Monday, December 22, 2014


***This is Clair's email from last week.  We were on a cruise and didn't have internet, so it didn't get posted until now.  I was waiting to get today's email so I could post them together, but we didn't get an email today.  I guess that's because we get to talk to her on Thursday!

So, to answer your questions:  I dyed my hair because I ran out of my blonde shampoo ahhaha.  It's still blonde but darker blonde and I love it so much! It was quite the adventure. 

Christmas eve is the big party here. They stay up and eat a huge dinner at midnight and open gifts and then sleep all day the 25th. We have to be in our rooms at 9 at night but we can wake up whenever on Christmas day.  I'm assuming that's because no one will sleep with the parties and everything. So we have some families that have said they want us to stop by, we want to still have lessons, if possible but it´s hard.  And everyone drinks and that is dangerous for a gringa. WHAT TIME ARE WE GOING TO CALL ON CHRISTMAS DAY?  I am going to call you on Christmas eve to plan.

Almost all of the pictures I have taken I'm in that dress from Superstore. That dress is the best! I wish they had different patterns, it´s so great. I was lacking some clothes but Hermana Brito left me all her clothes so I have more now :) She left me her Jody dresses, so nice of her. So that's awesome as well!

I sent Auburn a letter, to the mission.  I hope she gets it soon. I sent like 10 letters last week from the post office. hahahaha. I also sent a little package with Sister Brito. She is going to take it to Leah, she's from Riverton and it has some gifts for the Tullis´s and some gifts for you guys.  I don´t know when you will get it though!

It´s crazy to think I've been gone for 5 1/2 months. I have officially been in my area for 4 months now and I love it. I just love the mission. Time flies when you are having fun but it flies even faster when you are serving the Lord. 

We got transfer calls right in the middle of Sister Brito´s goodbye party thing and...... 


I still don´t believe it. It´s completely crazy to me, but I am excited.  Also, Hermana Wood, that girl that you met in Waterton, she comes to Chiclayo tomorrow so I get to see her, maybe train her.-.... ahhh! 

Well I will talk to you guys in 10 days! I am super excited! I just hope we can figure it all out so it goes smoothly. 

All my love,

Hermana Pilling

Monday, December 8, 2014

I Dyed My Hair

YES I REALLY DID.  You probably won't believe me 'til I send pictures home, but I can't send photos on these darn computers... so ya. 

A run down of the week:
Monday was so so great.  We got so much done for p-day, I got my packages, we had good lessons and it was awesome!

Tuesday we taught an atheist. It's hard. It's like walking on egg shells, but I think next time we are going to use our authority and remember our purpose as representatives of Jesus Christ. It was a very good day as well.  Lots of lessons and contacts and smiles and laughs. 

Wednesday all our lessons were with less actives.  It's fun to work with less actives because you can be a little bold and say "you know this is true",  but it's hard because they're usually inactive for a reason, like stupid ward drama or they got prideful and that's a little difficult to fix.  But all things are possible. 

Thursday we had quite a few lessons as well... a couple good ones and a couple okay ones. We are teaching a girl whose dad owns a panaderia, like a bread store, and her little nephew who is 8 always comes home from school when we are about to finish and pray.  He has a big personality.  He is in LOVE with me. He peeks around the corner and sees that we are there and comes running in and going off about how we are beautiful and pretty and then the said, "with all due respect I want to tell you two that you are more beautiful than any other girls I have ever seen and I want to go out with someone like you.  Can I get a picture with you guys?"  And without even us saying anything he runs and throws himself on us and his mom snaps pictures.  Then he serenades us with a song about how he doesn't want the taste of candy or cookies or cake or carmel but the taste of my ilps.... yes this yougster is 8.  His name is Manuel. hahaha .Well|! I go red every time. hahaha

Friday we had our zone training and it was really good but really really hard for me to hear.. it made me discouraged.  The zone leaders shared the numbers of someone in our zone and if I were to compare.... which I obviously don't do... it would seem that we aren't doing anything all day.  And just all this other stuff.  It all built up and I just felt like I haven't done anything good for the ward and we work so so so so hard and people aren't there and it's so hot and we walk so much and the food is just so not satisfying for the taste buds... but what can you do? Sister Brito helped me out a lot and reminded me of my many talents and how much we have improved together and how I have improved as a missionary.  I felt better.  The rest of the day no one was home. We literally had 1 lesson.  That just topped off the day with a lovely fat juicy anchovie or something else gross. ugh. 

Saturday was hard. No one was home again. The weekends are very difficult.  Everyone has parties and there are lots of people drinking.  Me being blonde made it worse and we had quite a few encounters with drunks. 

Sunday was okay. It's a little more dangerous on Sunday and we have to be picky with where we go when our lessons fall. But we went to the Christmas devotional which was really good! Its all in spanish but the music is obviously in english. such a blessing. 

Okay Christmas.... 
December 25th is p-day and I can call you for 30 to 40 minutes. There isn't anywhere in my area with cameras and everyone says that skype downtown ins't worth it because everyone else is on the internet too. So it looks like we will have a 30 minute phone call.... I can call you before to set up a time, probably Christmas Eve.  At first I was really disappointed, especially because my comp is going to be with her family for Christmas and I won't even see you guys.  Also because so many other missionaries talk for a long time.  But I know that Heavenly Father will bless me and you guys. President is all about obedience.

I love you guys so much and I have to go now.  Pray for me to have patience and to be dilligent and for Liz and Piero to get married. 

Love and miss you all!
Hermana Pilling

Monday, December 1, 2014

Monkeys and Llamas

First off, I am going to send my package for you guys to Leah because my companion is amazing and will take it to her. I don´t know when you guys will get it though. 

I got your Christmas package!  I also got one from Grams and one from Papa and Cody.

This week we worked on contacting A LOT of people and met some interesting ones.... we met a man who believes there is nothing after life.  You die and that´s all!  He´s catholic.... I don´t understand how every catholic believes something different.  We met an atheist.  She has investigated many churches but has come to the conclusion that no one needs God to be happy in this life. It was really sad. But she has ancestors from China, Arabia, Peru, and Spain.  Literally all over the world. So we talked to her about family history and we are going back to teach her! Wé´ll see if we can help her out. 

We met a 22 yr old total hippy, really in tune with his inner soul... he believes that Christ was a really awesome person full of love but nothing else. Just really great but a normal human being.  Wowzers!

The elders from the other ward that meet in our building told us there is a member in their ward who has seen us every week and she just really wanted to share her testimony with us.  So we went over and crossed lines (ahhhh!) and met her.  She hasn´t had any legs since she was 2 years old. She´s been a member for 5 years and is the most faithful member besides the bishop. She´s about 60 years old but has a joyful spirit of a.... younger person. She´s super super special and awesome.

On Saturdays and Sundays we eat with the members and it´s the worst.... they give us a very overly large amount of rice and usually fried fish. and beans. But, on Saturday we ate with our pensionista. It was her family´s turn to feed us and we ate.... CRISPY CHICKEN FROM MCDONALD´S! WAHOOOOOOO! Real human food. hahaha. It was delicious.

Hermana Brito had to do some things to finalize her papers with her visa so she can go home in 2 weeks and it made it really real that´s she´s leaving me. :( It´s sad! I don´t like killing companions!

Our district leader is totally awesome!!!!!! He´s pushing us and helping us trust in the Lord to do this work. It´s so great. I am just so happy to be a missionary and to be here in Peru. 

Okay, so now about the monkey and the llama.  The granddaughter of Hermana Lola who just got baptized was visiting her. She´s old though. Well... 45. That´s not old Mom and Dad. Sorry. She was having heart problems so she went and bought a monkey!  When they are babies they are the size of a finger... just like the cute pinterest pictures. And she kept it...under her shirt next to her chest and it just hung out.  She hasn´t had a single health issue! She named it and it has an identity card and his name is Martin Farfan and he has cologne and a towel and shampoo and is basically human and is a part of the family! She´s had him for 5 years and he´s now fully grown, about the size of a hand + a long tail. 

Today is pday and we went to the center to shop and there was a llama in the road! Just hanging out with his owner! He was all dressed up and everything!  His name was Antonio.... but we couldn´t take photos because... the owner was just weird. But ya!

