Megan's Background

Monday, March 30, 2015

Happy Easter…..Oh and I Got Bit By a Dog!!!

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all had a great week. Mine was pretty good, nothing super exciting. The area is great, it has rained almost everyday. I just love the rain, one day I changed my clothes 3 times. Ha-ha. We did a lot of service this week. We cut grass Bolivian style (with a machete) then we helped one of our investigators move. I am so sore but I love doing service.

So, on Friday I got bit by a dog... but don’t worry! It was about 8:30 at night, so it was dark and also super muddy. We were walking slowly and suddenly all these dogs came running at us, which they do every time we walk this street. But suddenly I felt a sharp pain at the back of my leg. Luckily, I had long socks on because it was cold. I know, I know my fashion sense is just so bad. :) But it bit through my sock. On Saturday we went to the Mission Home for a conference of Hermanas where we watched the Women’s Conference. I talked to Hermana Hansen about it and she told me to check on the dog everyday for about 2 weeks to make sure it doesn’t die or become sick. The only issue is, is that I don’t know exactly what dog it was because there were about 4 of them. But all is good. I cannot believe it happened. Ha-ha. On the bright side we were on our way to an Internet Cafe that a Brother in our ward owns. I took him my memory card about 3 days ago to see if he could get my pictures back. HE WAS ABLE TO DO IT!! I was so excited, it ended up that my memory card had a virus. He found a program that could restore them, but would only do the first 20 for free so he has gone around to everyone of his computers and done 20 by 20. I’m sure it took him all day and he’s not even finished yet, so I don’t have any pics to send today but how sweet right? This is just one example of the kind of people here. They are so willing to help.

So that was a little of my week. I hope you all have a great week, enjoy watching conference; I am so excited I cannot even tell you. Eat a good breakfast for me and have a very Happy Easter! I Love you all so much!!

Hermana Lomax  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Post Shared By Hermana Hansen!

The Hermanas in Cochabamba gathered in our home yesterday for a Sisters Conference. We learned about stress reduction, exercise and personal defense. We had a guest speaker, instruction from the Sister training leaders, a few words from me and then a wonderful dinner with Mexican food. Then all watched the General Women’s session of conference together. Spanish on the TV downstairs and English on the TV upstairs. We made great memories. We love our HERMANAS.

Monday, March 23, 2015

They Are My Miracle and I Love Them So Much!

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all had a great last week of Spring Break; it seemed to go by fast. :) It has been a crazy week here, full of lots of activities and different things. Here is an update for the week:

Tuesday: Every Tuesday we have District and Zone Meetings. This week we talked a lot about being a super missionary it was really great. Then President and Sister Hansen came by as we practiced for a fireside that we have Sunday night. It was good to talk to them and prepare for the fireside.

Wednesday: On Wednesday we had interviews with President, he does interviews every three months, my last one was the week after Christmas. He is so sweet, it was good to get to talk to him (in English:)) about the area and share with him how much I love my Mission; he gives great council and helps us all to be better missionaries.

Thursday: Thursday was our Family Home Evening at the Mission Home with Family Caceres. It went so well, I was nervous at first, but President and Hermana Hansen taught everything. Since Thursday was the Bolivian Fathers Day, President asked us each to share something about our dads. Talk about emotional. It was such a great opportunity to share my love for my dad and the gratitude I have for him and everything he has done for me, because there is no way I would be here without him. President then shared a video and talked about the Priesthood and the blessings it brings to our families. At the end President asked if anyone had questions, Marianna the 10 year-old girl (my favorite girl in the entire world) raised her hand. We were all curious to hear her question. She then asked if President would baptize her. Ha-ha. We were all caught off guard. President laughed, and looked at his schedule. So, we will be having 4 baptisms on Saturday, April 18th. Zail, Cyntia, Marianna and Zail’s 18 year-old sister Ana Paola that just moved in with them from Peru. After the leccion we played a game and ate BROWNIES, that Sis. Hansen made, and the kids thought they were the greatest things ever. As we were cleaning up President and the kids went into the backyard and played basketball. 

