Monday, January 26, 2015

2 Things I Have Learned So Far

Hi Family,

The truth, I don't really miss you guys. If I look at your photos and try REALLY REALLY hard I can make myself cry. But I am in Peru and I'm just a missionary so that's okay. 

In our district meeting this week we talked bout the commandments. We started by asking, ¨Who are you?¨ the answer being children of God. Then, ¨What does that mean to you, to be a literal child of our Heavenly Father?¨ It really made me think! We talked about how if we really understand this relationship we would be 100% obedient to the commandments. John 4:5 and John 15:14 were our main scriptures. It was super cool to think about it all.  It made me think about what it says in the bible dictionary about prayer and learning our true relationship with God. It is so great and I love learning. 

This week we had interviews with President and Sister Williams!
Sister Williams asked me some questions: 
1. How did you adjust so quickly and easily? 
2. What is your favorite part of the missionary work?
3. What are 2 things you have learned so far?
4. Have you even had any hard days?
5. How is training sister McCally?

These were hard to answer! Some things she said were:

-I can't just say it was thanks to my trainers because some sisters go home and they aren´t as ¨natural¨ at teaching as I am. So it must be  part of who I am. 
-That I am progressing and growing so much. 
-That she will not let me go to the Cajamarca mission hahahaha hallelujah! 
-I said that I have had a solid total of 2 hard days in the mission. Two. Just two. hahaha She made some jokes about that because it´s so few. hahaha 
-I said 2 things I have learned about are; faith and that Heavenly Father REALLY knows each of His children and loves them each individually. 

Then with President, well basically I was talking to Dad. I am being serious. He is so much like my fatherrrrrr. He didn't ask any questions just talked and said that I should never do anything stupid and how he just loves strictly obedient missionaries. He expressed his love for me and how he worries about his sister missionaries, especially the gringos. He told me to try my best to look ugly every day. Then we had a special moment. He said, ¨I am praying for you guys and... I don't know if this is doctrine, but I think God has your great grandpa and great grandma and other loved ones watching over you and they are so so so grateful for the chance to be a part of your life.¨ We were both in tears and it was super cool. I love President so much. 

I DON´T HAVE CAMBIOS (transfers).  I am going to be here until the exact day that I will have been here for 7 months. My first and only area! I am excited and it should be a good transfer :) 
Sunday, President and Sister Williams also came to our ward. I bore my testimony, because I really felt like I needed to. It was a really good Sunday. Next week we have stake conference. 
I love the movie The Testaments!

Love you so much! 

Sister Pilling

This was on Halloween, but I didn't get it until December.

Some of the missionaries Clair serves with (or used to serve with).

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Love the Old People and They Love Me

We had a lesson with Elisa, this menos activo that we recently started to teach.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and at the end it was quiet for a moment and I had the impression to tell her that she is a very special daughter of God and that He loves her. I said it to her and she teared up and expressed her gratitude for our time and efforts to help rescue her. It was pretty amazing. 

We are teaching another menos active who is like 60 ish and I don't know why, but the oldies here and I are just getting along really great! They are so awesome and I love them. She started reading her Book of Mormon again and she is already in Mosiah! 

We are teaching ANOTHER menos active who is 30, Veronica, and every single lesson when we ask if she has any questions or comments she just says, "well only that I know that this is true." hahaha She's so great and I really really have learned a lot from her and she is a huge example for me. 

We taught Liz and Piero a couple of times this week and every lesson we end up talking about faith. We got a text message from Piero Friday night that said, "Thanks to you guys and the scriptures my faith is getting a slap to the face!" hahahaha I laughed pretty hard.  He has more faith than everyone I know and still feels like he's nothing. What a humble man.  I love these people! 

We also worked with ward council and were able to buy reading glasses for Hermana Lola, the 81 year old recent convert.  We gave them to her before church on Sunday and to hear her singing and see her reading and everything just brought me SOOO much joy.  They don't have any money, they never eat breakfast for lack of money, and she just wants to read the Book of Mormon.  What an amazing example of being focused on the right things in life.  Mind you, eating is important. 
Speaking of eating.... it's so hot and our pensionista gives us ice-cream or popsicles everyday........ 

