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

maligayang bati sa aking kaarawan

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