Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net>
Feb 22 (3 days ago)

to me, Amanda
Sige, I swear this is the really last one. I got my last shot the other day, and they told me to have you call this number to pay for it. I hope that's okay. I think you can send it to the insurance to have them pay for it, but it's $100. Here's the number 801-422-8940. If payment isn't made within ten days, they'll be sending you a bill or something, fyi. I hope this is okay, I just didn't know how much money was left on my card and I didn't want to chance it. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO. I LOVE YOU. Also, because I leave so early on Monday, can you send the things I need either today or tomorrow? If it's after that, I won't get it. Okay, thanks. LOVE YOU. I swear the next time you hear from me, I'll be in the 'ppines.
Love you,
Sister Mecham


Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net>
Feb 21 (4 days ago)

to me, Amanda
Dear Pamilya,
This is the real last email from the MTC. My flight plans got changed so I wanted to let you know when I would actually be calling. Sige, so I leave here at 6:00 a.m. on Monday. Our flight leaves at 9:48 a.m., so I will be calling sometime between those two times. I won't be calling from L.A. because we have less than an hour layover. Then I go from TOKYO to MANILA. That's the final one, I promise. Love you, can't wait to talk to you all!
Ingat Pamilya ko! Mahal ko kayo.
-Sister Mecham

Last Email from the MTC!

Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net>
Feb 19 (6 days ago)

to me, Amanda
Dear Pamilya,
I GOT MY FLIGHT PLANS!! Okay, so I will be able to call on Monday the 25th either at the SLC airport between 2 30 and 3 30 or (most likely this one) in LA from 4 30 to 10 15 pm (california time). So be ready for that! Sorry it isnt more specific. Also, I will be calling the home phone unless you have objections to that. After the 6 hour layover in LA, I will be heading straight to HONG KONG then to MANILA.  I wont be getting mail on Monday most likely, so dont send me anything later in the week! Thanks!
Also, family, can you send me more socks? I need the little no show half ones to wear with my tracting shoes. I barely have enough.
So something that is weird about the MTC is I feel like I still haven[t left home. I see SO MANY PEOPLE that I know. All the time. I can[t even write them all down. (Also this keyboard types [ instead of apostrophes, so just ignore that...) Just walking to the temple this morning I passed three people I know and it was like six in the morning! Unbelievable.
ALSO JAMIE IS HERE AND I RUN INTO HER SO OFTEN AND IT IS THE HAPPIEST AND MOST JOYOUS THING OF MY WHOLE LIFE. That[s it. I stalked her on her first day and it worked because I found her while she was still being hosted. I[m a champion stalker apparently, because there were like 800 missionaries coming in that day. I think there are 3200 here right now. It is pure madness.
Oh oh oh HAPPY VALENTINES DAY, I GUESS. Mahal ko kayo. Valentines day is way better when you[re in the MTC. I got, like, 15 times the gifts that I[ve ever gotten. So thanks everyone. Also, I passed my one month mark on the 16th. Can you even believe that?? I feel like I just got here yesterday and also that I[ve been here for a year.
So sa Linggo I was chosen to give a talk in sacrament meeting (sa Tagalog). By chosen, I mean that everyone prepares a talk and they let you know who is speaking when they annouce it over the pulpit. So that was cool. Also, sa Sabado my district was like, {Let[s sing in church tomorrow{ and I was like, YOU HAVEN[T HEARD ME SING. So we did that and it was awkward.
Not much more to report.
1. We haven[t taught Artemio this week because he has been out of town. So there[s that.
2. Roya is still preparing for baptism and my teacher taught me how to ask Roya to put his phone away sa Tagalog so now I don[t have to say {Magput ang cellphone ninyo sa bulsa{ which doesn[t make any sense really, especially because {Magput{ is not a real word. But that[s it, he is progressing well and excited to get baptized.
3. Toni. Ohhhh Toni. He is the most terrifying. Sister Ram is so scared of him so I have to do all of the teaching when we teach him. He hasn[t been keeping commitments and I know it[s because of US and not becuase of HIM. We just have to do something differently. But this last time we taught him, Sister Ram actually said some real things and he sounds like he will really try to read the Book of Mormon. Mayroon po akong pananampalataya that he will do it. That is all.
Magandang buhay ko, pamilya. I love being a missionary more than anything else. It really brings me so much joy. Anyway, alam ko na totoo ang Simbahan ito. Pasensiya that this email is so short. I will be sending a package home this week with more things to tell you. BUT THIS IS THE LAST EMAIL FROM THE MTC. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH AND I WOULDN[T BE HERE WITHOUT YOU.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net>
10:31 AM (8 hours ago)