That´s the life of a missionary for ya. It´s been awesomely great and not so awesomely hot but I am alive and smiling and doing well! 

I love you all!

hermana pilling

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Missions are actually fun!

Buenas tardes familia y amigas! 
Mom- 3rd john 1:2,4,5 

Okay! Como estan?

So this week we were a little pre-occupied with the preparation of Hermana Lola for her baptism on Sunday. We visited her every day and worked a lot with her. She's the olddie-81 year old and just a sweetypoopie. She has all sorts of illnesses but so much faith. She came out of the water and we asked her, ¨Como se siente?¨ and she said, ¨Rico!¨ which is super cool. It probably doesn't translate properly, but it was cool. Then she gave us these hugs, so great! Just this big squeeze, really impressive for an 81 year old. 

Also, Hermana Elizabeth, my other convert, she is in the hospital. She had surgery finally and it all went well and then 2 days after it got REALLY bad. She isn't doing well and we are going to go see her today. I hope that she is okay. It's a good thing she is such a strong and faithful old lady as well because this is a tough trial for her. Her son lives like 2 minutes from the hospital and won't go visit her and only the relief society president is visiting her from our ward.  It's just super super super sad. I feel so bad. 

This week.... well I don't know! One of the families we teach got a turtle.  It's tiny right now but it's supposed to be huge! They got it to eat the flies or something. So during the lesson I just held it and we hung out and I love the little guy! I have decided turtles are great pets because you can watch them swim but you can also hold them and they're adorable! It's perfection! 
Uhmmm... que mas. 

Everyone here is getting really excited for Christmas. They make hot chocolate-and yes it is HOT even though it is HOT outside- and these things called empanadas de globo which was DELISH. And I'm getting excited too! But I completely forgot that I am going to talk to you guys! Wow! I forgot!
Also, my companion is not trunky at all.  It's so fun. We are just 2 silly girlies. But she's so old as well. She's 22 1/2 and I'm little baby 19 1/2. But we have so much fun. My face actually hurts from laughing and smiling today! 

Well ya. 
Until next week peeps,

Hermana Pilling

Monday, November 17, 2014

Good, Great, Grand and Wonderful!

So I got a call last thursday saying I had a package they were holding at serpost and I needed to go with my passport and sign for it and everything so I did that today! yay! It's the package you sent when you were down for Thanksgiving with stuff from Leah and everything. FINALLY! I think it got to Peru the last day of October but it's been held up. It's okay, I got it and opened it and LOVED it! Thank you so much for all the chocolate and for the dress and the clothes.  You too Leah, and thank you so so so so much for the classic and hilarious Christmas photo of Dad and Mom.  How fantastic! 

Tuesday was long.  Sometimes we don't have citas in the mornings so when we go out we are just contacting and it's hot and it's hard for me to be motivated. I won't lie, sometimes we walk a little slow. But it's all good.!  The good thing is it cools off at like 4:30 so it only lasts just over 6 hours. 
We have an investigator couple, Liz and Piero. I don't know if I have told you about them.  They are AWESOME.  And we will be friends for forever and ever.  They are 25 and 27 and have 2 blondie kidlets that are my twins.  Anways, it was Piero's birthday and he asked us for an iphone (everyone here assumes americans have iphones and stuff).  So we were thinking about what to get him for his birthday.... and we were so so smart and so amazing.  We took a box that was about.... the size of... an ipad mini?  No se.  It was a tiny box, thin.  We wrapped it in black paper and made little apps like eternal marriage, the hymns, learn english, animal planet, the scriptures, other funny inside jokes, and we made an iphone!  Because it was so massive we called it the iphone12.  And then inside we put 20 chocolate soles.  So we showed up for his birthday and said we have an iphone and 20 $$ and he didn't believe us.  But we didn't lie!  He was SOOOO happy and they were very impressed with our creativity.  He really appreciated it.  We also snuck in a little paper about marriage.  We drop hints all the time.  If they could just find the money to get married they'd be baptized already! 

Friday we had a lesson with Lola, our 81 year old investigator.  She is great.  We were kind of going to have a drop talk because we feel like we are going just to teach her great grand kids and that's not allowed.  So after the lesson we asked her if she would be baptized the 29th of November... and she said, "well I'm having a surgery on the 27th and I'll be in the hospital so can we do it the 22nd? And we said HECK YES YOU CAN!  It was so so exciting.  But then Sunday we were worrying that it was too soon... When we told the ward in ward council they all jumped on it and started making plans to have someone visit her everyday to read to her.  She is super old guys, and plans for her baptism and it was an answer to our prayers.  We have visited her every day and she is so excited and is remembering everything we teach her.  She is more involved in our lessons and we are so pleased and happy. 

So lessons: we have about 20 lessons per week with investigators and 15 with recent converts and less actives.  So, 35 total per week. We've been averaging about 4 investigators to church every week too which is good. It's weird because I don't know if these numbers are good or not because I don't know any different.  In my next area it will be interesting to see what we do.  Like I said in my email to Mom, we have lots of investigators but they aren't married so it's hard. We don't have fechas for baptism because they aren't married and therefore are not living the law of chastity.  Anyways... it's going well though!

(Brad asked her if she missed swimming and this was her reply).  I would probably pay way tooo much money to go swim right now.  We walked into a house for a lesson and the TV was on and the show was about a swim team.  They were racing so there was the whistle and then the sound of the splash and I teared up.  I am having major withdrawals.  Where is my pool?  And how much longer do I have to go without? 

Basically I am just smiling nonstop.  The mission is good, great, grand and wonderful! 
I hope everything is well with everyone else that isn't here in Peru.  I love you all very much and I am praying for your health and safety every day! 


Hermana Pilling

Monday, November 10, 2014

Shrimp Soup and Cat Calls

Hola familia! Como esta? Espero que todo sea bien y que ustedes estan pensando en mi siempre. 
Okay that's my bad spanish.... I promise I can speak spanish well... 

So this letter will be all over but I have some things I want to say. 

Wednesday we had shrimp soup with full on shrimp. The only part missing was a part of the head. Everything was still attached and gross and nasty.  Then we also had tuna from a jar which wasn't as nasty but still pretty gross and fishy. Man...  I LOVE THE FOOD HERE.... not. 

Also, I would like your approval everyone, to help calm down the creepy men who whistle at me on the streets.  I thought I would dye my hair a little more brown so I looked a tad bit more Peruvian.... thoughts? 

We have been walking on average 1.5 miles more everyday now that I am done my training and we have an extra hour of proselyting time.  I know it doesn't seem like much more but I feel it.  One day this week we walked 8 miles.  Which also isn't that much but before the average was 4.5 miles.. so we are walking a lot and I am tired always. hahaha  My journal entries are pretty funny, especially when I fall asleep at the desk.  I am writing details about my lessons and investigators though, don't you worry. 

The members here that are endowed think that they have to wear shorts and a t-shirt to the beach. And they go to the beach... and they just swim like that.  Wow.  I am not Peruvian for sure because I will never do that!! Crazy people.. 

Tuesday was bang bang bang.  Everyone was home and we had great lessons and lots of them and then Wednesday was the exact opposite. How sad!  It was pretty hard to motivate myself but I tried my best and prayed really hard. 

I am learning a lot about the plan of salvation.  In True To The Faith under millenium... well the whole thing is just cool.  I'am asking my companion and President Williams lots of questions and find myself sitting and pondering the plan of salvation.  I have concluded that I'm going to learn more about that lesson than the others.  The lesson on the restoration is easy for me.  I feel like I could answer any question about that.  But the plan of salvation just has sooooooo much! I love learning!!!!!!!!!

So on Thursday we had zone meeting and I got a letter from Aunt Keri and from my FAMILY and from Tyler. Thank you all so much!  Family, Cale and Joe, your letters were so so poetic. Going off about the #21 and about pen ink. They were super great. Mom, I talked about your letter probably 5 times since then about how the world is getting crazier and we're getting farther way, or vice versa. and then Daddy, you gave me advice.  Your one-liners are so great.  Also your joke about James was slightly uncalled for-I am a missionary, remember? hahaha.  I didn't know little James broke his collarbone.  Anyways. Dad said you are always one contact away from a great teaching opportunity. We were walking back from a lesson and I turned and stopped to knock on a door, really random. We contacted them and he invited us in and we had a lesson  We ended up talking about the Family a Proclamation for the World and they were really interested in eternal families.  They were super grateful for our lesson and I am so excited to go back and see if they are going to progress.  Even if they don't, it was a testimony builder to me that DAD IS ALWAYS RIGHT. hahaha.  I love the family and the opportunity to use the proclamation so much as a missionary.  The family is super important and eternal families are a huge part of my testimony!

That's my random letter.

All my love!
Les amo bastante,

Hermana Pilling

Monday, November 3, 2014

Feasting on the Scriptures

Before my mission I was nothing compared to how I am now... and it's a work in progress. I am searching and feasting the scriptures and I am learning so much.  I was strong in the faith but I didn't have lots of knowledge like I do now.  I am so so so grateful for the mission.  I am lucky to be serving.  We have hours every day set a side to just study and I don't think I have ever sat and studied for hours like this. 

We were in a lesson and all of a sudden there was this squawk that sounded a little bit like a cat. The lady went to look and a chicken had fallen from 3 stories above and it kind of had a seizure and then it died.  She said okay, there's dinner!  That is my crazy story for the week!> 

I don't have transfers and since Sister Brito is going home this transfer I will stay here for 1 transfer after that, so I will be here for Christmas.  I am so happy!

I'm going to send my "Christmas package" with Sister Brito when she goes home and she is going to take it to Leah because she is from Riverton. 

When I got on the computer I had 47 emails so please everyone... stop loving me so much. JUST KIDDING I LOVE IT hahahahaa

Love you all,

Hermana Pilling

**As her mother, I'm very grateful that Clair has so much support.  Now I just have to convince her to take the time to write more to her family so I know what she's doing.  I don't get the detailed emails I need from her.  I guess the most important thing is that she's happy and as long as she's keeping a good journal, it's all good.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The heat...

(So Clair put this as the subject line of her email, "the heat..." And then she never talked about the heat.  I guess it's hot there.)

Okay. So I work hard, obviously. And I'm so tired at night that I have some PRETTY interesting journal entries! I can't wait to share them with you all. 

So I have been writing down my dreams, the ones that I can remember, and I have some crazy dreams.. one night this week I had a dream that I got shot in the leg. I woke up and my leg actually hurt... I had a cramp or whatever and my leg hurt so bad. It was my calf. I actually started crying I think. And then when I woke up with the alarm it still hurt and todo el dia I had pain in my calf... so random. 

Also.... I locked our keys in our room.... hahahahaha. It's not funny but it's a little bit funny. I was able to laugh about it and we made it work to get back in... oh the adventures.

Saturday and Sundays are party days here.  But the parties are in the streets. And they are literally 24 hours at least. So we don't get much sleep on the weekends and we can't find very many people to teach on the weekends because everyone is drinking. It makes the weekends really really hard.! 

So we are teaching this... senorita. She is amazing. Her name is Lola and she is 81 years old. I don't know if I have told you about her yet, but she is so amazing. We were teaching them this week and her grandchildren literally asked us when they could be baptized and we have a new rule that we can't baptize if they are under the age of 18 unless they have a parent that is a member too... so we had to say no... it's complicated. Anyways, we were teaching them and talking about the holy ghost and how it feels and Lola said, "I feel really calm and peaceful, or I guess I feel the spirit more when you guys are with us"... I cried! That is the first time that anyone has said they've felt the spirit with me! yay! I just love these people!

On Thursday we had a Conference with ELDER WADDELL from the first Quorum of the 70.  It was all day and it was totally fantastic! He talked about the What, Why and How of missionary work. Sister Williams talked about how we need to use the atonement in our lives. and President Williams talked about recognizing the spirit. It was a great day! Elder Waddell was pretty blunt and straight forward and it would've been easy to be discouraged but it only motivated me! It was so awesome and I just love the mission so so sos os so so sos sosososososo sos os so so so sos much! 

There is a chance that I will have changes next week.  If I do... I am going to cry. But it will also be okay because I have had my prayer with Heavenly Father and I trust that He knows what I can handle and what I need and He also knows that I will do whatever He asks of me. I am anxious though!!!

President always reads our letters to him and he replies and he usually copies and pastes a part of my letter and then says, so true, or you're great. This week he said, 
"I am finding that my "joy is full" as a missionary because the church is true and I am doing great things to bring this truth and happiness to those in my area and I am so happy to be able to help my investigators understand the gospel" Wow... that is so true! What a great statement! 

I love president so much. 
I love the mission so much. 
I love you so much!

Until next week
Hermana Pilling

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's a Great Life Out Here in Peru

I am close to the mission home now but I don't know if I'll be transferred the 4th of November or not. If I'm not, then I'll be here for Christmas, which would be a huge blessing and a dream come true.  If I do transfer the 4th for some reason, dang. I'll be sad. 

Yes that is true, the missionaries are in the populated areas to make stronger wards and stakes before opening new areas. Also if I come back to visit/if you guys come to pick me up you are staying at the hotel "Casa Andina Select" because that's where our pensionista's daughter works, who is amazing. We went today to check it out and it's nice and that's where the general authorities and the area 70's stay. So ya, Google it. 

My shoes are doing awesome. It's crazy how much of a difference these comfortable shoes make. They're the best ever! I never want to wear crappers ever again. Also, I am lacking skirts majorly. The navy with polkadots from the reversible skirts, lds sister missionary, is the best. I wear it probably 5 times a week. hahahaha 

We are working with all sorts of people. Variety is the spice of life! We are almost done reteaching the lessons to a less active family. They are so great. We are going to be friends for life. And we are teaching a young couple with 2 kids that are BLONDE because of their grandparents. They are Liz who is 27 and Piero who is 24 and they aren't married. There are couples that have been together for over 30 years and aren't married in any way. It causes problems when we get to the law of chastity lesson hahaha. But these 2, we shared the proclamation to the family and without us saying anything they said so we need to get married huh, and they are going to pray about that.  They have family prayers together and they showed up to church without even telling us they could or would come.  I cried when they walked in. They are so great and have the desire and everything. If they can get married soon I will be so so happy! They also will be my friends for life! My one convert, Hermana Elizabeth, is in the hospital. She has tumors in her liver? I think that's what they're saying. I don't really know. So today we went to visit her and I was so saddened by the conditions of the hospital. Holy cow!  Elizabeth can't afford the drugs and so she has been in a lot of pain. I think the church is going to help her out now. She also needs surgery to remove part of her liver maybe. There have been complications so ya.  We went to the hospital and she starting reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning the day she got baptized, August 17, and she is in DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS! section 11. She is amazing. She has so much faith.  She is my grandma out here. Well, one of my 3. I have lots of grandma's in Peru. :)

We were visiting the aunt of Piero and she is less active. Her son is the young men's president, 24 years old.  We were talking about temples and I said, "It's a great goal. I want to be sealed in the temple and have an eternal family." Then she said I need to come back here to be sealed in Lima TO HER SON STEVEN. It was a tad embarrassing. It's the second time a mother has done that. I don't think it will be the last time either. 

We had interviews with president this week: he is SO FANTASTIC and I love him so much. And he loves me too. It's going to be sad to leave in 14 months. He is so inspiring and motivating. ahhhhh he is the best. 


Well. I love you guys so much and I think about you guys every once and a while. It's a great life out here in Peru. I love every second of it! Kind of! :) 

Hermana Pilling

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wowzers Time Flies

Happy birthday again Mama. It was the birthday of this neighborhood that I am in and you turned FOURTY-TWO too. How crazy is that? The same age. I thought of you a lot and I have some cute pictures but you probably won't get them til Christmas.  Sorry. 

