Monday, February 24, 2014


February 24, 2014

My Dearest Family,
Ahhhh, that's so weird that we are already planning for things after the mission. Sometimes I forget how long I've been out here. Time is so weird. But Christmas in Utah would be super great actually. I would love to see some of my friends in Utah before school starts; like Kenzie. And Hailey is graduating so it would be super cool to see her! So yeah... I'm good for that. 

I haven't heard from Sister Sorto in awhile, but then again I haven't written to her either. I'll try and do that today. 

Aww man it would have been great to see Carlene and Larry, but I understand the rules. It is probably to help keep the missionaries focused and not get distracted. But that would have been sick! Good thing they didn’t come to the Family History Library because we don't even email there anymore. A new rule came out and you have to email at a public library in your area. So we are at the Beverly Hills Library. We were able to email from the FHL last week because the libraries were closed due to the holiday.

Oh that's super cool about Carlene and Larry getting ready to go on a mission; maybe they will get called to LA!!! How cool would that be! But Nauvoo would be cool too. I'm always up for another trip to Nauvoo! 

I have no idea if we will have zone beach trips or not.  President Baker did that beach trips, but I can never predict what Pres. W will do. And no more hikes :( we tried to go two weeks ago with some people from our district and were told only one companionship is allowed to go at a time, which takes a lot of the fun out of it. But we can sight see... if it’s in our area. But seeing as we cover the LA stake, basically everything is in our area. I really want to go to a museum called the LACMA, but it just takes so much time and we usually don't have a ton of extra time on P-days. So all the site seeing stuff is something we will have to do when we come back to visit.

I've actually thought about doing the EMT training. There's a good chance it could happen. Could you do me a favor and check when training would be? Like if I came home in October, could I have the training done before leaving for school in January? 

I kind of miss the thunderstorms in the South. We hardly get rain. 

No I hardly email any of my missionary friends to any more. I have three faithful people. They are: Mom, Dad, and Kenzie. Maddie and James don't write me like they use too. I've been out for along time...  Thanks for sending me Shandy’s email; I’ll write to her today.

And shout of to Blake!! Congrats on the engagement!!!! That's way exciting!

So this week... like it just flew by. I don't know where the month of Feb where went. Recently, we have been trying to contact YSA members whose records are in the family wards.  Basically, we have a list of 700 people and are finding that good portions of them have moved. We had a couple of experiences this past week where we just totally felt like we were in the right spot at the right time. And guess what... our members are getting stoked about missionary work. One of our members came up to us yesterday and said, "Sisters! Let me tell you about the missionary experience I had this week." It was like music to my ears. Then one of the speakers invited six friends to come listen to her talk! I'm so proud of our members right now. We really can't do anything without them.

We are currently teaching an investigator named Isis. She is so great. Love her! And she really likes the things we are teaching. She has been busy, so we haven't gotten to meet with her a ton, but we will be seeing her this Wednesday. I'm stoked. 

I really gained of testimony of God's timing this week. We had an experience happen where we were totally in the right spot at the right time. We met with someone that really just needed to talk to the missionaries. Then not only that, but other people were put into our path to help this person out. I was amazed. Our Heavenly Father loves each one of us so much. He puts people into our path to strengthen and lift us up. And sometimes we are that person for someone else. I was touched. It reminded me of John 14:18. The Lord will not leave us comfortless. I know this to be true. I've seen it over and over. He is always there, watching, and offering support when we choose to accept it. The Church is so true. Keep the faith!

Love you all!!! 
From the West Coast,
Sister Mik Pillar 

Ice cream with a member! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


February 17, 2014

My Dearest Family:

Sounds like the weather in NC is nuts!!! I can't believe it took people that long to get home! Crazyy. 

Editor's Note:  NC had a snow and ice storm which brought traffic to a stand still and 30 minute commutes turned into 5-6 hour commutes. 

I had to laugh a little bit though when you said the usual ride to the ski resort was 30-40 minutes and it took you 90 minutes because traffic was so bad. I have a new definition of traffic. We usually have to add on at least 15 minutes to anywhere we go and just assume we will hit traffic; one of the many joys of LA. :) But I've gotten use to it and really don't mind. 

So I've been looking back on everything that happened this past week and just can't even believe it was only 7 days since I last emailed. I'll hit the highlights, but its times like these where I wish I could send a voice recording or something to do some of these stories justice. All is well. I'll tell you in 9 months I guess.

But the highlights...
1) Lauren got baptized!!! It was a glorious day! And President and Sister Weidman came. As well as the senior couple the Kelleys. And the assistants to the President were there with one of their investigators. Then Lauren’s confirmation was just spectacular! She was so happy afterwards and I was so excited for her. 

Editor's Note: Lauren's baptism was on Mikayla's Hump Day! 

2) I heard y’all did your own heart attacking. Well that's what we decided to do as well. Thursday we cut out over a hundred hearts and Friday, with Lauren's help, we went and heart attacked people. It was so fun. Almost got caught, but definitely one of my favorite Valentines. 

