Monday, July 27, 2015

My mission... my greatest trial and my greatest JOY


This week went better. We finally found the ward directory and we are using that to find less actives and the members. We are hoping to get some good references from the members this week too. The work is coming along slowly but we are working hard with faith and have high hopes for this companionship and for this area. We literally want to be together the rest of my mission. We get along so well.  Mom told me I neglected to tell you her name last week.  My companion's name is Hermana Avila. This week she said, "I like to learn by observing". I literally feel so much pressure to be perfect. hahahaha but that is how it should be. I know I need to be an example in all things. She is learning a lot and I am doing all I can to love her and help her.  The mission is the best.  I am still dying of heat, but 3 days this week it actually wasn't hot at all. The weather here is so weird. 

So you asked about my new pensionista. We pension in a hotel! hahaha.  It's great. She cooks well. The first week we had lots of veggies but this week not really and I've been sick. VEGGIES ARE LIFE. I miss them so much. Veggies here means cucumber, tomatoes and onions. If you are lucky you will get broccoli and carrots. Anyways. she is super sweet. I discovered a new love this week... AVOCADO. I love it so much. Holy cow why haven't I eaten it my whole life? Seriously delish. 

This week my companion asked me what my greatest trial in life has been so far. And I really thought about it. A couple hours later I responded. My mission has been my greatest trial so far. I have been tempted and I have doubted and I have questioned and I have been so close to giving up and it has really tried my faith. I told her how I thought my testimony was complete before my mission, and then I came here and the strength and assurance I have received for my testimony and conversion is incredible! I am so so so grateful for my testimony. Dad wrote me last week and said, - We wouldn't have you doing anything else...and if it means missed opportunities, I would suggest it really just means other opportunities because you wouldn't want to miss your mission experience. -  and this helped me a lot. My mission has shaped and changed me like I never believed was possible. I am so grateful for the mission, for the JOY of the Gospel and for the blessings I receive. I see miracles. I learn new things. I love the people and I am so happy. 

A little about my studies this week:
I was worrying a little bit about my success as a missionary and I read this scripture 
"Yea, I tell thee, that thou mayest know that there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart..."

I know that God knows that I have done all I can. He can see my efforts and the desires of my heart. 
Then I read, 
"Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.
Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?"

This hit me this week. I know that Christ is the Christ. Sometimes I pray and ask for a reassurance and when I read this, I was reminded that I do know. All I have to do is reread my journal or think back to all the many answers I have received, the comfort I have felt in moments of loneliness. I have received the great witness. Then I read,  
"Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail."
This helped me too! I was worrying about going home and falling and trials of life and such as and this scripture, combined with my favorite in Helaman 5:12 just motivates me every day. 

"And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men."

Okay, so I am really tired. Like all the time. And I read this and I realized I need to be diligent.  I will receive an unknown strength that will keep me going until the last possible moment when president calls me and tells me I need so stop because my flight leaves in 2 minutes.... hahaha

This was my personal request to president this week:
"P.S.  I would like to suggest mini fridges for the Jaen missionaries. It would pay off really fast seeing as all I ever want are cold drinks to keep me from getting dehydrated. I feel like no amount of luke warm water will quench my thirst. 

Well, I love you all and I am so so so blessed to be here in Jaen with my awesome companion. I am so happy and I am also missing you all a lot. 
Take care!

Hermana Pilling

My comp and I eating besos de mosa

A cute 3 hair colored braid. This girl is 20 and she is literally as tall as Ian.

Monday, July 20, 2015

New Area, New Companion

So about 4 weeks ago when we ate with President to celebrate my one year, he warned Hermana Wood and I to be preparing ourselves for bigger assignments because 9 Hermanas were leaving and 8 were coming in. Those that were leaving were the good sisters, like trainers and sister leaders. So when we found out I had transfers we just flipped. We would tell the members and they all said I'd be sister leader and Hermana Wood would be training. 

I packed everything up and then we headed out to say the goodbyes. I couldn't say bye to everyone so I chose these 3 families. I don't have time to explain their stories, but it was hard saying goodbye to them all.  When we walked out of Guillermo and Jayde's house, I just started sobbing and I looked back, which is never good... I love that family SO much. 

So then Tuesday morning we get to the change meeting and we are all sitting around. There were hardly any of us because the mission is so much smaller now. President studied Alma 7 with us and then they moved on to the presentation. The newbies all get up and say their names and there were missionaries from the Dominican Republic, Tonga, Utah, Chile, Paraguay, Columbia, Peru and Argentina. So they show a powerpoint. The first sister is up and it shows her country and her temple and her pic and then her trainer's country. It was CANADA. Hermana Wood and I both freaked and everyone was teasing more at Hermana Wood and then it shows the Cardston temple and we both just looked at each other... and then it said FROM DEWINTON ALBERTA AND MY PICTURE SHOWED UP! I AM TRAINING AGAIN.  So I ran over to my little hija who is actually the same height as me and hugged her and then I waited to see what area we were going to, because we had to be opening an area, and WE ARE IN JAÉN! We are in downtown Jaén to be precise. So I sat down and was just freaking out. Hermana Wood is with a latina also who will be finishing this transfer. 
Okay, now about my companion. SHE'S FROM CHILE! I finally have a latina companion and she is also my daughter, it's sweet. There are 32 sisters in the mission now, 16 latinas and 16 gringas. Pretty cool. 

We stayed in the office, ate pizza, she had her interview, relaxed, and at 3 we left for the bus. We then travelled 7 hours to get here to Jaén. Jaén is HOT and it is always that way. hahaha We are in the downtown of Jaen which is interesting! Very different from every other area I have had and everything is HILLS. So many hills. We walk like 4 miles a day at least with like 25 flights of stairs, according to the fitbit. But it's so pretty. I really do like it. I'm just always wet from sweat and it drains energy really really fast. But hey, what can you do?

I don't really like the heat. Well it's okay I guess. I just can't sleep and it drains my energy and I'm constantly sweating. I feel like if I didn't have this awful sweating problem it would be okay but with the genes my parents gave me, I sweat a lot. BUT I know that I'm here for a reason. I absolutely love my companion. President, you received some good inspiration for this one. We are going to do some great things and be best friends. It's amazing. I love training! This is literally exactly what I needed right now to keep me motivated and remind me of my many weaknesses to keep improving. I am so excited! 

So the ward is good, the area is good too. It's weird being in the downtown part but we are learning. It is nice having willing members to show us around. The area book wasn't kept up super well so we are struggling with investigators and stuff, but that will come with time. 

Seriously, my companion is amazing. We are going to do some amazing things here, I can just feel it. I feel so blessed to be here and I am SO HAPPY

The church is so true and I love you all!


Hermana Pilling

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Broken Toe...

So I don't really know what to say. This week was not good for me. It was weird. 
We made pizzas with Guillermo and Jayde on Tuesday and then didn't see them until Sunday.  I missed them so much! Seeing them was a good reminder of the good I have done here because I have been feeling useless. But they both have callings and they are both happy.  They are so eager to go to the temple to do baptisms and also to be sealed in one year. I am so excited for them and this new life. On Sunday when we went and visited them and their oldest daughter, Jeidi, and she was completely interested and wants us to bring her a Book of Mormon!

Homemade pizza with Guillermo and Sister Wood

So, story about how I broke my toe. On Saturday we had the baptism and us 4 girls sang I Like to Look for Rainbows and He Sent His Son, both primary songs, and it was really great.  After the baptism we ate dinner and went to the ward mission night activity. They are called Noche misional. So ya.  The ward mission leader started and shared a scripture and kept talking because the Elders were supposed to come with a video. We called and they weren't actually going to be coming, so we scrambled to get a video going but while they were hooking up the speakers, I was elected to do the half time show entertainment (as I would like to call it). So I was like, fake dancing... like going up on my toes with my arms in the air and little ballet leaps all really funny and everyone was laughing. Then my comp made a comment about my crazy bendy feet and of course everyone wanted to see. So I took off my shoes and did that thing where I walk on the knuckles of my toes, you know?  Everyone was shocked and they all took pictures and stuff.  Then we sat down and watched the video.. it was really good.  It was about the atonement and we talked shortly about that and then we ate the snack. Everyone asked me again if I could go on the point of my toes and walk, and I said no.  They begged me to try with my shoes on. So I did. And I went like 2 steps and then the third step I heard a LOUD CRACK and stumbled and sat down.  Shooting pain and a constant throbbing and it is broken! So that is fun. Hermana Williams just told me to try not to walk on it too much and take mototaxis when possible. So I will be doing that. But DON'T WORRY. I DON'T HAVE TO COME HOME. hahaha. hallelujah. 

Anyways, I have cambios and I am ready. This week was really tough and this companionship was great but the Canadian Dynamic Duo just needs a break I guess. I am so nervous for this cambio, I don't know why. Please be praying for me in my new area and with my new comp. I love you all and I promise to write better next week!

The Church is true. The Book of Mormon changes lives. I love my Father in Heaven so much. Prayer has saved me during my mission. 

Hermana Pilling

The district that is no more

Saying good-bye to Julia

Us sistas

Families Can be Together Forever

I have been studying a Chirstlike attribute ever day. These are the ones I've been studying: diligence, hope, charity, patience, humility, and faith.  I also love these two quotes:
President Monson said, "as we enter through the doors of the temple we leave behind us the distractions and confusion of the world.  Inside this sanctuary we find beauty and order.  There is rest for our souls and a respite from the cares of our lives... the blessings of the temple are priceless."

Elder Teixeira said in his talk Seeking the Lord, "The more we understand the extraordinary role of Jesus Christ in our lives, the more conscious we become of our purpose here in mortality, which is TO HAVE JOY."   

Okay, this week we were teaching Miluska, this girl we spoke of last week, and we were watching the video of the restoration.  It was all good and quiet and then right as Joseph Smith is about to read James 1:5 there is a knock on the door.  It was none other than the Jehovahs Witnesses. Of course. Every single time in my whole mission there is something that happens or distracts or interrupts when we watch that video. Satan knows. 

We taught Nancy one more time before she went off to her home, 24 hours in bus away. So sad. But it was a good last lesson to encourage her to keep going to church and stuff. 

Friday morning we went to the church for Jayde's interview. She passed!

Saturday was the baptism. Jayde came in her nice blouse and it was very modest and in pants, (we are working on the skirt thing) and she looked so great. She and her husband changed into their white clothing and it was so cool to see them together in white. I loved every second. The 4 of us sisters sang I Love to See the Temple and Families Can Be Together Forever.  Hermana Wood cried and it was just so great because their 2 daughters were there and they cried and felt the spirit.  Jayde testified saying her next goal is a temple marriage in Trujillo. I love this family so much and I have no more time but I love the mission. I love the joy of the gospel. I love my companion and it is possible that I have cambios next week. I don't want to. But God knows what I need.

Jayde's Baptism!

Jayde and Guillermo.  I love these two.

Love you and miss you all!

Hermana Pilling