Megan's Background

Monday, March 28, 2016

I Am Here to Nurture and Love the Poor, the Sick and the Afflicted!


It’s been a great week! We have been busy; we have felt spiritually uplifted, nervous and anxious. Just so many emotions, welcome to the mission life.

Well, first off, we had transfers. Hermana Cruz is going to open an area here in Cochabamba with a sister from Argentina. I am staying here and a sister named Hermana Fuenzalida is coming! She is so sweet, I know her pretty well. She is from Chile and has about a year in the mission. I will be training her as a new Sister Training Leader. We are just a little excited. We are going to be working hard, teaching EVERYONE about repentance and baptizing true converts, we are going to be exactly obedient and I believe we will be seeing miracles.

On Saturday we had our Sisters Conference. It went well. It was truly inspired by God. All the sisters in Cochabamba came together in the mission home. We listened to a guest speaker and then played outside. Hermana Cruz and I made a video about the importance of Choosing to Be Happy Now. We ate Mexican food, which President and the Assistants made. (No rice or potatoes!) Then we were able to watch the General Women’s Conference. It was incredible and exactly what I needed to hear. I don’t believe there is a better message for a sister missionary to hear than the one given at conference. We were reminded that as women we have been given divine gifts to nurture others and that we have an abounding love to help those along our way on this earthly journey. I felt the spirit strong as a sister shared stories of refugees around the world who have needed the divine gifts we have as women of the Church. As I watched conference, I realized another reason why the Lord has sent me here to Bolivia. I am here to nurture and love the poor, the sick, and the afflicted.

Yesterday, we were blessed to see the impression I felt during conference come to life. We went and visited members, just recently the mother of one of the sisters we were visiting became really sick. They brought her here to Cochabamba from her little village in Potosi so she could get to a hospital. After almost a week in the hospital, they released her and she is now staying with her daughter. While we were there yesterday the sister invited us up to see her mom. It was one of the sweetest moments of my life. She is 93 years old. She was crying because she has felt lonely, and didn’t like being restrained to the bed. Before coming to Cochabamba she had been living in Potosi by herself and no one ever visited her. We were able to spend a little time with her. She only speaks Quechua, so her daughter translated for us. We sat by her side, we brushed her hair, and she hugged us, and grabbed our hands. Soon her tears turned from tears of sadness to tears of joy. We shared our names with her and she remembered mine easily because Lomas in Quechua means mountain. Not exact but close enough. :) The sister sang in Quechua and then she wanted to sing too. We sat and listened. We prayed in Quechua. Then we took pictures, ha-ha she loved them. She wanted more and more. As we were getting ready to leave, this sweet sister grabbed my hand once more; tears filled her eyes as she repeated "Hermana Lomas". She spoke in Quechua and in Quechua she thanked me and told me that she would never forget me. She put her hand to her heart and kept repeating it over and over. Then she did the same to Hermana Cruz. We all left with tears in our eyes. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life. There was no better way to spend Easter. This is why I am here. I may not have taught a lesson and been able to count it on our records, but the best moments in life seldom can be counted or planned. The blessings that come from these experiences are so much more meaningful than any recognition or praise given by meeting “Excellence Standards” given by how many lessons are taught in a week. (Which is a reward I have been working towards, but not all I have been focused on.) It was a spiritual experience that changed all of our lives; these kinds of experiences are what I am focused on. Oh how much greater is the reward!

I hope you have a great week. I hope you too can find those special spiritual experiences that can change your life. I love you!

Love, Hermana Lomax

My new friend Isabel :)

Easter, when you see just how much your stomach can hold. I lost really quick! #toomuchbolivianfoodforawhitegirl. I dont even know if hashtags are a thing anymore...

Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy Easter!

Hello, Happy Monday! And Happy Birthday Mom!

Transfers are normally 6 weeks long, but this transfer will be 7 weeks. That means I will be here with Hermana Cruz one more week. We are both just a little excited; we have had a lot of fun together.

This week was just a joy like always. We had another intercambio on Wednesday and I was with Hermana Larson. She is the only other sister that has more time than me on the mission. It was fun to be with her and see her love for the work. She taught me a lot.

