Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Black Year Gone

In west Lago Agrio born and raised
In the jungle is where I spent the most of my days,
Chillin out , maxin, ya relaxin all cool
And all teachin some scriptchas outside da school
When a couple of JWs, who were up to no good,
Started makin trubble in ma neighborhood
I got in one little fight and Pres got scared,
He said ya movin wit Elder Roney in cold air.

(to the tune of Fresh Prince)

Well people I certainly had a....different Christmas.  We were locked in our house from 6pm on the 24th and the 25th and we couldnt leave for anything whatsoever.  So, Elder Roney and I called in some Pizza Hut and had a jollly ol time.  We ordered double pepperoni and Chicken BBQ for those who were wondering.  It was rico.

It was special becuase I recieve the letters from Gmas grandkids party and the advent calendar all before Christmas, so it was great to read your letters that day!  I also recieved the letters from the best ward in the world #CedarHills17 right before Christmas as well!  Thanks to all who wrote a letter!  And who can forget the killer time I had to skype home!  It was super good to be able to talk to the family! (Sorry my head looked really big on the screen haha).

This week we were able to find TWO new families that live in the same house.  The "wives" are sisters and their "husbands" are just super cool.  Just got to get both couples to get married now.  We are starting to see some success as far as finding goes.  Wish us luck to be able to gelp them progress! Their names are Ana, Nestor, Erica, and Edwin.

  A bird pooped on my shoulder during a contact to a stranger and on Sunday a young woman in one of our wards asked me why my cheeks are so chubby..... Gotta love the sense of humor in Quito.

I have now gone a whole calendar year without touching American soil.  2016 will be different in all aspects of my life.  I love being a missionary and spreading the Gospel.  Just seeing people start to progress gives me a smile that I cant wipe off my face.  The happiness that the Gospel brings in just so contagious :)  How can it not be true?

Have a great New Year! Forgive and Forget last year and move towards a great 2016!

Elder Lomeli

Proud to be American

Christmas Dinner :)

Our stocked Christmas Tree

Ecuadorian Porta potty

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Only 72 Hours Till Christmas!

Hey hows it going.  So Pday was changed to today becuase my zone had the Christmas lunch with President Richardson.  I sadly did not get to go :(  But  I got to go work in Carapungo for the day (where I was when I got punched by the drunk guy on Mothers Day).  I got to teach a missionary there the sector since he was new there and I already knew the sector.   

So get this, Elder Roney and I are a lot alike.  We both hate living dirty, we both really like country music, and we are both white. Makes for a dangerous duo for Satan here in Comite del Pueblo.

 This week we were able to have a baptism too!  His name is Johnnynson and he asked me to baptize him when I had barely known him for a day.  It was really cold water but a great experience.  He has a super strong testimony :)

Thats about all for the week.  Have a great Christmas!  Great job on the Eagle Dyl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Lomeli

Happy Bday Elder Roney!

Christmas Dinner selfie game

I couldnt resist.  Name is Jazzy :)

Padre e Hijo

Frat Bus Missionary Edition

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas in the City

You better watch out, you better not cry,
You better not pout I´m telling you why,
President, is coming, to town!

He sees you when your sleeping,
He knows if your up late,
He knows if youve been bad or good,
So go baptize in a lake!

Written and scored by Elder Lomeli.  Accompanied on the base guitar by Elder Roney.  All rights reserved by President Richardson.

Well I had me some changes yesterday!  I am no longer in the coast, but back in Quito. In the sector Comite del Pueblo and Collaloma.  Thats right, I will be working in two wards and they are both on the worlds largest hill known to mankind.  Gonna be FUN!  My new companion is Elder Roney and he is from Northern Virgina almost by Washington D.C.  He is in the same group as Elder Liendo, so he is my step-son.  I will finish his training :)

Back in the coast, the Karinas as they are affectionately called passed their interviews!  They will be baptized this coming Saturday!  Kinda sad that I wont be able to be there, but we are super happy for them!  Thank you all for your prayers for them!

So this last week we were able to take a two day vacation to come to Quito (before I had changes) for the Christmas dinner with President and Hermana Richardson.  We ate some delicious turkey and mashed potatoes with gravy.  Made us all kind of sick becuase the food is way different to what we eat everyday :)  We had a good game of White Elephant, sang carols, and played with President´s dog named Jazzy.  To make this all better, the new zone that I´m in hasnt had their dinner yet, so I will get another one! Haha!

When we got back to the coast the Elders from another sector had a baptism planned but looked like it was going to fall through.  We all go to their chapel and make a game plan.  Two went to look in the mayhem of people for the kid, two prepared the chapel, and the other two when around inviting members.  After all that we had the baptism!  And the kids mom started crying as her son came out of the water.  Really neat experience.  

I love this Christmas season!  And now that I am in Quito, its cold so its a little more like home :)  I know that Christ lives!  I like this missionary thing.  Dont think I wanna stop :)  Have yall a great week!  Good luck with the Eagle Dyl!

Elder Lomeli

Sorry, no fotos.  Camera is in the house and the top of a mountain really far away.  Next week :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

Let It Rain Let It Rain Let It Rain!

"So they wanna get to know me do they?  They wanna spend a little "quality" time with the Grinch!"

Well folks, Christmas is in the air here.  Lots of ENGLISH Christmas music being played and people asking me what its saying in the song.  Its great becuase I can sing along and no one understands :)  People here actually have Christmas TREES, not palm trees so it gives a little tast of home.

We are working hard with Elder Lieno in our sector right now!  Karina and Karina came to church again, and it was even Stake Conference!  I can admit that I went to very few stake conferences growing up, so if an investigator goes, their gonna be golden!  We also found a new family this week and they accepted a baptismal date for the 2nd of January!  Their names are Ever and Mariana, and to make their situation even more golden, they are MARRIED!  Super hard to find a married couple out here so its a big indicator from God that we need to not lose them and help them progress.

We were given special permission from President Richardson to stay at the stake center to watch the Christmas Devotional.  (We got home at like 10:00).  I loved the simplicity of the messages and the Spirit they brought.  Pres. Ucthdorf, your the man!  And it was funny to see the guy from MoTab get tongue twisted when the camera was put on him :)

Lets remember the real reason for CHRISTmas!  #HaNacidoUnSalvador.  Christ lives to make man free from all the pains and afflictions we have.  I am super grateful for his example in my life.  

Have a great week!

Water literally dropping of our faces!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chaulafán...Not Crackers

Happy Thanksgiving Charlie Brown!

Well the good news is that I didnt eat crackers and water.  I ate fried rice at a chifa instead.  To be honest, I forgot it was even Thursday until another gringo reminded me haha! So we headed to the nearest restaurant and made the most of it.  We had no turkey, but we did have some chicken and mayber cat or dog. Im not completely sure.

This week the winter rains started.  It gets REALLY hot here right before it rains.  Then itll rain SUPER hard for about and hour or two, and if we arent in a lesson we turn into wet dogs.  Of course I gave my umbrella away right before the rainy season.  But then after the rain it just heats up again and the steam makes us sweat underneath the soaked clothing.  The joys of the mission :)  Sometimes people even invite us in becuase they feel bad and we get a free lesson out of it!

This week we were able to see lots of the fruits of our labors.  We have 4 people with a baptismal date, and 3 of them came to church!  One is Christofer who is 9.  He is the son on Christian who is a recent convert that was baptized with me and Elder Apaza two months back.  He plans to be baptized the 20th of December.  Karina and Karina continue to prepare for the 19th and loved church! And the last one is Atahualpa and he wants to be baptized on the 2nd of January.  He listend to the missionaries about 7 months back, but went on a super long vacation.  But he is excited as well.  Pray for these people to be able to be baptized this month!  President Richardson wants us to have a "white" Christmas, but with baptisms since we dont have snow.

Today for Pday it was raining, so as a district we went to the really small mall here and played UNO and had KFC that was a little bit better today.  I love being a missionary.  This is the time when everyone wants to be with their family, but I like the idea of uniting families in the Gospel.  Its such a blessing for us back home, so I hope to make that possible here.  This church really is true!

Ok thats enough. Gonna go stranger stalking....I mean talking :)  Hope nobody died on Black Friday.  People here think it turns into a fullout battlefield!

Have a great week!

Elder Lomeli

UNO at the Multiplaza!
Our Bishops daughter :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gobble Gobble

Cause every time we TEACH, I get this feeling
And every time we PRAY I swear I could fly
Can't you feel my heart beat fast,
I want this to last
With MI HIJO by my side!
-Cascada (I heard this song like 10 times in the street this week.  They love gringo music)

This week was kind of a slower one, but thats ok becuase we´re missionaries.  We were walking around almost all week with almost every appointment falling.  Even for the ones that were set in stone!  We decided to fast as a companionship for two new families and two people with a baptismal date.  And yesterday, God blessed us with two new investigators with a date for the 19th of December.  Its another mother-daughter duo and they are both named Karina.  AND, God also blessed us with THREE new families!  Fasting really does work!

Elder Liendo and I had a lot of new experiences as well.  As he is a smaller, asian looking guy, and I am gringo, we have lots of great friends that like to ask us for money :)  Elder Liendo kinda freaks about and gets behind me.  Then, I just have to say "Lo siento pana, estoy chiro" or "Sorry buddy, Im broke".  I give them a fist bump and we walk away like nothing happened but my comps heart rate might be off beat haha.  
We also taught a few drunk guys this week that just walked into lessons and wanted to listen to "La Palabra" or "The Word".  Lots of great times here in Esmeraldas.

Played lots of indor (futsal) this week, so watch out.  Ecuador is undefeated in the World Cup process so we are just going to take it all.  The whole country shuts down when there is game, so we try to bug people a bit by making them answer doors during an important game.

I remember that last Thanksgiving I ate crackers and water for dinner.  I think it will be somewhat the same, but we may add some rice and chicken in there somewhere :) .Ponte Pilas this week during Thanksgiving.  Christmas is great, but next month.  Give thanks for EVERYTHING.  Even your trials.  That has helped me find ways to become a better person.  This is the true Gospel!  It rocks!  Grandkids have fun at Gma´s party!

Elder Lomeli

PS. HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Sunday Lauren!  Wow the big 17.  Make sure to celebrate it a bit with God at church :)  Love you!!

