Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 23, 2013

Hello family!

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

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

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

Well, see ya soon!

Cectpa Pearce

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 16, 2013

Hello family!

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

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

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

I love you all so much!

Cectpa Pearce

September 9, 2013

Hello Family!!

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

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

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

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

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 2, 2013


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

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

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, September 1, 2013

August 27, 2013

Hello family!!

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

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

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

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

Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 19, 2013

Hello family!!

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

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

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

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

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

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 12, 2013

Hello family!

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

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

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

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

Cectpa Pearce

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

August 5, 2013

Dear Family:
So this has been I feel like the fastest week of my life. There is nothing really exciting that happened to make it fast, it just was. We said good bye to President and Sister Sartori. They called every companionship and said good bye and then they left and President Schwab came. The Schwab’s are so great! We met them on Friday and they were a little jet lagged but I am excited to work with them for the last couple months of my mission.  We had an exchange with the Sisters in Samara this week but it was pretty norm. We did find a guy named Roman. We drew a picture of dispensations and prophets and just like Illia he rode by on his bike and then came back to talk to us. He actually already has a Book of Mormon, and knows quite a bit about our church but all of that is only research really. He is a self proclaimed atheist. There is some power but he doesn’t' really know who or what it its and doesn't want to know because there is no evidence of him. Anyway, I don't think things will go too far with him but it was an interesting lesson. 
Sasha didn't come to his lesson on Wednesday. He text us at 3:00, when it was supposed to be, and said he wanted to meet, only later at 6:00. So we said ok and came back at 6:00. Then he didn't show up and didn't answer the phone. Grrrrrr. Anyway, we'll call him at the end of the week and see how everything is going. I don't really know what his deal is.
We found some other investigators but they don't understand a whole ton. They have been raised Muslim but say they are Christian. I don't think they really know what that means...
This week has been rainy and cloudy every day. And extremely humid. I am getting a little tired of being damp every day but...what can you do. It is starting to get dark around 8:00-8:30. I feel like most of my mission has been served in the dark. I know that isn't true but...all the same what happened to summer?!
I do feel like the Lord is teaching me something though. Coming to Samara and traveling all over the place I think I began getting a little stretched thin and began relying on myself and other tangible factors. So now we don't really have any investigators or anything going on in our area. While I know that sounds depressing it's ok, I know I have the opportunity to really draw closer to God and participate in his work out of a sincere desire to serve him rather than any outward indicators of success. I am sure as we work diligently and strive to become more like him we will see his hand and blessings will begin to come.
Thanks for sending me pictures of everybody! They all look so great! And well groomed...that might take some adjusting to. Until next week!
Cectpa Pearce

July, 29 2013


How are ya family? I hope everything is going well for you! It sounds like you have had a good week. John, I hear good things about your ribs..., I am going to need to try those. Also, happy birthday, John!!. Also, mom Katie is getting married? You haven't said anything about that. This winter in Samara was not that cold. Probably not the worst in a hundred years. And yay! my pictures are back! Have fun looking at them. As far as people to talk to in Utah.... I don't know. whoever you see tell them hi from me. Take some pictures send them to me. And tell people I like hearing from them. letters are welcome:)

This week seemed to fly. I don't really know what happened. Tuesday morning we got on a train to Orenburg. It was the first day train I had been on but it was good I was able to get caught up in my journal. The coupe they bought us was way nice to! I was about to try and describe why..., but it seems too hard. I promise I took pictures and I will show you. promise. Anyway we got to Orenburg and I did an exchange with Sister Upshaw. It was fun to work with her again and back in Orenburg. Way fun. We had a lesson with 2 members that were baptized less than a year ago. they are both around 90 years old but fire crackers. It was really fun to see them. We talked with them about the word of wisdom. They don't love giving up their tea and wine. Good lesson though. We also had a lesson with a 25 year old girl. She stopped them on the street earlier in the week because she wants to learn English. All she knows about missionaries is that usually we are from America and we speak English. She is so cool! We talked a little about our message and what we do here. She believes in god but she said she doesn't really know how to worship him or what she should do with that belief. Hopefully good things will happen. We came home on Thursday planned and then we went and chalked in the evening. We drew a picture of dispensations of the prophets and asked people, "If there was a prophet on the earth today, what would you ask him?" It sparked some really good conversations but we didn't get any meetings from it. Oh! on Monday we were supposed to meet with Sasha but he stood us up. I texted him earlier and he said he was coming and then he never showed up and then turned his phone off. I wouldn't be so annoyed by it if he wasn't so good! He loves coming to church, he loves reading the Book of Mormon, he has already said he wants to serve a mission. he is way cool. he just is terrible at answering the phone. We will work with him though. I talked to him on the phone on Saturday and he said he was coming to church but he didn't come to that either. Grrr. We should be meeting with him on Tuesday. Cross your fingers and toes! Pray! On Saturday we had sport which was way fun. It was way muddy though. It has been raining really often lately so we were pretty muddy. Fun though. On the way to sport we were on the bus and there was a lady that got on with her teenage son. For some reason it took me forever to talk to her but I finally asked her where to get off. Her son got off at an earlier bus stop and so I asked her if her son likes playing soccer. She said that he did. I told her where we play and gave her and invitation to church. I thought that IF she told her son he wouldn't come until next week. but after we finished playing frisbee (we play frisbee for an hour and then soccer for an hour) he was there! just waiting a little ways off. It was so cool! He had a good time so he should be coming back next week. He lives in the elders area so they will be working with him, but his mom knew who we were and still told her son to come play with us. Saturday evening was a fireside with President Sartori and Sister Sartori. They are leaving this week so they had a fireside for the members in Samara. Yesterday as we were working on the street trying to find people it was one of those days where no one wanted to talk to us. Nothing really happened but we talked to everyone we saw. I felt good about our efforts at the end of the day.

