Sunday, June 29, 2014

This week was...interesting...and there's not much to report on, but I'll do what I can to make it interesting.(:

Being a missionary is very unpredictable. Unpredictable in the sense that you can have almost no investigators one day and the next you have 5 or 6 that are pretty solid for baptism. Now, you might ask me, "Sister Pearce, how? How does that happen?"  One response that I could give you would be, "Well, we're just really awesome missionaries and the people can tell that we have the truth." That would be the wrong answer, however. Another response could be, "Oh, I don't know, it was probably just a coincidence that we met them on the street." That, too, would be the wrong response. Now, the proper response that I would and should give you would be, "We have been trying and working and struggling, but there is always a calm before the storm. Heavenly Father teaches us lessons by helping us, by allowing us to find people, by allowing us to teach people." I would also say, "When we work as a team, my companion and I work miracles and Heavenly Father prepares those miracles sometimes for years in advance and then he is merciful and gracious enough to let us be a part of those miracles." I am truly so grateful for all of the miracles that I have seen on my mission. There is literally no where else that I would rather be right now. I have come to recognize and appreciate the little blessings and the tender mercies that Heavenly Father gives to me. My companion is one of those. Sister Uele has been a great strength and support to me in this past week. I love every aspect of being a missionary. (: And I love being able to be so close to the Spirit and so close to Heavenly Father. I got a little bit upset this week because I didn't feel like I was getting answers to my prayers. But really what was happening is I was trying to change Heavenly Father's will. Not a good idea. The Bible Dictionary tells us that prayer is the act in which the will of the child comes into line with the Father. And when I learned that, it became much easier for me to realize that He has been answering my prayers, just in the way that was different, but much better than what I had expected.

This is the Pearse's. They are pretty much the coolest people ever. The only thing that would make them cooler was if their name was spelled with a 'c'. (: We had dinner with them last night and he made this delicious vegetable soup with ham and home made bread. (: Yum Yum!!

Like I said, not much to report on. We have interviews with President this week and I am really excited. I love President and Sister Rudd.

My arm is getting better. It's almost 100% now. Thank Heavens!!(:

I'm slowly learning the Tongan language. (:

New Zealand keeps becoming more and more like my home. I feel so comfortable and so awesome here. (: I'm finally figuring out who I am.  Not who the world wants me to be. I am who Heavenly Father wants and needs at this moment in time. (:

I love you all!!

Sister Pearce

Sunday, June 22, 2014

"We've been waiting for you all week!"

Wow, this week was one of those weeks that make a missionary go "YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" (: Sister Uele and I are having great success. (: I love her! We have such a good time together. She is definitely another one of my companions that will be my friend forever. (:

Now, hold on to your chairs because this is an awesome story:

Back Story: A couple of Saturdays ago, we got a call from someone in the Auckland Mission who identified himself as one of our investigators brothers-in-law. He went on to set up an appointment with us and our investigator. He mentioned that he and his wife were going to be down here to get sealed in the temple. So, that was totally awesome! Anyway, we had the lesson on Saturday night and in the history of lessons, it was probably one of the most perfect. But I'll start at the beginning. So, we got there and there were about 9 people in the room prepared to listen to us teach. So, introductions were made. Present were: Lawrence and Christine->Partners and our two main investigators. Lawrence->Christine's Father and one of our other investigators. Young Brother and Sister Paraku->The couple that got sealed in the Temple on Saturday. Brother Paraku->Young Brother Paraku's Father, who also got sealed to his deceased wife on Saturday. And then 3 of Christine's sisters were also there. So, once introductions were made, Lawrence said to us, "We have been waiting for you to come all week! We are so excited to have you in our home." So, we opened up with a hymn and then said a prayer. Then we taught a little bit about Heavenly Father and watched a Mormon Message about Heavenly Father and us as His children. Then we went on to teach the Restoration. We went through all of the topics, totally led by the Spirit and all the people in the room were just enthralled by what we were teaching. Lawrence and Christine and Lawrence were totally keen and listening to all we were teaching. Well, we finished off and I just felt so prompted to bring up baptism. So, we talked about it for a minute and then I invited them to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptised. At first they were a little hesitant, but then Lawrence turned around and asked Christine, three times, "Will you do this with me?" And she agreed and they both agreed to be baptised on the 26th of July. Then Brother Paraku brought up the fact that they would have to get married before they could get baptised and I was a little upset at first, but it ended up so beautifully!! They agreed to get married saying, "That wouldn't be so hard, would it?" It was such a beautiful and Spirit filled time. And I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father allowed me to be there!!

I went on exchanges with Sister Whiting this week! Sister Whiting was my Sister Training Leader in my first area too and so it was good to be able to catch up with her and talk to her about some cool things that have happened to both her and I! Well, something that she said to me made me realize that I have changed quite a bit. She said, "Sister Pearce, I can tell that you have changed and that you are much happier. You told me at the beginning of your mission that you wanted to become the person that Heavenly Father wants you to be and you are definitely becoming that." Man, that made me so grateful and so happy that I am a missionary and that I get to be so close to my Heavenly Father for 10 more months. (:

I love New Zealand. The longer I'm here the more I realize that I am falling in love with this country. The culture, the whakapapa, the people, the pride all combined into one make me so happy! The history here is so beautiful and I love being so immersed in such a unique culture. Kia Kaha!! Kia Ngawari!! Haere Mai kite kai! <-That last one means, Come Get Food, but it's one of our favourite sayings because we're always hungry. (:

Here are some photos that we took with our favourite family, the Brons'. (:

I love you all!! Have a brilliant week. (:

Sister Pearce

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Ingrid, Those Mormons are Here Again!"

This week was absolutely RUBBISH!! Nah, I'm just joking. The weather was though! Last Monday after we finished emailing, the rain started and it didn't end until Thursday night. It was just a drizzle, mind you, but torrential downpours that left my wonderful companion and I drenched from head to foot. We did have umbrellas and Sister Uele had a rain coat. Nothing works in New Zealand rain. (: It was absolutely awesome. I've never been in a rain like that! I just wish that it would've been warm rain, but we count our blessings, no matter what they are. (;

 We were supposed to have Zone Meeting this week on Thursday. And as much as I try to like Zone Meeting, I just...can't! Well, blessing in disguise, it got cancelled this week due to a lack of obedience in the mission. So, instead we get President Rudd himself! I'm not too sure what it'll be on, but it'll hopefully help the mission to grow into the awesome army of missionaries that we can be!

Well, I mentioned Jahvarn last week and said that he was going to be baptized this coming Friday...when we went to teach him on Tuesday, they decided to push back the date due to family coming in from Australia. So, he won't be baptized until August, but he is still going to be baptized. (: We are taking him to the Visitor's Centre tonight, so that should be good for both him and his mum!

So, we visited the Howard family the other day, the family with the huge dog? Anyway, we got there and Sister Howard's husband opened the door, looked at us, and yelled back into the house, "Ingrid THE MORMONS ARE HERE AGAIN!" and walked away. It was a little funny, but a little bit gutting at the same time. He's not a member and so we definitely want to be on good terms with him, but once Sister Howard came to the door, she clarified that he was in an especially foul mood that day. So, it didn't hurt our feelings too bad. (: It was just funny in the end!

Elder Faloon and Elder Napier had a baptism this week. They serve in the Sunnyhills Ward, but we got to go because I was the pianist. (: I'm telling you, I've used my piano talent more on my mission than ever before in my life!! Thank you, Sister Winterton!! (: Anyway, it was probably one of the most comical baptisms ever. The kid getting baptized, Caleb, walked into the font with his Samsung Galaxy in his pocket. Elder Faloon had to climb back out of the font and give it to the Ward Mission Leader. Second, Elder Faloon was wearing a ielavalava and one of the kids in front of the font said, "Is he wearing a skirt?" So, we were laughing about that..then when Caleb went under the water, he hit his head on the wall on the font. Not a light tap either. It was quite a loud, thud. And we all just kind of went, "Ooh." Like you do when someone gets hurt. (: So, it was pretty interesting, but it was good! Caleb bore his testimony and it was so powerful!!

Speaking of Testimonies...Vivid bore her testimony the last fast and testimony meeting we had. (: It was so sudden and random and absolutely beautiful!! She talked about us and then she talked about how she joined the church because she knows that it's Christ's church and then she said, "I also joined this church because the members in this ward are so friendly." That made me so happy!! She is growing so much in the gospel and I love watching it!!

Church was awesome yesterday, and the elders gave us a referral for a lady who believes in Joseph Smith, but doesn't believe in the Book of Mormon. What the heck, right? We went to visit her after church and we had a short and sweet conversation with her on the porch about the fact that she only listened to the Elders because she felt bad for them. So, we thanked her and admonished her to listen to the next set of missionaries that she meets. Well, we were walking away and we heard the door open again and she goes, "Hey, girls? Do you want a Milo?" And everything in me wanted to scream, "YES!" But I calmly and collectively said, "We would love a Milo." And we went in. She has read the whole Book of Mormon, but still believes that the Bible is sufficient! Sister Uele asked if she had prayed about it and she just kind of looked at us and said, "To be honest, I didn't." So, we committed her to pray about it and we are going to follow up with her next week!! So exciting!!

Well, that was the week! Sister Uele and I are getting along like two peas in a pod, which is definitely awesome. (: We laugh at everything and I am growing to love her!! (:


Sister Pearce

There's us. (: Have a good week. (:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Transfer Week...What the Heck?

Holy cow, this week was hectic as! I seriously can't believe how incredibly hectic it was! Started off on Monday, and we went to do some shopping with some of the sisters in our zone. It was the Queen's Birthday, so everywhere was having AWESOME sales. (: So, that was really fun!

Tuesday, we had District Meeting and that was really good. We studied How To Begin Teaching and discussed the importance of the first few moments with an investigator. Really the first few minutes of teaching are crucial with an investigator and so it was really good to role play and get a little bit better at teaching! I really love teaching...everyone is so different and I love listening and discerning the needs of each different investigator!

******This was the end of her first email this week ********

Haha, whoops!! Sent it too soon. (:

Well, Tuesday after District Meeting, we got the transfer call...I have stayed in Lake Ward and Sister Amituanai has moved on to Papakura, my last zone. I got Sister Uele, a Tongan, straight from the Island! She is a lot different that all of my companions have been and I can feel the struggle that she is having. She wasn't ready to leave her last area and she hasn't quite adapted to the fact that I'm white...but all good! I'll keep chipping the ice away until we are best friends like the rest of my companions. (: She comes from a family of 10 children! Of which, she is the youngest and with only one brother! That's really all I've been able to get out of her though, it's like pulling teeth getting her to talk, but we'll get there! Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. (:

Sister Amituanai and I had a fun couple of last days saying goodbyes to families and taking photos, which I will attach at the real end of my email! I seriously miss her! Even though her English wasn't the best, we were always working on it and she got so much better in the time that I was with her.

Well, we had a bit of a miracle this week!! Our WML, Brother Thomsen, gave us a referral for a family with an unbaptised 10 year old! We had dinner with the family last night and it was SO COOL!! The grandmother is active as and her daughter is just starting to come back to church. And it's the daughter's son that is going to get baptised next week!! So we are so excited about that! They are such a lovely family and so we are really excited to work with them. (:

So, we got a new Ward Mission Leader, I think I mentioned that, but we had our first couple of Missionary Coordination Meetings this week and Brother Thomsen is onto it as! He is so motivated to work and to have the members come out with us! Something that he is really encouraging us to do is get set appointments so that he can invite the members to come and participate in the lessons with us. He also has this really awesome plan to help us get the members more involved in doing their missionary work! We are so blessed to have such an awesome Ward Mission Leader. (:

I. Love. This. Work. I love serving the Lord full time and I am absolutely loving this area! It is so amazing out here! I don't ever want to come home...maybe I'll just apply for citizenship and stay here. (: That's how much I love it! Anyway, Love you all!!

5027-> This is our District!! Left to right > Sister Doole; Missouri, Sister Brown: Idaho, Sister Amituanai: Samoa, Me, Elder Bourke: Tonga, Elder Daugherty: Utah, Elder Faloon: Ireland, and Elder Au: Hong Kong

5028-> The Sisters. (:

5029-> Sister Brown and I(:

5030-> Sister Doole and I

5031-> This is the Piahana Family! From Left to Right > Brother Piahana, Sister Piahana, Sister Ami, Wiremu, and me!

5033-> Sister Amituanai and I

5035-> Us and Aaliyah (:

5050-> Us and Vivid, our recent convert!

5051-> This is us, Sister Ngamanu, Eva and Leah. Leah is the baby(:

5052-> This is us and the Thomsen Family doing the Pukana! It goes me, Sister Ami, Sister Thomsen holding Jacob, Brother Thomsen, Peter, and Matthew is Mr. Incredible!

5053-> This is our nice picture with the Thomsens. (:

5054-> This is us and the some of the Salima Family. The babies were a little bit sick, so they stayed in the room. So it's Sister Salima, Sister Ami, Sister Matthes: Sister Salima's daughter, and me!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Wow! This week was really awesome. (: Even with a broken arm! On Monday, after emails, we went food shopping and then the Zone Leaders took us back to our flat where we changed and went up to the chapel to play sport with our district. Well, Sister Brown and Sister Doole didn't want to stay and so we all decided to go to Hamilton Gardens. It is basically this awesome place in Hamilton where they have decorated different Garden areas to look like different areas of the world. I'll attach some pictures. 4979->Is just a tree that looked really cool in the dusk. 4982->This is a waterfall that flows into a lake in the centre place of the gardens. 4991->This is the Italian Renaissance Garden. It was absolutely gorgeous! The Waikato River, the longest river in New Zealand flows behind that building. 4998->This is the Indian SCREAMED Aladdin to me. (:  5000->This is the Chinese Garden, which SCREAMED Mulan. (: It was so cool!!

On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference! It was at a Maori Marae, a sacred place for the Maori people. They have funerals and stuff like that there. Anyway, we basically went there to learn all about the Maori culture and it was SO awesome. So, in a place called Kawhia, Ka-fia, the Saviour came and visited the Maori people! I had NO idea. And there's a tree there that they reckon has been standing since then, that has been named Tangi Te Koro Whiti, which in this context mean, The Holy Man who bought the resurrection. SO COOL!! And then throughout New Zealand they built Wanangas, or Sacred Schools of Learning, where they taught about Kauhanganui, or the High Priesthood of God. Totally cool, right? There is so much culture and spirituality that the Maori people posses. Then President Rudd talked about how  the main doctrine of the gospel and the one that people need to understand is that fact that we are ALL children of our Heavenly Father. He told us that if we are struggling that if we remember that we are children of God, that that doctrine alone will help us. (: It is so true!! So, true. Then he talked about how everyone that we meet on the mission has already accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ...they accepted it in the Pre-Mortal Existence and we are just here to help them remember! So awesome!! He also said this and it really touched me, because we had been talking about all of the missionaries from the past New Zealand history, but President Rudd said, "It's great to talk about the miracles of the past, but we are creating the stories of the future! We still live in a day of miracles-FIND YOUR MIRACLES!" The Spirit was so strong when he was talking to us. I know that President Rudd is called of God to lead the Hamilton Mission to greatness!!

Well, transfers is this week and honestly, if I get transferred, or if Sister Amituanai gets transferred, I am going to be gutted! I love this area and I love my companion, but I know that if we do get transferred the Lord needs us both elsewhere!

Just as a closing...we were watching the Other Side of Heaven with one our investigators and it turns out that half of the actors in it are Maori! Crazy, eh? Go back and watch it and the girl that "twists her ankle?" She's Maori and she is her mother! And Feki, his companion, is on a New Zealand Soap Opera. And I recognized a lot of the New Zealand accent in a lot of them. It was a total mind blower!! (:

My cast is off and my arm is healing quite nicely. (: I am so good and I am still loving the mission! I love my companion and I love the New Zealand people and I wouldn't change my mission for the world!!! 7 months have passed so quickly, I can't even imagine the remaining 11...(':

Sister Pearce