So, we have been teaching a young girl named Paola. She is 15 years old. It has not been easy. Both of her parents are less active members, they work a lot and are not often home, so Paola takes on all the responsibilities. She actually lives in the Elders area, but we have been asked by the ward to teach her. She is super shy, and it has been hard to connect with her. I have learned great patience with her. A couple weeks ago we invited her to a young women activity. We called her mom and she gave permission for her to attend with us. As we were on our way to her house, which is quite a ways from our area, she called and told us she couldn’t go. Which is what she often does. We told her we were on our way. When we got there and knocked on the door she told us she was not going to go, that she was cooking and didn’t have anything to wear. It’s a good thing I just love young women because I was really upset. We told her that we came so far and that her mom gave her permission. It wasn’t one of the greatest conversations I’ve had with her. She ended up not coming with us. I was so upset and I think she could tell because as we walked away she asked if we were upset with her. As we walked to the church, I felt bad. I felt like maybe I was too hard on her. We went to the activity to see if any other investigators attended and as we were about to leave, Paola walked in. I can’t tell you how surprised I was. She came! And we had a good time at the activity. This week we went back to visit, expecting the same difficult Paola, but instead she was happy and willing to let us come in. We went back again a few days ago and for the first time we were able to teach her and her siblings. We set a baptism date and she accepted. She told us out of all the missionaries that have taught her (and there have been many) we are the first to give her the goal of baptism. She is so different than before. And, on Sunday SHE CAME TO CHURCH! I just hope she keeps progressing and continues to allow us to teach her with the same enthusiasm.

On Saturday, I think I ate more food in one day than ever before in my life. We went to a couple baptisms so we ate 2 cakes, brownies, pie at Paola’s house and then dinner at a FHE we went to. I thought I was going to die.

So, I’m sure you heard about the problem with mosquitos and the zika virus they carry. Yeah, it’s a problem here too. I’ve never been surrounded by so many mosquitos in my life. I think we have gone through two bottles of repellent. The mosquitos are really bad by Paola’s house because she lives right next to the lake. When we left her house, I realized I got bit on my forehead right between my eyes. Super attractive no? There is nothing worse, but luckily it has gone down so it’s not too embarrassing. I’ll send you a pic just so you can laugh. :)

Today, we went to Arani for P-day. We walked through the river and helped a cholita wash her clothes, barbequed and ate the famous bread from Arani. It just doesn’t get much better than that. But, my poor companion has been a little sick. It’s a normal thing to have stomach problems in the mission. At first it was embarrassing but not anymore. Everyone just understands and talks about it like it’s just an everyday conversation. Of course there were no bathrooms so all the missionaries in the zone were knocking on doors to find a bathroom for her. We finally found one of those holes in the ground type of bathroom, we were all so happy. I thought I would share just so you can know what issues we have. Ha-ha. It’s the best.

I hope you all have a great week and enjoy this Easter weekend reflecting on the Resurrection of our Savior. I know that He is the Son of God called to save us. I know that what He did was a choice, and He chose it because of the love He has for us. He has Risen, and we will too!

Love, Hermana Lomax

This is why Arani bread is famous. They put the wheat in this thing and the big round part at the bottom is a rock spinning and grinding the wheat into flour. The rock turns because of the force of the water coming down from the mountain. Super cool.

Mosquito Bite! :(

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Quick Email


I’m sorry, but this is going to be a quick email because I don’t have much time today. This week was great. First, we were able to have a Family Home Evening in the Mission Home with President and Hermana Hansen and the Caceres Family. It’s hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that we had our first FHE with them. It was just a few weeks before their baptisms. It was fun to be together and share stories from a year ago. Of course we ate brownies. Mariana and Sebastian were so happy. After the FHE we went and took pictures at the Temple.

On Thursday we had interviews with President. I love having interviews with him. He is such a great man and I look up to him and enjoy hearing his insights. Hermana Cruz and I have been planning the Mission Women’s Conference. It is coming quickly and will be in the mission home. It’s going to be really great, but we have been busy!

On Friday, WE FOUND XIMENA! I wrote about her a few weeks ago and since then she left and no one knew where she was. We had passed by her house everyday. And really I mean everyday, but she was never there. I wanted to cry when we went on Friday just expecting the same results, but instead she was there!  We are just praying we can help her change and see the power of the Atonement in her life.

