Monday, December 14, 2015

Last Email Home

Hey Everyone,

Yes, this is my last email home.  How crazy is that?
So last week we started off the week with an intercambio with the sisters in San Felipe! I was in San Felipe after 5 1/2 months here.  It was weird to walk those streets again and be with Hermana Kelly instead of Hermana Wood or Hermana Waite. We went to some of their current investigators and then I took her to some of my old ones.  They accepted another appointment with Hermana Kelly and her companion which is super cool! We ended the day going to Jayde and Guillermo. When I walked into their home, I felt the spirit. They have pictures of the temple and it is slowly becoming a very Christ-centered home. The spirit can dwell there and I was so happy to see that they are doing well. They told me all about when they went to the temple. They shared some scriptures they've read recently. The whole thing was so nice. I felt good. I don't want to say goodbye to anyone. 
Then Hermana Wood and I were together for about 24 hours and we did another intercambio with the Sisters in Union. I stayed in my area with Hermana Barboza, from Lima. She is from Hermana Avila's group. It was really fun to be with her and get to know her a little better and teach and learn together. Then when I got back together with Hermana Wood, we went straight to the mission Christmas party! We watched a little movie Santa Clause is Coming To Town, each country did a little presentation on the traditions of their country and sang a song. Every zone had a skit prepared and they were hilarious! Then all the latino missionaries from each zone sang a Christmas carol in english and were judged for how good it was, that was entertaining too.  Then we got spiritual. President and Sister Williams shared a message, we watched some videos, and they gave us our gifts. It was such a spiritual moment and I am so grateful for the true meaning of Christmas. I love President and Hermana Williams and their powerful testimonies. I have learned so much from them both. 
One more teaching experience we had. We taught Jessica, the recent convert, and her friend Ana Rubì was there. We brought her own copy of the Book of Mormon and read the introduction together. Her face showed her unbelief and so I testified with all my heart. After when we had established that I wouldn't see her again, I said, "I know it may all sound weird and seem like it is made up. And I can say without even hesitating that this book is true.  But, that means nothing to you if you don't kneel and ask yourself. I have been sacrificing so much for 18 months and I have testified of the Book of Mormon so many times but I haven't done all of this for nothing. I really truly know that this book is true and I will defend its truthfulness until the day I die." It was sweet. I love being a missionary. 

So one thing I learned during an intercambio was to count your blessings but to also make your blessings count. I am about to leave a really poor country and I will shortly be in a developed country with a heated home and cars and cell phones and just so much... so what I do have, the blessings I have received, I should make them count. 

Now, lesson of a lifetime: the power of the atonement. 
Although I do not fully understand the atonement, I have felt its power in my life and I have seen it working miracles in the lives of others. I can never comprehend what it is that the Lord had to sacrifice to bring to pass the atonement but I will never doubt that he did so. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father for allowing his only begotten son to suffer so much because of their love for me. He knows what it is like to feel totally and hopelessly alone. He understands every sickness and temptation, every trial and every sorrow. His atonement does not simply cleanse us from sin, it gives us divine strength and heals wounds. With his stripes we are healed. He has perfect empathy. I have felt that empathy many times in diverse situations. He understands perfectly. And like I said, I will never know how but I will never doubt that He truly does know. I have seen the power of the atonement clean and forgive people, including myself. I have seen people find "hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ and his resurrection to be raised up unto life eternal" as taught in Moroni 7:41. 

The saviour has walked beside me the whole way. He has been there to experience it all and to lend me a helping hand. There have been times were I haven't seen him at my side and I have felt utterly alone and weak but I know now that those are the moments when he carried me and I couldn't see him at my side simply because I was in his arms. I love my Saviour and I testify of the power of the atonement, not only to forgive us but also to make up for what we cannot do. 

These 18 months have flown on by and the time is near to return to the real world. There are no words to describe the mission and I definitely can't describe mine. It was been truly incredible. Everything that I gave up, everything that I have lost, all of my sacrifices were worth it. The mission is priceless. I couldn't have grown as I have doing anything else. I love Peru. I love the Gospel. I love my brother Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. As  a representative of Jesus Christ I testify that His church has been restored. He lives and loves each of you. I know this Gospel is true. I know it, I Live it, I love it. 

Thank you all for your love, support, letters and prayers over these 18 months. I love you all . 

See you soon!

Love
Hermana Pilling

ps
Thursday I will be in the office like all day doing my legal papers, my last interview, and lunch with President and Sister Williams and a testimony meeting and then I leave. I am really really scared to say goodbye to these great people. Excited to see you all. Scared to not be a missionary. Excited for Christmas. Scared for real life. 


Bye

Monday, December 7, 2015

Grateful

Hey everyone!

So this week went like this...
Tuesday 8AM-3PM leadership training meeting. My last one so I bore my testimony.
Wednesday we had intercambios with the sisters in Santa Victoria. I went there with Hermana Alcedo again.  A story from the intercambio. We were walking down the main road, it's a pretty busy one, in the nicest part of the city and for some reason I looked up to the 5th floor of an apartment complex. Well, there was Sidia, a member from my first transfer in 9 de Octubre! So I let out a little 'Hermana Pilling scream' and she came down and we crossed the street and we talked.  I haven't seen her for a year! She was shocked that I speak spanish hahahha. Anyways, it was such a blessing to see her after so much time and she videoed me saying hi to the family and stuff just in case they can't make it to the airport. 
Thursday at noon I got back to my area with Hermana Wood.
Friday 10-1 we had victoria zone meeting, our zone. It was really good! I love the mission life and because it was my last one, I bore my testimony.
Saturday 9:30-1:30 we had Pomalca zone meeting.  We have to travel about a half hour to get there so it takes up time. It was a good meeting too and a member made a tres leches cake, so yummy! I also shared my last testimony with them because I am leaving. 
Saturday night was stake conference adult session. President and Sister Williams spoke and it was awesomeness!
Sunday was stake conference. Very very good stake conference. I enjoyed it quite a bit! The stake president talked about what makes us happy. It shouldn't be having money, having a nice house, having a happy family. The thing that should bring most joy in our life should be knowing that we are obedient and doing what God wants us to do; living the gospel, being righteous.  That is what should bring us pure joy. I agree100% with him. 
Sunday night was the First Presidency Christmas devotional. 