to me, Amanda
Kumusta Pamilya! Mahal ko kayo!
I´m going to try to get everything down, pero who knows if I´ll be able to. (Also, something is wrong with the keyboard I´m using, so if there are weird symbols it isn´t my fault...)
So this week has be so hard and so great. The language is seriously coming. Brother Langer challenged us to speak only Tagalog on Sunday and I totally did it. Then he challenged us again on Monday and I totally did it again. No challenge for today, but I´m still doing it. It helps so much. I actually told an Elder who was trying to talk to me in the lunch line that I couldn´t speak English (in Tagalog) and he looked so confused and I just walked away...Good stuff.
My dorm is overflowing with muddy buddies. Jamie sent me some a while back. You sent me two bags. Sister Diamond´s mother sent her a bag. So THANKS. haha, Muddy Buddy Heaven.
So since Brother Langer is the best Tagalog teacher in the MTC (not kidding), we got to be there while he was teaching the Philippino MTC teachers how to teach Tagalog via webcam. We got to talk to them for a while and it was so awesome speaking Tagalog to natives. Good stuff.
JAMIE VAWDREY GETS HERE TOMORROW (if you are reading this, Jamie, I´m sorry I didn´t write you this week. I didn´t think i was get to you in time. Plus I´ll see you tomorrow. I´ve never been more excited!!)
Also, dear family, why would you think I wouldn´t need tights (i can´´t type question marks for some reason) NOT OKAY! Jokelang, pero...talaga. My legs are ice blocks (Australian for popsicles). I will never forgive you for this. If you can´t tell, that is sarcasm. But still not okay. I still love you. But don´t send them anymore because I leave here on February 25th. Okay salamat.
Mom, you talked about Sister Riddle and about how similar we sound. Which is true and freaky. She went to my Elementary school and we saw each other the first week. She´s going to Manila and got here the same day as me. She is also 5´10´´ and has a lot of the same clothes as me. It´s pretty freaky. She´s a real gem, though.
So, Brother Long taught us about the History of the Philippines and how they got their independence and it is seriously so awesome.  You should study it. It also makes the great US of A look sheepish. PARA SA PILIPINAS.
I ran into Brother Johnson (I think that was his name...) from the Stake and he knows you (Mom and Dad). He serves in a Japanese branch presidency here. It was weird because I was forced to speak English to him.
Also, someone wrote me and told me the pictures aren´t working for the blog. Hindi ko alam, pero I just thought I would let you know.
So let me tell you about our investigators. We have three (which is crazy hard, especially because we are the only companionship in our district with that many...) They are all actors (our teachers) but i really is so real, teaching them.
1. Toni - I´ve told you about him before, I think. He is played by Brother Langer and is actually based off of himself because he is a convert. He is by far the hardest investigatore. We can rarely even get through one principle in a lesson each time because he just DRILLS us with questions and it is so hard to understand him and then try to answer his questions. Plus Sister Ram can never understand him so I have to translate for her which is super weird. She´s getting better at it, i think. She´s really good at the language, she just doesn´t listen very well. Anyway, Toni is mahirap to teach.
2. Artemio - ARTEMIO IS GOLDEN. He is such a gem. He is played by Brother Nicholes who isn´t actually one of my teachers. He is so great. He has five kids and is so interested in the gospel. He is reading the Book of Mormon and hopefully went to Church on Sunday, but we haven´t met with him since then. He is the best.
3. Roya - Roya is 17 years old and teaching him at the beginning was so hard. He just yawns the whole time and keeps pulling out his phone and I keep having to tell him to put it away. He is from a part member family and was only taking the lessons because his mom asked him to. Anyway, he went to church on Sunday for the first time in forever and yesterday he committed to be baptized on February 25th!! I was not expecting him to say yes, so when I extended the invitations I told him we were having a baptismal date on February 29th and if he would prepare to be baptized on that day. Then I realized that that day does no exist this year. Awkward. So I changed it for the day I leave. Good stuff, though. I am so pumped for him.
Well, that is about it. I love it here so much and am so so happy. Alam ko po na totoo and Simbahan ni Jesucristo!!! Masaya ako at mahal ko kayo.  I´m running out of time, but I´ll get to call you on the 25th at the airport! Mayroon po ako ang calling card ko, so I´m all set. I love you all SO MUCH and I and so grateful for everything you´ve done for me.
Mom - Sister Ram doesn´´t get to call home often. Only once within her first week because she is international and once at the airport. Also, we do get to go outside often and my legs freeze every time. Especially when going to the temple because we go at 6 40 am. Very cold. But please don´t send tights anymore. I was hoping to get them within my first week or so but now I only have two weeks left.
Austin - Daniel Cook decided to get baptised a while ago! February 25th is his date. However, he was not a real investigator (even though he was totally real to me...) He turned out to be one of our new teachers. Also, your new bag and wallet sound awesome. The shirt I got you was like $14 but I get the missionary discount so I don´´t remember how much it actually costed me... Also, asked about the other missionaries in my district. There are five of us going to Manilla, three going to San Pablo, one going to Loaog and one going to Baguio (no idea if I spelled those right..) There is also an entire district in my zone going to Loaog and another that just got here last week going to Naga. Good stuff.
Ryan & Dad - No letters!!!! (I can´t type question marks for some reason...)
Amanda - Sister Ram is from Fiji. I don´´t remember what other questions you asked besides SNACKS. I want tomato basil wheat thins. So badly. I don´t need any candy or anything because an Elder just left for the field and left us with an entire suitcase filled with candy. So mostly salty things. Wheat thins. I love you!! Also, don´t send tights. I leave here on February 25th and I don´t need them for the field. Thanks anyway!!! I love you!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net>
5:03 PM (5 hours ago)

