Friday, October 24, 2014

mga paa

Yesterday I ate chicken feet and frog legs. mmmmmm. It was prepared Chinese style, though. Not very filipino. The chicken foot slapped my face. Buhay pa pala. See attached picture.

Oh man, WE HAD AN AWESOME WEEK. We somehow squeezed in two exchanges and had members working with us every day and met tons of families and potential priesthood holders and had tons of referrals and loads of people came to church and it was a perfect storm the beautiful things. 

But I want to share a great experience about one of our investigators. Her name is Nory. She is 60 years old but looks 40. When we first met her, she was so angry. Not at us, but her heart was just filled with anger. Her husband left her a few years ago because he had another secret family. But the worst part is, the husband and his no longer secret family just live down the street. If she wants to go anywhere, she has to pass by their house. She really really hates her husband. Like, it's scary. A few weeks ago, she was in a crazy mood and it was late at night and we invited her to repent of her sins. She said, "I have to kill someone before I repent." HUHHH? They she opened up how she has a real desire to kill her husband. I was seriously terrified and there was no spirit in the room at that moment. When we left, I said, "I don't know if we should go back to Nory... she seems a little unstable." But, a few days later, the Spirit led us back to her and we are still teaching her. She is very diligent in reading the Book of Mormon. This week, she shared with us something that was beautiful. She doesn't want to kill her husband anymore! When she walks by his house, she doesn't feel angry, she just feels sorry for him. She shared how, through reading the Book of Mormon, she finally feels peace in her heart. (And she learned how much God does not want her to kill people...) It was a very spiritual lesson as she bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon and it was just another testimony to me of how sincere study and application of the Book of Mormon changes hearts and changes people. Also, we were talking about how her heart used to be and we said, "Pusong bato?" which is also the title of a famous song here which means heart of stone. And she said, "Hindi. parang puso ni Satanas." It was hilarious. But she was serious...

That's all the time for now. We have a new mission president and it is apprehensive making. Love you!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


This last week was CRAZY TOWN, PHLS. We didn't have the opportunity to work even one full day in our area. BUT, we did have the opportunity to do a lot of faith building things. We met the new mission president's wife and her husband. They are wonderful and I love them! They are so sincere and just overflowing with the Spirit. And I'm not just saying that because I know they've been reading the blog posts... :P We also had MLC and interviews. Good stuff. I'm still learning so much! I still have so much more to learn! 
One thing that I liked that President Ostler said was why we so often change leadership in the Church. It's because God wants us to put our trust in Him, NOT in people. It doesn't really matter who are earthly leaders are. We need to turn to the Lord. He also shared with me in our interview something that actually really helped me feel calm and peace about the upcoming changes. It was just really simple. The Lord wants to comfort us. Always. He wants us to feel His love and His arms around us. But sometimes, matigas lang yung mga ulo natin. He just said to just allow the Lord to comfort us. Let ourselves feel the peace and His love. And that's what I'm doing because I'm obedient to whatever the mission president says. :)

Oh, I heard that JP (my recent convert from Pasay) was called to serve as the 1st counselor in the elder's quorum! I told you he would be a great leader in the church!

Also, Ester and Gelnie passed their baptismal interviews and will be baptized on Saturday :) More families to prepare for the temple! There are so many miracles here and I just really love love love being a missionary in the Philippines.

"I'm hovering to death!"

^^^^ That's an example of the joy of teaching your companion English. Another is "finger foot".

This week was beautiful, as always. We went to the temple. Lots of revelation. 

We've been praying so hard for referrals, because that is our biggest lack in our area (because there are only a few members that live in our area) but this week we had a ton of miracles and got member referrals from other wards! We just talked to members on the jeep coming from stake conference and they know people in our area and boom referral. It's awesome and it's a great way to see how God is answering our sincere prayers. 

I know my english is weird in this email. My brain is tired and I don't want to try to be right because I woke up early and haven't eaten yet. 

This morning I woke up too early because they made me go to Manila and get fingerprinted again. I think this means they lost my first ones... Which is why i say to you that I don't know if my exit visa will come in time. Sister Stucki told me that she and President Stucki still haven't gotten their exit visa and they go home in two weeks. Harrrr harr. My arrival is a mystery for you.

