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!