Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 23, 2013

Hello family!

Well, this is the last time I will be writing you. It probably won't be terribly long because I will be seeing you so soon. Mom, I celebrated your birthday in Tolyatti on exchange with the sisters there and was able to see marina be baptized. It was the best! I don't even know what to say except that the spirit there was so strong. I feel like my heart belongs in Tolyatti. Elena and Tanya came to the baptism so I saw them. And Marina's 24 year old daughter came to her baptism as well. I love them all. Elena and Tanya bought a camera for Skype just so we can Skype together. They are the best in the world.

Some sad news. Sasha didn’t come to church yesterday. It was supposed to be his baptismal interview to get baptized next week. And now his phone is closed. He will probably be baptized just...later. We had a miracle meeting with him on Tuesday. Usually we can't see him during the week but he answered his phone and could meet so we did. Committed him to live by the commandments we taught him and asked him if he was ready to be baptized on the 29th and he said yes and was way excited. And now....he is missing again. Sigh.

For this week we will just continue to work. Find some new investigators and see what we can do. We had 2 investigators show up at church miraculously yesterday again. So the lord is still working miracles in our mission. It is way cool!

Well, see ya soon!

Cectpa Pearce

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 16, 2013

Hello family!

This week has been so crazy! Great but way crazy. On Tuesday we had our exchange in Kazan and we saw so many miracles! Sister Erikson has so much faith. She had never been knocking so we went and tried it out and it was for sure the best knocking of my whole mission. In the afternoon we talked to this cool kid on our 2nd door and he was way excited to come to church. In the evening we were walking (I was freezing because I didn't have a coat) and trying to decide which building to knock. We only had a half an hour before we had to be home. So we came to this building that had every single apt had a light on. I have never seen anything like that before! So we knocked. The first door we were let in and had a lesson. She was way excited about the Book of Mormon. Later we knocked into a potential investigator we found yesterday. And then we got some other potentials on the way down. It was such a great day. And Wednesday we got on a train to Izhevsk. Remember how we didn't have coats? Well there was no heat so it turned into a 7 hour train ride in a refrigerator. I ended up wearing all of the clothes I brought with me. 3 skirts and 4 shirts. I looked pretty lumpy. Izhevsk is a way cool city and the people there just seem to have soft hearts. And are so willing to accept the gospel. We had a good time working up there. And then the bus...we got on the bus around 6:00 in the evening and got off at 6:00 in the morning. It wasn't awful. Mostly because I knew I only had to do it once. If I knew I had to get back on...I would probably cry. I did sleep a little bit, but I was grateful to get back to Samara. On Friday night we called Sasha after district meeting, he didn't answer but he called us back! And we were able to meet with him and talk about commandments. He drinks tea sometimes but other than that everything is a go. He is way cool! He didn't come to church because he was sick though:( We will see what happens in the next couple of weeks. Yesterday 2 women showed up to church who had received an invitation from missionaries. Lyudmila, the woman we met with found hers in a magazine at work. The other one received it 2-3 years ago but never quite found the building. And then yesterday...she found it! We haven't been able to meet with Veronika because of school and work but we have kept in contact with her, so hopefully soon!

That was my week. Sounds like the rain is crazy there. Today is actually perfect weather! Not too hot or cold, light breeze, blue skies. It’s going to be a good day. For some reason I was able to write that real fast. So I still have time left.

Being a missionary is the best thing I have ever done. Has it always been fun and easy? No. I have been pushed to my limits often. As I have learned how to rely on my Savior and His atonement, my capacities have been increased and I have been able to do more than I could on my own.  I have learned how to exercise faith and achieve righteous goals. I understand that when we live our covenants by sacrifice the blessings of heaven are opened and we see miracles. I have had many missionaries ask me how I think I have changed on my mission. I never really know how to answer, but I think this is it. Before my mission, people probably saw a pretty capable person because I didn't show them my weaknesses, but my foundation was weak. On my mission my weaknesses have been all I was able to rely on for a lot of the time, and now through the atonement of Jesus Christ, they are now strengths.  People will still see the same person maybe, but I feel like I have a foundation that is so sure. I now that this experience of mine will be something I think about every day for the rest of my life. I have come to know what it means to be a disciple of Christ.

I love you all so much!

Cectpa Pearce

September 9, 2013

Hello Family!!

Mom it was so good to finally get a letter from you! Don’t feel guilty; you were off being super grandma. But it is nice to hear from you. I am writing you from Kazan this week. We are going to be doing our exchange tomorrow and then Wednesday morning get on a train to Izhevsk. And then we will take the 12 hour bus of death back to Samara. I guess I had to do it once. Roman, our mission driver picked us up at 3:30 this morning. And 6 hours later, Kazan!

This week has been cool. We met some really cool people and set appointments with them but they all seemed to fall through. But that is ok because yesterday was way sweet. I talked to Sasha earlier in the week and he said he was planning on coming to church, so we crossed our fingers and prayed really hard. And..., He came!!! We met with him during Sunday School with some of the youth in the branch and it was so good. We talked about the plan of salvation and he just understood everything so well. He himself came to the conclusion that baptism is necessary so all we did was ask when. We set the date for the 29th of September. He could only do it on a Sunday because he works. He already feels like he is a part of the branch here. We asked him what he needs to do to qualify for the blessings of god and he started explaining prayer, read the Book of Mormon, come to church, get baptized etc. pretty good list right? And then I asked him why he wanted to do those things. He said, "Because it's true." and then he realized what he said and he was like "whoa! It’s true" it was such a great lesson. Veronica started university this week so we weren't able to meet with her but we will be on Sunday. There are so many miracles happening in our mission right now! People are coming out of nowhere with a desire to be baptized. For so long we have been diligently working and nothing happened and now the windows of heaven opened.

On Thursday we were on exchange with the other Sisters in Samara. I was working with Sister Angelos and we had a good exchange. It was normal nothing too exciting. We got one phone number from the whole day. They called her the next day, and met with her and this is what she said. "I went to the site you told me to ( and read about prayer and learned about the Book of Mormon and I wanted to know more. So, I prayed that you would call and we would meet." I just about died. It is little moments like that that make it so I could keep doing missionary work my whole life.

That is about all I got for now. Love you all so much!!

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 2, 2013


How are you!! Thanks for all the pictures! Calvin already looks huge! This week has been a little different than usual. On Thursday night went down to Saratov. I didn't think I would be able to go back so that was cool. Our council was pretty cool. Usually the councils have felt like we are just addressing the symptoms of a larger problem. But this time we talked all about the culture of the mission and exactly what changes need to happen. It was a good meeting but I was exhausted after it! President and Sister Bennett were with us on the council as well. It was interesting hearing a little bit more about the history of the mission. Sister Scoville started getting sick before we left so 2 nights on a train she wasn't feeling awesome but after getting a blessing we got back to Samara and just went to work. Nothing incredibly miraculous happened while we were on the street but we were able to work. I guess that was a miracle.

Really the only other thing of note is Veronika. she is the 22 year old girl we started teaching a couple weeks ago and every lesson it just becomes clearer and clearer that she has been prepared to accept the gospel at this point of her life, we met with her last Tuesday at her branch president's house and actually a member of the quorum of the 70 showed up in the middle of our lesson so that was a bit of a party. Anyway, then we met with her yesterday. We planned on reading 2 Nephi 31 with her and setting a baptismal date. We both felt like the plan of salvation was wrong. So we met and as we read and talked she started telling us about different conversations she has had with her friends about baptism this week. And no one could tell her why it was necessary but she said after reading and talking with us she understood know that we are baptized to follow Jesus Christ. She said she isn't ready to be baptized in the next month but that she is thinking 2 months or less.  She just said so many great things yesterday. She had a question about Nephi killing Laban and so we began talking about it and asking questions and what not. After a couple minutes I told her. I don't think we really answered your question but what do you think? She said "I had a thought that we probably won't be able to know everything or why. but that's ok" it was a cool answer to prayer because as we were talking I began praying silently that god would soften her heart and help her feel peace and assurance that he is in charge of this work. Cool right? Anyway, she probably won't be baptized while I am here but probably shortly after. I love her so much! I feel like I have already been friends with her for so long when in reality it has only been 3 weeks. I love being a missionary!!

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August 27, 2013

Hello family!!

 This week has been good! For the most part pretty normal but when you look back on every day there are little answered prayers, opportunities to testify and other tender mercies that make it so evident that god loves us. Last week we met a girl named Veronika. She had seen missionaries before but had never talked to us. She had tried to find our church to come see before but couldn't find it (it is kind of in a weird spot) but she is so curious and interested in just finding out for herself. It is so great! She herself will ask questions, she is reading, and praying. She is 22 and speaks English really well, but I like teaching better in Russian so we teach her in Russian. It already feels like I have been friends with her for a long time, when in reality it has only been a week. We have a lesson planned tonight at our branch president’s house. His son left for a mission to Australia yesterday. I can't wait to see how the lord is going to bless them! As we taught Veronika the restoration we asked her to explain in her own words why we need prophets. And she said so we are more connected with god. And then we asked her what she wants to feel from going to a church and she said, “security, harmony and peace." I told her those are the reasons I go to church. She should be coming to church this week and I can't wait! The branch here has some really great members and she will just love them!

Sunday we had a district conference with both of the branches in samara and Tolyatti. All of the members from Tolyatti came! I loved seeing them all. I didn't get a lot of their email addresses when I left so I was able to get some way to contact them. I felt like my family all came and saw me. I love them so much! And then yesterday was our zone conference with President Bennett. It was cool; they talked a lot about sacrificing and willingly giving yourself to god. It was a really great conference. Usually we have mission leadership counsel in samara but this time we will be getting on a train on Thursday and having it in Saratov on Friday. Also, fun fact about the mission 80% of our missionaries have been on their missions for 6months or less. I am so old...  we have a lot of meetings that should happen this week. I am really excited for a meeting we have with a less active family. They were the ones President Blinkov called and set up the meeting. We called and she said it would be ok for us to come over. Their testimonies are so strong. Some other investigators we have meetings with as well.

Thanks for sending me pictures of Ryan! He looks so adorable! He looks a lot like Hayzlee and he has hair!! I can't remember anything else that happened...I am sure something else did. We have met some other cool people but we haven't met with them yet. Good luck in Utah mom!! Say hi to everyone for me!

Lvoe, (I am such a dyslexic typer...I tried to correct everything else.)
Cectpa Pearce

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 19, 2013

Hello family!!

This week has been so good! On Monday night we headed out to Tolyatti and I was so excited!! Going back to Saratov was cool Orenburg was nice but I felt like I was going home going back to Tolyatti. Tanya the girl that got baptized when I was there was going to the youth conference (kind of like EFY but for all of Russia. it's a big deal) in Moscow and leaving Tuesday morning so we hopped off the bus and headed straight to their place. I love them so much. I don't even know how to explain it Tanya, and her mom Elena, have to be some of my favorite people on the earth. They are so special. Going back there felt like I had never left. They showed me how they had been marking their scriptures and Tanya gave her 2nd talk on Sunday so she told us about that, she showed me all of her art work. Basically I loved it. They don't have a camera for Skype but they decided that is what they are buying with their next paycheck. I will be excited to talk with them:) On Tuesday we had a lesson with Marina, Sister Sine and Polyanskaya had prayed about a baptismal date for her. September 7th. The goal of our lesson was to agree on a date because she has been ready for so long. As we started the lesson it was apparent that yes it was time. She basically did it all herself. She bore her testimony and said, “I know it is right, I know the Book of Mormon is true and I’ve known for a while that I will be getting baptized sooner or later. So I asked her when and she said probably the near future. In short she will be getting baptized on the 7th. I couldn't be more excited. I also love Marina with all of my heart and I feel so grateful that I was able to be a part of that lesson. Being back in Tolyatti was sweet just seeing it all I was able to see some members as well. I for sure left my heart in Tolyatti. And then yesterday all of the youth that were at the conference were at church in Samara so I saw Tanya again and some other youth from Tolyatti. What a great week!

On Sunday of last week we talked to a really cool lady named Inna. We called her when we got back to samara and met with her on Wednesday with a member and it was way cool. When we talked to her on Sunday she didn't want a Book of Mormon and then after the lesson she asked if she could take the one I put into her hands. I asked her when we would be meeting next and she said probably in a week or so. And then! She called us and hour later and said, "I started reading your book and I am really interested. Can we meet tomorrow?" so we met with a different member at the branch so she could see where we meet, and had another awesome lesson with her. When we called her on Saturday she told us she is not a very religious person and doesn't want to talk about the Book of Mormon all the time. She is still willing to meet with us so we will see what we can do. She told she had a similar dream to Lehi's dream so we at least have to talk to her about that! Anyway, she is a psychologist and very smart. Also when we met with her the 2nd time she had already read well into 2nd Nephi. Not bad for one night.

On Saturday Sister Scoville and I taught a fireside about member missionary work. There were only 9 members there but it went really well. After all of the technical difficulties of course:) one of the members there told us about her friend she wants us to meet so hopefully we will meet him soon. And the less active Nicolai we met with a couple weeks ago came to church and Anatoli a less active we stopped by a couple weeks ago. So, things are happening. Sasha is still in Sochi and we will probably see him when he gets back. We never really know until you see him.

Oh! Next Monday we have a zone conference with President Bennett so our P-day will be on Tuesday.

I think that is about all for this week. I love you all so much and thank you for the pictures. Dad, take care of yourself, alright? and thank you for ordering Garri Potter:) love you:)

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 12, 2013

Hello family!

Sounds like you have had a busy week! I am jealous, it sounded way fun. This week has been pretty good. Really fast just like the last couple. I can't really think about what I will start with Monday.
Monday, we found a really cool girl named Elena. We had said hi to her previously and she was excited to talk to us, and planned to meet on Tuesday. (She doesn't answer her phone.) But on Tuesday God planned our day for us. A new convert called us and wanted to meet with us. She was giving her first talk in church and wanted help so we met with her and then President Blinkov also called us and set up 2 lessons in the evening with less actives and part member families. The less actives we had called earlier in the week but they weren't ready to meet with us, but they know Pres. Blinkov so they agreed. They both know the church is true. He was the first branch president here in Samara.  But about 1 1/2 years ago they stopped coming. I guess they just got tired or something I am not sure. But as we taught them about the gospel of Jesus Christ the spirit was so strong. I knew that god loved them very much. Maybe they will start coming back. I don't know. And then we stopped by our relief society president's parents. Her dad isn't a member but has talked to missionaries several times before. He is incredibly stubborn, but he agreed to meet with us. Teaching him will be a challenge. He doesn't see the need for a god. If there is one he doesn't think it is important to believe in him, we will see how that goes...Wednesday we had mission leadership council. it was a little different than normal because rather than discussing concerns, mostly we talked about the culture of the mission so that President Schwab knew more of what was going on. Thursday was zone conference. It was really great to hear from President Schwab. We all felt very strongly that he had been chosen and prepared to lead our mission. I sang "Come Thou Fount" for a musical number. Sister Lund accompanied. Friday we did an exchange with the sisters from Izhevsk. To get to Izhevsk is a 12 hour bus ride. So since we knew they would be coming in we decided not to get on that bus. Next cycle we will though:( Saturday we had sport. Ivan came again! That was cool. And then Sasha came to church on Sunday. We agreed to meet after the third hour but he left. Usually it is pretty simple to meet with investigators but hard to get them to church but with him, not so. He will get baptized; we just have to let him come on his own. He will be in Sochi for this week, so we will see him in a little while. Yesterday night we met a cool woman named Inna. We will be meeting with her on Wednesday. She is very smart and already knows some about our church but meeting was her idea. I like it when that happens.

President Blinkov is so cool. He really has caught hold of the work of salvation and is doing everything he can. His son leaves for his mission to Australia in a couple weeks. I am so excited for him. He is going from a place with no stakes to a country with 5 temples and stakes. I can't wait until there are temples in Russia.

Tonight we are going to Tolyatti!!! I am pretty excited. I will be there with most of my companions there as well, Sisters Sine, Polyanskaya, and Scoville. Cool.

Good luck with everything this week! Rest up at work dad! Pray for opportunities to share your testimony with others!

Cectpa Pearce