Sister Mariah McCrea's Contact Information:

Email -

Ukraine Physical Address (For Postal Mail and Packages):

Sister Mariah Sargent McCrea
Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission
Karla Marksa 27A 5th Floor

Note: If you are planning on sending a package to Sis. McCrea, please contact her mom and dad for suggestions on which carrier to use and what to do to avoid package tampering.

Elder Mitchell McCrea's Contact Information:


Brazil Physical Address (For Postal Mail and Packages):

Elder Mitchell McCrea
Brazil Belem Mission
Av. Navare, 532 Sala 412 4 Andar
Navare Royal Trade Center
66040-143 Belem-PA

Note: If you are planning on sending a package to Elder McCrea, please contact his mom and dad for suggestions on which carrier to use and what to do to avoid package tampering.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Mitchell, week 21, Santarém


I hope y'all had a great Christmas where ever you are reading this email! I had a splendid Christmas with a member in my ward and his family at his house. (Irma DeusDemora and Irmão Westly).

I am grateful I am on a mission and for the chance I have to represent Jesus Christ in this moment of history! I love being a missionary! Talking with my Mom and Dad was Útimo Demais (Awesome of much) They are doing great!! Definitely receiving tons of blessings from my sister and I serving a mission. 

So the people we had in plan to be baptized during the white Christmas activity of the ward for Elder Teixieira and I area fell though.... But our zone had 12 baptisms that night. But guess what? André is doing great!! His wife, Elisangela and him visited the white Christmas and the family visited church the next day! They are GREAT!!! I am so grateful the spirit guided us to that street and to clap at that door! Ohhh, I am so grateful! They are wonderful!! I pray we can baptize them together as a family! But Elder Teixieria and I also had a English class on Friday night! It went better then the 1st one with Elder Hoch. André and his daughter; Stephanie and Irmão Emerson and his son Mateus came. They loved it!!

Elder Teixiera also did something new for me. We did 45 contacts on the street and had 8 new investigators in the doing. But I loved it!! We are planning to spend New Years at 2 member's house! Whoop!! :P But I am excited for this last week of this transfer and this NEW YEAR!! I do not know if I am gonna be transferred to a different city or area here in Santarém. But I am grateful for my family and this opportunity I have to help the people and change their lives and bring more happiness to their families. I love this gospel and I know that our Savior Jesus Christ loves us and our father in heaven is always listening to our prayers! Thank you all for everything and HAVE A SPLENDID NEW YEAR!!! 

Obrigado! (thank you) :D

Elder Mitchell McCrea

P.s. I apologize my letters or emails are horrible. I have a hard time writing in English and remembering how to spell words. I guess that's a good thing... :P

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mariah, Week 26, Zaporozhye

White Christmas.

It was a white Christmas in Zaporozhye, Ukraine. Nope, not white as in snow.

White as in white baptismal clothes. 

Yup... I actually got a baptism for Christmas! Sister Nielsen and I finally got the baptism that we've been working and fighting for since I came to Zap over a month ago. Our gold star investigator, (who Sister Nielsen and Sister Blake get the credit for finding) finally got baptized! 

Christmas Day was a day full of miracles for Sister Nielsen and I. It started out with Sister Nielsen and I sneakily hiding presents for each other on our study desks. Presents that included marshmallows and a Russian knockoff coloring book for Sister Nielsen and various little knick-knacks that Sister Nielsen got for me in Bulgaria which included liquid eye-liner (which is really snazzy) and BROWN SUGAR!!! jfajkejkrjkewjrkweakjrkwejrwekjrkwej Never in my life had I ever been so happy to see brown sugar!!!

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-- Sister Nielsen's joy and excitement is so infectious!

But anyway, back to the real Christmas miracle. We originally didn't even plan to meet with (for security purposes I will call her "Ири") Ири that day. Something magically just happened during companionship study; by the time we had to be out the door at 12, we had hooked a member to be able to come with us and had a killer lesson plan. It was per-FECT. 

