Brett's apartment mailing address:

3712 Howard Dr. Apt # 18
McAllen, TX

Brett's mission office address:

Texas McAllen Mission
Attn: Elder Brett Mecham
200 West La Vista Ave.
McAllen, TX 78501

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween and Cold Front!

I can't believe it's halloween! To make things even better, there was an amazing cold front that hit south texas and it was in the 70's and 80's all last week. I had to wear a sweater (Thanks grandma and grandpa Mecham!) I felt a little sick this past week; I think it was a combination of cold weather and a sugar overdose. I'll try to eat more fruits and vegetables this week.

Good news about Manuel. He went to FHE at the YSA branch on monday, attended institue on tuesday, went to the YSA Halloween dance on Friday, went to church yesterday, and is participating in the YSA halloween activity tonight where they are bringing candy to Driscoll Children's Hospital and passing it out to the patients so they can go trick-or-treating. We didn't even talk to him about any of these things, except for church. He's just been receiving a lot of great fellowship from the singles branch (it is comprised of mostly recent converts, it's wonderful). While it's been great that he's been loving the YSA branch, it's been difficult to get by and teach him! I shouldn't be complaining though. He's making some great progress and I'm so excited for him. Too bad Elder Arens is leaving. I get my new companero tomorrow! It'll be exciting to tell you about him. Hopefully he's cool!

Well, we're about to head over to the ZL's apartment to hang out with some of the missionaries there. We're going to play some tennis and then maybe a game of clue or something.

Love you all! Thanks so much for the letters and the wonderful updates. Y'all are amazing.
Con mucho love,
Elder Brett

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hola familia,

Otra semana, Ay carumba.

I thought I would share a couple cool stories from the last week or so. They might get a little spiritual, ¡cuidado!

1) It was one of those days where we didn't have a lot of scheduled appointments but we had a lot of people that we wanted to go by so we planned our day accordingly. We did a lot of riding around during the day and didn't have a whole bunch of success. Most people weren't home. In Preach My Gospel, we learn about something called "Hable con todos" or "Speak with everyone" and it's geared to help us Missionaries learn to open our mouths and really share the gospel at every opportunity possible (and appropriate). Being on bike makes it easier because we are always outside amongst the people but it is often difficult as well because sometimes we are heading to another appointment and we don't want to be late. On days where we don't have many scheduled appointments, we try to talk to everyone that we see as we are riding.

On this particular day, we were heading to someone that we planned to go by but it wasn't a set appointment, and we had stopped and talked to quite a few people already, so we both just wanted to get this persons house. I was riding in front and we were pedaling at a pretty good pace, enjoying the wonderful exercise, and as we made a turn I noticed a young looking guy walking on the sidewalk; he was wearing gym clothes, had a duffel bag in hand, and was listening to his ipod. I smiled and gave him a wave, and he smiled, gave me a head-nod, and waved back. I thought apprehensively, hmmm should we stop?, but kept pedaling. After several moments I looked back at Elder Arens and said "Should we turn around and talk to him?" but he didn't know who I was talking about so it turns out that he didn't see him. I figured "eh, it's alright. We'll just keep going. After all, he's got his ipod in. He probably wouldn't be interested anyway."

We kept on going down the long, windy street and the only thought occupying my mind was "hable con todos". Instead of being obedient to the spirit like I immediately should have, I started making up excuses in my mind. (Looking back on it, I notice here the adversary's cunning and deceiving methods) I was thinking to myself, "Man I've worked really hard this past week. I've done a great job. In fact, I've done a great job my entire mission so far. I just need to keep it up. I've been 100% obedient. 100% diligent. I'm doing awesome." Inbetween these stupid thoughts, I kept seeing the page in Preach My Gospel where it instructs us to talk with everybody. At this point, Elder Arens and I were both still riding down the street and we had gotten pretty far. Finally, and so grateful I was, the spirit won the battle I was having and told me distinctly and directly that I need to turn around. I turned around and said "Hey Elder, we gotta turn around." Even though he didn't know who I saw, he said "Of course" and turned around as well. I pedaled quickly in the direction we came from and saw him just barely turning down a different street. We screeched to a halt and I tried my best not to worry that we both probably looked a little goofy on our bikes, with helmets on, in white shirts and ties, and sweating.