After we left the Mission Home the family really wanted to go onto temple grounds. We walked down to the temple and the gate was still open so we went in and took lots of pictures. I cannot tell you what joy filled my heart in that moment as they talked about how pretty it was and how badly they wanted to go in. Cyntia asked me while we were there if we could make a date for when they could go to the temple to be sealed forever. She asked if I would be able to go, and it just happens that a year from now I will still be here, it would be my last transfer in the mission. They are excited for this goal and again I feel like my heart isn’t big enough for this work. This night was so incredible, this family is a miracle family. They are my miracle and I love them all so much!

Saturday: The Young Women of the Stake had their Dance Festival. It was so awesome. We took one of our investigators, Keila. She is 13 and loves Young Women’s. She lived in Italy for 5 years and had leccions with the missionaries there. She loves the gospel and loves Personal Progress, which of course makes my heart happy. We have fun doing it together. Anyways the Dance Festival was awesome. Each ward represented a different country here in South America, and danced their traditional dance. They had the big skirts and everything. It was really impressive. Our ward represented Colombia because the YW President just got home from her mission there. In my opinion our ward was the best. :)

Sunday: This was such a special day. We went to church in the morning and then that evening at 6:00 we had a Noche Fogonera (fireside) for the entire Stake (our entire Zone) it was for all investigators and members. Everyone was so excited to hear President Hansen speak. We arrived early because I was a part of 2 musical numbers it all went so well. We had so many people come. We had recent converts bear testimonies, rescued less actives bear testimony, Hermana Hansen bore her testimony and President gave a talk. At the beginning of his talk he asked all of the missionaries to stand, it was so incredible to be able to stand in that crowd and see the other 15 missionaries standing as well. In his talk President shared our story about Wilder. It was a story that he remembered from when I shared it with him a while ago, it was so emotional. He also added his testimony about the experience we had. We closed the meeting singing Called to Serve. The missionaries sang the first 3 verses and everyone stood and sang the last verse it was SO powerful. Afterwards Zail asked if we could do it again. Ha-ha. This night went so well, which is a huge relief because it has been so stressful all week.

After the meeting a sweet lady named Sonya (I think I talked about her once, she was baptized almost a month ago) came up to me in tears. Her nephew while riding in a taxi with his family opened the door and fell out. He was critically injured and she had just found out on her way to this meeting. She was so upset. I put my arms around her and hugged her for a long time. We were talking when President came up, he knew her from an interview he’d had with her. She shared with him about the accident and to hear what President said to her was incredible. The comfort and the hope he gave was powerful. Afterwards I told her that we would take her home. As we were leaving, Hermana Hansen looked at me and said "you are exactly what she needs right now." I am not going to lie, I was nervous. I don’t feel like I know Spanish well enough to know what to say to someone who might lose a loved one. Even if I had to do it in English I wasn’t sure if I could offer the comfort she needed. As we drove to her house I said a pray in my heart that Heavenly Father would help me know how to help her. We walked into her house and I shared a scripture in D&C 121: 7-8*. She is a faithful woman and we shared that this is one of many reasons why Elders came to share the gospel with her at this time in her life. Her testimony will help her with this trial. She shared her love and the peace that she feels knowing that she has people and a Heavenly Father who love her. We said a prayer and left. I am grateful for the encouraging words of Hermana Hansen, because I felt inadequate to help Sonya. But, of course this is the Lords work and he makes all things possible. I am exhausted! It’s so crazy how much this work takes from you. I feel like I take on every ones problems and challenges, I have no room for my own. That’s why they stress the importance of personal study. I have no idea how the Savior did it, I am learning more about Him everyday. Sonya asked if we would fast with her, so tonight we are going over to her house to start a fast. I am grateful for her faith.