Well, that’s about it. I’m sorry, next week I will write a better email. I love you so much!

Love, Hermana Lomax

Monday, March 7, 2016

Fruits of our Labor!

Hello All,

This week was such a great week. First we had another Leadership Council. This time we didn’t have to teach and we got cinnamon rolls. It was fun and it's always good to see how well our mission is doing. Herman Males, my companion that I trained, is doing so well in Potosi. We were able to see the progress in Potosi and she is working very hard. It makes me so happy to see how much success they are having. 

As a missionary we give everything we have. We forget about ourselves to serve others and to invite them to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. Whether it comes through contacting in the rain, knocking on doors, or while on a mission to find food, the Lord has prepared people to hear our message everywhere we go. 

We have been blessed these last couple of months to find and teach a young man named Manuel. We first met him the end of January. We went to visit a member in his office and while we were there the member’s cousin, Manuel, walked in. We began teaching him and he is one of those that accepted every one of our invitations. He has come unto Christ and has received the restored gospel. He attends seminary and has friends who are members. He also has a cousin who just left on a mission who was a great example to him. He was one of the prepared, and how blessed we are to be a small part of his conversion and be a part of his baptism, which we had yesterday. Honestly, it’s amazing to see the Lord’s hand in the lives of His children. Manuel turned 18 two days before his baptism. His mom was so against him being baptized and had told us many times how horrible of a son he is. It’s really sad. But, now that he had turned 18 he didn’t need a parental signature, which we knew his mom wouldn’t sign. On Friday, the day of his baptism interview his mom was waiting outside of the church building, she came to tell us that he could not get baptized. It was a little stressful when Manuel showed up with his friend from the ward. She told us "you take him in, talk to him, let him have his interview and then you tell me if you think he can be baptized into your church, you will see that he is not ready. Then you come and tell me." We told Manuel to be honest in his interview and to bear his testimony. He was upset that his mom was there and giving everyone a hard time, but he was excited for his interview. Afterwards, our District Leader came and told us that he is one of the most prepared investigators he has seen before baptism and that he shared a powerful testimony. He told us not to worry about his mom, that Manuel showed his conversion through his actions, and is ready to take the next step of baptism. While Manuel was in his interview, our Zone Leaders went out to buy some things for the meeting we were having as a zone and Manuel’s mom approached them as they left. The Zone Leaders know Manuel really well because we share the ward with them and we have talked a lot about him. They shared with the sister a powerful testimony of Baptism, that her son is not perfect but is taking the appropriate steps towards perfection. She must have listened, because when we went out she was gone. She told the Zone Leaders that she would not interfere anymore and will accept her son’s baptism. This is another example of the Lord carrying on his work.

There were so many people at Manuel’s baptism; almost the whole ward came to support him. The spirit was strong. After the baptism we went to the Martinez’s home (Manuel’s family who are members, Sister Martinez is Manuel’s mom’s sister). We ate lunch and celebrated Manuel’s baptism. 

My heart is full. We are truly seeing the Fruits of our Labors. I will walk through pouring rain, beating sun, muddy streets, I will knock every door, get rejected everyday to find those people preparing to receive the gospel. Because when we find them our testimonies grow with theirs. Our Heavenly Father is powerful and it is incredible to see the love He has for His children. This work is God’s and how very blessed I feel to be a part of it. I love you and I hope your week is filled with blessings.

Con Cariño, Hermana Lomax

Leadership Council

Continuation from last week: So, I wrote last week about our horrible chocolate banana experience. Well, this week we were able to make up for it. WE FOUND GOOD TASTING CHOCOLATE BANANAS! We found them at a little restaurant in our area. We saw a picture on their window and decided to take our chances and try them, what did we have to lose? When we went to order Hermana Cruz asked how much they were and then looked at the lady and asked "Are they sweet?" I started laughing at her because I knew why she asked (the ones from last week were salty). The lady looked at us funny and said yes, they are very sweet and very good. Ha-ha. And they were. Mission Accomplished! We took a picture just to send you!