Live action shot writing home :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Apples to.....Onions?

Elders are like onions. *sniff*.  They stink? Yes....NO! Oh, you mean you leave them out in the sun and they start to sprout curly white hairs!  NO!!!  Elders have layers...HUH?  We just both have layers, you get the picture.  Cakes! Everybody loves cakes! Do cakes have layers?

Well another week has come and gone ladies and gents.  Things are rolling here in Propica for sure.  One morning this week Elder Liendo got up early to make breakfast.  He made pasta and a plate full of chopped onions.  I wondered what I was supposed to do with them, and he takes the worlds biggest mouthful of raw onions and washed it down with a teeny bit of pasta...  I think soon he is going to eat onions like apples.

We were also able to have an amazing tour of the chapel this week with an investigator named Daisy.  We ended in the sacrament room and we asked her to take some time to ponder and pray about if the church was true or not.  When she had finished she started to cry and the Spirit smacked us in the face like a ton of bricks.  She said that she felt that the church was true, and the next day she brought 4 of her family members to church!  In total we had 6 investigators come to church and 12 less actives!  But we still struggled to get them to commit to baptism becuase no one wants to get married here.

And to make the week even better, we found this kid named Eduardo contacting.  We taught him the Restoration and he accepted the baptismal invitation.  We got to know him a bit better and came to find out the he plays BASEBALL.  I was so struck I almost hugged the kid.  He is a pitcher like me so we will definitly be working to get this guy closer to Christ.

We have lots of big plans to take this ward up to the top.  Please pray that we can find a FAMILY that will be able to progress in this perfect Gospel.  I know that its true.  It is perfectly outlined to help the family become Eternal.  I just love being that blonde haired white missionary, in a pool of black people.  Its awesome!  Gotta try it sometime!

Have a grrrrrrrrrrrreat week! -Tony the Tiger

Elder Lomeli "Lamoni"

Get this guy some Sploosh :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Got His Dad's Nose :)

Hello.....Hi.  So, uh, whens the baby due? Baby?! What baby!?! (wack with a purse in the gut)

Weighing in at 110 pounds and 5 ounces, measuring 5'4", and all the way from Tacna Peru, my son is Elder Liendo!  

I got to Quito and it was SUPER cold.  I am definitely more of a costal person.  Me and cold dont mix at all.  I was at a missionary hotel (house of a ZL in Quito) with Elder Colfack (also from LP) to recieve our children.  The night before we wanted to order pizza.  We called at like 9.30, check all the prices, tell them the address, and place our order. Long story short they said that it was too late and werent gonna give us pizza.  Dominos is 110% more reliable in the states than in Ecuador.  We all just considered it an unplanned fast haha :)

As I was thinking about who my comp was gonna be, it though I was going to get a gringo.  There were a lot in this group.  But, I was totally fine getting a latino, preferably not from Peru because all my latino comps have been from Peru.  But there must be something that God wants me to learn from Peruvians becuase he gave me yet another one.

Elder Liendo is great.  He is very intelligent and loves to just talk and converse about the Gospel.  He looks Asian becuase his mom is chinese.  His mom is currently a less active member and his dad isnt a member.  He is truly here on his own accord and had to go through a lot to get here.  He is teaching me more than I am teaching him.  I am very excited to be able to help him be the best missionary possible.

In the sector we are struggling with investigatos attending, but we have faith that they will come.  We find new people almost every day.  That is what is great about this Gospel.  We always have a chance to change and get better.  And the Atonement is just what makes it all possible.  This really is the true church.

Come what may, and LOVE IT.

Have a great week!

Elder Lomeli

Mi Hijo ✌

Monday, November 2, 2015

Baby on Board!

Rockabye baby, on the tree top, when the wind blows, your cradle will drop. When the bough breaks the cradle will fall, and down will come baby, crying and all!

Well if you cant tell, my new companion this change is going to be a newborn.  He is entering the final stages of labor with his mother in the CCM as we speak.  He is scheduled to be delivered in Quito tomorrow around 2:00 p.m.  Then after some time in the NICU with the doctor (President) he will be transfered to the hands of his parent.  I dont know who he is or where he came from, but I already love him and am willing to help him be the best he can be.

This week has been full of finding finding and finding.  But, sadly most of the new people we found werent able to come to church.  But, we did have 10 less actives come, so we hope we will be able to get some rescues very soon.  Please pray that we may be lead and guided to those that are prepared to hear the Gospel.

It was raining a lot this week, and it was the last week we had together as a district.  We were all really close, so we wanted to live it up a bit.  We wanted to play soccer erryday and just keep the laughs going.  The soccer court here is of cement, and when wet, is a great trap for Elders that think they are better at sports than they really are. The court took its revenge out on us, and we went back to the house wet and dirty everyday.  And to top it off, the one day that it was dry, it decided to slap us in the face by still making us slip and fall.  Been a good week for sure.

I am currently in the process of obtaining the recipe of the best encebollado here in Esmeraldas to make back in the states.  Anyone ever heard of yucca?  Before coming here I never had, but its like the potato. Start looking so we can have a bit of paradise later on!

Something that has been on my mind this week was a quote from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin. "Come what may, and love it".  Sometimes we think that we need to complicate humility to live it.  Its as simple as Elder Wirthlin said.  It has started to change the way that I see and respond to things.  I know that it can do the same for all of us.  Just love life and learn from it. Dont complain, its part of the journey that God has planned for each and every one of us.

Hope yall have a good week!  Congrats to Dylan for yet again winning the championship in football!  LPOD

There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.  -Thomas S. Monson

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I'm an Actor

"Youre the one that I want, HOO HOO HOO! Hunny" -Grease

Well thats the start of the new career folks!  I dont know if you knew, but I played Sandy in that movie.  I just barely made my welcome back appearance as a young blonde.  Our ward had a talent show this week, and me and Elder Arrieta joined the Elders Quorum for their act.  We did a RM presentation, and I played the ditsy blond girlfriend that somehow, magically, mysteriously waited.  The bit was that the RM wanted to say a prayer for EVERY little thing he did. To sit down, stand up, enter a house, etc.  The RM and the girlfriend go to eat and she goes off.  She wants to end the relationship, and the RM says "Lets at least end with a prayer!".
It was a fun night.  I had to embarrass myelft a lot but we gained the confidence of a lot of ward members.

Another highlight of the week is that we were able to give a lot of service.  We helped a less active who is also a RM paint a store.  Then on Saturday, Ecuador celebrated 50 years of the church being in the country.  We were able to clean up a park and paint all the benches and make it look pretty.  We all wanna serve God, so to do it, gotta go serve that fellow man o´er yonder wood.  Youll get blessings I promise.

I ponderized my first scripture this week (yeah I know, I started late), but its Alma 32:27.  Sometimes we are confused as to what faith really is.  If we can have a desire to believe, and expound upon the desire, it will turn into unshakeable faith.  So just start with that DESIRE to belive!

I just got back from a very exciting PDay walking around a grocery store for an hour and a half and eating less than decent KFC.  It really tastes better in the US.  We are going to work hard this week to leave tons of investigators for the missionaries that will be here next change.  We have started to work with the older brother of Hans who was baptized in August whos name is Boris.  Please pray that he will have the desires to go to church!

Well, time has gone fast yet again, and I must depart (dramatic right).  The neighborhood keeps asking me where is my RM....  Keep reading the Stick of Joseph.  Its a pretty cool book.  It has pictures and stuff (in back).

Have a great week! Eat some scones and chili for me for Halloween!

Elder Lomeli

Here is the clan. Sandy is in the middle :)
Dog named Mr. Weenie that lives in the first floor of our apartment

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready and GO GO GO!

Im glad they called me on a mission......Now that Ive grown a foot or two!........Wheres a map. -Dallin Martin

What a great week this week!  We just got back from a little hike to the lighthouse so we are nice and sun burnt and scratched up.  Gotta love it. 

So we recieved some very suprising news Thursday night at ward council.  The Espinoza family wanted to get baptized Saturday!  That left us with only two days to find the clothes and make sure all was taken care of.  Luckily this time I didnt have to climp into the celing, but I was willing to do it either way.  Irene and Neila were able to make the covenant of baptism.  I had the honor of baptizing Irene (the mom).  It was a great service and they shared powerful testimonies after they were baptized.

I dont know how many of you remember Jorge, the guy that we found in Agato with Elder Kimball.  He was the one who got to the day of his baptism and decided not too.  Elder Kimball just advised me that he was baptized this last week too!  Miracles do happen!  It has been a really good week for sure!  I knew that Jorge would be baptized and I am glad that one of us that found him could be there for it.

On Wednesday we had a training from President Richardson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He focused more on repentance and endure to the end.  We wre able to watch some clips of Rey León (Lion King) to help us understand.  We all just laughed for 10 minutes at Rafiki the monkey.  Funny guy.  They also fed us a grilled cheese lunch.  The Latinos were disappointed but the gringos had a BALL. We ate NORMAL FOOD!

I learned that this week Elder Arrieta was in a military high school.  And there, the higher the grade you are, you have TOTAL command of those lower than you.  He said that in his last year he only had to say he was thirsty and someone would buy him a drink of his choice.  He said he was pretty much a drill sargeant.  Hope he doesnt try any of that stuff on me haha.  We get along great and we actually cook quite a bit and make good food. Well, good for our time and resources ;)

I love this Gospel.  I love being a missionary.  I know that God directs this work and we are His instruments.  As it says in PMG and in the missionary handbook, I am having the happiest moments of my life up until now.  I love helping famililes find the truthfulness of the Gospel.  Go share it!

Peace out girl scout

Elder Lomeli

Monday, October 12, 2015

Monkey Business

Mormons can be Buddhists too....._ Danny (Sons of Provo)

This week FABULOUS!  To start things off, the Espinoza family passed their baptismal interviews!  They are going to be baptized on the 24th of October and they are super excited.  The dad sadly decided to wait more time to see if he wants to get baptized or not.  It may be a little struggle though becuase they work and study 2 hours away and they daughter now has school on Saturdays.  It will all work out though.

The elders of the sector right next to ours had a baptism this week.  Their chapel for some reason does not have a baptismal font, so they come to our chapel for their baptisms.  We show up and the font is locked and the closet with all the baptismal clothing.  Our bishop happened to be in Ibarra (5 hours away) with the keys to the two doors.  So what do four elders to when there are no keys?  Turn into monKEYS.  I was chosen to climb up a ladder into the cieling to jump down inside the font to open it up.  It was super dirty and small up there, and I almost died jumping though the metal frame, but the font was filled, and the father-daughter pair was baptized :)  Really neat experience that I will never forget.  Just remember that missionaries will do ANYTHING and risk EVERYTHING to make sure a baptism happens.

We just go back from a zone activity where we played soccer and made burgers.  Me and another elder from Arizona made "Rodeo Bugers".  We fried onions and filled the meat with BBQ sauce and even more flavor explosions.  The Latinos were kinda weirded out, but us gringos got a little taste of home :) "BAM!" -Emeril Lagasse

Oh and I was able to give a talk this week in church.  Talked about love, and may or may not have edified a few members :)  Sometimes these things are necessary.

Hey, just remember that no matter what, things will all work out.  That is why this Gospel is so perfect.  We have the Atonement and repentance to make us who God wants us to become.  Lets trust Him.  I love this Gospel and know its true.  To proclaim it, we dont have to shout in every city bus that we see (We have had that all this week from some Evangelical church....super annoying).  Share the Gospel 

Have a great week and read your scriptures!

Elder Lomeli

Me and Elder Arrieta and out new haircuts :)

Monday, October 5, 2015

Amazing!....But No Cinnamon Rolls :(

Let me give  some advice to all you haters out there "GIVE BROTHER JOSEPH A BREAK!" - Neil L. Anderson (he did not say haters)

This conference was amazing!  It was litterally on a high....a spiritual one that is.  All the talks strengthened my faith and testimony that those men really are called of God.  They are His mouthpieces on earth.  My favorite talks were by D. Todd Christofferson and Neil L. Anderson.  Oh and I am too pumped for the three new aposltes.  My bracket wasnt a winner, but we as children of God were!  I am excited to hear from them and recieve their counsels.  

Right now I am in Quito renewing my visa.  Im sure that not many of you knew that I have been illegal here for about three months.  My visa isnt valid, but all that will get fixed tomorrow.  Cant wait to be legal! Yay!

This week has been full of weird foods and fun times.  We had a zone conference with President RIchardson where we talked about our personall appearance, how to sectorize better, and how to cook more healthy.  That meant that we spent an hour and a half with Hermana Richardson cooking some delicious food.  Best zone conference ever.  And on Wednesday, we went to the mamita and she gave us a huge plate of rice and beans.  To go with it, she gave us each a pitcher of tapioca pudding.  The only drawback was that it was the color, texture, and flavor of pepto bismol... I dont know what they put in the food here, but that one was a first and a last haha :)

The Espinoza family is doing very well.  Thank you all for your prayers on their behalf.  The dad is not wanting to be baptized yet, but still listens and reads the Book of Mormon.  We will keep working with them to make sure they can make these covenants with God.  We have also found lots of new investigators this week to keep us busy.  So good when people accept the message seriously.  We all should preach to feel happiness and joy.

I know that this church is true.  I know for sure that God knows the desires and needs of our hearts and will answer in His own time.  We need to be RELENTLESS in defending our faith.  Now more than ever we need to be strong in the Church.  Challenge accepted.

Have a great week!

Elder Lomeli

Conference gringo style

Pres. Monson fan club

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Off To the Races

So Batman says to Spiderman, Hey wheres Uncle Ben? Spiderman responds, At the movies with your parents.......

Who won there? My vote is Batman everytime.

This week was a lot of running around!  On Tuesday me and Elder Arrieta had to be with our District Leader and run back and forth between the two sectors all day long.  I think that day we took maybe 10 taxis! And on top of that we ate two lunches and were able to help someone pass their baptismal interview! Yeah! He was for another sector, but still another person in the Kingdom of God right?

So a little more on Elder Arrieta.  He is from Lima Peru, so for sure I have yet another Peruvian comp :).  He has about 5 months here in the mission and loves to work work work.  I am his third comp so far.  He was struggling a bit due to the heat this week, but its ironic becuase it was suprisingly cold this week haha.  We get along pretty well and he is even willing to go running in the mornings! He got super sore the first day though haha.

We are working a lot with less active members and recent converts.  We had to do three divisions this week to be able to teach them all, and we were able to have 8/9 recent converts come to church, and 11 less actives!  But that meant that we were a little low on the investigators, but that will be our focus for this week dont worry!  The Espinoza family is progressing nicely for the 24th of October.  Pray for them becuase they are seeing a few dificulties right now and we cant visit them too often becuase of their work schedule. 

So, we are tired. We make up for it by eating encebollado everyday for breakfast :) Its just that good.  I will make it for all when I get home for sure!  I love this Gospel.  I know that Christ is my Savior and I am forever grateful for the Atonement.  Take some time and really think about all the things that Christ suffered for you.  Then do an introspection and think how we can really show thanks for that great sacrifice.  

Have a great week!  Conference will be great!  I say that the Apostles will be Callister, Rasband, and idk who else.

Elder Lomeli

A Kitten we named Chaulafán (fried rice in Ecuador)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Round 2....Fight!

