Thursday, February 27, 2014

There Can Be Miracles... (Feb 23 Email)

HOLY LLAMAS! This week has been crazy and spiritual and fun! I'm not really sure why it was so rocky for us to get to this point and I'm not sure I'll ever be entirely sure, but now that we've gotten to this point of "getting along" I literally don't ever want to leave! But I can honestly say that good things come to those who wait. Sometimes it take almost 2 1/2 months to get good, but they do come!

So, this week we did a mini photo shoot at our investigators house. (: They wanted to see how good we would look as Maoris. If ya'll didn't know...Maoris are brown and I am white, but Tainui did the photos in black and white so no one would know what colour I actually am. So, there are just a few from our day as Maoris. (:

So, I read this talk, it's called the Fourth Missionary and it actually change my life. Ya'll should read it because even not as missionary it will change the way you look at life. One quote that I really like from it goes as follows, "Just give it up. Surrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. Withhold nothing. Turn it all over to Him; all of your desires, wishes, ambitions, dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just in your behavior. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all things...who has all power...whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him, who alone suffered, paid, and atoned for sins and for your weaknesses as well. Trust Him. That He will make of you, immeasurably more than what you will ever, ever, in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. HE WILL CREATE A GOD." And there is the easiest way to do things. The easiest way to forget about ourselves is to lose ourselves in the Lord's work. I haven't been out long, but for the amount of time that I have been out, I have seen it work time and time again. If I lose myself, I am happy. If I am focused on myself, I am miserable.

I think I have mentioned this before, but a mission is the hardest fun I have ever had. I have met so many amazing people that I never would have met if I wouldn't have come on a mission. The world is a much bigger place than I ever realized. Growing up in Utah, we kind of just live in our own little bubble of nothingness, but the world is a big as place! I am learning so many things and I feel like I am finally growing up a little bit...not much, but a little bit. (: I'm loving all the experiences I'm having, both hard and easy, both fun and scary.

KIA KAHA!!!!!!
Sister Rachel Pearce

No Photo Descriptions this week, but at least we got photos:

Bump, Set, Spike! (Feb 16 Email)

This week has been fun/hard/exhausting/spiritual. But we'll just focus on the fun aspect for now, eh? (: Last P-Day, we played volleyball with our district and it was seriously so fun!! Ya'll know me and you probably know that I suck at all things sporty, but you'll be pleased to hear that I actually did, surprisingly well! Now, Sister Leung-wo, on the other hand is so good at all sports! So, it's a little hard for me to play when she is so darn good, but this week I learned that I have talents and abilities that make ME unique and special. I'm learning more and more every day to love myself. (: But anyway, so sport with the district was really fun! Then we had family home evening with Ruby and Blaire's family and played volleyball some more. It definitely didn't help that it was a seriously hot day, but by the end of it my arms and legs hurt so badly. (; It was wonderful!

On Tuesday, we had District Meeting! I seriously love District Meeting. (: AND!! It was Elder Hester's first time leading our District Meeting. Needless to say, it was one of the greatest District Meetings that I've ever been too. I haven't been to many, but this was really really great. We talked about the importance of effective friendshares. Which is basically the lesson we teach members when we go over to their houses. We did some awesome roleplays helping us to get better at doing this! We also talked about having effective companion studies in which we can plan for our day and the people we'll be seeing. Elder Brann shared this awesome alliteration...Prior Planning Prevents Poor, Pitiful Performance.

This week we had companionship exchanges with Sister Bird and Sister Samataua. At first I was dreading it, but when it actually happened, it was one of the greatest things that has happened so far on my mission. Sister Bird slept the night with me in our flat and Sister Leung-wo went with Sister Samataua to Tuakau. I am so grateful that I got the chance to speak with Sister Bird. I got so many things off my chest and I literally felt so much better afterwards. (: I learned so much from Sister Bird! So much. She taught me that WE. ARE. MISSIONARIES. It is our job to talk to EVERYONE. Who are we to take the chance to hear the gospel away from anyone? We are called to be missionaries in behalf of Jesus Christ! Would he pass someone on the street just because of their appearance? No. Would he pass someone because they smell yucky? No. And neither should we! Those aren't the greatest examples, but...give me a break. (:

This week I had the awesome opportunity to hear Elder Russell M. Nelson speak! He came to Hamilton and spoke to the whole of our mission. (: But the story leading up to that is one of...not funness. (: Because the conference was scheduled to start at 9 the next morning, all the Pukekohe missionaries we assigned to sleep in flats of Papakura missionaries. So, on Friday night, we went up to Papakura and slept in Sister Pula and Sister Fiu's flat. Their flat was pretty nice, not the greatest, but it was alright. We were meant to be at the chapel before 6 the next morning, so we went to bed at 10:00 and woke up at 4:00 in the morning. It was TERRIBLE. So early. I thought 6:30 was early...nek minit. But it was so worth it in the end! We met at a chapel in Temple View and studied for about 45 minutes before the guests of honour arrived. In the party were Elder and Sister Russell M. Nelson, President and Sister Hamula (Pacific Area President), Brother and Sister Thompson (significance...unknown(; ), President and Sister Cezarian (President of the Wellington Mission), and probably the coolest ones of all, President and Sister Rudd. (: Then, as a mission, we all got the opportunity to shake hands with every single one of them. IT WAS SO COOL!!!!!!!! Oh! And President Rudd's father, Brother Glenn L. Rudd. He was a missionary under Michael Cowley, Mission President of the Auckland Mission for a time, Hamilton Temple President, and a General Authority. This man is absolutely amazing.

So, all of the guests of honour bore their testimonies and then Sister Nelson spoke and then Elder Nelson. Something that he said that stood out to me was "If you have joy, notify your faces!" So, basically, we can't be walking around looking all depressed. If we are actually, truly happy then we should look it! People aren't going to want to learn about the gospel of happiness if we look look happy!! SMILE!!!! (: Another thing was, "Endure in fidelity the covenants that you made in the Temple." Because really, that is ultimate goal, eh? Yes, Baptism is like, REALLY important, but really the goal is to receive the Temple Endowment and Sealing. Pretty awesome, huh? It's not something that I had thought about before. I learned so many other things from all of the people, but a lot of it was just like spiritual awesomeness. (:

Each week gets a little bit better, and I am constantly growing and getting better, but it is still a challenge! Every day is tiring and I fall into bed every night, but I love the work! I love watching people let Christ into their lives. I love letting Christ into MY life. And at this time, I challenge all of you to let Christ into your lives! I found an awesome quote from C.S. Lewis today and I want to share it with ya'll! This is him sort of saying what the Lord would say to us, "Give me all. I don't want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work: I WANT YOU. All of you. I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man, but to kill it. No half-measures will do. I don't want to only prune a branch here and another there; rather, I want the whole tree out. Hand it all over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will shall become your will. My heart shall become your heart." So, I challenge you all to do this. Give your all to the Lord! And you will see the miracles that can come from it. I can testify of this. (: I love you all so much and I am so grateful for your constant love and support! God Be With You Till We Meet Again. :D

Sister Pearce

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Life's a Climb, But the View's Great!

Last week was a really bumpy, rocky, rough road for me and looking back I can honestly say that Satan was trying his hardest to tear me down. It worked for a minute, but then I climbed back up! And the only way I did that was through Faith that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were going to help me, Hope that all was going to be okay, and Patience whilst enduring. I'm not sure what chucked me into the abyss of sadness, but I can testify that Jesus Christ's hand was what yanked me out of it. I can also testify that Jesus Christ's Atonement is for EVERYONE! It's for sinners, it's for depressed missionaries, it's for all the people who've ever felt sad or happy or confused or lonely. And this week, His Atonement was for me. I can't describe exactly what I went through last week and I don't think that anyone would want to hear, but the SECOND that I put my hand in Christ's hand, the SECOND I put my trust in Him, the hole I was in seemed so much smaller, brighter, and more friendly.

So, this week was HEAPS better than last week. (: It's still, in no way, perfect, but it is better! We had Zone Meeting this week and something they really stressed was that the Elders CANNOT counsel the Sisters. Not that anything inappropriate has happened, they were just stressing the fact that feelings come from feeling the Spirit together. And they just wanted us to like Sister Bird, and that story will come in just a few seconds. (: So, the morale of this story is that we have a really obedient District Leader, Elder Hester, who kept encouraging us to go to Sister Bird and talk to her. Well, on Saturday, Sister Leung-wo and I weren't really getting along in the best of ways, and I had no idea how to bring the Spirit back into our companionship. And for some reason, I just felt this prompting that I needed to call Sister Bird. So, putting aside my pride and my hurt, I called Sister Bird. I told her what was going on and that I had no idea what to do. Tender Mercy Moment: They were in Pukekohe getting Petrol, so she said that they would come over and help up out. So, Sister Samataua went in the room with Sister Leung-wo and Sister Bird and I talked in our lounge. I can seriously tell you that Sister Bird was called of God to be our Sister Training Leader for a reason. She helped so much and I was able to get so many things off my chest. I love Sister Bird now, and that is exactly what I needed to grow to love her. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. (:

So, yesterday, we had this awesome Pacific Area Presidency Leadership Training about working in unity with our wards and branches! It was such a good training and I learned so much about how the members can help in such a big way with conversions and retentions. And our Area President challenged us to read the Book of Mormon twice this year! I'm so excited to complete this commitment! And I also challenge all of yous, TO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON TWICE THIS YEAR! I'm assuming you'll all say yes, but I can promise you that as you do, your love for Jesus Christ will deepen and your conversion to the gospel with grow. I can promise you that you will come to know for yourself, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. I can promise you that you will come to know the Saviour in ways that you never thought you could. (:

Something else they have been encouraging a lot is Family History! I know that Family History seems cumbersome at times, but I can promise you that as you search out your ancestors, you will find a greater connection with them! You'll be able to come to know them as real people and grow to love them! The ward that I'm in right now, Pukekohe 1st Ward is an amazingly Family History centred ward. It's amazing to see how much they love to work on finding their family! And not only that, but they love to take the names to the temple, even though the temple is over an hour away. It's absolutely inspiring. (:

This week was a crazy spiritual week for me! And on the other side, it was just an awesome week! Our two investigators that don't want to marry their partners, they decided to get married! No, they didn't, but I got yous there, didn't I? Nah, what I was going to say was that they've just been teaching us a lot about Maori culture! I'm not sure if yous know what a Hangi is, but is a traditional Maori meal. (see 4465) So, what you see is Pumpkin, Kumara, Potatoes, Chicken, Stuffing, and Cabbage on the bottom. So, how you prepare it is you put the Pumpkin, Kumara, Potatoes, Chicken, and Stuffing into a huge as Cabbage leaf and then you rap it in foil. Traditionally, they dig a huge hole in the ground and the heat up rocks, coals, and then cook the Hangis in the ground, but since they couldn't dig a huge as hole in their yard, they just cooked them in the oven. (: But I'm telling you! It was so stinking good. (: And I'm not even joking with you.

Even though I have been going through a hard time, I can see the bright side! And I am learning so much from this trial! I have grown so much spiritually. Even though I haven't grown taller physically, something people here like to remind me of, as I am quite on the short side here, (: I have grown heaps spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and personally. I am loving the mission! And I will endure to the end! And not only endure, I will enjoy to the end. (:
Sister Pearce

P.S. Yes, I did use a Hannah Montana quote as my subject line, but I'm sure you'll all get over it. (:

4467 -> This is the sunset after the Area Presidency Broadcast...I know you all just fell over our of it's beautifulness, but that's how they always are. It's absolutely beautiful.

4472 -> This is the room that I keep my suitcases and my clothes in, it's also where we keep our bikes. (:

4475 -> This is currently our torn up laundry room. Our landlord had some guys come and tear out our floor and now it's all sticky so we have to step on these gross as carpets. Some guy came to fix it up the other day, but the floor under the washing machine was completely rotted, so they have to come back on Thursday and replace the floor. Our flat is so old. (:

4478 -> These are our studying desks. (:

4479-> This is us. (:

4481 -> And this (:

4476 -> And a little out of order, here is our's actually really disgusting and we don't cook much, but it works. (: