Friday, September 27, 2013


September 23, 2013

My Dearest Family,
Please tell Shandy "CONGRATS" for me! Mexico?!?! That is crazy exciting!! Missions are great!!! What MTC will she be going too??
And tell Karen and Steve congrats from me too! There is a senior couple (The Kelley’s) serving a mission in the mission office here and they served in Temple Square before. They LOVED it!!!

Editor's note:  Mikayla's friend Shandy received her mission call to Xalapa Mexica and will enter the MTC on Jan. 22, 2014.  Mikayla's aunt and uncle who recently returned from serving a full time mission in San Diego, CA and have accepted a call to serve a 24 month part-time mission as hosts at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in SL.  

So update on my life.... I don't know how clear my last email was so I'll try and clarify some things. A week and a half ago, my companion, Sister Rudd, was transferred to another area. I stayed in Cudahy. Sister Young came to Cudahy and we had been together for four days. I absolutely love Sister Young, so I was a bit devastated when we received a call last P-Day saying there was going to be another emergency transfer. One sister in our mission was sick and was going home early. Instead of just switching one companionship, the mission president switched up a whole bunch of them. Sister Young left to go be a Sister Training Leader (basically because she is the bomb) and I was put into a trio with Sister Jones and Sister Atkinson. Sister J and A cover the whole stake, are like Sister Zone Leaders, and work in the Huntington Park YSA.  So now the 3 of us are covering two areas. Sister J & A are English speaking so we cover their area half of the day and my area half of the day.  When I went into the trio, I moved (don't worry I said my goodbyes to the S.) and am now in a bug-invested apartment (spiders, ants and the occasional cockroach). Oddly enough, I kind of like it; not the bugs, but the apartment and trio.  The trio should last only until next week when we have the real transfers, but who really knows. President Weidman always keeps us on our toes. Well I guess he is inspired, so the Lord keeps us on our toes, but I've learned so much this past transfer. Sister Jones and Sister Atkinson are the definition of amazing and have been a huge blessing in my life. They are a bit nuts, but I love them and we are having a great time.

Next transfer if I stay in Cudahy I'll just go back to my old apartment. So excited to see the S. and ask them how the reading is going!

So adventures in the trio:
-The YSA sisters have mastered contacting and receiving referrals. Usually when we meet someone on the street we ask them if they know anyone who would be interested in our message. On average we get a "no" or maybe one name. The YSA Sisters were zapped by God and found out that if you ask for 1 referral you get 0-1. If you ask for 15 referrals, you get 7-15, but the key is they have to have their phone out and be looking at their contacts. Referrals have sky rocketed. Our problem now is finding the time to contact them all.

So with this new method to the madness, we have been asking everyone for referrals. Saturday we got some hilarious responses. One guy we were talking too was not interested at all for himself. He tried to pull every card in the book to keep us from talking to him. Persistence is key my friend. When we asked him for referrals, his attitude did a 180. He was like "I have a ton of sinners in my phone." He then proceeded to go down the list, naming people and saying what their sin was. "He's a pothead.... He steals from his mom... He neglects his child...etc." So funny! My favorite sin was "He's overweight and depressed." The people of LA are never boring.

Our second contact of the day was a brother and sister. I'm like 99% sure the brother was high. He claimed that he wasn't, but we didn't believe him. Anyways, when we first started talking to him, he told us it was "awkward because here was three white girls and you don't usually see that around Maywood." This is very true. My area is 97% Latino. But I love it! Then we were trying to share a message, and he was all like "I don't need Jesus. I'm happy." Sister Atkinson had had it. She was like "Its not happiness if it comes from a plant." The kid was not her amigo after that. I died laughing.

Other cools things that happened... M. (a less active) came to the international fair (ward activity) we had on Saturday and then church again!!! TWO WEEKS IN A ROW!!!  She brought her boys and I was so happy! Then the YSA branch had a baptism. Ernest got baptized. He's great and was so happy afterwards. We are all stoked for him. I, also, met a guy in the YSA ward who served in Gardner, NC! He worked at the Cresh this past December. I was like "NO WAY! My mom was in charge of that!" Small world.

We are working with two other families right now. The L. family and then B. & N. People don't seem to grasp the importance of going to church every Sunday, so keep them in your prayers. N. is reading the Book of Mormon though!!! I'm so proud of her.

