Sunday, February 22, 2015

And We Walked and Walked

What a crazy week this has been! The beginning of the week was kind of slow, but still full of teaching and testifying which was awesome. (: I love sharing my testimony!

Monday evening we cleaned our Crazy Cat Lady's house. Now take the worst thing you have ever cleaned and then multiply it by 3000 and then that's Crazy Cat Lady's house. Her house probably hasn't been cleaned in 15 years, give or take a few millenia. But we felt really prompted to help her clean and so we buckled down and did it. A couple of times, we almost died, but we made it through. After cleaning 14 inches of cat hair, poop, dirt, mould, and grime off of her floor, it finally looked a little bit and smelled a little bit better than when we got there. We didn't get it all clean, to do that we'd need 200 professional cleaning squads, but we made an improvement. It was pretty rewarding. (: Oh, the joys of mission life. 

Thursday morning we had Zone Meeting and it was I think the best Zone Meeting that I have ever been to. It was so good. We talked about Miracles and how miracles can happen every day, every day, every day. Elder Romney said something that really made sense to me, "You can't believe in God if you don't believe in miracles." So, I found that really inspiring. And we learned how to seek learning by faith in preparation for our Elder Bednar conference tomorrow. It is going to be so amazing! 

Well, the Zone Leaders committed us to 1) every night during daily planning to plan for a specific miracle for the next day 2) in every prayer to pray specifically for that miracle to occur and 3) to work as hard as we could to achieve the miracle. So Sister Perry and I did it! Friday night, we planned to talk with 50 people to next day. 

Saturday rolls around and it is raining cats and dogs. We finish study and it is still raining. But we went truckin' into the rain anyway. No one was on the street and nobody was answering doors and we were starting to get a little fearful, I guess. We went home for lunch, got dry and warm. And then 5 minutes before we went back out after lunch, the skies parted and the sun shone through. WHAT A MIRACLE!! We were so excited. So, we drove out to bell block to do some tracting out there and it was still sunny. Hot, in fact. It was awesome. We had to put on sun cream and everything. After 3 hours of tracting out there we had no success, but we had talked with and taught quite a few people, but still had about 25 people we needed to talk to. So, we said a prayer and decided to go walk up and down the costal walkway. 2 hours later we had talked with 51 people and taught 20 other lessons. It was such a miracle. We walked so much and were beat, but it was worth it. I learned that after the trial of your faith and after you thrust in your sickle, the miracles that you plan for can happen! I know that to be true. (: 

Life is good. (: Today we are driving up to Hamilton, which is about 4 1/2 hours north east of here. We'll stay the night in Hamilton and then Tuesday morning, we'll drive another 2 hours to Auckland for a combined Hamilton and Auckland mission conference with Elder David A Bednar! IT WILL BE AMAZING. I will definitely come away from there with a jug of spiritual knowledge. (: 

We, again, didn't take many photos this week...slacker! But don't worry, I promise that I will get better. 

I love you all so much. I love this Gospel with all of my soul. There are so many things that I have learned that will bless me forever. "A testimony means that you know the Gospel is true, but to be converted means to consistently be true to the Gospel." 

Sister Pearce 

7087 Sister Perry and I. Aren't we cute?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

What A Week! - Email Dated: 15-Feb-2015

My dearest Whanau,

This had to be the most crazy week of my entire life. I spent three days down in Hawera, South Taranaki with Sister Mihaere and Sister Thalman. Then I spent a day in Stratford with Sister Taylor from Riverton, Utah! It is crazy how many people we know that are the same. And I realised why she always seemed so familiar to me! She would come in to In-N-Out with her family, so I'm so sure that I would have seen her there! It is such a small world.

It is a little bit hard being away from your assigned area for such a long period of time. So I am really glad to be back. I am really grateful that Sister Baird is the one and only companion I'll ever kill off. (: 

So, transfer calls came on Tuesday afternoon. I found out that I was staying in New Plymouth and I was getting Sister Perry. Much like Perry the Platypus. (: I had no idea who she was, but Sister Thalman did and so she told me all about her! I was really excited to meet her. 

Thursday came around and it was time to pick up our companions. They all met us at our flat and I met Sister Perry. She is just the cutest thing in the world. We get along so well and we have already seen a heap of miracles together. It's been so good! I am so excited to work with her. 

So, I am still truckin' through the Book of Mormon and seriously it has been the most revalatory experience that I have ever had in the Book of Mormon. I love it. It is absolutely amazing. I am so grateful for it. Joseph Smith truly is a prophet of God and he truly did translate it by the Power of God. 

Which brings me to another story. For the past little while we have been trying to get a hold of a family name the Skinners. They are a less active couple that our Branch Mission Leader asked us to contact, but each time we went there, they weren't home. Yesterday night after our dinner appointment, we felt really strongly that we should go to the Skinner's home and visit them. So we get there and to be honest, I didn't have that much faith in them opening the door for us, but we pressed on. And, boy, did the Father have plans to help strengthen my faith. Sister Skinner opened the door and looked absolutely shocked to see us. She invited us in and asked us to sit down. We started to get to know her and it was going really well. They had a pretty flash TV, so we asked if we could share a Mormon Message before we went, but for some reason, I could not figure out how to work it even though I was clicking all of the right buttons. 

Heavenly Father's plan is PERFECT!!

Sister Perry instead shared a scripture from Alma 32 and all of a sudden Sister Skinner just opened up to us and we found out #1 what her concern was and #2 why the hard drive in the TV wasn't working. Her concern was that she felt totally alienated at church, which is totally sad. She also said that she felt like her culture, the Maori culture, was not involved in the church at all. Luckily, Sister Baird had taught me a little bit about how the Maori people were descended from the people in the Book of Mormon and so we were able to challenge Sister Skinner to read the Book of Mormon and look for the similarities in her culture as well. Sister Perry and I were totally teaching by the Spirit. There are those awesome lessons where you just know that the Lord is speaking through you and I know for sure that that was one of those lessons. Sister Skinner is fluent in Maori and we are going to take her one tomorrow morning. It was amazing to see her countenance change in the short while we were there. I LOVE THE GOSPEL!!!!!

You are all going to be angry with me, but I don't actually have any new photos, but I'll send some of the others that I couldn't send last week. (: 

I love you all truly so much and I am so grateful for all of the support that you have given me as I've been out here. I love being a missionary. I love having a companion to support me and help me learn and grow. I am so grateful for everything that the Lord has taught me while I've been His servant and I am excited for growing and learning more while I still have time left. 

7598-> All of us eating Pita Pit. (:
 7555-> Bridge time!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Another One Bites The Dust In The Circle Of Life - Email Dated: 02/08/15

This week has been really good. A lot of it has been focused on Sister Baird and it was really cool. It was definitely a surreal experience watching her pack and stuff. Like, it made me realise that missions really do come to an end and that we just cannot waste any time.

We were able to go to a beach activity with one of our keen as investigators this week! It was at Opunake Beach and it was probably the most beautiful beach I have been to in New Zealand. The waves were huge and the sand was a pretty greyish colour. We had a great time, but most importantly, it was a good time for our investigators to make some new friends and get really involved with the activities! 

Transfers are on Thursday and life will take another turn for the better! Although, Sister Baird made such a huge impact on my life. She helped me to really see the joy of the gospel. I am so grateful that the Lord allowed us to be companions for 4 1/2 months. It was much needed. I love her!! (: 

Love you!!!! 

Sister Pearce

5865-> We took Life Support off...
7081-> And she died...

The Hottest Hot, To The Coldest Cold - Email Dated: 02/01/15

This week has been crazy! The weather has been toooo hot! It got up to like 30 degrees Celsius, which is like 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Really really hot. And when it's hot, you get tired and missionary work is really hard when you're tired, but it makes for a greater adventure, doesn't it. (: Then the past couple of days, it has been cold, rainy, and muggy. Not too fun, but the land needs it. It has been really really dry and the farmers are like freaking out. So, prayers are being answered with this rain.

Not too many awesome events happened this week, but a couple of our friends that we have made left on their missions this week. (: Hannah Anderson left for the Auckland Mission on Thursday and Tiffany Gaastra left for the Ogden Mission today! I'll attach some photos of our last night together! 6918, 6918, 6920

The sunset has been absolutely mind blowing the past couple of nights. I have literally never seen so many colours in the sky. It is fantastic. 6921

We had a companionship study with the travelling assistants this week. They are going around the mission training on how to have more effective companionship studies and it was really awesome. We learned so much about studying effectively. (: And then as we were taking photos, I accidentally tripped off the stage..that was a really funny moment. (: 6924

Brothers and Sisters, the gospel is true!! It is so true. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know that we can, through reading it, come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ than by reading any other book on the planet. The Saviour died for me and for you and for all of us. He made it possible for us to return to live with the Father and Him. I know that families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan. I am so grateful to be a missionary. I have learnt so much and I will forever be grateful for the many, many things that I have learnt. Life flies by, don't waste ANY time. It is just not worth it. 