Our branch president is really cool. He has been watching the work of salvation broadcast over and over with us and is really trying to implement it. He is going to the temple this week with his son who leaves for his mission to Australia in less than a month, but before he left he gave us some "homework". He is trying to fill our schedules so we won't waste time looking for people ourselves. He is so good! I love him. I love his whole family actually. They just get it. They understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Also, this week

President Schwab will be getting here! I can't believe it. That means it is going to be August! Well, I think that is about it. I love you all so much!

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

You are making a Hobbs for Calvin!! And pipe looks perfect! What a week! Sounds like you 2 just go party all the time. Hikes and work parties and what not. And way cool that everything is ok with uncle franks account. This week we were in Kazan. It was the last 2 days of the Universidad so there was a lot of people and a lot of police! Kazan is beautiful. We got stuck in a huge rain storm and got soaked! Which is fine except when you are traveling and you only bring enough clothes for the time you are there.  We talked to a family form Yekaterinburg while we were chalking. We drew a picture of the tree of life and were talking to them about it. They took a Book of Mormon and were excited to look at the websites. They were headed back home that night. We had a lesson with a less active member who is like 75-80 and she told us the story of how she met her husband and I felt like I was trying to iron out the wrinkles on her face as I saw her reminisce. In short Kazan was great! I worked with Sister Larsen for the most part but I did have some time to work with Sister Erickson. It was her first week in Russia so it was really cool to get to know her. Crazy story though! (As I tell you this story keep in mind that about a month ago Chris told me he was getting married to a girl that was in his mission named Christina and that he is from St. George Utah.) We went out contacting and I was just talking to her and getting to know her and she said. My sister is getting married this weekend:( she was excited but sad she couldn't be there. She then told me about her family. Her older sister served a mission in Novosibirsk, her other sister is in Ukraine Russian speaking and her brother is in the Baltics mission and she is here in samara. Way cool family right. I asked her if she knew the guy her sister was marrying and she said "I met him a couple times but they had only gone on a few dates before I left. They got engaged after my first week in the MTC and now they are getting married in the St. George temple. It was way fast! And they served in the same mission." do you see it? I froze, and then asked her what her sister's name was. She said "Christina." with a confused look on her face. I explained to her why I felt like my brain was exploding. So yes Chris is marrying her sister! And when she showed me a picture of her family I realized I was in the MTC with her other sister.

It was crazy! I really enjoyed not knowing what was going on. Knowing it was over and just getting lost in the work. I actually felt really good about it. I felt the most present in my mission than ever before. And then I didn't really know how to think about it because, really, it doesn't matter. Nothing changes but now I just feel like I know too much. I know a lot about the family he is marrying into and 2 of his sisters-in law and what she looks like. by the way, Sister Erickson, bless her heart, was like, "look you look so much like my sister too!" belch. Anyway, now it is just an incredibly ironic story. Everything is good but for about a day I was thrown for a little bit of a loop.

Crazy right? I turned into a little bit of a spazz but what are the odds?

Anyway, while we were in Kazan I called Sasha and he answered!!! He said he was coming to church and that he had been reading the Book of Mormon. AND he came to church! We had a lesson with him and everything is good. He had to go open a new McDonalds. Apparently that takes around a month. But everything is ok with him and he should be getting baptized in august. He is way cool! He already wants to serve a mission.

This next week we will be going to Orenburg! It will be strange seeing without snow or wet, melty snow. I am excited though. Everyone said that Orenburg is the prettiest in the summer.

Speaking of summer, you always ask what we are eating and summer time in Russia has the best fruit and vegetables I have ever eaten. My favorite thing to eat currently is cucumber, tomato and dill sandwiches with mayo. I know you are thinking that I don't like even one of those things. Why do I like them all together? I don't know but it is so good! I’ll enjoy it while I can. It won't be the same in America...

Love you lots!

Cectpa Pearce

July 15, 2013

Hello family!
This week has been crazy. Really not terribly but we have had 8 Sisters in and out of our apt for transfers and what not this week. It’s funny even though Sister Scoville and I are companions we don't seem to spend a lot of time together. With exchanges and other things we are always with someone else.  The weather here is actually way nice. Last summer was REALLY hot and this summer it has been in the 20's mostly. It has been in the mid 30's every once in a while but nothing too crazy. Last summer it spent a lot of time in the 40's. We have had some crazy thunder and lightning storms. With hail the size of marbles. We have been luck and only got stuck in one of them. But it gave us a good opportunity to run to a covering with the lady we were talking to at the time and have a lesson with her.  That was cool! I will let you do some conversions because I don't really know. It has been a good week as far as missionary work is concerned as well. We found 4 new investigators which was cool. But, I don't really know most of them because of other Sisters and what not. Hopefully I will meet them sometime:)

It sounds really cool about that Cub Scout and his family. President Sartori is asking us to watch parts of the broadcast as we eat breakfast and teach the principles in it to the members. That is the focus of our whole mission right now is helping members understand their role in missionary work.  Every member here is a convert to the church. Most of them were found on the street by misisonaries so it is the missionaries job to do all the work pretty much. BUT, we will be trying to change that. It will be slow going but it will be the only way to keep the church growing here. All that is really asked of members is to wear their membership on their sleeves and be friends with people. As we invite them to know what we know out of love they will respond well.

This week we also had mission leadership council. It was good to discuss everything but long...I think Sister Sartori sent you a picture.

I talked with Sister Larsen this week while she was here getting her new companion. She is so cool! Learning Russian for her has been really hard. I will tell you her story at some point when I am home I am sure. But she speaks 100% Russian. I asked her questions like how did she start and why does she keep going. She shared with me her testimony of her calling and really I just understood that she understands the law of consecration and she is really giving of herself. Anyway she said, "Sister Pearce, you have a gift for speaking Russian and yet you don't speak Russian a lot. If the Sisters saw you speaking Russian and using the gift you have received they would do the same" it is true I haven't been speaking Russian a lot and mostly I justified it because I wanted them to understand what I was saying and so they could express themselves. But she is so right! I am so grateful that she was able to lovingly correct me and help to give more of myself. In short, I will be speaking Russian for the rest of my mission. Which is so fine with me I love it! Now I just have a testimony of why.

