Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Completed Journal, A Talk in Church, and Dinner

This week was really good! I got hammered with a cold, but it is getting better. (: Our Ward Mission Leader gave me a really nice blessing and I have definitely noticed an improvement! I have gained such a testimony of the priesthood being out here. But I have also learned that it controlled by faith. I have been striving to gain more faith in everything this week. Especially in myself, in other people, and in the Gospel. It has been a really good experience for me. And I can definitely feel my faith growing. It's not quite an oak of knowledge yet, but it might look like a little bush right now. (; 

I finished a journal this week! Actually, it is the first journal that I have ever my life. It was a rather joyful and momentous occasion...(: I was reading back over it and I realised that there were many things that I wanted to change and things that I wish I would have done differently, so I am going to start implementing them into my new journal. (: One of the things is at the beginning of every entry I am going to write at least 5 things I was grateful for that day. It has been going really well and it makes me recognise the blessings that come from being grateful for the blessings that Heavenly Father gives me each day. 

Well, Saturday night rolled around this week and we were just doing what we do when we got a call from a member of the Bishopric...everyone in the church knows what it means to get a call from a member of the Bishopric. It either means a talk in church or a meeting. For missionaries it usually means a talk in church. Brother Wotherspoon asked all of the missionaries in our ward (there are 5) to give short, 3 minute talks, about what we did to prepare for our missions and a little bit about how our parents prepared us for baptism. It was really cool for me to think about how I prepared and how my parents had prepared me. (: It was awesome to stand in front of the ward I have come to love so much and tell them how much I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been in this ward for 6 months. This week is transfers and I hope that the Lord continues to need me here. But I am so excited to serve wherever the Lord sees fit. (: 

The weather this week has been a total blessing. The sun has been shining for the past 4 days. Now, let me explain Aotearoa a little bit. When the sun comes up in the morning it is a beautiful thing. If you don't see the sun in the morning, it usually means...really cold and rainy. But sunshine could also mean cold and rainy 5 minutes later. It's a lottle bi-polar. (: But when the weather is like it has been these past few days, everyone is in Heaven. It has been sooooo warm. We don't even have to wear jackets during the hours of like 9:30 to 5:45 at night. But the second it hits about 5:45 the temperature drops dramatically. Sometimes into the negatives. So, if you're not prepared, you are going to get really really cold. It is such an adventure! I love it with all of my heart. (: 

We had dinner with the coolest family EVER! I think I might have talked about them before, but I can't remember...they are the Swamys. They are from Fiji and they are Indian. But don't mistake it. They are not Indians, nor are they Indians from Fiji. They are Fijian Indians and they are very passionate about their nationality. (: Well, anyway. We had dinner with them and they cook the meanest food. It is similar to Indian food, but a lot less spicy, which is good for my weak mouth. (: As Dad can attest to. But man, it is literally the best food on the planet. (: I love it. They taught us to make Roti and the curry dish that they made, so I'll make it when I get home! 

Well, that's about it for this week! (: The photos are as follows:
0110 -> We needed to wash Sister Uele's huge blanket, which can only be hand washed in warm water and we only had our rubbish bin that was big enough, so we had an adventure washing it. Welcome to New Zealand!! 

0073 -> Brother Swamy wanted to show off his great cooking skills!

0077 -> This is all of us, Sister Uele, Me, Sister Swamy, Brother Swamy. (: 

I love you all! I am growing in faith, hope, and charity and I am loving it! There are so many good changes that I have seen in myself and I will literally never go back to what I was before. This life is beautiful! This Gospel is beautiful! We are all Heavenly Father's children and he loves us more than we know! I love you!!

Sister Pearce (: 

The Week That Changed My Life (17-Aug-2014)

I don't even know how to put this week into words. Think of the happiest moment of your life...

Now multiply it by....6!! (megamind reference...)

No, but seriously.

It started on Wednesday. Zone Conference. 5 Higgins Road, Hamilton. Look it up. Inside that chapel, I got one of the rudest awakenings I have ever received. It was a wonderful awakening, but a rude one.

