Thursday, March 21, 2013

Masaya pa!

Ashley Mecham <>
Mar 18 (2 days ago)

to Amanda, me
Hello po! 

A few items of business. Actually, just one, I think. I wanted to let you all know that you can all email me! And if you gave me your email and I have not emailed you, that means I left your email address on the mainland. So... sorry about it.

Here's my week:

Last Monday we visited the memorial they have here on Palawan for the American POWs that were massacred here by the Japanese during WWII. It's an incredibly depressing story but a beautiful memorial. You should research that a bit. It's crazy how much U.S. history is here in the 'ppines that I never knew about. Then I had my first zone meeting which was the best! It just gets you so excited and ready for the work. Our zone is small, and I found out that Sister Hunt, Sister De Leon, Sister Reyes and I are actually the only sisters on Palawan. That means I am the only white sister on Palawan! Party!

So, I have a real story. You're going to love this:

The other day Sister Hunt and I were trying to find a less active member who no one has heard of but we found his name in our area book and felt like we should try to find him. Pero, there was the most ambiguous address (no one here really has addresses, but this one was particularly lacking). So we went to the Barangay Hall for Bancao-Bancao (barangays here are a big thing). When we arrived, we noticed that they were having this huge graduation for the daycare kids - easily one hundred kids and their families - so MARAMING TAO. We pushed through the croud to the hall and asked the secretary if she knew the person. "Oh yeah", she says, "he's right outside at the graduation. I'll get him for you." Alright, slightly awkward to interrupt his kid's graduation to introduce ourselves... but we'll take it. So we're waiting in the audience and we find out that the person we're looking for is actually on the stage - he is the president of the daycare. So we talked to his wife for a bit, and then waiting for a minute to try and determine when they would be finished so we could talk to him. Out of no where, one of the ladies who had been announcing at the graduation came up to me and said, "Special guest! Will you be our special guest?! We don't have one and we need one!" Uhhh... so a grab Sister Hunt and we head for the stage where they asked us to say a few words to the graduates. In my broken tagalog I told them all about the church and how God has a plan for them and such and invited them to Church on Sunday! It was hilarious. Then, as the graduates got their medals and diplomas and such, we shook their hands and they all wanted pictures with us and their kids. Apparently I'm a celebrity now on Palawan. Not really, but not I'm going to be in everyone's scrapbooks. BUT, this story ends in a awesome way. We talked with the LA while we were sitting on the stage, and he invited us to his house later that night. We met with him and he explained how he stopped going to church because he was offended by one of the members, but that he still loves the church and knows that it's true. He said he has still been living the commandments and was just waiting for someone to invite him back! It's been six years and he now has a wife and two kids, but he's taking the steps to come back! Man, it was totally awesome. God wants him back at church, I know it. He led us straight to him. 

Have I told you about Tatay Danilo? Oh man, he is my favorite investigator. He's super old and has been smoking for over fifty years but is working to quit so he can be baptized. He still hasen't quit, but he bore his testimony to us on Sunday and just gets so emotional because he loves the BoM so much and wants so much to be baptized but doesn't feel like he has the strength to quit smoking. It's insanely hard, but I think this week is the week he is quitting! If not, we're going to have to move his baptism date back again, which is mahirap para sa kanya. 

Ay, that's all I have time for! Too many emails to sort through this week. But I have some great pictures for you! The three attached to this email are me and the kids from VRC which is a little fishing village by the ocean where one of our investigators lives. These kids and adorable. The one with the nose was taken because LOOK AT THE LITTLE GIRL ON THE FAR LEFT. So cute she is. She showed me this crazy thing she does with her nose, so we all tried to do it in the picture. So that's that. (Only two are on this email...)

Oh, dear family. I love you all so much! Let me know if the pictures aren't working! The work is the hardest thing I've ever done, but I love it so much and God is blessing my life every minute! I wouldn't be here if I didn't know this gospel is the truest thing there is. I love it so much and am so grateful to be here! Mahal ko kayo lahat!

Sa Pagmamahal,

Sister Mecham the Matangkat Pa

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