Friday, December 21, 2012

December 17, 2012

This week has been kind of crazy. On Wednesday we took a bus to Samara and then I worked in the Avrora area on Friday with Sister Upshaw, Sister Wynn and Sister Koestler. It was fun to get out of Tolyatti for a while. We headed back on Friday and then on Saturday received transfer calls. I am still in Tolyatti and my companion is Sister Polyanskaya. She is from Ukraine! Sister Sine is in Saratov so yesterday we got on another bus to Samara and then switched and came back. We left at 8:00 in the morning and then got back home at 6:00 so...there went p-day. I didn't even have time to study. So that is why we are writing today and not yesterday.  Really that is all that happened this week. Lots of buses. It was kind of sad when sister sine and I knew we wouldn't be working together again but Sister Polyanskaya is real cool. And I will speak real good Russian by the end of it I hope. Sister Scoville will be training the new sister that is coming in. COOL!  Anywhoo...........Sister Polyanskaya has been a member for 4 years, she is from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine and we I don't know what else to say. She likes to cook so I am excited to know how to cook like an eastern European. This cycle should be cool. 

This week, on Tuesday I think, we were like 50 feet outside of our apartment. when a man that was smoking asked who we were. At first I wasn't going to respond but did anyway. After we answered some of his questions we gave him the Book of Mormon and kept talking. He said he wanted to know how to change his life and he basically taught us the plan of salvation from what he had learned from the bible. We read with him from the Book of Mormon some of the same doctrines and he was way excited to meet with us. Small miracle from the week.

Well, next week I will try to know as much as I can about calling home and fill you in. things are just a bit crazy right now. I think I have told you everything I know. We will figure it out though. Anyway, good luck unpacking!! I love you both!

Cectpa Pearce 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10, 2012

My birthday was cool I guess. Sister Sine made me a chocolate cake and sang me happy birthday at breakfast. And then at district meeting, Sister Peterson made taco soup and then Elder Hangen made lemon bars. I had some cake, blew out some candles...had a birthday, and now I am 22. That was a real fast year. The weather here is cold but there isn't any snow on the ground. I thought for sure I was in for a white Christmas but...maybe not! I don't know a lot about the hot water. I know that the buildings are heated with pipes and hot water. When I was in Saratov we didn't have hot water for the first 2 weeks or so. And then a couple weeks later they turned the cold water off. The hot water here is HOT too, so not having cold water was worse. But here in Tolyatti I haven't had a problem. So ya, I think the water is all controlled by the government.

I liked the picture of you and dad in the new house! We have a fireplace to hang stockings! Also it looks nice and spacious. And Hayzlee looks HUGE! When did that happen? I am sure it is fun moving into the new house and set things up how you want. I am glad dad bought you a gps. I was going to suggest it but I forgot so I’m glad it happened anyway.

Because of Christmas this cycle is only 5 weeks long so this Saturday we will find out where we will be next cycle. Originally President said we were going to be in our areas for a while, but now he just told us that this transfer a lot is changing. Also this week, Sister Sine has a visa trip so; we will be in samara from Wednesday to Friday. I am grateful I just get to work this time. I was so tired after my visa trip last cycle. I felt tired for weeks after it. Well, more tired than normal anyway. Ha-ha.

On Saturday an 8 year old in the branch got baptized. She turns 9 in January. When I first got here we met with here to help her decide to get baptized. Her mom isn't active but her older sister and grandma are members. She has been meeting with the Elders for the past little and, now she is baptized! She is really great. Elder Malloy was able to baptize her so that was cool. He and I will go home at the same time, and he has served his whole mission here in Tolyatti. Anyway, they had the missionaries sing the "I like to look at rainbows" primary song. I don't know what the title is...other than that, this week was like usual.

Well, good luck unpacking! And finding your way around a new city!
I love you!

Cectpa Pearce

December 3, 2012

Hong Kong!! Finland! Cool!! This week the assistants were at our district meeting and they have heard an estimation that in the next year the missionary force could get up to 100,000 missionaries!! Crazy right? There are 2 more! I will have to write Bronson today.

Well this week, was crazy. Basically the Lord blessed us a lot and we were just the little children following the trail of cheerios. We found 2 great investigators through member referrals. We also found a family. A mom and a dad with an 8 year old son. We had some great meetings with our progressing investigators and then 3 of them came to church on Sunday. It was nuts! So cool though. I don't know if I have told you about Tonya, but she is the daughter of a less active. We were stopping by all the less actives to update the records and no one had stopped by them in a couple years. Well, her mom was baptized 10 years ago, but had a husband who drank and wouldn't allow her to come to church. He died a year and a half ago and now they are reading the Book of Mormon together and coming to church and...I don't know. It is just way cool. We have some really great investigators right now, and I love them all.

Also yesterday, was my halfway through Russia mark? I don't know how many times I have counted on my fingers to make sure that is right, but it is. Even now typing it I don't believe it. Yep just counted again, it's true. HOW.

I realize that I haven't written that much but...there was so much that happened that I don't know how to go into detail about it.

The family that bought our house sounds really nice! Well, let me know how unpacking goes, exploring a new city, also, maybe your new address. Ya, that would be good. I still can't believe you’re moving. Or moved but I am really excited for you! It will be exciting to start a new life with just the 2 of you no kids at home to occupy your time.

Well, I love you a lot!! Fill me in next week! I am sure there will be a lot of new things.

Sister Pearce

November 26, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving!! I forgot last week so I thought I would tell you this week. For Thanksgiving we all ate together after district meeting on Friday at the Peterson’s. We all brought different parts of the meal and it was delicious. I made the pies; apple and banana cream. They turned out really well but I had to wrestle with the crust and it just stressed me out a little. The apple pie was way good though. And HUGE. We don't have any pans that would have worked. We have 1 5'8 pan. But the zone leaders had some fluted edged pans that worked out pretty well. We ended up using 7-8 very large apples.  It was a cool Thanksgiving with all of us being away from our families but working together here in Russia we are like a weird family. I love it.

We have had some really cool lessons this week. One with Madam Nina. She is a 75 year old mostly blind woman who was an English interpreter and teacher who we found on the street. She told us when we started meeting with her that she was just interested in listening but didn't want to change her beliefs. We taught her the restoration and then this last time the plan of salvation. The spirit there was so strong. She for sure felt the spirit and even said if she knew how to take part in god's plan for her she would do it. I think her heart is being softened; we will just have to see if we can find a way for her to listen to the Book of Mormon. She is also very Russian Orthodox.

It has started to get pretty cold. Not terrible but every week it gets a little colder than the week before. Last night and this morning when we went running it was -2 Celsius. Soon I will be taking bets on: how many layers of thermals will Sister Pearce be wearing this week! I think it will be a fun game. Who knows! Also, how is Christmas already a month away?  That is crazy. Since Christmas here isn't a very big deal it doesn't feel like Christmas time. Although, our apartment is decorated for it. It has been since July when I got here though. Now it is current. We have a nativity on the window, a stocking on the wall and some Santa’s and ho ho ho on another window. Santa got a little melted though during the summer so he is a little saggy. Nevertheless, festive!

Well, I don't really have any other news. Good luck with moving! Take pictures of the views out the windows if you could. The kitchen the sewing room, my room...ya that would be cool. Also! I got your package this week! Thank you so much!!! I put on the socks instantly and they are perfect!

Love you lots!!!
Cectpa Pearce

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012

Hello family!!

Hello again! What a week. There are some weeks where you see the work moving forward. And some weeks where everything falls apart so the Lord can put it back together how he wants to. This week was one of those weeks. But we found some really great investigators. One of them is a daughter of a less active member who was baptized about a year ago. We have been stopping my all the less actives to update the ward lists here and stopped by their place. they let us in and told us how for a long time they couldn't go to church because her husband told her she couldn't go but he died a year ago. Her daughter is 17 years old. We don't really know where things are going to go but it felt like a miracle. It just feels like the right time for them. They came with us to district conference on Sunday and had a really great experience. The other is a mother daughter pair as well. The mother talked with missionaries a long time ago in English club but remembers how she felt when she watched the restoration video. They are very sincere so it should be fun to work with them.