Well here we are again. Yeah, but this time we´re seniors! And we´re gonna rule the school! -Rizzo (Grease)

This is totally nuts how fast this change passed by.  But time flys when youre having fun, and even faster when you are having fun in the service of the Lord for sure.  

So, this week was changes.  I will be staying here in Propicia.  My new companion that I dont know yet is Elder Arrieta who I think is from Peru of all places.  Only time will tell....or he will tell me when I ask.  He has got his work cut out for him because our sector is pretty big, and coming from Otavalo, the heat will kill him.

This last week was really cool.  There are lots of members in our ward that need visits and we had lots of really spiritual charlas sharing Alma 36.  Here Alma talks about accepting the will of the Lord in all things when the women and children were murdered.  This story gives us strength to know why bad things happen to the good people in our lives.  And the more trials we have, it just means that the Lord needs us to be even MORE strong than we were before.  If you havent read that chapter in a while, read it and answer this question: "Why doest God allow suffering to occur even though He loves us?"

Cristian is now a priest and wants us to help him prepare to bless the sacrament this Sunday!  He is so powerful and wants to progress in the Gospel.  He will hopefully have a calling soon and be able to baptize his son! Yeah baby!

Other than that this week was full of loud music, dancing in the street and one night a neighbor was watching the movie White Chicks but it was in english with spanish subtitles I suppose.  I was replaying the movie in my mind and laughing.  Good times.  No I didnt watch it dont worry :)

I love this Gospel and the joy it brings.  I am super happy to have this opportunity to be a missiomary and help others.  I know the family can be together forver.

Have a great week! Get pumped for Conference!

Elder Lomeli

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ya Mismo

Pues, no se que decirles de verdad. Howdy!

What a week!  We finished super exhausted physically.  We were able to have the baptism of Cristian!  It was super cool becuase his brother was able to perform the ordinance.  We even had Cristian wear a shirt and tie so he looked super sharp :)  It was a joyful day and lots of the members of his family were able to attend.  The Spirit was definitey there.

I celebrated my 1 year mark in style.  A $1 salchipapa and burning a tie to the hymn God be with you till we meet again.  Was sad to burn the tie, but we added a little bit of cleaning alcohol (no, no beer or anything, nice try though) and we had our own version of Stadium of Fire :)

So you all know that I was chubby before the mission.  No one told me, but the people here told me up front.  My comp is the same way so we have been running erryday.  We have even got to the point where a few young men and investigators are coming too.  I have lots weight not according to the eyes of man, but to the size of my pants.

We had a funny expericence this week during a lesson.  Since we cant enter a house without an adult male, we teach outside in the sun.  We were just at the part of the First vision then..... PLOP.  A dove did a number on Elder Apaza, and that numbre was TWO! Hahahahaha we had to go home so he could shower becuase it was all over his shirt and backpack.

Other than that, this week was pretty normal.  Eating rice for every meal, BUT, I was trained from an early age to eat it (Thanks Dad :)).  We walk in the heat, people whistle at us, and the people ONLY listen to Bruno Mars.  Mustve heard the same 5 songs 30+ times this week haha.  Oh and I just got done getting my haircut at the most gross, hairy, and loud place becuase it was the cheapest because we are chiros (broke).  If you love to dance, just come to Esmeraldas becuase every single person has a huge speaker outside with the music up all the way.  Pretty sick parties here every Sunday night in the streets :)

I love the missionary work.  I love this church.  I know that is true and that God answers our prayers.  He loves us and gives us trials to help us grow.

Have a good week ¿DIGA?

Elder Lomeli

Me and Elder Apaza at the beach

Cristian at his baptism!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Hey. Hey yo. Hey yo whats up wit dat funky piano. Gimme a track.....Yeah.
I was born in the church, jus like mah daddy was y`all......You all know the rest.

This week I have hit a big moment in the mission. I never thought I would get here.  There were times of joy and times of sorrow and frustration.  But now that I`m here, I will keep chugging along.  Yes, you guessed it, I am findally shaving everyday!  Yay lets throw a party!  Oh and I may or may not be completing a year this week, but whose counting :)

This week has been a good one fo sho.  We are working with Cristian and he passed his baptismal interview and will be baptized this Saturday!  We are super pumped and are planning the service so that tons of people can come to support him!  We also have a the family Espinoza who has a baptismal date for the 24th of October.  There names are Irene and Nayla.  Its a mother-daughter ho-down and they want to be baptized on the bday of the mom, Irene.  Nayla is 10.  They are all going to be super POWERFUL converts.

We were also super pumped to have 9 investigators and 12 less active members come back to church!  One investigator, Jose, asked me if the people that were there for the first time could bear their testimony.  I responded yes and he jumped right up and sat on the stand and waited his turn.  I look at Elder Apaza and we were full of butterflies and prayers that he would do good.  He is a big black guy and wore aviator glasses all during church, so he looked pretty thuggish but with style.  Then Jose gets to the pulpit and gives a pretty decent testimony!  He finishes  and says "AMEN TO JESUS!", and walked off with a fist in the air. It was too funny! hahahahahaha

I was also able to go on divisions with Elder Separovic for a day in my sector.  He is from Chile but his last name is from Croatia.  We had three lunches and two were BBQ. YUM!

