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

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