District conference was really cool. The Sartori's were there and spoke so it was great to hear from them. As a part of conference they had a fireside on Friday and President Gushin, an area 70 from Novosibirsk came and spoke. He spoke about the importance of family history. It was pretty cool. Also, it was great to be amongst the members in Tolyatti. Usually we just see the members in our branch.

Well, I will try to answer some of your questions. I don't know how much money but they have really cute pea coats here so that is what I will be buying. It should be around 2000-4000 rubles. I can't do the math right now but I’ll figure it out.

It’s been kind of fun to hear about your lives being half way across the world. I thought about it and just in the last year all of you have moved, got married or gotten new jobs. That is a lot of blessings in only the span of a year. It’s weird not being there for all of it and just hearing about it but it is cool. I guess I know the lord is aware of our family. Our family is one of the biggest blessings we have. All being together in the celestial room last year before Todd and Marylyn’s wedding was kind of the frosting on the cake. (Except that I don't really like frosting. maybe the cherry on top. don't really like that too much know what I mean) members here love the temple. They can only go about once a year but they always talk about how peaceful it feels. Anyway, I love you all so much!! You are the best.

Cectpa Pearce

November 12, 2012

WHOA!! you bought a truck! Geez. Also, you have more snow than I do! It did snow here this week but just a little bit. It is starting to get cold though. So transfers! I am still here in Tolyatti! With Sister Sine. None of the sisters moved this transfer so that was interesting. But I am excited to be here for a little while longer. Currently we have 6 investigators that we feel like could be ready for baptism soon. They just have to decide that they want to make the commitment. They know everything else.  God has to love us to let us have agency. Sometimes that is the hardest part of your mission is watching others make wrong choices. The only transfer in our district was our district leader will be going to Penza and his companions will be our district leader. He has been out 2 cycles less than I have but he will be so great. I love watching these elders step into responsibility and watch them learn how to receive revelation for themselves and others. It is so cool!

Did I talk about Vladimir last week? If I did sorry but we had a lesson with him this week and talked about priorities and just had him list the things he does in order of time and then in order of importance. It was cool to watch him come to his own conclusion that something needed to change. He should be set for baptism in January we've got some commandments to work through.

On Thursday of this week was our culture activity. It was the coolest thing ever. I think I had a cheesy grin just plastered on my face the whole time but I LOVED it. It was native Russian dancing. They had real metal swords that they would hit together to and they would spark, I don't have time to rave about the whole thing but if you get bored I am sure YouTube has some you could watch. I will for sure be obsessed with it when I get home.

Well, that is about all of the news for this week. I love you all!!

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 5, 2012

Seriously where did October go?? Time is going so fast! The pictures you sent were fun! It looks like you had a good fall! Fall in Russia is beautiful. I saw snow yesterday for the first time. Right before church started there were big flakes falling. Usually it hangs around 4 degrees Celsius right now. I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit. Good news! Our washer is fixed! We don't have to wash our clothes by hand anymore. This week seems crazy long but I also feel like I was just here. This week we were able to meet with a lot of our investigators that we haven't been able to meet with for a while. A lot of them are progressing well right now so hopefully something will happen with them. Also, this is week 6 of the transfer so next week I will know where I am going to be. At the start of this cycle I wanted to leave but now I want to stay here for a couple more cycles. I feel like a lot of cool things are about to happen here. Sigh. We’ll see.

Yesterday we met with Vladimir. He investigated the church a year ago and really likes the Book of Mormon. He still reads it and prays every day and says he knows it's true. I asked him "If you know these things are true what do you need to do?” he said baptism and then he asked "what do I need to do to be baptized?" so I explained the commandments briefly and then explained that he would need to quit smoking. He said I will quit smoking in December and then get baptized in January. We’ll see what happens but it was a cool experience. He has a lot of things to work through so hopefully he will have enough faith to make it happen. Also, this week was sister's interviews. So we met with the elders and then worked with them a little. They always build my faith that the priesthood is god's power on earth. Mostly because these wonderful goobery Elders exercise their priesthood well and are still 19 year old boys. It is cool to watch them seek to do god's will.

This week we will have culture night and we will be going to this Siberian dance group. I am so excited! It should be a lot of fun. Also, while we were on the street this week we found a lady named Nina. She is around 75 and used to teach English and worked as a translator in America for a while. She is way cool. We met with her and she said that she doesn't want to change her religious beliefs but she wants to know what we believe. She has a friend that met with missionaries a long time ago and she wants to talk to us as well. Who knows what'll happen!

For the past little while I have been trying to become a better teacher in Russian. It’s hard! Anyway, I have really been studying the doctrines of the lessons so that I can explain them clearly in English and then learn how to say it in Russian. It has helped me really focus during all 3 hours of study. Anyway, wish me luck!

I love you all! I hope everything with moving goes well this week. Good luck dad! If I can learn Russian you can learn a new way to do things :)

Cectpa Pearce

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 29, 2012

WHOA! You bought a house!! And it looks really pretty! What kind of changes will you be making? Will you be repainting the kitchen? Will there be a garden? It looks nice and spacious. By the time I get there you will be all settled in. I was also glad to hear that the temple was close.

Well...this week was the first week that we were in our area for the whole week so that was nice. For the most part it was a pretty normal week. On Saturday our branch had a picnic in the forest and that was fun. We came with a less active family and one of our investigators so it was pretty effective activity for us as well. Later that day we had an appointment with a less active and it was a miracle. She got baptized over 10 years ago and had gone to the temple. I had stopped by her house a couple times but she always said that she never talked to missionaries anymore. I called her the other day and her daughter was in town from St. Petersburg and she said that maybe it would be good to let us come over. We got there a little early and her daughter was leaving for the train station in 10 minutes but we were able to get to know her a little bit and then her mom was pretty distraught after we left. I don't think she would have let us come if we got there after her daughter left. Anyway, she has a lot of health problems but she l felt like us coming that day wasn't an accident. I felt the same way.

The weather this week has been a little crazy. We got a dusting of snow but then the next day it was warm. We did buy coats a couple weeks ago so that was good. We got a pretty good deal as well. Today we will be buying hats and scarves and stuff like that.

I also feel like with Russian you go through phases where you can speak and then phases when you feel like you can't. For the past couple of weeks I feel like I can't speak Russian. It just means you have to try harder to learn I guess. Sigh.

Also, I realized I haven't told you a lot about Sister Sine. She graduated from BYU-I in English and then worked as an intern in LA for a film studio. We have a lot of fun together and work hard. Also, can you believe this is week 5 of the cycle? I can't. Also can you believe that I have been in Russia for 5 months? Crazy right? I feel like I don't have enough time to be a missionary. It goes so fast!!

Well, I have a little more time but I want to look at the pictures a little more. Also, for Christmas I really don't want a package. I can only eat Russian food and candy for another year. So just some letters and pictures would be awesome.

I love you all!!
Cectpa Pearce

October 22, 2012

Hello family!! trip. We weren't able to go to the temple because sessions didn't line up with the time we were going to be there. We had a 6 hour layover in Kiev. So mostly it was just a really long day of planes, little sleep and a sandwich and a juice box on every plane. We had a pretty fun group to go with so we got to know each other really well, but I am grateful to be back and have a normal week to work. There were 8 of us in the group. 6 Elders and 2 Sisters. Tuesday and Saturday were our only full days to work so the work was pretty slow this week. We finally have some members who want to help us regularly so that has really helped the work progress.

This morning has been a little crazy though. I tried to do some laundry but the washing machine in our apartment hates me. And no I am not being dramatic. It always works perfectly for everyone else. Here is the history of me and the washing matching. A couple weeks ago, it wouldn't unlock the door so it took my clothes hostage for a couple hours. After washing them again it let them go. The next time it decided not to drain and so when I opened the door water just came gushing out. That was a good time. Another time it didn't spin out the clothes so they were sopping wet. I decided to hang them out to dry (dryers don't exist here, just drying racks) and it took them 3 days to dry plus a lake in our kitchen. And then sometimes it shakes so hard it sounds like there is a jet airplane getting ready to take off. Anyway, today. Today as it was filling with water it just never stopped and then began leaking out of every crevice imaginable all over the floor. I moved it to the next cycle and it did it again. And then again. After the 3rd time, I decided to start it over and maybe it would work like normal. I was so wrong. This time it didn't fill up with any water and then started spinning. I figured that was fine but after a couple of minutes we began seeing little sparks and then a giant flame, I think my garments are unscathed they were still wet so they didn't light on fire.... so needless to say, I turned the washer off.  After some quaking, floods and now fire I think he is winning. Will see what we can do.

Speaking of fire, 2 weeks ago I finally decided to make borsch. In our apt. we don't have a very big pan so as I added ingredients it ended up in 2 pots. We only have 2 burners that work one low and one hot. In order for the 2 pans to cook evenly I decided to switch the pans. The back one to the front. I thought I could do them at the same time. I thought it might spill a little but we have an electric stove so the worst it just be borsch cooked on to the stove and I would clean it up later. Boy was I wrong. I began moving them and it was apparent that it was going to spill a little. I wasn't really worried. Anyway it spills and out of nowhere comes this flame like 2 feet high! Somehow I stayed calm and after both pans were on the burners I checked to see if my eyebrows were still intact. They are don't worry. Ha-ha, I laughed pretty hard/ and, the borsch was delicious. I loved it.

Well, I am about out of time and out of stories for now. I hoped you enjoyed them. I love you a lot and will pray for you as you look for a new home!! Good luck! Pick a good one!

Cectpa Pearce

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 15, 2012

I will start with answering your questions this week. My companion is great! We get along really well and we work hard. This is already the 3rd week of the transfer! HOW! I have no idea but time is going so fast. Food is cool nothing too exciting this week we will be eating some shaurma which is kind of like a euro and just plain delicious. The weather is definitely getting colder. People say it usually snows around the first week of November so that is coming quickly. We will be going to buy coats this today.

On Wednesday of this week we had some zone training and President and Sister Sartori came and talked about the training they had for mission presidents last month. He talked about "drag" being anything that holds us back and just being more obedient. It was so great. And a little humbling. In our mission there has been a huge focus on finding.  The standard of excellence is finding 1 new investigator a day. But at the training they shifted our focus to progressing investigators and really helping people becoming converted to the Lord. Anyway it was great. And then we had general conference on Saturday and Sunday. It was such a great conference! It did feel weird to sit and just listen all day. 2 days in a row.  But so great. I am excited to get back to work though. Although this week I have a visa trip. Thursday at 3 in the morning....gross. But we will be headed to Kiev and hopefully to the temple. We should have enough time. I hope so! So we will be out of area Wednesday to Friday.

We have met a lot of cool people this week. With the new focus on conversion and progressing investigators. I am excited to help them progress. Yurra (I don't know how to spell that in English) called us during general conference. Said he had a pamphlet from us and wanted a Book of Mormon. We went and gave it to him and he is just such a humble man. I asked him, "are you searching for something?" and he just looked me straight in the eyes and said yes. It was such a simple moment, but he just looked so... hungry. That sounds weird but that is the only way I can describe it. There are a couple others that are cool as well. But this week I talked with Faina on the phone and she doesn't really want to talk with us anymore. We have a meeting with her tonight so hopefully things go well. She understands that she needs to be baptized and has a solid testimony that it is from god. But right now isn't convenient. So I guess pray for her. This week I have come to serve with my heart here in Tolyatti. I love it. There are so many people who I love here, and when they decide not to investigate the church your heart breaks a little.

Well I am running out of time! But I love you all! Thank you for being the best parents in the world.

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 8, 2012

Hello family!!

What a week! I feel like every week goes faster than the last. So earlier this week I was in Samara to pick up my new companion. Her name is Sister Sine. She is from Washington DC and studied English at BYU-Idaho. She is really cool, and already speaks really well. She is also ready to work hard and willing to do anything. I am excited to work with her and get to know her better.  We didn't get to listen to conference but we will next week after it has been translated into Russian. I don't think we will be able to listen to it in English but I did know about the lowering of the ages. The senior couple here watched it and then told us about it. I can't wait to watch it. We will all go to the branch in Komcomolcki and watch it. It should be fun. I don't know when we will get to watch the relief society session. This week has been good though. We have seen a lot of miracles and I know that as we continue to work hard they will keep coming.

Sister Sine and I got back here on Wednesday afternoon and started working and now it is Monday...I don't really remember what happened this week. The other day there was a man named Sergei who had investigated the church before but is now a Baptist. He stopped and asked us a question. We began talking to him and then had an appointment with him the next day. It was on the street so we didn't know if he was going to show but he did. He also brought with him his Baptist pastor. Mostly they just kept telling us that the Book of Mormon is a lie and trying to convince us that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet. I didn't want to argue, so I just bore a simple testimony and then walked away. I just felt so sad for them. They have great faith in Christ and are very religious but they were so unwilling to even think about asking God. They said we must worship a different god because their god doesn't work through prophets and modern day scripture. Ya that was a fun meeting. We were able to meet with a less active that I have been trying to meet with forever. Although, now she doesn't believe that Christ was the Son of God. And she doesn't think the Holy Ghost exists...but she said we could come back.

It sounds like you had quite the week! And like you got a lot done. I hope you are taking some before and after shots. I will want to see them. I also found out my next visa trip will be next week and that will be week 3 of our transfer. Time is going too fast! Are you getting ready to move soon? Like this month? Next month? I am glad you kept up the tradition of cinnamon biscuits and chocolate milk. Maybe I will attempt them on Saturday? Who knows.

I love you all so much!! Thinking about moving makes me sadder than I think it should. But it is just because of great parents who taught us how to work and how to play together. And created a home where we could learn from each other. Well, love you!

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 1, 2012


Sounds like you had an exciting week! How does Denver look?

On Saturday we received transfer calls. I can't believe another transfer is done! The results......................I will be staying here!! And training again. I am a bit bummed that Sister Scoville will be leaving; she will be going to Bezamonski, an area outside of Samara. And I am also a little nervous about training again. Tomorrow we will be taking a bus to Samara and then Wednesday I will pick up my trainee and then come back to Tolyatti.  We will be getting 3 new sisters 2 from America and 1 Russian. The other 2 sisters who are training will be opening areas and training at the same time. One in Kazan and then the other in Saratov. If you ever have some extra time you should research Kazan. I don't know a lot but I do know it isn't officially part of Russia. It is like a free republic or something. I am not sure but I have seen pictures and it is beautiful. Hopefully I get to serve there sometime.

Yesterday at church was an exciting day. There is a family here and they have all decided to serve a mission. 2 sons who are 21 and 25 respectively will serve in Ukraine. I don't know which missions, they wouldn't tell me, (we didn't know they were serving missions until last week. they are way secretive about it here.) but different missions. They left for the MTC in Spain today. And their parents will leave in a couple weeks to serve in the Baltic mission.  Anywho, they spoke yesterday and it was so great. Our investigator Elena was there and I think she had a good experience. Having a whole family serve at one time is crazy, but a whole Russian family? That is outrageous. I am glad I know them. The area president, President Bonnet is trying to get a story about them in the Liahona so look for that in December maybe.

I was kind of hoping I made it up that you would be moving to Denver, it still doesn't feel real. A quote I came across in the MTC has been on my mind a lot as of late by Spencer W Kimball. "Cherish your spiritual burdens because god will converse with you through them, and will use you to do his work if you endure them well."  I actually have thought about this quote a lot for my whole mission. It helps me remember that the experiences we have are not an accident. They are to help us come closer to our Savior. As I have thought of our house, or rather, our home, I realized that almost every inch of our house you have touched and made it your own. I have also thought of all the memories of growing up there. Make sure you take a lot of pictures, ok? Moving will definitely be a new and probably at times an uncomfortable experience. But I know that the lord is aware of you. You will definitely be a blessing to your new ward. Well keep me updated! Show me pictures of the houses you look at. Dad, make sure Mom has a good place to sew!

Love you!
Cectpa Pearce

Monday, September 24, 2012

September 24, 2012

Oy! What news! I don't even know what to say. Dad, I am grateful that you have been blessed with good work to help support all of us. Well, maybe I will be able to think more clearly after I tell you what happened this week.

This week went by way fast. I don't even really remember what happened. Last week we found a girl named Elena and this week we invited her to family home evening and she came with her friend. She is cool. She is a Baptist but likes to meet with youth of other churches and she has been interested in the Mormon church for a long time. She said she knows they are good people and that a lot of what we say is either true or...we are crazy. But she wants to find out for herself. She is full of real intent and really wants to know for herself. It is hard to teach her because she always says “your Russian is terrible. I don't understand. Speak in English" and then we speak in English but she doesn't really understand that either. So most of the time it is just her correcting us. But we will see where that goes. And then on Thursday was our culture activity. We walked out into the forest by the Peterson’s and made a fire had tinfoil dinners and just kind of enjoyed being outside. It was so great and so beautiful. It was right by this awesome lake. I will send some pictures home...maybe let me know where that will be or when.

We also had sisters interviews this week. Once a transfer the zone leaders and district leaders interview to just kind of see how your mission is going. For me it just makes me realize how much I am learning. Things that were hard last cycle are now easy and now there are other things that are hard. Anyway they are good. I also asked for a blessing and I have just noticed a theme from all the blessings I have received in relation to my mission. They always mention how the things I am learning will help to prepare me for my future family.

For the most part that is it. I never get to tell you everything that happens but you get to hear the best of it.

So, you will be selling the house. And moving by the end of the year. Dad will you begin working out there first? I guess just keep me posted! I don't even know why it makes me so sad that you are moving. It is just a house. Make sure you take lots of pictures of everything. Your sewing room, your workshop, the yard. I guess I just don't know anything else. Well, I guess just keep me updated on your next adventure together!!! I know that the Lord is aware of you and he is putting you in a place where you can bless others. Maybe this will be good preparation for a mission? Who knows? Like always I will be praying for you!

I also thought about a package and all I really want is some letters and pictures. Just things I can hold. So don't worry about a full on package maybe just an envelope would be cheaper.

I love you all so much! Really though I am so grateful for all of you.

Sister Pearce

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September 17, 2012

Hello family!!

Yes dad, the weeks do seem to fly by. This week seems like it was one day. We just finished the 4th week of our transfer which is nuts. Also, I have been on my mission for almost 6 months....that is a lot of time.  I can't believe Kathy Gehrke is home from her mission. I am sure it was cool to see the Bowles and some for the former members of our ward.

This week the big news is that Faina has a baptismal date!! It is for the end of October but she is doing really well!  She has a bad knee and she was working long hours and I guess it was hard. In our first lesson she had a hard time praying out loud but she did it and then this week she told us that after our first meeting she went to work and her work schedule had changed. She works 2 hours less every day for the same amount of pay. She said "god answered my prayer. It’s a miracle." isn't that way cool!! She is the best. She calls us to confirm appointments.

Another cool answer to prayer: this week we met with Tonya another one of our investigators and she has 4 little kittens that she has been trying to find homes for 3-4 weeks. We prayed with her and I felt silly praying about the cats but that is what I felt the spirit prompt me to say. She told us the next day one of them was adopted! She also said she felt like it was an answer to prayer. Cool right?

I love Tolyatti. I wouldn't mind staying here for a while. I don't know if that will happen, maybe. I at least want to see Faina be baptized. Also, I would love serving with Sister Scoville for a while as well. Fingers crossed!

We have also been meeting with a lot of members here and I love them all. They are all so nice and grateful for missionaries because every single one of them is a convert to the church. A lot of the members here are just very solid. They are always willing to help us, when they aren't on their dacha. Oy, dacha's. Don’t get me started. In the summer, a Russians life revolves around their dacha. It’s cool but people have a hard time coming to church because of it and don't really understand the importance of the Sabbath day.

Well, before I forget, happy birthday mom!!!!! I hope it is great! Don’t have too much fun without me, and send me some pictures of everyone together. Deal? Thanks. Well I love you all so much!

Cectpa Pearce

Friday, September 14, 2012

September 10, 2012

Hello family!!

Wow! It sounds like you have had a good week! Mom, I am glad you are able to work for another year. And that Brayden gets to see you in action. Tell John congratulations!! I have been praying for him to find something. At least they were able to come back to Utah for a little while. Your activity day activity sounded really fun. To answer your questions: The weather is starting to be cold. Today I pulled out my thermals and I am wearing my boots. I wear my jacket every day. It isn't terribly cold yet but it definitely feels like fall.  When I got here the sun went down around 10:00ish and now around 7:30-8:00. I guess I have been here for a little while...weird. Sister Scoville and I like to cook together so we cook a lot of different things. We made borscht the other week, she brought taco seasoning and we made taco soup. It. Was. Delicious. It tasted like home. I haven't really started craving anything American I don't remember what else but whatever we are feeling like. For Christmas I want a package from home. I don't want to sound demanding but...I know what I could get here and you know how much I like surprises. Sister Scoville also brought some peanut butter and I didn't realized I have been missing that either. Rice crispies and marshmallows would make good packing material...surprise me. I will send a package home maybe full of Russian surprises :)

This week has been an interesting week.  We had zone conference on Tuesday and our bus picked us up at 6:30 so we were up early. President Malm is in the area presidency for the eastern European area and he came and just kind of did whatever he wanted. It definitely wasn't like a normal zone conference. It was good though. He focused on being an "Always" missionary. And President Sartori talked about the principle of "always". We are now studying what it means to each of us to be an "always" missionary. It is an interesting study. And I think it will really help our mission. Wednesday was just a strange day. I was so tired from zone conference. The night before zone conference I think I got like 3 hours of sleep. For some reason I couldn't sleep. I don't have time to say everything so I will just give you a few snapshots. It started with a man talking to us about the Book of Mormon and turned into he was looking for a wife and tried to hug me. And ended with being led into a secret provaslavny (I don't know how to spell that) church by a lady we had found beforehand. She took us to the leader of their church, so I had to bow out gracefully. It was strange.

AND! Ok I am really excited about this because our investigator just called me so let me explain. Yesterday one of our progressing investigators was going to come to church with us and she was really excited. We went to her apt. and her sister answered and told us never to call again or to stop by. We were disappointed to say the least because she is so cool. She is the one that came back and asked us for the Book of Mormon. Anyway, we were bummed and we didn't really know what we could do. Just wait and see if she would call us. And she did just barely! And she wanted to meet with us away from her sister so we set up an appointment for tomorrow. YAY!!!  This should be a good week! Tatiana!!!!

Well, I love you all and I hope everything with John’s work goes well!

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, September 3, 2012

September 3, 2012

Hello family!!

I can't believe that school has already started!! Time is flying. I feel like it has been 2 days since I was writing you.

The Peterson’s were in Moscow for a young single adult conference and they were able to see Tonya. She is the one Sister Upshaw and I was teaching when I first got to Tolyatti. She wrote me when she got back to Moscow and I wrote her back but she hadn't received it yet because she gave letter to the Peterson’s to give to me and she said she thought I had forgot about her. :( Any who, in her note she said she was getting baptized on the 1st of September!!!! I wanted to write her before her baptism but I got her letter on Tuesday so I will write her back today. BUT, I got a call on Friday from a number I didn't know and it was her! She said she got my letter that morning the day before her baptism. I was so grateful that I was able to talk to her. She said she felt so ready to be baptized and was excited for her baptism. I can't wait to hear about it!

Other than that this week was pretty normal in that we did the same thing but people were just popping out of everywhere for us to teach. One lady on the street said, "You called me LAST summer to meet and we never did here’s my number, stop by tomorrow" or we did some addresses and ended up finding 3 people that were taught a year ago. One of them had a baptismal date. We aren't entirely sure what happened but he thought we had forgotten about him. We stopped by another lady and she wasn't home so we left a note thinking nothing would come of it but she called us the next day. She also had a baptismal date. I don't know what will happen but I am excited to feel the spirit guide us while we seek revelation to help them.

The weather has turned a little chilly. They said usually it is warm through September and then gets cold in October but it is a little early this year. I had to dig my tights out of my suitcase and my jacket. Everyone says right now you can only by fall clothes but if winter comes early I hope they start selling coats early as well...I guess we will figure it out.

Also, Sister Scoville is the best. We have only been companions for almost 2 weeks but already I feel like we have been friends for a long time. We work really well together and we have fun while we do it. We cook a lot, comp study is the best...I don't know I just really like working with her. Yesterday while I was in church I looked around at all the members and I just realized I love it here in Tolyatti. I want to serve here for a while if I can.

So did you get my pictures I sent home? I will send some more soon probably. Also, zone conference is tomorrow and we will be picked up at 6:30 in the morning to get to samara. So tomorrow will be an early morning, but it should be good. For the past couple weeks we have been given 3 talks to prepare a 4minute talk on becoming a disciple of Christ. It has been fun to study for and I feel like I have learned a lot. The area president has taken over zone conference so we don't really know what to expect but it should be great none the less.

Well, I am about out of time. I love you all!!

Cectpa Pearce

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 27, 2012

Hello family!!

How are things at home? I hope well. Mom and Dad your trip sounded like it was a blast. It is funny that it rained there every day because it rained everyday here as well. Although we weren't always so lucky to stay dry...ha-ha it has been fun though.  It has finally cooled down enough to pull out some of my long sleeve shirts and cardigans. That has been nice, and it is cooler at night so I have been sleeping better.

What a crazy week. We were in Samara on Tuesday and then went to the office to get our new companions on Wednesday. There were 4 new sisters and 8 new elders. Crazy! So, my new Companion's name is Sister Scoville. She is from American Fork, studied family and consumer sciences and BYU and she is so great. She is so positive and happy all of the time even though I am sure things is crazy right now. And the poor girl started getting a cold yesterday but she is still just excited to work. Her first night in Tolyatti we stopped by a less active at work and I have never been able to meet with him but he had time for a meeting and it was so great. The next day we were contacting and we ran into this woman named Lyudmila. Sister Upshaw and I had contacted her about 3 weeks ago and she seemed really receptive but she had to leave suddenly before we got information to contact her again. Probably about 2 weeks ago we saw her on the street but I couldn't remember from where until afterwards. BUT, this time I remembered and I asked her what she thought about the restoration pamphlet that I had given her. She said she really liked it and gave it to her son who is also interested. And then she gave us her information so we could meet with her again. I hope things go well with her.  Nikolai has stopped answering his phone so I don't really know what the deal is there. I hope the work starts to pick up here. I am excited to work with he elders in our branch they are really great. hopefully they leave some work for us...everyone says sister missionaries have the capability to work that elders can't and so far I haven't figured out what that is. Maybe I will figure it out eventually.

Well, it is weird being a trainer because I am supposed to know what I am doing...I don't. But, I guess I will just do the best I know how. Wish me luck!!

Cectpa Pearce

August 20, 2012


So this week was the last week of the transfer so we were anxiously awaiting the news of where we were going to be. Aaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnd............... I will be staying in Tolyatti and training and Cectpa Upshaw will be going to Penza. I love transfers. They are always a surprise and never what you expect. I guess that is the definition of a surprise....anyway, I am excited. We will be in samara Wednesday to pick them up and then back to work. The senior couple here is awesome so I am excited to continue to work with them. Their blog address is:

Yesterday we found this awesome lady named Tatiana. She was walking slowly on the sidewalk so we approached her and offered her and invitation (invitation to church ie pass-along card) but she wasn't interested. As she walked by I just said "vcevo vam dobrova" and just wished her well, like I always do, usually they just keep walking but she turned around and looked at me and she seemed surprised. we kept walking and were talking to another lady probably half way down the block when Tatiana came back and said "after you left I had the thought that I needed to talk to these believing people and read what they had to offer" it was so cool! I had a Book of Mormon in my hands, and when she saw it, she asked if she could read it and if we could write her phone number down so we could talk with her about it. So I guess she technically found us. But I feel like the Lord has prepared her. Nikolai is still progressing. He recognizes the Holy Ghost but he doesn't find it "satisfying" he wants more, so we will be helping him understand his answer. Other than that, this week was pretty slow.
This transfer has flown by! It's crazy.

Mom, tell the Bowles’ hello for me! I miss not being able to boat with them as well...and this time I don't even have a broken arm. Whoa. That was a year ago...crazy. It sounds like you and dad are having a great time being grandparents. You’ve got some lucky grandchildren. Dad, the trains look awesome! You made one of those for me right? I hope so. Also, mom, yes, Breanne and Maycie can play with my doll. I think I have outgrown it...That was one of the best gifts ever. That and my first bike. I hope you and dad have a good time in Bryce!! It is beautiful!
Mom, did you take a picture of Greg’s quilt? I would like to see how it turned out.

Well, I love you all!!!

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13, 2012

Hello family!!

Oy, what a week...last week was awesome. We were finding people to teach we were working hard and then this week everyone decided not to answer their phones...regardless it turned out to be a good week and I have to say I did learn a lot from it. Before I forget if you are going to be in tropic see if you can stop by Anne Marie’s parents. I think she already left... maybe in July I am not sure. But they know which hikes are the best so you might be able to talk to them.

Sounds like the neighborhood barbecue was fun! Tell everyone hi for me!!  Kobo was the game I played while I was in cedar. I am glad you like it, I thought you would.

Ha-ha! Dad you thought you would leave me in suspense about the women's gold medal game but the senior couple here looked it up and were telling me about it. But if you recorded it I wouldn't mind watching it a year from now...also, you know what's crazy? Half way through next cycle I only have a year left in Russia. When did that happen? Geez, time flies. I am not sure how I feel about that. There is so much I want to learn while I am here and I don't know if I am learning fast enough.

This week we met with a lady named Elizabeta. She is an older lady who can't see much so we went and read the Book of Mormon to her. She said she needs to teach us how to embroider and the like so we can be good moms. I should count how many times in a week I am told that I am wasting my time and I should go home and find a husband. I would say on average probably around 5 times a week. Maybe more, I don't know. Especially when we talk with Russian babushka (I cannot spell from Russian to English). Any who it's a good time.

One of the only victories this week was while doing calls on our list of potential investigators I called someone named Nikolai and invited him to church. I know, not that exciting I do that every week, BUT he actually came!! It was sweet and we set up an appointment with him tonight.

Everyone asks, "What is hardest thing about being a missionary?" And I honestly don't know why it is hard. For me I guess it is the constant desire to be better. Now, that is a good thing. But, at times I have been incredibly critical of myself and then I feel incredibly inadequate. And then on the other hand any natural talent I have for doing the work I end up feeling prideful about. It is this constant roller coaster of feeling extreme inadequacy and pride.  There is no place better than a mission to learn to acquire Christ like attributes, and I am grateful for this opportunity but sometimes it is just hard. I love it though and I have no idea why :)

Well, I love you all!!