I'm eating an `empenada de globo`
Hermana Tunquipa and Hermana Esquivel at the zone meeting

My ward mission leader from San Felipe came to see us

So this week was crazy busy! I feel like my companion and I were hardly ever teaching together! We did have a couple stellar lessons though. Jessica, the recent convert, came to church.  She is reading her scriptures again and just seems to be a little bit more calm. She seems happy! Rogelio, our investigator in a wheel chair, is just the cutest ever. Se sat down for our lesson and were chatting a little and then he suddenly said, "Well can we start with a prayer? "  He was all eager to learn more about the plan of salvation. When we talked briefly about temples and eternal families his wife and he just lit up! They lost 2 children and he almost lost his life and you can tell family means a lot to them. I love sharing these specials truths with others to bring them the same hope and joy that I have. We are teaching a sister named Yolanda. She wants to get baptized so badly but she isn't married and her husband doesn't want to get married.  Well we have been working with her and she has been talking like everyday about marriage with her husband. She just seems so determined. She has been listening to the missionaries for a year and she has never done her part but she is actually trying so hard! We were walking back to the rooms (so I could use the bathroom) and this lady stopped us all happy to see us and we hugged her.  I asked her if she was a member and she said no. So then I was genuinely confused as to why she was so happy to see us. She said, "Isn't it interesting how God just puts angels in your paths exactly when you need it." Then she started crying. She has a lot of family problems and she is scared to go home because her son is a drunk who beats her and horrible things like that and she was praying for some comfort. So we sat down at a park bench and talked a bit with her.  It was just one of those moments when I was SO grateful that I had to go to the bathroom and that we were heading that direction. hahahaha But honestly, I know that God puts us in the paths of others to help them and comfort them. 

Well, my lesson of a lifetime this week is prayer.  I have learned that you can pray whenever and wherever and God listens. I have prayed in english and in spanish, out loud and in my heart and he hears every single time. It doesn't matter if it is the middle of the night and I am up because of a nightmare or if I am praying at lunch with my companion, He always listens. When I pray, I receive guidance and blessings. I have learned of the importance of real intent and I know what a prayer of faith is too. I talk openly and honestly with my Father in Heaven and I know that I am His daughter and that He loves me. I have said a prayer of gratitude, nothing but gratitude, every single day my whole mission because I should be grateful and everything I have is from my Heavenly Father. More than anything, prayer has helped me get to know my Father in Heaven better. And myself. I have learned to trust in his timing and in his plan. Just like my favorite part in the bible dictionary says about prayer, 'Prayer is the act by which the will of the father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking of them'.  I have received answers to so many questions and my father in heaven has enlightened my mind to resolve my doubts as well. I am so grateful for that. I don't know what I would do without the precious gift and heavenly communication of prayer. 

Love you all!

Hermana Pilling

This is Jaime, probably my favorite member ever. He has really helped me grow spiritually in my little time here in La Victoria.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Intercambios, Mototaxi's, and Salchipollo

This week we had intercambios with the sisters from Imperio. I stayed in our area with Hermana Tunquipa. She had just 1 week in the mission, she is from Lima, and she`s a convert! I had kind of forgotten that ALL missionaries need training when they first get in the field but she is going to be a great missionary. She asked lots of questions, is really humble, and dedicated to the Lord. I didn't take a picture but I will this week with the zone. 

An elder that went home the week after Christmas came to visit with all his family, his parents and 3 siblings, and we saw them at his pensionista's house. They are from San Diego California and so cute. They went to Machu Picchu first and then they had recently started the adventures in Chiclayo. It was weird trying to just speak in english, but cool to see a happy american family!

Hermana Wood and I were using the ward directory to try to find new less actives and to get to know the members. We knocked on a door and were invited in to teach! The man`s name is Rogelio and he had a motorcycle accident 2 years ago and is now in a wheelchair. We found him reading the bible. Because he can only lift one arm and use 2 fingers, he can't flip the pages so he reads the same page a couple of times before calling for someone to flip the page. He said his near death experience changed him completely and being that close to death made him realize the important things in life. He started studying the bible and relying on God more than ever before. He has come to the conclusion that he needs to be baptized, he`s just been waiting...and then we showed up! Sweetness! Well we have taught him and his wife, Esperanzea, two times and they are so great! We are hoping for great things there. They both talk about how their life changed so suddenly. It made me so grateful for everything I have been given and for the amazing gift of LIFE. 

We did another intercambio with the sisters from Pomalca this week. We were looking for a mototaxi to take us to the bus stop. We flagged down one mototaxi and the guy didn't really know where to go. Hermana Wood said, "Do you want an adventure?" Well I said no. So we waited and then called the assistants for exact directions and found a mototaxi to Pomalca. Well the sisters weren't answering their phone and we couldn't get a hold of them. So there we were, 2 lost gringas in Pomalca, walking around looking for the Mormon church. When I went to Pomalca the last time for intercambios, we never saw the church so I honestly didn't know where we were. There was a lot of dirt and really poor houses and we didn't have signal! We started walking down random streets hoping to find signal but never did. Then I remembered that my whole day in Pomalca I never saw dirt streets, it was all paved. So we walked out to the highway then headed for the only paved road that enters into Pomalca. We got then and went in to the town. The first little park looked familiar. We said a prayer and turned the corner. Standing at the corner I saw a house that looked familiar. We walked down that street then I saw the house of their pensionista. We walked one block more and we found the sister's room. 40 minutes after arriving in Pomalca, we found the sister's room. Without cell phone signal. Without asking people on the street. We found the sister's room with ``spiritual signal`` and asking God for help. It really truly was a miracle. 

So Hermana Leiataua and I came back here to La Victoria and we had a great time together. It was fun being with her again. Our relationship got better and even though we didn't have many teaching opportunities we learned so much. 




Jessica Alaya is a recent convert, baptized in September.  She's a 31 year old single mom with a 2 year old baby boy. She is such a cutie. I don't really know how to describe her personality so I will just start with the story. My last day with Hermana Guillèn we went to say bye and she was there with a friend, Ana Rubi. We talked a little bit and she was telling us that she is helping Jessica sell salchipollo (basically sausage, chicken, chips, onions and lettuce) on the weekends. We said, oh on Sundays too? She said yes. AHHH DANGER ZONE. So Hermana Wood came and we suddenly had this responsibility of teaching a single mom who is being influenced by a really powerful and strong personality friend that she can't work on Sundays at all even if she is desperate. It has been quite the task! We have testified and testified and we are teaching Ana Rubì too, hoping she will understand but nothing seems to work! We committed them both to come to church yesterday and they did come. Hallelujah. It's such a warm feeling when someone walks into church like that. So afterwards we were walking by the street that night and she had her little salchipollo cart out on the street and she was selling...on a Sunday night. So we entered into their house and were chatting and I was really sad. And I expressed that to Jessica.  Ana Rubî started defending her saying God understands, she is a single mom and she has to make ends meet, etc. I started to cry and asked if I could just explain something. I said, ``Jessica has made a sacred covenant with God and He does know her perfectly, as He does you, but he can't bless us if we aren't obedient to these sacred covenants we have made.`` I could tell Jessica felt a little bit of pressure from her friend and that she was desperate for money. I wanted Ana Rubì to understand. And she did. After she said, "Wait a second. Jessica is baptized in your church?"  We all said YES and then Ana Rubì completely changed. She said, "No Jessica you can't sell on Sundays anymore. you promised God."  Anyways, it was nice. I felt much better after.  Everyone understands and everything is understood. 