I love you all! Sorry for the lame email this week, but really nothing exciting happened. (:

Sister Rachel Pearce 

I Ate the Tongue of A Kinna - Email Dated: 01/28/15

What an exciting week this was! It started out at the zoo! And let me tell you. It wasn't even a zoo. It was like...lame. But exciting all the same. (: It was a good Preparation Day.

Tuesday we had District Meeting and those are always fun!! 

Then on Friday, we had Sports Night at Ngamotu Beach again and Te Ata, one of our member's husbands, went diving and he brought back a heap load of kinnas. If you don't know what a kinna is, I'll attach a photo of all the ones that he caught..mind you, they were all still alive when this photo was taken. 6909 They are some of the sharpest things that I have ever held in my life. If you touch it lightly, the wrong way, they draw blood. It's pretty intense. You break them open, either with spoons or with a knife. It's a little sad to watch, because you're basically murdering a real life creature. So, you break them open and there's their guts and stuff and their teeth and tongue and such. I was so game to try one. Being in New Zealand around a bunch of Islanders, you have to game to try anything. So, I've learned to try everything once and then to not eat it again if I don't like it. Well guess what? I really enjoyed the kinna. It really only tasted like salt water because they were completely fresh out of the ocean, but it was so nice. (: Slimey, but nice! Sister Baird, who isn't much of a sea food person, didn't like it at all. (: It was a little bit comical watching her gear up to eat one. (: 6902, 6910.

Saturday we had interviews with President Rudd. So, we drove down to Hawera Saturday morning and picked up the Stratford Sisters along the way. The trainings were all on The Book of Mormon. 5 hours worth of training on the Book of Mormon and my testimony of it is stronger than it has ever been in my life. At the end we watched How Rare A Possession and that was one of the greatest movies that I have ever watched. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It truly makes you grateful for the Book of Mormon. So, that training took most of the day and by the time we got home, it was 5 o'clock

We didn't really know what to do and so we sat outside and spoke with our neighbour, Martin for a little while. He got out photos of his family, who have all passed away and that was really touching. He is so ready to be baptised, he just has a few changes before he can enter into the waters of baptism, but we definitely feel that he'll be baptised this year. (:

Sunday was one of the greatest Sabbath days that I've had in the mission field. At 8:00 I got a call from President Heremia and he asked me to speak in Sacrament Meeting. He told me that I could speak on whatever I felt so inspired to speak on, so I decided to speak on the Book of Mormon! I was a little bit stressed out because I didn't really have that much time to prepare, but guess what? I didn't even have a paper with everything written down on it. For the first time in my life I trusted in the Spirit enough that I let Him guide my talk. And he did! It was absolutely amazing. After church we visited a couple of families and then at 4:00 we headed back to the chapel to see Hannah Anderson and Tiffany Gaastra be set apart as Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sister Anderson will be going to Auckland, New Zealand. A completely foreign land for her, but she is so excited and Sister Gaastra is going to the Ogden, Utah mission. They were both set apart by President Rudd because Districts fall under the direction of the Mission President and both of their blessings were so unique and individual. It just testified to me that Heavenly Father knows each of us individually. It was awesome! 

Then straight after the setting aparts, we had a devotional that President and Sister Rudd were the guest speakers at. It was truly amazing. Sister Cardall and I played a duet on the piano and I think that that was the first time in my entire life that I have played through a song that I have prepared without making a single mistake. Even Sister Cardall played through without a single mistake. It was amazing. And guess who came? Martin! He came to the chapel for the first time! And he had a really great time. The Spirit was so strong. It was amazing. 

Well, the Gospel is True! I love being a missionary! It is the best thing that has every happened to me. 

Sister Pearce 
6870-> The Elders Brought us a pet. A cute, stinky hedgehog! 

6878-> The puzzle that we made for Martin abut the Plan of Salvation.