3) We have two new investigators!! We met with Deshaina this week and had a killer Restoration lesson. She's great, and hopefully willing to meet with us again. We also met Isis. She's friends with a member in another ward, and so cool. She's hilarious and we are stoked to teach her this Wednesday.

4) Two giant spiders in our house. One was found when I looked in the mirror while brushing my teeth and saw it dangling above my head. Not fun. 

5) While trying to knock on a less active's door, a cop showed up. He asked us if we had made the call. I was so confused. Apparently there had been a break in recently and the police were coming to see the scene. Two thoughts crossed my mind...1. "Great he probably thinks we did it." Which thankfully wasn't accurate. 2. "The less active has to open the door now!!" Accurate, we finally were able to contact her!!! 

6) A member came tracting with us and then fed us deep dish pizza. So freakin' good!!! 

7) Katie and McKenzie, former roommates, both sent me packages!!!

It was a good week; lots of miracles and lots of reminders of how much the Lord loves us. We had a wonderful Relief Society lesson yesterday on the Plan of Salvation. I loved how the teacher started by saying happiness is not our goal. Our goal is to become like our Savior and happiness is a byproduct. I've thought about this a lot and its true. By becoming more like Christ, we progress, we change, and ultimately we are happy. 

I encourage all of you to pray for the strength to follow the example of Christ and be the person He is. I'm proud of all of you. And love you to pieces. 
Thanks for all the support!!
Sister Mik Pillar 

Best Hump Day Ever!

"Sometimes there are really big scary spiders in our room and we freak out a bit"!

Sister Kim & Sister Pillar.  Sister Kim is from Hong Kong and her friend is serving in Mik's home ward. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014


February 10, 2014

 My Dearest Family,

Okay, to answer your questions first…

My new companion is so great. Her name is Sister Bobelenyi, and she is from Kentucky. Actually she attended the same YSA ward as my former companion and they knew each other before they came on their missions. Crazy small world. She is so great and full of energy and lots of good ideas. She will be a huge asset to the area. 

And I have to say that so far I do like being a trainer.  It’s definitely making me expand and grow and it’s been a good experience so far. I feel like I have to be super optimistic for her, which benefits me as well. 

I loved the package. I laughed but loved it! I was like "My mom really doesn't want me looking like a homeless person using plastic bags for exchanges." :)  

Editor's note:  Mikayla mom saw that many of the sister missionaries in the Raleigh, NC mission didn't have an overnight bag for when they went on exchanges and usually just used grocery bags to hold their clothes and personal items.  Mik's mom asked her what she used for exchanges and Mik replied that if she used grocery bags she fit right in with the homeless population of LA.  For Valentine's Day Mik's parents sent her an overnight bag. 

And the valentines! I was laughing so hard. At first I just thought they were normal "I love you," "Hope Valentine's Day is great," but then I actually read them and started laughing. Thanks so much!!! 

Editor's note: Mikayla's family also sent her and her companion "Heart Attacks" for their wall.  Each heart had a personal message, such as " CA Sisters Rock" or"Remember Pilar" which references a bull who gored a U of U student during the running of the bulls in Spain. 

I totally forgot the Olympics started! It amazes me how much we don't know sometimes!!!! The downhill solemn sounds epic. Maybe I can catch the highlights in nine months...? 

If its not an inconvenience to you, could you keep sending me Ashley's emails. I'm don't usually get them.

And we don't have district meeting this week. We have zone conference. But we might go with Lauren, our investigator, and heart attack people's apartments on Valentine's day. We shall see. For some reason I don't think meeting with the sister missionaries would be a high priority for people on Valentine's Day.

The pictures you emailed are super cute. But my goodness! James and Maddie look so old!! Mom and Dad, lookin' good of course :)  Like how tall is James now? 

And I'm totally laughing at Sister Pulsipher's comment about watching Blake’s wedding via Facebook.

Its official, I won't recognize anyone from the neighborhood when I get back. Sad day. 

Editor's note:  Mikayla's friend, Blake, didn't tell his parents he was getting engaged.  They learned about it via Facebook and stated that maybe they wouldn't attend the wedding, just have Blake post in on Facebook. And many of our neighbors have been moving away. 

So stories from this week.... it was a really good one. We have three new investigators this week. Well technically they aren't investigators yet, but we have appointments with all of them for this week. And Thursday, we got a call saying we were getting a mini missionary. Of course just starting as a trainer wasn’t crazy enough. I was like "Of course", when we received the call. Mini missions are for the youth ages 16-24. They come and live with the missionaries for a weekend. We had a second mini missionary on Saturday, so I had three people with me, all who had less than a week's worth of experience in the mission field. It turned out to be so fun though and we saw so many miracles.