Sunday was a great Sunday. I would like to declare it my best sunday in the mission! I shared my last testimony in the ward (next week is stake conference) and I felt the spirit so strong during the sacrament and all of the classes were really good. 

This week is going to be crazy busy! We relaxed today for pday because this week is going to be packed full! 

My lesson of a life time: obedience.
During my mission I have learned about the importance of being obedient to our earthly parents, to our church leaders, to Heavenly Father, and to the Holy Ghost. Obedience frees us. The commandments protect us. Blessings are promised. We feel better. We must always remember that the Lord is bound when we do what he asks of us. He has to bless us. And he always does. 

I had another lesson of a lifetime this week. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. 
There is a member who has grown to be like a father to me. His name is Jaime (high may). We were at their house this week and he asked me when the church was restored and I doubtingly said, "April 6th?" He didn't say anything so I started throwing out other dates and looking for it in the scriptures and going crazy! Well it is April 6th. So Jaime said, "Hermana Pilling, you need to know that the church was restored the 6th of April! And be sure of that knowledge!  He invited me to kneel and ask my father in heaven if the church was indeed restored the 6th of April in 1830 by the prophet Joseph Smith. So that is what I did. And I felt good. And when I testified in church on Sunday I said those very words, "I know that the church was restored April 6th 1830 by the prophet Joseph Smith." I promise you all that a testimony is found in the bearing of it. As I said those words my heart was filled with that warm tickly feeling. I testify of this restored gospel. I know it is true. 

Love you all very much.

Happy birthday to my dear brother Cale on Saturday. 

Love,

Hermana Pilling



Monday, November 23, 2015

Second Chances

HOLY HANNAH. I dont even know where to start. 
First off. Hola!

Second, we had transfers.  Tuesday we showed up for change meeting! I love those meetings. You see people you maybe haven't seen for a while and president always walks around from group to group cracking jokes, and that is my favorite. He made a joke this week with me telling me I was going back to Jaen and the way he said it and in spanish and his comments after and his facial expression and just everything made me tear up instantly because I thought of my funny daddy. President and Sister Williams each share a little message and then all the newbies present themselves. After that they have a powerpoint to show who the newbies are going to be with.  They opened some areas which was pretty crazy! Then they get to everyone else and the whole chapel fills with anticipation. This time.... President said, "I want to announce the first one please! Hermana Wood please stand up (she was my canadian companion in June). Hermana Wood, leaving the Chiclayo Peru zone, arriving in the Victoria zone. You will be sister leader and your companion will be Sister Pilling. Again. WHAT! I nearly cried!  We hugged and everyone was just shocked. That never happens in our mission. Never ever. So ya! We are sister leaders over 6 companionships now and every single companionship is training, so we have lots of training to do ourselves to help out these newbies. Hermana Avila, my beloved hija, is one of these sisters! She is finishing the training of the Hawaiian sister and I get to do intercambios with her! WAHOO. I am so excited. I thought I would never see her again... you never know. So now I have 2  1/2 granddaughters in the mission.  How fun!
How do I feel about this change? Well, I honestly feel so good. In my interview with president the week before he asked me who I want my new companion to be and I told him there aren't very many options! hahaha Then I said, "Well if I could have anyone I would die to have a second chance with Hermana Wood.  I want to do things better. But Hermana Clegg would be fun!" He said, "Oh ha ha ha you think you are funny. It won't be Hermana Wood, I can promise you that." Well, only God knows. I honestly am happy. It's been weird. We haven't had to get to know each other again but trying to teach together still requires a little bit of an adjustment. She has grown a lot and I think I have too and things will be better. I don't know how many people noticed but my one transfer with her was probably my lowest moment in my mission. After the meeting president came up to us and told us we need to work like crazy, we have lots of sisters, Hermana Wood needs to know the area and we don't have a full transfer! So we are working hard. Since she has been here she has struggled quite a bit. She was in San Felipe for a long time and it's one of the first wards and one of the biggest wards in Chiclayo and now she is here in maybe one of the weakest. It's been hard for her to adjust to everything but I know she will be fine. She is really motivated and she just has so much faith. It's going to be great!
Finishing her mission with Hermana Wood
Saying good-bye Hermana Guillen
We walked a lot and got to know the area better together. We are working with the ward directory to get to know the members. The members don't really have a good relationship with the missionaries so we are trying to change that one. It's been successful, honestly!

My lesson of a lifetime:
Hermana Avila, one of Clair's favorite companions
20 minutes of Scripture Study is essential
I have always read my scriptures and loved them but here in my mission I have learned how to study them and the importance of doing it everyday to protect us and to strengthen our testimonies. I have seen this power in the lives of recent converts too as I help them set goals and make plans to be able to gain a better relationship with their Heavenly Father by reading and studying the scriptures. I know the Book of Mormon is true. Moroni's promise never fails. I love the scriptures with all my heart. 20 minutes is all it takes. DO IT. 

Well, no more time! I will plan better for next week. Love you all and pray for your safety always. 

Clair with her mane.  She
wants to cut it, but said she'll
wait until she gets home.
Love,

Hermana Pilling

So much Joy in my Heart

Hi Everyone,

I loved our district meeting this week. I was in such a good mood and I feel like it lifted everyone else's spirits too. It was a fun meeting. I love the mission organization.

Clair with her companion
We did intercambios again! I went to Pomalca, one of the areas where Hermana Brito served way back when... haha. It was fun to get out of Chiclayo a little bit and see something new. I was there with Hermana Yucra from Puno Peru. She has 6 months in the mission and is a really good missionary. I really enjoyed being there with her. Dad wrote me this week about sharing my little ideas with missionaries because suddenly I am one of the 3 sisters with the most time in the mission. I always talk a lot on intercambios. Bad habit. I just have learned so much during my mission! I start off asking questions and getting to know them and then when they start talking about something that has been hard in the mission or something that I can really relate too I just go off and never stop! I don't want you guys to think I am crazy and I just talk and never stop. My point is, I love to share experiences and offer advice. All missionaries pass through similar difficulties and we can all help each other. 

I have so much joy in my heart. 

I love to hoola hoop. It's my favorite part of my exercise routine in the mornings :P

We had interviews this week with President and Sister Williams! And then we also had interviews with the assistants. That was a little strange. President and I talked about the sacrifices of sister missionaries and got a little emotional when he talked about my group leaving. We were the first missionaries to get here with President and Sister Williams and now we are leaving! Que loco! we also talked about how the Lord has a plan, I will talk more about that later. Sister Williams and I talked about the hardest part of faith is trusting the Lord. But in reality, faith IS trusting the lord. I mentioned that I feel like I am just barely holding on and we talked about how tiring the mission is when you give it your all. I feel worn down and tired but I feel SO satisfied knowing I am so tired because I have worked so hard. 

I suddenly got hit with the flu Thursday. It was awful. I didn't even have the strength to take off my name tag, like to pinch it off. I had all the symptoms and almost threw up too.  Okay, too much information. 