This week we will be going up to Kazan again. I will be working with Sister Larsen this time. Which will be a blast? It might be a little crazy because of the Universidad. It will be fun all the same.

Yes I did order the nativity and something for you and an egg with her rendition of the tree of life. it will be so beautiful. It ended up being 19000-20000 rubles. I think that is around 300 dollars. Yes I know that is expensive but you will love it. and I figure that it will be yours until I have a home and then it can be mine while you are on your mission or after you die...they are time release souvenirs:) there isn't really anything I "need" my shoe situation isn't awesome but only a couple more months so...I will make do. I don't know if I need anything in my account...I don't know what is there. Is there anything you want me to look for? Or anything you want me to get? Also, sorry for not answering your questions I will repent I just wanted it to be a surprise. You know how I like them so much. If there is anything I see that I want I will get it. I think I am finished with souvenir shopping though.

Anyway, I think that is all. love you so much!!

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Hello family!

This week has been super-fast! we did exchanges with both sets of Sisters that live in Samara this week but we weren't home, and then when we did get home on Thursday 3 sets of Sisters showed up for visa trips. They left Saturday and then this morning we had everyone coming in for transfers. To be honest I am exhausted. But really all you can do is keep going.  We had a culture day this week and went to Stalin’s bunker. It is a place in Samara where they built a safe place for Stalin to come to during the war. It was a complete secret until 20 years ago when they finally opened it up. Stalin was never actually at the bunker because whatever situation they were worried about never happened but it was cool to go to anyway. The tour guide was an old man who was a dictionary definition of a lecturer for history. Only it was in Russian so I probably got 50%. There was a lot of unfamiliar vocabulary but it was a great language study. On Saturday there was a baptism and it was a great experience. She is the most converted convert I have ever met. She is so cool! Anyway I just love seeing baptisms.

Speaking of baptisms Sasha is alive! He went home and just hasn't been answering or something but said he has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying and is thinking about being baptized at the end of august. He will be getting back to Samara in a couple weeks and then we will start teaching him again.

Last night we found a pretty cool investigator named Ilya. He is a drummer and 19 years old but has always been interested in religion. We just saw the spirit work on him as we talked about the plan of salvation. we talked about the Book of Mormon and he said "where can I get one?" he doesn't know a lot but he does have things he knows about who he thinks that god is or should be so it will be fun to help him build that relationship. While I worked with Sister Clyde on Tuesday we found an investigator on the street and she was so grateful to hear our message. I don't know if they went back to meet her again I should follow up next cycle they are putting more training Sisters in Saratov so that will cut out a week of traveling. It will be fun to work with them and learn from them. Also, I will be in Samara until the end of my mission so that should be fun. Although it isn't that far away. Especially with how fast this one went!

Anyway, the work here is progressing. Having new training Sisters will allow us to be in our area more so hopefully we can begin to build up our area. There is so much potential here. Thank you for writing and supporting me!

Cectpa Pearce

Ps. Becky emailed me and asked me to tell you to update the blog again... so, you'll do that this week right? Good news Elder Glad emailed me and told me that my pictures were still on my flash card! So I gave him your address so he should be sending it you could email him and figure out the best way to get it from him. But...yay!!

pps. You didn't write and tell me your thoughts about the missionary broadcast. do you read my emails?

July 1, 2013

It sounds like you two were busy this week! It looked fun as well. Again I feel like I was here yesterday…. why is time going so fast!? So this week we were in Kazan and it is such a pretty city! The center of the city is ridiculously beautiful. Beautiful churches and everything is just way clean perfect. We weren't in that area but we drove by it. Where we were working was still way pretty though, but more like Russia.  And yes, it is a very diverse place as far as religion goes. Mostly Russian Orthodox and Muslim. But most people there are pretty open to talk. next week the Olympic games for university students is going to be there so I felt like everyone in the city was getting ready for it. While I was there I worked with Sister Walker. She is a tall volleyball player who played at Utah State. She is 20 years old and so cool. I worked with Sister Lund a couple weeks ago and she is also 20 years old. As I talked with them about how they decided to come on a mission their stories were different but very similar. Sister Lund has wanted to serve a mission her whole life and Sister Walker only about a year ago started thinking about it. When they were 19 they both didn't understand why they couldn't serve a mission right then. They both prayed about it and prayed about it and just thought they would have to wait for 2 years. But things were falling into place for them as far as being accepted into programs for school or getting their lives into a place where they could go. And then general conference rolled around and the first thing they heard was that they could go on a mission right now! They both called their bishops and started their papers immediately. It was cool hearing their stories and hearing how the lord prepared them and put that desire into their hearts so that they would be ready to go. The Lord is indeed in charge of this work. Yesterday we watched the missionary broadcast and it was so great!! I loved it. What kind of opportunities do you have to do member missionary work in Colorado? Is it like Utah where there are a lot of members? Also what kind of ideas did you have about you can help in the work? I would be so excited to hear about what it is like there.

Yesterday I also gave a talk in church. They asked me to talk about being honest with those around you. I didn't really have an opportunity to study for it until Saturday (we had zone training on Friday Kazan the rest of the week) but it went well. I decide to sing "I’m trying to be like Jesus" at the end. It went pretty well. Russians love it when you sing.

The Sisters in Kazan are doing so well! They are so diligent and obedient and the Lord can't help but bless them. The work there is really alive. It was great to be there for a couple days and really see the hand of the Lord leading his work there.

Well, that is probably about it. Love you lots!

 Sister Pearce
Ps. answer my questions about the broadcast please!