So this past week, I've learned a valuable lesson. I am serving the Lord's people, and need to work on His timing. I've been super concerned and stressed about Cudahy especially since we are dividing our time with the YSA branch now. But after receiving a blessing, I had to acknowledge that these are the Lord's people. And He's trusting me to take care of them, but His way. So my companions and I have been focusing a lot of 1 Nephi 13:40-41 and focusing on coming unto Christ in the way he provides. Its not necessarily the most convenient way, but even Christ had to do the inconvenient thing. And we follow the example of Christ. I know that as we step out and do those important but inconvenient things, the Lord will consecrate our efforts. We are only going to see miracles and His hand in the lives of those we love. The Atonement is a real thing. I love this Gospel.
Love you all,
Hermana Mik Pillar

Hermana Young, Sister Jones, Ernest, Sister Atkinson, Hermana Pillar 


September 16, 2013

Hello Family!!!
This week was... well just simply AMAZING and super busy! I'm still not sure where the time went, but so much has happened. So bare with me as I try and explain everything. 

On Tuesday, we had exchanges. It was just for the day so Sister Rudd left and Sister Smith came to Cudahy with me. I drove which was SUPER stressful. Sister Smith is so great! Loved her immediately. However, she is an English call. Therefore, she doesn't speak Spanish. And we had a few lessons on Tuesday. But because the church is true, I was extremely blessed and able to teach in Spanish and understand almost everything! Sister Smith was so great and would bear her testimony in English at the end and would try and share scriptures. She didn't let the language barrier affect her at all! I had to do a little bit of translating, but it was really a cool experience. Also, fun fact about Sister Smith, she is the niece of Sister and Brother Dance. Remember them from CT? The same Sister Dance I saw in the mission office not to long ago!! Small world!! 

Tuesday we also received a call that we were having emergency transfers. We switched Thursday. Sister Rudd left and Sister Young came to Cudahy with me. I LOVE Sister Young. She hails from Utah and is just an amazing person. So full of enthusiasm and has a great desire to work hard. We have a new slogan here in Cudahy. "Get Money Get Paid." Sister Young showed up and the miracles started happening. Yesterday at church we had three less active families show up!! There is a woman in the ward named M. and she has a daughter E. (who is 20) and two young boys. We have been visiting them for the past few weeks. I just absolutely love them. And they finally came to church. (They haven't been for a super long time.) I was so stoked I almost started to cry. 

(Background story: There is a woman in the ward whose is a convert. Her husband, L., and son have had no desire to take the discussions. So obviously Sister Young and I decided to make them our best friends. We have tried stopping by a few times and met L. for the first time last Thursday.) So last night, we decided to go see the M. Family in the ward that we have been visiting about once a week. We drove by the house and saw a ton of people outside talking. Sister Young and I weren't sure if we should drop by or not, but I decided to go for it. If anything it would just be more people to talk to share the gospel with, right?? Well we park the car, and walk up. And guess what... L. is the brother of Hermana M. This probably doesn't seem like a big deal via email, but my mind was blown!!!! I had no idea they were related. But L. was excited to see us! And we were able to catch up with the family for a bit and share a short scripture. It was just such a great experience.

Also, this past week we ordered an Arabic Book of Mormon for our neighbors the S. I believe I've talked about them before. They love the missionaries and always give us food. Mr. S. is the sweetest. So we ordered them a Book of Mormon because I want them in the Celestial Kingdom with me. Sister Young and I wrote our testimonies in it and gave it to them last night. Mr. S. LOVED it! We had to finish our conversation with Mrs. S. because Mr. S. just started to read at once. It was so great. Love them!

Well I hope the great state of North Carolina is treating y’all well. I miss you all so much. Please know that miracles happen. Keep reading the Book of Mormon, read Moroni's promise in chapter ten. We had a training this past week, and one of the Elders asked us when was the last time we prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true. It kind of hit everyone hard. We all need to be reading the book and asking for that testimony to keep growing. I invite you all to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. 

Love you all!! Love this gospel! And I love being a missionary. Its like no other experience. You see the hand of God in your life every day. How cool is that?!
Hermana Mik Pillar

Oh, I just found out another emergency transfer today.  Hermana Young will only be my companion for four days!! I'm going into another trio with some of the best sisters in the mission and she is going to be a sister training leader! Life is nuts, but so exciting!!!!  I gotta go pack!


September 9, 2013

Hey Family,
So the work is going here in Cudahy. I don't have a ton of time, (sorry there's a time limit on the library computers.) So I'll make it brief. We have two super great families that we are teaching at the moment. The L. family and B. & N. They are WONDERFUL. Both are having issues with the whole going to church thing, but the Lord always provides a way. We have also been working with less actives a lot! LOVE THEM. Same thing. They need to get to church. But miracles are in the works.

This week we had a wonderful training on the Book of Mormon and committing people to meet with us. Our sister training leaders said that God is preparing people for us to meet. Whenever we find people on the street, we ask them if they will meet with us the next day. If they can't, then God needs to prepare them a little more. I was a bit nervous with this at first because most of the time people want to meet a week later. (The downside to this is they aren't there half the time.) But it’s been amazing. We've been asking people to meet the next day and are finding people!!! Our schedule is BOOKED for the next week. Sometimes they won't meet with us so we just have to give them our number and ask them to call us. But we are finding those who are part of the elect. So that's cool.

