Monday, January 26, 2015

Its Gotta Happen at Least Once

Hello Friends and Family!

Well, this week has been a rougher one than Ive had in the past.  The people here are not as willing to hear the gospel message as others.  We try knocking doors, and they say that they are already "good" with God and that they dont want to listen.  But Elder Zambrano and I are determined to find those souls that are prepared to hear the Gospel message here in Iluman.  Just got to keep working and excercising faith.  

We had a few meetings with President Richardson this week as well.  We learned a lot about knowing which side we play for, The Lord, the U of U. hahahaha! I had to put that.  No it was good to have a refresher to know that no matter what the Lord is always with us and that we need to always put our faith in him that all will work out ok.  The scirpture that always runs through my head during the day is Joshua 1:9.  Love love love that scripture.

Well, this is a short one becuase I was a little crunched for time today and we have a FHE with a family 20 minutes away walking.  The best way to serve the Lord, is to serve the person right next to you.  NEVER FORGET IT!  

Hasta ver la proxima semana!

Elder Lomeli

Monday, January 19, 2015


Panigos y Waikigos,

Haha I bet you all said those last few words wrong.  That is becuase they are in Quichua, the native language of the people in the Otavalo area here.  The word in the title means "how are you", and at the beginning it says "sisters and brothers".  It feels weird to be here and not in the Jungle, but I like it here.  There is a lot and a lot of farming that goes on here, so it reminds me of Lyman quite a bit :)

I learned that the native people that occupy this region of Ecuador, are the closest living descendants of the Lamanites!  Me being gringo really makes me feel like a Nephite missionary sent to preach repentance unto the Lamanites.  Hopefully Im not one of the ones that they killed because they didnt want to listen :)  But Ive had the story of Ammon playing in the back of my mind all week haha.

The people here are ironically harder to teach here.  Many people are very self conscious of what their friends and neighbors think.  Ive heard that many investigators of missinaries have said the they know the Chuch is true, but dont want to join for fear of criticism.  We have had two lessons that started out good, but turned into more or less Bible Bashes.  The people here dont like it when other people try to correct their lives.  But no one ever said missionary work was easy.

We have an investigator, Bryan Castañeda with a baptismal date for the 7th of February, and it looks like that will work out nicely.  We also have an investigator named Tupac de la Torre.  Yes, his name is TUPAC.  The kid is 13 and has one of the strongest testimonies ever, but his dad wont let him get baptized!  He says that Tupac needs more knowlegde of the gospel before he can be baptized.  Sorry chief, we only teach the basic doctrine, and MILLIONS of other people get baptized just knowing that stuff.

Im loving it here.  I will have the opportunity to "kill" my companion as this will be his last change.  La Iglesia es verdadera.  El Libro de Mormon fue traducido por el poder de Dios para nosotros en estos ultimos dias.  Es la guia para tener la vida eterna.  Se que Thomas S. Monson es el profeta de Dios hoy en dia.  Comparto estas cosas en el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen.

Kayacama! (See you later/tomorrow)

Elder Zambrano feeding the cow

Pizza for the first time in Ecuador

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Imbabura Bound

Hello friends and family!

This week has been one for the books.  Elder Gonzalez and I made a ton of efforts to find new investigators for the missionaries in the upcoming transfer.  We made almost 50 contacts in areas where they seem a little bit more receptive to the Gospel.  Hopefully they all progress!

With transfers being this week, we went around all day Saturday and Sunday saying our possible goodbyes to all the families we have been visiting, member and nonmember.  I will admit it was a little hard to cry for a few of them.  It is crazy how much you can come to love people in so short a time.  The Familia Ceballos had the hardest time with the idea of transfers.  They were all crying, which just made it harder.  Good thing I took some photos though!  I hope to return there sometime later in the mission.

I bet by now you are wondering if I have been transfered or not.  Well, the title above says that I did.  I left Lago Agrio at 5:00 Monday morning to head for the little town of Ilumán.  It is about 10 minutes outside of Otovalo.  I had a 7 hour bus ride from Lago to Quito, then another 3 hour bus ride from Quito to Otovalo.  There I met my companion, Elder Neil Zambrano.  He is from Peru as well and he has 22 months in the mission.  Its possible that he could leave in the next transfer as well.  He is the DL here and he said that he will kind of subtly teach me the ropes of being a DL.  Whether I am one or not is up to the Lord and Pres Richardson.

It is colder and way drier here.  But the air is significantly cleaner haha.  I kinda miss the smelly, garbage filled streets of Lago, but the Lord must have a purpose for me being here.  I may even pick up a little bit of Quichua too :)  Otovalo is said to contain the closest related descendants of the Lamanites in all the world, so now I literally feel like a Nephite haha !

The church is true and so is everything about it.  Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to share the Gospel in its simplicity to all the world for the Salvation of man.  Oh snap, somebody put that quote in a movie or a Hallmark card or something :)  Till next week,

Elder Lomeli

Pic: View from my new apartment of the volcano Cotacachi and surrounding area

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas,
(Thats what General Authorities say in Spanish)

Well as a missionary I cant lie. This week was a lot slower than normal.  With all the New Year Celebrations and everyting it made it harder to find people to teach becuase they all went to Quito or were drunk.  I spent the 31st shut in my casa at 5:00 and forward.  I made hotdogs for dinner for me and my companion and we just talked.  I finally decided to go to be around 9:30 because I was really tired.  I slept right through all the celebrations and everything.  Kinda boring, I know.  We didnt even get to follow the mandatory Ecuadorian tradition of buring a muñeco, or doll.  That part especially made me sad, but we had a good New Years nonetheless.

We had a little bit more bad news with investigators this week too.  The Granizo family had a baptismal date for the 10th, which is this Saturday.  Edison and Jackson (father and son) dont want to get baptized without the mom, Elena.  She doesnt really want anything to do with the church and wont commit to a date.  She is really cool though, and always gives us food :)  Pray for her to have a desire to join the true Church of God.

Today for ¨P Day we went to a jungles forest park.  There you can walk all over and see lots of jungles animales, canoe, and zipline.  We only saw two monkeys, some turtles, and a bleach white spider.  I even got to hold the monkey!  He followed us all over the place.  His name was Matias.  He was  really cute and loved to give hugs around the waist for some reason.  We saw some pretty flowers and butterflies.  The other gringo kept taking pictures of all the mold on the trees for some reason.....weird.  It was a true Ecuadorian jungle experience!!!!!!

The working should start progressing here this next week.  I have recently taken over the Gospel Principles class in our Rama.  There isnt a set teacher for some reason, and I didnt like how the other Elder just read the book, so I took over.  I even got a few laughs out of the class yesterday.  
Please pray that we may start to have some success out here.  We had almost no success in December and our spirits our down.

When we put our faith in the Lord, all things are possible. I love being a missionary.  The chruch is true.  Being out here, I have seen the blessings come to those who just do the simple things.  Like going to church each Sunday and reading the scriptures.  The Lord is anxiously waiting to bless us, we just need to do the things he asks us to.

Have a great start to the New Year,

Elder Lomeli

Muñecos that the Cedeño family burned