Monday, February 23, 2015

We Moved!

Hi Family,

Another great week!  Tuesday we had new ward council with the stake president and counselor and things are going to get better. They are really going to help the ward out and I am kind of jealous. 

Wednesday we had intercambios and I went to Chiclayo Central with Sister Gonzales from Bolivia. She's 26 years old. hehehe I am just so young. She's also really short. 

Thursday we taught Paula, a new oldie that is just GOLDEN. hahaha I love her to death. She's progressing well. Recently her son got in an accident. He drives buses from here to Lima and got hit by another big truck and was the only one to die. 

Friday we taught Margarita. We found out last week that her doubts were in Joseph Smith. This week we just asked more questions really trying to get to know what it is that is holding her back. I asked her if what we are teaching her harms her and she said "Well I actually start to feel bad when you talk about Joseph Smith or modern day prophets."  Wellll... I left and cried. My companion and I both just felt like it's time to leave her be. She is not ready and is not interested either. She's not putting in her part. It's sad, she's really amazing and I love her so much. !!!

Saturday we taught some of my favorites; Elizabeth, the convert from back in September who is just fantastic and so devoted and CONVERTED.  Also Liz and Piero who will literally be my friends for forever. I love them to death. We gave them the talk by James E. Faust about forgiveness when he tells the story of the Amish people. I hope it will help them with some of their personal problems they have. They are awesome. Also, in the morning. WE MOVED! Our new room is much nicer, but smaller.  We live "with" the bishop and the stake patriarch so that's awesome. They are great families and we are happy. I was sweating so so so so much though during the move.  The elders that were with us asked me if I got my head wet in the shower.... I didn't. I SWEAT SO MUCH. thanks mom and dad :)

Sunday was another awesome Sunday. I felt the spirit so many times. I love the gospel so so so so much! 

We have started to study in preach my gospel about Christlike Attributes. We started with Faith!  It says that faith is NOT doubting and NOT fearing. Then I realized that SO many times throughout the day I say "I doubt it." or "I doubt she'll be home" or something like that. Or I will say, "Oh I am scared to teach them." or "I am too scared to invite them."  And THAT is not good.  So this week I am going to work on avoiding saying those things. I am praying a lot for faith these days. I liked Hebrews 1:11- read the footnotes. And also bible dictionary about Faith. It's so great, and the church is true! 

I got Leah's package and everything is great. The frankensence is working mom! :) Thanks so much!


Hermana Pilling
This is Clair's old room.  I'm not sure why they call it a room and not an apartment.  I think it might literally just be a room. 
Clair really enjoys her yogurt drinks!

Clair with her "daughter".

Bancarios, a rich neighborhood we love.

All sweaty from their move

Their new room!  She says it's nicer.

A picture with Angela

Liz and her kids

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Crazy, only in Peru

So I have to tell you about the garbage. The garbage men drive around and honk a really loud horn and everyone runs out with their garbage. There are one or 2 men in the truck and then 2 or 3 throwing the garbage up and in and then they just stack it up hard core and pack it down. It's quite the adventure. And it doesn't come at normal times, so if we are home and all of a sudden we hear it we scramble to get it all into one bag and outside in time. hahaha

Sister Layton sent me 60 days with the Atonement. It is the best! I love it already.  She's just the sweetest lady ever. I love her. 

Last pday after writing, we played bowling with all of our pop bottles and we didn't have a ball so I thought, what would daddy do? I took some cotton balls, a lot of them, and took my packing tape, and I made a ball!!!!! :) Dad, you would be so proud! The video is too big to send unfortunately, but it's the best. 

Okay. So Tuesday we had a lesson with a girl named Natali. She is so so great and we found her at such a great time too because now she has all these trials and she thanked us for teaching her about prayer and how we really can trust in the Lord. We also took a member with us who just testified of the Book of Mormon and Joseph smith. When Natali prayed, she said thanks for sending Katia, the member, to give her another testimony and witness of this true gospel. THAT WAS SUPER COOL! Also, the member said that a lonnnnngggg time ago her grandpa was a member and he was super active, the only one in his family, and he was super into geneology and family history work. It is the best!!!! 

