Tuesday, April 29, 2014


April 28, 2014

My Dearest Family,

I just spent all my time sending pictures! Yikes. Sorry this will be fast and rushed!
But this week was AMAZING! Literally AMAZING! We were combined and rockin the trio. And we were covering both YSA and UCLA. We were so busy all week running form appointment to appointment. It was nuts. But being busy is like the best feeling on the mission. 

And the verdict on transfers… I'm out. I leave for the Hermosa Liahona ward tomorrow morning. It’s a Spanish area in the North Torrance area. And that's all I know about it. I haven't ever met my new companion.  Her name is Sister Diaz... I think. And it might be her second transfer. I’m kind of bummed to leave, but I figured it was going to happen. Since the area for UCLA and YSA was combined there is now one companionship covering both areas. I'm jealous about that. This past week we covered both and it was literally one of the best weeks of my mission. We met SO many cool people and so MANY new investigators! Like it was so cool. SO COOL. So I’m bummed to leave now. But it will be good. It always stinks to leave but it always turns out good. So hopefully it will happen the same again. And I will still have a car!!!  Sister Rackleff is staying in the area, but Sister Shute is going to the same zone as I am. 

I did get the package from the beehive! IT WAS DARLING!!!! I LOVED IT! And I failed because I didn't have time to write a thank you card. Its on my to do list for today. And Sister Olson's package did come! Thanks! Oh and I need to buy a new blanket (I gave my other one to a homeless person; it was a very cold night so when we got home I got my blanket and we took it back) and I'm going to need to buy a new t-shirt and they didn't update our card for this week (not sure why) so I have no money to buy groceries. So I’ll be using my personal card.

So cool miracle from the week (one out of many).... let's rewind a few weeks to when we did the sidewalk chalk on UCLA campus. Everyone remember those pictures. Well that day we met this Japanese girl named Saori. She LOVED the chalk and even came back later to take some pictures. Well that was the last I heard from her because she was in the UCLA jurisdiction. 

When we combined again I heard that they didn't have her number and hadn't really met with her. #disappointment Well, at the beginning of the week we ran into her again! It was so exciting. This time we asked for her number and set up a time to go check out the Visitor Center. Love that place. So we went on Saturday, and it was just great, simply great. She loved everything about it, and we gave her a Japanese Book of Mormon. She was excited. We then went and walked around the temple and took pictures. 

Other miracles that happened this week....
1. We ended up at a Japanese reunion thing at the Westwood building. They invited us to eat with them and the food was so good! It was a bunch of members all part of the Japanese culture who get together about once every few months. They were all bearing their testimonies, some in English and some in Japanese. The spirit was so strong and just a testimony builder that the Gospel is true in all languages.  (Tell Weston I met some people from his mission). 
2. Met with Simba Cruz. He is named after the Lion King and the coolest guy ever!
3. Met with Andrew! He's a really cool investigator!
4. Less active came to church. Less active brought a friend to church. Friend wants missionary discussions!

Love this gospel. Its true!!
Sister Pillar

The following 3 photos are from the "castle" Sister Olsen took us to. 
Just scenery
"Sister Shute, Sister Olsen and me"

"cool artsy one i took"
 "I was pretty sure I was going to be transferred so pictures from my last Sunday with the YSA"

KaRynn Sheranian and Sister Pillar
"Me and Bishop McKissick.... He's the best! Literally the best guy for a YSA ward." 
"Landon, Stuart Hall, Me, Denis Yugay, and JR Sellers. Love them!!
"And then with Dennis Lopez.  Such a cool kid!" 

"So at our last correlation meeting I asked if we would take a picture.
Its sisters, Lindsey Stirling, Mark Rowan (WML) Jack Heluo, and Raul Salzar 
the bunched one... bishop's face got caught in the back. its sooo funny!"
Sister Rackleff, me, Saori, and Sister Shute 
"I stayed in states, but there are still creepy things here." 
Decorations in UCLA dorms! 
"My last run in Beverly Hills"


April 21, 2014

My Dearest Family!!!

The subject of this email refers to a song we have been listening to non-stop! It’s talking about the gospel and it being the only true church. It’s great. 

I don't have a ton of time today... we made plans to go see a castle with Sister Olson, and we are running late! But quick overview of a very crazy but amazing week!!

