Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Little miracle from Heaven

One year ago today was my farewell talk. Crazy! Then I had all those goodbyes that were so hard. Honestly, I don't know why they were so hard. a year and a half is no time at all. I'll be home before you know it. But I do miss you all dearly and I am grateful for the prayers, the letters and the emails of support and encouragement. I always need them. Then I had an awesome MTC experience where I learned so much and grew and made awesome friends. Then I went to my beloved home of 9 de Octubre. I was there with Hermana Norton, Hermana Brito and then trained Hermana McCally there. I am so grateful for each of those sisters and for the members and the less actives and the investigators that I had in those 7 months. I learned so much and I know that God placed me there with those companions for a reason. They made me the missionary that I am today!

Then I had my first transfer. And a hard one too. I got here to San Felipe with Hermana Waite. We were such a great companionship if you ask me! I loved teaching with her and learning with her. Our investigators and our moments together were powerful and now I have Hermana Wood. Hermana Wood and I are the dynamic duo of the decade. I love teaching with her. I can honestly say that my Heavenly Father knows me and what I have needed to learn and who has needed my talents in this last year. It's been a huge blessing and an amazing experience to be here in Peru. I have finished the Book of Mormon. I have finished Preach My Gospel. I have learned so much about the atonement, personal revelation and prayer, patience, charity and humility. I am a changed woman and I LOVE the Gospel. 

So this week we had a cool experience. Last Thursday we were walking to an appointment and I turned to my comp and said, "Lets cross the street so we can knock on that door."  So we did. And we knocked on this random green house and I pulled out a contact card and was about to give it to her and she opened the door all the way and said, "Come in." This week on Tuesday and then on Friday we visited her and she is a little miracle from heaven. She has 2 boys, 7 and 8 years old. She told us she never opens up for people and she did to us.  Then she said that she doesn't feel like God loves her, like he has abandoned her. That is probably the hardest thing for me to hear because I FEEL THE LOVE HE HAS FOR HIS CHILDREN and it is immense. And it is for every single one of us. Anyways, we told her that God hasn't abandoned her because he sent us and we told her about last week and how we randomly decided to cross the street. She cried and we just promised her that we have exactly what she needs. We gave her a Book of Mormon and taught all of lesson one. She always has really good questions and she has already noticed that she feels the spirit when we come. Oh, and her name is Miluska and she is so great. We are so so excited for this little miracle. 

Hermana Williams came with us to teach Hermana Jayde. It was a great lesson on repentance, I loved it. Her prep is going well and everything is set for her baptism on Saturday. 

Just wanted to share: 
Acts 13:52 and the disciples were filled with joy and with the holy ghost. 
I am so filled with joy. And with the holy ghost. I love the mission. I can't believe I am home in less than 6 months. I am just going to live it up and enjoy every moment.  Today we went to eat at a really nice Chinese place with President and Sister Williams to celebrate our 1 year, because they have the same. I love them.  

Everyone needs the gospel and we really have such an intense responsibility to teach the gospel in such a way that they will realize it is true and it is what they need. It's all laying on the shoulders of us 18, 19,. 20, 25 year old missionaries. God must really trust us. 

The mission really is amazing and if I had to pick 3 things I have really learned it is 1. The power and the need of the atonement for EVERYONE. 2.  Preach My Gospel is the best and teaching PEOPLE instead of lessons is so important. 3.  Every comp and investigator I have had makes me who I am. God has a perfect plan for my mission. 

Thanks again for all of your support.

Hermana Pilling

Monday, June 22, 2015

Exhausted, but joyful

The time is literally just flying by. I cant believe it's been a year. I am going to be home before I know it and I don't think I'm okay with that. I have been REALLY really exhausted lately though. A year with the same clothes is tiring. A year of walking 7 miles a day is tiring. A year of constant gospel focus is GREAT but it also seems to be more tiring. I have to really push it and focus this last 6 months. I'm so excited for everything though. I can see the little miracles every day and I am so excited to work with the Lord to bring more people to Christ. 