Life is Grand - Email Dated: 01/18/15

I'm in New Zealand. I am in literally the most beautiful place on the planet. 
This wasn't too much of an exciting week, but it was really good. I am continuing in the Book of Mormon! I am up to Alma 13 now, truckin' along with 6 pages a day. The revelation that I continue to receive amazes me. When people say that the Book of Mormon opens up the door to revelation, they are telling the truth. It is true. I know it is true. Everyday I read something that reminds me that we have a living prophet today, that the people in the Book of Mormon faced challenges and struggles just as we do, that the Book of Mormon truly is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ make and keep covenants with their people, that missionary work is real and it is important, and that Joseph Smith was and is a Prophet of God and that he translated the Book of Mormon for our benefit and understanding. How grateful I am for Joseph Smith and for a loving Heavenly Father. The Gospel is True!! I know it is. (: 

Sister Baird and I have been really trying to develop and use our talents these past couple of weeks. We felt like we were getting a bit too robotic in our missionary work, so we have started incorporating into our days the things that we like to do for other people and the things that bring us joy. So, we have started making cookies for people and we have started heart attacking people's doors. We do things that we love to do, and that show our love for other people. I love it. I love being a missionary. 

We have started trying to have sports night as a branch that we bring our investigators and less actives to and we've just this week started having them at Ngamotu Beach. This week the Elders decided to have everyone play water balloon volleyball, which is apparently an American sport because we had to explain it to everyone including Sister Baird. (: Well, that started of all nice and civil and then the Elders had to run off to get more water balloons to fill up. So, we started helping them to fill up their balloons and little did I know it, but I was standing under the shower that they have for when people are done swimming and all of a sudden Elder Mitchell presses the button that turns it on and drenches me! And that just started an all out water war. It was so much fun. 

Side Note: Sister Cardall and I are going to be playing a duet for a devotional that is coming up this coming Sunday so we've been practicing pretty much everyday in whatever time we have. 

So, we had to leave sports night to go and practice the piano with Sister Cardall, so we were pretty wet at the time we were leaving, so we gathered up all of our stuff and started to leave. And Elder Mitchell decided to have all of the kids gang up on us and the absolutely drenched us just as we were leaving. So, we had to rush back to our flat to get changed and such. It was so fun, and now we will seek to get revenge on our beloved Zone Leaders. (:

Life is so good. All you need is the Gospel. Believe it. Love it. (:

I love you all so very much. 

6823-> The front of a birthday card that we made for one of very favourite members this week. (:
6824-> And the inside. (: You gotta love us!
201207-> We really are normal...I promise. 
201228-> A summary of our relationship in a photo. 
6822-> And lastly a bunny in a tutu. (: 

Sister Pearce (:

A Week of Firsts - Email Dated: 01/11/15

What a crazy full week this was!

Basically we spent every day mowing a lawn for a less active. When she asked us to mow her lawn, we thought she meant lawn, but she really could've classified it as a jungle. There were a couple of points that I thought I would have to call for help because I was lost. No, it wasn't that bad, but it did take us about four days with one lawn mower and two sister missionaries. (: It was intense. We borrowed the lawn mower from the elders to do it and we found an investigator that needed her lawns mowed and so we mowed her jungle as well. Now, keep in mind that I have never mowed a lawn before in my life. (Don't judge me) But seeing my parents doing it every week and stuff really prepared me for what it would be like. (: It was awesome. It was incredibly sunny and hot, but it was awesome. 

After we had finished our investigator's lawn, we called the elders to see if they needed their mower and they didn't need it right then, so we went on our way back to our flat to change back into proselyting clothes. Then 5 minutes later the elders called us back and asked us to come and give them a hand with some things at the petrol station. Here's the situation that they were faced with:
1. They were helping a single mother investigator move house and she asked them to rent a trailer from the petrol station. 
2. Because they were in mufftie, they both had forgotten their licenses. 
3. You can't rent a trailer without a Full New Zealand Driver's License. Luckily I had mine.
Well, they wanted me to rent the trailer with their investigator's card and my license and then they were planning on pulling the trailer. Luckily, we sisters have a little more intelligent brains and suggested that if they got pulled over it would not be good for them. So, I ended up pulling the trailer. A second first of the week. But it was so fun! We had such a blast helping Cindy move house. I love being able to serve! 

This week we had Zone Meeting and due to a General Authority's appearance in our mission in a couple of months, we have been committed to read the Book of Mormon by March 8. So, I calculated from where I was and it comes out to about 6 pages a day. It's been amazing. I have been able to receive so much insight from reading and pondering. I love the Book of Mormon. 