For all of my missionary friends, I invite you to read, listen, and learn. This will change your life, if it hasn't already. Okay, there is a talk written by Lawrence E. Corbridge. It is called The Fourth Missionary. This talk has changed my outlook on my mission and on my life. In this talk, Elder Corbridge categorizes missionaries into four different groups. (He refers to both Elders and Sisters)

The First Missionary- is disobedient. He does what he wants to and as a result is either sent home or insists that he is sent home. No good comes of his service, he does not have the Spirit, he forgoes development, finds it hard to fit in, and ultimately, is not changed by his mission.
He thinks that obedient missionaries are weak and he likes the idea that he is not like the others.
He fails. Instead of moving forward, he moves backwards. He cannot have faith because while he might believe in God, he does not believe in himself.

The Second Missionary- is also disobedient. He does what he wants to do, but he serves his entire mission. He is dishonest and his frame of mind is to not get caught. As a result the good he would have done is gone undone, He does not have the Spirit, feels regret and misery and ultimately is not changed by his mission. This is the missionary that the mission president feels he has to babysit. This missionary is so negative and has such a lack of faith that he starts to pull down other missionaries around him. He lies. He covers up.

The Third Missionary- is obedient and worthy. He does his duty and serves faithfully, but he withholds his heart. He does what the Lord wants, but he wants to do what he wants to do. As a result, much good is done, he enjoys the Spirit, but conforms his behaviour. He gains little or no knowledge and ultimately is not changed by his mission.  This missionary is the bulk of missionaries serving in the field right now. He does what he knows he is supposed to do, but he does not throw his heart into it. He doesn't give himself to the Lord. He is not changed because he does not want to change. The Lord can only change you if you let him.

The Fourth Missionary- is obedient and worthy. He totally surrenders himself to the Lord. He has charity. He measures his success from within and his dominant desire is to do what the Lord wants him to do. As a result, much good is done. He enjoys the Spirit. His nature is changed. He is redeemed and ultimately this missionary benefits from and is changed greatly by his mission. The Fourth Missionary is not perfect. He struggles and he has weaknesses. But he does what the Lord wants him to do. He lets the Lord turn him into what the Lord wants him to be.

These four categories were like a slap in the face for me. I know what I need to do now and I am going to do it! I had many spiritual experiences this week and so many of them have helped me to become more of who Heavenly Father needs me to be. (:

Oh, and we had a baptism amidst all of this learning and growing. (: Our little Jahvarn got baptised on Monday. (: It was such a spiritual and beautiful baptism. (:

I am so grateful to be on a mission. This is has been probably the most important week of my mission and I will always remember what I learned and what I gained from this week. (:

Sister Pearce

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When You Ask For Sunshine, You Get A Rainbow

Okay, This week.
How do you say it?
This week might be a little hard for me to talk about, not because it was hard or anything, but because it has a very special place in my heart. We didn't see any huge as miracles or anything, but I saw many changes within myself. I have changed dramatically being on my mission and I am bold enough to say that my mission has saved my soul. Things that I didn't know before my mission, I know now and I am so grateful for that knowledge. I have been reflecting a lot on my pre-mission life and I am so not proud of a lot of the things I did and of who I was. But I can say that I am now proud to be Sister Rachel Pearce. I am proud to be a New Zealand Hamilton Missionary. I am proud to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I read in my study journal the other day and there was a Zone Conference that we had with President Rudd and he said, "Whether you have been called as a New Zealand Hamilton Missionary because you have souls to save here or because you have your soul to save, it doesn't matter. Each one is of eternal significance to the Lord." That really stood out to me. Why was I called here? I don't know for sure, but I do know that part of it was so that Heavenly Father could mold me into who I am today. There are so many things that I wish I could tell you about myself, but I think my favorite is this: I have learned that it is okay to not be right. Even if you are right, but the other person thinks they are right, let. them. be. right. (; It is a wonderful concept and much contention is avoided when one party decides to be the better person!

Jesus Christ set an example for us. I can testify that it is possible to follow His example and that when you turn your life to Christ it becomes that much easier to live. Loving people is the key to life. We are literally all Brothers and Sisters and "pure Christlike love flowing from pure righteousness can change the world." I promise that it is worth it to love everyone. Even when it is hard. I have learned that the really hard way. And I can promise that it is truly a relieving feeling when you can recognize all people as children of our Heavenly Father. Do it. I dare you.

Okay, this week Sister Uele's family brought us matching T-shirts from Tonga. (: They are the coolest T-shirts I have ever seen. (:

Sister Pearce

Also, 64 is the family that we have been teaching. Jahvarn, the ten year old is getting baptised tonight! And we are literally so excited. (:

88 is the family that we had dinner with last night and they are so awesome. Sister Williams is the Stake Relief Society President. And Patriarch Williams is...the Patriarch. (: Haha, Then there are there two sons and Moana the little one. And then Rani. Rani is from Indonesia. And she has a powerful testimony. (:

Sunday, August 3, 2014

More Broken Bones!!

This week was pretty good. It started out with some shopping on Monday. And then we went to the Supermarket to shop for food...I hope your face hasn't hit the keyboard from boredom yet(; We were having District Preparation Day at Lake Rotoroa and so we parked the car and I emptied my pockets and Sister Uele got out of the right side car and shut the door. Looking back on this, I realised that she just kind of stood there, but at the time it didn't mean anything to me. Well, Sister Whiting got out of the driver's side, on the same side as Sister Uele and she goes, "Oh, Sister Uele! What did you do?!" And then Sister Uele just lets out this heartwrenching, "OWWWW..." No tears were shed, no screams here uttered, just "OWW." Well, I knew something was wrong at this point so I jumped out of the car and ran around the other side to check on my companion. When I got to the other side of the car, Sister Uele was just standing there looking at the pool of blood accumulating on her thumb. Luckily, I had my drink bottle, so I poured some water on it and we tried to clean it off a little bit. It immediately started bruising and swelling. It was pretty awesome! For me, not so much for Sister Uele. (: Sister Whiting and Sister Swindler had some tissues, so we wrapped those around her thumb and went to play Ultimate Frisbee. Sister Uele was lucky and didn't have to play...(; We didn't really think that she needed to go to the doctor, but when she woke up the next morning it was still oozing blood and so I made the executive desicion and we asked the Zone Leaders to take us after District Meeting. So, we went to the Doctor. They took X-rays and then we waited for 4 hours to get in to see the doctor...4 hours. It was the longest wait of my life. But fun fact, Elder Thompson, for the Quorum of the Seventy came was fun! Haha. Well, the verdict is...the tip of her finger is crushed. That is how hard she slammed the door. So, they referred us to a hand therapist and we got to go out of zone!! (: Haha, she got this awesome thumb splint that is bright green. Totally inconspicuous. (; It's so awesome to get to give back what Sister Amituanai did for me when I broke my arm. It's also awesome to see how many things you can't do without your thumb. (;

I don't really have any other news from this week, but just a couple of cool miracles...last week at church this lady walked in and no one had ever seen her before. So we went up to talk to her and she said that she wanted to come to church because she had driven past the temple and they invited her in to the Visitor's Center. So, we're going to start teaching her. Also, Christine and Lawrence, who got baptized last week are already doing missionary work. (: Christine's sister already wants to be baptized, so we're going to work with her too. (: Jahvarn is getting baptized next Monday and we are so excited for that. (:

This week I have learned that even though times get hard and even though the light never seems to come, that it does come. Even though we struggle through some days and others go too fast, love every minute. Every minute matters. Even the small successes matter to the Lord. In Relief Society yesterday, Sister Kaile Hill gave a lesson on President Uchtdorf's talk from October 2011, and I took some notes that I will share with you now. 1. Forget Not to be Patient With Yourselves. >Celebrate your good efforts. >Keep working, and stop punishing yourself. >Be grateful for small successes because God notices the small things. >Find wonder and enjoyment, even through the trials. 2. Forget Not The Difference Between a Good Sacrifice and A Foolish Sacrifice. >Every person is different. >Are you committing your time and energies to the things that matter most? 3. Forget Not to Be Happy NOW. 4. Forget Not The Why Of The Gospel. >When we focus on the why of the gospel, confusion fade. >"The “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration." 5. Forget Not That The Lord Loves You. 

I love you all. I love New Zealand and I love the Lord. Every day I grow closer to him and everyday my life gets a little bit brighter. (:

Sister Pearce

5338-> The thumb before the doctor. (:

5340-> The thumb after the doctor. (:

5342-> She feels a little bit hard core I think. (: I was just sad for her.

5346-> Do you see the inconspicuous green thumb?

5347-> Our friendship in a nutshell...

5351-> We both awkwardly looked at each other without planning it and...

5352 is the result. (: (; I love Sister Uele. She's my favourite!!