Monday, August 31, 2015

Mission Conference with Elder Bednar

This week was a little rough, but it ended so great!  I don't know what happened this week. Tuesday was so so hard and so hot and my comp and I were a little down in the dumps but we helped each other keep going.  Wednesday came around and things went even worse. The 3 times that members came out with us, no one was home. We were pretty much depressed. Thursday during comp study we were not so excited to go out and preach so I suggested we take time to pray. So we prayed. I haven't prayed for so long in about 8 months now. I was on my knees for a while and finally an impression came to my head. We needed to fast! So Thursday to Friday we fasted. Having done that, Thursday was still awful, but we were okay. We had goals to talk to every woman on the street, because I WILL NOT talk to peruvian men, and there weren't any women. We asked ourselves what we did wrong. We have been so obedient and worked so hard and I just came to the conclusion that it was a trial of our faith. Even though it was a HARD WEEK, Friday and Saturday were fantastic.  

First of all, it is true that my spanish has improved being with a latina and I have forgotten some english. I love spanish so much!

Secondly, I sweat a lot. It was a really really hot week again. 

Third, well ya you know it was awful all week and we really struggled, but we fasted right before the conference and that was cool. I think this experience is what finally gave me my firm testimony of the power of fasting. 

Friday morning we had our weekly planning session then packed up and at 1:00 the bus left and we were on the road! I feel like it's normal to travel to Chiclayo but really I won't do it for a long time now. It's just a pretty drive but, being on the top level of the bus everything moves a lot and I still feel like I am swaying with the twists and turns of the Andes mountains. We got to Chiclayo at 7:30 ish and my comp and I stayed in Remigio Silva, an area in my first zone and we drove right passed my pension and my room and everything in 9 de octubre. It was so sad. Saturday morning we studied for an hour and then we had to go back to the office to drop off our stuff (because we are travellers) and then head to the institute building for the conference. Hermana Wood is training a cute girl from Utah, Hermana Kelly. And Hermana Monson, from my group, is training Hermana Smith (the friend of Whitney Pogue). I finally got to meet her and she is so cute. We were all able to chat for like.... 15 minutes then we all went out as a mission to take a picture. It is the ONLY time we will all be together as a mission. It was pretty cool. Then we had a little meeting before the conference. We sang about 4 hymns, an elder sang a gorgeous song in spanish, Hermana Hebdona and Hermana Waite sang "Sweet Hour of Prayer" in spanish and 3 missionaries shared their testimonies. Then Elder Bednar walked in, but not just Elder Bednar. Elder Bednar and his wife, Elder Soarres and his wife, Elder Godoy and his wife, Brother Stevenson, the presiding bishop, and his wife, and their translators. We literally had a little general conference in Peru. It was sweet. Each couple shared the #1 piece of advice they had for missionaries and then Elder and Sister Bednar took over. He first asked us to share what we learned from the 3 talks we had been studying, then he asked us what we had learned so far in the conference and then we had question and answer time. 

This is what I learned in THE FASTEST 3 hours of my life:
  • The 3rd companion in my companionship HAS to be the spirit.  I need to use this special time as a missionary to really learn how to recognize the spirit because I need to follow Him my whole entire life.
  • I will have a special respect, a special relationship, with my mission president my whole entire life. 
  • I got baptized and made a covenant to stand as a witness of Christ at all times and in all things and in all places. I was set apart June 30 to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I need to take EVERY opportunity to testify of Him and in doing so I will be more converted. 
  • Faith is everything. It has to do with the past, the present and the future (see Seek Learning By Faith by Elder Bednar).
  • Conversion and testimony are different but they go together. They go hand in hand and are both necessary for the storms of life in these latter days.

What does it mean that God did not give Adam and Eve contradictory commandments? (I asked him that) (the answer is in Moses 3:17 in the Pearl of Great Price). He answered my question so clearly then he said, "Do you understand?" I said, "Yes I do thank you." Then he said, "Are you sure?" I said "Yes." He said, "Okay, I love you and want to make sure you aren't left with the slightest bit of confusion." So ya. Elder Bednar loves me. hahaha

Then Elder Bednar gave an apostolic promise. He said we need to continue as we commenced and we CANNOT stand still. If we do so the Lord will strengthen us and accompany us along the way. 
as Elder Bednar testified at the end I felt the spirit so strong. He didn't just say I testify the Lord lives, he testified of every part of the gospel and I will NEVER forget the feeling I had. 

I am so blessed to have been here in Peru Chiclayo for this special conference and I am so so grateful for the answers I received. I know that each Apostle and the Prophet are called of God. Christ leads and guides this church.