I have kept forgetting but I wanted to send a recipe that I and Sister Scoville have been making. It so great for summer!
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of corn
small to medium onion chopped
1-2 cups green beans (we use frozen cooked just a little but canned would work)

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil

Drain the entire can stuff and then mix with dressing. Let it sit overnight. It gets better the longer it sits!
I also thought it would be good with grilled chicken. Try it this week and let me know what you think.

June 24, 2013

Hello Family!!

Congrats mom and dad!! 35 years is a long time.... Also, I forgot to wish dad a happy father’s happy father’s day!

This week has been crazy. Aright not terribly but I feel like I was here yesterday writing you. Last Monday night we got on a train to Saratov and got in Tuesday morning hopped on a bus and got to the Dachney Sisters and then spent the day with them. The next morning we hauled our stuff over to the Solnechney Sisters. They live pretty close to the Dachney Sisters so that is what we did for exercise in the morning was we took a little hike. And we worked with them on Wednesday. Thursday morning we woke up and went to the bus station to head to Balakova. It was about a 3 hour bus ride. We were in Balakova until Saturday morning and then got on a 5 hour bus to Samara. My opinion of buses in Russia: they are not AWFUL but I was extremely grateful to get off. The roads are really bumpy and they were blasting a Russian sitcom in our ears for most of it. But I am alive and well. It has been a really good experience working with all of the Sisters and just hearing their experiences and listening to the spirit to ask the right questions or to share something with them. I had a goal at the start of this cycle to really listen to the spirit and follow his promptings. With this new calling I am finding myself reaching towards heaven more often and making sure that I am always a worthy and willing tool in his hands. I am starting to recognize that I am running out of time being a missionary so I am trying to give everything I have to the work. I guess in short I really love being a missionary.

A normal exchange looks like a normal day as far as exercising, getting ready, studying eating...and then we will sit down together and decide what kind of goals we want to achieve, things we need help on and how we will go about the work. Then we hit the streets! We work like normal while talking to them to find out how their mission is going, what things have been difficult and just listen to the experiences they have had. At the end of the day we come back together and discuss how things went and what we can do to apply the things we learned. It has been cool to see the lord bless the work in that area while we are working with them and after the exchange.  While I was in Balakova I was working with a Sister in her first cycle and we started talking to a woman as we were waiting for our bus. She was so nice and way open about to listen about the gospel. We set up a meeting with her the next day so we were able to have a lesson as well with her. There were also other cool little miracles that we saw throughout the week.

Tomorrow morning Roman (the driver for our mission) is taking us up to Kazan. It is about 7-8 hours up there so that should be a good time. But I hear it is a beautiful city so I am excited! Could you do some research on Kazan for me? We only have one exchange this week so that will be nice and then we have 2 left for the last week of the cycle.

Well, I love you so much!

Cectpa Pearce

June 17, 2013

Hello Family!!

Todd's a DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is so cool. He’ll only be a couple months old by the time I get to see him.... Hopefully he doesn't get too big. You guys feed the missionaries a lot. Cool for them. You said that one of the missionaries this time was new and I felt bad thinking he probably was really quiet not knowing how to say anything and then realized you are in America.... He at least knows the language! I will be excited to see how missionary work is in Colorado. Also I will be glad to talk to the guy who served his mission in Samara. That will be all I want to talk about when I get home:) If he remembers any of the people he taught or the members here I would be glad to pass along a hello.

This week was pretty good, I feel like it was way fast!  This week we had 2 exchanges I worked with Sister Winn and Sister Sine. I learned a lot from both of them and it was good to talk to them and see how their mission is going. It was especially good to talk to Sister Sine I haven't really had an opportunity to talk with her since she left Tolyatti. She is actually back there now serving with Sister Polyanskaya. They are doing really well together. I was able to talk to Tanya (the girl that got baptized while I was there) so that was fun. Exchanges are crazy. Fun but crazy. Tonight we will be getting on a train to Saratov and we will have 3 exchanges this week. We will get back on Saturday. Hopefully things go well. I am going to be so tired.... But somehow we get everything done that we need to. Now more than ever on my mission I feel like a grandma. we go running every morning at a track by our apartment, a good day for me is running a 1/2 mile or rather shuffling through a half mile. I am so stiff in the morning! I hope I turn back into a 20 ish year old at some point. Also, time is flying! The cycle is already halfway over. When did that happen!

I was also able to see Sister Upshaw and Sister Polyanskaya. Both of them are doing really well! Sister Upshaw and Sister Winn had a baptism scheduled for Saturday but she dropped off the map. Sister Upshaw and I set the baptismal date with her when I was there but she just went AWOL. Actually a lot of incredible investigators all over the mission just had crazy dreams that our church isn't true and don't want to talk with missionaries anymore. Dang, Satan is doing a good job..., But we will keep going to working with faith and something will happen.  Sasha our investigator with a baptismal date, his phone has been off for a couple weeks so we haven't been able to talk to him. But whatever....

We found two investigators this week Tanya and Maria. Maria we talked to on the street last week and then met with her this week. She is way cool. She talks a lot but she has very firm opinions and asks really great questions. I love her already. She is in her 40’s and her husband died 15 years ago. She is very interested in the plan of salvation. And Tanya is 24 we met her on the street two weeks ago. Her whole family is atheist but she believes in god. She is very open to listening to new things. Hopefully we will stay in contact with them over this week.

Well sounds like you have some traveling ahead of you! Say hi to Todd and Marylynn and send me some pictures of the new baby! I love you all!