This church is true, my friends, it really is. It's as simple as that. 

Much Aroha,
Sister Pearce 

6802->We heart attacked the Cardalls, our seniour couples flat door this week. (: 
6807->The Sun had a rainbow thing around it this week! So cool!
6809->Sister Penales and I at Zone Meeting. (:
 6812->This is Elder Anderson. I asked him to take a photo for me and this is what I got along with the photos I wanted. (: It describes his personality PERFECTLY.
6813->All the Sisters of the Taranaki Zone!
6820->Sister Mihaere, Sister Thalman, and I. (:

The Testimonies of Children - Email Dated: 01/04/15

This week was slow, but it was good. New Year's Eve and New Years Day in New Plymouth is a bit like..I think it's Midsummer Night's Eve in Fablehaven. Crazy. Haha. So, we had to be in before dark. It was pretty fun. (: President Rudd allowed us to stay up and see the New Year in as long as we were in bed by 12:05. So, Sister Baird and I stayed up chatting and stuff. It was really fun. (:

Nothing too great really happened this week, but one thing I have been working on is this thing called the 40 day fast. I may have talked about it, but basically it is a fast from the things that keep us from being like Christ and I finally have my list! I have chosen 10 things that are a combination of things that I can stop doing and things that I can start doing. And I feel really good about each of those items on my list. Heavenly Father has been helping me immeasurably the past couple of days as I have been striving to change and set goals and make plans to help me become more and more like His Son. 

Yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. It was one of the best that I have ever been to for three reasons: Cody, Alexandra, and the fact that I actually learnt how to fast properly this week. I had a really powerful experience with my fast. It was amazing. And then the two Riggle kids. Cody and Alexandra got up to bear their testimonies. They are amazing little ones. I love them so much! It's amazing. (: they're amazing. We should all be striving to be a little more like children. 

That's really all I have from this week. I hope that next week is a little bit more interesting. (: Every week is interesting and powerful, it's just hard to explain it when the growth is coming from inside of me. 

I love you all!!

Sister Pearce 

6773-> The District. (:
6785-> Selfie time at the Beach!! #Casual
6791-> Six weeks ago, Brother Coward, our Brand Mission Leader, asked us to contact a less active, who has been on a mission. We have been trying every day for the past six weeks to catch her and yesterday her car was home all day and we knocked and knocked and called and called and she never opened the door. We. Will. Get. Her.

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! - Email Dated: 12/28/14

This week was so great. (: Christmas in the mission field has got to be the best one ever! We had a really really busy day on Christmas. I'll go through it and tell you about it!

9:00-Headed out to a less active member's house. She feeds us every Tuesday night, but she decided to do a big Christmas breakfast this week. We got there and her daughters were there. That was not a very good environment for us to be in. We definitely sacrificed the Spirit to be there. Her daughter was saying really crude and rude things about missionaries and such. So, we left that environment as soon as politely and humanly possible. 

10-Drove to the Tamati's house. Sister Tamati is a recent convert of like 2 weeks and Sheridan, their son, just got baptised this past Saturday. They are seriously the coolest family! They fed all six of us missionaries on Christmas Day. We had such a great time. We just sat around and chatted. Elder Lyes skyped his family, so we got to meet them! Same with Elder Mitchell. It's really cool to meet the other missionaries families! So, we really just hung out there until lunch which we ate at 12:30 and it was amazing. Kiwi Feed's are the greatest in the whole world! (: 

After lunch we had some down time before our dinner appointment so we went to the beach! We just sat up top to avoid all the people below, but as we were sitting on the ledge Elder Manoa (who is from Hawaii and an avid surfer) says, "Look! There's a seal!" And sure enough, down below in the water was a seal just swimming around. #OnlyInNewZealand (: Then after we had all pondered our lives and finished goggling over the ocean, we headed over to Elder and Sister Cardall's house. They are the senior couple in our area and they had pretty much an open house for us missionaries. (: It was fun to chill there for just a few minutes. They are the most amazing senior couple that I have ever met. We fell in love with them from the moment that they moved into New Plymouth! 

At 6 we went to our dinner appointment and that..was an interesting experience. (: But it was good. 

The day after Christmas is Boxing Day, which is pretty much like Black Friday. So, we didn't get a whole heap accomplished, but it was still a pretty good day! 

