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!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

She made it to Peru!

Clair made it to the Peru MTC after a long travel day.  She left Calgary at 7am and had a long, 6+ hour layover in Dallas.  Her flight to Peru was almost 7 hours.  She said there were 10 elders on her flight and only one of them is going to Chiclayo, the rest are going to Arequipa, which is south of Lima.  She is in the same room with 5 other sisters, 2 of whom she has become friends with via Facebook over the past few months; Sister Rasmussen and Sister Monson.  Her companion is Sister Davies who is going to Arequipa.  The other two sisters are natives who are only at the MTC for 2 weeks.  

These are her words, "I am still shocked I am here. It is very humid, I feel it on my papers and just on my body too. I love you all and I need to go! I am so glad I made it safe.  This is an adventure and it's awesome!"

So the mission has officially begun.  We look forward to hearing from her on her p'days, which she doesn't know when they'll be yet.