The second lesson was about the Book of Mormon. And how we need to makes sure active members of the church are reading the Book of Mormon every day. There's a special power that comes when we read the book and we need that in our homes. So here's my commitment to you. Read the book every day! You will see miracles. Promise.

Sorry that's all that I have time for today. Love you all.
Hermana Mik Pillar

Monday, September 2, 2013


September 2, 2013

Hello Family!
So I hope this is getting to you. I am currently sitting in an internet cafe checking emails. As embarrassing as it is to admit, I had no idea what an internet cafe was like. I was kind of expecting some coffee and croissants and a few computers. Not quite. It’s more of like a computer store and it is a tad bit sketchy, especially when the power button didn't work the first twenty times on the computer. No worries though. Life is grand.

To answer your question about my shoulder bag, in all honesty, I hardly use it during the week. We just have too much stuff to carry and it gets to heavy and kills my shoulder. My companion and I carry our backpacks.  The shoulder bag has been super nice on P-Days though.

Updates on my new area... Cudahy. It is so hot here. I didn't realize how nice it was to be next to the coast in my last area. Venice was a good 10 degrees cooler with a breeze. Plus, Venice was close to the city. Cudahy is…well not city at all. Lots of houses, apartments, a few schools, and then maybe a few store. We hardly have any big name stores around here. But I really like it here. There's plenty of Latinos to talk too and our potential investigators are great people.

On Thursday we did "service." One of our less-actives is trying to start her own business from her home doing nails. She hasn't done acrylic nails for a while and asked if she could practice on us. We said sure. Well Sister Rudd went first and then we ran out of time before I could go. I don't think Sister Rudd realized what she had signed herself up for. She had these huge nails on her hands when we left and was struggling to use her hands for stuff. Being the mature and kind companion that I am, I laughed (and helped with what I could like untying her shoes.) That night she ran into the issue of trying to get her contacts out. So we tried to take the nails off. I'm not quite sure what type of glue was used to apply those bad boys, but they would not budge. WE TRIED EVERYTHING. Tender mercy from that night was Sister Rudd was able to get her contacts out with the nails and a few prayers. She found a way to clip them down, but they are still glued tight. All the other missionaries at our district meeting had a good laugh about it.

This past Friday, we also had exchanges with our Sister Trainer Leaders. The night before the STL called to inform us that Sister Rudd would be leaving the area and I would be staying while Sister Burbank came. I was nervous and stressing. It was my first time ever being the "more knowledgeable" one about the area. Friday came and guess who got to drive for her first time in LA; This girl right here. Can you say best day ever?! Loved it. Loved driving. Loved being the one to call the ropes. And we had a terrific day. We found three new people who were interested in hearing more. Unfortunately they don't live in our area so we had to pass them on to the missionaries in their areas, but hey its still building the kingdom.

Saturday I got to go to a Samoan baptism and then a Spanish wedding for dinner. I love LA! 

Overall we had a pretty solid week. I'm trying to apply the teachings from the Doctrine & Covenants to my mission.  I love how we are not asked to do anything alone. All we are asked to do is our best. Then we need to stand still and watch. Jesus Christ will make up the difference. I need to remind myself sometimes to stand still and watch. It’s not necessarily easy, but when we take the time to watch we see the miracles that happen in our life. We really do see the hand of the Lord.  Look for the miracles. They are there. Promise.

Like always... love you all!!!! The Church is so true!
Praying for you daily,
Hermana Mik Pillar


August 28, 2013

Dear Mom and Family,

I am so sorry!!!! We had temple p-day this week and its on Wednesday. Temple P-days is done by zone and I didn't even think about that fact that I was switching zones last week. SORRY!! I realized this last weekend and felt so bad for not letting you know that I wouldn’t be emailing until Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday were regular days and were long.  I was running out of food and was glad for p-day. We have a car and drove to the temple after picking some Elders who live near Compton and are on bikes.  I'm emailing from the family history library, but usually the missionaries in my zone use the public library, which will be closed next week so I don’t know if you will hear from me. 

I've officially completed one week in my new area Cudahy and boy is it different. First off, I'm not right on the coast anymore. Which means it’s HOT all the time. Thankfully we are not on bikes. Cudahy is 97% Latino. Basically, I'm in a Little Mexico and love it. I'm getting so much practice with my Spanish. 

My new companion is Hermana Rudd and she is great. This is her third transfer in the area, and she admits the area needs some work. We have renamed Cudahy "The City of Enoch" and plan to baptize everyone and eventually we will all be translated and go up to heaven. We'll start with a goal of four baptisms this transfer, and then take off from there. Our plan of attack is going to be through the members and talking to everyone on the street. (We've already met several people on the street and have return appointments with them.) We are still in the planning stages, but I'll let you know how it goes. 