Love you all!
Hermana Pilling

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Power of a Companion

Hey everyone!  I hope all is well at home.  I had a good week, even though I wasn't with my companion for a lot of it.  Almost 1/2 our transfer together we haven't been able to work because Hermana Avila was in Lima, she and I were sick, now she is sick, we went to Chiclayo. So it's been a rough start here in opening the area. We contact a lot and we ask EVERYONE for references. The less actives are hard to find in their houses but we are doing our very very best. We really do love the area. I like feeling the heat but I don't like feeling the sweat run down my face like tears. That is just gross. But I am getting used to it I guess. 

Happy birthday again to my 16 year old brother last Monday! I thought about him til I went to sleep!

Tuesday after our district meeting we had exchanges.  I went to Morro solar with Hermana Hebdon who was with me in my last area when we did everything together. It was fun being her comp for the day! I learned again of the importance and power behind the scriptures. 

Then Wednesday Hermana Avila left for Chiclayo because she had to do her visa paper stuff in Lima. I went to Miraflores with Hermana Daza, she is from Columbia. I loved being with her too! I learned from her too and the way she teaches. One thing a member said who was accompanying us is that I don't just want to be there throughout my life. I want to LIVE my LIFE. And really LOVE every second of it. Which I feel like I already do.

Thursday we were back in my area, Sister Daza and I. We had a good day with lots of lessons. I really realized that all sister missionaries are great and I can teach with anyone but that no missionary is as great as your own companion. I really really missed Hermana Avila. Even though Hermana Daza was great and fun too. Just not the same as my dear Chilean daugther. hahaha 

Friday we went back to Miraflores. We planned in the morning alone which was weird and oh so boring. At about 5 my daughter finally came home! HALLELUJAH! hahaha It was just a relief. That night we had a ward activity. Robert and Mily came and we watched The Testaments. If you haven't seen it, perfect FHE. I cried. It was exactly what I needed to see that day. I know that Jesus came to America  and I KNOW that He will come again. He is the Prince of Peace and my loving Saviour. I can't wait to touch his hands and feet. 

Saturday we were able to teach Juana! The oldie we found at the beginning of time. She cried in her prayer and just said she feels full of joy when she listens to our lessons or reads the Book of Mormon. We got so excited to invite her to baptism and then she said her daughter is about to have her baby and Juana is going to go to Chiclayo to help out in the house for THREE MONTHS, so we didn't invite her. ugh. one day. Patience is needed. 

We have an investigator named Isela. She actually has come to church for 6 weeks now but she lived on the other side of town out of our area. Then she moved into the Elders´ area. Then she separated form her boyfriend and the elders can't teach her so we get to! She didn't even have a Book of Mormon yet so we were able to give her her book and invite her to baptism. She said yes! And then I was prompted to invte with a date but i didnt have a calender at all and i didnt know what to say so i closed my eyes and used my magic powers and said will you be baptized the 19th of September? The spirit was so strong and she said I can't say yes for sure yet. We asked why and she said she doesn't want to fail God. We reminded her of how she feels when she prays. She told us she really knows it is the true church. It's funny how fear throws everyone off. We are going to keep helping her prepare and everything. I know she will be ready! She has a cute little 4 year old daughter. I just love Peruvians!

Well it looks like my time is up.
Friday we travel to Chicayo and Saturday from 11-2 we will be with Elder Bednar. I can't wait to share it all with you!

I am happy as can be and don't EVER want to leave Peru.... but maybe I will leave in less than 4 moths to be home for Christmas.... :) :D


Hermana Pilling

Monday, August 17, 2015

Marriage, faith, and guinea pig...

Nothing too exciting to share with you this week.  But here's an update.

Tuesday: we are teaching a couple named Robert and Mily. They aren't married and it's a sin. hahaha We talked about that most of the time. We said to them that this is a sin, God isn't happy, and they're breaking commandments, (obviously with more love than that) and they just laughed and then I said, okay, that´s enough. I read in Alma 39 verse 5 and they both shut right up. hahahah I love the power of the scriptures. I was able to testify after and they both said they would talk about it. Later that week we went back and they had talked about it. She is a little hesitant but they both want to get married for the right reasons, for their 4 year old son, to not live in sin, to move forward with life, etc. I love them a lot.

Wednesday we travelled. We were in a really nice bus with air conditioning. HALLELUJAH and we got there at like 7:30. The assistants said Hermana Avila and I were going to stay in SAN FELIPE, my old area and I was so exited. So Hermana Wood came and hugged me and started crying. It's been hard for her. It was nice to spend time with her and to see my pensionista again. Hermana Wood said that in her interview she told president it wasn't fair to take me from her and then give her her current companion. Her current comp is great, I know her. but she isn't me :) and she is the exact opposite of Hermana Wood. Sometimes companions are hard, but this is the mission.  I hope I helped her stay motivated. 

