Megan's Background

Monday, January 26, 2015

Family Ties and the Gospel!

Hello Everybody!

I hope you are doing well and had a fantastic week. It’s been a great week here in Bolivia.  We just finished an intercambio (I don’t know how to say it in English). It’s hard to believe I’ve been here in Bolivia for 6 weeks. I am not changing areas or companions. Hermana Alarcon is stuck with me for another 6 weeks. :) Also, we celebrated your birthday Kasen on Thursday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!!!!!! I hope you had a great day. I cannot believe you are 11, so crazy!

The people here are AMAZING! They love missionaries, it’s such a blessing. Most people here are converts, I think just about everyone in our ward has been taught and baptized by the missionaries. At church the kids run to us to hug us and tell us all about their week. We went to a little girl’s baptism yesterday before church. Her name is Briana. They are the only people here that have American names. Her sisters names are Megan :) and Natalie. It’s super rare here especially. It was so fun to be a part of her baptism. We went earlier in the week to talk to her about baptism and it reminded me of my own baptism. Not that I remember a whole lot, but it is so fun to see baptisms here.

So, there is a family here, they probably make up half of our ward. There are two brothers, one brother named Simeon and his wife Ebby. This is the family that feeds us lunch and dinner everyday. Simeon is the Elders Quorum President and Ebby is in the Stake Relief Society Presidency. They have 3 kids, one is leaving on a mission in two weeks to Equador. Then there is the other brother Marco and his wife Jaquelin. Marco is the YM’s Pres. and Jaquelin was recently released as the YW’s President. They have 5 kids. Their oldest son is married and he and his wife have a 2-year old daughter. He is in the Bishopric and his wife is in the Primary Presidency. Their other son is the Ward Mission Leader. Then they have a son, Banco that has problems with his legs. He can’t walk, he uses crutches to get around, but it looks painful. He is 18 years old. Then they have a daughter Daisy who is 15. Wow! Did you follow all that? Just a quick story about them, ever since they found out that Banco had problems with his legs they have been saving all their money, so they could one day go to Salt Lake to Primary Children’s Hospital to get help for him because there is nothing they can do here. They have sacrificed a lot! This morning Jaquelin and Banco left their family for 8 months to go to Salt Lake. It’s such an incredible story. Yesterday, we were invited to Simeon and Ebby’s home for FHE. The whole family was there, we were all crammed in their house. We ate bread and drank warm milk. They bore testimonies and received priesthood blessings. We sang songs (I am asked to sing ALL the time and lead the music in sacrament and RS every Sunday. Ha-ha) and we just visited with each other. The love this family has for one another is incredible. Jaquelin is a wonderful lady. She was so worried about leaving and it was such a great opportunity for me to talk to her because I kind of know how she is feeling. It’s difficult and scary to leave your home go to a whole new place where no one speaks the same language as you. I was able to assure her that there will be many people there that will help them. I was able to teach them phrases in English. She is a faithful woman, who loves the Lord. It was hard to see this family say goodbye to each other, but I am so grateful they invited us to be a part of it. They tell us all the time that we are a part of their family. Ha-ha. I gave her some U.S. money that I had when I left. I can’t exchange it here anyway and it felt so good to give her something. I am grateful for their examples and their service. This family definitely loves the Lord and carries our ward. I am grateful for the love they have for us. They have taken us in and that is such a comfort.

I hope you are all doing well. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

With all my love,

Hermana Lomax

First District
First Zone
Hermana Jaquelin

Monday, January 19, 2015

I'm Grateful For My Pioneer Heritage!

Hello Everyone,

My, oh, my, it has been a busy week here in Bolivia! We have worked hard and have endured a lot of rain. It has rained everyday, and let me tell you rain and dirt roads don’t go well together, but I LOVE it! I have been able to reflect a lot especially as I trudge through the rain, mud and freezing cold. When I start to feel like I just want to cuddle under a tree and wonder what in the world I’ve gotten myself into, I think about the pioneers. They went through SO much worse and they didn’t have a warm bed to go to every night. I think about our Pioneer Trek, the testimony I gained through that experience has really helped me here on the mission, especially this week. Thank you everyone who worked so hard to give me that incredible opportunity. I think I have the hymn “Come, Come ye Saints” all memorized in Spanish. We sing it quite a lot.

This week I also went on an intercambio. I changed areas and companions for 2 days. I served in the city. It was a nice break from the mud. It was such a good experience to see how another teaches and what I want to add to my daily routine. I served with Hermana P, so sweet and she teaches so powerfully. She is from Colombia and has 10 months in the mission. We had such a good time together!

Today for P-day we went up to the "mountain" I don’t know if it’s really a mountain because we live in the mountains basically, but it was SO AWESOME! I took so many pictures. Its not like the mountains at home its kind of like a jungle. We barbequed and then hiked up to this amazing waterfall. It’s hard to describe. There were little adobe houses everywhere and it was so hard to breathe. It definitely is super high altitude, nothing like in the U.S.

I hope you are all doing well and that you are enjoying the cooler weather. I want you to know that I am so grateful to be here and to serve the Lord. I see his hand in my life everyday. The Spanish is coming along; we went on splits yesterday with members because we didn’t have any for the whole week. I was so nervous, but it went well. It was good for me to have to be independent and not lean on my companion to communicate. Everything is going so great here. Love you all!!!!!

