Monday, June 24, 2013

BEST MOMENT OF THE MISSION SO FAR

June 24, 2013

Dear Family!

Your trip to Chicago sounds amazing!!!!! I love love love that city.  Glad to hear that you guys had a great time. 

As for things here on the west coast, let just say this week was AMAZING! I have so much to tell you! First, I'll start with your questions.
Every day seems to go a little different with district meetings and such. But a typical day...well we get up every morning at 6:20am. One would think after about a month of doing this, it would eventually become easier. This is indeed false. I think my body is resisting because I don't even hear the alarm go off in the morning anymore. But thank goodness for good companions. They get me up. I've realized once I'm up, I'm awake, but it’s just the whole deciding to wake up part that still could use some improvement. After we get up we run. The rule is any kind of exercise, but President Baker has informed us all that every missionary will run in the morning. So we run. It’s actually a great blessing. One of my companions is a crazy runner, so we go to a nearby park and run laps so she can go as fast as she wants. After that, we get ready, eat breakfast, and study; first, personal study, then companion study, then lunch, and then language. Often we are giving lessons so we have to push languages to the end of the day. But you get the idea. The rest of the day is either filled with lessons and visits to less actives or dinner appointments. A few times we have had to do street contact and once we had to knock on doors. I always thought street contacting/ knocking on doors would be a bigger part of our day, but we have a handful of people to teach so its not... thank goodness. We come home about 6 for dinner if we don't have a dinner appointment and will either finish the day with a language study or visit someone in the ward.  It’s fun, plus, my area is really close to the Visitors center so we are able to teach there a lot. 

Second, yes we did get to watch the mission broadcast. We kind of didn't have a choice, but it was great! I really encourage you to go and watch it. It’s amazing how the mission work is growing and expanding. I'm super curious to see how the new changes will be implemented, but I'll keep you updated. Also, I'm going to go up on my soapbox for a second, and totally second everything that was said in the meeting about member missionary work. I cannot stress enough how important the members are in the missionary work. Being on a mission really makes me want to go home and be a better member missionary. You guys are the ones that are living a life and interacting with friends and loved ones everyday. You are the ones that will have the greatest impact on the lives of recent converts. Sure the full-time missionaries are great, but we leave. We come and teach and leave. New converts need friends. We struggle a lot because we teach a lot of single men, who are great, but we cannot enter their homes unless we have another woman present with us. We have had to teach outside or on the front step a few times, when we can't find a member. So please help the full time missionaries out. 

Third, WE HAD A BAPTISM YESTERDAY! Best moment of the mission experience so far. Saul, was baptized yesterday by another recent convert, Emilio. Talk about a cool experience. Then even before the baptism on Sunday, my companions and I went to stop by Saul's apartment just to check up on him. I can't remember what I've told you about Saul, but he's great. When we first met him, he had long black hair and just seemed really distant. But even in my short time being here, we've seen a change. HE CUT HIS HAIR! We didn't even have to tell him. And then he just seems happy. So we are talking to him on Saturday. I ask him if he has any more questions, anything he wants to know before he gets baptized, not really expecting him to have any but just throwing it out there. He was like "I have one question... am I allowed to serve a mission after I'm baptized?" I had to look at my companions to make sure I had heard him right. And then I just wanted to cry with happiness. Saul wants to serve a mission! How cool is that?! Honestly, there have been a few times where I am like, "why did I do this to myself and come on a mission?" And then I meet people like Saul where their whole world has been extremely blessed with the gospel and everything is totally and completely worth it. Actually it’s more than worth it. I feel as if my own life is being blessed. So basically I'm stoked to keep working with Saul and the other people of LA.  We are meeting our new mission president this coming week and then transfers are in two. I can't believe how fast the month of June went. Someone told me once that on the mission "The days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days." And that is so true. 

During my whole mission experience, I've been trying to really study the New Testament. Jesus Christ was the perfect example, so basically he is the perfect teacher to learn from. One pattern I've noticed so far is every time Christ performed a miracle he first saw the people’s faith.  Miracles happen people! We just have to have faith first. And it’s the same kind of theme in Elder Holland's last General Conference talk. He talks about how the man asks Christ to bless his son and help his faith. I really encourage you all to read it and use your faith. You'll see the miracles. I promise.