I SENT A PACKAGE HOME. And I got to the post office and I didn't know the new address. So I sent it to the Steed's house and they should get it within 3 weeks... I hope. :)

This week we had the blessing and the privilege to watch the broadcast of the youth cultural celebration and then attend the temple dedication sessions the next day. President Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar came down and we attended all 3 dedicatory sessions and it was beautiful. President Uchtdorf was trying to talk to the kids and just kept talking in English and it was funny because they didn't understand but he was trying so hard. It was cute. I loved seeing all the different typical dances and performances and being inspired and uplifted by the messages given on Sunday. I have realized that having a temple less than an hour away is a huge blessing and I need to go way more often. There are some Peruvians that are making the sacrifice to go once a month. It's 3 hours away and costs 30 soles, which is only 10 bucks but for a Peruvian that is like 2 weeks worth of breakfast meals. I need to definitely go more often. I have realized that the sacred work we do for the dead in the temples is such a blessing and it's all thanks to the restoration of the gospel. I am so ready to get going on family history work. The temple is where we need to be so that others can be with their families forever. I have realized that the spirit is the best feeling in the whole world. I sat in the chapel and listened to Mormon Tabernacle Choir for half an hour before the dedication and I felt the love of God. I felt the spirit testify of this marvelous work that I am doing. I felt so JOYFUL to be here in Peru. I also realized this weekend that I am so proud to be a missionary in Peru. It's been such a blessing. 

I absolutely love you all and I hope and pray that everyone is in good health and is happy and is praying. Prayer is the greatest blessing God has given us-AFTER the life and atonement of His only begotten son. 


Hermana Pilling

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

More Personally Converted

This week was another toughy.  We REALLY need some new investigators.  We are trying to be more efficient with our contacts, to contact more, and especially to work with the members more.  Hopefully this week we can find some golden investigators.  This week we just walked A LOT.  I swear everyone went into hibernation, but they didn't.  It was just so hard, but we were happy, of course.  We made homemade pizzas with Guillermo and Jayde. We watched Mormon Messages with a recent convert, one called My New Life, and I cried.  

The investigators we do have are doing great.  We passed Jose over to the Elders.  He came to church again and I think he will get baptized.  I really think it's a smart move to have the Elders teach him now. I think he is doing well.

Jayde came BY HERSELF to a ward mission night we had.  Her husband was working and she just showed up, which is huge.  She also stayed for all 3 hours of church all by herself because her husband left for a family emergency.  This week we are hoping to finalize her fears and doubts and put a fecha bien firme.  I have so much love for her and Guillermo and their kids.  

Miriam is a reference that is kind of just mind boggling.  She read the first 3 lessons and answered all the questions with the scriptures at the back.  She started reading the Book of Mormon and has prayed and knows it is true and has already read up to the end of Mosiah.  She is starting to change and feels more of the spirit in her home.  She wants to get baptized and it has all happened in just over 2 weeks.  

I love seeing the gospel continue to change people's lives.  I have been deeply studying Preach My Gospel my whole mission and I finally finished!  The last section, the very last paragraph talks about staying active in the church and I feel more and more personally converted to the gospel every single day.  I see it in others as they read the Book of Mormon and as they find out more of the little golden truth treasures in the gospel.  It's the best ever!

Thanks for all of your support!

Hermana Pilling

This is where we live

Sister Wood and I with a ward missionary

Jayde and Guillermo with their homemade pizza they made us!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Canadian Companion

This week was so so so weird.  We felt odd and useless until we thought back at all the great lessons and experiences we had. 

President showed a video at the change meeting that is about the atonement and missionary work.  It's by Elder Holland and the video is great. It's been the one talk to motivate me during my mission.  It's just amazing.  I am so grateful for the atonement and I, as a missionary, need it more than you'd think.  I love it so much. 

Then President called Hermana Waite, and she got sent to JAEN where it is really hot but really green and I've just heard it is pretty.  Then they called a girl and she stood up and President said, "Zona Chiclayo Peru" and I instantly knew she was my new companion.  I started crying and jumped up and ran to her.  MY COMPANION IS SISTER WOOD FROM CARDSTON  ALBERTA CANADA!  Another gringa. hahaha It's funny because Dad was certain I was going to have my latina.  But ya no. I am so happy though. God really does know exactly what we need and with everything that happened last week on pday, I just know we were meant to be together.