Okay, so Tuesday an elder from our mission passed away. We haven't heard anything from our leaders only from the members and it was in the newspapers. He had 10 months in the mission and is 19 from Argentina. We have heard it was an aneurism. It's super sad and I haven't stopped thinking of Uncle Dean and well so many things. So sad. He will be a forever missionary.
We have a date for a baptism but it isn't super for sure. She is a little flakey. We will see how it goes. 
On October 9th we had exchanges and it was my first one. I was really nervous. I was with Sister Larsen from Highland Utah. She is a very soft spoken sweetheart. It was very interesting to see how every missionary is different. Even though we are in the same mission and have the same rules, she was still very different from my other 3 companions. I am learning a lot and focusing on the type of missionary I want to be. 

We were able to watch Saturday's conference in English! Yay! And Sunday's in spanish and I understood! Yay! My top 1 from every session: Lynn G. Robbins,  Jorge Kelhingat, the Prophet, and Carlos A. Godoy. hahaha. It was all so absolutely amazing and I felt the spirit and I thought of my investigators and it was amazing. As always. Oh and we had 2 of our best investigators with us Sunday afternoon when Elder Bednar spoke to investigators! How cool?! 

I love the mission and I love the Lord. 

My gratitude list|: 
My companions. Clean water to drink. Hot water for our shower.  My family.  President and Sister Williams (I miss them.  I hardly see them now). Rice.  Skirts. My plaque.  My calling.  Peruvians.  Laughter. My hair.  A bed.   Jesus Christ.  The Prophet.  Turtles. Cockroaches.  Friends.  Spanish.  You.  Email. 
I love you all and I'm out!

Hermana Pilling

Monday, October 6, 2014

One Happy Hermana!

All of Peru is going to watch conference Saturday and Sunday at 10 and 2. Just like normal but 1 week later. I am very excited.

I'm doing fantastic!  This week was much better with my companion. We were reading the missionary manual and it says to use your mission language as much as possible, and we weren't doing that. So now we talk in spanish probably 90% of the time and it's really good.  I feel Heavenly Father blessing me for my efforts to learn faster and it's been awesome. We have opened up to each other a little bit more and we had a great week, for real, and I am SO HAPPY TO BE A MISSIONARY EVERYONE! I don't want to be this type of missionary that writes home and gives all sorts of advice, but everyone should serve.  I have grown so much and it has been hard in ways I can't even describe but I am STRONGER because of it.  It's amazing. 

Tuesday we had a multi zone conference and President is an amazing man.  He is so so so so so so so so so so amazing.  I love him.  We are really focusing on families and he encouraged us to memorize our favorite part of the proclamation to the family. We also searched for scriptures for every paragraph and have a lot to back us up.  It's been cool to promise families the blessings of the gospel. Its's great. And the church is true.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ON THURSDAY MAMA. My area is 9 de Octubre and that's also your birthday so we are having a little party at our pensionista's that night. I'm excited. I love you mama and I love you all bros. Joe didn't write me. That's not okay. But thank you all for the love and support.  I love Peru.  I love the people.  I love spanish.  I love the gospel.  I love the prophet so much and I love being a missionary!  I can't stop smiling!

This is what Clair wrote back to her dad:  Thank you for the advice. You always know just what to say. And you didn't even know that you needed to say it. Wow I can't wait to talk spanish with people. Riley, Josh, Tyler, Uncle Mark. It's just exciting to be bilingual! I stop every once and a while and think of my progress and think of how amazing it is that my brain can hear english and reply in spanish and vice versa and everything.  It's super cool and totally a gift of the spirit. Thank you for everything daddy.  It's so great to have Peruvian friends! I forget that I'm white sometimes and I get confused when they just stare or when they point at my hair. I'm Peruvian at heart!

Love you all so much,
Hermana Pilling

Note from Toni:  I asked Clair what her favorite part of her mission is and this was her reply:
Fave has been sharing my testimony with a huge smile on my face and then they ask why are you so happy and I can say because I simply know it's true and I can not deny it!  And also the people. They are funny, some of them at least. Some of them not so funny.  I stick out like a sore thumb here. I am REALLY white, and I have some solid tan lines. 

These emails sure make us happy.  And her happy nature and constant smile is what we miss the most.  Hermana Pilling is happy, so the Pilling family back home is happy.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Companion Number 2

Wow I don't have any time at all but I have mucho to tell you. Ugh. 

Okay, so saying goodbye to Hermana Norton was killer hard and way harder than I expected. I spent Monday with a Latina from Honduras, our sister leader.  And she is so nice and it was a huge confidence builder. We talked the whole day and she understood me and I understood her and we laughed and I love her a lot a lot. Then we had changes Tuesday morning.  I have a north american again, which is a little bummy. Her name is Sister Brito. She only has 2 changes left, 3 months and will be home for Christmas. She has had 10 companions, I'm her 7th white one, so her spanish is very gringo. She is nice and all but has had a hard time with President Williams and all of his changes.  I'm trying to be positive and remind her that it's the Lord's work and we don't need to do crazy zone activities every week and things like that. We are getting along just fine but nothing like a lasting friendship, yet. 

Jacob 4:12. ya!!!!!!!! Why not? Just learn more about the gospel, do research, learn, feast upon the words. 

We eat sooooooo much rice.

There are country wide elections this weekend so no one is allowed to have services or anything so we can't watch general conference :( I am so so so so bummed. I won't be able to understand most of it anyways but it's still a bummer. 

I miss you all and we're just heading into spring here and it's HOT and I'm always wet and it's gross. 

I have zero time left. I love you all and I appreciate your prayers!

Hermana Pilling

Monday, September 22, 2014

Finally some photos

Clair's email this week made us smile.  We could just picture her telling us in person these things.  It was a short one, but she sent photos!!  Finally!  We're so happy.  Thoughts from Clair:

- I like pineapple! It's one food that I have to eat and I like it now (apparently she didn't like it before).
- Please get a good food storage ready. The Liahona for September had some really important messages in it. 
- My area is Nueve de Octubre which is 9th of October and I just realized that that is October 9th, which is your birthday Mama. This is a cool coincidence!!!!
- Crocs are doing so well here. Mind you, I don't think they are name brand.  But they are doing so stinking great! hahaha (I guess she bought some when she got there or something.  She didn't leave here with a pair).
- Also, I think I like coconut too! (she definitely didn't like coconut before she left)
- I was super scared for Sister Norton to leave but right now, after writing President Williams, I feel pretty calm and I know everything will be okay. 
- I want the talk by Elder Holland April 2013, "Help Thou My Unbelief." 
- We went with Sis Williams to get her haircut so Sis Norton could explain what she wanted and it's a short little bob thing and I LOVE IT. I was so tempted to say me too please. Oh it's so cute. 
- What does Cale's hair look like? 
-  I went to Lima! We were able to go to the temple real quick and it was awesome!  Also I was worried about whether I would be able to stay in this mission because I told Sister Norton and Elder Harper that my setting apart blessing said that my influence would extend beyond the borders of my mission.  They both thought that I'd have visa problems and go to another mission. BUT, that won't happen because I got my official card and everything!

I need to finish sending pictures.  Sorry for this lame email.  It was a crazy fast week and tomorrow I find out who my new companion is! This could be a slow week, I don't know though. 
I do know that I love you so so so so much and I sent letters with Sister Norton to send to you guys from the States. I love you!

Hermana Pilling
Clair and Sister Norton in the Andes

Clair's trip to Cajamarca

Sister Norton on their trip to Cajamarca

Clair's first p'day

Sister Norton and Sister Pilling

Meal time!  (She didn't give details)

Monday, September 15, 2014

First Baptism

Tuesday we had our district meeting. Sister Norton and I taught the class and talked about how we have the choice as to what kind of missionary to be and it's all up to us. Then we had lessons, lessons and lessons. 

Wednesday we had a bunch of lessons too and it was a very busy day!

Thursday was a pensionista training with President and Hermana Williams. We drove like 45 minutes and after about 30, the GPS told us to go on this road that was gated.  It went through some sugar cane fields. The man at the gate said "I can let you in but I don't know what the guy at the other side will say. If not you'll have to come back and go back into Chiclayo then out a different road."  So President asked us what we should do and I said, "We're praying! We're going for it!" That is a quote. He thought it was so funny. And the whole time in the fields kept saying "if this doesn't work out, Sister Pilling is going to live with this for the rest of her mission"... and teasing and such. It was funny. Then we got to the other gate and there was an old grandpa dude just sitting in his chair and saw us pull up and stood up and.... waved us on with this big cheesy toothless smile! It was soooo funny.  The suspense was crazy and President laughed too. What a great moment. Maybe you had to be there.... Then that afternoon we went to the office with one of our investigators, Elizabeth, because she had her baptismal interview with President. It was also one of the assistant's birthdays so we had cake! I love the atmosphere of the mission.  Everyone is filled with the spirit, some more than others, and is serving the Lord. How great is that??  That night we had a lesson with a lady, a friend of ours, and her husband, both non-members.  Her husband goes to some MMM church (in spanish) and they do some crazy stuff. It was an interesting lesson. Especially when he was bashing Joseph Smith and started yelling in his prayer. Oh the people of Peru...

Friday morning we had weekly planning which means we had companionship inventory which is when I cried. I explained it in the letter I am sending. I am just frustrated with the language.  I can't see any progress and I'm getting impatient.  I know that I need to rely on the Lord and that my next companion will probably be Latina and it'll be hard but it'll come faster too.  Friday afternoon was so busy and we had so much to do for the baptism! It was a crazy afternoon to be honest!

Saturday was the baptism. My companion and I sang a song, "I'm a Child of God, part spanish, part english. hahaha.  Elizabeth, the convert, is so so so so faithful. Wow, she is incredible.  I love her! She's an oldie but she's fantastic all the same. 

Sunday I spoke in church and it went really well. It's comforting when the members come up to me and tell me that they understand me and that it's more fluid and smooth than my first Sunday.  The members are fantastic. It rained a lot saturday night so we had 45 members at church. With the dirt roads and no roofs on the houses it caused lots of problems. But our house is good and we just walked in the mud, missionaries do it all! It's made me think of the zoo and my rain boots. 

Then today - Sister Norton is packing because she leaves Monday morning to spend the day with President before heading home. Pretty crazy!  She packed and I unpacked and reorganized hahaha. Now that I know I'll be here for like 4 months or more, I decided to make myself at home. 

I found out I'm going to Lima this week! We leave at 10 pm from here Wednesday night and get back the same time Thursday night hahaha. I have to take my temple recommend so that means I get to go to the temple! yay! It's a bummer I lose a day with my companion but I need to get some visa stuff figured out. I hope I can stay in this mission, I really really do. 

So I can't send pictures from these computers and I feel really bad. I'm taking some cool pics.
I'll figure something out. 

Oh, so it's getting cold at about 6pm and I am so glad I have my nice jacket. It's saving me. Apparently in the "spring" the weather is just a little more bipolar and summer is KILLER HOT. So that will be zero fun. 

My companion laughs at me. Because I'm funny. hahaha

This is our last week and she keeps talking about going home, which is okay. It just reminds me how little time I have left. The mission is going to fly and it makes me mad that I don't know the language. I feel like I'm wasting time and I'm not as efficient because of the language. It's dumb, but I'm being patient (or trying to) and relying on the Lord and being obedient.  I try and have the faith needed to receive blessings. What a great church this is. I love it! 

I love you all so so so so much and I'm sending a letter with a day in the life of me much more detailed. I love you. 

Hermana Pee Jing as they call me here. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Short, but good

I can't believe it's going to snow. That's crazy to me. I still wear sweaters every day actually, especially at night. I wish I brought my warm infinity scarves and more sweaters like pull over ones because it gets cold at night. I now have a cold from the cold because it does get cold, like 4 degrees. 

So president has amazing goals for this mission to be a MISSION. 

We can't have zone activities, he says, really it's just the companion you need to have a friendship with. That is true. We have a new rule, given by the area 70, that we can't baptize anyone under the age of 18 if their parents aren't active members. This way we can get  more families and more members that are truly converted to the gospel. Apparently the last president was way number focused and the mission was a little corrupt with pride for these things. So we are working A LOT with less actives and working on contacting families only on the street.  

President Williams is an amazing person. His wife came proselyting with us on Friday for 5 hours! It was so so so so fun! Wow, it was a blast! Her spanish, she knows a lot of the grammar but because she isn't around any latinos ever her accent is basically awful. hahahaha. I love her so much and I know I am going to have a very special mission because of this time with president and his wife. We have 2 more pensionista training meetings to help them with and they're about 2 hours away I think, so we'll have some more time together. Also, he has said that missionaries will be staying in their areas for 6-7.5 months so that we can really work well with the wards and get some progress going.  I could be here for Chirstmas!!!!!!!!!!!!! That would be the best, because they're family to me. I don't know what else to say but I still have to read my email from my missionary. That's tyler. So this is all. I love you and next pday I'm going to try to print pictures and send them in a package of sorts for you guys. These computers doing have anywhere to plug in my cord or anything :( 

I love my family so so so so much! You are so great. Mom, I miss you and I love you so much it's insane. To be honest, you don't know what you've got til it's gone, and I have an amazing family. 

Lots and lots of love,
Hermana Pilling

Monday, September 1, 2014

Missing Canada?

We spent 1 morning with the president and his wife this week for another pensionista training. We have 3 more trainings and then that will be all so we don't spend too much time with them. We did have the 6 hours and the 3 days in Cajamarca with the AP's and they're cool. Elder Latin is finishing in 3 weeks too. His spanish is perfect and talks like a latino ahaha but then at other times he seems so immature and silly. His companion, Elder Noriega, is so great. He's so humble and shy and has a strong testimony. He's one of the only missionaries learning english. He's awesome. 

This week we asked an investigator to accept a Book of Mormon and she politely turned it down and we are no longer visiting her.

Flor and Alex are my favorites.  We taught them the plan of salvation and they brought up the movie Heaven is for Real.  Since my comp doesn't know it, I got to teach most of the lesson and talk about the movie and it was awesome. 

There is a family, the Culkeys. She's widowed and has 3 daughters. The oldest 2 served missions. The oldest has one daughter and lives here, no longer with the father of her daughter. The middle is married with 2 teenage girls, 17 and 15, that live in TORONTO and they've been here visiting for the summer. We visited with them so many times. None of Sister Culkey's daughters are members and so we taught a little and made friends. We went to say bye before they went back to Canada and I cried! She was wearing the same grey Roots sweats I have with a black v-neck. She obviously speaks fluent english and hardly any spanish, like me. Her name is Alexandra. I was just so aware that she was going back home to Canada to have Tim Hortons and speak english and watch tv and use her iphone and be a teenager who speaks english who has friends that speak english.  They had become my sisters and the whole family is just so loving and I just cried. It was cool to meet them and everything and we are continuing to try to reactivate the oldest daughter, Susana, and her daughter. 

This internet cafe doesn't have a place for me to download photos so I can't and I don't like it. I will learn eventually though. I can send home my chip eventually too. I wish I could send you photos. 
I love you all so much and my favorite thing to study this week was Joseph Smith history. Read it! It's amazing! He's kind of funny. hahaha

I love you
Hermana Pilling

Oh and my name is impossible for them. haha

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 3 in the mission field

Preface by Toni:  I asked Clair some specific questions and the first part of her email were replies to my questions.  

The food:  it's so good!  Breakfast is this AMAZING runny oatmeal, hot chocolate deliciousness called avena... i think.  Lunch is the big meal, at 1:30 ish. It's usually rice and then a meat but in sauces and with peas that are huge and healthy and great.  I am eating chic peas and these beans that are white, like the gross ones. But I like them. Then dinner is just soup or sandwiches, really small, but perfect!

It is actually a little bit cold! I wear a cardigan every day and usually don't have to take it off. We study all morning til 12. We eat lunch at 1, and dinner at 8 so the rest of the time we are at lessons or meeting members or less actives. It gets dark around 6 and... our area is a little peligroso so we are very careful when it's dark. 

The language: honestly it's good! I am only getting better at expressing my feelings and testimony. I can pronounce just fine. The gift of tongues, and the gift of interpretation of tongues, are so very real. I just follow the spirit and always seem to say the right thing. It's difficult when I get asked questions because I can understand most words but not all so then I don't know if I am saying the right thing. You know?