We did an FHE with a family on the talk by Tad R. Callister and I cried for one of the first times in a lesson. I am eternally grateful for my parents and the things they have taught me about the gospel, about prayer, for the quality time they spent with us kidlets and everything!  I am who I am thanks to my parents! I LOVE YOU GUYS! 

We got new mattresses because we haven't been sleeping well.  I have back pains, and we have the oldest mattresses in the mission (like 15 yrs old or something).  So we had our old ones and nothing to do with them! I asked one of our less actives if she could use them and without hesitating she said yes.  And then I told her we had 2 and she said, "WOW thank you so much!" That just goes to show what the living conditions are like out here.  We are very blessed as missionaries to have nice mattresses and hot water. 

Friday was our 1 month anniversary together (Sister McCally and I) and it was so so so so fun! I don't even know why but I just made my companion laugh so much and hearing her laugh and seeing her happy made me so happy :) 

I also love the song "In Our Lovely Deseret" in spanish.  It isn't very pretty in english but in spanish it's the best and it's super catchy. It's stuck in my head ALWAYS! It's a favorite of the members here too... 

I invite you all to read John 14:13-14, Alma 34:17-27 and do the personal activity in Preach My Gospel page 95 or ask yourself, how is my communication with my Heavenly Father going?  I am learning a lot about the importance of sincere, faithful prayer.  It's so so so so important.  We are so blessed to have prayer, the opportunity to talk with God.  It's awesome! 

I love you all and I hope that this week is also great! Next week I will have news about transfers....... ahhhh!


Hermana Pilling

Monday, January 12, 2015

Tuesday Hermana McCally got sick with a stomach infection and was sick all night and day, so we stayed in.  I studied and read talks and studied and read more conference talks! 

Wednesday we went to the doctor where they told us it was a stomach infection and got some antibiotics for her and she is now on a strict diet.  I listen to my music and I am kind of sick of it. hahaha I started  getting bored but I tried not to waste time. We tried to go on divisions but we couldn't find 2 sisters to help us out. 

Thursday was more jail time in the room. hahaha I was full on crazy by this time. I would take the broom or something and perform with the Mormon Tabernacle choir and came up with a few dance moves too. hahahaha I hope you can all imagine me doing so. 

Friday we had our zone training. It was a "motivating for the new year, lets be better" meeting and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I got a letter from Tyler and one from Sister Sherilee Cameron from the stake young women's. Wow hey? So kind and thoughtful. 

We had a super cool lesson with a less active on Saturday, Eliza. Her brother has left the church and gone anti and attends at the MMM church.  We contacted her one day and she invited us over. So we went and talked to her.  She's about 45, and her daughter was there too who's 22.  We talked about their story! I love asking people about their conversion stories, especially the less actives to help them remember how special the experience was for them.  We talked about that and then reviewed lesson 1 and really focused on Joseph Smith.  Eliza seemed to be really thinking after I talked about the first vision so I asked what she was thinking and she said, "I just wonder what it would be like to get an answer like that from God".  We talked about that for a little bit. Then towards the end of the lesson she started to tear up and told us how the gospel CHANGED her life. It was so cool. She talked about her smoking and drinking habits and how she studied her scriptures every day and then one day she tried to smoke and her body reacted badly and she was sick and everything! Just like with Ming in the District videos! hahahaa She shared her testimony about the Atonement and it was so so so so cool. It was a really cool lesson. We are excited to start working with her and helping her out. 

Sunday we got kicked out of our district. Our district is 10 people and we got kicked out and we are in a new district now. It's really sad. I've been in that district forever! But it's okay. My new district leader is hilarious. He is from Ecuador and from one of the tribes where they have traditions to grow out their hair.  He has hair to his hip that he puts in a pretty braid. I am actually really jealous of his hair. He's hilarious though! 

