Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hard Work and Diligence (;

Sorry about the lack of photos last week, I always seem to run out of time!! I will strive to get better at sending photos. (:

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we went on exchanges!! I absolutely love exchanges and I love being able to work with the other sisters to improve! I went to work in Stratford with Sister Taylor, who is from Riverton! She is so amazing. She is so kind and loving to literally every person that she meets. I don't know if I am being totally facetious saying this, but I imagine that Sister Taylor is a lot like what Heavenly Mother is like.

One cool as experience that we had while on exchanges goes something like this: in our planning on Tuesday night, I felt impressed to pray that we would be able to be the answer to someone else's prayer that next day. Sister Taylor thought it was really cool, but to be honest, I didn't really think anything of it. So, we started planning! We had planned to do some service at a place called Pioneer Village at 10, and then we would visit some people after that. After planning finished the night went on as normal! Then the next day after we had had companionship study closing prayer, Sister Taylor looks at me and says, "I think that we need to change our plans and visit the people we planned after Pioneer Village, first." So, I rolled with it because obviously it was from the Spirit! And boy, oh boy, was it from the Spirit. (:

We went to visit a couple who aren't dating, but they're living together (it's weird, welcome to New Zealand!), Thelma and Richard and we taught them a pretty cool lesson about faith! We each chose a scripture about faith and drew pictures to correspond and Thelma's photo was pretty interesting. (: Look up Alma 32:28 and try to figure out what she drew...but in order to do that you must think much like a dirty old lady. Sister Taylor and I were in fits of laughter. But then Thelma asked us to go and pick up her suitcase that she had left at one of the shops. So, Sister Taylor and I head off to do that. After we had come out of the shop with her suitcase, we saw a lady walking down the street and we walked down to talk to her. Her name was Sarah. And we learned that she was a less active member of the church living down in Patea, where there isn't a branch, they have to travel to Hawera. And heaps of people don't have transportation here and she just ended up going less active because she could never get to church. And then she said this, "I was sitting down there in the Laundromat praying that I would run into some church people and then I just felt like I needed to walk out here! Can you say a prayer with me?" So, I was able to say a prayer for her and we got her address to send down to the Hawera Sisters. Then we walked back over to our car and Sister Taylor says to me, "Sister Pearce, guess what we just did?" And I'm a little bit slow, but fortunately I was able to get this one and I said, "We just answered someone's prayer." What a testimony builder that was! We were able to answer someone's prayer. But guess what else that means? It means that our Loving Heavenly Father answers prayers as well. My testimony is so strong on the power of prayer. Holy cow. I love prayer!

Okay, if you thought the lesson we had with Gwen last week was amazing, it was. And this week we had an equally amazing lesson with her! We started at the very beginning because it's a very good place to start (movie reference(:) and began teaching the Restoration. Holy cow, the Spirit was really strong. We got to the Book of Mormon and we asked her if she had prayed to know if it was true yet, and she told us about how when the Elders first met her and gave her a Book of Mormon that she was a little bit skeptical, but then she said, "But as I've been reading it, I've been able to find answers to a lot of my questions and at this point, I am sure that it's true." I just about fell over. The Spirit was cutable in the room. Is cuttable a word? Well, it is now. (:  And then we asked for her feedback about church on Sunday and she told us how it was weird that we don't pass around a collection tray and asked us about it. Normally, we wait until the commandments to teach about tithing, but for some reason the Spirit prompted us to talk about it then. So, we began to teach her about tithing and Sister Perry pulled out the Malachi scripture and then Gwen says, "Oh, I don't have a problem paying tithing, I was just curious how your church did it." At that point I had fallen over in my brain. NOBODY EVER SAYS THAT! Golden. That's all I have to say. Golden.

And then one last awesome event from the week and then I'll sort out some photos. (:

Saturday night, Sister Fisher and Sister Taylor put on a Interfaith devotional, Easter, music thingy. It was amazing. I was able to play 3 different times. First I played the duet of My Heavenly Father Loves Me with Sister Cardall, then I accompanied a brother who sand I Stand All Amazed, and then my favourite thing of all, I got to accompany Sister Thalman and Sister Chudleigh while they sang "Because." That is the most amazing song I have ever heard. I don't know who it's by or what, but I do know that that is now my most favourite church song ever. (: It was such an amazing night! And so many non-members were there. It was awesome. (: In between the musical numbers they played the Bible Videos portraying from when Christ was born until He was resurrected and it was so powerful! Holy moly. (: I love the gospel!!

7183-> One of our less active members, Wendy. (:
7190-> We had a Relief Society party this week and one of our member's daughters-in-law made this beautiful cake!
7195-> Us and Sister Clarkson with Baby Boots on her lap. She absolutely loves and adores that cat. (:
7162-> This awesome garden that we went to with the Cardall's on Monday.
7166-> A cool as Water Wheel that used to be the power source for the lodge.

I love you all so very much and I am so grateful for my testimony of the gospel! Doctrine and Covenants 50:24 "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

Another email had these photos:
7173-> The greeness! It's awesome. (:
1030886-> Pita Pit Date! It was delicious!

And finally:
1030910-> Me and Sister Clarkson and Baby Boots. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Much Better Week

Well, I can definitely testify to you all that this week was so much better than last week!! Thank you all for you support and the kind words of encouragement that you sent me. I really do appreciate it. 

Last Monday, we drove up to Hamilton again! Wahoo! This time we drove up to have a Zone Conference with Elder and Sister S. Gifford Nielsen of the Area Presidency and 70. To be honest, I wasn't as excited as I was for Elder Bednar, but I still went with some questions in my heart and I was ready to be spiritually fed!

Tuesday morning came around! I was more excited in the morning than the previous night. The drive to Hamilton definitely takes a lot of concentration so I think I was just tired. Sister Rudd asked me to play the piano again and so I was privileged to play for the Zone Conference. That was another really cool experience. The conference started and we got to shake Elder and Sister Nielsen's hands!! How cool is that? Then President and Sister Rudd spoke to us. There have been a couple of new programs that the mission has introduced in the past little while and President wanted our feed back on how we feel that it has helped us and how we have incorporated what we learnt from them into our lives. There were some really cool answers that some of the missionaries gave. 

Then Sister Nielsen spoke to us and it was so cool! She asked us a simple question, "Who are you?" And then one of the Senior Couple Elders said, "I am a child of God." And she then asked, "What does that mean for you? How does that make you feel?" And a lot of people threw out some answers and for some reason I found myself raising my hand. The answer I gave surprised me, but I realised later that it was the Spirit teaching me how being a child of God makes me feel. This is what I said, "Being a child of God give me hope. And it helps me to know that I will never ever be alone." I know that it is really simple, but to me it was absolutely profound. Then the meeting continued on.

Elder Nielsen then spoke to us. Man, what a guy. He is so inspired. He first talked to us about how missionaries are called and the inspiration of the calling. He told us about the time that he issued missionary calls with Elder Quentin L. Cook. Holy cow. The Spirit totally flooded the room when he was sharing his experience with us. I am truly where I need to be. New Zealand is where the Lord needs me to be and I know that without a shadow of a doubt. I may not know all of the good that I have done or maybe the precise reason that I needed to be here at this time, but I know that I am where the Lord needs me. 

He then began teaching us about how there a literally no failures as missionaries if we are being obedient and following the Spirit. Oh, how much I needed that. Question #1-answered. (: 

It was such a cool conference and I really can't say that I've ever been to one like it before. It was formal, but casual at the same time. Elder Nielsen would be teaching something and then President Rudd would have something to say and so he would hop up and Elder Nielsen was just so submissive and would let anyone jump up and say something if they felt inspired. So, Sister Nielsen or President, or Sister Rudd would hop up and say completely inspired things and it was just so awesome. I received so much revelation in that meeting that I could scarcely keep up in writing things down.

There were a couple of times that Elder Nielsen would open up a question for us missionaries and we would have the opportunity to respond and that was really cool. There are so many good missionaries in our mission! He asked us, "Why are you here?" And so each of us were able to describe in two or three words why we're here! Some were, "Because I have brothers and sisters who need help getting home." "Because I have felt the Atonement working in my life." And many others. It was so awesome. (: 

Okay, okay. Now for the best part of the week. So, our investigator, Gwen, who the Elders passed to us is now our most keen investigator. Normally, we have to plan lessons with her, but for some reasonon Wednesday, I just had this really strong impression that we needed to visit with her. So, we hurried over there and knocked on the door. And she came to the door half asleep. I felt so stink, but she let us in anyway. She then started telling us how our visit was totally inspired and how she was willing to do whatever Jesus Christ asked of her and she wanted to start keeping all of His commandments. OH MY GOSH!! How cool is that? (: 

But she has social anxiety problems and so we decided to take her on a tour of the chapel so that she wouldn't be nervous about people and about the venue. So, Thursday morning rolled around and we were so worried that she wouldn't come! Then she pulled up! Oh, how excited we were to see her. So, we took her around the chapel and the whole time she just kept telling us how comfortable she felt and how calm she felt. And then she said the most awesome thing ever, "I feel really comfortable in this building. I don't think I'll have a problem being at church on Sunday." WAHHOOOOO!!! Sister Perry and I had planned to be in the Relief Society room last, because that's where the font is, and we had this awesome plan to set her for baptism! So, we explained and taught and testified and then we invited her to be baptised. And she said yes. Sister Perry and I had prayed about it and felt that we could set her for April 18th and she was so excited to work towards that date. There was no hesitation. It was the most powerful lesson that I have had at the chapel. And maybe even from my whole mission. The Spirit was just so strong.

And guess what? 

She came to church. It was truly a miracle. And she said that she felt totally at home and at peace! HOW FLIPPIN' AMAZING IS THAT?!?!! After all the hard work that Sister Perry and I have put in, something is finally happening. (: I love life!! 

Sorry, for the incredibly long email, but I just had so much to tell you this week. (: 

I'm going to send the photos in a couple of other emails, so I can send quite a few. (: 

I Love you all so much!!

Love, Sister Pearce (: (:

Editor's Note:  The Photography department for this girl's mission needs to be sacked - we can only assume she is too focused  on the work.  She surely doesn't send many photos.  Still love her.  Here is the 'quite a few' - Two.

P1030749-> Sister Perry and I. (:  

P1030866-> Mount Taranaki looked so good the other day!! (: 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A good/hard/windy/rainy Week

Holy mackerel. What a crazy week this was. I will try my best to explain it in words that make sense and edify. (:

This whole week I felt that I was I guess a little bit inadequate. I think it started on Tuesday when the Zone Leaders were telling us, in District Meeting, how good the zone is doing and how most of the companionships in our zone have investigators set for baptism. And I just felt that I wasn't doing enough because none of my investigators were set for baptism. Even though Sister Perry and I had been praying and fasting for our investigators. And I'm not going to lie, this area has taken a lot of brain power, every second of every day. I love it, I really really do, but I am starting to feel like the work I am putting in is reaping no fruit. 

But we went out working anyway. Tuesday we had a couple of really awesome lessons with our investigators and one of them Jo, even felt the Spirit so strongly that she cried at the end of the Joseph Smith movie. It was a really awesome lesson and I truly enjoyed being with her as she received answers to who the Prophet Joseph Smith was. 

On Thursday, I went on exchanges with Sister Fisher. It was really awesome. I remember the second night that we were in the MTC together and we were just sitting in the corner crying because we thought that 18 months was going to last for an eternity. And then here we are 16 months later, serving in Taranaki New Zealand. Crazy how the Lord works. We saw so many miracles that day! It was absolutely amazing. We found three new investigators from referrals that we had received from the Elders and also from the Visitor's Centre in Hamilton. It was so cool. And I was having a really good time. I really felt the Spirit working through me that day. I love those days. Those days when you just know that you have done all you can to become clean so that you can be a mouth piece for the Lord. It is an amazing feeling. We even met with one of our investigators name Ngaire (Ng-eye-dey or Neyeree) and she accepted the invitation to be baptized!! How cool is that? She has a lot to work through, but Sister Fisher and I felt really good about setting her for the last Saturday in March and she accepted!! (: I felt so happy!

But then we, Sister Fisher and I, went to a very challenging meeting.  Things were said and some of them were rather unkind and I know this is a little vague, but lets just say I was able to control my emotions in the meeting, but, the second I got out of that office I just broke down and all of the feelings that I had been feeling just came out in one big cry. It was so inspired that Sister Fisher was with me because if it had've been Sister Perry, we both would've been crying. It was terrible. I just felt so under appreciated and discouraged. Even Sister Fisher was shocked at how bad it was. 

So, we closed exchanges and when we got back to New Plymouth, I called Elder Cardall and asked him to give me a blessing because I just felt so discouraged. It was a really powerful blessing. I definitely felt the Spirit of the Priesthood. And I definitely felt the Lord's love for me. 

The weather the past few days has been dreadful! Rain so thick that we can't even see across the street. But it's okay because New Zealand needs the rain. And the wind! I think it must've been like being in a hurricane! Holy cow. 

I know that the Lord is mindful of each of our challenges an trials. And I know that He always provides a way for us to feel loved and to feel His love. I love the promises that He makes to us. And I love the Lord so much. I know that my Saviour lives. He loves me. And I know that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who love me and I love Him. 

I love you all so very much! Thank you for all of the support you give me. 

7111-> We took a trip out to Maunga Taranaki for Preparation Day. It was so lovely! 
7121-> A really cool monument. (:
7142-> All of the rubbish that we threw out a Sister Clarkson's (Crazy Cat Lady) on Monday
7149-> I risked my life to take this photo. I thought for sure the wind would blow me over. But it was worth it. (:

Sunday, March 1, 2015


So, last Monday after I emailed, we headed over to the mall to get a Duffin from the bakery. Now, I think that this is probably the most ingenious creation on the planet! It is a mixture of a muffin and a doughnut. And guess what it has in the middle...NUTELLA! Yeah, it is the best thing ever. Basically it was just a croissant with Nutella in the middle, but it was absolutely amazing. (: Luckily, it was just the flavour for February, otherwise...we'd be there way too much!

Monday afternoon, we began our drive up to Hamilton! It is really such a beautiful drive, the scenery is amazing. We drive through a couple of gorges, which is terribly long and crazy curvey, but up either side of the gorge is tropical and green and beautiful. Really just what I thought that all of New Zealand would look like. So, it was so awesome to see once again. Heavenly Father really does love us!! 

We stayed the night in the Frankton Sister's flat, which is Sister Perry's old flat and so that was pretty cool!! Tuesday morning, we caravaned with three other zones up to Auckland. The drive to Auckland isn't as beautiful. It doesn't help that New Zealand is experiencing a very rare drought right now either. There were a couple of towns and villages that we drove through that had water restrictions placed in the town. PRAY FOR RAIN!! Even though it's not fun being a missionary in the rain, we need it! 

We arrived in Auckland and headed to the Kerr's road chapel to wait for the Assistant's go. We had to plan it so that we wouldn't be seated 30 minutes before, but also so we wouldn't be there 40 minutes before. It was crazy! So, Sister Perry and I got to sit on the very front row because I played prelude! It was so awesome playing prelude in front of 600 missionaries, both from Auckland and Hamilton missions. The Spirit in the room was almost palpable! Elder Bednar was about 40 minutes late and so I was playing prelude music for about an hour. Which was fine! But I only had so many books and only one hymn book. It was so fun though. 

Then...then Elder and Sister Bednar, Elder and Sister Robbins, Elder and Sister Nielson, President and Sister Rudd, and President and Sister Ballie walked in the room. And if I thought the Spirit in the room was palpable before, heck, I was almost in tears. It is really an indescribable feeling. 

Elder Bednar did something different than I have ever experienced in a conference before and he turned the teaching and the learning right onto us. He asked us before the conference to study three of his talks and come with the things that we learned in mind. And so he asked us all what we had learned. There were a lot of really good comments. And the Spirit taught me so many things that I was absolutely astonished. And then he turned the questions out to us and invited us to ask him some questions. There were really really awesome questions asked and Elder Bednar was completely in tune with the Spirit. He taught a lot, but he also let the Spirit teach a lot. He did teach us a little bit about the Priesthood that I thought was really interesting, "The Priesthood is not man. The Priesthood is like an umbrella that protects everyone under it's influence from rain, wind, snow, the sun, etc. But the difference is that the man must hold the umbrella. He is not the umbrella. Men need to hold and be worthy of the Melchizedek Priesthood to enter in the House of the Lord. Women do not." It was really enlightening for me. (: Also, the question that I went with in my heart was answered. It was almost like he was speaking right to me and I couldn't believe it! The Gospel is amazing, isn't it? 

Then, we drove home Wednesday morning. It was a whole heap of driving and I was hammered by the time we got home. So, I just slept through our lunch hour and then we got back to work! 

It was then that we learned that there must needs be opposition in all things because Wednesday afternoon, Thursday and Friday were some of the hardest days that I have had in quite a while! Absolutely no one was home and we were getting so discouraged. We were trying so hard to do the Lord's Will and we just felt that we were failing. By Saturday I was sure that if something didn't change, I was going to die. (I was being a bit dramatic, I know.) Friday night, we went through our area book and made plans to contact each Former Investigator that we had in there and we prayed with extreme faith that we would be able to contact each of the people we planned on. Saturday rolled around and we had contacted each person, plus more. And we found 6 new investigators from our efforts that day. And Sunday was the exact same with some of the exact same miracles. Sister Perry and I really learned that we really much pass through the trial of our faith before we receive a witness. (: 

So...remember how I told you about Crazy Cat Lady last week? Well, we went back again! And we cleaned her bathroom this time. The upstairs wasn't as stinky as the downstairs, but it was just as dirty. I have never seen a bathroom in such a state. We found some really interesting stuff in there as well. I won't gross you out with the details, but it was pretty bad. We've talked to someone about the situation though and hopefully it'll get resolved. (: Oh, life as a missionary. It's never boring, that's for sure. (: 

The Gospel is true, everyone!! If I could just shout it from the rooftops, I so would. (: I love being a missionary and serving the Lord full-time. I cannot believe how fast time has gone and I am so excited to finish off strong! 
May the Lord bless you throughout this week. (:

Sister Pearce

7104, 7105-> Us, and Crazy Cat Lady. (:

7096-> On the day of the Conference. (: