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