Now for my studies this week. I love the conference talks. So much. I was studying about the role of the spirit in conversion and read 2 Nephi 33:1 which talks about how the spirit will carry the truth to the hearts of your investigators.  Conversion is a change of heart! As it says in the bible dictionary: conversion: changing one's views in a conscious acceptance of the will of God. Conversion changes a natural man into a sanctified, born again, purified person. Complete conversion comes after many trials and much testing.

I love that! I think that our ward really lacks true conversion. Sometimes I have to ask myself if I am really truly converted (don't worry, I am). In the book "True to the Faith" it says that conversion comes from "the Savior's atonement and the power of the holy ghost" and I know that that is true! I am so grateful for the atonement and for the Holy Ghost and it's guidance in my life. I am so grateful for the scriptures which teach us of examples of conversion (like in Mosiah 27:25-26). I also studied 1 Cor 12:3. and about the importance of the spirit. I am trying really hard to work on having the spirit with me in my lessons and at all times! 

I showed my family picture album to a less active yesterday and she thought that grandma was my aunt and that Cale was older than me and that Chase was Peruvian. hahahahahaha

Love you all!
Enjoy the cold :) Enjoy the snow, which I miss so very much!


Hermana Pilling
Clair with her previous district... the one they just got kicked out of.

Not sure who this is, but I'm pretty sure she's not one of Clair's companions.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Finally Some Photos

This is a post just from me, Clair's mom.  Apparently Hermana Pilling has a hard time downloading her photos from the computer they use on P-days.  So, she sent home a USB with all of her photos.  We were so happy to finally get some photos!  The only bad thing is, we don't know what the pictures are about, except for the obvious ones.  I have many more photos, so I'll start putting them in her regular posts, even if I don't know much about them.

The reason she has this note and balloons is because her area is called
9 de Octubre and that's also my birthday so they had a little party at her pensionista's that night.
We're assuming this is a photo of her pensionista.  This is her last companion who just went home, Sister Brito.

Another one with Sister Brito.

I wish I could tell you who these people are.

Does this photo really need a caption??

Our happy daughter wishing us a Merry Christmas.

She did mention that she LOVES this dress and wears
it all the time.  She wishes she had another one just like it.
We bought it at Superstore, so if anyone ever finds one like it
please let me know!

I'm pretty sure this is Christmas Day.  I wish I knew their names.

She's one happy missionary!

One more of Hermana Pilling and Hermana Brito. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Power of Faith

Okay. It has been like 4 days since we wrote so I don't have many new things to say. We had a first lesson with a sister named Serefina. She looks like she's going to have a lot of potential! But we'll see. We've got the faith. It's kind of funny because our baptism and our prospective investigators are all widowed sisters or single moms. Our relief society is big and strong and our Elder's quorum is 5 men. 5, that's all.  Wow. 

Today was p-day and a member came with us to El Centro to print photos and send letters. I sent a lot of letters so check your mail boxes! I sent them ALL over the world too, which is super cool.
 I am so grateful for the members in this ward and the friendships we have because I would be lost without them. I saw one of the elders from my group in the MTC and the first thing he said was, "Hermana Pilling, oh my goodness you're training! How are you doing it?" hahahaha News travels fast I guess. No one believes that I am training. Especially because I haven't had a Latina companion yet and I'm training a North American. It's so fun though! 

So, I'll tell you about my studies since I have nothing else to say.  I have studied chapter 3, lesson 5 in Preach my Gospel about temples and family history work. I am so grateful for papa Garlick's conversion story, which I have and for my genealogy chart and for my membership in the church. It's the best ever. I also just love temples. I also studied President Uchtdorf's talk from October Conference 2014 called "Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth" and it is my new all time favorite. It is so good. I have read it 2x already. I have been aware of my testimony and the strength I have received and I am so grateful for the mission. It is so important for  EVERYONE to continue to strengthen their testimonies because a testimony can never be too strong. It's such a good talk! 
Then I studied in Preach My Gospel in chapter 4 today- how to recognize and understand the holy ghost. Today I read about receiving personal revelation and why it is so important in our lives. PMG says that everyone desires spiritual revelation, or something along those lines (pg 90 top of the page), and I have learned that it is so true! It's so cool to see the investigators realize that they are missing something in their lives, something big and important. And it's the gospel! It's the light of Christ! It is hard for me to recognize the Holy Ghost though. I just always have to remember Moroni 7:10-13, 16 and just go with my gut. If it's something good, it's right. 

