Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Walang Pagbabago
1 message

Ashley Mecham <> Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM
To: Ronald Mecham <>, Amanda Larsen <>, Austin Mecham <>, Elizabeth Ostler <>, Liza Young <>, Jamie Vawdrey <>, Kendra Nicole Knudsen <>, Lindsey Webb <>, Patrick Taylor <>
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

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