Monday, August 26, 2013

Gumaling na ako

Ashley Mecham
9:18 PM (2 hours ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick
I'm pretty much healed from Dengue! I still have a headache sometimes, but feeling great other than that and ready to do the Lord's work! I'll answer your questions now, sorry, I had no time last week.
Typhoon: I can't remember what I already told you about this. But the typhoon is a big deal. Last I heard, over 80% of Metro Manila was underwater. The missionaries were all banished to their apartments because two missionaries were walking in water up to their waste and got electrocuted and were still in the hospital last I heard. But, as I have said so many times, I'm so lucky to be here on Palawan. We are feeling absolutely no effects of the Typhoon here. It's still hot and sunny and beautiful and no flood. We're the only two zones in the mission that are still allowed to work. I'm seriously so grateful for that, especially after being stuck in the house for a week with Dengue and no work. When you can't do work as a missionary, you aren't fulfilling your purpose and you just feel worthless! So, pray that I stay on Palawan the rest of my mission :) PALAWAN MISSION! I wish.

I can tell that you're really concerned about the flash drive thing, but I think you got it figured out! Hah! Thanks! As for a Christmas package, I really just want pictures and letters and cafe rio. Thanks! Hah, but really, there is one think that you just can't buy here. FRUIT SNACKS. Probably because they would get all melty, but that would make my life complete... just sayin'. Other than that, I can buy any thing I need here, so don't spend a ton of money on me please!

I can't remember your other questions, except the meaning of "basta". I don't really know the exact english translation, but you use it kind of like, "anyway". 

So, this week was so great! We had a baptism! The first in this area in over a year! And she's so great: Precy Pangilinan. We met her through OYM, just street contacting, and she came to church the next week. She has progressed so much and I feel so blessed to be part of her conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even just her aura is different from the first time we met her. Man, I'm just so happy to be serving in this area! The people here are so great.

Two stories lang this week:

1. We were walking past an Adventist church when we heard the tune of "In Our Lovely Deseret" playing inside. We laughed but thought they just used the same tune, but when we glanced inside, the words were displayed on a projector with the part about the Word of Wisdom! I died laughing. They stole our song but they don't know they're singing about revelation given to Joseph Smith! I just died, it was funny, I promise.

2. This is pretty awesome. Open your minds and hearts to the goodness of this story. We were walking and I saw this man that was struggling to walk so we approached him and started talking to him. We told him we were missionaries for Ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo ng mga Banal sa mga Huling Araw or... Mormons. He instantly said, ohh, your church tells you that you can't drink alcohol. Then he said, "I believe that if someone wants to give up alcohol, it depends on the person." Then, as promised in the scriptures, I opened my mouth and it was totally filled with what the man needed to hear. I told him that we believe that it does not depend on people what they should do in their lives, kundi, it depends completely on God. Right after that he said, "Where's your church?" We told him and told him the time and said, "I'll come to church." We thought that was really awesome, but even more awesome, HE CAME TO CHURCH. And we found out that he just started walking again after 12 years of being bed ridden. He's just so ready for the gospel and it's awesome. Also, his name is Danilo. So he will be the second Tatay Danilo that I'll baptize :)

The pictures I've attached are:
1. Precy's baptism - Sometimes I forget how tiny Filipinos are until I see myself in a picture with them...
2. My hand with Dengue. I don't know if you can really tell, but that is what was covering my whole body.

Enjoy! I love you all! Keep it up! Magtiis. Be safe out there.

'ster Mecham

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Ashley Mecham
9:39 PM (18 hours ago)

to me, Amanda, Patrick, Liza, Lindsey, Jamie, Kendra, Elizabeth, Austin
There's no Typhoon here. The weather has been hot hot hot.

But, I do have a very legitimate reason for not emailing you last week. I don't know how to put this lightly, but I totally got DENGUE FEVER. Which is completely different than Jungle Fever. I will now commence to tell you all about it:

For the past month or so, I've had really bad headaches all the time. But Sister Burt was convinced it was because of the weather and the change in barometric pressure or something. But then, last Sunday I nearly fainted in church which gave my anak a heart attack and she made me go home. It was the first full day of work I've missed on my mission for my own sickness. I WAS SO MAD. But then on Monday I woke up with a fever...that was...high... So I laid in bed like a cat with no legs for my whole P-day. It was miserable. So then on Tuesday I was so convinced I could still work - so I did. But I was basically a zombie. And as I was walking around all zombie-like, I looked down and noticed a nice rash was developing on my forearms. I kept it quiet until we got home that night and then Sister Burt had a panic attack when we told her. So, first thing Wednesday morning it was off to the hospital! Yeah! So there, a small asian stabbed me with needles and told me I had Dengue. Which basically means that my platelets and my white blood cells and low. Like, really low. But the best part about Dengue is THERE IS NO CURE. 

