Monday, December 14, 2015

Last Email Home

Hey Everyone,

Yes, this is my last email home.  How crazy is that?
So last week we started off the week with an intercambio with the sisters in San Felipe! I was in San Felipe after 5 1/2 months here.  It was weird to walk those streets again and be with Hermana Kelly instead of Hermana Wood or Hermana Waite. We went to some of their current investigators and then I took her to some of my old ones.  They accepted another appointment with Hermana Kelly and her companion which is super cool! We ended the day going to Jayde and Guillermo. When I walked into their home, I felt the spirit. They have pictures of the temple and it is slowly becoming a very Christ-centered home. The spirit can dwell there and I was so happy to see that they are doing well. They told me all about when they went to the temple. They shared some scriptures they've read recently. The whole thing was so nice. I felt good. I don't want to say goodbye to anyone. 
Then Hermana Wood and I were together for about 24 hours and we did another intercambio with the Sisters in Union. I stayed in my area with Hermana Barboza, from Lima. She is from Hermana Avila's group. It was really fun to be with her and get to know her a little better and teach and learn together. Then when I got back together with Hermana Wood, we went straight to the mission Christmas party! We watched a little movie Santa Clause is Coming To Town, each country did a little presentation on the traditions of their country and sang a song. Every zone had a skit prepared and they were hilarious! Then all the latino missionaries from each zone sang a Christmas carol in english and were judged for how good it was, that was entertaining too.  Then we got spiritual. President and Sister Williams shared a message, we watched some videos, and they gave us our gifts. It was such a spiritual moment and I am so grateful for the true meaning of Christmas. I love President and Hermana Williams and their powerful testimonies. I have learned so much from them both. 
One more teaching experience we had. We taught Jessica, the recent convert, and her friend Ana Rubì was there. We brought her own copy of the Book of Mormon and read the introduction together. Her face showed her unbelief and so I testified with all my heart. After when we had established that I wouldn't see her again, I said, "I know it may all sound weird and seem like it is made up. And I can say without even hesitating that this book is true.  But, that means nothing to you if you don't kneel and ask yourself. I have been sacrificing so much for 18 months and I have testified of the Book of Mormon so many times but I haven't done all of this for nothing. I really truly know that this book is true and I will defend its truthfulness until the day I die." It was sweet. I love being a missionary. 

So one thing I learned during an intercambio was to count your blessings but to also make your blessings count. I am about to leave a really poor country and I will shortly be in a developed country with a heated home and cars and cell phones and just so much... so what I do have, the blessings I have received, I should make them count. 

Now, lesson of a lifetime: the power of the atonement. 
Although I do not fully understand the atonement, I have felt its power in my life and I have seen it working miracles in the lives of others. I can never comprehend what it is that the Lord had to sacrifice to bring to pass the atonement but I will never doubt that he did so. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father for allowing his only begotten son to suffer so much because of their love for me. He knows what it is like to feel totally and hopelessly alone. He understands every sickness and temptation, every trial and every sorrow. His atonement does not simply cleanse us from sin, it gives us divine strength and heals wounds. With his stripes we are healed. He has perfect empathy. I have felt that empathy many times in diverse situations. He understands perfectly. And like I said, I will never know how but I will never doubt that He truly does know. I have seen the power of the atonement clean and forgive people, including myself. I have seen people find "hope through the atonement of Jesus Christ and his resurrection to be raised up unto life eternal" as taught in Moroni 7:41. 

The saviour has walked beside me the whole way. He has been there to experience it all and to lend me a helping hand. There have been times were I haven't seen him at my side and I have felt utterly alone and weak but I know now that those are the moments when he carried me and I couldn't see him at my side simply because I was in his arms. I love my Saviour and I testify of the power of the atonement, not only to forgive us but also to make up for what we cannot do. 

These 18 months have flown on by and the time is near to return to the real world. There are no words to describe the mission and I definitely can't describe mine. It was been truly incredible. Everything that I gave up, everything that I have lost, all of my sacrifices were worth it. The mission is priceless. I couldn't have grown as I have doing anything else. I love Peru. I love the Gospel. I love my brother Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father. As  a representative of Jesus Christ I testify that His church has been restored. He lives and loves each of you. I know this Gospel is true. I know it, I Live it, I love it. 

Thank you all for your love, support, letters and prayers over these 18 months. I love you all . 

See you soon!

Hermana Pilling

Thursday I will be in the office like all day doing my legal papers, my last interview, and lunch with President and Sister Williams and a testimony meeting and then I leave. I am really really scared to say goodbye to these great people. Excited to see you all. Scared to not be a missionary. Excited for Christmas. Scared for real life. 