I have been learning so so so so so so much about faith. One of our investigators, Piero, has an incredible amount of faith! As I study more about it I try to put myself in the shoes of others. For example, the story of Moses and the serpent in Numbers 21:4-9, John 3:14, and Alma 33:19-21 (in that order). What would I do? Would I look?  or Matthew 14:25-33. would I walk out to Christ? Would I start to sink? I am also learning the power of faith and all of the things we can do with faith. It's incredible. I believe there is more power in faith than we realize. 

Well! My time is up! 
I love you all with all my heart and pray for your health and safety at all times. You guys mean the world to me and your emails and letters are fantastic as always! Keep it up with the Dear Elders and SEND ME PHOTOS :) 

melting like a popsicle (and smelling ugly too)

Hermana Pilling

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

HAPPY 2015! And also, happy 6 months in the field to me! How crazy is that? 
Okay. I am going to quickly review everything that happened in the last 2 weeks. 

I sent Hermana Brito home and I miss her terribly. She is a great friend and I love her so so much! 
I have a daughter! I am training Hermana McCally and we've been talking and we totally saw each other at BYU Idaho. She took water aerobics which always started right after my swim team practiced and she was like, "ya the swim team always took so long and then this one girl would always struggle to take the flags down and I always thought she was going to fall in". THAT GIRL WAS ME! What are the chances of that?! 

Then the 20th, Saturday, 3 zones of missionaries all went to this city square place.  We put up a projector and played mormon messages about Christmas and David Archuleta singing with piano guys (I nearly died).  We sang as well for 3 hours and President came.  It was amazing.  It really was just a cool experience to get us all in the Christmas spirit and share the gospel with all the people in that city square place. So so cool! 

Christmas day was so great. A huge shout out to the Rapp's who sent me a Christmas package full of Australian goodness! Also Grandma and Grandpa who sent me an ipad (well, not a real one) and Grams for all the little goodies.  My family and LEAH AND BRIAN as well. Just every one really . I loved talking to my family.  It was great. My favorite though was reading the little story book Leah sent me called The First Nativity. I read it while Hermana McCally talked on the phone. I cried! Go read it. But it just really made me think of Christ and His life and everything and really put me in the Christmas spirit. I am so grateful for Christ and all he did for me and I know that he lives and loves each and every one of us! 

Then my favorite investigators, Liz and Piero, well they can't get baptized now because Piero studies on Sundays and he will be for 4 years so they can't... and it's super sad.  We are working hard still with him and fasting with them to see if there is something else they can do so that they can keep the commandments and get baptized and all that jazz. 

Then we had a meeting for all the new missionaries in the field and I love president so much. He is so so great. Oh and this is what he said to my last email.  I told him when he was leading the music in El Centro that he made me think of my dad and he said, 
"You are doing a great job with your companion.. thank you.. I knew you would be a great trainer.. Bueno.. the greatest compliment.. that at times I remind you of your dad!! I am sure he is a GREAT man!!!!" :)  He's so so great and I learn so much from him every time he teaches us. 

My goals for 2015: well I want to finish my mission strong.  I have 1 year left, less than that, and I want to just keep going and keep improving and learning and growing in the gospel. I want to love each and every single one of my companions and I want to write more of my spiritual experiences to you guys. I want to read the New Testament and the Book of Mormon in English and in Spanish as well. 

So to start - this week I studied about tithing and fasting. Fasting is one thing I have learned a lot about in the field and I encourage each of you to fast lunch until lunch this month. Heavenly Father works miracles when we sacrifice.  Also, the manner in which we fast... 3 Nephi 13: 16-18. 

In our district meeting we talked about contacting and how your first impression is so important.  I thought of daddy and everything he's taught me and his genes he gave me to be a people person. I love talking with the people we pass in the streets! 

Well, happy new year to you all.  I hope you all have a great week and I pray and send my love every day!

Hermana Pilling