Megan's Background



Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Bolivia

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas! It’s hard to believe it came and went so quickly. I had a great Christmas here in Bolivia, one that I will never forget. We mainly celebrated on the 24th of December. Since you all celebrated early it was only fitting that I did too. In the morning of the 24th we went to a nearby orphanage. We took Christmas treats, played with the kids at the park, and ate lunch with them. It was difficult to see so many CUTE kids living in an orphanage, but so fun to spend the day laughing with them. Some of the Elders brought Sour Patch Kids for the children and to see their faces as they ate them for the first time was priceless! I’ve decided that after my mission I am coming back to adopt them all. :)

After the orphanage I was able to Skype home!!!!! I had to find an Internet Café to Skype, but it didn’t matter. IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE YOU ALL!!!! To talk to you, I love you all SO, SO, SO much and I am happy you had a good Christmas and are doing well. That’s all that matters to me. I don’t know if I expressed enough over Skype how grateful I am for the package you sent me. THANK YOU! My companion was so happy about her stocking and candy you should have seen her face when she was telling her mom and brother about it. I want you to know you made her day.

After we were able to Skype we went to dinner at the Gonzales’. She made a HUGE dinner. I have never seen so much food in my life. We all sat together in their living room on the cement floor and sang Christmas hymns while one of the elders played the guitar. It was simple and humble. I now understand why Christ was born in a stable, in the humblest of ways. The spirit was something I have never experienced before.
     
On Christmas morning we woke up a little early, sat under our paper Christmas tree in our pajamas and opened each other’s gifts and a few others. Hermana Alarcon gave me a Christmas mug perfect for the hot chocolate you sent me. A little later we went to the church building and made breakfast with the other missionaries in our zone. After breakfast we spent the day visiting as many investigators, less actives and members as we could, sharing a Christmas message. We gave out the goody bags you made for the kids. Baylie they LOVED your bracelets! Thank you. I told them that my sister made it just for them.
       
That has been the best part, seeing everyone’s faces as they received gifts, ate Sour Patch Kids, sang Christmas songs…..way out of tune.:) Nothing could have been better. For once Christmas wasn’t about me or about what I wanted. The only thing I cared about was experiencing the joy and happiness of others. It was so good to take the time to look and watch those around me. So, that was my Christmas here in Bolivia. SIMPLY incredible! Thank you everyone for your messages and prayers I love you all and am so grateful to be here serving the Lord! Have a Happy New year!


Love, Hermana Lomax








Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad!

I cannot believe it is Christmas already. It's hard to describe my feelings, I am so grateful for the spirit of Christmas!

Here is my Christmas Card! We made a Christmas Tree out of paper for our house. We had to do something. My companion, Hermana Alarcon is the sweetest, she is from Argentina, speaks no English and has never really celebrated Christmas, so I had to do something!



Feliz Cumpleanos!!!

HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY PEYTON!!!!! I thought about you all day. I hope you had a great day. I'm sad I wasn't there with you but know we were celebrating here in Bolivia.




My First Area….Huallyani!

My area is awesome, it is called Huallyani, it is close to Sacaba and on the eastern outskirts of the Cochabamba District. It is SOOOO poor, but I love it and feel very blessed to be here. I have to tell you that I've been a little emotional as I've been walking around, these people have nothing. But, they are so sweet and kind! We have gotten 9 new investigators since I arrived. 

Our house is something else!!! It always smells, you can't flush the toilet paper here….so gross. But, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I feel like I'm going on an adventure everyday! 

Home Sweet Home! We do not even have a sink. :)


My rainboots were one of the best things I brought, thank goodness for them!!!

First Day in Cochabamba, Bolivia!

This was my first day in Bolivia and it is incredible! We were able to go up to the Christ Statue. It is actually the biggest in the world. I cannot believe this is my home for the next 18 months! So cool!



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hello From President and Sister Hansen!

Dear Family, 
President Hansen and I are pleased to attach a photo of Hermana Lomax, whom we welcomed to the Bolivia Cochabamba Mission on Tuesday December 16, 2014.  Thank you for raising your daughter to be prepared to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary. 
We ask our missionaries to write home via email weekly on Monday, which is preparation day.  We encourage you to send an email to your missionary before 10:00 a.m. (Bolivia time) each Monday, as evidence of your love and support for her labors in the Lord’s vineyard.  The first few months in the mission field are often the most difficult.  Receiving emailed letters of support from the missionary’s family each week can be a great help to a young missionary. 
We will do our best to watch over and teach your missionary daughter so that she can be strictly obedient, grow in discipleship, and have a wonderful mission serving the Lord and His children in Bolivia. 
Sincerely,
Pres. Mark W. Hansen and Sister Kathy L. Hansen
Bolivia Cochabamba Mission







Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I Made It to Cochabamba!

Hi mom and dad! 

I made it to Cochabamba! I cannot even believe this time is here. When we flew over the area, I was in awe knowing that this will be my home for the next 17 months. All I can say is it is poor, but the people are SO incredible. They wear all the traditional clothing just as we discussed before I left. We left Bogota last night at 7:00, flew to La Paz and had a lay over there for 4 hours and then flew for a half hour here to Cochabamba. It was so awesome when we got off the plane President Hansen, his wife and about 20 missionaries greeted us with a big banner. 


It has been a long night but I AM SO GOOD! We are here at the Mission Home now. I just had an interview with President Hansen, he is the sweetest man ever, I am so excited to get to work with him. I will get my companion and area tomorrow. I can't wait!!! Also, thank you so much for the sweet note you wrote me mom, I read it while some of the missionaries called home. It was such a blessing. 

I don't have much time but I LOVE YOU SO MUCH and I wanted you to know that I made it here safe!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Final Days at the Colombian CCM

Mom,

Thank you so much for this sweet email.  I love my companion! She is so sweet and knows NO english, but that is probably for the best :). I have learned a lot and I am excited for the mission but hoping I am really ready. I'm a little worried about my suitcases but I'm sure it will be fine.

We have a layover in Peru and all the missionaries were talking about how excited they are to call home in the airport. I've given this a lot of thought and have decided that I'm not going to call. I have been on my mission for 6 weeks and I need to do what I know Heavenly Father would want me to do. It will be so hard to watch as other missionaries call their families but I want you to know I will be thinking of you. I also want you to know that obeying brings blessings but obeying EXACTLY brings miracles. I am sure I will get to write you when I get to the mission home. I cannot wait to skype you all on Christmas! I am so happy. I love you so much.
 I loved the CCM, I learned so much and met incredible people!

Hermana F____, my Latina companion in the CCM is the the sweetest girl ever. When I was leaving she surprised me with this poster on my desk and just yesterday I found a note from her in one of my books. I miss her.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy December!

It’s been super busy here. We went to the temple twice this week. I got my first Latina companion, Hermana Franco. I love her to pieces!!! She is the sweetest girl ever and is SO patient. I’m sure she didn’t know she was signing up for this, but she teaches me so much! She is serving here in Bogota so I will most likely be the only North American companion she will have. She teaches me Spanish and I teach her English, it’s so fun. She is funny because she does not like the Elders. We went proselyting yesterday and it went well. She mainly did all the talking but I would jump in with scriptures when I knew what we were talking about.

I spoke in sacrament meeting on Sunday. It was a little nerve racking but not as bad as I thought. We are all asked to prepare different talks each week and during the meeting the Brother conducting will call an order. I was chosen to speak first. My topic was the Great Apostasy. I am so glad I studied Preach My Gospel before my mission because I had made a study sheet for the Great Apostasy. I just had to translate it to Spanish. I am so grateful for the opportunity. I was one of only two North Americans that spoke.

Later that night we watched the General Christmas Broadcast live. Did you guys watch it? It was such a great broadcast and it was the first time I was able to listen to and sing Christmas songs in English, and we’ve been singing them since I got here 6 WEEKS AGO!!!

I can hardly believe it’s been 6 weeks. We leave Tuesday morning at about 3 AM for Peru, and then COCHABAMBA!!! I am so excited!!! I just hope I can get all my stuff in my suitcases. After I write you I am going to go pack up my stuff while we listen to Christmas music. So Excited, but hoping I am ready.

