Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I do's, Water, Fire, and Food (:

Okay. This week was really good. (: I struggled a little bit mentally the first half of the week and I learned some really good lessons. #1-Don't compare yourself to others. Preach My Gospel says that that is one of the greatest ways to get discouraged! And when you get discouraged, you lose faith and that is just no good whatsoever. Just don't do it. #2-Be patient. Heavenly Father's plan for you is not always apparent, but He does have a plan for you and it will be better for you than you think it will be. And #3-Miracles don't have to be akin to parting the Red Sea, they can be as simple as somebody turning on the font for us when we had a million other things to do. (:

Okay, rewind back to Wednesday: Christine was still looking for a wedding dress. Sister Verry who works at the Distribution Center said that we should bring her in to look at the temple dresses and she could get one that she could get married in and then baptized in. So, we took her and Lawrence to the Distribution Center. I think that if they would have had the money, Lawrence would've bought every piece of reading, watching and other material that he could buy. But since he couldn't, he settled for some white pants. Which was good. Now both he and she have white clothes for the temple when they get sealed. (: After we got their stuff, we went up to the Visitor's Centre. We watched God's Plan with them and then we went into the Christus Room to listen to that. By the time it was over, both Chrissy and Lawrence has tears running down their faces. The Spirit was so strong!

Okay, now...Saturday...was probably one of the greatest days of my mission so far. The day started out filling the font and luckily someone had been to the chapel before us and started it up so far, hence the miracle. So, we went about setting up chairs and getting the rooms ready for the big day. (: Sister Ngamanu showed up and we started setting up the Relief Society room for the Food. (: Mm, yummy. There's nothing better than Maori family feed. (; Then more people started showing up to help set up and Sister Heu brought the flowers and the cake, which was absolutely beautiful! Well, the whanau started showing up and there were heaps of non-members. It was really awesome! 11 o'clock rolled around and we were still missing our Bride. The Groom was there and looking spiffy, but the Bride was no where to be found. Quarter past came and went and then finally, at half past, the Bride arrived. One of the great brothers from our ward Brother Sinclair offered to take photos. I was lucky and got to be on the stand because I was playing the piano when she got there. We all stood up and I got a front row seat to the emotion that Lawrence displayed. The second Chrissy walked in the room, tears just started pouring down his face. It was so tender and cute. (: Bishop Verry said a few words (this was the first wedding he'd performed as Bishop and he was so nervous, but did so well!!) and then the ceremony was performed! It was so beautiful. The 'I do's were said and the license was signed and then we moved into the Primary Room for the baptismal service. It was short and sweet, but very spiritual. And then they were both baptised. Because of the amount of non-members there, people clapped after they were baptized...a little different, but still really awesome. (: The luncheon afterwards was really awesome and the food was...very very good. (: Then we cleaned up and it was just really awesome. (; When I arrived in New Zealand I decided that one day before my mission was over I wanted to have a Wedding Baptism and I have! And I am so grateful that I have been able to watch Lawrence and Chrissy grow in the Gospel. And I can't wait for the time that they get to enter the temple to be sealed as a family. It will be such a beautiful day!

Later that night the Elders had a baptism and it was definitely a spirit filled day and it will be one that neither Lawrence, Christine, or Thra will forget. (:

I love you all and I am truly grateful to be serving the Lord. (:

Sister Pearce

Picutres from the Visitor's Centre and the Wedding Baptism!

Cold like a Freezer, and Slow like a Snail.....

Oi Ah Weh! This weather this week was so special. I bought gum boots on Monday, so that I would be prepared for the rain...guess what, it didn't rain at all this week...but I guess that happens doesn't it? It was just So chilly and cold. I can guarantee that those of you with Central Heating and Air Conditioning take it for granted. When we wake up in the morning it is so cold in our flat that we can hardly move. We hop out of bed, turn on our dinky little heaters, and then pray, then we do our best to exercise right in front of the heater. Then, just before personal study, we have to wipe the windows of the water that has condensed on them, then again after companion study. It's to keep mould from finding it's way into our flat. (: It's actually a really fun adventure that I love being a part of every morning. (: I do admit that I will not miss it when I return home. (: More than 9 months have passed and it is flying by. It has been full of happiness, sadness, joy, pain, rain, and much, much more. I have loved this time so far that I have had to serve the Lord and I am ready to continue to serve Him!!!

This week on Tuesday, we had a Relief Society Activity and Chrissy went, so we were able to go as well! It was probably the greatest activity I have ever been too! It was an International Food Night! A Zimbabwean Sister from the ward, Sister Marjorie Kunaka, made us a traditional Zimbabwean dish called Sadza. (: It consisted of a stew like combination of Chicken and Carrots. A leafy green salad with corn and onions. And then she used corn...maize I think, but i could be wrong, but anyway, she made something akin to mashed potatoes with it. She boiled it for a long as time and then stirred it this special way that took a heap of arm muscle! She made it so thick that we could eat it with our hands. Which is the point because the eat with their hands in Zimbabwe apparently. (: It was a really really delicious meal! Then three Fijian Indian sisters, Sunita Swamy, Sangeeta Sami, and Shana Swamy, made us a traditional Fijian Indian Curry. (: They also made us Roti, which is a lot like Naan Bread. The only noticeable difference is that Naan doesn't have a definite shape. With Roti, the roll it into really thin pancake looking circles. (: Then Sister Swamy made us delicious Vegetarian Curry! It was delicious! Sister Uele and I attempted to make it the other day and we did pretty good! Our Roti was good anyway! (:

 There really isn't much more to report on this week, but Chrissy and Lawrence are officially taking the steps to enter the waters of baptism! They are getting married this Saturday at 11 and then getting baptized straight after. (: We are so excited for them! It is so amazing to see how far they have come in such a short time! I love being a part of this great work and I am so excited that I have a while left to serve Him!

This week I truly gained a testimony of the power of Sacrament Meeting! I had been asking questions and seeking for answers and I finally got them in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. It was an absolute amazing experience for me! I have grown so close to my Heavenly Father in these past 9 1/2 months and it is so wonderful to see how far I have come. (: And how far I can continue to go!

Here are some pictures from the Hamilton Gardens (:

54->Sister Uele is...a Turtle Dragon? (:

75->This Garden is to honour the God of Kumara.



86->Welcome to New Zealand!

12->I'm in Italy!

I love you all!!
Arohanui, ofa atu,
Sister Pearce (:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Rain, Wind, and Organizing a Wedding Baptism. (:

Can you guess what the weather was like this week? Yeah, I'm sure you can...(: Rainy, and extremely windy. Let me illustrate it for you. We couldn't use umbrellas because of the wind and we couldn't walk 2 meters outside of our flat without already being soaked. (: It was definitely an adventure all week long. Even though we are persistently soggy, I love it. (:

We had Zone Meeting this week and it was a surprisingly good Zone Meeting. It always drags on, but this time it didn't feel quite so draggy...(: We started out with Zone Notes, so the notes that President Rudd wanted us to take into account. Then Elder Noa Aiono gave us a training on the importance of inviting people to be baptised. So, our missionary purpose is to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End." The first word is "Invite," so if we aren't continually inviting people to follow the example of Jesus Christ then we aren't fulfilling our purpose! Then we had this awesome role play with Elder Wilcken as the investigator. We would invite and he would bring up a concern and then the missionaries would rotate in and out and teach to his specific concerns. It was really good to see all of the missionaries teach and the different ways each of them teach. Even though I've been out for half of my mission I realize that I still have so much to learn and that I will probably never learn all of it in the remaining months of my mission. But the things that I will learn will forever benefit me both here and in the future. (: I can't believe the awesome way that Heavenly Father can mould you if you allow yourself to be clay in His hands. (:

So, the investigators that I have been talking about for the past couple of weeks are officially getting married and baptized on the 26th of this month. (: They are both so excited! And their excitement is making Sister Uele and I even MORE excited. (: They are totally awesome and we are just enjoying immensely teaching them and helping them to come to the knowledge that they are children of Heavenly Father who loves them and that His church has been restored to the Earth today! The other night we were having a family home evening with them on Wednesday night and we invited Lawrence to say the closing prayer and it was absolutely beautiful! He opened the prayer and then said, "I believe this is true and I believe that Joseph Smith restored your gospel to the earth. Thank you so much." It was so awesome! And they have already been to the court house to get their license to be married and the ward is stepping up to help with food and the other things that you need for a wedding. (: It is so exciting!

This week was good and I am seriously loving working with Sister Uele and the Lake Rotoroa Ward. (: The Lord is Hastening His Work and we are ALL a part of it. Don't think that you are exempt from missionary work just because you don't have a badge! We are all in this work together. (: Missionaries just do it full time. The Church is true. Jesus Christ lives and He Atoned for our sins so that we can one day return, clean, to the presence of Him and the Father. I know that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of the Restoration and that he translated the Book of Mormon. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that we can truly grow closer to Heavenly Father by reading it. I am grateful for Eternal Families and for the blessings of the Temple. I am grateful for this chance that I have to be serving a mission is Hamilton, New Zealand. I can't describe my joy for this work eloquently or adequately, but I know that this is a divine work and that Jesus Christ stands at the head of it. (:

I hope that you all have a great week! I hope to hear from you! (:


Sister Pearce

5175-> This is the Glenview Zone. (:

5180-> Me and Sister Uele

5185, 87-> This is the sum of our companionship in just two pictures. (: We have fun together. I don't know if you know this about Tongans, but they like to laugh and when Sister Uele gets going, it's like it's the funniest thing that she's ever heard. I love it! (: (:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Breathe in, Breath out

This week...was so long....and so rainy....but hey, that's what a mission is all about, eh? Some good weeks, some not so good weeks...but all weeks add up into an experience that would never ever change for the world! (:

Okay, it's officially been 8 months as of yesterday. EIGHT MONTHS :O I'm actually a little bit in shock. I can't believe the many many things that I have experienced, the many many people I have met, and all the things that I have learned. It has been so amazing!

Okay, so we had another slow week. I think a large part of it is how immensely rainy it has been. And I've heard that today is our last day of sunshine before the Heavens once again open up and pour out their...yeah. Rain. (: It's not exactly warm rain, but it is definitely an adventure every day.(: Sister Uele and I are going to try and find some gum boots that we can wear around. Woo!!

So, for an update on Christine and Lawrence this week. We found out that Lawrence smokes, but that he has already started to quit. Miraculously, the High Priest Group Leader in our ward helps people quit smoking for a living, so he has offered to help. (: They are still so amazing. Reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, praying...all the things. (: We had two family home evenings with them this week and it is so much fun teaching them because they are just so open to everything the gospel has to offer. (:

Sister Uele's birthday was on Wednesday and so that was really fun getting to celebrate her 20th birthday with her. (: We had a birthday party for her at one of our favourite members houses, I'll attach pictures. It was a total blast. (:

I am seriously loving it here in good ol' NZ. (: I have never been more happy than I am here. It has been repeatedly confirmed to me that this is where I am supposed to be. This is MY time to shine and to become the person that will be me for the rest of  my life. (: I love my companion, probably more than anything else about the mission. All of my companions: Sister Holmes, Sister Miggin, Sister Leung-wo, Sister Amituanai, and Sister Uele have helped me to grow and to become better. I have learned so many awesome life lessons and I am excited to continue to learn and grow. Even though nothing is perfect, everything is worth it, all the tears, all the trials, all the laughter, all the wet...soaking wet clothes and shoes, all the holes, all the rude people, and all the amazing's. all. worth. it. I now understand why the mission is so important for young men and young women. There is something that you learn on a mission that you could never learn anywhere else. The time flies...I can't believe it...I don't want to waste any time. (: Heavenly Father is counting on me!!

Ofa atu! Ofa ke mou ma'u ho uike fiefia!

Sister Pearce

Okay, here go the descriptions:
5148->This is me and Chrissy and Lawrence's little boy, Jahkayiss...and Sister Uele's arms. (:

5150->This is Sister Uele, Me, and Jahkayiss. (:

5151->This is Sonia, Me,and Sister Uele...Sonia was being cheeky. (:

5153->This is Sister Uele cutting her cake. Part of the culture here is that the birthday person cuts the cake for everyone else. (:

5155->Sister Uele and I

5157->Okay, so from left to right: Sonia Fortune, Chrissy Himiona, Sister Uele, Jahkayiss, and Lawrence. (:

5159->All the same people as in 5157 + Me.  (:

5162->So, I set my camera on a timer that took what I thought would be three pictures, but it took like 7 instead, so we were all getting a little bit annoyed. (: It was pretty funny.