We had a miracle lesson! Friday we had planned to go to Aida, a miracle from about 3 weeks ago. But she wasn't home so we knocked her neighbors door, a girl named Mary who we contacted earlier in the week. She let us in and invited her 2 children to listen too, 16 and 12 years old, and we taught the family and it was so personal and by the spirit and it was AWESOME. Then we invited them each to be baptized and without even hesitating for a second they all said yes. I am really excited for them. A little tender mercy from the Lord. 

I would just like to say that The Church is true. Prophets exist. God speaks to His prophets. This church is true. 

My lesson of a lifetime is Heavenly Father has a perfect and individualized plan for each of His Children. With everything that I have experienced during my mission, I have never doubted that God has a plan. With changes in my personal life, with changes at home with the family or friends, seeing so many trials come and go I have FELT that it is all part of the plan. Teaching investigators who are learning bout the plan of happiness I can testify that it is real and that God knows what he is doing. I know that He has guided me to each of my investigators and less actives. He has placed me in each area for a reason. I know that He will always sustain us and if we are faithful and righteous, he won't let us make the wrong decision. President and Sister Williams both mentioned that a little bit. When we are doing what is right we need not fear. I love my Father in Heaven and his outstretched hand to lead and guide me always. I am so grateful for every single experience, good and bad.  I have loved being here on the mission. I have learned and grown. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan. 

I love you all and I am so excited to be alive. 
My companion has transfers. I am also going to be able to see Hermana Avila again! WAHOO. 

Until next week. 

Hermana Pilling


I had to add this one because Clair looks just like my sister, Leah in this picture!



Monday, November 9, 2015

Families Can Be Together Forever

Hola mis queridos amigos!

I love Spanish with all my heart.

Tuesday we had our leadership training meeting and it was fantastic! I loved it so much! Hermana Williams talked about Tithing and how the greatest blessing we receive from paying an honest tithe is that we can go to the temple. It is one of the greatest impediments, is that a word? That keeps people from having a temple recommend. So when we pay, we are worthy to receive our recommends and attend the house of the Lord. We are also paying to help in the construction of temples which is pretty sweet too. Everything I have is from God and that 10% is NOTHING. I just love Hermana Williams. She shared personal experiences and she is an amazing example. 

President taught a couple things that just made me think of my daddy and growing up. 
#1: I listen and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. 
#2: Do your VERY best
#3: Good. Better. Best.
#4: Testify and wait. 

The whole time I felt like he was talking directly to me and I felt like I was listening to my dad. It was awesome. I felt the spirit so strong. 

Wednesday was THE fastest day of my life and I don't know why. 

Thursday I studied a little bit about the atonement and I read a talk from an Elder James E. Faust, The Atonement:  Our Greatest Hope.  He quoted President Hinckley when he shares a "parable" about the atonement and at some point a little boy says, "I will love you forever for taking my licking for me. I will love you forever". Well I read that and thought about my Saviour and his atonement and I cried. I am just so grateful for Him and what he sacrificed for me and for every one of us. What a blessing. He really does love me. 

Friday we had our zone meeting. It was okay. Our zone seems to be a little discouraged. I tried my best to be me and to smile and change things but things are just really slow. I don't know why. 

Saturday we had another meeting with Chiclayo Peru zone and it was great! It was awesome! haha. It was interesting to see the difference in the two zones. That night the elders in our ward had a baptism and the elders asked us to sing. We sang come thou fount. Everything was perfect. Honestly, one of the best baptismal services I have ever been too. 

Sunday was a great Sunday. One of the best I have had in a long time. I enjoyed it. my comp and I had some really great conversations. 

Lesson of a lifetime for this week is: Families can be together forever. 
The guy that got baptized is young, 24, and his wife is a member and they have a little boy and he testified about the temple and shared his desire to be sealed to his wife and his son for the eternities. This is a truth in the gospel that brings us so much hope! I have seen marriages and families change as an eternal family becomes their goal and their motivation. Jayde and Guillermo are the first people that pop into my head. I am so grateful for being a part of their lives and helping them gain an understanding of the great plan. I have been far far away from my family and when I have felt sad I have been able to sing hymns or primary songs and remember that I will be with the Pillings forever and everything will be okay. Also, my desire to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity has increased. I am so grateful for temples and for the blessing they are to seal families here on earth and those that have passed on. 

Love you all!


Hermana Pilling





Monday, November 2, 2015

Grateful for life!

I am smiling from ear to ear. I have no words to express the joy I feel in this moment sitting on a crappy little plastic stool in a room full of computers and little gaming-addicted boys. I am so incredibly blessed to have family and friends who support me and write me, even if they only write me one time throughout my whole 18 months in Peru, hahahha. I am so grateful for my calling to serve here and for the plaque I have on my sweater right now. I am so grateful for LIFE!

Okay, now my week. It was super exciting. NOT. 

Monday we had a great FHE again with our pensionista and her family. We had 8 water bottles, 4 big ones and 4 little ones.  We had one of each of freezing ice cold, luke warm, boiling hot and empty. We blind folded everyone and then went out with the lights off. They all got on their hands and knees and they had to try to find the little boiling hot bottle. My companion and I were telling them where to go, but we weren't telling them the correct things. Well, the dad of the family, Jaison, found the little boiling hot bottle. The lesson was the apostasy and the importance of finding the correct church. They couldn't just look for it with their eyes but they had to FEEL it. 

That leads me to my lesson of a lifetime for this week. The Holy Ghost. I have learned how to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I have learned He always talks in a language I am able to understand. I have learned that he guides and protects us and comforts us when we stand in need. I have learned that the confirmations I have FELT in my heart by the holy spirit that this church is true is enough. I don't need any more proof to be converted because the Holy Ghost has testified to my mind and to my heart that these things are completely true. And I am satisfied. The storms will come but they can't knock me down. 

We had intercambios this week and I stayed in my area and Sister Wood came with me! It was fun to be with her again. I could tell she has changed a lot as she has trained Hermana Kelly and she has improved as a missionary. She caught me up on all my favorite people in San Felipe. Jayde and Guillermo were able to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead for their parents. They came home with a bunch of things from the temple store like pictures of the temple and CTR rings and the photo of the prophet. They are doing really well and really focused on getting to the temple in July. I love them so much. 

We got locked out of our room and goliath, Elder Woolstenhulme, saved the day by climbing up and in through our window. We were stuck outside for 45 minutes. Ugh. And it was all my fault. hehe
I was able to face my fears this week. 
I also have been out here in this country for 16 months.  So crazy. 

Important -  I need to do my family history booklet. Attention everyone! I need the dates and places of birth of my aunts and uncles, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and the death place and date if they have passed away. Also marriage date and place of my parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Thanks a lot family for helping me out!


I love you all!