I shook his hand and introduced ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and he said "Mormons right?" We responded "You bet." And then he told us how he had a friend and co-worker who's a mormon. Turns out it is Jamie, one of the counselors in the singles branch here in Corpus. Jamie was the one who introduced Tabby to the singles branch and invited her to the FHE's on monday. We were pretty stoked to hear that he knew Jamie.

To make the rest of the story short, we have had a couple awesome lessons with him and he is preparing to be baptized in November. Hopefully everything continues to go well. Either way, I learned a great lesson that day.

Well, I had a couple more that I wanted to share but I'm running out of time. Next week!

Love you all,
Elder Brett

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hello family,

I was cold yesterday. There was a huge rainstorm during church yesterday and I figured that it would clear up and get really humid by the time we were to get on bikes and work, but it actually stayed relatively cool. By the late evening it was pretty chilly. It was awesome. It will probably warm up again but at least there are signs of cooler weather.

It was a pretty good week. Things are improving again which is wonderful. This high-low, up-and-down cycle is crazy: lots of great weeks in a row and then there's a sudden drop or decline and then a lot of efforts are needed in order to improve. Luckily there are always lessons learned during the cycle.

 So last week I thought of some funny stories to share but I'm sort of blanking right now. One does come to mind though:

So, this was actually back in Rio when I was with Elder Diamond. The other companionships were on exchanges so Elder Brown from Roma was staying with us and after our nightly planning session after a long, difficult day, we all got ready for bed and we were laying in our bunks and we started talking about some of our favorite TV shows from before the mission and we were talking about the usuals like The Office, 24, Lost, Psych, and some others that I wasn't too familiar with but had heard of, and then we started talking about some of the old school shows that we used to love. Then Elder Brown mentions Boy Meets World and I didn't think that any of the Elders would have actually watched that but Elder Diamond goes "I loved that show!" and then for what seemed liked ETERNITY they were quoting lines from possibly every episode ever created of Boy Meets World. They would say a line and then giggle (yes, giggle) hysterically. So that night, I fell asleep with the wise words of Cory, Tapanga, and others running through my brain. It was wonderful.

Just before heading over here (the church) to email, the other two elders that we live with, Elder Hedman and Elder Alarcon, were having a sword fight with paper towel tubes because Elder Alarcon's (he's straight from Bolivia, learning English) favorite movie is Zorro. I mentioned that one of my favorite movies is The Count of Monte Cristo and that encouraged them to keep sword fighting. I gotta say, living in a four-man apartment is so fun. We're teaching Elder Alarcon english slang and other idiomatic expressions. It's a riot. Elder Hedman will teach him something and Elder Alarcon will come up to me and practice what he learned, for example, "I'm down with that", or "How's it goin'?" and "Wassup bro". It's hilarious, especially because of his heavy accent. Gratefully, he is teaching me some great spanish phrases.

Alright, well I need to hurry and email prez. Thanks y'all for the updates. Shout out to Ivan and Julia! Mal, I can't believe you haven't told me until just now. I don't have their addresses anymore! Let them know that I want it.

lots of amor,
Elder Brett

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oct. 3, 2011

Hello familia,
Another week come and gone. I really don't have a whole lot to say, other than conference was amazing and I'm excited for another week. This past semana was another tough one; we had to drop the majority of our investigators. They just aren't progressing. It's sad, but I guess it just means that there are others out there that are more prepared, now we just need to find them. That's what Elder Arens and I are going to focus on this week: finding. I'm excited because I love proselyting. And, I am pretty sure it's going to be a cooler week. Yesterday was soooo beautiful. It almost felt like fall! I'm not sure what the temperature was but on the way home last night, I was actually a little chilly! We were speeding home because we were running late and I yelled to my comp, "Elder! I'm cold!" I have to say, it was the best feeling in the world.
There really isn't any other news. I am eating fruits and vegetables every week. Great right? I also go through a carton or two of ice cream tambien. My companion is great; he's definitely got his own quirks about him but don't we all? Maybe next email I'll share some funny comp stories. I have a few.
Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week. Love ya.
Elder Brett