Love Cectpa пирс

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013

Whoa! Snazzy car! It looks cool. It was cool to hear about the missionary work that is taking place there. That is a lot of missionaries!! Also 10 hours of service a week is a lot. I would be interested in knowing how that goes. This week has been a good week. Again different than normal but I guess I should expect that now. We had 6 sisters in our apartment Wednesday and Thursday because of a visa trip and we were doing an exchange with the Sisters from Penza. A little crazy but it was good to see everyone. As always I can't really remember back to Monday all that well...but yesterday was cool. We had set a goal to find 3 new investigators this week but we only had one so far so we went tracting homes instead of apartments. And the 4th "door" (really it is a gate into their yard, Russians don't like strangers getting too close) a pregnant woman answered and let us in. She let us teach her about the restoration and her mom was with us on the lesson. They were both surprised by how they felt and said they felt so light and good. They come from humble circumstances and were really kind. I asked if they had any questions about what we taught and she just asked "do you have a place where you meet? Can I come? Where is it?" it was really cool and an answer to prayers. both of us were just exhausted yesterday from the week but we decided at the beginning of the week in order to meet our goals we have to use every minute we have to find people this week so we just went for it. We also found a lady from Uzbekistan who was so kind and I just felt that god loved her so much. She is here without documents though and so we won't really be able to teach her. But as we prayed she just began crying and she showed us that she had goosebumps and said she felt so warm and just rubbed her chest. She has had a very hard life and the scars of that were visible on her face. It was an interesting experience because we felt so much love but at the same time both of us felt that teaching her isn't what is right. Way strange! Maybe we were there just when she needed us. I don't really know.

On Monday we also had a lesson with a new investigator she is finishing up her studies to be a lawyer and is adorable. I love her so much.  This week I feel like we prayed and told heavenly father what we had to offer him and then just went to work. He took care of the rest and just led us where we needed to be. We have some really cool potential investigators and hopefully we will be able to meet with them next week. Speaking of next week, we will be on exchanges with the sisters from Orenburg and Tolyatti. It will be here in Samara so that should be fun. Sister Sine is back in Tolyatti with Sister Polyanskaya and Sister Upshaw will be coming in from Orenburg with Sister win. It will be a party. Our exchange this week was really successful. It was fun just to dive into the work. Also this cycle is going too fast! And I feel like I am more tired than I have ever been on my mission. But I will take that as a sign that I am doing something right.

Well, I think that is about all. I am sure there are things I am forgetting...

Cectpa Pearce

June 3, 2013

Hi Family

Alright, my guess is that you were at a Rockies game. Am I right? Also, mom did the computer eat your email again? You look really pretty in the picture. Your hair looks good and that looks like a good shirt. I am sure it was fun to be at a ball game again.

This week has been pretty unusual. We were in quite a few meetings and somehow missionary work exploded in our area. One of our investigators named Sasha (the Elders met with a couple times but now he lives in our area) we had a lesson with him yesterday and set a baptismal date for the 29th of June. Usually baptismal dates are more like a goal but for him I am 99.9% sure that he will be baptized on that day or before. He has already been to church the last 3 weeks. He came to church by himself after receiving an invitation on the street from the Elders, came and then he himself ordered a Book of Mormon. He is way cool. We watched the restoration movie with him and at the end he was like. "I have goosebumps all over" SWEET. The Sartori’s apartment is being redone to prepare for the new mission president and the 2 guys that are working on it have seen missionaries come and go forever and wanted to meet with some of them. So we did. They are way sweet. Dima had this dream of heaven and hell and he was waiting in line for his turn to see where he would go but he woke up before he found out. Now he wants to know more about that. And Artem is Armenian. He is really quiet but him and Dima are best friends. So we will see what happens.

Speaking of the new mission president, he went to the Doctor. to prepare to came and found out he had a tumor on his thyroid so they went in and removed it and found out it is cancerous and that the tumor goes all the way down his throat for like 7 inches. They will remove it and do some radiation and see if he can still come. Regardless the Sartori's will be here for another month until august and they might have to call a new president.  Sister Schwab (new mission president wife) said "our call to Russia probably saved my husband’s life." so we will be praying for them so that everything goes well. The Sartori's got the call in the middle of our meeting on Friday and President Lawrence (area president) told them to take some time to think about staying for an extra month and they just said "we don't need to. Of course we will stay."  I love them so much.

As far as the meetings we had this week. On Wednesday we had a meeting with President and the assistants and then on Thursday all of the district leaders came in and we had a council meeting with them and then on Friday it was just all the zone leaders. Tuesday we got things organized so...this last week flew by. But at the same time I feel like it has been months since I was in Saratov. Crazy!

Yesterday at church Sister Sartori asked me to translate her testimony and then she had the lesson in Relief Society so I translated that as well. Really that was one of the first times I have ever really been a translator so I was nervous, but I think it went well. It is way fun though, I love it!  Hopefully I will get more opportunities.  This week we will be here in Samara. The Sisters from Penza will be coming in and we will be doing and exchange with the sisters who live here in samara as well. We will still be in Samara next week and then the last couple of weeks we will be traveling quite a bit.

Last week I mentioned our apartment is nice and I won't really be able to explain everything but... we have air conditioning! And a stove that is pretty much American, and a beautiful fridge. Anyway it is sweet. And we have 2 showers.

Anyways, that is pretty much our week. I am so excited to be serving with Sister Scoville again. We just get along so well. I can for sure tell the Lord is blessing us. Everything is just working out so well. 3 cycles doesn't seem like enough. It is going to go so fast! Unfortunately...well love you so much! Have a great week! I can't wait to hear from you!

Cectpa Pearce

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013

Hello Family!

This week has been a memorable one. We received transfer calls on Saturday. I have felt like all cycle that I probably wasn't going to be able to stay in Dachney and...I was right. I am going to be serving in Samara with Sister Scoville! But... we won't be in Samara very much. We will be going on exchanges with all of the sisters in the mission once a cycle. We got the schedule today and we are on exchanges almost every day of next cycle. It is going to be a little nuts traveling everywhere but I am excited. And a lot nervous because no one really knows what we should be doing. I’m not too worried we will figure it out.  It will for sure be a stretching experience. I am excited for the opportunity to feel the spirit guide our efforts. We will for sure need the help but I think it will be an experience where I will be able to grow closer to the Lord through prayer. Wish me luck!

