Monday, July 29, 2013


July 29, 2013

Hello Family,

First, thanks so much for the card and subway gift cards! My companion and I are stoked!!!

It sounds like y’all were quite the travelers this week with Maddie being in Idaho and everyone else in Virginia. I loved the pictures! Thanks for sending them. Man the trip sounds like it was so much fun! I'm bummed that I missed out. Especially on the kayaking part!! I've been gone for like what two months and I feel like James already looks older!!! When did that happen?!                       

I did a little bit of traveling myself this week to a little place called Hollywood. We had exchanges this week with two of the Sister Training Leaders. My companion stayed in Venice while I went to Hollywood with Sister Snyder. It was great. I fell in love with the ward instantly. In their ward they have a Preach My Gospel class once a week for anyone who wants to attend. So there were less actives, recent converts, investigators, members, and missionaries. It was so fun. I would love to serve there someday! 

Other things that happened...more bike riding, but the handle bars are fixed! I fixed them myself actually with the tool kit Dad ordered for me. Not going to lie, I was pretty proud of myself. Ha-ha. 

I'm sure you already know, but we painted this week. We went over to the Burrows and painted their daughter’s wall pink! It was great. I thought I had gotten away from the whole experience without getting any paint on myself and was about to be super impressed with myself, but of course not. I got some on my knees and my shoes. It wasn't too bad and I'm not worried about it. Sister Burrows posted the pictures on Facebook, and now everyone in the ward knows. People kept coming up to us at church and saying, "So I hear you paint..." Maybe we will have some more paint jobs in the near future? 

This past Sunday we also attended another baptism. The Elders taught the woman that was baptized, but we were asked to give the Missionary Moment during the time the people change after the baptism. For our Missionary Moment, we borrowed a clay pot from our Bishop. (He's the master when it comes to gardening.) We bought some chocolate pudding and knock-off Oreos. I filled the pot with the pudding and then covered it with cookie crumbs. Then we stuck a real plant that we picked off from the side of the road right in the middle. The end result was a very realistic looking potted plant. We presented our pot to everyone at the baptism. Everyone believed it was real plant. (We even had a few people tell us we needed to water it.) Then we asked for a volunteer. One brave little girl came to the front, and Sister Perry asked her to please eat some of our dirt. Everyone's face all of sudden changed to worry, concern, and no one could figure out where we were going with this. Without hesitation the girl took a bite and then smiled in delight. She said it tasted like chocolate. So then we asked if she would like to recommend this dirt to anyone else, which she did. All of a sudden we had a line of people willing to try our dirt.

 We compared our plant to the gospel and Lehi's dream. In his dream, Lehi tried the fruit and it filled his soul with immense joy. Afterwards, he wanted to share the fruit with his family. This is very similar to our own lives. We have had the opportunity to try the fruit (be a part of this gospel) and we know the great joy it brings into our lives. The next step would be to share that joy with those we love (friends and family.) At times the church just looks like a church; just like the dirt looks like plain, old fashion dirt. But its only after we've tried it, that we realize what we actually have. So I encourage y’all to read 1 Nephi 8 again and be like the little girl and recommend the dirt to others. Think of ways you can share the gospel with people. 

Dad, I printed out the email you sent me a few weeks ago and look at it often, so thanks again! Also, I gave the Spiritual Thought during district meeting this past Friday. I talked about you and how you celebrated with me when I got a 76% on my Chemistry 105 exam my first semester of BYU. Then we watched the Mormon Message Earthly Father, Heavenly Father. I linked it to how we have an earthly father that loves us and a Heavenly Father who loves us just as much.

Love you all!! Thanks for being so great and all your prayers. The Church is so true!  
Hermana Mik Pillar (aka El Pilar) 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


July 22, 2013

Hello Mom and Family, 
First thing first, there is a new mission blog at  

Other news: I cannot believe its already another P-Day. This week FLEW by, which was weird because we hardly had any lessons. A lot of our investigators dropped us at the beginning of the transfer and I was worried we wouldn't have much to do besides tract and the week would pass very slowly. I was so wrong.