Thursday we had the multizone conference. President talked about faith and how we all now have the goal for one baptism every month. I'm scared, but that means I don't have faith. God is on the other side working away, preparing the hearts of these little guys and if I have the faith, He will push the prepared investigators our way and straight to the baptismal font. We studied the 3 Elder Bednar talks together and then Hermana Williams talked about beware of pride. It was a great conference.

There is no time left.  Sorry! I love you all and appreciate your prayers and support.

Hermana Williams

P.S. I ate guinea pig

It rained and got so dark!

Yes, this is an avocado and yes, I'm smiling because I love avocado now.

This is a gross drink down here.  I don't like it at all!

A rice field we passed on our journey to Chiclayo

Classic Peruvian homes

Monday, August 10, 2015

The little things make the foundation

Another great week in the mission field! We are teaching a less active named Casilda. She actually isn't found on the church records because she got baptized here 20 years ago and instantly moved to Lima, but we contacted her and we are teaching her! She is amazing! She reads her Book of Mormon for 15 minutes in the morning before opening her mattress store. She loves the Book of Mormon and has a very strong testimony of the restoration, which I think will make it easy to rescue her. 

We also taught Mary this week, a friend of Casilda´s who is an investigator. She told us at the end of the lesson about her HARD life and cried and we had the opportunity to promise her the blessings of the restored gospel and the joy we feel when Christ is the biggest part of our lives. She ended by saying, "I don't think it is a coincidence that you guys are here right now with me". I love the gospel! I love the spirit!

It poured rain on Wednesday for like... 40 minutes and because everything is on a hill, it comes rushing down and it was fun! We were preaching the gospel and literally walking through puddles past my ankles. I LOVED it. Just another adventure here in Peru!

We had zone training on Friday and we talked all about faith and how if we as a mission have faithful prayers and work dilligently, we can have a baptism every week. I realized I don't always have a lot of faith. It was hard for me, but there is always room to improve. We are going to learn a lot about faith this month. The talks we got from Elder Bednar are all about faith. One of those being, "Seek Learning by Faith", which you (Mom) have sent me 3 times already during my mission. The other is "Ask in Faith", and another one about conversion. Also the talk "Beware of Pride". I am so excited. 

We found out that we will be traveling to Chiclayo this week! Wednesday and Thursday we are there for our multi-zone training conference. I am so so so excited to travel and to hear more from president. Every moment with him is fantastic.  In our multi-zone we talked about... "it takes true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it" (from preach my gospel). So each companionship was assigned a topic and we had to share an object lesson or an example we use when we teach.  My comp and I won the most creative for an example I use to teach the restoration. It was pretty sweet. I love using examples and objects to help teach. 

Also, the talk Reaping the Rewards of Righteousness by Elder Cook in the Liahona was amazing.   
"No good thing will be withheld from them that walk uprightly". What a comforting sentence to read.

This week I was really grateful for every little principle of the gospel. The little things make the foundation of my testimony rock solid to face the storms of life and the storms of my mission. 

Love you all!... and I love avocado.


Hermana Pilling

Monday, August 3, 2015

Arms far stronger than your own

Hi everyone,

I'm a little crazy this week.  I'll explain in a bit.  First,  I want to share these 2 quotes that have meant a lot to me this week. 

"You have a brother watching over you, ready to rescue you and advance your service with arms far stronger than your arms... those arms are there to sustain you and to bless you in every time of trouble, no matter how alone or discouraged you may feel." 

"Like Joseph Smith you need not lead a perfect life in order to be a powerful instrument in God´s hands..."

Those are quotes from a talk in the Liahona for July 2015

Also, we are helpless without the atonement of Jesus Christ (from Preach My Gospel).

Okay, the reasons I am so crazy this week, ELDER BEDNAR IS COMING THE 29TH OF AUGUST TO SPEAK TO US AND I AM SO SO EXCITED. Because of that I have had to look for some talks we have been asked to study and print them off, leaving me with little time. 

Some great news though, LIZ AND PIERO GOT MARRIED AND BAPTIZED which is just the most exciting thing ever.  Honestly. I am so so so excited for them!

This week we had interviews with President and Sister Williams and they helped me a lot and both listened and gave me advice for my decision about university after. 

Well I love the mission. I am so grateful for prayer. This week I have had some very powerful moments with my Savior and and my Heavenly Father and He has responded INSTANTLY.

Sorry it's so lame.

Oh, my comp always says I am crazy. It is true}

Love you all,

Hermana Pilling