Im out of time but Im glad all is well and BYU beat Nebraska.  Utah fans be ashamed forever more.

Have a great week!

Elder Lomeli

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Discern, Dont Decide

Buenas tardes mis amigos y familiares,

Well, this week was strange but it passed by very quickly.  With all the interviews and meetings that we had to catch up on this week flew.  We have been on the go and havent caught up with our sleep so Elder Apaza and I both have a cold :(

Lets start with the good news!  Hans got baptized!  We werent able to announce the baptism on Sunday, so we were running around all week trying to invite people to the baptism.  Not many people showed up but it was a great experience.  The baptism was supposed to start at 3:30 but to Ecuadorians that means 4:15.  Hans was also the LAST person to show up for his own baptism haha.  When I asked him how he felt after the baptism, he replied: "Well Elder, when a person gets baptized......they feel good."  It was funny.  The next day in the confirmation, they announced that we were gonna confirm him.  We look around and Hans is NOWHERE to be found!  We both jumped up and starting looking around the chapel like maniacs.  We found him quick though and it all turned out well.  And just so happens that an Area Seventy was there to see the whole thing.

We are also working with Cristian.  He changed his baptismal date for the 12th instead of the 19th of September.  He just needs to finish the lessons and he is golden!  He even has the goal to baptize his son who is 9!  To keep the relationship with him and us good, we go running with him every other morning.  We thought it was gonna be easy, but after day two, we could barely walk.  We only ran like 4 miles and it killed us.  Dont even ask how much it hurt to kneel to pray.

We were also privileged to have that Seventy come. Elder Calderón is an Eucadorian native, but is in one of the lower Quorums of the Seventy.  He got up in his sacrament talk and there was a group of women talking in the back.  He stopped his talk and totally chewed them out for talking!  IT WAS SO FUNNY!  Only a Seventy would do that. 

Elder Calerdón also talked a lot about being self reliant and the importance of families.  He said that being self reliant frees us to be able to serve in a better way.  We cannot enter the kingdom of God without being self reliant.  He also counseled us to live to satisfy our NEEDS, and not our pointless desires.  One last thing he said was that there are no "gifts" in this church.  Every blessing is EARNED is some way or another.  That last quote is what impacted me the most.  Let us try to do everything in our power to recognize that our blessings are always earned by our righteousness.

My companion and I are doing well.  We are with a cold and sore from running but we are happy.  We laugh tons.  He has helped me a lot to not judge people too quickly.  He says that we need to discern their needs and not assume them.  There is sometimes a legit reason as to why a person doest fulfill with an invitation we extend.  So,.....DONT JUDGE QUICKLY!

I love this Gospel and I hope that we can all appreciate it tons everyday! Have a great week!


Elder Lomeli

Hans´s Baptism

Hans and his mom

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

¡El Verde Señor!

¡Que mas?

Well, this week has been kind of a crazy one!  It is still pretty humid here, but luckily our house always has water.  But for like two days this week we had no power.  No fans, no fridge, no clocks, and coincidentally the water doesnt get drawn up to our apartnment (3rd floor) when there is no power.  Kinda hard to sleep and study like that but just a perk of the nametag :)  I almost like this weather than the cold of Otavalo.  To top that off EVERY morning people walk up and down the streets selling bleach, verde (plantains), brooms, and fish.  THEY SHOUT AND WAKE US UP!  But how they say things just makes me laugh. :)

We have been working hard this week with lots of investigators! Hans (10 years old) passed his interview and will be baptized this Saturday! We are too pumped! Hopefully it wont fall on Friday again jk.  We are also working with Jorge.  He is the husband of a recent convert who really only wants to be baptized for his wife.  We are helping him with his testimony. Cristian is the brother of a member and is very open to the church and asked US if he could be baptized.  Adrian is also the brother of a recent convert family and he just has trouble coming to church.  He loves to learn though!  Cristian, Jorge, and Adrian all have a baptismal date for the 19th of September.  Please pray for them!

We were also able to have our interviews with President Richardson this week.  That is why I am writing today and not yesterday.  But what I loved what what Sis. Richardson told us about weaknesses.  She said that God gives us weaknesses to be more humble.  By confronting and conquering them we show that we need Christ more in our lives.  She also said that we need to give THANKS for our weaknesses.  By doing so we show thanks that the Lord has given us difficulties to make us stronger and more like Him.  Really powerful woman.  Y´all should talk to her someday.  They live in Sandy.

Well, thats about it for this week.  Elder Apaza has turned me into his personal trainer and he has lost about 10 pounds since Ive been with him.  He is just super funny.  Knows a lot of little funny phrases in English that make me crack up.

I know that this is the true Church of God.  I love the Stick of Joseph. READ IT!

Go kill it this week aight?

Elder Lomeli

One of Elder Apaza´s favorite phrases in English haha

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

La Co´ta Diga!

Hey people of other parts of the world!

Well now I have time to actually write something haha.  Ill kinda give a small recap of Agato.  We finished the change with a 12 year old girl named Mishel with a baptismal date.  If all goes well, she should be baptized this coming Saturday!!! Cant be more excited! Wish I could be there for it.  We also had a surprise Bday party for our good friend Luis.  We had to break some rules to go buy the cake, but we used the excuse "WWJD" :)  It was a great party and he didnt even know it was coming!

