Monday, February 18, 2013

February 17, 2013

Sounds like you have had a very busy week! I am sure it good to be back in the dub J for a little while. I just got big envelope of letters from all the Relief Society sisters there and I loved reading them. It sounds like the funeral went well.

This week has been a pretty good week. Slower than normal but all the same really cool. Last Monday night we had a way cool lesson with Marina. We taught Matthew 11:28-30 with her. She has always been very receptive to the spirit and notices a big difference between members and non-members and always asks why we can feel so confident and peaceful. As we talked she began to understand that through covenants especially baptism that is how we feel that. She has said she wants to be baptized and that it is a decision you can't go back on. This week we are planning on talking about commandments so she knows what changes she needs to make.

Olessa finally came to church! We have been inviting her for about a month and she always promises to come but hasn't yet. She came and had a great experience. After Relief Society I turned to her and asked her what she thought and she had tears in her eyes. She said that she understands the Book of Mormon when she reads it but now she understands that at church you can understand the scriptures better and feel the support from each other. Hopefully next week she will come with her husband and son.

Tanya gave her first talk in church this week. She did so well! She spoke about the atonement. I also spoke in church this week. I spoke about reverence. This week we also talked with Tanya and her mom about temples. As we talked about the purpose of temples and how they strengthen families Tanya just said, "Cool. I want to go." also, showing the pictures I have of my family is the best testimony I have of the power of the temples. I was able to show them that we were blessed because of your decision to be sealed together. And that that decision influenced all of us to have the desire to also be sealed together in the temple to our families. I always thought that our family was so boring and....I can't think of the word in English right now...normal maybe. Anyway, I have come to realize that that is not the case. Also, daddy and to all my brothers, thank you for being worthy priesthood holders. There are so many women here who ache to have their husbands lead their families in righteousness. And it just doesn't happen often. When they see that you have all been married in the temple it is like they are seeing the 8th wonder of the world. So thanks mom for being awesome and pulling on their ears enough to make that happen. I could go on for a while about why our family rocks but I am running low on time.

Yesterday we also had a lesson with Valentina. She has had a lot of bad experiences at church. Not ours, but Jehovah’s Witnesses, Russian Orthodox...anyway, she has been really hesitant to consider coming to church with us. But yesterday we were able to show her that by not coming to church she is missing out on a lot of blessings. It was actually a really cool experience with teaching with the spirit. I learned, she learned, it was sweet.

All this week I have felt the spirit guiding me on lessons to ask the right question, at the right time. It has been cool to see how when you follow the promptings of the spirit you are able to help people resolve their concerns. For me it is just a testimony builder that god is aware of his children. He knows what they need to hear and he knows their hearts.

Well, I love you all! Have a great week!
Cectpa Pearce

Ps. I didn't hear about the meteor. And the weather has been really warm. The snow is melting and it feels like spring. I haven't really experienced much of a Russian winter.

February 10, 2013

Hello family,

I always love hearing from you. This week has been pretty quiet. On Tuesday as we were finishing companion inventory (usually on Thursday, it was necessary) we prayed together and then were going to get ready to go tract. For some reason I felt like we should look at the ward list. We had already been inside all day so I felt weird about it but we did it anyway. As we were going through our area I remembered a young couple who is inactive. They were always too busy to meet with us but we thought we would give it a try. We called and she agreed to meet with us the next day. As we met with her it became apparent that our call was an answer to her prayer. She wanted to come back to church but work and other things kept getting in the way. Anyway we will begin meeting more regularly with them as they work towards the goal to be sealed together in the temple. They came to church yesterday for the first time in 3 months so that was cool. That was probably the first time in my life that I felt a prompting, recognized it and followed it. Real cool.

Other than that I don't have much to say about this week.

It was cool to hear about your experience of fasting for Aunt Tess. I am sure she is happy. Send me some pictures of the funeral if you can. Also, send me a picture of the dresses you made if you haven't already sent them.
Sorry this is so short...

Cectpa Pearce

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 3, 2013

Tanya got baptized!!! It was probably the best and the worst day of my mission all wrapped up into one. I was exhausted by the end of the day. We met them at bus stop and went with them to the branch. Although, the bus driver decided to take a short cut... and didn't go by the branch so we had to walk for 20 minutes back to the branch. Our branch mission leader is...great. He took over the baptism as he should, but he didn't know what to do and when we tried to help, didn't listen...regardless she got baptized. The spirit there was so strong. In her testimony afterwards (I was shocked she would even get up and say anything) she said she felt light, and new. And that everything bad that happened to her was gone. That was sweet. After that we ate at McDonalds with them and then got on a bus to Komcomolcki for a surprise party for the Peterson’s. All the members in Tolyatti came together for a Russian culture night to say good bye to them. It was the coolest thing ever. They even got President in on it and he made up a fake meeting that he needed them at. And it would have been a surprise except for Elder Louis told them about it 3 times. I guess he is kind of like Todd in that regard.  Regardless, it was a great activity and we received two contacts from it so effective as well. 1 of them we had a lesson with yesterday. She is the girlfriend of our ward mission leader but doesn't really know about our church but is excited to learn. And the other one is a volunteer from Germany. She knows English really well and is learning Russian. She just moved into our area yesterday. She doesn't believe in god but we'll see what we can do about that. Anyway, way cool.  Being around members for a whole day stresses me out. I have been here for long enough that even the members in the other branch know me so when we are all together they pull me in all directions, (literally pull and poke or any other way to get my attention). I am excited for today just to be alone and sit and be quiet.

Oh! One of our investigators has this way sweet video of Tolyatti that he was going to send you the address to find it online. I don't know if he did or not but his name is Sergei. Watch it! Or if he didn’t look for it on YouTube.

As far as who we are teaching, we are teaching a women who came to English club 14 years ago wanting to learn English. She remembers that they showed the restoration film and that she felt the spirit. She also remembers the testimonies of the missionaries. She is very receptive to the spirit and recognizes it every time. Her daughter is 25 and is really cool as well. She feels like she needs guidance but doesn't know where to go for it. I love teaching them. she came up to the elders at culture night a couple nights back because she recognized them as missionaries gave them her number and she ended up living in our area.  We are also meeting with an incredible mom. She works a lot, has an 8 year old son, and a husband who drinks. She loves the Book of Mormon. She says it helps her to feel peace. Every time she talks with us or reads. She’s awesome her husband is not so awesome but we will see if we can help her out a little. Another woman who is 75 has read the bible a ton and now has finished 2nd Nephi. She feels like everything we say is true but doesn't understand the need for getting baptized a 2nd time. We’ll see about that. Those are the main ones I think... we have some others that right now just aren't doing anything.

The weather here has been pretty warm. Cold enough so the snow doesn't melt but not freezing.

Well, love you lots!!

Cectpa Pearce