Saying goodbye to all the members in Dachney was hard. I haven't been there all that long but I just love the members there. But we said goodbye yesterday at church and then got on a train at 2:00 in the morning after sleeping for a little bit. We got into Samara at noon today and just stopped at our apartment and then came to email at the office, by the way our apartment is REALLY nice. Seriously, not that we are going to be there all that often... we still have to go buy some food because we don't have anything to eat. But the rest of the week we will be in zone leader council and other meetings with the president and the assistants.

I don't really know what happened last week. I can't really rained for a couple days, I do remember that.  And the cotton here is crazy. Or at least it was in Saratov, I have only been here for a couple of hours. I will probably have more to write next week. Good luck with everything!

Cectpa Pearce

May 20, 2013


Sounds like you had a busy week! Friends visiting, helping moving, painting, cleaning and what not. Good job!

This week was a crazy week. I don't even know what happened. Both me and Sister Angelos were feeling a little under the weather at the beginning of the week and things were still kind of sketch Thursday night but we had a meeting set up from a potentials list. She didn't show but one of our other investigators called us and was close to where we were so he came and had his friend meet us. He is interested in learning a little about English and the Book of Mormon. Way cool. then earlier in the week while we were contacting a girl about our age, named Nina, came up and talked to me and said she had met with missionaries before and gave us her number and we met with her on Thursday night as well. She is so cool! She has been reading the Book of Mormon every once in a while for a year. She will be coming with us to a baptism on Saturday.  Then on Friday we had a lesson planned with a member and he ended up introducing us to his neighbor. We had a lesson with him (Victor) and we will be meeting with him tonight.

There is a member named Galina who has a friend who is moving she told us about it 4 weeks ago but something with the people buying their apartment wasn't coming through but on Saturday we were finally able to help her move. We cleaned floors and washed her windows but still weren't able to meet her. She was at her old apartment after church on Sunday we went with Galina to meet her and her husband. Galina gave her a Book of Mormon a couple years ago and she has read it a little bit, but doesn't know a lot about god. She is 79 and had a stroke a little while ago so she is thinking more about what is after death. Her husband is pretty cool and we met her son. Anyway, everything we have been waiting to happen, happened. It was sweet!

We set a goal at the beginning of the cycle to get a baptismal date for our area but we didn't really have too many people to work with. We will see what we can do in this week. I am excited. Being a missionary is sweet. I love it. Every day you are taught to reach for heavens help. Maybe it doesn't come immediately but I have received a testimony that god answers prayers. Again and again and again. The 2nd counselor in the relief society presidency has a daughter that has investigated the church before but is worried what her friends would think about her if she was baptized. We told her we would pray that her heart would be softened and would have a desire to meet with the missionaries again. Last week she began meeting with the elders again! There have been so many examples in the past couple weeks.

I love you all! Thank you for writing!


May 13, 2013


It was so great to talk to you yesterday! Happy Mother’s Day again! Just so I got this straight you want a doll painted by her but just a traditional one? That I can do but would you email Sister Stevens to ask for different options and stuff? She knows lot and that way you can get what you want. Otherwise I will just pick what I think would be cool. Thanks for the pictures! Everyone looks so great!

This week was pretty slow because last Sunday was Easter and Thursday was victory day. Everyone was at their dacha or drunk. On Thursday we were locked down. We couldn't leave the apartment, so we did some de-junking and deep cleaning. Although sometimes in the process of deep cleaning I feel like you end up making a bigger mess... regardless we threw away a lot of stuff.

We had a lesson yesterday with our investigator named Dime. He is really cool but works in Siberia on the oil rigs. So he works there for a month and then comes back for a couple weeks so it is hard to meet with him. We had a way sweet restoration lesson with the Stevens. It was a little crazy because the Elders were calling their parents so we were meeting in the entry way. It worked.

It should get up to 30 degrees Celsius this week. I honestly don't know what that is in F. but I think it is 80-85. I am starting to get tan which is nice. I was so pasty from lack of sun for the winter.  We have started playing volleyball on Tuesdays and that is fun. Although, I feel so old I always am so achy and sore after it. And it's not even competitive! Sometimes I wonder if it will be possible for me to ever play soccer again. Sigh!!!

Well, love you lots!

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 6, 2013

Parents. What happened this week?

Well Sister Stevens has been waiting for an email reply from you for almost a week about Skype. Look in your inbox or email her at:

She is real nice and organizes it all so...please write her.

There is a member here who hand paints Matroshka dolls and wooden eggs that are really pretty and so I am for sure getting some for myself. I have thought about getting one for each of my brothers but they are a little expensive. About a 100 dollars so I haven't decided yet. I wanted to talk with you a little about it for Skype but I didn't want it to occupy the whole call so think about it. I was for sure going to get one for you. She can do whatever you want. If you have a favorite picture of Christ with a scripture or a traditional Russian one. Anyway they are beautiful. The Matroshka doll I am getting for myself is a nativity. Each layer is a different part of the nativity. I will be ordering in two weeks so think about it and I can show you some on Skype (if you decide to email sister Stevens)

Well, I would love to hear from you next week. I hope everything is ok. I really do love hearing from you and I know not everyone hears from their parents every week so thank you for writing.


April 29, 2013

Hello family!

This week was really warm. Everyone saying it is summer here but it isn't that hot yet. I remember summer vividly is really hot. Everything is green and starting to grow. I have never seen Dachney in snow so it looks like when I left here.