The talk you sent me, "Miracle of a Mission", isn't the one I was talking about. So maybe try "Fishers of Men" or "Drop your Nets" or something. It was the Provo mtc. 

On Tuesday (after a lesson with our investigator who was going to be baptized this upcoming Saturday but it's moved to the 13th of September) Presidente called us and said we were going to go to CAJAMARCA to help his wife with a pensionista training meeting. Look it up, absolutely beautiful!  It was a 6 hour drive, very much like the road to Hauna but through the ANDES mountains. This whole time we are with the MISSION PRESIDENT, his wife and the assistants.  So usually you have interviews here and there with pres and that's all but we had a whole 3 days with him and his wife! It was amazing! I felt so useless because I don't know anything about the pensionista training, but I feel so blessed to have been able to go because they are amazing people. They told us the story of them being called to be presidents and about how they met, and the changes they are making to the mission. We have taken all the missionaries out of the small areas or branches and brought them into the cities so that we can have centers of strength. There are tons of members in Cajamarca and hardly 1/8 are active, so our focus is more on "rescuing".  But we still need to be baptizing, which makes us really really busy. Presidente and the area 70 were inspired and Peru will see the benefits of this change. 

About Cajamarca, it's cold. Cooooold. I hope I am there for the summer because then I wont be so hot. It's like a Banff Peru, perfect pinterest crazy beautiful place, so gorgeous!  It's perfect national geographic photo spots. 

So that was Wednesday til Friday. Saturday we moved because it was too dangerous for sisters in our other place, so we hardly had any time to teach this week.  But we had so much growth from being with the pesident. It was amazing!  He learned so much about me too. We talked about the hardest and most blessed moments of our missions so far and the 4 of us (pres and wife and sis Norton and I) really opened up. It was the coolest thing of my life and I am so grateful for president. He does so much work and he's so stressed and he's such a great example. He's so much like dad! COMPLETE OPPOSITE of what I expected him to be. Also, he is an institute slash EFY teacher and works for the church. He's crazy like dad and I loved it! Wow. So cool. 

I'm keeping my good attitude and trying to do my absolute best. I love you all and I am so grateful for your examples and support and love. 
Missions are awesome!

Also, some things are spelled the same but pronounced spanishly here. ex. Viks Vapor Rub is beek bapoor rube. If you can pronounce that. It's so so funny. 

All my love,

Hermana PIlling

Monday, August 18, 2014

Hello family!
Tamara sent me pictures of Moroni´s Quest and you guys look AWESOME! I hope that the experience was as cool as it looks.

My companion, Hermana Norton, is from Ohio and has one month left. I am so blessed to have her as a companion for so many reasons! I can learn spanish but communicate my feelings in english. She is so easy going. She knows what it's like to be the newby. She is so outgoing and is a great example of how loving and fearless I need to be as a missionary!

I have so much love for the people! Our ward, Nueve de Octubre, hasn´t had sisters for years so they are all so excited! I can´t even communicate well with them and I feel like they are my best friends. I am filled with joy when I see them and I feel safe and loved and I know that I am not alone in this work when I am with them! Our house is really far from the pensionista and it's a little dangerous for sisters so we are moving this week which is such a relief! Our pensionista isn´t a member but her daughter is. She's 35 ish, the daughter and she´s such a help for us! She's so outgoing and her mom's been the pensionista for forever so she knows all the elders, which is fun for Hermana Norton. Her cooking is literally lo maximo! It's so amazing. I'm getting fat. hahaha It's delicious food! The daughter, Angela, isn't married. Erasma, the pensionista, and her husband are so sweet. Her husband calls us his daughters, granddaughters, sisters, cousins, and everything.  He's adorable and so old and just sweet!

My first day I asked a lady we contacted in the street to be baptized and she said yes! She went on vacation the next day so we haven't met with her yet but she literally asked how we knew she wanted more in her life and why we talked to her.  It as so cool!

We have been working a lot with the relief society president, mostly just because she was the only person we knew when we got here.  She has a daughter in law and son that aren´t members, We taught them yesterday and Flor, the daughter, said that she´s heard the lessons so many times but our lesson was different. I don´t doubt that Sister Norton has a special way of teaching principles and bringing the spirit to the lesson and making it personal. It's amazing.

We had stake conference on Saturday and they got a new stake president, so Elder C. Scott Grow came.  He´s nice. It is so so important for the ward counsel to work with the missionaries. Oh my goodness. So, family, be helpful! Talk with the missionaries and give them referrals and help them out because the ward can make or break the success in an area!

I don´t have time for pictures!.

I love Sister Williams and President Williams. We haven´t met with them yet, they are giving us time to get to know our area, but they are amazing people and I'm blessed to be able to spend time with them. My call is inspired along with my companion and my area. I love this work!

Love you all and hope you can send me more pictures of the weeks!

Also, I got the other package with the skirt! THANK YOU! Also the oatmeal, love it! I laughed out loud.  You guys are the bomb!


Hermana Pilling

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chiclayo Here She Comes!

I woke up at 2am and we got to the airport at 3:30.  We got on the plane at 5:30, left at 6:20 and then got here to Chiclayo at 7:30.  We went to the mission home and had HOMEMADE CINNAMON ROLLS made by Sister Williams. President Williams is just like DAD! It is awesome. Okay then we came to the church for the exchanges and my companion is Hermana Norton and she is from Ohio. She has 1 transfer more and she's American (obvio). She is tall and thin and naturally GORGEOUS and won't stop hugging me and I started crying. I love her so much, so so much.  We are opening a new area and president said that I am going to suffer because Sis. Norton is the best.  So she is basically the assistant to the president in sister form.  She helps train pensionistas and helps out Sister Williams with everything and I am so excited! We will still work and it will be crazy busy.  I will need to be so determined to learn more and grow on my own time. Anyways. it's pretty crazy that I'm not at the MTC now, but its going to amazing. President Williams just said that he picked me out specially because he needed me, along with Sister Norton, to help his wife especially. THIS IS WHERE I NEED TO BE!  I am so grateful and so so excited. I love you! I will talk to you later! Oh so we get to travel throughout the mission to check out missionaries dorms and living quarters and everything so I have to be patient because my first 6 weeks will be so different.

I got your package too! It got here the 9th! THANK YOU SO MUCH and thank you for the Waterton shirt :) Okay. Time is up. 

Also, I didn't call because we read the handbook and it kind of said don't. I thought about it and I would have just cried.

I love you all!  Share my love!

Hermana Pilling in Chiclayo

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Final letter before leaving the MTC

Wednesday last week I went to interpol and one of my documents got lost somehow. No one could explain anything to me in english so I was super frustrated and in such a bad mood and just praying that I would be accepted. I think everything is okay though and that I can stay here. hahaha. 

Thursday we spoke in all spanish as a district goal and it was fun! It's hard for me to express all of my feelings and opinions in spanish but I use the dictionary a lot which is awesome. I seem to be the only one in our district that uses it. They've given me nicknames and everything, but I know the most words!

Friday I was alone because Sister Rasmussen, Monson, and Davis had immigrations. So, I had to go with the 1 week sisters and it was awful because they had only been there for 2 days.  Their class was so easy. And I was, again, in a tranquil or calm mood. hahaha.  In español I'd say tranquilo like tran-key-lo and so that's why I said that word.

Saturday, Sister Davis and I had an amazing lesson with our investigator José. We wanted to talk about the plan of salvation because he's having problems with his wife but loves his 2 kids and then he told us at the beginning of the lesson, in reply to a different question, that his parents had passed away a few years ago.  So the lesson worked out perfectly! We sang Families can be Together Forever and the spirit was so strong.  He teared up and said that was exactly what he wanted and it was awesome. This was the day that I saw the most progress in my spanish. I was in such a good mood!

Sunday, Sister Adams told us this story. On Friday, she was going to hang out in her pjs all morning, do laundry and pack up her house.  Then she was prompted to get ready for the day. Within 30 minutes of her getting ready, she got a call from the area 70 saying that an american woman, who is here traveling with her husband, had just returned from Macchu Picchu.  Thrusday night, the night before, her husband had died in his sleep. Since she didn't know spanish, Sister Adams was able to go over there and be the one to comfort her all day.  And go to the airport to pick up her daughter and spend time with her at this AWFUL time. As soon as she said " HER HUSBAND HAD PASSED AWAY" I started crying. You were there for Carmen like that, you instantly drove back and you were amazing and Carmen is amazing. Crazy story hey? They're LDS, so you might be able to find it somewhere eventually. But, Sunday was amazing. I love sundays.

Monday night we saw stars! Our teacher said he sees stars like probably 20 times a year because of the smoggy grossness.

Tuesday:  Officially one more week!  We had an amazing devotional! It was a general authority from the 70, Elder Waldell I think, and he's been to Banff! So when I shook his hand he told me that and we talked and it made me homesick a little bit. It was such a good talk! It was motivating and uplifting and so many things made me think of things in my patriarchal blessing or my setting apart or my last father's blessing and it was absolutely amazing. For example, we are to stay in contact with our investigators by visiting for 3-4 months after baptism, then for a year afterwards until they receive their endowment. This is  because baptisms do not count if they are not enduring to the end. So, I remember president Spackman saying you will teach many but few will accept and respond. I had the thought that I am going to make friends that I have for the rest of my life. I will return here a year after my mission to see people go through the Trujillo temple (we might be a part of that open house even though it's the mission below us). He also said since this missionary work is different, I was born when I was so I could be a missionary with this new program because I am different and I have something that will help keep this work moving forward.  I thought of the talents I am blessed with in my patriarchal blessing.

There is this adorable Latina from Honduras here who is so fun and cute and she's the only sister going to CHOCHABAMBA so I asked her if I could send her with a little package for Ty.  She said yes! So happy!

Friday we are in the auditorium all day with the latinos speaking spanish and learning about the mission life and stuff, Saturday we proselyte, Monday we get our travel plans. I have heard that Monday night at like 2 AM is when we leave here and 4:30 is when we fly out.  It's a 1 hour flight but all works out so that we get to the mission home for breakfast. I don't know.

I have already started to pack up stuff and before I know it, this will all be even MORE official! :)

I am so excited and I appreciate all of your prayers and support. I am sending ALL my love to you from Peru!

Hermana Pilling

We were in a big bus, like a nice tour bus thing and we had to cross a river.  This is us bottoming out.  It was crazy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Lord's Work

So, I was surprised to get an email from Clair at 8:15 on Tuesday night.  Her p-day is on Wednesdays. I was so confused!  I guess they had a special p-day with the MTC president.  Here's her email:

Last week was our last temple session which was sad, but I didn't use a translator so I had a great last experience. What an amazing place. Then Thursday all I wrote was walking death in my little notebook. I got so sick mom, and I don't want to be the type at all that just slacks off, so I've been pushing myself and going to all my classes and everything but that doesn't mean much. Then I got a letter from Tyler and it made my day!  He said a bunch of things but one thing he said was don't run faster than is needed.  He also said this should be called missionary FUN which was really helpful.  Oh am I so grateful I have Tyler!

Then Friday I went to immigration. What a crazy day! Because I am Canadian I had a different appointment hour slot than all the others, so I was completely alone for 3 hours. It was WEIRD! But everything went smoothly and tomorrow I am going to interpol, the last step! The drive was pretty long and I saw 3 LANDCRUISERS! 

Saturday we went proselyting! My companion was much better and I definitely knew more spanish but our day was totally different. We had many many contacts this time instead and it was again, an amazing experience. I love it! It gets me so pumped for the mission! 

Sunday was fantastic! So the last 2 weeks of the mtc the branch presidency picks 4 random speakers from the group that has 2 weeks left to speak and we are asked to prepare a talk every week. So we have prepared a talk as a distract every week and this week I decided I was going to write a good one in english and then translate it. So i did.  I read over it many times and then I completely forgot about it. Sunday came around and we sang prelude music. I sat down and thought to myself: check to see if you have your talk! Then I said, but you don't need it, but check anyways. So I did and a I had it. Then the branch president got up and said Sister Jiminez, who left, 2 elders and then Hermana... and I instantly knew. Hermana Pilling. So I gave a 4 minute talk perfectly prepared in espanol and it was awesome and not a single other intermediate missionary was ready so its a good thing it was me : it was on preparing to the end. Sundays are just always great because it's in english and I always feel the spirit so much. We had 2 more great devotionals from 2013 this time but i still liked them. 

Monday, we were told that we were going to have a special pday on Tuesday (today) with the MTC president and his wife because it was day 2 of Peruvian independence day. We visited the sacred city of Caral Hich.  It's 5000 years old! The president's wife said you have to be absolutely healthy in order to go and I felt so sick.  I thought I'd have to stay home and miss out. So I prayed hard and I decided that I wanted a blessing.  I had Elder Dykstra anoint me and Elder Kasteler bless me.  It was a hard decision but I am so glad because it was an amazing experience. That night I prayed hard and said I have the faith and I know of thy power, please take away the pain and it was instantly lifted. All day today I still coughed a few times but I didn't feel anything in my lungs. The priesthood power is real! :) 

So today, we got on a bus for 4 hours to go to this ancient city and we were there for 2 hours then came back. It was a long day! It was so nice out there and super super cool! I have so many pictures but no time. ugh. Uhm the sun was out and EVERY SINGLE PERSON got a bad sun burn except for me and Elder Kasteler and we are the whitest ones here! It's so weird! 

I love you guys so much and I love this gospel! I think of you all everyday and on the bus I was telling Elder Hawkins and Elder Dykstra about you all and they said you guys are cool :) I love you so much mama!  I could use a hug real bad right now but I'll talk to you guys in 5 months :) 

Mama- thank you for the talks! Amazing hey? I absolutely loved and needed your thoughts on those and I really appreciate it. You are amazing and I owe a lot of my good attributes to you :) 

"After Caral today, we watched the Best 2 years so, no spanish and no gospel and I needed it to not run and be weary and all that stuff.  I hope you understand. I love you so much!"

She signed it, "Peace out, Hermana Pilling" so I know she's doing okay.

Hermana Pilling's district

Clair at Caral Sacred City

In orange is Elder Hawkins, then Elder Dykstra, and Sister Davis.  
Caral Sacred City

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

We don't have any time because the internet is down.  Long story.  So, I can't do a review of the week.... so busy!

I am actually still loving the MTC.  I want you to find this talk, Miracle of a Mission by Elder Holland. It was a MTC talk but you might be able to find it. We've watched it 3 times for devo or other things and I think there must be a reason.  It has hit me pretty hard. It was soo good! A lot of my thoughts are about spanish and thinking of things to say to investigators in spanish.  When I'm not reciting scriptures or things, I am thinking about what kind of missionary I can be and what I can do to make sure that happens. I am a little nervous right now when I think about going into the field.  I heard that your last week Satan just gets on you and says you aren't ready and you aren't worth it or you aren't worthy.  So, I am dreading that but I am excited also. I can see how 9 weeks is a long time but I want to learn spanish for 9 weeks. I'd prefer that. I am getting along with everyone.  I've been working on patience as my christlike attribute to develop.  Yes, the spanish is still coming. I love the language which makes it easy. Quite a few Elders don't like it. So we got all those new elders and now there are 120 missionaries here.  Apparently next week when we get the new ones we will be full at 144 missionaries. Interesting! 


Tell the Hill's if they haven't left yet that they will totally be loved and it will be a huge blessing.  I have a bad chest cough because the elder that sits next to me got me sick. Ugh. 

Today was our last day in the temple because it's closed for 2 weeks. :(

Sending love to you from Peru!

Hermana Pilling

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday July 16th:  Smiles All Around

Last pday was good. We went to Tottus, like Target. Our pday's end at 3:45 so that isn't too fun. It actually is the most stressful day of the week, but that's okay.

I got a cold and I am just now over it. It was a stuffy nose and lots of pressure in my sinuses, but it was manageable, so whatever.

