Monday, January 27, 2014


My Dearest Family!!!!!

To answer some of your questions…married and single students can attend the UCLA ward, but single have the choice to go to the YSA or the UCLA ward.  My companion and I cover the YSA and that is where Dana chose to attend.  Lauren doesn't go to UCLA yet, but is hoping to be accepted. 

 Thanks for sending me a new brown bag for my "Hump Day" package; I’m sure it will be great! I'll let you know when I get it.  And holy freak, I new nine months was coming up, but I kind of forgot that it was "Hump Day", if that makes any sense. So weird. I felt like at this point I would know what I was doing. Yeah, that's not the case. haha 

Okay and shot out to Hailey Darger and Eric for getting engaged!!! I'm so stoked for them!!! 

This week's lesson.... just make it till Sunday.  When I was in the MTC some of the best advice I got, "if you are having a slow, hard or challenging week, just make it until Sunday".  This was one of those weeks. 

In reality we had like a super great week. The mission had a goal for every companionship to set two baptismal dates this week. Everyone was supposed to pray and exercise deep faith. Well, it worked! We set a baptismal date with Lauren this week for February 15, my "Hump Day".  What a great way to celebrate the half way point of my mission. So please keep her in your prayers. She is so cute and so great! And we love her a lot. 

We didn't set another firm date, but we did have one cool experience on the street. We decided to walk to a potential's house one evening. On the way we ran into this kid walking his dogs. Super cool kid, and we talked to him a little bit about baptism and right then and there asked him to be baptized! He said yeah! He's not 18 so we passed him off to the family ward sister missionaries, but hopefully good things will come from that. 

So in reality it was a good week. But we have been having a ton of free time on our hands. Not a ton of lessons and as a result, we have had to do a lot of street contacting. Which doesn't really make the time pass quickly. So I kept telling myself, just make it to Sunday. I was really looking forward to church and the sacrament and just being filled (3 Nephi 27: 16.) Well, miracles happen people. Sunday came. Lauren came to church. And then another random kid had walked into the Visitor Center and then came to church right afterwards. His name is Boyang. And he is so cool. We probably won't get to teach him because he wants to learn in Chinese, but it was still way cool to show him around church. Plus, there was a less active at church that hasn't been in months! It was such a good day. 

So please keep Lauren in your prayers and Boyang. And hopefully they will keep progressing!! Transfer calls are this Sunday, so we shall see where I am going to be for the next 6 weeks. I've never stayed in an area for more than 12 weeks. So I don't know if that streak is going to break or not. But whatever happens it will be great. 

Also, I need your help. Can all of you email me your favorite scriptures and why you like them?
Love you lots!!!!
Sister Mikayla Pillar 

Sunday, January 26, 2014


January 20, 2014

My Dearest Family!

Hello! I have to say your adventures snowboarding and skiing in Boone sound so fun!!! How are the slopes!

James, I'm proud of you and your camping cooking abilities! I want to try your pasta and cobbler some day! J

Also, I'm devastated that the Eliason's are moving. Did they know they aren't allowed to do that?!

Can you do me a few favors when you get the chance? Not urgent, but could you send me Sister Strobel's cookie recipe? We have been asked not to use our backpack, but to use our shoulder bag.  The next time you send me something could you send my Nine West brown bag. I've been using the blue one we bought right before the mission. Its working great, but there are sometimes I think a nicer looking bag would be best. 

This week... definitely ups and downs. But no one ever said missionary work was easy. The biggest miracle of the week is our new investigator Lauren. She walked into the Visitor Center about two Sundays ago and took a tour with the Visitor Center Sisters and liked what she saw. Since she is YSA aged, we get to teach her. She is amazing!!! She has been reading the Book of Mormon and came with us to Stake conference. I was a bit worried because our whole stake conference was about “Hastening the Work of Salvation”. Basically in a very loving way, telling all members everywhere to share the gospel. So I wasn't sure how she was going to take it. But my concern turned out to be in vain, because she loved it. She really agreed with some of the doctrine that was brought up and said it made sense. I was stoked. 

Sorry I don't have a ton of time, so I have to go, but that is what is happening in LA YSA.

Love you lots!!! 
Sister Mik Pillar  


January 13, 2014

My Dearest Family,

Mom, it sounds like your talk went great! I'm proud of you! And I'm a bit jealous that Maddie gets to go snowboarding on Friday. We'll have to go again once I get back. But Maddie, take some pictures for me! 

And to answer some of your questions, I absolutely LOVE exchanges. They are pretty refreshing. There are about 5 companionships in the mission and they are all super sweet and great leaders. Plus, miracles happen on exchanges. It’s just a fact. We only have them once a month. Our District leaders are great. Elder Pham is our DL right now. He's from Vietnam and hilarious.

Another week has come and gone. I don't have a ton of time but here are the highlights...
So we had President Interviews this week, which are always great. There's something about having 15 minutes to just personally talk to the President. He is truly an inspired man. All week I was praying to have revelation for the LA area in the interview. We met with both President and Sister Weidman and I sure got the revelation. In both interviews, all we talked about was the new mission goal to have 20 meaningful gospel conversations a day. It’s been a true challenge for Sister Harrison and I; talking to strangers isn't a strength of either of ours. However, I couldn't deny the revelation I received from the interviews. I'm sure Heavenly Father made it that way. It was pretty blunt. I left with this new urge to have the twenty conversations. 

I didn’t ask the president about returning to a Spanish area. In all honesty, I would love to stay in the YSA ward for one more transfer. I LOVE serving with Sister Olson and I am really starting to feel connected to the ward. It’s my dream to be in the same area for three transfers. 

Let's fast forward to about 5 minutes after we left the interview. We were leaving the parking lot, and I saw a man trying to tie down some debris in the back of his truck. It was like this feeling of "Sister Pillar you have to go talk to that man." Mind you we were already in the car about to drive off. But I turned to Sister Harrison and was like we have to go talk to him. So we parked the car, and walked over and it was like I had this newfound courage. We tried to give the man and his friend a card. They accepted the card, but weren't super nice about it and we left. I felt great. That whole day we tried talking and testifying to people. We stopped one man on the street and I told him he would feel God's love in the Visitor Center. It was a really powerful moment because he said, "I believe you. I can see it in your eyes." I guess that is when it hit me that we really do have the light of Christ with us. It was just cool to see that. 

Well overall from that day and the rest of the weekend, we did not find any investigators, but as we continue to do what the Lord has asked, they will come. I know it. One blessing that I believe was a direct result of our faithfulness to the conversations was a lesson we had on Sunday. We have been trying to meet with this investigator for over a month. Because of scheduling conflicts it hasn't happened. Well we finally had a lesson with her on Sunday and it was so great. The Spirit was strong especially because our member present testified with her own experiences that were exactly what our investigator needed to hear. It was just a really cool experience.

So I know that we have a lot of work to do. I've got people to go talk too, but the Lord is blessing us. He does not forsake and is helping us to hasten the work. 

Love you all!! Maddie good luck with finals!! I'm praying for you! And James I want to see pictures of your pens!!!
Sister Mik Pillar 


January 6, 2014

My Dearest Family!! 

So first HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I'm stoked for 2014! It’s going to be great. Plus it’s weird to think that I'll be home at the end of this year. Time seems to be flying. 

Another happy announcement... DANA WAS BAPTIZED! Dana is officially a new member of the ward and it was such a happy service. She just looked so happy and so full of the light of Christ. It was definitely a privilege to be able to witnesses it. We were worried that people wouldn't be able to attend because there was a church cleaning and a project to take down the Christmas lights at the Visitor Center that morning. So it was like 5 minutes before the baptism was to start and still not a ton of people were there. I was praying like crazy that we would have more people attend and then I literally have no idea where they came from, but the room was full right when it started. I have to say that I was super proud of the ward. 

Other news... I am now in my third trio of the mission. Sister Son has joined our companionship. It is only for the weekend, but it has been so much fun. We dragged another mattress into the bedroom, so the room is 85% bed and 10% dresser and desk and 5% walking space. Sister Son is from Korea, and I've been learning lots. She's funny and we have been joking back and forth. She told me I wasn't cultured enough (just for fun) so obviously she's been teaching me how to speak Korean and all about Korea. It’s been a blast. I am going to miss her when she leaves. 

Guess what... So I email Sister walker about every week to see how old Cudahy is doing. One of the less actives I worked with that started reactivating before I left is about to get her temple recommend!! I'm so happy for her! And it’s like in the 70s here. J In all honesty, I'm not sure how I’m going to be able to do the cold once I get back.

We also had exchanges this week. There are always miracles that come from exchanges. I spent Wednesday and Thursday in Hollywood with Sister Morgan. While Sister Peterson and Sister Harrison stayed in YSA. I was praying all day that they would find a new investigator. It’s been a while since we have found someone interested. We'll my expectations did not fall short. We now officially have a new investigator. He is from England and I get to meet him on Wednesday. I'm stoked. So please pray that he will continue meeting with us. Apparently he is looking for an answer from God and hasn't found it yet. But he is going to read the Book of Mormon. So pray that he gets his answer! 

Oh and I gave a training this week for our district on Revelation through Prayer. I learned a ton. Probably the best thing I learned was that when we are obedient we act on the revelation already given. It gave me a new desire to be as obedient as I can be. 

Okay well I got to go, but I'm just going to second what the Stake Presidency has asked you to do. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON. There is a power that comes when we read the book. I can testify that I receive great comfort and feel the Savior's love when I read His words in the Book of Mormon. How else can we expect to receive revelation if we don't read the words. Please please please read the Book of Mormon. Learn to love it. 

Well I got to run, but love you all! Keep up the great work!!! You are all in my prayers!
Sister Mik Pillar

Thursday, January 2, 2014


December 30, 2013

My Dear Family!!

To answer some of your questions…Christmas Eve was pretty chill. We went to a member’s for dinner and then went home and redid some of the maps in our area. We cover the whole stake so we spent time organizing everyone into quadrants. It’s been really effective. Before we were guessing if people lived close and it just turned into Sister Pillar driving a lot in LA traffic. Not a fan. Now we know where everyone in the ward lives and don't spend so much time in our car. Instead we can walk or save miles. So I've been happy with it. 