Tuesday we rode our bikes for the first time. We are given an allotted amount of miles each month. With transfers and some other meetings (and I'll admit we weren't super responsible with the miles at the beginning the month) we scraped by. So to save miles we rode our bikes. Talk about an adventure. We had an appointment at 2pm and left about 1:15pm. (We don't live in our area so it takes awhile just to drive.) About half way to the appointment, I realize that my handlebars are loose, which made riding a bit of a struggle. Let’s just saying I have a complete new understanding for "hold to the rod." 

Thursday was the day of miracles. There were tons of tender mercies and we had a few referrals that we need to contact. One of the many miracles came from one of the referrals. It didn't even have an address for the woman. A sister in our ward had talked with an employee at Ralph's (a grocery store) a few times and thought she would be interested in hearing the gospel. So our referral was to go to Ralph's. We had no idea how this was going to work, but after a sincere prayer we made our way into the store. We found Francis!! She is the florist, and she is super nice. We haven't met with her yet, but I'll be sure to keep you updated when we do. 

Friday I attended my first tea party. Sister M., the Bishop's wife, likes to throw a tea party every summer for the moms and their daughters in the ward, and decided to invite the missionaries this summer. Now let me explain something, the M.'s know how to throw a party. Their barbecues are legendary and every thing Sister M. cooks is AMAZING. She's from Argentina, and has cooked us some delicious foods. So I was excited for this tea party.

We arrived early to help prepare and ended up setting the table outside. Sister M. is a woman of man talents and her backyard looks like an image from the Garden of Eden. There are fruit trees everywhere, flowers, and a garden. It’s gorgeous. Then we set the table wit the prettiest china I had ever seen. Sister M. made little fabric hearts for the mothers and the cutest bows for the girls. (We got one of each.)  Once everyone arrived we had at least six different types of sandwiches to choose from and I lost count of all the different types of teas there were to try. Basically, all of them were good. The whole experience was so much fun! I'm in love with tea parties now.

Saturday One of our recent converts invited us to his cousin's baby shower and to meet some of his family. It was my first Latino baby shower. And I'm finding a common theme. The Latinos know how to throw a party. We played all these games (my companion and I were both awful at them.) But it was so fun. And we were able to talk to some of the people there and leave pass along cards. 

Sunday We had a baptism!! Our Bishop's granddaughter was baptized. We absolutely loved teaching her and the baptism was just great. I have pictures that I hope to send soon. Afterwards, the Elders were passing around a bag of chapulines. They had told me they would bring them to church and made them sound really good. I was stoked. Well, guess what chapulines are... crickets covered in a chili sauce. So I had the lovely opportunity to try cricket last night. Conclusion: Its gross. Don't ever try it. 

This week in training we talked about the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and the importance of reading it. Before I came on my mission I would forget sometimes why it’s important to read everyday. We always tell our investigators to read everyday but why? Well, in the last paragraph of the intro we are promised 3 blessings that we receive by reading the book. I encourage you all to reread the intro and find what those promises are. 

Love you all and miss you so much!!! Thanks for all the support and love. 
Hermana Mik Pillar  


July 15, 2013

Greetings Family,

Mom, yes I was trying to email you back and forth last week. (Editor’s note: When Mik’s mom saw her email pop up she tried to email Mik right back, but for some reason Mik’s emails came hours apart.) We email from the family history library next to the visitors center.  As I mentioned in the email I sent to dad I wasn’t sleeping well last week, but now I’m sleeping like a baby . :) Thanks for the offers of sending something. (Editor’s note: when Mikayla mentioned she wasn’t sleeping well her mom offered to send her Advil PM, chocolate or a nerf gun to give her something to do in the middle of the night.) I laughed when I saw nerf gun. The new Mission President is so great, I really feel like he cares and we are so lucky to have him.

Things are going great here. We had transfers this past week. One of my trainers and I are staying in Venice. I miss Sister Buckley, but I’m glad that I’m still working with Sister Perry.

Last Monday, before transfers we went shopping all day and arrived home in the evening. We unloaded the car of all our groceries, and stumbled are way to the apartment door. Sister Perry then realized she didn't have the apartment key. We dropped everything and tried looking in the street and in the car. It was dark by this point. And we weren't having any luck. Being missionaries and everything, and knowing prayer works, we said a quick prayer and continued the search. No such luck. So we changed our approach. Sister Perry and I managed to crack a window open and Sister Perry crawled through. I was so grateful that we were able to get inside, not so happy at how easy it was to break into our apartment. (We now lock all our windows before we leave.) We later found the missing key in a random grocery bag while unloading. Prayer works.

