Megan's Background

Monday, August 24, 2015

What A Week….Elder Bednar and Potosi!


I hope your week was great! My week was so crazy and unexpected and it’s difficult to know where to begin. We had a conference on Saturday with ELDER BEDNAR, Elder Stevenson (Presidency of the Bishopric of the church) Elder Soares (Presidency of the Seventy) and Elder Uceda (Area President of South America). Oh my goodness, it was incredible! There is no doubting that Elder Bednar is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, the spirit he brings is like nothing I’ve ever felt before. Elder Bednar´s wife and son were also here. It was neat because his son served here in this mission and they were able to visit some of his converts. I cannot even write how powerfully he spoke, it changed my whole mindset. I am so grateful for that experience and I will remember it forever. It was also really great because the whole mission was at the conference. President brought in all the missionaries from outside of Cochabamba; all 215 missionaries were in the same chapel. 
So, because all the missionaries were here in Cochabamba on Saturday and transfers were planned for Sunday, President decided to do transfers earlier to save time and money. So, we received our transfers on Tuesday night. I didn’t think I was going to be transferred, but I was wrong. I am now serving in POTOSI!  I was surprised and so excited. I packed all my stuff on Thursday and Friday and said goodbye to all of the incredible people in Villa Moscu. That is the hardest part of the whole mission...saying goodbye. I met the most amazing people in Villa Moscu many that I consider family... its the worst! And after the conference with Elder Bednar, at 4:00 in the afternoon on Saturday those of us serving outside of Cochabamba left for the long trip. I rode in a bus for 13 hours. Normally, when missionaries are transferred out they are sent on an airplane, but not this time. It was such a long ride. We arrived in Potosi, yesterday, Sunday at 7:00 in the morning. Just in time to drop my things off at our house and go to church. We worked for the whole day. This place is so pretty. ITS FREEZING! I can’t even feel my fingers as I type this letter to you. Ha-ha. I can hardly breath and my nose has been bleeding since I arrived, as my body adjusts to living in one of the highest cities in the world. The people I’ve met so far are so humble and kind. This place is exactly what you would think of when you hear about Bolivia. The streets are narrow and all the stores and houses are old, it has a cool western feel to it, with lanterns as streetlights. I am back to using my water filter and once again, there is no sink in our house. But, I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be here in Potosi, even if I freeze to death, I’ll get used to it right? That is what I keep telling myself.

My new companion has 3 months in the mission, she just finished her training. Her name is Hermana Chicaiza. She is from Quito, Ecuador. So, Madi if you have any questions write me next week. She is the sweetest! She was baptized 5 years ago, she is the only member of her family and even though she doesn’t look it, she is 29. We are going to have fun together.

I was going to send you pictures, but this computer isn’t reading my card and I don’t want to mess with it more. I don’t want to risk having my pictures erased again. I’ll get it figured out next week, I am sorry!

So, there is the update of the week. Crazy! A lot can happen in a few days in the mission. I feel so blessed! I say it every week but this is the greatest decision I have made in my life, even if I haven’t slept in 3 days.

I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week! Talk to you next week!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Lomax 

Monday, August 17, 2015

My Mission Is Changing My Life!

Well, I hope all these letters aren’t getting repetitive. I try hard to change them up a little. We are living it up here in Villa Moscu. It’s the last week of the transfer, I have been here for three so its possible I stay or I go. I’ll find out in a week. I love this area, it’s been more difficult but the people are just so incredible. The members of this ward have a love for the Lord and it is evident through their service.

I gave a talk in church yesterday, oh what a difference between my first talk in the mission compared to now. I was comparing them... I don’t know how I survived. Ha-ha. The topic was the Essential Role of Members In Missionary Work. I felt impressed to share the story of a family back in my home ward. I talked about how small and simple acts bring about marvelous outcomes, just as Alma taught his son Helaman in the Book of Mormon. As Missionaries we can’t do this work without the help of members. President Kimball taught that the growth of the church will not come through knocking doors, but will come when members of the church who have desires to serve along with devoted Missionaries work together in building the kingdom of God. Giving this talk gave me an opportunity to remember the importance of the members, especially the members here who are so excited and motivated to move the work along.

We had a girl we have been teaching come to church with us. She is sweet her name is Esmeralda. She is a single mom who has great desires for her son. Our lessons with her have been powerful and we are excited to see her progression.

I wanted to end this letter by sharing my testimony. I have thought a lot about my time here, it has gone quickly and it’s difficult for me to think I am on the down slope. But, I look at what these last 9 months have done for me and it’s hard to express it in words. My mission is changing my life! I am a better person thanks to every single experience that I have had. I had a testimony before I came on my Mission, but it has strengthened. It has a greater worth for me now. There is nothing more important to me than this gospel and the opportunity I have to share it with others. God lives. Jesus Christ is His son who came to earth. He changed us all forever. He died and suffered for us and He atoned for each one of us personally. All of our joys and our blessings are thanks to Him. Joseph Smith restored His gospel for us. He saw God and Christ in a grove of trees in response to a simple fervent prayer to know which church was true. We are part of something so much greater and we should never take it for granted. Faith is action, so go and do something. I am a witness now that all of this is true, because I have seen and felt the hand of God in my life.

I love you all so much and I hope you have an incredible week!

Love, Hermana Lomax

Monday, August 10, 2015

Cow Tongue and Chuno!

Happy Monday everyone! I remember at the beginning of my mission I seemed to live P-day to P-day and the week in between seemed so long... but not anymore.