Christmas was great. My favorite part was skyping for obvious reasons haha! I am on the look out for Lucky grocery stores. I asked Sister Olson about them and she knew what they were. 

Editor's Note:  Mikayla had mentioned that she and her companion cook for themselves more in their current area than she previous had so her mom asked what grocery stores were close to her so she could send gift cards.  

We spent the rest of the day baking cookies for people and visited a friend of Sister Olson's. She's 95 years old! And let me tell you she knows a lot. It was great listening to her stories.

Dinner was super good. I made funeral potatoes and Sister Harrison made some super good sweet potatoes and we had a ham and bought a lemon meringue pie. We also had rolls and a salad. Sister Harrison is quite the baker and I've enjoyed it a lot.

No to the New Years Eve kit. I didn't see any at Target. :( But it’s fine. Our room is so full of Christmas stuff that we don't even have room for anything else.  

Editor's note:  Mikayla's mom had wanted to send Mik and her companion a New Year's kit but couldn't send boppers and other items through the mail.  She had told Mik to pick up a kit at Target.

Oh and I got a Christmas card from Riley and it was super precious. It was a like a Sam’s club one that you print out with a bunch of pictures of Jesus.  The caption said "Peace on Earth." It kind of made my life.

A cool story from the week happened on Sunday...we had ward council at 11:45 am, which ended at 12:30 pm but church didn't start until 1:30pm. We were trying to be efficient with our time and decided to go contact a potential. I am trying hard to like contacting potentials. I've never had success with it, but Sister Harrison had a baptism out of it, so I've been trying to like it more. Well we decided to walk and ended up talking to someone on the street and taking a wrong turn, so we didn't end up visiting the our potential. We went to church (had two investigators there) and had a really good meeting. 

Afterwards, we were driving home and I just thought we should try the potential again, so we stopped by. He lives in a gated apartment, which usually we don't have any luck with, but we rang his apartment. A few minutes later he came down and we just had a super great conversation with him. His name is Eric and he's from Africa!!! He is so sweet. I was just blown away that contacting a potential had actually worked and he was home! Well we are hoping to meet up with him again soon. He wouldn't set a return appointment, but he said he would check out church so we shall see!! In the conversation he talked about how earlier that morning he had been playing soccer and hadn't been home. I was just super touched about how the Lord really puts us in situations at the right time. If we had gone earlier like planned, we probably wouldn't have found him and wouldn't have gone back that day. The Lord is really hastening the work and prompting us to be in the places to find the elect! So if ya'll could just pray for Eric this week and pray that we can meet with him that would be great!! We really could use some new investigators. Our super solid investigator is getting baptized on Saturday! I can't wait. I'll have pictures for next week!

We'll happy New Years! Make some good goals!! 
I love you all!!! 
Keep the faith!
Sister Mik Pillar


December 25, 2013 


Mikayla had told us that she would be able to Skype at 2:00 pm EST.  Her family was ready and waiting at 2:00 pm with a laptop connected to a big screen TV.  2:00 pm came and went. Finally at 2:45 pm the phone rang and Mik called letting us know she was ready to Skype.  The CA LA mission requires all mail and packages to go through the mission home.  Mail is delivered to the missionaries on Fridays at their district meeting.  Because many packages didn't arrive at the mission home by Friday, December 20th, the mission president had the zone leaders play Santa and deliver the packages on Christmas Day.  The zone leaders had a package to deliver to Mikayla's companion so they were waiting for them to arrive before leaving for their bishop's home to Skype, thus the delay.  

We were able to visit with Mikayla for 40 minutes and she shared a few stores with us.  One being that even though she and her companion are living in Beverly Hills they were able to provide gifts for a teen that otherwise would not have had much of a Christmas.  When Mikayla and her companion realized their were no gifts for the teen, they opened their Christmas packages early, took one of the Christmas stockings that had been sent to them and filled it with gifts they had received.  

Mikayla also said that even though she is now serving in an English speaking area she continues to practice her Spanish and share the gospel with Spanish speaking people working in the Beverly Hills area.  She said that one day her companion and she saw a couple of gardeners working in a yard.  They quickly put together some treats for them but as they walked out the door they saw that there was more gardeners than they thought.  They ran back in the house to make some additional treats, but were then disappointed when they went outside and found that they had already left.  

Mikayla's family has a tradition of opening PJ's given by Mrs. Claus on Christmas Eve.  Mikayla's mom had sent Mik and her companion PJ's so they could continue the tradition.  Mikayla's mom had ordered fabric with shells and clams on them to make pajamin bottoms since her mission is know as the CLAM.  Mik said she thought the bottoms were cute and figured they had shells on them since LA is close to the beach but was oblivious to the clam theme until her landlord saw the PJ's and commented on the clams.  Mik then made the connection!  

Mikayla also said she loves serving in the LA area and enjoys the diversity of people in LA. 

Skyping with Hermana Pillar 

James, Mik and Madeline