to me, adnama.larsen
1) The sisters of my district - the besssssssst
2) Most of the elders from my district
3) Check out that sky!!! Don't let if fool you. It's still freezing.

3 attachments — Download all attachments   View all images  
3367K   View   Download  
3060K   View   Download  
Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net>
5:01 PM (5 hours ago)

to me, adnama.larsen
1) Me and roommates, Sister Diamond is a fruit.
2) Sister Ram's first blizzard.
3) Sister Taliaivao and I made up a really awesome game for personal exercise. This is an action shot of her smacking me with a pillow.

3 attachments — Download all attachments   View all images  
2557K   View   Download  
2324K   View   Download  
3116K   View   Download  
Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net>
4:57 PM (5 hours ago)

to me, adnama.larsen
Pictures: (There will be a few emails with only pictures)

1) Sister Ram and me.
2) My roommates and me. (Sister Taliaivao, Sister Diamond, me, Sister Ram)
3) Sister Diamond and I have the same pajamas and sandals. It's great.

for the family and the blog:

Okay, kids. If you haven't written a letter to Sister Ram yet, get to it! Just use dear elder. It's super easy. She got two this week and they were the first letters she's gotten from anyone. She literally cried with joy!! It was the sweetest. So keep 'em coming. This letter is going to be shorter because I am totally almost out of time. Pasensiya!!! But to be fair, you didn't write me this week either... ;) love you!!

Speaking of Sister Ram, she got sick this week. BOOO SICKNESS. It started Tuesday night and come Wednesday morning she would not get out of bed until about 1:00 in the afternoon. I went insane. But she started feeling good enough to go to class that evening, so that was good. I hate missing class so much. We went to the clinic on Thursday and they told us to go to the BYU health clinic AGAIN. Two times I've left this place for the clinic. It's so weird, they have televisions and things. Anyway, turns out she had the flu, but the doctor told her that it was, like, the smallest case of the flu. But he prescribed... yep... you guessed it. An hour nap every day and NO EXERCISE for the next three days. NOOOOOO. My worst nightmare. That means we've been skipping gym so she can take her nap. Bad news for Sister Mecham. Gym is what keeps me sane after sitting in a tiny desk for hours at a time. But my Father in Heaven has really blessed me with patience this week (which is the most prayed for attribute next to "master at tagalog" coming from me.)

Anyway, last Monday my teacher, Brother Langer, asked me to play an investigator for a workshop that his boss wanted to have. It was a seriously awesome and spiritual experience. The boss and I both ended up in tears. Remind me to tell you that story when I get home :) haha. It's a good one.

Also, family, this is me asking for the second time. Pleaaaaase send me tights. If you wait too long, it'll be time for me to head out to the 'ppines.

So we're teaching three investigators right now (played by teachers.) It's seriously so hard. I feel like such a nub every time I open my mouth! I always say, "Ano......ehh....pasensiya." Which means, "What.....ehh....sorry." And then I try again to say something else. Such is life.

SO I've hit my halfway mark! Three more weeks until I'm outta here! Which means we get a new district leader and I totally called who it would be. Elder Nielsen, which I know doesn't mean anything to you, deserves it more than anyone. He is a tiny, little cowboy fella from Arizona and he has the biggest heart of anyone! Good stuff. And not I don't have to worry about elders opening my mail and reading it to the class.

Well, time is just about up. I sent some pictures this time, so enjoy those! I love you all so much and I am so grateful for everything you've done to get me here. I feel so blessed every day for you people. SO thanks.



Sister Mecham

3 attachments — Download all attachments   View all images  
2530K   View   Download  
3698K   View   Download  

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I have one million things to write and if I don't get it all down, be expecting a letter from me. My P-Day is Tuesday, by the way.


please please please please please SEND ONE MILLION DEAR ELDERS TO MY COMPANION. Same mission as me, Sister Lily Stephanie Ram. She doesn't get any letters from her family or anyone and she is so sad about it. Just write her a quick hello, an inspirational thought or story, a scripture, ANYTHING. But please do it. Write to her instead of me if you only have time for one letter. Please. Thank you.