LOVE YOU ALL. And miss you like crazyy! 
Hermana Mikayla Pillar

"The meeting house we attend"
Saul
Our living room/study room 
Our gate
Mikayla shared this story in a snail mail. "So funny story...this gate is always open.  We have to walk through it to get into our apartment. (My back is facing the apartment).  Anyways, it is always open.  A few days ago it was shut.  Hermana Perry tried opening the lock with the key.  No luck.  We all tried, nothing.  So Hermana Perry starts climbing the wall.  She gets over and then Hermana Buckley goes.  I'm standing there like, "no way".  Plus there's this man walking by with his kid and giving us a look like, "what are they doing"?  So I prayed.  I asked Heavenly Father if I could get threw without climbing the wall.  I walked over to the gate and realized the lock was broken.  I tried pulling.  The gate swung right open.  Moral of the story, the church is true."

Hermana Perry & Hermana Pillar at Tito's Tacos

Friday, June 21, 2013

WHAT IS "MOLE" YOU ASK?


June 17, 2013

Dear Family,

Okay first, Mom you are the best. Literally THE BEST! I opened my second package and about died when I saw the McDonald's gift cards. Who knew a McDonald's card could mean so much? My companions say thank you for theirs. We are all stoked!! And thanks for the pictures. They made my day!!

Well I hit my one-month mark this past weekend. It’s so weird to think I'm already done with a month. Where did the time go? This past week my companions were sick. I started to feel a little queasy towards the end of the week as well. But we all are back to full health and doing great. 

This week I also had the opportunity to try mole (accent on the "e). What is mole you ask??? Well the better question is... what isn't mole? It’s a popular Spanish dish, and a common meal to serve to missionaries. Its sauce that goes over some kind of meat; we had it with chicken. The sauce contains everything. And I mean everything! There's bread, chilies, cookies, and all sorts of spices, and even chocolate. My companions described it as taking everything from your cabinet and putting it in a pan. We had it at a member’s house. It's definitely got an interesting taste, but overall the meal was good. Mole just has a way of sitting in your stomach. I learned this week; American stomachs are not as strong as Mexican stomachs. Hopefully, that will change. 

This past weekend we taught a lesson to a new recent convert Rogelio. It was great. If there are no females inside the house/apartment, and we don't have another member with us, we can't go inside. So we taught outside and I got sunburn. So I feel you James. I doubt I am as bad, but I've been a little self conscious of my red nose. I made the mistake of wearing green the other day, and felt like I looked like Christmas. O well... After the lesson we went to Tito's Tacos. Apparently, its a famous restaurant?? The tacos were pretty good. I was a fan. But as we were leaving we ran into a group of people. This little girl yelled at us "Hola Sisters!" They were a Mormon family that had just gone to the temple. So we talked to them for a while. It was super cool because one of her daughters and her friend (who were both there) are leaving this Wednesday for their missions. One is going to Minnesota and the other is going to NORTH CAROLINA! I was so pumped! But she's going to Charlotte; so close. Anyways, we keep talking to them, and I find out their from Lancaster. I was like "No WAY! That's where I was born!" They didn't remember any Pillars, but they do know the Novaks! Cool, huh? It’s such a small world. (If I remember correctly the girls' names are Sarah Richardson and Carly C (something). It was way cool and super fun to see them so excited for their missions. The Church is so true people.

This week I also had the wonderful experience of having a door slammed in my face. Honestly, not super fun. It was a Caucasian neighborhood. I have a great appreciation for the Latino population and their humility. So just throwing it out there, be nice to people. They probably don't want to be knocking on your door in the first place, so just be nice. 

In district meeting this past week, we talked about faith. The lesson was great! One of the sisters in my district is a black belt in karate. She told us how through karate she learned the importance of having to fight back. If we want to become victorious, we need to "strike." She shared the analogy of a cobra and mongoose fight. Apparently, they are a thing in Asian countries? (Maybe look it up on YouTube? We couldn't but I guess there is video.) People will bet on the fights, and the bets are always on the cobras. I have no idea what a mongoose looks like, but I've been told they look like a fat rat. So obviously the cobra would win... right? It has the venom. Well once the fight begins the mongoose attacks and bites off the cobra's teeth, basically their only way of fighting. The cobra is left defensive less. For the gospel application, Satan has ways of tempting and putting venom in our lives. He gives us doubts and makes us feel discouraged. But in order to triumph, we need to "strike" back and bite off his teeth, which can be done by exercising faith. Fear is only a lack of faith. If we have faith, the fear diminishes. We wrote down a list of fears that Satan uses against us. Then we were ask to think of ways to "strike" back. I encourage you guys to do the same thing. Strike the adversary and fight with faith.