So, long story short, I came to a small island in the Philippines and got a disease from mosquitoes that has no cure.

But the doctor prescribed Tylenol and grass. Grass. GRASS. I'm so totally in the Philippines. There's this plant that you can find growing on the side of the road called Tawa-tawa that you boil and then drink the water and it tastes like yeast. And it has miracle powers of healing because every filipino I talked to after that prescribed it as well. Luckily we have a little filipino woman in our district who loves me and hunted all around and found me a nice stash of tawa tawa. SO that's probably why I'm still alive and am here at the computer shop right now. 

Other than that, I've literally been laying in my bed for the last week. I wrote a few letters in that time, so some of you will be the lucky recipients of a Dengue letter - but don't worry - I said the exact same thing in all of them so you really aren't that special.

Enough about me - update on my muslim family! President Stucki gave us permission to teach them! And even after 4 days of absolutely no contact with them, when we returned, Brother had completely stopped smoking and drinking alcohol in that time! And they threw out all their coffee! We were so shocked. They are progressing so well and we are so so excited for them!

We are seeing so many miracles in this area and I'm so so excited and so blessed. I'm seeing more success on my mission than I even have. 

We have a baptism this Saturday! We met Precy noon July 16 (Happy Birthday Red) and she began progressing immediately. This will be the first baptism in this area in over a year! The Lord has really prepared people in this area and we've been so blessed to see the fruits of our labors here. 

Our investigators are all so great. When we get to church a half an hour early every sunday, they are always the first ones there, sitting in the chapel, waiting to the spiritually fed. And we have new investigators coming to church every Sunday! This last sunday, the Dagohoy family came to church! We were so so surprised. We've been teaching them since day one - we literally found them on our first day here - and they haven't come to church yet. But they read the book of mormon and are keeping the word of wisdom so we didn't want to drop them because they are seriously so golden. But, I literally said, "If they don't come to church this Sunday, we have to drop them." And, even though we weren't able to visit any of our investigators for a whole week, THEY CAME. Whooey, the Lord has really prepared people here. 

Man, I love this work so much. Sorry I didn't answer any of your questions, but I'll include a picture of my on day 10000 of having Dengue (exaggeration) and not leaving the apartment and drinking Tawa-tawa (I'm aware that I look like a dead person - that's because I was). Enjoy! Love you all! 

Sister Mecham - magaling na!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

this is her email a week after her grandparents died.

A Long Week - Buntis na ako

Ashley Mecham <>
Jul 1

to me, Amanda, Austin, Patrick, Lindsey, Jamie, Eliza, Elizabeth, kendra.knudsen
My dearest loved ones,

I'm sure some of you are just dying because you didn't receive my weekly letter last week. Sorry about it. To the family only last week. Pero, suwerte kayo lahat kasi dito na ako.

So this week was hard hard hard, of course beginning with the passing of my two sweet grandparents. It is a love story. I got a call Monday morning during studies from President Stucki about grandpa. Then that night, during planning, I got another call from him about grandma. Grandpa went first to prepare the way and grandma knew that she could pass on now to meet him there. But I am surrounded by people here that love me and I feel your prayers from home. The Burts also bought me flowers. So really, I'm okay here. I just have to keep working hard in the Lord's vineyard. 

President Stucki also called me again on Tuesday evening. I'll tell you that I did not answer the phone and made Sister Lamberte do it. (My track record with calls from President is not too pleasant.)  But the news this time is that I will be training. And shotgunning an area here on Palawan. So, still not so pleasant. JOKES. I'm excited. But super nervous because I don't know the first thing about shotgunning an area. Okay, sorry about the lingo, "shotgunning" means that I will be opening up a new area here - one where there haven't been missionaries for a while or maybe ever. I don't know yet where that area is. But because I knew a week in advance about transfers, I have had a nonstop influx of dinner appointments. At least one every day, sometimes two. It's crazy and delicious. But yes, I am going to have an anak. And I am hoping like crazy that she's pinay.

