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