One huge concern was not having enough food. Sis B came straight from the MTC, so she didn't have any food and then I didn't have a ton, so we were already stressed about what we were going to eat. Then with the mini missionaries we had 2 more mouths to feed. There were a lot of prayers said and I was so grateful I knew how to cook. But we made it until P-day. Sure we had a lot of pancakes, but nobody went hungry. :)  

Nida (no idea how to spell her last name its Samoan) was the cutest thing ever!  A highlight was when we were street contacting around UCLA campus and she just marched up to these guys and asked, "Do you love Jesus?" When they said yes (totally stunned) she offered them a pass along card with a picture of Christ. I was so proud. :)

Well I'm almost out of time. But I do know Heavenly Father answers prayers. We had so many answered this week. I was so amazed at his Hand in our life. I wish I had more time to tell you everything that happened. Like one guy on the street told us, "God is good."

Thank you so so much for all your prayers and support. It means the world to me.
Love you all!!!
Sister Mik Pillar

P.S. Dad,
Sometimes I have ideas in my head of what we could do or Sister Harrison and I would talk about stuff we could do last transfer. But I always have to think and make sure it’s a good one, right. Often times I hear your voice saying, "Don't be stupid." haha :) Keeps me on the straight and narrow and basically out of the sketchy places. So thanks!!!! 
Sister Pillar and "best zone leaders ever"-  Elder Dingess & Elder Bird. 

So once upon a time we went to visit a member and she took us to the roof of her apartment building to see the view.  With our mini missionary Juanita. 


12 February 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Pillar,

Sister Mikayla Jane Pillar has been appointed as a trainer in the California Los Angeles Mission.  No more important position exists than that of training a new missionary.  New missionaries need to be properly taught immediately upon entering the mission field.  Initial experiences truly influence the remainder of one’s mission.  Your daughter will teach by both precept and example those attributes and skills that her companion will need to become an effective representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I am confident that she will, with the help of the Lord, be very successful in her new calling.

Sister Weidman joins me in extending to you our sincere congratulations for having a daughter of such quality and our appreciation for having Sister Pillar in our mission.  We know she will receive your continued support in her missionary service.

Sincerely yours,

David N. Weidman President,
California Los Angeles Mission

Monday, February 3, 2014


February 3, 2014

My Dearest Family,

So the transfer call has come. And the verdict is... I shall be staying in the LA YSA area and training. I'm picking up my brand new missionary tomorrow. Totally have mixed feelings about the whole thing. Yes, I'm stoked for the opportunity to train. Yes, I'm stressed out of my mind. Some days I still don't feel like I know what I'm doing, but maybe that's just life. Maybe we never quite really figure it out. 

Next week I'll be able to tell you all the details about my new companion. But at this point you know just as much as I do. (Oh except for the fact, that she might be a visa waiter. Apparently, we are having a lot of visa waiters come in this transfer.)

I did get the purse! Thanks so much!!! Its perfect!!!!! I've been using it all weekend and absolutely love it! And I have not seen the other package. Hopefully this Friday though!

We haven't been able to meet with Andrea for a while. Her phone stopped working, and we aren't quite sure what happened. Hopefully, we can get her back to church.

Thanks for the email on tender mercies. That's one thing I'm still working on applying to my life. I've been trying to take just a few moments and reflect on how I saw the hand of the Lord in my life each day. Its crazy how blessed each one of us is. Even on the rough days, we have things to be grateful for. 

One tender mercy happened last Tuesday. We have totally reorganized our area, and done a grid system for the maps. (Our area is the whole stake, and it’s huge.) So we were at the public library on Tuesday just finishing up a few things and were almost done. This man was sitting next to me, looked at our badge and asked if we were Mormon. We then had a huge discussion on the church. Turns out his relatives are members and have been trying to get him to learn more. Plus, he loves family history and wants to check out the family history library soon. We gave him the info, and then he asked us for our info. He wanted the missionaries to come talk to him! I was shocked but so happy. He won't be going to the congregation I work in, but we were so happy to pass his info on to other missionaries. 

Another highlight from the week was when we were able to go and help out with the Spanish ward. They were having a big LA English activity and needed some help. They were doing different stations and we were put in charge of Simon Says. People of all ages were at this thing and I got to be Simon. Let's just say it was a blast!! And word on the street is Simon Says was the favorite rotation. 

Another tender mercy...this past week, I had a couple questions about how I could be a better missionary and help my area. On Friday we went to Zone Training meeting. The Zone Leaders gave one of the trainings and said they felt they had received zero revelation about it. Oh how they were so wrong. They literally answered my question directly and with a scriptural reference. I was so touched. So amazed at how involved the Lord is with our lives. He cares. He cares so much. And it just brought me some great comfort to know that someone really is looking out for me. Christ lives. He is there and he is so aware. We just have to trust him. 

One thing I've come to learn is that this Gospel is so true and simple, but it is not easy. But when has anything good been easy. The best blessings come from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. One of my favorite Mormon messages is Elder Holland's "Good things to Come." I invite you all to go and watch it. The church is true!
Love you lots!!!!!
Sister Mik Pillar


Denis, Sister Harrison, Sister Pillar, Dan (ward missionary)

Spanish Ward's LA English Activty