Love you guys! Miss you all!
Hermana Pillar

"We bought ice cream with the cards!"
Sister Buckley & Sister Perry 
"I kid you not, they went and bought another one.  They LOVE ice cream"!

Monday, June 10, 2013

A REAL LIFE BATMAN SCENE


June 10, 2013

Dear Family!

First, Mom you seriously are the best. I didn't think I would get mail this week, but at our district meeting there was my beautiful package. SO THANK YOU SO MUCH! I opened my package today and busted out laughing when I saw the shot glasses... my companions might have judged me a little for that, but I loved them! I couldn't figure out why everything was all green. I just kept thinking St. Patrick's Day was months ago. Finally, my companion said something about it being a "Greenie" package, and I had to laugh again. Mom you are great! Thanks!!

A few of the items from my "Greenie" package!

I hope you had a great birthday! Sorry I couldn't be there! (PS I mentioned to Sister Burrows that it was your birthday and she was the one that sent the text message. I had nothing to do with that. So don't think I am breaking any mission rules or anything.) It sounds like you all are super busy, but doing great! I hope all is well on the East Coast.

Things are great here! I am literally in love with the work! I cannot remember if I mentioned this to you earlier, but we have a baptismal date set for the 23rd of June! The date was set before I arrived in the area, but I have had the opportunity to teach the investigator as well. His name is Saul. He's from Mexico, doesn't speak English, and in his early twenties. He's a little bit on the quite side, but it’s been so fun teaching him. We taught him the Plan of Salvation this past week, and he really liked the idea of eternal families. He's the only one from his family here in the States. I am so excited for his baptism though. (I might even be a bit more excited than he is!) Plus, there is another recent convert in the ward that is going to perform the service. It’s amazing to see testimonies in people grow. I absolutely love it. Plus, the Spanish is coming along. I might have told someone yesterday that I have a younger daughter instead of a younger sister...an honest mistake. But overall the language is piece-by-piece coming together.

As for Friday, we left our apartment about 10:00 am for the district meeting. We meet close by the temple. There was a ton of police cars that morning because President Obama was in town. Well after district meeting, when we tried going home, we saw even more cop cars, fire trucks, and some tank looking like machines. I had no idea what was going on and super confused. Our conclusions... this was a real life Batman scene where they were trying to protect Obama just like they did with Harvey Denton. But moral of the story, we couldn't get back to our apartment. All the roads were closed. We stopped at a gas station, and that’s when we found out there had been a shooting. Long story short, after some more time spent driving around, we called our bishop and ended up at his place. When we arrived, there were cops blocking the streets and helicopters flying all over. We had to park down the street, ask permission from the cops, and then walk down the street to our Bishops house. His first words once we got inside, "Welcome to LA." ha-ha. We spent a couple hours there, because the cops wouldn't let us leave and we also had no place to go. We found out the shootings had all occurred in our area, and some were just a few streets over from where we live. Kind of crazy. It was definitely a day. But we were totally fine and totally blessed by the Lord. There are some Sisters who track at Santa Monica College, but we were all at District Meeting that morning and away from the shootings. The Lord really does protect his missionaries.

Another exciting thing from this past week... I had my first LA Carne Asada. It was AMAZING!!!

So cool lesson I learned this week. At District Meeting we talked about the Atonement and how not only can we be forgiven of our sins through the Atonement, but we also can become better. Basically, with the Atonement our weakness can become strengths. We read about two examples with Moses and Enoch. Moses had the fear of speaking and didn't trust in the Lord, as a result, he wasn't able to progress. Enoch (one of my new favorite Prophets) felt inadequate but put his trust in the Lord. As a result, he became a powerful speaker. Check it out for yourselves... Moses 6: 31-32, 47. And don't just take my word for it. Try it our yourselves! Try and improve one of your weaknesses this week. I'm working on my Spanish. 

