Tuesday, June 30, 2015

True Joy

Ñuca amigocuna!  Alli guta ringuichi?  Ñuca Alli pachaka :)

I hope all had a great week!  Well, its obvious that I made it through the crazy week last week.  We had a few drunks interrupt a lesson or two we played dodge the drunks walking home each night!  We made it out alive though.  The drunks out here are just hilarious.  One guy threw rocks at a bird, hit it, then came up to show us that he caught the bird.  He was really amused and then threw it at the ground, but, the bird flew away before it hit the ground.

So this week, we have a person that is progressing!  Her name is Luz Maria and she finally came to church!  She is partially blind and needed someone to take her to church but she loved it all!  It was kinda funny because when we were taking the sacrament, she put 25 cents on the sacrament tray to tip the deacon :)  We will work out the kicks with her, but she wants to keep coming back!

And something amazing happened with the member that fell into his alcoholic habit a few weeks ago.  He felt really bad for falling, but he determined to get back up and fix the problem.  We went with him to have an interview with the bishop, and the bishop gave him the OK to put the garment back on and partake of the sacrament!  It has been months since he was able to do the two of those things.  It was right then and there that I felt the most joy than I have ever felt.  I got a sense of what our Father in Heaven feels when we do the right things.  I considered it "true" joy.  I hope to be able to fell that more often throughout the rest of my mission.

We had changes today was well.  Elder Barnes left to go to Quito and I am staying in Agato.  I will be receiving Elder Kimball.  He is coming from the orient, the same city where I started so he will be here later.  I will tell you all more about him next week!

I know that this church is true and I am super glad to be a part of it! And even better to be able to share it!  Keep reading the scriptures and it will bless your lives!

P.S. When we were walking home  a few nights ago, we were ready for anything to happen.  We quoted Inspired Guns and said that we would punch people in the inner thigh.  Please Elder, your from Cedar Hills......South Central East Side!!! :)

First time eating  cui!!!

Reaching the top of our sector

Companionship study + sugar= Mustaches :)

Opening the BDAY present :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

19 and In Ecuador

Hey everyone hows it going!  I would like to start this letter with an amazing discovery we found this week.  Everyone says that in Ecuador, there isnt much money and things like that. Some would even say that Agato, which is in the backwood mountains, has even less.  But, we found that these people are really fortunate.  Each one has a BACON MACHINE in the yard, and some even have two or three!  We are going to come back here and revolutionize this place with bacon!  Just put whatever in, and bacon comes out! PIGS are great :)

This week we were able to have some great initial success with a few people.  First with Luz Maria.  She is the cousin of a member that has diabetes and is almost blind.  She lives close to a Pentecostal church and they have been kind of obligating her to go to church there.  She said that as soon as we walked in her home, she felt something different, but good.  We were able to share the Restoration, invite her to church, and invite her to baptism.  She accepted all of them!  But she wasnt able to come to church becuase her husband came home druck and couldnt walk her to the chapel.  She is way prepared though and will progress nicely!

Second was with Luis.  He is the son of an old investigator who claims he is a straight up catholic and will never change.  We said that we would come over and read the Bible with him and he accepted.  We read Ephesians 4 which explains the foundation of the church that Christ established.  He accepted another visit, but we asked him if he would be interested in reading another book like the Bible but written here in the Americas.  He responded that he would and we will bring him the Book of Mormon and help him move along that way.  He wont come to church yet, but we are sure that he will feel the power of the Book of Mormon and will want to change.

My birthday was definitely one to remember!  We had our zone meeting with President Richardson and they all sang to me and gave me a cake.  We then went to Wauki Amaguaña´s house and we had a chicken dinner and cake.  We used the party hats and blowey things as well (thanks Oma :))  Now I feel old but thats ok.  Elder Barnes said he would get me a walker when we get home.  We have been eating birthday cake for breakfast everyday since....oops :)

This week I was reminded that it is not the numerical value of the work that we do in our lives that matter.  The meeting with President and a division with the ZL´s this week made me realize that if I give it my all, the Lord is please.  It reminded me of President Uchtdorf´s talk a conference or two ago.  If we feel pleased, the Lord is pleased.  If we find little acts to do everyday, we will feel the love of the Savior and have a feeling of what he would do for that same person.  Dont be afraid, just do it and dont regret it.  Just remeber D&c 6:36.

So this week will be the party for San Juan!  We will be eating lots of cui (guinea pig) and other exotic native foods.  The people here celebrate this holiday to end the harvest.  They say there are lots of drunks, dancing, and fights!  Cant wait!

I hope all fathers had a great fathers day!  I know that without my dad, I would not be where I am.  I know that.  Thank you for all you have done for me and will continue to do for me throughout my life.  I love you!

Hope you have a great week....cuz we´re all dudes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Agato Approach

Alli shamushka kapaichi waukigocuna y panigocuna!  Ñuca charini compañeroka chinogo y charin ishcay sequecuna.  Gushtanchi la obra misional.

Hey everybody, I just thought Id give ya a tast of quichua.  It says "welcome brothers and sisters, I have a companion that looks chinese and he has two eyes.  We love missionary work."

This week was a lot better than the last becuase we actually got to work in our sector and not be confined to the house!  We were able to find a few investigators this week, but in the next few there are going to be lots of parties and holidays in the Otavalo area.  It will be kinda hard to be able to find people, or sober people for that matter.  So that is where we will make our Agato Approach to try to make it through this next week haha. Dont worry, we wont be kidnapped....they are all half our size.

We were able to find a new family to teach this week!  We were walking to an appointment and it fell through and we noticed another family cleaning up their yard. We immediately helped them out.  We found our the the dad is a less active and the wife isnt a member. They are the Maldonado Guaman family and they love coming to church and love to listen to the missionaries.  The wife has lots of questions and doubts, but is willing to listen if that means she can be with her family eternally.  We hope to see the hand of the Lord work with them to help them progress!

This sector is going to be a gold mine here in a few weeks.  We are making tons of smores and french toast for the members here to try to get them to help us out more and find more people to teach!  We love to preach this Gospel and help the people out here in Agato.  That is also part of our Agato Approach....SERVICE.  If we are serving our fellow man, we are serving God. (Mosiah 2:17). That is so true.  Though we may not be seeing too much success right now, we can still make a difference serving those around us.

Thank you all for the birthday wishes!  My birthday happens to fall on the biggest native holiday of the winter here...San Juan.  We will party it up haha!  Hope you all have a great week, and DONT FORGET TO READ THAT BLUE BOOK OF AWESOMENESS!

 How they haunt the forests here....baby heads

Chillin with our bud Jaime in corn pile

Homemade corndogs with Wauki Amaguaña

Photo shoot at Lago San Pablo

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Gotta Want It to Win It

Well, this is where I come to write.  (Really Elder, we didnt think you much of a writer).  I write about a lot of things, investigators, squirrels, cardboard boxes, things that are sticky....

Just a good little flashback to Good Burger....good times.  Well, this week dont have a whole lot to write about.  My companion was sick, so we had to be in a pretty close proximity of the porcelain throne or a densly think field of corn.  Nonetheless, he was still his funny self.  Infact, I think he is way funnier when he is sick and suffering....I know....Im heartless but its hilarious.  Elder Barnes painful humor highlight of the week was when we were walking by a ton of cows.  We saw a mother cow just kinda licking and caring for her calf.  Then Elder Barnes replies: "Aww, cute little thing, you gonna be meat someday."  Had to be there to get the full effect, but I was lauging pretty hard for a solid 15 minutes.

However, I had a pretty big reality check this week.  We had a Mini Zone Conference and the ZLs gave a training that President gave them.  It was all about our attitude in the mission.  They shared a powerful lesson on how if we want to have baptisms and rescues in the mission, we have to want it.  And then when we know what we want, we have to go and give EVERYTHING we have to achieve it.  It made me realize that I was just kind of going through the motions and wasnt giving everything I had.  Sure I put in the physical work, but not all my heart was there.  This lesson changed that for me and made me realize that I need to MAKE the miracles happen that God has in store for me.  He wont just give it to me.  

We sadly dont have any investigators progressing this week.  We thought Juan Carlos was gonna come to church, but we went by his house befor Church and he wasnt there.  We havent been able to find him and we arent sure what happened.  He has some struggles with his girlfriend that ends the relationship and starts it one time every month.  He needs help deciding what is best for him, and not go off of what his family says.  Please pray for him so that he can recieve an answer to his prayers and know that this is the true Church.  He is so ready, he just doesnt know it yet.

One last quick experience.  We were sitting in Church and we didnt have a whole lot of less actives, investigators, nor recent converts there.  We have a recent convert of about a month, Freddy, that hasnt come for two weeks.  I had a prompting that we needed to leave sacrament meeting and climb up the mountain a bit to bring him to church.  We found him there washing clothes, and we chatted and he said that if he could find a dry pair of pants, he would go.  We sat outside for a few mintues and he came out with dry pants and we went to church.  Afterward the bishop thanked us becuase he said that he had been thinking to interview him to recieve the priesthood that day.  Felt really good to be a part in helping someone be able to progress and hopefully recieve the priesthood next week.

I know that this is the true Church of God.  Everyday, I find many evidences of that truthfulness.  There is just absolutely NO way that it cant be true.  I know that the Lord gives us Spiritual promptings for a reason, and we should always follow them no matter how weird it seems.  It may just change someones life for the better.  May we all strive to be like Thomas S. Monson, and NEVER NEVER postpone a prompting from the Lord.  Strive to live worthy to recieve them, and FOLLOW them!!

I hope all have a great week.  Remember that the best way to avoid temptation is to read the Book of Mormon and pray.  Love you all!

Elder Lomeli

There are just random fires on the sides of the roads all the time
El Corazón de Imabura (Hear of Imbabura)

Monday, June 1, 2015


Hola everyone!

Well, I can say that right now I feel like Dory in Finding Nemo with tons of dust in her lungs.  Agato is a huge dust bowl!  We cant walk 15 minutes without being dust sprayed by a bus or two!  Haha I love it though, it makes me more grateful for paved roads and lucious grass.  This area of Otavalo makes me think even more of Lyman than my last sector here.  Tons of dust, farming, and animals running all over the place.  Makes me feel like Im at home in Lyman :)

This week we have been working a lot with the members asking for references and visiting with them.  We recieved a reference from an RM in out ward for a man named Juan Carlos.  He recently separated from his girlfriend(who is also the mother of his two children) and wants to change his life.  We have had 3 charlas with him and he accepted a baptismal date for the 20th of June, and even came to church this Sunday!  He has lots of great desires to do the right thing in his life.  Just a great example of the great things that can happen when members are involved in the work too!

Elder Barnes and I get along very well and we are laughing at almost every moment that we arent teaching.  We just keep quoting movies and making corny jokes.  Makes the slower progress here better and the mission a little bit more lively.  This week, we have been quoting mostly Good Burger...Cuz We´re all dudes! :)

We have both been without a voice this week due to the cold and the dust, but we are somehow able to still talk and visit with the people here in Agato.  Elder Barnes was a little worse off than I was, but little by little we are regaining our voices.  We were also saddend a little this week when a really great member fell back into his old drinking habits.  He is very invloved with us.  We almost think of him as our older brother.  His name is Luis and he needs a lot of help and prayers right now.  He needs to be able to get his life back on track and we are going to help him in everyway that we can.

This week has been a learning week in many aspects, but what I love the most were the baptismal requirements found in D&C 20.  It made me really relfect on the covenants that I made and made me want to better keep them.  I was able to more closely listen to the sacrament prayer and focus on the promises found there in.  We will be able to better live our lives and have the influence of the Spirit if we weekly remember and renew those covenants we made at baptism.  I love being a missionary and I know that this Church is true!


 Blue Gatorade finally came to Ecuador!!!

Elder Barnes is ready to farm