Now I am here in Esmeraldas.  I had to leave Otavalo at 8:00 am and I traveled by bus here to the coast. Arrived about 5:30 and got reminded almost 100% of what it was like in the jungle.  HOT AND HUMID.  I shower twice a day to not feel so sticky all the time.  We live about 30 minutes away from the beach and we can go on Pdays when activites are allowed so I hope that is soon!  The people here also speak faster and without the letter "s".  The word costa is pronounced cota :)  And the majority of the people here are black so I stick out VERY nicely.

We are currently working with a child whose mom was recently rescued.  His name is Hans and is 10.  He has ADD but learns very will with the pictures and things like that.  He should have his baptismal interview this next Sunday!  We are also working with Cristian who has been an investigator for a few months.  He comes to church every week, but because of work he doesnt have all the lessons necessary to be baptized yet.  He should have a date very soon!

So the new comp is Elder Apaza.  He is from Peru, but says he is from Arequipa.  If you dont know about South America, Arequipa is a provice in Peru and the people from Arequipa want to break off from Peru and make their own country....Kinda like Texas and the U.S.  He is a really funny guy and we laugh a lot.  He is a great teacher as well, and is very good at loving the people and making them feel comfortable.  He is one to tickle a funny bone :)

I am super excited to work in this new sector.  There is a lot of work to do but that is why we were called.  Just remember that if there is something weird and you dont feel good, dont call the Ghostbusters nor the Elders..call the man upstairs (Alma 37:37).  This has been on my mind all week and it is something that none of us should forget.  He is the only source of true comfort.  He will help us through His words in the Book of Mormon and the other scritpures.  I love this Gospel and know its true!!! 

Have a great week! HAPPY BIRTHDAY DYLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our 100 year old less active Nicholas in Agato

With my bestest goodest friend Luis

The new guy Elder Apaza

Monday, August 10, 2015


Hello family and friends,

Hey well I dont have much time, but I was changed.  I am now in the COAST!!!!!  In the sector of Propicia.  My comp is Elder Apaza so I now have another Latino so that is great!  I am feeling good and will write more next week!

Love you all!

Elder Lomeli

Monday, August 3, 2015

Our Ways are Not Gods Ways

Hello family and friends!

Well, this week had its ups and downs as usual.  To start off, we were working very hard with Jorge to get him prepared for his baptism.  We were informed Friday night that he had decided to not get baptized.  He feels that it was causing a conflict between him and his wife so it was better to remain in his old religion (Catholic).  We were initially upset by his answer but not too much.  We felt a witness from the Spirit that we had done all in our power possible and to not worry.  We are confident that he WILL get baptized, but further down the road.  Preach My Gospel teaches us a lot of things but not how to change someones agency.  Its all good though :)

As a result of that, we really feel like we were blessed this week with TWO more people that now have a baptismal date.  Their names are Mishel (11 years old) and David (12 years old).  They are both members of families where not all are members, and have support of both their families for now.  They both have a baptismal date for the 22 of August.  We are VERY excited!  We know that the Lord blesses us for our efforts, and if necessary with different people that are prepared.

This week I was able to go on divisions with the zone leaders.  I was able to go down off the mountain into the actual city of Otavalo with Elder Henriquez from Colombia.  He is a great singer and one heck of a motivational speaker.  We were heading to lunch and the mamita fell (they had all fallen in Agato this week as well...), so we just went to a Chifa :)  Then we spent the whole day pretty much walking, walking, bus, and more walking.  Even goes to show that the leaders in our lives have down times as well.  We got to his house with a bag of hambugers and had a good nights rest.  The weird thing though is that their shower is literally just a hole in the wall where hot water magically comes out.  

As it states in the book of Isaiah, our ways are not Gods ways.  We need to be patient and faithful in our trials.  We need to do all in our power and leave the rest up to God.  I know that God hears and answers prayers and not always in the ways we want.  I know that this Church is true and that we are part of it.  I love the Book of Mormon and the amazing message it contains. I also really liked something that Elder Henriquez said.  He said that all we need to do is be obedient and diligent,and wait for the Lord to bless us.

Elder Kimball is a little sick these last two days, so yet again I am playing the nurse for him.  Funny how I make him do things and the nurse is surprised when we have tried everything she suggests :)  Thanks for being a nurse mom and giving me free enrollment and the Lomeli Medical School haha :)  He has been a little tired and grumpy, but that in turn makes him more funny.  Today I got a hole in my sock, and he replied "DUH! THATS WHERE YOU PUT YOUR FOOT!"  It was hilarious.

This week we also had an acivity put on by us missionaries.  We played baseball and grilled hot dogs and ate cracker jacks (closest thing to it).  The members and investigators had tons of fun and we were able to get quite a few potential investigators out of it!  I of course smashed a homerun :)

Thats all for this week, and I hope all have a great one!  Changes are coming up this next week so we will see if I stay here in Agato or not!

Elder Lomeli

Me carving our "bat" ( was just a huge stick)

My buddy Jaime and his sick tie :)