So, I found this scripture during study, Moroni 8:3. I was so excited to share it with you all. I know that this scripture is true and it applies so much to me. When we first learned how to pray in Spanish there were 3 things that I learned right away that I knew I needed in every prayer. The first was to express my gratitude for my family, to ask that you be blessed in all you do and that you always feel peace. The second was to be blessed with the Gift of Tongues. The third was to always express my gratitude for the Savior and His Atonement. I do not say a single prayer without including these three things. I want you to know that this scripture is for you! I am so grateful to be here, I know there is no other place in the world I need to be (besides Bolivia :)) I have already experienced things on this journey that could not have been possible without the power of Heavenly Father. This work is the truest work I’ve ever been a part of and it is the most important thing in the world to me. I Love you all so much! And wish you the very Merriest Christmas if I don’t get to email before!

Love,
Hermana Lomax


Moroni 8:3

I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Proselyting in Colombia

Hello again!

These are the best days when we get to write. We sit and wait at the computers until the exact time. Talk about obedience, I have exactly one hour!
     
The days go so fast I can’t even keep them straight. It’s hard to believe it is Wednesday. Saturday we got to leave the fence and go proselyting. It was so AWESOME and a little nerve racking. We had some pretty cool experiences.

They dropped us off in the middle of the city and just let us go. We had 2 ½ hours to walk around and talk to people. The first lady we talked to was so nice, we talked for about 15 minutes. Just as we began to walk away she reached into her market bag and brought out 3 warm little loaves of bread for us. SO SWEET! Another special experience we had happened when we were walking around the park and met a man named Henry. We gave him a Book of Mormon and talked with him about prayer. We went and sat with him on a bench in the park because he wanted to know more. We prayed together right there in the park, it was so incredible. The last experience I want to share with you all, was meeting a man, his 14-year-old son and his 8-year-old daughter Gabriella. They were the nicest people. We gave them a Book of Mormon and invited them to church. I was able to speak with Gabriella for a while. We talked about Christmas, school and she even drew me a heart in my planner. It made my whole day. She definitely spoke much better Spanish then I do and was probably laughing at me, but she was very sweet. I am so grateful for that experience. Here in Colombia they do not have North American Sisters serving, so it was neat as a sister from North America to go out and teach the Colombian people. When we returned back to the MTC they wanted to know how many contacts we made, most elders made 6 or 7 and we made 14. The people here love North American Sisters; it’s strange to constantly be stared at. It helps with trying to find people to talk to; in fact they often come talk to us (ha-ha). I feel the trust of the Lord for the opportunity to serve a little while here in Colombia, even though I know I need to practice my Spanish a lot more (ha-ha).
         
So, a little about the MTC here in Colombia and what I do on a daily basis. I wake up at 6:00 each morning, I feel better if I get a little extra time in the morning. I get myself ready for the day and wait for my companions to finish getting ready. At 7:00 we go down to the chapel and spend an hour studying scripture. Then we eat breakfast and go straight to class in our districts for about 6 hours. We eat lunch and have rice with EVERY meal. (Mom when I come home promise me we will NOT eat rice for at least a year). And it’s a running joke here about the mystery meat (ha-ha). We spent one day deciding if the meat was fish or chicken. I know what you’re thinking, how can you not tell the difference between the two, but I’m telling you that here you cannot. ;) After lunch we teach our investigators. We practice our lessons everyday. I am so good at teaching the Law of Chastity in Spanish (ha-ha). I am grateful for the teachers here in the MTC, they help us so much. After we practice what we are learning, we go to the gym and play some pretty competitive volleyball. It’s pretty great! We eat dinner, have a devotional and learn fundamentals of the gospel. It seems like a long day, but it goes by fast. By 10:30 when the lights go out I am so exhausted.

I cannot believe I only have 2 more weeks here. I was just assigned my Latino companion, Hermana Franco from Santa Cruz, Bolivia about an hour ago. She is so sweet; it’s going to be fun learning from her.
         
Yesterday was P-day. We were able to go on a tour of Colombia. The mountains here are insane. They are so big and the trees are giants, it is so pretty. We’re just going into summer, so it’s pretty warm. They have this weird misty rain here that I love. 
           
I hope you are all doing wonderful and enjoying the Christmas season. We listen to Christmas music everyday and we helped decorate the MTC. We have 5 Christmas trees and put lights outside. I’m looking forward to this special time of year.

Have a fabulous week! Love you all!

LOVE,

Hermana Lomax




At the Bogota, Colombia Temple
Book of Mormon