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.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mitchell, week 34, Marabá

Back to the Past! :P

Well, I made it another week! These past weeks have been crazy! TONS of rain and just having a good ol´time! :D Sadly transfers ended this past week and Elder Montarroyos is leaving, and that's all we know. We haven't gotten any other information (when he leaves and where? and who is my new companion and when he comes in) but I am excited and sad at the same time. 

So this past week we have been getting tons of rain. One night we got caught in the rain as we were heading home. It was getting close to 9:30pm (when we have to be home) and we started running. When we got home we were soaked soaked soaked TONS!!! But it was great! :P Plus one of the photos I sent was when we just finished our lunch with Irma Raquel and we were heading to Irma Wagna and Irmao Lucas house to visit them. And we came upon this road that became almost a river,  but we had to cross it to get to her house. But ahh it was great! :P That day it rained practically all day! :P

Also we are visiting Herber and his family. we have family home evening at his house and I made Mac and cheese!  :) AHH IT WAS FLIPPING GOOD!!!! I went to heaven and returned! :P I was definitely a little trunky (thinking of home) as well. They don't have mac and cheese here in Brasil! :D But ahh it was soo good! :P 

Also this past week we stayed home on Friday because Elder Monarroyos stomach wasn't feeling too good and so I had the chance to work on our Area book and work on some other stuff. But this next week I am not sure what's in store, but I am excited to be here in Brasil and I know this gospel is true! I know it is true because I feel it every day! btw, this past Sunday during sacrament meeting I gave a talk over the Gift of the Holy Ghost and it went pretty good I thought! :D But I know this gospel is restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and is restored with the same keys as when Jesus Christ was here on the Earth. I love my Savior dearly and I love my family! I am grateful I have 19 years (almost 20 years <-- on 3rd of April :D) in the gospel with my family! I am thankful for missionary work and I love you all! Keep holding to the Rod and counting your many blessings! :D and don't forget to SMILE!!! :D

Elder McCrea

(Also this week I hit the big two zero 20! :D WHOOP :)

the mac and cheese that I made at a family night! :P It was so good and it made me trunky! :D

 And we came upon this road that became almost a river

But the last one was from family night at Herber house. with (from left to right.... Rodrigo, brother of Herber and his wife, Herber and irma Tamires, elder Montarroys and me with their dog :D

Mariah, week 40, Zaporozhye

Hello all :)

Yesterday was a great Sabbath for me too. Over the last couple weeks, I've been working harder on trying to pay more attention to the sacrament and what it means every week and stuff. And this last Sunday was the first time where I actually felt like I renewed my baptismal covenants. But alas, I haven't watched the Women's conference yet... I don't think I'll have time to watch it in English, so I'll just have to wait for the Ensign GC edition come out in a few months to be able to read them. 

I had a good birthday. I didn't really tell anyone until the day off -- well, I told Sister Meyers the night before. But she did a good job of telling everyone that it was my birthday the next day. The elders in my district even went and bought me a cake and sung "Happy Birthday" in Russian to me. It was grrrreat :3 

But as for all the political hooflah that's going on in Ukraine... I have no idea. We're not kept very informed on what's going on. The only news we hear are from members in the branch and the people we talk to on the streets. But yes, don't worry. I'm sure that all the members and missionaries are safe. President van Bruggen has had us start to keep a week's worth of food storage in our apartments in case we have to stay in for a while or something. And they're having members start to keep a 3-month's worth. Nothing big. Just usual things that LDS members should be doing anyway to stay prepared. 

BUT YAY! Reading by chapters or pages -- do whatever you need to do. I want to be able to finish reading the Book of Mormon one more time before I go home too. I started reading it again at the first of March and right now I'm in 2nd Nephi 10? I think? I'm not sure. SCRIPTURE POWER! :D

And thank you for your testimony. and I'm glad that you support me. I'm not sure what I'd do if you didn't... 

Love youu :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mariah, week 39, Zaporozhye

Hello world!

This last week (on the 19th of March to be exact), I hit my 9-month mark on my mission. Which means that as of now, my mission is more than half-way over. I've been on my mission for more time than I have left -- if that makes sense. Which I'm not quite sure how to feel about that.

