Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oh Yolanda

Ashley Mecham
Nov 10 (3 days ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, ryan.mecham
Buhay pa ako. I'm still alive. I'm sorry you were worried, family. I wasn't able to email last week because we had a crazy busy schedule and then the storm happened and I knew you would worry but there was nothing I could do. Sorry again. The storm was bad. Really bad. Super typhoon. But the center was in another area of the Philippines - not here in Manila. We only experienced strong winds and rain and were commanded to stay indoors. But Palawan was hit pretty hard. From what I've heard, no one was seriously injured there but there were homes that were completely destroyed. I'm not surprised by that, because there are many homes there that are built over the ocean and only made of bamboo. But there was enough notice in advance for everyone to evacuate. I still don't know the full gravity of the storm because we don't watch the news.. but please keep the Philippines in your prayers.
Man, I have so many things to tell you but I forgot them all. One thing I want to talk about is how our choices effect the lives of others. Example: there is a small island near Palawan called Coron. This story happened when I was still on Palawan. There are two elders there. They are isolated - they don't come to zone conference or zone meetings or anything and they have no supervision. So, it is very important that they are exactly obedient. Well, they weren't. They had to be emergency transferred off the island and one of the APs was transferred there so our zone leader was transferred to manila and became AP to replace him. This was bad because he was shotgunning an area on Palawan that was still weak and they had to close it again when he left. All because of the choices of one elder on Coron. Then, this story happened last week. Sister de Leon and I were lovin' life in our apartment that was conveniently located in the center of our area. Then, there were two sisters who were disobedient in a neighboring area. Sister de Leon and I have now moved into their tiny apartment to supervise their work. This new apartment is far from our area and we need to spend time daily to commute to and from our area. All because of the disobedience of two sisters. So, don't forget how everything you do does not only effect you, but everyone around you! But, I'm excited for the new challenge to impact the mission of these two sisters and to prove that we can still have a model area even with this extra obstacle. It's fun. 

Speaking of the new apartment. It is nice! and clean! But, TINY. Which is just perfect because I can reach my desk and my closet and the fridge without even getting out of bed! And the bathroom is just a two step walk away! So we're loving it living in Makati and serving in Pasay. hah. 

This last week was so awesome and tiring. We had transfer day on Wednesday and we had to spend the whole day helping Sister Stucki and teaching new missionaries in their orientation and it was real fun. But we woke up at 3:00 a.m. so we could get our studies done before we had to be there. Then on Thursday, we had MLC which is the best but we also woke up at 3:00 a.m. so we could still have time to proselyte after the meeting. It was totally worth it but I was so exhausted! And I know, it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. I don't have to do it again for another month! 

I have left the best part for last. Joshua and Gerald Samonte were baptized this last week! Even though they are teenagers, they are so prepared to receive the gospel. I gave them one of my Preach My Gospels and they have been studying it every day and preparing for their missions! They're so awesome. That is the picture that I have attached, the two hipster kids in the middle are Gerald and Joshua respectively. On the far left is Elias Samonte, their father. His baptism is scheduled for December because he needs time to completely repent from his problems with the word of wisdom. But he is so golden and will definitely be baptized next month. He used to be a pastor and served a mission for his church and so it's really fun to teach him because he was so many questions and is so open to learn! He's already read the book of mormon through and is halfway through Doctrine and Covenants. Such a boss. I'm so grateful to know people like this in my life. They're such an inspiration. 

I love love serving my mission. Even though I'm feeling more stress than ever before, I know I can do all the the Lord has commanded me because He is preparing the way for me. Also, maybe you noticed how weird my writing speech sounds. I've noticed too. I don't know how to fix it. Sorry. Hah. I love Tagalog. 

I'm safe. Don't worry about me if you don't hear from me. I promise, President Stucki will call immediately if anything happens to me. Don't stress. I love you!

The other picture I included is me and SISTER HUNT. The best mission nanay in the world. I got to see her one last time before SHE WENT HOME. Yeah, she's back in Australia now and I'll probably never see her again. Umiyak talaga ako. 

Sister Mecham
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