Hermana Pilling

Monday, October 26, 2015

I love the mission more than anything

Hola Everyone,


Last Monday we did a great FHE with our pensionista. She and her family are semi-active, so we are trying to help them out! In this Family Home Evening we took them on a trip to Canada. We went and walked around the block and had a bunch of situations where they had to make a decision, like helping the old lady with her luggage, going to a party on Sunday, drinking coffee, saying family prayers, things like that. Then we went back to the house and had a discussion about what we should be doing to prepare ourselves for the next life.  We had one room in the house where we had covered everything in white sheets and put lots of candles and turned on all the lights and had a bunch of white desserts and foods to eat. We sat in silence for a moment and taught about eternal families. The mom, Hermana Natali cried and it was a really special moment.



We had intercambios again! I went to Santa Victoria, the area of the office, and spent the day with Sister Alcedo from Lima. She is a sweet girl. The area is really rich over there and they aren't having much success (like the majority of the mission is), but she has a good attitude. She has just been 2 months in the mission so she has a long ways to go still. 



This week here in La Victoria was a tough one. I will admit it. But, every minute was enjoyable. I love being a missionary. I love having my calling and wearing my plaque and teaching and talking to strangers and feeling the Peruvian dirt blow in my face, etc. 

Sunday we had a regional stake conference with all of Peru and Bolivia. Elder Andersen, Elder Soarres (from brazil) and Elder Nash all spoke in Spanish and Sister Esplin spoke with a translator. It was sweet to see the gift of tongues working its magic as cute little Elder Andersen read his talk in Spanish. 

I followed the spirit and read some verses from 1 Nephi 13 in a lesson this week. We were teaching a couple that got baptized in January. They attended the 7th day adventist church before and Hermano Diego knows the bible and loves it better than anyone. So we taught about the Book of Mormon and I felt inspired to share these very strong scriptures with these members. I felt the spirit testify through me and I felt the gift of tongues guiding me as I loving explained the importance of recognizing that the bible isn't as perfect as the completely perfect Book of Mormon. I am so grateful for the scriptures and for what I learn from the Bible and the Book of Mormon daily. 

I love the prophet. 
I love my companion's laugh, it is contagious. 
We made a calendar with the meals for every day. It is sweet!
Lesson of a lifetime: CHARITY
I have learned that charity is an attribute that anyone can acquire. 
I have learned that charity can be felt for every single person on planet earth. 
I have learned that charity is important, and that it is necessary to really become like Christ. 
I have learned that I owe many many apologies to people throughout my life. I am sorry. Anyone who I have offended in anyway, I really truly am sorry and I have thought of you and prayed for you during my 16 months in the mission. I love you. 

My ponderize scripture for the week is Alma 31:34-35. 

I love the mission more than anything. Talk to you next week!

Love,
Hermana Pilling



Monday, October 19, 2015

We Overcome Our Fears by Facing Them

Hey Everyone!

This week we did intercambios with Hermana Leiataua and Hermana Esquivel. I was here in La Victoria with Hermana Leiataua. She said the hardest thing has been the language, mostly the language barrier between her and her companion because she can't express how she feels about the teaching methods etc. but she is doing well. She is out here with good intentions. 

We taught an FHE on Monday about testimonies and I re-learned about the power of a simple testimony. A testimony is the truths that one knows by the power of the spirit. I have realized that a testimony is a gift that we are given and we must protect it. I have also learned that it is a talent and we must share it to develop it. One of the scriptures that motivated me to come on a mission was D&C 60:2 (it's about not hiding our talents).

Tuesday we picked up Hermana Monson and Hermana Hebdon because they came down from Jaen for our conferences with Elder Uceda. The four of us stayed in our room and it was soooo fun. Hermana Monson and I are the only 2 going home on December 17th, it's weird. 



So Wednesday from 8-3:30 and then from 6-9 we were with Elder Uceda. I learned so much and there just simply isn`t time to share but his theme was, we overcome our fears by facing them. I learned so much, and the spirit taught me a lot.  Even though I really enjoyed the time spent with Elder Uceda, I left feeling a little discouraged because I just felt like I need to improve so much.  I talked to my companion about it and she is the best and helped me talk through all my fears and worries.  We talked about setting goals and plans to be able to improve and put in practice the teachings of Elder Uceda. I am excited!

A thought I had.... all future missionaries... including and especially my dear brother, you will learn to be a good missionary only after coming to the mission and being a missionary. It comes with practice. So don´t stress about being super prepared before. Do your best to prepare and then have faith and trust that the Lord will help you. 

Anyways, my comp is the best at helping me set goals and helping me improve. She listens and understands. We have so much fun together... but I think I say that about every companion. hahaha. Maybe I am the fun one?




So Sunday we had a miracle. We were walking our normal 'contact loop' because our appointments fell through.  We were just walking along and I was naming off the streets as we passed them to try to learn the area a little better. Then I said this is Mayta Capac. My comp said yes, good job.  We kept walking a block or two then I stopped. I said, "Hey, Elder Woolstenhulme gave us a reference for a lady here on Mayta Capac."  So we started looking for it and found that her name was Aida and she lived on Mayta Capac 1371. So we looked up to see where we were and we were right outside her house. We knocked a couple of times and she finally came out. She was a little hesitant to let us in, but finally did and we were able to share a little bit with her. She accepted the invitation to be baptized and then offered a very personal and heart felt prayer correctly. We left and as we stepped out the door I started to cry. I had goosebumps and I was so grateful for the Lord and the spiritual prompting I received in that moment. The Lord works in mysterious ways. 

One lesson of a lifetime I have learned is that God loves ALL of His children. Whether we are contacting or teaching. Whether it is a less active or a recent convert or members or other missionaries; whether they are hard core catholics or atheists, I feel the love that God has for each and every one of his children. Whether I am happy or sad, praying or teaching, I always feel the love my Father in Heaven has for me. I know that he is always aware of my trials and my feelings and is always there to strengthen me when I need it most. I love my Heavenly Father. I Love my saviour Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for my knowledge that I am a daughter of God. 

Love,
Hermana Pilling

OH... my ponderize scripture for the week is Helaman 5:8

Monday, October 12, 2015

Your Attitude is Everything

Goodbyes in Jaen are awful because it is the last goodbye. In Chiclayo you at least have the hope to see people again, like at the airport and stuff like that. But Jaen is official. I sobbed like a baby and I forgot that Hermana Avila wasn't coming with me so I didn't hug her and then she yelled, "Don't forget about your daughter!" and I started crying even harder! I didn't think I would ever see her again and that is sad. She is seriously my best friend and I love her so much! Anyways, those goodbyes made it just that much more real that I will have to say those goodbyes again in 10 weeks or something like that. I don't want to leave Peru. 
I spent the night in San Felipe when I first got here. It is always great to see Hermana Wood and my pensionista there. It brings back so many memories!