Monday, December 7, 2015


Hey everyone!

So this week went like this...
Tuesday 8AM-3PM leadership training meeting. My last one so I bore my testimony.
Wednesday we had intercambios with the sisters in Santa Victoria. I went there with Hermana Alcedo again.  A story from the intercambio. We were walking down the main road, it's a pretty busy one, in the nicest part of the city and for some reason I looked up to the 5th floor of an apartment complex. Well, there was Sidia, a member from my first transfer in 9 de Octubre! So I let out a little 'Hermana Pilling scream' and she came down and we crossed the street and we talked.  I haven't seen her for a year! She was shocked that I speak spanish hahahha. Anyways, it was such a blessing to see her after so much time and she videoed me saying hi to the family and stuff just in case they can't make it to the airport. 
Thursday at noon I got back to my area with Hermana Wood.
Friday 10-1 we had victoria zone meeting, our zone. It was really good! I love the mission life and because it was my last one, I bore my testimony.
Saturday 9:30-1:30 we had Pomalca zone meeting.  We have to travel about a half hour to get there so it takes up time. It was a good meeting too and a member made a tres leches cake, so yummy! I also shared my last testimony with them because I am leaving. 
Saturday night was stake conference adult session. President and Sister Williams spoke and it was awesomeness!
Sunday was stake conference. Very very good stake conference. I enjoyed it quite a bit! The stake president talked about what makes us happy. It shouldn't be having money, having a nice house, having a happy family. The thing that should bring most joy in our life should be knowing that we are obedient and doing what God wants us to do; living the gospel, being righteous.  That is what should bring us pure joy. I agree100% with him. 
Sunday night was the First Presidency Christmas devotional. 

I'm eating an `empenada de globo`
Hermana Tunquipa and Hermana Esquivel at the zone meeting

My ward mission leader from San Felipe came to see us

So this week was crazy busy! I feel like my companion and I were hardly ever teaching together! We did have a couple stellar lessons though. Jessica, the recent convert, came to church.  She is reading her scriptures again and just seems to be a little bit more calm. She seems happy! Rogelio, our investigator in a wheel chair, is just the cutest ever. Se sat down for our lesson and were chatting a little and then he suddenly said, "Well can we start with a prayer? "  He was all eager to learn more about the plan of salvation. When we talked briefly about temples and eternal families his wife and he just lit up! They lost 2 children and he almost lost his life and you can tell family means a lot to them. I love sharing these specials truths with others to bring them the same hope and joy that I have. We are teaching a sister named Yolanda. She wants to get baptized so badly but she isn't married and her husband doesn't want to get married.  Well we have been working with her and she has been talking like everyday about marriage with her husband. She just seems so determined. She has been listening to the missionaries for a year and she has never done her part but she is actually trying so hard! We were walking back to the rooms (so I could use the bathroom) and this lady stopped us all happy to see us and we hugged her.  I asked her if she was a member and she said no. So then I was genuinely confused as to why she was so happy to see us. She said, "Isn't it interesting how God just puts angels in your paths exactly when you need it." Then she started crying. She has a lot of family problems and she is scared to go home because her son is a drunk who beats her and horrible things like that and she was praying for some comfort. So we sat down at a park bench and talked a bit with her.  It was just one of those moments when I was SO grateful that I had to go to the bathroom and that we were heading that direction. hahahaha But honestly, I know that God puts us in the paths of others to help them and comfort them. 

Well, my lesson of a lifetime this week is prayer.  I have learned that you can pray whenever and wherever and God listens. I have prayed in english and in spanish, out loud and in my heart and he hears every single time. It doesn't matter if it is the middle of the night and I am up because of a nightmare or if I am praying at lunch with my companion, He always listens. When I pray, I receive guidance and blessings. I have learned of the importance of real intent and I know what a prayer of faith is too. I talk openly and honestly with my Father in Heaven and I know that I am His daughter and that He loves me. I have said a prayer of gratitude, nothing but gratitude, every single day my whole mission because I should be grateful and everything I have is from my Heavenly Father. More than anything, prayer has helped me get to know my Father in Heaven better. And myself. I have learned to trust in his timing and in his plan. Just like my favorite part in the bible dictionary says about prayer, 'Prayer is the act by which the will of the father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking of them'.  I have received answers to so many questions and my father in heaven has enlightened my mind to resolve my doubts as well. I am so grateful for that. I don't know what I would do without the precious gift and heavenly communication of prayer. 

Love you all!

Hermana Pilling

This is Jaime, probably my favorite member ever. He has really helped me grow spiritually in my little time here in La Victoria.