This week, everyone was sick. Two of the families we are teaching were at the hospital on Sunday and weren't able to come to church. That will delay their baptism. It's sad, but I'm trusting in the Lord's timing and I know that if we strengthen our faith, we will continue to see miracles in our area. 

We had an awesome stake conference when Elder Quentin L. Cook presided (over broadcast). It was great. It was like General Conference but all the talks were directed to Filipinos. There was a strong focus on families and it was really great for the people we're teaching. 

I think this is it for now. I really am too weak from hunger to upload pictures but there are many from our temple trip. Stay tuned for next week. Love you!

ster mech

ganoon din

This week I was sick, I think the sickest I've been on my mission besides Dengue. But, we have so many progressing investigators that we really couldn't afford not to work. But, we could only find one ward missionary to work with us! (If you have two, one can stay with the sick one at the house and the other will work with the healthy one.) So instead, I ordered a priesthood blessing and we were off to work! Mostly I just sat there trying not to pass out while Sister Dumayas taught. We were so blessed to not miss one moment of work because of my failing body! It was seriously a miracle. That's when you know that Heavenly Father really loves our investigators!
This week we had so many investigators at church - families! Bishop had stars in his eyes. He came up to me and said, "Magaling ka, Sister Mecham." But I said, "Magaling po ang Diyos, Bishop!" We really are seeing the Lord's hand in our work and I know all we are doing to be worthy of it is giving our all - obedience and diligence.

I have no time for reals right now because of helping my dear momma. I love you!

Napakaiksi ng panahon

Hey! Emailing is stressing me out! Stop reminding me about going home! I'm not ready yet! I'll just see you when I see you and we don't need to talk about it.

This week was too busy in the way I don't like. We had MLC which is almost a whole day without work. But I learned a ton and I know it will help me be a more effective servant of the Lord. Then we had a special mission conference where Elder Craig C. Christensen and Elder Echo Hawk spoke to us. It was seriously great. It was also depressing because it was the last time we met together as an entire mission before President and Sister Stucki go home. I have seriously learned so much from them and they have made a huge impact on my mission and my life. We also learned so much that I wish I learned when I was new, but the Lord has His own timing. 

Oh man, we're experiencing so many miracles. We're finding the best people who are so prepared and they're really ready to come unto Christ. I just feel so blessed to be the instrument in the Lord's hands to help them do it.

There were too many emails this week. I have a lack of time now for you. Love you!

I'm going home.

TO PALAWAN. HAH fooled you.

I really feel like I grew up on Palawan and I'm pretty stinkin' excited to go home there and see my second family.

Our flight leaves in a few hours so this is going to be a great short email. Maybe not shorter than Ryan's...

Because I have a quick miracle to share with you:
The youth of our ward gave us one million referrals of people the met on the street during their One Week Mission. Sister Dumayas and I have been working hard to find and teach all of them. One of them led us to a far away place in our area that we rarely go to because there are no members and no investigators yet. We were led down a small street which turned out to be completely the wrong place than what we were looking for. (I really am finding it hard to express myself in english...) The people there had no idea who we were talking about. But, Esther let us in to teach her. Turns out she's dating a member in our ward. They've been dating for 6 years. And she never wanted to learn anything about the church. He always invited her, but nothin'. Then, as we were just listening to her, her eyes get all teary and she says, "I don't know what changed, but I'm ready now." She hasn't told her boyfriend yet that she's super interested in the church, but she already told her parents that she's going to be baptized. She was nervous to tell him and then BOOM we just show up at her house and she was so surprised. It was AWESOME. I don't know if I've ever tracted into anyone more prepared. It's just a miracle. 

It was good to see your beautiful faces last week. You all got fatter. (I swear that is not a mean thing to say if youre filipino. They laugh at me when I tell them Americans are offended by it.) That's okay, I'm fatter too. Too much food. 