And then -- three days later, Ири was baptized and she is now the newest member of the church in the Zaporozhye branch! That baptismal service was one of the most perfect services that I've ever been too... and I'm so glad that Sister Nielsen and I were able to contribute to our mission's goal of having 100 baptisms in 2013. We unfortunately weren't able to reach the goal of 100 -- we were only 7 baptisms off! In 2013, the Dnepropetrovsk Ukraine mission got 93 baptisms. 

And that's okay! Because 93 people came unto Christ via the waters of baptism and became members of the church! And those 93 people all have names. And I helped with two of those! :D

Anyway. Other noteworthy things that happened this week.
  • I got to spent 40 wonderful minutes talking with my parents.
  • The Zaporozhye branch put on a wonderful Nativity pageant on Christmas Eve. And we, the missionaries, got to take part and be the lovely "angelic" choir.
  • I found out that Elder Banags (an elder from Latvia) has pretty much fallen in love with the peach cobbler that I made for our investigator's baptism. He told me so, at least four different times.
And just a random insight on Ukrainian culture: Pizza is an international food. They have pizza here in Ukraine. The only difference is that Ukrainians LOVE mayonnaise on their pizza. Yup, good ol' mayo. It takes a bit to get used to... but after yesterday, I can finally say that I've tried an Ukrainian pizza with mayo that I like.

And I am by no means finished with writing about what happened this week... but alas, my internet time is coming to a close. 

In closing, I'd just like to say... for those of you who have debated on writing me because you're under the impression that I don't have enough time to write back -- you're probably right. I don't have a lot of time to reply back to mail that I get (and it doesn't help that a post office is a scary place to go to when you don't know Russian or Ukrainian)... BUT I STILL LIKE TO RECEIVE MAIL!

Sister McCrea

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mitchell, Week 20, Santarém

Felix Natal!!!!

Christmas party at ward.

Mitch in mask w/Elder Teixiera & investigator's children

Mitch & new member Davi 

Well this is the week!! A special week! :D

1.) Christmas!! The time to remember our savior and the importance of his life and example for us. Also to remember our families and many of our many blessings! This past Saturday we had our ward Christmas party! Which was GREAT!!! Had a family that we contacted that came and our golden investigator André! He is great!! André has visited many churches and questions why do they not teach the same things.... When we gave him the Book of Mormon and a chapter ( Moroni 10) to read. He opened the book right away and started reading even before we said amen. HOLY COW he is awesome!! But the party was great! Also had some members bring non-members and also less active members came as well! It was awesome!! André also visited church yesterday! He told us that he loved it and had a great time!! :D

2.) Christmas day = I get to talk to my parents!! :D BACANA!!!!! (Heck yea)

3.) Tomorrow (24th) is my 5 month mark on a Mission! TIME IS FLYING!!! :D

4,) The 28th (Saturday) of this next week we will have a Natal Branco - White Christmas! Where we will have all our zone baptisms at the same time and place. It is gonna be a special time!! :D Elder Teixiera and I should have 3 people that are highly potential for this date! :D I am extremely excited!!! 

I am extremely grateful for this time I have to represent Jesus Christ and help/serve the people here in Brasil!! I sure do love my family and also my sister in Ukraine! I am grateful for this Gospel and for all of my wonderful many blessings!! I wish yall a Feliz Natal e a Novo Ano!! (Merry Christmas and New Year) Remember the importance of this time of year and always Smile!! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Elder Mitchell McCrea

P.S. I would love a care package or even a simple card :D 

Mitch w/zone leader Elder Guedes. 

Tree outside chapel during ward Christmas party.
Mitch at a zone Christmas conference.
Mitch's zone Christmas conference.
Mitch w/ Mission President Scisci
House with price attached in Mitch's area.

Mariah, Week 25, Zaporozhye



missionary. Ukrainians don't really celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. Most of them 
celebrate their Christmas on the 7th of January. (They follow the old, traditional Russian Orthodox church calendar with some holidays, which ends up being two weeks behind the modern-day calendar.) It's only the members of the church and some Ukrainians who know about American holidays who celebrate it on December 25th.

Anyway. Now that I've got the Christmas wishes out of the way. This week was crazy. And FULL of 
miracles, out of the boong-yang. Okay, so. It ended up that last week, my companion, Sister Nielsen 
had to be sent out of the country. Yup, she got deported to Bulgaria.  Okay, she really didn't get deported, but she had to leave to Bulgaria for the week because of problems with her visa. So while she was living it up in Bulgaria for the week with her MTC companion, Sister Gottscheck, who had the same issue with her visa... and Sister Young, who is one of the other sisters here in Zaporozhye, was sent to Xherson to be companions with Sister Summers, Sister Gottscheck's companion... who was left alone to care and watch over all the lost sheep in Zaporozhye? 

Sister Hansen and I. (Stay tuned for a picture of the both together next week.)

Yup. The two junior companions. We ruled over the city of Zaporozhye... maybe not with an iron fist. But we cared over both of our areas and investigators while both of our senior companions were away. It was awesome. I learned so much from Sister Nielsen. Even though she's younger than me (she's only 19!), she is really diligent in following the rules from the Missionary Handbook to a T. And she is freaking fearless when it comes to talking to larger crowds of people when we go contacting. So together, we were a pretty awesome, butt-kicking duo. We got a lot of stuff done. Like visiting less-active members and inviting them to the Christmas play that the branch is putting on Christmas Eve night; meeting with and keeping in contact (like dropping off treats and short spiritual messages with them at their home) with most of our investigators.

I also came to realize that I get fed a lot. Sister Hansen and I had been fed, in some way or another, every day this week. Whether it be in the form of a small bag of oranges, tea, or vereniki (traditional Ukrainian dumplings -- usually filled with mashed potatoes).

I had such an awesome week with Sister Hansen and I'm kinda sad that our reign together is coming to an end. We were told yesterday that Sister Nielsen is back in country and we'll be back with our actual companions later today. But it was great while it lasted. Maybe we'll get to serve together in the future. Or at least, I know that we'll at least get to hang out after our missions.

And that's about it for this week. I don't have much internet time left. I just want wish you all a happy, merry Christmas holiday.

Spiritual thought for the week: Alma 7: 10-11

-Sister McCrea

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mitchell, Week 19, Santarém

Where's the snow?

Holy cow its weird! Its December 16th and I am sweating every day! :P HAHA It's so hot down here. But I am doing great!! So this past week a lot happened! We had a Christmas Conference. We got to watch Invictus. It was film about a rugby team in South Africa! I love it!! But the conference was right on a small river that comes from the Amazon! The place was beautiful!! I love it! I had a great time! So these last 2 weeks left of the year we are focusing on getting people to the white Christmas activity on the 28th of December. I am so excited! This is where we will have all of our zone baptisms in the stake conference. We have 4 almas (souls) that could be baptized on that day! So that's what Elder Teixeira and I are working a lot on. Plus references with members. Holy cow the members here are great!! Love them so much!! Btw, I am still in my 1st city/area.... Santarem, Para &  Area - Tapajos. But I am excited!!! I am sorry all my letters are small and have many grammar errors. I only get like 1 hour to write all my emails and half the time the keyboards aren't the best. Plus,  I have a hard time thinking/speaking English to other elders in my a zone. hahah But the language is coming. I gave like a 10-15 minutes talk yesterday at church with only like 1 hour of notice. But I am sure I am speaking better. There is a member in our ward that is a Portuguese teacher and he speaks English very well too. So I think we are gonna stop by this week at his house during my language study time and see if he can help me out. But let me end this email with my gratefulness of all my wonderful blessings I have in my life. I am so grateful for my family and how my parents raised me and stopped their life to raise 2 kids for like 19 years. plus how my sister is freezing her butt off over there in Ukraine but is doing the EXACT same type of work! THE BEST JOB EVER!!! MISSIONARY!!!!!! But I am also grateful for this gospel in my life and the knowledge I know that this church is true and this church is the same when Jesus Christ lived. I am grateful for you all and remember to count your many blessings and to always have a smile on your face!! :D Plus remember the promise of Elder Ballard. About sharing your testimony to one non-member friend and inviting them to church and letting them partake of the love of our savior! :D I am grateful for my wonderful blessings in my life! Have a great week and remember the importance of this season!!

With love,
Elder McCrea

P.S. Sorry about the grammar errors and all.... tchau (Bye) :))

Mariah, Week 24, Zaporozhye

All I want for Christmas is...

a baptism (or two) and some awesome new investigators!

I've come to learn that having new, super-prepared investigators are like new toys. You just want to spend all your time with them, teaching them and watching them grow. Like a Chia-pet!
Sister Nielsen and I haven't found any new investigators like that; we're still trying to work with the investigators that we have. We have two investigators who are on the brink of baptism... they both just need a little bit more encouragement and TLC. Hopefully they will be able to get baptized by the end of the year.
In other news: it snowed -- for real -- for the first time. It's 6 pm, Monday night -- the time when Sister Nielsen and I are supposed to go out and start proselyting... and it's snowing. No joke. And now -- a week later, there is still snow on the ground! But I can see why. It's been below freezing all week. (Burrr!!!) BUT I HAVEN'T SLIPPED ON THE ICE YET! IT'S A MIRACLE!!!

Half of me is thankful for the cold though. It just means that it's easier for us to be able to get into people's homes. :) When we knock on their door and they see us shivering pitifully on their doorstep... a wave of compassion falls upon them and they just can't help but let us in for чай (tea) and let us give a spiritual message. It's a great way to win people's hearts.
Well, that's gonna be it for this week. Short e-mail. More next week.
Sister McCrea


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- SNOW!!! :D (My eyes look creepy...)

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- Sister Nielsen making a snow angel!

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- An Ukrainian sunset.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mitchell, Week 18, Santarém

Heat heat heat heat heat and more heat

Hahah!! My sister wrote her weekly letter about snow.... and I will write my letter about heat! :P I am sorry sis... Stay Warm!!

But this week has had its ups and downs..... Didn't have a baptism. We are working with a couple of people. Ronilda, Secretary of Bishop. She knows the church is true and prays and reads. (Her prayers rock!!) But she just doesn't want to leave her church.... I think she will follow the example of Jesus Christ to baptism in the next couple of weeks. Isabela, Daughter of Irma Glaucia. She turned 8 years old on the 30th of November. Her older 2 sisters are baptised (Leandrea and Yasmin) but she wants to go to church and listens to our lessons. But the problem is her grandma is like her mom. She does everything for her and talks to her like she is her daughter. But we talked with Irma Glaucia yesterday and told her, you are her daughter and she wants to go with you and her family to church. So Irma Glaucia promised she will talk with her mom this week. but Ahh!!!!  All Isabela is missing is going to church 2 times!!! Another one is brothers, Kalel and Kadu. They are awesome!! Cousins of members and they have visited the church a lot but years ago. The problem is that they say their dad doesn't want them to be baptised. But Elder Teixeira is great and he promised to talk to their dad. 

Elder Teixeira is great! Santa Vaca! He is blunt and it awesome. He sure knows how to get the point across and get the job done. Hahah! He has about 4 months left and knows how to teach. But I am grateful I get the chance to be his companion.

This week we are gonna try to work with Ronilda and see if she accepts to be baptised this week. But we are also gonna focus on new investigators and get more people to church because we will have a white Christmas on the 28th of December. Where we will work and try to get tons of baptisms this day and have a baptism day at the stake center for our zone. But I am excited for that!! Also excited for Thursday! Where we will have Christmas conference for our zone and then the 25th will get to Skype to my parents!!!! :D I am excited for this but also for this season!! 

I know this church is true and I am grateful for my wonderful blessings in my life! I love my family so much with all my heart!! I know that our savior Jesus Christ died for our sins and he loves all of us. I also realized this week that "Salvation is not a cheap experience [and isn't easy]" (Elder Holland) But missionary work isn't easy. But I am so grateful for this chance I have to serve a mission and be great of this marvellous work! I love you all!! Stay warm if its hot or try to stay cold if its hot! :P


Elder McCrea

Mariah, Week 23, Zaporozhye

Snow snow snow snow snow and more snow

This week's e-mail is gonna be short. Which reasons I will explain later on.

ANYWAY. I jinxed myself by saying that it was cold and that I'd never survive through the winter when I wrote last week... because it's pretty much snowed every day this week since then. Yup. Monday night was the first snowfall of Winter 2014 in Zaporozhye Ukraine. Granted, it didn't snow very much because it didn't stay on the ground very long. But still. It was cold. And miserable. And not fun. Because the cold wind was in my face. And I was frozen. And I almost died this week. 
No, not because of the snow... but because of something that I nicknamed "sickness X". For the last half of this week, I was sick at home, passed out sleeping and trying to recover. I have no idea how I got sick or what... I started feeling really tired Thursday night. I didn't have much of an appetite for dinner that night, but I didn't really think anything of it. I was just really excited because Sister Burgoyne, the Sister Training Leader who is over Zaporozhye, and her companion, Sister Frank, were coming to do exchanges with us on Friday. I was supposed to go out on exchanges with the wonderful Sister Burgoyne -- but... when I woke upFriday, I didn't want to do anything. Which -- long story short -- I was sick from Friday until... today. I'm finally starting to feel better, and I'm able to walk around without a headache or being dizzy or anything. It was great. And I'm sure Sister Nielsen enjoyed the time that she got to be able to stay in and not go anywhere. She even made this huge to do list and almost got it all finished. What a champ.

Well! This really is going to be a short letter. We just got a message from our landlady and we have to scurry off to meet with her or something or other. I have no idea.

P.S. Here is a picture of me. In the snow. And Chimichanga! :D One of the dogs that I've decided that I'm going to adopt when I come back to Ukraine after my mission. (She's a little camera shy... and she didn't like the camera flash very much.)

Short spiritual thought: Luke 1:37

Read it. Love it. Own it.

-- Sister McCrea

Mariah and her companion, Sister Nielsen

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mitchell, Week 17, Santarém

Where's the Turkey?

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Today is P-day in our zone. We had Zone Conference with President/Sister Scisci yesterday. Which was great! Love it!! Got to see all the elders in our Zone. So my last companion Elder Hoch returned to Belem Monday early morning. I stayed at the ZL house for a couple of days until we were told of the transfers information (Thursday). I was told I was gonna serve in Tapajos (my area) With my zone leader E. Garcia. So for about a week I was with him and yesterday at conference I was told my new companion is Elder Teixeira from Brasil. I am excited! And elder Garcia is leaving and they are adding another area in our zone as well. So they were a lot of moving and new missionaries coming. But my companion is the last to come and he gets here tomorrow night. So excited!

This past week was crazy! Had another baptism. Daughter of Sister Glaucia. She is great! Really quite but she has improved her shyness a lot since we started teaching the family. These next two weeks we should have another 2 baptisms maybe 3. But I am so excited!! I know the language is coming.   I am slowly understanding a lot more and I feel I am started to talk better. But I practicing not to compare myself and just practice and have faith/patience. But I sure am having the time of my life!! We will have the Zone Natal get together on the 12th! I received my 1st box this past week as well!! THANKS MOM AND DAD!!! But I am great! Heat is still here but this past week we had a couple of days of rain. But starting in January I have been told we get rain like every day!! HECK YEA!!! But I am so grateful for this opportunity to server a mission and I sure do love my family with all my heart! I am grateful for the example for my Mom and my Pops is in my life! Also of my sister! I am filled with such happiness when I know my sister is serving a mission as well and how much blessings my parents are receiving.

I pray this next weeks things settle down and there isn't so much moving and trying to find a companion or something. But hey I know this Church is true and I am grateful for my wonderful blessings and this time I get to represent our Savior Jesus Christ for 2 years of my life! Thanks for everything and I love you all!!! 

Elder McCrea

PS - Take care sis and I sure do love ya! Stay warm!!

PSS - I am excited to talk to ya in 22 days!! I sure do love yall so much and I will get you that scripture dad and mom next week. I love ya dearly and please continue to be safe! 

Mariah, Week 22, Zaporozhye



Seriously though. I bet I have a good idea of what it feels like to live in Alaska. It got to be below freezing this week. BELOW FREEZING, FOLKS. THAT'S ZERO DEGREES CELSIUS!! THIRTY-TWO DEGREES FARENHEIGHT (or however you spell that word). In Laredo, I can probably count all the times that it's been below freezing on one hand. On Friday though, when we went outside our apartment to start our day, there was standing water... and the surface was frozen over. I'm not even joking, folks. Frozen. I tested it with the toe of my boot. 

Oh man... I have no idea how I'm going to survive a winter in Ukraine. The branch members in Zaporozhye have supposidly fasted for a warmer winter this yeah, so I hope the Lord has heard their prayers and grants Zaporozhye a milder winter season. (But hey... I guess the Lord has blessed me in the fact that I didn't get sent to RUSSIA for my mission. I definitely wouldn't be able to survive a winter there. Phew.)

Anyway, I can't believe that it's already December. December means that...
  • I've been out on my mission for nearly six months;
  • I've been in-country for three months;
  • Christmas and New Years are just around the corner;
  • I get an excuse to bake cookies and treats like a madwoman!
  • and a lot of other things.
It also means that there is a special feeling in the air; a feeling of love, and service. Or at least that's how it feels like in America. Hopefully it will be the same here in Ukraine.

This last week has been really eventful though. During our last district meeting, we thought and wrote out most of the less-actives that are in our area, and in preparation for fast Sunday yesterday, we told the members to fast and pray for these members, as we work with them to help them return back to the branch. I have a feeling that the Lord will be on our side with this one.

This last week was also Thanksgiving. Ukrainian's don't really celebrate Thanksgiving, so Sister Nielsen and I celebrated this traditional American feasting holiday in our own way: byeating шаурмаs (which is basically the Ukrainian street food equivalent of a burrito) for lunch and chicken pizza for dinner! It was a feast fit for a king! This week (not on Thanksgiving day), we also had the opportunity to be fed... БОРЩ (BORSH)!!!! Borsh is seriously becoming my favorite food of Ukraine. I want to collect ALL THE BORSH RECIPES before I come home! Who needs souvenirs and knick-knaks, when you can have traditional Ukrainian borsh soup recipes. :)

To close though, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought that I'd just list a few things that I'm thankful for:
  • first and foremost -- my older brother, Jesus Christ, and the Atonement that He performed. I'm 21 years old and I still don't think I've even come close to understanding the whole magnitude of it all.
  • my family -- my beyond wonderful parents who put up with me for 21 years; my brother, who is serving the Lord and sweating away in Brazil, and for Elder Harline and Sister McCrea, two of my wonderful cousins who are also serving the Lord.
  • the wonderful, humble Ukrainian people that I am serving here.
  • borsh
  • my wonderful companion, who is awesome and helps me get through the cold, Zaparozhye-ian weather.
And that's all the time that I have now, folks. I wish you all a good week, and don't be shy with sending me e-mails or letters or anything! I would love to hear from those people who just so happen to read my blog entries!

Love, love, love,

Sister McCrea