Cectpa Pearce

August 6, 2012

Hello Family!!
This week has flown by! I guess I will start by telling you about our trip to Vilnius Lithuania. I know I said Latvia last week but I couldn't remember I just knew it started with an "L". So we had a taxi pick us up at 4:00 in the morning to get us to Samara by 5:00 and then our flight for Moscow left at 7:00. After that I don't remember the times of anything but we got to Moscow and then got on a flight to Vilnius. Vilnius airport was beautiful! It was such a nice airport and what I saw out of the window was way pretty, but we were only there for 2 hours and then back on the plane to Moscow. And then from Moscow to Samara where Roman our driver picked us up and took us back to Tolyatti. We got home and 1:30 in the morning. After months of going to bed at 10:30 on the dot staying up late was rough. I was so tired. So, not that exciting. 

Other than being a little tired this week was normal except the Lord really blessed us with people to teach. All of our progressing investigators kind of fell off for one reason or another so we needed to find people. Wednesday we had set up and appt. with a potential from the area book and we were able to get a member on the lesson. They turned out to be golden. It was a mom and her 8 year old daughter. The mom has been battling depression for while after her husband left her. But she responded really well to the gospel. Her daughter thought was genius. We prayed and she said, "I felt that! It felt good!' so we talked to her about the Holy Ghost. And then this Muslim family found us and already knew a little bit about the Book of Mormon and was really interested in reading it. They are really humble, open hearted people. We met the wife on the street and she wanted to buy the book from us and we just gave it to her she was so grateful.  When we asked her if we could talk about it later she was so willing to give us her number and address and then invited us immediately to her house. That is just a few but we were really led to be in the right place at the right time this week. I don't feel like it was any of our effort, but I was grateful to be a tool in His hands.

As far as the food...currently we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because their ton of stands that have delicious fruit and veggies. if you want to have a Russian salad get some cabbage, cucumbers (they are better here),  fresh dill, tomatoes and any other veggies, and then just throw some mayo and there. We have that at least once a week and it is delicious. Ya, fresh dill, who knew? I already know that will be something I need when I get back. It so good and they put it in just about everything here.

I love you all!
Love Sister Pearce

ps. John I got your letter this week. You are holding up your reputation well. I wouldn't want to expect to hear from you too often you know...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

July 30, 2012

Hello!! How is everyone! Dad, thanks for the updates on the Olympics I can't believe they are already here. I also can't believe that Spain is already eliminated. Talk about an upset. I also can't believe that July is almost over. That is crazy.  Also, the ward activity sounded like it was a lot of fun. And super effective.

Tomorrow is our first visa trip. It sounds cool but I am not super excited. All it consists of is waking up at 5 in the morning and getting in a taxi to the Samara airport. Then we will fly to Moscow and from Moscow to Latvia. From there we spend 3 hours in the airport and then fly home. We will get back to Samara at 11:00 at night and then we have a 2 hour drive to Tolyatti. I really hope the Moscow airport is nice to us. Wish us luck!!!

Today I figured I would tell you about our district a little. So Sister Upshaw and I are in new city with Elders Wiseman and Mulloy. And then in old city are the zone leaders Elders Morris and Taylor. And then our district leaders live in Oolianask. Sorry I don't know how to spell that in English. Anyway it is about 4 hours away from where we are so district meeting every week is over the phone. It’s fun. The elders here are so great I have already learned a lot from them about how to do the work here. In Tolyatti there is really great young single adult group. They are all really great friends and are all willing to help missionaries. It is really great.

This week has been kind of slow. Almost all of our meetings fell through and people just didn't want to talk to us this week. I don't know. I am sure next week will be better. 

Last week I meant to write about this but I forgot. In Tolyatti they have these pipes that are green. Think Mario and Luigi. Yep. Exactly like that only they are in real life. They are everywhere. I didn't really know what they were for but last week they must have been working on the pipes because there were people crawling in and out of them like crazy. And they were all wearing overalls. It was the best.  I had the Mario theme song running through my head all day.

Good luck with everything!!! I love you all!

Cectpa Pearce

Thursday, July 26, 2012

July 23, 2012

Sounds like you have had another fun week. I am glad the bike ride went well; I can't believe the last one was that long ago. Ha-ha, also the 24th of July is usually my time to talk in church. I had forgotten about that.

This week has been pretty low key.  On Friday, we had a district activity that the senior couple here planned. It was minute to win it. First of all it was so much fun, and also it was pretty well attended as well. There were a lot of investigators and non-members. Not very many members though. Tonya will be going back to Moscow this week, but she said she would write us and send us pictures of her baptism so I am looking forward to that. We found a lady on the street this week and she is really nice. She loves to read and is extremely introverted. She doesn't say much but I can tell she thinks a lot about the things we say. We have only had one lesson with her but it was so great. Like I said she didn't say much so I didn't really know what she was thinking, but the spirit definitely guided that lesson. I said things I have never said before and taught differently than I have ever before. But I could tell that that is what she needed to hear. As soon as we gave her the Book of Mormon she instantly opened it and began reading. We had to stop her so we could pray and then say good bye. As we walked away she was just continuing to read so we will see how far she gets by our next lesson.  We have also been working with a recent convert Arceny. He is awesome. He hasn't figured out how the holy ghost feels for him and how to recognize answers. He is very smart and thinks a lot, teaching has been fun because he directs the lesson and we just answer his questions. But always, my personal study prepares me for his lessons. It is cool how that works. Even if I am not specifically studying for him.

The weather here has been really nice. Well, on Wednesday there was a "hurricane" a lot of rain and wind. And then it has rained during the night a couple times but apart from being humid it has been cool. Even on hot days in Tolyatti I think it is nice because Saratov was so hot. Also, happy 24th of July!!! I hope you guys have fun!

I love you all!! Keep writing I love hearing from you!!

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, July 22, 2012

July 16, 2012

Well, Talyatti is great. IT actually feels kind of like Salt Lake. All the streets are straight and wide which weirds me out because Saratov was not like that. It makes it easy to find an address which is nice. The weather here is way nice. It is hot, but not near as hot as Saratov. I have been enjoying it. Pres. called and told us that we will probably be training next cycle and that I will probably be back in Saratov.

Mom, Dad, it sounds like you had a busy week! It sounds fun though!! The sleep over with Brayden and Felicity sounds fun. Way to be good grandparents! Also, it sounds like the yard is keeping you busy.

Today, I am excited for a regular p-day where I am not moving. It should be relaxing. The work here is great we have 3 progressing investigators and 2 with dates. Tonya however won't be baptized here because she will be returning to Moscow soon, but she is so cool. The missionaries in Moscow gave her a Book of Mormon before she came here and she looked up the church when she got here and has been to church the past 3 weeks. It’s cool because she just recognized that it was true instantly and knows she just wants to continue learning. Also, something cool happened when I got to Taliyatti. I can understand people!! And I can talk pretty well, all things considered. Apparently heavenly father knew I was going to need help. I am grateful. We are also teaching an almost 9 year old who is sweet. The branch here feels very independent, which is great. The members are all so nice, and they have a lot of youth in this area which is great.  We had a sports night at the coolest soccer field I have ever seen in my life. We walked through a forest for a while behind a McDonalds (cool right) and then all the sudden there was a clearing and some goals. These TALL trees all around, no grass just dirt but it was awesome. We just played ultimate but it was fun.

Working with Sister Upshaw has been awesome. I finally feel like a missionary. We come home tired at the end of the day. We might not have had a ton of experience but we are willing to work and I feel like the lord is blessing us. It should be an exciting cycle.

Oh! Greg, the weirdest thing have eaten was some sort of organ meat in pasta. It wasn't too bad though. Although eventually I am looking forward to hollidiets, or meat jello. Mmmm....

although, there are a lot of new things I don't remember...we just wake up, study, and then go to work every day. I am learning better how to teach in Russian and I am really starting to notice improvement so that is good. Well. I love you all!! I hope everything goes well!!!