Thirdly, HANZEL WAS BAPTIZED. My last baptism in this area and I'm so happy about it. And hopefully I'll be close enough here to attend the baptisms of Antoneth and the Caabay family before I'm transferred back to the main land. Her baptism was beautiful and I'm so so happy for her. There is no way to explain the joy you feel when you help to bring someone unto the waters of baptism - when you fulfill your purpose as a missionary to invite others to come unto Christ through living the principles of the gospel. 

So I'm good here. Scared out of my mind about training and shotgunning, but I know I can do anything the Lord commands me to do. I don't know if you watched the Worldwide Leadership Training (which was real good, I would recommend giving it a watch) but Elder Holland said something like, "On your own, this is far beyond your capacity, but with the Lord's help, it is possible." That sums up my feelings. 

Oh, one last thing and the reason my email is so late today. WE WENT TO THE UNDERGROUND RIVER THIS MORNING. No big deal, just one of the 7 wonders of nature or something. That has been bawal for missionaries here (not allowed) because of how expensive it is and far from our areas. BUT because our zone has been doing so well here, President Stucki allowed it for our zone activity. So be excited for pictures next week because I forgot my cord today. But it was beautiful  and I got to ride in boats in the ocean and it was AWESOME. That's all.

Mahal ko kayo lahat. Sana okay lang kayo doon. Huwag makalimutan ninyo ako, ha? :)

Sister Mecham

Bato Bato Pik
Personal/Ashley's Mission Emails

Ashley Mecham <>
Jun 16

to me, Amanda, Patrick, Eliza, Lindsey, Jamie, kendra.knudsen, Elizabeth
Dear, sweet, beloved family,

HAPPY FATHERS' DAY 'TAY! I love you, dad! You're the best. I hope you are having the best fathers' day ever. I will eat a steak in your honor. (I won't really do that... no steak here... I'll probably go to McDo though... so a burger in your honor!) Really though, thank for everything dad. Nagpapasalamat ako para sa lahat ng mga ginagawa ninyo para sa akin. 

So, this week... hah... I have not much to report. I'm slightly depressed because Hanzel won't be baptized this Saturday. Only because she hasn't moved yet into our area. There are rules about that which I am coping with. But we're figuring it out. We just have to wait. On the bright side, Antoneth should be getting married next week! Which means she can finally be baptized! Yeah! That's about all that's on my mind. 

We killed one of the rats. Mabaho siya. It's still tag-ulan here - rainy season. Which means no members work with us and no one goes to church. They hate the rain here. And they're so surprised that we still work even when there's rain. One of our members offered to give us a ride home after church and almost died when we told her we weren't going home until 9. That's how it is here. It's very amusing.

So yeah, mission life is still the best ever. I still love the 'ppines and never want to leave Palawan. I'm surprised every day by how much I understand and how much I can speak. Everyone else is surprised too. So yeah, not much to report. Masaya pa rin ako. Mahal na mahal ko ang mga tao dito. Mahal na mahal ko ang Diyos. Yen lang.

Love you all. Stay safe.

Sister Mecham
I recently discovered that there are a few emails I didn't post, so here they are.

Kahit mainit, kahit may ulan, dito na kami sa bahay mo!
Personal/Ashley's Mission Emails

Ashley Mecham <>
Jun 9

to me, Amanda, Patrick, Eliza, Lindsey, Jamie, kendra.knudsen, Elizabeth
I saw a member that I hadn't seen in a while and that is what he said to me. "Maitim ka!" Which means, "You're black!" So yeah, I'm no longer a whitey.

My dearest family and friends,

This week. Uh, it went by real fast. And I didn't write down any notes of things to tell you. So, blank is my mind.

RATS. We have rats in our apartment. Like, definitely more than one. And they are large. And their poop is large. And they take large bites out of my bananas. The fridge is the only safe place to put anything. Last night while planning, we heard and scream from the roommates room and Sister Reyes almost died because she was trapped in their with one of them. Then we chased him. He is large. And fast, we didn't catch him. So he still has free reign of the apartment. On of our less active families told us a story about how a rat ate one of their kittens. A KITTEN EATEN BY A RAT. Their huge here. That's what's on my mind right now.