Thanks again for the package and updates. I miss you guys a lot, but am so grateful to be serving here in LA. Thanks for your support and love and prayers. Not going to lie, I can feel them. You guys are the best. The Church is true.  Keep the faith!!!
From your daughter who is loving the work,
Hermana Mikayla Pillar






Lock down at our bishop's house

Sunday, June 9, 2013

BUILDING CHARACTER



June 5, 2013


FAMILY!!!
Oh boy, I have so much to tell you and so little time. So I'll try to get everything in that I want.  Wednesday was crazyy. But miracles really do happen. I sat next to this man on the plane to LA and we totally had this in depth conversation about the church. I was able to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon and told him to go visit a LDS church once he got back. He said he would look into it. So fingers crossed. It was still an awesome experience.

We arrived and were met by the mission president and his wife with the APs. All the new missionaries arrived together and I am stoked, because there were a lot of really cool missionaries on the plane that I had not met before; so I get the chance to work with them in the mission field now. The day consisted of some orientation meetings, a fantastic lunch, and then we were sent off with our temporary companions. That night I went to a members’ house for dinner, the Burrows. They are one of the kindest families I've ever met. I instantly fell in love with them. Thursday we headed back to the mission home with more meetings and interviews and then the assignment of the companions. I ended up staying with my "temporary" companions and yes we are a trio. Their names are Hermana Buckley (from Utah) and Hermana Perry (from West Virginia.) They are both amazing missionaries and hard workers!  It’s been quite the experience. They were companions for the last two transfers and had a lot of success. I was a bit overwhelmed and terrified at first. I'm keeping up with this year’s motto "Building Character." 

My new Area is called Venice. It consists of a small part of Santa Monica too. It’s super close to the Visitor's Center and the temple, so we use the Visitor's center A LOT. It’s been great. We are in the La Cinenega Ward, which from what I have heard is one of the best. From my experience in the ward, this has proven to be true. I've met some awesome members like the Burrows.

The apartment is small, but super nice. We have one front room that has three tables for our study times, a tiny kitchen, one bathroom, and then a bedroom with a bed and bunk beds. Yours truly gets the top bunk, but its such a soft bed that I don't mind. I'll take pictures and send you the card in the next few weeks. We are in a car area, so even though my bike was ready when I arrived, I haven't been able to use it. Apparently, there is only like two areas where the sisters use bikes. Everyone else has a car. 

The best part of the mission so far has been teaching. I was actually really scared for this part, but it’s amazing what the spirit can do. My companions also just had a baptism two weeks ago. I got to meet the recent convert and he is amazing. The man was found through street contacting, came to church the first Sunday and then read the Book of Mormon in 9 days. His name is Rogelio, and he has been an inspiration to me. He really treasures the gospel and is so excited to share it. He's been a member for two weeks and is already bringing people to the Visitor's Center by himself!! It’s crazyy. I felt so honored to have the opportunity to meet him. We are also teaching another investigator, Saul. He has a baptismal date for the end of this month! It’s way exciting and fun to teach him because he is learning stuff for the first time around. We went to the temple the other day, and were able to talk about eternal families. He seemed excited!! 

I also learned this week McDonalds has $.49 ice cream that just seems to hit the spot. Both my companions and I are fans. 

For future references, my P-days are usually Mondays. We went to the temple this week, so it was moved. I'll try to have more interesting stories for next week.
Love you guys and miss you all a lot!!!
Hermana Pillar

Thanks for your prayers! And your updates! I'm praying for you guys as well. 

Hermana Pillar after loading her new bike

Hermana Perry 

CALIFORNIA GIRL RETURNS


Mikayla, who was born in Southern CA, arrive in LA on May 29, 2013 the day she was originally supposed to report to the MTC.  By Saturday her family, especially her mom, was wishing that they had received some confirmation that she had arrived safely.  Mikayla's mom decided to check out the CA, LA Mission blog and was so happy to see a picture of Mikayla and the other Sisters who had arrived on the 29th.  
http://calamission.blogspot.com

Sister Camacho from California, Sister Crofts from Texas, Sister Djanie from Ghana (via Utah), Sister Ha from South Korea, Sister Huffman from Utah, Sister Pillar from North Carolina, Sister Son from South Korea, Sister Sorto from Honduras (via Georgia) and Sister Uele from Tonga have joined the CLAM.