First of all... Laura got baptized!!! It was such a special ceremony. We showed up at the building a few hours early to start filling the font. Well when we got there we took a look inside and saw a couple of spiders. Thankfully I have a brave companion. She was a trooper and went in to kill the little critters. Well the more we looked the more spiders we found. There was literally like 20 of them. Sister Rackleff is now the Spider Slayer. But we got them all taken care of and then we had a wonderful baptism. I'm so proud of Laura and excited for her!! 

1. We have the coolest members ever. We were fed almost every day this week. And I just LOVE getting to know the members. I'm so impressed with the members and their missionary experiences. We have been trying hard to push people to do the goals on the ward mission plan. And people are doing it!!!!! I love it when the members share with us their missionary experiences. Nothing lifts my spirits more. Like 99% of the time it doesn't even lead to a referral or anything, but I'm just excited the word is getting out there!
2. Rockin' the trio yet again. There was a mid cycle transfer and we are now in a trio with Sister Shute from Hawaii (she is great and super cool and fun) and covering two wards. This means... we are very busy, which is exciting! And we have very little space in our bedroom. Minor detail.
3. Lauren did temple baptisms this week! I was so happy for her! And she is going to Law School is UTAH!!! Guess who is totally hanging out with her in January! Ha-ha
4. This week we volunteered at a Baptist's church's food drive thing. We organized food into bags to be given out to the needy. It was super fun and super fun to be working with people of other faiths. The picture is with the Pastor of the Baptist Church. He told us that he is going to visit Salt Lake City with some of the members of the church in a few weeks and check out BYU campus. I told him to go eat a J-Dawg, which is said he would! :)

Next week is transfers…and I can't explain my feelings. I would LOVE to go back to Spanish. And I would be so excited too, but I LOVE the YSA. And we have people we are teaching. I can't leave them! Its like I would be equally happy to stay or go Spanish, but at the same time I'm going to be disappointed either way. Does that make sense? haha This next one is Sister Perry's last transfer. That is so weird!!!! 

Easter was amazing this year. We went to some members’ house and two guys made dinner. They are the BEST!!! We also spent a lot of time reading over and sharing the verses in Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24. It has become one of my favorite scriptures. I love the sweet, simple testimony; "He lives!" Every time I read those words, the spirit touches my very being and lets me know that it is true. It’s amazing how simple the testimony is, but how powerful.

Christ lives! And that means everything. Because He lives again, we have hope. We can hope for and work towards Eternal Life. And I am so grateful for that. And I'm so grateful for the chance we had to remember His Resurrection and His Atonement and the fact that He is victorious. I'm so grateful for this Gospel and knowing that I can improve myself each and everyday through Christ's Atonement. If you haven't recently, I encourage you all to go and read those verses and what it means to you, "He lives!"

Love you all so much!!! 
Sister Mik Pillar 

PS Elder Ballard is coming to our mission in June!

Sister Rackleff, Sister Burbank, Me, Pastor, Sister Shute

Sister Rackleff, Me, Laura Chan, Mark Rowan


April 14, 2014

My Dearest Family,
And here we are again. Another week has come and gone. Its crazy how fast everything goes. I guess that's what happens.
Monday night we got an interesting call from some Sisters in our zone. Apparently, Heidi, a student at USC, is doing a paper for her religion class on Mormon Missionaries. She asked President Weidman if she could go out and shadow some missionaries to learn more about what they do each day. Two of the coolest people I know, Sister Foster and Sister Stephens, were asked to have Heidi come out with them. Well, because of a meeting that one of them had to be at, they asked if we could go on exchanges with them for a few hours. So I ended up working with Sister Foster and Heidi for a few hours. 1) It was a ton of fun. 2) I kind of realized yet again what a peculiar life I live. It was so cool to have an outsider’s opinion on basically everything. She asked us why we did things in our daily schedule and why we had even chosen to be a missionary for a year and half. 

So in thinking about it I came to these conclusions: Missionary life is not glamorous nor is it easy. But it’s totally worth it. I'm the lucky one. I get to see the Atonement of Jesus Christ in action. I get to live and breathe the Gospel each and every day. And I get to tell people the good news... that the gospel of Jesus Christ is once again on the earth today.

I was so grateful with my time with Heidi. She made me realize what a privilege it is to be a missionary yet again. 

Wednesday Sister Rackleff was sick. She's such a good person and wanted to go out and work. I on the other hand after hearing her coughing, was like, "No. No one is going to want to talk to us." So we stayed inside and did some paperwork and weekly planned. 

Thursday we met with Isis and she dropped us. I was heart broken. She is such an amazing person and such a special daughter of God, but isn't ready to make the decision to be baptized. I'm proud of her for how far she has come and hope to be friends with her for... basically all eternity. 

Friday we had the lesson of all lessons. We met with Laura. She's a friend of our ward mission leader and the one that wants to get baptized on Saturday. (I can't remember if I told you all about her last week.) But she has been coming to church for months, just didn't want to meet with missionaries and just wanted to learn it on her own. Well, because she has now decided she wants to be baptized, we had to teach her everything. We had one day to do it. I studied for that lesson like I was studying for a final exam. We covered everything, “The Restoration” all the way to “Obeying and Honoring the Law”. It was a really cool lesson and Laura is great. My only regret....that we weren't able to meet with her more because she is SO COOL. 

Friday we also went on exchanges. I went into a Spanish area for 24 hours! SO MUCH FUN! I absolutely love serving in the YSA, but at the same time I do love the time I get in the Spanish Family wards. We were able to teach a few recent converts (this particular Spanish area is BOOMING with interested people and baptisms) and an investigator. I spent the night in the area and the next morning went with my companion to teach an LA English class. We had one student in our advanced/intermediate class who is from the Ukraine and trying to learn English. Because of a lack of ink, we didn't have lesson plans. So we just ended up talking about the church and watching Mormon Messages and Conference talks on his laptop. It was fun. 

That afternoon we switched back. I got Sister Rackleff back who I had missed dearly and met our mini missionary, who Sister R had picked up the night before. We were privileged to have Sister Emma Goddard with us for the weekend. She brought So many miracles. While I had been in the Spanish ward, they taught one of our new investigators named George, and Sister Goddard invited him to be baptized!! He said he needed an answer from God first. But hey... I was impressed. That night we met George at the church and gave him a church tour. He really seemed to like it. And then we went to a Luau! It was a ward activity that was happening right next to the church building. We got Hawaiian food, introduced George to a ton of people, and then watched some professional Polynesian dancers. Huge success!

Last night, we had one of the coolest lessons I've ever been apart of. Let me give you the background details.... So the LA 1st YSA ward and the UCLA ward use to be covered by the same set of missionaries. Therefore, they had one phone with everyone's contact. When I was transferred here back in November each ward got its own set of sister missionaries and we got a new phone. A week ago, the UCLA sisters mentioned they had a bunch of numbers in their phone of potential investigators that lived in our area. They had tried calling some and suggested we call a few back. We called this guy named Eddie. I talked with him on the phone and he told me that he was into Scientology, but was willing to meet. We set a time for Sunday. (In all honesty, I had no idea if this guy would actually come through and meet with us on Sunday.) But we went ahead and planned for it anyway. Sunday morning roles around and we are trying to plan for his lesson and come to a realization…we have absolutely no idea what Scientologists believe. 

I knew that one of our members had a Scientologist roommate who she had talked to before about the church. This was our texting conversation:

YSA Missionaries: Hey do you know what people believe in Scientology? We have a lesson tonight with a guy who is a Scientologist and don't know.

Kristen: Hahaha is it Eddie!

We were like... what?!?! Kristen moved into the ward at the end of January. What are the chances that she would move into the same house as Eddie a former potential? The Lord literally prepares people by putting others in our path. 

Well anyways, we had a lesson with Eddie and Kristen last night. There was a really strong Spirit at the lesson and it was way cool to talk with Eddie and see how the Lord has been directing his life. He has met a ton of Mormons in his life. Before I could stop myself, I was like... Do you think that's a sign?!? haha

But he was super great! He accepted a Book of Mormon and promised to read it every night. I'm excited to meet with him again.

Its super cool to see how the Lord's hand is in everything. Someone is always watching over us and guiding us back to our Father in Heaven. Our Heavenly Father loves us. If you haven't already, I encourage you to go and watch Earthly Father, Heavenly Father on the Mormon message channel. Its one of my favorites and one I love to share with people. Father loves us. 

This church is true!
Love you all!!
Sister Mik Pillar 
Sister Shute... one of my favorite Sisters and our mini ... Sister Goddard.
Sister Shute served in Sister Goddard's ward a few months ago.
Picture from the luau... uhh i don't know a lot of those people. but George is the African American guy in the back, Dan Patten is next to him, and then Landon.

Right before we had to say goodbye to Sister Goddard. I'm going to miss her. We told her that we will let her know when George gets baptized! 

Us and Rique Carol.  She was the Relief Society President and I just LOVED her.  She was such a huge help to us.  She is moving to NY for a job, so I'm happy for her, but devastated that she is leaving.  She is literally one of the coolest people ever.  We will miss her! 