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, July 15, 2012

July 9, 2012

Wow! It sounds like you have been busy!! So guess who forgot that the Fourth of July was a holiday. That’s right, this girl. It was pretty uneventful, it was sports night so we played volleyball and that was fun. This week has been crazy. So last Monday we moved. It was a nice apartment but since Elders lived in it before us... well, it needed some cleaning. We did as much as we could but we were only there for a week. Friday night we got on a train to Samara and then Saturday morning we’re in Avrova (area in Samara). I worked with Sister Mo for Friday which meant we went to sports day where we threw a Frisbee and someone had a soccer ball so I was able to pass that around for a little while. Man, it felt so good. And then in the afternoon the Elders here had a baptism. This man was like 80 years old, and found a copy of the Book of Mormon and began reading. He read like a 100 pages a day and has read it about 10 times now. The spirit was so strong there. It was great. Working with Sister Mo, was so great! I hope we have a cycle where we work together. Right now there are 8 sisters (3 that came with us have gone home.) by the end of August there will be 14. Also the oldest sister in our mission after next cycle has been here for 3 more cycles than I have. Our mission is really young.

After I email I will be getting in a van for two hours to go to Taliati, a new city. It should be fun. I am looking forward to next p-day being normal and relaxing. For the past couple of days there have been 8 sisters in the apartment in Avrova. The mornings get slightly crazy...

Dad, thanks for the pictures! The backyard does look great! And Todd on a bull.... Tell Marylynn to squeeze harder. Maybe then he will stop. I can wish right?

The weather in Samara isn't as hot as Saratov so for the past couple of days I have been enjoying that. It is humid but not unbearable.

Well I don't know how much time I have left because the computer was being weird. I love you all so much!! Next week I will tell you more about our new area.

Ceuta Pearce

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 2, 2012

Dear Mom and Dad

It sounds like things are going well back home. Mom, I will answer your questions first.  Hair dryer and everything work just fine. At least, I haven't had any problems.  My new companion..., funny you should ask. Normally I wouldn't know by now. I assumed that because both my companions were going home that I would for sure be in Saratov but, nope. I will be in a new city. I am not entirely sure what that means but I will be serving with Sister Upshaw. We were in the MTC together so it is both of our 2nd cycles. I should be a little nervous about it but I am stoked. I know she will work hard. And Dad the first part of the Book of Mormon is awesome. I finished a couple weeks ago and restarted and yesterday I finished 2nd Nephi.  It's cool that his last words are "I must obey". That pretty much sums Nephi up. Also, Brother Bashford’s story was cool. I hope someday I will be able to express myself in Russian. Currently I can't really express myself in either language. I feel like I just think a lot. Also, sometimes I feel like a have turned into this shy person because I never really do a lot of the talking. I leave that to Sister Braginets. Anyway, eventually I will able to be myself. I hope. Also, tell Jane thank you for making her kids watch the match against Canada. Hopefully someone enjoyed it.

I really don't have much to say..., this week we were getting our apartment ready to move. We had to take everything because no one is moving in behind us. They might close it we don't know. Any who, yesterday at church I was talking to a lady named Vera. She is sweet last week I talked with her and she said her favorite color is purple. This week she asked me what sports I liked and I told her soccer. She said, "You know the Europa urea cup is on TV". And then she went on to talk about Ronaldo and she got really animated as she talked about some cool goals. IT was Sweet! Keep in mind she is at least 70-75 years old. She invited me to watch with her. Man, if only. I also talked with a man named Aleksai in our branch. He was talking about temples. I told him the salt lake temple was only 20 minutes away from my house, and he couldn't imagine it. And then I told him that there were actually 3 temples that were closer than that. I thought his brain was going to explode. Haha. He asked if we have sacrament meeting in the temples, I explained that there are a lot of church buildings in Utah as well. He asked how many stakes were in the Salt Lake valley and I didn't know, so if you could find that out for me that would be cool. He guessed 100. I am sure it is more than that.

Today we moved and that was kind of stressful. Usually we email earlier in the day but because today was crazy we are using our last hour of p day to email. And we still don't have food..., I guess we will figure that out later.

I have been meaning to tell Todd about the dairy section here. He would love it. Yogurt goes up to like 12% fat. Skim milk is unheard of here. We buy 2.5% and that is the lowest I have seen. They have like 5% and 6% they also have all sorts of different things. Kefir... I don't know but I am still trying things out.

Friday we will be headed to samara and then I will probably be headed to a new city. 2nd train ride!! 

Well, I love you!!

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, June 25, 2012

June 25, 2012

Howdy Family,

This week has been weird. I don't really have anything to write you about. Thanks for the pictures Dad! The trip looked fun. Also, I am glad you and Mom had fun on your anniversary.

So, yesterday was somewhat stressful. Sacrament was great as always but Sunday is just so contentious that I just feel gross. Hopefully that will get better.  After church this guy dressed all in black came in and just said he had an appointment with the missionaries. We had never seen him before. As we got talking we realized he lived in a different area and just came to ours. He is studying to become a preacher or something and really just wanted to bicker with us. The member we had on the lesson took the bait and so it was just arguing about the Book of Mormon for like a half hour. We had another lesson that evening with a less active member that struggles with the word of wisdom and that didn't go well either. Mostly him just complaining about his wife.

Saturday was interviews and training with the zone leaders. It was cool but it took all day. We had an appointment for that night but when they got there she just told us to wait outside she was almost ready. Half an hour later she finally came out and we found a bench to sit on. We began talking about why we are here and the parts of the Book of Mormon she had read when her boyfriend showed up and they just got up and left..., I guess that is just how our week was.  

The only big new is that next Monday we will be moving apartments. We will be moving into the Elders apartment and they will be moving into a members while they serve a mission.  The move also means that our area will be getting a lot bigger. Not quite double but almost. I will get to know our new area mostly by myself because we only have a week before Sister Braginets and Sister Callister go home. The good news is that instead of having a 40 minute trip to get to church we will only have to walk for 5-10 minutes. I feel kind of bad for the Elders because we will be taking most of their area and investigators and they will be basically opening a new one out in the boonies. Oh well I guess. So much for learning how to work the doors...,I did learn how to open the doors at the church. Trust me it was an ordeal.

Well, sorry this is short, nothing really happened. The next couple weeks will bring with them lots of changes. It should be fun.

Well, I love you all!

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18, 2012

Dearest Momsy and Popsicle,

Yes, mom you may have had a lengthy list but I love hearing about all you are doing so keep it coming.  All of your projects sound fun. Send pictures when you get finished. Dad, Thanks for the pictures of Todd. I enjoyed your commentary :) also, Dad I forgot last week, HAPPY father’s Day!!!!!! Also Happy ANNIVERSARY!!! Also, the picture they sent was me singing at Zone conference. I sang sweet hour of prayer and Elder Stoddard accompanied me. I knew him from SUU.

I'll start with your questions. The branch here is pretty great I don't know numbers but probably at least 50-60 people every week at church. It is pretty normal; really the only excitement comes from Sunday School. Mostly it's like they pick a topic and argue about it for an hour. The concept of only one person talking at one time doesn't exist. I played the piano last week in sacrament. The piano is so out of tune that I didn't know if I was hitting the wrong notes or it was just out of tune. It was rough. I just laughed. 

So I didn't know sister Braginets name for the first week but I got that down. It probably took me another week to figure out the situation with Russian doors. The first door you need a magnetic thing. Then the elevator. Then the door to get to our hallway. That one’s rough. The key slot is broken so you just have to know where to out the key and when to turn, turn twice. And then the door to our apartment, it requires 4 turns. Anyway, it was a process. Next I need to learn the public transport system.