New Missionaries


Later that day we received an email from the mission home stating that Mikayla had indeed arrived safely and with the following pictures. 
President & Sister Baker & Sister Pillar 

Hermana Perry, Hermana Pillar, Hermana Buckley

AN END TO THE BEGINNING



May 28, 2013

Hey Family!
So thanks for your emails and thanks for the packages. It always brightens my day to see the little pink slip with my name on it saying I have a package! You have no idea how much the little things mean to someone in the MTC. Its weird to think I am leaving this place TOMORROW! I feel as if I just got the hang of it here, but it’s off to bigger and better things! I am so excited for LA and to meet my trainer and to finally work with the people I have been preparing to meet. We've had a few devotionals about departing and being an example for the church. They definitely put a lot of pressure on you, but if the field is anything like the MTC it is going to be amazing!
So couple stories from the week. Like I said last week, I am the only person in my district original from North America. It was a great experience though because everyone was able to help me improve with my Spanish. There was another Elder in a different district that asked me where my family was from. I was like... North Carolina?? He thought I was Hispanic!! Ha-ha. Not going to lie. I felt kind of proud that I could pull off the Spanish look. My district has already told me they have adopted me as a Latino.
Also, two nights ago, my companion and I were walking back to our room with our roommates. I was the last one about to walk into the room when I heard a commotion coming from another room just down the hall. I paused to ask someone what was going on with the door wide open. My mistake. A little brown mouse came sprinting down the hall and right into our room. That little guy was FAST. Anyways, two girls chased after it into my room and I jumped back into the hall screaming. Well the door closed and all of my roommates were freaking out. For a good 3-5 minutes all I could hear were screams coming from my room. Not going to lie... it was a tad bit funny. They finally caught the mouse and threw him out the window (we live on the third floor.) Moral of the story... the MTC has mice and I'm glad I'm leaving in less than twenty-four hours.
My stomach finally adjusted to the food here. Of course right when you get use to the MTC they kick you out, but I'm really not complaining. I'm excited for all the Mexican food. I have seen Sarah Mumford and Karsten. Karsten had his camera one time, so we took a picture. So talk to Sister Eliason. Hopefully he'll send it to her. Sister Eliason also sent me a package of Krispy Kreme donuts. It was so sweet of her. It was then I realized that people don't get fat from all the MTC food. Its all the packages everyone sends them! Ha-ha. But it’s been great to feel the support and love from everyone.
This week went by a lot faster than the first. I finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish... finally! But it felt great. So now I have started it all over again, but the stories of Nephi and Lehi never get old. I also started reading the New Testament. The stories of Christ are inspiring. My flight should be leaving about 10 o'clock your time. So be ready for the phone call!!! My companion’s flight got changed once she got there. So if it doesn’t' happen at 10 don' fret. I cannot wait to talk to you.
Love you sooo much!!!!!! Keep the faith!
From the daughter headed to LA,
Hermana Mikayla Pillar

Mikayla's MTC District w/ one of their teachers - Hermano Johnson
Back row: Hermano Gamez, Hermano Malpica, Hermano Johnson, Hermano Franco and Hermano Adams. 
Front row: Hermana Cuevas, Hermana Cena, Hermana Leon, Hermana Hourrutiner, Hermana Morenoand Hermana Pillar 

Sisters in the district and counselor in the Branch Presidency's wife. 
Elders in Mikayla's District  
Mikayla and the Elders
Last day with Hermano Ramsey; a great teacher. 

Mikayla did indeed call the next morning from the Salt Lake airport.  She and the other missionaries leaving the MTC woke up at 4:30 am in order to arrive at the airport in time for their flights.  Mikayla's MTC companion had left the week before for Denver so Mikayla had been companion hopping during her last week.  It was wonderful to talk to her and hear how much she had grown in the past two weeks.  

FRIENDLY FACES AT THE MTC

Mikayla & Ashley 
Sister Pillar & Sister Payne

Mikayla and Ashley have been friends since Mik's family moved to NC.  They went to high school together, played varsity lacrosse together, vacationed at the Outer Banks together, attended seminary together and served in the MTC together.  Ashley reported to the MTC the first week of April and will service her mission in Japan.  Mik said it was so fun to run into Ashley and hear her speaking Japanese. 

Packages are the best!

While at the MTC Ashley's mom sent Mik a package of Swedish Fish with a caption that read, "It's O-Fishal, you're the best missionary around!"  Mikayla also received a package of Krispy Kreme donuts from her friend Karston Eliason' mom.  Mik's mom sent cinnamon rolls, brownies and salsa & chips.  There is plenty of food served at the MTC, but as Mik said, "packages are the best!"  Mikayla was so grateful to receive the treats and share them with her district because as she mentioned in her email, her district members are originally from Central & South America and it is very expensive for their parents to send packages.  

Sister Mumford & Sister Pillar
Sarah is a member of Mik's home stake and they became friends at high school and while playing lacrosse together.  Before Mik received her mission call she had a dream that she was called to serve in Indiana.  Apparently the dream was intended for Sarah.  Sarah entered the MTC a week after Mikayla and has been called to serve in Indiana. Two other friends of Mikayla's entered MTCs the same day as Sarah.  Karston Elison who will be serving in the Salt Lake West Mission - Spanish speaking and Zack Winsor who reported to the MTC in Brazil and will serve in Brazil.

Mikayla & Elder Darger

Elder Darger's sister, Hailey, has been one of Mik's best friends since freshman year at BYU. 

THE MTC IS GREAT

MAY 15, 2013

First communication from Sister Pillar 



May 21, 2013

FAMILY!!!
Oh how I have missed you guys! I've wanted to call home every night and tell you everything that has happened, but sadly that is not allowed. Anyways... life has been pretty great. Wednesday I was dropped off. I had a "host" take me to my room and we dropped off my stuff. After I picked up some papers, I went straight to class. We really don't waste any time here. I met my companion during that time, and I have to say I total lucked out. I have the BEST companion. We have become pretty good friends and get a long super well. Her name is Hermana Moreno and she's going to Denver North Mission next week. Also, that first day in class I learned that I am the person from North America in my district! Everyone else is natives of south and Central America or grew up speaking Spanish with their family. But I have been totally blessed. I LOVE my district and everyone has been super nice and super supportive of me and my attempts at speaking Spanish. Some days are better than others, but slowly the language is coming. The rest of Wednesday we were put into groups with other missionaries that had just reported and taught investigators in groups. And guess who I ran into…Sister Lutz! I was totally not expecting it, but in one of the group meetings I glanced over and noticed this Sister's tag. I think I might have scared her when I ran up to her after the meeting asking if she knew the Bannon family. She was so friendly and was like Yay! Ha-ha.
This past weekend my companion got sick. She came down with some sort of stomach virus. It's been unpleasant. We both were on lock down in our room for Saturday and part of Sunday. She was contagious and couldn't be around people. But she still needs a companion so I got to go with her. It was fine though. I got a lot of time to do some personal study and review some Spanish grammar. So no complaints. Plus, I didn't get sick. It was just another testimony builder for me. When I was set apart, I was told I wouldn't get sick if I obeyed all the mission rules. I held the Lord accountable for that promise, and the blessing came true. (No surprise there.) I am just so grateful.