We've also been visiting a lot of less-actives. In my last area, we didn't have a ton, so I never had to do it before. I love them and it’s so great being able to talk to them and help them remember the gospel. Plus, they have really good questions. Questions I've never thought about before, so it’s making me think. We've had some really good lessons so far.

Also, I met my neighbors this past week. Mr. and Mrs. S. They are originally from Lebanon and have been in the states for like ever. I'm completely obsessed with them. Both are super sweet and super kind and have so much personality! Mr. S. even gave us some fruit the other day. Before I leave Cudahy I'll get a picture with them. 

So two important things I learned/ realized this week:
1) During this past week, my companion and I were talking about the Second Coming. With the new announcement that missionaries can use the internet, we have now entered a stage where the gospel is in all parts of the world. As far as signs of the time, all we have left is the gathering and then the coming. Do you realize what this means! Christ is coming! 
2) I have yet again been reminded of the importance of daily scripture study. It kind of hit this past week; the power of the Book of Mormon. Investigators are not allowed to get baptized unless they are reading the Book of Mormon every day. How can they gain a firm testimony of the gospel is they are not reading the keystone of our religion? So what does this mean for us as members...? We need to be reading every day. We need to keep strengthening our testimony. We need to have the power of the Book of Mormon in our lives daily. If not, we are providing an excellent opportunity to let ourselves slip. So here's an invitation for all of you, read it every day. I don't care if its 5 minutes or 30. Read the book. Let the power change your life and help you to grow. It will happen. Promise.

Love you all! And I'll keep you updated on the City of Enoch!!! 
Hermana Mik Pillar


August 20, 2013 

Hello Family!!! 
Greetings from the LA area. So transfer calls came last night. And the verdict is... I'm leaving Venice. Actually both my companion and I are leaving. I don't know if I've ever mentioned but our ward had 5 companionships of missionaries. President Weidman thought that was too many and as a result, we are the ones to leave. Our area is being divided and given to three other companionships. Sister Perry is going English speaking and I am headed to the Downy and serving in an area called Cudahay. My new companion will be Sister Rudd. I've only heard really good things about the area, which is nice. Apparently, it’s like a little Mexico and its one of the areas all Spanish speaking missionaries want to serve in. I've got mixed feelings, excitement with a small dose of shear terror. But I'll go where the Lord wants me to go. It will work out. With the call to leave, I also realized how much I love the people in my area. It’s going to hurt a little to say goodbye. That's the life of a missionary for you, new adventure, and new people. I didn't sleep well last night and have so much packing to do today.

One of the families we had just recently started teaching is the C. family. Because of different schedules we were teaching the sons separately from the parents. (The sons work and are in there 30s.) They are super great people. I felt so accomplished for just getting into their house. A lot of Hispanic people are Catholic. And some of them have a sign on the door that says "This is a Catholic House. No Soliciting Please." The Cruz have one of these signs on their doors. But they let us in. :) I hope whomever takes over their area takes good care of them. They all have a lot of potential. 

Tomorrow we are leaving for the transfers. Each morning we run in this park and over the past few months have become acquainted with a lot of the people. We know all the owners and their dogs. This morning we went on our run and said goodbye to all of them. Our one friend Michael is disappointed we are leaving. Sister Perry said after her mission she’s coming back to the park to convert Michael. Ha-ha I really hope so!

Highlights from this week, we started our English class. Los Angeles English is officially teaching to the Spanish population. And the classes were a huge success. We've had two classes so far and both days we averaged about 20 people. Not to shabby. I taught the intermediate level on Thursday and loved it. Teaching is way harder than I ever thought, but so much fun. Hopefully, we will be able to start up another unit in my new area. 

This past week I've been reading in Mosiah; such great stories. I cannot even believe the testimonies those people had. They heard the word and were converted even though it meant persecution. They turned to their Lord and I love how he didn't just take away their burdens. He made their burdens seemed light. The Lord doesn't make our problems and trials go away. He makes us stronger. He loves us enough to allow us to go through the difficult times so we can be better people. I love this. I love the mission. It’s hard and at times terrifying, but it’s amazing all at the same time. 
The Church is true. Christ lives. Keep the Faith.

Good luck Maddie and James with the start of school. 
Hermana Mik Pillar  

Sister Moeller, Sister Forbush, Hermana Pillar & Hermana Pillar  

A watermelon decorated like a cake; made a member (Martinez) daughter. 

Pineapple dinner at the Olivares.  So good! 

Hermana Pillar & Sister Lago 

Olivares Family, Hermana Perry & Hermana Pillar 

Hermana Perry, Hermana Pillar, Sister Lago & Sister Fautz 

Hermana Pillar & Elder Blackham (a friend from freshman year at BYU)

The Kelleys who work in the mission office. "Love them!"
Venice Area 

Last night in the Venice area; Rogelio & Saul 

Venice Zone