I have learned so much the past couple of days. My personal studies have been so powerful the past little while and I feel that I am finally learning how the Spirit of the Lord speaks to me. Elder Jenson told Sister Baird and I about something called the 40-day Fast. It's not a fast from food and water, but a fast from things that keep you from constantly having the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And so Sister Baird and I and a couple of the Elders are going to do this for the next 40 days. I am so excited to work on this an become more like my Saviour. 

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am so grateful to be here in New Zealand. I am so grateful to be so close to the Lord at this time in my life. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else right now or doing anything different. I love being a full-time servant of the Lord. And even though missions end and people go home, we can still always and forever be servants of the Lord. A mission simply teaches us to be better members, better friends, better mothers and fathers, better examples, more devoted, more loyal, more obedient, more righteous. Overall more like Jesus Christ. It's beautiful!! 

I love you all. I don't have any photos this week due to laziness and a lack of time. (: I will get better, I promise. (: 

Love you all!! 
Sister Rachel Lyn Pearce

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! - Email Dated 12/21/14

Sorry for the late email everyone! We had quite the exciting day! In the middle of our email time, all the power at the library went out! We went on an awesome hike today, up Paritutu Rock and it was so beautiful! (: Every day I am astonished that I am in New Zealand. There's a joke about how God created the earth and this is how it goes...God started in New Zealand, so he put all of His attention to making it beautiful. Then He went to the United States and so on. By the time He got to Australia, He was just done, so that's why New Zealand is the best place on earth (Kiwis and Aussies have a major I think probably a New Zealander made this up.)  So, this is what I was about to send. (: 

So, this week was really good. (: Monday night, we drove up to Hamilton! The drive up there is incredibly long, but incredible beautiful! It's about a 5 hour drive, but unlike the State's motorways, New Zealand motorways curve through and pass through towns and rolling hills and it is really too incredible to explain. (: It is much easier to make a 5 hour drive when there's nice scenery to look at. (: 

President Rudd gave us permission to go to see the Temple Lights and so that was a great blessing. (: We got to sing in the choir for the night.(: I loved it!! 

Tuesday dawned early and sunny. When we were told that we were having a conference, we were told to pray for sunshine and finished electricity for Camp Tuhikaramea. So, Heavenly Father definitely answered the prayers of 250 missionaries. (: We got to camp and the reunions started. It was absolutely amazing. I got to see all of my previous companions, except for Sister Holmes because she's home now, but it was so great to see Sister Amituanai and Sister Uele. Sister Ami finishes in about 9 days. It will be really sad to see her go, but her journey in the mission field is over. I love her!! I also got to have a good catch up with Sister Klundt. (: It was just a really great conference. President gave really great trainings and we had some really great missionaries share their talents with us. After the conference was over we started our long drive back to Taranaki. (: It was an even longer drive because we had to drive down to Hawera for companion exchanges. (: But it was a blast! 

I have learned so much about my Saviour this week. A lot of it I cannot write down because it is simply the feelings in my heart, but I do know that He lives. I do know that He loves me. I know that His love is powerful and so is His Atonement. Life is grand! I hope that you are all sharing the He Is The Gift video because it is a powerful one. (: 

We are being well fed for Christmas Day, I can assure you of that. We aren't really sure how we'll fit all of the food in, but I'm sure we'll manage somehow. (: I think as of now, we have about 5 dinners lined up ;O But we're so excited because we are going to be making little Christmas baskets for families in need and door bell ditching them. (: Well, one in New Zealand has door bells..except for on the really flash houses and I don't think any of them are in need...(; They do need the gospel, but a lot of them simply aren't ready for it. (: So we'll knock ditch them. Elder Mitchell's grandma sent him some money to be sub for santa so that's what we've decided to do!! It's awesome. 

6740-> Temple Lights! 
6744-> Our view from the pavilion at Camp Tuhikaramea. (:
6745-> Sister Mihaere and I . (: 
6750-> Only in New Zealand...I'm sure you'll figure out what it is...(:
6753-> Sister Klundt and I!
6757-> Package Time!!
I Love You All! I hope that you all have a Very Happy Christmas! Remember the true meaning however because that is all that matters. (: 

Ofa Atu,
Sister Pearce

I Know Why I'm Here!! - Email Dated 12/14/14

This week has been somewhat of a trying week, lots of rejection and such. But alas, there must be opposition in all things, eh?

This is my 5th area in the mission field. Each area has been so great and I have learned from all of the people that I have served around, but this area has already changed my life. I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but a couple of weeks ago, we moved flats. We weren't too sure why we moved flats, but we knew that there had to be a really good reason. 

This week, we learned the reason.

We'd been trying our hardest to meet our neighbours and we met one of them when we moved in and his name is Martin. We see him quite often because he goes out onto his front step to smoke and so we just take the opportunity to talk with him. We haven't been pushing the gospel onto him, but he asks questions and we answer them and then life goes on. We have quite the Father - Daughter relationship. It has been really awesome getting to know him. His wife passed away quite a while ago and this week we really learned a lot about him and we really feel that we are going to be able to help him. He has told us that he has a really searching mind. And that he is pretty open minded. I think we'll see him baptised. We know why we are here in New Plymouth. His late wife has sent Sister Baird and I to him because she knows that he'll listen to us. He feels the Spirit when he's around us. It's incredible. We'll make great progress with him. It's so awesome! I love being a missionary!! 

There must be opposition in all things. I have learned that so strongly in the past week. On the mission I have learnt that we must go through opposition to see the beauty. We face a lot of rejection on the mission. We met a couple this week and all we asked them was if we could help them and he told us to go away. I mean, I won't say it was as bad as it could've been, but it was a little bit gutting. But we know, I know, that there is a much brighter scene waiting for us. 

This gospel is true. I know without a shadow of a doubt. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. Follow his counsel and you WILL NOT go astray. I know that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Read it. Love it. 


Sister Pearce

6718-> This is Sister Baird, Elder Mitchell, and Elder Jensen, and I on Back Beach. (: It is so beautiful. WE BELIEVE IN TARANAKI!!!!!!!!! 
6719-> Give credit when credit is due. (: Credit is due to Mount Paritutu.  (I rhymed...that's how good I am.) 
6725-> This is our G-E-T-O (<-Sister Baird's spelling...she's my special companion.(: ) Christmas Tree that the Elders picked up for us on the side of the road. They had to butter us up for the nasty as soup they made us as a prank...Elders...what can you do with 'em? 

The Fourteenth Article of Faith - Email Dated 12/7/14

You didn't think that there was a Fourteenth Article of Faith, did you? Well, there is. (: it goes something like this:


Yes. That is where I am. It's President Rudd's only District in the mission and so Taranaki, especially New Plymouth has a special place in his heart. (: President Rudd is amazing. 

This week has been especially wonderful. We had Zone Meeting on Thursday and it was all about the new initiative that the church has put out called 'He is the Gift." I really really hope that you all have taken advantage of this amazing opportunity that we have to share the true meaning of Christmas. Anyway. It was the most amazing Zone Meeting that I have ever had on my mission. The Zone Leaders gave a really inspirational training and then the Taylor's, the senior proselyting couple in Hawera, gave a training. Elder Taylor gave a training on 'Learning of Christ.' He showed us a really really amazing way to study the scriptures. It has changed the way that I study my scriptures. I have learned so much about the Saviour the past few days, it's incredible. At the end of their trainings, they gave a 21 day challenge to know our Saviour better. And the way that it was planned, the twenty-first day will be on Christmas. (: It'll be fantastic! I love being a missionary. 

Saturday was probably one of the greatest days of the week. False, it was the greatest day of this week. (: Here's what happened: woke up, studied, as normal, but then at 10:00 we made our way up to the chapel to Super Saturday! It was a blast! We had a couple of less active members and investigator there! It was so much fun. So, that ended at 2 and then we drove home to pick up the cookies we had made for the baptism. Lisa Tamati got baptised on Saturday at 4. Part member family that the elders have been teaching. They have been teaching them for a year. And she just got baptised on Saturday. But she is so converted! Their family have invited us over for tea on Christmas and to Skype our families. There are six missionaries in the New Plymouth branch. (: It's going to be really exciting!! 

Not too much has happened this week, but what I do know is that my knowledge of the gospel, my knowledge of the life of the Saviour, and my testimony are growing into an oak of understanding. I love studying the scriptures. I love my Saviour. And I am so grateful for this second time that I get to be a missionary at Christmas. It has been such a blessing for me to get to have two Christmas' and Christmas Seasons on the mission. Life is amazing! Life is great! Be humble, be submissive, be obedient. (: The Gospel is easy to live, we just complicate it with the natural man. 

I'll send photos in a separate email because I don't have too much time left on this computer. (: 

Ofa Atu!! 
Sister Pearce 

Second Email with Photos

Photos from Heaven. (:

6683-> Pearce and Baird!! 

6713-> This is us as we were waiting for our meeting to start. (: 
6688-> We visited one of our less active members on Sunday night and she mentioned that she had been to the beach and tried to make a sand man snow man...well, when we were at the beach, we found it. (: Not too shabby!
6692-> There was a log in the middle of the river. Naturally, we had to sit on it.
6701-> The park in our area that looks like the one from Mary Poppins. (: 
6699-> The elders doing the food bank run for Christmas. (: 

I LOVE NEW ZEALAND!!!! But especially Taranaki. (:

The Gospel is Beautiful - Email Dated 11/30/14

Wow! This week was pretty crazy! After a week of adjusting to New Plymouth, Taranaki, I am still adjusting! It is really different than all of my other areas have been! For example: We are the only Sister Missionaries in about a 3 hour radius, we triple cover the ward with two sets of elders, our area is so big that it isn't possible to do anything other than ride in the car, we see the ocean every single day, Mount Taranaki is the lone giant that dominates the horizon on a clear day, and it is not yet warm even though it's meant to be, but best of all...we live in a house...with stairs!!!!! But it is SO BEAUTIFUL HERE! Seriously, this is what I thought all of New Zealand would look like and I'm not sure that I have words adequate to express my feelings for this beautiful place. (:

This week has really been a turning point in my spiritually, I think. Sister Baird teaches me so much every single day and she has really helped me to see the joy of living the gospel much clearer. My testimony grows every single day. As I work my way through the Book of Mormon, I have once again gotten stuck on the Isaiah chapters. So, I have been praying harder than I have ever prayed in my life to see the symbolism and the great words that Isaiah wrote and a new light has come into my scripture study. It is amazing. I love the Book of Mormon. (: Everyday, I see Heavenly Father's hand in my life. Whether it is seeing Mount Taranaki dominating the scenery, or seeing the blue ocean, it doesn't matter, He is there for me. (: 

We have an investigator who is set for baptism!! The previous sisters set her for the First of January because she needed to get married! Well, we hadn't met her until this previous Saturday, so we weren't really sure what was going on with her wedding date, but we had this mean lesson planned on Eternal Marriage and stuff like that. Well, we get into our lesson on Saturday (her daughter is a convert of 3 years and she's the bomb!) and she starts telling us about how she had been praying to Heavenly Father to know if she was meant to marry the partner that she was with. She asked for a sign to be given to her to know and Heavenly Father gave her a sign that she isn't meant to marry him! How cool is that? So, our lesson had to change in a split second. We followed the Spirit and decided that we should focus our lesson on Jesus Christ. So we did. And we asked her daughter to share her testimony on Christ and about halfway through Melody, our investigator, what just in tears. It turned out to be one of the most powerful lessons I have probably ever had on my mission. And now she has decided to get baptised on the 13th of December!! She has decided that she doesn't want to wait anymore. It strengthened my testimony on the Saviour so much. I love the Saviour. He is my rock. I don't know where I would be right now if I didn't have a solid foundation upon the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love this gospel. (:

I am so grateful to be a missionary. (: I am so grateful that I get to be on the front row while watching the Atonement change people into who the never thought they could be. Melody is a perfect example of how the gospel changes people. It is amazing to see and hear her testimony! I can't believe that I've been living among such amazing people for over a year now. I am so grateful for all of the things I have learned. I am grateful for this stage that I've been able to and will continue to have in my life. I have learned so much about myself. Some things that aren't necessarily the greatest, but that is why I love the Atonement. It allows us to change and become the people that we need to be. My challenge to each of you this week is to more diligently study the scriptures. Feast upon the words of Christ. And send me your experiences!! I'd love to hear them. (: 

I love you all!! Ofa Atu!!
Sister Rachel Pearce 

6620-> MOUNT TARANAKI!!! Just so you know, Taranaki means "The Lonely One," in Maori. (: 
6622->The Ocean we see EVERYDAY!!!!(: 
6645-> Just a casual waterfall in our area. (: 
6649-> Just us casually in front of the waterfall in our area. (: