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!!

So...visa 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