So to answer some of your questions, the pillows looked suspicious. So I just set the one they gave me aside in my closet and am using the one I brought. There are four girls including me in my bedroom, but we have six beds. So there's been plenty of space for us. You asked about Sunday... the myth is busted. We had three meals on Sunday! But I busted out laughing when I read your card. Thanks so much for the cinnamon rolls!! I was so excited. (Confession: I did share them with my district. I think it definitely gave me some brownie points with the Elders. But I was never going to finish all of them before they went bad.) The food here has taken some time for my stomach to get use too. As a result I've eaten less and think my stomach shrunk. It's just another reason why I can't wait for LA!
Here in the MTC every day's schedules a bit different. But usually we have at least 6 hours of classroom study. They are in three-hour blocks. For each block we have a different teacher. The teachers have been great, and I've learned a ton from them. We have to practice teaching in companionships and act like the teacher is an investigator. And the teacher's don't go easy on us. Plus, EVERYTHING is in Spanish. My companion has been a great help though because I stutter like crazy as I'm trying to conjugate the verbs in my head while teaching. 
Oh and here is some news that surprised me. I leave for LA May 29. So I will be in the MTC exactly two weeks. But my release date is October 17, 2014. Apparently, my transfer started four weeks ago. So as of right now, I am coming home a month earlier than I had planned. Well see what the mission president says once I get to LA. But I was a bit surprised. I don't know what the rules are in my mission, but as of right now I can email anyone. 
I've run into a ton of people that I know here at the MTC! I've seen Sister Ashley Payne twice! Others include my roommate Mackenzie, who works at the bookstore; (She said she sent you a message on Face Book. Did you get it?) And I saw Anita Levia today too! She works in the cafeteria. I've seen both Jenica and Jolysa Sedjuwick. And other people I know from BYU. It has been so fun.
Well my time is almost up, but knows that I love you and miss you guys like crazy!! But I definitely know this is where I am supposed to be. I keep getting this feeling that something/ someone is waiting for me in LA. 
Anyways,
From your daughter living in the MTC,
Hermana Mikayla Pillar 


Sister Lutz & Sister Pillar 


Sister Lutz is originally from CA and is a friend of the Bannon Family.  The Bannons became great friends of the Pillars in NC and were excited to learn that Brenna & Mikayla were both called to serve Spanish speaking mission and would report to the MTC on the same day.  Amazingly even though hundreds of missionaries reported on May 15th, Brenna & Mikayla met up.  

Hermana Moreno & Hermana Pillar 

Mik loves yellow sheets and her comfy blanket
MTC roomies and district members
Mik and two Elders from her district who will also be serving in LA
MTC District Sisters


Hermana Moreno & Hermana Pillar 

MTC District 

Friday, June 7, 2013

ARRIVING AT THE MTC

May 15, 2013

Mikayla arrived in UT on May 14th, went to dinner with friends and spent the night at her Aunt Carlene's house.  The next day she and her aunt ran a few errands and then went to the Provo Temple to take pictures.  She said there were hundreds of missionaries at the temple, all saying goodbye to their families as they prepared to enter the MTC.   

Mikayla in front of the MTC
Mikayla called to say goodbye as she reported to the MTC at 1:45pm Mountain Time.  

LEAVING FOR UTAH

 When Mikayla submitted her mission papers she listed May 1, 2013 as her availability date so she would be able to complete another semester at BYU.  She was glad she did as she really enjoyed winter semester, the friends she made and her mission prep class.  When she received her mission call her report date for the MTC (Mission Training Center) was May 29, 2013.  Mikayla was given a phone language test and because of her previous Spanish classes and study abroad experience in Spain was told she would only be in the MTC for 2 weeks instead of the usual 6 weeks.  Her report date was moved up to May 15th.  After completing Winter semester, packing and storing her belonging, saying goodbye to roommates and friends she returned to NC on May 1st which gave her less than 2 weeks to prepare to leave again.  Mikayla and her family vacationed in Charleston, SC, had family pictures taken, shopped, held an open house, shopped, packed, shopped and Mikayla was ready to leave on May 14th.  The previous evening she was set apart as a missionary.  The blessing was a comfort to Mikayla and her parents as it promised great blessings if she worked hard and followed the mission rules. Mikayla's sister Madeline and brother James wanted to accompany her to the airport but had AP and state exams they could not miss. 

May 14, 2013
Mikayla may look as though she is ready for a nap and probably was since she was up late packing and had a morning flight. 

Mikayla checking in for her flight.

James' card

Mikayla's 12 year old brother, James, really had a hard time with the fact that Mik was leaving for 18 months.  He loved the times he and Mikayla spent together when she was home from college.  James made the above card as his way of saying goodbye.  James does not enjoy writing so we were impressed with the commentary he added. 

Mikayla and her dad. 
Mikayla's dad gave her a Father's Blessing the morning before she left.  It was a wonderful experience for us all, but very emotional.  Jim, Mikayla's dad said it was much harder sending a child on a mission than going on one himself.  

And there she goes....

It was a tribute to Mikayla how many friends, coworkers, associates and family members called and texted her parents that day to check on them and make sure Mikayla had gotten off ok.