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