I hope you’ve all had a good week mine was pretty fantastic. On Tuesday, we had intercambios. I stayed here in Villa Moscu with Hermana Wingate she is from Ohio and one of the funniest girls I’ve met. She goes home in two weeks. We had fun together. I dragged her up to Andrada, she hates me a little for that, but we both joked around that we will be that much skinnier when we go home. ;)

On Wednesday we went to the temple and had Zone Conference. I love the temple here it is so pretty. Our zone conference was great we talked a lot about the difference between a testimony and conversion. We also talked a lot about our upcoming meeting with Elder Bednar and 3 other general authorities. Everyone is so excited.

Thursday was Independence Day in Bolivia; there were lots of flags and drunk people. As a missionary that’s the best!

On Friday I ate cow tongue... yep COW TONGUE and chuño. I was talking about this with my pensionista about a week ago. It’s a popular dish that Bolivian people eat, but the pensionistas don’t cook it for the missionaries, for obvious reasons. But I told her I wanted to try it so she made it. We didn’t tell my companion or the assistants until after she had served it to them. Ha-ha it was DISGUSTING, it doesn’t taste bad, but as you can imagine the texture is just how you would expect it, the tongue bumps and everything. I ate it all; I’m a pro now at eating things that are just not good.

On Saturday the Stake Relief Society had a big Dance Festival to celebrate the Independence Day of Bolivia. It was so neat to see each Ward dance a traditional Bolivian dance, why can’t we dance like that? We enjoyed our time together as a Ward. Then afterwards we helped a family move; I love how people move here. The family moved to the second floor of an apartment building. They literally just lift everything up to the balcony to move it in. I’m talking refrigerators, dressers…everything. The 3 of us from the states just laughed, but it’s probably a miracle none of us died! So I think it’s fair to say I don’t think I missed out on a thing during the family move at home.

I am excited for this upcoming week; I can’t believe how fast time is going by. I love Bolivia with all my heart. It’s like home and it’s so crazy to think I’m half way done. I actually hate thinking about it. Dangit! I get choked up every time I think about it. Well, that is a sign that I should just end it here. I hope you all have a great week.

I love you all so much!

Con mucho amor de Bolivia,

Hermana Lomax

Cow Tongue, Chicken, Chuño, and of course rice and potatoes. When I told my pensionista I was going to send you this picture she told me I had to tell you that this dish is called picante mesqla.
Cow Tongue- Sauce with peas, she covered it up for us.
Chuño- The dark stuff, every missionary talks about chuño, its dried potato and its horrible, they eat it a lot in Potosi.

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Birthday in Bolivia!

Hello Everyone,

First off, THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES! My inbox was overflowing with letters. I am so blessed to know so many incredible people. 

It’s been a pretty good week. We worked super hard the first part of our week, we were nailing out lessons. On Thursday night we went to dinner at the pension’s house and Hermana _______ said that her head hurt, she left and was in the bathroom for a little bit. I was at the table eating with the assistants when she came in and I could tell she wasn’t feeling well, suddenly out of nowhere she passed out. I got up and went to her, I could tell she wasn’t really all there. I was talking to her and the Elders went to get our pensionista. Thank goodness for MA! I can’t remember everything, but in that moment it all came back. I turned her on her side because she had thrown up right before (which is normal in the mission, just randomly throwing up) and I didn’t know if she would do it again. We put her on the couch and the assistants went out and got a taxi. The assistants gave her a blessing and then Elder Tia carried her to the taxi. We went to the clinic, while they checked on her, the assistants and I chilled in the waiting room. They were so nice to come with us. We were only there for about 30 minutes and she was back to it and let us go home. It was nothing too serious.

On Friday we stayed at home all day... it was horrible I hate staying at home not being able to work. But, we did go to dinner at the pensions and it was the sweetest thing. Hermana Lina our pensionista bought a cake and surprised us during dinner. It was so fun to eat cake and sit around and talk. I didn’t have my camera because all I had brought was the cell phone and the keys. But, Elder Jacobson had his, I just need him to send them to me.

On Saturday Hermana _______ was feeling better. I told her we had to go out and try to work. This sweet couple (Lorena and Israel) in our ward, who live in the temple housing, invited us over for lunch. It was the best! Israel served his mission in San Diego and learned how to cook awesome Chinese food. And Lorena made CUPCAKES. Cupcakes are a newer thing here in Bolivia, it’s all the hype and it’s the best when they try and say it with their accent. These were by far the best cupcakes I’ve had on my mission. We hung out and talked, we took LOTS of pictures and I got to blow out candles. Also, as we were eating dessert Hermana Lorena pulled out NUTELLA. Yep, Nutella! I guess one of the sisters serving here in the temple from the states had it and gave it to them. Of course I had to take a picture!

After lunch we went out and had some solid working time. We had some good lessons, which were much needed. It was also Fast Sunday so we didn’t go to dinner. When we showed up at the house there was a Happy Birthday sign on the door from our capacitadoras (Hna. Wingate and Hna. Giles). They are the sweetest! The rest of the night I just talked to some other sisters who had called. It was a good day. I love Bolivia SO much, I love the people and I love the work I am doing.

Thank you so much for the birthday package, I am excited to wear the new outfit to the temple and Zone Conference on Wednesday!

I hope you all have a great week! Love you tons!

Hermana Lomax

P.S. We got some pretty exciting news this week. Elder Bednar and three other general authorities are coming to our mission on August 22nd! I AM SO EXCITED!

This is where I spent my day on Friday….Reading, working on the area book, and catching up on my journal.
A bored Birthday Selfie while my companion was sleeping.
So, we were at an investigators house and I had to go to the bathroom SO bad. As I'm concentrating (because it  was literally a whole in the ground) I look over and there were chickens hangin out in the bathroom. Cool….No Privacy! The animals rule this place!!!