Zone conference on Tuesday was awesome. Zone conference is always great. President told us a little more about President Schwab, our new mission president. This was the last zone conference with President Sartori so that was kind of sad. He gave us a talk by President Lawrence; the President of the Europe east area about the gathering of Israel. It is so cool! Especially here in Russia where most if not every tribe is represented in most branches. the Patriarch was here a little while ago and had slots to do 27 blessings but just told people to come and ended up doing 49 blessings in a matter of a couple of days. Way cool. A member got hers in an envelope yesterday. As I sat by her she just looked so grateful. She would stare at the envelope and just turn it over and over. She didn't want to tear into it. You could tell it was something she had waited a long time for.

Oh! Before I forget we need to arrange a time for a mother’s day call. Weird, right? I think it is the 12th of May? I don't know but...just let me know what times would be good. I will have more information next week.

Sports night will be starting up this week. We will be playing at the same place I played at my first cycle. It should be fun.

This week we met with some members and contacted a lot. We found some cool potentials so we'll just have to see where they go. Two of the girls we met will be out of town for a couple weeks but were way excited to meet with us. We have actually had a lot of people calling us to meet with us. They got our number from other people. So that is cool. Who knows what will happen! On Wednesday we were working with the zone leaders. By the way, our last time. Next cycle they will be getting training sisters that will go on exchanges with all the companionships of sisters. It will be so great! The elders are great but you just can't work normally when you work in a group if four.... This will be better. Anyway, on Wednesday we ran into a recent convert who was baptized last August. He investigated the church when I was here in the summer. No one has been able to get a hold of him and he has kind of dropped off the radar. But we got his new number. He is taking care of his mother who is real sick.  It has been interesting coming back to Dachney. I don't feel like I learned very much when I was here last time but turns out...I met the people I needed to so that now I would be able to work with them. I definitely feel like I was prepared for this cycle. Cool, right?

Well, love you all! Update the blog!
Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 22, 2013

Hello family!

First things first. Happy princess week!!!!! Tell Marcie happy birthday! I sent her a card never know with the Russian postal system. Oh and I guess, happy birthday to Todd and Greg...

This week has been a bit of a strange week. Monday evening I got a cold. It came on way fast because when I emailed you I felt fine and then by the evening I felt pretty crummy. The next couple nights were spent on trains and then I arrived here in Saratov! After traveling I was feeling pretty bad and Sister Sartori told me to get a dr. appointment when I got here because after taking an antibiotic for 10 days I shouldn't get sick. Anyway, so that was on Friday. They swabbed my throat, took some blood, and even took an x-ray of my sinuses. We’ll get the results sometime this week. I thought I was getting better; I wasn't waking up and coughing as often, my nose wasn't running as badly and now it is  pretty much gone but my throat is super sore and has funny bumps all over it. Sigh. I just want to be healthy...

Church yesterday was so great! I was surprised by how many people remembered me. All the members here are so nice! I called the Branch President on Saturday just to say hello and he just said he was so glad that I came back and the Relief Society short they were all so great. They all complimented me on my Russian (only because there was a drastic difference from my first cycle until now). Apparently after serving with Sister Polyanskaya I have a Ukrainian accent. I am ok with that:)

Last night we had a fireside on missionary work. It went really well. We had the Elders do a role play the Sisters talked about ideas of what the members could do and then the other set of Elders showed a movie and then we had a testimony meeting.

When I was here before the Dachney branch met in a little part of a building but now they meet in the building that the church built here with another branch. The building is so nice! And it is cool to see a lot of members together. After being in Orenburg the church here is so established, it is way cool. I am excited to get to work with the members here. They are willing to go out and contact with you, knock with you etc. it should be a fun cycle.

Tomorrow is zone conference so that should be fun. It is my second to last....strange. Working with Sister Angelos has been fun. She is a chatter box. Sometimes I have to remind her to eat so that we can get out the door on time. I finish and she has only taken a couple bites.

As far as whom we are teaching...not really anyone. But that should change. This week we will be finding people to teach. Give us a couple weeks.

Anyway, I love you all! Have a great week!

Cectpa Pearce

April 15, 2013

Hello family!

Thank you for the concern, yes I am feeling better. I have no idea what it was really. I have never been sick like that before. But all is well. I still have a pathetic little cough but I feel a lot better. First things first we received transfer calls on Saturday. Sister Upshaw and I didn't think that we would be staying together. We were right. I will be heading back to Dachney! Down to Saratov where I started my mission. the senior couple here the Chepyrov's are from that branch so it was cool to have served with them for the last cycle. I will be serving with Sister Angelos. She is from West Valley and has served a cycle less than I have. That is about all I know right now. I will be getting on a train to Samara tomorrow night and then another train to Saratov on Wednesday. Should be a good time. I am excited to go back to Dachney because now I can speak Russian:)

This week we have been trying to get members on the lessons we have. The first lesson we had with a member was way sweet. Anton is a dancer here and was invited to come to church by his friend Ivan who is the Elder’s Quorum President. Ivan was able to testify to his friend about the blessings he has seen in his life from going to church. Anton asked some really cool questions about plan of salvation and when I invited him to find out himself whether all the things we were saying are true he said "ya i'll do it". In all of our lessons before that he was just kind of meeting with us because we are from America and speak English. Anyway, it was really cool. Some others were with Evgeny. Aleksey, our investigator, told him about us and he wanted to meet. We had a member on both of our lessons with him this week and he is very interested in the Book of Mormon. When we invited him to be baptized he just said he wanted to read the whole Book of Mormon first. Anyway, it has been a pretty good week. I can talk now so that is good. I still can't sing but...that will come in the next few weeks.

General conference was so good! I loved it. I always feel a little antsy by the end of it just sitting and listening. I just have to get out and talk to people. Every conference I receive another witness that these men are called of god and this one was no difference.

On Saturday we ran into this girl named Marina who we found our first week together. She has been out of town and we haven't been able to reach her for about a month. Last summer she met with the Elders here and has a Book of Mormon. Anyway, we were able to talk with her. We set up a meeting for tomorrow so hopefully it works out. It would be really cool to meet with her before I leave.