So this week has been draining, wonderful, exciting, nerve racking and every emotion you could think of, but I would not want to be anywhere else. I am grateful for President Hansen for how involved he is in our work as missionaries. He has a heart bigger than anyone I’ve met and I am so grateful to get to serve with him! I hope you all have a great week. I love you so much and am grateful for each one of your examples.

Hermana Lomax

*D&C 121: 7-8
My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Spring Break and Happy Birthday Mom!

I Love Mondays and love getting to talk to you all! I hope you are doing well and enjoying spring break. One more week!

First off, I want to thank the Activity Day Girls for sending me the sweet notes, it seriously made my whole week. I wanted to send a card, but it will take about a month so, I will send a picture instead. We have the sweetest girls in our ward! THANK YOU!!!!!!

ALSO, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I love you SOOO much and I hope you have the greatest birthday. Go and do something fun and know that I will be thinking about you and celebrating here. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

So here’s an update on the Caceres family. President Hansen called me last Monday and invited my companion and I, and their family to the mission home for a FHE. We planned it for this coming Thursday. I’m a little nervous but so excited that he thought about them. So we decided to push back the baptism, because Zail is so close. At the beginning of the week, he asked us some questions that could have only been found by searching things on the Internet. Ugh! My heart has never felt anything like this. We explained to him about the temptations of the world, and I went home and prayed harder than I’ve ever prayed before. Yesterday, they invited two of their friends to church. That’s two new investigators and they are awesome! We are also teaching Zail´s sister who just moved in with them from Peru to go to school as well. She is 19, so we are like best friends. Last night they invited us over because they had asked the bishop to give a blessing on their house. IT WAS THE MOST POWERFUL LECCION EVER, and that’s saying something because we’ve had some great leccions. Zail told us that he is ready for baptism and excited to do this with his family, he shared that he has seen blessings and changes in their lives. I wanted to share my love for them so I said a prayer in my heart that I would be able to say everything I felt in my heart… and that they would understand. It’s incredible how if we exercise our faith and simply open our mouths, He fills it. We cried (ha-ha) and she made us awesome Peruvian food. This work is real! So we are going to talk about the baptismal questions on Tuesday and have FHE with the President on Thursday.

On Wednesday we have interviews with President Hansen, he does interviews every 3 months. I had my first one the week after Christmas. On Sunday we have a special night where we can invite every member, every investigator, EVERYONE. The President is going to speak and some of us are sharing musical numbers. It should be really great. I will be seeing the President almost every day this week, I love how involved he is, especially because this mission is pretty big and there are so many missionaries. This week is going to be busy and I am so excited!

My new companion, Hermana O____ is sweet, there is a lot that I can learn from her. I know that Heavenly Father puts people in our lives for a reason and I need her right now. I hope I can be a blessing for her as she is about to finish her mission. I miss Hermana A_____, but she is going to come back for the baptism. All in all it’s been pretty great. I love you all and I hope you have a good, fun, safe week!

Love, Hermana Lomax

Thank you to all the sweet Activity Day Girls!
Happy Birthday Mom!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blessings of Being a Mormon Missionary!

Hello Everyone,

My heart is so full. It’s been 4 months and still at times walking around here I still can’t believe I am in Bolivia. I love this place and the people so much. I understand now what people meant when they said as a missionary you come to love and desire the Salvation of others more than anything in the world. It’s true. My hearts not big enough for all the love I have. I only wish I could have you all here to experience it with me. To have the two things I love most together would make this perfect, but emails will have to work.:)

These last two weeks have been incredible and draining. My Spanish has improved so much. I taught Gospel Principles and Relief Society last week and when I tell people I have 4 months here in Bolivia the look on their face is priceless. But, it’s by no means me. The gift of tongues is real.

On Friday, we were invited to go to seminary…. yeah you could say I was just a little excited.;) There are 7 kids and it starts at 6 AM, SO early. We woke up at 4:45 and went to the house where they have seminary. Since 3 of us are North Americans (me and the elders) we made them French Toast (it’s not as good as at home but, its FRENCH TOAST!) It was so fun and they loved it. It was totally worth waking up early for.

So, this is what I was so excited to write you about last week. A family we are teaching is getting BAPTIZED!!! The Caceres family, from Peru came here to Bolivia for 2 years, so that Zail, the husband could go to school. He is studying medicine. I cannot even begin to write how incredible this family is. About 6 months ago the missionaries before us met them, but they practically shut the door in their faces. One day almost 4 weeks ago we knocked on their door. We met Zail and set an appointment with him. Their progress has been amazing. Cyntia the wife tells us all the time that the first time they met the missionaries they were not interested at all, but this time it was different. Her testimony is really strong; the change she has made is amazing. They have 2 kids Mariana is 10 and Sebastian is 5. I love them SOOO much. Zail, Cyntia and Mariana had a date set for baptism this last Saturday, but Zail has expressed fear about how his family who are Catholic would accept his new faith. His testimony isn’t as strong as Cyntia's. It’s a whole life change, which is understandable. They had the opportunity to talk to President Hansen almost 2 weeks ago at a baptism for an older lady in the ward. Afterwards, I talked to President and he told me that Zail is so close to being ready for baptism, and we needed to give a powerful leccion* that would bring the about nerve-racking. I’ve never prayed harder in my life. I thought a lot about what we needed to talk about. I’ve never felt that way before in my life. After thinking for a day I thought of a scripture that Bishop shared with me as I was deciding to go on a mission in May. The scripture is in D&C 6, which talks about prayer. It says "fear not to do good my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also weep." This whole seccion* is so incredible. Before my mission I wondered if this was the right decision, the decision that Heavenly Father wanted for me and after bishop shared this scripture with me, I knew. So, on Wednesday we had the leccion*. THE SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG. It had a strong impact on him. I am so grateful that I had that experience in my own life to be able to help him. There were times before my mission I wondered why I had to go through everything I did. I always knew there was a reason and I see it everyday here, especially in this experience. Cyntia and Mariana were upset that we pushed back the date, but it’s so important they do this together. Zail bought a suit for church. Cyntia made us earrings to wear on their baptisms. She also made me a few pages for my recuerdo* (I don’t know how to explain that in English), but she put a whole bunch of pictures of us and wrote the sweetest note about how we are angels in their lives and that they are our second family. They hung our picture up on their wall and saved our Skype accounts on their computer, so when we go home and they return to Peru we can stay in touch. Again, my heart is not big enough for all this love. They are excited to one day enter the temple, and I hope I can be there with them. We are hoping for this Saturday or Sunday for baptisms, we have a leccion with them tomorrow.

Last night a family in the ward (the same sister that teaches seminary) that lives 2 houses down from family Caceres invited us, the elders, their friends that live in the city, and another family in the ward over for FHE. We watched a video about Finding Faith in Christ and ate PIZZA (again, not as good as at home but it’s PIZZA). The Brother Nefi (who speaks English and is the coolest guy ever) asked us what he could do to help this family. He shared the sweetest message about faith. It was perfect and such a good night! I have learned a lot from the members here, it is so incredible for me to see the love they have for our investigators.

Also, last night was Cambios*. I AM STAYING HERE! Thank goodness! Hermana Alarcon is being transferred to a different part of Cochabamba, she is excited. I don’t know too much about my new companion all I know is she is from Ecuador and has 4 months left on the mission. She is in Potosi right now so we will go pick her up from the airport tomorrow morning. I am excited; I’m going to miss Hermana Alarcon. But, I’m really excited to be staying here!!!!

I hope you are all doing well. I love you all and hope you are having a good first day of spring break.

Love, Hermana Lomax

*Note…It's fun to see Hermana Lomax's Spanish coming through into her letters. I've decided not to edit it out. Instead, I will provide some translation along the way.

Leccion - Lesson
Recuerdo - Memory Book/Scrapbook
Seccion - Section
Cambios - Transfer

The Signature Mission Move! 
Doing hair to attend a baptism.