I love you! Be safe! I still don't have definite news when I will be returning home. You really haven't heard anything from President Stucki? A bunch of missionaries in my batch say their parents got something saying when their flight was...
Maybe I'm really not coming home... :)

-Sister Mecham

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Puerto Princeeeeeesaaaaa

Personal/Ashley's Mission Emails

Ashley Mecham

7:48 PM (23 hours ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
Yeah, I spent the week in Puerto. It was amazing. I saw so many of the people I found who got baptized after I left. I think there are too many experiences in my brain to write them all to you.
The best was that I saw the Rosas family. I don't know if you remember, but I opened the area over there in Puerto Branch 2. There was absolutely no one there that the elders were teaching. So, using the CMIS (like a ward list), we located a ton of less active members that the elders didn't know were there and that the branch forgot about. Brother Jun Rosas was one of those less active members we found. His wife, Nida, was super receptive but there are very poor and live far from the church. It was really hard for them to get to church, especially because Brother Jun would spend all their money on alcohol and was almost always drunk when we went there. But, when we were there before, he started to change and they started coming to church. Brother Jun returned and Sister Nida was baptized right after I left. Now, their whole family has been baptized and they're preparing to enter the temple next year. Seeing them this week was a HUGE miracle. I was shocked by how much they have changed. Sister Nida worked with us for a whole day and bore strong testimony of the restoration of the gospel and how much the gospel has changed their family. I truly got to see how happy they were now. Before, Sister Nida would always cry to us about how much her and Jun fought and about his drinking and everything. Now, there is just pure joy. I even got to see them at church because there was a baptism. It was such a blessing to see how much they belonged there. I truly testify how much truly living the gospel changes people and brings real happiness to families. They made me promise I would come back and visit after my mission and bring my husband? So I have to start saving up the money and looking for a husband... hah.
There has been so much progression on Palawan and they're preparing to become a stake. I feel so blessed to have been a part of their progress, even if only slightly.
BUT, I was really happy to return back to Paranaque. As much as I LOVE Palawan, I was surprised to feel that I don't really belong there anymore. The Lord needs me here in Paranaque. Our area did struggle because we weren't here for a week. The members weren't able to make it to our investigators and less actives, which was disappointing. But, we still have some really great and progressing investigators. The Danong family is really golden. Brother Medison went from smoking a pack a day to 3 sticks a day in this past week, even though we weren't there. We're so blessed. I really feel the love the Lord has for the people here and I love seeing their progression.
Sister Mecham

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

STL = Sige Tambay Lang

Oh hey hey there kids!

This week. It was quick quick. 

We got to go to the temple and do a session again. We're so blessed to be so close. It's great to be able to receive revelation for my life as well as how to better help the people we teach come unto Christ. I also saw some members from Pasay which was the best. I saw Joshua Samonte! Who gave me a hundred letters that he and his brothers had written including pictures of their baptisms :) Their whole family has been baptized now. Including Elias Samonte. I don't know if you remember, but he was my biggest stress in Pasay. He was the one that I prayed to get sick and he did and then quick smoking because of it. Then he moved to Makati and the AP's baptized him there. I talked with the AP's about it at MLC and they said that it was the easiest baptism they ever had because he was so prepared by the time he got to them. SO, I experienced all the stress for that fella. But I am so so happy that he's been baptized. I cried when I saw the pictures. The best best best. 

Then we also had MLC on Thursday. MY how things have changed. When I was there before, there were only four sister trainer leaders and 14 zone leaders. Now, there are twice the amount of zone leaders and 12 sister trainer leaders! It's crazy. The Lord is hastening His work and He needs leaders to help do it. It was the best, as always. President Stucki is so inspired and Sister Dumayas and I are so excited to apply the things we learned. We already started that day, and have been experiencing miracles because of it. Even though we only had not very much time in our area, we had great work. I love having Sister Dumayas as a companion because I finally feel like we're doing an even amount of work instead of always feeling like I have to push my companion to be diligent. But, that was a blessing too, to help others. Anyway, that's that.

We are meeting such great people. Our faith is skyrocketing. I love being a missionary. 

I will call you through Skype on Mother's day. I will be calling from here at about 10:45 a.m. on Monday Philippines time. Which should be sometime on Sunday night for you. Please be at the computer at that time! Tell Amanda too so the kids will be there hopefully! 

I love you all huh! Don't forget it. They're making me go to a thing to train me on how to return to normal life and get jobs when I come home. So that means it's getting here. Prepare the rice cooker.

Love you!