On Saturday, WE WENT PROSELYTING! So crazy hey? We all got onto 3 buses and went proselyting with members of a stake. The girls went to the nicest area I guess and it was in the Habish Ward in Central Lima. It was not nice. I was with a Latina companion, Sister Collanque and her shoulder was at my belly button, NO LIE. She was tiny, itty bitty, and from Boliiva. Our member was probably half a foot shorter than me too. She was nice. So neither of them spoke English. At all. Not even one word. So I struggled. We planned before we went to the homes, and I told them in Spanish, "I can testify on anything but that's all".  So we started knocking doors of less active teenagers and they'd talk and then look at me and I'd bear testimony on keeping the Sabbath day holy or the restoration or just the gospel in general or the Book of Mormon. I could hardly hear them because every house had the TV on for the futbol game. I was able to pray a lot.

I was humbled for many reasons. 1st: Canada is amazing. We are so blessed in a million and one ways!!!! 2nd: our teachers speak slow... so I really don't know any spanish. hahahah.  I can do so much and it makes sense but it's 1/2 the speed of the natives and I can't understand them either. Ugh. 3rd: I have been blessed with the gift of tongues and I need to acknowledge that every day, every prayer. But, it was a good experience! We couldn't take pictures but I want so badly for you to know what it's like! Human and dog and animal poo and pee everywhere, wild dogs everywhere, little kids playing on the streets, crazy drivers! and so much more!

We watched a devotional at the provo MTC by Pres. Ucthdorf the week after Easter of this year, go watch it was amazing. He talked about the resurrection and it confirmed my testimony but then at the end, he said, trust your father in heaven, he will take care of everything and all your worries at night and your dreams don't need to bother you because Heavenly Father is watching over you and totally protecting you. I LOST IT! It was such a relief! (She had had some bad dreams).  I know that Heavenly Father is blessing you guys and everything is great.

My morning teacher looks like Mr. Bean. He's a member of the MTC presidency, speaks excellent english, looks like an Oompa Loompa.

We have an elder in our district, Elder Banks, who is best described as annoying. I think all his stories are a lie because they are crazy and they never have an ending or a punch line. He teases me all of the time about being Canadian or being deported and it actually started to get to me so I said, in my little notebook "Elder Banks' hate for Canada and nonstop sarcasm towards me is now making me want to cry instead of laugh and wellll, what do I do?"hahaha.  He's an immature high school boy...

Today, we went to the temple! Our session is at 7:30 so we wake up for breakfast at 6:15, eat, get on the bus at 6:43 ish and then get to the temple at about ten minutes to 7. It is amazing to me how a small temple, in a different language, can still speak to me with the same spirit. I love the temple. I am so glade we get to go every week!  I realized that Heavenly Father is a God. Not that I didn't know that, but he is helping out a lot of missionaries and a lot of people on prayer rolls, and a lot of missionaries' families, and he's amazing, and oh so generous and loving.

That was my week! I teach every day, we have 2 investigators (not real) and it's been okay. Yesterday we got some feedback finally and I have some time to think about that and I need to do better at imagining these fokes as real life people who need the gospel and I need to rely on the spirit and not worry about the Spanish. It's been a good week :)

I love you all and I think about you everyday!

Hermana Pilling
The church is true
the book is blue
I'm in peru
teaching two by two

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Clair's first email home (It's long, I didn't want to take anything out of this first one):

July 1st (travel day) was way way way way too long. Holy cow! I didn't meet up with any elders until 10 minutes before we were supposed to board but we were delayed. All elders, 10 of them. We got in super late and the day just dragged on. I road the train for like an hour probably hahahahahahahha. 

July 2nd we were supposed to get 2 extra hours of sleep but our latino companions thought we were on their schedule so they woke us up and everything. Ugh. It is 2 latinos, Hermana Rasmussen and hermana Monson, my friends, and my companion, hermana Davis. She is from Heber City but originally Washington or Seattle idk. I was very tired all day and so much of the intro stuff was in spanish and I was a little overwhelmed but so so so grateful that I took spanish in high school. 

July 3rd was a great first full normal day at the ccm. CCM is the Centro de Capacitacion de Misional and it is pronounced say say emay and I love this place. I tripped coming down stairs twice and everyone, (being the latins and teachers and leaders), were so worried. So so so embarrassing. We eat rice for lunch and dinner with chicken and either beef or pork or fish. We usually have potatoes as well and sometimes, if you're lucky, veggies. Breakfast is yogurt with cereal which is kind of like frosted flakes, a little bit. After this day I could pray in spanish!!! There are also hummingbirds everywhere. I love it. We had an investigator come in, Carlos.  He and his wife are having financial difficulties and don't understand why bad things happen to good people. All 45 of us new north american missionaries taught them... kind of.

July 4th they decorated the cafeteria in complete USA stuff and went ALL out. It was way nice. The food was extra delicious and we got pumpkin pie! :D I learned how to bear my testimony in spanish! Our teacher in the morning is Hermano Aguilar. It turns out the investigator from the day before was not real, because our teacher was Carlos. Not funny!  I am so so gullible. 

July 5th we saw the sun! It's winter and they have bad pollution and it's humid so its grey and gross and smoggy and COLD.  I’m so glad I have cardigans. Life saver. So it was a big deal to have the sun out and blue skies for the day.

July 6th was an awesome Sunday. I bore my testimony, in spanish, to our branch of about 85. :D This elder got up to bear his testimony and he looked so familiar. I was freaking out. After testimony meeting he came and shook my hand and I said, how do i know you? And he said, I’m Zach’s cousin! I had no idea he was gonna be here!??!!! Haha, it was nice to see a familiar face. He has one week left here.  We watched a Provo MTC devotional from January that was by Elder Bednar. I SAW TARA KUHN it was so exciting. I cried. We also watched the Jospeh Smith movie, which was so so good.

July 7 I saw EVERY ELDER IN MY DISTRICT cry from laughter. And it was hilarious. Only one from my distract went to BYU the rest are straight out of high school. It is, Elder Kasteler, Elder Eaton, Elder Lewis, Elder Banks, Elder Hansen, Elder Hawkins, Elder Dykstra and our district leader is Elder Goff. I think he's the one grandma’s friend knows or something. He's from highland. I love all the elders.

July 8 I'm officially the worst sports player in the whole ccm. I didn't want meat for dinner because I wasn't that hungry so I got rice and they HAD WARM VBEGGIES so i kind of got half a stir fry, it was delicious!

Okay! So I was expecting it to be like EFY and it is not. hahaha.  The elders are all here because they want to be and they participate in the classes and they are so spiritual and uplifting. Our schedule is ridiculously strict unlike EFY.  We can't sit at the same table as the elders so I sit with the same hermanas every time. There is one other Canadian here, Elder Graham from Calgary, but I don't know who he is. He's been here 3 weeks.

I can pray, bear testimony, introduce myself, explain and hand out a BofM, teach the restoration, teach the plan of salvation, and it's really amazing. I totally feel the Lord's strength. I know that he is blessing me to stay awake throughout the day, to understand the lessons, to retain the information, to feel the spirit, to speak the language, and to stay happy. I am so so so so happy you guys! More than you even know! We were playing charades with spanish words and I got entusiasmado which is enthusiastic and I said to my teacher, I can't do this and he said just be yourself! hahahah. Then the whole class instantly knew what it was. I guess they know who I am already! But, I cried the first night. Like wednesday night, but now I’m just happy. I'm so so happy. How many times will i say it? Too many. I love it here. :)

My district: everyday we have a spiritual lesson by ourselves during study time and we all share a spiritual thought from the day and it’s my favorite part of the day. They are all so so so great! Lots of them have said that they've struggled being on their own and having this completely different lifestyle but we are all helping each other and being with each other all day is already familiar and comfortable and feels like home. We are so so happy :) EVERYONE IS HAPPY! Except… there is a sister from Australia here, born in New Zealand, and her companion is from Germany.  The Aussie is not very nice. She is rude to her companion and they are never together and the german always has this sour look on her face and they back talk and it's not good.

I’m trying really hard to write this in all English. I speak hard core spanglish already.  I love you all and I miss you so much but know I'm having fun and I feel the spirit every second!