Sept. 26, 2011

Hello familia,
oooh boy, the week was definitely on the rougher side. Fortunately, Tabby was confirmed yesterday so that made everything better. Guess what? I got to perform the ordination. It was my first time confirming so it was a great experience. She has plans to go on a mission and I really hope that that will be able to work out as she plans. It'll be cool to write her when she's a missionary, doing the things that I am doing now. Either way, she is an extremely strong member and I'm excited for her.
I think the weather has cooled down a degree or two. It's wonderful. I'm still anticipating the october and november months, although I'm sure it won't be anything like a michigan fall. I guess I'll just look forward to next year.
Well, thanks for everything. Thanks for the birthday wishes. 21 years old? ay carumba
Les quiero!
Elder Brett

Sept. 17, 2011

Got transfer calls, and I'm staying in Corpus with Elder Arens. I'm so relieved. We have so many great things coming. Tabby was baptized yesterday and it was probably one of the best days of my life. Everything went amazing. Later that evening we went to the M___' to eat (It is through them that Tabby came to know the church) and we celebrated her baptism by eating BBQ cheeseburgers and cake. It was awesome. We're teaching her three roommates this wednesday. Tabby is already pretty involved with missionary work. (She was before her baptism too. She's awesome)
Well, I'm going to leave it at that for now. Thinks are beyond amazing. I hope you are all doing well. Love ya
Elder Brett

Sept. 12, 2011 (aka post U of M v. ND football game...)

Mallory! Thanks so much for the update!! I wish I could have seen the game!!
So on Saturday night we stopped by a less active member before heading back to our apartment and when he let us in I saw that Michigan was playing Notre Dame and I got sooo excited! Notre Dame was up 14-6 and I was thinking "pleeeeease Brother Kinutson, don't turn off the tv! Put it on mute. Just put it on mute. puhleeassseeee!" But unfortunately (or fortunately) he went over and turned off the tv. ahhhhh. We had a wonderful lesson with him so that was great, but the entire bike ride home all I could think of was the football game! Then on Sunday I asked the Elders Quorum President because he's a big football fan and he said that Michigan ended up winning. He didn't tell me it was such an intense game though! For some reason I thought it was at ND this year. I bet Michigan stadium went absolutely crazy. ahhhh I can't wait to watch it when I get home.
It's been another terrific week. Tabby is getting baptized this Sunday, and she brought a friend/roommate to church this past Sunday. Turns out she's basically been giving her the lessons. Tabby is wonderful. We had a whole bunch of other great lessons too. Elder Arens and I have been getting along great and working hard.
This past week it was in the low and mid 90's and it felt like fall. I sure am looking forward to October and November. It's weird to think that the school year started already. All my friends are now upperclassmen in college now. I'll come back and be the baby still. aw man. I can't believe it's almost my birthday too. For some reason I feel like the summer just started. Elder Duke just turned 21 last week, no  it's my turn in just a couple more. We'll probably go out to a bar to celebrate...
There's actually something in particular that I really want. There's a guy in the ward, Ezra M___, who just got back from his mission in California and he showed Elder Arens and I two DVD slideshows that were amazing. One is called Reflections of Christ and it was produced/created by two Mormon photographers and it's a slideshow of the life is Christ with a hymn in the background. A year later, the same producers created another slideshow but of Jesus Christ coming to the Americas. I forget what that one is called. I would love those two DVD's. Besides that, maybe just some snacks. I am pretty good at using my money for healthy meals but it would sure be nice to have some snack-y items to help me gain some weight back. Oh and dad, I would love a Utah State basketball shirt or shorts or something.
Those are my only requests. Thanks so much for everything! I can't believe I've been in Corpus for almost a whole transfer already! This is the last week.
Ruego para ustedes cada dia. Estoy muy agradecido por todo lo que hacen.
con lots of amor,
Elder Brett

Sept. 5, 2011

Hello family,
This past week was probably the best week ever. I know I've had a lot of "Best-Week-Ever"'s on my mission but I think this week was the best of the best. If only I had enough time and strength in my fingers to write about it all!
I know I haven't shared a whole lot of stories about the people I've been teaching but I think I might have to with this young lady named Tabby. She's getting baptized on the 18th (even though she's so ready she could be baptized tomorrow) and she has been the most wonderful person to teach. We've only been teaching her for the past few weeks, yet it feels like I've known her for a whole lot longer. I'll share more about her either next week or the Monday following her baptism.
I didn't fall (or get launched) off my bike this week. Elder Duke and I went running every other morning and the sunrise on the gulf gets more beautiful every day. The temperature is going down this week! It was 106 and 104 the past two days with crazy humidity. You know that feeling when you open an oven when something is baking inside? Very similar. BUT, it is supposed to be in the low 90's all week. I can't believe that summer is already coming to an end and that we're looking towards the fall and winter months. It'll be fun to compare our seasons and see how cold it will actually get down here.
Well, things are just awesome. I'm loving every single day. I appreciate all the letters and emails from y'all (people actually say y'all up here!) and finding out how and what you all are doing. Y'all are always in my prayers.
with mucho love,
Elder Brett

Aug. 29, 1022

Hello again,
Wow it was another awesome week. There are so many great people we are teaching. Unfortunately two of the people got injured at work so it's been hard to see them this week because they have been in and out of the hospital and doctors office. It's funny because they both got their injuries shortly after meeting with us and making the decision to be baptized. Elder Arens and I concluded that it's because Satan knows how prepared and ready they are. Hopefully we'll have a chance to see them this week.
I wiped out on my bike again. This time it was on a major road and I think my pride got hurt worse than anything. BUT, this time it wasn't exactly my fault. We were in a hurry to get to an appointment on the other side of town (about a 30 minute bike ride) and about 10 or 15 minutes into it I ran over a sharp piece of metal and my tire popped and I lost control and face planted on the pavement. That's the second time a helmet has saved my life. And once again, I fell into the road. Fortunately there were no cars behind me, although there was a whole string of cars coming the opposite way so they all saw me. I hope they all got a good laugh. My goal for this week is to beat gravity. I'm not going to let it take me down. I also need to beat small pieces of metal. Rubber just doesn't stand a chance.
A couple days ago Elder Duke and I drove over to Oceandrive in the morning and went jogging on the path along the shoreline. It was so beautiful. It was pitch black when we started but the sun rose as we were running. It was cool seeing all the boats along the docks, all the nice restaurants and stores, and the small ocean waves. It's hard to believe just a few weeks ago I was in Rio Grande. I enjoy working in the rougher parts of Corpus though. Keeps me focused on the work. 
Today we're going back to the Oceandrive area to check out all the little stores. There's also an aquarium we want to go to. There are so many things to do, it's hard to decide. All we could do in Rio was play futbol so P-day was pre-decided every week. Now careful decisions have to be made in order to best utilize the precious P-day hours. But first we're going back to the bike shop. I need to fix my bike once and for all.
Anyway, things are amazing. Time is flying by beyond belief. September is looking like it's going to be a great month. Thanks y'all for everything. Love you.
Elder Brett

Aug. 22, 2011

Hey all,
I can't believe it's been another week here in Corpus Christi. Things are amazing. I absolutely love being on bike, the only issue being that bikes tend to break down. My pedal has been broken since I left Rio so I was using Elder Duke's when I got here but than a week and a half ago Elder Arens' bike blew up (almost literally) so he's been using Elder Dukes and I've been using my own, but just pedaling one footed. And then two days ago we were on exchanges and Elder Arens had to use my bike and when Elder Alarcon and I were getting out of a lesson we got a text from the other elders that said "We might need a ride home tonight. Bike broke." And of course, it was my bike. So, today we are going to the bike shop to get everything fixed. I'm not complaining am I? haha it really hasn't been that much of a problem. We're working really hard and loving the work. I wish I had time to talk about everyone we're meeting with and teaching. There are some amazing people.
After getting the bikes fixed we are going to head over to Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Ross to try and buy some cheap slacks. I can no longer reuse my clothes during the week because we come home way too sweaty. I've been doing that the past couple weeks and by the end of the week they get really crusty (gross right?) and it feels like I'm wearing cardboard. Anyway, hopefully we can find some good deals.
We're kind of in a hurry so I guess I'll just leave it at that. Thanks so much for everything, especially for the updates! Those are the best.
with mucho mucho love,
Elder Brett
PS my address is 3333 S. Alameda #4H Corpus Christi, Texas 78411