Sister Mecham

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mga Luha ng Kagalakan

Personal/Ashley's Mission Emails

Ashley Mecham

Apr 28 (7 days ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
This week was wonderful. But this email will be short because we're going to the temple in a few minutes.

  • I got my new companion. Sister Dumayas. She is little and I love her. Finally another Filipina.
  • We've been finding among the middle class - knocking on doors of really nice houses. It's been awesome. The door slams are not discouraging. Seriously.
  • Hideki Villegas was baptized. He is going to be a great leader in the Lord's church. See attached picture. Don't focus on his area, he is just a cool kid.
  • Sister Dumayas studied at culinary school before her mission. I will be fatter when I come home.
  • Being STL again isn't different yet. Except now my roommates are afraid of us. Pasaway kasi.
  • This is the best part (after Hideki's baptism, because that is really the best part.) Sister Stucki emailed this morning. SISTER DUMAYAS AND I ARE GOING TO SPEND A WEEK IN PALAWAN DOING EXCHANGES WITH THE SISTERS OVER THERE. I get to return to my first and second area. Mahal ako ng Diyos. I cried big tears of joy when I read that. 
Sister Mecham

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Saddest Thing

Ashley Mecham

Apr 20 (8 days ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
It's a good thing that things I don't like always happen on Tuesdays so that I have almost a whole week to think about it before I email you about it! 

Last Tuesday we had interviews with President Stucki. I was SO EXCITED because I knew he would tell me I'm training. I really had no doubt. Then, we talk about some things. Then he says, "You know, Sister Mecham, it's always been my plan for you to train these last two transfers. But the Lord has a different plan for you. The Lord has called you to serve as a Sister Trainer Leader... again." My first thoughts were: NOOOOOOOOO. Then he noticed the little tears welling up in my eyeballs. "How do you feel about that, Sister Mecham?" "President, I was really hoping to train." "I know, I wanted you to, too. But that's not God's plan." Bam. And with that, I can't say it's not right. Even though this whole week I've been murmuring a little. But really, I'm over it. I'm called to serve as a missionary and my Father in Heaven will use me here how He wants me to be used. I'm just a tool, I know.

Other than that, this week was great! I got stomach flu, but that only kept me indoors for a bit. I didn't tell anyone so no one could force me to stay inside! Don't worry, I'll rest when I'm dead. 

Oh yeah, HOLY WEEK. Holy Week is crazy here. They close EVERYTHING on Friday. But everything is open again on Easter Sunday. It's a little backwards. But on Friday that have Procession which is a huge parade thing in the evening where every Catholic in Paranaque (which is many) follows around statues as they are paraded around town. It backs up traffic, but no one seems to mind. 

This week was awesome. I realized again the reality of the Spirit. Things come out of my mouth that seem a little unusual to me, but it really helps people. It's crazy. Not because of me, but because of the Spirit. It's because God loves the people we're trying to help.

UPDATE: What president stucki told me was confidential... But our district leader just texted and said no one is transferring. Hm! I'll let you know next week what actually happened to us! 
nang pagmamahal,
Sister Mecham

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The good things!

Ashley Mecham

Apr 13 (3 days ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
This week was hard but ended wondrously.

Let's start with the hard. Remember that family I told you about? The Roluna family? Who were, like, super golden? This week we came to them I they said they were really grateful for us for helping them strengthen their faith. Because their faith was getting so strong, they are thinking about returning to their old religion - Iglesia Ni Cristo. NO! WRONG! They weren't sure yet, just thinking about it. So I was very stressed by this because I knew that God had prepared them but Satan was tempting them to take the easy way out. So this whole week, I was not a very happy camper. I don't know why, but I let it really stress me out. But, with much help from the Lord, we found the perfect member to bring to their home to fellowship them. But it's hard because this member lives far and it busy. But, we scheduled it for yesterday. But then he called last minute and said he needs to change the time! We will go earlier! But, I was super stressed because I knew they usually aren't home at that time. But it was his only time. So, for a long while, that was all that was in my prayers. When we met up with Brother Sanchez (the member), he had a huge smile. He says, "Don't worry, Sister Mecham. I know that they will be there because I prayed about it before I left my home." (Small background about Brother Sanchez: he and his family were baptized last December only and they are super super strong young family.) How did he know I was worried? Because he's in tune with the Spirit. So, we get to their home. Brother Roluna is home. I don't see his wife, though. We can't teach him without his wife we need a third babae! My faith was weak. I ask him where his wife is. BOOM! She just pops out from the kitchen covered in sweat! She had just barely got home from a faraway trip like one minute ago! I am surprised. I look at Brother Sanchez. He's not surprised. What faith! So, I repented from my lack of faith. I will redouble my faith the next time. We taught them a wonderful lesson and they promised to continue coming to church (they missed two weeks) and really praying and reading to find out if it's true. So, I'm happier than ever - My Father in Heaven threw me a bone because He loves me. But even more than that, because He loves the Roluna family!