Okay so there was a movie being filmed literally a block away from us. Sister Olson took us on a tour of it. Basically we just drove by with her.  Pictures below... 

Monday, April 28, 2014


April 7, 2014

My Dearest Family,
What a week! Sounds like ya'll had a blast in DC. A little sad I wasn't there, but its okay. We can do it again sometime. 

Thanks for sending the new shoes! I’m wearing them now actually; they are my favorite. :)

This week... was so much fun. 

Wednesday we had a bunch of time to fill with productive missionary activities and had absolutely no idea what to do. One of the struggles is where to find YSA people when you cover the whole stake but none of the college campuses. So I had an idea... we called the Sisters that work on UCLA campus and got them in on the plan. And you know what we did...? Sidewalk chalk of course! We went to UCLA campus and decided to draw the plan of salvation out on the sidewalk where the students would walk by on their way home after class. And got yelled at by an apartment manager. So we went in front of the institute building and tried there. 

The miracle that came from it was when this UCLA girl walked by and was enthralled by everything. She thought it was soo pretty and said she would come back when we were finished. Well, she actually came back! And took some pictures. Come to find out that she is from Japan and here at UCLA to learn English. She said she did some sort of program in Japan though where she went and lived with a Mormon host family for sometime. So she has even been to church before. Super cool!

Thursday, we went and did service for an older lady that I had met on the street. She's hilarious, and I'm kind of obsessed with her. When we met her a few weeks back, she told us that she didn't believe anything that Mormons said. We still invited ourselves to go over and do service. So Thursday we helped her in the yard with weeding. Okay this wasn't your average weeding. She has turned her whole yard into a garden. She has stuff growing everywhere! We went to town on that place and I still felt like we didn't really do that much damage. There was so much! So much!! But I have to say that I really liked doing the yard work. Dare I say it...I kind of miss it.  Because she is an older lady, we obviously won't be teaching her. I feel so exclusive sometimes but we are looking for the young'ins. So we invited the Elders that work in her area. They invited a recent convert and helped make these compost things. Not sure exactly what they are for, but Pat (the lady) was so super excited about them. Coolest miracle about the whole thing... was by the time we left, she was very willing to accept a copy of the Book of Mormon. She said that she had wanted to read it. So hopefully we will see if anything comes out of this :) Not going to lie... I felt like Ammon. 

Friday Sister Rackleff's sister got married! HAPPY WEDDING ANNIE! So obviously we wore her wedding colors. It was kind of hilarious because all day people were like... you all match!!! 

This weekend Sister Rackleff got sick, some sore throat thing. So we didn't even get to watch all of conference. Conference is like Christmas on the mission, so we were a bit sad. But one of our investigators wasn't able to make it. Now we have wonderful opportunity to catch up with her! God works in mysterious ways. 

Also, we had a crazy miracle during the Sunday sessions of conference. We received yet another blessed phone call. It was from our Ward Mission Leader who has been dating a non-member for a while now. Basically, the girl friend has been coming to church for months, but didn't want to meet with the missionaries. She wanted to investigate it on her own and figure it out by herself. Well, she finally wants to be baptized! So we aren't entirely sure how this works, but she knows everything. She's been reading PMG on her own. So maybe we will give her one quick lesson and then she's getting baptized next week, hopefully. We are excited for her. 

I hope all of you had the opportunity to listen to conference this past weekend. It’s amazing to hear the words of the prophets. Why..? Because they are the words of God!  This time threw conference I really tried to focus on my investigators. It was super cool how many talks really pertained to their lives and how even my own questions were answered. The Lord speaks through His prophets. My favorite parts are always when they bear their testimonies. You can feel the Holy Ghost testifying of their special witness. I can't remember who said it now, but in one of the talks they mentioned how it would be great if family members wrote their missionaries the things they have been learning in family scripture study and in their studies of PMG. And I was sitting there thinking, "Most definitely! I want to hear that stuff." So family will you start sending me your insights on the Book of Mormon and PMG? I'm looking forward to hearing everything! 

Also I have been praying about whether I should come home in October or extend. It was one of my questions for conference. I just kept thinking October. I realized I wanted to stay until November, but at least right now I don't feel good about that. So plan on seeing me in October. 

