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:)