Also, let me introduce you to Sister Ordiz. Actually, I don't know what to say about her. She is our fourth roommate, Sister Reyes' new companion. And I have never met anyone like her. She is the first filipino missionary that I've met that can't speak any english. But she is the kindest. Like, breakfast and lunch is always made before I think about it and my shoes are always cleaned waiting for me. But, also I am so scared of her. She's tiny and she moves so quickly and the only english words she says are, "YOU WANT?" whenever she offers me anything. But she's great. But if one day you get a letter that I've gone missing, it's probably her. 

So we have 7 baptisms scheduled for this month. But, only one is absolutely for sure happening. Hanzel Balut. She is golden beyond golden. Siyempre, she's a referral. He brother is one of our recent converts. But her mom is a devoted na devoted catholic and does not want her to be baptized too. Bale, kahit she's 29 years old, she still is so scared to go against her mom's wishes. It's so sad. I can't imagine it. Thanks mom for letting me get baptized :) So that's June 22. Lookin' forward to it.

This week we did a service project for the Grajo family. They're less active members who are slowly returning. I love them! I'll attach some pictures. They live in VRC which is the poorest of the poor. Their house is a tent. So we built them a structure over their table so they can still chill there when it's raining! They said it's really so we can still teach them there when it's raining :) They're the best. On the table in the picture is Tatay Danilo, our recent convert. Man, I love that guy. He's like a million years old but he still hops on the table to serve! Also, house building, totally my specialty. But no nail guns or table saws here and they tie everything together with fishing line, so I was of little to no help. So Sister Lamberte and I ate nyog! Fresh coconut from the tree, and as you can see I am more pinay than Sister Lamberte. She's using a plastic spoon and I am using a spoon made from my coconut shell. 

It's rainy season now and I LOVE IT. Tag-ulan. But filipinos hate the rain. We started sacrament meeting with 30 people yesterday because there was rain. Our usual attendance is 120ish. Sayang. 

So that's my life. I love it. I love you. Pray that I don't have to train next transfer :)

Mahal na mahal ko kayo,

Sister MechamInline image 1
Inline image 2


Ashley Mecham
Aug 5 (1 day ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Eliza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick
A real great week was this. My english is going downhill fast. I'm sure you've noticed by now.

Sister Fran and I have been sick this week. We have trangkaso. It is a sickness that the philipinos made up because they hate the rain. I don't believe in it, but I definitely had it. It's just where you have almost every symptom you could think of and it happens because there's rain. Even if you don't go out in the rain - just because there's rain outside. It isn't real. 

Speaking of rain, I love/hate it. I actually love it for reals but hate it because no philipinos can be found outside when there's rain. So no one comes to church and they think, "may ulan" or "malakas ang ulan kanina" are good excuses. They aren't.

Muslims - I love muslims. They are the nicest people and we have been encountering so many of them (2 families only, I exaggerate). BUT, we aren't allowed to teach them. Well, we have to get special permission to teach them. The reason is because it's seriously dangerous - for them and for us. If they're seen talking to us they could be killed and we could be too... it's a rough situation. But listen, we've been teaching this family and they're really progressing, then one day the wife tells us she lied when she said she was catholic and that she's actually muslim. And that her family is muslim. So that was awkward, now we have to get permission before we can return to them and it is so sad because they are so so golden and they want to gospel in their lives so much. I'll let you know what President Stucki says when he replies to my email.

Laundry - last week I had so much laundry so I gave in a took it to a laundry place. The closest laundry place to our home coincidentally is also an ukay-ukay or second hand store. It seemed a little shady but I was desperate. However, now I am missing a bed sheet and a few blouses. When I see them for sale in the shop I'll let you know. But for now, never trust a laundry shop that also sells used clothes.

I've been talking in my sleep a ton. In tagalog. It really confuses my American roommate who doesn't yet speak tagalog well. It's awesome.

Our area is really progressing and we're so excited for the upcoming months. We haven't had a baptism yet, but we have a few that are coming close and it's going to be awesome. We're really seeing miracles here and finding the people whom God has prepared for us. It's awesome. I can't believe it's going by so quickly. When I leave Palawan my mission will almost be half over. No! 

Basta, thanks for all you do! You are the best. No pictures this week. Love you!

Sister Mecham