Kia Ora, Everyone! Now, don't read that like an American, here, we say it sort of like keeoda! Sort of...not really.
This week was really really awesome! I rode my bike for the first time this week!! My bike is pretty dang nice! Sister Holmes and I were planning on riding our bikes to one of the areas that's further away from our flat, luckily this area isn't too hilly, they're more like, bumps. I don't know. That was a terrible description. (: But it wasn't too bad. Oh, man, it was SO funny! Sister Holmes went to avoid a "giant as crack in the ground" and she totally almost crashed. We had to stop, not because of her, but I was laughing too hard. (: That was a laugh where my stomach hurt! I love Sister Holmes!! We rode our bikes for exercise the next morning and OUCH! It was so painful! Our bottoms were so sore!!! But we pushed through it like the tough missionaries we are! (:
I experienced my first New Zealand rain this week! It started when Sister Holmes and I were proselyting. Yeah, we had no umbrellas and it was POURING! It was so fun though, we both got drenched and her glasses were useless. (: I guess that's all a part of the learning process though, eh? (: It was way humid afterwards! Both Sister Holmes and I had crazy curly, frizzy hair!
The outlets here are super weird! The power is different and their outlets have switches on them, so you have to turn on and off the outlets. It's pretty efficient, I guess. (:
So, the subject line, I was born on the dark side! In the mission, they say your first area is where you're born, your trainer is your mom, and anyone that they have previously trained is your sister. Haha, unless your elders and then it's dads and sons. (: It's really funny. And since our area is called the dark side, I WAS BORN ON THE DARK SIDE!! (: It's sort of like Star Wars. I'm defending the Pukekohe 2nd Ward from the powers of Satan! It feels pretty awesome. (:
Okay, everything is smaller in New Zealand. The cars are tiny! They have most of the same brands, like most of the mission cars are Toyotas, but the steering wheel is on the other side, of course, but they're like shorted and more squat. And all of the cars are like that...the vans...all of them. It's like living in a Dr. Seuss book. (: Or, the Lorax. (: The houses are all pretty small though! I mean, there are those houses of the supa rich people, but even they're pretty small. Smaller than American houses anyway. (: But I love it. People live so simply here and it is so nice! The things that I heard before my mission are true! It's like they live in slow motion here. The kids don't wear shoes most of the time. And even thought they go to school wearing shoes, they come home without them. It's really cute. All of the kids are really cute here! There is a young girl in our ward who reminds me of Savannah Malm. I mean, she looks exactly like her! Dopplegangers are real. And I keep seeing people that look like Mr. Thorpe...weird.
The Elders in my zone are really awesome! I really appreciate them. There's Elders Hester and Delleca, Johnson and Brann(Elder Brann is secretly my favorite...shh don't tell anyone. (: ), Wright and Oliva, Lelenoa and Brown, and two Tongan elders whose names are impossible to pronounce. (: Something that I've grown to love is that, elders and sisters are able to get to know each other on a purely friendship based level which I love wholeheartedly! We are such good friends with all of our elders and we always have such a good time! Today, after emailing, we're playing district against district kickball which will be a total blast!! (:
One of the less active families we're working with are named the Howards. Both of the parents are members, just less active. Then their son Bailey(14), is active, he comes every week and passes the sacrament. Their daughter Paige(11) isn't baptized though, so we're working with her. We went over to their house for a "feed" the other night, that's what they call mealtimes here. (: Sister Howard made some yummy chicken and coleslaw and then we had this delicious dessert! It was biscuits (cookies) soaked in Fanta, covered in cream. Oh. My. Goodness. It was SO GOOD! We really love the Howards. They are such a fun family. (:
The other night, we were walking home and this lady stopped us on the street. It was obvious that she was drunk, but it didn't look like she was wasted. She just started talking to us and we started to slip into our roles as missionaries and tell her about us, but then she just started verbally abusing us! We didn't really know what to do, so we kind of just agreed with whatever she said. I won't say what she said to us, but I am so glad that I had Sister Holmes there because she was totally cool and calm. Looking back it was pretty humorous, but during it was like, "Whoa, what is going on?" But it was definitely a good learning experience.
I bought a blowdryer...I plugged it in the other day and sparks flew out of it when I turned it on. Then it wouldn't blow hot air anymore. So, I've been mooching off of Sister Holmes and using her hairdryer.
The other day Sister Holmes and I were out tracting and all of a sudden a police car pulls up next to us and the cop says, "Have you two been walking around today?" And at that point Sister Holmes and I were a little bit worried, but we answered and said yes, just being honest with him, but freaking out inside. Then, he asked if we had seen a man in a yellow and purple cap. Stress relief times 10000. We hadn't and so the cop thanked us and drove off. We were on our way home for dinner and as we turned onto our street we counted 10 cop cars lining the street. So, we swiftly walked to our flat and swiftly went inside. Haha, we never found out for sure what happened, but it was a fun time. (:
We had our first teaching appointment this week!!!!!! It was three kids named Xavier(13), Samsara(11), and D'Artangan(8). They are literally the cutest kids ever. We taught them on Wednesday and then they got baptized yesterday!! That's how good Sister Holmes and I are. Hahahahahahahah!!!! No, they were being taught by the previous missionaries and we just had to make sure that they were ready. And boy were they! They are the most obedient kids I have ever met! They were born in the Cook Islands, not that that's important, but I just thought it was cool. (: They are so awesome, and I am really glad that we got to teach them before they were baptized!!
Sister Holmes and I went on companionship exchanges with our Sister Training Leader and her companion this week! Our STL is Sister Whiting, and guess who her companion is?! Sister Lamoureux! Crazy, huh? So Sister Lamoureux and I were together again as real, proselyting missionaries. (: It was a great experience, I learned so much from Sister Whiting! She is really good about getting her foot in the door when tracting. She knows exactly what to testify of and she is good about doing it. I am hoping to get more comfortable doing that! It's my goal for this week. (:
While Sister Holmes and Sister Lamoureux were companions, they were walking on Birdwood Road and all of a sudden they heard someone yelling at them! So, they went back and they found three kids that said that they wanted to learn more about God. They said that they didn't want to end up like the people who smoke and drink. So, they set up an appointment for the following day! It ended up falling through, but they came to church the next day and they also attended the baptism! So, I'm hoping that they felt something different and exciting about our church. (: We're hoping to set them for baptism this week!
Okay, so about the baptism! Our zone leaders, Elder Brann and Elder Johnson came to support, which was really awesome. (: There were three talks before the ordinance, and the talks were really awesome. I learned heaps! Then the ordinance took place, there were so many people there that we didn't actually get to watch, but we got to hear and that was just as special as anything. (: Afterwards, they had a dinner. Holy Crap. So much good food. (; SO MUCH FOOD!!!!!!! I don't even know what half of it was, but it. was. so. good. And after fasting all day it was really really x10 good. (:
We've had two other dinner appointments. One from the Relief Society President, Sister Norma Iriaka, we still aren't completely sure how to say her name (: but she made this yummy casserole stuff. It had heaps of cheese and noodles and then on the bottom was kind of sloppy joe stuff, but even better than that. (: Kiwis really like coleslaw and I actually don't mind it that much anymore. It's actually pretty good. (: The other dinner appointment we had was with the Relief Society 2nd Counselor, Vanessa Kwan-Wing. She made us this yummy curry stuff with chicken and potatoes and carrots. Then we had cheesecake ice cream with strawberries. It was so yummy!! My taste buds are expanding their horizons. Haha!
A weird phenomenon happened this week. I got asked to pronounce words! The people here love American accents and so the other day at the Howards, Brother Howard asked Sister Holmes and I to say all of these words. The say car names differently. Nissan, we say it Neesahn, but they say it Nihsaan. Subaru, we say it Soobahroo, they say it, Soobaa(likebat)roo. And they say Toyota a little differently, but not too much. Haha. (: I never thought that my "accent" would be cool to someone. It's funny, Elder Hester, he's a Kiwi, he's from North Shore, but he says his name all kiwi-like and then when we say it we emphasize the "r." It's pretty funny. (: People here have trouble saying my name! They always have to ask my how to say it. And they don't really pronounce "r's" here, so they always either say, "Pehrce," or they really emphasize the "r". So, it's like a southern American accent that they pronounce my name. It's really funny. I always thought that Pearce was an easy name to figure out. It makes me feel pretty special. (:
I love New Zealand. I love the people, I love the work, I love my companion, I love the humidity, I don't love the heat so much, but what does it matter when I'm on the Lord's errand?! I'm getting used to the accents, and I talk a little bit like them more and more every day. This work is something that I never thought I would love so much, but I am loving it and I do love the people of New Zealand. Something that I am grateful for everyday is that I am able to have the energy to make it! Every day I wonder how I'll make it through the day with enough energy, and with the Lord's help, I manage to do it. My feet hurt and my body is sore, but I know that with the Lord on my side I can accomplish anything and that is the motto that I have adopted being here in New Zealand. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is nothing I'd rather be doing with my time. It's something that I would never give up. I'll work until I die if I have to. I love you all so much, but 18 months is going to fly by and I'm going to come home different than when I left because if you come home the same as you did when you left, you aren't being a missionary the right way.
I love you all heaps and heaps!!
Photo #1 This is looking into our living room. The table is the desk that Sister Holmes and I use for study time. (:
Photo #2 This is our kitchen! We have a dishwasher, but we never use it, we just use our hands and wash the dishes. (: Besides, we don't have any detergent. (:
Photo #3 This is our burgal proofing chair. It does a lot, eh? They call it burgaling here, not robbing. Haha.
Photo #4 This is our garage with our bikes, mine is the white one closest to the camera.
More photos from the MTC!!
Photo #2 Our MTC district! Top row left to right: Elder Garner, Elder Jones, Elder Hunt, Elder Strong, Elder McDonald, Elder Christensen. Then Sister Lam, Sister Me, Sister Ware, and Sister Fisher. (:
Photo #3 Me at the MTC map!