Now, on to the letter.

So this last week was crazy, man. Our investigator Daniel Cook accepted our baptismal invitation which was AWESOME. And yes, that means I learned how to ask him to be baptized. But then we found out that Daniel Cook is actually Brother Long and he will now be our other teacher. Awkward. He seriously saw us at our very worst so we were all so nervous for our first lesson from him last night. But then, it turns out he is hilarious and so nice so we're good. He's actually from Alpine. His brother is Jason Long who went to Lone Peak and passed away a few years ago.

So we got a new investigator named Toni. He is played by our other teacher, Brother Langer. Brother Langer is a convert and used to be Catholic. So that means that Toni is Catholic and that's serious business because he knows his stuff. Sister Ram and I were so nervous to teach him. But listen, I memorized so many things and was more prepared for that lesson than any lesson I ever taught to Daniel Cook. So we get to the door and he lets us in but tells us that he only has a few minutes. So that's fine, we'll only share a quick message, we say. So we sit down and ask him about himself and everything is going well and then we say, "May we start with a prayer" and BAM. He says, "No, I'm sorry I don't have time I have to go. Just tell me your message really quick." So I look at Sister Ram, "Is this a joke? Are we ever supposed to teach without praying first? Should we pray even though he said no??" So that totally threw us off and Sister Ram goes completely silent. So it's all me and I try to get out as much as I can about how much God loves him and wants him to be happy. Then he interrupts me and says, "I have to go. Right now. I'm going to be late." "Can we close with a prayer?" "Nope." Alright, see ya. Ingat po. That was it. It lasted like five minutes and we totally failed. So we get back to class and Sister Ram bursts into tears and is so upset. Brother Langer felt so bad. She's fine now. BUT SEND HER A LETTER.

Speaking of Sister Ram. My goal to improve our relationship this week was to get her to work out/play a sport with me at gym time. And guess what, I DID IT. We totally did a hardcore workout. She loves the eliptical (sp?) so it looks like that's what we'll be doing the remainder of the time. I'll probably sneak off to volley ball a few times, though. But it totally is helping our relationship. I love the Sister.

So I want to give a big THANK YOU to Bishop Wheadon for calling me to be the Gospel Doctrine Teacher. I'll tell you why. My DL asked me to teach the District Meeting on Sunday and it went REALLY WELL. And our Branch President, President Anderson and his wife were there which was nervous-making. But it went really well. That's it.

Linda K. Burton spoke in relief society here on Sunday which was AWESOME. And I got to talk with her for a few minutes after. She is amazing.


1. One evening we were getting ready for bed when the smoke alarm goes off in our building. Of course half the sisters were in the show and the other half were not dressed appropriately but the fire marshal came in anyway and shewed us into 1M. We had to spend the precious hour that we need to get ready to bed doing nothing - waiting. BUT me and my roommates starting singing, "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning...." which was appropriate, hilarious, and led to more hymns. So that was fun. Turns out some sisters burnt popcorn and there was black smoke everywhere from it. All was well.

2. While Brother Long was Daniel Cook, he would always do the hand-shoulder-head thing when we prayed (sorry, I don't know what it's actually called. Hopefully that was not disrespectful...) So we asked him about it while we were all kneeling in a circle about to say our bedtime prayer. With Brother Long at the head of the circle, he does the hand-shoulder-head thing again right as one of the head teachers walks by. He comes in and yells, 'WHAT IS HE TEACHING YOU.' It was hilarious, but maybe one of those you-had-to-be-there moments. Which is probably all my stories, so bear with me.

3. Sister Taliaivao, by roommate, is from Australia. Which means she doesn't really understand how heavy 1 lb is. She LOVES pizza hot pockets, "pizza pockets". One day she comes up to me and says, "Sister Mecham, there is a 12 lb pizza pocket in the vending machine!!!!!" I tried to explain to her that that was not possible at all. I told her that that was the size of a very large infant. She later found out that it actually said 1/2 lb. So that was funny. But then in class, Brother Long says, "I currently hold the record for the biggest baby born in Oregan (?).... 12 LBS" We never stopped laughing after that.

4. So this is how I made the elders in my district going to my mission become obedient through a small falsehood. Brother Long told us that in Manila, only the VERY obedient missionaries get to go to the island and leave the city because the mission president can't be there very often to check on them. So the manila elders start talking about how they will be so obedient when then get to the field. Then I told them that the talk to your MTC Branch President to see how obedient you were in the MTC. Which might be true.... needless to say, there is so much obedience going on here from the elders now.

That's all there is time for. Thank you everyone SO SO MUCH for all the letters and love I've gotten. I feel so blessed to have you all in my life.

The Church is true and I love spending all my time learning about it. Missions are MABUTI.
 (Also, sorry that my grammar and punctuation is sub-par. I have so little time to write these)