Monday, May 25, 2015

Happiest place on earth

Today we went to the mission home and president was telling my comp and I about how he met his wife and their first date and their engagement.  Since he was an institute director he also went off about preparing for eternal marriage.  He was talking about how fun marriage was and how important it is.  It was so so so comforting because lately I have been worrying that I will get depressed when I get home. The mission is literally the happiest I have ever been in my life. I am so so so so so full of joy! But when he was talking, I just knew that getting married is so important and that I will be happy with my husband, whoever he may be... it was comforting because it was a real fear I've had lately. 
I hope I don't miss the mission a lot. I am scared about it. 

I am just so happy. I love life. Next week we will have news to see if either of us have transfers. I hope not. But we will see. 

I've seen the missionaries that are in my old area, 9 de Octuber and they say EVERYONE still asks when I am coming back or how I am or where I am serving. hahaha My converts are doing good. Elizabeth, the first one that is 67, leaves to accompany the sisters to some of their lessons and said she is just a firecracker. She is so serious with the people and telling them to read every day and just loves the scriptures. hahaha I can completely imagine it. They said that Lola, the 81 year old, is getting more and more sick. Her great grandchildren can't go to church now, their mom got mad, so she goes alone. But she is doing great in the church.  I'm excited to go back and see everyone. I defintely miss 9 de octubre. 

The missionary work is AMAZING. I love my companion.  Sister Waite is just such a hard, humble worker. We had our baptism a week ago and Guillermo and his wife were able to travel to Trujillo with the ward to go through the temple open house. His wife, Jayde, and he had an AMAZING EXPERIENCE. We taught them both (the first formal lesson with the wife present) and she told us that she wants to get baptized. She wants to feel the spirit all the time like she did in the temple. She wants to be sealed in the temple to her husband for forever. She wants to have a testimony of a true church like we do.  She wants to change and she wants to do family history work and save her ancestors. So, we invited her with a fecha for the 13th of June, which is really soon! We have so so much to teach her. But she honestly wants to learn and understand and she is always home so I don't think it will be a problem. We will need a lot of help from the Lord too.  Anyways, I cried.  She is just so ready and I can already tell that their marriage and relationship together has changed. They are happy. They are excited and I am too to say the least :) 

My new favorite scripture is 2 Nephi 2:25. I really do know that MEN ARE THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE JOY! That is what God wants and that is what the Gospel provides. I promise. 

The spirit is the best feeling ever. 
I have sick problems. I don't think it will ever go away. 
I love my companion so much. 
Guillermo and Jayde are so great and I never want to leave them. 
President and Sister Williams are amazing. 

Also, we sang in sacrament meeting with the sisters in our district. We sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer and I haven't felt the spirit that strong in a church meeting in a long time. Music is so powerful!

Also, President is LITERALLY Dad. I can't even begin to explain how much I miss daddy, especially when I am around president. 

Love you!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Guillermo's Baptism

Happy Monday everyone!

Another great week!  Monday night after pday, a photo picnic with the other Hermanas and some seriously needed relaxation, we went out to preach... and we didn't have any success at all.  We also got back to the room and realized we had forgotten our name badges.... coincidence? 

P-Day at the wall

Tuesday we had a lesson with Yenifer, who got baptized last march with Hermana Norton, my first companion, and her friend Rocio.  It was such a cool lesson. Yenifer is so converted to the gospel and has such a strong desire to share it with others.  When she testified to her friend, the spirit was so strong. It was so cool to be there and see that references really work and they are way better than just street contacting. So, if any of you have friends that are you just dying to share the gospel with, JUST DO IT and you will feel the spirit and be so blessed and your friend with be so grateful. 

Wednesday we had the multi-zone conference. more notes to follow

Thursday we went to the chapel for Guillermo's baptism interview. Elder Allgaier, our district leader, said it would be maybe 20 minutes. Ya, well they were in there for an hour and I was honestly starting to get worried but, everything is all great.  He was so excited and we asked Elder Allgaier how it went and he said Guillermo just went off a couple times about fish and politics, but that he has a lot of faith and he's going to be a good strong member.

Friday we taught Guillermo one more time as an investigator. We just reviewed everything and shared our testimonies again. He prayed and in his prayer, he said that he has never been so sure in his life about something he can't see is true. I feel the spirit more and more every time we go visit that old man. 

Saturday was his baptism. Details to follow. 

Okay so the zone meeting. First off, Hermana Williams's spanish is so good. She has improved so much. I am so proud of her :) The only Latinos she ever talks to are the missionaries on the phone when they have health problems really. She doesn't have the opportunity to leave and talk to people like we do, but she sounds great, honestly.  Hermana Williams taught about the scriptures. D&C 11:21 "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men". She talked about how we need to study the scriptures, love the scriptures, treasure the scriptures and use them in every lesson because they have the power to convince! 
She also said, "We, as missionaries and as members of the church, need to trust God. We cannot trust someone we do not know and we cannot know God if we don't study and treasure the scriptures." I too testify to that. 

Sister Williams and Sister Waite

President taught us all about Jacob chapter 5. It was AWESOME... and too much to send home.  At the end he got emotional and forgot to speak spanish, hahaha.  He said, "Thanks for hanging in there when you were all alone, and when you had 40 investigators and not a single one progressed to baptism. Thanks for hanging in there when you can't seem to find the strength to go on." It was pretty powerful. I am so grateful for president and for his wife, for there love and guidance and prayers and teachings. What would I do without them? 

Okay, now about GUILLERMO'S BAPTISM. His wife has listened to maybe 2 of our lessons. She is always really nice and participates but is Catholic, like the rest of the Peruvian world. The day before his baptism she walked in and asked us if we thought he was really prepared for baptism. We told her yes, he keeps all his commitments, he has faith, he's been to church every Sunday since the first one, and he meets all the requirements found in D &C 20:37 (I think). She left and we asked Guillermo how he felt. He said he honestly felt good. Saturday,  Guillermo and his wife, Jayde, showed up at 4:40. Our ward mission leader gave them a tour of the chapel and then they got changed. Afterwards we took photos and then started the service. The messages were great. The  four of us sister missionaries sang, which was beautiful because Sister Waite and Sister Hepdon have amazing voices, and then we went to watch the baptism.  Right before we got to the font, Guillermo's youngest daughter showed up with her boyfriend. She is 25 and her boyfriend kind of looks like Robert Downey Jr. hahaha. Anyways, he got baptized and it was all good!  Then we watched How to Find Faith in Christ while we waited.  He then shared his testimony and it was literally a perfect testimony. Sunday he was confirmed and I still feel an extra spirit with me. I am so grateful for him and his example and everything he has taught me. He also says that I look like my brother Cale. It was a great week!

Hermana Pilling

Guillermo's Baptism

Monday, May 11, 2015

Post Skype Fail

Hola Family,

I was sooooo happy last night when I got to skype with you.  I am bummed you guys didn't enjoy it all that much.  (Note from Clair's Mom: this was because it didn't work.  We just saw a blurry, long haired blondie with a big smile on her face).  I wish you could at least see me but that's okay. I do know you think I am great and perfect which are both so NOT true hahaha.  I do wonder if you read my emails sometimes because I never get replies specifically about these people and experiences.  I never worry about meeting your expectations like before. Everything is good there.  It didn't make me trunky at all to hear Tyler.  It was weird, I just feel like it was normal. I was expecting things to be so so so so different but everything was the same. You and Dad and Joe and Cale and Ian. Joe has a deeper voice but you all look like you guys so that was comforting. I am just so excited for the mission and the time I have left. Sometimes I worry because it has literally just gotten better every transfer and I don't think it is possible to just keep getting happier until the end of my mission. Maybe I will have a hard time here soon but I don't know. I have 5 1/2 transfers left, which is maybe 2 more comps and 1 more area. Who knows though.

It would be nice to get more letters but whatever. I get Auntie Kerri's regularly and I take pics of your emails and reread them sometimes. I really am happy and feel your love and support. It would be nice getting spiritual insights from all of you, like your testimonies and what you liked about church and such as.

YES, Cale talked about Guillermo at seminary! That is so great. I'm glad you got my letter. Have you gotten a lot? I hope they are good. It's so much easier for me to write everything; all the details about these crazies and such in a letter. It's fun. I like it.  I hope you guys enjoy it too.

I have little cards. I am going to write more and send a package home within the next 2 months. 

I miss you too mommy. You are going to LOVE the next letter you get! It is just for you and you should get it soon. It was for Mother's Day, but oh well. 

Thanks for your email daddddyyyy!  To be honest, I haven't teared up or cried yet. It's really helpful having a baptism to try to plan this weekend. But I do love and miss you all a lot and I am so grateful for the time we had to chat. The spanish was HILARIOUS. I loved hearing your crazy pronunciation. It was very entertaining.

I uploaded a bunch of pictures.  I hope you like them!

Love you all,

Hermana Pilling

Tyler's b'day package and...

Momma's b'day package.

Scripture cases with the shoemaker member.

Monsefu Cilclayo for some Peruvian trinket shopping (it's a secret).

Clair's first photo as a 20 year old!  Hermana Waite gave her 20 things for her birthday :)

Hermana Waite, and Clair with Hermana Kotty, an investigator.

Clair with Suzett.  This was one of Clair's 4 birthday cakes of the day!

Hermana Sonia bought Clair a tres leches cake that they at the church with the elders, and Julio, Isabel, and their family.  This was the missionary's last meal with members, as now they eat strictly with pensionistas.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shortest post ever... but just one more week!

Hi Everyone!
Thank you all for the birthday cards and letters and all the 30+ birthday emails from my friends and family. I felt the love and I had a very great birthday. 

I don't have time to say much about the week but I just wanted to express my gratitude to each of you. 

I know that the church is true. I know that Christ lives and that he died for each of us. The power of the atonement is so real to change each of us, no matter what our struggles are.  I know that He loves each of us. I know that his church has been restored. Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. He did so much for us. I know that the gospel is THE ONLY THING that each of us needs to have true joy in this life. It's an amazing gift. I know this church is true and I love it with all I've got. 

Thanks again! Love you all!

Hugs and kisses to everyone,

Hermana Pilling

*Note from Clair's mom:  She did send another email to me that was a little more personal, but she didn't say anything about her week.  She just told us what time we get to talk to her next Sunday and the magic time is 4:30!  We're so excited.  Because we get to talk to her next week, we'll forgive her for not writing more today.  Brad also received a short email, but it was in spanish and I'm not sure what it says, so I'm not going to post it just in case it's too personal.  Those two have several private jokes between them and you never know!  Looking forward to next week!