We had plans to read the conference talk by David A. Bednar directed to non-members with an investigator on Wednesday. We want to help her understand that we aren't forcing her, just inviting her to come and see.  We sat down and I turned to my companion and said we should review Lesson 1. It was such a strong impression. So we started to review lesson 1 and we had some good inspired questions and when we got to Joseph Smith the truth came out. We found her big doubt! She said every time we talk about him or say his name she thinks of the scriptures that warn about false prophets. She doesn't understand how a prophet of God isn't known by everyone in the whole world. We now know what we can study and what we can focus on to help her with this stumbling block. I was so grateful that I followed that prompting.  :) 

So, Friday my companion had to go to Lima for her visa stuff so I went with Sister Dipaz (she looks like Pocahantas) in the area Las Americas.  They share the area with the assistants. It was the first time I have worked in a different area because for intercambios, I have always stayed in my area. Teaching new people, walking new streets and everything was really just super super fun! I also loved talking in spanish the whole time. It kind of made me eager to have a cambio. 

The last and final crazy news. On Sunday our bishopric was released, and NO ONE ELSE WAS CALLED. Our ward is now under the direction and "control" of the stake president. Is that normal or crazy? No one knows why and they didn't even know. Well, the first counsellor didn't know. We have ward council this week and I am very eager to see how things go. 

I was reading Preach my Gospel this morning and I found something I wrote a while ago about diligence. I said think about how hard it is to swim slowly on purpose. It isn't fun! It's the same with work. Everything just goes better if you are trying to be better and work harder! 

Also, I studied the difference between compassion and charity, which was awesome. But I have no time to explain, so look them up some time.

Love you all!
Hermana Pilling
Las Americas, isn't it beautiful!
Garbage duty in Chiclayo
Making our bowling ball
Cute quote from Sister Layton
Wet shirt for the heat and mummy sheets for the bugs
Wet scarf turban and sweaty neck

Monday, February 9, 2015

Blessings Just Keep Coming

Hi everyone,

After the storm comes the rainbow right?  This week was also really hard. hahaha but, Sunday made it all worth it!  Les cuento. 

We had lots of lessons with less actives this week, a lot! 3 of them always say ya I will go to church, I will go to church but then they don't. This week all 3 of them, different families, PROMISED that they would come and it was a big deal to hear them say those words. Each of them has been inactive for about 15 years.  When we got to church, there were literally 25 people there total. Not good.  I don't know what happened but no one was there. I was bummed. We had the sacrament and everything and then they opened the doors and all 3 of those less actives came, 2 other less actives, and 2 investigators!  My companion and I were smiling from ear to ear! 

So the less actives, one of them is named Lucho. He's about 75 years old and just loves working on his little car. He came to the chapel and EVERYONE was shocked to see him. He came in a suit, white shirt and tie too! AND his Book of Mormon and Bible in hand.  He kind of reminds me of grandpa Jack with a cute laugh and fluffy white hair :) He sat down right next to us too. Oh he is so fantastic! His wife said she is going to come this week, so we will see!

This week we also had a multi-zone conference. We talked about the usual obedience and teaching with the spirit, both were really really good. Then we did jeopardy Preach My Gospel and that was super fun too. We finished by breaking down some scriptures. Matthew 16:24, "Then said Jesus unto his disciples" - all of us are His disciples, each and everyone one of us and especially us missionaries. "|f any man will come after me" - meaning that we have the agency to choose to follow him. If we have the desires then we will make the decision to do it. "Let him deny himself" - meaning do the will of God and deny or ignore the natural man in each of us. THIS IS HARD. We are all human.  And "take up his cross" - This was my favorite. Our "cross" could be a burden, a heavy load we are carrying, a weakness, an addiction.  If we take up this burden and put it behind and focus on the Lord and all that good stuff, we will be blessed. Taking up the cross is probably going to be a sacrifice, and it's very very hard to just do it, but we have to remember that it is NOTHING compared to the cross that Christ had to carry. He carried it so willingly because he loves each of us. "And follow me" - we talked about how we are representing Jesus Christ and we need to follow Him in everything and learn to be more like him. Then in Luke 9:23, it says the same thing, but it says take up his cross DAILY. This is the part that really made me think. When I got on that plane to come to Peru more than 7 months ago I left behind a lot, I sacrificed a lot. There are moments where I think, well isn't that enough? But like the scripture in Luke says, we need to take up the cross  EVERY SINGLE DAY and that is where I need to improve. I need to be willing to sacrifice every day on the mission because in reality, 18 months is nothing. It's just a blink in time. Which I believe, this 7 months has FLOWN by.  But I know that I could be better. Thanks to the Atonement, I have the opportunity to be better and to develop Christlike attributes every day and to repent and be forgiven. I am so so so so grateful for my Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ. 