There's another weird story. One day we OYM an older woman in a duster. We set a return appointment. We return the next day. A man comes out and says the woman from yesterday is busy. He says she won't be busy tomorrow. We return the next day. The man comes out and says HE is just about to leave so we can't teach him. We were confused because we thought we were there to teach the woman... but we set a new return appointment. Then, later that day, like five hours later, we were walking in that same area when I hear, "MAYHEM, MAYHEM!!!!!!!!" I thought, 'it sounds like someone is trying to call my name but butchering it..." I ignored it. Then we saw a few people and started talking with them. In the middle of our conversation, the same man from earlier appears at my side. "Come teach me now." "Uhhh what?" "NOW!" Then he runs off back toward his house. Sister Jensen and I looked at each other tentatively... He really doesn't seem crazy. So we go. The woman is there, too. But we had the weirdest lesson of my life. He would not allow sister Jensen to try to speak Tagalog. Only english. Luckily, I was allowed to speak Tagalog. But I can't really explain to you how weird he was. In the middle of my teaching, he looks at me, and in complete politeness says, "You, stop teaching." Then turns to Sister Jensen, "You teach." But not like angrily... More like we were his puppets. It was strange. Long story short, he agreed to prepare to be baptized so I'll let you know how that goes.

Sister Jensen got chased by two very large rats in a tiny alley way. It was hilarious. 

Oh man, I was hoping to talk to you about how awesome conference was! But maybe next week because I got carried away with weird stories that I know cannot be fully appreciated in writing. 

I love you and I love being a missionary and I will find out this week if I'll be training for my last two transfers! Pray for me!!

Sister Mecham

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mata't Utak


Ashley Mecham

10:01 PM (18 hours ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
Yesterday I ate the head of a chicken. Including the brain. And the eyes. It was not very good but they really love it here. It's a texture thing. All I have left to eat are the intestines and the feet and I've pretty much eaten a whole chicken!
Corazon is going to do baptisms for the dead on Friday!

We ate dinner at the Godito family's home on Thursday. Brother Godito is a chef and a good one. He cooked us backed tomato basil macaroni with real mozzarella cheese. It was heaven. Then we had a real long conversation about food and I felt like I was talking with Eliza Young about the food channel. It was delicious.

There was on ox cart parked outside our apartment for a while. They were selling baskets.

We got to watch the women's meeting on Saturday! It was awesome! We'll be watching conference this Saturday and Sunday. But I'm downloading it right now for a sneak peak:)

This week we had a great lesson with our punk investigator named Hideki. He's come to church for 9 times now and is finally super excited to be baptized! Before he wanted to, but he wasn't dying with joy and excitement like he should be. Now, he just can't wait and we're so excited for the 26th!

That's all the things for this week. Still lovin' you all! The office lady emailed me again and threatened that I won't be able to go home if I don't send in the form she needs! Little does she know, that's not a threat... but a temptation! Hah! I'm funny. Okay. Have a great week!

Sister Mecham

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Binyag ni Corazon!


Ashley Mecham

9:56 PM (20 hours ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
This was a nice week. 

We met a woman who is Indian named Kamlu. She grew up here but her tagalog is choppy. So she asked us to teach her in English. Sister Jensen is happy. I feel like I sound silly in English. But it's okay.

Then we had a really awesome specialized teaching training seminar by President Stucki and it was awesome! I learned so much and it's so fun to improve my teaching skills every day!

