Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Im Now Guilty of Murder :)

Buenas tardes a todos!  Im am writing this on Tuesday because yesterday when we were writing home, the power went out in the whole valley and didnt return until almost 9:00 at night.  So, we received permission from the Assistants to finish writing home today.  Dont worry Im not dead :)

Speaking of being dead, Elder Zambrano is.  Right now as I am typing he is in the airport in Lima waiting for his flight to go to his city.  I know all this because he told me all his plans maybe a hundred times.  It was kinda hard to send him off though.  It made me sad and I kinda felt like I hand to go with him as well.  Gonna be even harder when I have to go home for reals.

Friday we went to Quito so that Elder Zambrano could have his interview with the Secretaries about all his finances and stuff.  We get to Quito, travel to the offices, and find out that his interview is on Monday, and not Friday.  So we bought a few things in the MegaMaxi and Quicentro that you cant buy anywhere else in the mission, like PEANUT BUTTER! Its already half gone haha.  On the ride back to Otavalo, we watched the movie BABE on the bus about the pig that herds sheep.  I was sooooo happy to see that movie and brought back some memories. Kind of a corny movie, but I enjoyed it a lot.

So Sunday night it stayed with ZLs and waiting for changes in missionaries.  We received word that the zones Imbabura Este and Imbabura Oeste are going to be combined to make one zone.  We will now have 22 misionaries in the zone instead of only 10.  I recieved my new companion as well.  His name is Elder Luque from Peru. He lives close to Macchu Pichu and has about 19 months in the mission.  He is really really happy, obedient, and wants to work hard! Just what we need more of in this sector!  I am super excited to get to work and see our Miracles of March!

So I dont know if I mentioned this before, but Tupak has a baptismal date for the 7 of March. His baptism as a Catholic was this last Sunday, but, Tupak denied the baptism and didnt have it.  His date now says that he needs to wait a month, learn more, be baptized a Catholic, then baptize with us.  We are going to explain to his dad that this was a sign from the Lord that He doesnt want Tupak to be baptized a Catholic.  Its not the true church so it makes sense right?  The Lord works in mysterious ways, we just have to confide in Him and roll with it.

The Church is true, and thats as simple as our message has to be.  Every member a missionary with the calling to preach the Gospel.  I invite you to read 3 Nephi 5:13 and take it to heart.  As well as read the quotes from the Presidents of the Church in the back of Chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel.  We are ALL enlisted till the conflict is over.

Have a great week!

Elder Zambrano´s last moments in the mission

Elder Lomeli and Elder Zambrano with the Diaz Jetecama family

Pretty sunset

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Allichishi Amigocuna

Above it says good afternoon friends!

This week like always went fast.  In the middle of the week, we had interviews with President Richardson.  I passed!....I hope haha.  He just counseled me to keep up the good work, and that he likes where Im at as a missionary.  He has told me that the future looks bright if I keep up the good work.  Better believe I´ll do just that!

This is the last week of Elder Zambrano´s mission.  He´s kinda sad, but yet excited to go home at the same time.  I have to kind of guide him by the hand to get him to work, but in the end we get the work done.  He has been giving me lots of advice this last week that I will continue to use for rest of my mission.  Im grateful for his example.

So this week we were able to find some new people to teach!  We again devoted a whole day to just knocking doors and talking to people in the street.  We found Margdalena, Luis, and Andy, who all accepted return visits.  We tought the Restoration to Luis and Margdalena, who are married and they took it really well.  We committed them to baptism and they accepted!  They just want to take things a little slow, but said if they come to know that this is the True Church of God, that they will be 100% committed to it.  Hopefully they are our Miracles of March! So excited to see them progress.

Tupak is doing great as well.  He continues to progress, he just has to wait for his baptism in the Catholic church first.  He´ll hopefully have his baptismal interview this weekend! 

This weekend in almost all of South America is Carnaval.  It is a time where there are HUGE parties, and people throw water, flour, and other things at free will.  As missionaries we are banned from playing, and we have stricter contacting rules for a few days so we dont get raged upon.  Today as we were coming back from Otavalo in a bus, I had the window open.  That turned out to bite me in the butt.  We were almost to our casa and someone threw a massive bucket of water from a roof top and came through the window....  Got me and my backpack all wet, and not a drop on Elder Zambrano. Go figure. 

Being in this sector has made me realize the importance of a positive attitude.  We struggle to find people to teach, members dont keep all the commandments, and many other things.  But, with a positive attitude, we can accomplish anything!  Every night, we have to call the zone leaders because Elder Zambrano is the district leader.  They always ask how I am doing, and I reply: "Life is great, and IM A MISSIONARY!"  I can honestly not think of a time when I have been consistently happy, even through the hardships of the mission.  I encourage you all to see the bright side in all things.  Christ always did, and so should we.  

Have a great week!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Faith in February brings Miracles in March

Queridos amigos y familiares,

This week has been typical....FAST.  I am starting to wonder when I will wake up and realize that I am about to come home.  Elder Zambrano leaves here in two weeks and he seems excited to go.  He has a syndrome called TRUNKY, whick means that he thinks about home a lot and just wants to go home.  Nevertheless, he gets up everyday and gets to work with me.  Being a missionary is great!

So, to explain the title.  In February, the entire mission has to give up a significant personal item to sacrifice for the next two months.  The idea is that if we excercise faith, we will see miracles. I decided to give up music as a whole.  Music takes away from my attention at times, and makes it harder to focus.  So I hope and pray that this will bring my companionship miracles!  President realated the idea to the miracles that Christ performed during His mortal ministry.  All the people had to do was have faith, and they could be completely healed.  We have a mission wide goal to reach 200 baptisms and 200 rescued members in the month of March.

So we had a little more success this week.  Tupak, the kid that needs permission from his dad to be baptized, has been our focus this week.  We passed by his house the other day to teach him a lesson and talk with his dad again.  HIS DAD GAVE HIM PERMISSION!  Theres a catch though....Tupak needs to be baptized in the Catholic church first.  Then he said that he will support Tupak in whatever he wants to do with our church. Tupak knows that his baptism as a Catholic isnt valid, and wants nothing to do with the Catholic religion.  He´ll do it as long as he can be baptized in the TURE church of God. Was kind of a weird answer to our prayers, but we felt that God had a plan for Tupak to be baptized in this way.  Our miracle for March!

This has been a little cold and rainy, so that makes it harder to contact and do lots of other things here in Iluman.  To make things worse, we were walking and we passed by a house with a HUGE black dog.  The dog seemed all quiet and peaceful.  Then about 20 feet passed the house, I hear barking at my heels! The dog almost bit me!  I screamed like a little girl (or as close as I can get), but I had the right to.  Elder Zambrano laughed for 15 minutes after that, so we had a good laugh.

On Sunday we had ward conference.  The four of us missionaries in the ward got to participate in the choir and dress like natives again! So cool.  The meeting was in Quichua, but we felt the Spirit anyway.  Then after, I was able to give two blessings in SPANISH. Was my first time in another language.  I thought it was hard at first, but as I listened to the Spirit I was able to give the blessing.  

To end, I would like to share two quotes that have been on my mind this week:

"The Lord doesnt call the qualified, He qualifies the called."
"Pray as if its all up to God, and Work as if its all up to YOU."

Being a missionary is great! Full of new experiences, both temporal and spiritual.  These quotes I hope help anyone that is debating to serve a mission or not.  ITS WORTH IT.  Dont deny yourselft of the blessings that the mission can bring.  The Lord will be on our right hand and on our left, all we have to do is listen to Him.

Have a great week!

Elder Lomeli

***Sorry no photos this time, there is no slot to upload them. Next week though!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lets Get Down to the Nitty Gritty

Buenas tardes a todos!

Wow this week FLEW!  Time flies when you are on the Lords Errand.  My companion especially thinks so since he has 3 weeks left in the mission.  Kinda scary.  I can already say now that I WILL cry when I have to leave, so I just gotta make sure that they are happy tears right?

As far as missionary work goes, it was about the same as last week.  People not home, or just flat out dont want to listen to us.  We even knocked a door three  time with no answer.  We went around the corner for a minute, came back, and they were looking around to make sure that we had left!  We caught them and they said that they were busy, but they were SO embarrassed that we caught them!  It was funny.  Never mess with the missionaries.  WE WILL CATCH YOU.  Just call us the new ghostbusters for non members of the church.

Elder Zambrano was also sick this week.  He had stomach pain, sore throat, and the chills pretty bad.  We called the mission nures and she had us treat him as if he had diarrhea.  She told him to drink water, take ibuprofen, and pray......What a nurse.  Our Zone Leaders live in the house of a member who is a doctor, so we took him to see the doctor.  He took one look at the throat and diagnosed him with strep-throat.  Then the doctor gave him a penicillin shot and some other shot right in the butt.  It was kinda funny.  We then crashed for the night at the ZL´s house and Elder Zambrano felt great in the morning, just a little goose egg in the hiney.

Another highlight of the week! We had Stake Conference this week, and Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy presided.  There were a ton of people there to see him.  That man is BIG, and I mean BIG.  Half the congregation came up to his belly button!  He gave really good talks, but what I like the most is something he said Sunday morning:

2 Things to do to be saved (yes there are more)
1. Accept Christ as the Savior and Redeemer
2. Believe that the Gospel was restored though Joseph Smith (2 Nephi 3)

Those are two things that we preach as missionaries, and things that all should do to recieve the greatest gift we can ever recieve.(ETERNAL LIFE).  Really felt the Spirit when that man talked.  And since we are in an area where the Sunday dress is different, we were able to dress as the natives for the Conference!  Oh gosh it was awesome!

Lots of you ask me how I do with the language here.  The spanish is almost second nature now.  My companions have told me that I sleep talk in spanish, so that must mean its in my brain pretty good.  Quichua on the other hand, I just have a couple words and greetings and thats it.  In fact, this week, I was asked to give a prayer in english TWICE!  I can honestly say that speaking in english is harder than spanish.  I messed up so many times in the prayer, but it doesnt matter to the Lord.  He hears all prayers equally.

Wow I wrote a little more this week.  We dont have any progressing investigators YET, but Ill keep you posted.  The Church is true.  Learn it, Live it, Love it.  Have a great week!

P.S.  I wanted the Seahawks

Me and Elder Zambrano

Dressed as a native

I guess chickens now live in trees....Only in Ecuador