Oh here's a great story... this morning I was kind of down. I accidentally broke the dish that goes in the microwave and spins around in Sister Olson's house. (By the way, do you know where I can get a new one of those)?  I think Sister Olson felt bad that I was feeling down, so she took this ribbon (the kind that goes around an athlete's neck for a medal) and put a note on it that says "Sister Pillar The Champ!" Kind of made my day. Ha-ha!

 Love you all so so so much!!! 
Keep the Faith and know that I am praying for you!!!
From the West Coast,
Sister Mik Pillar 

The writing is done by yours truly. Drawing credit goes to sister Rackleff and burbank. we tag teamed with the sisters that cover the UCLA campus. 
Sister Rackleff's first McFlurry
Sister Rackleff's sister got married on Friday. So of course we wore her wedding colors!

Sunday, April 6, 2014


March 31, 2014

To My Dearest Family:

I really liked the idea of joint activity for missionary month. I had forgotten about missionary month and thought, "Hey we should do that here!" Then I remembered that I am currently serving in a YSA Ward and that probably wouldn't have the same effect. But the ward is having a huge Luau activity soon. We are encouraging everyone to bring non-member friends. So hopefully that will be fun!

The broadcast was super great! Unfortunately, none of our investigators could make it, which was disappointing because I'm sure they would have loved it! But I was glad I was there. It was super neat to watch girls and women of all ages sing together. We are all daughters of God. And we can all learn from each other. It was great.

So there are times in my mission where I think to myself...”only in mission life would this ever happen”. I had a few of those this week.  Tuesday night we had a dinner appointment with one of the guys in the ward. We brought Lauren, our recent convert, to come with us. We knew nothing about this guy before hand, except he was willing to meet with us. Lately, we have been going and visiting all the members and going over the Ward Mission Plan with people. So that's what our plan was. We'll this kid turns out to be one of the coolest people ever!! He was in a motorcycle accident about a year ago and has a prosthetic leg, so he told us all about that. You would never know about the leg though with the way he walks. We also found out that he is way into magic, and not your dinky little let me find your card in the deck tricks. Like he blew our minds with the card tricks he did! It was like dinner and a show. And then he pulled out his ferrets! And we were playing with his ferrets. It was probably one of the most fun dinners I've been too on my mission.

Second crazy thing that happened this week - I finally felt my first earthquake. It was during our planning session and all of a sudden the pictures on the walls started to shake. My companion and I just kind of looked at each other. It was the weirdest feeling. I guess we should have ducked and rolled or something, but we just sat there. Ha-ha. We had 72 hour kits and they just upgraded them a few weeks ago. Now they are like 90 hour+ kits. And they gave us a whole bunch of food to keep in our cars. A few nights ago we were all ask to go home and read instructions on what to do if an earthquake strikes. We were talking with our zone leaders last night and were like, "are we planning on having another earthquake soon"!

Also, we have a new investigator!!!! We are super stoked about him! Some Elders found him on the street and he actually went up to them and started asking questions. Not usually the normal thing that happens, but very exciting when it does! So since he is YSA aged, we get to teach him! His name is Jimmy and he came to LA to pursue the singing/acting dream.  We brought our recent convert Lauren with us to the lesson, and I was so glad we did! He basically has a very similar story compared to her. Both grew up Catholic, both had doubts and both noticed something different with the Mormon people they had met before in their lives. Both went and found the missionaries by themselves. Jimmy asking all these questions like "How come whenever I meet a Mormon they are so sure in their beliefs?" or "Why do Mormon families seems different?" Ha-ha we were like, these are the questions we love to hear!!! So it was a super cool lesson, and we are excited to teach him again.

We are still teaching one of the models and Isis. She's the best. She calls herself Sistah Grills. Love it!! 

If possible could you send me a new pair of shoes? The navy Clark ones if you can find them.

We are going to do a general conference flash back-throw back; the quote from last conference by Elder Uchtdorf came up this week where he said, "Doubt your Doubts, not your faith!" I've thought about that a lot, and realized I know more, I believe more, and I have stronger testimony than what I give myself credit for. Sure we have questions, but having questions was never a bad thing. This church was restored because of one question. And I am so grateful, that there was a young boy who had the courage to ask it. Look at how far we have come! I encourage all of you to prepare your questions, and expect them to be answered this general conference. We will be hearing the words of the prophets, who speak for God. And God will speak to us! I promise you that!

Love you lots!!!
Sister Mik Pillar

"I held a ferret!" 
The magician!

Lauren and the ferret!
Sister Rackleff
"We have matching pok-a-dot sweaters, sent to us by our mothers!"

Sister Missionary shoes after 10 months!