The rest of the week flew by. We did everything from getting free 7/11 slurpees on Thursday to creating an obstacle course in our Bishop's back yard to teach his granddaughter. And we had a ton of lessons on Saturday. We had several new investigators but sadly none of them showed up to church on Sunday. Hopefully they will next week. 

Realized this past week I have a complete love of the New Testament. Who knew there was such great wisdom? A lesson that I've been learning lately is to have faith in the Lord and do all you can. Then watch as he calms the storms in your life. Try reading Matt 8:26. It’s amazing to see the Lord's work in your life. I've been seeing it in my own. 

Love you all,
Hermana Mikayla Pillar


July 9, 2013

To my dearest Family,
An Edible Arrangement!?!? You got me an edible arrangement for my birthday?!?! I couldn't believe it!!! Thanks so much. You all are seriously the best.

 So last Monday (aka my birthday) was great. After I finished emailing, we went and digrocery shopping (not super fun,) but after that we went to a zone BBQ where we played football. I was on a team with the APs. We basically dominated. ;) Then this wonderful, wonderful family, The Burrows, in the ward had us over for dinner. It was a party. Two of the kids in the family each made me a card. Then Sister Burrow made amazing taquitos and GUACAMOLE!! There was so much and it was sooooo good. And just when I didn't think it could get any better, Sister Burrows finished the final touches on this gorgeous and super delicious three layer chocolate cake. Let's just say I felt super loved last Monday. And then later that week Sister Burrows gave me the sweetest gift. She gave me a pair of real pearl earrings. I couldn't believe it. They are gorgeous and I've worn them every day since then. I feel like 21 is going to be a good year. 

The rest of the week has been a blur. We didn't really get to celebrate the 4th of the July. We had to be in our apartments by 7pm that night. So I heard fireworks all night long, but never got to see any. :( The rest of the week was busy and stressful. This week we received the transfer call. I will be in the Venice area for at least another six weeks with Sister Perry. Sister Buckley is leaving. She's going to an English area in the south part of the mission, and she will be training. She's got a mix of emotions because she's never served English before. From what I hear, it’s quite a different experience. 

We had some people drop us this week... not fun. We started teaching our Bishop's granddaughter. She's 10. It’s been super fun teaching a kid. I had no idea how hard it would be, but it’s making us be more creative. We baked cookies with her last night while teaching the Plan of Salvation. It was a bit of a stretch, but we made it work.

From my past emails, I'm sure you can tell that we are fans of McDonald's; especially Sister Buckley. We are at the point where we known which McDonald's have the best $.50 cones and which employees make the best. I'm not quite sure if I'm proud of this or embarrassed by it. Anyways, at the McDonald's with the best ice cream, there is always this one guy working. We finally decided we needed to become friends with him. His name is Merlin and he gave us Minion Stickers from Despicable Me 2!!!! Best Day Ever. I was a bit excited. 

Another thing I learned this week, butterfingers have peanut butter in them. For some reason, it took me 21 years to come to have some one point this out to me, but sure enough it does.

This past week, I've really come to love the counsel given in Doctrine Covenants 68:6. We had some fun times this week, but it was a lot of stress. Especially since we didn't know what was going to happen this week with transfers. But even when we have the most trying days or the most stressful moments, our Savior has told us to be of good cheer and not to fear. When we are striving to do what's right, we cannot fail. And that's a huge comfort. 

Love you all!! 
Hermana Mik Pillar

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


JULY 1, 2013 

Thanks so much for the birthday package. I was so excited, and then just started bawling. I just felt the love. I miss you all so much and thanks so much for thinking of me. It means a ton. But don't worry!! I've am being taken care of for my birthday. One of the recent converts and a member found out that it was my birthday (at different times) and invited us over to celebrate. So my companions and I went over to the recent converts house yesterday. It was seriously one of the sweetest things anyone has ever done for me. He taught us how to make homemade tortillas and we had this soup, and then he bought me a cake with "Happy Birthday Pilar!!" written on it. (Yes there was only one "l" but it’s the thought that counts. Plus, it’s how everyone here pronounces it.) We also had two other recent convert there (both preparing to serve a mission) and two other members from the ward. Oh and get this, one of my life goals is finally completed! I tried helote!! It’s the Spanish corn from Nacho Libre and I've been dying to try it since arriving. And it finally happened. I was stoked. Plus it’s really good. The corn is just covered in mayo, cheese, and chili powder stuff. So you really can't go wrong. 

 Tonight we are going to the member’s house. I'm stoked because she's an amazing cook. (Mom, its the same woman that you talked to before about the shootings.) She really takes care of us. 

Last P-Day was super fun. My zone went on a hike for reaching our zone goal to be more consecrated missionaries. It was fun and super nice just to be in nature for a while. (Our area doesn't have a lot of trees.)

As for the rest of the week, we started teaching a new future member (aka investigator) and he's great. He has a lot of in depth questions for us, but he is super willing to learn. So that's exciting. We visited Hermana Leonardo this past week. She's an elderly woman in the ward from Guatemala, she's basically the definition of precious. I hope we can visit her again soon. We also started teaching a family this week! A family!! And they are so excited to learn. Another set of Sister Missionaries was already teaching them, but they were VC Sisters and the teaching schedule didn't work in their VC schedule. So we are teaching them now! We have only had one lesson, but the family is so kind and so prepared. I'll hopefully have more updates on them in the future.

Oh and this past Saturday, we went over to the Mendosas. They are an elderly couple in the ward. Hermana Mendosa is so cute and taught us how to make chili rellenos. They are basically stuffed peppers but 100 times better with pork, carrots, and potatoes inside, then fried in egg whites. I took pictures and will send them hopefully soon.  

Other changes, President Weidman arrived this week! We met him on Friday. He's so incredibly nice. He mentioned several times how much he really loves us. And some days, you just really need to hear that. He’s definitely bringing some changes. We don't know all of the new mission rules yet, but there is a very good chance we will be receiving the new technology. So we might have i-pads in the near future. Fingers crossed! 

And, Saul was confirmed and received the priesthood this week! He was our baptism last week. And I thought that was happy to watch. The confirmation was so glorious! Plus, they asked him to bear his testimony during Sacrament. It was sweet and simple, but you can totally see the light in his life now. I am so grateful for the chance we have had to know him and watch him grow.

Oh and next week are transfers. I have no idea what's happening to me. I don't know how kosher this is, but our zone is taking zone bets; It kind of feels a lot like March Madness. Everyone is putting in the bet. Some people think I'm staying and others think I'm for sure leaving the area. For a while I thought I would stay, but I really don't know anymore. We will find out next Monday, our P-Day will be on Tuesday, and then we switch on Wednesday. I'm excited either way.  But don't expect an email until next Tuesday.

As for the past week, I've been really trying to just trust in the Lord and be diligent. My companions and I have gone street contacting before and I'm terrible at it. I get way to scared and can't speak and just freeze. (Luckily my companions are pros and help me out.) But I have to get comfortable with it. Street contacting is not always the best way to find people, but it works. Saul was found through street contacting. So we had training on diligence, and read D &C 107: 99-100. New life goal: I will become the master at street contacting. I've been practicing role-plays with the companions. Not super fun, because they make it super hard, but its good practice for me. We even practiced in a park. Saul was there and even pretended to be an investigator and practiced with me. Good times. I'll keep you updated on how the street contacting comes. But I encourage you to take one of your weaknesses this week and work on it. Keep being diligent with your efforts and the Lord will bless you. 

Love you all so much. We have the best family. I'm stoked to be stuck with you guys forever! ;) 

Hermana Mik Pillar

Mikayla's mom had contacted Sister Burrows to ask if an Edible Arrangement for Mikayla's birthday could be delivered to her house.  Sister Burrows was already in the process of planning a birthday celebrating for Mikayla and was happy to receive the delivery.

Mikayla said, "Sister Barrow is an amazing cook". 
Happy 21st Birthday Mikayla 
Hermana Perry, Hermana Pillar & Hermana Buckley
President & Sister Weidman and President & Sister Baker