Tuesday, September 24, 2013

the day has come

Ashley Mecham

to me, Amanda, Austin, Destin, Jamie, Patrick, Lindsey, Liza, Kendra, Elizabeth
Got a call from President Stucki last week. I'm transferring from Palawan. I feel like I'm leaving my home! Depressed na ako. Hah, not really. But super sad. BUT I know, as always, the Lord has a plan for me. Also, I'm being demoted from trainer. Training is the best opportunity and I feel so blessed to have taken part of it. But, I think I'm kind of becoming a trainer... I've been called to serve as a Sister Trainer Leader. I can tell you that I'm not entirely sure what my roll will be. There are only four STLs in the mission right now... I've been told it's like a female Zone Leader but I'm still not sure what that entails. President Stucki just basically told me that I'll be expected to be an example to all the other sisters of how a perfect missionary should be. So... no stress at all there. But I'll be headed out to Manila on Wednesday - Pasay. It's a ward! I'm excited and stressed. And Sister DeLeon is going to be my new companion! We were roommates here on Palawan when I was being trained. She is an angel. I'm so excited! Enough about that.
This morning we went to THE CROCODILE FARM and BAKER'S HILL. The latter is so boring, like I knew it would be. But the philinos wanted to go so we did. BUT the crocodile farm was awesome, like I knew it would be. I'll try to upload a picture of me holding a Bear Cat. Yeah. It was awesome.

Our area is doing great and as beautiful as ever. I'm sad to leaving all my investigators that will totally be baptized next month but it doesn't matter who baptizes them, as long as it happens. I've uploaded a picture of two of my favorite investigators. Kaycee Sabando and Eufrania Salazar. The latter should have been baptized last week, but missed a week of church. Notice: one is eleven. One is 82. The 11 year old is taller. BUT I'm almost literally twice their size. The other picture I uploaded is of me in one of the areas in my area. Check out those boardwalks. It's awesome. 

Next week I'll have one million things to share because I'm basically going to another planet = Manila. I'll probably have to be retrained because I've never been to the city. BUT, well see about it. I'll let you know. 


Sister Mecham

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

sis m 002.jpgAshley showing that she is too tall for their transportation with a small sister friend.
things happened this week
1 message

Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net> Sun, Sep 15, 2013 at 9:27 PM
To: Ronald Mecham <alittlerandr16@gmail.com>, Amanda Larsen <adnama.larsen@gmail.com>, Austin Mecham <austin.mecham89@gmail.com>, Patrick Taylor <pstaylor49@gmail.com>, Elizabeth Ostler <elizabeth.ostler@myldsmail.net>, Liza Young <elizayoung92@hotmail.com>, Jamie Vawdrey <jamie.vawdrey@myldsmail.net>, Kendra Nicole Knudsen <kendra.knudsen@myldsmail.net>, Lindsey Webb <lindseydiane@live.com>
We got to work! Hallelujah! Sister Fran is healed and it's a miracle! We only worked a half week though. It's been so hard because we can really see the difference that hard work makes. I'm working hard not to get discouraged because almost none of our investigators came to church last week. Which means we will have no baptisms in September. I don't know if I've told you this, but we are really strict on our rule that our investigators must come to church at least 4 consecutive weeks before their baptism. No exceptions. So even little Nanay Eufrania Salazar who is 82 years old and so ready to be baptized can't be baptized this coming Saturday because she didn't come to church because she was sick. But she did request a priesthood blessing! What a cutie. She'll be baptized. It's just about timing.
This week I had a really awesome experience. I don't know if I'll be able to really explain how awesome it was. So, like I've told you, we've been teaching a woman who was raised Muslim. She even almost graduated from Muslim school - which means she like knows how to read the Koran in Arabic which is pretty awesome. BUT, that's beside the point. She has been married to a christian for over a year. When we first started teaching her, she told us she was Christian so we didn't focus a ton on the details of Christ's life except how it directly relates to the message of the restoration. We didn't really realize how little she knew of Jesus Christ, besides what she has seen on TV. The other night, we had planned to teach them something else, so I brought a picture book to help explain. As I was flipping through the pictures and trying to find the right one, she spotted one of Jesus healing the sick. She said something like, "Oh, I saw that on TV. Jesus could heal sick people." Then I paused. BAM. We had a whole lesson just discussing Jesus Christ and the miracles He performed and the things He taught and the details of His Atonement and it was beautiful. That doesn't ever happen here because everyone you teach has a Christian background. It was amazing to see her faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ grow right before my eyes and I just thought to myself, "This is why I'm here." It was really awesome. 

I know I talk about transfers too much. But I'm getting fatter because the branch thinks I'm transferring which means at least one dinner appointment every day. And we're trying to nicely turn them down because it really takes time out of our work because we have to travel to the elders' area and we usually skip dinner anyway to work but they just won't hear it. But it is good to help our members strengthen their faith and determination to help in the work, so really it's good. I just haven't developed the patience I need yet. Hah. 

This week was good. My area is beautiful and the people are beautiful and the branch is so supportive of the work and I never want to leave Puerto Princesa Branch 2b, Puerto Princesa District, PALAWAN. "I'll gooooo where you want me to gooooo, dear Lord." My theme song. Yeah.

This weeks picture is great. They gave us a wheelchair at NCCC (the supermarket here) and we wheeled around buying food and it was awesome. 

Also, sorry I didn't explain last week's picture. I'm just really large next to Sister Ordiz and I had to be crammed in the tiniest place on the tricycle and ride like the to the bayan which is a good 15 minutes. It was painful and hilarious.

Thank you. That's my kuwento. Have any questions, concerns, queries? 

I love you all. Be safe. This is Christ's true church and the only way for true happiness in this life and eternal life in the life to come.

Sister Mecham

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Sis Mech 702.jpg

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Walang Laman

Ashley Mecham

to me, Amanda, Austin, Patrick, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey

BEPREPARED this email will kill you with boringness.

This past week has been a week. Let me give all you future and current missionaries a lesson.

In Preach My Gospel it says to always be willing to yield to your companion as they are following promptings from the Spirit. Last Monday, we were walking and I saw our investigators' house and felt we should stop by even though we hadn't planned to. But, I didn't tell Sister Francisquete exactly my thoughts because I knew she would just follow me anyway, hah. I just said, "Dito tayo muna" and pointed with my lips to the home of the Dagohoy family as I began walking in that direction. She followed. But, as I later found out, she doubted me. She was distracted as she thought, "Sister Mecham forgot our plans. We didn't plan to go here. What is she doing? Crazy lady." As that was happening inside her brain, she didn't see a rather steep step and fell to her doom. Not really, but she did sprain her ankle. 

So, for the past week we have barely left the apartment because she can't walk. The doctor prescribed main pills and REST. FOR TWO WEEKS. But it's okay. This happened for a reason. It's just mainly the worst because we didn't come here to rest. We came here to WORK. But we can't work if she can't walk so we need to rest. Upside: I'm finally getting closer to finishing the Old Testament! That's some weird stuff. But we were slightly disobedient to the doctor and worked for one afternoon (which was sloooowwww and apparently excruciatingly painful) and we found a few new families to teach because of how weirdly she was walking! That's some good stuff.

That is literally all that happened this week. Transfers are getting closer and I'm not excited. There's no alternative. I have to transfer from Palawan and I really don't want to BUT I know that I will be sent to where the Lord wants me. I just have to keep working to align my will with His. And the Burts (senior couple) got emergency transferred to Manila so all the missionaries on Palawan will die anyway without them. So I'm cool with it.

Hah, sorry about the boring letter. Love you all! Good luck out there!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Walang Pagbabago
1 message

Ashley Mecham <ashley.mecham@myldsmail.net> Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM
To: Ronald Mecham <alittlerandr16@gmail.com>, Amanda Larsen <adnama.larsen@gmail.com>, Austin Mecham <austin.mecham89@gmail.com>, Elizabeth Ostler <elizabeth.ostler@myldsmail.net>, Liza Young <elizayoung92@hotmail.com>, Jamie Vawdrey <jamie.vawdrey@myldsmail.net>, Kendra Nicole Knudsen <kendra.knudsen@myldsmail.net>, Lindsey Webb <lindseydiane@live.com>, Patrick Taylor <pstaylor49@gmail.com>
This week was awesome! We had zone conference so the Stucki's came over for a visit! Which was great for them because Manila was still gross from the storm. The word on the street is there is a storm coming our way, but I've seen no evidence of it. It's seriously so hot here, even though these are supposed to be the colder months. But it's great because when there's no rain, there are so many new people to teach! 
I don't have any great Philippines stories this week. So let me tell you about what I have been thinking about a lot lately. I was studying 2 Nephi 2 about how Lehi tells his son how his trials in the wilderness will be for his good. I was pondering that, because we have a lot of less active members here in the Philippines who stopped coming to church for different reasons. In the Philippines Manila mission, we are really focused on bringing these people back into full activity, so usually half of all the lessons we teach each week are Less Active lessons. I've heard every reason in the book for why people don't come to church. But, Marion G. Romney said, "I have seen the remorse and despair in the lives of men who, in the hour of trial, have cursed God and died spiritually. And I have seen people rise to great heights from what seemed to be unbearable burdens." Before we came to this earth, we knew it wouldn't be easy. We knew that we would have opposition - unbearable sadness and immense joy. We accepted the trials we would have because we knew it would be worth it. But, now that we're here, our test is if we'll continue to accept God's plan for us. Our less active families took the first steps of the gospel to follow God's plan. They had faith, repented, were baptized by someone holding the authority from God, and received the Holy Ghost. But, somewhere along the way, they allowed their mga hadlang...uhh... trials to hold them back. But, (that's a lot of buts), that's what I love about serving my mission here. The people here are just so great. 

For example, Roselyn Vicentino. She was baptized when she was a teenager and went less active when she married a non-member. They had one million children together. Then, last year, she became active again and her husband and all her children were baptized. Shortly after that, her husband was lost at sea. LOST AT SEA. Like, he works on a boat sa laot (which just means far out in the ocean). One morning, he left for laot and never came home. The boat came home, they said there was a storm and afterwards, he just wasn't on the boat anymore. He was lost at sea. So, for the past year, she hasn't heard from him. But, she still believes that he is alive somewhere and that he is coming home. I can't believe how difficult and heartbreaking her situation is, even though I see it firsthand. Most of her kids are still little and she still has no real way to provide for them. But, all during this time, she reads the scriptures daily. She comes to church weekly and brings all her children. She is a pillar of strength even when her situation seems seriously hopeless. And that's what I've been thinking about. What do we do with our trials? Most of the trials the Lord gives us are no where near the magnitude of Roselyn Vicentino's experience. But do we allow our offense, laziness, or whatever happens to us crush our faith? Do we allow the adversary to win? I say unto you, NAY! Hah, okay, I got a little carried away there. But you see what I mean. We need to always remember that we accepted these trials before we came here and that God will give us the strength to overcome them - which doesn't mean he will take them away. Mosiah 24.

Alright, I forgot my camera so no pictures for you this week. How are all the things over there? Anything I can do to help with anything? I'm feeling distressed slightly because of the impending transfer. I'm destined to finally leave Palawan and I want to cry about it. Pray for me! Hah. 

Love you all! Sorry this email was somewhat of a bad egg. Speaking of which, my breakfast this morning was eggs and rice. I'm so totally filipino. Oh! Speaking of which, I seriously am Filipino now. Our new less active member that we just met said I'm better at speaking Tagalog than my Filipino companion! It's not true, but my head grew slightly because of it. Brag brag braggy brag. Okay, that's really all.

Sister Mecham