But alas... Today also just so happens to be the first day of a new transfer! My sixth transfer! Start of a new transfer means the start of a mew missionary planner! Whoo-ho! And the official start of the reign of Sister Meyers and Sister McCrea over the Zaporozhye Right Bank area. All hail.

I love the start of a new transfer. To me, they are like the start of a new season. Which is kind of a coincidence because Spring just so happens to be right around the corner. I am totally loving this warmer weather.

AND OH MAN. Not any time left. I just wanted to end with a scripture that I read this morning during personal study:

Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.
Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.
-- 1 Nephi 22:11-12
The Lord is making His gospel known to everyone on the earth. There are over 80,000 missionaries all over the world doing His work and spreading the good news. We as missionaries are helping bring these people "out of darkness" so that "they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer". I'm so glad that I get to spend this time, this short, precious 18-months serving my Lord, Savior and Redeemer. I know that and my testimony of this grows everyday. Missionary work is hard, but it's worth it.

Cectpa Makpeй

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mitchell, week 33, Marabá

All is good! :)

So yesterday (3/17/2014) we had zone conference with President and Sister Scisci! It was GREAT!! Learned TONS of stuff I can apply to my mission life and a lot about after the mission life. But I am grateful also I saw all of the elders in our zone. Kinda cool but we have 12 missionaries in our zone; 4 in my city, 4 in Parauapebas, 2 in Canaã, and 2 in Altamira. And there is 6 brazilians and 6 norte americans. It was good to see them all and I got to see for the 1st time a missionary from my MTC district.... Elder HAYES!!!! :) He's awesome!!! He was serving in Jacksonville, Florida waiting for his visa and he barely got his visa like over a month ago. But it was crazy to have 12 missionaries in our apt the night before conference. But all went good!! The 24th next Monday is my 8 month mark on a mission!! WOW! Time is flying!!!!!!!

This week we also had the offical paperwork signing session. (Not sure what you call it in English) but Brother Claudio and Sister Kayla are married!! :) The paperwork takes a month until they will get it, and after they as a family can enter the waters of baptism! I am so excited and happy for them!! :) WHOOPIE!!!!!!

Sadly all the rain we have been getting in Marabá, the river of Tocantins has risen and it has covered some streets in the old part of Marabá. We haven't visited that part lately but we have planned to visit Brother Heber and Sister Tamires. So this week we should be able to get some pictures of that part of Marabá. Really sad to hear about their homes and all.... (Count your many blessings and keep them in your prayers)

My time is runned out but I know that this gospel is the same gospel when Jesus Christ was here on Earth. I know Joseph Smith restored this gospel in the last dispensation. And right now we have a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson here on Earth. I am grateful for this time I have to teach this wonderful gospel to the people here in Marabá, PA. I love my family and I love my work! Continue to count your many blessings, say your prayers, read the scriptures, and SMILE!! :)

With Love,
Elder Mitch McCrea

Sister Kayla and Brother Claudio with Elder Montarroys and I. The day of their wedding session on Wendsday (3/12/2014) :D

River Tocantins. Over the bridge during the bus trip we take every day! :) That was such a pretty day! Also had a lot of rain that night...

Zone Conference - Elder Montarroys and I. My companion; his from Recife, born in Africa
(Adopted at 6 months to a Spaniard dad and a Brasilian Mom), 19 years old (Birthday also in April!! :D ), Surfs, just a really nice solid dude! I am glad we are companions!!

With Love,
Elder Mitch McCrea

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mariah, week 38, Zaporozhye

Snow in March?

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 What even?? Just when I thought that the weather in south Texas was weird, just wait until you experience the weather in Ukraine. One day it's nice and warm, the sun is out and it feels like you don't even need a jacket; and the next... it's cold, gloomy and below freezing. Ukraine y u so dum?

Anyway. This week has been a roller coaster. Tuesday, I said a bye to Sister Nielsen. Naturally, it was a sad parting. But all is well. We're going to hang out for a month and watch all the movies together when I come home.

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[Sister Gottscheck (who went home with Sister Nielsen), Sister Meyers, Sister Nielsen, and I.]

My new companion is... Sister Meyers! Who was actually in the MTC with me! She's such a cool kid, and I'm so glad that I get to spend the next six weeks with someone that I already (somewhat) know... Although, in all honestly, Sister Meyers is not the Sister Meyers that I knew in the MTC. She has grown spiritually so much, and I feel so lucky to be with someone who has such a strong testimony of the message that we are trying to share with everyone in Zaporozhye, Ukraine.
Sister Meyers is helping me re-look at the way we try and find investigators. Through our efforts, we've actually found a family this week, who turned into three new investigators. The mom is really nervous and anxious about all that is happening in Ukraine right now. I was so glad though, that the Holy Ghost was working through me and I was able to tell her about the story of Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty. I know that The Book of Mormon is true and it can totally apply to any everyday thing that happens. Ahh! And I'm running short on time. 

To end, please enjoy this picture of me and a cat!
 And what the inside of a (nearly empty) tramvie in Ukraine looks like!

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Сестра Макрей

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mitchell, week 32, Marabá

Count your many Blessings! :D

Boa Tarde todo mundo!! :D  (Good afternoon everyone) 

I am gonna try to make this letter a good one! :D 

But I am doing great!! I am excited for these next 2 weeks left of this transfer! Not sure if y'all know but I am with Elder Montarroys for 2 transfers now. He is just great!! His family is from Recife, has 2 younger sisters, and has about 14 months on a mission. Has been here in this area as long as I have been in Brasil. But ahh this is awesome!! So 2 weeks ago we had a baptism (Rafaela), a cousin of a less-active member. They all are just GREAT!!!! 

So this past couple of weeks (Especially the 1st couple of days of March) its been crazy here in BRASIL!! Carnival time... That means tons of drinking for a lot of people, a lot of stores are closed, and just some crazy crazy days! I have seen some people really drunk and seen some crazy stuff..... (Kinda Sad) But we Elder Montarroys and I, made it alive with all the walking we do. But WOW our AREA is huge!! There are only a total of 4 missionaries in this city with a population of 250,000 people! Plus the city is spread out like butter!! (Ahh.... Yesterday I thought of Graham Crackers and Milk!! Gosh I miss that.... -_-) But we are doing great! This past week was AWESOME!! So there is this family (Brother Claudio and Sister Kayla) that has been coming to church for a long time (Around 6 month) They want to get baptized but the problem is they aren't married. Every time we invite them to get married, something happens at home or work. BUTTTT.... This past week we invited them and when we asked them to pray if they should get married. And Irmão Claudio said, "No need to pray... We already have a response, we want to get married." Heck to the YEA!!! So on Wednesday we will visit with them to turn in their papers to get married!! WHOOPIE!! 

I am doing great! I am understand more and more every day!! :D And most of the time I don't have to repeat myself when I am talking to someone! :P I know I am taking awhile to get this language down... but I know it will come with time and practice! :) [VERBS ARE KILLING ME -__-]

 :D Photo Time.... Sorry, I haven't taken many photos lately.... 

But the 1st one is of a rain cloud that was coming our way during our morning studies. This month and especially February and January is the raining season and you can definitely see the river Tocantins rising.  (Runs right through the city) There are a lot of homes near that river that are covered with water right now....

Next is of a frog that we caught when we (missionaries) were cleaning the back yard + pool, that we have at our chapel. We cleaned it for the Youth Conference that was during the Carnival weekend. I was told it was a great turn out and they all had a blast!!

Lastly is of the baptism 2 weeks ago. So from left to right is ( Me, Irmão Lucas, his daughter, Elder Montarroys, Jilda (family friend) Rafaela, and Irma Wagna (Wife of Irmão Lucas) It was such a great baptism and a spiritual filled night!! :D (She actually got baptized in the pool that we cleaned a couple of days before) :)))

So this next Monday we should have Zone Conference with President Scisci! Whoopie!! But ahh, I am sorry this letter is gonna be short and has TONS of spelling errors but I am grateful for all your prayers and all! (Pray especially for all the missionaries out there in the world! Definitely my sister that is serving in Ukraine. With all the action going on over there and all the other missionaries serving there as well)

I know I called by God to serve in this mission and here in Marabá with Elder Montarroys. I love my Savior and I am grateful for his Loving Atonement, that makes it possible to return to my Father in Heaven. I am grateful for temples here on Earth and that I am sealed with my family for all time and eternity in the House of The Lord (Temple). I sure do love my family!! Continue holding to the Rod and count your MANY blessings that you have received in your life! :D Abraço e Até mais! :)) (Hug and until next time)

With Love,
Elder McCrea 

Mariah, week 37, Zaporozhye

Happy Woman's Day!

To all the women, young women, girls everywhere: "с праздником!" This last Saturday (March 8th) was Woman's Day in Ukraine! (Which is sort of like Mother's Day in the United States.) 

People selling flowers, balloons and ribbons lined the sidewalks; people were carefully walking everywhere with flowers clutched their hand. The weather is starting to feel nice, and if I remember right, the sun was out. It was a wonderful day. The brothers/men from the Zaporozhye Branch had a little party planned for all the sisters/women. Brother Yuri, who is quite the little poet, even wrote a special poem for the occasion! President Valenten ("Willy Wonka") brought out chocolate bars and handed them out to all of the sisters who were in attendance. And afterwards, there was торт (cake) and чай (tea), which were both delicious. 

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All throughout the day though, people wished Sister Nielsen and I "с праздником!" and poured all these blessings of health, happiness and love over us. Even little boys wished us a happy holiday, which most of the time was SO CUTE! One little boy even perfectly rolled his "r's". It's so crazy to think that four year old children have a larger Russian vocabulary than me. 

Anyway. In other news... MY COMPANION SISTER NIELSEN IS GOING HOME THIS WEEK!!! :'''| sad face

Because of the crazy political hoo-ha that's going on in Ukraine at the moment, six native-Ukrainian missionaries who are serving missions in Russia, are being transported to our mission. Which means, to make room for these missionaries, six missionaries who were supposed to be leaving in the next two transfers, are going home early. And Sister Nielsen, who only had one transfer left, just so happened to fall into that category. It's sad to have to see her off and leave one transfer early. And in such short notice. But it's been an eye opener. 

This week just so happened to be my in-country 6-month mark. I've been in Ukraine for six months, and I have no idea how that even happened. People say that once you've been in-country for six months, you finally start to have a grasp on the language. After six months, you actually start to understand what people are saying. I have no idea if I can say that I have a grasp on the language and I understand what people are saying when they are talking to me. When I first got into country, it felt like everyone was speaking Japanese... but now, I can proudly say that I translated (from Russian to English) for someone, and I'm honestly actually starting to feel comfortable here. 

I can speak Russian. I can do this.

But back to what I was saying before. The time I have to spend on a mission is so short and precious. I only have eighteen months to serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength. After a zone conference that happened this week, I have a new motto for my missionary work. "Become the lioness." I've always considered a lion to be my patronus, my spirit animal. It wasn't until something that one of the APs (assistant to the president of the mission) said during one of the practices that really got my brain thinking. As missionaries, we need to stalk our prey. (Prey as in, the people we contact.) We don't have a lot of time in the day to just talk with everyone that we see on the street. As missionaries, we need to be guided by the Spirit to who to talk to. The Lord knows who is ready and who still needs some preparation. And we need to be in tap with the Spirit to know where to go and who to talk to. 

And that's all folks. My internet time has run short. And to close, I just want to leave you all with an awesome quote from the Great and Wonderful Sister Nielsen.

"And the brother of Jared was like, 'move mountain!' and it moved. And I was like, 'whoa!'"

Thank you all for your support. PRAY FOR MY INVESTIGATORS!

-- Sister McCrea

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mitchell, week 31, Marabá

First off... my time is running short! Plus I am really sorry my letters aren't as spazzy as Mariah's! But I am doing great! Definitely walking tons!! These past couple of days we have been getting tons of RAIN!!!! My shoes are doing great!! I think when I hit my 1 year mark we might need to get them traded in for new ones. But I still have another new pair with me right now. So I will be good!! But I am great!! Still don't have a washing machine. Washing by hand takes awhile, but its turning out pretty good! My shirts are still looking good. 

BTW, Everyone here in Brasil loves Facebook right now..... So a lot of members and investigators look for me on Facebook and add me. Can you do me that favor when you add someone to my friends add them to a group like "mission" or something. So when I get back I can know who y'all added. But thanks for adding stuff (Photos, blogs, etc.) .... Also change the settings so when (or if) someone posts something to my profile/timeline you have to approve it first, before everyone sees it. Do you understand? Questions?

BTW, The box that is in customs like 2 weeks ago... I still don't know who is it from. But if you can go on my Facebook and post there.... if they are gonna send a box, put the most inexpensive stuff 1st on the paper, so I won't get a tax and also the picture of Jesus Christ on the openings. But some time soon I will have to pay the 97 reiais to receive it. BTW, There is no way to know who is it from..... 

Dad and Mom I have responded to your questions you sent in your weekly email. But I sure do love y'all so much!! I am sorry again my letters aren't the best and not the same as Mariah's.....

I sure do love y'all so much!! I am grateful I am serving a mission!! I am grateful we are sealed for eternity in the temple! I love all so much and until next week!! BTW.... I will probably be on either around 11:30 am or around 4:30 (My time) next p-day. But I love y'all so much!!! 



Mitch & companion Elder Montarroyos

Monday, March 3, 2014

Mariah, week 36, Zaporozhye


First off, I'd just like to give a big, ole huge 'THANK YOU' shout out to everyone who has said that I'm in their prayers and whatnot. It means a lot.

But please, don't bother worrying about me! Everything is fine in my part of Ukraine. I mean, we may have had to stay inside all day on Friday. And the missionaries that are in those problem areas in the Crimea, which is the southern part of my mission, were moved to northern areas of the mission, like Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye. (One of the missionary elders that was transferred here to Zaporozhye was even in my MTC district! Elder Hepworth! :D He's such a cool kid.) But all is good in the hood. The church leaders are doing their best to keep in the loop as to what's happening and what not, and are making sure that they keep us all safe and that the Lord's work still continues. If anything, all that's been happening here has given me a stronger more solid testimony of the hastening of the Lord's work. It's happening before my eyes. A few years ago, I don't remember member missionary work being such a huge deal like it is now. My mission president has made it known that the time that we spend on our mission isn't a time to be a tourist or to waste time doing non-missionary things. There isn't anything, be it weather or political problems, that will keep us inside, unable to do missionary work. All of our time and effort, be it 18 months or two years (for elders), is to be devoted to spreading the good word. I love being here and the time that I get to be a missionary. My time to be able to wear a black nametag with Christ's name on it is so small... 18 months?! It's already been 7 months. My cousin who is also serving a mission has already hit her half-way mark! CRAZY! fjkajjerw I don't want to go hoommee!!!!!

In other news: 
  • Like I said, the missionary work in Ukraine continues. And the weather is improving. It snowed last Monday. But today, I don't even know why I'm wearing a hat and scarf.
  • I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time, cover-to-cover, on Thursday. I started in July or so... and I made a pact with myself this last week to finish by the end of February. And I did.
  • I've been reading Jesus the Christ on and off since I was in the MTC. I'm on chapter 13 or 14 now and it's just awesome. Awesome.
  • Sister Nielsen is starting to blossom into a good little cook. She's been blessed all of her mission to have companions that can cook, including me. But she made a brownie cake last week, which was really good. We ended up giving half of it to our neighbors because we're trying to get to know them.
I hope that this e-mail message calms and reassures all those who are feeling uneasy about all that is happening in Ukraine and my and the other missionary's here safety. To quote the lyrics of a great pioneer hymn, Come, Come Ye Saints: "All is well, all is well." 

Thank you all, and please keep praying for my investigators and the work that is progressing here. 

Sister McCrea

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