Hermana Pilling
Lola and her 2 great-grandchildren

Me with my favorite less active

The sister leaders

A b'day party for 70 kids... for a 2 year old!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Not the best week...

So, this week was awful.  That´s probably the first and hopefully the only time you will ever hear me say that.  Here's an update on the people we're working with:

Diana and Pedro are our favorite family who are totally golden and have definitely been prepared to hear the gospel.  They are starting work and we can only visit them every 2 weeks for their work visits. It´s awfully sad and I nearly cried. 

Marsha, an amazing mom who is now alone because her 18 yr old moved out, and is separated from her husband, had a family emergency and went to Piura (like 3 hours north, for 2 1/2 weeks). That is just uncontrollable and awfully sad and I nearly cried. 

Margarita, the greatest girl whose name means daisy, told us that she doesn´t want to read the Book of Mormon. We had such a great spiritual lesson and she said no. We tried SOOOOO hard. It was awfully sad and I nearly cried.

Then Rosi and Pedro, the craziest couple in their 60´s, were going to come to stake conference and we were going to set a baptismal date and everything, told us they don´t want to hear anything more of the church. It was awfully sad and I really did cry. 

It is so so so so sad when the people just simply don´t accept the truth when it is placed so perfectly right in front of their faces. It´s so so sad. So that was my week in a nutshell. 

On the bright side........
I have been in the mission for 7 months!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How crazy is that? Time flies when you are having fun is very true, but when you are serving the Lord, it just ZOOOOOOOMS. Seriously! 
This week was also my sweet companion's birthday. It was a fun day. I spoiled her with kind words and service and cards and letters because there is no time to buy gifts or anything. She is 20 and I officially feel like a baby and so inadequate. hahaha 

My english is getting worse and worse. My companion laughs at me all the time when I'm talking and and I start in english and end in spanish or when I can´t think of a word´s meaning in english. hahaha We laugh so so so so so so much together. It´s fun. THE MISSION IS FUN! My favorite thing ever is smiling. And laughing. Especially with the members. I don´t even care if they think I am crazy or silly because the sound of their laughter is like music to my ears.

This week we started studying the chapter from Preach My Gospel on the Book of Mormon.  THE BOOK OF MORMON IS SO TRUE! I am reading it and following a timeline thing I found in the room.  I'm understanding the stories and the doctrines mean so much more to me.  Every day when I read, I cannot deny that it is the most true book on the face of planet earth. It is true! It helps me with every trial and rough time. It teaches me the doctrines in a simple way and helps me understand the plan of salvation and the power of the atonement. This simple blue book has changed me: as Clair, as Hermana Pilling, as a daughter of God. I am so so grateful for the Book of Mormon. 

We had stake conference this week. It was great. Lots of the members, and members form other wards I have met on occasion, have made comments about how my spanish is so so so so good even though I haven´t had a Latina companion. It's the gift of tongues, I am telling you!

From Stake Conference: "Choose wisely and I know these things of myself".  I am so grateful for my time in the mission and the things I've learned.  The great thing is, I have no worries about anything but the gospel and the salvation of God´s children. hahaha But seriously. i don´t like making decisions and the mission doesn't have very many! It´s the best! Also, I'm so grateful for my testimony! I know these things are true for myself and no one can convince me otherwise! 

I love you all, I love Peru and I love the mission! And I miss snow. 


Hermana Pilling