Hermana Wood


So we got to the change meeting and they show all the newbies first. There is a sister from Hawaii and one from California but her family is from Samoa and then 3 others. Well one of them, Hermana Butterfield from Bountiful Utah, is in Jaen.  She is my granddaughter. Hermana Avila is training! I can't even explain the excitement I felt when Hermana Avila's picture showed up! That is so exciting.
Okay, well everyone was called and I was the only one left. So before they even said my name I stood up and they made a joke about saving the Canadians for last... anyways. I am here in the zone La Victoria, area La Victoria and my companion is Hermana Guillèn from Ecuador. We have been called as Sister Training Leaders! She got to Chilcayo with me but because I was in the MTC longer she goes home in February. She is 24 years old and she is tall. 

Hermana Guillen

As sister Leaders we go to the leadership training meeting every month with President and Sister Williams and the assistants. We also have to do exchanges with our assigned sisters. We have been assigned 5 companionships of sisters and they belong to 3 zones, one is a little far away, so we are still trying to figure out how to plan out all of those but I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn from so many sisters.

Here in the area there isn't very much going on. I love our pensionista, but every one of my pensionistas has been very different. So ya. 

My ponderize scripture for last week was Alma 36:3 and for this week it is Mosiah 4:9. Feel free to join me as we ponderize these scriptures.

It is so cold here in Chiclayo. I am sure you have now looked at the temperature and think I am crazy but I am honestly so cold always. Holy cow. I don't know what I will do when I get home and there is snow on the ground. 

One "lesson of a lifetime" I have learned during my mission is:
Your attitude is everything. your attitude towards the mission, your companion, your area, the leaders, trials, family members, teachers, friends, school. Everything! I have seen the changes in the outcome of every day as I change my attitude to be more positive. I am so grateful for naturally being a positive person, just like my daddy, and I have seen the blessings of that. Enjoy the moment, find joy in the journey, be happy, smily, giggle, laugh.  Life is good. 

Love you all!

Hermana Pilling

Monday, October 5, 2015

Feeling Blessed

Well, I don't have any time and I don't remember what happened the beginning of the week. Friday we went and said bye to Hermana Waite. I sobbed. It just got real that missions end and mine is getting closer. Also, Hermana Hebdon has been with us since Thursday because she needed a companion! So it was a little crazy Friday. Saturday morning the zone leaders called us and told me I have transfers. So so sad. I teared up a little but then he cheated and somehow knew that I am going to Chiclayo and that made me happy. I don't know. Cambios have always been tough, I don't like goodbyes, but as soon as I am officially with my new companion I feel so much peace. I know that each companion and each area has been for my personal growth and has shaped me has a missionary. I love it!
Sis Waite is done her mission.  Goodbyes are hard.

Diego
I absolutely loved general conference. I applied the counsel of Elder Bednar from September and listened to what wasn't spoken and I learned so much from the spirit. Saturday night we taught Sharon, this 18 year old girl. She accepted a date to be baptized the 17th of October! I am so excited for her, she is such a sweetheart with a huge testimony. She was sad when we told her I won't be there but I am just happy she is so eager to make the necessary changes to be able to live with her Father in Heaven again. 

Sunday morning we weren't able to watch in English. I know I understand spanish completely but it is different. So I was a little bummed but after, I reread my notes and they were allllll in english. The spirit spoke to me in english and I learned so much. After the Sunday afternoon session I went to say bye to a family. I don't like goodbyes! And this family has been so amazing during my 2 1/2 months here.  I took so many pics and I am hoping to send them all. 

After all is said and done, I feel very blessed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with modern revelation and a living prophet. I testify that the 3 new apostles are called of God. Elder Stevenson came to Chiclayo with Elder Bednar and that is pretty cool. 

I am going to miss Hermana Avila so much. She is my best friend and I have grown so close to her. One bad thing about having a latina is that the possiblities of us seeing each other again are very low, and I am saddened by that. But I know she will always be my ¨daughter¨. 

Here is to new things!

Love you all!
Hermana Pilling
Hermana Avila and I.  Love her!

Monday, September 28, 2015

I love General Conference!

Hola everyone!

This week was a much better week! We have an investigator, and for the lack of time I won't explain much.  Her name is Sharon, she is 18 and she is just as interested as my 1st investigator. She has kept every single commitment we have left her. It's cool! 

We have taught so many lessons on prophets and general conference! I am so so so excited! It's fun to teach it everyday because I literally feel my testimony growing every time. I know that Thomas S. Monson has been called of God and that he receieves revelation and that we are going to hear exactly what we need to hear to survive the spiritual storms that are going on in the world. I can promise each of you that you will receive answers to questions and doubts if you pray and spiritually prepare to hear the words of The Lord´s servants. 

I cried when they told us about Elder Scott. 

The Women's Broadcast was so so so so good. I love being a member of the Church. I love listening and learning about the Gospel. I invite EVERYONE to watch all 4 sessions of general conference this weekend. You WILL be blessed. 
3 nephi 6:14:  "And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord."  

What do you think it means when it says ¨for they were converted to the ¨true faith"?  What is the true faith?

We were asked to think about spiritual experiences we have had with general conference and I pondered a lot. I thought of the family memories, yum yums, laughter, blankets. I thought of the times we have been to the Conference Center. I thought of the spirit I always feel so strongly with the music. I thought of how I feel the moment the prophet walks into the room. I am so grateful that watching conference has been a habit of mine all my life, and it will always be that way.

¨He will bless you if you put your trust in Him¨ 


I love you all,
Hermana Pilling

Clair's Sunday lunch of steak and noodles.  Yum...??



Monday, September 21, 2015

Peruvian Pancakes and Scripture Stories

Hi Everyone,

Last monday we made ¨Peruvian pancakes¨ which are really just crepes and they are delicious. I learned how to flip a crepe just with the pan. You know what I mean right? Then we went to the Peruvian version of the Calgary Stampede hahaha.  It was lame though. We can't go on the rides either so that was just torture for me since you know how much I love rides!

Ever since our multi-zone meeting when President said we need to be anxiously engaged and involved in our meetings, our district meetings have been so much more meaningful for me! I don't care what other missionaries, like the zone leaders, will think about my silly questions or my grammar mistakes and I just try my best to get the most out of every meeting we have. This week we talked about using the scriptures and it was really fun. I have learned so much about the scripture stories and where certain scriptures are and the doctrine and meaning behind scriptures. I love the scriptures so much and I am learning how to study and get the most out of their powerful and inspired words.

I'm sure you have heard about the earthquake in Chile. Don't worry, my companion´s family is okay. She is from the south and the earthquake was in the north but it is still sad. It was a pretty strong one. I will have you know that the earthquake in Chile in 2010 was in her city. Hermana Avila lived through it and from the little stories she shares with me it sounds like it was awful. She is my hero and I love her.

In our talent show this is what we did. As you can see in the pic my head is there and from behind I am moving the hands and my companion is moving my feet and we danced to some music with the elders and our mission leader. It was SO FUN. I love seeing members laugh and enjoy themselves. 
We did service this week! After the talent show, Hermana said we were her little angles and that we helped her so much. I love looking for service. It is something that my companion has really taught me. She is always aware and has so much love and is willing to help EVERYONE.




I am re-reading my journal right? And I am reading in March and I was thinking a lot about that time in my mission when I was still in 9 de Octubre. Over the course of these 15 months I have noticed that daily scripture study, not just reading, and sincere personal prayers help us become more Christlike. It is through these simple things that we learn about Christ, our perfect example, and learn about our own personal weaknesses to be able to grow more like Him. I am constantly thinking of Him and more aware of His example. I often find myself thinking, ¨What would Jesus do?¨

Well, I love you all and I am so grateful for the atonement and for my Saviour. It is only through His sacrifice and His grace that I am able to overcome my weaknesses and start fresh every week. What would I do without my Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ?

Love,

Hermana Pilling

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jaen Week

This week... what happened this week... Well, firstly I realized I didn't explain why it was a week of blessings, but we had so many lessons and so many new investigators and so many contacts and so much fun. It was great!

This week was a really great week too! The 10th til the 27th of September is ¨Jaén week¨ even though it is more than a week. People come from the little mountain towns and they just come to party. Why do they do so? To celebrate 2 saints.... there are so many catholics! We like to spend time in the plaza De Armas to contact and get to know people, but we haven't been doing that just because we don't want some crazy guy to try to beat us up or something. I don't know. So ya, that is going on right now. 

This week we had an FHE with a part member family. The daughter, Marite, is 27 and is leaving for her mission in Bolivia in 2 months and the mom, Olga, is less active and not married to Fernando, who is not a member. So we watched ¨To This End Was I Born¨, a video about Christ and his life and talked about his influence in our lives and then Fernando prayed. It was his first time ever. You are probably thinking that I am going to say it was some magical spiritual experience. It was just straight up funny. We all ended laughing. I'll explain.  Monday was Marite´s 1 year mark since she got baptized so in her Dad´s prayer he said ¨we are so grateful to be here to celebrate Marite´s 1 year in her.... career as a mormon¨.  Oh it was so funny. Maybe it was more funny in spanish. But it was funny. It made me think that our ¨career¨ as members of the church is not easy.  To have accomplished 1 year as being a faithful member of the church in this crazy world really is a huge accomplishment! 

We also visited Mily and Robert again, well twice. We challenged them to get married the 26th of September and they said they would think about it. Then we went back and Robert had done some talking with some friends and family friends who he admired and everyone said no. You need to be with a girl 10 years before you know if you really want to be married to her. WHAT? What is happening to the world? They have a son. They have a house. They have been together 6 years. I'm pretty sure they know if they want to be together or not. So we used the scriptures and the help of our awesome member who was with us and we helped them remember WHY marriage is important. We will see what happens this week. Diego, their 5 year old, says the prayers and they are adorable. 

My companion and I came up with a game. I give my companion a word, a noun, and she has to use that word in the contact, then she gives me a word and we keep going like that. It is so fun! And it is actually helping us have better contacts because we have to get to know them a little bit before we randomly say the word birthday or shoe or pineapple. I absolutely love my companion and my ward and my leaders and my investigators and my family. Thank you for everything!!!

Love,

Hermana Pilling

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week of Blessings

First of all, happy September! 1 week down and I cannot believe it. There are no such things as seasons here and it kills me and makes the time go by so much faster.

Secondly, we had our district meeting and we talked about what we learned from Elder Bednar and how we can apply it. Then we had intercambios and I had the amazing opportunity to teach with the one and only Hermana Waite again. I LOVED being by her side and talking about our families. She is going to be home in 1 month so we talked about how she feels about that and just everything. It was fun teaching together and it felt just like the good old days. She has been a huge help and example for me to just love the mission no matter what and to be diligent 100 percent of the time. (Saturday I only have 100 days left). We were together here in my area and we found so many new investigators! It was just a great 24 hours. It would be cool to teach again with each of my companions. Hermana Waite made comments about how I have changed- better spanish, more confidence, stronger spiritually, etc. Its funny because I feel like I haven't changed at all. It's the little things we don't even notice that make us better every day. 

We had a lesson with Mily and Robert this week that was pretty cool. Every word that came out of my mouth was directed by the spirit, I swear. They were telling us about their doubts with the Book of Mormon. It drives me crazy when people say they don't believe it because it's something new... WELL OF COURSE IT'S NEW AND ITS FOREIGN. So I was inspired with an example. I asked them what faith means. They answered and we talked about that. Then I asked why they believe everything I say about Canada. They said well we trust you and we talked about how that is faith. They have never met a Canadian before. Anyways, then we moved into the Book of Mormon and how it can simply be true, even though the Book of Mormon is new to them and that it is the word of God, just that they have never ¨met¨ the Book of Mormon. They were thinking really hard and we continued talking about it and left them with 3 Nephi 11 to read, one of my favorite. At the end of the lesson Robert prayed. They had a tough day because of some news they received concerning his work and they were both very worried. He prayed and it was so sincere and so powerful and just asked God not to abandon him and to lead him and help him find the right path. He paused often and I felt God´s love SO strongly. I have prayed ever since then that they feel the same love and spirit and that they are doing better. It was such an amazing experience. He said amen and his wife, my comp and I just all looked at each other smiling. It was so so cool. 

Random thoughts...
My companion eats really fast. 
We made lunch together with our pensionista on Sunday it was DELICIOUS. We made homemade ice-cream- guanabana flavour. 
I love inviting people to be baptized. 
I love the spirit. I love prayer. I love the church. I love testifying. I love you all and I love the sun. I am trying to enjoy it because I know it won't exist when I am home. 

Love you all,

Hermana Pilling










Monday, August 31, 2015

Mission Conference with Elder Bednar

This week was a little rough, but it ended so great!  I don't know what happened this week. Tuesday was so so hard and so hot and my comp and I were a little down in the dumps but we helped each other keep going.  Wednesday came around and things went even worse. The 3 times that members came out with us, no one was home. We were pretty much depressed. Thursday during comp study we were not so excited to go out and preach so I suggested we take time to pray. So we prayed. I haven't prayed for so long in about 8 months now. I was on my knees for a while and finally an impression came to my head. We needed to fast! So Thursday to Friday we fasted. Having done that, Thursday was still awful, but we were okay. We had goals to talk to every woman on the street, because I WILL NOT talk to peruvian men, and there weren't any women. We asked ourselves what we did wrong. We have been so obedient and worked so hard and I just came to the conclusion that it was a trial of our faith. Even though it was a HARD WEEK, Friday and Saturday were fantastic.  

First of all, it is true that my spanish has improved being with a latina and I have forgotten some english. I love spanish so much!

Secondly, I sweat a lot. It was a really really hot week again. 

Third, well ya you know it was awful all week and we really struggled, but we fasted right before the conference and that was cool. I think this experience is what finally gave me my firm testimony of the power of fasting. 

Friday morning we had our weekly planning session then packed up and at 1:00 the bus left and we were on the road! I feel like it's normal to travel to Chiclayo but really I won't do it for a long time now. It's just a pretty drive but, being on the top level of the bus everything moves a lot and I still feel like I am swaying with the twists and turns of the Andes mountains. We got to Chiclayo at 7:30 ish and my comp and I stayed in Remigio Silva, an area in my first zone and we drove right passed my pension and my room and everything in 9 de octubre. It was so sad. Saturday morning we studied for an hour and then we had to go back to the office to drop off our stuff (because we are travellers) and then head to the institute building for the conference. Hermana Wood is training a cute girl from Utah, Hermana Kelly. And Hermana Monson, from my group, is training Hermana Smith (the friend of Whitney Pogue). I finally got to meet her and she is so cute. We were all able to chat for like.... 15 minutes then we all went out as a mission to take a picture. It is the ONLY time we will all be together as a mission. It was pretty cool. Then we had a little meeting before the conference. We sang about 4 hymns, an elder sang a gorgeous song in spanish, Hermana Hebdona and Hermana Waite sang "Sweet Hour of Prayer" in spanish and 3 missionaries shared their testimonies. Then Elder Bednar walked in, but not just Elder Bednar. Elder Bednar and his wife, Elder Soarres and his wife, Elder Godoy and his wife, Brother Stevenson, the presiding bishop, and his wife, and their translators. We literally had a little general conference in Peru. It was sweet. Each couple shared the #1 piece of advice they had for missionaries and then Elder and Sister Bednar took over. He first asked us to share what we learned from the 3 talks we had been studying, then he asked us what we had learned so far in the conference and then we had question and answer time. 

This is what I learned in THE FASTEST 3 hours of my life:
  • The 3rd companion in my companionship HAS to be the spirit.  I need to use this special time as a missionary to really learn how to recognize the spirit because I need to follow Him my whole entire life.
  • I will have a special respect, a special relationship, with my mission president my whole entire life. 
  • I got baptized and made a covenant to stand as a witness of Christ at all times and in all things and in all places. I was set apart June 30 to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I need to take EVERY opportunity to testify of Him and in doing so I will be more converted. 
  • Faith is everything. It has to do with the past, the present and the future (see Seek Learning By Faith by Elder Bednar).
  • Conversion and testimony are different but they go together. They go hand in hand and are both necessary for the storms of life in these latter days.

What does it mean that God did not give Adam and Eve contradictory commandments? (I asked him that) (the answer is in Moses 3:17 in the Pearl of Great Price). He answered my question so clearly then he said, "Do you understand?" I said, "Yes I do thank you." Then he said, "Are you sure?" I said "Yes." He said, "Okay, I love you and want to make sure you aren't left with the slightest bit of confusion." So ya. Elder Bednar loves me. hahaha

Then Elder Bednar gave an apostolic promise. He said we need to continue as we commenced and we CANNOT stand still. If we do so the Lord will strengthen us and accompany us along the way. 
as Elder Bednar testified at the end I felt the spirit so strong. He didn't just say I testify the Lord lives, he testified of every part of the gospel and I will NEVER forget the feeling I had. 

I am so blessed to have been here in Peru Chiclayo for this special conference and I am so so grateful for the answers I received. I know that each Apostle and the Prophet are called of God. Christ leads and guides this church.

Love you all!
Hermana Pilling

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Power of a Companion

Hey everyone!  I hope all is well at home.  I had a good week, even though I wasn't with my companion for a lot of it.  Almost 1/2 our transfer together we haven't been able to work because Hermana Avila was in Lima, she and I were sick, now she is sick, we went to Chiclayo. So it's been a rough start here in opening the area. We contact a lot and we ask EVERYONE for references. The less actives are hard to find in their houses but we are doing our very very best. We really do love the area. I like feeling the heat but I don't like feeling the sweat run down my face like tears. That is just gross. But I am getting used to it I guess. 

Happy birthday again to my 16 year old brother last Monday! I thought about him til I went to sleep!

Tuesday after our district meeting we had exchanges.  I went to Morro solar with Hermana Hebdon who was with me in my last area when we did everything together. It was fun being her comp for the day! I learned again of the importance and power behind the scriptures. 

Then Wednesday Hermana Avila left for Chiclayo because she had to do her visa paper stuff in Lima. I went to Miraflores with Hermana Daza, she is from Columbia. I loved being with her too! I learned from her too and the way she teaches. One thing a member said who was accompanying us is that I don't just want to be there throughout my life. I want to LIVE my LIFE. And really LOVE every second of it. Which I feel like I already do.

Thursday we were back in my area, Sister Daza and I. We had a good day with lots of lessons. I really realized that all sister missionaries are great and I can teach with anyone but that no missionary is as great as your own companion. I really really missed Hermana Avila. Even though Hermana Daza was great and fun too. Just not the same as my dear Chilean daugther. hahaha 

Friday we went back to Miraflores. We planned in the morning alone which was weird and oh so boring. At about 5 my daughter finally came home! HALLELUJAH! hahaha It was just a relief. That night we had a ward activity. Robert and Mily came and we watched The Testaments. If you haven't seen it, perfect FHE. I cried. It was exactly what I needed to see that day. I know that Jesus came to America  and I KNOW that He will come again. He is the Prince of Peace and my loving Saviour. I can't wait to touch his hands and feet. 

Saturday we were able to teach Juana! The oldie we found at the beginning of time. She cried in her prayer and just said she feels full of joy when she listens to our lessons or reads the Book of Mormon. We got so excited to invite her to baptism and then she said her daughter is about to have her baby and Juana is going to go to Chiclayo to help out in the house for THREE MONTHS, so we didn't invite her. ugh. one day. Patience is needed. 

We have an investigator named Isela. She actually has come to church for 6 weeks now but she lived on the other side of town out of our area. Then she moved into the Elders´ area. Then she separated form her boyfriend and the elders can't teach her so we get to! She didn't even have a Book of Mormon yet so we were able to give her her book and invite her to baptism. She said yes! And then I was prompted to invte with a date but i didnt have a calender at all and i didnt know what to say so i closed my eyes and used my magic powers and said will you be baptized the 19th of September? The spirit was so strong and she said I can't say yes for sure yet. We asked why and she said she doesn't want to fail God. We reminded her of how she feels when she prays. She told us she really knows it is the true church. It's funny how fear throws everyone off. We are going to keep helping her prepare and everything. I know she will be ready! She has a cute little 4 year old daughter. I just love Peruvians!

Well it looks like my time is up.
Friday we travel to Chicayo and Saturday from 11-2 we will be with Elder Bednar. I can't wait to share it all with you!

I am happy as can be and don't EVER want to leave Peru.... but maybe I will leave in less than 4 moths to be home for Christmas.... :) :D

Love,


Hermana Pilling