Last Tuesday the branch had a picnic. We met at a bus stop and then walked for what seemed like forever into the woods. I had no idea where we were going and then all of the sudden there was a soccer field and a volleyball court in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, it was fun. We had an investigator come that was previously uninterested, but after being around some members she was willing to begin reading the Book of Mormon. It was a great opportunity to spend time with members and talk to them. I was actually able to translate for the senior couple here while they were talking to a member. That was cool. I didn’t think I could do that.

Also, this week has been really HOT. It is only going to get worse, and then it will get really cold...I just decided I am not going to be comfortable for a while.

On Thursday we were contacting on our way home and began talking to a lady and right off the back she was asking really great questions. We talked for about a 1/2 hour and then asked if we could meet to talk more and she said no. But we offered to help her in any way that we could so she suggested we could come help her in her house outside of the city. On Saturday we took an hour bus ride outside the city. We picked strawberries, and then weeded mostly. After we picked strawberries she gave us some of them and we all just sat around talking. The strawberries were delicious.  It was so beautiful! Everything was so green and just...I don't know. I loved it. I even loved weeding; I know you are probably shocked. It was nice just to be outside working. We also gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she would read it so we will see where things go.

There is an older lady in our branch who we go teach and serve once a week. This week I stumbled through the lesson and then we helped her clean her rugs. It was a lot of fun. We took the rugs outside and then just wacked up with these things that looked like large fly swatters. She is really great.

Well, I think that is all.  I love you all so much and pray for you often.
Cectpa Pearce

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11,2012


Boy, I feel like I have so much to tell you...I probably won't get to most of it. Oh well. So this week has been kind of rough. I mean, I just realized how little I know, and that I will need to know in 4 weeks.  Since both of my companions are going home at the end of this cycle Pres. Sartori told me I would be in Saratov for a while and that if I’m not training next cycle I will be the one after that. Our mission only has like 8 sisters I think. And by August it will double. Anyway, since they will be leaving I need to be pretty familiar with the area. I already know general areas but to find specific addresses in Russia is going to be hard. I guess I will get really good at reading a map. Also, Russian. I can understand Sister Braginets and other missionaries but any one on the street I have no idea what they are saying. I know I will learn but...sometimes it is so painful. Oh well. Mostly I just want to learn when they are angry or not. I never know if they are mad or not so I just smile and nod. 

This week I had a goal that I wanted to receive a contact on the street to be a new investigator. I talked to everyone and were interested but mostly not. On Tuesday no one wanted anything to do with us. Seriously. I would say hello and not only would they reject us, but violently so. One heavily clothed babushka walked by us yelling sect! sect! and then spitting on us. Only in Russia, I guess. Wednesday was about the same. There was one lady that was interested and I talked to her about the Book of Mormon and offered her one. She said her hands were dirty so she opened her shirt and gestured for me to put it there. Ha! It was strange. On Wednesdays we have sport night at a school where we invite investigators to come in a less churchy atmosphere. There is a black top and a place for volleyball net. It was fun. Also, on Mondays we have FHE over at the Senior couples home. That is another place we can invite members and investigators. Anyway after 2 days of nothing I wondered if anyone would talk to us. Thursday would be a full week in Saratov so I was hoping we would find someone. All day nothing. We were heading back home and we decided to talk to one more person (why is it always the last person?) she was sitting on a bench and she invited us to sit with her. We began talking and instantly she was interested. Anyway, it was cool. Also, 3 of the people we are meeting with are named Tatiana. I already don't really know what is going on and on top of that, I never know which Tatiana we are talking about.

Friday was zone conference. It was really great to get a feel for the mission and what is expected of me. This week I have attempted some phone calls but mostly it is just a joke. I can't understand them, and my Russian is so bad they can't understand me. It's great.

Let’s for the food. Sister Braginets has made borscht and it was good. She said it was Ukrainian borscht not Russian but I still really liked it. Russian salads are kind of interesting. Cabbage and whatever vegetables and then they just plop some mayonnaise on there. I have kasha or oatmeal at least once a day it seems. Oh! And our apartment. We live on the 8th floor of our Dom and we have one big living room where we study. our bedroom is small, we don't have beds so we sleep on foam pads. There is just enough room for all of our foam pads to tetris in there. In the kitchen all of the appliances are pretty small. We have 2 small refrigerators and a stove. Again small. What else...the view out our window is pretty. I will take a picture and sent it home at some point.

It sounds like your vacation was a lot of fun! Even if the weather didn't cooperate. Also sorry for all the typing mistakes. I can't go back and fix any of it because the overwrite is on. Well, I love you all so much!!!

Cectpa Pearce

June 4,2012


How was the trip? I hope it was fun!! I’ll be honest, I was a little jealous...or a lot.  Well, I loved talking to you! Sorry I cried through the whole thing. I just love you so much. 

A lot happened this week.  So flying was fine. I mean it was long but I slept and read scriptures. Actually it wasn't great. The landing into New York was awful. I felt so sick and actually threw up. After that we had 40 minutes to get to our next flight and we made that. Although, we were the only English speakers on that flight. I had a couple conversations with them though. One was with a Ukrainian pastor who studied the Book of Mormon in school. Anyway it was kind of cool. The flight to Moscow was 9 hours and it was alright. I didn't sleep much. And then we got to Moscow and everything began going wrong. In our flight plans they didn't say anything about a 2nd passport but apparently we were supposed to meet people there and then go to the US embassy.  We went to start checking our bags and then there were these crazy ladies yelling and waving at us. Anyway after much confusion they told us that we needed to go with them.  We went and got our 2nd passports and then they took us to lunch at McDonalds. So, yes my first meal in Russia was McDonalds. Then they took us back to the airport and we still had like 6 hours until our flight but we went to check our bags and boarding passes. And they told us our tickets were reserved but no one had bought them. Of course they did it in Russian and we didn't understand so it was quite and ordeal to even find out what was going on.  Once we did they then sent us to all sorts of places to get it figured out. They all told us the same thing, that they were reserved and not bought. Anyway, after 2-3 hours of me attempting to speak Russian and understand they told us someone needs to buy them, I found out how much and then we were going to try and call the travel service because that is what our papers said. Only problem we had to figure out how to use the phone...that took us another hour or so and it was like 10 dollars for 100 seconds.  We got ahold of them but they put us on hold to figure things out and we ran out of time.  I was really happy with them at this point, if you can imagine. After that I just decided to buy them get on the plane and worry about it once I got to samara. 

It was awful. I have never felt that stressed before. I couldn't speak the language and we couldn't get anyone to tell us what to do. Anyway, let us forget that nightmare. I am here and it is great.

SO, I have 2 trainers. We are in a 3-some.  Their names are Sister Callister from California and Sister Braginets from Ukraine. I have it pretty great. A native speaker and when I can't understand someone to translate for me. Pretty sweet deal. We are in Saratov, to get here we took an overnight train from Samara which was cool. After being on an airplane the train was awesome because you could lie down and sleep. This week has been crazy. Full of Russian...I can understand Sister Braginets pretty much all of the time but I can't understand the people on the street yet. It will come. Yesterday church was cool.  They have such a great spirit here. It was a little different but it was cool.  They asked me to bear my testimony because I was new I just didn't know it until the lady next to me elbowed me to go up. I stumbled through it hopefully I said something worthwhile. Also yesterday on a transport I sat down next to a woman who happened to have already talked to the missionaries before. But the man across from me took priglasheny or invitation out of my hand and began talking to me. We aren't allowed to talk to men unless they talk to us first. Anyway, I began talking to him and noticed he was holding a pigeon...I have no idea why but I thought it was interesting. Any who, they guy next to us joined in the conversation and then another guy in the aisle as well. So now I had a crowd. I was nervous. But that is when Sister Callister stepped in and helped answer some questions. 

What else...I just barely gave away my first Book of Mormon!

Well I have to go; I love you all so much!

Cectpa Pearce