Then, on Saturday,  CORAZON MILLENA WAS BAPTIZED. It was happy all around. At first, she told me she didn't want to bear her testimony after. So I told the ward mission leader so she wouldn't feel awkward. But, of course, philipinos are like this: Our bishop forced her to do it. Which turned out great! She only didn't want to because she didn't want to cry in front of everyone. But she totally did cry and it was actually really great and I'm so blessed to be a part of her life.

Before that, we had this really great lesson with this family, the Roluna family, that we just found last week. They're very poor but they are very rich with the spirit. They are very religious but they we excommunicated from Iglesia ni Cristo so they have no religion right now. Anyway, we taught them the plan of salvation and their faces were awesome as we explained it. They had tons of great questions. The dad, Roberto, bore testimony that he knew it was true and was so grateful that we taught it to him so they know that it's not enough just to be good people, but we have to find the true church, with the true authority to baptize, so we can follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ and go to the Celestial kingdom. Their understanding of the plan of salvation blew my mind. Then they committed to come to church. So we got up earlier than usual and went to the church earlier than usual because we really wanted to be there when they got there. We were half an hour early (which is way early because church usually starts a half an hour late). When we got there, one member of the bishopric was there (and no one else) and he said, "You have visitors." We ran inside and there they all were! Sitting on the front row! They had been there for a half an hour already! I asked them why they were so early and they just said, "we didn't want to be late!" They're so cute and I'm so excited for their progress as a family.

So that is that. I'm so happy. I love being a missionary. They're making me fill out a form for coming home. If I don't fill it out, I can't come home. Tempting?

Love you all!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ang hirap na, maganda pa


Ashley Mecham

9:47 PM (1 hour ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
Whew! This was a rough week! 

Let me story to you:

There is this woman, Bernadeth, who has been coming to church for ages but isn't baptized. She is wealthy. When I got here, she was the only investigator coming to church. So I said, LET'S BAPTIZE HER. But then she's too busy for us to teach her. But this last Saturday I finally was able to teach her for the first time. I've been praying and fasting for her since I first heard about her. So, my faith was through the roof that she would decide to be baptized this month after this lesson. She knows the church is true. She is basically a member, just lacking the baptism - which is the key. SO, we get in the lesson and I am bursting with excitement and joy and the BAM she says she will absolutely not get baptized until her annulment goes through. In the Philippines, that takes FOREVER and is VERY expensive. I was bold. She was bolder. We committed to to prepare for baptism - she can choose the date. She refused any date. I tried all I could think of to bring the spirit UNTO her heart to soften it. Then she starting looking terrifying so I gave up, for now. But then, in a last effort, I turn to her 19 year old nephew, Hideki (who is progressing but kept saying he wasn't ready to be baptized). We invite him to choose a new baptismal date and to stick to it. He accepts immediately and chooses April 26. WHOOOO! I was focusing on the wrong person. The Lord is preparing people all around.

We are experiencing a lot of success in our area with helping less active members return. Wally Ong returned this last week! Now all we have to do is figure out how to convince him to stop doing faith healing... In which I know he's not using God's power to do. And if it's not from God, it's from some other way. Which is freaky but he's way old and can't work so it's the only way he gets food. But the Bishop is planning to step in and help him stop doing it. Brother Joven will be retuning, too in the next few weeks which is also another man we talked to who happened to be a member. He's even older the Wally and we have nice lessons where we have to yell because his hearing is barely there. But it's wonderful and I know the Lord has prepared these members to return to His fold. 

Other than this, I hate being a tall white American and having a tall, white American companion. So many people let us in the teach them. But they all lose their interest in our message and just ask us a million questions about America or our skin or Tagalog or if we have boyfriends and it's weird and can be discouraging. BUT, I know that the Lord is preparing people for us here and maybe that's the way we'll find them.

I'M GOING TO THE TEMPLE TODAY. I'm feeling really excited about it. But that's why you're getting this email on Tuesday.

Love you.

Sister Mecham

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Real Hard Week


Ashley Mecham

Mar 9 (1 day ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, Patrick, D, Ryan
This week was a real hard week. 

I probably talked to more people than I have any other week in my whole life. And 90% of them did not want us to teach them or even come back another day. Our progressing investigators had problems come up - not unsolvable, only difficult. But, the faith is still there. This is still the Lord's work. I still love it.

There was one day (Wednesday - Ash Wednesday) where NO ONE was home and everyone we met did not want to listen. Everyone. For the whole day. We walked and walked and walked and walked annnnd waaaalked. Until it was 8 p.m. I was not discouraged. I knew the Lord had something prepared for us. Instead of going home early on the least productive day of my life, we kept walking. And talking to everyone. But there were barely any people. And then, out of no where, there was this man. William. I knew I wanted to talk to him, but a really loud voice in my brain told me that he would probably shut us down just like every other person we spoke to that day. But a really quiet voice in my heart told me to talk to him anyway. I did. He let us into his humble home. We taught him and his wife and his eleven children the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. HUH? It was awesome.

Do you want to hear about my birthday? It was on Friday. We had weekly planning. IT RAINED (it's not rainy season, God just loves me). Sister Reyes painted my toenails like Hello Kitty because I'm so asian and so is she. I ate 2 snickers bars. Theeeennnnnnn: the birthday party. My birthday happens to coincide with the birthday of a very wealthy member in our ward. So we had a combined party. There was a chocolate fondu fountain and a halo-halo station and there were server men and everyone in all of Paranaque City was there - include the mayor. Yeah, the mayor of Paranaque was totally at my birthday party and I offered him the gospel. Bishops family gave me an awesome t-shirt and I got squeezed to death by too many small people. It definitely beat last year's beer pizza that I didn't eat. Happy birthday!

Oh yes, we watched Frozen. It was adorable. I recommend it to you all.

No time, I'm registering for classes.

Sister Mecham

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Personal/Ashley's Mission Emails

Ashley Mecham

Mar 2 (8 days ago)

to me, Amanda, Austin, Patrick, Elizabeth, Liza, Jamie, Kendra, Lindsey, D, Ryan
What a week!

I have perfect eyes. Sister Stucki made me get my eyes checked this morning because I've been having headaches. That's not it, they're still perfect. hah
Later on today we're having a zone activity in which we will be watching a movie. Whaaaaaa? I tried to convince our zone leaders to do something else, but they don't listen to me now that I'm not an STL (joke). So, it'll probably turn into a zone nap. We're watching Frozen, which of course I know nothing about.

You know, this week was good. Corazon is still planning on being baptized, but the ward made us change her date to the 29th because of silly reasons. I'm not bitter. We also have 5 other investigators that could be baptized on the 29th. That is going to take a LOT of faith. Well, two of them could be baptized tomorrow if they wanted, but they're still searching for answers. Hope is believing and EXPECTING things to happen. It'll happen. Also, Lenie has now officially returned and is an active member!!! It's so happy because we just found her and helped her back. Same thing is going to happen with Walfredo. 2x na he's come to church.

"No compulsion is used in bringing men to a knowledge of God; yet, as fast as we open our hearts to the influence of righteousness, the faith that leads to life eternal will be given us of our Father."

This is what's on my mind: After the Savior's death and before His resurrection, the apostles were lost. They weren't sure what to do, so at least some of them went back to their old life - fishin'. While they were fishing, the caught nothing. Then, Jesus Christ appeared to them and they miraculously caught a ton of fish. Then, this is the best part: The Savior, probably gesturing to the huge pile of fish, says, "Peter, do you love me more than you love all this?" He replies, "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee." Then He asks him two more times, each time in the affirmative. Then He commands him to leave it, and to feed His lambs, feed His sheep. That's what I've been thinking about. My Father gave me a wonderful life. I had everything I thought I wanted. It was in a huge pile. But then, He pointed to it all and said, "Do you love me more than you love all this?" And I left it. And I came here. And now I understand more than ever that I really really do love Him more than anything else. I don't know if I really knew that before. I thought I did.

I love you fam. I'm grateful for all you've done for me to get me here. I wouldn't trade what I've experienced for anything. NOW STOP REMINDING ME HOW SOON I'M COMING HOME, HUH! Hah, that was a sweet moment that I ruined. I hate to be the one to tell you, but I'm not coming home. (That's a joke, mom, don't stress.)