The active members in Orenburg have such strong testimonies. The trials they face at times I am sure are practically unbearable, but they just keep coming to church and serving faithfully. In the short 6 weeks I have been here I have fallen in love with all of them. They are just so humble and grateful that they know the church is true. You truly can see a light in them that you don't see in everyone else. I haven't even left yet and I already miss them. Tonight we have a meeting with the Branch President and his two sons. Should be fun.

Well, love you all!!

Cectpa Pearce

April 8, 2013

Hello family!

I don't even know where to start for this week. It hasn't been the best week I have had on my mission. Sunday night last week I started feeling sick. Just a sore throat no big deal but by Monday I was feeling pretty achy. I was least able to sleep during the day for p-day. Tuesday was actually a really sweet day. We met with marina and set a baptism date with her. It is for June 15 so we've got time but it just takes a little bit for her to understand. Little by little she'll get there. She actually stayed for all 3 hours of church yesterday. Then Aleksey was talking to his friend about meeting with us and then his friend wanted to meet with us. He is pretty sweet. Knows English pretty well and is kind of searching for what the world has in store for him. We’ll see where things go with him. Then we went with a member. Well a mom and her son. He is 40 and hasn't been to the temple and they haven't done any family history work. We talked about the plan of salvation and committed him to write down his mom's life history. She is around 80 and the coolest lady ever.

We thought we were going to be getting on a train that night but when the assistants finally sent the right tickets we found out they were for 5 in the morning. That meant waking up at 3 to get to the train station on time sleeping a little on the train, doing weekly planning, and then getting to Samara. While we were in Samara we worked with Sister Clyde (her 3rd cycle she was trained by Sister Scoville) and Sister Johnson who just got here 2 weeks ago. It was cool working together. I remember training for the first time and having no idea what I was doing. I would have loved to be able to work with Sisters. By the end of the day I had no voice and was feeling pretty crappy.

We woke up Thursday morning at 3 for the second night in a row to get to the airport on time.  Our group was pretty small. The Sartori's and Elders Taylor, Malloy and Campbell. I had a pretty sweet conversation with the couple sitting next to me on the first plane they live in Samara so I gave his number to Elder Taylor. They have been married for 35 years and they were still happy to be together. I haven't seen that very often here in Russia so that was cool. After that I couldn't talk though. My head was already hurting because of sinus pressure so being on 4 flights was...great fun. Pretty much it meant a 30 minute earache on every flight while we came in for landing

Anyway, I survived. Friday I was feeling pretty awful so Sister Sartori got me an appointment at a clinic here. Going to the doctors in Russia was for sure a culture experience. She looked in my ears down my throat and pried open my nose with the biggest tweezers you have ever seen all the while making official doctory noises and the conclusion of all that was that I was indeed sick. She wrote out a list of things I should buy from the pharmacist and that were that. We asked for a throat swab but she refused to do it. She said it would make my condition worse. I should take all these medicines first and then after a couple days they could do it. At the end she said "Agreed?" I wanted to say no but I felt like the right answer was yes. We went home and got ready for the train that night and called a taxi.

We had a little trouble at the train station involving a bloody nose like Niagara Falls a 15 minute deadline to get on the train. We found med punkt and they were real nice in hind sight but at the time I didn't enjoy her attempt of shoving a yard of fabric soaked in anonymous liquid up my nose. That didn't feel so great. Anyway, we got on the train and got home and all is well.

Well, love you all!

Cectpa Pearce.

April 1, 2013

Hello family!

This week has been pretty cool. We had a lot of opportunities to teach our investigators. Marina (an older woman we are teaching) is usually really quiet and it is hard to find out what she understands from what we taught. We have started reading the Book of Mormon with her and that has really helped. We were explaining the dream of Lehi and at the end she said today I found out I need to be reading more of this book. I was shocked. Usually she doesn't say anything. so I asked her how she knew that and she said, "I don't know I just feel that is what I need to do" we were able to explain the role of the Holy Ghost in helping her to know what god wants. Usually she only stays for Sacrament Meeting, but yesterday she stayed for Sunday School as well. Way cool.

Easter isn't until May 5th here. They haven't done anything yet.

Funny story for the week: yesterday we were tracting. We rang the doorbell and we heard them unlock the door and then we heard him say "open the door!" I was really confused because usually that is there we opened the door and there is this guy holding back a HUGE DOG. So we explain what we are doing he started losing control of the beast and so he yelled "throw it!" so I threw a family proclamation to the world into the apartment and then we closed the door really fast. We heard a little bit of a tussle and then he yelled, "thank you!" it was cool.

I don't really remember what else happened...oh, just so you know. We know now can email for an hour and half and we can email friends.  Anyway I love you all! Good luck with everything. I hope conference is good:)

Advice for Bronson...the MTC is a really cool place. It is going to be hard, and you will wonder at least once what you have gotten yourself into but it is so worth it. You have the opportunity to be saturated with spiritual experiences. More than anything that is what is most important about the MTC. You are going to stress about learning the language, but try not to worry too much. Know that Heavenly Father has your back. He wants you to succeed and will help you do that if you humbly work with diligence. Learn how to recognize when you are feeling the spirit and what it is telling you to do and you will be successful. Remember that learning the language is the best way for you to acquire Christ like attributes. So, when it is hard, just know that you are learning at the feet of the Master.  He knows you, and he is forming you into the servant he needs for the people he is preparing for you. Missions are the coolest thing in the world! Also, working together with your companion is really important. Always trying to be there for them, when it is hard for you, will teach you charity. When the work is love driven it is a lot easier. Alright that is all for now :) Good luck!! Becky don’t feel too sad. Your son is about to realize how much you have done for him and will be so grateful for your example of Christ like service in the church. And the Lord blesses the families of missionaries. Read D&C 31 it is way cool.

Cectpa Pearce

ps. It would be cool if you could do something for Smitty's baby. She is having a girl:)