Sunday, March 30, 2014


This week has been AMAZING!! Pause: I have been out for almost 5 months!!!!!!! Holy cow, time has FLOWN by. Play: I have learned so many things this week and I am absolutely amazed at how New Zealand never ceases to amaze me.

This week was AWESOME!! Did I mention that? I guess I did. Tuesday, we had interview meeting and subsequent interviews with President Rudd. It was so good! Our Zone Leaders did a training on setting goals and reaching those goals and then we talked about how to improve our tweeing or "talking with everyone!" It was such a good training and I learned so much from it! And then an interview with President Rudd was the icing on the cake! President Rudd is such a good mission president and I am so lucky to be serving under him.

On Wednesday, we went on Companion Exchanges with our Sister Training Leader, Sister Laban and her companion Sister Clarke. Exchanges started on Wednesday at 11:00 and I was able to be companions with Sister Clarke from 11:00 on Wed, to 4:00 on Thursday!! It was an amazing experience!! We spent about 2 hours in their area and then we served in the Temple Visitor's Centre!! It was so fun! I got to meet many really cool people! A couple from Utah came in and they were from Provo! Brother Durrant served in New Zealand in the 70's and he came back to visit the areas that he served in! I met a girl who lives in Hamilton Mission boundaries and got her call to serve in the Hamilton Mission! Crazy! I also met a girl who is visiting New Zealand from Hawaii and we had a really awesome discussion on the Atonement! There were not many people the came in and so a lot of the time we got to watch Mormon Messages and chat. The Visitor's Centre is so different from regular proselyting, but it was so cool to just get to sit and ponder and read the scriptures. I learned a lot about myself and about what my life is going to be like for the next little while! Attached is a picture of Sister Clarke, the sister who got called to her own mission, and I. (:

4972-> This is Maori bread! It is some of the best food I have ever tasted. I could literally eat it all day every day. Except it has heaps of butter and it isn't particularly the healthiest thing ever. But when members make it for us, I make sure to eat heaps. (:

4795-> This is what we ate at one of our Samoan families houses, the Salima family. They had told me the day before that the Samoan rule was that you had to eat all your food before you left the house, so...I was eating and eating and eating and I was so full! And then they all started laughing, even Sister Amituanai, and they were like, "It was a joke! You don't have to eat if you're full!" Man, it was crack up!

Every year the university has this big Hot Air Balloon Festival! A member of our ward sent us these pictures, but the balloons are absolutely amazing!

I love you all and I am so grateful to be serving a mission at this time! The work of salvation is moving forward so quickly!! Be a part of it!! Always be praying for missionary experiences and then be bold when you receive them!! Time is flying quicker than I though it would! It's already April! I'm thrusting in my sickle and I am serving with all my heart, might, mind, and strength and I won't give up on anyone who hasn't had the chance to hear the gospel! And you shouldn't either! (: This gospel is amazing, and we have a responsibility to share it with ALL THE PEOPLE!!!!!

Alofa Atu (Samoan for love),
Sister Pearce

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Where the heck are we? (Email Dated: March 23, 2014)

This week was such a roller coaster! So many cool stories that I have to share!

So, on Tuesday we had District Meeting! Let's just say that I miss my last district! But we have some good missionaries. After District Meeting, the Sister Training Leader came and asked us if we were busy for the day and we didn't have any set appointments so we let her know that we were free.
So, it turns out that Sister Petersen was in the hospital because of an unknown illness and her companion is none other than Sister Fisher! Well, they had some set appointments and since Sister Petersen couldn't leave the hospital, Sister Fisher needed a companion to go with her for the day. So, this is where it gets really fun...Sister Laban and Sister Clarke drove Sister Fisher, Sister Amituanai, and I to Elder Christie and Elder Bishop's flat to pick up Sister Fisher's car. Afterwards, Sister Fisher, Sister Amituanai, and I went out to lunch..we got fish 'n' chips, yummy. (: Then we went to pick up Sister Curtis, a member to go to the lesson with us. Well, we got to the lesson and the investigator wasn't home! We were so sad. Then we had to take Sister Fisher back to the hospital to be with her companion, but Sister Amituanai and I had no way home. So, Sister Fisher called the Zone Leaders and the Zone Leaders called the Assistants and it was decided that we would drop Sister Fisher off at the hospital and I would drive her car back into our area. MORALE OF THE STORY: I had a car...(: But wait, it gets, Sister Amituanai and I worked in our area for about 2 hours and then we had dinner at 4:30 with some of my favourite members, the Ngamanu Family, and then at 5:30, we went BACK to the hospital to pick up Sister Fisher for a dinner appointment that she had. Sister Fisher had called the Zone Leaders and asked if we could go on exchange so Sister Petersen didn't have to be alone. Sister Amituanai and Sister Petersen stayed at the hospital and Sister Fisher and I went on exchanges. (: The dinner appointment was a lesson with an investigator as well, so we had yummy Mexican Food and then had a wonderful lesson with Lucy. She doesn't believe in God and she is a very literal thinker, so it was a hard lesson, but I was blessed to be teaching with Sister Fisher and we did a really good job! After the lesson, which took way longer than planned, we drove back to the hospital to drop Sister Fisher off and on the way there, the Zone Leaders called and told us to just take Sister Fisher to the Sister Training Leader's flat and then drive the car home. Sister Amituanai said that she knew the way home, so I wasn't really worried about getting home. Well, nek minit...we are so lost and it's like 9:25 and we are meant to be home at 9:30. So, I made Sister Ami call the Zone Leaders and they try for like 10 minutes to find us and finally we make it back to their flat and then they drove us the time we actually got home it was 10 o'clock. And the Zone Leaders were so mad! I think Sister Ami felt really bad that she got us lost. But it was such a fun adventure! I loved having a car...especially driving on the other side of the road. (: It was awesome.

Well, that was a novelistic story, eh? Haha, well the ward that I'm serving in, the Lake Rotoroa Ward is ONTO IT AS! They are becoming such a missionary oriented ward! For example, in Relief Society, Sister MacTavish gave an AMAZING lesson on missionary work and was just super blunt about the fact that the Relief Society sisters were being lazy in their missionary work and how they needed to pick it up! So, Sister Halbert passed around a calendar for the sisters to put down what day the could go out with us...every day is filled! So, we'll be the most onto it ward in the stake in no time!

Bishop Thomsen sang a song in sacrament meeting, he sang A Poor Wayfaring Man, and I had no idea he could sing! And let me tell you....HE COULD SING. He has a practically angelic voice and he brought the Spirit in so strong! It was awesome. (:

Anyway, I didn't take any pictures this week, I slacked...shame on me, but I'll get better! Don't worry. (: I love you all so much! Have a really awesome week! Share the gospel with one of your friends this week and then let me know how it goes! (:

With much Aroha,
Sister Rachel Pearce (:

Malo Soifua! (Email Dated: March 16, 2014)

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope this email finds you all in tip top shape! (: This past week was pretty crazy! Sister Leung-wo and I are no longer companions and I guess I never really realized the meaning of companion unity until her...I actually feel like I've lost a part of myself not being companions with her anymore...I never really understood what Christlike love was until I did EVERYTHING in my power to help her. And I never knew that I could fall in love with a tiny New Zealand town called Pukekohe. Pukekohe will always have a small part of my heart...may bigger than a small, but there's definitely a place in my heart for that beautiful little town. I can safely say that Sister Leung-wo will forever be one of my greatest friends. (:

Well, since I know you are all curious as about transfers, I'll tell a minute. (: Muahaha, the last night we had in our area, Ruby and Blaire threw us this going away partay! (: They ordered Pizza Hut, hot chips, drinks, got desserts, the works. It was AWESOME. (: Then we took some family photos, which are attached...(: (4723 is a nice one...4724 is our gang signs one...4728 is our awesome Maori one.) I love that family! They became like my family away from home while I was serving there...even now they are still like family. (:

Okay, now it's transfer time...So, my best friend and I have been separated from each other and I've been moved to the Glenview Stake, Lake Rotoroa Ward, with Sister Amituanai. Sister Ami is from Samoa and she's trying really hard! Her English is shaky and she doesn't understand sometimes, but she is trying. we don't really have much in common yet, but I'm sure that we will eventually! She is teaching me Samoan and I am teaching her English...O le Atua o lo tatou Tama Fa'alelagi...that just means God is Our Heavenly Father..nothing special. (: Our ward is really awesome! The members are so keen to do missionary work and we are so excited to be able to help them in this endeavor! Our bishop is Bishop Thomsen and he is from Utah originally! So, that's pretty awesome. (: Our ward is really keen on feeding us as it's a good thing that I'm riding a bike again, eh? (: FUN FACT: There is a Pearce family is our ward! But, alas, they spell their name Pearse...): But it's so cool, Sister Pearse said that she's adopted me as a daughter already. (:

I don't know if yous heard about it, but we had a cyclone here! My very first cyclone and it was...not that bad! It was cold and windy and pretty rainy, but we were still able to get out and work for the most part...(: We actually had a service project with our district in the rain and it was so fun! We did yard work and the lady we did it for invited us into her house afterwards, but we were all drenched..we ended up just standing in the kitchen and we sang her I Am A Child of God, but it was still so cool! Haha, the night before the cyclone hit, our zone leaders called us and they were all serious, "There's a cyclone coming and all the missionaries are being evacuated!" And I didn't know, so I totally believed them! Nek minit, they were just kidding, so I felt a little dumb, but not that dumb. Haha, they just told us to keep our windows closed and fill up containers of water just in case. It was a little to intense for how lame the storm actually was, but better to be safe than sorry!

Well, I'd just like to wish my dad a HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week. (: I'm so grateful for my dad and all that he does for my family and I! So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I LOVE YOU!!

4737-> Sister Amituanai and I (:
3236-> And a final one of me and my best friend. (:

I love you all!!! (:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I Desire the Fire!!

This week was AWESOME! It started out on Monday and Sister Leung-wo and I just shopped around Pukekohe because the rest of our District was off doing their own thing. It was so fun! We printed out pictures and just hung out...ate some fish and chips (yummy(; )

Tuesday, we had service with one of our investigators. She's going to be having a baby soon, so she wanted some help cleaning her house. Let. Me. Tell. You. She NEEDED help cleaning her house. We spent a LOT of time cleaning just her kitchen and then her was a lot of manual labor, but it was SO fun. (: We got to know her really well and we found out a couple of her concerns. So, that was really effective. And I got to scrub a floor on my hands and knees...which I've always wanted to do. I felt a lot like Cinderella.

This Thursday we had zone meeting and it was so AMAZING! We talked about so many different things and I learned HEAPS! A couple of things that stood out to me go as follows: "I desire the fire!!" "The Book of Mormon is a testifier AND a converter." "There are 4 steps to conversion: 1. Desire, 2. Works, 3. Prayer, 4. Trust in the Lord" "Move from THINKING to DOING!" "Don't be satisfied being at the level you're at."

Sorry this email isn't long, but I am just so good that I don't have much to say on the matter! I am getting transferred this week, I'm not sure where or who my new companion is going to be, but I will definitely fill all yous in next week. (: I am still in love with New Zealand and the people here! Here's a motivating quote to get you through the week..."Though storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of Heavenly Father and of our Saviour will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the beloved brothers and sisters, FEAR NOT. Be of good cheer. The Future is as bright as our faith."

xoxo Sister Pearce. (:

I totally forgot about pictures...
3455 is Us and a newly wed couple from our ward; Jack and Liz Stanford
3444 is us and (left to right) John Tangi, Ephraim Aupouri, David Tangi, Bailey Allendar, and Azeal Tangi.

3117 is Blaire and I getting our nails done. (:

3316 is Sister Leung-wo and I in the middle of the road before we had to go home. Sister Leung-wo has a bad habit of laying in the road when no cars are around. (:

3236 is a selfie of Sister Leung-wo and I...

Kia Ora, Whanau!! (Email Dated: March 2, 2014)


Most of this week, anyway. (: I have developed some sort of hideous cold and it just won't go away! But I'm not letting that stop me! I am going to keep trucking on! And doing the work. (: Because that's what I came here to do! (: I love this work and time is actually FLYING by. It feel like just yesterday that I was dropped off at the MTC. Before I came out I heard that the mission feels a lot like a dream and so you have to make the most of it and I can actually testify to you that that is true. It is a wonderful dream, but a dream that is going to end all too quickly. (:

So, this week I experienced one of the weirdest things that I think I'll ever experience on my mission. It all started on Tuesday when we called Elder Hester and asked him a question. After he answered the question, he told us that he needed to talk to us about something. It turns out that Sister Leung-wo had gotten reported for being "too flirty" and he told her to back off a little bit and all that jazz. Well, we asked who had reported, just so that we would know how to fix the problem and it was one of the families that we had invited to our family home evening nights. We'll call him M1 and his wife W1, just to keep the privacy. Well, a couple days passed and Thursday rolled around and we got a call from Elder Hester saying that he was driving out from Waiuku to have a meeting with us. Well, the meeting rolled around and we met at the chapel and Elder Hester told Sister Leung-wo that he had gotten more reports about her flirting.  So, Elder Hester told us to go and apologize to M1 and W1 and tell them that it wouldn't happen again. So, we did that. Moral of the story...we are no longer allowed to visit or associate with that family. Things were just getting out of hand and so Elder Hester just told us not to go near them anymore. It's actually quite sad, and the reports that were turned in about Sister Leung-wo were mostly fake and made up to black mail...but it's all good. Move forward every day, eh?(:

So, thus far in New Zealand, I haven't really enjoyed Samoan food, but yesterday, we had the BEST feed! One of the part-member families in our ward, the Ah Sui family, fed us! It was SO good. They are Samoan and it was seriously so good! There was this egg plant dish that was so good! And they had chicken hearts that were so good. Funny story: chicken hearts taste like chicken! Who knew?! Then they had this meat that was SO GOOD! It was just chicken, but the way they cooked it, man, it was so good! Then there was this yum as crab salad that had huge chunks of DELICIOUS crab, tomatoes, capsicums, and lettuce. It was seriously so good! Then we had Ice Cream for dessert. (: Which is always yummy. (Reading over that paragraph I realize that I said, "so good," like 25 times, but it was a seriously stellar meal. (: )

I love the people here. I can't even believe how much I have learned and how much I have grown being here in New Zealand. When I first got my call, I knew that I loved the people and I knew that I was called by a prophet of God, but until you start serving and until you put your heart and soul into the work, you don't really understand how much you can love people! The people of New Zealand are so beautiful! And even though there are the ones that don't accept the message and the ones that are just flat out rude, the work still progresses! There are those people who are ready to accept the message, who have been prepared! And the part that is the most fun is when we find those people and their faces light up as they start to remember what they once knew! Even the sceptical people feel the spirit and they actually can't deny it! It's a beautiful thing. The Lord cares about every aspect of our lives, He really does. And so when we start to align our will with his will, we begin to see things with our spiritual eyes. We'll never be able to help people if we don't look with our spiritual eyes and hear with our spiritual ears. And even though it's sometimes really hard to look past outer appearances, everyone deserves the gospel! EVERYONE. (:

My companion, Sister Leung-wo, is really amazing! When we were first put together, we didn't get along. At all. There was always tension and just bad vibes between us, but these past two weeks, we have been getting along so well! We finally developed that understanding and that charity and love for each other and our whole companionship has changed from it. We finally developed that friendship that everyone talks about! We are able to feel the spirit more and we are definitely able to work better together. I can't believe the benefit that comes from being exactly obedient and loving your companion! Even our district has noticed the change, which in hindsight is kind of embarrassing, but it is still a really awesome feeling! We worked so hard for our companionship and our hard work paid off. It's a little disappointing because we could've gotten along this whole time, but we just chose to be stubborn. But! That is the past and now we are getting along really well. Even though there are some major cultural differences, it's such a fun learning experience! No one wants to be miserable and the way to be happy is to love your companion. (: Because you are literally with them 24/7. (:

4544 -> This is (from left to right) Sister Samataua, Sister Leung-wo, Sister Me, and Sister Bird our Sister Training Leader. (: This was after dinner at the Ah Sui's house.

4541 -> This is after our little jaunt in the pouring rain...we were literally sopping wet. I could've wrung my skirt out if I had wanted to.