Hermana Wood is so great. It's awesome not having to explain Banff or Waterton or anything Canadian and to hear someone else say washroom or parkade. hahaha She is also so outgoing. She knows the investigators and she talks and is super friendly with them and I just love it!  We are a powerful teaching team. I am so excited for this transfer.

We sang Come Thou Fount in spanish at the baptism with the other sisters and it's so pretty. Here are the words in spanish for anyone that can understand them. It's prettier in spanish than in english.  Its meaning is a little different. 

"Fuente de mis bendiciones, ven y afina el corazon 
compasion que nunca cesa, engendra mi cancion. 
un soneto enseƱame por la lengua celestial
hazme firme en tu monte, eterno manantial.

Mi voz levatare por tu ayuda al llegar, 
y seguro en tus brazos morare en tu hogar
errante yo estaba y jesus me encontro
con su sangre derramada del dolor me rescato.

Mecesito que me ligues a tu vida celestial
este corazon errante se apronta a desviar
y me alejo yo lo siento abandono a mi dios
tomame mi corazon y a tu monte sellalo.

I didn't put all the accent things in, sorry. But the lyrics seriously saved me this week. I love them soooo much.

Guillermo blessed the sacrament this week. It was perfect. 

We ate lasagna and apple pie with our ward mission leader and his family on Saturday. It was delicious.

I love the mission so much and I feel so motivated and so eager. I have so little time left and I owe so much to my saviour. I am so grateful for all your prayers.  I really felt them this week. 

Hermana Pilling

Monday, June 1, 2015

When missionaries get sick...

Hey everyone.  It was an up and down week for me. 

Jayde is doing great. We've decided to wait until the end of the month for her baptism; just because it's harder to teach the lessons with her. She broke her glasses so she hasn't been able to read the folletos.  She isn't as smart as Guillermo so understanding these COMPLETELY new non-catholic concepts is harder for her. 

Some interesting things to note:
Nevada means snow covered in spanish. 
Las vegas means the tobacco plantations in spanish.

Tuesday we had 3 lessons go through IN THE MORNING. This is a miracle. and they were great lessons!  One with Blanca, who knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet and CAN'T wait to read the Book of Mormon. Another with Zamira. Well, she isn't progressing quite as much but she wants to understand our point of view.  She's attentive and really really nice.  I love her.  The other one was a reference from the stake president, and those are always golden!

Wednesday I got letters from grams that had socks in them. I am always in need of socks! And I got 2 letters from you mommy. One all about the youth conference and your experience. I had no idea so thank you so much. What a cool experience. It would be life changing if these Peruvians could have experiences like that. LIFE CHANGING. Count your blessings. The other letter from you was the reply to the mothers day letter I sent you, which was absolutely amazing! I have read it many times.

We also had intercambios.  I stayed in the area with Hermana Gonzales, who was my sister leader when I was in 9 de Octubre too. She's great. 

Thursday after intercambios, Hermana Williams came out with us. I LOVE HER. I have been so blessed to have this time with her. She's been my mommy out here in Peru. She's a great person. We taught 2 lessons with her and it was amazing.

Friday I got sick, but we stayed out all day.  At 9:30 I got right into bed. 

Saturday I was sick. We stayed in.  I honestly don't think my digestive system will ever be normal. We watched 10 movies/videos. I gained a testimony, or was reminded of my testimony, of the pioneers, Joseph Smith, Christ's sacrifice, and the power of prayer. I love this church so much.

Sunday I was still in bed. Real sick with the tummy wummy. This time we listened to conference talks on Hermana Waite's ipod. I listened to The Atonement: After All We Can Do by Brad Wilcox and Mom, you're right, it was amazing!  It changed my perspective on that scripture which is one I have on my wall.  

Well, we also found out that my comp has transfers. It's super sad, especially with all the success we are having in our area. I am going to really miss her support and her friendship and her spiritual strength. She has helped me more than anyone can imagine. 

Next week I will let you all know if I have a latina companion or not. 
Oh also, I have been out here for 11 months! CRAZY. I'm loving the mission I love the lord. 


Hermana Pilling

Clair being her crazy self

Clair "with the girls" at church