Hermana Lomax

Intercambio in the City

A City in the Clouds!

Our Hike to the "Mountain"!

The Way to Christ!

For Maria!

In one of Hermana Lomax's last letters she asked for the YW in her home ward to take a picture holding a poster for Maria, a new 14 year-old member of the church in her area. The sign in Spanish translates to read "Welcome to Young Women's! We love you Maria". She couldn't wait to print this off and share it with her. Thank you Vail Ward Young Women!  
    Hermana Lomax loves you!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

To the Young Women...

Dear Young Women,

I hope you all had an incredible Christmas and New Year. I wanted to write you over the holidays but didn’t have enough time. Being here in Bolivia on a mission for Christmas was something I cannot describe. It was a little difficult but it was also the Best. I always have loved Christmas and knew the true meaning, but this year I was able to embrace it.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been out for just about 2 ½ months. I see the people here, the way they live and I kneel everyday to my Heavenly Father in sincere gratitude. I wonder everyday why he has blessed me the way he has. I share this picture with you so you can just get a glimpse, for this is my reality for the next 16 months. My hope for each of you is to recognize ALL that you have been blessed with and feel gratitude in your hearts. I want to encourage you, when you pray tonight, to pray only a prayer of gratitude. Before I came to Bolivia I never truly realized how much I have been given. Knowing what I know now I would have lived the gospel more fully, participating in every activity. I would have hugged my family tighter and at times spoken to and treated them better. I would have studied harder in school and I would have kept my room cleaner... I know some of you are laughing at this one right now because I wasn’t always so good at it :) It’s natural to take advantage of the things we have, we don’t know anything different, but there is a difference and I’m experiencing it. I hope you feel a spirit of gratitude just a little.

I am grateful for you! I hope each one of you knows you hold a very special place in my heart. I wish you a Happy New Year; make a difference to those around you. Each of you is special and you have SO much to give, don’t hold back.


Hermana Lomax

Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Monday Again!

Hello again!

I hope you all had a great week! Here are some facts about Bolivia and my time here that you might enjoy.

It rains almost everyday here and my area is all dirt roads so you can only imagine what my shoes and legs look like at the end of each day. The clouds fill the city, we can almost walk through them it is so neat. I like the rain, it doesn’t keep us from the work we still go out and walk and walk and walk and teach of course.

So…..a little about the food here in Bolivia. They put mayonnaise on and in EVERYTHING. Mom you would not do well here. I couldn’t believe it at first, but now I’m used to it. Some of the food is so strange, but there’s nothing I haven’t been able to eat it, so that’s a blessing. Although I cannot eat the tomatoes I try so hard, but I don’t think I will ever get myself to like them. Everything they drink is in bags. It’s the funniest thing. Juice, water its in a bag. My companion laughed on the first day when we bought juice. Because I didn’t know what to do.

I got a system down for brushing my teeth. First, I filter the water in my water bottle. Then, I put toothpaste on my toothbrush, pour some of the water from the bottle on my toothbrush and brush. After I suck all the remaining toothpaste as best as I can, I pour water on my toothbrush to clean it off. It’s quite a process but it works. And my clothes..... mom I will never complain again about washing clothes. I’m sure you’ll never get tired of hearing me say that (ha-ha) but we wash all our clothes by hand. I fill a big tub with water from our shower. It takes forever because our water pressure is really low. I put my clothes and some laundry detergent in the tub and scrub each piece with this little brush. We take our clothes down the stairs, outside to rinse them with the hose and then hang them on the clothesline to dry. But, its a little difficult because it always raining. Who knew I would miss the washer and dryer so much.

On P-day we play a lot of futbol or soccer with our zone. I’m horrible, but its fun. Then we normally clean and shop for things in Sacaba and of course email!!!

For the mission, in order for someone to be baptized they have to attend church 3 times, receive all the lessons in PMG, and pray. My companion and I expressed to the Bishop during Ward Council that while we are here to baptize we also want to convert and change people for the rest of their lives. Baptism is important and a big commitment and promise. I want to help the ward members understand their role in helping converts feel accepted and welcome. So….I made a list of activities we could do in the ward, some that we have done in Vail Ward like a ward movie night, something similar to a pinewood derby, and a few other ideas. I want to help them see how ward activities can be huge in fellowshipping new members. I know that the work is moving forward here and that I can do something to help. I love this area and the people. Seriously they are so sweet and kind!

Lastly, we had a girl get baptized on Saturday. Her name is Maria. The Elders in our ward taught her. She is So CUTE! She is 14 and she lives next to the family that feeds us, she comes over and helps cook and clean. She is quiet and her family is not very supportive of her. I have never heard her talk about them. The baptism was SO great, she asked me to speak about the Holy Ghost and she loves the gospel and LOVES YW’s. I cant blame her. She is so excited about Personal Progress. I have been helping her with it a little bit. She has 6 people in her family and none came to her baptism, but she knows this gospel will help her in her life and make her happy. I don’t know if this is possible but could you get the YW together and take a picture with a poster that says “Beinvenida a Mujeres Jovenes!” (Welcome to Young Women’s!). She would think it was so neat that YW half-way around the world are thinking of her and welcoming her into the church and into YW’s specifically. 

I love you all so much. Have a great week!

Hermana Lomax