'ster mech

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

himala dahil sa pananampalataya


Ashley Mecham

Feb 23 (2 days ago)

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

This week was one big fat miracle. I don't know where to start.
Remember how when I first got here I was explaining how there was no one here that was progressing and it was a punishment to be sent here? I don't remember if I said that, but I definitely thought it. But listen up:
The house help of our Bishop, Corazon, has been progressing. But, she always said she likes coming to church because she learns a lot, but she still hadn't felt an answer from God if the Book of Mormon is true or if this is really Christ's restored church. Then, one week ago, our bishop's wife made her stay home from church to take care of her parents who were in town. Corazon was not happy about that. She is still the nicest lady in the world, but seemed super annoyed by our bishop's wife. We were afraid that that would stop her progress. And she had been seeming weird when we taught her, like something was up. But, that is all beside the point. >>>>> On Thursday, we get there to teach her. She seems normal. We follow up on the reading assignment we left her in the Book of Mormon - 3 Nephi 12. I remember when I left that assignment I thought it was weird because I've never left it before. She read it. "It was good." But, even though that was her answer, I was not satisfied. She doesn't usually share specific things from what she read, but this time I really really wanted her to for some reason. SO I kept bugging her. "Are you SURE there's NOTHING you want to share from what you read?!?!" Finally, she looks down. Then looks up. She says, "Sisters, I do have something to share. Something amazing happened last night." Then, she can't speak anymore because she just starts weeping. Finally, she gets out the story. It was so simple. She prayed before she read the Book of Mormon. I real, deep prayer. She did what we had just taught her - she began the process of repenting of all her sins. She felt the Spirit big time. Then, she opened to the reading assignment and read the first two verses. BAM. She tried to describe what she felt but couldn't in real words. She remembered what we had taught her about the influence of the Holy Ghost and how it might feel when she got an answer. She looked up at us with tear-filled eyes, "Naniniwala na ako." which is "I believe now." Then I simply asked, "So what are you going to do now that you know this is true?" She didn't even hesitate. "I'm ready to be baptized on March 15!!" MIRACLE.
Then, on Sunday, sacrament meeting started and none of our investigators or less actives were there. Usually, that is super discouraging. Usually, I would think, "Oh man, now no one will be baptized in March!" But my faith has grown so much. I bowed my head, and prayed for our specific investigators and less actives who committed to come. It was the best feeling, even though no one was there, I didn't lose faith. I knew that the Lord would provide. It's like Jairus in the New Testament. He comes to Jesus Christ and asks in faith for Him to heal his daughter. Then, on the way there, Christ stops to heal someone else. Jairus is not impatient. Then, Jairus' servant comes and tells him his daughter has died. He tells him to not bother Jesus any longer. But Jairus is not phased, he knows the Lord can still do - he can bring her back from the dead. That's how I felt, even though it really seemed hopeless, I know the Lord would still provide. At that moment, I finished my prayer and looked up. I see Lenie Curilan's daughter Ashly run in the front doors (In our chapel, there are windows). Lenie is our returning less active, this is her third week in a row. Lenie walks in. He father in law Walfredo (who is a very less active member- they're the only two members in their family) walks in after her. Her cousin, our invesigator, Grace, walks in. Lenie's neighber whom she referred to us walks in with her 5 kids. We clear a space and the scoot in next to us. As we turned around, we noticed that Corazon has sneaked in the back and we hadn't noticed. Also our other investigator, Bernadeth. After sacrament meeting our 2nd counselor introduced us to a 19 year old boy who has been coming to church for 3 weeks in a row but has never been taught by the missionaries - and he happens to live in our area. THAT'S BECAUSE OF FAITH.
I've never really felt this way before. I feel so much love from the Lord pouring down on me and the people we are teaching. I love being here. This is the truth.

I love you. I love the Lord.
Sister Mecham

1. There is yellow watermelon here. But it tastes like red watermelon.
2. I GOT TO SEE MY BEST FRIEND SISTER DE LEON BEFORE SHE GOES HOME AFTER THIS TRANSFER. It was such a miracle. I thought there would be no way I would see her before she left because she's assigned in a different zone. That's a miracle too. Notice the little tears in her eyes. I make people cry.
3. This is my companion, Sister Jensen. Did I tell you how I transferred to America? The grocery store in this area is just like a normal grocery store. We bought CHIPS AND SALSA. That's a miracle, too. I didn't know those existed in the Philippines. I also bought TORTILLAS which I thought were no where to be found. Miracles.
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