedy.  Definitely a different feel being around nothing but missionaries all called to the the Lords work all around the world.  Its awesome here.  I have already spoken a little spanish to help get one other elders through customs.  FOr that all I had to do was push and button and I was in.  No baggage check or anything.  

Yes I did get the previous emails.  IT WORKS.  I love you all and will talk to you soon!

Elder Lomeli

P.S. My companions name is Elder Hagemeyer, but i havent met him yet.

My address here is:
Your Missionary's mailing addres is:
Elder Travin James Lomeli
10/09/2014 Branch 12 - District B
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

The estimated departure date for your missionary is 10/09/2014. The use of the
above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary
at the MTC. Please don't send packages.